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.”
April 1, 2011
Blackpool Tower, icon of an era when the fashionable spent summers in Britain, still stretches its elegant limbs towards the Lancashire clouds.
A few miles inland a gawky newcomer in the flat landscape makes a rival gesture towards the skies. It's a drill rig attempting to usher in an era of its own; an era of cheap and plentiful gas to set the UK's energy policy alight.
Philip Mitchell, chairman of Backpool Green Party by the banks of the picturesque River Wyre in this little-visited corner of rural England. "I'm worried about the risks. Risks to human health; to ground water and drinking water; and to the environment due to the huge amounts of waste this produces and the huge amount of water it consumes. Also I think the impact of drilling rigs on the countryside will be totally unacceptable to the British people. I think this is something we'll live to regret."
Not in a cold winter I won't.
November 13, 2009
Spanner Monkeys Demand Boys' Toys Building Program
A WARTIME mentality is needed to fight climate change, with a new battle plan drawn up that includes building 40,000 more wind turbines and 20 nuclear power stations by the middle of the century, a new report claims.
IMechE's chief executive Stephen Tetlow said there was a need for a "wartime mentality", with ordinary people aware of how much electricity they were using in the same way they would have been aware of food consumption and blackouts in the Second World War.
The report calls for a new 100-year "battle plan"...eclipsing "the efforts and resourcing deployed during the Cold War".... remodelling the Department of Energy and Climate Change into the new Department of Energy and Climate Security (DECS), giving it significant powers to implement what is necessary and needed in the war against climate change.....only be effective if DECS merges all actions into one definitive national battle plan that spans at least 100 years.
I think it would be more useful if they ran their sliderules over the data first, before getting all wet pantied over building artificial trees and bunds.
March 3, 2009
How to spend £3million on building houses without laying a brick
Eco-towns bill soars to more than £3m before a house is built - Telegraph
Figures show that the Government has spent £3.1million on proposals to build tens of thousands of environmentally-friendly homes in England.
One third of the cash - £960,700 - was spent on PR and communications alone.
A further £820,000 was spent on local authority assessments and £720,000 on "financial assessments".
The Government also spent nearly £80,000 on developing website about eco-towns.
December 28, 2007
The Year of Global Smarming
Top 10 Climate Myth-Busters for 2007
“I’ve made up my mind. Don’t confuse me with the facts.” That saying most appropriately sums up the year in climate science for the fanatic global warming crowd.....
December 27, 2007
Perdix perdix - incentives matter
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix or English Partridge is on the Red List of the Conservation Status. and there is an active Biodiversity plan with targets and objectives.
No 1 son has a shiny new Shotgun Certificate and has been out today doing his bit to help the wild population....
Giving them an economic value by shooting them gives farmers the incentive to maintain their habitat..
How do you like your spuds?
UMAMI, a 100-year-old Japanese concept of flavour, may hold the key to breeding the perfect potato.
Umami has been scientifically accepted as one of the five individual tastes sensed by receptors on the tongue, along with salty, sweet, bitter and sour.
Although there is no equivalent word in English, umami has been used to describe the slightly savoury taste that people encounter when they eat ripe tomatoes, parmesan cheese, cured ham, mushrooms, and various types of meat and fish.
Dr Mark Taylor, the SCRI scientist who led the research, said: "Umami is almost a savoury-like flavour and that is obviously considered to be important when it comes to judging the taste of a potato. It was certainly the case in our taste trials.
I find it is the generous application of butter and salt or roasting them in beef dripping that gives them flavour...
December 26, 2007
Hunting is undergoing a revival with increasing numbers of women and children taking part as a direct result of the ban imposed by the Hunting Act.
As 314 hunts were preparing to meet organisers report that in the two years since the ban, young people have attracted to the sport, reversing the situation of more than a decade ago where hunt memberships were ageing and in decline....
Karl Creamer, 44, joint master of the Ludlow, is a former professional ice-hockey player who had not sat on a horse until 1994.
He said: "Everything that gets banned seems to become popular." Mr Creamer said that the average hunt follower was now 26 years old and female with a full time job who likes doing dressage as well.
"I make no bones about it, that's why I got into it," he said.
Doing something that that the Government has tried to ban, open air, traditional, danger, excitement and immaculately turned out 26 year girls - what's not to like?
December 20, 2007
Gas in court
THERE was consternation in Kennet magistrates' court on today when the bench withdrew while an empty canister of poison was removed from court.
The canister which used to contain the rodenticide Phostoxin was being introduced in evidence by barrister John Upton, who was defending Visconde Brita de Cunha de Pereiro Machada.
Mr Upton showed the bench the empty canister of Phostoxin and took the deep screw cap off to demonstrate how safe it was.
But prosecutor Philomena Craffield, after consulting with RSPB investigating officer Guy Shorrock, told the court there was concern about the safety of the canister and it should not be in court.
The bench retired while Viscount Machada removed the canister.
Miss Craffield explained that Phostoxin emitted the deadly Phosphene gas when it was mixed with water.
John Upton, defending, said the only reason the police had called at Mr Smart's house that morning was they were investigating the death of two buzzards and a magpie from poisoning.
Presiding magistrate Jill Pechey told Viscount Machada that, as an employer, he had a duty of care to provide the correct advice, training and guidance to Mr Smart.
The bench fined him £2,500 and a further £1,000 for permitting the poisons to be stored in an unsafe place. He was also ordered to pay £400 court costs.
Mr Smart was fined a total of £1,000 on all five offences and £100 costs.
Mr Upton successfully argued that costs should be paid to his client for the expense of obtaining expert help on the charge of poisoning wildlife, which had been dropped.
The £3,286 bill will be paid from public funds.
Note: There is no antidote to Phosphine poisoning and one sixth of a 3g tablet is a fatal dose for an adult - take it from an old Pesticide salesman it isn't something to mess with.
December 19, 2007
You may not have noticed that you have a problem with fire stations, but fortunately the Department of Communities & Local Government is there to put you right. Today, the bit of government that is all that remains of John Prescott's expensive and ephemeral empire unveiled its "vision for a new generation of open, accessible, inviting and environmentally friendly fire stations" in the shape of its guide, Achieving Design Quality in Fire and Rescue Buildings.
"The design of many fire stations - often intimidating and closed-looking Victorian buildings - does not make them naturally attractive places for the public," it says here. "The popular image of fire stations is often of red bay doors opening briefly to allow out a blue light fire engine before closing again to the outside world."
Well, apparently this is A Bad Thing, and the design guide is intended to change this. "Firefighters' first job will always be fighting fire, but stations can also play a greater role in promoting good community relations by opening up to them and putting a greater emphasis on prevention by increasing education about fire safety," said Fire Minister Parmjit Dhanda.
The trouble with fine old buildings, of course, is that they're not environmentally friendly (the guide announcement is headlined "Green fire stations to open up to local communities"). And they don't "offer high tech facilities",* aren't "welcoming and accessible to the community", or environmentally friendly". They don't meet the needs of diverse communities, "reflecting them in their workforce."
So the guide suggests new uses that would help engage the local community (and, one might speculate, point towards alternative roles for fine old but redundant buildings). Hosting community events and services, "on site cashpoints", car parking space for rural areas, and providing "space for art displays." Or property development opportunities - but we made that last bit up (possibly). ®
December 18, 2007
Bad news for Beardies
Beards have a huge effect on how people are seen. When compared with the clean-shaven, those sporting white beards are seen as less generous (by 28 per cent), cheerful (39 per cent) and caring (29 per cent).
As Prof Wiseman points out, throughout history men with facial hair have been thought to possess wisdom, sexual virility or high status.
"There was a positive relationship between the amount of beard, and adjectives such as masculine, mature, dominant, self-confident, and courageous," reveals Prof Wiseman
But there have been some worrying signs that beards are sending out a sinister semaphore. Recent surveys show that more than half of the Western public believe clean-shaven men to be more honest than those with facial hair.
"Apparently, beards conjure up images of diabolical intent, concealment, and poor hygiene," says Prof Wiseman.
"Although there is absolutely no relationship between honesty and facial hair, the stereotype is powerful enough to affect the world - perhaps explaining why everyone on the Forbes 100 list of the world's richest men is clean-shaven, and why no successful candidate for the American presidency has had a beard or moustache since 1910."
But at least there was one consolation for Father Christmas in our survey - if we distrust those with white beards, the effect is even worse for those who have not gone grey.
People with dark beards are seen as far less generous (a drop of 38 per cent), cheerful (51 per cent) and caring (36 per cent).
December 16, 2007
Professor Sir David King the Government's chief scientist singled out women who find supercar drivers "sexy", adding that they should divert their affections to men who live more environmentally-friendly lives.
Alongside aesthetic reasons why women may prefer a partner arriving in a high status symbol cool and relaxed to a sweaty beardy on a bike there are medical reasons:
The most common bicycling associated urogenital problems are nerve entrapment syndromes presenting as genitalia numbness, which is reported in 50–91% of the cyclists, followed by erectile dysfunction reported in 13–24%. Other less common symptoms include priapism, penile thrombosis, infertility, hematuria, torsion of spermatic cord, prostatitis, perineal nodular induration and elevated serum PSA, which are reported only sporadically.
Urologists should be aware that bicycling is a potential and not an infrequent cause of a variety of urological and andrological disorders caused by overuse injuries affecting the genitourinary system.
Instead of Turkey
just in time for The Christmas alternatives to turkey; are ten days enough to hang it for flavour? A quick flash fry of the steaks or a rib roast? So many questions, but at least there should be enough for cold sandwiches on Boxing Day.
Government's Maddest Ever Decision
Last week... Gordon Brown committed us to what I do not hesitate to call the maddest single decision ever made by British ministers.
And there is some stiff competition there, can you guess which one it is?
Science not the answer, back to the stone age - says Science Editor
A lungful of carbon delusion | Jonathan Leake, the Science Editor of The Sunday Times
As individuals it means making less use of cars, aircraft, central heating and so on. For businesses it means changing the way we work ....
The first step is simply to realise that there is no technological saviour about to come galloping over the horizon. Adapting to global warming is no longer about changing our technologies: it is about changing our minds.
No wonder the Sunday Times is so piss poor in its science coverage - its editor doesn't have faith and feel excitement in the promise of it. But then he seems to double as the Environment Editor as well....
December 15, 2007
We are saved
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Climate deal sealed by US U-turn
The "Bali roadmap" initiates a two-year process of negotiations designed to agree a new set of emissions targets to replace those in the Kyoto Protocol.
Those thousands of journeys and millions of words weren't wasted see - the world is saved because they have agreed to having more talks about talks...
December 14, 2007
Cyclists ‘voted early and often’ to win £50m - Times Online
A cycling charity has been accused of manipulating The People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway by encouraging its supporters to vote several times each for its entry.
The Big Lottery Fund announced on Wednesday that Sustrans had won the money with 42 per cent of the 286,000 votes cast.
The Times has learnt that a manager for Sustrans circulated an e-mail that encouraged people to vote as many times as possible.
According to my big number machine that makes each vote worth £416.25 for the beardies, at that rate if they had forsaken their love of nineteenth century technology they should have racked up a few more votes. Fuck me why don't we buy each of them a GT Aggressor XC2 20" Mens Mountain Bike and give them the £16.26 change for them to buy themselves a cheese and ham ploughmans and several pints of Real Ale. That should keep them happy and save the rest of us and the country from the encroachment by miles of "special" paths and garishly coloured ecofreaks wrapped in lycra looking like Jackson Pollock designed condoms
December 13, 2007
Mine Your Own Business - a follow up email
You may remember the story of a mine in a small Romanian town (and resident Gheorghe Luchian). George Soros and his radical environmentalists have been calling for a halt to the progress in the mine's development. While he claims to have altruistic motives, Bill Hobbs took a closer look into billionaire financier George Soros and claims to have discovered his real motives.
Soros is using his billions to halt progress on the mining project with one company and from the looks of it poising himself to buy the mine for his own profits. And this isn't the first time Soros has made a grab for gold
.. Proving money really can buy you everything – including a gold mine!
It's hot, hot, hot...
Dr Vicky Pope from the Met Office Hadley Centre, who has been attending the conference said, "The last few days have provided an important platform for debate and confirms the need for swift action to combat further rises in global temperatures because of human behaviour."
...The last six years (2002-2007) are set to become the six warmest years....
I've added a trend line...
Oh, sorry, the reason it isn't warmer is because " the La Niña event has taken some of the heat out of what could have been an even warmer year."
Ah, so the La Nina destroys the excess heat; I'm not sure how that squares with the first law of thermodynamics but then I'm not a climate scientist...
December 12, 2007
Global Warming Scare - it's over
Are Carbon Emissions the Cause of Global Warming? - Mises Institute
(Gratuitous advice for those whose jobs depend on the idea that carbon emissions cause global warming: Find another job to pay your mortgage and feed your kids!)
Three Stages of Knowledge and the IPCC
Our scientific understanding of global warming has gone through three stages:
1985–2003 Old ice core data led us to strongly suspect that CO2 causes global warming.
2003–2007 New ice core data eliminated previous reason for suspecting CO2. No evidence to suspect or exonerate CO2.
From Aug 2007 Know for sure that greenhouse is not causing global warming. CO2 no longer a suspect.
The IPCC 2007 report (the latest and greatest from the IPCC) is based on all scientific literature up to mid 2006. The Bali Conference is the bureaucratic response to that report. Too bad that the data has changed since then!
Human Right Lawyers Spot Climate Change Bonanza
There is a lot of talk at this year’s UN Climate change conference about climate change being a human rights issue....
Communities at risk from climate impacts have started to argue that climate change violates their human rights. The issue has been the basis of a legal claim launched by the Innuit people of Canada and the United States to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. ....
A number of human rights established in the International Bill of Rights will be violated by climate change. In Tuvalu, for example, a 2OC rise in temperature is likely to cause annual coral bleaching, changing rainfall patterns, more intense extreme events, and sea-level rise. ...
In this case of Tuvalu, climate change puts at risk a number of established rights, including the right to a means of subsistence, the right to an adequate standard of living including to continuous improvement in living conditions, and the right to take part in cultural life. Because of this there is some prospect that Tuvalu may launch legal action to seek restitution for damages.
Indeed, climate change is already violating key human rights already established in the International Bill of Rights, including the right to life, the right to health, and the right to be free from hunger.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) climate change is already responsible for more than 160,000 additional deaths per year around the world, largely through the way it leads to hunger and diarrhoea in developing and least developed countries in Asia and Africa.
The WHO is confident that climate change will increase mortality rates in the future, and that most of these additional deaths will be due to malnutrition, exposure to extreme events, and expansion in the range and changes in the transmission of malaria.
Climate change is and will increasingly violate the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health too. ...
The right to be free from hunger is also already being violated by climate change. The WHO estimates that climate change already causes widespread hunger and malnutrition. Once global average temperatures exceed 3OC, food production is likely to be adversely affected almost everywhere. ...
Because human rights are vulnerable to climate change the 156 countries that are Party to the International Bill of Rights are obliged to avoid actions that impinge on these rights. Climate change does and will increasingly violate human rights, so, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required to protect human rights.
However, there is a danger that actions to reduce emissions may also violate human rights. At this year’s climate change conference indigenous and environmental NGOs have been reminding countries that actions such as clearing rainforests and displacing forest communities to produce biofuels violates human rights.
(Jon Barnett, Nusa Dua, Bali.The writer is a professor of environment, Melbourne University).
So I have a "right to to continuous improvement in living conditions.. and the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health too". How does making me live in a yurt with only a candle to power my bicycle instead of relaxing in comfort in front of a roaring coal fire with the Hummer outside on tick-over fulfil that? Can I sue?
Climate Change Deaths
Seventy years ago Britain was in the grip of a savage freeze. Snow fell heavily over much of the country during December, in some cases accompanied by thunder, lightning and gales. A snowstorm on December 8 across Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset left roads blocked, cars stranded and telegraph poles felled.
On December 10, disaster struck the railway station at Castlecary, between Falkirk and Glasgow. Heavy snow that day had led to big delays, and by late afternoon showers of large, thick, snowflakes fell. A local train was brought to a halt outside Castlecary station while the tracks were cleared. A few minutes later an express train from Edinburgh to Glasgow ran through a danger signal at about 70mph — in the heavy snow and fading light, the train driver had not seen the signal. The express train smashed into the back of the stationary train, hurling its engine 100 yards down the track. Both trains were full of commuters and shoppers, and 35 people were killed and 179 injured. It was Britain’s worst snow-related rail crash.
The Campaign for Fighting Diseases, run by Philip Stevens (formerly of the ASI), does excellent work on health policy issues in the developing world. Most recently, they have been pointing out the flaws in the World Health Organization's approach to climate change.
Although WHO claims that climate change is responsible for all manner of health threats to the developing world, the evidence suggests this is not the case. .... We are always hearing that climate change is going to cause more natural disasters and kill lots of people (particularly in the developing world), but deaths from climate related natural disasters have in fact fallen dramatically since the 1920s. This is purely the result of economic growth and the technological advances it has brought.
The point is clear: rising wealth will reduce the incidence ... lessen the human cost of natural disasters in the developing world, regardless of climate change. You would think, then, that the WHO would be doing everything it could to promote the economic development of poor countries. Yet the global emissions caps they advocate would undoubtedly hurt the poor by retarding their economic growth.
The WHO should forget environmentalism and focus on the real barriers to good health in poor countries. ... H/T ADAM SMITH
December 11, 2007
2007 - An Inconvenient Truth
4 January 2007
2007 - forecast to be the warmest year yet
2007 is likely to be the warmest year on record globally, beating the current record set in 1998, say climate-change experts at the Met Office.
Each January the Met Office, in conjunction with the University of East Anglia, issues a forecast of the global surface temperature for the coming year. The forecast takes into account known contributing factors, such as solar effects, El Niño, greenhouse gases concentrations and other multi-decadal influences. Over the previous seven years, the Met Office forecast of annual global temperature has proved remarkably accurate, with a mean forecast error size of just 0.06 °C.
Met Office global forecast for 2007
* Global temperature for 2007 is expected to be 0.54 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0 °C;
* There is a 60% probability that 2007 will be as warm or warmer than the current warmest year (1998 was +0.52 °C above the long-term 1961-1990 average).
Katie Hopkins from Met Office Consulting said: "This new information represents another warning that climate change is happening around the world. Our work in the climate change consultancy team applies Met Office research to help businesses mitigate against risk and adapt at a strategic level for success in the new environment."
I wasn't aware that a "prediction" represents "new information." Well, perhaps it does to a certain breed of consultant. I wonder if the Met Office's clients will ask for their money back if the Met Office's prediction proved way off the mark?" Hall of Record:
"With just a few weeks to go it's looking like 2007 will be the coolest year this century and possibly the coolest since 1995. If so then one more year like this and we will begin to have enough statistical information to speculate about a downward trend, though a few more years will be better.
“We must mobilise our civilisation with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilised for war.”
Whilst Al dreams of leading his battalions into battle in the real world Dennis Ambler sends a link to an interesting article which shows how this:
“A global warming of larger size has almost certainly occurred at least once since the end of the last glaciation without any appreciable increase in greenhouse gases. Because we do not understand the reasons for these past warming events, it is not yet possible to attribute a specific proportion of the recent, smaller warming to an increase of greenhouse gases.”
And if you think it was better scientific knowledge I have a bridge for you to buy.....
December 9, 2007
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
Giant offshore wind farms to supply half of UK power - Times Online
Britain is to launch a huge expansion of offshore wind-power with plans for thousands of turbines in the North Sea, Irish Sea and around the coast of Scotland.
John Hutton, the energy secretary, will this week announce plans to build enough turbines to generate nearly half Britain’s current electricity consumption. He will open the whole of Britain’s continental shelf to development, apart from areas vital for shipping and fishing.
The scheme could see turbines so large that they would reach 850ft into the sky, nearly 100ft taller than Canary Wharf. Each would be capable of powering up to 8,000 homes...
It could mean that wind farms would become visible from almost every point of Britain’s coast. Some developers have made clear that they would like to see a forest of turbines stretching up the North Sea, whose shallow waters make it relatively cheap and easy to develop.
There would still be a need to keep fossil-fuelled power stations in reserve because windless days could leave Britain with power shortages. And on cold wet days like today with 90mph winds forecast the whirlygigs would have to be shut down for safety - so the kettle wouldn't boil for cheering cup of Bovril!
It is madness, and disgusting, not just having ruined our wild windy wildernesses they want to destroy the tranquillity and peace of the coastline all in the name of environmentalism.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
A convenient £50m for green Gore - Times Online
WHO would have thought that saving the planet could be such a lucrative business? Al Gore, the former US vice-president turned environmental campaigner, has made more than £50m in just seven years from his books, speeches and shrewd investments in technology and green ventures.
Gore, 59, a failed presidential candidate, has already reinvented himself from the nearly man of American politics into the first global green celebrity. This week he will pick up the Nobel peace prize in Oslo before flying to Bali to take centre stage at the United Nations climate change conference.
Today Gore commands between £50,000 and £85,000 a speech....
Who says a Prophet is not recognised in his own land?
December 7, 2007
A Dangerous Waste on the NHS
The Government's chief scientific adviser gave warning yesterday that people who use homeopathic medicines could be putting their lives at risk.
Sir David King said homeopathy was of no medical use whatsoever and that those who trusted it to cure serious health problems could be causing themselves more harm than good.
He also told MPs that the Department of Health was wrong to support the use of the alternative medicine and said there was no evidence that it worked.
Sir David's comments raised the issue of why the NHS continues to allow primary care trusts to fund homeopathy.
Of course the fact that the NHS funds five Homoeopathic Hospitals is a scandal. Homeopathy works for the well understood and scientific reason that people feel better after a caring chat with a trained listener and are given a sugar pill. If that is a cost effective treatment, and it probably is, then maybe we should provide it, but it is insulting and dangerous to dress it up in hocus-pocus which means that mean that real illnesses go untreated. I note that Jayne Thomas, the vice-chairman of the Society of Homeopaths, added: "If a patient was seriously ill, any genuine homeopathic practitioner would encourage them to visit a GP." Quite - it doesn't bloody work! If it did it wouldn't be called alternative medicine, it would just be called medicine.
Of course I have always understood the reason the NHS funds the quacks so lavishly is that The Royal Family are ardent believers in it and no one wants to upset them.
Central England Temperature - Warmer and windier
Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, is to declare that Britain has warmed significantly in the past 30 years and violent storms are a regular occurrence.
He will unveil a report showing that the annual average temperature in central England has risen by about 1C since the 1970s.
It will also show that 2006 was the warmest year of the past three decades and that average sea surface temperatures around Britain have risen by 0.7C over the same period.
Violent "windstorms" have become more common in the past 20 years, but the level is only as high as it was at the beginning of the last century.
We are lucky that the role of "adjustments" in the record have been comprehensively debated here by a leading "sceptic" and by the expert from the Met Office.
The longer term view was also sent to me thus:
Our own correspondent writes:
The constant mantra is "increasing incidence of extremes", so I also decided to look at temperature frequency and broke the record into basic bands. You can see these results in the charts as well, including seasonal results and in fact the opposite is true, the range of extreme temperatures has narrowed.
The long temperature improvement from the 19th C is apparent, there is no run away warming, we just don't get the desperately cold years of the past As you noted, the lack of low temperature (Tmin), is driving the situation, rather than any run-away top temperatures. This could well be the result of urbanisation as tarmac etc re-radiates heat at night. The station changes may also be significant latterly.
December 6, 2007
The Devil is in the detail
Damn his early morning blogging - of course he is dragging his exhausted body to bed after a night of debauchery whilst I am risen fresh and virtuous ready to face the hopeful dawn with a clear conscience and an old man's prostate - but jealousy aside do follow his lead and also read his succinct conclusion.
December 5, 2007
Encouraging fly tipping
Households have been forced to pay a total £1.5 million in the last year for breaking bin laws, it was reported last night.
The number of penalties issued has gone up by a third over the last 12 months as local authorities impose strict rules on household rubbish
According to figures from councils, almost 44,000 people have been given fines of up to £100 for offences ranging from leaving their rubbish out on the wrong day or putting black plastic bags alongside their wheelie bins.
You might as well just fly tip it in the nearest hedge - the penalty is just the same but you are much less likely to be caught - now that is a result for the environment isn't it?
December 4, 2007
And the Weather today is...
The northeastern United States was blanketed and drivers faced a mix of rain, sleet and snow as the wind gusted up to 40mph (65km/h). Schools cancelled or delayed classes from New York to Maine.
It is a good job Al Gore flew out of the area a couple of days ago or he might not have been able to make it to Bali for the Globular Warning Fest...
December 3, 2007
Captain Ahab's Satellite Record
Around 1815 whaling ships in Arctic waters reported an unprecedented break-up of sea ice off the east coast of Greenland, leading to fevered speculation that new shipping routes might become available. “A considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions,” the president of the Royal Society, London, wrote to the Admiralty in 1817. “New sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past.”
This incident was used by David Bellamy (Comment, October 22) to illustrate how the climate has fluctuated dramatically throughout history. Clearly, the disappearance of Arctic ice in the early 1800s happened long before cars, planes and many other sources of man-made global warming, so it must have been natural. Satellite research reveals that the Arctic Ocean circulation can sometimes reverse and push sea ice out of one area and into another quite naturally over decades.
The current collapse of the Arctic icecap, however, is entirely different from that of the 1800s. It is far more widespread, sustained and dramatic and a very worrying sign of a global climate change.
Yep - the satellite data research from the 1800s shows it was completely different! You wouldn't expect The Times' pet Climate Change theorist to say anything different, and having taken six weeks to respond to David Bellamy he has obviously done his research. I wonder when he will get back to us on the Antarctic Ice Record...
Some Bali Hope
Carbon footprint fears for UN climate summit - Telegraph
The 15,000 politicians, civil servants, green and industry lobbyists and journalists who will fly in are estimated to emit the equivalent of more than 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the annual emissions of the African state of Chad.
The UN organisers and Indonesian government will announce a plan to offset the emissions of the whole conference by planting millions of trees.
But tree planting is not a form of carbon offsetting accepted by the British government or the UN’s climate change experts
That's the bad news, here's the good news..
Bali Tsunami & Earthquake Risk
It is an unfortunate fact that the very same fault line which caused the December 26th 2004 tsunami, where the Eurasia plate pushes over the Australia plate, runs just south of Bali. It is also a chilling thought that Bali's main tourist areas are just 20 minutes away from a similar tsunami should a similar earthquake occur in the wrong place. But what makes this even more worrying is that some experts in Europe have indicated such a quake may be long overdue and perhaps hastened by the extra tension created between the plates just off south Sumatra, Java and Bali by the December 2004 disaster.
I'm the man jumping up and down here in the hope of triggering it there....
November 30, 2007
And now for something completely different.
November 28, 2007
Permits to Travel under the eye of Big Carbon Brother
Global warming provides a perfect alibi for those who seek to curtail our essential liberties.
Restricting the ability of citizens to travel is clearly an unpopular strategy for any politician to advance but if if comes from the left and done in the name of “Saving the Planet” then it is likely to win sympathetic media treatment and so become a real political possibility.The UK Government is not just interested in using global warming to raise new green taxes and to further hike fuel costs, but it is also contemplating allocating “personal carbon allowances.” The way these work is that you will be granted a fixed amount of carbon to use each year. Each time you travel in a plane, buy petrol, go shopping or eat out would be recorded on a plastic card. The more frugal could sell spare carbon allowances to those who want to “indulge” themselves. But if you were to run out of your carbon allowance, you could be barred from flying or driving.
The government will thus be able to prevent its citizens from traveling both inside and outside the United Kingdom under the guise of managing carbon allowances.
In this way the pursuance of the global warming agenda by scheming politicians can actually represent the greatest imaginable threat to the liberty of the people of the United Kingdom.
November 26, 2007
The Jolly Farmer
The farm crunch has been creeping up on the world for 20 years. Food output has risen at 1.3pc a year: the number of mouths at 1.35pc.
What has abruptly changed is the twin revolution of biofuel politics and Asia's switch to an animal-protein diet. Together, they have shattered the fragile equilibrium.
The world's grocery bill has jumped 21pc this year to $745bn (｣355bn), hence the food riots ripping through West Africa, Morocco, Yemen, Bengal, and Indonesia....
Malthus may yet be outwitted. Fuel cells and solar panels may come to the rescue. GM crops may gives us another Green Revolution. The price of oil may crash again, cooling the biofuel craze for another cycle.
Rich countries will not starve. But as Japan's Marubeni Institute warns, they may face a return to post-War food rationing long before the world population peaks in the middle of the century.
Investors who want to take advantage of agflation must tread with care, both for moral reasons and questions of timing. Grains have already had a torrid run for the past two years.
My colleague Tom Stevenson recommends Hugh Hendry's CF Eclectica Agriculture fund. Or there are the big agro-industrial giants such as Bunge, ADM, or Südzucker. Or just buy land.
November 23, 2007
Back to the future
For those who do not accept my interpretation that the IPCC wants America to solve global warming by reverting our economy to look just like India's, check out this article from Reuters (ht: Reference Frame)
French towns worried about fuel prices, pollution and striking transport workers need look no further than the horse.
Horses are a possible alternative for vehicles such as school buses ...and aid street sweeping...., say groups eager to pick up on global concerns about eco-friendly transport.
I'm quite happy for essential duties such as delivering Wadworth's Beers to be horse powered...
But school buses? Doesn't anyone think of the injury rate from horse drawn vehicles, and as for aiding street sweeping! It will be back to age of Crossing Sweepers.
November 20, 2007
Stephen Fry backs the wrong horse
Stephen Fry » Blog Archive » Getting Overheated
...the one overwhelming fact about the great climate debate is what’s at stake. Not scientific reputation, not the fortunes and comforts of capitalists and their populations, not pride or reputation but our very civilization.
So let’s break it broadly down to three responses to such a cataclysmic prophecy of doom.
There is Response A. Type A believes the preponderance of established scientific evidence. ...
Then there is Type B. Type Bs do not believe this. They think the evidence is wrong, misinterpreted, flawed, misrepresented, unconvincing, not to be acted upon.....
Type C says: “I cannot possibly know. I hear this from one side and that from another. Both seem convinced, both seem to be marshalling impressive technical figures to their side. I cannot make a judgment.”
Obviously there are views that shade between the three categories but in essence you either believe, deny or sit on the fence.
The consequence of these responses runs something like this: A, the believer, will, or at least should, attempt to do something about the threat they believe in: I mean, look what’s at stake, how can they not?....
B meanwhile will carry on as if nothing is different, for as far as he is concerned, nothing is. Bs only wish they could survive long enough to see the smug self-righteous sorrowful smile wiped from A’s face when in a hundred years it is made plain that there never was any great threat to the climate, to the environment or the ecosystem and that at worst it was a conspiracy of anti-capitalists and at best a muddled, credulous screw up.
And C? .. Well they, of course, are functionally exactly the same as B. They do not know. Case isn’t proven, so why should they vote for massive changes to the way the world does business, massive alterations to the convenience and pleasures of our way of life, just on a 50/50 hunch?
Ah, but that’s the point. It’s what’s at stake that matters in a bet like this.
If B is wrong and there really is a threat of the kind A claims, then not doing anything about it will destroy human habitations, make extinct many species, and fundamentally alter our habitats around the planet.
But if A is wrong and actually there is no threat, then acting as if there was will have what consequences? It will have saved fuel bills all over the world, reduced noxious emissions which, even if one doesn’t believe in global warming, are unpleasant pollutants in anyone’s reckoning, and slowed down the day when we find that the fossil fuels have run out. Action would have given us more time to find alternatives. To be fair, it will also have slowed down world growth and inconvenienced all of us in our personal lives and if A Types do turn to have been wrong they may well owe the world an apology and it’ll be red faces (and a brake in the inexorable rise in world economic growth and fuel mineral use) all round.
But surely that’s a small price to pay for backing a losing horse when the stakes are the planet itself?
Doing nothing risks everything and gains comparatively little, doing something risks comparatively little and gains the whole world. Surely you’d have to be an idiot not to back the believers in this instance.
Calling Tim Worstall! He is the man who can explain far better than me the true "costs" of backing the "believers" and the true gains of "doing nothing". They are not "little", they are not just about slipping on a warmer Cardigan in rather nice house as you turn down the thermostat a notch, they are about life and death and a decent life for millions of people. If you really care for humanity and its future, you need to be damn sure before condemning the poor to misery that it is the best and only option.
When Junk Science collides with Deference to Authority
Over here in Blighty the battle against Creationism has been won, odd pockets of resistance flare up but the scientific consensus, the education system, the political parties and churches are all Darwinian. As are the sceptics, to be a creationist isn't the mark of an enquiring mind, an individualist but of a fundamentalist religious nutter. So the sceptics all gather round the climate change debate.
Not so in the States where "Authority" is not clear cut on Evolution, and it is all hands to the pumps to push the scientific truth of it. Sceptics line up side by side with the "scientific consensus and method" in the battle against ignorance.
The Al Gorian school of Climate Change is backed by most of the "Authorities" on both sides of the pond. In the UK because there is no history of the "sceptical" and "scientific" community manning the barricades together, shoulder to shoulder in defence of truth against the creationist authorities, there is no surprise in them taking opposite sides of the road with regards to "Climate Change". The vehemence and anger shown by the US biologist blogging community to the climate sceptics has shocked and saddened me. In the UK even the Conservative Party is solidly Green, so sceptics can't be rightly or wrongly identified with the big right wing party. Scepticism is the badge of the individual who rejects the "Deference to Authority" argument and demands proof rather than relying on faith. It is a pity that all scientists aren't sceptics, because without scepticism there is no science.
