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Let them eat equality

The Oxford Martin School has appointed a "commission" of environmentalists to gaze at the future and come up with all sorts of plans to deal with it.

Deja vu.

The results were presented in a joint lecture by Martin Rees and Sir John Beddington last week and a video of the event is now available here. In it, we learn that the commissioners are proposing a cornucopia of new international bureaucracies, that some of them have a bit of a soft spot for totalitarian regimes (no short-termism, you see) and that they have decided that Lord Stern was right about low discount rates. This last one is not a surprise given that Lord Stern was in fact one of the commissioners.

Sir John Beddington is on cracking form. He is to science what Edmund Blackadder was to heroism, presenting some heat maps of global temperature changes and asking his audience to conclude that anthropogenic global warming is happening. The graphs were a bright red colour at the end - it must be true. "Completely startling" is Sir John's conclusion. 

You see what I mean about Blackadder?

Then he moves straight on to a slide entitled extreme weather events, incorporating a graph from Munich Re - from a press release if I'm not mistaken - with a rising trend and photos of scary-looking hurricanes - including Sandy, no less. However, as Beddington acknowledges the graph includes all manner of catastrophes, including volcanoes, earthquakes and forest fires. There is clearly a rising trend in the meterological-type disasters, but how much of the scariness is down to trends in earthquakes and so on is harder to gauge. But why is Beddington using dodgy data of this kind anyway. We've just had an IPCC report which concluded that it was hard to say anything about changes in extreme events and could detect few if any trends at all. Beddington is of course free to prefer a Munich Re press release to the IPCC, but for him to offer up an opinion at odds with the official view without any explanation is, well, surprising to say the least.

I found the whole thing very difficult to watch, having to switch off and calm down every few minutes. Watching all these overpaid public servants demanding that economic growth be reduced and equality imposed (presumably without affecting their iron pension pots) is very unpleasant, as was the input from Crispin Tickell in the Q&A session, who bemoaned the "vulgar sense of producing more things". How ghastly. The sense of listening to a room full of closed-minded, intellectually cowardly, megalomaniac Marie Antoinettes is overwhelming and indeed rather sickening.


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Reader Comments (51)

Bish - thank you for your self - flagellation. You watch and suffer, so I don't need to.

What a very fine service you provide your Grace - thanks again

Dec 7, 2013 at 5:28 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

I agree these people are so deluded I simply couldn't watch it to the end. Munich Re! that's data now? God help us all.

Dec 7, 2013 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

Indeed, I suspect that Crispin Tickell has several times "more things", and certainly more lavish things, than most of us.

The day one of these pontificating ****ers leads by example and starts living as miserably poor an existence as those who their policies hit the hardest then maybe I'll stop thinking of them as steaming hypocrites whose actions betray their words. Until then...

Dec 7, 2013 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Before I read the first two comments I had already decided not to watch this video nasty - I don't have Bish's stomach.

And these people have influence at the highest levels in our government - if we can't get rid of them it must be time to get rid of the soon as possible!

Dec 7, 2013 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

These people are a disgrace, have they no scientific integrity at all?

The political organisation set up to comment on AGW, the IPCC, admits that there is no evidence to link extreme weather to global warming and even the green German scientists agree. Many recent papers draw the same conclusion.

I have never heard of the Oxford Martin School and really hope that I never hear of it again. Unfortunately I have heard more than enough of the members of their Commission. I do hope that I never hear of them again too, but I suspect that is too much to hope for.

Dec 7, 2013 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterScrodinger's Cat

Perhaps we could upset them by campaigning for less "government".

Pointing out that lower standards of living and lower, if any, economic growth will mean less tax revenue; hence less ability to support quangos, advisers, consultants, commissions etc. Claim that commissions such as the above will have to be curtailed in their 'life', and even not formed at all.

More windfarms = less civil servants might cause one or more 'empire builders' to think again.

Dec 7, 2013 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

I really find this sort of thing profoundly depressing. I am considering changing my wishes, and to start hoping for the most God almighty crash that these policies seem to be encouraging.

Dec 7, 2013 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterGummerMustGo

I listened to just over a minute of the intro and that was more than enough.

Dec 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Why the f**k is no one standing up at the back shouting "Rubbish!" at the top of their voice - much like the claque who were in on R4's Any Questions today in support of the irredeemable Marxist Jeanette Winterson who, having made her fortune and gone off to live in the Slaughters, rails against food banks. (This programme alone should make BBC think about their ticket allocation. - No, I thought not....)

