Sunday, May 17, 2009

Anthropogenic Comedy Gold!! (aka "I Can't Believe It's Not Hotter!!')

Normal service on this blog continues to be hampered by the fact that I've moved halfway around the world, am still looking for a home and a job and can only access the internet whilst peering at a poxy little netbook hooked up to a modem/ internet connection that would have been laughably inadequate ten years ago...


there's no way I'm going to pass by on the opportunity to link to this little gem which will delight George Monbiot fans worldwide (and cheers to Parabellum, yet again, for the heads up)...

How to disprove Christopher Booker in 26 seconds

Arctic ice levels above average? Perhaps the Telegraph's columnist should take just half a minute to check the facts

A more accurate title for Monbiot's article would be something along the lines of 'How to make yourself look like a Complete Dick in 26 seconds', or as George himself admitted in more round about terms...

Now, much as I hate myself for saying so, we all make mistakes and George did fess up pretty quickly

Mind you, the red, trident wielding, pixie standing on my right shoulder is whispering in my ear to remind me that George's article was presented as a personal attack on Christopher Booker, so it's actually perfectly fair game to point out that Monbiot is an utter, utter tosser

and a wrong tosser at that

but that's all by the by

The really disturbing thing, and this has been a constant theme of this blog, is the uncritical, faith-based, adulation poured on Monbiot by his genuinley adoring commentators underneath

There's also the usual tediously involved debate, along the lines of how many angels can you fit on a pin head, about completely irrelevant, inconclusive trivia which virtually all on-line 'discussions' about Man Made (?) Climate Change inevitably degrade into

The interesting, and disturbing, thing is, of course, is that the fact that even though Monbiot is actually demonstrably and self-admittedly wrong in this case, that news will make absolutely no difference to people who commented positively about his article before George admitted to his error

as Parabellum said when pointing me towards Monbiot's article...

"Why do people don't see that they *themselves* can fall prey to heuristics and biases? Why do many many people think that only *other* people make mistakes? On the other hand, I try to stay critical of my own judgement but this is not very healthy if overdone. Sometimes I envy people that are so sure of themselves that they can ignore all the mistakes they make..."

If there's one common denominator connecting themes and ideas discussed on this blog it's the mischievous thought that, actually, if you look closely, and objectively enough at most things that 'every rational personal knows to be True', be they 'shit just happens' based explanations of human events or sacred scientific theories which are venerated as religious dogma, they all pretty much turn out to be bollocks

Which is only fair enough

Every generation that's ever lived before Us based their lives on belief in an awful lot of bollocks which was subsequently proven to be bollocks

So why should We be any different?

Well, except for George Monbiot followers, they're obviously different, and a little bit special



gyges said...

A point worth considering is the romantic notion of ...

"Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason."

Why does either side in the global warming debate have to be so certain of their position?

Instead, just listen to the poets.

"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

I understand that it is autumn where you are, Stef. Feeling homesick?

The Arbiter said...

The guy is obviously protected by the Guardian.
Last week, I was moderated for stating the blindingly obvious.

'Mr Monbiot betrays his lack of research into the subject of Darwin.This is not the first time he has been caught out - the support for Popular Mechanics is legendary - but was best illustrated by his interview with Blears.In that famous interview/conversation Mr Monbiot neglected to ask Ms Blears why she had been less than truthful about her interest in Uzbekistan.Blears pretends hardly to have heard of Karimov, and as Monbiot presses, she makes out that she knows nothing about Uzbekistan and is only interested in "Jobs and education for the people here in Salford".But Blears has played a key role in New Labour's support for KarimovMr Monbiot must have known this yet he let her off the hook.'What did she lie about?

See link below.

Anonymous said...

Our lord god Science has seen fit to bless us with the Immutable Truth, as dutifully relayed by his humble (yet important) priests. Stef you heathen, be thankful, get with the times and embrace the warm light of Scientific Knowledge!

Parabellum said...

IMHO an interesting interview with Jack Eddy (Of Maunder Minimum fame) I came across. That's a true scientist, sceptical yet inquisitive. (The interview is a bit long - be warned)

stef from south summerisle said...