But enough words, here's my first stab at the obligatory graphic; where do you fit in?
On the stump
Heather Mills launched her new vegan campaign yesterday by asking: "Why don't we drink rat's milk?''
The estranged wife of Sir Paul McCartney posed the question at the launch of a campaign by animal rights organisation Viva, which claims that dairy and meat products are a major cause of greenhouse gases.
The campaign includes a billboard images of Mills beside the slogans, "Hey Meaty, you're making me so hot!'' and "You haven't got a leg to stand on!''.
Sometimes the idea of wearing a pork chop as a medallion around your neck becomes even more attractive as it would ward off this nutter as effectively as the old silver cross saw off Béla Lugosi. If Macca had regularly chewed down on a decent rump steak think how much money he would have saved!
November 19, 2007
Start lining the animals up in twos
The flood associated with the story of Noah's Ark led to the spread of agriculture across Europe, researchers have discovered....
Prof Chris Turney, of Exeter University, the lead author of the paper in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews, said: "As these communities moved west, they would have taken farming with them across Europe. It was a revolutionary time.
"It also teaches something about what we can expect for the sea level rises expected by the end of this century."
Oh good, I'm glad someone else has done the maths on how whether the Noah's Ark plan will work.
I note though that The Devil is less impressed by the cheery thought of Porto Banus being drowned...
November 17, 2007
IPCC AR4 - The Summary
“Climate Change 2007”, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), is about to be released, stand by for a tsunami of doom.
November 16, 2007
The Bin Bugs are back
...the Government, keen to avoid huge EU fines for failing to recycle enough rubbish and to reduce the amount dumped in landfill, yesterday unveiled proposals for trial pay-as-you-throw schemes.
Joan Ruddock, the waste minister, invited up to five town halls to apply to start imposing what she called "incentives" on households to collect their waste.....
everyone could face higher council taxes as town halls struggled to fund the new schemes – potentially involving "spy in the bin" microchips in wheelie bins.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimates that start-up costs for pay-as-you-throw schemes will be up £200,000 per council, with annual running costs between £200,000 and £500,000. If the schemes were rolled out across Britain, Defra says they could cost up to £60 million a year on average...
Too good a chance to mulct us more to pass up. Whilst I won't welcome the increase rubbish dumped in my gateways I will welcome the debate it opens up of only paying for council services I actually use, the rumbles are starting...
November 15, 2007
Calling Bill Oddie
The issue is being addressed today when the Scottish Homing Union (SHU), which represents 3,700 pigeon fanciers, meets Mike Russell, the environment minister, to ask for a cull of sparrowhawks. The SHU says it has lost a fifth of its members in the past four years after sparrowhawks targeted their lofts. Prize pigeons worth up to £100,000 have been killed.
Fanciers say up to 70,000 prize racing birds are eaten alive every year in Scotland and are calling on the Scottish Government to license the trapping and humane culling of sparrowhawks.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Scotland opposes any cull.
Tricky thing nature, red in tooth and claw, yet another point of friction of where our interests interact with it. We like to believe we are disinterested observers and can just watch it all be lovely as long as we don't interfere, we aren't, we are part of it.
November 12, 2007
Continuation of the previous post, hat tip to a commenter...
BBC NEWS | UK | UK 'landfill dustbin of Europe'
Monday, 12 November 2007
The UK is the "dustbin of Europe", according to a new study.
A NEW study no less...
Households sent more than 22.6 million tonnes of rubbish to landfill in the most recent year in which comparable figures were available across the EU.
Council leaders warn that an area the size of Warwick - 109 square miles - is already used as landfill..
Gosh, rings a bell...
BBC NEWS | UK | 'Dustbin' UK tops landfill table
Sunday, 7 January 2007
The UK dumps more household waste into landfill than any other EU state, according to figures.
It disposes of more than 27m tonnes of waste in this way each year - 7m more than any other country, the Local Government Association (LGA) says.
This makes the UK the "dustbin of Europe", it says.
An area the size of Warwick - 109 sq miles - is now landfill
How things have changed since January!
Councillor Paul Bettison, chairman of the LGA's Environment Board, said: "For decades people have been used to being able to throw their rubbish away without worrying about the consequences. Those days are now over."
Paul Bettison, chairman of the LGA's environment board, said: "For decades people have been used to being able to throw their rubbish away without worrying about the consequences. Those days are now over."
The BBC, it's the unique way it's funded that makes it the leading news provider...
Is only six inches a problem?
BBC NEWS | UK | Britain now 'dustbin of Europe'
Households sent more than 22.6 million tonnes of rubbish to landfill in the most recent year in which comparable figures were available across the EU.
Council leaders warn that an area the size of Warwick - 109 square miles - is already used as landfill.
109 square miles = 282 308 704 m2.
Density of rubbish - 481 kg/cu.m
22.6 million tonnes = 46 985 447 cu.m
46 985 447 / 282 308 704 = 0.166432867
Look guys I think the problem might be that you are only filling the landfills to 16 cm depth, that is six inches in real money, no wonder it is spread out all over Warwick. It is either that or the alarmist report is rubbish
Bouyant Forecast on Sea Levels
A global warning for UN chief from the ice floes at the foot of the world - Times Online
Scientists welcomed Ban Ki Moon to Antarctica with a glass of Johnny Walker Black Label served “on the rocks” with 40,000-year-old polar ice. But the researchers delivered an alarming message to the UN Secretary-General about a potential environmental catastrophe that could raise sea levels by six metres if an ice sheet covering a fifth of the continent crumbles.
The polar experts, studying the effects of global warming on the icy continent that is devoted to science, fear a repeat of the 2002 collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf. The 12,000-year-old shelf was 220 metres (720ft) thick and almost the size of Yorkshire.
“I was told by scientists that the entire Western Antarctica is now floating. That is a fifth of the continent. If it broke up, sea levels may rise as much as six metres,” Mr Ban said
Um - how much did the level of his scotch rise as the floating ice cubes melted? Quite. You would have thought he might have remembered Archimedes before opining on sea level rises as he did. And how many metres did the sea rise from the collapse of Larsen B? Not even the level of a decent finger of scotch.
November 10, 2007
Whether it's the health of the planet or of its human inhabitants, it seems we have to learn every generation about the pain and suffering inflicted when we act on improperly-understood "science" -- and, thus, the need to employ a cautionary, evidence-based approach to basing public policy on boldly-asserted scientific truth.
An article in the current American Thinker deals with global warming,...
Trofimko Lysenko is not a household name; but it should be, because he was the model for all the Politically Correct "science" in the last hundred years. Lysenko was Stalin's favorite agricultural "scientist," peddling the myth that crops could be just trained into growing bigger and better. You didn't have to breed better plants over generations, as farmers have been doing for ages. It was a fantasy of the all-powerful Soviet State. Lysenko sold Stalin on that fraud in plant genetics, and Stalin told Soviet scientists to fall into line --- in spite of the fact that nobody really believed it. Hundreds of thousands of peasants starved during Stalin's famines, in good part because of fraudulent science.
The account continues on global warming, but my point is the broader one: politically-correct science may not be scientifically-correct science and relying on PC science (junk science) risks disasters like that engineered by Stalin. That's true for environmental science. And it's true for nutrition science.
Appropriately the next item on the blog is another must read as well, if only the art grad science journalists would!
November 9, 2007
Adjusting the data against climate change auditors
Steve McIntyre's self-financed blog Climate Audit has done a lot to ensure accountability and responsibility among the well-financed and trendy ranks of climate scientists. It is fitting that his blog should win this years Best Science Blog award. Results so far are tentative, pending review.
Results at close of play - number of votes and percentage:
Bad Astronomy Blog: 18806 36.1%
Climate Audit: 20098 38.6%
Now several hours later after the polls have closed:
Bad Astronomy Blog: 20683 37.6%
Climate Audit: 20638 37.5%
Obviously some adjustments are ongoing....
November 8, 2007
A Lib Dem Press Release
David Cameron’s alliance with Czech President Vaclav Klaus exposes the shallowness of his commitment to the environment, the Liberal Democrats said today.
The Conservative leader is meeting with Mr Klaus before the Czech President delivers a speech entitled ‘The Problematic Side of Global Warming Alarmism’ at Chatham House.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, Chris Huhne MP said:
"David Cameron’s alliance with Vaclav Klaus’ party shows how shallow his credentials to tackle climate change are.
"Cameron has failed to build the important partnership with green Christian Democrat leaders like Angela Merkel, while striking poses with a Czech conservative who denies the need to tackle climate change at all.
"Nothing could underline more the Tories’ abject confusion about using Europe as a key tool in the fight against climate change."
Best news I have heard about Cameron for ages - keep it up Dave!
November 6, 2007
Another angle on denrochronology.
Climate Audit is doing stirling work re-examining tree ring data to see what they tell us about the past climate. There has been quite a bit of discussion as to how damaged bark areas affect subsequent ring growth. To help you visualise it here is one of my logs.
Click for larger version
As you can see twenty years ago something happened to the tree and the resultant rings are uneven. If you imagine coring the tree from different angles you can see how very different data would be obtained. From some places it would show a definite increase in growth, and hence warmer temperatures, and from others a constant or decreasing rate.
The battle to deal with climate change needs to be fought like "World War Three", the head of the Environment Agency has warned.
"This is World War Three - this is the biggest challenge to face the globe for many, many years. We need the sorts of concerted, fast, integrated and above all huge efforts that went into many actions in times of war.
"We're dealing with this as if it is peacetime, but the time for peace on climate change is gone - we need to be seeing this as a crisis and emergency," she said. The Environment Secretary also called on individuals to take "small steps" such as changing their lightbulbs and walking more.
Yes that is how we defeated the Hun, changed our lightbulbs.
Wartime emergencies justify wartime measures, which is why Governments love them. Ask yourself one question, how have you or your family suffered so far from climate change? Can you name one thing?
This is where I live - it is a 360 photo from the hill above my house, can you spot it?
Of course I'm an environmentalist, of course I care about the environment. If I see you dropping litter then you better be well lubed up as I will insert it back into you; nail something to a tree and you will believe that Easter has come early as you do your Jesus on Calvary impression; and poison my children with your pollution? You better like the taste of the hospital food you can be fed through a straw.
But I will not be beaten back to the stone age on the unscientific guesses of a bunch of half wits. They lost when they preached International Socialism, let's make sure they lose again under their new disguise.
November 5, 2007
For science's sake your vote is needed.
Vote for the Blog that Changed US Climate History ｫ Watts Up With That?
Vote for best science weblog here; and if so inclined, click on Climate Audit. Voting is permitted once every 24 hours. Vote early, vote often.
And if that isn't enough go an read some of the Pharyngula: Commentsto see how the auditing and scepticism of the holy book according to Algore is received. Vote to show them.
November 4, 2007
Lomberg review reviewed.
Cool It: The Sceptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming by Bjorn Lomborg review | Reviewed by Richard Girling
Lomborg’s view is that the cost of fighting climate change cannot be justified by the likely benefit, and that there are more pressing problems for the world to throw money at. .... His calculator tells him that applying the Kyoto protocol would cost $23 for every tonne of CO2 saved, and would return only $2 worth of “good”. “Maybe,” he wonders, “we could have done more good for the world with those $23 elsewhere?”
A platoon of “top-level economists” helps him demonstrate that money would be better spent fighting disease and malnutrition, providing sanitation and clean water, and dismantling trade barriers....
A pretty good summary - but it is too much for our tree loving writer...
In any perceived conflict between present and future, the present will always win – that is the nature of politics. It takes an economist to argue that one global crisis should be competitively costed against another and that the bottom line is bingo.....
Lomborg makes a valuable contribution to the economics of good intention – we need to know we are not in for a cheap and easy ride. But he rests his case on a relatively modest rate of global warming (2.6C by 2100, against the 7C feared by some climatologists), and skates over the fact that the bleakest predictions come from the scientists with the longest CVs, who are neither idiots nor enemies of the free world. There remains only one answer to how much we should be prepared to pay to avert the risk of catastrophe: whatever it costs.
Oh dear Lord, what is the point of such a review? "Whatever it costs?" just in case, without reservation or cavil. I don't know what it is like in Mr Girling's world but out here money isn't infinite and spending has to be prioritised, and future benefits discounted to present day values. That is true for the weekly trip to Waitrose, and for the planet. And if you can't grasp this simple point and that Lomberg is trying to make campaigners to wake up and realise that then the review is a waste of dead trees.
Scares and politicians
By Christopher Booker and Richard North
What more do I need to say apart from "must read".
October 31, 2007
30% chance of a forecast being useful.
Forecasts will probably be less chaotic in the future - Times Online
What are the chances of rain today? For most of the UK only a few isolated, patchy showers are expected, but western Scotland will be thoroughly wet. This is fairly clear, but the Met Office would like to add the chances of what the weather will bring. For today there would be a 10 per cent chance of rain for most of us, but 90 per cent chance in western Scotland.
However, there are worries that people might not understand probabilities. “Scattered showers” could become a 30 per cent likelihood of rain – but is that 30 per cent of the country, or time, or are the forecasters simply guessing?
Probabilities in the forecasts show how much uncertainty there is in the weather. Some days the weather is more chaotic than others, and meteorologists measure this by running their forecasts repeatedly, each time making small changes to the observations fed into their computers. If 30 per cent of the resulting forecasts predict rain, that means a 30 per cent chance of it happening.
So 30% means it might rain in 3 out of 10 predictions - not that it will rain for 3 out of 10 hours or 3 out of 10 places, in other words pretty useless if you are rely on the forecast to plan anything. And how to they change the "observations" - either it is raining at the Biscay station or it isn't, or was the word he was looking for "guesses"? Still it is a good job they are trying to forecast only 24 hours ahead not long term trends, isn't it....
October 30, 2007
Greens trump Brown
Bin tax muddle leaves green policy in disarray - Telegraph
Gordon Brown's green policies were thrown into confusion yesterday after ministers confirmed that they would be pushing ahead with pilot schemes for controversial new "pay-as-you-throw" bin taxes.
The Prime Minister had been anxious to distance himself from what he saw as unpopular "waste taxes" – which could cost typical households £250 a year – and No 10 claimed last night that plans for new schemes would not be rolled out across the country.
But Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, announced that powers to set up pilot schemes for charging households who put out more waste would be included in the Climate Change Bill, sparking allegations of Cabinet disarray on the issue.
The U-turn was the latest sign of Mr Brown's fear of introducing new green taxes that are seen as disastrous electorally but are being heavily promoted within Whitehall as essential to any programme to
mulct the people of every last penny they can avert climate change.
We don't care if Gordon loses - coz we get to save the world (and our salaries...)
Ruth Kelly, the Transport Secretary, will announce plans for households to get "personal travel plans" aimed at cutting the amount of carbon dioxide they produced.
Informationen zu den Reisedokumenten - Damit der Ausweis ausgestellt werden kann, ist die persönliche Vorsprache in einem regionalen Erfassungszentrum zur Erhebung der biometrischen Daten (Gesichtsbild) zwingend notwendig. Wir bitten Sie, frühestens 5 Arbeitstage nach der Antragstellung, telefonisch mit einem Erfassungszentrum einen Termin zu vereinbaren.
October 29, 2007
The Convenient Truth
Coyote Blog's first climate movie, What is Normal? A Critique of Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming Theory is now available for free download. If you have the bandwidth, he encourages you to download the full 640x480 version as Windows Media Video, but be forewarned that the file is 258MB. This is actually a pretty small file for a 50 minute movie, and the full resolution version looks much nicer than the streaming version.
"Make sure you turn up your volume -- I think I recorded this with a pretty low audio level."
If you are bandwidth-challenged, or you can't view a .WMV file, you may stream the video from Google video or download a reduced resolution version here. Unfortunately, to make the video stream effectively, the resolution is cut to 320x240, but having watched it, it still looks surprisingly good streamed.
Note, on the streaming version, the video stutters between the 12 and 17 second marks in the movie, but runs fine after that.
October 28, 2007
Eat your greens
Eat your words, all who scoff at organic food - Times Online
one conclusion is clear: organically produced crops and dairy milk usually contain more “beneficial compounds” - such as vitamins and antioxidants believed to help to combat disease.
"We have a general trend in the data that says there are more good things in organic food,”
...up to 40% more beneficial compounds in vegetable crops and up to 90% more in milk..
...the results show significant variations, with some conventional crops having larger quantities of some vitamins than organic crops. But researchers confirm that the overall trend is that organic fruit, vegetables and milk are more likely to have beneficial compounds...
So not quite as clearcut as the headline suggests - seems to be a lot of weasel words in the report of the report... I'm quite happy to believe that slow grown stuff has more goodness and flavour than forcefed veg pumped up with water, But that isn't what the campaigners are claiming...
Biofuels - farmers and greenies vs. the hungry
Europe pursues biofuel creativity - USATODAY.com
The European Union .. proposed mandate to fill 10% of its transportation energy needs with biofuels by 2020. Europe lags behind the United States and Brazil in ethanol, but production of biodiesel has soared, reflecting Europeans' preference for fuel-efficient diesel cars.
...$80 million that the U.S. Department of Energy will invest in a Poet LLC distillery in Emmetsburg, Iowa, that will be upgraded to convert corncobs into ethanol. It is among six cellulosic ethanol projects nationwide awarded a total of $385 million.
Congress also is considering additional assistance to private investors in such projects: $2 billion in loan guarantees, a special 50-cent-a gallon subsidy to go on top of the existing subsidy for conventional ethanol, and a mandate that U.S. motorists use 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022.
The European Union, which consists of 27 countries with a combined population of 500 million, won't meet a goal of getting 5.75% of its transportation fuel from renewable sources by 2010.
The mandatory 2020 target that the EU is considering is more realistic, experts say. That target would require 15 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel, according to a recent European Commission study. That's more modest than the 36-billion-gallon mandate that passed the U.S. Senate this summer.
...Biodiesel has been the renewable fuel of choice in Europe. Europeans are buying more diesel cars because of their increased fuel efficiency, and biodiesel can be made from rapeseed, known in North America as canola, an oilseed crop well suited to Europe.
Many farmers started growing rapeseed because of a requirement that they take 10% of their land out of production of food crops. The European Union also offers farmers a subsidy of $25 per acre to grow rapeseed. European Union countries produced 1.4 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2006, up from 928 million gallons in 2005.
It's not clear how much is being spent in Europe on cellulosic ethanol, because funding for individual projects is left to national governments. The International Institute for Sustainable Development, based in Switzerland, estimates at least $36 million was spent on research and development in 2006. The European Commission spends $14 million a year on biofuel research with plans to increase that by 50%.
In other news:
An independent United Nations investigator has described the biofuels race as a crime against humanity, and called for a five year moratorium on their use.
Jean Ziegler is the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food says converting crops such as maize, wheat and sugar into fuels was driving up the prices of food, land and water. (A Special Rapporteur is an investigator and monitor with responsibility for recommending actions.)
Ziegler says the price of wheat has doubled in just one year and if food crop prices continue to increase, poor countries will no longer be able to import enough food for their people. A major factor in soaring crop prices is the drive to convert more crops into biofuel, reducing developed countries' reliance on fossil fuels. Much of the boom is occurring in the US.
"It is a crime against humanity to convert agricultural productive soil into soil which produces food stuff that will be burned into biofuel," said Ziegler.
While acknowledging the legitimacy of arguments in favour of biofuels, specifically in terms of energy efficiency and combating climate change, he argues the effect of transforming food crops such as wheat and maize into agricultural fuel is "absolutely catastrophic" for hungry people and will negatively impact the realisation of the right to food.
Ziegler believes biofuels will only lead to further hunger in a world where an estimated 854 million people, one out of six, already suffer from the scourge. An estimated 100,000 people die from hunger or malnutrition every day. Yet, as Ziegler pointed out quoting UN Food and Agriculture Organization figures, the world already produces enough food to feed twice its current population.
"All causes of hunger are man-made, it's a problem of access, not overpopulation or underproduction, and can be changed by human decision," Ziegler said.
Piste Off Climate Change
The naked slopes that plagued Europe's alpine resorts last year appeared to sound the death knell for many of them. But, a year on, the picture could not be more different.
Skiers were this weekend gearing up for a bumper season after slopes began to open more than six weeks before the official start to the season.
Pistes in Austria boasted pristine conditions after early falls and low temperatures left resorts blanketed with snow.
A report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released last December warned that climate change could make family ski holidays a thing of the past within two decades.
October 25, 2007
Brazilian slash and burn threatens species by habitat destruction
The article, titled "Did the Brazilian Kill the Pubic Louse?" found that crabs rates had fallen first in women, and several years later in men in Leeds even as rates of other sexual ailments were flat or rising. The authors hypothesized that the bikini wax known as "The Brazilian" that removes all or most pubic hair, might be to blame.
Moeliker said that in essence, the lice's habitat is being threatened.
"When the bamboo forests that the Giant Panda lives in were cut down, the bear became threatened with extinction. Pubic lice can't live without pubic hair."
The Rotterdam Natural History Museum has appealed for somebody — anybody — to give it a single crab louse for its collection, amid fears they may be dying out....
So that is why the soap dodgers don't depilate, it is to save an endangered species or two.
October 24, 2007
Doomed, we are all doomed
Rising temperatures could wipe out more than half of the earth's species in the next few centuries, according to researchers who published a study on Wednesday linking climate change to past mass extinctions.
... The upper end of the IPCC forecast rise would heat the earth close to the temperatures of 250 million years ago, when 95 percent of all animal and plant species became extinct, Mayhew said.
Some of the past mass extinctions happened over a brief few hundred years, providing evidence that present day rapid temperature rises could have the same impact, Mayhew said.
"It does give us an idea of what to expect in the near future," he said. "There is nothing that says it couldn't happen in a short timescale."
So these rapid rises in the past, what caused them?
October 23, 2007
New research doubts Keeling's CO2 measurement
New CO2 evidence means climate change predictions are 'too optimistic' - Times Online
Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing much faster and will be harder to control than scientists have predicted, a study has found.
An international team of researchers has found that, since 2000, the rate at which CO2 has been pumped into the atmosphere is 35 per cent greater than most climate change models have allowed for.Recent research has also noticed a reduction in the ability of the oceans and the land to absorb carbon.
The problem with the seas was identified this year in the Southern Ocean, where winds driven by climate change are bringing carbon-saturated waters to the surface, which are unable to absorb any more carbon.
The conclusions have serious implications for forecasts of how much and how quickly the world’s temperature will rise and mean that global warming will be harder and more expensive to control than feared. The results also mean that international efforts to bring CO2 emissions under control will need to be more far-reaching.
Professor Nicholas Owens, of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), said that the findings were so worrying that they made previous widely accepted forecasts of climate change seem unduly optimistic......
So all that extra CO2 - what has it done to the temperature since 2000?
NCDC: Global Long-term Mean Land and Sea Surface Temperatures
Estimates of mean monthly global surface temperatures with respect to the 20th century average (1901-2000).
Yup - Bugger all.
And this research shows "Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing much faster.."
but dear old Keeling, the daddy of CO2 measurements, doesn't seem to show this - go and look at the data and graphics here
So what is going on? Is Keeling and the whole CO2 measurement network wrong? And why won't the bloody temperature behave itself and follow the script?
October 22, 2007
Proudly waving the heretic's flag
Today’s forecast: yet another blast of hot air | David Bellamy - Times Online
I am happy to be branded a heretic because throughout history heretics have stood up against dogma based on the bigotry of vested interests. But I don’t like being smeared as a denier because deniers don’t believe in facts. The truth is that there are no facts that link the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide with imminent catastrophic global warming.
While others will react to The Times publishing his views as though he was farting in front of the Queen, it seems to be more evidence that maybe, just maybe, the Climate Change bandwagon has jumped the shark
October 21, 2007
In Praise of Carbon
The soft powder that is lamp black,
the amorphous stick of charcoal
with which Leonardo first sketched the outline of a mysterious woman.
The hardest of sparkling crystals
nestling between the soft breasts of other women who changed history,
yet which has been crucial to high technology.
The smooth flaky centre of the draughtsman’s pencil
that also lubricated the workings of his mechanical designs
and the new nanostructures of unimaginable possibilities (fullerines, buckyballs, nanotubes etc.)
are all chemically identical.
John Brignell for the rest.
October 18, 2007
Thoughtcrime against the scientific consensus
A speaking tour by the DNA pioneer James Watson was thrown into chaos last night when one of Britain's most high-profile scientific institutions announced it was cancelling a planned sell-out appearance.
The Science Museum in London said "...the Science Museum does not shy away from debating controversial topics.
"However, the Science Museum feels that Nobel Prize winner James Watson's recent comments have gone beyond the point of acceptable debate and we are as a result cancelling his talk at the museum."
Dr Watson's comments in The Sunday Times have overshadowed the visit and caused an outcry from across the worlds of science, politics and the anti-racism lobby. He said he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa ... because all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really ". The new Human Rights and Equality Commission, which has the power to investigate alleged infringements of race laws, has said it is studying Dr Watson's comments "in full".
I know no more of Dr Watson's claims than I read above, but there is test data to support his theory and the whole study of race and intelligence is a valid scientific field, even if it attracts the nutjobs to the fringes of it. Dr Watson's remarks don't seem to be calling for violence or racist acts, just "unacceptable".
This intolerance of thoughtcrime against the "consensus", and remember we are talking the musings of a notable scientist not a lonely blogger, reminds us of the fragility of freedom of expression.
As Junkfood Science tells us:
A thought piece appeared in the Financial Times examining what is science and why it is so critical for us to distinguish it from scientific consensus. Author John Kay writes:
...Consensus is a political concept, not a scientific one. Consensus finds a way through conflicting opinions and interests. Consensus is achieved when the outcome of discussion leaves everyone feeling they have been given enough of what they want. The processes of proper science could hardly be more different. The accomplished politician is a negotiator, a conciliator, finding agreement where none seemed to exist. The accomplished scientist is an original, an extremist, disrupting established patterns of thought. Good science involves perpetual, open debate, in which every objection is aired and dissents are sharpened and clarified, not smoothed over.
And how many of our leaders would like to see the same intolerance shown to "climate change deniers?" or "healthy food doubters"?
October 16, 2007
Hot Air Causes More Ice
Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in France and western Europe, has grown more than two metres in two years - ironically as a result of global warming, experts have found....
The volume of ice on Mont Blanc's slopes has almost doubled since 2005 to reach 24,100 cubic metres this year, while snow has built up due to greater frequency of winds and higher temperatures in the summer, believed to be cause by global warming.
The phenomenon appears to go against the trend of sparser snow and ice on other European peaks that is a great concern to ski resorts and ski lovers.
Yep, just got to love that globular warning that causes more snow and less snow all at the same time and it is all bad news...
October 15, 2007
Algore's threat to my morning cup of tea - you have gone too far now!
The UHT route to long-life planet - Times Online
It’s enough to put the nation off breakfast. Civil servants have suggested that Britons put long-life milk in tea and pour it on their cornflakes to save the planet from global warming.
Officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have made a serious proposal that consumers switch to UHT (Ultra-High Temperature or Ultra-Heat Treated) milk to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It is part of a government strategy to ensure that some 90 per cent of milk on sale will not require refrigeration by 2020. That most shoppers would not even know where to find UHT milk in shops (the cartons are discreetly placed near baking ingredients) does not seem to have deterred government strategists. The move would mean a big shift from fresh-milk consumption to long life. In Britain 93 per cent of milk sold is fresh. UHT, powdered milk and baby milk make up the rest of the market.
The plan is set out in a government paper, seen by The Times, that was sent out last month to farmers’ leaders and the dairy industry. The “milk road map” is intended to help a dairy industry committee set up to work out the carbon footprint for milk and dairy products and to identify ways of reducing that footprint.
And we pay their wages to come up with moronic ideas like that! The availability of fresh milk for breakfast delivered to my door is one of the few remaining advantages this benighted Isle has over places foreign. How anyone can live on the Continent or other godforsaken corners of the world without a decent drop of cow juice for the Rosy Lee is beyond me. And to even suggest we destroy our taste buds, our traditions, our dairy industry, our whole way of fucking life for some pie in the fucking sky muddled fucking thinking about carbon fucking footprints almost makes me lost for words.
October 13, 2007
One for your RSS reader
Please note that, officially, from Sunday, October 14, 2007, Professor Emeritus Philip Stott has started a completely new blog at a new site.
The battle against so much 'global warming' claptrap must continue.
Hot Air Savings
...the study from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors shows that some of the measures, such as solar panels to heat water, would cost £5,000 to install but reduce average bills by only £24 a year and would take about 208 years to pay back.
The RICS data shows that putting in all eight measures, including insulation, condenser boilers and double glazing, would cost £23,547. This would knock only £486 off fuel bills and would take 48 years to recoup.
That's why the Castle is unadorned with turbines and solar panels, but has just had the oil fired heating boosted to give even more gallons of steaming hot water!
October 11, 2007
BBC Analysis of An Inconvenient Porky Pie
The heat and light in global warming
By Roger Harrabin
BBC Environment Analyst
I have spent much of the last two decades of my journalistic life warning about the potential dangers of climate change, but when I first watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth I felt a flutter of unease.
Not because the central message - that climate change is happening and almost certainly caused by mankind - is untrue; but because in several points of the film, Mr Gore simply goes too far...
Fair enough we know where we are, you aren't reporting the science, you are on a mission..
A recent poll by Ipsos Mori showed that 82% of people were personally concerned about climate change, but a majority (56%) believed that many leading experts still question if human activity is contributing to climate change.
This latter conclusion is simply wrong - all the world's major scientific institutions believe the man-made climate change theory - but the Gore court judgment will confuse people even more. ....
....climate sceptics - some well-meaning scientists, but many in the pay of the oil industry - discredit the global warming theory.
The sceptics knew that they did not need to win the battle of climate facts, they just needed to keep doubt alive.
The problem is that climate science is a massive and messy field; and although even the White House now accepts that the climate is changing and humankind is more than 90% likely to blame, there are still wrinkles in the science, signposts that point in the opposite direction to the one we expect.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deals with these wrinkles by expressing its prognoses in bands of uncertainty: the climate is likely to warm by between 1.8C and 4.0C by the end of the century.
But movies are not made of piffling equivocations like this, so Mr Gore dispenses with many of them.
Mr Justice Burton takes exception with nine such simplifications, or "errors".
"errors" - in quote marks because you believe they aren't actually errors? For the greater good a few untruths are necessary? A bit like this claim in your article:
"Al Gore, an environmental science graduate"
Seems strange this doesn't seem to make it into his CV...
# Education: Degree in government, with honors, Harvard University, 1969.
# Attended Divinity School in Tennessee.
# Attended Vanderbilt Law School.
But I forget it's for the children:
If the conservative IPPC forecasts are accurate our children may rue the years we spent squabbling over climate change rather than tackling it.
Don't worry about trying to get the science right or factoring in the costs of "tackling it" lets just get on with doing stuff that makes us feel better.....
October 10, 2007
I warned them!
From the The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, first published Thursday 28th Jun 2007.
Having had the privilege of teaching environmental science for a short time to the students of St John's, Marlborough I am concerned to learn that they are to be forced to watch the Al Gore film An Inconvenient Truth.
I gather no balancing film to this flawed polemic is being offered. Whatever our political masters tell us there isn't a consensus on climate change along the lines propagated by Al Gore. There are many serious and well respected scientists who have issues with the film's views.
I would remind the school of Sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act 1996 which forbid "the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school" and that pupils "are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views".
I urge all pupils and parents to make their views on this attempted indoctrination known.
Mr Justice Burton told London's High Court that distributing the film without the guidance, updated after the case was launched, to counter its "one-sided" views would breach education laws.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families was not under a duty to forbid the film, provided it was accompanied by the guidance, he said.
"I conclude that the claimant substantially won this case by virtue of my finding that, but for the new guidance note, the film would have been distributed in breach of sections 406 and 407 of the 1996 Education Act", he said.
The government has sent the film to all secondary schools in England, and the administrations in Wales and Scotland have done the same.
The question is how many schools showed the film before and without the updated guidance, thereby breaking the law.
October 9, 2007
Climate Change goes too far
Climate change 'could be a fashion disaster' - Telegraph
Climate change could be about to claim a new victim – the fashion industry.
Designers and industry experts fear that the traditional seasonal collections which have formed the backbone of the business may become meaningless due to increasing unpredictability of the weather.
Beppe Modenese, the founder of Milan Fashion Week, has predicted that the "whole fashion system will have to change" ...
As a side note I'm sure you join me in wishing John Brignell well and a speedy recovery so he can add this to the complete list of things caused by global warming
October 5, 2007
CliffsNotes on An Inconvenient Truth
Watts Up With That? brings us Detailed Comments on An Inconvenient Truth by Bob Edelman
If our schoolchildren are going to be frogmarched into halls to be shown this film then they ought have a simple critique handy.
October 4, 2007
Climate Change Consensus opens a can of worms
I have previously blogged about Sulphates and how they may have held down Global Warming in the 1970s - a common belief. Interestingly David Parker from the Met Office commented to my post and basically pointed out that my theory was rubbish, the Sulphate effect didn't seem to be responsible for the temperature differences.
Over at Climate Audit Willis Eschenbach has being having
MORE THOUGHTS ON SULFATES
I got to thinking about the theory that sulfate aerosols are the cause of the decrease in global temperatures from ~1945 - 1975.
