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Extinction First

ExtinctionFirstHaving agreed with a few other Cliscep founders to post up Ben Pile’s excellent Twitter thoughts on Extinction Rebellion before the early hours of Thursday had – yawn – expired, I took First Bus out of Weston-super-Mare towards home and was greeted by this on the top deck. Someone had decided that XR was more important than the statutory health issue of not being allowed to smoke. Extinction came first, so to speak. Doesn’t it just.

But this isn’t about me and First Bus, or even the suggestive combination of two modern movements of apparently idealistic young people, Extinction Rebellion and Teach First. I know which one I prefer. This is about Ben Pile on XR. A few typos and paragraph breaks have been amended. You can read the original on Twitter starting here.

Ben’s thread (thanks Thread Reader App)

Lot’s of news media are trying to explain #ExtinctionRebellion, who they are and what they want. This is what we know.

Extinction Rebellion (XR), like much of the green movement, are almost exclusively drawn from the most degenerate parts of the upper and upper-middle classes. There has never been a posher ‘protest’ in history.

By ‘degenerate’ I mean that they have open contempt for democratic, industrial society and hostility towards civilisation. They have very little connection to productive society — i.e. ‘work’ as most people understand it. Yet they benefit from it more than almost any other part.

This disconnect is a form of alienation, which XR externalise as a crisis outside themselves, to in turn express as contempt for the rest of society. It is a cult, and this is the us-and-them dynamic of that cult.

What they claim they want are three utterly meaningless, impractical and impossible goals: to ‘tell the truth’; to decarbonise the entire economy 100% by 2025; and to replace representative democracy with a green ‘national assembly’. They claim that failure to realise these demands means that millions of people will die.

No facts, no science, no debate and no truth will budge them from this view. The fact that life is vastly improved for billions of people since 1990 is not important to them. The truth is that XR wish those people never had been born and had never survived.

They prefer, and celebrate lifestyles in which most children do not survive to see their 5th birthday, and in which most people do not live past 40.

They claim modern life is toxic. If they were not drawn from the idle upper classes, XR would have been ignored. They would not have been able to organise themselves and their PR campaigns.

If they did not share the values – including contempt for democracy – of the political establishment, they would have been shut down as soon as they had declared their views and their intentions.

Any other organisation that had declared its intention to hold an entire city, country or government to ransom would have had their doors kicked in by the Police in the early hours of the day following their announcement.

Politicians and ditto the news media don’t know what to make of it. That’s because they went to school with these people. They are their cousins, sisters and BFFs.

They see only the ‘we want to save the world’ claims. They cannot ask questions about the political demands. The entitlement of XR protesters extends far beyond selfishness. XR are a product of today’s vapid, entitled political class.

They believe they have the right to impose on the rest of society, because that is what they have learned from it.

They have no genuine grievance. They are not disenfranchised. They are not poor or excluded. They are not denied opportunity. Far from it, in each case.

Yet they continue to demand. And to demand more. And more. And more.

None of the government’s and supranational political bodies’ policies – abolishing ICE cars, abolishing coal, abolishing domestic gas, etc – have satisfied XR. They cannot even see them. And those policies lacked any semblance of democratic legitimacy.

For example, H/T @moonrakin

Claire Perry

@claireperrymp
I get science, motivation and passion driving #ClimateEmergency protests but our great progress and ambition being ignored. UK was the first country to pass Climate Change Act, since 1990 we’ve led G20 group in cutting CO2 intensity,@michaelgove has led huge action on #plasticfree (1/3)

Of course it’s being ignored! What made the minister, @claireperrymp *ever* believe that once she had given to the spoilt children that they would be satisfied?

When you don’t have to win the argument to be given what you demand, you don’t try to make arguments! In other words, Claire Perrys make XRs.

XR are the expression of today’s politics, not an alternative or challenge to it.

They want MORE of what it already is. Not less. They want an undemocratic, anti-industrial, and authoritarian regime. A green caliphate, if you will.

We know that XR and @claireperrymp are pretty chummy.

Revealed: Minister’s meeting with eco group. Business Minister Claire Perry held meetings with the Extinction Rebellion (XR) group at a climate change conference in Poland in November. — Daily Mail, 13 April 2019

We should see the government, the opposition, and XR and green groups then, for what they are: The same thing.

