Fascist Judges 169

Three climate activists in two separate trials have been sent to jail by Judge Silas Reid using the entirely arbitrary powers of Contempt of Court, because they insisted on telling the jury that their protests had been motivated by the climate crisis and fuel poverty.

Juries are an essential safeguard from injustice by the state.

That ordinary, randomly selected people decide on guilt or innocence has been fundamental to the criminal law in the United Kingdom for many centuries.

The simplistic maxim is that the judge determines the law while the jury determines the facts. However it is often more complex than that. There are several areas of law (the misuse of computers act is an example) where a public interest defence is permissible, and the jury may find themselves deliberating on whether a disclosure was in the public interest.

Perhaps the most famous example in my lifetime was the trial of Clive Ponting under the Official Secrets Act. Clive was a member of this blog community and a fairly regular commenter here.

Clive had been a very straight and professional middle ranking civil servant in the Ministry of Defence at the outbreak of the Falklands War. He blew the whistle on the truth of the sinking of the Argentine battleship, the General Belgrano.

For those who do not know, Argentina had occupied the Falkland Islands one month before the attack on the Belgrano. A British naval task force had set sail to retake the islands. Furious diplomatic efforts were underway to find a peaceful solution, led by the United States and by Chile.

When the British nuclear submarine Conqueror sunk the Belgrano, killing 323 people, it ended the prospects of a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

The resultant Falklands War catapulted Margaret Thatcher from extreme unpopularity to extreme popularity on a frenzy of jingoism. It thus enabled Thatcherism and the destruction of both heavy industry in the UK and of the principle of the mixed economy.

The Belgrano was sunk deliberately and completely unnecessarily in order to precipitate full on war, at a time when it posed no threat to British forces and was 250 miles south west of the Falklands and steaming away from them. While there was a zig zag pattern to Belgrano’s movement to try to evade detection, the pathway is undeniable. It is the bottom-most track on this map.

The scale of loss of life was such that the UK embarked on an entirely misleading campaign to talk up the threat posed by the Belgrano, and by referring to the zig zagging denied it was heading back to the mainland and away from the Falklands.

MOD internal communications were of course quite clear that the Belgrano was heading away when it was sunk, and these are what Clive Ponting leaked to Labour MP Tam Dalyell.
(Readers of this blog will see a particular irony as Clive became a staunch supporter of Scottish Independence while Tam was a stubborn opponent).

Clive never denied it was he who had leaked the documents. His defence, when tried at the Old Bailey, was that it was in the public interest to reveal the truth.

This defence was flatly rejected by the judge. He refused, in closed court without the jury, the defence barristers’ argument that it was for the jury to decide whether the leak was in the public interest.

In his instructions to the jury, the judge directly ordered them to convict, and specifically stated that the public interest could only be whatever the government of the day defined as the public interest.

Here is an account from one of Ponting’s legal team:

Ponting instructed my firm on the recommendation of Liberty (then still the National Council for Civil Liberties). Brian Raymond, our criminal law partner, conducted the case. Brian was a pioneer in media relations. He recognised the importance of frank contacts with serious and capable journalists. The public was told Ponting’s side of the story.

The public interest defence was clearly arguable. Mr Justice McCowan at the Old Bailey trial allowed defence evidence on governmental and constitutional practice from the former Home Secretary Merlyn Rees and the eminent Cambridge professor Henry Wade but in the jury’s absence he rejected the defence submission that whether or not Ponting had acted “in the interest of the state” was an issue of fact for the jury. Astonishingly, his ruling meant that what was in the interest of the state was whatever the government said it was.

After that, conviction and imprisonment seemed a foregone conclusion. Before we came to court next morning we had a farewell breakfast at the Savoy Hotel. Our client arrived with a small suitcase containing toothbrush, shaving kit and other items he would need as a guest of Her Majesty.

While the jury deliberated, we gloomily discussed our grounds of appeal and the prospects of winning in Strasbourg. Then came the verdict. When the foreman said “not guilty” there was a gasp of amazement followed by spontaneous applause. It was an incredible result because it meant the jury had flatly ignored the judge’s direction. Plainly they thought Ponting had done the right thing.

The judge was furious. He could not actually send the jurors to prison for disobeying his direct instruction to convict, but he banned them from future jury service – which they probably weren’t too sad about.

In 1989 the UK government amended the Official Secrets Act to make plain that there is no public interest defence permissible. Nevertheless I know for certain that in the cases of both Katherine Gun and myself, whistleblowers were not prosecuted for fear the jury would refuse to convict.

Arguably the acquittal of the removers of the Colston statue in Bristol were also acquitted by a jury returning what the Establishment call a “perverse verdict”. There have been a whole series of acquittals of activists carrying out actions against the Raytheon arms factory in Belfast.

The notion of people not being allowed to explain their actions to the jury has a distinctly draconian tinge. The judge can tell the jury to ignore the arguments, and the jury can decide whether or not to listen to the judge, but to not allow the accused to put their arguments at all?

It sounds pretty fascist to me.

I do not know whether Judge Reid’s vicious approach is personal or part of a state backlash to protest, particularly over climate change. Jonathon Schofield had asked the Ministry of Justice under a Freedom of Information request whether there has been an instruction to judges. His simple FOIA request has not been answered and is now past the deadline.

I have recently finished reading Irmtrud Wojak’s biography of Fritz Bauer, the concentration camp survivor who became the most important prosecutor of the Nazis in Germany, tracking down Eichmann and putting the Auschwitz management on trial.

Bauer was repeatedly frustrated by the German legal establishment of which he was a member, and what comes strongly out of the book is that the Nazis did not have to find their own lawyers and judges. Great chunks of the German legal establishment had simply adapted themselves to applying Nazi laws.

The same legal establishment continued seamlessly post-Nazi rule, pretending nothing much had happened. As Wojak writes:

However Bauer’s views did not catch on in West German rulings, which, while acknowledging them on an ethical level, denied them legal legitimacy and accepted them only under highly restricted conditions. In many cases, the relevant rulings even went so far as to accept the validity of the Nazis’ system of norms, down to the principle of the right to self-assertion of the state.

As the UK continues with the harsh slide towards authoritarianism, it doesn’t need new judges, however far it moves toward fascism. The current legal establishment will adapt themselves to the legal framework of whatever sort is ordained by the rulers.

Anybody expecting judges to defend liberties is likely to be sorely disappointed.

They will happily remove the ability of juries to defend liberty too.


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169 thoughts on “Fascist Judges

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  • David

    I find it very interesting that there is next to no information about Silas Reid available on the internet. I mean, he is a public figure, right? What are his qualifications? Why was he appointed? Is it possible to find out?

  • frankywiggles

    Judges are afforded the same unearned respect in Britain as the royal family. I do not see the politicians and media having much difficulty convincing the public – especially the PMC – that juries are irresponsible, dangerous and unnecessary.

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    At the time of the Falklands War I randomly found myself on the Isle of Skye sharing a meal with a group, one member of whom was an ex-editor of the Scotsman. I had not met him before. The hot topic of media self-censorship (which Thatcher urged) came up. The Scotsman retiree was all for it. I ventured that I thought the Media should be neutral. He turned to me with arched eyebrows and intoned: “And WHO is neutral about the Falklands War?”. I mumbled back (being still rather young and gauche): “Well, I’m trying to be…”. His sarcastic rejoinder was: “Good for YOUUUUU…!”.

    Being a slow thinker, it took a few years (I am “l’esprit d’escalier” embodied) for the fuller implications of that exchange to dawn on me — namely, that when the cause of the United Kingdom is at stake there apparently can be NO neutrality. If you are not expressly defending the UK, you are deemed to be The Enemy. Sir Nicholas MacPherson’s leadership of the (hitherto “neutral”) Civil Service in actively undermining Scottish independence in 2014 (and thereafter having a medal-award event to celebrate their “win”), suddenly became explicable for me. As of course is the inveterate sabotaging of the case for Scottish Independence by the BBC. Neutrality, for the British Establishment, is just another word for Betrayal.

      • Republicofscotland

        Not just Israel’s but the interests of the USA, and it could also lessen or bring on a ceasefire in Yemen, god knows the Yemeni people need a lifeline.

        • joel

          Yes it is a big blow to the petrodollar. Both are major oil producers who have applied to join BRICS and are discussing selling energy in other currencies.

