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>Sunday night rock ‘n’ roll

November 9, 2008 Leave a comment

>10cc were an English Art rock/Pop band that achieved their greatest commercial success during the 1970s.

The band initially comprised four members, Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, who had written and recorded together for about three years before taking on the name of 10cc in 1972. The lineup featured two strong songwriting teams who injected their songs with sharp wit and lyrical dexterity. The more “commercial” team of Stewart and Gouldman were generally fairly straightforward “pop” songwriters, who created some of the group’s most accessible material. The experimental half of 10cc was Godley and Creme, who brought a distinctive “art school” sensibility and a more “cinematic” writing style to the group. All four members were skilled multi-instrumentalists, vocalists, writers and producers and each could perform convincingly as lead singers.

The original line-up recorded four albums and a string of Top 10 singles. The band suffered a split in 1976, when Godley and Creme left to form Godley & Creme, leaving Gouldman and Stewart to continue touring and recording as 10cc with a variety of musicians including Rick Fenn, Stuart Tosh, and Andrew Gold enlisted for each album.

The band experienced a nine-year hiatus from 1983, before releasing two more albums. There have been no albums since 1995 and Stewart has declared the band is defunct. Since about 2004, however, Gouldman has toured sporadically with several peripheral band members, billing themselves as “10cc featuring Graham Gouldman and Friends”.

I’m Not In Love is the ultimate rock ballad, in my view, and Feel The Benefit contains a really great riff. Everyone remembers Dreadlock Holiday and Rubber Bullets. A terrific band.

I’m Not In Love

Feel The Benefit

Dreadlock Holiday

Rubber Bullets

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Uncategorized

>Saddam lied, people died

January 26, 2008 2 comments

>To the truth-averse left – a tautology if ever there was one – the ‘Bush lied, people died’ meme has been a major part of what passes for intellectual analysis.

CBS’s 60 Minutes turned left some years ago and has become more and more loopy, a demonstrated in recent times with the inane Save The Planet series. For them to broadcast an interview demonstrating what really was going on with Iraq is quite remarkable.

NEW YORK — Saddam Hussein allowed the world to believe he had weapons of mass destruction to deter rival Iran and did not think the United States would stage a major invasion, according to an FBI interrogator who questioned the Iraqi leader after his capture.

Saddam believed that the oil deals he had done with UN Security Council members China, France and Germany, as well as bribes paid to representatives from those countries would protect him from any US action.

Saddam expected only a limited aerial attack by the United States and thought he could remain in control, the FBI special agent, George Piro, told CBS’s “60 Minutes” program in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.

“He told me he initially miscalculated … President Bush’s intentions,” said Piro. “He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998 … a four-day aerial attack.”

“He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack,” Piro said.

The Associated Press spoke to a close aide of Saddam’s in August 2003, who said that Saddam did not expect a U.S. invasion and deliberately kept the world guessing about his weapons program, although he already had gotten rid of it.

Saddam publicly denied having unconventional weapons before the U.S. invasion, but prevented U.N. inspectors from working in the country from 1998 until 2002 and when they finally returned in November 2002, they often complained that Iraq wasn’t fully cooperating.

Piro, a Lebanese-American who speaks Arabic, debriefed Saddam after he was found hiding in an underground hideout near his home city north of Baghdad in December 2003, nine months after the U.S. invasion.

Piro said Saddam also said that he wanted to keep up the illusion that he had the program in part because he thought it would deter a likely Iranian invasion.

Anyone with half a brain understood that this must be true when it became clear Saddam had been lying about his weapons program. It’s also possible that Iran is playing the same game in reverse. They are now militarily much weaker than Iraq and want to both deter any plans that country might have post-stabilisation, as well as presenting itself as the strong horse in the region.

“For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that (faking having the weapons) would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq,” Piro told Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes.”

Piro added that Saddam had the intention of restarting an Iraqi weapons program at the time, and had engineers available for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

I’m sure that the Daily Kos, Huffington Post etc crowd will deny this one all ways ’til Tuesday.

Piro also mentioned Saddam’s revelation during questioning that what pushed him to invade Kuwait in 1990 was a dishonorable swipe at Iraqi women made by the Kuwaiti leader, Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

During the buildup to the invasion, Iraq had accused Kuwait of flooding the world market with oil and demanded compensation for oil produced from a disputed area on the border of the two countries.

Piro said that Al Sabah told the foreign minister of Iraq during a discussion aimed at resolving some of those conflicts that “he would not stop doing what he was doing until he turned every Iraqi woman into a $10 prostitute. And that really sealed it for him, to invade Kuwait,” said Piro.

Such are the petty things that people go to war for…

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Uncategorized

>The ACLU hits moral rock bottom, digs

January 18, 2008 Leave a comment

>We in Australia are extremely lucky that we do not have an equivalent to the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU. If I put together a top 10 list of organisations that hurt America in a similar format to my top 10 institutions that ruin the world then I’d be hard pressed to come up with one to beat the ACLU for top spot, though their education unions would be a contender.

The main reason that the US has such a litigious society – one that imposes a burden equivalent to a tax on the economy of about 8% – is that it does not have a loser pays law such as we have in Australia and other countries like the UK have. This allows motivated organisations with deep pockets to undertake frivolous action against individuals and small companies in order to intimidate and/or financially destroy them with no fear of being sued for damages.

The largest contributor to the Democratic Party is the union movement followed by trial lawyers. The Republicans favour a move to user pays. Unsurprisingly, the Democrats favour the status quo.

You may recall US Senator Larry Craig who was caught soliciting sex in a men’s toilet at the Minneapolis Airport. His hilarious defence for his right foot touching the foot of the man in the cubicle next to him – who turned out, inconveniently, to be an undercover federal agent – was that he had a “wide stance” when sitting on the can.

If you’ve ever been in a public facility at the same time as people are having sex then you know it’s quite confronting. To the ACLU, though, sex in public toilets is apparently quite OK. These guys must have run out of things to sue people for.

