Nine years later, and deeper in debt

It’s nine years to the week since my first posting on ThinkorSwim went live – on the last day of November 2007. It was, in many ways, a different world. The mood was radically different too. For starters, the Greens were in government, holding both the Environment and Energy & Communications portfolios. The needle was moving alright; you couldn’t quite see it but you could sense the palpable energy for change.

While not exactly mainstream, green was certainly in vogue. The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report had been delivered earlier that year in a blaze of overwhelmingly positive publicity. The huge success of Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ a year earlier seemed to have struck a real chord with public and media alike. And the dismal failure of the Copenhagen Summit and the Climategate hoax were still two years in the future.

I kept a scrapbook that year of newspaper clippings, mostly from the Irish Times and Sunday Tribune, on climate-related coverage, and by late November, it was bulging. Expert contributors included the late great Dr Brendan McWilliams and of course the indefatigable Prof John Sweeney. The overall editorial tone was, viewed in hindsight, surprisingly serious and business-like. The contrarians and outright deniers were then rarely seen. They were, as it transpired, lying low as the prevailing tide swept a stream of positive coverage along.

Even better, from the tail end of 2007, the conclusion of the wretched two-term Bush presidency was in sight. And while Barack Obama was still at that time a relative ingénue, the public appetite for hope and change was building into a political tsunami that would sweep the corrupt, war-mongering and science-denying Republican Party from power in the US within the year.

My opening post was entitled ‘Wind of change finally reaches Ireland?’ and it focused on the launch of a Government climate communications strategy, which, unlike today, was not just pious ministerial waffle, but was backed up with hard cash, and plenty of it:

Gormley’s €15m climate awareness campaign kicks off in the new year, and is slated to run for two years. Let’s hope the money is well spent. There is a mountain of disinformation and ignorance (both wilful and genuine) out there to be scaled before this issue can be tackled in earnest. In simple terms, how can we mobilise people to solve a problem that many still don’t think even exists? From that standpoint, attacking public apathy and indifference and challenging the ‘business as usual’ mindset seems like the smartest move.

Of course, the website is long gone, as is any coherent attempt on the part of government to actually offer leadership to the public on climate policy or communicating the need for climate action in the first place. This has made it easy for special interest groups, from Bord Na Mona to the IFA and IBEC, to drown out the (extremely limited) media space allocated to environmental affairs.

I gave a talk to a primary school 6th class a few days ago about environmental issues; one of this students earnestly asked me what was she and her fellow students were supposed to do – she said they heard nothing about this on the radio or TV, and next to nothing in her day-to-day life. Surely, she implored, “the adults should be telling us what to do, and helping to fix this problem right now!” In truth, I had no answer. In truth, we are bombarded hourly by a monsoon of advertising telling us that transport equals private cars and that shopping and travel are the well-worn paths to happiness and self-fulfilment.

It is an appalling betrayal of these children that our generation, not satisfied with wrecking the natural world and plunging into unpayable ecological debt along the way, won’t even have the decency to give them the information to make informed choices about the profoundly changed world that awaits them.

Back in 2007, both RTÉ and The Irish Times actually had full-time Environment corrs on staff, Paul Cunningham and Frank McDonald respectively, both serious reporters with a clear grasp of climate science and a good degree of status and editorial leeway within their respective organisations.

Fast forward to today. The Irish Times left the post go unfilled on McDonald’s retirement almost two years ago, and even locating the ‘Environment’ section on their otherwise excellent website requires serious sleuthing skills. As for RTÉ, the post was – eventually – filled by George Lee, who, despite having no background whatever, has done a creditable job getting up to speed on the Environment beat.

However, the powers-that-be in Montrose split his brief with the far higher profile Agriculture corr role. No prizes then for guessing where Lee is obliged to focus the bulk of his time and energies (when not flitting off to make TV series that indulges his true passion – interviewing people with loadza money).

Back in the tail end of 2007, few had any inkling of the economic chaos that was about to engulf Ireland and much of the world. As Ireland teetered on the brink of financial collapse, all longer-term thinking was scrapped in the scramble for solvency. First overboard went the fledgling strategic thinking on sustainability and energy security the Greens had smuggled into government earlier that year.

