Thursday, September 29, 2011

Barnet Shale Bonanza

Yet another in our compare and contrast series...

This time compare the myth of 'Green Jobs' propagated by the entire political class on both sides of the Atlantic, from Obama to Cameron to the many and varied functionaries of the EU politbureau - along with their allies in the bloated NGO sector, with the reality of job creation and economic activity surrounded shale gas in the United States. Look at the Spanish experience:

The internal report of the Spanish administration admits that the price of electricity has gone up, as well as the debt, due to the extra costs of solar and wind energy. Even the government numbers indicate that each green job created costs more than 2.2 traditional jobs, as was shown in the report of the Juan de Mariana Institute

Now take a look at the report high-lighted by the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

The Barnett Shale natural gas field has generated $65.4 billion in economic activity and created more than 100,200 jobs over the 24-county area since 2001, according to a new study commissioned by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

The full report can be found here:

This should be cause for celebration in the UK. Given the scale of recent discoveries of vast shale gas deposits in the UK, we too should be looking forward to a major boost to jobs and economic activity. This really is a no-brainer. You'd have to be totally ideologically blinkered and/or have some personal financial stake in "renewables" not to see this. Not that we would suggest that David Cameron's father-in-law or Chris Huhne's wife would have much of an influence, despite their financial profit from wind farm subsidies and the like.

It's such a no-brainer in fact, that it really begs the question, yet again, of why our leaders believe what they do.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weather Is Consistent With Climate Change

Leading scientists revealed today that weather is consistent with climate change. In a stunning vindication of climate models, the scientists have revealed that there is a very high probability that increasing CO2 is causing weather every day. In what is widely seen as a major set-back for climate change denialists, the models give clear and unambiguous results that weather will appear almost every day.

Dr Kevin Trenbeth interrupted his search for missing heat to state that: "Our model's show that weather is almost certain to happen on most days, even weekends when you'd think it was resting. Only CO2 and an atmosphere can explain this unexpected finding."

When pressed as to what type of weather the models predict, his response was clear: "What kind of weather you got?"

Whether it's hot, cold, wet, dry, snow, drought, sort of starting nice and then getting grey in the afternoon, it's all weather and so consistent with the models.

Leading researcher, Dr James Hansen, was also clear on the importance of these results. Fresh from a court appearance for trying to stop stores selling toy "death trains", Dr Hansen stated: "Look out of the window. Look now. See that weather. You did that. Think of your grandchildren. Go on, think of them. OK, you don't have grandchildren, so think of your grandparents. OK, so you've only got one. Think of someone else who has grandchildren or grandparents. Now, do you really want to inflict weather on them? Shame on you. Shame."

With these new results to hand, the IPCC will make another push for a globally binding and stringent agreement to limit CO2 production. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC and former "death train" engineer, was in strident mood. "This is a damning indictment of the skeptic position. There is no room for voodoo science any more. We can predict that there will be weather, therefore give us the money. It's that simple."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

IWCA and the riots

For a long while now it has been clear that what passes for the 'radical left' in this country have been a spent and demoralised force. The anti-cuts activity that has been organised by the unions has largely been about public sector workers protecting their special interests and have pretty much failed to mobilise other sections of the population. But this hasn't stopped the left from dusting off their old slogans and getting those anti-Thatcher badges down from the attic. The recent riots were yet more evidence of the decline of the left - who were completely side-lined by what went on and have largely chosen to ignore it as if it never happened. Compare and contrast with the riots in the 80's, which saw anarchists and other on the frontlines, but also triggered considerable organising and campaigning afterwards.

Just about the only 'left' group that seems to be doing any actual thinking is the Independent Working Class Association, which largely grew out of the Red Action side of Anti-Fascist Action. The IWCA has just posted an article on the riots entitled The Lumpen Rebellion. While I have no time for the formulaic pronouncements against 'neo-liberalism', the article is worth reading, in fact it's one of the few articles on the riots that shows any signs of having understood the forces at work during the riots.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A cloudy day for the IPCC

Anthony Watts over at Watts Up With That draws attention to a new paper that looks at the effects of cloud cover on climate. The paper (Combining satellite data and models to estimate cloud radiative effect at the surface and in the atmosphere, by Richard P. Allan and published in the journal Meteorological Applications), appears to support the Spenser and Braswell paper, which has been such an active example of 'redefining what peer review is'. Should we expect the ritual Seppuku of the journal's editor? Or will the BBC front page the story and pepper it with quotes disputing the consensus?

