1,565 thoughts on “General Discussion – 2

  1. In the People’s Republic of China, access by the general public to firearms is subject to some of the strictest control measures in the world. With the exception of individuals with hunting permits and some ethnic minorities, civilian firearm ownership is restricted to non-individual entities.[1]

    Law enforcement, military, paramilitary, and important security personnel are allowed to use firearms.[1] Police are to use issued pistols only to stop serious or dangerous crimes.[2]

    Airsoft guns are practically prohibited in China, as muzzle energy limits classify them as real firearms.[3]

  2. F: “I think they are people who have hijacked the climate cause hoping to overthrow the Capitalist system and bring an end to democracy.”

    Capitalist is not synonymous with democracy. Thought you had at least enough sense to know that.

    These people you say were carrying around signs saying “The end of the world is neigh” way back when you were young – what was their basis for this supposed claim?

  3. Fred, it’s not an opinion; it’s a fact. People in Florida and Bangladesh are already retreating from the rising ocean. The largest living thing on the planet, the Great Barrier Reef, is already half dead. Species are becoming extinct orders of magnitude faster than the usual rate. The ocean is losing its alkalinity, and is full of plastic. No one voted for any of this.

    “they are […] hoping to overthrow the Capitalist system and bring an end to democracy.”

    Make up your mind; it can’t be both.

    Capitalism has long since overthrown democracy; it is out of control. Capitalism routinely demands wars from governments. It is permitting millions to die of covid, because in most of the world there now is no effective government.

    This lesson was learned after WWII; it was such a calamity that the survivors strengthened government to control capitalism, and built international institutions to prevent it ever happening again. But capitalism remained in control of the media, and so the lesson was forgotten.

    You ran away from its effects Fred; you told me that yourself, you don’t like what is becoming of the places you knew. But if too many others ran away those effects would merely follow them. And they will, Fred, because without government to control it, capitalism is insatiable.

    “I’m all right, Jack”.

  4. Ben, if you feel you have power, now is the time to use it. Twenty years ago would be even better.

    Or the coming slaughter will be like none before.

    Many scoffed at the pandemic. Note that they are the same ones who scoff at the environmental catastrophe, Fred included. You want a decent life for your descendants, so now is the time to take action.

  5. Ben – “But they also believe humans are not savage and the World is benign, not malign.”

    No. Everyone I know in XR thinks that Nature can be far more cruel than any government. The difference between humans’ laws and nature’s laws is that you can break humans’ laws. Humans do at least have mercy sometimes, and even love. Nature just has consequences.

    That’s why we do it. Humans had best come into line with nature, before we lose the option.

  6. Clark : you misinterpret the context of power in my comment.

    The power is in determining my own destiny. Live by the sword; die by the sword. No one will take myself or loved ones lives without paying a similar price. Here’s the salient point of being proactive in the face of extinction…

    Most murderers fear their own death and the fearless confrontation with equal threat is the greatest deterrent. Encouraging a murderers zeal for unopposed violence through passive resistance is its own reward for both individuals.

  7. Ben – “Live by the sword; die by the sword. No one will take myself or loved ones lives without paying a similar price.”

    I understand that. We are adapted to that kind of threat. We have emotions to motivate appropriate resistance.

    But this is a different kind of threat, one we have not faced before. The biggest danger is not from the powerful themselves. It is neither immediate nor proximate. It is from the cumulative, long-term effects of the power structure, and though it threatens us somewhat, it threatens the younger generation and those yet to be far more.

  8. Ben, take a look at the projected global temperature rise:


    The different coloured lines represent different amounts of greenhouse gas emissions – we’re currently on the red line, RCP8.5, or very optimistically, the amber line, RCP6.0. In the “news” media, “the end of the century” is nearly always referred to, but note that in both cases, the temperature is still rising at its fastest rate by 2100, and is only 50% likely to stabilise by 2300.

