Saturday, October 17, 2009
THE CORRUPT & FASCIST
“Time is running out”
Henry Kendall for Greenpeace 1992
Chris Rose for Greenpeace 1997
Bill Hare for Greenpeace 2001
Jennifer Morgan, WWF 2004
FoE, Scotland 2005
Steven Guilbeault, Greenpeace 2005
Eric Illsley, Labour MP 2006
No matter if the science is all phoney, there are collateral environmental benefits.... climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
Canadian Environment Minister
“Antarctica is likely to be the world's only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked.”
Professor Sir David King, Government chief scientist;
“we must support government coercion over enforcing international protocols and speed limits on motorways if we want the global economy not to collapse and millions, billions of people to die.”
Archbishop of Canterbury
"we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”
“Self-evidently, dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth seeking.”
University of East Anglia in The Guardian
“We have a policy at Greenpeace that we no longer debate people who don't accept the scientific reality of anthropogenic climate change.”
Ben Stewart, Greenpeace
Kabala scientist Madonna performs to prevent global warming
“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. I assume that this is why the BBC?s coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago.”
Jeremy Paxman, BBC "news" presenter
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
“Global warmers predict that global warming is coming, and our emissions are to blame. They do that to keep us worried about our role in the whole thing. If we aren't worried and guilty, we might not pay their salaries. It's that simple.”
Winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
“Ideology on which the Kyoto Protocol is based, is a new form of totalitarian ideology, along with Marxism, Communism and socialism.”
Economic Adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illarionov sibsequently broke with Putin & his reasons for doing so were very widely reported by the British MSM. They have never reported what he says about alarmism.
“I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.”
on resigning from the IPCC
“Montreal — tens of thousands of people ignored frigid temperatures Saturday to lead a worldwide day of protest against global warming.”
“I consider the concept of a global mean temperature to be somewhat dubious. A single number cannot adequately capture climate change. This number, as I see it, is aimed mostly at politicians and journalists.”
Pennsylvania State University
“Too many journalists and scientists have built their careers on the global-warming alarm. Certain newspapers have staked their reputation on it. The death of this theory will be painful and ugly. But it will die. Because it is wrong, wrong, wrong.”
“Environmentalism is a way of introducing new forms of statism, new forms of masterminding human society from above."”
(The IPCC is) “not a scientific body”
President of the Czech Republic
People who write mathematical models of complex systems for a living tend to find the climate models very unconvincing. Geologists find the arguments very unconvincing. Engineers find the arguments unconvincing. And astrophysicists find the arguments unconvincing.”
“Climate scientists have to disagree with real scientists or they would lose their funding.”
"I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.”
“It is effectively BBC policy to ignore climate change sceptics.”
on quitting the BBC because of political correctness
UPDATE 1 More quotes from alarmists
Friday, October 16, 2009
A 31-year-old man from the Northeast of England has been jailed for 18 months after admitting that he gave a 3-year-old girl a cigarette to smoke.Which phrases it in a somewhat more restrained way than Britain's media have.
Graeme Conroy, from Ashington, a town 15 miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, admitted an offense of willfully ill-treating, neglecting or exposing a child in a manner likely to cause suffering or injury to health
Sentencing Conroy, Judge David Wood said: "This sort of conduct could be very damaging to a child's health and could have all sorts of effects upon her future health. You have completely disregarded her safety and endangered her."Hold on here. Exactly how much damage can smoking 3 cigarettes once be proven to do. 40 a day for 40 years has a significant, though not more than that, chance of killing. Even then if you stop in time it has little effect. There is no proof whatsoever that 3 cigarettes & stopping at 3 will be "likely to cause suffering or injury to health". That is simply & totally a lie.
The reporting carefully, presumably for legal reasons, doesn't say what his relationship to the child is but assuming it is a parental one having him locked up for 18 months (perhaps time off for good behaviour though with the court's cavalier disregard for the law that is not assured) is certainly going to "damaging" to the child. Since the damage caused by the court is almost certain & that by 3 cigarettes nonexistent if the word of the law is to followed Judge David Wood & all the other health fascist parasites involved in this should be sent to jail for many times longer.
In fact what we are seeing is a deliberate campaign of both demonisation, or "denormalisation" as the PC brigade call it, of smoking & an equally deliberate attempt to stretch the law out of all recognition to ensure that government can arrest anybody on any trumped up charge.
