So I sit here staring out the window with my one good eye, like Odin the other’s been sacrificed to wisdom ( well, hardly that I s’pose, to be truthful ). My thoughts, unexpectedly, turn to the Mekon…

I first encountered him in the pages of The Eagle comic as a boy – an encounter that also encompassed a first time acquaintanceship with gas chambers. At the time, I couldn’t get my head around the idea of specifically building a “chamber” in which people were to be killed.

It seemed absurd.

Madness.

Monstrous.

The chamber, I recall, was all gleaming stainless steel – a truly sterile affair, where execution, the murder of one individual by the state (or in this case the Mekon), could be conducted in a clean, methodical manner. The victim’s only input in to this ritual, of course, was to die quietly.

At the time we had a gas fire in the living room and the gas had a musty unpleasant stink to it. I imagined that small stainless steel chamber gradually filling with the stink of gas. Was it the smell that killed you?

Anyway, the Mekon was this small green super-scientist with a huge head (reflecting I guess the size of his brain, hence his mind warping IQ) whose atrophied limbs required him to utilize this little hoverdisc that resembled nothing more than a flying commode. He was Lord of the Treens, a race of green meanies inhabiting the northern hemisphere of Venus. The Mekon, unhappy with half a planet, desired all of Venus , the earth, the solar system, everything. The Mekon was a true, textbook megalomaniac…(only such a condition isn’t recognised medically)

He was the creation of Frank Hampson, the brilliant originator of the Dan Dare comic strip. The Dare strip was ingenious and to the mind of a young boy, it was the future!

In one strip the Mekon declares ‘We shall overcome any misguided resistance and later reduce your population (i.e. the earth’s population) to scientific limits’.

Ummm, with hindsight, perhaps the human race would have been better off if the Mekon had taken over? Perhaps we’d have had less problems today? Instead of breeding like…well, like Rabbits, we would have been forced to conform to “scientific limits” on our numbers?

But the Mekon was thwarted by Dan Dare. The world remained free. The earth’s population continued to multiply – and to pollute the planet that birthed it. Of course, we now see the “misguided resistance”, so shocking to the Mekon’s sensibilities, was nothing more than a display of human greed. The world government on Earth was full of Neo-Colonialists who wished to exploit the mineral wealth of Venus…as always exploitation was the name of the game.

Today, I find it interesting that the Mekon and the Treens were green. Green for healthy. Green as a lettuce leaf. Green as…well, if I were a cynic, green as gangrene, except the puss from that is yellowish. Perhaps Frank Hampson was ahead of his time in suggesting we should look after our environment? Unfortunately, it was a message not heard or understood by many.

Slightly more people heard and listened to Rachel Carson. Her book Silent Spring back in 1962 launched the environmental movement. One could almost say that Carson made ecology “subversive”, science (or a scientist) against industry ( or greedy capitalists), when she went head-to-head with the chemical industry.

Today the earth really has need of the Mekon. We’ve got plenty of Dan Dares – too many, probably. What we need is a big headed, bright-green, super-scientist on a flying shitter, putting everything to rights…instead we get a George Bush or a Tony Blair or a Gordon Brown or a Nicolas Sarkozy or a clone of one or all of them – did you notice Sarkozy recently launched an attack on immigrants in France? He is himself the child of immigrants. What madness the scramble for popularity engenders…

We need a Mekon to ensure we reduce the number of planes in the air – the whole damn world flies off to attended a meeting on Climate Change. Have these people not heard of Video Conferencing?

We need a Mekon to reverse globalisation, create intelligent urban design, oversee decentralisation with all power returning to local communities (very like the Swiss local communes).

We need to make better use of our water supplies– for example in new buildings we ensure the recycling of water from bath or shower to a reserve tank used for flushing the WC etc, simple but efficient and not expensive to do. All over Germany and Austria I recently saw home power solar panels – huge numbers of dwellings have them, and Germany has built more windmills than any other country in Europe. In the UK we’re still arguing about them, and you hardly ever see a solar panel, they’re too expensive for the average family to install…

In Europe huge amounts of goods are moved by barge on a network of canals, many of the barges holding the load of up to seventy commercial vehicles. In the UK, it mostly travels by road. We’ve even managed to price the majority of commercial goods off the railways…

We need a Mekon to introduce an element of common sense. In time (a lot of time granted ) the earth will become like that gleaming steel gas chamber. Human greed will have condemned the race to death. We will go out not with a bang but a whimper…

And now, deep in ennui, it’s started to rain. The sound of the rain is the saddest of sounds. I seem to remember the Mekon once said about human beings:

STOP THEM! You fools STOP THEM!!

