David Thompson
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July 21, 2014

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Steveo40

@Minnow And yet everywhere we look we see murder and misery, prisons, camps, and torture chambers, and no feminists to be seen running any of it. Funny world.

No, true. But they are all mostly communists.

WTP

Not sure how one can even take a stab on how an animal would behave in a hypothetical future wild environment when said creature shows no consistent behavior, aside from a persistent inconsistency, in the lab.

Henry

That is sort of the point about feminism

Already talking bollocks, again, Minnow.

If there was a single, identifiable "point about feminism" then there would be something that could be proven or disproven forever.

There isn't, of course. Feminism benefits from vaguely meaning one thing today, another tomorrow. It's basically just a lot of pretend-principled rhetoric and point-scoring. Sound familiar?

dicentra

"but I don't think Minnow would fall into the killing-people-if-he-had-half-a-chance category."

Review "Who Goes Nazi?"

Kind, good, happy, gentlemanly, secure people never go Nazi. They may be the gentle philosopher whose name is in the Blue Book, or Bill from City College to whom democracy gave a chance to design airplanes—you’ll never make Nazis out of them. But the frustrated and humiliated intellectual, the rich and scared speculator, the spoiled son, the labor tyrant, the fellow who has achieved success by smelling out the wind of success—they would all go Nazi in a crisis.
Those passive-aggressive types are usually first in line to wield the whip. They're not in the Führer's inner circle; they just populate the little Eichmann offices where they look you in the eye before deciding to send you to the gas chamber.

Because they can.

dicentra

Come to think of it, Harry Potter 5 & 6 examined Who Goes Nazi. Percy Weasley, anyone? The Malfoys, who reaped exactly what they sowed?

Dolores Umbridge wore pink and had cute little kitten plates decorating her office, gamboling merrily in place while she forced Harry to write "I must not tell lies" in his own blood.

::shudder::

neal

Heh. Strike up a relationship, get fertility, devour the weak that do not wake up.

Spiders, politics, but the modern world is so much better, at least when cruelty and humour dance.

Tangled Webs, and such.

splotchy

deranged women who can’t distinguish between political grievances and their own mental illnesses

It is interesting, is it not, how many of the vociferous feminists of today - particularly the noisy aggressive ones on twitter, graunian talkboards and the staggers - have a history of mental illness. Eg Anorexia, body dysmorphia, depression, cyclothymic problems, paranoic tendencies, mood disorders.......

There are several possible explanations:

a/ they are more honest and open about their illness than 'closet' mental illness sufferers, thus appear more afflicted

b/ they are predisposed to think of themselves as victims and exploit/exaggerate their perceptions of normal mood variation/interactions to do so

c/ it provides a mental illness defence against dissent of their views - ie "you can't attack my views as this is misogynist bullying/victimising a disabled person"

d/ mental illness (particularly ones relating to female body image, low mood and paranoia) are a potentially fertile mindset for manhating thoughts

e/ manhating thoughts are a potential fertile mindset for developing mental health problems

I pose these thoughts, not to stigmatise - all of us have potential mental illness in us and if unwell need sympathy and treatment. Interestingly CBT (one of the more succesful psychotherapies) is based on moving one's mindset or displacing one's fixed perceptions to more 'rational' stances. I wonder if we will reach a time when people will look back on some of the early 21st C feminist displays of palpable hostility/ victimhood/ irrationality/ vengeance and see them, not as a force for wimminhood, but more the burden of distorted thought processes and unhappiness?

dicentra

I have had mild depression since my teens and despite CBT and medication, I still have episodes of irrational angst and self-loathing. I don't express the dark thoughts online because crap, they're awful. People would call the cops for suicide watch. By the time they arrived, I'd be happily pulling weeds in the yard, the crisis having passed.

I also dislike those emotional sandstorms intensely and cannot imagine why I'd want to experience that demented state beyond what I already have to.

We wimmens are already driven insane by our hormones. Being around men is a sanity check that helps me stabilize and level out.

They obviously are nourishing a positive-feedback loop that intensifies with each iteration. It won't be pretty when it finally explodes.

dicentra

Oh hey: #WomenAgainstFeminism

Not quite as good as #YesAllCats but still interesting.

Pellegri

All the poor feminists crying in the tag. It's like being on tumblr again.

mojo

Is this a private fight, or can anybody wade in?

bgates

Minnow at 10:28, on the key figures of 70s feminism:
You shouldn't ask them to be representative of women. That is sort of the point about feminism, that women should be able to be individuals

Minnow at 9:33, on one of the key figures of 70s feminism:
Every woman talks and acts like that

bgates

There is something like a rape culture, or has been. I watched a Spanish TV show from the 70s

There's a real danger of fascist/communist civil war, or has been. I saw a documentary about Spain in the 30s....

dicentra

"Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist"

How far left was I? So far left my beloved uncle was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party in a Communist country. … So far left I was a two-time Peace Corps volunteer and I have a degree from UC Berkeley. So far left that my Teamster mother used to tell anyone who would listen that she voted for Gus Hall, Communist Party chairman, for president. I wore a button saying "Eat the Rich." To me it wasn't a metaphor.
In a nutshell:
10) Huffiness In the left, I found a desire to be in pain constantly, so as always to have something to protest, from one's history of incest to the inability of handicapped people to mount flights of stairs.

9) Selective Outrage The left's selective outrage convinced me that much canonical, left-wing feminism is not so much support for women, as it is a protest against Western, heterosexual men. It's an "I hate" phenomenon, rather than an "I love" phenomenon.

8) It's the thought that counts Thanks to cultural relativism, we were forbidden to object to rampant sexism or the caste system. "Only intolerant oppressors judge others' cultures."

7) Leftists hate my people President Bill Clinton's advisor James Carville succinctly summed up leftist contempt for poor whites in his memorable quote, "Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find."

6) I believe in God Hang out in leftist internet environments, and you will discover a toxic bath of irrational hatred for the Judeo-Christian tradition. You will discover an alternate vocabulary in which Jesus is a "dead Jew on a stick" or a "zombie"

5 & 4) Straw men and "In order to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs." It astounds me now to reflect on it, but never, in all my years of leftist activism, did I ever hear anyone articulate accurately the position of anyone to our right. In fact, I did not even know those positions when I was a leftist.

