Extinction warriors: Smug and hateful but are they right?

They are smug, middle class, white, rich, educated, and have expressions of sneering contempt when asked why they are stopping little people getting to work on their faces you want to slap very hard, not once but often. There will have been many watching the extinction warriors being pulled off various trains who wished they would end up under the trains they tried to stop.

But are the smug faces wrong? Britain along with many other developed countries has lost over 40% of its wildlife in the last half century, and if this trend continues will be an overpopulated wasteland (hugely accelerated by uncontrolled immigration) in a hundred more, its fields and hedgerows, farms, little villages everything that made the England we once knew, a distant memory.

Have you noticed how all the birds are vanishing? When was the last time you woke to a din of sparrows over the rooftops or the dawn chorus ? Do you think prairie farming has any benefits except for Sainsburys or Waitrose?

And if the natural environment all over the world declines at the same rate how long have we got?

I know that tribal loyalties are far more important than than our existence, and that applies to the right and the left, we on the right will still be congratulating ourselves on how we spotted the hypocrisy of the extinction movement even as our children face catastrophe.

Now that new two lane bypass you are canvassing for to keep traffic away from your village? Got the leaflets ready? Lobbied the local council? That Tory MP you had dinner with the other week, a phone call perhaps?

How I love the smell of warm tarmac in the morning!

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36 Comments on Extinction warriors: Smug and hateful but are they right?

  1. From Mr Harris’ article: “That Tory MP you had dinner with the other week, a phone call perhaps?”

    I once asked my local MP if he would like to share my bag of chips on the way home one evening. But as for having dinner with my him … not really.

    But the science is right in respect of global warming and climate change. Indeed, anyone of a certain age will have experienced it first hand.

  2. One of the dafter examples of green fanaticism (in cahoots with the greediest corporatists) is covering good growing land with solar panels. So instead of birds, crops, and running hares, we have deer fences CCTV and hundreds of acres of shaded, deserted land, producing heavily subsidised electricity in small amounts. Not a wise use of Wiltshire’s (or any other UK county’s)pasture and meadows.

    • Raven:

      Comparable to the destruction of Wiltshire’s pastures and meadows is the destruction of the wilderness of the Scottish Highlands, which started long before Green Fanaticism was dreamed of, thanks to the odious Forestry Commission. Where once there was nothing but heather, native wildlife and a few wandering sheep, for fifty years there have been millions of imported pine trees, planted for profit.

      If the evil Campbells wanted to surprise the saintly MacDonalds of Glencoe nowadays, they wouldn’t have to wait for their victims to fall asleep in order to massacre them. They’d just have to hide in the ubiquitous foreign forests.

      Alas! Birnam wood has come to Dunsinane once again.

      • I’ve noticed that quite a bit of felling is going on.
        My grandfather told me that they were planted after WW1 because the cellulose was thought (at the time) to be needed for explosives and ammo in future wars.

      • PJR:
        You make a very good point, I have a great fondness for the Highlands, the isles and their people. On a loosely related point Ron Greer has written with acuity about the importance of arctic char and ferox trout, left isolated by the retreating glaciers of 10,000 years ago, the lochs of the Highlands hold most of these ( though some loughs in the west of Ireland, and one or two of the deeper Welsh and Cumbrian waters hold them as well). He has said that they are as important as the Galapagos finches to our understanding of species, and yet, maybe because they aren’t considered exotic, they don’t hold the public imagination in the same way… …though maybe remaining un-noticed, except by the genuinely interested, is the best way of preserving anything in this interconnected world!

  3. On the verges of the nearest trunk road to my home, dozens of trees and hedgerows are being cut down in order to convert the road to dual carriageway. The dual carriageway is necessary to “save lives”.

    Even closer, there are plans to destroy more trees and hedgerows in order to construct a roundabout. Why do we need a roundabout? Because it’s an “accident black-spot”, and we must “save lives”.

    Fifty miles away on the coast, leaky boatloads of illegal immigrants are often escorted into safe harbours, in order to “save lives”.

