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« The Lords on fusion | Main | Muck and brass »
Monday
Sep212015

Computer crimes

With Professor Shukla (and Kevin Trenberth) calling for sceptics to be put in the dock last week, it is perhaps unsurprising that a Guardian article on climate and the law provoked a bit of an overreaction. The article in question, by Adam Vaughan, was about a speech by prominent lawyer Philippe Sands and was entitled "World court should rule on climate science to quash sceptics, says Philippe Sands". This was taken by many to mean that sceptics should be prosecuted, particularly as the standfirst then read "International Court of Justice ruling would settle the scientific dispute and pave the way for future legal cases on climate change, says high-profile lawyer".

However, examination of the text of Sands' speech reveals that the Guardian headline writers had actually been playing a little fast and loose with the facts. What Sands actually wants is for the international courts to rule on some of the scientific questions surrounding the global climate. He gave as examples the following:

A first tier of issues might include: is climate change underway? have sea-levels risen? Have anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions been the main cause of atmospheric warming?

The first two questions are desperately ill-posed of course, given that both sides of the climate debate agree (I think) that we have yet to identify a period when the climate was stable and also that sea levels have been rising for tens of thousands of years. A court ruling on matters that are not in dispute seems somewhat superfluous.

Yet even if we restate these two questions within an AGW framework, we still run into problems. Everyone seems to agree that you can't demonstrate that global temperatures have done anything out of the ordinary at least in terms of a statistical model, and signs of acceleration in sea levels are hard to discern too.

So all of this - and also Sands question on attribution - leads rapidly back to computer simulations of the global climate. And here I think we have to wonder whether he has actually thought this through at all. Asked by a reader on Twitter whether a court could decide on scientific questions, he referred to the decision of the International Court of Justice to make a ruling on the question of whether Japan's whaling programme was "scientific" or not; apparently there were competing scientific opinions on the subject.

However, the ruling on whaling was about whether science was being done or not. On climate, the court would be addressing a very different question: whether the output of an unvalidated computer simulation was a "fact". When you think about it, if the court was to press ahead it would turn centuries of legal practice on its head. According to Black's legal dictionary, the definition of the word is:

A thing done; an action performed or an Incident transpiring; an event or circumstance; an actual occurrence...An actual and absolute reality, as distinguished from mere supposition or opinion; a truth...

It's hard to see how the output of a computer simulation could possibly be made to fit that.  So any decision by the courts to make a ruling on the facts of climate change would represent an extraordinary definitional expansion. And when you think about it, the implications are terrifying: if a court was to accept a computer simulation as a fact then how long would it be before someone was condemned to lifetime imprisonment because a computer model had determined his guilt?

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Reader Comments (65)

There is benefit in ruling whether climate models are science. They are used to inform policy in the assumption that they are scientific. But are they?

The analogy with Whaling seems appropriate.
We all know that the outcome of the research is lunch for the scientists and very little new knowledge.

Sep 21, 2015 at 11:30 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Let me guess...Philippe Sands also thinks he, or "Trenberth's Twenty", should decide which scientific questions are to be decided in a court of law, and which are not?

Sep 21, 2015 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

A problem with lawyers like Philippe Sands is that they don't know enough about science to even begin to understand or put into words what the issues are.

Sep 21, 2015 at 11:40 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Since when were scientific questions ever answered in a court of law?

Sep 21, 2015 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

The idea of a computer simulating peoples behaviour ought to be very appealing to the brave new worlders. Our modelling of Smith J's behaviour tells us with a high degree of confidence he will murder someone between his 42nd and 48th birthdays. Now that my friends in the voice of Science. If the policy makers chose not to incarcerate/execute him now, at his present age of 35, then they will be to blame for the tears of the grankiddies of Smith's upcoming victim(s).

Sep 21, 2015 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

At one time I believed that the entire global warming movement would collapse the first time its tenuous scientific underpinnings were forensically unpicked in a senior court of law.

