November 29, 2011
Met Office Declare 2011 11th Hottest Ever In Time For Durban
Figures from the Met Office published on Tuesday show that 2011 stands at 11th place in the list of warmest years ever, in global mean temperature records stretching back to 1850.
Today's data confirms the overall warming trend, however: of the 10 warmest years on records, nine occurred since 2000. Each successive decade since 1950 has been warmer than the last.
The data is published as governments around the world meet for the second day of the fortnight-long United Nations climate change talks in Durban,
And there was me thinking they might wait a month or so before judging how 2011 had turned out. How unlike those bastard deniers who released Climategate II to derail Durban. Releasing facts just before the conference in an attempt to sway it, scientists wouldn't do that would they?
Chakrabortty - NHS Don't Pay For Success
Twickenham shows what would happen if market forces were brought in to the NHS
My feeling is the problem with the England Rugby team was that were NOT being paid by results enough. They were all too comfortable with their salaries and unsackability. They didn't have the overwhelming hunger for success that an all or nothing payment for success should be.
Maybe the lessons for the NHS aren't the ones Chakrabortty thinks they are.
November 28, 2011
Now people will get the chance to find out just how easy forecasting actually is. Under government plans to be announced tomorrow, the Met Office is to be forced to release its raw data so that others can draw their own conclusions.
Readings from thousands of Met Office posts will be disclosed, allowing rival companies to offer their own forecasts — or even for amateurs to monitor the weather.
It is hoped that introducing competition in forecasts may improve their accuracy and make it easier for companies and individuals to prepare for different types of weather.
At the moment the rival short term forecasts can be all over the place. At this time of the morning I normally look a two or three different ones to work out how many layers to put on for a day working outside. A bit of competition on accuracy may work wonders.
November 25, 2011
Friday Night is Music Night (Military Charity Edition)
Royal Wootton Bassett's Single - a great video
And to come The Military Wives Choir which will be released on 19th Dec:
Total Butler Bollocks
Back in August I ordered a load of fuel from Total Butler - They delivered it to the farm next door. It took a month to get them to deliver a replacement load to me. They are still chasing me for payment for the load I never had, which I am reluctant to pay for.
With the last demand the sent me they also included the details of someone in Cambridgeshire's account activities. Data protection anyone?
Maybe Tommy Breen could start earning his €1,410,000 by sorting it out. I may have to ask him.
But first I had better ask firstname.lastname@example.org's permission to link to their website...
Butler Fuels's Legal Notice
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The Website must not be framed on any other site, nor may you create a link to any part of the Website other than the home page. The Company reserves the right to withdraw linking permission without notice.
If you wish to make any use of material on the Website other than that set out above, please address your request to email@example.com
CO2 Sensitivity Decrease
The new models predict that given a doubling in CO2 levels from pre-industrial levels, the Earth's surface temperatures will rise by 1.7 to 2.6 degrees C.
That is a much tighter range than suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s 2007 report, which suggested a rise of between 2 to 4.5 degrees C.
The new analysis also reduces the expected average surface temperatures to just over 2 degrees C, from 3.
The authors stress the results do not mean threat from human-induced climate change should be treated any less seriously, explained palaeoclimatologist Antoni Rosell-Mele from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, who is a member of the team that came up with the new estimates.
But it does mean that to induce large-scale warming of the planet, leading lead to widespread catastrophic consequences, we would have to increase CO2 more than we are going to do in the near future, he said.
November 24, 2011
Sweeney Remake - No!
A film remake of The Sweeney will feature the new ST version of the Ford Focus
Flying Squad detectives Jack Regan and George Carter (Ray Winstone and Ben Drew taking on the roles made famous by John Thaw and Dennis Waterman) will drive the hot-hatchback as they give chase to London's criminals.
NOOOOOO! This is how it should be done. Long shots of real cars.
More below the fold.
Get Your Trousers On, You're Nicked!
The closing credits...
The closing theme really shows why The Sweeney is in a class of its own; after the fireworks of the opening credits and a rollercoaster ride as the plot plays out, this poignant close brings us right down to the reality of a hard, unforgiving world.
Power Churnalism Pwnd
WORKERS are saving up to £110 a year by charging mobile phones, iPods and other gadgets at work rather than at home.
A report has found that one in five people deliberately recharges their phone in the office in an effort to avoid rising electricity charges at home, adding £1.5 billion a year to employers' power bills.
Six years ago, the low-cost airline Ryanair banned its staff from charging their phones at work, claiming that the extra cost would impact on fares.
Luckily one of the readers of The Scotsman is a touch more cynical of this PR churnalism than the journalists.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM
£1.5bn? Sounds like figures made up on the back of a beer mat after a particularly liquid lunch. That's 49% of the workforce allegedly charging phones at the workplace at least occasionally = 14.24 million workers. £1.5bn = £105.34 each, or say £2.24 per working week. At say 26p per kWh that's 8.6kWh on average per week. So even if the chargers are plugged in constantly for a 35 hour week, that suggests they have an average power consumption of 250 watts each. Sound likely? Chargers only use about 5 watts when they're in use.
(I'm not sure where he gets his 26p a kWh from, I guess that that is over double the real cost so that means twice as much power used as he works out, meaning it is even more bollocks.)
Fantastic News - Starving Millions Now Getting Fat
Diabetes, obesity and heart disease rates are soaring in developing countries, as multinationals find new ways of selling processed food to the poor.
