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Saturday, March 17, 2007


While checking something else I ran across this article on the Declaration of Independence. I agree with every word. This does seem to me to be the best of America. At a world science fiction convention I once told an American that I & I think most Europeans liked & admired America even though we had opposed the Vietnam war. The reasons being those given in that document. That America could have an empire or it could have the principles of the declaration but not both.

Apparently the author of this article, Alan Keyes, tried to get the Republican nomination for President in 2000. I know nothing more about him than this but I think he would have been far better for the country than the present incumbent.
If anything can be certain in history, it is that without the civic creed summarized in the opening of the Declaration, the United States would not exist as a free country. The Declaration gives the reasons for which the War of Independence was fought and expresses the motivation that enabled that war to be won. Since that day, the Declaration has been an indispensable foundation for a series of important struggles for justice in America, including of course the abolition of slavery. Without the Declaration, I believe, these struggles would not have been won.

How can a single document be so decisive in the practical affairs of men? This really shouldn't surprise us. While crude wielders of power may think otherwise, ideas are far from impotent in the struggles of life. Ideas, and the words that express them, are actually the dominant force in shaping the destiny of human beings.

How were uncountable masses of people held enthralled by handfuls of people through most of history and in most places in the world? It was not, typically, by the use of overwhelming force. Small groups of people never have enough force to overwhelm the masses. Masters succeed only when they enchain the minds and spirits of those subject to them. Around the Jefferson Memorial is inscribed a famous quote of Jefferson's: "I swear eternal enmity against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." This recognizes the crucial insight into the real source of enslavement, that slavery is not a matter of physical shackles, but of spiritual, mental and psychological chains.


I heard this BBC report on the radio this morning as well.
Two leading UK climate researchers have criticisms those among their peers who they say are "overplaying" the global warming message.

Professors Paul Hardaker and Chris Collier, both Royal Meteorological Society figures, are voicing their concern at a conference in Oxford ....

As an example, they point to a recent statement from one of the foremost US science bodies - the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The association released a strongly worded statement at its last annual meeting in San Francisco in February which said: "As expected, intensification of droughts, heatwaves, floods, wildfires, and severe storms is occurring, with a mounting toll on vulnerable ecosystems and societies.

"These events are early warning signs of even more devastating damage to come, some of which will be irreversible."

According to Professors Hardaker and Collier, this may well turn out to be true, but convincing evidence to back the claims has not yet emerged.
Richard Dawkins once mentioned the role of the media in promoting stories. His experience being that on some subjects if he said something the media effect was as if he had a loudspeaker but on other subjects he found he was speaking into a microphone that had been turned off.

I very much doubt if, before the very positive public reaction to Mr Durkin's Warming Swindle documentary, the BBC would have reported this at all. They never did for anybody else. Also a few days ago BBC Scotland did a short interview with an academic who said, as I have earlier, that if Gore's film is to be shwn in schools there is a duty to sgow Durkin's, or equivalent. I forecast rather fewer of the items starting "scientists/researchers/spokesmen are warning that global warming may be worse than previously thought....."

I'm not expecting them to give up their official policy of warming partisanship
For years on Newsnight we've reported concerns about the effects of climate change with caution, due scepticism and balance. But at a certain point I think you've got to assemble all the available evidence and decide whether the threat is real or not. I think we're past that point and that the threat is real.
but will cover their posteriors with greater care in future. I think we have passed beyond the end of the beginning of the this current eco-scare & are perhaps seeing the beginning of the end.

Friday, March 16, 2007


This article on what is wrong with science is in the Guardian. What is wrong with science is that it seeks the truth, even when it is inconvenient. This, in a long & convoluted way is what "Professor" Hulme says. I possess potted plants with more understanding of science, more integrity & more right to be called professor than Mr Hulme.

He does Professor Fred Singer the honour of taking him & his respect for old fashioned scientific truth as the text for his sermon. If they are handing out professorships (even of "Environmental Science") to idiots like this the University of East Anglia should be closed down & turned into something more useful & honourable - like a brothel. Ditto the Guardian.
One of the central reasons why there is disagreement about how to tackle climate change is because we have different conceptions of what science is, and with what authority it speaks - in other words, how scientific "knowledge" interacts with those other realms of understanding brought to us by politics, ethics and spirituality.......

