Thursday, 30 April 2009

Elephants in da house

I didn't have room for the elephant.

We're going through the housekeeping like there's no tomorrow, borrowing ourselves into the middle of next week, whilst the tabloids bark nonsense. Oh well, what's the worst that can happen?

Some interesting background to the swine flu pandemic, from Craig Mackintosh

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Surface Reflection

Whilst the world's media squeal about Swine-flu and worry about the sex lives of the rich and famous, some other stuff has happened

Al Gore has been talking about Black Carbon particulates, whilst temperatures at the top of the world soar. The Himalayas enjoy L.A. like pollution levels and record CO2 recordings. Burning down the planet may have something to do with it.

To combat this the only wind turbine factory in the UK closes down whilst the US steams ahead

Perhaps we need to look at why we behave this way, and how we can stop it.

Meanwhile the oil shale monster ratchets up a perfect storm (thanks to Susan Anderson for this)

And the squillions at stake for the nuclear industry prompt the usual shenanegans

Monday, 27 April 2009

Divine Interventions

The old sunspot chestnut raises its head again, threatening to give comfort to the denialists and maybe temporarily mask some of the unpleasantness so it can all crash down on us at once.

We at Throbgoblins International all trooped off to our local independent cinema yesterday, to watch "In the loop" and duly laughed our collective teeth loose. I mention this because the Westminster Prince of Darkness has set up a rival energy and climate power-base to scupper environmental legislation on behalf of business, in a manner befitting an Ianucci satire.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Power Play

The UK Government's chosen sites for nuclear reactors include one already occupied by a wind farm. Another will be sited on the already over-crowded grave of satire.

Meanwhile, the rush to palm oil and biofuels receives some small knock-backs, and Shell seem to be up to their old tricks again, this time a little closer to home.
Gilded sociopaths bugger off, and law enforcement has a laugh at our expense.

Our complications have complications

The Only Planet cartoon below originally appeared in this month's New Internationalist magazine. Go buy it.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Creative Differences

Shock-horror. It seems that the big polluters actually suppressed evidence and denied the conclusions of their own scientific advisors! Who'd have thought it. Shocking and wholly unexpected. I, for one, am shaken to the core that such paragons of civic and environmental virtue would stoop to such shit-splattering levels of sociopathic deceit.

Meanwhile, our fellow creatures continue to vacate history apace, whilst the diverse inheritance of evolution gets reduced cut by cut to what biologists refer to as "fuck-all".

More shock horror as humungous hive-building is seen as potentially risky strategy

The text of Al Gore's statement to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environmnent, (courtesy of Climate Progress)

Friday, 24 April 2009

From each according to their ability?

The wealthy in the UK are throwing all manner of hissy fits at the very idea of paying their fair share to help pull our collective fat out of the fire. They are once again threatening to leave the country in droves unless we all pucker up. Perhaps a concerted drive is needed to finally establish a clear distinction between the concepts of 'earn', 'receive' and 'deserve'. These people are deeply confused.

From each according to their ability. To each according to their need.

As the emissions of rich nations continue to rise, the push for carbon capture picks up steam in a last ditch attempt to create tools to save the likes of orchards, fish and humans from the consequences of habitual greed.

The spying game continues...

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Equality and Diversity

As indigenous peoples worldwide are variously disenfranchised, de-iced and supplanted by agrobusiness and rip-offsets, their representatives gather to ask for some justice.

Meanwhile, great rivers turn to wadis worldwide whilst others are dammed to a future of post-glacial dribbling.
Oh - and the land's turning to shit

Should anybody soaked in the western press coverage be interested in triangulating a more thoughtful response to Ahmadenejad's UN speech, the full text is here.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Monday, 20 April 2009

Long Term Plan

The brain seems ill-equipped to deal with what it has to deal with. Oh dear.
No wonder we forget the maths about electric cars and ignore sinking islands and bury our heads in disposable trash. No wonder we hold our breath for "clean" coal and look on the bright side of neo-colonialism.

And yet...

...and then again...

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Industry Exhales

Ern is, perhaps, identifying a little too closely with his industry interests. He's not alone.
The US EPA paves the way for significant legislation by deciding that CO2 is hazardous to human health and well being, whilst The Uk gov't promises a massive investment in CCS infrastructure, whether it exists or not.

