Wednesday, September 09, 2009
UNPUBLISHED LETTERS to end of July
Chris Mason writes (Thurs) that "perhaps it is expecting too much" for ordinary people to join political parties & that this would improve the quality of candidates. I will not be so impolite as to disagree with him about quality. Perhaps he should remember that his own LibDems expelled me, officially on the grounds that I approve of free markets (which in their Orwellian world is now officially "illiberal") but, according to a member deeply involved, actually because I am opposed to illegal war & racial murder.
I believe the massive shrinkage in Labour membership is because of similar disgust at that party's war crimes.
I agree with him about the importance of ordinary people participating in politics rather than merely booing from the sidelines. I would really like to see parties being less exclusive & open to new people (& new ideas). There being no actual liberal party standing I will now be supporting UKIP in June. I hope he finds this satisfactory.
Scotsman 22nd May Radioactivity
The interesting thing about the widely reported pollution of Faslane by radioactive leaks is that the only reason for suspecting them is that the MoD have announced it. That a small amount of water which may, but only may, have been mildly radioactive was released is established. However none of the numerous "environmental" complainants have found, or even attempted to find, any increase in the background radioactivity in the Gare Loch. Since absolutely everything has some background radioactivity & Gare Loch is a 6 mile long body of water one can understand why they wouldn't expect to find any detectable increase. Nonetheless it does call into question whether something can properly be called "pollution" if it is literally impossible to detect it.
Herald 25th May
When a reporter once asked a critical question to Lee Kuan Yew about hiim being the leader of the smallest country in Asia but also the one with the highest salary his reply was "but not the richest". Perhaps Tony Blair might reflect on the paradox
David Hansen (letter Monday) says just over eight Whitelees (largest windfarm in Europe) would be needed to equal one Longannet while Andrew Mitchell, more accurately says 15. However both are wrong because while those windmills might theoretically produce the same power, because wind is a widespread phenomenon. overall all 15 would be likely to be becalmed at the same time. That is why even Scottish Renewables have said that wind can only be a back up to genuine baseload. Thus the alternative to Longannet is 15 massive windfarms plus Longannet or if we are to use carbon capture, which is inherently less efficient the alternative would be 15 massive windfarms & 1.4 Longannets. Another alternative would be a 2 new Westinghouse AP 1000 reactors which can be built in 3 years (plus bureaucracy time) at zero cost to the taxpayer & since CCS is expected only to capture about 90% of CO2, at a far smaller fraction of the carbon footprint.
That the "Green" movement wants the expensive, ugly, environmentally intrusive, nanny state option not the reliable, inexpensive, safer, free enterprise, low carbon one suggests they are not as convinced of their catastrophic warming scare stories or indeed of caring for the environment as they pretend.
Dundee Courier 25th May Radioactivity
Thank you for reporting the disagreement with SEPA over their alleged finding of manmade radium at Dalgety Bay (weds p 9) & their interesting response to you. In their reply they say the evidence for radium is that their measurements of radiation signature are "consistent" with it being radium mixed with "daughter elements" (i.e. other elements which the radium has broken down into). In debate with me on Radio Scotland, SEPA claimed that they had actually physically isolated the radium paint & under the Freedom of Information Act I have been seeking for months to find where & when this was done. However SEPA's claim to have found radium mixed with its "daughter element" is not merely wrong but simply scientific illiteracy. The daughter product of Radium 226, the sort used in dials, is Radon 222. Radon is a chemically unreactive gas not a rock.
If their readings are not consistent with it being pure radium, but a mixture of elements which rhey mistakenly thought could be these "daughter elements" then the only alternative is that these materials are & always have been purely natural.
It is worth pointing out that a normal square km of land 50cm deep naturally contains 1 gm of radium which is more than would be needed for the paint covering the numbers on a relatively small number of dials. It also contains 9 tonnes of uranium & thorium.
Even SEPA's own reports admit the radioactivity here is only 2/3rds of the entirely natural background radioactivity experienced in every Aberdeen street. For the reassurance of tourists may I point out that this makes it about 1/100th the level of background radiation in springs in America's Yellowstone national Park. Do these civil servants not have some useful job to do or is that a silly question?
All & sundry 27th May
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have recently claimed, as part of their scare campaign about alleged artificial radium at Dalgety Bay to have found "Radium & its associated daughters" mixed together. They are clearly ignorant of the fact that the "daughter element" produced by the breakdown of Radium is Radon an essentially unreactive gas which could not possibly be found mixed with solid radium. The scientific illiteracy of this untruth is staggering & not only disproves the claim to have found manmade radium but shows that SEPA lack scientific competence.
According to one report SEPA paid for '"the highest reading recorded at Dalgety Bay was still less than 2/3rds that found in a typical Aberdeen street." There should be a thorough, independent & public investigation into the entire expensive organisation
Herald 29/5 Renewables
David Hansen telling us that an organisation set up to encourage "sustainable" energy, by which they don't mean nuclear, has issued a report saying that sustainable energy can work without 100% backup (which gulf mean 99%) does not trump my mention of the fact that Scottish Renewables, a similarly supportive entity has said that that windmills simply cannot form part of baseload. Now if he could find somebody equally in the employ of the nuclear industry saying they they need wind to provide back up that really would be "man bites dog" sort of news.
Scotsman 29/5 "Fair trade"
I was one of the alleged 50 in the hustings Steve Rolfe writes about (Fri letter). Not all of us were "putting pressure" on politicians for so called "fair trade."
Having once spoken, unsuccessfully, at a party conference against the movement's call for managed trade in which countries are helped/forced to restrict commodity production to drive up prices I am firmly of the opinion that the free marketism of South Korea & Singapore is more effective than the controls of North Korea & Burma. It is a cruelty to 3rd world countries to say that the tariffs & government centralisation that made Europe the world's slowest growing region, will benefit the 3rd world
Herald 6 June - I hope you will allow a response to eco-fascist inaccuracies -
Today, Saturday, you published 3 letters about how "environmentalists"/Luddites assure us we are destroying the planet. I hope you will allow one letter saying the opposite. To avoid accusations of bias I will much of my letter over to "environmentalists;
"The battle to feed all of humanity is over. Hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate." Paul Ehrlich 1972 - he is still a prominent "environmentalist' guru.
"Known world supplies of zinc, gold, tin, copper, oil, and natural gas would be completely exhausted by 1992" Club of Rome 1973
"40,000 species per year are going extinct and that 1 million species will be gone by 2,000" Thomas Lovejoy 1979
"In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish." —Paul Ehrlich again, Earth Day (1970)
"If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. … This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age." —Kenneth E.F. Watt, Earth Day (1970)
In its attempt to scare us & extort money this movement has produced literally hundreds of eco-catastrophe story not a single one of which has been proven at all truthful. It is simply a complete & total lie to say that our planet is being destroyed as anybody can see looking round. By almost every measure pollution is declining. The current false scare story is catastrophic global warming & the fact that virtually every politician pushing it are doing it not because they believe it but for their own power & tax increasing agenda can be proven by this final quote:
"Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy" —Timothy Wirth, former U.S. Senator
There are many other such & no politician putting forward such scare stories should even be listened to until they have explained why all the previous were told & when they personally publicly dissociated themselves from these lies.
All & sundry 8th June Comparing big parties Nazism unfavourably with the BNP
We have seen an election where the people spoke clearly against the officially supported parties. The reaction to this will doubtless include attacks on those electors who dared use their votes to support the BNP by our political class & obedient media.
It should be remembered that that political class supports criminal wars, ethnic cleansing (350,000 in Kosovo), massacres (the Dragodan Massacre of 210 unarmed civilians outside Britain's HQ in Kosovo), genocide (of thousands carried out by our "police" formerly the KLA), the sexual enslavement of thousands, probably 10s of thousands of schoolchildren there & their sale to western brothels & the dissection, while still alive, of at least 1,300 Serb civilians to provide organs for our hospitals.
