Archive for February, 2012

Winters are colder because it’s getting warmer

And so the game goes on.  The useful idiots (and hard core activists) of the cult of sustainability continue to create new arguments at public expense to justify a political ‘solution’.

The subtle and blatant distortion of the facts in the article aren’t important, but they will keep opponents of the anti-science global warmists occupied for days or even months. And while they might win another battle against the warmist using proper scientific method, they are unwittingly still losing the war because behind the scenes the real agenda continues its advance.

This claim from Richard ‘Black is White’ is faithfully carried in support of the ’cause’ yet if it is ever falsified by other scientists the new research will be ignored, omitted from the record, buried – instead a new claim requiring the same political solution will rise to take its place in the narrative and the incessant march towards global government on the basis of controlling spending to fix a problem that isn’t really a problem, will continue.

Broadcaster political bias – not just a BBC phenomenon

Regular readers will be familiar with the often noted examples of BBC bias when it comes to political coverage and promoting activism.

But a piece in the Irish Independent today shows the problem of state broadcaster employees exhibiting political bias is not confined to the BBC.

It seems monitoring of Ireland’s RTE news and current affairs coverage by Fianna Fail has thrown up some interesting statistics showing a similar phenomenon on the other side of the Irish Sea, particularly with the flagship Prime Time programme.  Fianna Fail have submitted a dossier to RTE outlining their accusation of bias by the broadcaster:

The submission, which contained statistical evidence, states: “Prime Time appears to have taken a radically different approach to covering opposition voice. Before the election, share of voice was clearly biased in favour of the opposition. Since the election, that bias has been dramatically reversed.”

It goes on to say that despite identical Dail representation, Labour enjoyed 21.6 per cent share of voice before the election (when in opposition), compared to Fianna Fail’s 10.1 per cent after the election (having lost the election and become the main opposition). Fianna Fail is now getting more than 100 per cent less access to Prime Time than the Labour Party in the same position.  It certainly suggests a very uneven approach to coverage that amounts to bias by omission.

Of course it won’t come as a shock that the more avowedly socialist a political party is, the more favoured it is by media corps stuffed to the gills with ‘progressive’ hacks keen to push their ideology on the public.  But in Ireland this bunfight is somewhat interesting as the political spectrum ranges from broadly socialist to extreme socialist with nothing approaching a small ‘c’ conservative alternative.  Perhaps ideological purity is the name of the game?

Forget climate change, we must focus on the real issue

Over at Bishop Hill there is a post titled A Study in Groupthink that looks at an exchange of Twitter comments between Maurizio Morabito (@Omnologos) and Bora Zivkovic (@BoraZ), the blogs editor at Scientific American.

The author of the Bishop Hill blog, Andrew Montford, explains in his post that Zivkovic is clearly very much out of the same mould as Peter Gleick, which I take to mean an unswerving true believer, a rigid in his views who sees anyone dissenting from what he chooses to believe in and argue for as ultimately evil or corrupted by vested interests.  Montford’s take is that Zivkovic perhaps views his cause as beleaguered by wicked big business, and opines that reading Zivkovic’s tweets it’s a fascinating study in groupthink.

Strictly speaking, when looking at the cabal of proponents of man-made global warming theory (AGW) and the band of sceptics lined up against them, you can see they are all in fact caught up in a groupthink.  Because both sides act as if the issue at hand is about whether mankind really is causing the planet to warm significantly and therefore endangering the earth.  Which is why I left the following comment on the blog:

Ultimately it is all meaningless. While people like Zivkovic, Gleick, Mann, Trenberth, Briffa, Jones etc try to make this into a scientific argument, because they are funded to churn out hypotheses about the climate and the ecosystem, it is nothing of the sort. It is all about politics.

Sceptics, and scientists who dissent from the ‘consensus’, could falsify, debunk and disprove every element of the AGW narrative and see off every member of the ‘team’ and make a laughing stock of the ’cause’, but we will still come under assault.  For this is all about politics and ideology, even if the prominent actors don’t realise it.

