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The Great Bear and the big snap

Richard Black | 08:37 UK time, Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Bear

 

Can a bunch of green snappers save the Great Bear?

The International League of Conservation Photographers hopes so.

For a few weeks now, its snappers have been deploying themselves across Canada's Great Bear Rainforest, documenting its wild nature and the people who live in, and sometimes off, the forest.

I had the privilege of visiting the Great Bear, on the coast of British Columbia, about four years ago, for a radio series on sustainable forestry.

It is vast, still, full of understated life; simply, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. "Privilege"? Absolutely.

The League's members clearly feel the same way; but they have a purpose in saying so.

They're documenting it because they think that doing so may lead to it being protected from a project with the potential to shatter the great still wilderness.

 

Forest and sea

The coast here is a succession of islands and intricate inlets

 

The project is the Northern Gateway pipeline that would bring oil from the tar sands of Alberta to a proposed tanker terminal at the coast - an initiative supported by China, which could end up the main beneficiary of the oil.

Alberta is developing its tar sands as an alternative source of oil, as output from the world's wells shows signs of peaking. But getting it out of Alberta isn't straightforward given the geography; and the most obvious route to the burgeoning economies of Asia lies westward, through the Great Bear.

The Northern Gateway Pipeline would be built by the company Enbridge, which already operates a number of oil and gas pipelines and stores across North America.

But this would clearly be one of its biggest projects. It holds that:

"The people who make up Northern Gateway have a deep concern for the natural environment, a commitment to safety, and a passion for minimizing any potential negative impact that pipeline construction and operation might bring.

"They’re also excited about the economic and employment benefits the pipeline will bring to northern communities."

As they point out, the issue isn't only ecological.

Fishing

There are fears that an oil spill would damage the productive fisheries

Huge swathes of the forest come under the jurisdiction of indigenous peoples - First Nations, in Canadian terminology - who can have right of veto over development.

On my forestry trip, I was told by a local environmentalist that the First Nations were strictly opposed to logging.

But when I tackled a councillor for the Heiltsuk Nation on the question, he said a bit of logging was ok - desirable, in fact - so long as it brought money and employment to his community.

So the interests of local people and environmental activists are not always aligned.

But in the case of the pipeline, they appear to be.

"The bountiful and globally significant coastline cannot bear an oil spill... we declare that oil tankers carrying crude oil from the Alberta Tar Sands will not be allowed to transit our lands and waters."

So declared the Coastal First Nations back in March.

Enter the snappers.

To bolster the case against the pipeline - or more particular the terminal that would bring supertankers into the pristine coastal lands - the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) has embarked on what it calls a Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition, or RAVE.

It hopes that the powerful imagery captured - and can there be any image of wild nature more totemic than a bear plucking a salmon from a mountain stream? - will help the First Nations, and other opponents, make their case.

It's emotive, for sure. But why not? When you ask "why do we value nature?", one of the answers is surely because it moves us. This is even recognised formally by the UN, which lists "cultural, intellectual and spiritual inspiration" among the "services" that natural ecosystems provide to humankind.

Whether the iLCP and its fellows will succeed is another matter. There are powerful arguments and powerful interests in favour of the pipeline; yet the First Nations are politically empowered in British Columbia.

What the snappers have definitely succeeded in doing is capturing some of the essence of the Great Bear Rainforest - its wildlife, its vastness, and its people. Worth a look, for that alone.

Wolves in river

 

 

Comments

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  • 1. At 09:27am on 29 Sep 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 10:15am on 29 Sep 2010, Jack Frost wrote:

    Amazing snappers pics, thanks for the site link.

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  • 3. At 10:32am on 29 Sep 2010, Phil wrote:

    Great blog Richard!
    I hope the ILCP suceed but I fear that big business and their big piles of dosh will win out :-( in which case I hope that every effort to minimise the impact of the pipeline is taken. Oilsands have always bothered me what with the potencialy toxic impacts of the extraction process and the huge amounts of energy used, the sands are more trouble than they are worth! just leave them where they are!

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  • 4. At 10:58am on 29 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 5. At 11:12am on 29 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "The people who make up Northern Gateway have a deep concern for the natural environment, a commitment to safety, and a passion for minimizing any potential negative impact that pipeline construction and operation might bring.

    "They’re also excited about the economic and employment benefits the pipeline will bring to northern communities."


    "Passion"? "Exited"? Ugh, hate corporate speech.

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  • 6. At 11:21am on 29 Sep 2010, cyrus wrote:

    Money talks! China has abused its own land and is on a mission, at what ever cost, to suck up resources from other countries to power its factories that make stuff to sell back to the rest of the world and profit from it. They are now investing large sums of money to clean up their backyard but continue to be indifferent to what they are doing to rest of the world. How long are we going to sit back and allow the chinese to do what ever they want because they have vast financial resources? Why are we scared to say NO! It's a disturbing trend.

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  • 7. At 11:28am on 29 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "why do we value nature?"

    The big problem with saying you care about nature is the need, again and again, to show that this is as well as and consistent with caring about people.

    So here's a parallel with science. Not all beautiful ideas are good science. But most science is made up of good ideas. A pretty garden isn't necessarily useful. But most beautiful animals and landscapes appear to be useful in the long term if we look after them. (Yes I know, this is my impression, would take a lot of examples to fully justify.)

    Note, not all such beautiful and useful landscapes are 100% "natural". For instance you can see the stamp of man in this picture.
    http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/john-constable-the-hay-wain

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  • 8. At 11:35am on 29 Sep 2010, Wolfiewoods wrote:

    Smiffie @#1 is quite right, we all know what is going to happen to the oil when it gets to China, it is going to be burnt, releasing vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere resulting in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change that will threaten the very survival of mankind. Much better to forgo the cheep Chinese goods and leave the oil in the oil sands where it is meant to be.

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  • 9. At 11:52am on 29 Sep 2010, Wolfiewoods wrote:

    Manysummits, if you are still out there, this is in your back yard, we would value your input.

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  • 10. At 1:46pm on 29 Sep 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    Yep, wholeheartedly agree with you, old chap. Why should we care? Why should we save these things? - Simply, because we can.

    We know what we are about to destroy and we can understand that it's precious, we are therefore duty bound to try to preserve it - The picture idea is a good one because it will allow people to form emotional connections to the forest. The more people you get connected to it and the more those connections are reinforced, the less, the likelihood is of any catastrophic damage.

    The main problem would be in keeping up the sustained campaign, keeping it in the public eye. The BBC could even do it's bit - Some Ray Mears Programs (Think he's already done it once - but you could make him go back), A Wildlife Series or two (Bearwatch maybe), some assorted documentaries etc etc etc - I seem to recall that there's a BBC Canada, you might be able to get them to commission some stuff to help meet their local content targets.

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  • 11. At 2:22pm on 29 Sep 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    #9. Wolfiewoods wrote:
    Manysummits, if you are still out there, this is in your back yard, we would value your input.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    I assume you're using the royal 'we' on that one. If I want to hear the ramblings of an old hippy, I'll ask one.

    The simple fact of life is we need oil. It isn't a luxury, it's necessary to keep civilisation from collapsing until we can find a replacement.

    From antihistamines to water pipes, there are literally hundreds of products we need oil to manufacture, without which our civilisation would grind to a halt.

    So let's not get too precious about some forest, shall we? As long as we want medicine, elctricity and the ability to travel, communicate (guess what that computer is largely made of? and live a life more comfortable than that endured in the 19th century, WE NEED OIL.

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  • 12. At 2:35pm on 29 Sep 2010, Kent wrote:

    Canada is desperate to sell its oil, so environmental issues are really the last of their concerns. The oil industry in Canada is becoming supremely important to the Canadian economy and to the Canadian government because the profits it generates and the boost it gives to Canadian GDP figures helps distract people from the economic problems in Canada. All the other sectors of Canada's economy declined during the recession far more than what occurred in the US. Oil revenue is the only thing that brought Canada out of the recession, and it's the only thing responsible for Canada's current meager GDP growth. The Canadian government likes to brag about its budget surplus and national GDP growth, which is largely due to oil, in order to boost nationalism and maintain support (and always comparing it to the US, because Canadians love nothing more than being praised at the expense of the US).

