We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

When I attack the concept of ‘Biodiversity’ – and note the inverted commas, that’s kind of key – I’m not voting, as the eco-fascist would-be suicide bomber James Lee so touchingly put it, against “The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels.” What I’m railing against is the way a noble-seeming concept has been subverted by the watermelons of the green movement in exactly the same way as “Climate change” has and with precisely the same aims: to extend the powers of government; to raise taxes; to weaken the capitalist system; to curtail personal freedom; to redistribute income; to bring ever-closer the advent of an eco-fascist New World Order.

I’ve got nothing against biodiversity. But I’ve an awful lot against “Biodiversity.”

Delingpole, having done so much damage to the last Big Green Thing (see posting below), turns his guns onto the next one. But will Greenery of any kind now be trusted enough to serve as the next big excuse for global statism?

35 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • John B

    An excellent quote.
    They can’t fool all the people all the time but they can probably fool enough to achieve their agendas?
    It seems the rolling momentum of statism, controllism, or whatever one can call fascism-lite is very strong.
    It has been further embedded in all the organs of effective power over the last decade or three and is now flexing its muscles. Again.
    At least Reagan could say: The scariest words in the English language are: I’m from the Government and I’m here to help you.
    But the libertarian and other freedom movements are running strong.

  • pete

    When Mr Delingpole says ‘and, of course, the Squirrels’ I hope he means squirrels of all types.

    Biodiversity watermelons often have a colour prejudice when it comes to squirrels, preferring the red ones over the grey. It seems that their tolerance of immigrants doesn’t extend to these rodents and diversity in UK squirrels is not something to celebrate.

  • davydai nikolenko

    Best thing about the internet re: the watermelons, is that never, during their previous decades of scare stories, was so much evidence archived against them.
    They’ll find it much more difficult to escape their past follies now, as they attempt to shapeshift into the next big thing.
    eg. Someone like Monbiot… their reputation is sunk, when all the chicken-licken bullshit never materialises.
    Where can they hide?

  • RAB

    Bleedin grey squirrels! Comin over ‘ere takin all our acorns! Pushin our Reds around. Creatin Grey ghettos. marginalising our Reds to to the wildernesses of Scotland and Wales! They should all be put in a sack and…

    Ah yes, the Watermelon’s true feelings come out in such instances. They want to go back to an indiginous world, whenever that was exactly.

    They probably want all rabbits out (bleedin Normans!) and wolves and bears back in. They will be a boon in Bradford and Chingford wont they?

    Biodiversity is the new big scam, now that the AGW scam has been well and truly sussed by the general public (air flights up, car use up, recycling down).

    It is so beautifully vague and hard to quantify. But very soon large chunks of land will be bought, or more than likely given, to the likes of the WWF, Friends of the Earth, Greenpiss etc and they will get loads of subsidies to let them sit there doing nothing productive whilst keeping the rest of us out.

    They should all be put in a sack and…

  • Tom Dickson-Hunt

    Very nice. I would say that there is a greater probability of biodiversity loss becoming a real major problem at this point than global warming, but neither are an excuse to start creating regulatory agencies.

  • Mike Lorrey

    the solution to the immigration and biodiversity problem is, of course, trade barriers./sarcoff

  • ian

    Biodiversity is not new – it is a key concept in ecological studies and has been probably since Darwin, or if that is too far back for you, look at the work of Aldo Leopold in the ’40s.

    Deriding the work of serious scientists to further an ideological agenda – isn’t that what you accuse those arguing for the reality of climate change of doing?

  • manuel II paleologos

    ian – to clarify your point, can you please point us to any examples of

    1. Anyone arguing that biodiversity is new
    2. Anyone who doesn’t know who Darwin was
    3. Anyone who has expressed any kind of objection to the basic importance of biological diversity

    Otherwise it’s a little hard to understand quite what you’re trying to say. You seem to be making the same point as Mr Delingpole but you also seem to think you’re arguing with them.

  • 1. Brian in his original post said “having done so much damage to the last Big Green Thing (see posting below), ”

    Davydai Nicolenk said: “They’ll find it much more difficult to escape their past follies now, as they attempt to shapeshift into the next big thing.”

    RAB said: “Biodiversity is the new big scam” (and lots more besides)

    2. I don’t know what you are talking about

    3. See 1 above

  • I’ve managed to truncate the quoter form Brian, just read to the end of that sentence


    4. My comment is not directed at Delingpole but at the post and earlier commenters typically making a knee jerk ideological point whenever any environmental issue is raised.

  • Ian: you may have missed the distinction between ‘biodiversity’ and ‘Biodiversity’?

  • RAB

    The two Ian’s,

    I am well aware of biodiversity and symbiosis etc, but I am also well aware of blatent propaganda like this…


  • What was the last mammal to go extinct and when was it?

