December 31, 2009
Malaria in Kenya - It's Your Fault This Time
Global warming has caused a seven-fold increase in cases of malaria on the slopes of Mount Kenya, a British-funded research team has found.
A DfID spokesman said the research had also concluded that emissions from human activity, rather than natural climate variability, were responsible for the change in temperature. He said: “The seven-fold increase is directly attributable to man-made climate change. One of the problems in making the link between climate change and malaria is that natural factors usually have a part to play.
IRIN Africa | KENYA: Climate change and malaria in Nairobi | Feature
The third assessment report, published in 2001, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, paid special attention to highland malaria. The report states that due to the life-cycle of the mosquito and its role as host of the malaria parasite, "at low temperatures, a small increase in temperature can greatly increase the risk of malaria transmission" and "future climate change may increase transmission in some highland regions, such as in East Africa".
However, the IPCC report continues, "there are insufficient historical data on malaria distribution and activity to determine the role of warming, if any, in the recent resurgence of malaria in the highlands of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia".
Furthermore, two subsequent studies drawing on weather records at several highland locations in Africa, including tea estates in Kenya's Kericho region, published in Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reach differing conclusions about whether temperatures were increasing and the occurrence of malaria.
The award-winning film by former US vice-president Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, says Nairobi used to be too cold for malaria-carrying mosquitoes, but now climate change is causing the disease to occur.
Paul Reiter, a malaria expert now with the Pasteur Institute, has taken issue both with the film and some of the IPCC reporting. In the International Herald Tribune in January, he wrote, "Gore's claim is deceitful on four counts. Nairobi was dangerously infested when it was founded; it was founded for a railway, not for health reasons; it is now fairly clear of malaria; and it has not become warmer."
HEALTH-KENYA: Malaria Rises to Highland Areas
"There is a clear correlation between climatic variations and malaria epidemics," says Dr Willis Akhwale, head of Kenya's National Malaria Control Programme. He referred to a 1998 investigation by his department into the breakout of epidemics in Kericho, a district in the southwestern highlands known for its tea production and cool climate. The study determined that the El Nino effect had raised temperatures by 2.2 - 4.5 degrees celsius between January and March 1997 and by 1.8-3.0 degrees celsius in February-April 1998, leading to the sudden occurrence of epidemics.
The science of this phenomenon is simple: the mosquito-transmitted parasite requires an 'ambience temperature' - usually a quarterly mean of over 18-19 degrees celsius - which occurs in the highlands only in unusually warm years, as in 1997-98 due to El Nino. Such years are becoming more frequent now.
Previous records in East Africa's highlands show, said Akhwale, that "the epidemics of the 1940s, for example, and some in 1905 were also the times when high temperatures were recorded internally and globally."
But has the climate changed that much in the first place?
Christy et al (J Clim 2009), Surface Temperature Variations in East Africa and Possible Causes, is a detailed study of station records from Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa an area which more or less covers nine 5-degree gridcells from 10S to 5N and from 30E to 45E.
For the 100-yr period from 1905 to 2004 in this grid cell, the trends were near zero for both TMax and TMin, but confidence in these results is low because of the relatively sparse data in the years before 1946. Beginning with 1946 and ending in 2004, near-zero trends were found for TMax. The TMin trends were more positive, and significantly so based on both measurement error and temporal sampling error. It is difficult to assess the measurement error of these trends, but using the spread of 20 realizations in which the construction parameters were varied, the range of +/- 0.10 Degree C per Decade is plausible.
Gummer follows Ted Heath's example.
John Gummer quits as MP to force more passion out of West on climate change - Times Online
John Gummer is to leave the House of Commons to lead a new international campaign to make Britain, the US and other developed countries take more responsibility for fighting climate change.
He also defended China’s role at the Copenhagen conference, saying that it had been blamed unfairly; "China has moved its position enormously, by engaging in the process and making commitments on emissions. But there is a real political issue over the attitude of Americans to climate change, and getting them to understand how it poisons relationships between America and the rest of the world.”
John Prescott (Professor of Climate Change at a Xiamen University and the Council of Europe climate change rapporteur) said that the United States shared the blame for the lack of a legally-binding deal at this month’s summit, and rejected suggestions that China “wrecked” a global agreement on cutting emissions.
Smell, what smell? Pecunia non olet and old failed politicians have to cover their own expenses now.
December 29, 2009
Good and Bad Vs Evil
'Take the fight' to terrorists - Bush - Democratic Underground
US President George Bush vowed to "take the fight" to the terrorists behind the London bomb attacks.
"We will continue to take this fight to the enemy and we will fight until this enemy is defeated."
Obama pledges to take fight to terrorists - The Guardian
Barack Obama yesterday said the US would "not rest" until it has called to account those behind the attempted suicide bombing of a transatlantic flight over Detroit on Christmas Day.
The Black Sheriff
Britain's first black High Sheriff selected - Telegraph
Peaches Golding, a community worker from Bristol, has become Britain's first black High Sheriff since the post was created 1,000 years ago.
Second I think having reviewed the documentary evidence:
If Scrambled Egg Won Wars
MoD faces questions over why the Army majors on generals - Times Online
Although the size of the trained Army has shrunk to about 100,000 soldiers, there are now 255 members with the rank of brigadier or above — or one for every 400 service personnel.
There are now 65 generals in the Army, with 43 major-generals, 17 lieutenant-generals and five four-star generals. In addition there are 190 brigadiers, a one-star rank; 20 more than in 1997.
There are more than 30 admirals in post in the Navy: two four-star admirals, six vice-admirals and 25 rear-admirals.
In the RAF there are 36 top brass: three air chief marshals, nine air marshals and 24 air vice-marshals.
Do they march each other up and down?
Aberdeen Climate Chaos
HOSPITALS and emergency services have had to deal with a spate of injuries caused by falls due to councils failing to tackle ice-bound pavements, it has been claimed.
Some residents in Aberdeen have threatened to refuse to pay council tax in protest at a lack of gritting on the city's paths.
A council spokesman said crews were tackling priority areas around shops and sheltered housing. He said: "We have 19 pavement gritters out, which is the full complement. We are doing everything we can to clear the pavements.
Aberdeen has been busy preparing for years: Aberdeen was the first City in Scotland to produce a Climate Change Action Plan 2002. Just read all the self congratulatory documents they produce:
They have 19 pavement gritters out and there are 19 partners in their Climate Change plan, coincidence? The suggestion that the fat-arsed climate change planners should leave their comfy offices and pick up a shovel to help deal with the snow and ice is of course unhelpful when they have a world to save.
December 27, 2009
Buying Votes With A Railway
A high-speed rail line from London to Scotland will cut through swathes of protected countryside under plans to be handed to ministers this week.
The route of the £60 billion 250mph line, the biggest rail project in Britain since 1899, has been planned to within about 25 yards. It will cut journey times from London to Manchester by a third and bring the construction of the first new terminus in London for more than 100 years.
Lord Adonis, the transport secretary, believes it will herald an end to domestic flights and the carbon savings and environmental benefits will make it “manifestly in the public interest”. He said last week that the high-speed rail network would be an important feature of Labour’s election manifesto.
I'm surprised we need to build a new line as there seems to be plenty of old ones that could be upgraded...
This proposal is being presented by High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd a "company set up by the Government to consider the case for new high speed rail services between London and Scotland."
No bias there then. Because as any fule knows "Very much against public and political sentiment roads managed to avoid congestion would offer 3 to 4 times the capacity to move freight and people at one quarter the cost of rail while using 20% to 25% less energy and reducing casualty costs suffered by rail passengers by a factor of 2."
A quick google of green groups finds many acknowledging the cradle to grave costs of rail means it is in the same ballpark as coaches, and that is without the building of a new track.
Luckily HS2 has set up "Challenge" panels to check on their proposals:
Strategic Challenge Panel provides strategic challenge and an independent perspective on how HS2 develops proposals for a new railway line from London to the West Midlands and potentially beyond.
Expert Panel Members:
Kate Barker CBE – Monetary Policy Committee Member, Bank of England
Prof. David Begg – Chair of the Northern Way Transport Compact (RDA Quango)
Richard Brown CBE – Chief Executive, Eurostar
Tony Collins – Chief Executive, Virgin Trains
Iain Coucher – Chief Executive, Network Rail
Stephen Joseph OBE – Executive Director, Campaign for Better Transport (Fakecharity - largely funded by Dept of Transport)
David Leeder – Vice Chair, Commission for Integrated Transport (Dept of Transport Body)
Sir Michael Lyons – Chairman of the BBC Trust
Anthony Smith – Chief Executive, Passenger Focus (Dept of Transport Body)
Tony Travers – Director, Greater London Group, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Can you spot any theme about these independent challengers who will be challenging as to whether it is a good idea for the Government to spend huge amounts of taxpayers money on a new railway to the north? Your money is safe in their hands.
December 26, 2009
Health benefit of tobacco?
In these slow news days the health writers took a break from warning about undercooked turkey and discussed this at length on the radio.
I didn't hear one mention Tobacco - I don't know if the study itself considers this but there is "a statistically significant inverse association between smoking and Alzheimer's disease, with a trend towards decreasing risk with increasing consumption" and obviously the opposite with smoking.