    I highly doubt any protest by the Natives will amount to anything. It didn't stop Canada from destroying gigantic swathes of pristine wilderness in Alberta already.

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  • 13. At 3:01pm on 29 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "why do we value nature?"

    Because it's not just cute seabirds, oil spills hurt people too.

    http://www.elaw.org/assets/images/events/ph.2006.guimaras.oil.spill.jpg
    http://www.naijafeed.com/storage/50%20years%20oil%20spill%20-%20Nigeria.png
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/20/deepwater-oil-spill-victims-compensation-bp

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  • 14. At 3:30pm on 29 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Brunnen_G

    "It isn't a luxury"

    Some of us feel that, with more scrutiny and pressure from the public, c***-ups like the Deepwater Horizon spill might be less likely. Reassurances like the PR mangled English that Richard quotes ("passion"?) do not reassure.

    Because safety shouldn't be a luxury either.

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  • 15. At 3:51pm on 29 Sep 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    I can see both sides of the argument. Surely there can be a compromise?

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  • 16. At 3:57pm on 29 Sep 2010, brian wooster wrote:

    Check out Dr Clive Welham on the University of British Columbia website to find out the extensive environmental research being done with respect to the oilsands.

    This research has been going on for some years now, as has the extraction of the oilsands. Pipelines are laid all over the world, and in the main with little environmental impact. I know, I live in an area where extensive pipelines have recently been laid. Where? I don't know, they do not impact me at all. Fields over which the pipes were laid, are as they were before, and still being cultivated. Woodlands were virtually undisturbed, and even went under waterways. You can see nothing, and nothing has changed. By the way, I am 65 years of age and am very consious of how the countrside is being ravaged. But, as long as it is restored to its former condition, for flora and fauna, I do not have a problem.

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  • 17. At 4:18pm on 29 Sep 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Great pictures but some what biased blogg.

    This whole issue is being kicked about by activists of the AGW crowd in the normal alarmist manner. The company proposing the pipeline is currently trying to hold local meetings to decide routes, take in local concerns etc. It seems the activists just want to cause trouble. The company is required to do this and then go for federal environmental laws and consideration. The project isn't to start until 2013.

    Strangely, there has been no mention of the first LNG terminal on the American West Coast being built at Katimat along with the 470 mile 36" pipeline linking to the BC gas fields. No mention at all of Rio Tinto efforts to up grade the aluminium smelting plant and no not even a twitter about the pulp mill.

    The First Nation people are not to bothered either way as long a they get jobs and money. Love the comment in the blog about logging, as it is their main source of income.

    All round a storm in a tea cup for the under employed warmists, everything is being done correctly and with environmental consideration. This place is not a massive wilderness as Richard describes but it is really something worth seeing.

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  • 18. At 4:23pm on 29 Sep 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    #13.JaneBasingstoke wrote:
    "why do we value nature?"

    Because it's not just cute seabirds, oil spills hurt people too.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    So? No-one ever said oil would be taken out of the ground by magic, did they? Oil is far too important to our way of life not to be worth the risk.

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  • 19. At 4:28pm on 29 Sep 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke

    What has that got to do with the necessity of oil?

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  • 20. At 4:34pm on 29 Sep 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    @sensiblegrannie

    There's no compromising with hippies.

    They hate the oil industry, yet love the synthetic fibres and central heating that mean they don't have to wear fur in the winter to keep from freezing to death.

    They hate CO2 being produced, but despise even more the nuclear power industry that could replace every oil, coal and gas fired power station.

    How does one talk to hypocrites?

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  • 21. At 4:38pm on 29 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @sensiblegrannie

    "compromise"

    There won't be a compromise on extracting that oil. Regardless of the rights and wrongs that oil will be extracted. The naysayers don't have the political power to stop it.

    But that is not the end of the matter. The pipeline may not be the only reasonable option, even if it is there are important elements such as route and maintenance. I don't want them compromising on safety. I don't want another Deepwater Horizon. And these photographs can help towards that safety.

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  • 22. At 5:29pm on 29 Sep 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #7 wrote:

    The big problem with saying you care about nature is the need, again and again, to show that this is as well as and consistent with caring about people.

    The two are sometimes consistent, and sometimes inconsistent. Compared to the New World, Europe is a tame place like a "municipal park", because previous generations of Europeans had good reason to regard wolves, bears etc. as their enemies.

    In view of the recent death of the great evolutionary biologist George Williams, perhaps this is a good time to reflect on his view that Mother Nature is a "wicked old witch".

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/science-obituaries/8028642/George-Williams.html

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  • 23. At 6:01pm on 29 Sep 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    '4. At 10:58am on 29 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke

    A certain irony perhaps in posting off topic to 'warn' of the consequences of posting off topic.

    Sorry if his may be seen as 'veering' and on top of the one replied to lead to a plug pulll to spoil for all to spite a few, but I'd say the responsibility for such a decision may still rest perhaps more with those in actual charge and owning the place.


    1. BBC threads are now only kept open for a few days to keep them topical.
    2. BBC threads are now closed early if the discussion veers off the article topic.
    3. BBC threads are now closed early if "the number of posts is so high that the discussion has become unmanageable". I think this means so full that refresh screen takes a long time.
    4. BBC threads are now closed early if the mods catch the first post breaking house rules.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/dailypolitics/andrewneil/2010/07/it_didnt_quite_work_out_that_w.html

    Or... not.
    Apt title, all things considered.
    The watertightness of oversight hence seems to be 'variable'. I wonder if the Dr. Fox doc is still locked down chez Aunty?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11432620

    Guess not.

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  • 24. At 8:05pm on 29 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard

    "sometimes consistent, and sometimes inconsistent"

    Because being pro nature and pro people has the potential to be inconsistent people making pro nature posts on these threads have learnt to expect accusations of hating people.

    "wolves, bears etc"

    I think you are overestimating the danger from wolves and bears etcetera, and possibly overestimating the population density of these top predators before we impacted their numbers.

    The really unpleasant and nastiest forms of wildlife have always been best viewed down a microscope. Although sometimes they hitch a ride inside fleas and mosquitoes.


    @Junkkmale

    I was trying to prevent a repetition of what may have killed recent threads. The thread closure rule applies to the main discussion not single posts, and I expect a reasonable amount of tolerance for the occasional post clearly aimed at making everyone's life easier. And you've found the exception that proves the rule.

    Now do you have an opinion on the current article? Pipeline? Bears? Photographers?

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  • 25. At 8:07pm on 29 Sep 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    also this thread from 30 July 2010 is still open:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/07/equal_partnership_land.html

    or perhaps it's closed by the time you read this

    /Mango

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  • 26. At 8:43pm on 29 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Wolfiewoods

    I think the subject of Richard's article is also CanadianRockies neck of the woods. I think both might have more than the standard opinion.

    @Mango

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/12/cop15_copenhagen_climate_summi.html
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/01/arctic_conditions_arctic_cause.html?page=2

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  • 27. At 10:47pm on 29 Sep 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Wolfiewoods #9.

    "Manysummits, if you are still out there, this is in your back yard, we would value your input."

    I took the liberty to mention this in an email to manysummits, in his reply he asked to say 'hi' to everyone, and provided the following link:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/37/16178.short?rss=1

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  • 28. At 11:33pm on 29 Sep 2010, beesaman wrote:

    Which all goes to prove that, like global warming, environmentalism is all about sentimentality not science.

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  • 29. At 01:56am on 30 Sep 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    .
    "...This research has been going on for some years now. Pipelines are laid all over the world, and in the main with little environmental impact. I know, I live in an area where extensive pipelines have recently been laid.. ....You can see nothing, and nothing has changed." (brian wooster wrote @ 16):
    .....
    Look up 'permafrost oil pipelines images', (eg. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator])
    These images show a very different impact to those buried beneath lowland England.
    The images I am attempting to show you shows the effect of permafrost-melt on oil/gas pipelines.
    Thus all pipelines in the frozen region need to be raised above the ground and thermally protected.
    This does bad things to the migration routes of caribou, etc.
    It has been much researched over many years, especially by Shell.
    And, by the way, you should see areas where pipelines have been breeched by locals - especially in Russia and in Nigeria - huge contaminations.

