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

“It has become something of a cliche, but it also happens to be true. If you want to do your bit for the planet, forget Tesla and other super-expensive electric vehicles: just carry on driving the same old gas-guzzling banger you’ve always had. As much, if not more, carbon tends to be expended producing a new car as actually driving one.”

Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph (£).

I own an S-Type Jaguar (V6, 3-litre) – one of the last ones to be built – and it drives as smooth as you like, and what makes it all the sweeter is knowing that every time I turn that big black cat’s engine on, a little bit of Greta Thunberg’s cult hopefully dies.

29 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Better yet, let’s go back to riding horses!

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Nick, but horses crap on the floor.

  • The fact that AGW enthusiasts push unhelpful behaviours that let them virtue signal over helpful ones that do not is not, in itself, an addition to the (in any case, already more than adequate) evidence that the science is garbage. However it is evidence that their adoption of AGW belief was not motivated by interest in the science as such.

  • Lee Moore

    what makes it all the sweeter is knowing that every time I turn that big black cat’s engine on, a little bit of Greta Thunberg’s cult hopefully dies.

    I take it just the one step further. When I see something particularly sanctimonious about climate change on the TV that provokes the inner me to go beyond “Gnaagh, idiots !” to “Oh for God’s SAKE !” I pop outside and start the car – also large and ancient – and leave it running for half an hour.

    Pro tip – dont forget about it and leave it running all night, as I have done. Lots of Greta-points obviously, but not good to leave the engine idling that long.

  • AlfromChgo

    I’m wit you boss, 1998 Lincoln Town Car..

  • 1992 Lexus here. It seems to have had a run of good owners (including myself) and it just hums and quietly runs and, well maybe it likes its gas, but I’m not bothering the iron mines, nor the coal mines, not even the rubber mines.

  • Stonyground

    My previous car was a Saab 9.3. It had done about 98,000 miles when I bought it. It wasn’t worth having it fully serviced regularly, I just had the oil and filter changed every time the MOT came around. It averaged around 45mpg (diesel) but exceeded 50 on long runs. The gearbox died at around 145,000 miles. Current car is a Ssangyong Korando, 67,000 miles so far. It does get serviced regularly and I’m hoping that it will outlive me.

    Does anyone know how far electric cars go before the dead battery makes them not worth repairing?

  • 2008 Hyundai Tiburon – 6-speed. Cheap to run, mechanically sound, and loses little value from year to year (in fact, in another few years, it may actually GAIN value – they no longer make them.
    I tend to run my cars 10-12 years – but that was when I was driving around 40-50K miles a year. As I am retired, this car may last another 10-15 years of service.
    Screw the every 2-4 year replacements!

  • Paul Marks

    When people think of “figures who are anti science” then tend to think of people such as the new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party Edwin Poots – a kindly and decent man, but the world did NOT start in 4000 B.C. and humans DID evolve from other animals (although, as James McCosh pointed out in the 19th century that does NOT contradict Christianity or God endowing human beings with souls). But people such as Mr Poots are not the threat to science – the “I love fu….. science” types are. The people who treat science as religion itself (and a religion that demands human sacrifices).

    Greta Thumberg is not a scientist – she is a mentally disturbed child, who is ruthlessly exploited by adults determined to use “science” to impose a terrible tyranny upon humanity.

    Imagine an honest debate between, for example, Tony Heller (realclimatescience.com) and James Hanson (who started the Global Warming movement in 1988) – Tony Heller would have challenged James Hanson about the latter’s endlessly false predictions since 1988 and the misrepresentation of historical data by NASA and other government agencies.

    Basic data should be the most important thing to the physical sciences – if such things as historic temperature figures, and so on, are being changed and distorted to fit a theory (and they are) then we have left science and entered “science” as in the “I love fuc…. science” cult of the left.

    But such a debate could never take place – even if an establishment scientist (a “SAGE” type) agreed to a debate – because the cult would turn up, screaming “Denier!” and demanding that the heretic be “deplatformed” – and driven from their job, and hounded till the change their name and move to a remote place (if allowed to live at all – remember the shooting up of offices in the University of Alabama because the scientists there were known to be “Deniers!” – as heretics they did not deserve to live, according to the “Woke”).

    Where debate can not take place, because a heretic will be shouted down and then savagely punished, then real science can not take place either – any more than it could in the French Revolution where great scientists were executed for having the “wrong” political beliefs, or even because they came from the “wrong” families.