2 & 3) It doesn't work. Other approaches work better I went to hear David Horowitz speak in 2004. My intention was to heckle him. Horowitz said something that interrupted my flow of thought. He pointed out that Camden, Paterson, and Newark had decades of Democratic leadership.

Ouch.

1) Hate One topic thread was entitled "What do you view as disgusting about modern America?" The thread was begun in 2002. Almost eight thousand posts later, the thread was still going strong in June, 2014. … You went to an anti-war rally because you hated Bush, not because you loved peace. Thus, when Obama bombed, you didn't hold any anti-war rally, because you didn't hate Obama.

dcardno

Gee - I haven't seen our minnow lately...

Jeff Guinn

[Minnow:] You shouldn't ask them to be representative of women. That is sort of the point about feminism, that women should be able to be individuals in the same way that men are, that they need not represent their whole sex every time they succeed or fail.

If only that was true. It isn't.

If feminism, in its current guise, would limit its remit to equality of opportunity irrespective of plumbing, then they would by now be pushing at an open door. Feminists could declare victory and go home.

But no. Bizarrely, for the "party of science" feminists have reached the anti-human, but typically progressive, conclusion that evolution stopped at the neckline. For them, there equality of outcome is all that matters. And they resort to the most bizarre contortions of logic and abuse of statistics to justify themselves.

[Steve2:] They don't have much time for individual women - feminists, even - who wander off the Marxoid reservation.

In 2010, Sarah Palin called herself a feminist.

Which put the harpy brigade into full vapor lock. It was fainting couches, damp cloths and powders all around until they could get their composure back and attack the defector.

Slate's DoubleX column engaged a coven of feminists to tell us all exactly why Palin wasn't one. I would be hard pressed to come up with a better example of leftist conformism, or the uniquely feminine capacity to be shrilly judgmental, than that.

Kay Hymowitz wrote an article, Sarah Palin and the Battle for Feminism. She noted feminist reactions to Mrs. Palin:

But “calm and collected” are not the words that come to mind to describe the feminist response to the governor from Alaska. The young feminist Jessica Grose, writing on the popular website Jezebel just after the Republican convention, was—well, we’ll let her describe it: “When Palin spoke on Wednesday night, my head almost exploded from the incandescent anger boiling in my skull. . . . What I feel for her privately could be described as violent, nay, murderous, rage.” Grose’s readers left more than 700 comments, according to the late New York Sun, including one from a reader who wanted to “vomit with rage.” Other haters damned Palin as a traitor to her sex or an “insult to women,” as Judith Warner spat in the New York Times. “Turncoat bitch!” the comedian Sandra Bernhard railed in a performance caught on YouTube. “You whore in your cheap fucking . . . cheap-ass plastic glasses and your hair up!” Writing on a Washington Post blog, Wendy Doniger, a Hinduism specialist at the University of Chicago Divinity School, topped them all: Palin’s “greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman.”

So, yes. Feminists do claim to speak for all right thinking women. In the Marxoid sense, of course.

[Minnow:] It is after political, economic, and social equality and equivalent freedoms with men …

"social equality" and "equivalent freedoms" cannot possibly be in the same sentence. Unless, of course, you think that women and men are equal in every regard.

Good luck with that.

Jeff Guinn

[Steve2:] Would she be happier following the usual feminist advice and going out to work and putting the kiddies in a nursery? She doesn't think so.

[Minnow:] Is she pleased to have the choice? Have you asked her? Would she prefer you to make these choices for her?

[Minnow:] If anyone wants to gauge Delingpole's grasp of science, here is talking to an actual scientist. It is fun.

At the risk of derailing this thread …

The question put to Delingpole was completely off point. It ran so wide of what climate "science" actually is that only co-religionists could fail to see it. Argument by analogy is almost always a mistake: it is very likely to both be mistaken and to confuse. Just so here. It is astonishing that your "scientist" could pose that analogy with a straight face. It is so wrong, inappropriate, and foolish that the only one bemerded by it is the bozo asking the question.

Yes, BTW, those are scare quotes, and here's why: in order for something to fall within the realm of rational inquiry — which is what science is — that something must have deductive consequences. Naturalistic Evolution is a scientific theory because, in order for it to describe reality, certain things must follow: the Earth must be very old; reproductively isolated populations must diverge; heritability must be particular, etc. IIRC, Evolutionary theory has something like 28 such deductive consequences.

What are climate "science's" deductive consequences? I'll bet you can't name even one.

To wit. Climate "science" assured has long assured us that the models sufficiently mimic the actual climate that they can discern the impact of increased CO2, and therefore predict the consequences.

Then reality bit. Global temperature has flatlined for more than a decade. If it continues to do so for no more than another five years, then every model will have been shown completely incompetent; by now, only almost all of them are.

Well, the answer is obvious. The deep oceans have been absorbing the heat.

Okay, fine. Let's take that as read. Doing so, unfortunately, means that the basis for selling warmenism was completely wrong. Every model, which is what passes for science, completely left out a factor so huge that it canceled out every model's prediction.

AGW isn't science, it is religion.

David

dicentra,

10) Huffiness... I found a desire to be in pain constantly, so as always to have something to protest,

I have noticed a tendency to cultivate anger or at least the pretence of it, however incongruous, or to miss its absence, as if it were a credential, something to display. As one of Laurie’s groupies put it, “I kind of long for the pure, uncomplicated political anger I felt in my early twenties. Anger now is… complicated.”

As a mood of choice, a way one might wish to feel an awful lot of the time, it’s a little odd. Not exactly congenial to clarity and moral proportion.

Though maybe that’s the point.

Jeff Guinn

(I really need to re-read before posting …)

[Minnow:] Is she pleased to have the choice? Have you asked her? Would she prefer you to make these choices for her?

My wife left a teaching career to stay home with our two kids. Her choice. Whenever I heard her talking about it to her women friends, those who couldn't do that, everyone of them, expressed envy.

Nearly all of the women I know would far rather be inwardly directed: queen of their domains and full time mothers when their kids are young. Which doesn't come as a surprise to those of us who believe in evolution. Yet feminists denigrate the very things that are innate to female nature.

That is part and parcel of leftist thinking, of course. To progressives, blank slaters all, there is no such thing as human nature.

