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The Glass Box for Monday

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Sequin | 16:48 UK time, Monday, 29 October 2007

Let us know what you thought of tonight's PM....

Comments

  1. At 05:01 PM on 29 Oct 2007, David G wrote:

    I have read today with interest that Lewis hamilton is leavu=ing the Uk becaise of media pressure. Is media pressure a posh way of saying TAX ?

  2. At 05:14 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Right on, George Monbiot!

    Good on the editorial team for getting him on.. You can't use him too often, so far as I'm concerned. Clear, cogent and passionate!

    Naughty Carolyn: "Some people like yourself."

    As to the China and India chestnut, we should remember their PERCAPITA emissions are a small fraction of ours. As George says, how can we expect them to exercise restraint while we rave on at four or five times their rate?

    We are here:
    http://home.btconnect.com/tipiglen/20-80.gif

    xx
    ed

  3. At 05:15 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Oh dear :( I had hoped we wouldn't be getting a piece on that inquest tonight. Surely, given that the inquest won't be concluded for months yet, to spend such time covering it is misguided. It should particularly not have been placed above the Saudi visit piece that followed....

  4. At 05:25 PM on 29 Oct 2007, eeore wrote:

    Homosexuality is a sin?

    I see so bearing false witness and murder are alright then?

  5. At 05:47 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Penrose wrote:

    Re: Gay Speech Offences

    For one of your contributors this evening to say that homosexuality is 'morally unacceptable' within a Christian context is no different than saying black skin or ginger hair is morally unacceptable.

    An educated person recognises the scientic fact that there is a spectrum of sexuallity, that sexuallity is not an 'either/or' state, and that although men and women are biologically designed to sleep together in order to procreate, they are not always biologically inclined to do so.

    One cannot choose to be 'not gay' if one is gay any more than one can choose to be 'not heterosexual' if one is heterosexual.

    A civilised and enlightened society should no longer tolerate any religious justification for discrimination against, the oppression of, and judgement on, any individual or section of society based purely on unchallanged institutional and personal prejudices.

  6. At 05:57 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Stevan Whitehead wrote:

    Its all very well for baroness Cox to be so self-satisfied but (taking on board the fact that post-conflict situations are not suitable for intercountry adoption) there are times when intercountry adoption is the ONLY way a child can have a family. There can be no doubt that the permenance of a family significantly more in the best interests of a child than some form of institutional care where a child lacks nourishment stimulation support or love (as is the case in far too many orphanages and children's homes the whole world over) so long as the willingness and ability has been assessed of the adoptive family to support the child in thier birth culture and ethnicity

  7. At 05:58 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Mikey C wrote:

    We need to see how the law against inciting hatred of gay people is drafted before rushing to judgement.
    But nobody should claim exemption from such a law on religious grounds.
    Most of us will not be too bothered about the old 'homosexuality is sinful' line. But the loonier Evangelicals picketing civil ceremonies and displaying banners saying 'Faggots burn in hell' is another matter.
    And the context for this proposed law is the continuing violence against gay people - something not always apparent to the metropolitan elite.

  8. At 06:08 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    WORLD NEWS
    Bin Laden: Some Followers Erred
    “Mistakes were made,” he says.
    Blair to Get $9 Million Advance for
    Memoirs From Random House
    Working title: “Lapdog.”

    ALSO IN THE NEWS . . .

    Gates Receives “George Bush Excellence in Public Service Award”
    Typically given to next cabinet member to resign suddenly, citing personal reasons.

  9. At 06:34 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    Stevan Whitehead: I don't believe Baronness Cox was self-satisfied, and indeed I think she was mostly right.

    You contrast a permanent family with "some form of institutional care where a child lacks nourishment stimulation support or love" - but that is surely not the only alternative?

    Sid

  10. At 06:45 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Charlie wrote:


    David G @ 1

    There's nothing "Posh" about it. I'd be very surprised if he were leaving the UK for any other reason than "TAX"...

    The late Pope said, most people have a price and there's no such thing as partial-integrity

    Where do many multi-milionares end-up..?

    Tax havens...

    Now, why would that be I wonder..?


