Archive for December, 2010

5 Star Blogging

A daily selection of five blog posts recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. An Individual Voice on Remember, Stay Terrified In 2011

2. Your Freedom And Ours on The Next Presidency Is Coming

3. Longrider on Questions, Questions

4. Captain Ranty on Last Rant Of The Year

5. Adam Smith Institute on The Politics Of ‘Nudge’

And as 2010 draws to a long overdue close, another example of how the hottest year on record wasn’t…

6. Real Science on Philadelphia’s Hottest Ever Year Ends Almost Half A Degree Cooler Than 1828

That’s all for 2010. See you in 2011.

Happy New Year!

Political class to the public: Screw you

Satire is dead… This takes irony to a whole new level… etc, etc. The people who decide these things either inhabit a parallel universe or hold us in undisguised contempt. You decide which.

Scenting blood in the water

Following a 5 Star Blogging link to American Thinker yesterday and other comments around the UK end of the blogosphere, a storm is brewing about the previous government’s promotion of condensing boilers.

This is the type that has broken down by the thousand this winter. EU Referendum is leading the charge with ‘A Scandal Emerges’. As Dr Richard North says:

‘… this equipment was foisted on the unsuspecting public in 2005 by John Prescott, then deputy prime minister. It was done through the expedient of amending the thermal efficiency requirements for domestic heating appliances in the Building Regulations.

‘As part of the process, though, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister then in April 2005 issued formal installation guidance for these boilers, five pages of which were devoted to the condensate drain. Not once was there any mention of the danger of the pipes freezing, and nowhere was there any suggestion that precautions should be taken.’

CO2 emissions and climate change were all that mattered to the government, while no consideration was given to the propensity of the boilers to freeze in winter weather, sometimes putting the boiler beyond economic repair. The outcome is an example of what happens when airy fairy beliefs in flawed hypotheses clash with the real world and the consequences, as always, fall upon the poor bloody consumer.

As North says, everyone who has had a boiler failure for this reason over the last cold period, has a valid claim against government, for the costs of the call-out and remedial action, and for consequential losses.  This one has some legs in it yet.

EU spin machine moving into another gear

The ‘party line’ is the order of the day for the EU in 2011.

Stephen Fidler, writing in the Wall Street Journal, explains that at the top of the European leaders’ new year resolutions is ‘promising to stay on message’. In other words, leaders and officials are being told to shut up and only sing from the Brussels approved hymnal. It is a recipe for deceit that will widen the gulf between the political elite and the people they are determined hide the truth from.

Fidler provides an anecdote that neatly summarises what communication from the EU will look like in the future:

It used to be quite common for politicians to say one thing to audiences at home and something quite different abroad. The Brazilians have a saying for it: só para inglês ver. It literally means “Only for the English to see” but it’s used to describe things said or done for show where the underlying reality is quite different. It is said to have derived from the 19th century when the British were clamping down on the slave trade, and the Brazilian government (which did not abolish slavery until 1888) pretended to be helping them.

In the example, the role of latter day Brazilians will be played by the EU and the deceived English will be played by the ordinary people of the member states, who be told the party line rather than the truth. This is not about better communication, it is about controlling the flow of information to keep people in the dark. We will only hear what Brussels wants us to hear.

It is an abuse of power by the political elite in its determination to avoid being held to account or accept the wishes of the people. It is neither democratic nor acceptable. But this is what will come to pass unless people wake up and resist what amounts to a concerted effort to enslave us within a new bureaucratic order over which we will have no control.

Update: Witterings From Witney weighs in, observing that the Heads of Member States are just confirming that they are no longer in charge of their country’s destiny.

A new blog making an immediate impact

Welcome to the blogosphere ‘HauntingTheLibrary‘. Although only a few days old, this new blog is already attracting good traffic as it reminds us of the many headline grabbing prophecies of the warmists that have failed to materialise and/or are now being shamelessly contradicted.

If you’ve not already paid a visit to HTL it is well worth doing so, along with adding the blog to your roll and its RSS feed to your reader.

The Guardian asks the big question…

Are humans definitely causing global warming? No, really, The Guardian’s environment section asks this as part of the Guardian’s ‘ultimate climate change FAQ’.

It’s a bit like watching volleyball. The Guardian knows what answer it wants to give, so it cherry picks the bits of information that fit its narrative (the ‘set’) and then delivers a supposedly unequivocal answer (the ‘spike’). As it’s not a particularly long piece it seems an appropriate time for a fisk…

Just as the world’s most respected scientific bodies have confirmed that world is getting hotter, they have also stated that there is strong evidence that humans are driving the warming.

Wow! Impressive! That would be respected bodies like the utterly discredited International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), NASA’s GISS, University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and the UK’s Met Office. Strange, there is no mention of Climategate, Amazongate, Glaciergate, the number of times GISS has been forced to ‘adjust’ its data, the fact CRU cannot find its vital raw data and that the Met Office’s forecasts are a standing joke.

The 2005 joint statement from the national academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US said:

“It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities.”

Likely, they say. So that means there is uncertainty and therefore a lack of proof. And then it says ‘most’ of the warming. So nature is actually up to something that mankind has no control over? Incredible.

Countless more recent statements and reports from the world’s leading scientific bodies have said the same thing. For example, a 2010 summary of climate science by the Royal Society stated that:

“There is strong evidence that the warming of the Earth over the last half-century has been caused largely by human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use, including agriculture and deforestation.”

Ah yes, that would be the Royal Society that had to rewrite its position on climate change because it was accused by 43 of its Fellows of refusing to accept dissenting views on climate change and exaggerating the degree of certainty that man-made emissions are the main cause. Strange, there is no mention of that. Could it be the fundamentally dishonest Guardian is trying to hide something? So if there is such ‘strong evidence’, where it is? Is it perhaps that the ‘evidence’ is nothing more than correlation and there is nothing to prove causation? Leave it to The Guardian and we will never know.

The idea that humans could change the planet’s climate may be counter-intuitive, but the basic science is well understood. Each year, human activity causes billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere. As scientists have known for decades, these gases capture heat that would otherwise escape to space – the equivalent of wrapping the planet in an invisible blanket.

The basic science is indeed well understood. You erase from history any mention of periods when the earth was warmer than now, you collect temperature data from monitoring stations at locations where they get blasted with warm air from vents or aircraft engines and ignore unreliable temperature records they produce, you produce a disturbing graph that looks like a hockey stick but don’t tell anyone that any data produces the same curve, you sample the cores of a number of trees and discount the overwhelming majority that show there has been barely any change in temperature, then you apply adjustments to the data so instead of a broadly flat line you end up with a steeply rising one that becomes your ‘strong evidence’. And while we’re at it, let’s take a closer look at that ‘invisible blanket’ shall we?

Of course, the planet’s climate has always been in flux thanks to “natural” factors such as changes in solar or volcanic activity, or cycles relating the Earth’s orbit around the sun. According to the scientific literature, however, the warming recorded to date matches the pattern of warming we would expect from a build up of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere – not the warming we would expect from other possible causes.

Of course, this only works if one ignores all the other literature produced by scientists who state the greenhouse gas effect is dramatically overstated. Strange, there’s no mention of that counter consensus of scientists (as opposed to railway engineers and economists) whose research finds that greenhouse gas (they mean CO2 when they use the terms because water vapour never gets a mention, despite being by far the most volumous greenhouse gas – perhaps measuring and taxing water vapour emissions is too difficult) has nothing like the claimed impact on temperature and therefore casts huge doubt over man’s supposed influence on the climate.

Even if scientists did discover another plausible explanation for the warming observed to date, that would beg a difficult question. As Robert Henson puts it in The Rough Guide to Climate Change:

“If some newly discovered factor can account for the climate change then why aren’t carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases producing the warming that basic physics tells us they should be?”

And carbon dioxide, the currency of the new world order, finally gets its first mention. Why did that take so long? Well, it was only a matter of time before a strawman was built in order to be knocked over and it had to be about the disputed influence of CO2. The climate is far more complex than some grant-chasing scientists are willing to admit and if greenhouse gases played anything more than a bit part in nature’s regulation of the planet’s atmosphere and ecology we would have all long since fried. Basic physics according a number of scientists The Guardian says, but exaggerated cant according to plenty of other scientists. And so we come to the end…

The only way to prove with 100% certainty that humans are responsible for global warming would be to run an experiment with two identical Earths – one with human influence and one without. That obviously isn’t possible, and so most scientists are careful not to state human influence as an absolute certainty. Nonetheless, the evidence is now extremely strong.

This is cute. Despite telling us for years that the ‘debate is over’ and that the ‘science is settled’ the flaws and failings in the global warming/climate change narrative – combined with nature’s stubborn refusal to perform as computer models say she should – have forced the warmists to adjust their arguments, much like they adjust the temperature records.

The basic lie here – and let’s face it, The Guardian is a world leader when it comes to lies – is the claim that most scientists are careful not to state human influence as an absolute certainty. This is not true if you look at those scientists who sing the warmist creed. Hansen, Jones, Trenberth, Mann, Briffa, all describe human influence on climate as ‘incontrovertible’. These are the high priests of the warmist cult whose flawed / missing / adjusted / corrected / selective ‘research findings’ are treated as a baseline from which other research begins – therefore meaning the outcome will always point to human induced warming.

Again, in a piece that links off to various other material, there is nothing pointing us to this ‘strong evidence’. We are just expected to accept it as a truth. We are expected to ‘believe’ because that is what the ‘believers’ need us to do, regardless of the reality and the facts.

Media continues to be EU’s poodle

As 2010 draws to a close we have a late entry for an award in the media’s Unthinking Sycophancy category. Step forward The Scotsman with a short puff piece in praise of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The piece headlines with this: ‘£6.6m from EU ‘could create 7,000 jobs’ and goes on to explain:

MORE than £6.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is to be shared by seven projects to help Scots set up their own businesses.

Up to 7,000 jobs could be created through the schemes, the Scottish Government claimed.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC), praised the latest round of cash awards from the ERDF as “fantastic news for businesses all over Scotland”.

I’m sure readers across the UK will join me in expressing unreserved gratitude to the EU, for sending back a small proportion of the money we have had taken from us by Brussels without any democratic mandate, and using these crumbs from its table as propaganda to promote the EU as some kind of generous benefactor rushing to support the UK in a time of need.

Perhaps The Scotsman would better serve its readers by explaining where this money originated and telling them how we pay in more than we get back, while a chunk of our cash is used to pay the administration costs of this monetary merry-go-round. But then it wouldn’t sound like quite the great deal the EU want people to think it is.

There is a word to describe this Scotsman piece. It is ‘propaganda’.

5 Star Blogging

A daily selection of five blog posts recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. Bishop Hill on Ross Clark On Winter Resilience

2. American Thinker on Freezing Brits Steamed Over New Green Boilers

3. HauntingTheLibrary on Will Someone Tell Monbiot?

4. No Frakking Consensus on World Wildlife Fund Infiltrates UK Government

5. Real Science on ‘Dust May Invalidate Most Warming Modeling Work Done To Date’

Atmospheric CO2 made easy

Some people are confused by the media reports and alarmism about carbon dioxide, or CO2. They are left with the impression that CO2 is suffocating the earth and acting like a thick blanket warming the planet. So here’s some simple information about CO2 for those who want some basic facts. Please share it around.

As we can see in the diagram below (taken from the ARIC Atmosphere, Climate & Environment Information Programme website a DEFRA endorsed teaching resource for Key Stage 4 and A-Level students in the UK) the sources of carbon dioxide show that 95% of CO2 occurs naturally. There is nothing we can do about it.

Only roughly 5% is produced as a result of man’s activity. We know that for every 1,000,000 (one million) parts of atmosphere, around 385 are CO2 and this figure has increased as a result of CO2 being released from the oceans as they get warmer. The rest is made up of other gases and vapours. So based on the diagram below, anthropogenic (man made) CO2 emissions add up to just 19 parts per million parts of atmosphere.

Are we really to believe that the world faces catastrophe as a result of man being responsible for the existence of 0.0019% of a naturally occuring gas in the atmosphere, but that we can stave off disaster if we reduce that contribution to 0.0007%?  Why are politicians not asking themselves questions like this before rushing to regulate and tax our behaviour? Could it be because this helps them to further another agenda?

Let’s look at the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere and man’s contribution in a graphical manner. Take the image below (it is quite a large file size). It consists of 1 million dots, each one representing a particle of atmosphere. Download it and increase its size until you can see the colouration in the top left corner. The green dots are naturally occuring CO2, the red dots (barely perceptible unless the image is fully enlarged) are human produced CO2 and the black dots are other gases and vapours.

Now think about the CO2 industry that has sprung up and all the billions of dollars, pounds, euros, etc that are being spent to reduce the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere by a trifling 10 or so parts per million. A mere ten or so dots in this image. Yet we are supposed to believe this will make a difference in global temperature of 2C or more, prevent drought, flooding, hurricanes, melting glaciers, receding rainforests and so on.

Is it any wonder so many people are not buying the global warming narrative any more? Following the last three bitterly cold winters is it any wonder trust in these people is evaporating as they – the warmists who predicted for years warmer and wetter winters were a sign of CO2 induced global warming – now say the opposite and claim that, actually, colder and more icy winters are evidence of warming?

By way of reinforcing the extent of anthropogenic emissions and putting this into context with the atmosphere, this short video is a valuable aid. I do not vote for the party that produced it, but the message is nonetheless important to understand (with thanks to ‘right writes’ in the comments).

Paying the price of the carbon insanity

Two countries, half a world apart, but united by a common problem that will result in spiralling prices for goods, services and energy.  The money making scam that has created a market for CO2, despite the fact that there is no proof CO2 is causing any change to climate, is starting to bite.

First up, in Germany, Spiegel speculates:

The next stage in the world’s CO2 emissions-trading scheme will begin in two years. Everyone agrees that the rulebook is complicated and that the costs for industry will be enormous. But nobody knows if the system will really help the environment — or merely create a burdensome bureaucracy.

The piece also includes some observations from its default left/green perspective about the transformation of CO2 into a new world currency – argued by many to be the objective of the big corporates and investors that would benefit from it at the expense of consumers.

Meanwhile, in Australia, The Australian reports criticism that the government’s:

… plan for cleaner power stations repeats mistakes made in the US, where a crackdown on emissions from new power stations has deterred investors from building them and led to greater use of coal-fired plants that are, on average, 44 years old.

They also complain that the plan is based on technologies that are highly uncertain and say it is probably doomed to fail in Western Australia.

Money, business, investment, regulation… Where in all this is the laser like focus on the environment that is supposed to arrest man’s alleged ruination of the climate? The masks always slip when the real drivers behind these schemes cannot be concealed behind green rhetoric.

Oh piss off (yes, another)

It really is the silly season. This one will result in much gnashing of teeth.

With a large hat tip to Witterings From Witney, who asks some pertinent questions about this story that are well worth reading, the Police blog of Inspector Gadget has revealed the latest advisory issued to our crimefighters.

Something that will help make our streets safer perhaps? Something that will improve the pisspoor detection rate? Think again:

‘In another nonsensical, empire-building, silly, frothy, pathetic and downright insulting example of political correctness gone mad, we at Ruralshire Constabulary have been told not to use the term “as sure as eggs are eggs”. Apparently this may upset any women listening, especially those who may suffer from fertility problems. This is true.

‘Can the department which thought this up be considered for abolition in the forthcoming cuts? Apparently not. Here in the Shire, Diversity Training Departments are considered as “front-line” teams.’

Inspector Gadget no doubt speaks for many frontline officers who suffer this lunacy. Can there be any clearer example of a well resourced department spewing forth any old crap in an attempt to justify its dubious existence?

If anyone needed evidence that police ‘managers’ are not fit for purpose and have warped priorities that do not match our priorities then consider this… With the amount of taxpayers’ money spent on policing being cut, why are senior police ranks talking about cutting the number of police officers when the psychologically damaged idiots who dreamed up this directive will continue to be employed?

Oh the delicious irony

Another entry in the occasional series entitled ‘Oh piss off’ for you to savour, which unsurprisingly comes from the Barclay Brother Beano. ‘Dutch daredevil Wim Hof has immersed himself in ice water during a performance to raise awareness of climate change and to promote his plans to break a world record.’

Raise awareness of climate change? Hahahaha. The timing of this stupidity could not be more ironic given the recent freezing temperatures across large parts of the world. As the Beano tells us alongside its ‘Telegraph TV’ coverage of the ‘stunt':

The 51-year-old Dutchman, known as the Iceman for his ability to withstand extreme coldness, submerged himself in a tank of ice water in Hong Kong for about five minutes wearing only a swimsuit.

Seems like he is best prepared for the next 30 or so years in the emerging cooling cycle then. Instead of flying to Hong Kong with all those attendant evil CO2 emissions, Hof could have just submerged himself in the Lagan in Belfast, or any number of Scottish or Welsh rivers. But perhaps those temperatures were a little too cold for him. Hof explained:

When I am performing ice immersion, actually I do not think very much.

No, and he clearly doesn’t think very much if he accepts the discredited narrative of man made global warming / climate change / global climatic disruption, or whatever the warmists come up with next as a catch-all name for nature’s behaviour. Perhaps though, the unwitting Hof’s words are somewhat prophetic, as he went on to say that:

It’s like preparing yourself inside for what is to come.

Longer colder winters, more snow and ice, destroyed food crops, elderly and sick people dying from the cold as they are unable to afford the spiralling cost of heating their homes. Yes, it sounds like Hof’s icebath preparation is something we should all be considering and is the kind of awareness people need right now. Useful idiots such as this undermine the warmist creed and long may they continue to do so.

5 Star Blogging

A daily selection of five blog posts recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. Real Science on Lack Of Sea Ice Causes Excess Sea Ice

2. EU Referendum on They Were All At It

3. Not A Sheep on Awfully Still Isn’t It?

4. Climate Change Dispatch on Morano Mocking ‘Climate Astrology’

5. Witterings From Witney on It Is ‘Custodianship’ Not ‘Government’

And a bonus post for your delectation…

6. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle on I Hear The Sound Of Tumbrels

More EU verbal flatulence aimed at Russia

You may be familiar with the saying ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’. The thinking behind it was that where possible nations should use diplomacy to resolve a dispute and do not rush to confrontation. But by way of a last resort nations should have the ability and willingness to use force if those diplomatic and peaceful methods fail.

When it comes to the EU that old adage has been transformed into ‘Utter meaningless words and carry a big carrot’. Far from a stick and carrot approach to dealing with worrying developments, the craven EU employs a unique ‘carrot and bigger carrot’ approach.

This was evident after the Russian invasion of Georgia. French President Nicolas Sarkozy packaged up and delivered to Russia an EU peace plan to bring an end to the short, one-sided conflict with Georgia.  A quick scan showed the EU plan had more holes than a sieve and favoured Russia disproportionately.  Russia duly flouted the terms brazenly and the EU offered nothing more than a few limp words of disappointment. Within a few months and with Russian troops still on Georgian soil, the EU completed its ‘tough approach’ to Russia in typically hypocritical and unprincipled manner by opening up trade talks with Moscow.

Now the EU is at it again, this time uttering meaningless words and reaching for the carrot sack on the subject of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. As European Voice reported on Monday:

The European Union’s leaders have issued statements warning the Russian authorities about the treatment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has been convicted for a second time.

A court in Moscow announced on 27 December that Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Yukos oil company and sometime political opponent of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, had been convicted of embezzlement and money-laundering on top of his existing conviction from a trial in 2005. He has been in prison since the 2005 conviction and a further term of imprisonment is now expected.

Apparently the EU has said that the severity of punishment meted out to Mikhail Khodorkovsky could impact bilateral relations after Moscow courts found the oil tycoon guilty of embezzlement. Oh please. If the EU is capable of turning its collective back on Georgia and appeasing Russia in the self centred way it did in 2008, can we really be expected to believe it will do a damned thing to defend the interests of Khodorkovsky? Why do they bother with this theatre? It is gesture politics and Moscow knows as well as we that the EU will run away at the first hint of any back straightening in the Kremlin.

The EU is only capable of subverting democracy and eroding the rights of people living in its member states. The bureaucracy that thinks it’s a country is nothing but a paper tiger when it involves itself in matters on the world stage. Any entity that consists of more than a few north African tribesmen is just too strong to tackle.

History is repeating itself and Moscow will laugh off the Brussels bleating as the vacuous posturing it is. It would be no surprise if we see a repeat of a major EU power, such as France, announcing a major deal with Russia within a few short months.  The only question is, what does Russia want that the EU will fall over itself to hand over? In the meantime Brussels should do us all a favour and give up the histrionics.

Joe Bastardi is on the money again

I know I said I wouldn’t be back until tomorrow, but Joe Bastadi’s latest post on his Accuweather column shows he got it right again with his forecast of a let up in the icy conditions between Christmas and New Year.

Bastardi continues on theme of deconstructing of the alarmism of those who believe human CO2 emissions are warming the planet – and who have unashamedly stated that all this ‘localised’ (China, US, Europe, even Australia…) extreme winter weather is evidence of global warming, after telling us the lack of extreme winter weather was… evidence of global warming.

We are in nature’s cycle.  We have had a warming period which the alarmists have clenched in a vice like grip to argue the planet is burning up. Now we are entering what Bastardi has identified as a cooling period for the next few decades, the alarmists are trying to keep their demolished hypothesis going in spite of the evidence running contrary to everything they have claimed up until now requiring them to reverse their arguments. As Bastardi says:

Winter is not over, though for the U.K. and Ireland, the coldest part (against the NORMALS) is. But look, folks, with low solar, natural oceanic cycles, and the wild card of my triple crown of cooling, volcanic activity, especially in high latitudes, my advice is to get ready for more of this in coming decades. And the CO2 people should open their eyes to other sides of the argument, since in 30 years or so when we come out of the cooling cycle, there may be room for your argument being pressed forth… but first we have to watch and see if the naturalists like me (that is my new nickname… nature boy) have a point.

Ozone hole, Ice Age, Y2K, etc., etc., etc. Is it any wonder why this just looks like another in a string of missed ideas that cause needless worry? You know what is the most hideous thing about all this? The money, time and energy wasted on what may be nothing more than a fictional ghost that man has nothing to do with, while tangible societal problems that need attention are given the short end of the stick. And it’s interesting to see that whether by magic, coincidence, or lord forbid, the actual ideas laid out here a few years ago as to why this is going to start happening again, WHO THE TRUE DENIERS ARE! [...]

[...] Well, why would a trace gas needed for life on the planet have more control over the planet than the interaction between the source of energy, and the system itself?

While Bastardi is on the money the alarmists continue to chase the money. That underlines the difference in agenda.

Blogging resumes Wednesday

Hope you have all enjoyed a great Christmas. Blogging will resume tomorrow once the festivities at Mind Towers have wound down. Back soon.

Met Office severe weather warning ignored in Northern Ireland

With the Met Office’s forecasting ability already turning it a laughing stock, their ‘nowcasting’ prowess seems to be in freefall too. Currently in Belfast, where substantial snow and ice has caused all manner of problems, the weather is a matter of major interest.

The temperature, having risen well above freezing, had started a thaw yesterday.  As the snow and ice receded the rain started to fall, accelerating the melt and turning people’s concerns to the possibility of burst pipes – of which there have been thousands over the last week. So given the conditions it was a surprise to see a severe weather warnining issued by the Met Office leading on the BBC Northern Ireland homepage:

However, no severe weather was forthcoming.  In fact the temperature has stayed stubbornly above 5C and the persistent rain has washed away all but a few clumps of compacted ice. The winter wonderland has given way to green fields under the miserable grey sky. In fact, rain was the only thing Accuweather were predicting while the Met Office was making people worried about severe weather that never materialised.

Unsurprisingly the BBC is now leading with a thaw story and the reports of the severe weather have been quietly buried. Despite the Met Office severe weather warning, the NI Roads Service did not grit the roads and is more concerned about water than the predicted ice. That has to tell people something about the extent of trust, or otherwise, in the Met Office’s releases:

Merry Christmas

Wishing you the joy of Christmas and hoping this special time is blessed with peace, health and happiness for you, your family and loved ones.

Energy policy folly comes back to the fore

With a big hat tip to Bishop Hill…  Some common sense observations about this government’s lhuhnacy when it comes to renewable energy generation from John Constable at Standpoint., who gives it to us straight when he says ‘Renewables Won’t Keep the Lights On’.  The money quote is this:

Britain is obtaining only a fraction of its electricity from renewable sources, just under 7 per cent in 2009-2010 [a dubious claim - AM]. The wholesale price of that quantity of electricity would be approximately £1bn, but the Renewables Obligation, a complex subsidy paid to generators but drawn indirectly from bills, adds a further £1.4bn, more than doubling the cost to the British consumer.

In its first three months, from July to September 2010, the Feed-in Tariff for microgeneration (guaranteed prices to support, among other things, solar photovoltaics [PV] and wind turbines up to a capacity of five megawatt) has produced roughly 0.005 per cent of UK annual demand, at a cost of £2.6m. This generous support has encouraged the construction of an installed capacity of microgenerators totalling 59 MW. To put that in perspective, peak load in Britain on a cold winter’s afternoon is nearly 59,000 MW.

It is a huge sum of our money for a tiny return.  Now compare this hideously expensive and wholly unreliable wind power reality with the detached thinking of Chris Huhne, who declared that ‘The lights are not going to go out on my watch’. He is probably right, not for the reasons one would think, but because the damage caused now will come back to bite us once he’s been consigned to the history books. The Barclay Brother Beano piece where this was reported by Lil’ Lou focused on the cost and completely ignored the logistics. For that we have to turn to the tireless Christopher Booker who demonstrates how Huhne’s renewables folly will actually undermine our energy generation capability. So where does this leave us? Back to Standpoint:

In private, the best-informed analysts now agree that Britain’s environmental policies have put the country on track to have the world’s most expensive electricity. This is mainly because our competitors are almost certain to choose cheaper routes to emissions reductions, such as natural gas, or to shun emissions reductions altogether.

And it leaves us without the energy generation capability needed in a modern industrialised nation – particularly one led by idiots who think thousands of megawatts of electricity required for this ludicrously timed bit of spin will just ‘be there’ ready when we need it.