As affluent western markets reach saturation point, global food and drink firms have been opening up new frontiers among people living on $2 a day in low- and middle-income countries. The world's poor have become their vehicle for growth.
The companies say they are finding innovative ways to give isolated people the kind of choices the rich have enjoyed for years and are providing valuable jobs and incomes to some of the most marginalised. But health campaigners are raising the alarm. They fear the arrival of highly processed food and drink is also a vector for the lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and alcoholism, which are increasing at unprecedented rates in developing countries.
Wan't it much healthier when they were all starving? All the NGOs could swan about in their Land Rovers being really caring and begging for money with heart rending adverts. Now those bastard capitalists have come along and started delivering cheap food and ruining the gig.
Acton Finds Jones Innocent
The vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia, Professor Edward Acton, and the key scientist involved, Professor Phil Jones, of the university's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), came to London for a joint press conference in which they insisted the leaked emails raised no new issues of climate science....and said there was nothing of substance in them that the previous enquiries had not addressed and "exhaustively examined". Professor Jones said they merely showed the "frank and honest discussions" that go on".
That's that sorted then...
Supporters Of Climategate Hacker Should Be Brought To Justice
Edward Markey, a Democrat congressman from Massachusetts who has long advocated for political action on climate change, called on the "US intelligence community" to assist the "British and others" in finding the perpetrator.
"If this happened surrounding nuclear arms talks, we would have the full force of the western world's intelligence community pursuing the perpetrators," he said. "And yet, with the stability of our climate hanging in the balance with these international climate treaty negotiations, these hackers and their supporters are still on the loose. It is time to bring them to justice."
Would justice be awarding them a Nobel Prize?
November 23, 2011
The Cost Of Green Power
BBC News - Electricity cost to rise due to government policies
In its annual energy statement, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said government policies would increase the cost of electricity by 27% by 2020.
This could push up the cost an average bill by almost £280.
However, the department said that its policies on energy-efficient products, smart meters and home insulation would more than compensate - leaving the average household £94 better off.
Policies driving up bills include payments towards support for the fuel poor, the cost of carbon and renewable energy.
Offshore wind and other large renewable projects are expected to make up, on average, £48 of a household bill.
Solar and other smaller schemes come in at about £6.
A significant portion of the government's anticipated reduction in consumer bills comes from its products policy.
Mandatory efficiency standards on new products are expected to save the average household £154 a year, with loans obtained through the Green Deal saving another £53.
The government also launched a consultation on its Green Deal programme to promote energy efficiency.
The scheme is designed to encourage consumers to take out loans to help make their homes more energy efficient, thereby reducing their energy bills.
So if I borrow lots of money and buy new kit I will save money on the increased power bills. I think it means the more I spend the more I save. The higher the prices the cheaper it is. Or am I confused?
Climategate 2.0 - lalalalala I can't hear you!
..... it was clear to anyone familiar with how research is done that this was complete and utter bilge; the scientists were not trying to hide anything, were not trying to trick anyone, and were not trying to falsely exaggerate the dangers of climate change....
The evidence is overwhelming, and no amount of noise will stop that. But that’s why the noise is made, to distract you. We are long past the time when this was simple skepticism — the open and honest questioning of evidence — and are now well into full-blown denial. This second release of emails is more evidence for that, especially given the timing.
The team line so far is that there is nothing to see, move along please. It just makes me more curious what is under the blanket.
Ecoadvice - Wash less.
Mr Tompkins said. "Also, if people can cut down on their shower time, that has an impact."
Yes - I think the person next to me on the Tube has taken that advice to heart.
Wiltshire Carbon Cost And Benefit And Climategate 2.0
Bid to withdraw Wiltshire council from carbon-cutting agreement
12:50pm Thursday 10th September 2009
A GROUP of Wiltshire Council members have tabled a bid to withdraw the authority from a nationwide energy conservation scheme arguing that carbon emmissions do not cause global warming.
Nine councillors back the motion proposed by Cllr Rod Eaton (Con) and Cllr Christopher Newbury to withdraw from the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, which Wiltshire Council signed up to in May.
date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 13:06:48 +0100 from: "Laura Lang"
subject: FW: Bid to withdraw Wiltshire Council from Carbon-Cutting Agreement to:
Thank you very much for your time and helpful explanations. Many thanks for agreeing to
give me a few lines on the facts you mentioned explaining climate modelling graphs and the
reasons for levelling off/dips; also the current and predicted overall trend in global
temperature and link to carbon emissions. The email below will give you the context for
my enquiry should you wish to refer to it. I would be interested to hear your view on the
paragraphs highlighted if you have time but appreciate you are nearing term time.
Many thanks again for your time.
From: roderick.eaton [mailto:roderick.eaton1@xxxxxx]
Sent: 13 September 2009 10:17
Subject: Fw: Bid to withdraw Wiltshire Council from Carbon-Cutting Agreement
Dear Ms Lang
Thank you for your email. As promised, I am writing to explain the position regarding the
group bringing this issue to council. For about three years, I have been researching the
climate change theories from an analytical and scientific point of view. Each person must
of course come to his/her own conclusions with or without a clear understanding of the
facts but I hardly think that the media has covered both sides (natural and man-made) of
the scientific debate in equitable measure. 'There's nothing like a good crisis (real or
There has been no increase in global average temperature since 1998 and temperature started
to reduce in 2005 and has continued to do so. The UN IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on
Climate Change) models failed to predict this and carbon dioxide emissions have continued
to increase year on year (I have the figures and will send them if you require). Could the
models, based on a positively weighted conversion factor of CO2 forcing (not applied to
solar forcing), be barking up the wrong tree? I think this likely.
