Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I don't know if this is any more reliable than the global warming scare & the fact is that neither does anybody else, or rather that those who claim to be certainty thereby prove themselves untrustworthy.
Starting from 2,012, the process of global cooling will start on the Earth and by the middle of 21st century the whole planet will be captured by low temperatures, an expert from the Russian Sciences Academy Observatory was quoted by NewsRu.com as saying Monday.
The cause of the expected global cooling is a decrease in the flow of the Sun's radiation, Khabibulo Absudamatov says.
"We have already witnessed a cooling of the kind in Europe, in North America and Greenland in 1645-1705, with canals freezing in Holland, and people abandoning settlements because of nearing glaciers in Greenland. This is what we are expecting again in some decades," he said.
Analysis of the Sun's radiation fluctuations that influence the climate on Earth shows that the planet at the moment is on the peak of the global warming process, Absudamatov said. Now, with the decrease in the Sun's radiation, global temperatures are going to decrease, too.
"In 20th century, the Sun's activity could be characterized by a general increase in the amount of radiated energy, and global warming was a result of this process. Global warming is by no means an anomaly, but a normal phenomenon. Global warmings, as well as global coolings, have happened before."
According to Absudamatov, the global cooling will start in 2,012 or 2,013. By 2035 the Sun's radiation will reach its minimum, and 15 years later a deep cooling of the Earth's climate should be expected.
Despite the fact that the IPCC's beloved Hockeystick graphs denied the existence of cold periods at times of low sunspot activity these certainly happened & can be expected to happen again.
What we need is (A) more research, good research always pays off even, or particularly, when it finds something unexpected & (B) a space going civilization - the only place where we can not only see what is going on here but build the mirrors, shades etc to fine tune the weather (& to divert 100 million tons of cometary ice coming in faster than a speeding bullet) is in space.
RADIO SCOTLAND SOUNDBITE
The number of Palestinians who were driven from Israeli territory (or as Israel would have it left voluntarily) was half a million. By comparison half of Israel's population were Jews driven from Arab lands (or as the Arabs would have it left voluntarily) & 2 million of the population of Serbia & Montenrgro are people ethnicaly cleansed from Croatia, Bosnia & Kosovo with the very active assistance of NATO, "as he would see it".His entirely reasoned & sensible reply was that the Palestinians had been kept as refugees quite deliberately as a symbol whereas the arabic Jews had got on with building a country. Israelis had hoped the Palestinians would have followed their example. I think this somewhat underestimates the problems the Palestinians have, but not all that much so, when you look at the problems that Israel faced in building the country on their side of the border.
What do you think motivates people, particularly in Europe more affronted by Palestinain than Jewish or Serbian refugees?
He did not fall for the implication in my question that there is an undercurrent of anti-semitism in the opponents of Israel, particularly non-Moslems (which there certainly is) & considerably more than an undercurrent of Nazism in the attitude to Serbs (which is also true).
Neither he nor Gary mentioned the point about the Serbs which is what I expected - in fact I was quite surprised he hadn't cut that line.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Remember that this is what western media were virtually unanimous as announcing as the "trial of the century". You would think they would report that (before the invasion of Iraq they devoted many column inches to much less spectacular alleged links between Iraq & Osama). In pure news value this is a story that should be considerably bigger than the nonsense about cartoons. This was at a time when Paddy Ashdown & other assorted NATO spooks were in & out of Izetbegovic's office like rats in drainpipes. Did they meet? Very probably, though I suspect not in that office.
The most explosive part of her testimony dealt with an interview that she scheduled with Alija Izetbegovic in November 1994. While she was waiting in Izetbegovic's foyer both she, and a journalist from Der Speigel, saw Osama bin Laden being escorted into Izetbegovic’s office. Yes *that* Osama bin Laden -- the same Osama bin Laden who masterminded the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Needless to say this evidence did not sit well with the tribunal. Mr. Nice immediately objected and Judge Robinson cut off the testimony immediately declaring it “irrelevant.”
I have had a bit of stick from the Lib Dems for saying that Judge Bonamy was wrong to say that Islamic terrorism does not cause a security threat - so I'll probably get more for suggesting that the presence of bin Laden in the office of what, if the BBC is in any way honest, was a " moderate minded Moslem committed to a multi-cultural state" is somewhat relevant.
