Eight Teachings for Business Leaders from the Battle of Midway

This June marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Midway—a battle that proved the turning point in the Pacific during World War II.  Over the past eight decades, historians have analyzed the decision making of the Japanese and American admirals while navies have studied the tactics of both carrier fleets. The consensus is that a few crucial decisions and a couple of vital hours in the four-day event swung the Pacific War’s momentum from Japan to the U.S., despite the Japanese enjoying superiority in carrier numbers and crew experience.

The Battle of Midway’s influence even impacted pop culture.  Hollywood produced two feature films depicting the events. The 1976 original boasts an all-star cast of Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Pat Morita, Hal Holbrooke, Robert Wagner, and Eric Estrada (pre-CHIPs).  The 2019 remake, unfortunately, was more of an animated action video game than a film.

The Battle of Midway rightly captured the attention of those beyond war college instructors and military history academics.

Interestingly, one segment that may not have grasped the key takeaways of the battle is the business community. That’s a shame. Analyzing the Battle of Midway provides wisdom and insight for the modern business leader.

A closer look at Midway’s key teachings in the context of competitive commerce:

Midway Teaching #1: Sound Strategy is Required for Success, But Doesn’t Guarantee It

Japan’s Admiral Yamamoto took a broad, strategic view of the Pacific War.  Yamamoto knew Japan’s best chance at victory was to gain advantage over the U.S. Navy early and compel America to lose its desire to fight a protracted war across thousands of miles of ocean.  That strategy drove the planning for the Midway precursors—the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Yamamoto’s strategic vision also drove the planning for the Battle of Midway; he wanted to instigate a naval battle where the remaining U.S. aircraft carriers would be knocked out by the vaunted Kido Butai carrier fleet, hopefully resulting in the U.S. seeking peace or withdrawal from the western Pacific.  It was in many ways a perfect strategy.

Japan’s approach leading up to Midway provides two insights to business leaders.  First, strategy matters, and a rational, well-thought strategy should drive tactics.  Second, you may have a perfectly laid out strategy but fail miserably in the ultimate objective; good strategy is a prerequisite to success but does not guarantee it.

Both insights held true for Japan in the Battle of Midway and hold true in business.  Sound strategy is a must for business success, but it is far from a guarantee.

Teaching #2: Technology Can Both Eliminate and Provide “Edge”

Those familiar with the battle know the U.S. enjoyed advance warning of Japan’s target being Midway Atoll.  That’s because U.S. Navy cryptanalysts were breaking Japanese communication codes and knew weeks in advance that Japan was planning an attack in the Pacific, which the U.S. ultimately verified as Midway.  Admirals Nimitz and Spruance knew what the Imperial Navy planned before combat events unfolded.

Technology not only neutralized Japan’s strategic battle plans by eliminating the element of surprise, but it also flipped the advantage of surprise to the U.S.  The battle was not won solely by pilots and sailors in combat, but also by math majors working on codes at desks.

In business, technology can rapidly make the weak dominant and the strong obsolete. That holds true for companies, industries, and economies.  Taking the long view and investing the talent and resources into technology development and deployment can reap massive returns.

Just ask Amazon, Google, and Apple.  As well as their vanquished competitors such as Kmart, Lycos, and Blackberry.

Teaching #3: Disruptive Innovation Changes Outcomes

One of the American unsung heroes of the Battle of Midway is Lieutenant Commander John Thach, a fighter pilot behind the stick of a Grumman Wildcat.

Thach created and applied a new dogfight defensive technique, dubbed the Thach Weave. During the Battle of Midway the move proved highly effective against the until-then dominant Japanese Zero fighters.

The Thach Weave, which neither side’s commanders saw coming, had a multiplier effect on the battle’s outcome and reached far beyond the win-loss tally of Zeroes and Wildcats. It influenced precious timetables, the number of torpedo and dive bombers breaking through to attack carriers, and decision making.  Without the Thach Weave, the Battle of Midway may have ended with a very different outcome.

In business, disruptive innovation often appears unannounced and is the result of both trial and error as well as necessity.  One must be constantly on the lookout for its arrival as a potential threat that must be quickly acknowledged, and also willing to continually tinker under a sense of urgency to be the disruptor and innovator.

