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Ivo on George

Ivo Vegter has written a brilliant analysis of the phenomenon that is George Monbiot.

[Monbiot] divides the world into two stereotypes: people like him – who care about things like intimacy, kindness, self-acceptance, independent thought and action – and the rest of us – who don’t think for ourselves, fear other people, hate ourselves, are cruel and cold, and couldn’t care less about nature. We’d sell our own mothers if a toff with a demagogic streak told us he’d get an immigrant to wax our banger, because that’s how common we are. (And by “banger” I mean “old car”, of course.)

So, now Monbiot has discovered that he was wrong about that too. Without any apparent self-consciousness about his own opinion of last month, he writes: “We've tended to assume people are more selfish than they really are.”

Yes, you have tended to assume that, George. That’s why people don’t like you. That’s why people don’t listen to you. You’re wrong all the time. You insult people for saying so. And you’re condescending enough to think they can be manipulated by some shiny new spin.

If there is any justice in the world the article will put an end to George's career. However, the ability of the tofu-eating classes to stand behind and indeed celebrate any harebrained megalomaniac, no matter how often they are proved wrong, will no doubt win out as it always does.

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Reader Comments (54)

I say, Your Bishness, you are getting very cynical and world-weary in your views.

So, join the rest of us. If people such as Ehrlich (sp?) and his ilk can maintain their authority, despite being proven wrong – utterly, utterly WRONG – time after time after time over several decades, then a mere pip-squeak like Moonbat has a good few decades left in his credibility, yet.

Jun 18, 2014 at 10:19 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

I remember that Ian Hislop editor of Private Eye rates Monbiot highly. So Private Eye publishes nothing critical of The Team and their antics, following Monbiot's advice to Hislop.

Jun 18, 2014 at 10:20 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

The comments are entertaining, with one commenter posting links to the Grauniad as if it were the fount of all truth,

Jun 18, 2014 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Martin A: Yes, that's exactly how Christopher Booker described the situation at the Eye to a few of us - I'm sure Josh was there - after a talk by Steve McIntyre under the auspices of the GWPF in July 2010. The two men still get along fine, from what I could tell, and Hislop was most helpful when I bumped into him with Steve in Dean Street a day or two later, in search of lunch with Booker! But Hislop won't listen to a word from Booker about climate (or at least wouldn't then) because, as you say, Monbiot is a real scientist and has really looked into it and you can't say fairer than that.

Jun 18, 2014 at 10:33 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

His been playing school yard bully for years on CIF , attacking who he likes and then running behind the moderators when he starts to get some back . See if you can find the blog where Monbat’s was caught talking total nonsense about research paper on bees by the actual author of the paper who made it clear Monbat had simply not read it, it is a classical example of his ‘art’ . Meanwhile I applauded the way he sets himself up as an expert on a whole range of subjects, such as hunting and farming , while actually knowing nothing about them and having never even done them in anyway.
And if you like to get your post deleted very quickly on CIF , a good way is to repeat Monbat’s own words on his views on people who fly , expressed shortly before he went on a North American book selling tour. To give you an idea he called name a name beginning with P who you would not want around children.

Jun 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Wishful thinking Bish. Moonbat will continue to spout his usual crap a without batting an eye lid. I mean let's be honest here, Moonbat has been here before (climate gate) and even though he was outrageously outragety over the actions of "The Team" it didn't stop him from being a fully paid up member of the religion of Mann Made Global Warming (tm).


Jun 18, 2014 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Also, when Monbiot says, “We've tended to assume people are more selfish than they really are.” who is it exactly he is referring to? These people collectivise the errors and privatise the correct analysis. This is a core element of their thinking, and is basic to their skewed world view.

What galls me is how there are so many people who have come out of this mould, who use the same forms of language, believe the same untruths about Science, what Science is and now it works, Economics and ethics. Where are all these people coming from, and why is it that logic and evidence do not seem to be able to penetrate the toxic miasma that swirls around them?

They cannot now claim that they never heard any alternative theories, evidence or facts, because they are all on the internet and are regularly exposed to people who can think. This is a problem that runs deeper than the delusions of Monbiot; there is a fundamental problem with a class of people who can write but who cannot reason. These people are loud, and in a democracy, they can become a real danger.

