Extinction Rebellion, David Attenborough, and the debate
In the past days, the “Extinction Rebellion” troops have brought Central London to a halt. I am interested in the protest, not because of its own puerile idea that it will actually accomplish anything, but for other reasons: interesting how limited the official (police) reaction was at first, before millions of Londoners started to get angry at their daily life being disrupted; interesting how the protests have dovetailed with more Establishment propaganda (and I use the term purely neutrally), such as the David Attenborough film trailed below; interesting too how easily the London streets were “taken over”.
The BBC has fired both barrels on this. Some of the msm has followed.
I should say immediately and in brief what is my own view of climate change.
I think that there is little doubt that climate change is happening. In particular, the Earth may well be warming. It has both warmed and cooled in the past, both in periods of geological time and in the relatively short time that humans have been on the Earth. In fact, we know from written records and necessary implications that there has been a considerable variation even in the last few hundred years, over the past 1,000 years, over the past 2,000 (etc).
In the times of the Vikings, Greenland was exactly that, albeit briefly, and in the 11th and 12th centuries had farms, homesteads etc, as recent archaeological discoveries have confirmed. The “Mediaeval Warm Period”, c.950-c.1250 AD also meant that vines could be grown successfully in Britain. It is said to have been the warmest period in Europe since the “Roman Warm Period” (c.250 BC to c.400 AD), which of course covers both much of the time of the ancient Greek or Hellenistic Period and then the flowering of both the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.
More recently, there was the “Little Ice Age”, which is rather elastic: c.1300 AD to the second half of the 19thC , but within those 550+ years, three colder periods, especially the one starting in 1650, famous for ice fairs on the Thames, skating on ponds in the Low Countries (as shown in Old Master paintings) etc. There is a good representation of the former in the 1947 film Wicked Lady [see Notes below; the Thames ice fair scene starts just before 00:59:05 and ends at about 01:03:05].
It is noteworthy, by the way, that the warmer periods of Europe’s history have been the more prosperous and the more peaceful too, overall, though not without exceptions.
Obviously, human beings cannot tolerate temperatures too cold or too hot. We require temperate or relatively temperate climatic conditions.
Let us say (i.e. assume) that the orthodox scientists are correct and that there is “climate change” amounting to “global warming”. Then we move to causation: what is causing the warming? The scientific establishment has established a dogma which says that human activities, specifically emissions of carbon, are the predominant causes. Dissident scientists etc point to sunspots or other causes.
Let us further say/assume that the more-officially-approved scientists are right and that human activity is the cause of the putative climate change/global warming. What can be done? There consensus breaks down.
The huge new economies of Asia do not want to stop polluting if that means that industrial output slows, because in India that would mean destitution for untold millions, and in China would mean, very likely, economic collapse and political revolution.
In fact, China at least is doing much in terms of reducing “emissions” (assuming that therein lies the problem) but here we come up against the real cause of most of the environmental problems of the world today: too many people, and too many farm animals to feed carnivorous populations, as well as too much energy used to warm or cool those enormous populations, the world population having grown about 20 times larger since the start of our age (the 5th Post-Atlantean Age) around 1400 AD.
I blogged not too long ago about the overall problem facing the world:
The obvious answer to the present or upcoming world crisis, which crisis includes, but not exclusively, mass extinction of creatures, “emissions” (assuming that they are of the importance the scientific establishment thinks), spoliation of land and oceans, is a huge reduction of the human population of the Earth. The main question, apart from whether it will happen, is by what method it could (will?) happen.
From the sublime to the ridiculous…
So we come back to “Extinction Rebellion” and their London protest. I am sure that most of them are well-meaning, even if totally and laughably up their own a***s, in the contemporary phrase. Many of these people are all too easy to ridicule. Emma Thompson, with or without her designer non-European adoptee, flew in (no doubt First Class) from LA to protest about people like her flying all over the place for trivial reasons; maybe it is thought OK if you are a millionairess and actress who lives in houses and villas in Hampstead, Bute (Scottish Highlands), Ibiza or France, when not in Beverly Hills or Bel-Air.
The reaction to the poseurs has been vitriolic in places:
However, “useful idiots” support the protest (and Emma Thompson), as appears from the tweet of “Geri the Gerbil”, below :
“Geri the Gerbil” seems to assume that the Extinction Rebellion protests will actually accomplish anything re. “climate change”. No, let alone “save the planet”! Obviously they change nothing at all.
Here’s another one (see below) defending Emma Thompson, while urging people to sell their second homes and stop holidaying overseas (mixed message? Emma Thompson has about 4 or 5 luxury homes, including 2 or 3 overseas, and flies frequently, sometimes on private jets…). Maybe the clue is in the “Costa del Sol” part of the tweet by tweeter “Caroline” , i.e. it’s OK for a wealthy and terminally politically correct theatrical like Emma Thompson to fly all over the world, have half a dozen houses in several different countries etc, but woe betide you plebs from having a tiny concrete villa on a Spanish costa and taking an EasyJet there a couple of times a year! Shades of Emily Thornberry’s “White Van Man” gaffe, perhaps.
I might respect Emma Thompson more if she just said “it would be better to have a tenth of the present world population” (I might even agree with that, especially if those left were mainly European) or “international flights and second, third or fourth homes are OK for a few rich people like me, but not for the million…”
Well, I cannot reproduce the full range of idiocy on display here, but here are just a couple of other deluded fools anyway:
And what about this one (below), one Natasha Cox? She loves London being closed down because the atmosphere is lovely, there is no traffic, and there is dancing! She is evidently not an economic scientist! Where does one even start with such people?! Smiling and being well-meaning are both good, but not nearly enough…
Time for serious people to tip-toe away…
What interests me is that the Extinction Rebellion mobs were at first not stopped by the police: some police “officers” even danced with some of the protestors. I wonder what would happen if a few thousand social nationalists took over Central London. Would the police be so easygoing? I think not. Is it a class thing, because so many of the protestors seem to have come from rural or suburban enclaves where some no doubt live in comfort on their trust funds or buy-to-let incomes? The police are now belatedly getting a little tougher:
Another point that interested me, watching some self-righteous fellow on TV news today explaining why this direct action protest was the right method, was his assertion that MPs, society etc had to be forced to do what the protestors would like to see. Whatever one may think of their views (and I am not completely out of sympathy with them —social nationalism has always been quite “green”:
see https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/social-nationalism-and-green-politics/ )
the fact is that this protest has a quite strong sub-terroristic edge under the surface “non-violent civil disobedience” stuff. If ten thousand (?) people are willing to shut down Central London “peacefully”, it may be that 1% of them, say 100, might be willing to do some very non-peaceful things. I merely pose the question.
The Extinction Rebellion protests will not change or expedite government policy, will not convince many not already convinced, and might cause others to be even more resistant to the environmental movement, which has some excellent aspects but which is terribly confused.
It is clear that only a mass sweeping away of the world population can accomplish the rescue of the planet and its life.
Update, 21 April 2019
Alternative “world is getting colder” exposition: