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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  • Clark

    What Does 400 ppm Look Like?

    – The Pliocene is the geologic era between five million and three million years ago. Scientists have come to regard it as the most recent period in history when the atmosphere’s heat-trapping ability was as it is now and thus as our guide for things to come.

    – Recent estimates suggest CO2 levels reached as much as 415 parts per million (ppm) during the Pliocene. With that came global average temperatures that eventually reached 3 or 4 degrees C (5.4-7.2 degrees F) higher than today’s and as much as 10 degrees C (18 degrees F) warmer at the poles. Sea level ranged between five and 40 meters (16 to 131 feet) higher than today.

    415 ppm is just about the current CO2 concentration. 5 to 40 metre of sea level rise would displace hundreds of millions of people, drown the most productive agricultural land leading to mass famine, and submerge around 400 nuclear power reactors. What’s not to like, eh? It gets even better:

    Both observations and models of the Pliocene Pacific Ocean show the existence of frequent, intense El Niño cycles—a climatic oscillation that today delivers heavy rainfall to the western U.S. causing […] intense flooding. Reef corals suffered a major extinction during the peak of Pliocene warmth but reefs themselves did not disappear.

    – The extreme speed at which carbon dioxide concentrations are increasing is unprecedented. An increase of 10 parts per million might have needed 1,000 years or more to come to pass during ancient climate change events. Now the planet is poised to reach the 1,000 ppm level in only 100 years if emissions trajectories remain at their present level.

    – “Our grandchildren will inhabit a radically altered planet, as the ocean gradually warms up in response to the buildup of heat-trapping gases,” said Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego geoscientist Jeff Severinghaus.


    • remember kronstadt

      What Does 400 ppm Look Like?

      It doesn’t look like a dying empire increasing its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems so we can all go to heaven on the same bus. They have history.

      • pretzelattack

        yeah nuclear war and extreme human caused climate change are both bad. what’s the point of saying that, though?

  • Clark

    Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

    https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253 – Abstract:

    The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions. […] We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction.

    – Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate. Under the 2 E/MSY background rate, the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear.

    – These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

  • Clark

    Mass extinctions past and present: a unifying hypothesis:


    Here, it is proposed that the pH-dependent inactivation of a single enzyme, urease, provides a unifying kill-mechanism for at least four of the “big five” mass extinctions of the past 560 million years. The triggering of this kill-mechanism is suggested to [… coincide] with an atmospheric CO2 partial pressure of ∼560 ppmv – a level that at current CO2 emission trajectories may be exceeded as early as 2050. The urease hypothesis thus predicts an impending Anthropocene extinction event of equivalence to the “big five” unless future atmospheric CO2 levels can be stabilised well below 560 ppmv.

  • Twostime

    @John2o2o https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/04/extinction-aversion/comment-page-5/#comment-860407 is sitting on the fence. I think that is reasonable.

    It is clear humanity is despoiling the planet – rain forests for palm oil, over fishing, polluting extraction via fracking etc. We are also poisoning the planet with insecticides, herbicides etc. all chemicals not needed if you look at organic methods of farming. We lived without them for millennia, I believe we can live without them now.

    I’m dispirited by the polarization of commentators here, there is a lot of ad hominem going on. Could this indicate that divide and conquer is working just fine?

    On the subject of science and scientists I’d recommend a search for “science” at Mr Corbett’s site, he’s done a bit just recently on the subject. In particular I’d recommend his conversation with Professor Andrea Saltelli on the philosophy of science. https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-1424-andrea-saltelli-on-the-crisis-of-science/

    Science must always be grey – check out Karl Popper (In our time did a fairly good job back in the day).


    • pretzelattack

      scientists aren’t divided on it, i would take the dispute as evidence that propaganda campaigns work depressingly well.

        • J

          Divided in the sense that Trump speaks for America. Divided in the sense that Theresa May speaks for the united Kingdom. Both benefit from largely aberrant systems, both are objectionable liars like almost all of their predecessors. And yet, there they are. As are these relatively unrepresentative outlier views you point toward.

          • Jasper

            500 years ago there was an outlier view that the earth orbited the sun. Twostime is correct: activism and science should never mix.

            We burn our heretics here.

          • Twostime

            J – sorry – didn’t quite get what you said there: Trump blah, May blah, aberrant blah. Think I posted a conversation between intelligent and thoughtful people? Please explain how scientists are NOT divided. Thanks.

          • J

            “Please explain how scientists are NOT divided.”

            I haven’t argued that. It’s certainly not what I believe to be the case.

            I enjoyed the article and since you’re a thoughtful person I just assumed. I’ve been around scientists much of my life, they aren’t exempt from politics or narrative and are as opinionated as anyone else (if not more so.) the difference being that those opinions are succeptible to logic, reason and a good argument bolstered by evidence. I haven’t actually encountered a single one who thinks that the rate of warming isn’t alarming or a serious problem. Anyone who does is outside the general view. There’s disgreement on causes, absolutely, but again, none that I know of refer to carbon levels as incidental or irrelevant, so there seems to be some level of concurrence there despite different emphasis. The disagreements I have encountered have been largely political or semantic.

            By contrast I’ve seen radically divergent views in media and online but in terms of numbers, if anything, those arguing for business as usual are a vanishingly small tribe. The main point I intended to make was that the substantial rifts appear to be less about science and more about who one is working for and where one’s research is funded. Politics.

            Woud love to hear why you think otherwise.

          • pretzelattack

            uh, that outlier view could be supported by evidence, and the people suppressing it were representing the institutional interests of the catholic church, not science, just as the propagandists today represent the institutional interests of the fossil fuel companies.

        • pretzelattack

          then why hasn’t anybody published a paper that refutes the science? why did oil company scientists warn the companies back in the 70’s and 80’s that fossil fuel emissions cause global warming? why did the only study that the fossil fuel companies financed, employing “skeptic” scientists, wind up agreeing with the consensus? and why can’t you cite a scientific source for your opinion. I believe the royal society over you on matters of basic science.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            How do you know that nobody published a paper that refutes the science?

          • pretzelattack

            lol it would be worldwide news, followed by the rich rewards bestowed on the scientists by the fossil fuel industry. you didn’t address the other questions.

        • pretzelattack

          the fossil fuel company propaganda is working well; for example, you seem to think that the causes of global warming are a controversial issue in science. the fossil fuel companies based their propaganda campaign on that of the tobacco companies, to create “fear, uncertainty and doubt” about the science. if you want to know more, read merchants of doubt. if you don’t, just don’t hinder other people who actually want to address the problem.

      • giyane


        Human knowledge is limited. For thousands of years people thought the world was flat and the sun went round the earth. Just because we don’t know when the earth’s poles are going to reverse, or how, doesn’t mean they won’t reverse and haven’t reversed in the past. So far as I understand nobody knows what cause gravity for certain. So even on the fundamentals of our planet we are pretty much in the dark.

        All of that is a completely separate issue to pollution, how diesel affects us, how nuclear radiation affects us, how microwave energy affects us, how sedentary lives affects us, how processed food affects us. When we found out that air con chemicals were eating the ozone layer action was taken in the Western countries but in Asian countries and in this country engineers from Asian countries are carrying on releasing the old gases into the atmosphere. People don’t care. All they want to do is earn a living.

        • pretzelattack

          no people didn’t think the world was flat for thousands of years. the greeks for example. the people that demonstrated it wasn’t were early scientists, forerunners of the scientists you refuse to listen to today. the earth poles reversing have nothing to do with what is causing global warming. we don’t don’t everything; we’ve known about the greenhouse effect since the 1800’s. people do care, especially the people currently being most effected by the results of global warming, whether islands being flooded or people that aren’t getting enough water because the rivers are drying up.

          • giyane

            Exactly how do you know that the insides of the earth don’t change the weather?

            I’m asking questions which is a must in science. Why do you object to that?
            More to the point why do you assume from the fact that I do ask questions that I don’t listen to what science has told us before?

            I just think we need to know more and not get human activity confused with natural activity.

            On an illegal freezer imported from Poland I saw the engineers removing the label of the gas contained.
            Nobody cares.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            There is nothing stop natural and man made climate change from happening at the same time so proof of one isn’t disproof of the other.

          • pretzelattack

            giyane, cite the study that shows magma is changing the weather. you’re just making stuff up.

          • flatulence

            Try googling “magnetic field effects on weather”. Are you disputing that our atmosphere contains ions? Or that these ions would be affected by the Earth’s magnetic field? Or maybe that the Earth’s core has nothing to do with the Earth’s magnetic field?

          • glenn_nl

            A lot of whataboutery from you there, flatulence. I think you just want to bombard pretzelattack with silly questions so that – when he doesn’t answer them all to your complete satisfaction (something that would never happen), you can crow that you’ve proved it’s all bollocks, and nobody knows nuthin’.

          • flatulence

            Well Glenn, seems I need to be more polite since my first answer was deleted! My questions were rhetorical, but can easily be answered satisfactorily! Yes the atmosphere contains ions, yes ions are affected when moving through a magnetic field, and yes the Earth’s core produces a magnetic field.

            Not sure what you ‘think’ I’m trying to prove!? That climate changes doesn’t exist? That man made climate change doesn’t exist? I believe both exist. If I was trying to prove anything, it was about people like you. Thanks for your help!

    • Clark

      “Science must always be grey”

      The forefront of science is inevitably, by definition grey, but who would argue against F=ma being a damn good approximation, or claim that the periodic table isn’t ‘settled science’? Really, now that the effects of global warming are visible before our very eyes, it’s time to stop deferring to the fossil fuel industry’s billion dollar propaganda campaign.

      • Twostime

        Clark, don’t think you got my post. Thank you for standing up this week, I’m still working with kids so could not attend – (Shock horror denialists) – yes I’d have stood up for “environment change” with you in London as I was briefly able to do for a different cause 2 weeks ago – that is free press / free speech at Belmarsh Prison for Wikileaks & Julian Assange https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAkUmuLJNqk.

  • Clark

    Contrarianism has its value but can be taken too far. Or should we teach our kids that cars are really holograms, road safety campaigns are just government propaganda, and they can prove it by running out in front of speeding traffic?

    • flatulence

      Please forgive my ignorance for not looking at the youtube clip, but “Orbits and ice ages” reminded me of reading about a cosmonaut I think it was who theorised some convincing correlation between the Earth’s orbit, the Moon’s,and wobble, and all sorts like that, which mathematically matched beautifully with the historical record and time frames involved. Not that I’m saying this is all completely ‘natural’, for want of a better word, as if mankind is not natural!

