Ladiees and Gennulmen, we have a winnah!
It’s time to announce the winner of this year’s climate prat award and boy was the competition a doozie. Talk about a rush. It had everything; a bewildering variety of prats to choose from, agonies of indecision having to cull all the nominees down to finalists, rule changes when none were expected, an attempt to rig the voting process, bugs in the software, a siege of the blog, a parting of the ways with a certain software developer, brutal trophies taken, no quarter asked nor given and a crazed Momma.
It didn’t just stop there though. It provoked widespread condemnation by a scandalised MSM, a failed peace initiative by the UN security council, charges of judicial corruption, the blinder prat option invoked, not just once but twice, an as yet unexplained incident in the stable causing all the hosses to bolt and then to finish it all off, a nail-biting climax that was so close, people were taking off their boots to chaw on their toenails.
When you stop to think that world-class prats like Ehrlich, Muller, Mann, McKibben, Begley Jr, Gore, and even Connie Hedegaard, an obscure but beloved doxie of a certain commenter here, couldn’t even survive the nominations cull, it showed how cut-throat the contest was going to be. You just knew it was gonna be brutal.
I have to say, the standard of all the finalists was truly impressive. Without fear of contradiction, the Climate Prat of the Year competition has never had a stronger field. I know, I know. It’s the first year and all, but I’m on a run so just let me carry the ball to wherever it goes. A mad Irish mood’s upon me, which means not even I know where this one is going to end up, so buckle those straps, hang on to your hat Dorothy and enjoy the ride. You’re now on the fast-drop elevator to that surreal hell the Pratties turned out to be.
We ended up with five finalists, as per the original stated rules of the contest. They were Flannery, Gleick, Oreskes, Bono and Hansen. The first of many controversies arose when the competition committee unilaterally decided to add a sixth finalist, Julia Gillard. Despite the resulting blizzard of FOI requests, the exact membership of the committee has remained secret to this day, thanks to an imaginative but retrospective use of Chatham House rules, and an unexpectedly obliging judge, who was very sympathetic to our aspirations for the contest. Scurrilous rumours of her allegedly receiving a bale of unmarked bearer coupons for supermarket discounts have since been widely discounted. I’ll catch that repeated word on the rewrite. Meh, nobody’ll notice.
But that was just the start of the problems caused by announcing the cull. Predictably, a campaign began to prevent it, with all the usual suspects making a complete nuisance of themselves. Greenpeace, WWF, the Animal Liberation Front and the sort of greenies who’d long been banished beyond the fringe that even ordinary decent lunatics wouldn’t have anything to do with, cranked up the big green hassle machine. They chained themselves to the railings around the blog, jammed up the spam bin, denounced the competition in the MSM, set up an anti-cull peace camp outside, built rope bridges over the blog from the peace camp to the spam bin and even started tunneling under the joint.
This inevitably led to some bitter hand-to-hand tunnel warfare, with some petite but perfectly formed members of the committee like the guy above, courageously volunteering to serve as tunnel rats, in order to prevent any kind of rerun of Messine Ridge. Those guys, you just don’t wanna meet in a dark tunnel.
In an attempt to starve us out, they blockaded all approaches to the blog and ramped up the psychological torture by playing Bright Eyes at amp 11 all through the night, every night, night after night. The only break they gave us was the half hour before dawn, when Guardian Gertrude came on the loudspeakers. “We have plenty food and good greenie girls we’ve washed all the dirt off. Why die for Big Meerkat when you can join the muesli loving hordes having tantric sex with twenty-eight virgins in nirvana?”
If ever there was a bitch from hell, Gertie was it.
It nearly drove us mad until we retaliated with Creedence and some Grace Slick. It became a battle of volume versus taste, forcing them finally to turn down Bright Eyes, because they were starting to really get off on CCR. Reminiscent of Lili Marlene, their commissars had a green version of Fortunate Son written to stop that rot, but it wasn’t a patch on the original, so their cannon fodder went straight back to listening to John Fogerty and the rest of the swampers. Sometimes at sunset, when we played numbers like Born on the Bayou, you could just see the tips of their pointy little heads appearing occasionally over the top of their trenches, as they got down to some serious bopping. It was quite touching really – but it was still a helluva shot.
It helped our cause that the tunnel rats were starting to come to the surface with dinner, in the shape of more and more bunny wabbits, who’d been attracted by their theme music being played. That finally ended the horror of the autumn Bright Eyes offensive, as it came to be called by the exhausted survivors of both sides.
There was a momentary lull in hostilities, which we used to lounge around half-naked on sandbags and catch a few rays. The flyboys, just for a change, finally managed to parachute some supplies inside the perimeter rather than all over the enemy, and we enjoyed a much-needed change of diet from rabbit. I never thought I’d look forward to some c-rat stew but there you go. There were jars of some foul-smelling stuff in the drop, which we couldn’t make head nor tail of until someone worked out it made great mosquito repellant. It didn’t just repel them – it killed the buggers. The LURPS even used it to black up before crawling out under the wire to bash in some brains with their bike chains.
It turned out that the stuff was actually meant for the Australian contingent. You were supposed to eat it. I shit you not. They treated me to one of their gourmet meals, Lapin en Vegemite, but I still wasn’t convinced. No man born of mortal woman should have to eat anything like that. Nobody should. It’s horrible.
All good times come to an end and as we got nearer to cull day, the whole thing escalated again to a new level of savage barbarity totally out of anyone’s control; more razor wire, claymores, LAWs, daily illegal ARCLITE bombing from across the border in Wallawoora and A1E Skyraiders, swooping down to lay snake and nape all over the asses of the charging greenies. In a last desperate bid to stop them overrunning us, every artillery piece in the place was on full depression, firing canister shot at point-blank range down their throats.
It didn’t work.
We finally radioed broken arrow to Skeptic Central and calling in an arty strike on our own position, took cover down in the tunnels. By the time the bombardment was over, and we’d dug ourself out of the tunnels, there was nothing left but a handful of shell-shocked greenies wandering around like zombies in the smoking ruins, just ready for an easy double tap. That’s the true story behind the now legendary siege of Firebase Pointy. I can tell you, after that action, we added a lot of green ears to our necklaces.
Lord be praised, after the cull was over, and not having stopped it, the siege lifted and they mostly drifted away to the next cause, leaving nothing behind but a skeleton peace camp, a few scattered pickets around us and a sanitation problem you’d have to smell to believe. I volunteered to act as a runner, sneaking out through the wire to our friendly judge, who obligingly issued the order to get the remnants of the greenies moved on. It took a full three weeks for the cleanup crew to get rid of the detritus left behind, though admittedly, having to work in one of those biohazard suits would slow anyone up. Unbelievably, in all of that whole fecking mountain of crap they hauled off to the dump, they didn’t find one single frigging coupon.
Anyway, once all the blood, snot and feathers settled in the wake of the furore caused by the cull, a fresh round of voting began on the six finalists. Gleick pulled into an immediate lead, possibly because of the topicality of his exploit of “borrowing” rather than stealing someone’s identity. This caused a certain amount of alarm, I can tell you. The possibility of having to award such a prestigious prize to a self-confessed criminal didn’t go down too well with the committee. We’re not about to let the Pratties go the way of the Nobel Peace prize.
Having by this stage become quite chummy with our judge, I absolutely insisted on going back to her to confirm we wouldn’t be running the risk of any legal entanglements if he happened to win the thing. No problem was her legal opinion, though she did opine that borrowing without permission usually resulted in a stretch. Things with her had been going so swimmingly for us, that the rumour grew up that she had a certain twinkle in her eye for me, but I kept it on a strictly business basis. I’d be less than honest not to admit that it was always nice to slip away by myself for a consultation with her in her private chambers. Believe you me, a cougar judge on my side is a whole new type of experience for me, especially when she calls me Pointy, rather than the defendant.