    I saw it argued somewhere that that was a good question to ask those who say that extinction rates are accelerating. Apparently it’s all “extrapolated” from calculations about land usage. In which case, at first glance, it smells similar to AGW “science”.

  • Laird

    Well, let me take up mIIp’s challenge and insert a word against “the basic importance of biodiversity” (as well as “Biodiversity”). Or rather, a word in support of extinction.

    A biosphere, like an economy, is constantly approaching (but never quite achieving) equilibrium, because it’s also in a constant state of flux. The presence of a particular species in the biosphere pulls the point of equilibrium in one direction; in its absence the point of equilibrium would be somewhere else but it would still be somewhere. As long as the elmination of a species isn’t the result of a sudden, catastrophic event, the equilibrium shift will be gradual and largely imperceptible. Even with a catastrophic extinction event (say, a large asteroid impact during the Cretacious period) biological equilibrium will eventually be restored, although the perturbations will be more severe as it bounces around before settling down again.

    Species become extinct when they no longer “fit” into the biosphere, and biospheres are constantly evolving. Man is as “natural” a part of the biosphere as any other creature, and if our presence causes it to change so be it; the earth will adapt, as it always does. If some inconsequential subspecies no longer fits into the new arrangement it will die off. But the biosphere will still be in equilibrium, just a different one. That’s life.

    Extinction is as natural (and, indeed, inevitable) a phenomenon for a species as death is for an individual. I’ve read that there are more species extinct than are presently alive on earth. It’s the natural order of things. I get very tired of people inhibiting the growth of our species in a futile attempt to prevent the extinction of some other one which has become biologically irrelevant. Its disappearance wouldn’t matter in the least. Let it go.

  • Tom Dickson-Hunt


    I don’t dispute the possible issues with biodiversity loss; that is a problem that requires study. I dispute, rather, the appropriateness of correcting for biodiversity loss prematurely (or, really, at all) via government action.

  • Ken

    ” Its disappearance wouldn’t matter in the least. Let it go.”

    As much as I agree, darn it, I’d still hate to live ina world without rino and grizzers.

  • What Ken said. This is a purely emotional issue, and as such, it is perfectly valid. It doesn’t mean that it justifies violence (by states or by anyone else), but it can’t be dismissed out of hand either just because it is emotional.

    Its disappearance wouldn’t matter in the least. Let it go.

    The same can be said about beautiful old buildings, music or cheese…OK, some kinds of cheese.

  • Laird

    Precisely. It is purely emotional, not scientific. And if someone wants to spend his own money saving the red-crested ground squirrel or whatever, have at it with my blessing. Just don’t spend my money, or hold up other people’s progress, over it. And don’t pretend that your “biodiversity” is somehow crucial to planetary survival, because that’s just risible.

  • Rob Fisher asked:

    What was the last mammal to go extinct and when was it?

    The Baiji Dolphin (http://www.baiji.org/expeditions/1.html)
    West African Black Rhino (http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/39319/0)
    Pyrenean Ibex, (http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/3798/0/summary) – although other related sub-species survive.

    All became extinct in 21st Century.

    “Current extinction rates are between 100 and 1,000 times higher than the “background rate” shown in the fossil record.” (Link)

  • ian

    The idea that biodiversity is simply an emotional issue is pure nonsense. Sorry – no other word.

  • T M Colon

    It would seem many environmentalists are what you might call eco-Luddites. They oppose change of any kind. They’re against both decreasing and increasing biodiversity. By that I mean they’re against “invasive species.”

    Yet species colonization has been going on for millennia. Colonization, or species invasion, is one of the prime drivers of biodiversity to begin with. Did all the varieties of bears spring up all over independently? No, they colonized and adapted. The pace of introduction of colonizers has increased, but the adaptive mechanisms of ecosystems remain the same. I’m tempted to say being against invasive species is like being against evolution.

    Which is not to say I’m indifferent to the demise of mega-fauna like pumas and whales. Just beware of initial reactions, especially emotional ones.

    On a side note, gray squirrels are displacing fox squirrels in my area. Only most of the gray squirrels are all black, a melanistic form of gray squirrel.

  • This is probably apocryphal:

    “On the plus side, there was a survey done in the UK to test public awareness of bio-diversity. The most common response was that people thought it was a soap powder.”

  • You have me convinced, ian – I now see the error of my ways.

  • Laird

    Nice, rational argument there, Ian. Got your fingers in your ears waggling your tongue, too?

  • RAB

    Well if you’d like to expand on that Ian, perhaps some of us would agree with you, but you appear to be a bit of a Joni Mitchellista, “Paved Paradise, put up a parking lot” frame of mind.

    If we actually did pave paradise, we would, human beings that is, all die.

    The problem is, is that paradise doesn’t and never has existed.

    Left to itself “Nature” is massively inefficient. It is red in tooth and claw, all species trying to dominate and gain advantage over all the others.

    The adaptable ones succeed and the unsuccessful ones dont.

    Scientists say that 99% of all life that has ever existed on this Planet has become extinct all on it’s own, without any help from mankind. So how good and caring is Gaia to her children eh?

    This time round, via the Biodiversity scam, it is Mankind firmly in the frame. Everything is all our fault!

    Well it fuckin isn’t!

    If Giant Pandas cant be arsed to have sex and eat a varied diet and disappear from this world, how is it my fault or yours? Do we have to spend trillions preserving them in aspic so to speak, and all the other “Loser” species like them? The Greens think we do. But how does that benefit us humans, except in an emotional and sentimental sense? It doesn’t.

    Like Dallers, I love to walk in wild places like the mountains of Wales with my dog. I do not despoil that which surrounds me if I can possibly help it. I take my litter home etc, but the fact is that unless we get off this rock around this lonely sun, and go looking for another, and then another, then we are as doomed to extinction as surely as all the species of this earth that sat on their complacent arses thinking they are “Sustainable”

    So, horrible as it might sound, we have to cannibalise this planet in order to reach another so that our species can have a future.

    The Greens think this Earth is sustainable. It isn’t. If there is one and only one scientific fact I believe in, it is that the sun will go out and us with it, if we are stupid enough to be still sitting here when it does.

    Dale Amon is the future of this planet, not George Monbiot.

  • You are the one talking about paradise not me. My simple point is that biodiversity is an essential factor in human existence. Denying that because some people you don’t like also hold to that is stupid.

    Try doing without bees.

  • RAB

    Try doing without bees.

    Tin hat alert!

    I think you’ll find, Ian Brackets, that they only propagate flowering plants.

    Much as I would miss honey, the world will not die without them either.

    Most species of plants propagate themselves with no assistance from Bees whatsoever.

    Nature is much more flexible and ingenious than the UN Council on Biodiversity and Climate Change you see.

    Which if you missed the original point of this thread is…

    It is a SCAM! Designed to lead inevitably to a world Govt. What else do you think the UN is about? Fun, fairness and and Free Societies?

  • The idea that biodiversity is simply an emotional issue

    ‘Simply’ emotional? Emotions are anything but simple. You seem to be dismissing them as irrelevant – big mistake. Just because someone’s wish is based on emotion rather than on rational thought, does not make that wish any less valid. At the same time, no one’s personal wishes of any kind, no matter how widespread, justify their forceful imposition on others. You want biodiversity (as do I) – feel free to achieve it on your own dime.

  • Fun, fairness and and Free Societies?

    I don’t know about ‘Free Societies’, RAB, but definitely free lunch…maybe even dinner.

  • I give up – carry on talking to your straw men.

  • Yeah, I kinda feel like that old guy at the Wailing Wall myself…:-)

  • Paul Marks

    “Watermelons” is correct – Green on the outside, Red on the inside.

    Let us say that the theory of man made globel warming is entirely correct. What does “cap and trade” and the “Chicago Climate Exchange” and so on, do to stop it?


    The whole thing is not about “saving the planet” it is about transfering money to various third world regimes, and empowering (and enriching) leftist activists (such as those who used the Foundations they controlled to set up the Chicago Climate Exchange – calling Comrade Barack Obama) and enriching certain politically connected corporations.

    Most noteably – Goldman Sachs and General Electric.

    Naught to do with saving poor dear Mother Earth.

    “Green” policies just do not produce “Green” results.

    Even Gaia Man himself (James Lovelock) says that all this “Cap and Trade” stuff (and the windfarms and the solar cells) will achieve just about nothing.

    Where is the crash programme of nuclear power station building?

    There is no such development happening.

    And the “Greens” actually campaign AGAINST nuclear power.

    This shows their true nature and their true objectives.

  • Laird

    Ian, if all bees were exterminated tonight it would be a problem. I don’t dispute that. But if bees gradually died off over a few centuries or millennia the biosphere would adapt. In fact, if they were to so die off the reason would be that the biosphere had changed in such a way that their presence was not only no longer necessary, but not even useful. And if some species of newt (or whatever) is so localized that it only lives in a certain area of Nevada, and human development threatens their continued existence, the very fact that they have such a tenuous hold on survival demonstrates that they no longer fill any viable niche in the biosphere. Their loss would be irrelevant, and not to be mourned (or prevented at the cost of curtailing human commercial development).

    Alisa, I take issue with your statement “Just because someone’s wish is based on emotion rather than on rational thought, does not make that wish any less valid.” It may not make the wish any less real to that individual, but it certainly makes it less valid to the rest of us. An emotional, non-rational attachment to preserving inviolate every single component of the biosphere does not provide justification for infringing on anyone else’s property rights.