That is why XR have been allowed to inconvenience millions of people. That is why they are being handled by the @metpoliceuk as though they were fragile goods. Compare with the policing of tens of thousands of otherwise obedient football fans at stadiums across the city.

It would be a very, very different if XR had formed their own political movement, or got behind perhaps the Green Party.

But as a test of their principles, the Green Party’s democratic successes have not shown that they are widely shared. “Ah”, I hear you say, “but our first-past-the-post system excludes new players”.

It does.

But when XR organiser, Rupert Read stood as a candidate for the EU elections in 2014 for the East region he lost under the PR system.

It did not dent his sense of entitlement. For several decades now, climate change and other environmental causes, have become cover for far-reaching political ideas.

That’s not to say that climate change and environmental problems do not exist.

But… It is to say that behind claims to want to save the planet is an ‘ism’, the same as any other ism.

Climate change is a fig leaf. It’s a fig leaf for the government, and it’s a fig leaf for the XR.
They claim that unless their *political* demands are met, civilisation will collapse.

If you point out the *scientific* problems with their claim, they call you a denier.
You see, your agreement that there are environmental problems, and that we should do something about them is not enough for XR.

We can agree that there are environmental problems *without* agreeing that environmental problems lead to the Apocalypse.


But that would mean disagreeing with XR’s political, ideological claims — the ‘-ism’.

This is the *real* object of their ambition. Climate change has nothing to do with it.
In other words, the claim to be acting to save the planet isn’t merely self-aggrandising pseudoscience, it is political blackmail.

It is a lie — fear mongering — that is intended to limit your political choice and freedom.
The word ‘degenerate’ used above is upsetting some people.

I mean it. Absolutely.


If you said to them, I’m building a self-sufficient sustainable smallholding in undiscovered wales, you would be a hero.

If you said, I’m building a megafactory that will create 250K jobs in the wider economy, you would be the enemy.

They celebrate withdrawal from society. Others have been upset by the possibility that the above is ‘classist’ in some way.

I have no grudge against posh people, upper middle class people, middle class people.

I have a grudge against people’s sense of entitlement… There is a ‘sociology’, so to speak, to the development of that sense of entitlement.

And it’s a curious development. The radical green movement is full of contradictions and paradoxes. The green ‘movement’ is categorically posh. No, it’s not exclusively posh. But it is notable that it is drawn from above, not below, and that its contempt is for the wider public, and for democracy.

It is against things that ordinary people want and need. That tendency is not the character of all, or even most of the middle/upper classes.

It is the outlook of *particular* parts of those classes. And it is the *tendency* of *most* of the *political* class, which has become detached, remote from the rest of society.
Everybody seems to understand this…

Except politicians, green campaigners and large parts of the media. That schism is a disjuncture in society which needs to be understood before we can take the XR at face value.

It is a historical anomaly that there is a protest movement which has no genuine grievance and is demanding LESS stuff (for thee, but nor for me).

So, to wrap it up, there are *many* ways to understand, challenge and criticise XR and the broader green movement. And to do so is not equivalent to ‘denying’ that environmental problems exist and should be dealt with. But don’t expect MPs or much of the news media to do it.

47 thoughts on “Extinction First

  1. It is a historical anomaly that there is a protest movement which has no genuine grievance and is demanding LESS stuff

    Anomolous, but not unheard of.

    The previous secular incarnations, such as the hippies — with whom they share many traits — didn’t last.

    The ones that have lasted have been religious. The penitent sects of Christianity for whom all the world was sinful and withdrawal and penance the only option comes to mind.

    XR are the new Puritans.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The last few days I have been considering the idea that the climate consensus has utterly failed democracy/civil society.
    This XR, like our enfant terrible, AOC, are symptoms of an even deeper failure, as Ben and Richard have pointed out so eloquently.
    This movement is, in a way its members don’t yet understand, proof that “climate change” is real. A real mental/societal disorder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The absolutely essential take home message from all of Ben’s tweets above, in my opinion:

    “We should see the government, the opposition, and XR and green groups then, for what they are: The same thing.”

    Hydra springs to mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Twitter’s limitation on number of characters per tweet has the advantage of transforming Ben’s thread into a magnificent prose poem, a bit like that Walt Whitman, or that hippy anthem, Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl.”

