November 30, 2009
The Daily Grind of Being Green
The Princess flew to Nassau in the Bahamas on Friday to support a charity set up by her friend the late Sir Nicholas Nuttall, who moved to the island in the 1970s as a tax exile, to protect the reef and fish stocks in the area.
As patron of the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF), she was guest of honour at a ball on Saturday night whose riotous theme was A Nostalgic Evening in Old Nassau, celebrating the "fabulous era of native clubs, food, entertainment and dancing".
The toil and trouble the poor dear puts herself through to raise our awareness of conservation, a veritable saint.
Meanwhile, Prince Michael apparently does not share his spouse's passion for preserving ocean life. Instead of joining his wife, the Queen's cousin decided to attend a shooting party here.
Zac Goldsmith Statement On Tax
Anything you would care to add, Sir?
What's Up Doc?
The Climate and Health Council, a collaboration of worldwide health organisations including the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine, believes there is a direct link between climate change and better health.
Their controversial plan would see GPs and nurses give out advice to their patients on how to lower their carbon footprint
More on Climate and Health Council and its recommended actions:
Influence food menus wherever we go — ask for local food, less meat, and less processed food; a low carbon diet is a healthy diet. Drink tap water.
Advocate for personal carbon entitlements within an equitable, fair shares global framework, such as Contraction and Convergence.
Be a champion: put climate change on the agenda of all meetings — clinical teams, committees, professional networks. Doctors can tip opinion with chairs and chief executives.
November 29, 2009
A New CO2 History Site
Please feel free to check data, methods, stations and historical literature. Comments are welcome.
Time to Arrest Seb Coe
Government zeal in pursuing anyone suspected of harbouring paedophilic tendencies may shortly rebound – with unintended consequences for the 2012 Olympic logo.
Earlier this month, the Coroners & Justice Bill 2009 received the Royal Assent. This Act was another of those portmanteau pieces of legislation for which the current government is famous, mixing up new regulations on the holding of inquests, driving offences, provocation in murder cases and, crucially, a new law making it a criminal offence to be found in possession of an indecent cartoon image of a child.
it was the logo’s perceived suggestiveness - with many sniggering that it appeared to show Lisa Simpson performing an act of fellatio - that excited internet controversy.
The law will apply where "the impression conveyed by the image is that the person shown is a child". In debate in committee, those arguing for the law were clear that they hoped it would apply even to a few lines scrawled by an individual on a piece of paper for their own enjoyment: and Government Minister Maria Eagle wanted the widest possible interpretation of the law to prevent individuals adding alien characteristics to images, and claiming they were not human.
Given how widespread is the belief in the indecent nature of the Olympic logo, some degree of public embarrassment seems inevitable. First, because the internet is home to what can best be described as an "awkward squad" tendency which does not much like increased regulation of what can be seen and downloaded from the web, this issue is a gift: an opportunity to stick two fingers up at what is seen by many as a legislative step too far.
The horror facing the unpopular Olympics logo is that this is a strict liability offence. If an image is indecent, or held to be so by a jury, it is no good the Olympic Committee claiming that it was not intended as such.
We need to report Sebum Coe and his merry men for this;
"There are few defences to such a charge, although an individual may argue that they did..obtain the image...for purposes of law enforcement."
I only show you this filth to expose the disgusting longings that the British Olympic Committee appear to display.
We are all going to die - latest.
Professor Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, believes only around 10 per cent of the planet's population – around half a billion people – will survive if global temperatures rise by 4C.
The Times has Bryan Appleyard revealing how how he has been saved from his apostasy of scepticism and how to fight the deniers.
November 28, 2009
Time to reignite the war on planners
Urban planning has led to shoddiness, squalor and ugliness in our cities. Let’s throw away the rulebook and allow people to build where they want
The suburban semis built between the two world wars were one of Britain’s great social successes — liveable, adaptable and well-built. The onrush of pebbledash and privet was halted by a hysterical but influential pro-Plan campaign. Suburbia lacked the imprimatur of design intellectuals. Yet it was, and is, a land of hope and aspiration.
Today, because of Plan, about 40 per cent of the cost of any new house goes on buying land and getting planning permission. So present-day “executive homes” are often on cramped sites, compared with Non-Plan interwar semis. Meanwhile, to make up for the lack of other homes, about a quarter of a million people — more than the population of Milton Keynes — live in caravan parks....
In the worship of Plan, there’s an arrogant assumption that someone knows what people want, better than the people themselves. But in his Maxims for Revolutionists, Shaw wrote: “Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.”
Once upon a time — before the clunking fist of Plan — if houses were needed, then houses were built, mostly by small-scale firms, often employing less than ten men. Thus were created those Non-Plan suburbs so derided by planners and cultural commentators, but in which more than one in five of the population live. Suburbia is the classic national compromise between town and country, and between privacy and price....
The time has come to cut the Gordian knot. Repeal, or drastically curtail, the planning laws. Let building-for-people recommence. Some precious zones should be preserved, many of them already national parks. Otherwise, houses should go where the demand is. Most would be spec-built. Only the most adventurous or the most hard-up people would venture into self-help. But they shouldn’t be vetoed.
There’s one glimmer of hope. Throughout the generations, the Conservative Party has risen to power on the back of promises about homes — from Lord Salisbury’s Villa Toryism in the late 19th century, through Anthony Eden’s “property-owning democracy” mid-century, to Margaret Thatcher’s “right to buy” offer in 1979. At present, David Cameron’s party offers only a hair shirt of cuts, cuts, cuts. Does the electorate really want nothing but that? Last weekend’s Ipsos MORI opinion poll, showing a narrowing gap between Tory and Labour to just 6 per cent, seemed to say, “No: we want more.”
A hair shirt and a home: that’s much more appealing. I’m no Tory. But as a libertarian I say : Let’s raise the banner of Non-Plan.
The minute control that the planners have over us all, boasting of social engineering, changing behaviour towards their ideals and forcing millions of us to live in squashed unloved homes is a huge scandal. And the All-right-Jacks in the CPRE and local action groups are as guilty as the spotty faced socialist in the planning department.
There is only one use for the planners, and that is to ensure that come the glorious day there are enough lampposts to go round.
Climategate - The Blame Game
... very real fears that hardline Republicans – together with powerful Right-wing media organisations – will use the scandal to scupper President Obama's proposed legislation to cap carbon emissions.
In Australia, the world's worst carbon dioxide polluter per capita,...Rupert Murdoch's Fox News has described the emails as a "game-changer" for Obama cap and trade bills. Fox's climate change commentator, John Lott, suggested that Prof Jones was guilty of an "unprecedented co-ordinated campaign to hide scientific information". Meanwhile Matt Drudge, arguably the most influential reporter on the internet ....Prof Jones is in little doubt that the timing of the leak – two weeks before the start of the Copenhagen conference – was a "concerted attempt to put a question mark over the science of climate change" at the most sensitive possible time....Little wonder, then, that climate change deniers are hailing the emails as final proof that global warming is nothing more than a hoax which is being covered up by governments who have themselves been duped.
What a nasty bunch of people.....In other news...
Prof Jones, whose department has for years refused to release its raw data on temperatures, wrote another email in which he said sceptics "have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send it to anyone". By chance, he now admits he has "accidentally" deleted some of the raw data.
Suggestion that Israeli Fans buy some No Surrender banners.
CELTIC fans are being asked to wave Palestinian flags by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) during a football match against Israeli team Hapoel Tel Aviv in protest at the invasion of Gaza last year.
And there was I thinking our Diddly-dee friends were all upset that foreign fans indulged in politics - this is the sight that the German Hamburg Fans put on for them...
I think the sentiment is one that the Israelis might understand.
November 27, 2009
Friday Night is Music Night (Eric Coates Edition)
Performed at the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci by the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg
What was that other tune of his? I wonder why they didn't play it.....
Dealing With Climate Change Invaders
They roam in close-knit, well-organized groups,...It's not surprising that they are doing so well. They eat anything from discarded pizzas and doner kebabs to maize and acorns, and they're highly adaptable....Their ability to learn also shows how clever they are. "They have a well-organized social structure,... They know the routes used by hunters, and when they hear the sound of car doors slamming, they immediately retreat to the edges of the hunting area and hide in reeds until the danger has passed," said Reinwald. "They know, 'if we go there, we're safe.'"
It's not that they can read the signs. But they have a keen instinct and they learn from observation.
The invasion of cities is also causing concern....In Berlin, buses avoid some stops because they hang around there begging....In Texas, which has similar problems, officials plan to use poisons and chemicals against them. But Reinwald says hunting is the only effective way to reduce their numbers: "Poisons and contraceptives will only do more damage to the environment, and they don't work."... Machine guns would probably reduce the man-hours involved, but they are banned from German forests....
How times change....
Remove Speed Cameras and then what happens?
It's now been almost four months since Swindon Council famously scrapped their fixed speed cameras. Swindon's five fixed cameras were decommissioned on July 31 due to funding issues.
Councillor Peter Greenhalgh, stated that on the roads where the speed cameras had been removed, "There has been no increase in accidents at those locations. Speed is an issue but there’s no evidence speeds have increased on those roads. We often get people saying speeds are too fast on a certain road then, when we do some analysis, we don’t get any evidence of that."
Coun Greenhalgh said: “There are a number of things we can do to reduce the risk but we cannot prevent people from getting killed on our roads.
“Road users have to take responsibility for their actions.”
Full text: Climate science statement
This is a joint statement from the Met Office, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Royal Society on the state of the science of climate change ahead of the Copenhagen climate conference
I believe for every drop of rain that falls
A flower grows
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night
A candle glows
I believe for everyone who goes astray, someone will come
To show the way
I believe, I believe
Hanging Tree Decorations
When is a Christmas tree not a Christmas tree? When it is a giant cone covered in what appears to be green doormats.
Shoppers stared in bemusement at the mysterious object that landed in a shopping precinct in Poole, Dorset, this week. Some compared it to a giant traffic cone, a witch’s hat or a cheap special effect from an early episode of Doctor Who.