After slicing and dicing the data in different ways they also seem to be saying the Sulphate effect theory doesn't hold water. So we have agreement between what might be called the two sides of the climate science debate.
So what did cause the temperature not to increase in line with the increasing CO2 levels if it wasn't all those smoky chimneys?
October 3, 2007
Non Promotion of Promotion
Al Gore's climate-change documentary An Inconvenient Truth promotes "partisan political views", a High Court judge has ruled.
Normally that would almost certainly make it unlawful for the Oscar-winning film to be shown to schools.
But Mr Justice Burton indicated that it can be shown if teachers follow new guidance to prevent the former US vice-president's views being wrongly "promoted" to children.
- Bishop Hill blog - - Brainwashing guidelines
"This is a pack of lies and propaganda. But it's imperative that you study it carefully".
State education. Gotta love it.
September 24, 2007
More on NZ temperature trends
"the future is known, it is the past that changes".
is was a car
Drivers under siege from the council that hates cars - Times Online
Freedom is a sports car — or at least that was the definition of freedom when Zoran Jokic was a boy in Tito’s communist Yugoslavia. “Growing up, we didn’t have many freedoms. A car meant so much to me — space, room to breathe.”
Today, Jokic, who runs a delicatessen in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames, at last has a sports car, although he fears it may not be for much longer.
The Liberal Democrat-controlled council in the leafy borough has positioned itself at the vanguard of the new green movement by leading the nation in a drive to tax the drivers of bigger cars off the streets with hefty parking charges, replacing some parking bays with double yellow lines and scrubbing parking spaces and garages from the designs of new apartment and office complexes.
The Liberal Democrat council leaders see themselves as environmental visionaries, although many of their constituents don’t share their vision. Sitting with an espresso and looking out of the window of his shop on Crown Road, Jokic, 42, shakes his head.
“I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but now I live in a borough that takes away another little freedom every day. In this country we are cramped by people and cramped by legislation.
The Cost of Rail
THE costs of major new rail projects across Scotland have spiralled by tens of millions of pounds, with some planned routes poised to become the most expensive, mile for mile, in the whole of Britain, The Scotsman has learned.
Three projects designed to improve the network are in danger of running up to £90 million over budget and could become the "rail equivalent of the Holyrood building project", sources have warned.....
the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine line: it is likely to cost three times its original estimate and open nearly two and a half years late.
Its cost is believed to have risen to about £95 million - that is some £10 million more than in June and well above the figure of £65-70 million being quoted a year ago.
Sources have told The Scotsman it could now hit £100 million, making the 13-mile route one of Britain's most expensive, mile for mile.....
HERE we go again. Just when the long-suffering public thought that it had seen, in the shape of the Miralles-formed Holyrood building, the last of the great spending overruns, here come a whole lot more.
Taxpayers will be baffled, not to say frustrated and angry, that the pattern seems to be repeated over and over again.
First, an estimate, perhaps given by a politician anxious to avoid scaring off the voters - as was the case with the proposed Scottish Parliament. Then, as the date for the beginning of the project nears, a new estimate. And, as it progresses, the estimates climb ever higher. How can this possibly continue to happen? And is it just a Scottish or, indeed, British phenomenon?
No it is a world wide phenomenon, when you let the baby kissers loose in your wallet this is what you get - see They Meant Well, Government Project Disasters for more. And of course as I point out below rail is a failed 19th century technology for a 21st century problem - concrete them over!
September 23, 2007
The argument that the "oppressed" "motorist" is the one being forced to cough up in order to the Government's largesse is simple to default. The bald fact is that car drivers don't even pay their own way, let alone fund a surplus that can be hosed at outreach workers for gay whales.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear - Poor old Blognor has got all caught up in the romance of steam - the simple facts are that "The net tax revenue per lane-mile for the Motorway and Trunk Road network has the range £(275-360) thousand per year. In contrast the 20,000 miles of rail track is being subsidised to perhaps £5 billion per year or at the rate of £250 thousand per track-mile... Very much against public and political sentiment roads managed to avoid congestion would offer 3 to 4 times the capacity to move freight and people at one quarter the cost of rail while using 20% to 25% less energy and reducing casualty costs suffered by rail passengers by a factor of 2.
The problem with the proposition is that (a) it is so very much against expectation (b) the numbers are so overwhelming as to inspire disbelief rather than belief (c) few people have ever seen a motor road managed to avoid congestion - the UK road network is (with the exception of motorways and some modern single carriageways) a collection of access roads never designed for motor traffic (d) rail is so romantic.
And to say nothing about push bike riders who pay nothing towards Her Majesty's Highways....
The Bluetongue Curse of Climate Change
British scientists said recently that it was only a matter of time before bluetongue came to Britain and it had been described as the "new nightmare" for farmers.
Originally from Africa, the virus has taken advantage of rising temperatures to spread north, moving via Gibraltar, through Spain to devastate farms across Germany, France, Belgium and Holland, carried on the wind by midges
BTV has long been a problem globally, particularly in Africa and southern Europe, existing in a broad band from about 40 degrees north to about 35 degrees south. In recent years it has spread further north in Europe. The reason is thought to be related to climate change, allowing midges carrying the virus to survive in more northerly latitudes. In the last five years outbreaks have occurred, reaching 44 degrees north. That is some 800km further north than previously recorded.
As everyone in Scotland knows, midges are not confined to southern climes. What is particularly worrying is that the midge species in the affected areas, Culicoides imicola, can pass the virus on to other types of midge, such as the Culicoides obsoletus group and Culicoides pulicaris. Whether, if given the opportunity, the virus could also be passed on to the common biting midge of Scotland, Culicoides impuctatus, must be a matter of concern.
This is the disease the shepherds I know have been fearing, much more than F&M - but I worry to see Climate Change glibly blamed by the media. The situation is more complex. The virus has been restricted to areas very high summer temperatures, where an epidemic could occur, but generally lead to extinction during the (cold) winter. The wet spring of 2006, which was followed by an extremely long warm period in summer may have contributed to a higher than usual midge abundance and to a higher risk of BTV transmission. as the research says
It isn't just Scotland but even the arctic is famed for its midges so they are hardy little buggers. There have been large changes in our insect control measures and the farming landscape over the last few years. And not even the most ardent AGW scientist believes we have moved our climate 800km south, more like 100km is the highest estimate I have seen. The extreme weather may have helped last year, but is that climate change?
September 22, 2007
New Zealand, Let's get real here!
Climate Audit - by Steve McIntyre has been looking into the curious case of NZ temperature records. Strangely the global record compiled by NASA, which is the one everyone refers to hasn't been updated from NZ since 1988.
But the figures that they do use are, for Wellington as an example, the ones in Red in this graph - the Black ones are the raw data.
You will note that the "official" temperature has been adjusted downwards for the earlier years, which then gives a nice warming trend. Temperatures are adjusted downwards to compensate for the UHI - Urban Heat Island - effect. In the middle of the town it is warmer than the countryside , and the bigger the town the warmer it is. So the only logical explanation is that Wellington has been shrinking in size as the UHI effect lessens, and presumably disappeared in 1988. What other explanation could there be for this adjustment as all the other long term records from New Zealand show the same pattern as Wellington? Shame it was a lovely city as I remember it from the 1970s, and you would have thought it would have been on the news, wouldn't you.
All I can see is that the few remaining New Zealanders are being mulcted to save the planet:
Climate bill will lift power and fuel prices - 21 Sep 2007 - NZ Herald: New Zealand National news
Households will pay up to 10 per cent more for electricity and 6c a litre more for petrol to reduce New Zealand's contribution to global warming.....
Climate Change Minister David Parker said: "Let's get real here. Four cents a litre in a couple of years to get climate change? What a deal!"
September 21, 2007
Spanky lesbian pixie wenches vs Al Gore, your choice.
don't set fire to your jacket: on climate change:
..we cannot make sensible predictions about the future of the climate based on the science we have. All we can do is study a few aspects that we are unable to tell whether they will be important to the issue. Theories of man made climate change are therefore, whatever they are, not scientific. We have the observation and theory but no way, at present, to test these theories. ACC is not proven and to say that "there is a consensus" on the issue simply falls back into the nonrational category, it can't be falsified or verified. To take severe actions on this basis is no better than blindly following God's word.
What to do then? Well take my advice and start praying hard to the spanky lesbian pixie wenches, it will no less good and a lot less harm.
Now that is talking sense!
September 20, 2007
The Power of Love
GOVERNMENT Scottish Executive minister announced last night that he was to sell his major shareholding in an energy company after facing allegations of a conflict of interest. Stewart Stevenson, the minister responsible for drawing up Scotland's targets on renewable energy, owns £30,000 of shares in ScottishPower - a company with major interests in that area.
The Scotsman approached Mr Stevenson with questions about whether his shareholding breached the ministerial code of conduct. The SNP government spent most of yesterday rejecting any suggestion of a conflict of interest and defending Mr Stevenson's right to continue holding the shares while dealing with ScottishPower as the transport and climate-change minister.
And he was all hurt and upset that the public might have an unfair perception of his having an "interest" - arrogant twat.
September 18, 2007
GM - bring it on
A senior Government agriculture advisor has warned Britain would miss out on important advances if it did not sanction the growing of genetically-modified crops.
Professor Sir Howard Dalton, chief scientific advisor to the Department for the Environment, told the Daily Telegraph that developing GM produce would bring enormous environmental benefits.
He spoke out after a Government source reignited the whole debate by saying that the introduction of GM crops was not a question of "whether" but "how".
With food prices rocketing, with the increasing demand for bio-fuels, with the perceived need for crops for our changing climate, of course we need to grow them. We have all been eating them for years now, millions of acres of them are growing round the world and as far as I can see there has only been one major problem caused by them.
Scotch Campaign to Repeal Ohm's Law
Scotsman.com News - Scotland - 30,000 reasons why new green power charges must be dropped for good
THE Scotsman today joins the growing campaign against plans to introduce crippling new charges that threaten Scotland's renewable power industry.
Energy watchdog Ofgem is considering the charges for wind and tidal energy schemes in the Highlands and Islands - where the wind and tides are stronger than almost anywhere else in Europe.
Such a decision would hamper the fight against climate change and jeopardise 30,000 potential jobs.
But a proposal that Ofgem has previously said it was "minded to" approve would put all that at risk, by significantly increasing charges for a connection to the national grid for renewable schemes far from population centres.
On Thursday, the First Minister, Alex Salmond, will meet the energy watchdog to discuss what energy minister Jim Mather described as "the potential implications of the punitive charging regime on Scotland's legitimate aspirations".
The outcome of this meeting will be crucial for Scotland, according to Jason Ormiston, chief executive of Scottish Renewables. "Scotland does have significant potential if you think of wave and tidal and the windiest parts of Britain tend to be around the north and west," he says.
"But these are the places where these high transmission charges are being imposed. There will be good projects that are knocked back in the north of Scotland and more generation taking place in the south of England, more conventional generation and more carbon emissions."
In the north-west and islands of Scotland, the wind blows often enough for wind turbines to produce energy for more than half the time. In England, this figure can be below 20 per cent.
The Ofgem proposal would introduce a system that makes generators pay for the loss of electricity - in the form of heat - as it passes along cables. ..
According to Ofgem, these losses cost about £260 million a year and create 680,000 tonnes of extra carbon emissions annually, because the lost electricity is replaced by power largely generated from carbon-emitting means. Ofgem says the new charging structure would reduce emissions by 150,000 tonnes of carbon a year and save £15 million.
The longer the cables, the higher the charge. Once this would have made sense, but no longer.
And why does it not make sense any longer? What laws of physics or the market have changed? Or is it just wishful thinking that the taxpayer ought to further subsidise the producers of electricity out on the rocky crags of the far north, even though all they do with it it is warm up a couple of hundred miles of cable with it. By the time it reaches anywhere with pavements the output of a turbine would barely boil a single kettle, well worth despoiling the lonely wilderness and mulcting the worker for, eh?
September 17, 2007
Sir Menzies Campbell and the Party faithful to promote zero carbon transport
The Lib Dems are calling for Britain to become entirely carbon neutral by 2050 in an "ambitious" attempt to reclaim the green agenda.
The conference motion says the scientific evidence for climate change is "overwhelming" and that "if decisive action is not taken in the next decade, any prospect of a stable climate may be lost".
But the Lib Dem leadership is maintaining the party's opposition to nuclear power.
September 14, 2007
Biofuels "huge mistake" - Friends of the Earth
Brussels, 11 September 2007 - Friends of the Earth called on the EU to scrap its ten per cent target for using plant-based bio-fuels for transport, after a leaked paper revealed that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD's has grave concerns about their social and environmental effects.
Friends of the Earth Biofuels Campaigner, Ed Matthew said:
"Rushing down the biofuels route will be a huge mistake. The OECD is the latest respected organisation to warn about the social and environmental risks associated with this technology. The EU must abandon its ten per cent biofuels target or risk further destruction and poverty in developing countries.
Quick, someone 'phone Spliffy and tell him to change tack ASAP
The kiddies having been writing policy in green crayon again
LONG-AWAITED policy proposals from a Tory environment group came under attack from critics as diverse as green campaigners, the aviation industry and even some Conservative members yesterday.
The Conservatives' "Quality of Life" report was widely criticised, with spending watchdogs warning families would pay more tax and campaigners expressing dismay at a lack of provisions for renewable energy.
Roger Helmer, a Tory MEP, described the proposals as "half-baked", adding: "The whole approach is anti-Conservative."
But David Cameron, the Tory leader, hailed the report and insisted many of its proposals would be included in the Conservative Party's next manifesto.
Mr Cameron also hinted at more taxes for the aviation industry. He said that while flying was a matter of individual choice, aviation was under-taxed. He added: "If you want to be serious about climate change, you have to be serious about aviation."
Responding to criticism that green taxes were a revenue-raising gimmick, Mr Cameron vowed that the cash would be ring-fenced and offset by a reduction in "family taxes".
As you know I'm not your man to discuss Pigovian Taxes and how airlines already pay for their CO2 according to Stern, for that you need the world's leading libertarian economic blogger..
September 13, 2007
Falsification of the Climate Record
JOHN BLUNDELL writing in the Scotsman:Sir Karl Popper argued scientists were not the omniscient mad professors of popular imagination but rivals in a highly competitive market where kudos was often more important than cash. Falsifiability was the test of your colleague competitors - not price as it is in business. There is a crude view often entertained by politicians that mere expenditure equates with virtue.
- Bishop Hill blog - - Climate cuttings 9
The action has all been taking place over at Climate Audit, where Steve McIntyre has relented not a jot on the pummelling he has been dishing out to NASA's warmer-in-chief, James Hansen. Having had his faulty work exposed (as outlined in Climate Cuttings 8), Hansen responded with a snarky email to his colleagues saying that it was a storm in a teacup and that perhaps the "lights were not on upstairs" with his critics. He followed up with another, dismissing his critics as "court jesters".
While the (allegedly) real scientists were engaging in ad-hominems, the amateurs at Climate Audit followed up with further revelations of faulty work from Hansen. The latest batch of errors were found when the site started to raise questions about the way that Hansen combines different versions of the temperature record for a particular station. This appeared peculiar because Hansen was combining records and ending up with an average lower than any of the individual temperatures in the series. Because Hansen has not adhered to the basic scientific standards and released his code, it was necessary to derive what he had done by trial and error - guessing the procedure from the limited explanation in his publications. Eventually it was suggested by a commenter that the solution lay in understanding what Hansen did where the temperature for a particular date was missing from one of the versions. If you and I had this problem we would take the temperature from the other version. It was thought, however, that Hansen was "estimating" it somehow. This obviously represents a corruption of the temperature record, but this is climate science where pretty much anything goes.
All this speculation clearly made NASA rather nervous, coming so soon after Hansen's earlier error was made public. Out of the blue, Hansen released the code associated with the temperature record, along with the now-customary snark at his critics. The code was quickly found to be something of a shambles (amongst other things it's written in now-obsolete Fortran). A full scale wiki project is planned to get it working and fully understood.
With the code in place a full summary of the way Hansen's methodology works (at least as far as it is currently understood) was posted by John Goetz, the CA commenter who discovered the importance of the missing records. This makes it clear that, while the effect on the trend for the station could be up or down, it appears that more often than not the effect is to lower earlier temperatures - ie to make the warming trend look artificially high.
The latest headline about the integrity (or lack of it) of Hansen's work is the revelation today that, unannounced, he has made large changes to the temperature records for the US. This has happened in the last few weeks - since the Y2K errors were revealed last month. From the outside this might be mistaken for an attempt to get the temperature of recent decades up again.
Either way, it's pretty clear that Hansen's credibility is shot. Can NASA really tolerate this sort of junk science from one of its leading officials any longer?
If you haven't been following this story, skipping over the technical calculations as I do, then you are missing a fascinating and important story. Hansen's claims about global warming have multi-billion pound effects on the global economy because of the way Governments, and opposition parties, have seized on them to promote particular policies. That they not based on sound science, in the Popper sense, is a scandal. And it is a handful of bloggers who are exposing this.
The wheels on the bus go round and round...
Tories unveil green 'showroom tax' on cars - Telegraph
By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent
Plans for a “showroom tax” on new cars - which would hit 4X4 “gas guzzlers” the hardest - will be unveiled by David Cameron’s “green advisers” this week.
Tories plan supertax on gas guzzling vehicles - Telegraph
By Charles Clover, Environment Editor and Toby Helm
Motorists who buy environmentally unfriendly "gas guzzling" cars would be hit by a new batch of green "supertaxes" that would add thousands of pounds to the final bill under plans to be announced by David Cameron's advisers.
And I suppose the Torygraph will recycle this story once again once the advice is actually released...
All you need to know it is supported by Tony Juniper, Zac and Gummer - enuff said
September 11, 2007
Brown to Bin Green Bin Tax?
Gordon Brown ready to scrap plan for tax on bin collections - Times Online
A Labour think-tank has come out firmly against the idea of extra charges for rubbish collection, amid signs that the Prime Minister is preparing to drop the scheme.
The New Local Government Network, chaired by Chris Leslie, Gordon Brown’s campaign co-ordinator, says that the proposal to charge those putting out too much rubbish, while giving rebates to those who recycle more, will not work.
Still time for the Zak and Gummer Torybans to come out supporting it then....
Of course it wouldn't work with out causing a public health and pollution problem , exactly the reasons why Councils are charged to pick the rubbish in the first place. Does this mean that I don't have to put the chip back into my bin?
September 10, 2007
One to bookmark
Coyote Blog....climate work really was diluting what I want to do here at Coyote Blog, and it really deserved its own home and audience. I have begun archiving old posts over at Climate Skeptic, and I will do most of my new posting on climate there. Those interested in the climate issues are encouraged to bookmark the new site and/or subscribe to its feed.
September 6, 2007
Bloggers reclaim the airways?
The Monkey Tennis Centre: BBC scraps climate change bias-athon
‘Many blogs run by climate skeptics groups regularly accuse the BBC of bias’, and I think this is the really interesting point in all of this. Bloggers, have, of course been at the forefront of the resistance to claims that the debate is over, and have enabled research by skeptical scientists, which previously would have been confined to science magazines and easily suppressed by a hostile media, to be seen by millions.
Another area where bloggers have led the way is in exposing media bias. A few years ago it was almost impossible for the public to complain about biased reporting by the BBC. You could write to them, or phone them, and your complaint would be duly noted before disappearing into the system. Only a few ‘right-wing’ journalists and Tory MPs were able to draw attention to dishonest or misleading reports with any effect.
Blogs have changed all that, and brought together thousands of people who have been quietly seething at the BBC for years, but felt they were powerless to do anything about it; complaints about bias now appear daily, both on dedicated 'Beeb-watch' sites and mainstream blogs, and every omission, half-truth and lie is quickly thrown back in the faces of those responsible.
There are clearly decent people in the BBC who are truly committed to impartiality, but I think we can chalk this one up to the bloggers.
It struck me with the Aral Sea nonsense (passim) that the dinosaurs still rule the newsrooms. If only some one introduced ITN news to Mr Google then instead of sending a reporter half way round the world to spout nonsense whilst standing like Doctor Foster in a puddle half way up to his middle, they could have shrugged at the PR release and all gone of for a civilised lunch with a decent chilled Chardonnay. They will learn....
The Aral Sea , the media doesn't get it quite right..
Why the lake has run dry
Martin Vander Weyer
Good summary of the Aral Sea Media story, quotes this website and my excellent correspondent Dennis Ambler - poor old Dennis gets blamed for being me, the blogger though; he will never be able to hold his head up in public again.
BBC drops show no one would have watched.
BBC drops 'Planet Relief' plan to save world - Telegraph
The BBC has abandoned plans for a Comic Relief-style special about climate change after senior executives complained the corporation should not be preaching to viewers.
Planet Relief, which was 18 months in development and was due to be hosted by comedian Ricky Gervais and talk show host Jonathan Ross next January, was envisioned as an event to "raise consciousness" about the effects of human behaviour on the environment.
It was also due to have involved viewers in a mass temporary switch-off of electrical products to save energy.
I think it would have involved more than a "temporary" switch -off, after the dismal "Live Earth" ratings I think the BBC was glad of an excuse to drop the whole idea by appearing to be regaining the moral highground.
September 5, 2007
Back to Peat and Candles - Official Scots Gov policy
SCOTLAND is a long way from becoming a sustainable nation, living in harmony with the environment and preserving a healthy society, according to government advisers.
.. traffic on Scotland's roads was rising steadily and seabird populations had fallen by a third between 1991 and 2004.
It also warned of problems which could lead to a breakdown in civil society, with a dramatic rises in antisocial behaviour and homelessness, and a decline in volunteering.
Professor Jan Bebbington, of the commission, said urgent action was needed to make Scotland live within its means in the big fight against climate change.
It is thought Scots consume about three times more resources than their fair share - sometimes referred to as "three-planet living" because if everyone lived as we do, it would take three earths to cope with demand.
Prof Bebbington said changing Scottish society would involve the use of new technologies but also stressed that people would have to change their behaviour. "Some of that change may mean that flying to the Bahamas twice a year for a holiday maybe isn't what we do."
Asked what a sustainable Scotland might be like, she said there was no current example: "Most of the developed world economies aren't sustainable with high levels of flying and material consumption. There's no one country that demonstrates all the elements of being sustainable."
Maintaining social sustainability was important because a breakdown could lead to the chaos and violence as portrayed in the film Children of Men, which painted a picture of a dystopian future in the UK....
It was a film, fiction, OK! And the reason there is no current example of your "sustainable" lifestyle is because what you want is for the Scots to retreat to their bloody crofts and sit handweaving whisky and eating heather all day. If you want an example look back 200 years and see how lovely life was then.
And Prof Bebbington said such changes of attitude would need to happen quickly alongside the progress being made in developing renewable energy and recycling waste.
"If we have got 100 years to play with, I think we could get there. The big question is whether we have 100 years to play with, chocolatevehiclejedigorgeousaadvarkserendipitybedtime bibliomaniacgussetcuddlesmileexcitedwibbleconstantinopleserendipityovertimehometime
Let them eat Cake
Warning bells as the cost of bread rises - Times Online
Premier Foods has raised the price of Hovis bread by 8p so that, in some places, an average loaf may now cost more than £1. This is not just a reaction to the fact that wheat prices have risen by nearly 50 per cent in the past three months, but a harbinger of higher food prices to come.
Doubled or a 100% increase would be nearer, last year selling your wheat at harvest for £100 a tonne was OK this year you will be laughed out of the snug bar at The Jolly Miller if you haven't held out for £200. Of course the wheat in a loaf of bead at the most generous estimate is only about 15% of its cost- always convenient to have something to blame though - I note the bastard brewers have done the same with the beer.
There are three causes of increasing costs of foodstuffs. First, demographics: the populations of India and China not only account for roughly 2.4 billion people, and rising, but also a rapidly expanding middle class with the money to fund larger appetites. Second, climate change: extreme hot and cold weather has resulted in unpredictable harvests, which have contributed to the depletion of wheat stocks to their lowest levels in 25 years.
Bollocks - it is been a poor harvest in the UK and Europe, fine in the US etc. Just another up and down year. Wheat stocks are down because it is no longer seen as a strategic aim to hold reserves. So we we have paid farmers not to grow it here and in the US.
Third, biofuels: the response to climate change, namely the reallocation of huge acreages previously used to grow corn for animal feed and human consumption to grow corn and sugar for ethanol, has robbed the world market of vast tracts of food-producing farmland. Premier Foods could not explain yesterday which of these three factors was having the most impact on wheat prices. The most immediate cause, it said, was biofuels: “What you have is an environmental tax on food.”
What he is quoted as saying in your paper is "“Everyone is focusing on wheat and bread prices at the moment, but there is a general food inflation that hasn’t been with us since the 1990s,” Mr Schofield said. “As long as governments are going to grow fuel, there will be, in effect, an environment tax on food.” Doesn't sound like a wishy washy blaming Climate Change and the Chinese to me...
Food prices will stir debate about the unintended consequences of the green revolution. The danger is that this causes a backlash against climate-friendly sources of energy, rather than a sober debate about the trade distortions and economic inefficiencies of – particularly US - investment in home-grown biofuels. The answer is not to stop producing ethanol, but to choose how it is produced and where both corn and sugar are grown. This may be a problem caused by globalisation, but the best prospects of a solution lie with further trade liberalisation.
Oh I see, "Mustn't say anything against Bio-fuel","Mustn't say anything against Bio-fuel"...with Rupert Murdoch now a climate-change activist that is obviously the company line. And so is the call for more trade liberalisation, so who is going to do the "choosing" of how ethanol is produced, at the moment the market is responding to the Government's demands, you wouldn't be suggesting that the Government starts micromanaging how the ethanol is produced, are you?...
More at Eu Referendum
September 3, 2007
ITV news Aral Sea hype - Dennis Ambler wants answers
ITV news joined in the nonsense tonight with a report that included flying out their "environmental" reporter to stand up to his waist in Lake Chad. http://itn.co.uk/news/45bfb608fcc3ee64dffa946e017fb951.html
I suppose they bought some carbon credits...
I sent this response to their newsoom direct email:
"urgent re: global warming maps
I have to inform you that there are serious faults with your report on satellite maps.
In particular the report about the Aral Sea does not reflect the real situation, which can be seen here from the NASA website: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17634
"In 2000, the Aral Sea was in grave condition. This inland sea, which was once Earth’s fourth-largest lake, had been steadily shrinking since the 1960s, when Soviet-era irrigation projects diverted the main rivers sustaining the sea. The lake shrunk to a quarter of its original size in a few decades, creating an environmental and public health disaster. As the lake dried up, winters became colder and harsher, and summers became hotter and more arid. Blowing dust, laden with pesticides and other chemicals, is routinely scoured from the dry lake bed and poses a severe public health hazard.
In 2007, however, the North Aral Sea was enjoying a renaissance, due the construction of a dam in 2005 that prevents water from flowing into the South Aral Sea. This pair of images acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite shows the recovery of the Aral Sea between April 15, 2005 (bottom), and April 14, 2007 (top). The recovery is most dramatic in the upper right part of the image, although a close look at the lake’s borders show a general rise in water level throughout the lake. Much of this recovery actually occurred in the first year after the dam was completed.
Lake Chad has receded many times before, as described in Wikipedia:
Because it is very shallow — only 10.5 metres (34 ft) at its deepest — its area is particularly sensitive to small changes in average depth, and it consequently also shows seasonal fluctuations in size.
Lake Chad is believed to be a remnant of a former inland sea which has grown and shrunk with changes in climate over the past 13,000 years. At its largest, around 4000 BC, this lake is estimated to have covered an area of 400,000 km². Lake sediments appear to indicate dry periods, when the lake nearly dried up, around 8500 BC, 5500 BC, 2000 BC, and 100 BC.
It was one of the largest lakes in the world when first surveyed by Europeans in 1823, but it has shrunk considerably since then. An increased demand on the lake's water from the local population has likely accelerated its shrinkage over the past 40 years. This is largely due to overgrazing in the area surrounding the lake, causing desertification and a decline in vegetation.
In the 1960s it had an area of more than 26,000 km², making it the fourth largest lake in Africa. By 2000 its extent had fallen to less than 1,500 km². This is due to reduced rainfall combined with greatly increased amounts of irrigation water being drawn from the lake and the rivers which feed it, the largest being the Chari/ Logon system, which originates in the mountains of the Central African Republic. The lake presently has an average depth of only 1.5 metres (5 ft). It nearly dried out in 1908 and again in 1984.
This history shows no relationship to the claims in Laurence's report and has no connection with any perceived global warming, particularly in 1908 and the BC years.
A further report from NASA shows that the changes in the Yellow River are again nothing to do with perceived global warming.
"Over the past 15 years, several hundred square kilometers of sediment have accreted and eroded from the delta coastline. Two major factors contribute to the changes. The river carries a heavy sediment load, leading to clogged channels and frequent river course changes; and the river is heavily engineered and water demand is greater than supply, resulting in little flow to the coast in recent years. In response to these dynamics, a new channel was cut near the tip of the delta in 1996. Photographs collected by astronauts over the years provide a time series that demonstrate both the scale and specific locations of coastal change. Documentation of current delta changes—including coastal development along the Yellow River several other rapidly changing coastlines— continues from the International Space Station."
I am sure you would not wish to persist with a report which has so many flaws, as it is easily shown to be embarassingly wrong in its efforts to promote anthropogenic global warming. As the footage is on the web site, it is easily dissected."
I await a response, but am not holding my breath!
August 31, 2007
Energy companies are cashing in on Government subsidies by building wind farms that will never make any money because they are being constructed on sites with not enough wind, it has been claimed.
Experts said claims of wind farm potential were being overestimated - Wind farm cash-in for renewable energy companies
Experts said claims of wind farm potential were being overestimated
Despite Britain being the windiest nation in Europe, some farms are proposed for sites where companies have exaggerated their potential, a BBC investigation alleged.
To meet EU targets for renewable energy, the Government has subsidised the wind turbine industry by half a billion pounds. Yet companies have not managed to deliver even 0.5 per cent of Britain's electricity needs....
Jim Oswald, an engineering consultant, analysed figures submitted to the electricity watchdog Ofgem on every wind farm's load factor - the amount of wind generated across the year.
The recommended load factor for a viable wind development is 30 per cent, but he said the average across Britain was 28 per cent. The problem lied with the volatility of the wind, he added.
An over reliance on wind power could result in power failures and higher electricity bills, he said, adding that the network needed to be redesigned.
The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) rejected the claims. It said subsidies were not paid for the building of farms, only per unit of electricity supplied to the National Grid...
Mr Jefferson and Mr Oswald criticised the fact that some wind farms in remote areas such as northern Scotland were sitting idle because they were not connected to the National Grid.
The claim that subsides don't pay for the building of the farms because it is paid on the juice produced shows the kindergarten level of economics of the whole sorry whirligig scam.
August 27, 2007
Forensic Climatology and the Central England Temperature (CET) record - UPDATED
A very welcome guest post by Willis Eschenbach which raises questions over the UK's long running temperature record.
Because of the difficulty in obtaining the underlying data and computer codes used for various studies and graphs, I often find myself involved in what I call "forensic climatology". This is the art and science of reconstructing data and procedures from published graphs and descriptions.
Thanks to Tim at "An Englishman's Castle", I recently got interested in the UHI adjustments to the Central England Temperature (CET) record. ....
These issues are discussed in Parker et al., " Uncertainties in the Central England Temperature series 1878-2003 and some changes to the maximum and minimum series" Here are Figures 8a and 8b from that paper:
The first step is to extract the data from the graphs. I use a combination of manual and automated methods. First I carefully trace over one of the lines in the graph. Then I mask out the rest of the lines, and use digitizing software to extract the values for that line. (I use "GraphClick" on the Mac, but there are equivalent programs for the PC). I repeat this for each of the lines. Then I copy the digitized data into Excel, and interpolate it to determine the values at regular monthly intervals for the period of record (January 1959 - December 2002).
The next step is to look for internal relationships in the data. In this case, the data are station anomalies relative to the CET average values. Since the CET average is defined in the Parker paper as being the average of Rothamsted + Malvern + 0.5*(Squires Gate + Ringway), one internal relationship should be:
Rothamsted anomaly+ Malvern anomaly+ 0.5*(Squires Gate + Ringway) anomaly = 0.
However, when we look at the data, this is not the case. Here are the Tmax anomaly figures:
Rather than all of them being zero as we would expect, there are fairly wide swings in the data. The exact reason for this is unknown, but it must relate to adjustments in either the station data or the CET average data. One clue comes from the Parker et al. paper, which says:
Owing to the availability of additional digitized daily data, Parker et al (1992)
used different stations for daily CETmean than Manley (1974) had used for monthly
CET (Table 1). Because of these differences in stations, the areal average
temperature at Parker et al’s stations differed slightly from Manley’s values. So
Parker et al. (1992) adjusted their daily CETmean values to make their monthly
averages consistent with Manley (1974). For similar reasons, when we created
daily CETmax and CETmin series, again using a different sequence of stations (Table
1), we adjusted the values so that each day’s average of CETmax and CETmin
equaled that day’s adjusted CETmean and was therefore also compatible with
Manley (1974). In this section, we estimate the uncertainties arising from these
adjustments. We also estimate the uncertainties stemming from the adjustments
applied by Parker et al. (1992) to the CETmean data from 1980 onward to
compensate for urban warming. These adjustments differed between calendar
months and have been increased in magnitude to reach -0.2°C in all months by
2003. In Section 6 we consider the biases arising from the application of double
these adjustments to CETmin and no urban adjustment to CETmax.
