“If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”
Campus Reform finds that Scrooge has been reincarnated and is teaching at Columbia.
A Columbia University faculty member has called for an end to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, calling the tree emblematic of an â€œabsolutely toxic relationship” with nature.
Arguing that the tree is a â€œveritable island for wildlife,” Columbia University faculty member and environmental journalist Brian Kahn decried the loss of the ecological haven. Kahn is set to teach a class in spring 2021 titled “Applications in Climate and Society.”
He warned that the tree had lost its one â€œiota of dignity” it had in its previous home. …
Khan further argued that the Rockefeller tradition reflects how â€œweâ€™ve subjugated nature to our whims.â€ He said the tree stands as â€œan icon of American exceptionalism,” pointing not only to the treeâ€™s tie to filling the underground mall, thus â€œkeeping the unnatural system alive,” but also to its place as a â€œpaean to patriotismâ€ following 9/11.
Khan added that watching the tree didnâ€™t bring him â€œelation.â€ Instead, it made him feel â€œsad that we venerate the continued subjugation of nature at the expense of unfettered growth and consumption.â€ The tree is â€œa flashy, two-hour TV special,â€ which presents a â€œshiny veneer of corporate social responsibility and giving.â€
“But really,” he added, “it just illustrates our broken system and priorities that are also strangling the planet…”
James Hamblin M.D., who would believe it?, is actually 37 years old. He looks about 16. Despite being a Med School grad, he does not actually practice medicine, but instead writes for The Atlantic and lectures on Public Health at Yale.
Dr. Hamblin, in a 2017 article being freshly redistributed by Pocket, tells us that we should all give up eating beef, replacing it with beans(!) thereby coming close to meeting America’s 2020 greenhouse-gas emission goals, pledged by President Barack Obama in 2009.
[I]f nothing about our energy infrastructure or transportation system changedâ€”and even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheeseâ€”this one dietary change could achieve somewhere between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet the target.
â€œI think thereâ€™s genuinely a lack of awareness about how much impact this sort of change can have,â€ Harwatt told me. There have been analyses in the past about the environmental impacts of veganism and vegetarianism, but this study is novel for the idea that a personâ€™s dedication to the cause doesnâ€™t have to be complete in order to matter. A relatively small, single-food substitution could be the most powerful change a person makes in terms of their lifetime environmental impactâ€”more so than downsizing oneâ€™s car, or being vigilant about turning off light bulbs, and certainly more than quitting showering.
So, here is this presumptuous elite scribbler with a couple of degrees and an adolescent’s face who is perfectly prepared to tell 330 million of his fellow citizens to hurry up and fall into line, giving up a primary focus of the American diet, a food item appearing on the table in countless forms and recipes, whose cultural role and traditional use extends backward immemorially. The paleolithic paintings at Lascaux include bison and aurochs, the ancestors of today’s Black Angus. And why? in order to comply with a 2009 international agreement proposing self-flagellating energy measures for advanced Western countries with no possible impact on the Asian and other Third World industrial activities producing far more of the emissions suppositiously threatening to provoke the wrath of Gaia.
Really intelligent people question the ability of computer models playing with statistics to predict the earth’s climate, and the same people are also highly skeptical of the whole Anthropogenic CO2 causing warming business, since it is obvious that the world’s climate has been significantly warmer than today during several periods in the past. The Vikings, for instance, settled and farmed in Greenland, then were frozen out. There’s nobody farming in Greenland today. The Romans extensively made wine in Britain. Growing wine grapes in Britain is a very minimal activity today, and not long ago was non-existent.
Anyone numerate would recognize that the Paris Treaty was never anything but a Feel-Good bien pensant gesture. Even if fully implemented, it could never have accomplished its supposed goal.
And, anyone with common sense would realize that trying to tell Americans to give up steak and hamburger, kill off all their cattle, and shut down a several-hundred-billion-dollar-a-year industry as a gesture of solidarity with International Goo-Goo-ism is a complete non-starter.
It is really typical of today’s society that somebody goofy enough to write that piece would be hired to lecture at Yale.
Crazy left-wing busybodies rule the world. Didn’t you know? If there is anything going on that useful, productive, or merely fun, they’ve got Environmentalism to use to get their way. Essentially anything human beings do can be argued to produce changes in the world, and any changes can be claimed to be somehow, in some sense, negative. VoilÃ ! Mustn’t offend Gaia! That’s been banned!
