Wednesday, December 05, 2012

This Must Be Some Kind of Joke

You've got to be fucking kidding, right? Nobody in their right mind would be giving away £2bn of our cash to build windfarms in Africa, would they?

Not only is this a ludicrous waste of money we can ill-afford, it does bugger all to help Africa develop. Instead of a stable and managed power infrastructure, they'll get electricity when the wind blows. And whereas we can do something to ameliorate the uselessness of wind energy by backing them up with gas fired power generation, what will they do in Africa?

Under-developing Africa is a by-product of environmentalism - it's encoded in the DNA of rich white environmental leftists to keep the rest of the world poor while they work hard at dismantling our own economies.

It's nonsense but the green fascists are wetting themselves with delight and begging for more. The noxious scum bags...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Now STFU about Amazon, Starbucks et al

I'm not usually one for quoting people verbatim, but I make an exception in this case because the original is behind the paywall at the Times, and because Tim Worstall makes his point crystal clear:

How can you accuse a company of tax avoidance when it is doing exactly what the law tells it to do?
Logic or common sense does not usually stop the bleatings of politicians but this all-party outrage about big corporations dodging taxes is absolutely ludicrous. The EU, under the single-market rules, positively encourages the business behaviour that is being criticised.
Yes, it is true that Amazon pays a lower rate of corporation tax by basing itself in Luxembourg, and Google and Facebook in Ireland. But doing this is not a sign of corporate chicanery or crafty lawyers exploiting loopholes; rather it is the very point of the Single Market (articles 26, 28, 49, 54 and 56 of the basic European Union Treaty). A company that wants to sell to all 27 EU countries needs to have its European headquarters in only one EU state. VAT is charged (except, oddly, on digital goods) where the delivery is made to, and corporation tax is levied on where that single brass plate is. As HMRC has recently pointed out, this is not avoidance, this is just the way corporation tax works.
It is true that Amazon has warehouses in the UK but we also have a double taxation treaty with Luxembourg — as we have with many other countries — which states that tax is not chargeable on the profits made from sales from warehouses and logistics chains.
It is true that Starbucks pays royalties to a Dutch company, thus apparently dodging UK tax. But EU law (council directive 2003/49/EC ) states that such royalty payments within the EU are not only allowed — it forbids the taxation of the payments in the country sending them.
These companies are not making a mockery of our tax laws: they are obeying the rules and regulations in each and every particular. They are not even avoiding tax, as these companies are doing specifically what the law intends, even to the point that we have laws that forbid national governments from stopping these multinationals doing what they have been doing.
All of which leads to a much more important question: why do we now have such an incompetence of politicians whining about the laws that they have spent the past four decades enacting? They could claim simple ignorance of what they have done but that is hardly a strong defence, is it?
Yet it is still true: they have deliberately built a tax system in which all the things they are complaining about are not actually tax evasion nor even avoidance. They are simply tax compliance — obeying the law of the land as it was intended and written.

Now, will the BBC, the Guardian, the Mail and the rest STFU? If you don't like what's going on then campaign to leave the EU, otherwise live with the fact that these companies are doing exactly what they've been told to do.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How Much Did They Spend Of Our Money?

With perfect timing, sceptic blogger Maurizio Morabito has revealed the list of 28 individuals who attended the BBC climate change seminar in 2006 which lead to their abandoning any pretence at impartiality on the subject. This is the same list that Tony Newbery of Harmless Sky blog has been battling to get through the Freedom of Information Act. The BBC spent a fortune on high profile lawyers in facing Newbery in court - a lone pensioner who represented himself in court. Andrew Orlowski of the Register has covered in some detail here:

Yet again we find that the sceptic blogosphere is creative, persistence and just can't be ignored.

One of the questions that we need answered now is to get an idea of how much the BBC squandered in fighting FOI requests. How much of our cash was wasted trying to hide a document that had previously been published on the web? Who decided it was so important to keep the list - embarassing because of the paucity of scientific expertise present - secret?

Heads ought to roll - how about some of the BBC attendees:
  • George Enwistle 
  • Helen Boaden
  • Peter Rippon
  • Steve Mitchell
Funny how those four names are already in the news...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Privatise the BBC

What other response can there be to the on-going 'crisis' at the BBC? What we are seeing is typical of the most poisonous organisation in the UK. The combination of liberal-breast beating, cathartic bouts of self-flagellation and looking after their own is what the BBC does best. Add to which it gives them the chance to do what they like to do at every opportunity, which is to focus inwards.

Let's be honest, the BBC is the most morally corrupt organisation in the country. The real scandal isn't Jimmy Saville, it's the very existence of a state broadcaster that made Stalinist era Pravda look like a beacon of independence. The BBC is the propaganda arm of the liberal establishment. It deserves to die.

Friday, November 09, 2012

UK To End Aid To India

About bloody time...

Now to follow through and cull every aid project anywhere in the world to do with global warming etc. Tackling real problems in poor countries is one thing, handing out money to tackle phantoms is something else altogether.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

New Archbishop

I've often thought that the Church of England is the BBC at prayer. After all they share so many similar concerns - global warming, 'economic justice', love for the EU, a belief that the state can solve all problems etc. In which case I should not be surprised by the fact that the new Archbishop is described as follows:

Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, a former oil industry worker, is set to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Oil industry worker conjures images of grimy engineers, burly blokes battling the elements on oil rigs and so on. In fact Eton-educated Justin Welby would more accurately be described as an oil industry executive or manager, but that's so un-BBC...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Reason To Hope Romney Wins

I'm not what you'd call a natural Republican sympathiser, any more than I fancy myself as a Democrat supporter. It's the same with politics here in the UK. I detest all of the main political parties. Looking from this side of the Atlantic I really don't see much to recommend Mitt Romney over Obama. I can see that Obama's a disaster and has further screwed the US economy as he's tried hard to turn the US into the EU. But I don't see much evidence of Romney as being an instinctive small-government free-market kind of guy. He just comes across as another big-spending, big-state Republican in a long line of big-state Republicans like Dubya..

But thanks to a BBC poll that's all changed. According to the BBC, (an organisation who would have given Obama two Nobels not just one), the French score highest in the world in preferring Obama for Romney. So there you have it, at last a positive reason for voting Romney...

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Piss Prize

Really, what sensible thing can you possibly say? The same committee that sees fit to award the prize to Al Gore and the IPCC, to Barack Obama in the hope that he achieves something, to Henry Kissinger, to the UN to... That the EU gets the prize tells you all you need to know about the prize. It's a worthless piece of crap but it'll be used to add lustre to a body that is anti-democratic, corrupt and is engaged in making things actively worse for the environment, the economy and the body politic.A pox on all of them.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

BBC - Institutionally Sexist

Am I the only one to find it ironic that the institutionally warmist BBC, possibly the most PC organisation in the UK, turns out to have been a hot-bed of the sexual abuse of young people? I suppose that was then. Nowadays the BBC prefers to abuse its power by screwing with young people's heads not their bodies...