  • Greta Thunberg

    [ MOD: Note – this is not actually Greta Thunberg posting, but does reproduce her speech, which is here: http://would-that-it-were.com/2019/04/23/a-must-read-for-all-with-thanks-to-greta-thunberg/ ]

    “My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 16 years old. I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations.

    I know many of you don’t want to listen to us – you say we are just children. But we’re only repeating the message of the united climate science.

    Many of you appear concerned that we are wasting valuable lesson time, but I assure you we will go back to school the moment you start listening to science and give us a future. Is that really too much to ask?

    In the year 2030 I will be 26 years old. My little sister Beata will be 23. Just like many of your own children or grandchildren. That is a great age, we have been told. When you have all of your life ahead of you. But I am not so sure it will be that great for us.

    I was fortunate to be born in a time and place where everyone told us to dream big; I could become whatever I wanted to. I could live wherever I wanted to. People like me had everything we needed and more. Things our grandparents could not even dream of. We had everything we could ever wish for and yet now we may have nothing.

    Now we probably don’t even have a future any more.

    Because that future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money. It was stolen from us every time you said that the sky was the limit, and that you only live once.

    You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to. And the saddest thing is that most children are not even aware of the fate that awaits us. We will not understand it until it’s too late. And yet we are the lucky ones. Those who will be affected the hardest are already suffering the consequences. But their voices are not heard.

    Is my microphone on? Can you hear me?

    Around the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away from now, we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilisation as we know it. That is unless in that time, permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 50%.

    And please note that these calculations are depending on inventions that have not yet been invented at scale, inventions that are supposed to clear the atmosphere of astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide.

    Furthermore, these calculations do not include unforeseen tipping points and feedback loops like the extremely powerful methane gas escaping from rapidly thawing arctic permafrost.

    Nor do these scientific calculations include already locked-in warming hidden by toxic air pollution. Nor the aspect of equity – or climate justice – clearly stated throughout the Paris agreement, which is absolutely necessary to make it work on a global scale.

    We must also bear in mind that these are just calculations. Estimations. That means that these “points of no return” may occur a bit sooner or later than 2030. No one can know for sure. We can, however, be certain that they will occur approximately in these timeframes, because these calculations are not opinions or wild guesses.

    These projections are backed up by scientific facts, concluded by all nations through the IPCC. Nearly every single major national scientific body around the world unreservedly supports the work and findings of the IPCC.

    Did you hear what I just said? Is my English OK? Is the microphone on? Because I’m beginning to wonder.

    During the last six months I have travelled around Europe for hundreds of hours in trains, electric cars and buses, repeating these life-changing words over and over again. But no one seems to be talking about it, and nothing has changed. In fact, the emissions are still rising.

    When I have been travelling around to speak in different countries, I am always offered help to write about the specific climate policies in specific countries. But that is not really necessary. Because the basic problem is the same everywhere. And the basic problem is that basically nothing is being done to halt – or even slow – climate and ecological breakdown, despite all the beautiful words and promises.

    The UK is, however, very special. Not only for its mind-blowing historical carbon debt, but also for its current, very creative, carbon accounting.

    Since 1990 the UK has achieved a 37% reduction of its territorial CO2 emissions, according to the Global Carbon Project. And that does sound very impressive. But these numbers do not include emissions from aviation, shipping and those associated with imports and exports. If these numbers are included the reduction is around 10% since 1990 – or an an average of 0.4% a year, according to Tyndall Manchester.

    And the main reason for this reduction is not a consequence of climate policies, but rather a 2001 EU directive on air quality that essentially forced the UK to close down its very old and extremely dirty coal power plants and replace them with less dirty gas power stations. And switching from one disastrous energy source to a slightly less disastrous one will of course result in a lowering of emissions.

    But perhaps the most dangerous misconception about the climate crisis is that we have to “lower” our emissions. Because that is far from enough. Our emissions have to stop if we are to stay below 1.5-2C of warming. The “lowering of emissions” is of course necessary but it is only the beginning of a fast process that must lead to a stop within a couple of decades, or less. And by “stop” I mean net zero – and then quickly on to negative figures. That rules out most of today’s politics.

    The fact that we are speaking of “lowering” instead of “stopping” emissions is perhaps the greatest force behind the continuing business as usual. The UK’s active current support of new exploitation of fossil fuels – for example, the UK shale gas fracking industry, the expansion of its North Sea oil and gas fields, the expansion of airports as well as the planning permission for a brand new coal mine – is beyond absurd.

    This ongoing irresponsible behaviour will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.

    People always tell me and the other millions of school strikers that we should be proud of ourselves for what we have accomplished. But the only thing that we need to look at is the emission curve. And I’m sorry, but it’s still rising. That curve is the only thing we should look at.

    Every time we make a decision we should ask ourselves; how will this decision affect that curve? We should no longer measure our wealth and success in the graph that shows economic growth, but in the curve that shows the emissions of greenhouse gases. We should no longer only ask: “Have we got enough money to go through with this?” but also: “Have we got enough of the carbon budget to spare to go through with this?” That should and must become the centre of our new currency.

    Many people say that we don’t have any solutions to the climate crisis. And they are right. Because how could we? How do you “solve” the greatest crisis that humanity has ever faced? How do you “solve” a war? How do you “solve” going to the moon for the first time? How do you “solve” inventing new inventions?

    The climate crisis is both the easiest and the hardest issue we have ever faced. The easiest because we know what we must do. We must stop the emissions of greenhouse gases. The hardest because our current economics are still totally dependent on burning fossil fuels, and thereby destroying ecosystems in order to create everlasting economic growth.

    “So, exactly how do we solve that?” you ask us – the schoolchildren striking for the climate.

    And we say: “No one knows for sure. But we have to stop burning fossil fuels and restore nature and many other things that we may not have quite figured out yet.”

    Then you say: “That’s not an answer!”

    So we say: “We have to start treating the crisis like a crisis – and act even if we don’t have all the solutions.”

    “That’s still not an answer,” you say.

    Then we start talking about circular economy and rewilding nature and the need for a just transition. Then you don’t understand what we are talking about.

    We say that all those solutions needed are not known to anyone and therefore we must unite behind the science and find them together along the way. But you do not listen to that. Because those answers are for solving a crisis that most of you don’t even fully understand. Or don’t want to understand.

    You don’t listen to the science because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before. Like now. And those answers don’t exist any more. Because you did not act in time.

    Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking. We must lay the foundation while we may not know exactly how to build the ceiling.

    Sometimes we just simply have to find a way. The moment we decide to fulfil something, we can do anything. And I’m sure that the moment we start behaving as if we were in an emergency, we can avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. Humans are very adaptable: we can still fix this. But the opportunity to do so will not last for long. We must start today. We have no more excuses.

    We children are not sacrificing our education and our childhood for you to tell us what you consider is politically possible in the society that you have created. We have not taken to the streets for you to take selfies with us, and tell us that you really admire what we do.

    We children are doing this to wake the adults up. We children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis. We children are doing this because we want our hopes and dreams back.

    I hope my microphone was on. I hope you could all hear me.”

    • Twostime

      An eloquent 16 year old “child”. Seriously ? My Microphone is my keyboard. Gradually less persuaded by this virginal saint. Sorry catastrophists I’m against obvious eco-threats but not bought by Gove’s next grope.

      • Twostime

        Sorry “catastrophists”, there I was grumbling about divide and conquer and was drawn into that shit myself as a result of that term.
        Anyway have a great weekend – I hope protesting the death of free speech across the planet as a result the potential extradition of Julian Assange. #Unity4J #youshouldbefuckingoutragedthelotofyou etc.

      • pretzelattack

        it’s not surprising a 16 year old can understand basic science. why can’t you?

        • ADKC

          Like most people “Greta Thunberg” does not understand “climate change science”. What “Greta Thunberg” has is a set of beliefs.

          • ADKC

            Clark, you must have misposted because your response has nothing to do with the point I was making.

          • Ian

            She shows every sign of understanding the science. Her beliefs are based on, and supported by, a vast array of data and research, validated by decades of scientific enquiry which has continually refined and adjusted the models as our understanding and knowledge has deepened.
            Do you ‘believe’ in evolution, quantum behaviour and plate tectonics? Do you need to understand every last detail of the science behind them in order to do so?

          • ADKC

            Ian, you are oblivious to the religiousity/ideo-illogicalism that imbues the whole approach of XR and their figurehead, the christchild. I’m afraid that this will be damaging to the issue of tackling man-made climate change. You think you are achieving something but you are just in a closed off echo chamber.

          • Grhm

            I don’t think the people making these negative comments can actually have read the transcript of what she said.

          • Ian

            There is no religiosity, godchild worship or any other of your nonsense claims involved. She has already achieved far more than a bunch of gloating, sneering grumpy old men who cannot stand being upstaged by a clever teenager.

      • Hieroglyph

        Honestly? I simply don’t care what a 16 year old girl thinks. She’s entitled to her opinion, and I wish her a long, happy life. But her opinion is likely naive and dumb, like every other 16 year old. So, whatever.

        More seriously, I wonder why her name keeps popping up. If we assume it’s some sort of PR, or psy-op, how does it work? I don’t really know, but I suspect that girls of a certain age are being rather ruthlessly targeted. These girls, of course, will in a few years go to University, and presumably have a careers, and end up in leadership positions. So, they are being intellectually groomed from a young age. All a bit Mao Red Guard really.

        And it’s PR stunts like this that make me wary of the climate change debate. There’s a lot going on, and I am a mere paeon.

        • Ian

          And I don’t care what you think. She speaks far more sense than your cynical empty rhetoric, which is based on not very much at all. At least her beliefs are based on reality.

    • ADKC

      The key point of the “Greta Thunberg” post is that the only solution is that, by “the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away”, a “permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 50%.”

      This can only be achieved via a Malthusian solution and what the speechwriter, and whoever posted this, are really doing is manipulating public opinion to accept mass genocide. Greta knows, you know. Only a little over 10 years left, tick tock, tick tock!

      • pretzelattack

        no, what the writer is trying to do is get you to focus on the problem instead of off the wall conspiracy theories. the solution is to switch from fossil fuels to replaceable energy, not “mass genocide”. more fear, uncertainty and doubt.