Ultimately if it is not climate change it will be some other vehicle connected to ‘sustainability’ that will be used as a means of controlling the population and redistributing wealth from the industrialised world to the developing world in a way that enriches the corporates.

From the United Nations down, every tier of governance has been tasked with executing the ‘progressive’ agenda, which in reality is regressive for all of us.  It’s not some crackpot conspiracy, it’s just the way those with power and wealth are steering the ship.

This direction of travel will not be defeated by butting heads with a small band of AGW blowhards who are lavishly funded to continue producing ‘findings’ and ‘projections’ that fit in with the actions needed to further the overarching agenda.  Until people start to tackle the root cause of the disease instead of the symptoms, we will continue to go round in circles playing ‘he said, she said’ while our democracy, liberty, wealth and individual rights ebb away.

Expose the distortions, errors, scientific flaws all you like, but don’t lose sight of what is really going on and why.

Politics has changed.  We no longer have a left-right paradigm, even if many who are politically active but unaware of what is going on around them still define themselves in such terms.  Today we have an authoritarian mix of progressive and fascist corporatism (rule by and in the interest of government and corporations) on one side, and mix of classical liberalism and libertarianism (limited government and individual liberty) on the other.

We can see the evidence of the corporatist approach.  It makes me laugh when the global warming fanatics try to undermine opposition to them by arguing the sceptics are in the pay of ‘big oil’.  One of the worst propagandists for spinning this line is Bob Ward, mouthpiece for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.  Australian Journalist Jo Nova reported that Exxon-Mobil had paid $23 million to sceptical groups over a ten-year period.  Big corporate Exxon-Mobil are therefore considered evil personified by warmists like Ward.

Ward’s employer is named after its benefactor – the uber wealthy fund manager, Jeremy Grantham.  In 2011 Grantham held 11,309,048 shares of Exxon stock.  Why would Grantham fork out to fund an institute researching climate change when he is making a fortune from the very company cited by his minions as evil big oil?  Perhaps because as a corporate animal his only interest is making money, and his hypocritical fence straddling is a means to that end.

Let’s compare Exxon’s oft cited $23m funding of sceptics to money poured into environmental interests.  How about another big corporate, BP?  They were investing $8 billion in biofuels, wind power and solar while building long term options in carbon capture and storage and clean technology. Five billion dollars of that had already been invested by 2011.  That money is funnelled into delivering exactly what the environmentalists want and also supports lobbying and activism.  But they are still considered ‘big oil’.

There are plenty more examples of these kind of inconvenient facts, where the supposed enemy is a friend and supposed ally is an opponent.  The bottom line is these companies will support whatever helps their bottom line.  They are super powerful and influential corporates, and with the subsidies on offer utterly committed to keeping the climate change gravy train on the tracks.  And we, the taxpaying consumers, foot the bill to increase the wealth of these corporations.

To believe the corporates have anything other than a vested interest in the centralisation of power and control that coordinates global action, to erode democracy and liberty which thus enables the transfer of wealth, is to reside in a realm of delusion.  No matter what the ‘science’ reveals and how much it is debunked, there will always be another line of attack from the sustainability playbook to further the political – and dare I say economic corporatist – agenda.  This is where the battle needs to be fought, not in the theatre of carbon dioxide emissions, raw and adjusted data or fractions of a degree of temperature change.

BBC – only the news they want you to know

Perhaps the BBC acronym should be short for Bias By Censorship.  One of the big stories in the EU today was the news that the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands refused to sign off the EU’s accounts for the last year. It is the first time these countries have voted against accepting the accounts, as they usually abstain.

The story is covered in detail on the EUobserver website.  But if you were surfing around the world’s most extensive news gathering organisation’s website, you would not find anything to suggest it ever happened.  Here’s a snapshot of the BBC Europe page.  And here’s one of the BBC Politics page.  Nothing. Nada. Zip.

