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Saturday, March 10, 2007


In the Scotsman & Iain Dale links my comments ure under the name Neil, in the Guardian I am 9percentgrowth

Forth bridge

SNH V Hedgehogs - SNH lose by £750,000

Kosovo - once again the Guardian's commenters are strongly NATO/Nazi,,2013344,00.html

What does a judge know about nuclear engineering

Water on Mars


Unipolar world needs 3 extra poles to hold it up,,2014505,00.html

Genocide denial,,2014446,00.html

Paying off councillors

Lib Dems & road pricing

Sea level scare story


Nazi Ashdown,,2015747,00.html

Wave power

Maoism in China & here,,2017029,00.html

Culling hedgehogs & bureaucrats

Tidal power

Peak oil put off yet again

Radovan Karadzic


Canadian blogger deported & jailed by Germany

Bosnia at the Hague

Michael Buerk & the BBC



Bosnia trial,,2023025,00.html




Paxman V Attenboriugh on warming

Oil transfer fees


Friday, March 09, 2007


The Guardian has a reply to the Global Warming Swindle film last night, from their "environmental correspondent". Conveniently he says he didn't actually see it before explaining what was wrong with it. Apparently it "fails to stand up to the mildest scrutiny" but how & in what way he doesn't say. Then that the idea of any sort of media conspiracy is silly because the Guardian would be very happy to publish a front page headline debunking global warming if it was possible. No really.

The remarkable thing is how overwhelmingly sceptical almost all comments in the Guardian, the lions den of political correctness & warming enthusiasm, were.

David replied to critics twice
"I don't think anyone claims to have all the answers. Most climate scientists I speak to acknowledge that many factors play a role in global warming, but that carbon dioxide is now by far the most dominant."
to which I replied
Certainly saying you have not seen the programme you are reviewing makes it easier not to discuss the argument.

So yes David, as the Guardian's "environment correspondent" I think you can be held reponsible for what you have & more importantly haven't reported. You certainly haven't disputed the Guardian's general Luddite line (pro-warming. pro-Y2K, pro-peak oil on 1970/80/90/2000/2005, anti-nuclear, pro the lie that Chernobyl killed 500,000, pro-saying the Netherlands will be flooded out by 2007, pro-saying that pollution will bring life expectancy down to 40 by 2000, pro-the no safe limit to radiation damage, pro-Club of Rome, pro-global cooling back when that was fashionable, pro-millions of species facing extinction etc etc).

Presumably saying that any of these were a hoax would also have got you the Guardian's "front page" too. With such a guaranteed front page one can only admire the restraint with which you & every other Guardian journalist has abjured such publicity by not mentioning that they all provably are hoaxes.

Presumably also your dudgeon at the suggestion that you could possibly be biased because you are making a good living out of writing up the warming scare means you are equally on record as having publicly attacked all those in the Guardian & elsewhere who have claimed, without evidence, that every sceptic is being paid by industry. Perhaps you would care to give links to the numerous times you have expressed similar dudgeon on behalf of those who endorse scepticism - which is after all the proper scientific attitude to all theories.

& later he said
Here are the arguments made in the film against man-made global warming.
(I paraphrase, but they can be found on the program's website)

There was a cool period around the 1940s
Carbon emisisons have lagged behind temperature rises
The troposphere is not warming as expected
Carbon dioxide is produced from natural sources
Carbon dioxide is only a small part of the greenhouse effect
The sun has got stronger
Fewer cosmic rays are arriving, which form clouds and shade the earth

These are not new arguments. They have been rehearsed many times and debunked many times.

Apologies for not taking each in turn, but it really is better done by climate experts. Anyone who wants to, can easily find discussions of them at

Which I & some others thought
David that is a ridiculous post.
None of these have been debunked because all of them are factually correct.

There WAS a cooling period between 1940 & 1975 & everything there is correct too.


David Adams has replied here "I don't think anyone claims to have all the answers. Most climate scientists I speak to acknowledge that many factors play a role in global warming, but that carbon dioxide is now by far the most dominant."

Which brings up 2 points.

