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High Crimes? It’s Weather, not Climate

I don’t think the title is entirely gratuitous.

I only got interested in the climate debate because it seemed that normal geographical stuff that happens all the time was starting to elicit reactions – first from the press, then from politicians, and finally from a mass movement financed by millionaires and inspired by a schoolgirl – which were hysterical and completely unjustified.

Now the hysteria seems to be everywhere. Was it always the case, and I just didn’t notice? Was it always normal to accuse a prime minister of being a liar and unfit for office because of something written on the side of a bus? Or to try and remove a US president from office … for asking another head of state to do him a favour?

Joe Biden boasted publicly before the Atlantic Council Council on Foreign Relations about putting pressure on Ukraine to keep the prosecutor off his son’s activities. Leaving aside whether this was normal, or whether it was normal for Trump to want it investigated, was it normal for the Guardian to follow the NYT in calling this incontrovertible fact a “debunked conspiracy theory”? “Debunked”? “Conspiracy theory”? Haven’t we heard these terms before, over and over?

One of the accusations levelled at Trump was that he was exercising “political influence on foreign policy.” Witnesses from the State Department or one of the interdepartmental agencies (which seem to be more numerous than the departments themselves) kept referring to “our policy” or “our decisions.” Do they know who decides US foreign policy, according to the constitution? Had none of them noticed in the past three years that the elected president is someone who has his own ideas about things? That they are sometimes at odds with the opinions of his bureaucrats? That he can be somewhat … erratic?

All the fine detail combed over in public about who heard at second hand who say what, with what body language and with what interpretation put on it by the hearer at first or second hand – revealed … what? That Trump is not George Washington and that Rudy Giuliani is not Benjamin Franklin. But – High Crimes?

I fully expected some democrat congressman to say that eight out ten of the highest crimes in history have been committed in the past three years.

So the next time you’re told that some flood or drought or temperature is the biggest/hottest/worst since the last one, remember White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s classic comment about political influence on foreign policy:

“Get over it. It happens all the time.”

I yield to my colleagues on the committee.

30 thoughts on “High Crimes? It’s Weather, not Climate

  1. Living through this madness in the US is disconcerting to say the least. Listening to bureaucrats asaert with the help of one political party that policy differences are criminal is deeply disturbing. To see those accusations echoed and magnified in our media complex, long after they care disproven is more so.
    I frankly think we might slip into a destabilized state with profoundly negative implications for America and the world.
    It does not seem cooincidental that the really crazy climate stuff grown directly out of the consensus around the world is pushing and using similar tactics to those deployed against the US.

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  2. Thanks greatly for this broadening out of our legitimate concerns Geoff.

    Just on a point of fact (© Mr Ridgway) wasn’t the Joe Biden boast at the Council on Foreign Relations, not the Atlantic Council? That’s from memory only. Memory’s my thing at the moment. Well, one of them. Facts are another one (© etc.)

    Another statement of ‘fact’ by a past White House aide but with a similar aim to Mulvaney’s – reducing the hysteria. Our man in Toronto then made a key point on verification:

    I say ‘our man’ but of course he’s branched out since Climategate.

    How wise we all need to be to avoid hysteria at the moment.

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  3. I am greatly depressed by the failure of the establishment in democratic countries to accept democratic results. I think I can say I’m largely impartial on the issues (taken as a whole) since:

    1. I despise Trump, and was greatly disappointed at his election;

    2. I voted for Brexit, and still think I made the correct decision; and

    3. I would prefer Scotland to remain in the UK, but if a majority of Scots want to leave, then I would accept their decision.

    As regards Trump, my reaction is not the same as the near-hysteria in the media and among the Democrats in the US. My answer would be to carefully catalogue all the mistakes he makes as POTUS and the lies he tells (an easy enough job), put forward an electable Democrat candidate next time, and make sure the electorate decide, democratically, to vote Trump out next time. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.

    As regards Brexit, well, we’ve discussed it ad nauseam, but my position is the simple democratic one. Parliament failed by demanding that the electorate make the decision for them. Parliament failed again by refusing to accept the decision made by the electorate.