Teaching #4: “Target Fixation” Is a Killer

When the battle was still going relatively well for the Japanese, the Imperial Navy made a fatal error.  The Thach Weave not only proved highly effective in Wildcat dogfights with Zeroes, but it also allowed U.S. torpedo bombers to break through the initial Zero patrols to try to sink Japanese carriers.

The Japanese responded by committing all their patrolling fighters above the carrier fleet to engaging the U.S. Wildcats and torpedo bombers.  The Japanese became fixated on the visible threat developing to the northeast; to the point where they were willing to completely expose their carrier fleet to other threats.

After three hours of intense air combat, the Japanese downed over fifty American planes and lost only eleven of their own.  Even better for the Imperial Navy, there was not even a scratch on the four carriers (Hiryu, Akagi, Soryu, and Kaga).  Target fixation seemed to work quite well.

Yet the Japanese carriers were left with no overhead fighter protection at the worst possible time. Fifty U.S. dive bombers suddenly appeared from two different directions, catching the Japanese by surprise.  The battle-arriving expert pilots proceeded to mortally wound the carriers Kaga, Soryu, and flagship Akagi in quick succession.  In less than five minutes, target fixation helped turn pending Japanese victory and numerical superiority into looming defeat.

Target fixation in business can be lethal.  Pouring all your resources into a single threat, whether real or imagined, runs the risk of ignoring mortal dangers or squandering epic opportunity.  Some of those may make or break a business.

Teaching #5: The Fog of War is the Ultimate Known-Unknown

A military proverb says, “no plan survives contact with the enemy.”  Part of that adage’s wisdom reflects the reality of the fog of war.  The Battle of Midway had its share of fog of war, with the outcome influenced by which side managed their known-unknowns better.

Under the shroud of the fog of war, the Japanese had to contend with: their picket submarines arrived too late off the coast of Hawaii to detect American carriers sailing out to sea; they didn’t know where the American carriers were for much of the battle; they did not correctly identify a carrier once they located part of the U.S. fleet; the shocking appearance of the battle-ready carrier Yorktown after its mauling at Coral Sea ; and, they squandered an opportunity later in the battle when they mistakenly went after an already crippled Yorktown instead of the Hornet or Enterprise.

There is no doubt both sides were acting through the fog of war.  But the Americans did a much more effective job exploring and adjusting as the known-unknowns manifested, as evidenced by their location of the Japanese fleet early on (despite U.S. reconnaissance reporting only two carriers).  That made a huge difference in a carrier battle, where aerial reconnaissance is crucial.

In business, it’s not certain what competitors will do, how regulations may change, or what pending calamities are about to appear.  But recognizing such factors as known-unknowns and developing a team and processes to manage them puts you in a better position to succeed.  Ignoring the known-unknowns invites disaster.

If Yamamoto devised a sound strategy, why did the Japanese lose the Battle of Midway and ultimately the war?  One reason is poor execution; despite the Imperial Navy’s reputation up until then for excellent execution—Vice Admiral Nagumo launched over one hundred carrier planes in ten minutes early in the battle.

Consider a few of the Japanese Navy’s execution blunders during the Battle of Midway:

  • Failure to locate the U.S. fleet early and then not identifying carriers once spotted,
  • Sailing closer to the U.S. carriers, eliminating Japanese range advantage,
  • Switching carrier plane armaments back and forth between bombs and torpedoes, wasting valuable time and creating explosion risk below deck,
  • Fixating on the torpedo squadron threat to the northeast, leaving the carriers without fighter cover and exposed to dive bomb attack; and,
  • Mistakenly attacking the already-crippled Yorktown, squandering an opportunity to take out the Hornet or Enterprise.

Certainly the U.S. had its share of execution missteps, as evidenced by the near slaughter of its torpedo squadrons and the infamous “flight to nowhere.”  But Japanese missteps in execution of battle tactics and decision making proved a decisive differentiator.  Strategically, Japan achieved the tactical battle they wanted, but it lost in part due to poor execution.

A company must not only devise the proper strategy and employ the correct tactics, but it must also execute efficiently.  Execution is the necessary converter of potential value into tangible value.

Teaching #7: Don’t Let Emotions Dictate Decisions

After the Kaga, Soryu, and flagship Akagi were devastated by American dive bombers, Vice Admiral Nagumo had a decision to make: withdraw to fight another day, or continue fighting to even the score?  The decision would need to be made with only one carrier still intact, the Hiryu, and with exhausted crews depleted from battle.