Every MP who supported that war & these atrocities & every journalist who censored or lied about them has promoted the Nazi cause & helped turn Yugoslavia into what Hitler planned for it. Can anybody produce any evidence at all that all 12,000 BNP members together have done anything as obscene as what each & every one of these members of the political elite have been personally involved in? .
Does anybody doubt that the BNP are less supportive of censorship than the editors & journalists who decide that letters & news items on this subject should, repeatedly, not be published?
New Scientist 17th June Global Warming
You have printed an article under the headline "African farms becoming too hot to handle" but the body of the article does not say that these lands are "becoming" hotter but simply that averaging out the climate models it is predicted they will in 2025, or 2050 or else in 2075. We already knew that climate modelers were predicting catastrophic rises in temperatures & indeed have been doing so for nearly 30 years now. I know New Scientist has put its editorial money firmly on the catastrophic warming horse but it is wrong to announce something as having happened simply because it has been predicted
All & sundry in Scotland Calman Report
According to 8 of our leading economists the Calman Report is not a positive contribution to improving Scotland. I was particularly impressed with their statement that:
"It is only fair to point out that the Calman Commission's remit did not extend to devising a fiscal policy regime designed to raise the rate of economic growth in Scotland as would be possible under fiscal autonomy." which shows that it is not & was never meant to be anything other than a political fix intended to get the parties out of a hole rather than to improve the well-being & governance of Scotland.
Since the Council of Economic Advisers has been one of the SNP government's more farsighted innovations now would be a good time for them to ask the Council to trump the unionist parties by producing a public report specifically advising what reforms should be made to raise the rate of economic growth in Scotland. This need be no more than 4 or 5 pages since, while a 259 page report may be considered more "weighty" I suspect a shorter one would be more often read.
Since even Calman acknowledges that cutting Corporation Tax would see jobs move to Scotland (something which it quaintly describes as an "inefficiency") I suspect a report actually intended to improve things would be quite enthusiastic for such a reform.
Herald 24th June EU - a response to a party attack
While I am sure David Martin's (Labour MEP) concern for the good name of the Conservatives now that they are part of a new grouping in the EU is sincere, he need not worry. The Italian neo-fascist group, so often held up as what the Tories would have to join with are actually inside the group they have just left. The only thing against their Czech partners is that they are unconvinced we are currently suffering from catastrophic warming & 20 foot sea levels as so often promised - this may be "extremism" as officially defined by the BBC but is infinitely more sensible than the "consensus" of Holyrood that we should destroy 80% of Scotland's economy by 2050 (42% by 2020) to prevent this non-existent warming.
Perhaps Mr Martin should be more concerned by the fact that his own party sits with Polish homophobes, Stalinist nostalgics, an old IRA man and a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who travels the Muslim world arguing that the twin towers were brought down by Israel. Perhaps he could even spend some time dealing with the fact that not only does the EU directly cost Britain £25 billion but that, according to "Enterprise" Commissioner Gunter Verheuggen the EU's regulations cost the continent £405 billion annually. Arguably that is more important even than where MEPs sit.
All & sundry Would the press let the country know how we can get out of recession - nope
The Governor of the Bank of Englnad has pointed out that borrowing 12.5% of GNP to hide the depth of our recession is not viable over the long term.
We face a financial crisis which only gets worse, indeed we are now on the edge of national bankruptcy. Government action is not improving things & there is a reason for that. Government is not facing the underlying problem. Government is the underlying problem.
Largely unreported is that there is a recession only in Europe, America & Japan. This gives us a clue - it is not something inherent the Crunch is caused purely by these governments.
For 4 decades we have seen our government bringing in ever more rules & restrictions on our lives. This has made our economy ever more uncompetitive.
We know that if the market were allowed to work freely, we could have unlimited nuclear electricity at 1/4 the current cost & sufficient cheap power is the underlying engine of economic progress.
