Free Speech for the Unlovely 225


I always seem to get back from Africa physically exhausted. I now have to tackle all the organisation of a family Christmas at the last minute. It is both the charm and disadvantage of this blog that the blogging is just me – it has no staff, and no revenue. That is not to devalue the contibution of the volunteer comment moderators – who help out with other things too – and the technical help from Tim, Clive and Richard and the the hosting team. But if I am not writing, nothing happens.

When I am lacking time or energy for deeper thinking, I tend to throw out some provocative thoughts from the top of my mind to see what people make of them. I am worrying today about the attacks on people of whom I disapprove.

I blogged recently about excessive police action against a blogger who argues against the existence of man-made climate change. I think he is wrong, but I don’t see why he should be the victim of police raids. I am going to surprise you by saying that I think that the hounding of Aidan Burley is going too far. Bad taste humour around the Nazis has existed throughout my lifetime – and was brought gloriously to the screen in the brilliant Mel Brooks’ The Producers (the first one, with the fantastic Zero Mostel).

Burley’s stag party seems rather a throwback to the Federation of Conservative Students of the late 70s, important elements of which delighted in singing Nazi songs to emphasise how right wing and taboo-free they were, with an element of self-parody (I speak as an eye-witness). You always worried there were genuine Third Reich sympathies in there – as of course there were so strongly in the British elite in the 1930s. That is the underlying worry in the Burley case – but if there were any evidence of real sympathy for Nazi views from Burley, it would have been dug up by now. I think we should just take this as bad taste humour a la Producers – a play which presumably cannot be produced under French law? Burley has been punished, revealed as a twit, and we should move on.

John Terry is a man whose TV persona and reported behaviour I have always found repulsive. I don’t know what he (or Suarez in a related case) actually said. I find racial abuse absolutely unacceptable. But again, I do not think that where it occurs between two individuals, and unless it is persistent and repeated over a period, it is a matter for the state and police. Not all bad behaviour should be a matter of higher intervention, and shaming can be a good sanction in itself. Both individuals and society have ways to sort things out without always involving the state or constituted organisations within it. I doubt Terry will do it again and it has been made plain that this is unacceptable behaviour in football. It is enough.

The same goes for Jeremy Clarkson. Again, total wanker. But nobody could have seen his TV appearance on the One Show and felt that he actually believed or advocated that strikers should be shot. His body language and tone of voice made it plain he was indulging in hyperbole with the object of being humorous. Exaggerated polemic should not be banned, or even censured. The real problem here is balance. Very right wing polemicists are very often allowed free rein to mouth off on broadcast media. On TV, opposing polemicists (like, err, me) are strictly banned. On radio, George Galloway on Talk Sport is pretty well a lone example. Personally I welcome the vigour of Clarkson’s expression – if only someone equally firm were allowed on to argue with him.

Finally, I am going to defend Herman Cain. No longer a candidate, and his tax and other policies were completely barking mad, therefore pretty mainstream Republican. But I saw very little wrong in anything he was alleged to have done in his love life. One woman alleged that he made a physical advance – put his hand on her leg – towards her in his car, after a dinner where she had asked him for help. It seems to me his behaviour was perfectly normal, and the important thing is she asked him to stop, and he did stop. If men were not allowed to make such advances, the human race would die out. Desisting once it is plain your advances are unwelcome is the important thing. The long term affair alleged was entirely mutual and consenting. Chatting up employees is tasteless, but ought not be a crime.

Burley, Terry, Clarkson and Cain are all people of whom, in different ways, I do not approve and with whose views on life I am heartily at odds. But I don’t hold the view that only people who hold certain approved views should be able to wander round and function, or that we should all be limited to certain highly constrained social behaviours. They are all, in various ways, victims of galloping political correctness. I thought I would express some sympathy for them. Human beings have a right to be wrong, and sometimes foolish. It is part of the human condition.


225 thoughts on “Free Speech for the Unlovely

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  • ingo

    Clark, sorry to hear about Shiboo’s demise, good to know you are back with avengence.
    All this media induced headlining is designed to take us off the scent, divide our resolve with what they think we want to talk about. Clarksons comments are now so notorious and designed for his own survival so it seems to me, that every time he raises his face to open his mouth you can assume that he will be controversial and switch off.
    US politicis is manufactured and false or embellished claims of sexual impropriety are a stock trade of every campaign. what I lament is the agenda that present us these stories as ‘real concerns’.

