Power Dynamics

Oil Discovered Off the Falkland Islands?

Are all wars ultimately motivated by Greed? ... How very convenient, by mere coincidence around 60 billion barrels of oil has been discovered within 150 miles of the Falkland Islands. Before you conclude this will save our economy from the effects of peak oil, that's approximately 2.75 years of global consumption and as in the North Sea would have a low EROEI (energy return on energy invested), i.e. it would require expensive oil rigs drilling hundreds of metres below the bottom of the Southern Atlantic ...

The Daily Motorist Mindset

The recent cold snap over much Western Europe with temperature lows not seen since infamous winter of 1963 has prompted Daily Mail columnists and their avid readers to deny any human effects on our eco-system. Yep, just because we are gripped by Arctic weather, does not mean 800 million motor vehicles and 6800 human beings have zilch effect on the environment. ... Climate is unpredictable as are weather forecasts or for that matter the side effects of the exponential rise in human activity over the...

Reality Denial

When do we let our political judgements be swayed not by a rational analysis of the facts, but by self-interest, wishful thinking, superstition or just plain irrational prejudices? Whether rapid climate change is taking place and is caused by human activity is surely a matter of scientific analysis, on which I suppose one may hold different perspectives, e.g. one may return from an unusually mild southern Greenland only to witness subzero temperatures in Madrid. One’s objective analysis during a...

Breeding Hatred

One of the biggest dilemmas for environmental realists is striking the right balance between the potential infringement of human rights required to power down to a more sustainable society on one hand, and the inevitable threat to human rights if we don't take action now. Let's call this the human rights dilemma. One solution is simply to deny the relevance of the coming environmental collapse by idealising a variant form of cornucopia, believing everything would be okay if we just wrested power from the...

Knee Jerk Hysteria

Most Sudanese citizens of all religious affiliations are desperately poor. As in most other African countries early deaths through malnutrition and disease are so rife that many just count themselves lucky to be alive, let alone benefit from the wonders of Western consumerism, fun culture and post-modern enlightenment (the kind of fuzzy thinking that endows us with some kind of moral superiority over all things ethical). But Sudan has a hidden jewel, the oil reserves in its Southeastern corner known as...

Blaming the Messenger

Spiked Online are at it again, jumping at the chance to blame common atrocities on the spectre of green fascists . To the likes of Frank Füredi and Brendan O'Neill a green fascist is anyone who doesn't believe in their technocratic vision of unlimited human and material growth, if indeed they believe their own propaganda. More is always better and anyone who says otherwise opposes progress . ... A couple of weeks ago a school shooting in the Finnish town of Jokela captured the imagination of the...

The Persuasion Industry

In one way or another a growing percentage of workers in the UK are engaged in various sectors of the persuasion industry. Call it new media, education, publishing, marketing, sales, customer relations, call centres, advertising, entertainment, legal services, lobbying, consulting, advice bureaux, research institutes, awareness raising charities, they are all in the multi-billion pound business of persuading. These businesses try to persuade us to buy products, borrow more money, adapt our lifestyles, seek ...

Blair concedes Iraq Lies

Information Clearing House recently republished extracts from the late Robin Cook's diaries, in which Blair concedes that Iraq could not strike the West or even nearby Israel with weapons of mass destruction. It also reveals how the initial scepticism of some New Labour Cabinet ministers in the run up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq soon turned into loyalty as Blairite rhetoric morphed into crocodile tears over the human rights of oppressed and disenfranchised Iraqis. ... Some analysts insist the likes of ...

On the Wrong Track

A good way to dispel concern about an emerging trend is to set up a phoney debate pitting the views of social conservatives rejecting cultural change against progressive change enthusiasts, e.g. only paranoid Daily Mail readers could possibly oppose the growing encroachment of war-themed video games in mainstream life. Progress is by default associated with trendy young culture with little regard to its key disseminators, while negative reactionism refers to recalcitrant opposition to progress. We thus...

Rewriting History

A few months after Coalition forces successfully secured control of Baghdad and toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein in Fardus Square before the world’s media, Tony Blair referred to way future historians will remember the liberation of Iraq. It is certainly possible to construct a version of history in which the US and UK armed forces liberate a country condemned to years of tyranny by a murderous despot and then proceed to build the foundations of a new liberal democracy extending both wealth and...

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