My beef with Goldsmiths’ burger ban

Universities are turning from centres of free thought into factories of conformism.

Ben Pile

Topics Politics UK

There has been a lot of climate news this silly season. Amid the stories of Greta in a boat, Greta in a suit and, soon, Greta walking on water, this week we learned that Goldsmiths, University of London is banning the sale of beef from its campus. Goldsmiths’ other eco-initiatives include a 10p charge on single-use plastics, such as bottles and cups, a greater emphasis on climate change in the college’s teaching, and the campus will be entirely powered by green energy.

Professor Frances Corner, the college’s new warden, said ‘it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help deliver the step change we need to cut our carbon footprint drastically and as quickly as possible’. But if it really were true that Goldsmiths staff and students ‘care passionately’ about the causes being espoused, there would be no need to ban beef or introduce a levy on plastics. Customers at the college’s cafes would not be buying them, and before long they would have been withdrawn from sale due to lack of demand. Defenders of Goldsmiths’ petty green authoritarianism argue that it will create no hardship. Perhaps not. Beef-eating students can simply buy food from somewhere else in the area.

What the beef ban and these other edicts really signify is the tendency of institutions of all kinds to use ‘the environment’ as the pivot around which their roles and their relationships to the rest of us are transformed. Universities were once premised on the idea of a free exchange of ideas and independent research. But Goldsmiths’ new policies signal an expectation of both ideological and lifestyle conformity. This will run through the college’s administrative policies, the syllabus and the habits of its staff and students.

It is a weak-minded student that needs a ban to enforce what he or she already ‘cares passionately’ about. And it is a weak-minded student or professor that fails to interrogate the claim that the zealous observance of green fatwas will make any difference to the world. Weak-minded academics will diligently search for a casus belli for the war on meat, starting with the battle against beef. But they will be steered away from ever interrogating green ideology at work at Goldsmiths and across almost all of Britain’s public institutions. Universities have effectively become vegan sausage factories.

Those that can’t teach, preach. Worse, those that fear independence of mind, police. Environmentalism of the kind epitomised by Goldsmiths is only superficially about the environment. At issue is not the future of the planet, but the obedience of both students and the broader population to ecological diktats.

Academia has a new function. Its role in society has regressed – degenerated – to that once occupied by the clergy, when places of learning were centres of religious orthodoxy. Eschewing the Enlightenment, the environment (and other woke causes) now preoccupy researchers’ passions, allowing them to pontificate on the petty regulation of lifestyle rather than understanding the world and finding solutions to its problems.

In the green worldview and in green institutions, there is no problem that cannot be solved by obedience. Freedom is off the menu.

Ben Pile blogs at Climate Resistance.

Picture by: Getty.

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James Knight

15th August 2019 at 6:40 pm

Evidence free virtue signalling.

Jerry Owen

15th August 2019 at 4:55 pm

Didn’t Thunberg star in that film with Bruce Willis called ‘Sixth Sense’ ?
‘I see carbon’…. ah, no it was ‘I see dead people’ sorry wrong fiction.

gershwin gentile

15th August 2019 at 1:21 pm

If the sacrifice scene from Apocalypse Now isn’t enough to stop me eating meat, you really think some Scandie Elf Bint in their boat will?

Feeding young kids on a vegan diet will lead to a generation of cretins.

JPM Culligan

15th August 2019 at 2:05 pm

You realise that this may already have happened?

gershwin gentile

15th August 2019 at 2:32 pm

There certainly is evidence to support such a conclusion.

Ven Oods

15th August 2019 at 1:19 pm

“She can see carbon dioxide with the naked eye. She sees how it flows out of chimneys and changes the atmosphere in a landfill.”

…is not terribly different from claiming your great-great-great grandma spotted the Virgin Mary at Fatima or Lourdes.
Can’t be disproved, so why not take a punt?

Danny Rees

15th August 2019 at 12:36 pm

Kill all white men and banning beef.

Goldsmith’s sounds like a right fucking hoot doesn’t it?

Fuck’s sake, middle class trendy twats.

fret slider

15th August 2019 at 11:25 am

“and, soon, Greta walking on water”

Nope. You have to be more imaginative than that…

[“Greta was diagnosed as a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder and Asperger’s syndrome, just like her younger sister Beata. The activist also has a photographic memory. She knows all the capitals by heart and can list all the chemical elements of the periodic table within one minute. In addition, she has another gift according to her mother.

“Greta is able to see what other people cannot see,” writes Malena Ernman in the book.

“She can see carbon dioxide with the naked eye. She sees how it flows out of chimneys and changes the atmosphere in a landfill.”]