          Btw, could you imagine the media coverage if this peace between bitter, ancient rivals had been brokered by the USA?

          • Margaret O'Brien

            Yes but as we all know, the US don’t do peace, only war.
            They’ll be seriously rattled by this development which will only make the crazies in DC even more crazy, therefore more dangerously unhinged.

          • Stevie Boy

            Along with the U$A, the UK is one of the major sh!te disturbers in the ME. They also won’t take kindly to the threat of peace breaking out. Yemen and Saudi are big income streams for the UK regime. So, expect lots of under the radar meddling to undo this potential progress.

          • joel

            Indeed Margaret. The Chinese on the other hand seem intent on bringing peace to the world. Xi is speaking with Zelensky this week, Putin next week. All extremely positive but you have identified a very determined obstacle to peace, Stevie another ancillary one.

  • steph

    For anyone in London, there’s a protest outside London Inner Crown Court from 8.30 am mon and tuesday (March 13 and 14): Stand Up to Silas Reid and the Judiciary. Organised by Just Stop Oil, Insulate Britain and supporters. Bring banners, chalk and solidarity with political prisoners.

    • Stewart

      Is that the same “Just Stop Oil” who are funded (through the Climate Emergency Fund) by Aileen Getty – the daughter of the late John Paul Getty III? You know, the oil billionaire?
      Along with Rory Kennedy (the grand-daughter of RFK) she also funds “Insulate Britain” and “Extinction Rebellion” (ever wondered where all those professionally printed signs and posters come from?)
      Yeah, a real grass-roots movement…

  • Garry Gibbs

    How on earth where you able to process smoothly through the diplomatic service representing us in foreign countries under the supervision and rule of Her Majesty, reporting ultimately directly to Her when you were harbouring all these rebellious republican beliefs and motivations, Craig?
    Would you have preferred it if we lost the Falklands to Argentina?

  • Brian Sides

    “Their protests had been motivated by the climate crisis and fuel poverty.”
    Do these protesters not understand that a strange and completely wrong headed view that there is some sort of climate emergency.
    Is resulting in stupid net zero ideas being implemented by governments. Resulting in the transformation of how energy is produced.
    The net result of these net zero policies is very real fuel poverty.
    The root of where these ideas of a climate emergency go a long way back. I first became aware of them in 1972 with the limits of growth.
    This was wrong headed in not understanding that there was not a pie of fixed size that we all could take a slice of. But that the pie could grow with our knowledge. As it had grown with farming and agriculture.
    But rich people have funded think tanks that have formed non government organisation of huge power.
    It has transformed into a trillion dollar industry like the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned of. Able to capture much of the scientific community. So Governments think what they are told about a climate emergency is real. So they try to change the way energy is produced. They have forgotten that they must use the most practical methods to produce energy.
    The more variable energy they introduce with renewable and the more energy they remove that is less variable be it coal or oil or gas.
    The more the cost of the energy and the more fuel poverty.

    • glenn_nl

      Contrary to what the oil industry (and their useful idiots) want you to believe, there is a climate emergency. And governments are doing next to nothing about it.

      Renewables are actually becoming cheaper than fossil fuels, too.

      Your entire post is testimony to the power of the denialist industry, which worked very well for the tobacco industry too for many years, using exactly the same playbook.

      • Brian Sides

        I live in South Wales UK
        I have been alive some 70 years
        My electric and gas bill have more than doubled in a year
        But the climate seems to be the same as it ever was.
        No Climate Emergency in South Wales or the UK
        Are summers a bit warmer and winters a bit milder ?
        Possibly but possibly not.
        Summers were good in the 70’s .some winters mild some not
        What else has changed in South Wales ?
        Oh yes they closed all the coal mines.
        You believe what you post but you are wrong
        There are many problems with all the renewable energy. But it can work sometimes.
        “In the mid 1890’s, Nikola Tesla, a brilliant electrical engineer, developed a system of alternating current (AC) which enabled power from Niagara Falls to be transmitted great distances. The system was put into use on November 15,1896 when electric power was transmitted from Niagara Falls to Buffalo”

        But Niagara Falls is fairly constant unlike the wind or the sun. (yes the sun is constant it is the Earth that moves)

        I recommend this site. It does a good job of debunking all that climate emergency rubbish.

