Sunday, March 26, 2017

I like visiting Earth but I don't want to live there with Ross McKitrick @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 12:49 PM Go to the first of 27 comments. Add a comment
Ross McKitrick on Earth's destruction.
Image source: Wikipedia
Earth Hour was last night here where I live. It's one hour of the year when we can remind ourselves that we are part of a wonderful world. Whether you turn off your lights or not, Earth Hour is a reminder that our continued existence depends on all other living things on the planet. It's one hour of our lives when we can think about how everything on our planet is inextricably linked - from oxygen-giving forests to the life-sustaining water cycle. From the smallest microbe to the largest whale.

Every year for Earth Hour, Anthony Watts has an article protesting the fact that we are only able to survive in harmony with nature. He loathes the fact that his existence depends on nature. This year was no exception. In keeping with the fact that he only very rarely writes anything himself, Anthony lazily copied and pasted a protest by Ross McKitrick (archived here). Here's a quote:
I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

That's right. Ross and Anthony regard our planet as something to be destroyed for their personal short term gratification. As long as they don't completely destroy Earth in their lifetime, the tradeoff - destruction of our planet as we know it, they are happy. They don't give a damn about other life or future generations of humans. Plants, animals, and single-celled life forms, as well as their own children can go hang for all they care.

The "I don't want to live there" speaks to an inability to accept that we can't live here on Earth without "nature". Nature is the air we breathe, which was made and is kept breathable by plants and life in the oceans. Nature is the food we eat, which derives from wild plants, and is sustained by cross-breeding of domesticated with wild plants. Nature is the fish we hunt, which even in most aquaculture farms is essentially wild. Nature is the rain that falls, giving us life-sustaining water.

The main message that Anthony and Ross are sending is that they see nature as something to be abused and destroyed for their own pleasure and comfort. They view themselves as being apart from nature, rather than part of and inextricably dependent on nature. They refuse to accept that they would not be here but for non-human life. We are nature as much as every other living thing on this planet. Almost all life forms depend entirely on the continued survival of other life forms. Most certainly higher life forms, which humans arguably are, depend on other life forms.

The other message that Anthony and Ross are sending is that they don't accept that humans can overcome our dependence on life-destroying technology. They both want to keep burning fossil fuels until the earth as we know it is dead.

If Ross McKitrick and Anthony Watts don't want to live with nature, then why don't they leave?

If you can bear it, read the article (archived here) and weep for humanity.

From the WUWT comments

Most of the comments are from like-minded people who see themselves as completely separate from nature, and who want to conquer it by destroying it. Remember, these are the same people who regard the sustainable development plan, Agenda 21, as a conspiracy of Jewish bankers to take over the world and put them all in FEMA concentration camps, or some such nonsense.

I'll give you just a small taste:

Pop Piasa is an uber-conspiracy theorist and a regular at WUWT, who despises the world we live on:
March 25, 2017 at 11:05 am
Strikes me that “Earth Hour” is just another apparatus for the indoctrination of the MSM disciples.
They seem to worship this planet more than its creator.
Richard Bell's "thought" is typical of the WUWT-ers: declaring to the world that he really hates having to share it with nature and will do what he can to destroy it:
March 25, 2017 at 10:44 am
If I had the resources, I would celebrate Earth Hour by firing up the diesel generator and powering a battery of ex-WWII air defence search lights.

Forrest Gardener can't see any connection between wildlife and reflecting on our dependence on nature:
March 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm
I much preferred WWF when they were interested in wildlife. 


  1. I spent yesterday working in my garden. The previous owners had the same opinion as McKitrick so my garden was once all hard landscaped: yesterday a bit more got returned to nature:

    1. An acquaintance of mine is doing/has done something similar. He's documented it year by year, but here's the before and after comparison short version.

  2. I think it has to do with the philosophical attitude of these people they do not have empathy for fellow human beings let alone the multiple make up of living inhabitants of this small speck in the cosmos.
    As such they exhibit aspects of narcissist self centered attitude, which precludes any thought of their fellow beings let alone the other diverse living organisms on the planet.
    Perhaps a read of the aspects of the belief of the doctrine that lead to the second world war will enlighten as to the head space of these people desperately in need of medical help.
    In simple speak if you think your special perhaps you may not be.

    1. It's not just the lack of empathy, it's the inability of WUWT's scientific illiterates to understand what it takes to maintain life. Most WUWTers apparently don't know that we need an ongoing supply of air, water and nutrients to stay alive, and those that do don't know where these come from.

    2. Petrolheads seem to believe air and water are created by car exhaust.

    3. It is the Ideology of Plunder and Destruction. These people work to destroy all of nature.

      I think Tony Abbott is laughing his head off about the demise of the Barrier Reef - he didn't even need to spread coal (harbour) waste over it to accomplish this.

  3. Well they're right about the water part, M.! :-o

    1. True, but if I suggested they turn on their car engine, close the garage door and drink, drink, drink then I'd be committing some kind of criminal act.