This,(that warming is a natural phenomenon which has happened many times before) of course, is not what the fourth assessment report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said a few weeks ago. The report from its climate science working group concluded that it is likely that most of the warming of the last 50 years has been caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations and that, depending on our actions now to slow the growth of emissions, warming by 2100 will probably be between about 1.5C and 6C.

The upper end of this range is almost an order of magnitude larger than the warming that Singer and Avery suggest is caused by the 1,500-year cycle. So is this a fight between scientific truth and error? This seems to be how Singer and Avery would like to present it - "science is the process of developing theories and testing them against observations until they are proven true or false".......

The other important characteristic of scientific knowledge - its openness to change as it rubs up against society - is rather harder to handle. Philosophers and practitioners of science have identified this particular mode of scientific activity as one that occurs where the stakes are high, uncertainties large and decisions urgent, and where values are embedded in the way science is done and spoken.

It has been labelled "post-normal" science. Climate change seems to fall in this category. Disputes in post-normal science focus as often on the process of science - who gets funded, who evaluates quality, who has the ear of policy - as on the facts of science.
So this book from Singer and Avery can be understood in a different way: as a challenge to the process of climate change science, or to the values they believe to be implicit in the science, rather than as a direct challenge to scientific knowledge.........

do we have confidence in technology; do we believe in collective action over private enterprise; do we believe we carry obligations to people invisible to us in geography and time? - masquerade as disputes about scientific truth and error.

We need this perspective of post-normal science........

The danger of a "normal" reading of science is that it assumes science can first find truth, then speak truth to power, and that truth-based policy will then follow. Singer has this view of science, as do some of his more outspoken campaigning critics such as Mark Lynas. That is why their exchanges often reduce to ones about scientific truth rather than about values, perspectives and political preferences. If the battle of science is won, then the war of values will be won

........In fact, in order to make progress about how we manage climate change we have to take science off centre stage.
......."identify what level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is self-evidently too much".

This is the wrong question to ask of science. Self-evidently dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth seeking, although science will gain some insights into the question if it recognises the socially contingent dimensions of a post-normal science. But to proffer such insights, scientists - and politicians - must trade (normal) truth for influence. If scientists want to remain listened to, to bear influence on policy, they must recognise the social limits of their truth seeking and reveal fully the values and beliefs they bring to their scientific activity
Applying theses rules to witchcraft trials it is obvious that he would require "scientists" to witness that the witches were all indeed flying around on broomsticks & should be burned because that was the alternative to truth that "power" wanted spoken. Had he & his ilk had their way we would still be burning witches & dying of smallpox.

It is not merely that "professor" Hulme is an idiot, though he selfevidently is, but that he is a prostitute. As is the "University" of East Anglia for taking on such a person.

British university education seems to be encouraging such persons like this. I had thought Professor Twaddle to be a one off.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


From the FT via CCNet
A European summit agreed to toughen regulations against old-fashioned incandescent bulbs by 2009 as part of a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But earlier in the week officials from trade ministries rebuffed attempts by the European Commission to end five-year-old surcharges on imports of energy-efficient bulbs from China.

The 66 per cent duty was imposed in 2002 after European manufacturers complained of dumping by the Chinese. It expires in October but Siemens of Germany, which owns the Osram brand, is pushing for an extension
Government often seems to wish to make everything either compulsory or illegal. The EU is doing both at once, though to be fair, in different offices.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


A comment (Ally Scott #91) in the Scotsman which I think should remain available:

For those questioning why certain contributors raise the possibility that this proposed ‘subway extension’ may be of considerable benefit to Celtic FC - and, indeed, that this is a primary factor - perhaps a little background detail is required.

Glasgow has not had a non-RC Lord Provost since the early 70s. A completely disproportionate number of staff at Glasgow City Council – including those at top end of the salary scale such as Bridget McConnell – are RCs. Nearly all Labour councillors are RCs and few councillors are members of any other party.

