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Monbiot’s Martyrdom

Two days ago George Monbiot’s dearest wish was granted when he was arrested at an Extinction Rebellion event. The joy on his face as he is dragged along the ground is a sight to behold.

After the arrest, and after the cheers of the crowd have died down, he announces to the camera which has faithfully recorded the historical event:

So this just feels like the right place to be, the right thing to do, strange as that may sound. I just feel we’ve got to make as much of a stand as we possibly can to prevent ecocide. Politics as usual, that is ecocide, the destruction of the conditions that make life possible on this earth. And I’m standing up against that and I’m proud to be arrested for that cause.

In the accompanying article “Today, I aim to get arrested. It is the only real power climate protesters have” he describes how:

By putting our bodies on the line and risking our liberty, we make this great neglected issue impossible to ignore.”

This “great neglected issue” is the one mentioned under the on-line article, indeed, under every single on-line article at the Guardian, which describes it thus:

We will not stay quiet on the escalating climate crisis. This is the Guardian’s pledge: we will continue to give global heating, wildlife extinction and pollution the urgent attention and prominence they demand. The Guardian recognises the climate emergency as the defining issue of our times… We will inform our readers about threats to the environment based on scientific facts… the language we use accurately reflects the environmental catastrophe. The Guardian believes that the problems we face on the climate crisis are systemic and that fundamental societal change is needed. We will keep reporting on the efforts of individuals and communities around the world who are fearlessly taking a stand for future generations and the preservation of human life on earth.

The article, as you might expect from the title and video, is all about George and his new version of the White Man’s Burden; being condemned by fate to be not only white, but also educated and middle class, and silenced by an oppressive political system which limits his freedom of expression to one chance per week to address the five million plus readership of the world’s oldest and most prestigious left-of-centre news medium.

There are a couple of times when he refers to the world outside his head. First, in the only concrete reference to what he’s protesting about, he claims that:

we know that, even with just 1C of global heating, climate chaos is already a bigger cause of forced migration than either poverty or political oppression.”

The link is to a paper (paywalled) whose publicity blurb claims that Climate change is a more important driver than income and political freedom at origin together.”

Though we can’t read the source of this claim without forking out 39 dollars, there is another article by the same lead author on the same subject freely available whose abstract reads:

This paper provides an overview of research into the phenomenon of whether climatic factors, such as temperature and weather‐related disasters, affect the decision to migrate. As an example, we examine migration flows from 198 countries to Australia for the time span from 1980 to 2015. Our results show that temperature does not have a robust, significant effect on migration flows, while weather‐related disasters do significantly affect flows to Australia.

Note that temperature change is not a factor, but weather-related disasters are. No mention of whether said disasters are getting more frequent, or whether they’re related to climate change. When a hurricane strikes, people tend to go somewhere else. But I think we knew that already.

Apart from this brief excursion into peer reviewed science, George sticks closely to the same script he’s been reciting for the past twenty years:

the big fossil fuel companies have used political funding, intense lobbying and gross deceptions of the public to overwhelm environmental protections and keep harvesting their massive profits. Those who confront them have no such power. We cannot buy television channels and newspapers, pour billions into political lobbying…

Oh, can’t we? George also links to Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam’s Dummies’ Guide to Saving the Planet, which is well worth a read. I particularly enjoyed the Foreword by “Anonymous Climate Activist” which begins:

I was there. For the past 20 years. Climate activism. It didn’t work.

We protested in our hundreds of millions – it didn’t work.

We raised billions to reach people and politicians – it didn’t work. […]

I was wasting my time. I had a clue back in 2007 that there might be a fundamental flaw in the reformist approach. The problem of the political influence of the industrial billionaires like the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel bosses.

Raised billions? Really? And all the time our anonymous activist was wasting her time? Has anyone told George? Does he realise that the movement he so happily sacrificed his freedom for – getting dragged along the pavement by the oppressive forces of the state – has wasted billions, to no avail?

Billions wasted over twenty years, when everything could have been solved with a bit of glue and an inflatable pink octopus. That’s something to meditate on as he nurses his bruised bottom.

