December 30, 2009
“It was a twilit grotto of enormous height, stretching away farther than any eye could see; a subterraneous world of limitless mystery and horrible suggestion. There were buildings and other architectural remains—in one terrified glance I saw a weird pattern of tumuli, a savage circle of monoliths, a low-domed Roman ruin, a sprawling Saxon pile, and an early English edifice of wood but all these were dwarfed by the ghoulish spectacle presented by the general surface of the ground.”
From The Rats in the Walls by H P Lovecraft.
December 30, 2009
Eternal brood the shadows on this ground,
Dreaming of centuries that have gone before;
Great elms rise solemnly by slab and mound,
Arched high above a hidden world of yore.
Round all the scene a light of memory plays,
And dead leaves whisper of departed days,
Longing for sights and sounds that are no more.
Lonely and sad, a spectre glides along
Aisles where of old his living footsteps fell;
No common glance discerns him, though his song
Peals down through time with a mysterious spell.
Only the few who sorcery’s secret know,
Espy amidst these tombs the shade of Poe.
H. P. Lovecraft
December 30, 2009
Well, we had ten minutes to save the planet at Copenhagen according to those in the know. But we didn’t manage it. Instead, next year, the world’s great and good will meet again: they’ll have another ten minutes to save the planet. Al Gore, David Suzuki and oh so many others in the climate change industry, inform us that Global Warming (which is “man made”) will bring about the deaths of 300,000 people over the course of the next twenty years.
Ummm. That’s serious. No wonder all the world’s leaders are so concerned. Yet according to Julian Morris, the economist who is Executive Director, International Policy Network:
“Every year, at the moment, about 10 million children die of preventable and curable diseases, and yet we’re concerned that some time far in the future, a few hundred thousand people, maybe a few million people, at most, might suffer in some unknown way as a result of climate change.”
Really! That’s dreadful, isn’t it? Are the world’s leaders aware of this? They can’t be, surely…?
Each and every day on this little planet of ours 50,000 people die from the diseases of poverty. Around 42 million of the world’s population are infected with HIV, and it’s projected there’ll be 68 million deaths because of it by 2020 – that’s on top of the 20 million who have already died.
Well, surely all this got a mention at Copenhagen, didn’t it?
No it didn’t. Not really. The only concern expressed was for those 300,000 victims of “global warming”. It seems the rest didn’t matter.
But a billion people on this planet have no clean water. Wasn’t that discussed, a solution sort for?
In excess of half-a-billion individuals go to sleep hungry at night, and over thirty-two thousand of them never wake up again next morning. They talked about that, didn’t they?
Not really. No.
Over a third of the planet has no access to electricity – that must have been discussed, surely?
Ahhh, now that’s a big YES. We’ve got to be very careful how these people get access to a supply of electricity – it mustn’t contribute to “global warming”. Best not let them have any, not yet awhile, anyway.
So Copenhagen has maintained the status que. Nothing more. Not really. The developed world will spend many billions of £’s and $’s between now and 2100 in order to reduce carbon emissions, while during that same time span over one billion (1,000,000,000) people will die of starvation. Even a disease like malaria, easily eradicated with the use of the right pesticides and reasonable medical assistance, will claim the lives of over one hundred million people between now and 2100.
Oh, well. The poor will always be with us, so they say. Better to look into the more distant future and do something about those 300,000 “global warming” deaths. The rest will just have to look after themselves, won’t they?
December 22, 2009
December 21, 2009
December 21, 2009
December 21, 2009
December 15, 2009
H.G. Wells, one of the founding fathers of science fiction, novelist, visionary, popular educator – satyr, too, perhaps – believed a world government would cure all mankind’s ills. We know this to be the case because he said it so often. Too often, some might say. He imagined that such a government would be both humanistic and socialistic…and one can imagine Wells, stately as Socrates, an enthusiastic believer in “free love” – his big argument with the Fabian Society leadership, after all, was due to his determined pursuit and practice of “free love” – considering “the English reality…like the piercing light of lanterns swinging and swaying among the branches of dark trees at night”.
Even the most obtuse members of humanity, Wells decided, must see the benefits of a “world government”; in some ill defined way the world would assume the mantle of H.G.’s “English reality”. It would be as near to perfect as was possible. War would end. Hunger would become a thing of the past. There would be no rich, no poor. Mankind would live in harmony with its surroundings. Nationalism would dissipate, and swords be beaten into ploughshares. A land of milk and honey…almost a return to Eden.
I suspect there’s something, some small glitch in the genes of humankind, that leads particular individual’s to lust after power, to desire control and domination of others; after all, each of us in turn knows what’s best for us, don’t we? Wells knew what was best for us, obviously – “World Government”! But not a government of tired, crafty-eyed politicians, no, instead he’d have a Technocracy! A world leadership of scientists! Of course, Wells didn’t “lust after” power, only women, and the creation of a “World Government”.
Busy, as he eventually became, dashing here, dashing there; interviews with Roosevelt one day, Stalin the next; putting heart and soul into his attempts to transform the world, while demonstrating the desperate and urgent need for his world Technocracy. Wells was far from alone in his belief that mankind required a worldwide legislature in order to survive. Stalin thought he might well have a point; Hitler, too, ultimately saw a world dominated by…not scientists, like H.G., but true Aryans, a Germanic elite, the Übermensch, transcending national politics, class, creed, and even human nature itself!
But let’s take a step back to the year 1907 when Wells “saw in his mind’s eye” a future world dominated in the East by China and Japan, with Europe filled with bickering states – an aggressive Germany (what else), Italy, France, Spain and Portugal all armed but reluctant to fight; Russia in the throes of revolution; the USA split in civil strife between State and Federal governments. Germany starts a war, (prophetic, this)“the War in the Air”, and attacks the US…as does China and Japan (but for different reasons). Every country is bombed to destruction. London, Paris, Hamburg and Berlin are all destroyed. The story moves forward, allows us a fleeting glimpse of barbaric humanity trapped in a primitive, feudal society, the result of that terrible war.
