Friday, October 19, 2007

What is the Point of the Greens?

Jeremy Paxman wonders what the point is of the LibDems. I would ask the same question of the Green Party nowadays. All three parties have largely adopted much of their agenda. The Greens are no more a political party than Friends of the Earth. They ought to join forces. This week I interviewed Rupert Read, who writes (like me) a column for the Eastern Daily Press and is leader of the eleven strong Green group on Norwich City Council. We covered a lot of ground but ended up talking about the Green Party itself and in particular the argument which is going on at the moment about whether they should ditch their co-speaker strategy and elect a leader instead. (Interview is HERE).

Most of the sensible people in the Green Party favour the latter strategy as they believe it will get them more coverage and make some political headway. There's no doubt that the Greens have some people at the top of their Party who don't frighten the electoral horses in the way that some of their activists do. I'm thinking about Caroline Lucas, Sian Berry, Darren Johnson etc. Later this year there will be a vote among the Party's 8,000 members. In large part, this will determine whether they deserve to be taken seriously in the future. A 'no' vote will consign them to oblivion as the sensible elements may well walk away and find something more rewarding to do with their lives. As someone said on the New Statesman website...
If the Greens can't trust one of their own to lead without forming a
dictatorship, how can they expect anyone to vote for them?

Quite. I have been remiss in not posting the Top Twenty Green Blogs, so I will put that right now. It was compiled by Jim Jepps, who writes the excellent Daily (Maybe) Blog

1. Alice in blogland
2. Sian Berry
3. Tom Acrewoods
4. Transition culture
5. Derek Wall
6. Jenny Jones
7. Gaian Economics
8. Know your place
9. Peter Tatchell
10. The Ecologist
11. Green Girls Global
12. Earthquake Cove
13. Philobiblon
14. The Void
15. Green Ladywell
16. Barkingside 21
17. Green Jelly Bean
18. Coventry Green Party
19. Conserve England
20. Greenmans Occasional Organ


verity said...

"Most of the sensible people in the Green Party ...". One of the all-time best oxymorons, surely?

verity said...

Most descriptive blogname:

16. Barkingside 21

I wish it had just been called Barking, but we have to go with what we've got.

Ross said...

"Most of the sensible people in the Green Party favour the latter strategy"

All of the sensible people in the Green Party could support it and it would still be rejected by 9 to 1. What they need to do is persuade a large proportion of the loonies.

Anonymous said...

Loonies they may have in profusion, and some may be barking, but the Greens have been a beneficial influence as a pressure lobby. Why else would the Cons and Labs now be trying to address environmental issues which the Greens have persistently raised? They deserve some credit - and that from a right-wing Tory.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

A very interesting interview. There should be more like this on the MSM.

Rupert Read sounds sensisble and impossibly utopian at the same time.
The idea of cordoning off Norfolk (economically) or anywhere else for that matter is absurd, even if it is attractive. It sounds like a reasoned argument for smashing up the Spinning Jenny.

Having said that, he is far more coherent than most LibDems. At least you know what the Greens stand for - re-nationalisation of the Railways or carbon rationing for example. As part of an integrated policy those two would be ok, if railway travel could be made efficient and cheap. The reality is that good ol fashioned capitalism has vitalised domestic air travel and changed my life personally, whereas railways are still in the thrall of restrictive practices, overcharging and fraud.

Being Green is more a way of thinking and a lifestyle than a set of policies, and though it has many many advantages, it is a ghetto for veggies and dreamers and does not stand up to pragmatic reality.

It sits well with Libertarianism - nice but a figment of a fevered imagination.

young pretender said...

The environmental lobby's dislike of hierarchy is a problem, but its inability to practise what it preaches is even more of an issue.

Iain, why don't you invite Green Party 'taliswoman' Caroline Lucas onto 18 Doughty Street and ask her these three questions:

1) Have you ever taken an internal UK flight?
2) If yes, when did you last do so?
3) What was your justification?

In fact, how about running a small sweepstake on her answers? The prize could be a return flight to Edinburgh!

verity said...

"Green" is ridiculous and always will be. Green is anti-progress, anti-wealth creation, anti-capitalism, anti-global markets, but pro authoritarianism and presenting fanciful thinking as fact.

The Greens are Luddites posing as saviours of the planet's future. I just don't know how the world got on for several millions of years without them.

I find their missionary zeal and bonkers ideas presented as "scientific" fact creepy.

Anonymous said...

I presume you'll be offering the Top 20 Green Sceptic blogs now too?

Anonymous said...

Something for Gordon to munch on, maybe?

Croydonian said...

Granted Lucas does not appear to knit sweaters from her own hair, but if her policy positions do not frighten the horses, I'm a quagga:

"The Party supports economic localisation on grounds of environmental concern, social justice and democracy, as detailed in Green Alternatives to Globalisation: A Manifesto, the book by Dr. Caroline Lucas, MEP, and the late Dr. Mike Woodin, two former Principal Speakers of the party. This includes helping local businesses through subsidies and import tariffs, "democratisation" of the banking system with the creation of a "network of publicly owned community banks", and encouragement of an informal economy where money is less important". Source

Not exactly mainstream, is it?

scott redding said...

I'm going to mine all these comments for election posters for the Coventry Greens:

Green Party -- Sensisble and Utopian

Green Party -- Far more coherent than the Lib Dems.

Green Party -- At least you know what the Greens stand for

Green Party -- Veggies and Dreamers Unite

Barkingside 21 said...

My Dear Verity,

Barkingside 21 is non-party political. It has a member base and wider support from across the political spectrum including [shock horror!] sensible Conservative party members, in fact one of them got elected to Council in May 2006. We exclude them from membership when that happens, conflict of interest and all that.

The "right" has it's loonies too! They are called NuCon Neo-Liberals and have nothing to do with Conservatism which does, or rather did, have a tradition of caring for the environment.

scott redding said...

"All three parties have largely adopted much of their agenda."


One example, inheritance tax.

The Green Party wants to see inheritance tax levied in a fairer, more progressive way - paid by beneficiaries rather than the estates themselves. In contrast, all three main parties want to up the threshold. We feel that with 1 in 3 children in the UK growing up in poverty, this is grossly unjust.

Whether it is climate change, or whether it's our lesser known policies, such as locally-focused public ownership, opposing incineration and GM food and Trident, bottom-up decision making on policy, support for local economies, or the complete decriminalisation of sex work, none of the main parties have come close to adopting "much" of our agenda.

That's why we are needed!

Ed said...

What's the point of Parliament?

neil craig said...

That the other parties have adopted some of the stuff of the Greens may not be proof that they are increasingly sane. It could equally be proof that the other parties are increasingly loony.

I suppose we will know which if 2007 turns out not to be warmer than the previous "warmest year" 1998 or indeed if 1998 turns out to be cooler than 1934 (it has), or if Holland doesn't disappear under the waves in 2007 as promised by the Guardian, or if we have to rely on French nuclear to stop the lights going out (except we already do), or if the previous prophecies of ice ages, global starvation, death of most species, pollution bringing life expectancy down to 42, oil running out, ditto copper, aluminium etc etc, us all having to move away from the sea because of the smell of dead fish - all promised for well beore 2000 cease to materialise when that year comes round.

Of course if you define sanity as agreeing not with the facts but with the politically correct then you have a good future in British politics or the KGB.

I have asked, on many sites, if any supporter of greenery can produce any prophesied catastrophe, out of many hundreds they have believed in, which turned out to be true & have never been given one. This is not normally definable as sanity.

"you are the Messiah, I should know I've followed a few"
Life of Brian

Sue Luxton said...

Well I think it's fair to say that we're taken more seriously than the Tories in Lewisham (6 Green councillors, 3 Tories), but clearly that isn't the case in most of the country.

I'm absolutely in favour of us getting a leader or co-leaders - the title 'principal speaker' is an unnecessary hindrance to us getting our message across. It needs a two-thirds majority to get passed though, so it will be tough to get through.

Cllr Sue Luxton (Green Party)

Wrinkled Weasel said...

This story has flushed out a few Greens. I for one say they are welcome. Here, have a tofu vegan cookie and take the weight off your sandals.

verity said...

Cllr Sue Luxton (Green Party): I am not interested in your message because it is fanciful and hysterical. Your party and adherents of your cause are, like the socialists, authoritarian and against individualism. You want to impose, by force of law, your personal beliefs on the population of the country, if not the world (excluding the Third World; they get a free pass).