That says it all, doesn’t it?

“In an analysis of the past 1.2 million years, UC Santa Barbara geologist Lorraine Lisiecki discovered a pattern that connects the regular changes of Earth’s orbital cycle to changes in Earth’s climate.”

See the full story HERE.

End of the World News

January 25, 2010

Oh, dear, more confusion on the “climate” front:

“More mistakes about Himalayan glaciers seem to have been uncovered in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report, further threatening its credibility and undermining the position of its chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri” (see HERE)

This article HERE explains:

“I can report a further dramatic twist to what has inevitably been dubbed “Glaciergate” – the international row surrounding the revelation that the latest report on global warming by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contained a wildly alarmist, unfounded claim about the melting of Himalayan glaciers. Last week, the IPCC, led by its increasingly controversial chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, was forced to issue an unprecedented admission: the statement in its 2007 report that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035 had no scientific basis, and its inclusion in the report reflected a “poor application” of IPCC procedures.

“What has now come to light, however, is that the scientist from whom this claim originated, Dr Syed Hasnain, has for the past two years been working as a senior employee of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Delhi-based company of which Dr Pachauri is director-general. Furthermore, the claim – now disowned by Dr Pachauri as chairman of the IPCC – has helped TERI to win a substantial share of a $500,000 grant from one of America’s leading charities, along with a share in a three million euro research study funded by the EU.”

Surely there can be no connection between the $500,000 grant and the “mistakes” in the IPCC report on global warming?

But then there’s this HERE:

“The United Nations’ climate science panel is facing further embarrassment after claims it incorrectly linked global warming to a rise in natural disasters.”

Oh, dear me. Some more little mistakes.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claimed in 2007 that the world had “suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather related events since the 1970s”, suggesting that part of the increase was down to global warming.”

But it wasn’t!

“The claim formed a central argument at the climate change conference, where African nations demanded £62 billion in compensation from rich nations responsible for the highest amount of carbon emissions.”

Tut tut tut.

Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, says: “All the literature published before and since the IPCC report shows that rising disaster losses can be explained entirely by social change. People have looked hard for evidence that global warming plays a part but can’t find it. The idea that catastrophes are rising in cost because of climate change is completely misleading.”

The dilemma of science

January 11, 2010

“Science has the answers to all mankind’s problems.”

Do you believe this? Scientists make lots of mistakes, don’t they? For example:

The Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson overestimated the number of people who’d contract Swine Flu; he estimated 65,000 would die. Consequently, we as taxpayers, purchased 29 million doses of Swine Flu vaccine from two drug companies, but only used four million doses. Now we’re going to give away millions of doses of vaccine at a potential cost of one billion pounds sterling.

Science is often inexact – or, rather, the pontifications of those high priests of science, the scientists themselves, are often inexact. So we had a “barbecue summer” predicted in the UK this year and a mild winter: the summer weather was wishy-washy at best and parts of Britain were colder than the South Pole this winter.

In fact the Met Office people have predicted mild winters for the past three years in the UK. We didn’t get them. Last winter’s abnormal cold pushed Britain’s death rate up to 40,000 above the average. This winter it’ll be far, far higher.

Scientists advised the Highways Agency and Local Authorities there’d no longer be a need for large stockpiles of salt for frozen roads. The world, after all, is warming. The Transport Minister, Lord Adonis then admits as a nation we entered this latest cold snap with only six days supply of grit! Crazy. But it has been claimed some councils have more “Climate Change Officials” than gritters.

Obviously climate change is something that needs to be studied over hundreds and even thousands of years. There’s been a scientific explanation from the met office about the current cold snap: “regional” phenomenon, due to “natural” factors. Yet it’s affecting the whole northern hemisphere; 1,200 places in the US last week reported record snow, and freezing low temperatures.

In part the advice of Climate Scientists helped dig the graves of those 40,000 people last winter; these would be the elderly, the infirm, the vulnerable. The “scientific” advice given, of course, was incorrect. While scientists talk about “warmer winters” government will take no action to defend against freezing arctic cold, or fuel poverty which is rife in Britain today.