The rest of Ms Prentice's evidence is just as damaging though less spectacular & I suggest you read it here are some sinps
She testified that the Kosovo-Albanians told her that they were leaving Kosovo primarily because they were afraid of the KLA and the NATO bombing. She only came across one Albanian who told her that he was leaving because the Serbian police had told him to.Robin Cook was the monster. An obscene lying genocidal Nazi piece of excrement - ie a typical cabinet member.
She said that the KLA was telling the Albanian population that it was their “patriotic duty” to leave Kosovo in order to make it appear that the Serbs were victimizing the Albanians and ethnically cleansing the province.
Ms. Prentice testified that she took measures to speak to Albanian civilians at times when Serbian police were not around. Her Albanian interpreter was a lawyer who worked for Ibrahim Rugova.
She testified that Albanian civilians were afraid to speak freely in the presence of the KLA. She recounted one instance in Kosvoska Mitrovica where she was interviewing a group of Albanians and they would not speak to her once a member of the KLA came within earshot.
.......She also witnessed the destruction caused by NATO bombing raids in Gnjilane, Istok (Dubrava Prison), Orohovac, and Meja. In each of these cases the indictment accuses Serbia for the destruction.
......While she was in Gnjilane she did not see any evidence of the deliberate burning of shops and houses alleged by the indictment. All she saw was the destruction caused by NATO.
The indictment says that Serbian troops forced the Albanian population to leave Prizren from March 28th onwards. But Ms. Prentice said that there were a lot of Albanians in Prizren while she was there in May.
Ms. Prentice was bombed by NATO herself. At about 3 PM on May 30, 1999 she was on her way to Prizren. She was on the road about 8 km east of Prizren when NATO attacked. Her driver was killed in the attack, and a cameraman she was traveling with was blown into a river several meters away.
She said that the NATO aircraft were flying low enough that they could have easily seen the civilian cars on the road below.
Ms. Prentice, who has a pilot’s license herself, estimated the aircraft to be flying at about 2,000 ft. Because she was traveling with a cameraman she also has videotape of the NATO aircraft. She was ultimately rescued from the scene Yugoslav Army personnel who took her to safety and gave her medical treatment.
About two weeks after the bombing Ms. Prentice began to suffer health effects. She lost her voice. Her immune system weakened. She has had cancer twice since then, and the presence of heavy metals in her blood stream causes her to suspect that NATO used depleted uranium weapons during the attack.
NATO has publicly denied that it carried out the bombing raid, but Ms. Prentice’s father (who is a member of the British House of Lords) received information from his contacts in the British military that NATO had indeed carried out the bombing.
Ms. Prentice testified that after NATO entered Kosovo a massive exodus of the non-Albanian population occurred. She said that the KLA, together with Albanians from Albania, went around Kosovo forcing the non-Albanian population to leave. She said that NATO did nothing to protect the non-Albanian population.
.........Milosevic questioned the witness questions about the Markale market. Over the course of her work, Ms. Prentice spoke with people who had access to ballistics data on the blast. According to the information she received the blast did not come from an outside projectile. The blast came from an explosive device that had been taped under one of the tables at the market.
When she interviewed Lord Owen she asked him whether he had believed that the Bosnian-Muslim government planted the bomb themselves. She said that Owen responded by refusing to confirm or deny the suggestion. The Markale Market is significant because NATO used it as the justification to bomb the Bosnian Serbs.
Ms. Prentice testified that when she visited Sarajevo in 1994 she did not find the city under siege. She said that there was some shelling but not a siege.
She said that one day while she was at the offices of the Bosnian presidency a shell exploded near the house she was staying. She observed that the shell fell in a location that was surrounded by tall buildings and narrow streets meaning that the shell could have only come in from a steep angle, which meant that it could only have been fired from a Muslim-held position.
During her time in Bosnia she visited Pale. She said that she was surprised to find that a large number of non-Serb refugees were being given shelter there. Before she actually visited Bosnia she had believed what the rest of the media told her about the Serbs.
She recounted one occasion where she tried to convince Robin Cook to visit Pale so that he could see for himself that non-Serbs were living freely in the Bosnian-Serb capital. Cook, who was on a fact finding mission, told her that he would not visit Pale because he thought the Serbs were “monsters.”
WHO "does not really have a place in the party"?
By Brendan Carlin Political Correspondent
"The Liberal Democrat leadership contest has descended into allegations of dirty tricks as Mark Oaten quit the race after leaked e-mails killed off his campaign.