Extremism: The latest in the endless series of outrages from the ACLU is its claim that anonymous sex in public bathrooms enjoys constitutional protection. What we need protection from are cunning ACLU lawyers.

Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig has an unlikely new friend in his fight against charges of lewd conduct in a Minneapolis Airport men’s room last summer. The American Civil Liberties Union came to his defense this week, arguing that “the Minnesota law under which he was arrested is unconstitutionally broad.”

The organization characterizes solicitation for sex as “constitutionally protected free speech” and cites court rulings concluding that “a closed bathroom stall is a private location.”

At the same time, the ACLU claims it “is in no way advocating sex in public bathrooms.” But “sex in public restrooms” is what ends up being protected in the world according to the ACLU.

The ACLU may also be “in no way advocating” terrorist attacks, but it is fighting the U.S. government’s terrorist surveillance program and the CIA’s terrorist interrogation program in the federal courts, both of which have prevented terrorist attacks. Those lawsuits, in fact, aid and abet terrorists.

If you’re a parent taking your child into a public restroom, the ACLU says tough luck: You just have to put up with the “free speech” taking place in the “private location” of “a closed bathroom stall” because “the police have no business spying on people in places where there is an expectation of privacy.”

Even the federal government’s advance planning in the case of a bird flu pandemic, an attempt to save as many lives as possible, is now subject to ACLU attack.

Its extremist lawyers are alarmed by an executive order in October directing the Department of Health and Human Services to set up a task force to plan for terrorism, disease outbreaks or natural disasters, utilizing Pentagon medical research resources.

“Pandemic planning today tends to emphasize mandatory vaccination and forced treatment,” the ACLU complained at a press conference on Monday.

The ACLU is so wrapped up in its crazed, false notions about the Constitution that lifesaving common sense gets lost — and its lawyers will stop at nothing to impose their radical views on the American people.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Uncategorized

>Sunday night Aussie rock

September 23, 2007 Leave a comment

>Kevin Borich is a New Zealand born Australian virtuoso guitarist and singer/song-writer. He has been a member of the The La De Das, Kevin Borich Express, and The Party Boys.

Borich wrote the classic hit Gonna See My Baby Tonight, and has performed at some of Australia’s biggest Rock events including the Sunbury Pop Festival and the 1970s Rockarenas with 60,000 people, featuring Fleetwood Mac, Santana and The Little River Band. He played in two New Years Eve celebrations at the Sydney Opera House with 70,000 people as well as support shows for international acts including Elton John, Status Quo, Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy.

Kevin Borich is one of Australia’s great rock ‘n’ roll guitarists and a fantastic live performer. Going Somewhere (below) was recorded at the Corner Hotel in Richmond, Melbourne – a terrific place to watch live bands. Included here is a version of the Hendrix classic, Voodoo Chile, which demonstrates how good he really is.

Goin’ Down Town

Gonna See My Baby Tonight

Going Somewhere

Voodoo Chile

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Uncategorized

>Global warming as Religion du Jour

June 12, 2007 5 comments

>The always informative John Brignell has a nice post demonstrating that global warming really is a belief system very similar to religion. Clearly, there are other examples of social phenomena that are similar to religions such as 9/11 Trutherism, Who shot JFK-ism or conspiracy theory-ism in general but global warming really does take the cake in terms of zealotry. Come to think of it, the evidence supporting the 9/11 nutjobs is probably better than the evidence for anthropogenic global warming.

I know that a lot of people don’t click on links so here’s the whole post.

It was Michael Crichton who first prominently identified environmentalism as a religion. That was in a speech in 2003, but the world has moved on apace since then and adherents of the creed now have a firm grip on the world at large.

Global Warming has become the core belief in a new eco-theology. The term is used as shorthand for anthropogenic (or man made) global warming. It is closely related to other modern belief systems, such as political correctness, chemophobia and various other forms of scaremongering, but it represents the vanguard in the assault on scientific man.

The activists now prefer to call it “climate change”. This gives them two advantages:

  1. It allows them to seize as “evidence” the inevitable occurrences of unusually cold weather as well as warm ones.
  2. The climate is always changing, so they must be right.

Only the relatively elderly can remember the cynical haste with which the scaremongers dropped the “coming ice age” and embraced exactly the opposite prediction, but aimed at the same culprit – industry. This was in Britain, which was the cradle of the new belief and was a response to the derision resulting from the searing summer of 1976. The father of the new religion was Sir Crispin Tickell, and because he had the ear of Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who was engaged in a battle with the coal miners and the oil sheiks, it was introduced into international politics with the authority of the only major political leader holding a qualification in science. The introduction was timely yet ironic since, in the wake of the world’s political upheavals, a powerful new grouping of left-wing interests was coalescing around environmental issues. The result was a new form of godless religion. The global warming cult has the characteristics of religion and not science for the following reasons.

Faith and scepticism

Faith is a belief held without evidence. The scientific method, a loose collection of procedures of great variety, is based on precisely the opposite concept, as famously declared by Thomas Henry Huxley:

The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

Huxley was one of a long tradition of British sceptical philosophers. From the Bacons, through the likes of Locke, Hume and Russell, to the magnificent climax of Popper’s statement of the principle of falsifiability, the scientific method was painfully established, only to be abandoned in a few short decades. It is one of the great ironies of modern history that the nation that was the cradle of the scientific method came to lead the process of its abandonment. The great difference, then, is that religion demands belief, while science requires disbelief. There is a great variety of faiths. Atheism is just as much a faith as theism. There is no evidence either way. There is no fundamental clash between faith and science – they do not intersect. The difficulties arise, however, when one pretends to be the other.

