Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fracking and the cult of Green Gnosticism


From Brother Ivo:

For many decades we have lived with a succession of failed predictions by the Doom Sayers of the environmental movement.

1972 saw the Club of Rome publishing The Limits to Growth which looked at human population, resource depletion, industrialisation, pollution and food production, and made a series of catastrophic predictions for the world we live in today, none of which came to pass at the predicted time. In the same year The Blueprint for Survival imagined a future necessarily modelled upon a cross between tribal societies and a William Morris agrarian village of philosopher saints.

Somehow we have survived, and while nobody should be complacent about our relationship with the natural world which underpins our existence, it is plain that chance, human ingenuity, hard work, and unforeseen factors continue to reset the future in ways that seem to elude those who confidently predict that disaster is just around the corner.

Foremost in their predictive failure was the underestimation of the power of the computer, and with it the Internet. The transitions from the hunter-gatherer economy, through the agrarian model, the industrial and on to global trading economies were assumed to have run their full course, and yet the knowledge economy has superseded anything we might have known, such that massive economic gain can be built on a significantly reduced resource footprint. The ubiquity of the mobile telephone alone has created an economy and social re-organisation way beyond that which the early Green campaigners imagined.

Just as Karl Marx seriously underestimated the flexibility of market capitalism, so the Green movement has consistently failed to re-adjust its old vision of those limits to growth.

The argument that physical constraints must force societal re-organisation failed on so many levels, as new reserves of physical resources were found and  techniques to exploit them were developed. With new science and technology we can feed the multitudes, raise living standards, educate more and better, and begin to build a scientific ark to preserve endangered species. Yet still we have many who seem to regret the potential of human beings to confound the worst of their predictions.

That cause for regret was recently supercharged when the rock star Bono proclaimed at Georgetown University that 'Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than Aid'.

This is seriously bad news for the Greens.

As the assertions of physical limits were discredited, a different technique had to be adopted if the prejudices against the benefits of capitalism were to be sustained. We entered into the world of uber-catastrophe.

If we will not give up our attachment to capitalism because of physical constraints, then a super threat would need to to compel us. The list is impressive: nuclear waste storage, acid rain, GM crops, the Millennium Bug, global cooling, global warming, and the latest - fracking.

Each of these may have different attributed causes and predicted consequences, yet the solution has one common feature - we have to surrender our volition to those who know better and reconfigure society as they say.

This is by no means a modern phenomenon.

In ancient times it was the Gnostics who declared themselves possessed of secret knowledge and whose grasp thereof gave them an advantage over those dealing with everyday life on a more prosaic level.

The impulse to claim powers and immunities based upon special understanding has had a wide appeal. The Bible was kept from non-Latin speakers for centuries. The virtual unreadability of Das Kapital secured Marxists a guaranteed sense of superiority in their insistence that they alone understood the historical mechanism of dialectical materialism, and as its promise began to unravel, we were offered the even more impenetrable works of such academics as Herbert Marcuse, whose Frankfurt School of Marxism blessed the world with political correctness.

If that were not bad enough, we have the gnosis of the conspiracy theorists - those who know that the moon landings were filmed on a Hollywood backlot, aliens landed at Roswell, and the US auto industry bought up a non-existent patent that enabled cars to run on water. It is, incidentally, always the Americans who perpetrate these cover-ups; never truly secretive societies or those pesky Finns or Canadians.

These disparate movements, beliefs and creeds confer a sense of exclusivity, superiority and appeal to those otherwise lacking self-esteem. It calls to the outsider and reinforces his or her sense of frustration with their ordinary fellow citizens who will not acknowledge their special status - their gnosis.

One of the fundamental aspects of these Gnostic-lite philosophies, apart from the admiration we ought rightly to feel for those who know better than we do, is their claimed right to break the law; to enforce where they cannot persuade, for, whether we are talking roads, railways, or fracking, the ordinary rules of democracy cannot apply to them.

In this, they and the Jihadist share a common philosophical heritage: they are right and we are wrong. Our only proper response to them and their minority world view is one of submission.

37 Comments:

Blogger Martin said...

Perhaps the promoters of failed prophecies should suffer the Old Testament's penalty for the false prophet.

However, in one respect, there is a flaw in the idea that science will bring ever increasing answers. That is the application of technologies, such as genetic engineering, when we really know so very little about how they work.

Just as nuclear power was ventured into before it was fully understood, so Evolutionism has tempted scientists into the genome with a superficial understanding of how it works. This despite the constant failure of Evolutionism's own prophetic failures.

Funny that.

21 August 2013 at 10:06  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Odd, the craving for disaster.

I believe that when 9/11 was broadcast in real time, some thought it was the latest disaster movie: some new version of 'Towering Inferno'.

Overturned liners, burning buildings, tornadoes, out-of-control dinosaurs, Martian invasion, deadly missiles from a bug planet, Terminators (and Judgement Day), volcanic eruption in Los Angeles...

There seemed to be an insatiable appetite for disaster: provided it never came true.

21 August 2013 at 10:12  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Excellent piece Brother Ivo, so many thanks.

As you touched upon I get the distinct impression that it is capitalism, that they really trying to attack.

Fracking may or may not be a safe method of securing our energy requirements, I don't know as there's a paucity of research made available to the public, but the point is that fracking is just the latest manifestation of capitalism to be brought before the public. And it is capitalism that they are after. As that deliberately slightly silly journalist James whatshisname, Delingbole (?) says, the greenies are "watermelons", green inside, but cut them open, and they are bright red.
We need a debate informed by facts, by research. At the moment we only hear from the extremes, the industry and the protesters. Isn't Government supposed to, as a minimum, ensure that vital national decisions are well informed ?

21 August 2013 at 10:34  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David H:

Agree absolutely re the Greens.

In the old days, when there was an actual difference between the major parties, opponents of the party in power hoped that things would go badly wrong to get it out of power again as soon as possible.

Since the collapse of economic (as opposed to Cultural) Marxism, the Greens have been the main opponents of Capitalism. Green mantra: Capitalism causes ecological damage. (Any thoughts about the record of Communism?)

Thus an ecological disaster is bad. But also good, if it helps bring Capitalism to its knees.


(I'm not saying there aren't genuine issues about fracking: I'm way too ignorant ot know either way.)

21 August 2013 at 10:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Fracking – a risky business so one is informed. But is it not inevitable for a greedy world with finite resources that we will one day consume ourselves in our ignorance.. It has started, and few are aware…

21 August 2013 at 10:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Chaps, beware of Green fascism. A manifesto commitment by the party of this name is to turn the country vegetarian, by force no doubt when objection is met.

This is not a drill…

21 August 2013 at 10:56  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Ivo,
An interesting article that exemplifies my coming point that most so-called intellectuals seem to pontificate up their own rear ends.
These disparate movements, beliefs and creeds confer a sense of exclusivity, superiority and appeal to those otherwise lacking self-esteem. It calls to the outsider and reinforces his or her sense of frustration with their ordinary fellow citizens who will not acknowledge their special status - their gnosis.
Your comment here shows me how many communicants on this site debate their point till the cows come home and never does either ever accept another point of view.
That is right if one is convinced in ones views, but no one has exclusive understanding of truth. Even Christians are told that we all see through a glass darkly.
It seems to me that we could all benefit from listening sometimes instead of just rebutting.

21 August 2013 at 11:04  
Blogger John Wrake said...

Brother Ivo,

Your comment on law-breaking is pertinent, but you seem to give little weight to the follies undertaken by government in the practical sphere.

This is not just an argument for or against capitalism. It is also an argument about greed and selfishness.

Perhaps neither you nor I am able to evaluate the pros and cons of fracking in a technical way, but there are legitimate concerns when those who laud the benefits are also those who laud the benefits of wind farms, HS2, quantitative easing (forgery, if individuals do it), bank bailouts, open borders.

If the right of a company to operate trumps the right of peaceful protest at what it is doing, who will guide the policeman on his duty to maintain the Queen's peace?