It maybe that the link has been considered and dismissed or maybe the idea that there might be some tobacco health benefits is a heresy too far to be reported.
Maybe if you are old you should take up the pipe, you are going to die before you get cancer and it might keep your grey cells in finer shape...
Pulled and devilled turkey - today's receipt
(A repost from 2006 - Grigson always insisted on receipt rather than recipe)
About 1 lb cooked turkey breast
One leg and thigh of the turkey, preferably undercooked and pink.
Instead of the turkey, a boiled or roasted chicken (with the brown meat a little underdone) or a brace of stewed or roasted pheasants can be used.
1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 rounded tablespoon mango or peach chutney
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce, or half a tablespoon anchovy essence
A quarter-tablespoon Cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons corn oil
3 oz butter
6 oz double cream
This recipe is from Jane Grigson's 'English Food'. One of the most delicious dishes of eighteenth century cooking, indeed one of the best of all English dishes. There is no better way of using up the Christmas turkey with the glory it deserves.
First pull the breast meat apart with your fingers into pieces about 1.5" long and the 'thickness of a large quill'. Follow the grain of the meat, so that you end up with somewhat thready-looking pieces. Take the brown meat off the bones, and divide it into rather larger pieces than the breast meat. Slash each one two or three times.
Mix the devil sauce ingredients together, chopping up any large pieces of fruit in the chutney. Dip the pieces of brown meat into it, and spoon the devil into the slashes as best you can. Arrange in a single layer on the rack of a foil-lined grill pan, and grill under a high heat until the pieces develop an appetising brown crust. Keep them warm.
For the pulled sauce, melt the butter in a wide frying pan, and stir in the cream. Let it boil for a couple of minutes, and keep stirring so that you end up with a thick rich sauce. Put in the pulled breast, with any odd scraps of jelly, and stir about until the pieces are very hot indeed. Season with lemon, salt and pepper. Put in the centre of a serving dish, and surround it with the devilled bits. Serve with good bread or toast Not a dish to be eaten with two vegetables: keep them for afterwards, or simply serve a salad.
Jelly Bellied Flag Flapping Failure
Britons shun Gordon Brown’s roadshow to promote Britishness
The Conservatives say ten members of the public turned up to the first event in Leicester in December 2007, which cost £37,000 and was hosted by Jack Straw. They say that after that embarrassment, his Ministry of Justice restricted attendance at Governance of Britain events to people selected, and even paid, by the ministry.
They also claim that councillors have increasingly spurned the events. A total of 21 local authority representatives turned up in Leicester, but attendance fell at subsequent events to 11, then 10, 7 and 2. Finally, at an event in Newcastle on November 21 this year no councillors or officials turned up.
Michael Wills, the Justice Minister, who had attended the previous events, also failed to attend.
Mr Wills hit back yesterday at the Conservatives. “It’s disappointing that they have such little regard for what it means to be British and the importance of this identity in a challenging world,” he said. The total bill for the Britishness events was expected to be less than £1 million, he added.
Labour officials denied that the public had snubbed the events. They claimed that 457 of the 500 people invited to the first five events had attended; and 225 of the 240 invited to return for the reconvened events had done so. They insisted that small payments were the norm in research of this kind, to recognise the time and commitment that participants had given.
Top Gear was today named the nation's favourite television programme of the decade
A fitting choice for our green, health and safety obsessed, car-hating times; a show that celebrates the fun and joy of individual freedom.
December 25, 2009
Mentions of the Commonwealth - Many
Mentions of Europe - None....
Friday Night is Christmas Music Night
December 24, 2009
Xmas Eve - We are ready
Carrot, biscuit, sherry and George the Dog all waiting for Santa.
(A Christmas card scene taken in the garden earlier below.)
Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht
Not the video I was expecting, but lovely.
Adonis Ski Bum
Lord Adonis flew to a resort in Austria at the end of last week just ahead of one of the busiest periods for the transport system.
...a source close to Lord Adonis made clear that he had no intention of abandoning his family holiday. “The man’s a workaholic. Surely he’s allowed a short family break?”
No. He is paid to sort out the bloody shambles. Next question please.
Twenty Years Ago - A Flicker of Liberty
A nightmare all our tyrannical leaders should have, and for us to celebrate.
ClimateGate - Fitting all the pieces together
ClimateGate: 30 years in the making
The full timeline of ClimateGate, laying out the analysis, graphs, emails and history of the scandal as revealed by dozens of researchers over the past weeks, months and years.
I wish I still had the A0 printer (hint if anyone has one I would love a full sized copy!) But my Christmas Day Jigsaw is going to be taping together the A4 print outs.
UPDATE - Another stunning collection here: http://assassinationscience.com/climategate/
For your Klimaskeptiker relations.
A handbook with short texts and A4 slides for copying and presenting.
The current political climate protection efforts are based on one of the greatest fallacies of modern times. Billion EURO will be wasted in order to change the weather. Political propaganda has replaced the freedom of scientific knowledge and covers all levels of society. This book documents each in a few words and concise images of 20 major climate lies, to rescue the world and they proved wrong. It aims to help those who doubt and be a mirror for those who lie.
English version of book coming soon I'm told
Naughty or Nice - Santa Knows!
Then there were six: files on two more politicians' expenses handed to CPS
None of the parliamentarians concerned has been named by the police or the CPS.
But recent media reports have concentrated on six individuals, including Mr Devine, the former Unison official who succeeded the late Robin Cook as Livingston MP. The controversy over his expenses surrounds invoices he submitted for £2,157 of electrical work from a company with an allegedly fake address and invalid VAT number.
Among the other five are Labour MPs Elliot Morley and David Chaytor, who each claimed thousands of pounds in second home allowances for so-called "phantom" mortgages that had already been paid off.
Labour peer Baroness Uddin is facing allegations that she claimed £100,000 in allowances by registering as her main home a property in Maidstone, Kent, that was reportedly barely occupied.
Another Labour peer, Lord Clarke of Hampstead, a former party chairman, has admitted his "terrible error" in claiming up to £18,000 a year for overnight subsistence when he often stayed with friends in London or returned home to St Albans in Hertfordshire.
Lord Hanningfield, a Conservative peer, is believed to be under investigation over whether he was returning to his home from Westminster while claiming overnight allowances totalling £100,000 over a seven-year period.
All six of those named deny any wrong-doing.
And I hope next year your Santa is called Bubba who shares your cell and has a very big surprise for you in his sack....
December 23, 2009
Run Rabbit Run
...the robust rural scenes of the original books, which included Peter’s father being baked in a pie and Peter losing his blue coat while being chased by Farmer McGregor wielding a garden rake, will be cut.
“Peter Rabbit running away from a farmer with a shotgun would now be inappropriate,” Lord Alli, Chorion chairman, said. “We’re trying to avoid frightening anyone.”
I wonder if there is a market for a live action remake of the original stories.
King Billy's Quiz
105th King William's College quiz
1 was brought down by arachnoid largesse?
2 was expelled as Speaker following bribery by the Corporation?
3 in a constituency renowned for its RHS Show, succumbed to Campanula vestimenta alba?
4 enriched himself as PMG and provided a suitable surname for one of Disraeli's fictional characters?
5 was impeached, but not convicted, for allegedly accepting a bribe of 5,000 guineas from the East India Company?
6 continued to draw an annual income of £25,000 from moneys which were not his, for 15 years after resigning as PMG?
7 transferred his nontransferable vouchers for his wife to travel from Glamorgan on the Great Western Railway?
8 similarly provided, inappropriately, first-class tickets for his mistress to travel to Yorkshire?
9 was impeached on bribery charges shortly after his elevation to a viscountcy?
10 used a Guest List for awarding Orders and other honours?
The other sections will also tax the yuletide brain...
The Cause of Global Warming Identified
The visitors to the snow-covered landmass are endangering not just the Antarctic region by their actions, but also the rest of the world...
Of course scientists and politicians visiting don't. Do most of these cruises visit the Peninsula which is the bit that is warming?
Since I put the lights up the neighbours haven't visited
Tonight we sing the old songs!
Follow the Money
EU Referendum: A hypocrite as well as a liar
...a man who lives in a house worth millions, travels nearly half a million miles in 19 months by air and then tells us our lifestyles are "unsustainable" might possibly qualify for the label "hypocrite".
I presume you have been following Richard North's bloodhound hunt of Rajendra Pachauri (I tend not to link to stuff I think you have already seen) but his tenacious unveiling of more and more of our favourite Wheel Tapper and Shunter's Biography is a joy and much appreciated.
Traditional Seasonal Welcome at The Inn
Snow-trapped cars abandoned at pub are wheel-clamped - Times Online
Motorists who abandoned their cars in a pub car park returned the next day to find that they had been wheel-clamped. The drivers left their vehicles outside the Roebuck Inn, in Winchester, Hampshire, after ice and snow brought traffic to a standstill.
The Roebuck Inn has all the charm of a traditional English pub, great food and drink and above all a very friendly welcome.
Very friendly indeed! Thank goodness a poor single pregnant woman didn't turn up looking for a bed for the night, as I doubt they even have a stable to offer her. In fact reading the rest of their website is enough to put me off ever visiting a "Traditional Pub" ever again..