Monday, October 08, 2012

Warmer Atlantic, Wetter Summers

The BBC headline is succinct if  nothing else: Scientists blame warmer Atlantic for wet summers

This being the BBC I expected the usual hysterical story. A classic Richard Black-style piece that manages to pin the blame on global warming caused by CO2, and ending with a dig at those who dare to deny the self-evident truths revealed by the high-priests. But no, the odious Richard Black is no longer on board the good ship BBC, and the story hasn't been handed over to Harrabin either.

Instead we get a reasonably calm piece that links wetter UK summers to warming in the Atlantic, which is in turn linked to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. What's more the story even points to periods of warming and cooling which don't coincide with the hockey stick ever upward rise of temperature and CO2. Indeed the compulsory link to CO2 is very low-key, these decadal oscillations are related to a number of natural factors and ...possibly now also influenced by manmade greenhouse gases.

Very low key, but hopefully a sign that the odious Richard Black's poisonous influence is starting to pass.

Friday, September 28, 2012

John Terry

Everyone knew that John Terry didn't stand an earthly at the FA Tribunal. The finding was utterly predictable, which is why Terry was right to resign as an international beforehand. Terry's real crime was that he reminds the football authorities, and the liberal media come to that, of what the archetypal football is like - ignorant, violent and prone to outbursts of racism, sexism, homophobia and the rest. Despite his millions, John Terry still comes across as a member of the only minority group it's OK to despise: the white working class.

Inevitably there have been anguished discussions about the 'racism in football', as though the game is awash with racist hate and violence. People who believe this to be true have no sense of recent history whatsoever.

As a teenager I had to stop going to Stamford Bridge in the late 70s and early 80s because a person of my colour was likely to be attacked by fellow Chelsea supporters. The big football firms were explicitly aligned with the National Front and British Movement (despite the fact that leading Chelsea hooligan Babs was half black). Large numbers of fans were switching from being casuals to being skinheads. This was a time when Chelsea fans unfurled banners with SS symbols on them. The lone attempt of anti-fascist Chelsea fans to organise was ended when one of them was almost stabbed to death at an away game in Prague by members of a fascist Chelsea gang.

But Chelsea were not the only club to suffer Nazi fans - most of the football firms were attracted to fascism because of the violence, because it was identified with them by the media and, just as importantly, it was a kick in the face to the liberal establishment.

That was then. And now? Football, and the fans, have moved on. It's not that racism doesn't exist. But it's down to individual vices, not an endemic and organised force. As well as the black faces on the field, there are more black faces in the crowd too.

But in the eyes of the media and the FA, John Terry reminds them too much of the Chelsea fan of old, and he's being punished now for the sins that the FA failed to tackle back then.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Retoxifying The Tory Brand

It's good to see that the antics of Andrew Mitchell are helping to retoxify the Tory brand. He's part of a growing trend of Tories working, wittingly or unwittingly, to undo all of the hard work that David Cameron put into making the Conservatives electable again.

But it's not just the oafish antics of Mitchell, the real story that most of the mainstream press is resolutely ignoring, is the return of Tory sleaze. Lord Deben and Tim Yeo are just two of the most prominent at milking the system of environmental subsidies to the hilt. And let's not forget that David Cameron has a family interest in windfarm subsidies too.

In any case, a retoxified Tory brand is definitely on the cards. Inevitably the downside of this is the probability that disgust with the Tories will out-do the memory of Gordon Brown and Tony Blair...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Permanent State of Emergency

It is a common feature of authoritarian regimes to institute a permanent state of emergency as the normal situation. Sometimes the state of emergency is linked to the coming to power of the regime, for example after a military coup or in response to invasion or civil war. At other times it's a response of a nominally civilian government responding to mass unrest, a collapsing economy, the threat of external invasion and so on. Of course for these regimes the state of emergency has lots of benefits - constitutions can be suspended or re-written, dissent clamped down, the power of the state massively increased. The permanent state of emergency is the beneficial crisis magnified and extended forever.

And so it is with the Euro crisis. This is the permanent state of emergency in response to a real crisis, but it has become the normal situation now. There are still the external trappings of the emergency - regular summit meetings, dire pronouncements from all and sundry, plans announced and discarded, disaster is always on the horizon.

In those countries were the government really has formally declared a state of emergency, once the initial shock has passed the population adapts to the new environment. Life goes on, eventually. People might disappear from the streets, newspapers might disappear from the news shelves, the public sphere shrinks back. But people can't cope with the exhaustion of living life permanently on edge.

And so it is with us. The Euro crisis has all but disappeared from view. We're back to focusing on the more important issues of the day, like royal breasts bared in foreign climes. Those still focused on the issue, like the admirable Richard North of EUReferendom, has an iron constitution and keeps up with what's going on. But people like him are the exceptions. For the rest of us, even those of us interested in politics and who passionately hate the EU, the permanent crisis has taken it's toll. It's exhausting, even though we know that the EU will never let a good crisis go to waste.

The markets too are suffering from this exhaustion. What the permanent state of emergency does is take away that element of uncertainty. You know that tomorrow will be much like today - perched on the edge of a disaster that always looms large but never quite happens.

Tomorrow we'll wake up to a stronger EU state. Citizens will watch from the side lines as political union progresses further and further. But for most people, attention will stay tuned to royal breasts, sports, celebrities and the minor pantomime that passes for national politics these days.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Still No Mainstrream Mention Of Peter Lilley's Report on Stern

A quick check on Google News confirms that there has been almost no coverage of Peter Lilley's demolition job on the Stern report, published by the GWPF. The GWPF is generally accepted to be the most successful anti-warmist organisation in the UK. It's founded by Nigel Lawson, a man well-known to the public and the media. If anyone should be able to pierce the protective shell of warmist orthodoxy in the media it should be the GWPF. And, according to climate alarmists, the GWPF is astoundingly successful in getting the skeptic message across.

But the reality is that apart from the usual suspects - Delingpole in the Telegraph, The Register - this major report of national and international significance has been pretty much ignored.

This is par for the course. No matter the steady stream of journal papers that punch holes in the alarmist narrative, no matter the increasingly skeptical public, the media and the politicians they are in bed with do not deviate from the published script. Things can only ever get worse. There are only warmist scientists. Everyone is agreed that CO2 is the great Satan..

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Organic Food - No Surprise There Then

It's a good few years since I asked the question, on this blog, as to whether organic food had any real nutritional advantages over non-organic: Organic Food - Where's the Evidence?

