The CO2 Climate Change Cult Series

Part 6 of 8:

Environmental Journalists - George Monbiot

Part 1 of 8: Blame Everything On Man-Made Climate Change
Part 2 of 8: Greenpeace and Oxfam Manipulating Science
Part 3 of 8: The Stigma of Being a Climate Denier
Part 4 of 8: Environmental Journalists - Suzanne Goldenberg
Part 5 of 8: Environmental Journalists - Damian Carrington
Part 6 of 8: Environmental Journalists - George Monbiot
Part 7 of 8: The False Doctrine
Part 8 of 8: Solutions

By: Shawn Alli
Posted: October 17, 2014

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*All individuals and organizations receive 3 full days of pre-publication notice.

 

*Disclosure: I am a climate denier, albeit a more rational one. In Part 3 I explain why I'm a climate denier and not a climate skeptic.

 

*Disclosure: I am NOT funded by any oil, natural gas or coal corporations. I am NOT funded by any private interest groups (NGOs, foundations or political entities).

 

This article is the sixth instalment of an ongoing series of articles to unpackage the entire man-made CO2 climate change cult.

 

 

George Monbiot is a titan in terms of his strength as a CO2 cult believer and environmental journalist. I can imagine Monbiot during his infant years writing a thesis on re-wilding in his crib. As such, going easy on him would be disingenuous to his environmental social status. Hence, Monbiot will be getting a good lashing in this article with no apologies.

 

But Monbiot isn't your typical CO2 cult believer. His wealth of knowledge pushes the limits of some of the most brilliant thinkers in the 21st century.

 

He knows that traditional organic farming is more efficient and anti-monopolizing instead of the corrupt monoculture GMO industry. [1] [2]

 

He knows that the World Bank and the IMF create policies to continually keep developing nations from being developed ones. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

 

He's aware that the low cost of fuel will continue to enable CO2 emissions from overseas agricultural imports (which I would argue should open the door for self-sustainable local agriculture). [8]

 

He plays such a strong role in the environmental movement that he can still be in it and criticize wind farms, [9] [10] the offset carbon emissions program, [11] [12] and be against biofuels, [13] [14] [15] and geoengineering. [16] [17]

 

He's aware that most energy companies tout their green programs for good PR and keep environmentalists at bay. [18]

 

He's aware of the hypocrisy of developed nations providing "aid" to Africa despite their policies that enable the foundational problems in the first place. [19]

 

He recognizes that conflict is necessary for the US military-industrial complex (MIC) to survive and thrive (but stubbornly, he won't move into the domain of false flag operations relative to the MIC). [20]

 

In Monbiot's July 2003 article he claims that all organic life abruptly comes to an end in the Permian period (about 250 million year ago), due to natural CO2 emissions:

The volcanoes produced two gases: sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. The sulphur and other effusions caused acid rain, but would have bled from the atmosphere quite quickly. The carbon dioxide, on the other hand, would have persisted. By enhancing the greenhouse effect, it appears to have warmed the world sufficiently to have destabilized the superconcentrated frozen gas called methane hydrate, locked in sediments around the polar seas. The release of methane into the atmosphere explains the sudden shift in carbon isotopes.

Methane is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The result of its release was runaway global warming: a rise in temperature led to changes that raised the temperature further, and so on. The warming appears, alongside the acid rain, to have killed the plants. Starvation then killed the animals. [21]

 

It's an interesting theory, but man-made CO2 doesn't really enter into the equation. And to move into the more philosophical and spiritual dimension, this explanation can imply that nature will enable a global devastation for a "cull of all life on the planet." Again, an interesting theory but that's all it is until humanity obtains objective factual knowledge about the past.

 

Monbiot's climate alarmism begins in his August 2003 article:

Some climate scientists, recognising that global warming has been retarded by industrial soot, whose levels are now declining, suggest that the maximum should instead be placed between 7 and 10C. We are not contemplating the end of holidays in Seville. We are contemplating the end of the circumstances which permit most human beings to remain on Earth.

Climate change of this magnitude will devastate the Earth's productivity. New research in Australia suggests that the amount of water reaching the rivers will decline up to four times as fast as the percentage reduction of rainfall in dry areas. This, alongside the disappearance of the glaciers, spells the end of irrigated agriculture. Winter flooding and the evaporation of soil moisture in the summer will exert similar effects on rainfed farming. Like crops, humans will simply wilt in some of the hotter parts of the world: the 1,500 deaths in India through heat exhaustion this summer may prefigure the necessary evacuation, as temperatures rise, of many of the places currently considered habitable. There is no chance of continuity here; somehow we must persuade our dreamselves to confront the end of life as we know it. [22]

 

The problem with this alarmism (that all climate alarmists loathe), is gradualism. If the increases do take place, it'll take place gradually. In the gradual time of decades or centuries humanity, plant life and animals will be capable of adapting to the various climate changes.

 

Don't think that they can? Study Barbara McClintock's transposable events (also known as jumping genes).

 

In Monbiot's April 2004 article he (like so many CO2 cult believers), uses the smoking cancer analogy to demonize climate skeptics and deniers. [23] I tire of hearing this analogy so I'm going to deconstruct it in a few sentences.

 

It's pretty easier to show that smoking in reality (not in controlled sterile labs), causes cancer cells due to mutations in the genome and changes in the epigenome. The causal mechanisms are quite easy to recognize. It's not the same for CO2 and the man-made CO2 climate change theory.

 

You can't say that an increase in CO2 "causes" a particular hurricane/storm/blizzard or even extreme weather. You can "correlate" it depending on ones environmental ideologies but you can't show causation. CO2 cult believers that claim to show causation are performing junk ideological science.

 

Monbiot goes on to explain the objective and impartial nature of science in the article:

Science differs from the leader writers of the Spectator in that it learns from its mistakes. A hypothesis is advanced and tested. If the evidence suggests it is wrong, it is discarded. If the evidence appears to support it, it is refined and subjected to further testing. [23]

 

It would be disingenuous not to unpackage this statement, especially since it's coming from Monbiot.

 

First, science doesn't do anything. Science is an artificial construct that "represents" a particular ideology/method in obtaining knowledge. Science is incapable of taking a point of view, arguing an issue or proving something. Only "scientists" are capable of performing such tasks.

 

Individuals who don't recognize the difference are the ones who enable slavery, racism and eugenics in the past. These past intentional "mistakes" mutates the growth of humanity in a negative manner. This is solely due to scientists who utilize various ideologies for various reasons under the guise of "bettering humanity."

 

Monbiot's argument supposes that science is a clear cut impartial method in obtaining knowledge. Intellectuals are very much aware that this isn't the case. Almost every relevant issue (GMO crops, vaccines, CO2 emissions, nuclear radiation, mental health), has various sides (not just two), that can be argued in a scientific manner utilizing objective impartial peer-reviewed studies.

 

And this criticism of the Western-European scientific method doesn't even get into the non-physical issues. The idea that non-physical knowledge/events are irrelevant (psychic phenomena, the multidimensional universe theory, mediumship and non-physical beings) is entirely ideological.

 

It would be smart if CO2 cult believers, mainstream scientists and the global general public realize the limits of the Western-European scientific method in obtaining "objective and impartial knowledge."

 

In another April 2004 article Monbiot argues that environmentalism and social justice have to go hand in hand. [24] It's a logical claim, but what about the industrial revolution that empowers the Western-European Empire in the past?

 

Do they get a free pass now that we "know better?"

 

Will there be reparations?

 

Is the burden now on developing nations to choose renewable energy because we know better?

 

If CO2 cult believers claim that Western-European governments shouldn't get a pass then they have to argue for the complete end of oil, coal and natural gas ASAP (along with nuclear for the safety of future generations).

 

There's no room for a gradual switch or that various energy sources can work hand in hand. Though I argue that various energy sources can work hand in hand (except nuclear), if Western-European governments want to lead by example the only way to do so is to gut their own economy and resources.

 

In Monbiot's August 2004 article he claims that the global general public are just in denial about man-made CO2 climate change and need to cling to their "business as usual" mentality out of desperation and fear:

Like every impending disaster (think of the rise of Hitler or the fall of Rome), this one has generated a voluble industry of denial. Few people are now foolish enough to claim that man-made climate change isn't happening at all, but the few are still granted plenty of scope to make idiots of themselves in public.

We live in the happiest, healthiest and most peaceful era in human history. And it will not last long. [25]

 

This is one main reason why the global general public tunes out CO2 cult believers. Their message is one of fear-mongering, alarmism and the myth of scarcity. But reality proves all of these concepts to be dead wrong.

 

Monbiot's December 2006 article about the UK public switching to public transport instead of cars is naive but hilarious:

So one of the key tasks for anyone who wants to unblock the roads while reducing the real social costs of carbon must be to make coach travel attractive.

But how? When I take the bus from Oxford to Cambridge, I arrive feeling almost suicidal. First I must cycle for 20 minutes in the wrong direction, into the city centre. Then I sit on a chair designed to extract confessions, and wait. When, at last, the coach departs, it fights through streets designed for ponies. After half an hour it leaves the city. It then charts a course through just about every depressing dormitory town in southeast England. [26]

 

I would pay money to hear this conversation in an off-the-cuff manner Monbiot video interview.

 

But in all seriousness, the idea of the Western-European public shifting more to public transport than personal vehicles is currently nonsensical. The fact that CO2 cult believers don't know why this is the case is powerfully annoying. But I'll explain it completely for the sake of a new level of debate. It's about space. As Christopher Walken says on his SNL cow bell skit:

...I mean really...explore the space. [27]

 

The concept of giving value to a space (a physical area with measured dimensions), isn't beyond the understanding of CO2 cult believers. They take into account the environmental and economic cost of what's happening in a particular space and at a particular time period over years or decades. That's all well and good. But they fail to take into account the most important aspect of space, the personal dimension.

 

Having your own personal vehicle creates an insulated bubble between you and reality. Though the other cars and traffic interact with that reality, a slim bubble of personal space nonetheless exists. And in this slim bubble an individual can do almost anything and everything (depending on the tint of the windows).

 

Aside from the more exotic and exciting activities of what "fun loving individuals" can do in a moving car together, a common activity is giving yourself a space to think and say anything without judgment.

 

In the 21st century privacy is one of the hardest things to get. And having a private moment with yourself in your own car for 30 minutes, an hour or more isn't just a luxury but a necessity to hold everything together, continue the daily grind and going home to a dysfunctional family.

 

All public transportation systems are incapable of giving an individual this personal space. The usual result is sharing the space with other low to mid income level passengers, groping, unpleasant smells, babies crying and seeing hard and judging faces looking back at you.

 

Individuals who drive cars recognize the value of personal space and will usually fight tooth and nail to defend it because the idea of losing it isn't an acceptable option.

 

CO2 cult believers may be educated in the hard sciences, but more or less have no clue about the human mind, social dynamics, perception and emotions.

 

In Monbiot's April 2007 article he talks about the censorship that CO2 cult believers face. [28] While all of his points in the article are valid, the censorship is done under the Bush Jr.'s administration. Not exactly a period of intellectual and scientific achievement.