Obama’s election in November 2008 was, amid the gloom, a beacon that a better world was, after all, still possible. That light flickered and faded during his two terms, but it certainly remained on. Until, that is, the early morning of November 9th last, when, in a political calamity even more devastating than the Brexit fiasco earlier this year, the American public committed a form of collective hara-kiri.

In choosing demagogue Donald Trump, the world’s most powerful state has placed an unstable, dangerous kleptocrat and his crony network of racists, xenophobes, pirates and bigots at its controls. It is no exaggeration to say the only parallel to be made involves the Nazis’ power-grab via the levers of democracy between 1931-33.

The Wall Street crash of 1929 destabilised societies all over the world, including Germany, but the march of the fascists was, tragically, enabled by those who, for a host of reasons, chose to stand idly by. “The Communists openly announced that they would prefer to see the Nazis in power rather than lift a finger to save the republic”, wrote historian Alan Bullock. There was no one to lift a finger when the Nazis came to purge the Communists, and then so many more.

Many people, this writer included, were underwhelmed with Hillary Clinton as a potential US president. However, had I the opportunity to vote, I would have swam a mile at sea to ensure I cast a ballot in her favour. Given the clearly stated intent of her opponent to upend democracy, crush the free press, cosy up to tyrants around the world and abandon his allies to their fate, to do otherwise would have been to abet the likely destruction of democracy in America – and beyond.

Yet, vote suppression notwithstanding, that’s exactly what between 10 and 12 million of the citizens who supported Obama twice did when they stayed at home this time, leaving the field clear for a coup via the ballot box. Already, many are openly wondering if there will even be elections in 2020.

What are the odds of this vile administration concocting a latter-day Reichstag Fire as a cover for forcing through an emergency decree suspending the Constitution, outlawing all political opponents and shutting down the free media? If this sounds fanciful, bear in mind that Turkey’s democratically installed dictator, Recep Erdogan has shown how to get clean away with it, since suppressing a highly suspicious ‘coup’ earlier this year.

He has used this excuse to ruthlessly purge tens of thousands from the military, police, media, education, civil service and judiciary. Anyone, in other words, who might ever be able to stand up to a dictator. To believe this could never happen in America is to engage in precisely the kind of delusional reasoning that, up until November 8th, reassured us a thug like Trump was 100% unelectable.

Back in 2007, atmospheric CO2 levels had hit yet another all-time high, weighing in at just under 385ppm. This year, it’s well over 400ppm, and climbing inexorably, now at the rate of almost 3ppm every year. Humanity’s wriggle room for avoiding a calamitous +2C global average surface temperature increase has narrowed drastically, while the door has effectively slammed shut on any hopes of keeping below the +1.5C ‘guard rail’ referenced just last December at the Paris COP21 conference.

With annual human-caused emissions now running at between 35-40 billion tonnes, close to a third of a trillion additional tonnes of CO2 has been added to the global atmosphere since that first post just nine years ago. And all this, remember, with the scientific community screaming in our ears that we had no time to lose in rapidly peaking and then sharply cutting our carbon emissions. Failure to do so locks in an unstoppable climate calamity that will radically diminish the conditions of life on Earth for millennia to come.

World population back in 2007 stood at 6.6 billion. Another 800 million humans have been added since then: that’s the equivalent of the entire population of the EU and the USA. In the same period, over 700 million acres of the world’s rainforests have been torn down. As these unique habitats burn and fall to the plough, some 135 plant, animal and insect species are vanishing every day – that’s around 50,000 species a year, or nearly a half a million species in just the last nine years.

In reality, our monstrous assault against life itself shows little sign of abating. The climate deniers and contrarians have had a field day spreading truthiness and cherry-picking crumbs of data to befuddle and confuse long before Trump et al. took the art of lying with confidence and without consequence to the heart of the political system.

As if to deliver the coup de grace to the Age of Reason, Trump let it be known that he was considering shutting down NASA’s entire climate science programme. This would, at a stroke, tear out the eyes and block up ears of much the global scientific community, as NASA’s huge array of Earth-facing satellites are a primary source for much of what we know about the global climate system.

So, nine years, 303 blog posts and around 250 newspaper and magazine articles totalling somewhere north of 600,000 words later (a typical novel is some 80,000 words long, by way of comparison), what have I learned? First of all, I’m genuinely in awe of the scientists on the front line, especially those who do the tough, mainly thankless but absolutely critical ‘boring science’ of taking measurements, repeating, checking, and then checking again.

