November 29, 2012
Runaway Global Warming
2012 expected to be ninth warmest year on record | Environment | guardian.co.uk
World Meteorological Organisation data shows average global temperature to date is 14.45C, higher than long-term average (1961 to 1990).
This year is likely to be the ninth warmest on record, with global temperatures in 2012 cooler than the average for the past decade owing to the effects of La Niña weather patterns early in the year.
Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the UK's Met Office, whose data contributed to the WHO estimate, said: "Although the first decade of the 21st century was the warmest on record, warming has not been as rapid since 2000 as over the longer period since the 1970s. This variability in global temperatures is not unusual, with several periods lasting a decade or more with little or no warming since the instrumental record began."
Although climate change sceptics may seize on the data, it does not change the long-term warming trend. Nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2001, according to the Met Office.
, "warming has not been as rapid since 2000 as over the longer period since the 1970s" - I think we can call that an understatement.
The UN organisation’s secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, said climate change was “taking place before our eyes” and would continue to do so as a result of rising greenhouse gas emissions, which have reached record levels this year. (The Scotsman)
It is not so much "before my eyes" but more "in my wallet" that I'm noticing it.
November 28, 2012
Please Lie To Me Plead Pathetic Scots
SCOTRAIL has sparked a flurry of protests after explaining to passengers that a body on the line was the reason for hold-ups to services on an Edinburgh main line.
The national rail operator has been criticised after sending out a message on Twitter about delays on lines servicing Edinburgh Park.
In a short statement sent to more than 25,000 followers on the social media forum, the company said: “Owing to a person hit by a train at Edinburgh Park the line is blocked.”
Commuters and followers unhappy with the blunt announcement immediately took to Twitter to vent their feelings.......Mental health campaigners have seized on the social media faux pas......
Grow up FFS. People jump in front of trains and die. Horrible, tragic. etc but it happens. When you are waiting on a cold platform in the rain you have a right to be told why the train is late. Or do you prefer to be lied to by the authorities in case it offends you ickle-little bunny ears.
November 25, 2012
John Brignell: The Unbalance Sheet
John Brignell has had his excellent essay PDFed by the SPPI to produce a very readable booklet:
November 24, 2012
Charged - "culpably and recklessly produced electricity"
It is alleged he “culpably and recklessly” produced electricity “with total disregard for the safety of yourself and others”.
Sheriff George Way asked: “I don’t quite understand - how does one culpably and recklessly produce electricity?”
I can think of a few ways, most of them involving wind turbines....
November 21, 2012
Natural England - We are still in drought
The drought of 2011 has continued into 2012 after the winter months failed to provide sufficient rain to recharge ground waters adequately. Parts of the south and east of England have been officially in drought since June 2011....
We will issue regular updates on the impact of drought on protected areas, access, habitats and wildlife.
After setting out their stall that drought was the new normal because of Climate Change they seem unable to acknowledge the weather...
November 19, 2012
Britain is "sleepwalking" into leaving the EU, which would undermine the UK's economy and leave it "voiceless and powerless," Ed Miliband will say.
Sleepwalking? Is that when a dream controls ones actions?
Olympics - Inspire A Generation Fail
80% of parents say the amount of PE and games in UK schools has not increased.
A message on the youth legacy section of the London 2012 website says: "Since it won the bid to host the Games, London 2012 has worked closely with partners and stakeholders on activation programmes to promote sports participation in the run-up to, during and after the Games.
General secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Christine Blower, said the Olympic Legacy was alive and well and being nurtured by our PE teachers.
Leaving the Olympic legacy in the hands of the knuckle-dragging mouth breathers who are only kept from roaming the streets in brown shirts by being employed as PE teachers was always going to be a glorious failure. Thank goodness.
November 12, 2012
Your TV licence at Work
Mr Entwistle, who resigned on Saturday night after just 54 days in the job, leaves with a £450,000 lump sum on top of his £877,000 pension pot,...
The BBC Trust said Mr Entwistle had been given a year's salary, which amounts to £8,333 for every day he spent as director-general, to "reflect the fact that he will continue to help the BBC business" by giving evidence to a series of inquiries into the Jimmy Savile affair and "to effect a speedy resolution and allow the BBC to move on".