IPCC scientists themselves include many strongly worded caveats in their reports and some
oppose the IPCC conclusions altogether. As was accepted from Dr Richard Lindzen's (IPCC
Lead Author) evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee (2005): those who dissented
from the 'anthropogenic cause' (Man-Made Climate Change) theory were not given a full
hearing by the IPCC organisation. I would recommend reading the works of Lord Lawson ('An
Appeal to Reason') and articles by Lord Monckton (former scientific advisor to the UK
government) together with peer review papers by perhaps Dr Larry Vardiman (Professor of
Atmospheric Science at the University of Missouri) on Dr Henrik Svensmark's work (Dr
Svensmark is the Head of the Danish National Space Centre). You will quickly realise that
the science is by no means 'settled' on the MMCC theory. The cosmo-climatological theory is
very powerful and based on natural phenomenon relating to radiation effects on cloud
Over 31,400 science-based professionals signed up to the ongoing Oregon Petition and 800 to
the International Manhattan Declaration. I have details of 130 scientists listed in my own
database who oppose the MMCC theory e.g. Drs Fred Singer (the founder of the US weather
satellite program), Timothy Ball, Vincent Gray (IPCC expert reviewer and graduate of
Cambridge University) and Tim Patterson (Professor of Geology at Carleton University -
Canada) et al, not to mention Dr McKintrick who worked with Steve McIntyre to flaw the
IPCC's hockey stick curve (subsequently withdrawn by the IPCC as it omitted the Mediaeval
Warm period and the mini ice age in the past 1000 years to over emphasise the half a degree
Celsius global temperature rise of the 20th century). After Mann's Hockey Stick Curve was
withdrawn, I noted that the IPCC 2001 report made quite a startling admission as follows:
Chapter 1; page 97, concludes: "Climate has always varied on all time-scales, so the
observed change may be natural."
Having carried out considerable research on the topic, I am firmly of the opinion that the
balance of probability is that man-made emissions do not constitute any significant effect
on climate. In particular, there is a very poor correlation between man made carbon dioxide
emissions and global average temperature. The anthropogenic emission of all GHGs is well
below half a percent of the total greenhouse effect (which is predominantly natural) and
the greenhouse effect itself is but one aspect of the overall climatic system (one example
is El Nino warming caused by tectonic movement below the ocean).
The costs of Kyoto (Carbon Credit scheme) and the 'green obligation' for electricity
companies is passed on to the private, commercial and industrial consumer, of course.
Together with VED increases, fuel and other so called green taxes the costs are very
high but excusable on the back of the MMCC tenet. The support and furtherance of a belief
in MMCC at a local level is demonstrated by the Nottingham Declaration. We are unable to
support this 'blind science' approach, which, as the Lords select committee stated should
be based on evidence. What I have seen is IPCC scientists properly placing caveats on their
findings in the Climate reports and their expert reviewers who dissent from the
'orthodoxy' often being ignored. This is not so much by other scientists but rather by the
government officials who write the 'Summaries for Policy Makers'. These have a strong
tendency to omit the caveats and promote a 'done deal' on AGW despite the evidence. The
Stern Report (Nicky Stern is an economist) and more obviously, Al (alarmist) Gore
exaggerate further the IPCC conclusions. Perhaps the following quote from Dr Benjamin
Santer (a leading climatologist and author of the last IPCC Report's chapter on the
detection of greenhouse warming) will give you an insight to the lack of consensus in the
"It's unfortunate that many people read the media hype before they read the (IPCC report)
chapter "on the detection of greenhouse warming." I think the caveats are there. We say
quite clearly that few scientists would say that man-made climate change was a done deal."
Energy efficiency is a prudent and cost saving approach and, provided one continues to
be free to make one's own choices, one may indeed save oneself some money. I fully support
that of course. If some choose to change their lifestyles in terms of what they eat, riding
a bike or where they may take their holidays, then that is their own personal preference. I
simply do not believe that any government or council should be pushing these things on
people who have their own way of life and ideas on climate. If global warming were to
return for whatever reason, it could well be an encouragement for people to holiday in the
UK (rather than go abroad for the sun) and I would expect air conditioning sales would
increase. As Nigel Lawson writes:
"As to health, in its most recent report, the IPCC found only one outcome which they ranked
as "virtually certain" to happen - and that was "reduced human mortality from decreased
cold exposure". This echoes a study done by our own Department of Health which predicted
that by the 2050s, the UK would suffer an increase in heat-related deaths by 2,000 a year,
and a decrease in cold-related mortality of 20,000 deaths a year - something that ministers
have been curiously silent about. All in all, given that global warming produces benefits
as well as costs, it is far from clear that the currently projected warming, far from being
"catastrophic", would do any net harm at all."
Being signed up to the Nottingham Declaration gives government much opportunity to
introduce draconian measures, to tax, control, interfere and regulate on the back
of reducing CO2 emissions. I do not believe that withdrawal from it would do other
than free people to follow their chosen lifestyles and put the emphasis back onto council
providing services rather than control measures.