We know that in a free market housing would be available at 1/4 the present price; that most of our public works cost 13 times their natural cost; that what remains of our steel industry is being forced to relocate to China by government regulations; that our best & brightest scientists are being driven to Singapore to work on GM & to California to do bio-medical research. We know that our business taxes are high & that our growth rate has been half the world average while Ireland's was 3 times greater. We know that enforcing regulations costs industry 20 times as much as it costs the enforcers & thus that the 200,000 Health & Safety inspectors costs the work of 5 million British workers. We know that that we cannot build for our Olympics, anything as technologically innovative as China's Birds Nest Stadium because the H&S regulators won't let us. We know that should you wish to invest £1 billion in our economy you will, like Mr Trump, have to spend years working through the bureaucracy. We know that government sends the majority of the country's money, that most of it produces no economic benefit & much of it (the regulators) has a heavily negative value.
It is because government has so assiduously prevented investment in our economy & in the new industries which would be springing up if they were not being stifled that there has been an investment bubble in houses. The fact that government, by preventing builders building, produced an artificial scarcity also encouraged panic to 'get on the housing ladder." We have spent a decade in a comfortable illusion that because prices were going up we were wealthier, while the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China more than doubled their GNP).
The solution is obvious. Government must end the regulations & taxes that prevent progress. Scientists & engineers must have the freedom to produce new industries & entrepreneurs the freedom to build them. We must allow the building of sufficient new nuclear plants to stop the lights going out shortly. We must cut the £200 billion in new government bureaucracy, above & beyond inflation, which we have had in the last 11 years & use the money to invest in the future. We are still technologically far ahead of most of the world. We can easily not only get out of recession but at least match the world's recent average growth of 5%. We only have to stop strangling ourselves in government Luddite red tape
27th June Scotland's insane parasitic politicians
The Scottish Parliament has, unanimously, passed the most draconian law in the entire world in "The War Against Fire" to prevent the catastrophic global warming we are told we currently suffer from. They call for a 42% reduction in Scotland's ability to make fire, which, added to the closure of our nuclear plants will certainly mean a more than 42% reduction in GNP. According to a BMA statistical survey every 1% reduction in GNP means the death of 21 people in every 100,000 i.e. 1050 across Scotland annually. A 42% reduction will kill 44,000 annually, probably mainly pensioners, by 2020.
When you look at the difference in the size of the country & how lthere is no firm evidence, after 45 years of alleged catastrophic warming, of it actually happening, it looks like neither Alex Salmond nor a single one of our MSPs need fear being overshadowed when they meet the ghost of Stalin, in Hell.
30th June Herald response to eco-fascist lies they happily published
Today you published a letter from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland supporting the government's decision to shut down 42% of our economy. Among other things alleged was that "there is no credible evidence that anything other than human emissions are causing climate change" (letter Tues) which is simply untrue There is currently no global warming - we are experiencing global cooling which is simply not explicable by the warming theory but entirely explicable as an effect of the lack of sunspots. The entire "global warming" story is a scam produced by government to allow them to tax & regulate us more, to destroy free enterprise & ultimately to destroy technological civilisation. The people who support it & that includes the unanimous support of all MSPs, are simply people who do not understand civilisation & wouldn't like it if they did. People who prefer shouting to reasoned discussion. People who prefer power to agreement. People who prefer the Middle Ages to the future. People who prefer windmills to nuclear power. People who prefer magic to science. People who prefer dead children to DDT. People who prefer Titians to spaceships. People who prefer convenient lies to inconvenient truths. The sort of barbarians who, as Christians burned the library of Alexandria & then as Moslems did it again.
The fact that the people behind this are intent on increasing the role of government & decreasing that of freedom is that looking at "Stop Climate Chaos" we find they are "a coalition of around 60 organisations" & when you look at these organisation you find a lot of them are heavily government funded & a lot of the rest are silent on their sources of money.
