The Environment: Social vs Science

A thing I’ve long suspected, but have really only figured out and cemented after having to write some lecture materials on it, is that green chemistry, climatology, sustainability and environmentalism aren’t technological issues or scientific issues – they’re absolutely social issues. I apologise if this seems utterly trivial to people and that I’m a little late to the party – and I did say something similar regarding health issues a while back – but it really does seem like this is 100% social and 0% scientific.GreenChem_green

On one level climate change denial is entirely social – it sure as hell isn’t based on the scientific evidence or a through understanding of climatology. Merely presenting evidence doesn’t change minds, so it cannot be a simple scientific issue. Science can figure it out, science could save us from the ill effects, but it doesn’t convince and it doesn’t convey with relatable rhetoric. Instead of searching for the right evidence for people to believe it, we have to search for the right incentives for people to believe it – and those two things aren’t even in the same ball park when it comes to looking for them. If the climate changes irrevocably, we could survive through technology, that’s certainly true, but… only the ones that can afford the technology will have it, and therefore only the ones who can afford to survive can thrive. That’s a social, not a scientific, issue, and no amount of technological advancement and research will help with that.

We charge 5p for a plastic carrier bag now, even though carrier bags aren’t the biggest use/waste of plastic and aren’t as big a deal as you might think… yet that isn’t really the point. No-one sensible thinks this minor little thing will change the world. If you charge for it, though, it makes people think “maybe I shouldn’t use this material as a disposable commodity… hmmm, perhaps I should re-use an old bag instead”. It makes people think “this thing has a value, I should use it responsibly.. perhaps I could use other things responsibly”. Those are social incentives, independent of any technology – we could implement such a change, and have a real impact, without having to spend a single minute in a lab developing degradable co-polymers or decomposition photocatalysts. If a simple social incentive makes people think more about where it’s come from and where it’s going, and whether it can be reduced, re-used or recycled, then it will do more for the planet than any amount of technological development in biodegradable polymers will.

Decent incentives can make people think, because science can’t do that for them.

Sustainability_greenWe can recycle cow dung into vanilla, recycle water between toilets and sinks, and breed insects for the same amount of protein at a fraction of the environmental cost of cattle – all of which could have staggering benefits for us and the planet. Yet people (well, North America and Europe for the insect thing) may well go “squick” to all of it.

We expend vast amounts of energy to purify and sterilise drinking water and pump it into homes, then use about a quarter of it flushing shit into the sewers – and no one, here in the big, developed, supposedly-civilised first-world seems to think that this is maybe, just maybe, a little bit weird. We can purify waste water to a high standard but people either won’t accept it as drinking water without an emotional buffer in the way.

I can sit through presentations from students returning from work experience in the chemical industry and note that 10% of their efforts are expended in getting a product that works and 90% of their efforts are expended in getting a product that looks and feels like it works. We are quite literally blowing our technological advancement on placating social norms and pandering to conventions. That is absolutely a social issue to be addressed. Can we educate society to accept cloudy washing-up liquid and less-viscous shampoo in exchange for diverting our scientific efforts elsewhere? Can we de-brainwash people about what things should look like providing they still work?

None of these are technological issues. Grey-water toilet systems exist. Half the planet already consumes insects. Flavourings from bio-mass and waste already exist. Bio-derived and biodegradable surfactants already exist. But accepting them as solutions or potential solutions isn’t exactly trivial. They’re new, they’re weird, and sometimes they can be a little yucky. So should we should begin draw the line and say that it’s our responsibility to adapt to the better technology rather than the technology’s responsibility to adapt to our artificial preferences? Or is that solution just too difficult?

Sure, we need the technology to develop better approaches, but without the incentive to use them that’s nothing but a pointless academic exercise.

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Authoritarian-Libertarian?

I’m an on-and-off fan/non-fan of the blog Another Angry Voice (AAV) – it’s broadly okay, I suppose. It tends to have decently thought-out opinions and is at least macroeconomically literate. But there’s a lot that grinds me about it: the insistence on using “mainstream media” to mean “anything that isn’t my blog and disagrees with me”, for instance, smacks of an irritating-as-fuck persecution complex.

For those unaware, AAV tends to summarise key points as these colourful little meme images, one of which is today’s subject. And this one seems to have something extra specially fishy going on.