In context, if Wiltshire Council hit its target emission cut (50% in five years) right now,
China would have produced sufficient CO2 in 3 minutes to make up for it. If the whole UK
carbon economy shut down right now, it would take under 6 weeks for China to fill the
gap. Climate is a very complex subject and I hope that this will help you understand that
the drastic measures you mention will not have any effect at all on climate
but just bring more drastic negative changes to our lives here and now.
Rod Eaton, MBA, DMS (Leeds), MCMI, FIET
----- Original Message -----
From: Eaton, Rod
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:20 AM
Subject: FW: Bid to withdraw Wiltshire Council from Carbon-Cutting Agreement
From: Laura Lang [laura.lang@xxxx]
Sent: 11 September 2009 22:02
To: Eaton, Rod
Subject: Bid to withdraw Wiltshire Council from Carbon-Cutting Agreement
Dear Mr Eaton
It would be helpful if you explain the rationale for withdrawing Wiltshire Council from the
Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in the face of compelling scientific evidence on
the need for urgent and drastic reduction of carbon emissions.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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25th January 2011
Wiltshire Council has been landed with a £600,000 environment tax bill after the county was left lagging behind in the race to reduce carbon emissions.
The hefty government tax, known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment, is based on the increasing levels of carbon the council, private businesses and the general public of Wiltshire are using.
November 22, 2011
How Much Salt Is Healthy?
How much salt is good for me? - Health questions - NHS Choices
On average, people in the UK eat about 9.5g salt (about 3.7g sodium) a day. This may not sound like much, but to reduce the risk of disease, we should not be eating more than 6g salt (2.5g sodium) a day.
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has a graph showing how potentially harmful the government dietary sodium recommendation is.
...there is a near one-to-one correspondence between sodium intake and urinary sodium excretion, it’s clear that the level of “no risk” is on the order of 4,000 to 5,000 mg (4-5g) of sodium ingested/excreted per day.
Thousands of emails unlocked with 220,000 more hidden behind a password.
I haven't opened the zip file yet - proceed with caution and scepticism at your own risk.
November 21, 2011
Cocking A Snook At Plod
The Worstall writes It's Legal to Drop the F Bomb on a Policeman in England - Forbes
I can't seem to register to comment on the Forbes site so I will remind him of a previous precedent here.
Snook v Mannion (1982 DC) rules that "Fuck Off" is merely abuse and not an invitation to leave; I still think he was hard done by.
Wanted - Claymores
I was burgled last night, as you know I'm a happy go lucky liberal sort of chap but my blood is up this morning. It was a shame I didn't hear the vermin at work.
The Olympic Legacy - The State Owns Your Children's Bodies
Sports medicine specialists say governments across the UK have squandered the chance to create an Olympic legacy of fitness.
Their conference in London is calling for mandatory "physical literacy" tests in schools, alongside reading and maths.
Ashdown Mocks England And Praises euro
Lord Ashdown suggests that it could be in Britain’s interest to join “sooner than we think”. Writing in The Times, he says that had Britain joined it may have added weight to arguments for “stricter rules, stronger sanctions, more muscular central institutions”.
The former Liberal Democrat leader says that those who supported the idea of the Britain joining need not “hang our heads in shame”.
Instead, there is “euro to the north of us, euro to the south, euro to the east of us and euro to the west. Splendid little England, splendidly isolated, splendidly alone and of course, as ever, splendidly right!”
Hang their heads in shame? The thought had never occurred to me...
Louise Grey Goes Cruising
By Louise Gray
I joined them as the only journalist on board the maiden voyage from Amsterdam to London. I’m in good company: Thom Yorke, the singer from Radiohead and one of the ship’s major donors, plus an international crew of activists, professional sailors and volunteers are here for the ride.
As we sail out from the Hook of Holland, Greenpeace groupies gather on shore to wave us off, while Dutch observers quip: ''Nice yacht, hippies!’’
See churning those Press Releases pays off.
BMA Gets A Kicking
The British Medical Association has shown itself to be amateur and ill-informed and doesn’t deserve to be listened to
DO YOU believe what your doctor tells you? When the doctors’ trade union, the British Medical Association, speaks out, do you think it must be a reasoned and rational opinion based upon hard evidence?
I would expect most people would give an unequivocal yes to the first question but be more hesitant about the second simply because, as Adam Smith identified, when groups of people from a profession or trade get together they tend to conspire against the public interest rather than put it first. Nonetheless I think people would give the BMA the benefit of the doubt because they are doctors, not butchers, brewers or bakers.
Last week we found out that doctors, as represented by the BMA, can no longer be trusted. The BMA is no more worthy of trust than any political leader, union boss or second hand car salesman......
I do not exaggerate about not trusting anything the BMA say in future. The whole edifice of modern medicine is based upon hard evidence being rigorously tested ahead of being put before the public. For the BMA to so blithely or cunningly mislead the public deserves the strongest condemnation and the perpetrators to be removed from office.
November 20, 2011
Is It Coz We Is English?
THE British identity is in steep decline south of the border with the number of people who would describe themselves as English over British soaring, a poll has revealed.
The study found that the number of people in England who would now describe themselves as English rather than British rose to 63 per cent, as opposed to 41 per cent in 2008.
Of 1,700 adults around Britain, 2 per cent said they were “mainly” European, 19 per cent said British, 1 per cent said Irish, 5 per cent Welsh, 8 per cent Scottish and 63 per cent said English. In 2008, asked which best described how people felt about themselves, 42 per cent said British, 1 per cent said Irish, 4 per cent Welsh, 8 per cent Scottish and 41 per cent said English.
The new poll, published in this month’s Prospect magazine, was carried out as part of a wider study on British attitudes to Europe.
It was claimed last night that the increase in ‘Englishness has been fuelled in part by resentment about perceived Scottish “freebies”, especially concerning university tuition fees, soon to rise to £9,000 a year south of the border.
Calls for an English “parliament” are growing.....
November 19, 2011
Longing For The Good Old Days Mein Herr?
Britain will have to abandon the pound and join the single currency “faster than people think”, Germany’s finance minister has said.
We have been here before....
Water May Not Be Wet
Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.
Last night, critics claimed the EU was at odds with both science and common sense. Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said: “This is stupidity writ large.
“The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true.
“If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.”
A meeting of 21 scientists in Parma, Italy, concluded that reduced water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control.
Now the EFSA verdict has been turned into an EU directive which was issued on Wednesday.
November 18, 2011
Friday Night is Music Night (Dream Edition)
In Which We Remember Nicholas Ridley
Germany has drawn up secret plans to prevent a British referendum on the overhaul of the European Union amid concerns it could derail the eurozone rescue package, leaked documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph disclose.
Mrs Merkel yesterday said she expected Mr Cameron to “examine a stronger involvement with other countries” once the eurozone crisis had been resolved.
German memo shows secret slide towards a super-state - Telegraph
An intrusive European body with the power to take over the economies of struggling nations should be set up to tackle the eurozone crisis, according to a leaked German government document.
The six-page German foreign ministry paper sets out plans for the creation of a European Monetary Fund with a transfer of sovereignty away from member states.
The fund will have the power to take ailing countries into receivership and run their economies. Even more controversially, the document, entitled The future of the EU: required integration policy improvements for the creation of a Stability Union, declares that the treaty changes are a first stage “in which the EU will develop into a political union”. “The debate on the way towards a political union must begin as soon as the course toward stability union is charted,” it concludes.
The negotiating document also explicitly examines ways to limit treaty changes to speed up the reforms. It indicates that Mrs Merkel will tell Mr Cameron to rule out a popular EU vote in Britain.
“Limiting the effect of the treaty changes to the eurozone states would make ratification easier, which would nevertheless be required by all EU member states (thereby less referenda could be necessary, which could also affect the UK),” read the paper.
On 14 July 1990 he was forced to resign as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry after an interview published in The Spectator. He had described the proposed Economic and Monetary Union as "a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe" and said that giving up sovereignty to Europe was as bad as giving it up to Adolf Hitler. The interview was illustrated with a cartoon depicting Ridley adding a Hitler moustache to a poster of the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
November 17, 2011
Death Caused By Health & Safety Obsession
FIRE chiefs “should have saved” a mother of two who fell into a disused mineshaft, her family said, after a fatal accident inquiry found her death could have been avoided.
Lawyer Alison Hume suffered “survivable” injuries after plunging 14 metres down the collapsed shaft in Galston, Ayrshire, in July 2008.
Her rescue was delayed by senior fire officers who showed “rigid compliance” with official health and safety procedures, the inquiry concluded.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said Mrs Hume’s death was “a source of enormous regret” but stopped short of issuing an apology to the family.
Firefighters had wanted to go down to rescue her, and 18 of them had been trained to do so. But their senior officers refused to give them permission, believing the situation was not safe.
In his findings after the fatal accident inquiry, Sheriff Derek Leslie said the decision by senior officers to leave Mrs Hume in freezing conditions, having suffered several serious injuries, was “in conflict with the greater aims of a rescue service”.
He was highly critical and said her death could have been avoided if reasonable precautions had been taken by firefighters, who arrived first at the scene, and police.
The sheriff criticised Group Commander Paul Stewart, the senior fire officer at the scene, for saying the rescue had been “a success”.
Sheriff Leslie went on: “Unfortunately, this was not a successful operation: a woman died who had not only sustained survivable, though life-threatening, injuries, but who had also ultimately suffered and died from acute hypothermia, brought about by a prolonged period down a mineshaft, in which time she had been partly immersed, for a time at least, in water.
“I consider that the views expressed by Mr Stewart and Mr [Group Commander William] Thomson were of a fundamentalist adherence to Strathclyde Fire and Rescue policy.”
He also chastised Assistant Chief Fire Officer John Walker for telling the inquiry “he did not consider that fire and rescue services had a sub-surface remit” and would only have one when responding to the collapse of a building, tunnel or some other “structure”, which did not include mines.
“I was not directed to any legislation, or protocol, that allows me to accept the views expressed by Group Commander Stewart, or Assistant Chief Fire Officer Walker, that the type of rescue they would have required to undertake with Mrs Hume was not within the parameters of their engagement,” Sheriff Leslie said.
“There is little doubt that the rank-and-file firefighters in attendance were anxious to conduct a rescue as quickly as possible but were prevented from doing so by the superiors.”
Lions and donkeys. If ever there was a case that demanded that the officers were publicly stripped of their stripes then this is it.
Another Year Of No Extinctions In the Great Extinction Event
If the current rapid extermination of animals, plants and other species really is the "sixth mass extinction", then it is the amphibian branch of the tree of life that is undergoing the most drastic pruning.
This is the most bizarre mass extinction ever.
Last year no species officially went extinct, this year again none.
The number of species examined increased again to 62,000.
