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« Obama and the abusive analogy | Main | Mischief making at the Graun »

The inhumanity of the environmentalist

Further to my post this morning about progressives firing Caleb Rossiter for his temerity in putting the needs of Africans today ahead of concerns over global warming, it's interesting to consider a couple of other stories from the last couple of days:

  • a report of Greenpeace rejoicing after getting huge renewable powerplant cancelled in Chile
  • a report of the alarming number of environmentalists who would have allowed a disaster like the Irish potato famine to continue unabated rather than deploy GM technology to combat it.

What seems to link these stories is a passionately pursued collective goal and an almost inhumane willingness to accept individual suffering as a price worth paying to achieve it. I wonder if Greenpeace leaders ever gave a thought to the Chileans or if those greens gave a thought to the horror of the potato famine. And I wonder if John Cavanagh, the man who fired Rossiter, ever considers the suffering of sub-Saharan Africans. I hope so, but if he does it's hard to understand his wanting to disassociate himself from someone who merely wanted to do something about it.

Margaret Thatcher famously saw individual men and women where others saw only "society". I think John Cavanagh and the greens probably exemplify the opposite view. Perhaps this helps us understand why they behave the way they do. It must be much easier to turn a blind eye to society than to living, breathing individuals.

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Reader Comments (88)

This is how I saw it too. Great article.

Jun 13, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

It's because they care.......

Jun 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Only problem with the headline is that the Famine was not in 1850 but started in 1845 to 1849 with the worst year in 1847 (black 47). I know it is nit picking but it gives the environmental alarmists an open goal.

Jun 13, 2014 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterFranM

The damiaging effect of Environmetalists on the third world has been known for years. Remember the rejoicing of getting DDT "banned" which led to millions of children dying of malaria.

Those wonderful left wing journalists and Green groups do not care about the rising fuel poverty in the UK. Well if tens of thousands of people die of cold each year in the UK, that's the price of "saving the planet".

Billions has been wasted by climate "scientists" which could have be used in the UK to reduce the effects of poverty but Guardian journalists like Owen Jones ignore the damaging effects of Green policies. It is all the fault of the capitalist system.

Jun 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

The power of Sophomoric Reasoning coupled with the Green Left mindset is truly an awesome force of Nature.
Their solution to a population that's starving is to kill enough of them so the food they "redistribute" provides a "living". Never occur to them to simply grow more food.

Jun 13, 2014 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

Why resort to GMOs, that are viewed by many people as unhealthy, when the fungus responds to spraying with a solution of copper sulphate mixed with lime?

I would have expected that, as Science has evolved, it would be more likely that Chemists would come up with a "solution of copper sulphate mixed with lime" before the microbiologists and geneticists came up with a GMO! Then there would be the years of trials before it could be released to the public!

But then, why would they come up with anything, as there was no reason to develop a solution until the problem occurred, and then there would have been not enough time for the GMO solution to be developed!

There was always the even easier solution of planting a variety of crops. That would have required more resources, but, one would expect, less than developing a GMO solution.

This borders on the 'what if' the temperature rises by 5 degrees C fantasy that drives the Greens!

Jun 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Can you define 'the greens' and 'environmentalists' please?

Jun 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Richard on Jun 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM

I may be cabbage looking, but I am not Green.

Is that why so many film stars think of themselves as Green?

Environmentalist - those with a smattering of Science but no knowledge of Business or the resources required to create the bubble in which they live and who travel the world telling others not to use up the Earth's resources. They do not realise that, if all the CO2 were removed from the atmosphere, all plants, trees, flowers, fruit and vegetables would stop growing.

Jun 13, 2014 at 12:23 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Margaret Thatcher famously saw individual men and women where others saw only "society". I think John Cavanagh and the greens probably exemplify the opposite view.

It's worth noting, among many other things, Thatcher's championing, towards the end of her life, of Hernando de Soto's work on how property rights in the 'favelas' are a big part of the answer for the poor. The idea she was uninterested in what the most needy really needed was false, as even Eric Heffer would tell you, much though he disagreed with her on the answers.

Two fantastic posts on this Bish. I still think you'd make a good Prime Minister.

(Googling for Eric Heffer after writing this provided more immediate evidence for the closeness, across the ideological divide, than even I expected. Google personalises search results more than it used to these days but I hope you see the same stuff.)

