It’s not enough to be right

In the Sun – the UK’s leading tabloid in a shrinking market – Jeremy Clarkson, professional motormouth and patron saint of petrolheads, is having fun.

Clarkson is sceptical about the theory of global warming. Actually, that doesn’t quite catch it. He thinks the idea is “bonkers, idiotic, a complete fairy story.” He blames the usual suspects (politicians, the media, “scientists on the climate change payola”) – plus a few less familiar ones (Margaret Thatcher, who created global warming to allow her to close down Arthur Scargill‘s coal mines).

But Channel 4’s documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle, has convinced him he’s right. After all, it had “proper scientists” arguing the case. “Global warming started off as a lie and became an industry,” he writes. “Now it’s a fashion statement and that, ultimately, is what will kill it off.”

Of course, no-one listens to this rubbish (even American climate sceptics hate Clarkson)… apart from all the people who believe every word of it. And it’s them that we should be paying a lot more attention to. Continue reading

Clans and open source intelligence…

Premise 1: “The end of the Cold War is ushering in a new world order of clans, tribes, and ethnic groups that have been smothered for generations under the weight of nation-states.”

Premise 2: “The foundation of global communities [is] the ability to acquire and quickly use information to gain an advantage.”

Premise 3: “The winner in global competition today is one who can cycle information faster than the opposition. It is more than just having information; it is a matter of using it faster and better than the other person.”

Premise 4: “We need to demystify and de-spook some of our intelligence… Rather than use information and intelligence, we horde it.”

From a 1995 Marine Corps Gazette article

Biofuels and food prices

As the general enthusiasm for biofuels continues to accelerate unabated (most recently with the climate change deal secured at the EU Council of Ministers by Angela Merkel), a sage warning comes from US Department of Agriculture chief economist Keith Collins: all this biofuel-led demand for grain is going to have a big impact on food prices.

Continue reading

Beyond the religious right…

The NY Times has a piece about an anti-war protest at the White House by thousands of Christians.

John Pattison, 29, said he and his wife flew in from Portland, Ore., to attend his first anti-war rally. He said his opposition to the war had developed over time.

”Quite literally on the night that shock and awe commenced, my friend and I toasted the military might of the United States,” Pattison said. ”We were quite proud and thought we were doing the right thing.”

He said the way the war had progressed and U.S. foreign policy since then had forced him to question his beliefs.

”A lot of the rhetoric that we hear coming from Christians has been dominated by the religious right and has been strong advocacy for the war,” Pattison said. ”That’s just not the way I read my Gospel.”

Further evidence that there’s a considerably greater diversity of views among politically engaged evangelical Christians in the US than is often supposed – and that more progressive constituencies are getting increasingly well-organised. See God’s Politics by Sojourners head Jim Wallis…