The Red List - Species changing IUCN Red List Status (2010-2011
Species declared extinct - 0
Species previously declared extinct now unknown - 2
Warning! Salt is Salty!
The report found that the sodium chloride content of gourmet salt products is nearly 100%, and is just as damaging to health as regular salt despite claims that they are "natural" and "contain minerals".
Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Consensus Action on Salt and Health, carried out the chemical research,
No shit Sherlock! Natural salt which contains minerals is natural salt that contains minerals. The only bit you haven't explained is how it is damages health in normal people.
November 16, 2011
New York To Drown The Day After Tomorrow
"The risks and the impacts are huge," said Art deGaetano, a climate scientist at Cornell University and lead author of the ClimAID study. "Clearly areas of the city that are currently inhabited will be uninhabitable with the rising of the sea."
The data from here shows how unexceptional the rising seas are:
And for a more balanced view may I suggest this report.
Eco-Criminals - Biggest Single Problem
Council bosses in her home town are cracking down on litter and are warning that cigarette ends are counted as an 'eco-crime'.
Nigel Wheeler, service director for Streetcare at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said: 'Eco-criminals will not be tolerated. The illegal disposal of cigarette related waste is the biggest single problem throughout the area.
'As well as creating unsightly environmental conditions, the offence can attract vermin.
'The Streetcare Enforcement Team will do all in its power to eradicate this type of behaviour.'
A Metal Theft Prevention Bill will be introduced in the House of Commons today, calling for a tougher licensing scheme and more powers for the police and courts to close scrapyards and shut down dealers who do not operate within the law.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has put forward a four-point plan which has called for councils to be given tough new powers to stop the illicit trade.
It wants a ban on cash payments so sellers can be traced, as well as the installation of CCTV with automatic number plate recognition in scrapyards.
Dealers should also be forced to keep a detailed log of people from whom they buy metal and renew their licences.
Wouldn't it be easier if there were just Government run scrap yards with none of this wheeler dealing. Proper yards with only union workers which people could bring scrap to after having obtained a licence in triplicate from a local official. A licence that would be granted after a full examination and on site inspection of the scrap. The yards could operate every other Wednesday afternoon from 1:00 to 2:30 . All vehicles bring scrap would have to be operated on biofuel only and no smoking enforced in their cabs.
I commend this to the house as the only way to get on top of private recycling, it must be stamped out.
Recycling - Gone To The Pigs
"Despite the reduction, the food we waste in homes, which accounts for about half the UK's food waste, is still worth £12bn a year as a result of food-price inflation and the food that is being wasted throughout the supply chain is significant, at a time when food security is a major global issue,"
The greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture, distribution, storage, use and disposal of wasted food was 17 million tonnes, down from 20 million three years earlier.
Feed it to pigs. Some of us still remember the scandal of the swill feeding ban. With proper precautions this turns all those tasty scraps back into yummy bacon. A recycling project nearly all of us can support I think.
Inside Your Own Car - Ban!
Smoking in cars should be outlawed to protect children, says BMA | Society | The Guardian
The British Medical Association (BMA) is urging ministers across the UK to extend the ban on smoking in public places introduced in 2007 to all vehicles in a further effort to protect people's health.
"We are calling on UK governments to take the bold and courageous step of banning smoking in private vehicles," said Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA's head of science and ethics. "The evidence for extending the smoke-free legislation is compelling."
The government is unlikely to do what the BMA recommends, though. "We do not believe that legislation is the most effective way to encourage people to change their behaviour," a Department of Health spokesman said.
But the BMA hopes that the devolved administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, which are pursuing some innovative public health measures such as alcohol minimum pricing and presumed consent organ donation, might take their own action.
The way I read this it is all vehicles, not just cars carrying children.
My guess is the filthy conditions in just one of my local hospitals kills many more than the stale aroma of cigarettes on the upholstery.
November 15, 2011
NSIT - Not Safe In Taxis
By April 2015 it will be mandatory for all of the city's 600 plus cabs to have cameras fitted to record passengers.
A council spokeswoman said the "video and audio would run all the time within the vehicle".
She added: "The risk of intrusion into private conversations has to be balanced against the interests of public safety, both of passengers and drivers."
There is a spot in Broad Street where a stake could be erected and the brushwood piled around for just his sort of case.
November 14, 2011
Fall Forecast Fail
The weather since the start of September has been so unseasonably warm that even average November temperatures for the rest of the month would still make this autumn the second warmest ever recorded.
If the pleasant conditions can hold out for just a little longer, 2011 could even eclipse 2006 and become the hottest since records began 353 years ago.
The Met Office said Sussex was hotter than Syria and Cardigan, Wales was warmer than Corfu this weekend as temperatures reached within 3C of the highest ever recorded at this point in the year, the 20.7C measures at Aber, North Wales, on November 17 1997.
In contrast, Hamah, Syria, saw just 9C on Sunday, and even holiday hot-spot Corfu, Greece, only reached 16C.
Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said: "There are no signs of any cold weather setting in, with temperatures expected to stay above average for most of the rest of November.
“Not until December will temperatures return to something nearer normal.”
Express.co.uk - Home of the Daily and Sunday Express | UK News :: Britain faces an early big freeze
Tuesday September 20 2011
BRITAIN was warned yesterday of another big freeze this winter – with snow expected to sweep in as early as next month.
Temperatures are forecast to drop to below average for the time of year over the next few months.