November 11, 2012
Sgt Danny Nightingale, a special forces sniper who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was sentenced to 18 months in military detention by a court martial last week.
Sgt Nightingale had planned to fight the charge of illegally possessing the 9mm Glock.
But his lawyer said he pleaded guilty after being warned that he could otherwise face a five-year sentence.
The soldier had hoped for leniency given the circumstances. At the court martial, even the prosecution described him as a serviceman of exemplary character, who had served his country for 17 years, 11 in the special forces.
The court was told that he returned to Britain in a hurry after two friends were killed in Iraq, leaving his equipment — including the pistol — to be packed up by colleagues.
It accepted evidence from expert witnesses that he suffered severe memory loss due to a brain injury.
Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor, presiding over the court martial, could have spared the soldier prison by passing a suspended sentence. Instead he handed down the custodial term.
...n November 2007, two of Sgt Nightingale’s closest friends, Sgt John
Battersby and Cpl Lee Fitzsimmons, were killed in a helicopter crash. He accompanied both bodies back to Britain and helped arrange the funerals.
In Iraq, his equipment was packed by colleagues, one of whom placed the pistol inside a container that was sent first to the SAS regimental headquarters in Hereford, then to his home where it remained unopened until 2010.In May, 2010, Sgt Nightingale was living in a house with another soldier close to the regiment’s headquarters when he was posted to Afghanistan at short notice.
During the tour, his housemate’s estranged wife claimed her husband had assaulted her and kept a stash of ammunition in the house. West Mercia Police raided the house and found the Glock, still in its container.
Sgt Nightingale’s court martial did not dispute that the pistol had been a gift. It accepted statements from expert witnesses, including Dr Susan Young, a forensic psychologist also from King’s College, London. She said that he probably had no recollection that he had the gun.
The court also accepted that Sgt Nightingale had suffered severe memory loss. But the judge did not believe that he had no recollection of being in possession of the weapon.
Thank goodness we have people such as Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor to keep us safe in our beds at home.
Fatty Pang's Final Failure
I could hardly stop laughing as I saw his sad little face on the News last night and it has cheered me up no end again this morning. "All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure" as Enoch once wrote. And Fatty has been allowed to swim for far too long already.
November 9, 2012
Free To Choose Only What We Make You Choose
Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, said the "shocking" amount of sugar in many foodstuffs was hidden from consumers, but was so great that ministers had to intervene.
Burnham said: "Consumers need more help to choose health. But there should be some maximums for sugar, salt and fat. I think I have been persuaded of the case for this.
"Voluntary efforts [by producers to reformulate] have not worked and it's time for a different approach. There are some products on the market that are so full of salt, sugar or fat they are unacceptable and they have to be brought in line.
Don't you just love the condescending "consumers need more help" in their choice of foods and we are going to give it to them by banning some of the choices because they are stupid and we are clever.
Union Calls For Castle Seizures
Paul Kenny, the general secretary of the GMB, said: “In many areas, urgent action is needed to ascertain if properties used as holiday homes are actually in use at all.
"A holiday home that is used only a few weeks a year at a time when there are families in bed and breakfast accommodation gives rise to fundamental questions on the role and power of the local authority on the use of residential property in its area.
"We believe that under the Localism Act, local councils should have the power to levy taxation on under-used holiday homes and other empty properties.
"In areas with acute housing need, questions should be raised in the council chamber as to whether under-used houses should be subject to compulsory purchase."
"fundamental questions on the role and power of the local authority on the use of residential property in its area." - the answer of course should be the square root of fuck all. Just organise the bin collection and go away.
November 8, 2012
Lung Cancer Costs and Benefits
Research author, Dr Jose Leal, from the Health Economics Research Centre, University of Oxford, said: "Lung cancer costs more than any other cancer, mainly because of potential wage losses due to premature deaths from people in employment - about 60 per cent of the total economic costs - and high health care costs."
The link gives no more details apart from revealing it is a European study.