Since there is a big change in 1974, it is tempting to think that the above mentioned changes were the cause. But if this is the case, it invalidates the reason for using the values in Tables 8a and 8b. Since the average values have been adjusted so much (e.g. more than three quarters of a degree from 1964-1967), the resulting comparison of averages with the station values loses meaning. In fact, having to make this size of adjustment suggests that there may be deeper problems with their data.
Next, here is the corresponding station Tmin minus CETmin graph:
The difference in this graph is that the CET Tmin values have been adjusted downwards for urban warming (Urban Heat Island, or UHI), while the CET Tmax values were not. Because of this, the difference between the station temperature and the CETmin increases over time. Again, however, we find the jumps downward in 1974 and upward in 1980.
Finally, we can determine how much the UHI adjustments are by subtracting the data in the first graph from the data in the second graph. This will zero out the common differences in the CETmin and CETmax data, leaving only the UHI adjustments. Here is that graph:
Once again, questions arise. You would expect the UHI adjustment (which began in 1980) to be relatively smooth. Instead, there is an adjustment of about 0.3°C around 1980, and then no further adjustment until 1997. At that point, there is an abrupt adjustment of about 0.65°, followed by a steep climb. These adjustments seem quite odd.
What can we conclude from all of this? Unfortunately, we end up with questions rather than conclusions.
1) Why don't the post 1974 Tmax station data agree with the CETmax averages (first graph)? Prior to 1974, the CETmax and CETmin averages were adjusted to fit the Manley data. But after that, the station data average should have been stable with respect to the CETmax average. Instead, the station - CET TMax data jumped upwards in 1980, and down again in 1997.
2) Why did the station Tmax - CETmax values change in 1980 (first graph)? The Parker et al. paper says that the UHI adjustment was applied solely to the Tmin data.
3) Why did the station Tmax - CETmax values rise from 1990-1995 after nearly a decade of stability? (first graph)
4) Why the change in adjustments in 1980? (Third graph)
5) Why the huge change in the adjustments post 1997? (third graph)
6) The Parker et al. paper lists the following adjustments made in 1974 in order to match the earlier (Manley) data:
Given these adjustments to match the pre-1974 data, why is there such a large drop in both Tmax and Tmin post 1974 (graphs one and two)?
7) Why is the UHI adjustment (post 1980, third graph) consist of a jump in 1980, no adjustment for seventeen years, and then a radical adjustment?
8) Finally, it appears that rather than adjusting the individual station averages for urban warming, by comparing them with nearby rural sites, the average of the individual sites is adjusted. Why adjust the averages rather than the individual stations?
Some or all of these questions may have perfectly simple answers. However, I could not find them in the description by Parker et al., which may be my poor reading skills, or may be because they were not explained in the paper, or may be because they are actually errors in the processing of the data.
I look forward to any answers to these questions.
My best to everyone,
UPDATE David Parker responds:
The adjustments Willis Eschenbach shows up to 1974 are as expected the
mirror image (approximately, owing to the smoothing in the plots) of the
adjustments plotted in Figure 1 of Parker and Horton (2005) for 1958-74.
These adjustments account for station changes, ensuring a consistent
series whenever stations close and have to be replaced. They remove the
average difference in climate between an old station and its
replacement. The paper estimates the uncertainties resulting from this
adjustment process. The Table 5 Willis Eschenbach reproduces shows these
uncertainties, not the actual adjustments!
However Figures 8 a and b also suggest an error in Willis Eschenbach's
extraction or subtraction. Visual inspection of the Figures does not
indicate that [Rothamsted anomaly+ Malvern anomaly+ 0.5*(Squires Gate +
Ringway) anomaly] deviates much from zero for Tmin or exceeds about 0.4C
(the maximum urban warming adjustment) for Tmax. Note also that near the
end of the plot the filter has to assume imaginary values (equal to the
average value in the last 31 months because it is a 61-month smoother)
beyond the end of the plot so the data-extraction method could be
misleading there. If we didn't do this we would be unable to show
anything within 2.5 years of the end of the series (which were available
through 2003 when the paper was being written).
It is true that, rather than adjusting the individual station averages
for urban warming, by comparing them with nearby rural sites, the
average of the individual sites is adjusted. We did this as the
combination of sites reduces "noise" in the adjustment process because
local-scale weather and micro-meteorological influences are thereby
cancelled out somewhat more effectively.
I hope this helps
UPDATE - Willis responds to David:
David, thank you for your prompt reply. You say that the adjustments up to
1974 are the mirror image of the adjustments made to the station data. If
this is the case, perhaps I misunderstood your graph. You say that you are
showing the stations (presumably adjusted for station closure, etc) and
their anomaly about CET average. If that is the case, then why is the sum of
the anomalies about the average not always zero?
On the other hand, it is possible that the graph shows the unadjusted
stations versus the CET average. But what would be the use of that? Why show
unadjusted data, which is presumably inaccurate, rather than adjusted
Post 1974, you say that there is an error in my extraction or subtraction. I
have rechecked my figures and cannot find it (which of course does not mean
that it is not there!). If you would be so kind as to post on the web (or
send me directly) the data upon which the graph is based, we could determine
if I have made an error.
Next, you say that you adjust the station average (rather than the
individual stations) for the UHI. While this makes sense, why is the
adjustment done in a step fashion, with a jump around 1980, no further
adjustment until 1997, and then a jump after that?
Finally, if all of the individual station anomalies are filtered using the
same filter as the CET average, the sum of the filtered individual anomalies
minus the CET filtered anomaly should equal zero. In other words, the
filtering should not affect the calculation.
Access to the underlying data would resolve all of these questions. Your
assistance in providing the data to settle all of these matters would be
All the best,
August 25, 2007
The human cost of your bio fuel
To eat . . . . or to drive? - Times Online
....The economics of food — what is affordable, what it costs, and what that money buys — are creating unprecedented waves through all continents. From nut plantations in Indonesia to barley fields along the Rhine, farmers are all adjusting to this new world.
Part of the result is tortilla riots in Mexico, the astonishing leap in Brazilian chicken leg prices and mayonnaise price spikes in Western Europe.
These, say industry insiders, are the first skirmishes of a conflict that could soon dominate geopolitics: the war for resources between the world’s 800 million cars and its six billion stomachs. In the developed world, the war will come down to price and choice; in the developing world it could come down to survival.
The war centres largely on global demand for biofuels — “green” replacements for petrol, such as ethanol, that can be produced from sugar, corn and other agricultural products rather than fossil fuels.
Farmers are making a perfectly rational economic choice. With the price of crude oil high, they are planting crops to meet demand for cheaper biofuels. But converting more crops into energy means there is less to go into foodstuffs. And so the price of those foodstuffs rise......
For too long in the West the price of food has been a problem we don't worry about - the percentage of our wage we spend on it every year decreases. But forget "water wars" or the predicted chaos caused by climate change. this is the big story, this is what is affecting billions of people, this is what will cause instability as people die.
August 24, 2007
Green rubbish measures will lead to more pollution
Labour's tax will up fly-tipping, say Tories - Telegraph
Households in England could have to pay to take rubbish to their local tip under new Government proposals, the Tories said yesterday.
Councils currently have a legal duty to provide sites for residents to dispose of household waste
A Whitehall consultation document on boosting recycling disclosed plans that would allow town halls to charge people for throwing away household waste that does not fit in their bins.
The Conservatives labelled the proposals a "tip tax" and said it would increase fly-tipping and punish responsible behaviour.
...The "tip tax" would be designed to stop people avoiding doorstep collection charges by taking all their household waste to the local dump.
The consultation said: "The Government would also make legislative changes to allow financial incentives to be implemented at civic amenity (CA) sites to avoid a situation where household waste was simply diverted to CA sites."
Since the local
dump recycling centre opened we have had a lot less fly-tipping, start charging for people to take their waste there and of course fly-tipping will increase. But can that nice green Mr Cameron work his way through the thicket of opposing green claims on rubbish to simply state that rubbish collection is a public health measure and must remain free as a public good?
Not as green as I'm cabbage looking...
Eco-slackers feel the pressure to keep up with Green-Joneses - Times Online
Where once the chattering classes would have vied to demonstrate the most conspicuous consumption, now they are competing to be the greenest.
Such a shift has taken place in attitudes to the environment that conversation at dinner parties is more likely to turn to who had the most environmentally friendly holiday rather than who went to the most exotic location.
The pressure to be seen to be green is so strong that nine out of ten people admit telling “little green lies” to avoid being labelled an eco-vandal, a poll has found.
The survey, commissioned by Norwich Union, found that more than half of the people questioned considered unethical living more socially unacceptable than drink-driving. Three-quarters said that ethical one-upmanship is now one of the main themes of conversation at the school gates or while having meals with friends.
Dr Peter Marsh, co-director of the Social Issues Research Council, said that the issue of being greener than the Joneses cropped up frequently during lifestyle studies. “You see it in cars. Yesterday you talked about brake horsepower, now people talk about carbon emissions from their car
And you see it in my face as I sit quietly in the corner getting drunk rather than rage at the empty headed posturing of the brainless. Despite not insulting the host I still don't get invited back to this sort of dinner party, can't think why.
August 23, 2007
Rubbish Durvey from the LGA
BBC NEWS | UK | 'Many' support pay-as-you-throw
Almost two-thirds of people would support a "pay-as-you-throw" system of collecting household waste, a Local Government Association survey suggests.
But only if it is rebranded "save-as-you-throw" and they get large council tax decreases... As my correspondent says:
I don't necessarily argue with the economics of pay-as-you-throw, but the
LGA carrying out such a survey is a akin to King Herrod undertaking a survey
on child abuse! What chances are there that this would really be revenue
neutral? Costs foisted on to the public as hypothecated charges create a
revenue hole that bureaucrats simply can't help filling with some unwanted
service that expands their empire. All your cash belong to us! We'd end up
paying more... That's for sure. Look what happened when water charges were
decoupled from the local rates.
And let's not mention that rubbish collection is a public health measure and if we start not paying for others waste to be collected, well then there are a lot of other council services only others use that I would prefer not to pay for either. I mean what has the Lesbian Outreach worker ever done for me, not even sent me the videos I asked for....
August 22, 2007
Rothamsted Temperature Record - Atmospheric Sulphur to Blame?
Rothamsted Research Sulphur (pdf) gives us a simple graph showing the decrease in Atmospheric Sulphur (No apologies to my valued American visitors, that is how we spell Sulfur!)
I have previously blogged about how Rothamsted shows a marked increase in minimum temperature compared to other UK sites, and that it probably was the one most affected by the decrease in smoky chimneys. (Woburn is 25 miles north west of Rothamsted and is an outlying station.)
As the amount of Sulphur rose in the 1970s we would expect it to be cold, and as the air is cleaned up starting in the 1980s we would expect it get warmer. The UK sulphur emissions have continued to fall according to official figures mirroring the rise in Rothamsted's minimum temperature.
So why do we not hear more about this huge change in atmospheric pollution, a pollution that the consensus is causes lower temperatures, and vastly more about a much smaller change in the CO2 levels?
August 20, 2007
The real reds under the bed: they waited 50 years before climbing back in - Times Online
Five decades after being declared officially dead, the most toe-curling of all America’s critters has returned, with a spate of bloodsucking attacks on unsuspecting victims as they sleep. The culprit is Cimex lectularius - otherwise known as the common bedbug. Until recently it was known happily to Americans only from nursery rhymes.
Not any more. Up to 5mm in length, wingless, nocturnal and covered in microscopic hairs, the bedbug was supposed to have been eliminated from the US by the pesticide DDT, which was later banned by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1972 because of the damage it caused to fish, birds and other wildlife....with DDT banned, the bedbugs laugh in the face of the pyrethroid-based compounds now used against them. “We’ve had cases where we’re spraying 200 to 300 times the label dose of toxins and we can’t kill ’em,” ...
But now the insect is back, and its sudden return has been proclaimed “one of the great mysteries of entomology”. Over recent months bedbugs have been turning up in hospitals, nursing homes, cinemas, dry cleaners, schools, public housing and even some well-to-do residential homes.
They are attracted to the very thing that has caused the US, and the rest of the world, so much grief lately: carbon dioxide. While historically it is the carbon dioxide in human breath that has brought them out to feed, experts speculate that rising levels in the air could be behind their renaissance
Oh yea! That rise in CO2 from 370 parts per million to 380 parts has made all the difference, that banning of nasty old DDT, the only effective control, pah! not a factor...
August 19, 2007
UK Surface Stations - Now go digging
Global Historic Climate Network Temperature StationsThe Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) is a comprehensive global surface baseline climate data set designed for monitoring and detecting climate change. The stations listed below are in the region you selected. The timeline shows the period during which data are available from these stations as a red bar. The left end of the timelines is 1800. The right end is 2003. Hold your mouse over the red bar to see the exact start and end years for the station.
If you have questions about this data set, please contact the National Climate Data Center at email@example.com.
56 stations where Continent = Europe and Region = Northern Europe and Country = United Kingdom
STATION NAME LAT LON ELEV(M)
1800 Present GORDON CASTLE UK 57.60 -3.10 32 1800 Present EDINBURGH/ROYAL OBS.UK 55.90 -3.20 134 1800 Present MANCHESTER AI 53.35 -2.27 78 1800 Present GREENWICH/MARITIME MUK 51.50 0.00 7 1800 Present ORKNEY UK 59.10 -3.30 22 1800 Present OXFORD UK 51.70 -1.20 63 1800 Present BELFAST/ALDER 54.65 -6.22 81 1800 Present DURHAM UK 54.80 -1.60 102 1800 Present STONYHURST UK 53.80 -2.50 115 1800 Present TRURO UK 50.30 -5.10 -999 1800 Present OSBORNE UK 50.80 -1.30 52 1800 Present SOUTHAMPTON/ 50.90 -1.40 9 1800 Present BRAEMAR UK 57.00 -3.40 339 1800 Present GLASGOW AIRPO 55.87 -4.43 8 1800 Present PLYMOUTH WC 50.35 -4.12 50 1800 Present BIDSTON UK 53.40 -2.90 -999 1800 Present ABERDEEN/DYCE 57.20 -2.22 65 1800 Present YORK UK 53.90 -1.10 -999 1800 Present DUMFRIES UK 55.10 -3.10 -999 1800 Present KEW UK 51.50 -0.30 5 1800 Present CAMBRIDGE UK 52.20 0.10 12 1800 Present SCARBOROUGH UK 54.20 -0.40 -999 1800 Present ROTHAMSTEAD UK 51.70 -0.30 128 1800 Present ROSS-ON-WYE UK 51.90 -2.60 -999 1800 Present SHEFFIELD UK 53.40 -1.50 -999 1800 Present FORT WILLIAM 56.83 -5.10 20 1800 Present BEN NEVIS UK 56.80 -5.10 1343 1800 Present EDGBASTON UK 52.50 -1.90 -999 1800 Present COCKLE PARK UK 55.20 -1.60 99 1800 Present STORNOWAY 58.22 -6.32 13 1800 Present GORLESTON 52.60 1.70 2 1800 Present VALLEY 53.25 -4.53 11 1800 Present LARKHILL 51.20 -1.80 133 1800 Present FELIXSTOWE 52.00 1.30 3 1800 Present TIREE 56.50 -6.88 12 1800 Present ESKDALEMUIR 55.32 -3.20 242 1800 Present WARRINGTON 53.38 -2.65 27 1800 Present WADDINGTON 53.17 -0.52 70 1800 Present LAKENHEATH 52.40 0.57 10 1800 Present CLONES 54.18 -7.23 89 1800 Present MILDENHALL 52.37 0.48 10 1800 Present SCULTHORPE 52.85 0.77 68 1800 Present EDINBURGH AIR 55.95 -3.35 41 1800 Present OXFORD 51.75 -1.58 91 1800 Present UPPER HEYFORD 51.93 -1.25 133 1800 Present BIRMINGHAM/AI 52.45 -1.73 99 1800 Present BENTWATERS 52.13 1.43 26 1800 Present FAIRFORD 51.68 -1.78 91 1800 Present WETHERSFIELD 51.97 0.50 101 1800 Present WOODBRIDGE 52.08 1.40 29 1800 Present GREENHAM 51.38 -1.28 125 1800 Present HUNTINGTON 52.37 -0.22 49 1800 Present BOURNEMOUTH A 50.78 -1.83 11 1800 Present LONDON/GATWIC 51.15 -0.18 62 1800 Present GLAMORGAN/RHOUSE AP 51.40 -3.40 67 1800 Present LEEMING 54.30 -1.53 40
August 18, 2007
Ethanol demand hits the wildlife
Scotsman.com News - Home to rare species under threat
....the likely scrapping of the EU "set aside" scheme.
Set aside funding has injected about £11 million a year into Scottish agriculture, paying farmers to keep areas of land free from commercial use and thereby providing a home for insects, small mammals and endangered birds.
Environmentalists fear that without it, key habitats will be lost. Farmers' leaders believe the move will allow their members to bring acres of land back into production, boosting the economy.
RSPB Scotland points to numerous incidences where wildlife has prospered on set-aside land....
And why is set-aside going to abolished? Because the rising demand for Bio fuels is pushing up the price of cereals and there is a need for more to be grown. It isn't just the orang-utans who are being displaced to satisfy the Greens.
More on those Central England Temperature Records
Our own correspondent writes:
The constant mantra is "increasing incidence of extremes", so I also decided to look at temperature frequency and broke the record into basic bands. You can see these results in the charts as well, including seasonal results and in fact the opposite is true, the range of extreme temperatures has narrowed.
The long temperature improvement from the 19th C is apparent, there is no run away warming, we just don't get the desperately cold years of the past As you noted, the lack of low temperature (Tmin), is driving the situation, rather than any run-away top temperatures. This could well be the result of urbanisation as tarmac etc re-radiates heat at night. The station changes may also be significant latterly.
August 17, 2007
Take more Tonic Water in your Gin
Weary Britons are braced for mosquito invasion
...this year is not a normal year. Met Office forecasts of a heatwave in August to follow the exceptionally wet start to the summer come with a health warning. Scientists are predicting that weather conditions in the UK could be "extremely conducive" to the spread of the most unwelcome of guests -- the parasite-infested mosquito.
It's the damned heat Carruthers, isn't it? It seems to be mainly reheating the same old stories...
August 16, 2007
Rothamsted Temperature Record Problem?
The Rothamsted Research Centre is one of three temperature recording centres of record for the official Central England Temperature. I can't spot the Stevenson screen on Google Maps but the research station is still fairly large and green. So is it a reliable source of data?
The driver of the increasing warmth in the UK is mainly the increase in the T min (Minimum Temperature - we aren't getting the cold to bring the averages down).
Here is the T min series:
Wow, quite a jump in the Tmin for Rothamsted (the solid red line).
As the Met Office notes - "the coldness of Ringway around 1993 the warmth of Rothamsted around 1993 and 2001, while disconcerting, may not be outliers in view of the expected uncertainties. That Rothamsted T min is not fully supported by Cambridge T min suggests calibration or siting biases rather than real spatial variations of min temperature anomalies. If any biases can be ascertained following further investigation of Ringway and Rothamsted, then the CET series should be adjusted accordingly." Source
I can't find any evidence that they have done any further investigations or adjustments, so the extra half a degree(?) from Rothamsted still feeds into the data.
Just eyeballing that, does it look right to you? I have no idea what is going on, is it correct or whether there is a software problem such as Steve McIntyre found with the US records, or a siting bias as the Met Office suggests or maybe something else.
Just north and north west of Rothamsted lies the Bedfordshire brick fields, an average distance would be about twenty miles away. There used to be over 130 chimneys there belching out sulphurous fumes. As we know this sort of pollution cools the atmosphere and is bad, so they have all been knocked down apart from one or two, which try to be as non polluting as possible.
This is the area in 1974:
Could this be the source of the anomalous jump in Rothamsted's temperature average, which fuels the jump in the UK record?
August 15, 2007
Kim du Toit muses on whatever a man sows, that he will also reap and points me to this article in, of all places, Rolling Stone magazine, which eviscerates the “ethanol is good” line once and for all.
Because RS is mostly a magazine written by Manhattan pinkos, the main thrust of the article is not one I’d have chosen:
Our current ethanol production represents only 3.5 percent of our gasoline consumption—yet it consumes twenty percent of the entire U.S. corn crop, causing the price of corn to double in the last two years and raising the threat of hunger in the Third World.
Of course, none of this matters to the eco-loons. But as someone pointed out, forcing our energy products to switch to a higher corn-based fuel mix is the kind of central planning and command economy which caused the Communist regimes of the 20th century to endure massive distortions, shortages, and famines, and eventually, to go tits-up.
Oy. Y’all might want to consider what we in the grocery business called “forward buying”—purchasing food at today’s costs to be able to ride out tomorrow’s sky-high prices, until sanity returns.
Nearer home The Farmers Weekly reports Wheat yields below par but prices continue to climb..Yields are down about 10%. In past years we have exported about 10% of our crop, this 10% is now earmarked for use to make ethanol. Crunch time in the market. Yields in Europe are also reported to be down, though luckily the US is reporting decent crops. But with the price of wheat double that of last year expect food inflation throughout all sectors as it is the foundation stone for the whole industry.
August 14, 2007
Good News on Climate Change
Met Office: London & South East England: forecast
Severe weather warnings have been issued for London & South East England
As the tanned, cheerful twenty-somethings set up their tents, you could be forgiven for thinking this was the summer's latest music festival.
Environmental campaigners have assembled here not just to oppose a third runway for the airport.
With their compost toilets, wind turbines and leaderless command structure, they are also keen to demonstrate that an alternative, more sustainable way of living is possible.
Brenda Hatton, 60, a retired head teacher from central London, says she woke up to the issue of climate change after her 29-year-old son began studying geography at university.
"I'm not here for me - I'm here for my children and my grandchildren," ...
Protesters pitch their tents alongside others from the same area - Oxford, London and Nottingham already have settlements, each with their own kitchen serving vegan, organic food.
They say they are here to learn as well as speak out.
More than 100 workshops are due to be held on subjects like carbon offsetting and building wind turbines.
"It's been fun so far - I've been topping up my tan while I work," laughs Claire Blatchford, 20, a "full-time protester" who has spent four months at a peace camp outside Faslane naval base in Scotland.
"I've brought sturdy boots and my waterproofs, though. I'm sure I'll need them after the summer we've had."
Even the most ardent climate change protester, it seems, is forever at the mercy of British weather.
It is almost worth firing up the SUV to drive up to Heathrow to see how the makeshift tents and wind turbines are faring in the howling winds and torrential rain of our globally warmed summer....
Central England Temperature - What a waste of time
With all the hoohah over the US surface stations and the apocalyptic warming the Met Office is warning us of I thought it was time for some investigation.
Met Office: HadCET:Central England Temperature
Central England Temperature is representative of a roughly triangular area of the United Kingdom enclosed by Bristol, Lancashire and London. The monthly series begins in 1659, and is the longest available instrumental record of temperature in the world.
The timeseries shows variations across a broad range of timescales, and illustrates recent warming. 2006 was the warmest calendar year in this record by a considerable distance, coming on top of a long run of warm years.
The HadCET data series consist of daily, monthly and seasonal temperatures. Anomalies are also calculated with respect to 1961-1990 climatology. The stations used to compile CET are chosen from the UK surface station network to be consistent as possible with those used historically. The data is then adjusted to ensure consistency with the historical series.
So I have spent several hours looking at the stations, adjustments, aerial photos, musing over the non adjustment for urban warming at Oxford Radcliffe Observatory and then I find that a commenter at Climate Audit has done all the work for me and I had been wasting my time.....
Climate Audit - by Steve McIntyre » Warmest Month
From 1878 to 1930, the monthly CET mean temperature record was the average of “Lancashire” and Oxford, where “Lancashire” was derived from four to seven stations in the northwest of England reduced to a common standard (Manley, 1946)
From 1931 to 1973, the Oxford record was thrown out and replaced by the “corrected” Radcliffe Observatory monthly mean (Knox-Shaw and Balk, 1932).
From 1974 to October 2004, the whole lot was thrown out and replaced by Rothamsted, Malvern, and the average of Squires Gate and Ringway.
And since October 2004, it’s been comprised of Rothamsted, Malvern, and Stonyhurst, equally weighted.
Now, any scientist worth his salt will tell you that while this makes for an interesting record, we cannot draw any kind of firm conclusions regarding the record. In particular, comparing the pre- and post- 1974 records is useless.
Having said all that, here’s the record so you can judge for yourselves whether the current warming is unusual …
August 13, 2007
Greeny Wet Dream
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Pulling the plug on wasting water
"meta name="Description" content="Water is a finite resource and attitudes towards its consumption have to change if we do not want the taps to run dry."
Englishman's meta tag="bollocks"
August 11, 2007
In the 18th century, a revolution in thought, known as the Enlightenment, dragged us away from the superstition and brutality of the Middle Ages toward a modern age of science, reason and democracy. It changed everything. If it wasn't for the Enlightenment, you wouldn't be reading this right now. You'd be standing in a smock throwing turnips at a witch. Yes, the Enlightenment was one of the most significant developments since the wheel. Which is why we're trying to bollocks it all up.
Welcome to a dangerous new era - the Unlightenment - in which centuries of rational thought are overturned by idiots. Superstitious idiots. They're everywhere - reading horoscopes, buying homeopathic remedies, consulting psychics, babbling about "chakras" and "healing energies", praying to imaginary gods, and rejecting science in favour of soft-headed bunkum. But instead of slapping these people round the face till they behave like adults, we encourage them. We've got to respect their beliefs, apparently.
Well I don't. "Spirituality" is what cretins have in place of imagination. If you've ever described yourself as "quite spiritual", do civilisation a favour and punch yourself in the throat until you're incapable of speaking aloud ever again. Why should your outmoded codswallop be treated with anything other than the contemptuous mockery it deserves?
Maybe you've put your faith in spiritual claptrap because our random, narrative-free universe terrifies you. But that's no solution. If you want comforting, suck your thumb. Buy a pillow. Don't make up a load of floaty blah about energy or destiny. This is the real world, stupid. We should be solving problems, not sticking our fingers in our ears and singing about fairies. Everywhere you look, screaming gittery is taking root, with serious consequences. The NHS recently spent £10m refurbishing the London Homeopathic Hospital. The equivalent of 500 nurses' wages, blown on a handful of magic beans. That was your tax money. It was meant for saving lives.......
August 10, 2007
Blogger Sceptics Change Climate History
Via Numberwatch Hush, not a word to the public!Newsweek and Al Gore tried to make the case that climate skeptics were counter-productive and evil.
Climate scientist Michael Mann (famous for the hockey stick chart) once made the statement that the 1990's were the warmest decade in a millennia and that "there is a 95 to 99% certainty that 1998 was the hottest year in the last one thousand years."
Well, it turns out, according to the NASA GISS database, that 1998 was not even the hottest year of the last century. This is because many temperatures from recent decades that appeared to show substantial warming have been revised downwards. Here is how that happened....
Anthony Watts at SurfaceStations.org has lead an effort to photo-document these temperature stations as an aid to scientists in evaluating the measurement quality of each station. The effort has been eye-opening, as it has uncovered many very poor instrument sitings that would bias temperature measurements upwards, as I found in Tucson and Watts has documented numerous times on his blog.
One photo on Watt's blog got people talking - a station in MN with a huge jump in temperature about the same time some air conditioning units were installed nearby. Others disagreed, and argued that such a jump could not be from the air conditioners, since a lot of the jump happened with winter temperatures when the AC was dormant. Steve McIntyre, the Canadian statistician who helped to expose massive holes in Michael Mann's hockey stick methodology, looked into it. After some poking around, he began to suspect that the GISS data base had a year 2000 bug in one of their data adjustments.
Unfortunately, it was hard to prove. Why? Well, that highlights one of the great travesties of climate science. Government scientists using taxpayer money to develop the GISS temperature data base at taxpayer expense refuse to publicly release their temperature adjustment algorithms or software (In much the same way Michael Mann refused to release the details for scrutiny of his methodology behind the hockey stick). Using the data, though, McIntyre made a compelling case that the GISS data base had systematic discontinuities that bore all the hallmarks of a software bug.
Today, the GISS admitted that McIntyre was correct, and has started to republish its data with the bug fixed. And the numbers are changing a lot. Before today, GISS would have said 1998 was the hottest year on record (Mann, remember, said with up to 99% certainty it was the hottest year in 1000 years) and that 2006 was the second hottest. Well, no more. Here are the new rankings for the 10 hottest years in the US, starting with #1:
1934, 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999, 1953, 1990, 1938, 1939
Three of the top 10 are in the last decade. Four of the top ten are in the 1930's, before either the IPCC or the GISS really think man had any discernible impact on temperatures....
Surface Station Fraud?
The latest IPCC report cites Jones et al. [Nature, 1990] as
one of its main supports for the insignificance of Urban
Heat Islands--a critical issue. The paper seems to be bogus,
and Doug Keenan has filed a formal allegation of research fabrication.
For details, see
Informath >> Notes on W.-C. Wang fabrications and Jones et al. [Nature, 1990]
July 31, 2007
Night of the Broken Glass
Greens employing guerrilla tactics have begun targeting the prized assets of car-loving Germans.
The tyres of dozens of 4x4 vehicles were slashed last week in Berlin, with each attack accompanied by a note detailing the dangers of carbon emissions tucked under the windscreen wiper.
Germans running around smashing glass and sticking notes on the vandalised windows...don't mention "Krystalnacht" as that would be implying their intolerance has historical undertones, and “Krystalnacht” is an absolutely unacceptable term in Germany today.
July 30, 2007
Race to the Pole
A RACE across the Arctic Circle by the three stars of TV’s Top Gear show was yesterday condemned by environment campaigners.
Greenpeace described the race to the magnetic North Pole involving gas-guzzling 4x4s as “beggaring belief” and “highly irresponsible” and said the BBC – a public service broadcaster – should not screen it.
In Top Gear – Polar Special, Jeremy Clarkson and James May race specially converted Toyota Hilux vehicles against Richard Hammond driving a sled pulled by Canadian inuit dogs....
Missed it last night, can't wait to catch it on youtube - or will I manage to watch it on the much hyped BBC iplayer
July 28, 2007
Here is the proof that it really is Man made global warming....
Hot and Dry or Cold and Wet, the model predicts them both so must be correct
Floods show global warming is here - Telegraph .... no year has been more joltingly significant in our coming to terms with the reality of what is now happening than the past 12 months.
It began with Sir Nicholas Stern's report on climate change last autumn. There followed an extraordinary scientific reaffirmation of the predictions made in the late 1980s and early 1990s by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).
The overall trend for Britain identified by the computer models as a result of global warming was wetter winters and drier summers. However, Dr Peter Stott, a climate scientist at the University of Reading... said more intense rain storms in wetter years would also fit into the pattern.
"Generally speaking, the models are tending to show a drier trend in summer in the UK," he said. "Nevertheless, when it rains it can rain harder, because the atmosphere can contain more moisture in a warmer world."
Is there anything the model can't be claimed to have predicted, the Delphic Oracle would be proud.
July 27, 2007
There is sterling work going on in the USA by Citizen Journalists auditing the temperature recording network at www.surfacestations.org. Some unbelievably badly sited or maintained stations are being used to feed data into the system - see for instance Detroit Lakes.
So what about the UK?
The official record is the Central England Temperature (which) is representative of a roughly triangular area of the United Kingdom enclosed by Bristol, Lancashire and London. The monthly series begins in 1659, and is the longest available instrumental record of temperature in the world.
... The stations used to compile CET are chosen from the UK surface station network to be consistent as possible with those used historically. The data is then adjusted to ensure consistency with the historical series.
The Met office released a paper on corrections to the CET series here:
Uncertainties in the Central England Temperature series 1878-2003 - pdf
Quantification of uncertainties in climatic data records is a prerequisite for the
interpretation of trends and extreme values. Here we estimate the uncertainties in
the most recent and reliable 125 years of the longest instrumental record in the
world: Central England Temperature (CET)...
CETmax and CETmin are constrained to have an average equal to CETmean,
as published by Manley (1974)
What? They have decided that Manley in 1974 got the mean right so all they are going to adjust are the max and min, in equal amounts to keep the mean the same. Isn't that deciding on the answer before looking at the evidence?
Measurement errors include thermometer calibration errors, errors from reading
and recording temperatures (precision errors), and errors arising from the
method of housing the thermometers.
Calibration errors in the late 19th century cited by the Met Office (1879, 1880) have a
standard deviation of about 0.2°C in magnitude. So we assume a single
thermometer standard error of 0.15°C throughout and assume the errors are
random between thermometers, ...
Results: Calibration standard error for CETmax and CETmin
1959 on 0.079
I know my statistics are rusty but somehow they just made a thermometer which may be 0.2°C out only give an error of 0.08..hmmm.
They do a similar calculation on the reading errors. They continue...
For thermometers housed in Stevenson screens, the type and condition of the
screen affects the accuracy of the measured value. A comparison of temperatures
taken from digital thermometers housed in various screens in Sweden (Andersson
and Mattisson, 1991) revealed much bigger extreme differences between the
screen thermometers and an aspirated thermometer (the 'true' value) than those
given in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Guide to Meteorological
Instruments and Methods of Observation (WMO, 1983)....Andersson and Mattisson calculated RMS
errors of 0.26°C, 0.31°C.. for daily Tmax, Tmin......
