Optimism, blogging and the big green killing machine.
I’ve been writing this blog for a number of years now. Before that, I used other and much less effective means to resist the rising tide of climate alarmism and its lethal political baggage. Canute would have slapped his thigh and laughed in delight at my ineffectual but earnest efforts. The accent here is on writing some sort of original and hopefully interesting article. In a lot of ways, it’d be so much easier to comment on other people’s bits and pieces but that’s the reactive type of content, which I choose not to do, mainly because it’s done so well elsewhere.
Over and above that reason, I prefer to make my own moves. I did my time as a compliant victim of circumstances and have long ago chosen never to play that role again. I don’t do victim no more. In reality, that means I’m too antsy to wait and react to other people’s moves.
More importantly, I think that if you can express an honest idea in a way that finds a real resonance with the ordinary person, it’ll travel on its own steam out into the world and will either grow or perish on its own merits.
It’s my nature to strike out on my own and I’m not really too concerned about where a line of thought will take me. Writing it down is part of the rigour of exploring it. It’s part of a formal discipline of analysing and developing an idea in the direction it’ll most reasonably head towards. Sequential but simple rationality. That’s part of the adventure, a winding path into that undiscovered country from whose bourn I usually return.
After people have read enough of your output, they get to know you rather well, sometimes I’m afeared uncomfortably too well. I’m a lucky blogger in the sense that I don’t get two thousand comments on a piece, which cuts down on the moderation workload. Sure, I get my fair share of what can only be termed “interesting” comments, but mostly they’re witty or meaty, usually the latter.
I enjoy reading and thinking about them nearly as much as I enjoy writing the article. So often, they touch on an aspect or angle that should’ve perhaps been in the piece in the first place. They’re very much the reward for writing a decent article and in some ways round it off. In a larger sense, the original article and the commenters’ thoughts about it become the complete piece.
It helps the quality of the commentary that I operate a zero tolerance policy towards the trolls, maniacs, assorted personality defectives and attention deficit dunderheads who plague the blogosphere. I look hard at people on the way in but from then on, as long as their contributions are lucid, polite and hopefully fun, they can comment away. The economic dynamics of my life and the time it takes to write something decent, means that this blog will only ever be a once a week publication, which gives commenters that extra amount of time to mull over an article before adding their own thoughts.
To my mind, this place is just your local café or bar, where you can pop in on your way home from work for a coffee or a wind down drink, somewhere to spend ten minutes of your spare time at the weekend, and perhaps rather than just listening to the conversation, join in if the mood takes you, and have a laugh with the other regulars. That’s as much as I ask of any reader or commenter here.
I’m the barkeep and if someone insists on becoming a high-maintenance pain in the butt to me or the regulars, I just simply ban them. No games. I’ve neither the time nor inclination to play class prefect, so they can toddle along and be someone else’s problem. It saves a lot of messing around and anyway, they’re used to being chucked out of places in the end. It just happens to them sooner rather than later in Pointy’s Bar and Grill.
A thing that comes through in the comments on a regular basis, is people chiding me for my optimism with regard to exactly where we are in the climate wars and reminding me it’s not all over yet or indeed, that it’s possibly far from settled.
Before kicking around the question of my optimism, I have to mention a decision I made up front about this blog which has a bearing on this area. Because climate alarmism is a global phenomenon, I decided not to base the commentary in this blog solely from the viewpoint of the country I happened to have ended up in. I was born in a different country anyway. One of the main purposes of this blog is to identify and analyse global trends, but such trends obviously cannot be happening at the same pace or have reached the same stage in all countries.
Public sentiment can change very quickly. For instance, within the space of a year, the average German has gone from being arguably the biggest European believer in the green dream, to the most bitterly disenchanted. The idea of a number one best-selling book by a climate skeptic, would have been unbelievable not so long ago. What’s key is that while most countries of the developed world are at different points on that journey, they are all travelling on that same road, albeit at different rates.