I challenge anybody involved in the case to produce any evidence that the kid, who was clearly perfectly happy since she was asking for more, has suffered measurable "suffering or injury to health". I also challenge them to explain why they don't believe locking him up won't cause emotional harm to the girl. If they can't then perhaps we should hear why any prosecution witness who said it would hasn't committed perjury.
These photos comes from a Google search for kid smoking. Apparently this is not the first time in human history that a child has smoked. It is the first time somebody has been thus imprisoned for it & it has been achieved by a wilful corruption of the law.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I recently blogged on the economic success of Dubai & have been sent this.
“The real boom in Dubai really only kicked off recently. After spending some time here and chatting with those who live here, I would boil down the more important ingredients to these:In Britain 50% of our economy & 75% of the potential economy is sucked up by our government parasitism. This is a pretty good explanation of why they are doing better than us.
Low regulations, low tax. This has probably been a Dubai advantage for a hundred years, but people here told us repeatedly how easy it is to set up shop in Dubai and how your privacy is protected. There are also no income, property or corporate taxes. Zero.
(The city funds itself with taxes on hotel occupancy, liquor sales and restaurant meals, as well as permits for roads and such. Part of the budget also comes from the Sheikh’s business interests – such as Emirates Airlines and the aluminum smelters.)
The introduction of freeholds. In 2002, Dubai allowed foreigners to own property in so-called freeholds. That was a big milestone that kicked off a wave of immigration. So now there are these freeholds where the Penthouse Gypsies live in high style and in very nice communities.
The backlash of 9/11. Before 9/11, Middle-Eastern exporting countries re-invested $25 billion a year in the US. After 9/11, that slowed to about $1.2 billion a year. Arabs no longer felt welcome and feared what might happen to their wealth. So guess where the money went?
Arab wealth started flowing back to their own countries. The economies of the eight states of the Gulf Coast grew 60% between 2001-08, compared to 18% for the US. ‘Cash poured into Dubai,’ Krane writes. And Dubai’s growth rate topped China’s, averaging 13% per year.
Essentially, the repatriation of Arab wealth in the US was a big driver and still continues to today. As the Middle East region gets wealthier, a good chunk of that wealth will flow through Dubai.
Finally, the UAE fixes the value of its currency to the dollar – at least for now. What this means is that as the US printed dollars the effects were exported to Dubai, too. That is where Dubai got into trouble. Lots of speculative capital flowed to building islands in the shape of date palms or creating residential communities with robotic dinosaurs from Japan. Now Dubai is suffering through a massive real estate bust as a result.
“Still, Dubai’s important position in world trade is many layered, like a wedding cake.”
It may also be a pointer towards the future.
I have written on the Gulf Arabs having bought 1/3rd of Virgin Galactic & also on Abu Dhabi (beside Dubai) & Singapore both building commercial spaceports. Commercial space development does not need to be done by a large country. It only needs a country large enough to provide a base for commercial launches which should be near the equator. Such a base need not be larger than a current international airport so space is clearly not a problem even for Singapore. Small equatorial countries can very well become leaders in the new space race.
Indeed small countries have a major advantage. They often find it advantageous to adopt strongly free market policies to become international financial centres. Finance also requires small amounts of land. Indeed while once large size was a sign of technological leadership (eg the Titanic) nowadays small size is (eg nanotechnology) so small states can compete perfectly well. The way they compete is attracting the best & brightest with economic & other freedoms.
So once the first commercial space trips are being made will we see the business being developed in large current economies, even if there are massive regulatory hoops to jump through & a high proportion of their costs is paying taxes, or will they choose to set up in small states where their investment money all goes into investment? Will the first L5 settlement be the property of the US, paying US taxes & having US safety & environmental regulations or will it be an Abu Dhabian one paying no direct taxes & not restricted by over-regulation?
If we let them get an unassailable lead in space development we are also handing them the future of all related industries & since there are technological advantages to many processes in zero-G from creating new materials to separating viruses that is a lot of industries.
Well it is not quite as absolute as that - governments can do worse than be parasites & nobody is going to be attracted to a spaceport in a country subject to coups, crime or xenophobic fundamentalism & a lot of equatorial countries hit those buttons. Moreover people do want a certain level of safety, financial & otherwise & necessary regulation will attract. Pointless regulation which serves primarily to employ government employees, which makes up the overwhelming majority in Britain & the US, will drive them away.