Ice and water continue to make the news

Friday, 17 April 2009

When Fixes Need Fixing?

Grist provides these two links to reports of pending agricultural collapse in the Punjab due to (profit driven?) over-exploitation of resources.

The Huffington Post posts this , by Lise van Susteran, on Moral Obligation

Fred Pearce on consuming vs population. Did I post this already?)

I just saw this - Ian Tomlinson's death at the G20 demonstrations now being treated as possible manslaughter

The most terrifying video you will ever see?

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Any Questions?

Nuclear sites are posited and arguments are made and consumption of electricity continues to expand, replacing one problem with another

Carbon trading and carbon offsets turn out to be less than the panaceas they were sold as. I for one am deeply shocked.

Two takes on coral evidence of rapid sea level rise

When you can't trust Auntie, you have to look further afield

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Drinking for England

The director of WWF Scotland - Dr Richard Dixon - has suggested that energy wastage should be regarded in the same anti-social light as drink-driving, and should be punishable under the law.

We are invited to stop passing the buck, seeing as it is easier to regulate one person who consumes a thousand watts, than a thousand people who consume one each.

Elsewhere - NCAR research suggests that we are not quite toasted yet, and Cuba and Rwanda are allowed some lifelines.

More troubling interference (from the charity commission this time) in the affairs of activists; this one an instance that will be easily dismissed by the press and much of the public, as it involves the exasperating George Galloway.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Deep Cover

As more video evidence of uncontrolled policing at the G20 protests comes to light, and undercover infiltration of campaigning groups is used to deny citizens the right to assembly, we are advised not to expect much at Copenhagen

It;s not just the infringement of campaigners rights - UK information gathering, from illegal internet intercepts to compulsive DNA collection, continue to arouse fears.

David Attenborough joins Optimum Population Trust

Monday, 13 April 2009

Aggravated Protest

Just a quickie. Details are still a bit sketchy as I post, but it seems a mass protest now constitutes a conspiracy. Well, at least there were no fatalities. Small mercies, I suppose.

Elsewhere some context concerning the Somali piracy news-fest, and some things to back it up.

Some thoughts on robustness and efficiency from Grist, and some on fragility and incompetence, from the FT

Oh, and while I'm here - here's this month's Only Planet cartoon, originally published in the New Internationalist

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Three Times Denied?

This weekend many of you will be celebrating the annual festival of Easter - when we commemorate the point at which our nation traditionally goes into ecological debt - consuming beyond our means and damning us and the rest of the planet to a joyful future of instability, expensively shagged soils and dry taps. We celebrate this with over-packaged chocolate eggs to demonstrate that we are blessed with the requisite amount of kiddy-friendly blind faith, and that we really couldn't give a toss.

The prognosis is poor, and we don't have time to "rinky-dink" with half-arsed, poorly financed quarter-measures.

Some folk would have us believe that what we need is to wait for the same people who got us into this mess - respectable, wealthy folks in nice suits - to come up with a new visionary realism that supersedes the green agenda and saves us at the last minute without upsetting anybody. And if they fail? Well, after 3 days we shall rise again....

We are steeped in messianic, exceptionalist thinking.

But on a brighter note - check out Kate Evans' new revamped website for a host of comic goodies.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Pooling Resources

Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.

Frank can't help it. He's old.

Australia wrinkles up and begins to fall apart, giving the world a taste of things to come.

It may look like we'll wipe everything out and poisonously ship it home for our supper, but while there is gobsmacking genius like the cardboard solar oven, there is still most definitely hope.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Wheels Within Wheels

Gordon Brown and sheep-dog Boris both make extravagant claims about the greening of their budgets and the blissful cornucopia of fairy dust technology that will miraculously trump the ugly realities of a finite planet. Should be worth a few votes.

It's a shameless re-tread of this early Frank strip.

Meanwhile the Lords of Saudi Arabia make a surreal plea for special consideration, and plans are laid at the Doc Fiendish Institute

It seems to be very deep in our genes, this buying and selling lark

We at Throbgoblins International are very pleased that Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia (Environment & Development) magazine in Beirut have translated some strips into arabic for middle-eastern distribution; Reproduced here

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Choice and Prosperity

It's a conundrum, isn't it? Development and climate change. Such a dilemma -convoluted and labyrinthine, loaded and provocative. Whilst India pushes for escape from endemic poverty by pursuing a Nano for everyone, its' islands start to disappear, as do its' neighbours. The result of success will be failure. Hmm. Tricky. Plenty of arguments to be had there. Good job we're all totally focused on it and not distracted by beer and football.

