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The Wokists are losing the Mandate of Comedy

Here’s how the Bursar of St John’s College Oxford responded to a student demand that the college “declares a climate emergency and immediately divests from fossil fuels”.

“I am not able to arrange any divestment at short notice. But I can arrange for the gas central heating in college to be switched off with immediate effect. Please let me know if you support this proposal.”

The appropriately named Hot Air got this report out from behind the Times paywall, and tells how the dialogue developed from there. Thank you Ed Driscoll of Instapundit for the link.

12 comments to The Wokists are losing the Mandate of Comedy

  • MadRocketSci

    Happy Independence Day, Brits. >:)

  • MadRocketSci

    I too support building fast-neutron fission reactors as fast as our diesel big-rigs can pour the concrete. Is your school nuclear powered? And you call yourselves modern!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Good point, Prof. Parker.

    These people, including Miss Thunberg (as Mr. Sexton notes), really aren’t serious, are they.

  • Lee Moore

    Rather a good tutorial on the problems with postmodernist scepticism about objective reality.

    If the bursar turns the heating off, will the students, each in his own room, all begin to feel cold because of a social construct that they’ve heard that February in Oxford is rather cold ? Or is it objective reality? As Jordan Peterson puts it – few people deny the reality of pain. The American philosopher Mike Tyson illustrates particularly well – “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

    I read, in connection with the virginity surgery thing, someone (not on Samizdata) say that “virginity is a social construct.” Which it obviously isn’t. The importance of virginity may be a social construct (though it’s much more likely to be mostly a biological construct) but virginity itself is not a social construct. It’s a historical fact, like whether you’ve ever been to Oxford in February. It may be difficult to prove one way or the other. But it’s not a social construct. It’s an objective fact.

    And having been to Oxford in February, I am able to confirm that it can get quite cold. Not as cold as Toronto perhaps, but cold enough, especially in those stone rooms, to get your attention.

  • bobby b

    Motto of the warmenists:

    “No, not ME! Other people!”

  • Stonyground

    Maybe the Bursar should suggest that the students give up everything else that is dependent upon fossil fuels and see how long it takes for them to work out that this means literally everything.

  • John

    Perhaps young Fergus would be satisfied by a compromise whereby the Bursar gives a firm commitment to turn off the college central heating in five months time.

  • Jim

    “And having been to Oxford in February, I am able to confirm that it can get quite cold. Not as cold as Toronto perhaps, but cold enough, especially in those stone rooms, to get your attention.”

    Not only that, once those stone walls get cold, it takes a good while to warm them up again. I well remember how once we had to have some work done on our chimney during winter, and thus leave the log stove unlit for several weeks. When the work was completed and we relit the stove, for a few weeks after we felt very very cold despite the roaring fire, as the thick stone walls of the old farmhouse had cooled down and were absorbing a large % of the radiated heat. It wasn’t until the walls warmed back to their old temperature that the room felt cosy again.

  • knirirr

    I note that the emails sent to union members within the university omitted the bursar’s further comments about personal cost.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    “Cold snowflakes” anyone?

    Dave Spart will be utterly outraged and digusted by this blatent introduction of reactionary reality and common sense. How dare the Bursar suggest that anyone take personal responsibility?

    What do we want?
    A protest.

    When do we want it?
    Err, when it’s warmer.

    Can we get some celebs like Emma Thompson to fly back from Hollywood to host a protest party? If she can’t get a ride in one of her luvvie friend’s private jet, she might have to slum it and travel by BA First Class (again).

  • Paul Marks

    In Australia the Greens demanded that the government not manage government land AND that private owners no longer be allowed to clear brush or cut trees on their land – in essence making the private ownership of land a legal fiction (if you are not allowed to manage “your land” you do not really own it).

    Then when there were massive fires – “Climate Change” was blamed, even though there is little evidence that Australia is dryer or hotter.

    The Greens CREATE a problem (in this case the massive fires in Australia) and then use it to “prove” their theory.

    Of course this does NOT prove that the C02 emissions cause Global Warming theory is wrong – the theory may be correct. But the practice of deliberately creating disasters (the fires in both Australia and the United States – for the Californian fires are also caused by “Green” policies preventing clearing undergrowth and thinning out trees – basic land management) which have killed large numbers of human beings and then using these deaths (the deaths one has caused) to increase one’s power (regardless of the harm one does to ordinary people) is evil.

    As for policies that would actually radically reduce C02 emissions (without destroying the economy and reducing the great majority of the population to destitution) – this could be done, with the radical deregulation of nuclear power (which would make safer – NOT less safer) and there-by the massive expansion of nuclear power.

    This is what most (not all – but most) “Greens” are AGAINST.

  • Paul Marks

    The “Green” mask of using regulations to, de facto, end the private ownership of land (one of the key objectives of the Communist Manifesto of 1848) has been frustrated in the United States by the rolling back, by President Trump, of the anti private landownership regulations (regulations that basically made any land with water on it government controlled) of the Obama regime. However, if a Democrat is elected in November – those regulations will be reimposed. And vastly more evil will be done.

    The support of so much of Big Business for the de facto end of private land ownership (turning private owners into de facto tenants of the government) is partly explained by the idea of so many rich individuals (including billionaires) and major corporations, is partly explained by their belief that they will control the government – so they will get special treatment. But do not underestimate the power of ideology – Corporate managers come from the universities they have been filled with disinformation and terrible collectivist beliefs and attitudes – which, although they only half understand what they have been taught (indeed if they did understand it – one hopes they would REJECT it, seeing it as the evil that it is), has a terrible effect.

    Here in the United Kingdom we live in a nation where the highest in the land repeat (with total sincerity in their voices) the “Critical Theory” doctrines of the Frankfurt School of Marxism (“diversity” and all) – one can only hope that they do not understand what they are saying, for the alternative is too terrible to contemplate.