Firstly this means that he is opposing the "the scientific debate is over" tendency which has been loudly supported by such as the BBC, the Guardian, David Miliband & all & sundry, even a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland. It appears that, despite not having seen it he has enjoyed a conversion comparable to that of St Paul.

Secondly he displays a basic ignorance in that CO2 is NOT the most important warming gas, water vapour is followed by methane. Moreover the human component of CO2 is only 3%. CO" itelf being 3 hundred parts per million of the atmosphere. Surely if he, or anybody else, feels able to criticise the critics, without seeing what they said, he should at least do so knowing the basic facts.

[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.]
It really is quite disgraceful that in a supposedly serious newspaper they employ a specifically "environmental" correspondent who is unable to articulate the scientific arguments for the case he is supporting & shows such basic ignorance of what is the major greenhouse gas.

I also put in a reference to Alan Thorpe who in December, promised to publicly & online debate with sceptics & has since been invisible.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Global warming on Neptune’s moon Triton as well as Jupiter and Pluto, and now Mars has some scratching their heads over what could possibly be in common with the warming of all these planets.

In the meantime, some have noticed an interesting relationship between solar activity and temperature proxies via ice cores going back thousands of years:

I still don't know. Could there be something in common with all the planets in our solar system that might cause them all to warm at the same time?
The fact that this warming on the other planets is detectable from here while satellitete readings of Earth largely don't detect warming here suggests to me that that it is more serious there & I thought of a possible reason:
The global warming on other planets seems to be very much greater than on Earth.

Could this mean that on Earth we have negative feedback systems (increased clouds etc) which minimise change whereas on most of these the feedbacks are either non-existent or positive.

If so this might suggest that Earth has a much more stable environment than is common in the solar system & thus probably the universe.

If so it reinforces the Rare Earths hypothesis that planets able to evolve intelligent life are uncommon.
Neil Craig
I have commented previously on the Rare Earths Hypothesis & how it attempts to explain that we may indeed be alone in the galaxy. The alternative seems to be thaintelligentnt creatures tend to destroy themselves which makes the RE theory comparativeloptimisticic.
from CCNet

UPDATE this response on CCNet

Paul Driessen []

In response to Neil Craig's letter (CCNet 8 March 07; Solar System Warming?), I've always thought climatologist Roy Spencer's observation was right on the mark. The greenhouse effect, he notes, helps ensure that our Earth remains habitably warm. Weather, especially the evaporation-precipitation cycles, he continues, helps ensure that it remains habitably cool.

In other words, Mr. Craig is on target with his suggestion about negative feedbacks. Operating in conjunction with positive feedbacks, they keep our planet habitable, despite frequent hiccups in the form of wild weather, nasty storms and inconvenient climate cycles. They also help our Earth stave off those climate disasters that are the staple of Hollywood horror movies, breathless headlines, anti-technology green activists, politicians, bureaucrats, all too many grant-dependent scientists, and science fiction films like "Convenient Half-Truths."


Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Plans for reform of the House of Lords will cost more than £1 billion by the end of the term of office of the first peers to be elected, according to new figures.

Labour peer Lord Lipsey, former Economics Editor of the Sunday Times - who has made calculations of the cost of the proposed shake-up - said Leader of the Commons Jack Straw refused to put a cost on the plans unveiled in a White Paper last month. This was on the grounds that it could not be worked out until Parliament decided the exact shape of the change.

However, Lord Lipsey said he has used official figures and plausible assumptions to estimate the cost at £1.092 billion..........

the cost per member of the Lords amounts to only £149,000 by comparison with £726,000 for each member of the Commons. Which would people rather their taxes went on - nurses and hospitals, teachers and schools or yet another gang of expensive politicians?".......

Mr Straw's White Paper is the third on Lords reform since Labour came to power in 1997. It calls for a slimmed down "hybrid" Upper House of 540 members ....

From the Guardian among others
He seems to be working on the assumption that the Lords 540 members X £726,000 x 4 years = £1,57 billion (we may perhaps assume slightly less per person for the Upper House). This seems credible & the government's refusal to produce different figures makes their assurances unconvincing.