Jun 13, 2014 at 12:27 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

These people (Greenpeace) appear to think very similarly to Himmler and the Eugenics movement

Jun 13, 2014 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered Commentereliza

It's not quite how you present it. He has a vision that the Africans could have 'cleaner' energy if the evil industrialists would get out of the way and stupid politicians would just 'act' and he presents a case whereby they would be better off if that was the case. To inform himself he references like-minded individuals who tell him that renewable energy is technically achievable at reasonable cost in a reasonable timescale.

Hence it is not intentionally inhumane - it just becomes so in practice when they eventually realise that they have been hugely optimistic. Of course many people will have suffered in the meantime but they don't care to dwell on that. This oft-repeated fantasy among faux-progressives that it is only political will that is required to transform societies to 'sustainable' sources is difficult to shift because they don't want to believe anyone who doesn't chant their hippy mantras.

They talk long about the long-term utopian ideal and ignore the harsh reality of the here-and-now. It's very easy to be sanctimonious about energy transitioning from a distance but if you don't care about the suffering caused during the transition nor about real the costs of the transition then you cannot claim to be liberal or progressive - just another preachy ideologue. It doesn't even open their mind up when they talk to the locals concerned because even if they actually learn something about real life struggles to survive without energy or resources, they then just fly home and merrily forget it all and that cloying, sanctimonious, planet-saver attitude takes over again.

The irony of course is that they happily quote papers that say hydropower, solar farms or nuclear power are required to realise this carbon-free utopia but then their fellow hippies oppose every such project that comes along and nobody seems to worry about this disconnect.

Jun 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

"the suffering of sub-Saharan Africans"

It's not a bug, it's a feature.

Jun 13, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Today's Greens are yesterday's Reds. reinforcing Uncle Joe's saying--

The death of one person is a tragedy, the death of several million a mere statistic.

Most of the world's problems would disappear if the third world was allowed to develop with enough energy to help themselves.
Malawi has its own reserves of coal. Requests for funds to build a coal fired power station were refused by the World Bank on grounds of climate change. What crass criminal stupidity behind that decision.

Jun 13, 2014 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

I think I do better than Eliza's Himmler/Eugenics and John Marshall's Uncle Joe.

Pol Pot.

Jun 13, 2014 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

White people from Germany hating brown people in India.

Even while Germany gets over 50% of its electricity from lignite.

Jun 13, 2014 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Ooops. I left out the "white people" new link.

I suspect the new climate refugees could end up being Greenpeace et al running for their lives from India.

Jun 13, 2014 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Robert Christopher - "There was always the even easier solution of planting a variety of crops. That would have required more resources, but, one would expect, less than developing a GMO solution.

This borders on the 'what if' the temperature rises by 5 degrees C fantasy that drives the Greens!"

I think the analogy is stronger than you realize.
Thinking of the Irish famine as an issue with potatoes, crop diversity or knowledge is simply wrong.
Like the disasters that may come from well meaning but simple minded environmentalists in the future, the Irish famine was a political issue.

Over Cromwell's time there land ownership in Ireland went from over 90% 'native' owned to under 10%, and the land the natives did own was very poor from an agricultural perspective.
Also, Catholics were not allowed to leave their estate to a single heir - it had to be divided equally amongst all heirs, obviously resulting in smaller and smaller lots over time.
The only crop that could sustain a family performing exhausting work on these ever decreasing lots was the potato. Obviously a time bomb in the making though.

When the famine did hit British politics of the time was heavily involved in a fight over the corn laws. Interventionist and isolationist policies were in the ascendency to prevent the import of cheap corn from the new world for fear it would drive down prices on domestic corn.

Also, there was a prevailing view that people would be corrupted by the provision of 'welfare' and interference in the market by subsidising food to starving people was the wrong thing to do.

The result was a net export of food from Ireland each and every year of the famine due to entirely political - as opposed to technical - considerations.
A disaster for the people, but an opportunity for the absentee landlords who desperately wanted the land cleared of low rent payers so they could embark on more profitable enterprises.

I'd say most - if not all - major famines since then have been due to political rather than technical problems (war, corruption, etc.)
The famines of the future could well be down to the lunatic environmental and energy policies the world seems intent on pursuing.

All for the good of the little people of course.

Jun 13, 2014 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJud

Best way to fight Climate Change is make Energy Cheaper.
Best way to reduce Humanity,s Environmental Impact is to increase Humanity,s Standard of Living.

Seems contradictory but

Cheaper Energy people just find more efficient ways of creating and using it.

An old saying i just made up "the more you create the more you,re able to create the more you generate the more you are able to generate".