    But let us say, for the sake of argument, that the human emissions of C02 causes Global Warming theory is TRUE – let us forget about the absurd “arguments” (such as the media and academia claiming that COLD weather proves their theory) and assume the theory is true.

    Then the logical cause of action would be the radical deregulation of nuclear power – so it could rapidly expand (radical deregulation would also make it safer – not less safe).

    Do Greens advocate this course of action? Well a few do (such as James Lovelock) – but most do NOT.

  • Lee Moore

    Then the logical cause of action would be the radical deregulation of nuclear power

    Strictly, if you really really really believe more CO2 in the atmosphere will lead inexorably to runaway global warming, and the extinction of the human species, there’s only one realistic policy option – bombing China back into the Stone Age.

    I don’t think anyone – including me – is going to go for that. Though I think quite a few of the frothier Greens would probably be OK with it if you substituted {the USA} for {China.}

  • bobby b

    I’m from Minnesota. It’s cold here. If I truly thought that production of CO2 would cause the earth to warm, I’d be out chopping down trees and burning them, running my motors 24/7, and opening cement plants with my savings.

    But, alas, it’s all a politically-inspired lie, just as their earlier attempt using global cooling was in the 1970’s. No, if I need more warmth, I’ll have to migrate south. No amount of CO2 production is going to make my Minnesota warm.

    And I’m sure I’ll eventually end up buying an EV, if only for the blistering acceleration they offer. (I’m not supposed to like stuff like that anymore, but I surely do.) But, I’d not buy one as a tool to slow “global warming.” That’s just dumb, on so many levels.

  • GregWA

    Save those old gas hogs…when only the rich can afford them, there will be a bumper business in restoring them and selling them to Gates, Soros, Buffet, Bezos, Clinton, Gore, Obama, et al.

    My dream car: bought second hand from the original owner. It’s a 5 year old Honda, being sold with 80K miles on it because the owner wants a new one. Owner is an older guy like me, keeps his house and yard neat as a pin…and by extension takes care of his cars. I pay top dollar and have never been disappointed.

    I have a contest with myself to see how low I can keep the annual capital cost of my cars which I take to be the price I paid minus price I get divided by years I had it; ignores operating costs and repairs which are usually minor ($500 every couple of years). My best is a 2002 Corolla which I bought for $5200 when it was 6 years old with 106K miles on it. Just sold it for $2000, so about $250/yr. My more usual cost has been $500-$750/yr–the Corolla was bare bones, but sweet basic transport.

    When I see someone driving a new car, paid at least $20K new, worth $15K a year later, I shake my head. Can’t understand it.

    I think about them: if you want to help the planet, train people to repair cars and drive them all 250K miles. And no frills: just needs a good motor, good stereo (life is too short to go anywhere without music), a good tranny (can we say that anymore?), and a decent location for a pistol (I drive in Portland sometimes).

  • Ferox

    A reliable test for the efficacy of any green initiative is – does it require a subsidy?

    For example, steel recycling, aluminum recycling, ICE vehicles, and nuclear power do not. Paper recycling, wind power, solar power, and electric vehicles do.

    Things which require a subsidy in order to be practicable clearly don’t provide an actual net benefit – at least not yet.

  • Paul Marks

    International restrictions may continue – using Covid as a justification (there will always be “new variants”) as the Covid Emergency transitions into the Climate Change Emergency – and the fact that Covid 19 (at least existing variants – I have no idea what Tony Fauci’s friends have produced and whether Early Treatment will work to counter it) can be treated if caught EARLY will continue to be smeared and swept under the rug. However, at least in the United Kingdom there is a surge of opposition to the restrictions – I do not believe the Parliamentary Conservative Party will tolerant restrictions after June 21st.

    So the Longest Day (June 21st) will be the real test – do the Covid Emergency restrictions and/or the Climate Change Emergency restrictions continue after this date or not? It depends on whether the Conservative Party stands up against “SAGE” and other groups that use “science” as a mask for their international totalitarian agenda. Tragically it is not “just” the humanities and social sciences that have been corrupted by Collectivism in the universities, the natural sciences have been as well – “peer review”, “funding”, and the old practices of controlling the appointment of academics and the setting and marking of examinations. Once the “nose of the camel” (the left) is let in the tent – the rest of the camel follows and the tent (academic learning) falls, falls into Collectivist dogma and indoctrination (even in medicine and the natural sciences – which undermined by “Social Justice” and the “Equity Agenda”, remember “Climate Justice” is “Social Justice” and anyone who opposes these theories is a RACIST).

