Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Freezing Cancer Patients

One of the stories that appeared in the press over Christmas was based on a report from Macmillan Cancer Support about cancer patients and fuel poverty. According to its own figures, the number of patients needing financial support for fuel payments has increased markedly in the last few years.

Of course nobody should be surprised by this. Our politicians regularly admonish the fuel companies for making 'fuel poverty' worse - conveniently ignoring their own role in driving the increase in costs. It's the natural consequence of environmental legislation to fight 'climate change'. And, as I can attest as a trustee of a small cancer charity, cancer patients are especially vulnerable.

However, we mustn't ignore the part played in all of this by our medical establishment. The medical profession are among the front ranks of climate alarmism. They have trumpeted the lies and the hysteria from the beginning, from journal articles and papers in the BMJ and the Lancet, to working for the NHS to become 'carbon neutral'.

How many of those medics will stop to think of the effect that this climate alarmism is having on their patients?

And it's not just fuel poverty - how much money that could be spent of cancer treatments is being wasted on fighting 'climate change'? As one blogger has put it:

the NHS will be paying our money on carbon off-setting instead of investing in new treatments, or improving the existing treatments.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Climate Change Sceptics - Craving A Cause

Climate change sceptics, according to Lisa Jardine, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, have:
...created an intricate web of their own associations and allusions, to produce their version of an alternative story which runs contrary to that of mainstream science.
This is an article on the BBC news website ostensibly about the novelist Umberto Eco, and in particular about his second novel, Foucault's Pendulum. As she describes it, the novel is about "...the credulity of those who crave a cause to believe in." She describes the outlines of the novel, which involves an elaborate conspiracy and a manufactured alternate history of the Knights Templar. In time one of the authors of this occult history is killed by people who believe it is true, and who are convinced that he holds more secrets that he is unwilling to reveal.

Aside from being very pleased with herself for being clever in front of Eco during an interview, the article says a lot more about Jardine's mindset - and that of the BBC - than it does about climate change scepticism.

You see, Jardine feels that only those people who are on the outside looking in, those who feel excluded in some way, become sceptics in order to have something to believe in. We are, as the title of the article suggests 'craving a cause'. To climate scientists she says:
Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that international scientific near consensus is not enough to allay the fears of those who feel left out of the whole debate.
Now, personally, I feel deeply affronted by all of this. I have a PhD in a scientific discipline, I work as a mathematical modeller, I read the scientific literature and I do my research. Like many sceptics I started out wanting to understand more about the science. I had seen the hockey stick graph, I was a Guardian reading warmist who despised the United States for not signing the Kyoto Treaty. I saw the IPCC as representing an honest and robust view of the science. It was settled, I just wanted to find out more. And that's where the problem started.

In reading more widely, and at a deeper level than the New Scientist or Scientific American, I came away deeply disturbed. It had simply never entered my consciousness that so much of the evidence was model output. As a modeller this is stuff I am familiar with, it's what I earned my PhD doing. And as for the physical evidence, I was amazed at the lack of it.

And, it has to be said, far from craving a cause, I thought I had had one in wanting to fight climate change. If ever there was a cause that inflamed peoples passions and gave them something to believe in it was the fight against CO2-induced climate change.

What I discovered has caused me to question so much of what I took for granted. The people I once saw as political allies I now see as pernicious and dangerous. This has caused all kinds of arguments and strained relationships with family and friends. It's certainly not been an easy ride - I would have been better off ignoring the science and sticking to the Guardian. But I couldn't. You see, unfashionable as it might be to some, I actually believe in the scientific method. I actually think that science is not just another discourse, science is different, science has to be honest.

Jardine is blind to all of this, of course. In her simplistic world there is the 'near consensus' on one hand, and the cranks, conspiracy theorists and the excluded on the other. It would not enter her head that there are many scientists out there who disagree with AGW. It would not occur to her that the state of ignorance about climate is vast, and that far from being settled, the science is becoming more uncertain as more research is performed. And it would not occur to her to actually look at what Climategate revealed, or to look as the inner workings of the IPCC. To her and to her kind, the favoured circle of climate scientists are the good guys, the rest of us are not.

If we're talking about Umberto Eco, I would say that it's his first novel one should look at. In The Name of The Rose we have the story of a fanatical priesthood prepared to go to any steps to keep people from getting at the data (in this case a manuscript by Aristotle). The hero of the novel is William of Occam, the archetypal sceptic and one of the founders of the scientific method. The parallels with climate change are obvious, and require none of the intellectual contortions that Jardine has to go through tp make her point.

Come to think of it, maybe I do feel excluded now, thanks to people like her. But the feeling of exclusion came second, long after I had changed my mind because of the science.

Silence On Europe

Given my stated desire to see the Euro and the EU collapse and die, my recent silence on the matter might seem strange. However, there's a simple explanation - the fact is that there are two blogs which say it all: Richard North's EUReferendum and Mary Ellen Synon's blog at the Daily Mail. These two blogs are streets ahead of the mainstream press, ahead of most commentators in the blogosphere and way, way, way ahead of anything I can say on the topic.

