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« Light blogging | Main | The BBC's internal contradictions »
Tuesday
Jul082014

The little green book

There are those on the internet who take me to task from time to time for having the temerity to mention James Delingpole in approving tones. I should not ever discuss James it seems, because that makes me a bad person.

Being someone of broadly classical liberal views I am used to being considered a bad person by those of a more authoritarian worldview - socialists, environmentalists, BBC interviewers and the like - so I can't say this bothers me very much. That being the case, here is the latest illicit mention of the great man.

James sent me The Little Green Book of Ecofascism many months ago and I promised that I would write a review of it. After an unforgiveably long delay I have finally managed to take a read and it's great fun. Perfect to take to the beach in fact.

It's a sort of a devil's dictionary of the green movement, covering everything from the spotted owl (if it didn't exist the evironmental movement would have had to invent it) to Sir David King (whose qualifications apparently make him no more expert on climate science than if he'd read media studies) to clean energy (for which we should read "expensive, environmentally destructive, heavily taxpayer subsidised, and fuel poverty generating"). You get the drift.

It's knockabout stuff of course, but James rarely gets credit for the research he puts into his work and underneath all the entertainment and banter there is much to inform and educate too. This is perhaps unsurprising because, as James is happy to inform us, his qualifications in climate science are the equal of those sported by Prince Charles, David Attenborough and Paul Nurse. So we can appreciate little digressions into statistics, radiative physics, economics and the like, and the clever way James educates as well as informs.

Buy here.

 

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Reader Comments (21)

Just bought and downloaded it. I love the way that James always knows how to push their buttons and must be incredibly irritatingly for lefties as he is usually right too!

Jul 8, 2014 at 8:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Telling us like it is I give you:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2684001/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-The-sun-got-hat-break-Bacofoil.html

You may not like him but the more we ridicule, the less we debate with them on their terms, the sooner this climate change nonsense will be consigned to history.
As I've said before in previous posts the only way to tackle these fools is to laugh at them. To do otherwise only gives credence to what they have to say.

Jul 8, 2014 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

James Delingpole's books are always good value for money, and a good read. I have Watermelons and the Little Green Book on Kindle, and highly recommend them both.

Jul 8, 2014 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Goat

As a dang furriner who views these events from afar, can I say that people like James Delingpole and Jeremy Clarkson keep the Brit spirit of anti-authoritarianism alive. While being very funny.

But, who is there to succeed them? Most contemporary "comedians" rely on saying rude words in a loud voice, and attacking the people who support their pampered existence, for their laffs..

Jul 8, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Littlejohn, I believe, invented the phrase "you couldn't make it up", which seems to apply more and more. I can forgive him a lot for that.

Jul 8, 2014 at 9:47 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

We don't say "rude words" any more, johanna, that would be discriminatory and judgmental. And rude.

Nowadays, they are known as "non-Disney" words.......

Jul 8, 2014 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

My lunchtime website route, after a couple of news sites, tends to be:
Surface pressure charts (to see if there's any wind)
Gridwatch (today wind creating a MASSIVE 0.15GW - how all those wind farm developers must be laughing as they collect subsidies for NOT producing any electricity)
Bishop Hill
Wattsupwiththat
Christopher Booker
James Delingpole
Jo Nova
Donna Laframboise (sometimes)
James always has a nothing-if-not-truthful dig at the 'Establishment/consensus/97%' view - obviously these people never read his blogs, because even politicians must eventually see that the 'climate alarmism/CO2 is evil' stance is just so much cr*p....

Jul 8, 2014 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

johanna
"But, who is there to succeed them? Most contemporary "comedians" ..."

I think the point is that Delingpole and Clarkson aren't comedians in the way that most people would use the terms. They are journalist/writers (and in the case of Clarkson, presenter) who use humour. Their careers have relied on print media which have occasionally slightly wider access for heretic views or, in the case of Clarkson, were big and valuable enough to the BBC not to be summarily dropped as his views diverged more and more from contemporary dogma.

Actual comedians, most of whom began in stand-up or sketch comedy, have had careers reliant on performing in clubs and for promoters and in front of audiences who would have reacted badly if they had, for example, made it plain they thought global warming was a scam or the green NGOs were in any way unworthy.
So any mildly ambitious (like wanting to make a living) comedian who had an inclination to make such points knows very well not to, and any potential comedian who is determined to use such material isn't going to reach a level of gig or the TV/radio exposure which might attract wide public attention.

