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Britain shouts about immigration but is silent on one of the root causes: climate change | Andrew Simms | Environment | The Guardian

August 5, 2016


The Guardian have a regular item, ‘100 months to save the world’. Yesterday it was the turn of Andrew Simms, some nonentity who seems to be a regular columnist, to blame it all on us wicked westerners:

What happens as large-scale migration becomes inevitable due to a combination of environmental, economic and humanitarian reasons? Do we tackle the drivers and help the displaced, or worsen conditions causing the displacement and reject responsibility for those affected?

The campaign for Britain to leave the EU was related to those sceptical of action on global warming and in favour of financial deregulation. It’s a paradoxical package, on the one hand creating the conditions for human displacement and migration through environmental damage and inequality, and on the other washing its hands of the inevitable consequences.

Global inequality is recognised as one push factor in human displacement. Climate change is another major factor, and it’s set to worsen according to the UN refugee agency.

I have two initial thoughts:
1) Simms assumes that anything the UK does could have any effect on global climate

2) There is an implication that because the wicked West wants to improve its standard of living, it is somehow guilty of “increasing inequality”!

Perhaps, therefore, we should all return to 1930’s style poverty, and solve the immigration problem!
All comments welcome!

  1. Joe Public permalink
    August 5, 2016 9:36 pm

    • August 6, 2016 5:07 am

      now imagine the UNDP, armed with its sustainable development goals (SDG), enters this cave and lectures these poor guys on how they can achieve longer life expectancy not the way we did it (fossil fuels) but in an untested green way with no record that any society has achieved human development that way.

  2. August 5, 2016 9:36 pm

    Luckily no one reads the Guardian anymore!

    • August 6, 2016 6:35 am

      Except for the BBC propagandists.

    • John in cheshire permalink
      August 6, 2016 9:15 am

      I think it’s truer to say that, unfortunately, the wrong people read the guardian.

    • johnmarshall permalink
      August 6, 2016 9:42 am

      There are a couple. I have had arguments about GHE and their only argument is to produce Grauniad claims as truth. Cannot shift them from this error.

  3. Sean permalink
    August 5, 2016 9:46 pm

    You can make a very good case for the war in Syria being a result of poorly thought out climate change solutions. The Arab spring, where Tunisians rose up, coincided with a kickstart to biofuels that resulted in the price of wheat more than doubling in price in the 2008 time frame. People suddenly could not afford to eat. At the other end of the Mediteranean, A few years earlier, Syria stopped subsidizing diesel that was used to pump groundwater during dry periods making it uneconomical to grow wheat. Many farmers migrated to the city. A few elite, well read Syrians thought they could foment rebellion among those displaced from the countryside (similar to Tunisia and Egypt) to overthrow the Assad regime. It’s been a bloodbath since and the civil war there and in Libya has created a flood of refugees.

    • August 6, 2016 12:41 am

      “You can make a very good case for the war in Syria being a result of poorly thought out climate change solutions.”

      At the time the UK ambassador advised us to leave, I had been working in Syria on an EU-financed economic development project for almost 10 months.

      Why, if climate was a factor did I hear nothing whatsoever from Syrians or foreign experts? Was I uninterested or uninformed?

      Well I ask myself that question every time I read items by journalists, such as this item in the Guardian. My soul-searching leads me to the same conclusion each time.

      It is possible that I missed climate as a causative factor, but improbable, not after studying climate as a component of a BA, an MA and an MS. Not after working 40 years in 15 plus countries in economic development, including Arab countries.

      A more plausible explanation, for me, is that this journalist is good with words, but apart from writing, does not know much about how the world works, not the physical world, not the biological world, and not the world in which most of the Earth’s population lives.

      As for Syria, there was essentially no rule of law. The governing elite made up the rules as they went along, rules to suit themselves. The biggest project in our portfolio was a real estate scam.

      Meanwhile, the Syrian people, were becoming aware of the contrast between their own system of governance and those in America, Britain and Western Europe. The internet had more to do with the Syrian uprising than climate.