 

In Monbiot's May 2007 article he pushes his alarmism to the extreme:

But our governments appear quietly to have abandoned their aim of preventing dangerous climate change. If so, they condemn millions to death. What the IPCC report shows is that we have to stop treating climate change as an urgent issue. We have to start treating it as an international emergency. [29]

 

Western-European governments are condemning millions to their death because they aren't taking man-made CO2 climate change seriously (in 2007)? This is disgusting emotional manipulation by Monbiot.

 

As I mention in previous installments, even if the CO2 cult succeeds in their war on CO2, the ends will never justify the means. The blatant and subtle manipulation tactics will never lead to the democratic empowerment of humanity. It will only lead to a repeat of the same manipulation cycles on the next global issue.

 

Monbiot's July 2007 article is interesting. He talks about solutions to being fossil fuel free in 20 years. That's pretty bold. It only hinges on two things:

There could be no clearer signal that the public interest is being drowned by corporate power.

But a power shift like this cannot take place without a power shift of another kind: we need a government which fears planetary meltdown more than it fears the CBI [Confederation of British Industry]. [30]

 

The logic is correct. A respective public and the will of a government to act on an issue will be enough to create change. However, the idea that a respective public is a slave to corporate interests is true but not accurate.

 

Many individuals are a slave to corporate control, but only because they allow themselves to be controlled. It's not possible to influence/control/ condition an individual who has control over their will (with the exception of MKULTRA mind control programs). And the idea of making a government to fear a "planetary meltdown" is beyond unethical and manipulative.

 

In Monbiot's August 2008 article he really pushes the unethical path to topple UK politicians:

If fear is the only thing that moves them, we must present them with a greater threat than the companies planning new coal plants. We must show that this issue has become a political flashpoint; that the public revulsion towards new coal could help to eject them from office.

Everything now hinges on stopping coal. Whether we prevent runaway climate change largely depends on whether we keep using the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Unless we either leave it - or the carbon dioxide it produces - in the ground, human development will start spiralling backwards. [31]

 

Human development spiralling backwards? As a philosopher, I'd like to know when humanity begins to spiral forwards.

 

6000 years of recorded history and I've yet to see significant progress in humanity's development. And replacing physical slavery with employed labor and debt slavery doesn't count.

 

In Monbiot's October 2008 article his words are a double slap in the face to individuals who experience the worst of the 2008 financial crisis:

This is nothing. Well, nothing by comparison to what's coming. The financial crisis for which we must now pay so heavily prefigures the real collapse, when humanity bumps against its ecological limits. [32]

 

As the CO2 cult increases their scientific ammo their ethics and level of compassion is decreasing. And I believe that if future actions don't move in their favor and they go past the "point of no return," their ethics won't exist at all and we'll be left with unethical atheist Western-European scientists again. And we all know where that nightmare will take humanity.

 

In Monbiot's March 2008 article he claims that carbon capture is a scam and not a viable method in reducing CO2 emissions from the coal industry. [33] But in October 2014 the world's first carbon capture plant opens in Saskatchewan with a few more projects scheduled to go ahead in Alberta. [34]

 

The budgets are in the billions but Canadian traditional energy companies are still investing in the technology. That says a lot about Canadian corporate investment in clean energy relative to the federal Canadian Harper government's cold shoulder.

 

In Monbiot's March 2009 article his extremism again reaches new heights:

Four degrees of warming could almost eliminate the Amazon rainforests, with appalling implications for biodiversity and regional weather patterns, and with the result that a massive new pulse of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Trees are basically sticks of wet carbon. As they rot or burn, the carbon oxidises. This is another way in which climate feedbacks appear to have been underestimated in the last IPCC report. [35]

 

Trees are sticks of wet carbon?

 

Clearly, the trees aren't feeling the love.

 

In Part 1 I rebuff the claim that trees (with its billions of years of evolution and adaptation), are incapable of handling a few degrees of gradual temperature increases.

 

Monbiot's May 2009 article makes a great point about what government action on man-made CO2 climate change will look like:

The test of all governments' commitment to stopping climate breakdown is this: whether they are prepared to impose a limit on the use of the reserves already discovered, and a permanent moratorium on prospecting for new reserves. Otherwise their commitment is just hot air. [36]

 

Though I don't advocate this solution for the non-significant problem of CO2 emissions, this is the correct action of what a no-nonsense government would do about man-made CO2 climate change. I wonder which Western-European government/politician will have the balls to introduce such legislation in their Congress or Parliament.

 

Monbiot and Leo Hickman's January 2010 article attempts to differentiate climate and weather:

The cold and the warmth could be related: the contrasting temperatures appear to be connected to blocks of high pressure preventing air flow between the land and the sea.

This is called weather, and, believe it or not, it is not always predictable and it changes quite often. It is not the same as climate, and single events are not the same as trends. Is this really so hard to understand? [37]

 

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, a favorite on the National Geographic channel, also differentiates weather and climate:

Weather is what the atmosphere does in the short term, hour to hour, day to day...climate is the long term average of the weather over a number of years. [38]

 

The idea that weather and climate are separate objective events/phenomenon is due to a lack of intellect. The terms "weather" and "climate" are artificial constructs that represent a phenomenon. Western-European scientists decide what that phenomenon is. That's it.

 

Scientists are really saying that A "refers to" X and B "refers to" Y. There is no objective impartial principle where A "is" X or B "is" Y. Monbiot, Hickman, and Dr. Tyson's claim in differentiating weather and climate is merely subjective ideological science. It has no basis in objective scientific principles.

 

Monbiot's September 2010 article, "Are the climate change deniers with no evidence just naturally gullible" really grinds my gears. Monbiot's answer is undoubtedly yes:

To dismiss an entire canon of science on the basis of either no evidence or evidence that has already been debunked is to evince an astonishing level of self-belief. It suggests that, by instinct or by birth, you know more about this subject (even if you show no sign of ever having studied it) than the thousands of intelligent people who have spent their lives working on it. Once you have taken that leap of self-belief, once you have arrogated to yourself the authority otherwise vested in science, any faith is then possible. Your own views (and those of the small coterie who share them) become your sole reference points, and are therefore unchallengeable and immutable. [39]

 

Monbiot (like so many other CO2 cult believers), are unaware of their own environmental ideologies. And for those that are aware, apparently it doesn't skew any evidence or results.

 

I ask Monbiot the same questions that I ask of Suzanne Goldenberg and Damian Carrington:

1) Do you believe that all environmental journalists should believe in the man-made CO2 climate change theory?

2) If so, do you believe that this skews objective impartial reporting on environmental issues?

3) Do you believe that objective impartial reporting is even possible in regards to environmental issues?

4) Are you aware of your own environmental ideologies?

5) Do you believe that your environmental ideologies are problematic in regards to reporting on all environmental issues?

6) What is your ideology of the Earth in regards to consciousness? Is the Earth a conscious living being that exhibits consciousness, like that of humans, but independent of the Christian god?

 

Monbiot doesn't respond.

 

While Monbiot claims that climate deniers hold unchallengeable beliefs, I would say the same thing about him (minus his flip flops). A few days after Climategate 2009 Monbiot has his mea culpa moment:

It's no use pretending this isn't a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I'm dismayed and deeply shaken by them. [40]

 

But after the whitewash investigation (and yes, it is a whitewash investigation), Monbiot runs back into the arms of the CO2 cult:

Almost all the claims made about these messages are false. Their contents have been wildly and wilfully misinterpreted, their authors demonised, their implications inflated.

Overall it shows, in most cases persuasively, that there is no evidence of fraud, manipulation or a lack of rigour and honesty on the part of the CRU scientists. The science is sound; the IPCC has not been compromised. [41]

 

On the surface it may appear that the evidence has enabled Monbiot to continue his CO2 cult beliefs, but really, it's because of his environmental ideologies.

 

In his mea culpa article Monbiot says that he would need to get an email from the grand master conspirator outlining the CO2 cult global warming plot. [40] But that's the problem. It takes either a whistleblower or honest investigative journalist to find out the truth.

 

In an email request for comment I ask Monbiot:

 

Prior to Climategate 2009, if I had told you that some climatologists are intentionally manipulating data to fit their environmental ideologies, intentionally manipulating what articles go into the IPCC assessment, intentionally deleting emails to prevent FOIA requests and intentionally manipulating peer-reviewed journal editors to get rid of troublesome editors, what would you say to me?

 

He doesn't respond.

 

I apply this to the Snowden leaks and ask Monbiot:

Prior to the Snowden leaks, if I had told you that the NSA and GCHQ are intentionally collecting all data about targets from Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft, that a target can be any individual in the world, regardless of whether they're a terrorist or not, that GCHQ is siphoning all Yahoo webcam chats, that GCHQ is monitoring all users who look at Wikileaks' website in real-time and that the NSA can see a target compose an email in real-time, what would you say to me?

 

He doesn't respond.

 

I also ask Monbiot a hypothetical question:

If the CRU hack occurs not only at the UEA but at numerous university institutions across the world (at least two universities in each country), exemplifying the same practices by UEA climatologists, would you believe that a global conspiracy to manipulate data to fit the global warming/climate change ideology exists?

 

He doesn't respond.

 

Monbiot's May 2011 article is excellent in analyzing the failure of the current environmental movement. [42]

 

Monbiot's October 2012 article is unbelievably ludicrous with the title:

If extreme weather becomes the norm, starvation awaits. [43]

 

And continues with:

Papers published since then support this conclusion: they foresee hard times for farmers in Africa and south Asia, but a bonanza for farmers in the colder parts of the world, whose yields will rise just as developing countries become less able to feed themselves. Climate change is likely to be devastating for many of the world's poor. If farmers in developing countries can't compete, both their income and their food security will decline, and the number of permanently malnourished people could rise. The nations in which they live, much of whose growth was supposed to have come from food production, will have to import more of their food from abroad. [43]

 

Hard times for African and South Asian farmers?

 

It's always been hard times for them. When you have a lack of infrastructure, limited access to proper resources and corrupt governments...hard times are the norm.

 

And farming isn't exactly rocket science. If humans are unable to figure it out and adapt in the 21st century (after 6000 years of agricultural farming), then it's questionable if humans should continue to be the "keepers of the land."

 

I'm quite surprised by Monbiot's claim about an increased rate of malnourished individuals. Going back to high school lessons, Monbiot should know that there's no problem with the supply of food and water, but rather the unequal distribution of it. Monbiot should know better. Shame on him.

 

But I pose the million dollar question to Monbiot:

 

If you believe that extreme weather will be the norm in the future and that malnourished rates in Africa and South Asia will increase due to this extreme weather, do you support GMO crops that are more resistant to extreme weather?

 

He doesn't respond.

 

Finally, in Monbiot's September 2014 article he laments the fact that governments can't agree on man-made CO2 measures but does it for the 1987 Montreal protocol. [44] This is a norm for CO2 cult believer journalists and activists. But the claim is garbage.

 

The Montreal protocol bans fluoride and chloride compounds, halons and Methyl bromide. [45] All of these chemical substances are unbelievably poisonous. To compare these chemicals to CO2 (the substance that humans breathe) is unbelievably disingenuous.

 

Individuals that can't recognize the difference are incompetent.

