Watermelons – by James Delingpole

I don’t need to actually read this book in order to criticise it because James has very kindly summarised its content perfectly on his blog. (So no simple dismissals, please, on the grounds that I have not read it). Unfortunately, for anyone objective enough to investigate, every single one of the completely stupid things which he there invites readers to imagine might be true can in fact be found to be false on any number of scientifically-literate websites. In James’ amoral fantasy world, there is no cause and effect; no right and wrong. In his revisionist utopia, there is no right or left; there is only right and green. However, as someone once said, “all generalisations are wrong; including this one!” Therefore, even if environmentalism may be seen by many as a left-of-centre entity (although some scholars such as Roger Scruton and John Gray would challenge even this assumption*) it is ridiculous to suggest that all environmentalists are socialists in disguise. All sparrows may be birds; but not all birds are sparrows! In point of fact, it is much more likely that, as the German Green Party suggested in the 1980s, “Greens are neither left nor right; they are out in front!” Therefore, no matter what Amazon may think (or people may say), I am not attacking the messenger (who undoubtedly has a perfectly good English degree from Oxford); I am attacking the message (which is totally without any legitimate foundation). However, given that James is always trying to be funny, accepts he is incapable of reading peer-reviewed scientific literature, and admits to being ideologically prejudiced against taking environmental protection seriously (i.e. as a “libertarian conservative“), it would be a very dangerous thing indeed for anyone to mistake as serious, sensible, or objective, anything said by James Delingpole in this book. It is utterly infantile in its misconception of reality; and dangerously so. Therefore, I hope it is an absolute unmitigated commercial failure; our planet certainly deserves it to be. * See Scruton’s Chapter on ‘Conservatism’ in Dobson and Eckersley’s Political Theory and the Ecological Challenge (2006); and Gray’s 2nd edition of False Dawn: the Delsuions of Global Capitalism (2009)


About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Economics, Environment, James Delingpole, Limits to Growth, Merchants of Doubt, Scepticism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Watermelons – by James Delingpole

  1. Rick_Altman says:

    I have posted this review on Amazon.com (paperback edition) and on Amazon.co.uk (kindle edition). Even with the parentheses in paragraph 1 added, a potentially-valid criticism of this review would be that I have only alluded to evidence to back up my hypothesis (rather than presenting that evidence). However, that does not mean the evidence or the websites do not exist and, in any case, as Ben Goldacre says in Bad Science, “You cannot reason people out of positions they did not reason themselves into” (page xii [2009 paperback edition]). Therefore, I would almost certainly be wasting my time (as if I am not doing so already) if I was to bother to elaborate further.


  2. Pingback: Green Politics in a nutshell | Anthropocene Reality

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