      • August 6, 2016 8:19 pm

        I too was working in Syria not long before the problems started.
        The climate had absolutely nothing to do with the unrest in Daraa/Homs/Hama/Aleppo, these were the seats of the anti-Assad groups that had been supported by the USA: the USA had enforced several years of EU trade embargo on Syria (in my own humble opinion this was largely to placate the Israelis). Then the USA, (who claimed not to support regime change policies) promised support to the rebels in their enthusiasm for the “Arab spring”: then left them to it!

        It is a tragedy for one of the world’s nicest peoples caused by irresponsible US and EU foreign policy: to blame the climate is beyond belief.

    • Timo Soren permalink
      August 6, 2016 5:50 pm

      Sean’s argument is way more specific, not model based, and far more reasonable then these climate alarmists.

      I just wish Sean had stated it as: “..Climate Alarmists Imaginary Climate Mitigation Strategies….”

      In fact, isn’t ethanol, a net carbon emitter?

  4. Bitter&twisted permalink
    August 5, 2016 9:50 pm

    Simms is typical of “Grunaird” writers and readers-consumed by middle class guilt.
    As Delingpole puts it- a fully paid-up member of the “wankerati”.

  5. Graeme No.3 permalink
    August 5, 2016 9:53 pm

    It is amazing all the damage and disasters being caused by climate change, especially when any change is barely distinguishable from normal weather.
    When the climate does get cooler some of these people will need to be put under restraint.

  6. August 5, 2016 10:52 pm

    The idea is to NOT improve quality of duc in the West , as that quality is considered the root cause of environmental damage and economic inequality. It is also NOT to raise the non-West to the current quality of life because that level will destroy the planetary biosphere. The idea is to raise the one through reducing the other, thereby gaining lifestyle equality while limiting the impact on the non-human world.
    No spaceships to the stars for this species, but plenty of organic lettuce.
    In this scheme, however, I have never seen if Al Gore and DiCaprio give up their mansions and air travel, nor do the blue collars get to travel the world.
    The New Green Order looks suspiciously like upstate New York on a warm Saturday night, where white Christians walk contentedly, husbands holding their wives’ hands while their children plod good naturedly behind. Pleasantville with solar panels and electric street cars.

    • August 6, 2016 12:44 am

      Ray Milland in Father Knows Best.

    • Broadlands permalink
      August 6, 2016 12:59 am

      Well said Doug… “We” are supposed to achieve zero carbon emissions and also “Capture and (safely?) Store” ~50 ppm of CO2…to improve immigration status?

      50 ppm CO2 weighs more than 10,000 Petagrams. No problem to get us back to a “safe” 350 ppm (1987)???

  7. August 5, 2016 11:06 pm

    so we should add climate change to the white man’s burden?

  8. peter charlton permalink
    August 6, 2016 1:07 am

    What bloody makes me vent methane, CO2 and other gases, is the whole establishment and the media are too afraid to expose the lies, false statistics and bullying, that is going on in the whole green agenda. The EU have paid the Presidents of African Countries to be able to fish along their coastlines and waters. The coastal people who live in those Countries, cannot feed their families. Where do they go for a better life? We need CO2. When it rains, not Global Warming anymore, that stopped 20yrs ago. It’s Climate change. When it is windy, Climate change, when the sun is out, Climate change. ect. WAKE UP PEOPLE. It is a whole lot of issues that people are on the move.

  9. Reasonable Skeptic permalink
    August 6, 2016 2:34 am

    Inequality, use to be meaningful, but nowadays, it is just cheap.

    Double the income of a poor family and a rich family and you have increased the level of inequality. To decrease inequality, we should reduce the poor and rich by 50% each. Brilliant!

    The problem is making sure that the poor are hopeful for the future and that they have it better than before. proves that while inequality is increasing, the poor are far better off in 2016 than they were in 1966.

    • Russ Wood permalink
      August 7, 2016 12:16 pm

      Pikkety, supposedly, had the answer to inequality – tax the rich! Whenever I hear something like that, I’m reminded of a story that was supposed to have happened to George Bernard Shaw in the 1930’s. The story goes that a Socialist approached him and said “You claim to be a Socialist, and yet you are rich. Why don’t you share this with others?” At this, GBS took a half-crown (12.5 p – and I needed a calculator!) gave it to him, and said “All right – this is your share”.

