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Red And Green Should Never Be Seen

David Lindsay

“I also look forward to meeting with Chairman Kim who realizes so well that North Korea possesses great economic potential!”

So tweets Donald Trump. This is why we must promote the exploitation of the vast reserves of coal in this country. That, and the extension of civil nuclear power, are the means of delivering highly paid, highly skilled, high status, unionised jobs while securing independence from Arab oil, from Russian gas, and from coal that has been mined using child and slave labour. From North Korea, Trump intends his dynasty to supply a dependent world with the coal of the Kim dynasty deep into the twenty-second century. Yet we have our own, right here under our feet. Horror stories about how coal was burned or mined in the Britain of the twentieth century have no relevance to the Britain of the twenty-first.

This is part of a wider battle. We must reject out of hand the notion that the problem with the world is that it has people in it. Instead, we must celebrate the full compatibility between the highest view of human demographic, economic, intellectual and cultural expansion and development, and the most active concern for the conservation of the natural world and of the treasures bequeathed by such expansion and development in the past. That expansion and development must now include space exploration, fuelled by, and fuelling, fusion power. As a species, this is what we do. This is why we are not all still living in caves in one small part of Africa. The continent, by the way, to which the twenty-second century will belong. But of that, another time.

“To increase the power of Man over Nature, and to abolish the power of Man over Man,” said Trotsky. “Dominion,” says the God of the Bible. Dominion over the beasts, thus over the land, and thus over everything on and under the land. Dominion over the fish, thus over the waters, and thus over everything in and under the waters. Dominion over the birds, thus over the sky, and thus over everything in the sky, as far up as the sky goes, and the sky goes up a very long way. That dominion is entrusted so that we might, “be fruitful and multiply.” Entrusted as it is to the whole human race, its purpose is, “To increase the power of Man over Nature, and to abolish the power of Man over Man.”

Therefore we need an approach to climate change which protected and extended secure employment with civilised wages and working conditions, which encouraged economic development around the world, which upheld the right of the working classes and of nonwhite people to have children, which held down and as far as practicable reduced the fuel prices that always hit the poor hardest, and which refused to restrict travel opportunities or a full diet to the rich.

Look back to 1870, to each of what were to become the New Deal United States, Social Democratic Western Europe, and the Soviet Bloc. Then look at each of those in 1970. Neither laissez-faire economics, nor caring overly much about the fate of rare voles, had delivered electrification, or mass transportation, or decent accommodation, or proper sanitation, or universal vaccination, or space exploration. Are we to deny to Indians, or to Chinese, or to Brazilians, the same progress that we ourselves have made, and instead leave them defecating in communal pits while waiting to die of cholera or typhus? Are we to have the women of Africa continue to die, as the women of Europe did for thousands of years, from the fumes emitted by the open fires over which they cooked? This has nothing to do with post-imperial guilt, which is contestable. This has everything to do with common humanity, which is not.

If you hear echoes here of the debates around hunting or whaling, then, while I am not quite sure that I agree with you, I do take your point. Much as I take the point, without necessarily being quite sure that I agree with it, of those who see similarities between the attempted restriction of Second Amendment rights in the United States and the impending attempt to ban private drone ownership in Britain after the recent carry on at Gatwick Airport. There is no evidence that there ever was a drone there, and indeed Sussex Police publicly denied it until “a conference call” with “the Cabinet Office” changed their tune. But look out for every “security” measure of which most Labour and all Conservative MP have been dreaming since the days when Tony Blair was Shadowing Michael Howard at the Home Office. “Security”, and especially “Islamist terrorism”, is one of the two supposedly unanswerable pretexts for doing absolutely anything that had already been in the head of the person advocating it. The other used to be called “the environment”, then it was called “global warming”, and now it is called “climate change”.

In Britain, Greens and their fellow-travellers need to be asked the Yes-No question: “Do you regret the defeat of the miners in 1985?” The British Left’s biggest annual event is the Durham Miners’ Gala. At 2018’s, a video message from Bernie Sanders had to be corrected immediately from the platform by the Chairman of the Labour Party, Ian Lavery. Lavery reiterated his party’s commitment to the application of clean coal technology, not to the abandonment of fossil fuels. When Jeremy Corbyn rose to speak, then there was no correction to that correction.

As Piers Corbyn has pointed out, Margaret Thatcher took up all of this Greenery as an excuse to destroy the National Union of Mineworkers. All Conservatives still agree with her, and see the destruction of the coal industry as one of their party’s greatest ever achievements. Sadly, most Labour MPs would also never go near the Durham Miners’ Gala, or even know what it was. Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it.

David Lindsay is a freelance journalist and an Independent political activist based in Lanchester, County Durham.

Filed under: climate change, environment, Essays, latest

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David Lindsay is a freelance journalist and an Independent political activist based in Lanchester, County Durham.

