Lack of Environment

A blog on the politics and psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems


with 9 comments

(i.e. Why am I so critical of James Delingpole?)
As a white, British male, fortunate to have received a good education, I have often wondered what I would be like if I had been born black, poor and South African or – after my trip to Everest Base Camp in 2008 – the son of a Nepalese Yak herder in the Himalayas (not so bad I suspect). But if I was any of those things, I would not be me; and “What ifs” are generally not good for your mental health. However, what really scares me is that I could so easily have been James Delingpole.

We are the same age, the same gender, and the same sexual orientation (presumably). We were both brought-up in southern England, and both received an expensive education, paid for by parents who considered themselves to be upper-middle class (probably). However, although English, History and Geography were among my favourite subjects at school, I paid attention in science class and, by the age of 16, understood why scientists had changed their minds about an approaching ice age and were now concerned about global warming. Moreover, despite the absence of any discernible scientific understanding, James has convinced himself that Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD) is a scam; whereas I understand that most relevantly-qualified scientists are convinced that ACD-denial is a scam.

Therefore, despite the fact that we may have the same sense of humour (because I think much of what James writes is genuinely funny – when it’s not criminally misinformed), what really scares me is that I could so easily have ended-up being the man who gave us Climategate – the biggest scandal in corporate misinformation history. Furthermore, although the fossil fuel lobby and conservative think tanks (and their computer-hackers) may provide the fuel for ACD-denial, it is people like James Delingpole that are driving the damn engine!

Thus, this blog is the ultimate result of my being so irritated by the irrationality of James Delingpole, as evidenced by his interview with Sir Paul Nurse on the BBC Television programme Science under attack (first broadcast in the UK on 24 January 2011). For those who have not seen this interview (what planet are you from?) – please see All that is wrong with “the marketplace of ideas” on this blog for an introduction.

Considering myself to be naturally conservative (rather than progressive), this prompted me to set-up my first blog on the MyTelegraph website, which I called James Delingpile.

Banner to my old James Delingpile blog

Banner to my old James Delingpile blog

The real James Delingpole clearly did not see the funny side of this; as my blog was taken down by the website moderators a few days later. After being unsuccessful in arguing that I had not actually broken any house rules, or libelled anyone, I re-invented my blog as Earthy Issues. However, I have had to abandon this (and am very glad I did) because of seemingly-unresolvable issues with my laptop (which meant I could not interact with other users on any part of the Telegraph website). For the record, I say I am glad to have abandoned MyTelegraph, purely because WordPress has allowed me to make my blog my own.

For those interested in the personal, scientific, philosophical, and vocational odyssey that has brought me to where I am now (August 2011 – as summarised in the personal statement on the About page), please see History.

Written by Martin Lack

14 September 2011 at 10:57

9 Responses

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  1. […] A truly biospheric blog on the politics of the environment Skip to content HomeAboutBackgroundHistoryImagesModerationPrivacyRemuneration ← What’s wrong with […]

  2. […] underlying the denial of all our environmental problems…. Skip to content HomeAboutBackgroundHistoryImagesModerationPrivacyRemuneration ← Twitter is good […]

  3. Did Mr. Delingpole seduce your girlfriend?

    curious george

    14 March 2012 at 18:28

  4. I too have adopted Delingpole – with a goal to annoy him; although such objectives are limited. I prefer to spread the myth that he is a 5th columnist for Greenpeace. My spoof review of Watermelons was getting top marks; but it has now dropped down. I must encourage friends to rate back to the top. James is an excellent example [used on any occasion] to demonstrate how clever people can choose to become ignorant idiots. Nonetheless, there is a lesson somewhere in the parallel world James inhabits and why at some point those who spend too much time there start to believe their own nonsense.

    I think Delingpole was the nerdy kid at school and was desperate for recognition, as a right leaning adult one either gets lost in the mainstream or seeks notoriety on the fringe. People like O’Reilly on Fox News have carved out an idiot niche; and Delingpole seeks the same. AGW, as for many, probably never registered as an issue until its denial became a means to make a name for himself. Its the same for the all the denial or anti-BBC or anti-Europe blogs: Write something sensible and no-one reads it but, sing to your own, and they flock there.


    17 March 2012 at 00:21

  5. […] none of this seems to stop self-confessed scientifically-illiterate English graduates such as James Delingpole from ridiculing the entire notion of global warming simply because it is raining a lot here at the […]

  6. […] mention all this again because I see that one of the better writers on the subject, England’s Martin Lack, has apparently tired of bashing his head against brick walls. See his excellent recent post The […]

  7. […] none of this seems to stop self-confessed scientifically-illiterate English graduates such as James Delingpole from ridiculing the entire notion of global warming simply because it is raining a lot here at the moment […]

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