Academic Says Saving the Planet May Require the End of Property Rights

AP Photo
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Only the abolition of property rights can save us now from the horrors of ‘climate change’, argues an Australian academic.

Dr. Louise Crabtree, a researcher at the University of Western Sydney, makes her claim in a piece for the leftist academics’ favorite online watering hole, the Conversationtitled“Can Property Survive the Great Climate Transition?”

Her question is, of course, purely rhetorical. No, apparently, it can’t:

If our cities are to become more resilient and sustainable, our systems of property need to come along for the ride.

and

We might also need to start thinking about our claims not being static but dependent on the web of relationships we are entwined in, including with non-humans. Some say that First Peoples might have a grasp of property dynamics that is more suited to the times we are entering.

So, making cities green might be the easy part. It remains to be seen whether property law and property systems are up to the task of transition.

This might sound like obscure, pseudo-academic, sub-Marxist gobbledegook. As indeed it is.

It would be nice to console ourselves that this dangerous thesis was written by a left-wing research student of no account.

Unfortunately, as Eric Worrall points out at Watts Up With That? there are people who take this woman’s lunatic redistributionary jottings seriously.

Her bio may raise the question—are we actually paying for this?:

Louise was awarded her PhD in Human Geography from Macquarie University in 2007 and has been with Western Sydney University since 2007. Her research focuses on the social, ecological and economic sustainability of community-driven housing developments in Australia; on the uptake of housing innovation in practice and policy; on complex adaptive systems theory in urban contexts; and, on the interfaces between sustainability, property rights, institutional design and democracy. Her recent and ongoing projects focus on two practical areas funded by a series of competitive research grants—community land trusts and participatory mapping methodologies. Both are being used to simultaneously foster social innovation and equity outcomes on the ground, and explore and build theory on multi-stakeholder governance, decolonisation, property law, resilience and citizenship.

But the scary part is the last bit:

Read the rest at Breitbart.

World’s Smartest Dog Peer-Reviews Science Papers

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
AP/Alastair Grant

Meet Dr Olivia Doll, the world’s smartest dog. Dr Doll is the formal professional name of Ollie, a Staffordshire terrier, who sits on the board of seven international medical journals and was recently asked to review a paper on the management of tumors.

According to Perth Now:

Her impressive curriculum vitae lists her current role as senior lecturer at the Subiaco College of Veterinary Science and past associate of the Shenton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies — which is code for her earlier life in the dog refuge.

Ollie’s owner, veteran public health expert Mike Daube, decided to test how carefully some journals scrutinised their editorial reviewers, by inventing Dr Doll and making up her credentials.

The five-year-old pooch has managed to dupe a range of publications specialising in drug abuse, psychiatry and respiratory medicine into appointing her to their editorial boards.

Dr Doll has even been fast-tracked to the position of associate editor of the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine.

Several journals have published on their websites a supplied photo of Dr Doll, which is actually of a bespectacled Kylie Minogue.

Professor Daube said none of them smelt a rat, despite Dr Doll’s listed research interests in “the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines” and “the role of domestic canines in promoting optimal mental health in ageing males”.

But just like the “penises cause climate change” hoaxers, Professor Daube is using humor to make a serious point about the reliability of research in academe.

The Canadian investigative journalist Donna Laframboise concluded something similar in a report last year for the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

“A journal’s decision to publish a paper provides no assurance that its conclusions are sound . . . Fraudulent research makes it past gatekeepers at even the most prestigious journals. While science is supposed to be self-correcting, the process by which this occurs is haphazard and byzantine.”

Laframboise was especially damning about the way “peer review” has been used to flatter dubious research in the field of climate ‘science’.

This has been a well-publicized problem with climate science ever since the Climategate emails leak showed the scientists at the heart of the global warming ‘consensus’ engaging in all manner of skullduggery in order to prop up their debased cod-scientific theory.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Do Penises Cause Climate Change? Discuss

The academic hoax that shows how generations of kids are paying good money to study pure, unmitigated, mind-warping drivel.

‘Why not think about Gender Studies?’ asked an advertorial aimed at prospective students in the newspaper I was reading. Actually, I can think of lots of reasons, starting with: what kind of employer in his right mind (or her right mind, come to that) would be insane enough to take on a graduate with an intellectually worthless degree indicative of shrill resentment, bolshiness, blue hair, lax personal hygiene and weaponised entitlement?

But two US academics, Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay, recently came up with an even better one. They managed to get published in a social sciences journal a paper arguing that the penis is not in fact a male reproductive organ but merely a social construct and that, furthermore, penises are responsible for causing climate change.