I couldn't then believe that any half-way competent lawyer could read (for instance) The Hockey Stick Illusion and come away without understanding that something was very, very rotten in the state of Climatology.

Having watched the establishment contortions over the Climate Gate "investigations", the Wegman report, UK Energy Policy conflict of interest scandals and the appointment of an exposed academic fraud as a Psychology Chair of a major UK university - I am considerably less confident about the ability of truth and justice to prevail.

I could easily believe we have slid into an era of post-modernism where "facts" are whatever suits the prevailing political & social zeitgeist.

Reading some of Philippe Sands previous polemics about Blair, Bush & the Iraq war - I get a whiff of extreme left activism rather than dispassionate jurisprudence.

The fact that he was able to give this lecture to the Supreme Court without any critical reaction is deeply troubling IMHO.

Sep 21, 2015 at 11:50 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Ask yourselves.

Are the first and last statements of his summing-up, namely this…

Let me now draw together the strings. Climate change poses a significant challenge, and international law will play a central role in defining our ability to meet that challenge.

… and this…

In our world, amidst the warming of the atmosphere, and the melting of the ice, and the rising of the seas, the international courts shall not be silent.

… the statements of of someone seeking the scientific truth, or someone advocating a political position?

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:05 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

First the court have to decide what the exact scientific definition of "climate" is and prove beyond a reason of a doubt that the definition is the right one.

If not, the court can not decide anything on what they have not defined.

heheheh

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

BH: for a legal dictionary, The Law Dictionary site contains a distressing number of typos: “…in some such phrases as “accessary before the fact,” it lias now acquired…” and, “… broader meaning given above.A fact is…” If this site is frequented by those of the legal profession, and they do not note and correct such flaws, it has (or should that be "it lias"?) to make one wonder what blatant flaws they might be overlooking (or ignoring) in court.

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:14 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Paul Homewood (Sep 21, 2015 at 11:46 AM) asked "Since when were scientific questions ever answered in a court of law?"

Maybe the 'Scopes Monkey Trial' provides a clue to the answer?

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

In an associated aspect, The Guardian's report of the climate change debate falls deeper and deerp into disrepute.

We could say it fell over the edge some while ago. But now its rattling deep into the bowels of the Earth, as in the latest Lewandowsky praising story:

Link

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

Right from the start, the Guardian is wrong: “False claims from climate sceptics that humans are not responsible…” The claims are not false; they are very real. It is whether or not the claims are valid that is in question, not the fact of their existence.

Having coloured my view of the quality of their writing, why does the Groan think that they can convince me of their other beliefs?

Yes, John Silver, that is probably the biggest block that will be found with this idea – but, given the fast and footloose way these people handle other issues, I doubt it will prove too big a block to them. History is going to look back at this period and shake their heads in amusement at such foolishness, much as we snigger at the idea of phlogiston, or the Earth being the centre around which the universe rotates.

They will also have to define in court what constitutes “dangerous warming” as well as judge that reducing emissions will have any impact upon climate change.

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:29 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

John Silver (Sep 21, 2015 at 12:09 PM), given the nature of the subject, I suspect the first thing any court would have to decide upon is the exact definition of 'science' and, more importantly, the 'scientific method' - plus a basic understanding of the 'null hypothesis' - in order to distinguish between the classical and the post-modern approaches to it.

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Like we really need a bunch of 'expert' witnesses, who have collectively predicted nothing correctly, arguing about the precautionary principal to a sympathetic, clueless judge who then rules on the balance of probabilities; ie the numbers voting for and against. Some of you have too much faith in the legal process. In 4 years neither the Canadians nor the USA can rule on 2 very simple defamation cases involving Michael Mann's blatantly false hockey stick that even he has superceded with subsequent work. More of such cases would be just be more snouts in the trough.

What we really needed was the Royal Society to do its job rather than acting as cheerleaders for pessimism and poverty. All we can do now is prepare to buy home generators or retire to a hotter place with an alfresco kitchen and a mule for transport.