....the 1980s. The subsequent increase in diurnal range then appears to be
exceptional in a historical context. The known increase in sunshine in the United
Kingdom in recent decades (Parker et al., 2004) is consistent with an increase in
diurnal temperature range.
Owing to the availability of additional digitized daily data, Parker et al (1992)
used different stations for daily CETmean than Manley (1974) had used for monthly
CET ). Because of these differences in stations, the areal average
temperature at Parker et al’s stations differed slightly from Manley’s values. So
Parker et al. (1992) adjusted their daily CETmean values to make their monthly
averages consistent with Manley (1974). For similar reasons, when we created
daily CETmax and CETmin series, again using a different sequence of stations (Table
1), we adjusted the values so that each day’s average of CETmax and CETmin
equaled that day’s adjusted CETmean and was therefore also compatible with
....no urbanisation adjustments were made to the CETmax series because
urbanisation is known to affect minima much more than maxima...
The total uncertainty for a given time-scale is the square root of the sum of all of
the individual error variances on that time-scale.
...This shows that temperature differences between at least the 10 warmest years
are not statistically significant given (especially) the areal sampling and
calibration errors. Therefore statements such as “2003 was the 7th warmest year
in the CET record” must be qualified with reservations regarding the uncertainty....
And so it goes on.. It seems to my inexpert eye they have decided that the mean temperature is correct and all they are doing is estimating how far off the extremes are -I don't get any feeling they have asked the question what if there is a systematic bias in one direction at one or more of the measuring sites. But then they are Brtitish so they must be reliable, mustn't they?
Scottish Greens demand scrapping Ohm's Law
PLANS to turn Scotland into the renewable-energy powerhouse of Europe are under threat from new rules being proposed by the UK electricity regulator, experts warned last night.
Ofgem is preparing to impose higher charges on electricity generators located further away from large population centres. The move could make some schemes in the Highlands and Islands economically unviable....Ofgem is expected to approve the changes to the cost of connecting to the National Grid, which would make it more expensive for generators located further away from cities and towns. The regulator said this would cut the amount of electricity lost as heat, as it travels along cables, saving £15 million a year and 150,000 tonnes of carbon emissions....SNP energy spokesman, Mike Weir, said the charges were "ludicrous and discriminatory". He added: "Ofgem has yet again proved it is prepared to undermine the Scottish renewable industries through its mad obsession with the theory of locational charges. "Scotland has the potential to be the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy, but time and again Ofgem puts obstacles in the way, rather than promoting this vital national benefit."
Whoops, it isn't Ofgem's faults it is those tricky old laws of physics. It is no good pumping kilowatts of juice into lines hundreds of miles away from the nearest kettle. All that wire gets warm and uses it up. So it seems only fair that Ofgem want to pay on what drips out the users end rather than what some bearded loon on Rockall is shovelling in. But hey! what has science got to do with believing in windmills...
July 26, 2007
German environmentalists save Nazi resort - Telegraph
A vast seaside resort built by the Nazis is to be resurrected as a youth hostel to cater for increasing numbers of environmentally conscious Germans staying at home for their holidays.
First built for the master race as part of the Nazi "Strength Through Joy" programme, the hulking dormitories of Prora, stretching over three miles of pristine Baltic coast, were intended to house 20,000 people at a time.
Green party demands for less polluting behaviour have been echoed by Social Democrats, whose deputy parliamentary leader, Ulrich Kelber, has sung the praises of train travel and called for Germans to avoid flights. Even staunch conservatives from Bavaria have been pressing Germans to "learn to value the qualities close to where you live".
"Climatic change has arrived in Germany," said Mr Hohls the head of the German Youth Hostel Association. "The weather has got better and better and in general more and more Germans are staying at home."
July 24, 2007
Global Warming and the floods beg the question
A catastrophe with mankind's footprints stamped on it - Times Online
Global warming is generating heavier rainfall over Britain of the sort that has triggered this week’s floods, scientists have confirmed for the first time.
While it has long been suspected that climate change is contributing to increased precipitation over midlatitude countries such as Britain, research has now conclusively linked greenhouse gases to heavier downpours.
Conclusive, debate is over... but , but...
The findings, from an international team including several British scientists, do not prove that this week’s flooding is the direct result of global warming: it is linked to weather patterns that have been known before.
A bit of a cop out there, I thought you just said it was "conclusively linked "...
...the scientists compared recorded changes in rain and snowfall over land with changes that are predicted by climate models that account for global warming caused by greenhouse gases.
Eh? So the evidence is that models based on real world events mirror real world events, and then you slip a causative hypothesis in there. That kind of is Begging the question
... a logical fallacy, petitio principii, in which the conclusion of an argument is implicitly or explicitly assumed in one of the premises . Stephen Barker explains the fallacy in The Elements of Logic: "If the premises are related to the conclusion in such an intimate way that the speaker and listeners could not have less reason to doubt the premise than they have to doubt the conclusion, then the argument is worthless as a proof, even though the link between premises and conclusion may have the most case-iron rigor".In other words, the argument fails to prove anything because it takes for granted what it is supposed to prove.
July 23, 2007
Forcing the Voluntary to be Compulsory
System recalls how the Catholic Church sold indulgences - Times Online
The MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee believe that forcing airlines and other businesses to offer carbon offsets will make customers think more about their impact on the environment. So the businessman will still fly to New York, but the £10 he pays voluntarily may make him think twice about his other activities – while also paying for solar cooking stoves in Bolivia or forest protection in Brazil.
The danger is that human nature could turn out to work in precisely the opposite way. The very cheapness of offsets could make people underestimate climate change. And by paying an extra £10 for our flight or cab ride or gas-guzzling patio heater, we may simply feel free to keep on sinning.
I fear that the second is more likely. HSBC and Barclays are both described in this report as having increased their carbon dioxide emissions after introducing offsetting schemes. All government departments now offset – but walk around Whitehall at night and you will see that the lights are still on. That is why many environmentalists feel that offsetting is the modern equivalent of the guilt-absolving indulgences sold in the 16th century by the Catholic Church.
So what to do?
About 1.5 million Britons offset their flights last year. Ten per cent of people travelling with lastminute.com offset too. That is a substantial figure for schemes that are voluntary, and brand new. It is, in fact, a dramatic demonstration of conscience by individuals. Its popularity should be sending a clear signal to Government that the public wants decisive action.
Eh? Ten per cent of people do something voluntarily means that the Government should force the remaining 90% to do the same?
And let's look at what the "substantial figure" actually is....
The inconvenient truth about the carbon offset industry | Climate change | Guardian Unlimited Environment
It is 20 months now since British Airways proudly announced a new scheme to deal with climate change: for the first time, passengers could offset their share of the carbon produced by any flight by paying for the same amount of carbon to be taken out of the atmosphere elsewhere. "I welcome warmly this move from BA," said the then environment minister, Elliot Morley.
And how much carbon has BA offset from the estimated 27m tonnes which its planes have fired into the air since that high-profile moment in September 2005? The answer is less than 3,000 tonnes, less than 0.01% of its emissions - substantially less than the carbon dispersed by a single day of its flights between London and New York. The scheme has been, as BA's company secretary, Alan Buchanan, put it to a House of Commons select committee earlier this year, "disappointing".
EU Fine Causes Flood Defence Cuts - as not reported by the BBC
BBC NEWS | Politics | Flood defence spending to be cut - 2 August 2006
Efforts to prevent floods are under threat as the government's environment department is forced to cut £200m in the next six months.
The Environment Agency, which runs flood defences, is among those being hit by cutbacks at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The cuts are at least partly being made to make up for losses from the failures in the new subsidy system for farmers.
Those "losses" were not the "losses" at all, they were a fine by the EU for Defra cocking up the RPA payments , but then you wouldn't expect the BBC to say that, would you?
Greenmail on Passengers
PASSENGERS should pay a "green tax" on airfares to combat the damage to the environment caused by increased flying, an influential Westminster committee said last night.
Tim Yeo, who chairs the Commons environmental audit committee, said airlines should be forced to levy a charge of up to £40 for every flight to offset carbon emissions from aircraft.
Last November we had this:
Tim Worstall: Airline CO2 Charges
AIRLINE passengers would pay up to £27 extra for a return ticket to cover the environmental damage caused by their flights, under European Commission proposals to address climate change....flights originating or arriving in the UK already pay tax (Air Passenger Duty) of about this amount such flights will in effect be double taxed
So is Tim Yeo - shamed shagger and Ken Clarke backing "Conservative" - just respouting the EU line or is this a suggestion for yet another grab on passengers cash?
July 22, 2007
Worcester Flood Levels
Noah's Marks at the Watergate - River Severn Flood Levels::
Beside the Watergate to Worcester Cathedral is this flood depth indicator. The highest recorded flood was in 1770, the plaque high on the wall marks this. Just below this to the left is 1947. The highest recent flood is marked on the right and was in November 2000. (More) - Although most of the recorded floods are in December to March, summer flooding in May and June have been very high.
© Copyright Bob Embleton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Politicians call for action after floods cause havoc in the UK - Wikinews, the free news source
Politicians in the United Kingdom have started calling for action after months of heavy rainfall have left parts of Britain in crisis from flooding and electricity and water shortages. Environment Agency chief executive Baroness Young has called for an increased budget of around £1 billion a year to pay for flood defenses. Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has suggested that the conditions were 'unprecedented'...
July 21, 2007
The real cost of anti-GM, pro-biofuels greenery; poor black babies starve.
Scotsman.com News - Families face stark choice ... pay more for food or go GM
CONSUMER resistance to the idea of genetically modified foods must be overcome if there is be a solution to the growing problem of food inflation, scientists have said.
"Organic farming requires four times as much land-use. It is an extensive method of agriculture, rather than intensive. Acceptance of biotechnologies will allow us to develop cheaper and better food and mitigate our environmental impact."
Advocates claim it will enable farmers to gain higher crop yields through better weed control and reduce the use of toxic pesticides...Genetic modification can give plants immunity to viruses, making crops less likely to fail and boosting yields. It can also improve their nutritional value.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said: "No-one has ever been reported as suffering from illness because the food they had eaten had been genetically modified." .....
Poor countries, they say, will be less reliant on hand-outs, the nutritional content of basic foods can be improved and vaccines to fight disease can all be added to GM crops. In essence, they claim it is the answer to the growing problem of feeding the world.
BUT critics, such as Friends of the Earth Scotland, believe the large-scale release of GM organisms into the environment would irreversibly damage the countryside, eliminating diversity and turning it into a green monoculture.
They claim it may cause damage to human health, contribute to the evolution of pesticide-resistant "superweeds", and make organic farming impossible because of cross-pollination.
Corn has doubled in price over the past 18 months, wheat prices have gained about 50 per cent, while sugar and cocoa prices are also on the up.
This week the UN warned that rising prices for food would affect its ability to fight famine in Africa.
A report by the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, stressed that long-term prices would be up to 30 per cent higher than expected.
"Growth in the use of agricultural commodities as feedstock to a rapidly increasing biofuel industry is one of the main... reasons for international commodity prices to attain a significantly higher plateau," the report said.
The warning is likely to re-ignite the debate on food versus fuel. Under America's "ethanol policy", a quarter of US maize is converted into bio-fuels. As the US supplies more than two-thirds of the world's grain imports, the effect on food prices will be dramatic.
July 19, 2007
Feed the World
Business Daily Africa - the international window into East African business opportunities - Annan rules out use of GMOs in the war on hunger in Africa
In what is bound to stir controversy in agriculture and scientific circles, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan has ruled out the use of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) in the battle against food insecurity and poverty in Africa.
“We in the alliance will not incorporate GMOs in our programmes. We shall work with farmers using traditional seeds known to them,”
Twat - let a real wise elder, who knows what he is speaking about, tell you what is really needed.
Carnivore's Carbon Shame
Eating beef ' is less green than driving' | Uk News | News | Telegraph
Producing 2.2lb of beef generates as much greenhouse gas as driving a car non-stop for three hours, it was claimed yesterday....
Su Taylor, the press officer for the Vegetarian Society, told New Scientist: "Everybody is trying to come up with different ways to reduce carbon footprints, but one of the easiest things you can do is to stop eating meat."
"Everybody" being a relative term there, compared to the roaring fires of Hades that I barbecued my steak on last night a few cow farts are insignificant! Maybe we should campaign to eat our beef rarer to save on charcoal...
The cost of a saint's visitation
If you're looking to book Al Gore for a 75-minute "Environmental Multimedia Lecture," the former vice president will cost you $100,000, plus travel, hotel, security, and per diem expenses. Gore's standard speaker's contract, a copy of which you'll find below, also stipulates that the Democrat's ground transportation be "a sedan, NOT an SUV." Additionally, Gore requests that speech sponsors make every effort to use a hybrid vehicle for his transport. The Gore contract, which is more restrained than the one used by Rudolph Giuliani, stipulates that no press be permitted at the event and that the Democrat receive approval over the distribution of photographs from the appearance. Gore's contract for a May 21 appearance at the University of California, San Diego was released by the school. Though the contract seeks "absolute confidentiality" when it comes to the deal's terms, since UCSD is a public university, the California Public Records Act requires that the document be released upon request....
Who says Greenery doesn't pay!
July 18, 2007
A Real Hero Rewarded
Could there be a man alive today who is virtually unknown to the vast majority of Americans yet is described by those who know his work and accomplishments as "the greatest human being who ever lived"? So it is for Dr. Norman Borlaug.
As the result of multiple appeals to Congress by his friends and colleagues, yesterday at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington President Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bestowed upon Dr. Borlaug the highest civilian honor: the Congressional Gold Medal.
Dr. Borlaug has already received the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, being one of only five people in history to achieve all three honors (reason enough to think he should be better known than Paris Hilton)...
And if you have not heard of him, you should have, and ...
the challenges he faced from those who claimed genetic engineering and crossbreeding were "unnatural" and that vast increases in wheat yields came at the cost of "big business" replacing subsistence farming.... his anxiety over the growing problem of wheat rust — a fast-spreading, wind-borne fungus that shrivels wheat stems — and about his frustration over the rejection of biotechnology by many environmentalists.
The EU's Green Shill Bidding
Friends of the Earth Europe, the group pre-eminent in lobbying the EU for tighter controls to combat global warming, received €635,000 in funding from the EU commission last year.
That, with additional funds from German, Austrian and Dutch ministries of environment, plus contributions from the United Nations Environment Programme, accounted for over fifty percent of the group's income, making it primarily a taxpayer-funded organisation.
The extent of EU and member state funding was revealed yesterday by administrative affairs commissioner Siim Kallas to the EU parliament in Brussels, in a speech on the "European Transparency Initiative", an initiative which is set to require groups to disclose the funds spent on lobbying EU institutions.
During the speech, Kallas also revealed that Oxfam had received € 48 million from the commission over two years to carry out development and humanitarian projects throughout the world .....
The fact that Friends of the Earth Europe receives such a large proportion of its total income from the taxpayer, however, is especially significant. The group forms part of the "civil society" caucus to which the commission pays special attention, as part of its programme to encourage "participative democracy" – its response to the low turn-out for EU parliament elections and the fact that commission members are unelected.
Clearly, the fact that its European group is, in effect, a quasi-governmental organisation – although its member groups solicit donations from the public – gives Friends of the Earth a privileged position in promoting its global warming agenda, and its funding from the United Nations further strengthens its position.
This is in stark contrast to the climate sceptic groups and individuals which are largely unfunded – and often have funding withdrawn when they express views hostile to the global warming "consensus", thus giving the "warmists" a clear advantage in promoting their cause.
For the commission, this is also advantageous. Having bought into global warming as a major element of its environmental policy, it can be seen to be responding to apparently independent, voluntary groups while, in fact, it is actually paying to have itself lobbied to take actions which, in the main, it would wish to take anyway.
Shill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A shill is an associate of a person selling goods or services or a political group, who pretends no association to the seller/group and assumes the air of an enthusiastic customer. The intention of the shill is, using crowd psychology, to encourage others unaware of the set-up to purchase said goods or services or support the political group's ideological claims. Shills are often employed by confidence artists and governments.
Fake bloggers soon to be ‘named and shamed’ - Times Online
Businesses which write fake blog entries or create whole wesbites (sic) purporting to be from customers will fall foul of a European directive banning them from “falsely representing oneself as a consumer”.
No word if the directive also applies to "shamities".
Buy Foreign to save the planet
FOR the conscientious, food shopping now poses yet another ethical dilemma: is it really better to buy locally rather than shipping meat, fruit and vegetables around the globe?
A conference of experts yesterday heard that importing food from the other side of the world can actually be more energy-efficient than buying British produce and helps developing countries tackle poverty.
The debate threatens to split the organic movement and could leave ordinary shoppers confused as to what to do for the best. It also comes as the Scottish Conservatives launch a "buy local, eat local" campaign to support farmers and reduce food miles...
Ah, the Tories, there's never a bandwagon that they don't jump on as it has passed....
July 16, 2007
North Pole News
SEA STORIES FROM THE ARCTIC OCEAN
On the 25th of August 1960, the nuclear attack submarine, USS Seadragon (SSN-584) surfaced in an open lake of water or "polynya" very near the North Pole. We were the fourth submarine in history to have reached the top of the world!....
Jon Daly pointed out at length that The Top of the World often has ice free areas.
Heading North! Traveling the Arctic Region, U.S. Submarines Find Adventure, New Challenges, and New Friends
USS Honolulu (SSN-718) is the 24th Los Angeles-class submarine to surface at the North Pole....
19 mins, -1.8C: the first swim at the North Pole - Times Online
Mr Pugh, a maritime lawyer and environmental campaigner from London, swam a kilometre (.62 miles) at the Geographic North Pole to highlight the effects of global warming. At -1.8C (28.76F), it is believed to be the coldest water a human has ever swum in.
Clad only in his Speedo trunks, cap and goggles as required by the rules of the Channel Swimming Association – which also forbid any buoyancy aids, swimming caps that offer any thermal protection or trunks cut above crotch level – Mr Pugh spent just under 19 agonising minutes in the melted sea ice navigating a path in a crack between broken floes.
The feat would not have been possible ten years ago, when the water was entirely frozen over, even in summer.
North Pole Environmental Observatory
The comparison of open water at the Pole to an ice-free Arctic Ocean is something of an exaggeration. Typically the areal concentration of open water in the ice pack during the summer is 10%. Therefore, under normal conditions a visitor to the North Pole in late summer should expect to find some open water approximately one time out of ten. The National Snow and Ice Data Center posted satellite imagery from July 26, 2000, and although the region near the North Pole was obscured by thick clouds, a fairly typical summer pattern of jumbled ice floes and frequent leads of open water is evident in the central Arctic Ocean. Among the historical anecdotes related to us about open water at the Pole is the surfacing of USS Queenfish(SSN 651) during summer 1970 through a polynya a few hundred yards across about 500 yards from the North Pole....
Hat tip The Bishop
July 14, 2007
It's the sun wot done it down under
An Australian academic has spoken out against the popular view that global warming is caused by greenhouse gas emissions. He believes that global warming and climate change are caused by cycles in the sun's electro-magnetic radiation. He says scientists are taking a narrow view and politicians are making policy with the wrong information.
And the forecast is...
Having been caught unawares by the torrential rain this summer, the Met Office was somewhat diffident in issuing its first forecast for next winter.
It will be warmer and wetter than usual, but colder and drier than last year, and but for global warming it would be colder than usual too.
Got that? In other words, the forecast is for an unexceptional winter. Perhaps.
And Courtney Cox may break into my bedroom wearing nothing but high heeled leather boots with a tub of chocolate ice cream, or she may not. It is that sort of accuracy of forecast we are getting from the experts who tell us what the effect of a cows fart has on the sea levels in Maldives.
May it was the Sun wot did it
EU Referendum makes the warmists wriggle and squirm with the graphs of recent global temperature.
July 12, 2007
Kennet's Illegal Rubbish Advice
- from The Gazette and Herald print version.
Did you spot it? The man responsible for our bugged bins implies he feeds kitchen waste to his chickens - and that is strictly illegal under EU law!
In the real world, as measurable by science, CO2 in the atmosphere and in the ocean reach a stable balance when the oceans contain 50 times as much CO2 as the atmosphere. "The IPCC postulates an atmospheric doubling of CO2, meaning that the oceans would need to receive 50 times more CO2 to obtain chemical equilibrium," explains Prof. Segalstad. "This total of 51 times the present amount of carbon in atmospheric CO2 exceeds the known reserves of fossil carbon-- it represents more carbon than exists in all the coal, gas, and oil that we can exploit anywhere in the world."
But that would defy logic, would it not?
Also in the real world, Prof. Segalstad's isotope mass balance calculations -- a standard technique in science -- show that if CO2 in the atmosphere had a lifetime of 50 to 200 years, as claimed by IPCC scientists, the atmosphere would necessarily have half of its current CO2 mass. Because this is a nonsensical outcome, the IPCC model postulates that half of the CO2 must be hiding somewhere, in "a missing sink." Many studies have sought this missing sink -- a Holy Grail of climate science research-- without success.
"It is a search for a mythical CO2 sink to explain an immeasurable CO2 lifetime to fit a hypothetical CO2 computer model that purports to show that an impossible amount of fossil fuel burning is heating the atmosphere," Prof. Segalstad concludes.
"It is all a fiction."
July 11, 2007
It's not the sun wot done it?
BBC NEWS | UK | 'No sun link' to climate change
A new scientific study concludes that changes in the Sun's output cannot be causing modern-day climate change.
It shows that for the last 20 years, the Sun's output has declined, yet temperatures on Earth have risen.
It also shows that modern temperatures are not determined by the Sun's effect on cosmic rays, as has been claimed.
Writing in the Royal Society's journal Proceedings A, the researchers say cosmic rays may have affected climate in the past, but not the present.
"This should settle the debate," said Mike Lockwood from the UK's Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, who carried out the new analysis together with Claus Froehlich from the World Radiation Center in Switzerland.
Dr Lockwood initiated the study partially in response to the TV documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, broadcast on Britain's Channel Four earlier this year, which featured the cosmic ray hypothesis.
"All the graphs they showed stopped in about 1980, and I knew why, because things diverged after that," he told the BBC News website.
"You can't just ignore bits of data that you don't like," he said.
Strangely it seems very easy to find graphs on line which claim to show the continued influence of cosmic rays on climate - for example Cosmic Rays and Climate Change, though I'm sure they haven't ignored this data.
After much searching, as the BBC doesn't seem to believe in linking to the real research, here is their paper.
Fighting talk - and there seems to be counter arguments in place already, but I look forward to a detailed response.
July 9, 2007
Al Gore not as popular as a dog
BBC axes One Man and his Dog...on Saturday afternoons, it had an audience of 1.6 million....
Evening viewing figures were 2.7 million, while 900,000 saw the afternoon broadcast.
Given the wall to wall hype the BBC was giving it they are pathetic figures - did we not turn on because we are bored of over the hill stars grasping at any opportunity to get their mugs on the Telly again or did we just want to avoid being preached at again?
July 7, 2007
Worms may not be as environmentally friendly as the growing number of gardeners who use them to help compost their kitchen scraps and grass clippings believe, say scientists.
In fact, the greenhouse gases emitted by a large commercial worm composting plant may be comparable to the global warming potential of a landfill site of the same scale, according to the Open University.
This is because worms used in composting emit nitrous oxide - a greenhouse gas 296 times more powerful, molecule for molecule, than carbon dioxide.
Mr Frederickson told Materials Recycling Week said: "Everybody loves worms because they think they can do no harm but they contribute to global warming.
....we must remember if we are evaluating this method against other ways of getting rid of wastes, such as landfill and incineration, that worm composting can also be a source of greenhouse gas emissions."
The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out
The ones that crawl in are lean and thin
The ones that crawl out are fat and stout
Your eyes fall in and your teeth fall out
Your brains come tumbling down your snout
Be merry my friends
July 5, 2007
Climate Change doomsayer sacked by the IPCC is hired by Defra -
Defra (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has appointed Dr Robert Watson (pictured), a former aide to the White House on climate change, as its new chief scientific advisor.
"I have spent nearly all of my career working on environmental issues and am very much looking forward to joining Defra," Watson said. "I am keen to continue to build on the foundations laid by Sir Howard Dalton and his team in ensuring one of Defra's strengths is its focus on robust and quality science and evidence-based policy."
One of the most outspoken scientists on the issue of global warming has been ousted from his job.
Dr Robert Watson was voted out of the chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Friday and will be replaced by one of the current vice-chairs, Dr Rajendra Pachauri.
Dr Watson's removal will spark a huge political row - environmentalists accuse the US Government of orchestrating a campaign to have the scientist sidelined.
They say Washington disliked Dr Watson's willingness to tell governments what he believes to be the unvarnished truth - that human activities are now contributing dangerously to climate change.
Dr Watson spoke to the BBC after the vote.
He continued: "We have to continue to press the case that climate change is a serious environmental issue, both for developed and developing countries.
Why do I have a bad feeling about this.....
July 4, 2007
Traditional nappies 'no better for environment' | Earth News | Earth | Telegraph
Traditional nappies 'no better for environment'
By Nicole Martin
Last Updated: 6:01pm BST 03/07/2007
A Government minister has delivered the news that millions of parents have been waiting to hear: traditional nappies are no more environmentally friendly than disposables.
Ben Bradshaw, the new health minister, made the comment after a four-year study by the Environment Agency concluded that "there is little or nothing to choose between them".
It found that the damage caused by burying disposables in landfill sites was matched by the electricity and greenhouse gases generated by washing and drying cloth nappies.
This would be the report that was released over two years ago then - the one the Real Nappy Cabal has been trying to bury ever since....
BBC NEWS | UK | No green winner in nappy debate
Thursday, 19 May, 2005
Whether parents use disposable or cloth nappies makes little difference to the environment, a report has concluded.
How slow news travels! Especially when it upsets the green apple cart.....
Leave it to the experts.
- Bishop Hill blog - - Climate cuttings 3 brings us upto date on the war of words about "dodgy" weather recording stations. As far as I can make out, the fact that some temperature is "rubbish" doesn't matter because the experts "adjust" it to make it "right". A bit like the CO2 reading from Mauna Loa which are "adjusted" when the wind is blowing the "wrong" way to make sure they are "right" as well. So don't worry it is all sorted by the experts.
At random I checked out the gallery of surface station temperature recorders in Colorado to lust after the magnificent open views where surely it can't be hard to place the recorders away from the heat and shade of buildings, tarmac and cars. Here's the first one I came across.....
July 3, 2007
The Wisdom of Crowds
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | 'Scepticism' over climate claims
The public believes the effects of global warming on the climate are not as bad as politicians and scientists claim, a poll has suggested.
The Ipsos Mori poll of 2,032 adults - interviewed between 14 and 20 June - found 56% believed scientists were still questioning climate change.
There was a feeling the problem was exaggerated to make money, it found.
The Royal Society said most climate scientists believed humans were having an "unprecedented" effect on climate.
The survey suggested that terrorism, graffiti, crime and dog mess were all of more concern than climate change.
Ipsos Mori's head of environmental research, Phil Downing, said the research showed there was "still a lot to do" in encouraging "low-carbon lifestyles".
"People should not be misled by those that exploit the complexity of the issue, seeking to distort the science": Sir David Read - Royal Society
It's just the weather
Science and folklore unite in predicting rain - Times Online Paul Simons: Weather Eye
This is not climate change, though. Will Hand, a forecast researcher at the Met Office, has studied previous extreme rains in Britain. “The depressions that gave such heavy frontal rain recently were typical of 20th-century rainfall extremes,” he explained. He cites the Great Borders Flood of August 1948 as an example, when a slow depression flooded the River Tweed, sweeping away 40 bridges and disrupting mainline rail services for two months.
Do I win a small prize for spotting the first expert not claiming extreme weather is climate change. And for Paul Simons to report it. Of course it would be unkind to remind him of his article last September
Why next summer could well be even longer and hotter . . . - Times Online - September 18, 2006
More at the Bishop's
July 2, 2007
Don't know why theres no sun up in the sky...
The future is wet. Summer was in April - Times Online
The heavy rain that spoilt May and June looks set to stay for the rest of summer, Met Office research suggests.
Cooler sea temperatures in the Pacific Ocean prompted by the La Niña weather system, sister to El Niño, have been identified as the likely cause of summer depressions sweeping across Northern Europe....
Adam Scaife, at the Met Office, said that researchers had now discovered that La Niña also played a big role in shaping British summers.
Meteorologists have become increasingly convinced of La Niña’s knock-on effect and have detected a growing signal in the Pacific that it is kicking in strongly. Their first clue was finding a mirror-image of Britain’s current weather in the southern hemisphere, where similar bands of depressions have been sweeping 45 to 55 degrees latitude, similar latitudes to Britain and Northern Europe. “To get this sort of symmetry in both hemispheres tells us that there’s something coming from the tropics, and La Niña is by far the biggest suspect,” Dr Scaife said.
Records going back more than 100 years revealed that bouts of La Niña often coincided with summer depressions sweeping across northernmost Europe.“There’s a remarkable similarity over the past four months’ forecasts and our historical analysis. If our forecast is correct, then unusually cloudy, windy conditions may continue this summer.” ...
The Church of England took a different stance to the Met Office as to cause of the floods — senior bishops said that the severe weather were a consequence of the West’s decision to ignore the Bible.
The church leaders emphasised that while the seven people who died were innocent victims, it was man-made climate change and an “arrogant” world “reaping what we have sown” that had caused the disasters of the past week.
Oh Great, just what we need, the Church of England trying to break into the religious fundamentalism market as well.... Look Bish. leave the faith based forecasting to the Met Office......
June 28, 2007
Taking the duty of Rape oil
New Government regulations are about to come into force which will open up the market for biofuel production in the UK.
At present the law requires anyone producing any quantity of a biofuel (mostly biodiesel in the UK) to pay duty of 28.35p on every litre.
Additionally producers must submit returns to HM Revenue & Customs and hold a permit, however, from 30th June 2007 the following changes come into force:
- A production threshold of 2,500 litres per annum below which producers will not need to submit returns or pay duty, ....
This fundamental change in regulation means that everyone will have the opportunity to produce enough biofuel for their own personal consumption, duty free.
One to look into, that field of Oilseed Rape looks like a good idea ....
June 27, 2007
Jeb at Numberwatch reminisces about awful warnings he has given about floods:
But some of us older Wiltshire residents know floods are nothing new.
The Great Till Flood is probably the most serious event in documented history on the river Till. The autumn of 1840 was wet and in December temperatures were below zero at Salisbury 21km to the south-south-east of Tilshead, for over two weeks. The temperature was reported to have been sub-zero from 4-11 January, with temperatures as low as -11C on 8 January. Heavy snow fell the day after and then more snow on the 13th; a rapid thaw and heavy rain on the 16th on a frozen sub-soil led to the GTF. At Shrewton 36 houses were destroyed, three people were drowned, and about 200 made homeless in the area (Cross, 1967, Salisbury Journal 25/1/1841). In the following year a number of Flood Cottages were erected from the money collected towards the Charity Fund. A commemorative plaque is fixed to the cottages at Shrewton and Tilshead..
Climate Change - The Proof
Ten predictions about climate change that have come true - Times Online
Here are the hard facts about global warming that everyone should know, compiled for Times Online by internationally acclaimed writer, scientist and explorer Tim Flannery...
1) That the Earth would warm as more CO2 was put into the atmosphere (Svante Arrhenius in 1893)
Causation of which by which, or correlation? Obviously we are chucking tons of the stuff into the air, but how much effect is it actually having?
2) That we'd begin to see noticable changes to Earth's climate by around 2000 (some IPCC scientists ).
And what are these changes? And how do they differ from changeable weather..
3) That sea-level would start rising
The Dutch National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management reporting on sea-levels that have been broadly rising since at least the end of the last Ice Age...say ""The water level measurements show no acceleration in sea level rise" and "It’s not always well documented where the measurements for the data on which the [IPCC] scenarios are based ". So the Dutch, who have most to lose from accelerating sea-level rise, see no evidence such an acceleration and find the climate models which suggest such an acceleration for the future unconvincing and poorly documented. Bear in mind that the part of the Netherlands which is below sea-level (more than half of the country and where most people live), is sinking as a result of post-glacial rebound (as is the Southern part of the UK).
4) That Earth's Ice would start melting rapidly (James Hanson)
....the melting Martian Polar Ice Caps , are they caused by our Climate Change as well?
5) That hurricanes would increase in intensity (this one goes back to Alfred Russel Wallace in 1900)
6) That species would start going extinct as a result of climate change.
The linked article just says "could"...
7) That Australia would start drying out (Hadley Centre scientists) -
Ah, the The El-Niño Southern Oscillation, been going on for a long time, as have droughts...
8) That tropical diseases would increase
yes, Malaria returning to the Fens and all that nonsense..
9) That food crops would be adversely affected
No source for that one?
10) That the CO2 would begin to acidify the ocean
0.1 pH change I believe is claimed?
Now to work through the rest of the list
June 26, 2007
Engineers are set to turn green into gold - Times Online
Investors in Europe’s big insurers will be among the losers as climate change hits balance sheets, while engineering companies are set to soar, according to a new report.
Made me think of this other snippet in The Times today about the advantages of placing your trust in science rather than faith...