On the charge of being an optimist, I’d have to put my hand up and say yes. Guilty as charged, M’Lud. Given any subject, one can be optimistic, pessimistic or neutral but on balance, I’d say I lean to the optimistic side on the majority of things, most notably in some areas where most people don’t commonly hold out much hope for any positive developments.
I’m an optimist for a number of reasons but before justifying why I am, I’d like to run over the reasons why I think being overly pessimistic is a worse way to view the world. More than anything, they justify my optimism.
Being pessimistic about most things is too easy a cop-out. It’s so often an excuse to sit on the sidelines carping away and doing absolutely nothing. At its best, it’s nothing more than the occidental version of eastern fatalism, and at its worst, a form of lazy cowardice.
If you don’t try, you’ll never run the risk of losing, or getting hurt. Well, newsflash, life is always about some measure of risk, and there’s simply no way of avoiding that reality. It’s not a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained, but rather by refusing to venture anything, there’s never any hope of ever gaining a damn thing. You’ll always be going backwards.
It’ll never topple that dictator, get bad policy reversed, an unfair law repealed, free an unjustly convicted person or simply lift that sports trophy, which will forever mean something to you and only you and your teammates who gave everything you had to win it. That’s the real trophy, not the piece of silvery covered plastic sitting on your book shelf. Once you decide the fight is lost, it’s not even worth taking the field against them, then they’ve won. You should be so much better than that. It often masquerades as realism, but to mind, it’s just passively accepting the status quo. When Darwin subtitled the Origin of Species as the Struggle for Existence, he was right on the damn money.
I’m afraid that struggle doesn’t take days off just for you, no matter how sophisticated or exacting your philosophy is. It’s not a matter of fairness or natural justice. There are no time outs, which are going to last your entire lifetime. There is no safe zone. No green zone. Sorry. Everything changes, always and forever. You will in the end have to ask some deep questions of yourself, struggle and fight for those you love and the things you love. It’s never been any different and it’s what we all do in the end for simple love of others and somehow paradoxically that very human frailty makes us immensely and frighteningly strong, so we thrive as human beings.
Pessimists need to look on the world with a better pair of eyes, if only because their view is a denial of that rough and ready spirit that’s got us through the worst that could be thrown at us for the best part of the last two hundred thousand years. We’ve looked after each other and survived through thick and thin. None of that was a spectator sport for decadents sitting on the sidelines.
Of course, you’ll meet someone or encounter a situation, and that primitive sixth-sense deep inside you starts ringing an alarm bell. You should never ignore that primordial warning signal, because it’s nearly always right.
Anyway, time for reasons to be cheerful.
Firstly I suppose it’s because I consider myself a realist. I see people and the world as they are, and don’t try to shoehorn them into some sort of doom and gloom, everything is bad, view of the world. Neither do I hold them to account against some impossibly high standard I’ve set for them, and condemn them when they inevitably fail to measure up to it. We all sweat, fart and belch, and we all like a game of hide the salami, and what on Earth is wrong with any of those activities? We’re human beings after all, not bloodless cyborgs.
At the same time, we’re all capable of great thoughtfulness, generosity, care and unselfish love. I’ve seen all those qualities come out in people when things were at their very worst, and sometimes from the ones I’d least expected it of.
I approach life on a basis of that simple reality, what I see in front of me every day, rather than some grand unified theory about people and life. Living your life according to one rigid standard or one view of everyone and everything is a simplistic cop-out. Taking the time to try to honestly understand someone or something is key, whether you like or not the conclusion you come to. It is what it is and that’s what you’ve got to work with. Pet theories get skewered by data every day – just ask any climate scientist. Deal with it Kiddo, and move on.
By now, it’s become obvious to even the most fervent true believer that the mass opinion of the world is changing its view fundamentally about things like the credibility of the science underpinning global warming, the self-proclaimed superior morality of environmentalism and the whole political subtext. Increasingly, people are not only resentful and suspicious of the whole package but idly wondering if it even has any relevance to anything that actually matters to them.