Driven grouse shooting in England & Scotland is not only a sport. It’s also an economic activity. The sale of wild game was banned early in the last century in the United States. Market hunters were responsible for the eradication of the buffalo and the near extinction of some other species, and they competed with sport hunters. In Britain, on the other hand, game bird management on enormous estates included harvesting by sportsmen followed by commercial sale. British restaurants compete to offer red grouse the soonest after the shooting season opens on the traditional date of August 12th.
The goo-goos have all these rationalizations about heather-burning being bad for the environment, but they are all anti-blood sports, and enviromentalism always provides excuses for lefties to nobble things they don’t like, from timber-harvesting to grouse shooting.
The controversial practice of setting heather-covered moorland on fire â€“ often carried out by gamekeepers to create more attractive habitats for grouse â€“ is now banned on more than 30 major tracts of land in northern England. Three large landowners have confirmed that their tenants are no longer allowed to burn heather routinely.
The ban is a blow to grouse shoots, which burn older heather to make way for younger, more nutritious plants for grouse to feed on, but environmental groups say the practice harms the environment. Research by the University of Leeds has found that burning grouse moors degrades peatland habitat, releases climate-altering gases, reduces biodiversity and increases flood risk.
Last year, the Observer reported that Yorkshire Water was reviewing each of its grouse-shooting leases amid concerns about the practice of routine burning. The company says has written into its lease a presumption against burning as a land management technique.
United Utilities is also altering its leases to shorter terms, with a similar review to Yorkshire Waterâ€™s expected. Last month, it confirmed to the campaign group Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshireâ€™s Moors (BBYM) that it now prohibits routine burning on its land.
And three estates overseen by the National Trust â€“ Marsden, Braithwaite Hall and Dark Peak â€“ also told the group that tenants were no longer allowed to conduct routine burning. Braithwaite Hall said tenants required written consent to do so, and that it had taken legal action against one. Dark Peak said it retained complete control of burning practices on its land. Marsden said tenants could not carry out any burning.
A National Trust spokeswoman said: â€œWe donâ€™t allow burning on deep peat and over recent years have moved away from using controlled grouse-moor burning as a matter of course. There are a diminishing number of historic agreements where burning may occasionally be used but we are working with these tenants to introduce more sustainable land-management practice.â€
Then they mean to take away your car, Jack Baruth predicts.
Iâ€™d be willing to bet that very few of you know who Richard Aborn is. He was the president of Handgun Control, Inc., in 1993 when the Brady Bill was passed. Prior to the billâ€™s passage, the NRA and others said that it would be the â€œcamelâ€™s nose under the tentâ€ of firearms legislation. This is a reference to an old saying that you canâ€™t just let the camelâ€™s nose into a tentâ€”you end up letting the whole camel in, whether you want to or not.
Anyway, when the Brady Bill was passed, Mr. Aborn grabbed a reporter and said, â€œ[The billâ€™s detractors were] right all along in fearing the waiting period was a camelâ€™s nose under the tent. Brady has now passed and it is time to reveal the rest of the camel!â€ At the time, I thought that was a little, ahem, bold of the man to say. Regardless of how you feel about gun control, you can probably agree with me that you shouldnâ€™t spike the football before the referee puts his hands up. But Mr. Aborn no doubt figured he was on the right side of history in this matter.
Across the Atlantic, the legislators both elected and unelected believe themselves to be on the right side of history when it comes to the privately-owned internal-combustion vehicleâ€”more specifically, when it comes to the demise of same. The UK just announced that it would ban the sale of gas or diesel cars by 2035, â€œor earlier, if possible.â€ When Neil Peart wrote Red Barchetta, that date was a robust 60 years away. Now itâ€™s closer in our windshield than the introduction of the second-generation Toyota Prius is in our rearview mirror, so to speak.
This astounding regulatory decision, made by people who canâ€™t gauge the UKâ€™s relative impact on the climate vis-a-vis Chinaâ€”or maybe they just read 1984 as an instruction manual, not a warningâ€”sickens me. Thereâ€™s only one thing to be said in its defense: at least itâ€™s kind of fair. Contrast it to the Europeans, who are doing something even nastier: their 2021 emissions standards require a fleet average of 58 mpg or thereabouts. You couldnâ€™t do that with an all-Prius fleet. Heck, not even the Plymouth Horizon Miser could hit that mark.
What the EU expects the automakers to do is simple: continue making Ferraris, AMG Benzes, and whatnot for the super-rich while forcing everyone else into an electric vehicle. So while British showrooms will force the same misery on everyone, kind of like the way everyone in London had to hide in the same shelters during the Blitz, the Europeans will make sure that the most privileged among us get to keep doing what they want while the average man or woman in the street gets stuck with a glorified golf cart.
