Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Back | Main | Ends and Means »

Global governancers' get-together

I missed the occasion of the Earth System Governance conference in Norwich at the start of the month, but it looked as though it was a hoot. Every scientivist in the western hemisphere seems to have flown in for the occasion (#greensgobyair) to hear speakers as varied as, erm, Tony Juniper, Prince Charles and Bob Watson opining about how better "allocation" is the solution to all known environmental ills. No doubt if we take from each according to their ability and give to each according to their need then global temperatures will stop going up and the passenger pigeon will miraculously be found living in a dovecot in Droitwich.

To mark the occasion of the conference, UEA's Heike Schroeder has written an article in the journal Global Environmental Change. Dr Schroeder apparently believes that small-scale organic farming is going to be the solution to the world's problems, so it will not surprise you to learn that her article is a tour de force of economic illiteracy, wide-eyed inanity and bovine stupidity. We learn for example of the horrors of artificial fertiliser:

Modern fertiliser-intensive agriculture is a major threat to the first planetary system, the artificially enhanced nitrogen cycle (Gruber and Galloway, 2008 and Vitousek et al., 1997). Large-scale deployment of synthetic fertilisers enabled the expansion and intensification of agricultural production, resulting in hitherto unprecedented surpluses and a steep decline in food prices that have made agricultural producers in the global North dependent on government subsidies.

Global warming gets a look in too, with Dr Schroeder telling us that the IPCC has got it all wrong:

the global climate system is under threat of significant anthropogenic interference that could cause several potentially irreversible changes, including a collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, dieback of the Amazon rainforest and decay of the Greenland ice sheet...

But the article does at least demonstrate clearly that taxpayers are being forced to pay for a political programme:

Now is the time to recognise the linkages between poverty, injustice and usurped property rights with current modes of governance. The Earth System Governance Project addresses this mission by promoting innovative and interdisciplinary research on access and allocation of both material resources and non-material values.

Can anyone think of a paper that has packed so much drivel into so few words?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (130)

The excerpt from Finnegans Wake scored -16 on that readability scale though.

Jul 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Jul 24, 2014 at 12:30 AM | Les Johnson

The fact that they were happy to hold this conference in the Socialist Dictatorship of Venezuela says all we need to know. They're coming to get us. People get ready.

Jul 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Mountains of bird poo from islands, .

Jul 24, 2014 at 5:13 AM | Eric Gisin

Mountains of bird poo paid for this place.

Well worth a visit if you are down our way (North Somerset).

Jul 25, 2014 at 11:07 AM | Registered Commenterjeremypoynton

Radical Rodent, I agree. I forced myself to watch until the end.

This truly awful bit of black propaganda, "Our Planet from the Air" ended up with the prediction that the Arctic could be ice-free by 2015! What a difference 5 years makes! Yet the BBC is still promoting it! Yes, you are right, portentous narration accompanied by truly awful wailing soundtrack and pictures of poor Third World sods trying to eke a living from subsistence farming in arid regions while Big Oil was the villain for digging up "pockets of sunshine" that should be left where they are. Do these prats never see anything for which they should be grateful in the development of capitalism? Sure, it has it's faults and is a terrible system (just like democracy) except when you consider the alternatives!

Jul 25, 2014 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered Commentermarchesarosa

I was in a small Scottish anchorage when a large yacht emblazoned with the name of one of MacArthur's charities came in. It was far too big for the anchorage and there was no space anyway (perfectly good but not as attractive anchorage not far away). They faffed about trying to anchor anyway until someone who was clearly impressed by their charidee status (or just didn't want their boat damaged) actually up anchored and left some room. Still not enough IMO but they anchored anyway and produced the inevitable over engined tender which they used to barge around taking photos. Fortunately the night was flat calm (against the MO forecast as usual) so they didn't hit anything.

A few weeks later I thought I'd look up their website to see if there were any good photos with my boat in. All the photos had been carefully taken to make it look as if they were the only boat there and in the middle of nowhere.

All the attributes of the UK's charity industry in a nutshell - loads of money, arrogance, incompetence and good PR.

Jul 25, 2014 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

I guess anybody capable of deciding carbon dioxide is bad for the living planet is also more than ignorant enough to declare nitrogen to be a bad thing too.