    The posh-voiced elderly hippy interviewed on Waterloo Bridge on SkyNews this morning had one argument: he was doing it “for myself, for my children and grandchildren, and for the planet.” For the planet has become a kind of “Simon says…” transforming the “…do this” into an order you disobey at the risk of being banished from polite society.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The idiots are getting the ridicule they deserve

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/17/extinction-rebellion-leaders-jet-setter-buddhist-teacher-yoga/

    https://order-order.com/2019/04/17/posh-eco-loon-no-holidays-except/

    Bishop Hill has been looking at the holiday snaps some of them have posted on instagram:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I predict the imminent extinction of widespread public sympathy for XR and their grand ’cause’ – if such existed in the first place. I’m sure they’ll protest loudly about that too by sticking themselves to some public structure using oil-derived, solvent-based glue.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jaime (6am): Pressure From Above and Pressure From Below, as Gary Allen and Larry Abraham put it in None Dare Call It Conspiracy in 1971 – a book I read in Auckland in 1976 aged 18 because it had been given to an uncle by marriage there who thought I was looking at a loose end! “It looks like crap” was the recommendation of the blunt Yorkshireman. In fact, I always thought it was a mixed bag. But that phrase came back to me in the early hours. I partly blame Geoff, unashamed Cliscep conspiracist, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Extinction *Rebellion*
    Are they “rebels” ??
    … no not rebels at all ,
    but robot CONFORMISTS to the Climate alarmism machine

    What about the Extinction bit ?
    ..A supporter shouted at me “60% of vertebrate life destroyed globally”
    ..A wacky claim, cos of course wildlife numbers are generally at the same numbers as before
    ..except you can pick out certain species that do well, whilst others do terribly
    eg British deer vs Sumatran rhino

    The activist shouts , it’s true it’s in a WWF report Our Living Planet Report 2018 shows population sizes of wildlife decreased by 60% globally between 1970 and 2014.
    …em thats PR words ..and can be dissected
    ..they mean 60% of the endangered species they were monitoring
    ..They aren’t really monitoring the ones that are increasing

    I happen to know that Climate Alarmist : Ed Yong did a debunk calling out WWF’s PR

    The same logic applies to there extinction claims
    Yes we see faster extinctions than we’ve observed before
    But the context is we are finding new species at a faster rate than before
    ..as our discovery tech gets better.

    So I find the “Extinction” hype in’t that warranted

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Stew, and various confirmed / highly likely extinctions that have actually occurred, are in any case tied to features that whether human induced or not, are nothing to do with climate change. E.g. for human caused examples, habitat encroachment / reduction / fragmentation, and intrusion (e.g. marine), plus conventional pollutants etc. And some endangerments are actually contributed to by climate policy, e.g. reducing forests for wood-burning, and also bio-fuel mono-crops replacing diverse forest. So there is legit argument to moderate / mitigate these effects, but most certainly not via climate policy that anyhow is making things worse.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Exactly, yet again the political greens are ungreen
    Continually wanting policies that detract away from real green and real conservation.
    … They pressured for biofuels
    thus in Borneo as forest was cleared for palm oil
    ..thus you get habitat loss and loss of rhino

    Then they turn around and say
    “rhino numbers fell, that’s Climate Change!”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. BTW as ever its impossible to log all the XR stuff like it’s impossible to log all BBC bias, and recently sites like here and NotAlot are doing the work
    but I have previously logged XR issues over in a BH thread now on page 2.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Am I worrying over nothing then? I watch the television news and see an array of angry or exuberant faces filled with semi-religious zeal spouting nonsense leavened with climate claptrap and dire warnings about not tearing down our modern societies and their evil fossil fuel underpinnings. They seem so very, very sure of themselves and the utter righteous and rightness of their cause, even though many seem too young to have acquired any real wisdom. Watch enough and you realize they are spouting mantras. So convinced are they and so determined are the news organizations (not just the BBC, but ITV, Channel 4 and Sky) to give them maximum publicity with scarcely a hint of condemnation for their antisocial activities, that I begin to wonder if this is a phenomenon likely to be more successful than its predecessors. I feel very old and lethargic, unable to stir up appropriate indignation. Extinction Rebellion is portrayed as a righteous and unstoppable force.