The next event of note was a hitherto obscure prat bursting onto the world stage in magnificent style. Come forward and take a bow Stephan Lewandowsky, the upside of emigration and the downside of immigration, resulting in America’s gain becoming Australia’s tragic loss. The sheer embarrassment of his paper, even for an academic psychologist, was jaw dropping but it was his truly creepy YouTube videos that eventually convinced the committee to exercise the blinder option just for him. If ever there was a man who looked like a potential sheep worrier, it’d be him. There’s a lot more sheep in Australia than there is in America. The really tough bit was deciding who to swap out in favour of Lew. In the end, we gave Bono the elbow, since he was still bringing up the rear, a position not commonly approved of, and didn’t appear to be attracting his usual amount of venom.
It was later brought to the committee’s attention that a lot of the agitation for Lew’s inclusion seemed to originate from UWA students obliged to attended his lectures and other tenured academics at his own university, most notably from the psychiatrists, who as everyone knows, being real doctors, totally despise psychologists anyway. They really should get together and talk that one through some time.
Then the vote rigging scandal broke. It turned out that Harry’s supposedly bullet-proof software was being riddled by a voting bot based in Australia. Anyone could vote as many times as they liked and for several candidates! In true Sir Humphrey civil service fashion, I assured Harry that he’d be okay and immediately tendered his resignation on his behalf to the committee, who accepted it straight away, because it meant we didn’t have to pay the bum off.
We enlisted the services of a nephew of mine, young Vladimir, who’s rather clever with those computer thingies, but who’s still a normal kid. He quickly repaired what he dismissed as the kludge rather than software, and then skipped off for home with a few bucks in his pocket and sporting the added bonus of a really wicked necklace, that he was just bursting to show off to his mates.
It later emerged that there was yet another bug in the software, which showed one month remaining to vote when it was actually two. I tried getting Vladdie back to fix the thing, but after his Ma found out about the souvenir the men shouldn’t have given him of his last visit, she wouldn’t let the game little tike anywhere near us. Why my brother ever married her, I’ll never know; she’s a bit grim at the best of times. Gimme Gertie any day.
Things were finally settling down to some sort of finishing straight, when the inevitable curve ball came in, right out of left field. Manny, the destroyer of medieval warm periods, had rediscovered his old litigious vigour, and was single-handedly trying to close down everyone’s First Amendment rights to free speech, by suing anything that moved and mebbe anything else that didn’t. Even the Petrified Forest was holding its breath. Obviously, the popular outrage caused by this demanded another exercise of the blinder prat option by the committee, to catapult him back into the competition.
They initially resisted bowing to the baying mob’s will, I think because of the prospect a tiny wee baldy man, with more than one chin and a frankly silly goatee meant to conceal all of those rolling waves of them, suing them too. After making the supreme sacrifice of several exhaustive consultations with her judgeness to gain her legal opinion, which was in layman’s language to tell him to take a hike, I knew that we were safe.
I really think she respects me. I’m sure I’m a lot more than just a bit of rough for a high-class lady like her to pass the time with while her hubby’s away on one of his golfing holidays. She’s probably the only woman in my whole life, who’s ever seriously listened to me reading my favourite passages of Louis L’Amour. I know she’s a judge and all and therefore complicated and seriously into crime and punishment, for which it must be said I went to the trouble of buying and nearly finishing the classics illustrated version of the great Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s immortal work, but some of the punishment bit is a little too advanced for an unsophisticated soul like me. We nearly had a little falling out when things went too far, just because I didn’t want to own up to my ignorance. Just what the hell is a safe word anyway?
Safe or not, the bad side of me would have told them her advice was to blinder prat him back into the competition, whatever she said. Tim “the terrible tooth fairy” Flannery got pulled out of second place, just to give Manny a decent chance of winning. Suddenly, the two-word blog was a real possibility again.
Before announcing where everyone finished, and of course the winner, I think it’d be a good idea to run over the lessons learnt. I think the main one is to shorten its duration to a few weeks, possibly running from just before Christmas to finish on New Year’s Day. The blog can easily handle a few more assaults but not another protracted siege. There’s only so much rabbit any man can eat. The timing might just be enough to lure a few of them out of cover for a soccer game, with a fiendishly mean penalty shootout at the end of my very own devising.
The other thing is to get my bro to work on Vladdie’s Mum, so we can get him back to rework the software. I’ll probably have to add in my own bit of weasely grovelling as well, but I think that’ll be enough to secure his services, just as long as I promise to frisk him for souvenirs every time he leaves.
