Tag Archives: climate change

The false arguments against Greta Thunberg – and why you should ignore them

Emotion: Greta Thunberg was fighting back tears when she spoke at the UN Climate Change summit – because she knew many people would try to undermine her simple, common sense message?

Who would have thought a teenager who isn’t in showbusiness could have such an impact on the world?

This is a really strong speech:

Admittedly, Greta Thunberg has yet to persuade financiers and business leaders to stop the climate change-related harm they are doing to our environment, but this is probably because she has hit such resistance from the false-equivalence brigade.

For example:

Who are these people? I, for one, face no such contradiction in my thinking as I said Ms Begum did know what she was doing when she ran off to join IS at the age of 15. I argued that she should be treated as an adult now because she is an adult now.

That is an argument about Ms Begum, rather than Ms Thunberg. It also ties in with this:

There is a huge difference between these two subjects, of course: Epstein was alleged to be exploiting teenagers – Ms Thunberg is expressing her own opinions.

And haven’t we been encouraging our young people to develop opinions on such subjects?

This Writer can remember television programmes going back to the 80s, at least, in which young people were canvassed for their views on political matters – and young viewers were encouraged to think about them.

And what about William Hague?

He was the poster boy of the Conservative conference in 1979 when he made a speech… at the ripe old age of 16.

Had he been exploited? Or was he perfectly capable of forming his own opinion? If the latter, then serious questions will have to be asked about political parties that have any kind of youth wing at all.

And that should not happen, because they are perfectly capable of thinking and acting properly at the age from which they may become members of such organisations.

The matter of sex is different because younger people are not always equipped to deal with the consequences of it. Legally, they are not considered capable of consenting to sex. Practically, they may be unable to access contraception, meaning pregnancy is more possible – with financial and social consequences. There is the huge issue of sexual exploitation. And not everybody is the same; some are mature enough to behave responsibly about such matters, and some are not.

Consider this: If a young teenager were to become pregnant, would she (and her partner, of course) have the maturity to understand that they are bringing a person into the world, with needs just like their own?

Answer: Some would, and some wouldn’t. The law is there to minimise tragic consequences, as much as it is there to prevent unwanted demands on medical and social services.

Turning to Ms Thunberg’s arguments: It is incredible that people are trying to marginalise them by saying she isn’t mature enough, or that she is being groomed, when they are the same arguments being used by adults across the world.

Look at Harrison Ford:

He used the same “house on fire” metaphor as Ms Thunberg. Are her critics suggesting that he has been groomed?

The fact is that this young lady has come to a mature conclusion about the consequences of business decisions across the world and has struck a chord with young people around the world – as well as adults.

People attacking her are in fact revealing their own inadequacies.

And who are these people?

None of them ever seem to be named.

I want to know who’s messing up the future for us all – don’t you?

Who are the businesspeople whose decisions are clagging up our air with carbon dioxide?

Who are the financiers who are funding them?

Who are the government ministers – worldwide, not just in the UK – who are helping them to vandalise our environment?

If they are named, they can be watched, criticised… ultimately prosecuted.

If not, they will get away with murder – billions of times over. And Ms Thunberg’s critics are their cynical little helpers.

EXTRA – October 15: I’ve just received this tweet:

Do you think that’s true?

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Tory minister suspended after he grabbed Greenpeace activist by the throat

Attack: Mark Field said he acted in the belief that a peaceful, female Greenpeace protester might be about to do violence. But – in this image – who is attacking who?

If you had not heard of Mark Field before today, nobody could blame you.

The only reference to him on This Site is from 2014, when he was named as one of many Conservative MPs with a stake in private health companies who was therefore likely to profit by allowing those firms to provide NHS services.

It’s a reasonable bet that you’ll have heard of him now, though – he has become infamous overnight after he grabbed a female Greenpeace activist by the throat and forcibly ejected her from the Mansion House, where she was taking part in a climate change protest at the annual dinner for bankers and politicians where Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond was making a speech.

As I type this, it is emerging that (caretaker) prime minister Theresa May has suspended Mr Field from his job as a Foreign Office minister, due to his apparent behaviour in this incident.

Let’s look at the video footage, courtesy of ITV reporter Paul Brand:

Mr Brand’s subsequent thread is worth reading:

Take note of that – he says she did not appear to present any immediate threat. That is important when considering the subsequent protestations of people like Peter Bottomley.

Not half!

