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Hope, compromise and stepwise refinement

Here was a segment of my Twitter timeline just before midday:

NorthTrussHope

Sadly my iPhone screen didn’t allow me to capture with full clarity and imagination what The Guardian thinks hope is. But it seems safe to assume it involves changing the world for the better, progressive intellectual style. For instance:

Oh dear, Pile and Drake were mocking the positivity and hope that hardly anyone votes for. The thickos see through it, that’s the problem. Pete North is bang-on about that, despite not being a great Dominic Cummings fan (a person I see as a key voice of the thickos in cabinet – and it’s a big compliment. More on that below.)

In fact, it was this, not some form of faux-intellectual climate woo, that was the idiocy Pete was referring to, that the Tories have apparently just backed off:

There is a tiny glimmer of hope at the moment, the way I see things. This is one example. Another is the proposed change to the Political Declaration by the British government as part of its last-minute negotiations with the EU. This was The Independent two days ago:

Boris Johnson is scrapping a commitment by Theresa May to stick to EU rules on the environment, safety standards and workers’ rights – to raise his chances of getting a trade agreement with Donald Trump.

The “level playing field”, included in the Brexit deal negotiated by the former prime minister, was a commitment to abide by rules similar to the EU’s in exchange for market access.

But right-wingers in Mr Johnson’s new cabinet want the commitments downgraded to give the UK more flexibility to lower its standards for American goods.

Forget the mention of Trump, it’s surely much wider than that. The freedom to diverge from the EU on environmental regulations would be a key step in escaping the most ruinous aspects of climate alarmism in policymaking. A necessary but not sufficient condition, granted.

There is some hope – but not quite the kind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez found in chatting to Greta Thunberg in June or that Greta herself referred to in her angry peroration to the United Nations in September:

‘This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.’

That’s as recorded in the Daily Mail four days ago, as it discussed Vladimir Putin’s sceptical remarks about the teenager. Yes, I’m going with Putin here. Might as well be open about it.

Redressing the gender imbalance (Added late on 6th October)

I’m conscious that, apart from Jaime with her supportive first comment, women have been getting a rough time of it from blokes in this post so far: Truss, Womack, Ocasio-Cortez, Thunberg. Peter North’s rudeness about Truss being particularly unnecessary, given she’s doing exactly the right thing. Though Pete is spot on about thickos getting the big picture when intellectuals don’t. Why, as he says, democracy works better than many intellectuals think. And if I’m right that the secret of Dominic Cummings isn’t just his wide-ranging reading and stream-of-consciousness blogging, stimulating though it is, but his feeling for the ordinary thicko on the Clapham or Durham omnibus, as brought out by Benedict Cumberbatch lying down and putting his ear to the ground in the street to pick up those all-important vibes … oh dear, I’m lapsing into Cummingsist stream-of-consciousness myself. I can only hope you the reader get my drift and will do so again as installments increase over the next day or two.

I’m indebted to Dr Jonathan Jones, still I think holidaying in Cornwall, for pointing me on Twitter to a feisty woman who has really knocked it out of the park today on the falseness of the woke greenery of Extinction Rebellion. Here’s a snippet from the start and end of Julie Burchill’s piece in The Telegraph:

Woke-taunters (amongst whom I proudly include myself) have largely swallowed the line which the special snowflakes themselves like to propagate; that they are rebels with many causes, each one more daring and progressive than the last. Having been of a rebellious bent all my life, this never sat well with me. The more you examine what The Woken want, the more they emerge as reactionaries rather than rebels.

The yearning for a less enlightened world infests the woke rainbow. It takes in transgender activists who claim that lesbianism is transphobic and that sportswomen should accept second place to competitors who were born male, fauxminists who believe that a permanent underclass of prostituted women is acceptable and that wearing a hijab is subversive, American antifas and Corbynite clowns who repeat ancient anti-Semitic tropes. But it can be seen most shamelessly in those of the Green stripe.

When Extinction Rebellion sprayed, or at least attempted to spray, thousands of litres of fake blood over the Treasury building this week – after the Treasury quite rightly stated that Britain is well to the forefront of action against climate change – this rag-bag of flora and fauna fetishists demonstrated admirably the childish sense of entitled rage that fuels their tantrums. (Unlike the privately-owned fire-engine they sprayed it from, which is fuelled by diesel.)

At the risk of being alarmist – it’s catching – I found it fitting that the red paint doubled back and covered the idiot protesters at one point.

Because the blood of all those who die in the fetid swamp of a pre-industrial society will be on their hands if they ever succeed in the rewilding of society – with all the savagery that the word implies.