When "global warming" - other than the lengthy natural cycle of the planet - comes, will it get hot enough for giant dinosaurs to inhabit N Europe again? Will there be tropical jungles in Britain again? How did the dinosaurs and tropical jungles get started in Britain in the first place, hundres of thousands of years ago before we discovered the oil spigot? Could you explain this please. In fact, before mankind existed?

In Texas where, as you may have heard, there is quite a lot of oil, which comes from decaying vegetation, there are desert and plains areas where dinosaur bones have been found. Seems as the though the planet changes,over hundreds of thousands of years, all by itself.

verity said...

Wrinkled Weasel, quite! To the visiting Greens, don't just take the weight off your sandals, have a chair! I knitted it myself, out of cat hair.

Sue Luxton said...

Oh and forgot to mention, for the record, I think that Adrian Ramsay is the leader of the Green Group on Norwich Council, not Rupert, able as he is. Rupert is the top Euro candidate for the Greens for the Eastern Region.

Sue Luxton said...

Verity's comment would suggest that every party has its loons (assuming she is a Tory)!

Adrian Windisch said...

What’s the point of having three 'Grey' Parties would be a better question. They all say much the same thing, all going after the centre ground. In many places the Greens are the only opposition.

There’s lots of climate sceptics on here, but few amongst scientists. The thing the sceptics ignore is peak oil, in a few years the world will run out, fuel prices will keep climbing, but the main parties keep with business as usual. See We have limited resources on this planet, its time we acted responsibly. Who are the loonies, those who can only see ahead to the next election, or those looking toward future generations?

verity said...

Sue Luxton - A curious way of responding to an opponent: calling them a loon.

It demonstrates, however, the level of maturity of the Greens who are, whatever physical age they may be, adolescent in outlook. Not just teenage Kumbayah, but yah, boo sucks as well.

Luddite Cave dweller said...

But did you answer the question Sue........or is it just easier to insult your ctitics.

Natalie Bennett said...

Iain, I think you answered your own question about what Greens are for - to win elections, as in Norwich, which they've helped to make the greenest city in Britain:
and where they will become the official opposition party on the council next year (they missed out this year by one vote).

Croydonian, re community banks, you might find this of interest:
(We aren't talking just theory here.)

RogerCO (Cornwall Green) said...

The verity person who replies a lot on here seems most odd. I don't read a lot of 'blogs' and am only here because Rupert sent me the link. Most comments seem quite sensible but she/he has clearly go some twisted ideas about the Green Party in particular.
As Iain alludes to, one of the GP's main problems is precisely that it is so anti-authoritarian that it can't even bear to call its leaders by the name Leader.
There seem to many illogicalities and errors in her/his comments to be worth refuting, but he/she might like to start by looking at the history of the Texas oil fields (hint, production has been declining there since the late 1960s are we have now burnt most of the oil that was there).
Meanwhile with a bit of luck the GP will start to get a bit more real about how politics works today and the same time as the electorate finally realise that the grey parties are peddling snake-oil. A Green parliamentary majority in 2010 anyone? Could be interesting :-)

verity said...

Adrian Windisch - I'm sorry, but you are very badly misinformed.

In the late Seventies, the leftist alarmists (funny how there are never alarmists on the political right; it's the lefties who run on fear - perhaps in practice for when the oil runs out ...) were warning the world that there was only enough oil left for 20 years!

Omigod! The entire developed world was going to grind to a halt (and a well-deserved halt, too! was the implication). That was going to be the developed world's punishment for driving around and having air-conditioning and taking flights.

Well, the facts are these: New oil reserves have been discovered in several places since then; the United States hasn't even begun to exploit all the petroleum reserves in Alaska except those run from Aleyska pipeline. There are vast oil reserves in that state as yet untouched. The Gulf of Mexico is still producing enough to keep the Mexican economy pretty bouncy. (The Americans are pumping in the Gulf, as well.) Texas and Oklahoma are still pumping non-stop, as is Alberta.

I won't mention the oil wealth of Venezuela because the place is run by a crazyboots and he may decide to stop pumping. So scratch Venezuela.

We haven't even made it across the Atlantic yet to the unimaginable reserves of Russia. Saudi Arabia may be dry (at least in public, although you can get plenty to drink in private homes) but the black gold continues to pump up 24 hours a day. and Kuwait, of course. And Bahrain. Same thing in Iran.

Continuing east, we come to the oilfields of Malaysia and Indonesia in Borneo.

They've discovered around 20bn tons of oil in N China - although admittedly that won't be enough to fuel China' economy - but still, 20bn tons is nothing to get sniffy about. (Annual global consumption is around 30bn tons a year, to give you a yardstick.)

Worldwide, proven reserves add up to around 1.1trillion barrels and exploration still continues.

Opinion (by which I mean, opinion of people actually engaged in the oil industry, not moonbats) is that supply could begin to flatten out by around 2035.

Meanwhile, oil-consuming engines are infinitely more energy-efficient than they were 20 years ago, and will become more so. And new energy sources are being developed and experimented with all the time.

I think you can rest easy in your bed for quite a few years yet, Mr Windisch, comfortable in the assurance that petroleum will keep your home cozy and your car running (or your bus running) for quite some time.

I realise you were unthinkingly repeating alarmist propaganda, but please, study the facts before you write.

verity said...

Oops, forgot about N Africa, Nigeria and the North Sea, all pumping.

Thankfully, all those dinosaurs who once roamed the earth - when the earth was much, much hotter, please note, without mankind to blame - died and morphed into oil. As they say, what goes around comes around.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

i got nosey and looked up Sue Luxton's blog. She say she teaches English in GREENWICH. That'll be TEFL,then.

verity said...

RogerCO (Cornwall Green)says, I don't read a lot of 'blogs'.

Natalie Bennett said...

So verity, how do you explain the current oil price, and the predictions (from economists, as weel as Greens) of further price rises?

verity said...

WW - A One-Worlder, then.

Although, to be fair, she has to make a living.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Verity. I am going to have to ask.

What is a "one worlder"? I am serious. I am not taking the piss. I really don't know.

Barkingside 21 said...

Er, scuse me Mr Dale, but how did you manage to insert a link into my comment?
My email is on the blog.

verity said...

Natalie Bennett - How do I explain the rise in oil prices? Well, this is rather an ethnocentric question as I think the prices you refer to are British, and under Labour, you are taxed out the kazoo on gasoline, despite Britain being a producer. It all goes to fund The Brave New World Order.

Yes, gas prices are rising in the US as well and this is obviously due to global demand, and several other issues as well - such as keeping the strategic supply up.

But Britain, an oil producer until the socialists chop Scotland off England, in which case Scotland will be a producer and England a customer, has abnormally high prices due to greedy taxes from a government that has to purchase votes from the underclass and immigrants. I don't understand why immigrants have a vote in my country.

Anyway, there is no shortage of oil, Natalie Bennett. Not yet. In another 25 years, we should have much more nuclear power in place and gasoline-powered engines will be more efficient still, or new source will have been developed.

It will have been in developed in the West - or possibly China, Japan or India. Then, it'll be THFL, TMFL and TJFL.

Sue Luxton said...

luddite cave dweller: I was considerably politer than verity, I thought ;) and didn't realise there was a sensible question in his/her post to respond to. (S)he certainly feels threatened by us Greens, for some reason. I'm not a climate scientist and my knowledge of dinosaurs is pretty much on a par with that of my 4-year old nephew, but happy to accept global scientific consensus on climate change eg the IPCC report.

wrinkled weasle: yes, EFL - downshifted after 5 years in an investment bank (emerging markets oil & gas team) - didn't like the company's massive donation to George Bush's election campaign, sick of the Russian oligarchs living it up at the expense of Russian pensioners etc etc). Is that enough info for you to pigeon-hole me?!

verity said...

Hello, WW. A one worlder is someone who wants the world governed by some international lefty organisation like - oh, just for a laugh! - let's say the United Nations.

They want the first world, the inventors of everything, the innovators of everything, the enquiring minds, the peoples who have driven the world forward since ancient Greece, to cede power to the third world which has some sort of noble, Mandela-esque superior knowledge of ... oh, I forget what.

These people are also known as The New World Order. Where the powerful countries and the powerful, inventive civilisations agree to share their governance with ... well, others. It's a socialist construct.