Striking proof that lightning conductors work - Times Online
In 1769 lightning hit the tower of a church in Brescia, near Milan, and blew up the 100 tons of gunpowder stored there. The explosion levelled one sixth of the city and killed about 3,000 people, possibly the world’s worst recorded lightning disaster. The church authorities had turned down the chance of fitting the newly invented lightning conductor on the ground that it was heretical to interfere with divine will.
The Weather Forecast
Met Office: Summer 2007 forecast
Issued 30 May 2007
This forecast for Summer 2007 has been derived using global forecasting models and statistical methods. Seasonal variations usually affect large geographic areas, so the forecast for the UK is set in the broader picture of Europe as a whole. Summer, in this context, is defined as the months of June, July and August.
Since the mid 1980s the average UK surface air temperature has warmed by about 1 °C, which is about twice the global warming trend averaged over all land areas. As a consequence, summers (and indeed other seasons) warmer than the 1971-2000 average are now common (the last summer with temperatures below the 1971-2000 average was nearly 10 years ago in 1998). Moreover, the underlying chance of exceptionally warm summers, such as experienced in 2003 or 2006, has increased. Year-to-year variability can add or detract from the underlying trend, and seasonal forecasting systems are designed to detect these year-to-year changes.
For Summer 2007, our forecasting models show a signal for fewer weather patterns of the type that can bring particularly hot summer spells to the UK, and this may be partly a consequence of the expected development of moderate or stronger La Niňa conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
Seasonal forecasting techniques for rainfall predictions in summer are typically less skilful than winter forecasts or forecasts for temperature.
There continues to be a high probability that mean summer temperatures will be above the 1971-2000 long-term average over much of Europe including the UK. However, for the UK it is likely that exceptionally hot spells will be fewer than experienced in the summers of 2003 or 2006. Predictions suggest that there is no more than a 1 in 6 chance that the UK summer 2007 overall will be as hot, or hotter, than 2003 or 2006.
Current indications suggest drier than average over western-central Europe and wetter than average over parts of northern Europe. This pattern suggests that southern UK is more likely to experience average or below average rainfall, while average or above average rainfall is more likely in northern regions.
The summer forecast will next be updated at 10 a.m. 26 June 2007.
I will await their update today with interest.
June 22, 2007
Back to Peat and Candles
SCOTLAND is to lead the world in action to combat climate change, cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
John Swinney, the Cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth, told the Scottish Parliament he was committed to an ambitious programme of cuts that would be an inspiration to the world and help to turn this country into "the green energy capital of Europe"....
Mr Swinney said the country was already feeling the effects of climate change "with, for example, increased frequency and intensity of rainfall"....
Cutting Scotland's carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 will depend to a large extent on actions outwith the control of Holyrood.
John Swinney, whose responsibilities include sustainable growth, suggested insulation was a first step ordinary people could take.
An estimated 4.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - about 10 per cent of total emissions in 2004 - could be saved if every house in the country had a full energy-efficiency makeover.
A host of wind farms coming on stream by 2020 should make big inroads in reducing emissions. At the current rate of progress, 54 per cent of Scotland's electricity could come from renewables by 2020.
By 2030, emissions could be cut by up to 70 per cent through new climate-friendly technologies. Green taxes and a more extensive European carbon-trading scheme could also be brought in, while capturing and storing in old gas and oilfields could be used to deal with emissions from fossil-fuel power stations.
By 2050, hydrogen produced from renewable sources or clean coal could account for about a quarter of total energy use, fuelling cars and providing homes with electricity. Biofuels would also be commonplace....
The SNP fought the Scottish election on an anti-nuclear platform and has formed a parliamentary alliance with the Greens.
I suppose when the lights go out they will come running south of the border looking for help - if you are in Scotland, buy a generator and stockpile some fuel, it looks like it is going to be a long cold winter soon as you are driven back to the stone age.
June 12, 2007
Envelope Recycling News
Can envelopes, and especially window envelopes be recycled for pulp?
Yes, No and Maybe Do I care? I needed some and a friend who works for a charity was able to give me a couple of thousand as they weren't going to use them as they weren't recyclable and so were chucking them away unused. Pick the logic out of that.
June 10, 2007
More Evidence That Temperature Follows CO2 levels - You Read It Here First!
This is an updated entry on the relationship between the moon, CO2 levels and temperature - it brings together for the first time two strands of research and provides support for the C02 level following temperature rather than the other way around.
Ernst-Georg Beck first said that "CO2 amount in air varies monthly with lunar phases" Higher CO2 levels occur at full moons.
1 June 1999 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Randall S. Cerveny and Robert C. Balling Jr, of Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, demonstrate a strong relationship between the phase of the Moon and the range of temperatures experienced throughout a 24-hour day (the Diurnal Temperature Range, or DTR.)
Influence of Lunar Phase on Daily Global Temperatures Balling, Robert C., Jr.; Cerveny, Randall S Science, Volume 267, Issue 5203, pp. 1481-1483 These results reveal a statistically significant 0.02 K modulation between new moon and full moon, with the warmest daily global temperatures over a synodic month coincident with the occurrence of the full moon. Spectral analysis of the daily temperature record confirms the presence of a periodicity that matches the lunar synodic (29.53-day) cycle. The precision of the satellite-based daily temperature record allows verification that the moon exerts a discernible influence on the short-term, global temperature record.
They show that for the period between 1950 and 1995, the DTR fluctuates with the phases of the Moon. It tends to increase towards Full Moon, and tends to be lowest at New Moon. Simple
monthly differences in DTR between New Moon and Full Moon may be as much as 0.309 ºC
The researchers look at two possible causes for the observed increase in DTR close to the Full Moon. One is that moonlight -- the solar radiation reflected by the Moon -- could actually warm the Earth at this time of the month. This effect, which will be greatest at Full Moon, is small, but appreciable when calculated over the course of a month. However, it will only have the effect of increasing night-time temperatures.
More significant is a connection between the phase of the Moon and the overall position of the Earth–Moon system with respect to the Sun. It seems that the Earth is slightly closer to the Sun at Full Moon than at New Moon, and will therefore receive slightly more solar radiation during daylight hours, increasing maximum temperatures and thus DTR as a whole. - Adapted from a cached Nature article which also says "The message should be clear: all possible sources of variation should be investigated before blaming human activity alone for observed changes in climatic parameters."
Other references abstracts:
Impact of lunar phase on the timing of global and latitudinal tropospheric temperature maxima Balling, Robert C.; Cerveny, Randall S.
Over the past 16 years, global temperature data show that the warmest time of the synodic cycle generally occurs five to eight days before the full moon. This global pattern appears strongly in the polar and subtropical regions, however, the mid-latitudes of both hemispheres are inversely related to the global pattern. These empirical findings discount the possibility that variations in radiant energy directly control lower-tropospheric temperatures through the synodic month, and suggest a more indirect lunar modulation related to atmospheric circulation, specifically mid-latitude Rossby wave variations.
Updated paper confirms a statistically significantly higher DTR occurs near the full moon (~10.23°C) while a lower DTR occurs near the new moon (~10.13°C).
And a 2000 paper - Evidence of lunar phase influence on global surface air temperature Anyamba, Ebby K.; Susskind, Joel - reports that Intraseasonal oscillations appearing in a newly available 20-year record of satellite-derived surface air temperature are composited with respect to the lunar phase. The daily surface air temperature is one of the geophysical fields derived from the TOVS data processed at the NASA Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres. Polar regions exhibit strong lunar phase modulation with higher temperatures occurring near full moon and lower temperatures at new moon, in agreement with previous studies. The polar response to the apparent lunar forcing is most robust in winter when solar influence is at minimum. In addition, the response appears to be influenced by ENSO events. The highest mean temperature range between full moon and new moon in the region between 60° and 90° latitude was recorded in 1983, 1986/87, and 1990/91. Although the largest signal is in the polar regions, anomalies tend to progress equartoward in both hemispheres so that the warming in the tropics occurs at the time of the new moon.
So just using modern CO2 measurements from Muana Loa and accurate temperature records we can see that as the temperature goes up the CO2 level follows on this cycle - I'm making the assumption that there is no mechanism for the moon to increase the CO2 levels directly.
In a previous post I also quoted this:
Dip in the atmospheric CO2 level during the mid-1960's
Authors: Bacastow, R.
Publication: (International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Symposium on the Carbon Dioxide Cycle, Seattle, Wash., Aug. 31, 1977.) Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 84, June 20, 1979, p. 3108-3114. NSF-supported research. (JGR Homepage)
Publication Date: 06/1979
Removal of the southern oscillation effect from the CO2 records at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and the South Pole reveals corresponding decreases following the Agung eruption (Bali) in 1963. The period of the decreases roughly corresponds to the period of reduced solar transmittance, as measured at Mauna Loa. It is suggested that the decrease in CO2 level is due to reduced sea surface temperatures, for which there is some direct evidence. The temperature anomaly required to produce the CO2 level dip is calculated on the basis of several simple models and found to be close to that observed.
All your data are belong to us
Taskforce to cut 'cyber warming'
Reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the production, operation and disposal of computers is to be the aim of a new government taskforce.
Computers and other IT equipment have been blamed for causing as much global warming as the airline industry.
The taskforce will oversee the piloting of a "green PC" service in which individual machines use 98% less energy than standard PCs.
The "green PC" service works by hosting functions such as office applications, email and internet surfing on data centres rather than on individual computers.
As MS says:
So, the latest bogeyman to frighten us with is computers wrecking climate
change. So much more sensible to have all the data and programs stored on
one central government database that uses pure green energy. Of course, the
fact that this would make it much easier to monitor people's computers and
deny them access when they are naughty, is a cynical view of the matter.
More at Worstall's Terminal
June 9, 2007
Lunatic Global Warming
Full moon’s light has a warming effect on Earth-News-Weather-TimesOnline There also appears to be a link between the Moon and the daily range of temperature. A survey of weather records has revealed that the daily range rises slightly towards full moon, and falls to its lowest at new moon, a difference of up to 0.3C (0.5F).
One explanation is that moonlight can warm the Earth slightly at full moon, although only at night, of course. But the position of the Earth and Moon in the solar system is also important. At full moon, the Earth moves slightly closer to the Sun than at new moon, receiving a touch more solar radiation during the day and raising maximum temperatures.
And how they laughed at Ernst-Georg Beck when he first said that "CO2 amount in air varies monthly with lunar phases" . Of course if CO2 levels follow temperature then this trend he discovered makes perfect sense.
June 8, 2007
Numberwatch has excelled itself; fresh cup of coffee, get your self comfortable and read the thing, and then get someone else to do so.
Glow in the dark wolf packs thriving
Contaminated zone near Chernobyl nuclear plant becomes wildlife haven, intriguing biologists - Europe - BostonHerald.com The return of wildlife to the region near the world’s worst nuclear power accident is an apparent paradox that biologists are trying to measure and understand.
Many assumed the 1986 meltdown of one reactor, and the release of hundreds of tons of radioactive material, would turn much of the 1,100-square-mile evacuated area around Chernobyl into a nuclear dead zone.
It certainly doesn’t look like one today.
Dense forests have reclaimed farm fields and apartment house courtyards. Residents, visitors and some biologists report seeing wildlife - including moose and lynx - rarely sighted in the rest of Europe. Birds even nest inside the cracked concrete sarcophagus shielding the shattered remains of the reactor.
Tough and adaptable this nature stuff, and this also exposes the scares about radiation:
"a deeper split among biologists who study the effects of exposure to radiation. Some think organisms can cope with the destructive effects of radiation up to a point _ beyond which they begin to suffer irreparable damage. Others believe that even low doses of radiation can trigger cancers and other illnesses. "
As ever the fact that low levels of radiation are not only unharmful, but actually good, even essential, for life is ignored
June 6, 2007
Prim Prius Panned
A TELEVISION advert for a "green" car driven by celebrities including Leonardo di Caprio has been ditched, after watchdogs criticised its environmental claims as misleading.
In UK commercials, Toyota boasted that their Prius model, a favourite with planet-saving stars, used "one tonne less per year" than others cars.
But an investigation by broadcast regulators found these figures were not true when comparing the 1.5-litre Prius against cars with a similar-sized engine and only matched half of those with a 1.8-litre engine.
The Japanese car-maker was found guilty of breaching rules on using evidence, environmental claims, comparisons with other models and misleading advertising, said the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
So why are these "white lies" - is anything "environmental" given a free pass? If it was one of their excellent 4x4s they advertised with dodgy CO2 emission figures would that also be a "white lie"?
June 5, 2007
Miliband's Heroic Fight To Save The World
You take the high road, he’s taken the no through road-News-Politics-TimesOnline
It is David Miliband's task to sell global warming to an ungrateful nation. He is not unaware of this. “I was in Sedgefield the other day, waiting to give a speech, and the organisers came up to me and said, ‘There are 800 people here and they want you to tell them why climate change is good for the North East.’ ”
There did not seem to be a lot of good news yesterday, at least as you and I would define it. Indeed things are so bad that Mr Miliband’s job is getting easier. For one thing, the science on climate change had become more certain. Plus, there is other news. “Significantly,” he noted, “it is becoming worse.”
Isn’t that fantastic? I wish I could tell you more good/bad news but the rest of the session was near total gibberish. Everyone talked about Stern. Stern this, Stern that. Mr Miliband said that Sir Nicholas Stern (who wrote last year’s report on climate change) has become the world’s first climate change celebrity. Can this be true? Surely, if so, he should have been in Heat magazine by now.
Numbers were everywhere. At some point Mr Miliband noted: “Stern says 550 parts per million is a very dangerous place to be. But I am nervous. It is incumbent to explain to people: we are in a place that carries dangers now.” Apparently this refers to the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In an heroic act, Mr Miliband broke free of his own gobbledegook, saying that 550ppm would mean a 3 degree increase but that even a 2 degree increase would be dramatic. “This isn’t a linear process. It would not be uncommon to have 50 degree Centigrade summers in Berlin.”
Stern isn't a climate scientist, he doesn't claim to be one, and I don't sense this growing certainty in the consensus that is being claimed but Miliband is right in one respect, it isn't linear. To put it in terms a Chav or Blairite Minister might understand if 100 ppm of CO2 acts like one layer of 70% window blackening filter then putting a second layer on the windows of your souped up Astra or Government limousine doesn't mean you are then going to be blocking out 140% of the light.
June 1, 2007
Mauna Loa CO2 Readings, Making Sure The Readings Are Right
Has a complete listing of the articles in "How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic," a series by Coby Beck containing responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming. ...
One example is this:
Answer: Yes, it's true, Mauna Loa is an active volcano. In fact it's the biggest volcano on earth! So, should we suppose that Charles Keeling didn't know that?
Well, no, he did know it. And using subtle scientific indicators like "wind direction," he was even able to ensure that his readings were not contaminated by any out-gassing when it was occurring....
A quick look at the actual levels recorded makes it pretty hard to believe there is any volcanic influence. We have a nice, slow, steady trend with a regular up and down seasonal variation. No spikes, no dips. Nothing random....
I would be interested in knowing how he decided which readings were "contaminated" and not to be included, was it on the environmental conditions such as the wind or did he just chuck away readings that didn't fit?
May 31, 2007
Beck's New Presentation on Historic CO2 levels
Presentation at Berlin EIKE meeting on 30th may 2007; "180 Years of atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods"
Please notice presentation on my paper at Berlin EIKE (European Institute of Climate and Energy) Meeting 30th may 2007 (with Fred Singer)
Click on the numbers (1,2 ...12) at the bottom on the right to browse through the pages
Click in left arrow to go back
Click on character M to see all pages
Files downloadable in compressed .rar format here:
Feel free to use it.
CBS on AGW
The video above is now available on YouTube. It is the first of a 5 part series. To view the rest, simply click on the screen and go to YouTube for the other 4 segments.
Climate advice from those without a clue
One of the most prominent members of the Inuit community will today plead for an end to the expansion of Stansted Airport and deliver a devastating critique of the link between Britain's cheap flights culture and the effects of climate change on his people...Nicodemus Illauq, an Inuit from northern Canada, told the gathering in Belize of representatives of Arctic peoples and island states: "My people have been hunting on the ice for 5,000 years but now you risk death around every turn."
Why the fuck should we listen to a fuckwit Eskimo - they came across the Baring Straight 5000 years ago and turned left. If they had turned right they would have ended up in California, Mexico or Florida. If they had had the fucking nouse to move house one mile south a year they would by now be sunning themselves on a Caribbean beach, but no, they stayed clumping about in the snow eating seal liver and being eaten by polar bears for five fucking thousand years, and wondering why they were cold all the time. They are fuckwits, and so is anyone who listens to their advice on climate.
May 30, 2007
Eat Beans, Reduce Your Methane Emissions - Defra
"You will be interested to hear that the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is working on a set of key environmental behaviour changes to mitigate climate change. Consumption of animal protein has been highlighted within that work. As a result the issue may start to figure in climate change communications in the future. It will be a case of introducing this gently as there is a risk of alienating the public majority.
"Future Environment Agency communications are unlikely to ever suggest adopting a fully vegan lifestyle, but certainly encouraging people to examine their consumption of animal protein could be a key message."
Wait for it, alongside our Carbon Ration books Dave (M) will be introducing our Meat Ration books, best get to know your local butcher so you will be able to buy some chops from under the counter.
May 23, 2007
Cash to Cruise
Controversial plans by the UK government to introduce road pricing are to go ahead, despite fierce opposition
The government has published a draft Bill laying the ground for local authorities to develop local pay-as-you-drive road charging across England and Wales.
Conservative transport spokesperson Chris Grayling said that despite the government's public denials, the Bill is a "Trojan horse" for national road pricing.
"It's now clear that Gordon Brown is as committed to the government's road pricing plans as Tony Blair has been, despite the petition signed by 1.8m people and official forecasts that such as scheme could cost up to £60bn.
"To make matters worse, they are blackmailing local authorities into being guinea pigs for road pricing so they don't have to take the flack themselves.
The draft Local Transport Bill has a clause insisting that any council proposing a pay-as-you-drive scheme must take account of its environmental effect.
Climate change has been highlighted in the Bill as a factor which should be considered when devising schemes.
While many of the clauses amount to little more than building on powers contained in the Transport Act 2000, the insertion of "green" provisions represents a significant shift from previous legislation.
A tax raising measure - nothing to do with Brown, it is just a "green" measure - oh yes!
May 17, 2007
The Unbelievers File
Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics
Following the U.S. Senate's vote today on a global warming measure.. it is an opportune time to examine the recent and quite remarkable momentum shift taking place in climate science. Many former believers in catastrophic man-made global warming have recently reversed themselves and are now climate skeptics. The names included below are just a sampling of the prominent scientists who have spoken out recently to oppose former Vice President Al Gore, the United Nations, and the media driven “consensus” on man-made global warming.
The list below is just the tip of the iceberg. A more detailed and comprehensive sampling of scientists who have only recently spoken out against climate hysteria will be forthcoming in a soon to be released U.S. Senate report.
In the meantime, please review the list of scientists below and ask yourself why the media is missing one of the biggest stories in climate of 2007. Feel free to distribute the partial list of scientists who recently converted to skeptics to your local schools and universities...
( Link to pdf version )
Or see below for online version...
(Hattip Doc Bud)
Geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre, a top geophysicist and French Socialist who has authored more than 100 scientific articles and written 11 books and received numerous scientific awards including the Goldschmidt Medal from the Geochemical Society of the United States, converted from climate alarmist to skeptic in 2006. Allegre, who was one of the first scientists to sound global warming fears 20 years ago, now says the cause of climate change is "unknown" and accused the “prophets of doom of global warming” of being motivated by money, noting that "the ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!" “Glaciers’ chronicles or historical archives point to the fact that climate is a capricious phenomena. This fact is confirmed by mathematical meteorological theories. So, let us be cautious,” Allegre explained in a September 21, 2006 article in the French newspaper L'EXPRESS. The National Post in Canada also profiled Allegre on March 2, 2007, noting “Allegre has the highest environmental credentials. The author of early environmental books, he fought successful battles to protect the ozone layer from CFCs and public health from lead pollution.” Allegre now calls fears of a climate disaster "simplistic and obscuring the true dangers” mocks "the greenhouse-gas fanatics whose proclamations consist in denouncing man's role on the climate without doing anything about it except organizing conferences and preparing protocols that become dead letters." Allegre, a member of both the French and U.S. Academy of Sciences, had previously expressed concern about manmade global warming. "By burning fossil fuels, man enhanced the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which has raised the global mean temperature by half a degree in the last century," Allegre wrote 20 years ago. In addition, Allegre was one of 1500 scientists who signed a November 18, 1992 letter titled “World Scientists' Warning to Humanity” in which the scientists warned that global warming’s “potential risks are very great.”
Geologist Bruno Wiskel of the University of Alberta recently reversed his view of man-made climate change and instead became a global warming skeptic. Wiskel was once such a big believer in man-made global warming that he set out to build a “Kyoto house” in honor of the UN sanctioned Kyoto Protocol which was signed in 1997. Wiskel wanted to prove that the Kyoto Protocol’s goals were achievable by people making small changes in their lives. But after further examining the science behind Kyoto, Wiskel reversed his scientific views completely and became such a strong skeptic, that he recently wrote a book titled “The Emperor's New Climate: Debunking the Myth of Global Warming.” A November 15, 2006 Edmonton Sun article explains Wiskel’s conversion while building his “Kyoto house”: “Instead, he said he realized global warming theory was full of holes and ‘red flags,’ and became convinced that humans are not responsible for rising temperatures.” Wiskel now says “the truth has to start somewhere.” Noting that the Earth has been warming for 18,000 years, Wiskel told the Canadian newspaper, “If this happened once and we were the cause of it, that would be cause for concern. But glaciers have been coming and going for billions of years." Wiskel also said that global warming has gone "from a science to a religion” and noted that research money is being funneled into promoting climate alarmism instead of funding areas he considers more worthy. "If you funnel money into things that can't be changed, the money is not going into the places that it is needed,” he said.
Astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv, one of Israel's top young award winning scientists, recanted his belief that manmade emissions were driving climate change. ""Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media. In fact, there is much more than meets the eye,” Shaviv said in February 2, 2007 Canadian National Post article. According to Shaviv, the C02 temperature link is only “incriminating circumstantial evidence.” "Solar activity can explain a large part of the 20th-century global warming" and "it is unlikely that [the solar climate link] does not exist,” Shaviv noted pointing to the impact cosmic- rays have on the atmosphere. According to the National Post, Shaviv believes that even a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere by 2100 "will not dramatically increase the global temperature." “Even if we halved the CO2 output, and the CO2 increase by 2100 would be, say, a 50% increase relative to today instead of a doubled amount, the expected reduction in the rise of global temperature would be less than 0.5C. This is not significant,” Shaviv explained. Shaviv also wrote on August 18, 2006 that a colleague of his believed that “CO2 should have a large effect on climate” so “he set out to reconstruct the phanerozoic temperature. He wanted to find the CO2 signature in the data, but since there was none, he slowly had to change his views.” Shaviv believes there will be more scientists converting to man-made global warming skepticism as they discover the dearth of evidence. “I think this is common to many of the scientists who think like us (that is, that CO2 is a secondary climate driver). Each one of us was working in his or her own niche. While working there, each one of us realized that things just don't add up to support the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) picture. So many had to change their views,” he wrote.
Mathematician & engineer Dr. David Evans, who did carbon accounting for the Australian Government, recently detailed his conversion to a skeptic. “I devoted six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian government to estimate carbon emissions from land use change and forestry. When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty conclusive, but since then new evidence has weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause. I am now skeptical,” Evans wrote in an April 30, 2007 blog. “But after 2000 the evidence for carbon emissions gradually got weaker -- better temperature data for the last century, more detailed ice core data, then laboratory evidence that cosmic rays precipitate low clouds,” Evans wrote. “As Lord Keynes famously said, ‘When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?’” he added. Evans noted how he benefited from climate fears as a scientist. “And the political realm in turn fed money back into the scientific community. By the late 1990's, lots of jobs depended on the idea that carbon emissions caused global warming. Many of them were bureaucratic, but there were a lot of science jobs created too. I was on that gravy train, making a high wage in a science job that would not have existed if we didn't believe carbon emissions caused global warming. And so were lots of people around me; and there were international conferences full of such people. And we had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet! But starting in about 2000, the last three of the four pieces of evidence outlined above fell away or reversed,” Evans wrote. “The pre-2000 ice core data was the central evidence for believing that atmospheric carbon caused temperature increases. The new ice core data shows that past warmings were *not* initially caused by rises in atmospheric carbon, and says nothing about the strength of any amplification. This piece of evidence casts reasonable doubt that atmospheric carbon had any role in past warmings, while still allowing the possibility that it had a supporting role,” he added. “Unfortunately politics and science have become even more entangled. The science of global warming has become a partisan political issue, so positions become more entrenched. Politicians and the public prefer simple and less-nuanced messages. At the moment the political climate strongly supports carbon emissions as the cause of global warming, to the point of sometimes rubbishing or silencing critics,” he concluded. (Evans bio link )
Climate researcher Dr. Tad Murty, former Senior Research Scientist for Fisheries and Oceans in Canada, also reversed himself from believer in man-made climate change to a skeptic. “I stated with a firm belief about global warming, until I started working on it myself,” Murty explained on August 17, 2006. “I switched to the other side in the early 1990's when Fisheries and Oceans Canada asked me to prepare a position paper and I started to look into the problem seriously,” Murty explained. Murty was one of the 60 scientists who wrote an April 6, 2006 letter urging withdrawal of Kyoto to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper which stated in part, "If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.”
Botanist Dr. David Bellamy, a famed UK environmental campaigner, former lecturer at Durham University and host of a popular UK TV series on wildlife, recently converted into a skeptic after reviewing the science and now calls global warming fears "poppycock." According to a May 15, 2005 article in the UK Sunday Times, Bellamy said “global warming is largely a natural phenomenon. The world is wasting stupendous amounts of money on trying to fix something that can’t be fixed.” “The climate-change people have no proof for their claims. They have computer models which do not prove anything,” Bellamy added. Bellamy’s conversion on global warming did not come without a sacrifice as several environmental groups have ended their association with him because of his views on climate change. The severing of relations came despite Bellamy’s long activism for green campaigns. The UK Times reported Bellamy “won respect from hardline environmentalists with his campaigns to save Britain’s peat bogs and other endangered habitats. In Tasmania he was arrested when he tried to prevent loggers cutting down a rainforest.”
Climate scientist Dr. Chris de Freitas of The University of Auckland, N.Z., also converted from a believer in man-made global warming to a skeptic. “At first I accepted that increases in human caused additions of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere would trigger changes in water vapor etc. and lead to dangerous ‘global warming,’ But with time and with the results of research, I formed the view that, although it makes for a good story, it is unlikely that the man-made changes are drivers of significant climate variation.” de Freitas wrote on August 17, 2006. “I accept there may be small changes. But I see the risk of anything serious to be minute,” he added. “One could reasonably argue that lack of evidence is not a good reason for complacency. But I believe the billions of dollars committed to GW research and lobbying for GW and for Kyoto treaties etc could be better spent on uncontroversial and very real environmental problems (such as air pollution, poor sanitation, provision of clean water and improved health services) that we know affect tens of millions of people,” de Freitas concluded. de Freitas was one of the 60 scientists who wrote an April 6, 2006 letter urging withdrawal of Kyoto to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper which stated in part, “Significant [scientific] advances have been made since the [Kyoto] protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases.”
Meteorologist Dr. Reid Bryson, the founding chairman of the Department of Meteorology at University of Wisconsin (now the Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, was pivotal in promoting the coming ice age scare of the 1970’s ( See Time Magazine’s 1974 article “Another Ice Age” citing Bryson: & see Newsweek’s 1975 article “The Cooling World” citing Bryson) has now converted into a leading global warming skeptic. In February 8, 2007 Bryson dismissed what he terms "sky is falling" man-made global warming fears. Bryson, was on the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor and was identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?” Bryson told the May 2007 issue of Energy Cooperative News. “All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd. Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air,” Bryson said. “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide,” he added. “We cannot say what part of that warming was due to mankind's addition of ‘greenhouse gases’ until we consider the other possible factors, such as aerosols. The aerosol content of the atmosphere was measured during the past century, but to my knowledge this data was never used. We can say that the question of anthropogenic modification of the climate is an important question -- too important to ignore. However, it has now become a media free-for-all and a political issue more than a scientific problem,” Bryson explained in 2005.
Global warming author and economist Hans H.J. Labohm started out as a man-made global warming believer but he later switched his view after conducting climate research. Labohm wrote on August 19, 2006, “I started as a anthropogenic global warming believer, then I read the [UN’s IPCC] Summary for Policymakers and the research of prominent skeptics.” “After that, I changed my mind,” Labohn explained. Labohn co-authored the 2004 book “Man-Made Global Warming: Unraveling a Dogma,” with chemical engineer Dick Thoenes who was the former chairman of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society. Labohm was one of the 60 scientists who wrote an April 6, 2006 letter urging withdrawal of Kyoto to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper which stated in part, “’Climate change is real’ is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural ‘noise.’”
Paleoclimatologist Tim Patterson, of Carlton University in Ottawa converted from believer in C02 driving the climate change to a skeptic. “I taught my students that CO2 was the prime driver of climate change,” Patterson wrote on April 30, 2007. Patterson said his “conversion” happened following his research on “the nature of paleo-commercial fish populations in the NE Pacific.” “[My conversion from believer to climate skeptic] came about approximately 5-6 years ago when results began to come in from a major NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) Strategic Project Grant where I was PI (principle investigator),” Patterson explained. “Over the course of about a year, I switched allegiances,” he wrote. “As the proxy results began to come in, we were astounded to find that paleoclimatic and paleoproductivity records were full of cycles that corresponded to various sun-spot cycles. About that time, [geochemist] Jan Veizer and others began to publish reasonable hypotheses as to how solar signals could be amplified and control climate,” Patterson noted. Patterson says his conversion “probably cost me a lot of grant money. However, as a scientist I go where the science takes me and not were activists want me to go.” Patterson now asserts that more and more scientists are converting to climate skeptics. "When I go to a scientific meeting, there's lots of opinion out there, there's lots of discussion (about climate change). I was at the Geological Society of America meeting in Philadelphia in the fall and I would say that people with my opinion were probably in the majority,” Patterson told the Winnipeg Sun on February 13, 2007. Patterson, who believes the sun is responsible for the recent warm up of the Earth, ridiculed the environmentalists and the media for not reporting the truth. "But if you listen to [Canadian environmental activist David] Suzuki and the media, it's like a tiger chasing its tail. They try to outdo each other and all the while proclaiming that the debate is over but it isn't -- come out to a scientific meeting sometime,” Patterson said. In a separate interview on April 26, 2007 with a Canadian newspaper, Patterson explained that the scientific proof favors skeptics. “I think the proof in the pudding, based on what (media and governments) are saying, (is) we're about three quarters of the way (to disaster) with the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere," he said. “The world should be heating up like crazy by now, and it's not. The temperatures match very closely with the solar cycles."
Physicist Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, chairman of the Central Laboratory for the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Radiological Protection in Warsaw, took a scientific journey from a believer of man-made climate change in the form of global cooling in the 1970’s all the way to converting to a skeptic of current predictions of catastrophic man-made global warming. “At the beginning of the 1970s I believed in man-made climate cooling, and therefore I started a study on the effects of industrial pollution on the global atmosphere, using glaciers as a history book on this pollution,” Dr. Jaworowski, wrote on August 17, 2006. “With the advent of man-made warming political correctness in the beginning of 1980s, I already had a lot of experience with polar and high altitude ice, and I have serious problems in accepting the reliability of ice core CO2 studies,” Jaworowski added. Jaworowski, who has published many papers on climate with a focus on CO2 measurements in ice cores, also dismissed the UN IPCC summary and questioned what the actual level of C02 was in the atmosphere in a March 16, 2007 report in EIR science entitled “CO2: The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time.” “We thus find ourselves in the situation that the entire theory of man-made global warming—with its repercussions in science, and its important consequences for politics and the global economy—is based on ice core studies that provided a false picture of the atmospheric CO2 levels,” Jaworowski wrote. “For the past three decades, these well-known direct CO2 measurements, recently compiled and analyzed by Ernst-Georg Beck (Beck 2006a, Beck 2006b, Beck 2007), were completely ignored by climatologists—and not because they were wrong. Indeed, these measurements were made by several Nobel Prize winners, using the techniques that are standard textbook procedures in chemistry, biochemistry, botany, hygiene, medicine, nutrition, and ecology. The only reason for rejection was that these measurements did not fit the hypothesis of anthropogenic climatic warming. I regard this as perhaps the greatest scientific scandal of our time,” Jaworowski wrote. “The hypothesis, in vogue in the 1970s, stating that emissions of industrial dust will soon induce the new Ice Age, seem now to be a conceited anthropocentric exaggeration, bringing into discredit the science of that time. The same fate awaits the present,” he added. Jaworowski believes that cosmic rays and solar activity are major drivers of the Earth’s climate. Jaworowski was one of the 60 scientists who wrote an April 6, 2006 letter urging withdrawal of Kyoto to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper which stated in part: "It may be many years yet before we properly understand the Earth's climate system. Nevertheless, significant advances have been made since the protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases."