    As regards Scottish independence, we were assured the referendum was a once-in-a-generation decision. Only, when the SNP didn’t get the result they wanted, suddenly a generation is defined as 2 or 3 years. I despise the SNP as much as I despise Trump. A totally undemocratic party which demands referendums, but will only accept the result(s) if the electorate “get it right”. (Ditto the Lib Dems and Jo Swinson in particular, re Brexit).

    The relevance, I suppose, is that all the people who have behaved badly and reacted hysterically to democratic decisions they dislike, are climate hysterics.

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  4. Thanks for the correction Richard. I changed the text on your recommendation without even checking what time zone you were mailing from. 😉

    In fifty years there’ll be erecting statues of Mr McIntyre and naming universities after him. He has an expertise honed on climate issues that he can apply more widely. No doubt others have that expertise too, but where are they?

    In the meantime, I’m interested in what makes the views of us climate sceptics tend to converge on certain subjects far from meteorology, and often independently from our political tendencies. Also, I’m interested in the opinions of Americans, since I know nothing about the USA beyond what CNN tells me.
    I read numerous warnings that the USA is on the verge of civil war, so it was striking to see the politeness and discipline with which the congressional hearings were conducted, and the general articulacy of the congressmen and witnesses.

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  5. It’s an interesting question. Why is it, generally speaking, that climate hysterics also tend to be averse to democracy and dismissive of the popular will?

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  6. I believe the answer is simple. Climate activists believe actions must be taken swiftly to avert catastrophe. Decisions taken democratically are commonly slow and subject to being thwarted by a “misinformed” majority, and this cannot be tolerated.

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  7. Perhaps Alan. Perhaps Greens have jettisoned a belief in democracy as a specific solution to climate action, but I believe it may run deeper than that. It doesn’t explain for instance why sceptics tend to be more traditionally conservative in their outlook, why they seem to value democracy, national autonomy and national identity rather more than the climate concerned – generally speaking of course.

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  8. There must be an election in the offing. This outbreak of political punditry across several cliscep threads is (to use a BBC colloquialism) completely unprecedented. May we soon return to despoiling (and despising) climate punditry in its multitudinous flowerings. The Jeremy and Boris show lacks credibility and the sooner the curtain falls the better in my book.

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  9. “Does one not get the feeling that all this propaganda over the terrifying threat of global warming is beginning ever so slightly to turn people’s minds? Caroline Lucas MEP, the leader of the Green Party, last week agreed on television that flying to Spain was “as bad as knifing a person in the street”, because air travel like this is causing people to die “from climate change”.

    Dr Richard Dixon, director of the Scottish WWF, was at the same time claiming that failing to ensure one’s home is “energy efficient” was a “moral crime”, as “anti-social as drink driving”, and “we should be having a discussion as to whether it should become an actual crime”.

    This was from the much missed Christopher Booker, writing in 2009:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5177468/Save-the-planet-rhetoric-soars-to-crazy-new-heights.html

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  10. An interesting post Geoff, which reminds me that occasionally when I visit some other sceptical websites I feel mildly uncomfortable with the company I am keeping, particularly in the comments sections. My former political instincts were mildly left, but the current crop of left activism leaves me somewhat in despair for the future. I think maybe Hemingway said something about moving a dollars width to the right with every dollar you made- not that I have made too many dollars, but is that me I wonder?
    I’m a more than semi retired farmer in Tasmania. I’m much more worried about food production systems than I am about the more alarmist reports of possible climate future. Therefore I also have cause to wonder whether, if climate science was the thing that I had had some skill in, instead of farming, might I believe more of the alarm? Just trying to keep a mildly open mind here. Still think it looks mostly cobblers
    When I was younger and more politically attuned, I did notice that older folk often looked on at the great questions of the day with a kind of amused tolerance. I think I have arrived at this state.
    Apologies for the number of “I’s” in this comment.

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  11. Dennis, I remember the “knifing people” conversation:

    David Campbell-Bannerman: Is flying to Spain the same as knifing someone in the street?
    Caroline Lucas: What? Yes it is! People are dying from climate change…

    I shudder to think about the body count after a long-haul flight to America.