What concerns me is, people are surrendering the sovereignty of free speech and free thought to these socialist constructs.

Britain is losing its fight because of the whip of the unnamed bureaucrats and judges/nomenklatura of the EU. The US is also giving way because of their treacherous Supreme Court. The Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves.

Anyway, that's the explanation. The socialists are the drivers; the lib-dems are complicit for their own gaia ends.

Feel free to bat an argument back over.

verity said...

Sue Luxton writes: "I'm not a climate scientist and my knowledge of dinosaurs is pretty much on a par with that of my 4-year old nephew, but happy to accept global scientific consensus on climate change eg the IPCC report."


You know nothing about dinosaurs? Except at the level of a 4-year old? And you think this enables you to comment on the oil markets? Do you know where oil comes from?

"happy to accept global scientific consensus on climate change eg the IPCC report."

There is no "global scientific consensus". The geo-scientists are all against you, Sue. You've got the socialist dreamers on your side, and opportunist, tobacco plantation-owner and coal mine owner Al Gore, whose people have devised a platform stand again for him to run for President of the United States.

(Let's hope we don't get those environmentally threatening hanging chads this time round, if he ever makes it to the primaries, which he won't. If the wings, in their language, of "just one butterfly" can change the course of the Gulf Stream, how much more lethal will hanging chads be? I'm worried sick!

But Al's not a goer. The Democrats have done that popular left line-dance movement: they've moved on. He's not coming back.

verity said...

Sue Luxton - Could you explain this statement to us, please? You retired from the British financial market arena because you were "sick of the Russian oligarchs living it up at the expense of Russian pensioners etc etc)."

Really? How does one impact on the other? Are those "oligarchs" sneaking in and stealing furniture? Rigging the gas meters? Could you explain what these oligarchs were doing to the average Russian that so infuriated you that you gave up a job in the British financial markets in disgust and decided to teach English to "immigrants"?

And, Ms Luxton, why are you concerning yourself with Russians when you have voters who need help on your own doorstep?

It didn't occur to you to object to what Labour was doing in your own country, including hospitals that sound like Solzehnitzen's "Cancer Ward"? (To keep up the Russian example. I assume you've read it?)

So you started teaching English, in England, to third worlders?

Just askin'.

Antony said...

Indeed Iain a slight error in the story. The Greens have 10 Councillors (they lost out on one seat by one vote!) and they are led by Cllr Adrian Ramsay. Cllr Read is their Transport Spokesman (Ramsay won't even trust him with the Deputy Leadership - thats Tom Llewelyn). He is also on the barking wing of the party (Read, that is)...

Geoff said...

Random observation - the Green Party dissolved itself in Gibraltar last year as it realised it had no chance of electoral success, and "reinvented" itself as Friends Of the Earth.

Hey - if that ever comes up as a pub quiz question then you'll all thank me later.

Natalie Bennett said...

No Verity, by oil price I meant the standard price: as I write over US$90 a barrel. Of course demand has a lot to do with it, as do geopolitical factors, but there is clearly a concern (within the oil industry as elsewhere) that we are at or very close to "peak oil".

Of course British motoring taxes aren't nearly high enough - to reflect the damage done by driving - not just global warming, but road damage, disturbance of the peace (interesting recent studies on how noise leads to heart attacks), danger on the streets etc.

Neil Craig said...

Despite a number of posts from Sue & others not one of them has been able to rise to my challenge of naming a single one of their prophesied catastrophes which, over time, turned out to be true.

Adrian & Natalie have retreaded the oiul peak story (without acknowledging how many times it has been retreaded before.

How does Natalie explain the predictions from economists & engineers, but not Greens, of, in real terms, continuing oil price falls (the current record oil price owes more to the fall in the dollar than any shortage). Some years ago Julian Simon, an economist, made a bet with Green doomsayer Paul Ehrich that commodity prices would, in real terms fall, indicating a surplus. In due course he cheerfully collected & Greens have since refused to put their money where their mouths are (though having not objection to putting our money their. If Natalie or anybody else fancies a flutter I will be pleased to hear from them.

Iain I agree with the person who suggested you also do a list of top 20 sceptical blogs.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Sue Luxton.

Well, apart from having a bit of fun at Greens' expense, about knitting your own bicycle out of organic spaghetti, etc. I wanted eventually to respond to Iain's claim that Greens are not a proper party and that they don't have a leader. I realise, that that's the whole point. Greens are not a clone party like the LibDems. They plough their own furrow. Green is a way of being, not a rosette.

I don't buy into the idea that Labour and the Tories are "going green" because frankly, they don't understand the concepts behind the policies.

What Captain Queeg has done is to put a tax on air travel, called it a "green" tax, and pocketed the revenue. For all we know this revenue is funding the war in Iraq.

I was a smallscale organic food manufacturer in 1987! Nobody wanted to know, but we knew it would catch on eventually and we sold a lot of product. The reason I am not now a multimillionaire is because in order to expand we would have to have tied ourselves into impossible contracts with people like M&S or Sainsburys, who were the only people at that time starting to dabble in organics.

There has been progress of course, but alongside your organic carrots are tiny shrink wrapped styrofoam packs of dwarf beans FLOWN IN FROM KENYA!

It's not the Greens that have a problem with identity, it is Iain's! He is stuck in the old ideas of hierarchies and large-scale economics and hegemony and personalities. He is not alone of course.Years ago, the Greens advocated the sourcing of produce locally. Instead we have a ludicrous system of vegetables being grown in Lincolnshire, transported to Luton or some central distribution centre and then taken by road to Inverness. When we are calling people crazy, I suggest that whoever thought that one up is mental.

Well, I hope you continue to contribute to the debate here.

Anonymous said...

The Greens have nothing do to with the environment. Its a useful cover for a very ancient form of socialism that the Labour party ditched in the 80`s. Or at least pretended to. I`m sure its no surprise to see that the Greens are mainly old hard lefties.

The Conservatives have been the real greens ever since Maggie Thatchers speech on the global warming in 1988!

Socialism will never help the planet, just look at the eastern european pollution.

verity said...

Neil Craig - Precisely. In the Seventies, global cooling. The new Ice Age! People would die. Especially the Africans, who weren't used to ice!

In the Seventies as well, it was the population bomb. Too many people crowding out the planet! People would die! Especially Africans! Despite living on the richest continent in the world, they somehow wouldn't be able to grow enough food!

Next up: We only had 20 years' supply of petroleum left! No cars, no heating, no refrigeration! People would die! (They threw in the Africans, but I can't remember the hook in this instance.)

Anonymous 12:50 pm - Agreed. It is a particularly virulent socialism because it comes disguised, but socialism red in tooth and claw, it is.

The authoritarian Natalie Bennett writes: "Of course British motoring taxes aren't nearly high enough - to reflect the damage done by driving - not just global warming, but road damage, disturbance of the peace (interesting recent studies on how noise leads to heart attacks), danger on the streets etc."

"Not just global warming" - but everything else! Every other damn thing on the planet! Petrol prices are a portmanteau of problems for the earth!

Well, that's progress. That's what mankind does. Progress creates some problems along the way - as steam trains, did, for example. The thing about Western man is, he refines his ideas and removes the negatives. Actually, today's car engines are very quiet indeed. Lorries are noisy, but they'll fix that, too.

The Greens should remember that it is against human nature to go backwards. We always strive to go forward, so you are on a ticket to nowhere.

Natalie Bennett - so far as I know, there is no "concern within the oil industry" that we are very "close to peak oil". That's another silly, alarmist statement designed to frighten people who know nothing about the oil industry. The concern right now derives from Iran and, to a lesser extent, the ambitions of Russia.

You should be aware that you have landed on one of the most famous blogs in the Anglsophere and there is a lot of expertise here. This is not your local council where you can make your silly, specious arguments and be taken seriously.

Oh! By the way! Just for kicks - despite the fascist CAP, would you open up our markets to African producers? As One Worlders, I am sure you would. However, shipping their produce to Britain and Europe would use up lots of carbons or whatever they're called. You must feel like a chameleon on plaid!

Adrian Windisch said...

How interesting a discussion on green ideas is, compared to the usual Punch and Judy. Unfortunately no one answered my question, ‘what’s the point of having 3 grey parties?’

