To that vocal minority who like to drone on that ‘doom-mongering’ or ‘catastrophism’ is an apparent ‘tactic’ of reactionary, conservative forces… one word: John.
To the majority of that vocal minority who try to tarnish us lefties concerned about climate change by saying we’re ‘aping’ this conservative ‘politics of fear’… a second word: Oliver.
John Oliver. John Oliver.
A bit about John Oliver.
John Oliver is not conservative. Or elite. Or reactionary. Or priveleged. He is a fighter. Against conservative forces.
The facts: before he was a top presence on the US networks, Ollie worked in a food-packaging factory, on the night shift, doing a 12hr stint from 8pm to 8am, for a pittance of a wage, before moving on to call-centre work. Equally a drudge, if a little bit more physically comfortable as you could actually sit down to service the incessant, voracious demands of the (deludedly) feral masses, it was here, incensed by the pitiless nature of the working rota, that he agitated against all odds to form a union in a Thatcherite, post-union world. Finding no takers for his fight, John then moved on – to more casualised labour, the laissez-faire market place desecrating working conditions and contracts as the 90s wore on. Taking on 6am shifts on heavy-load shifting delivery-driving work, John began to hone his now legendary, politically radical comedy, built on years of financial struggle, workplace exploitation, and a love for his fellow working class compadres.
So, to that vocal minority who would imply that John Oliver – stolid, hard-working, elite-averse – somehow fails to represent the progressive, liberal left when he fights for the climate: you are stupidly misinformed or wilfully trying skew the agenda to your own devious ends.
Yes, it says on Wikipedia that John went to Cambridge University and seamlessly moved into the world of comedy, by-passing the working struggles of 90% of the population. Yes, Wikipedia fails to mention the decades of penniless toil and hurt, loneliness, ridicule and illness, painting instead a picture of unearned, faux-radical, bien-pensant imposture, BUT – the fierce bravery and colossal strength of will that has allowed John to be in the place that he’s in now is a matter of record that pulses through every horny hand and fibrous strand of his partially ruined, overworked, working class body.
No. JO is the ‘working class hero’ that John Lennon sang about.
Now take a look at the brilliantly clever, elite-bashing, satirically genius viral video that’s got all these Daily Mail readers up in arms where he fills the room with 97 scientists who agree with dangerous climate change and three non-scientist commentators who deny dangerous climate change to make the point of there being a 97% consensus around the fact that humans are warming the earth to a dangerous degree and we need to change our filthy, ill-educated and in many respects vulgar consumption habits because let’s face it a lot of people don’t know any better (i.e the majority of people sadly):
And he’s also the voice of Vanity Smurf! A character less like the stereotypical self-regarding bien-pensant luvvie would be difficult to imagine. 😉
And Smurf’s, remember, are well into their recycling, cleaning up Wimbledon Common all the time. There’s always that underside of politics with JO, even with the kids!
I sense that you’re thinking of the Wombles there, Marcus, but nonetheless acknowledge your point.
Shit, the Wombles. Of course it is. In that case what the hell is Oliver doing with the Smurfs? Bad kids movie voice-over choice, there. Missed opportunity.
In fact, it looks like they’re bringing the Wombles back next year (CGI, of course) on Channel 5, so he has a chance to restore some cred. 🙂
The wombles are coming back? This is brilliant news. Especially for the planet! Brilliant. Yes, Ol should be all over it.
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“In fact I can define science in another way: science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” — Richard Feynman
The scientific method tests theories by their predictions. Here’s the most comprehensive list of failed climate predictions. Note that some of these are arguably not yet falsified, or made offhand, or are local/regional, but there’s still plenty of falsification: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/02/the-big-list-of-failed-climate-predictions/
Here’s some classic examples of how badly the models (that are the basis for policy recommendations) have failed — they do not outperform random walks, and the older they are the more they predicted too much warming: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/14/climate-models-outperformed-by-random-walks/ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/15/james-hansens-climate-forecast-of-1988-a-whopping-150-wrong/ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/09/comparing-ipcc-1990-predictions-with-2011-data/ Most climate scientists do not believe atmospheric dynamics are understood well enough for models to predict future temperatures. (Storch 2010)
There is a large disconnect between policy and science. Even the IPCC agrees that if all OECD countries cut off CO2 emissions entirely tomorrow, the effect on global temperatures over 100 years would be less than one degree, yet emissions controls are heavily promoted and mitigation largely ignored as a policy response, precisely the outcome one would expect if progressive politics were driving policy rather than science. As with the warming models, speculative outcomes and poorly demonstrated effects (e.g. ocean acidifcation) are treated as hard facts.
Much of the weight of AGW arguments rests on the authority of the major climate institutes who promote alarm, but those same institutions were once quite stridently warning us global cooling was a serious problem. Here’s the most comprehensive list (as of yet) of articles claiming global cooling is a serious problem, citing director-level climate scientists at institutions like NASA, CRU, NOAA, NCAR etc: http://www.populartechnology.net/2013/02/the-1970s-global-cooling-alarmism.html
AGW is a very young science, strongly driven by progressive politics. As late as 1990, the IPCC did not find any anthropogenic global warming signal. In 1995, IPCC scientists concluded in their drafts in five separate places that human influence was not discernible (some dispute this claim with nonresponsive anecdotes, but no one disputes the actual drafts included those five statements) but these caveats were removed from the final draft. http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/1990-ipcc-report-showed-no-global-warming-for-the-past-700-years/ http://www.traditioninaction.org/Cultural/E042_Global-2.htm
Here’s a pretty comprehensive debunking of the “97% of scientists believe global warming is dangerous” claims (note Legates 2013 and Storch 2010 are cited, see also Tol 2014): http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303480304579578462813553136
Here’s a number of posts about the highly questionable handling of GISS data. Note that despite Gavin claiming GISS is accurate to .1 degrees, most (if not all) past temperatures have been changed by more than that since he said that: https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/thirteen-years-of-nasa-data-tampering-in-six-seconds/ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/23/a-question-for-zeke-hausfather/ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/18/hansens-nasa-giss-cooling-the-past-warming-the-present/ http://junkscience.com/2012/07/12/steven-goddard-the-odds-of-the-ushcn-adjustments-being-correct-one-out-of-infinity/
Here’s evidence for the very strong consensus that warming in the likely ranges is net beneficial, something that was uncontroversial until recently. http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-probable-net-benefits-of-climate-change-till-2080.aspx
And last but not least, here’s about 1400 more peer-reviewed papers that all suggest AGW will not be all that serious a problem. Note that some of these are impact studies. http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html
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