That was back in April 2006, and at the time my conclusion was plain enough - there was plenty of bluster and dissembling but no hard evidence in the peer reviewed literature that I could find. So it's no surprise to see the headlines today after Stanford University researchers published a review that came to pretty much the same conclusion - there's no evidence of health benefit.

The usual suspects will mutter darkly about vested interests, the agro-industrial complex and all the rest, but like CO2 causing climate catastrophe, the science just doesn't stack up.

Peter Lilley Demolishes Stern Review

The big story of the day, at least when it comes to environmental news, is Peter Lilley's total demolition of the Stern Review:

Peter Lilley isn't the first to trash the Review, which really ought to have no credibility left considering the thrashing it's had at the hands of many economists, but this ought to be the highest profile and most detailed response so far. Will this make it to the BBC? One does wonder, so far there's no mention of it on the website, but it's possible that it might get a mention. Obviously if Lilley was saying the reverse, or better yet saying that Stern hadn't gone far enough it would be front-page on the BBC, even without the odious Richard Black in the picture...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Green Partyism

Tim Worstall, who seems to be much vexed by the Scandanavian Paradox (successful economies with high levels of welfare statism) these days, has a snippet on the Green Party seeking a new leader who is more 'working class'. In this case more working class equates a university educated college lecturer.

Whatever next for the Greens? Not content with wanting to make the party less 'white and middle class', they'll be wanting to make themselves 'relevant' next. It's the slippery slope to LibDemism, so I suppose it makes sense in the great scheme of things. To all intents and purposes is there any difference between the Simon Hughes wing of the LibDems and the Green Party?

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Busy, busy, busy...

The recent paucity of posts here isn't just down to laziness... The fact is that I've been incredibly busy recently, partly down to working on two papers for peer-reviewed journals. One of these in a completely new field for me - molecular oncology. Looking forward to the day when both papers are finally published...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why Is It?

This summer included a period in central France. Lovely part of the world. But yet again I was struck by how incredibly conservative the French are - regardless of whether they see themselves as Left, Right or indifferent. All change is seen as bad. There's a readiness to believe any kind of rubbish if it confirms their prejudices, so conspiracy theories flourish. The only Americans treated as having any kind of authority are Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore and the like. The green religion continues to flourish, with any hint of scepticism treated as though it's a heresy funding directly by Big Oil interests. They all seem to hate fracking with a vengeance - but conveniently forget that France depends on nuclear more than anyone else in Europe.

'Conservatives' and 'socialists' alike are against free markets, free trade and globalisation. Facts are not allowed to intrude into discussion. And for a nation that seems to view politicians as cynical money-grubbers, there is a deep-seated statism that thinks more government is the answer to everything. And don't even ask about who's going to pay for all this government, because that will mark you down as an Anglo-Saxon apologist for the corporates that control the world.

And yet, for all that, they still manage a better health servive than we do...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Still Losing The War

What better illustration that alarmists are winning the war in spite of losing the battles than this. The BBC story is headlined: Cold weather stops Scottish greenhouse gas emissions target being met

Mr Stevenson said "Scotland faced its coldest winter temperatures in almost a century - and quite rightly people across Scotland needed to heat their homes to keep warm and safe".

He added: "The Scottish government remains fully committed to delivering ambitious and world-leading climate change targets. We always knew it would be a challenging path to follow when these were set and that year to year fluctuations were inevitable".
Not a hint of irony, not a sign of the idiocy of trying to curb CO2 emissions to fight a warming that only exists in climate models. Still, I know it's too much to ask that the BBC points out the idiocy of the statements it quotes.

Friday, July 13, 2012

NHS Murderers

Who can fail to be angered by the appalling death of young cancer patient Kane Gorney, aged 22. Originally treated for a brain tumour, the treatment he had affected his bones so that he needed a hip replacement. This was performed at St Georges in Tooting, but died three days after the operation. What killed him was not a complication of the surgery but a simple lack of water. He needed to be kept hydrated at all times, which is what the doctors instructed, but nursing staff ignored him and he died a slow and agonising death of dehydration. Even now, writing these few lines, I can't help but get furious over this.

In the last few years I've had a lot of direct personal experience of hospitals, including spending several long periods in St Georges looking after my son. I've had experience of a number of hospitals in the UK, some NHS and some private, plus hospital treatments abroad. I've seen more medical treatments than most will see in a life-time. My conclusions from this? We've been sold a massive lie in the UK. The NHS is a second rate service in many respects, but no politician has the guts to say so. And most people will never see up close how it compares to treatment in Germany for example, or even to see the difference in treatment between the NHS and a private hospital in the UK (and thankfully, having a job that includes private health insurance allowed me to see it for the first time too).

When it comes to St Georges we got to see what's best and what's worst in the NHS. The good included fantastic doctors, particularly oncologists and surgeons, and excellent facilities in operating theatres and ICU. The absolute worst was experiencing nursing "care" by nurses who really didn't give a shit about patients. Dealing with a Soviet-style bureaucracy and layers of administration that seemed to drive everybody mad, from  patients to doctors. Not all the nurses were crap. But there were enough of them to make the overall level of nursing care abysmal. And this wasn't just one isolated incident. This happened again and again over a number of years and a number of different wards and treatments.

This poor level of treatment was not limited to St Georges. We had similar experiences at UCH in London. Again, good facilities, good doctoring, but a feeling that many of the nurses just weren't interested. Again, let me be clear, it wasn't every nurse, but the good were crowded out by the bad, and in fact the good seemed to spend a lot of their time chasing after the bad or correcting their mistake.

By contrast, nursing care at our local hospital or at the Royal Marsden was excellent. It was excellent in every private hospital we went too and in the hospital abroad.

Why is this?

You'll hear all kinds of lame excuses about 'systemic failures' and 'learning from mistakes', but the fact is that the NHS is a lumbering beast and like a dinosaur doesn't seem to be very responsive. It's a bloody scandal that a 22-year lad has to be dialling 999 in a vain attempt to get a drink of water before he dies. If this had happened in a prison there'd be a huge outcry. Heads would roll. What's happened here? A half-arse apology from the hospital and that's it. Fucking outrageous.

The real problem is that St Georges and UCH are both too big. They're huge lumbering giants and impervious to change, just as the nurses were impervious to a dying lad asking for water. St Georges is a merger of many smaller hospitals, all consolidated onto a massive single site. A feature of all huge bureaucracies is a culture of neglect, incompetence and self-protection.

The answer to the problem is the same as the answer to the many of the other problems in the NHS. Break it up. The Soviet-era NHS system doesn't work. Other countries manage socialised medical systems without having a single bureaucratic structure like the NHS. It's what we need. Unfortunately, trying to talk about real structural change in the NHS is all but impossible in the UK. Every discussion is framed as a simple NHS versus the US system - as though there's nothing in between.