Verity seems to think that resources are not limited, but we only have the one planet, were not making any more of them. New fuel reserves have been found at lower and lower rates. See 'the end of oil' by Paul Roberts. Its unimportant when exactly we run out, it depends anyway on efficiency and all countries economies, but it will be this generation.

Nuclear power also depends on a limited resource. The name for what we need is renewable, as we wont run out of wind or sun, not for many millions of years anyway.

Its true some vehicles are more efficient but they are used more now than ever before. Except for those who prefer chelsea tractors to prudence.

Dr H Wood said...

Excerpts from 'verity's posts:

"The thing about Western man is, he refines his ideas and removes the negatives".
(thus one can assume that Eastern man does not?)

"I don't understand why immigrants have a vote in my country"

"Venezuela... is run by a crazyboots"

Alas his/her suggestion of geological/natural intelligence is belied by the fact that it masks a basic neanderthal racism, fascist superiority complex and lack of understanding of social and national history.
Which is why s/he can't comprehend left-of-centre politics.

Back to the books (try Edward Said's 'Orientalism' for starters), Verity, before you lecture others with your glib, subjective take on civilisation.

verity said...

Dr H Wood - It's racism to want voters in one's country to be citizens? Hmmmm, novel concept to all except the One Worlders seeking to promote the New World Order.

Although I like Americans very much, I don't want them voting in our elections, and they don't want us participating in theirs - unless we have gone through the process of taking out citizenship. Same with those of the islamic persuasion. Islamics come from backward societies and many - not all - of them have a problem understanding democracy and transferring their allegiance to the countries they're living in - but then, as I'm sure you know, islam is a believe system, not a race.

"Back to books" ... Uh, we weren't on books. In any event I read Edward Said's "Orientalism" when I was in my mid-twenties if memory serves. Why you should introduce it into the conversation is a bit of mystery, though.

Chavez is a slightly mad dictator - a fascist, if you will, like Castro. I wouldn't count on any treaties he signs or anything he promises in the way of oil deliveries, which is why I exed him out of my précis above.

Why do I get the feeling that you just loved Ché? Admit it, you have a Ché T-shirt somewhere that you just can't bear to throw out.

BTW, I understand left of centre politics only too well. We all do.

Adrian Windisch - It's hard to credit that you people are really this naive.

Verity does not "seem to believe that energy sources are not limited". Verity has a more realistic, more informed point of view than you do.

Qualified people have been figuring out alternative energy sources for decades. For example, we haven't used gas lamps to light our homes or our streets for a hundred years or so. New things are developed and we all migrate to their use.

Don't you understand that the engineers and scientists in the oil industry are looking at alternative sources because Haaalllibuuuurrtttton and Royal Dutch Shell and BP intend to be in the energy business long after we stop using oil. Indeed, my guess is that new sources will be developed by those very companies, who have the means, the planning ability and the financial resourcdes to hire top drawer scientists. Folks in the oil industry are long-term thinkers, in my experience.

You write: "See 'the end of oil' by Paul Roberts." Uh, no. Nor any of the other faux scientific special pleaders with agendas.

BTW,I'm sure you know that until recently, Al Gore controlled around half a million dollars of OXY shares. He and Armand Hammer were like that.

Sue Luxton said...

Verity: going by your definition of a one worlder, I'm most definitely not one - I support stronger local democracy not greater centralisation of power (as does the Green Party).

My interest in Russia is due to the fact that I'm a graduate in Russian Studies and spent time living in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus; hence the job working with analysts covering Russian oil & gas companies. The state-owned Soviet oil companies were sold off for peanuts in the mid 1990s; they are now making huge profits, which arguably, had the government not sold off its assets so cheaply, could have been used to raise the basic state pension which millions of Russians struggle to feed themselves on.

Solzhenitsyn - not really my cup of tea - bit heavy-going, preferred Tolstoy (arguably also heavy-going but somehow more accessible), Dostoyevsy, Bulgakov and Zamyatin.

Dinosaurs and world oil markets - I don't comment on world oil markets generally as a local councillor or EFL teacher, likewise dinosaurs, to be honest! Perhaps I should have added that my 4-year-old nephew probably isn't yet that au fait with the carbon cycle, but other than that, I would suggest his knowledge of dinosaurs is about on about on a par with most people. I don't feel that an in-depth knowledge of paleontology is essential to be a local councillor and I can not recall any equity research analyst referring to dinosaurs when looking at the profits and potential reserves of oil companies - to do so would be bizarre and irrelevant to their task, which is to work out which companies their clients should invest in.

Climate change and global scientific consensus? We'll have to agree to disagree on that, I suspect. I accept global scientific consensus because I am not a scientist and am not qualified to question it. Likewise if I translated a Russian text into English for a scientist, they would have to trust me if they don't speak Russian. Where is your peer-reviewed research to back up what you are saying about the geo-scientists, and what is it that the IPCC say that you so strongly disagree with?

For what it's worth, the students I teach English to are generally fairly wealthy Asians and South Americans who come over here for a for few months after they finish university to learn English, then go back to their countries to start their careers. Maybe you need to cut back on the Daily Mail exposure a tad Verity - jumping to conclusions about "immigrants"?

Antony - Rupert is definitely NOT on the barking wing of the Green Party, believe me on that one!

Wrinkled Weasel - thanks for your comments. Captain Queeg = Gordon Brown?! Agree with what you said re green taxes - no point in them if the revenue just goes into a general pot rather than being earmarked for a specific scheme to help people make greener choices eg investing in cycle networks/public transport/home insulation. Even then, they're not really the panacea the Lib Dems make them out to be.

To end, Verity - I think I've found smthg we have in common - a shared hatred of CAP!

verity said...

Sue Luxton - Thanks for your friendly and rational reply. We will continue, though, to differ.

Adrian Windisch said...

Verity, if you wont read books then you wont learn anything. And for your information, I am an engineer. You say im naive, but cant find any evidence to argue against me, your name calling is just childish and doesnt help argue your case. Your faith in corporations to act in the interests of people is quaint, btw there out to make money.

When we run out of oil, and other scarce resources, where will we get more from? We changed from gas lighting as there was a better alternative, electricity. What will replace oil? We use resources of 3 planets, this isn't sustainable.

The oil industry has bought out some solar panel suppliers, they didn't develop them but they have more than enough money to gobble them existing companies.

Im not sure what Al Gore has to do with anything, he ain't a green. Made a good film though.

Scarce resouces are a growing problem, many wars have been fought over them, and I expect more to be.

verity said...

adrian windisch - Life is too short to read alarmist books by socialists and One Worlders. I read books by people more connected to the way the world works.

Excuse me: Do you have ADD? Here is what you wrote: Your faith in corporations to act in the interests of people is quaint, btw there out to make money.

Where in hell did I write that corporations act in the interests of people? Point out that sentence or that paragraph, please.

You fantasized it because you want to believe that people who oppose you are motivated by such infantile beliefs.

Corporations act in their own interests - that is, the interests of the Board and the shareholders.

This capitalist focus on profit is what assures me that the energy companies are not going to miss the bus on alternate sources of power as oil supplies dwindle. Most of them are already engaged in such projects.

If you are going to argue, argue points I have made, not points you wish I had made so you could demolish them.

When we run out of oil, and other scarce resources, where will we get more from?

Well, nowhere, actually, as we will have RUN OUT.

We will have developed alternate resources long before that time, you weepy alarmist.

Calm down. Global cooling didn't happen 30 years ago. Global warming is only happening as part of a natural continuum and the trend will be reversed as activity on the surface of the sun dies down gradually over a few hundred years and then begins again. We didn't run out of petroleum 30 years ago.

There wasn't a "population bomb" 30 years ago, either.

None of the warnings whimpered at the developed world by the anti-progress regressives has ever panned out. Not once.

Adrian Windisch said...

'If you are going to argue, argue points I have made, not points you wish I had made so you could demolish them' is more appropriate to you than me. Did I even mention Global Warming? Interesting that instead of challenging my points with references you again resort to insults; according to you I may have ADD, am a weepy alarmist with infantile beliefs.

You said ‘Don't you understand that the engineers and scientists in the oil industry are looking at alternative sources because Haaalllibuuuurrtttton and Royal Dutch Shell and BP intend to be in the energy business long after we stop using oil. Indeed, my guess is that new sources will be developed by those very companies, who have the means, the planning ability and the financial resourcdes to hire top drawer scientists. Folks in the oil industry are long-term thinkers, in my experience.’