    For those who have no faith in the Conservative Party I would point out the brutal truth – look at the local elections results, the new alternatives made no impression at all (and if they can not make an impression after a year of “lockdowns” they never will). Working within the Conservative Party does NOT mean blind faith in any particular leadership of it – it means the basic truth that the VOTERS who pro liberty people have to reach are Conservative Party voters, which means the selection of CANDIDATES is vital, both for local councils, and for PARLIAMENT.

    Is your local Conservative Member of Parliament or candidate pro liberty? If not why not? In the end that is down to YOU – make sure that the candidate is pro liberty, and try and get information to existing Members of Parliament (DIRECTLY – by passing the officials and “experts”).

    This is even more true in the United States – where candidate is more open.

    If a pro liberty American person complains about Republicans not being pro liberty, the obvious questions to ask is “are you registered as a Republican?” and “did you vote and campaign in the PRIMARY?”

    If the answers are not YES – then the person is not serious about liberty, as the Republicans are the only game in town – so it is up to people to make sure that the CANDIDATES are pro liberty.

    Alternative parties have been tried both in Britain (Reform) and the United States (the Libertarian Party) and they have not worked – so get to work and make sure your Conservative and Republican CANDIDATES are the pro liberty.

  • Paul Marks

    I recently watched a talk by Bill Warner. If one looks up this man he is presented as totally evil – eating Muslim babies for breakfast and-so-on, but actually he is a gentle old man.

    His most recent talk (the one I watched) was NOT on “Political Islam” – it was on censorship in general. Bill Warner gave the example of his own case – how it went from being invited to international security conferences, and giving talks at universities, and having a best selling book on Amazon (and so on), to being a NON PERSON – a “racist” who has no right to live, let alone any right to argue for his opinions.

    In universities he started to find himself under attack from two sides – shouted down by activists in the audience (who would just scream abuse – and refuse any civil discussion) and “disinvited” by the officials and academics themselves. As a “racist hater” he had no right to speak.

    The media and such bodies as the “Southern Poverty Law Centre” (smear merchants) convinced Social Media to “shadow ban” him, and Amazon to no longer recommend his books, and even financial companies (such as Mastercard) hit him. Had Dr Warner not had a pension (and so on) he might well have found himself on the street begging for food – a bit of a come down for a man who used to go all over the world speaking to security conferences.

    Bill Warner’s point was that this was NOT JUST ABOUT ISLAM.

    Let us say he actually had been talking about a whole string of other subjects THE SAME THING WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO HIM.

    Had he been talking about crime (say that certain groups of people commit an oddly disproportionate number of violent crimes), or about “Climate Change”, or about Covid 19 – THE SAME THING WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO HIM.

    Yes the move from a free speech culture to a culture of censorship and persecution can be traced back to the 1960s – to Herbert Marcuse and the rest of the Marxist “Repressive Tolerance” crowd, who argued that Freedom of Speech “harms” groups of people who are “exploited” and “oppressed” and Freedom of Speech should, therefore, be exterminated.

    But how did an obscure Marxist theory become Public Policy – both of governments (such as the American government) and of the major Corporations?

    Why do people on this very site have to use fake names – for fear they will lose their jobs? It is not Herbert Marcuse doing this – he (and the other major Frankfurt School figures) has been dead for years.

    What happened, I believe, is that the Obama Administration took this obscure Marxist theory (that Freedom of Speech “harms” groups of people who the Marxists declare “exploited” and “oppressed” by the “Power Structures”) and used Title Nine of the Civil Rights Act (MISUSED Title Nine – as it was never meant for this purpose) to encourage universities to BAN DISSENT.

    From 2009 onwards there has been a massive culture change in universities – where dissent (on a whole range of topics) is now PUNISHED.

    This has spread from the universities into the business world – a whole generation of managers now believe it is quite normal to dismiss someone for their political or cultural opinions.

    “So you oppose abortion – you can not work for the bank” or “You do not support the Climate Change Emergency – you can not work for this entertainment company” is now seen as normal and natural.

    As Bill Warner points out – this is NOTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM, this the West has done to itself.