The future generally but space development particularly looks like it will belong to libertarian societies because they can choose to avoid such parasitism. I have compared Dubai to a seastead in the desert & we may well see seatsteads as another way of getting out from under.
I did say previously that we would shortly see Dubai, by owning 1/3rd of Virgin Galactic, having a bigger role in space development than all the governments of the EU put together. ESA, though it has far more money, is further from being able to put somebody in space than Virgin. However I then thought that it would be likely the Europe would not fall further behind & with financial resources somewhat larger than Dubai/Abu Dhabi's could catch up. However looking at it further it seems that, if nothing is done, the advantage will continue to lie with these new states & their lead may actually increase.
At this point I would like to mention a suggestion I made a few years ago - for Britain to produce a regulatory & financial environment on Ascension Island in the equatorial Atlantic to turn it into a Spaceport. Since we do nothing there except help maintain a large airbase, cutting regulations & taxes there have no cost as there is currently nobody there to enforce them on & pay them. Probably we would have to spend a little money on port facilities & other infrastructure. Beyond that it would essentially be a matter of letting the free market develop the island as a commercial spaceport. With the Space X-Prize Foundation to push this technology the results should be spectacular. As will the long term benefits to Britain's economy.
The main problem such small nations run in developing a commercial space industry is security, both internal (violent change of leadership, crime, extremism) & external (small countries facing possibly unstable neighbours like Iran & Indonesia). A British mid-Atlantic spaceport would have an overwhelming advantage. But only if we allow it to exist.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This is a a graph of what producers are willing to Supply (orange line rising as price rises) with consumer Demand (blue line declining as the price rises). The point at which they cross is, in a free market, the natural price & amount of production. This is the basic axiom of economics. It should be taught in schools along with the 6 times table & 1066 being the date of the Battle of Hastings.
Both curves can be moved (supply by new technology, allowing or restricting imports, taxation, subsidy)(demand by advertising, scare stories). An awful lot of government activity consists of trying to alter prices without changing underlying supply & demand. That leads to shortages & official or unofficial rationing butter mountains & resources, in this case people, being uselessly stockpiled.
Applying this to unemployment it is clear that mass unemployment can only exist because of such interference. To end it we could alter our influence on both curves:
SUPPLY Britain has about 2.5 million officially unemployed & 2.5 million on disability benefit so about 5 million who could be working. It is generally accepted that both the current & previous governments used reclassifying perfectly capable people as disabled to keep the figures looking better. The fact is that the benefit system provides, both in direct payment & housing benefit & a number of other things as much money, or more, than anybody on minimum wage (£5.80 an hour for adults = £11,600 a year on a 40 hour week) will take home. Minimum wage legislation & more effectively, the benefit system, establish the maximum supply - below that sum supply drops, except for the black economy, to zero.
The Conservatives have said that they will change the rules to remove benefit from anybody who refuses a job offer. They will probably also have to ensure that anybody who accepts it under that duress & gets themselves quickly fired also loses that benefit & that the minimum wage be abolished or reduced. Whether they have the guts to follow through is something we will probably see.
In any case increasing the effective labour supply will be counterproductive unless they also deal with demand.
DEMAND To shift industry's demand for workers along the curve will require cutting the minimum cost of them. Currently there are 28.95 million in employment so another 5 million would be a 1/6th increase. On the blue curve here to increase employment by 1/6th would require cutting employment cost by about £1,000 but this particular curve shows great price elasticity (ie a steep curve). I would suspect cutting the minimum by about £2,000 would reduce unemployment to those who really are unemployable or absolutely don't want a job. That could be done by suspending the employer's contribution to national insurance & providing an annual grant of £1,000 to each employer for anybody on minimum wage. Personally I suspect that it would work better with a variable rate where there is no grant in areas where unemployment is under 5% & perhaps 2 or 3 thousand in areas of highest unemployment (Liverpool, Glasgow, Lanarkshire).
I doubt if this would cost since the state is already getting no national insurance contribution from people who are currently unemployed & somebody on minimum wage may well, if they have no family, be paying £1,000 income tax. There would be some cost to the Exchequer from subsidising people who are already working on minimum wages. On the other hand there should be a major saving from people no longer on benefit.
