Sometimes even the Daily Mail makes me laugh!

I am a dedicated anthropogenic climate change sceptic. I’m more than happy to clean up the planet we all have to live on – and I would suggest that we stop trying to produce more and more of us to live in a limited space …

However, as far as I’m concerned, the world’s climate has been changing since its birth + 1. As a historian I am well aware that the climate has changed in the small geographical area and limited time-scale that I have studied.

I’ve just read this article in the DM:

I laughed and I hope that some of you will find it amusing, too.

26 thoughts on “Sometimes even the Daily Mail makes me laugh!”

  1. Excellent! I much prefer to ascribe our climate to the wrath of the weather gods. by all means let’s clean up our act, humanity-wise, but don’t imagine that will achieve much more than cleaner environments.

  2. Thanks for that link, Boadicea. I had a good giggle on reading it. I do hope that some Greenpeace type loony went and spoke severely to Vesuvius after it flattened Pompei. We have weather and there are climates and that’s about that.

  3. That cheered up my morning that did. Littlejohn has a way with words that invariably amuses. Not that I read the DM, ever, not me, no Sir.


  4. Of course the climate is changing! We’re just on our way out of the latest of (how many?) ice ages and it’ll get still warmer before it starts to cool off again. To be sure, we hoomin beans don’t help ourselves very much but I doubt whether we’re much more to blame than volcanic eruptions or dragons’ fiery exhalations.

    Some “scientists” will sell their souls for a price and, given sufficient “motivation,” will crank out “research” that “proves” whatever the sponsor wishes. I recall reading some years ago of two Federal Gummint grants announced at the same time. One was for developing a way of capturing cattle farts for use as fuel, the other was for developing fartless fodder.

    Boadicea: As usual, I’m in total agreement with you. We as a species don’t seem likely to stop until every square inch of the planet is paved over and covered with people.
    Many thanks for posting that link. I didn’t have time to read the entire DM today but that one column was enough to keep me in a good mood all day.

    Janus: Oi, do you have something against donuts? I don’t eat them all the time but, when I do, I don’t stint myself. My own next indulgence is already planned for two weeks from today. After I’ve dropped my wife at the Vancouver, BC, airport, on the way home I’ll stop at Tim Horton’s (a Canadian chain of donut shops) and buy a whole dozen (they’re much cheaper that way) of French Crullers, with maybe a few Berliners (jelly donuts) in the box for variety. After a couple of days of gaining weight I don’t need, it’ll be back to green leafy vegetables (sniff).

  5. Love it Bodicea. This description of the hole in the ozone layer being the size of Gaul is obviously extremely ancient as it came before science discovered that everything big was ” the size of Wales” Science never ceases to move on does it ? 🙂

  6. Cog: In the Middle Ages people were fairly free to do as they wished so long as it didn’t offend the sensibilities of the Church too brazenly. In the Cold War Era scientists could largely do as they wished so long as they prefaced everything with a tribute to socialism. These days, so long as “anthropogenic climate change” is railed against, Scientists can do as they please. As Bjorn Lomborg learnt, question the extent of human influence and funding will be lost.

    Please with CO a good flight and all the best. I’ve missed seeing her on the Chariot and regret any hard feelings.

  7. Cog. Does it not amaze you, as it does me, that the people we put into power cannot see the world as clearly as we do? Humanity will grind to a halt long, long before we pave it all over.

    I’m no botanist, biologist or any other sort of ‘ist’ who claim to understand the eco-system that allows us to live on this tiny bit of rock in an insignificant solar system, in one of an uncountable number of galaxies… it might just as well be ‘magic’ to me. But, I’m pretty sure that we can’t carry on breeding at the present rate – and that the present bunch of “what-does big-business-want-me-to-say” scientists should be sent packing PDQ.

  8. We are living a life too detached from nature.
    Human Rights appear to blot out the rights of every other species and plant without which we would not and could not exist.
    There is no doubt that we will ‘do ourselves in’. As a species we are too stupid to survive.

  9. CT: The Church, far from being offended, has mostly encouraged rampant reproduction. So far as I know, among secular authorities it’s only China that saw the elephant in the room and had the sense to limit family size.

    Boadicea: It Gauls me to no little extent that neither the masses nor their elected representatives are willing to see what is happening. I very much like a saying my wifeperson uses: “Don’t breed what you can’t feed.”

