Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Official: Power Corrupts

Anarchists have always maintained that power corrupts - which is why hierarchy is a dangerous thing. Here's an interesting read as we go into New Year... Researchers looking into why leaders are often either/or hypocritical and poor in private judgements compared to public ones - Sing's wife Trudie flying around for social functions or Bliar preaching climate change while flying around the world making cash... and so on... What researchers found was (in their words):

"According to our research, power and influence can cause a severe disconnect between public judgment and private behavior, and as a result, the powerful are stricter in their judgment of others while being more lenient toward their own actions,"
(my emphasis)


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Xmas Message: Why I Don't Believe in God

Here is why in two simple steps. Step one is to watch this:

Step two then is to consider - after seeing the vast magnitude of the universe and how tiny, tiny, tiny we are within its scale - the kind of Gods sold us thus far require us to marry the vastness of the universe with the petty Bronze-age tribal mindset that seems to pervade all major religions, that the god who created all this - from pulsars to time itself - gives a shit whether I eat pork or the gender of the person I may choose to sleep with?

Get a fucking grip.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Understanding the Mind of the Denialist

So I have spent too much time over the last year debating with denialists on places like Bristol Indymedia about global warming - but no no avail. It does not matter how many arguments you disprove, the core belief in a global conspiracy over climate change remains intact and (amazingly) unexplained. So it is natural to turn from the science of global warming where the denialists have zero standing to the mind of the denialists themselves. Why? A writer on cults and conspiracies turns his gaze and experience to global warming...

Conspiracy theory about the JFK assassination, 9/11, the New World Order, ACORN and the SEIU, or The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion more often than not reflects the psychology of the conspiracist–the need to assign blame, to impose a coherent narrative on the terrifying randomness of catastrophes, to alchemize a personal feeling of impotence and disaffection into focused outrage. It’s unfortunate, it’s disturbing, it’s irrational, but it’s what it is.

This is interesting - it means that global warming denial is an emotional response and not a logical response. That means a number of things:

First it means that you can't really win a debate - not because you can't out-argue them on facts - that's easy - but because to win them over you have to change an emotional response in their mind-set and facts simply won't do that, humans are just not wired that way. This is almost a religious thing (which is why I laugh when I get called a 'believer' by denialists, it's evidence of what I am saying - the transference of the emotional state onto the other) it is the new The Protocols of Zion;

[You've] got people promoting the interests of the business sector by promoting a conspiracy theory about nefarious forces plotting to rule the world, where scientists have taken the place usually held by Jews, Illuminati, Masons or some such.

That virtually the entire scientific enterprise at a planetary level is involved in a conspiracy to hoax the planet in order to overthrow capitalism and install planetary totalitarian rule is every bit as absurd as the conspiracy posited in The Protocols of Zion. What's more, it's just about as hateful.

The second reason is because the nature of the conspiracy theory it itself designed to ensure that it is unprovable. It has removed any and all possibility of being disproved, which is why now it has been disproved (oddly enough the email hack did that showing no conspiracy and no nefarious plotting, just the very human to-ing and fro-ing of science). Another writer on conspiracy theories nails this point;

The substantive content of a political conspiracy theory is often completely irrelevant to the underlying purpose of the theory and, in any event, there is no possible way to refute or disprove most such theories to the satisfaction of its authors or adherents because most political conspiracy theories are constructed to be self-sealing so that contradictory data can be instantly dismissed, ignored, or de-valued. The reason is because the theory functions as a problem-solving device but the actual “problem” has virtually nothing to do with the details regarding people and events which are part of the conspiratorial narrative.

But to take the idea further - the conspiraloon ideology of the hard-right has been harnessed by business interests to weaken any political will for action; "It’s cynical, it’s opportunistic, and it’s horrifyingly dangerous."

Snow and Global Warming

So some parts of the UK have had bad snow. I was thinking to myself, I bet some total prick who does not understand the difference between 'weather' (what is happening now) and 'climate' (the system itself) will pop up and post a smarmy comment about global warming having failed because it has snowed heavily in winter. I thought to myself, "where can I see if I am right? Where would such an ignoramus who thinks that climate change means warming for all the earth all the time rather than the reality of the science which says that the climate sytem overall will have more heat energy meaning local changes in existing weather patterns that could even result in colder weather for some areas (e.g. if the UK lost the Gulf Stream) and will increase the frequency of more extreme weather as the system alters."

Where? The Daily fucking Mail.

Global warming hits again ha ha


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Old Right-Wing Cranks

Following putting a price on denial 'How Much is Global Warming Denial Worth? $1120 Million Per Day' - there is an excellent article about a who's who of climate change denial who are described as, "They are almost uniformly conservative and populated with old and unqualified cranks..." - see here for more - but there is a tiny handful of political operators who happen to have some science - never in the correct field - but who's dubious credentials are amplified by their pet lobby groups and the tiny legion of willing but busy commentators that follow in their wake, to seem something they are not.

Putting the future of the planet in the hands a a tiny group of old white guys who won't be around to see the fuck-up their policy advocates is the height to stupidity and/or ignorance.

But then that's denialism for you!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Anti-Capitalism: Where we were right...

This is an interesting article that puts the blame for the current financial crisis on several main areas;

1. Smashing the unions so they would not get in the way of the greed-grab. Which is a point well made by Dave Douglass about the Miners Strike of 1984-5 saying that the union had to be broke to bring in Neoliberalism - worth listening to him! (part 1 and 2)
2. Pushing deregulation everywhere - and using the shackles of debt left over from the failed regemes of the cold war as a means to push it. Sadly, that's why Drop the Debt and Make Poverty History failed - debt = control.
3. Allowing money to cross boarders without impunity. (But people can't unless it is as a semi-legal work force you can use to drive down wave costs)
4. Smashing indigenous peoples to keep the supply of raw goods (oil, timbers) in thier lands coming into the market. See Jensen! "From the beginning, this culture - civilization - has been a culture of occupation."
5. Offering cheap almost unregulated debt to keep consumers buying.

The political forces that coalesced and mobilized behind these transitions had a distinctive class character and clothed themselves in the vestments of a distinctive ideology called neoliberal. The ideology rested upon the idea that free markets, free trade, personal initiative, and entrepreneurialism were the best guarantors of individual liberty and freedom and that the "nanny state" should be dismantled for the benefit of all. ... The interests of the people were secondary to the interests of capital, and in the event of a conflict between them, the interests of the people had to be sacrificed ... The system that has been created amounts to a veritable form of communism for the capitalist class.

It is interesting that all of these were a big feature of the anti-capitalist critique of the late 90s and early 2000s. It was predicted then that it all all start to fall apart - and it did. This is similar to another article in the Guardian:

The movement, which was essentially demanding democratic control over the global economy, wreathed summit after summit of the G8, the WTO and the World Bank with protest and teargas. It was wild, infuriating, diverse and sometimes incoherent, as only a network that encompasses indigenous peoples, radical environmentalists, workers and kids in hoodies could be. The movement was like the child in the crowd as the emperor of global neoliberalism wheeled by, pointing out that his cloaks were woven from financial fictions and economic voodoo. They must now be credited for their prescience. (my emphasis!)

That said, there were also things that we were wrong about (and I use 'we' in the board sense of some in the anti-capitalist movement - it is a broad church!) I am writing somthing longer on this I hope to publish soon on my blog...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How Much is Global Warming Denial Worth? $1120 Million Per Day

We're all familiar by now with the vast sums the coal and oil industry has spend on obfuscating the issue of global warming. So for example, the From the American Petroleum Institute dis-information campaign would consider it a victory when, amongst other things, they had got...

Industry senior leadership understands uncertainties in climate science, making them stronger ambassadors to those who shape climate policy.

So why would the oil industry want to stack the negotiarions - following the money - what is it worth them them. Well in a recent article in the Economist magazine (about peak oil) there was this:

The IEA reckons that co-ordinated action to restrict the increase in global temperatures to 2ºC will restrict global demand for oil to 89m b/d in 2030, compared with 105m b/d if no action is taken.

So there is a difference of 16million b/d (that is Barrels Per Day) so given the cost of a barrel is currently around $70, so you can see that it represents $1120 million dollars per day in difference. So event mitigating the supply a bit - by obfuscating the science and promoting uncertainty is worth $millions per day.

That's why denial has been so well funded.

High Tech US Army Drones Hacked - for $26

Here's another news story to file under 'the failure of the war on terror' - it seems that Iraqi insurgents have been hacking into the video feeds of the Predator drones that the US army uses as its eyes-in-the-sky. The US army said they'd not yet taken control on a drone - but I'd wager that that scenario is only a matter of time...

US officials have disclosed that Iraqi militants have found a way to hack into US Predator drone aircraft in an effort that is possibly being funded by Iran. The breach could be providing them with information that could help them evade capture by US authorities, and they could be doing it for as little as $25.95.... Military officials have apparently known about the issue since late last year, when a laptop from a Shiite militant contained drone video feeds. Since then several other laptops have been confiscated with similar data found. Evidence has been found in Afghanistan of hacking as well, indicating our enemies may also be spreading this information. So, where is this loophole that’s allowing people to get in? According to officials, its in the the downlink which has no encryption. They have known about the issue since the 1990s, but never did anything about it because they assumed our enemies wouldn’t know about it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Denailist Proves Global Warming Fraud - Provided You Don't Understand Science

One of the things about denialists that annoy me is that they either prey on those will little science education by jiggery-pokery or they themselves don't understand science and so assume if they don't get it, then it's not true. Problem is that whether or not a physical (climate change) or natural process (evolution) is true is nothing to do with whether or not we understand it. That's why science is not a 100% process - humans have to try an understand complex processes.

So here's a classic example of that reliance on a lack of understanding in action....

A denialist produces a graph based on raw, unajusted data that 'proves' the scam of global warming. Here's the graph:

The red is the adjusted temparure record and the blue the raw data. So what is being claimed is that the adjustments are hiding the truth - the planet is not warming but cooling. Except that... except that and except that - this is from a single site of the hundreds of sites that have a temperature record. So if this is the case we'd see the same pattern again and again. (There are good reasons why the adjustments are used, but that's another story...)

Another blogger has helpfully compiled a graph of all the adjustments:

What this shows is on the horizontal axis the amount of adjustment in degrees an on the vertical axis the (and I am deliberately simplifying this a little) amount of adjustments made. What can clearly be seen is that the majority of adjustments are of the value zero (no changes made) and the vast majority fall within 0.2 either side of zero (a tiny adjustment that could not account for the temperature changes we see as being fraud) and a tiny, tiny minority having a change of more than 0.5 degrees.

This also gives you the reveal on the denalist's graph trick - the reason it is only one site is that he has cherry-picked the outlier, the one set of readings that have the greatest change, and used these as a dishonest illustration about all the readings.

It's a shallow sham trick but sadly, people who either don't want to know the truth or who have too little education to understand, fall for it.

Shame on the denialists

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Goatlab Drugs Special!

Check out the latest Goatlab radio - we had a special guest, Danny Kushlick of the Transfom Drug Policy Foundation. TDPF is the UK’s leading centre of expertise on drug policy and law reform based here in Bristol. Danny founded Transform in 1997 and has since been an active voice for the regulation and control of drugs to promote sustainable health and wellbeing. As well as interesting debate we get to hear a selection of Danny’s favorite records from his personal collection.

Check it out!

Free is Free!

Great news for Christmas - Jeff Luers is free! Jeffrey "Free" Luers was sentenced to 22 years and 8 months in prison for the burning of three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV's) in Eugene, Oregon. To make a statement about global warming, Jeff and his codefendent, Craig 'Critter' Marshall, set fire to 3 Sport Utility Vehicles at a Eugene car dealership.

22 years for burning three vehicles - no people were hurt nor intended to be hurt in the action. It was a non-violent action against property. In the end has has only served 9.5 years.

Congratulations to him, his family and support team.

Don't forget others inside for political actions over Xmas...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rage for the Number One Spot

Hear the band talking about the campaign to get them number one - they make some great points. I've brought my copy!


GoatLab Nov Radio Show!

Bit late posting, but here's Goatlab's Nov Radio show and it's a corker!

This month Dan Gusset and Parasite are joined by special guest Typowriter from Occational Cinema – a ongoing project which temporarily transforms neglected, reclaimed or hijacked spaces in Bristol for openair film nights. It’s basicly a laptop, soundsystem and a truckload of short films with work from new and aspiring directors, classic television and music videos from the past 40 years, local and campaign news. A cinematic mixtape if you like. Anyone can do it, it’s dead easy!


1. Senser – The End of the World Show (Imprint)
2. Kunt & The Gang – Jackson Tribut
3. Hot Roddy – Tea is the Drug (Bit Phalanx)
4. Earthling – Nefisa (Cooltempo)
5. VEEE DEEE & Timothy C Holehouse – Driver Joe and 50 Fags (Dislocation)
6. Imminent – Bock (ant.zen)
7. Error – Nothings Working (Epitaph)
8. Carter USM – The Model (Cooking Vinyl)
9. Wisp – Hidebehind (Rephlex)
10. Murderbot – Roll Another One feat. Hawatha Hurd (Tremor Dub Refix)
11. Kunt & The Gang – I Sucked Off A Bloke
12. Chase & Status – Eastern Jam (Ram)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Being Close to the Land

The Guardian had an amazing series of photos and text about the impacts of climate change we are already seeing. I was struck by this bit of text:

The number of people in the US who believe the planet is warming has in the last two years fallen from 77% to 57%, according to a recent survey. [photojournalists Mathias] Braschler says this level of denial shows how far removed many urbanites have become from communities who still live close to the land, such as the Inuvialuit hunters of northern Canada or the traditional farmers in Chad. "These people share an ability that most people in western societies have lost: they are able to observe changes in nature," he said. "They are like the canary in the coal mine. Their observations are early warning signs and should be taken seriously. Soon these changes will affect all of our lives. Global warming is a real threat. And we should do something about it."


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Some Comments on Global Warming Denial

I am writing at lot about global warming denial at the moment - because the fucking idiots involved in denial are fucking idiots. Either they know such a paltry amount about climate science that they should concentrate on getting a GCSE in geography before lecturing people with PhDs - or they are paid shills spouting what they know is rubbish in exchange for a quick buck, but at the expence of their (and our) own biosphere. Fucking. Idiots.

And I'm not going to be polite about it.

Take the example of the prime fucking idiot fucking jibberjabber of Christopher Monkton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Fuckwittington. This guy is not a scientist and knows fuck-all about science. Yet he writes and is cited on the subject - admittedly by fuckwit publications like the Telegraph.

Yet, and yet, he get invited to speak on a subject he knows fuck all about. Want a clue as to how much of a massive cock this guy is? Check the open letter he produced to McCain during the US elections. It's got a lovely italicised font and a smart looking heraldry shield. It looks like an overpuffed scroll of buffonery. And the contents? jibberajbbery of the lowest calibre;
His contribution to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 - the correction of a table inserted by IPCC bureaucrats that had overstated tenfold the observed contribution of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets to sea-level rise - earned him the status of Nobel Peace Laureate.
He's a Laureate? For adding some comments to the IPCC report? Yeah and I'm the 4th Viscount of Fucking Brenchley.

Anyway a couple of interesting snippits. One of the denialist think-tanks agreed that the (blindingly obvious) reason the denialists deny the science is simply ideology;

Dr Benny Peiser, director of Lawson’s sceptic PR outfit, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), agrees that many on the sceptic and denial side of the global warming debate are politically motivated. They oppose many policy measures being proposed to tackle global warming on ideological grounds and that is why they attack the science. “I think that’s a fair observation, at least for many,”

No shit. And this snippit that suggests that, far from getting stronger, the denialists are at a last gasp...

It is tempting to see all this as a rise in sceptical thinking as the world contemplates the economic consequences of massive cuts in its carbon emissions. But that is too simplistic, says Bob Ward, communications and policy director at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics, which is headed by Lord Stern. "I don't think there's been a rise in scepticism," he said. "All that's happening is that the sceptics are now down to a small enough group that they are able to band together and gloss over their differences."


Denial-o-paloza Can't Agree on Global Warming

Why do newspapers cover the denialists? In any other sphere of science a bunch of delusional misfits would be an interesting sideshow at best. Anyway the telepgraph gives them some space, what pops out about it - they all seem to be peddling a different story...

- Henrik Svensmark, a physicist (not a climate scientist) at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen, said the recent warming period was caused by solar activity.
- Professor Cliff Ollier, another geologist from the University of Western Australia (not a climate scientist) said the melting of ice sheets is caused by geothermal activity.
- Ian Plimer, from the University of Adelaide, claimed carbon dioxide from volcanoes is causing climate change.
- Monckton (not any kind of scientist) thinks it is not happening at all and it's a Marxist plot.

They can't all be right!

The event was organised by Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow who get cash from oil companies and right-wing think tanks. The event was attended by about 60 people (by contrast COP15 has 32,000 delegates).

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

IMF Offer to Pay Me

I'm loaded!!! I got an email from the IMF of all people! What I didn't know is that the IMF's email is and that they SHOUT A LOT.

TEL: +447024024938






ACCOUNT NUMBER: 6503809428.







Monday, December 07, 2009

Email Leak Video - Please Share

This is a great video on the email least - great because the author takes the time to investigate the claims and counter-claims. Well worth your time...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Climate Email Hack: Blowing Over

It is always possible that more might emerge from the email hack, but as is, it seems that it is all over. I could cite lots of commentators on this, but they are probably part of the Lysenkoist-Marxist conspiracy to push climate change. So instead I'll cite the conservative Washington Times:

… it would be a mistake to believe that decades of scientific consensus that the planet is warming largely due to human activities will be erased or reversed by the disclosure of a few e-mails….

The world’s major political leaders … accept without reservation that global warming is a problem that must be addressed and are moving, though slowly, to do so. The saga of the purloined e-mails may be red meat to the anti-climate-change faithful, but it is nothing more than a sideshow in the grand scheme….

In summary, the stolen e-mails will not end the quest to reduce global warming….

And the varicoloured Lord Monkton (also see 1,2,3,4 & 5 for more on the noble Laird):

What have the mainstream news media said about the Climategate affair? Remarkably little. The few who have brought themselves to comment, through gritted teeth, have said that all of this is a storm in a teacup, and that their friends in the University of East Anglia and elsewhere in the climatological community are good people, really. ... But I won’t be holding my breath: In the police state that Britain has now sadly become, with supine news media largely owned and controlled by the government, the establishment tends to look after its own.

Normal service for conspiracy theories over climate change will now be resumed. Tinfoil hats at the ready...

Afganistan Update: Dying in Slow Motion

So Britain and the US are to send more troops to Afghanistan. I can't see anything but pouring more resources into a failed war. It was a failed war when the unholy alliance of Bu$h/Bliar squandered the international sympathy they had in the aftermath of September 11th and went off, gung-ho, to bomb one of the poorest countries in the world back into the stone-age.

Why will it fail?

First off NATO forces as killing lots of civilians. I know it does not get as much coverage here, what with the X-Factor going on and all, but to the locals, it is murder. To be fair to the NATO forces, since Obama took over they have been at least sounding like they want to change this dynamic, but I suspect the damage has already been done and still is being done.

Second is because the government that is being propped up is a corrupt and useless rump. Recently we were told that the government in Kabul would fall 'in weeks' without NATO forces. I think the comments were said to stiffen resolve here in the UK - but all I could think of was the waste - all those lives lost and over $10 billion spent training/equiping the Afgan police and army - all all it has achieved is 'weeks' of stability. That and a flawed election. That is shit by any measure.

But wait, it gets worse. The politicians in Afghanistan don't seem to give a shit...

Nader Khan Katawazai, an MP from Paktika, complained that only 30 of the 238 MPs attended Monday's session [to confirm the new cainet]. This is the government we are being asked to prop up with blood and treasure? Only 30 legislators bothered to come in to work?

Or be up for spending the money...

The Afghanistan government presides over the fifth poorest country in the world. It has millions of dollars in aid to spend for the betterment of its constituents. But it actually managed to spend less on these tasks this year than in previous years, despite having more money.

The whole mission seems to be dying in slow motion.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why This Email Leak Changes Nothing (as Yet)

Denialists had made their mind up about the conclusion then went around looking for evidence to fit it. The email leak, as far as many of them are concerned seems to be a slam dunk, it's all over now.

I do wish it were true, as climate change even in a mild form means misery and loss for millions. Sadly I can't see how it is - I can't buy into the Denialists's claims because logic says I can't and as a sceptic I have to be sceptical of all the arguments put to me.

If you read Dawkins's new book 'The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution' the point he makes over and over is that while creationists push at issues like missing links, even without the fossil record, the genetic evidence alone is overwhelming. So those who for ideological reasons, wish to overturn evolution need to not only overturn the fossil evidence, but they also need to account for the genetic evidence, the evidence from cell biological, population distribution, ecological webs and so on.

The reason why creationism have not even come close to overturning evolution despite over 150 years of trying is that there is simply no evidence they can offer that accounts for what we see in the natural world. All they can do is engage in bureaucratic arguments over the evidence and how it is presented. Put simply, they have nothing real to bring to the table.

The same issue is at play here with climate change. Even if the one of the temperature records were overturned, you still need to account for the changes in sea temperatures, changes in breading patterns, changes in migration patterns, changes in disease patters, in rainfall and monsoons, melting glaciers and so on. All these point to something happening; and fast.

The reason why climate change denialism has not even come close to overturning AGW despite million$ of oil money spend and why this email leak, while embarrassing for some scientists, the weight of evidence is still overwhelming. There is simply no evidence they (denialists) can offer that accounts for what we see in the natural world. All they can do is engage in bureaucratic arguments over the evidence and how it is presented. Put simply, they have nothing real to bring to the table.

Now for those who read science, disputes over the peer review process are nothing new. It happens all the time. Read ScienceBlogs (which I do) or New Scientist (which I do) or people like Ben Goldacre (which I do) and you'd know this. You also know that scientists argue amongst themselves - 'cos they are human - that's why a peer review process is so important. It is also why what is said in the emails is no big surprise. So, if the AGW is to be overturned, as a sceptic, the weight of evidence still needs to come from the flat earth society. As a sceptic, simply telling me something is wrong 'cos you say so, does not cut it. You still need evidence. Point to emails out of context is no where near enough. You need to account for example; why in the north Atlantic, 36 of fish stocks studied, the distribution range of 24 of them had changed in unison with the rising water temperatures that have been occurring off the Northeast since the 1970s? - That is one of hundreds of changes we are seeing.

A sceptic needs to know why. Telling us about the New World Order or some other 'conspiracy' is not an answer.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Email Hack - No It Does Not Mean Case Closed

There are so many falicies over this climate change email hack, it is untrue. Denialists have been saying that this proves the science is not settled and how dare those that accepted the evidence tell them it is the same time as declaring that the issue is now settled because they say it is.

Then you have the classic double-standard of bleating on about 'hidden evidence' when it appears to suit them while being totally silent on hidden evidence that shows they are wrong. For example;
- White House Declassifies 1000 Global Warming Evidence Photos Bush Hid
- Bush Administration covered up global warming finding, then deliberately kept from Democrats

The denialists are also committing the creationism logical fallacy that ‘if I can prove you wrong, then by default I am right’ whereby creationists go for evolution on the basis that if they disprove it, then their pet theory must be right – but even if you could prove it is wrong – what is to say that God created the world? Why not Zeus? So even if you could prove that the mainstream AGW theory is incorrect (which a few emails out of context do not) you’ll still have to explain all the real-world effects we are seeing all around us (record floods, again, anyone? Changes in disease patterns, the drowning of Balgladesh, melting glaciers, the changes in weather patterns that led to Darfur crisis and so on).

Here's a few good source on the issue... You can read it from the scientists themselves...or...

This article...
Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change, said the release of the e-mails will be remembered mostly as as embarrassment to the researchers.

"It shows that the process of science is not always pristine," said Leiserowitz. "But there's no smoking gun in the e-mails from what I've seen."

Leiserowitz, who is a social scientist, said the e-mails would provide fodder for the 2 to 3 percent of the general public that are hard-core climate change doubters. "For that small group it is like meat to the wolves."

At U.N. climate talks set for next month in Copenhagen, the top producers of greenhouse gases are expected to reach political agreements on tackling climate change, but not agree on hard targets for taking action.

The e-mails may serve as good gossip in the halls at the meeting, but will not play a big role otherwise, experts said.

And here..
The denialosphere has trumpeted the contents as proof of the fraudulent behavior of climate scientists, especially Phil Jones at CRU. But what’s most remarkable is that even the bits pointed to as a “smoking gun” really don’t support that idea. There are certainly phrases which seem incriminating when taken out of context — but when put into context are nothing of the kind.

Continuing to suggest that climate scientists generally, and Phil Jones specifically, are engaged in a conspiracy to deceive the world about global warming, when there turns out to be no real evidence of it in 10 years of personal communications (only words that can be twisted when taken out of context), demonstrates the idiocy of those who stand by that suggestion. If anything, the messages prove that there is not any conspiracy, and the scientists at CRU did not fudge data or engage in deceptive practices to push their “agenda.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hacked Emails Reveal; Nothing Much

So the story so far is that 13 years worth of private emails between climate scientists were hacked and released onto the net. Naturally climate-denialists are pouring though them looking for evidence of the huge white-coat conspiracy that they seem to think exists and what have they found? A hand full of quotes that out of context look a bit dodgy.

What is missed in all this hot air is that global warming's effects are happening now - the denialists are having a bureaucratic argument when we can see, from observation, the impact it is happening. They are asking us to turn our heads away from what we can see - and look though some old emails instead. Here's a few examples from the last few weeks alone:

- Warming drives off Cape Cod's namesake, other fish.
- Ravaged by drought, Madagascar feels the full effect of climate change.
- Kashmir's main glacier "melting at alarming speed".
- The Spread of New Diseases: The Climate Connection.

How do emails explain these? They don't - it's a distraction from what is already happening by the flat earth society and it stinks.

Here's an example of a cherry picked quote - this is probably the most doogy looking so far found:
"I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline."

Which sounds bad - but remember, this is private 'shop talk' discussion - so add the context and you get;
Mann said the “trick” Jones referred to was placing a chart of proxy temperature records, which ended in 1980, next to a line showing the temperature record collected by instruments from that time onward. “It’s hardly anything you would call a trick,” Mann said, adding that both charts were differentiated and clearly marked.

And as also expected: The “decline” refers to the “divergence problem”. This is where tree ring proxies diverge from modern instrumental temperature records after 1960. The divergence problem is discussed as early as 1998, suggesting a change in the sensitivity of tree growth to temperature in recent decades (Briffa 1998). It is also examined more recently in Wilmking 2008 which explores techniques in eliminating the divergence problem. So when you look at Phil Jone’s email in the context of the science discussed, it is not the schemings of a climate conspiracy but technical discussions of data handling techniques available in the peer reviewed literature.

How about this one?

You need not give yourself the trouble of examining all the calculations of the Scholium. Such errors as do not depend upon wrong reasoning can be of no great consequence & may be corrected by the reader.

Or this one?

I wrote to you on Tuesday that the last leafe of the papers you sent me should be altered because it refers to a manuscript in my private custody & not yet upon record.

Both look bad - and both are written by Isaac Newton in private letters. It shows that out of context anything can look bad. Does that means the theory of gravity is wrong?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Failing List of Evidence for Global Warming Denial

A denialist website put out - with much fanfare - a list of 450 peer reviewed articles that supported their position. I guess the idea is that - how can you argue with that much evidence? Except that, like all denier flack, it consists of more spin than substance. Watch the number tumble down as people start to sceptically examine the list... A quick look at the work being done on the list shows;

- 82 papers on the list are from a non-peer revised journal, Energy & Environment.
- 7 are known to be wrong; based on flawed science.
- A known sceptic author, Roger Pielke Jr suggests that 21 papers should not be on the list (however the list author disagreed and kept them.)

Also if you look at who wrote the papers, a huge 157 of them come from 15 authors which reads like of who's who of oil industry paid denialists. Here's a sample;

S. Fred Singer 6 (Exxon mobil's money buy his opinion)
Patrick J. Michaels 26 - connected to no less than 11 think tanks and associations that have received money from oil-giant ExxonMobil
Ross McKitrick 14 - Economist linked to ExxonMobil funded groups.
Richard S. Lindzen 15 - Member of oil funded thinktank.
Willie H. Soon 13 - Linked to a whole host of oil backed front groups.
Roy W. Spencer 6 - Writer for ExxonMobil funded dirge.

Plus a whole host of other issues the whittle the list down (and eviscerate it's credibility) from a paper that criticises research methods used 20 years ago (a bit outdated now...) to papers that are complimentary to human-cased climate change. The list is bumkum. Typical denialism, big on spin, small on substance. But here is my favourite bit of the whole debark - one researcher spotted a paper that he was the lead author of on the list. He's a bit surprised as it says nothing against human-cased climate change. Here's what he says;

I just noticed I’m the lead author on one of the papers on the list. I have absolutely no idea how that paper could be construed as “skeptical of man-made global warming.” I have no idea how it could be construed as saying anything at all about man-made global warming.

And the response of the arrogant wingnut who complied the rapidly shrinking list?

That is nice that the lead author of that paper has no idea why he is on the list, maybe he should read it before commenting in the future so he does not make ridiculous comments like that.

Yup, that's right - he's telling the author of a scientific paper that he knows less about what it means than politicised interpretation of an armchair amateur climatologist.


Reporting/Blogging Local Democracy

There has been much in the news of late about how the local newspaper model is broken and how if it fails, then local democracy will be threatened. While some local papers may hold power to account, I don't see it here with the Evening Pest. Indeed in this interesting talk the speaker, Anthony Lilley, notes that local news has not been holding power to account for some time.

That does not mean reporting on it is dead - far from it. There is a thriving eco-system of blogs - with great ones like the Bristol Blogger doing amazing work reporting on the issues that count. For example look as the top journalism on the World Cup Bids - in contrast to the Post's 'churnalism' and unquestioning support for any big business developer that saunters around the city - actually reading the small print and holding it up for scrutiny.

This is a dynamic environment - blogs come and go; for example I am sad to see that Evening Post Watch has ended - a big thanks for the work you did do. Post Watch's coverage of Carboot Circus was exemplary - new blogs arrive all the time. Its an exciting and dynamic world and growing all the time in complexity and its reflection of the diversity of the city. By contrast the Post is the same-old-same-old rah-rah cars-drivers and airports and boo-boo unions and the greenies and climate change? bugger that - build, baby build. They are a terrible example of the rotting carcass of old media.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another Major Denier Outpost Admits Global Warming is Real

One of the memes you see a lot with deniers is that the whole human-caused global warming edifice is about to crumble. That dissent amongst the scientists is growing and the evidence against it is growing. It's all falling apart. Any moment now...

Any moment...

But it never seems to happen. Indeed the opposite seems to be the case; more and more evidence accumulates, our understanding of the climate system grows. Here's a few sample famous 'about-turns':

- In 2006 US Republican strategist Frank Luntz who had written the playbook on global warming denial for George Bush, conceded that the science was correct.

- Also in 2006 Michael Shermer, editor of Sceptic Magazine said that as a sceptic, he could no longer deny the truth of global warming.

- In 2008 Exxon, who've been funding denial for decades, conceded it was wrong before.

And now, the Canadian newspaper, the National Post, a bastion of anti-environmental, pro-big business - has had to concede to the evidence; that global warming is real and humans are causing it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Freedom from Criticism

The right like to present itself as the guardians of this nebulous term, 'freedom' - so it is funny to see them using dodgy copyright laws to stifle criticism of them. The same legal method (crying 'copyright violation') that global warming denialist Watts used is now being used by Murdoch's Fox News;

An anonymous reader alerts us to the story that Fox News has sent a series of DMCA takedown notices to YouTube for a guy who's been putting up clips that have been popular among the "liberal" blogworld. Now, there's an open question as to whether or not these clips are fair use -- but even if we assume that they are infringing, there's an interesting element to this. They only targeted the guy who posts clips that liberal blogs are using. There are tons of other clips that conservative blogs use -- and those remained up. ... Update: Amusing. After all this started getting attention, Fox News decided to send takedowns for other content as well. Looks like once it was clear how bad this look, it realized it needed to take down the others as well.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Denialists Are a Bit Mental

So the American Physical Society rejects attempts from a tiny group of its members (0.45%) to change it's position on climate change; that it is real, humans are doing it and we must act. What is also interesting is some exhaustive research on the tiny minority pushing for this that notes how none of them works in climate science and many of them are directly linked to right-wing US think tanks and corporate lobby groups that are bastions of denial..Simples.

Now I refer you, dear reader, to Poe's Law;

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing.

So check this comment on Nature's blog;

It is really time to stop this silliness. 160 Physicists are not wrong. The problem is corporate America, lead by false prophets such as Mr. Gore, stand to make billions off of carbon credits, and garner other favors in the name of “saving the planet…” Needless to say, the Socialists and Marxists in our society will love the tax revenues and control of every aspect of our lives too.

The American people are wising up. We are beginning to realize this whole thing is an unholy alliance between Revolutionary Marxists and Big Environment. We know that the end goal is to wreck our lives. The planet is not in danger. There is “Global Climate Change” and there has been for billions of years. Get over it. We see you… The Blinders Are Coming Off the people and the public backlash against the Carbon Hedge Fund Scamp will be phenomenal…

So is this comment parody? It has to be!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The 'Islam=Terror" Meme

I have seen lots of dull people trying to push the 'Islam=terror" meme and here we go again. It is a simplistic argument; they say - 'hey look, this terrible thing happened and the person who did it was a Muslim, so Islam must somehow be an evil thing.' It's related to the comments of Berlusconi that somehow Western Civilisation is the best and we do things in the right way and those crazy Muslims go around using violence to make their point yada yada yada.

So in Germany there was this guy who refused to move of a swing in a park to let a little kid on it. A row ensued and the guy (born in Russia, now German) racially abused her (screaming "terrorist" and "Islamist whore" at her). How did she respond? She used the very civilised means on taking him to court for defamation. His response? Stab her 18 times in the court room and kill her.

Does that mean Russians and/or Germans and/or Christians are inherently evil? No - the actions of a minority do not define the majority. Religions go though phases - sometimes violent and sometimes not, just like the other creations of humanity, they are nothing more than a reflection of the culture that creates them. Nothing inherently magic and/or evil in that.

First off you can't tar 'Islam' with the same brush of being 'backward'. Yes it's a few hundred years younger than Christianity (look where that was 400 years ago; religious wars-a-g-go) but it also comes on lots of shapes and sizes; some moderate and some not. In the main it is an expression of the cultural background of the faith. There is good research proving that all religious go though phases of tolerance and intolerance and it all depends on the political and social context. There is a excellent presentation on this evidence here: Wanna change to context? Let's get a just solution to the Israel/Palestine situation that guarantees human rights to all in the region. That will take the wind out of the extremist sails....

Second surveys of Muslims in Europe have shown them, on average, to have the same attitudes to things like democracy as the rest of the population. Sure nutters exist who want to ban alcohol and corporal punishment - but we also find Christian versions of the same. Witness the explosion of child-murders in Africa driven by fear of witch-children cursing people - and this is all against a Christian backdrop.

Third in Jason Burke's excellent book about Al Qaeda, he notes that the best defence against radical Islam is moderate Islam. Tell all Muslims, including the moderates that part of their cultural identity is 'backwards' just pushes them into the hands of extremists.

Now I'm an atheist - I think all religion is bunkum, and fundamentalist Islam is a horrible poison. But the tactics of pushing polarisation onto the debate, trying to fight extremism with extremism. Bad idea all round. You fight fundamentalist Islam with the values of tolerance, freedom and fair-play.

Denialists Get a Kicking

There has been a smoke-and-mirrors debate at the American Physical Society - where a tiny group of members have tried to get the organisation to change it's stance on climate change. Well the results are in and conclusive...

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bastard Squad Collective kicks up a fuss

Check it out!!!

Saturday 5th December '09

The Bastard Squad Collective kicks up a fuss, with...

(wide-ranging and heartfelt anarcho-punk since 1987, from Poland)

(indomitable Bristolian punk/ska/dub still going from strength to strength)

(Bournemouth DIY ska-core how it used to be done!)


(ska with a twist of lounge by Sailsbury punx)

Benefit for Bristol Anarchist Black Cross - supporting radical prisoners

@ The White Hart, Whitehall Road, Easton, Bristol
8pm start, £5 on the door

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fred Singer - Is that the best they've got?

I listened to a radio program which had one of the handful of climate deniers who are proper scientists; Fred Singer. Not very credible given he also denies the link of cigarette smoke and cancer and the dangers of DDT. Here's a few quotes from Mr Singer: "There's nothing we can really do to effect the climate. We might be able, if we work really, really hard to change slightly the level of CO2 in the atmosphere." He then goes on to talk about the burning of oil and gas; "Human activity is changing the composition of the atmosphere slightly."

On all the evidence on melting ice caps and increased sea temperatures; "I don't pay much attention to that and I'll tell you why. If glaciers are melting all it tells you is that it is getting a little warmer - we don't need falsifiers to tell us that, we have thermometers."

Finally; "I don't' make predictions about the future."

Shocking - so he doubts that change is happening, doubts that humans are causing it, dismisses the evidence and ignores the stuff that does not fit his narrow world view.

In summary a confused, ill-informed mess of the usual denial memes stating the warming is not a problem, its all natural anyway, it's really cooling, humans are not to blame blah blah.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Denialist Hosted on Own Petard

Here's a classic of denialist logic. A survey is done that supports the view that global warming is real, we're causing it and it is serious. In this case it is the Catlin team. How does one commentator respond? With denialism...

The denalists accuse the survey team of lying, deception, making up data, incompetence and endangering others. Here are some samples;

"The whole thing was a publicity stunt, with little scientific value. Their findings have nothing of value to say about global warming, one way or the other."

"Ill-planned, ill-thought out."

"It seems to me that Catlin have conducted a useless and dangerous mission, (in the best traditions of British exploring) putting their lives and those of others at risk."

And so forth, yadda, yadda.

Their evidence? That a German team also did research into the ice-thickness but using different methods and finding different results. This sent the denial crew into a tizzy;

"As the Catlin team floundered on the ice the Germans meanwhile were doing real science."

"the catlin data though doubtful,is in line with various other observations. 1.77m is quite thick for first year's ice agreeing with the much better planned and executed German mission that stated that arctic ice was thicker than expected."

So this seems like another slam-dunk for the team denial. Except that, as per usual only half the story is told; What the German team found was;

a) The two surveys were clearly not studying the same region.

b) The Polar 5 expedition actually says that they saw localized thickening compared to recent years, which leads to the conclusion that Arctic ice cover recovers temporarily.

Which led a commenter to ask the denial team:

And now that you have admitted that the Polar 5 expedition produced good science and reliable results, will you endorse its actual conclusion, that the long term trend is thinning of the ice although there is some short term thickening?

After big-ing up the German research - which they had only read re-workings of from denialist websites, they were hoisted on their own petard. Such fun.

Answer to that from team denial? Silence. Then more white-noise about other fake-memes.

Reminds me of a fun debate on Bristol Indymedia where denialists cited a report suggesting increased numbers of polar bears as evidence - except they had not bothered to read the real research, which found localised increases in numbers as the animals moved closer to human settlements due to loss of habitat from global warming.

Answer to that from team denial? Silence. Then more white-noise about other fake-memes.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Climate Crap at the Economist

A denialist writes to the Economist. I quote the letter with responses...

SIR – Indur Goklany questioned whether global warming has caused an increase in droughts and floods (Letters, October 10th). In fact, the answer is already well settled. That question was examined thoroughly by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In its 2001 report, one chapter, titled “Has climate variability, or have climate extremes, changed?”, concluded that there was no discernible increase in storms, hurricanes, floods or droughts. A re-examination of that issue therefore seemed unnecessary in the IPCC’s 2007 report.

That is simply not true. For example, the 2007 report did cover hurricanes the report concluded that it is more likely than not (>50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity and that is likely (>66%) that we will see increases in hurricane intensity during the 21st century. Now the science in this area is still uncertain and that is the point - more is being done all the time and to suggest that the lack of evidence either way is evidence for the negative is a classic 'god-of-the-gaps' sleight of hand.

Concerning rising sea levels, this is a more complex issue since a natural increase of 1-2mm a year has been occurring for many centuries. However, over the past few decades no anthropogenic signal in sea-level changes has been detected. This is firmly backed up by precise satellite altimetry.

Again, simply untrue. There is a rise in sea level going on and it is a worry to the scientists. The satellite in question that gets the data has only been up since 2002, so more data is needed. But again we see the lack of the full picture being used as evidence for the negative.

Meanwhile it was just last month that Professor Mojib Latif of the University of Kiel in Germany, a renowned climate expert and IPCC author, presented his latest work at the World Climate Conference in Geneva. His findings show that the mean global temperature has actually declined since 2001. Moreover, his computer models predict a further temperature drop over the coming decades. All of this beckons the question: just where are the supposedly detrimental effects of anthropogenic CO2?

Classic. Half the story (and the wrong half) being presented as the full picture. This should set the bullshit detectors to max!! Mojib Latif's presentation was about the fact that there are variations in the cycle where for periods the temperature will drop - relative to overall increase - but that this drop will be temporary and still matches the upward trend. The denialist has missed the entire point of the presentation - but that's cherry picking for you. Latif is unequivocal - the temperature is rising and we are causing it.

Horst-Joachim Luedecke
Retired professor of physics
Heidelberg, Germany

Well Mr Retired professor of physics - it is clear that any scientific principals you once had have been checked in at the door when it comes to climate science.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Global Warming Slam Dunk

The global warming denialists are not a happy bunch. They have a few of memes they like to push and push:

First that the planet is not really warming -it's cooling.
Second that you can't trust the IPCC or climate scientists.

Now Associated Press has messed with their conspiracy theories and sent four expert independent statisticians the NOAA's year-to-year ground temperature changes over 130 years and the 30 years of satellite-measured temperatures preferred by skeptics. Result?

Statisticians who analyzed the data found a distinct decades-long upward trend in the numbers, but could not find a significant drop in the past 10 years in either data set. The ups and downs during the last decade repeat random variability in data as far back as 1880.

So that means:

First that the planet is really warning...
Second independent experts have confirmed it.

It's a bummer to be a denialist.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Goatlab Radio October 2009

Myself, Anakissed and Parasite do the radio thing!


1. Unuramenura - Savage Moon (Insecticide MIX)
2. The Wicker Man Soundtrack - Fire Leap (Trunk Records)
3. Scott D. Davis - Master Of Puppets (Metallica cover)
4. Prince Kong - Load It (Thug) ft. Jah Balance, Problem PG & Anthony Que (!Kaboogie)
5. The Wicker Man Soundtrack - Maypole Song (Trunk Records)
6. Trozminster Krapowski - DJ Mix (excerpt)
7. FFF - Your Time is Up (Sozialistischer Plattenbau)
8. The Wicker Man Soundtrack - Willow’s Song (Trunk Records)
9. Hot Chip & Peter Gabriel - Cape Code Kwassa Kwassa (Vampire Weekend cover)
10. Maladroit - Leonard Cohen As The Demiurge (Hard 2B Core Records EXCLUSIVE!)
11. Enter Shikari Original / Enter Shikari Remix
12. BD1982 - Space Boots [Slugabed Remix] (Seclusiasis)

Check it out.

Death Threat to Student

In my inbox is an urgent call for help. A student organiser from Colombia, descendent of Maroon fighters against slavery, who has been involved in positive organizing among youth in his community. He is a member of a popular hip-hop band creating positive lyrics well-received by black Colombian youth. So naturally, the right-wing reactionary forces view organising and rapping as a threat and used the email account to email him the following:

(I hope get it subversive son of bitch)

Good Day Mr _______, or better [nickname used here] as you choose, bad news I am afraid. For some time now we have been investigating you. The result of this investigation has helped us to deduce that you are a person attempting against the sovereignty and the economical growth of the people, bringing about the possibility of unleashing an era [this word era was wrongly spelled: “hera” is actually “era” in Spanish as well] of violence, bloodshed and terror for many people.

We know that at the moment you are organizing a subversive movement, which is growing fast, your recent connections with terrorists make you a deserver of this communicate. This administrative community orders you to desist of this terrorist idea, otherwise you will have to be exterminated for every ones well-being.

We want to clarify that this IS NOT a threat, neither a friends’ game, we know everything about you for example: which are the places you frequently go to, we know you have an account number with movistar (telephone company) N [number given here] with the line number [other number given], your email address is ___________ you are also part of a music group called _________, we know you have a double identity [the fact that he is in the university is one of the identities from what I can make out – translator’s note], you study in the university __________ currently doing 5 semester of foreign languages degree, we know that you have a long list of telephone calls registered to your account, including to members of the organization abroad, you have been going out of the country to meet them, a trip to Jamaica (ticket bought in London), and in the last two weeks you HAVE traveled with Avianca company to Medellin and Bogota Colombia to meet with new members and plan moves for this guerrilla organization. [Note: this was actually performance travel with his band.]

As you can see, we know more about you than you about us.

If you want to continue to be at the side of those you love and don’t want to get to know the other world that you think you can get. Mr. _____________ WITH CODE [this might be his id number] _________ This administrative community orders you to desist of this terrorist idea, otherwise you will have to be exterminated for everyone well-being.



Scary stuff. This is trying to silence people though fear; aka terrorism. You can email the Colombian Embassy to ask what they are doing to investigate - mail at and send messages of solidarity to

Friday, October 09, 2009

The American Right Goes Mentalist

Right-wing crying woowoo Glen Beck reviews the book 'the Coming Insurrection';

And goes on and on about the 'extreme left' and its push for violence. Not a surprise; you find violent elements in any political and/or religious movement. But his denial that the right has any violence in it - is laughable. In the video below, a right-wing bonehead talks of his plan for a coup;

And there is shit-loads more gun-waving here.

The Evolution of Global Warming Denial

The science of global warming has been advancing over the last few decades considerably. The mass of evidence, data and analysis now not only includes models, weather data, satellite measurements and ice-core samples; they stuff you associate with climate science. But we have also seen data coming from biology, ecology, chemistry, physics and other disciplines that is backing-up and building on the existing knowledge. This is a daunting issue for those intending to deny global warming because they not only have to overturn the climate data but also explain the changes in migration and growth patterns, rainfall and other such associated effects.

Like it's cousin, creationism, the denial of global warming has been fragmenting and evolving as it tries to find a way around the complete lack of any credible evidence for it's position. A decade ago most of the denial was focused around the science; but as the door has closed on this the movement has fragmented into various factions;

-those who think the scientists are mistaken and it is not happening ('flat-earth' denialists)

- those who think it is a conspiracy run by the NWO/communiststs/league of evil scientists/anarchists/environmentalists etc ('alien abduction' denailists)

- those who think God's law means it is nothing for humans to bother with (climate-creationists)

- those who think it is happening but humans are not causing it ('sun-spot-volcano-ice-age' denailists)

- those who think it is happening and humans are causing it but we should not change (the economic school of climate denial)

Now a new faction has emerged; the 'post-structuralist denialist'; these are people who raise vague philosophical arguments to reality in an attempt to avoid reality. It's a bit like a first-year philosophy student who goes around stating that 'nobody can prove anything' and quoting René Descartes (wrongly) at you in a drunken haze. This is fun stuff for late night discussions over alcohol but abstract to the max. Here's a recent example of a post-structuralist denialist in action:

Until AGW believers can honestly look at the people of this world as a resource instead of a threat, AGW as a political argument is doomed to repeated defeat .... Al Gore, James Hansen, George Monbiot of the Guardian, all the premier advocates of drastic change to combat global warming, have some kind of deafness--a deafness of the heart. It's why they are getting their posteriors kicked in public debate and policy discussions.

Did you see what he did there; yes he's using the tired of denialist label of 'believer' which is to imply that global warming is not a fact, but a 'faith' and yet he offers no proof of the position; yet castigates those who are proven to be right on the science for some vague philosophical notion of 'how they view the world' - which allows him to neatly side-step the insinuations of the fact that he offers zero evidence for his position. Yup; this is a debate based around 'nobody can prove anything' where the denailists are right because they 'view the world right'.

It is a bit sad that this is what they are reduced to; metaphorical card-tricks - but they have no choice because the postlude-science they have hitched tier wagons too has collapsed and died and Jedi-mind tricks is all they have left.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Anti-Nazi Resistance Hero Dies

From the Hope Not Hate blog...

The world lost one of the heroes of the anti-Nazi resistance yesterday with the death of Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Marek was one of 200 Jews who battled German troops for a month in 1943 before the Ghetto was razed to the ground. It was the single largest revolt during the Holocaust.

The Warsaw Ghetto was set up by the Nazis in 1940, as part of a wider operation to round up Jews across occupied Eastern Europe. Between 300,000 and 400,000 people were crowded into the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest of its kind in Europe.

In the summer of 1942 the Nazis began the forcible transportation of Jews from the Ghetto to the Treblinka death camp, in an operation codenamed Grossaktion Warschau.

In mid-January 1943, the Germans began their second wave of deportation, but this time it was met by an armed insurgency within the ghetto. While Jewish families hid in their "bunkers", Jewish Military League (Żydowski Związek Wojskowy, ŻZW) fighters, joined by elements of the Jewish Combat Organisation (Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa, ŻOB) engaged the Germans in two direct clashes. Hundreds of people took up small arms to fight the Nazis. They took control of much of the Ghetto, built defences and executed collaborators.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Death of the Post-Apartheid Dream

A shocking news story...

If you have not heard Abahlali baseMjondolo, the shack dwellers movement of which I spoke often at Crotoff, has been attacked in the Kennedy Road settlement by an armed mob chanting ethnic slogans and backed, fully, by the ANC. Many were beaten and two were killed. As the community defended itself spontaneously two of the attackers were also killed - with their own weapons. The police refused to intervene and then arrested eight of the local Abahlali leaders in the settlement on murder charges. Most of these who were arrested were in fact at a dance performance in another part of the city at the time. The others, including S'bu Zikode who some of you know something about, had their homes destroyed and had to flee the settlement. ANC politicians and the police were present while the houses were destroyed. The settlement is now controlled by an armed pro ANC group who have the full backing of the police and the party. Abahlali are banned from the settlement, which they were elected to lead, on the pain of death. At least a thousand people have fled and many are sleeping rough.

This will all be terribly familiar to those of you who know something about the struggles of popular movements in places like Brazil, Mexico or Nigeria. For us this is very familiar from the 1980s when the apartheid state employed these tactics but none of us expected to see this in South Africa after apartheid. It came out of the blue. We are totally shocked and really don't have the resources to deal with it - we are struggling with basic things like accommodation and food for the displaced. We are also struggling with the organised propoganda from the state. The media has been told that the settlement has been 'liberated from criminals'. The ANC are openly celebrating the 'liberation' of Kennedy Road and are threatening to arrest S'bu Zikode too. They are calling the movement 'criminals' and, at the same time, saying that the human rights entrenched in the post-apartheid order are giving criminals a free ride and that police need to be given permission to shoot to kill. Our criminals are your terrorists - people who are defined as being outside of the protection given to those that count.

Please have a look at the Abahlali website - - and share the information there widely. There is a particularly strong statement from Bishop Phillip - who struggled with Steven Biko and who has, in the face of this attack, decided to cross the river into open opposition to the state once more.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Goatlab Radio September 2009

New show up!!! Rock it out!!


1. Milanese vs Run DMC - Cold Adidas (Bun-E) [rar download link]
2. T-Toe - Big Girls (Ideation)
3. Gusset - Databent UrbEx (Weft)
4. Michael J Rocks - Stop Breaking My ARP (Ninja Columbo ZoMbfree)
5. Pidgin - Crash (Dub)
6. Monster Zoku Onsomb! - Children of the Atom [Mirra & Fay remix] (Death$ucker)
7. Sneaky - Open House (Big Chill)
8. Propa Tingz ft Dakini - Babylons Scared (Freaks of Nature)
9. Gasman - Cliq (Centrefuge)
10. Sine Hacker - Consequence (Weft)
11. Sunken Foal - A Beard of Mercury Switches (Relay)
12. Kamerat Tord - The Billow Maidens (Death$ucker)
13. Seekae - Crooks (Ideation)
14. Endah - Your Soul is Mine (Ninja Columbo ZoMbfree)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Framing Concepts - How to Force Your Ideas on Others

Politics is a dirty business and you can see this in action in the facinating discussion about how politicians use the idea of 'framing concepts' to shape what we think - so for example, the War on Terror - is a war on a state of mind and so by definition all the normal concepts of a war are shifted so the people waging that war can amass power over us against a nebulous foe and with uncertain outcomes.

I have noted these before; Derrick Jensen talks about this in his work; about how big concepts are slipped past us in the framing of questions, so he says a news anchor says "How can we get the US economy to grow?" in that are framed a number of assumptions - that you want the economy to grow, that you want there to event be and economy and that you want there to even be a US at all.

You also hear it where the media refers to Israeli Settlers' whereas the word for somebody moving into another persons land is actually 'Colonisers' and so changes the framing of the debate.

The Nature of Evil: It's In Us!!

A must-listen talk by the social psychologist Phillip Zimbardo on the nature of evil...

In a nutshell, evil is less within us and more within the structures we live within - normal people who are not sadists, in the wrong circumstances, in a matter of days can become the sadists we see in Abu Graib. It is mindless obedience to hierarchy that kills more people than disobedience to laws. The people at the top of a hierarchy create the system that breeds evil in people who would not otherwise do so. The irony is that Bu$h and Bliar in their war on evil, created a system of evil in the process. (A point John Gray warns us of!)

But there is also message that none of us know what we will do if faced with the same situation - we all have this capacity for evil. Our protection is to ensure that we do not allow the hierarchy systems and/or personality cults that encourage it.

On the plus side heroism is the same - we all have the capacity to do good in such situations...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Get A Brain, Morans!

Here's a link to brighten your day...(though sadly a Facebook link so you've got to login to see it). It is photos of right-wing protest signs with hilarious spellings, like:

I do lots of spelling errors and grammar errors, so I sympathise, but if you're going to tell people they are morons via big sign: spellcheck.

Venezueia? Where the hell is that? Come on people!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Glenn Beck is an Idiot

Recently James Murdoch did a big speech to basically say that the BBC are evil and only his dad (Rupert) making shit-loads of cash can save us. It was a crock of shit and was there only to push News International's business agenda. I was going to write something on it, but Charlie Brooker did it much better;

Yes [Murdoch] refers to the BBC as "state-sponsored media", because that makes it sound bad (although not quite as bad as "Satan-sponsored media", admittedly). He evoked the goverment's control of the media in Orwell's 1984, and claimed that only commercial news organisations were truly capable of producing "independent news coverage that challenges the consensus".
Another great example of independent consensus-challenging news coverage is America's Fox News network, home of bellicose human snail Bill O'Reilly and blubbering blubberball Glenn Beck. Beck - who has the sort of rubbery, chucklesome face that should ideally be either a) cast as the goonish sidekick in a bad frat house sex comedy or b) painted on a toilet bowl so you could shit directly on to it - has become famous for crying live on air, indulging in paranoid conspiracy theorising, and labelling Obama a "racist" with "a deep-seated hatred for white people or white culture".

So who is this Glenn Beck? He's a total nut-job who it is best to see in action - here he is failing to spell 'Oligarch' (he calls it 'Oligarh') even though it is the centre-piece of this nutty presentation and also saying he is tired of people being sheep then demands people go where he tells them to go. (I know I spell stuff wrong and do typos all the time, but I'm an amateur and don't get paid to do this!!!). Enjoy.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Bookfair & Top Gig!!!

This weekend sees the excellent Anarchist Bookfair! One not to miss with lots going on to feed your brain!

See more on it here.

Also that evening the amazing Gary Glail is playing!!

Not to be missed!!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Music, Sweet Music

Sometimes I get so busy ranting and stuff about the sad state of the world and the all too many waka-loons and twats who inhabit it, that I get a bit down.

Well Bristol's own Parasite has posted an amazing breakcore mashup that is totally rocking my world today.

Thanks, Parasite!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

There won't be much radical change....for the time being

There was an interesting article arguing that the 'left' has blow the chance to make gains in the wake of the financial crisis;

The last year should have been a happy one for the left. The great global lab experiment in unfettered finance capitalism has blown up. Bankers have become pariahs. Taxes on the rich have gone up. The pages of the financial press have had a frequent air of panic. New Labour has fallen out of love with the free market. Above all, the rightwing economic and political ideas first popularised by Margaret Thatcher in the 70s have, finally, lost their air of impregnability.

Yet in the MEP elections, which a few exceptions, the left (and I don't mean Neo-Labour) did very badly. The ideas of the left, to some extent, won the argument but lost the battle. Why is that? I think the argument made in the article about economics is the key;

Until well into the Thatcher era, the left in Britain was a complete and vigorous political world. It had a mass membership through the unions and the Labour party. It had credibility and charismatic figures: even establishment papers such as the Times feared and sometimes respected Tony Benn or the National Union of Mineworkers. And it had potent ideas from the likes of Gramsci and Marx and Keynes. All of these elements have decayed since the 80s; but none so damagingly, especially in the light of the financial crisis, as the left's thinking about the economy.

"The left just gave up on economics," says the economist Paul Ormerod, who retains sympathy for the cause. "Marx and Keynes cast such long shadows. There was too much of the left saying, 'It's all there in the old masters.'" Marx died in 1883 and Keynes in 1946; by the 80s – some would say much earlier – the world economy had changed sufficiently to invalidate some of their ideas. Yet the left was more interested by then, Ormerod argues, in other issues such as race and gender and sexuality. Lawson agrees: "We've had a hollowed-out generation of economic thinkers."

Since the 80s, Ormerod says, rightwing economists "have taken over in treasuries and central banks all over the world". Western universities, too, have become production lines for rightwing economics graduates – and for graduates who do not even consider a complete faith in the free market to be a political position at all.

I agree. The left (and I use the term broadly from anarchism to democratic socialism) have fought the personal-political battles (equality) and they were battles to be fought, but in the process we ceeded economic to the right. This is not a new point - Naomi Klein makes it in 'No Logo' and while the anti-capitalist movements were great at pointing out where the system went wrong, I think we've not really looked deep enough at alternatives or indeed where the market might have got things right - heresy to say it, I know - but when is comes to ecnomics - and I use the term broady, not just about money and the FSTE, but about wealth, resources, distribution, povery and quality of life - we have some serious thinking and doing to evolve the next generation of ideas and projects.

There is some hopeful shoots - the cross-fertilisation of green and labour movements will produce interesting results provided we are all prepared to not be dogmatic and listen a bit more and projects like the p2p foundation are doing great work getting into the deep thinking that we need to do.