A heathen, conceivably, but not,
I hope, an unenlightened one.

Anti_NWO said...

Monbiot's a glorified troll in that article. But then smearing people is an old tactic, especially on issues like terrorism, MMGW and the like. A hallmark of the financial and 'intellectual' elite.

Andy (16:08:28) said...

George Monbiot should be pissed on, locked in a capsule and fired into space, accompanied by an angry monkey trained to slap the smug grin off his posh boy enviro-loon, Stowe educated human hating git self face.

This will never happen as it would be too cruel to the monkey.

Voice of Russia said...

Russian motorists have reached the North Pole for the first time in an Arctic expedition. The new record has been set by a team of seven Russians. They set out for the Pole from the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago on two experimental Russian-made YEMELYA cars on the 20th of March, covered over 1,100 kilometres on pack ice, and reached the earth’s northern pole on Sunday, the 26th of April. The jubilant team of seasoned travellers is now receiving congratulations from across Russia.

Stef said...

@The Arbiter

I can't help noticing that a few people who visit here have been commenting on Craig Murray's blog

Craig's blogging has moved up to turbo mode recently and his output is, mostly, pretty sound

The 'mostly' part is, of course, the kicker

I'm also a little bit nervous about Craig's recent efforts to big up Tim Ireland

Again, like Craig, Tim has undoubtedly come up with some good stuff

Tim is, of course, a member of the New Commentariat - five minutes spent googling terms like 'New Commentariat', 'Julia Hobsbawm' and 'Common Purpose' is enough to make any self-respecting conspiraloon a tad nervous

Tim also has some on-line friends who are absolutely no friends of we Conspiraloons - the kind of faux opponents to what has been done to the UK who have quite merrily jerked off people by sending them down blind alleys since at least as far back as the Invasion of Iraq. On-line friends who've had displayed a distinct preference for stoking up on-line pogroms against loons rather than taking on the real bastards who are fucking up our world

Tim is also behind the National Service web page which has been harvesting contact details for getting on for four years now

Tim also seem quite fond of stoking up the kind of old-school bullshit tribalism which served Nu Labour for so well for so long. Craig Murray now seems to have been infected with the habit

I could go on

but hopefully you get the drift

Stef said...

...I have been tempted to raise my concerns on Craig's own blog but I really don't have the time to deal with the kind of futile, protracted, and utterly irrelevant, Flame War Tim and his chums are so practiced in waging

Stef said...

One crucial factor that mainstream commentators pontificating on the conspiratorial nature of the Internet usually neglect to mention is the fact that, thanks to hyperlinks, the Internet is inherently conspiratorial by its very nature

Never before has it been so easy to bang away and see who and what is connected to who and what

and, very often, in the on-line world it's not so much as six degrees of separation as a couple of hyperlinks of association

a little way back, five minutes of semi-guided, semi-random banging away led me to discover that the on-line campaign of supposed Freedom advocate and anti-ID card campaigner David Davis was actually set up by an employee of a PR agency which is at the forefront of plugging ID cards and the Database State

and, fuck me, who appeared at alongside David Davis at a public campaign meeting but one of Tim Ireland's chums (veteran Loons will know who I'm talking about)

or I could do some more clicking in another direction and head off from Timbo and within a couple of links find myself in the creepy world of Julia Hobsbawm, Gordon Brown's Mrs and those whacky funsters at Common Purpose

A couple of more clicks and I could return from Common Purpose back to David Davis and his equally creepy PR chums

or the Tavistock Institute

or the Hasbara Crowd

or pretty much any of we Conspiraloons' favourite people and organisations great big sticky soup of interrelated, not what I would call 100% entirely up front, characters and interest groups

Stef said...

"I understand that it is autumn where you are, Stef. Feeling homesick?"


The country I called home died, or at least fell into a very deep coma, years ago

Anti_NWO said...

While the MPs have their heads the trough, I'm struggling to get pay for work I actually did...(at minimum wage, natch)

Edo said...

I miss my regular injections of Conspiraclarity from you Stef, really I do.

The Arbiter said...

