George Monbiot Discovers Opportunity Cost – It’s Not Going To Be Pretty, This

Now that the IPCC’s report is being misunderstood to mean that we’ll all have to survive on a diet of mung beans we would of course expect George Monbiot to weigh in. Which, obviously, he does. But in an interesting and for him what is going to be an uncomfortable manner. Because he raises the subject of opportunity costs:

The problem is that it concentrates on just one of the two ways of counting the carbon costs of farming.

See More

George Monbiot’s Delusion – Capitalism Doesn’t Require Growth Even As It’s Good At It

George Monbiot gives us the latest cool kids reason why capitalism has to be done away with – the environment can’t take it. This being entirely at odds with the actual science here of course, even the science coming from the IPCC. However, it’s worse than that as it’s conceptually wrong as well.

As to the science bit we do indeed have all those International Panel on Climate Change reports. All of which are based on economic models, the best collection of which is still the SRES.…

See More

George Monbiot Describes Neobureaucracy, Not Neoliberalism

George Monbiot wants to tell us that neoliberalism is the key to all that ails us. The problem is that what he describes is better thought of as neobureaucracy. This being one of he very things that actual neoliberals – you know, like me – specifically warn against. It’s that you cannot mimic, effectively, the workings of a market through the bureaucratic devising of targets and their imposition. Everyone will, inevitably, just game that system of targets.…

See More

George Monbiot Wants To Make Civilisation An International Crime Against Humanity

On the surface this doesn’t appear to be all that bad an idea. Why shouldn’t ecocide be a crime in international law, be classified as a crime against humanity? Then we do a modest amount of thinking and it becomes clear why this would be a very bad idea indeed, for it would outlaw civilisation. Sure, there are those who think that the coming down out of the trees thing was a bad idea but most of us don’t share that view.…

See More

George Monbiot Really Doesn’t Like Nigel Farage – Nor You, Nor Your Views

George Monbiot has news for us all. The world’s in a terrible state because the wrong people get onto the tellie. If only those buffoons with their extremist views didn’t in fact get to infect all the current affairs programs then we wouldn’t be doing these silly things like Brexit.

That is, George thinks that we’re all loons easily swayed by whatever demagogue gets to speak into the microphone. How’s that for faith in democracy then?…

See More

It Would Appear That George Monbiot Doesn’t Understand Karl Marx

George Monbiot tells us all today that capitalism is destroying the Earth and that’s just terrible. The problem with this being that it’s not actually capitalism that he’s railing against, rather, the Labour Theory of Value. You know, that essential underpinning of Karl Marx’s thought. It is human labour and only human labour which produces value in things. The value of something is the value of the labour that has gone into its creation that is.…

See More

George Monbiot’s Advice – Ignore The State And Its Regulations, She’ll Be Right

We thought this was interesting as an injunction about how to make the world work better. Simply ignore the State, its regulations, the clipboard wielders and she’ll be right, the world will be a better place.

He’s talking about how the people are doing it for themselves, that Burkean idea that the little platoons organise and manage society better than any central office can. Not that he realises this of course, for to do so would be to say that the conservatives, the free marketeers, have a point.…

See More

Monbiot’s Mistake- Pollution Kills, Fer Sure, But Creating Pollution Has Benefits

George Monbiot makes the standard mistake in his insistence that as pollution kills people therefore we should have no pollution. This is not so, pollution kills people it most certainly does but the creation of pollution has benefits as well – like not killing people by being able to make or move something. Thus we do not need, not even desire, to have no pollution, we require the optimal amount. Even if we stick with the idea of killing people only that means that we want as much pollution as saves lives and as little as kills people – the optimal amount being where the lives saved equal those taken.…

See More

George Monbiot Forgets Gramsci’s Long March Through The Institutions

There are indeed legitimate complaints to make about academia and this isn’t one of them. That academics study advertising and its effect upon us humans out here. For the proper study of Man is Mankind, no? Therefore studying what Man does is that proper study. But that’s the complaint that George Monbiot wishes to make today:

Advertising – with its destructive impacts on the living planet, our peace of mind and our free will – sits at the heart of our growth-based economy.

See More

George Monbiot Proves The Impossibility Of Socialism And Planning

Of course George Monbiot hasn’t proven that people cannot attempt socialism and planning, he’s just shown, rather neatly, why such won’t work. Yes, he’s talking about climate change but the points stand for the larger question about how to deal with the economy, how to run the world:

Public figures talk and act as if environmental change will be linear and gradual. But the Earth’s systems are highly complex, and complex systems do not respond to pressure in linear ways.

See More