December 31, 2010
Friday Night is Music Night (New Year's Eve Edition)
With my plaidophobia tonight I am going for the early gargle and home to be under the eiderdown before it turns into amateur night at the pub.
Have a good one.
Weak Answer to The Big Question
"If some newly discovered factor can account for the climate change then why aren't carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases producing the warming that basic physics tells us they should be?"
So most scientists are careful not to state human influence as an absolute certainty. Nonetheless, the evidence is now extremely strong.
In other words the models show it must be human GHG so if it isn't then the models are wrong and that is inconceivable.
The government's planned forests sale is not only flawed environmentally, it breaks the sacred link we have with our land
Our native woodlands and the shy creatures that inhabit them feature heavily in British folklore. Filled with wood nymphs, spirits, goblins and sprites, long before Christian missionaries waded ashore, our forests reigned supreme. We have all heard the old stories of swaths of deciduous woodland completely covering Britain, a brooding misty isle that even worried the mighty ancient Romans. It was a strange unconquered place filled with the promise of mineral riches and mythical creatures, with monsters and witches that were said to lurk in the tangled woods and glades.
Few strangers dared to wander alone into the druid-filled forest depths for fear of human sacrifice and the spirits that could turn the bravest man insane.
To sell our native state-owned woodland is beyond the pale for the spirits and the people of Britain
Wagner says it so much better....
December 30, 2010
This is a real no brainer. Warming, less ice = more H20. The less ice you have, the less dense... our poles are like a bar magnet, therefore our tilt is based on Jupiter / Sun. The Sun pushing and Jupiter pulling. At some point our axis point will rotate and become flat, and the earth will spin on its side. It will be quite interesting to see what artifacts are discovered under all that ice.. anyway..
An Award of The Year
So ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you the BDIU nomination for 2010.
Drum roll please... Julian Assange, you are the Biggest Douche in the Universe.
Sense About Science
Each year at Sense About Science we review the odd science claims people in the public eye have made – about diets, cancer, magnets, radiation and more – sent in to us by scientists and members of the public. Many of these claims promote theories, therapies and campaigns that make no scientific sense. We ask scientists to respond, to help the celebrities realise where they are going wrong and to help the public to make sense of celebrity claims
To improve the outlook for 2011, we have distilled our scientists’ responses into easy-to-remember pointers for celebrity commentators.
Two old chestnuts:
Nothing is chemical free: everything is made of chemicals, it’s just a case of which ones.
Detox is a marketing myth: our body does it without pricey potions and detox diets.
Two new lessons from 2010:
There’s no need to boost: bodily functions occur without ‘boosting’.
Energy and fitness come from… food and exercise: there are no shortcuts.
December 29, 2010
A Prosperous New World?
Things are getting much better – honest | The Times (£)
The world economy growing by more than 5 per cent this year (nearly ten times as fast as it shrank in 2009) means more customers for our exports and more investment elsewhere in things that can improve our lives too — such as cancer cures or self-clearing runways.
Despite the great recession, the per capita GDP of the average human being — that is to say, the value of goods and services consumed in a year — is now just over $11,000, up from about $8,500 (in today’s dollars) at the start of the century. If it continues to increase at this rate of just under 3 per cent a year, as it has more than done for 60 years, then by the year 2050 the average citizen of Earth will be earning and spending more than $30,000 a year in today’s money, roughly the same as the average American spends now. By 2100 it will be nearly $150,000 a year, five times what an American now consumes.
This is almost unimaginable — Africans and Afghans having the disposable income of today’s Americans within the lifetime of our children.
What is growth? It means fulfilling more needs and more wants with a smaller amount of work. In 1900, a kilowatt-hour of electricity cost an hour of work for somebody on the average wage; it costs five minutes today.
The root cause of growth is the mixing of ideas;...
Growth has a strange and telling feature. While in individual countries it jumps up and down, in the world as a whole it shows an inexorable steadiness. Suppress it in one place and it surges elsewhere. Just as the mandarins who served the Ming emperors once sent prosperity into European exile by erecting barriers to enterprise, so the eurocrats who serve Emperor Herman Van Rompuy are now returning the favour.
Millions of people you will never meet contributed to making for you each of the objects you use in your everyday life. Far from being a selfish creed, growth spreads collaboration.
Moreover, with growth come other benefits. As people get richer so they demand that more money and attention be paid to what were once luxuries: clean water, clean air, clean energy and biodiversity. So it is not just child mortality and family size that fall rapidly with wealth; pollution and habitat destruction come tumbling down once incomes pass a level of about $8,000 a head. More and more countries are passing that threshold right now. Watch as India and China get interested in saving tigers and pandas — hopefully just in time. Watch as genetic engineers revive the dodo and the thylacine: that is the kind of luxury that great wealth can buy.
Not everything will go right. Because we are human, there will be wars, recessions and disasters, but just as the recent crisis failed to derail world growth, so it is unlikely that the great existential threats that each generation so warmly clutches to its pessimistic bosom will blow away this inexorable boom. Doom after doom, from eugenic deterioration of the race to the collapse of computers at the millennium, has turned out to be a mirage.
Climate change looks set to continue to happen too slowly to reach a dangerous pace. Fossil fuels, far from running out, will prove sufficiently abundant to fuel even the super-prosperity of this century, before giving way to cheaper forms of energy as scarcity eventually drives up their price. Great plagues, asteroids and vengeful superintelligent computers are all possible, but improbable.
At this dark, cold, austere moment, take a little cheer from the question: what could go right?
A Prosperous New Year?
Britons to spend first five months paying tax - Telegraph
Tax Freedom Day is the day when Britons begin working for themselves rather than the taxman and falls on May 30 in 2011, compared to May 27 this year, the Adam Smith Institute revealed.
Families face £100 extra in petrol costs - Telegraph
Motorists face sharp increases in petrol prices in the new year as two tax rises coincide with an increase in the cost of oil, motoring groups have warned.
Inflation, and lots of it. We know about Vat going up to 20 per cent on 4 January, but it's what's going to come after that should really worry us, for a depressed economy is no barrier to rising prices, as we will shortly see.
Global commodity prices are spiralling out of sight once again; the $100 barrel of oil will return before January is out. Cotton is up 30 per cent since September, and corn by 35 per cent, for example. Some crop prices are back
Our public spending cuts will, in their own insidious way, also add to the inflationary pressures. This will include the trivial – car parking charges ramped skywards by desperate local authorities – to the highly material, such as dwindling subsidies for public transport and steep rises in commuter rail fares. And soon enough, there will be a 300 per cent rise in tuition fees for some. Meanwhile, the £6 gallon of petrol (£1.50 a litre) cannot be far away. Gas and electricity prices will see more eye-watering rises in 2011, on the back of record demand from the cold weather, here and now in North America. The list goes on.
That, then, will be the first round of inflation – and notice how it is concentrated on the basics of life – fuel, energy, food, clothing, public transport; stuff we cannot avoid spending our cash on. How big the second round of inflation proves to be depends on how workers respond as they fill up the car, do the shopping, pay the gas bill and buy their season tickets.
Unions Don't Add Up
The union calculated a council worker earning £20,000 a year paid almost £5,000 in taxes and national insurance but would cost more than £11,000 in benefits, such as Jobseeker's Allowance and child tax credit, and lost revenue.
(20-5)>11 in the old maths, but then that was the old maths.
December 28, 2010
Scholae, cui bono?
Traditional subjects are being sidelined as ministers use schools to “repair social inequalities” rather than educate the next generation, according to a leading teacher.
Education - always remember who the customer is.
In State schools it is the State (or more accurately The Government and it's favoured Special Interest Groups.)
In Private schools it is the parents.
In all schools the teachers think it should be them as safe havens to keep the unemployable off the streets.
If you ever discover one where the poor bloody children are then please let me know.
Watching Your Drink
Under the scheme, bottles would bear a printed barcode enabling authorities to track whether legally bought alcohol has been given to youngsters.
The scheme, which is already being piloted in problem areas of Dundee, involves the police seizing alcohol from under-18s and then using the coded bottle labels to trace where the drink was bought from.
Officers then use CCTV from the shop to identify who bought the drink........
It is already happening, this isn't some Orwellian warning.
Luckily every fortnight respectable citizens put empty bottles outside their houses in green bins. Decanting your hooch into a bottle from the vicar's doorstep seems even a better wheeze than picking off the barcode label.
What are the chances that this ability to track alcohol purchases to customers is picked up by the Health Nazis, for our "own good"?
Latest Fatuous Political Idea That Won't Happen
The government is to follow the lead of The X Factor television programme and allow the public to decide on legislation to be put before MPs.
In an attempt to reduce what is seen as a disconnection between the public and parliament, ministers will ensure that the most popular petition on the government website Direct.gov.uk will be drafted as a bill. It is also planning to guarantee that petitions which reach a fixed level of support "most likely 100,000 signatures" will be guaranteed a Commons debate.
Ministerial sources acknowledge that the proposals have the potential to cause headaches for the coalition because populist causes célèbres - such as a return of capital punishment or withdrawal from the European Union - could come top of the list.
Very sticky if the public was allowed to suggest laws they actually wanted - bring it on.
Speed Cameras - It's All About The Money Pt. 2
Motorists allowed to go 10mph over speed limit | The Times
Motorists will be able to drive at more than 10mph above the speed limit and still escape punishment under a new funding framework designed to keep speed cameras activated across the country, The Times has learnt.
Under proposals set to be endorsed by police chiefs in the new year, motorists will be given the chance to take a speed awareness course and avoid getting points on their licence, as well as a statutory fine. Course fees will be raised sharply and the money will be used to finance a national network of speed cameras, which had been under threat from deep cuts to the Government’s road safety budget.
The plan is backed by more than 20 police forces, motoring organisations and road safety campaigners.
The Times misses the point in its excitement to describe a large fee and spending an afternoon being re-educated as "escaping punishment".
