Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hi Mom

Hi Mom (and thanks for letting me post this reply),

Yes, I am familiar with the term "watermelon" as applied to environmentalists (green on the outside, red communist on the inside), and have even used it myself.  Sarcastically.  I'm also familiar with James Delingpole, conservative blogger at the Telegraph.  I'm not directly familiar with Delingpole's book, "Watermelons:  the Green Movement's True Colors",* but I think I know what I need to know at this point.

Their watermelon "analysis" just proves the intellectual bankruptcy on the anti-environment right.  They can't think of anything relevant to say, so they fight dead battles of the past.  Communism, really?  And in the Western world?  If the right hasn't realized as the rest of the political spectrum has that the foreseeable future is a market economy with varying levels of government intervention,  then they're showing they haven't had an original thought since the 1980s.  No wonder they haven't liked a Republican president in a quarter-century.

As for Delingpole himself, I thought I'd written about him but can only find a comment I wrote about his self-introduction on his blog, "James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything."  It reminded me of something:

Al Franken coined the term “kidding on the square” for statements that a speaker knows he actually believes more than is publicly acceptable, so the speaker makes the statement in a jocular fashion.

I’ve never been able to read Dellingpole’s blog because I can’t get past the introductory statement that he’s “right about everything.” Just by reflex, my fingers hit the browser’s back button. 
That statement and other stuff by Dellingpole I’ve seen quoted are classic kidding on the square, and give a good idea of the uselessness of the writer.
My coblogger Eli has been able to push his way through Delingpole's work, though, and has a few thoughts about this video:

Eli also provides links to other analyses of Mr. Right About Everything.

I wish I could point you to a honest and scientific conservative who disagrees with action on climate change, but they're thin on the ground.  Even my betting opponent thinks we should take reasonable actions to reduce CO2 emissions.

The best I can do is this Point of Inquiry podcast by science writer Chris Mooney with the politically conservative climatologist Kerry Emanuel.  He doesn't deny the need for action, but just disagrees on the best form of action.  Unfortunately, the conservatives who understand climate seem to be active scientifically but not so much politically.  The famous climatologist Jim Hansen is supposed to be a Republican, maybe that explains his preference for a revenue-neutral carbon tax over more complicated solutions that may have (or at least, used to have) better political prospects.

One last thought - the "watermelon" insult is vacuous and wrong, but it's only 99% wrong.  People will fit potential solutions into their own political framework.  I think some on the left may resist carbon sequestration, large scale solar power plants, and even last-ditch ocean iron fertilization, not only because of the not-unreasonable arguments against those solutions but also because they do not help the left's political "side".  I just wouldn't forget the converse is equally true about the corporate right, and I think that side has a heck of a lot more power.

*Interesting that a Brit would spell "colors" that way.  I guess he knows which country he's targeting.


Anonymous said...

"Even my betting opponent thinks we should take reasonable actions to reduce CO2 emissions."

Maybe the most effective action is doing nothing:

Hare Ribbet

Anonymous said...


I'm not directly familiar with Delinpole's book

bob said...

I am from the UK and I spell it "color" too.

HTML has "font color" and bgcolor. C# has a Color class. Anyone who uses color in a computer script or program becomes conditioned to use the american spelling even when they are not coding.

J Bowers said...

Bob, I doubt Delingpole could write a programme to save his life, let alone something right, so it's highly, highly unlikely that spelling 'colour' the way God did not intend has anything to do with any ability as either a code monkey or even use of HTML, especially given how he studied English Lit at Oxford.

By the way, Monckton, Delingpole's comrade-in-arms, has found a crafty way of calling Obama the Black-Jesus. Perhaps his early experience with IRIX on SGI's made him forget his Cambridge Classics studies and how Jesus was born in the Middle East?

Anonymous said...

Delingpole is an Oxfordmoron if ever there was one.


EliRabett said...

Well then, shall the bunnies start calling Chris the white Popeye?

bill said...

Re 'colors', I reckon that, like Monckton, he's realised his true market is the lunar / Tea Partyite right in the US. How this ridiculous little man loved being treated, in his own words, 'like a rock star' at the Heartland conferences.

Brit blowhards going nativ(ist) across the pond is not an edifying spectacle: remember that Popeye de Blanc (thanks Eli), Sheriff Arpaio's keenest new Dep'ty, treated us to not only a truly harrowing cowboy outfit but a full-on Birther avalanche of bull...dust not so long back?


If the 'watermelon ' metaphor has any validity , it is as a reminder of the Trotskyite baggage of some of Delingpole's neocon fans , wannabe commisars forever out to impose the party line on whatever party they can collar.

Back in Andropov's day, like the Chief Ideologist of the CPSU and the head of the Dezinformatsia directorateof Putin's old firm mposed Leninist 'Party Discipline' on candidiate Academicians in all fields, climate science included .

Though the dissapearance of dissenting voices from climate blogs, right and left is a major improvement over the quaint Marxist custom
of disappearing the dissenters themselves, nostalgic Kremlin watchers need look no farther than the dais at a Heartland banquet or a Pacifica fund raiser for an anachronistic peek at a Politburo in full cry.

Anonymous said...

Delingpole is such an unmitigaetd tosser I don't know why anyone would waste a blogpost on him.

andrew adams said...

The title of the book has been changed for the US market - in the UK it is called "Watermelons: How the Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children's Future".

TBH, there's no use getting wound up by Delingpole, it's exactly what he wants. He is using climate change as an excuse to go after the kind of people he hates - lefties, liberals (in the US sense), environmentalists. He obviously knows nothing about the actual scientific arguments, apart from what passes for such at WUWT. I doubt he even cares about them.

It's a shame because he is obviously an intelligent guy and can actually be a very good writer. See this for example -

He's still a c*nt though.

Ed Darrell said...

I'm biased, of course, but I think any fool who can't get the DDT stuff right is much more fool than historian, much more fool than citizen paying attention to law, much more fool than scientist, and certainly t be trusted too much fool to report facts when he can't tell his burro from his burrow.

"What I believe in now," Delingpole said, means that he thinks all of this stuff is religion, to be divined by listening to invigorating sermons loosely touching on verses in books -- and it means he doesn't have a clue about science or how it works.

But he's loaded with snark, and that counts for a lot in dreary old Great Britain.

"Watermelon?" Well, that sounds like a carp from someone who doesn't know excrement about the history of the environmental movement, which owes zippo to Marx but a lot to Rockefellers, Roosevelts, Lincolns, Grants, and a host of other Americans including Gilded Age free-enterprise heroes.

Any way it's sliced, it's Delingpole proudly touting ignorance-based claims and a snarky, inappropriate judgment made from that ignorance.

Anonymous said...

You must immediately refrain from referring to Emmanuel as politically conservative He is not. He voted for Obama, and that dear hare makes him a watermelon.

EliRabett said...

Allow Eli to think about the color scheme a bit.

As this ancient hare recalls, the Republicans use red as their color, as do the social democrats, the communists and others. OTOH, the Democrats use blue. Green has a lot of blue in it, but also a bit of yellow.

Therefore, greens are folks who are too yellow to be Democrats, but are really Republicans (and communists) inside?

Face palming may commence.

Ed Darrell said...

Republicans use red as their color because they aren't smart enough to realize the huge tweak Tim Russert pulled on them when he asked NBC's graphics guys to reverse the traditional colors -- so that the "reds" were Republicans, for a change. NBC got good ratings that time, and Russert and others talked about "red states" and "blue states," and the tweak stuck.

Sadly, Republicans fell into all the old Stalinist behaviors with regard to stifling dissent and diddling information. Some sort of sick Pygmalion effect.

John said...

James Hansen explains (Storms of my Grandchildren, page 29) that he is a registered Independent who believes that the US would benefit from a third party. He contributed $1000 to Gore-Lieberman in 2000, and would consider voting for someone like NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (a Democrat who turned Republican).

In short, Hansen cares passionately about one issue (AGW), but his overall political views are not unusual.

Gingerbaker said...

I wish the environmental movement was indeed "red on the inside" and I don't like the knee-jerk abhorrence at being labeled "red".

Market-based solutions are not being implemented fast enough to save our civilization. And why is there not even a conversation about solving the greatest threat to national security our country and world has ever seen with a centralized Federal effort?

Dwight Eisenhower did not have to fight a concerted multi-billion dollar disinformation campaign to privatize our transportation system when he diverted billions(?) of dollars of federal monies to build the national interstate highway system. Our country needed it, and we built it - an essentially socialist endeavor. Government monies to build free interstate travel. An enormous undertaking.

So why are afraid to demand a federal nationalization project of equal ambition to solve a much more critical need - our energy future? Why do we not demand that we build a National Electrification project that will produce all the energy we need for the next 1000 years from clean solar power?

Why don't we cover the Mojave with PV panels and then rip the electric meters off our walls? We won't need them any more - solar power is free free free once you have the infrastructure in place.

We could electrify our highways with induction chargers, so even the paltry battery technology we have today would work for our transportation needs.

The only question is - how much would this cost? Why, after the billions of words devoted to energy issues, do we all not know the answer to that question? Answer - because the Republicans have very successfully kept the conversation about F.U.D. and "market-based" solutions.

We have squandered multiple trillions on war the past decade. We will squander trillions more buying and burning carbon fuels in the next decade. Surely, the price tag to electrify the Mojave is a fraction of that cost?

Stop fearing Republican smears of being "red on the inside". Let's save our planet!

J Bowers said...

"You must immediately refrain from referring to Emmanuel as politically conservative "

Remind us again of why Lindzen (D) told Emmanuel (R) to his face that he was to the right of Attila the Hun.

Who’s Afraid of Kerry Emanuel? Why Republicans Are Attacking a Republican Climate Scientist: "Unlike most climate researchers, Kerry Emanuel describes himself as a long time Republican."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous says, "He voted for Obama, and that dear hare makes him a watermelon."

Voting for Obama determines whether a person is a "watermelon"? I guess that makes a majority of Americans watermelons.

Obama has governed as a moderate conservative, to the right of Ronald Reagan in many respects. Anonymous should recognize that it's not impossible for some Republicans like Kerry Emmanuel to have enough functioning brain cells to know when their party's leaders have gone over the cliff. My mom was a life-long Republican, and she voted for Obama.

For some, anything less than lock-step obedience to the dictation of CEI and the Koch brothers makes one a watermelon. I think that proves "anonymous" is brain-dead.

Taylor B


Like red diaper babies, Greens pinkos have grown rare a true blue democrats in Texas, or yellow dogs in Delaware.

Political watermelon hunting may be better in the Horth woods, where the populism of The Red Green Show gave birth to Neocon Neocans like that lesser Delngpole Mark Steyn

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Gingerbaker said: "I wish the environmental movement was indeed "red on the inside" and I don't like the knee-jerk abhorrence at being labeled "red"."

Hell, folks now are even afraid of being labeled a "librul". These idiot assclams even think Obama is a socialist!

Anonymous said...

Iron fertilization?? I don't think so. I think once the public realizes the climate has changed for the worse they'll demand an immediate solution. It's going to be yearly aerosol injections by 2030. Then the "junkie" analogy used to explain the world's dependence on fossil fuels will be right on target. Scaredy Mouse