The early onset of winter was predicted by experts at Exacta Weather.
Long-range forecaster James Madden said on its website: “As we head towards winter, I expect to see the first signs of some moderate to heavy snowfalls as early as October or November in certain parts of the UK.
Paul Michaelwaite, forecaster at Netweather, warned “widespread” snowfall could be seen as early as November.
“We are looking at October being cooler than average, and November looks like another cold one, with temperatures below what we would normally expect.
“December looks on the cold side, although we are not looking that far ahead yet.”
Tough For Troughers
David Cameron today faces a revolt of business leaders, councils, environment campaigners and unions furious at his decision to cut funding for household solar energy
Grunt, grunt, shuffle, snuffle, more swill in the trough please...
A Wee Beacon Of Liberty
Take a Liberty has been set up to act as a public forum for people who want to take their liberties back and to prevent the government taking any more of them.
The issue, for example, of seeking to increase the price of cheap booze being a case in point – and it is this issue that has led to us deciding enough is enough. Not only is it bad enough to have such a condescending government wanting to save us from ourselves and treat the poor, in particular, like children, but the pathetic excuse for an opposition suggests there is little or no sense in society, or at least within the corridors of power, of what being an adult actually means anymore.
I urge all north of the border to support them.
Stuart Waiton: Free speech must also mean free singing too - Scotsman.com
ON SATURDAY, speakers from pressure group Take a Liberty (Scotland) were at Ibrox and also an event organised by Celtic Fans Against Criminalisation (FAC).
The intention for me and the other event’s speaker was to put the case for free speech in football. We aimed to argue with the respective fans about why they should oppose the criminalisation of their “enemy’s” songs.
I explained to the Rangers fans at Ibrox that my colleague was at that moment standing in front of a group of Celtic supporters arguing that they needed to defend the right of Rangers fans to sing about being up to their knees in fenian blood. Understandably, my audience could see the funny side of this, as I suggested this may not go down too well with Celtic fans. However, I then noted he would at that precise moment be saying the same to the Celtic fans, except this time about the need for Rangers fans to accept the right of Celtic fans to sing “Up the IRA’’.
The Rangers fans found this less humorous, but they got the point and at the end of the meeting I asked if we could have a vote. Of the 85 people present, only five voted in favour of criminalising some songs. The rest of the audience backed the notion that fans should be free to sing whatever they like without threat of arrest or imprisonment.
Despite there being many things we can all get offended about, free speech, free debate and even the freedom to sing offensive songs at matches is part and parcel of what living in a free, tolerant society should be all about.
• Dr Stuart Waiton is a lecturer at the University of Abertay, Dundee
November 13, 2011
Remember Me - That Far Far Away Echo
My father's favourite picture.
November 12, 2011
Scepticism - It's Our Heritage
A new study shows that climate sceptics feature much more prominently in the UK and US media than in other countries
the flourishing of climate scepticism in the US "is related to the funding of American politicians by industry groups and the pervasive practice and power of lobbying".
...what the study does do is remind those of us who are engaged in the "climate debate" that – for a variety of reasons - it is one that is predominantly Anglo-Saxon. A complicated matrix of cultural, geographical and ideological influences has led climate scepticism to flourish in the UK and the US compared to other places, proving once again that "The Science" often only has a walk-on role.
The study itself is behind a paywall so I can only comment on this report of it but to "blame" scepticism on Anglo-Saxonism with a sideswipe at it all being industry funded probably misses the key point.
My guess is the divide is yet again between the Protestant and Catholic mindsets. All that questioning authority awkwardness that has fuelled the Anglo-Saxon economic and scientific dominance. That refusal to accept handed down doctrines without question. The attitude our rulers hate.
Long may it continue.
Phil Jones New Global Temperature Calculations
The case for man-made global warming is more compelling than ever, according to the scientist who was at the centre of the controversy over climate-change statistics two years ago.
In a rare interview, Professor Phil Jones, who has been reinstated as director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, told The Times that a major reanalysis of the unit’s global climate records had strengthened the evidence for warming since industrialisation.....
The new land temperature records due to be published next year reveal that average temperatures in the northern hemisphere were about 0.1C warmer during the past decade relative to pre-industrial times than had previously been estimated.
“The more science we carry out, the stronger and clearer the evidence for climate change is becoming,” he said.
The stronger warming trend was revealed by the inclusion of previously unavailable data from hundreds of additional weather stations in Russia, Canada and other Arctic regions.....
The new land-based record has been combined with a revised sea surface temperature record from the Met Office and has been submitted for publication to the Journal of Geophysical Research and is likely to form part of the next report by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, due to be published in 2013.
Science by Pre-Peer Review Press Release
November 11, 2011
Remembrance - Dear Mr & Mrs Luff
A draft letter written on the back page of my father's blood-stained shrapnel-holed Soldier's Service and Pay Book.
Dear Mr & Mrs Luff,
As you see I am a POW in Italy. I expect by now you have heard Michael is missing. He was taken prisoner with myself but I am sorry to say he was later killed by our ?????. Please accept my most ?????? condolences in your great loss and ??? loyal friend.
556434 L/Sgt. M G Luff of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry died as a POW after being captured at the battle of El Alamein.
November 10, 2011
A Proud Parent Post
That's my girls.