    As for Burley’s homoerotic holiday antics in France, he will get his comeuppance, but will be forgive by BICOM, should he pledge neverending support for the fascists that are leading this country to war next year.
    Iran is seemingly preparing itself with manouvres, so where are Israels subs and destroyers armed with cruise missiles? at home in Ashdod or Haifa?
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/12/201112256111744890.html

  • Rog Tallbloe

    Clark:
    “Is there any deep theoretical reason (probably thermodynamic), to expect that triggered, knock-on effects would predominantly contribute to or subtract from a temperature rise? Or is it a predominantly an empirical project, to find and quantify effects?”
    .
    Yes, because there are so many other poorly understood factors which could make a difference which are not included in the models. The increase in co2 has theoretically raised the tropopause by ~180m. However, the actual height of the tropopause varies quite radically across the latitudes. It would only take a minor change in the latitude of the average course of the jet streams to completely offset any difference made by co2. The empirical evidence is that the jet streams have moved equatorwards since the sun went quiet in ~2005.

    We don’t know enough to be able to attribute climate change to co2 with any reasonable degree of confidence.

    Cheers

    Rog

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Clark, my condolences to you. One sensed that Shiboo was a loving, warm friend – such evocative eyes! – to whom you gave a peaceful and joyous life.

  • Clark

    Eh? Rumours of Shiboo’s death have been greatly exaggerated; that, or I’m working damned hard looking after a ghost! I’ve obviously given a misleading impression somewhere. The stubborn old dog is running short of good reasons to keep living; I think he’s just dogged.

  • Clark

    Look. Look at this graph again:
    .
    https://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/peak-ff-1x.png
    .
    It contains an assumption I hadn’t noticed. The red star marks our position; the portion of the black, hydrocarbon curve to the right of it assumes that we continue to consume according to the current pattern.
    .
    The only smart move would be that as soon as we realise our predicament, our position on that spike, we scale back our hydrocarbon consumption as quickly as we are able to withstand, in an effort to decrease the height and smooth and extend the right of the spike into as gentle a downslope as we can achieve. Since our population curve is probably forced to follow the energy curve, any other choice would be madness.

  • ingo

    Good to hear that they let you out for xmas, tall bloke and thanks for reafirming your secpticism over the rumpus caused by UEA.

    Having questioned the Tyndall centres resolve, not their predictions, but their own social responsibility on campus with regards to their very own footprint, I’m well aware of UEA’s reluctance, whats new is the political zeal that is increasingly attached to the opposing camps. They are able to preach, but unable to steer UEA on towards sustainable practises.

    What I find astonishing is that the importance of an increased release of methane is not discussed more. Could the changes in our athmosphere be down to anything else but the slight increases in temperatures and the chaotic fluctuations of seasonal weather patterns, then what effect have the increased methane level had on the speeds of and directional change of the jet stream, forever mixing this equilibrium globally?

    Underwater and permafrost hydrates are releasing this highly corrosive gas at an ever increasing rate, it is an arbitary uncontrollable release we cannot influence or stop, whilst CO2 releases are avoidable, as it is complex and happens over a wide northern hemisphere. It is the far worse chemical to have floating around uncontrollablym as its capacity to react with other chemicals in our increasingly polluted northern hemisphere, will stay potent for seven, yes 7 years. The accumulative effects of such releases are yet unknown and we have only got speculative thinking that can prepare us of for the impact on our societies.
    I feel that the debate over the impact and increase in CO2 is sidelining this real problem to come, its impact is far more important to our near future than it is allowed to be made out.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Oh, I’m pleased to hear that, Clark! Very sorry – I got the impression from some of the posts above that he’d passed away. Dogged is the word!