I know it goes against the blogging credo, but I won't pretend a knowledge or competence I don't have. Instead I'd refer people to keep an eye on what North and Synon both have to say - and to then compare and contrast with the drivel that most of the media produces. In particular, the contrast between these two and the BBC is striking. The BBC would make the North Korean state media proud.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Stunning Endorsement...

Seema Malhotra, the newly elected MP for Felthmam and Heston, claims her "victory" is a vote of confidence in the leadership of Ed Milliband. And she's right. It's a stunning vote of confidence. At a time when the global economy is heading over the edge of a cliff, the Euro is collapsing and we all look ahead with a deep sense of foreboding, a massive 15.7% of the electorate in her constituency felt that Ed Milliband's leadership was worth a vote.

It's a truly sad state of affairs that our political classes have colluded in making politics about as relevant as a Christmas Panto in Easter. Having ceded real power to the EU, been up to their necks in fiddles and graft and pretty much focused on making political debate an idea-free zone, is it any wonder than so few of us can be bothered to get up and vote. You can bet that they'll be earnest discussions on how to make politics relevant again - but by relevant they mean something very different to what we mean by it. To them relevant means that you go through the motions and vote in elections. That you sign up to their moribund parties. That you appear engaged in whatever narrative they're offering.

What we mean by relevant is entirely different. It means having real influence and power, of forcing our elected representatives to truly represent us. It means having a handle on how things are run, how decisions are made and being able to change things. It means being able to control the purse strings, vote directly on issues (yes, that means holding referendums) and having the ability to recall and reject politicians.

Instead of these ideas, we'll be subjected to those favoured by our politicians, many of them imported from the Euro class. Ideas like compulsory voting, various forms of proportional representation and the state funding of political parties. All of these should be rejected. Instead we need to push for our alternatives - and we need to push for things like Richard North's Referism. The idea might or might not work, but it does represent a radical departure from what the political class want.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thank you, Canada

Thank you, Canada. Thank you for formally dumping the dead treaty that is Kyoto. For leading the way so that hopefully others can follow.

All you need to do now is withdraw from the UN's various climate bodies - to follow through completely. Do this and you'll have the undying love and admiration of climate realists the world over. The BBC will of course declare war  on you, but that's a small price to pay for daring to show true leadership.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chris Huhne Visits This Site

As has long been suspected, Chris Huhne is a visitor to this site. We now have definitive proof. The trap was set when a poll was added to the site - our first ever. The question was straightforward enough:

Who is the most stupid person in the government?

There was one clear front-runner: Chris Huhne. He lead the pack from the beginner, with a clear 100% of votes going to him. For a while it looked like the poll would end with that clear and overwhelming result. However, at the last minute somebody visited the site and voted for somebody else. This voter can have been none other than Chris Huhne himself. He cast his vote for David Cameron, confirming once and for all his identity.

Chris, should you drop by again, please do us all a favour and resign...

Friday, December 09, 2011

Polar Bear Cannibal Holocaust

Delingpole has already picked up on the Polar Bear Cannibal Holocaust story from the the BBC. A story that is illustrated with a photo of the nasty deed being committed. Of course according to the BBC it's not just the polar bear cub who is the victim, it's also the male polar bear who has killed and eaten the cub. It's a victim, of course, of global warming. We all know that before CO2 sizzled the planet polar bears would never have devoured their own...

When I mentioned this strange occurence to sprog #3, he reminded me that he had an old book on polar bears that he bought at the local library when he was younger. This august tome is entitled Polar Star, by Sally Grindley and John Butler, and was published in the dim and distant year of 1997 (ISBN 1860394221). In this kids book we discover that, shock horror, male polar bears sometimes devour young cubs, and the book even features a sequence where a mother defends her cubs from the predatory male...

Here's the cover of the book...

The sequence where the predatory male attacks the cub begins here:

The text itself states:

And all of this without mention of melting ice, rising sea levels, global warming or CO2.

Where's David Attenborough when you need him, eh?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

40% of cancers caused by life-style choices

Well, at least that's what the headlines are telling us - and there are plenty of headlines based on these figures right across the media.

Now I know it's a bit much to expect scepticism from the likes of the BBC, but I'm really surprised by the lack of critical comment or scepticism that has greeted such a shocking claim. So far I've found two places where the figures are queried.

Spiked Online take a gander here: discuss it here:

Has anyone found other articles that do more than regurgitate the press release?

Seeing as this report is being seized on by 'health activists' the world over, you can bet your life that these figures are going to be quoted again and again to support all kinds of new restrictions on food and alcohol.

Scottish Madness

In a bid to out-mad the rest of the UK, the Scots government decided that the EU's commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 was piddly, that the UK's commitment of a 34% drop was derisory, and that Scotland could out-mad the world by going for a massive (and impossible to acheive) target of a 44% reduction. Yep, 42%.

Of course there's a massive cost to this madness, which has just been estimated at £11bn, which seems mighty low to me. But then again we are in the world of make believe here. How else could you explain statements such as this one, from SNP MSP Rob Gibson, convener of the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee at Holyrood:
The SNP Government has made a commitment to this country which has the world's best developing technologies and energy resources in wind, hydro, biofuels, and the exciting future industries of tidal and wave and photovoltaic (solar) technologies.
Photovoltaic in Scotland?