As Burchill implies, there is a connection between ‘The Woken’ in different areas. Cliff Mass has been accused of racism, completely spuriously, in order to shut him up on some climate data that didn’t fit the alarmist narrative. This despite the fact he backs a more stringent carbon tax than his superiors. I wanted to get to that example as well, under the compromise banner. We’ll see how far I do get.

On Cummings in the light of Chambers

I began by wanting to respond to Geoff’s thread on Dominic Cummings with climate in mind. But I’m using stepwise refinement with this post. Feel free to respond in comments if anything piques your interest. Here are some future section titles to guide both reader and author on when the post will finally be complete.

Dominic of Durham (added evening of 8th October)

As I restart this the BBC’s lead headline is “Brexit: Deal essentially impossible, No 10 source says after PM-Merkel call“. We’ve all come a long way from 23rd June 2016, haven’t we? Still, the result the next day was a shock to many and remains so now. Here’s a passage I recently read that I thought gave one key reason why:

Labour is politically dependent on the metropolis. In the six months following Corbyn’s election as Labour leader 81,000 Londoners joined his party, double Labour’s total membership in Wales. Corbyn, Starmer, Thornberry and McDonnell all sit for London constituencies (two in the London Borough of Islington alone).

They share the same geographically narrow worldview as that of Stronger In whose four principal staffers grew up in London within two square miles of each other. Two went to the same school. One was the son of a Labour Home Secretary and another was Lord Mandelson’s Godchild.

And whereas in the 1970s less than a third of Labour MPs were graduates now 90% are. When the mask slips it reveals a prejudice about working class Leave voters such as when Huddersfield’s Labour MP Barry Sheerman claimed “better educated people” voted Remain and whenever Owen Jones talks about ‘gammons’.

Secondly, Corbyn’s bien pensant ‘Global Villager’ values don’t resonate in the Brexitlands of Wales, the Midlands and the north. Harold Wilson told Bernard Donoghue: “I don’t want too many of these Guardianisms. I want my speeches always to include what working people are concerned with.”

That’s from Labour has forgotten its eurosceptic heritage and left the working classes behind by Matt Smith, formerly of Vote Leave, back in December 2018. All of it is very worthwhile. But to repeat, “four principal staffers [of Stronger In] grew up in London within two square miles of each other.” And Dominic Cummings was from Durham. I think that mattered. A lot.

It’s also fun to think of Bernard Donoghue, now taken over from Nigel Lawson at the GWPF, getting that message to avoid Guardianisms from Harold Wilson back in the day. Some things really haven’t changed.

I haven’t always voted Labour (though I have, one party among maybe six chosen at different times, due to local personalities, probabilities and issues) but here’s someone who’s both a follower and a followee on Twitter who I suspect has done much more often than me:

Tim also voted Leave. I think Cummings, more than most, got such people in June 2016 and does so again now. Much is being attributed to the guy by now, for example:

It is strange that someone who really wasn’t the story during the referendum campaign has now, it seems, accepted that he cannot avoid being a big part of it. Yet Cummings needs to undergo an operation soon and it is said he will leave the government then. I get the impression Boris is happy to let him at least share the initial heat, in the knowledge that he is disposable. But who knows?

What I want to get to by the end here is Cummings and climate. It was completely unmentioned during the Vote Leave campaign. Anyone else notice that? And that I think is explained well enough by Cummings as depicted by Cumberbatch in Channel 4’s revisiting. He knew that most climate sceptics were already in the bag for Leave. Those who believed the climate alarmist story, or at least partially believed it, were not to be put off. Even Martin Durkin, once of the Great Global Warming Swindle, fell in with this approach, in his excellent Brexit The Movie, in which James Delingpole starred – and I thought James did very well. But even Dellers didn’t mention climate. Curious, huh?

The trans issue I think is seen, after polling, as having a very different character. Many of the women of voting age who are concerned about trans extremism would have been very unlikely to vote Tory (the focus now being a general election). Some though could be moved over by the key step announced by Truss, covered in very different ways by the Mail and by Pink News. More (it is calculated) than LGBT types who might be put off. They probably weren’t going to vote Tory either way.

I believe the Vote Leave campaign shows that Cummings is incredibly focused on what is going to work. The bad news for us climate sceptics is that our concerns are not going to get much airtime. Sorry to be a bringer of bad news.

Hope deferred – part 1 (evening of 10th October)

Geoff Chambers has looked into George Monbiot’s devotion to Greta Thunberg, more than I ever will, as pointed to by Jaime Jessop, and says in response:

Monbiot said in his first article mentioning Thunberg that he was willing to follow her, and it’s clear from the beatific smile on his face that he has found a new purpose in life.

I call that hope. Yet Greta herself said in her angry talk to the UN:

You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?

