A Celtic New Year: lilt or lament?

by Gareth on January 1, 2013

Mr Morrison invites us all to come on home, and have a Celtic new year — which is always a good thing, as I can testify, being a Celt of many generations standing. While I wait for the ham to subside and the cabernet merlot to wash out of the system1, I’ll point you to the thoughts of George Monbiot, who is less than impressed with the old year:

It was the year of living dangerously. In 2012 governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority over an immediate concern, however trivial. I believe there has been no worse year for the natural world in the past half-century.

Nor do the efforts of the British government bring him much cheer:


In the UK in 2012, the vandals were given the keys to the art gallery. Environmental policy is now in the hands of people – such as George Osborne, Owen Paterson, Richard Benyon and Eric Pickles – who have no more feeling for the natural world than the Puritans had for fine art. They are busy defacing the old masters and smashing the ancient sculptures.

There is only one answer, he reckons:

To avoid another terrible year like 2012, we must translate these passive concerns into a mass mobilisation. Groups such as 350.org show how it might be done. If this annus horribilis tells us anything, it is that action, in the absence of such mobilisation, is simply not going to happen. Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change.

A very fair point, and very well made. Meanwhile, others have been looking back at the “year of living dangerously”. Skeptical Science provides a very nice review of the main events in climate science and the denial campaign, a fine counterpoint to the piece posted here last week.

For a laugh, check out Media Matters’ list of the 10 Dumbest Things Fox Said About Climate Change In 2012. The first example should suffice to demonstrate what passes for considered opinion in US newspropaganda circles:

1. Fox Reporter: “The Temperature Basically Hasn’t Changed Much Since The Ice Age.”

Ahem. That would be the ice age when Wisconsin was covered by mile thick ice. Fox might like to take a look now…

Even more amusing is Heartland head honcho Joe Bast’s response2 to an item in last week’s roundup, in which we remembered with some affection the giant-sized PR fail that accompanied their “Unabomber” billboard. It appears Bast is spinning like a top, and as unrepentant as Malcolm Tucker:

The billboard simply pointed out that Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, still believes in global warming, and asked viewers if they do, too. We know why lefties went nuts over it – Kaczynski, after all, is one of their own – but it wasn’t inaccurate or offensive.

Sorry, Joe, it was — and grossly so. Trying to pretend otherwise is pure propaganda — as is the assertion that 2012 was “a breakthrough year”. That would be for definitions of “breakthrough” that encompass the loss of 21 corporate sponsors and $1 million income — the most recent being the withdrawal of support by Pfizer only a few weeks ago.

  1. Tomorrow, of course. []
  2. Also posted at µWatts by Heartland-funded propagandist blogger Anthony Watts. []

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

bill January 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Woah! – Hobart (on the South Island ;-) ) hits a new record by a clear degree – 41.8C – accompanied by major fires (fortunately not apparently too problematic at this stage ) and back here in the interesting squiggly bit in the lower-middle of the North Island we hit our 4th hottest ever day at a clean 45C. Only beaten by Roxby and Moomba!

And the cool change has arrived – right now it’s a balmy 33…

Gareth January 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm

It’s going to be 30C in Waipara tomorrow, and that’s quite enough for me thanks.

bill January 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Yeah, Adelaide in summer – currently looking at 32, 36, 41, 38, 37, 40 – got to be some lottery numbers in there!

My brother’s in NZ at the moment – I’ve just been taunting him about all the great weather he’s missing…

Macro January 5, 2013 at 10:36 am

wow! too hot for me! I’m staying here by the sea. Just have to dodge the tornadoes ;)

noelfuller January 6, 2013 at 10:21 am

Yesterday I looked up the current Hobart area temperatures. Wow! Dunally 59.6°C, the place must be on fire! I looked it up; it was on fire. This morning I heard one of the people rescued from the beach say something like “one minute there was no fire in sight. The next it had passed us. Fire was breaking out all round us…”

When I was 20 I worked a while on a paper machine and had at times to work a few minutes in places where the temperature was 66°C (120°F for americans). A few minutes was more than enough, next we took salt pills. So global temps have risen a mere 0.8°C, about 1.3°C in NZ, South Australia? So hey ho! for a warmer future.

Noel

noelfuller January 6, 2013 at 10:26 am

Oops! My conversion from 120°F was crook – forgot about that 32° you have to take off so 48.8°C, plenty bad enough if I have it right.

Noel

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