Dec 7, 2013 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

By 'lucky chance ' their ideas would mean a shed load of well paid jobs for people like them , now there is a surprise!

Dec 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

When listening to these intelllectual giants, I have visions of ropes and lamp-posts.

Oh Puh- leeeze!!

Dec 7, 2013 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

If anything has made me think that the handing-out of titles like 'Sir' and 'Lord' is thoroughly, evilly, corrupt it is seeing nincompoops like Stern and Beddington swanning around wearing them.

More confirmation of the essential rightness of the American revolution (which was, of course, nothing of the kind - it was a revolution of Englishmen).

Dec 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterUncle Badger

Managed 7:39 then had to turn it off to avoid punching a hole in the screen. The trouble with giving arses like these honours is that their already over-inflated egos go completely out of control. First of all they big themselves up by calling themselves a commission, which used to be a legally-constituted body established by Parliament, a terminology bordering on fraudulent, then they assert the right to tell the rest of us what to do without the inconvenience of democratic structures.

Is there any science at all in the presentation? Rees's stuff about unprecedented changes was completely without foundation, as nobody knows how fast changes happened at every point in the last 4.5 billion years.

Dec 7, 2013 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Someone should have taken Tickell's iPad and phone at the door and let the tyres down on his car.

Dec 7, 2013 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

These stories always leave me with the same conclusion.

What could we possibly lose by voting for UKIP?

Dec 7, 2013 at 9:07 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Has Beddington eaten part of Rees?

Dec 7, 2013 at 9:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

The Mighty Lord Stern. An economist no less. One of the group of economists that stated that the Conservative polices of the early 1980s would lead to unemployment of 10 to 15 million. Now he is peddling his made-up figures in a new sphere thats for him and his ilk is even more renumerative than that pretend science of economics. So he got made a Lord. Sort of demeans all the other Lords and Ladies. (Or are they Dames/ Pantomine dames ? )

Dec 7, 2013 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMalcolm C

""...a joint lecture by Martin Rees and Sir John Beddington...""

Dec 7, 2013 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king.

Dec 7, 2013 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Perhaps Your Grace can market the above video as a remedy for bilious stomach complaints, constipation and other conditions that would benefit from the application of an emetic.

Dec 7, 2013 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

"I found the whole thing very difficult to watch, having to switch off and calm down every few minutes"

This comment is very interesting to me because I too have felt that way on a few occasions. Not many, true, but I must say that I am surprised every time it happens. Never before on any other matter. Why now? And on this nonsense? Since there are plenty of lucid fellows around here, I wonder if others could share their experiences and how to cure what I consider to be an undesirable malady.

Dec 7, 2013 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Over all the years I've spent reading His Grace's reports of the shenanigans of the British political and scientific establishment, the one thing that has constantly amused me is the obscene super-abundance of knights and lordlings among those uttering the most stupid nonsense on climate issues. Evidently they come to believe that their titles give them the power of infallability. They certainly seem to become immune to learning.

I wonder how many of these fools would find something more useful to do if Britain were to abolish knighthoods and life peerages and introduced a genuinely democratic bicameral system of government as they should have done generations ago like most western countries. Come to think of it, perhaps the powers-that-be have reasoned that the best way to convince the British public to press seriously for the abolition of the honours system is to debase it by the inclusion of so many obviously unsuitable people. On the other hand, it does have the advantage of forewarning us that the individual concerned is more likely than not to be a total dolt fit only to be ignored. We should have no difficulty in identifying the very few exceptions.

Dec 7, 2013 at 11:17 PM | Registered CommenterMique

Dec 7, 2013 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Here we are on a Sat eve. Angry that an obvious fraud is constantly perpetuated by otherwise clever creatures in the face of increasing evidence.

I came to this because it was obviously a fraud. I dreamed it would be sooner, rather than later exposed as such. 10 years have elapsed and the mire is deeper and wider and populated by nearly all the formerly esteemed societies and their members.

I wished to use it as ammunition to expose ridiculous consensus in other fields. Along the lines of "... well you claim a Big Bang happened but, look what occurred in climate 'science ... "

It hasn't happened. I am jaded now. Tired. I was angry a couple of years ago, around Nov 2009. Now I am resigned and hope only raises its head rarely.

Dec 7, 2013 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterHenry Galt

towards the top of this article there is a reference to "Hurricane Sandy/

Sandy WAS NOT a hurricane when it struck close to New York. It had been reclassified as a post tropical cyclone by the National Hurricane Centre.