Steffo, Drift is Got,

paul said...

"I can't help noticing that a few people who visit here have been commenting on Craig Murray's blog"

Gotta do something while youre on holiday :)

Parabellum said...

Our man at Bilderberg: They have turned this corner of the Greek Riviera into east Berlin (a helicopter circles above me as I type these words, I swear).

Parabellum said...

What the clusterfark is going on here?

Times, Haaretz report about Bilderberg?



Parabellum said...

Globe and Mail?

LA Times?,1,5833083.story

Wallstreet Journal?

Parabellum said...

Of course the MSM makes fun of the Anti-Zionist Paranoics. Haha, nothing to see here, just a secretive lying warmongering and thieving cabal.

Wolfie said...

It makes no sense mathematically to use averages in the investigation of climate science so using it as a weapon to discredit your opponent looks decidedly ridiculous. What I find amusing about Monbiot and his ilk is that they use climate change as a smoke-screen to why they studiously avoid the very real threats of resource depletion and over-population. I guess it might have something to do with the way their political beliefs hinge on infinite global resources and growth.

Stef said...

Birth rates fall as living standards and education increases

People will naturally stop breeding and dying off like bacteria if they're not treated as bacteria

Stef said...

and one of these days I'm going to try and dig out some of the commentary from hardcore misanthropic environmentalists which followed Fleischmann and Pons original announcement that they'd discovered 'cold fusion'

You might have thought that the possibility of unlimited clean energy would have been greated with delight by people who expressed concerns about the implications of living on a planet with finite resources

As it turns out the general tone of the response was 'this is terrible, think about all the damage humanity would be able to do with no limits on its growth'

in many cases I suspect that the finite resources argument is a canard

Stef said...

just in case it looks like I'm avoiding the issue of finite resources

yes, the Earth's resources do have finite physical limits

but, in world where billions are spent marketing us flawed-by-design crap which we do not need, I'm a long way from being convinced that we've hit the buffers yet.

The finite resources card is a useful one to play as a bullshit explanation for why people are starving in the world or a Barratt built slave hutch costs 15-20 years of an ordinary worker's net pay

The underlying motivation which unites hardcore environmentalsist and hardcore elitists who both blame all the world's ills on finite resources running out is that they don't like ordinary people very much

Wolfie said...

Stef, while I absolutely agree with you on the distortions caused by the consumer cycle and the churlish nihilism of environmental fundamentalists I am astonished that you dismiss this as :

"in many cases I suspect that the finite resources argument is a canard"

Exponential population growth supported by industrial [petrochemical] agriculture is not a model I see working much longer and the transition is not going to be fun.

Either you've had some road to Damascus experience or you're not the Stef who's blog I've been commenting on for about three years. What gives?

Stef said...

"Exponential population growth supported by industrial [petrochemical] agriculture is not a model I see working much longer and the transition is not going to be fun."

No Damascene conversion just a contrarian reaction to the agendas I see being pushed today

Malthus died in 1834

If only he'd lived only another 175 years to see all his predictions come true

or maybe not, eh?

I'm still agnostic about peak oil but do acknowledge that there could very well be a squeeze on liquid hydrocarbon supply in the not too distant future. Not because the stuff in the ground is running out yet but because the refining and distribution infrastructure has been (deliberately?) run down through under investment

and I'm not much of a fan of petrochemical driven agriculture anyway. It's wasteful, polluting and, very often, the food's that produced is nutritionally crap

My contrarian side kicks in when the subject of potential solutions to future shortages are discussed

Do you limit population growth by bringing up the living standards and education of people up or do you coercively sterilise them and start cooking up a few nasties in test tubes in preparation for a mass cull?

Do you lead by example and work to ensure that western food production becomes less hydrocarbon dependent or do you try and corner the world's HC reserves by force and lecture everyone else about how there are too many of them?

It's worth remembering that we who do the lecturing are generally dependent on resources filched from those who are being lectured

It's also worth remembering that high rates of population growth very often, and perversely, go hand in hand with shortage, not plenty. The Occupied Territories come to mind. Hardly a resource-gorged paradise but with much higher birth rates than amongst the population doing the occupying

Stef said...

or let me put this another way...