One of them, WWF was, coincidentally, one of 9 I have previously mentioned on my blog as being both major sponsors of the conference of a prominent political party & heavily dependent (between 10% & 100%) on government money. This includes not only direct government grants but also grants from quangos, councils, lottery funding & the purchase of the charity's publications, course, training & advice. 11 of their other sponsors were government departments, quangos, government employee unions & an industry entirely dependent on government subsidy. Such organisations described, perhaps unkindly, by the conspiracy minded blogsphere as "fakecharities" are exercising an increasing degree of political & social influence. Indeed it seems hardly a day goes by without the government funded BBC highlighting a report from some such organisation. By the most statistically surprising of coincidences I cannot remember a single one of these which has called for less government spending, cutting quangos, fewer government employees or generally less nanny statism.
To avoid accusations of not being transparent, authors of letters for publication, or indeed press releases for news features, should contain a mention of such financial relationships. Scotland's political culture would be much very much the better for it.
Herald 2nd July another letter giving indisputable facts disproving the indisputable eco-fascist global warming lies they published
Liam Cavin, in criticising writers who say it isn't happening asserts as a statement of fact that the "official" IPCC figures are not coming under any sort of criticism whatsoever. So the 31,000 scientists who signed a petition saying CO2 rise actually likely to be beneficial are all unpersons. As are the scientists who turned up at the NIPCC conferences. As are the scientists who quit the IPCC in disgust at the way their conclusions were repeatedly rewritten at polticians' command.
What an Orwellian world the eco- crowd inhabit. In reality the globe is cooling & has been since 1998. The Hockey Stick graph the IPCC used prominently has been proven not merely wrong but deliberately false.
Indeed one can say with confidence that every single "Green" supporter who opposes new nuclear, the only practical way to provide extensive power with minimal CO2 & who is sane, knows that "global warming" is a deliberate scam to increase the power of government.
All & sundry in Scotland 5th July Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin has decided to campaign for "free enterprise and smaller government; strong national security ....energy independence; and for those who will protect freedom and equality" while cracking a joke about the "global warming" we are supposed to be scared of not being real. In Scotland, on the other hand, every single MSP has voted to destroy at 42% of our economy by cutting our fire making capacity that much. If only we had a single MSP with 1% as much integrity, horse sense or guts as she has.
Scotsman 8th July How newspapers should treat letters from Fakecharities
Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems are perfectly entitled to their predictable views that the government should be taxing & regulating us more. Nonetheless the reader's letters page of a newspaper is for reader's letters. Since SHAAP is, according to its website funded by the Scottish government, should its communications not be in the news pages like the pontificators of other quangos. Everywhere we turn we find ourselves being bombarded not only by government announcements but by the claims of what appear to be independent bodies but repeatedly turn out to be funded directly by government or indirectly by other government quangos. Almost daily we see the BBC, itself a quango, highlighting some report from a "charity" which turns out to be a government quango. Not once do I remember any of this government funded material not asserting that we need more government control, taxing & spending & more quangos to do it. At the very least any letter from a government funded organisation should admit its interest.
All & sundry in Scotland 10th July Our insane lying politicians
To fight "catastrophic global warming" every single MSP unanimously voted to cut Scotland's production of CO2 by 42% over the next 11 years (& presumably raise taxes & introduce a new army of bureaucratic controllers to do it). Since there is a very close correlation between energy production & national wealth we would normally expect that to mean a 4% economic decline every year but since they are also closing our nuclear generators, the most efficient CO2 free power source we may expect decline to be more than 4%.
Meanwhile not only is no "catastrophic" warming taking place, none of any sort is. Global temperatures have declined since 1998 & indeed probably since 1934. Perhaps there is a single one of the MSPs trying to use the warming lie to impoverish us who would be prepared to explain this lack of warming. So far there hasn't been.
