I’ve observed that comment threads following blog posts can be a bit like forests. When just a few people post lots of comments, they tend to crowd out others, and you end up with a less diverse thread.
There is an old fellow who comments every so often at this blog. He tends to make a useful remark or observation here and there.
Once he dominated a very long comment thread, but it was on a topic he knows so much about. Boxer knows a lot about forestry issues and how to grow a healthy native forest.
In the beginning Boxer used his real name at this blog, then he started signing off ‘Boxer’. He has said that he can relate to Boxer the hard working old horse in George Orwell’s classic novel Animal Farm.
But what a fate befell Orwell’s Boxer. He was working hard trying to get the windmill build for the good of all the animals, but he slipped, and while he was down, the pigs had him carted off to the local glue factory. No state funeral.
Orwell’s novel is about a revolution gone wrong.
Our Boxer has made the following comment about revolutions:
“I think revolutions are not my favourite events because they develop their own momentum and purpose which is not related to the original reason for change.
I don’t trust myself either, when I latch onto an idea, because proving myself to be right very quickly becomes the object of the exercise.
I am interested in the choices we have to make to manage the state of the environment, where all the options, other than eliminate humans altogether, are compromises and we have to choose the least worst course of action.
I follow your blog because you have a tenacious way of pursuing the evidence, which I admire. Only by sticking to the evidence can we avoid the worst pitfalls of picking a side for emotive reasons and then defending that position at all costs, even if one of those costs is worsening environmental fallout somewhere else.”
At this blog, and on the issue of a dead platypus Boxer once commented,
“At least he shot it and then boiled it; he could have brought it to the boil and then shot it.
And on the subject of climate change,
“As soon as someone says ‘the evidence is all in, no further debate is necessary’ I become confident their argument is too weak to survive rigorous analysis. This accusation can be levelled at both sides of this debate at times.
And on forestry,
“Most forest scientists are public sector people, and public servants are not encouraged to discuss their work in public forums. You may be aware that the principal function of the public servant is to NOT embarrass the Minister under ANY circumstances. My minister was part of the public campaign to crush the local forest industry. So I’m not likely to participate in this sort of debate in a more public place using my own name am I?
Somewhere in the public service act there is the power for my employer to put me in a corner to sharpen pencils for the next decade for writing this.”
No. We don’t want our Boxer carted off to the glue factory. We value his insights, appreciate his pen name and we look forward to his next insightful contribution.
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