Here is the nearly unspeakable truth. Women, compared to men, are highly specialized. There are a great, great many things men can do that women either can not, or will not. There are exactly two things women can do that men can't, and one of them is, thanks to men, optional.

Feminists will not take that on board.

(For the record, my wife is pleased to have had the choice. I know, because I asked. She is perfectly happy to have me deal with all kinds of things for her: car and house maintenance; paying bills; doing the taxes; figuring out why the computer is doing that; etc.)

JL

While I concede that feminism has won some worthwhile battles, all the low-hanging fruit of patriarchal oppression was plucked long ago, at least in progressive western societies, and today's feminism has to invent absurd slights to crusade against, or invent false fronts (e.g. sexual assault on US campuses).

As for the supposed "rape culture" I see little evidence of that where I live. The incidence of rape in democratic western societies is probably the lowest it has been in any time in human history. While rape is deplorable, so are many other violent crimes.

As others have observed, there doesn't seem to be much attention given to the status of the sisterhood in, um, most middle eastern countries.

Finally, a questions for Minnow: would you agree with Dworkin's characterisation of marriage as "legalised rape", or do we just tippie-toe around the ridiculous pronouncements to get to the "good stuff"?

Minnow

It is a fine book (though I don't remember there being much in it about Emer-style 'defunct social mores').

Thanks for the corrections, memory can be so treacherous. There is a fairly lengthy discussion of postcolonial and similar approaches to Shakespeare in the book, the best I have read. Worth taking another look.

Minnow

Absolutely. The feminist hatred of Margaret Thatcher - and it was pure, dripping hatred, not just criticism or disagreement - seemed to be amplified because she was a woman.

Feminist attitudes towards Thatcher were divided. Some hated her, others praised her mightily. Julie Burchill for example was a Stalinist, a feminist and a massive Thatcher booster. Teresa May is another feminist who is no Thatcher hater. There are many more. Some of them are men.

Minnow

No, true. But they are all mostly communists.

A quick trip to the Middle East will disabuse you of this idea.

Minnow

"social equality" and "equivalent freedoms" cannot possibly be in the same sentence. Unless, of course, you think that women and men are equal in every regard.

I do think that men and women are equal in every regard, just as I I think white men and black men are equal in every regard. Don't you?

Minnow

For the record, my wife is pleased to have had the choice. I know, because I asked.

Amazing what you learn when you ask. I am glad she has the choice too. That is thanks to feminism.

Minnow

Finally, a questions for Minnow: would you agree with Dworkin's characterisation of marriage as "legalised rape", or do we just tippie-toe around the ridiculous pronouncements to get to the "good stuff"?

Being a feminist does not commit you to agreeing with everything that every other feminist has ever said. It's like being a Republican, or anything else.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Greeting Minnow!

I'm not sure if you're old enough to remember the 1980's, but no... no... just, no.

Feminists weren't divided at all on Mrs Thatcher. You've cited two fringe dissenting opinions, one from a sometimes delightful controversialist who wrote for the Daily Mail, and one from a Tory MP.

Granted, opinions on the great lady have mellowed somewhat since she left office 24 years ago and has since died, but while she was in office feminist reactions to her were much like the recent hate campaign against Sarah Palin.

Thank God we didn't have social media in the 1980's.

"you can't be a Conservative and a feminist, because it's all about equality and fairness" - Harriet Harman

JL

Thanks for clarifying: we do indeed tippie-toe around the ridiculous pronouncements to get to the "good stuff".

Minnow

Feminists weren't divided at all on Mrs Thatcher. You've cited two fringe dissenting opinions, one from a sometimes delightful controversialist who wrote for the Daily Mail, and one from a Tory MP.

They were. I have cited two opinions from two opposing 'wings' of feminism, but we could find many more. It is salience bias that makes you think differently.

Minnow

Thanks for clarifying: we do indeed tippie-toe around the ridiculous pronouncements to get to the "good stuff".

No, it is as I said. You can be a feminist and not think that everything every feminist has said is right. In that regard feminism is the same as, er, everything. In fact you will be obliged to disagree wit some things because feminism, like every political movement, is full of disagreements. I don't think this is a difficult idea to grasp.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Hi Minnow -

You are a card. So there's a Thatcherite wing of feminism now? :)

http://cdn.meme.li/instances/300x300/52841624.jpg

svh

Feminist attitudes towards Thatcher were divided. Some hated her, others praised her mightily... There are many more.

Half a dozen supportive quotes from lefty feminists of the time should be easy to find then.

Tom Foster

Minnow,

Thanks for the corrections, memory can be so treacherous.

You're welcome. Why, by the way, do you think the title 'horrible'? (Either the correct one I provided or the one you thought it had…)

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Svh - I think I've found them.

http://cdn.meme.li/instances/300x300/52841764.jpg

Minnow

Half a dozen supportive quotes from lefty feminists of the time should be easy to find then.

Lefties at the time did not generally support Thatcher (with exceptions like Julie Burchill). But feminists like Louise Mensch, Gillian Shepherd, Teresa May etc are not always of the left. So there was a divide.

Minnow

You're welcome. Why, by the way, do you think the title 'horrible'? (Either the correct one I provided or the one you thought it had…)

It sounds like the title of one of those 'best bits of Shakespeare' bathroom books or a piece of silly tub-thumping Shakespeare-industry stuff. Bate is well aware of the problem obviously.

Tom Foster

Jeff,

And they resort to the most bizarre contortions of logic and abuse of statistics to justify themselves.

Speaking of which, did anyone spot this, from the Guardian a few days ago?

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/17/tackling-the-gender-gap-is-simple-pay-women-more-money-end-of-story

Basically, having ignored all those tiresome statistics that seem to show the 'gender pay gap' may be a little more complicated than hitherto assumed, Ms Robertson has decided that the 'problem' has to be solved by simply paying women more. Now.

There is a solution to the gender pay gap in Australia, and possibly the world… Here it is: we simply pay women more money. Whether we do this by reducing women's tax burden, providing them with an income supplement, or allowing women to personally shake down their male colleagues until an appropriate amount of change falls from their pockets, I don't mind.

She does, to be fair, also say:

Of course, this kind of action sounds ludicrous to most people.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Tom Foster - or allowing women to personally shake down their male colleagues until an appropriate amount of change falls from their pockets

But what if you're already married?