    Perhaps it’s time for the intellectual successors of Lord Salisbury and the unintellectual successors of Lord Swampy to unite in overturning the received wisdom that “saving lives” is an objective that trumps all other objectives.

    The obvious problem, not only in the UK but everywhere, is that there are too many people. Perhaps it’s time to start letting people die, not by killing them (the Socialist and National Socialist solution) but by ceasing to “strive officiously to keep them alive”.

    Meanwhile, Philip Larkin said it best.

    “And that will be England gone,
    The shadows, the meadows, the lanes,
    The guildhalls, the carved choirs.
    There’ll be books; it will linger on
    In galleries; but all that remains
    For us will be concrete and tyres.”

    • Niall McCrae: I’d be proud to call myself a Green Populist.

      Examples of my proposed policies for the Green Populists are:

      1. No new houses in the UK.

      2. No new roads in the UK.

      3. No overseas aid to encourage the building of new houses and roads outside the UK.

      4. Increased taxation in the UK to fund free contraception worldwide.

      I just hope that when Myles Harris becomes PM he won’t renege on his election promises!

  4. Hilarious. All the pejorative terms in your first sentence apply extremely well to authors on Salisbury Review. You appear to advocate inflicting persistent violence on these protesters, and in your second sentence, worryingly, even grisly death.

    Try having a look in the mirror.

    • Moons of Saturn is an wonderful example of tribal thinking. The article supports the extinction movement, yet Moons’ frontal cortex is wired to think ‘right bad, left good’ so he is blind to the sense of the article. Anything in a conservative magazine must be bad even if it attacks a conservative view. He or she would have made excellent canon fodder in Word War one blindly charging the German machine gun posts.

    • Well now, oh Moons of the mighty Saturn. That’s free speech for you. Many on the Left-liberal side of the cultural divide have trouble with that concept. Their favourite silencing tactic is to declare the expression of certain views a danger to the public. Meanwhile the Left will respond to any violent attack on the capitalist West with the weasel words “I don’t condone violence BUT…”

      If your comment was sincere then I would suggest you temper your thinking with a dash of common sense. But perhaps Extinction Rebellion’s behaviour has held up a mirror to you. It is all too obvious that the movement is white, middle class and morally smug. Most revealing was their surpise at the reaction of commuters to their disruptive behaviour. Did they imagine they would stir up mass support for their pet obsession?

  5. Hysterical XR loons and conservatives share remarkably similar goals: we all want clean air and plastic-free, pristine seas.

    They differ in how to go about getting there. AOC/XR are rightly despised by sensible people because i) they are ignorant of science, and ii) they are hypocrites (e.g. St. Greta’s crew’s trans-Atlantic flights, the fossil fuels that went into building the carbon fiber yacht etc.).

    Overpopulation is indeed THE biggest problem the human race faces. In about 1900, the human race had reached the planet’s carrying capacity of about one billion people. European populations were sustained partly thanks to large imports of guano from Peru (then from Chile), a natural source of nitrogen for crops. The revolutionary development of the Haber-Bosch process for fixing nitrogen (and the Green Revolution from 1944) essentially enabled the world’s population to grow from one billion in 1900 to seven billion now.

    But here’s the thing: the Haber-Bosch process is incredibly energy intensive. Bosch did a lot to make it more efficient, but even so…the human race is set to reach nine billion by 2050. The only way that mass starvation will be prevented is by replacing fossil fuels with nuclear power, and all its attendant dangers. It will also require a second Green Revolution. Sustainables will help, but they’ll play a minor role, as even the best of them solar power, is intermittent, and geographically constrained.

    By calling for a swift end to fossil fuel usage, the XR idiots are effectively calling for the deaths of billions of people (but not themselves, of course).

    Calmer minds are calling for keeping fossil fuel lights on until safer forms of nuclear power and realistic sustainables can be deployed (and until a second Green Revolution – basically smart GM – can take hold). But time is of the essence.

    A large part of the blame for the human race’s current predicament can be laid at the door of economists, who have far too much say in the affairs of state in spite of their dismal record of prediction. They have encouraged a fixation on GDP growth, a deeply flawed measure of “progress” (for more details read, for example, David Pilling’s excellent The GDP Delusion) and ultimately unsustainable (infinite growth is an impossibility). They also treat people as fungible in the same way that shipping containers are, thus exacerbating the mass movement of people across the world to other societies with which they have nothing in common (not even language or culture).

    And they learn nothing: in this week’s edition, The Economist castigates New Zealanders for not accepting more refugees, calling the opponents racists and xenophobes. But New Zealand is actually closer to the ideal which both XR protesters and conservatives wish for: a low population, which means the environment is not put under such stress, and moderately good relationships with the Maoris, albeit strained at times. Will these economists never learn? Bringing more people in with no connection with New Zealand will only make racial, religious and ethnic tensions worse.

    For example, economists keep pressuring Japan to open up its doors to more refugees and to mass immigration in order to counter demographic shrinkage. But Japan is actually moving in the right direction. Fewer people means less strain on resources and less need to buy food and fuel from overseas (Japan currently imports about 70% of its food needs). And it is one of the few countries left on Earth where racial and ethnic tensions are almost non-existent because of its homogeneous culture and shared language. As Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz once wrote, Japan is a model for the rest of the world, not a cautionary tale.

  6. I am a bit concerned that “the environment” is just a nice place where well-off people live. They don’t want the common herd despoiling it so our numbers must be kept down.

    John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich, both somewhat fanatical on the perceived populaton explosion, seriously suggested in their 1977 book “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment” such remedies as enforced abortion and sterilization. Smells like fascism to me. Holdren went on to become one of Barack Obama’s senior advisors on science and technology.

    Call me a denier (and you probably will) but I think that George Monbiot, Roger Hallam, Greta Thunberg and their monstrous creation Extinction Rebellion have got it wrong. I only hope that in the coming years the world wakes up to that fact. At the moment, with the world’s mainstream media completely sold on the AGW concept, most people simply assume that imminent climate catastrophe is a given. The only question is what to do about it.

      • As an indication of how extreme the actions of totalitarian do-gooders can be it is worth remembering the mass sterilisation of poor men during the 1975 Indian emergency. The numbers are astonishing.

        • Interesting how many other historical parallels of puritanism and self-righteousness there are.
          In the 1630s they’d have been hounding Catholics.
          In the 1730s chasing ‘sodomites’ out of molly houses.
          In the 1830s excoriating unmarried mothers.
          In the 1939s Jews would have been their targets.

    • I’m with you. There have always been in every culture worries about over-population in relation to finite resources. So far, no allegedly finite resource has ever been found. Coal was a favourite 50 years ago, then oil, but 90% of both look like staying in the ground. Child-exposure or straightforward infanticide has been regarded as essential to avoid starvation since ancient times. Aristotle took such needs for granted but suggested pre-quickening abortion as a less offensive solution.

      Prosperity has cut western family sizes to below replacement level. The population will grow but stabilise and shrink some time this century – as it has already in Japan. Robotics will supply the missing youth labour. Crime – predominantly young men – will fall – again as already in Japan. (It’s an open question whether such demographic trends will apply to Islam and whether the dominant Shia/Sunni influence will give way to Ahmadi or secular Islam.)

      There is no emergency and plenty of dissenting opinion on whether warmism is happening at all, and whether it will have anything other than benign effects. We’ve had predictions of a 4c rise, 20ft rise in sea levels, no polar bears, mass starvation etc for more than 40 years. Some science that has not got one thing right. This is just another millenarianism panic to add to the 80 plus over recent history. The correct way to address an XR ninnie is as follows: ‘Are you speaking for planet Earth or Uranus.’

  7. Flights in Sweden have dropped by 3 to 4% because of ‘fleeg-skaam’ flight shame. The movement is spreading in Europe; German ‘flugscham’ , Dutch ‘fleigschaamte’, Finn ‘lentohapea.’ Flight Free Uk want 100,000 to sign up but so far only 3,700 have done so. Source The Week.