It is ironic that this sort of twaddle should be considered publishable now, just as we are 'celebrating' the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of another piece of continent-sized stupidity.

Jul 25, 2014 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart


A letter has been sent to the president elect of the EU by Sense about Science, urging him to reject the call of anti-scientific NGO’s such as Greenpeace to abolish the post of Chief Scientific Advisor. You can add your name by clicking on the link at the bottom.


Jul 26, 2014 at 12:46 AM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

Plenty of room for farming reform. Notice how they always put their gates in the muddiest part of the field.

Jul 26, 2014 at 6:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

I 'm so sorry to say it, but you've all missed the significance of Schroeder's risible article!

Clearly it is a parody of the genre, in the spirit of Alan Sokal's famous hoax paper.

Interpretive charity demands that this article be regarded as a hoax/parody, the journal's editors and Schroeder's fellow conference organizers must be in on it, for the alternative explanation is too frightening to contemplate. For anyone who missed Sokal's initial revelation of his hoax (he wrote several more articles and a book):


"A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies" (1996)

from physicist Alan Sokal (who refers to himself as a man of the political left, but one who got tired of seeing all the unscientific nonsense spouted in the name of "progressive" ideologies):

So, to test the prevailing intellectual standards, I decided to try a modest (though admittedly uncontrolled) experiment: Would a leading North American journal of cultural studies -- whose editorial collective includes such luminaries as Fredric Jameson and Andrew Ross -- publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Interested readers can find my article, ``Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,'' in the Spring/Summer 1996 issue of Social Text. It appears in a special number of the magazine devoted to the ``Science Wars.''

What's going on here? Could the editors really not have realized that my article was written as a parody?

Jul 26, 2014 at 7:37 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Today's DMI Arctic ice looks interesting:

It's apparently increasing!

Jul 26, 2014 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

clickable link (thanks turnedoutnice) to the DMI chart:

DMI chart of Arctic ice

[I don't always bother with hyperlinks, but in this case the chart seems very important so I hope a lot of folks will take a look.... could be some kind of satellite malfunction etc., but if the new trend proves out it will have serious implications for discussing of alleged polar ice catastrophes]

Jul 26, 2014 at 5:56 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Yet to see this 'feature' here...

Jul 26, 2014 at 6:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Turnedoutnice, skiphil, Dave Salt

Below the DMI extent graph was this comment.

"The plot above replaces an earlier sea ice extent plot, that was based on data with the coastal zones masked out. This coastal mask implied that the previous sea ice extent estimates were underestimated. The new plot displays absolute sea ice extent estimates. The old plot can still be viewed here for a while."

Sounds more like a correction of a data interpretation error, rather than a real increase in extent. The increase does not show on NSIDC or elsewhere.

Jul 26, 2014 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM, I assume the correction is applied retrospectively in order not to mislead, which would imply that the 'feature' is real... or at least their current best assessment. Note also that the previous plot had a significant 'notch' in early-May that has also been corrected, which again suggests that they believe the current plot reflects reality, as they see it.

Having said that, I'll wait to see if this 'feature' shows up in the other data sets before getting too excited. Moreover, we know that Arctic sea ice trends reflect more than just temperature (e.g. wind and waves), so I'd tend not to read too much into this at the moment.

Jul 26, 2014 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Sounds more like a correction of a data interpretation error, rather than a real increase in extent.
That may be so. Have a look at the “old” graph, and see where the 2014 line is – oh, look! It’s in the higher extent of the range of curves!

Even the slightly scarier graph from NSIDC has the 2014 line inside the +/-2 Standard Deviations. Perhaps one interesting question to raise would be: could a submarine safely surface at the North Pole this year?

Jul 27, 2014 at 8:09 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Fully paid up members of the Doomsday Club can only allow data corrections that support their beliefs. Old high temperature records get cooled, newer cold ones get warmed etc etc. Science it isn't.

Jul 27, 2014 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Steve Jones

Before commenting on adjustment of temperature records, you should read this item at Climate etc.

Jul 27, 2014 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

:@ Radical Rodent.

Just watched part of Our Planet From The Air on I-Player while I had my Sunday tea. Oh my, you weren't joking!
Total climate propaganda from first minute to last. Dear oh dear.

