‘Bees In Peril’ Is Just Another Green Lie

But this is not something you ever hear about it in the media, obsessed as it is with the doom narrative fed to them by green activist bodies like Friends of the Earth.

That’s why I heartily recommend the excellent speech that Matt Ridley has just given in the House of Lords:

Globally, there have never been more hives of honey bees; there are about 90 million in the world compared with about 60 million 50 years ago. In Europe and the UK, too, we are near to a record number of hives. There are of course continuing problems with Varroa mites, as the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, said, and Nosema and other pests, but there is no evidence of a decline in honey bees. It is true that there was colony collapse disorder 12 years ago, mostly in the United States, but it was a brief episode and is now reckoned to have been something to do with diseases or pests, not farming.

Presumably, that is why the opponents of neonicotinoids stopped talking about honey bees a few years ago and started talking more about wild bees. But where is the evidence that any decline in wild bees is recent or related to pesticides rather than to land management and habitat change? One recent study found that wild bees declined significantly before 1990 because of agricultural intensification but that the decline has since ceased or possibly reversed.

and

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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The Prince of Wales’s Ladybird book on Climate Change Is Not a Spoof, Unfortunately

When I first read the headline on Twitter I thought this sounded like a perfectly splendid and hilarious idea – albeit a slightly cruel joke at the hapless Prince’s expense.

ladybirdLadybird has been doing a lot of ironic, spoof texts for adults, recently, with comical titles like The Ladybird Book of the Hangover; Five Go On A Strategy Away Day; The Midlife Crisis; the Ladybird book of the Zombie Apocalypse; and The Hipster.

A book on Climate Change by a pampered, deluded prince who has a valet to squeeze his toothpaste onto his toothbrush, drives a bio-fuel-powered Aston Martin and who predicted more than a 100 months ago that we had just 100 months left to save the world from ManBearPig sounded to me like a perfect fit for the series.

Perhaps I ought first to explain for the benefit of non-British readers what a Ladybird book is and why it occupies such an important place in our national psyche. Essentially it’s our literary equivalent of Sesame Street: Ladybird books taught many of us to read.

I myself learned to read using the Peter and Jane Ladybird series. Peter and Jane were the products of a wholesome pre-feminism-style nuclear family: Mum did the housework and shopping; Dad went out to work and even possibly smoked a pipe and had his supper waiting for him when he got home. They had a dog called Pat. See the dog. The dog likes the bone. Pat likes the bone. Pat is the dog. Something like that.

After Peter and Jane you would graduate to the more generalist Ladybird easy-reading  books, with titles like The Soldier (part of the People at Work series), The Elves and the Shoemaker (Well-loved Tales series), The Story of Railways (a Ladybird ‘Achievements’ book), Warwick the Kingmaker (from the Adventure from History series) and so on.

Anyone in Britain aged from about 35 upwards remembers these classics very fondly and was very sad when the series more or less petered out in the Nineties and Noughties.

But then came the Ironic Revival.

It started with We Go To The Gallery – a series of illustrations by painter Miriam Elia in which Peter and Jane try to make sense of modern art. This ended in disaster for Elia who was brutally squished by the publisher’s copyright lawyers.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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Why Isn’t Lord Lawson Dead Yet?

The Motive Fallacy

Lord Lawson: not dead, despite the wishes of internet trolls

Lord Lawson: not dead, despite the fond wishes of internet trolls

This isn’t me asking, you understand. I’m merely repeating a question someone posted on the internet after Lord Lawson had the temerity to appear on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme speaking out in defence of shale gas in a debate with Friends of the Earth’s Tony Juniper. (H/T Bishop Hill)

Did anyone on Lawson’s side of the debate post similar messages earnestly hoping that Juniper choked on his organic tofu? Or demanding that Friends Of The Earth have its charity status withdrawn because it’s quite clearly a viciously misanthropic, anti-capitalist political organisation funded by deep-green ecoloons who given half the chance would have us all living in Maoist peasant collectives while they busily bombed our economy back to the dark ages? I doubt it somehow. Climate realists tend to be far too busy being nice and reasonable and balanced – as Lord Lawson always takes pains to do – to adopt the Alinsky-ite smear tactics adopted by their opponents.

I’m sure Lord Lawson can take consolation from the words of his old boss Margaret Thatcher: “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

Never were these words truer than in the case of the climate change debate. The alarmists simply haven’t got a leg to stand on, so the best they can do to shore up the ruins of their collapsing cause is to engage in ad homs, appeals to authority and utterly dishonest campaigns like the current Guardian-encouraged witch-hunt to try to force the Global Warming Policy Foundation to reveal its sources of funding.

Why is the campaign so utterly dishonest? First, it succumbs to what Jamie Whyte calls the Motive Fallacy: the demonstrably false notion that if you have an interest (financial or otherwise) in holding an opinion it must perforce be untrue. Whyte gives one example: “A man may stand to gain a great deal of peace and quiet from telling his wife that he loves her. But he may really love her nonetheless.”

But even better answer comes from this brilliant analysis by Ben Pile at Spiked Online!, who notes the outrageous hypocrisy of the greenies’ harassing of the GWPF when its funding – relative to the amount spent on green propaganda – is so minuscule.

Even the £500,000 that the GWPF received from donors in its first year of operations fades into insignificance when put in perspective.

For example, it would take the combined resources of 25 GWPFs to produce an equivalent of the UK government’s extraordinarily patronising Act on CO2 campaign. The Committee on Climate Change spends more than eight times that much each year on its own operations. In 2010, the quasi-independent Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust received government grants worth £156million and £70million respectively. That’s a total of 452 times as much public money as the GWPF took from donors. The billionaire Jeremy Grantham – who has around $1.5 billion worth of stock in oil companies – is the benefactor of the influential Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change, headed by Lord Nicholas Stern, who wrote The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. NGOs such as Friends of the Earth and WWF enjoy gifts of millions of pounds from the UK and EU governments. And the EU funds associations of renewable energy companies to lobby politicians to the tune of millions of euros per year.

It would be an astronomical understatement to say that the environmental activists banging on about the GWPF lack a sense of proportion and have incredible double standards. The GWPF’s resources are far less than even a thousandth of what is available to the government for research and PR – through its departments, the quangos and NGOs that are recruited into its green agenda, and firms and other associations that will profit by it. And yet this tiny operation has seemingly achieved such reach, to punch far above its weight, against the collective force of all the above.

But perhaps the best reason of all why the GWPF should never have to name its donors is this one, as advanced by Bishop Hill on Twitter:

Greenpeace spokesman: ” We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.”. Why would GWPF donors want their names public?

Why indeed.

Related posts:

  1. How the British Establishment is conspiring to prop up the AGW myth
  2. What Lord Tebbit says: a bit more right-wingness will do Cameron no harm at all
  3. Freedom of speech is dead in Australia
  4. Opiate for the masses

One thought on “Why isn’t Lord Lawson dead yet?”

  1. Anonymous says:6th February 2012 at 3:39 amLike WWF, FoE is part-funded by the European Commission – which explains a lot

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