I do love the dialectical gymnastics of the pay gap myth though. It's like global warming, no amount of actual evidence is enough to deter a true believer.

So there are these evil capitalists, right? Who want to make all the money. Women earn less than men, because sexism. Therefore, why isn't female unemployment at zero and male unemployment much higher? Because the evil capitalists also hate money and would rather oppress women than hire cheap talented workers. Or something.

Anyway, this is all a terrible problem - it just is - and the solution is to give feminists money. Because cat treats and Buddy Holly glasses don't come cheap.

Rob

"A 'post colonial theorist' and assistant professor of Irish Performance Studies"

LOL

JL

Hey Minnow, since "Being a feminist does not commit you to agreeing with everything that every other feminist has ever said", can you name a feminist that you do, generally, agree with so we can discuss her?

How about Greer, since you implied near the start of the thread that her radical views were now pretty much mainstream?

Patrick Chester

David wrote:
I have noticed a tendency to cultivate anger or at least the pretence of it, however incongruous, or to miss its absence, as if it were a credential, something to display.

So... they're Sith?

Minnow

JL, I agree with a lot of what Greer has said but I find her recent mysticism a bit of a turn off. I like Caitlin Moran. What she says generally makes sense to me. I like Julie Burchill too, although I often disagree with her conclusions she is usually right about everything on the way to them. But as ith anything else, the thing is to find ideas that you think are right, not leaders to follow.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Rob -
You're on my enemies list!

Minnow

But as with anything else, the thing is to find ideas that you think are right, not leaders to follow.

Actually, not event that. Ideas you think are interesting or useful.

Jeff Guinn

[Minnow:] I do think that men and women are equal in every regard, just as I think white men and black men are equal in every regard. Don't you?

Not being blind to reality, of course I don't.

Other than equal before the law, I can't think of any particular regard where men and women and women are anything like equal.

So we can have equivalent freedoms — equality before the law, or social equality, but not both. That is where the coercion to obtain outcomes nature will not provide comes in.

[Minnow:] Amazing what you learn when you ask. I am glad she has the choice too. That is thanks to feminism.

You do realize you are pushing hard on an open door, don't you?

Of course she is glad she has the choice. She also resents that mainstream feminism has long and loudly denigrated that choice.

[Tom Foster:] Speaking of which, did anyone spot this, from the Guardian a few days ago?

I try to get around, making sure I take in viewpoints with which I don't agree. Even granting inherent generosity towards my intellectual compatriots, I don't think I ever see anything from the individualist/conservative/right that is nearly as addled, insulting to logic, divorced from reality, blinkered, or self-satirizing as what routinely issues from the collectivist/progressive/left.

The clip Minnow directed us to indicting Delingpole is just one example. The "gotcha" question was an absolute insult to logic, so divorced from reason that Delingpole was left slack jawed. Only a progressive could find that dispositive in anyway. Anyone else who hasn't been completely deprived of reason would see that as nonsense on stilts. Surely you do, Minnow, right?

Just so with the Guardian travesty. It is wrong on so many levels that there aren't enough hours in a day to get through them all. Here is the ultimate irony: progressives, by definition, are entitled, through their brilliance, to tell all the rest of us how to live our lives. Yet so often their utterances plumb stupidity's Stygian depths; this woman shouldn't be out of the house unsupervised. (One example, of which I have only first hand knowledge to go on: in my occupation, women earn exactly the same amount as men, but make considerably less. That dribbling fool can't begin to ascertain the difference.)

Jeff Guinn

(David, sorry, I gooned up a tag. My head hangs in shame.)

Oh for the love of all that is good and holy, when will I learn to use Preview?

Patrick Brown

"allowing women to personally shake down their male colleagues until an appropriate amount of change falls from their pockets"

We already do that, to the extent that women spend about four times as much money as men, despite earning a little less. Women earn less because they can afford to, because we have have extensive formal and informal systems of redistribution of wealth from men to women.

As for "rape culture", that's just the latest feminist attempt to re-phrase "all men are rapists" in such a way that people will actually accept it. The last attenpt was "Shroedinger's rapist", which didn't catch on because only nerds knew what it was referring to, and they all pointed out that it wasn't a very good analogy to the "Schroedinger's cat" thought experiment.

Minnow

So we can have equivalent freedoms — equality before the law, or social equality, but not both. That is where the coercion to obtain outcomes nature will not provide comes in.

We can have both. You haven't explained why you think that is impossible. Women and men are equal in every regard. Why do you think they aren't? Of course women and men are not the same. But then, neither are any two men, but we consider them equals, morally and politically.

Nature won't provide, period. That is why, thankfully, we do not live in a natural state any more.

Minnow

The clip Minnow directed us to indicting Delingpole is just one example. The "gotcha" question was an absolute insult to logic, so divorced from reason that Delingpole was left slack jawed.

It wasn't a 'gotcha' question. Delingpole was arguing that consensus is irrelevant in science while the Nobel-prize-winning scientist was arguing that it isn't. That was the subject at hand. Nurse presented a simple and obvious analogy to make his case and it was immediately clear that Delingpole had never before considered the question. If he had, he would have had a response. In other words, it was obvious that Delingpole had not for a moment considered the meanings of the words he was using and was just parroting something he had read somewhere on the interwebs. I actually felt sorry for Paul Nurse in that clip, he had obviously expected a fight with someone with a bit of heft and then was left looking like he was beating up a toddler. He was clearly embarrassed.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - Women and men are equal in every regard.

Then how can women be oppressed?

Mission Accomplished, feminists. Your work here is done. :)

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - "It wasn't a 'gotcha' question."

Nah, it was bollocks.

There's been no recorded global warming since 1997, despite rising CO2.

Case closed.

You can argue how many climatologists can dance on the head of a pin all you want, but planet Earth has made fools out of all the warmies.

Minnow

Then how can women be oppressed?

I think you have mistaken 'equal' for 'the same'. I consider black people and white people to equal in every regard, for example, but I still consider the black population of the USA to have been oppressed in the slave era.

Minnow

There's been no recorded global warming since 1997, despite rising CO2.