  11. At 07:28 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Stevan Whitehead wrote:

    Unfortunately far too often there are no other alternatives for those children who cannot be cared for and given permanence by family, extended family or other families in the community. So to simply dismiss ICA as an option (as the Baroness did) goes against the UN Convention on the rights of the child.

    It also falls into the trap of relying on politcally correct theoretical solutions rather than on practical solutions - something too many UN organisations can all too often be accused of.

    Stevan
    Sid Cumberland wrote: You contrast a permanent family with "some form of institutional care where a child lacks nourishment stimulation support or love" - but that is surely not the only alternative?


  12. At 09:39 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Stephen Morris wrote:

    It showed a very poor sense of editorial balance to have George Monbiot on for such a long time, after Hillary Benn had already said his piece, and without anyone to counter their views. I do agree with him, however, that climate change presents the biggest threat to world stability since Fascism; the problem is that it is the environmentalists who are the threat, ignoring the science and seeking to keep millions around the world in poverty so that they can live in their comfortable Hampstead houses (or Tennessee mansions) feeling virtuous.

    Fortunately, we can rely on the China and India to get on with the job and ignore this increasingly introspective and self-indulgent babble.

  13. At 11:08 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Stephen Morris (12),
    "It showed a very poor sense of editorial balance to have George Monbiot on for such a long time,"

    It shows a poor sense of balance to have him on for so short a time. He could cite at least a half-hour's worth of examples of us and Our Great Leaders trying (sadly inadequately) to talk the talk, but not even being able to crawl the crawl, though, when it comes to following the fool in the Whitehouse, a reasonable slithering the slither is accomplished.

    Salaams,
    ed

    "[un] ortunately, we can rely on the China and India to get on with the job"

  14. At 12:34 AM on 30 Oct 2007, jonnie wrote:

    So Germany has opted for 40% - and us only 20% for all renewable sources for energy to be implemented by 2020.

    Still 13 years away!

    Of course we do lack ambition, however what incentive are we given?

    Why should I give up my 1999 Range Rover when the road tax is only £175 a year? It protects me - and all that drive in it far more than a smart car would? And what cost to the environment if it gets recycled. My average mileage being less than 3,500 miles a year!

    Carolyn made a very valid point:

    You must take the public with you!

    I am sick to death of being told what to do.

    Am I really expected to now put saver bulbs in our beautiful cut glass chandelier? -

    Let's please address the solution and get some new nuclear power stations commissioned.

  15. At 01:12 AM on 30 Oct 2007, jonnie wrote:

    How free should Free speech be?

    Probably for me to tackle that one with the new up coming ipm slot?

    I'm a homosexual man - but DO understand that many people hate my lifestyle?

    Why should they not be allowed to have their voice?

    Is ist not a free country now either?

    We all have views that others find distasteful do we not?

    Christophers report left me in a dichotomy of where a line should be drawn.

    Something that could be discussed and continued on ipm maybe?

  16. At 03:17 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Nukes?
    NO Thanks!
    xx
    ed
    (30 miles downwind of Seascale, Windscale, Calder Hall, Sellafield, or whatever any new name it's given)

    Salaams
    ed

  17. At 09:04 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Mikey C wrote:

    jonnie says:
    "I'm a homosexual man - but DO understand that many people hate my lifestyle?"

    I'm also a homosexual man. I don't mind people hating my "lifestyle". I don't even mind people hating my sexuality which, unlike my lifestyle, is not a matter of choice.
    However, I do question the right of people to incite hatred against people of my sexuality which may result in both verbal abuse and violence, including murder.
    Sexuality is no more a 'lifestyle choice' than race or skin colour. Religious fundamentalists like to portray it as a lifestyle choice in order to classify it as sinful. However, these same people would not describe their own heterosexuality as a 'choice' between alternative possibilities.
    Gay men and women should not play into their hands by describing their sexuality as a 'lifestyle choice'.

  18. At 10:02 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Ed;
    Monbiot always starts well, then loses his train of thought and meanders off into other dimensions. Interviewers/producers should axe him the moment he wanders away. He has a tendency to harangue, which loses him the very audience he needs to make contact with. He is perhaps a prophet, but one only followed or taken seriously by like-minded individuals and the news media.

    Take the newspaper piece which you quoted last week. He kicked off on his one and only theme of saving the planet and ended up blaming all Libertarians for the entire woes of the world! There was no seamless transition which showed a clean and unmuddled train of thought linking the two together, he simply connected the two and because he's George Monbiot you're supposed to just accept it (which you plainly did).

    For the record, Jefferson gave a good definition of libertarianism "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others". Proper respect for the rights of others is a defining characteristic. Acting wilfully for ourselves regardless of the rights of others is NOT Libertarianism. Or as Kipling put it "Leave to live by no man leave, underneath the Law".

    Given that any true Libertarian would have respect for the rights of others then Libertarians cannot be held responsible for the wrongs of the entire world, as Monbiot would have you believe. So his argument fails because his is badly informed.

    Steve Morris makes a valuable point, somewhat blunted by declining to name the guilty party directly. Nobel Laureate Albert Gore Jr. has a house in Tennessee which uses around 20 times as much energy as the average US home. This in a nation which is itself the highest per capita offender in energy usage. He wants the world to reduce its energy usage, so long as it doesn't apply to Al Gore. He talks the talk and doesn't walk the walk, as you put it, and he is probably the highest profile green campaigner in the world. Why should we listen to the edicts of a man who declines to take his own medicine? Remember it was Clinton and Gore who refused to submit the Kyoto Protocol to the US Senate for ratification, knowing it had no chance of approval. Gore signed it symbolically, knowing it was already dead.

    Which raises another valuable lesson. You, as a US national, should remember that in the nation of your birth the President does not make treaties which bind the USA into international agreements. Only the Senate has the authority to do that. We found that out when Woodrow Wilson brought about the League of Nations and the Senate repudiated his signature, which killed the forerunner to the UN at birth.

    Even if Bush Jr. had a (unimaginable) Damascene conversion and became more green than Gore do you imagine that any Senate of the USA will pass Laws restricting the ability of US citizens to use as much energy as they please and enjoy the 'benefits' of cheap gasoline? There is no chance of it happening. Don't blame the easy target and ignore the real one. The politicking and horse-trading in the Congress would make Bush look like a saint.

    Lincoln spelled out the "Government of the People, by the People, for the People" in the Gettysburg Address. US voters will not vote for measures which restrict their ability to conduct their lives as they individually see fit. Nor will they vote for politicians who threaten to do so. And it is largely the same in Democracies the world around. Blame the people, not the ones who carry out their elective will.

    Jonnie picked up on Carolyn's valid and vital point that you have to take the people with you, a point I have made to you on too many occasions on this Blog. I have asked you directly, more than once, what measures YOU would propose that the people will gladly adopt? Answer there has been none, so far, but here's another opportunity for putting the realistic and realisable thoughts of yourself on record here. It's easy to carp from the sidelines and rail at humanity for its stupidity. How about one real, realistic and concrete solution as a first step? Offer the solutions, because the criticism will make people walk away from you.

    Jonnie is also right about nuclear power. It should form the bedrock of generation in the U.K. until such time as an alternative low-carbon energy source is widely and cheaply available. It divides the Green lobby down the middle, between those who recognise that it is low-carbon and can hold their noses at the thought and the naysayers.

    BTW, what's the problem with thirty miles? I used to sleep thirty FEET away from a reactor for months at a time over a period of years. I never suffered, but then radiation doesn't affect us bananas. ;-P

    Likewise wind turbines. Not reliable in any way, but useful to a point. Only the best places to put them are on hilltops in our National Parks and other areas of great natural beauty, where the winds tend to be strongest. So the Greens divide again and are joined by the NIMBYs, thus holding up or preventing widespread adoption.

    And Jonnie; Yes, you will have to put energy saving bulbs in your chandelier. Or stock up massively on 'bad' light bulbs to last for the next thirty years. Sorry.

    Si.

  19. At 10:14 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Rachel G wrote:

    hope noone minds - I've just rescued this post which appeared in obscurity on the FAQ thread and I imagine should be in the Glass Box. Its from Tris Penna:

    "Of course the medievalist religionists shouldn't be excempt from prosecution for their homophobia. Let's not forget that blasphemy is still a crime in the UK (ie a there exists a law that prevents the sane and intelligent from condeming christianity). Why should the regligionists have it all their own way (including tax breaks for their loopy propoganda)?"