No complaint has (yet) been made to the police. But fellow activist Hannah Martin has tweeted this statement:

Some Tories rushed to defend Mr Field’s behaviour, quoting bizarre reasons. Peter Bottomley was quoted by The Mirror as saying it was justified because “a person could be carrying a collapsible truncheon”. Mr Bottomley added: “He intervened. I congratulate him for that. I would have done the same.”

Have a look at the footage again and ask yourself where she could have been hiding a truncheon. In her (tiny) handbag?

Here’s Mike Hurst, who labels himself as a security professional, standing up for Mr Field – and being thrown a truth bomb by another Twitter user:

How about this comment – and the response from a formerly battered wife:

Mr Field himself has released the following statement: “In the confusion many guests understandably felt threatened and when one protester rushed past me towards the top table I instinctively reacted.

“There was no security present and I was for a split second genuinely worried she might have been armed.

“As a result I grasped the intruder firmly in order to remove her from the room as swiftly as possible.”

“Grasped the intruder firmly”? He slammed her against a pillar.

He added: “I deeply regret this episode and unreservedly apologise to the lady concerned for grabbing her but in the current climate I felt the need to act decisively to close down the threat to the safety of those present.”

The “Tory Racism” Twitter account has slowed the footage and added a commentary – making the important point that not one person out of the 350 at the dinner lifted a single finger to help the peaceful protester who was being manhandled out of the room by a man who had gone for her throat:

This lack of intervention has been roundly condemned:

Tim O’Seery tweeted: “I actually find this quite harrowing. He brutalised this young woman while the rest of the Chinless Wonders just sat there and watched. This was assault and people have a Public Duty to prevent this sort of thing happening, if they can.”

Mr Field’s action is even more questionable when one examines his own – expressed – attitude to climate change. In a tweet just two weeks ago, he stated: “Climate security must be at the heart of foreign policy work at a global level. I am grateful for Germany’s action in shining a spotlight on this issue at the Climate and Security Conference yesterday and look forward to continuing our work together.”

To this, ‘Geri the Gerbil’ appended: “As long as they don’t interrupt my dinner.”

Of course there is a political aspect to this:

A petition has been launched to get Mr Field sacked:

Last word on this (for now) should go to Tom Clark of Another Angry Voice:

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Wrong again, Graun! People ARE avoiding the news – except major developments. And for a good reason…

Propaganda: It seems people are avoiding the mainstream news outlets because they are seen as purveyors of fake – or at least severely slanted – news.

Brexit isn’t the reason people are avoiding the news – but The Guardian only touches on the real reason, perhaps because it is too close to home.

People are turning away from mainstream news outlets because they are perceived to be pushing a particular agenda:

Britons also say they are losing trust in the news, with the authors attributing this to increased political polarisation: “Even the most trusted brands like the BBC are seen by many as pushing or suppressing agendas – especially over polarising issues like Brexit and climate change.”

Doesn’t that seem more plausible than Brexit fatigue, when

according to one BBC insider, the BBC News website attracted 28 million unique visitors in January on the day of parliament’s first meaningful vote on Theresa May’s Brexit day, while 25 million checked the website the following day when it was covering the no-confidence vote in the prime minister?

Brexit certainly hasn’t harmed This Site’s audience. Vox Political‘s highest-ever visitor total was recorded on March 23 this year, when I reported on the ‘Revoke Brexit’ e-petition that became the most-signed petition on the government’s website: 93,008 views.

It’s certainly possible that some Britons are giving up on the news in order to avoid the blanket coverage of Brexit that has made it headline news practically every day since before the EU referendum.

But when

alleged Brexit fatigue among the British public has also been used by some news programmes to justify declining audiences,

it seems far more likely that the news media are trying to find an excuse that does not mention the possibility that they are pushing their own agenda.

Doesn’t it? Or is that paranoid conspiracy-theorising?

Source: Third of Britons say they avoid news out of Brexit frustration | Media | The Guardian

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Greta Thunberg: Critics can’t beat her with reason so they have fallen back on insult

Greta Thunberg: They couldn’t argue with her reasoning, so they insulted her instead.

The silly season has arrived early this year.

Extinction Rebellion has announced that its protest in London will end on Thursday with a day of disruption and a closing ceremony.

The organisation that spent nine days organising peaceful mass civil disobedience said it would leave its remaining blockades after opening up “a space for truth-telling” – and it was time to spread this space both locally, nationally and internationally.

One of the highlights of the protest was the visit by Greta Thunberg, whose speech at the United Nations Climate Change Conference last year galvanised a generation – of youngsters – to demand change on environmentally-catastrophic policies from uncaring world leaders.