The root problem we are facing is not lunatic anti-truth environmentalists like Monbiot; it is democracy, that gives them the power to destroy through the ballot box and politicians who are free to do whatever they like once elected, without having to refer to the electorate until after their damage is done.

The solution to the environmentalist problem is the end of democracy and property rights in a Libertarian society. Public ownership of resources cause those resources to be spoiled. Democracy results in the lowest common denominator wreaking havoc with stolen money. Slowly, the public is beginning to perceive this out of the fog of results; even Boris Johnson has recently intoned that, "Invading other people's countries is a fools errand".

The world is changing, and the truth cannot be hidden for decades as it used to be. The welfare warfare money stealing mass murdering machine is going to be stopped because people are going to be made awake to it, simply by being online.

The capitulation of George Monbiot is just the first indication that this is happening.

Jun 18, 2014 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames Westlock

That is rather typical of his ilk, I am sorry to say! Assuaging his guilt by implying that "everyone else" viewed the world with his eyes. The arrogance is contemptible, speaks volumes about him as a man & member of his "elite" society! Scum & slime, like most in the Westminster bubble! Part of the problem, not part of the solution!

Jun 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

There were a breed of people in WW2 that thought it a noble act to die for the Emperor.
They were called Kamikazis.

Much good did it do them and much good will it do Moonbat!

Jun 18, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterYertizz

Another expert on everything...

Jun 18, 2014 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

It's about having the right ideas. Being actually right about something would of course be a bonus, but it's not a requirement. :-)

Jun 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke

James Westlock

I hope you are right about people waking up but it is a slow process. How long ago was Climategate?

On the democracy front this might help - The Harrogate Agenda

Jun 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Jones

That’s a good deconstruction of Monbiot’s flaws or at least some of them. What Monbiot lacks is empathy. He sees others as 2D people and can’t extend his own needs and emotions onto others. I’m not even sure he understands his own impact on the environment and how he’d feel if his cosy lifestyle were replaced with that of the many people he looks down upon.

In terms of environmental impact, how many peons equate to one greedy corporate monster? I’m guessing that it’s not very many. Certainly most environmentalists I see on TV have lifestyles far more profligate than the average. So when Monbiot and his ilk condemn consumerism, he’s condemning an awful lot of people and no matter how nicely or psychologically clever he puts his message, they’re not going to sacrifice their immediate comfort for some theoretical green utopia. Consumerism works and it’s the fairest system that mankind has ever managed to adopt but for it to do its thing, people have to consume and people have to make stuff. Like Brownian Motion, if you remove the heat source, eventually the system stagnates. There is a fear that consumerism eventually uses up all the resources but apart from the fact that there are a lot of resources out there, consumerism has also led to a new phenomena of declining populations. Demand is reduced without any unnecessary pain.

The tribes of the Amazon would be the model for Monbiot’s world but those people are only living in harmony with nature because the Amazon is huge and there are so few of them. Modern medicine and the lure of modern comforts like refrigeration will cure that. That sort of lifestyle is unsustainable for greater numbers and impacts the environment at least as much as a more modern one. Far from rewilding, those people will attempt to domesticate their land in much the same way our own ancestors turned the UK (including Monbiot’s patch of Wales) into one of the most man made landscapes on the planet. The only place for the really wild creatures is in specially preserved blocks of land and they’re a feature of prosperity, not sustainability.

For any environmentalist I’d ask ‘where does need stop and greed start?' Until Monbiot can answer that question and place himself on the sale, he won’t have anything to say to the masses that they will want to hear.

Jun 18, 2014 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Oddly, I have in fact sat next to George Monbiot at dinner, if not quite at a dinner party.

I think it would be fair to say that we didn't really get on terribly well.

Jun 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

[Snip - venting]

Jun 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterImranCan

Is Monbiot getting older? Is he getting more cynical as he witnesses what real life really means rather than the lefty attitude that they know how it all works and can control everything.

Jun 18, 2014 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

Monbiot's recent pieces indicate someone whose lifelong certainties have been replaced by the dread of Not Knowing.

He's trying to find some solid ground, but the only place it can be seen is in the direction of him having been essentially wrong for all of his adult life.