  20. At 10:14 AM on 30 Oct 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Mikey C

    .. Point taken, Thanks,

  21. At 10:15 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Mikey (17)

    "However, I do question the right of people to incite hatred against people of my sexuality which may result in both verbal abuse and violence, including murder."

    Absolutely. Even the Muslim cleric interviewed by EM wasn't inciting hatred - so if a law was introduced as suggested, it would not have any relevance to religious belief that some homsexual acts are sinful.

    Penrose (5)

    "A civilised and enlightened society should no longer tolerate..." Hmm, do I detect a little intolerance creeping in there?

  22. At 10:23 AM on 30 Oct 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re Simon Worrall (18)

    Simon said in response to Ed :-

    "I have asked you directly, more than once, what measures YOU would propose that the people will gladly adopt? Answer there has been none, so far, but here's another opportunity for putting the realistic and realisable thoughts of yourself on record here.

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

    Simon - are you not being a little harsh here with Ed?

    He has a marvellous solution - often mentioned.

    We should all live in trees :-)

  23. At 10:39 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Annasee wrote:

    With ref. to Jonnie's mention of the chandelier light bulbs, I have thought of an even greater worry.

    Can you get energy-saving light bulbs for dolls' house chandeliers???? Now there is a quest for you!

  24. At 10:56 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Jonnie (22);

    What can I say but :-)

    Possibly fails the 'realistically' constraint for 99.99% of the population? Nice idea, but I don't look like Johnny Weismuller or Ron Ely.

    And SO complains about the cold when it's still 13-14 degrees! I dread to think how she'd whinge in sub-zero with an icy wind howling around her .... well you know. A definite passion killer :-(

    Si.

  25. At 11:07 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Charlie wrote:


    Annasee @ 23

    I can tell you that in the U.S., L.E.D.'s are available fitted to Dolls House chandeliers, wall-lights (which I "think" the Americans call "sconces") and "exterior" lanterns

    Hope that helps

  26. At 12:35 PM on 30 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si,
    "I have asked you directly, more than once, what measures YOU would propose that the people will gladly adopt?"

    If they don't adopt them voluntarily, they will be imposed, but not by any temporal power. As I said,, we and Our Leaders can't even talk the talk, much less walk the walk.

    A true Libertarian would note that we have no right to ask others to constrain their consumption while (s)he continued his/hers.

    And, as for Nuclear power, have you done your sums on the availability of fissile material? 50 years worth of Uranium is a generous estimate at today's use levels. Not much scope for sustainable expansion there, even if it was as safe as a kiddie's toy.

    Uranium 2005: Resources, Production and Demand - also called the "Red Book" - estimates the total identified amount of conventional uranium stock, which can be mined for less than USD 130 per kg, to be about 4.7 million tonnes. Based on the 2004 nuclear electricity generation rate of demand the amount is sufficient for 85 years, the study states. Fast reactor technology would lengthen this period to over 2500 years. [my emphasis]
    www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2006/uranium_resources.html

    For the uninitiated, "Fast reactor technology" is a PR name for the formerly named "fast breeder" technology, which relies on plutonium, noted for its other uses, and a technology somewhat discredited and still contaminating beaches in the far north at Douneray, where the UK soent billions and abandoned the project.

    Plutonium 'recovery' from spent magnox and later uranic fuels is the source of most of the heap of highly radioactive waste stored at Sellafield. We STILL have no solution to the problem of its disposal. While we're at it, we can reclaim the fissile material from all the cold war bombs we don't need any more to fuel our rush to destruction.

    "Jonnie is also right about nuclear power. It should form the bedrock of generation in the U.K. until such time as an alternative low-carbon energy source is widely and cheaply available."

    Herein you reveal the most delusional assumption of the modern age - that we NEED to continually increase our consumption of extrametabolic energy without limit, A junkie's attitude if there ever was one!