    Conservatives – small c – have long regarded themselves as keepers of the traditional countryside, but seem to have fallen in love with rabid industrialisation. It’s not just energy equivalents. Walk through Oxford centre in summer and see a city overwhelmed by gaping tourists, not all of them gaping, most on their way to the vile Westfield shopping centre to shop when they could do so much easier in their own countries. I am not sure how many millions of tourists visit Britain each year, but think of the strain on our lavatories and sewage plants due to the extra weight of faeces dumped in them each day.

    When the Salisbury Review forms it own government behind each immigration desk will be a cultural control desk where tourists will have to undergo a searching number of questions about what exactly they know about Britain and its culture. Most will be refused entry and sent to special pens where they will await low carbon trains to ship them out of the country

  8. Someone came up with these numbers for electric cars. They will not be any different in the UK.
    Expect this to be produced by solar, wind and methane?

    Check the car numbers in Canada, assume a yearly mileage 15000km each and IF they all are electric ones assume consumption of 48kWh per km. Get the total and compare it with yearly production of electric energy in Canada. With data that I used, I got 17169TWh consumption and all Canadian production for a year is 652TWh. Huh????

    For USA I got numbers: 189911TWh and 4034TWh respectively.

  9. 3.5 billion more people since 1971. If there had been a similar increase in any other large mammal, say bears or wolves, we would be asking the questions : why, and what should we do? South Worcestershire, for example,is threatened with another 19,000 houses, yet many of those who buy those houses won’t work in the county, nor even live in the buildings, they are often bought to rent, with the rent fixed at level that pays the buyers mortgage, meaning that those renting can never buy. if one decides to visit Skara Brae, in the summer months, there may well be hundreds of people from a cruise ship wandering around, ticking this ‘world heritage site’ off their list. One doesn’t have to been a green activist to feel that the direction things are travelling aren’t good for wildlife, and indeed aren’t good for people, how far does one have to drive to go for a quiet walk these days?

  10. @”Overpopulation is a worldwide phenomena. Just ‘solving’ UK immigration does not solve the bigger picture.”
    True but think Global, act local. Imagine if the UK had had low immigration for the last 20 years and our population had declined but living standards had gone up.
    What a blazing example that would have been for the rest of the world and those who believe that population must increase for prosperity.

  11. 1. Overpopulation is a worldwide phenomena. Just ‘solving’ UK immigration does not solve the bigger picture.

    2. Money is important for an type of conservation / green ideas. The most polluted places on earth are the poorest. This is again not just in the UK but everywhere. Haiti / Dominican republic, you can see which one is wealthy from the air. One side of Hispaniola is brown, one is green.
    Likewise the rivers in Kathmandu are filthy sewers.

    The contradiction is that these people want to stop economic activity, the one thing that can solve these problems.

    3. The work of Bergstrom and Bergstrom is interesting. They ask who are the overpopulated ones.
    If a Sherpa child eats potatoes and walks everywhere and a western child eats airflown lettuce and travels all the time and used 1000 times the resources of the poor child, who is causing the most environmental damage?

    There are a lot of contradictions and not a lot of simple solutions.

  12. We are wired to value tribe more than death, which is why we will, on a political principle, go on defaecating in the planetary nest until it it disintegrates . It is why 25,000 men would regularly launch themselves at German machine guns in the first world war while their relatives cheered them on at home when any rational man would have hanged his officers and beaten an instant retreat.

    • Countries with populations going the same way tend to find it easier to come up with logical rather than ideological solutions.

      Singapore is an exemplar of this.

      It has a joined-up green transport system.
      Taxis cheap – they create employment
      Private cars – totally unaffordable and draconian taxes.
      Fabulous trains and public transport at very cheap prices.

      We tend to do a bit of both and nothing very well.