You display a touching faith in big corporations to take care of us. I think they are motivated by cash, and will stifle research into alternate energy if it threatens their profit.

In Los Angeles the tram system was bought and destroyed so people had to buy cars. Philips has a patent on a light bulb that would last for many years without burning out – but to sell it would undermine their sales and profits. So they have mothballed this technology which would save enormous amounts of resources.
BP, which now stands for “Beyond Petroleum” and professes to be the industry leader in renewables, spent a minimum on solar, wind, hydrogen, and natural gas energy in 2005, less than 2% of what the company posted in stock buybacks and dividend payments.

Who are these people more ‘connected to the way the world works’? And is the alternative to a ‘one worlder’ a two ot three worlder? I'm a one worlder in the sense that we have one world so should look after it. Perhaps you’re a three worlder, as you seem to think we can continue to use up scarce resources that cannot be replaced. We are currently using the resources of three planets, this is not sustainable or responsible.

verity said...

Adrian Windisch - I despair.

You write: You display a touching faith in big corporations to take care of us.

You misapprehend everything I write - presumably viewing it through the prism of your prejudices.

It would not occur to me in my wildest dream to think that a big - or small - corporation would "take care of us". Are you mad?

I said that corporations can be counted on to take care of themselves, because they are motivated by profits, and will thereby assure their own survival.

This - in the case of the oil industry - means being in the forefront, the lead players - in the alternative energy arena. Producing profits and dividends ensures the survival of the chairman and the board members, and the top management. They don't care about the world. They care about themselves. This is how things get done.

This is why they are putting resources into diversifying into alternative energy. Survival.

And this is why they will succeed. Putting your faith in human greed will never let you down.

Adrian Windisch said...

So now you say that as well as having ADD, being weepy alarmist with infantile beliefs, I’m also prejudiced and mad. Perhaps you should concentrate on defeating my arguments, rather than resorting to insults.

I gave examples of how corporations greed leads them to making things work for them in the short term, but against people in the long term. Still you display a touching faith in them, they will wave a fistfull of cash and problems will disapear. Would car companies make more efficient cars without legislation, or just sell what is fashionable? What will stop tesco killing off every retailer but the molopolies and mergers commission. There’s a fine film called the corporation, which gives many examples of how corporate greed leads them to disregard anything that gets in the way of profits, but as you aren’t interested in looking for the truth, you probably won’t bother seeing this film.

The oil industry is investing into denying climate change as much as it does into researching alternative fuels. This years profit is more important than future generations. This is why I don’t like the three grey parties, they focus on the next election, Greens are looking at the long term future.

Neil craig said...

Adrian I note that you have not answered my points let alone offered to take me up on my (well actually Julian Simon's) bet that resources aren't going to run out.

I note that, though describing yourself as an "engineer" you claim nuclear materialis going to run out well before the "millions" of years when the sun will. You clearly do not know that radioactive elements have been able to keep most of the Earth molten & are certainly not going to run out within the 5 billion years till the sun goes out.

Being a suspicious curmudgeon I tend to have doubts about those who claim qualifications online & checked your own site where the nearest you come to verifying your claim to be an "engineer" is that "I've helped build three straw bale buildings in Oxford and the Brighton Earthship".

I will repeat my previous point - can you, or any other "green" name any, of the hundreds of environmentla catastrophes promised, which, over time, have turned out to be true?

verity said...

Well said, Neil Craig!

I was much younger in the early Eighties (well, we all were)but I remember being vaguely alarmed at the big news that we were going to extract the last drop of petroleum from the earth by the end of the the year 2010. Eeeeeek!

Then there were global freezing warnings in the same decade! Nothing would grow! The sun was going away somewhere. There would be NO FOOD!!!!! What's more, coupled with the end of the petroleum industry prediction, we would be FREEZING IN THE DARK!!

Then there was the population explosion. I guess with no reading lights and no TV, people were going to find a way to entertain themselves and the world's population was going to jump by several billion, more or less. That theory, that went down so well with the lefties, was by Paul Erlich, who seems to have faded away into well-earned obscurity.

And here we all are, tapping away on our computers. In Britain and N Europe, you've probably all got the heating on. This morning you may have driven to a huge supermarket where you would have been overburdened by choices from all over the world.

Oh, boo hoo. Where did it all go wrong?

weggis said...

Coo, this is fun.

There are many shades of Green. But they are all at the centre of the spectrum. They are flanked by shades of Yellow [Liberalism] and shades of Blue [Conservatism]. Out to one extreme we have shades of Red [Marxsim and Socialism] and at the other end shades of Violet [Nationalism, Fascism].

True some people are colour blind and masquerade as a colour they are not, and others are quite open about it.

However, my Trick of the Light, Stereotypes, Pigeon-holes or glib sound-bytes like “One Worlders” are only a guide. To really understand we have to get off our bums and look deeper and broader. People are complex and their views are fashioned by a whole range of, sometimes competing, factors. Often an individual will be a “broad church” in their own right. Verity may be an exception but unlike Dr Wood I would not brand him/her a racist until I had the Full Monty.

There are always tensions. Liberalism assumes that Individuals always act in their own self-interest. But the unwritten and embedded assumption is that individuals actually know what their own self-interest is. There is a balance to be struck here between control and freedom. Socialism [at least as I was taught it] assumes that people are basically nice and care for one another. This is plainly not so as anyone who has encountered White Van Man will tell you. Again there is a balance to be struck.

The tricky bit is the judgement as to when and where to make the call. Unfortunately we have trusted this function to a bunch of no-hopers who call themselves politicians.

Oh, and there is also the story about the little boy who cried wolf. False alarms tend to dull the mind to danger.

greenman said...

'The optimist fell ten storeys, and at each window bar, shouted to the folks inside "Doing alright so far!"'

It is very easy to argue against straw men as Verity (sic) and Mr "9 Percent Growth" Craig are doing.

The "environmental catastrophe predictions" are rarely spelled out by our contrarians, and when they are it is usually the views of one or two writers in the 60s or 70s, not either the bulk of the global green movement, or as in the case of climate change, the vast bulk of peer reviewed climate scientists. People are not going to answer a question when the premise is false Mr 9 Percent!

Of course greens have raised concerns about pollution etc - it is the media largely that has enjoyed (for reasons of sensationalism = profit) magnifying many of these predictions into doomsday. Now, when there is a real chance of catastrophic climate change it is the media that should be accused of crying wolf in the past, not greens and certainly not climate scientists.

Likewise, on corporate greed, "Verity" says greed is good and will ensure the right decisions are made in self interest. Is it beyond you then to realise that corporate self interest is not about individuals and future generations but short term profit? Fiduciary duty and all that?
This means, that as Adrian says, corporations may suppress research that is injurious to short-medium range profit, regardless of environmental or humanitarian merit - they may also continue to extract finite resources until they are depleted, regardless of the need to convert to other renewable sources well before this point is reached. The argument would be - "we will convert to renewables and deploy new technologies when we have squeezed the last drop of profit from fossil fuels. Indeed, we will only significantly invest in renewable energy when we can see writing on the wall for fossil fuels." Whilst "economically rational" this is likely to be environemtally suicidal.....

Adrian Windisch said...

Verity, I have two Engineering degrees; an MSc and BEng.
Neil, I hadnt noticed you ask me anything. I have noticed that nobody has answered my question, whats the point of having 3 grey parties.

I dont think you understand much about science, the planets arent like the Sun, there is no nuclear fission going on in the centre of the planet, just a molten mass slowly cooling. Its not full of nuclear material. And scarce resources will run out, thats why they are called scarce. With luck alternatives will be found, but why waste resources, greens are all about reducing waste?

Some Environmental catastrophes for you; CFCs destroying the ozone layer, Selafield, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island. Bhopal, Piper Alpha, Exxon Valdez, Asbestos.

neil craig said...

Going through your "catastrophes" Adrian

CFCs destroying the ozone layer - no they didn't which is why we are here

Selafield - is still there

Chernobyl - 50 dead, (not the 500,000 predicted by greens) the same as the number of Brits who die of hypothermia in the winter (because "environmentalists" prevent us making cheap nuclear) every 4 hours

Three Mile Island - a catastrophic nobody dead, nobody injured

Bhopal not predicted by any Green party member in advance

Piper Alpha - ditto, in any case this was an accident, not a an environmental catastrophe of world shattering size. If the Greens can honestly guarantee that, when they are in government no accidents will ever happen then they would deserve support. I do not think they can honestly do so.