Paleoclimatologist Dr. Ian D. Clark, professor of the Department of Earth Sciences at University of Ottawa, reversed his views on man-made climate change after further examining the evidence. “I used to agree with these dramatic warnings of climate disaster. I taught my students that most of the increase in temperature of the past century was due to human contribution of C02. The association seemed so clear and simple. Increases of greenhouse gases were driving us towards a climate catastrophe,” Clark said in a 2005 documentary "Climate Catastrophe Cancelled: What You're Not Being Told About the Science of Climate Change.” “However, a few years ago, I decided to look more closely at the science and it astonished me. In fact there is no evidence of humans being the cause. There is, however, overwhelming evidence of natural causes such as changes in the output of the sun. This has completely reversed my views on the Kyoto protocol,” Clark explained. “Actually, many other leading climate researchers also have serious concerns about the science underlying the [Kyoto] Protocol,” he added.
Environmental geochemist Dr. Jan Veizer, professor emeritus of University of Ottawa, converted from believer to skeptic after conducting scientific studies of climate history. “I simply accepted the (global warming) theory as given,” Veizer wrote on April 30, 2007 about predictions that increasing C02 in the atmosphere was leading to a climate catastrophe. “The final conversion came when I realized that the solar/cosmic ray connection gave far more consistent picture with climate, over many time scales, than did the CO2 scenario,” Veizer wrote. “It was the results of my work on past records, on geological time scales, that led me to realize the discrepancies with empirical observations. Trying to understand the background issues of modeling led to realization of the assumptions and uncertainties involved,” Veizer explained. “The past record strongly favors the solar/cosmic alternative as the principal climate driver,” he added. Veizer acknowledgez the Earth has been warming and he believes in the scientific value of climate modeling. “The major point where I diverge from the IPCC scenario is my belief that it underestimates the role of natural variability by proclaiming CO2 to be the only reasonable source of additional energy in the planetary balance. Such additional energy is needed to drive the climate. The point is that most of the temperature, in both nature and models, arises from the greenhouse of water vapor (model language ‘positive water vapor feedback’,) Veizer wrote. “Thus to get more temperature, more water vapor is needed. This is achieved by speeding up the water cycle by inputting more energy into the system,” he continued. “Note that it is not CO2 that is in the models but its presumed energy equivalent (model language ‘prescribed CO2’). Yet, the models (and climate) would generate a more or less similar outcome regardless where this additional energy is coming from. This is why the solar/cosmic connection is so strongly opposed, because it can influence the global energy budget which, in turn, diminishes the need for an energy input from the CO2 greenhouse,” he wrote.
More to follow...
May 14, 2007
DDT - the view from 1945, still valid today!
Browsing The Castle Library I came across this 1945 article on DDT - I have cut out the most interesting parts and tried to OCR them - the scan is below the fold.
The conclusion is as valid today as it was then..
JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF ENGLAND
16, BEDFORD SQUARE, LONDON, W.C. 1
VOLUME 106, 1945.
THE NEW INSECTICIDES D.D.T. AND BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE IN AGRICULTURE
It one of those coincidences that seem unaccountable in terms of pure chance, two of the most remarkable insecticides ever to be discovered came to light about the beginning of the present decade, these were the materials now widely known as D.D.T. and as benzene hexachloride, 666, or Gammexane. The coincidence extends further in that each substance was discovered very many years before its insecticidal properties became apparent. Nor does the resemblance end there, for the two substances share the distinction of being the first examples of a new class of insecticides. All insecticides act either by contact with the external surfaces of the insect or by being ingested. Until the new discoveries, the former group—the contact poisons—comprised more or less evanescent materials like nicotine, which is volatile, and pyrethrum, which is chemically unstable. Conversely the permanent ‘ insecticides like lead arsenate and Paris green were all stomach poisons with little or no contact activity. The unique characteristic of D.D.T. and benzene hexachloride is that they combine contact activity with a stability and persistence that confer protective properties. They are, moreover powerful stomach poisons as well, and benzene hexachloride can act also as a fumigant. Because they embody this novel combination, the introduction of two new insecticides has opened up entirely new possibilities in pest control;
The conjunction of outstanding properties with the mystery in which official policy shrouded these products has provided an opportunity for sensational accounts rarely equaled in pseudo-scientific journalism. D.D.T.., in particular, has had thrust upon it a publicity as unwelcome as it has been, in the main, inaccurate, with the inevitable result that ‘the man in the street,’ according to the measure of his cynicism or credulity, has come to regard it either as just one more quack remedy or as a near-miracle that will solve most of the world’s outstanding problems. ‘…………..
In normal times the new insecticide would no doubt have come slowly to general acceptance by the usual stages of trial, development, and large scale use. But 1939-40 saw the closing of all the normal channels of communication with the Continent and no intimation of these discoveries reached this country for several years. By the time D.D.T.. was brought to the notice of the British and American authorities late in 1942, the insecticide position had become one of acute difficulty, for supplies of derris and pyrethrurn were very low and quite inadequate to meet service requirements. In consequence D.D.T. was taken up and its potentialities in relation to military needs explored with unexampled speed and energy. The resulting unqualified success against disease-carrying insects, especially mosquitoes and body lice, is an often told story that need not be repeated here. It is sufficient to quote the view that D.D.T.. has probably been a major factor in the success of several allied military campaigns. While it is no part of the purpose of this review to deal with non-agricultural applications of D.D.T.., it may be said in passing that striking success has been achieved against such diverse pests as house-flies, cockroaches, lice, bed bugs, mosquitoes, tsetse flies, and locusts. …..
In the United States, where the treatment of very large areas by spraying or dusting’ from aeroplanes is contemplated, concern has been expressed about the possible long-term effect upon wildlife in general. Although Weismann stated that Gesarol was harmless to fishes, it has since been shown that D.D.T. preparations are highly toxic to many cold-blooded vertebrates including frogs and snakes, as well as fishes. It is alleged too, that large numbers of birds have been killed, possibly by eating poisoned insects. Again this is a problem whose answer is to be found only in practical experience on a large scale.
All these unanswered questions should stand as no more than warning signposts. They are evidence that neither the reckless enthusiasm nor the unqualified condemnation that sonic popular writers have displayed is justified. …..
Yet another of the problems associated with the use of D.D.T. is that of its effect on warm-blooded animals and especially humans. There has been a deep cleavage of opinion among American toxicologists, but the majority seem now to be convinced that there need be no misgivings arising from normal use. There is also the evidence that millions of service and civilian personnel have been in prolonged contact with D.D.T. in treated garments without a single known case of ill-effect. Cameron and Burgess are of the opinion that sprays containing upto 0.1 per cent. could have serious effects only as a result of grossly careless handling. On the other hand, they are insistent that precautions are essential in handling higher concentrations, especially oily solutions. Wigglesworth has reported a case of nervous derangement following drastic and deliberate exposure, but even here the effect was transitory. There are, perhaps, two directions in which present information is inadequate. These are on the cumulative effect of small doses such as might arise in spray residues, and the effect of exposure to solutions of D.D.T. in oil, such as might be encountered in certain spray combinations. Excluding gross negligence neither of these is likely to prove serious, but the United States Department of Agriculture has provisionally fixed 7 mg. per kg. (0.01 grain per pound) as the level beyond which D.D.T. residues should not rise, ….
Much work still remains to be done with both D.D.T. and benzene hexachloride, especially in the direction of devising the most suitable formulations for particular purposes, of determining minimum concentrations for effective control, arid of observing their cumulative effect upon the general fauna of treated areas.
The two materials have opened up entirely new possibilities in insect control, but with their bright promise they have brought also potential dangers. To meet this situation it is essential that the first few years of the commercial use of these insecticides should be regarded as all extension of the experimental phase. This period of extended trial should he entered upon with open minds free from prejudices in either direction, and with a willingness to accept and act upon the findings of careful and reliable observations. There is little doubt that if such a rational outlook is maintained towards the development of these materials, they are capable of facilitating perhaps the greatest single step forward that man has ever made in his unending contest against the insect world.
Smoking out the truth on Climate Change
I posted a while back about the failure of climate scientists to archive their data or to release it on request - a scandal which has been carefully documented by Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit blog. Another post on the same subject developed a very interesting comments thread with contributions from McIntyre and Maxine Clarke, the executive editor of Nature - one of the journals who have failed to enforce their own policies on data availability.
Over this weekend there have been a couple of developments which suggest that change is afoot....
And while we're about it, we might also note that pretty much the whole story has been played out on blogs. Well done the blogosphere.
And well done the Bishop!
GM or Veggie - the chocoholic dilemma
Vegetarians who have learned to live without roast beef dinners and bacon sandwiches were yesterday forced to make another major sacrifice: chocolate.
It came after the makers of Britain's most popular chocolate bars, including Mars, Snickers, Maltesers and Milky Ways, admitted that they now contain an ingredient derived from a cow's stomach.
This month, Masterfoods began using animal rennet to produce the whey needed for its products, rather than a vegetarian alternative. Rennet is extracted from the stomach-lining of slaughtered newborn calves, and is used in traditional cheese production in central Europe. In Britain a microbial alternative made from mould is used.
That would be the rennet produced by GM altered yeast then. The Veggies don't accept GM foods but made an exception for this one. Not for any scientific reason but because it saved cuddly calves. My guess is that Mars haven't dropped using GM Yeast but are just having to buy whey from Europe due to the contraction of the British Dairy Industry, and they can't afford to be picky over how the Europeans produce the whey.
Rachel Carson - No Hero of Mine
It is the 100th anniversary this month of the most influential environmental writer and campaigner of the modern world, Rachel Carson. And it is 45 years since her masterpiece, Silent Spring, was first published in Britain.
For those who have never read the first account of the horrors unleased on the natural world by the post war generation of wonder-sprays, such as DDT, I earnestly encourage you to do so.
Meanwhile, in Africa, there is a resurgence in demand for DDT for spraying malaria mosquitos inside buildings - a legal use under a treaty which bans most other uses. ..Malaria kills a million people a year, mainly African women and children....Yet new South African research shows DDT lowers the sperm counts of the men who do the spraying; it has an extraordinary habit of winding up thousands of miles away; in the flesh of polar bears, and there are alternatives - bed nets treated with other chemicals. Carson's case remains robust.
Few arguments, as Carson knew, are ever wholly won. They flicker on - as I suspect the one about man's part in climate change will, long after the water is around our ankles.
As neo-con polemicist asked in the Wall Street Journal last week, why ban DDT if it saves lives?
Class me as a neo-con polemicist then, I happen to think that saving the women and children is more important than worrying about the sperm count of the spray operators, as I guess they do as well.
For a more honest view of Rachel Carson than this appalling guff then may I suggest this:
One of the most difficult aspects of keeping up with environmental issues is having to suffer through the agonizing hero worship at the altar of Rachel Carson.
Were I a more religious person, I would be inclined to believe she made a pact with the devil in which she received the capacity to write beautiful prose poetry in exchange for leading society down a path to Hell paved with the proverbial "good intentions."
It is mind-boggling to find such incredibly misguided admiration for a woman whose opposition to DDT and other synthetic pesticides led to the suffering and death of millions of people around the world. I
Darfur - your fault by driving an SUV.
Climate change will take the number of refugees worldwide to a billion by 2050, according to a report...by Christian Aid.
Oh it is Christian Aid Collecting Tin Rattling Week again is it? Last year I believe it was all the fault of free markets that the world was starving.
The report cites men, women and children being forced from their homes by war, persecution, natural disasters and increasingly, to make room for development projects such as dams and roads.
Sorry, so now it isn't climate change but development projects like roads? What like Swampy and the Newbury bypass/ So why does Christian Aid want our money if bringing civilisation to the dark masses is so evil?
....hundreds of millions of people will be forced from their homes by floods, drought and famine sparked by climate change."
"Movement on this scale has the potential to destabilise whole regions where increasingly desperate populations compete for dwindling food and water," the report states. Let Darfur stand as the starkest of warnings about what the future could bring."
Now that really is shameless use of a genocide for political purposes. Of course the rains failing in 1983/84 didn't help, - anyone remember Live Aid - and it is a grotty hot dry bit of the world but to blame Darfur on Global Warming is plain wrong
May 9, 2007
Hot Air Certification
Buy-to-let investors will face a new "green tax" on their properties from next year, it emerged last night.
They will have to pay several hundred pounds for compulsory energy performance certificates,...experts said last night that buy-to-let landlords would be forced to employ qualified energy inspectors to give their properties an energy rating between A and G.
The certificates would likely cost around £200 and could require renewal as often as every three years,...Under European law, energy inspections are required every 10 years, but they will be carried out far more frequently in the UK because of their inclusion in the packs.
A Government spokesman said that it was looking at energy certificates on rental property also being carried out more frequently than every 10 years, because it believed that this would make rental homes more energy efficient...
The Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPP), which trains energy inspectors, said that it was talking to the Government about renewing the certificates on rental properties every three years.
Mike Ockenden, the director general of AHIPP, said that it was also lobbying to bring forward the October 2008 deadline for certificates on rental properties on the basis... they represent a bunch of money grabbing snodgrasses who want to invade homes as often as possible so they can trouser a large wad for producing meaningless waffle.
What Would Jesus Crash In?
An electric car beloved of green-minded celebrities and promoted as the environmentally friendly alternative for city drivers may be banned after failing a basic crash test carried out by the Department for Transport.
The Government is so concerned by the lack of protection offered by the G-Wiz that it rushed out a statement last night.. that Darwin will not be mocked, and the rest was drowned out by a roar of laughter from 4x4 drivers.
May 4, 2007
Hot Tin Roof
56 Cecile Park Hornsey London N8 9AU - you have been found guilty of wasting heat and will be taken from this place to a lawful prison and thence to a place of execution and that you be hanged by the neck until you are dead.
Or so the snoop from the sky at Haringey Interactive Heat Loss Map implies.
Bjørn Lomborg - How to save the world.
Malnutrition is one of the world’s biggest challenges, afflicting 1 of every 6 of us. Although we are moving in the right direction—despite adding more than 70 million people to the global population each year, the number of those suffering from malnutrition has been falling—more than 3 million people will die this year from poor nutrition. Some 800 million are chronically undernourished.
The most wellknown form of malnutrition is a lack of calories. But there is another, more prevalent form. It isn’t obvious or easily photographed, and so it attracts scant attention. Yet it could be solved with remarkable ease. It is the unsexysounding “micronutrient deficiency”—a lack of iodine, vitamin A, and iron.
Children lacking iodine do not develop properly, either physically or intellectually. All they need is salt fortified with iodine. An absence of vitamin A increases the risks of blindness. The nutrient could easily be made more readily available in staple food items, such as genetically modified golden rice.
Iron deficiency affects as many as 3.5 billion people—more than half the world’s population. An iron deficit stunts growth and impedes mental abilities—stealing up to 15 IQ points from the average child. It reduces a person’s ability to perform manual labor by as much as 17 percent. Today, it’s battering the health and energy of half a billion women and stunting the growth of 40 percent of the developing world’s children. Yet we already know how to solve this problem: The fortification of flour, rice, and salt is cheap and simple. In other cases, iron cooking pots, which slowly emit iron, could be distributed in poor countries.
Dealing with micronutrient deficiency would quickly and cheaply improve the lot of billions of people...
Simple, sensible and unsexy solutions - if a hundredth of the effort that goes into the AGW scare went into this real problem what a difference it would make.
May 2, 2007
Historic CO2 levels - The Consensus Defence
RealClimate defends Ice cores and Keeling and Callendar.
April 30, 2007
Round Up The Deniers
Do we have global warming deniers in the UK? Can anyone tell me? Or is it just an American phenomenon?
To me it was like hearing someone deny the holocaust ever happened. Had we not learnt about this in school and aren’t the facts undeniable? But of course this is something only a hysterical liberal would worry about.
via EU Referendum
Mauna Loa shows CO2 levels follow temperature not the other way around.
Googling around historic CO2 levels I came across references to this paper, which even with my JSTOR login I can't access (if anyone can send me a copy I would be most grateful).
Dip in the atmospheric CO2 level during the mid-1960's
Authors: Bacastow, R.
Publication: (International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Symposium on the Carbon Dioxide Cycle, Seattle, Wash., Aug. 31, 1977.) Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 84, June 20, 1979, p. 3108-3114. NSF-supported research. (JGR Homepage)
Publication Date: 06/1979
Removal of the southern oscillation effect from the CO2 records at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and the South Pole reveals corresponding decreases following the Agung eruption (Bali) in 1963. The period of the decreases roughly corresponds to the period of reduced solar transmittance, as measured at Mauna Loa. It is suggested that the decrease in CO2 level is due to reduced sea surface temperatures, for which there is some direct evidence. The temperature anomaly required to produce the CO2 level dip is calculated on the basis of several simple models and found to be close to that observed.
No much sign of a dip there: but DIALOG/DISCCRS Newsletter tells us that there should be "A small gap in the carbon dioxide data from February through April 1964" because Dr Keeling ran out of funds. So the data for the months we are interested in is missing! And some graphs do show this:
So lessons for today:
1) There was a drop in CO2 levels in 1963/1964 that was officially probably CAUSED by temperatures dropping because of a "period of reduced solar transmittance".
2) Any graph of CO2 level rises from Mauna Loa should have a gap in 1964 - if it doesn't it is lazy science.
3) The entire CO2 record rests on the shoulders of one man in one location.
THE world's leading climate-change experts will this week put themselves on a collision course with environmentalists by proposing a series of controversial measures to tackle global warming.
More than 2,000 scientists will put forward a global warming action-plan to save the world from overheating, including a major expansion of nuclear power, using GM crops to boost biofuels and burying carbons underground.
The proposals are outlined in a draft version of the report Mitigation of Climate Change by the United Nations-created Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The survey, the final draft of which will be released on Friday following a week-long meeting in Bangkok, is the third this year by the UN climate panel. An IPCC report in February said it was at least 90 per cent certain that mankind was to blame for global warming and on 6 April it warned of more hunger, droughts and rising seas.
Achim Steiner, the head of the UN Environment Programme, said: "We're moving from two very sobering reports to what we can do about climate change. And we can do it.
"Having shown us the path towards greater and greater problems, the IPCC raises our horizons to where the solutions lie and shows that they are within our grasp."
Something positive from the IPCC, good. Refreshing to learn that rather than covering ourselves in sackclothes and ashes and wishing ourselves back to the stone age some experts believe in human ingenuity and technology. And even better is the prospect of greens of differing hues cat fighting. Time to sit back and enjoy the show!
April 27, 2007
Historic CO2 levels - "The greatest scientific scandal of our time"?
We thus find ourselves in the situation that the entire theory of man-made global warming—with its repercussions in science, and its important consequences for politics and the global economy—is based on ice core studies that provided a false picture of the atmospheric CO2 levels. Meanwhile, more than 90,000 direct measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere, carried out in America, Asia, and Europe between 1812 and 1961, with excellent chemical methods (accuracy better than 3%), were arbitrarily rejected. These measurements had been published in 175 technical papers. For the past three decades, these well-known direct CO2 measurements, recently compiled and analyzed by Ernst-Georg Beck (Beck 2006a, Beck 2006b, Beck 2007), were completely ignored by climatologists—and not because they were wrong. Indeed, these measurements were made by several Nobel Prize winners, using the techniques that are standard textbook procedures in chemistry, biochemistry, botany, hygiene, medicine,nutrition, and ecology. The only reason for rejection was that these measurements did not fit the hypothesis of anthropogenic climatic warming. I regard this as perhaps the greatest scientific scandal of our time. From among this treasure of excellent data (ranging up to 550 ppmv of measured CO2 levels), the founders of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis (Callendar 1949, Callendar 1958, and Keeling 1986) selected only a tiny fraction of the data and doctored it, to select out the low concentraions and reject the high values—all in order to set a falsely low pre-industrial average CO2 concentration of 280 ppmv as in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century. This manipulation has been discussed several times since the 1950s (Fonsel et al. 1956, Jaworowski et al. 1992b, and Slocum 1955), and more recently and in-depth by Beck 2007.
How much is that windmill costing you?
Fuel Poverty: 26 Apr 2007: House of Lords debates (TheyWorkForYou.com)
Lord Forsyth of Drumlean (Conservative)
My Lords, will the Minister indicate what percentage has been added to the bills of people in low-income households by the Government's requirement to cover the country in windmills? Would it not be a good idea if it was clearly stated on consumers' bills how much has been added as a result of the renewables obligation, which the Government have imposed?
Lord Truscott (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Energy), Department of Trade and Industry)
My Lords, the expansion of renewables, which has doubled under this Government, is primarily to tackle climate change, and will be of benefit to the entire country and will help to save the future of our planet. It is true that the renewables obligation, to which the noble Lord refers, will cost something like £1 billion by 2010, but it will also support the emergence of further renewables technology and the renewables industry, which will be of great benefit to the country.
As correspondent DA, who sent this to me, says - it is only money, why worry, be happy!
April 25, 2007
The Great Global Warming Silencer
Scotsman.com News - UK - C4 film denying global warming under fire
The 90-minute The Great Global Warming Swindle, described as persuasive even by its detractors, claimed that any rise in temperatures was "mild, beneficial" and not caused by humans.
However, a complaint sent to Ofcom by Bob Ward, the global science networks director at the international consultancy Risk Management Solutions, said the current science on climate change was misrepresented and listed seven examples....
Mr Ward and nearly 40 climate scientists have also written to the documentary maker, Martin Durkin of Wag TV, urging him to drop plans to issue a DVD, which is being marketed as "the definitive response to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth".
However, Mr Durkin said: "The reason they want to suppress The Great Global Warming Swindle is because the science has stung them. Look at the mountains of absurd nonsense pedalled in the name of 'man-made climate change'. How many of these people complained when Hurricane Katrina was blamed on global warming?
"This letter is gutless. The DVD will be on sale shortly at a shop near you."
So that would be the Bob Ward who wrote this letter to Al Gore:
Dear Vice President Gore,
I was formerly Senior Manager for Policy Communication at the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, and was the author of the letter sent by the Society in September 2006 to ExxonMobil The letter sought explanations for misleading statements the company had recently published on climate change, and its financial support for organisations that published misleading information on their websites. The contents of the letter received some media coverage in the UK and abroad in September.
I note that your inspirational address to the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco included a call for research scientists to engage more in the public debate about climate change. I hope you will continue to support climate researchers in this way and will speak out in their defence if they are subject to insidious attempts to intimidate them into silence.
So more debate! no attempts to intimidate them into silence! Unless of course they don't follow the party line...
April 24, 2007
Bum Fodder News
I think we have all noticed Sheryl "do my fingers smell? Crow's green philosophy on "one sheet only" to wipe your bottom. A wonderful example of how easy it is for fanatics to fall over the edge into self -satire and become laughing stocks instead of revered gurus. But I just wondered what her opinion on that other poster child of concern is. As the Guardian reports:
..daily ration of 15 sheets of toilet paper. Imagine being in the position of having to make a choice between using your tiny allotment of toilet paper for the purpose for which it was intended or using it to sleep...
The inhumanity of it! - some of the prisoners don't know how to use their toilet paper and so they aren't being issued it anymore. (And somehow I don't imagine it is just because they were too well brought up to use the word "toilet".)
April 23, 2007
Adapt or Die
More than 1,000 years ago, the Vikings colonised Greenland. They settled in the southwest of the island, where the climate was just warm enough to farm animals on summer pastures and make hay for the long winter.
The population grew to a few thousand people, with farmsteads, churches and even a bishop. But life in such an extreme climate was balanced on a knife-edge, and more than 300 years later they all vanished.
Evidence from a few visiting ships, and samples of ice drilled from the Greenland icesheet, point to sudden cold bouts in the 1300s and a longer freeze in the 1400s. ...
While the Norse colony died out the Inuit of Greenland survived by hunting whales, seals, and fish, as well as land animals. In contrast, the Norse failed to adapt to the new and rapidly changing climate.
A simple lesson in the face of climate change then, don't bury your head in the sand hoping tomorrow will be the same as yesterday, be flexible and smart.
April 22, 2007
Wheelie Bin Danger
HANDLING rubbish that has been left out for a fortnight before being collected can increase the risk of health problems including asthma and nausea, a study has found, writes Steven Swinford.
Researchers found that the level of bacteria and fungal spores in the air above bins that had not been emptied for two weeks was more than 10 times that in locations where there was a weekly collection.
The findings come amid concerns about the public health risks of cutting collections. More than 140 councils in England have moved to fortnightly emptying to encourage recycling and cut costs, despite warnings of an increase in rat and insect infestation.
The spread of fortnightly collections has also raised fears about fly-tipping. Government figures show incidents rose by over 10% last year.
And it is not just the binmen who are exposed, as you try to squeeze the last bags of rubbish into your bin it forces the rancid air from the bottom out, straight into your face. But than that rubbish collection was a public health measure has long been forgotten.
BRITISH companies are handing over millions of pounds to an Indian chemical plant so that western firms can continue to pump out thousands of tons of greenhouse gases.
In a deal that has angered envi-ronmentalists, the Indian company SRF, which produces refrigeration gases at a sprawling chemical plant in Rajasthan, stands to make a profit of more than £300m from the bizarre arrangement that is supposed to combat climate change.
....Signs around the SRF plant say the company is leading the way to make India “clean and green”. But when The Sunday Times visited the area last week, locals complained about chemical leaks which they claim had affected crops and water.
Suresh Yadav, a local landowner, said: “Fifty per cent of my crops are damaged by the chemicals. Our eyes are pouring, we can’t breathe, and when the gas comes, the effects last for several days.”
The plant produces a chemical called HCFC-22, which is used for refrigerators and air-condi-tioning systems. A byproduct of its manufacture is a gas called HFC-23 (trifluoromethane) - one of the world’s worst greenhouse emissions as it traps large amounts of the sun’s heat....
One ton of it is considered to have the same climate-warming impact as 11,700 tons of carbon dioxide.
As a result, SRF has been able to sell huge numbers of credits with a relatively inexpensive cut in its own pollution. In 2005 it spent £1.4m installing a process which burnt the gas (creating dilute hydrofluoric acid and carbon dioxide).
It meant that the company could claim a 3.8m-ton cut in carbon emissions every year. Since, controversially, future years are included under the carbon trading scheme, it can keep issuing the same number of carbon credits for 10 years.
You have to admire them don't you!
April 18, 2007
Ethanol vehicles may have worse effects on human health than conventional petrol, US scientists have warned.
A computer model set up to simulate air quality in 2020 found that in some areas ozone levels would increase if all cars were run on bioethanol.
Deaths from respiratory problems and asthma attacks would increase with such levels...In the study, the increase in smog translated to an extra 200 deaths per year in the whole of the US, with 120 occurring in Los Angeles alone.
Britain could face food shortages within 25 years as a result of growing demand for biofuels and a rising world population, a leading adviser to industry and the Government said yesterday.
April 15, 2007
Local CO2 levels - where is the data?
Regular readers will remember that I highlighted Ernst-Georg Beck's paper and data on 180 Years of atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods which suggested that past CO2 levels varied and were higher than the "official" figures and that the historical figures have been suppressed.
Critics such as Eli Rabett point out :Coby Beck's A Few Things Illconsidered where Coby dealt with Diplom Beck's complete misreading of early CO2 mixing ratio records. If you don't want to go read either post, the measurements were real, but they also were about as irrelevant as measuring CO2 at the top of a smokestack and thinking that it would be representative of the atmosphere. If that does not make sense for you, go read the posts or Charles Keeling's history of the Mauna Loa CO2 measurements.
So the story is that we are to just trust the steadily rising graph from Mauna Loa - local measurements elsewhere are likely to be widely fluctuating especially near conurbations.
I thought it would be interesting to see what some of the many thousand of monitoring stations data looks like to see if they show how unreliable their data is. If they continue to show the sort of variations that Beck found in his historical data that could be compared to the "global figure". Because the variation is meant to be due to local conditions, ie whether the wind is blowing from where the cement plant is, then we should be able to see that the data independently varies. Of course if it is a global phenomenon then it wouldn't. (The graph of CO2 growth also shows a strange variability in rate of growth, some years 1%, some years 3%, why?)
So I started searching and found lots of Google hits for local testing, lots for local emission data but datasets of what the CO2 levels are, I can't find.
(Apart from Phoenix AZ where there is a an urban CO2 Dome which contributes a small amount of warming.)
So where is the data? Surely if you want the good people of say Oxford to cut their CO2 emissions putting "the scores on the doors" would be a good idea. They collect the figures so why is it:
"Statistics on local levels of green house gases such as CO2 levels are not currently available."
I'm not picking on Oxford - the story is the same everywhere I looked - why? What do the figures show?
UPDATE: A comment from Ernst Beck:
Please look at this graph from Schneider at al. ( on my suppl. website).
Modern ice core temperature records vary , the IPCC ones do not. And my
historical CO2 data fit to the varying part, the Mauna Loa do not.
April 13, 2007
Hey Hey AAG, How many kids did you kill today?
...The biofuel revolution’s unpleasant negative consequence was first felt south of Rio Grande, when the escalating price of corn affected a food staple. Mexico’s tortilla inflation crisis is spreading north to the heartland of rib-eye steak and chicken wings. The USDA predicts that food prices will rise by up to 3.5 per cent this year as farmers rein in output in response to feedstock costs.
In Washington, the International Monetary Fund added its warning about the consequences of a mass conversion of food crops into fuel. Mounting political panic over carbon emissions has encouraged politicians in European and America to raise targets for the biofuel content in a litre of petrol.
Food prices rose by 10 per cent worldwide in 2006, said the IMF in its World Economic Report, owing to a surge in corn, wheat and soybean prices. The pressure on prices will increase, says the IMF. The EU’s target of a minimum biofuel content of 10 per cent will require 18 per cent of agricultural land to be set aside for road fuel production.
Of course for us a small rise in the price of food as we pay tribute to the suzerainty of the eco-gods is merely inconvenient. But as the bell curve of food prices moves to the right those poor bastards on a dollar a day starve a little more. But a few more dead black babies aren't nearly as important as feeling good about your carbon footprint, are they?
April 11, 2007
Filthy lucre cleans rivers
A cri de coeur from the Salmon at Sea project, published this week, claims that a combination of climate change and illegal trawling has reduced this most glamorous of game fish to a shadow of its former self, and that unless steps are taken to save it, not only will a famous species face extinction, but the multimillion pound angling industry will also be placed at risk.
As with all conservation-disaster stories, there is an element of hype in all this — behind every anguished call for help lies a research project seeking funds. But the story of the salmon and its apparent decline tells us a great deal about the state of our conservation industry and contains a paradox that it would be wrong to ignore. The fact is that, far from facing extinction, the salmon has made a remarkable comeback — in some rivers at least.....
Reports coming in this spring are optimistic about the prospects for 2007. The figures may not quite match the miraculous catches that were sometimes recorded 50 years ago, but they are very far from the disaster that was once predicted for the Atlantic salmon — and fly in the face of those who predicted that farmed salmon would rapidly wipe out the wild variety.
The improvements have been brought about entirely by man, not nature. Huge amounts of money have been invested in buying out offshore commercial fisheries that were catching salmon returning from their feeding grounds at sea, thus preventing them breeding in freshwater rivers. Drift nets have been banned, river mouths are no longer netted as they once were, millions of pounds have been invested in cleaning river water, repairing banks and fencing them off from cattle and sheep. Further afield, the extraordinary efforts of one man, Orri Vigfússon, chairman of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF), have succeeded in mobilising international opinion and raising millions of dollars to buy out commercial fishing around the coasts of Iceland, Norway and Greenland, thus protecting the feeding grounds and migration routes of wild salmon and ensuring that they return to the rivers from which they first set out.
This has meant persuading commercial fishermen to hold back from putting to sea, paying Danish trawlermen to stop fishing for sand eels, and pointing out the impact on the food-chain of overfishing in sensitive parts of the North Sea. Vigfússon’s campaign to save the salmon is by no means ended, but it has achieved remarkable results. Speaking from his headquarters in Reykjavik, he says: “The future of the Atlantic salmon is looking brighter with every passing month. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the answer to the salmon’s problems. All we have to do is put them into practice.”
The salmon is by no means saved — climate changes could yet overwhelm the best efforts of the NASF — but the irony is that this massive rescue operation has been brought about not by conservationists but by those whose interest lies in catching the very species they are determined to save. Those who have invested time, money and enormous diplomatic expertise in preserving the salmon have done so because they have a passion for sport rather than for nature.
So the unsurprising lesson is that to improve our rivers rather than depend wooly hatted eco-freaks we should rely on economic drivers such as this:
More and more anglers are chasing after Britain's improving freshwater fish stocks - and nowhere is that more true than with the king of gamefish, the salmon. Prices are once again approaching their 1980s boom high. In those days, each salmon in the gamebook over a five-year average added £15,000 to the capital value of some Scottish estates.
Vantage Land is offering a unique opportunity to buy around 77 acres of flat land for sale in separate lots on the banks of the River Axe, including fishing rights on two of the lots.
A catch of just half a dozen salmon will more than match the £79,800 asking price for the 8-acre lot 5 and the £35,000 asking price for the 11 -acre lot 9.....
April 9, 2007
The Government should introduce cigarette-style health warnings on all advertising for air travel, holidays that include flights, and at airports, according to new research to be published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr).