        • ADKC

          It can’t be achieved by 2030. It does spread fear and conflict. The West are capable of mass genocide. The West has committed more genocides then any other culture in history. The west is thoughtless and reactionary. You believe that “Greta Thunberg” speaks the truth but you can’t face up to the only “solution” do the problem she describes.

          As you should know, Malthusian concepts have always been associated with climate change/global warming ideology.

          “Greta Thunberg”, of course, speaks nonsense – but what would you expect from a 16 year old (especially one that doesn’t go to school).

          • Clark

            Malthus said that populations can overshoot their resources and therefore crash – which they can, and do. For speaking this truth, he has been derided as a promoter of genocide by conspiracy theorists.

            Crash is precisely what the human population will do unless Greta’s simple, logical warning is heeded. ADKC, it is you promoting genocidal levels of death and suffering, not Greta.

          • ADKC

            Great is just a parrot. You are regarding her as if she was the christchild.

            You fail to accept the implications of her words while promoting her as possessing some devine, unique prescience.

            You appear to have sympathy for Malthus being misunderstood. But I am talking about Malthusian ideation, something that has been a motivating factor behind the desire for population control and 20th Century genocides. The climate change movement has been concerned about reducing population by extreme amounts since its very inception.

            There is no way that the aim outlined in Greta Thunberg’s speech (50% reduction in CO2 within 10 and a bit years) can possibly be met except by extreme measures involving forcible population reduction. But Greta is talking shite, as far as I am concerned, and the only reason why anyway would champion such gibberish would be for nefarious reasons; in this I am not referring to Greta but idiot adults.

          • nevermind

            ADKC your rbbishing and use of words seem to be getting louder the more you realise that action is required, not philosophistry for the umpties time. You seem angry with your very own incomprehension, rather than the siren actions that are necessary to divert peoples attention away from a wholly bought msm.

            Enough of my CO2 expenditure for the day, do realise and be a little more understanding.

      • Tony

        Correct. This is a primer for putting eugenics into mainstream discussion. That’s why it’s backed by globalists and their gimps, and why the ‘protests’ are being given the kid glove treatment by the authorities.

  • Jones

    Written by a speechwriter using a child for emotional appeal. Manipulating children to further a cause is utterly deplorable and discredits the organisation that does even when the cause is worthy.

      • ADKC

        Oh god! What a pathetic riposte!

        What you are doing is willfully misinterpreting what Jones said.

        Greta is being used, she is just parroting someone-else’s words, for the gratification of some decidedly infantile (and relatively well-heeled) adults.

        • Clark

          “she is just parroting someone-else’s words”

          Ha! Try priming her if you can – she’s an Aspie, you twit!

          • ADKC

            You imagine that because Greta has been diagnosed with Asperger’s that she is some kind of savant? Ha! You’re an idiot.

            Please don’t use insulting terms to refer to those classified with Asperger’s. Also, do not define Greta by her classification at all – you should define and treat to her as a 16 year old person. Greta is not your Joan of Arc, she will not be able to fulfil this role for you and this expectation will, most likeky, not be good for her. Time for you to act your age.

          • pretzelattack

            he said “priming her”, which does not imply she is a savant. and now you’re an expert on a kid you have never met.

          • ADKC

            Prezelattack, Clark is clearly relying on received stereotypes of people classified with Asperger’s. I’m dealing with stereotyping of a 16 year old kid and the unreasonable expectations that some pretty juvenile adults have of her.

            I don’t think you realise how objectionable and self-defeating the glorification of Greta has been. You think you’re achieving something but you’re taking huge backward steps.

      • BrianFujisan

        Seconded J

        Sorry; For some items are only on Fbook – tems like this – ( Copy )

        ” …According to a radiation simulation map by the Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Environnement Atmosphérique (CEREA), along with research by Professor Hiroaki Koide, of Kyoto University, radiation levels in the state of California seem to be higher than those of the city of Hokkaido in Japan. As it is understandable that scientists have not yet calculated the cumulative impact of radiation on the West Coast 40 years from now, we therefore need the International Assessment Team to analyze the current situation and to dedicate the best expertise and resources to plan both short- and long-term strategies. It must also be noted that prevailing winds carrying airborne radiation from Fukushima do not stop at the western U.S. coastline. Indeed, this is both a national and global issue.

        The confounding task of trying to address a life threating situation for which there currently is no recognized solution presents obstacles with multiple levels of denial. The first level of denial is deliberate institutional silence. However, it is specious to argue that because there is no solution, there is little value in talking about it and raising stress and anxiety levels. When examining the eight years of unabated radioactive leakage from Fukushima, institutional silence from governments and academia concerning measured radiation levels and the foreseeable health impacts must be exposed and challenged.
        California currently ranks as the world’s fifth largest economy, with agriculture, science and technology, media and tourism constituting the most dominant sectors. However, California’s continued economic performance can only continue when its land and citizens remain healthy.

        It is past time for Californians to take a hard look at the reality of continued exposure from Fukushima and other radioactive sources, and not push the problem on to future generations. To borrow from an American Indian proverb:

        We do not inherit our land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ BrianFujisan April 27, 2019 at 00:21
          ‘Are the EPA’s Emergency Radiation Limits a Cover for Fukushima Fumbles?’:
          ‘EPA Halted Extra Testing for Radiation From Japan Weeks Ago’:
          What they do is conjure up much higher ‘safety levels’, and cut down on testing.
          ‘…As Truthout reported at the time, the EPA told the public that radiation from the disaster would not reach the US at levels high enough to pose a public health concern, even as the agency’s own data showed concentrations of radionuclides in rain water far exceeding federal drinking water standards. As Japan struggled with a major nuclear crisis and the media debated the relative danger of radioactive plumes blowing about the world’s atmosphere, the EPA quietly stopped running extra tests for radiation less than two months after the disaster began….’
          And of course, the EPA Trademark – they lie.
          Just like they did when they knowingly lied that the ‘air was safe to breathe’, under orders from the White House after the 9/11 attacks, leading to thousands more cancer cases.
          The governments work for the Corporations, and so do government agencies.
          We can not even expect the truth, never mind get it, from the crooks and War Criminals who run ‘our’ governments, nor from the Corporate owned or controlled MSM presstitutes (some of them by the same corporations – GE and Westinghouse who make nuclear power stations, and CBS and NBC have holdings in the nuclear power industry and technology for electric power generation through nuclear plants).
          Expect the truth?

  • Artie Lees

    Whilst you proclaim no specialised knowledge all your suggestions are valid. To your list I would add the electrification of the road transport system and that all new buildings are zero or very low carbon and much of the technology is already in place. However what you don’t mention is the time frame, 2025 is a reasonable and achievable date to demand that all our base load electrical generation is from renewable sources, there may still be a need for some peak lopping from gas. A ban on the sale of new fossil fueled cars or van after 2025 is very easy ask as all the major car manufacturers are developing models now and Tesla shows that there need not be any reduction in performance or what ever the driving public desire. All the government has to do is ensure the charging infrastructure is in place and perhaps offer a few tax incentives. It goes without saying that we could have homes and buildings zero carbon in running, if not their construction today if there was the political will.

    If all this was the norm by 2025 we would be a substantial way to the zero carbon goal and over time those legacy vehicles and building will fall away well before 2050. That just leaves the harder nuts of haulage, heavy industry, agriculture, shipping and air travel to crack. We are well behind in the technology to greening these industries and this something the government will have to incentivise in one way or another to meet that goal,

  • Clark

    Extinction Rebellion – Our Principles and Values.
    All are welcome who want to adhere to our principles and values.

    1 We have a shared vision of change:
    Creating a world that is fit for generations to come.

    2 We set our mission on what is necessary:
    Mobilising 3.5% of the population to achieve system change – using ideas such as “Momentum-driven organising” to achieve this.

    3 We need a regenerative culture:
    Creating a culture which is healthy, resilient and adaptable.

    4 We openly challenge ourselves and our toxic system:
    Leaving our comfort zones to take action for change.

    5 We value reflecting and learning:
    Following a cycle of action, reflection, learning, and planning for more action. Learning from other movements and contexts as well as our own experiences.

    6 We welcome everyone and every part of everyone:
    Working actively to create safer and more accessible spaces.

    7 We actively mitigate for power:
    Breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation.

    8 We avoid blaming and shaming:
    We live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame.

    9 We are a non-violent network:
    Using non-violent strategy and tactics as the most effective way to bring about change.

    10 We are based on autonomy and decentralisation:
    We collectively create the structures we need to challenge power.

    Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion. Join the Rebellion!

  • Isa

    The politician , the journalist and the source :

    Whatever one thinks of brexit and Facebook your media and newspapers lying to you is NOT ok:

    How Damian Collins “desinformed” to obtain documents for the DCM Select committee on desinformation according to USA court docs:

    What Damian Collins Said:
    Damian Collins, the chair of the culture, media and sport select committee, invoked a rare parliamentary mechanism to compel the founder of a US software company, Six4Three, to hand over the documents during a business trip to London. In another exceptional move, parliament sent a serjeant at arms to his hotel with a final warning and a two-hour deadline to comply with its order. When the software firm founder failed to do so, it’s understood he was escorted to parliament. He was told he risked fines and even imprisonment if he didn’t hand over the documents.

    “We are in uncharted territory,” said Collins, who also chairs an inquiry into fake news. “This is an unprecedented move but it’s an unprecedented situation.

    What Really Happened: “Prior to travelling to the United Kingdom with documents containing facebook confidential information, Mr Kramer communicated with Mr Collins on finding an “appropriate mechanism” to disclose to DCMS (…) On November 13 2018, Mr Collins emailed Mr Kramer, “would we be clear to publish what you already have sent us as written evidence whithout there being any repercussions for you? (whilst we have immunity, you still need to consider your own position)” On November 19, 2018, Mr Kramer arrived in London.”

    Upon reading the court doc the whole episode is highly likely to have been rehearsed between Mr Collins, ( if Theresa May gets away with it so can I )!Mr Kramer and the Guardian/Observer. There was never any heroic act from Damian Collins , it was all agreed between the 3. If these are the politicians the UK has, then God help UK citizens.

  • Artie Lees

    Just seen some of the climate deniers making their arguments. To them I say show us your models.

    Science rather than cataloging random event is about making models that can predict those future events. While there is always the caveat that no individual event can be directly be attributed to climate change, are current weather events are in line with the models predictions.of increasing volatility.

    If climate change was a fraud I’m sure the oil companies and President Trump would have by now produced their own models that have mechanisms that both predict current and future climate events and show that there is nothing to worry about. They have the money and the resources to do so but the fact that they haven’t speaks volumes.

    • pretzelattack

      they tried actually funding science, by self proclaimed (but honest and qualified) scientific skeptics. the results supported the consensus science, and you don’t hear anything from the companies about the B.E.S.T. study. they’ve known the science since the early 80’s, maybe earlier, but the real ad campaign, iirc from merchants of doubt, started in the late 80’s/early 90’s.

  • Hatuey

    I’ll be voting Green for political reasons, not environmental reasons. I hope others in Scotland will do so too and punish the SNP leadership for their ineptitude.
    Around 2 years ago on this website I suggested that Nicola Sturgeon should resign. I predicted that her stance on Brexit was fundamentally flawed — why wait to see what form Brexit takes when we don’t want to Brexit? I pointed out that Brexit might never happen and that we could end up waiting forever. I was basically called a crackpot for all that.
    After being slapped in the face by May with her “now is not the time” line, Sturgeon is now using that slap in the face as an argument for waiting (because the Tories won’t grant a section 30).
    As far as leadership goes, this is about as unashamedly weak and cowardly as I can imagine.
    Green Party it is.

    • ADKC

      I was very surprised that Sturgeon didn’t offer to support May’s deal in return for Scotland having a ballot on independence for Scotland and remaining in EU. It struck me as a missed opportunity and a hugely favourable question ( “Do you wish Sictland to e independent of the UK and remain part of the EU?” ) for an independence outcome; not something that a politician who really wanted independence would have ‘missed’.

      • Hatuey

        I’ve been praying for a deal like that for about 3 years. I think May and Sturgeon both lack the imagination required… of course, both would take a lot of flak from their own ranks and others if they made such a deal.
        Interesting that May finds it politically acceptable to negotiate with the “terrorist loving Stalinist”, Corbyn, but not the SNP. So it seems.
        Sturgeon should have been out agitating for Scottish independence and democracy over the last 3 years, instead of trying to thwart Brexit and smother English democracy.
        Most politicians are lazy and cowardly and I suspect the best explanation for a deal not happening between the Tories and the SNP is that May and Sturgeon like their jobs too much.

      • Republicofscotland

        “I was very surprised that Sturgeon didn’t offer to support May’s deal in return for Scotland having a ballot on independence for Scotland ”

        Of course we all know that the Tories can be trusted to keep their end of the bargain. Lets not forget also that supporting May/Tories in any shape or form is toxic.

        Just ask the London Labour branch office in Scotland who as part of Better Together stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories, now they are insignificant at best in Scotland.

        • Hatuey

          It would only be toxic if we/they lost the referendum afterwards. If we won, nobody would look back.

    • ADKC

      I really wish this blog would have more on Scottish independence – this downplaying is a big mistake.

      • BrianFujisan


        Craig’s Blog is Crammed with Indy posts..BY CRAIG.. I have seen Craig Speak dozens of times at Indy Meets..Rally’s

        Craig put’s serious effort into oor cause.. And then there’s the Music – that Craig manages – ‘ Doune The Rabbit Hole ‘ .Music, Peace Fest ..A Joy to behold .

        • ADKC

          You’re such a lapdog that Craig can do no wrong. In the context of this blog being regarded as somewhat progressive on the cause of Scottish Indendence there is far less on this blog (about Scottish Indeoendence) than you would expect and that suits Sturgeon and May down to the ground.

          This is of particular importance at present because it is clear to all but those who will not see, that the cause of Scottish Independence has lost it’s way.

          • Republicofscotland

            “clear to all but those who will not see, that the cause of Scottish Independence has lost it’s way.”

            Its clear that what you say is unclear.

          • nevermind

            Angry wrong man calls Brian a lapdog?
            Get a life ADKC and read some of this blaogs pazt inddependence post from Craig, stop acting lazy.

    • Republicofscotland

      I take it you only pretend to want independence when you’ve decided to vote Green?

      • ADKC

        I don’t always agree with Hatuey but he has always been strong on Scottish Independence.

        I don’t discern any credible plan for progressing Scottish independence. You appear to be operating on trust/belief then any actual evidence that there is a plan for Scottish Independence. In fact, the indications are that Scottish independence is being hobbled by the leadership of the movement that should be at the vanguard.

      • Hatuey

        Republic, the last time I was on here — about 4 weeks ago — you were arguing that the SNP needs to be pragmatic, not principled, and essentially win independence by any means necessary. This was in regards to Alistair Campbell’s selfie and apparently support.
        I didn’t disagree with you when you argued that point.
        But now you seem to be suggesting that a deal with the Tories to secure a section 30 would be unthinkable.

  • Stonky

    I think John2o2o is right to be sceptical. The more “the science is settled” the less I am inclined to trust it. The reason is that if I look slightly further than the end of my nose, I can see that science is just as much influenced by fads and social memes as any other form of human endeavour.

    The best proof of this is the Tim Hunt case. On the say-so of someone who subsequently turned out to be a congenital, pathological liar, a man was accused, tried and convicted of misogyny in the Court of Twittospherics in a matter of days, or even hours. Before his plane had even landed, UCL had sacked him, and the European Research Council forced his resignation days later. Did all the noble, august, disinterested, dispassionate scientists who run these bodies and who hounded him out of these posts – these guys and gals whose every word I am supposed to take as an article of faith – care one fig about what had actually happened? Like hell they did. All they wanted to do was parade their Right-on-Johnny credentials to the rest of the planet as loudly and publicly as possible: “Look everybody – we hate misogynists! No. Really! WE REALLY HATE MISOGYNISTS”.

    If I was a mainstream scientist I would never again dare to make a joke involving women, however mild, however self-deprecating, however much targeted at myself. And if I peer into my toolbox of must-haves for Right-on-Johnny scientists, what else is in there alongside hating misogymists? Hating denialists.

    If I was a mainstream scientist who was sceptical about global warming the last thing I would do is make public my views. I’m not taking on the Right-on-Johhny brigade and their army of Twitterati. I don’t want to be the next Tim Hunt.

    • pretzelattack

      uh know science isn’t as influenced by fads as any other endeavor. are you skeptical of gravity? there is a consensus that if you step off a tall building without being tied to a rope you will fall a long way. does this consensus elicit your suspicion, too? why or why not?

      • Stonky

        1. I could invite you to deal with the example I gave rather than an example I didn’t give.
        2. I could point out to you that I never claimed that every single piece of science is a fad, so proving it’s not isn’t actually dealing with my point.

        Instead I’ll do you a favour. This gravity argument, so dearly beloved by global warming believers, is really, really rubbish and you should stop using it because:
        a) I didn’t actually need scientists to tell me I would fall a long way if I stepped off a building not tied to a rope. I worked it out for myself,
        b) scientists actually have no more idea what gravity is and how it works than I do.

        • pretzelattack

          i could invite you to back up your assertions, oh wait i did and you didn’t. you claimed implicitly that climatologists were following a fad instead of doing basic science. what is your basis for saying that? i’m inviting you to provide evidence, again. and btw, i suspect scientists in the relevant fields know a great deal more about gravity than you do. just as scientists in the field of climatology know a great deal more about climate than you do. do you find this surprising?

          • Stonky

            pretzelattack I gave you a clear example of a whole group of very senior and influential scientists acting in accordance with faddist groupthink – in defiance of every scientific sound principle – in a way that cost a good man his reputation and ruined his retirement. So far you haven’t been able to put together a word in response.

            So I’ll give you another chance, with a different and more specific example.

            Last October a scientific paper was published in PNAS concerning the decline in insect populations in the Puerto Rican rainforest – Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web.

            The paper received widespread cover throughout the western MSM. I’m sure you read about it. The authors have been toasted and feted for the excellence of their science, providing yet more scientific evidence – as if any were needed – that global warming is killing the planet.

            I’d bet the skin of my backside you didn’t actually read it. I did. It’s the only scientific paper on climate change I’ve ever read.

            The paper claimed to show a 2 degree rise in temperature in the Puerto Rican rainforest over the last 40 years. The stats looked a bit ropey to me, but I’m not a statistician or a scientist, so I’ll take them at face value.

            The paper showed a catastrophic decline in insect populations. I accept that without reservation. It is clear that there is an ongoing catastrophic decline in insect populations across the whole world. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Like falling off a building, I don’t actually need scientist to prove it to me.

            Now go back and look at the title of the paper again: Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web

            That’s the title of the paper. It’s not some passing remark buried away in some footnote. The title of the paper claims that the decline in insect populations is ‘climate-driven’.

            Which is interesting. Because the authors of the paper, Lister and Garcia, did not provide one shred of scientific evidence – not one tiny shred – to demonstrate that the decline in insects is climate-driven. They provided zero evidence of a causal link between the two.

            Even I, as a stupid non-scientist denialist (which I’m actually not) could have done better than that. For example, if a gradual, sporadic rise in temperature of 2 degrees over 40 years is enough to kill off 60-90% of insects, then let’s see if an immediate, constant, sustained increase of 2 degrees is enough to kill them off altogether. Let’s create a control group of insects at today’s average temperature, and an experimental group in a temperature 2 degrees hotter. And let’s watch the ones in the hot-house die like flies, so to speak. In a matter of months or even weeks…

            If the insects didn’t die off, or even if they flourished, it wouldn’t actually prove anything. But if large numbers of them did die off, you would actually have collected some substantial evidence to back up your claim that a very small increase in temperature can cause a very large insect die-off.

            So why didn’t the authors do that?

            Because there was absolutely no need for them to do that. They were going with the flow. They were following the fad.

            In the current scientific climate (if you’ll pardon the pun), as long as you are claiming that “global warming is killing the planet”, there is absolutely no need to provide any scientific evidence at all to substantiate your claim. No scientist will question your claim; no scientist will challenge your claim.

            Why? Because everybody knows that global warming is killing the planet! Chicken Licken knows it! 99.999% of all known scientists know it! Pretzelattack and all his pals know it! You mad fool, a photogenic Swedish teenager has told you that global warming is killing the planet! What more evidence do you need!

            If that’s science I’m a codfish.