See this:

@ Mike Jackson
The National Hurricane Centre issued its formal report on Sandy on 12th February. At landfall, it was categorized as a post-tropical cyclone.

this is a direct link to the NHC report.../AL182012_Sandy.pdf just copy and paste.

As has also been explained, the timing of Sandy the Cyclone coincided with a very high tide, low atmospheric pressure and it was these 2 factors together with the cyclonic winds which resulted in so much damage.

And there is this from WUWT:
Guest post by Paul Driessen
“Super storm” Sandy killed more than 100 people, destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, and left millions without food, water, electricity, sanitation or shelter for days or even weeks. Our thoughts and prayers remain focused on its victims, many of whom are still grieving as they struggle with the storm’s wintry aftermath and try to rebuild their lives.

Unfortunately, too many politicians continue to use the storm to advance agendas, deflect blame for incompetence and mistakes, and obfuscate and magnify future risks from building and development projects that they have designed, promoted, permitted and profited from.

Sandy was “unprecedented,” the result of “weather on steroids,” various “experts” insist. “It’s global warming, stupid,” intoned Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “Anyone who says there is not a change in weather patterns is denying reality,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared. We must protect the great NY metropolis from rising oceans, said the Washington Post. This storm should “compel all elected leaders to take immediate action” on climate change, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pronounced.
Unfortunately for the politicians and spin-meisters, the facts do not support this obscene posturing.
North America’s northeastern coast has been battered by hurricanes and other major storms throughout history. A 1775 hurricane killed 4,000 people in Newfoundland; an 1873 monster left 600 dead in Nova Scotia; others pummeled Canada’s Maritime Provinces in 1866, 1886, 1893, 1939, 1959, 1963 and 2003.
Manhattan got pounded in 1667 and by the Great Storm of 1693. They were followed by more behemoths in 1788, 1821, 1893, 1944, 1954 and 1992. Other “confluences of severe weather events” brought killer storms like the four-day Great Blizzard of 1888. The 1893 storm largely eradicated Hog Island, and the 1938 “Long Island Express” hit LI as a category 3 hurricane with wind gusts up to 180 mph.
Experts say such winds today would rip windows from skyscrapers and cause a deadly blizzard of flying glass, masonry, chairs, desks and other debris from high-rise offices and apartments. People would seek safety in subway tunnels, where they would drown as the tunnels flood.

Sandy was merely the latest “confluence” (tropical storm, northeaster and full-moon high tide) to blast the New York-New Jersey area. It was never a matter of if, but only of when, such a storm would hit.
People, planners and politicians should have been better prepared. Instead, we are feted with statements designed to dodge responsibility and culpability, by trying to blame global warming. The reality is, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose to 391 ppm (0.0391%) today, average global temperatures have not changed in 16 years, and sea levels are rising no faster than in 1900. Even with Hurricane Sandy, November 2012 marked the quietest long-term hurricane period since the Civil War, with only one major hurricane strike on the US mainland in seven years. This is global warming and unprecedented weather on steroids?

In Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath – with millions freezing hungry in dark devastation – Mayor Bloomberg sidetracked police and sanitation workers for the NYC Marathon, until public outrage forced him to reconsider. While federal emergency teams struggled to get water, food and gasoline to victims, companies, religious groups, charities, local citizens and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie worked tirelessly to raise money and organize countless relief efforts.

Most outrageous of all, though, was how ill-prepared the region was for another major storm – and how many political decisions had virtually ensured that any repeat of the 1893, 1938, 1944 and other storms would bring devastation far worse than would likely have occurred in the absence of those decisions.
In one of the most obvious, architects, city planners, mayors and governors alike thought nothing of placing generators in the basements of hospitals and skyscrapers built in areas that are barely above sea level. Past storms have brought surges12 to 18 feet high onto Long Island, and studies have warned that a category 3 direct hit could put much of New York City and its key infrastructure under 30 feet of water. Sandy’s 9-foot surges (plus five feet of high tide) flooded those basements, rendering generators useless, and leaving buildings cold and dark. Perhaps if Mayor Bloomberg had worried less about 32-oz sodas and seas that are rising a mere foot per century, he could have devoted more time to critical issues.

The mayor has also obsessed about urban sprawl. However, when new developments mean high rents, high taxes and photo-op ground breakings, he has a different philosophy.
Mr. Bloomberg’s Arverne by the Sea initiative transformed what he called “a swath of vacant land” into a “vibrant and growing oceanfront community,” with “affordable” homes starting at $559,000. (The land was vacant because a 1950 storm wiped it clean of structures.) The new homes were built on 167 acres of land raised five feet above the surrounding Far Rockaway area. Those Arverne homes mostly survived Sandy. But the high ground caused storm surges to rise higher and move faster elsewhere than they would have on Rockaway lowlands that are always hit head-on by northward moving storms.