How much of its food does the UK have to import?

It's something like half isn't it?

and the UK is now a net energy importer also

So, when the subject of population control is raised in the UK does that mean shaving 30,000,000 off our population is top of the order of business or is the idea that we start with the Africans first?

and, presumably, if we did start shaving 30,000,000 off the UK population the idea would presumably be to start from the bottom of the social pyramid?

because, after all, the people at the top of the social pyramid are such experienced and efficient shepherds and farmers they more than pay their way

Tom from South Poland said...

I can definitely confirm that this rumour about the Poles melting is utter nonsense, they're simply enjoying a seasonable Spring.

Stef said...

and returning to theme of this post that "if you look closely, and objectively enough at most things that 'every rational personal knows to be True they all pretty much turn out to be bollocks" and my personal agnosticism towards peak oil, I remember many moons ago being told in a planetary geology lecture that some meteorites contain kerogen.

which is the stuff oil comes from


which means that, unless there are some large depositis of fossilised fish hovering in space, that abiogenic explanations for petroleum formation might not be as whacky as I was being told

I remember western geologists having as good old laugh at their Russian counterparts drilling into granite bedrock looking for primeval, abiogenic petroleum deposits 20 or more years ago

The fact that the Russians now have much gas, and much oil is no doubt entirely unrelated to their whacky mania

(not a Pole) Walther said... said...

I'm German, not Polish

and how did you know my name was Walther?

paul said...

wow - you actually believed oil only comes from rotting dinos? :p

paul said...

Given the choice of believing a Russian or Western scientists view of something Ill take the Russian every time (Ill still want to check out the evidence of course).

Everyone had a good laugh at their vacuum tube powered bombers in the age of microchips until they put their brain in gear.
oh dear, perhaps an MI5 agent "asked" Mohammad Sidique-Khan "nicely" if he perhaps wouldnt mind helping with an anti terrorism drill in London seeing as how even his own family "could be in danger" from these mythical real terrorists we need protecting from.

Anti_NWO said...

I agree with what Stef has said in his last few comments. If land and resources were more evenly distributed, many of us would no longer be slaves to the monetary and "40 hour week" system.

Stef said...

It's been said before on this blog but our current System depends on scarcity, and where it does not exist it is manufactured

That's the nature of Oligopoly

or do people, for example, really believe that the UK should have the water supply issues that it now does after privitisation of that industry

Stef said...

cf. The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism

paul said...

I think the fiat currencies will collapse well before we run out of any crucial resource. What they are replaced with will determine whether we get Mad Max or Star Trek.

Stef said...

I'd go along with that

that would be ToS of Star Trek, Next Generation was Corporatist pants

Anti_NWO said...

Interesting that you say TNG is corporatist pants. Now I'm not saying its amazing or anything, but it did have episodes dedicated to civil liberties (The Drumhead is probably the most obvious example) and other weighty themes.

I guess you're referring to the whole "no money\people work for betterment" etc stuff?

Anti_NWO said...

Oh, and I am aware several episodes featured a pro-abortion message, not to mention that stable families appear to be largely absent.

Stef said...

The Next Generation = The Next Corporation

Having spent 20 years developing a healthy aversion to Human Resources (I love the idea of referring to people as if they were coal) departments, I find the idea of a Starship that includes a ship's counselor on its management team profoundly sinister

Kirk's crew, on the other hand, seemed to get by quite happily working out their problems with their friends, assisted with the occasional flagon of Romulan ale

/ better

Anti_NWO said...

Heh, not that the character really did anything useful.

But I see where you're coming from. Yes, I do hate the term "Human Resources" as well.

TOS has its strong points, sure. Although it also invented the redshirt concept...oh, and had episodes like "Spock's Brain" :p

Anything else in TNG that made you think it was corporate-like? I'm not that au fait with Trek, sure I've seen some episodes but I'm no Trekkie.

Stef said...

Just the whole vibe of the crew and the stilted way they interacted with ecah other

It reeked of working for the kind of large company that pays lip service to the well-being of its staff but exercises as strong a control over them as any sweatshop

ToS felt altogether more fallible, more human

Stef said...