All & sundry 12th July Bin Laden dead
It would be nice if bin Laden were dead & thus the main reason for having troops in Afghanistan were gone. Sometimes nice things happen. In 2007 Switzerland's Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which does computer voice recognition for bank security, compared the voices on 15 undisputed recordings of Osama with the voices on 15 subsequent ones attributed to Osama, to which they added two by native Arab speakers who had trained to imitate him and were reading his writings. All of the purported Osama recordings (with one falling into a gray area) differed clearly from one another as well as from the genuine ones. Since October 2001, when Al Jazeera's Tayseer Alouni interviewed him, no reputable person reports having seen him—not even after multiple-blind journeys through intermediaries. Whether he died in the Tora Bora bombing, or of wounds later, or was killed by his own lieutenants or from not having access to a dialysis machine in Pakistan mountains doesn't really matter though, all of these have been attested. With his kidney condition it certainly seems unlikely he would have survived till now & equally unlikely that there would no trail of credible sightings.
Scotsman 20th July Nuclear (I got an email enquiring about this which implied they might us it but didn't
If it is sincerely held that power policy should be set according to the "greatest good of the greatest number" as Neil Baxter wishes then rather than the great number of taxpayers & electricity customers being expected to pay many extra thousands each to satisfy a few Luddites we should either go straight for nuclear which can supply everybody with electricity at about 10th the price of windmills or we should allow the free market to operate & those who wish inexpensive nuclear could choose to buy it & those who wish to pay 10 times as much for windmill electricity & improve their souls by enjoying blackouts could choose that option.
On a purely philosophical point though that "greatest good" argument is a socialist one, experience shows that the free market, by allowing each individual the choice, tends to satisfy people's wishes far better than a numptocracy that claims it knows what is good for us better than we do.
All & sundry 23rd July Space's potential
Space development, even run in the grossly bureaucratic method used by NASA (& even more ESA) has been a massive net profit to humanity & nobody moreso than the world's poor. In improved weather forecasting alone it has saved far more than it cost simply from knowing in advance where huricanes arr going to strike. In the 3rd world this has saved literally millions of lives over the last 40 years. On top of that we have a worldwide communications net through satellites - can anyone even imagine what the world would be like without that. In fact space related industry creates £160 billion a year of value directly. mainly telecommunications & satellite TV, which is 50% greater than the entire Scottish economy.
The potential of space beyond that is, literally, infinite. Solar power satellites can provide unlimited amounts of reliable, continuos power for the entire world. The amount of metals, from iron through to gold & platinum, available in asteroids is in the many trillions of tons. In a zero G environment, materials of different weights can easily mix & crystalline materials which would fracture in gravity are possible. What the qualities of such materials are we cannot know until they have been created but since they potentially exceed, by orders of magnitude, the total of materials creatable on Earth there are clearly going to be some spectacular ones. It is, metaphoricaly, raining soup & we are complaining about the cost of buckets. If we refuse this bounty the Chinese, Russians & Indians won't & good luck to them.
What we should be doing, rather than putting money into paper shuffling government bureaucracies is providing it to an X-Prize Foundation which would offer prizes, like the $10 milliion X-Prize that produced the first free market astronaut & kickstarted Virgin Galactic.A prize of £500 million would produce a comercial reusable shuttle able to fly at least 3 times a month. That is less than Britain puts into ESA over 2 years & would therefore be ready & waiting when that new shuttle lands if we put up that priize tomorrow. It would only require a tiny amount of vision by our political leaders.
Herald 27th July Another correcting published eco-fascist untruth (sent out again slightly amended on 31st July when another nontruthful letter from the same eco-fascist was published - I think we have to accept there are virtually no circumsstances under which the Herlad will allow honest reporting on "environmental" matters
I hope you will allow a small point of fact in relation Kerr MacGregor's use of Norway as an example of renewables (in this case hydro) success with "no back up from fossil fuels ot nuclear". In fact Norway & the other Scandanavian countries use Swedish nuclear as their backstop power source & in turn Sweden uses Norwegian hydro to cover periods of high use. In 2005 Sweden net exported 7.4 Terawatthours & in 2006 net imported 6TWH so the flexibility of the system is clear. This is also what France does purely internally. -Nuclear for baseload & hydro to top up peak power is, in engineering terms, the ideal system whereas in Scottish political terms cutting power use by 50% & having massive blackouts is considered "ideal".