Since deciding on this title for my post, around ten days ago, I have been increasingly struck by the emphasis on hope from a broad swathe of XR/climate strike protestors and their sympathisers. Zion Lights took refuge in the need to give hope to our desperate children as a kind of defence against some unwelcome facts presented by Andrew Neil last night. Like my favourite, the stats of deaths from extreme events:

Now you would have thought that this graph, and the facts on the ground it depicts, which Neil went through very clearly, would be a wonderful way to give some hope to our fearful children. (Not that this one dataset proves every possible climate problem solved, not that there isn’t still work to do, as the veteran presenter also said.) But somehow the connection isn’t made at all. I don’t think in missing it that Ms Lights is being deliberately evil. Something else is going on.

Vaclav Havel once said:

Hope… is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but, rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

That really hit me when I read it in an email the other day. Because that’s the situation I think we climate sceptics are in: being realistic, we don’t know if we have any chance of succeeding. Yet we have to hope. Same goes for those of us who voted for Brexit (the majority of Cliscep readers, those that had UK voting rights, one assumes, from a lot of anecdotal evidence, though David Rose is an honourable exception, if he does ever read us!) And for those who put their hope later in 2016 that Donald Trump was really going to “drain the swamp” as President … well, that’s not looking trivial either. (I last talked to David at the end of a GWPF meeting featuring Myron Ebell talking about his hopes for US climate policy after Trump’s victory and we shared some of our reservations about the Orange One. David felt he had to tell me at once that he had voted Remain. I said I thought I already knew that. I hope he realised from my reaction that it didn’t make a blind bit of difference to my respect for him or the interest I had in his views on Trump.)

Anyway, where was I? The person quoting Havel was Maria Popova of Brain Pickings so I clicked eagerly to read more. And of course, inevitably, this is what I read:

I thought of Havel as I cycled across the Manhattan Bridge to join the breathtaking gathering of young people at the 2019 Climate Strike, the largest environmental protest in history — a magnificent mass of resistance to greed, to consumerism, to the capitalist exploitation of our irreplaceable planet’s oceans and rivers and rainforests and wildlife, whose preservation and administration, as Rachel Carson admonished in 1953 to unheeding ears, “is not properly, and cannot be, a matter of politics.”

And through this I began to feel that we and our opponents in the climate brawl, in the well-heeled West, have, strangely, something of the same problem. Or some parts of the same problem. We both don’t know if we have a chance of succeeding. We disagree on what’s good to work for, of course. As a bit of a libertarian, I enjoyed this depiction of the hopelessness that faces many climate protestors, just like many other types:

But, as a Christian, I’m not really meant to be amused by the hopelessness of anyone. So another invite I saw this week piqued my interest:

Another click (the triumph of hope over experience?) and I found I was reading something that did seem relevant:

We live in an age of unprecedented prosperity. Yet a recent psychological study found that anxiety “is significantly more prevalent and impairing in high-income countries than in low- or middle-income countries.” Clay Routledge argues that these and related research findings are a warning that prosperous societies such as the United States are facing a crisis of meaning that may ultimately undermine liberty and prosperity. Affluence and liberalism, he claims, benefit humanity by reducing material concerns and liberating individuals to pursue their goals. At the same time, however, Routledge argues, affluence and liberalism uproot individuals from traditional sources of meaning like religion and interdependent communities. He says that people who are uprooted from traditional sources of existential security can become psychologically vulnerable and anxious, demotivated and pessimistic, and attracted to extreme and dangerous secular ideologies, which all threaten the sustainability of a free and flourishing society. Is he right? Please join us for a topical conversation about the search for meaning in affluent and free societies.

Sadly I can’t make it to the Hayek Auditorium in Washington DC on Monday. But I wanted to begin to open up some of these issues. In the second part of this section I might even mention Dominic Cummings again.

Hope deferred – part 2 

The hope deferred section is hereby being deferred

Cummings and stepwise refinement

Cummings and the Norths

Cummings and climate

63 thoughts on “Hope, compromise and stepwise refinement

  1. Truss shelving May’s ridiculous attempt to bring in self ID will thankfully prevent men from declaring themselves female and automatically gaining access to female changing rooms etc. but it won’t do much if anything to curb the current fashion for kids transitioning to a different gender. The medical profession, teachers and parents are to blame for that. Children being pushed into changing gender, taking hormone blockers and eventually getting reassignment surgery are just casually being signed off as genuine by woke medical professionals. Truss needs to look very seriously at banning any medical intervention prior to 18 and making the existing criteria for assessing genuine cases of gender dysphoria much more stringent.

    But at least the stepwise reinforcement of one particular form of lefty lunacy has taken a step backwards; wish one could say the same for climate lunacy. The radicals are now making the original eco-loonies look moderate.