Yesterday Mr Oaten, the party's home affairs spokesman, withdrew after calling in the police over the alleged theft of an e-mail showing Charles Kennedy, the party's former leader, had at one stage canvassed on his behalf.
The leak provoked aides of Mr Kennedy into a damaging rejection of Mr Oaten's campaign. It had already been virtually devoid of support from fellow MPs and the disclosure effectively forced him to pull out.
.....Mr Oaten - who revealed that his wallet had gone missing - said he was "very upset that private conversations I had been having with Charles ended up in the press".
His departure leaves three candidates in the race - Chris Huhne, a little-known Treasury spokesman, Simon Hughes, the Left-leaning party president and Sir Menzies, now the hope of the party's so-called "Orange Book" economically liberal modernisers.
........Sir Menzies declared: "Under my leadership, the Lib Dems will not be making polite interjections from the sidelines - we will be hammering on the doors of power."
He effectively admitted that the recent exchange of leaked e-mails had helped force his hand yesterday. Mr Opik said yesterday that whoever was responsible for the "underhand" leak from Mr Oaten's office "does not really have a place in the party".
NOTE The first part of this post has been deleted by me since the original link has assured me that he has received a credible asurance that it had no foundation.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
I do. Taken together I would have to say that what Griffin said, that some 2nd generation Moslems might turn into suicide bombers was less offensive, though more frightening because true, than saying that Mohammed would. So yes I do support their intrinsic freedom to do so.
But it isn't courteous.
If you go around gratutously insulting people then you deserve no respect. (Note that when I accuse Bliar, the Pope, Clinton, Kohl etc etc of various sorts of murders this is entirely tuitously insulting them & at least to some extent so is Griffin's), The Danish cartoons however seem to be just silly. Much worse the reprinting by foreign papers, & even more on the web are being done just to make a mess, like a small boy at a dinner party dropping his pants.
Lets not go light on the protesters either. For at least 1300 years people in Denmark have said rude things about Mohammed - for most of that time it was almost compulsory. What difference did it make to Haroun al-Rashid? Stop going around deliberately looking for things to be insulted by. In many cases you can see that individuals are attaching themselves to this "protest" movement for their own agendas. Palestine is threatened with melt down - what exactly is the point of armed street gangs/political activists going around Gaza looking for Danes to shoot. Actually the point, as with most street gangs, is to prove how tough you are but it has nothing to do with defending the ability not to anthropomorphise your worship of the Deity (which is the relatively sophisticated reason for not drawing their prophet).
Lets try reversing it - a good way of seeing the other guy's view. Should we defend the right of somebody in the Gulf to burn the flag (ours or the US), how about celebrating 9/11. In the former I think we should & to be fair to the Americans though there is a movement to make flag burning unconstitutional it isn't & I suspect never will be - when push comes to shove they do understand what their constitution is about. 9/11 is tougher. In theory, if freedom to insult Mohammed is that important then we should also defend the right to gratuitously celebrate that but I think I would draw a line there. If there was point to celebrating it that would be different but purely gratuitously upsetting people is different. Fortunately Moslems aren't going to produce jokes about Jesus in a blender because they believe in him too.
A lot has been made of the way Dave Allan made a living from jokes about the Pope some of them pretty wicked, thus proving how much nicer we, or possibly only Catholics are. The difference is the he was obviously, indeed he made it obvious with every word, an Irish Catholic. Thats allowed. Equally a Jewish audience will love a series of funny Jewish jokes told by a good Jewish comedian but an obviously goy one will go down like a lead balloon. The Reverend Ian Paisley telling Pope jokes doesn't work either or a Frenchman telling an American audience drunk jokes about Bush. You have to be inside the group to poke fun at it. This was why the Salman Rushdie affair had a real moral dimension, he was brought up in Islam & knew exactly what he was talking about & was an informed critic, whereas this is just about people who want to start something - from a safe distance.
Friday, February 03, 2006
I believe that one should be willing to defend one's views robustly, indeed I have on occasion been accused of it myself, so I have some cheerful appreciation of David McEwan ('Nuclear power is the greatest idiocy" ever - letter Monday). On the other hand he does seem to have achieved a uniquely high ratio of things that just ain't so. Surprising in a letter so long.
