Saturday, 29 November 2008

Christmas card

The Christmas card industry is a foul and pestilential stain upon the good name of art, and a shocking waste of paper, but....perhaps you might like to use the above as an e-card. In the meantime please remember that Yule is a long way off yet, so knock all that cheeriness on the head, if you don't mind.

Virgin Suicides

As the available sites to despoil grow ever thinner on the ground, developers seek out environmentally sensitive areas to crap on. The beautiful island of Crete still has places left to profitably ruin, and the Virgin islands is also being targeted by those keen to wreck what little we have left. Richard Branson (he who would have us burn all available food in order to keep his airline and space-fantasy enterprises in profit) is funding a team of barristers to help save the island of Beef (oh yes) from development, so it doesn't obscure his view of heaven - which he can see from his porch. Mr Branson seems like a real curate's egg of a man.
The reefs and wonders around Branson's (and everybody else's) shores are rapidly turning to acid and will soon be sadly free of tuna.

This horrible tale (found on DotEarth) speaks for itself. It's not on the grand scale of the horrors of Mumbai, but is just as depressing in its own small way.

Throbgoblins International are no Tories, but it seems clear that the corrupt, stalinist scare-mongering, public flogging that has befallen Damian Green can't be defended at any level. It's Bush-ite.

Sellafield sweeteners and reckless public endangerment


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Sniping from the sidelines

With apologies for the poor timing

Throbgoblins International would like to point out that - by and large, for the most part, in any given circumstance - SHOOTING PEOPLE IS WRONG.

A lot of people might say that Frank is a bad example, and a poor excuse for an activist - as he is always so bad tempered and antagonistic. This may well be so.
Research suggests that we are much more pliable monkeys when we are patted on the head and spoken to kindly, or even offered nuts. We are but children, after all. Frank forgets this, and so do I. Maybe Frank can act as "bad cop". (this would be a good point to make a COP - Conference of Parties - gag, but I shall resist, lest we all feel cheapened.)

Thanks to Adam Corner, Rob Honey et al at Cardiff University

Barack Obama - will he? or won't he?

Ugliness abounds

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The public gets what the public wants (again)

The UK government wants us to buy as much seasonal tat as we can carry so that the economy doesn't go irredeemably bump untill just after the election. In so doing we might push the natural economy over the brink and plunge headlong into the abyss, but hey, it's christmas. Fill yer boots.
The American Fed pumps another 800 billion into keeping the ship afloat so we can plough full steam ahead into the iceberg field. The folks in first class insist upon it, and they have the captains ear. They also have him by the balls.

Meanwhile there is the usual mix of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Punishing Success

Having made such a fabulous fist of husbanding both the human and natural environments, our ruling elites have earned the privilege of picking up the tab.
They may threaten to leave the country if their wealth falls below "filthy", but fuck 'em. Where are they going to go?
Not that we plebs are innocent in any of this. Beyond the odd spot of (necessary) marching and the occassional lethargic vote we have largely confined our activism to pleading for bigger TVs and more beer.

I'm not a bunny-hugger by nature, but I'm against the convenient destruction of rabbits by farmers. Rabbits are only here in the UK because the Normans brought them here as a farmable resource. Shoot them and eat them, but don't destroy them. Throbgoblins International humbly suggests the establishment of secure "shoot your own" free-living warrens for the further Fernley-Whittingtall-isation of the nation.
How about bows and arrows for that extra element of chance?

Don't forget BUY NOTHING DAY - November 29th

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Fowl Play

This strip originally appeared in this months NEW INTERNATIONALIST magazine

The new McFly (Manchester Climate Fortnightly) is up and about and full of active goodness.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Visionary Genius

George W Bush is busying himself making the World safe for dengue fever and nuclear waste by dismantling environmental safeguards as fast as his little brain will carry him. Why wait for the end of the world when you can buck-wheats it today, at your own convenience?

Mutant malarial cockroaches riding enormous rats?

For a more positive view of what can be done, DotEarth has abundant links

("Buck-wheats" is a"Things to do in Denver when you're dead" reference - meaning a deliberately agonising execution.)

