Yes, You’re Right, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Is An Idiot

We could be a little kinder here and declare instead that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is just a confirmation of Feynman’s Contention. That off their specialist subjects experts are just as dumb as the rest of us. But why the hell be kind? Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is an idiot.

Take this from his latest crusade:

But what they all wanted most was simply to come home with less plastic when they did their regular supermarket shop. But the stores are not making that easy. Not only is loosely sold produce vastly outnumbered by that which is heavily wrapped in plastic, most of the naked stuff is considerably more expensive too. Supermarkets are charging us extra for the privilege of doing the right thing.

I’m told that Hugh knows how to cook. This ability, or knowledge, does not seem to have spread to knowing much about food, nor the economics of food.

The point about prices being that they are information. We might not like the message contained, sure, but they are still that packaged knowledge about reality. One of the things they tell us being the resources required to do something, produce and deliver some item.

Why are loose veggies more expensive than packaged? Because it uses more resources to get loose veggies to your supermarket shelf than packaged. Sure, there are resources used to do the packaging. But there are resources saved in the food that doesn’t rot:

Removing plastic is great in immediate pollution terms, but if it leads to increased food waste – Morrisons unpackaged cucumbers have a shelf-life of five rather than seven days – many experts would tell you that, in carbon-footprint terms, food waste causes the greater damage.

Not just carbon footprint terms either. In the total resource use. Because that’s what the prices are telling us, isn’t it?

So, yes, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is an idiot. No, not because he’s being all Green and Gaia friendly but because he’s opening his gob on the subject without having bothered to find out anything about it. Supermarket plastics save the planet, that’s why we use them.

Come on, why the Hell would vast, complicated, rapacious and capitalist organisations use something that cost them more? Quite, the supermarkets use plastics because they are cheaper.

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Matt Ryan
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Matt Ryan

But there has to be something out there better than plastic. Clean, gaia friendly and with virtue signalling credibility.

Now there is people – my unicorn fleece eco-wrap has all these features. I just need £10M from crowd sourcing to commercialise it. Metro-London fund it for the sake of the planet.

Dodgy Geezer
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Dodgy Geezer

I would like to come in with you on this scam important advance in green environmentalism. I can arrange for all the energy used in the manufacture of this product to be designated as carbon-neutral, since it will be saving plastics manufacture, and therefore your carbon permits can be immediately sold to other companies who need to buy them to keep manufacturing evil carbon-guzzling products like concrete, steel, medicines, electronics, etc.. All we will need is an estimate of how much eco-wrap(tm) you intend to produce each year so that we can apply for our licence to steal money from… Read more »

Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

Dodgy, none of my business but you might wanna go with a pseudonym should you go in on it.

Dodgy Geezer
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Dodgy Geezer

You mean, more of a pseudonym than I have already?

Dodgy Geezer
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Dodgy Geezer

Feynman’s Contention. That off their specialist subjects experts are just as dumb as the rest of us. Feynman did indeed say that ‘science was belief in the ignorance of experts’. But he made many other ‘contentions’ as well – his point about the double-slit experiment containing the entire key to quantum mechanics, or his assertion that there is ‘room at the bottom’, for instance. I was initially confused as to which one Mr Worstall meant. Perhaps it would have been better to refer to Arthur Clarke, who raised this assertion to the level of a Law? Clarke’s Second Law: When… Read more »

timworstall
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timworstall

Feynman:

“I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy”

Dodgy Geezer
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Dodgy Geezer

Thank you, Mr Worstall. I fear, however that Kuhn’s point about the paradigmatic (?) revolution of science applies to all human thinking. Including the apologies for scientists that we have today. Sinclair said it well – “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”. Feynman was living in a world where scientists had some freedom – they are now all part of Eisenhower’s ‘scientific-technological elite.’, and their salaries depend on them all hanging together. In many cases, therefore, they are not passively dumb – they are actively malicious. H… Read more »

Matt Ryan
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Matt Ryan

But lying to the public creates a deep hole which is hard to dig yourself out of…

Only if you get found out. With the Twatter SJW lynch mobs it’s likely any dissent will get drowned out.

Dodgy Geezer
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Dodgy Geezer

Ah. You are thinking about being found out by the mob, and losing your position. I am not. I am thinking about the deep moral hole which is being dug for society, by society. As our leaders lie and get away with it, so too do our establishment, business people and intellectuals. Soon everybody is lying, because not lying in tune with the mob is dangerous. It gets worse and worse. We are now at the stage where refusing to accept that a man can become a woman by saying so will lose you your job, The lies required by… Read more »

Q46
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Q46

‘But what they all wanted most was simply to come home with less plastic…’

Then take the plastic wrapping off before you leave the supermarket and put it in a bin. *

Too easy?

People should learn to deal with their own problems not expect others to do it for them.

*Good little Churmans already do this in Germany (where else?).

Joe
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Joe

I think you’re the idiot not realising what idiotic and ignorant people like you who are turning the world’s oceans into a plastic sea. Supermarkets are charging more because it’s going through a slow development, and therefore who cares if we’re spending 50p-£1 more. As the end product is saving our planet. You’re the ignorant twat. And Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall isn’t an idiot as he has done more research than you into this topic. As it is an issue we need to change. You’re the idiot here.

A
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A

Gaaaaaayyyy.