It is all about money. The Speed Awareness Partnerships are perfect bureaucracies. They employ people to create and enforce rules, which then create fines, which are they then spend on the people they employ. Perfectly circular. And from inside the circle perfectly reasonable.
December 27, 2010
Moonbat - Warm Would Be Better
The cold claims lives while energy companies get rich | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian
Between 25,000 and 30,000 people a year are hastened to the grave by the cold here – this winter it could be much worse.
Why? Inequality....There should be a perfect synergy between climate change and social justice policies.... Green policies must be funded by transferring money from richer consumers to poorer ones.
But until something is done, the cold will keep killing, at levels that even the Siberians don't have to endure.
Cheap power is the answer. Funny he doesn't mention that.
A potential cull of the largest owl in Europe has placed the government at the centre of an increasingly bitter row between conservation groups.
RSPB does not want to rule out cull of predator while owl group says EU should protect species
There are fears that the eagle owl, a non-native species seen in growing numbers in the British Isles, poses a serious threat to established wildlife...
Time to get the popcorn and grab a ringside seat as the beardies fight it out.
Guardian Surprise of The Year
Self-styled environmental and consumer advocates often are long on ideology but short on science.
In the Guardian! Read it again, and it is in the Guardian. Or did Santa slip me some of his favourite Amanita muscaria.
10:15am on 21 December the Green Dream Died
SCOTLAND'S wind farms are unable to cope with the freezing weather conditions – grinding to a halt at a time when electricity demand is at a peak, forcing the country to rely on power generated by French nuclear plants.
Output from major wind farms fell to as low as 2.5 per cent of their potential generation capacity during the cold snap as power demand rose to close to the highest level yet recorded, new figures have revealed.
Meteorologists say extremely cold temperatures can occur only when there is little or no wind and icy pockets of air are trapped close to the ground, prompting accusations from anti- wind-farm campaigners that wind power cannot be relied on to meet Scotland's electricity needs in the depths of winter.
The lowest point for wind generation over the period came at 10:15am on 21 December, when production from UK wind farms dropped to 17MW for a five-minute period – less than 1 per cent of their potential output.
"If you look at any specific outcome during a rare weather pattern, it doesn't present an accurate picture," said Dr Dan Barlow, head of policy for WWF Scotland. "The most recent data from the government shows that renewables generated more than a quarter of Scots' electricity demand. That discredits any claims that wind doesn't work.
Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, pointed to a report published by his organisation last week, which claimed that Scotland could phase out all conventional thermal power by 2030 while maintaining a secure electricity supply – even on days when wind output was zero.
They are beyond delusional, they are dangerous.
December 26, 2010
Diet Tips For Boxing Day
It was only a few weeks ago that Blumenthal joined Harold McGee for a blowout in San Sebastián, Spain. "Once a year we have these long weekend excursions â three to four full-length meals a day, plus wine and cocktails," says McGee, grinning.
This not only confirms his status as a gastro rock star, but also surely a world authority on how to recover from the kind of overindulgence that most of us inflict on ourselves at this time of year. Any tips? "Well, Hess and I try to run between meals when we're away," he reveals. "The first 15 minutes are hell, especially after a bottle of wine or two. It's not so bad after that."
My French friends tell me of a new phrase in Parisian slang: to "do a Depardieu". "Come the 26th, she's doing a Depardieu," they'll say of a friend planning to shed the Christmas pounds, after the Obelix-shaped French actor lost three stone during a 10-day water-only fast.
Of course, Depardieu has always been a fan of a liquid diet. When I interviewed him about his wine-making for The Spectator years ago, and asked whether he was a white or a red man, the tetchy actor replied: "Well, obviously whites are better in the mornings, but from lunchtime onwards I tend to prefer reds."
As today is the day for our big meal I will take the latter tip to heart.
Don't Doubt It is Warm In Scotland
These are challenging times for climate jihadists. Last week the Met Office was forced to issue a press release stating it "categorically denies forecasting a 'mild winter' ". In fact, in October, its long-range probability map predicted an 80 per cent probability of warmer than average temperatures from November to January in Scotland. It claimed Scotland, along with Northern Ireland, the eastern half of England and Cornwall, would experience temperatures above the 3.7°C average, more than 2°C higher than last winter.
Perversely, those are precisely the regions most ravaged by blizzard conditions; but the Met Office now insists that was not a forecast. Apparently, just as weather is not climate, a Met Office map predicting an 80 per cent likelihood of higher temperatures is not a forecast. The Met Office is notoriously zealous in warmist propaganda. Its chairman, Robert Napier, is also chairman of the trustees of the Carbon Disclosure Project and of the Green Fiscal Commission - so, no conflict of interests there.
The global warming Mormons of Nasa are so disturbed by public perception that this winter is verging on the chilly across the northern hemisphere that they have produced a map showing areas where they claim alarmingly high temperatures are prevailing, such as the middle of the Arctic Ocean. As sceptics have pointed out, all the hotspots highlighted coincide with places where there are no weather stations,....
Our MSPs - mostly people who give cretinism a bad name - have gone overboard for a world-leading role in climate crusading. How much energy did Scotland's ice-bound wind turbines generate this month? The regulation director at ScottishPower Renewables has stated: "Thirty gigawatts of wind maybe requires 25 GW of backup." Few Scottish windfarms attain even 28 per cent of capacity. Cutting-edge technology, eh?
But who cares? Hey, this isn't about science - it's about cash. Specifically, $130bn from Western taxpayers (though the mid-term elections in America mean Joe Public there has firmly said: "Include me out!"). It will take more than a few tax hikes and power cuts to deflect Civic Scotland from embracing the latest leftist fantasy. So, on with the motley! And if you are venturing out, take care to apply plenty of sunblock.
You Will Not Doubt
After a wasted year, climate change must once again be our priority | Robin McKie | Comment is free | The Observer
There is no doubt that greenhouse gas emissions are rising remorselessly. We must sideline the sceptics
Climate change deniers, as they try to sow doubt about global warming, have attempted to tarnish every meteorological finding they have come across. Hence the furore they created over the leaking of emails from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit a year ago. However, they have never made a dent in the Keeling curve. As a result, we face the indisputable fact that levels of carbon dioxide, a gas known to warm the atmosphere, is rising relentlessly as we burn the concentrated organic carbon deposited as coal, gas and oil several hundred millions years ago.
Thus the world cannot avoid becoming at least 1C hotter than it was in the 19th century thanks to human activities. How much hotter it will get is a more difficult question to answer. Most scientists say increases of at least 2C above pre-industrial levels by 2100 are now inevitable. That doesn't sound so bad until you note such a rise will expose up to 3 billion people to the risk of water shortages, says Professor Martin Parry of the UK Met Office, while the UN states global food production will also be disrupted.
In fact, most climate scientists say rises could easily go up to 4C to 6C, producing global average temperatures not seen on Earth for 50 million years. Deserts will spread, ice caps melt, coastal areas flood and millions forced from their homes.
Some sceptics deny such changes will occur.
I'm confused, which changes? You say it is hard to tell how much hotter, most say 2 degrees, or maybe 4 or even 6. To question 6 (and the associated changes that are modelled) seems to make one a sceptic and in your extension a "denier". Even though you question it along with many "climate scientists".
It is not so much that "sceptics must be sidelined" rather that questions about inexact forecasts must not be allowed. The dogma, whatever it is, cannot be questioned.
December 25, 2010
Gentlemen, The Queen
Happy Christmas From My Bunker
Yes, it is on my land and I own it, one day it may come in useful....
December 24, 2010
Friday Night is Music Night (Christmas Eve Edition)
Flop Your Meat Out To Keep The Peace
Want to avoid family fights this holiday season?
Try placing the turkey, ham or preferred meaty main course right in everyone's view.
Results from a McGill University study, released Monday, suggest that people — men, anyway — become less aggressive at the sight of meat.
The results run counter to what Frank Kachanoff, a researcher with McGill's psychology department, anticipated.
Salty Logs For Climate Clues
Ships' logs from vessels which travelled in the Arctic Circle in the 18th Century are to be studied to see if they shed light on climate change.
A team from Sunderland University will study records kept by explorers, whalers and merchants during trips which took place up to 260 years ago.
They want to see if the logs provide clues about the ice levels in the area at that time.
Dr Wheeler said: "We will be looking at climate change, especially the retreat and advance of ice between 1750 and 1850.
"The Arctic environmentally is a hugely important area, but we need to know how it's behaved in the past in order that we can assess how it's going to behave in the future.
"You can't look forward without looking back.
"This is no longer just a scientific issue - climate change is of global, political concern."
The three-year project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is being led by Dr Dennis Wheeler in collaboration with the Scott Polar Research Institute.
Excellent news, the more data the better.
Dr Dennis won funding to research Chistoric Climate change data from ship logs from the EU in 2008 which built on his research funded by the EU in 2000.
So he should know what he is talking about, I'll be interested in his report.
Positions of the available observations in the CLIWOC database for the period 1750-1854.
All the data is available on the CLIWOC Climatological Database for the World's Oceans site - enjoy.
Floods, rising temperatures and higher sea levels threaten the UK's road, rail, water and energy networks between 2030 and 2100
Yup those rising temperatures in twenty years time are the problem as all those poor sods camped out at Heathrow will agree.
Official UK climate projections published last year predicting hotter and drier summers, warmer and wetter winters, rising sea levels and more floods, storms and heatwaves, provide a basis for analysing many of the risks threatening vital infrastructure. But URS a global consultancy and management company, also warns that ports and airports could face as yet unquantified threats from changes in prevailing winds, although it admits evidence on which such predictions could be made is, as yet, scanty.
The project makes clear a big and expensive programme of sea and flood defences will be necessary. ..the report warns some existing quaysides may have to be made higher and more inland ports such as Goole, Yorkshire, 50 miles from the open sea developed.
This would be "an expensive and radical option" but might be necessary "if conditions deteriorate substantially". It would mean abandoning billions of pounds of existing assets in "at risk" locations and could provoke a business and public outcry, the report concedes.