The Royal Society, as a major part of the flowering of the tradition, was founded on the basis of scepticism. Its motto “On the word of no one” was a stout affirmation. Now suddenly, following their successful coup, the Greens have changed this motto of centuries to one that manages to be both banal and sinister – “Respect the facts.” When people start talking about “the facts” it is time to start looking for the fictions. Real science does not talk about facts; it talks about observations, which might turn out to be inaccurate or even irrelevant.

The global warmers like to use the name of science, but they do not like its methods. They promote slogans such a “The science is settled” when real scientists know that science is never settled. They were not, however, always so wise. In 1900, for example, the great Lord Kelvin famously stated, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” Within a few years classical physics was shattered by Einstein and his contemporaries. Since then, in science, the debate is never closed.

The world might (or might not) have warmed by a fraction of a degree. This might (or might not) be all (or in part) due to the activities of mankind. It all depends on the quality of observations and the validity of various hypotheses. Science is at ease with this situation. It accepts various theories, such as gravitation or evolution, as the least bad available and of the most practical use, but it does not believe. Religion is different.

Sin and absolution

It is in the nature of religion to be authoritarian and proscriptive. Essential to this is the concept of sin – a transgression in thought or deed of theological principles.

Original sin in the older religions derived from one of the founts of life on earth – sex. The new religion goes even further back to the very basis of all life – carbon. Perhaps the fundamental human fear is fear of life itself. The amazing propensity of carbon to form compounds of unlimited complexity made the existence of life possible, while its dioxide is the primary foodstuff, the very start of the food chain. Every item of nutriment you consume started out as atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is therefore the ideal candidate for original sin, since no one can escape dependence on it. This manna that gave us life is now regularly branded in media headlines as “pollution” and “toxic”: surely one of the most perverse dysphemisms in the history of language.

The corrective to sin in religion is absolution, and the power of most religions comes from their claim to have the monopoly on absolution. So it is with the new godless religion. Furthermore, it is in the nature of religion to create false markets. In the time of Chaucer the Pardoner sold papal indulgences, which freed the prosperous from the consequences of sin. Likewise, the new pardoners sell carbon offsets. As in so much of both ancient and modern society these activities divert effort from wealth creation and so act as a drag on the economy. They also grant to the rich a comfort that is not available to the poor – a sure road to success.

Proselytes and evangelists

Most religions seek to grow by means of proselytism. Science does not seek or need converts. It teaches those that are willing to learn, but it does not impose itself on those who are indifferent. Religions (at least those that are successful) have a different imperative. A growing cohort of believers reinforces the beliefs of existing adherents and participating in the quest for converts helps assuage the inevitable doubts they might harbour. Successful religions are structured to encompass this expansionary mechanism. Those who can recruit others to the cause are therefore held in high regard.

Demagogues and hypocrites

Demagoguery is also, therefore, a feature of religion. Some people have the capacity to hold the masses in their thrall. It is a mysterious art, as their skills of oratory do not often stand up to any sort of critical examination. They are idols of the moment, who often turn out to have feet of clay, as so frequently seems to happen with charismatic TV preachers.

One of the most notorious demagogues of the godless religion is Al Gore. He is certainly no great orator, but he makes up for it with chutzpah. His disregard for truth is exemplified by his characteristic and ubiquitous pose in front of a satellite photograph of hurricane Katrina. Even some of the most vehement climate “scientists” refrain from connecting that particular isolated and monstrously tragic event with global warming. Likewise his Old Testament style prophecies of further disasters, such as floods due to a rise in sea level, greatly exceed the more modest claims of the “professionals”. As in the overthrow of the cities of the plain and other biblical prophecies, Gore promises a rain of fire and brimstone on us, unless we change our ways.

Gore also displays all the characteristics of the classical religious hypocrite. He disregards his own proscriptions with abandonment and ostentation. By his own measure (carbon footprint) his sins are great; at least twenty times those of the average American. It is all right though, because he purchases absolution (carbon offsets) through his own company. As he is a private individual it is not known whether he profits directly, but at a minimum he does not pay out of his taxable income and, worst of all, he demonstrates that the rich are immune from any of the actual privations that attachment to the new religion visits upon its poorer adherents. This is also not unknown in traditional religions and has been a source of material for satirists throughout the centuries.

Infidels and apostates

Religions vary in their treatment of unbelievers, which ranges from disregard to slaughter. The new religion relies at present on verbal assault and character assassination, though there are those who would go further. They call the infidels “deniers” – a cheap and quite despicable verbal reference to the Holocaust. There is a sustained campaign to deny the deniers any sort of public platform for their views.

Apostates are universally even more reviled than infidels. They have turned their backs on the true faith, whichever that might happen to be. Partial apostates, or heretics, are even more loathed and through the ages have been subjected to the most appalling punishments and deaths. In the case of the “sceptical environmentalist”, Bjorn Lomborg, he is of the faith. In fact he is a serial believer; accepting, for example, that eating celery causes two percent of all cancers and, of course, that global warming is man made, but he rejects the sacrificing of humanity to the belief. This is unacceptable! What are a few million deaths from dirty water, mosquito bites and other hazards so long as people can be made to conform? So far he has only been assaulted with insults and custard pies. Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, broke with the movement over its growing anti-human, anti-scientific tendencies and drift into extremism. The last straw for him was the campaign against chlorine, not only an essential component of human life but also the basis of one of the most dramatically life-saving hygienic interventions. He has, consequently, been subjected to a prolonged campaign of vilification, described as an eco-Judas, turncoat and traitor. Every minor commentator or blogger who manifests disbelief can expect to be the target of abuse from self-appointed protectors of the creed.

Sacrifice and ritual

It is part of human nature that we do not like to admit making a mistake, even to ourselves. So if, for example, we buy a magic device that by some mysterious means improves the fuel efficiency of our car, we drive a little more conservatively in order to prove that we have not been had. Religions exploit this weakness as a means creating and reinforcing commitment. If someone can be induced or coerced into making a sacrifice they then have a stake in the cause.