    If the rhetoric had reached a crazy new height when Christopher Booker was writing back in 2009, it must be somewhere in the stratosphere now, and still climbing!

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  12. So, does this mean that if you want to fly, and you want to offset your carbon, then all you have to do is talk to a few gang members and ask them not to knife people for a couple of weeks?

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  13. Alan Kendall: ‘May we soon return to despoiling (and despising) climate punditry in its multitudinous flowerings.’

    Happy to oblige.

    Exhibit 1
    =========

    Here is XR’s thought leader Roger ‘Holocaust Fuckery’ Hallam at a protest he organised in 2017:

    Can anyone think of an innocent explanation for the evil bankster’s big hooked nose? There’s a clearer view of it here:

    https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-london-uk-30th-may-2017-life-not-money-at-the-lse-staged-street-theatre-143230292.html

    Exhibit 2
    =========

    XR’s ‘scientists’ protested in London today. Their official Twitter account tweeted pix of only five named ‘scientist’ protesters. Here is one of them:

    Mathematician? He’s an occasional maths tutor with a Cambridge degree in Anthropology and a life history that is totally Totnes. When he inherited a big house in Exeter he set up a commune there. This went badly until he found lowlifes who were deemed arty enough to get some Arts Council funding.

    I have loads of links about this ‘scientist’ and ‘mathematician’. Here’s a starter:

    A proudly fake story.

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  14. Vinny:

    Can anyone think of an innocent explanation for the evil bankster’s big hooked nose?

    Give me some shekels and I’m sure I could come up with something.

    Perhaps the hysteria Geoff began with is not as formless and new-fangled as it might first appear. For one thing, some people are really hurting:

    More seriously, this interaction, which followed from Steve Mc’s intervention to Mr Fleischer, encourages me that all is not lost. In fact, there are gains as well as losses to be seen at the moment:

    Real facts huh? I suspect that Mr Silva’s attitude means he will be getting closer. It’s all we can ever hope for.

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  15. It was only earlier this month that Caroline Lucas admitted to flying to Canada to visit her son. If flying to Spain is as bad as knifing a person it must surely follow that a flight to Canada is as bad as knifing three or four people. One can scarcely imagine the agonies of guilt Caroline must be suffering. Sadly it seems that the hypocrisy as well as the hyperbole have reached new heights.

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  16. Brad, The hearings were perhaps only polite by British standards. Nunes was quite strong in pointing out Schiff’s hypocrisy and clearly totally partisan attitude. Of course, Schiff is a proven liar even according to the Washington Post (which usually echoes Democrat talking points). He’s been doing it for 3 years. The latest lie was that the whistleblower statute preventing anyone revealing who the whistleblower is. That’s a bald faced and easily ascertained lie. Only the inspector general is constrained by the law. Schiff knows this and chose to lie about it (and to keep anyone from asking about it in the hearings) to prevent the collusion between his staff and the whistleblower from coming to light. This is Joe McCarthy territory.

    Compared to the Clinton impeachment, this is a completely partisan exercise. The evidence is also pretty weak. It’s basically 2nd and 3rd hand heresay. Every witness said flatly that there was no evidence of bribery or extortion. So why does Schiff claim that there is clear evidence of bribery? He’s lying again just like he did for 2 years about the strong evidence of collusion he was hiding in his underwear perhaps.

    In any case, there is an affirmative duty of the President to use quid pro quo’s with foreign countries to further US interests. That’s what foreign policy is in toto. Only if you can prove that Trump wanted the investigations to get “dirt” on Biden and not because Congress in allocating the aid also specified action on corruption. Even if he just wanted to root out the corrupt actors who tried to harm him in 2016, that’s still not corrupt. Motives are virtually impossible to prove.

    This is all a smoke screen to distract from the coming IG report on FISA abuse and Durham and Barr’s criminal investigation of the origins of the Russian investigation. There is a lot in the public record about the use of foreign assets by Brennan and Clapper to gather spurious evidence (in overseas locations to avoid the prohibition of doing so on US soil) to start that investigation. The FISA warrant was largely based on Clinton opposition research that even the New York Times points out could have been Russian disinformation. Those who signed those warrant applications certified under penalty of perjury that the information was verified and correct. That would be Comey, Rosenstein, and the babe who was fired for refusing to support the travel ban. They are now lawyering up. This is really worse than Watergate. It was an Obama government collusion to spy on and leak dirt on Trump and his campaign. Obama is still worshiped by corporate media and they are petrified by what Barr might find.