        • glenn_nl

          Your energy bills have doubled due to capitalism, and our Tory government’s ideological commitment to looking after big businesses rather than citizens.

          Global temperature is not a matter of opinion, it is measurable, and has steadily increased (the record set last year, and all the hottest years in the last century appearing in the past decade). This tracks well with the increasing concentration of CO2. This is very basic stuff.

          Again, not a matter of opinion or belief.

          Try looking at some actual science journals instead of blogs with silly titles.

          • Brian Sides

            “Global temperature is not a matter of opinion”
            According to NASA there has been no Global Warming for a while
            “the hottest years in the last century” WOW a century that’s just a bit longer than my current life span.
            But thankfully it is bit warmer than the little ice age
            cold kills a lot more than heat in the UK
            pity you can no longer skate on the Thames anymore

            But what does a Global temperature mean anyway.
            Do you measure every point the cold bits and hot bits
            do you measure every latitude do you go to the bottom of the ocean and the edge of space
            do you measure over a year or ten or more
            do you then average all those numbers out .
            Then what compare the result to a previous average if any one was daft enough to carry out such an exercise in the past.
            The result would be meaningless.

            It is not the Global Temperature but how cold it is in South Wales and how much the energy cost.
            I wish it was a bit warmer.

          • glenn_nl

            BS: “According to NASA there has been no Global Warming for a while”

            Could you please refer to where NASA says this? Seriously, I would like to know.

            You can refer to what NASA actually is saying here:


            Granted, you don’t get what all the fuss is about, and come to the subject with spluttering disbelief. So why don’t you read up on it before declaring the whole thing is a scam/ nonsense and so on? Why not find out how such measurements are taken, and their implications, instead of expecting me to answer a stream of questions that you can read from primary sources?

          • Stevie Boy

            Ha Ha, I guess the science is settled on climate change, I read it in the MSM so I know it must be true.
            The biggest greenhouse gas is water vapour so we are looking to ban clouds and rain and stop people having showers !
            Volcanoes throw out more greenhouse gases than mankind can or will, so let’s start a movement to fill all Volcanoes with cement, that’ll save the planet.
            The climate emergency is one of the biggest scams this century along with the Covid non-flu scam. Explain how it’s okay to burn wood chips, how it’s okay to exempt military emissions, how it’s okay to exempt cargo aircraft and private jet emissions, and how it’s okay to use child labour to excavate rare materials and thousands of tons of rocks to make one ton batteries for EVs – that cannot be recycled – All in the name of saving the planet.
            Please note: it gets cold in the winter, it gets hot in the summer, the sun causes variations in the weather annually and in eleven year solar cycles, the climate changes naturally all the time.
            It’s really tiresome getting fed all this BS all the time by the feeble minded and the corrupt.

          • glenn_nl

            SB: “Ha Ha, I guess the science is settled on climate change, I read it in the MSM so I know it must be true.

            Did you? I was studying this when the MSM was in complete ‘ignore’ mode, probably long before your ‘denial’ mode kicked in.

            Again, you’ve gone for the reactionary stream-of-consciousness response.

            Where did I say that burning woodchips is fine? Did any environmentalist say this? Of course it’s BS!

            Same with private jets, and all the other nonsense you’re – somehow! – attempting to associate with everyone concerned with climate change.

            You really need to show some linkage, instead of this rather stupid assumption of association you repeatedly make, with nothing but a series of blatant and simplistic straw man arguments.

          • Bayard

            “This tracks well with the increasing concentration of CO2.”

            Coincidence is not causality. There were no nuclear weapons before women got the vote.

            “Try looking at some actual science journals instead of blogs with silly titles.”

            Try looking at some actual science instead of papers based on silly models.

          • glenn_nl

            Bayard : Try starting with this –


            Last time around, you ran off from the discussion. You have quite the record of making simplistic assertions, failing to back them up or discuss refutations. But you do so with great assertiveness and confidence, I will grant you that.

            But we all know your starting and finishing position is that of a denialist, and you’re not interested in truth or discussion about any of it.

          • James

            I had a 2 CV with atomkraft nein danke on the back , I followed climategate, yugoslavia, in the Graun of course, and tiananmen square too but you still believe that, and I feel a mug. If I was you I’d hide your contempt for the knuckle draggers, you might be closer to them than you think.

        • Stewart

          “Oh yes they closed all the coal mines”

          Great comment, Brian. As a rule of thumb, I tend to assume that if the billionaires are supporting something then it’s probably not going to be good for the rest of us.

          • glenn_nl

            Stewart – billionaires are very happy indeed with the status quo, want nothing to be changed, and our political class is obliging them.

            What in the world makes you think “they” are perpetrating a hoax which would upset the system that has – and is – rewarding them so well?

      • Squeeth

        @ glenn_nl

        Actually, the government has done lots, beginning in the early 70s. The press has been muzzled, the state broadcaster has been altered from establishment worthiness to regime stooge, thousands of new crimes have been invented and repressive laws have been passed, the working class has been re-colonised, the police more than ever before is a class militia, the NHS has been nazified and the education system reduced to a happy hunting ground for Gradgrinds and Bounderbys. What more do you want?

          • nevermind

            There are a lot of denialists these days. I hope they can answer to their grandchidren’s question before they use up the last few resources for their jollies holidays and heated exchanges. I will not generate more CO2 to argue with twaddle.
            Education is in a right state and soon, whence most libraries are closed because Google/Wokipedia (sic) knows it all, we will revert to the knuckle draggers we really are.
            I’m not perfect but I understand that we failed since Rachel Carson showed us what we are doing.
            Humanity feels intelligent, but the media narrative and vested interest are pulling it into the gutter.
            That is our place and we are unwilling to change it. We are agreeing with political prisoners because we are told to, young and old people who’d rather speak out than to stick their heads in the sand.

          • Stevie Boy

            We’re all going to die, get used to it.
            I for one am not prepared to compromise my lifestyle here and now for the bastard offspring of the middle class virtue signallers and the WEF billionaire elites.
            And, if people are really worried about running out of essential resources why aren’t they protesting about the loss of essential farmland to solar panels, windmills and rewilding. Where the f*ck do they think food comes from ? If you support this madness, your future is to live off of bill gates locust farms in your freezing homes drinking the sewage polluted waters of the environment agency approved utility companies.

          • glenn_nl

            SB: “We’re all going to die, get used to it. ”

            This simplistic twaddle is barely worth a response.

            Jeez. This has been used by the tobacco lobby to silence “do-gooders”, likewise with the auto industry when they pushed back against *any* safety measures such as safety belts. It is currently being used by the gun lobby.

            The rest of your stream-of-reactionary-consciousness is equally vapid. If you have an actual point, please make it.

            OK, just one. How much land – as a percentage – do you think is actually given over (lost!) to solar panels and windfarms, compared to land dedicated to crops for animal feed, sheep farming, and other meat produce (let’s not even bother about coal mining)?

            Do the above, and you might be able to show yourself as somewhat better than merely a repeater for corporate stooges in the corporate press (this is all that you are currently doing).

            Go on, give it a guess. Better still, do a bit of research and reading first, so you’ll actually know what you’re talking about for once in your life.

            But I very, very much doubt that you’ll have the courage.

      • Bayard

        “Yeah, yeah, it contradicts my beliefs, so it must be lies put out by the fossil fuel industry. ” How lame does that sound? Try looking at the science (physics, that is, not climate “science”).

        • glenn_nl

          We tried that before. You ran away, having wasted a lot of other people’s time.

          Let’s not pretend you’re all sciency now, there’s a good chap.

        • pretzelattack

          climate science involves physics, indeed it is supported by a range of different branches of science. try looking at the statements by various physicists who have studied it, and by organizations of physicists.

