This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
Wouldn't it be lovely if some of the spin methods uesed by the eco-alarmists and others could be balanced by the equivalent from the more rational view holders? Can't happen of course BECAUSE the other side is more rational, mostly, but it is nice to contemplate it.
On the other hand I think a law that clearly stated that anyone going willingly and aggressively public with alarmist statements should be equally subject to the threat of legal sanction as the people and organisations they target. This would also apply to the alarmists estate after death for a period of, say, 200 years. By that time either people would know whether the alarms had merit or they would no longer be very relevant.
All in the interest of fairness you understand.
I like the idea of confiscating eco-alarmist's estates in 200 years time. That's firing the Green idea of 'sustainable development' (where they're more worried about future generations than the present generation) straight back at them. It might work in particular on the "eco-toffs" like Price Charles and Zac Goldsmith if they thought their descendents could be penalised for them talking rubbish.
But the problem with laws being passed against eco-alarmism is that the UK government derives considerable financial benefit from there being a high profile environmental lobby and a state of eco-alarmism. The government can use concerns about "the environment" to raise revenue through "environmental taxes", which currently run at £35 billion per year (reference: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=152 ). Only a small fraction of the environmental taxes are actually used for sorting out any real or notional environmental pollution, the bulk of the tax is simply to raise revenue. If the eco-alarmists disappeared, the government would have to find other ways of raising the revenue.
The Tax thing is a problem - how else would they be able to afford the loss of revenue from smokers?
Ironic perhaps that some of the eco-taxation allows the Chancer the luxury of not squeezing motorists any more. In which case I am slightly happier since at least it helps to share the load more equitably across all who bemnefit from road travel of one sort or another. I.E. most of the population.
Given that this government seems to have managed to about double the tax take whilst claiming to have increased nothing overall - a remarkable feat of prestidigitation - where on earth does all the money go?
Or are the numbers simply numbers?
I mean, if, say, I raise 10 billion pounds here and I say I spend 10 billion pound over there, I would have nothing left in the bank and maybe nothing to show for it. Since most government spending seems to lead to nothing to show for it might it be possible that nothing was spent in real terms? The numbers would look impressive to an international financial community that probably secretly admires the fiscal practices of Enron. But they could be just numbers without substance. Movie set economics where the monumental structures you see on screen depicting a city street are really just timber and paint and a reduced scale shot to look full size.
Perhaps politicians should be expected to have the same level of responsibility as company directors. Retrospective extradition of former ministers to countries where their policies and actions had cause harm, whether that was their original intent or not, might keep their minds focused.
Mr. Bliar being shipped to Iraq in a few year's time to face some sort of suitable charges might send a strong message to those who would build empires.