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Radiohead backs WW2-style austerity program

Music for a new society?

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Heaven knows, we're miserable now

I've noticed two curious aspects to this "war" which might help shed some light on it (no pun intended). I have no idea which is the more significant - and perhaps you can help?

The first is the underlying assumption that resources are finite. This has a corollary: which is that these limited resources are close to exhaustion, and therefore... the end times are a'comin'!

In fact, "resources" are anything we can usefully make stuff with. Cavemen knew nothing of naphtha crackers, or how to make anthracite. Spectrum scarcity was not a concern for Newton. Today, we've barely begun to tap into the potential of fusion, or geothermal energy.

So it's odd to hear someone urging us to turn down the heating - and get accustomed to shivering miserably in our cold homes - when we're sitting on a global furnace. Fossil fuels may be exhausted, but what got us here was a little inventiveness, and specifically some sound applied materials science.

Our limitations, therefore, are not of a material nature: our ingenuity, resourcefulness, and courage are our most precious resources.

The second observation is the underlying belief that somehow mankind is a stain on the planet - which would be better off without us. Quite literally, we don't deserve to walk this Earth, and there's some divine retribution taking place.

This belief manifests itself in the idea that any pleasure or material comfort is sinful, and this is fundamentally a Puritan notion. The CO2 Cult is strongest in northern Europe and the United States, and almost completely ignored in the rest of the world. Coincidence? Neither Catholicism nor Islam teach the idea that God hates us - quite the reverse - so perhaps it's no coincidence at all.

Put the two together and you have consequences which include an eagerness to chivvy, bully, and coerce us, and Malthusianism: which is really a thinly-disguised racism. The "models" and "consensus" to support this are almost an accidental by-product.

(As Reg readers know, you can make a computer model say whatever you want it to say. Here's a good example of this in action.)

So my conundrum can be expressed like this. Are these people miserable because they're poorly informed? Or are they poorly informed because they want to be miserable?

Answers on a postcard, please.

Of course, it could be that Radiohead are brilliant businessmen. In urging us on into a monochrome world of World War 2-style rationing, austerity, and existential angst, they're simply creating the optimal market conditions for their own product. ®

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