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  17. Thanks DPY6629 for the detail. I follow the Durham / Barr investigation at Zero Hedge, and await developments with interest. Report due out Dec 11th I believe.

    I’m interested to know if anyone else shares my impression that the “normal” bias of serious news media hasn’t suddenly morphed into something far more frightening.

    All newspapers have their biasses, and always have, but my impression is that the Guardian, BBC and probably New York Times etc. have gone ape in the past couple of years, and I’m wondering if the sheer strain of keeping a straight face while lying day after day about climate crisis hasn’t caused them to blow a fuse somewhere.

    For example, a September article https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/30/trump-impeachment-five-conspiracy-theories-ukraine-dilemma has “conspiracy theories” in the URL, “fantasies” in the headline and “malicious untruths” in the subheading. In it the journalist ties himself in knots trying to align the message with the facts.

    Under Conspiracies 1 & 2 concerning the Bidens, while trying to identify the story as a fantasy or untruth, he admits that “Trump’s theory begins with a truth: in 2016 Biden withheld $1bn in loan guarantees from Ukraine in order to winkle out its then chief prosecutor, Viktor Shokin” but “The Burisma investigation was dormant when Biden pushed for Shokin to be fired.” But, on the other hand: “the younger Biden’s appointment at Burisma in April 2014 was curious, to put it politely. He had no expertise in the gas industry and it is hard to avoid the thought his main attraction was his bloodline. But the move was not illegal and his father has stated that the pair never discussed business.”

    Ergo, Trump is a conspiracy theorist.

    Today this article https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/22/donald-trump-resurfaces-debunked-theory-ukraine-interfered-2016-election accuses Trump of resurfacing the “debunked theory Ukraine interfered in 2016 election,” citing Russia expert and impeachment hearing witness Fiona Hill, while failing to point out that just two days ago she acknowledged before the committee that Ukraine had “backed Hillary Clinton.”

    The abuse of important people is certainly a cultural change from fifty years ago that is independent of politics, but the mendacity of the reporting is at a level I can’t ever remember seeing. Has something changed, and is it linked to a change in the attitude to evidence and reasoning which first surfaced in the coverage of climate change?

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  18. Geoff, yes that’s something I’ve noticed as well, the dialling up to eleven by the media on certain subjects.

    There’s an article on psychopathy in the Conversation (irony alert), which has the following:
    http://theconversation.com/worried-you-are-dating-a-psychopath-signs-to-look-for-according-to-science-106965

    “If you are in a relationship with a psychopath and manage to resist their manipulation, they will often throw a toddler’s tantrum full of frustration, anger, nagging or repetitive conversations – and of course the pity puppy eyes as a final attempt – to make you feel sorry for them and give in to their wishes.”

    Could it be that they’re sensing that a fair proportion of their readers and viewers aren’t falling for it, and they’re now throwing the kitchen sink at us? If so, I wonder what next?

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  19. Irt the “the Ukrainian conspiracy theory”.
    The Ukrainian reform government in office literally states that Ukraine interests colluded with the democrats. In 2017 before the full coup got going, an anti-Trump news organization, Politico, stated that records showed Ukraine worked to help Hillary.
    It is not debunked in the sense of untrue to State the established truth.
    But we are facing a rebellion by the media and ruling elites against the people and in support of their rule. Media has chosen sides, sadly.

