Brentin Mock is a staff writer at CityLab. He was previously the justice editor at Grist.
There is a movement of people who believe that “climate resilience” is a Trojan horse for a global takeover of cities via weather manipulation, and a D.C. city council member may subscribe to that idea.
D.C. city council member Trayon White, Sr. landed himself in quite a media storm after he posted a video to his Facebook page last Friday in which he explained that snowfall in March was part of a “climate control” conspiracy orchestrated by the Illuminati.
Said White, as reported by The Washington Post:
Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation … And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.
It’s not clear whether White was speaking in jest, especially since he has since deleted the video from his Facebook page. But today, he apologized for his remarks, which many people took as anti-Semitic (the wealthy Rothschild family are descendants of a Jewish banker). Aside from the alleged bigotry of his comments, there are some pretty weighty concepts tossed around in the rest of his words that are worth unpacking. Like, if there is some Behold a Pale Horse stuff going on with our cities, we need to know, right? This is bigger than snow.
We know you have questions. We attempt to provide answers below:
So, is “climate control” real?
Well, yes, and not just the kind you find in your car to change the temperature. There is experimentation currently happening with technology that can alter or simulate weather effects, and there are even scientists who are working on technology that could change the climate of a region over time, or what’s called “geo-engineering.” None of this stuff is actually on the market or employed by governments—or at least we don’t think so. There was that time when the U.S. military did a “cloud seeding” experiment during the Vietnam War, when it artificially made it rain over Vietnam and Laos to cause flooding. But other than that, the idea of weather manipulation is the stuff of spy thrillers.
Why does White think that this is happening in D.C.?
CityLab called and emailed White’s office for comments on where he picked up this idea, and whether he was even being serious to begin with. We’ve yet to hear back. Meanwhile, White’s comments can be rooted in various strands of the “climate change is a hoax” genre of conspiracy theories, which are now cozily accommodated by the White House.
What White may have been alluding to in his comments turns a new corner, though, in that it adds the element of city takeover via the Trojan horse of “resilience.” One of the chief peddlers of Resilient Trutherism is Deborah Tavares, an Alex Jones type who believes that there are forces—controlled or funded by the Rothschilds, or the Rockefellers, or Betsy DeVos, or some other super-wealthy villain figure—that are subduing cities into submission with artificially created snowstorms, rain-flooding, and other extreme weather patterns. (This should not be confused with the “Shock Doctrine” and “Disaster Capitalism” theories of Naomi Klein.) As this article from something called the Activist Post explains:
Deborah Tavares, a researcher-activist, who documents EVERYTHING she says with credible documentation, says the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds are positioning “to restructure North America.” One of the apparent ‘tools’ for their soon-to-be-realized ‘pipe dream’ is the use of man-made climate-related “challenges.” The apparent buzzword that will be used to implement their plans is “Resilience” which, according to Deborah, is false policies. She says it’s more like “Peril and Opportunity.”
We wish we could say that Tavares has no following, but her online videos are racking up tens of thousands of views and subscribers—people who are willing to indulge that cities are under resilience attack.
But wait, isn’t there really a program called Resilient Cities, and isn’t it run by the Rockefellers, and isn’t D.C. a part of it?
Yes! Not really. And yes! There is an initiative called 100 Resilient Cities, which is “pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation”—that is, the foundation provides financial support—and yes, Washington, D.C., is part of the network.
What 100 Resilient Cities does is partner with cities across the globe to help them identify and prepare for coming “shocks”—one-time threats like a terrorist attack or tornado—and “stresses”—systemic problems like structural racism and poverty that chip away at a city’s vulnerability over time. The program helps cities develop resilience strategies, provides funding and resources for the implementation of those strategies, and in some cases pays the salary for a position called “chief resilience officer,” usually located within a mayor’s office.
D.C. appointed its chief resilience officer, Kevin Bush, last July, to focus on the issues of economic inequality, extreme heat, rain flooding, failing infrastructure, and the lack of affordable housing. It is possible that Bush is part of the ruse, though, given that his last name is “Bush,” which happens to be the last name of the U.S. president who ushered in the “resilience” pathogen when he signed the “Agenda 21” pact, which sometimes goes by the name ”sustainable development.”
Kevin Bush kinda confessed to his role in this when he provided the following quote to The Washington Post just moments after he was installed: “Resilience is a bit of a buzzword these days — I’ll admit that. ... But to me, resilience is about the immune system of a city.”
If the Resilience Truthers end up being right, we can’t say we weren’t warned.
Is this why White is suspicious about snow? How do his consituents feel about these “resilience plans”?
We’re still waiting to hear back from White. However, according to Ronda Chapman, who has worked with communities in White’s Ward 8 on building the resilience strategy and similar projects, such as the Climate Ready D.C. and Clean Energy D.C. plans, the constituents are mostly on board with the resilience agenda.
“People are responding favorably to the fact that these plans even exist, particularly when looking at flooding and vulnerability where they live,” said Chapman. “I have not, in any of my engagements, whether through Groundwork Anacostia or in partnership with D.C.’s Department of Energy and Environment … heard anyone speak of any climate-change conspiracies.”
Neither has there been much Resilience Truther pushback from other cities in the 100 Resilient Cities network, according to Otis Rolley, the network’s regional director for North America, which includes Canada.
“We work in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Miami, Dallas, and all over Chicago, and I’ve never heard this kind of anxiety about the resilience work before,” said Rolley. “There is anxiety around climate change and extreme heat and flooding, so part of our work is to create an infrastructure for cities to have the ability to survive, adapt, and grow.”
What does all of this have to do with the Rothschilds, again?
Nothing. No Rothschilds are involved in running or operating this program, said Andrew Brenner, the communications director for 100 Resilient Cities.
However! We do know that one of the first cities in the 100 Resilient Cities cohort was New Orleans, and that the rapper Jay Electronica is from New Orleans, and Jay Electronica is rumored to have dated Kate Rothschild of the mysterious Rothschild clan. So there’s that.
Here, in this video captured by The Washington Post, the University of the District of Columbia’s president, Ronald Mason, Jr. tries to explain to White that the Rothschilds and the World Bank are not secretly bankrolling infrastructure projects (not that D.C. couldn’t use the World Bank’s money). Mason also explains to White how the 100 Resilient Cities program works:
Should we still be careful, as White said?
You should always be careful about the kind of news you spread, especially if you are an elected official.