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Climate scientists have made a huge amount of money out of climate science. It was only a matter of time before lawyers spotted how to make money out of the disasters and misery fabricated by climate scientists.

Do climate scientists have to have Professional Indemnity Insurance? Where there is blame there is a claim, is how lawyers get richer, win or lose, right or wrong.

As yet unborn children, may be able to sue climate scientists in 20 years, due to failed education due to inadequate lighting and power for IT.

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

When he's got time, I hope Philippe Sands might also be good enough to get his Court of Law to make a definitive ruling on the value of the Hubble Constant. The fate of the Universe is at stake, not just the Polar bears' grandchildren.

Then we'll be able to get the eternal verities well and truly sorted out with some proper legislation.

Sep 21, 2015 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Well, if he gets his way he'll certainly have the distinction of being the most expensive lawyer of all time..

Sep 21, 2015 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

'"World court should rule on climate science to quash sceptics, says Philippe Sands"'

'What Sands actually wants is for the international courts to rule on some of the scientific questions surrounding the global climate.'

A distinction without a difference.

I agree with Foxgoose. The courts will make political decisions.

'Paul Homewood (Sep 21, 2015 at 11:46 AM) asked "Since when were scientific questions ever answered in a court of law?"

Maybe the 'Scopes Monkey Trial' provides a clue to the answer?' - Dave Salt

The court determined that Mr. Scopes had violated the Butler Act; it made no determination of scientific questions.

Sep 21, 2015 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterGamecock

oakwood...you might have warned me it was a link to the gruniad..

Sep 21, 2015 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

@Paul Sep 21, 2015 at 1:06 PM

Surely if he's so confident in his beliefs he'd take this on for free.. :-)

Sep 21, 2015 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

Who would have thought the Grauniad would play last and foose with slimate clients, and their fleagle flaws.

Sep 21, 2015 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Let people with no scientific training decide a scientific debate? There's a good idea. How about deciding the science the same way all scientific claims are decided, by openly sharing all of the data, openly publishing all of the models and statistics, and then letting other scientists pour over it and try to find flaws and errors?

Sep 21, 2015 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterRedbone

It seems to me that the lawyers have seen what’s happening in Climatology and have decided to weigh in on what they see as a lucrative long-term contract. They have realised that the debate will take ages to resolve and that they can help perpetuate it while ostensibly doing the opposite.

Remember Jarndyce and Jarndyce...

Sep 21, 2015 at 2:55 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

RR, "it lias now acquired" looks to me like the sort of error OCR makes. Has the Law Dictionary been scanned in from a printed original?

Sep 21, 2015 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

It is actually not a bad idea for in court of law the idea of 'settled sceince' can be out to legal test .
And this is test CAGW will fail in some style , for there is little chance of them being able to met the legal standards required. Therefore in public and ouside of control of the climate 'sceince' gange a judgment can be made to just what is the nature of the sceince

Let us hope if it ever happens that Mann is brought in has a witness , it would be 'fun' to see him having to answer questions in a setting he , ironically, has actively avioded for years .

Sep 21, 2015 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

As someone with a little experience as an Expert Witness, I will say that lawyers (barristers in particular) are very good at arguing points of law. They are not generally very good at understanding and arguing nuanced technical points of science / engineering. As a result, the judgement of cases can often come down to how well competing Experts appear to have performed to the Court. It doesn't matter so much who has the right arguments, but more on who presents them competently and confidently (although of course being over-confident can be counter-productive as it can make you appear untrustworthy).

Having said that, it would be interesting to see how Mann v McIntyre as competing Experts would play out if they had fo comply with CPR 35 regulations. I'd certainly like to be a fly on the wall at the Experts meeting and to see what sort of agreed notes they would come up with...

Sep 21, 2015 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan Blanchard

The problem with using any legal methods to address scientific questions is that the use of evidence is fundamentally different.

In a legal approach, supporting evidence is martialled and presented as fact, while refuting evidence is challenged and disparaged. This is counter to how science is done. Even if we (as scientists) as not being completely Popperian in our attempts to refute an hypothesis, we should always look at the total amount of evidence and pay particular attention to anything which does not support our theory.

