• Playing with fire

    “Undoubtedly the science is changing. Anyone who plots a learning curve – and we have all been plotting these things for years – would be able to tell you that whatever we think was fairly good before becomes bad now. The situation gets worse and worse …

    We have not learned from this. All the time we underestimate the scale of the problem.We have no learning curves there at all. We get burned every time, and we put our hand back in the fire again. And we will no doubt do it again.”

    – Kevin Anderson, Director of the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, speaking before the House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee, 23 June 2009.

  • Guardian's steady flow of greenwash continues

    From Private Eye (hat-tip):

    "Panic stations at the Guardian this month where plans to become "the world's foremost media organisation for environmental coverage" as deputy editor Ian Kazt likes to tell staff, seem to have exploded like so much crude oil in a poorly-maintained refinery.

    "First, the Independent on Sunday reported the boasts of Shell executives that they may have persuaded the Guardian to soften its line on the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa - a Nigerian environmentalist executed in 1995 for protesting at the exploitation of the Niger delta by the oil company. Then, at the Grauniads's ill-fated Climate Change Summit in London last week, protesters dressed as "greenwash detectors" handed round mock-ups of the paper pointing out that the event's main sponsor, E.ON, plans to build the UK's first new cola-fired power station for decades at Kingsnorth in Kent.

    "Unabashed, the Guardian ran a glowing full-page interview with E-ON chief executive Paul Golby last Friday ("Energy boss strives to generate debate about green goals"), which omitted to mention that his company was bankrolling the Grauniad summit. Meanwhile Alan Rushbridger and fellow-executives were considering whether to publish an entire supplement sponsored by Shell.

    "All of which is rather distressing for the paper's environmental icon George Monbiot, who only three weeks ago tried to assuage jaded readers with a blog posting titled: "Newspapers must stop taking advertising from environmental villains." And utterly mortifying for the Guardian's highly-paid "head of environment", Damian Carrington - who no longer seems to have much to head up."

  • Beautiful

    “That’s the beauty of Gaza. You see a man walking, he doesn’t have to have a weapon, and you can shoot him.”

    - an IDF soldier explains to Danny Zamir, the head of Israel’s Rabin pre-military academy, why a company commander ordered the shooting of an elderly woman.

  • Six degrees, here we come

    What a five degree global average temperature rise looks like:

    What six degrees’ global average temperature rise looks like:

    What business-as-usual now looks like:

    Global temperatures ‘will rise 6C this century’

    World on track for 6 degree warming, says report

    And even these predictions could be conservative. As the Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen put it last week, “business as usual is dead”. He was right about that – though perhaps not in the sense he intended. Simply put, the greatest crime against humanity ever witnessed is being committed before our eyes, with our complicity. We can bury our heads in the sand; we can get a good seat and watch it unfold; we can complain a little before getting on with other business. Or we can do everything in our power to stop this in its tracks.

  • King of corruption

    King Edmund

    Anyone notice this creep popping up on Comment Is Free today? No? Well, consider the various pies in which this car industry shill and PR man has found the opportunity to plant his petroleum-greased fingers over the course of his career:


    Edmund King is President of the Automobile Association. He has worked as a committee secretary for the Social Science Research Council, for a Government Department in Whitehall, in public relations for a wine company in Burgundy, in the motor industry in California, as a broadcaster in Los Angeles, as Campaigns Co-Coordinator for the British Road Federation and more recently for RAC and the RAC Foundation.

    King provides a neat illustration of just one form of endemic institutional corruption in this country, and in the US. Our educational institutions, information networks, Government - every one of them has been compromised by the revolving door relationship with the business lobby (and a lot more besides). If you’re still wondering how it is we have come to be throwing bucketloads of cash at a failing, unsustainable and profoundly anti-social industry - and in exactly the way this man proposed last November - the career path of individuals like Edmund King should go some way to providing you with an answer.


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