(oh, for the uninitiated: “workfare” – a portmanteau of “work” and “welfare”, of course – is where someone who is unemployed and receiving unemployment benefits and welfare must work for those benefits. Yes, someone is employed.. but receiving unemployment benefits. They must work for their benefits while they’re out of work. Hopefully the problems with this are immediately and abundantly obvious to you. Anyway…)

The only time you see people try to re-frame arguments by definition – just by changing the nouns used to describe things – is because they’re desperate to grab hold of some extra connotations associated with a word, without actually demonstrating them. Think about a broad example: is it “art” or is it “not art”? A deep-sounding question superficially, but actually just bollocks-ridden pointlessness. It doesn’t matter. A painting remains a painting regardless if you call it “art” or not, and an unmade bed remains an unmade bed through the same token – but if you get to call it “art”, you can grab some freebies associated with “art” regardless of what the “it” actually is. Connotation-freebies like value, the ability to exhibit it, the nodding approval of people and critics, and descriptions of yourself as “talented”. Notice how this change of wording doesn’t actually change anything about the argument at all, the “it” remains the same.

In this case from AAV, is it a left-right issue or an authoritarian-libertarian issue? Doesn’t matter. The issue is what is important. We’ll get onto the connotations that they’re trying to drag across with this re-framing in a moment.

There’s another layer to this re-framing; it’s just an excuse to dig at people for “misunderstanding” something. If you can frame something as a misunderstanding – even if it’s a trivial one – you can sell a position as novel, and therefore valuable. You can grant art value merely by labelling it “art”, you can make knowledge valuable simply by making it hidden and then revealed. There has to be a reason people pay for Scientology, right? So it doesn’t matter if it’s true, if you appear to be myth-busting, your information appears more valuable. It’s how conspiracy theories spread – it really, really, really doesn’t matter if it’s true or untrue, if it’s framed as a counter-narrative the information becomes more unique, and therefore valuable, and people will buy into it (even if not literally buying it).

I’m not saying that anything put like this is wrong automatically – hell, I’m sure I do it all the damn time – but I have to note how near enough everything that comes from AAV is phrased like this: “here is something the mainstream, the Crowd, the Man believes is true.. and now here’s our Revealed Truth for you.” It raises a lot of alarm bells for me when an organisation or a person or blogger or author does this not just on occasion, but as a matter of course.

Anyway…

Pretty much every time you see someone describe something as a libertarian-authoritarian issue, it’s because they’re motivated to make you think libertarianism is awesome and the solution to everything, and that Ayn Rand is a total genius and everyone shouldn’t have to pay taxes. In fact, any time you see someone phrase it as a “[something]ism-authoritarianism” it’s only ever because they want to sell [something]ism to you. Think of the connotations that people want to bring in by using those terms. No-one likes being told what to do, so authoritarian is Bad. Authoritarianism is Bad because Authoritarianism is Bad. So anything diametrically opposed to it must be Good. Because Logic, right?

That’s the power of the connotation, and it’s also a strong argument for not letting people dictate the terms of a debate to you – atheists have to justify their source of absolute morality only because theists and believers have dictated that this is important, pro-choice proponents of abortion need to effectively justify the killing of an unborn child because the “pro-life” side own the terminology, and so on. So I absolutely don’t think that AAV should have the right to unilaterally dictate whether anti-workfare is automatically libertarian – and especially not if it’s only an argument from definition and prefaced by a bit of trickery to make the opinion seem more valuable to people.

But the real strange thing about this specific post is that a libertarian stance would more likely say that workfare is only wrong because the State does it. This usually applies quite literally. Take some of the episodes of Penn & Tell: Bullshit! that are, let’s say, more than a little politically skewed by their politics; often their only argument against something is that the government does it, therefore it’s bad – and if that’s not their sole argument, it’s at least the founding keystone that causes their entire episode to collapse if you remove it. Because in principle, libertarian stances put individual motive above all else, and in practice this usually means companies can and should do what they like without government interference. Even if that ends up being shitty for vulnerable people. If the private sector engaged in the equivalent of workfare (that is; taking the unemployed and systematically abusing their labour with low wages) and did it through a system of wage repression or out-sourcing to make labour uncompetitive, then it would be a Good Thing. The libertarian stance would suggest that this is simply the free market expressing itself and the end result is that companies make money because people were willing to sell their labour so cheaply (the key to this being the context around the word “willing”, there, as you can find plenty of people very willing to work for poverty level wages when the alternative is “starve to death” – hence why the super-free market definitely isn’t a moral place to live in). And if there’s no authority from the State controlling it or preventing it, doubleplusgood!

