Friday, September 18, 2009

Not Quite

Green is the new shite

Richard North over at EU Referendum has something to say on the topic of recently revealed public attitudes to climate change.

It seems that Joe Soap's feelings on the topic are mirroring the global trend - i.e. cooling steadily.

Dr. North has something of a rep for pissing off blogistanis in that he has a tendency to berate us for our lightweight content and general frivolity. It's a charge I cheerfully plead guilty to, as I am, if I say so myself, a frivolous lightweight. In fact, I rank myself somewhere between 'Practical Newt Breeder' and 'OK' in the publishing stakes.

In my view however, Dr. North's superiority complex is well founded. He's well informed and in turn informative, disciplined, tenacious and prolific. I read his stuff with care and diligence, not just at EURef, but also at Defence of the Realm, and consider myself intellectually and factually better shod as a consequence.

Nonetheless, here I think he's missing something, and in this he's not alone.

Despite all the work the greenies have been putting in, it seems that, although there was a general acceptance that climate change is happening, most people thought that humans are unlikely to be wholly responsible.

I've read similar observations elsewhere, not only in blogistan, but in the wider world also.

Despite all the work the greenies have been putting in

Less I think 'despite', more 'because of'. There was a time, not so very long ago that I was giving limited credence to the second hand smoke myth. It made a kind of sense, and I saw no harm in modifying my behaviour to compensate. If ASH et al had simply shut up then they'd have had a result of sorts. Zealots can't do that though. Moderation and sublety are alien concepts to this species. On and on they went, until second hand smoke was responsible for the Seven Years War, the Irish potato famine, Scotland being kicked out of the World Cup in 1978 and every medical ailment from syphilis to trenchfoot.

Which is when my bullshit radar came on at full power. When people not merely state a case, but overstate, reiterate, elaborate and masturbate; then other people will begin to speculate. Speculate that 'the bansturbator doth protest too much'.

As a child I learned fairly rapidly to keep my lies simple. A little colour and a few details to lend my confection verisimilitude were all that was required. If 'a big boy did it and ran away' then the make of his bike and the colour of his jersey lent the tale sufficient credibility for a cursory inspection. If I embellished further, adult scrutiny grew keener, and the details were forensically re-examined with smacked arses and stopped pocket money featuring as an epilogue.

No, our zealot can't let it go, they have to add and add. Their original premise gradually accreting layers like some ghastly tumour. If the target audience doesn't instantly drop what they're doing and leap for the bandwagon, the zealot automatically assumes that something more must be added. Like demented cooks with a bad dish, they pile in more and more ingredients; deperately trying to conjure something palatable from the mess, while each addition makes the whole viler still. And at the end they find that no one wants to eat it.

They've carried on screeching and jumping up and down, throwing things and breaking their toys; and Mummy and Daddy are ignoring them.

They can't get the simple fact that they've put themselves into the same category as junk mail, and Kerry Katona. Irrelevant, costly irritations to be ignored.

And they did it all themselves.


JuliaM said...

"If ASH et al had simply shut up then they'd have had a result of sorts. Zealots can't do that though."

Spot on! By their frothing incoherence, shall ye know them...

Call me Infidel said...

A superb post Mac. I also read EUref and generally it is a very good read, but there are times where Richard North gets a bit up himself.

Mac the Knife said...

CMI: Oh, he does, he does; but in a way he's justified. Have you read 'Scared to Death'?

Mac the Knife said...

JM: Ah, how they froth. Always carry a mop and bucket...

KiwiWill said...

Pocket money! You got pocket money?

The good Dr North can get 'a bit up himself', but he has the grace to acknowledge it and his blogs are well worth the read regardless.

Mac the Knife said...

KW: Definately. Rather someone be up himself who has something worthwhile to say, than otherwise...