After refurbishment the Roebuck has taken on a new image with wood floors, oak tables and chesterfield sofas taking pride of place and lots to interest hanging on the walls.
The modern traditional decor and warm atmosphere welcomes any visitor. So come in and grab a bite to eat, a coffee and a read of the ‘dailys’ or just have a pint and a game of scrabble with old friends.
WIN A YEARS WORTH OF WINE!!!!!
Just sign up to our mailing list and you go into the draw to win 12 bottles of wine, one for each month of the year.
Average Man in Street Shows Gordon the Way
Families make biggest savings ever to clear debt - Telegraph
The ONS said that families saved 8.6p of every pound of disposable income they earned in the third quarter – the highest ever proportion. In total, households saved some £21.4 billion in those three months alone.
The disclosure is the latest evidence of how families are having to put aside unprecedented amounts of cash in order to rebuild their balance sheets, in the face of the longest recession since World War Two.
The news marks a stark contrast from early 2008 when statistics showed that, for the first time, British families were having to borrow in order to fund their everyday lives – something which contributed to the subsequent recession.
The wisdom of the crowds beats Government experts I think in this case.
December 22, 2009
All to look forward to
An Economic Upturn
I hope Gordon bought Sarah something nice with it.
Passing by on the other side
“My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift,” he told the congregation. “I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither.
“I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices. I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need.
“I offer the advice with a heavy heart and wish society would recognise that bureaucratic ineptitude and systematic delay have created an invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope.”
Arguing that society had failed the needy, the Rev Tim Jones, or Father Tim, as he styles himself in a nod to Rome, 41, continued: “My advice does not contradict the Bible’s Eighth Commandment because God’s love for the poor and despised outweighs the property rights of the rich. Let my words not be misrepresented as a simplistic call for people to shoplift.
I wonder if there is any lead on the roof of the Church of St Lawrence in York? I'm sure the Rev Dim Tim wouldn't object if I turn up in the Transit and strip a bit off, the C of E is a large wealthy national business after all.
Maybe he should study the Words of the Gospel of St Margret before blaming society for failing the needy:
I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand"I have a problem, it is the Government's job to cope with it!" or"I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!" "I am homeless, the Government must house me!" and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation.
December 21, 2009
It's only weather
The death toll continued to rise yesterday in Europe as the severe Arctic cold, blizzards and snowfalls kept a grip on the continent, causing major transport and energy disruptions.
For some reason the BBC and papers here don't seem to be highlighting all this climate chaos. Real deaths, real disasters, real costs are not nearly as exciting as the images of us frying in the future. And as ever the best defence against the weather is to be as rich as possible, it is freezing in Warsaw Illinois as well but they aren't dying on the streets as they are in Poland.
Porrit Rebranding Decivilisation
Politicians will have to get even smarter in making the case — for improved energy efficiency in the home (saving you a lot of money), reduced car use (less congestion, healthier lifestyles), less waste and even more recycling (saving even more money), and more holidays at home rather than abroad (less hassle, good for the economy).
The fact that low-carbon lifestyles are both healthier and cheaper gives politicians plenty to work with. But the past two weeks in Copenhagen have not made that task any easier.
Translation - Politicians need to change the lies they tell as the old ones are worn out.
SuperGordon to Police the World
Gordon Brown is drawing up plans for the European Union to become a global warming "policeman", monitoring individual countries' compliance with carbon-cutting targets.
File somewhere between delusions of grandeur and how to piss the Chinese off by openly telling them we don't trust them.
Sometimes you can take camouflage too far
December 19, 2009
Obama - Quitter not a fighter.
Mr Obama suggested that the five-nation agreement would be adopted by the larger summit in its closing hours. "I am leaving before the final vote," he said.
What a quitter he is, only deigning to turn up because he thought there was something to sign, running away as soon as it all gets a bit sticky. You would think all his years in the Chicago Political Machine would make him feel at home in the squalid deal making corruption of Copenhagen. Maybe he doesn't like to be reminded of how he rose to power.
Copenhagen Road Trip
Actress Helen Baxendale goes on a low-carbon trip to Copenhagen - Times Online
Obviously there will be people who say: “What the hell is she going for? She's got nothing to add. And that's true.
I’m doing foot exercises because I’m concerned about getting deep-vein thrombosis. My bum's gone numb and my neck's cricked from falling asleep sitting up.
We begin to play “Top five vegetables”, a made-up game that seems hilarious in the circumstances. We also talk about the vital importance of achieving a strong agreement, the probability of that happening, and the power wielded by big multinational energy companies affecting that outcome.
I’m the only one who has brought a large sheet to drape over a table, making my own little tent. It seems a bit precious in this communal atmosphere. Oh well, I am an actress, after all.
It is a bitter irony that as the scientific evidence for action on climate change mounts, the political consensus supporting that action is retreating — at least in Australia....
Most leadership ballots are driven by personalities; this one, however, was driven by some of my colleagues’ relentless determination to change the party’s policy on climate change and, above all, to vote down the ETS. A colourfully self-confessed climate sceptic, Mr Abbott became leader with the support of a group of vocal climate change deniers, the most significant of whom was Nick Minchin, the leader of the Opposition in the Senate. He has said that the planet is cooling not warming, that the majority of the Liberal Party does not believe that human beings are causing global warming and that the climate change issue is being used by what he described as “the extreme Left” to “do what they’ve always wanted to do: to sort of de-industrialise the Western world.”
A curious feature of climate change denial is that it seems to be found overwhelmingly in the ranks of the old. I have never known a contentious issue where one side of the debate is so old. While I cannot explain this phenomenon, it does have a political significance.
We should listen to the young — their passion for action on climate change and their concern for the environment reflects the fact that they have the most future at stake.
Malcolm Turnbull was leader of the Liberal Party in Australia, 2008-09
So Malc, what exactly is wrong with the analysis that; "the climate change issue is being used by “the extreme Left” to “do what they’ve always wanted to do: to sort of de-industrialise the Western world.”?
So Malc, how exactly is "the scientific evidence for action on climate change mounting"?
So Malc, do you think you will always be remembered as "leader of the Liberal Party in Australia, 2008-09" Lost in Action in the Climate Wars?
December 18, 2009
My Father's Ax
Today I have mainly been fitting a new hickory handle to my Father's ax, and touching up the edge for sharpness. Of course it would have been cheaper and easier to buy a new one but I was taught how to swing an ax with this one, a skill very few people seem to have, and even with a new handle it is still his old ax, and I have some work for it planned.
(Axe with an e is some god-damned frenchification by effete Cambridge graduates and bloody spell checkers.)
Friday Night is Music Night (Not Bad for White Boys Edition)
Breakfast Broadcasting - How it should be done.
The 71-year-old Sir Terry Wogan broadcasts his final Wake Up To Wogan today
Serious doubts over the viability of the scheme to track people in and out of the country emerged today after the Government gave way to pressure from the European Commission over the collection of travellers' personal information.
Of course a province of the Empire won't be allowed to control its own border, what does it think it is, an independent country?
An Englishman in Snow
I'm prepare for the worst, the skis are waxed, the tie tightly tied and the rather natty Fair Isle pullover has been found in the bottom drawer. Even in these difficult times there is no excuse to lower one standards and start wearing plastic clothing.
Hostage Takers Demand Second Bigger Payout
PLEDGES on the table at the Copenhagen climate summit would commit the world to a dangerous 3C global warming, a leaked document seen by The Scotsman has revealed.
The confidential document came to light with only one day to go for the two-week, 192-nation summit to reach a deal on how to tackle climate change.
"Leaked" You sure you don't mean stolen by Russian hackers? Of course the true believers won't comment on "leaked" documents, will they? Not content with the first ransom payment they are already writing out a new and bigger one, and this is the softening up message, think of it as a severed ear..
December 17, 2009
The winner of the Guardian's online contest to solve the mystery of Blair's finances is Richard Murphy, a crusading accountant from Tax Research UK. His entry unearthed the small print of the Partnership (Accounts) Regulations 2008 to reveal that Blair has found an unusual method to keep his wealth secret from the rest of us.
Sheer poetic symbolism...
More Christmas Cheer
Dr Nathan Grills from Monash University in Australia said the idea of a fat Father Christmas gorging on brandy and mince pies as he drove his sleigh around the world delivering presents was not the best way to promote a healthy and safe lifestyle among the young.
Writing on bmj.com, Dr Grills said: "Santa only needs to affect health by 0.1 per cent to damage millions of lives."
Dr Grills carried out a review of literature and web-based material to assess Santa's potential negative impact on public health.
Dr Grills claimed Santa also had the potential to spread harmful diseases.
"If Santa sneezes or coughs around 10 times a day, all the children who sit on his lap may end up with swine flu as well as their Christmas present," he said.
Australia must be a wonderful place where there is no one ill so Doctors have time to carry out such research.
Full of Christmas Cheer
“Alcohol has a ruinous effect on the foundations of adult life,” Professor Sir Liam Donaldson said. “We see the tyranny of alcohol on our towns and city centres and too often childhood is robbed of its clear-eyed innocence and replaced with the befuddled futility that comes with the consumption of dirt-cheap alcohol.”