The Piper Must Be Paid
Damian Carrington's description of this week's Panorama is strident, inaccurate and also reveals a big green blind spot: renewable technologies are currently expensive and demand subsidy. Present government policy will push up the amount of such energy and the resulting cost to all of us. As someone who believes in the importance of tackling climate change, I fervently wish this wasn't true. But it is and, unlike some environmentalists, I am not in denial.
November 9, 2011
11/11/11 Corduroy Climate Day
. It is 100 years since this date last appeared and the events back then would make your blood run cold. Literally. On 11 November, 1911, in Kansas City, those who took an interest in the thermometer would have found much to note. By late morning the citizens had enjoyed a record temperature for early winter with the mercury pushing up to 76F (24C), but out on the Great Plains a storm system had separated warm air and replaced it with a freezing Arctic blast which meant by midnight the mercury had plummeted to 11F (-12C), a record drop of 65F (36C) in just 14 hours.
Thanks goodness we don't have changeable climate like that anymore. But certainly an excuse to get out the Mustard or even the Plum Cords for Corduroy Appreciation Day
November 8, 2011
Monboit Asks A Question Of Alan Rusbridger
Is your boss possessed of judgment, vision and management skills superior to those of anyone else in the firm, or did he or she get there through bluff, bullshit and bullying?
November 6, 2011
The Answer My Friend Is Blowin' In The Wind
Ditching expensive wind farms "will save £34bn"
The news is that the MSM is reporting it.
November 5, 2011
You can never tire of that can you?
And for me it is a wedding anniversary, I must remember to stop at the petrol station on the way back from work for some flowers and chocolates.
November 4, 2011
Friday Night is Music Night (Stonehenge Edition)
November 3, 2011
Unsettling The Science On The Stonehenge Sarsens
Living between Avebury and Stonehenge I have always been interested in how the massive Sarsen stones, weighing up to 45 Tons, were moved from near the former to the latter.
There is a consensus answer which has been told to millions of people over the last fifty years. It involves a large detour to the west and then across the Pewsey Vale near Etchilhampton.
But that means the sarsens were dragged across fields where I have stood knee deep in the slime waiting for snipe to fly. I could barely drag my cartridge bag so forget dragging massive blocks of stone.
The science was obviously wrong, so I'm glad to see a new route proposed which seems to make more sense. See what you think.
November 2, 2011
Richard Black, Bishop Hill & Hiding The Decline
As I wandered around Salisbury Plain this afternoon protecting our national heritage I read Richard Black on the BBC website about BEST and hide the decline. I was gobsmacked at the misunderstanding he appeared to show. An hour or so later the good Bishop Hill responded. This evening I note that the Bishop's response no longer is on his website.
I have taken the liberty of visiting the web cache to copy it and display it below. In case Mr Black is feeling touchy I have hidden one word which might be considered a bit strong.
I wonder what is going on.
Richard Black has an article up about BEST. It also mentions "hide the decline".
The original "hide the decline" claim is one of the most easily de-bunked in the entire pantheon of easily-debunkable "sceptic" claims.
Phil Jones wrote the email in 1999, immediately following what still ranks as one of the hottest years on record, and well before the idea of a "slowdown" or "hiatus" or even "decline" in warming gained currency.
So it can't have had anything to do with hiding a global temperature decline.
If it were a scientific idea, the notion that it did would be consigned to the garbage bin of history alongside perpetual motion machines, the steady-state theory of the cosmos and the idea of HIV/Aids as a gay-only disease.
It's that wrong.
I'm struggling to put an innocent gloss on Black's misrepresentation of what the allegation was. I can remember Sarah Palin making this claim a couple of days after the story broke, but did anyone make such an allegation to any of the inquiries? Perhaps readers could see how many people made the allegation as framed by Black and how many got it right - i.e that it was about hiding the divergence between instrumental temperatures and some proxy records.
The misrepresentation seems very xxxxxx to me.
In the comments to his article Richard Black admits he was wrong, but so what...
BBC News - 'Hide the decline' revisited
46. Richard Black (BBC)
3 HOURS AGO
Re 'hide the decline'... yes, the Jones email concerned reconciling the tree ring record. But that's not how it was interpreted - at least by some - which is my point. Read Fred Pearce The Climate Files.
Matt Ridley's text of his Angus Millar lecture at the RSA in Edinburgh.
That is all for this morning, it is more than enough.
November 1, 2011
If Only It Was Run Like McDonald's
A HEALTH chief has accused patients of clogging up Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by treating the accident and emergency department “like McDonald’s”....Mr Farquharson said: “The main challenge is in the increasing number of the public accessing A&E in the first place....
Margaret Watt, chairwoman of the Scotland Patients Association, said the NHS should get tough with people abusing A&E services.
She said: “We have got to educate them, to say ‘these are the kind of things you take to your doctor’. We should be saying ‘you have to be registered with a GP and you can’t be accessing treatment from the NHS unless you’re registered with a GP’.”
Bloody customers eh? Turning up and wanting service! Just because they pay for it doesn't mean it is run for them.
HMRC Has Grit Thrown Into Its Eyes
HMRC suddenly remembered that they think my company owes them £440 under a CCJ in 2007.
The fact they haven't chased it for so long tells us one thing about them.
I don't think I owe them the money.
The paperwork they sent claim the CCJ was issued on 05/04/2007, speaking to the very nice man representing Her Maj he said it was actually the 5t November... Humm
So I thought i would check on the excellent Trust website and £4 down shows there are no CCJs recorded at all.
I wonder what they next move will be.