In fairness, the BBC has mentioned the story.  It is buried in paragraph 9 of their article about the government’s criticism of pay rises for EU staff.  However the BBC gave more prominence in the article to Labour saying the government must accept some of the blame for the plans to increase Eurocrat salaries.  It prefers to gloss over a significant issue concerning what is now 17 years of controversy, lack of transparency and breeding ground for fraud that is the EU’s finances.

Of course this couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the BBC’s pro-EU stance and cosy financial relationship that has seen it receive nearly £3million in grant money from the European Union over the past four years…

Guardian takes hypocrisy to stratospheric new heights

When giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in December the former Information Commissioner of the UK, Richard Thomas, said that offences committed under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (In the UK Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 concerns the unlawful obtaining of personal data – it is an offence for people, such as hackers and impersonators, outside of an organisation to obtain unauthorised access to someone’s personal data – an act otherwise known as ‘blagging’.) were:

[...] often at least as serious as phone hacking, and may be even more serious.

Mr Thomas went on to add that:

Interception of a telephone call or message is widely, and rightly, seen as highly intrusive, but a great deal more information can usually be obtained about individuals by stealing their electronic or written records – such as financial, health, tax or criminal records – than from a conversation or message.

Now think back to the Guardian’s obsessive pursuit of News International about the interception of telephone calls or messages – phone hacking – and its saturation coverage and condemnation that has demonised News Corp journalists and the Murdochs. Surely the Guardian, which has taken the high ground and occupied it so doggedly over such illegal behaviour can be relied upon to be consistent and condemn equally vigorously any instance of illegal activity, such as an individual impersonating another person to obtain unauthorised access to personal data?

Think again.

The Guardian is perfectly happy to go to war with competitors and ideological opponents, and grandstand in the most sanctimonious manner as it has over phone hacking. After all it is in its commercial and strategic interests and those of its friends, such as the BBC.

But when a climate change alarmist scientist, someone who says the things the Guardian says and like to hear and shares the same leftist worldview, admits he impersonated another person to obtain confidential documents and release them – a criminal act in the UK – the Guardian unbelievably describes it as a ‘leak’. That is how the Guardian is portraying the theft of documents from the Heartland Institute and their release, along with a fake document designed to misrepresent the organisation and stir up animosity to it.

This isn’t just cognitive dissonance, it is a staggering escalation of the Guardian’s rank hypocrisy.  It is a deliberate and calculated distortion used and the dishonesty is approved by the senior editorial staff for ideological reasons.  Guardian journalists such as Suzanne Goldenberg, endorsed by the like of Leo Hickman, are engaging in a corruption of language in support of a political agenda.  They are showing themselves up as propagandists for thieves and climate change alarmists.

This is the measure of the Guardian, a reflection of its true nature, and the reason why it is wholly untrustworthy and unreliable. It is an insipid little rag.

Met Office 1 Public Purse 0

And so, one year after MPs doggedly refused to examine the evidence of Met Office lies and deceptions, a group of them have determined that supercomputers are required because they want the Met Office to produce seasonal forecasts but be clearer about the chances of getting them wrong.

The long running saga of Met Office distortions, whitewashes and cover ups covered on this blog last winter started as a result of Julia Slingo bleating about the need for yet more public money to ramp up Met Office supercomputing power.  Thanks to the Parliamentary equivalent of the three wise monkeys, we have come full circle and her wish is almost certain to be granted.

Ignorant of the fact the Met Office does create seasonal forecasts (click on ‘lies’ link above for documentary evidence) and only renamed them and changed their location because of their poor accuracy, and ignorant of the fact that all the supercomputing power in the world is useless if the models used are populated with assumptions and biases that do not reflect the reality of natural and chaotic climate system, the politicians are readying themselves to hand over millions of pounds more of our money on a whim.

We know why it is happening, and that it suits corporate interests but that doesn’t make it acceptable.  Not one MP (and I engaged with a number of them at the height of the Met Office winter forecast scandal and provided them with evidence of Met Office lies to parliament and the public) has stood up for truth and probity, or defended the interests of the public.

When our elected representatives continue to set aside the facts and ignore reality there is no hope that we can prevent this raid on the public purse.  We can confidently forecast one thing, even with the new supercomputing power we will not see any improvement in Met Office predictions.  Their determination to push the AGW narrative and the man-made CO2 scapegoat means their models are biased towards rapidly increasing temperatures.  It’s why they got forecasts badly wrong before and why they will continue to do so.  At our expense.  Nothing has changed.

Busy busy

Apologies for the lack of posts and thanks to those who have emailed enquiring after my wellbeing. It’s coming up to year end at work and it’s very busy indeed. So much so it’s been easier to dip in and out of Twitter than to sit down and construct blog posts.

We should be back on an even kilter this week – but in the meantime do keep up with the best analyses of the EU-sponsored Greek financial implosion and failure of the media at EU Referendum, the double standard contortions of the ‘warmists’ over ‘Hackgate’ at Bishop Hill, matters as diverse as the Hollie Grieg case and the need for a new constitution over at Witterings from Witney, the unmitigated bias of Richard Black and Obama cheerleading observed by Biased BBC, the excesses of the state and abuse of taxpayers covered by Raedwald and of course the eclectic mix of thought provoking blogging at Nourishing Obscurity.

If you’ve spotted a story that deserves a look, please feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss anything of interest. Back soon.

Tuesday 5 Star Blogging

A selection of five great posts by independent bloggers recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. Toque: The Public Interest

2. Raedwald: State Overkill

3. Witterings from Witney: Truth, Transparency, Honesty – There Isn’t Any!

4. Derek Bennett: Starving for the Euro

5. EU Referendum: As for Heffer

Monday 5 Star Blogging

A selection of five great posts by independent bloggers recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. The Boiling Frog: Deliberately Misleading?

2. Delphius’ Debate: Being Bold With Renewables

3. The Slog: The Guardian: letting everyone in on an open secret

4. The Talking Clock: Greece: How the BBC and Sky conspired – yet failed – to keep the British people ignorant

5. Ironies Too: 74 Greek MPs offer hope for a return to democracy in Greece!

Sorry for the delay, better late than never…

Reality of wind folly dawns on the National Trust

According to the Chairman of the National Trust, Sir Simon Jenkins, ‘not a week goes by’ without the charity having to fight plans for wind farms that threaten the more than 700 miles of coastline, 28,500 acres of countryside and more than 500 properties owned by the Trust. He is quoted in the Barclay Brother Beano, saying:

Broadly speaking the National Trust is deeply sceptical of this form of renewable energy.

Jenkins has correctly identified wind power as the least efficient form of power generation.  Despite having previously supported all forms of renewables, the National Trust’s official position now caveats this heavily. The official position now is to support renewable energy, including wind, although only in places where the turbine will produce the maximum amount of energy and ‘with regard to the full range of environmental considerations’. Jenkins said:

We are doing masses of renewables but wind is probably the least efficient and wrecks the countryside and the National Trust is about preserving the countryside.

Only the stuffed suits inside the Westminster bubble and those in the wind industry who stand to make a fortune from installing turbines, whether the wind blows or not and whether the energy contribution to the grid is negligible or not, remain doggedly in favour of this unreliable form of renewable power.  But that is all that’s required to push ahead with spending many more billions of pounds of our money on this folly.

As if to underline the level of reality disconnect among the political class, the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, has already stated his position when he claimed wind power will ensure energy security as fossil fuels run out, cut carbon emissions and provide jobs.  Very much a case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Wind power cannot provide energy security. Wind fluctuates, therefore the power generated from it fluctuates. That is not reliable and therefore it cannot help us secure our energy needs. Until the dogmatic lunatics in orbit around the Cameron Presidency base policy on fact instead of the spin emanating from the rent seeking wind power companies, this subversion of common sense will continue.

Weekend 5 Star Blogging

A selection of five great posts by independent bloggers recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. Raedwald: Criminal Maladministration

2. Bishop Hill: A Letter to Paul Nurse

3. The Hockey Schtick: Obama’s green energy scorecard: $2.7 billion in losses

4. The Commentator: Will We Have the Guts to Back a Military Strike on Iran?

5. A Very British Dude: The Coalition & Its Dwindling Band of Friends

Another example of BBC green distortion

(Update to this post now added at the end…) AM reader, Ron H, kindly draws attention to Friday’s coverage of the wind farm cable corridor for the offshore development known as East Anglia One. This is the proposed first phase of the East Anglia Offshore Windfarm Zone (EAOW) being developed by Scottish Power Renewables and Swedish wind power operating company Vattenfall, with a planned installed capacity of 1,200MW.

It provides us with yet another example of the weasel words used to overstate the likely amount of power that will be generated.  Compare and contrast:

We are working with stakeholders to realise the full potential of the zone, with initial studies identifying a target capacity of up to 7,200MW, which could provide enough clean, green energy for over 5 million homes.
- East Anglia Offshore Windfarm Zone

The full East Anglia Offshore Windfarm Zone, when built, is expected to power five million homes.
- BBC News

While EAOW carefully words its information to say that a capacity of 7,200MW could provide enough energy for over 5 million homes, it knows that an average offshore wind load factor of around 30-35% means the installation will never generate that amount of power.  It is very likely to produce somewhere in the region of 2,300MW.  But this doesn’t stop the BBC from exaggerating the amount of power that will be generated by the East Anglia Offshore Wind Zone, as it says the zone is expected to power five million homes.

Expected by whom?  Certainly not the companies who are preparing to soak themselves in huge sums of money extracted from taxpayers and energy company customers.  The distortion is blatant and dishonest.  It underlines that on environmental and renewable energy matters (among many others) the BBC simply cannot be trusted.

For the long suffering taxpayer and energy consumer the issue is the cost of this vast array of wind turbines.  The capital cost of wind is many times that of nuclear power and gas fired power. To achieve 2,300MW of power via nuclear plant has been assessed as one sixth the cost of wind, and gas works out more than 22 times cheaper than these sea based bird choppers.  When viewed through that cost prism, is this wind farm folly something to get anything other than violently angry about?

Update: On Twitter, the CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Member of the UN’s Sustainable Energy For All and Visiting Professor at Imperial College, Michael Liebreich, (all that prestige!) has responded to this blog post thus:

I have enquired of the great man on what basis he is contesting the cost figures, asking for his figures and working, but at the time of writing he has not provided a response.  The figures I have used to explain how much cheaper nuclear and gas are than wind, megawatt for megawatt of actual power generated, were explained by Christopher Booker in August last year:

[...] a Swedish firm, Vattenfall, has spent £500 million on building 30 five‑megawatt turbines with a total “capacity” of 150MW. What Shukman did not tell us, because the BBC never does, is that, thanks to the vagaries of the wind, these machines will only produce a fraction of their capacity (30 per cent was the offshore average in the past two years). So their actual output is only likely to average 45MW, or £11 million per MW.

Compare this with the figures for Britain’s newest gas-fired power station, recently opened in Plymouth. This is capable of generating 882MW at a capital cost of £400 million – just £500,000 for each megawatt. Thus the wind farm is 22 times more expensive, and could only be built because its owners will receive a 200 per cent subsidy: £40 million a year, on top of the £20 million they will get for the electricity itself. This we will all have to pay for through our electricity bills, whereas the unsubsidised cost of power from the gas plant, even including the price of the gas, will be a third as much.

What this does not take into account is that the gas fired power stations will last twice as long as the wind turbine equipment, so the replacement cost of the turbines would increase the cost still further – making offshore wind up to 40 times more expensive than gas, megawatt for megawatt.

Perhaps Liebreich will eventually get around to telling us which of these figures is ‘bollox’ and offer some evidence, rather than just play the part of Dr No.