    2. Orwellian. You mean you would be looking for a little justice.

    3. Yes, but encouraging people to kill themselves is the oil and motor lobby's job.

  4. It's interesting and very scary that it seems that neither McKitrick nor any of his readers seem able to differentiate between a symbolic act and the actual issues being addressed.

  5. McKittrick's piece is one of the sillier articles I've read lately (though I should note that thanks to you, Sou, I no longer bother to read WUWT). He seems to view the world in a simple, binary, tribal mindset. If that tribe I hate is for it, then I must be against it. If they like nature then they must "demonize electricity". Etc. Contrary to what is stated, it is possible to like nature and like electricity. McKittrick writes "many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung" as a justification to be against Earth Hour. Yet EarthHour.org states that "we've helped bring real change to the lives of thousands of people around the world such as when we provided families with fuel-efficient stoves in Nepal & Madagascar." Doesn't that imply that McKittrick should support Earth Hour instead?

    While McKittrick says he doesn't want to live in nature, he is dependent on what the scientific literature in the field refers to as "Ecosystem Services" for his clean drinking water, waste decomposition, pollinators for the food he eats, etc. See:
    http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/sectors/ecosystems for more information on ecosystem services (sorry my reference is a bit old, 2014, but I worked on this report so I knew right where to find this reference).

    1. Yes, this simplistic binary rhetorical stuff is completely vacuous. It's clear that McK has spent too much time in a narrow field of behavioralism called 'economics', and zero time in the natural sciences. Just to be binary ;)
      And he apparently hasn't given any more thought to consciousness-raising events like Earth Hour since his flippant micro-essay from 2009. Watts, desperate for content, sees fit to run it again.

    2. As someone trained in psychology I strongly object to narrow field of called 'economics'

      Economics has no relationship to "behavioralism" which actually has a strong empirical scientific basis. Oh and it works.

      Most economic theory appears to have more in common with Freudian Theory, that is, pulled out of thin air, to be polite.

  6. I like to visit planet Earth, but wouldn't want to live there. Especially after I have strip mined it and extracted all value.

  7. He should follow up on his words and change himself into fertilizer.

    1. That's my plan, but I've found it is surprisingly difficult to accomplish, at least in our country. So much bureaucracy.

  8. ... as well as their own children ...

    These people BREED?

    1. Yeah - frightening thought. Thing is, because they reject science, they don't know what causes their rash of offspring.

    2. For many years back in the seventies and eighties a group of us would go to a house in the Trentham Forest. It was on twenty acres.

      It was to leave all behind and simply live with the simple needs of food nutrition and the nutrition of intellect.

      It was our way of standing back and looking at our failings.

      We were young but idealistic. Sure there was a bit of sexual congress. I forget what the vote was.

      It recharged me as I realized I was just a hungry animal that needed his wants seen too.

      All the glittering prizes were an illusion.

      As the Beatles said 'I am you as you are me and we all together'


  9. It all started with Genesis ("dominion"). As an apex predator, I am at least aware of my membership in life.

    While I argue with my friends about not dissing religion, the problem with believing in things not seen is that some people seem so in love with themselves they create god in their own image, and worship it. They are selective about believe in actual things they *can* see.

    So, religion, we have to live with it but some of it is a great enabler of nasty stuff. One could wish there were a "smiting" deity to knock some sense (and humility) into their heads.

    1. The people at WUWT worship god in a form created by Rex Tillerson.

    2. Susan Anderson all religions are inventions of humans. They were an attempt to make sense of the Universe before evidence based rational thinking called science took hold with the renaissance.

      I prefer not to dwell too long on what inhabits the mind of these cretins. They are cretins because they ignore all the evidence and knowledge that is available to all because of their tiny closed minds.

      They are punishing themselves better than any deity. Their ignorance drives their fear in a total feedback loop. This explains their inherent hate for others as it has its genesis in their own self loathing. I feel a bit sorry for them. There is so much beauty in knowledge to enhance one's life available to us all now.

      They are impaired by their emotions overriding reason. A balanced human uses reason that is tempered by emotion. Cold logic can lead to very wrong conclusions.

      The only advantage of old age is that one has already made all the mistakes and hopefully learned something from them. Bert

  10. OT. The story about Fox News taking Scott Pruitt to task over his AGW denial took me by surprise. What's going on? Is it a lone reporter going rogue?...or is it Rupert Murdoch sniffing the wind and observing that Trump is fast losing political capital, and backing losing horse is not good for business.

    1. Shep Smith is the fox reporter that usually covers for their general silliness -- the voice that they need to get enough liberal page views to gin up controversy.

      Sometimes, someone else lets slip some reason.

  11. OT: Sou, you may need to make some changes if you want to keep having Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog on your blogroll. They've changed things around over there and their newest entry "Welcome to the new Category 6" isn't showing up here.

  12. Isn't McKittrick's remark just like Woody Allen's that "I am not afraid of dying, I just do not want to be around when it happens"?

    Except not a witty.


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