The most retarded 'serious' journalism ever

Can be found here.

I wouldn't call myself a fan of the Daily Telegraph by some way, but I've never seen it sink quite this low. And I speak as someone who doesn't give a donkey's danglers about global warming.

The story it's talking about is here. It's a little BBC filler piece about how the island of Eigg (part of the Inner Hebrides, just off the west coast about halfway up Scotland) is being mildly careful about its energy use since a freak period of very dry weather (the west coast of Scotland is a notoriously damp place) has affected its hydroelectric power output.

The island, as the piece notes, normally generates an astonishing 92% of its energy from renewable sources like hydro power, and also makes use of wind and solar generation. It also plans to expand these projects further. However, it sensibly has backup diesel generation for extremely unusual circumstances such as those currently occurring, and no actual restrictions have been placed on the islanders' energy use. They're just being careful to be on the safe side.

Delingpole's astonishingly disingenuous piece selectively omits most of these facts, portraying the foresighted and resourceful people of Eigg as some manner of primitive superstitious nutjobs, and apparently finding it utterly hilarious that they're taking very minor precautions to try to avoid using fossil fuels if they can help it. He must absolutely piss himself when England imposes hosepipe bans on the people of Kent every summer.

I don't know if mankind is changing the planet's climate. The evidence seems to suggest that it probably is, but I'm no expert and I haven't studied it in enough depth to have a firm view either way. What I'm certain of is that one way or another,  whether by climate change or pollution or any of half-a-dozen other routes, human beings are soon going to destroy this planet – the only known host of life in the infinite universe – as a habitable environment, and probably take every other species down with us.

The only realistic chance of preserving life in the known entirety of creation is if Homo Sapiens dies out before we can finish the job. Personally I favour the voluntary approach, but I'd gladly make an exception for James Delingpole.


14 Responses to “The most retarded 'serious' journalism ever”

  1. TheVision Says:

    I read somewhere that we're not going to destroy the planet, merely make it uninhabitable for future generations.

    That's nice of us isn't it?

  2. The Telegraph are completely rubbish when it comes to issues of climate science mainly because it tramples over their precious ideologies (ideology and science rarely mix well which is why scientists were usually persecuted in totalitarian regimes) and so they prefer to go down the silly conspiratory-minded path that it's all been made up by a giant worldwide clique who hate cars. It's what their readers want to hear: people don't like to be told their responsible for something, they like to be told that "liars" want to make them "feel guilty" so they can squeeze their precious money out of them.

    As for humans "killing the planet", I think that sort of thinking belongs in the dim, distant years when environmentalists engaged with science as much as Telegraph writers do now. What humans are doing isn't "killing" the planet, it's changing it. Ironically, all this "green" stuff that gets so many rightwingers hot under the collar is actually enlightened self-interest. What is threatened isn't "mother earth" (which has taken a lot more than the planet warming up and oil slicks in the past) but our civilisation as it now stands.

    As for climate science, I suggest reading up on it. The media have a bad habit of misrepresenting it, especially taking worst-case scenarios and presenting them as something that will definitely happen. Climatologists overwhelmingly agree that the earth is warming up and that human CO2 output is contributing to it. But there's a lot of disagreement as to what this will actually mean.

  3. @TheVision

    From what I've read it's less a case that Earth will be "uninhabitable" for future generations, more that climate change will create substantial problems which, potentially, will ruin currently habitable areas and cause population flights and conflicts over land, energy and water. As is depressingly usual in these situations, the rich industrialised countries which are causing all the pollution will likely be least effected and will be have the means to ringfence themselves from much of the problems created.
    Of course, it's still being debated exactly what is going to happen as the Earth warms up. Even the best case scenarios look pretty grim and all the talk about reducing CO2 output isn't about stopping climate change but simply about minimising its impact as much as we can.

  4. As I've said in the piece, I don't necessarily think climate change is what will destroy the planet. There are many other inventive ways in which we're heading towards achieving that.

  5. Tom Camfield Says:

    The Telegraph piece is actually a blog post, not a work of "serious" journalism. In fact, the blog post links to the serious report in its first line (
    I'm a big fan of The Telegraph since they're very good at separating their opinions from the news itself, good football section too. (Only read it online.)

  6. If they put their banner at the top of it, it's theirs.

  7. How can he be wrong when the very first line of his blog says "James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything.".  The article must be a spoof surely.

  8. The comments are fabulously depressing. I scoured a few pages looking for something reasoned (not including the long essays 'reasoned out' and written by people in tin hats) and found only one. And even he seemed mostly to be concerned that the writer wasn't being very nice.

  9. Adam Curtis covered this sort of problem in his documentary work, including with relation to Global Warming.
    I'm not a fan of these blog posts on newspaper sites. It allows them the luxury of picking and choosing what they want to pretend to be responsible for or what they agree with. If you accuse them of not covering a story then the blog posts will be pointed out as proof they do, but if you complain then they can just say "it's only a blog, nothing to do with us" (despite the big banner with their name on it above). In some ways it is worse than the balatant opinions in other papers like "The Sun Says" or similar. At least their unwelcome opinions are contained within the paper itself.

  10. Last big paragraph – here here!

    It’s quite depressing how most of the environmental lobby is ignoring the biggest issue of all – humans. Even if we develop a limitless clean energy source, we’re still going to destroy the habitats of nearly everything else in the food chain, we’re still going to strip mine most of the planet for resources to build things, and inevitably we’re still going to have a /really big war/ at some point over resources, or at least civil wars as food rationing starts.

    And the prime reason why? Too many of us.

    I donate to these people:

    They seem to be the only group (that I’ve found) willing to discuss that elephant in the corner,

  11. There is one event that could realistically result in the annihilation of all life on the planet and that's the death of the Sun in a billion or so years. Humans are the only species so far that are capable of doing something about it so if the long term goal is to preserve life, surely we'll need to stick around?

  12. We're capable of preventing the death of the Sun?
    Many scenarios could result in the extinction of life, such as climate change intensifying to the point where there's a runaway greenhouse effect and Earth becomes like Venus. That's about a million times more likely to happen with humans on the planet than without.

  13. I was thinking more along the lines of moving further away, but a billion years is certainly long enough to figure something out! Even if there were only a one in a million chance that life survives the activities of humanity they're better odds than the near certainty of destruction if there is no species around that can think beyond its next meal or mate.

  14. Well, nobody can accuse you of short-term thinking…
    Recognisable humans have been on Earth maybe 0.25m years. A billion years is four thousand times our species' entire lifespan to date. To be honest, I think we'll be amazingly lucky to make the year 4000.

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