Of Squirrels and Men.
I’m often accused of being a denier, though exactly what it is I’m denying does seem to subtly mutate depending on whatever straw man stereotype the accuser du jour is trying to shoehorn me into. A denier of science? It would have been tough to make a living if that were true. A denier of global warming? Since it’s by now commonly agreed that there hasn’t been any in nearly two decades, I don’t think I’ll lose too much sleep over that one. A denier of climate change then? If you happen to know even a smidgen about geology, you know that’s what climate does over time. It always has and applying a not unreasonable Glaswegian slash of Occam’s Razor, the betting is fairly good it will continue to do so.
It gets a bit worser though, as the venerable Del Boy Trotter would say.
Apparently I’m also a flat earther, paranoid, a conspiracy freak, pederast, retard, scientific ignoramus, paedophile, white supremacist, homophobic, black panther, Zionist, misogynist, a climate criminal, a shill for Big Blog and the sort of person who takes an inordinate delight in cruelty to small animals, most specifically squirrels in my case. The last one is a sorta greyish area to be candid with you.
I’m partial to them BBQed, it’s just there is a slight controversy over my methods of bagging them. If they’ve got to go, my thinking is they might as well have some fun as they shuffle off their mortal coil to end up on a crenelated paper plate with a good dollop of potato salad on the side. After all, there is a 97% consensus they are evil. You do have to admit there’s something particularly unnerving about those beady eyes …
Of course, everyone knows all those people making such statements were alarmists, extremists or crackpots. But hang on a moment, is that actually true?
Some of those labels were used by the chief executives of various democracies, a pillar of which is supposed to be that much abused principle of freedom to express dissent with their governments without being personally abused from the privileged position of those on high. I’ll give you a selection of such name callers; Barack Obama – granted, a pretty damn useless excuse for a president, Gordon Brown PM of the UK – a painfully one-eyed man in a country of the fully sighted, and Julia Gillard – a complete bloody disaster for Australia.
I could also list a selection of their chief ministers who’ve said similar things but once you’ve heard what the organ grinders think, who gives a rat’s ass about the chattering of their monkeys? By the way, that very defo doesn’t count as a mixed metaphor. Anyway, their thinking was to hell with the long-term good of the country, just bag dem dere fashionable votes before the political opposition does.
As I think upon it though, it hasn’t just been the political harlots being blown around by the flatulent winds of alarmed electorates who’ve been saying nasty things, but some other classes of supposedly respected people. Why, there’s even been the heads of various august scientific bodies – yes scientific – hurling insults with the best of them. Even the intellectual feather-weights of the climate science establishment, constituting exactly 99.97% of them, had a great old time calling us everything under the sun.
The inducement was they might just get their name in the Guardian if they could only come up with a catchy enough insult about us, but they’re not creative types in the scientific or any other sense of that word. They’re strictly third-raters, forever lunging at that far off Jerusalem of the grand Unified Theory of Climate as it steadily retreats over the horizon and out of their grasp. It’s such a tease like that.
You might find it difficult to credit but some pseudo-psychologists have, through a simple and inane abuse of the scientific method, “proved” we were clinically insane, Untermensch or some sort of skank end runt that would shame any self-respecting Neanderthal. Speaking personally, I thought the squirrel thing was a particularly low blow.
If you’re of a sensitive disposition, I’d suggest you skip this paragraph and read on from there. The way such adult commentary about us was delivered was using the hacks of the mainstream media, who now appear to constitute 97% of it. They just churnalised whatever press handouts they were given without raising a peep. Their track record of passively reporting on the situation without questioning or ever mentioning there was an alternative conversation, reminds me of that definition of what separates nice girls from the not so nice ones. The former put a dab of perfume behind their ears while the latter just tuck their heels behind them and holler bring it on Boys.
Basically, they’d put out for anyone with a fancy line in press releases.
