Delingpole the Destroyer

by Tony Thomas

April 30, 2012

James Delingpole didn’t talk long at the Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne on April 26 but kept us amused, enlightened and sometimes appalled.

Who he? Top blogger at The Telegraph (UK), attracting one or two thousand comments per column. A rival columnist explained this by saying that Delingpole “really is batshit mad”. (To put those comment threads into perspective, they’re actually, per capita, below our Andrew Bolt’s rate of about 1000 a day).

Delingpole’s new book on the green movement, Watermelons (UK) or Killing the Earth to Save It (Australia), is a best-seller, combining wit, analysis and effrontery. Other titles include Welcome to Obamaland: I Have Seen Your Future and It Doesn’t Work, and 365 Ways to Drive a {soft-left} Liberal Crazy.

His mainland capital tour is a hat-trick for the IPA, which show-cased Canadian Mark Steyn and the UK’s Dan Hannan in recent months.

Delingpole had arrived from Adelaide, “A pretty town of churches and nice pubs. Even as you drink, you know someone there is praying for your soul.” He sees Melbourne as full of “gardens, greenies and luvvies”.

Amid Delingpole’s general attacks in Melbourne on political correctness and the nanny state, his special target was the warmists: “No-one gives a toss about baby polar babies any more”, he summed up.

He called for no half-measures in the campaign against warmists and “eco-loons”:

They are not just wrong but evil. Don’t give them the benefit of the doubt; they don’t give us such benefit.

People say we should find the middle ground between (sceptic geologist) Ian Plimer and Al Gore. Some people, who like carbon taxes and economic destruction, also enjoy dogshit in their yoghurt. I like my yoghurt with blueberries and passionfruit. Maybe the middle ground is to add the fruit and also a bit of the dogshit. But I want a world where there is not even one iota of dogshit in my yoghurt.

We are fighting asymmetric warfare with them. They have the BBC, the ABC, the Royal Society, CSIRO, unis, schoolteachers, Greenpeace, WWF, Fairfax (less Gina Reinhart’s share), pretty much the entire world. The bastards have even got David Attenborough, who’s touring Australia soon. David believes in an optimum population strategy, ‘We must have a cull’. Who are you going to kill, David? Not my kids. Just go away. BBC, stop making out that David is a good guy. He’s not nice.

He predicts the Australian Greens will split between their Reds and their complete eco-loons:

The party’s a busted flush. Your government is looking like Berlin in that movie Downfall, with the equivalent of the Russian army coming to wipe them out next year, like in Queensland. We shouldn’t gloat; our real task is to make sure that when the Libs get in they don’t just behave like our Conservative Party and act like we’re green and left. You need to totally dismantle all the build-up of green lunacy. (Applause). You need to replace that $180,000 man Tim Flannery with Ian Plimer or Bob Carter as Climate De-Commissioner. I bet they would do the job for fun.

Son of a factory owner, Delingpole hobnobbed during literature studies at Oxford with current Prime Minister David Cameron. But the way he put it in Melbourne was that he and David had been ‘smoking buddies’: “I have inhaled with him”. He urged that drug use be legalized: “But I don’t go around smacked out on heroin and killing people. I try to use drugs sensibly and keep my children away when I shoot up,” Delingpole said, joking. Remarkably, he is in the same camp on drug-legalisation as our local leftist Phillip Adams.

Delingpole said he did not want to get into a Monckton/Hitler furore (Monckton, to his later regret, a year ago likened Garnaut Report author Ross Garnaut’s style to Hitler’s). However Delingpole led with his chin with plenty of “eco-nazi” taunts. These included a claim that Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, was in the same league as Hitler and Pol Pot because of the million per annum malaria deaths attributable to the DDT ban she engendered with her “junk science”:

She’s the heroine of the environmental movement, but how many kids at school are taught about Norman Borlaug whose ‘green-revolution’ wheat doubled yields in India? This is partly why today we’re not all dead of starvation, as another green hero Paul Ehrlich predicted.