  10. Curious George permalink
    August 6, 2016 2:35 am

    100 months to save the world. It always was. It always will be.

  11. Douglas Brodie permalink
    August 6, 2016 7:11 am

    Gordon Brown trumps the Guardian’s 100 months, due to expire in December this year. At the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 he said we only had 50 days to save the planet. The summit was a flop but, surprise surprise, the planet has survived.

  12. August 6, 2016 8:49 am

    Simms has been churning out these ‘100 months’ articles for years. Some are sillier than others, but why the Guardian is willing to pay for them is a mystery to normal folk.

    In Guardian-land it presumably fits their pre-conceived ideas of man-made climate effects.

  13. Charlie Moncur permalink
    August 6, 2016 8:55 am

    Who takes any notice of the Guardian anyway! It is appalling the level of misinformation peddled by the Government, politicians, BBC and rest of media. The only way to bring them to heel is through the courts. Anybody got a stomach for Crowd Justice?

  14. Tim Hammond permalink
    August 6, 2016 9:42 am

    Global inequality has fallen, there is absolutely no denying that. Of course, it has hasn’t fallen equally everywhere, only in places that have accepted at least to some degree markets and capitalism. We don’t get a lot of migrants from say South Korea or relatively well run southern African states like Botswana for example. But we do get them from countries that ran socialist/centralised economies. But the Guardian won’t admit that.

    As for banking regulation, where on Earth does that fit in to any of this? The simple truth is that we had sufficient regulation to stop the financial crisis, but those in charge did not. Simply increasing the amount of capital reserves would have done it for example.

    It’s all part of the “Brexiteers are stupid and inconsistent” claim I’m afraid. And as usual the claim is fact and logic free.

  15. AlecM permalink
    August 6, 2016 10:32 am

    Simms is a dangerous fool.

    • August 6, 2016 11:19 am

      Ah, so that’s why the Guardian pays him. Problem solved 😉

      • AlecM permalink
        August 6, 2016 11:31 am

        It’s to pander to their readership…..

    • AlecM permalink
      August 7, 2016 5:22 pm

      Let the Simm’s of the fathers be visited upon their Summs……..

  16. Vanessa permalink
    August 6, 2016 11:33 am

    I had not heard any of the fleeing refugees state that climate change was the reason that they left their country !!!! Only the bombs. What next? Will the banks decision to steal our money be blamed on climate change? Will Cameron’s resignation be blamed on climate change or even the referendum result be blamed on climate change – God help us all !! I am reading a book by Sean Gabb: Cultural Revolution and he talks about political correctness and climate change – all dreamt up by the socialist Lefties!

    • catweazle666 permalink
      August 7, 2016 3:46 pm

      I had a nasty infection in one of my toes a few weeks ago.

      I’m sure it was caused by climate change.

      The fact I had dropped something heavy on it had nothing whatsoever to do with it!

  17. CheshireRed permalink
    August 6, 2016 11:40 am

    Mr Sims has written that column since its inception and has taken such a pasting on almost all of his posts that many commentators have been blocked by the ‘comment is free’ Guardian.
    Sims is a complete eco-fruitloop and damn near all his ‘proposals’ are outright rubbish. Only 5 more months ’till the End of the World, apparently.

    • August 7, 2016 8:29 am

      The end of Sims’ world that is 🙂

  18. Charlie Moncur permalink
    August 6, 2016 12:08 pm

    Ship all the leftie/liberal to Venezuela – a model socialist society – believe they are now eating the zoo animals!!!! One of the richest countries in fossil fuel reserves – ring any bells!!!

  19. ray permalink
    August 6, 2016 1:08 pm

    In the last 50 years, the population of Syria has multiplied 5-FOLD.

    What other destabilising influence need we look for?

    • August 6, 2016 8:24 pm

      Interference by fools who do not learn by their mistakes all over the middle east..

  20. August 6, 2016 8:28 pm

    As a person who has been to Syria a few times, I have got too hung-up on the politics.
    The climate in Syria has not changed significantly over decades so far as I am aware, that alone shows the level of nonsense being peddled by the religious group of climate change believers.