Moving forward in “real time” to the 1914 – 18 war, the Great War, as it came to be called (though as far as scale goes, wars do seem to have increased in magnitude since then), H.G. simply couldn’t comprehend the terrible motivation leading humankind to such catastrophe – or rather, he could, but it defied logic. Politicians were the problem, and nationalism, and poverty, and wealth – especially the wealth that grew from armaments (for then as now military hardware comprised a big money spinner for Britain, France, the US, etc).
After that war, the war to end wars (well, nearly, but not quite – did you know Wells coined that phrase for the ministry of propaganda?), Wells saw the continued development of the aeroplane; from string bag to sophisticated weapon of mass destruction; as he’d predicted, civilisation would be threatened by use of such weapons; for the first time civilians and cities would BE the front line. Stanley Baldwin in a speech (“A Fear For The Future”) threateningly declared: “The bomber will always get through”. Military theorists believed a future war would be won entirely in the air. The Italian general Giulio Douhet, published his book “ The Command of the Air”, a seminal work on future air war. Wells didn’t believe a war could be won by bombers, instead he envisaged civilisation shattered by mass air attacks in a war that would have NO winners, only losers.
The solitary answer Wells could see to this approaching Armageddon was to deliver power to the hands of the scientists who in turn would form a World Government. Only then would peace reign supreme; only then would civilisation be safe and able to develop.
Well, inevitably war did come; Hitler, Stalin and Roosevelt in turn dreamed of empire, while that old imperialist, Churchill, looked on and lost an empire; though still no stranger to the world of Realpolitik, increasingly he appeared marginalised in the post war world. Civilisation wasn’t shattered by the bombers. A world Government didn’t come into being. Nor did the world’s problems go away.
And what of Wells, that great mind at the end of its tether? If still alive today, what would he make of our world? Poverty still rife, populations growing out of control, hunger and disease rampant. Science, however, is now accorded the sort of respect reserved for a “world” religion; its practitioners elevated to the status of cardinals in this cabala of scientific witchery; this new shamanism casts the runes of “climate modeling” (for example), its necromancers witch-wiggling at any and every dissenting voice, theirs is the only TRUE scarabee. And on the back of this strange new phenomenon, the politicians, recognised by Wells as one of the major problems in the world, have craftily politicised science and scientists. These new necromancers must dance to the tune of the £ or $ played on the politicians pipe!
And what of world government? Yes, the auguries are good. We may yet see one develop – but it won’t be Wells Technocracy!
No, sadly, I fear, we’ll see the rise of a worldwide mediocracy where unelected and unrepresentative individuals will reign supreme in a world bureaucracy, mind numbing in its unaccountability to anyone, other than its “political” masters, those representatives of massive self-interest in the developed parts of the globe.
This will be the way the world ends, not with a BANG nor a whimper, but with a shit storm of paperwork, regulations, and waste!
December 5, 2009
Dr James Hansen, the first scientist to warn of the dangers of global warming over twenty years ago, said that any deal reached at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen would be a “disaster track” for the world!
His main concern is the carbon market schemes , where permits to pollute are purchased as required and sold at will.
He suggested: “This is analogous to the issue of slavery faced by Abraham Lincoln or the issue of Nazism faced by Winston Churchill. “On those kinds of issues you cannot compromise. You can’t say let’s reduce slavery, let’s find a compromise and reduce it 50 per cent or reduce it 40 per cent.”
Dr Hansen’s comments totally contradict Lord Stern of Brentford, the UK’s leading authority on climate change, who’s recent report (with the London School of Economics) stated this was our last chance to save the planet from “catastrophic” global warming.
In the meantime, the Australia Senate, already deeply divided over the science of climate change, voted down any new legislation. And “climategate” in the UK has resulted in a number of high profile figures, such as Mohammad Al-Sabban, the head of the Saudi delegation at the UN summit, to suggest the “leaked emails” indicate “there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change”.
If memory serves correct, it was Dr Hansen who suggested: “Present knowledge does not permit accurate specification of the dangerous level of human-made GHGs (Greenhouse gases). However, it is much lower than has commonly been assumed. If we have not already passed the dangerous level, the energy infrastructure in place ensures that we will pass it within several decades.”
Bob Reiss, author of “The Coming Storm: Extreme Weather and Our Terrifying Future” recounted this with regard to Hansen’s “predictions”:
‘While doing research I met Jim Hansen, the scientist who in 1988 predicted the greenhouse effect before Congress. I went over to the window with him and looked out on Broadway in New York City and said, “If what you’re saying about the greenhouse effect is true, is anything going to look different down there in 20 years?” He looked for a while and was quiet and didn’t say anything for a couple seconds. Then he said, “Well, there will be more traffic.” I, of course, didn’t think he heard the question right. Then he explained, “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change.” Then he said, “There will be more police cars.” Why? “Well, you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.” ’
He went on to predict New York would have droughts which would become severe and result in restaurants displaying signs saying “Water by request only.”
These predictions were made way back in 1989. Hansen said they would take place within twenty or thirty years. Well, he still has ten years left to be able to say “Told you so!” On the other hand his climate “model” may have been a tad out of synch?
Meanwhile the good ship “anthropogenic GHGs” is tossed on the wild and unruly seas of debate, totally at the mercy of those “global climate models” everyone has so much faith in.
The big question will always be: Does the human race have the will to save itself? And I suspect the answer must always be: NO!