Okay, enough about climate. What other mistakes have scientists made?

Well, what about Thalidomide? Remember that one, do you?

The introduction of the Cane Toad to the sugar cane fields of Queensland Australia to control pests – the Toads went out of control and are killing native wildlife as far away as the Northern Territory. And the Toads are still spreading.

What about DDT?

Ummm.

Scientific errors and controversies inevitably occur in the absence, ignorance, or dismissal of good data, and the promotion of bad data or analyses. We like to quote scientists as experts. We have put them high up on a pedestal. We forget they are human, too.

Take a step back in time and the first scientists, alchemists, believed it’d be possible to turn led into gold. They were wrong. Johann Joachim Becher in the mid 16th century was convinced there was another element beside air, fire, earth and water which he called “Phlogiston”. Most scientists of his time were convinced he was correct in this judgment. He wasn’t. Up until the nineteenth century most scientists accepted the claim that the earth was only 6,000 years old. They were so, so wrong. Until the nineteenth century, doctors didn’t see the need to wash their hands before surgery. They were wrong, too. The huge number of cases of gangrene that resulted were universally thought to be due to “bad air”! Again, they were mistaken in their analysis of the problem.

The list could go on and on and on.

The scientific method is a tool to help people progress toward the truth despite their all-too-human susceptibility to confirmation bias and other errors. It’s the bias and errors we need to watch out for: one day they may prove the death of us all.

In the meantime it would be as well to remember scientists are human. They aren’t omnipotent beings, Gods for the 21st century. They are individuals seeking funding for their projects and ideas. They have all the inconsistencies and frailties of other human beings. They do make mistakes. They do get it wrong. Sometimes spectacularly so.

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!

So, let’s drink a toast to a better world! It’s what we all most certainly want, isn’t it? And yet isn’t it a nonsense, that phrase…“a better world” – better than what, you might ask?

Your “better world” (the one you just wished for and raised your glass to) is probably far different from my “better world”, isn’t it?

So perhaps we should just toast a “different world”?

One like this, maybe –

desert

Looks just like Arakis…the planet from Frank Herbert’s 1965 book, “Dune”. Herbert wrote the novel in part because of his interest in ecology, and dedicated it: ‘to the people whose labors go beyond ideas into the realm of “real materials” – to the dry-land ecologists, wherever they may be, in whatever time they work, this effort at prediction is dedicated in humility and admiration.’

Or perhaps the world we’d wish for is like this –

apartments

No? Too much like the one we already inhabit?

Fact is as a species we could prevent overcrowding if we had a mind to. We could change the “environment” in which we live. To quote Quentin S Crisp: “Reproduction, in very simple terms, is a war for resources. Affluent couples are like affluent nations. They know they can secure a bigger share of the world’s finite resources for their children…Reproduction is war.”

Frighteningly true. Our future certainly looks bleak – but we could take action and turn this situation around before it’s too late…although I doubt we have the courage or political will to do so. Instead, we’ll wait for catastrophe.

On the other hand, with climate change, I don’t think there’s much we can do (not that’s going to have a big impact on the situation). If, ultimately, it’s going to get warmer (though this is far from 100% certain), then we should be putting air conditioning in every building constructed. The current high level of winter deaths will fall, if not disappear completely, in time. Colder countries will need to burn less fossil fuels – because it’ll be warmer! We won’t need all that heating, will we?

If it gets colder, of course, we’re stuffed. After all oil is running out. And fossil fuels won’t last forever! This could then be our “different world”  –

ice

What I’ve often claimed on this blog  has been confirmed recently by the British courts: Global Warming is a new religion. See HERE.

‘In a landmark ruling, Mr Justice Michael Burton said that “a belief in man-made climate change … is capable, if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations”.’

“Man made climate change” unproven to the court’s satisfaction is accorded status as a “philosophical belief” system!

Back in 1815, the volcanic eruption of mount Tambora gave us the coldest summer of 500 years! In 1816 the grapes didn’t ripen; there was widespread famine; hundreds of thousands of people died round the world – and we’re only now beginning to realise this! In the past historians assigned these catastrophic  events to the ending of the Napoleonic wars. Now we know different. Now we know that we don’t know everything.