The last Lord Provost, Alex Mosson, was an IRA sympathiser who was responsible for inviting Gerry Adams to Govan Town Hall, while the Provo's terror campaign was in full swing. Mosson had a novel interpretation of wealth redistribution; he had several convictions for burglary, including one case which involved tying up an OAP, although this was swept under the carpet by the Scottish media. Alex’s wife was certainly not prepared to let taxpayers’ money go to waste during her husband’s stint as LP, insisting on a £14,000 p.a. dress allowance. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr Mosson made sure that the official limousine was at hand for his regular trips to Celtic Park, although, strangely, he never took the opportunity of visiting Ibrox.

In the mid-90s after Celtic FC had submitted plans for the re-building of their stadium, Glasgow District Council sold the club significant tracts of land for the princely sum of 1p, despite protests by the sole dissenting member on the relevant committee – a SNP councillor. Every other member on this committee was a Labour councillor and a Celtic season ticket-holder and/or Celtic shareholder.

Perhaps it is not surprising, therefore, that some query the motives behind those at the forefront of the Commonwealth Games bid – such as Jack McConnell, Steven Purcell and Frank McAveety – who are all Celtic supporters. There are huge question marks over the £288m budget (80% to be paid by the Executive), given that the cost of the ‘indoor arena’ alone has recently escalated from an original £24m to £70m. McConnell’s handing of the M74 extension affair, in which he met City Refrigeration Holding boss (and ex-Celtic director) Willie Haughey before an initial £7.4m compensation award was increased to £16.5m – with Haughey subsequently donating £330,000 to the Labour Party – is hardly reassuring.

In contrast to the largesse being bestowed on the East End of Glasgow, SPT instructed Rangers that the club would have to fork out £500k if the old Ibrox station on the Central-Paisley line was ever to be re-opened. Meanwhile, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s St Vincent Street (a World Heritage site and one of the 100 ‘most endangered monuments’ according to the World Monuments Fund) Church decays.

A lot is spoken about ‘sectarianism’ in Scotland. I contend that there is far, far more to this problem than songs sung at football matches and that it is time the Scottish people wakened up.

When is one of our elected representatives going to ask some searching questions regarding the various deals surrounding East End regeneration, the Commonwealth Games bid, the M74 extension and the proposed subway extension?


The Scotsman today had an article on the Srebrenica bodies. I eleterd a coiple of comments, #s 7 & 13 which have been deleted.

7 - said that the main article had made no mention of the murder by Naser Oric, Moslem commander in Srebrenica, of 3,870 identified Serb civilians> I also pointed out that the Scotsman's figure of 4,000 bodies having been found was untrue, which it is & that the true figure was a bit over 2,000. Moreover that the bodies found were mainly near the site of Oric's genocide. Finally that the massacre claim which originated with our Moslem Nazi ally Izetbegovic had at first ben that none of the 7,500 Srebrenica militia had survived. It is now known that at least 7,000 of them did (& the garrison retroactively increased to 15,000). This must place doubt on whether the alleged massacre of 7000/8000/11000 militia actually happened.

This has been deleted though replies have been allowed to stand. One saying that I was relying on a Serb source. One that whether there are 2,000 or 4,000 bodies doesn't matter.

I replied #7 - that one of the very many sources for the primary massacre was NATO General Marillon who restified to it in the Milosevic "trial" & obviously not a Serb. To the other I pointed out that the discovery of 2 thousand bodies is roughly what one might expect in a genocide of 3870 people but not of 7000-11000. I also asked that if the figure is wrong complaints should be directed at the Scotsman not me.

On checking for further replies I was astonished to see that I had been censored. I have long known that no newspaper, apart from the Morning Star, will publish letters on this but have always considered online comments unlikely to be censored. I have put up this further reply & will see if it lasts.
I very much regret that the Scotsman has decided to censor any factual discussion which would appear to contradict our government line.

This is particularly outrageous when they have the KLA representative Valon, who has previously threatened to kill other posters here & this has not entailed deletion.

Mr Boys is wrong on a number of points & has visibly failed to even mention the primary Srbrenica Massacre, that of 3.870 Serb villagers by our Moslem Nazi ally.

