- "Can you imagine anything worse than spending a day in a muddy field with a bunch of dreadlocked doom-mongerers who are busy building compost toilets and solar cookers as they preach about eco-salvation and the need for everyone to get ‘in touch with nature’? Well, that is precisely the situation – or perhaps ‘predicament’ – I found myself in as I ventured to the week-long Camp for Climate Action at Heathrow airport. There, a ragbag of green-leaning activists is protesting against the construction of a third runway, and against flying in general." Read more of Nathalie Rothschild's perceptive piece on these "dreadlicked doom-mongerers": Heathrow Protest-Not So Happy Campers - Natalie Rothschild.
- I mentioned in my Weekend Ramble Richard Dawkins' new BBC TV series The Enemies of Reason [you can watch Part One here at GoogleVideo]. Neil Davenport suggests that while it's great that Dawkins is keeping up his attack on the irrationalists, "latest TV attack on tarot-readers and the mystic-obsessed masses lets some far more dangerous irrationalists off the hook." Who are those " more dangerous irrationalists" I hear you ask?
Contemporary hi-tech irrationality is definitely [more of] a problem. For example, the idea that long-distance air travel should be banned on the basis of a belief that CO2 emissions = global warming doesn’t stand up to rational calculations or proof. How would cutting back on air travel make much of a difference, when aviation only contributes about three per cent of global CO2 emissions? Cutting back our carbon in order to ‘save the world’ is also a form of superstition. Or why not investigate the tidal waves of doomsday scenarios that also have no basis in reality or science - such as the headlines that were common a year ago, which claimed that ‘150 million expected to die from bird flu’? These outbursts of official irrationality have a potentially more destructive impact on society than a handful of camp astrologers and mediums.Good point. Read on at: Let's Unveil the Real Enemies of Reason - Neil Davenport.
- Like many of you, I've heard the fatalistic notion that "increasing birthrates" among Muslim Europeans will lead to the Islamification of Europe. I've seen the arguments and I've thought very little of them: to my mind such notions flat out ignore the role of ideas in human society, and by focussing instead on a "barnyard" view of intellectual development it gives credence to the idea that religion is something you're born into, rather than a foolish notion you've chosen to adopt. Frank Furedi states the point bluntly:
Blaming Europe’s decline on the fertility rates of fecund immigrants misses the point that the continent is politically, not physically, exhausted.Read: The End of Europe - Frank Furedi.
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
'Sp!ked' punctures the irrational
If you haven't subscribed to Sp!ked Online, then you really are missing out. Here just three recent pieces of brilliance from Sp!ked.