Obviously it is beyond the wit of a country that built the Mulberry harbours in days under enemy fire to raise the existing dock walls by a foot or so over a hundred years.
It also notes runways at UK airports are aligned either east-west or southwest-northeast depending on the prevailing wind. "Many only have a single runway or parallel runways, which means on days when there is a strong cross wind, there can be severe disruption. These airports could therefore be vulnerable to a change in prevailing wind direction, but there is no robust climate prediction for this parameter."
In other words there is not an iota of a suspicion that this is a risk but Rupert spent a jolly month flying around on expenses and needed to write up something.
On energy, the report asks: "Should we expect there to be electricity black-outs or periods where gas is unavailable?" One alternative would be for every home to be able to use low-carbon electricity when available and gas (perhaps supplemented by local anaerobic biogas) when it was not. A gradual shift to renewable energy sources, such as sun, wind, waves and tides, which are dependent on climactic conditions for providing electricity, might make stability through a grid system difficult to guarantee.
The Report doesn't then say well that shows that is a stupid idea then but suggests that society ought to get used to blackouts and power rationing.
Oh, and there is a need for a lot more research and funding for writing such hogwash.
December 23, 2010
Geeky Fun at Christmas
The seeds of a sunflower, the spines of a cactus, and the bracts of a pine cone all grow in whirling spiral patterns. Remarkable for their complexity and beauty, they also show consistent mathematical patterns that scientists have been striving to understand.
A surprising number of plants have spiral patterns in which each leaf, seed, or other structure follows the next at a particular angle called the golden angle. The golden angle is about 137.5. Two radii of a circle C form the golden angle if they divide the circle into two areas A and B so that A/B = B/C.
The golden angle is closely related to the golden ratio, which the ancient Greeks studied extensively and some have believed to have divine, aesthetic or mystical properties.
Plants with spiral patterns related to the golden angle also display another curious mathematical property. The seeds of a flower head form interlocking spirals in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. The number of clockwise spirals differs from the number of counterclockwise spirals, and these two numbers are called the plant's parastichy numbers (pronounced pi-RAS-tik-ee or PEHR-us-tik-ee).
These numbers have a remarkable consistency. They are almost always two consecutive Fibonacci numbers, which are another one of nature's mathematical favorites. The Fibonacci numbers form the sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 . . . , in which each number is the sum of the previous two.
The Fibonacci numbers tend to crop up wherever the golden ratio appears, because the ratio between two consecutive Fibonacci numbers happens to be close to the golden ratio. The larger the two Fibonacci numbers, the closer their ratio to the golden ratio. But this relationship doesn't fully explain why parastichy numbers end up being consecutive Fibonacci numbers.
Scientists have puzzled over this pattern of plant growth for hundreds of years....
As you struggle to engage in the tedium of Christmas behold the sprout stalk or the festive pine cones and observe and wonder, let others debate Vince, Dave and Nick, let your mind be on higher things.
My Blackberry Is Not Working
Big in Japan
Long-term change in annual mean surface temperature anomalies over the globe. The bars indicate anomalies of surface temperature in each year. The blue line indicates five-year running mean, and the red line indicates a long-term linear trend. Anomalies are deviations from the normal (1971-2000 average)
Global Temperature in 2010 Most Likely Second Warmest (preliminary) - Japan Meteorological Agency
The ranking is preliminary and is based on the January to November data and is subject to amendment in February when the December data is in.
Interesting graph - with the December reading that plateau at the right will be flatter I guess. More of a chopstick than a hockeystick shape.
(Sorry - I don't do Alphaville songs)
After Dinner Heaven
The Royal Monceau luxury hotel off the Champs-Elys馥s, has just completed "La Fum馥 Rouge" (The Red Smoke), an intentionally faded 12-seat cigar bar by top designer Philippe Starck, which opens in January.
The aim of this "radical act", according to Mr Stark is to recreate "the private clubs where men liked to gather in small, intimate groups, to read the papers and exchange views on the world."
Guests choose after-dinner liqueurs from a trolley at the entrance and relax with a Cuban cigar regulars can then stow in a private locker if need be.
French law still allows indoor smoking spaces provided they have state-of-the-art ventilation and that no staff operate inside.
The trend has also caught on in Berlin, where the Times Bar at the Savoy Hotel on the Ku'damm avenue has a wood-panelled smokers' lounge with soft leather chairs.
How very civilised, it would tempt me to take up the habit just to be able to retreat to such an oasis of calm.
Tis The Season To Feel Guilty
Healthy eating really can help people live longer, according to new research on diets.
A study comparing the diets of 2,500 older Americans found that "high fat" eating individuals were 40 per cent more likely to die over ten years than those who preferred "healthy foods"
The "high fat dairy products" category had higher intakes of foods such as ice cream, cheese, whole milk and yoghurt, and lower consumption of poultry, low-fat dairy products, rice and pasta.
A 37 per cent higher risk of dying was associated with the "sweets and desserts" cluster, and a 21 per cent increased risk was linked with the "meat, fried foods and alcohol" diet cluster.
In total, 374 of the study participants made "healthy foods" a predominant part of their diet, while 693 preferred "meat, fried foods and alcohol".
The latest findings on diets and health expectancy appear in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Except they don't - they will appear next month:
All press releases are under strict embargo until the first of the month at 12:00 AM EST. We will provide journalists and editors with full-text copies of the articles in question prior to the embargo date so that stories can be adequately researched and written.
So science by press release again - nice juicy story to fill out the holiday pages and induce guilt in the overstuffed revellers. But no chance for anyone to fillet the study as it won't be available until the New Year.
December 22, 2010
Trying to create visual representations of what our climate futures might look like is always a taxing and delicate task. Computer-generated images of our familiar coastal cities inundated with sea water certainly attract attention, but they also – quite rightly, perhaps – get slammed for being "alarmist", especially if they are imagined around worst-case predictions.
Within this context, it is worth noting a new photography project being orchestrated by British Columbia's Ministry of Environment in Canada.
King Tides (also known as perigean spring tides) are extreme high tide events that occur when the sun and moon's gravitation forces reinforce one another at times of the year when the moon is closest to the earth. They happen twice a year, but they are typically more dramatic during the winter due to the low pressure cells in the atmosphere that also exert a gravitational pull on the water.
Next week how birds fly by creating gravity above their wings.
Just a 1 in 20
Council bosses are also being slammed for their decision to order less salt for icy roads this year.
A report by the TaxPayers’ Alliance shows councils have ordered 1.48million tonnes in 2010-11 compared with nearly 1.51m tonnes last winter.
TaxPayers’ Alliance policy analyst Chris Daniel said: “Many councils were clearly unprepared for the latest icy spell because they had ordered less salt than they did last year.
“It is unacceptable for councils to write off their failings by claiming that extreme winters in Britain are too rare an event for it to be worth preparing for them.
“This winter is the third in a row where severe weather has swept across the UK.
“The councils and highways agencies have no excuses for not having everything in place beforehand.”
Weather in any one winter is virtually independent (statistically speaking) of weather in preceding winters. And, despite there having been three severe winters in a row, there is only a 1:20 chance of there being a severe winter next year or in any subsequent year. In other words, bad winters cannot be considered an annual event.
This is the view of the Met Office, ..Furthermore, the incidence of severe winters is slowly declining due to global warming, although one important effect of global warming is that more snow is possible when severe weather events do occur.
The bizarre issue here is that the Met Office seems to want it both ways. It tells us that it can predict global warming – that it knows, for instance, what the climate is going to be like in 60 years time. But it will not allow clustering. And therein is a problem. If there is only a 1:20 chance of a severe winter, what are the chances of three 1:20 events happening in succession?
For the moment, though, the Met Office is holding the line, but for how long? There is a one in twenty chance that next year is as bad as this one … maybe. But what are the chances of four bad winters in a row? Whatever the odds, the stakes are even higher.
I haven't got a £33 million computer but one old bloodshot bleary eye tells me that "clustering" looks a possibility. This is simple gambler probability stats, any greasy fingered casino boss would be able to tell if the table was playing true or not by the smell of the numbers, so surely the Met Office which is gambling billions in the cost of our unpreparedness should be able to do the same.
But we can say with certainty that next winter, or if not that, the one after will be milder and so those who are holding the warmists' feet to the fire to make them confess this weather disproves their theory must expect their retaliation.
Their theory is unfalsifiable if however the bones fall, whatever the weather, they claim it is as forecast. And such a theory is unscientific.
December 21, 2010
You Stupid Boy
Is it just me or is Moonbat morphing into Captain Mainwaring, full of bluster and puffed up pride and when whoops.. "Well spotted, I was waiting to see how long it would take you to notice that"...
December 20, 2010
The Blood Red Moon Will Be In The Sky
Time to observe for most of time zone:
05:29am - 08:53am (GMT)
On: December 21
The Guardian Answers The Why Is It Cold Question
A... it's getting warmer.
Mrs E awoke me at 2:30 to alert me to the ducks quacking outside the window. We lost one to Mr Fox a week ago when he crept across the ice to them.
So it was on with Uncle Percy's overcoat over the dressing gown and out I went with the Marlin underlever to try and deliver some 357 Magnum 125 Grain Full Metal Jacket Flat Christmas Cheer to our visitor.
He scuttled off the through the fence too quickly and by the time I was over the road he had headed for the hills. But the moon was out, the snow was crisp and his tracks were trackable.
I failed to catch up with him but the armed stroll up onto the downs on such a night was worthwhile. Not a soul apart from me was stirring, miles across the valley street lights sparkled but otherwise I was only in the company of the friendly ghosts who have trod these ancient hills on thousands of winters in the past pitting their wits against the weather and wild animals.
Boris Tests The Ice
The man who repeatedly beats the Met Office at its own game - Telegraph
Piers Corbyn not only predicted the current weather, but he believes things are going to get much worse, says Boris Johnson.