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  20. Another deeply troubling aspect of this coup is that the justice system is tossed out.
    Not one shred of direct evidence has been produced to support the allegations. Each witness that had direct contact with the President supported, even unwillingly, his position. Many witnesses, like Fiona Hill, actually lied. The idea that anyone, much less a President, can be indicted (impeachefment is an indictment) on transparent innuendo and false evidence should be infuriating everyone who supports the rule of law. That a political party is using this corrupt process to protect its corruption and damage the innocent is outrageous. That this might succeed means no one is safe from contrived accusations and fabricated crimes.
    But look how the climate obsessed have been able to make false charges with impunity. To make false claims without repercussions. How governments have embraced the falseness to media acclaim. I said years ago that the dysfunction of the climate consensus, openly calling for the end of democracy, openly depersoning skeptics, refusing to hear counter arguments, or evidence, would end up harming other areas of life.
    We are seeing this now in the US with the coup, in the UK with Brexit, in France with the suppression of the yellow vests, In Sweden with its government imposed self immolation, etc. Governments of the West are at war with their citizens now, rejecting the vote, the culture the history, the science and technology that made us. And media’s self debasement into Pravda/ Daily Worker cheer leaders status in this is shameful, only matched by that of the Academy.

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  21. Yes, the media misreporting on Russian interference was just blatantly biased and full of falsehoods. It was really Hillary and the DNC who paid for Russian misinformation which was then weaponized by the FBI and CIA to start a 3 year long “investigation” that showed that the whole narrative of Trump/Russia collusion was a lie from the start. There was a lot of collateral damage along the way though. Flynn and Popadopolous come to mind. It’s a shameful episode that is akin to Joseph McCarthy. It’s worse though because McCarthy didn’t have powerful law enforcement behind him. There were some corrupt people around Trump such as Manafort. But that’s true of every politician.

    There is a project Veritas expose on CNN that tells the story of why this is true. Jeff Zucker has a long standing personal feud with Trump and Zucker has been trying to destroy Trump’s presidency from the start by instructing his people to cover anything damaging and ignore anything favorable to Trump. CNN is totally unreliable.

    l don’t know what happened to the media but its been a long process. Bush’s coverage was biased, Obama was whitewashed in an unprecedented way, and Trump has driven them over the edge. I think its the fact that Trump pushed back so strongly and personally. The press has a self image as crusaders for truth and justice that demands that they try to destroy anyone who pushes back against their self righteous image of themselves.

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  22. What’s changed recently is the rise of social media. There are a few reasons why this may have had the effect of turning media and political attitudes to 11, the most pertinent IMO, the failure to recognize that social media is not representative of society as a whole (especially when they want to “curate” acceptable viewpoints) and gives extremists, and “the mob” an unprecedented voice.

    On top of that there was a concomitant rise in new news outlets exploiting the new technology. Stirring up controversy and division gained the most clicks and it has been on a quest to provide more and more of it by increasingly foul means. Ideologues have taken full advantage.

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  23. DaveJR: Yep, I felt that needed adding to the mix. Thanks for doing so.

    Social media (and really all of the internet) is a double-edged sword. Steve Mc’s use of Twitter, enabling very fast feedback from and between many smart people, would be worth detailed comparison with the early days of Climate Audit, if the right kind of researcher took an interest. But there are clearly flaws in the medium – including the risk for all such debates of being wrecked later by key players being permanently banned and thus their contributions disappeared, as has happened with Jaime, for being deemed to transgress some woke shibboleth. Here’s a well-known UK climate sceptic making that very point earlier about someone I’ve had the honour of hearing speak in person a couple of times on the transgender issue:

    That was the latest censorship from YouTube but Posie (real name Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull) has also recently been totally deleted by Facebook, having long ago been banned by Twitter. From my own experience of what she’s been saying there’s no way she should have been silenced like that. But this is for me an unwelcome consequence of the hysteria Geoff rightly feels is abroad – and that you rightly feel is being exacerbated by social media itself.

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  24. A core part of the big tech oligarchs is their enablement of anti-scientific claptrap like the gender fluidity delusion or the climate emergency. Add to that their self destructive misuse of their platform status and their embracing of factually wrong ideas like President Trump is a Russian agent, or anyone concerned about massive poorly controlled immigration is a bigot, or that climate skeptics are part of a fossil fuel conspiracy. The social media companies, by engaging in overt censorship and hidden content steering have betrayed that which made them great:
    Open platforms allowing robust free speech only restricted against direct calls for criminal activity.

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  25. Alan Kendall: ‘May we soon return to despoiling (and despising) climate punditry in its multitudinous flowerings.’