    It has recently become fashionable to insist on an impending energy crisis. This euphemistic term conceals a contradiction and consecrates an illusion. It masks the contradiction implicit in the joint pursuit of equity and industrial growth. It safeguards the illusion that machine power can indefinitely take the place of manpower. To resolve this contradiction and dispel this illusion, it is urgent to clarify the reality that the language of crisis obscures: high quanta of energy degrade social relations just as inevitably as they destroy the physical milieu.
    ....
    The widespread belief that clean and abundant energy is the panacea for social ills is due to a political fallacy, according to which equity and energy consumption can be indefinitely correlated, at least under some ideal political conditions. Laboring under this illusion, we tend to discount any social limit on the growth of energy consumption....
    -- Ivan Illich, 1973
    http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/illich02.htm

    Illich is well worth a read, but Henry Thoreau said much the same in 1854. "the swiftest traveller is he that goes afoot.".(namelink)

    All for the best in this best of all possible worlds!
    -- Doctor Pangloss, in Voltaire's "Candide"

    "Only a madman or an economist could believe in endless growth in a finite system" - Kenneth Boulding

    Salaams
    ed

  27. At 12:45 PM on 30 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Jonnie,

    In the interest of full disclosure, I must note that my "treehouse" is equipped with electric power and wireless broadband.

    "Do you smell something burning or is it me?"
    -- Joan of Arc

  28. At 03:49 PM on 30 Oct 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Ed;
    Since you still bat the question away I assume that you admit, that for all of your extensive knowledge and experience, even you cannot suggest one single measure which you can carry the people with you on?

    If you can't, and you even go on to state that no temporal power can, then the only measures will certainly come when it's too late to make a difference. Given that sense of fatalism we may as well all party now, because there ain't gonna be a tomorrow and nothing can avoid it. Great attitude.

    A Libertarian (and I am one such) would not ask anyone to constrain their freedoms, for such a request would, in itself, constitute a moral imperative to restrict those freedoms. They would hope that others feel the same way as they do and act accordingly.

    The Green lobby, in that sense, is illiberal, because it would seek to fetter and constrain certain freedoms currently enjoyed by peoples without amelioration, replacement or substitution.

    I know the rough figures on nuclear fuels availability, although I was unaware of the report you highlight. I did not suggest that it is a long-term replacement. I merely observed that, if we are serious about replacing our dependence on fossil fuels for generation then, right now, this moment, nuclear is the answer. Until the development of suitable, reliable alternatives it will remain so.

    No fast reactor has been built for 30 years, who is suggesting building one now. They are called fast reactors to distinguish them from slow reactors. Or the more modern version, the pebble bed reactor, both of which are vastly safer.

    It's not a question of a junkie's attitude. We are exactly where we are today. If you want to see an end to grossly inefficient fossil fuel burning then you have to have an alternative, at least until such a time as you can persuade populations to reduce their energy consumption to a lower level. However long that takes.

    Solar, wind and wave are the ideals, because they merely take one form of existing ambient energy and convert it to another. They meither add nor subtract from existing environmental energy. But we're not there yet on efficiency grounds. More work is required. But if the crisis is impending, as we are often told, then there has to be a stop-gap. Even these alternatives have their impact. They alter a visual scene, disturb local wind flows and tidal flows and thus impact on nature.

    Thoreau's comments pre-dated the invention of the internal combustion engine , which demonstrated that a man on foot was not the swiftest thing around. Further development, such as electric motors, jets and rockets, have rendered his observations even more dated. One wonders how his observations, written over 150 years ago, are relevant now.

    Despite his attempts to sustain himself at Walden he accepted food and pay for work from another of your heroes, Emerson, who thought him a misanthrope. He may have had a point, "I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude" (Solitude, Walden).

    He also espoused anarchism, vegetarianism, chastity and teetotalism. Most of that's not going to go down too well on the Beach.

  29. At 04:18 PM on 30 Oct 2007, Sam Cohen wrote:

    There is a story told of an Oxford University professor who decided to ask his students to write a paper on the elephant.

    This is what he got back from them.

    : The British student wrote about, ‘The human rights of the elephant’

    : The French student wrote about, ‘The elephant and his love life’

    : The Japanese student wrote about, ‘The elephant and its place in IT’

    : The American student wrote about, ‘Elephants and the war machine’

    : The Israeli student wrote about, ‘The elephant and the Jewish problem’

    Oy vay.

