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“Earth Hour” and the virtues of eating cake

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Ah that environmental equivalent to the hate week that Orwell spoke of in 1984 is almost upon us and like hate week  its all about manipulating the feelings of the proles so that the dominate religious  ideology can be both strengthened and reinforced.  Thus when we are exhorted to turn off our lights for earth hour those of us who do not plunge our homes and business into darkness can paint targets on our foreheads for the faithful to aim at with their condescending scorn.However like a lot of religious mumbo jumbo the underlying assumption about the effectiveness of this act of environmental contrition will be grossly overstated as will the culpability of humanity for the claimed changes in the climate. With that all in mind  I found Bjorn  Lomborg‘s argument in today’s Oz most compelling:

click or source

click or source

You don’t have to succumb to the group think about the “virtue” of turning off your lights or worse yet joining in to the immoral stupidity of getting your snout into the Photovoltaic subsidy trough that drives energy costs up for everyone else. There are better ways than these empty gestures to tread lightly on the planet, holiday in this country rather than taking that jet fueled jaunt around the planet, use your appliances and cars until they are worn out instead of replacing them when the warranty runs out. Forgo the pleasures of the fashion industry by only buying new clothes when your old ones are worn out, heck you could even seek a better balance between the need to be clean and the frequency and duration of your showering. All of theses things are going to make more difference to the planet than turning your lights off for one hour, especially if you have, like yours truly, already  been using the most efficient LED lights (that use 85% less energy than an incandescent bulb )for quite some time …

Never been a big fan of cake Comrades

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Jeremy Sear (again) defends Bob Brown the clown

One of Jeremy’s favourite activities on his blogs is to defend Bob Brown, the leader of the Greens, of which he is a member. Jeremy even defended Brown for his outrageous comments which alleged that the Australian coal industry had contributed to the Queensland floods last year, when no scientist would draw such a causal link.

When Bob Brown delivered a weird speech at a Greens conference, which addressed the crowd as “fellow Earthians” he was rightly ridiculed. But Jeremy again leaps to his leader’s defence on his blog of intellectual dishonesty:

If Brown’s speech was really as “wacky”, “batty” and “barking mad” as Penbo and Sharwood claim, surely there’d be some other juicy quotes in it? Some more hilarious examples of this crazy person who’s gone way off the deep-end, this mad “UFO spotter” with his “thousands of words of madness”?

And yet… neither David nor Anthony could apparently find any.

The reason, of course, is that whilst Brown did pick an unfortunately odd-sounding opening phrase (“Earthians” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, which is presumably why you rarely hear it from anyone but bad science fiction writers and crystal-wearing hippies who relish sounding weird), the rest of the speech made quite reasonable points.

Jeremy makes it sound as though other than the opening “fellow Earthians” line, which he insists was just an unfortunate choice of words (even though it implied that there was life outside of planet Earth when there is no evidence of that), the rest of the speech was perfectly sensible.

But you only have to keep reading to find out that even Jeremy concedes that this is not the case:

The biggest problem with Brown’s speech is his call for the development of a “one person, one vote, one value” global democracy. And that is because such a global democracy is more than a little incompatible with a world in which authoritarian nation states like China contain such a large proportion of the world’s population. I don’t know if Bob has a particular proposal for tackling this problem (and keep in mind, in the speech he was calling for global democracy to be an aim we work towards, not something we impose in five years involving submission to overpopulated dictatorships: it’d hardly be a “democracy” if a fifth of the voters have their votes effectively controlled by their government) but it’s something worth asking him. It’s something worth having a serious discussion about.

There are a number of problems with a world government, and not just the fact that most nations are not democracies. Firstly, the majority of people on earth are poor, so this would necessarily lead to a massive redistribution of wealth from wealth-creating nations to poorer nations with no guarantee of long-term benefits for the developing world. Secondly, the vast majority of the world’s population have very low levels of education with very little understanding of global issues. Thirdly, the world’s population does not share the same values or political goals, when this would surely be required if nations were to unite under the one government.

So Brown’s idea of a global democracy is a joke, a leftist fantasy which simply does not stack up with reality. No wonder Brown was ridiculed. Jeremy should admit that Brown’s critics have a point rather than defend the indefensible.

Surely that would be more intellectually honest than serving up what is arguably pro-Greens propaganda.

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