Perhaps they'd care to quote Anthony Watts:
The cooling effect is found to be -21 Watts per meter squared, more than 17 times the posited warming effect from a doubling of CO2 concentrations which is calculated to be ~ 1.2 Watts per meter squared.  This -21 w/m2 figure from Richard P. Allan is in good agreement with Spencer and Braswell.
For the IPCC this comes at a bad time. A successful hatchet job on Spencer and Braswell will mean that it can be safely side-lined in AR5, but what about this one? With sceptics highlighting the existence of the paper, it's not going to be possible to pretend that this new result doesn't exist.

In the rest of the news, the direct results of global warming hysteria are there for all to see. Increasing energy costs are causing pain, and so we see the despicable Chris Huhne yet again attempting to shift the blame anywhere but himself and his colleagues in the political classes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Destroy the EU

The EU is the ultimate expression of crony capitalism. It is by nature an undemocratic body that is an alliance of unelected bureaucrats, favoured companies and bought-off NGOs. It has no natural constituency and engenders no loyalty from those of us unfortunate enough to fall under its jurisdiction. Instead it follows a single over-riding directive - to perpetuate and expands its powers. To do this it channels funds - which are derived from unwilling populations - into those projects that are most politically expedient:

  • subsidies to favoured companies, NGOs, and local 'governments'
  • constant encroachments on local sovereignty
  • expanding the size of the central bureaucracy
  • furthering of its favoured agendas (climate change, green regulation, political union)
  • political cronyism (national politicians that toe the line are rewarded with well-funded EU jobs)

From the ground up it is a body that is staffed by a patrician class that believes democracy is an impediment to its grand visions and views local democracy as intrinsically suspect. It has co-opted politicians from 'left' and 'right', as if those fictions are still meaningful categories.

The recent spate of Eurosceptic maneuvering in the UK is largely a symbolic activity - more political panto, like the arguments over the 50p tax rate. It will seek to channel anger into activities that ultimately do not pose any real challenge to the EU.

The lesson is simple. The EU cannot be reformed, reworked or remade, any more than the old Soviet block could be reformed from within. The EU needs to be destroyed. It's that simple.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just imagine if...

Just imagine if a Nobel prize-winning physicist announced he was leaving a major scientific body, (say the American Physical Society), because their stance on climate change was too sceptical. I know, you need to try really hard to do this, but just do you best to imagine that such a scientific body exists. Now, what kind of reaction would we expect to see in the mainstream media? Now this is something far easier to imagine. The BBC, for example, would elevate this to headline news. There would be quotes from other warmist scientists, our resignee would be feted as standing up for scientific truth and there would be attacks on sceptics as being neanderthal flat-earthers.

Now lets stop imaginging and turn our attention to the case of Dr. Ivar Giaever, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1973. Dr Giaever has resigned as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (full story here). In his resignation letter he states:

In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period.

And the response of the BBC et al? Zero, nil, zilch. Instead we are treated to routine denounciations of sceptics as being anti-science...

Compare and contrast this to the coverage of Wolfgang Wagner's resignation as editor in chief of the journal Remote Sensing...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Global Warming Education

Offspring #3 (aged 12), arrived home from school yesterday to tell us that during that day's Citizenship lesson (and yes, how we managed without that when we were at school I don't know), the teacher had been waxing lyrical about global warming. In particular the teacher had talked about those who deny the reality of what they can see with their own eyes - higher temperatures, melting ice caps etc. These deniers, the teacher said, were denying because they didn't want to change their own selfish ways of life.