    I am afraid that politics cannot be divorced from the “climate punditry in its multitudinous flowerings”, lovely phrase! There are strong connections between the political activities in the US, the Brexit politics in the UK and the Climate Agenda.

    Trump must be forced out because he is not sold on AGW and if they can oust him or stop him being President again, a Democrat President would instantly rejoin the US to the Paris Agreement. The US officially leaves the Paris deal one day after the next election. There are powerful interests in the US who want the Green New Deal for the massive amounts of public subsidy that would be generated for “The Transition”. Major global companies, including oil and gas companies, now speak openly about the “energy transition”, even though Germany’s version, The Energiewende, is falling apart.

    At Copenhagen in 2009, Hillary Clinton proposed the creation of a joint $100 billion a year climate fund by 2020, to address the “climate change needs” of developing countries. After Copenhagen, Ban Ki Moon instituted a High Level Climate Finance panel to discuss how this would be done, with luminaries such as Lord Stern, Chris Huhne, Christine Lagarde, George Soros, Deutsche Bank and others, as panel members.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/science-papers/originals/high-level-climate-finance. That is still the aim although the money has not been as forthcoming as they wished.

    The Climate Crisis is a social construct to produce public acceptance of the radical changes, in the name of “saving humanity”, that the Green New Deal needs in order to take off. Groups such as XR are necessary agents towards that end, with the objective of producing knee jerk legislation from politicians on renewables and other environmentally damaging measures. We already have the auctions of promises in the current UK party manifestos. The election of Donald Trump derailed a lot of the policies that were being implemented by Obama towards de-industrialising the US, and so he must be removed at any cost.

    If Brexit is lost and the UK stays in the EU, there will be no chance of walking away at some point from the EU’s climate policies and perhaps, if common sense ever returns, a repeal of the Climate Change Act. There has been major international input to those groups wishing to destroy Brexit, not least Best for Britain, initially founded by the ubiquitous Gina Miller and led by Lord Malloch Brown, a former UN Deputy Secretary General and closely involved with George Soros, https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/who-we-are/staff/mark-malloch-brown

    Soros has provided at least £800,000 to fight Brexit, according to the Guardian and he has his own man, Malloch-Brown, in the House of Lords.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/29/george-soros-drastic-action-needed-for-eurozone-to-survive

    The chief architect of the CCA, Labour MP Ed Miliband, is now co-chair, with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, of the Labour think tank IPPR’s Environmental Justice Commission.
    https://www.ippr.org/environment-and-justice/commissioners/

    One of their “commissioners” is Farhana Yamin. She is the founder of an activist set-up called “Track 0” and also an Extinction Rebellion activist, so there is a direct link between IPPR and XR and by association, the Labour Party and the Green Party with XR. https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/interview/3082614/meet-the-green-radicals-extinction-rebellion-activist-farhana-yamin

    “In addition to founding “Track 0”, (well funded), https://track0.org/about/partners-supporters/, she is an associate fellow at Chatham House, a visiting professor at University College London and a member of the Global Agenda Council on Climate Change at the World Economic Forum”. Members of the WEF Managing Board include Al Gore, Mark Carney, Christine Lagarde and other financial big hitters, so we have a direct link between XR and global financiers, https://www.weforum.org/about/leadership-and-governance

    Additionally she is lead author for three assessment reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on adaptation and mitigation issues, so we have an XR link with the IPCC, https://unfccc.int/climate-action/momentum-for-change/advisory-panel/farhana-yamin.
    None of these bodies are deriding the actions of XR.

    In the short term of course, UK politicians are the chief climate virtue signallers, with all parties, except the now almost defunct UKIP, signed up to Zero Carbon Tomorrow and I dread the climate circus and its media coverage due to arrive in Glasgow next year. The message from the Conservative Party Conference was: ‘Our first priority is to lead the world in tackling climate change.’ Even Farage’s Brexit Party promises to plant millions of trees to capture CO2 and promises a global initiative at the UN.