43 thoughts on “Monbiot’s Martyrdom

  1. “Ecocide,” Echo sighed, but he was a profit without honor in his own anechoic chamber—the Cassandra of Greek mythology, so to speak eek eek eek eek.

    Speaking of chambers, Chambers chambers another round, he aims, shoots, SCORES, and paints the world’s smallest wall with Monbiot’s brains.

    Like

  2. Beth,

    “oft resorting to vicious mob-circling.”

    I want to say in Hunter-san’s example, though, that it was a (non-ironically) virtuous circle, one that signaled its virtue in the only code certain folks can read: the closed hand.

    Speaking of which, did you see the YouTube virion wherein Andrew Bolt single-handedly ganged up on plural clowns who’d tried to count cheap coup on him as he strolled a Melbourne street minding his own bees’ wax? It was Chuck Norris-worthy. And the weirder-than-fiction bit is, we’d never get to enjoy it had the plural clowns not uploaded the record of their own beclownment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What more virtuous, Brad, than honest workers desirous of getting to their honest employment on time as per honest mutual workplace contract conditions … and saving an Xtinctionist from a dangerous Go West rooftop ride ter boot?

    Didn’t see the clowney clowns beclownment, (tee hee.) Do yer have a link?

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  4. I’m writing something about the XXXS-sized minds behinds XR right now. Can someone who knows how the Tube works (Beth?) give me a list of the probable causes of rebel death if the stationmaster fails to notice him/her glued atop the caboose, calls All Aboard Doors Closing and blows the whistle?

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  5. “Though we can’t read the source of this claim without forking out 39 dollars…”

    I looked around to see if there is a free-to-view version of the paper (there usually is with any academic paper that is helpful to the Green agenda), and there is a first version of the paper from 2017 that can be downloaded from this webpage:

    https://econpapers.repec.org/paper/otgwpaper/1708.htm

    I would assume the G&PC version of the paper is peer-reviewed, and as Monbiot is a stickler for “peer-reviewed science”, he would probably insist on the G&PC version being used.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I don’t think George has thought this through, properly. If his friends at XR had their way, we’d have no capitalist economy after 2025, no coal, no petrol and no natural gas. How are the survivors going to keep warm, when the wind drops and the sun goes in? Probably burn lots of wood, legally or otherwise, as the Greeks were reported to have done, during the economic crisis:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-21227572/greece-crisis-poor-turn-to-illegal-logging-to-survive

    What price the UK’s woodlands, gardens and urban parks, when all that goes down? We see what happens in the developing world in places like Haiti, where people have to use wood and charcoal for their heating and cooking – it should be obvious to Mr Monbiot that it would be appallingly bad for the environment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Alex,

    This is the Fallacy of Unrealistic Expectations, one of the 5 Characteristics of Denial [Cook et al.]:

    “I don’t think George has thought this through, properly.”

    (You must be in denial if that comes as a surprise to you!)

    The real question is whether Monbiot’s taken the time to emote it through to its illogical conclusion. I see no reason to begrudge him the benefit of THAT doubt.

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  8. Brad, ha ha, that was a lapse on my part into British understatement. In keeping, I should have concluded that XR’s grand scheme would be somewhat sub-optimal for all concerned. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Have the criteria for martyrdom been relaxed somewhat? Surely it still requires a modicum of death, not just a scuffed bottom caused by being escorted away from the scene of one’s criminal behaviours by the “filth”. Guardian readers can look forward to weeks of prose detailing every abrasion and their spiritual healing.
    As Monty Python might have said “He’s Not a Martyr – He’s Just A Very Silly Boy”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beth,

    I know. Disgusting. Bolt gave them no warning whatsoever that he was going to hit back. You can actually make out, if you turn the sound up, the way they’re pleading with him, saying they never consented to violence against them, in vain of course. He’s basically raping them with his fists. I could’ve told them he’d do something fundamentally dishonest like that. But they were young and naïve and naturally expected him to react… well… the way they expected. On the bright side, they will’ve learned their lesson about trusting the right now. And they weren’t too badly injured, from the look of it. Could’ve been a lot uglier.

