Konstantin Kisin delivered the blistering speech at a recent Oxford Union debate, where he addressed the young audience with surgical scorn. He warned listeners that the woke culture many embrace will only worsen the world’s problems, particularly the issue most important to the college-age generation, climate change.
“I want to talk to those of you who are woke, and who are open to rational argument,” Kisin, host of a popular podcast called TRIGGERnometry, said. “A small minority, I accept, because one of the tenets of wokeness is of course that your feelings matter more than the truth.”
With that, Kisin agrees to at least temporarily accept that climate change is indeed the world’s most pressing problem. But the solution, he later tells them, is not to complain or “throw soup on paintings.”
My speech at the Oxford Union is finally available. The debate was "This House Believes Woke Culture Has Gone Too Far".
As promised, I didn't hold back 🤣 pic.twitter.com/yV0bAPqAQB
— Konstantin Kisin (@KonstantinKisin) January 13, 2023
“For tonight, and tonight only, I will join you,” Kisin said. “I will join you in worshiping at the feet of St. Greta of Climate Change. Let us all accept right here, right now that we are living through a climate emergency and our stocks of polar bears are running extremely low.”
“What are we to do about this huge problem facing humanity?” he asked.
Noting that Britain is responsible for about 2% of the world’s annual carbon emissions, Kisin suggested that it makes no difference what he and his countrymen do. The future of the climate, he said, is “going to be decided in Asia and Latin America by poor people, who couldn’t give a s*** about saving the planet.”
The world’s wealthy countries cannot expect nations mired in wrenching poverty to sacrifice their dreams of prosperity, much less their children’s lives, for environmentalism, he said. Kisin recounted how Chinese President Xi Jinping’s family was destroyed by China’s cultural revolution when he was a boy, and how the current leader “clawed [his] way up the bloody and greasy pole of Chinese politics to be the undisputed supreme leader of the very communist party that destroyed [his] family.” Xi, Kisin said, knows that he must deliver prosperity to his 1.4 billion people above all else.
“Where do you think climate change ranks on Xi Jinping’s list of priorities?” Kisin asked, adding that a third of all children in the world who live in extreme poverty are in India, the world’s second-most populous country to China.
Kisin, who was born in Moscow and moved to the United Kingdom with his family when he was 11, drew laughter when, while arguing that the drive to provide for one’s children will always come before environmentalism, he mocked another precept of woke-ism: the bizarre idea that men can get pregnant.
“Now about 15 months ago, my wife got pregnant,” Kisin, 40, said. “Not me – we’re old school.”
Kisin recalled how he and his wife dreamed about their then-unborn son’s future life and what he would accomplish. Now that the boy has been born and “is cuter than about 80% of puppies,” Kisin gave a stirring testimonial to the parental instinct.
“If you said to me that I have a choice: Either my son had a serious risk of starving or dying from a preventable disease in the next year,” Kisin said, “or I could press a button and he would live, he would go to school, he would bring his first girlfriend home, he would go to university, he would graduate, and become a woke idiot. And then he’d get a job, he’d get married and have children and become a man.”
“But all I have to do is press this button and every day of my son’s life, a giant plume of Co2 is going to get released into the atmosphere. And you’re all very young. Most of you are not parents. Let me tell you something: There isn’t a parent in the world who would not smash that button so hard their hand bled.”
The point, Kisin said, is that we cannot expect parents in poverty-stricken lands to subscribe to a woke culture at the risk of their own survival. The answer, he said, is innovation.
“You are not going to get these people to stay poor,” Kisin said. “You’re not even going to get them to not want to be richer. And so I put it to you ladies and gentlemen, there is only one thing we can do in this country to stop climate change, and that is to make scientific and technological breakthroughs that will create the clean energy that is not only clean, but also cheaper.”
Kisin closed out the speech with a dramatic appeal for the young generation to reject wokeness.
“The only thing that wokeness has to offer … is to brainwash bright young minds like yours to believe that you are victims, to believe that you have no agency, to believe that what you must do to improve the world is to complain, is to protest, is to throw soup on paintings.”
“The way to improve the world is to work, is to create, it is to build,” he said. “And the problem with woke culture is that it has trained too many young minds like yours to forget about that.”