Extinction Aversion 1214


Man made climate change has appeared to me for three decades to be sufficiently proven, and it has that cardinal virtue of a scientific hypothesis, you can see the things which it predicts will happen, come to pass before your eyes, like being uncomfortably hot in your Edinburgh flat on Easter Monday.

Direct action of the illegal kind is a very important weapon in the arsenal of protest. It represents a challenge to the state’s monopoly of force. While it may appear non-violent, in fact by imposing your body into a space and blocking it off, that is an assertion of physical force. What the Extinction Rebellion protests showed this week was the reticence of the Metropolitan Police in dealing with nice, middle class and largely white protestors. That reticence is to be welcomed; the fact that it is not extended to other groups is what is to be deplored. The alternative is to argue for everyone to get beaten up by Plod equally, which is not a sensible line to take.

I broadly support the Extinction Rebellion protest. In terms of gatecrashing climate change on to the political agenda, they have had a good and entirely necessary effect. Their use of what was in effect force, certainly did some harm in restricting the movement of people around London, and in some cases will have impacted the ability of struggling people to earn their living. It also disrupted public transport systems which are a good thing. But these are minor items if you accept that climate change is whirling its way to becoming an existential threat – and that is a premise which I do accept. The disruption is outweighed by the intent to do a much greater good, in terms of the justification of the people doing the protesting. Whether it succeeds in prompting real action by government and achieving a balance of good, is a different question. I fear we have to get rid of the Tories first.

I accept that climate change is a worldwide phenomenon and action in individual states of limited utility. But individual states can inspire by example, not least by showing that a switch to a greener economy can lead to a major stimulation of economic growth. I do not pretend to expertise in green economics. What follows are rather some homely policy nostrums which I believe should form a part of a coherent approach to green policy.

1) Home Insulation

The Tory Government has effectively abandoned and cancelled home insulation schemes; in effect nothing whatsoever is happening. Yet the government’s own plan to reach committed emissions targets by 2050 explicitly depends on one third of all savings being achieved by insulation in Britain’s existing stock of over 20 million very poorly insulated homes.

There is the clearest case here for government action. The aim should be to upgrade 4 million homes a year. Full funding should be provided to local authorities and housing associations for their stock. Householders should face a legal obligation to bring home insulation up to high defined standards – with generous means-tested grants available from central government funds, which should meet 100% of the cost for all those in straitened circumstances, and a decreasing percentage thereafter based on income and wealth. Private landlords should be forced to comply and self-fund up to the value of four months’ rent, with grants available for higher costs. Failure to comply should lead to the landlords’ property being confiscated by the local council, with tenancies protected.

Those are the broad outlines of a policy which would provide massive employment and contribute to a major Keynesian boost for an economy crippled by years of austerity, as well as make a major difference to emissions.

2) Ocean Energy

Wind energy has made massive strides, and to a lesser extent solar and hydro. But disappointingly little has been done to harness the restless energy of the seas. Government support for research programmes into utilising wave and current energy is pitifully small, given the potentially vast and reliable energy resource available, to the UK in particular.

On tidal energy, those objecting to the Severn or Wash barrage schemes on the grounds of effect on wildlife habitat are failing spectacularly to see the wood for the trees. Of course biodiversity is massively important, but we are fighting a battle in which some resources will need to be sacrificed. The Severn, Wash and Swansea Bay schemes do not require substantial technological innovation – they are basically just low head hydro – and should be pushed ahead as urgent projects. Simultaneously major research funding should be given to innovation. I suspect the harnessing of currents rather than waves would be the first to fruition.

3) Aviation Fuel Tax

Cheap flights are the opiate of the people. I cannot buy in to the argument that aviation fuel tax is only viable if everybody does it. Planes landing can very easily be taxed on any fuel they have in their fuel tanks brought in from third countries. If hub passengers transiting are reduced in favour of fuel tax free destinations, I cannot see that as a bad thing. An aviation hub is a particularly undesirable thing to become, from any sensible environmental view.

Flying is a major contributor to pollution and there is far too much of it. The tax free fuel status that makes flights cheaper than trains is ludicrous. Aviation fuel should be taxed at the same levels per calorific value as road fuels.

4) Expand Rail Networks

Nationalisation and re-integration is of course the sensible prelude to any development of rail transport. The UK is chronically behind most of the developed, and even much of the developing, world in terms of high speed rail lines. This needs to be rectified as does the chronic over-concentration of transport resource on South East England. HS2 should run on to Aberdeen and Inverness, not just be confined to the southern third of the UK.

On a wider note, with demand for rail transport buoyant, re-establishment of many Beeching axed lines should be undertaken with a view to a simple containerised nationwide freight distribution system as well as passenger transport. Rail is far more energy efficient than road. The preponderance of road transport is simply the result of perverse incentive from government policy.

Light rail and tram systems should be expanded in cities. Here in Edinburgh, the poor planning and execution of the start of a tram system should not put us off. Trams should be a local service, not fast and stopping frequently, but rather akin to buses, as in Manchester. They should not be confused as in Edinburgh with an express airport service, with very few and inaccessible stops.

5) Encourage Micro-Generation: Abolish Nuclear

The UK had an immensely successful programme of encouraging domestic solar generation through feed in tariffs, so the Tories cut it, as they cut the less successful insulation grants. Generous feed-in tariffs for domestic generation should be rebooted, while technologies such as heat pumps and exchangers should be zero rated for VAT (as should bicycles).

By contrast, the massively expensive nuclear power projects should be scrapped immediately. I lived almost all my adult life under the impression nuclear energy involved some fiendishly clever technology, until I realised it generates from bog standard steam turbines, and the nuclear part is simply a ludicrously complicated, incredibly expensive and devastatingly dangerous way to – boil water.

The real attraction to governments of nuclear power is the precise reason governments dislike micro-generation – nuclear power promotes a massively centralised security state, and links in well to weaponisation. It is the most expensive electricity of all, and should be immediately closed down.

The above represent my own thoughts on possible short term policy responses to climate change. I acknowledge quite freely that it is not my area of expertise and is perhaps insufficiently radical, and certainly insufficiently broad and detailed. It has however focused my mind on the great economic stimulus that can be gained from wholesale pursuit of the necessary technologies at the government level.

I have deliberately concentrated on unilateral measures rather than international negotiation, because I am sceptical there is sufficient will for progress on the latter or that governments around the world intend to stick to commitments. I have viewed it from a UK not a Scottish perspective because action is required immediately, and Scotland starts from a much better place anyway.

That I am thinking on this at all is in a way evidence that Extinction Rebellion achieved their aim from their immediate action, though it is those in power they seek to influence, not random bloggers. I am very sceptical of their declared desire to “negotiate with government”. If David Cameron were still in power, he would undoubtedly “hug a swampie” and make all kinds of green noises, then continue shutting down environmental programmes. Those around Theresa May are quite clever enough to recommend such an approach, as a potential Tory rescuing image as the party otherwise crashes to electoral disaster.

I would recommend Extinction Rebellion to keep blocking the roads and stay clear of the politicians. If they could refine their tactics to concentrate more on direct action against the big polluters and their financial backers, and move away from shocking the public through inconvenience, that might be tactically good for a while. But on the whole, I applaud. Vigorously.


1,214 thoughts on “Extinction Aversion

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  • N_

    As anyone who has run a focus group for a marketing company will confirm, when a punter with good faith explains why they support a political movement but completely without looking at the movement’s stated aims, the person must have been hooked by the packaging.

    (Is Carol Vorderman on the green wagon yet?)

    Walther Darré and Edward Bernays would have great big smiles on their faces.

    Logic goes out of the window at the moment when the opinion channellers trumpet it the loudest, essentially meaning “shut up”.

    But what has Extinction Rebellion got to do with the religion of “Grabbing State Grants for Whatever Reason You Can Think Of” that is a way of a life among the middle classes in the more peripheral parts of Britain?

    • glenn_nl

      Looks like people can’t be bothered to respond to your BS anymore. Can’t say I blame them.

      • glenn_nl

        Could you provide some backup for that assertion, or should we simply accept your word on the matter?

      • giyane

        Xavi

        I will give May the benefit of the doubt, that she tried compromising with the Alt-Right wing of her own party and found them to be so obnoxious and stubbornly stupid that she was no longer able to compromise with them any more. They pushed and pushed her to change the EU’s principled insistence on the Good Friday Agreement backstop. They pushed her too far.

        She is now trying to compromise with HM opposition who have a different view of Brexit which recognises the GFA and the damage to the economy of No Deal. She is also a feminist and will sympathise with this victim of New IRA terror, as I do. This is a Jacky Sutton moment, killed by Erdogan travelling through Istanbul Airport on her way to Erbil to report on Islamic State’s abuses of women. Here the ultra hard-line, knee-capping extremists deliberately murder the female journalist who exposes their abuses and their political terror.

        I join yesterday’s standing ovation at the funeral of Ireland’s martyr.

        • Xavi

          May told all the hard brexiters within the cabinet what the purpose of her talks with Labour were the day before she announced them. If the purpose had been to fashion a deal that included some of Labour’s demands those hard brexiters would have resigned from the cabinet an masse. As to the killing of Lyra McKee, that has been ruthlessly exploited by politicians and media who don’t give a damn about any of the countless innocents dispatched by western bombs in the mideast (the nameless collateral damage of noble adventures.)

  • mrjohn

    My advice to Extinction Rebellion is go and hug a polar bear.
    They have succumbed to a retelling of the Garden of Eden myth, the planet is an earthly paradise until humans mess it up.
    I’m just back from a trip to the UK, my impression was of a lazy, affluent country, addicted to cars and convenience. The climate change protesters are filling the emptiness in their vacuous lives with pretensions of a higher purpose, “saving the planet”, by which they mean an imagined stasis in which they remain at the apex.