Poor Kane Gorney, at the very least his death is manslaughter, but he isn't the first, nor will he be the last person to be killed by a system that's too big too care.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Planet Do These People Live On?

According to our favourite warmist propaganda output, the BBC, a panel of 'experts' convened by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been working on a 'Green Food Project'. This group of "representatives in farming, manufacturing, science and conservation" have been looking at the issues related to climate change, population growth and other favoutrite alarmist narratives.

Predictably these experts are much exercised by the looming spectre of runaway warming. So the BBC highlights the prospects that we'll be growing chick-peas for roti-bread flour.

Back here in planet Earth I look out of the window and wonder why they haven't been looking at the prospect of increased rice production in the sodden paddy fields of England.

Friday, June 29, 2012

And no mention of climate change...

The Warmist Broadcasting Corporation highlights the announcement that:

April to June this year has been the wettest second quarter in the UK since records began in 1910.
The story mentions the record breaking weather, highlights the disruption and so on. But it fails completely to mention the Met Office's original 'drier than usual' forecast for the period. It fails to mention the numerous predictions of warmer, drier weather thanks to climate change. In fact there's no mention of climate change at all...

Imagine if the so-called drought had carried on. Can you imagine the story not mentioning climate change if it had been about warmer, drier weather? Of course not. When mother nature refuses to play ball with the alarmist predictions it counts as weather. When it happens to coincide with some prediction than it's climate change.

Funnily enough, this is one of the stories that doesn't have room for reader comments. Wonder why that might be?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Greece - What Revolution?

It was inevitable in the end that the pro-bailout parties would win in the Greek re-run elections. Far-right voters dropped Golden Dawn and switched to New Democracy, while Syriza gained more votes but not enough to completely wipe out PASOK, which they needed to do.In the end the Greek electoral system gives New Democracy 50 extra seats so that they can form a government with PASOK and/or some of the independents. Fear of the far-left, of change and of continuing turmoil still only just managed to beat Syriza.

Not that there isn't turmoil to come. The election result just postpones the final reckoning. Greece is a dead man walking and everyone knows it. Yet politicians across the world pretend to breathe a sigh of relief as though there's any hope of saving the Greek economy or, more importantly, the Euro itself.

How can we know that Greece is doomed even with the election of a collaborationist government? Because experience has shown repeatedly that you cannot impose a change on a political culture - and it's that cultural change that nobody ever talks about. Look at post-Soviet Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest - you cannot impose a new political culture from the outside. Greek political culture is about patronage and nepotism. The state is viewed as the means to influence and reward networks of friends, families, supporters. Nobody pays taxes because they know the money is there to be distributed to political supporters and friends. The brightest and best don't go into industry they flee abroad or seek a position in the civil service. It's the way to get on.

Syriza promised to go some way to making changes. It threatened the established networks of corruption that PASOK and New Democracy have erected over decades. But they didn't talk about the underlying problem which is that a core belief in statism. They didn't threaten to leave the EU or even quit the Euro. They went so far but no further but even that was enough to threaten the Greek EU class establishment.

What Greece needs is a capitalist revolution. A revolution that throws off the chains the state, that cuts back on the red tape and the layers of bureaucracy that exist to serve those networks of patronage that have kept Greece backward for so long. Sadly, the most 'radical' voices in the country seem still not to recognise that it's the state that is the problem, not the solution.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Government Spending and Economic Growth

Interesting article at Cato ( looking at the relationship between state spending (in the US) as a percentage of GDP and annual economic growth and employment. Looking at the data provided you can see which way the relationship goes - more state spending leads to lower growth and lower employment. Just  how big is the relationship?

So, increased state spending is strongly correlated with decreased annual growth, and with decreased employment. And of course employment is even more strongly correlated to economic growth.

Forget stimulus, forget the idea that the state will fix everything through the magic in spending and just look at that little table of numbers....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Energy Bill Is A Disaster - GWPF

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has issued a press release describing the UK government's new energy as a disastrous move to a centrally planned energy system. I've never felt the need to reproduce a press release before, but this really does deserve as wide an audience as possible. For those who have felt that the UK government was edging towards common sense, this is a reaffirmation of the fact that in the UK our political masters remained wedded to environmentalist dogma above all else.

Here's the press release:

With the publication of its draft Energy Bill, the government has announced its intention to reverse the course of energy deregulation.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation warns that any attempt to turn back the clock to the dark period of centralised energy planning will not only damage Britain’s economy, but will almost certainly end in failure, just like other attempts to impose a centralised system of energy controls have failed in the past.
Nigel Lawson, the GWPF's Chairman, who as Energy Secretary was the architect of Britain's energy market deregulation in the 1980s, warned:
"The Energy Bill constitutes a disastrous move towards a centrally planned energy economy with a high level of control over which forms of energy generation will be favoured and which will be stifled. The government even seeks to regulate the prices and profits of energy generation."
The government bases the case for green - and more expensive - energy in large part on the assumption that gas prices will significantly rise in the future. This argument is no longer credible in the light of the growing international abundance of shale gas, not to mention the likely shale gas potential in Britain itself.
North American gas prices have dropped from $15 per million British thermal units to below $2 in just 7 years. This price collapse is an indication of things to come in Europe, once its own vast shale deposits are allowed to be extracted.
"At a time when most major economies are gradually returning to cheap and abundant fossil fuels, mainly in form of coal and natural gas, Britain alone seems prepared to sacrifice its economic competitiveness and recovery by opting for the most expensive forms of energy," said Dr Benny Peiser, the GWPF's director.
In any case, the complex and inconsistent measures of the draft Energy Bill are unlikely to provide investors with the certainty they require to make substantial investments.
The proposed contracts for difference (CfDs) are extremely complex and convoluted. Neither the profit guarantees offered for different technologies nor the duration of CfDs is known. The government has not provided any numbers and price guarantees for its favoured green technologies. Investors are therefore thrown into limbo since they cannot calculate whether expensive renewables or nuclear reactors are viable and can compete with less expensive conventional power plants.
This lack of clarity will inevitably lead to constant government amendments and continual intervention, which will act as additional barriers to new entrants in the UK electricity market.
In light of government indecision and investors’ uncertainty, the Energy Bill proposes to give the Secretary of State the exclusive authority to offer green energy companies 'letters of comfort,' promising them that they will be guaranteed profits once the specifics of CfDs are finalised and introduced. This is both arbitrary and unconstitutional.
Moreover, it is doubtful that what is proposed is actually workable, let alone economically viable. After all, similar interventions in the past have proved inept and uneconomic. They will almost certainly prove to be highly unpopular when the costs of these measures are reflected in energy bills.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

State Education As Crap As The Education Secretary

Education Secretary Michael Gove has made something of a splash by bemoaning the dominance of the public school educated in Britain. He quotes the facts and figures and call it morally indefensible. But like all good members of our political elite - wether educated privately or not - he doesn't actually come up with any radical proposals or solutions.