  • Bob (not OG)

    The move towards ‘net zero’ is a huge mistake, for the following reasons.
    1. EVs use much more energy in their construction and in use than do regular vehicles. Batteries cannot even approach the energy density of petrol or diesel (liquid fossil fuel (FF)).
    2. Our entire society (in the ‘civilized’ world) is now completely dependent on FF. Chemical fertilizers (from FF) are used to grow the large amounts of food we need. Diesel trucks are used to move it to supermarkets. (This point 2 list could go on…)
    3. The complex supply chains of the global economy are dependent on FF. Electricity can’t supply the necessary heat for melting metal and other manufacturing processes. Also, ships and planes need FF.
    4. Any attempt to replace all FF with electricity would require vast amounts of FF to extract the lithium, cobalt etc. So the ‘green tech’ is inextricably linked to FF. You can’t run mining machines on batteries.
    5. It avoids confronting reality: FF enabled a consumerist ‘culture’ and lifestyle that is wasteful. So wasteful that only FF will now do – no amount of windmills and solar farms will allow BAU to continue. To ‘turn off’ FF is to turn off society.
    6. The climate changes. Whether man-made or not, it’s a bit of a non-issue compared to the stupendous impact withdrawing from FF would have. It’s worrying that the PTB haven’t thought this through (but even more worrying if they have).

    In the end it comes down to physics. We use (now) too much energy.
    One of the most unfortunate developments in the history of humankind was the discovery of FF. It allowed people to use energy and own stuff they hadn’t really earned. The subsequent thirst for FF (and other resources) causes goverments to wage wars (using massive amounts of energy) across the world.
    It has led to a loss of appreciation of the value of energy.

    • Johnny Conspiranoid

      Here’s what looks like a jolly usefull analysis of just how much fossil fuel is left, from an actuary.
      Basically it says were going to run out of it and our present mode of production will not survive whether we run it down early or not. It might be a good idea to save fossil fuel for when its going to be most needed.

    • Steven Newbury

      Your points are all well made, but I disagree in part.

      We always use “too much energy”, that is we maximize the utilization of available resources, all species do it. It’s the Maximum Power Principle at play. “Earning” has nothing to do with it, we simply filled an ecological niche left by millions of years of hydrocarbon deposits. MPP works due to thermodynamics, FF represented a massive store of low entropy, so life evolved a heat engine to take advantage of the entropy gradient. Us.

      The concept of hard work being a moral virtue is just a trick played on the poor to manipulate them into allowing those above them in the hierarchy to live a life of leisure. In the natural world, excessive hard work will leave you exhausted and preyed upon, perhaps not so different to human society! This is what we’ve been blinded to by this vast bonanza made possible as we exploited the low entropy resources, in dynamic equilibrium, the moral virtue is to not expend more than required to meet your needs.

      Climate/ecological destruction is not a non-issue, it’s the limiting factor. You pointed out yourself how dependent we have become on FF, we will continue to utilise them while there is still an entropy gradient, even as that entropy become realised upon the world around us. We will continue even as fewer and fewer people remain at the top of the pyramid, as the vast majority must work hard to just keep the heat engine running and maintained. A high entropy Climate is not something we’ve evolved to thrive in, and we won’t.

      • Bob (not OG)

        You’re right and of course the MPP is correct. I should have been clearer, we use too much energy *because of* FF (and the throw-away culture which has arisen).
        What I meant by not earning x amount of energy or goods is that for example, a millionaire can amass a huge store of goods/wealth which is not commensurate with the physical work done to produce those goods. In that respect, those at the top of the hierarchy are the ones who have ‘earned’ what they have least of all.
        That’s an extreme example, but even something like a car or a computer illustrate the point. Can you imagine the amount of effort you’d have to exert to make a car from scratch? It probably wouldn’t even be possible.
        Ok, a wealth gap between rich and poor has been around a long time, but it’s been exacerbated by industrialisation due to FF.
        Yes, it was all inevitable because we naturally will exploit the entropy gradient of FF, but it would have been very different if they’d never existed (bit of a daft point, really, I know).
        If we will continue to use FF while it’s energetically worthwhile, why are they planning to shut them down? Government boffins must know what we know, i.e. for BAU but with RE replacing FF, the sums just don’t add up.

        • Steven Newbury

          I’m sure many know. I’m also sure the *planning* to shut them down is nothing of the sort. More like resource/net-energy depletion becoming harder to ignore. There’s been no let-up of fracking, or other non-conventional FF extraction, but it’s all scraping the bottom of the barrel, and requires ever more intensive (polluting) methods. Nobody is going to shut down legacy oil fields, where they’re making easy money on mature investments.