Personally, I think society as a whole has now become so legalistic that the whole underpinning of the the last 250 years of development is in danger of being lost. The enlightenment of the 18th, 19th and most of the 20th century was based on the natural philosophy of scientific enquiry. Only today, in a post-modern society could a lawyer stand up and say that science can be decided by a court battle and have it be taken seriously - it would literally have been laughed at by any one of the scientific greats in our history.

Sep 21, 2015 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

Ian Blanchard, hence the changing significance of arguing about causes for the pause, became the status of the hiatus, and now there is no let up in arguing there never was a let up anyway. Semantics triumphs science.

Alchemy was never legally disproven, it's just that no alchemist ever made enough money out of it, for it to leap from conjuring trick to science. Conjuring climate science remains highly profitable, yet has never been backed up by scientific proof, let alone legal proof.

I expect Mann's lawyers have generated lots of fees out of continued legal delays. Do they, or Mann have any financial interest in speeding things up?

Sep 21, 2015 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

We might welcome some of this being put before an international court. It won't happen, of course, because the warmist establishment would consider it too risky.

Not that I'd be confident of victory. Lawyers have a very one-eyed way of looking at the world, and international jurists have often shown themselves to be socialist-leaning and pro-green. And we have precedents that suggest sceptics would get short shrift ( viz. recent case in the Netherlands, and various EPA rulings in USA). But the important thing is, all would be transparently discussed, and quite a lot of stuff that many of our leaders have up till now just taken on trust, would be dissected and discussed. So, even if the warmists win, they lose.

Sep 21, 2015 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commentermothcatcher

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Sep 21, 2015 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered


golf Charlie

"The cause(s) of the pause and the status of the hiatus" made me think of the Court Jester...

"The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true"

Sep 21, 2015 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Court Case?

BRING IT ON!!

Sep 21, 2015 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Is climate change underway? have sea-levels risen? Have anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions been the main cause of atmospheric warming?
Have all the climatologists tweaking their huge computer models proven anything?
I am starting to read 'Doubt and Certainty in Climate Science' by Alan Longhurst and already finding it very informative. The fact that he is an Oceanographer and written many research papers gives him great credibility.
The claims of Al Gore and the Green Blob of an ice free Arctic have proven wrong. Longhurst cover this in
8- The top and bottom of the world: two special cases.

I was never able to understand the claims that after 1998 the GMST had stopped rising because the heat was going into the oceans. As ocean near temperatures and currents are a complicated subject, perhaps reading Longhurst will give me some answers.

Perhaps other readers will express their opinions on longhurst's paper. Could we have evidence that climate change is a natural function and not affected by man.

Sep 21, 2015 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterShieldsman

Re: David Salt

>> Paul Homewood (Sep 21, 2015 at 11:46 AM) asked "Since when were scientific questions ever answered in a court of law?"

> Maybe the 'Scopes Monkey Trial' provides a clue to the answer?

The 'Scopes Monkey Trial' never came to any decision about evolution.

John Thomas Scopes was tried for teaching evolution. He was found guilty because he did teach evolution (the whole thing was staged by the ACLU).

The court only allowed evidence as to whether or not he taught the subject and disallowed anything about the actual subject.

The appeal set aside the verdict on a legal technicality - the jury should have set the fine not the judge.

Sep 21, 2015 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Sep 21, 2015 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

Cometh the desperate hour, cometh the desperate man.
And that occurs COP21, 30 November to 11 December 2015, in Paris, France.

And it will be brought to you by the BBC via:
Roger Harrabin
Matt McGrath
David Shukman and
Emily whatsherface.

Jonathon Amos still gets a pass as far as I'm concerned. He's written a bit of green crap, but I suspect his job may have depended on it. I think he still really wants to write about science, not environment.

Sep 21, 2015 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Lysenkoism on steroids folks. The cognoscenti should study the Australian Finkelstein Report which proposed that bloggers with more than 75 hits could be jailed or fined for presenting scientific arguments which differ from Government diktat. I intend to get my retaliation in early!

