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]

What is it with Chicoms and killing people’s pets?

“Heartbreak as Hong Kong pet owners give up hamsters for Covid cull”, reports France-24:

Time was running out for Pudding.

The hamster, a new addition to the Hau family, was to be given up to Hong Kong authorities for culling after rodents in a pet shop tested positive for coronavirus — leaving Pudding’s 10-year-old owner wailing in grief.

“I don’t want to, I don’t want to,” the boy cried, his head buried in his hands as he crouched next to Pudding’s pink cage, according to a video shown to AFP by his father.

But the older Hau, who would only provide his last name, said he was worried about his elderly family members who live in the same household.

“I have no choice — the government made it sound so serious,” he told AFP, shortly before entering a government-run animal management centre to submit Pudding.

I am not certain, but I think the video of the little boy crying next to his hamster’s pink cage might be this one, which is being widely shared online.

Given that I am not a vegetarian, I suppose I cannot make too much of a fuss about animals being killed, but I had a hamster once of which I was fond. That little boy will remember his pet being taken away for the rest of his life. I could understand if there were any serious evidence that the cull would achieve anything for humans. None has been provided. Evidence is not really the point here: The People’s Republic of China has a Zero Covid policy. Nothing is to be allowed to stand in the way of progress towards this perfect state. In fact, now that the PRC has dropped the pretence of “One country, two systems” with regard to Hong Kong, it might even be desirable from China’s point of view that the people of Hong Kong should be made aware of what their new masters think of such Western-influenced bourgeois sentimentality. Let the children weep and know themselves powerless.

Of course Communist China has form on this. During the Cultural Revolution,

Even China’s feline population suffered as Red Guards tried to eliminate what they claimed was a symbol of “bourgeois decadence”. “Walking through the streets of the capital at the end of August [1966], people saw dead cats lying by the roadside with their front paws tied together,” writes Dikötter.

Nor was that the first of Mao’s grand animal-killing schemes. In the disastrous Four Pests campaign of 1958-62 he sought to kill all the sparrows in China.

Sparrows were suspected of consuming approximately four pounds of grain per sparrow per year. Sparrow nests were destroyed, eggs were broken, and chicks were killed. Millions of people organized into groups, and hit noisy pots and pans to prevent sparrows from resting in their nests, with the goal of causing them to drop dead from exhaustion.In addition to these tactics, citizens also simply shot the birds down from the sky. The campaign depleted the sparrow population, pushing it to near extinction.

The result was predictable: with the sparrows who ate the insects gone, the numbers of insects exploded. It was a contributing factor to the Great Chinese Famine. Warnings from ornithologists (or anyone else) that this might happen counted for little against a government that had mobilised the people to march towards a public health goal that could be defined in one sentence.

How long before we see “Deinsulate Britain” protestors?

“Insulation was supposed to save us money… but it ruined our homes: Millions crippling repair costs after botched green upgrades”,writes Chris Brooke in the Daily Mail:

Getting Britain’s homes insulated is the cornerstone of the Government’s green energy policy and an obsession for road-blocking eco-protesters.

But the scale of damp-related problems linked to cavity wall insulation is so serious that an MP is calling for an independent inquiry to improve protection for householders.

One expert has estimated that up to two million homes may have problems as a result of insulation being pumped into the cavity between outside and inside walls.

In some extreme cases, the resulting problems of damp and mould inside the house have rendered properties worthless and unsellable.

If the Lockdown Frolics of Downing Street had never been revealed to the public (I must admit to a twinge of admiration for the fact that they kept the secret for well over a year), I believe this issue would have brought Boris down eventually. The insulation issue is just one bomblet within the incoming political clusterbomb that also contains the energy price crisis, and the fact that forcing millions of people to pay thousands of pounds to replace gas boilers with heat pumps is about as welcome as Dominic Cummings popping up between Carrie’s designer sheets.

Net Zero will become so unpopular that the next election will be won by whichever political party promises to stop it. (Edit: Or gives the impression of being most likely to break their promise to keep it.) There is scope here for the Tory post-Johnson redemption arc, if they change course in time. I can see it. You can see it. Why can’t they?

Samizdata quote of the day

If it wasn’t so serious, we could just laugh. But green activists have been so successful over the last 30 years with their “settled” science propaganda that they have persuaded a Conservative Government in the U.K. to embrace the Net Zero agenda. A Marxist-inspired, control and rule agenda complete with reduced mass personal transport, higher energy costs, restricted diets and all the loss of personal freedoms that these entail. The Covid pandemic has shown just how many freedoms can be snatched away in a modern connected society by the spread of widespread fear, fuelled by selective state-sponsored science and, of course, made up models.

[…]

Meanwhile back in the real world, it is obvious that many green extremists are starting to think the unthinkable. Democracy is all very well but is falling short when decisions have to be made by self-proclaimed experts going about their important work of saving the planet. Writing in the American Political Science Review last month, Ross Mittiga, Assistant Professor at the Catholic University of Chile, noted that as the climate crisis deepens, “one can find a cautious but growing chorus of praise for ‘authoritarian environmentalism’”.

Chris Morrison

Another reason for de-covidification otherwise the current totalitarianism will serve as a model for other ones.

Samizdata quote of the day

“The data show that from 2000 to 2021, the number of global weather and climate disasters declined by about 10%, which is very good news and completely contrary to conventional wisdom.”

Roger Pielke Jr

A shockingly misinformed tweet by Tim Worstall

Someone called sarahknapton tweeted, “I know lateral flow is important etc but all these millions of bits of plastic ending up in landfill every day makes me feel a bit ill.”

Mr Worstall replied, “Umm, why? Lots of bits of plastic in landfill is where those lots of bits of plastic are safe. Dig up the oil, use the products made from it, stick the used plastic back in the ground – the cycle of non-life perhaps. Maybe we should get a warthog to sing about it for the kiddies?”

IT ISN’T THE WARTHOG WHO SINGS “CIRCLE OF LIFE”, YOU HEATHEN.

I love that song, despite the fridge horror of all those sentient animals submitting to being eaten. A happy new year to all our readers. May we find that place on the path unwinding that does not involve eating others or being eaten ourselves.

Out: “Follow the science”. In: “Let the hate flow through you”

Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.

“Telling people to ‘follow the science’ won’t save the planet. But they will fight for justice”, writes Amy Westervelt in the Guardian:

The climate emergency has clear themes with heroes and villains. Describing it this way is how to build a movement

The biggest success of the fossil fuel industry’s decades-long campaign to push doubt about climate science is that it forced the conversation about the climate crisis to centre on science.

It’s not that we didn’t need scientific research into climate change, or that we don’t need plenty more of it. Or even that we don’t need to do a better job of explaining basic science to people, across the board (hello, Covid). But at this moment, “believe science” is too high a bar for something that demands urgent action. Believing science requires understanding it in the first place. In the US, the world’s second biggest carbon polluter, fewer than 40% of the population are college educated and in many states, schools in the public system don’t have climate science on the curriculum. So where should this belief – strong enough to push for large-scale social and behavioural change – be rooted exactly?

People don’t need to know anything at all about climate science to know that a profound injustice has occurred here that needs to be righted.

The most recommended comment was by someone called “Pilotchute”. It started by quoting Ms Westervelt’s claim that the the US entering the Second World War was an example of “social change driven by moral outrage at the power being wielded by the few over the many”.

Pilotchute responded:

?
OK, nothing to do with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines then.
Ironic misinterpretation really, given the underlying “ordinary folk are too stupid to understand . . .” thrust to the article.

Samizdata quote of the day

Decarbonising our economy is the Greenies’ equivalent of the Soviet collectivisation of agriculture, or the Great Leap Forward. With similar effects.

Fen Tiger

ACAB

As the vultures circle above Glasgow for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference a.k.a. Cop26, here is a flashback to Cop15 which took place in Copenhagen in 2009:

Above all, Obama needed to be able to demonstrate to the Senate that he could deliver China in any global climate regulation framework, so conservative senators could not argue that US carbon cuts would further advantage Chinese industry. With midterm elections looming, Obama and his staff also knew that Copenhagen would be probably their only opportunity to go to climate change talks with a strong mandate. This further strengthened China’s negotiating hand, as did the complete lack of civil society political pressure on either China or India. Campaign groups never blame developing countries for failure; this is an iron rule that is never broken. The Indians, in particular, have become past masters at co-opting the language of equity (“equal rights to the atmosphere”) in the service of planetary suicide – and leftish campaigners and commentators are hoist with their own petard.

– Mark Lynas writing in the Guardian on 22 December 2009: “How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room”

The majestic cycle continues: “Biden heads to crucial climate talks as wary allies wonder if US will deliver”. He won’t. China will wreck the deal. Developing countries will grandstand, led by the Maldives. Doom will be imminent if we do not get a Green New Deal within a timeframe just longer than one electoral cycle. Preparations will begin for Cop27.

Samizdata quote of the day

“COP26, not as an event but as the beginning of a process, has the potential to provoke revolution. Not certainly and not in the immediate future; but the unfolding future of climate totalitarianism, already fairly clearly delineated in the plans of governments, is the one phenomenon that anyone with an historian’s insight will identify as a conceivable long-term cause of revolution. What shape such a revolution might take, whether purely political or violent, would probably vary according to the culture of any society in which it occurred. If politicians do not heed the warning signs that will eventually proliferate, future historians may compare the assembling of COP26 to the convening of the Estates General in France, in 1789.”

Gerald Warner

Read the whole thing. If you are from Glasgow, please don’t take offence.

Samizdata quote of the day

“The alarmism is the goal. The goal is the alarmism.”

Michael Shellenberger, as interviewed by Jordan Peterson. He is talking about the fearmongering of much of the contemporary Green movement, and what drives it. I really hope that a pushback is coming when the public fully wake up to what’s involved.

Samizdata quote of the day

“For years, the people of this country have been corralled towards a future that they cannot see and cannot understand. But the energy crisis this winter will reveal what politicians and eco-activists have kept hidden – that in a Net Zero future you will be poorer and colder.”

– Dr Benny Peiser, Director, Net Zero Watch.

Net Zero Watch is a new group run by the Global Warming Policy Forum, and it has its own website. I intend to visit it regularly.

Samizdata quote of the day

By the time some of the environmentalists realised who they had sold their soul to, it was too late. But what, in any case, had the alternative been? The small-is-beautiful crowd, with their patchouli-scented jumpers and their 1970s talk about limits and sovereignty, had been cancelled as eco-fascists long ago, exiled to distant smallholdings and housing co-ops with their well-thumbed copies of Tools for Conviviality and other yellowing tomes by dead white men. Now that an actual eco-fascism was on the horizon — a global merger of state and corporate power in pursuit of progress that would have made Mussolini weep like a proud grandfather — there was nothing to stand in its way.

Paul Kingsnorth