    That’s if it stabilises at all; these are only projections, and they don’t include all possible tipping points. We can’t know how the climate will behave after the Arctic sea-ice has melted away. We can’t know how much more warming there could be if all the permafrost methane and seabed deposits of methyl hydrates vaporise, as they do when they warm up.

    Maybe three to twelve centigrade doesn’t sound much, but that’s a global average. By the same measure, the last ice age was only four or five degrees colder.

    It’s fallen to us, Ben. As crazy as that seems after millennia of human civilisation, we happen to be the ones present at the time of global crisis. But it had to happen to someone.


  9. “Fred, it’s not an opinion; it’s a fact. People in Florida and Bangladesh are already retreating from the rising ocean. ”

    Wow, disaster, people in very low places have to move a few miles inland, catastrophic end of the world as we know it. We have the technology to deal with rising seas, ask anyone in Holland.

    We obviously have to curb co2 production so why not start by campaigning against Bitcoin? Bitcoin mining already consumes more energy than the Netherlands, rising fast, mostly using energy generated by coal powered power stations in China and it is totally unnecessary, we didn’t even have it just a few years ago.

    Did yo see the girl in the video I posted last night? She had decided she didn’t want people to eat meat so she invented a reason why it was racist. The founders of ER were formally part of the Occupy movement and low and behold the people responsible for climate change just happen to be the banks. What a coincidence.

  10. Fred, you’re proving my point; the human mind is poorly adapted to recognising gradual, impersonal threats. It seizes upon trivia like some video of a teenager and a wittering TV pundit, and uses that to bolster its entrenched, comforting prejudices.

  11. F: “We have the technology to deal with rising seas, ask anyone in Holland.

    The did. Little can be done for Florida, Dutch engineers considered the ground rock there is simply too porous.

    As for Bangladesh, perhaps you think they can afford the immense dyke works the Dutch have achieved in this small country, but on a larger scale to accommodate the longer and more exposed coastline, and at a vastly greater speed?

    Bear in mind that Holland is wealthy, has a very stable (and remarkably honest) government, and has built up its sea defences over the best part of 1000 years. On-going projects are enormous in scale, for new constructions, improvements and maintenance.

    The idea that poor, corrupt and unstable third world countries achieve the same with the ease you dismissively imply is fanciful, to put it mildly.

    F: “Move a few miles inland”

    Get real.

  12. Clark, well here’s a video from a highly qualified respected scientist for you.


    I’m not agreeing with everything he says, I’m not a fanatical moderate, I’m saying his opinions are every bit as valid as the scientists you cherry pick to bolster your political agenda.

  13. My political agenda? I’m not anti-capitalist Fred. I’m not pro-capitalism either. To me, capitalism is an emergent phenomena, like language or conspiracy theory. It’s daft to get ideological about it; it’s just another of those things that has to be dealt with, used for its good points and controlled where it does harm.

    “William Happer is an American physicist who has specialized in the study of atomic physics, optics and spectroscopy.”

    Try climatology or Earth systems theory Fred, or maybe link to a top chiropodist or someone… Anyone. Who cares?

    Sorry, who is cherry-picking? I cited Julie Brigham-Grette, a glacial geologist and a professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, co-director of the Joseph Hartshorn Quaternary Laboratory and Chair of the Polar Research Board of the US National Academy of Sciences. Her research expertise is in glacial geology and palaeoclimatology. Zack Labe, Arctic climate specialist at Colorado State University. And I linked to a graph from the IPCC, the world’s top review body for climate science.

  14. Fred’s just winding you up as usual, Clark, I don’t believe he has any actual values of his own – other than a desire to cause mischief and distress in good hearted people.

    It’s not hard to do. Just wave away major concerns that you have on one hand, then feign enormous concern for trivial matters on the other (eg about broken glass). Almost every post is an example of this dishonest behaviour.

  15. Pubs – outdoors at least – are open for business again. And it’s booming – people were packed in there, getting as close as they possibly could. It’s a shame people don’t generally seem to understand the cautiousness with which a new liberty should be taken – if it’s too crowded, don’t go!