Sep 21, 2015 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Redbone (2:52 PM): “…letting other scientists pour over it…” You ought to know that you are edging close to the Bish’s wrath, there. Be careful.

Steveta_uk (3:03 PM): ignorance in no defence in law.

Sep 21, 2015 at 6:09 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

michael hart, there should be some gambling on the BBC Team, to see which one of them broadcasts the biggest lie, whilst keeping a straight face.

As the IPCC seems to be modelled on FIFA, all voting is presumed to be rigged, so any gambling would have to be on the live commentary, rather than technical issues being "debated".

Based on past performance, Harrabin would be the bookies favourite, but expect a strong showing from the gullible, hoping to boost their future earnings potential.

Sep 21, 2015 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

what are they talking about?

the warmish are in charge, as far as I know all their ill conceived pseudo solutions are been done without any success and without any obvious urgency as was predicted.

their demands have more to do with their insecurity..it is out of fearof better opinions that the spanish inquisition put people on the stake. or the lysenkoists called people mentally ill and locked people up. or galileo was made to etract by the "scientists"

Sep 21, 2015 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusNotWarmerDueToCo2

NCC 1701E says


"Lysenkoism on steroids folks."

Strangely enough even Lysenko had a grain of truth.

Google "inheritance of acquired characteristics" and you will find modern support for a limited version.

It all goes to show that science is never settled.

Judges and courts have no place in the contest of scientific conjectures.

Sep 21, 2015 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBryan

"Fact: A thing done; an action performed or an Incident transpiring; an event or circumstance; an actual occurrence...An actual and absolute reality, as distinguished from mere supposition or opinion; a truth..."

It's hard to see how the output of a computer simulation could possibly be made to fit that. --His Bishopness

Watch and learn, grasshopper!

Strangely enough even Lysenko had a grain of truth. Google "inheritance of acquired characteristics" and you will find modern support for a limited version. --Bryan

You mean post-modern support, do you not?

Sep 21, 2015 at 7:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

It is well worth reading the original speech which gives a great deal of information about the status and processes of the International Court of Justice. In doing so he reveals that such a referral would contravene its role. It is a UN body. The UNFCCC is a joint treaty, administered by the UN and any action must take into affect the clauses of this treaty, which is the only "legal" status relevant. That all 192 parties have agreed the provisions, including the 2C limit, defines the collective responsibility . Individual responsibilities are decided by agreement and remain unchanged since 1992 i.e. the division between annexes 1,2 and the non annexe countries. The scientific "facts" are as presented by the IPCC and accepted by the parties and actually contained in the WG1 report - not the summary for policymakers. The report , in respect of the 2C, offers only a range of emission scenarios and a "climate sensitivity " ranging from 1.5C (harmless) to 4.5C (bit hairy). But, seemingly unnoticed, AR5 declined to advance a preferred or consensus value due to "lack of consensus". Hence no "emissions total" can be calculated and therefore "shared out". In this the recent Dutch court decision was arbitrary and unsupported by the authorised .scientific consensus, note "Nationally Determined Contributions" . The ICJ cannot adjudicate a case brought under the UNFCCC treaty and no treaty signatory can initiate a case against another .,It would require action by the COP. Of course, if any outside body wanted to chance their arm it would require a long, detailed and expensive brief . There is a Professor of Law at UCL who might be up for it.

Sep 21, 2015 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

Gamecock (Sep 21, 2015 at 1:19 PM) & TerryS (Sep 21, 2015 at 5:19 PM), the Scopes trial was seen by many as a test of scientific reasoning against religious dogma but turned out to be something very different. My reason for mentioning it was simply to highlight the fact that the religious dogma that is CAGW could well win a legal 'test', depending upon how the prosecution is framed.

Sep 21, 2015 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

I think that it would be more appropriate for the Most Popular Man In The World to reinstate the Inquisition for which his organization is so famous and to try potential skeptics and rule on the "science" behind the climate apocalypse.
After all, the Vatican has done this before and can call on centuries of skills.