    EDIT: I apologize to anyone who got the impression I was minimizing the trauma the victims went through. Reading it back, I can see how insensitive my words sound. I could delete the comment, but in a way I think that would be letting myself off the hook, morally, for the effects my words have. And I think it’s important for people to see that anyone, even Mr Saccharine Himself/Myself, can cause real hurt by being too quick to post, and too slow to censor, my own thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. DaveJR,
    I don’t get it. By Antefa[scists], you mean they’re a sort of advance wave, softening the target up for full-blown fascism? Something like a John the Baptist to Benito Mussolini?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Alan,

    exactly—pansies like George Alma Monbiot are more pia mater than dura mater. The bill were probably girding their loins to face a phalanx of radicals, and all they got was a meninx.

    Like

  13. Irrelevant but fascinating fact: the 12th Marquess of Q’s bastard son’s half-sister married two half-brothers of Osama bin Laden.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. On a more technical issue, can a Moonbat even be a martyr? Also, did the police release him early simply because they couldn’t find a cell with a suitably robust hanging rail where he could spend the night?

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  15. @Geoff

    thanks for that link to – Roger Hallam’s Dummies’ Guide to Saving the Planet,
    “COMMON SENSE FOR THE 21st CENTURY ONLY NONVIOLENT REBELLION CAN NOW STOP CLIMATE
    BREAKDOWN AND SOCIAL COLLAPSE By Roger Hallam
    http://www.rogerhallam.com
    Version 0.3″

    as you imply, many things that could be picked out & posted about.
    but straight away you notice the Version is 0.3?
    he must planning many more versions, hope he has a printing press & recycled paper ready for Version 5.3

    ps – I also seem to be having problems with the “like” button, anybody solved or having this?

    Like

  16. George should have been very happy with the tube incident. Rewinding in practice.

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  17. Brad. The link between Moonbat’s faux martyrdom and three brain-enveloping membranous envelopes escapes me. My confusion must be due to the ecstatic joy that overwhelms me at England’s stirling rugby efforts earlier today. My meninges are still vibrating.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Indeed they were, the green and gold were veritably stuffed. I would say well shaken, not stirred.

    Like

  19. just knew George would be pissed about Greta & the Youff taking the halo away.
    all those tears & years he has spent & some upstart kids & ER activists get prime time tv coverage.

    can’t blame him for thinking – “get arrested & i’ll be back in the MSM coverage”

    Like

  20. liked some quote from “Dummies’ Guide to Saving the Planet”

    “What is the ‘truth’?
    We have to start with what is true. One of the main problems we have
    experienced with climate change and environmental activism is that
    people rarely seem to talk about empirical reality (i.e. the latest
    science) and thus aren’t even aware of how desperate the situation
    actually is.
    This is a form of denial that many do not realise they have fallen
    victim to.
    Campaigners often believe they know the magnitude of the problem
    we face. However, ‘knowing’ is not a binary concept when it comes to
    grief inducing catastrophic information. You think you know it but
    then you realise you haven’t processed it emotionally. You think you
    have processed it emotionally but then you realise that you haven’t
    done it sufficiently. This leads to a form of ‘unconscious denial’ which
    in turn leads to a form of personal protectionism.”

    & so so some – “people rarely seem to talk about empirical reality (i.e. the latest
    science)” & yet he can say –
    “A quick update on the latest science
    The IPCC reported in October 2018 that we have to reduce carbon
    emissions by 40% in the next 12 years to have a 50% chance of
    avoiding ‘catastrophe’. And yet in 2018 emissions went up from an
    increase of 1.6% in 2017 to an increase of 2.7%. Carbon levels went
    up by 3.5 parts per million (ppm) in the past year to reach 415 ppm.
    We are now only ten years away from 450 ppm, the level equivalent
    to 2C average temperature rise.
    Let’s be frank about what ‘catastrophe’ actually means in this context.
    We are looking here at the slow and agonising suffering and death of
    billions of people.”

    well I’m now sufficiently emotionally on the side of personal protectionism thanks.
    good luck with your death cult meme Roger Hallam, hope it ends well.

    ps- still wonder if he gets how small 450 ppm (parts per million) is?

    Like

  21. DFHUNTER 19 Oct 2019 10.40pm

    can’t blame him for thinking – “get arrested & I’ll be back in the MSM coverage”

    Imagine for a moment that this wasn’t just a cynical career move by a journalist on the decline and that it was based on genuine belief. The implications are far worse for George.

    This is someone who a few years ago was honorary chairman of an organisation which boasted 8 million members (a figure arrived at by adding up all the members of its component parts – The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds alone provided 2 million.) This is the same kind of climate arithmetic as that used by the authors of the scientific article on migration quoted above – and thanks to Dave Gardner for the link.

    His many articles on the subject consist largely of slagging off petrol companies because they produce petrol. Somebody at the demo where he was arrested recognised him and you can hear a crowd of at least twenty people cheering and shouting “Good old George.” This was a big moment for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Geoff, you duplicated a link. I think your ‘another article’ link should have pointed here:

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1467-8462.12345

    And here’s yet another version of the Aburn and Wesselbaum paper, this time with an epigraph from Scarlett O’Hara:

    https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/WESSELBAUM%2C%20Dennis_paper.pdf

    “Where shall I go? What shall I do?”

    (I’d say keep calm and carry on recycling. That seems to be working well for you both.)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ‘Joy and martyrdom, ‘ yes Geoff, say, I’m so happy for George. Let’s face it, he’s been mannouvering on shifting sands for ages, yikes! an *g*ng wh*te m*le, when the Climate-Change-Catastrophist Movement he ‘s been part of since wa-ay back has been taken over by a girl-child prophet.- where’s an *g*ng wh*te m*le to go? A rebel gotta’ have a cause… E – X – T – * – N – C – T – * – O – N !

    Like

  24. Beth. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it appears that your spell checker has become semitic and removed your vowels. Perhaps it follows the dictum that “The abs-nce- -f vowels beck-ns -s to b-c-me partn-rs w-th th- Torah, t- br–the lif- int- its l-tte-rs.”

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  25. hunter, in gr*t southern land it’s Spring! ) puddle-wunderfull, mud
    -luscious despite al.
    canadian
    elextions,
    Brexits ‘n xtinction
    movements of
    1 kind ‘
    anuther.

    in Just-
    spring when the world is mud-
    luscious the little
    lame balloonman

    whistles far and wee

    and eddieandbill come
    running from marbles and
    piracies and it’s
    spring

    when the world is puddle-wonderful

    the queer
    old balloonman whistles
    far and wee
    and bettyandisbel come dancing

    from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

    it’s
    spring
    and

    the

    goat-footed

    balloonMan whistles
    far
    and
    wee

    Like

  26. But whence came the watery stuff Beth?
    To make your great Southern land
    So mud-luscious
    and puddle-wonderful?

    The Guardian tells me your land
    Burns and is covered with
    corps of desiccated macropods.

    Ten thousand climate specialists
    and Greta
    can’t be wrong, can they?

    Beth you capture the joy and anticipation of youngsters for a new season so very well. I shall not forget “puddle-wonderful”. In my tiny northern land we anticipate ghostly monsters craving sucrose followed shortly by coloured lights in the sky. Small children will stagger abed, already dreaming.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Beth. This I know but perhaps the Guardian doesn’t.
    I have travelled parts of your vast land, from Sydney to the baking streets of Mt Isa, then on to Darwin (where signs nailed to mangroves warning of crocs disturbed us mightily). From there ever westward to Shark Bay and the old penal camp of Lake MacLeod, a week in the bush introduced us to a Devonian reef complex, widow spiders and King snakes, ending up at Perth (which would have reminded me of California, but I was yet to live there). All finished off with a lightning visit to the GBR to see the rampant crown-of-thorns starfish.
    Great swaths have I not seen but have explored with literacy, everything from Nevil Shute to Jane Harper’s “The Dry”.
    I regret never seeing the eucalyptus forests, but have experienced enough Spinifex to last a lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Yes Beth, Stromatolites. But more impressive than they were the seemingly endless ranks of beach ridges, one after the other, and built of the shells of a single bivalve species. As the person who showed us these wonders said “Everyone comes here to see the stromatolites, but look around you at these beach ridges – think of it, a billion deaths!”

    Like

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