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    Age of Stupid

    by Sunny on 15th March, 2009 at 5:02 am    

      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Videos

    15 Comments below   |  

    1. dave bones — on 15th March, 2009 at 7:40 pm  

      as recommended by Alistair Campbell

    2. Sunny — on 16th March, 2009 at 12:58 am  

      the film? really?

    3. andrew hutson — on 16th March, 2009 at 9:56 am  

      Yes it’s true - he was there at the premiere last night.

    4. damon — on 16th March, 2009 at 5:59 pm  

      I haven’t seen the film - and only have vaguely have heard of it - but I think I heard of radio reports of it this morning on the radio where they were talking about a green carpet (as opposed to a red carpet)being rolled out for it’s oppening.

      As I say, I havn’t watched it, but it sounds like a lot of BS.


      ”Indeed, the film’s only virtue - and admittedly this is a big plus in its favour - is that it has exposed finally, beyond all reasonable doubt, the ugly elitism and end-of-days mania of the environmentalist movement. ”

    5. smallbeds — on 16th March, 2009 at 9:07 pm  

      When Campbell appeared, there was booing and hissing in our cinema. The poor fellow who was busy telling us about the World Development Movement was a bit worried that it was aimed at him.

      @damon - “I haven’t seen it… but” is demonstrably not a credible response to any cultural artifact: be it in the context of Brass Eye, The Last Temptation of Christ or films about climate change.

      Attempts to justify business as usual are looking more and more feeble as time goes on. The Met Office, for all their faults, are hardly guilty of end-of-days mania, yet turned out last night to confirm the validity of the film’s scientific content. The IPCC might have done it instead, but it would’ve been difficult to fit the top thousand climatologists in the world into that tent.

    6. damon — on 17th March, 2009 at 10:29 am  

      Well smallbeds, I know a bit more about it today than I did yesterday, after watching trailers for it on YouTube
      …. and putting the film’s name into google.

      If I had seen the film already would that make such a big difference to what you migh say to me? Or to how my seeing it would give me more credibility.
      Here is one short review from New Scientist magazine:
      ….. where they finish with this:

      ”It is worthy, though not riveting, cinema, but it has a very clever feature: much of the film is a patchwork of real news clips of remarkable single weather events from the early 2000s. Isolated events cannot be wholly blamed on global warming but, together, the staggering accumulation of severe hurricanes, droughts, heat waves and more is probably the result of climate change. By displaying these events side by side, the film compellingly shows that climate change is real, providing 20/20 hindsight while there is still time to act.”

      Yeah maybe …. but I also think that the article that I linked to in my last post said something of note too.
      But I’m not a scientist or any kind of expert in this field.
      I don’t like being told what to think though.
      And getting santimonious about one’s own personal consumption of consumer goods (and therefore CO2) is one of the most annoying of recent trends.

      Like those darned ”Act on CO2” adverts.

    7. asquith — on 17th March, 2009 at 10:35 am  

      Damon, virtually everyone here thinks Shite Online is a load of toss. I laughed my head off at Brendan O’Bollocks’ article when I read it yesterday.

      The biggest laugh of all was when they turned against Boris Johnson, but you can get at least a chuckle out of their tedious contrarianism & po-faced predictability most days.

    8. damon — on 17th March, 2009 at 10:51 am  

      That’s a fair opinon asquith, and one that is very common. What their overall raison d’etre is I don’t really know, but instead of being so general, I like to come at their articles (or points of view) one at a time.
      I have no idea about the science of climate change.
      But I do find (for example) the likes of Plane Stupid to be tedious middle class bores.
      They invaded the runway at Stanstead airport one morning a couple of months. The twats. How dare they cause so much disruption to people?

      The Maldives government is apparently going to go green (bigtime) in it’s domestic market. Will it actually do them any good? Of course it won’t affect sea levels.
      It’s in this area that I find that website quite interesting.

    9. asquith — on 17th March, 2009 at 11:03 am  

      In all honesty, there are authoritarians, hypocrites, & general idiots in the green movement. I do not deny that many are being counterproductive.