In the west higher GDP Per person less children they have longer healthier and happier they live.

Ben Pile said it best "In the Third World people are only breeding like rabbits because they are dropping like Flies".

The classic killer line is the higher the GDP the more able you to combat the effects of Climate Change.

More money more taxes more drains more flood defenses more houses you can build on the flood plains Lord Stern never considered that did he.He only saw the Economy having to contract not expand.

If Climate Change does actually exists or it really is an actual problem

Jun 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

They don't give a shit about the environment either, judging from their 'results'.

Jun 13, 2014 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterHenry Galt

Jud on Jun 13, 2014 at 3:01 PM
"Thinking of the Irish famine as an issue with potatoes, crop diversity or knowledge is simply wrong. ... the Irish famine was a political issue."

I was not thinking that at all and, if you read my post, you will see that!

I was arguing that, given the political, social and economic situation that existed then, there were other, better, more timely, technological solutions than GMOs, so the original question posed was very poor.

I do not know of any records that show the British blatantly ignoring the risk of fungal rot, though I seem to remember reading an article that stated that the English had warned the Irish about monoculture, and that they did ignore it, partly because it would have reduced the expected crop yields, which they could not afford. There was also mention of policy being made in London and, without radio and TV, there was a lack of communication, or more correctly the communication was too slow. It was not being simple minded, like voting to join the Euro!

Jun 13, 2014 at 4:13 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

No one could be really hungry if 40% of the US corn crop is burned as fuel in cars. I mean, no humanitarian would allow such a thing. Would they?

Jun 13, 2014 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

I would suggest that "Sophomoric Reasoning" is a creation of nature as a failsafe selection pressure. Natural selection prefers the fecund. Our tired Western liberal civilisation is on the wane, and the pieties of the green "liberals" serve to cement and even accelerate our final surrender to the more vital, if savage, cultures that will replace us. It will be sad to lose the extraordinary advances in science, art, music, literature and well-being that sprang from Europe, but DNA doesn't care about anything other than numbers.

Jun 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered Commentertimbrom

Greenpeace in India:

Jun 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeC

According to both the BBC and Wiki the Irish Potato famine was 1846-52, so nothing to worry about in the title of the linked article. That's what being a sceptic is about you always check what everyone tells you:)

From the BBC

The Great Famine in Ireland began as a natural catastrophe of extraordinary magnitude, but its effects were severely worsened by the actions and inactions of the Whig government, headed by Lord John Russell in the crucial years from 1846 to 1852.

From Wiki

In Ireland, the Great Famine (Irish: an Gorta Mór) was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration between 1845 and 1852.

Jun 13, 2014 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

That linked Institute for Policy Studies article... Ah yes ... "climate justice" as expounded by Mr Cavenagh, Ms. Redmond and Ms Woods "progressively" do-gooding away with absolutely towering conceit surfing a Tsunami of dead philanthropist money.

Reading their monumentally self aggrandizing IPS biogs and the waves of fanciful ignorant waffle about Nigeria in the linked piece had me looking for the Guardian banner at the top of the web page.

Basing these goons actually *IN* Africa would be justice of a sort - but these metro progressives would like bleat hugely about that being a cruel and unusual punishment or somesuch.... Ms. Woods superficially seems to have more credibility than the other two goons but I find her apparent reticence about her background a tad curious - and wonder if she's a Merkan who likes dressing as a west African? - anybody?

Jun 13, 2014 at 6:08 PM | Registered Commentertomo

IPS looks more and more like a con working in the background shaking down Foundations and Endowments for fat grants to promote bogus and destructive ideas in a very lucrative fashion. No wonder they are so quick to ditch anyone who questions their positions. If someone actually takes a critical look at a the garbage they promote, they would be cut off the gravy train.

Jun 13, 2014 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Have you seen the comments on the Cavanagh article?

3 comments all negative.

No responses.

The IPS is just another Agenda21 spouting mouthpiece.

Jun 13, 2014 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus

The following quotation is popularly attributed to Stalin.

One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.

Some people have expressed doubt that Stalin ever said it but it is the sort of thing that it is easy to imagine him saying. I doubt if any Green would be so insensitive as to say such a thing but the saying seems to be compatible with their outlook.

Jun 13, 2014 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Bishop, your article is misleading.

Regarding the project that Greenpeace is apparently rejoicing about, what do the people of Chile think? You make no attempt to report whether they were for or against the dams. Don't you think that is relevant?