    Like

  13. XR are planning to disrupt Heathrow Airport tomorrow:
    https://order-order.com/2019/04/18/meet-man-behind-heathrow-shutdown-attempt/

    Interviewer: “Will that disrupt the travel for tens of thousands of people?”

    Robin Boardman Pattison: “It will disrupt the travel for lots of people, yeah. And that disruption is totally necessary, given the emergency that we’re in”.

    The rules don’t apply to him, though, apparently:
    https://order-order.com/2019/04/17/posh-eco-loon-no-holidays-except/

    [Oops, just realised Paul already linked to this..]

    Like

  14. RBP talking to Sky’s Adam Boulton:

    Adam Boulton: “What happens to air travel? What happens to foreign holidays?”

    Robin Boardman Pattison: “We’d only use air travel in emergencies”.

    Like

  15. Alex,

    Ahhh, that explains why climate scientists and green activists clock up hundreds of thousands of air miles hob-nobbing around the globe each year to attend important climate conferences in far flung exotic locations – because of the “climate emergency”. They really ought to get blue flashing lights fitted to the aircraft so we all know they’re being chartered for emergency only use. The odd blue flashing light stuck on top of XR executives’ heads wouldn’t go amiss either.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This Ben Pile tweet also rang true:

    Many XRers arrived at the cult via depression or a mid-life crisis and some of them have found a perverse joy in its eco-grief and eschatology.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. All Out Politics, Sky News, 17/4/19 – Adam Boulton interviewing XR’s Robin Boardman
    ====

    Boulton: Here with me now is one of the campaign coordinators for Extinction Rebellion, the people doing the demonstrations. Robin Boardman, welcome to you. What’s the point?

    Boardman: Good morning, Adam. The point of the rebellion today is mass civil disobedience. It’s to wake the public up to the severity of the crisis that we face. And when I say severity I mean the potential extinction of the human race.

    Boulton: Right, it’s mass civil disobedience. It’s not actually that, is it? It’s a few thousand people coming up from the provinces for a day out in London. In London’s case and in other places, this is not massive disobedience, it’s mass inconvenience for millions of people. Half a million people, it was estimated yesterday, have been inconvenienced.

    Boardman: Thousands of people are out on the streets…

    Boulton: How many?

    Boardman: …To tell the truth…

    Boulton: How many?

    Boardman: …To tell the truth…

    Boulton: How many people?

    Boardman: …About what’s happening. Thousands of people are out on the streets…

    Boulton: Thousands. How many?

    Boardman: …To tell the truth. Thousands of people. I don’t have an exact figure. Thousands of people are out on the streets to tell the truth that we are in a climate and ecological emergency and that millions of people are going to die.

    Boulton: But you think we don’t know that?

    Boardman (borrowing from Hallam’s playbook): Sorry. Didn’t you hear what I just said? Millions of people…

    Boulton: And I said, ‘You think we don’t know that?’ I mean, children are taught in schools about problems with the environment and climate change. It’s on the television on a daily basis…

    Boardman: Children are not taught in schools

    Boulton: …But you’ve decided…

    Boardman: I was not…

    Boulton: …You’ve decided…

    Boardman: …taught in school.

    Boulton: Well, you’re not at school any more…

    Boardman: I’m 21 years old…

    Boulton: …I don’t know how old you are…

    Boardman: …I’ve just left school. OK?

    Boulton: Well, it is taught in schools.

    Boardman: And I was not taught in school about the severity…

    Boardman: Yeah, we’ve got ‘Climate Change – The Truth’ [sic], a television programme on BBC One this week. You’ve suddenly decided that other people don’t know about these issues. They do.

    Boardman: The severity of the issue is not being talked about…

    Boulton: But you think it’s justified to inconvenience millions of people…

    Boardman: Absolutely.

    Boulton: …Because they don’t know something which actually they do know.

    Boardman: Absolutely. We’re severe [?]. We deeply apologise to the people that are disrupted. We don’t want to disrupt Londoners’ lives but when there is an emergency, when there is a fire in a theatre, someone has to disrupt that theatre and tell the people that there is an emergency – and that is what’s happening.