  • Fedup

    Clark,
    …….The most important limits come from nature, not from the ruling classes. If our hydrocarbon fuels are becoming depleted, or the atmosphere’s capacity to disperse pollutants is being exceeded, those limits come from nature, not from the scientists or whoever is paying them.
    ,
    Dammit who has set these limits? based on what data set? Using what science?
    ,
    The dogmatic assertions of these limits based on flowed scientific methodology do not somehow make these limits true.
    ,
    That is the whole thrust of my argument, the fashionable notions, and limits mean nothing. Furthermore, the so called threat matrix on offer is so poorly populated with the probable risk elements, with a view to profiteering, that excludes the real dangers, so to maintain the imaginary threats and fanciful postulations.
    ,
    We are certain that dinosaurs died out, in an episode that yielded the total collapse of life on Earth, yet this is of no concern to anyone. As evident in emphasis on poxy carbon counting moves to stop the third world from catching up in the various fields of technology.
    ,
    The whole stinking affair is designed to realise this uncompetitive practice by investing in; arresting the development of any potential competitors through the use of “carbon trading”, ie you don’t use it, and we can buy your quota so we can use it.
    ,
    This “preservation/conservation” is a kind of international welfare scheme, stopping the rise of competitors by keeping them at subsistence levels of income. What is so confusing about his?

  • Clark

    Fedup, that outlook only works if energy production can be increased by a big factor soon, and, in the long run, without limit. It isn’t carbon “Cap and Trade” that is holding those countries back, they were already behind before global warming was a concern.
    .
    Energy production, and particularly liquid fuel production, cannot be ramped up to bring the rest of the world up to “developed” levels. Look at that spike again. Nearly half the hydrocarbons are already burnt. Even if all that is left were given to the poorer countries, in the end they would still have burnt less than a third as much per capita compared with the industrialised minority. “Catching up” was ruled out for the poorer world years ago; we already ate that cake.
    .
    Fedup, your gripe is with institutionalised inequality, not with climate scientists.

  • anno

    Clarke
    ‘So is there more money to be made from burning, or restricting, carbon-based fuels? Or glorious elite suffer from no such false dichotomy – there is money to be made from both!’

    For me, Fedup has put his finger exactly on it when he tells me that my political friend is ‘gaming’ the system. That is exactly what political minds do, whether they are eco- or economic.
    They have no more power than you or I but they keep placing the bets based on information they collect and eventually some of those bets come in.

    The Thatcher experience taught me that things improved in spite of politicians rather than because of them. I have mentioned my idea about ‘funny carbon’ before, as opposed to ponzi funny money. Why are there so many rumours about inventors being prevented from developing engines that can run on water? Is there a carbon equivalent to an insurance ‘hedge’ scheme?
    You burn lots of fossil stuff, preferably in China, create drought, floods etc and this becomes another chance-influencing factor in where you invest in land/countries ( depending on the scale of your plans ) ? Gaming the climate even.
    Can I bore you with a parable? Blokes sit in a betting shop, randomly pushing buttons winning nothing all day, and some Arab guys come in, place a few bets and walk out with £300. Or a Chinese man who spends all day in the betting shop and wins £600 and bets it all again in the same day. Who’s the biggest winner, biggest loser? Is it going to be Thatcher who won the economic argument and has now completely lost it again? Blair who gambled on Zionist wars against Islam without having a single clue about religion? Or Muslims who commit racial or sectarian atrocities after removing Gaddafi, only to find out they are helping the colonisers to re-colonise Africa worse than Gaddafi would have done, but abolish persecution of Islam in their country?
    Answer: Biggest loser: Blair, because he was he sold his soul and can’t get it back again. Biggest winner: Muslims, because they helped Islam. What about Thatcher? Nothing. Money is nothing, just plus or minus 1 to 9 with dozens of zeros on.

    It makes me happy to see the gaming habits of political minds exposed by contributors to this blog, which involves a certain risk, and it makes me happier still to see those who don’t frequent the betting shop of politics, doing clean, helpful, useful things.

  • ingo

    Glad to hear he still likes his boney’s Clark, not unlike our climate scientists sometimes, one puts two and two together, and, in the excitement of commenting, gets five out of the equation.

    Somebody I know and met is Aubrey Meyer, His formula is designed to scale back western society and his model for it has be accepted by many Governments already, his problem is the arbitrariness applied and the influe3nces vested interest have on policy making.

    I havemet him at the Den Haag climate Conference in 1986, a very interestiong thinker who’s genuine believe in the goodness of people has been shattered many times over.
    Contraction and Convergence is the only principle widely known by Governments, those who reject its hard nosed methodology and water it dowbn are also the ones who want to carry on as usual.