Next, as a journalist looking at this from the outside, I am beyond appalled at the flood of disingenuous rubbish put out by armchair experts and keyboard pundits suggesting some vast conspiracy among practising climatologists in pursuit of grants or glory is so much at odds with the reality of the lives of senior scientists.

When you consider how personally stressful so many scientists find coping with the shocking reality of what their work actually means for us all, having to also fend off the shills, egoists and knuckle-draggers must add hugely to their burden.

I wonder how long cossetted propagandists like James Delingpole would last doing actual work, like collecting samples of penguin shit on ice floes, or retrieving weather data from a station up the side of a mountain. Or squeezing between shifting icebergs in rubber boats, or doing lab work on a research vessel as it pitches back and forth in heavy seas; putting in 16-hour shifts to get the work done while the window of opportunity presents. (for a brilliant account of the day-to-day realities of climate science, I’d recommend Meredith Hooper’s book, ‘The Ferocious Summer’, published back in 2007).

Day after day, year after year, the scientific community does the largely thankless, unseen work of bringing basic facts to the rest of us. It can hardly be blamed if, armed with ample physical evidence, we still fail to act. Without them, we would be not-so-blissfully ignorant of the crisis that now threatens to engulf humanity in an existential predicament without precedent and, ultimately, perhaps, without a happy ending.

Maybe my single take-home is that climate change is tough to tackle, but ultimately nowhere nearly as tough as human change. In the words of the great naturalist, EO Wilson, “change will come slowly, across generations, because old beliefs die hard even when demonstrably false”.

Our tragedy, and the great tragedy for our living planet is that this is time we no longer have.


ThinkOrSwim is a blog by journalist John Gibbons focusing on the inter-related crises involving climate change, sustainability, resource depletion, energy and biodiversity loss
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17 Responses to Nine years later, and deeper in debt

  1. dave kiernan says:

    thank you for this John and thank you for mentioning the extra 800million human beings on our planet since 2007.

  2. John Gibbons says:

    Thanks for commenting Dave. Population, in my view, is a threat multiplier. Affluence, overspending and mindless consumerism among many of us in the ‘west’ creates far more ecological impacts than the vastly simpler, less extravagant lives of people in the global south. But equally, population is one potent element in a proverbial witches’ brew of toxic challenges we all face. I’m not in favour of demonising one group versus another, especially singling out the poor and blaming them for our greed. We need to transfer aid and technologies to the poorer parts of the world to speed up their own demographic transition. That, as well as standing up for the rights of women and girls to an education and to delay first pregnancy, would be enormously helpful. JG

  3. David Sprott says:

    John, I share your concern and indeed depression with the state of politics generally and the negative impact on our collective response to climate change. I also note your posts re media non engagement, political short-term and sector protection focus.

    However if we step back a moment and look around, there are huge changes afoot. The automotive (and the entire transport) industry is focused on self driving vehicles, and we can expect to see substantive realization in the coming decade. Broadband speeds around the world are increasing by orders of magnitude. And while the USA may have a negative position on climate science, China is working aggressively to become a world leader in many aspects of non fossil fuel energy usage. There are more examples. The question to ask is why the gap between the USA (and many other countries such as Ireland, UK etc) and China, and why is the transport industry reinventing itself?

    I believe the answer is pure economics. After nearly a century of basically linear development the transport industry is in a competitive arms race to deliver the next generation capabilities. And self driving doesn’t nearly encapsulate what’s happening. It’s about shared assets, massive cost reduction, and convergence of digital, communications and entertainment with transport. China is about market competition and population concerns over pollution (which is an existential issue for the government). The telecomms industry is again pure competition, but eventually it will deliver convergence with digital and VR, enabling massive reduction in the need for transport.

    SO WE HAVE TO STOP TALKING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE!!!!! And quite frankly stop scare mongering. Remember Brexit – the scaremongering of the Remainers basically killed their case. No one wanted to know. We have to focus on economics, education, technology and competitive positions between countries and enterprises. We have to identify opportunities for making life better for ordinary people, reducing the cost of living, reducing time spent in traffic jams, reducing disease, and providing a positive message. I know you will say, “we are out of time”. But I say to you, that’s another challenge; we need to find ways not just to over achieve on emission reduction, but also to mitigate the effects of climate change, either directly or indirectly by protecting society.