That’s how delusional the Church of Anthropological Global Warming and Latter Day Morons has become.

Ed Turnbull

15th August 2019 at 2:18 pm

Thanks for posting that, it’s priceless.

It’s also terrifying in that so many still attach any credibility to Thunberg, and her equally loony parents, in the face of claims that she can actually *see* a colourless gas. But then we’re living in Clownworld after all.

I’m minded of the words of Will Smith in the film “I, Robot”:

“Does believeing you’re the last sane man on the planet make you crazy?”

Bri -an

15th August 2019 at 8:29 pm

If you can “see” CO2, that must mean it isn’t ‘trapping’ radiation.
The GH Effect is total hokum but these ‘climatologists’ are so far up a gum tree the absolutely dare not look around to find a way out!

D Dom

15th August 2019 at 11:14 am

I agree that you shouldn’t force people to stop eating animals. But you shouldn’t need to use force or regulation – for most people it should be enough to stop eating them from a sence compassion.

Danny Rees

15th August 2019 at 12:34 pm

I have compassion…for the lovely taste of cows and chicken.


D Dom

15th August 2019 at 1:07 pm

“DANNY REES I have compassion…for the lovely taste of cows and chicken.

Most people would claim they have compassion for animals, so are either too lazy or ignorant to stop killing and eating them. In your case I guess you’re too funny to stop eating them.

Hana Jinks

15th August 2019 at 4:07 pm

We aren’t supposed to have “compassion” for animals.

You must be in the Fey-Squad.

Hana Jinks

15th August 2019 at 12:45 pm

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Genesis 1:28
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

D Dom

15th August 2019 at 5:35 pm

“We aren’t supposed to have “compassion” for animals.”

I’m sure some people, including yourself, have no compassion for animals, but who told you we (I presume you mean people) aren’t “suppossed” to?

Hana Jinks

15th August 2019 at 7:26 pm

I don’t have any compassion for animals. This is because l have an IQ higher than a goat. I do love them and treat them humanely, tho.

JPM Culligan

15th August 2019 at 2:08 pm

I can understand people objecting to farming animals for food, but not to eating them when they’re already dead.

How does compassion work for dead things?

Danny Rees

15th August 2019 at 3:19 pm

No it’s just I don’t give a toss.

D Dom

15th August 2019 at 5:27 pm

I know the feeling… sometimes I don’t give a toss either, but when that occurs I don’t waste my time posting shit about it on the internet.

Jerry Owen

15th August 2019 at 4:21 pm

Compassion ! I have compassion for some animals and others I have a passion for eating !

D Dom

15th August 2019 at 5:42 pm

I have a passion for eating everything but animals, and it’s so fucking easy these days.

christopher barnard

15th August 2019 at 9:18 am

When I was at university decades ago this type of silliness was driven by a tiny minority of students while everyone else took no notice of them.

I suspect things are much the same now, with a difference being that university staff are now more likely to condone and facilitate such immaturity as higher education is now a marketplace and appealing to the daft ideas of kids is important financially.

If the majority of Goldsmith’s students were that bothered about this ban they’d do something about it, but they are easily able to obtain burgers elsewhere in London so they’ll do nothing.

fret slider

15th August 2019 at 11:27 am

The staff are driving it, where do you think these kids get their ideas from?

Jerry Owen

15th August 2019 at 9:04 am

Greta will also be doing something else on water… polluting it, not good for the cause surely !
It is illegal for larger vessels to dump s*it at sea and small vessels are encouraged to save it up till they get to port, they clearly are not doing this.
The boat isn’t exactly carbon free and it’s construction at a cost of 15 million squiddlies tells you it’s construction was also not carbon neutral, not a good look.
Surely if she were to use a reed coracle ( if it was good enough for Moses … ) or float across on a bit of driftwood she would be more admirable, but no the comforts created by the fruits of capitalism are just fine for her.
The thing I get from all of this is the absolutely disgusting child cruelty to a sixteen year old autistic girl. Two weeks on a choppy boat throwing up ( when you can’t see land that’s what you do ) eating freeze dried vegan food, no privacy, no sleep until she is totally exhausted, no hygiene, coldness, dampness. Personally if she makes it I will be surprised. What other parents would countenance this ?
As the husband of AOC has stated this environmentalism racket is a cover, it’s about overthrowing capitalism and ushering in socialism by the back door as most sane people close the front door to it. We know the results of unwanted socialism being foisted on a non complying populace, millions of corpses.
These people are the biggest threat to mankind’s progress and we need to fight them hard every step of the way, if we don’t stop them the corpses will once again be piling up, make no mistake about it.
I would presume Greta on her bumpy boat is greener than she’s ever been !!

