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10 November 2009 @ 11:47 pm
Politicians: would be improved with more slapping  
Nick Minchin is one of those annoying people who sincerely believes there is a monolithic Left. He's also an Australian parliamentarian.

Now I am wiling to accept that there is an 'Extreme Left' in which all members all think alike. There are about 43 of them in Sydney, and possibly 112 in London. They all smell abysmal and fail to see the irony of their smoking and I am related to at least one of them and would happily run over her self-consciously plastic shoes with my brand-name bicycle.

But Nicko believes that Climate Change is a beat-up organised by an internationally coordinated and starlingly powerful Left. He is quoted in today's Sydney Morning Herald: 'For the extreme left it provides the opportunity to do what they've always wanted to do - to sort of de-industrialise the Western world,'' he said.

I can't help wondering if he is looking at the same group of Climate Change klaxon-sounding scientists that I am. The ones who communicate via internet 18 hours a day, who take readings from satellites, who invest in alternative energy sources and who, like Al Gore, are making significant profits from such investments.

Moreover, I wonder if he remembers history. In the middle of last century radical agricultural scientists led by Norman Borlaug concluded that in order to feed the world, we would need to break with traditional farming methods and use science to produce high-yield foods. Borlaug had views that Minchin would doubtless pooh-pooh as being 'leftist' and de-empowering to the agricultural world. He wanted to feed people, and to allow countries like Mexico to spend their money on their people rather than importing food.

Borlaug's agricultural changes are known as the Green Revolution, and you can read about them on the internet pretty easily. If his name sounds a bit familiar to you, it's because he died earlier this year. Borlaug is a hero in some parts of the world and a villain in others; some of the 43 Leftists in Sydney will tell you that he was a running dog lackey of the Imperialist West. Personally, I think he did the best job he could with the science he had to hand and should be looked at in the context of his later calls for better soil management in modern agriculture, as well as his immense success in actually feeding people.

The reason that I am talking about the Green Revolution here is that it was a massive science-driven shift in the way we lived in the world, very much like the one that is being proposed by scientists who wish to limit future anthropogenic climate change. And the Green Revolution allowed a lot of people to make a lot of money. Companies such as Monsanto were born on the back of the Green Revolution, and pre-GFC it had a US$2 billion annual sales figure.

SO, why is it that Nick Minchin and his mates look at this situation and see something they need to run around and flail about, while so many other people look at the same situation and see a problem to be solved and new technologies to invest in? The irksome thing is that the industries Minchin and co allege they are protecting have already been gutted by the major companies running them: climate change activists did not close BHP in Newcastle 10 years ago, leaving thousands out of work, BHP did.

Bloody hell, it's getting to a point where I am starting to like Malcolm Turnbull again.

And, as feralcheryl points out, Kevin Rudd, you're getting a slapping, too. Who do you think you are? Howard?

Normal fandom discussion will be resumed shortly.

Cerisewivern on November 10th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Yes. *sigh* Sometimes I think we're doomed.

I am a bit surprised that there aren't more clever scientist/businessmen who are leaping at the opportunity to develop new technologies.
Meredyth: Draco's Not Impressedmeredyth_13 on November 10th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
There are masses of them, and they've developed it. And I know this, because my father was one of them. Don't get me started on the fate of clever people who invent seriously valuable new technologies in this country. :(
Cerisewivern on November 11th, 2009 07:49 am (UTC)
I suspected as much. And how many nifty new inventions are suppressed by Big Oil etc.
Meredyth: Arthur Sadfacemeredyth_13 on November 10th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid we're well past the stage where a good slapping is going have any real benefit, other than to make you feel better (which is a benefit, don't get me wrong).

One of the benefits of being determinedly childless is that when it all gets too much for me, I can try and shut down all my 'care' and simply aim for finding somewhere I can live out my days in relative comfort and peace, and say 'FUCK YOU' to society and the complete cock up that it's making of the world.

Occasionally I include wistful thoughts of massive viral outbreaks or cataclysmic natural events. Oh, I do love disaster movies (is excited about 2012 just because of the shiny).

Unfortunately, my 'care' is kind of built in, so it's hard to maintain that hard-arsed core of disinterest. But the sheer levels of frustration and cynicism that result from caring are suicide inducing.

Frankly, my dear, I'd prefer not to give a damn.
Welcome to Ant Country: House brainant_queen on November 11th, 2009 02:26 am (UTC)
Yes! This! History is full of examples where an industry or technology has been superceded by something new and there have been those that jumped at the opportunity and were a roaring success, and those who failed to see the direction things were going and ended up on the corporation scrap heap.

When CFCs were banned, many of the corporations that relied on them found better alternatives that ended up saving them money.

Any major corporation that deals in natural resources, agriculture, and energy that *doesn't* have their strategists and R&D guys focused on finding a way to change their business to take up the opportunities of new technologies, re-align their workforce and phase out the carbon intensive side of their business deserves to join the scrap heap of historical failures.

I think the thing that is different with climate change is that there is the sense of guilt that "we're" the ones who have stuffed things up and there is a great deal of resistance to the concept of changing out of guilt rather than changing because there is a new opportunity to be grasped.