Yes there has:

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

Tom Foster

Oh dear Lord. The Guardian is just keeping them coming…

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/22/thomas-the-tank-engine-children-parents

Tom Foster

PS. The author of the above Thomas the Tank Engine article is 'a fellow at the The Opportunity Agenda' where she 'researches and writes about the intersection of social justice and pop culture.

Thought you ought to know.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - so you're likening the status of Western women - who are among the most privileged people in the history of the world - to the institution of slavery?

Oh dear.

Yes there has

Nope:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/files/2014/06/newchart.jpg

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/us

http://cdn.meme.li/instances/300x300/52844793.jpg

Minnow

Can you think of a more gruesome existential nightmare than being a sentient train?

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Can you think of a more gruesome existential nightmare than being a sentient train?

Watching a Spanish TV show from the 1970's and concluding we have a rape culture? :)

Minnow

And, yes there has:

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

ajf

F*ck your blog comments get boring when Minnow is involved. Really boring. Love the blog though :)

Minnow

Watching a Spanish TV show from the 1970's and concluding we have a rape culture? :)

I mentioned it as one example among thousands that indicated that there had been a rape culture. But I am guessing that you don't consider 'dagos' as you call them count as having a culture? Or something?

Minnow

Minnow - so you're likening the status of Western women - who are among the most privileged people in the history of the world - to the institution of slavery? Oh dear.

No, I was just pointing out, by analogy, that there is no inherent contradiction in considering two groups of people as equal even while one group is oppressed by the other. These really aren't difficult ideas.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Tom Foster - love it!

Thomas and those friends are trains that toil away endlessly on the Isle of Sodor – which seems to be forever caught in British colonial times

The bastards!

For one, these trains perform tasks dictated by their imperious, little white boss

He's white?!? Crucify him!

Hatt orders the trains to do everything from hauling freight to carrying passengers to running whatever random errand he wants done, whenever he wants it done – regardless of their pre-existing schedules.

Fascist!

Hatt has to scold one of them about being a "really useful engine", because their sole utility in life is their ability to satisfy his whims.

Remember, we're talking about cartoon trains here.

Yeah, because I want to teach my kid to admire a controlling autocrat.

They *hate* controlling autocrats over in Guardianland.

thee good engines pump out white smoke and the bad engines pump out black smoke [...] – it's not hard to make the leap into the race territory.

Cartoon trains, on a programme for small children.

James is mortified that he has to travel while pink and proceeds to hide from all the other trains along the way. When he's caught, the other trains – including Thomas – viciously laugh and mock him.

She should've put trigger warnings on this. My mascara is running.

Last year, the British Labour shadow Transportation Secretary even called out Thomas for its lack of females

TV show aimed at little boys is aimed at little boys shocker!

saying that the franchise setting a bad example for girl wannabe train engineers everywhere.

http://cdn.meme.li/instances/300x300/52845533.jpg

What? Is it 1882? I'm worried Commando comics set a bad example for girls who want to fight in WW2.

At first blush, Thomas and his friends seem rather placid and mild. And there are certainly a lot worse shows in terms of in-your-face violence, sexism, racism and classism.

He-Man: ableist, sexist and promotes violence against talking skeletons.

Thundercats - Racist. Snarf represents the comedy black step n' fetchit. Also subtle anti-Arabic bias in the portrayal of Mumm Ra.

Wizbit - big talking KKK hat.

Mysterious Cities of Gold - neo-colonialist celebration of European conquest.

Joan

"My daughter Nora… loves the trains, and Thomas has reached iconic stature, so I felt bad when I made her stop watching it."

http://feministmomstudies.com/2014/05/18/toxic-thomas/

Mr_Eugenides

I am, for once, lost for words.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/22/thomas-the-tank-engine-children-parents

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Joan - that's even better than the Guardian article :)

Mr_Eugenides

Ah, I see others have found this magnificence before I. No matter. Let's share.

Tom Foster

Mr E,

Ah, I see others have found this magnificence before I. No matter. Let's share.

The comments are particularly enjoyable. I liked, 'Peak Guardian. It has been reached.'

David

Oh dear Lord. The Guardian is just keeping them coming…

That one was just too good not to highlight with a page of its own. Cheers, Tom.

theophrastus

I am on the right wing of politics - and a climate change sceptic - and I like this blog. But when I see people praising James Delingpole, I tend to despair. Up to a point, JD is great fun; but he will convince no-one to change their voting patterns or ideas. He is an ideologue, preaching to the converted. And even UKIP (currently, home of protest votes - after the collapse of the LD and BNP) rejected him as a candidate. Whatever happened to nuance??>

David

‘Tis Eugenides. Greetings, sir.

Thornavis.

theophrastus

You have a point but the problem is that the warmists have captured the agenda, they try and exclude all dissent and the whole CAGW narrative is running their way because of that. Delingpole helps draw attention to the fact that there is another way of looking at this. There is nothing wrong with ideology, everyone who thinks about the world has one, progressives like to pretend that they don't that they are in fact strict utilitarians only concerned wit the facts, which they somehow have a unique understanding of, people like Delingpole help to expose that as the self serving bullshit it is.

Jeff Guinn

[Minnow:] We can have both. You haven't explained why you think that is impossible. Women and men are equal in every regard.

No, they aren't. And the hint is in your own statement: women should have equivalent freedoms, and social equality.

Here is where your responses are completely trite. Unless you prefer a great many words where a few will do, there is a difference between "equivalent freedoms" and "social equality".

"Equivalent freedoms" is, like all individualistic negative concepts of freedom is easily understood.

"Social equality", being a collectivist positive assertion is completely opaque. Just exactly what do you mean by the term "social equality"?

In the West, women and men have equivalent freedoms. Indeed, women in almost every regard have more freedom than men.

Where it is impossible to have both at the same time is to presume what you have yourself negated, that freedom and equality are the same thing. But if they aren't, and your separating them rather suggests that even you don't think they are, then complete freedom and complete equality will happen by sheer cosmic coincidence.

Your assertion amounts to saying there is absolutely no difference worth discussing between members of teams estrogen and testosterone. Pro tip: avoid putting yourself in a position where you are having to prove a negative.

A couple weeks ago, I was rebuilding the rear suspension on one of my cars. At one point, it involved having to move a 90 pound differential from the floor beside me into the subframe two feet above me.

Number of men strong enough to do this? Millions. (US only; your country's strengthage may vary.)

