The Intellectuals and Climate Change

Here is a money quote out of Hayek’s essay “The Intellectuals and Socialism”.

Hayek’s writing is not joy to read so I have put stuff in square  brackets to make his meaning clearer. It is clear enough in the context of the whole paper but that is a really heavy read and you have to be a bit of a nerd with some spare time to take it on.

A new theory may be judged as valid because it seems to illuminate some things but it will produce other new conclusions which further advance will show to have been erroneous.  But in such an instance the false belief will appear [it can be presented to the public] with all the prestige of the latest scientific knowledge supporting it [and be picked  up and promulgated by a certain class of intellectuals]. Although in the particular field to which this belief applies all the scientific evidence may be against it, it will nevertheless, before the tribunal of the intellectuals and in the light of the ideas which govern their thinking,  be selected as the view which is best in accord with the spirit of the time. The specialists who will thus achieve public fame and wide influence will thus not be those who have gained recognition by their peers but will often be men whom the other experts regard as cranks, amateurs, or even frauds, but who in the eyes of the general public nevertheless become the best known exponents of their subject.

Think of your favourite people among the usual suspects who hold forth on climate issues on the ABC and the MSM.

UPDATE. Taking up some points from the comments and a conversation off line concerning differences of opinion about the nature and characteristics of the people who Hayek called intellectuals. First a bit more about their influence.

It is not surprising that the real scholar or expert and the practical man of affairs often feel contemptuous about the intellectual, are disinclined to recognize his power, and are resentful when they discover it. Individually they find the intellectuals mostly to be people who understand nothing in particular especially well and whose judgement on matters they themselves understand shows little sign of special wisdom. But it would be
a fatal mistake to underestimate their power for this reason.

Even though their knowledge may often be superficial and their intelligence limited, this does not alter the fact that it is their judgement which mainly determines the views on which society will act in the not too distant future. It is no exaggeration to say that, once the more active part of the intellectuals has been converted to a set of beliefs, the process by which these become generally accepted is almost automatic and irresistible. These intellectuals are the organs which modern society has developed for spreading knowledge and ideas, and it is their convictions and opinions which operate as the sieve through which all
new conceptions must pass before they can reach the masses.

Hayek used intellectuals for want of a better term to describe all the people who deal in ideas who have some pretence of learning (excluding pop singers and people who write graffiti on walls). That covers a very wide range of people. 

The term “intellectuals” does not at once convey a true picture of the
large class to which we refer, and the fact that we have no better name by which to describe what we have called the secondhand dealers in ideas is not the least of the reasons why their power is not understood…The typical intellectual need be neither: he need not possess special knowledge of anything in particular, nor need he even be particularly intelligent, to perform his role as intermediary in the spreading of ideas. What qualifies him for his job is the wide range of subjects on which he can readily talk and write, and a position or habits through which he becomes acquainted with new ideas sooner than those to whom he addresses himself.

Until one begins to list all the professions and activities which belong to the class, it is difficult to realize how numerous it is, how the scope for activities constantly
increases in modern society, and how dependent on it we all have become. The class
does not consist of only journalists, teachers, ministers, lecturers, publicists, radio
commentators, writers of fiction, cartoonists, and artists all of whom may be masters of
the technique of conveying ideas but are usually amateurs so far as the substance of
what they convey is concerned.

The class also includes many professional men and
technicians, such as scientists and doctors, who through their habitual intercourse with
the printed word become carriers of new ideas outside their own fields and who,
because of their expert knowledge of their own subjects, are listened with respect on
most others.

There is little that the ordinary man of today learns about events or ideas
except through the medium of this class; and outside our special fields of work we are
in this respect almost all ordinary men, dependent for our information and instruction on those who make it their job to keep abreast of opinion.

It is the intellectuals in this sense who decide what views and opinions are to reach us, which facts are important enough to be told to us, and in what form and from what angle they are to be presented. Whether we shall ever learn of the results of the work of the expert and the original thinker depends mainly on their decision.