The fact is that successive governments have thrown more and more money at education, increased teacher numbers, standardised and changed and brought in policy after policy all to no avail. Rather than improve things, they've made things worse. And it's not just a UK thing, it's the same in the US. And in case you think it's an Anglo thing, it's the same in France.

If state schooling is such a wash out, and no amount of extra money changes it, then surely the thing to do is look at whether the state is the problem and not the solution. Perhaps state control of education, which has increased enormously over the same period that more money has been pumped in, is the cause of the problem.

I write this as someone who went to a crap boys comprehensive in south London (the school that Oliver Letwin famously said he'd rather lose his right arm then send his kids to). My kids went to/attend local comprehensives. I've got no hidden agenda here. Politically I would always have defended state schooling - but now that I see what my kids come home with, and when I think back to what I endured...

Private schools are not run by the state. They do better than state schools. Therefore lets give the money to parents and let them send their kids to the schools they chose. Can we expect any mainstream politician in this country to make that very obvious connection? Nope, not any more than we can expect a politician to say look, the NHS isn't the best health system in the world...

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

London Mayoral Election Result 2012

The most depressing thing about the results of the London Mayoral election is not that turn-out was so low, nor that the result was fairly predictable nor even the fact that it proved yet again that UKIP is not going to break into national politics any time soon. The most depressing thing about the result was what the political class will take home from it. It's generally agreed that Ken won it for Boris, if Labour had chosen someone less obnoxious it could have been theirs, as it was lots of people (myself included), would have voted for anyone but Ken, which meant a vote for Boris in the event.

No, the most interesting thing was just how well the Greens did. And this is the result that the political class will be focused on. Even in the midst of austerity, the slow-motion collapse of the Euro and the effective disappearance of global warming as an issue, the Green vote went up, beating the Lib Dems into third place. How is that they managed this? Green policies are at the heart of coalition policies - witness the continued debates about wind and solar subsidies, the pussy-footing about fracking and so on. No matter what label the big three parties attach to themselves, Green policies are central to the message they deliver to voters and to the policies they actively pursue. Yet for all the disasters that these policies bring, the Green vote itself went up.

In part this is because the Greens can still market themselves as being anti-establishment and therefore the recipients of plenty of protest votes. They are not in government, therefore they can criticise and be seen as radical, despite the fact that their policies are being enacted by the present and previous administrations. Green is the establishment colour for all the major parties, and green thinking is at the forefront of the mainstream media. Yet despite this, the green propaganda machine (including the BBC and the mainstream media), continue to pump out the message that green is somehow anti-establishment and radical. And so we see a rise in the green vote and in London they came in ahead of the Lib Dems and way ahead of UKIP, the BNP, the Trades Union candidates etc.

Friday, May 04, 2012

London Mayoral Election 2012

I always said I'd vote for Coco The Clown to stop Ken Livingstone - a poisonous turd of a politician. I never imagined actually having to do it, but last night I did. It was decidedly not a vote for Boris, but a vote against Ken.

For the other two ballot papers it was a vote for UKIP as two-fingers to the main parties. Again, a vote against rather than a vote for.

I know that lots of people think indifference is what sends the message - but indifference is mistaken for apathy. And it'll be the alleged apathy that will be used to state fund political parties in the end. If the people can't support the parties, thte argument will go, and parties are what democracy is all about then it becomes imperative to write the people out of the script and just give the money to the entrenched political elties that are there already.

It is for this reason that voting for the minority parties, or voting for the candidates that will inflict the most damage to the established parties (as they did in Bradford), is not wasting votes. It's making votes count. High turnouts but low scores for the established parties is precisely what they least expect - and will not welcome one little bit.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Climate scientists death threat scam

As we know, many climate alarmists are creatures with enormously thin skins and a massive tendency to be profligate with tax payers money. Back in June 2011 the Guardian and other media outlets headlined a story that 'climate scientists' at the Australian National University had received death threats and that the university had to tighten security and move the scientists to a new location. While it was big news for climate alarmists, several sceptics were, frankly, sceptical... And, as you'd expect, this scepticism was greeted by further howls of outrage from the warmists and their media supporters.

However, an Aussie blogger, Simon Turnill of Australian Climate Madness, did the honourable thing and filed an FOI request to see the death threats. This was refused by the university (no surpised) and went to appeal. The adjudication is now in and it turns out that there were no death threats. Or as the headline in the Australian put it: Climate scientists' claims of email death threats go up in smoke.

Read the whole story here:

The best follow up to this would be to file an FOI request for the university to reveal how much money was spent on tighter security and office relocation. How much did this little scam cost? And are they going to refund the money? It's only right that they do...

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Well Said

Sometimes the Daily Mash hits the nail on the head - how can you improve on this?

My thoughts on Murdoch, Leveson and the rest of the circus... A pox on the bloody lot of you.

And will the bastard BBC just STFU about it? The way they're devoting so much time to the story and attacking their key commercial rival is sick-making.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Another Met Office Fail?

Keeping up a grand tradition of forecasting fails, the UK Met Office forecast for April (now officially the wettest UK April on record), stated:

The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier than average conditions for Apri lMay June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months.

Outstanding. But don't worry, they can't get the weather right a few weeks in advance, but they can't get it right decades in advance in climate modelling...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Windfarms Cause Climate Warming

The odious Richard Black, uber green propagandist at the BBC, highlights a new paper that purports to show that windfarms cause local warming:
...the researchers say the scale of the effect they saw is equivalent to a warming of about 0.72C per decade.
Now given that, according to the alarmists, warming is always and everywhere bad, does this mean that we can expect that Black and his comrades will start to campaign against windfarms?

No, I guess it'll just prove that some warming is more equal than others...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Green Energy - Value For Money?

According to a piece from the BBC:
He [David Cameron] will also welcome the investment of £350 million on energy projects that will create 800 jobs.
Surely some mistake. The Prime Minister is 'demanding' value for money from green energy, but welcomes an investment that will create 800 jobs at a cost of £350M. That works out at a nifty £437500 per job. And it'll deliver a tiny fraction of energy needs. Yep, that's affordable.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Double Dose of Good News On UK Shale

It's not often we can report on two bits of good news at the same time, but today there are two things worth noting regarding Shale gas in the UK. The first, and mostly importantly, is that a panel of experts convened by the government have given the go-ahead for fracking to continue. It's hedged with provisos and conditions to appease greenists, but it's decidedly a step forward. Even the odious Richard Black of the BBC reported the story rather than ignoring it. We hope, like the GWPF does, that this is a sign that belatedly common sense is asserting itself.