In other news, Craig Ireland is attempting to resurrect Tim Murray's very, very fruitful and productive on-line pogrom against Guido Fawkes/ Paul Staines

The tedious, and thoroughly spontaneous, battle for the heart and soul of the British Political Blogosphere is back

Stef said...

NB it goes without saying that when I say 'tedious' I mean tedious and when I write 'spontaneous' I don't

This habit of expressing myself with a seamless blend of sarcasm and not sarcasm will be my donwfall one day...

Stef said...

and on the subject of Guido Fawkes and his merrie bande of Right Wing 'Libertarian' supporters, this post raises an intriguing possibility...

John Wick & The Very British Revolution or Have We Had A Military Coup And Nobody Noticed ?

Anti_NWO said...

Just the whole vibe of the crew and the stilted way they interacted with ecah other

It reeked of working for the kind of large company that pays lip service to the well-being of its staff but exercises as strong a control over them as any sweatshop

ToS felt altogether more fallible, more human
I definitely agree with that last point.

RE: the quiet coup - I suggest this is what can be termed as a clearing of "passengers" in the organisation that are no longer needed.

gyges said...

[geometry] earth, moon, pyramid ... thought this might amuse.

Stef said...

@ parabellum

and just to confirm that coldists are just as capable of self-delusion as warmists...

Energy Availability Is Almost Infinite by Steven Goddard.

apparently, we're only 30 years away from limitless fusion power


Stef said...


yes, thank you

Pyramid-based Loonery is always welcome

Anti_NWO said...

Stef, I hope you don't mind this off-topic comment..anyway:

The Student Loans Company will think that your parents can provide you money while you're studying regardless of the fact that you don't live with them and have had no contact for years.

The only proof they accept is a letter from certain designated professionals, or enough P60s and benefit claims to cover X number of years.

If you fall short it seems you're on your own...on the other hand, if you're a single parent or child of a single parent, you're showered with additional grants worth several thousand a year.

Of course, MPs could swindle half a million a year each and nobody really gives a damn, despite the fact they have generous salaries already while doing fuck all for us.

Stef said...

@ anti-nwo

if you don't have kids the current UK welfare safety net is virtually non-existent

which is quite bizarre considering how much money is put into it

one thought which keeps coming to mind, and which I'd post about if I had time, is the question of when the younger generations who seem to be expected to submit to property-cost induced serfdom AND pay the taxes required to keep their parents' generation relatively cosy are going to start kicking back?

where else but in a very, very sick society that doesn't give a flying fuck about it's young would so many people be so obsessed with keeping the cost of such a basic thing as somewhere to live as high as humanly possible?

actually, higher than humanly possible

Stef said...

and, back on topic...

Billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation.

any journowhore writing an article which tries to place a Rockefeller in a 'Club of the Good' needs a damn good slapping

Anti_NWO said...

There does seem to be a paradox here, on the one hand having kids makes you better off as far as welfare is concerned.

On the other hand you have the "green" lobby and their corporate Rothschild\Rockefeller backers actively trying to prevent people having kids.

paul said...

if you don't have kids the current UK welfare safety net is virtually non-existentA rather large amount of people are finding this out as the backgrounded crisis grinds on. Present levels of benefit for single folks are just about impossible to live on for any length of time.

Anti_NWO said...

Actually, accomodation is the bigger issue. Few landlords will rent to unemployed people, and thus any housing benefit is entirely useless because it depends on the landlord's approval...

Of course we all know that social housing is near impossible to get these days, so homelessness is going to become an even greater problem in the coming months IMO.

Parabellum said...

Infinite Energy in 30 years? So yeah.

Looks more like we nicely move along the Kardashev Scale...

Stef said...

and what's the name for the scale which describes all those Big Science projects; fusion power, Moonbases, personal robots etc, which are perpetually 'only 30 years' away from yielding useful results?

Stef said...

...and the name of the Law or Rule which describes people who make a living making scientific (sic.) predictions which can only be falsified long after the person making the prediction has kicked the bucket?