    Boulton: If you are worried about climate change, why are you causing traffic jams and targeting public transport today?

    Boardman: Mass disruption is the way to get people’s attention. People need to be aware of the issue they are facing.

    Boulton: So is public transport a good thing or a bad thing?

    Boardman: Public transport is part of the future that we need. Of course…

    Boulton: So why are you disrupting it, then?

    Boardman: It’s part of the disruption that needs to happen. Millions of Londoners use the transport system every day and that needs to be disrupted, needs to be highlighted that we are facing the deaths of millions of people.

    Boulton: Is it good news or bad news that West End traders are saying that they’ve lost this week as a result of your actions some twelve million pounds?

    Boardman: Economic disruption is key to how the change is going to happen. Government…

    Boulton: All right.

    Boardman: …And the financial district in particular…

    Boulton: It is, is it?

    Boardman: …Is not going to listen to people. We’ve seen this over and over…

    Boulton: Yeah, so economic disruption’s a good thing, so who’s going to pay to put the world to right, then?

    Boardman: This country has a responsibility to people all across the world and to the people in this country to tell the truth about the severity of the issue that we’re facing and to help others.

    Boulton: I feel very patronised by you because I feel that I am well aware of what the situation is and I don’t see why millions of my fellow citizens should be inconvenienced.

    Boardman: I you understand the severity…

    Boulton: Let’s just talk about this, yeah? You want us to be carbon-zero by 2025. In your view, what does that mean?

    Boardman: It means rapidly decarbonising the society. If we understand the severity of the issue we would do everything…

    Boulton: Well, all right, give us some examples.

    Boardman: …We would rapidly decarbonise…

    Boulton: What happens to air travel? What happens to foreign holidays?

    Boardman: We would only use air travel in emergencies.

    Boulton: Only use air travel in emergencies, right?

    Boardman: We can create mass city farms, solar panels. These things can be done but are not being done because people don’t understand the severity of the issue.

    Boulton: Right, OK, so no holidays, no foreign travel, no foreign business?

    Boardman: The issue is about life and death…

    Boulton: I know. I’m just asking you if that’s what you’re saying.

    Boardman: I understand and I’m thinking about my brother. I’m thinking about the fact that me and him might not be able to have food in the future because we’re facing starvation…

    Boulton: All right. Speaking of food, no meat consumption by 2025, is that right?

    Boardman: I’m talking about mass starvation. I’m talking about my future…

    Boulton: No, I’m asking you a question. You’re here to answer questions. Does that mean no meat consumption by 2025?

    Boardman: I’m here to tell the people what’s happening…

    Boulton: Does that mean no meat consumption by 2025 according to your rules?

    Boardman: It means a changed diet and it means…

    Boulton: It does!

    Boardman: …A whole different view…

    Boulton: So it means no meat consumption?

    Boardman: It means a whole new way of how we look at life and it means a whole new way for my future and for your childrens’ future too. This is a serious…

    Boulton: You see, I’m talking to you and you sound to me like a right-wing fascist. You sound like someone who wants to dictate to people how they live their lives.

    Boardman: We have three reasonable demands. That the government declares a climate and ecological emergency, as the government in Ireland has done…

    Boulton: You have demands?

    Boardman: Yes. There are three demands. The second is, as you’ve mentioned, to halt biodiversity or animals lost across the world, who are dying out in the sixth mass extinction. We haven’t seen for millions of years. Animals are dying out faster than when an asteroid hit our planet. And the third is to create a citizens’ assembly, a new democratic body of ordinary people that can vote…

    Boulton: I mean we’ve actually got a democratic system. You want an alternative democratic system.

    Boardman: A new democratic system to give ordinary people the vote…

    Boulton: I mean, you’re not really democratic at all, are you? You’re not giving people a choice about having their lives disrupted. You’re not giving people a choice about what they think, because you know that it’s right. I mean, there’s absolutely no democracy in this at all. This is…

    Boardman: Would you give an alcoholic a drink if you knew it was going to kill him?

    Boulton: Well I don’t think the great British public are alcoholics and I think that’s an offensive analogy.

    Boardman: I’m saying that people are going to die and if we do not disrupt that possibility then we are failing as a species. We’re failing people. I care so deeply, so deeply about the people and this world and all the life on it and I will not see it die. I will not see it go this way.