  13. XR have understood that we have a problem, but no matter what we do we cannot stop it. The world depends on growth and we cannot stop that either, otherwise we will have very few people supporting an aging population. The planet can only sustain so many and no matter what we do we will reach a tipping point. Scientists know that and can calculate when that date will be reached. 200, 1000 years? Who knows, but it will happen. The world won’t end, it’s got a few billion years left, but the human race will be decimated by wars, famine and disease. Back to the stone age. Has it happened before?

  14. Interesting point but no wasteland round here. I live by a busy suburban road in Leeds: at this moment there’s a long queue of cars, vans and trucks by my gate. We have a smallish but heavily planted, overgrown ‘cottage’ garden. We see every kind of songbird. Goldfinches are in the teasels. Black birds and thrushes nest every year in the ivy that’s wrecking the pointing and I never get round to clearing – both kinds of thrushes including the ones that bang snails on our driveway. We’ve a couple of nest-boxes – one or other of the three kinds of tits use one most years, and we’ve had bees in them some years – the sort that group in two or three hundred. Kites are overhead all day, scaring us oldies we like to say. Last summer there was a memorable battle between a blackbird and a sparrow hawk – rolling over and over on the gravel like two boys. The hawk lost. We sometimes see bats at dusk, though since the council felled a dangerous tree overhanging the road they’ve not been so plentiful. Squirrels, an urban fox or two, and rats in the flower bed.

    This may sound silly, but I wonder if less farmland and more home building might help wildlife. Gardens are surely more biodiverse than pasture or cultivated fields.

    As to the XR. I suspect they’ll drop their demands for ‘people’s assemblies’ now they’ve met some commuters. I also wonder how many of them have emotional and mental health problems finding expression through protest. Close up, some of them have sorrow in their eyes. And when I worked with disturbed teens years ago we took as an infallible rule – hostility to adults is always hostility to parents.

  15. Yes, I too have noticed a dramatic decline not just in bird life but insects too. Insects are vital food for many species of birds and I can only imagine that this decline is due to the over-use of insecticides used in farming. Co2 is not the problem that threatens the quality of life that these climate-change dupes claim but rampant consumerism and simple greed. I’m not suggesting some hippy-style lifestyle but having people retiring at 55 on fat pensions which fund several lavish holidays a year cannot be justified. During my business life, I had two holidays of two weeks each – one in France and one in the United States. Retirement used to mean a quiet life pursuing one’s hobbies on a modest income to provide a worry-free and comfortable life after a life at work not an alternative lifestyle jetting around the world or cruises on giant floating hotels. Poverty now seems to be defined as not affording at least one foreign holiday per year! The phrase drummed into the population depicted in Aldous Huxley’s novel ‘Brave New World’ – ‘the more the stitches the fewer the riches’ personifies our throw-away society which drives improvements in products but mostly benefits large corporations. Rampant consumerism is responsible for many of the problems facing us today but moderating ‘capitalism’ is a minefield of wrong moves and I have no answers to offer except that ending the policy of an ever expanding population appears to be the one moderating measure that would be beneficial to improving the environment in Britain.

  16. I can tell you what happened to the sparrows.

    They couldn’t cope with the air that contained a bunch of carcinogenic gases instead of the lead that used to be employed as an anti-knock solution to engine pinking. Where previously the noxious lead which was heavier than air, was washed into the gutters and down the drains to the sewer filters, it was replaced with a toxic cocktail of benzenes and what have you, which are neatly atomised by our still very useful motor cars.

    Not only for us to breathe, but also those little things that used to be everywhere before the mid 1990’s.

  17. They are the Children of the Damned. Our children, you know, the ones glueing themselves to the town hall door and the war memorial, are determined to save the planet even though they are unable to wash their socks and underwear or indeed grasp the implications of the open borders migration policies they advocate and our homogeneous political euro-elites practice.

  18. Excellent piece! Concentrated, pithy, and cogent. It demonstrates the Salisbury Review’s most estimable quality — that it does not parrot the standard response of those who think of themselves as conservative.

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