A most unlikely climate-charge alarmist, Bobby “Boris” Pickett (left), responsible for the novelty hit Monster Mash, died from leukaemia on April 25, 2007, at the age of 69, in Los Angeles. And now, to mark both the recent anniversary of his death and contribution to climate science, it seems Bill Shorten & Co., have picked up on the idea that there are policy zombies that, since they refuse to die, deserve to stumble on forever. Determined to reverse declining public interest in what has become the political equivalent of a ‘graveyard smash’, the grand scheme is to re-animate enthusiasm with ghoulish new taxes. Bobby Picket would have approved.
Expectations are especially high among the coffin-banging progressive class. But will a climate-change version of Pickett’s Climate Mash — released during Halloween, 2005, when he became fretful about the zeitgeist — reverse declining public interest in what has become the political equivalent of a ‘graveyard smash’?
Following signing, sermonising and solemnising of the UN’s 2015 Paris Agreement in New York on April 22, a new mood has emerged in Turtle Bay and on Capital Hill. After 25 years of developed/developing world argy-bargy, the Age of Dithering has ended, at least according to ABC environment reporter, Sara Phillips.
So there is now more than a snowball’s chance in the hell of a plus-2C world that release of an antipodean Climate Mash will coincide with ‘scrutiny’ of the Agreement by Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (and truth in mashes climatic). Expect more gnashing of teeth and blowing of renewable wind as the political class – like characters in an episode of Midsomer Murders — discovers that one seldom disposes of the truth by burying it. Semantic shadow-boxing and promoting junk-science careerists doesn’t work either. See Don Aitkin’s recent blog posts for more on that.
Fortunately, the truth is still alive and kicking. You can hear its heartbeat here (5 minute video) from Richard Lindzen, distinguished MIT atmospheric physicist; here from Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever in a 25-minute speech from mid-2015 to a Nobel laureates’ meeting, and elsewhere. But hurry. US ‘anti-denialist’ witch-hunters are keen to get the judiciary to criminalise scepticism about anthropogenic climate change. Consider, for example, a US judge’s ruling that small children can sue Uncle Sam for failing to control the planet’s temperature, thereby ruining their future
“The debate about climate change and its impact has been before various political bodies for some time now…..But the intractability of the debates before Congress and state legislatures and the alleged valuing of short term economic interest despite the cost to human life, necessitates a need for the courts to evaluate the constitutional parameters of the action or inaction taken by the government…..To reiterate, at this stage of the proceedings the court must accept the allegations of concrete particularized harm or imminent threat of such harm as true.” — Case 6:15-cv-01517-TC Document 68 Filed 04/08/16, US District Court for the District of Oregon)
The UN also failed to mention the challenges of ‘carbon trading’ in a ‘market’ lacking genuine independent regulation and tainted by corruption. According to the Morgan Foundation here, for example, the NZ government has put:
“$200 million in the hands of foreign criminals for no environmental benefit…One type of Kyoto carbon credit (the Emission Reduction Unit) was overcome by fraud and corruption in Ukraine and Russia. Virtually all of the credits issued by these countries are ‘hot air’ – they do not represent true emissions reductions.”
No surprise, then, to learn that Australia seems determined to head down the same path. Under the latest CCCCC plan — approved by Shorten and his climate crypt-kickers last Tuesday – “an emitter can buy low-cost international permits to offset its excess.” Perhaps these permits are “currently cheaper than $1 per tonne” for a good reason. Could it be that they are the inevitable outcome of a corrupt system?
But back to Robert George Pickett. Born in Somerville, Massachusetts, on February 11, 1938, his 1962 wonder, Monster Mash, is for some the USA’s unofficial national anthem. Pickett’s father was a theatre manager, so he saw many horror films as a child. Linda Alexander tells the story of its genesis in her 1991 interview with him on the bank of the Mississippi late one night in Trempealeau, Wisconsin.
PICKETT: I started doing impressions, a five-minute sketch on monster movies, in the Fifties. On my way back from Korea on a troop transport ship, I sang with a group. There was a guy who did this thing to horror movies. He did Boris Karloff, and I thought I did Boris Karloff so much better.
When he left the Army, he went to Hollywood in search of fame and fortune. But a serious acting career eluded him. He ended up as a stand-up comedian doing horror film impersonations and playing in a doo-wop group, The Cordials.
PICKETT: One night after a gig, the band leader said we should do a novelty record with my Karloff voice, something like Purple People Eaters. We wrote Monster Mash in about three hours in May of 1962. We only knew one person in the music business, Gary Paxton, and took it to him. He wanted to produce it and, later in May, we did it. In less than two hours, tracks were down. In two days, it was done.
I didn’t think it would go anywhere. I had no idea it would catch on. I just thought it was something to do. But within eight weeks it was Number One. My dad once said I’d become the Guy Lombardo of Halloween.
But something happened to Pickett in October, 2005, when he released — yes, seriously — Climate Mash. It made ‘global warming’ a scary Halloween event, at least for its sponsor, Clear the Air. Was it a senior moment, a canny move to cash in on climate catastrophism, or a quasi-religious conversion 18 months before his death? Whatever the case, he was no fan of George W Bush.
“Global warming is a huge problem, and Congress is acting like a bunch of zombies, just sleepwalking through it,” he said. “President Bush is even worse. We are feeling the effects of global warming now, but even as these become more obvious, Bush just keeps fiddling while the earth heats up.”
Moral of this story, if there is one: a little climate-horror and apple pie, blood and Gore, greenbacks, chutzpah, hot air and powdered bone from a Palmersaurus rex carbonophilia coolumi skeleton – can get a savvy chap, chick, and even an international agency, a long way in this mad world.
Time to suspend disbelief, sit back and sing-a-long with the Canberra Crypters:
“We were hiking past Capital Hill late one night…
When our eyes beheld an eerie sight…
The Prime Minister appeared, with folks very strange
The zombies and vampires of global climate change.
‘It’s CO2 warming,’ said his drooling disciples
But all we see are natural climate cycles.
For without CO2 we’d be worse than living-dead
Hey, that’s the reason we can eat our daily bread.
(the climate mash)
they’re doing the climate mash
(the climate mash)
a junk science smash
(the climate mash)
their solutions are trash
(the climate mash)
and all for the cash
The creatures were having such fun
That our parliament was soon overrun
We couldn’t tell a mindless zombie
From an elected one.
Now we do know how to stop this,
According to the Pope we have the theology
But first we have to get with green ideology.
We need your help, let me show you how;
Tell the crypt-kickers in Canberra to come clean now.”