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  • 30. At 02:20am on 30 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @beesaman

    "sentimentality not science"

    Actually like most branches of politics, environmentalism doesn't claim to be science. The better environmentalists do claim to be informed by science.

    Meanwhile could you perhaps clarify "sentimentality"?

    Do you mean "caring about something", as opposed to being a computer running on pure logic? Which would be the norm in any aspect of politics and to which I 'fess up.

    Or do you mean (warning, yuk alert) a limited edition twelve piece bone china plate set with pictures of puppies and kittens exquisitely hand painted and signed by the artist only £99 per plate? (end yuk alert) To which I throw up.

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  • 31. At 02:24am on 30 Sep 2010, GeoffWard wrote:


    "Which all goes to prove that, like global warming, environmentalism is all about sentimentality not science." (beesaman, @28)
    .........

    What a load of old TOSH !

    This person knows incredibly little,

    ..... about the various branches of classic physical & life sciences, technology, ecology, and the earth sciences that underpin environmentalism.
    The bringing of scientific and mathematical rigour to the Victorian genre of 'natural history' has been a feature of the last century of understanding our planet.

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  • 32. At 02:30am on 30 Sep 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    .
    Yes, I also miss Summits and Rockies
    .
    This blog-site is the poorer by virtue of their absence.
    .

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  • 33. At 07:06am on 30 Sep 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    On the subject of land use (this news is right up Manysummits street!), I see the latest peer-reviewed literature indicates something that I tried to convince Manysummits of on many occasions. The snows of Kilimanjaro are being lost, not through rising temperatures, but by the felling of trees at the base of the mountain.

    AGW it certainly is, but CO2 induced temperature rise? Nope.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/12/cop15_still_squabbling_over_fo.html#P89800787

    Oh, and perhaps if Manysummits is out there, he would be gracious enough to apologise for his portrayal of sceptics as being "scientifically challenged"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/12/cop15_copenhagen_climate_summi_3.html#P89789204

    And as you can see in Manysummits post, Lonnie Thompson "world renowned glaciologist and 'dust-man'" was wrong. According to manysummits "Lonnie is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, and the article I cited and linked to was passed after inspection by another member of the National Academy of Sciences, James Hansen", was wrong

    /Mango

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  • 34. At 07:51am on 30 Sep 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #30 wrote:

    Meanwhile could you perhaps clarify "sentimentality"?

    James Joyce defined sentimentality as "unearned emotion". It is perfectly appropriate to burst into tears upon learning of the death of a family member, say, because the emotion expressed is genuinely "earned". But for most of us it is sentimentality to burst into tears upon learning of the death of Princess Di.

    I agree with beesaman that there are elements of "unearned emotion" -- a distinct whiff of your kitten-and-puppies-on-fine-bone-china-plates -- in much environmentalism. For example, consider weepy references to "caring about future generations of children". (Not adults, please note!) No one can honestly claim to care much about these children, because they are too distant from us, like Princess Di. Attempts to stir up emotions about them are generally "unearned" -- in other words, it's sentimentality.

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  • 35. At 08:11am on 30 Sep 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    I too miss Manysummits & wish that he could be persuaded to return, I disagree with him on most things but he does provide an insight into how the other side thinks (and he is a fellow cat person). Manysummits talked about the Alberta tar sands several times before.

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  • 36. At 08:12am on 30 Sep 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    “Pssst Polly. Try not to mention climate change, I did once but I think I got away with it.”

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  • 37. At 08:28am on 30 Sep 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    Hi smiffie

    if that was directed at me (no problem btw), but the subject refers to land change use from pristine landscape to tar sand pits, so my post is not off topic.

    for the record, i strongly believe land change use is the real AGW and should be highlighted in Richards posts

    /Mango

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  • 38. At 09:05am on 30 Sep 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 36

    Brilliant.

    Methinks that's the way the BBC sites are going now. I smell a running joke...

    Re-canada and the oil/wildlife balance.

    HAving family in calgary i am all to aware of just how staggeringly beautiful and untouched alberta is. It's an awe inspiring place. I am also aware of just how much oil related industry is starting to concentrate on and around calgary.

    There is (understandably) real concern over there about striking a GOOD balance between protecting the environment but also protecting the economy. If, the Canadian and local government is strong enough to sort the 'oil rights' mess they got themselves into in calgary out, and to set out decent and strict controls on any new venture that could produce significant pollution and damage to the local environment- then i'm all for it.

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  • 39. At 10:45am on 30 Sep 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    Mango @#37, my post at #36 was reference to my first post @#1 and not a dig at you.

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  • 40. At 10:51am on 30 Sep 2010, beesaman wrote:

    This article raises the problem that some people like Geoff Ward; have of understanding the difference between emotion and reason. Certainly our actions should contain emotional facets but if they are not controlled by a deeper reason based on such things as scientific reasoning then what are you left with? Insulting others on a message board for example as 'knowing very little' when you have no idea of that person’s academic and personal history is all emotion and no reason. Indeed Mr. Ward would cringe in shame if he did know. I keep my credentials to myself because of the nastiness of the emotional diatribes I would suffer due to his ilk through my academic work.

    But in the end reason will, as always, prevail.

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  • 41. At 10:53am on 30 Sep 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 42. At 11:35am on 30 Sep 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    '24. At 8:05pm on 29 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Junkkmale

    I was trying to prevent a repetition of what may have killed recent threads. The thread closure rule applies to the main discussion not single posts,


    That, I humbly resubmit, remains an issue more to be laid at, and taken up with the door of the site owners. I didn't appreciate being kept in detention as a class back at school because of a petty desire to punish all for the actions of few, and I don't think it is the remit for any here. And while the intent is noble, the hall monitor tone isn't engaging me much. It may not be intentional, but this is a public(ly funded) blog, and not a private club, much as some seem to believe and wish it. And it is a blog, so robust debate and the odd OT can and will transpire. Trying to create or enforce an ideal to prevent the pitch and ball being removed because of a few rough tackles that trouble the ref's vision of a smooth game, is an errand worthy of Canute.

    '...and I expect a reasonable amount of tolerance...

    Yes'm. That would be more on the presumption of a 'Do as I say' basis and apply variably, depending...?

    '...for the occasional post clearly aimed at making everyone's life easier..

    Aimed, and with sincerity no doubt. Clear, and in the interest of 'everyone'... not so sure. Don't even know what 'easier' can mean.

    'Now do you have an opinion on the current article? Pipeline? Bears? Photographers?'

    Maybe, but for now I am still getting to grips with the new game play outlined, not entirely on topic, bear-free, out of blue, first, here: 4. At 10:58am on 29 Sep 2010

    Or is this as unidirectional as it is favoured by being 'different', on top of claiming things that seem less than borne out in fact?

    Maybe the actual blog owners have a view, or have they sub-contracted? I'd certainly be fascinated to hear from the horse's mouth that this thread is so sensitively overseen for the reasons stated.

    Al Haig would have been proud, to be sure.

    Sorry to be 'keeping this going' in replying the one who after all initiated the 'discussion', though it seemed more of an instruction, as there was enough for me to feel it warranted further exchange.

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  • 43. At 1:42pm on 30 Sep 2010, Smiffie wrote:

    Richard, pleased to see articles like this one that address real environmental issues without constant reference to AGW, this is what many people have been calling for for a long time, real environmental issues. I did think that your return from holiday would be a good point at which to take things in a new direction, keep up the good work, I am sure that you will be able to climb out of the hole.

    Also, just re-read your Arctic Ice piece and the response at Climate Progress and I must say Richard, you have been rather clever.

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  • 44. At 1:51pm on 30 Sep 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Richard

    "I think it'd be good if you did a piece on the Royal Society's unprecedented about-face on Climate change (though this is NOT to say they have came out against it, just removed any pretense of 'science settled' and fully admitted they don't fully understand the system). The way the BBC has reported it so far has been, well, slightly one sided and largely missing the scientific points."