Windmills, for example, are the symbols of power, not physical power (of which they are derisorily short) but political and religious power. They are like the great domes of temples, the statues of Saddam or the big “M” arch of MacDonald’s. Windmills are ugly: they destroy the visual (and aural) landscape, but that is their purpose. They are part of the sacrifice. It would not be so bad if they were simply useless, but it is worse than that. Conventional generating systems of equivalent power have to operate for 80% of the time, while the wind is blowing too soft or too hard, and then be switched to warm standby when it is just right, an expensive and wasteful process. Windmills are there to remind us of our commitment, willing or not, to the cause, both in excessive taxation and loss of visual and aural amenity.

As in other forms of mental conditioning, continued reinforcement is a necessary part of the process and that is where ritual comes in. Ritual comprises tiny sacrifices infinitely repeated. Going round the house switching off standby lights performs the same function as the repetitive chanting of mantras. The fact that it is pointless is the whole point.

One of the most valuable ideas of modern engineering, lost in the noise, has been lost in the noise. In most applications a change of, say, one part in ten thousand is too small to be measured and therefore not worthy of concern. If standby in domestic devices ever were a problem, it is now a rapidly diminishing one. In the old days of thermionic devices (valves or tubes) it was necessary to keep cathodes heated to avoid a prolonged warming up period, but transistors and LCDs do not have cathodes and are therefore instantly available. Present standby powers are about five watts. In the temperate zone that is transferred from your central heating bill for half the year, though it is barely enough to keep your big toe warm. In fact, it would be relatively easy to make the standby power microwatts, just enough to power an optical sensor and decoder, though until now nobody thought such a pointless exercise necessary.

Prophecy and divination

In the real world attempts at prophecy always come to a bad end. Only in religious texts and the currently popular fantasy fiction do prophecies come true. H G Wells, in The shape of things to come, successfully predicted the mechanised War, as did Winston Churchill, but little else, and the film that Wells closely supervised now provides rather comic entertainment (but wonderful music). Even those of us closely involved in electronics did not foresee that a development of the ancient art of writing on stone, lithography, would result in millions of transistors being available on one chip, changing the world forever, including granting new and sinister means of control to those in authority.

Likewise, divination was greatly regarded in all cultures, ancient and modern. Stars were observed, chickens and other animals slaughtered, so that their steaming entrails could be examined to predict the future, cards were shuffled and crystal balls peered into. Comparatively recently the leader of the most powerful nation on earth relied on the advice of astrologers.

Now divination has returned with, for example, the examination of the entrails of ancient trees. Though the methods used are invalid (they wrongly assume linearity) and have been comprehensively shown to be irreproducible and misleading, the results have been paraded before the world in defence of draconian sacrificial policies.

The main form of modern divination, however, is computer models. Forty odd years ago an instruction passed round the Faculty of Engineering of the University of London that no PhDs were to be awarded on the basis of computer models unsupported by measurement. As T S Eliot asked in Choruses from The Rock

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

Now, huge and generously funded university and government departments do nothing but develop computer models, involving assumptions about physical interactions that are still not understood by science. Their dubious (to say the least) results are used by the new international priesthood to frighten the people into conformity.

Puritans and killjoys

No one has bettered Mencken’s definition of Puritanism – the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. It is an unfortunate characteristic of many varieties of religion that this characteristic is to the fore and Global Warming is far from being an exception. Nothing the proponents offer involves an improvement or even maintenance of human contentment, quite the opposite in fact. You might think that any philosophy of life would involve swings and roundabouts, good and bad, but think again. Virtually everything you enjoy is now sinful – holidays, driving your car, having a comfortable temperature in your home, being free from the stink of rotting garbage, and on and on.

As with the flagellants of old, for some people a feeling of self-righteousness not only transcends all discomforts, but derives from them. The rest of us have to be coerced into conformity.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that there are people who get their kicks out of pushing other people around. The existence of little pleasures of life, such as savouring a fine wine or cigar (and even more so the proletarian equivalents) is intolerable to them. They will exploit any means – the distortion of science, the suborning of weak politicians, the repetition of mendacious propaganda – to achieve the elimination of the hated practices. The eleventh commandment for the killjoys is “Thou shalt not have fun”, and global warming provides a delightful playground for them.

Censorship and angles

Freedom of speech and publication is at the very heart of science. Even the most foolish of hypotheses is allowed to be offered for examination. In much of religion the opposite is true; challenging the established dogma is heresy, for which the punishment has ranged from ostracism to horrific torture and death. One of the greatest ironies produced by the successful policy of entryism by the eco-theologians is that it is none other than the Royal Society that has been orchestrating the attempt to censor any deviation from establishment beliefs. Authoritarian politicians, such as Congressman Brad Miller, would give such suppression the force of law.

It is a curious repetition of history that those who advance the hypothesis that the sun is the controlling element in changes of climate are vilified, just as Galileo was, for supporting the Copernican heliocentric description of the solar system. Yet the sun is clearly the driver for climate – if it stopped shining, the earth’s temperature would drop to near absolute zero. In the establishment dogma the sun is barely mentioned, while the puny efforts of mankind are gratuitously magnified out of proportion. In a scientific approach to climate, a full understanding of the behaviour of that solitary driver would be the first prerequisite, but this is waived in the interests of piety; so leading solar researchers have been deprived of funding.

One of the most exploited ways of angling the news is by “ratchet reporting”. News of unusual warm weather, for example, is given copious coverage, while cold weather is studiously ignored. Thus the spring of 2007 was disastrously cold in parts of North America, with ice-bound ships and snowed-off baseball, but this was kept secret from the British, whose wonderful summery April was presented as though it were bad news (and that in the land of rheumatism and bronchitis!). The fact that Britain had no spring at all in 2006 was conveniently forgotten, except as a basis of comparison to establish that 2007 was substantially warmer.

