Read Rockefeller – Controlling the Game Online

Authors: Jacob Nordangård

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Rockefeller – Controlling the Game (31 page)

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A central component of the Smart City, and vital part of the vision for the global transformation to a sustainable society, is the Internet of Things IoT) .

The IoT is not just a new paradigm, it is a new world order, not so much in the political sense but in the nature of the term: ‘order’ as in ‘hierarchy,’ reciprocity and communicative relations. We are entering a world in which the environment becomes the interface, and there will be no more dual relations (me and you, me and an object), but there will be always a third party (sensor–database) involved. (Internet of Things Council)
614

Internet of Things (is a cyber–physical system where not just cell phones but everyday items such as household appliances, clothing, accessories, light-ing, machines, vehicles and buildings are equipped with passive or active (transmitting) chips and sometimes sensors and actuators that allow them to be tracked, exchange data, or be controlled over the network.

The network is intended to connect at least 80 billion devices and products, and can also include humans (via RFID chips in ID cards, credit cards, access cards, or inserted into the body). Blockchain and a digital currency can also be connected to the system.

All products and individuals included in the system are to be in continuous communication with each other and nothing is to pass under the radar. The data sets will be analysed in real time using Artificial Intelligence.

The European Union want to follow the test roll-outs in Hong Kong and Singapore and install millions of “smart lampposts” with sensors, cameras, speakers, wifi, advertising/information
displays, e-vehicle charging and many other features.
615

For humans, Internet of Things is expected to help influence and improve our decision-making and behaviour “in both open and subtle ways" (nudging) to promote “health and longevity” (e.g., by enabling one’s physician or an app to keep track of one’s medical status in real time).

Crime prevention is also to become more effective. Data collection via sensors and cameras equipped with facial recognition software, processed by Artificial Intelligence, is expected to lead to reduced crime. In the future, some police work may to be carried out by robots, where “criminal elements" may be rendered harmless by robots and drones – or by being identified before the crime is committed and “offered preventive councelling
”,
as has been suggested in the UK.
616

According to proponents, the losers in this Brave New World will be those who don’t see the benefits of the new innovative business models being developed, or who don’t have access to it. The ethical challenges will be addressed by promoting development of digital solutions with “respect for human rights" – as long as they are not overemphasised and subject to “overly rigid regulations.”

5G

In order to manage the dramatic increase in data flow required for a fully developed IoT (with smart houses, smart electricity grids, digital assistants, intelligent transport systems, etc.) and the increasing use of online, cloud, and streaming services, this new type of mobile network is now under way.

The 5G network is a complementary mobile network that transmits at higher frequencies, with millimeter waves. The shorter range and weaker penetration requires more base stations, placed closer together (e.g., on street lamp posts). The directional high frequency waves can also be directed in real time towards specific receivers (e.g., those in self-driving vehicles).

5G isn’t just the next generation of a wireless connectivity. It is the foundation for the first generation of truly smart things. Fast, low latency networks will support billions of connected devices communicating at a machine level. (Jon Markman, Forbes, 2019)
617

Advocates promise faster Internet, increased efficiency in manufacturing processes, and enabling “circular economy” with cradle-to-grave tracking of every product – and citizen.

Companies can refine their monitoring of projects by using drones and embedded sensors to enable real-time communication and to track people, machines, components and the construction process itself. (Shaping the Future of Construction, World Economic Forum)
618

Despite being controversial, 5G is currently being implemented in a growing number of regions across the world. Potential risks to wildlife, the environment, human health, and personal integrity tend to be downplayed by proponents and public concerns either ignored or ridiculed.

Blockchain

Blockchain
is a digital distributed ledger shared in a network, where each transaction is encrypted and added to a block in the ledger, forming a blockchain of coded information which is difficult to manipulate. The technology is mainly used for digital crypto currencies such as Bitcoin but can also be used for automated and decentralised management of existing currencies, royalty payments, contracts other uses requiring trust, without (but not excluding) the need for an authorised third party such as a bank, law firm or government agency.

In
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution
, blockchain technology is presented as safe, transparent, democratising and inclusive. One of the problems, however, is that the energy and bandwidth used by blockchain technology to process and store all transactions far exceeds the environmental benefit. According to an analysis by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the exponentially increasing adding of transaction blocks could soon cause a system overload.

A big part of the appeal of many cryptocurrencies to their supporters is that they are decentralized rather than tied to a central bank like the US Federal Reserve. Records of transactions are 
kept on a digital ledger
. But because every single transaction is added to the digital ledger, the report said using a cryptocurrency like bitcoin for retail transactions around the world would quickly swell the ledger beyond the capacity of computer servers to store it.
619

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

AI and robots, including self-driving vehicles and remote-controlled drones, are described by Schwab as such a rapidly growing presence in our everyday life that what was previously only science fiction is now fast becoming reality. Both advantages, disadvantages and risks are addressed, such as the fact that the robotisation risks replacing increasingly qualified professions and competing with developing countries which would otherwise attract investments through cheap labor, as well as the risk of hacking and the use of robots, drones, and AI for warfare, terrorism, and crime. It can also be used for “pre-crime” law enforcement.

AI is already monitoring data from sensor networks and video streams and can alert security officials to suspicious patterns. Meanwhile, police have deployed robots for search and rescue, and have also used them to kill an armed gunman. (Klaus Schwab,
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution
)
620

The very first AI conference was held at Dartmouth college in 1956 and the first industrial robot was launched in 1961. As always, the Rockefellers were at the forefront (see Chapter 2).

At The Rockefeller Foundation, we know that supporting communities of dedicated engineers can change the world. In 1956, we funded the Dartmouth conference that coined the phrase “Artificial Intelligence” and launched a new way of thinking about computation.
621

Energy Production

In
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution
, great hopes are placed on the renewable energies – especially for developing countries with poor or unreliable energy supply – if only strategic investments are made. Smart electricity grids controlled by AI, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and fusion are proposed as promising future avenues of development for greener, cheaper and more efficient energy supply.

The intermittency, distribution and storage shortcomings of solar and wind power are recognised by Schwab, but hopes are placed on batteries with better storage capacity solving some of the problems. The potential harmful effects on health or the environment (mining, land use, transportation, and danger to birds, bats and insects) are not considered.

That biofuels can have both a positive and negative net effect depending on how they are produced is also not mentioned. Biogas (e.g. from sewage or food waste) can have a more positive net effect than ethanol (created by fermenting sugar-containing crops) which may require use of agricultural land needed for food production.
622

The most controversial biofuel is probably biodiesel, often made from palm oil, which contributes to rainforest degradation, eutrophication, and pollution of waterways.
623

Nuclear fission, so popular with the early anti-coal and -oil activists, is not viewed by Schwab as an option, only hopes for future fusion reactors. The issue is still controversial. Climate scientist James Hansen, for example, has earlier expressed a certain realism when it comes to energy production but his position on 4th generation nuclear power is not welcomed by the environmental movement.

I think it’s unfortunate that so many environmentalists are just assuming that these renewables will be able to satisfy all of our requirements. Renewables, the ‘soft renewables’, are only providing between one and two percent. Hydropower provides a significant amount of electricity. But that’s limited as to how much of that we can have. The hope that sun and wind and geothermal can provide all of our energy is a nice idea, but I find it unlikely that that is possible. The environmental community is basically asking the governments to reduce their emissions and subsidizing clean energy. Well, that simply doesn’t work, we don’t get enough energy from renewables to make a difference. That then forces any government to approve expanded oil drilling, hydro fracking to get more gas, mountain top removal to get more coal… We’re not going to turn the lights out. No government, no president, no governor is going to turn out the light, there has to be energy. And if renewables are not providing it, then it’s fossil fuels. (James Hansen, 2013)
624

Geoengineering

Geoengineering is the human attempt to control Earth's complex biosphere and atmosphere. Theoretical geoengineering techniques for counteracting global warming include carbon capture and storage (CCS), marine fertilisers, artificial islands, large-scale tree planting, cloud seeding with aerosols to create rain or artificial smog, large mirrors, and nanotechnology.

Human intervention on the planet's weather system in order to mitigate challenges such as air pollution, drought, and global warming are also outlined in
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution
. The potential risks of such large-scale experiments are addressed by the book's co-authors, who believe that relying solely on reactive technical methods will not suffice, but need to be combined with emission reducing strategies.

In
Global Risks Report
(2019), World Economic Forum points out the additional risk of individual nations using weather manipulation to induce drought and flooding as weapons against each other.

Weather manipulation tools—such as cloud seeding to induce or suppress rain—are not new, but deploying them at scale is becoming easier and more affordable. As the impacts of climate-related changes in weather patterns intensify, the incentives to turn to technological fixes will increase in affected areas.
625

To manage these risks, supranational regulations are again called for. These ideas are very similar to Hans Joachim Schellnhuber's futuristic–technocratic ideas outlined in his article “Geocybernetics: Controlling a Complex Dynamical System Under Uncertainty” (1998) proposing a future geocybernetic control system for managing both nature, climate and man.

Global change, i.e., the mega-process radically transforming the relationship between nature and human civilization since the end of World War II, is investigated from the point of view of systems analysis. It is argued that this unbridled process should rather be domesticated by planetary control strategies transpiring from a new science called ‘geocybernetics.’
626

This concern echoes the conclusions in
Rockefeller Panel Reports
(1958).

If it becomes possible to interfere actively in the big processes with the atmosphere, the results are likely to transcend national boundaries. The problems that will then arise must be handled on an international basis. They may well be insoluble if the development leading up to weather control has been carried out by uncorrelated national efforts.
627

Space Technology

Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution
also includes space technology, such as Elon Musk's SpaceX space program. High hopes are placed on new or improved technologies such as micro satellites, nano materials, 3D printing, virtual reality, robotics, and enhanced space telescopes making space travel cheaper and easier to implement. The awaiting future promises to become, “... a whole new era of understanding how man fits into a global and cosmic context.” Space technology will of course not save the climate but enthusiasts view it as a long-term Plan B for humanity.

ECONOMIC CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

Several models for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and environmental degradation have been tested, proposed or are being introduced, from CO
2
taxes to carbon quotas to an overhaul of the entire economic system into a New International Economic Order.

BOOK: Rockefeller – Controlling the Game
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