Jul 27, 2014 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered


Automated BBC service phone in and complain.

Jul 27, 2014 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Jul 26, 2014 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

dmi have been showing that message for a while now. Check out the wayback machine from last December,

Jul 27, 2014 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnything is possible

Entropic Google Zeke Hausfather vested interest in clean technology windmills most likely so hes keeping the Climate Scam going so hes not neutral.

"About Zeke Hausfather
Zeke Hausfather, a data scientist with extensive experience with clean technology interests in Silicon Valley, is currently a Senior Researcher with Berkeley Earth. He is a regular contributor to Yale Climate Connections"

Jul 27, 2014 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Check the director of Earth from the Air.

In his write up says he helps companies deal with their environmental impact .So he deals in Carbon Credits.
So how license fee payers money went to this dickhead.
See what i can dig up on the production company.

The BBC can bang on about Environmentalism as much as they like but despite warnings from their employees they still let Peados and Sex Offenders run amok in their studios.

Jul 27, 2014 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid


It was originally Called "Home" IIRC - Glenn Close's cheery narration adds a generous dollop of a certain non-reflecting colour which contrasts starkly with the elaborate staged eye-candy throughout.

Best watched with the sound turned off - maybe I'll try the French version one day....

@jamspid - according to the blurb - it's a campaign statement to be freely distributed (IIRC the YouTube-age blurb says copy, copy, copy to spread the message) - so if Auntie paid for it ... you know the rest.

Jul 27, 2014 at 8:35 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Jul 27, 2014 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

I had read it. The article describes striving for a rigourous and objective approach to temperature records applied consistently. Nobody can argue with that. It is the kind of people that lose things like the MWP I was referring to.

Jul 27, 2014 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Whilst i was searching Yann Arthus Bertrand on IMDB i found this from the same production company

My French Translation only goes as far as Marc Dorcel Porno's and i would much rather be watching them.
But basically what they are saying is Centralize/ Nationalist the complete means of Farming in the interests of Environmentalism.
Something that Lenin Stalin Mao and Pol Pot all failed to do.
As the only famines seems to occurs in areas of Civil War and Political Religious Strive ,Garza Iraq Syria Sudan etc.

Capitalism is big fields worked by big combine harvesters moved on big roads with big lorries to big ships then sold in super markets all doing quite well at keeping 7 billion of us all quite well fed.
I million people in the UK living off Food Banks but there is food there to give them, than they complain about obesity.

Jul 27, 2014 at 9:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Global governance was created from the largely unreported CHAOS and FEAR of nuclear annihilation in late August 1945.

Public knowledge was forbidden of energy in the "Star Copernicus Discovered At Center Of Solar System" after destroying Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, Nagasaki on 9 August 1945, and then secretly being transferred from Japan to the USSR in unreported events of late August 1945:

Jul 27, 2014 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterOliver K. Manuel

Jul 23, 2014 at 12:55 PM | sherlock1

How do such nutters get to be in positions of 'authority', from where they can spout such bollox..?

When they looked around to fill the positions, the rest of us were in capitalist land making an honest living, employing people, adding value and paying tax.

Jul 28, 2014 at 5:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred


One theory... - that struck me as profound on a Sunday evening:

"I thought of the difference between virtue and piety, and saw that virtue is the doing of good, whereas piety is the avoidance of ‘wrong’.

In a world dominated by PC orthodoxy, and quota filling, the society will become ever more pious and less virtuous, simply because it is an easier state to achieve, especially if you have a vigorous ego but little talent to match it.

Giving more power to the State will increase malfeasance, as the talentless displace the virtuous, all the new power must be there to direct the cover-up of the ensuing systematic incompetence."

(Stolen from here)

Not that "they" for the most part even seem bothered about doing wrong even...

Jul 28, 2014 at 8:22 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Looks like fracking is off the drawing board for good right at a time when energy security should be our upmost concern!


Jul 28, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

tom0mason wrote: "A letter has been sent to the president elect of the EU by Sense about Science, urging him to reject the call of anti-scientific NGO’s such as Greenpeace to abolish the post of Chief Scientific Advisor."

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the call for abolition just because of who is making it. Present performance is no guarantee of future performance.

Jul 28, 2014 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveJR

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>