This online censorship is a bad thing for freedom & also, I suggest, for the Scotsman.

It is currently still there. In response to an obvious unanimity between the forensic expert" commenting & the KLA representative I have posted #23
The bodies in Kosovo include at least 210 Serbs & allies buried in a mass grave on Dragodan. This grave, which is in the British sector, was filled after we took over.

Mr Boys may be willing to confirm its existence though he will probably, correctly, point out that it is not "officially" a mass grave but 210 individual graves in the same place. Had it been a masss grave it would, legally have been proof of deliberate genocide by the NATO occupiers & their KLA hirelings.

I think this fully indicates the integrity with which this entire "search for justice" has been carried out.

The Scotsman & indeed virtually the entire British media, except the Herald & the Morning Star have, at all times, censored any mention of this massacre comparable to My Lai.


Catastrophic warming is a lie.

"Under the draft Climate Change Bill, future governments would face penalties and a judicial review if they did not adhere to binding targets. A target of 26 to 32 per cent by 2020 and 60 per cent by 2050 has been set.

The draft bill does not stipulate how the cuts should be made, or give specific reduction targets for individual businesses, councils and households."

The Climate Bill calls for a 60% cut in carbon emissions in Britain.
This 60% cut either means complete dependence on nuclear for our electricity & probably to manufacture petrol or a massive reduction in living standards. Obviously I favor the former. FoE's "it will not impinge too heavily. For instance, it could mean changing the fuel we put in our cars, or the way energy is produced at source, or more recycling." is completely dishonest, particularly for an organisation which expels people who suggest we need nuclear.

The big parties are trying to push this through because it gives them more power over our lives & they care not a jot about reducing poverty.

The Scots Parliament should have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Via Iain Dale - this is a follow up to the Global Warming Swindle Programme
I am writing to record what I told you on the telephone yesterday about
your Channel 4 film "The Global Warming Swindle." Fundamentally,
I am the one who was swindled---please read the email below that
was sent to me (and re-sent by you). Based upon this email and
subsequent telephone conversations, and discussions with
the Director, Martin Durkin, I thought I was being asked
to appear in a film that would discuss in a balanced way
the complicated elements of understanding of climate change---
in the best traditions of British television. Is there any indication
in the email evident to an outsider that the product would be
so tendentious, so unbalanced?

I was approached, as explained to me on the telephone, because
I was known to have been unhappy with some of the more excitable
climate-change stories in the
British media, most conspicuously the notion that the Gulf
Stream could disappear, among others.
When a journalist approaches me suggesting a "critical approach" to a
technical subject, as the email states, my inference is that we
are to discuss which elements are contentious, why they are contentious,
and what the arguments are on all sides. To a scientist, "critical" does
not mean a hatchet job---it means a thorough-going examination of
the science. The scientific subjects described in the email,
and in the previous and subsequent telephone conversations, are complicated,
worthy of exploration, debate, and an educational effort with the
public. Hence my willingness to participate. Had the words "polemic", or
"swindle" appeared in these preliminary discussions, I would have
instantly declined to be involved.

I spent hours in the interview describing
many of the problems of understanding the ocean in climate change,
and the ways in which some of the more dramatic elements get
exaggerated in the media relative to more realistic, potentially
truly catastrophic issues, such as
the implications of the oncoming sea level rise. As I made clear, both in the
preliminary discussions, and in the interview itself, I believe that
global warming is a very serious threat that needs equally serious
discussion and no one seeing this film could possibly deduce that.

What we now have is an out-and-out propaganda piece, in which
there is not even a gesture toward balance or explanation of why
many of the extended inferences drawn in the film are not widely
accepted by the scientific community. There are so many examples,
it's hard to know where to begin, so I will cite only one:
a speaker asserts, as is true, that carbon dioxide is only
a small fraction of the atmospheric mass. The viewer is left to
infer that means it couldn't really matter. But even a beginning
meteorology student could tell you that the relative masses of gases
are irrelevant to their effects on radiative balance. A director
not intending to produce pure propaganda would have tried to eliminate that
piece of disinformation.