    It doesn’t mean that everything is “safe” just because it’s allowed again. This bleating about “when can I go to the pub?” sounds as if it’s coming from a bunch of children. There is still a pandemic about. Most of us are not immunised, herd immunity is a long way off, and Lord only knows what the variants have to offer. It will never be “safe” under these conditions, but we can move around a bit if we’re sensible – and that’s the snag here.

    I mean… people seem to be treating things as if everyone was cleared out due to a bomb scare or a fire alarm went off, and now the fire brigade have given the all-clear, so let’s all pile back in!

  16. Glenn, that has always been one of my objections to government-imposed social restrictions. Don’t take this wrong; given the existing zeitgeist we’re clearly better off with restrictions than without them, but it’s the same as law, employment and almost everything else – self-motivated and community-coordinated behaviours are of a higher order than imposed or coerced behaviours. People do everything better when they’re self-motivated. They strive to perfect the objective rather than merely creating the appearance of having complied with the rules.

    In case Fred is interested, this is also one of my objections to what capitalism has become. There’s a world of difference between choosing employment from a host of diverse, small local enterprises, where you can pick the sort of group you’d enjoy working with and they will to some extent accommodate your personality and the way you work, and being forced to behave as a standardised, pre-defined component in some massive, hideously impersonal multinational corporation.

    “You’re not paid to think; you’re paid to do as you’re told”.

    People behave like recalcitrant children and authorities behave like petty-minded prefects in a mutually reinforcing cycle, the authorities consisting of such people also.
    – – – – – – –

    All the pieces are in place for a mother of all fuck-ups. Despite impressive examples to the contrary the government has promoted vaccination not merely as a magic bullet but as the only possible approach. Now, the population are taking them at their word, but what if it’s not effective enough?

  17. “There is still a pandemic about.”

    Indeed. Globally, daily new infections are higher than ever and still rising. Absent other information, we seem to be approaching the middle of it at best. Variant generation is presumably higher than ever too.

    Of course we could always ignore the bigger picture, local prevalence being relatively low at present. D’you suppose that’s wise?

  18. – 50,000 fans pack into concert in New Zealand – with no masks or social distancing

    “Our city has shown the world this week that in the midst of a global pandemic, we can live close to normality in Auckland”


    Vaccines are not a magic bullet – Zero Covid UK


    I’ve included all the guff on the end of those URLs because I want the ‘web to know where those links came from; please click on them 🙂

  19. “My political agenda? I’m not anti-capitalist Fred. ”

    Didn’t you campaign for people to pay £4 to get associate membership of the Labour party to elect a Marxist as leader?

  20. So anyone who isn’t a corporate stooge like you, Fred, is now an anti-capitalist Marxist? One doesn’t normally hear this level of dishonest apologia for institutional greed outside the US far right echo-chamber.

  21. I joined the Labour Party; I’m still in it.

    “Marxist” must be pretty broad if it includes both Corbyn and the incredible rambling, ranting conspiracy theorist N_.

    I told you Fred; I’m not very ideological about politics. Most of Corbyn’s policies have majority support among the public; re-nationalisation of railways, gas and electricity for instance are very popular.

    Grief Fred, if I wanted a tabloid perspective on the world I wouldn’t even have to pay for it these days.

  22. “I told you Fred; I’m not very ideological about politics.”

    To people who are genuinely in the middle of the road campaigning for people to rig a democratic election to make sure the farthest left candidate wins is not being “not very ideological about politics”.

    So why do yo think it is that of all the things which could be done to reduce greenhouse emissions ER decides to attack banks? Having got people scared shitless by cherry picking the very worst predictions from computer modelling why do they want people to associate banks with climate change? Do you think there is no connection to the fact that ER’s founders were previously members of the Occupy movement?

