This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
I note that he had a pop at Melanie.I expect she's working on a blistering response.I look forward to it.
Who is Philip Pullman?
And why is his opinion of any significance?
Because Philip Pullman wrote the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, whose first part called "Northern Lights" was recently released on film under the American title "The Golden Compass"
I have observed, as an atheist myself, that environmentalism has become an apocalyptic secular analogue to fundamentalist Christianity. It has infected the Western zeitgeist with fear about the future, complete with false guilt and self-loathing, where human sacrifice (population control), a new version of Original Sin (the Carbon Footprint), self-denial (reducing that carbon footprint with self-imposed or state-imposed austerity) and a new salvation (sustainability, climate control) now stalk the land.
I suspect that Pullman hasn't done his research. Oxford isn't the centre of the Universe, whatever the dons may think.
Luckily not all "Westerners" (although where I'm from I'm considered from the Southeast) are quite that gullible.
That said, it's appalling how the general populace blithly swallow anything the media throws at them without attempting on their own to determine facts.
I agree - environmentalism has all the earmarks of a fundamentalist religion. Right down to the refusal to recognize proven facts and the creation of "facts" to fit their dogma.
Recently I had to stop visiting the James Randy's JREF board because he idolizes Al Gore and allows his political views to sway his scientific opinions. When confronted with facts about AGW, he pretty much (not his exact words, but certainly the gist of what he said) said: Al Gore Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It.
In Randi's defense, I think it was "Phil Plait said it, so I believe it", not Al Gore. Phil Plait is quite respectable. His only problem is that he is listening to an anti-junkscience web site and not making a determination himself. This is understandable. He doesn't know it is a bashing site. It appears to be legitimate. He is a busy man. You can drive yourself nuts trying to assess the validity of all web sites.
If I were Randi, I would probably take Phil's word over mine (I have corresponded with Randi on this subject) also. He carefully avoids talking about he subject on his site these days. He was avalanched from both sides when he took a position. He has more interesting things to do right now.
Time can never be forgotten. Typing this message takes time. Time is the second aspect of all conspiracies (the first is Cover You Behind).
Manna from heaven, a reply so I don't have to continue my current trend of being the thread ender (it's so boring to be the thread ender!).
Why I attribute it to Al instead of Phil is that the flap that put me off was Randi's endorsement of Al's fantasy film as factual. I remember there was a huge fuss and when it died down, he was still upping Al. That's when I lost interest. I mean I like to scoff at the silly mystics and crazies as much as the rest of you but I won't hang around for out and out idol worship. If you say he's toned down on the a bit, maybe I'll pop over and take a look again.
As for Phil, I work the same place he does so I'm afraid that doesn't add validity to his arguments for me. I know how it is out here. And if I remember correctly Phil's opinion boiled down to so what if the amount of carbon humans add is inconsequential, it's best not to add it. This belies a belief that CO2 is the entire problem and I don't think that's been proven to a nicety yet.
So, I tend to lurk around this site a bit and a little while back there was a tremendously interesting thread about the differences between the "badscience" people and the "junkscience" people.
I sure fall in on the junkscience side. My training is in science and when I see the scientific method being thrown to the wind and people claiming proof when there is none it just kinda gets my goat.
"Oxford isn't the centre of the Universe, whatever the dons may think."
You can always tell an Oxford man. But you can't tell him much."
So, Rowling made millions with a load of kids and a gay teacher. What is Pullman going to pull to compete? Or was this recent stuff his way of promoting his books, the film and his ego?
Is it an absolute requirement that one must live in a world of fantasy to be a successful author (financially) ?
Grant: Is it an absolute requirement that one must live in a world of fantasy to be a successful author (financially) ?
If not an absolute requirement then at least a practical necessity. Particularly when you are talking about books that have absolutely no basis in this physical world to begin with. Now if we were talking about a hard science fiction author, say Clarke, Asimov, Niven, etc. I might lighten up on that a bit.
You forgot "selling absolutions" - "carbon trading". :-)
Quite a lot of interesting questions might result from considering the numbers that Pullman, et al., might conjure up from their suggestions.
Economics could be fun. Slash overheads on anything related to lifesaving for example. Spend on armaments and weapons of mass destruction.
So would one therefore keep the NHS operational and ramp up MRSA, c. difficile, etc., or disband it?