Degrowth: My megaphone comment on LinkedIn

What upset Jeff Selingo (@jselingo) ?

Yesterday morning I made a comment to a posting on LinkedIn. The posting was “What Happens When Millions of Jobs Are Lost Because of Automation?” by Jeff Selingo author of the bestseller, “There Is Life After College”.

My comment referenced my other blog. Yesterday this several more hits than usual. However, the comment has disappeared from LinkedIn in normal viewing mode – although I can find it through this “deeplink“. The deeplink address contains “hb_ntf_MEGAPHONE_LIKE_TOP_LEVEL_COMMENT”. The comment had 19 “likes”.

I don’t use LinkedIn very often but I have just learned two things. (1) LinkedIn has a larger reach than I knew and (2) comments can be deleted on slim grounds. (A friend tells me that authors can delete comments they don’t like.)  If Jeff Selingo did delete the comment, I would like to know what he didn’t like.  I do wonder if there were any comments, other than

Geoff Beacon I have not see such a moronic conversation since the democratic convention. De-growth… I think there is a cup of Kool-Aid with your name on it and it’s empty.

My comment?

As we stand at the present, enough market generated jobs can only happen if we have economic growth that will destroy the planet. (“The job apocalypse and climate change”, ) In the short to medium term we need degrowth, lower productivity, nicer jobs, less consumption and a universal basic income.

That doesn’t sound very “megaphone” to me. In fact it’s rather boring for such an important topic.

Hansen’s predictions right so far but will 300 mph storms happen?

Hansen’s predictions were right in 1981. Will his prediction for 300 mph storms happen?

Open Mind

In 1981 James Hansen and colleagues published research in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Science titled “Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.” They discussed the result of basic physics, that carbon dioxide in the air inhibits Earth cooling off, thus heating the planet. They also reported the results of computer simulations of Earth’s climate in a world with ever-increasing CO2.


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Operationalism was stupid. Economists are still operationalists. It follows that …

Nearly a century ago economist Lionel Robbins read Percy Bridgman. Neither understood science.


Bridgman thought anything that could not be directly measured was not scientific.
That would have meant “electron” was unscientific as philosophers of science soon realised.

Operationalism, however, has continued to seduce psychology  more than half a century after it was repudiated by philosophers of science, including the very Logical Positivists who had first taken it seriously.

Operationalism still seduces economics. Continue reading Operationalism was stupid. Economists are still operationalists. It follows that …

SDP2: Can the Labour party start afresh?

The Social Democratic Party was founded in March 1981 by four senior Labour Party ‘moderates’, Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams.

Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams and David Owen

They were joined by 20 or so Labour MPs. Wikipedia says

“The four left the Labour Party as a result of the January 1981 Wembley  conference which committed the party to unilateral nuclear disarmament  and withdrawal from the European Economic Community. They also believed  that Labour had become too left-wing, and had been infiltrated at  constituency party level by Trotskyist factions whose views and behaviour  they considered to be at odds with the Parliamentary Labour Party and  Labour voters.”

The current situation is not a direct parallel. The Labour Party’s  membership and MPs are pro Europe and the party is not infiltrated by  Trotskyist factions. However, the current leader, Jeremy Corbyn, does support nuclear disarmament but it is not party policy. Continue reading SDP2: Can the Labour party start afresh?

From the Arctic to Africa to the Amazon, More Troubling Signs of Earth Carbon Store Instability


The time for debate is over. The time for rapid response is now. The Earth System just can’t take our fossil-fueled insults to her any longer.


Arctic Wildfires

(These Arctic and Siberian wildfires just keep getting worse and worse, but what’s really concerning is they’re burning a big hole through one of the Earth’s largest carbon sinks, and as they do it, they’re belching out huge plumes of greenhouse gasses. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

Carbon Spikes over the Arctic, Africa, and the Amazon

Today, climate change-enhanced wildfires in Siberia and Africa are belching out two hellaciously huge smoke clouds (see images below). They’re also spewing large plumes of methane and carbon dioxide, plainly visible in the global atmospheric monitors. Surface methane readings in these zones exceed 2,000 parts per billion, well above the global atmospheric average.

Even as the fires rage, bubbles of methane and carbon dioxide are reportedly seeping…

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State of the Climate: Earth’s Temperature

#oldBBC won’t “Inform and Educate”.
We need #newBBC that will tell us the full story.

Open Mind

“Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

That now-famous saying is often attributed to Mark Twain, but in reality he only popularized it when, in a public lecture, he quoted its originator: his friend and sometime co-author Charles Dudley Warner.

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Brexit with ignorance

A public institution to inform and educate ?

Over the past week or so there have been events and talks at the York Festival of Ideas. Two of the speakers presented interesting graphs. László Andor, who was he was Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the European Commission showed the sources of immigration into the UK. His graph showed that the actual figures on immigration were completely different to what the (cliché alert) “Great British Public” had be led to believe by the mainstream media.

It’s obvious that we, the Great British Public, are ill-informed and ill-educated. This was emphasised further by a second graph presented in a “Chatham House rules” session, in which we are asked not to attribute any views expressed. This fingered the Daily Mail, The Daily Express and the Sun as major sources of mis-information and although they have falling circulation, they set the agendas for the “mainstream media”, with much emphasis on the dangers of refugees.

Then someone, who under the rules cannot be named, came up with an idea I rather like. Why don’t we have a public media institution with the responsibility to inform and educate us so that we can resist this deluge of misinformation. An institution that could check the “facts” and challenge the mis-informers directly with, say, daily news slots like “Daily X has published incorrect facts today. The correct ones are…”

Just think of it: a publicly funded media organisation that we could fund to present the truth with the mission to

1) Inform

2) Educate

3) Anything else?

The legislation should set performance targets. Testing their knowledge of basic information. Ipos Mori might help…

POSTSCRIPT: British Ignorance Measured

Continue reading Brexit with ignorance

Not Even Wrong

Have the BBC dropped Bjorn Lomborg yet? A nice cartoon here showing his technique…

Open Mind

WUWT has stepped up their ongoing campaign to downplay the threat of sea level rise. This includes a recent post by Larry Hamblin which indulges in a just-plain-wrong method for pushing the the “no acceleration” meme, and a post by someone calling himself “Giordano Bruno” which disputes the increased sea level rise in the northeast U.S. “hotspot” based on — put your coffee down, please — the “trend” over a whopping five whole years.

What most strikes me about the “Bruno” post is that the terminology is far too reminiscent of Albert “Making Up Stuff” Parker. He’s the fellow who sometimes goes by the name Albert Parker, sometimes Alberto Boretti, and once even submitted two comments on the same paper to a peer-reviewed journal, one under each name. Perhaps now he isn’t satisfied with either name, instead fashioning himself after the famous Italian. Is the post really from…

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Record global warming, or warming slowdown?

Open Mind

Guest post by Stefan Rahmstorf, Grant Foster, and Niamh Cahill

A look at the global surface temperature evolution makes one thing very clear: claims that global warming has “stopped” or “slowed” are not exactly supported by the recent data. Last month was not just the warmest April on record, it also beat the previous April record by the largest margin since the beginning of record-keeping in the year 1880. (April 2016 was 0.24 °C warmer than the previous record April 2010; this margin was three times larger than the previously largest margin of 0.08 °C.) In fact, February was also the warmest February, by the largest margin on record. And January was the warmest January on record. Yes, by the largest margin. The running 12-month average global temperature (Fig. 1) is reaching new unprecedented heights every month.


Figure 1:12-month running means of global temperature anomaly from NASA’s Goddard Institute…

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