In a few brief hours, we are told, the snowy superfortresses will be above us again, bomb bays bulging with blizzard. It may be that in the next hours and days we have to step up our de-icing, our gritting and our shovelling. So let me seize this brief gap in the aerial bombardment to pose a question that is bugging me. Why did the Met Office forecast a "mild winter"?
As has been noted there is no senior politicians who articulates the doubts of a large proportion of the electorate about Global Warming. Boris of course professes his continued faith in AGW, just as rebel colonists professed themselves loyal to the King but they just doubted his ministers.
There is a large chunk of the Tory party that would follow a sceptical leader when the time comes. That time is not yet, but groundwork is being laid.
December 17, 2010
Friday Night is Music Night (Blake Remembered Edition)
Local Energy Supplies
Early start this morning delivering firewood - I'm not certain I will be able to do any tomorrow. And as a private enterprise I don't want to let any customers down when they want to be toasty this coming week.
Unlike the fuckwits in charge of our energy policy.
December 16, 2010
Can't Chris Huhne Stick To Screwing Random Women Instead of All Of Us?
Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, will outline government plans today to encourage energy companies to develop low-carbon power plants, including nuclear power stations and wind farms.
Energy analysts say the Coalition's plans will put Britain on course for a "high cost, low carbon" electricity market where consumers pay the price for environmentally friendly generating technology.
Energy companies say that the shift will require them to invest more than £200 billion in new power stations and networks over the next 20 years.
According to uSwitch, the price comparison website, funding that investment will cost households more than £500 a year on top of the current total average energy bill of £1,157. Mr Huhne's officials dispute that figure and insist that the direct costs of specific government policies will be much lower.
Mr Huhne will tell MPs that the reforms will wean Britain off imported gas, and curb inevitable price rises, meaning household bills will ultimately be lower than they would have been otherwise.
The price of Cameron's failure to win against the most pathetic opposition ever is that we will be paying for idiots such as Chris Huhne, who no one ever expected to actually have the any power and so was happily patted on the head and told what a clever boy he was as he fingerpainted his policies.
Fifty a day and you will live for ever
Around 33,000 lives a year could be saved if everyone in the UK followed dietary guidelines, research suggests.
Eating five portions of fruit and veg a day would save 15,000 lives, including 7,000 from heart disease, almost 5,000 from cancer and around 3,000 from stroke
Another 4,000 deaths would be prevented by sticking to dietary recommendations on fibre; around 7,000 from watching fat intake and 7,500 by reducing salt
The research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, was based on a computer model linking food consumption with mortality from heart disease, stroke and cancer.
"According to our model, the biggest impact would be eating more fruit and veg. But this doesn't mean you should just stop at five - the more the better."
Ah, the "model says" - and the relationship is more is better in an unbounded way, sort of an artificial x=2y way rather the more natural bell curve response most nature studies have . Funny actually studying real people give a different answer.
BBC News - Five-a-day has little impact on cancer, study finds
The study of 500,000 Europeans joins a growing body of evidence undermining the high hopes that pushing "five-a-day" might slash Western cancer rates.
The team, led by researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York, took into account lifestyle factors such as smoking and exercise when drawing their conclusions.
But writing in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, they said they could not rule out that even the small reduction in cancer risk seen was down to the fact that the kind of people who ate more fruit and vegetables lived healthier lives in many other respects too.
Unelectable Woman Demands More Unelectable Women In Power
Quotas clearly have a positive effect. The system of reserved seats, such as that in Uganda and Rwanda, has guaranteed women will be elected and will achieve a specified level of representation.
Quotas are capable of dealing with that discrimination and of ensuring that when there is women's leadership, there will be significantly more support for health education and other quality of life issues. We have seen clear evidence of this in Timor-Leste, Morocco, Rwanda and South Africa...According to the Fawcett Society, political parties too often fail to adequately respond to the significant barriers women meet wherever they want to stand for parliament. They have summed up those impediments as the "four Cs": confidence, culture, childcare and cash.
Funny having an unelected woman who was a Eurocrat and in the House of Lords only because she opened her scrawny legs for a ginger windbag made me think of a fifth C word.
December 15, 2010
Polar Bears "Not Out of The Woods" - Official - And If They Come Out Shoot Them
BBC News - Polar bears can be saved by emissions cuts, study says
Cutting global greenhouse emissions might yet save the polar bear and its Arctic habitat, according to scientists in the US.
It has been suggested that emissions of greenhouse gases have already put the Arctic ice cap and the polar bear on an irreversible path towards extinction.
But a new study suggests rapid emission cuts could help preserve ice cover to save the iconic bear.
Details are published in the academic journal Nature.
Dr Ted Maksym, of the British Antarctic Survey (Bas), said he agreed there was little evidence of "tipping points" in the Arctic.
"All the literature that has looked for a tipping point for sea ice has essentially found none. This has been drowned out a bit by the noise surrounding the 2007 minimum [for summer ice loss] and a possible 'death spiral' for Arctic sea ice."
"The suggestion that if global temperature rise is kept below 1.25 degrees that polar bears will survive is encouraging; but given current trends this is not likely to be achieved. So we are by no means out of the woods."
Dr Brendan Kelly of the US National Marine Mammal Laboratory, and colleagues, write in a separate comment piece about the possibility of increased cross-breeding between the polar and grizzly bears.
Dr Kelly suggests that as the ice cap melts and polar bears go ashore, the natural barrier between the bear populations will fall, and such hybrids, dubbed "pizzly bears" by some, might become more commonplace.
He and his team have found 34 possible examples of such hybridisation among sea mammals in the region. Cross-breeding between the bowhead whale and the endangered North Pacific right whale could quickly push the latter towards extinction, he warns.
"Plans must be developed immediately to monitor the genetics of Arctic animals and to deal with hybrids before current discrete populations merge and at-risk species are bred out of existence," the team write in Nature...
"deal with hybrids"? I presume that means shooting them to preserve their genetic purity. I wish I could remember what political movement that should remind me of....
Guido Behind The Wall
WikiLeaks hackers are aiming at the wrong targets | The Times
The hacktivists would be better employed copying and distributing WikiLeaks releases to countries that do not allow their press the freedom to publish government secrets. They should be circumventing the electronic walls that prevent citizens from knowing the truth....
Sorry the rest of this article is hidden behind an electronic pay wall...
December 14, 2010
Moonbat - the paid bullies are out to get me
These astroturf libertarians are the real threat to internet democracy | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian
As I see in threads on my articles, the online sabotaging of intelligent debate seems organised. We must fight to save this precious gift
Reading comment threads on the Guardian's sites and elsewhere on the web, two patterns jump out at me. The first is that discussions of issues in which there's little money at stake tend to be a lot more civilised than debates about issues where companies stand to lose or gain billions: such as climate change, public health and corporate tax avoidance. These are often characterised by amazing levels of abuse and disruption....
The second pattern is the strong association between this tactic and a certain set of views: pro-corporate, anti-tax, anti-regulation. Both traditional conservatives and traditional progressives tend to be more willing to discuss an issue than these rightwing libertarians, many of whom seek to shut down debate.
So what's going on? I'm not suggesting that most of the people trying to derail these discussions are paid to do so, though I would be surprised if none were. I'm suggesting that some of the efforts to prevent intelligence from blooming seem to be organised, and that neither website hosts nor other commenters know how to respond....
A group that trains rightwing libertarians to distort online democratic processes was...., set up with funding from a person or company with a very large wallet.
The internet is a remarkable gift, which has granted us one of the greatest democratic opportunities since universal suffrage. We're in danger of losing this global commons as it comes under assault from an army of trolls and flacks, many of them covertly organised or trained. The question for all of us – the Guardian, other websites, and everyone who benefits from this resource – is what we intend to do about it. It's time we fought back and reclaimed the internet for what it does best: exploring issues, testing ideas, opening the debate.
Open the debate but control who contributes to it, now that sounds like a plan. Though whoever is controlling the libertarian bloggers must be a genius who has missed his true vocation of running a display team of cat herding and so maybe it would easier for George to just control what views are expressed on the internet.
P.S. Of course I'm just a highly paid puppet of an evil overlord because I wrote this.
P.P.S Note to evil overlord - the promised cheque still hasn't arrived.
Those Council Cuts Explained
Gerry Adams - Available for weddings, christenings and Christmas parties
The latest US diplomatic cable leaks say the Irish government had "rock solid evidence" on the allegations.
But Mr Adams said the claims were not new and that he had denied them at the time. The Sinn Fein leader blamed Irish political rivalries for the allegations.
While Mr McGuinness, now deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, has admitted being an IRA commander, Mr Adams has long denied he was even a member of the organisation.
The Wikileaks claim comes as the Sinn Fein president prepares to take a political gamble by resigning his Westminster seat in West Belfast to stand in County Louth in the Republic of Ireland's forthcoming general election.
The move is part of Sinn Fein's strategy to build its electoral support south of the border.
A party spokesman dismissed the Wikileaks claims last night as "utter nonsense".
It is well known that Mr Adams was in full time employment as a Frank Spencer impersonator and children's entertainer. Wilileak claims that the Pope is a catholic have also been dismissed as malicious lies.
December 13, 2010
The death of Tom Walkinshaw got me thinking about this little beauty of an XJRS I used to own - it was only a three speed automatic, but with a V12 6 litre engine, hand built by TWR in Abingdon, that was enough.
www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/9794.shtml seems not to approve of the engine but it was sheer joy late at night on the motorway holding her in second until about 90mph and then dropping into third and pressing the loud pedal, which would punch you back into the seat, piss off absolutely any nearby boy racer and send the fuel gauge into free-fall.
But the babyseat wouldn't fit so it was sold...
Euro Frankenstein Moment
Snooty Europhiles should be forced to crawl in penitence - Telegraph
By Boris Johnson
I think we deserve an apology. By “we” I mean all the Euro-sceptics, Euro-pragmatists, Euro-realists and Euro-hysterics who were alarmed by some of the optimism that surrounded the birth of the single currency. Do you remember the disdain with which we were treated? We were told that we were boss-eyed Little Englanders. They used to say we were a bunch of xenophobic, garlic-hating defenders of the pint and the yard and the good old bread-filled British banger.