The Climategate emails demonstrated that the warmist scientists are the wrong-uns, he said.

They cheat, they do bad things, they use the Hitler style of the big lie, so big that no-one could believe you have the chutzpah to tell it. I kept waiting to stumble across an email that said, ‘Heh heh, I wonder how long we can get away with this evil conspiracy.’ But those scientists actually believe their own rubbish, they have a moral duty to fiddle with the data to save the world from catastrophe. There is no killer piece of evidence that will win us the battle forever, because they always have an answer, like extreme weather is proof of warming, or they move back to a Siegfried line of ocean acidification or sustainability. You must have the appetite for the fight, we are the good guys with right and truth on our side. What more can you ask?

Delingpole is baffled that rugged Australians who can deal with snakes and spiders and great white sharks, have succumbed to such political correctness that they can’t even light a barbie without federal permit. He has a particular fear of Agenda 21, where a handful of green activists can get a local council to sign up to an insidious UN agenda about sustainability and recycling and windfarms.

Those greenies love committees and council meetings. Normal people just want to get on with their lives and thereby they allow all this stuff to creep in on them. Sustainability is actually a Comintern word for wealth-redistribution.

In Britain we understand that going back to the Romans, one lot has taken over from another, no big deal. In Australia there’s a uni module: ‘Feeling guilty about traditional owners.’

He said any greenie in his audience always asked, “Who are you to question the world’s greatest climate scientists?” He replies,

I have read the Climategate emails. I am not a good enough liar to ignore facts and I don’t believe in destroying the careers of those who disagree with me. I need my trolls (would-be saboteurs) on my blog: when you are taking flak you know you are over the target. I enjoy the four-letter emailed insults giving me cheery greeting each morning.

Though often credited with first use of the neologism “Climategate” Delingpole confessed that a West Australian with the user-name Bulldust used it first in a comment he noticed in Watts Up With That?.

He took a swipe at the meme about 97% of climate scientists being warmists, trotted out by Prof. Stephen Lewandowsky in The Age that same morning. Delingpole said the original survey from a University of Illinois study sent a poll to 10,000 scientists.

Less than a third replied but didn’t give the sought-for answers. The pollsters were finally reduced to polling 77, of whom 75 gave the right answer. That was all the ‘consensus’ was about. It was like sending out a questionnaire asking, ‘Do bears defecate in the outdoors?’ The questions included, Do you believe the planet is warming? Well, derr. Yes we all believe. Do humans make a significant contribution? Derr again. Obviously, if only via the urban-heat-island effect. Any sane sentient person would say ‘yes’, but even then they didn’t get 100%.

Fact-checked, Delingpole’s claims are correct. The original survey was t0 10,257 scientists and the final group tested was indeed 77.

Like his UK author colleague Matt Ridley, Delingpole is virulently opposed to wind farms, and had even gone out to Waterloo, near Burra, to see their impact. A couple of years ago a government-endorsed corporate rep had told the citizens they would hear nothing but a gentle swoosh of blades creating clean energy and saving the planet, he said. The reality was a hum below the hearing threshold, like an approaching tsunami or a semi-trailer rolling towards you. People were getting insomnia, headaches, forgetfulness. Some lost the ability to do arithmetic and formerly placid types were getting into violent arguments with neighbours. A woman racehorse trainer lost her sense of balance and kept falling off. The town was in shock. Some residents skedaddled, some places had boarded-up windows. Advocates thought the windfarms looked majestic; he preferred the look of a 20m phallus-shaped column in stained glass, which at least wouldn’t drive people mad with infrasonic humming.

Ian Plimer, thanking Delingpole, said the battle would be won because people resented the rising costs from carbon taxes: “The punters are on our side, they understand when their pay cheque doesn’t go far enough.”

Tony Thomas is a retired journalist.

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