  21. Charlie Moncur permalink
    August 6, 2016 9:28 pm

    The refugee crisis is the result of the foreign policy of USA and Britain. Destabilisation of the middle east seems to have been on the USA agenda for some time. The end game eludes me. The mess is almost unbelievable that Bush,Blair and Cameron have left behind. America should shoulder the cost of the clean up – i.e. take 95% of the refugees. When will we learn to stop interfering in other nations affairs. Notable – Saudi Arabia has taken few or no refugees. A good Arab neighbour?

  22. Adam Gallon permalink
    August 6, 2016 9:33 pm

    No change in climate, but a large increase in population.

    Combine that with high unemployment & inflation & the political situation.

  23. ralfellis permalink
    August 7, 2016 7:10 am


    The Syrian war has nothing to do with climate change, it is the result of 1,300 years of oppression of non-Muslims (ie:Assad’s Alawites), and their desire not to be sent back to the gutters of Syrian society. Here is the long version of that argument, made to a certain parliamentarian. I said much the same to other parlamentarians back in 2011 – discussions which eventually stopped William Hague going to war in Syria. He lost that vote because 13 parliamentarians ‘forgot’ to attend the vote.



    So just who are ISIS?
    Who are the supposed ‘moderates’?
    What are their goals?
    Why are they fighting Assad?

    Did you know that the ISIS terror handbook is on sale in all UK mosques?
    So why are you voting on something you know so little about?

    Some basics for you.

    This is not a recent dispute. Bashar Assad’s father had exactly the same uprising in 1982, and put it down in exactly the same forceful manner, with some 40,000 casualties. So we know that the current Syrian civil war has nothing to do with oil pipelines, George Bush, Russia or the Tooth Fairy. Please see the Hama Massacre.

    In fact, this is a 1,300 year old dispute. Bashar Assad’s Alawites were the most grievously persecuted minority in all of Syria, alongside the Yazidi. This is because they are half Christian and celebrate Easter and Christmas, and this makes them kuffer unbelievers to the Sunni majority. But the French saw the Alawites as allies and put them in control of the army, and from there they took control of Syria.

    So the Alawites are simply the Yazidi with guns. Would you condemn the Yazidi if they defended themselves against Sunni aggression? So why do you condemn the Alawites of Bashar Assad? If Assad ceded power, all 4 million Alawites would be eliminated, so do you see why he might cling to power? And if the Alawites went, then all 4 million Syriac Christians would be eliminated too? Do you hate the Syriac Christians? Is this why you want Assad to go, so they can be eliminated by the Sunnies?

    Why do you think the Syriac Christians have backed Bashar Assad all this time? All the persecuted minories in Syria are in the same boat. And as the leader of a persecuted minority himself, Assad knows the realities full well, and is the champion and savior of the Syriac minorities. Or he was until the West started their ignorant meddling in the region. Did you ever hear of Christians and Yazidi being persecuted in Syria by Assad? What kind of ‘evil tyrant’ protects all his vulnerable minorities? Conversely, what kind of ‘moderates’ persecute and kill Syrian Christian and Yazidi minorities?

    The West has backed the wrong horse in this dispute from day one. There are no moderates in Syria, apart from Assad’s Alawites and the Syriac Christians. If Hague and Cameron had won their vote to bomb Assad in 2013, then ISIS would now have Assad’s 2,000 tonnes of Sarin gas. Anyone think that was a good foreign policy? That gas would have appeared on the London Tube inside a couple of months. Anyone think that was a good policy? So it was lucky that my email campaign to the Conservatives resulted in 15 MPs ‘forgetting to vote’, otherwise the consequences would have been dire for Europe.

    There are no ‘moderates’ in Syria. Don’t be fooled by this nonsense. Moderate today and ISIS member tomorrow, and taking their Western weapons with them. Not only is the ISIS handbook possessed by all the moderates in Syria, it is also available in every mosque in the UK, and in many bookshops too. And it is read by almost all Muslims. And everything that ISIS has done in Syria, including all the beheadings, burnings, crucifixions, subjugations, taxations, rapes and enslavements, have come from that book.