    Boulton: So half-term week, when parliament isn’t even here, you come here and you cause disruption in Westminster. You’re not even getting your message across. You’re just a… You know… You’re a load of incompetent, middle-class, self-indulgent people who want to tell us how to live our lives. That’s what you are, isn’t it?

    Boardman: Millions of people are going to starve, starting with those in Africa. We’re seeing the effect it’s having right now. If we face another hot summer this summer, another El Nino Effect, we’re going to see the effects right here in the UK. People are not going to be able to put food on their plates and I won’t stand for that. And I won’t stand for people who won’t stand up for what it means to live on this planet. And I won’t stand for anything else.

    [Boardman pushes his chair back and stands.]

    Boulton: Jolly good. Thank you.

    (I like the bit about shouting ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theatre being a good thing.)

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Excellent transcript, Vinny.

    “Millions of Londoners use the transport system every day and that needs to be disrupted…”

    “We have three reasonable demands”.

    Like

  19. Thanks, Alex. It took ages (and there are still a couple of typos/thinkos in there) and I really didn’t know how to present all the interruptions. Tips on how to do it faster and better would be gratefully received.

    Like

  20. Vinny, I find voice-to-text software helps – what I’m doing these days is listening to the audio through headphones and then dictating it to Siri on my iPhone, who does quite a good job of turning it into text, in the form of a draft email. I haven’t used it but Google Voice might do something similar.

    Then the text can be copied and pasted from the draft email and edited – somehow it feels a lot easier to edit something that already exists rather than type it all out from scratch onto a blank page.

    Like

  21. Vinny, thanks for the transcript. Summarised: ill-educated, ill-informed, immature, petulant snowflake hissy-fits in studio when interviewer doesn’t buy the snake oil global catastrophe narrative he’s earnestly trying to sell.

    Like

  22. Yes thanks, Vinny, and respect, Adam Boulton. Not such much this person.

    Like

  23. I hope that you have been following the Finnish elections where another so-called far Right party has scared the thought-leaders, not by talking about immigration but about the costs of climate change action. They warned that such actions might increase the price of pet food….

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Further to the YouGov poll referenced by Alex Cull @ 18 Apr 19 at 6:05 pm, the political breakdown is interesting.
    https://yougov.co.uk/opi/surveys/results#/survey/61935ede-60f6-11e9-80be-1b0957da78b7

    Total support for XR is 36%, but 52% for Labour supporters and 49% for Remain supporters. This eco-fanatics demands resonate with those who believe in “enlightened” government imposing their will on the masses. Note that the UK protests are in London. There are copycat groups in France Germany and Sweden, with nearly all protests in the capitals.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I tried pointing out to XR how they were misguided in three tweets. They are now “unavailable”. In common with more moderate climate alarmists, they cannot substantiate they own arguments, nor recognize how their useless policies will harm those they are inflicted upon.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Excellent comments, thanks all. These brief responses to some don’t imply that all are not highly valued (and I’m only acting as a proxy for the great Ben Pile in moderating this after all).

    Chester Draws:

    The previous secular incarnations, such as the hippies — with whom they share many traits — didn’t last.

    Or is it better seen as that counter-culture reborn, with all that human beings have learned since making it far more stupid than it ever was?

    XR are the new Puritans.

    What is common, and importantly so, is that both movements believed/believe in a theocracy, with their beliefs having the helpful backing of state violence. On this Good Friday, then, a shout-out to the Quakers who through their own sacrifice followed their Master, Jesus, and, as a surprising spin-off in history, provoked the separation of church and state in America. (I made this point recently to a group of Jewish people after we’d been learning about the awful history of anti-semitism, at the Jewish community centre JW3 in Finchley Road. A lady over from Philadelphia strongly affirmed me as I said this. William Penn and the City of Brotherly Love. That connection meant a lot.)

    Geoff:

    Twitter’s limitation on number of characters per tweet has the advantage of transforming Ben’s thread into a magnificent prose poem, a bit like that Walt Whitman, or that hippy anthem, Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl.”

    It is striking how powerful it is, despite the obvious flaws. Originally programmed in Ruby on Rails, of course. (Given I didn’t have a clue about your allusions either!)