If we are going to be mercenary and count the cost to the economy of cancer then we should also count the benefit. Premature deaths of people in their fifties and sixties is probably an economic benefit not a cost. No pension to pay out, no long term care in the nursing home, no free bus passes to hand out and so on.
Does the full study include these benefits or is it it just a scary number exercise.
And against that supposed cost of £2.5 billion we could offset the £12.1 billion that tobacco pays in tax each year.
If You Leave Me Now
Mrs Merkel, before travelling to Downing Street. “I want a strong Britain in the EU. Britain was there when we were liberated from National Socialism.”
She added: “When you are somewhere alone in a seven billion-strong global population, I don’t think it is good for Britain. I believe you can be very happy on an island, but being alone in this world doesn’t make you any happier.”
"If you leave me you won't have any friends and you will be all alone"; the last desperate plea of many a Hausfrau as hubby remembers the days of his youth when he was a man of the world free to meet lots of charming young people form all over the globe rather than be tied her apron strings to their rather grubby home and her sponging relatives. He can barely remember wht he saw in her in the first place.
(Having infected myself with the earworm with that headline I had to find the song..
November 6, 2012
Peak Car Theory
Years of falling traffic volumes suggest that car use has passed its peak and may have entered a long era of decline, a growing body of officials from the Department for Transport and London’s City Hall believe.
The implications for how cities are designed and streets are used are enormous if car use really has passed its tipping point. Supporters of “Peak-Car” theory see a future in which the inner cities are given over to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, and café culture replaces car culture.....
Experts say that local authorities and politicians could create a virtuous circle by providing safe and plentiful provision for cycling, walking and public transport, which would accelerate a natural change in the way we travel....
...proponents of “Peak Car” say that it is more than a recessionary blip. The evidence seems most compelling in London. Data compiled by Transport for London show that traffic has fallen almost every year in the past decade.
In Central London, traffic fell by 19 per cent between 2000 and 2009.....
...TfL says that in Central London car capacity has fallen by 30 per cent since 2000, with road space given to wider pavements, bus lanes and pedestrian areas such as on the north side of Trafalgar Square and at Piccadilly Circus....
The DfT predicts that the number of cars on the road will rise to 38,191,302 by 2035 from 28,467,300 last year. The growth is largely down to an expected 10 million increase in the size of the population. Miles travelled per car are expected to rise by just 2.6 per cent by 2035.
If the politicians balk at radical change, the cost of doing nothing will also be high. The DfT’s forecasts predict that average delays on the roads will have increased by 54 per cent by 2035 and that traffic will be travelling 8 per cent slower because of congestion.
So in fact "Peak Car" only applies in central London where they have closed a third of the roads and unsurprisingly the number of cars has fallen. The rest of the country is still enjoying the personal freedom a car gives when they can afford it.
That is the trouble about London based journalists who bicycle to work, they don't get out much to see the real world..
November 5, 2012
Accountants Add Up 6 Degrees of Warming
The world is destined for dangerous climate change this century – with global temperatures possibly rising by as much as 6C – because of the failure of governments to find alternatives to fossil fuels, a report by a group of economists has concluded.
It will now be almost impossible to keep the increase in global average temperatures up to 2100 within the 2C target that scientists believe might avert dangerous and unpredictable climate change, according to a study by the accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
"This isn't shock tactics, it's simple maths."
Accountants, Don't cha luv 'em! Show them your books and tell them how much profit you want to have made and how much tax you are prepared to pay and they shuffle the beads to make it so. Not PwC of course, they would never do anything like that, not even to keep their Green energy clients happy...
November 1, 2012
Getting Medieval On Sandy
After every natural disaster that occurs these days, we do two things. First, we guffaw or shake our heads in stern disapproval at those religious freaks who blame said disaster on mankind’s sin. And second, we nod in vigorous agreement with those eco-experts who blame said disaster on man-made climate change. And yet, the impulse behind both forms of finger-pointing, behind both the Bible basher’s harebrained claims that deviant people brought this disaster upon mankind and the environmentalist’s insistence that the disaster is actually the fault of industry and pollution, is the same – it’s about doing that very Medieval thing of finding someone or something to blame for scary natural occurrences...