Harrabin achieves aim despite BBC Weather Test unravelling

EU Referendum has a tidy summary of events this morning, building on today’s Mail on Sunday story about the Roger Harrabin inspired BBC Weather Test project falling apart.  If Weather Test does finally collapse it will not be any surprise to regular readers here.

For in addition to the issues highlighted on EU Referendum, we can point to our coverage of the evident lack of impartiality among the individuals and institutions Harrabin had lined up to assess the weather and the forecasts for the project, which would fundamentally undermine it:

  • The Met Office would be acting as competitor and judge, using its own weather stations
  • The statistics would be dealt with by Leeds University – one of three academic institutions with whom the Met Office formed what is described as ‘a world class academic partnership to tackle the problems of climate change ‘
  • The ‘independent’ meteorologist for the project, Philip Eden, is another BBC man and has since that blog post been accused of making disparaging remarks questioning the accuracy of independent weathermen’s forecasts

After we had aired these factors we went on to speak to several meteorologists and established a major flaw at the very heart of the project, concerning the weighting of the day to day results and major weather events.  If a competing forecaster was able to produce a forecast accuracy rate for, say, 75% of the days in the test period when there are no major weather events, but completely miss major events, how would that be weighted to demonstrate that when it comes to forecasts that really matter their accuracy was found wanting?

There was nothing in any of Harrabin’s written or verbal pieces about the Weather Test that suggested any thought had been devoted to this.  It defies belief that Harrabin would have had dealings with meterological specialists about this project and not known this problem or communicated how it would be addressed.

When everythying is looked at in the round it is hard to argue that the BBC Weather Test was set up to do anything other than fail.  Perhaps the reason for this is that is provided a convenient distraction from the highly public failings of the Met Office over its lamentable 2009 summer and 2010-11 winter forecasts.  Maybe that was all that was needed.  The Met Office would be afforded some breathing space from its warm-biased forecasts if it was committed to having its predictions measured against other forecasters whose records appeared to be more accurate.  People would wait for qualitative evidence that proved what they had long suspected.

Harrabin has done his bit for the organisation he has repeatedy provided cover for.  Greater love hath no journalist than he lay down his credibility and career for the cause. Having been completely compromised by his warmist affiliations and biased analyses, and now safely tucked out of sight in the United States, Harrabin can’t be held to account for the wreckage he has left behind.  But he has bought time for the Met Office and deflected attention from its failures for a time, and for that he will have earned the eternal gratitude of the Met Office and the AGW alarmist community for his services to the cause.  It is mission accomplished – and the money from speaking at or chairing warmist events will continue to flow into his bank account as a lavish reward.

The latest band of wind turbine rebels

In Cleveland, North East England, a group of residents from Marske, New Marske and Saltburn have joined forces to oppose the installation of eight wind turbines across several local sites, according to a story covered in the Evening Gazette.

This story stands out from many others because underlines the dash for cash that keeps the uneconomic wind industry on life support.  Firstly it tells readers the agent acting on behalf of the developer, Empirica Investments Ltd, is working for the West Midland Metropolitan Authority Pension Fund – a body committed to making a lot of money for members.  Secondly it also carries a nail-on-head quote from a local councillor, Dr Tristan Learoyd, that defines this money train for what it is:

Local people are united in their opposition to the proposal. I am a lifelong environmentalist, but these projects aren’t about climate change. They’re about a few people making fast cash from government grants.

The Gazette story, which has attracted a handful of comments that are universally hostile to the collection of turbine planning applications, also mentions that a leaflet circulated in the area by EDF Energy has left residents questioning the need for the eight turbines given that a previously approved 29-turbine offshore Redcar wind farm was pitched as catering for all Marske and Saltburn energy needs.

The money train is used as a hook in the marketing material published by Empirica Investments.  It is of course a staggering coincidence that at the exact time this story makes  headlines in the area, Empirica are in the process of redeveloping their website.  But Google’s graphic cache of the pages of Empirica’s website, pre redevelopment, enables us to see how they lure landowners into having turbines sited on their land, so both they and the parasitical Empirica can make money from our taxes and energy bills.