    Jazz: It seems to me that, far from becoming too detached from nature, we’re losing a good chunk of our civilized veneer and giving in to base animal urges? (And let’s face it, that reproduction stuff can feel pretty good.) So how come I never get invited to those kinds of parties?

  10. Cog: China is a special case. Mao banned all forms of birth control and put extreme pressure on people to have as many children as possible. For a time China had the average birthrate of 7 per woman! He wanted a mass socialist army. When cooler heads warned him that China simply couldn’t support the population that that birthrate would lead to, Mao was happier yet. He wanted China’s society to utterly and completely implode so that something entirely new could be built. After Mao died sanity quickly returned. One of Deng Xiaoping’s early acts was to put a brake on population growth. It was severe, but it had to be done. Interestingly, the one child policy only applied to Han Chinese who were not farmers. Han Chinese farmers could have two children and ethnic minorities could have as many children as they wanted. Later on, Han Chinese could have as many children as they wanted — so long as they paid a steep fine. This way, the cost of education and other public services would be offset and only families who had the means of supporting children could have more than one. No sink estates broods there! Recently Han Chinese single children can have two children, but not that many do. China has a very low birthrate and it is no longer simply because the state forces it to be low.

  11. Cog, with its usual brilliance, the Vatican decreed that birth control was the road to hell. Anything they could not explain was the will of their god. Smart, huh?

  12. I do wish people would put aside their prejudices and stop blaming all the ills of the world on religion. While religion clearly plays a role in certain areas, it is not religion per se that is the cause of trouble but its use or indeed misuse, as a tool by power seeking practitioners. One may just as well blame sport for football hooliganism.

    So, it is not just the church that has encouraged reproduction. Governments all over the world have done so, and continue to do so, usually with sound economic and cultural reasons.
    And one for the Danes!

    Russia, has been doing it, so to speak, for a very long time. I doubt Vladimir Putin has any religious reasons for encouraging procreation.

    Leaving aside the demographic justification for encouraging population growth, it is very easy to be dismissive of such policies, at this juncture, but that is because we can see the results of what previous generations could not really envisage. One needs to really understand the phenomenon of exponential growth, which sad to say, the majority of people on this earth do not.

    We have all heard the story of the wise man the emperor, the chessboard and the rice. All we can imagine with that fable is vast piles of rice. But consider an alternative scenario. Imagine Wembley stadium (sealed) and a drop of water placed on the centre spot at exactly 11.00. Suppose that this drop of water doubles in volume every minute and suppose you are handcuffed to a seat on the highest stand. For the first half an hour, you will not even be able to see any sign of the water and you will be unaware of any threat. At about 11.40, there will be a visible puddle but you are not going to be too concerned about that. even at 11.57, the stadium is only going to be 1/8 full and you will think that there is plenty of time to escape. A minute later, you will start to panic, while at 11.59 Wembley will be half full of water. Say your prayers.

    For the world as a whole it is now 11.59, with regards to population, though the negative impact is stronger in some countries than others. Russia is still under populated, while much of Asia and certain African countries are at critical levels. 100 years, ago, following the end of WW1, the population of Europe needed growth and people were happy to oblige. But the increase in wealth and improving food supplies coupled with advances in medicine, has meant that mortality rates have dramatically decreased leading to a dramatic growth in population. Much of which was not anticipated.

    The population of Bangladesh has quarupled since 1955, form 42 million to 164 million in 2017. That growth had nothing to do with religion, but all to do with dramatic improvements in medicine and food supplies. Historically 2 out of 3 children died. Over the past 60 years that has ceased to be the case and, believe it or not fertility rates have plummeted. If you were to ask most westerners what was the average number of children per modern Bangladeshi family, you would probably get answers ranging from 5 to 10. In fact, the number is roughly 2.2 as opposed to 6.36 in 1955.
    With the decline in infant mortality, new parents have come to realise that all their children will survive to adulthood and that they cannot support families of 6 or more.

    The population of Bangladesh has stabilised as it has elsewhere in other parts of the world, though not in Africa. By 2100, half the world’s population will be African!