 

Monbiot flip-flops:

I'm not against individuals changing their answers. New discoveries and corrections should lead to changes. Instead, Western-European scientists usually act like idiots and move into defense mode to defend their side of the camp. And sadly, this plays out in peer-reviewed journals and in mainstream media outlets, which can range from years to decades.

 

But another problem is the fact that peer-reviewed evidence exists for every type of wild conspiracy theory. So how do you know which is the correct answers?

 

Just because a majority of individuals believe the answers to be one thing doesn't mean it's correct. Individuals have to choose. If they choose based on the majority consensus it means that they're loyal to consensus based Western-European science. While there definitely is strength in numbers, and the consensus creates a social and financial gain, it doesn't mean that it's correct.

 

Personally, I don't believe Monbiot falls into the trappings of consensus based Western-European science. I believe that his environmental and political ideologies are forever in battle with consensus based Western-European science. The results are flip flops due to gains or losses in his ideological battles influencing which science to advocate and accept.

 

Peak oil:

Monbiot's June and August 2004 article epitomizes the peak oil theory and the myth of scarcity argument:

The price of oil has been rising because demand for a finite resource is growing faster than supply. Holding the price down means that this resource will be depleted more quickly, with the result that the dreadful prospect of men sharing cars and riding bicycles comes ever closer. Perhaps the presidential candidates will start campaigning next against the passage of time. [46]

If it is true that the Age of Growth is over, and the Age of Entropy has begun, and if we are to retain any hope of a reasonable quality of life without destroying other people's, then our infrastructure, our settlements, our industries and our lives require total reconstruction. [47]

 

While these are 2004 articles, even then as it is now in 2014, the peak oil theory is dead and the myth of scarcity is 100% false. Very few environmentalists and environmental journalists continue to argue the peak oil theory. In Monbiot's September 2005 article he changes his answer:

Are global oil supplies about to peak? Are they, in other words, about to reach their maximum and then go into decline? There is a simple answer to this question: no one has the faintest idea. [48]

 

In Monbiot's December 2007 article he refines his answer:

Yes, at some point the production of petroleum will peak then go into decline. I don't know when this will happen, and I urge environmentalists to remember that while we have been proved right about most things we have been consistently wrong about the dates for mineral exhaustion. But before oil peaks, demand is likely to outstrip supply and the price will soar. The result is that the oil firms will have an even greater incentive to extract the stuff. [49]

 

In Monbiot's December 2008 article he confirms a date for the peak of global oil production:

Global oil production will peak much earlier than expected amid a collapse in petroleum investment due to the credit crunch, one of the world's foremost experts has revealed.

Fatih Birol, chief economist to the International Energy Agency, told the Guardian that conventional crude output could plateau in 2020, a development that was "not good news" for a world still heavily dependent on petroleum. [50]

 

In Monbiot's July 2012 article he finally realizes a modicum of truth:

Peak oil hasn't happened, and it's unlikely to happen for a very long time.

So this is where we are. The automatic correction - resource depletion destroying the machine that was driving it - that many environmentalists foresaw is not going to happen. The problem we face is not that there is too little oil, but that there is too much. [51]

 

Readers who want a more in-depth explanation about the peak oil theory and the myth of scarcity can look into my 2012 book, Oil, The 4th Renewable Resource.

 

Veganism:

To eat meat or not to eat meat...that is the question. Unfortunately, Monbiot is incapable of making up his mind in deciding which basket he wants to put his eggs in.

 

In Monbiot's December 2002 article he says:

As a meat-eater, I've long found it convenient to categorise veganism as a response to animal suffering or a health fad. But, faced with these figures, it now seems plain that it's the only ethical response to what is arguably the world's most urgent social justice issue. We stuff ourselves, and the poor get stuffed. [52]

 

The decision to not eat meat is usually an ethical choice. So Monbiot's position seems genuine. And in his April 2008 article he doubles down:

For both environmental and humanitarian reasons, beef is out. Pigs and chickens feed more efficiently, but unless they are free range you encounter another ethical issue: the monstrous conditions in which they are kept. I would like to encourage people to start eating tilapia instead of meat. This is a freshwater fish that can be raised entirely on vegetable matter and has the best conversion efficiency - about 1.6kg of feed for 1kg of meat - of any farmed animal. Until meat can be grown in flasks, this is about as close as we are likely to come to sustainable flesh-eating. [53]

 

Growing meat in flasks?

 

Synthetic biology here we come. But wait, Monbiot is against GMO agriculture for "monopolization reasons." [1] [2].

 

Heads begin to turn sharply to Monbiot's September 2010 article:

After reviewing the figures, I concluded that veganism "is the only ethical response to what is arguably the world's most urgent social justice issue". I still believe that the diversion of ever wider tracts of arable land from feeding people to feeding livestock is iniquitous and grotesque. So does the book I'm about to discuss. I no longer believe that the only ethical response is to stop eating meat.

The meat-producing system Fairlie advocates differs sharply from the one now practised in the rich world: low energy, low waste, just, diverse, small-scale. But if we were to adopt it, we could eat meat, milk and eggs (albeit much less) with a clean conscience. By keeping out of the debate over how livestock should be kept, those of us who have advocated veganism have allowed the champions of cruel, destructive, famine-inducing meat farming to prevail. It's time we got stuck in. [54]

 

Monbiot's ideological-science battle comes to a new conclusion in November 2013:

While researching my book Feral, I also came to see extensive livestock rearing as a lot less benign than I-or Fairlie-had assumed. The damage done to biodiversity, to water catchments and carbon stores by sheep and cattle grazing in places unsuitable for arable farming (which means, by and large, the hills) is out of all proportion to the amount of meat produced. Wasteful and destructive as feeding grain to livestock is, ranching appears to be even worse.

