A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Why your kids won't get any prezzies this Christmas (unless).....

It's those damn windfarms, of course - Private Eye finds Santa in a spin: 'Cover Picture' (Private Eye, Christmas Issue, 2004).

Clearly we need Rupert Bear and his chums to come to the rescue:

From: 'Rupert and the Giant Windfarm'

"Rupert and Bill Badger take a great big saw
And hack down the giant turbines from the moor;
Their blades crash thundering to the ground,
Waking all the fairies with their sound."

"Rupert now helps Santa to his feet,
While fairies pack the toys again so neat;
The reindeer, too, they tend with care,
And soon Good Santa sweeps into the air."

"'These wind pumps are a dreadful curse,'
Says Rupert. 'And to make things worse,
It's Santa's reindeer, not only bat and bird -
They really are just too absurd!'"

"But Santa's left for them a special toy,
To thank them for returning all his joy;
Now, with their roller, 'Dibner', steaming well
They flatten every turbine on the lovely fell."

"At last the moor is free once more,
'So good to see those red kites soar.'
And Rupert tells his parents all,
How he and Bill saved Santa's dreadful fall."

And here's our very own Rupert Bear doing a grand job, as ever: 'Bellamy dismisses climate change fears' (PA News, December 20): "Television conservationist David Bellamy has dismissed claims that global warming is threatening the future of the world...."

Philip, Was there anything more comforting than a Rupert Bear Annual on a Christmas Morning a long time ago..... in Christmas Past? And 'global warming'? "Humbug!" A Merry Christmas and a ecohype-free New Year to you all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

States of exception.....

I have spent much of this morning wading through the slough of despond that often passes for left-wing intellectual rationality in the London Review of Books (December 16 Issue). Of course, there is some fine writing to enjoy, especially from the likes of Tom Paulin on John Bunyan - "The rough and tumble of Bunyan's monosyllables has the buzzing intimacy of direct speech..." Wonderful stuff. Sadly, by contrast, much of the Review is as way-over-the-top as only hyperintellectuals can be.

In one review, of Giorgio Agamben's State of Exception, passport photographs are signified as 'the monstrous Other', while fingerprinting "... is not just a matter of civil liberties: it is symptomatic of an alarming shift in political geography. We have moved from Athens to Auschwitz: the West's political model is now the concentration camp rather than the city state..." I also found amusing the linking of Michael Moore with Chomsky and Gore Vidal as "US exports" sustaining European opposition to American imperialism. The poor man's Chomsky! Now there is a thought. Give me Michael Crichton any day.

But, to be fair, this review did help me to understand better the hypocritical inconsistency of much current left-wing intellectualism on terror and on the environment. Such intellectuals are adamant, raucous and even rancorous in their opposition to any 'states of exception' following on from 9/11, Bali, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East, whether fingerprinting or Guantanamo Bay or detention-without-trial in the UK. It is as if, for example, there had been no atrocity at a Spanish railway station. By stark contrast, the same are all too ready to countenance any number of 'states of exception' to deal with their own perceived (and often constructed) environmental dystopias and nightmares, such as 'global warming' (you might, by the way, be amused by the article on this in the latest January LRB).

Indeed, many on the 'Green' left are worringly dictatorial in their eager willingness to enforce a 'state of exception' on the rest of us. While warning us not to believe in the first, post-9/11 fear - they even argue that this 'fear' is stirred up by 'the state' deliberately for its own nefarious ends -, with respect to the latter fear, they demand total religious belief and adherence and preach that the fear is not to be questioned in any way. You're doomed unless you do precisely what we say - and that's it, folks.

Now this intellectual dichotomy needs much further thought and analysis; I will return to it on 'EnviroSpin' at a later date.

For now, and with all this in mind, you might like to wallow in today's gloomings from that Good Preacher, George 'Savonarola' Monbiot: 'America's war on itself' (The Guardian, December 21).

Philip, ensuring that lunch is not a 'state of exception'.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

'Spectator' sport.....

Now, if you are ever tempted to think that we Brits have any interest at all in 'global warming', then think again. Here's what really keeps us going - the true hot stuff, sizzling sex at The Spectator magazine (and to think that I try to keep this a Family Friendly Site too):

'EXCLUSIVE: Kimberly cheated on Blunkett - 3rd man could be baby's dad!' (Front Page: News of the World, December 19);

'EXCLUSIVE: She romped behind Blunkett's back - Kimberly's a serial cheat' (Full Story: News of the World, December 19);

And from The Guardian no less (for whom the journalist also works): 'Journalist admits affair with Quinn' (The Guardian, December 19);

Not to mention: 'Quinn "had second affair while she was still seeing Blunkett"' (The Independent, December 19);

Then, of course: 'Journalist admits affair with Blunkett's ex-lover' (The Daily Telegraph, December 19);

And, lastly (for the moment, that is), yet another wondrous angle: 'Blunkett claims Budd has been "mesmerised" by Kimberly Quinn', (The Independent again, December 19).

So, it would seem, are the British media and Joe public. Buenos Aires - what's that? Who cares! I just needn't bother.

Philip: motto of the week: don't write for The Spectator - it's far too dangerous!
All our yesterdays.....

See what we were worried about in the past with EnviroSpin's new daily service: 'Today in History' (on the right, below our Kyoto Poll).

Philip, updating all the time. Lunch!

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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