The Guardian Environment pages seem to have taken a turn for the better, with less frequent articles telling us that the world is melting and that we can save it by cleaning our teeth less often. Leo Hickman even used his interactive blog to track down an exaggerated claim in an Attenborough documentary and get it corrected.
First they ban the sceptics from the comments, then they do the thing that sceptics have been asking them to do all along, and take the credit. Well done.
What’s happened is that green insanity has moved house and now resides on the Guardian Business pages. The thinking is presumably to attract the small ads for those millions of green jobs which are in the pipeline (oops!). Apparently no-one has told the Guardian that the majority of green job opportunities are for bus drivers, refuse collectors, ethanol petrol pump attendants, scavengers on landfill sites, etc. – not your typical Guardian reader. (though what do I know about the profile of your average refuse collector – or average Guardian reader, come to that?) See
“Climate change abolitionists: who is fighting for a more sustainable world?
It took Abraham Lincoln and others many years of campaigning to abolish slavery – but who are the contemporary figures fighting to abolish dangerous climate change?
“Here we have a selection of climate change abolitionists, those engaging in an uphill battle to challenge the broken systems that threaten our survival. As you can see, we’ve left eighteen spaces blank – these are for your suggestions.
“Put forward your climate change abolitionists in the comments section below, email them or tweet us @GuardianSustBiz. You can do this until Wednesday 6 March and shortly after we’ll use your suggestions to fill the empty spaces.”
In the 28 comments received before commenting was closed, suggestions included Peter Gleick, John Cook, Tamino and Polly Higgins, to add to Bill McKibben, Raj Pachauri, Jim Hansen, Michael Mann, Joe Romm, Al Gore, Jonathan Porritt , an awful lot of environmmental lawyers, David Blood – co-founder and senior partner of Generation Investment Management and Jigar Shah- founder of SunEdison, a partner at Inerjys, a fund that invests in clean energy NEEDS REWRITE.
(“NEEDS REWRITE” seems to be an internal Guardian directive. Perhaps I’d better have a look at Jiar Shah before his CV gets changed)
What’s odd is that the Guardian Environment pages, which appeal mainly to people who like bikes, organic gardening and cuddly animals, at least used to make an effort to explain and justify “the science”.
The Guardian Business pages, which presumably appeal to rational beings out to make money in a hard world, have abandoned all connection to reasoned argument and fallen victim to the delirium of climate change abolition as a moral crusade, embracing the weirdest outer reaches of green totalitarian thinking.
The breathless teen-magazine call to vote for your fave green giant mega-hero seems to be by Hannah Gould, content coordinator for Guardian Professional. She doesn’t get credited as author, but comments on numerous articles, thanking other commenters for their input, e.g. at
“Sustainable fashion top tweeters list”
“Engaging consumers in sustainable behaviour – live discussion”
“Who is fit to fund our social enterprise selling safe solar lanterns in Africa?”
“Can Christian philosophy strengthen the quality of business relationships?”
It’s a crap job, but it’s green, and somebody’s got to do it.
There’s no indication of who put together the list of failed prophets, has-been green revolutionaries and outright eco-fascists who account for a major part of the Green Business Hall of Fame. What on earth can Guardian Business readers hope to learn from Joe Romm and Polly Higgins, except hatred for the large majority of the human race who don’t agree with them? What kind of businessman would want to ally himself with polemicists who spit bile on the majority of his potential customers?
The accompanying article by Andrew Winston at least attempts to make a rational argument for going green:
“…tackling climate change and building a clean economy will drive growth: it’s what billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson calls ‘the greatest wealth-generating opportunity of our generation’…
“Climate abolitionists are not fighting to eliminate growth… What we want to abolish is our outmoded, broken economic and energy systems that threaten our survival… We’re seeking a new way of powering our world that will save vast sums of money (variable costs of near zero), avoid the significant health impacts of burning dirty fossil fuels, and conserve our planet’s ability to support not only our entire $70tn economy, but our very existence”.
It may be nonsense, but it’s nonsense couched in rational terms that can be refuted. Andrew Winston is “a globally recognised advisor, speaker, and writer on sustainable business” and co-author of the international bestseller Green to Gold.
He has a blog at http://www.andrewwinston.com/. A typical article begins:
“A New Algorithm for Fast Carbon Footprinting
“Low-cost carbon footprinting is a Holy Grail for the sustainability world. But how do you measure your footprint at multiple levels — from products to business lines to the whole enterprise — quickly and cheaply? Over the last few years, PepsiCo has been working with partners at Columbia University to solve this interesting and complex business problem..”
(1 comment: “Very interesting Andrew” leading to a broken link. You’d think PepsiCo could summon up a few of their 5 billion customers to reply..)
All this may seem trivial in the greater scheme of things. What does it matter what Hannah Gould and Andrew Winston think? Shouldn’t we be concentrating on Sir Paul Nurse and co, not to mention David Cameron and Barak Obama?
It’s a seamless web though, isn’t it. Or a tangled skein. Or maybe a tangled web. It won’t matter how many caveats are introduced into IPCC AR5, or how much debate it provokes at RealClimate and WattsUpWithThat, if the government continues to dole out billions to support fake green enterprise and the fake green entrepreneurs continue to think, in all innocence, that Joe Romm and Michael Mann are the scientific geniuses of the century, and Polly Higgins is our spiritual and ethical leader.