While a calm assessment of the situation would dictate ending the engagement, Nagumo chose to fight on. His decision was made largely on emotion, pride, and optics.  The thought of limping back to friendly waters down three carriers and with only one American carrier out of commission was unacceptable.

Allowing emotion to dictate decision making took a bad Japanese outcome and made it a disastrous one.  Further engagements resulted in the sinking of the Hiryu, while the Hornet and Enterprise remained intact.  Nagumo’s pride had a serious consequence for Japan.

In business, the prudent leaders play the long game, remain above the daily fray, and clinically follow the math.  Avoid the emotion when assessing things like acquisitions and growth.  It’s just sound business.

Teaching #8: Luck is Overrated

Following the battle and to this day, so many, from military experts to run-of-the-mill history buffs, commonly attribute Midway’s outcome to Lady Luck; Japanese reconnaissance planes missing U.S. carriers because of fortuitous cloud cover, U.S. reconnaissance planes going the extra mile and being rewarded with locating the Japanese fleet, American dive bombers appearing at just the moment when the carriers were left unprotected, and so on.

Attributing outcomes to luck is typically a sign of rash judgment and lazy analysis.  That’s because in war, business and life, to a great extent, one makes their own luck.  Midway’s outcome was certainly impacted by fortunate timing and close calls.  But both were the cumulative derivatives of the prior teachings discussed above.

You need to first perform the tough groundwork to ultimately place yourself in a position to be lucky.

Closing Thoughts

The profit and loss stakes of business pale in comparison to the life and death stakes of military combat.  Yet there is much to be gleaned from studying battles and applying it to leadership, business, and strategy.

Perhaps an enterprising professor will find a way to bring the lessons of Midway into the minds of tomorrow’s executives.


Reject the Fed’s Mission Creep

Government, elites, and the Left never let a good crisis go to waste. Often, they will inflate, manipulate, or manufacture crises to justify more power, with the price being paid by the middle class, taxpayers, and future generations. As the missions of government and affiliated institutions expand under the false flag of offering the cure to the convenient crisis, it is almost a certainty that the prescribed cures’ harms to the real economy grows with them.

Few entities epitomize this danger more than the Federal Reserve, with its motivated drive toward imposing ‘climate stress tests’ on banks. And few nominations to this burgeoning bureaucracy have ever highlighted the threat more deeply than that of the now-withdrawn nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin. Ms. Raskin’s nomination put a spotlight on the Fed’s continued leftward drift, mission creep, and manipulation of the private capital markets. Although that nomination battle has concluded, the Fed’s campaign against domestic energy and the real economy is only beginning.

Staffed by thousands of PhD economists who spent careers in government and academia; led by governors and regional presidents who never had to make payroll in the real economy; and, answering to politicians who subscribe to leftist ideology, the Fed has become an Orwellian behemoth. It seeks growth in its powers for growth’s sake, and is more than willing to construct questionable premises while disposing of troubling facts down memory holes.

The power grab of the Fed has reached critical mass.

Our central bank not only moves the market, it is the market.  That is, until the Fed loses credibility, in which case the Fed ends up chasing the market.  We may be in the midst of such a reversal, now that the Fed has clearly misread inflation and continues to move at glacial speed to begin quantitative tightening and raising interest rates.

The Fed’s objectives not long ago were simple and direct: to set monetary policy to promote maximum employment, ensure stable prices, and set moderate long-term interest rates. What happened since the financial crisis is stunning, even in the current era of big government.

The Fed’s balance sheet has exploded from under $1 trillion of assets in 2006 to nearly $9 trillion today.  The Fed now talks about beginning quantitative tightening to reduce the balance sheet toward normal levels, but the talk is already long in the tooth.

Meanwhile, real interest rates have been purposely dialed to negative for years, pummeling savers and retirees and instigating market speculation, asset bubbles, and inflation.  Even if one believes the current consensus that the Fed will raise rates by 0.25% increments nearly a dozen times over the next two years, real interest rates would still be negative if inflation does not decline significantly in the interim.

The Fed’s scoreboard of late is blinking red, and everyone senses it is going to get worse, much worse, before better.  Adding to the wall of worry for Fed watchers is the extensive track record of our central bank’s failures that spans its history going back to its creation in 1913.

