The Cost of Climate Change Protest

Last year the Metropolitan Police in London had to spend £27 million in policing protests by the extinction rebellion supporters. It is significantly more, it seems, than the police spend in London on its violent crime task force. The policing of extinction rebellion is not at all effective. Protesters are allowed to block major intersections and bridges. Recently they have dig up lawns in London and Cambridge causing criminal damage and dumped the soil elsewhere which is illegal fly tipping. These criminal activities are carried out under the watchful eye of the police who do not restrain these crimes committed by perpetrators that the police observe and could stop, if they were minded to carry out their duties.

But the £27 million was not the only cost. Tens of thousands of Londoners lost wages and leisure time due to the disruption caused. Many tens of thousands of carbon dioxide emissions and particulates were pumped into the atmosphere by cars blocked in traffic brought to a halt by extinction rebellion protests. The atmospheric pollution caused by the protesters and the environmental damage is substantial. It cannot be justified by their actions because their demands are nonsensical as we shall see.

Extinction Rebellion have three demands:

  1. Tell the Truth: truth in matters of such scientific complexity as climate change is not straightforward. Who is to “tell the truth” and who is telling the truth? Governments, scientists or the extinction protesters?
  2. Act now reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 is the demand but there is no solution offered as to how this can be achieved.
  3. Beyond Politics: government to be led by citizens’ assemblies. This is the most chilling demand of all as it seeks to subvert the democratic will of the people.

Now, the right to peaceful protest is an important right. In major cities there are laws about such protests which enable them to take place with the minimum of disruption. It is the job of the police to enforce these laws, made by democratically elected politicians; the police must not stand by while they observe serious crimes being committed. It brings to doubt the competence of the Commissioner, Cressida Dick and her judgment as well as the sincerity and true motivation of the leaders of extinction rebellion protesters.

Nature Fights Back

Humanity is the most powerful force on the planet. It is so powerful that it is even capable of changing our climate, wiping out many other species of life and turning the place where we live into a place where we may not be able to live, in the relatively near future, be it decades, centuries or millennia.

But the rest of the species on the planet is not without some power of its own. If humanity runs the risk of becoming too populous for the planet, nature fights back. There is a war between humanity and nature. The Corona Virus may be an example of nature fighting back.

In any event the war between humanity and nature is ongoing. The problem is that if humanity wins the war, then it will be a Pyrrhic victory, with humanity having dominion…over a dead planet.

Too Fashionable to be Taken Seriously

I first learned about climate change when Mrs Thatcher raised the issue more years ago than I care to remember.  I had a woolly understanding of the concept but started reading voraciously about it and learning what I could.  I wished I had paid better attention to my physics lessons in school.  Then I decided to write these essays on climate change, now approaching three thousand in number, mostly on global warming, energy and their effects on the climate of our planet. Continue reading

Fantastic Tricks That Make Angels Weep

I have always thought that being a television newsreader was an easy job, overpaid and over adulated. Looking solemn when you read bad news from an auto cue and looking happy when you proclaim t happy news is not the most intellectually demanding of tasks but nevertheless those who perform these tasks are not morons (although they could be) and have their own opinions and ideas, to which they are entitled.

But opinions and views these days are dangerous if they do not conform to the views of the politically correct section of society. These days there are those who make an art form taking offence.

Mr Alistair Stewart, a newsreader, has been sacked from ITN News for apparently making a racist tweet. ITN are coy about revealing the true reasons and have resorted to secret briefings to those trying to find out why Mr Stewart was sacked. It seems that Mr Stewart made what was considered by his boss to be a racist tweet in quoting these lines from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure:

but man, proud man,

Drest in a little brief authority,

Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,

His glassy essence, like an angry ape,

Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven

As make the angels weep;

I first came across “fantastic tricks before high heaven as make the angels weep” in one of Frank Richard’s numerous Billy Bunter stories in the 1950s. I love the concept of man behaving so badly that angels weep, and quoted this passage in my book, “the Energy Age” because I felt it encapsulated the way in which some people, when given power, abuse it and the way in which all people abuse power, to the sorrow of heaven.

It seems that in quoting this passage one Mr Shapland took offence. He seemed to think that Mr Stewart was calling him an angry ape. and to Mr Shapland (being black) himself this was a racist comment.

It is astonishing that any person could regard this quotation as a racist comment or accusation. It is even more astonishing that ITN could regard this tweet by Mr Stewart as worthy of dismissal from his employment. I think that the quotation, if adapted by substituting the words “but man, proud man” with the name of those who made the decision to sack Mr Stewart, would hold very true and accurately describe what has happened.

I understand that Mr Shapland has himself received abuse and even death threats., and did not want or expect Mr Stewart to be sacked, but merely wanted him to apologise. Mr Shapland does not deserve any abuse. He simply needs to educated in understanding that Shakespeare was not denigrating people of any race in particular, but commenting on the numerous flaws of humanity when humanity has power. Once that is understood, it is clear that there is nothing for which an apology is required.

I quoted that passage in “the Energy Age” because I felt it expressed the way in which humanity, which has power and dominion over all life forms on this planet is abusing its power with its relentless selfishness playing fantastic tricks on the environment and on eco-systems. It works well to describe all abuse of power.

After the party is over

Humanity likes to feast; hundreds of millions of Christians feast at Christmas; other religions also have feasts and set times of their calendars. A feast is a feature of many festivals where all the joys of partying with loved ones come to the fore.

Of course, perpetual feasts and festivals would soon pall and people would long for the quietude of normality.

However, it seems when it comes to the use of fossil fuel energy and the earth’s rare resources the party never ends. Those people who are not invited to the partying of the western industrialised nations are rapidly starting their own parties modest at first but ever growing never ending, or at least never ending until the planet calls a halt. I am minded of Browning words about the partying of the people of Venice in their pomp.

“As for Venice and her people, merely born to bloom and drop,
Here on earth they bore their fruitage, mirth and folly were the crop:
What of soul was left, I wonder, when the kissing had to stop?”

Merry Christmas

and a happy New year

Merry Christmas

To everyone