Exxon Valdez - we were promised that this would destroy the Alaskan eco-system for a century - in fact the only traces left the following year were where "environmentalists" had done damage to the environment in their "clean up" campaign

Asbestos - not predicted in advance by Greens.

If you are really, as you claim, an engineer, as you didn't mention on your blog, building straw houses, you must be perfectly well aware that nuclear fission is indeed taking place in the Earth, albeit slowly, as the vast amounts of uranium & other radioactive elements decompose. This is why the Earth is not, after 4 billion years, solid.

To answer your question none of the 3 parties have ever used the colour grey so your question begs its own question.

If I may ask a question - what is the actual use of having a party & movement with insane policies which has literally "killed more people than Hitler" in fact a lot more?

Greenman if you nutters wouldn't keep putting up these straw men there would be no need to knock them down.

Alfred of Wessex said...

It exists to provide a home for all the unreconstructed Communists, agents of sympathy and fellow-travellers of the USSR whose reason for existence crumbled with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Those, that is, that haven't already achieved positions of power and influence in all our public services.

Political Correctness = Cultural Marxism = Communism without the Terror and the Gulag (yet).

greenman said...

More balderdash and poppycock from Mr "9 Percent Fact".

The reason the CFC effect was curbed was because there was a successful international campaign to restrict their use - doh!

All the other things mentioned were undoubtedly catastrophic/disasters - which is what Adrian was calling them - you on the other hand will not label something a catastrophe or disaster unless it is Armageddon it seems. And nowhere did he say these were "predicted" by greens. There do not have to be deaths for something to be catastrophic or disastrous - environmental damage, immense cost etc etc.

You call ME a nutter, yet you are the one going around saying the greens have "killed more than Hitler!" Sounds pretty nutty to me. Show me the green panzer divisions and death camps, the green governments enacting disastrous policies, the green economic systems causing famines and desolation over the last Centuries. You won't because there haven't been any, only various versions of lovely capitalism of right and left (sometimes even calling themselves "socialist"), state and private, authoritarian and liberal varieties.....Are you prepared to account all the unneccessary deaths over the last centuries to the continuing ruling system, its' ideology and the politicians that defend it and make decisions?

You seem to be modelling yourself on Ken Macleod's "David Reid" character from his Fall Revolution Novels. Is this deliberate, or are you the model for Ken's amoral character? Just asking ;)

As for "Alfred of Wessex". Schucks, you rumbled us, we are all dastardly Reds and we're after your precious bodily screaming to the hills and tool up!

If the left yell "fascist!" they are instantly accused (sometimes correctly) of abusing language and exaggerating, yet to some conspiranoid rightists everyone and everything left of Thatcher and Pinochet is a rampant Stalinist in drag. Try taking more water with it.....

Adrian Windisch said...

You were making a case that all talk of environmental disaster was exaggerated, so I provided some examples of real crisis. Now you say because they weren’t predicted by Green Party members so aren’t valid, and that some are accidents. Well some accidents are predictable and should not happen.

number 1. CFCs damaged the ozone layer, drastic action prevented it getting worse. The ozone layer is the main barrier between us and the hazardous ultraviolet radiation. Accumulated over the next century the overall effect of the temporary ozone dip may total 3 to 5 million additional cases in non-melanoma cancers in the U.S. alone.

2. Sellafield has been leaking radiation for decades. The 1957 accident at Windscale pile one, a military reactor on the Sellafield site used to make plutonium for bombs, released a radioactive cloud that spread contamination over England and Wales, with hotspots on the western coast of Cumbria. Discharges from Sellafield are the main source of artificial radioactivity in the UK marine environment.

3. Chernobyl sent a radioactive cloud that spread at least as far as the UK. People in Russia are still dying. There are lots of reasons were not building many nuclear power plants, first its expensive and private companies aren’t interested. Second storage of waste for thousands of years will be very expensive, third limited resources. Within a few years, uranium will become a scarce resource, since production from mines currently supplies only about half of the demand, and secondary supplies are expiring. Chernobyl has caused a quarter of a million cancers cases and nearly 100,000 fatal cancers. Not just the 50 dead you mention.

4. Three mile island. Escaping radiation poured into the surrounding countryside, quickly killing thousands of birds and insects. A plague of death, disease, malformation, stillbirth and spontaneous abortion followed among a host of nearby farm animals. In the ensuing months, infant death rates soared, followed by cancers and an epidemic of radiation-related diseases among the human population. In the ensuing years, more than 2,000 central Pennsylvania families filed suit for compensation. The heavily financed myth that "no one died at Three Mile Island" is high among the most lethal lies ever told by industry.

5. Bhopal, at least 50,000 people are too sick to work for a living, and a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that the children of gas-affected parents are themselves afflicted by Carbide’s poison. Carbide is still killing in Bhopal. The chemicals that Carbide abandoned in and around their Bhopal factory have contaminated the drinking water of 20,000 people. Although Dow Chemical acquired Carbide’s liabilities when it purchased the company in 2001, it still refuses to address its liabilities in Bhopal - or even admit that they exist.

Union Carbide was obliged to install state-of-the-art technology in Bhopal, but instead used inferior and unproven technology and employed lax operating procedures and maintenance and safety standards compared to those used in its US 'sister-plant'.

6. Asbestos, predicted annual death toll 2,000 just in England.

7. A total of 167 people died in the Piper Alpha fire making it the world's worst offshore oil disaster.

8. Exxon Valdez killed marine and bird life, had a huge impact on residents. The clean up did damage as you say, but that was because of the disaster, not the environmentalists. Would you rather they didn’t bother?

9. There are more disasters; the death and decline of species. The At least 15 species have gone extinct in the past 20 years and another 12 survive only in captivity, the World Conservation Union said in a report that accompanies its annual "Red List." Current extinction rates are at least 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural rates found in the fossil record. The Yangtze River dolphin being the most recent to disappear. Orangutan numbers are declining due to increased consumption of palm oil, they may only last another 12 years.

You seem hurt that I’ve not put my CV on my blog, have you put any qualifications you have on yours?

You seem to think that greens have enormous power, as you claim we have ‘killed more people than Hitler’. If you site fiction writers as sources you can claim pretty much anything, Aliens are your gradmother perhaps? In your blog you claim that DDT is harmless, but DDT exposure really does cause prematurity, the insecticide could have accounted for 15 per cent of infant deaths in the US in the 1960. The United Nations Environment Program has identified DDT as a persistent organic pollutant that can cause environmental harm and lists it as one of a "dirty dozen" whose use is scheduled for worldwide reduction or elimination. Indeed in many places, DDT failed to eradicate malaria not because of environmentalist restrictions on its use but because it simply stopped working.

You haven’t yet succeeded in pointing out a single green policy that is wrong. Infectious diseases kill over 13 million year, why not promote clean water and hygiene for developing countries as Greens do.

And you still haven’t answered my question, what’s the point of having three ‘grey’ parties? The three big parties are all in the centre and copy each others policies. In practise, the Greens are the only opposition in much of the country.

greenman said...

Just a point on Chernobyl - I suspect Neil Craig knows very well that the predictions of deaths from that disaster are over a long time span due to cancers etc - and also over a wide area, not just the immediate evacuated area. The reality of Chernobyl is the many sick children who have come over for respite care in the English Midlands and that have been widely reported.
And Nuclear Energy is not "made expensive by Greens" it is made expensive by the workings of the "free" market and the fact that it is a highly expensive technology that requires high security and safety standards - by amongst others those who work in the industry!

Adrian Windisch said...

Wel said Greenman

neil craig said...

Without wishing to waste to much time on the eco-fascist lie:


1 The greens promised that it would take 50 years after a CFC ban before the allegwed harm they were doing would end & the ozone hole would stop moving towards the equator. While neither of us would wish to suggest that that promise represents anything other than the very highest standard of honesty of the greens it is difficult to claim that it is in any way truthful.

2 I maintain that for something to be a catasdtrophe something catastrophic has to happen. You can name no actual tangible harm that has happened to anybody from Sellafield.

3 50 perople died at Chenobyl. Everything else is merely the very highest standard of honesty of which you eco-fascists are capable. The IAEA report, which has more credibility than you lot not only confirms this but says that the main health problem has not been the radioactivity but the air of doom falsely spread by "environmentalists".