    So what is the difference between a moderate and an ISIS fundamentalist? Ah, yes, the ISIS fundamentalist is more pious than the moderate. This is why mainstream Islam cannot be too critical of ISIS, because they know that they are following Islamic teachings to the letter. It would be like the Pope criticising the Ten Commandments (but in this particular case there are ten rather evil commandments). See the list of quotes from the ISIS handbook below. And remember that this ISIS handbook is available in every mosque in the UK.

    If we bomb ISIS in Syria, which would indeed be a good idea in my view, then Saudi Arabia should match our bombing missions one for one. The Saudi airforce is larger than the UK’s, so why is Saudi sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing? This is a Muslim problem between Muslim factions and combatants, so why are the Saudis twiddling their fingers? Why are kuffer unbelievers (the West) doing Saudi’s dirty work?

    We all know why.

    ISIS is a child of Saudi Wahabi teaching, and so Saudi does not want to smack their child too hard. The ISIS child is a bit rebellious, attacking the undoubted temporal excesses of the Saudi Royals, but ISIS is still promoting the hard-core Islam of the Saudi Wahabi sect. Which is why Saudi will not criticise ISIS or bomb ISIS. The slightly rebellious child of Saudi Wahabism is still killing the kuffer unbeliever – the Syriac Christians, the Zoroastrian Yazidi and the Shia Alawites – and that is exactly what Saudi Arabia wants.

    And if Saudi will not bomb ISIS, or take in any refugees, then we should bomb or boycott Saudi.

    ISIS is merely one vile offspring of Saudi, but there are many others including the original Al Qaheda (Bin Laden being Saudi). And there will be many more if we do not do something about it. So why are we playing wack-a-mole with the many vile Saudi offspring, while leaving the parent unscathed?? And if you will not bomb Saudi Arabia, then stop buying Saudi and Middle Eastern oil. Saudi Arabia would collapse inside a couple of years, if we stopped buying their oil. So why are we and others in the West supporting Islamic terrorism, by still buying Saudi oil? Ten percent of the price of every barrel of oil comes back to the West in the form of fundamentalist indoctrination and terrorism. So why do we support Saudi Arabia? Are our leaders mad or bad?

    A special BBC Newsnight report:
    The Saudi King Fahd school in London, teaching Wahabi hatred of kuffer unbelievers (Jews and Christians).

    If you are going to intervene in Syria, then do have a strategy. And what is your strategy? What are your goals? What will be the end result? Syria used to be a largely secular governmental system (the Alawites ensured that), so what will be the result of your meddling?

    Here is a video of the latest cabinet meeting on the UK’s Syria strategy. As you can see, all we have is a dozen rabbits caught in the headlights. So what is the strategy in Syria? (Peter Quinn in Homeland.)

    And remember that the ISIS book that Quinn talks about in this video, is on sale in every mosque in Britain (see quotes below). And if you think a few guided bombs in Syria will solve this 1,300 year-old problem, then you must be nuts.

    Look, you are in parliament to lead the nation to a brighter future 100 years hence, not to debate whether people who fish should be called ‘fishermen’ or ‘fisherpeople’. If you want to do the latter join a kindergarten, not a parliament. You are in Westminster to make tough decisions on our behalf, and if you are unable to do that then piss off. We need erudite leaders, not simpering fools. So what is your long-term strategy? What is the end goal? Not tomorrow, but 50 years hence? What will Syria look like, after your bombing? Another Libya? Another Iraq? Another Afghanistan? Another Iran? Another Gaza? Another Egypt? (Which ended back in hands of the same regime, before the uprising!)

    And don’t give us inane childhood fantasies that are not attainable. Before the Iraq war Donald Rumsfeld said he was going to turn Iraq into a ‘beacon of democracy that will shine across the Middle East’. I said this was an insane fantasy at the time but I thought that the USA, with all its data gathering and intellectual resources, must know something I don’t. So I sat down and ate the popcorn, waiting for this bold new strategy to unfold, just as it did in Japan in 1945.

    And then they did the complete opposite of the MacArthur plan and allowed Iraq to keep its divisive religious politics, administration and education. Did they not wonder why Saddam ruled Iraq with a secular administration? Did they not understand any of the fundamental tenets of Islam? Did they not wonder whether breaking up Iraq into three regions might nullify many of the religio-cultural tensions in the region? Perhaps they did, but all of this would go against the fundamental tenets of multiculturalism, which promised a social nirvana of diverse communities working together with smiles on their faces. But the predictable result, that any sentient being could have predicted, was sectarian divisions reinforced by IEDs and AK47s.

    No multicultural society has ever worked in the history of man, and only an imbecile would think that it would suddenly work now. So Iraq was condemned to the misery of civil war, and to endure hundreds of thousands of deaths, by an infantile liberal fantasy. Did nobody think to look to history? Not simply the history of MacArthur in Japan, but also the history of the Roman Empire? Why do you think that the Roman Empire was multinational, rather than multicultural? So the blood of thousands of Iraqis bathes upon the hands of Western liberals, just as the blood of thousands of Libyans and Syrians bathes the hands of William Hague and David Cameron. Causing a death by inexcusable ignorance is much the same as wielding the gun yourself.

    So I ask you again. What is the government’s strategy in Syria? In that video, Peter Quinn gave two very sensible strategies – a complete reeducation of the region, starting in the first grade, or hitting the reset button. And both would work. Although the reset button would have to apply to most of the Middle East.

    So what is your strategy? What is the government’s strategy?

    My strategy would be twofold. Get a broad agreement to stop all purchases of Middle Eastern oil. And to make an honest feature film about the life of Muhummad, and ensure that it is shown in every UK cinema. Islam could not withstand or endure an honest expose of its paedophile warlord leader, who caused death, destruction and subjugation all over the Middle east and beyond. The scene of Muhummad ordering the beheading of 800 Banu Qurayza Jews would change many a perception. And Muhummad’s camel-train raiding, divisions of war-booty, theft of property, distribution of sex slaves, and his extortion of jizya protection money by his protection racket, would raise a few more eyebrows:

    And when you have decided on a strategy, then what are you going to do on the home front? There are many Raqqah’s in Britain, with exactly the same problems as in Syria. Everything that Assad is battling with in Syria, will be mirrored in Britain in 2050. So what is your strategy here? More appeasement? Keep feeding the tiger, in the vain hope that you will be the last one to be eaten?

    Assad is fighting for survival because he knows that his people will all be eliminated if he loses military control in the region. Just as the Yazidi were all destroyed, even when they were minding their own business. Were the Yazidi a threat to Sunni ISIS? Were the Yazidi oppressing Sunni ISIS? No – they were simply kuffer unbelievers and had to be destroyed, just as the ISIS handbook says. And remember that the ISIS handbook in on sale in every mosque in the UK (see quotes below).

    You feels safe now, because if there is trouble on the streets of Britain you will call out the loyal police and loyal army. And the loyal police and loyal army will save the day and stop you and your family from being murdered. But what happens in 2050, when the police and army are all Muslim? Will a Muslim police force save you, a kuffer unbeliever, or save their Muslim brothers in a British Raqqah? Will a Muslim army save you, a kuffer unbeliever, or save their Muslim brothers in a British Raqqah?

    You see the problem that Bashar Assad, who is also a kuffer unbeliever, has in Syria?

    So what is your strategy in Syria?


    • catweazle666 permalink
      August 7, 2016 3:50 pm

      Excellent explanation.


    • Sara Hall permalink
      August 7, 2016 6:24 pm

      Thank you for explaining it all so clearly and simply.

    • ralfellis permalink
      August 10, 2016 11:48 am

      I forgot to mention that the lSlS handbook I mention here, is the K o r a n. Every punishment, execution or enslavement they make, comes from the pages of the K o r a n. Quotes available if required.

  24. August 7, 2016 7:02 pm

    Too many uncomfortable truths in this set of replies: The USA and Saudi are the bad-eggs in all of the middle eastern problems.

    The Saudis promote anti-Shia policies (and obviously against all other religion groups) actively and we have all supported their activities for many years, while decrying the resultants.

    Look at the Yemen war for true abuse of human rights and crimes against humanity: but our “good friends” are involved there, the BBC therefore does not cover this!

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