    Stewgreen:

    What about the Extinction bit? … So I find the “Extinction” hype isn’t that warranted.

    Thanks for this. We must come back to it. The first word of the name stands for something ridiculously and obviously wrong which doesn’t have the complexity of the spatiotemporal chaos of climate to befuddle believers and sceptics alike. (And as you also say, the Rebellion likewise deserves a mellow raspberry, but that is I think secondary once the Extinction claims have been blown to smithereens.)

    Andy:

    And some endangerments are actually contributed to by climate policy, e.g. reducing forests for wood-burning, and also bio-fuel mono-crops replacing diverse forest.

    Preach it.

    Stewgreen:

    BTW as ever its impossible to log all the XR stuff like it’s impossible to log all BBC bias, and recently sites like here and NotAlot are doing the work but I have previously logged XR issues over in a BH thread now on page 2.

    The sceptic blogosphere is amazing. Thanks for this effort from months back and of course to Paul Homewood.

    Alan:

    Am I worrying over nothing then?

    Certainly not. We simply don’t know how this ends. Much more theocratic and intolerant than the original hippies, with massive pressure from above from the UN, EU elite compared to those days. All we can do is our bit.

    Vinny:

    Many XRers arrived at the cult via depression or a mid-life crisis and some of them have found a perverse joy in its eco-grief and eschatology.

    Agreed. One of the many reasons it’s so hard to oppose.

    Vinny quoting Adam Boulton:

    But you think we don’t know that?

    I’d like to come back to this. How much does Adam Boulton really know? But credit to him for fighting back in any way whatsoever.

    MIAB:

    It is depressing that some privileged young fools are getting so much publicity but there are hints of a better future from this debate in New York where a climate believer actually debated with a sceptic and got mauled

    Taking part in debates is always a mistake for consensus enforcement. Thanks for some much-needed encouragement.

    Oldbrew:

    Food production is at record levels and extra CO2 is a benefit not a problem.

    Succinct and the kind of truth that should be shouted from the housetops against the madness.

    MIAB:

    I hope that you have been following the Finnish elections where another so-called far Right party has scared the thought-leaders, not by talking about immigration but about the costs of climate change action. They warned that such actions might increase the price of pet food….

    I hadn’t been following. Fascinating, thanks.

    Manic:

    Total support for XR is 36%, but 52% for Labour supporters and 49% for Remain supporters. This eco-fanatics demands resonate with those who believe in “enlightened” government imposing their will on the masses. Note that the UK protests are in London. There are copycat groups in France Germany and Sweden, with nearly all protests in the capitals.

    So important. There is a connection with Brexit and the attempt by many to frustrate it (pace Andy West in a previous thread). Here’s a tweet from yesterday which struck me (but not in a good way):

    The voice of England? I think not. But how it all pans out isn’t easy to tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Jaime, before seeing the whole interview I agreed with those who said that Boulton’s sneering had been unpardonably unprofessional but Boardman was a total prannet right from the start. He was there to give a speech, not be interviewed. A conceited know-nothing who insistently parroted barmy predictions of imminent doom and refused to explain exactly what he wants or why what he wants is a good idea. So I don’t know how else Boulton could have dealt with him. Stop the interview after a couple of minutes with a ‘Thank you very much for coming in, Robin, but I don’t think we’re getting anywhere, so let’s see what Anna Botting has to say about the latest developments in Nether Stowey’?

    Liked by 2 people

  28. The point that by indulging the demand of the climate consensus to never permit honest debate with skeptics has led to XR and AOC spoilt thug positions is profound.
    Not only has the climate consensus failed democracy. It required the failure of our political, academic and media to support democracy to get us to this pathetic position.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. wonder if any will get time/sentenced for this.
    fracking protesters/airport & other activists seem to have got away with this kind of thing in the past.

    I blame the judges in past cases for not realising where this could go.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Hans,

    I had always presupposed that Extinction Rebellion was just the rebranding of a pre-existent, radical, international anti-capitalist movement. As for the average Eco Warrior’s care for the environment, I think the following tweet from Simon Mayo says it all:

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Extinction Rebellion has, so far, been a huge success, if judged by the number of participants, their fervour, the real disruption they have caused, and the lack of negative reaction. There are so many other people who piss you off in Central London, from the homeless, the Hare Krishna and similar sects, the tourists, and the Londoners who hold long monologues into their phones in foreign languages on the top of buses – in fact practically everyone you meet within zones 1 and 2 – that it seems unfair to pick on people who are only there to defend the planet.