The layman is not fully aware to what extent even the popular reputations of scientists and scholars are made by that class and are inevitably affected by its views on subjects which have little to do with the merits of the real achievements.

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51 Responses to The Intellectuals and Climate Change

  1. Hayek knew Tim Flannery?
    Wow, just wow.

  2. mem

    Adam Bandt hardly qualifies as an intellectual but he is the leader of a pack of Green loonies and here from his twitter account is his latest burbling:

    “Imagine a big red button.
    Press it & you immediately help stop global warming.
    It also puts some billionaires out of business. And you must find decent, well-paying jobs for a few fellow citizens.
    You’d press it, right?
    It exists.
    On it is written ‘Quit Coal’.

  3. Bruce

    I remember a crusty bit of old advice pertinent to Band(i)t:

    ” Avoid poets: they will insist on reciting their latest works.”

    Or, as goes the line in that other bit of folk wisdom, the “Desiderata”:

    “Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”

    From the original text by Max Ehrmann 1927

    Then, of course, there is the “alternative” version:

  4. Old School Conservative

    To summarise, “It’s the vibe”.

  5. mc

    was he talking about block chain?

  6. min

    As a pragmatic ,problem solver ,I have been thinking about how to get people to think about the consequences of not having reliable base load energy and fossil fuels. Millennials and genZs have no idea what it is to live without them and therefore are unaware of just what in their life now would no longer be available..
    Problem number One is that of course we will still be able to bring it all in from counties who do not press the no coal button . That is if we have enough money to buy stuff .
    I have visited African countries where there is no electricity, more recently my granddaughter , now a doctor, volunteered to work in Tanzania whilst she was still a student. The Masai still living in villages are good place to start . Medical clinics held under a tree , cooking in huts over wood fires, food mainly chick peas ,lentil etc. .
    Of course we would not be back to this but let’s have a look at everything made needing baseload power or fossil fuels . I think we would be left dressing much like the Masai. with very few electronics.

  7. RobK

    Problem number One is that of course we will still be able to bring it all in from counties who do not press the no coal button .
    Australia is a highly urbanised country. Suburbs and higher density living isn’t easily done without reliable baseload power. Sewerage and water pumping, ventilation of highrise buildings, refrigerated and frozen stores, transport.

  8. mem

    A rejoinder to Adam Bandt.

    Imagine you had a big purple button
    Press it and immediately the Greens disappear
    The climate would continue as it always has
    Renewable scammers would go out of business and we would have more money for public projects such as hospitals, schools and infrastructure
    We would build dams for our farmers, clear our forests of debris to prevent fires and use our abundant coal and gas reserves for power
    Out electricity prices would fall and our businesses would thrive
    You’d press it, right?
    It exists.
    On it is written ‘vote out the Greens’.

  9. min

    Yes Rob K that was the reason I used Tanzania without electricity .

  10. Pyrmonter

    Fits the description of a lot of those who get angry about being termed ‘deniers’ as well …

  11. Shy Ted

    There aren’t any ACTUAL intellectuals who believe in AGW.

  12. min

    well because we are not denying Climate Change we are Realists . we argue junk science, unproven Hypotheses Present observations of facts eg sea levels, sun activity or lack of etc.

  13. liliana

    Millennials and genZs have no idea what it is to live without them and therefore are unaware of just what in their life now would no longer be available..

    Correct, they are totally clueless as to what life will be like without a secure energy source. You only have to read AEMO latest report into the problems with large scale solar to realise that while renewable may sound sexy the reality is far from the feel good idea.

    The problems is that the kiddies don’t know, or don’t appreciate, the work and resources that have gone into creating the world they live in. All the good things in life and their relatively privileged lifestyle didn’t pop up over night by magic.
    What I find most annoying is how they criticise the west yet enjoy and expect all the good things that come from living in a western democracy. The lot of them should be made to live in some third world cess pit I bet they would soon change their tune.

  14. a happy little debunker

    In this instance it would be the establishment of the Montreal Protocol (mostly based on junk science) that has spawned the climate change behemoth.