    Yep, I agree with LabMunkey. So far, the BBC’s treatment of this bit of news has been more than a tad one sided. This is a major change of emphasis, brought about because the previous 'consensus' state of affairs had become untenable - The worm has most definitely turned.

    But, back to the topic at hand:

    The bits of wilderness that we are talking about are largely untouched by man. Surely that makes them special, or at least just a little bit special. Not to get emotional about this, but doesn't that warrant a bit of care on our part. I'm not saying that we can't make use of this resource, but shouldn't we do so responsibly?

    In the case of a pipeline, it's not just the pipeline itself it's the infrastructure to service and maintain it, if all of these things can be put in place and the area returned to a natural state, then that would be one thing, but I’m not sure that’s actually an option.

    As to people caring about these things, would you rather have a world where no-one cared?

    I’m not sure that I would.

    Oil is important, but it’s not that important and neither are the Tar sands, they always were the expensive and dirty option. In my opinion they should be the oil of last resort and I simply don’t think we’ve reached that point yet.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 45. At 1:57pm on 30 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @JunkkMale

    "tolerance"

    You misunderstood my tolerance statement. I was not referring to your attitude. I was referring to how my post would be treated by others. (Please re-read.)

    Your example of school detention to punish all for the actions of a few is a good comparison. And it appears to have been applied on recently closed threads.

    I remind you that the situation here is complicated by the lack of notification when the implementation of rules change. And also complicated by the lack of warning and explanation on problems with the discussion level of threads. Hence my #4 and my #24.

    As for the site owners, that is why my #4 included a link to complaints. However the new thread closure regime brings these threads into line with non-BBC websites. So I personally can't complain to the site owners although I am not happy. But I can flag up the changed regime to others, and offer workarounds, it's up to you how you react.

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  • 46. At 1:58pm on 30 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #22
    @jr4412 #27

    Thanks for those links, both of you. And good to hear from Manysummits after all this time.

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  • 47. At 2:13pm on 30 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #34

    Firstly I remind you how easily it is for language to be misunderstood when there is any abstract element to the discussion.

    Secondly I point out that beesaman's choice and use of the term "sentimentality" in #28 goes beyond your interpretation of just attacking the more sentimental amongst us. Perhaps beesaman's "sentimentality" is an umbrella term that also covers reasonable and appropriate emotions that are essential to politics. However beesaman's tone suggests it doesn't. So beesaman's post appears to explicitly accuse all environmentalism of being the yuk version of sentimentality.

    As for your future generations of children example, I think that may be clumsiness. I point out that it often separated out so that environmentalists either refer to "future generations" or to "our children and their children". For instance, "Storms of my grandchildren"

    @GeoffWard #31

    I agree that there is a lot of science in environmentalism, and I personally feel that the best environmentalists take account of the science. But ...

    There are a number of intellectual themes in environmentalism. Not all environmentalists are big fans of science (you can deal with such people by pointing out plenty of scientists that manage to combine the two). Other intellectual themes include the practical (people on the receiving end of failed environmental policies, especially farmers and fishermen), the reasonable aesthetic (it is entirely reasonable to be revolted at the sight of an oil spill), the unreasonable aesthetic (fluffy wuffy bunny wunnies in limited edition hand painted bone china - ah, sweet), the leftie (because Big Money can sometimes make a mess of the environment), the authoritarian (because control freaks cannot trust people to make their own decisions), the anti-authoritarian (because many environmental protests have been on the receiving end of heavy handed policing), and the hippy.

    Some of these intellectual themes are mutually exclusive. The science theme is strong and obvious in the hands of the likes of David Attenborough or Gerald Durrell. But it is not universal in the conservation movement.

    @Mango #37

    "land change use is the real AGW"

    Similar position to the senior Pielke. I agree that land use change is important but not that it totally swamps anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

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  • 48. At 2:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #38

    "GOOD balance between protecting the environment but also protecting the economy"

    Sometimes the demands of the environment and the economy are in sync. Avoid the c***-ups. Oil spills hurt both the environment and the economy.

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  • 49. At 2:21pm on 30 Sep 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Why would anyone be concerned about an oil spill? Chasing a finite resource and justifying the destruction of everything in the path of that pursuit. Money will change hands, publicly or otherwise, and things will change. Bears don't vote. Short term accumulation of wealth is the model of this era. Just because everything fell apart doesn't mean that they have stopped..

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  • 50. At 3:59pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    It just occurred to me, the picture at the top of the blog that is surely the definitive proof of:

    "Do bears C**p in the woods" living proof brought to you by Richard Black, something David Attenborough failed to do.

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  • 51. At 5:20pm on 30 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Mango #37
    (@ myself #47)

    Reworded for clarification.

    "land change use is the real AGW"

    Yours is a similar position to the senior Pielke. I agree that land use change is important but not that it totally swamps anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

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  • 52. At 5:43pm on 30 Sep 2010, Jack Hughes wrote:

    @Kambosigh #50

    Well we did learn from Richard that the Pope was ... a catholic.

    @Head prefect
    Is this OK ?

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  • 53. At 6:22pm on 30 Sep 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #51

    I knew what you meant Jane

    Obviously Pielke Sr is a very clever man ;)

    but...

    land change use has been clearly shown to affect both the environment generally and temperatures, if only through urban heat islands, whereas CO2 has never been shown empirically to have a significant effect on temperature beyond it's initial effect.

    /Mango

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  • 54. At 6:39pm on 30 Sep 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #5 wrote:

    "Passion"? "Exited"? Ugh, hate corporate speech.

    Your irritation at the word 'passion' is indeed perceptive.

    Just a few minutes ago I was also very impressed by the perceptiveness of Billy Wilder (who wrote the screenplay for Some Like it Hot) in giving Tony Curtis a very clever line (to wow Marilyn Monroe, as he pretends to collect shells, supposedly like his father and grandfather): "you might say we had a passion for shells -- that's why we named the oil company after them".

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  • 55. At 6:53pm on 30 Sep 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    and just to expand on my thoughts about land change use being the real "A" in AGW

    archaeologists know around 12000 years ago the North Sea was formed and they know the rate at which the North Sea formed (within a human lifetime, which was short at that time - so fast).

    archaeologists know that warming was affecting glaciers around 5000 years ago, because they have found tools in Alpine glaciers, that have melted (presumably 5000 years ago the ice was much further up the mountain range and the tools have migrated due to the flow of the glacier, which could mean the tools were even higher and the glacier smaller)

    archaeologists also know that warming was affecting Norwegian glaciers around 3400 years ago, because they have found shoes dating from that time

    we all know the story of Hannibal dating from around 200 BC, again in the Alps

    so the point is, warming occurs naturally, sometimes at a rate quick enough to flood huge areas of land in a short period of time.

    So in my opinion, land change use, such as illustrated in Richards post, concreting vast areas for car parks, chopping down forests, cutting the tops off hills and mountains is much more significant than CO2 could ever be.

    /Mango

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  • 56. At 6:54pm on 30 Sep 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Manysummits, I thought you had kicked the bucket and I didn't dare ask because I didn't want more upset. jr4412 tells us he is still in touch with you by email. I think there are many here who would like to hear what you have to say about oil shale verses nature.
    fond regards
    sensibleoldgrannie

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  • 57. At 7:31pm on 30 Sep 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    #44. At 1:51pm on 30 Sep 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    Oil is important, but it’s not that important and neither are the Tar sands, they always were the expensive and dirty option.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Try living without it or it's many, many by-products.

    Unless you plan on living in a cave and hunting food with a stone tipped spear, you're going to run into problems...

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  • 58. At 7:39pm on 30 Sep 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    This is a rell environmental issue, conflict between environment and econimc developemnt, which can be worked towars a solution..

    Emotions do matter, but their has to be rational though to go hand in hands with them..

    I hope some of the regulars here, went to Climate progress to defend the BBC and Richard Black....