Number of women with more upper body strength than a 59 year old man? Hundreds. Maybe.

Unequal. You should have more sense than to pose an argument that relies upon an absolute. It only takes one contradiction to bring the whole rickety thing down.

Delingpole was arguing that consensus is irrelevant in science while the Nobel-prize-winning scientist was arguing that it isn't. That was the subject at hand. Nurse presented a simple and obvious analogy to make his case and it was immediately clear that Delingpole had never before considered the question.

Fallacy one: the accuracy of a description of objective reality is dependent upon the number of practitioners that believe in it. Fallacy two: argument from authority. Fallacy three: argument from a fallacious analogy. Fallacy four: playing the man, not the ball.

Not bad for two sentences.

Delingpole is right, and you would be a fool to argue otherwise. Reality doesn't give a fig for how many "scientists" believe in it.

Nurse's analogy was staggeringly stupid, Nobel-prize or not. For those who haven't plodded through this tendentious nonsense, the analogy that Delingpole is presented with is a cancer diagnosis, and a consensus decision as to how to treat it. On what basis can Delingpole reject that consensus? Clearly none, since he doesn't have the expertise. Yet Delingpole feels justified in contradicting the consensus of climate scientists who (conclusion without argument) possess expertise. This is a contradiction.

No, it is utter bollocks. You must be familiar with the statistical concept of n, sample size. Regardless of Delingpole's hypothetical cancer, the sample size is at least in the tens of thousands, a historical baseline upon which we can statistically consider the various treatment options and outcomes. Somehow, this is analogous to the climate science "consensus" of eventual transient climate response and equilibrium climate sensitivity.

The sample size of which is exactly zero.

I'll repeat: when speaking of consensus, only a fool or ideologue will analogize a situation where the sample size is in tens, hundreds, or thousands of thousands with one where n=nil, nada, zip, zilch, squanto. That is why Delingpole never considered the question, because he isn't foolish enough to ponder it in the first place.

This points out the glaring problem with arguments from analogy. Unless they are exactly analogous with the problem at hand and simplify the problem, they are either useless or misleading. In this case, Nurse, despite winning a Nobel in some damn thing or another, and having no small amount of time to think of it, trots out an analogy so ridiculous as to qualify as a non sequitur.

And that is even before getting to what constitutes n for the consensus, or what, exactly, the consensus agrees upon. I guarantee that you know neither one of these handy pro tips, just as you can't possibly provide a list of warmenisms deductive consequences. Why? Because you never considered this fundamental question, and no matter how much you might suddenly ponder it, there aren't any.

The moment someone tosses argument from analogy onto the table, it is time to reach for your wallet, or your gun.

I'm embarrassed for you that you swallowed this whole.

As for Nurse, I'm not embarrassed for him in the least. That the man thought this hypothetical appropriate marks him as either a fool or a scoundrel.

Jeff Guinn

Steve2:

I wish I could be half as funny in a year as you are in a comment.

You humorplutocrat bastard. I demand humor equality!

Jeff Guinn

Joan:

I couldn't help but notice this sentence from your link:

Since [the female train coaches] are not engines, they are literally taken in whichever direction the male engines choose.

Feminist mom has a thing or two, at the very least, to learn about how trains work.

Minnow

Your assertion amounts to saying there is absolutely no difference worth discussing between members of teams estrogen and testosterone.

That's right. If you think it is wrong, you should say why. The thing about lifting heavy weights? It means nothing. Some men can do it, some women can. All you are saying is that there is a lot of variance between humans in things like physical strength. Sex is irrelevant. We are individuals not guassian distributions.

Minnow

Delingpole is right, and you would be a fool to argue otherwise.

Delingpole is wrong. It took Paul Nurse less than a minute to show how and render him, literally speechless. It was a humiliation that I think Delingpole should have been spared, Nurse had obviously been poorly briefed as to who he was. In the same room as Nurse, Delingpole looked rather, well, care in the community.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Jeff Guinn - thank you, you silver tongued devil, you :)

Re: the James Delingpole "gotcha" and Sir Paul Nurse's cancer metaphor.

I think it would have been more apt if Nurse had said:

So what if you were diagnosed with prostrate cancer, and a bunch of homeopaths and witch doctors said you should have both your arms and legs amputated, and spend a fortune on highly diluted herbal infusions? And you had to do this RIGHT AWAY because they told you the time for debate was over? WHAT WOULD YOU DO, DELLERS???"

Because even if we accept the Stern Report in full, even if we ignore the inconvenient truth that global warming stopped nearly 20 years ago, the "cure" being offered is worse than the "disease".

We're being asked to destroy our economy and eviscerate our children's living standards, not to stop global warming, but merely to slow it down for a few years. That is madness.

theophrastus - I understand that JD isn't everybody's cup of tea but criticising him for not doing nuance is like complaining that Black Sabbath aren't a country and western band.

He's not running for President of the Sensible Slippers Society or editor of Pipe and Beard Monthly. He's a raucous, irreverent, punk-rock writer - more like H.L. Mencken or H.S. Thompson than Bill Deedes.

He's very good at being himself and I hope he keeps at it. It takes different strokes to move the world.

Minnow

Because even if we accept the Stern Report in full, even if we ignore the inconvenient truth that global warming stopped nearly 20 years ago, the "cure" being offered is worse than the "disease".

Well, that is a different question, what follows from the facts of AGW. But don't run away with the idea that Global Warming has stopped. You yourself linked earlier to a website that shows it has not.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - Sex is irrelevant.

Sorry, you'll have to try harder to top Racist Thomas the Tank Engine.

Minnow

I find it very odd when people find qualities in people that are invisible to me, but never odder than hearing Delinpole called 'irreverent'! Really? I think he is the most determined toady and forelock-tugger in the public prints and surely that is what he sells himself as. Loud-mouthed and bumptious, yes, but irreverent? I don't think that is part of he schtick.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - well, it shows surface temperatures appear to be on a downward trend. The ocean data may or may not contradict that, bearing in mind ocean temperature data is inherently less reliable.

I guess the lesson here is that the stories about us all frying due to human CO2 emissions were bollocks, and the world's climate is a lot more complex than simplistic scare stories about carbon would have us believe.

