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Confused by ironic humour

I've noticed a couple of posts on Paul Homewood's "Not a lot of people know that" blog in about the past six months where supporters of renewable energy have made a major blunder in not being able to recognise ironic humour.

The first one is from June 2017, and is called "Greenpeace beclown themselves":

Greenpeace blunder

The background to this is that a long-running criticism of renewable energy is that, in its current state, it is not really "fit for purpose", and a massive R&D effort would be required to get it into a state where it could sensibly replace fossil fuels (Bjorn Lomborg is a leading advocate of this viewpoint). The official Big Green position is that renewable energy is perfectly satisfactory in its current state, and has been since Amory Lovins claimed that the world could be powered by renewable energy back in the 1970s.

Somebody from Greenpeace tried to promote an article with the title "Scientists politely remind world that clean energy technology ready to go whenever", accompanied by a photograph of two scientists holding a press conference dressed in lab-coats, not realising that the article was actually from the satirical website "The Onion".

The second one is from Sept 2017, and is called "Meet Sony Kapoor, Who Has No Intellect At All And *Advises*!":

Sony Kapoor blunder

A description of Sony Kapoor, hotshot finance man, from his LinkedIn profile:

"Sony Kapoor is a prominent economist, financial sector expert and development practitioner whose career spans investment banking, civil society, academia & policymaking across several countries. As MD of the Re-Define Think Tank and CEO of Court Jesters Consulting, Mr Kapoor advises several EU and emerging economy governments, central banks, regulators and investors on economic & financial policy and investment strategy.

Sony was Chairman of the Banking Stakeholder Board, European Banking Authority and an expert adviser to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the IMF focusing mainly on crisis management, economic governance, fiscal policy and financial sector reform. He has held a multidisciplinary role at the LSE with the Systemic Risk Centre and the Development, Government & European departments. He was also Special Adviser to the UN on green finance and Strategy Adviser to Norway’s government.

Mr Kapoor has a long track record of identifying the most pressing public policy challenges and successfully tackling them. The impact of his work on financial reform, Eurocrisis and development has led to him being honoured as a Fellow by the Royal Society of Arts, a Young European Leader by Friends of Europe and a Young Global Leader by WEF. George Soros has aptly called him a successful “Policy Entrepreneur”.

Sony has had an eclectic career in finance, politics and civil society. He worked for ICICI, India’s largest investment bank, did leveraged finance for Lehman Brothers in London and traded derivatives for Aquila Energy, also partnering with the World Bank to provide risk management to vulnerable economies. He co-founded NGOs such as the Tax Justice Network & Finance Watch and the inter-governmental Illicit Finance Task Force & International Tax Compact.

An alumnus of the LSE and the Indian Institute of Technology, Mr Kapoor is a popular keynote speaker & respected commentator. He is also finishing a book on large scale misallocation of capital."


The post relates to Kapoor ridiculing an apparent critic of windfarms, not realising the piece he's ridiculing is actually a spoof letter taken from the British comic "Viz". He also throws in the assertion that the windfarm critic voted for Brexit without any particular evidence.

Would you seek the advice of somebody who thinks that a letter to Viz is real?