The 33ft structure turned out to be their Christmas tree, designed according to the principles of health and safety, circa 2009.
Thus it has no trunk so it won’t blow over, no branches to break off and land on someone’s head, no pine needles to poke a passer-by in the eye, no decorations for drunken teenagers to steal and no angel, presumably because it would need a dangerously long ladder to place it at the top.
Richard Randall-Jones, the town centre manager, said “We are a coastal town and so we have strict health-and-safety guidelines around making the Christmas tree safe due to the high winds we suffer. We have to have guy ropes and hoardings to stop it from falling over and hitting somebody. The public didn’t like all the ropes and hoardings so we came up with the cone tree.
Council, tree, rope, some assembly required? I have an idea for a tree with ropes that I know the public would like....
November 26, 2009
Bukkake Bashing Billy Burgler
This week I have mainly been splashing DNA all over my fixtures and fittings like a Home Secretary's husband.
On the advice of the police I hasten to add.
I was talking to the PikeyFinder General of Wiltshire whose zeal and enthusiasm in disrupting our travelling friends little games is commendable and his advice was that security marking everything with a DNA kit is the best defence (or second best defence as some might say). It makes reselling the scrap and valuables much harder.
So I bought a kit and set to, what they don't say is where they get the sticky white DNA fluid from, they wouldn't be outsourcing its production would they?
Danish Civil Liberties Wilt Under Climate Change
The Danish Government is rushing new laws through parliament to extend police powers and impose tougher penalties for civil disobedience. Brian Mikkelsen, the Justice Minister, has stated that anybody found to be “inhibiting police work” will be jailed for 40 days rather than fined. The new laws would also allow police the power to detain people for 12 hours even when no crime had been committed, and raise fines for failing to disperse from a demonstration to more than £350.
“I fear it’s a slippery slope,” the historian Jes Fabricius Møller told The Times. “We don’t have a strong awareness of citizens’ rights in this country.”
We didn't either...
Andrew Watson Joins Sceptic Camp
Professor Andrew Watson, a long-term colleague of the researchers at the CRU, said the unit should have nothing to fear from an inquiry, as the CRU temperature data set at the heart of many of the e-mails is almost identical to the two other authoritative data sets, both in the US.
"The difference between science and other branches of life - like politics - is that we should be completely transparent about what we do," he said. "Everything should be open to question."
Quite, that's all many of us having been saying, what took you so long to say it?
A Question for Baroness Ashton
Baroness Ashton was Treasurer for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), 1980-1982.
CND was notoriously secretive about its sources of funding and did not submit its accounts to independent audit; however, after public pressure they were audited for the first time in 1982-1983 (Godfrey Lord & Co). It was found that 38% of their annual income (£176,197) could not be traced back to the original donors.
The person responsible for this part of CND fund-raising, from anonymous donors, was Will Howard, a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.
The Russian dissident and internationally respected figure Vladimir Bukovsky, has shown from his research that the nuclear disarmament campaigns across Europe were largely funded by the Soviet bloc. Mr Bukovsky has proven with hundreds of top secret documents from Soviet archives that the worldwide disarmament campaign in the 1980s was covertly orchestrated from Moscow. The money was channelled through communist parties or other pro-Soviet organisations and individuals.
If therefore seems very likely that the unidentified income came from the Soviet bloc.
If Baroness Ashton did not know where the unidentified income came from she was incompetent. If she did not ask where it came from she was negligent. If she did know that it came from the Soviet block then she knowingly accepted money from a hostile foreign power in order to undermine Britain's and NATO's defence policies.
Anyone who was compromised by the Soviet Union in the 1980s remains compromised by the Russian Federation.
In the light of these facts, my questions are:
1) Do you still believe that she is a fit and proper person to be in charge of the EU's (and Britain's) Foreign and Security Policy?
2) Do you intend to investigate these claims further? If not, why not?
3) The answer to the second question is 'Yes' would you like me to supply you with the contact details of Mr Bukovsky, and others, who can give you more detailed information about this matter?
Gerard Batten MEP
UK Independence Party
h/t EU Ref of course
November 25, 2009
Hot Air and Cow Farts
Chilly Down Under
Iceberg off New Zealand a tourist mecca - World environment- msnbc.com
Nov. 21, 2006
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - An iceberg has been spotted from the New Zealand shore for the first time in living memory, drawing tourists via helicopter and scientists who are trying to determine where it and several other giant chunks drifting in the country's waters originated from.
Last year, icebergs were seen in New Zealand water for the first time in 56 years, but couldn't be seen from the shore. This year one was visible from Dunedin on South Island on Thursday.
BBC News - Ships on alert for icebergs heading towards New Zealand
25 November 2009
A warning has been issued to ships in the southern Pacific Ocean after more than 100 iceberg were spotted drifting towards New Zealand.
Scientists are now investigating the conditions which have allowed the icebergs to travel in such a large form for so long.
Heck, I wonder what could have caused the ice not melt...
$1.5 Billion of our Green Taxes Missing Unaccounted For
Money promised by rich nations to tackle climate change unaccounted for
A total of 20 nations pledged up to 410 million dollars (£247m) a year in 2001, resulting in a pot that should be worth well over 1.6 billion dollars (£963m).
But only 260m dollars (£157m) has been paid into two United Nations funds earmarked for the purpose according to the latest figures, the BBC World Service investigation said.
Boni Biagini, who runs the funds, told the broadcaster: ''These numbers don't match the 410m per year. Otherwise, we'd be handling billions of dollars by now.''
Artur Runge-Metzger, the senior climate change negotiator for the European Union, said the EU had done what it promised to do.
''We can say we met the promise, climate finance has really been stepped up,'' he told the BBC.
But he admitted the EU was unable to provide data to show it did pay the money.
Not knowing the details but I think it is roughly $3 Billion (400 x 8) gone missing but the paper says it is only $1.5 billion, whatever, Artur just shrugs his shoulders....
Petition to: suspend the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia from preparation of any Government Climate Statistics until the various allegations have been fully investigated by an independent body. | Number10.gov.uk
Probably won't do any good, but certainly won't do any harm to sign.
Paid Expert Disses Unpaid Experts
Wikipedia is routinely cited in online articles as a substitute for explanations of concepts, events and people. It has thereby coarsened public culture. It is an anti-intellectual venture to its core.
Knowledge is democratic in the sense that no one has the right to claim the last word. Wikipedia is democratic in the different and corrosive sense that anyone can join in regardless of competence.
Dear old Olly Kamm banging on yet again as only a left wing intellectual expert can about how horrible it is that amateurs should be allowed to voice an opinion.
Of course he is right some parts of Wikipedia show that the loudest voices and most obsessive contributors become the arbiters of truth. That there are many Wikipedia articles that are scrupulous, balanced and fair treatments of their subjects. But these are liable to be overthrown at any time by an editor with an idée fixe and an empty life. Some might mention Climate Change as an example.
But better that than having only the regurgitated opinions of a Press Baron's Hireling.
November 24, 2009
idl_cruts3_2005_vs_2008b.pdf and Hockey Sticks
AJStrata has been looking at idl_cruts3_2005_vs_2008b.pdf from the CRU archive which fell out of the æther at the weekend.
It contains 155 graphs showing the raw global temperature measurements and ‘trends’ for every country from 1900 though today. It contains two version of the CRU ‘processing’ – one from 2005 and one from 2008. What is just amazing from this ‘raw’ data is the realization that many areas of the Earth are not showing a huge upswing in temperature. The raw data paints a completely different picture than the final ‘results’ we see in Al Gore’s charts.
(As I'm from the UK I have put the UK charts in here)
... there are 4 graphs for the 4 seasons CRU uses to derive an annual global index (the NCDC level chart). MAM in the upper left panel stands for March-April-May, the next panel is June-July-August (JJA), etc. The purple data is the 2008 version of the data series, and the black line is the 2005. The dashed horizontal line is the mean for that country for that season: red is for the CRU 2008 version and black is for CRU 2005....
There is a lot to learn from this data, and how it correlates to other events or conditions. But what is clear to me now is there was probably no way to create a hockey stick from this CRU data alone. Which is why we have things like bristle cones and magic larches in Russia to create the mirage of global warming.
idl_cruts3_2005_vs_2008b.pdf is available here if you haven't already got your own copy. It is a very large file, 1923kb, and makes my server puff, so please be kind and spread the love around a little.
Fascinating online report, try turning the pages with your mouse, fascinating. Some really clever stuff has gone into producing it.
Not so sure about the content though. Is it really true that even Venus isn't saturated with CO2 and it would be warmed even more if the naughty Venusians drove their SUVs around?
Aaronovitch in Green Hissy Fit (Sponsored by Shell)
I don’t think Lord Lawson accepts the science of climate change at all. But, in any case, according to him, “a warmer climate brings benefits as well as disadvantages”. Oh, really? And where exactly are those peer-reviewed scientific studies that say that if global warming does continue more or less unchecked, the gains and losses will be roughly balanced? No, what we should do, he argues, is “adapt”.
One day someone will spell out precisely how, say, Bangladesh should adapt to the climate change that has probably already been engendered, let alone to that which might be caused by simply carrying on as we are.
In the meantime low-lying Bengalis can take comfort from the thought that Lord Lawson is on their side in supporting rapid economic growth through current energy policies.
Oh dear, even a failed Oxford Modern Historian should be able to parse what Lord Lawson said better than that, instead of erecting a strawman. But I think the real reason for Aaronovitch's huffiness is because someone failed to recognise how important he is...
Yesterday in the late afternoon, after a day of leaving messages on someone’s Orange answerphone (an unnamed someone), I finally got a return call from the “new high-powered all-party think-tank”, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, promised to the world yesterday, via these pages, by Lord Lawson of Blaby. The foundation’s high-poweredness was clearly a forecast rather than a reality.
They don't call, they don't send flowers...
And of course The Times is publishing an alarmist supplement today on the Copenhagen Summit sponsored by a full page advert from Shell. Who's the Big Oil Shrill now?
150 Years Old Today
"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
UKRAINE'S economic collapse has produced a potential multibillion-dollar bonanza, allowing the country to reap windfall carbon credit profits from the dead chimneys of its industrial decline.
The industrial collapse has been bad for jobs but good for the climate. Ukraine produces less than half the greenhouse gases it did 20 years ago, and under a system devised in the negotiations for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol curbing the gases blamed for global warming, it is allowed to sell credits for every ton of carbon dioxide saved.
See Gordon has a plan for our future prosperity...
In case you hadn't heard.
Three UK groups studying climate change have issued an unprecedented statement about the dangers of failing to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.
The Royal Society, Met Office, and Natural Environment Research Council say the science underpinning climate change is more alarming than ever...
Persistent drought in Australia and rising sea levels in the Maldives were further indicators of possible future patterns, they said.
They argue that without action there would be much larger changes in the coming decades, with the UK seeing higher food prices, ill health, more flooding and rising sea levels....
But Prof Julia Slingo, chief scientist of the Met Office, Prof Alan Thorpe, chief executive of Nerc, and Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society, said cutting emissions could substantially limit the severity of climate change.
What, nothing from the East Anglia experts? They might have come up with something more convincing than those two discredited examples of evidence.
November 23, 2009
The 13 Lines of Evidence for AGW
This comment is being posted around the blogosphere, including on Bishop Hill's site
Skeptics and conspiracy buffs need to understand that even without any CRU data nor the publications of it scientists, there are MULTIPLE lines of evidence for AGW:
1) UAH, RSS, and GISS show warming
2) Rapidly warming Arctic
3) Rapidly decreasing sea ice extent
4) Rapidly thinning sea ice
5) Rising ocean heat content
6) Cooling stratosphere
7) Net increase in downwelling LW
8 ) Net decreasing TOA LW emission
9) Increased species migrations/extinctions
10) Increased severe weather occurrences
11) Glacier mass loss and retreats increasing
12) Rising sea levels
13) Most importantly: rapidly rising human emissions of GHGs that have not been seen in millions of years.
None of these things read emails and have decided to play along in a massive international conspiracy.
Scott A. Mandia, Professor - Meteorology
I admit I had to do a bit of research on the LW downwelling (radiation in the Long Wave spectrum that is bouncing about the atmosphere) reasons and I think I have found the relevant figures
The global figures graphed out:
Maybe I got the wrong figures but that doesn't convince me that man is warming the atmosphere. And none of the other arguments work either.
Over the last few centuries it has been warming, the sea has been gently rising, the ice has retreated but that doesn't prove anything about man's involvement. The arctic temperature argument is dealt with at Watts Up as is the sea ice alarms.
And the thirteenth and most important argument that rising levels of man made GHG prove AGW can be filed under non sequitur.
Are these really the best arguments that we can be presented with?
Against the Odds - A Few Good Men and the Fight Against Fascism
On Tyneside at the beginning of 1943 workers at the Neptune ship repair yard came out for six weeks over the refusal of five men at their firm to join the Amalgamated Engineering Union. They received massive support from workers in other firms and trades, and forced their employers to concede a 'closed shop' agreement, setting a precedent which would be followed up and down the country.
This was also the year of the famous Barrow engineering strike at the enormous Vickers Armstrong yard there. When the workers downed tools it sent shock waves throughout the country. Engineers, apprentices and other allied trades at the yard stopped work because Vickers refused to pay them a decent increase. The basic rate at Barrow had not risen for 29 years! Yet Vickers' profits had rocketed when the government began rearmament. Every morning, between 1,500 and 2,000 workers formed a mass picket outside the gates of the yard. Scabbing was kept to an absolute minimum. As the strike wore on, the National Arbitration Tribunal was called in to decide what a fair pay settlement should be. To a public outcry, it sided with the employer. But even this did not deter the Barrow strikers, and they voted unanimously to stay out.
While the Barrow strike was unofficial, it did have the backing of the local AEU district committee....
For the bosses and government though, the worst was yet to come. In 1944 the government was faced with a coal crisis. Coal was absolutely fundamental to the production demands of the war economy, and on top of this, plans were well under way for the opening of the Second Front in Europe, which also required vast amounts of home produced coal. Yet these extra demands were not received warmly by the miners when their demand for a minimum wage was met with a compromise deal falling far short of what they had expected. The 'Porter pay award' as it was known aroused massive anger in the pits. Within 24 hours of its announcement almost every single pit in South Wales and Lancashire was idle. These were soon joined by pits in Kent, Yorkshire, Durham and Scotland. Just when it needed coal most, the government had provoked the biggest single mining dispute since the 1926 General Strike with more than 180,000 miners stopping work.....
I didn't notice that bit in the video...
The Harry Read Me File
As expected the paydirt is in the data files. I have been trying to make sense of the emerging story about the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file, and luckily The Devil has produced a first summary of the story so far.
Of Kites and Coneheads
UK red kites soar despite European decline - Scotsman.com News
The UK as a whole is now home to 7 per cent of the world's red kites, up from 5 per cent only a year ago.
Populations in Wales and in reintroduction localities in southern and central England are now so large they cannot be counted annually and they are considered "birds of the wider countryside", fully re-established and well able to flourish without further direct conservation intervention.
The kites are approaching the Castle at about ten miles a year, and they are now only ten miles away, so I expect to see them here next year bothering my songbirds and pheasant chicks.
It is refreshing to see a story about conservation which doesn't bang on the climate change drum, though why the spread of Red Kites is seen as a conservation success and the spread of Long-winged Coneheads and the Roesel’s Bush Crickets as harbingers of climate change doom I'm not quite sure.
Launch of The Global Warming Policy Foundation
.... I have no idea whether the majority scientific view (and it is far from a consensus) is correct. Certainly, it is curious that, whereas their models predicted an acceleration in global warming this century as the growth in emissions accelerated, so far this century there has been no further warming at all. But the current majority view may still be right.
Even if it is, however, that cannot determine the right policy choice. For a warmer climate brings benefits as well as disadvantages. Even if there is a net disadvantage, which is uncertain, it is far less than the economic cost (let alone the human cost) of decarbonisation. Moreover, the greatest single attribute of mankind is our capacity to adapt to changing circumstances. By adapting to any warming that may occur over the next century, we can pocket the benefits and greatly reduce the disadvantages, at a cost that is far less than the cost of global decarbonisation — even if that could be achieved.
Moreover, the scientific basis for global warming projections is now under scrutiny as never before. The principal source of these projections is produced by a small group of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), affiliated to the University of East Anglia.
Last week an apparent hacker obtained access to their computers and published in the blogosphere part of their internal e-mail traffic. And the CRU has conceded that the at least some of the published e-mails are genuine.
Astonishingly, what appears, at least at first blush, to have emerged is that (a) the scientists have been manipulating the raw temperature figures to show a relentlessly rising global warming trend; (b) they have consistently refused outsiders access to the raw data; (c) the scientists have been trying to avoid freedom of information requests; and (d) they have been discussing ways to prevent papers by dissenting scientists being published in learned journals.
There may be a perfectly innocent explanation. But what is clear is that the integrity of the scientific evidence on which not merely the British Government, but other countries, too, through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, claim to base far-reaching and hugely expensive policy decisions, has been called into question. And the reputation of British science has been seriously tarnished. A high-level independent inquiry must be set up without delay.
It is against all this background that I am announcing today the launch of a new high-powered all-party (and non-party) think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (www.thegwpf.org), which I hope may mark a turning-point in the political and public debate on the important issue of global warming policy. At the very least, open and reasoned debate on this issue cannot be anything but healthy. The absence of debate between political parties at the present time makes our contribution all the more necessary.
Record Rain? From a reader.
Whilst the events in the NW are tragic for those involved we have the usual
deception claiming worst rainfall on record. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20091120.html.
This then allows the "Boy named Sue" Environment Minister to claim it's down to
our emissions and we can expect more extreme weather like this in the future.
Fairly safe statement really, we always will.
Depends of course on which record series you use. The England and Wales
rainfall series goes back to 1914 which is the one they are quoting. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/seriesstatistics/ewrain.txt
There is the other one, the EWP which goes back to 1766, and they actually
show a graph here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/science/monitoring/hadukp.html
Although filed under climate change there isn't actually much change. Data
Met officesay "In Cumbria, there has been 372.4 mm of rain at
Seathwaite in 56 hours"
There is a good weather history site at http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/wxevents.htm.
I think he is an ex Met office meteorologist from Bracknell days. He has 204mm
at Seathwaite in a day,on 12th November in 1897, about a 28%
Here are some more examples from N England and Scotland:
August 1829 Disastrous
floods of all rivers between Moray & Angus, after torrential rains 2nd to
4th August, with NE winds & waterspouts. Stone bridges and houses
washed away in 5 or 6 counties, coastline altered at river mouths.
(July had been very thundery in the South, but cold with night frosts in
1839 September: N.E. Scotland. Severe
flooding after heavy rainfall. Damage/destruction of bridges in
Quoted above 1897 (November)Exceptionally
heavy daily rainfalls included 204mm at Seathwaite (Cumbria /
Lake District) on the 12th November.
During the afternoon of the 22nd July,
1907, Heavy thunderstorms occurred across a wide area of England, Wales, Ireland
and Scotland. These caused extensive flooding in urban areas and severely
damaged standing crops in the countryside.
1916 October 11th,208.3 mm of rain fell at
KinlocheweWestern Scotland). At the time, the highest 24hr
rainfall recorded in the British Isles, and now amongst the top 6 or 7 such
events - still (at 2005) the highest for October.
1938 October A wet month 150% of the long-term average
(though by no means a record.) Watendlath Farm (Cumbria) recorded 475mm
from the 2nd to the 12th of the month. This 12 day
totalisdouble the 444.2 mm from 1-20 Nov shown in the Met office
1954 Highest Rainfall (UK) in any one year known: 6527 mm
at Sprinkling Tarn, Cumbria in (257 inches, 21.4 ft)
1963 (March): Exceptionally wet in parts of Scotland &
SW England, southern Wales etc. Combined with some rapid snowmelt (mild
air/heavy rain) early month, flooding a significant problem for these regions.
All stations recorded above average rainfall. More than three-times the average
rainfall in parts of Scotland and the south-west of England.
1974 (January): 17th: 238.4
mm of rain fell in a 24 hr period at Loch Sloy, Strathclyde (near Loch
Lomond) the highest such 24hr period total for January known, and the highest
known for Scotland for any month. Rainfall totals for the month
exceeded 1000mm at a few sites in western Scotland.
This is far in excess of anything current.
Phil Jones could have had these bridges done up years ago and still had
November 22, 2009
What about the EURO4M link?
The timing of the CRU leak, for I believe it was a leak rather than a hack, has people looking for a reason.
One of the last documents (\FOIA\documents\EURO4M_DoW_v2.doc) to be added to the archive is the Grant Agreement and Description of Work for European Reanalysis and Observations for Monitoring (EURO4M).
Four million Euros is what they want to "develop the capacity for, and deliver the best possible and most complete (gridded) climate change time series and monitoring services covering all of Europe."
"Recruitment of young, talented female researchers will be encouraged in EURO4M. ..The gender committee will liaise with national programmes in the production of suitable information material for schools....The Management Board has been chosen to ensure that women are adequately represented at the highest organisational levels of the project and consists of seven people. From the four appointed, one is woman (25%). Whilst not approaching equality, this percentage is higher than that of women in senior positions in climate science generally, and gives women a significant say in how the project is organised and run."
That sort of money, the takeover of national roles, the management selection methods is enough to make the passed over feel bitter....
Stir-up, we beseech thee!
In 2009 Stir-up Sunday falls on 22 November, time to get busy in the kitchen....
November 21, 2009
Bishop Hill's Must Buy Book
The Hockey Stick Illusion is a critical history of the affair, tracing the story from its very beginnings in the notorious Deming email, right up to the most recent developments - the release of the Yamal data and the wave of uproar that followed.
I've pre-ordered my copy - I suggest you do the same.
European Tree Rings
BECKER S-CENTRAL EUROPE 546BC TO AD1979
from \FOIA\documents\briffa-treering-external\belfast\masters Modern European Ring Width Masters as supplied by Dave Brown, March 95
A rejection of the irrational
On Monday, Lord Lawson will once again place himself squarely in the minority. Two weeks before the international climate change summit in Copenhagen, he is establishing a think-tank that will act as a check on sweeping environmental reform.
He is not, like George Bush, a "climate change denier" (although he believes that the science is far from certain). His point is less about the fact of climate change, than our response to it – he believes we should not "slow down economic growth" by spending billions in trying to prevent what might be happening, but rather wait until it happens and respond more economically then.
Lord Lawson knows he will win few friends with his views. (His arguments may be rational and cogent, but there is a certain haziness about the amount of lives in the balance as he talks about "the possibility that the climate will get warmer and this will be uncomfortable for certain people".)
But then, he is not a fan of people-pleasing politics. "You must never believe that what are conventionally thought to be the bounds of the politically possible are fixed: you need to push them forward. That is what we did. It takes guts – and Margaret had guts – and, except towards the end, political skill."
More interesting stuff on dealing with deficits and wives from this single ex-Chancellor...
Lib Dems Can Keep Ill Gotten Loot
You may remember that the Lib Dems were being investigated to see if they ought to forfeit the illegal donation that keeps them afloat. A situation that was compared to that of UKIP by Michael Crick admirably.
No surprise that the news is good for the yellow bellies...
THE Liberal Democrats have been told they can keep a donation of £2.4 million from a convicted fraudster.
The Electoral Commission ruled the party had taken the money in good faith
November 20, 2009
English Tree Ring - Temperature Graphs
As The Englishman I was interested in what the hacked files said about England
...\FOIA\documents\briffa-treering-external\belfast\masters\england.dat is described as:
DMB 19 SITE MEAN MASTER 404AD TO 1981AD
Modern European Ring Width Masters as supplied by Dave Brown, March 95
Graphed out the figures look like this:
(If the right hand side of the graph is cut off click here
Do they relate to temperature?
I don't know but let's compare them to the Central England Temperature record from 1660 to 1981 (It's a pity that is the last date of the tree rings..)
Squinting at them, which is the poor man's multivariate analysis, they sort of do.
Now look back at the longer graph. Looks a bit "warmer" maybe back in the middle ages.
Of course I don't know anything more about the tree rings than the description above so I may be barking up the wrong tree. But I thought it interesting and it didn't cost the taxpayer anything to produce the graph, and only took me ten minutes...
From: "paul horsman" - paul.horsman (at) uk.greenpeace.org
To: m.kelly (at) uea.ac.uk
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 14:45:23 -0700
It was good to see you again yesterday - if briefly. One particular
thing you said - and we agreed - was about the IPCC reports and
the broader climate negotiations were working to the globalisation
agenda driven by organisations like the WTO. ....
All good knock about stuff, the scientists are behaving as expected and the sceptics are getting just a touch over excited about the emails.
I have a feeling the real revelations lie in the data files, which I'm sure some able number crunchers are pouring over as we enjoy the froth of the emails..
Friday Night is Music Night (Another Typical Night at The King's Arms Edition)
Hacked CRU Files? The Big Climate Science Story Today
Bishop Hill was the first to alert me that :
It is claimed that the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia has been hacked and there is a massive file of emails and code up on a server in Russia. If what has been posted is real then the balloon is about to go up.
Excerpts of the emails have been posted here. They include a CRU scientist welcoming the death of a prominent sceptic, discussion of how to fiddle results and so on.
Amazing. If true.
As someone says, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.
The original download site seems to be down but I found a copy of the file here: MEGAUPLOAD
Quickly scanning through them they have a ring of truth, but has the original seam been salted with fools gold to catch out crowing sceptics?
Sample files are described as:
0926010576.txt * Mann: working towards a common goal
1189722851.txt * Jones: "try and change the Received date!"
0924532891.txt * Mann vs. CRU
0847838200.txt * Briffa & Yamal 1996: "too much growth in recent years makes it difficult to derive a valid age/growth curve"
0926026654.txt * Jones: MBH dodgy ground
1225026120.txt * CRU's truncated temperature curve
1059664704.txt * Mann: dirty laundry
1062189235.txt * Osborn: concerns with MBH uncertainty
0926947295.txt * IPCC scenarios not supposed to be realistic
0938018124.txt * Mann: "something else" causing discrepancies
0939154709.txt * Osborn: we usually stop the series in 1960
0933255789.txt * WWF report: beef up if possible
0998926751.txt * "Carefully constructed" model scenarios to get "distinguishable results"
0968705882.txt * CLA: "IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science but production of results"
1075403821.txt * Jones: Daly death "cheering news"
1029966978.txt * Briffa - last decades exceptional, or not?
1092167224.txt * Mann: "not necessarily wrong, but it makes a small difference" (factor 1.29)
1188557698.txt * Wigley: "Keenan has a valid point"
1118949061.txt * we'd like to do some experiments with different proxy combinations
1120593115.txt * I am reviewing a couple of papers on extremes, so that I can refer to them in the chapter for AR4
From: "Michael E. Mann"
To: Tim Osborn
Subject: Re: reconstruction errors
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2003 11:18:24 -0400
Attached are the calibration residual series for experiments based on available networks back to:
I can't find the one for the network back to 1820! But basically, you'll see that the residuals are pretty red for the first 2 cases, and then not significantly red for the 3rd case--its even a bit better for the AD 1700 and 1820 cases, but I can't seem to dig them up. In any case, the incremental changes are modest after 1600--its pretty clear that key predictors drop out before AD 1600, hence the redness of the residuals, and the notably larger uncertainties farther back...
You only want to look at the first column (year) and second column (residual) of the files.
I can't even remember what the other columns are!
Let me know if that helps. Thanks,
p.s. I know I probably don't need to mention this, but just to insure absolutely clarify on this, I'm providing these for your own personal use, since you're a trusted colleague. So please don't pass this along to others without checking w/ me first. This is the sort of "dirty laundry" one doesn't want to fall into the hands of those who might potentially try to distort things...
November 19, 2009
They are coming to take them away...
From the left: Lord Clarke of Hampstead, Baroness Uddin, Lord Hanningfield, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine
The Daily Telegraph understands that detectives will imminently pass files on Labour MPs Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine, and peers Baroness Uddin, Lord Hanningfield and Lord Clarke of Hampstead to the Crown Prosecution Service.
I have never prayed to be on Jury service before, but please, just this once, I'll even supply my own rope....
Chicken Little Climate Studies
The British Antarctic Survey found that during past periods of high carbon dioxide, temperatures in Antarctica were up to 6C above current levels. This could cause a sea level rise of up six metres, threatening coastal cities like London, New York and San Francisco.
It is the latest research to warn of the consequences of increased greenhouse gases on the Earth's climate. Yesterday a study warned that carbon dioxide produced by man is now rising at record rates putting the world on a pathway for a 6C rise in temperature. A study out yesterday found that carbon dioxide levels rose by almost a third in the last seven years. Today another study added to the urgency by claiming that the oceans are losing their ability to absorb CO2.....
Seems to be a bit of a panic on to produce the scariest reports they can, wonder why that is?
".. carbon dioxide levels rose by almost a third in the last seven years." Huh?
November 18, 2009
The Dunning–Kruger effect
How the Dunning-Kruger effect will stop techies buying houses • The Register
The Dunning-Kruger effect is an example of cognitive bias in which "people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it". The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than actuality; by contrast the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. This leads to a perverse result where less competent people will rate their own ability higher than relatively more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding.
...Those in the FSA are, by definition, those not good enough, or not competent enough, to be making millions somewhere in the bowels of a bank. They are those only sufficiently competent to earn a pencil sharpener's salary, and that's why they are where they are.