    Why do I think the Montreal Protocol was based on junk science, because ‘the effects of CFC’s usage’ were far more pronounced in the hemisphere that housed 12% of the world’s population – rather than the hemisphere with 88%, which was somehow less pronounced.

    As with Global Warming were Attenborough can now detect warming in Australia, but does not identify warming, in say – the EU or the US, or the ME or Russia or China.

  15. Dr Faustus

    As a pragmatic ,problem solver ,I have been thinking about how to get people to think about the consequences of not having reliable base load energy and fossil fuels. Millennials and genZs have no idea what it is to live without them and therefore are unaware of just what in their life now would no longer be available..

    This is a major truth – and for Boomers too.

    As others note, our dependence on infrastructure itself dependent on electricity is so engrained there is simply no path ‘back’ to anything like a simpler, gentler, Masai-style subsistence lifestyle for all.
    Instead, think Mad Max.

    Pragmatic problem solving is lost in corrupted science and the political static. The best we can hope for is that the crippling electrical cost of First World accessories – Netflix, aircon, and so on – acts as a leading pointer to the existential social crisis before it opens up.

  16. Pyrmonter

    @ Shy Ted

    At the risk of getting into the sorts of arguments that bedevil sociology and the arid territory of ‘the national socialists were socialists …’ how would you describe Greg Mankiw and George Schultz: both are or have held chairs in Economics; both accept that there is probably harmful human-induced climate change related to our use of fossil fuels; both have ideas (similar, but not the same) about what to do about it; and both would be accused by the Left of being ‘neo-liberals’.

    https://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/10/pigou-club-manifesto.html

    (As an aside, it is troubling how little defence there is of market mechanisms on the right. Between Photios’s minions and Craig Kelly’s fanbois, there’s hardly anyone left willing to point out that markets solve problems more cheaply and with less disruption than any other means)

  17. billie

    here’s something I read today that is encouraging as it relates to the media’s role in opinion versus news

    from the ACMA:
    Eight in 10 Australians concerned about commercial influence in news
    More than 8 in 10 Australian adults are concerned about large advertisers influencing the news, according to new research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

    • 88 per cent are concerned news is made more dramatic or sensational to attract more readers or viewers.
    • 85 per cent are concerned news is reported from a particular point of view rather than being balanced or impartial.
    • 79 per cent were concerned that there was difficulty in telling when a journalist is expressing an opinion rather than reporting the facts.
    • 77 per cent are concerned about commercial businesses paying to have their products or services featured in the news, but not disclosing the payment.
    • 97 per cent reported noticing commercial influence in at least one news source.
    • 58 per cent consider that there is now more commercial influence in Australian news today, compared with three years ago.

    that to me means people are way more skeptical than you would be led to believe about what they see and hear and what they believe they see and hear.

    I would not be surprised if parallel skepticism is in play when people hear climate alarmists demanding this or that ..

    that’s on the ACMA site, there is a discussion paper ther as well and they are accepting submissions

    I’ll get out of your way now ..

  18. Shy Ted

    @Pyrmonter
    Economists! Are you seriously saying economics is an academic discipline? It’s entirely theoretical and always wrong if the market is left unencumbered by regulation.

  19. Professor Fred Lenin (Iskra)

    Seems I was right when I said ,if we close all coal fired power stations in Australia the bushfires will stop instantly and never return, ass bandit knows where the red button is .
    Is it just me ,or has mental affliction reached epidemic proportions ?
    Cut off all grid power to electorates who vote green ,let them practice what they preach and bear the consequences of theirmisguided beliefs .

  20. Confused Old Misfit

    markets solve problems more cheaply and with less disruption than any other means

    Heresy! Rank Heresy!

    But a fundamental truth.

  21. Dr Faustus

    markets solve problems more cheaply and with less disruption than any other means

    Yes, a fundamental truth.

    Unfortunately abused by politicians, when they claim/imply that, artificially putting a ‘price on carbon’ to achieve an uncertain policy outcome, is an example of a market operation to achieve a ‘best outcome’. It is actually an attempt to invoke ‘market’ to mitigate the political/economic effects of weak decision-making.

