This'll just be a quick post because I'm revising for an Operating Systems exam tomorrow.
I don't normally do online petitions, but given that this one is going to the United Nations in an attempt to finally end the war on drugs, and has some serious weight behind it, I'm going to get onboard in the hope that it might do something.
Avaaz is running a campaign to end this frightful waste of money, sign it here and get your friends to do the same. This could be a huge step in the right direction for civil liberties worldwide.
The economic reasons are persuasive, but just remember there are far better ones: the war on drugs causes gang crime, puts money in the hands of weapons traders and killers, criminalises people who are innocent, puts people off getting help with addictions, drives up the price of drugs (and as such, drives down the amount spent in the white economy) and causes impure product to be sold to people.
I was going to put this as a response on your newest blog post, but since you edited my last reply, I think putting it here gives it a higher chance of evading the censorship demon, and us liberals (the real kind, not the 'liberal as long as you agree with me' kind) don't like censorship very much.
I know it must have been embarassing to be called out on saying Toby Jones supported the Rally Against Debt, making insults about his movies and then realising that it was actually Toby Young who supported us, but usually the bigger and less self-conscious amongst us just accept when we make a mistake, let the reply through and make the amendments necessary (these were the results of a Twitter conversation, not a blog reply, but the same basic rules apply).
I'm a right-winger, and proud of it. I stand for small government, low taxes and a free market economy. This is not because it produces the best growth statistics or the best living conditions (although it helps), but because it offers the most freedom to succeed or fail to all individuals.
Having said that, I do not stand for a society where people are left to fend for themselves if they're not able to find employment, or they're disabled, or they're really struggling despite trying.
It is completely understandable that many people presume that the Rally Against Debt is a movement of self-interested. "Cut the services, cut our taxes, fuck the poor". Fortunately, that's not what it's about at all.
Personally, I believe that some global warming may be caused by man, but I don't buy into Al Gore et al's sensationalism.
But even for a complete devout follower to the AGW cause and a worshipper at the IPCC temple, it makes sense to suspend the Climate Change Act until a global legislation can replace it, because is going to cost £760 billion (that's just the cost through taxes, it doesn't cover the cost of compliance for businesses & individuals) over 40 years in order to reduce world global emissions by less than 1.5% (80% of Britain's 1.86%).
This amounts to a ~1.2% reduction in the rate warming of the planet according to IPCC models, which assume we are responsible for around 80% of the warming. In other words, even if we implemented this 80% reduction overnight (we're implementing it over 40 years), and the IPCCs most catastrophic predictions (4°C over 100 years) were accurate, we would be able to reduce this by 0.048°C/100 years, or 0.00048°C/year, at the cost of £1.8 trillion (£18 billion a year) in real terms.
To put this in perspective, we're going to be spending at least £375 billion in real terms over the next century, or £3.75 billion a year, for each 0.01°C of warming we mitigate over 100 years.
In other words, even if the IPCC's most catastrophic predictions are right, this unilateral measure is only harming British businesses global competitiveness, costing the taxpayer a fortune in green energy and will have no relevant positive effect on the environment (the planet will warm 3.94°C instead of 4°C).
Another issue on the climate debate is the idea that it's all done and dusted, and there's no room for an argument, but science is founded on scepticism and challenging consensus.
However, climate scientists (and even moreso, their associated media lackeys and politicians) have picked up quite a habit for dismissing scepticism as 'climate denial', misusing information (see the video below) and getting their predictions hopelessly wrong.
This man is not a climate sceptic, he believes in man-made global warming and is now heading a study to re-do the Climategate study. Regardless of that, he's willing to call out junk science when he sees it.
We cannot afford to write unilateral laws to 'show the right signs'; we need to move to an evidence and effect-based policy on environmental and AGW legislature based on three key principles:
- The law must be based on a scientific proof, not a belief with a load of evidence against it which hasn't yet been refuted.
- Any legally-binding targets actually need to have a significantly positive effect i.e. they need to provide a comprehensive fix.
- Where possible, environmental policy should be established globally, or at least include China and the USA.
In order to support the repeal of the act, sign the petition here and if you're a UK resident, let the government know that you want them to get rid of this draconian piece of legislation via their Red Tape Challenge website.
Recently, we heard the news that the government was cutting Arts Council funding by 30%, and naturally we got the same outrage that we get with every single spending cut:
"With this level of cuts, and the pressure on local authority budgets, museums, galleries and community projects across the country will fear for their future."
- Ivan Lewis MP
So, with this kind of response, we'd imagine that the left would be happy to support any funding which the arts can find to shore up the gap, as it protects jobs, preserves the quality of the arts and supports artists' contributions to society?
Well, no, actually.
The Tate Modern has had sponsorship from BP Oil since 1990, but as oil is one of the few things lefties hate more than the coalition government, they're staging protests against the funding, some of which involve throwing oil around and damaging the Tate's property.
Another involved gathering in a circle and spraying oil all around the entrance to the Tate, damaging property and causing a potential safety hazard.
Jane Trowell of Platform said:
"We hope that, as happened with the tobacco industry, it will soon come to be seen as socially unacceptable for cultural institutions to accept funding from Big Oil."
Taxpayers' money in the arts is good, private money in the arts is bad?
As we can see, once again, the far-left don't really care about the arts, it's just another play thing for them to use against the private sector to promote their big-state ideology.
I can't really ignore contemporary events at the moment, can I? What with the situation in North Africa, the EU referendum campaign stepping up, Google taking sides in the climate debate et al., I'd definitely have had enough to write about on any given day. Today, however, I'm going to grab onto a subject which could be more important than any of them: the future of nuclear energy.
In 1989, the Non-Fossil Fuels Obligation came into play, forcing the managers of the power grid to purchase energy from nuclear or renewables suppliers instead of just buying from cheap fossil fuels providers. For better or for worse, this served to strengthen the position of nuclear power in the UK, and seemed to vindicate the support that was showed to the nuclear power sector, which remained the status quo until this recent incident in Japan.
In the UK, we currently have ten active nuclear power plants, the vast majority of which are AGR (Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor) designs. Each of these produces around 1,200MW of power.
Governments love the issue because it provides a good excuse for more taxes, regulation and bureaucracy. Scientists love it because it provides grant money and subsidies, as well as fancy trips to exotic locales on someone else’s dime. Government bureaucrats love it for that too (actually, everyone involved loves it for that). Socialists love it because it shows the evils of capitalism. Environmentalists love it because it shows the evils of civilization. Religious leaders love it because it shows the evils of humanity. Statists love it because it seems to be a problem that can only be solved with a bigger state. Corporations love it because they can get government subsidies to pretend to invent “green” products that people can pretend will solve the non-existent problem. Guilt-ridden middle class liberals love it because it helps them to feel alive for a few brief moments before the emptiness returns. Celebrities love it because it gives them a feel good issue to advocate for in order to assuage their guilt over their own extreme wealth and lavish lifestyles. Pretty much every member of the political and intellectual class has a stake in this issue surviving, and so it probably will. Judah Cohen himself is in on the scam and has managed to mix in a bit of the military-industrial-complex for flavor.
The end of the world from climate change or global warming is probably not going to happen. They probably won’t even cause any inconvenience. If you are going to worry, worry about what the global bureaucrats and other AGW interest groups are planning to do to you.
See the whole piece here.