Thus when you decide 18 months into your contracting life that you want to buy a house and find you cannot get the finance, you can nod knowingly and mutter 'Dunning-Kruger'. Those who made the rules were those who quite simply overvalued their own skills and knowledge, and thus made the rule that will trip you up.
We also see exactly the same effect right across the activities of those who would rule us. Take, for example, the EU's insistence that hedge funds must now be regulated. Hedge funds didn't have anything to do with the crash or the recession, but those making the rules in the EU are sufficiently incompetent that they've decided that because there were lots of people making lots of money, they must have had something to do with it.
Now we might think that there's a simple solution to this: string up the idiots from the lamp posts and let's get on with it ourselves. After all, we all know what should be done to make the world a better place. But that's where we come to the second part of our problem. We who do in fact know the right course of action don't think that we do: we suffer from illusory inferiority. So we just keep our heads down and get on with what we really do know how to do: coding, running large and complex systems, and, you know, just in general demonstrating competence and knowledge while those without either are the only ones who put themselves forward to try and run the world....
Quite what the solution to all of this might be is difficult. If it really is true that only the incompetent have the self-confidence to put themselves forward to try and rule us all, then it makes anarchy remarkably attractive.
Quite - and I'm sure you can supply your own examples....
CO2 No Consensus on The Big Question
"The global trends we are on with CO2 emissions from fossil fuels suggest that we're heading towards 6C of global warming," said Professor Corinne Le Quere of the University of East Anglia, who led the study...Professor Le Quere said the situation could get worse as the world loses the ability to absorb greenhouse gases in natural "carbon sinks" like oceans and forests.
However an earlier study by Dr Wolfgang Knorr, from the University of Bristol, found no evidence the world is losing its ability to absorb carbon.
"Our apparently conflicting results demonstrate what doing real science is like and just how difficult it is to accurately quantify such data," he said.
So on which study do you bet trillions of dollars, millions of lives and civilisation as we know it?
Celebrating Rigour in Climate Studies
Mr. McIntyre is first to admit his work is no bullet aimed at the heart of the theory of man-made climate change. Rather, his work—chronicled in papers co-written with environmental economist Ross McKitrick and more than 7,000 posts on his Climateaudit.org Weblog—does something much more important: It illustrates the uncertainty of a science presented as so infallible as to justify huge new taxes on rich countries along with bribes to poor ones in order to halt their fossil-fueled climbs to prosperity. Mr. McIntyre offers what many in the field do not: rigor....
The climate establishment will probably never thank Mr. McIntyre, much less follow his example. The rest of us should do both.
....The Cabinet Office has also launched a developer’s version of a website — known as data.gov.uk — which will be publicly launched at the start of next year. It is home to more than 1,100 datasets ranging from traffic counts on the road network, through reference data on schools to the Farm Survey. More than 1,000 people are helping us to put the site through its paces.
We have demonstrated that we can integrate a whole range of data about your postcode — ranging from crime statistics to recycling, from travel times and timetables to adult education and healthcare provision. We have shown that freeing data is practical and economic to do....
Openly available public data not only creates economic and social capital, it also creates bottom-up pressure to improve public services. Data is essential in enabling citizens to choose between public service providers. It helps them to compare their local services with services elsewhere. It enables all of us to lobby for improvement. Public data is a public good.
All a bit scary but if it is public rather than a state secret I feel a bit reassured.
November 17, 2009
Online Poll Update
How are our favourite polls going?
Alcohol Focus Scotland seem to have given up asking if a minimum price should be set - they were badly losing last time I looked - they are now asking if the calorie content should be shown on packaging. Fairly uncontroversial but the Nos have it by a large majority - Doesn't anyone want nannying?
And as for the Science Museum "Prove it" Poll - I can't get through....
Pinging www.sciencemuseum.org.uk [18.104.22.168] with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Ping statistics for 22.214.171.124:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
But the Google cache from 17 Nov 2009 15:16:16 GMT shows:
4806 counted in so far 7406 counted out so far
The Outlook is Sunny
Sunder Katwala, general secretary of the Fabian Society, "The Tory blogs range from different varieties of agnosticism to the absolute certainty that climate change is a fraud,"
He said his findings suggested that the so-called "Tory netroots" of influential bloggers could exert pressure on party policy in the event of a Tory win at the next election.
"It puts barriers on a strong policy response," Katwala said. "It reflects a continued strong belief in a free-market response to climate change – to price in a response. But you can't do that if you're a believer in small government because that means a lot of multilateral governance and regulation of the economy if you're to have working markets."
I'm rather relieved that some Tories still believe in free markets and pricing in a response, and amused that it is apparently impossible to have working markets with a small government because they need "a lot of multilateral governance and regulation of the economy".
Banks will face having chunks of their future profits seized by the state if they do not fund a deposit insurance scheme, the Bank of England's deputy governor has warned.
In other news;
At least one of them was an honest man...
The man tipped to be Europe’s first president is already considering new EU taxes to fund the rising cost of Brussels and the welfare state.
Herman Van Rompuy's, the Belgian Prime Minister, contentious remarks were aired privately amid the grand surroundings of the Castle of the Valley of the Duchess near Brussels.
Lucky he isn't standing for an election then.....
Mini-me Olympics - Another Money Hole
Still 5 years to go and 2014 Commonwealth Games already dearer than building of parliament
ORGANISERS of the 2014 Commonwealth Games have insisted their lasting benefits will far outweigh rising costs, after they were forced to pump in an extra £81 million, taking the budget to £454m.
I don't suppose we can persuade Paris to host these games....
November 16, 2009
Against the Odds - A Nasty Viral Infection
The Stilettoed Socialist: Against the Odds plays her part in reminding us of Oswald Mosley and his inspirational work in The Labour Party...In 1926, a Labour seat in Smethwick fell vacant and Mosley returned to Parliament. Mosley then made a bold bid for political advancement within the Labour Party. He was close to Ramsay Macdonald and hoped for one of the great offices of state, but when Labour won the 1929 general election he was only appointed to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (a defacto Minister without Portfolio), outside the Cabinet. He was given responsibility for solving the unemployment problem, but found that his radical proposals were blocked either by his superior James Henry Thomas or by the Cabinet. Mosley was always impatient and eventually put forward a whole scheme in the 'Mosley Memorandum' to find it rejected by the Cabinet; he then resigned in May 1930...After the war Mosley was contacted by his former supporters and persuaded (initially against his will) to rejoin active politics. He formed the Union Movement, calling for a European superstate....
Now who does that remind you of?
We're in the mood for cuts
UK public 'favours spending cuts'
The survey found 59% of the 1,005 people polled believed there should be benefit or tax credit cuts - rather than tax hikes - to lower the deficit.
Start sharpening the knives George.
Klimafest i København
Twenty two more days of increasingly shrill calls, I'm thinking of finding a cave to hide in. The question I want to ask Joss and all his floppy haired chums at GreenPeace and Plane Stupid is why they carefully use the local names of cities in brown skinned countries to show respect but they don't with the Danes, the French, the Germans etc. Are they just Anglo-Saxon cultural Imperialists imposing their views on lesser breeds?
Not seeing the wood for the trees in biofuel power stations
A series of biomass-fired plants are being built in the UK that will trigger a 150 per cent surge in timber imports from 20 million tonnes today to 50 million tonnes by 2015, according to the Forestry Commission.
British power plants are already shipping wood from Canada, Brazil, Scandinavia and South Korea.
...to meet UK pest control laws the timber will need to be baked (to 56 C at the core of the wood, for a minimum of 30 minutes) before it can be shipped to the UK.
An estimated 4.5 million tonnes of waste wood are landfilled in the UK each year, according to government estimates.
Pick the greenery out of that!
Physician Heal Thyself
The Faculty of Public Health is in the news today again demanding more restrictions on booze. They have a blog - Better Health For All where the tag cloud shows they witter on about Swine Flu, Alcohol Binge Drinking, health practioners, US healthcare and the big one Climate Change.
They are so concerned with Climate Change that they have launched their message, not once but twice on Youtube: The 5 minute version has been eagerly devoured by 71 people, the 2 minute one by 52 people:
Now I have helped them publicise it maybe you could leave them a comment as no one else seems to be interested in what they are saying.
I couldn't find where they worry about the 3000 deaths in English hospitals "as a result of patient safety incidents", or the superbug deaths or the 300,000 people suffer from a healthcare-associated infection every year - 8 per cent of all hospital patients or the up to 20,000 deaths a year from infections not being monitored by the NHS.. Maybe they would be better used scrubbing wards instead of arranging agreeable conferences to discuss "big issues"...
November 15, 2009
Recipe of the Day - Traditional Mincemeat
The countdown begins - this morning I'm making the mincemeat for the Christmas pies. Basically Mrs Beeton's Recipe downsized and made easier.
Suet seems to come in 200g packs these days, so as I'm lazy I have changed all the other ingredient amounts to match one pack (bloody metric). If you have the time use the recipe linked above if not there is no excuse for not making this.
200g Beef Suet
400g Mixed Fruit with peel
100g of Beef steak (raw minced)
200g of diced cooking apple
bit of nutmeg, squeeze of lemon, some lemon zest.
A large splash of brandy.
Mix them all together, squeeze into a sealable jar and leave for at least a couple of weeks; make it now for Christmas and you will be mouthing my name in thanks as you eat the best Mince Pies ever, and cursing as you will never be able to face a shop bought one ever again.
November 14, 2009
Times Calls The 60% Of Us Who Are Sceptics Idiots
The poll in The Times today reveals that only 41 per cent of respondents believe that climate change is happening and that human causation is an established fact. A third of the public believes in the fact of climate change but remains unpersuaded that it is the work of human hands. Nearly one in ten people believes that climate change is a purely natural phenomenon and blaming humans is propaganda put about by environmentalists. Fifteen per cent of the country simply do not accept that climate change is happening at all.
There has clearly been a serious failure of political communication but the last group at least should be easy to convince.....
Sophisticated critics, of course, do not deny any of this. They argue that change is constant in the natural world, not that it has miraculously ceased. They deny not climate change but human causation, suggesting instead that global warming is due, variously, to the Sun, volcanoes and el Niño. Fifty-nine per cent of the respondents to this newspaper’s poll do not, for one reason or another, believe that human action is responsible for climate change.
Again, the failure of political communication is very stark. ...
Natural factors alone cannot, on any but the most extraordinary assumptions, get anywhere close to the temperature rises that have been witnessed. Hardly any serious scientists dispute this any longer.
It is possible that the collective expertise of brilliant scientists could be wrong. The best minds in the world once held a geocentric theory of the solar system. Before the discovery of sub-atomic particles they believed that everything was made of earth, air, fire and water. Right up to the 19th century, serious scientists wrote recipe books for making animals. But no previous process of scientific trial, error and progress has ever overturned such a well-attested thesis. Lord Rees has reminded us that we now live in a global village and it is, he pointed out, probably inevitable that there will be some global village idiots.
It's all about politics in their mind, not about the science.
November 13, 2009
Friday Night is Music Night (Harmless Old Hippy Edition)
Telegraph Gun Crime
Collecting: vintage shotguns - Telegraph
Top-quality old British shotguns can be beautiful, valuable and practical.
To my untutored eyes that gun looks neither old nor British; it looks a bit like my Benelli Auto, maybe you know better?
Project Habakkuk Success At Last?
A giant iceberg the length of seven football pitches has been spotted floating off Australia.
Neal Young, an Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist, said..the iceberg had probably split from a major Antarctic ice shelf nine years ago, and said more could be expected in the area if global warming continues.
But Professor Jonathan Bamber, from Bristol University, said icebergs the size of Wales can break off the Antarctic and it is too early to say if it is caused by climate change.
It is nice to see the traditional measurement system of football pitches and Wales being used, but how many London Buses does it weigh and Nelson Columns high is it?
And Prof Bamber pouring cold water on it being Climate Change at work, now that isn't traditional.
Tory Troughing is The Best
Is the food you're eating liberal or conservative? - Comment Central - Times Online - WBLG....political adversaries view each other with suspicion across a gulf in eating habits too...
Conservatives prefer plainer, meatier, more traditional foods and are keener on "junk" food takeaways. No surprises there, but obviously this is a Septic survey because the Liberals spend much more on and drink much more wine, a suspicious European habit. Whereas here drinking wine is upholding traditional values, there is very little wine worth drinking that doesn't come from somewhere that was part of the Empire or Wellington marched through.
And what is it with apple corers? Most conservatives have one and use it and most liberals have no clue what they are? I know what they are but wouldn't own one or use one, I have a karda that does the job, what does that make me?
Spanner Monkeys Demand Boys' Toys Building Program
A WARTIME mentality is needed to fight climate change, with a new battle plan drawn up that includes building 40,000 more wind turbines and 20 nuclear power stations by the middle of the century, a new report claims.
IMechE's chief executive Stephen Tetlow said there was a need for a "wartime mentality", with ordinary people aware of how much electricity they were using in the same way they would have been aware of food consumption and blackouts in the Second World War.
The report calls for a new 100-year "battle plan"...eclipsing "the efforts and resourcing deployed during the Cold War".... remodelling the Department of Energy and Climate Change into the new Department of Energy and Climate Security (DECS), giving it significant powers to implement what is necessary and needed in the war against climate change.....only be effective if DECS merges all actions into one definitive national battle plan that spans at least 100 years.
I think it would be more useful if they ran their sliderules over the data first, before getting all wet pantied over building artificial trees and bunds.
November 12, 2009
Looking in the desk for something else I came across a POW letter of my father's which mentioned Campo PG70 in Italy, where he was held before being shipped to Stalag IVB in Germany. He always got on well with Germans and Austrians after the war but he never forgave the Italians.
A quick search came up with this history of another POW on the same trip from North Africa - more below the fold.
The prisoners were formed into long columns. Some had watches, rings and items of value taken from them. The prisoners were initially in the hands of the Germans but were handed over to the Italians.
The men were moved eventually to a large barbed wire enclosure on the outskirts of Benghazi. By this time the death toll was rising as dysentery, exposure, malnutrition and diphtheria took an increasing toll. They had to sleep in the open and were given very little food or water. At first there was no shelter at all for the men. During the day they were burnt by the hot sun and exposed to the cold during the night.
The men were eventually issued with groundsheets which some tried to make into rough shelters. Their latrines were open shallow trenches dug in the sand, which frequently became full and overflowed. When one became full a fresh one was dug using up precious space and causing more overcrowding. Seventy five percent of the prisoners had dysentery. Washing was impossible because the small ration of water given to the men was not enough to even quench their thirst. Some of the men were in this camp for about 3 months and were half starved and had very little or no resistance to infection.
It was eventually decided to move the prisoners to Italy and they were transported in the holds of cargo ships. The men were cramped into the dark holds of these ships with very little space per man. Men were allowed to go 6 at a time onto the deck to go to the toilet so you can imagine the conditions considering so many men had dysentery. In addition these boats were often attacked by the RAF who were unaware that they were carrying prisoners of war and so many men died during these voyages.
The men were disembarked and had to march through Italy making several stops along the way until they reached their final destinations.
During this march dysentery took the biggest toll for with no medical attention men were dying every day. After a few weeks it was malnutrition that was the biggest killer. The men became walking skeletons — in fact they often found it very difficult to walk due to their emaciated state.
The men were growing weaker every day and many were on the verge of giving up hope. The thing that raised their spirits and also helped to save their live was receiving Red Cross parcels although these were supposed to be issued at the rate of one parcel per week per man the first issue was one parcel amongst six men.
They eventually reached Campo PG70 at Monturano near Fermo in Italy, which was a disused factory with large concrete warehouses standing in a large field surrounded by high barbed wire fencing. The men were billeted in the warehouses which had 3 tier bunks with straw filled palliases. The men had all their hair shaved off. It was many weeks before the men saw any more food parcels and when they did arrive it was usually at about 6 week intervals and was one parcel between 4 men.
The discomfort of the men was added to by fleas, mice and lice which infested every inch of their clothing and laid eggs along every seam so as soon as they got rid of one lot the next day as many again had hatched out.
The prisoners got news of how the war was progressing on a homemade radio which the Italians never managed to find. In September Italy surrendered and the men were virtually free. However, a message was received from our High Command saying it would cause confusion if the men tried to move south to join them, and the men were ordered to remain in the camp and wait for our forces to arrive.
For several weeks the men fended for themselves until one morning they discovered that German parachutists had dropped around the camp and a machine gunner was in every sentry box and the men were once again prisoners.
A couple of days later the men were informed they were to be taken to Germany. They were marched to some railway sidings where there was a long train of cattle trucks and the men were crowded into them with 40 men to a truck. There was not enough room to lie down so they had to either stand or squat on the floor leaning back to back. There were 2 buckets in each truck, one for drinking water and the other to be used as a lavatory. It was a long and tedious journey, which lasted 7 days 6 nights. It was extremely hot in the trucks and many men died of heatstroke and dehydration.
They finally arrived at their destination, a massive complex containing hundreds of wooden huts. A barbed wire fence surrounded them with sentry boxes about every 25 yards. This was Stalag IVB and was situated at Muhlberg-on-Elbe. Each hut held 200 men.
The next morning the men were given a shower, had their heads shaved and were photographed. The British Section of the camp was for NCO’s only and all other men were sent to working camps. Following the bombing of Dresden by the RAF they were involved in digging out/rescue of victims. This must have been a horrendous task as it is estimated in some circles that about 200,000 people died here as the city had been crammed full of refugees. There had been a firestorm and most of the victims had been cremated where they stood.
Stalag IVB, along with its various surrounding working camps, was eventually liberated by the Russians in early April 1945 and the prisoners of war were eventually handed over to the Americans and were flown to Brussels where the British Army took over and the men were then flown back to England.
I didn't want to trivialise the wearing of a poppy earlier but am I the only one fed up of seeing people wearing them upside down? It is quite clear, and more aesthetically pleasing that the broad petal is the bottom petal, not as Blair above and many others, wear it. Is it a sign of distress or ignorance?
So any bets as to which way up Gordon wore his?
Yes, yes and no, next question please
An environmental group has warned electric cars could increase carbon emissions.
By David Millward, Transport Editor
Published: 12:01AM GMT 12 Nov 2009
Does this mean that we are being conned by supporters of the new "green technology"?
Is the Government wasting nearly £300 million of our money promoting something which may do little good or are plug-in cars the way of the future?
That is the entire article; I haven't snipped anything so I don't know, or care, about the details of the claim.
This is the sort of English up with which I will not put
They are some of the most memorable and stirring words of the 20th century, but Churchill’s speech exhorting the British to “fight on the beaches” would fail if submitted as a school essay and subjected to a proposed computerised marking system.
The wartime leader had a style that was too repetitive, according to the computer being tested for the online marking of school qualifications. It rated Churchill as below average in the equivalent of an A level English exam.
I thought they just weighed the papers now to judge them, if you want to give prizes to all then of course we can't afford to actually read and understand them.
MOD Bonus Balls
Outrage at £47m bonus for MoD pen pushers
The defence minister Kevan Jones revealed that, in the seven months from April to October, MoD staff received bonuses totalling £47,283,853.
The figure was down on the £52,984,656 paid out in 2008-9, but it was higher than the previous year's £46,103,238 and almost double the bonuses totalling £24,866,213 paid out in 2003-4.
The official MoD figures showed a total of £287,809,049 has been paid out in bonuses to civil servants since 2003 – the year Britain went to war in Iraq.
Phil Cooper, whose son, Jamie, received £200,000 in compensation for injuries suffered in Iraq – last night condemned the bonuses as "absolutely disgusting".
Private Cooper, then aged 18, became the youngest soldier to be injured in the conflict in 2006.
His father said he was "laughing with astonishment" at news of the bonus pay-outs, adding: "What exactly have they done to earn that? How do they justify it?