    Speaking of which, I suggest we need to relabel Climate Change Science. Candidates? 22ndC Society or something similar. What I might suggest is a competition for schools in Ireland (or worldwide) to come up with a better name and vision.

  4. John Gibbons says:

    David: “I believe the answer is pure economics”…”SO WE HAVE TO STOP TALKING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE!! And quite frankly stop scaremongering”.

    ‘Scaremongering’ means whipping up irrational fears based on false information. Climate science gives us very good, science-based reasons to be scared, but to label that as scaremongering is factually incorrect. You open by stating that you share my concern “and indeed depression”.

    If, as you suggest, you do indeed understand the implications of climate change, you will also be aware of the global biodiversity crash, mass extinctions, ocean acidification, pollution, reef bleaching, the Arctic disappearing in real time and western Antartica on the brink of collapse, plus ecosystems all over the world in freefall.

    In the light of the above, you’ll have to remind me what this sentence actually means: “The telecomms industry is again pure competition, but eventually it will deliver convergence with digital and VR, enabling massive reduction in the need for transport”. Anyone who thinks the latest consumer toy (VR headsets) is on the cusp of revolutionising anything is, I would suggest, missing the point entirely.

    You’ll also be aware of the five stages of grief: can I suggest you’ve found yourself stuck in Bargaining. The idea that more technology and more economic expansion is going to magically solve the existential problems wrought by technology and endless economic expansion is, I would suggest, delusional.

    Also, given that climate change is barely spoken about in public, rarely makes it into our media and even more rarely onto the front pages, and given our politicians, industry leaders and most of civil society are pretending it’s not there, what an odd time indeed to scream: ‘SO WE HAVE TO STOP TALKING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE!!’ Given your stated concern for making life better for ‘ordinary people’, let’s start with the people living in the Global South, the ones already bearing the brunt of climate impacts they did almost nothing to create. I assume you’re in favour of massive transfers of wealth and technology to assist them in coping with the mess we’ve made?

    Finally, don’t worry re. mitigation of the effects of climate change: we’ll have to do lots of that, as well as drastically reducing emissions in the hope of staving off a calamity. I’m left wondering how your ‘pure economics’ is going to cope with, for instance, a rapid 2-3 metre global sea level rise resulting from a mega collapse of an ice shelf in western Antarctica or Greenland? Will our new wave of self-driving vehicles need to be amphibious as they navigate through our ruined coastal infrastructure, sunken ports and semi-abandoned cities?

  5. David Sprott says:

    OK, I accept scaremongering is OTT. My primary concern is no different to your own; but the current approach of talking up doom and disaster is clearly not working – notwithstanding increasing evidence. Whereas focusing on solutions that have a compelling economic case has to make sense.

  6. 4som says:

    Dear John,

    Why undermine the substance of informative journalism with sensational scaremongering re Trump and analogies to Nazi era Germany (Godwin’s law?). Why provide a link to a site like citing old data, when decrying the cherry-picking of data (*Newsflash* Clinton received ~3 million more votes than Obama in 2012 and ~1 million less than in 2012). And after nine years of preaching climate science and blogging over 600,000 words, how can you have no answer for a child asking what they should do? I think David Sprott’s criticism fair, your focus is negative and not on solutions.

    P.S. Have you read, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”? Perhaps Donald Trump is on to something.

  7. Eric Conroy says:

    Well done John on all your articles since 2007 – they are always good reads and well written, spiced with acerbic barbs. Keep up the good work!

  8. Coilin MacLochlainn says:

    John, – You remind us that your first posting was in November 2007. As it happens, that was a month or so after the demise of Brendan McWilliams, the Irish Times columnist on things weather-related, whom you describe in your piece as ‘the late great Dr Brendan McWilliams.’

    Yes, he was certainly an excellent interpreter of weather and an excellent science communicator who explained complicated weather matters, from clouds to hurricanes, in a way anyone could understand. I relished his articles.

    However, I felt Dr McWilliams was an Irish Times columnist who toe’d the (then) editorial line and resisted acknowledging the existence and existential danger of climate change. I would put him alongside others who held out for a long time, such as Dick Ahlstrom and William Reville, and contributors who remain in denial, like Ray Bates, who are ‘post-truth’ writers we really cannot trust, or John Fitzgerald, formerly of ESRI, whose agenda is not yet clear but remains worrying.