This persuades me. A billion is a lot of money to keep an institution which serves no real purpose but which has been there forever. There are occasions - many occasions - when it is better to prune than to reform but we have got into a state of mind where getting rid of any aspect of government is heresy. Replace it with a written constitution & constitutional court & our liberty would be much better defended. One billion could give us 100 X-Prizes, equivalent to the one that produced Spaceship One or a Forth Bridge or 100 km of road tunnels across Britaim.

Incidentally the Commons at £726,000 x 646 MPS is £469 million a year & no great shakes either.

By comparison Holyrood, with 129 members, at £73 million a year seems to be relatively OK for once.


Having pushed for the encouragement of prefabicated mass produced housing I was very pleased to hear:
Ikea flatpack home deal is signed

A £200Million housing project using Ikea flatpack homes is to be launched in Glasgow today.

The scheme will see 1200 family houses built over the next five years in Drumchapel.

As exclusively revealed by the Evening Times last year, around 40 of the properties will be Ikea flatpacks, the first time the Swedish company's prefabricated homes will have been used in Scotland.

advertisementSmart-living "Boklok" homes are a big hit in Scandinavia with their open-plan designs, high ceilings and large windows.

Today all the partners involved in the project were signing off the contracts in a ceremony at Glasgow City Chambers.

Summerhill councillor Paul Carey said: "Today we are giving the green light to the largest single regeneration scheme in Scotland."

On the other hand, since similar Norwegian houses sell at approx £40,000 (excluding installation) I was a little surprised at how much that is costing the corporation. £200 million for 1,200 homes comes to £166,000 each.

According to Boklok's site "BoKlok is aiming to sell homes in the range from a one-bedroom flat for under £100,000 to a three-bedroom house for under £150,000" - this is fully installed because "Will BoKlok homes be available to buy as flat packs from IKEA stores? ---
No. You will not be able to buy a flat pack house from IKEA". A not unreasonable position when there are so many rules in this country & councils knock down houses which, while well constructed, haven't done their paperwork acceptably.

Without such rules it would be perfectly possible to put one of these up for £40,000 for the unit & £20,000 installation.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Channel 4 Thursday 8 March at 9pm
This will be the first time British TV has ever seriously reported on the warming sceptic case.
The film argues that the earth's climate is always changing, and that rapid warmings and coolings took place long before the burning of fossil fuels. It argues that the present single-minded focus on reducing carbon emissions not only may have little impact on climate change, it may also have the unintended consequence of stifling development in the third world, prolonging endemic poverty and disease.

The film features an impressive roll-call of experts, including nine professors – experts in climatology, oceanography, meteorology, environmental science, biography and paleoclimatology – from such reputable institutions as MIT, NASA, the International Arctic Research Centre, the Institut Pasteur, the Danish National Space Center and the Universities of London, Ottawa, Jerusalem, Winnipeg, Alabama and Virginia.

The film hears from scientists who dispute the link between carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures.............

Finally, the film argues that restricting CO2 emissions could actually be damaging for people in the developing world. A respected Kenyan development expert says: 'The rich countries can afford to engage in some luxurious experimentation with other forms of energy, but for us we are still at the stage of survival.

'I don't see how a solar panel is going to power a steel industry, how a solar panel is going to power a railway network, it might work, maybe, to power a small transistor radio.

'The thing that emerges from the whole environmental debate is the point that there is somebody keen to kill the African dream, and the African dream is to develop. We are being told don't touch your resources, don't touch your oil, don't touch your coal; that is suicide.'
The programme's producer Martin Durkin is an intelligent Marxist (ie one who hasn't gone over to the Green side) of whom George Moonbat wrote
In October 1998 a television producer named Martin Durkin took a proposal to the BBC’s science series, Horizon. Silicone breast implants, he claimed, far from harming women, were in fact beneficial, reducing the risk of breast cancer. Horizon commissioned a researcher to find out whether or not his assertion was true. After a thorough review, the researcher reported that Mr Durkin had ignored a powerful body of evidence contradicting his claims. Martin Durkin withdrew his proposal. Instead of dropping it, however, he took it to Channel 4 and, astonishingly, sold it to their science series, Equinox.

Since then the entire breast implant scare has blown over & there is no serious doubt that they do no harm. Moonbat doesn't appear to have written on the subject since.