    If dissenting opinions in universities and business are now PUNISHED the West is going to die – it is that serious. Our civilisation can not survive this Frankfurt School Marxist doctrine (that Freedom of Speech is “harmful” and must be exterminated) becoming mainstream.

    And it has become mainstream.

    What is needed is the Civil Rights (Civil Liberties) principle that people may NOT be shouted down and persecuted by losing their job (and so on) simply for peacefully expressing their opinions.

    The Milton Friedman view of the tolerant university (where you might not convince people of your opinions – but you were allowed to express them), and the neutral corporation (not interested in the political and cultural opinions of either customers or employee) is essentially dead.

    Quite dead – universities are not tolerant (they are brutally intolerant – for example I would never get a degree today, I would be kicked out of most universities in my first year), and corporations are not politically and culturally neutral – they are obsessed with the political and cultural opinions of their customers and employees, and if customers and employees do not have the “correct” opinions – they are PUNISHED.

    “Go Woke and Go Broke” – not if the “Woke” control the banking system and the Central Banks, and the government bureaucracy and-they-do.

    It may soon be impossible for people who openly express non “Woke” opinions (on anything – anything at all) to live in the West – the soon to be totalitarian West.

    And “I will pretend to be Woke” is not enough – as the slightest slip (the slightest suspicion that you do not have the “correct” cultural and political opinions) will be used as a justification to destroy you.

    You may not be shot or beaten to death by Antifa and BLM (and other activist groups) – or thrown into prison by the vicious scum (and they are vicious scum) who make up the FBI and other agencies (sorry people by the nice FBI presented in endless television shows and films is rather out dated now) – but you will be left in the street begging for food.

    No job, no home, no chance to run your own small business either – just begging for food and sleeping on the street.

    That is what the “Woke” (including “Woke” Corporations) intend for all dissenters – and a society like that will eventually collapse.

    Indeed it DESERVES to collapse – remember to the “Woke” 1+1=2 is “White Supremacy” (the new Professors of Mathematics endorse this view) – does a society like that deserve to survive?

    No it does not.

  • Paul Marks

    Anyone who notes that the above is intended to destroy the West is correct – of course Frankfurt School Marxism (“Woke” doctrine) was designed to destroy the West.

    But the international establishment elite do NOT want to die – they want to live in a new society, rather like the “Social Credit” system of the People’s Republic of China. Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum (supported by most Western governments and by nearly all of the big Corporations) loves President Xi and PRC totalitarianism.

    “It will not really be Marxism, Paul Maris – you silly goose. It will be more like the totalitarianism of technocracy – that Saint-Simon supported and goes all the way back to Francis Bacon”.

    So we will be crushed into the dirt by “Technocracy” rather than Classical Marxism. But we will still be crushed into the dirt.

    “You will own nothing and you will be happy” – you had better be happy, or they will take your food and shelter away (remember you will “own nothing”) and you will unable to live.

  • Deep Lurker

    The economically-efficient answer, under free-market conditions, is also the ecologically-efficient answer to a very good first approximation.

    But the eco-socialists don’t want to accept this. They cry that people don’t value Sacred Gaia’s Holy Environment enough, so as to have a pretext to take control and rule over people’s lives and deaths.

  • NickM

    I assume you are aware that a final year female law student at Abertay University has got herself deep in the soup for suggesting that women have vaginas? She may well not graduate. Oh, oddly enough she’s 29 and has two children. On that basis I suspect she understands a bit about anatomy.

    But wait…

    The incident comes just a year after economics lecturer Dr Eva Poen was accused of transphobia by feminist and LGBT students over a tweet in which she said ‘only female people menstruate’.

    Furious undergraduates at the University of Exeter condemned the lecturer accusing her of ‘openly singling out trans people’ in the posts.

    The row erupted when Dr Poen responded to a tweet by a Twitter user which read: ‘Not everyone who menstruates is female. Not everyone who is female menstruates. Let’s shift our language.’

    The lecturer, who strongly denied accusations of transphobia, wrote back: ‘Only female people menstruate. Only female people go through menopause.’