Right, back to the Pratties.
In sixth and last place, comes Naomi Oreskes, that prolific writer of irritating and mind numbingly boring books. They come with a free foldout DNR form just after the halfway point, as an inducement for the compulsive book finishers, who’re by that stage losing the will to live, to keep going. Of the whole field, I always thought she was the weak sister, doomed to finish near the bottom. She somehow managed to underachieve my worst expectations, by beating Lew the ewe worrier into last place.
In fifth place, having at least drawn ahead of Naomi, comes Stephan “i-tell-you-they’re-the ones-who’re-mad” Lewandowsky. Pretty grubby performance I’d say. No wonder he’s the reason for that new word lewpaper entering into the English language, though I’m not entirely sure whether that’s a comment directed at him or the quality of his papers, though if you’re a climate realist, wiping your butt with them is no doubt a charming experience, like it’s inferred in all the adverts.
In fourth place, is that hardy perennial James Hansen. Apart from a few rather tame martyrdom arrests, he’s been a tad too quiet in recent years to make the sort of impact on the competition we all know he’d have done in the Jurassic prime of his alarmist years. I feel if he’d only concentrate his undoubted talents on preaching Armageddon originating from just one single man-made cause, and stick with that one, he’d regain his former reputation as a transgender Cassandra that people might once again lend an ear to. As it currently stands, people are deaf to his trains of thought. I’m afeared that alarmasaurus iowalensis endangerei, would be my current taxonomy of him.
In third place, we have the Prime Minister of Australia, HRH Julia Gillard, pronounced joolya ghell-aahd with a hard Melbourne diphthong. The mental image produced by connecting her to any sort of thong, doesn’t bear thinking about for too long; it was something judicial like that which made the hosses bolt in the first place. There’s not much one can possibly say about the dreadful woman that’s not already been said, with both eloquence and simple Australian conviction, except perhaps to note how impressive it is that anyone with a hairdresser’s artistic sensitivities, could possible bop a Sheila with the dress sense of Dame Edna Everidge and a face that’s the female equivalent of Sir Les Patterson’s, on one of that tragically diminished but formerly great man’s all too often bad days. He’s either showing that good old ANZAC spirit or the generosity of her tips must be to dye for.
Alternatively, knowing as I now do the effect it has on your average Aussie bloke, she may just put a dab of Vegemite behind each ear, before the start of any proceedings.
Finishing a very respectable second, we have Michael Mann. Blinder pratting him back in to replace the Tooth Fairy really rejuvenated the competition. He went in about 160 votes behind the leader and managed to close to within 70. If only he’d managed to pull another of his classic stunts out of the hat, I feel he might just have made it, but votes, like real world data, can only be abused so much. It’s not been a very good year for him. All that time spent on Facebook moderating and unfriending people, while tweeting more frequently than a Viagra crazed teenager who’s just discovered masturbation, appears to be having a deleterious effect on his work.
His paper this year provoked the comment from a fellow ring counter that “speculation this bald could give dendrochronologists a bad name”, and he wasn’t just taking a swipe at your follically challenged head Micky. Less Facebook, no tweeting and ration yourself down to one lawsuit per month, and you’ll soon be back to running rings around those trees. And, since we’re into New Year’s resolutions, you better address your developing waistline and moob situation. One less potato on the plate at each meal or brazen it out and buy yourself a nice little push up number for Christmas.
This year’s winner of the Climate Prat of the Year Award is of course Peter Gleick. I have to say, being on the sidelines watching the few days it took to chase him down as the identity thief, was the best spectator sport this year provided. The hunting of the Snark had nothing on that one. You could just see the geographical net of his location narrowing down. It was the idiosyncracies in the style and punctuation of the faked document which pointed the bloodhounds of the climate skeptic blogosphere in his direction from the word go; all the rest was picking up the electronic fingerprints an amateur blunderer inevitably leaves all over a job when they try their hand at hacking. The biggest irony was that none of it was forensically conclusive but it was enough to panic him into breaking cover and confessing to being the identity thief. His nerve simply failed.
