Tag Archives | George Monbiot

Why Libertarians Must Deny the Effects of Pollution

George Monbiot. Photo: SlimVirgin (CC)

George Monbiot. Photo: SlimVirgin (CC)

Matt Bruenig writes on his blog:

George Monbiot had an article in the Guardian on Monday about bastardised libertarianism and its inability to understand the real freedoms being fought for by environmentalists and social justice advocates. However, Monbiot’s treatment of environmentalism’s threat to libertarianism was a bit sloppy. He got sucked into the negative freedom and positive freedom debate, and although he worked his way to the correct conclusion ultimately, I felt like the clarity was lacking.

So I want to explain more clearly just how much environmentalists stick in the side of libertarian ideology. First, consider what libertarians of the sort Monbiot criticizes are really about philosophically: they favor a procedural justice account of the world based heavily on property rights. This is the newest face of libertarianism. Gone is the appeal to utility and desert. The modern libertarians try to prop up their political ideas almost solely through a rigid formalism of property rights.

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Why Is George Monbiot Shilling For Nuclear Power?

George Monbiot. Photo: SlimVirgin (CC)

George Monbiot. Photo: SlimVirgin (CC)

Brian Gordon writes:

Helen Caldicott and George Monbiot have recently attacked each other in anti and pro-nuclear articles, and honestly I now am entirely unsure of the truth. Both claim scientific backing, though Monbiot appears to shred Caldicott’s claims. I have a great deal of respect for Monbiot; back when I was doing my own research on climate change (I was a sceptic and was attempting to see if it was real, was human-caused, was dangerous, etc, and I read lots of real science in the process), I found him to be ruthlessly honest and perfectly aligned with the actual science.

That said, I think the pro-nuke crowd, now including George Monbiot, is making two grave errors. The first is claiming that low levels of radiation are safe.

As an example of this, something that really struck me as a blow to the nuke movement was a seemingly unrelated article posted on Reddit a few weeks or so ago discussing the nude-o-scanners used by the TSA.

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George Monbiot: The Conspiracy Which Proves That Manmade Global Warming is a Scam

By George Monbiot [on his personal blog], published in the Guardian, 23rd November 2009

It’s no use pretending that this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging(1). I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.

Yes, the messages were obtained illegally. Yes, all of us say things in emails that would be excruciating if made public. Yes, some of the comments have been taken out of context. But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad. There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released(2,3), and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request(4).

Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics(5,6), or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(7).… Read the rest

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