Sunday , December 8 2019
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Tim Watkins

This dismal election

The announcement of the 2017 general election drew the comment, “not another f**king one!”  This time around, the rage appears to have dissipated into a generalised apathy among anyone who is not a party activist.  Polling expert Sir John Curtice has referred to it as an “unpopularity contest,” describing Boris …

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The end of civilisation will be painted green

It is fairly common these days to come across somebody on social media who thinks that leaving the freezer door open or running the air conditioner outside might provide us with a means of halting global warming.  And while engineers and physicists might be tempted to laugh at the suggestion, …

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Beware the allure of green policies

At face value, green politics is the way to go.  With evidence of a changing climate mounting all around us – bush fires in Australia and California, flooding in Venice and Yorkshire, etc. – and in the wake of the Extinction Rebellion protests, there is growing concern about the environment.  …

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Narrative shift

In early August, American essayist John Michael Greer made the prediction that climate activism was about to lose a great deal of its lustre: “Well, it’s about to happen all over again. I’ve been wondering how soon a certain marriage of convenience in contemporary cultural politics would come messily apart, …

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UK fracking banned until 13 December

It is rare for the entire spectrum of the British press to agree on something.  But a couple of weeks ago they all agreed that fracking had been banned in the UK.  Pro-fracking outlets like the Telegraph and the Daily Mail reported the news as an unconscionable government cave-in.  Meanwhile …

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Boris’s Brexit Bear Trap

If you are the kind of person who believes everything you see written on the side of buses, then you probably believe that voting Tory next month will bring “closure” to the Brexit saga.  This undoubtedly will be the Johnson line going into the 12 December general election.  Having set …

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Reaching that Wile E. Coyote moment

In just about all of the Roadrunner cartoons, the Wile E. Coyote character ends up running off the edge of a cliff and plummeting to earth.  Unlike real life, however, Wile E. Coyote is able to keep going until he looks down.  It is for this reason that observers down …

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An anthem for the post-industrial age

Throughout history it has fallen to poets and artists rather than scientists and economists – still less politicians and journalists – to present the true nature of the human condition.  With this in mind, I wondered if there might have been a popular song that sums up our current human …

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The land of make believe

Among many other essential reforms, if the UK is to meet its 2050 climate targets it needs to install 4,000 electric vehicle charging points every day.  That’s according to Keith Anderson, CEO of Scottish Power.  Anderson also called for an equally fantastic effort to replace domestic gas central heating systems …

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A curious lack of imagination

In the late 1970s and early 1980s a former British MI6 agent named Ted Allbeury became a moderate-selling spy fiction writer.  Although never ascending to the heights reached by other British ex-spies such as Ian Fleming and John le Carré; Allbeury churned out a series of books with titles such …

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