Some of them even seemed to take an atavistic delight in the pure cathartic release of for once being able to hurl the type of unrestrained hate speech that used to be reserved for blacks, Jews and any stereotyped minority in the good old days when it was socially acceptable to do such things. Naturally, anything could be said about us. It was unrestricted press warfare against the unarmed merchant shipping of climate scepticism by the likes of Kapitän Georg von Monbiot and the rest of the wolf pack.
There’s recently been a call by one of their climate guru professors to tone down the alarmism. Unfortunately he has an uncanny resemblance to Arnold Judas Rimmer and equally unfortunately has a habit of striking some truly creepy type of brownshirt pose when lecturing. I swear to god, he’s not some weird invention by Wol and me. Seriously. Red Dwarf is sacred ground for both of us.
Anyway, acting on that suggestion implies abandoning all the name calling. If you’re going to make the big change of being less dictatorial and sounding more reasonable, then you’ll have to engage in real discussions with people to persuade them to your viewpoint.
By that I don’t mean the usual soviet-style show debate, carefully stage-managed by the BBC or whoever and packed with badly concealed cronies asking none of the awkward questions. That’s the one-sided conversation you’ve been running for years which the public now finds terminally boring. Quick, who’s got the remote? What’s on the other side?
A civilised discussion with real skeptics is the only real choice but I think we all know the reality is you’d rather eat your own liver than risk a debate with us. The last time you tried that turned out to be a rather harrowing experience for the “cause” as I recall.
Such a suggestion also comes with a number of other big problems. The first is that after twenty years of alarmist scares, us skeptics are no longer some vanishingly small minority. The general populace has got terminally fed up of end of the world scares and is quite simply no longer listening to the propaganda. They’re by this stage indifferent and indeed the only time they occasionally focus on it, is to have a giggle at a particularly outrageous piece of “research” churned out by some conehead in academia. Abandoning the ongoing effort to turn it up way past past amp 11, for toning it down, means they wont hear you at all.
As far as they’re concerned, it’s already well past the talk to the hand stage…
The people being asked to dial down the alarmism have an almost conditioned reflex to pump out bigger and better scares, because that keeps them in the fame spotlight and money pumping into their coffers. It’s a variation of that industrial-military complex that a spookily prescient Eisenhower warned about in his parting presidential speech, except that it’s an environmental-scientific-financial one.
They have to ignore any such appeal because it’s a direct attack on their source of income and like the Bourbon kings they simply don’t know how to do anything else. Appealing to them to go from being well-rewarded saviours of the planet and back to the bad old days of Buddy can you spare a dime is a big ask. They’re our creatures now.
Over and above that, it would be an implicit admission by all those alarmist organisations and some prominent individuals that all they’ve been doing for years is nothing better than deceitful propaganda. Surprising as it may sound, us poor stoopid skeptics think ahead. I, no doubt like most other deniers, not only save links to the alarmist’s scary pronouncements but also do page saves, since we’re used to past reality on the internet being retrospectively “amended” à la Greg Laden and l’affaire Tallbloke when it doesn’t suit the alarmist’s current narrative or to save their blushes, never mind avoiding getting their ass sued off in a libel lawsuit.
I’m sure we’ll all be holding our breath waiting for the unlikely occurrence of one of the notable alarmists to suddenly start speaking with the voice of sweet reason, so we can trot out those embarrassing quotes at just the perfect and most exquisitely cruel moment. We all have our guilty pleasures.
You see, to paraphrase the communications director of Greenpeace, we know who you are, but unlike him we have no interest in where you live because we already know where you’re heading towards – a more modern example in an updated preface to yet another imprint of Charles McKay’s book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
As changes of policy go, it’s a superficially good suggestion except it’s about three or four years too late, which is forever in politics, and I rather suspect even the person who made it knows full well it’ll be ignored by all the main culprits anyway. However, it does allow certain people to slyly readjust their position in readiness to say they saw the iceberg in front of the ship and since nobody would listen to them, they felt they could abandon it with a perfectly clear conscience.
Paddle away ratties, paddle away.
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