    Another point hardly mentioned is the fact that if you leave out positive steps alleviating our situation, your competitiveness seems to be more important than others, the stance many countries stick to. What they fail to see is that this is a stagnating position, not going up the C&C steps. Those who are not following, those who are missing steps, the resulting gap to reach the next step will be inexorably more ardous and harder to achieve politcally. C&C is a 300 year programme to set us back on a sustainable athmospehric course, it is scientific spats like this which deny this method being discussed and adopted.
    If our global markets cannot adopt this strategy in a strict and concerted fashion, there is no need to argue the toss at all and Komodo’s short resumee takes hold,i.e. we’re fcuked!
    Politcval apatghy when one needs unity and resolve, does not help either, so do we need a green dictator to do it?
    Is that really the only solution that wil make us shut up and act up?

  • clark

    Anno, yes, enough politicians are now gaming the system so much that you can’t really call it democracy any more. But come on, you know why “there so many rumours about inventors being prevented from developing engines that can run on water” – those claims are false, they contradict a physical law, ie one of Gods laws, the one about energy conservation, and that is one of the most important, maybe the foundation of all “fairness” in the universe; you can’t make anything disappear without trace, and you can’t spirit anything out of nothing. Maybe a similar law should be implemented in the domain of finance, but I think there would be strong resistance!
    .
    Check out the “Free Energy” websites. Not one of them will supply a complete machine or publish a design, every one wants to sell papers or books.
    .
    Ingo, Aubrey Meyer sounds good, but “C&C is a 300 year programme to set us back on a sustainable atmospheric course” – isn’t 300 years much too long? We’ve already burnt half the oil, in just one century!

  • ingo

    Some scientists will argue that 300 years is the minimum Clark, many agree and say that it depends on whether we can stop the rise in sea temperatures, directly related to our rising CO2 output, to stem the already occuring release of methane hydrates, the latter being the far worse problem for humanity and those who breath oxygen based mixtures. A methane runnaway process, as yet unexperienced by us primates, will extinguish us and many other species, sea levels will rise and the earth will be intact, although with a diminshed ecology and limited abilities to regenerate. Wildfires due to the increased methane content of the athmosphere will take out much vegetation and light itself might not be available for most of the time making photosynthesis hardly possible.

    Humanities inability to think large and in unison is nowhere to be seen, our believe in our omnipotence and abilities to resolve these problems is unshaken and we cannot see that there are some vital warning signs being dismissed as petty. A slowing down of the thermohaline flows of our ocean currents due to the decreasing water salinity at its polar regions has been measured, the engine is slowing down. At the same time we are experiencing an increase in methane releases, in Russian and canadia artic coastal waters and their tundra’s.

    And what are we choosing to do? Bicker about who’s going to be first to do very little? We need a global appeal to those affected by these natural inequilibrities. Those who caused this rapid industrialisation will never change their ways and should see it as their duty to facillitate an orderly resolve along C&C guidlines for however long it takes to achieve a different state within our athmosphere. Dr. Richter was right, Western mans illusionary omnipotence, our lack of inner spirituality and our blindness to living in sustainable harmonie with our beautifull globe, has resulted in a world that is designed and build by technocratic greed merchants, onesided robot minds unwilling to shift and societies designed and designated by their consumption patterns and markets. Money will not buy quality of life for much longer, life will become much harsher and digging up the fertile lawn might be a good idea.
    But all these harsh measures should not rule out this focus on C&C, a ban on flying during daytime, a global rule to heat one’s house for only 12 hours, advancement of low CO2, max.Low energy housing from recycled materials, the introduction of new energy transfer and generation methods using nano carbon frames and new pure electron flows with no need for cables, fossile fuels or nuclear power are all being researched already, are close to market realisation. Such technology would promise an athmospheric revolution that could decrease the Contraction period somewhat, but still the past’s pollution will take some hundreds of years of constant resolve.
    We have the brains, the methods to do it and the means to sustain such effort, what we are lacking is will and trust in each other, we have developed like a cancerous cell, now a large culture of vested interests leading puppets by the nose. A green dictator please, little green wo/men, anything to stub our noses in it and make us act up, the listening and debating period is long over.