    But to return to Brendan McWilliams, the columnist and author who passed away in October 2007. Almost two years earlier, in December 2005, I wrote to him asking could he explain a weather phenomenon to me. I had observed an increase in storm activity in November and December every year and I asked could this be a result of climate change. My evidence was slight: a window panel, which I habitually left open to let in some fresh air, had begun to bang shut repeatedly every November and December because of gale-force winds; it was a development that worried me.

    Dr McWilliams, to his credit, did reply to my email, but not with the answer I expected. He rather emphatically stated that the November gales could not be attributed to climate change.

    I left it at that, but I suspected he was bluffing. Certainly, in the years that followed, the November gales increased and the season of strong winds extended, until the November gales were happening through December and into January. People will remember these storms as they coincided with massive flooding and the erosion of coastlines. I have no doubt that the newly-extreme early-winter weather was related to climate change.

    Oddly enough, after more than a decade of annual early winter storms, it seems that global warming’s impact on Irish weather may now be entering a new phase, as this year we went through November and December so far without any major storms. And we are getting abnormally high temperatures for winter. I think this is probably because the jet stream has shifted north this year, but I can’t be sure. I am happy the storms have not arrived (at least not yet) but I suspect this is part of a new phase in the warming.

    Anyway, my point is that Dr Brendan McWilliams tried to disabuse me of any notion that climate change was occurring, and I could not forgive him for that very obvious deceit. Ever.

  9. John Gibbons says:

    @Coilin I never met or interacted with Brendan McWilliams, so can only judge him by his writings, which included some very solid stuff on climate change, so I have no reason to think of him as anything other than science-based. You mention your exchange with him 11 years ago, and his choosing not to attribute the weather conditions in Ireland at that time to climate change.
    My understanding is that the science of attribution of weather events to underlying climate is still quite new, and only in recent times have bodies like the UK Met Office (as in Storm Desmond last winter) been prepared to attribute it at least partly to the underlying climate signal. I would not blame McWilliams back in 2005 for being very guarded in his comments. Scientists are, after all, skeptical and cautious by nature; they tend to hold off on making strong statements until they are damn near certain. This might frustrate you and me, but that’s how science works, and why, ultimately, we find the scientific method so reliable.

  10. John Gibbons says:

    @Eric Many thanks for the kind comments. Happy to keep on plugging away, and good to hear some people may find it useful.

  11. John Gibbons says:

    @4som First off, I’m always a little cautious about commenters who hide behind anonymised email addresses and don’t even attempt to sign their names. I’m well aware of Godwin’s law; unlike you, I do not find analogies between Trump’s insurgency and the rise of other totalitarian leaders at all far-fetched. Sorry you didn’t like the provenance of my link re. Clinton’s vote. Here’s another, from the BBC this time, you may prefer. Clinton got a lot of first preference votes and should have won this election, but she came up well short of Obama in 2008 and just short of Obama in 2012.

    Re. your comments about my ‘preaching’ climate science, again, you are entitled to take that view. I was trying to be honest in saying how difficult I find it to explain to kids just what an unholy mess our generation has left for them. If that makes me negative, fair enough, I’ll accept the charge. Re. ‘solutions’, it’s quite likely there are no solutions as such to the climate crunch. It’s best thought of as a predicament, rather than a problem. Predicaments have outcomes, problems have solutions. Yes, there’s still lots we can do to reduce the rate and speed at which things get worse, but ‘solutions’ suggest we can turn off or reverse climate change and the biodiversity crash, when this is clearly now beyond us. Realistic, science-based ‘solutions’ would demand the western world, starting today, decarbonise at the rate of 10% per annum, next year, and for every year thereafter, for the next 30-40 years. This would mean the end of consumerism and the growth-based global economics model. Still think any government or population is ready for those kinds of ‘solutions’? Me neither.

  12. Coilin MacLochlainn says:

    It would appear that most governments and many people are not ready for transformational solutions, but perhaps it is because everything is framed by what will happen ‘by the end of this century’ or ‘if we exceed 2°C in global warming’ averaged across the globe.