A more socialist or left-wing stance (yes, this is probably better described as a left-right issue, not that that truly matters) that opposes workfare would be, near enough by its own admission, authoritarian – because it’s still an edict from on high that tells companies they’re not allowed to exploit people, and it would still be telling people that the State knows how best to spend your tax money, i.e., on welfare and benefits, and without conditions that you have to go into indentured servitude in exchange for it. A State-sponsored solution is usually what we mean when we say “socialist” or “left” – authoritarian. The State would declare that there was a minimum wage – authoritarian. The State would declare it to be illegal to employ people for less than an assigned amount – authoritarian.

So if you really, really, really want to phrase the workfare issue as libertarian-authoritarian, we should really side with the authority. Just on the provision that the authority isn’t a complete cunt about it, which is the actual point.

What I’d say to climate change deniers if… fuck it, I AM saying this

You may have read this before, so you know where this is going… I just wanted to say to you by the way of introductory remarks that I’m extremely miffed about this subject, and in my quest to try to make you understand the level of my unhappiness, I’m likely to use an awful lot of – what we would call – violent sexual imagery and I just wanted to check that none of you would be terribly offended by that.

Okay?

Just before we do begin, if you are an actual climate change denialist – you might call yourselves “skeptics” but we both know that term is wholly inappropriate here – then, yeah… don’t bother commenting. Don’t bother. I don’t care. You’re wrong. You are factually incorrect in your opinions, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that, unfortunately. I know your arguments, I know your reasons, and they all fall flat – I know this for reasons that will become apparent shortly. So, don’t waste your breath. Feel persecuted all you like, I don’t care. I literally Do. Not. Care. That’s prior warning: I might just dump you in the spam filter and I will not care.

Okay… now we’re ready.


Dear Climate Change Denialists….

Actually, screw the formalities, you really don’t fucking deserve to be addressed as mature fucking adults…

DEAR FUCKING IDIOTIC FUCKTARDED DANGEROUS LUNATIC FUCKING CUNTSNACKS,

Did that get your fracking attention?

Yeah, I’m talking you, fuckstains, the fucking idiots who think “bah, global warming is bollocks because it’s snowing outside!” – because you’re fucking stupid. Yep, that’s you, you “but what about the medieval warm period?!” intellectual fucking losers – because you don’t even have the first idea of what any of that even means.

Enjoy hiding this fucking decline, shitheads. Because I am really going to mine the depths of indecency coming up with this, but it needs said to you thick-as-fuck, shit-headed, tit-moochers.

You’re stupid. Really stupid. Like… fucking hell, creationists think the world is 6,000 years old and that evolution is fake because giraffes don’t give birth to crocoducks, but by hecking-hellsacks they’re complete utter geniuses compared to you ballsacks-for-brains idiots. Yes, really, fucking creationists are brighter than you. Creationists, fucking creationists, enjoy a closer bond with reality than you knob-handling wank-puffs.

Let’s look at the scale of stupid here, and how dangerous it can be:

creationists photo creationists.jpg

Creationists: believe the world magically poofed into existence more recently than the domestication of the dog, but that hardly causes any harm, does it? Like, sure, the religious fundamentalism that backs it is homophobic as fuck and hates women, but creationism doesn’t exactly kill, right? They’re stupid, and off the fucking charts with how wrong they are, but they’re nothing but a fuck-dumb intellectual curiosity.

Moon Landing Conspiracy Theorists: boy, oh boy, oh boy are these fuckers stupid. I mean, we could go over the cognitive biases they have all damn day, but apart from being loud and stupid, again they’re mostly harmless. They’re mostly a danger to themselves when they try this shit in front of Buzz Aldrin. They’re fucking hilarious. Stupid, and hilarious for it. But harmless.

Homeopaths: the perfect cure for Heavy Wallet Syndrome, definitely, but at least when they cause death and illness it’s limited only to the people they engage with. Homeopathy is a self-contained problem, restricted to the idiots who want to fall for it, and eventually at worst Darwinism will kick in eventually. So, homeopaths stupid, and potentially causing harm in certain circumstances, but self-contained harm.

Mediums: sick fuckers pretend to talk to the dead, but they don’t actually go around putting the dead there in the first place, so whatever. It’s their victims who are the gullible pricks: oh, boo-fucking-hoo for them, they’ve been tricked and swindled and emotionally mangled for money. But still, this is mostly harmless shit. The world won’t end because Psychic Sally is a fraud. People aren’t going to starve in a drought because someone paid tuppence for someone to stare into a ball and talk crap about their dead relatives.