Setting out his final report, which is to be the backbone of a public health campaign next year led by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, he said that parents supported his proposals for an “alcohol-free” childhood.
The report, the most comprehensive review of scientific evidence to date, was based on an extensive public consultation.
Bollocks, it is based on extensive consultation of fake charities and campaign groups. Any time they ask real parents they get told to get their noses out of our lives.
Parents should avoid exposing them to “alcohol-fuelled environments” or family events where drinking was the central activity.
Does that mean I can ban Cousin Gwen from bringing her bawling brats over on Christmas Day?
Hostage takers reduce demands
Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and spokesman for the African Union group of 52 countries, said that they would be willing to accept a global climate fund of $100 billion (£61 billion) a year by 2020. African countries had been demanding up to $400 billion in return for their signatures on a new climate change treaty.
How very generous of them, my offer to them would be slightly different.
The Green Rip Off
The Green Rip Off
Green taxes have risen to £26.4 billion in the last year.
That is up £1.7 billion from £24.7 billion in 2007/08.
The total cost of Britain’s emissions was £4.6 billion in 2008/09 under the IPCC estimate of social cost.
That means green taxes were excessive by £21.8 billion in 2008/09 under the IPCC estimate of social cost.
That is the point The Telegraph fails to understand. Let us just accept the IPCC position that each tonne of CO2 imposes a cost on society, a cost they have worked out. Being good little boys and girls we ought to pay that cost. That would be £4.6 Billion last year. But we paid £26.4 Billion. That is a rip off. And they wonder why people believe Green Taxes are just money raising cons.
December 16, 2009
Sex and Scepticism
If a rigorous deconstruction of flawed and politically-motivated science is at the bottom of climate scepticism, why aren't women getting it?
I don't know but it reminds me of scepticism of Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) where one study of medical students shows that:
Females were more likely than males to feel CAM has an important role in healthcare (p < 0.001). This difference increased through the medical course (p <0.05). Females gave a more positive rating than males to the use of five therapies in healthcare (p < 001). Females were more positive than males about learning the theory (p <0.001) and practice(p < 0.001) of CAM and a greater amount of CAM curriculum time (p < 0.001).
Looks like the girls are more trusting of non scientific claims.
How Thoughts Of Nina Disturbed My Sleep
Sunday afternoon I was in the small drawing room studying the inside of my eyelids as The Dambusters played on the television. Todd having joined his great dog in the sky above I thought it only fitting. The Lidl Lebensraum Chicken had been roasted to perfection but the gravy had disagreed with me. It being the season of jollity the children had been using the flour sifter to dust mince pies with icing sugar, I hadn't realised there had been a substitution and had tried to thicken the meat juices with it. Not good. But the bottle of Empire White was very good.
So all was as well as can be expected, when the youngest Englishette leaves her television in the other room and crashes into my reverie and without a word turns the radiator thermostat down to zero. "Nina says you should turn them down and wear thicker clothes" I was lectured when I remonstrated.
My thoughts about the BBC's Nina aren't suitable for a delicate audience, but in a charitable mood I could forgive her a little indoctrination in return. It is a small price to pay, maybe, for the publicly funded electronic babysitter, without it I would get no peace at all.
The American View of Smart Meters
TRUST: ‘Smart’ Electric Utility Meters, Intended to Create Savings, Instead Prompt Revolt. This story doesn’t even address the big problem — utilities turning down your thermostat without your consent. My take: Give consumers more control and they’ll like it. Give them less, and they won’t. Kinda like, well, most things.
Coming to a home near you any day soon with Mr Miliband's finger on your thermostat saving the world...
The Delusions of Gordon
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown has warned that saving the environment is the "great moral crusade for our times" – equivalent to the abolition of slavery.
He really believes that he is a William Wilberforce, not a grubby failed third rate politician stitching together a sleazy deal designed to enrich crooks and liars. Woof woof barking.
Seasonal Greenhouse Gas Story of The Year
December 15, 2009
Ocean Acidification - The Hockeystick
Is it just me or does there seem to be a change of target as to what we should be worrying about?
Modern Beat Combos
Pop albums: highlights of 2009 - Telegraph
The Duke & The King Nothing Gold Can Stay (Loose) Bold, poetic singer-songwriter
Jamie T Kings & Queens (Virgin) 21st-century mash-up of punk, folk and hip hop
Arctic Monkeys Humbug (Domino) Rich, dark desert rock underpinning clever songs
The Felice Brothers Yonder Lies The Clock (Team Love) Ripe, rich Americana, archaic yet utterly contemporary
U2 No Line On The Horizon (Island) Ambitious future rock with moments of startling beauty
A Camp Colonia (Polydor) Dark, ironic, romantic, Gothically ambitious songwriting from Nina Persson’s side project
The XX XX (Young Turks) Minimalist boy/girl left-field pop filled with erotic longing
The Antlers Hospice (French Kiss) A dissection of the death of a relationship shifting from distorted, ambient noise to explosive psych rock
Gurrumul Gurrumul (Skinnyfish) Hypnotic melodies and other-worldly voice of blind Aboriginal singer-songwriter
One EskimO One EskimO (Little Polar) A gem of 21st-century easy listening, chill out with soul
Nope not heard any of them, and proud to say it.
SuperGordon To Save The World Before Sunday
Gordon Brown will arrive in Copenhagen tonight as world leaders face the humiliating prospect of having little of substance to sign on Friday, when they are supposed to be clinching a historic deal on climate change.
The Prime Minister, who will be the first senior leader at the summit, has more to lose than most because he has effectively staked his reputation on securing a robust agreement.
Last night, key elements of the proposed deal were unravelling....
The basic problem is that the African countries want the rich countries to give them more cash as whitey has screwed up their weather. Luckily SuperGordon is the international statesman best suited to sort out a tricky problem like this. He always just gives in and gives away our money to anyone who asks for it.
December 14, 2009
He only made one mistake...
A millionaire businessman has been jailed for attacking a man who held his family hostage in their own home - while the criminal went free.
Munir Hussain, who was threatened at knifepoint and tied up by a gang of masked men in his living room last year, was told he must go to prison for 30 months to preserve “civilised society”.
But Walid Salem, a criminal with more than 50 convictions, was handed a two-year supervision order for his role in the break-in at an earlier hearing.
Sentencing, Judge John Reddihough told them it was his “public duty” to jailing Munir Hussain for 30 months and his brother for 39 months.
"It may be that some members of the public, or media commentators, will assert that the man Salem deserved what happened to him ... and that you should not have been prosecuted and need not be punished,” he said.
"However, if persons were permitted to take the law into their own hands and inflict their own instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender rather than letting justice take its course, then the rule of law and our system of criminal justice, which are the hallmarks of a civilised society, would collapse."
In these parts we keep a shovel handy as we believe the 3-S treatment of offenders preserves civilised society quite nicely without pompous fools in wigs having to get involved.
Tony Blair, Don't Worry About The Truth Just Trust Me
Speaking in Copenhagen on Sunday Tony Blair, the former prime minister, said the world must take action on climate change even if the science is not correct.
Reacting to recent claims by climate change sceptics, Mr Blair said the science might not be “as certain as its proponents allege”.
Trust Tony's hunches rather than worry about facts, how could we go wrong doing that?
Population saviour as 'people's turbine' set to make £200k a year
Westray's turbine cost £1.6 million, with £761,000 coming from the Big Lottery Fund and the rest from community funds and a loan from the sustainable bank, Triodos.
Will Ferguson, communications officer with Triodos Bank said the attractions of such schemes are financial, environmental and social.
"The beauty of it is that it's sustainable financially as well as environmentally, while helping to keep the lifeblood of the community, its people, there," he said.
Financially sustainable according to the bank expert, who could doubt it?
Off to the Circus
"As current resuscitation guidelines give equal emphasis to the importance of performing chest compressions at both the correct rate and depth, we regretfully recommend that playing or imagining hearing Nellie the Elephant during CPR training should be discontinued,” Malcolm Woollard, Professor in Pre-hospital and Emergency Care at Coventry University said..called for research into other songs that might work, including Another One Bites the Dust by Queen or Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus.
A previous study by the University of Illionois medical school found the Bee Gees disco anthem Stayin' Alive was, at 103 beats per minute, close to the ideal rhythm.
"Staying Alive", "Achy Breaky Heart" - sensitive choices those... and to be honest if I was dabbling my toes in the Styx wondering whether to make the crossing or not hearing a karaoke Bee Gees would have me reaching for a coin to pay the ferry man whereas a burst of the Toy Dolls would make another breath seem worthwhile.
December 13, 2009
Tonight I may be found lying on my back in the middle of a field
Roll me over, it's vinegar on my fish I should be worrying about.
Charles Clover mocks the "born-again climate sceptic, the kind of man (always a man, almost invariably wearing a tweed jacket) " who doesn't know all about Ocean Acidification.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in about 1750, sea water acidity has increased by 30%. The speed and degree of this change are faster than anything that had happened for 55m years.
Projections show that by 2060, given the current rate of fossil-fuel emissions, sea water acidity could have increased by 120%.