Yet elites operating in a cocoon insulated from accountability constantly look for the next excuse to grow the Fed’s dominion over the economy by controlling capital flows.

That’s why recently the Fed has commandeered issues ranging from social justice to climate change as useful instruments to retain and grow power.  The Fed believes it does such a good job on monetary policy and inflation, that it now can solve the vexing problems of racial inequality and lack of economic inclusion, while also controlling future weather and investment decision making.

With the Left being the puppet master of the Biden administration, the Fed’s grip on the economy will tighten.  And it will need leadership within its burgeoning bureaucracy that adheres to the proper ideology:  one that believes institutions like the Fed should be utilized to grossly distort the free market, creating winners and losers, both intended and unintended.

And for Ms. Raskin and like-minded future nominees, they look to push the Fed’s path of value destruction deeper and further than ever.

For example, Ms. Raskin advocated for penalizing or precluding banks’ lending to domestic energy companies, whether they be in natural gas, oil, pipelines, or refining.  All in the name of saving the planet.  She stated, “There is no indication that the value of fossil fuel assets is ever going to return,” and wrote how fossil fuels are a “terrible investment.”  How inept that expert prediction now looks in 2022, proving once again how out of touch the expert class is when it comes to the real world.  Should she had been confirmed, she likely would have pushed to have the Fed restrict capital flows into the never-more-vital domestic energy industry.

The danger has not passed.  Unfortunately, there is a long line of potential nominees that Congress will surely soon consider who share similar, or perhaps more extreme, views to Ms. Raskin.  We need nominees willing to scale back the mission creep of the Fed, not those blindly advancing it beyond its circle of competency.

Not only is controlling future weather not in the Fed’s power alley, many worry that reining in self-inflicted inflation may not be a core competency either.  The more the Fed’s mission veers from its shaky circle of competence, its performance will worsen and its politics will dominate. That’s bad for taxpayers, the middle class, business owners, individual rights, and wide swaths of this great nation including my home of western Pennsylvania.

This is not a typical Democrat-Republican issue.  Instead, this is a government-citizen issue and affirming who answers to who.  Congress needs to pass this civics test when it comes to holding the Fed to a reasonable mission and when assessing future Fed nominees.

Nick Deiuliis is the author of Precipice: The Left’s Campaign to Destroy America. For daily insights and commentary from Nick follow him on Twitter at @NickDeiuliis.

Ode to Los Angeles From a Wary Admirer

I recently visited one of America’s iconic cities and one of my personal favorites: Los Angeles. Modern day LA simultaneously exemplifies the exciting and the troubling of the nation’s urban areas. Potential remains exponential while risks and problems accumulate.

Flying into LA from the east, the transition from barren desert (excluding the oasis of Palm Springs) to the fertile urban sprawl is sharp, with the San Jacinto Mountains acting as an impressive physical wedge between two binary worlds. In daytime, flyers’ views transition from brown nothingness to megacity sprawl. At night the black void suddenly switches to a sea of light. The Los Angeles basin makes its impression on visitors from the air before they step on terra firma.

Looking out the plane window on the approach to LAX during this visit, my attention was immediately drawn to the port of Long Beach. Those familiar, massive ship unloading cranes were lined in neat rows, starting the nation’s physical infrastructure chain from the Pacific’s edge moving inland: interstate, power transmission lines, rail, and truck intermodal container flow. Long Beach from above is an impressive exemplar of crucial supply chain links.

But this time there was something noticeably different with the port view: large clusters of container ships huddled at the port mouth and long lines of ships stringing out to sea from the clusters. The image reaffirmed the obvious: quality of life hinges on a supply chain that is subject to risk. You can tout the best of physical infrastructure, but to properly function one also needs focused execution operating under sound policies. The logjammed fleet at the port mouth proved misguided government policies adversely affect execution, which damages the nation’s supply chain, which hurts quality of life from sea to shining sea.

Los Angelinos recently learned how one supply chain bottleneck can damage other links of the supply chain. Huntington Beach and Newport Beach south of LA recently dealt with an oil spill from an undersea pipeline. Environmentalists, media, and leftist politicians were quick to assign blame to the negligence of the oil industry, pointing to the spill as yet another example of how profit and carbon are ruining the planet. But before you could say ‘climate change’, it turns out that the rupture of the pipeline is now suspected to have been caused by one of those waiting cargo ships that dropped anchor and then drug it across the sea floor, catching and then pulling apart the pipeline. The Orange County shoreline became another casualty of a broken supply chain triggered by inept policy.