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  2. Yep, agree almost totally with that Jaime. 97% even. All I’d adjust in the historical data (see what I did there) is that Maria Miller, as Chair of the Women and Equalities Select CommitteeMinister for Women and Equalities, had a great deal to do with the Tories ridiculous commitment to self-ID. May and others went along with it, to their shame, until they became aware of the strength of feeling on the subject, mostly due to radical feminists getting organised (at least in my reading of the history). Maria Miller first publicly stood up to the trans extremists here, as far as my records show:

    As you say, a stepwise refinement in the right direction, for once. And not nearly enough. Exactly what I had in mind. I’ll add I’ve added to the main post on some climate aspects. More anon.

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  3. Here’s a very accurate tweet from Matt on the current XR goings-on.

    From my point of view, what we’re seeing is not a stepwise refinement, but a stepwise reinforcement of climate lunacy which is having the unwelcome effect of making people forget who the real villains are in this farce. It is making people lose sight of the original lunacy which has allowed feral Greens to take to the streets demanding urgent action about a ‘problem’ which is ill-defined, poorly evidenced and which exists only in a virtual cyberspace universe generated by supposedly ‘scientific’ models. It is making people forget that the terms ‘climate crisis’, ‘climate breakdown’ and ‘climate emergency’ have been invented by a media complicit with activist scientists propagating pseudoscientific claims about extreme weather.

    In my view, it suits the Climate Konsensus well because they can sit back and claim they are the ‘moderates’ now in this debate and though, it is ‘without doubt’ that we need to act urgently to save the planet, it’s not quite as urgent as XR and dear Greta are claiming. The public nods in agreement, traditional ‘sceptics’ are forgotten about and governments forge ahead with boiler bans, smart meters controlling smart appliances and citizens assemblies designed to harvest fake democratic legitimacy for the increasingly undemocratic and illiberal stepwise removal of our freedoms (one of XR’s key demands, incidentally).

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  4. Well, there you go. a supposed talk on ‘climate science’ by Tamsin Edwards in Holborn tomorrow:

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  5. Tamsin, and the rest, seem to increasingly believe that their fears justify taking away our freedom.

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  6. Jaime, such developments are stepwise refinement to those who are hoping for net zero by next Tuesday. Since I added ‘Hope’ to my title I’ve been struck by how much the net zero crew use that word. All three terms in my title were meant to be interpreted from the point of view of both sides – and then the side of Dominic Cummings, which I think is different again. I’ll try and elucidate further as soon as I can. I find it sad about Tamsin.

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  7. Richard. I’m just taking liberties with your term ‘stepwise refinement’. Whatever one wishes to call it, it’s pretty obvious what is going on now; the climate elite are ratcheting up the pressure on western societies to act radically and increasingly detrimentally to solve a crisis which does not exist.

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  8. Sure, but there is a reaction as well. I found it very striking that Burchill said “The yearning for a less enlightened world infests the woke rainbow … it can be seen most shamelessly in those of the Green stripe.” Ahead even of trans extremism. And the police have been proactive against XR this time. A wise step. It’s frustrating how small the positives steps are I know. But then taking on the whole of wokeness, climate included, is a very big challenge indeed.

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  9. Bill, I’d never heard of oikophobia (the hatred or dislike of one’s own culture) until you posted the link above. It seems that those most prone to it are the “social [educated] elite: a Ph.D. in the making [or already gained], generally quick-witted, and with a mastery of several languages, both modern and ancient [optional].” It struck me that this is just the sort of privileged, middle-class educated elite who heap scorn upon the nationalist working classes, the poorly educated, the less privileged members of their own society whose views are so often fiercely divergent from their own liberal, woke, globalist viewpoint. These people are, quite literally, the “oiks”, so oikophobia is an uncannily apt term to describe their aversion to such commoners. 🙂

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  10. As it happens, I coined the term ‘oikophobia’ about five years before Scruton started using it. Late 1990s. I can’t prove this but it’s nonetheless a fact.

    And only local oikophobes would deny this.

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  11. For years I have considered the woke, the SJWs, the self-deckared “progressives” the true reactionaries.
    Here is, for me, the money quotes in this post:
    “The more you examine what The Woken want, the more they emerge as reactionaries rather than rebels.”
    I would add to that, “degenerate reactionaries”:
    Anti-rational, anti-science, anti-human. The modern cancel culture is against freedom of thought, hates tolerance, despises free speech and only seeks the comfort of the moment. No l9ng term commitment or cause to be a patriot for.

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  12. The cure for Tamsin is to ask Swiftian troll questions.
    Rub her nose in the extremist anti- civilization crap she pushes.