OK Charles, you are so clever, what do those figures actually mean? What change in pH equals 120%? How acid is the ocean? You didn't just copy out a load of stuff from a leaflet you were given in Copenhagen did you, because you really understand all this chemistry stuff don't you?
December 12, 2009
A seasonal tale
Last November Mr Pettinger went to the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey with his son, Martin. Twice he took a cab that day, and twice the drivers refused to take money from an old soldier with so many medals. One of them said that he owed Mr Pettinger more than any fare. Martin Pettinger described their kindness in a letter to The Times, which was reprinted in The Week.
Five thousand miles away in Zimbabwe, an elderly widow picked up a copy of The Week, saw the letter and noticed Martin Pettinger’s name at the bottom. “The name just came up and hit me,” Mrs Crombie, now 87, said. “I thought, ‘This has got to be his son’.”
Although she had made her own life in Zimbabwe — she married a pilot, and had three children — she had never forgotten Mr Pettinger. “I often wondered how he was doing,” she said. “Every now and then something would happen — an old tune you heard on the boat would be played and you would go back to the old Ceramic days. The big one was Blue Moon — that was our tune.”
Climate Change Bad Science
Ben Goldacre defends Climate Science against the rudeness of sceptics: Copenhagen climate change blah blah – Bad Science
Leaving aside his other arguments, which you can be rude about if you want to be, he repeats this argument:
We’re predisposed to undervalue adverse outcomes which are a long way off in the future, especially if we might be old or dead soon.
Granted we all "undervalue" long term adverse outcomes or apply questionable discount factors, which might be a more neutral way of putting it.
But is there any evidence that old people discount these more than young people?
It is young people who believe they are immortal and drive fast and party hard as they fritter away their money. Old people look both ways, join the RSPB and tinker with their wills as they worry over their grandchildren.
Arguing that old people don't care about climate change because they don't care about the future may be based on facts, but I have never seen a source. It maybe that old people are sceptical because they "have seen it all before". Without a basis for the assertion it is worthless and isn't worthy of his column.
December 11, 2009
Friday Night is Music Night (Extra Cold War Edition)
Pop goes the weasel
EXCLUSIVE: The government is to announce a package of defence cuts next week...
"Defence is one of the biggest areas of government spending where there hasn't been a commitment from the government or from the Conservatives that it should be protected from cuts. So with that in mind, perhaps it's not surprising that the government's looking to make savings there."
The Defence Minister Quentin Davies MP, is in Seville and was unavailable for comment, after details of an expenses claim for repairs to his roof and bell-tower were published yesterday.
Gordon Brown was in Brussels today making yet another spending commitment on international aid.
Spending a few million on some gunboats would do more to help the poor bastards in the dark continent than any amount on whirlygigs...
Friday Night is Music Night (Chilly Out Tonight Edition)
More to take me back to my youth...
While the rest of us soul-search, argue and protest about Iraq and Afghanistan, Wootton Bassett stands in simple silence. This week the town’s mayor said he was worried about the arrival of Question Time because debates about these wars should take place “anywhere in the country except Wootton Bassett”. The mayoress added: “We have stayed out of all the politics.”
There’s probably as much doubt, anger and terrible not-knowing in Wootton Bassett as there is everywhere else in Britain.
Let’s face it, there’s probably more. We just need them to keep it to themselves. That’s become their job.
There is one of those revealable road signs concreted into place on the road into Wootton Bassett. One of those signs that are split and can be opened out to reveal the warning when appropriate. It reads:
Warning, Delays Possible HM Forces Repatriation Ceremony
A permanent sign and reminder.
All you need to know about MPs Expenses
....The claims of Shaun Woodward, the Northern Ireland secretary, were submitted by Saffery Champness Chartered Accountants, which says it specialises in “amassing wealth”.
Squabbling over the teat
ClimateGate - The gift that goes on giving
Steve McIntyre explains the IPCC and the “Trick”; it's worse than you thought.
Philip Stott reports The Speech of The Week
EuRef is in fine form as are all the other usual suspects, plenty to enjoy.
December 10, 2009
Next Year to be the Hottest Ever
The global average temperature could reach a record high in 2010, according to the UK's Met Office.
Forecasters predict that the annual figure for 2010 will be 14.58C (58.24F), 0.58C (1.04F) above the long-term average of 14.0C (58.2F).
Memo to self: Review Dec 2010.
Catty Libertarian Blog Review
The mangy cat took the following list of "Top 20 Libertarian blogs", with top 5 posts ignoring extremely short ones which just link somewhere else, and other funny/unrelated posts. List is very UK-centric, but it doesn't matter.
Obnoxio the Clown
Underdogs Bite Upwards
Boatang & Demetriou
Freedom to Choose
An Englishman's Castle
Oxford Libertarian Society
...the posts I've seen were just so bad that of 100 I've checked I cannot point a single one that had any new insights or was interesting in any way. Few even pass basic sanity tests - not just by being contrarian - contrarian posts are much more interesting to read than ones that repeat the conventional wisdom - but by simply not having any idea what they write about.
Did I mention I don't like cats?
The Real Cost of Climate Alarmism
National aid budgets dedicated to reducing global poverty would be raided to establish a “climate fund” to help developing countries to adapt to climate change, under a British plan tabled yesterday in Copenhagen.
Money earmarked for education or health would be diverted into projects such as solar panels and wind farms.
Bastards, utter bastards, take money away from the sick and ignorant, money that saves lives and provides the best hope for the future and spunk it away on spoilt little rich kids toys.
Miliband Gets Us to Pay for the Negatives
The Foreign Secretary’s use of a professional photographer will be made public for the first time on Thursday, when Parliament publishes all recent MPs’ claims. On Thursday morning his claims for the 2008-09 financial year will be made public for the first time, including two photo shoots he organised in his constituency and paid for using his office allowance, then known as the Incidental Expenses Provision.
The first, which cost £125, was described on the invoice by a local photographer as “photographic work undertaken of David Miliband in his constituency”.
The second photo shoot, using the same photographer and costing £100, was described on the invoice as “photographic work undertaken of David Miliband MP during constituency visits… for newsletter”.
I would love to see the photos that weren't published...
Stocking Filler Books
Pearce worked for 30 years as a war and foreign correspondent and was injured when BBC Kabul correspondent. He thought he knew what dangers in the work place were, but was amazed by the health and safety dangers lurking in Britain and wrote this entertaining collection of the best stories this year.
He also wrote a book about the past 10 years of function creep called Whose Side Are They On? based on his knowledge of oppressive regimes. It details the growth of the rule book and
army of enforcers that is now invading the lives of ordinary Brits, introduced through the loophole of 'terrorism legislation'.
I'm sure most of this is familiar to us here but I might send a copy of one or two of them to my politically correct relatives.
And no I haven't been paid for the advert...
IF THIS was the Famous Last Stand of Fiscal Prudence, avert your eyes. As a defence against the debt onslaught Britain now faces, Alistair Darling's performance was about as convincing as D-Day without landing craft, or Rorke's Drift without rifles.
He may have mouthed the words of a "Pre-Budget Report". But it was a Pre-Election Report.
A disgraceful dereliction of duty for a chancellor, we are all going to pay for it in the future, I hope he also pays for it as well, but he won't as he enjoys his gold plated pension and speaking fees...
December 9, 2009
Urban Heat Differences in England "Increase Substantially" Published Paper
Over the years we have taken an interest in the Central England Temperature record on this blog. One of the contributing stations is Rothamstead and with the release of the data files from the Met Office I wondered how it compared to a more urban neighbour Cambridge which is 40 miles away and has a similar timescale of full data in the release; 1872 - 1968.
(The data from the two stations has continued to be collected but I haven't got it.)
In compiling the CET they compare these two stations and there is no difference
A simple average temperature for each year and then subtract the Rothamsted figure from the Cambridge one gives this graph.
Looks like quite an Urban Heat rise over that period.
Since then Parker et al have "evaluated recent urban warming influences at the chosen stations by comparison with nearby rural stations, and have corrected the series from 1974 onwards. The corrections do not (yet) exceed 0.1°C." I take this to mean that they have compared Rothamsted with even more rural neighbours. It would be interesting to find out more about them.
There is a paper on this which I haven't seen cited anywhere, if anyone has access to it I would like to read it all.
Urban Development and Its Effects on the Local Temperature Regime, by J. M. Craddock © 1972 Royal Statistical Society.
The subject is reviewed, and evidence from many sources is collated with findings based on a comparison over the period 1878 to 1968 between the monthly mean temperatures recorded at Kew Meteorological Observatory in London and those at Rothamsted Experimental Station near Harpenden. The differences, which increase substantially during the 90 years, provide evidence not only of the spread of the London conurbation around Kew, but also of the rise in standards of domestic comfort, and of the passing of the Clean Air Act in 1956.
CET Hottest Ever
From Dennis Ambler
Whilst global temperatures are claimed as warmest on record, it's interesting to have a look at the CET record and I note you have re-done the post from a couple of years ago. Whilst there has quite likely been jiggery pokery with the record, forget that for a moment and look at it as presented. www.hadobs.org, CET seasonal ranked.
