We’ve trashed the earth, so let’s go party…

Put a little funk in your day with Scottish jazz musician Phil Bancroft‘s message from the future — a “pre-apocalyptic ironic dance number” entitled Too Late Now, So Party On. Phil says it’s a video “response” to the 10:10 red button video, but I think it’s a fantastic film with amazing production values and possibly the best tinfoil spaceship I’ve ever seen. The song’s first line says it all:

We’ve done it, we’ve trashed the earth, it’s too late now, so let’s go party…

Join Phil, wife Jude, Jazzer the cat and Jenny the dog as they escape the planet we trashed, and shake your funky thang. If that’s at all possible on a Tuesday during office hours. (More about Phil and his current project, Home Small As The World, here).

Like being savaged by a dead sheep (again)

Denis Healey‘s memorable description of an attack by the mild mannered Geoffrey Howe seems an apt title: it appears that I’ve earned the attention of Anthony Watts and the denizens of his Watts Up With That? (aka µWatts) blog. Apparently he takes my µWatts coinage personally — though I reserve it for the blog, not the man.

Watts post is hilarious. He fulimates about the 10:10 film, links to Wishart to establish my credibility (might as well ask the Pope to give Richard Dawkins a reference), pontificates at length on the fact that he gets more hits than Hot Topic, — a bit like boasting that the USA (pop 307 million) has more ships in its navy than New Zealand (pop 4 million) — and rather digs a hole for himself over Delingpole’s call for a Nuremburg trial for warmists. Apparently Delingpole’s “discovery” that the Bilderberg group had talked about “global cooling” was “important”.  Unfortunately Watts seems to have missed a very early comment under his own post, warning him that the web site Delingpole uses as evidence is a hoax.

The comments don’t disappoint either. Cameron “Whaleoil” Slater chips in to assure Watts that I’ve called him worse (and gets moderated in the process!). Slater’s memory appears a little fallible — he was the one calling me names, as I recall, and the Watts commenters posting here in the last day certainly don’t think I’m moderating harshly. Then there’s a touching little exchange between Watts and Treadgold, in which Treadgold manages to mistake a plastic airline eating utensil for a rapier.

Finally: a word to the wise. Don’t mess with the international truffle grower cabal. It has contacts everywhere. I can reach Jim Hansen via one connection, Pat Michaels via another, and Prince Charles through a third — and they all like truffles. I’ll leave Denis Healey to the Bilderbergers (he was a founding member).

No pressure – 10:10 on the button

Warning: this new 10:10 promo is not for the faint of heart — but it does include Gillian Anderson, assorted Spurs footballers past and present (David Ginola is a stand out), and music by Radiohead. Script’s by Richard Curtis (Blackadder, Four Weddings, co-founder of Comic Relief and Make Poverty History) and Age of Stupid film director Franny Armstrong also had a hand (or perhaps a bucket) in it. More at the Guardian, and don’t forget 10:10NZ.

[Update: Anthony Watts calls the promo “unbelievably vile“, so it’s obviously effective… 😉 ]

[Update 2, 2/10/10: The 10:10 campaign have pulled the video and apologised for any offence it may have caused. Apart from the massive sense of humour failure evident in the comments arriving here from µWatts, it appears that Franny and the team hadn’t realised just how mainstream the “eco-fascist” meme has become for the political right — especially (but not exclusively) in the USA. On the other hand, where were the howls of protest from Watts and Morano when one of their favourite ranters, James Delingpole in the Telegraph called for a Nuremburg trial for “warmists”? Watts was happy to make sure his readers knew all about that nasty little item… A fine example of the asymmetry of the PR war being fought by the campaign against action on climate change.]

[Update 3, 5/10/10: A Modest Carbon Proposal by Jonathan Swifthack]

[Update 4, 6/10/10: Joe Romm at Climate Progress: More thoughts on the offensive ‘No Pressure’ video — and the denialsphere’s hypocritical reaction]

Anyone for 10/10/tennis?

his is a guest post by the team at 350.org Aotearoa, describing some of the events planned in New Zealand for the 350 Aotearoa Global Climate Working Bee on 10/10/10 — part of the international 10/10/10 campaign.

350 Aotearoa is part of an international campaign and aims to mobilise New Zealanders to initiate actions to address climate change. The flagship day on 10th October 2010, the Global Climate Working Bee, will see thousands of volunteers planting trees, organising bike rides and insulating homes in a bid to get to work on climate change and do something positive for the environment.

350 Aotearoa supports the goal of reducing carbon dioxide from its current level of 390 parts per million (ppm) to below 350 ppm, the safe upper limit according to the latest science. Over 5,100 events are already registered in over 170 countries for 10/10/10, including 90 in New Zealand.

Some of the inspirational actions include:


  • In Auckland, staff from the White Roofs Project will paint many high-visibility rooftops white to reflect sunlight and help cool the planet.
  • Cyclists are getting to work by running free bike skills workshops and fix ups in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. They are aiming to get as many bikes as possible out of storage and road-ready for summer.
  • Volunteers will be planting native species in Earthwise Valley, on the Coromandel Peninsula, throughout October to convert degraded farmland back to native rainforest.
  • 350 locally sourced natives will be planted in Carterton, Wairarapa, to regenerate wetlands and clean up the polluted Kokotau swimming spot.
  • The 10/10/10 Wellington Wander will showcase the best walking shortcuts in Wellington to encourage swapping the car for your feet.
  • An environmental awareness and education festival aims to bring all Marlborough has to offer in terms of sustainable practices together.
  • At Scarborough beach, south of Timaru, volunteers will clean rubbish from along the shoreline and plant native trees in the nearby wetland.
  • Frocks on Bikes will take a tour around Christchurch city.
  • In Christchurch, volunteers will have an afternoon of planting native plants to the soothing sounds of trance music with live DJ performances.
  • ‘Swap it’ encourages Dunedin locals to spring clean their closets in a sustainable fashion.
  • In Dunedin, locals are invited to a low-carbon picnic event with live music and face painting. The picnic will showcase seasonal and locally sourced food.

Action in the community not only has the potential to minimise the effects of climate change directly, but also has the power to influence and inspire change in other sectors such as business and government.

After the events, all eyes turn to Cancun, where world leaders are meeting in December to build an international treaty to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions. The failure of world leaders to reach a binding agreement in Copenhagen last year makes the negotiations especially critical.

Interested groups are encouraged to register by visiting www.350.org.nz.


McKibben’s long and winding road

“We will keep fighting” vowed Bill McKibben at the end of his book Eaarth. Today in an article on Yale Environment 360 he gives a promising account of what that might involve. He writes from a road trip to Washington, D.C., towing a solar hot water heating panel from the roof of the Carter White House. Jimmy Carter put it there in 1979, declaring it would still be heating water in 2000. It wasn’t, because Ronald Reagan promptly took the panels down, an action symbolic, McKibben comments, “of our decision to turn away from the idea of limits.”

The panels were salvaged by Unity College in Maine and put up on the cafeteria, where they continued to produce hot water for the next three decades. McKibben and his associates are headed for the White House with one of the Maine panels, and with a promise from the U.S. company Sungevity that it will supply all the brand-new panels the president could ever want – as long as he puts them up on his roof where everyone can see them.

Continue reading “McKibben’s long and winding road”