(If you like, and if it fits your political worldview, youâ€™re also free to see this as a way to make the dirty plutocrats subsidize clean electric transportation for the proletariat through extra markup on their G-wagens or Range Rovers or whatever. Thereâ€™s room for all views here, except perhaps for those held by the people who weld enormous scrap-sheet metal fenders on old 911s for no reason.)
The delight with which the politicians are rolling out these regulations would make Richard Aborn blush.
The difference between Jim Corbett writing a first-hand account in the 1940s and Dane Huckelbridge recycling that account today is the ideology. Jim Corbett’s story is a modest, downright self-effacing account of how a local sportsman went to the assistance of terrified Indian villagers and tracked down and killed an extraordinarily bold and aggressive man-eating tigress who’d killed and eaten a record 436 people. Corbett does attribute the tiger’s human predation to a jaw injury from an old bullet-wound, but Corbett tells a stoic and under-stated modern version of the classic man versus monster story.
For Huckelbridge though, the man versus monster saga is just a secondary problem arising from a more basic, more important conflict: British Colonialism versus Pristine Native India.
Then there is Jim Corbett, the now-legendary hunter who was finally commissioned by the British government to end the Champawat Tigerâ€™s reign. To many, even in present-day India, he is nothing short of a secular saint, a brave and selfless figure who risked life and limb to defend poor villagers when no one else would. To others, particularly academics engaged with post-colonial ecologies, he is just another perpetrator of the Eurocentric paternalism that defined the colonial experience. Each is a fair judgment. …
Which brings us, inevitably, to colonialism itselfâ€”a topic far too broad and multifaceted for any single book, let alone one thatâ€™s concerned primarily with man-eating tigers. Yet it is colonialism, undeniably, and the onslaught of environmental destruction that it almost universally heralds, that served as the primary catalyst in the creation of our man-eater. It may have been a poacherâ€™s bullet in Nepal that first turned the Champawat Tiger upon our kind, but it was a full century of disastrous ecological mismanagement in the Indian subcontinent that drove it out of the wild forests and grasslands it should have called home, and allowed it to become the prodigious killer that it was.
What becomes clear upon closer historical examination is that the Champawat was not an incident of nature gone awryâ€”it was in fact a man-made disaster. From Valmik Thapar to Jim Corbett himself, any tiger wallah could tell you the various factors that can turn a normal tiger into a man-eater: a disabling wound or infirmity, a loss of prey species, or a degradation of natural habitat. In the case of the Champawat, however, we find not just one but all three of these factors to be irrefutably present. Essentially, by the late nineteenth century, the British in the United Provinces of northern India and their Rana dynasty counterparts in western Nepal had created, through a combination of irresponsible forestry tactics, agricultural policies, and hunting practices, the ideal conditions for an ecological catastrophe.
Which is why this particular story of environmental conflict is not only relevant, but urgent and necessary. At its core, Jim Corbettâ€™s quest to rid the valleys of Kumaon of the Champawat Tiger is dramatic and straightforward, but the tensions that underscore it contain the resonance of much larger and more grievous issues. Yes, it is a timeless tale of cunning and courage, but also a lesson, still very much pertinent today, about how deforestation, industrialization, and colonization can upset the fragile balance of cultures and ecosystems alike, creating unseen pressures that, at a certain point, must find their release.
All of Mr. Huckelbridge’s pious notions about “ecosystems” healthy or otherwise, “apex predators,” proper forestry, suitable hunting practices, game conservation,and Environmentalism are entirely Western ideas. When he applies them to Kumaon, he himself is being colonialist.
The Champawat maneater was undoubtedly injured by an unskilled native poacher armed with a primitive musket, shooting at a tiger in defiance of hunting laws and game permits invented and imposed by the British Raj. How Huckelbridge can claim that this occurred because the poor tiger was driven out of some unidentified “forests and grasslands” by “a century of ecological mismanagement and environmental destruction” to arrive at the forests and grasslands of Kumaon is unexplained. Where exactly was it that all this alleged mismanagement and destruction occurred? Were there no native tigers in Kumaon previous to all this nearby mismanagement and destruction? What exactly does Huckelbridge think the British (and their Rana dynasty of Western Nepal counterparts) mismanaged and destroyed? Why are the British supposedly to blame for (politically independent) Nepalese actions and policies anyway?
It’s all just a farrago of Enviro-sanctimony and cant lavishly seasoned with the usual “British Colonialism was simply awful” left-wing fantasy.
In reality, the difference between Pre-Raj India and the India of Jim Corbett was that, in the former, tigers undoubtedly had more commonly the upper hand, most humans were unarmed or poorly armed, maneaters munched their way through the Indian peasantry unrebuked without records or scores of the numbers eaten ever being known or kept.
Huckelbridge’s book is nothing more than a breathless re-telling of one chapter of Maneaters of Kumaon accompanied by a truckload of PC nonsense and a lot sanctimonious self-righteousness. Consign this one to Kali!
There is no limit to the absurd catastrophic alarms generated by the Environmental Religion. They are as many as there are grains of sand on the beach.
Here we have the BBC quoting a German academic telling us that the world may be running out of sand (!).
We extract billions of tonnes of sand and gravel each year to make concrete for the building industry, and this is having an increasing environmental impact as beaches and river beds are stripped, warn campaigners.
Alongside this environmental damage, the building industry is also a major contributor to greenhouse gases – cement manufacturing alone accounts for 7% of global CO2 emissions.
In many countries, sand is often extracted illegally from beaches or river beds. But once sand is taken from a river, the water flow can become faster and more violent – and the water table alongside a river will fall, affecting farming along the river bank.
Dredging beaches for sand increases coastal communities’ vulnerability to storm damage – because sandy beaches act as sponges absorbing a storm’s excess energy – something that is increasingly likely because of climate change.
“The problem is that the demand for sand is outpacing what we know about the environmental impact of extraction,” says Dr Aurora Torres of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). “It is a hidden ecological disaster.”
In a remote part of Northern Scotland, the development of a shore-side world-class golf course that might provide a great deal of local employment is being blocked by “conservationists” fighting to preserve the supposed habitat of Fonseca’s Seed Fly, Botanophila fonsecai, a species, one of 110,000 in the world and one of more than 7000 in the UK, discovered in the 1960s, and differentiable only by a close examination of the insect’s genitalia under a microscope.
The developers have spent the last two years modifying their plans so as to minimize the golf course’s environmental impact in hope that the local Council in authority will be placated.
Today’s world is mad, and the insane environmentalist religion is one leading source of the madness.
Take Easter Island. For a long time now, we’ve been told the resident culture’s decline constitutes a cautionary tale about environmental destruction via human excess.
A new study paints a completely different picture. New Atlas:
When Europeans first landed on Easter Island in the 18th century, they found a barren landscape. The story goes that to raise the huge stone heads, called moai, the Rapa Nui people felled most of the island’s trees to use as rollers, burning the rest for fuel and warmth. The negative effects of a treeless island cascaded down, destroying their previous prosperity and leaving the tribes fighting over resources.
“The traditional story is that over time the people of Rapa Nui used up their resources and started to run out of food,” says Carl Lipo, co-author of the study. “One of the resources that they supposedly used up was trees that were growing on the island. Those trees provided canoes and, as a result of the lack of canoes, they could no longer fish. So they started to rely more and more on land food. As they relied on land food, productivity went down because of soil erosion, which led to crop failures â€¦ painting the picture of this sort of catastrophe. That’s the traditional narrative.”
To get a better understanding of what the people of Easter Island were eating and how, a team from Binghamton University analyzed human, animal and plant remains dating as far back as 1400 CE. Analyzing the carbon and nitrogen isotopes of the collagen in bones can reveal the diet of ancient people, and these were compared with isotope analyses of the ancient and modern plant and marine samples to get an idea of where their food was coming from.
The results showed that about half of the proteins the Rapa Nui people were consuming came from marine sources, which means they were fishing more consistently for a longer period than they were given credit for. At the same time, the food they were cultivating on land was more productive than previously thought, with the environmental analyses showing an understanding of how to improve poor soil fertility.
“We found that there’s a fairly significant marine diet, over time, throughout history and that people were eating marine resources, and it wasn’t as though they only had food from terrestrial resources,” says Lipo. “We also learned that what they did get from terrestrial resources came from very modified soils, that they were enriching the soils in order to grow the crops. That supports the argument we’ve made in our previous work, that these people came up with an ingenious strategy in enriching the soils by adding bedrock to the surface and inside the soil to create, essentially, fertilizer to support their populations, and that forest loss really isn’t a catastrophe as previously described.”
Although the story of the Rapa Nui’s self-destruction serves as a good fable to teach environmental awareness and responsibility, the Binghamton team concludes that it’s not that simple. The history of Easter Island is more nuanced, and the ancient people shouldn’t be written off as reckless and careless.