  22. Mother Lode

    In my experience the people hailed as intellectuals are people who not only think in the abstract, but only think in the abstract. (Rather an amusing turn of phrase there, I think.)

    Everything else must be reduced to a series of derived propositions. They have a lot to say about science, but know precious little of science. They are familiar with the principle that increased CO2 means more retained heat, but that is all they know of it. They have not seen the proof, do not know the mechanism, and do not know the limitations of the principle and what things drive it. It is a slogan, almost. They may well marvel that beer would be colder if it was flat.

    They are practiced in working through their own theories, inserting these little nuggets of ‘knowledge’ like constants in algebra. And suddenly they have opinions on everything.

    Simply, they lack humility enough to question themselves. This is a very immature way of thinking.

  23. John Smith101

    But in such an instance the false belief will appear [it can be presented to the public] with all the prestige of the latest scientific knowledge supporting it [and be picked up and promulgated by a certain class of intellectuals].

    It is time to start joining the dots:

    We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy . . . Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization . . . One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.
    Paraphrased quote attributed to Ottmar Edenhofer, Co-chair, from 2008 to 2015, of the United Nation’s IPCC working group on Mitigation of Climate Change.

    This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.
    Quote attributed to Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), from 2010 to 2016.
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill….All these dangers are caused by human intervention . . . and thus the “real enemy, then, is humanity itself . . . humanity requires a common motivation, namely a common adversary in order to realize world government. It does not matter if this common enemy is a real one or . . . one invented for the purpose.
    Alexander King & Bertrand Schneider, The First Global Revolution, The Club of Rome, p70, 1993
    We will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilize them in support of our projects.
    Michael Hulme, the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and a co-ordinating lead author for the chapter on Climate Scenario Development (3rd IPCC Report).
    Governments must yield national sovereignty to multilateral authorities able to enforce laws “across environmentally invisible frontiers” if the green-house effect, which threatens the future of whole nations, is to be overcome . . . A Commonwealth Expert Group set up to look at climate change estimated there was a 90 per cent certainty that the planet would become warmer by at least 1-2 degrees, perhaps much more, and that sea levels would rise by between one and four metres, by the year 2030.
    John Ardill, Call for anti-greenhouse action, Canberra Times, 26 January 1989
    Government in the future will be based upon . . . a supreme office of the biosphere. The office will comprise specially trained philosopher/ecologists. These guardians will either rule themselves or advise an authoritarian government of policies based on their ecological training and philosophical sensitivities. These guardians will be specially trained for the task.
    David Shearman & Joseph Wayne Smith, The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy, p134, Praeger, Westport, Connecticut, USA, 2007. David Shearman was an IPCC Assessor for the third and fourth climate change reports.
    UN calls for brave new world financial order to tackle climate change.
    Graham Lloyd, UN calls for brave new world financial order to tackle climate change, The Australian, 28 September 2019
    Effective execution of Agenda 21 [since rebadged as Agenda 2030] will require a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced, a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources. This shift will demand that a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level.
    Quote attributed to US President George H W Bush at UNCED (Rio Conference), Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3-14 June 1992.
    For those who don’t know Agenda 21 (since rebadged as Agenda 2030) is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which humans impact on the environment. Agenda 21, along with the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, also referred to as Rio Conference), held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3-14 June 1992
    In this day nation states must today – should today, I say – be ready to give up sovereignty.
    From a speech given by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking at a Konrad Adenauer Foundation event about Parliamentarianism Between Globalisation and National Sovereignty, November 2018.
    The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a radical plan for a global “Green New Deal” to redistribute trillions of dollars by capping wealth and introducing a global minimum rate of tax.
    Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, on 25 September 2015.