This is why his writing has become so unfocused; he's making up his new truths as he goes along, with very little conviction.

Time for a loooooong sabbatical.

Jun 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

I have posted this before, but for those who may not have seen it:

Do We Really Need Ambulances?
By George Monbiot

THEIR screaming sirens, their back-to-front writing and their dirty deisel engines have become a fixture in our modern lives, but does anyone ever stop to think if we actually need them?

Allow me spell it out for you. Ambulances are notoriously inefficient in terms of fuel consumption. They are either screaming along dual carriageways at more than 90mph, on their way to some self-inflicted 'emergency'. Or they are plodding along carefully at 30 because they are carrying some fascist polluter with a fractured spine.

I performed a peer-reviewed calculation on my phone and discovered that British ambulances make up 0.00023% of our annual CO2 emissions. Look at that figure again and tell me you don't feel an overwhelming sense of shame.

It is my belief that we must re-order Britain as an ambulance-free society. It won't be easy. De-ambulancification never is. But we must reach down to the very roots of our being and rip up everything that allows the ambulance to prosper.

Why do we need ambulances? Because people hurt themselves. Or get sick. Therefore our first step must be to stop using things.

Hoovers, Magimixes, television sets and angle-poise lamps are not just power-sucking planet-killers, they are death traps. I use none of these things and yet I am still able to go about my day and make a comfortable living writing articles about ambulances. Why can't you do the same?

More than half of all UK heart attacks are caused by easyJet. Peer-reviewed fact! Every time you fly you are causing a heart attack which requires the dispatch of an ambulance to take the fat polluter to hospital where it is hooked up to electrical machines, only to recover and go on yet another holiday to one of easyJet's 74 European destinations. And so your filthy, gassy circle keeps turning.

Those of you who have ever been so complacent, so self-absorbed, so willfully ignorant as to allow yourself to be carried in an ambulance should ask yourselves this question: Am I really good enough to go on living among people like George Monbiot and some of his friends from university?

If the answer is 'no' and you do decide to kill yourself, please try and do it properly. The last thing we need is another ambulance hurtling down the M4 because you failed to take enough pills.

Source: Do we really need ambulances?. Daily Mash, 01/08/2007.

Jun 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

champagne lefties are immature characters mostly.

Adolf Hitler was a turned down "arts-and smarts"-ie
Adolf In these days we would see him queuing up for a BigBrother role and for the X-factor. In between stints for "occupy" movements and "against the unjust war" manifestations.

That's the sort of intellectual power.

Jun 18, 2014 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoeBidensBrainSurgeon

'We tend to assume people are more selfish than they really are..'

NO, George - YOU assume people are more selfish than they really are...

Jun 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

the problem I have with ambulances is that you see them negotiating through traffic, with loud sirens, only to see them pick up an order for the hospital at the Fish and Chips around the corner??

It cannot be that there is a "casulty" every friday at the same chippie , can it ? nah.

Jun 18, 2014 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoeBidensBrainSurgeon

lapogus - Well, I wasn't far out - I thought Craig Brown. Excellent anyway.

Jun 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Fact is, none of us like being wrong, much less admitting it. Yet occasionally, events present the opportunity to do so, and also receive credit for it. But it is probably not a sensible aim as a career choice. His publisher will give him the numbers.

On the positive side, Bish, look at it this way: Maybe he really is the messiah who will lead us to the promised land of nuclear-tofu.

Jun 18, 2014 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Monbiot must have been a total pain in the arse when he was a student...

Jun 18, 2014 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

It's only the wealth of our not so sustainable world that can support navel gazers like Monbiot. I'll start listening to him when he gives up his cushy job and hires himself out as a cart horse to some farmer who wants to try renewable ploughing. Giddey up Monbiot!

Jun 18, 2014 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

There's a group of people in the who forgive those whose heart was in the right place, whose path followed in a direction towards the noble cause called "the end" regardless of "the means". The only people this group vilifies are those who are not on the same path to the noble cause or actually give a rat's ass about "the means".

I would never belong to such a group.

Jun 18, 2014 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeC

To be fair to Mr Monbiot, he has actually changed is mind on a number of issues. That is quite rare for environmentalists.