That the media know that they are peddling untruths is demonstrated by these tricks they get up to. If they were confident of the truth of their case there would be no need to fake the coverage. They have been frequently caught out faking their numbers and graphs, but only a few internet surfers know about it. If you think you have a good case, you can afford to present both sides, but they don’t. The great majority of the population have no idea that there is an alternative view. That is not science, it is religion.

Control and taxation

Religion has always played an important part in the imposition of authority. For many centuries it took the form of the “Divine Right of Kings” or the “Mandate of Heaven”. Once you get the people to believe, you can get away with almost any imposition. The alliance between the shaman and the legislator has long been the very foundation of authoritarianism. Even when the dogma is a godless one, such as Marxism, it is imposed with religious fervour, for that is the way to induce conformity.

People now accept laws that restrict their liberty and standard of living, which would once have provoked riots, because they are cloaked in a quasi-religious formula of environmentalism. So-called environmental burdens, for example, now greatly outweigh the incremental effect of the poll tax that met with such violent opposition in England, yet are now meekly accepted, as is the parasitic presence of various forms of snooper, who even invade people’s dustbins.

Contradictions and irrationality

Traditional religions not only tolerated contradiction and irrationality, they embrace them as part of the mystique. Words and phrases are repeated ad nauseam and in strange contexts, until they lose all meaning and become self-preserving mantras.

Contradictions and irrationality also abound in the modern theocratic world. The EU, for example, gratuitously destroys a tiny industry making traditional barometers, on the grounds of an irrational fear of mercury, then imposes the use of fluorescent light bulbs that distribute that same dreaded substance in huge quantities across the continent, all on the basis of the threat of global warming.

People who have never heard of Wien or Planck confidently assert that it is “obvious” that man-made CO2 will cause runaway warming of the planet, when it is not at all obvious to many who are familiar with the works of those gentlemen. It is obvious in the sense that it is obvious that believers will have everlasting life or that a senseless act of self-immolation will earn the eternal attentions of 72 virgins in Paradise. The capacity to believe six impossible things before breakfast has been restored from fantasy to accepted normality.

Wealth and power

Some organisms develop the ingredients to survive and multiply, so it is with business and religions. It is characteristic of businesses that they dispose of the entrepreneurs who create them and are taken over by a different breed of corporate manager: so it is with religions. The brutally suppressed troglodytes who were the early Christians of Rome were a different breed from the cardinals, bishops and abbots who bestrode mediaeval Europe and lived the opulent life. There were also, of course, the humble and saintly mendicant friars. The equivalents of all these varieties exist within the new movement.

Money is the basis of the new religion. It poured in from various foundations (the so-called ketchup money) and naïve donors. The activists found that they had to maintain and innovate their product (anxiety) to keep the income rising, so they had to keep increasing the imaginary threats both in intensity and number. With money came power. In Britain, the political parties are all effectively bankrupt, so the temptation to hang onto the coattails of a movement with so much momentum was irresistible. Even the Conservative Party submitted to a coup that was totally alien to everything it had ever believed in.

The other route to power was the Trotskyite method of entryism. Once one adherent to the cause obtained a position of authority he could recruit others of a like mind. One by one the bastions of the media, and even science itself, fell to the intruders. A new breed of environmental editors achieved a monopoly of reporting in those areas that coincided with their beliefs. With powerful media organisations behind them they then also had the protection of the law to intimidate their adversaries. Opposition to the movement was largely confined to the internet and a few determined individuals in remote institutions, such as the emasculated rump of the British House of Lords.

With power comes patronage. At its best this has produced great architecture and art. At its worst it produces vast acres of ugly, worse than useless windmills and rigidly controlled research. What passed as scientific research a quarter of a century ago now barely exists. To get funding, your project has to conform to one of the mantra descriptions, such as “sustainable development”. Doubters are afraid to speak out. Their institutions are dependent on millions in grants at the disposal of green officials to obtain “appropriate” results relevant to global warming and related scares. When your institution is involved in a fight for survival, you do not rock the boat.

The lavishness of the tax-funded, aviation-fuelled, international junkets enjoyed by the global warming priesthood, contrasted with the frugal gatherings of their relatively impotent scientific opponents, is the very stuff of mediaeval satire. Just as Rabelais had to go into hiding from the anger of the priesthood of his time, so critics of the new religion are largely confined to the interstices of the internet. As ever, wealth and power determine the ability to propagate one’s views. It might be some small compensation for members of the resistance, cowering in the electronic maquis, that history remembers the name of Rabelais, while his persecutors are forgotten.

Confession and salvation

One of the last bastions of science to fall was the British Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Science and Manufacture. It has a Chief Executive who was formerly one of the most powerful green civil servants. It now offers its fellows the opportunity to make public confession of their sins in the form of their “carbon footprint”. They even have a programme of “Carbon Control” directed at seven to fourteen year olds, urging them to take control of their carbon emissions. Young children now have nightmares about the burning planet, just as some of us once had nightmares about burning in hell unless we believed, and then lay awake at night wondering whether we believed or not, or what “believe” actually means. The ruthless exploitation of the receptivity of the young, and their relentless indoctrination, is one of the less pleasant characteristics of much of religion. As the Jesuits say “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.”

Hell-fire is the stick and salvation is the carrot. Perhaps the best you can say about the new religion is that the object of salvation is “the planet” and not just oneself. It is also the worst you can say; for it is essentially inhuman; which is what inflames heretics like Lomborg. Science, of course is also inhuman. Science though, unlike religion, does not seek to dictate policy. It can provide information for policy-makers, such as “If you do this, millions of Africans are likely to die” but it does not say “You must, or must not, do this.” Religion, depending upon its particular variety, will say “They must be saved” or, while not so indelicate as to put it into words, “Let them die.” One of the most offensive manifestations of the new religion occurred when hundreds of the priesthood went on one of their lavish junkets in Africa, where all around them was suffering and death.