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  13. from Richards comment above –
    Julie Burchill’s piece in The Telegraph – “that they are rebels with many causes, each one more daring and progressive than the last. Having been of a rebellious bent all my life, this never sat well with me. The more you examine what The Woken want, the more they emerge as reactionaries rather than rebels.”

    had to look up – “Woke” – means being conscious of racial discrimination in society and other forms of oppression and injustice. In mainstream use, woke can also more generally describe someone or something as being “with it”

    wonder if they (XR/Greta/Greens.. etc) really understand or care what “PPM” means.
    they seem to have no clue what reducing this very low number means!!!

    the above quote from Julie Burchill seems to cover the Hong Kong Rioters as well (maybe ?).

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  14. On terminology

    Bill Bedford: Thanks for the pointer to the Quillette piece and the reminder of Scruton’s Oikophobia.

    DF Hunter: Sorry that I didn’t try to explain Woke or my awkward neologism wokeism.

    Let’s dive straight into some other relevant terms, using this tweet:

    Queer Theory is a pernicious offspring of postmodernism. Another part is critical race theory.

    @bettytastic, note, doesn’t give a Foucault about Butler. Clever. Judith Butler is one of the key originators of Queer Theory, building on Michel Foucault.

    Cliff Mass has run into critical race theory, probably without realising it. That’s being used to shut down his ethical critique of the spin some climatologists have been putting on some, to them, adverse data.

    That merging of the two areas is really significant for me. A warning sign of things to come.

    Woke is shorthand for some or all of this stuff. I won’t try and tie it down further.

    (gnc, by the way, means gender non-conforming. Perhaps you’re a tomboy, as they used to say. Or you’re very good at Physics, like Jaime Jessop. Only kidding of course there. STEM is for all females that want to. Which reminds me, I’ll come back to Tamsin later, maybe in the main post.)

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  15. On what really matters:

    Pernicious theory has given rise to tragic practice. @bettytastic is responding to the most searing of threads, from a girl who wanted to become a boy, not only having ‘top surgery’ (removal of her breasts) but a hysterectomy, all with the support of her parents. Before realising she didn’t want any of it. Here’s a key Financial Times journalist pointing to the same thread:

    This is much more important than climate alarmism, whatever Julie Burchill says about the nutcases of XR (and she’s right in all she says about them). This is the worst part of the woke spectrum. Jaime got that absolutely right in her first comment.

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  16. The more I read about wokism, the more the old expression/aphorism “the world is going to Hell in a handbasket” comes to mind.
    Are we just made more aware and the world has always as bad?
    Are we righting wrongs or just finding new gripes?
    I recognize that I’m now mostly an observer, unwilling to get involved, watching everything go past on my big TV, getting more lost: not waking at all.

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  17. “Woke” is just the wrong word altogether, in fact implying the exact opposite of what appears to be going on in the minds of those people who have been indoctrinated into the current trend for all things “progressive” (which in the case of XR climate policy is about as regressive as you can possibly imagine). These people have had their critical reasoning and natural curiosity anaesthetized; they are about as ‘woke’ as a Dormouse on mogadons. WE are the true Wokelings, the people who question what the hell is going on, who can see the real damage being done and the potential catastrophic damage which may result from the continuance of this cult-like madness gripping so many areas of life under the guise of progressive liberalism, environmentalism, climate activism, globalism, gender fluidity or whatever. It has become increasingly apparent that this pernicious ideology is dangerous, very dangerous. It destroys lives, it destroys minds, it extinguishes reason and enlightenment and there is no doubt whatsoever that, unopposed, it inherently has the potential for genocide and civilisational decline.

    These tweets from Toby Young demonstrate what we true Wokelings are up against here:

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  18. Alan:

    Are we just made more aware and the world has always [been] as bad?
    Are we righting wrongs or just finding new gripes?

    I think those are very good questions.

    There’s the academic level and the popular culture. Dominic Cummings is, some of us hope, looking very closely at what sells or doesn’t sell at the popular culture level, in order to get Brexit over the line and allow some healing to take place afterwards. Because there has to be some democratic resolution to the current impasse.

    At the popular culture level people do care about righting wrongs. That’s why ‘woke’ isn’t totally wrong as a term. In my view.

    But it wasn’t ‘woke’ but ‘hope’ that I wanted to talk more about, when I started. And what it means on both sides.

    I recognize that I’m now mostly an observer, unwilling to get involved, watching everything go past on my big TV, getting more lost: not waking at all.

    Funny and poignant. Thanks. The first comment I have liked. (No disrespect to anyone else!) Because this is honest.

    I will definitely be adding to one, and hopefully more, sections in the main post tonight.

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  19. Jaime: I took the liberty of editing your last comment, because you can see both Toby Young’s tweets by just giving the second. (And I corrected a typo!)

    Can everyone see both tweets – the one starting “Just witnessed” as well as the one ending “#WitchfinderGeneral”? I think from past experience seeing both depends on using a modern browser. I assume by now this works for everyone. But Geoff has been known to be behind the times in such tech – though not of course on the concepts we’re discussing! So just checking.

    The nasty demonisation of the enemies of XR by Monbiot is infuriating. It’s right that such attitudes are the opposite of ‘woke’. But I want to get back to some other things in the main post this evening. On which I expect we will not all agree. Well, I’d be disappointed if we did.

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  20. Some joker seems to have hacked into the XR twitter account. They want food (vegan of course) because they are going on hunger strike

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  21. Jaime at 9.23 am. Beautifully expressed – thank you.

    If it weren’t for the fact that I am an IT illiterate, I would “like” your comment, probably more than once!

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  22. George Monbiot is another long time activist that must wonder why young Greta steals all the headlines.

    liked this comment over at biased bbc – Start the Week Thread 7 October 2019 from “Cassandra October 7, 2019 at 7:42 am

    “The BBC has spent literally hundreds of hours devoted to these ‘children’. Someone has spotted the flaw in the BBC logic:

    15yr olds joining ISIS are too young to know what they’re doing.
    15yr olds on climate change are experts.
    welcome to clown world.”

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  23. Ironic, Xtinction Rebellion twitter above, their call for donations of food, clothing and shelter. Yet they attack the means of production of all of these. Let them eat c ke!

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  24. But Beth those that protest, do so in the barren wastelands of Westminster for what they claim is all our benefit. Sure there’s more than enough c ke to go round, but it has an extremely low nutritional value. As for bedding, my TV shows flash-yellow hefty types carrying off many of the uncomfortable and unsheltered to more pleasant quarters. Such concern.

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  25. Not really for YOUR benefit Beth. You have your own extinguishing rebels. I’m sure your ABC is giving them full coverage, if not wholesome support.

    I read this morning that the leprechaun rebellion are sticking themselves all over the Irish Parliament but whether they support Brexit is unclear.

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  26. You can see Monbiot’s speech to XR, mentioned by Jaime at 8 Oct 2019 9.23pm above, at:
    https://www.doubledown.news/watch/2019/9/october/why-the-weird-are-destined-to-change-the-world-george-monbiot-greta-thunberg-aspergers-asd-autism-extinction-rebellion-speech
    Here’s a sample:

    For decades they called us weird… Those of us who, because we have a different view of the world and see things differently, have been marginalised for years, have found each other and have found a way of projecting those views that were marginal into the mainstream.

    So writing weekly in the Guardian for twenty years is being marginalised? The occasional applause suggests he’s addressing about twenty people. There’s a view in the clip of a clapping XR crowd, but they’re not clapping Monbiot, who is in front of a tree, while the invisible XR speaker in the clip is in a tent.

    Monbiot said in his first article mentioning Thunberg that he was willing to follow her, and it’s clear from the beatific smile on his face that he has found a new purpose in life.

    The Double Down News site points out that “The views expressed in this video belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of DDN,” which is weird given that the six next videos on the DDN recommended viewing list are all by George Monbiot.

    George comes out strongly in favour of “different forms of intelligence.” He mentions Asperger’s, but not Multiple Personality Disorder.

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  27. Apologies to DDN. I was on their environment page when I accused them of being a Monbiot sock puppet. On their main page, only nine of the last eighteen videos are by Monbiot. Others are by the likes of Ken Loach and Yanis Varoufakis, admirable people who have lost all credibility since they chose to be away with the climate fairies because they can’t be bothered to get their heads round something as simple as climate sensitivity.

    To see the full 10 minute Monbiot speech at
    https://www.patreon.com/posts/full-10min-why-30619732
    you have to become a DDN advisory board member at two dollars a month. Even weirder than Monbiot’s exultation at going from being a marginalised household name to a spokesman for a movement of millions, is the fact of charging those of us who weren’t at the blessed event (i.e. approx. seven billion minus thirty four of us) two dollars to find out what he said. Greta does it for free.

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  28. Geoff:

    Monbiot said in his first article mentioning Thunberg that he was willing to follow her, and it’s clear from the beatific smile on his face that he has found a new purpose in life.

    Mind if I quote you on that, in the next section of the main post?

    No point replying, as I won’t take no for an answer.

    The desire for hope is deep yet the young person Monbiot ends up following says angrily: “You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?” Is it going to end well?

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  29. Geoff,

    “Be scientifically realistic, demand the politically impossible”.

    Well, Greta and XR have managed one half of that; shame they can’t quite manage the first half. But when you’re ‘wyrd’, you’re weird (or you’re a moonbat) and you have an altogether different interpretation of science than the dispassionate psychopaths, selfish capitalists and necrophiliac soap users intent on destroying the planet.

    Talking of the wyrd who shall inherit the earth after having first saved it from the capitalist demons, I think it not coincidental that many of the UK academics who first started XR by signing a protest letter are psychiatrists and psychologists, so they know all about weird people, obviously.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/26/facts-about-our-ecological-crisis-are-incontrovertible-we-must-take-action

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Here’s the latest XR open letter:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FuZYG-gT5EPTLDyvgNnlYIS5dAy43TM1MnvOls48qIc/edit

    It’s from XR’s Scientists for Extinction Rebellion affinity group. Signatories include Emily Grossman, a science communicator and populariser who was a resident expert on The Alan Titchmarsh Show and has been a panelist on the Sky1 television show Duck Quacks Don’t Echo; Alex Jelly, who has an MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College, Totnes; and Professor Ken Rice of the Institute for Astronomy at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh, Totnes.

    Like

  31. Vinny, thanks for the link. Ken has just lost what credibility he had, in my eyes, by putting his name to that nonsense.

    Like

  32. “THIS DECLARATION SETS OUT THE CURRENT SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS CONCERNING THE CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY, AND HIGHLIGHTS THE NECESSITY FOR URGENT ACTION TO PREVENT FURTHER AND IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE TO THE HABITABILITY OF OUR PLANET.
    As scientists, we have dedicated our lives to the study and understanding of the world and our place in it. We declare that scientific evidence shows beyond any reasonable doubt that human-caused changes to the Earth’s land, sea and air are severely threatening the habitability of our planet. We further declare that overwhelming evidence shows that if global greenhouse gas emissions are not brought rapidly down to net zero and biodiversity loss is not halted, we risk catastrophic and irreversible damage to our planetary life-support systems, causing incalculable human suffering and many deaths.”

    Yeah, right….

    Like

  33. It is truly wonderful this spread of diverse knowledge that allows today’s scientists to emulate those of previous centuries and pontificate about topics numerous, including many in which they have no formal training. (End sarc). Some even get chairs in scientific communication, but seem to have forgotten some of the first rules of scientific endeavour – nothing is certain, models are human constructs and never evidence, pontificating about the future is usually contaminated by politics. With several centuries of examples you would have thought today’s “super” scientist communicators would have learned lessons. Sadly not.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. So I wonder if Steve Mosher is also overtly, and not merely tacitly, backing the XR psychosis?
    And I wonder further if any of those who have claimed to be “about the science” are willing to stand up strongly against the clear and present danger of XR, to go out of their way to slap them down as hard as they go after skeptics?
    Heck are any of them even willing to stand for the Australian scientists who have been attacked for skepticism?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. #NoHumanIsLimited says Ineos as Eliud Kipchoge runs a marathon in under two hours in Vienna.

    Good sponsorship wheeze. Good commitment to UK fracking. Great message.

    One never knows what will snap people out of perverse hopelessness.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. JAIME JESSOP says:
    06 Oct 19 at 5:13 pm
    >Truss shelving May’s ridiculous attempt to bring in self ID will thankfully prevent men from declaring >themselves female and automatically gaining access to female changing rooms etc.

    There seems to be a more serious side to this, in that some sex offenders are gaming the system to get sent to women’s prisons: https://quillette.com/2019/10/12/male-bodied-rapists-are-being-imprisoned-with-women-why-do-so-few-people-care/

    Like

  37. Just a thought…
    Is there any link between XR and the Occupy Movement?

    Apart from the obvious demographic, street theatre, etc

    Like

  38. I’m with Paul here. Amongst the people who typically comment here, I don’t think I had any credibility to lose. Just out of interest, which bit of the letter do you specifically disagree with? (I appreciate that it may not actually be worth having this discussion, but I still have this naive sense that it might still be possible to engage in discussions with people with whom I mostly disagree).

    Like

  39. Bill:

    There seems to be a more serious side to this, in that some sex offenders are gaming the system to get sent to women’s prisons…

    The worst part, but congruent with this, is opening up all of society to paedophilia, even with the youngest toddlers, as entirely normal. (My radical feminist friends would object to this last sentence, that I should have said ‘rape of children and toddlers’. They’re right.) I was going to mention this disaster in my next section, in passing. But how does one mention such a thing, and all the evidence for it, in passing?

    Like

  40. Thanks Paul. A very low priority, agreed, and that’s well, a tiny bit of hopeful. An unintended side-effect of the ‘Overton Window’ being shifted and stretched by XR: the Tories know that there are an increasing number of new votes in those outraged by this small and smelly minority. On which see Tamsin and me thanking you and YouGov on Twitter the other day:

    But to harvest those votes they don’t have to match the passion and purity of a Pile or Jessop in their critique of the extremists and their fellow-travellers, they just have to be better and/or more credible than the next politician along. They’ll have listened to Nigel Farage on LBC yesterday and his impressive takedown of another XR spokesperson. But by the same token, guarding against the other side, Labour or Lib Dem, I don’t expect any backing off the existing Tory Net Zero commitment. Weak beer but better than a billion deaths through needless famine. Or something.

    Like

  41. A bit of light relief as we wait.

    Some of the replies are worth a scroll.

    Like

  42. aTTP, given that you seem to have your own doubts and reservations (“I’m somewhat uncomfortable with the claim that human-caused changes to the Earth’s land, sea and air are severely threatening the habitability of our planet…I don’t think what we’re doing is going to make it un-inhabitable”) about aspects of the letter (but signed it anyway), I’m not really sure that there’s much to discuss.

    I don’t understand how a scientist can be uncomfortable with a scientific claim, but put his name to it anyway, because he “wanted to show some support”.

    If you’d signed but added a caveat, I’d accept that as a reasonable position to adopt, but you didn’t. You signed, without expressing the reservations you apparently feel. I wonder how many of your co-signatories also had reservations, but signed anyway?

    Like

  43. Richard, Steve Baker says the deal is ‘tolerable’. That must mean that he hasn’t given away Kendal Mint Cake – but obviously the legal text will have to be carefully scrutinised to make sure that isn’t the case.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. I’ve just said I’m hopeful on Twitter. I may need to lie down in a darkened room. But here’s the context:

    It’s not the first time I’ve attributed such trickery to Mr Cummings:

    But am I twisted enough to understand what’s really going on? Only time will tell.

    Like

  45. So adjusting the data, no matter how condescendingly defended, leads to some pretty amazing manifestations of just how nonsensical the climate catastrophists really are.
    For example:
    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/383624.php
    No wonder Greta, ATTP, XR, and the other weak minded fools are so irrational.

    Like

  46. BILLBEDFORD: ‘Is there any link between XR and the Occupy Movement?’

    Most of XR’s founders were involved with the Occupy movement. Three of them, including a co-founder of its parent body, Compassionate Revolution (aka Rising Up!), were spokesmen for Occupy London (Barda, McNern, Kelsey Fry). The other CR co-founder (Bradbrook) was at several Occupy protests and was part of Occupy Stroud. Another founder was involved with Occupy Toronto.

    It was the same story lower down the (allegedly non-hierarchical) hierarchy for a while but these days the typical XRer probably doesn’t know what Occupy was and if asked would guess that it was something to do with South Western Railway and the unavailability of vegan baps.

    Like

  47. Vinny: thanks a lot for that info on the links to Occupy. It’s something else I wanted to get to – the breadth of what we’re up against, ideology-wise. All in good time.

    Like

  48. This is quite fascinating and along the lines of ‘hope’. The Con is analysing Morrison’s call to pray for rain in Australia.

    Praying for rain, on the other hand, is a request for God to intervene physically in the natural order of things.

    In either case, God is being asked to intervene in the world. So petitionary prayer is essentially asking God to do miracles. The classic definition of a miracle was given by the Scottish 18th century philosopher David Hume: a miracle, he said, is “a violation of the laws of nature”.

    That said, since the 18th century Enlightenment, “miracle” has been a highly contested idea within the West. Believers and sceptics have begun to doubt the possibility of supernatural intervention into the world by God.

    All this means God could make it rain if he were asked and if he wished to. But that said, if it did rain as a result of prayer, it would be difficult to demonstrate God had intervened to make it do so.

    If the rain could not be naturally explained by meteorological science, then it’s possible divine cause came into play. Torrential rain falling out of a cloudless sky might do the trick. But if the rain were capable of a perfectly natural explanation, it could not qualify as a miraculous event.

    Putting aside the difficulties in showing God had made it rain, should we ask him to? As a supplement to a coherent climate change policy and actions flowing from it, it can hardly do any harm.

    Indeed, it might encourage those who pray to become more environmentally active. But as a substitute for a coherent policy, it borders on the socially and politically irresponsible.

    Believe it or not, relying on prayers would be theologically irresponsible too. Any theologian worth his or her salt would argue God made us responsible for the well-being of this planet. If I were a God asked to sort out climate problems caused by the actions of human beings, I would remain divinely aloof and simply say, “You messed it up, you fix it”.

    You can see the problem here. The author is criticising Morrison for wishing for an Act of God (rain) because he perversely believes that the lack of rain is an act of man! He’s just substituting one ostensibly religious inclination (invoking God, or hope or the mysterious unknown random chaotic workings of the weather) for another almost religious impulse to blame man for the Original Sin of wrecking the planet’s atmosphere. Bizarre.

    Liked by 1 person

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