It ought to go without saying that their paper, ‘The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct’, was a spoof. Yet it was peer-reviewed by two supposed experts in gender studies, one of whom praised the way it captured ‘the issue of hypermasculinity through a multidimensional and nonlinear process’, and the other of whom marked it ‘outstanding’ in every applicable category.

Their model was the Sokal Hoax of 1996, when New York University physics professor Alan Sokal persuaded an academic journal to accept a similarly meaningless paper titled ‘Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity’. His aim was partly to mock the incoherence of post-modernist social science, and partly to demonstrate that humanities journals will publish anything so long as it is couched in the language of ‘proper leftist thought’.

Like Sokal’s, the latest hoax was careful to observe all the fashionable left-wing pieties. ‘We suspected that gender studies is crippled academically by an overriding, almost religious belief that maleness is the root of all evil,’ the authors later observed. So they included lots of derogatory language about men and male vices such as ‘manspreading’ — a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, which they described as ‘akin to raping the empty space around him’. This is funny, obviously, but it’s also a bit worrying for a number of reasons. One is what it tells us about the reliability of ‘peer review’, so often claimed in academe as the gold standard which independently validates research. But as Matt Ridley recently noted, all it really is is a way for ‘academics to defend their pet ideas and reward their chums’. He cited a report by Donna Laframboise, a Canadian investigative journalist, which concluded: ‘Fraudulent research makes it past gatekeepers at even the most prestigious journals.’ She was talking not only about social sciences but about the harder ones, such as medicine, where accuracy can be a matter of life or death. She quoted a US National Institutes of Health official’s claim that ‘researchers would find it hard to reproduce at least three-quarters’ of published medical findings.

There are similar problems with her particular area of interest, global warming. A scare industry worth an annual $1.5 trillion has been built on the notion that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for unprecedented and catastrophic changes to the world’s climate. Yet the scientists promoting this hypothesis are a fairly small, closed shop who validate one another’s work in a process which has been nicknamed ‘pal review’ and whose response to criticism from dissidents is to bully them, smear them and have them denied access to mainstream science journals.

Read the rest at the Spectator.

Stalin Wasn’t All Bad (Explain British Schoolteachers)

Stalin
AP

Stalin wasn’t all bad, you know.

Sure he was a murderous thug responsible for around 50 million deaths, while reducing the rest of the population to a state of misery, poverty, and near-permanent terror. Sure his collective farming policy turned breadbaskets into famine-starved hellholes where cannibalism was rife and his Five Year Plans destroyed what was left of the Russian economy after Lenin.

But let’s not forget the upsides: he “ended the exploitation of peasants by greedy landlords and to rid of the greedy and troublesome kulaks”‘ and he “helped peasants work together”.

This, amazingly, is what children are being taught in British schools. The quotations come from the GCP GCSE Modern World History revision guide and indicate the kind of answers kids are expected to give in their history exams when talking about Stalin’s collectivisation of farms.

Apparently, this is part of a method where they are expected to discuss the Pros and Cons of each issue.

I learned this from an article in The Daily Telegraph by James Bartholomew, the financial journalist and author, who happens to be the guest on my Delingpole podcast this week.

Like me, Bartholomew is an ardent believer in a minimal state. That is, he thinks that whenever government tries to make things better it almost invariably makes things worse – and that the state is, therefore, best cut out of the equation as often as humanly possible.

That history is teaching lunacy is a fairly typical consequence of excess government. In a free education market, where anyone could set up a school, it’s somewhat unlikely that the history curriculum would allow the promulgation of such outrageous left wing propaganda.

Stalin was loathsome – directly responsible for more deaths even than Hitler. Yet schools that – as Bartholomew notes – would never dream of asking kids to talk about the Pros of the Holocaust somehow feel it’s OK to look for some of the positives in this sadistic Communist tyrant. Why?

Partly because in Britain – as in the U.S., where Betsy DeVos has arrived as Education Secretary not a moment too soon – schools have been skewed by the values of the public sector which, like those of public sectors everywhere, are unerringly left wing.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

U.S. College Professors Tell Students: ‘Climate Skeptics Verboten!’

According to an email provided to Kate Hardiman of The College Fix by a student on the course:

The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course.

Opening up a debate that 98% of climate scientists unequivocally agree to be a non-debate would detract from the central concerns of environment and health addressed in this course.

… If you believe this premise to be an issue for you, we respectfully ask that you do not take this course, as there are options within the Humanities program for face to face this semester and online next.

Nor, reports Hardiman, does the alarmist zealotry end there…

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Oxford University Special Snowflakes: These Essays Are Killing Us

Cat Jones, of the Oxford University Student Union, told the Times Higher Education (THE) that some students work in excess of 50 or 60 hours a week, with some being set “three essays in one week”.