Even one of the world’s first campaigners for “Man made climate change” has recently stated it’s now too late for humanity to do anything to prevent it. To prevent it, he claims, the Industrial Revolution shouldn’t have happened!

 So we can’t do much about the climate, but we can have an impact on our surroundings, our quality of life and our uncontrolled consumerism.

Climate Change and me…

October 29, 2009

nOhOPE

I’ve frequently been asked my views on climate change.  Put simply, the earth’s climate has never been static: huge shifts in temperature, for example,  have taken place over the last three hundred million years – changes that have had nothing whatsoever to do with hominoids or their activities!

So is the climate changing?

Yes, of course. The earth’s climate is NOT static. At this point in time we appear to be in a period of “global cooling”. Since 1998 temperatures have fallen slightly, year-on-year, which has led some of the “scientific community” to drop the mantra of “Global Warming” and to sing from the hymn sheet of “Climate Change” instead.

The big problem, for me, is their laying “blame” for this climate change (for this quite natural phenomena, in other words) on the activities of mankind. This I don’t accept. It’s perverse and egotistical.

How many people realise, for example, that if each European country achieves the EU target of a 20% reduction in carbon emissions, the effect this will have on climate change over the next one hundred years is so small as to be immeasurable!  If every country in the world adopted and achieved the same target, by the end of the century the statistics suggest we might have made a difference to  climate change of between one and two years. All that pain for two years grace? The EU incentive alone is set to cost the EU economies 180 billion euros annually.

180 billion annually to make no noticeable difference? Does that make sense? Wouldn’t that money be better spent on things that will make a difference to quality of life and to the future?

Then we have all the talk about the “Greenhouse Effect” and “Greenhouse Gases” don’t we? So what’s this “Greenhouse Effect”? As an issue it’s a biggy, but how many of us can explain what it is? In reality, probably not many. The explanations we see in the media are inaccurate oversimplifications that at times border on the absurd.

A very good explanation can be found HERE.

I’m afraid I don’t find nature or climate to be particularly benign; but I do see mankind as being somewhat puny in comparison.

See HERE on CO2 emissions…the facts!

People don’t want to believe they can’t make a difference. It’s unacceptable to their egos. If we really wanted to do something about the current changes in climate, we should have prevented the Industrial Revolution (so some scientists believe). And had we done that, the difference it would have made to the Earth’s climate is uncertain!

So instead we pour money into bad, very bad ideas – like banning conventional light bulbs and using “energy efficient” light bulbs that are filled with mercury – a substance  banned by the EU for use in thermometers…because of pollution!! (“official advice from the Department of the Environment states that if a low-energy bulb is smashed, the room needs to be vacated for at least 15 minutes.”) See HERE.

Ultimately we are making decisions on so much “bad” science, for example, HERE. And HERE.

For human beings to accomplish anything worthwhile a more common sense approach to the problems of climate and environment should be adopted. For example, the river Thames was at one time so badly polluted fish could not live in its waters (if you were unfortunate enough to fall in and swallow some of it, hospitals tended to pump your stomach). The pollution was caused by industry. We didn’t solve the problem by banning industry. No. Instead we cleaned up the industry, and now the fish have returned.

Finally, I do believe human beings can make a difference to the quality of life, and to the environment, but that their impact on the earth’s climate is going to be small, infinitesimal  almost. They just have to accept this, and get over it.

Unwanted Seed

May 22, 2009

Poverty3

I’m tempted to suggest a solution pinched from Anthony Burgess for the problem of “over population” – I know I’ve mentioned this often enough in the past! But all that crap we’re bombarded with about climate change.

You know the stuff I mean? 

It’s the “Oh, dear, the World’s going down the pan in five years, ten years, fifty years, sometime soon” brigade. “Put you head between your legs, kiss your arse goodbye, all the ice is melting…” 

You’ve heard it haven’t you? 

And then they come up with that killer word: UNLESS! 

We’re all goin’ to die UNLESS!  Unless we (the human race) cut back on carbon emissions. 

Oh, is that all? 

Oh, well, that impacts on more-or-less every-damn-thing you can think of in a modern industrial society, doesn’t it? So that’s going to happen, isn’t it? Like don’t hold your effin’ breath, children.
 
But what’s not being said, is that the real problem is people – the sheer volume of people on this ol’ planet of ours. More and more development of industry – why? Because there are more and more bloody consumers.

“Simples.”