    The problem in Africa, is not religion, but the political and financial interests of governments, businesses and pop stars with Messiah complexes who are determined to reduce early mortality without attempting address the cause. Yes medicine saves lives and so does food, but if the food is free, then there is no incentive for the parents to have fewer children. The UN, world governments, lobby groups (such as US agriculture via USAID) aid agencies and a million NGOs, not to mention those twats Bono and Geldof are all striving to ensure that every last African child will survive while refusing to accept that as a race, Africans will never take responsibility for themselves.They will continue breeding as long as their is a supply of food. And when the food runs out they will let their offspring die. It happens more than you can begin to imagine.

    There are lots of fascinating videos on the internet dealing with exponential growth and carrying capacity. Anybody who is not really familiar with the subject (i.e. most people, especially arty types) should have a look. Google this, “paul anderson exponential and logistic growth”.

    As for China, it is going to have a huge problem, because of its disastrous demographic profile. An ageing, predominantly male population is going to lead to civil and social unrest followed by economic decline followed by war.

  13. Sipu: China has always had a gender imbalance. Infanticide was largely limited to daughters. In times of social and economic decline, it wasn’t unusual for there to be polyandrous marriages in the lower levels of society. Say, a disabled man agreeing to share his wife for 5-10 years with a younger, healthier man. China is not a Western country. Don’t treat it as such. The Chinese are more phlegmatic than you think.

  14. PS: The Chinese practise demographic dumping. They send a disproportionate number of young men overseas. Most Chinese working in the black market in Europe, the Antipodes, China and North America are men. Most sent to Africa are also men. It is a pressure valve and a means of setting up loyal populations in foreign countries. Any skills they learn can be passed on to China for its further economic development.

    Janus: Birthrates in southern Europe, Ireland and Latin America only dropped to sustainable levels after the power of the Catholic Church was either weakened or broken. The Philippines, which is still in thrall of the Church, is a ticking time bomb. They simply have too many people and they can’t cope. The Church would rather see tens of thousands of children perish and suffer extreme abuse than to drop their opposition to birth control. THere is no other reason save dogma.

  15. Actually, Janus, I had started writing my comment before you responded. Only when I had posted did I see yours. But Boadicea and Cog both lay a disproportionate amount of blame, in my view at least, as I think do you, on the feet of religion. It is very clear from the evidence I have provided, that religion is only one part of it.

    As for the Catholic Church opposing birth control, modern science has placed it in an unenviable dilemma. Changing dogmas is tricky and can lead to huge disruptions and schisms. Bear in mind that Catholicism is a global religion that sees itself as timeless. It cannot just switch and change doctrines according to the fashions and conventions of the day. Witness struggles that the Anglican church is going through with regards to gay marriage.

    When I was a child mass was said in Latin. I, like many others, was and continue to be hugely disappointed that the 2nd Vatican Council led to modernisation and the saying of mass in the vernacular. As strange as it may seem there was something comforting and mystical about the Latin rite. It is certainly one of the reasons for my leaving the church.

    Many would argue, and I think it is difficult to disagree, that it is a small step from the pill to abortion. Still others would argue that there is not a great deal of difference between pre-natal and post-natal abortion. A few weeks and an inch or two of flesh being all that separates the two. I have never understood the argument that abortion is purely about a woman’s right to choose. If she has the right to terminate before birth, then she has the right to terminate after birth, for at least as long as the infant remains dependent on her to feed and care for it. The Catholic Church cannot change its mind on such things as governments do.

    Christopher, try not to patronise too much. My argument has nothing to do with culture, oriental or western. It is all about mathematics which is an exact science. Culture and the arts change all the time. Maths does not. China is going to have a problem.

    Have a look.
    Age structure: 0-14 years: 17.1% (male 126,732,020/female 108,172,771)
    15-24 years: 13.27% (male 97,126,460/female 85,135,228)
    25-54 years: 48.42% (male 339,183,101/female 325,836,319)
    55-64 years: 10.87% (male 75,376,730/female 73,859,424)
    65 years and over: 10.35% (male 67,914,015/female 74,205,210) (2016 est.)

    Now compare India to China, the US and Italy.