The belief that there is no conflict between this farming and arable production also seems to be unfounded: by preventing the growth of trees and other deep vegetation in the hills and by compacting the soil, grazing animals cause a cycle of flash floods and drought, sporadically drowning good land downstream and reducing the supply of irrigation water.

So can I follow Al Gore, and do it better than I did before? Well, I intend at least to keep cutting my consumption of animal products, and to see how far I can go. It's not easy, especially for a person as greedy and impetuous as I am, but there has to be a way. [55]

 

While Monbiot's "to eat meat" camp resupplies and retools its tactics, whether it'll be enough to go up against the now front runner by considerable lengths, "to not eat meat," remains to be seen.

 

Nuclear power:

Monbiot's nuclear ideological-science debate can be the stuff of a Hollywood movie. A man torn in the shadows of his environmental beliefs and the science which he can't live without..."and nature said, let there be nuclear power." Coming soon to a theatre near you...the Monbiot Effect.

 

The adventure begins in Monbiot's March 2000 article:

The great experiment is over. The technology which would, we were promised, provide "electricity too cheap to meter" has failed: nuclear power in Britain is melting down.

Nuclear power has never been viable. The electricity it produces costs 4p per kilowatt/hour. Gas costs 2p and wind power 3p. Handling nuclear waste and decommissioning the plants has never been fully costed: Britain could be faced with a £30bn shortfall. The nuclear industry has been sustained only by government subsidies and opaque accounting.

Nuclear power is also the world's most dangerous business. If Sellafield's antiquated liquid waste tanks were to blow, they would release as much radiation as 10 Chernobyls. Britain has already accumulated enough nuclear waste to build 5,000 atom bombs.

But the industry is now running out of fabrications, and its long-awaited nemesis seems at last to have arrived. It is time to shut nuclear power down, and begin the dangerous and expensive task of decommissioning Britain's most disastrous experiment. [56]

 

Strong stuff. I like it. He doubles down in his June 2002 article:

So the UK and Japan are investing billions in security, and billions in insecurity. Neither government dares challenge the nuclear monster it has created. Using taxpayers' money to charm, cajole and threaten both the government and the taxpayer, this self-serving, self-reproducing industry, which makes nothing which could not be made more cheaply elsewhere, has secured such resources, such concessions, such flat contradictions of policy that we have ended up sponsoring the major threat to our own security.

The nuclear industry must be destroyed before it destroys us. We must, in other words, wrench political power away from nuclear power. [57]

 

Monbiot's on a roll. Surely, nothing can touch this level of conviction. But the change of heart begins with simple words in his July 2006 article:

Some of our arguments against nuclear power have collapsed, but it seems to me that the case is still robust. [58]

 

I can imagine the nuclear industry's response:

Ha ha ha...you fool. All we needed from you is a small modicum of doubt. The rest will be history.

 

Monbiot solidifies his nuclear direction in his August 2008 article:

If nuclear power meets the very tough conditions I proposed last week, we should no longer oppose it - though that remains a big if. [59]

 

He finally admits to the change but is also still in denial in his February 2009 article:

It's true that my position has changed. As the likely effects of climate change have become clearer, nuclear power, by comparison, has come to seem less threatening.

But I have not, as many people have suggested, gone nuclear. Instead, my position is that I will no longer oppose nuclear power if four conditions are met...[60]

 

Like so many mysteries that keep individuals up all night, Monbiot's support for nuclear energy despite the Fukushima disaster are beyond disturbing in his March 2011 article:

Yes, I still loathe the liars who run the nuclear industry. Yes, I would prefer to see the entire sector shut down, if there were harmless alternatives. But there are no ideal solutions. Every energy technology carries a cost; so does the absence of energy technologies. Atomic energy has just been subjected to one of the harshest of possible tests, and the impact on people and the planet has been small. The crisis at Fukushima has converted me to the cause of nuclear power. [61]

 

Monbiot begins to take the high ethical road in defending nuclear energy in his April 2011 article:

Over the last fortnight I've made a deeply troubling discovery. The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged, and wildly wrong. We have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice. [62]

 

In Monbiot's July 2011 article he solidifies his argument in point form:

I've discovered that the dangers of nuclear power have been exaggerated, often with the help of wildly inaccurate junk science.

I've shown that the choice between renewables and nuclear is a false one: we appear to need both. And that, contrary to popular belief, it is the cheapest of our low-carbon options in the UK. [63]

 

In 2011 and 2012 Monbiot proposes integral fast reactor nuclear plants, (that run on waste from previous and modern reactors) to be the solution for nuclear waste. [64] [65]

 

I agree that nuclear plants that use radioactive waste from previous plants need to be created. But only under the condition that if it works, all previous nuclear plants need to be shutdown; and once all the radioactive waste is depleted (hundreds if not thousands of years), these nuclear plants will be shutdown as well.

 

A few hundred years should be enough time for at least one individual on the planet to create a new sustainable and reliable source of energy.

 

But Monbiot's February 2013 article really boils my blood:

Flawed and stalled as the nuclear clean-up plans may be, at least they exist. Neither the government nor the fossil fuel companies have any programme for cleaning up carbon dioxide. This waste is, in aggregate, orders of magnitude more dangerous than the materials produced by atomic energy plants, and even harder to make safe. It's a choice of two evils, but one is much worse than the other. [66]

 

CO2 emissions are worse than nuclear radiation?

 

I don't think so.

 

The peer-reviewed evidence is quite clear:

Taking all the evidence together, we conclude that the significant increase in trisomy 21 in Berlin nine months after the Chernobyl reactor accident was not simply a chance event. Assuming (a) that maternal meiosis is an error prone process that is most sensitive to endogenous or exogenous factors at around the time of chromosomal segregation, and (b) that inhalation of large amounts of radionuclides with short half lives, (especially 131I) was limited to a period of less than two weeks in Berlin, we believe that a causal relation was the most likely explanation. [67]

This study showed an elevated diversity and frequency of abnormalities in barn swallows from Chernobyl compared with control populations in Ukraine and elsewhere. Furthermore, we found lower survival prospects for both nestlings and adults with abnormalities than for the average individual. Thus, the presence of abnormalities is associated with severe fitness costs. This is the first study showing that abnormalities in free-living animals are elevated in contaminated areas just as documented for humans...The cause of these effects is likely to be a combination of mutation rates having increased by up to more than a factor of 10...and elevated teratogenic effects of radioactive isotopes in the environment, possibly caused by depletion of antioxidants by radiation...[68]

More than 10 years after the Chernobyl accident, children in the Narodichesky region, Ukraine, approximately 80 km from Chernobyl, showed decreased counts for red and white blood cells and platelets, and a reduced concentration of hemoglobin associated with persistent residential 137Cs [Caesium] exposure. There are compelling reasons to investigate more closely the relationship of radioactive exposure after the Chernobyl accident and health sequelae in children. [69]

What is shown at present by the experience after Chernobyl, is that the early stages of development in human life are highly vulnerable to ionizing radiation as was assumed in former times of radiation research. The current concept of dose thresholds - as high as 100 mSv stated in ICRP 90 of 2003 - does not appear to conform to the observational evidence in cases of chronic low-dose exposure. [70]

We have conducted research in Chernobyl since 1991 and have noticed a significant accumulation of litter over time. This accumulation of litter is demonstrated here to be significantly positively related to background radiation, negatively related to the proportional loss of litter mass from the litter bags, and to be greater in the presence of pine stands. Accumulation of litter may have consequences for the risk of fire because accumulation of dead plant matter for 27 years implies an accumulation of fuel and hence an elevated risk of fire followed by an increased risk of subsequent redistribution of radionuclides...The accumulation of litter over time may also have consequences for the mineralization of organic matter in the forest floor and hence primary productivity, suggesting that growth rates of trees and other plants may be suppressed in the presence of poor levels of decomposition caused by elevated levels of background radiation and could in part explain reduced growth rates of pine trees in radioactive regions of Chernobyl...[71]

 

The fact that dead trees in Chernobyl aren't decomposing represents a complete mutation of the natural life and death cycle.

 

The fact that Monbiot believes that CO2 emissions are more worrisome than this (birth defects and chronic health effects of nuclear radiation), represents the pinnacle of stupidity.

 

While both Monbiot and myself have access to the same peer-reviewed articles, and both of us will accuse the other of cherry-picking data to support our arguments, in a true global democracy it would be up to the global general public to decide. In a false democracy the decision rests with national governments.

 

In an email request for comment I ask Monbiot the second million dollar question:

Do you believe that your refusal to support GMO crops and geoengineering the atmosphere will soon be changing?

 

He doesn't respond.

 

The CO2 Climate Change Cult Series will continue on October 24, 2014 with Part 7 of 8: The False Doctrine.

 

 

References:

[1] Monbiot, George. Biotech has bamboozled us all. Guardian. August 24, 2000.

[2] Monbiot, George. Starved of the truth. Guardian. March 9, 2004.

[3] Monbiot, George. Helping the poorest to get poorer. Guardian. September 21, 2000.

[4] Monbiot, George. The rich world's veto on reform. Guardian. October 15, 2002.

[5] Monbiot, George. A game of double bluff. Guardian. May 31, 2005.

[6] Monbiot, George. A truckload of nonsense. Guardian. June 14, 2005.

[7] Monbiot, George. Africa's new best friends. Guardian. July 5, 2005.

[8] Monbiot, George. Just ban fuels. How about that? Guardian. November 9, 2000.

[9] Monbiot, George. An ugly face of ecology. Guardian. April 26, 2005.

[10] Monbiot, George. We must cut demand to have any hope of solving the energy crisis. Guardian. November 29, 2005.

[11] Monbiot, George. The scam of global warming is that we pay others for our complacency. Guardian. January 17, 2006.

[12] Monbiot, George. Paying for our sins. Guardian. October 18, 2006.

[13] Monbiot, George. The most destructive crop on earth is no solution to the energy crisis. Guardian. December 6, 2005.

[14] Monbiot, George. If we want to save the planet, we need a five-year freeze on biofuels. Guardian. March 27, 2007.

[15] Monbiot, George. The western appetite for biofuels is causing starvation in the poor world. Guardian. November 6, 2007.

[16] Monbiot, George. We can't reverse global warming by triggering another catastrophe. Guardian. August 29, 2006.

[17] Monbiot, George. A balloon and hosepipe as the answer to climate change? It's just pie in the sky. Guardian. September 2, 2011.

[18] Monbiot, George. It will take more than goodwill and greenwash to save the biosphere. Guardian. January 6, 2009.

[19] Monbiot, George. At the seat of empire. Guardian. June 25, 2002.

[20] Monbiot, George. The logic of empire. Guardian. August 6, 2002.

[21] Monbiot, George. Shadow of extinction. Guardian. July 1, 2003.

[22] Monbiot, George. With eyes wide shut. Guardian. August 12, 2003.

[23] Monbiot, George. Beware the fossil fools. Guardian. April 27, 2004.

[24] Monbiot, George. Jump on our bandwagon. Guardian. April 6, 2004.

[25] Monbiot, George. Goodbye, kind world. Guardian. August 10, 2004.

[26] Monbiot, George. I'm all for putting more vehicles on our roads. As long as they're coaches. Guardian. December 5, 2006.

[27] Copy of Saturday Night Live-More Cowbell FULL SKIT! YouTube video. Posted by ohheydarciemae1121, November 5, 2012.

[28] Monbiot, George. There is climate change censorship - and it's the deniers who dish it out. Guardian. April 10, 2007.

[29] Monbiot, George. The rich world's policy on greenhouse gas now seems clear: millions will die. Guardian. May 1, 2007.

[30] Monbiot, George. Stop doing the CBI's bidding, and we could be fossil fuel free in 20 years. Guardian. July 3, 2007.

[31] Monbiot, George. The stakes could not be higher. Everything hinges on stopping coal. Guardian. August 5, 2008.

[32] Monbiot, George. This stock collapse is petty when compared to the nature crunch. Guardian. October 14, 2008.

[33] Monbiot, George. Carbon capture is turning out to be just another great green scam. Guardian. March 18, 2008.

[34] Monbiot, George. Carbon capture history made in Saskatchewan, besting once ambitious Alberta. CBC News. October 3, 2014.

[35] Monbiot, George. Time to change 'climate change.' Guardian. March 12, 2009.

[36] Monbiot, George. How much fossil fuel can we burn? Guardian. May 6, 2009.

[37] Hickman, Leo and Monbiot, George. Britain's cold snap does not prove climate science wrong. Guardian. January 6, 2010.

[38] Weather Versus Climate Change. YouTube video. Posted by National Geographic, May 28, 2014.

[39] Monbiot, George. Are the climate change deniers with no evidence just naturally gullible? Guardian. September 21, 2010.

[40] Monbiot, George. Global warming rigged? Here's the email I'd need to see. Guardian. November 23, 2009.

[41] Monbiot, George. The 'climategate' inquiry at last vindicates Phil Jones - and so must I. Guardian. July 7, 2010.

[42] Monbiot, George. The green problem: how do we fight without losing what we're fighting for? Guardian. May 5, 2011.

[43] Monbiot, George. If extreme weather becomes the norm, starvation awaits. Guardian. October 15, 2012.

[44] Monbiot, George. Stopping climate meltdown needs the courage that saved the ozone layer. Guardian. September 11, 2014.

[45] The Montreal Protocol: Summary of control measures under the Montreal Protocol. United Nations Environment Programme.

[46] Monbiot, George. Break out the bicycles. Guardian. June 8, 2004.

[47] Monbiot, George. An answer in Somerset. Guardian. August 24, 2004.

[48] Monbiot, George. It's better to cry wolf now than to wait until the oil has run out. Guardian. September 27, 2005.

[49] Monbiot, George. The real answer to climate change is to leave fossil fuels in the ground. Guardian. December 11, 2007.

[50] Monbiot, George. Global oil supply will peak in 2020, says energy agency. Guardian. December 15, 2008.

[51] Monbiot, George. We were wrong on peak oil. There's enough to fry us all. Guardian. July 2, 2012.

[52] Monbiot, George. Why vegans were right all along. Guardian. December 24, 2002.

[53] Monbiot, George. Credit crunch? The real crisis is global hunger. And if you care, eat less meat. Guardian. April 15, 2008.

[54] Monbiot, George. I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat - but farm it properly. Guardian. September 6, 2010.

[55] Monbiot, George. Why I'm eating my words on Veganism - again. Guardian. November 27, 2013.

[56] Monbiot, George. The nuclear winter draws near. Guardian. March 30, 2000.

[57] Monbiot, George. Dangerous waters. Guardian. June 11, 2002.

[58] Monbiot, George. Sure, nuclear power is safer than in the past - but we still don't need it. Guardian. July 11, 2006.

[59] Monbiot, George. Old King Coal is a brave old soul, but he is talking utter nonsense. Guardian. August 12, 2008.

[60] Monbiot, George. A kneejerk rejection of nuclear power is not an option. Guardian. February 20, 2009.

[61] Monbiot, George. Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power. Guardian. March 21, 2011.

[62] Monbiot, George. The unpalatable truth is that the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all. Guardian. April 5, 2011.

[63] Monbiot, George. Nuclear power - a Q&A session. Guardian. July 5, 2011.

[64] Monbiot, George. We need to talk about Sellafield, and a nuclear solution that ticks all our boxes. Guardian. December 5, 2011.

[65] Monbiot, George. We cannot wish Britain's nuclear waste away. Guardian. February 2, 2012.

[66] Monbiot, George. The end of nuclear power? Careful what you wish for. Guardian. February 4, 2013.

[67] Sperling, Karl, et al. Significant Increase In Trisomy 21 In Berlin Nine Months After The Chernobyl ReactorAccident: Temporal Correlation Or Causal Relation? British Medical Journal, Vol 309, No. 6948, July 16, 1994. p. 161.

[68] Moller, A.P., et al. Chernobyl Elevated frequency of abnormalities in barn swallows from Chernobyl. Biology Letters, Vol. 3, No. 4, August 22, 2007. p. 416.

[69] Stepanova, Eugenia, et al. Exposure from the Chernobyl accident had adverse effects on erythrocytes, leukocytes, and, platelets in children in the Narodichesky region, Ukraine: A 6-year follow-up study. Environmental Health, Vol. 7, No. 21, May 30, 2008. p. 12.

[70] Busby, Chris. The evidence of radiation effects in embryos and fetuses exposed to Chernobyl fallout and the question of dose response. Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Vol. 25, Iss. 1, 2009. p. 34.

[71] Highly reduced mass loss rates and increased litter layer in radioactively contaminated areas. Oecologia, Vol. 175, Iss. 1, May 2014. p. 436.