Sep 21, 2015 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

History is going to look back at this period and shake their heads in amusement at such foolishness, much as we snigger at the idea of phlogiston, or the Earth being the centre around which the universe rotates.

I am not sure if this period will be recalled, the way of things is obscure but there will possibly be no future or, one which a westerner would recognize as such.

Prognostication, is a difficult art and I don't have access to a super duper new computer.......However, in the near to medium 'distance', for Europe the future looks bleak and which I deem will come to pass...... All of it; post normal, PC, Frankfurt School inspired, Cultural Marxism allied with the creed of death.

Thus, what we [here on BH and others like us] describe and know as "History" will be very different.

Furthermore, and I would also point out, that, we can scoff at the ignorance of our forbears but we now have entered a new age of ignorance, for it is reckoned the 'baby boomer' generation will be the first such generation to be better educated than the Nineties- 'millennials' grouping.
An anecdote to share.............At a recent large family gathering [wedding], I was talking to a bunch of kids from what was once a staunchly religious educational institution and which had and rightly at that, a fearsome reputation for rigour and academic achievement. Joshing, in a conversation I happened to mention [dropped in purposefully] through the Renaissance and to the Reformation was the trigger and had brought about the Enlightenment and to blank stares of incomprehension from my younger audience, after twenty minutes of explanation and dates [Henry the VIII? who he?] - I could see it writ large on their dials - open eyed and totally clueless.

These are good kids, some already hold down responsible jobs and I found that, I was not only made speechless but also blackly disconsolate.

Sep 21, 2015 at 10:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Athelstan: you could quite well be correct – certainly, the way our “leaders” seem so intent on diluting or destroying all that is British – or even European: Toto, I don’t think we are in Sweden anymore – does seem to be heading that way.

However, I do like to keep a certain amount of optimism burning below my façade of pessimism – the last time a hostile invasion of foreigners intent on converting Britain to their own ways gave up after a mere few hundred years, and accepted that they were English. Just have a bit of patience.

Sep 21, 2015 at 11:19 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

“Desperate times call for desperate measures …”.
==================
True, such a preposterous suggestion could only spring from desperation.

Sep 21, 2015 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristopher Hanley

Paul Homewood (Sep 21, 2015 at 11:46 AM) asked "Since when were scientific questions ever answered in a court of law?"

Probably during the Medieval Warm period...

Sep 21, 2015 at 11:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Athelstan, the age of enlightenment is over. With unwanted Green Blob approved power, the age of endarkenment is fast approaching.

Sep 21, 2015 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"Athelstan, the age of enlightenment is over. With unwanted Green Blob approved power, the age of endarkenment is fast approaching."

One only has to reason, to logically draw the obvious conclusions. Our 'future', when taken to it's nth degree, that, the green agenda will cause the economic destruction of the west, couple that with some quite God awful financial management by this and the previous administration. Added to an open door immigration policy and universal welfare free at the point of access, it doesn't take a genius does it? To conclude that, a meld of all of it [above] will end badly - war maybe and then the other aforementioned unmentionable factor or, should I say existential threat?

I fear it, I really do and we blindly step into the abyss, frogmarched downwards by our so called 'leaders' and some might even say it is, was all deliberately set. And perhaps a simple trigger, an extended winter blackout across the nation.

Still, after the EU, UN [we're saved!!]? And there's always the opiate induced torpor of the masses; Greggs, the latest fashion mag, soap, kitchen cooking drama, strychnine dancing comp', the premier league, Xfactor............... ooh! and bread too. Proscribed drugs all freely available at any city, town, village street corner, "war on drugs" - that's so not funny.

I wish that, that this nightmare would pass us all by, but the nature of our globalized world is such that we are all bound, as travellers on this slow motion train wreck. It has been ordained. The nation state will be effaced, it will not go as planned though - it never does.

Sep 22, 2015 at 12:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

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