Friday, February 19, 2010

Better risk assessment and value measurement is essential to help prevent what happened to banks happening to the planet.



An example of how not to do this is offered by the group of eminent economists (an oxymoron?) who have written to the Financial Times to voice their dissent with George Osborne's proposed economic policies. Regardless of the grounds for their objection their underlying rationale for objecting is that:

"for the good of the British people, the first priority must be to restore robust economic growth"
Now I would normally revel in a group of academics sticking their noses into the political sphere, particularly to object to Tory policies. However, this current argument is so blindly ignorant of reality that it is painful to hear it vomitted out into the press. How many times must people point out that economic growth is not only utterly unsustainable but also broadly sociopathic.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sarah Goldsmith part 3


So Sarah had the guts to come onto the blog and post in response to my invitation to enter into dialogue. I have to say I am mildly disturbed by the eagerness with which she has jumped into a conversation which she must have had many times before. However, in the spirit of open discourse and with the political fate of the South West at stake (that's a joke, for people who think I have an overinflated sense of self importance) I would like to offer a considered reply to her comments and those of her various ardent fans who also felt the need to speak up in her defense. I will now explain why you are all either mental or ignorant. That's not a joke.

Sarah, in order for us to not only preserve the richness of our civilisation's culture, but for it to flourish we need to develop a sustainable way of life that allows us to uncouple development from economic, population and habitat growth. This is utterly, utterly unequivocal. The evidence is overwhelming. The changes to our day-to-day lives required to achieve sustainable development are daunting. They are not impossible. In contrast, our civilisation is absolutely guranteed to slide, screaming and dribbling, into authoritarianism/anarchy if collective action does not materialise.

I want you to appreciate that the mountains of data that evidence this analysis has been produced throught the application of the scientific method. I mention this because I'd like to challenge you to agree with me that the environmental movement began with the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson in 1962. Carson was a scientist, a marine biologist like me, who deployed the scientific method to document the effects of recently developed pesticides upon wildlife populations in the USA. I find her work particularly inspiring both because it was broadly condemned but also because Carson defended herself passionately against the same sort of vitriolic accusations of inhumanity which I now direct at yourself. The difference between you and Rachel is that her arguments were based upon evidence. If you were a scientist then this conversation would never have happened. However, you did not choose this career path. You did all the things you listed on this blog and somehow convinced yourself that you were a witch. This leads me to ask the following questions: Can you tell me what a witch is, in factual terms, i.e. what makes you different from my mum? What about your "craft" is of value to the bioprospecting industry (the technical term for making a living searching for useful organic compounds)?

You might not appreciate why I ask this but I would like to request that you provide links to evidence to support your responses wherever possible.

Can I also observe that I have attacked you for your bizarre convictions in the same way that I would attack any religious person who sought political power: by pointing out that they have no evidence to support their convictions and that this suggests they are inherently unsuitable for the job to which they aspire. I frequently criticise followers of mainstream religions for letting their insanity drive their politics and you are no exception because religious is exactly what you are.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sarah Goldsmith part 2


Since my first post about her Sarah has withdrawn as Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Torbay and left the party. I can only say that I am relieved as I felt she was an entirely inappropriate candidate with the potential greatly exaggerate the negative stereotype associated with green politics and the Green Party. Sarah has, however, deigned to reply (somewhat bitterly) to my question on the PRSD website and I have replied as magnanimously as I can. The amount of attention my post highlighting the ludicrous nature of her claims to mystik powers has garnered has quite shocked me and I feel not a little responsible for her withdrawal. However I do not regret my actions inthe slightest. Better that her batshit tendencies are exposed locally before some grey party opponent in Brighton- where the first ever Green Member of Parliament might be elected in May- siezes upon such daming material to paint the GP back into its sandal-sporting and hair-shirt-wearing corner. The potential for the GP to wield some small amount of power in Westminster is very much more valuable to the future of society than any single candidates' ego.

I would like to offer to Sarah the opportunity to defend her candidacy upon these pages and possibly some of the claims and statements on her various websites. I recognise that she is under no obligation to do so but I feel some sort of evidence-based discussion, without my usual level of profanity, may help her understand why I reacted with such hostility to her candidacy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

fat people deserve ridicule


What this guy says:

"there is a fundamental difference between homophobic and racist remarks and 'fatist' ones. With very, very few exceptions people are fat because of the lifestyle decisions they have made. It is this obvious and undisguisable manifestation of those decisions which is derided."
I'd like to add that, in a world that continues to produce more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet, and yet in which one person dies as a direct or indirect result of hunger every second, eating more than is healthy for you is utterly abhorrent. I'm not suggesting that fat people actively steal food from the mouths of the malnourished, but if you asked me if I wanted to vote for the aboliton of agricultural subsidies in the UK and EU, despite the effect upon already massively inflated food prices, I wouldn't hesitate to do so. If you asked a fatty the same question I doubt they'd be so keen despite the overwhelming moral case in favour. The morality of this argument is indistinguishable from that of climate change deniers: both want to maintain their current, unsustainable and morally indefensible lifestyle at others' expense.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

"The fault lies with politicians, not the science."


On the growing theme of Tory climate change denial and the various insiginificant intransigences of the climate science community, the Observer has published an exchange between its science editor, Robin McKie, and Benny Peiser, the Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. This organ, chaired by the loathsome Lord Lawson, is dedicated to climate change denial and the dissemination of pseudo-intellectual criticism of its social and economic consequences. The exchange is remarkable for the crushing blows landed by the Observer hack and the slippery dodging and avoidance of the denier. Its disappointing that there is no final response from Peiser as I would be interesting to know how his anti-scientific ideology survives his eminent failure to present any evidence to support his position, as requested by McKie. But then climate change denial isn't about evidence or proof or reasoned argument. It is a profoundly ideological position, as McKie observes, and not at all susceptible to enlightenment.

catholics really are fucking stupid


In response to the Pope's direct attempt to interfere with UK politics, one of his lapdogs spoke up in support. His words included this very alarming sentence:
"But there is a misunderstanding: sometimes in government legislation equality seems to mean that we are all absolutely equal, which we are not."
(my emphasis)

Did you get that? According to the catholic elite we are not all equal. No. The poofs and trannies are untermenschen who do not deserve the same rights as the rest of us gods-fearing heteros.

I wonder what rights paedophile priests, and those who enable them, have in comparison?

Liam Fox is a massive wanker


Apart from being a Tory and an outright liar to boot he is also a war-mad psychopath straight out of the Blair mould. Note how he doesn't feel that developing nuclear weapons in contradiction of the Non-Proliferation Treaty isn't grounds for war against Jewish and Christian states. Or our own. No, its only Islamic ones that deserve this pubescent chest-thumping.
"[T]he era of nuclear terrorism has arrived".
Has it Liam? Did I fall into a coma and miss several months of in-depth reporting of this nuclear strike at the heart of the West? Funny, I can't find any mention of it now.

What a disgusting little gobshite.