But you… you, climate change fucking denialists, your ass-sitting, ass-pulling, ass-fingering opinions would let the whole fucking world burn just because you’re too fucking busy, too stupid, or too intentionally ignorant to understand the very fucking basics of the science you think isn’t real. And that’s what fucking brings people like me to say shit like this; to belittle, insult, berate and fucking go to town with anger and profanity and shit-knows what else frothing at the front of my brain. We’ve tried reason, we’ve tried evidence… and you don’t fucking care.

It’s the entire fucking world, our future, the planet – everything – that’s at risk and you don’t care. You don’t fucking care. You’re endangering people who aren’t you, who aren’t even born yet – you’re fucking up the future for my fucking kids that don’t even exist yet without their fucking consent, because you’re simply too stupid to grapple with climate science. You’re fucking over everyone. Without their consent. Why not just strap a barbed-wire-wrapped dildo to your fucking tits and actually fuck us, it’s the same thing. That’s why I fucking hate you. That’s why you’re worthy of near-infinite contempt. You’re the half-a-maggot in a fucking apple. You’re the pube in the pudding. You’re the shit-stain on the butt-plug.

You’re fucking scum of the lowest order and the world will be better off without you.

And it’s not like you even have a proper fucking motive to derp around as you do – what’s the worst that could happen if we respond to global warming and it turns out it is a hoax? What? Did we just make the world cleaner, safer, more sustainable, more equal… all for nothing? OH FUCKING YOUR GODS THE SHEER FUCKING HORROR OF THAT!

Nope, you seem to just want to deny it because you can. Literally, apart from using it to self-evidence your stupidity, there’s no other reason I can think of. You have nothing to lose from just rolling with what climatologists and environmentalists say. Nothing. Yet you deny it anyway. You’re fucking us over because you’re stupid and for no real reason at all. Fucking Jesus’ testicles! That’s not just ignorance, that’s fucking hardcore fucking malice!

Okay, so climate science isn’t piss simple. It’s a bit more than “2+2=4”. It takes a bit to get used to modelling, predictions and forecasts, the physics of the atmosphere, the heat capacity of the oceans… It’s okay, you’re allowed to not fully understand it.

But get this, idiot: NOT UNDERSTANDING SOMETHING ISN’T AN ARGUMENT AGAINST IT.

climate-change-peer-reviewed-publications

It really fucking isn’t. You can be ignorant all you like, it says nothing. You can pretend to know what you’re talking about (fucking spoiler alert; YOU FUCKING DON’T) but that doesn’t interfere with the fucking facts, which have been fucking speaking for themselves for years.

Did I fucking make myself a-shitting-bundantly clear, you obnoxious little fuck-weasel? Your own fucking pig-face-fucking-ignorance of science, climate, history, geology, atmospheric chemistry, the dynamics of the hydrosphere… fuck, I could list this shit all day.. your stupidity and wilful fucking blindness when it comes to nearly every relevant branch of science DOES NOT SAY CLIMATE CHANGE DOESN’T HAPPEN. Hell’s bollocks, I don’t fucking understand why the fucking X-Factor is so popular, you don’t see me spaffing my cock all over some shitty comments section about how the X-Factor isn’t real. No, because that would be madness – but when you do it it’s your free-dumb of freeze peach.

You don’t get that privilege. You don’t get the right to espouse an opinion because you didn’t put the fucking effort in.

And, no, reading an article in the fucking Daily Fucking Heil doesn’t count. Or watching some cunt-weasel chomp through the bit on Fox News; that’s also a “fuck off” from me. “Effort” means actually haven’t learned about some real climatology, like, you know, from a real fucking scientist that’s studied it, not some fuck-goon you find convincing because they can drawl shit out of their mouths so loud and thick you can see the air distort around them.

Jesus fucking wept… what in every level of unholy fucking hell makes you shit-tarded absent-minded (that is, absent of any functioning mind whatsoever) freaks-of-fucking-nature think that you’re qualified to make this kind of judgement? You can’t even grapple with the fucking basics. Watching you people even try to grapple with the basics is like watching a two year old bang pans together. “Wah! Wah! LOOK AT ME! AREN’T I SO CUTE WITH THIS!!” – except the pan-banging isn’t going to have a long-lasting effect on the human race.

It’s self-evident each and every time you speak.

How about this: What effect do the thermohaline currents of the North Atlantic have on the heat deficit of the planet?

Answer: YOU DON’T FUCKING KNOW, DO YOU?