Cast your mind back a few years. There was not a single dissenting voice in the mainstream media. There was nowhere the ordinary person could go, just to get some answers to those nagging doubts about the whole damn proposition. Here’s the handcart, Hell’s thatta way, let’s all just push it along.
The only place where the issues were really being discussed, and perhaps some balanced answers could be found, was in some obscure backwaters of something called the blogosphere, which had these strange things called blogs. They all started with a zero budget, which remarkably they’re still working with. Big Oil was so busy financing Big Green, they wouldn’t even give the skeptics the steam off their piss. Even without the benefit of any advertising revenue, the skeptic blogs slowly grew on nothing more than the ordinary surfer posting links to them on other sites. We are talking your much fabled viral growth here.
They went from nothing a few years ago, to making a clean sweep of all the Science Blogging Awards last year and the breaking news is they’ve just grand slammed the science Bloggies for this year as well. Not one of those sites would ever have come into existence except for a streak of stubborn optimism in the individuals concerned. Give up and they always win; fight and you might just succeed, no matter how hopeless it looks at the start. They all soldiered on through some pretty bleak days, when there was little or nothing to encourage them, to these better ones and they continue to fight on now.
As an optimist, what I find truly offensive about climate alarmist is that unquestioned idea which underpins the whole murderous mindset; people are inherently evil and somehow despoiling Mother Earth. Environmentalism will somehow purify and cleanse the plague that we are. Like all the great obscene lies, the reverse is actually true; environmental policies in reality kill the most vulnerable people on the planet to save some nebulous future Nth generation of green children of Gaia. They’re essentially casting themselves as new age priests who can save us from killing the Earth. They play on people’s guilt over having a full belly and a decent life, the new age version of original sin, as all shamans and witch doctors have done from time immemorial, and as usual, it gives them status, power and money.
Get to know the true nature of your enemy, because most of the ones we have to take down are fighting for nothing more than to preserve those perks, not the good Earth. The dumb footsoldiers are totally irrelevant. As Darth said, stay on the leader. Get the headshots in, and the body will drop.
But it’s not just because of my person dislike of their nihilistic view of humanity that they cannot be allowed to exercise power and must be fought.
The big blood-letting is in the developing world, where things like the effective ban on DDT kills millions, the ban on GM crops slowly starves to death yet more millions, the use of land to grow biofuels rather than food staples ramps up the starvation, children go blind and die for lack of one bowl of golden rice. The list, like the numbers, is endless. It’s unforgivable genocide on an industrial scale.
Climate alarmism has killed millions of people across the globe and continues to do so every year, every month and every day but because it’s a slow motion genocide happening to faceless individuals living undocumented lives in hellholes on the other side of the world, the whole thing is invisible.
This brutal winter, and rampant fuel poverty in Europe driven by nothing more than greed and the stealth taxes of green energy policies, has brought the killing fields a measure closer to home. That particular type of killing I’d never foreseen nor expected to happen on our own doorstep but monsters have a habit of growing.
I and all the others who choose to fight that genocidal madness, know we won’t stop it in its tracks next Tuesday or next year or the one after that. Tick tock, tick tock, another needless death, and another, and another one. Tick tock, tickety bloody tock.
What optimism really means is never giving up. For me, the abiding and very optimistic point of blogging, if it means anything at all, is about introducing new ideas and viewpoints into the community of humankind, which will perhaps slowly change opinions, and that’s the slim hope you cling to and believe in.
What I’ve come to terms with, is what resistance you can do by blogging may perhaps stop it or at least blunt it a few weeks or a few days sooner – and that’s as good as it’ll ever get. It’s what I can do to mitigate the preventable tragedy and it drives me on ever harder. Blog it better, blog it harder and you may just pull it back by another single day or even an hour.
Perhaps a minute, but even that is a gain.
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