"I find it ludicrous," Mr Cooper said. "It makes me angry that they are being paid £47 million to pat themselves on the backs.
Yes, what exactly have they done to earn that? What have they done above and beyond their salaried job to deserve a bonus? What risks have they taken that deserve a reward?
November 11, 2009
The Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue, in Newspeak) is one of the four ministries that govern Oceania in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. As with the other Ministries in the novel, the Ministry of Truth is a misnomer and in reality serves an opposing purpose to that which its name would imply, being responsible for the falsification of historical events; and yet is aptly named in a deeper sense, in that it creates/manufactures "truth" in the newspeak sense of the word.
George Orwell worked at the Ministry of Information, which was his model for the Ministry of Truth.
November 10, 2009
Daily Mail Withdraws Snooper Story
Daily Mail - Steve Doughty - Nov 8, 2009
Family homes could be invaded by health and safety inspectors checking that parents are keeping their children safe. ...
I try not to read or link to the Daily Mail, but other have linked to this story (and alerted me to it), the story is no longer on the website, cock up or was it wrong? No other paper seems to have followed it up. I have no doubt the essence of the story is correct but us nanny bashers must make sure we don't fall into nanny's trap and start exaggerating and lying.
Every Breath You Take
The government is proceeding with plans to compel communications service providers [CSPs] to retain electronic data beyond that required for commercial purposes, and make it available to the security services, police and other public authorities, despite substantial opposition. The plan will see CSPs retaining details of all emails, phone calls, texts and other electronic communications – but not their content.
The proposals are expected to cost £2bn to implement over 10 years, with no indication of any payments to CSPs to offset costs.
Officials also rejected inserting an independent judgment into the process – similar to the requirement for police to obtain a magistrates' signature on a search warrant - claiming it would "impair the effectiveness of the techniques in question" without protecting privacy.
The document spelling out the outcome of a consultation on the proposals complained they had been "widely misrepresented", insisting communications data "is a vital tool for public authorities who protect the public" and must not be limited to dealing with the terrorist threat but extend to crime, public health and public safety as well.
"public health and public safety as well" - I think that means your own private health and safety as well, wouldn't want you ordering too many extra large pizzas would we?
Every breath you take and every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take, I'll be watching you
Every single day and every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay, I'll be watching you
Oh can't you see you belong to me?
Mr FM's Golfing Holiday in Scotland
Golf club under attack over shooting of foxes - Scotsman.com News
Gourock Golf Club, in Inverclyde, has brought in the gunmen to kill the animals after members complained they were ruining the 18-hole course.
Last night, activists condemned the club for being too keen to "shoot to kill". John Patrick, of Scotland For Animals, said: "This is a worrying development, as it could set the mark for how premises and businesses deal with so-called 'pest problems'."
He added: "There are several effective and humane methods of discouraging foxes and other animals from entering land.
"Hiring marksmen to creep around in the dead of night blasting bullets about the place isn't one of them.
I've never played golf but I was hoping they were allowing members to pack something other than clubs in their trolleys, it might have made the game a bit more interesting.
Banana Boy's Slippery Pole
Despite saying previously he was "not available" for the job, speculation had persisted that he might accept if it was offered. According to the BBC, Mr Miliband told Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the head of the left-leaning Party of European Socialists, he was not interested in the role when they met yesterday.
That fuelled speculation he is aiming to succeed Gordon Brown as Labour leader, either before or after the general election.
Why would he give up the chance to actually get a job with power to run for PM? Doesn't make sense to me, unless he realises that even the bunch of incompetent tossers that run the EU he would stand out as being an even incompententer tosserer twat.
November 9, 2009
Decline and Fall
In my cabinet of curiosities, along side scraps of stone and pottery from empires that have risen and fallen over thousands of years, there lies a painted lump of concrete I picked up about twenty years ago from Berlin. Happy days, we thought we were winning then...
Perth Sinking Not Drowning
Statistics from Australia's National Tidal Centre show levels have increased by 8.6mm a year off the coast of the state capital Perth.
That compares to a global average of just over 3mm.
Scientists have said that man-made climate change has played a significant role in the rise.....
Not a mention that Perth sits on the Perth Basin which shows a very high subsidence rate because groundwater is
being over-extracted and that the whole basin continues to subside because of the weight of sediments within it.
Two minutes with Mr Google and another scare story falls apart....
Bring Back Rationing Demands Green Chief
Everyone should be given an annual carbon ration and face financial penalties if they exceed it, under a proposal by the Environment Agency.
Lord Smith of Finsbury, the agency’s chairman, will say today that rationing is the fairest and most effective way of meeting Britain’s legally binding targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
People would be given a “carbon account” and a unique number that they would have to submit when making purchases of carbon-intensive items such as petrol, electricity or airline tickets. As with a bank account, people would receive statements showing the carbon weight of each purchase and how much of their ration remained.
The fact he can expect to publicly demand this without being chased through the streets by pitchfork wielding mobs crying for freedom or death shows how far the debate has moved.
Worstall celebrates the liberty we had, especially to gather together and form a club.
I was a guest at a Remembrance parade in the Midlands over the weekend, and along side the Gurkha and British servicemen there were any number of clubs and organisations represented, from Brownies to Buffaloes, market traders to merchant seamen. All remembering the fight for that liberty.
The Cost of Being Above Criticism
More serious perhaps was Mr Obama's strange disconnectedness over the Fort Hood massacre of 13 soldiers by an Army major and devout Muslim who opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, had praised suicide bombing and shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he opened fire.
Maybe Mr Obama had been reading the American press, much of which somehow contrived to present the atrocity as a result of combat stress due to soldiers going on repeated war deployments (though Major Nadal Hasan had not been on any) and therefore, no doubt, Mr Bush's fault.
When the television networks cut to the President, viewers listened to him spend more than two surreal minutes talking to a gathering of Native Americans about their "extraordinary" and "extremely productive" conference, pausing to give a cheery "shout out" to a man named Dr Joe Medicine Crow. Only then did he briefly and mechanically address what had happened in Texas.
On Friday, when most of the basic facts were available, Mr Obama tried again. It was scarcely any better. He began by offering "an update on the tragedy that took place" - as if it was an earthquake and not a terrorist attack from an enemy within - and ended with a promise for more "updates in the coming days and weeks".
Completely missing was the eloquence that Mr Obama employs when talking about himself. Absent too was any sense that the President empathised with the families and comrades of those murdered.
Killer's loyalties not queried 'for fear of looking anti-Muslim' - Scotsman.com News
FORT Hood killer Major Nidal Malik Hasan expressed political views that troubled his fellow soldiers, but may not have been reported for fear of them being accused of anti-Muslim feeling.
Sir Ian Kennedy - Bring it on!
Sir Ian is said to feel that using the internet and other mainstream media, including radio phone-in programmes, will be more effective than the public hearing system used by Sir Christopher.
Oh please, please let this be true. Sir Ian the independent friend of Alastair Campbell and lunching companion of St Tony Blair (failing Presidential candidate) doesn't know what would hit his smug puffy porcine face if asked the public.
Gorbachev Calls for What?
....There is not just one wall to topple, but many. There is the wall between those states which are already industrialised, and those developing countries which do not want to be held back. There is the wall between those who cause climate change, and those who suffer the consequences. There is the wall between those who heed the scientific evidence, and those who pander to vested interests. And there is the wall between the citizens who are changing their own behaviour and want strong global action, and the leaders who are so far letting them down.
...To echo the demand made of me by my late friend and sparring partner President Reagan: Mr Obama, Mr Hu, Mr Singh, Mr Brown and, back in Berlin, Ms Merkel and her European counterparts: “Tear down this wall!”
For this is Your Wall, your defining moment. You cannot dodge the call of history. I appeal to heads of state and government to personally come to the climate change conference in Copenhagen this December and dismantle the wall. The people of the world expect you to deliver; do not fail them.
Sounds a bit like a cry for International Socialism to me, I wonder why that would be?
November 7, 2009
That Time Of Year Again
We are off to spend the weekend in Barracks with old friends; Remembrance Parade tomorrow morning. Don't Forget.
Noli Me Calcare!
She seems to to be the one person who is coming out of this appalling act with credit, representing the type of American and Texan we hope for. Many others, starting at the top aren't. And nor is the media with its circumlocutory commentary. I don't expect the jury will be so indirect.
Oiling your root, for the sake of your body
My guest last night left Wiltshire convinced the locals are touched after the late night conversation at the bar descended into an argument as to the difference in taste between ringed and julienned carrots. Simple folk who can't taste the difference were relentless mocked.
Maybe I shouldn't have then brought up the arguement that carrots should be cooked whole and then cut because it started to get ugly then...
I have checked and found evidence to prove me right - and also another snippet of advice...
Carrots are best boiled whole - read the research
...mix carrots with a little fat, such as butter or olive oil. Not only does it enhance the taste, but because many important nutrients from plants are fat-soluble you'll actually absorb fewer of them if your diet is low in fat
So more butter on my carrots for my health's sake!
November 6, 2009
With Mr FM in Scotland I'm relying on the kindness of a reader to transport to the delights of the King's Arms tonight.
Last night I was at The Red Lion East Chisenbury. Bloody fantastic - book a meal there. The Salted Almond Ice Cream with the Chocolate Fondant will live in my memory for a long time.
Friday Night is Music Night (Take Me Edition)
Sex with Ed Balls
Forced sex education by Ed Balls; I suppose Gordon Brown could teach Personal Hygiene alongside him with the fragrant Yvette demonstrating....
Whoops I have just lost my breakfast.....
November 5, 2009
Remember, Remember the Fifth of November
And happy wedding anniversary to me. Mrs Englishman deserves a medal for putting up with me for 15 years. Thanks Love!
November 4, 2009
School Place Cheats
Instead of castigating parents for wanting a better education for their children, those in power should be asking themselves why parents are prepared to make so much effort to get their children into a good school. They should also look at how the schooling system needs to be reformed to allow this competition for places to engender the opportunities of excellence in education for all, rather than trying to cut it off at root.