If Sandy had been a category 3 hurricane like its 1938 ancestor, the devastation would have been of biblical proportions – as winds, waves and surges slammed into expensive homes, businesses and high-rises, and roared up waterways rendered progressively narrower by hundreds of construction projects.
Lower Manhattan has doubled in width over the centuries. World Trade Center construction alone contributed 1.2 million cubic yards to build Battery Park City, narrowing the Hudson River by another 700 feet. The East River has likewise been hemmed in, while other water channels have been completely filled. Buildings, malls and raised roadways constructed on former potato fields, forests, grasslands and marshlands have further constricted passageways for storm surges and runoff.

As a result, storms like Sandy or the Long Island Express send monstrous volumes of water up ever more confined corridors. With nowhere else to go, the surges rise higher, travel faster and pack more power. Its elementary physics – which governors, mayors, planners and developers ignore at their peril.
No wonder, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo and other politicos prefer to talk about global warming, rising seas and worsening weather – to deflect attention and blame from decisions that have put more people in the path of greater danger. Indeed, the very notion of packing more and more people into “sustainable, energy-efficient” coastal cities in the NY-NJ area is itself madness on steroids.

Worst of all, politicians are increasingly and intentionally obscuring and misrepresenting the nature, frequency and severity of storm, flood and surge risks, so that they can promote and permit more construction in high-risk areas, and secure more money and power. They insist that they can prevent or control climate change and sea level rise, by regulating CO2 emission – while they ignore real, known dangers that have arisen before and will arise again, exacerbated by their politicized decisions.
As a result, unsuspecting business and home owners continue to buy, build and rebuild in areas that are increasingly at risk from hurricanes, northeasters and “perfect storms” of natural and political events. And as the population density increases in this NY-NJ area, the ability to evacuate people plummets, especially when roadways, tunnels and other escape routes are submerged. Let the buyer beware.
Sandy may have been a rare (but hardly unprecedented) confluence of weather events. But the political decisions and blame avoidance are an all-too-common confluence of human tendencies – worsened by the dogged determination of our ruling classes to acquire greater power and control, coupled with steadily declining transparency, accountability and liability.

How nice it must be to have convenient scapegoats like “dangerous manmade global warming” and insurance companies – today’s equivalent of the witches whom our predecessors blamed for storms, droughts, crop failures, disease and destruction. It’s time to use the witches’ brooms to clean house.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

Dec 7, 2013 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPM Walsh


Email from Beddington to Davies

“As it happens, I met Ron Oxburgh last night and he duly moaned about putting his name into the frame, but my distinct impression was that he was rather pleased. Knowing him, he will certainly make it work”.

Email Beddington to Oxburgh

'Dear Ron
Much appreciated the hard work put into the review, general view is a blinder played. As we discussed at HoL, clearly the drinks are on me!
Best wishes, John'

Dec 7, 2013 at 11:36 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Stern, economist and deluded.

"After a position as the World Bank Chief Economist from 2000 to 2003, Stern was recruited by Gordon Brown, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, to work for the British government where, in 2003, he became second permanent secretary at H.M. Treasury, initially with responsibility for public finances, and head of the Government Economic Service. "


" initially with responsibility for public finances"

Gulp - Stern a major role - in Gordo Gloomo's cabal - Brown; the man who wrought havoc and brought economic calamity and despair who also rewrote the book on financial illiteracy - some recommendation is that.

How could anyone who is sane - sound in mind and body set store in any of Stern's crack pot utterances?

Dec 7, 2013 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.


"Never mind the truth lets get on with the [green] agenda dear boy!"


Email from Beddington to Davies

“As it happens, I met Ron Oxburgh last night and he duly moaned about putting his name into the frame, but my distinct impression was that he was rather pleased. Knowing him, he will certainly make it work”.

Email Beddington to Oxburgh

'Dear Ron
Much appreciated the hard work put into the review, general view is a blinder played. As we discussed at HoL, clearly the drinks are on me!
Best wishes, John'


Shurely shom mishtake...........

Academia are birds of a feather and did rig the inquiry - just so.

Dec 7, 2013 at 11:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Global warming - it's purely academic.