He starts by conjuring up the vision of spaceships going to the Moon to find uranium ore. Attractive, & relatively feasible as a return to the Moon may be it is hardly the only, let alone best place to look for uranium.
He then correctly says that all a reactor does is to bile a lot of water, which I suppose is true in the same way that all George Bush does is to throw a lot of sticks at people.
However the main error, on which he dwells at considerable length is that we are going to run out of uranium real soon - he says 15 years. This is nonsense, rubbish & claptrap, not necessarily in that order. Uranium is not going to run out in 15 years or fifty, or five hundred, or 5,000 or even 5 million. Uranium is, even on the Earth's surface, relatively common. The point is that you don't need uranium in large quantities. There is enough uranium dust in a spadeful of coal to produce more power than would be produced by that spadeful of coal. It is much more common in rock, particularly granite, which is why you are exposed to considerably more radioactivity in Aberdeen Cathedral than in Hunterston. It is vastly more common in ore - that is why it is called "ore". As a purely theoretical exercise Professor Bernard Cohen of Pittsburgh has calculated that by extracting the radioactive impurities in ordinary seawater we could keep our current nuclear industry going for 4.5 billion years. This is not the upper limit since, being a relatively heavy material it tends to be more abundant in ore underground. It is what keeps the Earth's core molten. The Sun is expected to explode in a mere 5 billion years. This is a more urgent problem than running out of nuclear power.
Except that we are currently on track to run out of it if 2023 when our last reactor shuts down.
Boiling the seas is not the most practical way to go, unless, of course, the alternative is windfarms or other "alternatives". Alternatives are called "alternative" for good economic reasons. There is no difficulty in mining. We could even afford to mine more expensive ores since the actual cost of our fuel works out at about 2 hundredths of a penny per kilowatt hour. Currently uranium prices are at an all time low which does not imply shortage.
Just as his fears of our imminently running out of uranium, which is rather like running out of rock, are unfounded the idea that we will have "hundreds of thousands of tons of waste" lasting over "thousands" of years is inaccurate. Reactor waste, the only sort that didn't come out of the soil in the first place comes in very small quantities, about a cubic metre per reactor year, but precisely because it is highly radioactive it has a short half life & will be down to safe levels in about 50 years. Our descendants 4 billion years from now need not worry.
We, five years from now, should. He is wrong to say that this is a problem only for England about whose difficulties we Scots may happily chortle. The opposite is true. So long as France is willing to make nuclear electricity at 1.5p a unit & sell to the south of England for 4 they are comfortable, & I suspect the French will not become unwilling to do so. We on the other hand are to far away & with the closure of Hunterson & Torness & some coal stations, are shortly going to lose 2/3rds of our electricity. It is grossly irresponsible of politicians to ignore this, presumably in the expectation that their careers will already be over then. 2,500 pensioners a year currently die in Scotland annually from fuel poverty but that will be dwarfed by what is coming if we choose not to replace & expand our current reactors.
Amusing though Mr McEwan's letter is the way in which such scare stories are preventing us, by which I mean the human race as well as Scots, achieving our potential is the great tragedy of our civilisation. There is no reason why we should not all be much wealthier, more comfortable, healthier & less worried than we are now. Yes, & have the Moon & Mars & points beyond as well. We only have to stop nursing our problems to keep them warm. Look at them honestly, admit that most of them are smoke & mirrors & solve the others. We are descended from people who did more with less. We should live up to our potential.
[/quote] More on Professor Cohen's article & on nuclear generally is on http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/cohen.html#cohen[/
To maintain the East West balance here is one not published by the Scotsman. They have since published replies from Councillor Niall Walker (Lib Dem) & Steuart Campbell (former Lib Dem who quit over the party's head in the sands attitude) who both said something similar to mine.
The good news is that the Gaia in question is not my ex-mother-in-law. The bad news is that she represents a chthonic deity even more capable of vengeance upon errant mankind. Gaia is the Earth herself; she is Mother Nature; she taps her foot in ever-growing impatience at the antics of our species; and, according to Professor Lovelock, she is about to exact the most terrifying punishment for our excesses. She is about to get carboniferous on our ass.
........We delude ourselves, says Lovelock, if we think that the global temperature is going to rise in small increments over the next century. We are like the blindfolded crew of a boat approaching Niagara Falls, and there will come a moment when the temperature will rise with all the equivalent vertical horror. Some time in the next hundred years, he says, it is suddenly going to get hotter and hotter and hotter.