Barbarous apes revisited

This is a straight re-post because the song remains the same (it just gets louder).
The Guardian has a bunch of stuff on it

Meanwhile Humans dredge the bottom of the aquatic food chain to make absolutely sure that we've hoovered up the last morsel of everything edible anywhere and for ever. We're nothing if not thorough.

Thursday, 20 November 2008


Coke heads are destroying the planet. Yes. We know.

Our habit of tarmacing over the planet and decorating the ensuing car park with imported shrubbery is, apparently, not such a fabulous idea. And now we find we were expected to use cash from carbon auctions for green purposes! How could we know? What are we - psychic?

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Dead man's chest

"War-torn" is such a compact description, isn't it. It leaves out the economics and the politics and the machinations of great powers, and concentrates on the trauma in the here and now, as though it had sprung fully formed upon an innocent world.
So we watch the seizing of an oil tanker by desperate men from a failed state - whose climate and conditions get crueller by the year - and we imagine that it is not a portent of things to come, but an abberation in an otherwise purposeful, perfectable world. We choose not to look down the path from whence this monster came.

One of many links from today's extensive coverage, and another one not so well covered, and another BIG ONE - not for the feint hearted

Monsieur McCudgeon is sporting this year's must-have look - pirate chic. I think it suits him

Monday, 17 November 2008

Secret Gardens and Magic Beans

All very hush-hush, don't you know.
There is an open admission that the need for GM crops is (allegedly) so pressing because of the inevitable diversion of millions of tons of foodstuffs to biofuels. We will continue to be fat lazy fucks who drive to the gargantumart to eat shite on a stick, so there can be no other alternative but to mess with what's left of our biodiversity and then place it entirely in the hands of the highest bidder.

The ongoing bollocks that is the nuclear industry just gets more and more priceless. Not only does the industry massively underestimate the amount of safe storage facilities required - based on a basic muisunderstanding of their core business - but they screw a series of blank cheques out of the government and an exemption from public scrutiny via the freedom of information act. So we will be obliged to pay up when they fuck up, without the satisfaction of knowing when or where or how they fucked up, or how much it cost.

This Searaser looks good though


No matter how much manufacturers reduce the direct emissions of individual vehicles, (and putting the ethical and practical absurdities of biofuel aside) there is still the small matter of replacing the entire planetary fleet of cars and building and servicing the infrastructure and maintaining the disconnected living arrangements that the car habit encourages -for an imminent NINE BILLION people . This monumentally destructive endevour cannot be hidden behind a handful of hybrids and a lot of empty promises.
Kick the car habit.

This cartoon originally appeared in the NEW INTERNATIONALIST magazine

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Dreaming of electric sheep.

As people with more time than sense fantasise their lives/marriages/divorces away in cyberspace (whoops -hypocricy warning), millions are being made out of thin air. We are a gullible species, deceived (or otherwise) by the compelling narratives that we spin for ourselves. Perhaps we need a new one.
Coal is a case in point, wherein folks that scoff at AGW models fall headlong into the improbable sci-fi of perpetual CCS.

This video is, apparently, a youtube phenomenon. I am late, as ever. Very well done, though

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Crawling from the wreckage

Why pick on the SWP, you may ask. They are, after all, a reliable source of placards for all your protesting needs. They have pounced readily upon many a trussed and helpless crisis and munched on it to sustain their righteousness. Personally I prefer a little more substance, which I appreciate may sound hollow coming from a cartoonist. Imagine what all that energy could build if it didn't define itself purely in opposition to.......whoops, there I go again...

Right down to the level of insects and parasites the planet's ecology is crashing - undermining the whole network of interdependence upon which we at the apex entirely rely.
Maybe a little less random insecticide will be a start.

Meanwhile the big dogs of the caring (and energy) professions take ever bigger bites out of the nation's one good leg.
(This is also true at all levels of the NHS, which is an organisation infected with an ugly careerism of the "don't know, don't care" variety.)

Here's a repost to celebrate Chuckles's 60th birthday the other day

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Sow's ears

"Clean coal" is in the fine tradition of "friendly fire" and "eco-car". Horseshit, through and through.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Closing the Revolving Door?