  16. Sipu: I was aware of all of that. As I said, China practises demographic dumping to help offset that. China also lacks a strong social state, ensures that necessities remain affordable and fosters a culture of self-reliance. China’s ageing isn’t as dramatic a problem as it seems. The Chinese aren’t prone to violence. They prefer psychological warfare. It’s less bloody and infinitely less costly. As you can see form the numbers above, China has always had a gender imbalance. Only at the top of the pyramid, the elderly, are there more women than men which is par for the course. Most younger Chinese are single children. This makes any bloody conflict more difficult to justify as hundreds of thousands of families would lose their only child killing off any hope of their line continuing. Family means more than country in China.

  17. Sipu, as i said, Just sayin’ – the RC church opposes birth control – not alone, no, but persistently. I did not ascribe disproportionate blame to anyone. I suspect the RC church dropped the Latin mass so that at least some people might understand it – or at least the words!

  18. Actually Sipu, while I do think religion has caused many problems, I defy you to find where I blamed religion for over-population in this blog.

    Actually, I think that, Islam and Orthodox Judaism apart, event the most devout followers of established religions ignore the directive “to go forth and multiply”… as my Great-Grandmother (bn 1867) told us: “Don’t have kids; they makes you poor and they keeps you poor”…

    … and most of her family took her wisdom on board.

    As you rightly say, with the advances in medicine the need, even in the poorest of countries, to have a whole tribe of children to look after you in your old age is no longer necessary. And people in those countries are reacting to that fact – a little late (as your figures for Bangladesh show!) but they are moving towards smaller families.

    I, personally, hold the mob who want ever-more would-be-workers so that they can keep wages down, and ever-more-consumers to buy their products for the ever increasing populations.

    And who are they? The multi-national companies who hoard their money in safe-havens and don’t pay the appropriate taxes in the countries where they take their profits so that those who do work have to pay for those who are unable to find work and, therefore, cannot be consumers…

    But then ‘Capitalism’ has become the New Catholic (Universal) Religion.

    The MN are backed by Western governments… who pay for people to have children – children who will never work and who will find that their best source of income is ….

    to have ever more children… who will be brought up to think that their only source of income is…

    to have ever more children… ad infinitum – until a Government bites the bullet and stops paying … and then watch the riots start.

    The British Government tried, not unreasonably in my view, to stop tax-credits for parents of children after their second child… agreeing to continue paying for those already in the system. The idea sank… yet it was not an unreasonable stance.

    Is what is happening in Western countries any different from what you describe as happening in Africa? I don’t think so. As long as people know that they will be subsidised to ‘breed what they cannot feed’ they will continue to breed and let everyone else pay for their children’s ‘feed’.

  19. Boadicea, “Actually Sipu, while I do think religion has caused many problems, I defy you to find where I blamed religion for over-population in this blog.”

    Not here, but on an earlier occasion.

    “The religious (nutters) want to increase their flock of devotees and claim that their religious ‘freedoms’ entitle them to produce lots of little religious nutters – and no one has ever asked them for the phone number of their particular deity to ask Him / Her for advice on how to feed His / Her ever-growing number of followers”.

    “Is what is happening in Western countries any different from what you describe as happening in Africa? I don’t think so. As long as people know that they will be subsidised to ‘breed what they cannot feed’ they will continue to breed and let everyone else pay for their children’s ‘feed’.”

    The difference is one of scale and demographics. 90% of Anglo Saxons would prefer to work for a living if it enabled them to earn more than the meagrest (is there such a word) of incomes and thereby improve their lot in life. 90% of sub-Saharan Africans would happily settle for free hand-outs that allows them to subsist and procreate without the need to work.

    As I have said before, the population of this country was less than 500,000 in 1890 when the whites arrived. It is now 14 million living in the country and a few million more in the diaspora. The fact that the infrastructure and economy of Zimbabwe had declined since 1980 is indicative that the indigenous people do not create wealth, they feed off it but add nothing to it. That is what Europe and the rest of the world needs to understand.

  20. Sipu, preaching that on to the converted here. Quite obvious from demographics of third world populations.

    Solution? Never give to third world charities, especially to relieve famine. It is imperative that a quantity of their children die before they end up in Brum!
    Never give to wipe out disease, ditto above.
    Encourage civil wars and don’t get involved. (Someone should tell the Yanks!)
    I never give to anything for humans, too damned many of us everywhere.
    Much rather save a forest!
    Charity begins at home- and stays there.

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