    I was defending the excellent BBC moderators here, from Romm's vitriolic commentators. The BBC has an HONEST blog, unlike CP

    I didn't see anybody there....


    But probably because you were deleted...

    (they were saying some awful stuff, about Richard, Roger and the BBC, poor moderation - ie views they did not like!)

    Don't what to go off topic, so my deleted comment was put into Jo Nova's article, if anyone is interested.

    see comment 39# at Jo Nova
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/09/blog-warfare-warmist-attacks-their-own/#comments

    - In Defence of Richard - ( I sent it to Richard as well, he said thanks)

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  • 59. At 8:06pm on 30 Sep 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    .
    "I agree that there is a lot of science in environmentalism, and I personally feel that the best environmentalists take account of the science.
    But there are a number of intellectual themes in environmentalism... intellectual themes include the practical (people on the receiving end of failed environmental policies, especially farmers and fishermen) ..."
    (JaneBasingstoke @ 47)
    .........
    .
    If I read you correctly (& I have paraphrased your posting), you think that there is an intellectual theme that thas resulted (?) in failed practical environmental policies wrt ag. & fish. exploitation.
    .
    Having worked in fisheries research for a time, and lectured on the application of fisheries science & technology to the industry to achieve optimum sustainable yields, I KNOW that the problem is not rooted in the science, the ecology, the environmentalism, the conservation, etc.
    .
    The failure is one of Politics, economics, human sociology, and human nature = greed (all neatly encompassed in 'The Tragedy of the Commons').
    .
    Time and time again the fisheries 'scientists' present *bottom-line* action reports for the politicians, only to have them negotiated away and watered down to uselessness through quid pro quo agreements on manufactured consumables such as shoe imports.
    .
    Our politicians have become very skillful at transforming these renewable resources into non-renewable resources, and then bemoaning the outcome when the stocks fail to renew - they do this time and time again by over-riding the central argument of environmentalism.

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  • 60. At 8:35pm on 30 Sep 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    "Which all goes to prove that, like global warming, environmentalism is all about sentimentality not science." (beesaman, @28)
    .........
    "What a load of old TOSH! This person knows incredibly little about the various branches of classic physical & life sciences, technology, ecology, and the earth sciences that underpin environmentalism.
    The bringing of scientific and mathematical rigour to the Victorian genre of 'natural history' has been a feature of the last century of understanding our planet." (me @ 31)
    ...............
    beesaman wrote @ 40:
    "This article raises the problem that some people like Geoff Ward have of understanding the difference between emotion and reason. Certainly our actions should contain emotional facets but if they are not controlled by a deeper reason based on such things as scientific reasoning then what are you left with? Insulting others on a message board for example as 'knowing very little' when you have no idea of that person’s academic and personal history is all emotion and no reason. Indeed Mr. Ward would cringe in shame if he did know. I keep my credentials to myself because of the nastiness of the emotional diatribes I would suffer due to his ilk through my academic work.

    But in the end reason will, as always, prevail."

    ........................
    Sounds like you've been working in an 'emotional' area such as one that requires licencing under the Cruelty To Animals Act. Yes, I also held a licence.

    Anyway, beesaman, give us reason - and prevail.

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  • 61. At 9:52pm on 30 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @GeoffWard #60

    The failed environmental policies in my mind when I wrote my #47 were those that should have prevented the Deepwater Horizon spill if they hadn't been systematically undermined. I think your #29 gives similar examples involving oil spills and pipelines in regions with permafrost.

    With Deepwater Horizon the oil spill hurt fishermen. In Nigeria oil spills hurt farmers as well. So both fishermen and farmers are natural environmentalists when it comes to demanding reasonable regulation of the oil industry.

    And as regards overfishing. Not all fishermen are involved in the massive increase in fishing in certain areas. And most of those who haven't upped their exploitation are also on the receiving end of failed environmental policies. West African fishermen complaining when their catch is taken by European factory ships might also be described as natural environmentalists.

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  • 62. At 9:57pm on 30 Sep 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 63. At 11:03pm on 30 Sep 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 64. At 00:47am on 01 Oct 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    “The failed environmental policies in my mind when I wrote my #47 were those that should have prevented the Deepwater Horizon spill if they hadn't been systematically undermined. I think your #29 gives similar examples involving oil spills and pipelines in regions with permafrost.”
    With Deepwater Horizon the oil spill hurt fishermen. In Nigeria oil spills hurt farmers as well. So both fishermen and farmers are *natural environmentalists* when it comes to demanding reasonable regulation of the oil industry.
    And as regards overfishing. Not all fishermen are involved in the massive increase in fishing in certain areas. And most of those who haven't upped their exploitation are also on the receiving end of failed environmental policies. West African fishermen complaining when their catch is taken by European factory ships might also be described as *natural environmentalists*.” (Jane Basingstoke @ 61)
    ………………………………………………………………….
    Hi, Jane,
    It’s good to be addressing the environment writ large again.
    We are largely of a like mind, just seeing different examples leading us in slightly different directions.
    .
    Wrt the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, this was covered by extremely good US Environmental Protection legislation (Clean Water Act; Marine). The extraction that was supposed to follow the drilling was licenced under this legislation. The problem was not with the environmental legislation, but with the alleged flouting of the mechanical operating & procedural rules & guidelines - designed to extract oil within the environmental protection parameters established by the USA EPA. Even where the operating procedures are fully obayed, there always remains the statistical risk of ‘accidental release’.
    .
    The arctic oil pipelines that sunk and twisted in the melting permafrost zone were not initially designed or emplaced with melting in mind. Subsequent constructions were so designed, though accidents still occur (technical, human factors and unpredictable changes in soil/geology/hydrology).
    .
    Wrt the victims of pollution being ‘natural environmentalists’, I agree they suffer the results of accidents or culpable activities; they are true victims in this respect, but they themselves simultaneously overfish the Gulf and overgraze the sub-Sahara. No, they are not natural environmentalists.
    .
    Overfishing: the West African upwelling is resource-rich along most of the nations’ coast-lines. The environmental legislation in question is The Law Of The Sea (Living Resources) and the 12 mile limits and the 200 mile EEZ largely apply. Economically poor coastal states have leaders & governments that follow the money – the money is largely Eurozone, Russian and Japanese, and the foreign fleets operate under extraction licences purchased from the coastal states' allocations. (Chinese money will follow, tied to voting influence in the UN).
    .
    The indigenous fishermen are not on the receiving end of failed *environmental policies*, but from the grasping resource-politics of their nations’ leaders. I also feel sure that, even today, the legal tonnages bear little relation to the total tonnages removed and landed. Regulatory laxity by the W. African coastal states , and the overall practice of the exploitation, results in a damaged environment. The problem is not in the environmental policies and legislations, but in the illegal and circumventary practices both with and without political connivance.
    .
    The local fisherman, if they had the technical capacity to over-exploit and eradicate their resource, would do so for their short-term gain. They are merely another group of ‘victims’, not natural environmentalists.
    .
    My regards,
    Geoff.


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  • 65. At 05:25am on 01 Oct 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    26. JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "I think the subject of Richard's article is also CanadianRockies neck of the woods. I think both might have more than the standard opinion."

    Just got here. Just read it plus most of the comments.

    This blog is so full of misleading and bogus information that it is difficult to know where to begin. Junk 'journalism.' Richard may as well just do disingenuous press releases for Greenpeace.

    Apparently the floggers of this story hope no one has a map. There are already tankers travelling ALONG that coast from Alaska to the contiguous US. The tankers which would go from the proposed pipeline's outlet (well north of this protected area)west to China AWAY from the coast, not south along it as the US tankers already do. So this whole pipeline angle is bogus.

    But then, it seems that there is no end of misinformation about the oil sands and everything linked to them these days, so that is not surprising.

    Could say much more about BC coastal grizzly bear population - at ALL-TIME historic highs. Or the wolves in that photo - which some pseudoscientists are trying to portray as a separate subspecies in order to create a new research industry. And so much more. But I'm too tired right now. Maybe later.