          • Dr Edd

            Thanks for providing the link, Stonky. It allows other people to consult the paper and spot immediately that your rant is entirely specious. You clearly fail to understand either the method of the study or how science works in general. The Methods section shows that authors indeed examined the effect of temperature on tropical ectothermic arthropods in great detail, using advanced statistical techniques such as Hierarchical Partitioning, Multiple Regression, and Cross-Correlation Analyses. They also cite dozens of other empirical studies into climate-driven population changes, in the same habitat and elsewhere. (They even refer to studies of the temperature sensitivity of fish, birds, frogs and bumblebees, for anyone who’s interested.)

            Empirical studies stand on a body of knowledge known as a scientific paradigm which is constructed over generations. In principle the paradigm can be invalidated by empirical falsification but in practice it shapes the kinds of questions that are asked, and the interpretation of the results usually involves a bit of tweaking. Occasionally so many empirical contradictions accrue that the paradigm is invalidated and scientists realise they have to revise their concepts and methods. But that doesn’t happen often, and it certainly isn’t happening in this case. The results are entirely consistent with the underlying theory that climate warming has been a major factor driving reductions in arthropod abundance – though it could have been otherwise. If you want to trumpet about flaws in the method, I suggest you read some of the 151 papers cited in the References section to understand how the hypotheses were developed to begin with. But first it’s important to understand how science actually works, so an introduction to philosophy of science would be useful preparation.

          • Stonky

            Hi “Dr” Edd. I notice you didn’t comment on the Tim Hunt case.

            I presume that’s because you could spend your whole life with your head up your bum doing Hierarchical Partitioning, Multiple Regression, Cross-Correlation Analyses, and all your other wonderful scientific stuff, and you would still be left facing the incontrovertible fact that a whole cohort of the most senior scientists in the west responded in the shallowest way possible to a non-problem, wrecking the reputation of one of the UK’s best scientists in the process, while demonstrating that “science” is every bit as susceptible to groupthink and faddism as the rest of society.

            Oh and by the way, as far as the Lister Garcia paper is concerned your “multiple regression” claim is bollox. Their temperature analysis is one straight-line regression (and I assume they chose the least-square regression as it was the best method they could find of concealing the fact that in the El Verde data, while average temperatures rose significantly between 1980 and 2000, they have been falling significantly ever since. 8 of the 10 highest temperatures in their data were recorded prior to 2001).

          • Dr Edd

            Hi Stonky

            I wasn’t aware that Tim Hunt had been mentioned.

            > “Oh and by the way, as far as the Lister Garcia paper is concerned your “multiple regression” claim is bollox.”

            The authors state that they used Multiple Regression (see the section “Hierarchical Partitioning, Multiple Regression, and Cross-Correlation Analyses”: ” … revealing potential explanatory/causal relationships between a dependent variable and a set of predictors), explain the exact statistical methods (“multiple quasi-Poisson regressions”) and software they used (R), and present the results as a series of tables and graphs (“The final multiple quasi-Poisson regressions, with supporting statistics, are given in SI Appendix, Table S5”). And that’s just “bollox”, is it? Right, I see …

            There is a reasonable discussion to be had about groupthink in science, but this paper isn’t a good example of it.
            There certainly are malpractices and systematic errors in science, but they’re a lot more subtle and less common than you’re insinuating here, and they tend to get rooted out and exposed. Have you read Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science? I think that would be a good starting point for an intelligent critique.

          • Stonky

            Another simple question for you “Dr” Edd:

            Among all these hundreds or thousands of papers on global warming and insect die-off, is there a single scientist who has ever conducted a single scientific experiment in which actual insects were exposed to an actual environmental temperature increase of 2 degrees, and actually died? I’m certainly not going to plough through thousands of pages of rubbish to confirm it, but I am willing to bet you one hundred pounds, for the charity of your choice against one hundred pounds for the charity of mine that the answer is no. Why? Because the insects wouldn’t die off. The answer would be wrong. Much, much better to use artificial nonsense like “Vinod Causality”.

            Watch me using the fabulous “Vinod Causality” method on chemtrails and insect die-off:

            “I have carried out several hundred analyses of jet airliner flights throughout the world over areas where there has been demonstrated insect die-off. In every single study, jet airliners were flying in the vicinity of areas where there has been demonstrated insect die-off, and leaving chemtrails. The jet airliner flyover data is 100% reliable. The insect die-off data is to all intents and purposes 100% reliable. There is a 100% correlation between airline flyover and insect die-off. Therefore, according to Vinod Causality, there is a 100% certainty that insect die-off is caused by chemtrails…”

          • Stonky

            Well it seems that my adversaries have all disappeared like evidence of global warming killing insects, but I’m not quite done so I’ll finish off by talking to myself.

            Here is a quote from the Lister Garcia study:
            “Regression and correlation analyses inevitably leave the issue of causality open to question. In lieu of intractable experiments spanning large spatial and temporal scales, Vinod causality offers a statistical method that can help identify causal variables and reveal the direction of causal paths…”

            Translated out of scientific babblespeak, what this means is:
            “We can’t be arsed doing a set of simple experiments to validate our claims.Besides, they would probably show the opposite of what we want to argue. So instead, we’ll use an impenetrable statistical analysis which has the benefit of ensuring that no ordinary person will be able to understand or challenge what we are saying. Only our fellow groupthinkers in the scientific community will know what we are talking about, and we are all singing from the same songsheet…”

            Here is another quote from the Lister Garcia paper:
            “Studies documenting declines in insects have focused on temperate species, and have identified climate warming, along with habitat disturbance and insecticides, as primary causal mechanisms…”

            By the standards of normal human beings, this is a lie. The authors cite two studies in support of their claim. The first contains zero evidence to link climate warming with insect decline. It is a metastudy that does no more than collate the findings of other studies. I am certainly not going to waste my time reading them, but once again I will offer a hundred pounds to the charity of their choice to anyone who can find a single one of these studies that provides any actual evidence of actual insects actually dying as a result of an actual temperature increase.

            The second study is even more ludicrous as it involves British moths. I am not going to pay to read it, but I will bet the skin off my backside that it does not contain a single piece of genuine scientific evidence showing moths dying as a result of rising temperatures. However, since the authors themselves in their abstract draw an analogy with butterflies, I will do the same. Here are some facts:

            The Cabbage Whites are the commonest British butterflies. Like most British butterflies, their numbers are in catastrophic decine. Their range stretches from the southernmost parts of England up to the Orkneys and Shetlands. Therefore, as individual creatures they can comfortably withstand a temperature fluctuation of anything up to 16-18 degrees in a single day, and as a species they have survived and flourished for million of years under climactic temperature variations of more than 50 degrees (that is the coldest temperature in Aberdeen v. the warmest temperature in London).

            The best the UK Meteorlogical Office appears able to do, straining to the end of its tether, is to show that average temperatures in the UK have risen by “as much as 1 degree” in the past 40 years. And I am supposed to believe that this gradual 40-year temperature rise has made a measurable contribution to decimating the populations of insects that have survived and flourished in temperature variances more than 50 times greater?

            I do not care about your Hierarchical Partitioning, Multiple Regressions, Cross-Correlation Analyses, and Vinod Causality. That suggestion is so self-evidently ludicrous that no one with a grain of common sense would entertain it for a second. You want to prove me wrong? Fine. Do an experiment that shows Cabbage Whites dying off in when subjected to a temperature rise of 1 degree. I make this suggestion confident in the knowledge that:
            1. You obviously won’t.
            2. Because it obviously won’t work.
            3. Because the butterflies obviously won’t die.
            4. And in order to get the damned things to start dying, you will have to subject them to temperature fluctuations and variances a hundred times higher than anything that even the most devoted global warming enthusiast could claim is happening in the real world.

            In the wider scheme of things, what will happen is this. The Lister Garcia study will pass into the cannon of scientific lore. Despite the fact that the only evidence it contains that warming temperatures have caused insect die-off is references to other papers that do not contain any such evidence, it will be repeatedly cited in future papers as containing proof that warming temperatures have caused insect die-off. Just like all the other papers being constantly cross-referenced and mutually cited that do not contain a shred of actual scientific evidence that actual insects have actually died as a result of actual temperature increases.

            If that’s not Groupthink, I’m a codfish.

          • glenn_nl

            JHC, Stonky, looks like you’ve been bouncing up and down with excitement all weekend with this great big nothing-burger you thought was the Ultimate Smoking Gun. Sorry I didn’t reply, had other things to do this w/e.

            Dr Edd explained to you (in far greater detail than you deserved) why, exactly, this isn’t quite the massive “Gotcha!” you apparently thought, but you’ve taken a lack of follow-up to this rather tiresome crowing as some massive, all encompassing, supreme victory. Congratulations, if that makes you happy.

          • Stonky

            Dr Edd explained to you (in far greater detail than you deserved) why, exactly, this isn’t quite the massive “Gotcha!” you apparently thought…

            You make me laugh Glenn. You’re exactly like an illiterate peasant sitting in a church pew listening to a medieval priest spouting made-up nonsense in Latin. Your belief that he knows what he’s talking about is entirely predicated on the fact that you can’t understand a word he’s saying.

            This is only one of many ways in which global warming is like the catholic church in the middle ages.

          • Dr Edd

            @Stonky 04:27

            Wow. For the last 24 hours I didn’t touch a keyboard, except at work (where I’ve got better things to do!) – and I return to find you declaring victory in the middle of the night. Weird.

            What’s this talk of “adversaries” for? The aim is to clarify the extent of the claims in a scientific paper. Why take an adversarial stance towards that?

            Your suggestion for a conclusive scientific investigation is to put insects in a hothouse and see what happens? I’m afraid that’s crass even by amateur standards.

            Climate sensitivity doesn’t just mean dropping dead from heat stroke. You’ve completely overlooked the significance of other lifespan phases, habitat changes and environmental stressors: e.g. reduced development time, disrupted seasonal maturation (i.e. hatching at the wrong time of year), specificity of host plants, availability of nectar, soil erosion, habitat destruction, genetic adaptation due to natural selection, etc. These are all highly dependent on weather and climate, and are all intimately involved in the delicate lifespan of arthropods. Those factors can’t be replicated in a hothouse (even at Kew).

            Ecology is a very complex science. It requires a great deal of field research, which is expensive and time-consuming, often stressful, and sometimes dangerous.

            I note that you’re very disparaging about statistical methods and meta-analyses, which are essential to all types of modern scientific research, from engineering to medicine and sociology. They are required to explore complex datasets for validation, factor analysis, and correlation coefficients. Your parody of the application of Vinod’s algorithm implies a gross misunderstanding of its purpose. The claims that are made on the basis of statistics are always qualified by reference to the methods from which they’re derived – which is why they’re cited in the paper. It’s best not to approach scientific publications as if they’re simple news headlines.

            Much of the rest of your commentary is just taunting. I don’t know what age you are, but it doesn’t show much maturity. Is that the norm here, or are you the exception?

          • Stonky

            So you’re left with nothing but ad hominems, Stonky. I’m not surprised.

            You need to learn the difference between an ad hominem and an analogy Glenn. And if you want to claim that you do in fact understand the science, please feel free to respond to the post I’m going to make below, instead of waiting for Dr Edd to do it for you.

          • Stonky

            Wow. For the last 24 hours I didn’t touch a keyboard, except at work (where I’ve got better things to do!) – and I return to find you declaring victory in the middle of the night. Weird.

            I wasn’t declaring victory Dr Edd, simply assuming that you were bored with this discussion and had gone off to do something else. But I’m glad you’re not, because now we can carry on the debate.

            I would appreciate if you, as a scientist, would give a specific response to the following, and point out exactly where the flaw in my reasoning occurs:

            1. I have a set of data. It contains temperatures over a time period from 1978 to 2015.
            2. I want to graph the data and identify the temperature trend along the timeline.
            3. I carry out a least-squares regression analysis
            4. The analysis shows a 2-degree temperature increase from the start to the end of my timeline
            5. I look back at my graph and I notice two things.
            6. Eight of the ten highest temperatures in my dataset occurred before 2003 – less than two thirds of the way along my timeline.
            7. Seven of the eight most recent temperatures in my dataset are below my line of regression – four of the last five are way below.
            8. I draw the following conclusions:
            9. My methodology is wrong.
            10. A least-squares regression is the wrong tool to analyse this data.
            11. The trend it identifies is completely inaccurate. It bears little resemblance to the actual temperature trend over the time period.

            There are a million ways of processing data. That is why the shibboleth exists “You can prove anything with statistics”. For example, I could graph a simple three-year rolling average. (I haven’t done it because for some reason Lister and Garcia don’t appear to have provided their base temperature data) From a purely statistical perspective, my analysis would be far more accurate than theirs, because, at a guess, 90% of the temperature points would be a lot closer to my graph line than they are to their line of regression. The trend shown by my graph line would bear absolutely no resemblance to the trend shown by their line of regression.

            I am more than happy for you to come back to me and explain the flaw in my reasoning. It would be great if you could do it in simple terms, as I have done above. But for the time being my conclusion is so obviously correct that I am going with it. So I now have to ask myself:

            Why would Lister and Garcia do this, and how can they get away with it? The temperature trend analysis is the first step in their study. If that is suspect, then everything that follows from it is questionable. How come no other scientist has seen what is blatantly obvious, and pointed out to Lister and Garcia – Sorry guys, your methodology is dodgy…?

            Over to you.

          • Stonky

            Second issue I want to go back to is this one, and it feels like I am repeating myself. But I’ll try to keep it simpler this time. In their paper, Lister and Garcia make the following statement:

            “Studies documenting declines in insects… have identified climate warming… as primary causal mechanisms…”

            I’m not putting any words in their mouths there. I’m not misrepresenting them in any way. That is a verbatim quote. It claims that “studies” have identified “climate warming” as one of the “primary causal mechanisms” of insect die-off.

            They cite two specific studies in support of this claim, and one of them is the British Moths studies. So that is their claim – that the British Moths study has identified climate warming as one of the primary causal mechanisms of insect decline.

            I freely admit that I haven’t read the study, but it doesn’t actually matter. It doesn’t matter what the study proves or doesn’t prove; it doesn’t matter what it disproves or doesn’t disprove.The one thing it cannot possibly prove is that “climate warming” is one of the “primary causal mechanisms” of insect die-off, for the simple reason that there hasn’t been any climate warming in Britain.

          • Stonky

            Finally, if you find my tone rather trying, go and have a look at Grhm’s posts below. I guarantee he can’t even understand what I’m taking about, far less you. But there he is demanding liars be silenced (me being one of the “liars”), traitors be suppressed (me being one of the “traitors”) and fascists be crushed (me being one of the “fascists”). If he was one lone voice it wouldn’t matter so much, but you will see that kind of opinion hosed all over any discussion board on global warming.

            You don’t get many perfect analogies, but that is one – illiterate medieval peasants howling for the heretic to be burnt at the stake.

          • Dr Edd

            You can be assured I don’t want to burn you at the stake, Stonky. Nor even silence you. I’d just like to correct some misconceptions about that paper, and hopefully persuade you to target your criticisms better.

            Yes, it’s an obvious point that statistics can be abused, or used crudely, to support misleading conclusions. In fact it’s so obvious that all peer reviewers are acutely aware of it; and as they have an interest in avoiding their journal being discredited, they reject draft papers that use inappropriate stats and highlight any such weaknesses in their feedback to the authors. Students are routinely taught to design experiments carefully and to avoid misleading statistical analyses.

            The experiment you propose above doesn’t show that kind of attention to detail. It’s clearly a flawed design. It would indeed be a crude and wrong-headed way to approach such a complex ecosystem. Importantly, it doesn’t match the methods used in the Lister & Garcia study. Not even close.

            You seem to be insinuating that the correlation coefficient (represented by the least-squares regression line) was the key factor in the statistical analyses, which would thereby ignore the yearly fluctuations in temperature and misleadingly assume there was a year-on-year increase.

            > 3. I carry out a least-squares regression analysis

            Fine, but you’ll have to do a lot more than that. The author’s reference to the least-squares regression, and the corresponding graph, was merely intended to convey the overall significant upward trend in temperature over the period of the study (1981‒2015), with a singular quantifier, for the purposes of exposition. (To answer an earlier point, of course they used linear regression for the temperature trend, as there’s only one set of independent variables; it wouldn’t make sense to use multiple regression for temperature alone). The least-squares method is the common standard for simple linear regression.

            Indeed there was a significant upward trend over that period. That’s all it was intended to show. It’s a crude measure, but it’s meaningful. Importantly, there is no alternative regression method that would show a downward trend. If we’re agreed on that point (and I hope we are), we can then move on to look at the actual statistical methods used in the study and the extent of the claims based on the results. Please allow me a few minutes to compose an explanation.

          • Grhm

            Stonky refers to the expression “you can prove anything with statistics” as a ‘shibboleth’.
            It’s not a shibboleth, it’s just an aphorism.
            An example of a shibboleth is when climate science deniers say “the climate has always changed…”.
            The expression “to blind with science”, however, is an idiom .

          • Grhm

            ( ‘To blind with science’:
            To overwhelm someone with details in order to influence or mislead them. )

      • Dr Edd

        OK, let’s look at the actual study methods. The source data consisted of daily temperature readings (Max, Min, range) in datasets which are freely available for download under the Creative Commons licence from https://luq.lter.network/data/luqmetadata17. The key summary statistics were: Mean of maximum daily temps (MnMaxT); Mean of minimum daily temps (MnMinT); Mean of maxima of daily maximum temps (MnMaxMaxT); Mean of the maxima of daily minimum (MnMaxMinT); Proportion of days per year when daily temp >29°C (PropT>29); Mean diurnal temp range (DiurnTRange). The justifications for using each of these variables are presented in the Appendix. I can assure you, Stonky, that they capture the yearly variations which you assumed were omitted from the analysis.

        Of course, climate isn’t the only factor affecting insect populations. That’s why hierarchical partitioning was used to analyse the relative influence of various environmental factors over different time periods. It involves a complex battery of tests to see whether each factor (singularly or in combination) provides a better “fit” for the findings. Multiple regressions were used to analyse climate-related factors (temp, rainfall, El Niño, hurricanes), as well as foliage density and the prevalence of predators (including distinct lizard and bird species, and their male:female ratios). In the conventional lingo, the statistics are used to find a good “predictor” variable which “explains” the results better. The results indicated that climate-related factors explained the data well, and of these the temperature variable provided the best fit for the extreme decline. Incidentally, the Vinod method is a well-validated and reliable instrument for identifying causal factors amongst a range of candidate variables. In this case, it identified temperature.

        There isn’t a simple one-to-one correlation between temperature and abundance, because populations take time to recover. A scorcher of a year, or a climatic event (such as Hurricane Hugo, mentioned in the Appendix), can cause a significant lag in population numbers over a period of years. The researchers took that into account too, as they explain more fully in the Appendix.

        The title “Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web” can be construed with different scopes, but in science it’s best to interpret conservatively. The paper states correctly that the findings constitute evidence for a positive causal correlation between ambient temperature and declining arthropod populations in one tropical rainforest. As ambient temperature is a function of climate, it’s fair to describe that as a climate-driven change (safely assuming that artificial heaters weren’t involved 🙂 ).

        In the conclusion, the authors address the more general hypothesis about the impact of climate change on tropical ecosystems, in order to place the study in context. They explain that the findings are limited to that tropical ecosystem and highlight “an urgent need for more widespread monitoring”. They claim the analyses provide “strong support for the hypothesis that climate warming has been a major factor driving reductions in arthropod abundance, and that these declines have in turn precipitated decreases in forest insectivores in a classic bottom-up cascade”. This generalisation isn’t part of the experiment itself; it’s a matter of interpretation and judgement for the reader, who is expected to have an expert acquaintance with the subject matter. Note that they use the words “potentially”, “may”, and “likely” in this section. Unfortunately, journalists who report on scientific findings often overlook those hedges and qualifiers, so it’s best to take news reports with a pinch of salt.

        I hope that makes sense. I can try to simplify if there’s anything that isn’t clear (though it might have to wait a bit as spare time is very limited just now).

  • Rocky

    Alas poor Craig, he really has fallen doun the rabbit hole, and believes that 16 year olds know everything about climate science.

    Craig, I have a bridge in London going quite cheaply; any offers?

    • portside

      Therw is no mention of 16 year olds in the piece I just read. He points to three decades worth of scientific hypothesis. Even so I would wager that child from Sweden is a sight more informed about climate science than the grand old men pontificating here. But she would say that is a very low bar to have to clear.

      • Scot

        [ Mod: From Craig’s moderation rules for commenters:

        …. the adoption of multiple identities within the same thread is not to be allowed.

        Comments under all sockpuppet identities may now be deleted. ]

        —– ]

        The entire speech of Greta Thunberg is quoted in the comments and if Craig disagrees with something he is always pretty quick to delete it.