  30. At 04:38 PM on 30 Oct 2007, Mikey C wrote:

    jonnie:
    pleased you agree with that point, though shocked to have someone agree with me on a message board!

    vyle hernia:
    You're right. I think we can be sure the law will be framed so as not to catch people simply expressing a religious belief. Reluctantly, I agree with that approach.
    But I'm concerned at the effect on young teenagers of being exposed to such views in churches or faith schools.
    I also think that statements that homosexuality is sinful or evil can be used as a justification by those who commit violence against gay people. Religions will always deny any linkage and Christians give us that patronising guff about 'loving the sinner but hating the sin.' (some Muslim countries do, of course, execute gay men).
    But in the British context I think we need to strike a balance between freedom of speech and protection of minorities and the last thing we want to do is create religious martyrs, something that the churches would exploit for all its worth.

  31. At 04:54 PM on 30 Oct 2007, Kae Mendham wrote:

    I watch BBC news at lunch time every day. I wonder why so much time is taken up with informing the public that house prices are going up/down and how many mortgages have been granted.

    Millions of us are sitting in our own homes, with no thought of moving, and the movements in the market make no difference to us on a daily basis.

    Those people in the throes of buying or selling, are having to cope with local differences, and will not gain anything from knowing what the market is doing.

    Estate agents and mortgage lenders have their own network of information.

    So please let us have more time spent on good news where possible, or other world news that is of real interest.

  32. At 06:25 PM on 30 Oct 2007, Jacques wrote:

    Simon @ 28 says that Thoreau espoused anarchism, vegetarianism, chastity and teetotalism.

    Anarchism, vegetarianism and teetotalism I could cope with, but not chastity !

    {;o)}

  33. At 06:49 PM on 30 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si (28),
    "If you can't, and you even go on to state that no temporal power can, then the only measures will certainly come when it's too late to make a difference. Given that sense of fatalism we may as well all party now, because there ain't gonna be a tomorrow and nothing can avoid it. Great attitude."

    "If you've got to travel on the Titanic, you might as well go First Class", as one of my fortune cookies said.

    More appropriate is the material I linked before relating our attitudes to the Terminal Diagnosis:

    Five stages:
    1. Denial (I want a second opinion)
    2. Anger (It's NOT FAIR! It wasn't me!)
    3. Bargaining (surely if we can hold out, there'll be a technical solution)
    4. Depression (tell me about it!)
    5. Acceptance ......

    Or, as Eric Davidson has it, identifying three fallacies of the mainstream economic and technological model:

    1. "Marie Antoinette Economics", (the assumption of substitutability)
    2. "Custer's Folly", (the technological cavalry will save us from ecological disaster), and
    3. "False Complacency from Partial Success" (or "Not Beating the Wife As Much As Before")

    "I merely observed that, if we are serious about replacing our dependence on fossil fuels for generation then, right now, this moment, nuclear is the answer. Until the development of suitable, reliable alternatives it will remain so."

    A junkie without access to his stash is in a state of crisis. The ``energy crisis'' that exists intermittently when the flow of fuel from unstable countries is cut off or threatened, is a crisis in the same sense. When such a crisis is perceived in the western sphere, there are normally two solutions proposed: Relieve our dependence on foreign fuels by developing ``ecologically friendly'' energy extraction technology, or send an army to pacify the fuel-rich region in question. Both of these paths, seemingly at odds with each other, take as fundamentally true a certain proposition, that in no circumstances should we use less energy than we already use. In this conception, all human problems must be solved by the impressment of still more ``energy slaves'' to meet the expanding demand of human masters. The two solutions consist of securing the current source of the drug, or finding a different, more secure pusher.
    -- Edinburgh University Ivan Illich Archive

    A junkie never considers the habit to be the problem, only the supply, and typically a junkie will roll right over family, friendship or ANYTHING to get at another fix.

    "It's not a question of a junkie's attitude. We are exactly where we are today. If you want to see an end to grossly inefficient fossil fuel burning then you have to have an alternative, at least until such a time as you can persuade populations to reduce their energy consumption to a lower level. However long that takes"

    Did you read that after you dashed it off?