What followed the unsub’s identification was classic comedy, and it was an ensemble piece consisting of the usual suspects such as the NYT, WaPo, Guardian and the alarmist blogs. Apart from a few innocuous emails, the only useful smear material was in a curious document, which looked to most grownups like it had been put together by Dr. Evil in his secret lair, as some wag memorably remarked. Of course, the document turned out to be a fake, and a pretty lame one at that. All the legacy MSM and the alarmist sites, having rushed to publish the supposed dirt, found they had to somehow dig themselves out of the credibility chasm he’d obligingly walked them into. Perhaps next time, they might even check the material before publication, if only to get a quote, never mind a denial. In passing, doing old-fashioned things like that is what used to be called journalism.
Gleick admitted the identity theft but denied faking the central smear document, though interestingly all of them had been fed to the green propaganda machine at exactly the same time and as one drop. How very brave of him. What a man of integrity. He’s worth ten of a Lewandowsky to us now.
Then the best result I could have hoped for happened; the organisation he himself helped to found, the Pacific Institute, declared him innocent after another thoroughly rigorous investigation and he became yet another discredited albatross draped around the neck of climate alarmism. Just a few more dead albatrosses like Gleick, Gore, Pachauri, Hansen et al, and they’ll soon reach critical albatross mass. All averred I’d killed the bird that made the Earth to warm. They even reinstated him. By the way, I didn’t hear Peter, but did the American Geophysical Union’s Task Force on Ethics in Science ever invite you back to chair the committee again?
I rather suspect not but at least, you’ve carried off this year’s Prattie. Congratulations to you and keep up the good work. I’m now an avid fan of yours.
I won’t bore you again with my troubles trying to secure some prize money, but it suffices to say that I’ve been yet again disappointed, and by the very same people who’re supposed to be paying me, and always find an excuse not to. Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Meerkat and all the rest of you swine have really let me down badly, except for Big MaxGentleman. You should hang your heads in shame; I’m forced to award nothing better than supermarket coupons to the inaugural winner of climate prat of the year.
Shame on you. I really mean it, shame on you all.
Despite having to unexpectedly shell out most of my precious supply of carefully husbanded supermarket coupons, I’ve still got a few left and they’re all in date. I managed to unload all the old out of date ones by slipping them into the middle of a bale of coupons I was forced to part with, but that’s a story I’d rather not go too deeply into. To be absolutely honest, I’ve only got three left but the Christmas grocery shop should bump that number up to something decent. Anyway, true to my word, I’ll be mailing them at my own expense to Peter, care of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, which is the only address I’ve got for him. I’m sure he’ll appreciate the postmark that’s going to be on the letter, seeing as how I’m a big footie fan of our local and recently giant-killing Canaries.
Frankly, I’m exhausted by the whole thing and what’s left of the original committee, is now showing distinct signs of onset PTSD. It’s a lot of work for any one blog. There’s got to be an easier way of picking out the Pratto di tutti Pratti. Perhaps it might be better for a select group of climate realists to meet together, like a papal enclave electing a new pope. We could agonise for days at a time in a secluded chat room, ending each one by burning a bit of an IPCC report to produce the requisite black smoke, signifying we hadn’t yet come to a decision.
Then we could pump up the tension for the waiting faithful crowded into Saint Foia’s Square, by announcing who we’d eliminated from the running that day. Finally, when we’d agreed who the winner was, white smoke would be issued by burning a broken hockey stick, and we could all emerge from our self-imposed isolation, blinking in the sunlight like rescued miners and to rapturous applause from the faithful, to humbly announce the winner.
That’s not a bad idea really. Much more civilised. It’d cut out all the voting, the emergency resupply airdrops, the surreptious visits to the judge, the sieges, the graft, the subterranean battles in darkness under the spam bin, the bugle playing Degüello before every battle, Vladdie’s Momma nagging on my ass for months, zips in the wire, the electoral fraud, the agonies and the ecstasies, the move and counter move, all the plotting and planning, the sabotage of rope bridges, the air strikes, that bitch Gertie giving it some, all that screaming and shouting and the smell of Vegemite in the morning.
Naw, let’s leave it as it is. Much more fun.
Related articles by Pointman: