Friday, August 5, 2011

Sir Crispin Tickell on China, climate change and democracy

I often listen to the BBC World Service in the wee hours. One of the regular shows is called One Planet. It's hugely biased, but still quite interesting. One recent interview really caught my ear.

The presenter Mike Williams was taking to British diplomat and environmentalist Sir Crispin Tickell about China and its approach to climate change. Tickell's observations were revealing because he invoked several of the most beloved cliches and misrepresentations of the deep green Left. (You can listen to it here. Tickell starts about a minute and a half in.)

Of Australia he said that we are the biggest per capita emitter of carbon dioxide. The nation is "doing a great deal of harm, thereby".

This is just completely irrational. So what if each person here has a comparatively large carbon footprint? We are a small nation and the cumulative impact is negligible.

Tickell then said of our addiction to fossil fuels that "Australians are increasingly aware that they are dependant on what doesn't work".

Clearly, the opposite is true. We are increasingly aware that these methods (coal in particular) are "oldies but goodies". One of the reasons we're so resistant to the carbon tax is that the much hyped renewables are neither reliable nor affordable enough to replace what's been working very well for a very long time. And we've still got mountains of the stuff, so why not keep using it?

Like so many warmists, he also repeated this massive lie about China being an environmental exemplar -- "pioneers of clean, green growth" as he puts it. Williams didn't pick him up on this point, but accepted it, adding that having such a policy is easy if you're an authoritarian regime.

They then got onto the subject of democracy in general, with Tickell saying the Chinese really "aren't that bad" in this regard. Rather than accept that China is itself very undemocratic, which is clearly the case, he shifted the goal posts on what democracy actually means. 

And there's a classic interchange in which a clearly shocked Williams says: "You're surely not suggesting China is a democracy." To which Tickell replies: "I don't know what you mean by democracy." It's truly jaw dropping stuff. When you can stun even a BBC journalist into incredulity with such a take on tyranny, well you really must be "out where the buses don't go".

Tickell's whole attitude in this interview is a distillation of the classic warmist position. It's inaccurate, irrational, and well on the way to being totalitarian.

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