John Wrake

21 August 2013 at 11:21  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother David,

This Matt Ridley article may help you grapple with the pro's and cons of fracking.

http://www.thegwpf.org/matt-ridley-shatter-myths-fracking/

21 August 2013 at 11:22  
Blogger JimS said...

The 'Greens' don't provide any realistic answers apart from investment in 'alternative' technologies. For 'alternative' read 'primitive'.

They take advantage of their own and the public's failure to grasp the magnitude of numbers and concepts such as energy density.

It as if someone said that bulk oil tankers are 'bad' and that they should be replaced by a two-foot long narrow boat, not boats but a boat. Totally impracticable but that is the measure of the real 'alternative'.

As for the internet, there are some that predict that there will be insufficient electricity to power it all in the near future as we continue to post multiple copies of silly cat videos to Youtube.

21 August 2013 at 11:55  
Blogger Gareth said...

One of the advantages of fracking is presumably that less money will be required to be spent on buying oil from dodgy regimes in the middle east.

21 August 2013 at 12:01  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The Explorer,

Spot on ! Agree totally.

Mr Integrity.

Good point. Many so called intellectuals are just keen on the sound of their own voices, and will brook no adjustment, yet alone make significant change based on hearing good reasoned evidence, to their chosen world view, which is often a "faith" really; and from which lofty vantage they peer down snobbily at us lesser, unenlightened beings.

I find that sort of reaction to both my orthodox, traditional Christian faith and my pro-UK, exit the EU political stance. Being essentially peaceful I find it a bit unnerving but one grows slowly in strength.

21 August 2013 at 12:03  
Blogger Owl said...


Excellent article Brother Ivo.

I have just noticed that the USA seems to be doing rather well economically from fracking and it hasn't sunk beneath the waves as of yet.

What the f**k are our politician waiting for. Oh, don't tell me ....

21 August 2013 at 12:17  
Blogger meema said...

For the record, I am not a Greenie, not even close. I’m a Christian who believes we are mandated to be good stewards–of everything we are given. This does not mean we are supposed to worship Gaia and/or dash about shouting, Recycle! What hypocrisy!

I marvel at how modern rhetoric is so easily used as a manipulation tool that keeps us blind and comfortable in the Matrix. We don’t notice that all the ‘isms’ are easily redefined to suit the moment. Capitalism is not Crony Capitalism, which is what we have running the show now. Fracking, not unlike the real and ever dangerous issue of nuclear waste storage, will come back to bite us one day.

How ironic and convoluted it all is. The Green Terrorists vilify Capitalism while the Crony Capitalists throw up smoke screens by making fun of the crazy conspiracy theorists.

As always, the truth hides somewhere in the gray middle.

Good stewards, those who understand the mandate, also understand the difference between that which builds up and that which destroys even if they don’t understand the science.

21 August 2013 at 12:52  
Blogger A.K.A. Damo Mackerel said...

Matt Ridely: 17 Reasons to be cheerful.


http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/reader's-digest.aspx

21 August 2013 at 13:41  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Br Ivo “One of the fundamental aspects of these Gnostic-lite philosophies, apart from the admiration we ought rightly to feel for those who know better than we do, is their claimed right to break the law; to enforce where they cannot persuade, for, whether we are talking roads, railways, or fracking, the ordinary rules of democracy cannot apply to them.

In this, they and the Jihadist share a common philosophical heritage: they are right and we are wrong. Our only proper response to them and their minority world view is one of submission.

But they have a valid point about fracking though. Why has it been banned in quite a few countries?
I don't think the dangers have been eliminated enough for it to be done on a big scale. The ignorant government have seen £££ signs and in their desperation to make a few bob and save their skins for the next election are as hell bent on getting their way as the Swampy types are in achieving theirs , what we need is a compromise. How about conducting more research on fracking and monitoring more closely the Yanks' projects before plunging the country into dangers that could be avoided.

21 August 2013 at 14:33  
Blogger David B said...

Interesting views on those who think they know more than what anyone could be reasonably said to know, and who claim the right to break the law - I might add the right to have laws framed with their beliefs being privileged.