(Numbers below fold - I haven't time this morning to put them in a table)
Whilst 2006 was the hottest autumn, it was quite anomalous. The previous hottest were 1729, 1730, 1731, although 1818 jumps in between probably because of decimal place difference.
Hottest summer is still 1976, hottest winter 1869, hottest spring, 1893.....
Just imagine today's media had been around in 1729, 1730 and 1731.
Do these data really say temperatures are running out of control? The only reason we have had warmer annual temp is because autumn has been warmer in general. So CO2 only works in autumn?
I posted a paper on Numberwatch in 2006 which goes into this a lot more: http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/Spinning%20temperature%20out%20of%20control.pdf
CRU acknowledges these earlier warm periods but doesn’t explain the lack of a CO2 link:
Climatic Research Unit: Information sheets: 3: UK Weather and Climate (CET/EWP)…seasonal and annual temperatures for the entire CET series…. show unprecedented warmth during the 1990s, but earlier decades such as the 1730s and 1820s are comparable.
The title is still there but all links now lead back to the main UEA info page.....
Winter Spring Summer Autumn Rank
6.10 1998 9.70 2009 16.97 1781 11.43 1995 11
6.13 1935 9.73 1779 16.97 1911 11.50 2005 10
6.20 1796 9.73 1961 17.00 1933 11.50 2009 9
6.23 1990 9.73 2003 17.03 1947 11.53 1949 8
6.33 1686 9.83 1959 17.07 1983 11.53 1959 7
6.43 1975 9.87 1952 17.10 1846 11.53 1978 6
6.43 2007 9.90 1999 17.23 2006 11.60 1729 5
6.50 1989 9.93 1992 17.33 2003 11.60 1818 4
6.53 1834 10.07 1945 17.37 1995 11.80 1730 3
6.77 1869 10.10 2007 17.60 1826 11.80 1731 2
10.20 1893 17.77 1976 12.63 2006 1
Bad news for Chocolate and Flower Shops
The campaign is calling for amendments to be made to the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill, which is currently going through Holyrood.
A new offence of "facilitation of the sale of sexual services" would be defined using an amendment to the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act.
December 8, 2009
Willis Eschenbach and David Parker Debate the CET Adjustments
From a couple of years ago, but worth reading again now. Could there be an update?
Hypercapnia and Trade Outbreak
Hypercapnia: Excessive carbon dioxide in the blood.
Symptoms and signs of early hypercapnia include flushed skin, full pulse, extrasystoles, muscle twitches, hand flaps, reduced neural activity, and possibly a raised blood pressure. According to other sources, symptoms of mild hypercapnia might include headache, confusion and lethargy. Delirium and Obtundation (dulled alertness)
I think I have spotted a mass outbreak of it. Quick, rush some oxygen masks to Copenhagen...
Libertarians, aged hippies and the privileged are the enemy of the poor and Big Brother
...this fashionable paranoia about data and surveillance goes well beyond annoyance at petty officaldom, and has become something of a mindset, as we will be reminded later today. The occasion will the publication of the Government’s response to last spring’s semi-apocalyptic Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust’s report, Database State....
Michael Wills, minister at the Cabinet Office, introduces his reponse to Rowntree. And what I think he pretty clearly shows is that the original report contained several key errors, a host of unsubstantiated assertions, some fairly dodgy references and a number of unfortunate omissions.
Mr Wills also accepts that government must take blame for the poor level of debate because it has too often been “overly defensive and dismissive of criticism. Government believes it is acting benignly and legally and has not adequately recognised the fears of those who believe this is not the case.”
But his overall point is this: proper use of new technology by the State allows a far more effective delivery of services to those that need them and a much better level of information about what is happening in society so that needs can be predicted and met. For the poor at any rate, such benefits are more than speculative.
Oddly, the Rowntree Reform Trust, which is largely run by Liberal Democrat grandees, gives as its objectives the promotion of civil liberties and social justice. I think the libertarians, the aged hippies and the privileged have taken over the argument and that their cultural preferences have tilted the balance against social justice. Of course, the rich have themselves; the poor have only the Government.
Us privileged old libertarian hippies, we really hate the poor, treating them as equals, capable of making up their own minds, free to choose when if we cared we would realise that they are too poor to be capable and we should watch over them and cosset them all day, every day and make all their choices for them. They are poor, what need have they got of rights when the State is their one true friend, protector and provider?
Geldof on State Kidnapping
Relocation and Leave to Remove: A Report by The Custody Minefield
Foreword by Sir Bob Geldof. Formal Release Date 7 December 2009
I can hardly read the literature on Family Law without simultaneous feelings of an awful sadness and profound rage. Sadness at what has been done to our children and their families and deep rage for our Family Courts and the inadequate practitioners that work within it.
In the near future the Family Law under which we endure will be seen as barbaric, criminally damaging, abusive, neglectful, harmful to society, the family, the parents and the children in whose name it purports to act. It is beyond scrutiny or criticism and like a secret society its members – the judges, lawyers, social and child “care” agencies behave like any closed vested interest and protect each others’ backs.
The court is entirely informed by outdated social engineering models and contemporary attitudes rather than fact, precedent rather than common sense and modish unproven nostrums rather than present day realities. It is a disgraceful mess. A farrago of cod professionalism and faux concern largely predicated on nonsensical social guff, mumbo-jumbo and psycho-babble. Dangling at the other end of this are the lives of thousands of British children and their families.
Here is one more report that empirically nails the obvious fact that to remove a child from their father (in the hugely vast majority of cases), their grandparents and other family, their school and friends, is wholly destructive to a child and its family.
How much longer must we put up with the state sanctioned kidnap of our most vulnerable? Because in effect that’s what “Leave to Remove” amounts to. How much longer do we tolerate the vested interest intransigence of the appalling U.K. Family Justice system? How long before just one of them admit they have got it ALL wrong and apologise to their myriad victims?
This report is important, timely and vital. To accept its findings, which could have and should have, been conducted at any time in the past 30 years, is to accept the awful conclusion that rather than Solomon like resolving our tragically human disputes with understanding, compassion and logical pragmatism the courts have consistently acted against society’s interest through the application of prejudice, gender bias and awful impartial cruelty.
This report proves it. May God forgive them. I won’t.
Bob Geldof (December 2009)
Put down that coffee cup for the sake of the planet
Dr Reay, a senior lecturer in carbon management at Edinburgh University, claims that the average cup of black filter coffee is responsible for 125 grams of carbon emissions. But the figure for a regular cup of black instant coffee is around 80g.
Add milk to your morning coffee, and the methane belched by dairy cows means you increase your coffee's climate-changing emissions by more than a third.
Dr Reay added: "The environmental group WWF has calculated it takes 200 litres of water to produce the coffee, milk, sugar and cup for just one regular takeout latte. If everyone ditched their pre-work coffee fix that would do wonders for the planet."
Nasty foreign muck, I don't touch it anyway. Empire grown, hand picked tea only for me.
December 7, 2009
The Ice Age Is Coming
The Map That Changed The World 2.0
A worthy successor to William Smith’s Geological Map of England and Wales and Part of Scotland, 1815-1817
The Top Ten Climate Sceptic Blogs
Climate Sceptical or "Denier" blogs are being praised and blamed for all sorts this week - but which blogs are they? And which are the most influential?
These are the top ten blogs that I have found that have been regularly, and at length, posting "sceptical" (in the broadest sense) views in the last week. I have not included blog post aggregators. My choice is UK centric and I have probably missed some obvious, and not so obvious, ones. Please update me on them.
The ranking and number comes from the number of Google Reader Subscribers which may be taken as a measure of popularity, not as a total of the number of readers, and of course there may be a bias in counting this way. Don't take it too seriously and if you have a better method share it.
Full Disclosure: An Englishmans Castle 42
Climate Campaigner Handling Tips For Copenhagen
• To keep Climate Campaigners moving, make sure there’s always a clear way ahead.
• Climate Campaigners don’t like visual dead ends – they don’t move freely towards them.
• Arrange things so that they think they’re about to escape back to their home territory.
• For a dead end, put a mirror on the wall so the Climate Campaigners see a Climate Campaigner to move to for security.
• If you have to put Climate Campaigners along a handling race, pen a decoy Climate Campaigners at the far end to help pull them along.
• Make races narrow enough to prevent Climate Campaigners turning round and blocking the flow
• Make sure the sides of pens and races where you do most of the handling are closely boarded, so the Climate Campaigners cannot see through and get distracted.
• Advancing Climate Campaigners should not be able to see those following them, as they’ll stop then reverse, or try to turn round and block the flow.
• Climate Campaigners following each other should see Climate Campaigners moving ahead, preferably around a bend. Moving Climate Campaigners will generally "pull" the followers with them – once you’ve got a flow going.
• Climate Campaigners move best from dark into light, and generally dislike changes in light contrast.
• Climate Campaigners don’t like bright lights e.g. reflections from windows.
• Climate Campaigners really panic on slippery floors – so provide some grip.
• Climate Campaigners soon get adjusted to any noise used to move them – so keep changing the noise for effect.
• Changing it (or stopping it) will also help prevent the helpers going silly!
• Climate Campaigners remember past experiences. Run them through new facilities a few times and let them think they can escape before you subject them to any unpleasant procedures like ear tagging or shearing.