Jul 8, 2014 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

I wish he could make a living with his comedy writing without straying into Ann Coulter territory. So, all the best with the book.

Here is my own rather more serious take on ecofascism. http://alturl.com/xxmqe

Here is the secret mastermind behind Germany's great victory tonight.

https://twitter.com/TumblrEdits/status/486634424751374338/photo/1

Jul 8, 2014 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

"...as James is happy to inform us, his qualifications in climate science are the equal of those sported by Prince Charles, David Attenborough and Paul Nurse. "

I am awestruck. Or maybe it's that burrito I had for lunch.

Must buy the book!

Jul 9, 2014 at 1:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

"
My lunchtime website route, after a couple of news sites, tends to be:

...
Jul 8, 2014 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered Commenter sherlock1

Darn close to my route through the day's news Sherlock1. Except that I do visit NoFrakkingConsensus every day in case Donna put up a post. I sometimes wonder what my thirty second pop-ins do to a site's stats.
I also drop into Climate Audit every day.

My browser's home page is the Wall Street Journal so every time I open the browser I pick up news almost reasonably alarmist free. I pay visits to other skeptic web sites depending on news, especially sites like PolarbearScience.

"
johanna
"But, who is there to succeed them? Most contemporary "comedians" ..."

I think the point is that Delingpole and Clarkson aren't comedians in the way that most people would use the terms. They are journalist/writers (and in the case of Clarkson, presenter) who use humour. Their careers have relied on print media which have occasionally slightly wider access for heretic views or, in the case of Clarkson, were big and valuable enough to the BBC not to be summarily dropped as his views diverged more and more from contemporary dogma.

..."

Jul 8, 2014 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered Commenter artwest

You mean comedians like 'Dave Allen at Large', Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Red Fox, George Carlin, years of Saturday Night Live skits often using the people they were criticizing, Laugh In, Sammy Davis Jr., Jeff Foxworthy, Benny Hill, Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon show, Soupy Sales, Ron White Johnny Carson, Jack Parr, Dave Letterman, James Thurber, many contributors to the Saturday Evening Post especially in the early years...

Some of the funniest routine's I've ever heard were from Bill Cosby live. Bill Cosby picked on current events many times.

The list is very long and is growing all of the time. Leaving out historical figures like Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and the ever notorious Benjamin Franklin.

Here's a George Carlin quote for you;

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting '...holy sh*t ....what a ride!'"

A statement that makes me grin every time I think of it.

Jul 9, 2014 at 3:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

ATheoK

Notwithstanding George Carlin's quote, comedians are known to be very unhappy people, Delingpole more than most.


Delingpole and Clarkson come from the arse end of the public school system and their attitudes reflect that. Clarkson is working class.

Jul 9, 2014 at 8:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterGlobal dimming

@ATheoK - Congratulations for posting weirdest comment of the week. Which bog standard comp did you go to?

Jul 9, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

"..from the arse end of the public school system.."

That just means they know sh*t when they see it.

Jul 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRightwinggit

As he relaxes by the pool in Las Vegas eating tortillas filled with spicy shrimps (see twitter) in between being an "entertainer" and a "moderator" at ICCC9, JD will no doubt take wry satisfaction from knowing that most of those present would have a copy of "Little Green Book" as a source of suitable bon mots.
Not only that, but should someone mention say, Stephan Lewandowsky, it is always useful to be able to find out quickly who he is.
I was happy to have provided him with the information on "Tigers" ( only 3200 in the wild, but 6000 in North American zoos and a further 5000 in tiger "penis" farms in China ).
He is too modest to mention the name of the journalist who almost had the Maldives removed from the Times Atlas of the World (after they disappeared due to rising sea levels) but does mention the International incident this caused.

Jul 9, 2014 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Jul 9, 2014 at 3:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

I am not sure what on earth you are taking issue with in my actual comment even though you quote most of it.