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the bloody problem!

We exist on a world with finite resources. People die daily due to lack of drinking water, lack of food, lack of medicine or affordable health care. Those of us living (and consuming) in a fully developed industrial economy do so at the expense of all those whose lot in life is one of depravation and poverty. We’re like those “fat cat” bankers that were in the news recently: we’re burning up whatever resources we can lay our hands on, leaving (ultimately) sweet FA for the “have-nots” or even our own posterity.

In short, we are 21st  Century Vampires, sucking the soul out of Gaia; we’re Ghouls feeding on the rank corpses of our own kind. We ARE the problem.

So, while scientists, those Bishops of the new religion, waffle on about carbon emissions (frankly, even if they were 0% it’s probably too damn late to make a difference), they gloss over, or fail to face the underlying cause of the problem – PEOPLE.

You, me, and Gordon makes three.  WE are the problem, and our unchecked, unregulated, out of control consumerism has taken our race to the very edge of the abyss, where we now teeter, uncomfortably, eyes averted from the bleak depths confronting us!

We are in DENIAL!

So, Anthony Burgess. He wrote the novel “THE WANTING SEED” back when (1962 I think). It was about an England that was desperate to avoid overpopulation. Here we find infanticide, and a society where homosexuals receive various benefits and are praised as role models for society. The population police are everywhere. And as this society falls apart at the centre, we are taken on a rollercoaster ride of lavish orgies and cannibalistic dinners.

And it’s the idea of those cannibalistic meals that I would “pinch” from Burgess and offer up as a (partial) solution to those problems of climate change etc currently besetting us.

Symbolically, Catholics have been eating the body of Christ and drinking his blood for over a thousand years. The industrial West has “fed” lavishly on the body of “the third world”, metaphorically speaking. So why not now transform Symbol and metaphor into hard reality? Why not eat a friend?

Burgess often mention the idea of cans of “mensh” in the supermarket. Meat for all. No need for starvation in a world full of people.

So while vested interest and the business community of Brazil indulge in night games, killing those members of society felt to be extraneous to requirement –

“I call it social cleansing because the people being killed are normally black, they’re poor and they’re from the slums that surround the city. They have become what I call ‘the killables’.”

They are totally missing out on the opportunity to package and market the “meat” of their victims. There’s money in them there corpses!

“One of the street kids, Roberto, 14. “You can also be burned alive here.”

Pre-cooked? Is that another missed opportunity?

It’s estimated there’re eleven million street kids in India. Ten million in Brazil. One and a half million in Egypt. And one and half million in Pakistan. The numbers roll on and on, around the world, millions of fast food meals waiting to happen. All totally surplus to requirements.

You think that sounds terrible?

Sick even?

Well, what I think is terrible, the real crime – the true sickness – is the fact these kids exist at all. While we sit on our fat arses worrying about the state of the economy, each of us with a “carbon footprint” the size of the Sudan, they are silently dying…sometimes not so quietly. While certain members of our Parliament juggle their expenses figures to clean out a moat or purchase a bathplug or Sky TV package, these kids beg on street corners, steal, prostitute themselves…die. Even in modern Russia it’s estimated over a million children live “rough”, underground, in pipe and cable conduits and tunnels during the winter – kids no one wants, so what are they doing there?

We live in a world with too many people. We don’t want to do anything about that. We live in a world where child poverty is endemic. We don’t want to do anything about that. We look away from the abyss. We live in a world where the climate is changing, becoming less hospitable. Guess what? We aren’t going to do much about that, either…pay lip service to it, make “green” noises, recycle a bit of household waste, whack up the odd windmill.

Through all this I have this solitary image in my head: Nero fiddling while Rome burns out of control. Now there was a man who knew a good tune when he heard one!

0657602900

‘University of Adelaide Professor of Mining Geology Ian Plimer this week launches his seventh book, Heaven and Earth, Global Warming: The Missing Science, which aims to refute every scientific argument that humans are responsible for global warming.

Professor Plimer embarked on the project after being incensed by increasing public acceptance of the idea that humans have caused global warming.

Many scientists worldwide agree that high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have caused global temperatures to rise.

Professor Plimer said his book would “knock out every single argument we hear about climate change”, to prove that global warming is a cycle of the Earth.

“It’s got nothing to do with the atmosphere, it’s about what happens in the galaxy.”‘