“At those levels, that’s clearly at the detriment of rigour, welfare and pedagogy,” she told the THE. “At that point, you are very much an essay machine; you are meeting deadlines rather than having time to learn and to reflect on what you are meant to be learning.”

Well I was at Oxford (did I mention this, ever?) and there were definitely periods when we had to write at least two essays a week on the English Literature course, especially in the first year when we were also learning Anglo-Saxon.

Also the stuff we had to read wasn’t Maya Angelou, or The Further Adventures of My Little Pony or My Brother, Myself by Phil Andros, like the English literature undergrads at Yale want to study in preference to Milton and Wordsworth who are too male, white and straight. It was often old and written in archaic language: Gawain and the Green Knight; the Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia; The Faerie Queene [which is, like, Elizabethan for The Fairy Queen] etc.

This, I recall, interfered quite massively with our drinking, partying, rowing and other distractions. Why, it was almost like the old dudes – the dons, the fellows, the professors etc – actually thought we’d come to Oxford (currently ranked number one for English Literature in the world – just thought I’d drop that one in) to study and expand our intellects.

Anyway, here’s the thing. When occasionally we found ourselves exposed to undergraduates from lesser institutions – my mates Tom, Gary and co down the road at Bristol, say – one thing struck us Oxonian visitors quite forcibly. Even though the Bristolians seemed burdened by a culture of tedious, American-style presenteeism – that is, like schoolkids, they were expected to go to lots and lots of lectures – they were generally given far, far fewer essays to write. Closer to one a fortnight than two a week.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Yale Students: Shakespeare Is Better Than Maya Angelou, Honestly

Students at Yale University have petitioned their English Department for a change of curriculum. They want fewer “white male authors” and more contributions by “women, people of color and queer folk”.

Does anyone want to hazard a guess as to why I’ve linked these two stories?

Yes, that’s right. It’s because I am sexist, racist, homophobic pig.

Also because I am a shameless elitist.

I actually believe that whether you’re talking international sport or you’re talking about literature then it is quality – not how many gender or diversity boxes it ticks – that should be the criterion that counts.

What this means, in practice, is acknowledging that Shakespeare is better than Maya Angelou, English literature is better than Nigerian literature, Pride and Prejudice is better than Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Paradise Lost by straight dead white male John Milton is better than anything by lesbian Poet Laureate Carole Ann Duffy (or indeed, probably, by any other lesbian poet in history, ever, including Sappho) and that all women’s sport (apart from showjumping, the only one where girls can compete with boys on equal terms; and possibly women’s beach volleyball) is basically a waste of space.

This doesn’t mean, as far as sport goes, that women should be discouraged from playing it. On the contrary, anything that gets women out of the designer shoe and hand bag emporia, away from internet victims’ groups and onto the playing fields where they can work off the rage, bitterness and insecurity which would otherwise be vented against men has got to be a good thing.

Plus, if any of our daughters were to become a top international sporting champion (which by the sounds of it is pretty easy, if you choose something like football: you just need to shift a spherical object vaguely in the right direction with your foot, taking care to avoid any 15-year old boys) then obviously it would be fantastic news because they’d probably make enough to pay for their own weddings instead of asking their impoverished, long-suffering parents to stump up.

That apart, though, there really isn’t much to be said for women’s sport. As a hobby, yes. But not as a thing to be taken seriously at an international level. Not even tennis where, frankly, they grunt very unattractively, the rallies go on for way too long, and the hottest looking ones almost never make it to the highest levels.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

The Ugly True Story of #rhodesmustfall: Oxford University’s Answer to #blacklivesmatter

Who will join my campaign #Rhodesmustrise?

The idea is to build in the middle of Africa a gigantic golden statue of the mighty British imperial hero Cecil Rhodes – a really big one, about four miles high, so that Kilimanjaro doesn’t get in the way – to remind all the locals for miles around what a complete and utter toilet their malarial, tsetse flyblown continent would have been if it hadn’t been for all the 19th century explorers, miners and pioneers and nation builders and District Commissioners in their white pith helmets who brought them civilisation, the rule of law and economic progress.

Some readers, I know, will be squeamish about the ethics of such a campaign.

“But won’t all that gold be very expensive?” they’ll want to know.

“And mightn’t such a statue be offensive in the way it privileges Cecil Rhodes? What about all the other great figures from African history who have done so much to enrich the world? Towering figures such as the explorer David Livingstone, the military hero Gordon of Khartoum, the orientalist Richard Burton, the explorer John Hanning Speke, and that amazing rugger player Francois Pienaar who was played in the movie by Matt Damon?”