Whenever we protested about any detail of the plan for monetary union, we were told that we were in danger of stopping the great European train, boat, bus, bicycle or whatever it was. We were a blimpish embarrassment to our country, a bunch of idiot children who had to be shooshed while the grown-ups got on with their magnificent plans.
So it gives me a tingling pleasure to report that everywhere you look on the map of Europe we have been proved resoundingly and crushingly right....
Any break-up of the euro would also be viewed as a tragedy for the European “project”, and though that assumption bears closer examination, it is a fair bet that the EU’s political classes will stop at virtually nothing to keep the single currency alive and intact. Most sensible people seem to think that they will succeed, and that the contagion will not overwhelm Spain as well — but then huge numbers of apparently sensible people managed to shut their eyes to the glaring flaws in the euro.
Politics made the euro, and politics can destroy it, especially if electorates start to feel it is a machine for German domination and the destruction of benefits and wages; or if the German electorate feels that it is a machine for fleecing Germany.
Euro Death Throes
There will be no Eurobond, no increases in the EUâs â¬440bn (£368bn) rescue fund, and no mass purchases of Spanish and Italian bonds by the ECB. Nothing. The system is politically and constitutionally paralysed. Spain and Portugal will be left nakedly exposed before their funding crunch in January.
It is entirely predictable that Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy would move so quickly to shoot down last weekâs Eurobond proposal, issuing pre-emptive warning before this weekâs EU summit that they will not accept "a bundling together of all Europe's debts".
How can Germany or France agree lightly to plans that amount to an EU debt union, with a common treasury, tax system, and budget policy, the stuff of civil wars and revolutions over the ages? To do so is to dismantle the ancient nation states of Europe in all but name....
“There is something surreal about the unfolding financial crisis,” said Stefano Micossi from the College of Europe, the sanctum sanctorum of the European Project.
“Leaders grudgingly do what is needed to prevent disaster at the last minute before it is too late, and the next minute they go back to the behaviour that brought them against the wall in the first place. The eurozone is in bad need of a psychiatrist,” he wrote at VoxEU
“If the eurozone follows this path, either all of the sovereign debts become German public debt, or the euro will collapse,” he said.This is admirably candid in one sense, but is today’s crisis really just a failure of leadership? Was EMU not dysfunctional from the first day? Did it not inflict negative real interest rates on Club Med and Ireland in the boom years, driving them into distastrously pro-cyclical policies?
Did it not lock in chronic imbalances between North and South? Has it not left victim states trapped in debt deflation or slumps which have gone too far to respond an austerity cure, and from which there seems to be no escape on terms acceptable to Germany?
Should we blame the current hapless leaders, or the guilty men of Maastricht who created this doomsday machine? If the project itself is rotten, surely what the eurozone needs most is an undertaker.
Oh yes, that is my hope. I love having family visit me but not having to venture out to them or the shops is my fervent hope. Though whether that is what the writer meant I doubt.
Britain is now more Thatcherite than when Margaret Thatcher was in power, with people much less supportive of the welfare state and the redistribution of wealth than in the 1980s, according to an authoritative study of the country's mood.
New Labour oversaw the biggest recorded shift to the right in public attitudes on those measures...
In 1991, 58% thought the government should spend more on benefits. By 2009 that had more than halved to 27%.
Just over half (51%) backed policies to redistribute income from rich to poor in 1989, compared with 36% now.
All we need now is a Tory Party that also believes in Thatcherism.
December 12, 2010
Today I have been mainly pasting the cake.
Marzipan or Almond Paste?
The late sainted Mrs Grigson's English Food uses the term interchangeably. I always think Almond Paste is just posher, as Looking Glass is to Mirror, but others may think there is a difference.
As the range of recipes is so wide it may be helpful to put down the one I use.
(Please excuse the use of grammes but I find it easier to do things in packet sizes now and ground almonds come in 200g packets.)
Almond Paste or Marzipan Recipe - adapted from Jane Grigson
400g Ground Almonds
250g Icing sugar
One beaten egg
Couple of tablespoons lemon juice (add to get consistency right)
Mix and mash it all together and roll out. You will not buy better, (if your tooth is sweet add more sugar).
To stick it to the Christmas Cake they always call for Apricot Jam - as I never have the stuff I drain off the fruit juice from the kids' can of Apricot Halves, boil it with a good amount of sugar and in five minutes you will have a lovely apricot glue.
In Bed With Tim Worstall
Early to bed last night to avoid the caterwauling from the kitchen television on which some nonentities were karaoking to impress four wax dummies and apparently the whole nation.
I chose instead to slip under the eiderdown with Tim's slim œuvre.
One hundred odd pages of distilled bloggery. I presume, Dear Reader, that you are familiar with him. If you are then this book is no surprise. It is written in the same amusing and irreverent tone but he has more space to expand and explain the fuckwittery of some environmental policies.
It isn't a sceptic book, he has no argument with the "consensus" on green science and Sternian Policies, just the way that leaders and campaigners are trying to implement them by ignoring the most basic of truths.
I know he would not object to describing it as from the P J O'Rourke school of writing, and from me there is no higher praise. It was the most enjoyable couple of hours I had last night.
A Worstall in the stocking would be ideal for Christmas morning for your friends, and enemies.
Young and Clueless
Eloquent, enthusiastic, and with an improbably large number of achievements already under their belts, here are some of the young climate leaders at work in the UK.
In their potted biographies I can't see how any of them have actually earned any money by their own hands to pay for their campaigning hobbies. Thank goodness for grants eh?
Porritt Kill The Poor To Save The Earth
One of Britain’s best known eco-campaigners, Jonathon Porritt, has attacked other green activists, accusing them of failing to challenge the mantra of “economic growth”, which he sees as the underlying cause of most environmental destruction.
He believes that most of Britain’s green groups, including the National Trust (NT) and the RSPB, which have nearly 5m members between them — plus others such as WWF, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace — have become so conservative that they no longer dare campaign strongly on such issues.
Instead, he suggests, they have become too focused on creating “islands of conservation”, such as nature reserves, which cannot survive in a world of warming, habitat destruction and pollution.
Porritt, a former government adviser, will expand on his views in a lecture tomorrow at the Royal Society in London entitled The Growth Fetish and the Death of Environmentalism.
He said: “Most of us, especially young people, assume the future will be like today but a bit better. What climate science tells us, however, is that this is wrong.”
'There's not a mainstream political party in the world out there challenging the orthodoxy of business-as-usual economic growth - stretching indefinitely into the future. Meanwhile, environmentalists continue to do their best to slow the pace of destruction, but are still losing battle after battle. Worse yet, we'll lose the war if we can't free ourselves of our subservient dependence on today's earth-destroying economic growth'.
Has some one sent him a copy of Worstall's excellent book - "Chasing Rainbows: Economic Myths, Environmental Facts" yet?
There are only two answers to environmental degradation caused by man, economic growth or the slaughter of billions of people. I tend to prefer the former, though if I believed I was one of the pampered elite who would avoid being slaughtered because I was so wise and clever the world needed me to be a leader, I can see why I might prefer the latter.
Less Ice Makes Colder Winters
DESPITE a thaw after some of the most extreme winter weather in half a century, Scotland was warned yesterday that Arctic conditions are set to return, and could become a winter feature for a decade.
Some meteorologists believe that this winter's epic snowfall and the January and February freeze mark the start of a prolonged series of bad winters.
"It's speculative, but you tend to find that in the 1940s there was a series of cold winters, it happened again in the 1960s, and again in the 1980s. Given that, it's possible that in the next five to ten years we can expect more colder winters, and there will be some fairly fierce weather with heavy snowfalls."
Last winter was the coldest in Britain for 30 years. So could it be that this prolonged extreme weather is the fault of man? "I think the answer is that nobody knows yet," said Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland.
"There is some work that suggests there may be less ice at the North Pole now, which means that in the summer when the Sun is shining on open water instead of ice, the water gets warmer than it would normally and that may be affecting the circulation patterns coming down from the Pole and Siberia. And if that is the case, we may see more winters like this.
"We'll need to wait and see how things develop over the next few years, but by putting all these (harmful carbon] emissions into the atmosphere we are carrying out a huge experiment with the global weather system which we don't really understand very well. The best thing to do would be to stop carrying out the experiment before it gets even worse."
December 11, 2010
Climate Chaos Catches Out Climate Change Minister
Mr Stevenson's work on climate change was, however, praised by Friends of the Earth Scotland .
Head of campaigns Juliet Swann said: "Stewart Stevenson should be proud of his achievements in shepherding the Climate Change Act through the Scottish Parliament as Scotland's first dedicated Minister for Climate Change.
Well the climate changed for him....
The Hockeystick Surfaces on the BBC
Temperature for the last 1,500 years is taken from Mann, M.E., Zhang, Z., Hughes, M.K., Bradley, R.S., Miller, S.K., Rutherford, S., Proxy-Based Reconstructions of Hemispheric and Global Surface Temperature Variations over the Past Two Millennia, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 105, 13252-13257, 2008.
For the final time period covered, the temperature data is sourced to the Met Office Hadley Centre and to the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.
Download the climate data below
CO2 and temperature data for the last 800,000 years [Excel, 84.5kb]
CO2 and temperature data from 1850 [Excel, 53.5kb]
December 10, 2010
Friday Night is Music Night (Don't Take Five Edition)
Nice - Happy Birthday
Environmental News From The Castle - II
The ducks on the pond in the garden are reduced in swimming in a small circle they are keeping ice free.
Yesterday morning there was one less duck than the day before and a wet path across the ice from a broken edge of the circle.
I spotted what I think are Charles James' footprint in the frost.
I do hope when the hounds meet here for the trail hunting next month there isn't a nasty accident.
The Question Punk Is Do You Think Your Course Is Worth £9000?
If you answer no then there isn't a problem. Do something else.