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  • 66. At 08:33am on 01 Oct 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 67. At 09:00am on 01 Oct 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 68. At 11:56am on 01 Oct 2010, Kamboshigh wrote:

    This 10:10 thing just about shows how low and pathetic you can get. Sorry for being OT but anybody who finds it funny has to be seriously derranged. In fact surely this can be classed under UK anti-terror legislation as it is making direct threats to kill in the name of a cause. Disagree and you will be blown up.

    now back to those bears in the wood, cann't wait for canadianrockies rebuttal as I found loads to contradict the hog wash on the net

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  • 69. At 12:41pm on 01 Oct 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 70. At 12:55pm on 01 Oct 2010, quake wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 71. At 1:09pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @GeoffWard #64

    "largely of a like mind"

    Yeah, that's what I thought until I read your #64.

    Firstly I disagree that the "victims" are just victims. Yes they're on the receiving end of unpleasantness but most are contributing to campaigning against that unpleasantness.

    I also think you set the bar far too high for what constitutes an environmentalist. Don't people contributing to environmental degradation but who are also trying to fix environmental degradation count as environmentalists? If not then there are very very few environmentalists. Most of the environmentalists posting here are responsible for more damage to the environment than the Sub Saharan farmers you mention. Or do you live in an unheated shed with a clockwork powered laptop?

    There is always some environmental legislation in place. In some cases it is straightforwardly inadequate. In some cases such as the melting permafrost example it is out of date. In other cases it is OK, but will not withstand constant pressure from oil company bean counters. In the case of the Deepwater Horizon spill it was systematically undermined, with oil companies demanding and getting exemptions.

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  • 72. At 1:17pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 73. At 1:29pm on 01 Oct 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    '45. At 1:57pm on 30 Sep 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    Re-read. Still a bit unclear on how one moves to being a poster to being an 'other'.

    I remind you that the situation here is complicated...

    So reminded. It was noticed, a wee while ago, elsewhere, too. But perhaps without the inspiration to avoid boat-rocking that got Mr. Curtis' Jemima a gold star.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ethicalman/2010/05/are_we_doomed_by_democracy.html

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  • 74. At 1:32pm on 01 Oct 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Kamboshigh #68 wrote:

    This 10:10 thing just about shows how low and pathetic you can get. Sorry for being OT but anybody who finds it funny has to be seriously derranged.

    It's just sub-Python (as in Monty Python's exploding Mr Creosote). About as funny as it is original, which is not much. You must have met scores of people who put on the "Terry Jones Python housewife" voice, haven't you? -- If you have somehow managed to escape that bit of "cutting edge culture" that has been omnipresent on Western campuses for 40 years now, count yourself lucky!

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  • 75. At 1:32pm on 01 Oct 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    If this repeats, my bad. Sorry. Hit post and it vanished.

    The problem with ecosystem chain-topping predators (or big omni/herbivores) when sucked into broader eco-debates (or, worse, used as symbols) is when the issues get a bit complex, whilst some remain a smidge over-focussed on the causes and effects of what rings their bells. Worse is when you find clash of the interests coming together.

    I recall a lovely BBC series following a tiger family, with Mum and several cubs. Trouble was they were in a reserve of finite size, surrounded by folk farming and the like.

    It didn't seem to look like it would end well as the kids grew up. But that, sadly, was where the end fade kicked in.

    Do I think this, and farming equates to tar sand pipelines as a future to develop, especially in last gasps to support a finite energy resource. No.

    Do I think pitting pristine acres against energy sources that growing economies depend upon, in forms this simplistic, is fair? Not really. Especially for those who really need to grasp the choices they are being given vs, those they need to knuckle down and assess before deciding.

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  • 76. At 1:48pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    10:10 "viral" video: Mainstream greens take p*** out of hardline extremist greens. Shock Horror!

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  • 77. At 2:19pm on 01 Oct 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    72. At 1:17pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:
    76. At 1:48pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    Is it OK to go OT now, then?

    Things just seem to... change, and it can get confusing.

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  • 78. At 2:38pm on 01 Oct 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 79. At 2:50pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Junkkmale #73

    "Still a bit unclear on how one moves to being a poster to being an 'other'."

    OK, so I have to risk spelling it out.

    "I expect a reasonable amount of tolerance for the occasional post clearly aimed at making everyone's life easier."

    means

    "I expect (= anticipate) a reasonable amount of tolerance from the moderators for the occasional post clearly aimed at making everyone's life easier."

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  • 80. At 2:59pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @JunkkMale #77

    Probably not, those posts were risky, as is this.

    But firstly I didn't bring the subject up (see #62, #63, #66, #67, #68), secondly I've stayed quiet on a number of other arguably OT comments on this thread, and thirdly I don't like it when one of my heroes gets (accidentally) misrepresented as a green fascist.

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  • 81. At 3:46pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #78

    "Ask yourself this question. Substitute the 'deniers' for another group, such as muslim, catholic etc. Is it still funny? Is it stil acceptable? Didn't think so."

    Have you ever read Animal Farm? Animal Farm was written by a left winger. Would you describe Animal Farm as an endorsement for the behaviour of Stalin? Or would you say that it satirised the worst of Stalinism allowing left wingers to distance themselves from Stalin.

    And yes, if say Spitting Image had showed an extreme right wing politician blowing up Muslims and Catholics it could be funny and would definitely not be seen as anti-Muslim or anti-Catholic.

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  • 82. At 4:06pm on 01 Oct 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    81.

    Jane. Seriously. There is a WORLD of difference between a bunch of comedians portraying something and a government backed organisation saying something.

    If you cannot see the difference or the significance of that distinction then i am quite worried.

    Re animal farm. Of course not, as it shows it's rapid implosion due to rampant self-interest. Hardly a good advertisement. This however film shows killing skeptics in a light hearted, consequence-free way. No consequence therefore very different. Nice try though (and excellent book btw- you might like 'The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand if you liked that).

    Re-spitting image. All a question of time and again all a question of who's doing it. Could spitting image get away with that now? debatable. But that's the point, it's not spitting image, it's a GOVERNMENT SPONSORED entity. This makes it wholly different (as i stated above).

    Update- this viral video is being removed rapidly from the internet. If you haven't seen it do it quickly, it may not be around much longer.

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  • 83. At 4:20pm on 01 Oct 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 84. At 4:24pm on 01 Oct 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #81 wrote:

    if say Spitting Image had showed an extreme right wing politician blowing up Muslims and Catholics it could be funny and would definitely not be seen as anti-Muslim or anti-Catholic.

    And Richard Curtis (or someone else in same team) has already made OTT jokes in bad taste along the above lines in Blackadder's remark to Baldric: "cold weather is God's way of telling us to burn more Catholics", which is obviously intended to highlight the idiocy and cruelty of historical persecution rather than an incitement to do more of it.

    LabMunkey, where's your sense of irony?

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  • 85. At 4:29pm on 01 Oct 2010, Greenpa wrote:

    @ 11. At 2:22pm on 29 Sep 2010, Brunnen_G wrote: "So let's not get too precious about some forest, shall we? As long as we want medicine, elctricity and the ability to travel, communicate (guess what that computer is largely made of? and live a life more comfortable than that endured in the 19th century, WE NEED OIL."

    The flaw in your ointment (yes, I mix metaphors) is your use of the imperial "we".

    "We", if you are speaking of the 50% of global humanity currently living on $2 US per day (that's ~3,500,000,000 HUMANS, in case you need that pointed out), do not HAVE medicine, or electricity, or the ability to travel, nor communicate. The next rung up; those in the blissful world of $5/day; also have none of those blessing of "civilization". The do enjoy the manifold benefits of the pollution and wars, however.

    The oil you "NEED" is used only to keep you in your place- not one drop of it will bring "us" any of the "benefits" you describe. Yes indeed, if you are to maintain your position as obese feline at the top of the food chain; you need oil.

    Your flat statements of absolute truth are quite holey. I recommend a year or so working as farm laborer in Africa, as a remedy for your extreme myopia; and self-satisfaction.

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  • 86. At 4:38pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    OK I was wrong about that 10:10 clip.