Absolute madness that shows no signs of abating. Of course, this kind of nonsense is aided and abetted by the BBC, who in their report on the topic insist on describing CO2 as pollution. Perhaps BBC journalists don't breathe in the same way we do...

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

And for our next trick...

There's a fair amount of comment about the Merkozy plan for a European fiscal union, much of it along the lines of 'they're having a laugh, they'll never get treaty change through in any time frame that makes sense.' Critics point to the glacial pace of treaty change, and the high probability that the first referendum on change will give a resulting no vote (in whichever country it's in). So, is Merkozy just blowing smoke and hoping that the illusion of change will be enough to calm the markets so the Euro can ride the storm enough to survive?

Unfortunately all of that is predicated on the theory that our Euro class politicians play by their own rules. Having engineered two coups - Greece and Italy - do people really think the Euro class are not emboldened by the crisis? The stakes have never been higher, there is no way on earth that the Euro class can afford to pay attention to the wishes of any electorates.

Mary Ellen Synon can already see the lie of the land. She has a must-read blog at the Mail, which ends:
What we have now is a German and French-led EU cartel which has so far pulled off coups in Greece and Italy. Each of those states is now ruled by unelected governments dropped into office by Berlin, Paris, the European Commission and the European Central Bank

These successful coups have made Germany and France confident of further success. They are on a roll: next target, a coup of the entire system of EU treaty law covering fiscal powers.

And here’s the surprising part – or maybe not so surprising, given his history of Vichy-like behaviour – Merkozy can count on the cooperation of David Cameron in this manoeuvre to stop any chance of any of the peoples of the eurozone countries being given a chance to vote ‘No!’

What we saw today in Paris was an announcement by Merkozy that they intend to go ahead with their drive to destroy democracy across 17 European states. By agreeing to this -- and he will -- Mr Cameron will act as collaborator in establishing Germany and France as the fiscal commanders over these nations of Europe.

Across Europe, one can only feel dread. In Britain, one ought to feel shame as well.
Keep that in mind when you hear reports that:

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said Standard & Poor's (S&P) threat to downgrade eurozone countries is the "best possible incentive" ahead of Friday's summit.
Statists never let a crisis go to waste.  Merkozy need the threat of disaster to keep their less confident colleagues in line.
Our politicians can bleat about how we are protected from further treaty change by a referendum, but what if everything that the Euro class needs can be magicked out of existing text? Expecting the Euro class to play by the rules is as naive as believing that Cameron et al are really Euro sceptics at heart.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Frermany Calling! Frermany Calling!

With the moves for political union gaining afoot, any talk from 'our' Euro-class about 'the national interest' is more smokescreen than anything else. We can expect the usual prattle about losing our influence, of being left out in the cold, of being in the slow lane of a two-speed Europe etc. We've heard it all before. But time and again our Euro class puts it's own interests first. And that interest lies firmly in the EU.

With Merkozy making all the running, Cameron and co will squirm, pout and pose in front of the cameras, but they'll not say no. They never do.

Our only hope is that the Euro does collapse - even though the consequences fill most of us with dread...

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Ten Days To Shake The World?

The headline in today's Metro is certainly eye-catching: Save the euro in 10 days or see the EU fall apart, European leaders warned

The destruction of the Euro is necessary - it's the best chance we have of destroying the EU. Let's be clear, no amount of Euro-plastic tinkering is going to make any real difference. The colleagues are all-out for political integration, only the collapse of the Euro can stop that. They've already beggared Greece for generations, and they have no qualms about doing the same to the rest of us. For the Euro-class, economic destruction across the continent is a small price to pay to make sure the 'project' succeeds.

However, what's the likely cost of a Euro collapse? To pretend that because we're not in the Euro we have any real insulation is a fantasy. It's going to hurt like hell.

According to economist Danny Gabay, an economist at Fathom Consulting (quoted by the Economist ), we can expect:
Our simulation implies that the impact of a disorderly euro break-up on the UK will be roughly half as bad again as the collapse of Lehman Brothers.The UK economy contracts by over 7% between now and 2013, assuming a euro default in early 2012.

Moreover in the absence of massive monetary easing to prevent sterling from rising by upwards of 35%, we see the UK slipping into deflation, which would make servicing its debt even harder. And you can forget those fiscal targets, In our simulation, the austerity measures are simply overwhelmed by the impact such a huge sovereign default event has on global bond yields. Even with austerity, we see UK bond yields rising above 10% by 2013
In other words we're talking major recession again. It's time our political class started to prepare for this, but Osborne and the Office of Budget Resposibility are decidedly looking the other way. Can anyone really believe that public debt is not going to sky-rocket above the magic 80% figure when all this goes off?

If there was ever a perfect time to seriously cut back on climate change spending, the endless layers of quangos (still largely untouched by the promised 'bonfire') and pointless foreign adventures, it's now.

Update: It looks like things are hotting up, with the latest spate of announcements from Mervyn King et al. Meanwhile, there are more important things to think about... Like the faux outrage over Jeremy Clarksons comments.