If you answer yes there isn't one either. Grow up, invest in your future.
Even Vicky Pope Says Huhne Lies On Climate Change
Chris Huhne, the Climate Change Secretary, has been accused of misleading the UN climate conference in Cancún by attributing natural events to man-made global warming.
In his speech to the conference, he referred to an "alarming pattern of extreme weather events" in Britain, adding that insurers had paid out £4.5 billion for flood damage in the past ten years compared with £1.5 billion in the previous decade.
Mr Huhne went on to assure the audience of national leaders, environment ministers and delegates from 193 countries that the Government would always be "guided by the science". But The Times has identified the source of Mr Huhneâs figures and been told by the Met Office that they cannot be used as evidence of climate change. The increase in payments for flood damage was set out in a report last month by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). It made clear that all of the increase was attributable to a single event, the floods of summer 2007, which cost £3 billion.
Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said: âIt would be misleading to say that the summer floods of 2007 were caused by climate change. Twenty years is also very short to look for a signal of man-made climate change.â
Mr Huhne did not mention that the 2007 floods had distorted the figures but suggested the increase was part of a growing pattern. A spokesman for the ABI said: âWe were careful not to blame the increase on climate change. We are not climatologists. The reality is we always get episodes of bad weather in this country.â
The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate-sceptic think-tank that questions whether man-made emissions will cause rapid warming, said Mr Huhne misled the audience by failing to acknowledge that growth in wealth was the main reason for the rise in the amount paid out by insurers.
December 9, 2010
Would bring tears of joy to an old Cavalry Man
Cold is Warm Explained
Working on an Environmental Science journal, I’ve come to the conclusion that most climate scepticism can’t just be ignorance. I do get the feeling it’s more the result of intense lobbying by companies who rely on a relaxed carbon legislation.
By that I mean, the tories are in truth funded by big business. Big business lose a lot of money adhering to low carbon technology, so I’m assuming they expect politicians of the party they’re funding to fight their corner.
I’m not saying there aren’t hugely ignorant people. But the ignorant people are generally led a merry dance by those who should know better.
Most of the planet is covered by ocean. If the planet is hotter, in general, less of the ocean freezes during winters, and more of it evaporates. This creates more humidity. And when humidity is met by Syberian weather fronts, it freezes, and creates abnormally cold periods. Meaning, the UK, from now on will probably be terribly cold for periods, and rather warm for periods, in the winter months, from now on.
Basically, if you live near a coastline (as in within 500 miles of one), you're going to have very extreme seasons.
If you don't live near a coastline, you'll probably be living in a desert in 200 years time
I hope this clears up a lot of myths on the subject
British taxpayers could pay an extra £600 per year in green taxes to help poor countries cope with the floods and droughts caused by climate change, Lord Stern has suggested.
The economist said the UK would have to contribute around £1.5 billion from 2020 to a new ‘green fund’, that is expected to be set up during global talks on climate change in Cancun this week.
The Treasury is unlikely to set up new mechanisms to raise such a small amount of cash.
Therefore it is better to raise ten times as much and use just ten per cent for the green fund. The rest can be used as the Government sees fit.
“People would see these tax rises through electricity, through cars,” said Lord Stern.
However he was keen to point out that....energy costs should come down as a result of improved efficiency and more renewables.
“This is a story of people paying for the damage they do, this is stopping subsidising pollution,” he said.
Of course the Treasury would love to use Greenery as an excuse to raise more taxes. Worstall pointed out that we already pay more tax than Lord Stern says we need to cover the cost of the pollution he says we cause. So any increase is unjustifiable from his point of view, unless you are just a greedy grasping bloated Statist who believes common people can't be trusted to spend their own money.
PREPARATION FOR RENEWAL OF EXTREME COLD FROM FRANCE TO SCANDINAVIA AND WEST THROUGH THE UK SHOULD BE MADE.
The current cold will shift southeast for a while, before the re-establishment of the cold pool back where it was the past 2 weeks. This will allow for people to have a few days of milder weather in the UK and Ireland. Germany is liable to take the brunt of the whole thing, for while there is a few days of warming in the northwest, the cold shifting southeast centers over them and when it reloads a bit further west it is over them.....
There will be a price to pay in hardship for this, and in studying the whole pattern that is in front of western and northern Europe the next 15 days ( the shot of cold into the south and east comes and goes, but when it comes anew after the new year, it may remain) the bitter pill to swallow for not being prepared for such things is as nasty as the cold itself.
There is a lot of winter yet to come.
The political price of our unpreparedness is yet to be paid. The scenes on Scotland and Northern England are unbelievable, and largely ignored in the Southern Media.
The BBC leads on the tuition fees, which they hope will the Poll Tax riots de jour, dead loveable airhead John Lennon and Home Insulation grants to show how green the Government is.
Nothing, Absolutely nothing about the misery for millions which are masters have preached wasn't going to happen.
December 8, 2010
Moonbat boasts that sceptics don't know 5+1=7
David Rose's climate science writing shows he has not learned from previous mistakes | George Monbiot | Environment | guardian.co.uk
I don't have time to deal with every one of the mistakes his article contains – it takes 100 times as long to show why a claim is wrong as it does to make it – but here's a quick breakdown, beginning with the first sentence: (I've been able to pull this together with the help of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, which put me in touch with the relevant scientists and pointed me to the primary datasets.)
"A year ago tomorrow, just before the opening of the UN Copenhagen world climate summit, the British Meteorological Office issued a confident prediction. The mean world temperature for 2010, it announced, 'is expected to be 14.58C, the warmest on record' – a deeply worrying 0.58C above the 1961-1990 average."
"A year ago tomorrow" would have been 7 December. The Met Office issued its forecast (not a "prediction") on 10 December.
But George the article is dated:
"4:17 PM on 5th December 2010"
In my world on the 5th tomorrow is dated the 6th, not the 7th.
Petty I know, but Moonbat is the one to bring it up and triumphantly point out the trivial error.
Glasshouses George, glasshouses.
(The rest of George's outrage is similarly manufactured.)
Public Warning: WeatherAction.com Solar Climate Change for Mid December | Climate Realists
This is a first for this site, we are posting a Public Warning for a "Winter" Solar Climate Change. Piers and I have agreed to display this information as there is potential "life threatening" conditions that will be underestimated by the media (inc. Met Office) within the next 7-10 days. With the aid of this forecast we hope to give some advance warning to those of you who are already suffering hardship and warn you of a very real risk of further and even bigger snow storms and blizzard conditions set for Scotland & England and Eastern Europe NEXT WEEK.
Please spread news of this forecast to all of those who are vunerable and try to ensure that food supplies are sufficiant to cope with this impending crisis.
The Met Office seems to be less worried, though Met Office Chief Forecaster, Andy Page said: "The UK is not out of the woods as far as the cold weather is concerned. There is a risk of widespread icy conditions tonight and tomorrow, especially across northern parts of the British Isles. Although there is a brief recovery of temperatures over the coming days, cold north easterly winds are expected to bring a return to the cold conditions next week with the risk of snow, especially in the north and east."
We shall see.
Smart Meters To Ration Power
It's full steam ahead for a low carbon Britain, the UK Committee on Climate Change says in its fourth report, published today.
The CCC is the Government's primary advisory panel on cutting CO2 and was established in the 2008 Climate Change Act. But there will be a price to pay for this utopia.
The CCC recommends a carbon tax on food, leading to higher beef and sheep prices - and "rebalancing diets" away from red meat. Meanwhile, household access to electricity will be restricted - thanks to smart grids - or taken away completely, with electricity rationed via a completely automated supply. You'll do the laundry when you're told to, not when you want to.
This is presented as a consumer choice ("enabling consumers to shift non time-critical demand to non-peak times"), but really the key is taking choice away from the consumer - personalised power cuts, if you like. Or no control at all.
"An important element of a smart grid is a ‘smart meter’ which will allow display of energy usage data in real time and remote or automated control of energy usage by suppliers and consumers [our emphasis].
"Meters will allow supply to be controlled remotely," the report stresses, as if we missed the point.
Met Office Triumphs Nearly Correct Forecast of Over Eight Hours
Pressure was growing on the Scottish government tonight after the country's transport minister appeared to blame the wrong kind of weather forecast for the travel chaos that brought much of the central belt to a standstill in heavy snow.
Police were today still working to clear hundreds of vehicles stuck or abandoned on key routes. Some travellers endured 15 hours trapped in their vehicles on Monday night as snow, ice and freezing fog left many major routes, such as the M8 and M9, impassable.
The Scottish transport minister, Stewart Stevenson, initially insisted that the authorities had done a first-class job in the face of "unforecast and extreme weather". He told BBC Radio Scotland that the government had prepared for one set of weather but "the advice we were working on did not meet the requirements".
Forecasters, however, insisted that snow warnings were made on Sunday night and Monday. The Met Office, which the Scottish government uses as its source for weather information, said no one should have been surprised.
"Warnings went on to our public website at around 8.40 on Sunday evening for heavy snow starting at 5am," said Met Office spokeswoman Helen Chivers. "The amounts were for 2cm to 5cm overall with up to 10cm in some places." She said 5cm of fresh snow fell in Glasgow and 7cm in Edinburgh. There were reports of 12cm falling in Livingston.
Wow! A forecast over eight hours ahead of a blizzard. What more could you expect for the measly millions the Met Office costs?
My bunch of seaweed is frozen solid hanging outside the porch and is covered in white stuff, so relying on that I have no idea what the weather today is going to be.
Rowing to the Pole
Row to the Pole
Scots adventurer Jock Wishart is mounting an expedition to the Magnetic North Pole (as certified in 1996) to highlight the already dramatic effect of climate change on the ice around the Polar Regions.
The expedition, which will take place next August and will be documented by a film crew, has never been undertaken before and is only possible now due to the increase in seasonal ice melt of the Arctic landscape.
Timing is key to the expedition's success, as the final section of the journey is navigable for only a few weeks of the year before the area refreezes.