You couldn’t even begin to fondle the bollocks of that question. You couldn’t even shoot that question a seductive look across a fucking crowded bar. You couldn’t even be admitted to the fucking bar to even see that question and her tight fucking hoochy pants because the intellectual bouncer would throw you out for wearing trainers. Yeah, that’s a fucking “extended metaphor” for how fucking brainless you are…

Actually, no, sorry: people have actually survived as competent human beings without brains (really, look it up), so what the fuck is your excuse?

Really, what fucking excuse do you have for not even wanting to engage with the basics of this? Did a climatologist finger you up the bumhole when you were five and now you can’t talk about the enhanced greenhouse effect without throwing up all over your keyboard? I mean, I get it, I do – vomiting your guts on a keyboard is literally the only fucking explanation I can think of as to why some of you would write this shit. Surely, fucking human fingers operated by actual functioning neurons couldn’t come up with some of it.

“Eeeeuggggh, the planet hasn’t warmed for 18 years!”

Oh, get fucking bent over a barrel you fuckwit – the warmest years on record have been in the last decade. It correlates with anthropogenic activity. Get the fuck over it already. Your inability to read data is your fucking problem, asshole.

“BBllllleeueueueghggggggggg…” **dumshit-hand-gesture** “…but the medieval warm period! But we’re just warming after the Little Ice Age!”

Do you know what global means? It means “all the fuck over the planet”, not our corner of fucking Europe. Hey, fucking news flash, dipshit: the world isn’t fucking flat, you know. Do you know how long those periods cycle over in contrast to post-industrial warming? Nope, you don’t.

“GGGgrrrrrrr…” **drools-a-little** “…but the sun… and cycles… and the planet does stuff… natural…”

Have a fucking prize you cunt-smush, this isn’t news to climatologists. Do you seriously think your five seconds of looking at stuff on the internet has discovered a truth that has eluded hundreds of thousands of people who have been looking at data for decades? Oh, yeah, you do think that. That’s why I’m fucking here you moronic deformed fucking cock-end.

“Fffffffffrrrrrruuulllllllbb… water vapour…”

It’s the fucking ENHANCED greenhouse effect, dipshit. Do you not even understand that?!?

No, you don’t. You prove it every single time you put fingers to keyboard, open your mouths, turn on your webcams or stand up in front of Congress or Parliament to “herp-a-derp-a-derp-a-herp” your way through your own pathetic ignorance. I wouldn’t give two shits if this wasn’t a serious issue, if there weren’t real ramifications that you were forcing on us. Fuck, I’d treat it as comedy, but it’s not fucking funny.

Hey, another quick question: What’s the difference between low-altitude ozone generation, and high altitude photochemical ozone depletion?

YOU STILL DON’T FUCKING KNOW, DO YOU?

At least not without Dr Fucking Google to guide you to the first denialist website you can find that will intentionally misunderstand it for you. You’ll ask the internet the question, ignore every single site for at least three pages of search results until you find one that goes “flllurrbelllehblleeflahhh!!!!” and choose that explanation to regurgitate like yesterday’s fucking spit. Hell, at least fucking creationists would do their own fucking fundamental basic 101 entry-level misunderstanding themselves, you have to go to fucking “CO2 is Green” or some shit like that to tell you what to think because the words are too god-fucking-damn long for you.

You don’t know the science.

You can’t engage with the science at a basic level.

You can’t fucking bring yourself to get a basic fucking education in the difference between “weather” and “climate”.

And you don’t want to.

denial

And what really fucking pisses me off… the thought that physically keeps me up at night frothing, fuming and fearing for the fucking future… is that you have the exact same number of votes as me.

If some politician comes around to say “hey, we need to deal with this climate change thing!”, and then another comes along and flapples his arms around saying “but how come it’s snowing outside!!” your vote for that fucking idiot would cancel mine out. How is that fucking fair? I know the basics of climate science. I’m not an expert, but because I’m a smart, intelligent, rational person – or, at least, not on your level of unfathomable, arrogant stupidity – I’m happy to defer to the people who know more than me. The fact that I can do that proves that I’m fucking smarter than you, fuckwort.

In a fair and decent world I’d get the say. In a fair and decent world you’d get tossed out on your ass for being too mentally incompetent to make any informed decisions.