          So called “renewable energy” has seen falling costs of production, both due to technological advancement of PV and as a result of supply of capital into production capacity as investors sought for higher returns than the increasingly expensive FF plays. PV prices bottomed in 2020, though, diminishing returns applies to development of solar panels as much as anything else, and ultimately they’re produced from the surplus provided from FF. There are hard limits on other non-FF energy sources which prevents them from replacing fossil fuels as you’ve mentioned, then there’s the constant maintenance/renewal/replacement of the capital infrastructure. FFs getting more costly to produce is the elephant in the room, it is the reason why “renewable energy” has become apparently more affordable, in fact it hasn’t. The energy return was just that much better historically for FF when the gradient was steeper. It made no sense to build a wind farm, now it does, but it isn’t going to keep industrial civilization ticking along as we’ve known it.

          Gradually, more and more of the economy is going to be dedicated to energy production, this we’ll do using whatever means are at our disposal. Where the economics don’t make sense, in time we’ll see financial losses grow, no matter how much governments may throw at the problem, the physics won’t change.

  • Fat Jon

    Ok all you clever dick global warming deniers…. Explain away these graphs:-

    If you cannot see something of a trend developing over the decades, then I suggest you seek help via the medical profession.

    And just because water vapour is a potent greenhouse gas which we can do little about, doesn’t mean we should not try a cut emissions of those which we can, especially carbon dioxide and methane.

    Just because the sun doesn’t always shine on solar panels, and the wind doesn’t always blow across the turbines, does not mean we should not use them as a substitute for fossil fuels. The tides come and go twice a day, but we seem to be very reluctant to harness this reliable and regular source of power; preferring nuclear as a base level generator instead. Could our interests be more to do with military requirements for nuclear missiles?

    • nevermind

      Methane can’t be controlled; it’s on a runaway as permafrosts melt and idiots blow up pipelines to maximize their profits. Latest estimates are that by 2100, should we ever make it this far, we will have 2 billion climate refugees just due to rising sea levels. Weather-induced as well as food production limitations due to fertilizer shortfalls will make for hungry masses.

      Greenhouse gas emissions will have to be stabilized at current levels, ideally find ways to decrease them by innovative use of the underground to house ourselves, and Governments around the world will have to find ways to relocate coastal dwellers into inland higher grounds that have been protected in the past. London, Miami and New Orleans as well as many low-lying coastlines everywhere, the Maldives, Bangladesh are all under threat.
      Finally, a detailed study of China’s Liaohe delta shows that this is a problem the whole world faces, one that needs a cooperative approach by politicians everywhere.

      I am not happy about the current batch of warmongering self-servers who want to make us believe that the British Isles are best defended by us, the Australians and the US … in the South China sea … armored to the nine-pins and ready to defend Taiwan from its Chinese origins.

    • Bayard

      “Ok all you clever dick global warming deniers…. Explain away these graphs:-”

      Easy. The Earth warms and then it cools, cools and then it warms. The graphs start in the mid C19th, which was at the end of a period of cooling, so we’d expect to see a warming pattern from then on. That ir coincides with the rise of use of fossil fuels is simply a coincidence.

      Now it’s your turn to explain why, in the face of ever-increasing use of fossil fuels, there was no warming between 1940 and 1980.

      “And just because water vapour is a potent greenhouse gas which we can do little about, doesn’t mean we should not try a cut emissions of those which we can, especially carbon dioxide and methane.”

      Is it really worthwhile fixing that drip from the roof when the river’s flooded your house to 2ft deep? The expression drop in the ocean springs to mind.

      • Stevie Boy

        Right on !
        Apart from it all being complete BS, What is really laughable is all the Climate faithful in the British Isles cannot work out the fact that we could return Britain to the stone age and genocide the entire population, which the WEF crowd and their acolytes are trying to do, and it would make zero difference to the climate – basically because we are such a small insignificant contributor – But, they still want to destroy our economy and ruin everyone’s lives. Meanwhile, China, India, Russia, the USA carry on regardless protecting their economies and peoples whilst laughing at the UK for being such saps.
        CO2 insignificant; UK insignificant; UK + CO2 reduction measures = Reductio ad absurdum.

        • glenn_nl

          Who are ‘they’, in your view, that want all these terrible things to befall us?