Your claim that it is not possible to produce nuclear electricity cheaply depends on assuming that France is a mythical place, since they have been producing 80% of their poweer by nuclear, at 1.3p a unit, for decades.

4 Nobody died at 3 mile island. You fascist scaremongers have lied on this as virtually everything else.

5 You do not dispute my statement that no green predicted Bhopal. The dubiety of your claims about it are reflected in the fact that you have to admit the owners have been successfully abble to deny them.

6 Dito you cannot produce any evidence that asbestos was one of the hundreds of catastrophes predicted by greens.

7 Ditto Piper Alpha

8 You accept that, as I said, the only damage from Exxon Valdez visible a year later was where the inept but expensive "environmentalist" clean up had been done. Proof that such people understand extracting money from us at the point of an "environmental catastrophe" lie far better than they understand the real environment.

9 Once again you display your ignorance of real environmentalism. If it were true that about 15 species had gone extinct in the last 20 years this would be incredible. Since the world has between 5 & 50 million species, very few of which have been around for 10s of millions of years the historic level of species extinction must be much higher.

The point about qualification is that you have specificly claimed to be an engineer which is clearly contradicted not only by your blog but by your ignorance. This is not the first & I am sure will not be the last, time g"environmentalists" have claimed false authority to butress claims which cannot stand on their own.

Thank you for publicising my site. May I also suggest you check
The fact is that, despite all the alarmist arm waving, DDT has never been proved to have killed a single human being yet its effective banning, a green triumph, has indeed led to the unnecessary death, by malaria, of about 2 million people annually, mainly African children. Simple arithmetic shows that this alone is a holocaust greater than anything Hitler achieved. HOW DARE YOU THEN UPBRAID ME ON THE SUBJECT OF PROVIDING CLEAN WATER FOR THE 3RD WORLD YOU UNCTUOUS MURDERING ECO-FASCIST. As Bjorn Lomberg has pointed out we could do infinitely more good for the world if the money being spent on Kyoto was spend in providing clean water.

the predictions of 500,000 cancer deaths from Chenobyl have utterly failed to appear. The green claim that these deaths, while they have't started yet will begin real soon now, has been going on for the full 20 years since it happened. This prediction is against all epidemiological experience & as the years go on, is increasingly threadbare. What Chenobyl has actually proven (though there is much other evidence) is that the politically correct "no lower limit" theory of radiation damage, on which the virtually the entire anti-nuclear case depends, is completely untrue

Adrian Windisch said...

dWhat an interesting way you have of arguing Neil, rather than disputing facts or providing references you resort to insult. You call me a fascist 4 times, and a murdered once. You dispute my qualifications, though I can prove them. Are you trying to get me a sympathy vote?

1. Scientists predicted deaths due to the ozone layer depletion. At ‘Children are at high risk of developing skin cancers because of the decline in the Earth's protective ozone layer, the World Health Organization warned. The UN Environmental Program and the WHO issued the warning as they launched a campaign to limit the time children and teenagers stay in direct sunlight’.

2. Sellafield linked to cancer deaths see

3. Who are you attacking? Sometimes you site organisations like WHO as a source, sometimes you blame them for causing deaths along with green groups. You seem to like them when they agree with you. The report you like says ‘It is impossible to assess reliably, with any precision, numbers of fatal cancers caused by radiation exposure due to Chernobyl' says the number dead may be 200,000. The UN figure - of between 4,000 and 9,000 extra cancer deaths - came from a report by the UN-led Chernobyl Forum. Not 50 as you state.

4. Why don’t you try and prove that no one died at three mile island. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics showed that there were "242 [infant] deaths above the normally expected number in Pennsylvania and a total of 430 in the northeastern area of the United States. Very lucky it wasnt many more.

5. I proved that Union Carbide cut corners in safety at Bhopal with fatal consequences. Your telling me that Greens haven’t said that before? Why do those deaths somehow not count to you.

6. Asbestos was banned in the UK around 1985, before I was involved in Green issues. It isn’t banned around the world yet, and Greens call for that. Do you?

7. You may think the deaths at Piper Alpha are not significant, I disagree. In November 1990 Lord Cullen's report into the disaster severely criticised safety procedures on the rig. So not an accident.

8. If there had been no effort to clean up after the Exxon Valdez the damage would have been far worse. Again you credit every mistake made by the authorities as the fault of the greens, none with the responsible bodies at the time who were probably doing there best with technology available. I accept that you seem biased, you don’t seem concerned at the bird and marine damage done in that disaster, only with attempting to score cheap points.

9. You accept species extinction so I win the argument. You’ve stopped citing fiction writers as sources of science fact, well done.

10. DDT your website link proves me correct, Some mosquitoes became resistant to DDT. It was banned in the USA in the 70’s, not the rest of the world, so how do you claim so many deaths from it? Quite the opposite is true, since DDT continued to see heavy use in India and Sri Lanka, and Malaria increased as mosquitos became resistant.

Malaria did skyrocket in India in the 70s, but not because they cut back on DDT spraying because of pressure from environmentalists. The graph shows that they didn’t cut back on DDT, but dramatically increased its use. So how come malaria increased? Well, the increase in DDT use was in agriculture. This caused the insects to become resistant, so they had to use more DDT to get the same effect. This caused more resistance, so even more DDT was used and so on. The end result was that in the areas where DDT was used in agriculture, the mosquitoes became completely resistant and DDT no longer stopped them from spreading malaria, with the disastrous results.

As stated on by blog, I’m a member of RedR, engineers for disaster relief, I am interested in helping developing countries improve. My Masters degree specialised in Water Supply and Sanitation for developing countries. I’ve worked in Tanzania and Guyana on building a primary school and improving water treatment. I don’t expect an apology however, you will probably now call me a mass murderer because I didnt stop Voldermort stealing the one ring and killing carrots, or something.

neil craig said...

Adrian I am afraid that I cannot simply accept your word on your claims to numerous engineering degrees, partly because it appears to be of limited value & partly because of your proven ignorance.

1 Your answer to a request for proof of a single incidence of a catastrophe which came true is not to produce any evidence of it coming true (in this case us having been wiped out by the ozone hole) but yet another claim starting of "predicted" future events. I cheerfully predict that you won't ever actually produce any evidence to back your repeated predictions.

2 The link you say "proves" the catastrophic deaths at Sellafield actually says "On average the workers suffered a mortality from all causes that was 2% less than that of the general population of England and Wales and 9% less than that of the population of Cumberland (the area in which the plant is sited)". This is a new definition of "catastrophe".

3 I haven't mentioned WHO before.

50 people have died at Chernobyl. You can invent as many figures as you want but they all merely represent the absolute pinnacle of honesty to which the Greens aspire & so long as nobody from the party dissociates themselves from your lie any future claims by them must be assumed a priori equally dishonest.

4 Bullshit - once again the highest standard of honesty to be expected from the party.

5 You "proved" nothing. You aserted but that is not the same thing.

6 So we are at last agreed on something - the Greens did not, as you promised, predict the problems with asbetos & all your assertions to the contrary merely represent the aforementioned highest standard.

7 OK so you say Piper Alpha was deliberate? Good job we are agreed the Greens never predicted it as you said then or plod would be after them.

8 Since we are agreed the only areas damaged after Exxon Valdez were where "environmentalists" had "cleaned up" by definition their work did harm not good. I incline towrds the view that doing harm is not a good thing.

9 You cannot dispute that species extinction has not proveably increased (at all not just "catastrophicaly). In fact we agree the evidence is that it has reduced. Finding the reverse of what you said means, you say "I win" - have you left primary school yet?

10 After DDT had ended malaria in the western countries they banned it & made every effort to ensure that ban was applied around the world a much as possible, using denial of "aid" as a very effective stick. Particularly in Africa. I pointed out that most malaria deaths are among African children & you point out that the heaviest use is in Asia, which proves my point rather than yours.

The fact is that malaria deaths were down to 50,000 a year & are back up to 2 million. This is undeniably a holocaust far greater than Hitlers & a demonstration of "Green" power.

I will repeat the DDT link in case anybody might doubt the green commitment to mass murder

"We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight."
—David Foreman, Earth First!

Clearly 50 million dead African children is what you would consider a good start.

Adrian Windisch said...

Clearly you haven’t read anything I’ve said, you continue to misrepresent every word. Once again insults wont replace argument or research.