But nooooo, cries reality. You have the same fucking number of votes as I do. You apparently get a voice. You get the media exposure you’re not entitled to through hard fucking work. You’re the idiot that can outvote the expert in sufficient numbers. You’re the shit-for-brains, regret-ridden cum-stain on the soiled underwear of the planet that would vote people into power who will happily fuck over the earth for a quick dollar, pound, bitcoin or what-the-fuck-ever like some fucking Captain Fucking Planet villain.

You’ll do that because climate science is hard and you’re too proud of your ignorance to think “hey, maybe I should defer to all the myriad people who dedicated their fucking lives to understanding this stuff for me”. And that isn’t fucking fair. I can’t tell you how to be what you’re an expert in – that is, how to be a fuck-nutted, shit-tarded, wilfully-ignorant imbecile – why do you get to even come close to making decisions on behalf of the world?

You actually pose a danger with your opinions. You can be put in a position where you can cause harm and excess suffering through your ignorance. And that’s a fucking serious problem, that leads me to this:

Just grow old and die of old age already so people like me can get the fuck on with fixing the mess you’re making!

And if you’re a climate change denialist and a creationist, and a faith-healer or medium… please, just skip the growing old part and just speed the process up of your own accord. Really, we don’t have time to fucking mess around and wait for natural causes to remove you from the gene pool and the voter pool.

Anyway…

Let’s get onto some specific tubular bell-ends, because I’m on a fucking roll, here.

Johnny Ball

My own view, for what it’s worth, is that the water content of air has far more impact on temperature than carbon dioxide levels do…Any increase in air temperature produced by raised water vapour levels will be minor and largely self-regulating…

Oh fuck off, Ball, you cock-handle. No your opinion isn’t worth it. Anyone after two minutes of fucking physical chemistry could tell you what the fuck is wrong with your worthless shitting opinion. Haven’t you fucking heard? The atmosphere is already saturated with water vapour. How the hell do I know this? Ever looked outside when the window starts making funny “pip-pip” noises and see water drops hitting it? Yeah, that. It’s called fucking rain you ass-cloud. It rains because the atmosphere can’t take any more water. The water gets the temperature up from “fuck-my-tits-it’s cold” to barbecue weather. Carbon dioxide is on top of that, and the atmosphere can take more since it doesn’t fucking rain CO2, does it?

Sarah F**king Palin

The e-mails reveal that leading climate “experts” deliberately destroyed records, manipulated data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

Sarah Palin – only the forth dumbest living human on the planet behind Ken Ham, Ray Comfort and Andrew Schlafly. None of this is true. Literally fucking none of it. There’s nothing else to say, except that Palin is a lying liar who lies by lying her lies. It is as fucking fictitious as her shitty belief that she can see Russia from her house and that the entire universe magically poofed into existence 6000 years ago. Go fuck yourself instead of fucking your daughter with your shitty and demonstrably useless purity and anti-sex bullshit.

Jim Inhofe

In case we have forgotten, because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, I ask the chair, do you know what this is? It’s a snowball. And it’s just from outside here. So it’s very, very cold out. Very unseasonable.

Like everyone with “(R)” after their name, Jim Inhofe can also go suck on a fucking barbed-wire-wrapped dick and swallow. This cunting cunt-stash couldn’t tell his arse from his elbow if you showed him the difference with a fucking pop-up book. And what really pisses me the fuck off is that in one two minute interview with this cock-sack, he fires off so many half-truths no-truths, logical fallacies, and pebble-dashes the world in so much bullshit, that I could take hours to debunk it. If I set one minute of him talking as an undergraduate assignment with the question “why is this guy full of shit?” they’d clock up enough hours tearing him a new one that they’d be qualified for a fully-credited Masters degree in it. I should do that. We could call it an ‘MBull’.

Joe Barton

Wind is God’s way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it’s hotter to areas where it’s cooler. That’s what wind is. Wouldn’t it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up?

GET IN THE FUCKING SEA! DIE IN A FIRE! FUCK YOURSELF! SUCK YOURSELF! GET IN THE CUNTING-OCEAN AND SET YOUR BALLS ON FIRE WITH A LUMP OF POTASSIUM!

All of you, in fact. Get in the fucking rising sea. Drown. Die. Stop polluting the planet with the shit emitting from your worthless fucking mouths you weasel-brained, fuck-nosed, cockwombling, cunt-hammering, dick-splushing, gobbleshitting, twitchbarfing, pseudo-intellectual, screamo-fucking, planet-raping, brain-dead shits.