President-elect Obama is to curb the influence of professional lobbyists in an effort to close the revolving door and clean up on Capitol Hill. It all sounds very Jimmy Stewart. Good Luck. It may seem mad to say so, but the oil industry's long ascendancy is clearly waning as its influence over the US fades and its epitaph is prepared. It'll be a long, slow going, though. Pity we left it so late.
Thanks to Craig Mackintosh for pointing this out to me

The Onion has this to say

Throbgoblins International salutes Miss Joan Pick. Frank may be sending her flowers.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Whilst the newly elected president of the Maldives brings up the massive issue of the resettlement of whole nations due to sea level rise, the UK panics over a more imaginary inundation, and limits non-EU immigration to ballet dancers and sheep-shearers. The Dutch, meanwhile, - in their great tradition of physical nation building - plan to build a hydro electric island in the north sea. The basking shark, amongst others, begins its long goodbye.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Status Quo

We are being warned of the threat posed by eco-terrorists, including - so it seems - the Kingsnorth climate campers. In an obvious attempt to head off the idea that direct action is legitimate - as was lawfully upheld in the case of the Kingsnorth six - the "security" forces seek to frighten would-be activists with the accusation of terrorism. This looks like the worst kind of cold war nonsense. I remember the tabloid stories about Spetznatz commandos at the Greenham Common Peace camp, which gave us all a good laugh and may even have fooled the odd half-mad ex-colonel or knuckle dragging flag-waver. This seems pure politics of the 40 minute WMD variety. I wonder where they actually draw the line that separates the extremist from the good compliant citizen. Only following orders, guv!

What might they make of the wild extremism of the Manchester Climate Fortnightly? It's out today. See for yourself. Be careful. You might make a difference.
Also out is the inaugural New Earth Rising from EI.

Meanwhile...we are offered nuclear sheds and genetically modified bees as General Motors threatens to go tits-up and we kill some mockingbirds

Friday, 7 November 2008

Crap Crunch

The plastics recycling industry is suffering from the economic downturn as a reduction in consumption reduces demand and depresses prices. Thus we are asked to defeat ourselves in order to save ourselves. We even eat ourselves ironically.

A lack of political will is blamed for lack of progress on the green tech front - a state of affairs to be addressed by Barack Obama and to be exploited by the contemptible BP (whose name of BRITISH Petroleum is entirely coincidental)

Hill Farmers have created some of my favourite landscapes, and are now facing the extinction that so many other ways of life have suffered. I'm not sure how well these particular arguments stack up - as they seem a little jumbled up with passing economics and self interest (isn't everything?). I'd appreciate any light anyone might be able to shed on this.

Here's some more nicely turned sobriety from the New Internationalist, after the drunkenness of the ascendency

Thursday, 6 November 2008

It's an ill wind

This cartoon is a last minute substitution.

Now that we've all been slightly re-energised by the unexpected good sense of the American people, this cartoon may seem inappropriate, but the problems haven't changed one iota, and inertia, capitalism and human nature remain the forces they ever were. But on we go, regardless of how hard the wind blows. (thanks to Marc Hudson again)

The inappropriateness may also be down to the fact that I've been offered a ticket to watch Manchester City vs FC Twente (cheers, Simon) so I'm off out in a bit. This means that today's unfinished topical cartoon will become tomorrow's (still) topical cartoon. It's funny. It contains bodily functions. You'll like it.

Appointing a new, dynamic, sane and competent captain for the Titanic seconds before impact is no cause for relaxation.


Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The changing of the guard

Even Cantankerous old Frank got caught up in the emotion of it all. We can choose to believe that we can choose to change.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Foreign Relations?

Shameless interference in the democratic electoral process of a nation to which I do not belong.

Alright, alright, I know. A politician is still a politician and there will be no revolution in the conduct of international affairs with an Obama Presidency. I receive variously tangential or plainly unhinged interventions in my in-box emphasising this obvious point and advocating a split in the democratic vote in the name of abstract political perfection. This is madness to me. The idea of a McCain victory is unthinkable to the vast majority of the planet, and would bring the deepest shame upon America and Americans. It's not a matter of dreaming of Camelot, it's a matter of holding off idiocy and oblivion.
I refused to believe, at the time, that significant numbers would vote for GWB and was thus taken by surprise by the naiivety of both the American electorate and myself when the mad little prick took office (with the emphasis on the took).
Surely it couldn't happen again?