She’s on her way home as I write this…

… but it seems certain malcontents couldn’t wait for her to leave before spreading some “truth-telling” of their own.

And it only proved the truth of Margaret Thatcher’s decades-old claim: “If they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

Here’s a chap called Tom Harwood, who calls himself a journalist:

The clip is from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, when Ms Thunberg’s mother Malena Ernman, represented Sweden with a song entitled ‘La voix’.

Apparently Mr Harwood wanted us to think this was a bad thing. He didn’t get what he wanted.

Apparently the point was that Ms Thunberg was one of the fabled “One per cent” – the most privileged people in the world. If so, then she has more brains, more conscience, than most of the rest of them put together and is even more to be praised, This Writer would have thought. And I’m not alone:

https://twitter.com/mquinnNUFC/status/1121077264224018434

Jade Azim’s response was right to the point: “I cant believe she has the AUDACITY to have a singer as a mum and not want the ice caps to melt.”

Some chose to make a more pertinent observation – about the origin of the criticism.

Not only an employee of the Guido Fawkes blog site, but also a former press officer for the Brexiteer campaign group BeLeave, it seems:

Yes, it seems Mr Harwood was a press officer for the youth-focused Brexit movement that was used by fellow Brexit campaign Vote Leave to break spending limits in the run-up to the EU referendum in 2016, according to the Electoral Commission. According to Shahmir Sanni, he was Head of Media for BeLeave and Head of the Student wing of Vote Leave.

So before he tries to shame other people, perhaps he should learn a little contrition himself.

At least he didn’t make the enormous gaff committed by Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked.

In an article headlined The cult of Greta Thunberg and sub-headed This young woman sounds increasingly like a millenarian weirdo, he stated: “Anyone who doubts that the green movement is morphing into a millenarian cult should take a close look at Greta Thunberg.

“This poor young woman increasingly looks and sounds like a cult member. The monotone voice. The look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes. The explicit talk of the coming great ‘fire’ that will punish us for our eco-sins.

“There is something chilling and positively pre-modern about Ms Thunberg. One can imagine her in a sparse wooden church in the Plymouth Colony in the 1600s warning parishioners of the hellfire that will rain upon them if they fail to give up their witches.”

He’s entitled to his opinion, right? Well…

… maybe not.

At the end of the day, her critics have good reason to be grateful to Ms Thunberg: She is unlikely to respond in kind. For the reason, I’ll leave you with this:

Commons exposure for climate change threat as protestors lay it all bare

Eye-opener: When you see what the Extinction Rebellion campaigners were doing, you’ll understand why Ed Miliband’s eyes were popping out of his head [This image from the Guardian‘s report, obviously].

Activists from Extinction Rebellion made the debate on Brexit “indicative” votes a lot more interesting when they stripped off to draw attention to the “elephant in the room” – climate change and the ecological crisis.

They made their way to the front of the public gallery and pressed their posteriors against the glass partition as Labour’s Peter Kyle opened the debate for his motion for any Brexit deal to be subjected to a confirmatory public vote before Parliament acts on it.

MPs got into the swing of things with references to “the naked truth” and “fleshing out the argument”.

But police later said they made 12 arrests after having to use soap spray to peel parts of some activists off the glass. It seems they weren’t prepared to turn the other cheek (sorry).

In a tweet after the event, Extinction Rebellion stated: “Some of the MPs in the Commons might have been able to avert their eyes tonight but as the climate and ecological crisis worsens this will become increasingly difficult for them to do.”


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Teen climate activist shames the world – but the Tories are trying to expand fracking across the UK

Frack site: The well in Lancashire contributes to global warming and climate change.

Climate change “negotiators” got a hard lesson in their own shortcomings – from a minor.

Greta Thunberg is only 15, but she packed more maturity into her three-minute speech than we’ve seen in decades of mealy-mouthed “negotiations” between representatives of national and international economic interests.

The Swedish activist shamed her elders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP24, where representatives eventually managed to reach a weak agreement over how to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. But everybody there knew they weren’t doing nearly enough to achieve that goal, which is why Ms Thunberg’s words had such bite.

Here’s her speech:

“You are not mature enough to tell it like it is,” she told an audience entirely composed of her elders (but clearly not her betters). “Even that burden you leave to us children.

“Our civilisation is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money.

“It is the sufferings of the many that pay for the luxuries of the few… We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground.”

She also said: “You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again.”

Now consider the current court case in the UK over plans by our Conservative government to expand fracking.