      But I don’t like the tendency to take people’s actions as dicrediting what they represent. I don’t like Brendan O’Neill as a person, but I disagree with his arguments not because of that but because I engage with them & find them wanting.

      Too many people simply decide they don’t like Lily Kember, therefore they are against environmentalism. It doesn’t help that a lot of policies are cack-handed, the Severn Barrage being a prime candidate.

      If Al Gore is a hypocrite, that says nothing about CO2. I manage to refrain from juding causes based on their supporters (though I admit I come across as doing otherwise, because I don’t always think about my PR!) & I wish others would do the same.

    10. fug — on 17th March, 2009 at 11:22 am  

      I found the crowd funding idea pretty inspiring.

      The growth in self pleasured rejectionism of not-screwing-up-the-environment is depressing though.

      Class-based chips on the shoulder, armchair willy waving, anti-extremism boringness, ‘holier-than-thou’ reactionism to percieved ‘holier-than-thou-edness’, endless allegations of hypocrisy (you took air transport to an international demo guffaw guffaw)….

    11. damon — on 17th March, 2009 at 12:06 pm  

      I would agree with what you said about: ”the tendency to take people’s actions as dicrediting what they represent”

      But there is also that tendency in which people with no more expertise than any person, effect the moral position. And that is really grating. (Maybe you did that in post #7 asquith)??

      I went down to the ”Climate Camp” next to Heathrow airport on a sunday last year - just to have a look about and make sense of what I’d been reading in the papers.
      They were preparing to breach police and security barriers the next day, and were practicing (in a big marquee) ways of breaking through police lines - which was basicly, lining up in single file, and going at the (pertend) police in this single file until the numbers of protesters focused on one small point in the police extended line, might overcome the police by numbers in that one small area.

      I stood by watching this, and looking at all the well meaning people there. But I couldn’t get some of that Spiked stuff out of my mind.

      It was the kind of thing that idealistic (white) university students would get into. We were next to Heathrow - but where were the people of Asian origin? (Nowhere).

      And as for criticising that online magazine so generally - I will always rate ”Chaining black youth to the victim culture”.
      I raised that article on another left - liberal website two years ago and some members of that site started calling me a racist ….(in my opinion, because I was talking outside of their comfort zone).

      ”Contrarian” was a word often used about them. As if being part of a majority view was necessarly so much better.

      I don’t know if it was Brenden O’Neill particularly, but I found the articles that mocked the other climate camp down at Kingsnorth in Kent, had validity.

      And this one about the western protestors who protested in Beijing in the days before the Olympics.

      It was called ”Putting the ‘I’ into
      internationalism” and how ……
      ”The arrest of four Free Tibet protesters in Beijing shows that Tibet still fulfills the fantasies of posh, disillusioned Westerners.”

      I think I agreed with those points of view.
      I mean, has anything actually changed in Tibet?

      While Iain Thom and Lucy Fairbrother are probably still living on their (Facebook) laurels.

    12. fug — on 17th March, 2009 at 12:11 pm  

      We were next to Heathrow - but where were the people of Asian origin?

      maybe not there, but some are very involved, others focus on issues more immediate to them, and residuals have opted for passive materialism.

    13. asquith — on 17th March, 2009 at 12:25 pm  

      Yes, they do very occasionally score. I’ve read some of O’Neill’s work in the New Statesman & liked it. But it just seems that this only occurs when they momentarily forget that they’re pushing a certain ideology, then they remember again & become predictable.

      The word contrarian is used because they just disagree for the sake of it, rather than because they think the majority have got it wrong. For every Galileo standing alone against an orthodoxy, there must be hundreds of people who’ve opposed orthodoxies & been hopelessly wrong! (So, I suspect, they will be proven to be about climate change).