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Thomas Prentice
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Thomas Prentice

No more from this Space Oddity. Although I do agree: The problem is NOT that the world has people in it. The problem is that the world has TOO MANY PEOPLE IN IT who are CONSUMING TOO MUCH CRAP THEY DON’T NEED AND BUYING IT WITH MONEY THEY DO NOT HAVE. Also the world is filled with TOO MANY PEOPLE who have VASTLY OVERRUN and SHAT IN their own Earth habitat and PEAK EVERYTHING is nigh because daemonic satanti power is somehow vested in the capitalist economic system and its various technologies of coercion, control, repression and death. As the… Read more »

David Lindsay
Reader

Which people are the wrong people, and why? And surely, by your own logic, the extinction of the human species would be a good thing?

crank
Reader
crank

Climate change – nobody has a clue how to really deal with it. (Apart from the deniers that is)… ‘Lets create a mass mobilisation of people in the West to suffer the abuse of state power so as to force a systemic change in order to have less freedom to travel, consume less gadgetry, eat less luxury foods and be less comfy and warm 365 days a year’. Any takers ? This is why Green politics has been a toothless failure. There is no physical means of replacing fossil fuels and keeping anything like the kind of society that we… Read more »

jag37777
Reader

Incoherent drivel.

John
Reader
John

Trotsky was a rat and a traitor and linked to western intelligence agencies and his followers do what Leon did best…..split up everyone into smaller groups. He was a fraud and ALL of his idiot disciples can’t explain permanent revolution. All Trotskyists can’t be trusted from the Hitchens brothers to corbyn etc etc

Antonym
Reader
Antonym

Yeah, Stalin was much better. This ex pre priest kept all sheep together through fake news (Pravda), camps, disappearances, torture, executions: a real charm.

RealPeter
Reader
RealPeter

Well, dear Antonym, We, the neoliberal, mock-democratic Westerners also have the fake news (state- and oligarch-owned media – wall-to-wall, 24/7, blanket lying), camps (now called refugee camps, retention centres, or in the United States just prisons with 3 million inmates), disappearances (where ARE the Skripals?), torture (officially sanctioned and justified by Bush Jr, Pompeo, the woman torturer now in charge of the CIA, and President Tweet himself; think also rendition centres, aka torture chambers, including EU members Poland and Romania, as well as the French in Algeria, waterboarding and all the rest of it), and executions (the judicial ones of… Read more »

wardropper
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wardropper

Please.
I like your comment, but Corbyn is a long way from Trotsky.
That’s the sort of thing a Tory might allege, someone who is so conservative that they think a trip to the toilet is a risqué, left-wing thing to undertake.
JC could certainly be more decisive and consistent, but if anybody is splitting the Opposition into smaller groups, it certainly isn’t Corbyn.
It just so happens that some people are easily split into smaller groups, and I believe it is the current Cabinet that wishes to do that right now.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Here we have the ultimate in denial and transference. Anyone, such as myself, who would provide the counterargument is obviously pre-ordained as neo-Malthusian and anti-civilisational …taking the shoes off the children of Africa: preventing them acquiring i-Phones and VR (virtual reality) headsets (to view archive material of the extinct wildlife that used to roam freely on the site of the Serengeti megatropolis). On the way: if we run out of rare earth materials, we can always engage our fusion-drive to mine an asteroid or two. I probably won’t burst anyone’s (who has one) mastery of Natures technofix virtual reality bubble,… Read more »

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

The ‘Holographic Paradigm’ is cracking up
and we’re gonna fall through the cracks.
Especially our kids and grandkids.

vexarb
Reader

@BigB. What he said.

Re Dominion, two quotes from Beethoven.

Young Beethoven: “Power is the morality of men who really matter’.
Older Beethoven: “Ah, Beethoven, Beethoven, what an ass you were in those days”.

Kerry F
Reader
Kerry F

Opening with quotes from Trotsky and some obscure version of the christian bible on a critique of socialist treatment of the ecology is inane. If this is the best the coal lobby has to offer they are in serious trouble! What may I ask the editors is this piece of rubbish doing here on Off Guardian? Trotsky, Marx et al would turn in their graves at the way “Leftism” is bastardised by the Western “democracies” Climate Change is definitely being used as a political tool, but there is no doubt that our environment is in serious trouble from man made… Read more »

Ken Kenn
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Ken Kenn

Not the worst argument I’ve read re: the politics of energy. Here’s the moral/political dilemma for myself at least. Fission is dangerous and allegedly fusion is not – it is allegedly controllable. The Chinese are/were developing new technologies for ” scrubbing ” the output effects of burning coal. Arthur ( Scargill that is ) said that British Deep mined coal was the most thermally efficient coal in the world per ton. The earth is allegedly warming – more sunshine/energy for everyone ( fun and sunshine – there’s enough for everyone – thank you George ) so why not exploit that… Read more »

bevin
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bevin

It is bad enough that George Monbiot advocates nuclear power. But at least he does so as an alternative to fossil fuel use. David, whose tongue grows out of his cheek, goes one worse: unlimited amounts of nuclear power and fossil fuel use without restriction. Both are very bad ideas. To suggest that to oppose either of these abominations is to promote poverty is the sort of argument that used to be made by ‘socialists’ who held capitalism to be a great thing except that it distributed the productivity gains of the system unfairly. It is now more likely to… Read more »