  • Rog Tallbloke

    Ingo:
    You are aware ocean heat content has been falling according to some (Craig Loehle, Josh Willis of ARGO) and flat according to others, since 2003?

    Sea level has been falling for a couple of years too, even according to the allegedly tilted Colorado series. Certainly according to ENVISAT, the level is now back to the same it was in 2004. The oceans have been cooling since the Sun went quiet after the peak of solar cycle 23 in 2003.

    The altimetry satellites are as accurate as the GPS system, very best they can achieve is around +/- 75mm. The error is bigger than the signal by a long way, and calibration has been done using estimates of ice melt and thermal expansion from inadequate models and data.

    These are engineering facts, not the musings of A.N.Other blogger.

  • Clark

    Tallbloke, what exactly is your argument? That it is OK to continue burning hydrocarbons as fast as commerce can extract them? Why on Earth would we want to do that?

  • Clark

    Ingo, 300 years is theoretically right for C&C, in that the Industrial Revolution and coal extraction started to ramp up about 300 years ago. This assumes an extraction curve that is symmetrical about the peak. However, implicit in that is that most of the action would be in the immediate future, falling fast in symmetry with the recent fast extraction rate, oil phasing out in about a century.

  • Rog Tallbloke

    Clark:
    My argument is that whatever decisions we want to make regarding fuel sources and use, current climate science isn’t a good basis for informing the decision making process. Peope are not stupid, and the general public instinctively knows when it is being sold a pig in a poke by a pillock.

    The danger as I see it is that the backlash against the environmental lobby which will inevitably follow the collapse of the scientifically untenable man made global warming hypothesis it has hitched its wagon to will set back the gains made in truly important areas of environmental concern by decades.

    Call them old fashioned but the public likes scientific evidence to be, well, scientific. And evidentiary.

  • Scouse Billy

    Rog, good to see you here. Can I ask what your thoughts are on Claes Johnson’s theory and “back-radiation” in general?

  • Rog Tallbloke

    Ingo, stop worrying about methane, it’s a fart in a hurricane measured in parts per billion of the atmosphere.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/27/quote-of-the-week-the-climbdown-on-methane-and-climate-change/
    .
    Billy: Claes is a clever guy, but I think he’s barking up the wrong tree. My view is that since long wave radiation re-emitted from the air to the ocean surface doesn’t penetrate by water more than its own wavelength, very little of its energy is mixed down into the deep. The vortices which mix down solar short wave are much deeper down under the waves.
    .
    The air temperature is largely controlled by energy release from the ocean, and is usually cooler due to evaporation and rapid convection. Thus any additional heating of the near surface air by extra radiation zipping around isn’t going to make much difference to ocean heat content, except maybe on very very long timescales. Conduction from air to water is a slow process. Try heating a bathful of cold water with a hair dryer…
    .
    Conversely, air cooled by loss of high cloud insulation and less heating from above will suck heat out of the ocean rapidly in convection processes, and this is what is happening now. When the Sun is quiet as it has been since 2003, the ocean releases energy stored while the Sun was active as during the later half of the C20th. The resulting el nino events uplift the air temperature and keep the surface nice and warm for us, but ocean heat content diminishes, causing the falls in sea level seen over the last few years by ENVISAT and even the warm tilted Colorado dataset. This is also confirmed by the less ‘adjusted’ ARGO data used in 2008 by Craig Loehle. This is what leads to reversals in the arctic oscillation and the shifting of the jets streams equatorwards, leading to arctic air incursions over northern Europe as seen in the last few winters.
    .
    Don’t put those heavy old coats on ebay yet. This could get worse if the Sun stays as sulky as my hypothesis predicts it will. Until 2065.

  • Clark

    Tallbloke, I’ve heard lots of warnings – greenhouse gas warming, ocean acidification, release of methyl hydrates due to rising temperatures, release of methane due to melting permafrost, etc. You seem to say that none of these matter. Is our atmospheric balance effectively indestructible? Is there nothing to worry about at all?

  • Rog Tallbloke

    Clark:
    .
    Most of the heavy lifting regarding the maintenance of the atmospheric balance is done by the tiny aerobic organisms and flora which collectively outweigh the human population and the fossil fuel it digs up by many orders of magnitude. They have been around several billions of years and are not going away anytime soon.
    .
    Various disasters have befallen the atmosphere in the deep past. None of them made the planet uninhabitable. When magnetic reversals occur, large amounts of atmosphere were lost to space, ripped away by the solar wind. This lowered air density and brought the pteranodons crashing down to earth.
    .
    When a mutant strain of algae proliferates, it can starve the rest of the flora of much needed plant food gas (AKA co2), as in the Azolla Event. This lowered the atmospheric humidity and that made things colder.
    .
    We are currently in an interglacial during an ice age which has lasted millions of years. looking at the geological timescales of hundreds of millions of years, Earth’s surface spends most of it’s time up around 20C rather then the current ~14C. We may be about to plunge into the next glacial, going on the Milankovitch astronomical cycles and the past couple of millions of years of history. Or we may be at the end of the current ice ages and about to return to 20C. Nobody knows. The natural forces involved make anthropogenic co2 forcing an irrelevance, or even perhaps a minor benefit. Food doesn’t grow on top of a mile of ice.
    .
    Ask yourself this: If the cool phase of natural variation has been able to cancel out co2 warming of the atmosphere since the start of the C21st, how much did it contribute to global warming during its warm phase at the end of the C20th? Logic tells me: “at least half”. And at least half is also a number which describes the natural contribution to the co2 increase too. Which means humans are responsible for at most 0.1C of the late C20th rise in surface temperature globally. Assuming we can measure global surface temperature that accurately, which we can’t.
    .
    The media loves scare stories, they sell lots of newspapers and gain lots of viewers. Politicians love scare stories too. As H L Mencken put it:
    .
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
    .
    From the political point of view, if you can tax the populace for breathing and keeping warm while you regale them with tales of carbon doom, so much the better. Especially if you can contrive a situation where the measures put in place don’t actually reduce co2 emission. That way you get to continue the taxation indefinitely. 287 billion euro of public money wasted propping up the carbon market. The same money spent on flue management and new boiler systems for generating stations could have reduced European co2 emission by 40%. Where is that money now? Where is the buffer the public purse should be able to provide against economic swings which can wreck the lives of ordinary decent taxpayers?
    .
    Hearing stories of pensioners having to burn second hand books from charity shops to prevent hypothermia is getting me angry, because the science doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and the scientists involved are saying one thing in public, and another in (no longer) private correspondence. The politicians and placemen are willfully whitewashing the malfeasance to try to save their taxation plans in a dodgy economic situation partly brought about by the pouring of public funds down the climate hole. Meanwhile the emergency rooms overflow with broken hipped old folks every time it freezes because your local council believed the hype and didn’t buy the grit. It doesn’t want to spend the money spreading it anyway, so not having it on the pretext of govt scientists like David Viner telling us snow is a thing of the past fits the bill.
    .
    Time for this country to get a grip in my opinion.

  • Clark

    Rog Tallbloke, try to take a look at the structure of your above argument. The first five paragraphs describe a scientific model of Earth’s climate. The last four paragraphs are about news media and politics. Really, the arguments in the first five paragraphs have no bearing on the arguments in the last four. It doesn’t matter which resource is in short supply, the political situation allocates it unfairly, giving most to the rich and least to those who need it most. Even if all the energy was generated without CO2 emission, the political and economic system would still keep poor old folk in poverty. They always did before global warming became a public concern, so why do you blame climate science for this?
    .
    You say you’re angry; I’m angry too, but I don’t see the climate scientists as the source of the injustice. They might be right, wrong or even lying, but I very much doubt that a bunch of scientists got together and plotted “I know, we can trick (or collude with) all the businessmen and politicians into starving the pensioners of energy”.
    .
    You didn’t directly answer my question, but it seems that you specifically advocate not worrying about the effects of burning hydrocarbons. You earlier stated that the CO2 issue could be discrediting other environmental campaigning, so you don’t regard all environmental campaigns as misguided – is it just the campaigns that restrict the burning of hydrocarbons that you object to?

  • Arsalan

    If the above mentioned right wingers were Muslim, would what they said be taken as allegorical or would they be locked up and the key thrown away?
    If Clarkson was a Muslim talking about Zionists or anyone else, what would have happened to him?
    Would he be done for incitement to murder?
    I know I would if I said what he did?
    And that also goes for the race hate laws, they only seem to be enforced on brown people?