He has also produced another one on GM called "Against Nature", giving "environmentalists" a going over which again got criticised as being "far right" by Guardianistas & forced an apology from C4. Since then absolutely no sustainable evidence whatsoever of GM causing any physical harm has been found. The BBC, Guardian etc have therefore all been forced to apologise to Monsanto for their accusations - not.

I'm sure Mr Paxman will be watching this since it is clear from his sarcasm that he has great doubts about the warming scare but dare not quite come out & say that the BBC have given up reporting news for making up propaganda.
"I have neither the learning nor the experience to know whether the doomsayers are right about the human causes of climate change. But I am willing to acknowledge that people who know a lot more than I do may be right when they claim that it is the consequence of our own behaviour," Paxman said, writing in this week's edition of in-house BBC magazine Ariel.

"I assume that this is why the BBC's coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago. But it strikes me as very odd indeed that an organisation which affects such a high moral tone cannot be more environmentally responsible," he added.

The unconscious irony of this official BBC statement is even clearer
For years on Newsnight we've reported concerns about the effects of climate change with caution, due scepticism and balance.... I think we're past that point

I must admit I never saw any of the "balance" but it is certainly over.

Look forward to more complaints from Greenies saying that it is biased to criticise them & that all those who doubt them come "from Mars".

Monday, March 05, 2007


Ming Campbell has made a speech indicating his willingness to do a deal with Labour. Now this is not in itself automatically bad, though I think it unwise to appear to eager & plain foolish to say they would only join with Labour. In negotiations it is always best to keep your options as open as possible.

The real killer is the 5 conditions they would want. Ming does not include PR. Without PR the LDs do not have the permanent electoral base to stay in power permanenty. Without that they are merely reserve Labour players pulled in when Labour can't get a majority on their own & told to piss off the rest of the time. A party which aspires to the reserves is not going to keep many members.

The conditions

"End Labour's authoritarian attack on civil liberties. Identity cards will not stop terrorism. They won't stop illegal immigration. They won't stop fraud. And they won't stop crime. Don't spend billions on an expensive, ineffective and unworkable identity card scheme. Spend the money on our police and security services instead."


"Grasp the challenge posed by climate change. The environmental efforts in the Chancellor's Budgets have been risible - tax pollution more and earnings less."


"Break open the poverty trap. How can it be fair that over two-and-a-half million pensioners live in poverty? How can it be fair that over one-and-a-half million families are on waiting lists for social housing? I want to ask Gordon Brown how can it be fair that in 21st-century Britain, six out of ten children in Glasgow - the city where I was born - live in poverty?

"Give pensioners a proper income without the humiliation of the means test. Give families the opportunity for decent housing. Give our children a proper chance. End the dependency culture. Give people a hand up, not a handout."


"Trust the people. Since 1997, Labour has accumulated power when it ought to have dispersed it. Free local communities from the shackles of Whitehall. Scrap the council tax, which penalises pensioners and poorer families and hamstrings local communities."


"Britain's foreign policy should not be set in Washington. What do we know about Iraq? We know the president made the decisions, the Prime Minister argued the case, the Chancellor signed the cheques and the Tories voted it through. The British-American relationship needs to be rebalanced.

"There are ominous signs that some in the United States might consider military action against Iran. But strikes against Iran would destabilise the region and put British forces in Iraq at risk.

"So, Mr Brown, announce now that Britain will not support an attack on Iran. And, while you are at it, repudiate the Prime Minister's desperate efforts to lock us into the US plan for a 'son of Star Wars' missile defence system."

require no serious actual activity from Labour with the exception of scrapping id cards, which are clearly going to be an expensive white elephant anyway.

I cannot see anybody who is undecided between the LibDems & any party other than Labour (Tories, SNP, UKIP) wanting to vote LibDem in the knowledge that they will so easily act as a safety net for a failing Labour. Even were Ming to backtrack on this I cannot see them trusting Ming then. This is going to have to be fought out in the party - somebody is going to have to stand against Ming. If it is allowed to stand by default the party is finished as an independent entity.

It also implies that a vote for the LibDems in the Scottish election is, as had been becoming apparent anyway, a certain vote for another McConnell administration.

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