The team will set off from Resolute Bay in Canada in the "ice boat" before rowing across the Arctic to the magnetic North Pole in some of the harshest conditions on Earth.
Known as the Old Pulteney, the boat was put to the test during its unveiling at the outdoor ice rink at the Natural History Museum in London yesterday.
The Row To The Pole challenge, sponsored by Wick malt whisky Old Pulteney, will be the first polar expedition to involve rowing since Ernest Shackleton and his men took to their boats to save their lives during the legendary Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1916.
Luckily the rowing boat has skids underneath so it can be dragged on the ice if it unexpectedly hasn't all melted next summer.
Everything in the garden was lovely until man arrived.
Increased flooding of the Semliki river in recent years has led to major shifts in its course. It is just one example of the way changes in the local weather patterns are affecting people in the region: with the changed seasons, farmers no longer know when to plant and harvest; diseases such as malaria are spreading into new areas;...
John Magrath, a climate change researcher with Oxfam, believes the plight of people such as Mwesige shows how vulnerable much of the population in the region is to any change in the climate. "For generations, they have relied on fairly set weather patterns and an environment that has served them well, but now they are undergoing great change and heightened risks to their health, security and welfare."
International action on climate change has so far been characterised by a "pathetic lack of urgency", he says, and governments must make amends for failing to reach a substantive deal at Copenhagen. "The longer the inaction, the harder it is for people like those in Uganda to begin to protect themselves from its effects."
When I was young every summer was sunny, every Christmas snowy, never to hot, never too cold, and it only rained at night when I was tucked up in bed.
Or am I like Oxfam's Climate Change expert talking bollocks?
Is there the slightest evidence that there has been a change in the climate in Uganda, or is it just weather and changes in land use?
Back in 1908 the British Parliament was worried about the cause and solution of Famine in Uganda:
17 December 1908 vol 198 cc2089-90 2089
MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby) To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the recent famine in Uganda was largely due to the destruction of the native food crops by great herds of fierce wild pigs; whether the native hunters failed to keep them down; and whether, therefore, he will accept for this purpose the assistance (if it is offered) of English, Colonial, or American hunters.
(Answered by Colonel Seely.) It seems probable that the famine was rather aggravated than caused by the wild pigs to which my hon. friend refers. The inability of the native hunters to cope with them was partly due to their enfeebled condition resulting from the famine, partly to the length of the grass at that season. The Governor reported on 19th September that he was organising a crusade against these animals, and no doubt he will avail himself of the assistance of any competent persons who may offer their services.
Now that is an appeal that I could help with.
December 7, 2010
Stephen Neary is a 20 year old man with Autism trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare.
It is a story that should be trumpeted from the front page of every main stream newspaper – but it won’t be. They will keep silent.
Please read the rest.
Environmental News From The Castle
Excellent report from the twitchers identifying 40 different bird species flourishing here, including quite a few red listers. And they missed the Barn Owl who roosts where I keep the coils of hempen rope ready and the new arrival the Red Kite.
Mrs E isn't quite as happy as since Mr K arrived her outdoor chicken flock has diminished, maybe just a correlation but no feathers are left and the body vanishes into thin air.
The three hundred hedgerow tress and shrubs aren't getting planted as the ground is frozen, I just hope they are well enough heeled into to protect their roots as they wait for a warmer day.
And it is a busy day today cutting up logs again. I feel like a wise virgin again as I'm already being begged for firewood by other suppliers who have run out, whereas I bought as much of it as I could in the summer,
fearing hoping for a cold winter.
December 6, 2010
We are still all going to die - latest.
The risk of rising sea levels engulfing Britain’s coasts has been overstated but the evidence for other devastating impacts of climate change is growing, according to the first major review of the science of global warming since the “climategate” affair.
Apocalyptic claims about the slowing down of the Atlantic Ocean conveyor belt, popularly known as the Gulf Stream, have also been exaggerated, the review found.
But....The latest observations of thinning ice indicate that ships could sail routinely across the North Pole in summer months as early as the 2060s, according to the review by the Met Office, the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
The review predicted that the intensity of tropical storms would increase but admitted that it is unclear whether such storms would become more frequent.
It suggested that bouts of extreme weather, such as intense rainfall, could become more frequent. But it added: “At present, we have poor skill in quantifying the local changes in extremes.”
Global Warming? Climate Change? Climate Destabilisation? Tickell's The Man With The Answers
There is a long and rickety bridge between the world of science on one side and that of public understanding and policymaking on the other. The science is usually far ahead of the politics. But during the past 40 years a series of meetings, reports and conferences have changed attitudes towards climate change or, as I prefer to call it, climate destabilisation.
There is an obvious distinction between natural change over thousands or millions of years, and human-driven change, which is new. The latter is not now in serious doubt: the only question is by how much. As has been widely pointed out, the increase in greenhouse gases is likely to lead to accelerated warming of the Earth, probably by at least 3C by the end of this century. For humans, the likely consequences reach far and wide.
We now come to the crossing of the bridge. Scientists work on different degrees of uncertainty; they have to cope with phoney science and face difficulties in converting the language of science into the language of politics. By contrast, politicians usually operate short term within the election cycle. They want black-and-white answers, not shades of probability.
Failures of understanding between the two worlds are compounded by wobbles in public opinion, such as after the “climategate” scandal at the University of East Anglia. There is also a natural reluctance, particularly in an economic downturn, to accept changes that might cause pain to present generations in order to avoid greater pain to future ones.
Still, the greening of politics continues. This is shown by the broad acceptance by all British political parties of the need for action, and by the creation of a committee on climate change with real powers.
And so on.
"There is an obvious distinction between natural change over thousands or millions of years, and human-driven change, which is new. The latter is not now in serious doubt."
So obvious only a fool would ask for proof. Can't you peasants see how wonderful the Emperor's new clothes are, and how important Grandees such as Moi are and how important it is that you let us tell you what to do?
Where Does The Telegraph Get Its News From
Reading Between The Lines
December 5, 2010
Nice Work If Louise Can Get It
Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change minister, will lead 45 delegates from Britain staying at the £240-a-night Moon Palace, where each room has a jacuzzi. The hotel boasts bars, a crazy-golf course and crocodile-filled ponds.
The £43 million conference, guarded by the Mexican army, has been criticised by local environmentalists for turning a blind eye to pollution and deforestation on the heavily built-up hotel strip where it is being held...in Cancun, created by the Mexican government 40 years ago on a pristine strip of sand and mangrove forest. Most of the forest has been lost and coral reefs destroyed.
By Louise Gray in Cancun
Our crack reporter is on the spot ready to bring back breaking news not counting the risks and hardships as she serves the public.
I suppose WWF couldn't have just emailed their press releases to London.
Nice Work If EU Can Get It
EU envoys soak up sun and lavish perks | The Sunday Times (£)
Diplomats earning up to £188,000 a year are entitled to at least 12 weeks off from their duties in a new European Union foreign service that was unofficially launched last week.
The diplomats can boost their salaries by 50% with allowances and perks ranging from "expatriation", meaning living abroad, to baby bonuses and school fees.
They can also take 60 days off a year, including 18 bank holidays â nearly twice as much leave as Foreign Office diplomats. EU officials in remote and difficult locations can qualify for up to 15 days extra, bringing their total leave entitlement to 15 weeks a year.
Details of the generous arrangements emerged as Baroness Ashton, Europeâs foreign policy chief, flew her 136 ambassadors from around the world to Brussels to celebrate the birth of her European External Action Service (EEAS)
The EEAS was established by the Lisbon treaty and merges various EU institutions into one under the leadership of Ashton, a former Labour minister who is now the world’s most highly paid female politician, on a package of £328,000.
Ashton, who had no foreign policy experience or language skills when she was appointed last year, is in charge of 7,000 staff in 136 EU delegations across the globe and funds of almost £7 billion, including aid.
When The Sunday Times telephoned the Fiji embassy shortly after noon on Friday, it was told that all the staff had “left for the day”.
The delegation employs 35 people on the Commonwealth island of 800,000 inhabitants, while the British high commission has managed with a handful.
Wiepke Van Der Goot, a Dutchman who heads the EU’s delegation in Fiji, lives in a poolside residence next door to the home of Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, who seized power following a military coup in 2006. The house, one of the most beautiful on the island, is surrounded by palm trees and close to the sea.
His staff play golf or sail in their spare time. They have recently enjoyed a bonding retreat at the five-star Intercontinental Natadola Resort.
“After all the years the EU has been in Fiji, it still has not understood the country or its people,” a Fijian government official said.
“It’s often hard for them to bring themselves down to our level or to even try and understand us.”
rise up and slaughter them leave yet?
December 3, 2010
The Best Sound in The World - Official
The best sound in the world was officially announced in 1987 by Pérez de Cuéllar at a special ceremony at the United Nations. It is defined thus: âThe sound of an almost full pint glass gently thudding against a wooden table in the beautiful beer garden of an English pub on a warm day in early June.â People who hear this noise several times a year can expect to live to 112 through sheer contentment.
I'm not sure the sound of a pint on the bar of an old pub with a roaring fire keeping you warm when outside is freezing doesn't beat it.
I think research is called for.
Does the Pope? ...I laughed so much I think I may have wet myself.
Friday Night is Music Night (Pa rum pum pum pum Edition)
Shane looks remarkably healthy.
Of course the first recording of this saw old Bing off, and the arrangement and additions are only due to Bowie having a seasonal strop.
Climate Change is going home to cash
The climate sceptics have had their moment in the sun with the torpedoing of the previous narrative, but they have not succeeded in replacing it with their own – which is that the whole idea is a fraud, a conspiracy on various levels. Some people might think that, but my strong sense is that many more are bemused, and simply do not know what to think.
So here's a helping hand. What do you think really clever people think – people who aren't climate scientists, and who aren't climate sceptics, but who need to know, purely pragmatically (as for multimillion-dollar investment decisions) where the truth really lies? You can find out by looking at last week's edition of The Economist, which some people probably consider Britain's cleverest magazine. (They certainly think so themselves.)