    They are frustrated with sceptics hence blowing a few fictional sceptics up.

    I condemn the video outright. It was wrong. It was deeply sick. It had the potential to promote actual violence against sceptics. It is a blot on the characters of all involved, including Richard Curtis.

    I apologise for my earlier defence of the video. It was wrong. I had not done my research. I was unfair to AGW sceptics who deserve far more respect.

    10:10 have taken the video down and will be issuing further info.

    http://www.1010global.org/no-pressure

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  • 87. At 4:54pm on 01 Oct 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 88. At 4:56pm on 01 Oct 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    re Curtis & 10:10

    i'm less concerned - i think this could be shooting themselves in the foot

    /Mango

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  • 89. At 5:03pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #82

    "WORLD of difference between a bunch of comedians portraying something and a government backed organisation saying something"

    The following is not a defence of the 10:10 clip.

    It would be very easy if everything an unpopular government said was wrong, or every organisation backed by an unpopular government was unduly influenced by the government. The world would be a simple mix of good guys and bad guys and everyone would know which was which.

    Unfortunately this is not true. Unpopular governments are right on some issues. Some organisations linked to unpopular governments can and do resist inappropriate influence.

    That is not to say that governments and organisations linked to governments should not be scrutinised. All powerful individuals and institutions need to be scrutinised. And while their motives are good honest scrutiny does not hurt them.

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  • 90. At 5:23pm on 01 Oct 2010, indianblue wrote:

    I have seen glaciers disappear over the years,
    I have seem mango orchards stand bare,
    rains pour down in Delhi which flooded the city,
    cloudbursts in Leh that look like doomsday,

    all these changes were never here for the past 1500 years,
    that I can assure you from our traditional village songs,
    which have remained the same since 8th century at least,
    still if u don't believe me, think about this,
    you just caused a cotton farmer in India to commit suicide because the monsoons failed.
    And all this my friend, because you wanted to show off your Bentley and not take the tube.
    But then who cares about the desperate pleas of a thin lean elephant mahout, or a wheat farmer from the banks of Ganges,
    you have better things to worry about with FIF@ 11 and Hollywood,
    never mind, I might die early, but so will you, but in a far more apathetic world and one where you get to eat the fruits of your cruelty to mankind.

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  • 91. At 5:30pm on 01 Oct 2010, indianblue wrote:

    @greenpa
    SPOT ON!

    these people think that they represent the majority and that is what all the people want. what they fail to understand is that they are just a microscopic minority in this world. worse is the fact that they think they have the right to pollute and enjoy at the cost of all other humans.

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  • 92. At 5:36pm on 01 Oct 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 93. At 5:56pm on 01 Oct 2010, Greenpa wrote:

    a less incendiary video on dealing with climate change deniers-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5nNbPWYHOA

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  • 94. At 6:23pm on 01 Oct 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Greenpa #85 wrote:

    the 50% of global humanity currently living on $2 US per day (that's ~3,500,000,000 HUMANS, in case you need that pointed out), do not HAVE medicine, or electricity, or the ability to travel, nor communicate.

    I dispute these statistics -- they're wrong. But in any case, most of the poorest people wouldn't even be alive without oil, because oil is what made food cheap enough for their parents to survive long enough to have children in the first place.

    Many poor Africans' lives are greatly enhanced -- made more free -- by the mobile telephone, which has opened up all sorts of new possibilities in banking as well as marketing of their own produce. Hardly any people on Earth do not depend -- often in much more crucial ways than we Westerners "depend" on modern cheap forms of energy.

    Energy means food. Cheap energy means cheap food. Cheap food means life and better health for the poorest on the planet.

    We have inherited a primitive way of thinking from our evolutionary past: many of us suppose that wealth can only be gained by taking things from the poor. That is just mistaken -- life is not a "zero-sum game". (Which is not to say that there is no exploitation, or that exploitation should not be resisted.)

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  • 95. At 6:25pm on 01 Oct 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    @85 Greenpa wrote:

    "We", if you are speaking of the 50% of global humanity currently living on $2 US per day (that's ~3,500,000,000 HUMANS, in case you need that pointed out), do not HAVE medicine, or electricity, or the ability to travel, nor communicate. The next rung up; those in the blissful world of $5/day; also have none of those blessing of "civilization". The do enjoy the manifold benefits of the pollution and wars, however.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    How can I put this without sounding cruel? Sucks to be them.

    I'm not trying to save the world, it's people or give it a great big hug. It's not my fault, or indeed my problem that half the world are run by governments that are bigger criminals than our own.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    @85 Greenpa wrote:

    The oil you "NEED" is used only to keep you in your place- not one drop of it will bring "us" any of the "benefits" you describe. Yes indeed, if you are to maintain your position as obese feline at the top of the food chain; you need oil.

    Your flat statements of absolute truth are quite holey. I recommend a year or so working as farm laborer in Africa, as a remedy for your extreme myopia; and self-satisfaction.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Or perhaps some sackcloth and ashes while I'm there to complete my liberal guilt trip...

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  • 96. At 6:26pm on 01 Oct 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    ~ shakes head in disbelief ~

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  • 97. At 6:32pm on 01 Oct 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #94.

    "..But in any case, most of the poorest people wouldn't even be alive without oil, because oil is what made food cheap enough for their parents to survive long enough to have children in the first place."

    this must be the neatest exhibition of utter ignorance in a single sentence -- ever.

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  • 98. At 6:37pm on 01 Oct 2010, Greenpa wrote:

    "I dispute these statistics -- they're wrong. "

    Well, I dispute you right back; you're wrong. The UN statistics, incidentally, are entirely on my side; use your google button. And I think you need to ASK an African about your fantasies on how wonderful their lives are. Try Nigeria, first, I'd suggest; they produce lots of the wonderful life-giving oil you know. Or, just read up on it a bit.:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/30/oil-spills-nigeria-niger-delta-shell

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  • 99. At 6:38pm on 01 Oct 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    The only "blot" is see with the 10:10 clip is a writer trying to pass off unoriginal stuff as original.

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  • 100. At 6:59pm on 01 Oct 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    jr4412 #97 wrote:

    this must be the neatest exhibition of utter ignorance in a single sentence -- ever.

    The fact that you can't say what's wrong with it but instead revert to childish name-calling says a lot!

    What do you think is wrong -- i.e. untrue, factually mistaken, rather than out-of-tune-with-your-moral-ideology -- with what I just said?

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  • 101. At 7:19pm on 01 Oct 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #100.

    "What do you think is wrong ... with what I just said?"

    well, you wrote "..most of the poorest people wouldn't even be alive without oil, because oil is what made food cheap enough for their parents to survive long enough to have children in the first place."

    looking just at African countries, here are a couple of examples to the contrary:

    "Most households in Sub-Saharan Africa rely on wood as primary energy source."

    "Except the five north African countries and South Africa, all African countries still depend heavily on wood to meet basic energy needs. In the various African regions, woodfuel share ranges from 61% to 86% of primary energy consumption, with a major part (74% to 97%) consumed by households."

    of course, much the same applies to large parts of South-East Asia, and even in South-American countries (rural) populations rely on firewood to cook. moreover, subsistence farming is done mostly without the use of fertilisers and machine tools, again, no oil.

    you can find much more information on the subject by googling with suitable search terms.

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  • 102. At 7:20pm on 01 Oct 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    #101 cont'd.

    "The fact that you can't say what's wrong with it but instead revert to childish name-calling says a lot!"

    oh, and I didn't call you 'names', I said you exhibited your ignorance, quite different.

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  • 103. At 7:23pm on 01 Oct 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jane # 86. fair enough.

    @ jane # my issue was not so much about the overal stance (despite being basically opposed to it) but more on the fact that as a governmental agency it could be seen as the government encouraging or accepting violence against people skeptical of cAGW.

    My issue was quite narrow in this respect.

    Re, 10:10

    They have removed the video, seemingly aware of the damage they have done and apologised. For which they deserve some credit. HOwever, i have still written to my MP to demand an explanation and filled an FOI to find out how much or Tax payers money was spent on it. I'll report back whever i get an answer.