Jun 18, 2014 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEddy

I'm not usually a fan of playing the man and not the ball...but I enjoyed that ;)

Jun 18, 2014 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus



Jun 18, 2014 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRightwinggit

I have always admired a man who can admit he has been terribly , terribly wrong. I find that I am admiring Monbiot more and more, and look forward to even greater admiration as the years go by

Jun 18, 2014 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

"Monbiot must have been a total pain in the arse .."

Has something changed..?

WRT Hislop, I believe it's Mrs H that is the power behind the throne. I quite like him, but it's strange that his usual nose for a story/scandal is suspended where CAGW is concerned - it should be meat and drink to Private Eye.

Jun 18, 2014 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

michael hart

"Maybe he really is the messiah.."

No, just a very naughty boy.

Jun 18, 2014 at 5:41 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

A perceptive and penetrating article. Mr Monbiot is a man of his times in that he has been riding the waves of one eco-catastrophe alarum after another. I have some sympathy since I was a would-be surfer there myself albeit only for a couple of years in the early 1970s, thanks in part to that silver-tongued showman, Ehrlich. But in my case, reality intruded. I hope it will do so for George in due course. Maybe his system just has a longer response time, and is in fact coming round slowly but surely like a supertanker whose captain has spotted trouble ahead. The near vacuity of so much eco-alarmism is wearisome, and the presumption of truth and special insight which accompanies these usually highly emotive excursions is in fact disrespectful of the rest of humanity - the benighted ones in George's vivid imaginings that he is valiantly trying to reach so that they too may see his light. But his light is a feeble and sputtering one, fueled largely by leftwing dreams of controlling people and things, be they the economy as a whole, the climate system itself, or the ways we choose to work and play. 'Dreams' for the left, and in practice nightmares for most, as lofty intentions lead to oppression and no end of 'unintended consequences' both political and environmental.

Jun 18, 2014 at 5:50 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

There really should be a special place reserved in Hades for Monbiot. Great article that is linked to, nailing Monbiot's unbelievable sense of self-importance and his vile sanctimony. What a guy. Sod off back to France eh, George.

Jun 18, 2014 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

To be fair to Mr Monbiot, he has actually changed is mind on a number of issues. That is quite rare for environmentalists.

Jun 18, 2014 at 3:46 PM | eddy

Yes - but he's still just as obnoxious and just as self-righteous as ever.

Jun 18, 2014 at 6:06 PM | Registered Commenterjeremypoynton

I think we sceptics are coming to realise that this whole Global Warming hoax is political. That's progress. Those with a vested interest in perpetuating the hoax will stay on the gravy train as long as they can.

Question: Where can the seed crystals of an opposition movement come from? For every Lawson there are a dozen Daveys.

Jun 18, 2014 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Message to George

"There is always more goodness in the world than there appears to be, because goodness, is of it's
very nature, modest and retiring"

Not certain who first procaimed this pearl of wisdom but it may have been "Emile Du Chatelet".
A most remarkable scientist.

Jun 18, 2014 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Hari comes to mind for some reason!

Jun 18, 2014 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBC56

Brent: Many, me included, saw it as political from the start. Michael Crichton certainly did. Whatever wedge, emotional or fairness issue that can be framed to delegitimize political institutions that value individual liberties (and free markets) in favor of some form of supposedly all knowing, all just central authority will be pushed.

Jun 18, 2014 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie1815

While I'm no fan of Moonbat - I have to say that I reserve my primary ire for those who employ him an pay him - in particular the BBC. I do wonder if George - as a "key talent" gets an entirely free hand...

Perhaps Ivo could deconstruct the BBC's position as one of his primary "media sponsors"?

Jun 18, 2014 at 6:58 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Being a member of the tofu-eating class, I have to raise my voice in mild protest, at this point. Having lived in Japan, I'm quite partial to tofu, and enjoy consuming it, especially with miso soup.

However, tofu-knitting (as with yogurt-knitting) is another matter entirely; it's theoretically possible, I suppose, if the tofu were to be dried out and formed into flexible strands, but as a pastime, it would leave a lot to be desired and I'd only consider taking it up if I lived in a yurt somewhere near Machynlleth in Wales and had nothing very urgent to do. :o)

Jun 18, 2014 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Leopards don't change their spots. Monbiot may be adjusting his frame of reference but I suspect he will be just as arrogant and obnoxious as ever, probably just more condescending.