Regarding GM crops, you imply that a survey asked people if they would oppose GM crops even if faced with an ongoing famine. You imply further that many respondents would have left the Irish to die. That is not at all what the survey asked. If you don't already know that, read the abstract:


This study examines support for the genetic modification (GM) of crops in the context of preventing “late blight,” a devastating potato and tomato disease that caused the Irish Potato Famine in the 1850s and results in substantial crop loss today. We surveyed U.S. adults who do the primary grocery shopping in their household (n = 859). Half of the respondents were randomly assigned to read a vignette describing late blight before responding to questions about GM, whereas the other half read a vignette about generic crop disease before responding to questions. We also examine how the perceived fairness of decision makers relates to GM support and the perceived legitimacy of GM decision making. We found that disease specificity mattered less to support and legitimacy than the perceived fairness of decision makers. The perceived risks of GM to human and environmental health negatively related to GM support and legitimacy, whereas the perceived benefits (e.g. reduced threats to crops and a more secure food supply) positively related to support and legitimacy. Objective knowledge about GM had a small, negative relationship with legitimacy whereas self-assessed familiarity with GM had a positive relationship. Overall, the results offer additional confirmation of past findings from more localized settings that perceived fairness of decision makers matters to support for GM and underscore the importance of considering how risk managers’ behaviors and actions are perceived alongside individuals’ perceptions about the risks and benefits.

You aslo want us to think that Rossiter wants to do something about African poverty whereas heartless greens want Africans to rot. I don't have access to the article, so perhaps you can tell us what measures Rossiter is proposing to help. Allowing more imigration from Africa perhaps? An increase in foreign aid perhaps? How exactly does he propose helping?

Jun 13, 2014 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterLa Buena

Murder by any other name:

"Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned.
Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony.
A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.

With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object.
Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes.

The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases ..."

Jun 13, 2014 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterhandjive


Greens and environmentalists are people who identify themselves with certain political ideologies and policies that they don't understand and that, moreover, are poorly defined to begin with. Greens and environmentalists are, in short, just like most everyone else with one fundamental difference, that is, it is their turn at the loudspeaker.

Jun 13, 2014 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

La Buena,

Have you read the Rossiter article. All he wants is for Africa to develop unimpeded using the resources they have.

The IPS would have them shackled in the name of Justice.

Jun 13, 2014 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus

‘Take a look at some of Cavanagh's writings on Africa. "Climate Justice" appears to mean letting Africans rot.’

Not according to Cavanagh. From the linked article: ‘In Africa, climate justice activists are speaking eloquently about a new economy for Africans and everyone else that leapfrogs fossil fuels and delivers electricity to hundreds of millions of people through clean energy and energy efficiency'.

That doesn’t sound much like ‘letting Africans rot’, or ‘the inhumanity of the environmentalist’. On that contrary, Cavanagh’s words express a desire for the betterment of Africans.

Which answers your earlier question: ‘And I wonder if John Cavanagh, the man who fired Rossiter, ever considers the suffering of sub-Saharan Africans'.

(Yes, I know the link was an update, but that’s the point, isn’t it? A little knowledge etc.)

Jun 13, 2014 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrendan H

All collectivists (environmentalists) see individuals ONLY as part of the collective - not as individuals. The dirty secret is they see themselves the same way. Individuals don't really exist in the mind of envirionmentalists. Therefore starving Africans or starving Irishmen are inconsequental because it's all about the collective. The Soviet Union was a collective - millions slaughtered; China was/is a collective - millions slaughtered; almost all Islamist countries are collectives - thousands and thousands slaughtered - all in the name of the collective. Collectivists hate individuals because thinking individuals create wealth and this serves as a sharp contrast to the fact that collectivists cannot create anything. That's why Greenpeace and their ilk focus all of their efforts on stopping all wealth creation - namely industries and the fuel that those industries must have to function which is fossil fuels.

Jun 13, 2014 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterKenObjectivist

"In Africa, climate justice activists are speaking eloquently about a new economy for Africans and everyone else that leapfrogs fossil fuels and delivers electricity to hundreds of millions of people through clean energy and energy efficiency"

If he had said:
"In Africa, climate justice activists are speaking eloquently about a new economy for Africans and everyone else that leapfrogs fossil fuels and delivers electricity to hundreds of millions of people through pixy dust and unicorn farts"

would you consider that he was expressing a desire to improve the lives of Africans? Cavanagh is deliberately avoiding a development path known to work, in favour of one not known to work, and with a very high probability that it will eventually be shown to not work. He may not realize that he is leaving Africans to rot - but ignorance is no excuse. His preferred policy will leave millions of the world's poorest less well-off than they should be, all to assuage the conscience of some of the world's wealthiest and most priviledged.