      Re: Tibet. I’ve no doubt that many want to fossilise Tibet, & I have profound doubts about the Dalai Lama. But I question Spiked’s love of China. I can’t help thinking they view China as a sort of ideal society & model of what they want the world to be (though it would be fucking hilarious if this changed due to China’s fumbling attempts to go green & such).

      Myself, I support liberal & secular values across the world, whether they be in Iran, or China, or African countries where FGM occurs, or Pakistan, all of which have witnessed human rights abuses. It is not my concern if people are twats, & it does not discredit what I stand for.

      As for the shortage of Asians, it may be that the protestors didn’t engage with them. I’ve no doubt that I would disagree with the protestors on many issues. I also disagree with a lot of what is billed as green. But these doubts are, in my view, taken ridiculously far.

      Also, another thing I don’t like about Spiked is that I have no chance to say things like this to them as they don’t allow comments!

    14. dave bones — on 19th March, 2009 at 9:53 pm  

      Alistair Campbell made “The Age of Stupid” one of the main points in the talk he gave at Ecobuild in Earls Court a coupla weeks back. He was raving about it without even having seen it, saying it was a film which could change a generation. He was very good.

      Before hand I thought “Whats this Ali Campbell jumping on the green bandwagon” etc etc. But in the end he spoke about campaigning for a greener planet, and if anyone knows about campaigning its Ali Campbell isn’t it.

      He said in his day if you captured the two top dailys and the BBC you set the agenda. He doesn’t belive this anymore and thinks web stuff/blogs is making a big difference.

      He is on twitter apparently now and is getting into the web. Contact him, lets hope he is one to watch.

      Portillo was quite good at ecobuild too in his guise as an “Eco-skeptic” though he didn’t understand my question which was a shame. Nigel Lawson, also. It was quite cute of these top ex-tory bigwigs to come down and play the role of skeptics to an audience like Ecobuild. It was all very good natured.

      They had top people from the BBC chairing the debates, Boris opened, our brand new “climate change minister” (and my MP) Joan Ruddock closed the thing introduced by the grand designs guy- it was a real shame there wasn’t more coverage of the event in the news. It was really good- and Joan Ruddock understood my question and gave a great answer. I hope to talk to her again soon.

    15. damon — on 20th March, 2009 at 10:36 am  

      Well asquith, firstly I think the word contrarian is a problem - even if that other website we were talking about does seem to go out of it’s way to antagonise much of the more mainstream left and green opinion.

      Their China stuff does have me wondering if they are pushing it too far, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t putting it foreward as some kind of idealised society.
      What they are doing as far as I can see it is defending China against some of the charges made against it, particularly in the way that many think it’s industrialisation is a really bad thing, almost from a spiritual and moral point of view.
      So for example, I agreed with them when they critiscised this Free Tibet postcard that demonised the Chineese and romantiscised Tibetans.

      That postcard from the Free Tibet movement was a disgrace.

      They also speak out against the idea that Africa must have ”green” development, with low tech solutions to things like pumping water out of the ground, where some people advocate human powered treddle pumps as opposed to eletric or diesel pumps.

      As to the demographic makeup of these climate camp events, or ”flashmob” protests, like one that took place at the Eurostar railway station yesterday - maybe people who are not white and middle class are put off getting involved with them. I’m a white ”white van man” and they certainly leave me cold.

      And lastly about Spiked-online not allowing comments.
      I agree that their ”letters” section is very weak and not really genuine:
      but maybe they don’t see the point in letting things get how they do in the Guardian’s CiF website, where every time Brendan O’ Neill writes something, there are many (what they might consider) to be purely sectarian replies.
      I know that when they hold live public events, that they do really give the audience who turn up, a fair go at asking questions or making points from the floor.

      ”Age of Stupid” is a patronising name for a film.
      It’s very elitist isn’t it? It says ”be skeptical about what we say, and you are stupid”.

      Fly ”home” to visit your family every year or two and you are a greedy person. Fly to visit your friends or relatives who live overseas, and you are bad and less moral than those people at Plane Stupid or those Flashmobbers. That sort of attitude gets on my nerves.

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