Elsewhere the Murray dries up, as do the Cedars of Lebanon. Bankruptcy beckons.

The poles are not so far apart after all.

When even the CBI say we're not doing enough, we know we're in trouble.

Titanic Blunders (again)

In honour of US Energy Secretary Stephen Chu opting for the good ol' Titanic imagery to describe the threat of Climate Change, I'm re-posting my own take on the metaphor from 2007, written with Marc Hudson.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Small is Beautiful

A journey of a thousand miles begins with etc etc.

As ice sheets crack off and ice cover thins, police crack heads and numbers break records.

Some of that mouse shit might be raisins!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Tumbleweed and low groans

Frank has disappeared into his shed to count his ever growing collection of broken ice-shelves; Ern is in the Bahamas planning how best to convert his latest bail-out into fine wines and extra bedrooms; The chocolate fireguard is at home watching soul crushing celebrity quiz shows; Prof Boffin is up to his arse in the search for a breakthough techno-miracle and Zorro is casing next door's chicken coop.
No one is available for apocalypse based humour today.

As for me, my day job seems to be be unaccountably draining an unhelpful amount of my energies at the moment, so I am disinclined to chase the chaps down and force them at gunpoint to amuse me. The Pending Ecological Debacle will still be pending tomorrow.

Not that Throbgoblins International is the sort of fictitious organisation that likes to give in to despondency, you understand. Nil Desperandum and all that.Thankless and time-consuming tasks are what we thrive on. The Welsh are trained from birth for this sort of thing.

No - we're not complaining. We like nothing better than to spend our days in the forensic madhouse workshop handing out chissels to smack-addled psychopaths and then trundle home on our world class public transport system in order to joyfully wax sarcastic on the steady drum beat of increasingly bad environmental news. It gives us something to do and keeps us off the pop. Things could easily be immeasurably worse. At least our employment is (medium-) secure.

...if anyone should feel an uncontrollable urge to sponsor us, it would make the whole enterprise so much more sustainable.

No? Ok then. Never mind.

Forget I mentioned it.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

LabRats again

I'm posting these old things again because a) I'm rather fond of them and b) newcomers to the site may not have found them in the bowels of Blogspace and will thus have missed out on a rib-tickling, poop-based treat for all the family. Indulge me -The Labrats reside in a dark corner of Prof Boffin's lab at the Doc Fiendish Institute for Advanced Techno-Magic, and I like to let them out when I can.

More nails in Satire's coffin

Truth is far stranger and dumber than fiction.

Noel Lynch brought the Tesco idiocy to my attention thus;

"Today's Guardian has a half page advert for TESCO. It is headed 'Turn lights into flights'. It shows a low energy light bulb and says that if you buy it you can get a clubcard voucher that you can turn into 60 Airmiles. So that's save a small amount of energy by buying a low energy light bulb and then consume a large amount of energy by flying an extra 60 miles. Doh!"

Quite so.

The Earth Hour folk drop a bollock with Alanis -really quite breath-takingly numb of them.

The Masters of the Universe would rather not be regulated, thankyouverymuch

We're probably all fucked now.

OPEC denies any part in Climate Change

An excellent cartoon from Martin Rowson in the Grauniad

Not a good week, on the whole. A lot of Obama-fueled Gordon Brown-nosing, coupled with a handful of pseudo-anarchist wankers playing to a phallanx of pseudo-journalistic cameras made for a poor display. Too much kettling and containment and predictably OTT PCs. A couple of non-committal half-statements at the end of an economists communique may quickly fade away.

Here's an excellent lecture by Dieter Helm. Succinct and informed and inarguably respectable.
(thanks to Marc Hudson)

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Ernestly Frank

Today's cartoon is humbly submitted in the interests of extending reasoned debate amongst the battened down boutiques and containment pens of old London town....

Meanwhile, a rainbow alliance of corporations seek to derail any climate progress