    Maybe if everybody understood that what happens in this century, while unimaginably awful, is nothing compared to what will happen in the centuries that follow, given that 2°C will tip us into runaway or irreversible climate change with inevitable increases to 4°C, then 6°C, by which time most of the planet will be inhospitable to humans (and most other animals and plants) and we will spiral towards extinction. The only way of saving the human race (and most other species on the planet) is to fix things now. Devote all of our resources to fixing it. And keep going like this for decades, centuries, whatever it takes, to restore a habitable planet. We can’t just throw our hands in the air and say, “Well, people won’t like it, governments won’t do it.” It is the most critical issue in the entire history of the human race. We cannot give up.

    At the local level in Ireland, we have to get Enda Kenny and the rest of government to transform agriculture from its fossil-fuel guzzling, carbon-intensive system to one that is entirely agro-ecological, a system that will store carbon in the soil while providing the food we need. That is the first and most critical step, because not only will it reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture significantly (which currently accounts for 30% of our greenhouse gas emissions), it will also introduce a resilient low-carbon agriculture of the kind we will need at local level throughout the country if we are to have any hope of feeding the nation in the future, when the global supply chains grind to a halt.

    Aviation will be the first to collapse, and while shipping will continue at a low level it will increasingly be a slow, wind-and-sail operation. This is assuming that industrial civilisation itself survives at all, even at a much reduced level, and that is a big ‘if.’

  13. John Gibbons says:

    @Coilin Can’t disagree with broad thrust of your analysis. We humans however have a very high innate ‘discount rate’ regarding possible negative outcomes in the future, and study after study shows we tend to trade short term gain for long term pain. That’s likely an evolutionary tic, since our ancestors lived very much from hand to mouth, day to day. Time spent contemplating the distant future meant food not on the table, enemies not overcome and mates left unattended.

    Even though our societies now have access to the best analytical and forecasting technology in all of history, having the information and choosing to act on it remain two separate matters. Agree entirely about the urgent need to retool agriculture in Ireland, for no better reason than providing for our basic needs in terms of food and shelter are our most critical human occupations, and this has been lost in the rush towards a purely economic-based agri-industrial model.

    We need to bolster up local communities and agriculture focused on supply local, regional and national needs, not the whims of the export market. We will come to rue the time we didn’t spend re-learning self-sufficiency.

  14. 4som says:

    Thanks for your reply – you draw an interesting distinction between solutions and outcomes.

    Fwiw, claiming Clinton “got a lot of first preference votes and should have won” is akin to saying your football team had the majority of possession and won far more free kicks, or corners, or whatever other metric (other than goals scored), and therefore “should have won”.

    I stand corrected re the diffences between Clinton and Obama’s popular votes (NYTimes showed incorrect figures for Obama’s final totals in 2012, 2008), while the figues you drew upon for your blog posting were similarly out of date 😉

    In the end, it seems Clinton received more or less the same popular vote total as Obama did in 2012, but with a sizably smaller share, since total voter turnout was significantly up.
    2016-HRC: 65,844,610 =48%; 2012-BHO: 65,915,795 =51%
    While Clinton received approx 2.5 million less than Obama did in 2008
    2016-HRC: 65,844,610 =48%; 2008-BHO: 69,498,516 =53%

    Re: your response to Colin
    “…study after study shows we tend to trade short term gain for long term pain. That’s likely an evolutionary tic, since our ancestors lived very much from hand to mouth, day to day. Time spent contemplating the distant future meant food not on the table, enemies not overcome and mates left unattended.”

    I wonder what effect the secularisation of society has had on perceptions of long term timeframes. I’ve heard it said that Native American Indians weighed their actions in consideration of the consequences for 7 generations to come. Similarly, eastern philosophies emphasised reincarnation encouraging consideration of actions beyond one’s current lifetime. It could be argued that the deterioration of a spiritual perception (a sense of the interconnectedness of all things) is bound up in western societies’ self-centered myopia.

  15. Joe Caulfield says:

    Yep, and Turn 180 was formed in 2010. We did warn that underestimating us would be a mistake. Almost sick of winning at this stage. Roll on 2017.

  16. John Gibbons says:

    Who exactly is ‘us’ Joe? Are you now outing yourself as a fascist by any chance? I thought you were simply a climate denier. After all, fascists are the main group who believe they were underestimated this year. If so, at least your honesty, if nothing else, is to be commended.

  17. John Gibbons says:

    Hmmm, Joe, judging by your silence, I’ll take it my last reply was a little too close to the bone?

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