  24. John Smith101

    And then we have this by Misha Ketchell, editor of the (mostly) publicly funded: The Conversation, which prides itself on its Academic rigour and journalistic flair.
    Climate change deniers, and those shamelessly peddling pseudoscience and misinformation, are perpetuating ideas that will ultimately destroy the planet. As a publisher, giving them a voice on our site contributes to a stalled public discourse. That’s why the editorial team in Australia is implementing a zero-tolerance approach to moderating climate change deniers, and sceptics. Not only will we be removing their comments, we’ll be locking their accounts. We believe conversations are integral to sharing knowledge, but those who are fixated on dodgy ideas in the face of decades of peer-reviewed science are nothing but dangerous. It is counter productive to present the evidence and then immediately undermine it by giving space to trolls. The hopeless debates between those with evidence and those who fabricate simply stalls action.

    When you look at Australia’s intellectual class you can see why that, as a nation, we excel at sport!

  25. Iampeter

    (As an aside, it is troubling how little defence there is of market mechanisms on the right. Between Photios’s minions and Craig Kelly’s fanbois, there’s hardly anyone left willing to point out that markets solve problems more cheaply and with less disruption than any other means)

    Exactly. The only thing left is to stop calling any of these people “the right.”

  26. Iampeter

    Here is a money quote out of Hayek’s essay “The Intellectuals and Socialism”.

    But how is this the “money quote?”

    Everything he writes there describes EVERYONE in the mainstream today, including conservatives.

    What point is your post trying to make?

  27. Pyrmonter

    @ Dr Faustus

    Markets work. The ‘left’ don’t like them, as also often don’t the incumbent producers. Why market-oriented liberals and conservatives don’t (or rather, have grown not to) is one of the conundrums of our times. Perhaps – as the left like to suggest – many on the right never did, and were lying their way through the Cold War. If so, count me among those who were honest then, and honest now.

    An example of something similar to CO2 control was written up as it ended, in a comendably accessible way, by a capable economist who also asked a few relevant questions: https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.27.1.103

  28. Iampeter

    Why market-oriented liberals and conservatives don’t (or rather, have grown not to) is one of the conundrums of our times.

    It’s not a conundrum, it makes perfect sense. What never made sense was conservatives pretending to be “market-oriented.”
    Conservatism is nothing more than an assortment of random collectivist ideas, like religion, tradition, nationalism, etc. This can’t be reconciled with support for capitalism and has always been a glaring contradiction.
    This contradiction is now playing out in favor of the collectivist ideas, not in favor of markets.
    This has been a long time coming and is completely predictable.

  29. John Barr

    Ok. Global Warming/Climate Change has just about run its course. What will be the next big scare?

    I predict it will be a “World Wide Pandemic.” They tried this one before, in the 70’s, but it failed to get off the ground. (Remember the TV episodes of… “Pandemic.”) I see the beginnings of it in the papers & on the TV every now & again.

    Coming to you soon. Will be the “The World Wide Super Bugs Pandemic?”

    As with the:
    60’s, No more Oil.
    70’s, The Ice Age cometh.
    80’s, Melting in Acid Rain.
    90’s, Frying in no Ozone Layer.
    00’s, Climate Change.
    10’s, Global Warming.
    20’s, World Wide Super Bug Pandemic.
    30’s, Over Population.

    Watch this space. We’ll see…

  30. Tim Neilson

    Why market-oriented liberals and conservatives don’t (or rather, have grown not to) is one of the conundrums of our times. Perhaps – as the left like to suggest – many on the right never did,

    Right on cue…

    Iampeter
    #3295287, posted on January 17, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    This site’s number one worshipper of big government statists and their big corporate crony capitalist allies chimes in…

  31. Pyrmonter

    @ Tim N

    Well, unlike ‘national conservatives’, there is an intellecutal coherence to what those who favour markets propose: built on individual freedom and responsibility; respect for property, and the rule of law. As a set of organising principles, those ideas are the foundations of a free society that allows its members to flourish as they desire. Whichever other strain of ‘right’ thinking may be subscribed to owes the market liberals an answer to the socialist calculation problem. It _doesn’t_ lie in recourse to ‘tradition’ (which? how much? to do what?) or ‘my religious teachings dictate … for everyone’.