• If you have badly designed handling facilities that cannot be fixed – keep a "Judas" Climate Campaigner to lead the doubters through.
• To lead other Climate Campaigners into the truck, you can train a Judas Climate Campaigner with some pellets. Make sure the Judas Climate Campaigners isn’t accidentally loaded into the truck though! Cover it with raddle.
Hat tip Dr Clive Dalton
Tory Shows Sense Shocker
The “Birmingham Declaration” setting out the Council’s plan of action to combat climate change was approved this week ahead of the Copenhagen Conference – but one bold backbencher described the science behind it as a “fiction” and claimed the cause had been hijacked by “authoritarians” .
In speech at Tuesday’s full Council meeting, prospective parliamentary candidate for Ladywood Colin Hughes revealed that he has a degree in Applied Mathematics and spent a further two years as a postgrad studying computer modelling of fluid, dynamic problems – all of which leads him to question to current consensus about rising temeparatures.
Scientists who argue the case for global warming, he said, have failed to take account of the fact that there have been no further increases in worldwide temperatures since 2000 despite a rapid growth in Co2 emissions - instead they act as if their existing models is still accurate.
In a strongly worded statement, Hughes said: “Climate change devotees still rely on these models, despite the fact that we know these models to be wrong, for end-of-the-world predictions to justify their proposed actions.
“What this means is that we should be very careful before spending huge amounts of the public’s money on schemes that may not be necessary.
“The research needs to go on because there is huge gaps in our knowledge and understanding but while the science is lacking there are authoritarians on all sides of this chamber who can’t help but to use this issue to boss people around and to tell others how to run their lives.
“They’ve jumped on this bandwagon and use it to excuse any and all government interference into private lives. We are elected by the people of Birmingham and we owe them better leadership than that.”
Hughes nevertheless welcomed the authority’s commitment to insulating homes and using electric vehicles.
“However”, he added, “climate change is not something that can used to support these measures.”
And he continued: “All the proposals depend on the science being settled, that is fiction.
The local LibDim disapprovingly called it "a libertarian rant" which belittles the strong leadership Birmingham has shown.
Just wait to hear what Dave has to say...
Saturday December 5, 2009
MOBILE phones have been given a clean bill of health after new in-depth research published yesterday.
Experts found no increase in brain tumour rates during the years when the mobile phone caught on and became the must-have gadget they are today.
The Danish Cancer Society study was based on data for the 16 million adults in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden during the 30 years to 2003.
Mobiles: the hidden danger to children - mirror.co.uk
SUNDAY MIRROR INVESTIGATES By Adrian Butler 6/12/2009
As clamour for Xmas phones starts, what every parent should read
Britain is sleepwalking into a m o b i l e phone health scandal as the Government ignores a link to cancer, a leading expert has warned.
Mobile phone emissions have been shown to increase the risk of THREE types of cancer in some studies - yet ministers are doing nothing to change weak official guidelines on how much they should be used.
Radiation specialist Professor Denis Henshaw said ignoring the risks of mobile phone emissions could prove as serious as playing down the link between smoking and lung cancer in the 1960s.
What would we do without trained journalists to present the facts?
Prof Slingo, Head Boffin Met Office, What Degree Does She Have?
Prof Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist for the Met Office, is the one quoted. She has put many years into modelling the weather and climate, but what degree does she have?
I have checked her Personal Curriculum Vitae and her Met Office Profile and not a mention of having been to University. As far as I can judge she worked her way up through the Met Office, starting as a Scientific Officer.
I have always believed that a University Degree is overrated and a good technical education can be superior but I keep reading that those without Climatology Degrees shouldn't comment on Climate Change...
December 6, 2009
Flat Earth Warming
Look at all that scary warming!
Only a Flat Earther would produce a map like that, Gerardus Mercator might have something to say about such misrepresentation...
UPDATE - And the CRU code assumes it is a flat earth....
Avoiding the Curse of Jonah
Gordon Brown was snubbed by badly injured Afghan veterans when they closed curtains round their beds during a hospital visit and refused to speak to him.
More than half the soldiers being treated at the Selly Oak hospital ward in Birmingham either asked for the curtains to be closed or deliberately avoided the prime minister, according to several of those present.
I't not necessarily true that they think he is an opportunistic lying shit, just you really wouldn't want him wishing you well would you?
No wonder Cameron is hiding in Afghanistan, it is safer there than facing his suddenly vocal climate sceptical core voters.
He is out of touch with them on Europe, on Copenhagen and on reducing the size of the state. The hangers and floggers find no joy in hugging hoodies and he appears to have no desire to pick the fight with the entrenched power of the education system and turn the school system into something run for children and parents benefit. Ditto the NHS.
Remind me, apart from Not Being Brown exactly what is his appeal?
Who said the Scots have no sense of humour?
The Asbo prevents him from laughing at people, staring at anyone or slowly clapping his hands at the actions of others. He is also banned from waving objects at people and adopting a menacing stance.
"I am being systematically criminalised," he said. "There must be terrorist suspects who have more human rights than I've got here."
He added: "Two police officers turned up at my house and charged me with breaching the Asbo by laughing at the neighbours' daughter. They charged me with laughing – specifically and only with laughing. I couldn't believe it. It's absolutely absurd."
Hunt acknowledges that one of the conditions imposed as part of the interim Asbo means that he is prevented from laughing anywhere in the area covered by Highland Council.
I don't think that last condition would cause me many problems.
December 5, 2009
Headlines We Thought We Would Never See
The Climate Genie is truly out of the bottle, with the MSM scrabbling to catch up as the Scientists and Politicians realise they need to heed the sceptics and provide some proof.
December 4, 2009
Friday Night is Music Night (Never Bettered Edition)
The Ikettes in this clip feature the lovely Rose Smith, Pat Arnold, or P.P. Arnold as she later became known, and also Ann Thomas.
If only you knew how I suffered to bring you the best - researching this I accidentally clicked on Celine's version, I have been pouring caustic soda on my eardrums and scrubbing them with six inch nails to try to eradicate the horror from my memory.
ClimateGate - It's not the emails, it's in the code
All sorts of politicians are popping up saying the emails don't prove anything. We've all sent ill judged emails. But the code is the code and it si being dug into. Please read this.
A Poll from Political Betting which has the detailed breakdown.
The finding that just 47% of the (UK) sample agreed that global warming was a fact (mostly) caused by the actions of humanity is significant and quite worrying for political leaders of all parties. For if fewer than one in two believe how can key policies win pubic (sic) support.
Maybe, if they want to get elected they should start listening to the people, not just preach to them.
A Lesson for Teachers
Almost one million Scots are unable to read and write properly, according to an influential group of educationalists who have called for an overhaul of the country’s approach to literacy.
According to the Literacy Commission — which also includes business leaders and the novelist Ian Rankin — about a fifth of adults do not have the literacy skills they need for their daily lives. The group has also warned that about 13,000 pupils leave primary school every year without reaching even basic levels.
The Victorians had higher rates of literacy (exceptions for remote highlanders and girls who weren't educated at all) so a century of failure from the experts then.
Poor Bloody Farmers
One in four farmers is living in poverty
Government statistics show that 25 per cent of farming households are below the official poverty line, defined in rural areas as having an income of less than £14,700 per year.
The numbers have risen by seven per cent since last year as the recession has taken a toll on the rural economy.
Yes, just whining farmers again, never seen a poor one...but it is true (as true as any Government statistic). I meet hundreds of farmers every month and some of them are living in absolute poverty.
But surely they get subsidies?
Quite, they are subsidised to the roof, they have advisers and regulators and compliance officers, they have schemes and targets and directives; they are a nationalised industry. Farmers sold their independent soul in return for suckling on the Government teat fifty years ago.
And what have they reaped? All the restrictions and regulations of working for the State without the salary to compensate.
So is the answer more State intervention, more subsidies, more feather bedding? It hasn't worked for the last fifty years so to the politician that must mean there hasn't been enough of it.
December 3, 2009
Freedom to Trade Petition
We call upon the World’s leaders to resist calls for green protectionism. Trade enables specialisation, which results in the development of new technologies and leads to the creation of wealth. In the past two decades, trade has enabled over a billion people to escape poverty. Trade is the most powerful weapon in humanity’s armoury to fight poverty and environmental ills, including climate change. Trade restrictions are not desirable, nor are they an effective means of addressing climate change.
Times Gets it Wrong on ClimateGate
E-mails alleged to undermine climate change science were held back for weeks after being stolen so that their release would cause maximum damage to the Copenhagen climate conference, according to a source close to the investigation of the theft....The e-mails, which were sent over a 15-year period ending on November 12, first appeared on websites run by sceptics on November 20.
According to Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate, "At around 6.20am (EST) Nov 17th, somebody hacked into the RC server from an IP address associated with a computer somewhere in Turkey, disabled access from the legitimate users, and uploaded a file FOIA.zip to our server." A link to the file on the RealClimate server was posted from a Russian IP address to the Climate Audit blog at 7.24 am (EST) with the comment "A miracle just happened". On 19 November the files were uploaded to a Russian server before being copied to numerous locations across the Internet...the stolen material was first publicised on 19 November on The Air Vent, a "climate-sceptic" blog.