Jun 13, 2014 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterdcardno

Clovis, no the article is behind a paywall. That is why I asked how Rossiter as "someone who merely wanted to do something about" sub-Saharan suffering, in this blog's words, proposed to help. From what you say he was not suggesting doing anything in at all about that suffering. Unless you consider that helping to prevent the US from curbing its own emissions somehow helps the poor in Africa.

Jun 13, 2014 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterLa Buena

dcardno, why are there so many poor people in Africa when your "development path known to work" has been there for a hundred years. Maybe there is something wrong with your favourite development path when applied there.

Jun 13, 2014 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterLa Buena

I hadn't noticed that John Marshall had already used the quotation from Stalin before I added my comments. It does, however, say something about the Greens that this story should make us both think of Stalin.

Jun 13, 2014 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

A good take down of the arch-alarmist and crook- Mann

Jun 13, 2014 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

La Buena, there are lots of things wrong with development in Africa, but layering on an energy system that does not work (and, due to intermitency problems, likely cannot work) is not going to produce a better result than adopting an energy system that does work.

Jun 14, 2014 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered Commenterdcardno

Jud, I must take issue with this Statement. "The result was a net export of food from Ireland each and every year of the famine due to entirely political - as opposed to technical - considerations."

There were several technical issues that are deliberately ignored by the anti-British partisans. Different crops were grown in different parts of Ireland, thus the food was exported from those regions of Ireland least affected by potatoe blight (mostly because for various reasons they grew very few potatoes). Wheat, Rye and Barley are summer harvested crops, where Potatoes are harvested in the Fall, well over a month later. The aid that was given was suboptimal due to language differences, in North America corn always refers to Zea mays.

Jun 14, 2014 at 12:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterFraxinus

Brendan H, Don't either fall for or simply echo the green sales pitch for Africa.
Greens produce nothing that works. They are takers, parasites and con artists.
There is no alternative to fossil fuel that is environmentally responsible, attainable and non-nuclear.
Wind power sucks, the sun sets on solar every day, and biofuels are a cruel insult to hungry people.
Gas and oil, both of which are in abundance, can be developed responsibly just like in the UK, the US, and elsewhere.
As for the 'carbon footprint'- screw that. There is no evidence that the increase in CO2 has done anything to the climate or environment that is dramatic or dangerous except to make more plants grow, people grow healthier, and prosperity increase.
Allowing the greens to set the agenda of the discussion is a huge mistake. They do not deserve to be allowed to.

Jun 14, 2014 at 1:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

dcardno: ‘If he had said:
"In Africa, climate justice activists are speaking eloquently about a new economy for Africans and everyone else that leapfrogs fossil fuels and delivers electricity to hundreds of millions of people through pixy dust and unicorn farts"
would you consider that he was expressing a desire to improve the lives of Africans?’

Clearly not. But I spotted what you did there. You changed his words, didn’t you? And in changing the words, you have changed the meaning.

I think we can say with confidence that when the writer Cavanagh referred to ‘clean energy and energy efficiency’ he most likely did not mean ‘pixy dust and unicorn farts’.

So both the words ‘pixy dust and unicorn farts’ and their meaning are clearly a substitution, and my guess is that they were substituted by you, since you have signed off on the post.

And that’s my issue here: the attribution of motivation and meaning to another person’s words. I called Bishop Hill on it, and in reply you simply reiterated his theme in different words.

Jun 14, 2014 at 1:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrendan H

Hunter: ‘Allowing the greens to set the agenda of the discussion is a huge mistake. They do not deserve to be allowed to.’

I’m not sure which agenda or discussion you are referring to. The current discussion is headed ‘The inhumanity of the environmentalist’, so I am addressing that.

Your post in essence is saying that Greens are very bad people. But for the present discussion that begs the question, since it’s the issue in dispute.

In the present case, Bishop Hill has made a claim about the inhumanity of the environmentalist, and as part of his evidence has linked to an article by an environmentalist.

I have chosen to focus on his claim and compare it to the article as written. So what are Cavanagh’s views:

‘The real concern here is that U.S. taxpayers will wind up supporting African energy development that caters to corporate industrial zones and natural resource exporters, leaving the majority of Africans in rural and neglected urban areas still without access to power and exposed to dangerous pollution.’