        We line on a dynamic planet, and being dynamic it changes and evolves from time to time. Craig lives in a city surrounded by numerous coalmines and former coalmines and how does he think that coal got there?

        Easy, in the Carboniferous period, it was really hot and the carbon dioxide levels were much higher than now, yet all those plants thrived (surprise surprise) and finally died into the swamps leaving all that carbon underground, where Scots smarter than Craig learned to dig it up and make good use off it.

        If Greta Thunberg and Craig want a stable planet, as opposed to a living one, they should sign up with Richard Branson to go to Mars.

        • pretzelattack

          i’m pretty sure he thinks that yes, we live in a dynamic world, and it is easier and more productive to stop doing the things we are doing to change the climate to make it at best highly unpleasant for us rather than trying to find a way to terraform mars. let’s just do a little terraforming of, well, terra.

        • glenn_nl

          Scot lies: “ […] if Craig disagrees with something he is always pretty quick to delete it.

          Utterly untrue.

          Your aside about coal leaves me wondering if you had a point, or just threw that in there for lack of anything useful to say.

          Life was not actually suitable for humans during the Carboniferous period, did you know? So why you’d like us to return to such conditions (with CO2 rising alarmingly rapidly in that direction) is probably best explained by yourself. Or whoever loaded that horseshit onto you, and you unthinkingly repeated – which is probably the best excuse you have.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Extinction Rebellion is part of an effort to stampede us into a particular solution that will make someone money. That doesn’t mean that there is no problem or that the 16 doen’t know what she is talking about.

        • pretzelattack

          yeah, i don’t know much about extinction rebellion, but people should criticise the argument or facts instead of deflecting to attacking the xr movement.

        • glenn_nl

          Suppose – for a moment – someone makes money out of green technologies, for instance, something which gives us an albeit slim chance of survival.

          Why is that such a problem for you? Does it require a vow of poverty from everyone concerned with solutions, before you’re ready to accept it might be worth a go? Because the people bent on destruction through resource extraction right now sure as hell are not, and I don’t hear you complaining about them.

  • Tony M

    I think we should call this the nuke power shill thread. Apologists and enablers for psychopathic mass-murderers, out in force, bought and paid for by the planet and its environment’s most deadly and eternal unseen stealth polluter. Fighting a rearguard action to protect their gross hidden subsidies and guaranteed obscene profits, socialising appalling human and environmental costs and consequences. Waging nuclear-war by stealth, these career-misogynists, are not only killing today, but willing to do for all time for some few worthless quick bucks, trinkets and toys and prestige, today. Genocidal warmongers in the Churchill, Roosevelt, Trotsky or Stalin league are out there vying for power, with world-ending weapons their predecessors could only dream of, but short of not always guaranteed preventable omnicidal war, the second greatest threat to all human life on this planet is the perpetuation of this cancerous nuclear-power industry in any form. Climate-change doesn’t even feature, even if the worst doom-laden nonsensical predictions, transpired human life will survive in all its diversity all over the planet, but we will not survive even some mild climate change if we continue operating these nuclear plants on a knife-edge, between stable and violently unstable in the blink of an eye and all the time distributing their radioactive legacy far and wide. Radioactive contamination whether bombs or reactors, old, rotting or ‘new, improved’ as source is the guarantor of our extinction. Events, energetic disassembly, explosions are highly likely to become more frequent occurences, unless we act to shut them down, and make them safe against all future eventualities. We need land-based wind, as well as storage (hydro is the cleanest, but a large enough electric vehicle fleet can function as a reserve too) we need to build them now, everywhere and anywhere and quickly. No more nonsense about ‘eyesores’, the alternative is the slow agonising horrible death of cancer and leukiemia for all and for ever, till none are left.

    • pretzelattack

      yeah what do you know about the science? you sound like an utter shill with a crude divide and conquer strategy–“look, let’s try to divert the debate to nukes vs no nukes, and talk about wealthy companies and heavy subsidies without mentioning fossil fuel”.

    • michael norton

      MIC is causing terrible trouble for most of the world, the Nuclear Industry is hand-in-glove with the MIC.
      The MIC need Nuclear Power, because without Nuclear Power, all should be able to detect their epoch ending madness.
      Global Warming suits the MIC, very well in deed.
      The only possible people-based argument for Nuclear Power Stations, is life-ending Global Warming.

      How useful to the MIC.

    • glenn_nl

      You could hit the line-break once in a while, make whatever you’re on about a bit more readable.

  • Duncan

    How about either simplifying city transport with a base fare, or making it free? Couple that with much higher congestion charges (say, start at £50 per day).

  • Tony M

    For career-misogynists, I should really have said career-misanthropes. But if the error draws attention to the special teratogenic consequences of even quite small amounts of radiation, to the female reproductive system, to the the unborn, to the developing foetus and even to the as yet unconceived, to future generations -then it serves. I think we’re seeing the results already, young people seem especially easily swayed, malleable and docile, their rebellions are confined to tightly constrained channels and time-wasting futilities, clinging to and transfixed by their security blanket devices, the toys they seem incapable of mentally growing out of and putting aside. Crushing conformity embraced. They retreat and withdraw from the real world and make easy prey for snake-oil meme-peddler climate-change alarmists, or something else unproveable which they cannot influence, affect or change in any way, protest all they will, rather than one or more of the tangible festering wrongs and ills in present human society we and they can and should urgently right.

    We’ve had it up to the limit with hectoring virtue-signalling good-think. Take note Nicola S.

      • Tony M

        RoS: It is clear from your terse ad hominem that my comment had arrived whilst your own opinions on this and much else are unformed and you are still awaiting instruction how to think and then how to proceed, all the while of course keeping a superficial appearance of righteousness on your side. I understand, it’s the or rather, your herd instinct.

        • glenn_nl

          Sorry Tony M, but RoS is right. What you write is contorted bollocks – it looks like some free-association rambling with a general vibe of insulting some largely undefined group of people.

          Try to break your posts down into actually coherent arguments, give it some structure, and you might achieve making a point at some stage.

  • Tony M

    Slightly off-topic, but unsuitable for first comment on the new Assange thread: European Parliament Elections polling card arrived today. Are we merely voting for which of these idle, redundant expectant troughers are to have generous pensions for the rest of their lives?

  • Tony M

    I’m inclined not to vote, intending, hoping one day only to vote in elections for bodies which have anything even close to legitimacy and writ, these being (only grudgingly, both) my local council and the Scottish Parliament. Westminster and the Euro-blob I do not recognise. How are others in Scotland, and elsewhere in the British Isles inclined to rationalise their choices in this, the most peculiar election I can ever recall.

  • michael norton

    Hey who benefits from this ?
    Give it a few years and this will be happening all the time in the U.K. Solution – build more Nuclear Reactors.

    Skips full of nuclear waste could be transported through town

    Dozens of skips full of nuclear waste could soon be transported through Bridgwater from other parts of the UK.

  • Biff Vernon

    ” If they could …”
    Oh, Craig, why do you speak of ‘they’? You should be right there with us, part of the Extinction Rebellion and speaking of ‘we’ not ‘they’.

  • G. Ring

    This six-part series – http://www.theartofannihilation.com/the-manufacturing-of-greta-thunberg-for-consent-the-political-economy-of-the-non-profit-industrial-complex/ – from investigative journalist, researcher and author, Cory Morningstar – who worked for environmental NGOs for years – offers an excellent insight into the non-profit industrial complex, and is a must-read for all with a genuine concern for the environment.

    This 1 hour 50 minute long interview with Cory is well worth a listen. https://soundcloud.com/lastborninthewilderness/cory-morningstar

  • Paul Barbara

    I believe a litmus test for Extinction Rebellion will be their reaction (or so far, lack of reaction) to the proposed 5G roll-out.
    There are very serious warnings about this technology, but the government, military and Corporations are dead set on implementing it.
    Take the following three articles about different instances:
    ‘Unexplained Mass Bird Deaths During Dutch 5G Experiment’:
    ‘Several thousand birds fall dead from heaven’:
    ‘Groningen: What is wrong with the cows at Stitswerd?’: https://www.stopumts.nl/doc.php/Berichten%20Nederland/10423/groningen_wat_mankeert_de_koeien_van_stitswerd?
    Will the ER block their ears, cover their eyes, and silence their mouths over this atrocity being deliberately rolled out?
    (You’ll need to translate all those articles to read them).

    • Grhm

      Utter nonsense.
      Even if this were not evidence-free conspironut fruitloopery, 5G has absolutely nothing to do with the impending global climate catastrophe.

      • glenn_nl

        G: “Utter nonsense.”

        I’m afraid so. Although PB appears to have a good heart, it’s dangerously misplaced – irresponsibly and reckless so. But he is good for a laugh occasionally – ask him sometime to explain to you how Barack Obama is really is woman, and Michelle Obama is really a man. No, seriously – he has proof too.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ glenn_nl April 28, 2019 at 01:33
          Just do a bit of searching on both matters on the internet; ample evidence.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Grhm April 27, 2019 at 23:09
        There is a great deal of evidence. I replied to you earlier, and included a link to a British ex-Military Microwave Warfare expert’s testimony, but it was removed.

  • Grhm

    I am not naturally an illiberal person, but after reading some of the comments in this thread I now think that spreading lies about climate change should be made a specific criminal offence.

    During the national emergency that Britain faced in the 1940s, it was necessary to curtail freedom of speech.
    National survival was at stake.
    Enemy sympathisers could not be allowed to spread lies and to subvert the war effort.
    Traitors were imprisoned or shot.

    Emergencies call for emergency measures.

    The global climate emergency humanity faces now relates to an existential threat of a scale enormously greater than that faced by Britons in WWII.

    Some of the people commenting here are traitors to humanity.

    Emergencies call for emergency measures.

    • glenn_nl

      You’ve got to allow for plain stupidity, Grhm, and denial isn’t just a river in Egypt – it’s a fairly important life skill. We’d all go daft if we really faced up to the horrific reality of what’s going on.

      There are a few reasons why people become denialists. They may think it’s an exercise in contrarianism, just to make themselves look clever – hey – they’re not following the crowd. They’re different, and can see a grand conspiracy, and refuse to be hoodwinked.

      The realisation that their grandchildren will hate them and our current generation with a passion is not a comforting thought. Much better to pretend nothing is amiss. Or if it is, it’s certainly not their fault – it’s all cyclical! Yes, that’s the ticket.