    • giyane

      mrjohn

      The British people are hard-working and self-aware, but they are ruled by a murderous skeptocracy which only believes in money, the poisonous intellectual spawn of Mrs Thatcher. There was a time as with all great empires when they followed and believed a Holy Book translated into the vernacular which guided their daily lives. They yearn for that forgotten past. unable to understand that another Holy Book came after it which its followers mostly ignore, following their raw emotions to revenge and violence. Don’t knock the British, we will eventually find what we are looking for.

    • pretzelattack

      humans are messing it up now. my advice to you is to learn something about the subject. there is nothing imaginary about global warming.

    • Xavi

      You’re scorning people making an effort to bring about vital change while offering absolutely nothing yourself.

      • glenn_nl

        That’s pretty much all the denialists and nay-sayers here have to offer. If one has nothing at all to say (such as the example provided by mrjohn above), I wonder why they bother saying it.

        • Xavi

          Hedonic nihilists who just put their hands over their ears or – as below – retreat into the comfort of magical thinking.

      • Loony

        Why not tell the people that this “vital change” requires a complete end to motor, maritime and air travel. Why not point out that a lot of people are going to starve to death as a consequence of this “vital change”

        I’m pretty much in full agreement with anyone who scorns people who are in favor of genocide but are too mentally weak and enfeebled to actually spell out the reality of their policy recommendations.

        If these clowns really believed in what they were saying then they would all go on indefinite hunger strike knowing that their vast numbers would swamp any form of medical intervention. then they would get for themselves what they wish on others.

        As for offering nothing – try to remember that not all problems have solutions. If you are struggling to accept this then try reading some Stoic philosophy. Or perhaps not, as the same kind of nut jobs as are protesting the right to eat are also fully infiltrated into such august bodies as the American Psychological Association. According to the APA then any stoical acceptance of your fate is itself a form of toxic masculinity that is harmful to society.

        Not that any of it makes any difference as we are all going to die – just a question of whether this is understood and accepted or if you intend going to your grave hysterically howling.

        • Xavi

          The idea your hatred for climate activists derives from concern for human life strains credulity, I’m afraid. Just another to add to your body of disingenuous ravings, which generally bring to mind JK Galbraith’s observation–
          “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

          • Loony

            I don’t hate anyone – but I despise liars. These climate change activists are manifestly liars. Ipso facto I despise them.

            I have no idea why anything I write should bring to mind the observations of JK Galbraith. Obviously filling the world up with all kinds of plastic garbage, massive oil spills, nuclear power accidents, entire societies dedicated to waste, indolence and ignorance and every man and his dog seemingly having access to nuclear weapons is bad for everyone.

            What kind of selfishness do you have in mind where anyone can possibly benefit from such a state of affairs? Or do you really think that some people want to go around imbibing limitless amounts of poison and then deny the impoverished masses access to their equal share of poison?

            The likely difference between you and me is that I do not expect my fellow citizens to die for my sins.

          • pretzelattack

            what are the lies, loony? and do you despise the fossil fuel companies for lying for decades about the effects of their product on the environment?

          • Loony

            The lies are that you can reach a zero carbon economy by 2025 without triggering mass starvation and probably a nuclear war.

            I despise all liars – it is pointless to try and list them all as there are so many of them. People also have a responsibility to determine for themselves if they are being lied to and to respond accordingly.

            Obviously fossil fuel companies lie – if you don’t like their lies then minimize the use of their products. Walk or cycle everywhere – don’t drive or use any form of public transport. Grow your own food or buy it from your neighbor so as to ensure that your food is not being driven or flown half way across the planet prior to its arrival on your plate. Heat your home to the minimum extent necessary, never use air conditioning and generally consume as little as possible.

            It is possible to do all of these things – and dong them constitutes a response to the lies of fossil fuel companies.

            There is nothing that can be done on an individual level to counter the fascistic rantings of those who demand a zero carbon economy enforced by state power and all in the certain knowledge that it will lead to catastrophe for billions of people. All that can be done is to point out the genocidal inanity of their death cult doctrine.

          • fredi

            It’s simple really, the ‘greenest’ human beings are those who don’t have children. They’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of humanity.
            To them I’d say waste as much fuel as you like, fly anywhere, keep your thermostat set as high as you like, and don’t ever let some sanctimonious ‘breeder ‘ tell you any different.

            😉

          • Ian

            so you don’t hate people, you just despise liars. And anybody is a liar who doesn’t agree with your rants. So you despise them. who exactly does that leave? Not that it matters since you preach a counsel of despair and futility. Such wit and wisdom.

          • Charles Bostock

            Ian

            What Loony has written in his post of 18:44 seems eminently practical to me and is far from being a “rant” and a “counsel of despair”.

            He is saying what the indivdual could do if so minded. What precisely do you disagree with and what would be your alternative advice?

  • Jones

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the planet earth may best be served if the human race actually does become extinct.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Extinction Rebellion activists glued themselves to the London Stock Exchange and climbed onto the roof of a train in Canary Wharf as part of the latest wave of climate change protests.

    Organisers said demonstrators were targeting the financial sector on the last day of protests “to demand they tell the truth about the devastating impact the industry has on our planet”.’

    Thursday 25 April 2019 12:49
    https://news.sky.com/story/extinction-rebellion-members-glue-themselves-to-london-stock-exchange-11702948

    • DiggerUK

      Is anybody else taken aback by the professionalism of the theatre quality outfits of XR, and now we have them with led banners!
      In my day, a donkey jacket, jeans and boots were the uniform, and we wrote our own banners for demos.

      It seems almost predictable that Greta the Green Prodigy is a story that will not end well. The links from Johny Conspiranoid are getting a bit too plausible to ignore. Follow the money anyone?…_

        • Antonym

          Some of the rich didn’t delve deeper and believe con sensus science. Some other rich want the march in front of the crowd for fame and more riches. Some suffer from exhibitionism.

          • pretzelattack

            oh aren’t we clever, con census science. if only we had a political system in which gigantic corporations with mega billions could somehow defend themselves from these feral scientists, maybe by buying a few more politicians, but alas, they are as helpless as baby seals, and don’t realize that they simply would need to fund scientists to study the problem so they could dispute the consensus scient. oh, and all those greedy corrupt scientists disdain making far more money by doing research that would win them a nobel prize and getting a salary from exxon.

            what world do you live in, by the way?

        • Dave Lawton

          Clark
          April 26, 2019 at 01:40

          “So there’s money behind it; so what? Some of the rich are clever enough to want to avoid extinction. Duh.”
          Or make more money from it.You are very wrong Clark.

    • N_

      A big thank you for posting these links, @Johny. It’s much appreciated.

      One thing I will say is that Cory Morningstar’s excellent six-part feature should be made available in .pdf form for those of us who prefer to read (and keep) stuff in hardcopy. It would be great if someone could sort this.

      Is she sussed about Triodos Bank? That cult-run outfit has its tentacles in many places where there are policies on “ethical investment”.

      In the English-speaking world there are green-politico strands going back through James Goldsmith, not to mention the ones that go back through Rachel Carson, Lord Northbourne, etc. Further back, in Britain the big root-daddy is Thomas Malthus. Then you had Herbert Spencer and H G Wells openly advocating mass murder for the “good” of the species. (To those who even think of demanding that I cite “evidence” for that assertion, you can bloody well get off your butts and find it for yourselves – it’s not difficult). Some of the ultra-naive lefties who applaud with pleasure whenever the bell of green populism is rung would pee themselves if they were ever to find out where for example the idea of “organic” agriculture really comes from, and to realise that in a huge and utterly embarrassing way they’ve been had.

      If some of them still have a chance to pull back before they march in step, totally zombie-like, behind the sign of the hourglass rune, what better time than now, when politicians of all main stripes, backed by editorial columns in most of the major western media, literally stand up and clap Greta Thunberg? Doesn’t that indicate something? (Free clue: part of the message is that no opposition is possible.) Thunberg, that truly ridiculous, manufactured, cartoon Pippi Longstocking figure, is probably making the Spice Girls wish they could hire her agent. (But that would be way outside their financial reach.)

      You have to wonder whether some people who say the words “big business” have the slightest clue of what big business actually is – and how it controls what are still called “minds”, what it puts into them, and how it’s advancing.

      • mog

        Why not link us to some reading N_ ?
        I thought organic agriculture came from mesopotamia about 10,000 years ago, if you got some knowledge of Jimmy Goldsmith inventing it in the 1970s please do fill us all in.

        • Old Mark

          N- is confusing James Goldsmith with his brother Teddy Goldsmith, sometime editor of The Ecologist. It is from his uncle Teddy that Zac Goldsmith MP has learnt about Green politics and to some degree has practiced them (opposition to the expansion of LHR for instance).

    • Matt

      The upshot of these articles seems to be: some of the people involved in XR are not such staunch opponents of capitalism as Acorn’s anarchists.

      Well, who knew? Of course, that vast majority of people around the globe are not such staunch opponents of capitalism as Acorn. The message seems to be: we thought XR might be something effective, but now XR Business gives us a reason to tear it down so that it might be just as ineffective as we anarchists have been.

      I notice that Acorn isn’t so pure minded that it won’t support its website with paid advertising – on my visit for a business school offering “executive education”. I’m sure that institution is preaching anarchism to the great and the good. And, before you say, I’m not embarrassed about a bit of ad hominem in this instance, as the Acorn’s own critique is itself largely that and guilt by association.

  • Jones

    I can’t find XR Business website, perhaps it’s been removed i just keep getting temporarily unavailable.

  • Charles Bostock

    Producing fruit and veg for export to rich countries does provide work and income to poor countries in Africa, the Indian sub-continent and parts of South America. Not a lot of income, perhaps, but better than the zero income which would result from a refusal to buy as advocated by some climate-change activists.

    • pete

      Chas, “Producing fruit and veg for export to rich countries does provide work and income to poor countries in Africa, the Indian sub-continent and parts of South America”

      Well yes it does, but some cash crops are useless to the population where they are grown, you cannot eat tea or coffee or tobacco and a diet of palm oil would not be beneficial, yet acres are put into the production of them. Some countries would be better served to concentrate on their own self sufficiency than on the demands of the developed world.

      It goes without saying that poorer countries do not receive much of the profits that come from the exploitation of their land and labour, the profits either are exported beyond the reach of the native population or they disappear into the pockets of corrupt government officials.

      Some cash crops are also illegal, see: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-worlds-most-valuable-cash-crop/

      I am not aware of any climate change action advocate advancing the idea of boycotting vegetables from third world countries, perhaps you could give us your source.

      • Michael McNulty

        Perhaps some of the multi-nationals whose share prices are quoted on the NYSE and FTSE could be persuaded to give up the African land their colonial ancestors purloined three hundred years ago? I bet the man from Del Monte says no. Not only have they taken the best land for cash crops but I understand they divert huge volumes of river water to irrigate them, leaving the locals to get their water from filth-infested mud holes. And to think they actually called all that theft the white man’s burden. Now that’s chutzpah!

      • Charles Bostock

        Pete

        Well, what I wrote did, I think, take account of your concerns, so I take your comment as signifying agreement with my basic point.

        You are being slightly ingenuous when you say that no one is advocating a boycott; perhaps not in so many words, but you yourself are gently hinting at the equivalent, ie when you suggest that some countries would be better served to concentrate on their own self-sufficiency.

        Do you think those countries just suddenly decided one day to go for cash export crops? The reason they did so is at least in part because self-sufficiency agriculture was, for a variety of reasons of which you will be cognisant, not meeting the needs of the population.

        Given that self-sufficiency hasn’t worked, and given your strictures on the alternative of cash crops, what would you suggest that those countries should do? It’s easy to carp and criticise everything, but ess easy to actually come up with a reasonable, viable alternative (this is the flaw in many posts).

        • pete

          Thank you for ignoring my question about the source material relating to any boycott of other than useless (to the indigenous population) goods from third world countries, I guess the source was just a figment of your imagination.
          Still you have raised an important objection, namely that it is easy to criticise, and you are right, I have no alternative plans to suggest. Here I sit comfortably in my anarcho-syndicalist collective moaning about people not doing enough and looking enviously at the rich stockpiling supplies in their plush fortified bunkers. What’s a revolutionary to do?

          • Charles Bostock

            Pete

            I recommend an immediate cessation of posting on online boards. 🙂

        • Charles Bostock

          Not sure that palm oil production is big in Africa, actually.

          But that’s it, isn’t it. Carp,carp, carp : instead of suggesting what poor African countries should/could do rather than producing cash crops, given that subsistence agriculture is insufficient, one immediately carps about palm oil production (not a big thong in Africa) and the habitat of orang-utans. The latter is a problem, certainly, but nothing to do with what we were trying to talk about.

    • Deb O'Nair

      To paraphrase Bostock:

      Producing cotton and tobacco for the rich white man does provide work and food on the plantation. Not a lot of food, perhaps, but better than the zero food which would result from a refusal to support the slave trade as advocated by some human-rights activists.

  • Ascot2

    If the world’s worst CO2 polluting countries were just to start pricing, and regulating, fossil fuels out of existence I am confident clean solutions will work their way forward to replace them as suppliers of energy. Ironically that’s pretty much what the oil companies did 100 years ago to get rid of non polluting trams and electric cars in the US.
    It’s a good bet that almost all energy delivery in the future will be from electricity, with intermediary storage being provided by improved batteries, and hydrogen. The technologies already exist in spades. In fact if we start producing hydrogen right away it can be added in limited amounts to the natural gas supply as a non polluting power-providing additive. We must push aside the naysayers who just cannot handle change, and our politicians have to get active.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      I wouldn’t use hydrogen as a fuel in anything other than isolation. The grid has to run on a fixed BTU. North African LPG is dosedat the importation terminals with Nitrogen to bring its energy capacity to that of North Sea gas.
      Hydrogen is also a very small molecule. By all means promote the use of Hydrogen as a fuel but as a stand alone replacement rather than an additive.

    • J

      “If the world’s worst CO2 polluting countries were just to start pricing…fossil fuels out of existence…”

      All they have to do is remove their fossil subsidies:

      This paper estimates fossil fuel subsidies and the economic and environmental benefits from reforming them, focusing mostly on a broad notion of subsidies arising when consumer prices are below supply costs plus environmental costs and general consumption taxes.

      Estimated subsidies are $4.9 trillion worldwide in 2013 and $5.3 trillion in 2015 (6.5% of global GDP in both years). Undercharging for global warming accounts for 22% of the subsidy in 2013, air pollution 46%, broader vehicle externalities 13%, supply costs 11%, and general consumer taxes 8%. China was the biggest subsidizer in 2013 ($1.8 trillion), followed by the United States ($0.6 trillion), and Russia, the European Union, and India (each with about $0.3 trillion). Eliminating subsidies would have reduced global carbon emissions in 2013 by 21% and fossil fuel air pollution deaths 55%, while raising revenue of 4%, and social welfare by 2.2%, of global GDP.

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0305750X16304867

      Previous article in issue

  • Rhys Jaggar

    One of the key issues in climate reporting is ensuring that cold events are reported with equal frequency and prominence as warming events.

    The UK does not represent the world in climatic terms, it is a small corner with a diffferent climate to continental Europe.

    Russia’s grain belt has recently recorded record low temperatures for latish April.

    The earliest recorded snow in Western Australia was recorded recently.

    They do not get reported by the BBC because it is not politically convenient.

    I remember easter climbing trips in Scotland 30 years ago where one year ice was glazing the Inaccessible Pinnacle on Skye and another year when Mediterranean-type tans were acquired climbing in the Cairngorms. You could proclaimed global warming or global cooling if you considered isolated events to be indicative.

    The fact is that from year to year, nature’s cues on seasons regularly vary by up to six weeks and occasionally may be eight weeks late (like 2013).

    Climate Change was invented as a political tool at just the time the Soviet Union collapsed and a new bogey was needed to scare ill-informed and credulous populaces.

    Warming has indeed occurred in Scotland since 1800 and I am sure all horticultural growers on the Eastern growing belt are highly grateful for that. Warmer epochs exist and, would you believe it, those regenerating the Caledonian Forest report in their blurb that the ancient forest declined as climate became cooler and wetter. That teaches you that warmer epochs occurred in Scotland without human intervention which makescurrebpnt warming just cyclical, not epoch-changing.

    There is no scientific database of direct measurements of global climate from before around 1950. Records exist, but their rigour, completeness, reliability and precision leave much to be desired. What we do know is that grapes grew well in Lincolnshire in the Roman era, Greenland supported farming in the airbrushed Medieval Climatic Optimum and polar bears survived the Minoan warm period. We know that mass starvation and death occurred in the Little Ice Age as glaciers advanced, summer frosts decimated crops and staying warm in winter became an ever bigger challenge.

    There are three fundamentally false theses promulgated by warmers:

    1. We have any decent understanding of what normal climatic variability looks like.
    2. Carbon dioxide is a more important greenhouse gas than water vapour.
    3. Urban heat islands are mirrored by warmer rural temperatures.

    Climate Scientists will unfortunately end up being like pension misseling salesmen: finally brought to book after a long lasting gravy train.

    Now it would be valuable to focus on the following adult questions:

    1. Planning a sensible, technologically realistic transition to a post-oil world, as and when energy systems capable of replacing oil and gas at all times have oriven their worth.
    2. Devoting five centuries to dispassionate studies of climate, as opposed to gaming taxpayers plugging a pre-agreed party line.
    3. Providing appropriate incentives for creating energy efficient communities, notably in housing, commercial buildings and localised micro-power stations.

    Then politics would add value, rather than being a theatre for stage actors too ugly to secure parts in Hollywood blockbusters.

    • Ascot2

      Rhys.
      First don’t confuse climate with weather.
      The primary climate change mechanisms are
      a) Natural forcings ( the sun, Volcanoes)
      b) Albeno (reflection or absorption of the sunlight by landcover, snow and ice)
      c) Gases ( CO2 Methane and Ozone ) and
      d) aerosols ( Water vapour, soot and sulphur dioxide )
      These are all being tracked separately and their cumulative effect is being matched against what is being observed in the field.
      So, regarding your “false theses” claims
      1. Scientists do have a very good understanding of climate variability, going back millions of years, acquired through such things as ice cores, ancient shells and other fossils
      2. Water vapour effects are well understood. Luckily it dissipates naturally while atmospheric CO2 and Methane continue to increase
      3. Not sure what you are saying about Urban vs Rural effects, but certainly both are covered in albino measurements

      All the data is there if you choose to look for it, but if you really think that somehow scientists have cooked this whole thing up so that they can be part of some kind of gravy train, then it’s hard to have a sensible discussion.

      • DiggerUK

        “Water vapour effects are well understood. Luckily it dissipates naturally” @Ascot2
        Yes, it does dissipate naturally, and is reconstituted just as quickly. But no matter how hard anybody tries to rewrite the laws of physics, it keeps coming back. Clouds also ever disappear.
        One well known law of physics is that ‘matter cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed’ And water vapour is still the biggest greenhouse gas on the planet, and is unique in its ability to both warm and cool the planet.
        Despite this “scientific evidence” it is still a puzzle to the scientific world as to how clouds both form and dissipate. The CERN complex has had a team of people looking to find how the aerosols in the atmosphere that are believed to affect clouds really work. https://home.cern/science/experiments/cloud

        • pretzelattack

          why is this relevant to global warming? no doubt more can be learned about clouds, but clouds and water vapor aren’t causing the warming. it’s fossil fuel emissions.

          • DiggerUK

            @pretzelattack. “why is this relevant to global warming?” you ask.
            Well I suggest you take it up with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) they also acknowledge clouds as the biggest greenhouse gas.
            OK, they did take their time conceding that fact through gritted teeth, but they do admit it is the biggest greenhouse gas in their regular IPCC reports.
            I don’t think the IPCC refer to water vapour as a greenhouse gas because it’s an icehouse gas! I could be wrong of course, so don’t quote me.
            So even if fossil fuel usage came to an end, the biggest greenhouse gas would still be with us. I can live with that greenhouse gas as easily as I can with CO2…_

          • pretzelattack

            no digger acknowledging water vapor as a major greenhouse doesn’t answer my question at all. scientists, surprisingly, are aware of clouds, and water vapor, and they don’t agree with you that clouds somehow supersede the fossil fuel emissions as the major cause of global warming. i suggest you read more about the science, so you won’t be so inclined to parrot fossil fuel company propaganda.

          • DiggerUK

            The issue of cloudiness shows that the ‘science’ is not a settled issue. All arguments that say the science is settled are not true, this one issue alone shows they are not settled by a long way.
            Dismissing my comments as a fossil corporation shill is not science either, it’s a cheap insult…
            effect of clouds on global warming

          • pretzelattack

            the science about global warming is settled digger. please alert the royal society, and every national academy of science that i am aware of, if you know differently. also feel free to post links to any evidence you have, while you’re at it.

          • Ian

            If you bothered to read the article you link to, you will see that the debate about clouds is only one of to what degree clouds will make climate change worse (amplifying it), or slightly alleviate it. Both scenarios are catastrophic. So, as usual, the gullible claims that this means ‘the science isn’t settled’ are junk. The specific effects of how clouds alter climate change are being researched, but whatever it is, it doesn’t prevent it happening.

            “By amplifying warming or reining it in, clouds could make the difference between a 2°C increase – where sea levels rise a metre or more and deadly heatwaves are predicted – and a truly catastrophic 4.5°C – which, according to the IPCC, means widespread extinctions, global food supplies at risk and many parts of the planet too hot to live in.

            The latest data suggest clouds will amplify warming, though not as severely as some models had implied.”

      • michael norton

        Ascot2 you should have included LIFE
        in your list of what changes climate.
        Going back almost three billion years you had just single cell life.
        Then Stromatolites took over, using sun light and water and air and the Cyanobacteria giving off Oxygen.
        This life took “quite” a time to change the atmosphere but change it, it did, eventually allowing more complex organisms,
        to wrest control of the atmosphere.
        You also seemed to have forgotten about mountain building, continental drift and subduction?

        • Ascot2

          Michael, for millions of years the amount of CO2 being produced by life, and natural causes and the amounts absorbed by the oceans and plants was in a reasonable balance between 200 and 300 ppm. We have gone way over that range now and at 410 ppm and still rising, we are at levels where there was no ice in the northern hemisphere, and limited ice in the Southern. Sea levels were hundreds of feet over today.
          The last really, really high CO2 level ( over 1000ppm) was caused by the Indian sub continent plowing into Eurasia and pushing up the Himalayas over 50 million years ago, releasing stored carbon dioxide from the rocks. There were mass extinctions at that time. So geological issues have been looked at and used as a yardstick. I suspect if mankind had existed 50 million years ago we would have been part of the extinction.

    • Ian

      Kind of funny that, like all the other deniers, you loftily proclaim how all the scientists are wrong, but you, with a few homespun nostrums, can put them right. With no evidence at all. And no understanding of why their research is overwhelming demonstrative of what they are talking about, and every day being confirmed and further refined. this is just pub talk, like all self-proclaimed ‘experts’ opinions.
      Climate change isn’t a matter of opinion, it is a carefully, comprehensively researched body of evidence. To disprove it, or have an alternative theory, you would have to come up with a similar body of research and data, which would take slightly more than five minutes on a blog. And linking to obscure and eccentric websites and blogs with similar opinions doesn’t prove anything more than your fact free opinions do.

    • pretzelattack

      the basics of climate science date back to the 1800’s. illuminati level conspiracy theory you have there.

    • Clark

      Rhys Jaggar, the icecaps are melting away, just ask any commercial pilot who’s been flying a couple of decades.

      The travesty is that the sort of fossil fuel industry propaganda you’ve spouting here has wasted the three decade head start that science offered us. It really is time to pack it in.

      • Antonym

        Not the Antarctic or Greenland ones which contain 99% of land ice. What went are lower mountain glaciers and some Arctic sea ice as they were abundant after the Little ice age. Remember the frozen Thames paintings? Not due to lack of CO2.

        • Clark

          The sea ice is more vulnerable because it is melted from both above, by warmer atmosphere, and below, by warmer ocean.

          But it makes no difference to my reply to Rhys Jaggar; ice doesn’t melt without heat, therefore, to deny global warming is to deny easily observable facts.

      • ID

        How about you take a look at data from NASA that says there’s actually MORE ice now in the Greenland ice sheet.

        https://www.livescience.com/65080-greenland-glacier-growing.html

        NASA have another report saying a similar thing regarding the polar ice cap.

        https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses

        But don’t take my word for it that we’ve all been feed a hoax, how about the word of the founder of Greenpeace……..Google this “Greenpeace Founder: Global Warming Hoax Pushed by Corrupt Scientists ‘Hooked on Government Grants”

        I’ve actually taken the time to read as many of the scientific reports I can to try and understand how such a relatively small amount of CO2 (as a % of all greenhouse gasses) is having such a large effect on our planet. CO2 makes up around 1.57% of total green house gases (CO2 only makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere). The “science” around how that small component of greenhouse gases is having such a large impact is dubious to say the least. Throughout history (even recent history) what has been considered “scientific fact” has turned out to be completely wrong. I would not be surprised for this whole farce to eventually be proven so.

        • Ian

          it’s a pity you didn’t actually read the NASA reports you linked to. if you had, you would have found out that nothing in the data disproves climate change crisis.
          As for your google effort, it comes from Breitbart. Moore was never a co-founder of Greenpeace, but is a paid lobbyist who spouts fossil fuel industry crap.

        • Clark

          Excerpted from ID’s first link:

          Huge ice loss … then small gain

          – Scientists have watched Jakobshavn with concern for decades. After losing its ice shelf in the early 2000s (an ice shelf forces a glacier to flow more slowly into the ocean, like dirt clogging a drain), Jakobshavn began losing ice at an alarming rate. Between 2003 and 2016, its thickness (from top to bottom) dwindled by 500 feet (152 meters).

          – But […] Jakobshavn grew about 100 feet (30 m) taller between 2016 and 2017, the researchers found. But, as mentioned, the glacier is still contributing to ocean level rise worldwide, as it’s still losing more ice to the ocean than it is gaining from snow accumulation, the researchers said.

          The second link from NASA is over three years old. It was widely promoted by denialists, but the mass gain has already reversed, much quicker than the article predicted:

          “…the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years”

  • Ethan Hays

    Craig,

    I always enjoy reading your site. I miss some posts, but its always nice to come by and read a sane and measured commentary on the world today.

    That is why I am so distressed by your most recent piece.

    I am a scientist, sir, and like most scientists, I am appalled by the lies and deception printed daily about climate change and the proposed solutions.

    Which is what you have done here.

    The overwhelming majority of scientists support nuclear power as the oy viable solution to climate change. It is the cleanest, safest and, absent bureaucratic impedance, cheapest energy source available.

    More importantly, it is the only energy source that can scale up quickly enough to displace coal and gas without resulting in billions of deaths.

    Please reconsider your position, sir; do the research, talk to some scientists, whatever you need to do.

    We need the help.

    Sincerely,

    Ethan Hays

    • giyane

      Mr Hays

      We would have more faith in the nuclear industry if it had ever explained how radioactive waste can be safely contained. Certainly not underground nor under the sea.
      Like Boeing which has just massacred over 300 innocent people the nuclear industry never comes clean. Fukushima has rinsed its contents to the seas and destroyed all marine life on the US East Coast.

      It was ever thus. Plummy toffs reassuring scared proles, combined with glaring lies.
      Of course there is irrational sensitivity around other worries such as why populist racism has taken over logical thought in the Western world or where all the money the bank’s stole over the years since Mrs Thatcher.

      However what is required of scientists right now with terror taking over the world and austerity at home , is a little humility.
      No doubt our worried will be dispersed soon by the return of stable intellect to government when these accursed Tories go.

      White coats scare us because you appear to have trusted the false God of the market, which is the equivalent of abandoning the tiller and partying in the hold.

      • Clark

        I think the marine life has recovered. The iodine 131 released was highly radioactive, but it decays very fast (radioactivity is inversely proportional to half-life).

      • wonky

        Well, the “EU” has some great masterplans worked out..
        Hidden within the thousands of pages of prefabricated law text handed to the Greek government by the “troika” after Tsipras’ treasonous backflip in 2015 (and nonchalantly overriding the Greek constitution) are numerous passages ordering the government to accept the dumping of radioactive waste, mainly from France, Belgium and Germany, into the depths of the Ionian and Aegean seas.
        Eat this or starve.
        Had it been Pericles instead of Tsipras, he would have sent F-16s to Brussels.

    • Ian

      It’s not cheap at all. it is subsidised to the hilt, takes decades to build reactors, and is far more expensive than renewables, which are getting cheaper all the time, as well as improving their efficiency and viability. What price more Fukushimas?

    • Loony

      Hey Ethan – as a scientist would you agree that it is important to define terms? If so then could you clarify what you mean when you say that nuclear power is the only energy source that can “scale up quickly enough to displace coal and gas without resulting in billions of deaths”

      I am particularly interested in the word “quickly”

      You will obviously be aware of the Olkiluoto nuclear project in Finland. Naturally this project is technically complex and has required the input of scientific expertise. Given that the plant is now running 10 years behind schedule would this delay fall within your definition of “quickly”? Given that the plant has no agreed date for the commencement of commercial operations then how could the word “quickly” be intelligently defined absent an agreed start date?

      Could you provide an exact date for the commencement of commercial operations at Hinckley Point? If you could provide such a date would you be prepared to bet money on that date being achieved? If so I would be very interested in talking to you with a view to entering into a commercial relationship that could prove very lucrative to you should your date prove correct.

      • Clark

        From 1956 to 1959, the UK built the Dounreay experimental fast breeder reactor on the most remote coast of northern Scotland in three and a half years, and had it running five years after breaking first ground. Nothing like it had ever been built before, and the reactor vessel was the most complex stainless steel construction that had ever been undertaken:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIkYOFxcqRg

    • Wikikettle

      You ignore Nuclear waste, its storage, cost, danger and leaks past present and future.

    • Mark Russell

      Mr Hays

      It would be foolish to discount any changes to the climate that may be the result of human influence, but to what extent they are solely responsible and not the result of other cyclical factors is not so clear. What is perfectly obvious is the impact man-made pollution is having on the environment – in particular to our atmosphere and oceans. The two most valuable resources on the planet and we have contaminated both to such a degree – and in a relatively short time – to threaten many species, including ourselves.

      Regarding nuclear power, how can you claim that it is safe when Fukushima still has the fuel from three reactors melting down uncontrollably with little prospect of extraction? Even if reactor safety can be somehow guaranteed, the location around the coasts of the existing power plants where rising sea levels may very well result in another disaster similar to that in Japan.

      If we were to continue in a high-energy, high-consumption society then the argument for nuclear power would be irresistible given current alternatives – but that is the point: We have to change the way we live – so we don’t need coal, gas or nuclear – as all three have high pollution potential.

      The only barrier preventing humanity from changing and organising itself so it can make an effort to stop polluting and clean up the current mess, is money – or more precisely, they way money is controlled and what it currently used for. Profits and wealth creation will always have greater resonance with those who crave its power than looking after the environment. Even to the point where their blindness has become destructive.

      There is so much work that urgently needs to be done not least managing a transition to a different society – but cleaning up the plastic and toxic waste from our oceans – and somehow retrieving the fuel meltdown from under Fukushima are just as important as reversing carbon output and stopping other atmospheric pollutants like methane (difficult given rising sea temperatures and the release of methyl hydrates from the coastal shelves) and the likes of these. https://www.epa.gov/haps/initial-list-hazardous-air-pollutants-modifications

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the next century was spent restoring the rich natural resources we are so bloody fortunate to have enjoyed for so long – instead of exploiting and exhausting them for our own dangerous schemes? We kill each other for a taste of the power and money, prosecute wars with all their destructive consequences, detonate nuclear warheads in the atmosphere, underground and in the oceans to demonstrate our prowess and strength.

      And we all stood by and watched. How fucking stupid are we?

      I don’t hold out much hope – yes it’s good to see the XR demonstrations – but demanding change from politicians and their masters with the purse strings is quite naive. It’s like asking them to tell you the truth. Think about it this way – money is a completely artificial construct – it doesn’t really exist except in some computerised code and in our imagination. We create paper notes and coins to represent a physical manifestation – but we are close to a cashless society where money exists only in cyberspace. It is the control of that monetary system that is critical to our survival – as it will help mitigate against some of the disasters and hardships an uncontrolled economic collapse would undoubtedly produce.

      • Mark Russell

        I’m not terribly optimistic – there is no-one with the vision and courage to recognise and acknowledge the deficiencies of the present system and speak of them in a way that the public will understand. Don’t expect any banker or politician to tell you that it’s all really a mirage and the greatest and most enduring ponzi scheme ever created. It might get messy if they did.

        The reality is, control the money supply and you can do whatever you want.

  • michael norton

    https://www.neweurope.eu/article/france-debates-what-to-do-with-its-nuclear-waste/

    France, what to do with the nuclear waste?
    from two days ago.

    France launched a national debate on how to treat its 1.6 million cubic meters of nuclear waste.

    That seems like a lot of nuclear waste.
    They have been producing nuclear electricity for fifty years but have not yet found out what to do with the ever increasing pile?
    Much of the trouble in Fukushima was from the stored nuclear waste, which is a much greater mass than that in the holed reactor.

    • DiggerUK

      China had its little red book and The Cultural Revolution. It now seems we have a little green book and Extinction Rebellion.
      History, farce, tragedy…_

  • Paul

    Apologies if this point has already been made.I have not taken the time to read all 600+ comments.

    “a switch to a greener economy can lead to a major stimulation of economic growth”

    Ultimately, growth is an increase in the amount of energy and resources we use each year. Stimulating more of it is not going to help the climate. Yet who, from anywhere on the political spectrum, would be brave enough to stand upon a platform of abolishing or reversing growth? The Greens make some nods in that direction. https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/ec.html

    Sustainable growth is an oxymoron. Any constant growth will eventually hit hard limits. We live on a finite planet. So at some point it will end. This is uncontroversial, for straightforward reasons. Possibly the best explanation of it is by a mathematician called Albert Bartlett. Since the late 1960’s Bartlett went around the colleges and universities of the US, delivering a lecture on this subject. He died a couple of years ago, but videos exist of this lecture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZA9Hnp3aV4

    Got no problem with your nostrums though.

    • mog

      I second the recommendation of Bartlett’s lecture.
      The belief in continuing growth is the very definition of magical thinking.
      Growth is stalling as ERoEI is decreasing. The ‘sustainable growth’ oxymoron is what this whole ‘rebellion’ moment is about : trying to save or delay the capitalist sytem from its inevitable implosion.
      I spoke to an old friend at a funeral yesterday. He works in the management of solar farms for a company that serves as an intermediary between multi-billion dollar venture capital firms, energy sector giants, land management corporations and maintainence crews. He works in the square mile, he’s paid handsomely. He went to XR and got arrested.
      On the way to the funeral the radio played an advert for smart meters. It featured the voices of eight or nine young children in a sonic mural of clipped comments about climate change and energy conservation.
      Both of these occurances convinced me that we are at the begginning of a huge marketing campaign where children’s futures (and children themselves) will be increasingly used in the most cynical way to advance proposals for a new market in ‘natural capital’ and networked infrastructure.

      • Clark

        “The ‘sustainable growth’ oxymoron is what this whole ‘rebellion’ moment is about”

        No it isn’t; meet the activists, from the road protests, Occupy, anti-fracking camps etc., also teachers, scientists and many others. Experience the philosophy; radical inclusivity, active listening, People’s Assemblies, discussion groups, affinity groups. Yes, some of the interests you highlight have contributed publicity and PR; so what? No one is right about everything. The objective is to precipitate public awareness and change; it isn’t a competition in ideological purity.

        • mog

          I have met those people, I have long standing friendships with some of them, and it was not to them I was refering.
          By ‘moment’ I refer to a public relations exercise/ media campaign in which the organisation of some of those involved in XR, I think is being manipulated against their knowledge and interests.
          How many times do I have to repeat this point?
          Greta is an innocent in this, I think she is being used too. I would say the same about the children on the radio ad yesterday. Smart meters will not address the core problem, only manage it in a more opaque and undemocratic way for this interests of power elites.
          I am trying to participate in public awareness and change, and have been since I was a teenager myself.
          The ‘purity’ argument is old hat I’m afraid. Tony Blair loved that kind of schtick.
          It is simply about what works and what doesn’t. ‘Green capitalism’ is a ‘god that failed’.
          https://climateandcapitalism.com/2011/05/11/green-capitalism-the-god-that-failed/

          • Clark

            Mog, think it through. If you’re right and the implosion of the capitalist system is inevitable, it doesn’t matter who pays for the PR, so you’d be doing better not to reinforce the many cynical and denial voices on this thread.

          • Clark

            And if you’re wrong and capitalism can grind on a bit longer, albeit tightly constrained by new ecocide law, then you’d still do better not to discourage support for the movement that promotes such law.

            As a matter of priorities, I cannot see that overthrowing capitalism is more important than averting ecological collapse and mass extinction. And if capitalism cannot survive without precipitating ecological collapse and mass extinction, success of this movement guarantees the demise of capitalism anyway.

          • mog

            I am not ‘re-inforcing’ denialist voices on this thread. If you cannot see the difference between the arguments I’ve made and linked to, and those of climate change deniers, it doesn’t mean that other people cannot distinguish them. Your comment is what is referred to as conflation.

            Unless you think that growth can continue indefinitely then you have to conclude that the capitalist system as we understand it will, at some point, come to an end.
            It’s not about priorities, as I have already written and linked to, it is the argument that the only way (that ever existed) for seriously curbing fossil fuel use (let alone replacing it) is inextricably bound to the replacement of capitalism as the political-economic system. If you don’t get that argument, go and study it. If you have an argument against it, then let’s all hear it, or see the links where we can read it.
            So far I’ve only heard from you words to the effect of ‘it doesn’t really matter’. That is not a credible response in my opinion.

          • mog

            As a further example of what is being argued here, consider this analysis by Naomi Wolf on the AOC’s Green New Deal proposals.
            I would be confident to say that many (probably most) at the XR event would be supportive of the GND as it is presented to them through the obvious media channels. How many people though have actually scrutinised the details of that is being proposed?
            This is not draft legislation, but a proposal for a new allocation of power within the US political system, and one that will tie in several extreme concentrations of wealth to the green ambitions.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=749&v=N71pXoROTcQ

          • Clark

            Mog, maybe I should have omitted ‘denialist’, but there are many here calling XR a “fake protest” and accusing us of being “useful idiots”.

            I really don’t mind if there are some “green capitalists” on board. In my opinion, they are merely wrong (possibly), whereas those ignoring global warming and ecocide are positively dangerous. If “green capitalists” want to contribute money and publicity, so much the better; it doesn’t invalidate the rebellion and it doesn’t make XR members sheeple.

          • mog

            OK Clark, let’s leave it there. Everything you have written on this point has confirmed for me the political illiteracy I hear generally coming from the XR movement.
            It seems dominated by a liberal sentiment, and that is what I get from you too.
            Fair enough, if people want to support eco-liberalism then that it’s their choice. It will not save us from climate catastrophe, but in fact delay or disrupt any meaningful reaction to this problem.
            I do though think if it is branded as ‘rebellion’ and is being supported by faux radicals who go on TV and publicly call for the overthrow of capitalism, all the while the movers and shakers pulling the strings of the movement are entwined with the financial elites (e.g. Christine Figueres) then that is misleading the public and the members.
            Likewise if those celebrity faux radicals refuse to acknowledge the links with schemes for natural capital and ‘A New Deal for Nature’, and, at the same time, the role of big corporations is carefully and deceptively airbrushed out, then I feel quite content to criticise the whole thing and not be any part of it.
            I don’t read any of these latter critiques coming from within Extinction Rebellion itself. Maybe it is a conversation that I have not encountered yet. As an member, you could have educated us all in that.
            https://winteroak.org.uk/2019/04/25/so-who-exactly-is-christiana-figueres/

          • Clark

            Mog, declaring an end to the conversation but then continuing, to dismiss me as a ‘liberal’ and my efforts as futile, seems an unfair tactic. Claiming I airbrushed out the involvement of big corporations is untrue:

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/04/extinction-aversion/comment-page-3/#comment-859303

            Our entire disagreement seems to be one of priority, with you insisting that capitalism has to be condemned before any progress to be made. I think that XR’s inclusivity is more powerful; it engages people no matter what political ideology they think might be best, and in this time of corporate propaganda dominance, that is a key asset. It certainly seems to be working, in terms of positive publicity from the usually hostile corporate media, 30,000 new members, and strong public approval.

            XR has gone around political and other divisions by going straight to the core issues – to preserve and respect our shared biosphere, including each other. Its philosophy is to unite people in those common objectives, no matter what methods they think would be most effective. It teaches how to organise, achieve consensus for action within autonomous groups, and how to support each other physically and emotionally.

            XR’s “affinity groups” structure supports diversity: of political ideology, religious faith or lack thereof, lifestyle choice etc. If you can’t abide the presence of well-meaning others with whom you’re not closely aligned, then maybe you’re right to exclude yourself, but I think that’s unfortunate.

  • BrianFujisan

    Extinction Aversion; Part One –

    Sign the Petition..And see the Video – NO OIL DRILLING ON WAORANI LAND –

    TELL THE ECUADORIAN GOVERNMENT THAT THE MOST BIODIVERSE PLACE ON EARTH IS NOT FOR SALE!

    https://waoresist.amazonfrontlines.org/action/#close

    Extinction Aversion: Part Two –

    The fact that these kinds of large outbreaks are more likely in a warming ocean is a chilling revelation at a time when it’s become increasingly obvious that the ocean is dangerously warm. In January, scientists announced that 2018 was the hottest year ever recorded for the global ocean, and the rate at which the ocean is warming is not only unprecedented, it’s accelerating. Climate models indicate that unless humans significantly reduce the sum of greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere, the oceans will continue to warm. If, instead, the world limits the global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius, that same warming could be cut in half.

    Sea stars, explains Harvell, are not singularly affected by the changing ocean. Outbreaks are damaging populations of other aquatic creatures — corals, abalone, and salmon. A healthy ocean is a “lifeline for humanity,” and humans have created the outbreak conditions that threaten to unravel it.

    The Fate of the Pacific Ocean Is Threatened by Rapidly Dying Sea Stars
    Climate change has exacerbated a devastating disease.

    https://www.inverse.com/article/52882-sunflower-sea-star-death-climate-change?link_uid=39&utm_campaign=inverse-daily-2019-04-24&utm_medium=inverse&utm_source=newsletter&

    • Paul Barbara

      @ BrianFujisan April 25, 2019 at 22:13
      That traitorous sell-out Moreno couldn’t give a toss.
      Part of the ‘deal’ to get the multi-billion loan (apart from the Assange handover) was not to chase up Chevron in the courts for vast environmental damage.

    • pretzelattack

      by changing the climate we are the greatest threat to ourselves and the life we share the planet with. nobody said the planet itself was at risk.

  • Bill Boggia

    I have been working in wave and tidal energy pretty much exclusively for the last 10 years or so. Certainly for tidal energy the technology is well advanced as projects like Meygen in the Pentland Firth (seabed mounted turbines) and Scott Renewables (now Orbital Marine) are now at the commercial level – and have been for some time. In my opinion it would help to abolish the Crown Estate in Scotland – which basically takes a slice of the cake for the Royal family – diverting revenue to the already ridiculously wealthy. The slashing of subsidies to this sector by the Tory government has seen a slow down in the progression of the technology.

    I think one of the reasons not to go for a Severn Barrage is the likelihood of silting up after 30 years and becoming defunct – if a barrage is used.

    Wave Energy Scotland is a nationalised industry owned by the people of Scotland that supports the development of wave energy technology and crucially reserves the intellectual property rights from it’s funded research projects for the benefit of the nation.

    Anyways – a long winded way of saying this technology is already here but Tory cuts are holding it back. Probably because – like you say Craig centralised power and weaponry are the preferred choices of the ruling classes.

  • Clark

    Extinction​ Rebellion: International Rebellion:

    France: Paris, H&M store, The Ministry of Agriculture and Ecological Transition at La Defense, Total, EDF, Societe Generale.
    Norway: April 15, Ministry of Finance. April 17, Oslo.
    Canada: Montreal, The Premiers Office.
    Uganda: Kampala.
    Italy: Milan, April 15, 22 and 23, Norwegian Consulate. Turin, April 15 and 20. Rome, April 15 and 18.
    Belgium: Brussels, April 15 and 20, European Headquarters.
    Mexico: April 14, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.
    USA: New York, April 12, Yankee Stadium during Yankees’ game. April 17th, New York City Hall and Brooklyn Bridge. Eugene, April 16th. Washington D.C. April 16th, Republican National Committee headquarters. Los Angeles, April 16, City Hall, also April 15 and 22. Tampa Bay, at the office of Kathy Castor. Austin, April 15th, JP Morgan Chase Bank. San Francisco, April 15. Chicago, April 15, the Thompson Center. April 12, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
    India: April 15, Bhopal and Dhanera, The Ministry of Environment.
    Austria: Vienna town hall.
    Ireland: April 19, Dublin, Belfast and Cork.
    South Africa: Cape Town Western Cape Chamber of Business. Johannesburg, Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
    Ghana: Accra, April 20 to 22.
    Spain: Madrid, Repsol. Barcelona, Main Government Square. Granada, Main Square. Mallor. Puerto Real in Cádizhang.
    Scotland: Edinburgh North Bridge.
    Denmark: Copenhagen, Danish Parliament.
    Switzerland: main bridge in Lausanne. Zurich, Credit Suisse.
    Australia: Melbourne. Adelaide, Parliament House. Sydney. Melbourne again, Parliament House Treasury Gardens. Queensland, occupied coal trains, Brisbane.
    Sweden: Stockholm, Parliament. Gothenburg. Malmö, the national television station SVT. Örebro. Uppsala.
    Poland: Painting the streets.
    Pakistan: the National Press Club.
    Czech Republic: Prague. – highly visible action to be carried out on the 21st in line with Earth Day
    Estonia: Tallinn, April 15 to 21.
    Finland: Helsinki, Lahti and Tampere.
    Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg, April 15 to 22.

        • Sharp Ears

          Good one by Chistopher Silver there Brian and the comments underneath.

          The final paragraph too.

          ‘But within that moment of disruption, we can discern something better than just escaping our current reality: a reality in which expectant parents discuss, with a calm inevitability, the great loss that, on current trends, will be their offspring’s inheritance. A reality that has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970. Taking place outside of the cycle of this despair that now governs out lives, the moment of disruption reminds us that there is a better way to live. As a result, the solution to the great challenge becomes disarmingly simple: a society that cares more, works less, buys less, competes less — and is richer in every meaningful sense.’

    • Loony

      What no dates for confronting the Chinese or the Russians? How shocked I am.

      I note you provide a very vague address for Madrid. Please tell all your friends that Repsol are no longer on the Castellana but have moved to Calle Mendez Alvaro – handily located for Mendez Alvaro Metro station. I would hate it if you missed the chance to opportunity of putting the Guardia Civil to flight – much more timid than the Metropolitan Police so you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

  • Bill Thomson

    Climate Change, welcome to the new sectarianism.
    My tribe is more *insert your own lie here* than your tribe.

    Then again, fighting for territory, resources and procreational rights is the natural order.
    Humans have merely added, fighting to force your neighbour what to believe as a means of controlling territory, resources and procreation.

    • pretzelattack

      what lie? are you another fake skeptic? it’s basic science, and the problem is going to have be faced and dealt with, not dismissed with platitudes.

  • Sharp Ears

    It is good that 348,000 people responded to this petition opposing the netting of trees and hedgerows by developers allowing building works to continue uninterrupted, especially through the breeding season. Sadly there has already been a massive decline in the UK bird population.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/244233

    Will the promised ‘debate’ be shelved off into Westminster Hall so that nothing more is heard? What is needed is legislation from the Tories. Don’t hold your breath though. Many property developers are major donors to the Tory partei.

  • John2o2o

    It is interesting that so many who support the hallowed word of “climate scientists” on this issue will tell those who do not support their word that they are not qualified to be skeptical if they are not “climate scientists”.

    Because by the same token those who take this attitude are themselves not qualified to make any value judgment on the matter unless they are also “climate scientists”.

    It is as though the word of climate scientists – the new Gods – should never be questioned (especially not by their funders) and that “heretics” are to be dismissed as dangerous fools.

    I would say that “climate science” is a bit of a crude term, but it is the one that springs to mind. Certainly when I went to school – admittedly in the 1980s – we had three sciences: chemistry, physics and biology with also perhaps mathematics. We did not have “climatology”.

    Are weathermen not to some extent climate scientists? (I think they are called meteorologists). Are they always right?

    One thing that always surprised me when I went to university was this. I had been taught in school that when it comes to chemistry (putting it crudely) A+B=C+D, ie when two or more compounds or elements react together other compounds are formed.

    There is a tendency to believe that this process is absolute, but this is not the case. In many instances yields are very variable and can be quite low. That is to say, it can be quite hard to get A and B to react together as desired and much research is spent on devising ways
    to improve yield.

    It is very dangerous to treat all scientists as paragons of virtue who never lie or exaggerate (eg, for funding) and who never get things wrong. Because if we start to do that we might as well put scientists in charge of our governments and (in effect) become their
    willing and acquiescent slaves.

    Those who express doubt are likely the most trustworthy. And that is why I sit on the fence on this issue and refuse to bend to the pressure to go along with the dogmatic views of the conformist extinction rebels.

    • Sarge

      That’s you ‘sitting on the fence’? .. Blimey .. I would hate to see what you would consider a meandering, evidence free rant against the established fact of man made climate change.

      • Republicofscotland

        He’ll be the guy sitting on the roof of his house surrounded by a climate change flood waters as far as the eye can see. He’ll lean over to his missus and say don’t worry love its just a burst pipe, it will dry up soon.

  • J

    From a number of the comments and their peculiar foci, it might be assumed that the aversion in the title is not not merely quite reasonable aversion to death and disaster on a scale unprecedented outside the fossil record, or aversion through helplessness in the face of overwhelming odds.

    It’s clear that forty years of well financed propaganda have done their job, and our focus falls anwhere but where it’s needed, so that looking at the problem directly becomes very much like finding a match stick in a forest.

    • Sarge

      I see no evidence they have even bothered to read paid for denialist propaganda. No attempt to prrsent any bogus counter evidence, just knee jerk bar room ranting.

      • J

        “It is certainly true that most Germans ‘did not know’ about National Socialist crimes of violence; nothing precise, that is, because they did not ask any questions.” Lord Dahrendorf.

        But of course this is not entirely true, as we know. Successive waves of propaganda desensitise building a cumulative but diverse consensus through a variety of techniques in different audiences. All the information can be available, but what it means is hidden behind a bewildering array of inculcated attitudes. What could be known precisely is burried beneath justifications and plausible deniability and wave after wave of confusion in myriads of forms. Because that’s what well financed propagaganda has to do. It must look like a reasonable doubt from any angle.

        We don’t know what paid for propaganda looks like usually until after it’s job is done. Whether in the form of a phone call from a knowledgeable insider to another with the right inclinations and platform “have you seen this?” or in the form of misleading arguments, misinformation or outright lies. But like all marketing and public relations it has a variety of approaches for different ‘markets’ or demographics. And as one estimates of last year’s (declared) global spending on Public Relations reveals, $570 billion is enough to buy considerable unreality.

        • Sarge

          I take your well made point. Fortunately, however subtle and insidious their campaign, I think it has gained traction only among the already reactionary, ideologically hostile to any action against big oil and other polluters.

  • N_

    Editors at the Guardian ostensibly believe that the sideways Dagaz rune (dagaz meaning “dayrise”) used by the Extinction Rebellion cult was invented by a pseudonymous guy in the East End of London called “Goldfrog ESP” who uses a US-based advertising company to circulate short messages. I don’t know whether the following quote was made up at the Guardian or came from a person they really did interview, but here it is: “It’s interesting to see all of the various creative ways in which people are using it. I’m just pleased that it can be of help to highlight the severity of the extinction crisis.”

    Observations…
    1) Who other than a middle class tosser says “ways in which” and “highlight”?
    2) “Creative” should mean something different from what he thinks it does.
    3) How does Goldfrog get on with Pepe the frog?

    He also says “No extinction-symbol merchandise exists, and it never will do.”

    That is a LIE.

    But apparently “True to that spirit, this week’s XR protests included ‘art stations’ where people could print the logo on to their own items, rather than buying new ones.”

    That’s very much in the ballpark of when supermarkets used to supply plastic bags with their logos on so that customers could do advertising work for the companies for free. (Few under 40 will understand what I’m talking about. Most will think “But they gave them away for free. And banks give us money too. What is this churlish ungrateful nutter N_ talking about?”)

    In fact let’s go further: it’s like when a company gets thousands of people to take part in a competition by completing the sentence “I love Extinction Rebellion because …”, using less than 10 words.

    This is all in Advertising, Marketing, Branding and Persuasion 101.

    • J

      It’s too early to say. Your increasing certainty, rage and unwillingness to discuss (and not least the use of 4chan memes) is a sure sign that you are at least as confused as the rest of us. Your reactionary impulses, constantly shooting from the hip, almost certainly benefits an enemy who has had several decades to draw aim upon you.

      Discrediting any emergent climate movement is definitely a PR priority. Just as creating a climate movement which could eventually be used to diffuse, discredit and divert growing pressure on the fossil industry would seem a natural pre-emptive strategy. The anti ‘carbon tax’ movement is a good example, part genuine anger at bullshit ‘consumer led’ solutions (where the problem is corporate/industry/government.) But also a limited hangout/loss leader, revealing some truths to hide others and also ‘agent provocateur movement’ to contain, direct and eventually dissipate any possible consensus for action.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      If XR are useful idiots, whose useful idiots are they?
      EDF (or whoever) will build electricity generating capacity reliant on whatever energy source their client (in this case the UK Government acting as a broker for future electricity consuming citizens) specifies. Coal, gas, wind power or nuclear, should (at first glance) not make a jot of difference to EDF.
      In practice, there is a hierarchy of generating cost. Large scale generation, feed-in tariffs are fiendishly difficult to compare. True generation costs once Government imposed Carbon tax is factored in is even more complicated.
      The hierarchy of cost in ascending order appears to be fossil fuel, renewables, nuclear.
      EDF have contracted to generate electricity at Hinckley Point C at £92.50 / mwh. They have contracted to generate electricity from wind turbines covering the same period for £57.50 / mwh.
      If their profit margin per mwh (expressed as a percentage) remains the same they stand to make substantially greater profit. They would presumably make less profit from fossil fuel generation.
      The feed-in rates being demanded for future projects are becoming outrageous (see Hinckley Point C). The Swansea Bay, tidal barrage was rejected on these grounds.
      Generation tariffs being demanded for nuclear and renewables are so out of kilter with what can be achieved with gas fired generation that a Government acting in good faith must be tempted to tell EDF (et al) to shove their nuclear plants and wind farms up their arse and construct gas fired capacity instead.
      Pippi Longstockings and her acolytes threaten moral blackmail against any Government that dares to question the profit margins the utility behemoths screw of out consumers in the decades to come.

      • MJ

        “If XR are useful idiots, whose useful idiots are they?”

        The usual suspects. Those who envisage a neo-feudal world with far fewer of us serfs and useless eaters around, living pointless little lives and using up the world’s resources.

        • Clark

          I found extensive awareness of the science among XR activists. We aren’t anyone’s useful idiots; the proportion of gullible conspiracy theorists is far higher on this site than in the XR camps.

          But if the ‘green capitalists’, ‘Steinerites’, Club of Rome or whoever are prepared to provide publicity, super-glue and the occasional pink boat, I for one won’t be complaining.

  • Tony M

    I’m massively in agreement with all of Craig Murray’s five points. His preamble however I paraphrase as [what is needed then is global government (as if that wouldn’t ever go awry) with the right sorts, himself included at the helm, to tackle the awful weather -if it’s not too cold, it too hot, dammit!]. That leaves something to be desired. Colour me sceptical, a denialist if you will but all the items listed are not just desirable but necessary even if there were no hallucinatory threat. It’s true we live in a closed biosphere, what goes up on the whole comes down and we live like pigs in the muck in the resulting shit. We’re not capable however as a species, of doing otherwise, the mad and the bad, to the bone, ascend in our hierarchies. Changing climate is not even close to an extinction event, it might even be advantageous. Clark and Glenn might, some might think should perish. Some of the ingredients for a more likely extinction, are nuclear weapons, nuclear power, biological and chemical weapons, sundry pollutants and some fun corrective climate change might resolve in the real world these issues by unseating governments or putting existing dangerous installations several tens of miles out to and some distance under the sea.

    • Garth Carthy

      I’m a believer in anthropological climate change but you provide Interesting food for thought, Tony M.

    • pretzelattack

      it’s not going to be advantageous, another major extinction event is quite disadvantageous.