Well I can answer the first question at least and the solution is very simple: all we need to do is get the Africans to give us back the $1 trillion in aid money we in the West have given them over the last 50 years.

This debt repayment scheme – I call it #AidJustice4Whitey – will serve at least two very important purposes.

1. We’ll be able to buy enough gold to build the Cecil Rhodes statue. (Probably. I haven’t done the maths)

2. It will teach an invaluable lesson to chippy, ungrateful, hoity-toity Africans like the students at Oxford University currently leading the #rhodesmustfall campaign for the removal from Oriel College of a statue of one of its benefactors Cecil Rhodes.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Brainwashing of Our Children: Britain’s schools Are Force-Feeding Pupils Politically Correct Dogma about Sexuality, Climate Change and British History

The result will be a nation LESS tolerant than before.

‘When I get married — whether it’s to a man or a woman…’ my 11-year-old niece told her grandpa the other day. But I don’t think she thinks she’s a budding lesbian (would she even know at that age?).

It’s just the way she has been taught to think at her impeccably right-on school in the People’s Republic of Brighton.

It reminded me queasily of another niece’s experiences — this time at an overwhelmingly white, Christian state school in Worcester. Her dad had wanted to know why when she said ‘Mohammed’, she automatically added the phrase ‘Peace Be Upon Him’.

‘Oh, it’s what we’re taught we have to say in RE,’ my niece replied.

Did the schools ever consult us on whether we wanted our children’s heads to be filled with such politically correct bilge?

After 25 years’ ongoing exposure to this nonsense, I suppose I should be used to it by now. My elder son’s headmaster explaining to me airily how it just wasn’t the modern way to punish children for not doing their homework; my daughter coming home with the news that her primary teacher had advised her to ‘go veggie’ for a week; my younger boy being co-opted into some grisly global sustainability club, so that his school could win more eco-star ratings from an EU-sponsored green scheme.

Such indoctrination never fails to irritate. More than that, though, I am genuinely terrified about the kind of havoc these brainwashed mini-revolutionaries may wreak in the future.

Read the rest at the Daily Mail.

Treating Islam with Special Reverence Is Cultural Suicide and Just Plain Wrong

My brilliant niece Freya was talking to my brother the other day about the religious education curriculum at her predominately white, middle-class state school in a pretty English cathedral city. She happened to mention ‘Mohammed, Peace Be Upon Him.’ ‘Eh?’ said my brother. ‘It’s what we’re taught at school. After we mention “Mohammed” we have to say “Peace be upon him”.’

Now I know what you’re thinking: that Freya must surely have got the wrong end of the stick. ‘If this were a madrassa in Bradford, well maybe,’ you’ll be thinking. ‘But at a white, middle-class state school in a pretty English cathedral city? No way. Things aren’t that bad. At least not yet, anyway…’

But Freya is not stupid. That’s why, at the beginning, I referred to her as my ‘brilliant’ niece as opposed to my ‘incredibly thick’ one. Apparently, she assures me, they’ve been taught to use the ‘peace be upon him’ formula since Year 7 and though they’re allowed to shorten it to PBUH, they’re definitely not supposed to call him just Mohammed. ‘There’s sometimes the odd snigger when the phrase comes up but we’ve been conditioned pretty much to accept it as normal,’ says Freya. ‘It’s a bit weird, given that there’s only two Muslim kids in my year of 100.’

I find this scary for at least two reasons. The first is what it says about the death of our national identity. When Freya’s father and I were at school, we had to go to ‘chapel’ once a day, and twice on Sundays. In our scripture classes we were taught all the key bible stories, even to the point of having to learn the names of all the apostles. It didn’t turn us into religious freaks — anything but. What it did instil in us, however, was a sense of history and tradition. Like generations before us we were members of the Anglican Church, familiar with the same tales, the same liturgy, the same hymns and psalms, the same rituals, the same boredom.

Before the 1980s, I suspect, this was the experience of most British children, regardless of their race or religious background. It wasn’t a question of forcing Christianity down anyone’s throat — merely an accepted part of the fabric of British life. You went to church (at least occasionally — Christmas at any rate) in the same way you watched Top of the Pops and Morecambe and Wise, or you had roast beef and Yorkshire pud for Sunday lunch. It just was what you did.

Not any more. Sure, the old religion is still covered in RE classes, but at state schools like Freya’s only as an equally valid and certainly by no means preferable alternative to Judaism, Sikhism, Islam and the rest. ‘Jesus was the son of God! Do you agree?’ asks a sample Key Stage 3 question from Freya’s school website. Well, what a bloody stupid question to ask an 11-year-old. How are they possibly going to be intellectually equipped to produce any kind of meaningful answer?

(to read more, click here)

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