  32. Old Lefty

    Most of the Socialist Left/Green/ABC/Fairfax axis in Australia have the intellectual attainments of a conscientious Year 8 in a Soviet School under Stalin and the moral integrity of a pimp in a KGB/Pravda kinky knocking shop.

  33. Entropy

    As an aside, it is troubling how little defence there is of market mechanisms on the right

    Sure pyrometer, but what has that do do with massive government intervention to utterly distort and corrupt the energy market through the euphanistic “market based instruments”

    There has to be a better way. In fact there is, but Lomborg got blacklisted for suggesting it.

  34. Dr Faustus

    Conservatism is nothing more than an assortment of random collectivist ideas, like religion, tradition, nationalism, etc. This can’t be reconciled with support for capitalism and has always been a glaring contradiction.

    Oh dear.

    Iampeter: We’ve already established that you’re not a conservative. Haven’t we?

    We’re now establishing that you’re not an intellectual either.

    The simple fact is, there is nothing fundamental in adherence to social constructs like religion, tradition, or nationalism that contradicts the economic principles of capitalism (unless you are a Marxist, that is). So your proposition is wrong in the wrongest sort of way. Cognitively wrong.

    I’m actually beginning to think you may be a Chatbot.

  35. Conservatism is nothing more than an assortment of random collectivist ideas

    I Am Beating Off

    Dear boy, you’ve never read Burke or Aquinas…nor can you say why they’re wrong.

    You’re full of piss and vinegar. Nor would you be able to make any worthwhile comments about Mill, Betham…let alone Ayn Rand.

  36. jupes

    (As an aside, it is troubling how little defence there is of market mechanisms on the right. Between Photios’s minions and Craig Kelly’s fanbois, there’s hardly anyone left willing to point out that markets solve problems more cheaply and with less disruption than any other means)

    Climate change is a NON-problem.

    We don’t a fucking “market machanism” to solve it.

  37. jupes is correct.

    The best thing to do, is nothing.

    Failing that, a long tax holiday for nuclear.

    The left won’t commit to nuclear, they simply want to bash private enterprise.

  38. Iampeter

    Iampeter: We’ve already established that you’re not a conservative. Haven’t we?

    That’s correct. I’m most certainly NOT a religious and politically illiterate leftist AKA conservative.

  39. Iampeter

    Dear boy, you’ve never read Burke or Aquinas…nor can you say why they’re wrong.

    You’re full of piss and vinegar. Nor would you be able to make any worthwhile comments about Mill, Betham…let alone Ayn Rand.

    Anyone who would group Burke and Aquinas together probably shouldn’t be accusing anyone else of being “full of piss and vinegar. You are clueless…

    The simple fact is, there is nothing fundamental in adherence to social constructs like religion, tradition, or nationalism that contradicts the economic principles of capitalism (unless you are a Marxist, that is)

    Except religion, tradition and nationalism are all collectivist ideas, while capitalism is the product of an individualist ideology. So they are as fundamentally opposed as possible.
    Marxism is also a collectivist ideology so the bit you’ve added in brackets is nonsensical.

    I’m actually beginning to think you may be a Chatbot.

    It’s not that. It’s just that you don’t know what you’re talking about and don’t want to know.
    People like you will find what I post quite triggering because it exposes your non-existent knowledge on these topics and dishonest pretensions.
    The only thing left is to try and dismiss me on a personal level.
    It’s pretty standard and embarrassing conduct for the many crazy clowns that post on what is meant to be a “leading right wing blog” for some reason.

  40. Dr Faustus

    Iampeter
    #3295838, posted on January 18, 2020 at 11:12 am

    About as content/argument free word-assembly as is possible.
    Chatbot status established , don’t you think?

  41. Roger

    The specialists who will thus achieve public fame and wide influence will thus not be those who have gained recognition by their peers but will often be men whom the other experts regard as cranks, amateurs, or even frauds, but who in the eyes of the general public nevertheless become the best known exponents of their subject.

    David Attenborough

  42. Tel

    The left won’t commit to nuclear, they simply want to bash private enterprise.