I have an experience based distrust of those who use the "royal we".

Jun 18, 2014 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

Sorry Eddy but I cannot cut Monbat any slack at his smearing best/worst , I challenged him a numbers of times to allow those he attcked a right of reply . The only time someone did get one was because Monbat had gone to far even for CIF so the the Guardian was worried about a court case . And even then he was willing to throw any ethics under the bus by feeding Bob 'fast fingers ' Ward the article before it was published so that Bob could get the digs in first .
And then there was the time Monbat decided to attack the local paper for the 'crime ' of not covering news Monbat though they should , one its reports turned up on the blog and Monbat give them the full 'your a nobody journalist on a local rag and I am a big journalists writing for national paper ' treatment that was so bad even his fan club got concerned about what he was writing .

His a bully of the worst type , any chance of ending up in Q&A where he cannot load the basis in his own favour and he runs a mile, while he sells himself has an expert in so many things he seldom can justify it because in reality he merely asks like minded people and never thinks to ask if they are right , hence it got it all wrong with the idea that hunting in the UK was a free for all with 'no rules '

Jun 18, 2014 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Let's be frank about Monbiot ... he's just a bigoted a/hole, plain and simple.

Jun 18, 2014 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred


Do you please have link's/references to that local spat you say George had with the local journal in Wales?

I'm interested.

I have to (against some conflictual instinct) second Eddy with respect to George's apparent change of mind on environmental issues.

If the facts change then so will my mind....Jefferson I believe. Please correct if wrong.

Jun 19, 2014 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Shoot the messenger? YUP!

I really thought that I had given up George for life, having to peruse his anguished roundabouts and mood swings apologia - was an excruciating almost a physical torture. And as with so much of George's guff, truly it was like digging out a thorn pushed in deep under ones thumb nail.

His mental contortions, u-turn literary acrobatics, a thing to behold. It must be painful for the old fraud, admitting that you were wrong..........well he didn't actually say that did he? ..................... He said, "we" might have gotten it a tad over exaggerated sometimes but at the critical moment - "we" couldn't remember where and what about............... !

Mused George...........and in his mind it goes....... perchance to dream.......a blasted heath and bubbles the pot he slips off once more and drifts into the embrace of Morpheus.....

Oh sorry yes that erm thingy oh yes erm Environmentalism - that's what it was. Back in the day, I was a cuddly student wanting to save the world and because I didn't have a real job to go to - ended up as a journo at a left wing rag in Chatterati land - blow me and don't cha know it - spinning the line about we're all dooooommmmmeed - got me noticed! + No shit!
Joe Romm and his loonies, Connolley too and those hot boys down in East Anglia - cripes what a party of warming we had 100's in fact! Stone me and I was regularly - they were lapping me up and then...........................and then!

The world found out - CAGW and warmista environmentalists - it, man made warming and all their much trumpeted nostrums of [ir]relevant palaver of the green agenda: indubitably was all a load of bull.

George sobers up and falls out of bed, it's the coming down he doesn't like, "too old for it these days" he says alas.

Collapse of stumped statist, canoe holed and up a creek and no paddle. Still, there's always putting timber wolves back on the tops and so what if the farmers don't like it?

And you, yes - you conservative-tards - why did you have to go and dig out the truth of it all?

Jun 19, 2014 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.


Thank you for that article. It's evident it was written by an unintentionally hilarious lunatic.

Jun 19, 2014 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

I saw a bit of EggHeads the other night - not my usual viewing but stopped switching channels as the sound Monbio came up as a journalist, but what sort? was the question. The 2 eggheads conversed, both claiming to have heard of him, and rapidly came to the conclusion that he was a Writer about Fashion.

There you are! He's realised that AGW is dying and is trying to find a way out.

Jun 19, 2014 at 6:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

Ben PIle joins in.
"Monbiot’s accent, position on a broadsheet newspaper and style is all that separates him from the man wearing a The-End-is-Nigh sandwich board."

Jun 19, 2014 at 8:44 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews


The Daily Mash is a satirical 'news' site - a bit like The Onion. It's meant to read like that!

Jun 19, 2014 at 9:24 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

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