    Ultimately the UN wants a global price on “Carbon”, and wants nations to impose these on their own citizens. https://www.unglobalcompact.org/what-is-gc

    “The UN Global Compact calls on companies to set an internal price at a minimum of $100 per metric ton over time.” There is mega money in selling carbon offsets if the whole thing is underwritten by governments. The UN Clean Development Mechanism, oversees “carbon credits” which are managed by global finance groups and who take a big slice of the pie. It means that global companies can buy “business as usual” as part of the cost of doing business, by imposing “renewable energy” on developing countries. China has other ideas, which do not have the same “climate saving” aspirations: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-massive-belt-and-road-initiative.

    If we adopt the iconic “Martian Observer” position, the further away you stand, the more you can see how all the bits fit together.

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  26. DAVEJR, HUNTERSON7 et al.,
    Agreed about the increasing bias, but the bias I’m talking about can hardly be because of the new medias’ facilitation of extreme views, since the media we’re talking about (Guardian, BBC, CNN…) are middle of the road, and have a reputation for honesty to protect. Some may find them too left wing (personally I’m irritated by their censorship of anything genuinely leftwing. No-one hates genuine successful leftwing movements more than the centre left) but no-one would deny their reputation as serious news outlets.

    The change I note is not a question of bias – gently prodding the story in the direction one favours – but of ignoring the facts entirely, as noted above in the Ukraine/Russia stories. How can these media, with decades – centuries even – of reputation behind them, report on the one hand that Ukraine is a failed state riddled with corruption, and on the other that any accusation about Hunter Biden is a debunked conspiracy theory? This is the kind of propaganda you expect in wartime, but Britain (I’m thinking of the Guardian and BBC) has absolutely no interest in the Ukraine.

    I tend to fall back on a semi-mystical theory of inherited characteristics – an unconscious substratum of social instincts. Invading Iraq? Forget WMD, it’s all about the Crusades. Anti-Russia bias? It’s nothing to do with communism or Putin. It’s about protecting the Indian Empire against the Tsar, or Europe against the Mongols. We do it because we’ve always done it. The serious media, along with serious politics and serious academia, were our protection against these atavistic drives. Now that nothing is serious except sex and the weather (see Richard Drake’s comment) the protection is gone.

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  27. Being banned from organisations/institutions like The Conversation is one thing, but how long before contributing to Cliscep will be curtailed? The way political parties are upping the anti and being lauded and egged on by the climate-afeared bodes ill. I trust plans have been made to protect Cliscep archives from being “disappeared”.

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  28. Geoff: I think Ukraine is a special case at a key moment of time and not the result of ‘an unconscious substratum of social instincts’. It’s to do with promoting unnecessary war with Russia and running interference on what is being uncovered by Trump, in all his erratic independence of thought. (Your original words about the President and the principle of foreign policy being under the Executive were I thought balanced and well chosen.) I strongly agree with you about this link:

    Has something changed, and is it linked to a change in the attitude to evidence and reasoning which first surfaced in the coverage of climate change?

    And I think social media broadly defined is having a malign influence on the MRM (middle of the road media) and the reasons are partly economic.

    To try to explain any of these opinions would take a long essay that I don’t have time to do but it doesn’t make me wrong!

    I think in seeing a dark flowering arising from that which ‘first surfaced in the coverage of climate change’ we need to add demonisation and vindictiveness to hysteria. And it’s not just sex and the weather, it’s also critical race theory and our deep need for forgiveness to be a central and restorative value again. Here are two well-known gays discussing these matters at the Battle of Ideas:

    During the questions, someone asks about climate as another area Murray needs to tackle. He’s not sure (probably because it’s seen as too technical.) I also found this comment interesting this morning, given Evans being willing to use the Holocaust analogy about climate and diss us as conspiracy theorists:

    Yet, for me, Corbyn’s instincts would probably be right on looking into the evidence here:

    Not a simple world. But the decline as a result of climate irrationality is for me a given.

    (I don’t expect other climate sceptics to agree on all these points either. There’s a limit to this striking effect: “I’m interested in what makes the views of us climate sceptics tend to converge on certain subjects far from meteorology, and often independently from our political tendencies.”)

    Thanks again though for opening up on some of these hobby horses of mine and not erasing me. Well, not yet. It’s your thread.

    Liked by 2 people

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