The second story is also connected with shale gas in the UK. This time it's a report from Reuters that suggests that the UK is sitting on vast off-shore shale deposits. Enough shale gas to put us in the top five in the world. The figures are mind-blowingly large: UK offshore reserves of shale gas could exceed one thousand trillion cubic feet

Of course it's more expensive to get at the stuff off-shore at the moment, but as the technology develops who knows when it will become economically viable. What it suggests though, is that shale is here to stay...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Useful Idiots

Donna Laframboise has an interesting post about Big Oil funding of environmentalism, highlighting in particular the long-lasting relationship between Shell and the WWF. This isn't an isolated example, and it's known that the fuel companies have been more than generous with funding and patronage across a range of green organisations and campaigns. The fuel companies have also been notably active in climate alarmism. How is it that the green movement can accept cash from the corporate enemy while at the same time they imagine that Big Oil is funding climate skepticism? And how can they justify their own feeding from the hand of Big Oil?

Lenin talked of 'useful idiots' in describing fellow travellers and Soviet sympathisers from amongst the bourgeois class. These were people who would have been put up against a wall and shot in Russia, but who adopted positions that were useful to the Bolshevik state. For Lenin, there was nothing morally wrong in exploiting these people at all. In fact pretty much any act could be justified if it was for the cause.

In the modern world the useful idiots sit on the boards of Big Oil. They are more than happy to fund green causes and organisations that view them as the spawn of Satan. They will happily give money to people who are delighted to bite the hand that feeds them. What the greens get out of this is funding and influence, but they feel that they are not compromised because they are exploiting the relationship.

What's harder to understand is why the fuel companies are playing the game? Perhaps they feel that their money buys them some influence in the wider green movement - it doesn't. Perhaps they want some useful publicity - but they're paying for anti-fuel and anti-energy publicity that's more virulent than any marginal brand benefit they get. Or perhaps they really are idiots who just aren't bright enough to see themselves as useful idiots...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Earth Hour 2012

Over at the ever wonderful Watts Up With That, Anthony Watts has chosen to reprint Ross McKitrick's response to Earth Hour.

It is well worth a read. It expresses perfectly the sentiments of so many of us who reject the reactionary idea that we should seek to 'return to Nature'. And he points out that:

People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

Here's a simple thought experiment- if there was a time machine that could take you on a one-way trip back to a time when you could 'live in Nature', without electricity, clean water, modern medicines and the other benefits that we have now, how many of these environmentalists would take it? How many would really opt for the state of grace they like to imagine over and above the benefits of modern capitalist society? There are plenty of people I'd chose to send - starting with the gurus of the modern green movement - but I for one would stay put no matter what.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

More UK Shale

A report on the Global Warming Policy Foundation's website covers the discovery of even  more potential shale gas fields in the UK. You'd think that this would be good news all round. Good for the economy, good for the local community, and, if you're that way inclined, good for lowering CO2 emissions. But no, this is the age of green, sustainability and climate alarmism. Instead of being greeted with a welcome and the wish that the government takes the brakes off development, we get local politicians like this:
Melton borough councillor Matthew O' Callaghan said: "While an additional source of fuel is to be welcomed, there are significant concerns about the process used to extract this form of energy.

"There should be exhaustive tests and concerns allayed before any commercial extraction is even considered in what is an extremely sensitive area of the countryside."

Coun Malise Graham, a member of the same authority, said: "It is vital that a thorough investigation is undertaken before work goes ahead."

Tony Stott, chairman of the Leicestershire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: "The development of a gas industry on a large scale could transform and industrialise countryside and many rural communities.

"More research on the environmental effects, such as methane leaking, pollution, groundwater contamination, and the risk of minor earthquakes, is urgently needed."
It's hard to feel optimistic when green ideology is so all-pervading that even local officials, whom one would hope are more closely connected to their communities than the parasites that infect Westminster, respond so negatively to the chance of lower energy and increased development.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Save The Carrier Bag

Of all the lost causes that this blog supports, the campaign to defend the carrier bag seems the most Quixotic. After all, who can love the humble supermarket carrier bag? They're cheap, ugly and functional items that manage to unite forces as disparate as the BBC, the Daily Mail and legions of right-thinking people everywhere. But not here.

Firstly, let's note that the terminology around these bags has shifted. The bags are now referred to as 'single-use carrier' bags, to emphasise the wastefulness of the whole enterprise. Single-use is bad by definition, however, who decided that supermarket carrier bags are single use? Most people I know generally re-use the bags. A lot of people have a pile of them at home for storing and carrying all kinds of stuff, including taking them back to the shops to use again.

Next we have to look at why 'single-use' has such negative connotations, and it's all to do with using up the Earth's scarce resources. Except that supermarket carrier bags are made from polyethelene, which comes from ethelene which is a waste product from natural gas production. If it wasn't used as a feedstock, then the ethelene would have to be burned off - which is both wasting energy and also produces more CO2 emissions (if you care about such things). So, far from wasting valuable resources, making carrier backs finds a use for an existing by-product.

But surely bags from renewables - like paper - would be better for the environment? Nope. Think again. Carrier bags are light, and take less energy to produce and transport than paper bags. According a story from the Independent (hardly a bastion of contrarian thinking), a study sponsored by the Enviornment Agency, showed that polyethelene carrier bags have about less than a third of the carbon emissions of paper bags.

Ah, but what about the pollution? What about the plastic 'garbage patch' twice the size of Texas in the middle of the Pacific? We've all seen the pictures in the Daily Mail... Sorry, overdone. Not only is the size of the problem exagerrated, there's also not much evidence that carrier bags are a key component of the pollution.

So, in all, the plastic carrier bag is yet another example of environmentalism wanting to solve non-existent problems. The solutions proposed end up being worse for the environment, and in the process make life just that little bit more expensive and a little less convenient. So, par for the course really.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BBC in bed with FoE again

As usual, the BBC can do a good job in leaving the reader speechless (with rage, usually). Take this latest example from the always odious Richard Black. Under a headline of UK nuclear plans 'put energy in French hands', Black regales us with the story of 'four senior environmentalists' (all former directors of Friends of the Earth UK), warning David Cameron that the plans for new nuclear build put the UK tax payer at too much financial risk.

The gall of these people is unbelievable. One of them is even quoted as saying:

"How on Earth can the prime minister justify paying billions of pounds of subsidy to French power companies when the chancellor is slashing welfare budgets for poor people in Britain and there are a million young people unemployed?"

