RCP/LM watch

Keeping an eye on the RCP/LM and its fronts

Scientific Alliance

RCP Watch’s attention has been drawn to the Scientific Alliance by an article in, of all publications, Wild Land News, quarterly journal of the Scottish Wild Land Group, a voluntary environmentalist body dedicated to safeguarding wild landscapes in Scotland, which has a somewhat NIMBYish attitude to wind power. The Spring/Summer 2015 issue [1] contains an article entitled “The Myth of Renewables”, by Anthony Trewavas of the Scientific Alliance, which is essentially a pseudo-scientific tirade against all and any renewable technologies, and includes quite astonishing and ludicrous assertions such as:

Current expenditure on UK wind farms is more than £20 billion. If that money had instead been used to construct 30 gas fired power stations to replace those using coal, emissions reduction would have been about 37%.

and:

One kg of fusion fuel produces energy equivalent to 10 million kg of fossil fuel.

which may be true in theory, but as there are no working [2] fusion power plants in existence  is quite simply untrue in practice. The author also extols, nay eulogises, nuclear fission, and puts the boot into even ‘invisible’ renewable technologies, such as geothermal power (which runs Iceland, btw).

Such virulent anti-renewables views got our antennae twitching. Trewavas is a prof writing on behalf of the Scientific Alliance, which the estimable and authoritative SourceWatch has a long page on, describing its views succinctly:

 It is anti-environmental, anti-organic and pro-GM and pro-nuclear power. [3]

It’s clearly a corporate front of “industry-friendly experts”, and as such is just one of many fronts shilling for the fossil fuel and nuclear industries. Nothing new there. Of interest to this blog, though, is its direct links to the RCP/LM, which has long been ‘sceptical’ (to put it mildly) of anthropogenic climate change, on the grounds that any efforts to mitigate climate change will be “anti-human” and “anti-progress”. Both Tracy Brown, of Sense About Science (a long-standing RCP/LM front), and the notorious Bill Durodié, are actively involved in the SA, the latter being on its advisory forum.

The irony of the article, of course, is that the RCP/LM not only couldn’t give a monkey’s about “wild land”, it wouldn’t even recognise the term and would positively advocate turning such land to human use. A virulent anti-environmentalist writing for an environmental magazine has to be if not unique, then remarkably unusual.

References

[1] http://www.swlg.org.uk/uploads/6/3/3/8/6338077/wln87-22.05.2015.pdf

[2] Working in the sense of generating more power than goes into the things. Over 30 years of research and zillions of dollars have yet to produce even a prototype fusion plant.

[3] Sourcewatch: Scientific Alliance

July 24, 2015 Posted by | RCP/LM fronts | , , , , | Leave a comment

Modern Movement: another RCP/LM front

As a direct reaction to the success of Plane Stupid, the RCP/LM has come up with yet another front organisation: Modern Movement. This takes a highly robust approach to critics of flying and airport expansion, unsurprising given the RCP/LM’s deep loathing of environmentalism in all its forms, and its plain denial of anthropogenic climate change [1]. How do we know it’s yet another RCP/LM front? Partly because two of its ‘co-founders’, Suzy Dean and Robin Walsh, wrote frequently for Spiked before MM was formed, none of which articles, interestingly, had anything to do with transport [2]. Mainly, though, because RCP stalwarts, notably including James Heartfield, right-hand man of Uncle Frank Furedi, appeared on the inaugural ‘counter-demo’ in favour of Heathrow expansion, pictures of which appear on the MM website. Some of the placards are particularly funny [3]. This demo was nicely ridiculed on the >Re: Photo blog, with photos, and the American Aboard blog reported that it had been “infiltrated” by Plane Stupid supporters, a nice case of the biter bit. . Heartfield also posts a good few comments on the MM Facebook Wall, which is an interesting place to visit because a few RCP opponents have also posted provocations. Given the RCP/LM’s attitude to public debate, after the disastrous (for them) forum experiment on the old LM website, we do wonder how long the Wall will remain active…

It’s quite likely that MM will get a fair bit of publicity, as print and broadcast journalists love contrarians, and more importantly often seek out opposing voices for ‘balance’. So it’s a cert that the next time Plane Stupid hit the headlines with another spectacular, MM will be approached for ‘balancing’ comment. The RCP/LM sure does know how to play the media game, and play it well.

PS: since the publication of this article, RCP Watch has engaged in an entertaining and occasionally informative spat with MM members on the Modern Movement Facebook Wall. This is a highly unusual occurrence to be able to debate openly online with the RCP/LM, as it’s usually very careful to control debate. For instance, the Spiked and Institute of Ideas websites have no fora, but rather invite emailed contributions to editors. This caution no doubt results from their disastrous, for them, experiment with open discussion on the now defunct LM website, which ran a forum to which critics and ex-RCP members and supporters posted damaging revelations. RCP Watch wonders quite how long the MM Facebook Wall will remain online…

References

[1] Such that the Spiked editor, Brendan O’Neill, likens the use of the term “climate change denial” to the incarceration by Soviet regimes of political dissidents in psychiatric hospitals. We’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate, Brendan… See Pathologising Dissent: Now that’s Orwellian in Spiked Online.

[2] Try a search of Spiked for “Suzy Dean” and “Robin Walsh” to bring up plenty of articles, none on flying/transport until very recently.

[3] For example: “99% of scientists can be wrong”. This from the organisation that runs the successful front Sense About Science, and is fervently pro-progress and pro-science.

Links

Modern Movement website

Modern Movement Facebook Group

Modern Movement Facebook Wall

Articles

It’s not the end of the world as we know it. Robin Walsh (MM co-founder), Spiked Online, 4/3/09

>Re: Photo blog: Plane Stupid Modern Movement

American Aboard blog: Gate-crashing Greenies

March 17, 2009 Posted by | RCP/LM, RCP/LM fronts | , , , | 6 Comments