  23. “…of all the things which could be done”

    XR has organised all sorts of actions, not just banks – government, roads, airports, HS2 construction, open-cast mining, the press, the oil industry… But you know that Fred, because you criticised XR for several of those.

    “Do you think there is no connection to the fact that ER’s founders were previously members of the Occupy movement?”

    There is a connection – the behaviour of the banks. But Roger Hallam co-founded XR and he has no connection to Occupy.

    “campaigning for people to rig a democratic election to make sure the farthest left candidate wins…”

    You’re imputing my motive; you won’t know why I was campaigning for Corbyn unless you ask me. But campaigning isn’t “rigging” anyway; campaigning is a fundamentally democratic act. And Corbyn’s no further to the left than were Conservative Prime Ministers when I was young – were Tories in the 70s Marxist?

    “cherry picking the very worst predictions from computer modelling”

    Nonsense. Just extrapolate the graph of observed summer Arctic sea ice – it’s on course to reach zero between 14 and 30 years from now. In the Antarctic the Thwaites glacier is destabilising – that’s an impending one metre of sea level rise, and consequent loss of agricultural land. It’s not my fault that the situation is scary, and all the denial and blaming in the world won’t make it go away.

    For “people who are genuinely in the middle of the road”, literally sitting in the road is the only place to be these days, ‘cos governments ain’t fixing this; they’re facilitating it.

  24. Someone asked me if Biden’s radical Left ideology was a hindrance to Republican bipartisanship.

    What a joke . It’s all relative because Biden is a moderate. Next to fascism/nativism of the Jim Crow Party moderates look radical

  25. Number One Sons marriage was a delight. Number Two son gave an outstanding Best Man toast….:extraordinarily affectionate and funny.

    Father of Groom speech was short and sweet. Only lost two buttons as jacket was strained by puffy pride in my Lion Pride.

  26. Congratulations Ben 😀

    Now grab your cushion and take your position at the roadblock to improve the odds for their future :/

  27. For Fred – why the banks, eh?

    “The UK is a service-based economy with a world scale financial market in the City of London. The City remains one of the largest global centres for financing fossil fuel – it plays host to, amongst others, BP, Shell, Glencore, Anglo American, Russian oil and gas companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft. The world’s largest energy company, Saudi Aramco, has just raised $US12bn via UK debt markets. Indeed, the City has entwined its prospects with that of fossil fuels – BP & Shell distribute large dividends, mainly derived from non-UK activities, to UK investors and separately, the UK has been competing with Wall Street, Hong Kong and Singapore, in bidding for Aramco’s full IPO. Depending on how it’s measured, the City’s hosting of these companies means that it currently supports, at minimum, somewhere in the order of 15% of potential global CO2 emissions.


    Little old England, hitting above its weight.

  28. Fred, 08:25 – “Having got people scared shitless by cherry picking the very worst predictions from computer modelling why do they want people to associate banks with climate change?”

    The Aviva insurance company found that stock market activity has Earth on course for 3.9 centigrade rise. Their own investment portfolio had us on course for 3.5 degrees. The UK government anticipates 4 degrees. And these are all by 2100, on which path the rise continues even higher until 2300:


    “Without adaptation, climate change could depress growth in global agriculture yields up to 30 percent by 2050, disproportionately affecting small farms around the world.
    Rising seas could force hundreds of millions of people in coastal cities from their homes, with total costs of more than one trillion dollars each year by 2050.

    Climate change could also push more than 100 million people in developing countries below the poverty line by 2030.”

  29. Fred, April 28, 17:07“Clark, well here’s a video from a highly qualified respected scientist for you.” [Link to a video by William Happer.] “I’m not agreeing with everything he says, I’m not a fanatical moderate, I’m saying his opinions are every bit as valid as the scientists you cherry pick to bolster your political agenda.”

    Exposed – Academics for Hire

    – Investigators also approached Professor William Happer of Princeton University, who is chairman of the climate sceptic George Marshall Institute and a former Director of Energy Research at the US Department of Energy under the first President Bush where he “supervised all of DOE’s work on climate change”.

    – Professor Happer, who is a physicist rather than a climatologist, told Unearthed that he would be willing to produce research promoting the benefits of carbon dioxide for $250 per hour. He asked that the money be paid to climate sceptic campaign group, the CO2 Coalition, of which he is a board member.

    – Happer described his work on carbon dioxide as a “labor of love” and said that while other pollutants produced by burning fossil fuels are a problem, in his opinion “More CO2 will benefit the world”, adding “The only way to limit CO2 would be to stop using fossil fuels, which I think would be a profoundly immoral and irrational policy.”

    – When reporters asked if it would be possible for the fossil fuel client’s role in commissioning the research to remain hidden, in order to give the work more credibility, Happer replied that: “If I write the paper alone, I don’t think there would be any problem stating that ‘the author received no financial compensation for this essay.’”

    – Happer also disclosed that Peabody Energy paid $8,000 in return for his testimony in a crucial Minnesota state hearing on the impacts of carbon dioxide. This fee was also paid to the CO2 Coalition.

    – “I am trying get [sic] another mysterious client to donate funds to the CO2 Coalition instead of compensating me for my writing something for them.” – Professor Happer

    – The academics’ willingness to conceal the source of funding contrasts strongly with the ethics of journals such as Science, which states in its submission requirements that research “should be accompanied by clear disclosures from all authors of their affiliations, funding sources, or financial holdings that might raise questions about possible sources of bias”.

    – Late last month Happer appeared at a climate sceptic summit in Texas. There he defended CO2 production saying: “Our breath is not that different from a power plant.” He went on to say, “If plants could vote, they would vote for coal”.

  30. Fred – “In Britain Biden would be called right wing Ben.”

    Not by the “news”papers you channel Fred!

  31. Oh! Environmentalists are mining corporations now, and Greta Thunberg is busy digging up lithium. I wasn’t aware of that.

  32. https://cen.acs.org/articles/95/i34/whole-new-world-rare-earths.html

    – One solution Azimi is promoting is to rescue rare-earth metals from existing stockpiles of mining wastes. For example, she is working with residue called red mud from bauxite mining to produce aluminum, and leftovers called phosphogypsum from phosphate rock mining that makes fertilizer. These materials contain 300 to 500 ppm of rare-earth metals, which is more concentrated than the roughly 0.2 to 60 ppm levels of the elements found in natural mineral deposits. With millions of tons of these waste materials piled up globally, thousands of tons of rare-earth metals could be procured, she said. Other researchers at the conference discussed coal ash and spent nuclear fuel from power plants as additional secondary sources of rare earths.

    – Rare earths are also plentiful in electronic waste, Azimi explained. Used fluorescent lights, computer hard drives, large permanent magnets, and batteries tend to end up in landfills. “Only 1% of their rare-earth content is being recycled,” Azimi said. “It is absolutely imperative to develop recycling processes to address the sustainability challenges associated with these critical materials.”


    – That doesn’t mean Klinger wants to spread the health problems around. “We don’t need to dig new holes in the ground,” she says. She would like the industry to “change the paradigm of how we get resources” by following the example of the Brazilian firm CBMM, which has a global monopoly in niobium, an element used mainly in steel and other alloys. That company developed technology to extract rare earths from existing mining waste. Klinger says that, with research, the technology could work in other sites—such as silver or phosphate mines—whose waste includes rare earths. That would require publicity and investment, along with public pressure and tax incentives to encourage major buyers to pay a premium for greener rare earths, but it could nudge more companies to adopt more innovative and sustainable methods.

    – “Given how important rare earth elements are to everyone,” Klinger says, “developing an environmentally and socially responsible means of producing them is something that we should really be working on together. And “if we find ourselves in a situation where we’re having conflicts over rare earth resources that look anything like the conflicts we’ve been involved in related to oil resources in the Middle East, it will have been absolutely and entirely avoidable—and absolutely and entirely of our own making.

  33. “Oh! Environmentalists are mining corporations now, and Greta Thunberg is busy digging up lithium. I wasn’t aware of that.”

    They are mining lithium because of the people who insist we drive electric cars. They are raping the planet mining rare earth minerals to build windmills and solar panels.

    Science used to be something to be constantly questioned, science overturned the dogma of religion as a means of governing our society, you and Saint Greta are trying to drag us back to the dark ages. You ignore physics because it doesn’t fit your political agenda. Science used to be a thing of probabilities and degrees of error but you just push your Extinction Rebellion certainties sounding more like a Jehovah’s Witness every day.

    Start questioning and question everything, that’s what leads to progress.

  34. “They” Fred? You’re sounding more and more like a conspiracy theorist. “They” the environmentalists aren’t “they” the mining companies, and neither of them are “they” the car manufacturers, nor “they” the governments (ir)responsible for transport and recycling policies.

    Grief, you seem to be channelling Dave now.

    What exactly do you want me to question? Whether the Arctic icecap is really melting away? I questioned that and found that mineral and shipping companies were investing in the increasingly opened areas and routes. Questioning is indeed essential but progress is achieved only when we act upon the answers.

  35. I don’t think there is any question the ice cap is melting, 20,000 years ago where I live was under half a mile of ice.

    I wouldn’t assume that gave me the right to break anyone’s windows though.

  36. You seem to be suggesting that the more ice we have the better, that there is some sort of emergency and unless we take drastic action immediately we will all die from ice deprivation.

    The ice caps have been melting for a long time now and the number of people dying from climate related causes has been falling year on year, they are now less than a tenth of what they were 100 years ago despite population increasing fourfold.

  37. There is an emergency. We have to halve emissions in eight years to stand a 2/3 chance of crossing irreversible tipping points, but emissions continue to increase faster each year. That’s according to the IPCC, which reviews the entire international field of climate science. The UK government declared a climate emergency in 2019, but they have taken grossly insufficient action.

    “The ice caps have been melting for a long time now”

    That’s not true. As the graph shows, their extent has plummeted only in the last fifty years, after thousands of years of relative stability. It is interesting that you have to phrase ever more vaguely and misleadingly to promote your argument.

  38. C: “… if you’re not just being outright dishonest.”

    “IF” ?!??

    Seriously though, it’s good to see in practice how one counters the arguments of the stupid and/or badly malinformed/ignorant, or simply dishonest.

  39. Here’s the global surface temperature since 1880. You can see that it hasn’t fallen significantly since 1950, and is some 1.2 centigrade up on 1900:


    It has risen faster over land than sea; 1.8 centigrade up:


    But warming over land in the Arctic is even higher, over 3 degrees up:


    As the land ice melts sea level will rise, and we lose fertile agricultural land. There’s an awful lot of ice on Greenland.

  40. “As the land ice melts sea level will rise, and we lose fertile agricultural land. There’s an awful lot of ice on Greenland.”

    Obesity kills three times as many people in the world as malnutrition and world population increases year on year.

    There is no dire emergency, no excuse for criminal damage.

  41. There is definitely an emergency because the climate is a very big system, so it changes slowly compared with our lifetimes, and we are incapable of removing the emissions that we have already released. The emissions we release now will continue to heat the surface for decades and centuries. This is criminal damage on a global scale; the effects will increase vastly over coming decades.

    If you are riding a surf board you can avoid a collision within a few seconds, a few metres. If you are piloting a supertanker you have to anticipate hours and miles in advance. But in both cases failure to anticipate is negligent.

    Governments and corporations received a strong warning in 1988 when James Hansen testified to the US Senate that global warming had begun and that action needed to be taken.

    Shell knew. In 1991 they released the film Climate of Concern:


    Exxon knew in 1981, but went on to pour $30 million into climate change denial.

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