'Every year climate science seems to get less sure until I want to shout 'Just vanish back into obscurity until you've got a handle on this mess! Go on, go to your room and don't come out till your predictions last longer than it takes the ink to dry on them." '

Jun 29, 2013 'TinyCO2' commenting at Bishop Hill


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Devil waits for his own: what Burns might have penned for the Green Lords of today

This being Burns Day, I will mark it with an extract from one of his poems in which he imagines the devil (Beelzebub) looking forward to an aristocrat coming to join him in due course after a long and healthy life.  Burns was addressing some Lords, and one in particular, who objected to some poor highlanders trying to escape their poverty by emigrating to North America in 1786.  He hoped that these folks would find someone like George Washington to help them achieve their aims and escape from those Lords who would prefer to keep them under their control.  He hopes there will be no equivalents of the prominent Lords  (North, Sackville, Howe, Clinton) who fought against Washington’s cause - American independence.

Address Of Beelzebub
Long life, my Lord, an' health be yours, 
Unskaithed by hunger'd Highland boors; 
Lord grant me nae duddie, desperate beggar, 
Wi' dirk, claymore, and rusty trigger, 
May twin auld Scotland o' a life 
She likes - as lambkins like a knife. 
Faith you and Applecross were right 
To keep the Highland hounds in sight: 
I doubt na! they wad bid nae better, 
Than let them ance out owre the water, 
Then up among thae lakes and seas, 
They'll mak what rules and laws they please: 
Some daring Hancocke, or a Franklin, 
May set their Highland bluid a-ranklin; 
Some Washington again may head them, 
Or some Montgomery, fearless, lead them, 
Till God knows what may be effected 
When by such heads and hearts directed, 
Poor dunghill sons of dirt and mire 
May to Patrician rights aspire! 
Nae sage North now, nor sager Sackville, 
To watch and premier o'er the pack vile,
An' whare will ye get Howes and Clintons 
To bring them to a right repentance 
To cowe the rebel generation, 
An' save the honour o' the nation? 
They, an' be damn'd! what right hae they 
To meat, or sleep, or light o' day? 
Far less - to riches, pow'r, or freedom, 
But what your lordship likes to gie them? 

The rest of the poem, with a plain English version alongside, can be found here.

Well the ‘Lords’ nowadays are the leaders of the big green NGOs such as the WWF, with useful lords attendant such as Pachauri and Gore.  And those they would deny ‘meat, or sleep, or light o’day’ are the world’s poor, most especially those in the developing countries.    Paul Driessen tells their story

And, of course, nowadays, as back then, we have good and decent, and real, Lords too.  Not least Lord Lawson and Lord Monckton.  I feel sure Burns would have wanted to support the GWPF and the SPPI!  

Note added 04 June 2013  More Lords distinguishing themselves in this area.  Newly-accessioned Lord Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, and of many other powerful presentations and articles.  Lord Donoughue for sustained Parliamentary Questioning of the Met Office.  Lord Lipsey for calling the bluff and bluster of a prominent Guardian alarmist. 

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