A few groups have been left out, by accident or design, though.

Those who maintain not only there is a God, but that God has a representative who can infallibly pronounce, based in Rome.

Those who claim that one of many books, or collections of books, written thousands of years ago, are true by divine fiat, or in some cases books channeled or otherwise acquired by self proclaimed prophets from the middle east or America.

In short - all those who claim,in their many various and often mutually incompatible ways, knowledge of the supernatural.

Of course, in the same spirit that Bro Ivo demands submission to them, we should of course grant all sorts of privileges to supernaturalists that the rest of us do not enjoy, ranging from granting them the right to free parking on Sundays, to their insistence that they should be immune from anti-discrimination legislation, and much more.

David

David



21 August 2013 at 14:55  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother David,

I do not recognise your characterisation of the CofE or indeed our Roman Catholic friends as law breakers, and it is not improper in a plural society to accommodate a diversity of opinion.

Those of most faiths are content to offer to share their beliefs but not enforce them. In this they do, with respect tend to offer a more tolerant approach than many within the " anti- discrimination" movement which all too frequently tends to be a movement to discriminate against those with whom they disagree.

21 August 2013 at 15:39  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David B:

Two things:

1. The square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum etc. Pythagaros said that a long time ago. Does that render it invalid? (I appreciate more than one issue is involved here, but let's take them one at a time).

2. I'm probably being thick, but i don't get the Sunday parking bit. In one car park near us, everybody - atheists, Satanists, Jains, whoever - gets Sunday parking free. In another, further away in a tourist spot, everybody pays seven days a week. The only exception is for Disabled, who don't have to pay. In France, everybody seems to get free parking during the lunch hour, to encourage people into the restaurants.

21 August 2013 at 15:56  
Blogger David B said...

Explorer there has been some fuss recently on the press regarding paying for parking on a Sunday, often when charges are implemented on Sundays by cash strapped councils, including sometimes when churchgoers are specifically excluded from charges - they call it a tax being on prayer.

I call demanding unwarranted privileges.

In my neck of the woods disabled people have to pay for council car parking - rather annoyingly instituted some months before I got my Blue Badge.

David


21 August 2013 at 16:35  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David:

Clearly it varies from area to area. Disabled, incidentally, are not exempt if it's one-hour voucher parking in the street.

Where the church goers are exempt from charges, are the mosque goers exempt as well?

21 August 2013 at 17:26  
Blogger David Hussell said...

If anyone of whatever faith receives free parking on their particular Sabbath, I'm sure that our tolerant, ever loving friends in the NSS will be hammering away in their dry, sanctimonious and humourless way.

Personally as parking charges are for most of us, and excepting the disabled of course, such a small thing, for once I will say, I really couldn't care less, as we all have bigger fish to fry I feel.

Just think of those poor sods in Egypt and Syria I say.

21 August 2013 at 17:46  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David H: Agreed.

David B: Let's return to my first question about Pythagoras.

21 August 2013 at 18:14  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Brother Ivo,

An impertinent question to you, if I may.

Is this a photograph of you, in fancy dress, by any chance, or was it a hapless "volunteer", or even someone doing their penance, perhaps ?

21 August 2013 at 19:07  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother David,

It is the portrait which Brother Ivo keeps in the attic! :-)

21 August 2013 at 19:56  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Brother Ivo,

A wise precaution !

I must get one too.

Thank you for that revealing enlightenment.

21 August 2013 at 20:42  
Blogger bluedog said...

An excellent post, Brother Ivo.

The anti-frackers are indeed the successors to earlier protestors such as the CND crowd. With a few genteel exceptions, the old firm is back in business. It is only a matter of time before the Wimmin of Greenham Common reform and camp in squalor outside a fracking site in order to try and render its operations impossible.

If fracking enables the UK to regain a degree of energy independence now that the coalfields are uneconomic and the North Sea is depleting, so be it.

There seems no alternative.