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

It’s not just George.
James Lovelock also advocates for nuclear power.
Maybe the Chinese can bury the waste on the dark side of the moon.

vexarb
Reader

Re Civil Nuclear Power I believe there are various types of Reactor. The early Civil Reactors were geared to produce “dirty” Uranium waste which contained Plutonium as a military byproduct: for use in Atom Bombs as pure Plutonium, and for use as a cancer-producing Bioweapon in socalled “Depleted Uranium” cannon shells. But there appear to be new types of Civil Reactor which either do not produce Plutonium or, if they do, consume it on site to produce relatively “clean” Uranium waste. Plutonium is the most infernal poison because a single atom can be fatal, and Plutonium hangs around for a… Read more »

Mark Doran
Reader

[*Boggle*…]

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

I used to accept–on faith, really–the existence of ‘global warming’. But three decades on, I am now entertaining real doubts. The climate has simply not changed perceptibly over that rather long period of time. Certainly not enough to melt the polar ice caps and inundate our coastal cities as they were predicting! (For that matter, have we even lost so much as one, single Pacific atoll?) No, I now believe that ‘global warming’ was just a hoax to make people feel better about de-industrializing the West and moving all our factories to the Third World. But don’t take it from… Read more »

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

Not sure why the embedded link isn’t working, but here it is: https://journal-neo.org/2018/10/16/the-dark-story-behind-global-warming-aka-climate-change/

Rhisiart Gwilym
Reader
Rhisiart Gwilym

The climate IS changing, Seamus. In my late 70s, I’m old enough to remember our earlier climate, and how it’s changed to the present state. The – credible, actually-honest – science is virtually unanimous too.

David L is clearly a Magical Unrealist. This link (below) will provide open-minded truth-seekers with a much more credible outline of what’s really happening to current human society, and where it’s leading; not coming soon, already begun:

https://www.ecoshock.org/transcripts/greer_on_collapse.pdf

vexarb
Reader

Seamus, good to see the other point of view — so essential for reasoned debate. A previous reader has made the same points and more; so it is time to draw up a table of points For & Against, ticking them off one by one. At the moment there is confusion and ignorance among laymen, as well as disagreement among scientists. As a Layman, I am in a quandary. My respect for Engdahl as a political scientist equals m my respect for my friend Altman as a physicist. Yet, when I forwarded Links to Engdahl’s powerful criticism and to the… Read more »

grandstand
Reader
grandstand

You make an assumption, vexarb, that I am “pro”. I don’t even know what that means in this context. I’m a scientist – that’s what. Like any other honest and competent scientist (which I like to believe I am on the basis of many publications), I am reporting facts – observations in this case – though in other situations it might be the results of simulations based on the best climate models we have – themselves tested by observations. Seamus asked a question or two – and I provided answers on the basis of observations. That is what scientists do.… Read more »

vexarb
Reader

GrandStand, by Pro & Contra I mean the arguments For & Against the proposition: “Is the Earth’s Climate really Warming by Humans burning Carbon; and if so, what can we expect?”.

That’s why I picked out your comment: You gave Links to Facts Pro: Yes, the Earth’s climate really is getting warmer, the ice caps really are melting, Pacific atolls really are being swallowed whole, and unless we stop burning Carbon we can expect more of the same.

“The facts, Ma’am, just gimme the facts”. — Dragnet.

PSJ
Reader
PSJ

What kind of scientist are you, grandstand? (that’s not an indignant demand, it’s a polite question!)

grandstand
Reader
grandstand

For various legitimate reasons to do with my work I don’t want to give my identity away and so I’ll be deliberately vague. Sorry but that’s the way it is. I work across a range of topics in engineering, physics, and mathematics.

grandstand
Reader
grandstand
labrebisgalloise
Reader

Great David, bar the last sentence: the Labour Party needs you now more than ever. If the “people’s vote” crew get their way we will be witnessing Orwell’s boot treading on the face of humanity, possibly in perpetuity (or as long as I live, which for me is the same thing). If things go pear-shaped in the next period and Corbyn is forced out of the Labour Party leadership, you may have some reason to revert to your line. Right now, it’s all hands to the pumps, socialism or death and anything that detracts from that task is unhelpful. Best… Read more »

David Lindsay
Reader

And to you, thank you. But the Labour Party would never have me back. Ho, hum. I’ll live.