When I saw the headline that holidays should get a "Health Warning" I thought too bloody right. It must be like the pain of childbirth, otherwise why would people keep doing it if the horror wasn't forgotten instantly. How can you forget, the arguments over packing, the bloody queue on the motorway for the privilege of parking in a field in Slough where some chav "parking security operative" will fill his boring hours racing your car round the perimeter. The check-in, mewling babies, screaming kids and the prospect of the Marigolds from a sweaty fat uniformed goon. Then three hours wandering past tourist tat trying to avoid the gourmet experience that is dining in a Garfunkels with plastic knives and forks. It is a relief when you are finally shoehorned into a still warm seat on an ageing aeroplane and surrounded by the tattooed and drunken members of some extended family splurging their benefit money that you provided on a fortnight of more drinking and insulting foreigners than they normally manage on a saturday night. And when you arrive at your wind swept, fly blown , filthy concrete wasteland of a hotel all you get is undercooked anaemic chicken and ice cold piss water, not a chance of a cup of tea nor a spot of fresh milk. You then get burnt, blistered, ripped off and you end up welcoming the solitude of the kharzi where your guts are disintegrating but at least you don't have to listen to John and Maureen going on about their bloody conservatory on their new-build in Salford. And the return trip is just the same but worse.
But of course I was wrong.
Simon Retallack, ippr Head of Climate Change, said:
“The evidence that aviation damages the atmosphere is just as clear as the evidence that smoking kills. We know that smokers notice health warnings on cigarettes, and we have to tackle our addiction to flying in the same way.
Oh it is that sort of "research" - where thinly veiled prejudices are dressed up as facts, where condescending smart-arses plan how to command and control every last facet of John and Maureen's lives. Piss off "ippr" - when you have learnt how to use the shift key and do capital letters like the big boys do, why don't you then try to write a grown-up report.
April 6, 2007
Anyone suggesting a similarity wil be branded a heretic and taken outside.
Global warming and melting polar ice caps are not just problems here on Earth. Mars is facing similar global changes, researchers say, with temperatures across the red planet rising by around 0.65 degrees over the last few decades.
Meanwhile back on Earth: Attribution of recent climate change - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Over the past five decades there has been a global warming of approximately 0.65 ｰC (1.17 ｰF) at the Earth's surface
The trigger for the changes on Mars are, however, totally different from those mechanisms controlling and influencing climate here on Earth.
Christensen cautions against drawing any parallels between the warming on Mars and on Earth. He said: "The more we learn about Mars, the more intuition it gives us about Earth, but the systems are fundamentally different."
Different do you hear, different I said.
"They're looking at a piece of the cycle, other processes could turn this around to a place where the ice-caps start growing again. You can't take 10 years of data and extrapolate out to 1,000 years."
Sorry is that Earth or Martian Global Warming Science you are talking about now? - I'm getting confused.
April 2, 2007
The Foundations of Sand of the IPCC CO2 Historic Records
I have been kindly sent Ernst Beck's Summary of his Paper - please note updated supplementing webpage giving new and further information concerning the actual paper. http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2_supp.htm. It is explosive in its implications.
180 Years of atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods
StD Ernst-Georg Beck Dipl. Biol.; ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT; VOLUME 18 No. 2, 2007
The Greatest Scandal in Modern History of Science
7 essential findings of the study in pictures:
1. CO2 is an essential, natural substance for man, all animals and plants.
2. Climate science (UN) “permits” only the following variations in CO2 content of air. The left picture is erroneous.
3. There is no need to invent an AGW (greenhouse effect by man) for explaining warmth in 20th century.
4. The study is able to prove that responsible scientists Callendar and Keeling ignored scientific literature.
Cited authors and papers with data
19 th c.
Letts and Blake 
only 19th century (+)
+; focus on O2-determination
cited Letts&Blake and Benedict
cited Duerst1, Misra1 and Kreutz1
citation as Effenberger
cited Duerst and Kreutz
no citing of Duerst, Kreutz and Misra
cited most important through the centuries
+, same as Callendar
Keeling [23 ]
+, same as Callendar;
Beck [this study]
only chemical determination until 1961
Bibliographies and citation of papers
5. The study is able to prove that the responsible scientists Callendar and Keeling praised wrong historic data as true.
6. UN published a distorted view of history of natural science and postulated that there were no accurate measurements prior to 1958. This study is able to prove that there are more than 90 000 direct accurate measurements of CO2 used to reconstruct the real CO2 contour over the last 200 years.
CO2 fluctuates following climate and in former times there are much higher concentrations compared to today (e.g. around 1820, 1857 and 1942). The assertion of UN of a pre-industrial CO2 concentration of 294 ppm is wrong. In 19th century average CO2 concentration was 341 ppm compared to modern 380 ppm. (ppm = Parts per Million)
7. CO2 amount in air varies monthly with lunar phases as ocean tides.
CO2 follows climate
CO2 was also high in former times
CO2 is not responsible for current warming
Ice core records used by UN are not sensible enough to resolve short-time CO2 variations
To be done:
CO2 reconstructions from ice core records have to be revised
Carbon flux models have to be revised for “fast” CO2 emission out of oceans
March 31, 2007
Historic CO2 levels - the emerging picture,
Ernst Beck's full paper has now been published:
UPDATE - Downloadable summary at http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/archives/003901.html
More than 90,000 accurate chemical analyses of CO2 in air since 1812 are summarised. The historic chemical data reveal that changes in CO2 track changes in temperature, and therefore climate in contrast to the simple, monotonically increasing CO2 trend depicted in the post-1990 literature on climate-change. Since 1812, the CO2 concentration in northern hemispheric air has fluctuated exhibiting three high level maxima around 1825, 1857 and 1942 the latter showing more than 400 ppm. Between 1857 and 1958, the Pettenkofer process was the standard analytical method for determining atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and usually achieved an accuracy better than 3%. These determinations were made by several scientists of Nobel Prize level distinction. Following Callendar (1938), modern climatologists have generally ignored the historic determinations of CO2, despite the techniques being standard text book procedures in several different disciplines. Chemical methods were discredited as unreliable choosing only few which fit the assumption of a climate CO2 connection.
Part 4 of projected monograph "History of CO 2 Gas Analysis of Air by Chemical Methods"
(uncorrected, unfinished, not authorized for publication, only for evaluation)
Basic database (>90 000 series, 143 averages over 150 years, >53 locations )
And a full set of other linked resources on the page. Go and dip in and wonder why the IPCC has dismissed this data. As he says:
..my paper "180 Years of atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods" ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT VOLUME 18 No. 2 2007 I want to give you access to a supplementing webpage with most important historic resources.
Because of explosive content of my paper let me give you some further comments.
It´s clear that it is not possible to reconstruct 150 years of scientific evolution concerning one subject thoroughly in 20 pages. This is the main difference to other papers concerning one single problem. I had to sample, evaluate and select hundreds of problems. Therefore my selection out of available data can always be critisized with all possible arguments.
For this reason the online support should serve as a first help before projected publication of the monograph with all inspected sources.
So perhaps you realize that my paper is only a first sign of pointing to those "forgotten data". Your work will start right here.
Probably you also agree that my paper is not in first place a climate paper, it´s a chemical paper, because most historic resources are written by chemists.
As a biochemist I feel much more connected to CO2 as a climate scientist because of CO2 beeing an essential substance for all living things.
Modern propagated image of carbon dioxide as a climate killer contradicts natural importance ( biology, chemistry, medicine, nutrition science) in total.
Looking at history of modern natural science and measuring CO2 we see a timeline of two lines of arguments:
1. a 200 hundred year of consecutive evolving natural science establishing most modern knowledge and laws of nature ( honoured by dozens of NOBEL awards in 20th century)
2. a 60 year of climate science in parallel to (1) establishing a different, contradicting view of CO2 in nature with no real knowledge but most hypothesis and speculations.
Viewing from point 2 my paper is junk science.
Viewing from scientific point we have to evaluate verify and falsify both lines and join them together without excluding one or both a priori at the base of laws of nature.
In that sense I appreciate your comments and critics and your contribution to establish real truth.
Thank you for your help.
StD Ernst-Georg Beck, Dipl. Biol. 2006/2007
More details at http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/001971.html
March 29, 2007
In the windmills of Miliband's mind
In the battle against climate change, an "I can" society enables citizens to become producers as well as consumers of energy. Within ten years, all new homes will need to sell energy back to the national grid, with citizens getting a fair price for their electricity. The power stations of the future will draw energy from a million roofs, rather than just a central generator. Round like a circle in a spiral like a wheel within a wheel. Never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel, like a snowball down a mountain or a carnival balloon, like a carousel that's turning running rings around the moon, like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes on its face and the world is like an apple spinning silently in space. Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind.
Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind
Peace Man, that's cool...
March 23, 2007
Wanted - an engineer
Householders seeking refuge from the blistering summer sun will be banned from filling their swimming pools during water shortages under proposals unveiled today.
Hot tubs and splash pools will be similarly outlawed during droughts. The measures are designed to modernise the widely derided hosepipe bans and to help water companies to maintain supply during dry spells, which are predicted to occur more frequently because of climate change.
Last summer was one of the driest in recent history, and a number of water companies were forced to apply for drought orders. Heavy rains since then have allowed groundwater levels to recover and most reservoirs are now full or close to full.
Children, however, may be allowed to play in small paddling pools — though not in family-sized splash pools. Elderly and disabled people may also be granted exemptions to use a hose either to water their gardens or to fill watering cans.
Breaches of the rules will continue to be punishable by fines of up to £1,000 and water companies will continue to rely on the public to police misuse.
Tens of thousands of people informed on their neighbours during last year’s ban, reporting lawns being hosed at night and other abuses.
Now isn't that bloody depressing, leaving aside "climate change" copping the blame as usual, look how THEY respond to the problem, detailed irksome rules, there will be inspectors measuring paddling pools and the most depressing part? Turning the country is a curtain twitching land full of narks.
Let's remind ourselves, each and every one of us has four million litres of water dropped every year onto this green and pleasant land. What tiny percentage of that do we need to capture, bearing in mind the denizens of London use only second or third hand water? Bugger all. Is nothing more symptomatic that this generation's Bazalgette produces "Big Brother" where as his great-great-grandfather built sewers.
Note on rainfall figure: (244 820km2 * 10 000(m2 in Ha) * 1 000(litres rain per m2) * 100(Ha in km2)) / 60 000 000(population) = 4 080 333.33
March 21, 2007
Tories Target Envirocrims
Householders who keep putting out their bins on the wrong day could be caught out by secret spy cameras hidden in tin cans and bricks and branded "envirocriminals".
Ealing Council in west London is using the hidden cameras to catch people committing "major envirocrimes" such as graffiti and fly-tipping on main roads.
However council tax payers who put out their bins on the wrong day could also be caught up in the push.
The cameras, which cost around £200 each, are triggered by built-in movement sensors.
The council, which is Conservative controlled, said in a newsletter to local residents: "To catch vandals and envirocriminals, cameras disguised as anything from tin cans to house bricks will instantly email images to the council's CCTV control centre."
If you come across an old tin can with an aerial sticking out of it, giving it a good recycle is the only responsible thing to do.
March 20, 2007
The Final Solution for the Unter-polarerBär
A FLUFFY polar bear cub called Knut, who has become a media celebrity, should be given a lethal injection according to German zoologists,....
“Hand-feeding is not appropriate to the species and is a grave violation of the animal protection laws,” said Frank Albrecht, an animal rights campaigner. “Legally speaking, the zoo should kill the baby bear. Otherwise it is condemning the bear to a dysfunctional life and that too is a breach of the law.”
The director of Aachen zoo, Wolfram Ludwig, also believes the Berliners made the wrong decision in saving Knut: “It is not correct to bottle-feed a small polar bear. He will always be fixated on his keeper and will never grow to be a proper polar bear.” Knut, he argues, should have been killed when Tosca rejected him. “One should have had the courage to kill him much earlier.”
Leipzig zoo showed the way last December by injecting a rejected baby sloth with T61, a poison that kills in two seconds.
Sometimes national stereotypes are too easy a target, and I also know that the animal right nutters in this country prefer killing animals to them not conforming to their prescribed roles.
March 17, 2007
Attacking the Greenwash
Two leading UK climate researchers have criticised those among their peers who they say are "overplaying" the global warming message.
Professors Paul Hardaker and Chris Collier, both Royal Meteorological Society figures, are voicing their concern at a conference in Oxford.
They say some researchers make claims about possible future impacts that cannot be justified by the science.
The pair believe this damages the credibility of all climate scientists.
Some sober voices at last, the clamour and claims have started to sound like the boasting competition late at night at Dirty McFlirty's Bar. And for a fine Irish view on the problem read 'You can't change world by wearing sandals' - Michael O'Leary
March 16, 2007
Forecast: Staying Mild With Arctic Winds and Snow Flurries
The sunshine that brought early bumblebees, daffodils and flocks of migratory birds should give way to snow flurries and Arctic winds after the weekend.
Temperatures could fall to 3C (37F) in parts of Scotland and highs of 7C (45F) in the south of England, according to the Met Office. Exposed areas of Scotland could see snow falls of up to 30cm, but brief snow showers are expected right down to the south coast.
Philip Eden, weather expert for The Daily Telegraph, said the cold northerly wind would be felt properly on Monday, before continuing for three days.
"It will be a real shock to the system, but this is the typical way spring arrives, with one step forward and two steps back," he said.
Nick Grahame, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: "The snow showers will be heavy in places and the strong northerly winds will make for difficult conditions at times."
It was all so different only four days ago...
Monday, 12th March 2007, 17:05
Britain's endangered butterflies are at risk of being killed off by frosts as the warm weather tricks them into coming out of hibernation early.
Dr Tim Sparks, an environmental scientist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, said that endangered butterflies like the red admiral had been sighted over the winter, and warned that they risked being decimated if they were hit by a late frost....
But the good news for the butterflies is that there are no frosts predicted for the rest of the month.
Barry Gromett, a Met office spokesman, said that the warm temperatures were likely to continue until April.
He said: "I think it's looking as though it's going to stay mild. Right now, we're seeing temperatures of 17 degrees in central London and 18 degrees in Kent, which is well above the average expected for this year of around 10 degrees.
March 15, 2007
Mike Hulme's article, The appliance of science | Climate change | Guardian Unlimited Environment, demolishing the idea that environmental policy is science based; "In fact, in order to make progress about how we manage climate change we have to take science off centre stage." has been commentated on elsewhere. His whole thesis that "scientists - and politicians - must trade (normal) truth for influence"...What matters about climate change is not whether we can predict the future with some desired level of certainty and accuracy; it is whether we have sufficient foresight, supported by wisdom, to allow our perspective about the future, and our responsibility for it, to be altered. has been attacked by simple seekers of truth.
What they fail to realise is that this article is just part of the new school of Post-Normal Science
To engage in these new tasks we need new intellectual tools. A picture of reality designed for controlled experimentation and abstract theory building, can be very effective with complex phenomena reduced to their simple, atomic elements. But it is not best suited for the tasks of environmental policy today. The scientific mind-set fosters expectations of regularity, simplicity and certainty in the phenomena and in our interventions. But these can inhibit the growth of our understanding of the problems and of appropriate methods to their solution.
The leading concept is "complexity". This relates to the structure and properties of the phenomena and the issues for environmental policy. Systems that are complex are not merely complicated; by their nature they involve deep uncertainties and a plurality of legitimate perspectives. Hence the methodologies of traditional laboratory-based science are of restricted effectiveness in this new context.
The most general methodology for managing complex science-related issues is "Post-Normal Science" (Funtowicz and Ravetz 1992, 1993, Futures 1999). This focuses on aspects of problem solving that tend to be neglected in traditional accounts of scientific practice: uncertainty and value loading. It provides a coherent explanation of the need for greater participation in science-policy processes,..
Anyone trying to comprehend the problems of "the environment" might well be bewildered by their number, variety and complication. There is a natural temptation to try to reduce them to simpler, more manageable elements, as with mathematical models and computer simulations. This, after all, has been the successful programme of Western science and technology up to now. But environmental problems have features which prevent reductionist approaches from having any, but the most limited useful effect....
The insight leading to Post-Normal Science is that in the sorts of issue-driven science relating to environmental debates, typically facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high, and decisions urgent. Some might say that such problems should not be called "science"; but the answer could be that such problems are everywhere, and when science is (as it must be) applied to them, the conditions are anything but "normal". For the previous distinction between "hard", objective scientific facts and "soft", subjective value-judgements is now inverted. All too often, we must make hard policy decisions where our only scientific inputs are irremediably soft.
The difference between old and new conditions can be shown by the present difficulties of the classical economics approach to environmental policy. Traditionally, economics attempted to show how social goals could be best achieved by means of mechanisms operating automatically, in an essentially simple system. The "hidden hand" metaphor of Adam Smith conveyed the idea that conscious interference in the workings of the economic system would do no good and much harm; and this view has persisted from then to now. But for the achievement of sustainability, automatic mechanisms are clearly insufficient. Even when pricing rather than control is used for implementation of economic policies, the prices must be set, consciously, by some agency; and this is then a highly visible controlling hand. When externalities are uncertain and irreversible, then no one can set "ecologically correct prices" practised in actual markets or in fictitious markets (through contingent valuation or other economic techniques). There might at best be "ecologically corrected prices", set by a decision-making system. ...
The contribution of all the stakeholders in cases of Post-Normal Science is not merely a matter of broader democratic participation. For these new problems are in many ways different from those of research science, professional practice, or industrial development. Each of those has its means for quality assurance of the products of the work, be they peer review, professional associations, or the market. For these new problems, quality depends on open dialogue between all those affected. This we call an "extended peer community", consisting not merely of persons with some form or other of institutional accreditation, but rather of all those with a desire to participate in the resolution of the issue. Seen out of context, such a proposal might seem to involve a dilution of the authority of science, and its dragging into the arena of politics. But we are here not talking about the traditional areas of research and industrial development; but about those where issues of quality are crucial, and traditional mechanisms of quality assurance are patently inadequate. Since this context of science is one involving policy, we might see this extension of peer communities as analogous to earlier extensions of franchise in other fields, as allowing workers to form trade unions and women to vote. In all such cases, there were prophecies of doom, which were not realised.
For the formation of environmental policy under conditions of complexity, it is hard to imagine any viable alternative to extended peer communities. They are already being created, in increasing numbers, either when the authorities cannot see a way forward, or know that without a broad base of consensus, no policies can succeed. They are called "citizens' juries", "focus groups", or "consensus conferences", or any one of a great variety of names; and their forms and powers are correspondingly varied.
It is all clear now, we should depend on "citizens' juries" rather than scientists for the truth, Robespierre would be proud.
March 14, 2007
They’re getting warmer . . . how the penny dropped for politicians
Never mind their differing approaches, the great thing is the acceptance by politicians of the need for action. Our correspondent analyses the arguments
The argument is no longer about the rationale for cutting greenhouse gas output, but about how this should be achieved. It is now recognised that the details are where votes are to be won.
In this, politics has caught up with science, albeit a decade or so late. For notwithstanding the enduring objections of a small band of scientific sceptics, such as those who contributed to the Channel 4 programme The Great Global Warming Swindle, the evidence that the world is getting hotter and that humans are responsible has become overwhelming.
As in politics, there is still room for debate over the intricacies of what is happening and what should be done about it, but the wider issue is largely settled.
The consensus that human-induced global warming is more than a hypothesis is built chiefly on the work of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change. Its most recent report, published last month, included contributions from more than 2,500 scientists, and concluded with 90 per cent certainty that human activities are responsible for rising world temperatures. A further increase of between 1.1C and 6.4C (11.5F) is predicted for the end of the century.
As the critics say, the sheer number of eminent scientists who have signed up to such a view does not automatically make it right. It is possible, if improbable, that so many clever men and women could be wrong.
What this ignores, however, is the greatest strength of the panels’ report: its multidiscipli-nary approach. The most compelling reason for believing global warming to be a genuine problem is that the theory is consistent with evidence emerging from a multitude of different fields. Everyone knows about the atmospheric temperatures, but that is only one part of a much bigger story.
Ice cores from Antarctica show that temperatures have fluctuated with carbon dioxide levels for 750,000 years. Ocean temperatures show warming signatures that are inexplicable without anthropogenic greenhouse forcing. Animal distribution and behaviour is changing in line with the theory. The same signals can be seen in atmospheric physics, botany, meteorology, geography, ecology and many other scientific disciplines. Thousands of scientists may be mistaken — but across so many diverse fields?
How many mistakes and failures of logic can one expert make in one report? He fails to spot that the "signals" of warming say nothing about the cause, any theory that predicts warming will be "proven" by the same signals, whether it is CO2, Sun spots or Elephant Farts. The IPCC, whose latest report wasn't a report but a policy summary, still fails to provide the simple linkage between Anthropogenic CO2 and the warming record. Their historic figures are questioned; the effect of increasing CO2 in spectrum absorption, a simple enough scientific enquiry is absent as are other "hard" scientific proofs ; the modelling is bizarre and the forecasts are so flimsy any results can be claimed as proving them. The links are leaps of faith, not science.
But leave that all to one side, the political actions being demanded are votive offerings rather logical responses. The conclusion from Stern and the IPCC is that we should go for growth so we can afford adaption rather than unilaterally retreat to the stone age. Any chance any politician can get a grip?
March 12, 2007
Ernst-Georg Beck's paper 180 Years accurate CO2 Gas analysis of Air by Chemical Methods
Thanks to a reader I now have a copy of Ernst-Georg Beck's paper 180 Years accurate CO2 Gas analysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version) which argues that the IPCC reliance of Ice Core CO2 figures is wrong - It is only 10 pages long so I urge you to read it yourself and study such figures as:
Fig. 9 Comparing measured temperature in northern hemisphere (land) from 1850 (Jones (171),
Hansen (172), GHCN(170)) with CO2 fluctuation. (5 years difference by averaging corrected)
The temperature maximum around 1940 is not a result of exponential rise of CO2. It´s the
reverse, high temperature around 1940 had induced CO2 maximum.
March 11, 2007
Tory Greens - a Guest Post
Cameron recruits green warrior Gore | Uk News | News | Telegraph
What an idiot.....On Thursday, the former US vice-president will address a meeting of the shadow cabinet at the House of Commons. Mr Cameron approached Mr Gore during a visit to London last autumn and asked him if he would meet him and his team. Last week, Mr Gore unexpectedly rang the Tory leader to say that he would be delighted to take up the invitation.
It gets worse.....The Conservatives will also suggest - most controversially of all - rationing individuals to as little as a single short-haul flight each year; any further journeys would attract progressively higher taxes, a leaked document entitled Greener Skies suggests.
Some sense in the Telegraph leader.....
"Some of those dissenting voices were on display in The Great Global Warming Swindle, a powerful programme broadcast last week. Channel 4 is to be congratulated for not being intimidated or bullied out of transmitting the documentary: it is difficult to imagine today's BBC having the courage to assault a doctrine so entrenched in politically correct opinion."
Although some nonsense as well:
"They have found it hard to get a hearing, not least because the oil companies did immense damage to any form of scepticism about global warming when it became apparent that they had bribed hundreds of scientists to act as PR lobbyists for the claim that "global warming isn't happening and if it is, it isn't caused by CO2 emissions". This immediately made anyone who raised doubts about the relation between CO2 emissions and global warming look like the executives from big tobacco companies who tried to claim that there was no evidence that smoking causes cancer."
Thanks DA for that
March 9, 2007
Have we got the CO2 figures all wrong?
Interesting snippet here - via Greenie Watch.
German Prof Ernst-Georg Beck, thinks the IPCC has got the historic CO2 levels wrong, apparently they have just used air bubbles trapped in ice cores to get their figures (various scientists believe there may be problems with this method). But scientists have been measuring the composition of air for many years, admittedly mainly in Europe not worldwide. And pretty accurate results they got, we think. But the IPCC ignored them. He is doing the digging and getting a paper together which is being peer reviewed: a sneak preview was on the web at http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/BeckCO2short.pdf but is no longer. However Google has an HTML cache of it. Remember this is a draft and is yet to be peer reviewed, but if it does stack up, WOW!
UPDATE: Thanks to a reader I now have a copy of Ernst-Georg Beck's paper 180 Years accurate CO2 Gas analysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version)
Here is the Summary
Accurate chemical CO2 gas analyses of air over 180 years show a different trend compared to the literature of IPCC climate change actually published. From 1829 the concentration of carbon dioxide of air in the northern hemisphere fell down from a value of e.g. 400 ppm up to 1900 to less than 300 ppm rising till 1942 to more than 400 ppm. After that maximum it fell down to e.g. 350 ppm and rose again till today, 2006 to 380 ppm.
Accurate measurements had been done amongst others by de Saussure 1826, Pettenkofer/v.Gilm 1857, Schulze 1864/71, Farsky 1874, Uffelmann 1886, Letts und Blake 1897, Krogh and Haldane 1904, Benedict 1912, Lundegardh 1920, van Slyke 1929, Dürst and Kreutz 1934 alternatively 1940, Misra 1942 or Scholander 1946 with measuring instruments through which from 1857 (Pettenkofer) an accuracy of +/-0,0006 Vol% to under +/-0,0003 Vol% =3 ppm (Lundegardh 1926) was achieved. These pioneers of chemistry, biology, botany, medicine and physiology constituted the modern knowledge of metabolism, nutrition science, biochemistry and ecology. Modern climatology ignored their work till today even
though it is the basis of all textbooks of the mentioned faculties and was honoured with several Nobel prizes. In total over 90 000 measurements within nearly every year since 180 year gave the following results
1. There is no constant exponential rising CO2 -concentration since preindustrial times but a varying CO2-content of air following the climate. E.G. around 1940 there was a
maximum of CO2 of at least 420 ppm, before 1875 there was also a maximum.
2. Historical air analysis by chemical means do not prove a preindustrial CO2 -concentration of 285 ppm (IPCC),as modern climatology postulates. In contrast the average in the 19th century in northern hemisphere is 321 ppm and in the 20th century 338ppm.
3. Todays CO2 value of. 380 ppm, which is considered as threatening has been known several times in the last 200 years, in the 20 th century around 1942 and before 1870 in the 19th century. The maximum CO2 -concentration in the 20th century roses to over 420 pmm in 1942.
4. Accurate measurements of CO2 air gas contents had been done from 1857 by chemical methods with a systematical error of maximal 3%. These results were ignored reconstructing the CO2 concentration of air in modern warm period.
5. Callendar and Keeling were the most important founders of the modern greenhouse theory (IPCC) beside Arrhenius. Literature research confirmed that they ignored a big part of available technical papars and selected only a few values to get a validation of their hypothesis of fuel burning induced rise of CO2 in air. Furthermore these authors discussed and reproduced the few selected historic results by chemical methods in a faulty way and propagated an unfounded view of the quality of these methods, without having dealt with its chemical basis.
6. To reconstruct the modern CO2 concentration of air icecores from Antarctica had been used. The presented reconstructions are obviously not accurate enough to show the several variations of carbon dioxide in northern hemisphere
This is an unofficial extract of E-G Beck's comprehensive draft paper and is for discussion not citing
Bi-polar Bear Opinions
A survey of the animals' numbers in Canada's eastern Arctic has revealed that they are thriving, not declining, because of mankind's interference in the environment.
In the Davis Strait area, a 140,000-square kilometre region, the polar bear population has grown from 850 in the mid-1980s to 2,100 today.
"There aren't just a few more bears. There are a hell of a lot more bears," said Mitch Taylor, a polar bear biologist who has spent 20 years studying the animals.
His findings back the claims of Inuit hunters who have long claimed that they were seeing more bears....
"I don't think there is any question polar bears are in danger from global warming," said Andrew Derocher of the World Conservation Union, and a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "People who deny that have a clear interest in hunting bears."
Bear numbers on the west coast of Hudson's Bay had shrunk by 22 per cent over the past decade, he said.
"They are declining due to global warming and changes in when the ice freezes and melts in Hudson's Bay," ..."To say that bear populations are growing in one area now is irrelevant."
Whereas to say that bear populations are falling in one area now is relevant?
While the Bears have quite happily survived previous warm periods I will leave the specialists happily alone to "handbag" each other; much more interesting, and revealing of my inattention in classics is that the word Arctic derives from the Latin and Greek for Bear, arctos and αρκτοϛ , though whether this is the after the polar bear or the constellation I am still unsure.
March 8, 2007
Global Warming False Alarms from the IEA
Global Warming False Alarms by Russell Lewis
Don't let your wife or servants watch the television tonight
British television's Channel Four risks the horror of cognitive dissonance tonight by showing a documentary contradicting Al Gore's well-received documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," which won an American Film Oscar. The documentary is titled "The Great Global Warming Scandal." (and) claims the greenhouse theory on global warming is a scam....
The actual truth about "global warming" is far less important than what people actually believe about it. If people can be led to believe that "global warming" is a danger to the entire earth and all its inhabitants, governments can pass sweeping legislation, installing huge new departments monitoring and regulating every private, business, and governmental action that even peripherally impacts on "global warming." International institutions in particular could benefit--in effect creating a massive international transfer of wealth from those who have it, to those who want it and can acquire the power to take it.
With so much at stake, it is important that people not be confused. They should be presented with only one side of the topic, so that their depleted cognitive apparati not be overloaded. I cannot stress this strongly enough.
A decades-long campaign to dumb down the schools is just now ready to bear fruit in a very large way. For the public's own good, those who control the gates to public information--assimilable information such as video and film media--must forcefully prevent conflicting points of view from being viewed.
Up until now, we have been able to control most of the substantial sources of information to the public dealing with important topics. Blogs and other minor media are unimportant, given the low credibility most people assign to the internet. Television and cinema, however, are taken very seriously by the dumbed down populace.
I trust you will all see to it that the public's right to protection from cognitive dissonance is protected. Anything less is irresponsible.
(Headline explanation for the dumbed down generation - "Is it a book you would wish your wife or servant to read?” Mervyn Griffith-Jones, prosecuting counsel, R v. Penguin Books Ltd (the Lady Chatterley case) Nov 1960)
March 5, 2007
Tilting at Windmills
BBC NEWS | UK | Wind turbines save '£10 a year'
Many people would save just £10 a year on their electricity bill by installing a wind turbine on their roof, according to a leading turbine technology firm.
This means that it would take 150 years for turbines- costing £1,500 - to save enough money to pay for themselves.
Did Dave ever get round to putting one up to show his sound grasp of economics and investment returns?
Technorati Tags: wind turbines, greenery, david cameron
February 27, 2007
Al keeps the air-con turned up
Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.
Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).
In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.
The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.
Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.
Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.
Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.
February 25, 2007
...not as I do.
Kennet District Council has been condemned for plans to extend its free car park for staff because they have difficulty finding public transport.
The council argues that the number of spaces at its headquarters at Browfort in Bath Road, Devizes, is inadequate and is planning to build an extra 12 spaces at a cost of between £3,000 to £5,000.
The car park at Browfort currently has 182 free spaces for staff and councillors and 17 spaces for visitors.
Tony Sedgwick, a traffic expert who lives in Devizes and advises The Trust for Devizes, said based on Kennet's current policy for parking standards Browfort should have 166 car parking spaces.
Devizes Town Council's planning committee agreed on Tuesday night to object to the 12 extra spaces...
Of course for the rate paying businesses and householders in Devizes it isn't so easy when you or your customers can't park, then it is all about more bicycles and buses and save the bloody planet...
February 21, 2007
Pants on Fire
Please Sir, the dog ate my homework!
Now what we long suspected has been shown to be true. Records of past temperature data are being altered to exaggerate the apparent rate of global warming. The perpetrators and their acolytes make the usual excuses of original data being lost and the adjustments being for sound, though vague, reasons.
February 20, 2007
Organic food, more is less
The energy needed to grow organic tomatoes is 1.9 times that of conventional methods, the study found. Organic milk requires 80 per cent more land to produce than conventional milk and creates 20 per cent more carbon dioxide, it says. The use of manure to fertilise land can lead to acidification of soil and the pollution of water courses.
Organic chickens require 25 per cent more energy to rear and produce more carbon dioxide than conventional battery or barn hens, according to the report.
In the bad old days of Victorian "organic" farming workers were sent out with spades to dig over and plant the very last corners of fields that the plough couldn't reach. With high productivity "chemical" farming we leave acres untouched around the edges of fields because they aren't worth the hassle, and we can grow enough on the straight work. Nature loves these uncropped areas. So high yields, and monocultural crops, work well for nature conservation. In the broader picture the more we grow on the land we already use means less virgin rainforest is needed for farming.
February 18, 2007
Vulcan burps on green scheme
Swiss prosecutors are investigating a green energy project after it was revealed that it caused earthquakes.
The inquiry was launched after experts confirmed that the Deep Heat Mining project to exploit geothermal energy near the north-west border city of Basel had caused tremors measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale....
With strong opposition to nuclear power, the Deep Heat Mining project was widely embraced in Switzerland as an environmentally-friendly and risk-free renewable source of energy. It is partially financed by the Swiss government and is meant to provide electricity for 10,000 homes and heat for over 2,700. It has so far cost about \u20AC40 (sic) million. Public enthusiasm for the project has dropped since the tremors.
Oh well at least when their houses fall down they will be happy as it was nice cuddly safe green energy that caused it...
February 17, 2007
A load of huff for very little puff
Having spent £13,000 on installing a wind turbine at his home, John Large is disappointed at the return on his investment, which amounts to 9p a week.
At this rate, it is calculated, it will take 2,768 years for the electricity generated by the turbine to pay for itself, by which time he will be past caring about global warming.
The wind turbine was installed at the engineer’s home in Woolwich, southeast London, four weeks ago and has so far generated four kilowatts of electricity. An average household needs 23kw every day to power its lights and appliances. (The Times)
I wonder how long it will take him for the turbine, its manufacturing, installing and maintenance, to become "carbon neutral".
Has Tory Boy got his whirly gig installed yet as an example of his prudence and foresight?