Hana Jinks

15th August 2019 at 10:21 am

Great post, especially the last crack!

fret slider

15th August 2019 at 11:36 am

[“The boat isn’t exactly carbon free “]

“To become the strong, light composite material industries love, carbon fibre is combined with a plastic polymer resin. But the manufacturing process, in which sheets of composite material are often laid up by hand, is wasteful. By the time they’ve been trimmed to size, almost a third of these carbon fibre sheets end up on factory floors, according to recycling company ELG Carbon Fibre. Where the material does make it into products, most of it will ultimately end up in landfill, the firm says.”

They’re eating food wrapped in… plastic and foil. The boat has an emergency diesel – yes, diesel – engine

They should have studied Columbus.

Danny Rees

15th August 2019 at 12:35 pm

Capitalism needs overthrowing, it’s the only way we can halt evils like environmental destruction.

Not by middle class virtue signallers ditching beef etc.

Stephen J

15th August 2019 at 8:35 am

As James Delingpole wrote:

These people are watermelons, green on the outside but red inside.

They aren’t interested in “climate science”, which is actually a combination of other disciplines, it is so gargantuan in its remit, that nobody really understands it. Those that claim to measure it have never made an accurate prediction from their inputs.

No… the purpose is to constantly destabilise society until a chink is revealed that will enable another assault by the powers of socialism.

Socialists have a genetic problem, they do not understand how human beings are wired, so they think that by reprogramming them, they will be able to indulge their fantasies and control their urges.

Warren Alexander

15th August 2019 at 8:22 am

I am told by a usually reliable source that staff and students at Goldsmiths College will no longer be allowed to fart as the methane in their flatus contributes to global warming.

Philip Humphrey

15th August 2019 at 8:05 am

One minor quibble, medieval universities were not centres of conformity, they were in fact genuine “safe spaces” where controversial ideas and theories could be safely discussed and debated without fear of consequences. Even the Galileo affair started as a routine debate among academics that only got out of hand when both sides resorted to quoting scripture to try to prove/justify their case (which at the time they couldn’t by science) and the Church got involved. The idea that the middle ages were ignorant, stagnant and dominated by the church was always a myth perpetrated by reformers after the reformation (to justify the latter), and has been readily adapted by modern leftists. But few serious medieval historians believe it. It would be ironic if modern universities genuinely did become conformist and stagnant under modern leftism in a way that the medievals never did.

Bri -an

15th August 2019 at 1:26 pm

“The idea that the middle ages were ignorant, stagnant and dominated by the church was always a myth perpetrated by reformers after the reformation”
Only the truly obtuse can support it was ‘the dominance of the Church’.
The introduction of the Gregorian calendar, now widely used, caused an upset that was widespread, it was hundreds of years before the new calendar began to dominate.
This 12 month calendar is still rather odd with the monthly day count ranging from 28 to 31. Slightly more logical is the Muslim calendar based on the orbiting Moon, much better for ships accessing shallow waters.
Of course it all dates back to the idea that one year must have an exact number of days, how could it be otherwise if the Sun was orbiting the Earth?

Winston Stanley

15th August 2019 at 6:08 am

The average IQ of teenagers in UK has plummeted over the last 3 generations which is likely one reason why they are more open to such nonsense postures than previous generations of students. If it sometimes seems that students – and staff – are not as bright as they used to be, the reason may well be that they simply are not. A decline of 21 IQ points over the last three generations is absolutely massive.

> Young people’s IQ scores have started to deteriorate after climbing steadily since Wold War Two, a new study has found.
The fall, which equates to about seven points per generation, is believed to have begun with those born in 1975, according to the first authoritative study of the phenomenon. (Daily Mail)

Philip Humphrey

15th August 2019 at 11:25 am

Interesting that removing lead additives from petrol in the 1980s was supposed to increase intelligence as exposure to lead during childhood could decrease it. Perhaps without the removal of lead the decline in IQ might have been even greater.

Hana Jinks

15th August 2019 at 12:52 pm

Those are pretty amazing stats. I’ve long felt that the standard of education has declined dramatically.

L Strange

15th August 2019 at 10:22 pm

Interesting. I didn’t know a drop in IQ had been measured and specified.

I do know that Britain has the dubious honour of being the only developed country where 16 year-olds have been shown to be less literate, less numerate and have less general knowledge than their grandparents had when they were teenagers.

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