But keep saying otherwise if it pleases you. You don't think there are any important differences between men and women and think random Spanish TV shows from the 70's are full of important lessons, so believing in imaginary climate gods punishing us for our lifestyles isn't the oddest curio in your mind box.

I saw an episode of Tales of the Unexpected where a man turned into a giant bumblebee, so now I'm worried about bee culture. :(

Thornavis.

But don't run away with the idea that Global Warming has stopped.

So what ? Even if it hasn't, which is highly debatable, the amount of warming we have had in the last 15 years or so is not what was predicted by the models, we were told that those models, based on the understanding that recent warming was man made, would predict something that hasn't happened. This suggests either that the models are useless or that the suppositions on which they were based were wrong or possibly both. Then there is the problem of where the measurement of recent warming starts, the chosen start point makes a considerable difference to the outcomes. How does anyone really know that the warming of the last thirty years or so is significantly affected by human activity when the data is so affected by such things as cyclic fluctuations in the climate, measurement sites and the long term bounce back from the LIA. That's even before we begin to untangle the question of the Sun's affect on short term climate variation. It seems perfectly plausible that adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere will have a warming effect but by how much and over what period are not certainties at all. Yet as Steve says we are busy dismantling our power supply system and spending billions in the process whilst letting Green fanatics and their political and corporate chums stifle debate on the matter. Science my arse, I've lost all respect for organisations like the Royal Society which has just become an activist mouthpiece and people like Nurse are every bit as partisan and driven by political agendas as any so called denier, they are listened to far more were it matters though which is doing neither society or science any favours at all.

Thornavis.

I saw an episode of Tales of the Unexpected where a man turned into a giant bumblebee

I could live with that, a short life but not a bad one, flitting from flower to flower sucking sweet nectar. Have to be a drone of course, let the women and minnow do all the work I say.

Minnow

Minnow - well, it shows surface temperatures appear to be on a downward trend. The ocean data may or may not contradict that, bearing in mind ocean temperature data is inherently less reliable.

No, there is no downward trend. A pause, yes, but there have been many if you look at the graph for the last 50 years, and dips too. But the trend is up. The oceans meanwhile heat up vigorously.

You don't think there are any important differences between men and women and think random Spanish TV shows from the 70's are full of important lessons

I think women and men are different in some respects but are nonetheless equal. It's not such a hard concept to get the hang of. It's like black people and white people. Yes, there are obvious differences, but, no, one group is not inferior to the other, whatever they may tell you at the golf club.

As to the evidence of TV, Spanish or otherwise, yes I think it tells us a lot about who we are. It is made by people, you see, people with ideas.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Thornavis - bees are a great template for leftist societies. They're matriarchal, the male drones have no penises or stingers, and they all live in a worker's collective.

What's not to like?

Minnow - oh dear, this is becoming embarrassing for you. I once saw Hulk Hogan beat up a wrestler who was dressed as a chicken and it was less one-sided than this.

Do you know why surface temperatures - and not ocean temperatures - are used as the most important metric for measuring climate change?

Obviously not.

If the oceans are warming and the surface is not, what does that tell us about the climate models on which the global warming scare is based? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? It tells us the models on which the science was settled are wrong.

"Wrong" is a term used by clever people to denote the opposite of right. As in:

Did you see where that guy Minnow said sex is irrelevant? My God, he couldn't be more wrong if he turned up at an interview to become a primary school teacher, dressed as Jimmy Savile and wearing a "Rolf's Cartoon Club" badge.

And no, you silly goose. The differences between male and female humans or any other type of mammal are not like the differences between black people and white people. There are minor differences in skin pigment and other superficial features between the races. There are significant differences in biology and psychology between the sexes.

If you paid more attention to your 1970's Spanish soap operas you might have picked up some clues about that. But I recommend learning about these things the fun way, by getting to know women IYKWIMAITYD.

Ten

Deep Oceans are Cooling.

Ten

17,000 years of climate change.

karen straughan

@David (sorry if this is a repost--"typepad encountered an error" while I was posting, and lord only knows where my comment went. So glad I'm anal about copying comments before hitting "send")

while all kinds of political movements attract nutters, some seem to attract nutterdom more than others. Among some, there’s a particularly acute in-group dynamic, in which competitive extremism establishes one’s credentials as “radical” and “authentic.”

I don't think that feminism is any more prone to a "radicalism = authentic" paradigm than any other ideology. All groups based on an ideology that polarizes will find the entire body leaning toward the crazy end of the spectrum, due to simple group psychology. Hell, you even see this in dog/cat breeding. The American Kennel Club describes an ideal pug as having a characteristic pushed-in face, and all of a sudden breeders are in competition to churn out puppies with the MOST pushed in face, to the point where the poor things end up wearing oxygen masks and apnea alarms when they sleep at night.

The primary danger of feminism is that we humans are arguably ALL feminist to a degree. A study on automatic own-group preference by gender found that over four experiments, all other things being equal, women "preferred" (read: sided with) women over men 4 out of 4 times, and men "preferred" women over men 3 out of 4 times. Women are FAR from neutral, and men are also far from neutral, and guess what? Neither of them have any mechanism that bolsters a gender preference for men.

Given the gendered behaviors of our closest primate relatives (chimpanzees), none of this is particularly surprising. In fact, in light of it, I'm surprised human males are as nice to each other as they are.

However, there is hope. The system cannot sustain itself. Whether feminism brings on cultural collapse, or is merely a symptom of the decadence and complacency that tends to lead to cultural collapse, I'm almost positive the anti-gun, "soon to demand trigger warnings on trigger warnings because the word 'trigger' is triggering", "muh preshus feelz!" crowd will likely be the first to succumb to people not afraid of hitting people who might actually hit back (or who, god-forbid, own guns), or their own lack of stomach to put a worm on a hook.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBVjbYMG6dE

Minnow

If the oceans are warming and the surface is not, what does that tell us about the climate models on which the global warming scare is based? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? It tells us the models on which the science was settled are wrong.

We don't yet know which models will be best. That is how it is in science. Sometimes, in really complex areas, it never settles permanently. What we do know is that we are seeing unprecedented levels of warming and this is, almost certainly, due to CO2 emission by human beings. It may comfort you to pretend this isn't true, and you mat prefer to take James Delingpole's word for it ahead of every climatologist on the planet, but there it is.