Dec 8, 2013 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

Athelstan 11.48pm

Stern's utterances will by no be means crack-pot - they serve the purpose of enhancing his use to and reputation with the government. Self interest. See his wry amusement at the hostility of Lilley and Stringer (?) to government policy at the end of the recent HoC committee hearing. How could they be so stupid and forego the bounty government bestows on people like him, who further it?

His career suggests that he has become a master of the art of saying things that will please potential employers. If he reads this, no doubt he will say: "Of course, thank you for the compliment!"

I guess the same goes for the rest of the participants at this shindig.

Dec 8, 2013 at 3:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

Racking my brains trying to think why a company like Munich Re (which makes money when people, fearing future disasters, buy huge premiums and only loses money if these catastrophes actually really happen) would have any interest in spreading this story.
I am all out of ideas.

Dec 8, 2013 at 6:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterKeith L

On a planet hurling wild, galaxies unamused, America owes thanks to one Brit, who embodies old school wit.

Dec 8, 2013 at 7:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC


"I found the whole thing very difficult to watch, having to switch off and calm down every few minutes"

"This comment is very interesting to me because I too have felt that way on a few occasions. Not many, true, but I must say that I am surprised every time it happens. Never before on any other matter. Why now? And on this nonsense? Since there are plenty of lucid fellows around here, I wonder if others could share their experiences and how to cure what I consider to be an undesirable malady."

I know where you're coming from on this. I feel the same way. I think it might be the complacent, absolutely unshakeable conviction that they're right, and they're not open to argument, despite holding themselves out as men of science. Mind you I feel much the same way listening to the BBC, for much the same reasons on just about every subject.

Dec 8, 2013 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

We in the Colonies are in awe of the capability of the British Peerage to make fast and large money from vested interest schemes, while remaining out of incarceration. Please, Sir, can I become a Lord?
(We in Australia are also in awe of the bat and ball ability of the British Ashes Team whose Captain played a blinder today).

Dec 8, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

Rees mentioned the Greens new strategy of getting new people - other than Green NGOs - to talk about climate-change. This was suggested by COIN and Dr Adam Corner in Climate Silence - (and how to break it)

Report here

According to Dr Corner’s research, "... most hold no strong views about climate change [so]
COIN advocates a national programme of debates and conversations, begun not by green campaigners but by representatives of different communities (people who could become new heroes on climate change).

These events would be designed not to make an economic case, put forward scientific facts or win an argument, but to allow people to express and discuss their concerns, fears, dreams and hopes for the future. What could be more useful than providing the fora and support for citizens to talk to each other about climate change will impact on their future, and how they want to respond to it?"

I guess, this was the aim of this lecture. I don't think this approach will prove anymore successful than the NGOs, simple slogans approach - however it is interesting to see how the Green's network of officials operate in a highly coordinated fashion all funded by the taxpayer.

Dec 8, 2013 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterFay Tuncay

That's right, Fay, it's just the latest variation of the "poor communication" meme. It's not that they are wrong, it's just that they have not quite succeeded in communicating with the plebs.

It is the dying call and impeccable indicator of of failing governments everywhere.

Dec 8, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Heh... 5 minutes had me clicking over to for "smug"

complacent egotistical pompous self-righteous self-satisfied conceited egoistic holier-than-thou priggish puffed-up self-contented snobbish stuck on oneself stuck-up stuffy superior vainglorious

are in the ballpark but language is inadequate

Like others I couldn't sit though 1.5 hours of this.- oh my, they think a lot of themselves don't they? I can't be the only one thinking Beddington should have stayed in the heather and gorse with binoculars and a notepad counting red deer?

Dec 8, 2013 at 10:48 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Dec 7, 2013 at 11:17 PM | Mique

".....the one thing that has constantly amused me is the obscene super-abundance of knights and lordlings among those uttering the most stupid nonsense on climate issues. Evidently they come to believe that their titles give them the power of infallability....."

I believe that it's the other way round Mique.

They become knights and lordlings as a reward for their stupid utterances - as long as those utterances support the government's intended policies of course!

Dec 8, 2013 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

Well, you do have 745 of them now - more than can fit in the Chamber.

I must agree (as an Aussie) that is is a great strategy for making them irrelevant. Not sure that it was the intention, though.

Dec 8, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

I have only one word for this: Gordon Bennet.

Dec 8, 2013 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

PM Walsh,

Thanks for posting the link to the Hurricane Centre report on Hurricane Sandy - a very useful piece of meteorological analysis. One for the pdf archive.

I had seen much of the "Sandy" post at WUWT

Another interesting post at WUWT , although there were quite a few, was -

where Bob Henson and Dr. Ryan Maue details the unusual aspects of this amazing happening.

If you put the Hurricane Center report and the above piece together you get a very good analysis of the event.

Dec 8, 2013 at 4:56 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

Watching the antics of these buffoons, I can't help thinking of the hubris that afflicted the builders of the Titanic who asserted "God himself could not sink this ship".

They really appear to believe you can bribe Mother Nature with other peoples' money.

Talk about pride going before a fall...

AGW - All Gone Wrong!

Dec 8, 2013 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterCatweazle

There are a lot of organisations being formed which purport to being socialyl concerned, for example fuel poverty and the need to insulate homes. However, they have strong links with the greenies and rather than advocating cheap energy to heat old people's homes, they would rather get them to buy expensive energy saving materials and heat. Such measures may well lead to other health problems, but they do not care because they are saving the planet

Dec 8, 2013 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

Wandering a little off topic I see that the British Council and the Arts Council of England are sponsoring an anti oil fake trial of David Suzuki with our money 48:56 in this documentary

Once again the great and good attacking 'carbon' with taxpayer cash.

Dec 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterarkleseizure

"They came on in the same old way..."

Courtesy of recent CA discussions.

Dec 8, 2013 at 11:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterManniac

Ecclesiastical Uncle,

Of course you are so right, what a shambles, what a wastrel clutch of curs is big government, there will be a reckoning but not with those that caused our economic oblivion - because the massive state borrowing, bust banks and with it the fiat money system has become so debased - it [Britain] will founder. However and most unfortunately, the likes of Lord Stern and his extended cabal of peculating, fraudulent 'advisors', lobbyists, corporate leeches - will have fled to the lifeboats and then escape to reside on luxury islands, nest egg secured and hedged, long before the Titanic HMG hits the rocks.

Dec 8, 2013 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

There is an article somewhere, which I can't find just now, that points out that the House of Lords in numerical terms (745) is only in the same class as the Chinese Communist Party's top "organ" in terms of numbers. Mind you, they represent 1 billion+ people, as opposed to about 65 million in the UK.

In both cases, their power is heavily diluted. Real decisions, as has been known for hundreds of years, come from a group of 13 people or less. The board of the Dutch East India Company is one of the templates. It is the same size as an effective Cabinet in the Westminster system.

We plebs in the rest of the world are watching the endless dilution and devaluation of titles and the House of Lords with interest. Seems to me that the HoL is being systematically destroyed in terms of credibility and power.

Dec 9, 2013 at 5:25 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Bourbons by all means in general, but not Marie Antoinette - you do her a disservice in comparing these nervous ninnies to her. I get the impression she was, as well as beautiful, sweet-natured and kind-hearted. A bit like our Di perhaps? Here is an alternative image which I think would have been more appropriate for this piece: As in the pic, where there is no mouse to be screaming about, the mere thought of one is enough for some people to go a bit hysterical.

Coming back to the Bourbons, the last page of the last chapter of the Darwall's invaluable 'The Age of Global Warming' contains this observation:

When it comes to learning from their mistakes, collectively scientists vie with the Bourbons.

He is referring to some asinine stuff from the Royal Society about the imminent collapse of civilisation. I think it gives them a frisson as well as a reason to be, so to speak, shrieking their heads off from their chairs in their own fashion.

Dec 9, 2013 at 12:10 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

I should have also mentioned her courage, calmness under pressure, and compassion for others. Three further characteristics which make a nonsense of any kind of association with those credulous and irresponsible 'environmentalists'.

Dec 9, 2013 at 4:03 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

The way she was treated, misrepresented (e.g. the 'let them eat cake' guff, and sundry obscene tales about her injected into public circulation) and generally demonised by the Left back in the day was probably an inspiration for the odious Saul Alinsky of our era. The same Alinsky who seems to have inspired the abuse in circulation from sundry climate alarmists about those who dared defy their dogmas - see the essay by Christopher Essex linked to in my comment on Unthreaded earlier today.

Dec 9, 2013 at 5:06 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Gosh, John Shade, you seem to be very passionate about reviving the reputation of Marie Antoinette. Interestingly, Geoff Chambers has interpreted her famous comment as "why can they not eat cake" or similar, which has a different shade of meaning.

Still, no-one would even know her name these days if it weren't for that possible misquotation. It's one of the most powerful and long-lived political punchlines ever.

Dec 9, 2013 at 6:02 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

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