If ever there was an example of the many suffering to support the luxuries of the few – the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money – it is the fracking industry in the United Kingdom.

The current case highlights new planning guidance by the government which makes it easier to establish fracking sites. The document orders local authorities to facilitate the establishment of such sites, and proposes the removal of the need for new wells to get planning permission.

The government did not carry out any assessment of the impact its plans would have on the environment, and the guidance was imposed on the country without any public consultation.

It seems clear that James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, qualifies as one of the people Ms Thunberg describes as “not mature enough to tell it like it is.”

So do former prime minister David Cameron and his successor Theresa May. At a time when sustainable energy has never been cheaper or easier to supply, one is led to ask why they continue to kowtow to fossil fuel corporates like Cuadrilla bosses Roy Franklin and Francis Egan.

Fracking at Cuadrilla’s only UK site, in Lancashire, was halted again on December 11 after yet another earth tremor was caused by the process. This one measured 1.5 on the Richter scale, causing a woman who lives 1.6 miles from the site to say she heard a loud “bang” and her house shook. A Cuadrilla spokesperson said the effect would have been “like dropping a melon”.

We may conclude from this that the spokesperson is “not mature enough to tell it like it is” either.

But what is to be done in the face of such monumental selfishness, such wilful ignorance, such naked greed?

I’d like to think change is coming, whether the government figures and corporates named above like it or not – but I don’t think it will, unless somebody does something shocking.

I think someone would have to grab Messrs Cameron, Brokenshire, Egan and Franklin, along with Mrs May, drag them to the fracking well in Lancashire, and throw them down it – and then fill it in on top of them.

That’s what it would take to get these people to look up from counting their money and pay attention – the threat of extreme sanction.

But I can’t advocate such extreme measures – and the system is skewed in favour of the privileged. So what’s to be done?

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Tories have weakened green watchdog so it can do nothing about climate change after Brexit

Typical Tories.

They don’t want any inconveniences like concern for the environment we all inhabit to get in the way of the profits they make from highly-polluting carbon fuels.

So they have deliberately weakened the UK’s green watchdog organisation, making it unable to ensure ministers act on this important issue.

This is after they promised to ensure ministers fulfil their obligations.

They’re a gang of greedy, polluting liars.

Ministers are “deliberately weakening” the green watchdog that will hold the government to account after Britain leaves the EU, according to Labour’s shadow Brexit minister.

Theresa May pledged last January to create a “world-leading, independent, statutory body” to ensure ministers stick to their commitments – replacing the power of the European commission to take governments to the European court of justice (ECJ) for not fulfilling their obligations.

Yet the UK watchdog will not have any powers relating to climate change, an issue of heightened public concern since the summer heatwave that has seen wildfires in the north of England and outbreaks of tropical diseases in parts of Europe.

Matthew Pennycook, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, said: “Our EU membership has been key to delivering and enforcing UK emission reductions. In choosing to exclude climate change from the remit of their environmental watchdog, ministers are deliberately weakening the tools we have to hold them to account. The Brexit process cannot be used as a cover to water down the UK’s leadership on climate change.”

Source: UK’s green watchdog will be powerless over climate change post-Brexit | Environment | The Guardian

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NHS-hater Paul Nuttall elected to lead UKIP. How long will this one last?

Paul Nuttall outside the Emmanuel Centre in London moments before he was announced as the new Ukip leader [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

Paul Nuttall outside the Emmanuel Centre in London moments before he was announced as the new Ukip leader [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

The only piece of information you really need about Paul Nuttall is that he wants to privatise the NHS completely.

He published this information on his website a few years ago, then took it down when he realised it was unpopular with the general public.

Fortunately, some of us made screen grabs so it could be kept for posterity.

161128-paul-nuttall-ukip-nhs

The campaigning group HOPE Not Hate has published 10 reasons to oppose Mr Nuttall. His opposition to the NHS comes in at number five, and here are the others:

1. Has strongly supported Farage’s “Breaking Point” billboard [which showed a snaking line of – allegedly – immigrants on their way into the UK].
2. He believes there is a secret coordinated Muslim plot to become a majority in Europe.
3. In a speech in the European Parliament Nuttall labelled the response of the EU to the refugee crisis as “freedom of movement of Jihad”.
4. He wants to ban the burqa [an act that would prohibit people from coming to the UK on religious grounds].
6. He wants a 31% flat rate of tax, meaning the rich pay far less.
7. He wants prison conditions to be made deliberately worse and the 1967 Criminal Justice Act to be abolished.
8. Nuttall believes climate change is a “hair-brained theory”.
9. Was one of only 14 MEPs to vote against a crackdown on the illegal ivory trade.
10. Opposes same-sex marriages.