I was replying to a question about where are the NEW ("contemporary" was one giveaway) comedians going to come from who question dogmas like global warming.
Your list is mainly full of people who were dead long before global warming was even heard of and none are up-and-coming successors to Delingpole or Clarkson - which is what the whole discussion was about.

As Delingpole and Clarkson are both British, then I think it's fair to say that Joanna's point has mainly a UK focus.
Of course there are comedians addressing current events - that wasn't the issue - the point is that they almost universally abide by the current BBC/Guardian orthodoxy. It is almost inconceivable that a new non-Left version of Marcus Brigstocke or Mark Steel would get on air. The punch lines on programmes like the News Quiz are usually lazy variations on aren't the Tories/UKIP/Murdoch evil. Even when they have a point it is depressingly unimaginative and conformist pandering to their self-selecting audience - while all the while they smugly imagine they are being daring and edgy.
To be daring and edgy would be to attack the global warming scam but it would be career suicide for most comedians.

Incidentally, I wonder if Clarkson has ever pitched an anti-CAGW scam documentary to the BBC? I'd love to see their faces but I am sure that even such a massive earner for the BBC couldn't swing that, even if he offered to pay for it himself.
.
ATheoK , If you have any disagreement with the points I am actually making, as opposed to some random fantasy, then please feel free. If you are going to berate me for something which I didn't say then please don't trouble yourself.

Jul 9, 2014 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

The comedy "establishment" in the West is overwhelmingly left-wing, pro-CAGW, pro-radical environmentalist, etc. In the 1960s and 70s this might have been considered to be "edgy", but today it is of course utterly mainstream and conformist.

Just look at popular programs like QI (which is on permanent rotation on the ABC here) - if any political conservatives or unbelievers of the contemporary green faith ever appear on it, they must be keeping very quiet. Our local product is along the same lines.

That is why people like Dellers and Clarkson are such standouts - and of course, Mark Steyn's columns can be hilarious when he decides to take that approach to an issue. But they are vastly outnumbered in their own age cohorts, and as for new talent coming up, there doesn't seem to be much on the horizon.

artwest, in a sense everything Clarkson does is an anti-CAGW documentary, with varying degrees of seriousness. That's why I think that his contribution is so important.

Jul 9, 2014 at 9:55 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

"
I think the point is that Delingpole and Clarkson aren't comedians in the way that most people would use the terms. They are journalist/writers (and in the case of Clarkson, presenter) who use humour."

"Their careers have relied on print media which have occasionally slightly wider access for heretic views or, in the case of Clarkson, were big and valuable enough to the BBC not to be summarily dropped as his views diverged more and more from contemporary dogma."

"Actual comedians, most of whom began in stand-up or sketch comedy, have had careers reliant on performing in clubs and for promoters and in front of audiences who would have reacted badly if they had, for example, made it plain they thought global warming was a scam or the green NGOs were in any way unworthy."

"So any mildly ambitious (like wanting to make a living) comedian who had an inclination to make such points knows very well not to, and any potential comedian who is determined to use such material isn't going to reach a level of gig or the TV/radio exposure which might attract wide public attention."

"Jul 8, 2014 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest"

Ah yes, most of your original post, again this time broken into separate components.

I did not 'put' any words into your comment, I took the words you posted at their literal meaning.

If you're working to some inside joke, it is likely something I'm neither interested nor care about. Meanwhile don't put words into my comment that I never stated. Though it is interesting that you to accuse me of actions you take yourself.

artwest "Actual comedians, most of whom began in stand-up or sketch comedy..."
I assume you are indicating that today's comedians are not taking society to task for society's absurdities or the 'contemporary' comedian careers that exist now are toast?

From my perspective the best comedians, stand up, sketch, journalist, editors, writers,... are those who manage to bring humor to the masses while adding in moral compass points. What better potential comedy than the CAGW teams who preach nonsense, viciously attack anyone with a contrary opinion, produce zero credible proof, avoid honest debate?

Perhaps comedians with a career, household and dependents are frightened of casting a shadow? Maybe, and maybe most of them do not write their own material?

artwest "I was replying to a question about where are the NEW ("contemporary" was one giveaway) comedians going to come from who question dogmas like global warming..."
Indeed, and I am expected to understand your concern about future comedians from use of the word 'contemporary'? Your word (hint) for future tense is 'contemporary'; no wonder we here in the Colonies get confused sometimes.