    "Diets always begin tomorrow"

    "Thoreau's comments pre-dated the invention of the internal combustion engine , which demonstrated that a man on foot was not the swiftest thing around."

    Did you actually READ what Thoreau said? AND it was just as applicable to the external combustion engine as to the internal. Here's Illich's version:

    The model American male devotes more than 1,600 hours a year to his car. He sits in it while it goes and while it stands idling. He parks it and searches for it. He earns the money to put down on it and to meet the monthly installments. He works to pay for gasoline, tolls, insurance, taxes, and tickets. He spends four of his sixteen waking hours on the road or gathering his resources for it. And this figure does not take into account the time consumed by other activities dictated by transport: time spent in hospitals, traffic courts, and garages; time spent watching automobile commercials or attending consumer education meetings to improve the quality of the next buy. The model American puts in 1,600 hours to get 7,500 miles: less than five miles per hour. In countries deprived of a transportation industry, people manage to do the same, walking wherever they want to go, and they allocate only 3 to 8 per cent of their society's time budget to traffic instead of 28 per cent. What distinguishes the traffic in rich countries from the traffic in poor countries is not more mileage per hour of life-time for the majority, but more hours of compulsory consumption of high doses of energy, packaged and unequally distributed by the transportation industry.

    Five miles per hour!

    "He [Thoreau] also espoused anarchism, vegetarianism, chastity and teetotalism. Most of that's not going to go down too well on the Beach."

    Anarchism is the ideal, see namelink.

    xx
    ed

    The full potentialities of human fury cannot be reached until a friend of both parties tactfully interferes.
    -- G.K. Chesterton


  34. At 12:03 AM on 31 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    No 502s, but I'm still missing a longish and carefully considered response to Simon at 28. Any hope of it being resurrected, NBP?

    Salaams, etc
    ed

  35. At 12:24 AM on 31 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si (28), (yet another bone to pick)

    "No fast reactor has been built for 30 years, who is suggesting building one now. ."

    The article I quoted from (AEA) suggested it as the way to get beyond the 85 years-worth at today's consumption rate. It's right above my discussion of the unfortunate "fast breeder" name.

    "They are called fast reactors to distinguish them from slow reactors. Or the more modern version, the pebble bed reactor, both of which are vastly safer"

    Actually, they're called fast because they rely on fast neutrons. And of course they're "vastly safer", isn't the new DAZ vastly whiter?

    And in case my other post id truly lost,

    The internal contradiction here:

    "t's not a question of a junkie's attitude. We are exactly where we are today. If you want to see an end to grossly inefficient fossil fuel burning then you have to have an alternative, at least until such a time as you can persuade populations to reduce their energy consumption to a lower level. However long that takes."

    made me wonder if you ever read what you've just dashed off. Classic junkie procrastination. All diets start tomorrow, and I just need a wee bit to tide me over.....

    I also note the use of the third person - 'populations', 'their', etc. It's OUR problem and WE crea!ed it.

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

  36. At 02:27 AM on 31 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si, (28),

    "Thoreau's comments pre-dated the invention of the internal combustion engine , which demonstrated that a man on foot was not the swiftest thing around."

    Actually, his remarks (1854) were in response to the EXTERNAL combustion engine, and it's illusory accelleration, prefiguring Ivan Illich's calculations 120 years later.

    If you read the extract linked, you'd have noted its prescient natur

    Too much is just enough.
    -- Mark Twain, on whiskey
    Slainte
    ed

  37. At 05:54 AM on 31 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Speaking of roads and travel, George's latest mini-essay

    xx
    ed

    Persistence in one opinion has never been considered a merit in political leaders.
    -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares", 1st century BC

  38. At 09:41 AM on 31 Oct 2007, Patrick J. wrote:

    The scaremongers are not always wrong. The Trojans should have listened to Cassandra. But history shows that the scaremongers are usually wrong. Karl Marx was proven dead wrong about the immiseration of the masses under capitalism and the coming revolution in the industrial West, though it seems they still have hopes at a certain Oxford establishment.