School Vouchers Now - Simples
No Blaspheming Allowed at the Church of Climate Change
In a landmark ruling, Mr Justice Michael Burton said that "a belief in man-made climate change ... is capable, if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations".
I've never been sure of what a philosophical belief is and how it differs from a scientific belief, is there something about provability about it?
But I suppose I better not mock any greenies in case I'm brought up in front of the beak for disrespecting their beliefs.
Cameron's Approach to Europe
Get it straight: Cameron is a real Eurosceptic | Daniel Finkelstein - Times Online
The Tory leader has a plan to stop the ‘European ratchet’, but he won’t let a spat over Lisbon derail his first year in office.
That's Dave on the left, George in the middle and Danny following, hidden behind the white flag. A robust approach to Europe as you can see....
All Property is Theft!
Britain should become a 'hire society' rather than a 'throw away' society says WRAP
Items that could be hired instead of bought include tableware, gardening tools, new electronic gadgets, ski equipment, clothes, telephones and cars.
Liz Goodwin, Chief Executive of WRAP, said consumer buying patterns and waste reduction are the "secret weapon" in meeting climate change targets.
Tableware? Clothes? Telephones? I can see hiring the odd ball gown makes sense but I don't want to hire Monboits old boxer shorts. Fair enough hiring in some extra plates when you are hosting a do in a marquee, but I prefer to own my own spoons, thank you. And telephones, the penny drops. I remember when we all had to hire our telephones from the GPO, the joys of socialist provision of lines and services. That is the glorious future they want for us.
Why the long face?
I'm not sure why this reminds me of the appointment of Incitatus to the Senate, but it does.
November 3, 2009
Kilimanjaro - The Times Wrong Again on Climate Change
The snows of Mount Kilimanjaro will be gone within two decades, according to scientists who say that the rapid melting of its glacier cap over the past century provides dramatic physical evidence of global climate change.
Wrong - local climate change caused by local deforestation according to peer reviewed studies - for full details see Watts Up
Bletted and my first taste of an Open-Arse, I'm converted!
My tree has fruited and the first fruits are rotting, bletting, nicely. Until they turn to a soft brown goo, like apple sauce, inside the starfish opening they are not edible. I tried my first one yesterday and found out what I have been missing all these years. Wonderful.
This white top writeth myne olde yeris;
Myn herte is mowled also as myne heris —
But if I fare as dooth an open-ers.
That ilke fruyt is ever lenger the wers,
Til it be roten in mullok or in stree.
We olde men, I drede, so fare we:
Til we be roten, kan we nat be rype;
Time for the RSPB to learn from the Fox hunts
CLAIMS by crofters that sea eagles have been killing large numbers of their lambs have been called into question by new research.
Crofters in the Gairloch Peninsula in Wester Ross claimed the birds of prey were responsible for the deaths of 200 lambs last year alone.
The research, which cost almost £100,000, also involved an analysis of the nests of the four pairs of sea eagles in the area.
Some lamb carcases were discovered.
Forensic analysis of the blood patterns was used to determine whether these lambs were killed by the sea eagles or whether they were taken as carrion after they were already dead.
They are spending over £500 a lamb to try and prove that a bird found eating dead ones just happened to find it already dead you Honour, repeatedly. They introduced the bloody things and want the crofters to love them, at the pain of prosecution.
Last year a similar report made me ask Where's the RSPB's Poultry Fund?.
Lamb not on sea eagles’ menu, says RSPB - Times Online
A furious row has broken out between crofters in the remote western Highland moors and the RSPB after the conservation charity rubbished claims that sea eagles have been taking lambs.
The farmers, to the anger of conservationists, say that sea eagles have been targeting their lambs and destroying their already meagre income.
In the bad old days fox hunting gentlemen persuaded farmers not to commit vulpicide by establishing a "poultry fund" whereby non-hunting farmers were compensated for livestock taken by foxes. Obviously it was hard to verify the losses so it was normally administered by a local gentleman trusted by all, and empowered to overlook some exaggeration in the name of maintaining good relations. The RSPB could learn from this rather than calling farmers fibbers. It is after all far richer than any fox hunt ever was.
November 2, 2009
Climate Change Ignorance
Met accused of ignorance about climate change - Telegraph
Police are advising householders to install movement-sensitive security lights to protect their homes from intruders at night.
Jenny Jones, the former Deputy Mayor of London, a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority and London assembly member for the Green Party, accused the police of failing to address the "environmental ramifications" of Operation Bumblebee.
She said: "The Met simply does not get Climate change, and neither does the Mayor of London. They need a basic education in these issues before we all drown in our beds.
The average motion-sensor security light goes off five to eight times per night for around five minutes, meaning that a household would notch up 152 hours of extra wattage a year and add around 22,000 tons of carbon dioxide to London's carbon footprint.
Hours of wattage that is! It all comes down to priorities, are you more worried about Billy Burglar breaking in or the sea level suddenly rising tonight? Which is more likely to happen and cause you harm?
Maybe I should turn green and invest in a night vision rifle scope and do away with the krieg lights at The Castle....
Sick of the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.
The annual Climate Confidence Monitor found the number of people worrying about global warming worldwide has fallen by eight per cent to just over a third in the last year as the economic downturn kicked in.
Just fifteen per cent of people in Britain worry about climate change and how the world responds to the problem, the lowest figure for any of the 12 countries surveyed. The figure is down from 26 per cent last year.
All that propaganda has been money well spent then, imagine how few would care if we didn't have drowning puppies and polar bears on our screens and in our schools every day.
More, more, more is the only answer!
Claire Perry - my next MP - who She?
Grayson Perry is an English artist who is best known for his cermaics that feature paintings of his alter ego, "Claire," and for dressing up as "Claire" in public. Perry's glazed ceramics have an overall traditional appearance but are strewn with images that counter the objects' conservative but cheery look, that include scenes of sadomasochism and child abuse. Perry has said that there is an element of the autobiographical in his work, hence his public persona as "Claire."
I'm not sure Mr Google has found the right "Claire Perry - Conservative" or maybe Devizes is in for a bit of a shock!
Damning the Deniers
The Pedant: How to avoid being in denial - Times Online
...Holocaust denial is a distinctively mendacious proposition. But “denial” is rightly applied in other cases where there is no legitimate debate about facts. Deniers are those who refuse to accept the evidence.
Denial is not a synonym for heterodoxy. Because some claims fall outside the bounds of genuine debate, it is a valuable term for distinguishing among minority positions and an apt label for the claims of pseudoscience and pseudohistory. To reject the evidence that Aids is a medical condition caused by a virus is that type of position. So is rejection of the evidence of global warming caused by human activities. These claims have costs, in persuading people to reject evidence-based science. No other succinct term describes them as effectively as denial.
RSPCA wants POCA rights
Detective Inspector Brian Stuart, head of the NWCU, the National Wildlife Crime Unit, a police-led, multi-agency unit, said the principal motivation appeared to be financial.
"There is an increase in wildlife crime in general. We are seeking to use wider policing powers, such as the Proceeds of Crime Act, to target criminals where it hurts them most – in their pocket," he said.
Conservations (sic) including the RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts believe that police are failing to be consistent in their handling of offenders, meaning many feel they can act with impunity. A government review into how wildlife crime is tackled is under way and will report in spring next year.
So the RSPCA wants the power to seize your assets as well, any bets they won't get it, especially as Labour scrabbles for donations before the election?
Is it now natural climate change we are fighting against?
Climate change could kill 250,000 children next year, and the figure could rise to more than 400,000 by 2030, according to Save the Children. Climate change is the biggest global health threat to children in the 21st century as droughts and floods force families to leave their homes and children to drop out of school. Starvation and economic collapse caused by natural disasters could even lead to more child trafficking and child labour.
David Mepham, Save the Children’s Director of Policy, called on world leaders to agree a tough deal on tacking climate change at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.
I seem to note a shift in the exhortations to do something about Climate Change. They are dropping the "Man Made" label - here is is described as "natural".
Doing something to help the victims of natural disasters and helping them prepare against them is a fine and admirable thing. Sensible predictions of how likely and where these disaster will be will help. Using such tragedies to demand the destruction of western civilization in an orgy of guilt isn't.
Dope on a Rope
Political Betting asks Was this the end of AJ4PM? as Pat exploded like some red faced buffoon over the resignation of his Drugs Expert.
"It’s a natural for Cameron at the next PMQs and you can see him using it to draw conclusions about the whole government being in a mess."
Spliffy Dave will keep well away from this, he doesn't want anyone calling him Spliffy and he knows his bunch don't want anyone to tell them the truth either when it fails to confirm his prejudices.
An Elegy for Freedom
The Devil's Kitchen: Farewell freedom—it was nice knowing you expands on Worstall's post on the misuse of POCA - The right to search homes, seize cash, freeze bank accounts and confiscate property will be given to town hall officials and civilian investigators employed by organisations as diverse as Royal Mail, the Rural Payments Agency and Transport for London.
To answer the Devil's question, I'm stockpiling the hempen, but I think we will need a whole lot more.
November 1, 2009
1st November Post
Today it is blowing a gale and the rain is sheeting down the windows - The roast beef has been in the bottom oven of the AGA all night and smells superb, the Claret is chosen, the Stilton is breathing, the fire blazing; so I'm not going out to update the photos.
A Land Fit for Heroes
Iraq war hero now working in call centre speaks of anger at government
“I am not alone in feeling betrayed and let down by this government."
One was an adventurous but clear-headed young soldier who, when suddenly plunged into hellish danger, displayed true courage under fire.
The other was an ambitious former lawyer swept to giddy eminence by politics, who unexpectedly found himself hailed in the United States as a heroic war leader.
The soldier was Chris Finney, whose actions would have won him a Victoria Cross but for the embarrassing fact that he was mistakenly under attack by our American allies when he dragged a wounded comrade from a burning vehicle as cannon fire howled around his head – and so not in combat with the enemy.
Instead he was awarded the civil equivalent, the George Cross.
The lawyer was Tony Blair....