          (Doubtless ‘they’ are laughing maniacally, twirling their handlebar moustaches all the while)

      • Fat Jon

        “Easy. The Earth warms and then it cools, cools and then it warms.”

        Is that really your explanation? And you expect me to take your lack of knowledge seriously?

        Maybe the earth does warm/cool over millennia, but not at the pace those graphs indicate. It matters not where the graph starts, the sudden rise over the last 40 years would still be there, and I notice you give no details of the extent of your ‘period of cooling’, or even a link to your source.

        “Now it’s your turn to explain why, in the face of ever-increasing use of fossil fuels, there was no warming between 1940 and 1980.”

        But there wasn’t an ever increasing use of fossil fuels between 1940 and 1980. There may have been an ever increasing use of oil, but at the same time there was a decreasing use of wood and coal as heating fuel. Also, the vast extents of the tropical rainforests had not been felled in their billions of acres to make way for palm oil monocultures and cattle ranches , as they have over the last 50 years.

        And do you see the slight levelling off in the graph after the year 2000? That was used by the AGW denier bullshitters to tell us that it was proof that the planet was readjusting to the extra CO2 in the atmosphere, and what happened? The warming pattern suddenly shot up after 2010 and the deniers went very quiet for a few years; but now it seems they are back with the same old excuses paraded as superior knowledge yet again.

  • ET

    How the greenhouse effect really works from Sabine Hossenfelder, a physicist.
    I Misunderstood the Greenhouse Effect. Here’s How It Works, with Sabine Hossenfelder (4 Feb 2023) – YouTube, 19m 51s
    The prediction that stratospheric cooling would occur if greenhouse effect caused the increased temperatures on the surface vs stratospheric heating if it was caused by solar radiation has been verified. You’ll need to watch to the end to put it all together.

  • DunGroanin

    “The resultant Falklands War catapulted Margaret Thatcher from extreme unpopularity to extreme popularity on a frenzy of jingoism. It thus enabled Thatcherism and the destruction of both heavy industry in the UK and of the principle of the mixed economy.”

    I beg to differ! Or at least to embellish that sparse judgement.
    I’ll quote something I wrote years ago in the Groaniad before I ‘dun’ with it.

    ‘The polls from the time show that even with Falklands (a contrived war with the help of the Atlantists on their grand trek to install Hayekism – the deaths in vain) that Labour would have won with Foot and put a halt to the ‘monetarism’ and pathways of privatisation of utilities.
    Hence SDP, set up hard and fast, with all the monstering of Foot and the postwar labour social contract.
    In the ensuing election the split of the Labour vote to the ‘gang of four aidded and abetted by the mass media – this organ especially – made sure that Thatcher was reelected and the neocon project got legs.
    The gang of four – rewarded highly.
    Nulab was a reverse takeover (SDP2) arranged by Kinnockian machinations (also rewarded highly)
    And now the usual crowd talking up the nu-centrists and technocrats as the ‘future saviours’ (SDP3) ….
    Fool us once, twice…. but not a chance in hell three times’
    As for the legendary whistleblower Clive p, I happily post a saved comment of his from this very blog site. A propo still and foretells the fascist state we have allowed ourselves to be slow frog boiled to – now a full blown Nazi supporting, arming, training and commanding yet another attempt at taking Russia and EurAsia…

    “Clive p
    July 30, 2018 at 20:02
    Like Craig I found that it was not just the preservation of your job but the prevailing ethos of ‘the interests of the state’ that dominated Whitehall. It was enough to justify almost anything. My own experience was of torture of prisoners in Northern Ireland, murder, perversion of the course of justice, the Kincora scandal, framing someone for a murder they didn’t commit, dirty deals with Pinochet during the Falklands and many more. Occasionally a few of us would discuss what would happen if there was a military coup or a semi-fascist government took power. How many senior civil servants would resign? We could never think of anybody. They would, like their counterparts in 1930s Germany, have carried on administering the state.”

  • Ann Rayner

    I remember hearingber the late Scottish MP, Tam Dalzell, speak about this in Liverpool wher i lived at the time. I think he was tiuring the Uk criticising the Thatcher Government for covering up the sinking of the Belgraon. I had not realised Ponting was concerned in this though i had heard his name and knew he had been punished for doing something that government did not like

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