  • Sharp Ears

    An elderly lady I met on a walk recently said to me in conversation ‘We don’t have seasons anymore’. ‘Tis true. This Spring has been more like Summer and when did we last have a real winter? Oh! Of course. That’s just ‘weather’.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears April 26, 2019 at 12:38
      ‘USAF ‘Owning The Weather By 2025′ – How Much Progress?’: https://rense.com/general76/uas.htm
      I believe they have progressed and become very proficient in this endeavour already – a bad drought (coincidental?) assisted local Syrian discontent before the mercenary headchoppers started the West’s proxy Syrian ‘Regime Change’ attempt; weather warfare in Cuba (as well as plant and animal diseases, the US also made it rain in the wrong places, and not rain in the right places), and ‘steering’ tornados in the Caribbean and elsewhere. What they are doing to their own California is criminal – year on year of organised droughts.

  • Jones

    Well there’s certainly some strong opinions in this thread on both sides of the argument.

    I suggest we should always question things even when we believe we are right.

    Remember when William Rogers said Richard Feynman was ”becoming a real pain in the ass” in investigating the Challenger disaster, Feynman discovered the disaster was caused by a flawed rubber O-ring but NASA already knew it was flawed and had potential for catastrophe but kept it quiet, it took a pain in the ass to reveal the truth.

    • Garth Carthy

      “I suggest we should always question things even when we believe we are right.”
      Absolutely. Socrates would have been proud of you.
      It takes a lot of guts to question our own beliefs. Even Einstein admitted he was wrong on at least one occasion.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      And even Feynman didn’t get it all right. The Challenger launch was being rushed so NASa could get a laser satellite in place for a surprise, non-nuclear attack on the USSR to end the Cold War.

  • N_

    Here you go – the “stop climate change” message is developing, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph. And no it’s not towards socialism. Bella Lack writes: “Our fight against climate change will be hopeless unless we choose to have smaller families“.

    Did she say that when she interviewed helped do publicity for Zac Goldsmith? He has already fathered SIX children. His father the far-right wing “eco” billionaire James Goldsmith is known to have fathered at least EIGHT.

    Or when she used the word “we” did she not include the ruling class?

    Did she have some other classes in mind, ones that she thinks are currently too large in number as well as exhibiting poor hygiene?

    If anyone wants help removing the scales from their eyes, consider that “birth control heroine” Marie Stopes, who is still a darling for some members of the privileged classes in Britain, was a eugenicist who was fanatically pro-Nazi and an admirer of Adolf Hitler. (Editors at Wikipedia have tried to tone those facts down.)

    • glenn_nl

      “If anyone wants help removing the scales from their eyes […]”

      Yes, but please remember we’re not as wise and far-seeing as you, your greatness! You visionaries – nay, mighty intellectuals – just expect too much from us little people.

    • N_

      A quote from Bodo Balsys:

      So we have mass extinction events, the changes of the flora, fauna and the course of human civilisations (…) From the Lemurian to the Atlantean epochs we have constantly progressed, and now have evolved to the sixth Root Race. Concomitant with this process is the evolution of the Hierarchy, of those that can progress up the Initiation Tree.” (emphasis added)

      (The Constitution of Shambhala: Vol 7B of A Treatise on Mind.)

      Balsys is the founder of the “School of Esoteric Sciences” and he acknowledges that he takes terminology from Rudolf Steiner. The term “esoteric science” goes back not only to Steiner but also to Helena Blavatsky. (Steiner split from Blavatsky’s organisation.)

      This whole outlook is bullsh*t right from the very beginning. Look at what I have put in bold above. Yes, there have been mass extinction events. The most recent happened about 65 million years ago, wiping out most of the dinosaurs and paving the way for the big rise of the mammals. That was caused by an asteroid or comet or stonking great meteorite hitting the Earth in what is now called Mexico. It was NOT caused by f***ing climate change! (Although obviously the catastrophe did cause climate change). And since it happened long before hominids came onto the scene, it did NOT cause any changes in the course of human civilisation. No hominids were even around at the time, let alone human beings. They didn’t cause it, and they weren’t being “punished” for anything. The extinction event before that happened about 200 million years ago. There’s no particularly strong theory of what caused it. I can tell you it wasn’t caused by any individuals in any living species being punished for anything.

      But many occultists see the world very differently. They mean something else when they talk about “epochs” and “extinctions”. It’s to do with root races and among other fantasies it features Atlantis.

      • giyane

        N_

        With all due respect, any cult whichcreates an artificial superiority of any individual over any other is wrong.
        It isn” t for any of us to judge other people since we can only interpret what we see by what we see in ourselves.

        People defend themselves against valid criticism by aggressive insults. But only because they know full well they are in the wrong.

        I gave up worrying about elitist sects when I encountered Sufis. But Steinerites will be exactly the same viz claiming some higher authority which somehow makes them higher than you.

        Just tell ’em you wondered what the funny stink was. High = ripe. Spiritual bullying is a crime in this country.

      • MJ

        “The most recent happened about 65 million years ago”

        More recently and more regularly than that.

        There’s nothing quite like a few sober words about ice ages to elicit a satisfyingly furious and incoherent response from those deniers who would convince you that warmth poses a greater threat to all flora and fauna than cold.

        • Clark

          All the ice ages occurred in the last 800,000 years. None was associated with any of the five major extinctions.

    • Clark

      Fossil record supports evidence of impending mass extinction:

      – Date: October 24, 2007
      – Source: University of York
      – Summary:

      – Global temperatures predicted for the coming centuries may trigger a new ‘mass extinction event’ where over 50 percent of animal and plant species would be wiped out, warn scientists. Scientists have discovered a close association between Earth climate and extinctions in a study that has examined the relationship over the past 520 million years — almost the entire fossil record available.

      Published in that well known occult journal Proceedings of the Royal Society.

      N_, maybe you should be less obsessed with what ‘occultists’ and ‘Steinerites’ get up to; maybe they aren’t as significant as you think. And your obsession with others’ breeding patterns is disquieting.

        • HoBoJo

          I’m tempted not to do this, but I keep thinking you are cherry picking to support a viewpoint. Later research from the same authors/group reverses the findings:

          “The geographic distribution of life on Earth supports a general pattern of increase in biodiversity with increasing temperature. However, some previous analyses of the 540-million-year Phanerozoic fossil record found a contrary relationship, with paleodiversity declining when the planet warms. These contradictory findings are hard to reconcile theoretically. We analyze marine invertebrate biodiversity patterns for the Phanerozoic Eon while controlling for sampling effort. This control appears to reverse the temporal association between temperature and biodiversity, such that taxonomic richness increases, not decreases, with temperature. Increasing temperatures also predict extinction and origination rates, alongside other abiotic and biotic predictor variables. These results undermine previous reports of a negative biodiversity-temperature relationship through time, which we attribute to paleontological sampling biases. Our findings suggest a convergence of global scale macroevolutionary and macroecological patterns for the biodiversity-temperature relationship.”

          https://www.pnas.org/content/109/38/15141.short

          • Clark

            You’re right, I am cherry-picking to an extent. My point is that there is considerable scientific support for the possibility that current human activity will precipitate complete environmental collapse; this is science, not propaganda from green capitalists or ‘Steinerites’ as some on this thread would have readers believe.

            The precautionary principle must be applied. It was neglected from Hansen’s testimony to Congress in 1988 until the melting of the icecaps became impossible to deny, turning global warming from a problem into a crisis. Now we have strong evidence of mass extinction in progress; we can’t know in advance if it will become catastrophic, but we can’t know that it won’t either. To ensure enough study time to be sure, we first need to protect that which exists.

  • Sharp Ears

    This came in from the Conflict and Environment Observatory based in Manchester with two links.
    ‘Working to reduce the harm to people and ecosystems from armed conflicts and military activities.
    New beginnings
    This month has all been about new beginnings. At the start of the month we were joined by our new researcher Dr Eoghan Darbyshire. Eoghan will be working on remote conflict monitoring and joins us from a postdoc position at Manchester University. His background is in air pollution research in rapidly changing environments, using both in situ and remote sensing measurements.

    Also this month, we co-organised a meeting with civil society colleagues to discuss the potential for greater civil society coordination on advocacy on conflict and the environment. In preparation for the meeting, we all contributed to a spreadsheet mapping all the ongoing processes on the topic. Even we were surprised by just how much is going on, and the number of possible entry points, and will be following up with further meetings to identify those that offer the most potential.

    We have two blogs for you below. Ours takes a look at what UN Environment’s 6th Global Environment Outlook has to say about environmental security and the environmental dimensions of conflicts. While our guest blog is an introduction to using remote sensing to study land use changes in conflict areas; a big thank you to Dr Lina Eklund for putting it together for us.’

    Global assessment highlights growing environmental risks to human security
    April 25, 2019
    Environmental change is making us less secure.
    https://ceobs.org/global-assessment-highlights-growing-environmental-risks-to-human-security/

    and
    April 26, 2019
    Remote sensing can provide valuable insights into the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts.
    What can we learn about the environment in conflict areas, without going there physically?
    https://ceobs.org/what-can-we-learn-about-the-environment-in-conflict-areas-without-going-there-physically/

    • michael norton

      Sharp Ears if I had just cut and pasted all that twaddle, it would get modded straight away.

      • giyane

        Michael norton

        My twaddle is always my own original work and it sometimes gets modded.

        SE is merely illustrating the kind of twaddle being oroduced by Green Capital. Civil society is altright speak for
        Ultra liberalism. This is self- manifest Capitalist Tory tripe that WE has picked up with rubber gloves and tongs and pasted into the discussion.
        Nothing wrong with paste..

  • remember kronstadt

    I believe it was a Roman who observed that we see the better path but choose worse, and he should know. It’s rather obvious, under capitalism, that unless a thing is owned it is not valued which looks rather bad for the air, seas and rivers which is observable by their deterioration. The fashionable green fad of the day(Extinction) will be as quickly commodified as ‘health food’.

    “Dodo” is also a slang term for a stupid, dull-witted person, as it was supposedly stupid and easily caught.

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