"Billions will die," says Lovelock, who tells us that he is not normally a gloomy type. Human civilisation will be reduced to a "broken rabble ruled by brutal warlords", and the plague-ridden remainder of the species will flee the cracked and broken earth to the Arctic, the last temperate spot, where a few breeding couples will survive.
It is going to be a "hell of a climate", he says, with Europe 8C warmer than it is today; and the real killer, says Lovelock, is that there is not a damn thing we can do about it. We are already pumping out so much carbon dioxide, with no prospect of abatement from the growing economies of China and India, that our fate is sealed.
We in Britain produce only two per cent of the world's carbon output and, even if we closed down British industry overnight; even if we abolished the winter fuel allowance and ordered the pensioners to wear more sweaters; even if we forested the entire country with windfarms, it would make not a bean of difference.
And when the Great Heat has destroyed our industry, and wrecked civilisation, it will get worse, says Lovelock. Because then we will lose the aerosol of dust and smog that has kept out some of the sun's rays; and it will get hotter still.
......Phew-ee. Is Lovelock right? I haven't the faintest; but as I listen to his Mad Max-style vision of the coming century, I find my mind bubbling with blasphemous thoughts.
Wasn't it pretty hot in the 10th century? Didn't the Romans have vineyards in Northumberland? And is it really so exceptionally hot in modern Europe? According to yesterday's paper, Lisbon has just had its first heavy snowfall for 52 years. What's that about?
..........the more one listens to sacerdotal figures such as Lovelock, and the more one studies public reactions to his prophecies, the clearer it is that we are not just dealing with science (though science is a large part of it); this is partly a religious phenomenon.
Humanity has largely lost its fear of hellfire, and yet we still hunger for a structure, a point, an eschatology, a moral counterbalance to our growing prosperity. All that is brilliantly supplied by climate change. Like all the best religions, fear of climate change satisfies our need for guilt, and self-disgust, and that eternal human sense that technological progress must be punished by the gods.
And the fear of climate change is like a religion in this vital sense, that it is veiled in mystery, and you can never tell whether your acts of propitiation or atonement have been in any way successful. One sect says we must build more windfarms, and these high priests will be displeased with what Lovelock has to say. Another priestly caste curses the Government's obsession with nuclear power - a programme Lovelock has had the courage to support.
Some scientific hierophants now tell us that trees - trees, the good guys - are the source of too much methane, and are contributing to global warming. Huh? We in the poor muddled laity scratch our heads and pray. Who is right? Who is wrong?
If Lovelock is only half-right, then we must have an immediate programme to pastoralise the global economy and reduce emissions. The paradox is that, if he is completely right, there is not a lot we can do, and we might as well enjoy our beautiful planet while we can.
Or is he completely wrong? To say that would be an offence not just against science, but against a growing world religion.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I believe the jury in the BNP case have properly done their duty.
"We don't hate anyone from any ethnic minority in this country," Griffin told reporters. "We don't blame them for being here ... we blame our government for putting them above our people."This prosecution has been entirely political. The BBC never spent 10s of thousands of pound trying to infiltrate the Labour party to find someone willing to say that bombing Serbs is ok. Professor Torrance, was never prosecuted for fabricating a story about Serbs putting their enemies through a sawmill, as part of his role as Moderator of the Church of Scotland. Such a story is clearly likely to produce racial hatred but when challenged on it he not only refused give provenance but removed the sermon for the Church's website. I have previously accused Mr Blair of being a Nazi war criminal. Nick Griffin is clearly not a Nazi, he has not bombed hospitals, he is not guilty of genocide, he has not murdered one thousandth as many people as the Cabinet, he is not as racist, or dishonest, as the as the Church of Scotland.
He said the BNP's wrath was directed at politicians who had turned Britain into a "multi-cultural mess".
Thursday's acquittals brought groans from anti-racist activists waiting outside court.
"We think it is a tragic day for justice that Nazis can hide behind freedom of speech in order to attack democracy and to encourage racism," said Weyman Bennett from the Unite Against Fascism group.
The difference is that he has not earned membership of the "great & good" either by birth or by his willingness to talk newspeak & that is what is threatening.
By comparison Mr Bennet & "Unite Against Fascism" do not know the true meaning of the words "justice", "Nazi", "freedom of speech", "attack", "democracy" & "racism".