Obvious fixes won’t come easy. California’s political leaders and regulators will not provide a smooth path to increase truck traffic flow out the port of Long Beach. California already limits the supply of able trucks by its Truck Ban regulation, which bars permits for large trucks that predate the 2011 model year. Politicians’ sound bites on local radio and quotes in local papers were citing the need to immediately increase regulation of traffic flow into and out of the port and surrounding communities. That’s code for more bureaucracy, cost, and inefficiency. All of it spelling trouble for the broader economy.

I used a driving service this trip to get to and from meetings and locations. Now I must confess, one of the biggest enjoyments I get from business travel is spending the better part of a day talking to the driver going from meeting to meeting. Sometimes the driver prefers quiet, but most are happy to be sociable and share thoughts and insights of a true local. No matter where the city, you will learn a lot about its people and culture by simply listening to the driver.

On this trip, I was lucky to have the latter with the driver for the day; let’s call him Sam. Sitting in the morning rush around the upscale Beverly Center, we engaged in a conversation about what Los Angelinos refer to as the ‘crisis.’ No, it’s not climate change. Instead, it’s the homeless epidemic. And it is getting worse.

On the sidewalk alongside the Beverly Center was a homeless structure, somewhere between a tent and a house. The rectangular structure ran about 30 feet in length and nearly the entire width of the sidewalk, leaving about two feet for pedestrians to pass through. The corners and middle of each side were anchored to lumber studs, with the height around six feet. The occupant installed rectangular windows along the side walls and covered them with clear plastic. A small grill and lawn chair sat alongside the structure in a makeshift patio area.

It was a strange combination of feelings: being impressed by the builder’s ingenuity and being depressed by the obvious human plight of living on the street. As Sam and I were admiring the workmanship while sitting in the traffic, a police vehicle drove by. I asked if police enforce vagrancy laws with homeless. Sam laughed and replied they did not. Half a block up the street, the police vehicle sounded its siren and pulled up behind two late model foreign cars with hazard flashers on parked in the right lane in front of a Starbucks. The cop issued tickets to the vehicle drivers who left the cars parked in busy traffic lanes during the rush hour.

So much in those thirty seconds reflects the reality of LA: extreme poverty rubbing up against extreme wealth, police enforcing some laws and ignoring others, everyone going about their daily routine impervious to it all. Most depressing of all: a growing acceptance by all, from the homeless to the wealthy, that homelessness is unsolvable and here to stay.

Like magic, five minutes later while still waiting to get through the same jammed intersection, the radio newscaster informs us that LA City Council, that body of epic ineptitude, voted to ban homeless encampments across three city districts and within 500 feet of schools and libraries. Just over fifty sites will be affected, with the newscaster telling us it reflected less than half of the locations that were under original ‘consideration’ for the homeless ban this summer. The rule will be enforced two weeks after signs are posted in the areas. The estimated cost of the signs is close to $2 million. Sam the driver is highly confident the move will not improve the homeless situation, would not be surprised if it makes the situation worse, and is certain the $2 million could be put to much better use than signage. I agreed but told him to think of the windfall for the government bureaucracy: a whole new horizon of regulations, debate, and process to feed from without having to solve anything.

This mid-October during my visit, the Dodgers were chasing another World Series title and hosting the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series. I’ve been a life-long Dodgers fan, with the Dodgers second in my heart only to my hometown Pirates. Those 70s and 80s teams managed by Alston and Lasorda were awesome and the setting of a game at Chavez Ravine on TV provided one of my first impressions of southern California. Dodger Stadium was packed, as expected, although Dodgers fans were true to form by arriving fashionably late and taking three innings to fill the stadium.

But even spectator sports don’t escape the grasp of the administrative state these days, especially in the elite bureaucratic haven that is California. Medical ‘experts’ were on the airwaves over the week cautioning how cheering and chanting at sports venues can increase the risk of spreading or being infected with Covid. From what I could tell, no one was listening to these ‘experts’ at the games.

Perhaps the biggest surprise during the trip was the how empty restaurants were.