    If only our police force had the cojones of the French, there would have been several thousand wounded and half a dozen with empty eyesockets by now, and the consequent shock among the public would have resulted in the declaration of a People’s Green Republic, with Robin Boardman Pattison being carried shoulder high through the streets of Londinium by happy rope-soled-sandalled Vegans.

    We’re not there yet, but you only have to compare this with previous efforts to arouse the green masses to see how successful they’ve been. The Climate Action Network (proprietor: G. Monbiot) used to boast two million members, but no longer even has a British website. Their international blog’s last post, titled: “12 Years Left: Don’t Waste This One!” dates from last year. The UK Youth Climate Coalition, consisting of bright young undergrads – people at least literate enough to have filled in a university application form – has been replaced by a sister organisation open only to those up to the age of 18.

    It’s a difference of approach, a different way of using the internet. Whereas the NGO of the ancien régime of five years ago with its board of directors, its trustees, and its highly qualified paid staff, would set up a well designed website with a blog, with posts no-one ever read or replied to, Extinction Rebellion has no leaders, no programme, just a site with three pages, three demands, and the vague threat do something really really bad if their demands aren’t met. It seems to be appealing to the kind of green for whom reading a Monbiot article right to the end is a bit of an effort. There seems to be a lot of them, and it seems to be working.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. It will be interesting though to see where they are in, say, November, when it’s cold, raining and the misery of commuting into London will be turned up a few notches, so people might not be so forgiving.

    Also factor in the next round or so of Brexit chaos, which will concentrate the politicians’ minds considerably – and not on climate change.

    They have three “reasonable demands”, as young Mr. Boardman-Pattinson put it:

    1) Government to “tell the truth” about climate change and declare an emergency.
    2) UK to be “zero-carbon” by 2025 and halt biodiversity loss.
    3) Government to create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

    (That looks more like five demands, actually, in the spirit of Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition, but anyway…)

    These are by no means feasible (understatement). The only one I can see – kind of – happening is the first half of Demand No.1 and that I think will probably take the form of a few platitudes by some hapless person like Perry or Gove.

    So where do they go from there?

    Liked by 2 people

  33. I’ve got a fair few tweets from the long weekend to share. First of all, these two from the Bish:

    Statement of the blindingly obvious, from where I sit. Conspiracism is sometimes the only thing that makes sense of the data. And it’s important practically to know what we’re up against.

    Like

  34. This debate between David Rose (who has been absolutely sterling both weekends in the Mail on Sunday) and Richard Betts began over a week ago. Richard’s initial response was very disappointing:

    But Dr Betts at least partially made up for it:

    And that led on to a number of sub-debates, which I’ll cover in different comments.

    Like

  35. First up, I didn’t know this about ‘two architects of the Paris Accord’ but who is surprised?

    Then there’s the little-remarked change of target from 2°C to 1.5°C, which is really (from 2015 say) more like a change of target from a 1°C increase, from now, to a paltry 0.5°C one. As Twitter folk like to say in other contexts

    Like

  36. More reactions to Richard:

    Nice to see some agreement on extreme events there.

    Like

  37. Then the sage of Toronto got involved with a key question for an XR advocate:

    Richard’s answer led to a key piece this morning for the GWPF by Andrew Montford:

    Like

  38. Also this morning, Bjorn Lomborg weighed in:

    That’s a key fact about “what people want”. But I think the covert drivers of the current push know all about that. Any “new assembly” would be about bypassing true democracy. Even more than before. Five votes against the Climate Change Act were for them five too many. With the outcome of Brexit still unpredictable, no chances are to be taken this time.

    Like

  39. Lastly, after the Easter break, back to ‘faith’ as a theme

    How I agree that the switch from ‘sceptic’ to ‘denier’ (over ten years ago) was a key marker of a new ‘totalitarian religious mindset … that can’t tolerate dissent to the faith and has to see it as a form of “heresy” that must be punished.’ And now we see more of the outworking. It’s really not pretty. But they may be overplaying their hand.

    Like

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