Clearly, these views can be challenged, but that is not my current concern, which is to compare the claim embodied in the article head with what I have read in the linked article. And the linked article does not support the headline.

Jun 14, 2014 at 1:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrendan H

Brendan H, not one of the items mentioned supports the title. He hasn't established that the people of Chile support the multi-dam project, he has twisted the study of attitudes to GM to mean something entirely different from what the study says and he paints Rossiter as someone straining to help the poor of Africa when he is in fact just trying to help the rich in America. The congregation here doesn't object in the slightest to being so clearly misled and in fact come back daily for more.

Jun 14, 2014 at 2:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterLa Buena

I think in correct context the green movement has a certain ideological jargon, often left unexamined, that talks about technological strategies that have not been shown to work anywhere, and/or the importance of economic or social justice, which is fine, but their critique largely consists of whining about it, rather than proposing realistic or practical means of achieving such ends. This ultimately results in the opposite of what they try to achieve, because their focus is on abstract moral ideals, not on realistic outcomes or indeed even rational proposals.

For example, Brendan immediately falls into the stereotypical pattern of assuming 'corporate' = evil. (See his quote.) Since small and large business in modern society literally provide for everything directly or indirectly--wages, taxes and therefore infrastructure, energy supply, healthcare, welfare, and so on, it is difficult to reconcile how such entities can provide such enormous benefits to society while at the same time being 'evil.' Of course, grown ups appreciate that such entities are neither good nor evil. They are organisations created for various practical reasons such as for providing benefits for profits.

Jun 14, 2014 at 2:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke

Another good example illustrating my point as I wrote it, from La Buena, who states:

"He hasn't established that the people of Chile support the multi-dam project..."

Why indeed would people in Chile support dams? Who needs dams? What practical purpose could they serve, other than to create profit for evil multinational corporations? In other words, in the eyes of the environmentalist, a logical proposition is turned on its head. The assumption is that a practical project of practical benefit is nothing of the sort. Because... because they say so. What a bizarre and irrational world they live in.

Jun 14, 2014 at 2:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke

You summed it up pretty well.
Their reactionary opposition to the idea that people would make money off of building generators and supplying power is an angry sort of ignorance that more resembles bigotry than principled opposition.
Look at La Buena dismisses the plainly written article about Greenpeace celebrating the defeat of advancing power in Chile.
Greenpeace has deprived the people of Chile opportunity, health, work and all of the benefits that a large power system addition can provide. Simply because they don't like dams- or much of anything that helps people. So Chile will remain dependent on limited power, less efficient power, and the wind mills that have failed every where they are tried.
And the IPS site is positively delusional where it is not jingoistic, derivative and deceptive. How kooks like those running IPS have managed to suck off the teat of large endowments and government grants is fine example of how corrupt things are. "Climate justice" is an idiot's concept that implies that the weather is controlled by some shadow conspiracy of arch criminals.
La Buena and Brendan H are pathetic- they show up, make arrogant judgements, clearly do not know how to read. Clearly they have no idea of climate, justice, work, or industry, and hope to bloviate their way into setting the agenda.
Sorry, mates. Ain't gonna happen.

Jun 14, 2014 at 3:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

La Buena: ‘Brendan H, not one of the items mentioned supports the title.’

I agree that all three claims can be challenged. I would be cautious, though, about imputing motive to Rossiter. Perhaps he is just ‘just trying to help the rich in America’ (although in itself that may not necessarily be a bad thing), but there doesn’t seem to be enough evidence to warrant that sort of claim.

Jun 14, 2014 at 4:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrendan H

Will Nitschke: ‘For example, Brendan immediately falls into the stereotypical pattern of assuming ‘corporate’ = evil.’

No. The clue is in the words that immediately precede the quote. Those words are ‘Cavanagh’s views:’ What that means is that the words following the colon in my post (and enclosed within quotation marks for greater clarity) were an attribution, meaning they were words being said by another person.

For even greater clarity, immediately following the quotation of this other person’s words, I appended the comment: ‘Clearly, these views can be challenged...’

This latter comment can be attributed to me, because it is my own comment and expresses my own views.

So why did I quote Cavanagh’s words? Because they challenge the implied claim in the title about the inhumanity of the environmentalist.

I also included the complete (Cavanagh) quote for clarity and context, because Cavanagh is claiming that certain interests are being favoured that will leave ordinary Africans in the lurch. Interestingly, on that reading, he is expressing the same concern as many here, but from a different perspective.

Jun 14, 2014 at 4:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrendan H

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