It’s not Quote-mining it’s just plain old fashioned Lying

If you look at what Jeremy Corbyn actually said about the death of Osama Bin Laden, you can’t actually piece it together in such a way that it makes him look like he said “the death of Osama Bin Laden was a tragedy” or even words to that effect. The actual phraseology and the words he uses are clear throughout in their meaning and intent.

There was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him, to put him on trial, to go through that process. This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Centre was a tradegy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died. Torture has come back on to the world stage, been canonised virtually into law by Guantanamo and Bagram. Can’t we learn some lessons over this?

There’s no trimming you can do to the beginning or end, nor any long ellipsis you can add in the middle that makes him say it. At least not without resorting to CassetteBoy-like remixing at the word/syllable level, crossing out “yet another” and “tragedy upon tragedy…” and cutting out “assassination attempt” or perhaps add in some creative square-bracketed substitutions.

This[The death of Osama Bin Laden] was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy.

At which point it looks less like you’re playfully misquoting and more like you’ve enabled Track Changes and re-written the thing from scratch. There is absolutely no point where a coherent stream of words forms a sentence that resembles this claim.

cameron

So, in short, when David Cameron says “the leader of the Labour Party thinks the death of Osama Bin Laden was a tragedy” – with the additional, explicit accusations of Corbyn as a terrorist sympathiser – he isn’t misquoting, or quote-mining what Corbyn said.

Quote-mining is when creationists quote Charles Darwin on the evolution of the eye and stop after the first sentence. Quote-mining is when climate change denialists looked through the CRU email leak and jumped on the words “hide the decline”. Quote-mining is when we take what Cameron said and strip the “the leader of the Labour Party thinks” from it to make him literally say those words because people are blind to irony.

irony_blindness

Saying Jeremy Corbyn “thinks the death of Osama Bin Laden is a tragedy”, implying the old Obi-Wan lookalike hates the West, is not quote-mining at all. There’s no out-of-context bullshit here. Cameron is actually making something up out of thin air; something that isn’t true.

He knows that it isn’t true. His special advisers and PR gurus and spin-doctors know that it isn’t true.

The Prime Minister has demonstrably lied to our faces. He has done so intentionally. The sycophants he surrounds himself with and the dribbling idiots who vote for his party will, sadly, believe it and suck it all up. But it’s still a lie. It’s not an out-of-context fallacy or a quote mine, it’s good old fashioned lying.

And apparently we’re not allowed to be angry about this.

There’s no cure for being a Cunt…

Recently I spotted a great joke belittling and insulting a local political figure – I don’t want to give too many details away because it might be libellous and help identify the poster of the quote below, so let’s call this political figure “Beremy Cunt”. Now it’s capitalised it becomes a proper noun and therefore Not Offensive (*thumbs up and wide-eyed cheesy smile*). And we’ll call the Facebook page that posted it Dr… Grant. Yeah, let’s go with that one.

Dr Grant very regularly publishes content from professionals in Mr Cunt’s area that will be adversely affected by Cunt’s policies. These are people who know what they’re talking about, and are on the very forefront of the destructive shafting that will come from on high if Cunt is left unopposed. The vast majority of the posts from Dr Grant are on point, crossing foul-mouthed wit with well-argued points – people after my own heart, clearly.

In this case, however, they had posted a very insulting joke, and it generated the following comment. It’s not typical of the responses it generated, but it does represent an argument I’ve seen many times before.

While I’ve kept this completely anonymous (oh-so-ingeniously!) for reasons of tact, I’ll keep the quote verbatim rather than paraphrased:

As always, the supposed opposition reduce comments to the lowest level of insult. Clearly incapable of putting thoughts together. A sad reflection of modern politics; they just rant rant rant!

Yeah…

So, if you ignore all the articles they write in newspapers, the blog posts on personal websites, the tweets, the think-tank publications and analysis, the open letters and protest from the professionals-associated-with-Mr-Cunt’s-area-of-government, or basically anything that has been done to demonstrate exactly how bad the Cunt’s policies are… then yes, that’s exactly what those who oppose the government do and nothing else. The Opposition – we on the hideously pathetic left – do nothing more than rant rant rant and whine whine whine about our self-entitled selves without ever presenting an argument, ever. “Wah wah wah, insult, insult, insult!” cries the likes of Dr Grant at every opportunity not-counting-the-actual-serious-comments-and-posts-that-make-up-90%-of-the-content-because-ignore-them-they-don’t-fit-my-bullshit-narrative.

After all, if you ignore all of modern biology and thousands of papers written over the course of 150 years of scientific research, the only evidence for evolution is Facebook memes, and evilutionists have to fall back to crass insults to make their point, obviously.