21 August 2013 at 21:27  
Blogger David Hussell said...

For too long this country has been held hostage to the ill thought through, anti-capitalist, anti-industrial wishes of ragbag greenies, anarchists and what have you.

We should have been forging ahead with safe but realistic energy generating options, but instead our clueless , inadequate political establishment, without a science or engineering degree between them, were too willing to listen to these attention seeking types. We allowed our lead in nuclear energy to be wasted but put no credible alternatives in its place. Quite simply we failed to put in place any realistic, practical and long term energy policy. This was a serious failure of all British Governments. So now our poor go cold, due to unaffordable energy, and our industries export jobs for the same reason, the excessive cost of energy.

IF, fracking offers safe, cheap energy we need to bite the bullet and exploit it, soon. But first the public need to know that such extractive procedures are safe, so , come on Coalition Government , lets see the facts on fracking. Bring on the credible studies and reports.

21 August 2013 at 22:17  
Blogger Peter D said...

I understand even the Druid protesters at the initial camp are somewhat hacked off with the influx of the Greens at the new camp. Poor souls.

Has Giles Armstrong (cough) Frasier arrived yet?

21 August 2013 at 23:07  
Blogger David B said...

Been busy tonight.

Re Pythag, it has since been established that the theorem is not an absolute truth, being true only within the context of Euclidean geometry, as far as I am aware.

I don't know if the areas that provide free parking for church goers allow the same thing for other church goers, but my view is that it should be for everyone or no-one, rather than allowing members of either one particular religion or religion in general a privilege not afforded to tjose who might just want to visit a park or whatever.

David

21 August 2013 at 23:20  
Blogger David B said...

Brother Ivo, wrt the Catholic Church and the law I was thinking specifically of certain Catholics, with messages from above lending support to them, hushing up things that should legally have been brought to the attention of the authorities on one hand, and resistance to obeying the law regarding discrimination of some people who want to adopt, or abiding by Obamacare.

David

21 August 2013 at 23:49  
Blogger Peter D said...

David B

In one sentence you confuse three different and distinct issues. Terribly sloppy for one who claims to be a rationalist. How strange.

Tell me, during your meditation 'phase' were you a secret gnostic too?

After me .... Ooooommmmhhhhhhh

22 August 2013 at 00:17  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

I used to be a member of the Green Party. Bunch of dope head Utopians. The anti frackers are employing classic Marxist agit prop techniques and the BBC is playing along with their pantomime.

Bro Ivo is right. As with badgers and TB, reasoned argument and practicalities don't get a look in. The hysterical Greens just 'know' they are right and that anyone who disagrees is an enemy and needs to be shouted down.

22 August 2013 at 06:16  
Blogger David B said...

Peter D

Not so much confused as trying to very briefly respond to a number of questions, late at night.

In my case 'late at night' means that tiredness is kicking in with overtones of having enjoyed a couple of alcoholic beverages during the course of the evening:)

As far as gnosticism goes, that is very much in the Christian tradition, I understand, rather than the Eastern one I was exploring, but at the time I did sort of view the Christianity of the Gospel of Thomas and the Islam of the Sufis as rather related to the experiences and practices of the Vedic tradition which (to my mind) included Hinduism and Buddhism.

David

22 August 2013 at 07:58  
Blogger Peter D said...

David B

That explains it all then .... and why you're co confused about gnosticism and the gospel of Thomas) being part of Christian tradition.

"Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."

Very deeeeep!

22 August 2013 at 22:41  
Blogger Manfarang said...

"We entered into the world of uber-catastrophe."

There is a big nuclear power station not that far away from Balcombe.

23 August 2013 at 14:38  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I have a suspicion these people probably came by car, bus or train, so their protests are somewhat inconsistent. Generally speaking those who complain about mining use metals too, as who would wish to live a Stone Age type of existence with no petrol,oil or metal? All that leaves is dancing round Stonehenge in sewn up animal skins (oh, whoops, no probably grass skirts, though I don't think British grass would get you very far!!) and strange Druidic hempen sackcloth. Not for the remotely sane.

24 August 2013 at 20:14  

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