There are minor differences in skin pigment and other superficial features between the races. There are significant differences in biology and psychology between the sexes.

You are quite wrong. Again. There are significant differences between the races that go far beyond trivial pphenotypical difference because of significantly different selective pressures - just ask Stephen Pinker if you don't believe me. But that tells you no more about their status relative to one another than it does the sexes. There is no biological reason to decide that one sex or race is inferior to another. I know you may prefer to think differently and there will be someone on the internet who will tell you that you are right - perhaps James Delingpole - but you are still wrong.

Jacob

Karen,

Thanks for the great work on Girl Writes What.

Minnow

However, there is hope. The system cannot sustain itself. Whether feminism brings on cultural collapse, or is merely a symptom of the decadence and complacency that tends to lead to cultural collapse

Predictions are hard, especially about ... etc, but the one thing we can be sure of is that Spenglerish 'end of civilisation' prognostications will be wrong. They have been for 3,000 years already. My guess is we will end up with fewer guns and less sexual harassment and it will be OK.

WTP

Steve2 et al, it knows as much about climate science as it knows about Georgia yellow jackets. The entity you are dealing with is fundamentally, quintessentially incapable of grasping that there are things it is incapable, itself, of understanding. It's a recursive loop inside an endless loop.

And on top of that, you are arguing with such a being regarding a subject that itself, similar to much of macro economics, has been demonstrated time and time again to be significantly lacking solid numbers that are measurable by the tools of man to provide the level of detail required to form significant actionable knowledge on the subject. You are heading far, far into the woods. Are you sure you have enough bread crumbs?

David

Karen,

Welcome aboard. Help yourself to liquor and nibbles.

to the point where the poor things end up wearing oxygen masks and apnea alarms when they sleep at night.

An image that calls to mind many of the identity politics warriors who’ve been noted here. The ones who are emotionally crushed by nail polish colours, corrected punctuation, racist hair and such.

dicentra

bemerded

OMG! Did you coin that? It's wonderful!

dicentra

So... they're Sith?

If only.

That would reduce their number to two.

Minnow

Steve2 et al, it knows as much about climate science as it knows about Georgia yellow jackets.

Yes, I made the fatal error of basing my understanding on the work of dozens of entomologists with decades of study instead of person-on-the-internet-who-really-really-KNOWS.

Thornavis.

I think what everyone finds so annoying about you Minnow is that you never tell us what your qualifications for pronouncing so authoritatively on these subjects are. We've no reason to imagine it's any more than looking stuff up on the net either, yet you come along and make vague reference to various authorities and then tell the rest of us we are ignorant and prejudiced. The only subject I've seen you provide some reference to which suggests some involvement in was that work on Shakespeare and even then you got the title wrong it seems. I'm guessing that the arts are your area of knowledge, nothing wrong with that but unless you have some real qualifications in entomology or climate science you're unlikely to be any more knowledgeable than any one else here, maybe less so. Perhaps you are actually Caroline Lucas whose knowledge of Elizabethan poetry apparently entitles her to be taken seriously on the subject of fracking.

WTP

No (God help me, I can't help myself), the problem lies...and pay attention here as this has broader implications that, God willing, will make your head explode...in that you made the fatal error of basing your bloviating ignorant pronouncements on your egotistical misunderstanding that you actually had some superior knowledge of the subject being discussed; yet still in the face of numerous OTHER persons on the internet chiming in with similar direct contradiction to your BS, you continued to insist you were far more knowledgeable on the subject than people who had first hand experience and thus (probably still think) you were right.

Try this on for size. All of us humans have had to do so on occasion..."Yes, I made a stupid mistake. I assumed that I knew more than I possibly could, and I was wrong. It wasn't the first time and, provided I live a to see the sun rise tomorrow, it won't be the last. Perhaps I should consider this in the future in regard to subjects far more complex in which I lack any expertise whatsoever." It might even save your life one day.

Jeff Guinn

[Minnow:] That's right. If you think it is wrong, you should say why. The thing about lifting heavy weights? It means nothing. Some men can do it, some women can.

When talking about things like social equality — BTW, when you use that term, what the heck do you mean? — it is by definition an aggregate term.

That thing about heavy weights does mean something. If you are in stadium filled with 25,000 men and 25,000 women, there will be a few women stronger than a few men, sure. That also means that almost no women are stronger than any man. There are a lot of characteristics in which the distributions have very little overlap.

In terms of mechanical reasoning, the mean of the female curve is one standard deviation below the male mean. If the male mean is considered the minimum for a good mechanic, then few women qualify. Because of this difference, the individuals who become mechanics will be almost exclusively male.

Aggregates, whether societies or occupations are aggregates of individuals. When you say sex is irrelevant, despite the almost endless number of ways in which characteristics are highly correlated to sex, then what you are saying is that despite all those differences, and the profoundly different survival challenges males and females have faced over time, that evolution stopped at the neck.

There is a great deal of nonsense residing in the left, but this has to be right at the pinnacle. Male and female bodies are profoundly different, but their brains are exactly the same.

Bollocks, pure bollocks.

Delingpole is wrong. It took Paul Nurse less than a minute to show how and render him, literally speechless.

I described to you how Nurse's analogy was completely false. Unless you can show otherwise, then Nurse's question wasn't an analogy was a non sequitur. Unfortunately you won't — your response will be more overworked crickets — because you can't.

Also, you are playing the man. That Delingpole didn't have an answer to hand doesn't mean there wasn't one.

If Nurse had the decency to provide his questions ahead of time, a good Delingpole response would have consisted of six words: Club of Rome, Limits to Growth.

Also, I note you still haven't provided even one deductive consequence that must be true in order for CAGW to be true.

That means CAGW is not a scientific theory. You realize that, right?

But don't run away with the idea that Global Warming has stopped.

How many more years does the increase in global temperatures have to stop before judging all the climate models incompetent?

What we do know is that we are seeing unprecedented levels of warming and this is, almost certainly, due to CO2 emission by human beings.

Download Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. About midway through the first volume he talks about climate change in Europe during the time of the Roman Empire, based upon contemporary descriptions.

You might want to be a lot more careful when using the word "unprecedented."

OMG! Did you coin that? It's wonderful!

Yes (blushes).

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