    In Australia I would be willing to entertain government owned nuclear, even though it’s less than ideal, because at least we get electricity.

    We have done our level best to remove all of our options. With the current climate hysteria and constant class war rhetoric, who would voluntarily build a long term large project with private money in Australia? Massive sovereign risk, and hold-up problems caused by unions and various “Green” groups … terrible place to invest.

  43. Tel

    In this instance it would be the establishment of the Montreal Protocol (mostly based on junk science) that has spawned the climate change behemoth.

    We now have refrigerators and air-conditioners loaded up with lighter fluid.

  44. Tim Neilson

    Iampeter
    #3295838, posted on January 18, 2020 at 11:12 am

    There’s still time for you to go back onto the”CBS struggling to find any bad news in Trump’s America” thread and apologise for your conceit, stupidity and ignorance.

    But first you could apologise for your conceit, stupidity and ignorance on this thread.

    Your early bloviation included the decree that “Conservatism is nothing more than an assortment of random collectivist ideas, like religion, tradition, nationalism, etc.”

    Note YOU referred to “religion, tradition, nationalism, etc”.

    Frank entirely justifiably, in the context of your bloviation, referred to Burke and Aquinas.

    With your spectacular ability to get absolutely everything 100% wrong 100% of the time, you made the following colossal howler – “Anyone who would group Burke and Aquinas together probably shouldn’t be accusing anyone else of being “full of piss and vinegar.”

    In what way is it any sort of error to refer both to Burke and to Aquinas in response to a bloviation about “religion, tradition, nationalism, etc”?

    Please feel free to explain how Frank’s comment implied any sort of synthesis of Burke’s ideas with Aquinas’? I’m not saying there couldn’t be, but your critique of him is a mere belch or fart unless you can demonstrate that he was implying such a synthesis.
    Which clearly he wasn’t. He was just addressing items on your own list.

    Not only that, in the immediate next paragraph you rebooted the very bloviation that Frank was responding to -“Except religion, tradition and nationalism are all collectivist ideas,”, without even then picking up how you’d so totally logically imploded in your previous comment.

    You really are an embarrassment to the concept of sentient life.

  45. Tim Neilson

    Chatbot status established , don’t you think?

    His spraying around of labels and jargon with utter cluelessness about what they mean, let alone how to use them, is consistent with that theory.

    But can a Chatbot be programmed to work itself up into a trouser-soiling level of hysteria?

  46. Iampeter

    About as content/argument free word-assembly as is possible.
    Chatbot status established , don’t you think?

    Ah yes, projection.
    The other standard and embarrassing conduct for the many crazy clowns that post on what is meant to be a “leading right wing blog” for some reason.

  47. Tim Neilson

    Iampeter
    #3295965, posted on January 18, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Why don’t you apologise for your conceit and stupidity?

  48. Dr Faustus

    But can a Chatbot be programmed to work itself up into a trouser-soiling level of hysteria?

    I’m thinking ALICE. An open-source bot characterised by a huge library of rules and phrases – but limited machine learning skills. Someone has added an auto defecation module.

  49. Not only that, in the immediate next paragraph you rebooted the very bloviation that Frank was responding to -“Except religion, tradition and nationalism are all collectivist ideas,”, without even then picking up how you’d so totally logically imploded in your previous comment.

    Thanks. I broke the chatbot brain. We can beat Skynet.

  50. Only a lefty LARPing as an unbalanced rightie, OR a genuine far left miser, would be so insane as to morally condemn “tradition” as a concept entirely as it is “collectivist”.

    “No hon we can’t have a wedding anniversary, that’s collectivist; my screwed up interpreatation of Atlas Shrugged says so…”

    What a misanthropic weirdo. No Santa for kids. No repeated family holidays. No catching up with old friends from university.

    What a poor, weird c**t.

  51. I Am Beating Off actually thinks that Ayn Rand has entirely demolished eastern martial arts and the concept of military regimental honours because anything that tends towards this respect for tradition ends in gulags.

    To fight off the gulags, we must have a year zero! Or something, because reasons.

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