My long post above was to show examples that every generation eventually produces people with the talent to bring honest, (as different than vengeful, mean spirited or personal) humor based on real events and actions in society.

I'll add another name to that list I left yesterday; Walt Kelly, one of the great comic humorists of the 20th century. Other brilliant talents along that line are Al Capp, Garry Trudeau and Berkeley Breathed.

James Delingpole, which the article above discussed, is what we in America call a 'shock jock'. Someone who people turn to every day for different reasons; a) to get his latest commentary, b) to get the latest shock treatments Delingpole heaped on people, c) to read who is and who wasn't taken to task by Delingpole. Christopher Booker takes many of the same issues to task as Delingpole does; but Christopher is not trying to be funny. If there is anything Delingpole could do better is to not make it so hard to identify facts from fictions in his articles; then again. many of James's fictions are the best jokes around the facts.

In truth, the best comedy is not mean, vicious, vengeful, envious, hateful, deceitful, dishonest, demeaning, condescending or similar to people. Brutally honest may hurt the most, but it is always the best way to bring sincere irony and common sense humor home to roost in the heads and minds of the masses.

Which brings another name to the fore, one Will Rogers; a simple cowboy trying to earn an easier living inside rather than outside. Will was superb at rope tricks and he performed them on stage; along the way he realized how boring rope tricks were to audiences so he started to add in commentary. His simple homespun common sense views on many topics, especially government and science, were presented in a way that caused audiences to laugh loud and long. Will rogers was never mean or vicious but his words went to the hearts of many people.

The next great group of comedians are out there, learning and exploring; they are not 'contemporary' as few of them are truly known yet. As they hit their stride and more audiences demand them their humorous views of life and bad science will come to the fore. Many new faces on stage start with a handful of audience members. Over time, often years, their fans build momentum till they become successes; over night success for a comedian is quite rare.

Jul 10, 2014 at 4:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

I'm not quite sure what your point is here, ATheoK.

While I enjoyed your round-up of your favourite comedians, it is hard to discern the thread. You ignored Tom Lehrer, George Carlin and Lenny Bruce, for a start. Generations of comedeians picked up their techniques, if not always (but sometimes) their material.

Even Benny Hill, mostly remembered now as a dumbass slapstick comdiian, was a lot sharper than "Holiday on the Buses."

Excellent comedians who transcend politics are a rare and precious animal. But, the reality is, an awful lot of them use it as a cheap springboard for their views.

The question is, how will their views and performances stand the test of time? I mean, who really wants to revisit routines by radical feminists with tampons draped over their ears?

OTOH, Lehrer on the "New Math" still strikes a chord more than 50 years later.

Jul 11, 2014 at 6:10 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

I'm not quite sure what your point is here, ATheoK.

While I enjoyed your round-up of your favourite comedians, it is hard to discern the thread. You ignored Tom Lehrer, George Carlin and Lenny Bruce, for a start. Generations of comedians picked up their techniques, if not always (but sometimes) their material.

Even Benny Hill, mostly remembered now as a dumbass slapstick comedian, was a lot, lot sharper than "Holiday on the Buses."

Excellent comedians who transcend politics are a rare and precious animal. But, the reality is, an awful lot of them use it as a cheap springboard for their views.

The question is, how will their views and performances stand the test of time? I mean, who really wants to revisit routines by radical feminists with tampons draped over their ears?

OTOH, Lehrer on the "New Math" still strikes a chord more than 50 years later.

Jul 11, 2014 at 6:10 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

ATheoK, Like joanna I am baffled as to what your point is.

Of courser there have been many comedians in the past and present who make social and political points - or indeed use them as the basis of their whole act. That is not in question.

What I am simply saying is that a comedian in the UK now and in in the near future would be virtually committing career suicide if they didn't toe the BBC/Guardian line in regards to CAGW and greenery in general. They can make all the jokes they like about politics as long as they obey the BBC/Guardian "consensus".

If you are disagreeing with that point then please say so and give reasons - preferably with examples of successful current UK comedians in the media who habitually make jokes at the expense of warmists or the green establishment.

If you agree with it, then I don't see why you are arguing with me.

Jul 13, 2014 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

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