The Guardian‘s claim (below) that Mr Nuttall’s election marks the end of UKIP’s troubles seems premature.

The previous leader, Diane James, lasted just 18 days in the job before leaving due to a lack of support.

Mr Nuttall seems to be trying to prevent a repetition of this kind of PR disaster by creating one that is unique to himself: He told members that, if they did not support him, they would be booted out of the party.

What a charming man.

Paul Nuttall has been elected by Ukip members to replace Nigel Farage as leader, ending a turbulent period for the party after the referendum to leave the European Union.

Nuttall, the former deputy leader, was elected with 62.6% of the 15,405 votes cast. His presumed nearest challenger, Suzanne Evans, won just 19.3% of the votes, only 200 more than the rank outsider, John Rees-Evans, who won 18.1%.

The MEP for north-west England takes over from Farage, who had returned briefly as interim leader in October when his chosen replacement, Diane James, stepped down after just 18 days in the job, citing a lack of internal party support.

Speaking at a party event in London after being announced as leader, Nuttall called for unity following tumultuous months for the party. He told members that if they did not wish to unite “your time in Ukip is coming to an end”.

Source: Paul Nuttall elected as Ukip leader | Politics | The Guardian

Postscript: I understand the BBC broadcast live coverage of the election result. Some commentators have questioned this but I think it was the right decision. UKIP may have only one MP, but it had 12.7 per cent of the vote in the 2015 general election – more than one-third as many as the Conservatives, who won. That is a significant amount and should be respected.

Besides, if we show people what UKIP really is, they might stop voting for this far-right pressure group.

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Global temperatures rise yet again as experts prepare for meeting on climate change

2016 has seen high temperatures lead to devastating droughts in many parts [Image: Getty Images].

2016 has seen high temperatures lead to devastating droughts in many parts [Image: Getty Images].

We’ve had droughts, temperature increases 6-7 degrees above average in Arctic Russia, a huge amount of melted sea ice, heatwaves, flooding, and an increase in “once-in-a-lifetime” extraordinary weather events.

Greenhouse gases are filling the atmosphere.

And the United States have voted in a president-elect who doesn’t believe in climate change.

At least China has seen the light and is investing heavily in renewables.

This Writer knows another country that had a renewables programme – until a gang of political bandits got into office on a “vote blue, get green” tag and cut it to ribbons.

Now, where do you think that was?

2016 looks poised to be the warmest year on record globally, according to preliminary data.

With data from just the first nine months, scientists are 90% certain that 2016 will pass the mark set by 2015.

The provisional statement on the status of the global climate in 2016 has been released early this year to help inform negotiators meeting in Morocco, who are trying to push forward with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Temperatures from January to September were 1.2C above pre-industrial levels, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The body says temperatures should remain high enough for the rest of the year to break the previous record.

[The] El Nino [weather phenomenon] has had an impact, but the most significant factor driving temperatures up continues to be CO2 emissions.

Source: 2016 ‘very likely’ to be world’s warmest year – BBC News

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David Cameron and UK ministers criticised for flying to Paris climate talks


In light of this, one is led to wonder about the carbon footprint of this personal jet Cameron has bought for himself – Air Pork One, or SleazyJet.

The claim by the government spokeswoman, that they used the most efficient and cost-effective modes of transport, simply means the plan was fast and cheap. If Cameron is basing his policies on that, we’ll all be living on a cinder in a few years.

The prime minister and cabinet members have come under fire for flying to the Paris climate change talks, rather than taking the more environmentally friendly Eurostar.

BusinessGreen understands David Cameron and energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd flew the short trip to the opening day of the talks last Monday.

International development secretary Justine Greening and her team also took a flight for her short trip to the COP21 talks on Saturday

According to Eurostar, a short haul return flight from Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle airport emits 122 kg of CO2 per person, which is the equivalent of charging 740 iPods. The carbon footprint of making the short haul flight is said to be 11 times more than the 10.9 kg CO2 emitted per Eurostar passenger travelling from St Pancras to the centre of Paris.

Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth accused ministers of hypocrisy over the decision to fly and the spate of recent green policy reversals.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said ministers attending the summit used “the most efficient and cost effective modes of transport available”.

Source: David Cameron and UK ministers criticised for flying to Paris climate talks | Environment | The Guardian

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