This entire non-argument – “oh, you can’t really refute stuff so you resort to jokes!!” – pisses me the fuck off. Because I’ve never seen it said where it’s actually true. Not ever. It’s just uttered because it’s easy.

When people get their serious calls rejected and thrown back at them, then yes, they are going to vent at the lowest form of insult. Let’s imagine that a quarter of a million people signed a petition for Mr Cunt to be given a vote of no-confidence, and are promptly ignored and fobbed off with just re-stating Cunt’s position again without ever addressing the content of the petition… imagine that scenario. Imagine taking the time to lay out your position thoroughly, find hundreds of thousands of people agree, and earnestly deliver it as “I am very concerned about these events that affect me, please take them seriously” only to me met with a response of “meh” crossed with “let me slap you in the face with my semi-erect penis”.

Let’s imagine that is only the start of how much your serious calls, earnest arguments, and genuine complaints get thoroughly ignored at every level.

Imagine it.

I think in such a case people are very much allowed to get a little obnoxious. In fact, they have a right to get downright odiously pissy, uppity, obnoxiously, insulting, raging, angry, frothing, hissing, fitting, fucking, grrraaabbabaaabbrrrragggrrrrrraaaggghh.

It’s understandable to say the least.

Whether you find it tasteful or not, that’s simply what will happen when – by virtue of actively ignoring their actual arguments – you treat people with utter contempt for long enough. A mere crass insult is nothing compared to the contempt given to people when you take their serious complaints and shit on them so thoroughly. If you want to ignore 99% of the content, 99% of what people actually say, and go after the 1% of stuff that Morton’s Demon selectively lets through to your pitiful little brain, you’re a fucking idiot, and you certainly deserve all the belittling insults and rants you receive.

Don’t pretend that nothing except the belittling insults exist. Don’t be such a fucking Beremy about it.

So, to quote Dr Johnson, “Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding, now fuck off and die in a fire already.”

Okay, so maybe Johnson didn’t say that last part, but that was surely the sentiment.

Yeah, totally.

Constitutional Amendments Explained

Apparently, constitutional law is difficult to grasp – particularly with all those changes and amendments made to it over the last few hundred years. What does it all mean? What are you allowed and not allowed to do in America? So for others around the world all equally confused as to what it all means, I did some digging and decided to sum up for you. Here are the the quick fixes to the US Constitution in order:

  1. Right to be an absolute douche to everyone for no reason at all protected
  2. Right to be a paranoid idiot and murder people protected
  3. The government aren’t allowed to force people to shelter soldiers in peacetime, because of course it’s still 1782 out there and this is important
  4. Forces the police and judges to find new loopholes when arresting black people on drugs charges
  5. More legal stuff for the police to ignore
  6. As above
  7. Ditto, man these are just boring
  8. Stops cruel and unusual punishment, unless they’re black and you’re in the South, in which case do what you like to them
  9. Mainly there to confuse Fox News viewers with long words like “unenumerated”
  10. Sets out the Federal Government, giving libertarians something to whine about
  11. Holy crap, even Europeans, who live in the most bonkers “state-within-a-state-within-a-state” system don’t know why this is here
  12. Sets out how to elect the President, which can be ignored if you complain enough to a judge, apparently
  13. Renamed slavery to change it into the modern prison-industrial complex
  14. Provides equal protection to all wealthy, straight, white men, regardless of their status providing that they are wealthy, straight, white men
  15. Forces people to find cheeky loopholes to stop black people and liberals voting
  16. Provides yet more things for libertarians to bitch about
  17. Sets out the prerequisite popularity contest for people who make decisions on your behalf
  18. Makes alcohol way more dangerous
  19. Says the only way to stop your bitches from voting is to physically restrain them in the basement
  20. Changes the…. snore
  21. Well, no.18 was a fucking awful idea
  22. Wow, we’ve actually found a competent President… best not let him stay too long
  23. DC gets added to the Electoral College long after that system went way out of date
  24. No, really, guys… everyone should be allowed to vote, it’s called democracy, what’s so fucking hard about this?!
  25. Finally addresses stuff in 1965 that should have been fixed in 1865
  26. Voting, really… we should be allowed to vote. Why has this taken half a dozen amendments to set out?! Screw this, I’m going to commiserate 21st Amendment style…
  27. Stops representatives from voting for their own pay increases… yep, this literally didn’t get codified until the 1990s

Hope this helps!