      Some just want to troll, for sure, or are too lacking in various regards to appreciate it’s real, it’s happening, and we’re all part of the problem.

      Then there are those who have huge interests in the status quo (for as long as it lasts), and would not give us their current riches for all the species in the world. The paid stooges, biostitutes and the merchants of doubt will carry on spreading enough disinformation just to make people think it’s not clear enough to bother with right now. Just like the link between smoking and lung cancer isn’t quite strong enough yet.

      And there are the useful idiots of the extraction industrial complex, their bought and paid for politicians and opinion makers, who will deflect the message of dire emergency. Hey – don’t worry! It’s a hoax/ not that bad / nothing we can do about it anyway / it’ll turn around by itself / etc. etc. sounds better than we’re screwed without an absolute and immediate change in government policy on the environment, on an international level.

      A lot can be attributed to rationalising: “I don’t want to consider myself part of the problem. Therefore, there isn’t a problem.”

      • Grhm

        It is irrelevant what motivates liars to lie.
        The point is that we cannot afford to tolerate them.
        Emergencies require emergency measures.
        Spreading lies about global warming should be a serious criminal offence.

        • N_

          Circumstances that are not emergencies do not require emergency measures. “Emergencies require emergency measures” is duckspeak. And all offences are criminal – there is no such thing as a civil offence – so I assume that by using rhetorical amplification you wish to express strong negative feelings against your opponents.

          See above for what the “extinction” in “Extinction Rebellion” really refers to.

          Do your emergency measures include putting “extinctions” on the National Curriculum by the way? How about the fall of Atlantis, Britain being an island floating on the sea, spirits of “great people” coming to be reincarnated, and all the other junk?

          Meanwhile, the Labour Party seems to have found a role as a public relations puppet for the Extinction Rebellion cult (which describes itself as “apolitical”), and in particular for its Demand Number 1. It’s remarkable that many who cheerlead this cult in the role of “useful lazy idiots” don’t even bother looking at its three demands and perhaps don’t even know what they are. Everyone who knows about marketing will recognise this as a case of Being Conned by the Packaging.

          “Global warming” is passé. Some parts of the world are getting colder. Steiner Centrale and its Triodos Bank changed the slogan The slogan is now “climate change”. (Be careful – get the slogan wrong and perhaps you will be the one locked up, just as you want your opponents locked up. Remember the “night of the long knives”.)

          Never mind that the ups and downs of natural climate change happen on all sorts of time-scales, including much smaller scales than the big multi-species extinctions which have happened only twice in the last couple of hundred million years and probably didn’t happen because of anything endogenous to the Earth anyway. (The one that happened around 65 million years ago happened because of an asteroid or similar body hitting the Earth from the outside.)

          Just scream “science” if any opponent of the cult mentions this stuff. Scream it like a Trump nut shouting “Crooked Hillary” or “Lying Ted” before they begin rhythmically chanting “USA! USA!” Opponents of the cult are not with the Triodos Bank-funded programme, so just shout “Lock them up!” (Rather like how you just did.) And it’s really rude to ask why planet-saver Zac Goldsmith with his hundreds of millions of pounds of inherited wealth and his assets in the gambling sector has followed in his father’s footsteps and fathered a large number of children. Right?

          It’s the filthy rich who are f***ing our living conditions up, on pretty much any scale you can think of. How hard is that to understand?

          I doubt the cult’s “citizen’s assembly” demand (Demand Number 3) is about to be agenda-topped this side of Brexit, but perhaps it will be. It won’t surprise me if Labour’s voteshare at the next general election falls below 27%. It’s interesting how the White Phosphorus section of the parliamentary party (and similar types who recently left it) aren’t opposing Corbyn on his adoption of Demand Number 1.

          Here is the news: “Corbyn launches bid to declare a national climate emergency”. “The motion was welcomed by Greta Thunberg”. It would be, wouldn’t it?

          I am sure (and in any event I strongly hope) that somebody close to Corbyn has advised him about what a bunch of “root race” cultists Extinction Rebellion are. But will a single person who is politically close to him, or other leading figure on the left, have the guts to denounce what’s going on here?

      • Stonky

        You’ve got to allow for plain stupidity, Grhm, and denial isn’t just a river in Egypt – it’s a fairly important life skill…

        Is there any chance that you could take a moment off from smugly congratulating yourself on how much cleverer you are than people like me, to pop back upthread a few comments, and respond to my critique of the Lister and Garcia paper. “Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web”?

        While you’re there, feel free to comment on my post about faddism among scientists and theTim Hunt affair…

      • N_

        Did you actually notice, @Glenn_nl, that @Grhm wrote that “national survival is at stake”?

          • N_

            I stand corrected. What you wrote was that “national survival was at stake” in the 1940s and that in your opinion the whole of humanity faces a far greater existential threat today. My apologies for misquoting you, and thanks for the correction.

            But can you please be clearer. You say “after reading some of the comments in this thread I now think that spreading lies about climate change should be made a specific criminal offence”. (Emphasis added.)

            You say that during the national emergency faced by Britain in WW2 it was necessary to “curtail” freedom of speech. (I am not sure whether you know that stage plays in Great Britain were subject to censorship by the Lord Chamberlain until 1968.)

            Then you say “National survival was at stake. Enemy sympathisers could not be allowed to spread lies and to subvert the war effort. Traitors were imprisoned or shot. Emergencies call for emergency measures.”

            And you say that “The global climate emergency humanity faces now relates to an existential threat of a scale enormously greater than that faced by Britons in WWII”, and that “(s)ome of the people commenting here are traitors to humanity.”

            Do you think anybody should be executed for saying something you don’t like them saying about climate change?

            Curtailing freedom of speech is one thing. Shooting people is another. “Traitors to humanity” is a very strong phrase.

            Do you think anybody should be executed for posting the kind of thing that some people have posted to this thread?

          • Grhm

            No, I don’t want anybody to be executed.

            But climate change deniers are deliberately subverting humanity’s efforts to save itself from extinction.

            ‘Traitors’ is not too strong a term for them. They must be suppressed.

            My suggestion is that ‘spreading lies about climate change’ should be a statutory offence, punishable by substantial terms of imprisonment.

            There are already many existing comparable ‘inchoate’ concepts in the laws of England & Wales, such as incitement to racial hatred, incitement to disaffection in the armed forces, the glorification of terrorism, and 57 varieties of accessorial liability, recklessness, conspiracy to defraud, etc.

            Many of those laws restrict freedom of speech.

            It’s uncontroversial to say that financial fraudsters should be locked up, but the consequences of the success of even the hugest imaginable financial fraud are trivial compared with the consequences of the success of those spreading lies about climate change.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Grhm April 28, 2019 at 01:01
      ‘…During the national emergency that Britain faced in the 1940s, it was necessary to curtail freedom of speech…’
      You needn’t go back that far – look at what they are doing to Julian Assange.
      Longer back, what did they do to Bruno and Galileo?
      Be careful what you wish for.

    • Stonky

      I am not naturally an illiberal person, but after reading some of the comments in this thread I now think that spreading lies about climate change should be made a specific criminal offence…

      Before we go ahead and start criminalising people left right and centre, how about you pop back up this thread a few comments and respond to my critique of the Lister and Garcia paper “Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web”?

      Because spreading lies about climate change seems to be a pretty movable feast among the community of believers, and I have more than half a suspicion that I would soon find myself to be one of the targets of the not naturally illiberal people.

    • David

      there’s an excellent article here on the changing face of spycraft


      by economist author Edward Lucas, he has excellent detail and scope of the history of spy (cold war) to the modern day (active measures), the modern day spying is seeming very fascist, with pop-up spies embedded in gov, industry and of course science. I have met several spooks embedded in science & technology, for deliberate national distortion reasons.

      (the above Lucas article is around 99% accurate, as he loses the thread of course when he has to follow the official narrative about ukraine, salisbury, australia, perhaps a few others. He also doesnt seem to get the aphorism that “there is no such thing as an ex spy”)

    • N_

      @Grhm – “National survival is at stake“.

      Is your mask slipping?

      Enemy sympathisers could not be allowed to spread lies and to subvert the war effort. Traitors were imprisoned or shot.

      Some of the people commenting here are traitors to humanity.

      It seems that it is.

      • ADKC

        Grhm is advocating fascism.

        I have been been on the side of those who are concerned about man-made climate change, but have always been concerned about the closed-minded debate on both sides and how contrived and pre-determined it all is.

        The ridiculously of the 12 year timescale, the political campaigning style of the IPCC and now XR and the christchild thing and the advocating of non-solutions was all I thought all ill-advised and counter-productive.

        I still remain concerned about man-made climate but this easy slipping into fascist rhetoric seems to indicate that their is a concerted effort to use the climate change to introduce fascist-style of government.

        History shows how easily “liberals” slip into “fascism”.

          • ADKC

            You are effectively calling for those who disagree on a particular view of climate change to be regarded as traitors and executed – that makes you a fascist.

  • michael norton


    I had thought that as our world warmed, there would be many more trees growing in the largest land mass on Earth, the Boreal / Tundra
    This paper says if you had removed all the trees in the world in the year 2000, that by 2100 the world would be slightly cooler.
    It also suggests as forests reclaim the Boreal / Tundra, the world will be warmer.

    However this would seem to fly against CO2 in Atmosphere bad, theme
    As massively more trees would take in massively more CO2,
    it is a mystery?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ michael norton April 28, 2019 at 08:51
      Forests produce a huge amount of the oxygen in the air(from breaking down CO2).
      When forests are cut down, for palm oil, grazing or firewood, desertification occurs in hot climates, and extreme run-off of fertile soil into the rivers and seas in moderate climates. Cutting down trees is utter madness.

      • michael norton

        either trees taking in Carbon dioxide is good
        or trees taking in Carbon dioxide is bad,
        can both be true.

        It would seem from the New Scientist that “things” are a little more complicated than Carbon dioxide in the Atmosphere is Bad

  • Sharp Ears

    A fracking free for all.

    Natascha Engel quits, saying ‘the environmentalists have won’. Good. Sorry she doesn’t like it.

    As a Labour MP she ‘Voted a mixture of for and against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas
    1 vote for, 1 vote against, 2 absences, in 2015.

    Somewhat indecisive?

    Pathetic. See she supported Trident and was against an inquiry into the Iraq war. Also some problems on her expenses claims.

    Who appointed her as Fracking Commissioner last October? The motormouth smart meter proponent, Claire Perry.

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