1. Can you repeat your point with some punctuation, your meaning is unclear. The incidence of deaths from the lack of Ozone are quite clear however, no need for me to repeat them.

2. The link says ‘Raised death rates from cancers of several specific sites were found’. And it says the population there started as healthier than average. I’m not sure you read it.
For those not working at Sellafield, but living in the area, ‘In the period 1974-1989, cancer incidence for most age groups and cancer sites was significantly and in some cases alarmingly high in people who were living in a narrow strip, 800 metres wide, along Irish Sea coast of Wales. The results of the leukemia analysis showed a 4.6-fold excess in 0-4 year olds over the whole period 1974-89 in small areas with populations centroids below 800 metres from the coast. The risk, which is based on England and Wales populations and rates for 1979, falls off with distance from the coast, sharply to begin with, then rising slightly for the mountains, and falling towards the England border where rates were comparable with English rates.'

3. Your link sited WHO on the front cover, read it yourself. You say I am a liar for saying more than 50 died at Chernobyl, but it’s the UN that are being quoted, (between 4,000 and 9,000 extra cancer deaths - came from a report by the UN-led Chernobyl Forum). Are you saying everyone in the world is lying except you, perhaps you should seek medical help.

4. Swearing won't help you. This time its Data from the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics. More liars?

5. I already said that ‘Union Carbide was obliged to install state-of-the-art technology in Bhopal, but instead used inferior and unproven technology and employed lax operating procedures and maintenance and safety standards compared to those used in its US 'sister-plant'.' Again you fail ignore the evidence in front of you.

6. The problems with asbestos were recognised in 1985. I don’t know what the greens at the time said, but it was almost certainly to call for a ban. Its long before I was involved. Its still used in the rest of the world. Your failure to call for a world ban can be said by your logic to make you a mass murderer.

7. In November 1990 Lord Cullen's report into the disaster severely criticised safety procedures on the rig. So not an accident, but only someone with a slim grip on reality would suggest that the Greens are responsible for this disaster. You earlier called it an accident, your wrong.

8. Again you ignore marine and bird loss from the Exxon Valdez, this says lots about you.

9. Species extinction has increased as you would know if you read my quote, ‘Current extinction rates are at least 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural rates found in the fossil record’. Even someone like yourself should admit that this is a significant amount.

10. Again you didn’t read much of my posting, just the word Asia seemingly. ‘The end result was that in the areas where DDT was used in agriculture, the mosquitoes became completely resistant and DDT no longer stopped them from spreading malaria, with disastrous results’ Only you can use this to say DDT would save lives in Africa. But then you want to twist anything to make an argument.

50 million dead in Africa is a disaster, one which you seem to have no idea how to stop.
If you wont read, or cant understand, what I say, then its not worth continuing.

neil craig said...

"Clearly you haven’t read anything I’ve said, you continue to misrepresent every word."
Misrepresenting something I haven't read - clearly yopu have unlimited respect for my talents.

"I don’t know what the greens at the time said, but it was almost certainly to call for a ban"
Obviously the default position of eco-fascists at all times on all subjects.

"50 million dead in Africa is a disaster, one which you seem to have no idea how to stop."
Another example of juxtaposing what you & I have said & shouting "I win".

The serious & obvious answer is that if the "environmentalist" DDT ban has indeed "killed more people than Hitler", something you no longer deny, the way to stop it killing more is to stop the ban. To be fair a couple of greens have actually said this, though clearly you are not one. It is you who can name no way of stopping this massacre which would be "aceptable" to you.

Adrian Windisch said...

Neil Craig said...
Despite a number of posts ... not one of them has been able to rise to my challenge of naming a single one of their prophesied catastrophes which, over time, turned out to be true.

Mission acomplished.

You've not attempted to answer my question, your mission failed.

You have attempted to misrepresent every word Ive said, but as my words are there for all to read your attempt is also a failure.

neil said...

well then Adrian we are both pleased.

You have been unable, despite continuous attempts, to name any real catastrophe prophesied by greens which has actually happened More importantly, neither has any other green, even stretching the word catastrophe out of shape.

Indeed you have provided evidence that in 2 instances of what no honest person could have described as "catastrophe" things actually improved (improved life expectancy at Sellafield & species extinction lower than the norm).

Moreover you & your chums have de facto acepted that the "environmental" movement has indeed killed more people than Hitler

Well done
A worthy addition to the best of Luddite writings.

I look forward to a rematch.

PS Are you sure neither you nor any of your fellow eco-fascists feel able to take on Simon's bet that commodities will become cheaper rather than scarcer - again?

Rupert said...

Much of the debate on here is a little dispiriting, due to being not very...respectful ... There was a really good moment when Sue Luxton and Verity managed to get through the insults to a point of mutual respect and communication, but then unfortunately Adrian Windisch immediately laid into Verity again, and the discussion ever since has been fairly unpleasant.
Blog discussions like any discussions tend to work best when the participants try to respect each other, even when they profoundly disagree.
So, let me try, by making one point of substance about the debate without laying into anyone…: It is not true to say that greens have made 'prophesies' of environmental doom. Prophesising is not a rational activity, and never makes sense where what is concerned is human action. For we always have a choice as to what we do. What environmentalists have done is made _hypothetical_ predictions: If x isn't stopped, then y will be much more likely to happen, etc. .
The problem with the argument that goes 'There hasn't been environmental catastrophe, therefore the greens are wrong', is that the first time a hypothetical turns out very badly, very few people will be around afterward to have the discussion...
We only have one chance to get this world right.
What the controversial and brilliant 'limits to growth' analysis of 30/35 years ago said was that if human habits did not change, then there was likely to be a resource environmental crisis and then a pollution environmental crisis. They turned out to be too pessimistic on the resource crisis -- but too optimistic on the pollution crisis, judging by present trends. It looks like _if_ (that's the hypothetical -- one doesn't prophesy) we don't change our direction, then a pollution crisis -- catastrophic climate change -- will finish our civilisation, before most resource constraints have time to cut in seriously (though there will unfortunately be ‘synergies’ between the two – see e.g. my ). But if we manage to avert this catastrophe, then it would be unwise for people to argue that that shows that greens are wrong – on the contrary, it will be because people realised that we greens were probably right, and started to act accordingly… (As even Bush is doing, in a few respects, now.)
The precautionary principle makes clear that it is rational to act as if we are right, even if we might not be – see for a nice exposition.
The leadership that is necessitated by dangerous climate change is therefore of a subtly different kind than is needed in wartime: see my for argument to this effect. (Or see ‘The possibility of Green leadership full length’ for a full length version, at ). If we succeed, then the measure of our success will be that many people never had to face the pain of realising first-hand just how bad things would and could have got.
The nations of the world showed something of this leadership in dealing with the incipient ozone hole crisis, a decade or so ago now. The incipient climate crisis is far harder to deal with, because its driving pollutants are central to, rather than relatively peripheral to, the main levers of economic growth, to which our culture seems as addicted as ever.
So that is the issue: Can we prevent greens’ hypothetical prediction concerning preventable environmental catastrophe from turning out tails, rather than heads? If we do not prevent this, then, as I say, we won’t most of us be around in our old age to argue about it on blog commentaries. Or if we are around, we literally won’t have the time and energy to spend it on blogging -- we’ll be too busy scrabbling together life’s necessities. Rather than, as we greens would wish, enjoying a life of plenty, of enough ( ), a wonderful life that requires less economic and material inputs than our current wasteful and often deeply dissatisfying existence.

Rupert said...

P.S. In response to Antony's small and amusing post: I am not Deputy Leader of the Green Group on Norwich City Council because I have confidence in the person who _is_ Deputy Leader, and I myself am plenty busy doing other things, such as doing a full-time job and being lead candidate for the Greens for Eastern Region for the Euro-Parl.

Paul said...

This sort of infantile nonsense helps no-one. Arguing over whether greens have 'killed more people than Hitler'? Not only insulting, but embarrassingly childish. Get out of the playground and engage with people properly. This isn't a game.

Anonymous said...

I happen to agree with many of the issues the Green Party raise. I just don't share their socialist policies and solutions that ignore where people, businesses and consumers are at, and substiture idealogy nonsense for common sense solutions.

ie renationalising railways;
congestion charges on motorists using norwich; rejecting future housing developments and consequently increasing homelessness and norwich house prices