Bishop Hill had it on the 19th but then he wasn't down the pub on Friday night - even I managed my first post at 5:50 am on Saturday 20th. If you are writing a story on the date of a release, getting that date right would seem to be a good starting point.
(The Times is very keen on exactitude when it comes to reporting climate stories..)
Recruiting the Dead to The Cause
A campaign is under way to have Hughes roost among his peers in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. He deserves to be there, not just for the raw, evocative brilliance of his poetry, but also for his prescience in addressing the single most urgent issue of our age: climate change, man-made pollution, and the looming fear that the globe is not working as it did.
Hughes was an old fashioned environmentalist railing against pollution, loss of habitats and natural landscapes. The sort of environmentalism that has been sidelined by the gadarene groupies of global warming. He might well have joined in if he were alive, but he isn't and didn't.
Revealed - The Cause of Global Warming - Official
Christmas puddings are not just bad for your waistline, they are responsible for global warming, according to a report written by a Government quango, Natural England, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
And there it was me thinking it was the Brussel Sprouts.
December 2, 2009
A Solution to AGW that I commend to the House
Perhaps it's time we tried reducing our carbon footprint and improving our mental health statistics at the same time by burning politicians and their advisors instead of using fossil fuels. It may not make much difference but we all have to make sacrifices, don't we?
Command and Control of your Kettle
Yes, because they will enable the man at the other end of the wire not just to read your meter but also to control your usage. Miliband's hand will be on your power switch, turning it down when his windmills fail or if he thinks it is unfair that you can afford to have an electric blanket when millions are freezing.
Stern - Muddled and unscientific
Global warming measures will cost ‘twice as much as predicted’ - Times Online
Lord Stern said that Britain should pay about $3 billion (£1.8 billion) a year by 2015 to a global fund of $50 billion a year to help poor countries to adapt to climate change.
Lord Stern urged Britain and other rich countries not to use the present strain on public finances as an excuse for delaying meeting their responsibilities to developing nations. “If there have ever been credible reasons for borrowing and public debt, this is surely one of the strongest,” he said.
Our noble Lord seems to be muddled and unscientific as he decides his previous report was wrong; we should give twice as much or maybe more if he can find the other envelope with the calculations on ..
No wonder the Australians have rejected the Green Mulct and leading Tories are starting to back away slowly from the worst excesses of Green Policy
Grasp the Thistle on School Vouchers.
After Mr Russell lost his seat at the 2003 Scottish election, he argued for a Swedish-style voucher system promoted by those in favour of more private sector involvement and decried the "ideological prejudice" that prevented such ideas being discussed.
He also said children and parents needed to be treated like customers and that there had to be greater choice. His opinions came out in a 2006 book, Grasping the Thistle, which he co-authored with Dennis MacLeod and which attempted to provide a new, more centre-right, dynamic vision of Nationalism in Scotland.
The opinions have been welcomed by business leaders, think tank Reform Scotland and the Tories – who have also backed a voucher system – and they called on Mr Russell to push the book's agenda in his new post.
The book was serialised in The Scotsman and in a piece also co-authored with Mr MacLeod in September 2006, seven months before becoming a minister in the SNP government, Mr Russell wrote: "Some competition is essential to get the best out of our young people and to get the best out of our tax revenues.
"The consumer – the child along with his or her parents, the young person seeking to go to college or university and the mature student – would be able to choose the best facilities for their particular needs, and be able to force new provision on to the market by means of their purchasing power, provided by the state."
Of course now he is back in Government he is not allowed to say such things as the SNP turns increasingly left-wing. And the Tories in England aren't allowed to say such things either.
What a great chance Scotland has to reverse the decline in its education system and yet again lead the Kingdom in provision of high quality education through choice.
A Welfare Junky Writes
Defra, UK - CAP Payments Search
Welcome to UK CAP Payments. On this website you will find details of amounts received by UK beneficiaries under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)....
The data published on this website is available as an Excel file
Gawd Bless the RPA and all responsible, my little brown envelope with my annual hand out was lying on the mat yesterday. I won't hear a word against them until it runs out....
Telegraph Environment Correspondent gets it wrong
Aaargh! The GWPF makes a small error, corrects it as soon as it is pointed out and Louise Gray makes it headline news. And The Telegraph can't even get a simple hyperlink in the story right, even though they were told of the error yesterday. Glasshouses and stones, my Dear.
It's a Harry Read Me Hockeystick
It seems the public has an appetite for the details behind ClimateGate, and with many links to my note about the Harry Read Me file and the actual file itself. (Including from The New York Times) my poor little server doesn't know what has hit it. Interestingly thousands of people actually googled Harry Read Me yesterday and also ended up here. It is the Third Most Popular Google Search worldwide at the moment.
It just goes to show that we don't want to just accept the consensus, we want to know the facts, we don't want to be palmed off with a condescending "Don't worry your little heads, the scientists have spoken".
December 1, 2009
Climate Report Fraud? Repost from 1st Nov 2006I was kindly sent this very interesting article: Informath; Remarks on D.J. Keenan [Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 2007] UPDATE - More on this with extra info on Climate Audit and Isabelle Chuine is still hard at work as a Climate Scientist...
Following are some remarks about my report "Grape harvest dates are poor indicators of summer warmth", as well as about scientific publication generally.
On 18 November 2004, Isabelle Chuine and co-workers published a research paper on global warming. The paper appeared in Nature, the world's most highly-regarded scientific journal. (UPDATE - Online here http://www.ipsl.jussieu.fr/~ypsce/papers/chuine432289.pdf) And it gathered some publicity. Chuine et al. claimed to have developed a method for estimating the summer temperature in Burgundy, France, in any given year back to 1370 (based on the harvest dates of grapes). Using their method, the authors asserted that the summer of 2003 was the warmest summer since 1370, in Burgundy.
I had been following global warming studies only as a disinterested outside spectator (and only occasionally). Someone sent me the paper of Chuine et al., though, and wondered what I thought of it from a mathematical perspective. So I had a look.
To study the paper properly, I needed to have the authors' data. (UPDATE - ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/historical/france/burgundy2004.txt ) So I e-mailed Dr. Chuine, asking for this. The authors, though, were very reluctant to let me have the data. It me took eight months, tens of e-mails exchanged with the authors, and two formal complaints to Nature, before I got the data. (Some data was purchased from Météo France.) It is obviously inappropriate that such a large effort was necessary.
Looking at the data made it manifest that there are serious problems with the work of Chuine et al. In particular, the authors' estimate for the summer temperature of 2003 was higher than the actual temperature by 2.4 °C (about 4.3 °F). This is the primary reason that 2003 seemed, according to the authors, to be extremely warm.
There is also another reason. The three warmest years on record, prior to 2003, were 1945, 1947, and 1952. (The instrumental record goes back to 1922, or even 1883 if we accept some inaccuracies.) The estimate of Chuine et al. for the summer temperature in each of those years was much lower than the actual temperature.
That is, the authors had developed a method that gave a falsely-high estimate of temperature in 2003 and falsely-low estimates of temperatures in other very warm years. They then used those false estimates to proclaim that 2003 was tremendously warmer than other years.
The above is easy enough to understand. It does not even require any specialist scientific training. So how could the peer reviewers of the paper not have seen it? (Peer reviewers are the scientists who check a paper prior to its publication.) I asked Dr. Chuine what data was sent to Nature, when the paper was submitted to the journal. Dr. Chuine replied, "We never sent data to Nature".
I have since published a short note that details the above problem (reference below). There are several other problems with the paper of Chuine et al. as well. I have written a brief survey of those (for people with an undergraduate-level background in science). As described in that survey, problems would be obvious to anyone with an appropriate scientific background, even without the data. In other words, the peer reviewers could not have had appropriate background.
What is important here is not the truth or falsity of the claim of Chuine et al. about Burgundy temperatures. Rather, what is important is that a paper on what is arguably the world's most important scientific topic (global warming) was published in the world's most prestigious scientific journal with essentially no checking of the work prior to publication.
Moreover—and crucially—this lack of checking is not the result of some fluke failures in the publication process. Rather, it is common for researchers to submit papers without supporting data, and it is frequent that peer reviewers do not have the requisite mathematical or statistical skills needed to check the work (medical sciences excepted). In other words, the publication of the work of Chuine et al. was due to systemic problems in the scientific publication process.
The systemic nature of the problems indicates that there might be many other scientific papers that, like the paper of Chuine et al., were inappropriately published. Indeed, that is true and I could list numerous examples. The only thing really unusual about the paper of Chuine et al. is that the main problem with it is understandable for people without specialist scientific training. Actually, that is why I decided to publish about it. In many cases of incorrect research the authors will try to hide behind an obfuscating smokescreen of complexity and sophistry. That is not very feasible for Chuine et al. (though the authors did try).
Finally, it is worth noting that Chuine et al. had the data; so they must have known that their conclusions were unfounded. In other words, there is prima facie evidence of scientific fraud. What will happen to the researchers as a result of this? Probably nothing. That is another systemic problem with the scientific publication process.
See also   Peer review and the IPCC.