    Just to be crystal clear, i would be acting like this had EITHER side presented something like this. Incitement to violence over intellectual/ideological differences is simply unacceptable.

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  • 104. At 7:53pm on 01 Oct 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    @101 jr4412:

    You've missed my point, which was that the reason so many people are alive today is not because people have suddenly discovered sex, or have suddenly decided to let their children live instead of strangling them at birth, or have suddenly been deprived of condoms by their husbands...

    The reason there are so many people alive today is that energy is much cheaper than it was before, and hence food is much more readily available than it was before. So there are more people. So there are more poor people (and also more rich people, but they are always bound to be in the minority).

    The reason why energy is much cheaper than it was before is the exploitation of oil (and gas).

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  • 105. At 8:02pm on 01 Oct 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Aw, lighten up everyone... There's no "incitement to violence" here, for goodness' sake. It was meant to be a bit of fun, specifically a bit of "retro" fun in referring to the 70s, with all the "exploding" stuff that Monty Python and others did. There is almost certainly no malice here at all, and even if there were, who cares? -- there is definitely no "incitement" here at all.

    Grow up everyone! And let us learn from the US, whose sense of irony is much better developed than elsewhere, and whose constitution's rigid insistence on freedom of thought and expression ought to be an inspiration to us all!

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  • 106. At 8:06pm on 01 Oct 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 107. At 8:14pm on 01 Oct 2010, Greenpa wrote:

    @95. Brunnen_G wrote:

    How can I put this without sounding cruel? Sucks to be them.

    lol. Good to see you retain a sense of humor, from your exalted position.

    "I'm not trying to save the world, it's people or give it a great big hug. It's not my fault, or indeed my problem that half the world are run by governments that are bigger criminals than our own."

    Actually the evidence, based on the piles of wealth we sit atop, is that our own criminals are much bigger and more efficient. Those who steal directly from the poor are seldom as wealthy as those who steal from the thieves.

    The history of China, the only surviving ancient culture (not government), suggests that you consider the possibility that it is, or should be, "your problem". Universally; "when the rich become too rich" - they burn the entire country, fat felines first, to the ground, and start over. If you actually value "civilization"; the disparity between the rich and the poor is among the most deadly perils to it. Documentation of that goes back to the cuneiform, if you care to look. The gap now is vast- and oil - only increases it. Ask a Haitian.

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  • 108. At 8:26pm on 01 Oct 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #104.

    "You've missed my point.."

    I have to go by what I read, you argued "..oil is what made food cheap enough for their parents to survive long enough.." and I demonstrated, by giving examples, that oil is irrelevant (wrt food production) in many of the most populous regions of the world to this day. I would also suggest that we must not ignore the impacts of modern healthcare and pharmaceuticals when discussing the reasons why so many more people survive to child bearing age. I think you vastly over-estimate the role of oil in population growth.

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  • 109. At 9:24pm on 01 Oct 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    "Grow up everyone! And let us learn from the US, whose sense of irony is much better developed than elsewhere, and whose constitution's rigid insistence on freedom of thought and expression ought to be an inspiration to us all!" (bowmanthebard @ 105)
    ...............
    I never thought I'd see the day!
    Bowman really has a sense of humour - in this case, very finely tuned!
    Well done!

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  • 110. At 9:52pm on 01 Oct 2010, GeoffWard wrote:


    "I have seen glaciers disappear over the years,
    I have seem mango orchards stand bare,
    rains pour down in Delhi which flooded the city,
    cloudbursts in Leh that look like doomsday,"

    (indianblue wrote, at 90)
    ........................

    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
    Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
    I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
    All those moments will be lost in time...
    like tears in rain...
    ..... Time to die."

    (Roy Batty = Rutger Hauer).... and my favourite ending, ever.

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  • 111. At 9:57pm on 01 Oct 2010, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    An important piece of writing this by Mr Black and I hope the BBC will cover this horror story in more depth in the future. It's like environmental destruction bingo this one - the full house of habitat destruction, water pollution, air pollution, carbon emmisions, damage to a selection box of different native species and a spectacularly inefficient use of finite resources.

    That this madness is happening, given all that we know, is truly offensive. In comparison the silly "10:10" film, with pretend explosions, is not remotely offensive as it is not real.

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  • 112. At 10:08pm on 01 Oct 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    ". Documentation of that goes back to the cuneiform, if you care to look. The gap now is vast- and oil - only increases it. Ask a Haitian."

    Is this the part where I pretend that Europe and Haiti (or China for that matter) are part of the same civilisation?

    You have to compare like with like. Poor Europeans are living much better and longer than they were say 150 years ago, largely thanks to cheaper food production and cheaper energy. Mostly due to oil and its by-products.

    You accuse me of a narrow viewpoint, I accuse you of trying to compare apples with oranges.

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  • 113. At 10:48pm on 01 Oct 2010, Greenpa wrote:

    112. At 10:08pm on 01 Oct 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    "Is this the part where I pretend that Europe and Haiti (or China for that matter) are part of the same civilisation?"

    It is nice to have you fully out of the closet. We're talking about global concerns here, always. You're saying- only your bit of the globe is worth worrying about.

    "You accuse me of a narrow viewpoint, I accuse you of trying to compare apples with oranges."

    Actually, I'm accusing you of being less than human. :-)

    Your contention that you are an apple, and a Haitian - is not - is the proof.

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  • 114. At 10:52pm on 01 Oct 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    jr4412 #108 wrote:

    I would also suggest that we must not ignore the impacts of modern healthcare and pharmaceuticals when discussing the reasons why so many more people survive to child bearing age. I think you vastly over-estimate the role of oil in population growth.

    Get real, you "shill"!

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  • 115. At 11:07pm on 01 Oct 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebored #114.

    I had to look up shill.

    "A shill is a person who is paid to help another person or organization to sell goods or services. The shill pretends to have no association with the seller/group and gives onlookers the impression that he or she is an enthusiastic independent customer."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shill

    how do you figure that? no payments for me, I'm sorry to say.

    because I have the 'temerity' to point out that improvements in public hygiene and healthcare (particularly natal and post-natal) must not be ignored when discussing population growth? because I argue that innoculations against disease (ie pharmaceuticals) played a vital role? because I showed your argument re oil to be fallacious? LOL

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  • 116. At 11:46pm on 01 Oct 2010, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Yorkurbantree #111

    That wretched video is a gift to any sceptic subscribing to the "environmentalists are all ecofascists" line. They can point to the absence of libel claims against the Delingpole articles covering it. They can and will rub our noses in it.

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  • 117. At 00:19am on 02 Oct 2010, GeoffWard wrote:

    Re:@GeoffWard #64, JaneBasingstoke wrote @ 71:
    Re: Jane's use of the term 'Natural Environmentalist' (Heart argument -v- Head argument); she adds ”.... Firstly I disagree that the "victims" are just victims. Yes they're on the receiving end of unpleasantness but most are contributing to campaigning against that unpleasantness.....”
    ……
    Jane,
    my comment @ 64 is wrt to your deployment of the ‘Noble Savage’ argument.
    The ‘victims’, to which I referred, are the very people who are stripping the third world landscapes of standing timber, who are part of the problem but do not have the voice or (arguably) the inclination to be part of the solution wrt land and water-based over-exploitation.
    In spite of, or perhaps because, their denuding (etc) activities are related to survival, you assert that they are “Natural Environmentalists”.
    They are 'Natural Exploiters', right enough, but is there sufficient evidence from around the world that their exploitations are limited to ensure environmental sustainability and maximal biodiversity? I would argue – definitely not! The 19th Century ‘lost tribes’ of the Amazon were arguably the last vestige of the wandering hunter-gatherers – the ‘Noble Savage’ that might have earned the title ‘Natural Environmentalist’. Since then, contact with the outside world has removed both these designations.
    I have to say, in conclusion, that your broad-brush use of the term ‘Natural Environmentalist’, and your rejection of my ‘high bar’ for ‘real’ environmentalists, relegates me to your small group of ‘Un-natural Environmentalists’ – I am hurt by your implication.

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