Where does this folly originate? Unsurprisingly it comes from the leader of those Lib Dem opportunists, who denies there is a looming energy gap at all and that we just need to be more green. No, really. He actually believes this stuff. While safely away from the levers of power with their 18% or so in opinion polls it was easy to laugh off such naive stupidity. But now Clegg is sitting on Cameron’s knee and Huhne has been let loose at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, this insanity is being realised and unless it is stopped we are going to pay a huge amount in more ways than one.

BBC contempt for Freedom Association complaints

It takes a special kind of arrogance to treat an organisation with the undisguised contempt the BBC has shown to The Freedom Association.

Last Saturday I listened to the radio in stunned silence as ‘comedian’ David Baddiel, talking about the late Norris McWhirter’s visit to his school, smeared The Freedom Association by describing it as:

… a very, very right wing kind of sub-BNP, slightly posher version of the BNP.

Anyone who knows anything about TFA will know it abhors discrimination of any kind and unconditionally opposes racism and the kind of identity politics engaged in by the BNP. If it didn’t then I would not support it.

A number of people submitted complaints to the BBC, including myself. Somehow I just knew that despite the strength of the complaint, the BBC would dismiss it out of hand because one of its favourite overpaid sons had taken a swipe at something he considered to be ‘very, very right wing’. Such behaviour is grist to the BBC mill.

And so it has turned out. I have received an email reply to my complaint that reads:

Dear Mr xxxxxx

Thank you for contacting us regarding remarks made by David Baddiel about Norris McWhirter and the Freedom Association on The Alan Davies Show on BBC Radio 5 Live broadcast on Saturday 18 December.

On the show David Baddiel was discussing a television film he has recently made entitled ‘The Norris McWhirter Chronicles’. The film centres around a speech that Mr McWhirter made at David Baddiel’s school in the 1970s. The young Baddiel had expected a talk about the then popular TV programme ‘Record Breakers’ and was disappointed that Mr McWhirter’s speech was of a political nature. The comments made by David Baddiel were quite clearly his personal description of Mr McWhirter’s political allegiances.

The Alan Davies Show is a live, light hearted, entertainment programme and in this context we are satisfied that no broadcasting guidelines were broken.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

BBC Audience Services

So, personal descriptions of Norris McWhirter’s political allegiance that are factually incorrect and derogatory, and speculation by Alan Davies and Baddiel about whether McWhirter was a ‘Brown shirt’ (the morons meant an Oswald Mosely ‘Black shirt’, but hey, BBC ignorance has no bounds) are no problem. That is always the way isn’t it?

Wrong.

I notice on Cranmer a post on this very subject, His Grace and several of his communicants having received an identical ‘piss off’ reply from the BBC. But what Cranmer notes is that:

What they are essentially saying is that any BBC employee or interviewee can give a ‘personal description’ of ‘political allegiances’ irrespective of the facts, and they may do so with impunity.

This being the case, why did the BBC apologise to the Muslim Council of Britain and pay them £30,000 of taxpayers’ money in compensation for remarks made by Charles Moore on Question Time? Why was Mr Moore not permitted to articulate a ‘personal description’ of the behaviour of the MCB? Why does the BBC readily acknowledge ‘injury to feelings’ when it comes to some minority groups or organisations of ‘the Left’, but is evidently of the view that the family and friends of Norris McWhirter and members of The Freedom Association do not live with bread like them; do not feel want, taste grief, or need friends.

Quelle surprise. Bias from the BBC. It seems in this world the only way to ensure you are afforded respect is if you rub shoulders with homicidal maniacs who tend to resort to violence at any perceived insult.

In the face of anger from the Muslim Council of Britain the BBC doles out our money and issues fulsome and humble apologies for any offence caused. In the face of anger from decent, law abiding and polite members of The Freedom Association the BBC sticks up two fingers and tells them to go hang.

And we pay handsomely, under pain of fine or imprisonment, for these sycophantic self loathing quislings. It’s enough to make one sick.


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