The human spirit is sick. It soared during the enlightenment of the eighteenth century. It flowered during the nineteenth. It beat off the tyrants of the twentieth century. Now, at an alarming rate, it is surrendering its freedoms to a concocted religion based on fraudulent science. Of course, it is not only science that has suffered in the overwhelming cultural downturn. The great artistic tradition has given way to displays of dead animals and soiled beds. In much of what passes for literature and drama, the expletives remain while the loftier aspirations of humanity are deleted. Entertainment is debased by displays of banality, cruelty and vacuous, groundless celebrity. It was science, however, that gave us lives of a length, comfort and healthiness that were unthought-of, even within human memory; a gift that is cold-bloodedly, but covertly, being denied to millions in poorer parts of the world. Extremists of the new religion regard humanity as an inconvenience or a pestilence that can be disposed of (not including themselves, of course).

Above all, science represented the triumph of humanity over the primitive superstitions that haunted our ancestors, a creation of pure reason, a monument to that evolutionary (or, if you prefer, God-given) miracle of the human brain. It is too valuable just to be tossed away like a used tissue. But who will speak for science when the barbarian is already inside the gate?

Brignell refers to “Deniers” as really being apostates or heretics. While those terms have some accuracy to them I prefer one that I think is better – blasphemer – a name I’m happy to use to describe myself.

Talking of blasphemers, here’s the classic Life Of Brian clip of the stoning scene. Just substitute “denyng man made global warming” for “speaking the name of our Lord”:

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>Naive, symbolic, do nothing ideas for shrinking your carbon footprint

June 9, 2007 1 comment

>From the UK’s Timesonline, women’s section, comes the following truly naive article with ways to Shrink your carbon footprint.

A lot of these ideas are humorous in the extreme due to how hopefully hopeless they are. Only enviro-zealots would think these up and I’m sure they give themselves an exemption on most of them. They only make rules for “us”, of course.

Fancy making yourself slimmer and fitter? Not your body, for once we’ll leave that alone, but your carbon footprint. In other words, the amount of carbon dioxide that all the difference aspects of your lifestyle, from the amount of energy you use in the home to the way you get to work, contribute to the greenhouse gases that are causing global warming.

Then try The Low Carbon Diet.

Detailed below, how Body&Soul worked out the CO2 savings in the diet masterplan and where the source of the information to do the sums.


Insulate your loft: Source: the Energy Saving Trust
Upgrade to a condensing boiler: source: the Energy Saving Trust
Install double glazing: Source: the Energy Saving Trust

No worries. These ideas will cost thousands that, luckily, 100% of the population have lying around for just this sort of planetary emergency.

Forget the tumble dryer, rediscover the clothes line: Using Environmental Change Institute figures for Kwh/cycle for an average tumble drier. Assuming 208 cycles/year and using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for electricity.

I’m sure that everybody in the UK lives in a previously unknown part of the country where the sun shines brightly providing heaps of heat to dry people’s clothes, it never gets cold and there’s never any fog. Anyway, who uses the dryer 208 times a year?

Turn heating down 1C: Source: the Energy Saving Trust

Not a problem for the poor, of course, whose heating systems, if they have them turned on at all, don’t provide the ability for users to work out how to reduce by 1C. Does the temperature need to be turned down in all office buildings, hospitals, public theatres, parliament and public transport?

Fit a low flow shower head (family of four)

Why aren’t there any figures for the effect of fitting a low flow shower head? Answer: because your average family of four only showers twice a week, tops, so it would make bugger all difference.

Replace old fridge freezer with an A+ or A+++ rated model: Source: the Energy Saving Trust

Again, no savings figures. Having a look at whitegoods pricing in the UK I reckon it’ll cost somewhere upwards of £400 to get a decent size fridge freezer. Luckily, you won’t have to strap it to the top of the Prius, as you get free delivery from all the major retailers, saving heaps of CO2 emissions.

Switch off idle electronics and appliances left on standby: Using Energy Saving Trust cost saving figures (£37/year). Assuming an electricity price of 10.41pence/kwh and using the DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for electricity.

If someone thinks anyone is going to turn electronic appliances off and on at the wall and put up with having to program the time on clock radios, VCRs, microwave ovens and a variety of other devices multiple times a day in order to save £37 per year then they’re truly living in la-la land.

Treat your hot water tank to an insulating jacket: source: The Energy Saving Trust

Assuming that your existing hot water tank was made in East Germany in 1965 then treating it to an insulating jacket might be a good idea. If it conforms to any decent standard in the West then it’s already well-insulated.

Draught-proof windows and doors: source: The Energy Saving Trust

Can you tell by now that The Energy Saving Trust is funded by the UK Government? Who the heck doesn’t do something about the draught from windows and doors? Especially in the draughty, cold, miserable UK.

Unplug idle computers at night and w/ends: Using Energy Saving Trust cost saving figures (£35/year). Assuming an electricity price of 10.41pence/kwh and using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for electricity.

Same comment as for the other electronic devices above. Why unplug them, anyway? Isn’t it OK to turn them off at the wall?

Turn hot water down to 60C: Using Energy Saving Trust cost saving figures (£20/year). Assuming a gas price of 2.617pence/kwh and using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for gas.

Try taking a shower with 60C hot water. You’ll pay £40 extra to put it back up again.

Seal holes in floors and skirting boards: Source: the Energy Saving Trust

That’s a terrific idea! We used to have holes in our floor and skirting board but after a grandmother went missing down one of them for a couple of days we sealed them up. Seal holes…these people are not serious.

Halve the number of washes you put on and lower your wash temperature: Using Environmental Change Institute figures for Kwh/cycle for an average washing machine. Assuming 4 cycles/week, 208 cycles/year and 2 cycles/week, 104 cycles/year and using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for electricity. And assuming going from a 90C to a 40C wash.

Of course. Why didn’t I think of leaving the dishes out for an extra wash cycle so that mice, flies and other germ-carrying insects can do their nefarious work? That’s the same crazy logic that now sees rubbish picked up only once a fortnight instead of once a week. The whole point of putting the rubbish out and doing the dishes in hot water (not 40C) is to maintain a high standard of hygiene.

Run dishwasher on an Economy setting/run dishwasher on an Economy setting and halve the number of times you put it on: Using Environmental Change Institute figures for Kwh/cycle for an average dishwasher. Assuming 260 cycles/year and 130 cycles/year and using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for electricity.

What do they have against dishwashers, anyway?

Put foil behind your radiators: Assuming a gas price of 2.617pence/kwh and using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for gas.

While you’re putting foil behind your radiators (making sure not to direct heat into the curtains) you might want to save some for your head, as you’d need to be that sort of moonbat to do this one.

Don’t overfill the kettle. Boil what you need: A 2.5kw kettle taking 2.5 minutes to boil when full and 45 seconds to boil with 1 cup water in. Kettle is boiled 5 times/day, 7 days/week. Using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for electricity.

Who fills the kettle too far, anyway? I want it to boil as quickly as possible. Are there any suggestions for the brand of tea or coffee to use?

Turn down your washing machine to 40C rather than 60C/90C: Using National Energy Foundation figures for kwh/wash for a B rated washing machine at 90C, 60C and 40C. Assuming 4 washes (or cycles) per week, 208 cycles/year and DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for electricity.

Really. Why not just use Cold Power and cold water rather than hot? Seems to work OK to me.

Fit one energy saving light bulb: Source: The Energy Saving Trust

Just the one? There’s that terrific Energy Saving Trust again telling us how to save the planet. Do they have a recommendation for which light we should replace? The bathroom? The loo? The kitchen? It’d be seriously socially embarrassing to get it wrong and have my friends point that out.

Install a save-a-flush in your loo: Greenhouse gas emissions per litre of water treated and supplied to customers: 0.00029kg CO2 equivalent (Thames Water). Installing a save-a-flush saves 2000 litres of water a year.

I must admit that I have not seen a loo that doesn’t have a half flush button for about 20 years.


Compost food and garden waste: for every kilogram of waste you throw out, you produce 1 kg of CO2. An average household throwing out 1 dustbin’s worth of waste every week emits 1400kg of CO2 a year. You can cut this figure by 20% if you compost all kitchen and garden waste. Source: Quaker Green Action, 2006.

What percentage of the UK population is in the position to compost anything? If you live in a flat then do you have to store everything and cycle down the road to a friend’s house that has a garden?

Take Eurostar, not the plane, from London to Paris or Brussels: from Eurostar press release. Eurostar figures quoted on Seat 61 website

Eurostar promoting itself as the green alternative to air travel? Surely not? Business people don’t need to get anywhere in a hurry, anyway, so tripling the journey’s time won’t matter at all.

Swap the garden hose for a water butt: greenhouse gas emissions per litre of water treated and supplied to customers: 0.00029kg CO2 equivalent (Thames Water). Installing a water butt saves on average 1934.5 litres per year.

I hate to say it but this is actually an OK idea. In drought-afflicted Australia they should probably be mandatory, especially given how cheap they are.


Cycle to work: CO2 emissions saved by swopping a 6km/4m (12km/8m roundtrip) commute to work in an average sized petrol car during rush hour for the same journey by bike (the CO2 emissions factor used are for commuting by car during peak hours. Taken from Potter, Stephen (2004) (see below). Commute is made 5 times/week, 20 times/month and 210 times/year (assuming 6 weeks off per year).

How many people only live 6km (3.6 miles) from work? That would have to be less than 5% of the population.

Take the train/bus/tube and not the car (12km/8m commute): Difference in CO2 emissions between taking an averaged sized petrol car on a 6km/4m (12km/8m roundtrip) commute to work during rush hour and doing the same journey by bus, diesel train and tube (the CO2 emissions factors used are for commuting by car, bus, train and tube during peak hours and assume high occupancy in buses and trains. Figures are taken from Potter, Stephen (2004): Transport Energy and Emissions: Urban Public Transport, Chapter 13, pp 247-262 (Table 5) of Hensher, David and Button, Kenneth (Eds) Handbook of Transport and the Environment, Volume 4, Pergamon/Elsevier. Commute is made 5 times/week, 20 times/month and 210 times/year (assuming 6 weeks off per year).

Driving your own car is the height of selfishness for enviro-fascists. Everyone must use public transport, even if it means getting up an hour earlier in order to be at work on time. Naturally, the people promoting these ideas will charge along in their SUVs comforted by the fact that they’ve bought extra carbon indulgences to cover any excess driving they do.

Re-think the school run: Walk/bike rather than drive (4km trip, twice a day): CO2 emissions saved by biking/walking rather than taking an average sized petrol car on a 2km (4km roundtrip twice a day = 8km) journey to school 190 times a year (10 weeks off for school holidays). The CO2 emissions factor used are for commuting by car during peak hours. Taken from Potter, Stephen (2004).

Of course, most parents will simply get their kids to walk rather than drive them, sending a signal to all sorts of paedophile sickos that there are going to be more kids on the streets to victimise.

Or … walk/bike 3 times a week: CO2 emissions saved by only driving to school (assumptions as above) twice a week. The CO2 emissions factor used are for commuting by car during peak hours. Taken from Potter, Stephen (2004).

Or…drive the car and pay for carbon indulgences.

Ditch the car for journeys of 2km or less – walk or cycle (five times a week): CO2 saved as a result of not going on a 2km journey in an averaged sized petrol car 5 times/week, 20 times/month, 240 times/year (based on DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for an averaged sized petrol car and assuming the journey is made during off-peak hours).

So now we’re down to 2km (1.2 mile) journeys in order to make a point. Has anyone calculated the impact of wandering around in the UK’s notoriously foul weather an extra five times a week? Assuming you’re going to the local shop then how are you going to get your groceries home?

Be a smooth driver: avoid sharp braking or acceleration: Source: Warwick University Climate Footprint Project. Explanation: Smooth driving can save 30% on fuel consumption, reducing carbon emissions – this means reducing the amount of sharp braking and sharp accelerating while you drive.

I’m so smooth I make Tom Jones look like a corrugated iron roof. How the heck can you avoid sharp breaking and acceleration in city stop-start traffic? These people have no idea.


Buy British – a basket of UK grown food rather than produce flown from abroad: in British-grown basket: cauliflower from Lincolnshire, mushrooms from Ireland, brussel sprouts from Lincolnshire, broccoli from Worcestershire, carrots from Scotland and onions from Shropshire. In foreign-grown basket: limes from Brazil, pears from Italy, avocados from Chile, peaches from USA, pineapple from Costa Rica, baby corn from Kenya. Using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for long-haul air freight multiplied by a factor of 2.7 (to reflect the warming effect equivalent of other greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere) and DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for a 75% loaded articulated lorry. Assume an average lorry load of 9.3 tonnes.

Is it better to pay £20 a kilo for British meat or £10 for the imported equivalent and £5 for a carbon indulgence? I reckon I might be onto something here.

Most rubbish comes from food and other packaging. Recycle glass, paper, cardboard, plastics, cans: for every kilogram of waste you throw out, you produce 1 kg of CO2. An average household throwing out 1 dustbin’s worth of waste every week emits 1400kg of CO2 a year. You can cut this figure by 30% if you recycle all paper, glass, metal and plastic (apart from plastic bags). Source: Quaker Green Action, 2006.

Why not make edible packaging? That would save a whole heap more than 30%. The glass and metal might be a bit problematic, though.

Buy 1kg (2lb punnet) of British strawberries rather than Californian: Using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for long-haul air freight multiplied by a factor of 3 and DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for a 75% loaded articulated lorry. Assume an average lorry load of 9.3 tonnes. Calculated using distance between San Jose, California and London (8657km) and between Canterbury and London (99km).

Buy 1kg of British green beans, not Kenyan: using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for long-haul air freight multiplied by a factor of 2.7 and DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for a 75% loaded articulated lorry. Assume an average lorry load of 9.3 tonnes. Calculated using distance between Nairobi and London (6804km) and between Canterbury and London (99km).

You know, I wish I’d thought of that but the lateral thinking required to work out that the world is going to be saved by the consumption of British strawberries and green beans would make even Edward de Bono proud.

Do one weekly supermarket shop, not three: a 1.5km (3km roundtrip) journey to the supermarket in an averaged sized petrol car 3 times/week, 12 times/month and 144 times/year; and the same journey done once a week, 4 times/month and 36 times/year. Difference in CO2 emissions between the 2 journey types using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for an average petrol car and assuming the journey is made during off-peak hours.

How many families do you know do three weekly shops? This is the most bogus suggestion so far. One thing you will have noticed is how far from real world situations most of these are.

Buy a bottle of French wine instead of a New Zealand vintage: using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for large bulk carrier (ship) freight and DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for a 75% loaded articulated lorry. Assume an average lorry load of 9.3 tonnes. Calculated using distance between Auckland and London (18,331km) and between Bordeaux and London (742km).

Bastards. Why discriminate against our sheep-loving cousins in favour of the notoriously cowardly, garlic-breathed, frogs-leg eating dilettantes? The fact that New Zealand and Australian wines are better than French wines, and cheaper, doesn’t enter into the equation, I suppose.


Take 1 rather than 3 short haul (500km) flights a year: CO2 saved as a result of taking 1 trip of 1000km (500km each way) instead of 3 trips of 1000km (500km each way). Using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for air travel multiplied by a factor of 2.7.

So, given you’re taking three holidays a year then this calculation assumes that for the other two non-flying holidays you manage to emit zero CO2. Good luck with that.

Take the coach for a UK or short overseas trip (350km x 2), not the plane: CO2 saved as a result of taking a journey of 700km roundtrip by train rather than by plane, using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for train and the DEFRA CO2 figure for plane travel multiplied by a factor of 2.7 to reflect the warming effect equivalent of other greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere.

What if you don’t want to go on a short overseas trip? What if you want to come to the world’s most wonderful country – Australia? The whole point of travelling the world is to expand the mind. You can’t do much expanding if you never travel more than 350km (210 miles) from home.

Take the train rather than fly London to Edinburgh: using DEFRA CO2 emissions factor for train and the DEFRA CO2 figure for plane travel multiplied by a factor of 2.7.

What if you don’t live in London? Britain’s trains are already over-crowded, over-priced and never on time. I reckon you’ll find that 99.9% of those who suggest we should all use public transport 1) don’t do so themselves and 2) don’t understand the massive infrastructure upgrades that would need to take place in order to increase capacity to the necessary level.

Really, this stuff is all about symbolism. Of course, we knew that already.

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>Sunday night Aussie rock

>Midnight Oil really is one of the greatest of Aussie rock ‘n’ roll bands. Formed in the late 70s, they had a long career before disbanding about three years ago. They’re the band I’ve seen the most live in concert and they were great every time. Politically, they’re somewhere to the left of Chairman Mao and their lyrics are typical of the juvenile, immature level of serious thought that has passed for leftist ‘intellectualism’ for the last half century.

Lead singer, Peter Garrett, is now a member of our opposition Labor Party as its Environment spokesman. So far, he has demonstrated a spectacular lack of aptitude for the hurly-burly of political life and is often caught short on his facts. As a politician, he’s a great rock ‘n’ roll singer!

I wonder if it ever annoys bands like this that those of us on the political right like their music? I hope so. Maybe they’re naive enough to think that they can change people’s opinions. Who knows? Enjoy some of their best…

Cold Cold Change

Don’t Wanna Be The One (Live)

Power And The Passion (Live)


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