Last week The Economist ran a cover story entitled "Living With Climate Change" which struck me as one of the most notable things I have read about global warming all year. The magazine has no truck with climate scepticism – the future is far too important for nonsense. But neither does it embrace the old narrative, which is that it's real, but if we fight it we can stop it.
Instead, it sets out, quite coldly, a new, third position: it's real, but after Copenhagen, it can't be stopped. With all the world's efforts, here in Cancun, concentrating on halting the warming at a rise of two degrees, widely considered the danger threshold, the magazine quotes Britain's most distinguished climate scientist, Professor Bob Watson, former head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as saying that the two degree target is "a wishful dream". And then it sets out in detail how we should begin to adapt to what's now inevitably coming.
Make of it what you will. But hey, if you're confused, that's where the smart money is...
Of course there is another possibility that businesses can spot a cash cow ready for milking. It would be interesting to know how much of the "smart money" is actually from consumers reacting to real changes and how much is mulct from them by Governments and then spent just in case.
Football is going home to cash and corruption
WTF was Cameron doing poncing about trying to compete honestly in the farce?
And is it too late to let Paris have the Olympics?
Weather Kills, Climate Doesn't
200,000 elderly at risk in sub-zero Scotland - Scotsman.com News
As satellite images taken over Scotland yesterday showed a country in the grip of a total whiteout, experts warned the problems will only get worse if forecasts are proved correct and the severe cold spell continues into next week.
The heavy snows which have caused school and road closures throughout the country were forecast to subside today, but attempts to get Scotland moving again are likely to be thwarted by freezing temperatures.
Fuel retailers said supplies of petrol and diesel were running dangerously low while grocery shoppers were confronted with rows of empty shelves as stores struggled to get access to fresh supplies of staples such as bread and milk.
3,000 older people die every year in Scotland in the winter months because of the cold conditions, and that the figure could be higher this year if more is not done to protect the elderly during the current freeze, which has seen temperatures plummet as low as -20C in some parts of Scotland.
Thank goodness Climate Change is the number one priority for the Scottish Parliament.
December 2, 2010
Moonbat Rails Against The Great Protestant Wind
The Paraclete appears to be as determined as any terrestrial corporate frontman to prevent a successful conclusion to the climate talks.
How do I know? Because every time anyone gets together to try to prevent global climate breakdown, He swaths the rich, densely habited parts of the world with snow and ice, while leaving obscurer places to cook.
Token Woman Demands Business Employ Token Women
It will also mean that a manager will be able lawfully to hire a black man over a white man, a homosexual man over a heterosexual man, if they have the same skill set.
Lynne Featherstone, the Equalities minister, denied the plans were about “political correctness, or red tape, or quotas” and would help make the workplace fairer.
The Government’s strategy said this did mean that employers could take on “quotas” or giving someone a job because they are female, disabled or from an ethnic minority.
Positive discrimination, the strategy said, is not acceptable and remains illegal.
Didn't we vote this lot out at the last election?
Remember girls if you get a job now you will always have that nagging fear you were only given it to meet a quota and not because you were good enough to get it on merit.
Temperatures reached record levels in several regions during 2010, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says, confirming the year is likely to be among the warmest three on record.
The three main temperature records show 2010 as the warmest, or joint warmest, year in the instrumental record.
Oh just fuck off, I'm getting bored by this.
Taxpayer Funded Environmentalism
A total of £10.1 million was given to a range of environmental groups by the UK Government and the European Union in 2009-10.
The total includes £2.5 million from various UK local councils, departments and quangos.
It also includes £7.6 million in European Commission grants to environmental NGOs.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office made the largest UK payment in 2009-10 of £342,929 to WWF UK.
Hackney council made the largest payment in 2009-10 from a UK council at £141,246 to Global Action Plan.
Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"Environmentalist campaigns are politicised groups so itâs unfair and undemocratic that they are getting taxpayersâ money. If people want to give their own cash that's one thing, but with ordinary families facing higher taxes the last thing they want is for politicians and bureaucrats to give on their behalf or put contracts to such groups. Taxpayers pay twice, once for the money given to green groups and then again when they campaign for regulations that push up electricity bills and other costs. The expensive scandal of taxpayer funded environmentalism in Britain and the EU has to end."
Global food prices are at their highest point since July 2008, the year of widespread food riots in the developing world, and are expected to rise further over the next two years as supplies tighten, the United Nations food agency said yesterday.
Economists worry that bad weather may cause corn stocks in the United States, the world’s largest exporter of the crop, to halve by the end of the year to about 21 million tonnes.
U.S. wheat prices were motivated by a Russian drought while soy bean prices are up because supply has been pressured by an increased demand from China. Corn prices have reached $6 per bushel on the back of increased demand from ethanol producers as the EPA increased ethanol ratio standards for new vehicles from 10% to 15%.
Great idea burn food for fuel when increasing prices mean more starve. Of course the Greens are against it now, it never was their idea, was it?
Caroline Spelman is worried the roads are melting due to Global Warming
Caroline Spelman, the UK's environment secretary, says we are already feeling the effects of climate change and must adapt fast
The past decade has been the warmest on record, and this summer saw the National Farmers Union warn that the driest first six months in almost 70 years has hit domestic wheat production particularly badly.
UK temperatures are now an average of 1c higher than they were just 40 years ago. That doesn't sound like much, but the 2003 heatwave which caused the premature deaths of up to 2,000 in the UK was only 2c hotter than the summer average. These risks need to be managed.
Unless we boost our efforts to mitigate and adapt, our future could involve thousands of roads being resurfaced to cope with higher temperatures or dug up to provide bigger storm drains while offices close at noon because the heat is too intense. Far fetched? Not really – the experiences of other countries show that extreme measures sometimes need to be taken if temperatures are not brought under control.
That's why supporting a strong and sustainable green economy – resource efficient and resilient to climate change – is one of my department's key priorities.
The time for speculation about climate change is over. Its impact– and the escalating costs of adapting to it – await us down the road if we don't, together, make it a priority now.
Whatever happens at Cancún, we need to speed up the pace of adaptation at home. Mitigating the causes of climate change and adapting to its effects are now two sides of the same coin.
Digging the roads up in case they melt? How about actually preparing for a touch of snow and ice and ensuring the roads are actually usable instead of the bloody shambles we are in already this winter.
That is real and happening now.
December 1, 2010
The Great Protestant Wind from the north smashed the Papist idolaters on the rocks.
All true Englishmen get down on their knees and thank God for The Great Protestant Wind which saved us from the Spanish Armada and brought us King Billy (two separate incidents for those rusty on their history).
As our leaders discuss the terror of Global Warming in tropical Cancún the bitter nor'easter stalks the northern hemisphere, just as it did during the Copenhagen talks, and even in London during the passing of the Climate Change Bill, one is almost tempted to invoke it again.
Hansen had enough nous to choose a sweaty hot day to preach to and convert the US legislators.
Politicians aren't completely stupid, they know it is hard to sell climate when the weather is against them. Why the organisers choose the northern winter to hold the conferences I don't know. But I do know as heating bills rise and "Global Warming" blankets the roads in the white stuff the voters become more sceptical.
Every country in the Caribbean faces huge economic losses caused by rising sea levels over the coming decades, losing hospitals, airports, power plants, multi-million dollar tourism resorts, roads, bridges and farmland, according to a UN report.
Diplomats from the 43 Caribbean, African and Pacific nations grouped as Aosis (Alliance of small island states) at the UN climate talks in Cancún said that they faced "the end of history" if rich countries did not raise their ambition to hold temperatures well below 2C.
Aosis will next week announce details of a deal to promote low-carbon economic growth for 17 small island states, backed by a group of developed nations as part of "fast-start" aid for the poor that was agreed at last year's Copenhagen talks – meant to total $30bn from 2010-21.
Although present rates of global sea level rise are not yet approaching one metre per century, they are observed to be accelerating in response to increased global warming.
Fraud Act 2006
The Act gives a statutory definition of the criminal offence of fraud, defining it in three classes - fraud by false representation, fraud by failing to disclose information, and fraud by abuse of position. It provides that a person found guilty of fraud was liable to a fine or imprisonment for up to twelve months on summary conviction (six months in Northern Ireland), or a fine or imprisonment for up to ten years on conviction on indictment.
"Fraud by false representation" is defined by Section 2 of the Act as a case where a person makes "any representation as to fact or law ... express or implied" which they know to be untrue or misleading.
"Fraud by failing to disclose information" is defined by Section 3 of the Act as a case where a person fails to disclose any information to a third party when they are under a legal duty to disclose such information.
"Fraud by abuse of position" is defined by Section 4 of the Act as a case where a person occupies a position where they are expected to safeguard the financial interests of another person, and abuses that position; this includes cases where the abuse consisted of an omission rather than an overt act.
In all three classes of fraud, it requires that for an offence to have occurred, the person must have acted dishonestly, and that they had to have acted with the intent of making a gain for themselves or anyone else, or inflicting a loss (or a risk of loss) on another.
"Book 'em, Danno"
The Enemy of Prosperity
UK economic recovery 'poses threat to environment' | Environment | guardian.co.uk
The Europe-wide assessment, made by the EEA, tells a familiar story – fears of more droughts and forest fires around the Mediterranean basin, decreasing ice in the Arctic and the Alps, more floods and storms especially in north-western Europe, and unsustainable fishing of many commercial species.
It warns that progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions is not universal – those from transport rose by a quarter between 1990 and 2008 in EU states. More intensive use of land, loss of habitats and overfishing means the EU has failed to meet targets to halt biodiversity loss. It also signals that there should be more "green taxes" to reflect environmental costs.
There is also a risk that public concern with green issues declines as more people live in towns and cities and have no "experience of the natural world", said the assessment of the challenges facing the country. And this trend may be greatest among younger generations, it warns.
They are worried that even the urban youth is no longer the church of true believers so they must tax them into submission.