Since when have these four ever been interested in the British tax payer? I hear no complaint from them about the millions wasted on wind farms, solar and other 'renewables' gravy trains. Nor do they seem to be aware that it's because these renewables don't function as effective power sources that we're having to go the nuclear route - all in the cause of reducing CO2. Some environmentalists, like James Lovelock, George Monbiot and Mark Lynas have followed through on their own logic and accepted that nuclear is the way to go.

But the truth is that we're already dependent on nuclear, including French nuclear generated electricity piped to the national grid. And that dependency will grow even as we throw money at windfarms.

These four unelected politicians (which is what they are, the FoE being part of the corporate state that runs the EU), are also against the one fuel source that can stop both windfarms and new nuclear in its tracks: shale gas. What's more, shale will also reduce CO2 emissions to a greater extent than most renewables. If they were serious, they would be out campaigning for shale and trying to end the windfarm subsidy-fest that they helped engineer in the first place.

And, if we were serious, we'd also be campaigning for more research into thorium reactors - which again promise cheap, low-carbon energy and without the military spin-offs that have driven so much development of conventional nuclear energy.

But that's never going to happen. The truth is what Porritt and co want is to scale back industrial development, cut back on cheap energy and move society back into a world where light and heat are luxuries and we live in a cold, dark world that's closer to nature and more in tune with Gaia. When all is said and done, primitivism is where their brand of environmentalism inevitably leads...

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Please Help Us Poland

Living as we do in the UK, in one of the citadels of green orthodoxy in the world, we often have to look abroad for positive signs that world is coming to its senses. It's normally slim pickings, but we did have the recent example of Canada coming out strongly against a new Kyoto-type climate treaty. And for a long time we've had the positive example of the Czech President Vaclav Klaus of a leading national politicians speaking sense on climate change and the EU. Increasingly we are also taking note of what's going on in Poland. First off there has been the welcoming of shale gas and fracking, giving Poland a chance a cheaper energy and more independence from Putin's Russia.

Now in a another positive move we see the BBC reporting that:
Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper says that "tomorrow Poland is ready to veto the EU plan to reduce CO2 emissions"...Poland's Environment Minister Marcin Korolec has sent a letter to his EU colleagues urging them to reject the 25% target, the Financial Times newspaper reports. "There is no point whatsoever in gambling with the European economy's future, introducing policies that might put our industries in jeopardy versus our competitors," he was quoted as saying.
This isn't the first time that Poland has acted. Back in June 2011 Poland blocked similar moves to go for more stringent cuts in CO2 emissions.

As always the UK is at the forefront of the suicidal tendency in Europe. Confirming once again the power of the orthodoxy to close eyes and ears to economics, science and reality in general, the BBC quotes an unnamed spokesman from our Department of Energy and Climate Change:
"Moving to a higher target will bring other benefits such as reducing our dependence on imported energy, stimulating jobs and growth in green sectors, and delivering health benefits from reduced pollution."
So, not for the first time, we have to hope that we are saved from the follies of our leaders by politicians from other countries...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fakegate or Deniergate?

The battle of the gates is more than a silly bit of trivia. Climategate stuck as a name, and it continues to resonate. After the initial release of the Heartland documents, the alarmist camp was almost wetting itself because finally they had a gate of their own - Deniergate. Here was the one word which they hoped would eventually eclipse the running sore that is Climategate. Alas, for the warmists, Deniergate itself was eclipsed by Gleick's confession (after he was outed by the sceptic blogosphere) and the announcement that the smoking gun document was a fake. Now there's a new gate on the block - Fakegate.

A quick Google this morning shows that Deniergate gets 70,400 results, while Fakegate has already surged ahead with 325,000 results. Tough luck warmists...

However, both of these are still far behind Climategate, which on my spot check still gets 2,920,000 results.

Update: Just checked to see how one of the other climate-related -gates compares. Amazongate - a relatively minor affair in the IPCCs continuing sink to the bottom - gets a lively 191,000 results.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Poverty of The Left

Far be it for me to suggest that what passes for 'the Left' in this country is reactionary, backward looking and a force for conservatism, but what else can one say when the following arrives in an email from Pluto Press...
Get Political Campaign - key activists urge engagement with Trotsky, Lenin and Luxemburg

Fifty key figures on the left, including China MiƩville, Lindsey German, Ken Loach, Suzi Weissman, Michael Yates and Immanuel Ness, have backed a Pluto Press campaign urging activists fighting for the 99% against the 1% to draw inspiration from the lives and writings of three giants of 20th-century political change: Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg and VI Lenin.
Yep, from the whole of the 20th century and what we've had so far of the 21st, these 'key figures' can only hark back to the period around the Bolshevik coup in Russia. This is a form of politics immune to history, knowledge or experience. It ignores both the failure of every form of state socialism and central planning ever attempted and the huge advance of economic development since the early 20th century. It even ignores any developments from the non-Leninist left.

Nope, it's still the same old cant on offer:
The Get Political campaign statement argues that 'It will not be a simple thing to win the battle of democracy...Luxemburg, Trotsky and Lenin were among the most perceptive and compelling revolutionaries of the 20th century. The body of analysis, strategy and tactics to which they contributed was inseparable from the mass struggles of their time. Critically engaging with their ideas can enrich the thinking and practical activity of those involved in today's and tomorrow's struggles for a better world.'
Note the use of the word democracy there. How well does that sit with Lenin and co? Remember, Lenin is the architect of 'democratic centralism', 'the dictatorship of the proletariat' and other zany ideas that ultimately lead to the murder of millions all over the world.

Have these 'key thinkers' - the vast majority of them being salaried academics and/or aligned to the Socialist Workers Party - really not learned anything at all? Sure they have... Why, the campaign is also part of a commercial endeavour by Pluto Press, who are flogging a new set of books off the back of it. Good to know that at least some elements of free market thinking have got through...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Faster than light neutrinos - not proven

So it looks like the faster than light neutrino experiment may have been wrong after all - just as most people suspected. Now what's interesting is that if ever there's an example of someone going against the scientific consensus then this has to be it - big time. And yet not once did I see anyone insisting that there was 'consensus' on the speed of light. Nobody called the team responsible for the experiment 'Einstein deniers'. The scientific societies didn't issue statements insisting that it was irresponsible to speculate that Einstein might be wrong. No papers were denied publication and no journal editors were pushed out of their jobs. Hell, from what I can see nobody was even ostracised for daring to suggest that neutrinos could break the light barrier.

Isn't this how science is supposed to work?
Isn't this precisely what we don't see when it comes to 'climate science'?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Russian Heatwave Due To CO2?

Having covered the Heartland affair early on, Richard Black of the BBC has been notcieably silent on the follow up. No news of the Gleick confession or the fact that Gleick's career is imploding - for example he's been dropped from the American Geophysical Union's (AGU) task Force on Scientific Integrity. Black is resolutely looking the other way, even when he's been directly challenged on it on his Twitter feed.

It was while checking on Black's Twitter feed that I saw mention of a story that says the Russian heatwave can be explained as part natural and part global warming. Or in Black's Tweet:
Latest on Russian heatwave - natural or human-driven? New AGU paper says a bit of both - extreme temp risk x3 from AGW
Follow the link and you get a story on the AGU website:
Russian heat wave had both manmade and natural causes
Now that's a fairly definite headline - and it's in contrast to previous studies that explained the heatwave as being due to natural weather phenomena and not AGW. Attribution - assigning causes to specific weather events - is a big deal. If scientists can pin the blame on climate disasters to CO2 then that's a major step forward in convincing the unconvinced masses that the AGW hyopthesis is not just a massive scam.

So how have they untangled the complex mix of factors that can partially pin the blame for the heatwave on human CO2 emissions?

Well, the short answer is that they haven't. What they've done is run a series of simulations and compared results. In one set of simulations they used data said to represent the 1990s, in the other they ran data said to represent the 2000s. The results showed that the chances of a comparable heatwave occuring were three times greater in the later set of simulations.

Yes, that's all there is to it. You run a model one way, tweak the inputs and run it again and then compare the results. You don't actually look in detail at the specifics of the real heatwave that happened. You don't look at the weather patterns or anything like that. You run two sets of simulations and just note that in the second set you can get some of the characteristics of a heat wave occuring more often.

I don't need to labour the obvious inadequacies of this. I don't need to point out the inherent uncertainties involved in such a process.

But where is the hint of this uncertainty in that headline or in Richard Black's Tweet? Where is there anything to indicate that this is all based on software and models?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sceptic Blogosphere Devours Gleick

Peter Gleick's confession that he lied to obtain the Heartland documents - though at present he's insisting that he didn't fake the key document that has the warmists ablaze with righteous anger - is welcome. It would have carried a bit more weight had he not already been fingered as the most likely candidate by Steven Mosher, Roger Pielke and innumerable sceptic bloggers. Now that he's confessed, he'll be wanting to clear his name of the forgery charge by allowing some IT forensic analysis to be done on his computers and servers. It should be fairly straightforward to establish that the forged document arrived unbidden and wasn't just rustled up on his machine...

The whole affair casts an interesting light on the whole climate wars front, particularly on the asymmetry of forces.

While the warmists were over the moon about the Heartland documents because it shed a light on the perceived nefarious forces fighting 'climate science', what they revealed instead was the petty cash available to the sceptic side. When cast next to the millions of dollars available to the climate orthodox from governments, transnational bodies (the UN and the EU, for example), from chairtable foundations and big-dollar environmentalists (Greenpeace, WWF etc), the money available to sceptics is tiny. I mean really, really, really tiny.

And it's not just the money, it's also the media. The climate orthodox have at their disposal most of the world's mass media - from the bastions of climate alarmism at the BBC and the Guardian, to well-funded web sites such as RealClimate, DeSmogBlog and others.

And yet, despite the money and the media, the climate alarmists know they are losing support. Despite everything that they have done to subvert peer review - and the Climategate emails showed us what was going on, warts and all, without the need to resort to forgeries - more and  more papers are being published which cast doubt on the alarmism. The public perceives the lack of warming and the message that there is still so much doubt about what we do know is getting across. The only way for the alarmists to explain this process, despite the clear disparity of forces, is by an appeal to conspiracy theory. As the Guradian puts it, in its story about Gleick's confession, there is...
a network of fossil fuel interests, rightwing think tanks and politicians have been working to block action on climate change

Monday, February 20, 2012

Greek General Election Cancelled?

If, as looks increasingly certain, the next EU bail-out of Greece goes through, then it is almost inevitable that all attention in Brussels will switch to stopping a Greek general election. Having been completely sold down the river by it's political class, the Greek people are inevitably going to be looking to those parties that reject the imposed austerity. For now it looks like the hope lies on the Left, with the Communists and other leftists doing well in the polls. If Merkel was leant on to get her to agree to the bail-out, then her domestic standing will plummet if a rejectionist government takes hold and renounces the terms of the bailout. And those who pushed most stringly to keep Greece in the fold, will also suffer badly in their own domestic politics.

All this means that the only way to keep the peace - and the existence of the EU - is to stop a Greek general election from taking place. In days gone by the army would have stepped in. But this is the EU, there's no need for that kind of thing anymore. Instead we should look to see what pressure is applied to those elements of the left who'll prefer to stick with the EU rather than risk 'chaos'. And this is the trump card that the Euro class has got - there's a lot of people who fear the chaos that would emerge should a new government simply renounce eveything and go for a fast exit from the Euro and the EU. It's this fear of chaos and the anarchy on the streets that the right will seize upon, ably abetted by the existing unelected powers that be.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Greece Should Look To Iceland

Here's an interesting little snippet from the BBC...

Iceland is safe to invest in again, according to Fitch, which has upgraded its credit rating three years after its economy spectacularly collapsed.
It's almost text book stuff. Economy collapses under a mountain of debt. Country living beyond its means. It's the end of the world etc etc. Currency collapses and no one is willing to touch Iceland with a bargepole.

With a collapsed currency exports are cheap and start to pick up. Because of the disaster the government is even allowed to borrow and delays implementing the kind of austerity being foisted on the Greeks.

So, remind me again why Greece should remain in the Euro?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Heartland Non-Story

OK. I've looked at the Heartland documents that were filched (as highlighted by the ever delightful Richard Black of the BCC) and put online. I've looked again. But I'm obviously missing something. So, please can someone point me to the documents that do the following:

  • talk about subverting the peer review process
  • gloat at the death of warmist scientists
  • talk about punching opposing scientists in the face
  • discuss how to hide the decline (oops, I mean how to hide the massive increasing in global temperatures)
  • discuss ways of getting pesky journal editors fired
  • discuss ways of getting opposing scientists fired from their academic positions
  • talk about ways of giving each other more awards and prizes
  • privately discuss their doubts about scepticism while publicly villifying anyone who expresses such doubts
  • work out how to hide problematic papers from the NIPCC report

I've looked, but all I can find are some rather mundane documents that talk about trifling sums of money compared to the millions rolling into the warmist camp.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Wish I'd Said That

More rottenness is put forth in the name of Science because of the twisted cogitations of statisticians than because of any other cause.
So sayeth the inimitable William Briggs in a piece entitled Why Do Statisticians Answer Silly Questions That No One Ever Asks?. It confirms, once again, that he is the one statistician above all others worth reading. Even if, or possibly especially if, you distrust statistics and statisticians then Briggs is someone you need to investigate.

Well, him and Deirdre McCloskey (and to see why, take a looksie here: