Forecast for Satire Worse Than Previously Thought

by | Jun 19, 2009

We find ourselves temporarily elsewhere and otherwise engaged. We’ll be back shortly. It has not escaped our notice that there has been a couple of interesting elections recently, and that a new report for the UK government proves beyond doubt that it’s very hard to make predictions about the future. We’ll come back to these. Meantime, a couple of other things…

First, Ben had an article on Spiked last week about the Guardian’s entirely credulous coverage of Greenpeace’s allegations that illegal deforestation in the Amazon Basin is linked to a number of giant UK food firms:

…the ‘smoking gun’ which Greenpeace claims links companies to illegal deforestation amounts to no more than an allegation that trade that has been ‘contaminated’ with some beef from farms that had extended into rainforest. The evidence of this global conspiracy produced by Greenpeace are documents representing the sale of less than 9,000 head of cattle – hardly a huge amount given Brazil’s estimated stock of 200million.

To put that into perspective, there are 10million cattle in the UK, a country with a surface area less than three per cent of Brazil’s and with less than a quarter of Brazil’s human population. If Brazilian cattle were reared as intensively as their British counterparts, 9,000 cattle would occupy an area roughly one-tenth the size of the county of Oxfordshire…

Second, staying with Greenpeace, here’s a funny thing. It’s just not funny in the way Greenpeace intend it:

In a front-page ad in today’s International Herald Tribune, the leaders of the European Union thank the European public for having engaged in months of civil disobedience leading up to the Copenhagen climate conference that will be held this December. “It was only thanks to your massive pressure over the past six months that we could so dramatically shift our climate-change policies…. To those who were arrested, we thank you.”

There was only one catch: the paper was fake.

Looking exactly like the real thing, but dated December 19th, 2009, a million copies of the fake paper were distributed worldwide by thousands of volunteers in order to show what could be achieved at the Copenhagen climate conference that is scheduled for Dec. 7-18, 2009.

…goes the email circular (H/T Andrew). And here‘s the spoof newspaper.

But governments have been quite open for a while now about the fact that they look to climate protesters for political direction. Here’s UK energy and climate change minister Ed Miliband, for example:

When you think about all the big historic movements, from the suffragettes, to anti-apartheid, to sexual equality in the 1960s, all the big political movements had popular mobilization. Maybe it’s an odd thing for someone in government to say, but I just think there’s a real opportunity and a need here.

And here’s opposition leader David Cameron:

[youtube 8gr5rIK097E]

While the European Union goes as far as paying environmental groups to lobby them.

Greenpeace should be thanking the government. Where’s some proper satire when you need it?

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