Forget the fact that the teacher is an English teacher, with no apparent scientific understanding of the issue. Forget the blatant propaganda for what is at best a hypothesis - and an increasingly ropey one at that. What is interesting is the response of the kids. Nobody, not even our offspring, dared venture a contrary view.

Why not, we asked? Because nobody wanted to be seen as different. At age 12 peer pressure and the need for conformity are very powerful forces. And, in a boy's comprehensive at the rougher end of the borough, standing up to argue that AGW is an unproven hypothesis that is not accepted by every scientist in the world is a tough call. In the past our offspring have tried various tactics, including appeals to authority ('both my parents have PhDs and they don't believe in global warming, sir'), outright denial or pointing to contrary evidence ('but temperatures aren't going up, miss'). All to no avail. The objections are ignored for the most part, and most of the kids either don't care or think our children are weird.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

50% Tax Rate - Political Panto

The issue of cutting (or not) the 50% tax rate is the latest episode in the political panto that passes for discourse in this country. We are led to believe that this is an ideological issue that pits 'heartless Tories' on one side, and their 'heartful LibDems' on the other, urged on, of course, by the Labour Party looking on from the side-lines. In reality it's another non-issue that obscures the reality of an entrenched consensus that likes to offer us the illusion of choice. There's more choice in Coke vs Pepsi than there is in our political class.

Rather than being an ideological issue, it ought to be one of empirical economics. The evidence shows that cutting taxes works - it increases the overall tax take. We need to do more than just cut the 50% rate, we need to cut rates across the board and to take low-income families out of the tax system completely. But that's not going to happen because that requires a decrease in the size of the state - and for all their fine words, none of our politicians believe that is a good thing. Instead we have the political theatre of arguing about the 50% rate in isolation.

You'll notice that the issue is never placed into a broader context that looks at how the public purse is pilfered by large corporates and large landowners in the guise of fighting climate change. There is no linkage to the reverse flow of money from our taxes into the pockets of those building subsidy farms across the country. Why should there be? All our politicians think this is a good thing - and it makes no difference whether this is for venal reasons or an unthinking belief in the goodness of the cause.

It would be interesting to compare the figures - the tax take from the 50% rate versus the cost money that goes into feed-in tariffs and other green taxes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Corporate Enemy

Richard North at his EUReferendum blog has an interesting post entitled the 'Corporate Enemy'. The direct trigger for this is an article in the New York Times reporting a speech by Sarah Palin (the reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher in the minds of our liberal media here in the UK). Dr North states:

The New York Times has it that some Palin's ideas cross the political divide, but the real issue is that the nature of the political divide has changed. We no long have the left-right divisions, or the distinction between state and free market.

What has happened, as I argue in the third of my pieces, is that the line has moved from vertical to horizontal, the upper part occupied by the political classes and the corporates – with no distinction between private and public sectors.

That is in fact, where the battle lines are now drawn, something which Palin understands. If the sensitive little souls from UKIP got over their wounded feelings and used their brains, they too might realise that. The EU is only a tiny part of the overall problem. It is one corporate amongst many.

On top of the political classes, therefore, our enemies are the corporates. The battle is to be fought with them as a whole. And that is going to need a lot more than a referendum, or any of the other ideas we've seen coming from a eurosceptic camp that seems unable to comprehend that the battle has moved on.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Obama Is Insane

There's a famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

By this definition Barack Obama is insane. His stimulus packages have failed to deliver. The deficit is up. The economy is largely stalled. Unemployment refuses to budge. So what's his latest and greatest plan? More stimulus.

Why should it be different this time? What magic ingredient is there in this package that isn't in the others?

The deficit will continue to climb. Consumer confidence will continue to stagnate. Unemployment won't shift.

If he wants to boost demand then the measures are simple:

  • cut taxes all round
  • cut climate-related programs
  • quit foreign wars
  • stop supporting lame-duck banks and auto manufacturers
  • just leave the economy to right itself

Mind you, Obama doesn't have a monopoly on insanity. The entire political class in Europe is infected with the same madness - witness the increasingly desperate closing of eyes and hoping for the best around saving the Euro....