    Neville Chute’s “On the Beach” proved as fictional as “Dr. Strangelove” and “Seven Days in May.” Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” never exploded. It fizzled when the Birth Dearth followed the Baby Boom. “The Crash of ‘79″ never happened. Instead, we got Margaret Thatcher and record prosperity.

    The Club of Rome notwithstanding, we've still not run out of oil. The world did not end in Y2K, when we crossed the millennium, as some had prophesied and made money from it. “Nuclear winter,” where we were all going to freeze to death after the soot from Ronnie Reagan’s nuclear war blotted out the sun, didn’t quite happen. Rather, the Soviet Empire gave up the ghost.

    Is then global warming – a steady rise in the temperature of the Earth to where the polar ice caps melt, oceans rise 23 feet, cities sink into the sea and horrendous hurricanes devastate the land – an imminent and mortal danger?

    Put me down as a disbeliever. Like the panics of bygone eras, this one has the aspect of yet another re-enactment of the Big Con. The scaremonger arrives in town, tells all the unsundry that disaster impends for them and their families, but says there may be one last chance they can be saved – but it will take a lot of money. And the people should go about collecting it, right now.

    This, it seems to me, is what the global-warming scare and scam are all about – frightening people into transferring sovereignty, power and wealth to a global political elite that claims it alone understands the crisis and it alone can save everyone from impending disaster.

    Under the Kyoto Protocol, from which China and India were exempt, the United States was to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels, which could not be done without inducing a new Depression and reducing the standard of living of the American people. So, they ignored Kyoto – and how have they suffered? Some Europeans who signed on also largely ignored it. How have they suffered?

    We are told global warming was responsible for the hurricane summer of Katrina and Rita that devastated Texas, Mississippi and New Orleans. Yet Dr. William Gray, perhaps the America’s foremost expert on hurricanes, says he and his most experienced colleagues believe humans have little impact on global warming and global warming cannot explain the frequency or ferocity of hurricanes. After all, Amerca had more hurricanes in the first half of the 20th century than in the last 50 years, as global warming was taking place.

    “We’re brainwashing our children,” says Dr Gray. “They’re going to the Gore movie (’An Inconvenient Truth’) and being fed all this. It’s ridiculous. … We’ll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realize how foolish it was.”

    While modest warming has taken place, there is no conclusive evidence human beings are responsible, no conclusive evidence Earth’s temperature is rising dangerously or will reach intolerable levels and no conclusive evidence that warming will do more harm than good.

    The glaciers may be receding, but the polar bear population is growing, alarmingly in some Canadian Indian villages. Though more people on our planet of 6 billion may die of heat, estimates are that many more may be spared death from the cold. The Arctic ice cap may be shrinking, but that may mean year-round passage through northern Canadian waters from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the immense resources of the Arctic made more accessible to man. Why else did Vladimir Putin’s boys make their dash to claim the pole?

    Whether it’s hunger, poverty or homelessness, in the end, the poor are always with us ask Geldof. But now we have something else always with us: scores of thousands of bureaucrats and armies of academics to study the problem and assess the progress, with all their pay and benefits provided by our taxes.

    Cal Coolidge said that when you see 10 troubles coming up the road toward you, sometimes the best thing to do is nothing, because nine of them will fall into the ditch before they get to you. And so it will be with global warming, if we don’t sell out America to the hucksters who would save us.

  39. At 11:28 AM on 31 Oct 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Mikey (30), Now, now, don't start hurling insults about -- "message board" indeed! Harrumph! ;-)

  40. At 12:29 PM on 31 Oct 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Patrick J (37)

    I'm only part-way through your message, and am surprised to read "Margaret Thatcher and record prosperity." Did you mean to write unemployment, or repossessions, inflation even?

  41. At 04:31 PM on 31 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Patrick (38),

    " Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” never exploded. It fizzled when the Birth Dearth followed the Baby Boom."

    Have you looked? This morning dawned upon 212,000 new hungry mouths (after allowing for deaths)
    World Vital Events Per Time Unit: 2007 (US Census Office)

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace
    Namaste -ed

    God is a comic playing to an audience that's afraid to laugh.
    Wed Oct 31 16:34:42 GMT 2007

  42. At 04:38 PM on 31 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chicken little was right!

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