John Oliver (Bugle podcast, Smurfs movies 1 and 2!) makes a sound point on climate debate
Hey, who is this John Oliver guy? He looks like your answer to Jon Stewart
Climate "debate," yeah right. Even calling it "climate change" is wimping out. It's anthropogenic global warming.
Hee, I love Lord Monckton and his stupid cowboy hats, the UK's go-to climate change denialist and UKIPer (He's no doubt the UKIP's liaison to the Flat Earth Society as well). I love how the UKIP have written denialism into their platform: "the slight warming trend over the past hundred years is part of a natural cycle," as if scientific facts are like political positions, John Oliver's point. 1 out of 4 Americans think 5 is greater than 15.
I've shared my favorite denialist anecdote before, but it's always worth repeating. The Heartland Institute, an astroturfed "citizens lobby" actually funded by scumbag industrialists like the infamous Koch brothers, used to sponsor those big annual denialist fuckfests, where "all the leading climate change skeptics" gather around and debate videotapes of Al Gore.
Well, a couple years ago they jumped the shark. Remember Theodore Kasczynski, the Unabomber? A rising star math professor who went off the Luddite deep end and began mailing letter bombs to technology professors from a little shack in the woods? He looks like Grizzly Adams crossed with a serial killer. The Heartland Institute put a billboard of bearded, disheveled, scowling ol' Ted over an LA highway captioned "He believes in global warming."
Which is like putting up a billboard of Adolf Hitler captioned "He hated cigarette smoking."
A week later, two thirds of their sponsors bailed from the self-inflicted bad publicity and the Heartland Institute had to abandon their climate change denialist project altogether
Bubby wrote:Just ordered that, thanks for the tip.
Well, it's a little dated, but the basic idea is this: About half the electorate doesn't vote. They're disenfranchised. They don't think either party speaks to them and they're right. Of the remainder, about half of that are the Contented Minority. They "vote for the man, not the party." They like winners and they climb on the bandwagon. Truthfully, which party wins is irrelevant to them, because they like things the way they are just fine. What's left of that are the loyal opposition. They may have gripes here or there, but they believe in the system and they always vote. So, in order to win an election in a FPTP system, a candidate has to cobble enough votes of the loyal opposition without alienating those who like things just the way they are. So that makes it literally impossible for them to address the concerns of the majority.
Oh incidentally, I was dead wrong about the Lib Dems. They aren't like our Looneytarians at all, more like a cross between Fabian socialists and our Progressives of a century ago. They're good-government reformers but they also have a strong social conscience. I read the Lib Dem platform and go "yeah ... I can go for this. These are my views exactly." But there's also a strain growing ever more strong, especially since the Clegg / Cameron dalliance, of, as eadric says, "classical liberals" called the Orange Bookers. And these are the ones more interested in "incentivizing the poor" than in concretely helping them out. They're not quite like Libertarians, but they are
like Libertarian-minded Republicans and Democrats. But truthfully, everybody
save unreconstructed Socialists since Blair and so-called New Labour (and Clinton and the so-called New Democrats over here) have bought into that neoliberal frogwash.
The Libertarians are our most well-funded and organized third party. But they're still a grotesquely elitist affair, with no Reps or Senators and no more than 1% in national elections. They're darlings of the tech sector and well-to-do college campuses. And no wonder ... it's a philosophically consistent ideology with a one-size-fits-all answer to every problem: Less government. But it also lends itself to freakazoid conspiracy theories. Frank Zappa was asked to run on their presidential ticket; he took one hairy squint at their platform and decided they were totally insane. The most well-known almost-Libertarian to make a splash in national politics was Ron Paul running in the GOP primary. The Libs thought he
was too insane for them.
I've been reading about it, and it doesn't seem the UK has a strict equivalent to our nutso Yank scourge-the-government streak. Maybe the UK Pirate Party? The anti-bureaucracy talk seems pretty evenly spread around but it isn't made into a fetish that government is the problem.
Or maybe that's just my US perception and it's percolating through all
UK ideologies ...
Hopefully bringing the political discourse back into the realms of "fleetingly amusing", try the Iain Duncan Smith
Yeah ... "fleetingly amusing" as the contents of a colostomy bag for breakfast ...
Jesus Christ, you guys really are
becoming more like us in all the worst ways imaginable.
Heh. Makes me yearn for the good ol' Cold War days of Class Struggle: The Board Game