  • Clark

    Rog Tallbloke, it doesn’t really matter what excuses governments use to raise tax. The important thing is that they raise and spend enough tax in the right ways, redistributing wealth, seeing that unprofitable public services get performed, keeping the economy from becoming dominated by monopolies. They do this quite badly, in my opinion.
    .
    The media are interesting, for they constantly tell the public that governments must spend less or the sky will fall in. The message in the media is identical to what the banks tell governments; “You must cut education, cut healthcare, cut social provision, and you must tolerate mass unemployment, in order to pay us our interest, or the system will collapse”. This translates to “send money our way; don’t spend it on your people”.
    .
    The politicians accept this advice, partly through corruption, some of them believed it anyway, many don’t dare speak against the mainstream media’s “consensus”. It should always be remembered that the media are commercial concerns themselves, and are thus essentially opposed to government services to the people, including government regulation of commercial activities.
    .
    Are you sure you’re making the best use of your activism? Look at your paragraph about EU spending. Your argument is that CO2 doesn’t matter. Therefore, the 287^9 Euro was a waste of money, but so would the 40% have been if spent on flue management; your argument gives you no leverage on this issue either way, and can even be used to argue against flue management.
    .
    You make no mention in your arguments of the pro-burning lobby. The picture you present seems to be a perfect alignment between government and commerce, cooperating to hoodwink the voters. You never mention slanted arguments from the pro-burning lobby, and yet I’m sure they exist; the reluctance to regulate CO2 emission by government and business has been widespread and evident.

  • Clark

    Rog, our comment’s crossed, I’ll repost at your blog. But I don’t think we’re really far off-topic. There’s free speech, what the mainstream media will deign to report, that which would be social/political suicide to say, that which we refrain from saying; they are all degrees of freedom of communication.

  • ingo

    Thanks for your considered reply Rog Tallbloke, to say that the measured discrepances showing a down turn in sea levels, as you reported, something that is not corrulated by the actual increase in flooding here in the Broads of East Anglia, nor by the annual mean sea level increase, support a general long term tendency which does not mean an increase in AGW, strikes me as spuriious a critic as the scientific assumptions made by the IPCC, as you say. If their research does not amount to much out of the ordinary, why should the short term scientific counter points brought up by you, matter more?

    The precautionary principle should not make us ignore multiple methane releases in artic waters and Tundra’s, thats the position of someone who sticks his head in the sand and advocates the same consupmption patterns as usual, there has to be a measured stepped approach to various scenario’s and it has to be done collectively.

    You say that the backlash of ‘bad science and vested interest will diminish what little gains were achieved by a Green Movement’. By not having an open approach and accepting that we cannot ignore CO2 rises and an increase in athmospheric methane, are you not making such a backlash worse. I’m sure that the inhabitants of many Atolls and sovereign enteties would not agree with your solutions. Where are we going to house the 20 million or so Bangladeshi’s who will loose their land within the next 30 -40 years? How many hundreds of thousands will Britain take in? What off the Seychelles and Kiribati, what of the sociological consequences of one’s emasculation of reality?

    Good to see you here and good luck on your site, we all enjoy a good debate here.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Good point, Arsalan. You’re right that if he’d been Muslim and he’s said what he said about Zionists, he’d have been treated very differently. Nonetheless, one suspects that if Clarkson had said what he said about, specifically, brown, yellow or black people, say, he’d have been sacked immediately and probably prosecuted. Look at what happened to those two football commentators wrt their comments about female officials and players. There is a difference b/w inciting ‘race’/ religious hate and/or publicly reinforcing sex discrimination and simply mouthing-off about people in general in a right-wing manner. There is an issue here about the ‘culture of offence’. Much as one disagrees with what Clarkson said and think he jolly well deserves some of what he hands out, I don’t think any official or legal sanction would be warranted. I agree, though, that if he’d been a Muslim celebrity named, say, Javed Karim, and had said the same thing about the strikers, The Daily Mail would’ve been all over it, like yesterday, and he’d have had to resign. So, yes, absolutely, there are double standards and profound, cultivated hypocrisies in UK society.

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