For those who cannot make out the text it reads:

Offering to the landowner

The attraction of the Empirica Investments offering is for the landowner to receive income from their land at no cost to them.

As Empirica receive the tariff from the Government backed Feed in Tariffs, the income is underwritten by Government policy and is not subject to the volatility of the wholesale energy markets.

The landowner will share in the total income received from the electricity generated from the wind turbine in exchange for leasing their land, without the risks attached with developing the project.

Typically we are seeking sites for the installation of a single turbine, however in certain circumstances we can look at multiple installations and possibly the installation of a different size or model of turbine.

We adopt a bespoke approach to any deal with landowners, however our standard terms offered for suitable site criteria are based upon the following [...]

These are government facilitated parasites, hoovering up money from our pockets via our taxes and energy bills for the installation of an unreliable technology that we have shown contributes a negligible percentage of our energy when the energy is needed most.  But the target of our ire must be the bureaucrats and politicians in Brussels and Westminster who have imposed this corporatist scam on us.  It is legalised theft, a forced redistribution of wealth from those who often can least afford it, to those who already have significant resources.

Wind energy generation – Our money at work

It is currently -5C (23F) at Mind Towers according to the weather station at the local airfield, and falling at a rate of 1.6C per hour.  The wind supposed to be coming from SSE, but is currently showing as 0.0 knots.

Be it directly through our tax pounds, or by proxy via the charges loaded on to our energy bills as part of the Renewables Obligation, the hundreds and hundreds of millions of pounds poured into wind turbine subsidy and feed-in tariffs is delivering next to nothing to the energy supply, because the wind is next to nothing – barely 4% of the official figure for installed wind generation capacity and providing 0.4% of current energy being generated in this country:

It cannot be repeated frequently enough that the government’s obsession with wind power is an obscenely expensive folly.

While Germany talks a good renewables game, it quietly does what is necessary to provide the energy needed by its people and its industry by investing heavily in new coal-fired power.  Just look at what Germany has been building while Cameron and Huhne have been tilting at windmills.  Conversely, our politicians are so blinded by the CO2 bogeyman they ignore 200 years’ worth of domestic coal reserves and put their faith in intermittent and unreliable natural phenomenon.

Germany’s government is putting Germany’s interests first.  Our government is advancing someone’s interest, but it is not that of the British people.  When will people sit up, take notice and declare ‘enough’?

Update: At 9.40pm it is now almost -8C (17F) and wind is now generating even less, a meagre 120MW of power, or 0.3% of the current energy generation.

Friday 5 Star Blogging

A selection of five great posts by independent bloggers recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. Harry’s Place: George Galloway, the Holocaust denier and Starbucks

2. Jo Nova: Skeptics are Winning – ‘The Carbon Market is Dead’

3. Archbishop Cranmer: Mark of the Beast?

4. The Bill Sticker Alternative: Fukushima; Almost a Year On

5. Longrider: That’s the AA Off My List of Insurers

Credibility of Rajendra Pachauri continues to retreat

In 2009, the Indian environment ministry was accused of ‘arrogance’ by Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), after the release of a government report claiming that there is no evidence climate change has caused ‘abnormal’ shrinking of Himalayan glaciers.

Dr Vijay Kumar Raina, the geologist who authored the report, admitted that some: ‘Himalayan glaciers are retreating. But it is nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to suggest as some have said that they will disappear.’  The response of Pachauri, a railway engineer often described as a leading climate scientist, was this:

We have a very clear idea of what is happening. I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.

Pachauri went on to say that such statements were reminiscent of ‘climate change deniers and school boy science’, adding this money quote:

I cannot see what the minister’s motives are. We do need more extensive measurement of the Himalayan range but it is clear from satellite pictures what is happening.

He also went on record describing the Indian government report as ‘voodoo science’.  In light of this, one wonders how Pachy is feeling right now given the publication of scientific research using satellite data that shows there hasn’t been any melt of those glaciers at all in the last 10 years.  One also wonders, considering this new evidence, just what satellite pictures Pachauri and friends had been looking at.  He certainly seems to be the school boy after this.

It would appear that what is retreating at record speed is not the glaciers in the Himalayan range, but the last shreds of Rajendra Pachauri’s shattered credibility.  The excellent cartoonist, Josh, captures the moment in his own inimitable style over at Bishop Hill

Now let’s see if any of the British MPs who are jumping up and down about wind power subsidies have the gumption to challenge the government to distance itself from the IPCC and Rajendra Pachauri for being completely unreliable and discredited.

Starmer to give his friend Leigh a keep out of jail card?

Regular readers may remember this post back in December, when we examined the evidence given to the Leveson Inquiry by the Guardian’s self confessed phone hacker, David Leigh.  This blog posed a rhetorical question… is it possible that the Guardian frames the law in this country?

The post argued that at the very least, senior editorial staff at the Guardian appear to be using their close relationships with people in the highest echelons of the legal establishment to subvert the course of justice for their own ends.  Perhaps it is less a case of subversion and more a case of wielding undue influence.  A Daily Mail story today that Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, will introduce an interim policy in a ‘matter of weeks’ to set out ‘in one place’ the factors to be taken into account when considering whether to charge a journalist with a crime.

The story explains how Starmer has outlined six factors which would be looked at when weighing up prosecutions against journalists, although others also exist. These include:

  • The relative gravity of any potential offence committed and/or harm caused compared with the public interest;
  • Whether there was any element of corruption in the commission of the offence;
  • Whether the conduct included the use of threats or intimidation;
  • The impact of the conduct on any course of justice, e.g. whether it put criminal proceedings in jeopardy;
  • Whether the public interest in question could have been served by lawful means;
  • The impact on the victim or victims of the conduct in question.

Currently there is no public interest defence for a journalist intercepting the voicemails of someone’s mobile phone.  So quite why David Leigh has not been arrested and prosecuted for his actions, when a raft of staff from News International have been arrested ‘on suspicion of unlawfully intercepting mobile phone voicemail messages’ by the Metropolitan Police, defies logic and reason.

However, it appears that Starmer’s ‘factors’ give rise to the possibility that Leigh’s ‘defence’ of public interest, when deliberately accessing the voicemails of someone he was investigating for a story, might be accepted as reasonable and therefore ensure he doesn’t face prosecution for the criminal act he has openly confirmed he committed.

Is this yet more circumstantial evidence that the DPP is working in the interests of his friends and former co-writers at the Guardian, placing them above the law that is being applied to others?  We need to watch for the interim policy to see if its contents contain a get-out clause for Leigh that ensure charges are not brought against him.

And in the meantime questions must continue to be asked about why David Leigh has not been arrested as part of the phone hacking investigation.  The only conclusion that can be drawn is that his fellow left wing activist and friend occupying the office of the DPP has got his back, rigging the deck to ensure Leigh holds a keep out of jail free card.  This rank injustice is a scandal that the mainstream media continues to turn a blind eye to, to its enduring shame.  Their silence is deafening.

Thursday 5 Star Blogging

A selection of five great posts by independent bloggers recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. EU Referendum: Glaciergate No More

2. The Boiling Frog: This is What a Death Spiral Looks Like

3. England Expects: Cameron Vacillating on Gender Quotas

4. Underdogs Bite Upwards: Education, such as it is

5. Small Dead Animals: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Wednesday 5 Star Blogging

A selection of five great posts by independent bloggers recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. No Frakking Consensus: Scientific Consensus, Leadership & Stephen Schneider

2. the Air Vent: Bias In Arctic Satellite Sea Ice Trend

3. Witterings from Witney: Europe Needs Democratic Rejuvenation

4. Counting Cats in Zanzibar: Aid to Enemies…

5. Mark Wadsworth: They Own Land! Give Them Money!

No time to post today, busy busy…


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