    Apparently there was also a case at Durham Uni where a guy got himself in schtuck for making the claim that men have penises. For about 20 years now Durham has had a medical school so, you know… I don’t want to have to say, “Do I need to draw a diagram…” but…

    God help us all! It is like Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” where one of the Judean People’s Front (or is it the Popular Front?) declares he wants to be a woman, called Loretta and have babies. It is decided that him not having a womb precludes this but his desire is “symbolic of the struggle against the Romans”. To which Reg (John Cleese) rather brilliantly hits back with, “It’s symbolic of his struggle against reality”.

    This isn’t even politics as we know it. It is literally a struggle against reality.

  • Mike Solent

    Natalie and I currently have a 2006 Volvo Estate, 2.6 Turbo Diesel on 145000 and good for at least another 100000. The Morris 1000 (1969 convertible) we expect to last for a very long time indeed….

  • Lee Moore

    a final year female law student at Abertay University has got herself deep in the soup for suggesting that women have vaginas? She may well not graduate.

    While menstruation, as it requires ovaries, is a strictly female talent, having a vagina is not. Those unfortunates with SRT genes and complete androgen insensitivity, who are biological males on account of having testes, also have a vagina (though incomplete as it almost always does not lead to a cervix.)

    The distinction arises from the fact that gonadal differentiation – unsurprisingly – is driven by non-gonadal hormones, whereas subsequent sexual differentiation – genitals et seq – is largely driven by hormones produced by the gonads (eg anti-Mullerian hormone and testosterone.)

    Fear not – I am not proposing to apply for a course of study at Abertay University. It seems unlikley that they have anything useful, or even useless but entertaining – to teach me.

  • what makes it all the sweeter is knowing that every time I turn that big black cat’s engine on, a little bit of Greta Thunberg’s cult hopefully dies.

    Or when I think of this little bit of photoediting …


  • Allen

    I want a cyber truck because it’s cool. I’ll have to replace the vegan leather with elephant though.

  • staghounds

    Those S types are handsome cars.

  • Stonyground

    I remember some wonk describing one of Ford’s big pick up trucks as:

    “An obscene monument to climate change denial.”

    Reason enough to buy one just for that thought quite a few people.

  • Mark

    “An obscene monument to climate change denial”. I like that. Not so obviously applicable to my Hyundai i20 perhaps, but I’m with it in spirit.

  • llamas

    1946 Ford 2N farm tractor. Not used daily, but 2 or 3 times a a week, winter and summer. Anyone care to top that?



  • Bruce Hoult

    My best result in car depreciation would be the 1997 Subaru Grandwagon (early Outback) I bought with about 100,000 km in December 2011 for NZ$3500 (GBP 1800) and sold with about 200,000 km in April 2019 for $1000. So that was around $330 a year or 2.5 c/km. I got it cheap because a friend had just come into some success with iPhone games and decided to buy a brand new WRX and a convenient disposal of his old car was more important to him than dollar maximisation. Similarly, I sold it to a family member for less than I might have gotten for the same kind of reason, and because it was convenient to me to have someone who would take possession at the passenger drop-off point at Auckland airport a few seconds after I unloaded six suitcases for my move to the USA.

    My worst was the car I bought a few days later in San Francisco, a 2017 Outback with 37000 miles for which I paid US$27389 plus taxes and fees ($30000.00 total). I’d figured I would keep it for 10+ years and be doing big miles and a lot of touring through deserts, mountains, harsh winters and didn’t want an old car that might break down in the middle of nowhere. Sadly, between COVID appearing and my getting laid off I left the US after only 11 months there. I got $23000 for the car with 50000 miles on the clock, as a private sale. Dealers were offering me half that. So that was a capital loss of $4389 in 11 months ($4788/year) or 34 c/mile. Plus the transaction cost of $2611. Ugh. But it could have been much worse.

    How ridiculous is it that in the USA every time a vehicle changes hands, the new owner has to pay 8% or 9% tax on the value? That’s obscene.

    Safely back in NZ, I bought a 2008 Outback 2.5XT with 87000 km for $10300 (5000 GBP) which I’ll probably use until 2030 at least, assuming I’m not crazy enough to move to Russia or the US again.

  • Ferox

    I have a 1997 Lincoln Towncar I bought in 2005 for $3500, with 80k miles on it. I have owned it now for 16 years, and put about 180,000 more miles on it. I have driven it across the US (from Washington to DC) several times, and from Washington to Arizona or Texas several more times.

    Still runs fine, though the #2 cylinder has some slight compression issues now. It still gets 20 mpg on the highway, and 12 in town. Good enough for me.