An example where my own discussion was grossly distorted by context:
I am shown explaining that a warming ocean could expel more
carbon dioxide than it absorbs -- thus exacerbating the greenhouse
gas buildup in the atmosphere and hence worrisome. It
was used in the film, through its context, to imply
that CO2 is all natural, coming from the ocean, and that
therefore the human element is irrelevant. This use of my remarks, which
are literally what I said, comes close to fraud.

I have some experience in dealing with TV and print reporters
and do understand something of the ways in which one can be
misquoted, quoted out of context, or otherwise misinterpreted. Some
of that is inevitable in the press of time or space or in discussions of
complicated issues. Never before, however, have I had
an experience like this one. My appearance in the "Global Warming
Swindle" is deeply embarrasing, and my professional reputation
has been damaged. I was duped---an uncomfortable position in which to be.

At a minimum, I ask that the film should never be seen again publicly
with my participation included. Channel 4 surely owes an apology to
its viewers, and perhaps WAGTV owes something to Channel 4. I will be
taking advice as to whether I should proceed to make some more formal protest.


Carl Wunsch
Cecil and Ida Green Professor of
Physical Oceanography
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Interesting to see Profesoor Wunsch's letter.

His given complaints are
1) That it wasn't explained that a "critical" programme about warming would be critical.

2) That the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (3 parts per 10,000) has no effect on the amount of warming. He is wrong on this. Venus has a temperature of up to 500C only slightly because it is closer to the sun but very largely because its atmosphere is pure CO2. In any case if the amount didn't matter then there would be no reason to worry in the first place.

He says it has been "deeply embarrassing, and my professional reputation has been damaged" which is consistent with the idea that he is being lent on.

If the leaning is being done by the management of his university the concept of academic freedom is clearly under threat.


Simon was an economist who believed that human progress is sustainable.

Perhaps he is popularly best known for his bet with Paul Ehrlich. Perhaps being more right than Ehrlich, who has promised an environmental Armageddon real soon now for 40 years. He said he would be prepared "to bet that England will not exist by 2000" - here are some others. However their bet would have seemed a certainty for Ehrlich had there been any truth in the idea that we are running out of resources. They bet on whether various elements would become rarer & hence more expensive over time. Simon's achievement was to get an "environmentally aware" person to test his theory against specific prices a specific period.

Simon won. Ehrlich refused an offer to repeat. So did everyone else. Running out of elements (with the exception of oil) which was the mainstay of the Club of Rome's scare story has since almost disappeared from the Green agenda.

He died in 1998 & has not been replaced.

I am linking to his articles

There is enough to provide a lot of reading to anybody. He consistently shows a concern for facts & for following the numbers wherever they lead. They led him to the conclusion that we have an unlimited future if we merely make the effort. That the doomsayers are making it up because their minds are to small to imagine what compound growth can achieve & retreat into medievalism & catastrophe.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


The Catholic Bishop of Motherwell has come out with a particularly silly attack on the Labour Party.

Bishop Devine said Catholics should vote according to their conscience
One of Scotland's most senior Catholics has declared he will not vote Labour in May's Holyrood elections.
The Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Devine, said he now feels many Labour policies, such as civil partnerships, fly in the face of Christian tradition.

He said his congregation's traditional allegiance to Labour had been tested to breaking point.


"I'll ask Catholics to exercise their vote responsibly according to their conscience.

"But I'll do something else for the very first time. I will indicate the party to which I'm going to vote for. I've never done that before.

"I'll not ask people to follow me. If they want to take that lead, that's fine enough."

To which Margaret Curran MSP quite sensibly replied
"The legislation that has been passed, particularly on moral issues around equality and gay adoption, have been supported by many political parties, so it's not just an anti-Labour point."
The backstory to this is that both the Catholic Church & the Labour Party have long believed that the church had the power to dispose of the votes of all good Catholics. They have, for generations, told their parishioners to vote Labour as being not historically unionist (union with Ireland not Scotland) & generally their tame party - his remark about "traditional loyalties" is code for this & why they feel they can pull Labour's lead but not he other parties'. The bishops have felt they had a perogative to tell Labour what to do. This didn't matter much before devolution because there was little they could do With devolution the bishops have been acting as if they were the Established Church of Scotland.

Clearly at some point there was going to be a clash. It is disingenuous of the bishop to say that he is merely personally going to say who he will vote for & not asking his followers to follow. The ability to deliver the "Catholic vote" has never really been tested - after all his followers are historically poor & who else would they vote for? Labour are expecting losses due to their abysmal record. Nonetheless there will be a lot of watching to see exactly what is the differential swing in McConnell's constituency, compared to Labour losses elsewhere, from Labour to whoever gets graced by his support. This is the "Catholic vote" that Bishop Devine controls (or rather twice the vote he controls since it both decreases Labour's vote & increases X).

My prediction is that it will be vanishingly small. That nobody takes Christianity seriously (Islam, I suspect, is also a tribal marker rather than a living belief system too) & that nobody but the bishop really cares about gay adoption compared to real issues like the economy. If I am right it will be a very good thing for us & a bigger blow against sectariansim (which in political terms usually means being anti-Protestant sectarianism) than anything else. It will also mean that our election is being fought on real issues like the economy rather than posing, as they have been previously.

UPDATEI heard the interview on the radio this morning & while he won't say who he is voting for immediately it will almost certainly be Christian action. I don't expect them to sweep Motherwell.


According to the Independent one of the contributors to Thursdays Global Warming Swindle programme has denounced it.
Professor Wunsch said: "I am angry because they completely misrepresented me. My views were distorted by the context in which they placed them. I was misled as to what it was going to be about. I was told about six months ago that this was to be a programme about how complicated it is to understand what is going on. If they had told me even the title of the programme, I would have absolutely refused to be on it. I am the one who has been swindled."

Here , courtesy of Global Warming Hyperbole, is what he said.
Professor Wunsch:
25:43 The ocean is the major reservoir into which carbon dioxide goes when it comes out of the atmosphere or to from which it is re-emitted to the atmosphere. If you heat the surface of the ocean, it tends to emit carbon dioxide. Similarly, if you cool the ocean surface, the ocean can dissolve more carbon dioxide.

Professor Wunsch:
26:44 - The ocean has a memory of past events ugh running out as far as 10,000 years. So for example, if somebody says oh I'm seeing changes in the North Atlantic, this must mean that the climate system is changing, it may only mean that something happened in a remote part of the ocean decades or hundreds of years ago who's effects are now beginning to show up in the North Atlantic.

In this portion of the film, the professor is speaking about the complexity of climate models and how their results can be greatly influenced by the input data they are given.

Professor Wunsch:
49:22 - The models are so complicated, you can often adjust them is such a way that they do something very exciting.

Professor Wunsch:
50:46 - Even within the scientific community you see, it's a problem. If I run a complicated model and I do something to it like ugh melt a lot of ice into the ocean and nothing happens, ugh it's not likely to get printed. But if I run the same model, and I adjust it in such a way that something dramatic happens to the ocean circulation like the heat transport turns off, ugh it will be published. People will say this is very exciting. It will even get picked by the media. So there is a bias, there's is a very powerful bias within the media, and within the science community itself, toward results which are ugh dramatizable. If Earth freezes over, that's a much more interesting story than saying well you know it ugh fluctuates around, sometimes the mass flux goes up by 10%, sometimes it goes down by 20%, but eventually it comes back. Well you know, which would you do a story on? That's what it's about.

It seems either 1 of 2 things have happened. Either this statement really was faked in some way or the professor has been nobbled. Perhaps advised by his univesity Dean that he had bloody well better dissociate himself from it. I don't believe it was, or indeed practically could have been which leaves us only with the second option. The fact that his complaint is partly about the title of the film also suggests that it is not that he was bamboozled into saying anything untrue but merely that he is being scared off any public discussion at all.

Which rather proves the point he makes about intrinsic establishment bias & that many others have made about it being extremely difficult to withstand the pressure being brought to bear on scientists.

If so the Dean (or whoever has been leaning on him) has no place in an institution at least nominally committed to academic freedom. Unfortunately academic freedom is becoming an outdated concept.

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