Many restaurants have shuttered or scaled back days and hours of operation, due to a combination of lack of customers and a shortage of workers. Despite the reduced capacity of the dining sector, there were lots of empty tables during lunch and dinner hours. An owner of a popular Hollywood restaurant summed it up: “It’s always been excruciatingly expensive to run a business here, but you could shoulder it if you offered top product. Now though, we are told to shut down and then when we reopen the government makes it even more expensive to get people to come work and makes it more painful for customers to eat out. It’s been a death knell for lots of great establishments.”

As businesses and the private sector get crushed in California from excessive and heavy-handed government bureaucracy, government itself is doing quite well.

The week I was in town Governor Newsom was bragging that the state will have another “historic budget surplus” next year, following a massive surplus this year. The reasons for the twin surpluses? Massive subsidy from the federal government to California under banner of Covid relief (translation: wealth redistribution from fly-over country to coastal elites), government dropping services and expenditures during its own mandated shutdowns (translation: government stops doing its job to save money), and taxes filling the state coffers (translation: value creators in the free market get no Covid relief and must continue to pay up to support bureaucrats). The pandemic has been very, very good to California government.

On energy matters, it is crystal clear that greater Los Angeles will not be anything close to carbon neutral in our lifetimes.

Heavy vehicle traffic is everywhere (still predominantly combustion engine vehicles on the 405 Freeway), the metropolis is a sea of lights at night, climate (indoor) is controlled, everyone is staring at charged phones, and the consumption of carbon-based products abounds. The power grid demand is growing and things like wind and solar can’t come close to filling it reliably.
But state and federal government keep doing all they can to make carbon prohibitively expensive for the middle class and working poor that rely on it to earn.

Gasoline prices were averaging more than $4.50 per gallon in state during my visit. The wealthy elite driving subsidized electric vehicles or expensive late model foreign vehicles could not care less about the price of something as incidental to them as gasoline. But the army of service providers and small business owners scrapping every day to eke out an income underneath a mountain of regulation, taxes, and bureaucracy are facing a fuel cost straw that will break the doers’ backs.

Crime, both property and violent, is a problem in LA like most large American cities. The morning of departure brought news of an overnight shooting claiming multiple victims. Homicides in LA spiked in 2020, totaling nearly 350, and are on pace in 2021 to surpass last year’s number. Security cameras cover every imaginable angle of home exteriors across every neighborhood; yet one wonders if all the surveillance video feeds and security signs in yards deter any property crime in the end.

Marijuana is not just legal in California, it is everywhere. You don’t see it, but you certainly smell it: walking outside on a neighborhood street, driving in traffic, or strolling around a shopping area. And the odor is present morning, noon, and night. I read the studies that show moderate marijuana consumption is less damaging to health than tobacco or heavy alcohol consumption, and I tend to agree. But one wonders what the cumulative effect is on society when many of us are continually numbed and drained from regular marijuana use. I fear the answer may be more couch slouching and less achievement. That’s not the American way.

Flying home on a carbon-fueled plane, I had time to reminisce about my couple of days in LA. Southern California reflects the dichotomy of modern-day America: a proud legacy and an embarrassment of riches colliding with a cresting wave of problems that may deliver an unsustainable tomorrow. Although I continue to root for LA, the scoreboard is flashing trouble.

Nick Discusses Global and U.S. Energy Demand with CNBC

Nick joined CNBC on Friday, Oct. 29, to discuss global energy demand and resulting price increases. “It’s supply and demand with a new twist,” says Nick. He points to deferred and deterred investment in pipeline infrastructure as a major factor in gas supply not being able to meet demand.

Deiuliis Addresses 2021 PIOGA Spring Meeting

On Wednesday, May 19, Nick Deiuliis served as the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association’s (PIOGA) keynote speaker for its annual spring meeting.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covered the meeting and Nick’s remarks, writing, “They [attendees] knew what to expect when CNX Resources’ CEO Nick DeIuliis took the podium for his keynote address. He would be the one to speak for them, unapologetically…A self-styled advocate for capitalism, the middle class and for developing nations — which he says will be hurt most by a move away from fossil fuels — Mr. DeIuliis predictably went after the ‘elites’ and ‘academia’ in his speech and said the pursuit of renewable energy gives power to the Chinese Communist Party…”