The effect on the economy as a whole should be to significantly increase production. The social effects are more difficult to judge. It would inculcate a habit of work rather than dependency culture; it might reduce pressure for government to increase its own employment; on the other hand it might sweep up some people who, through genuine disability or just congenital uselessness are simply unemployable. Society should look after such people, though not at the expense of seriously damaging itself.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
We have seen numerous politicians and lobbyists assuring us that Scotland has "enough renewable power to supply all of Europe" or, in James Boyle's case (Letters, 12 October), 40 per cent as much. Nobody ever explains how such dubious and varying figures are calculated (and what Europe is expected to do when it isn't windy or is too windy). By comparison, Mali has enough renewable potential to power the entire planet (at least during daylight hours).This map shows the amount of land which would be required to be covered with solar cells to provide all our electricity & Mali would much more than do it. Here is the report of Yemen's enthusiasm for nuclear power. This is understandable since at present rates of population growth by 2050 Yemen will have a larger population than Russia.
Mali's problem is that covering the entire country with solar cells, while theoretically possible, is not practical. The same applies to covering Scotland with windmills.
Incidentally, Yemen, which, like Mali, receives a great deal of sunlight, has decided to build five nuclear plants. Clearly, Yemen's political leadership is more realistic and progressive than Scotland's, though that is no great achievement.
Actually looking at the map it looks like Yemen could, theoretically provide all the world's electricity too - if they were stupid enough.
Monday, October 12, 2009
There are systems of automated car driving systems. This is quite difficult because there are so many vehicles in close proximity. Automated rail is easy because there are no directional decisions & they aren't that close together.
As the US army have recently found a driving system run by an on board computer is now possible. Computerisation being what it is that means we aren't that far from it being affordable by ordinary people (GPS for example was developed not that long ago so tank commanders would know where they were.
Any such driving system, if it uses GPS can almost equally easily be connected to a centralised traffic management system.
For air transport it is, if anything, easier than for road travel because the number of flyers is so much lower & they are far less closely spaced. Right now almost all commercial air traffic is heavily automated & most of the flight & even landings & take off can be done by computer. A worldwide system of air traffic control run through satellites like the GPS ones could be built now. This should also cover private aircraft, which prevents them getting in the way of jets & of each other.
The science fiction of the 1950s was full of flying cars. The reason they didn't develop isn't because they were not technically feasible but because traffic control was impossible. Well with such a system it is possible. Obviously if millions of people had their own flying cars the capacity of the system would have to be increased but since that would take years there would be plenty of time to expand such a system once it was in place (look at the internet & broadband).
Because it is best operated by satellite this is something (like an international grid) which is cost effective if the world does it as one.
This is from Professor John McCarthy's invaluable site:
Personal flying machines must be entirely automatically flown. This is independent of whether there is a big automatic traffic control system or whether each machine avoids the others with its own detection and computation apparatus. Anyone who treats an airplane --- let alone a helicopter --- like an automobile is asking for a short life. We humans just aren't reliable enough. Airliners which fly fixed routes require at least two professional pilots to achieve sufficient safety. Getting sufficient reliability in computer control is an unsolved but solvable problem. (Some computer scientists might disagreed with this judgment in connection to their opposition to defense against ballistic missiles). Much of the mechanical maintenance will have to be automatic or automatically controlled and inspected if the costs are to be affordable.The advantages are
3. A new system of navigation and wind observation is required. The navigation problem has become easy now that the GPS (Global Positioning System) is available. Differential GPS will be required for landing. With this, landing and taking off in complete fog will be feasible, i.e. the helicopters would exceed cars in usability.
Wind gusts must be detected and observed. My candidate for this is lidar, i.e. radar using light. The lidar, whether mounted on the flyer or on the ground must scan the air mass through which the plane proposes to fly and determine the velocity field. This can be done by doppler reflection from particles suspended in the air. So far, as I understand it, the technique has mainly been used for atmospheric research.
1. If the flying machine was reasonably fast, the comfortable commuting range would be much larger. More people could live where they want, and husbands and wives would be more independent of each other in the job market.Note that though civil aircraft are an order of magnitude more expensive than cars the production lines are much shorter. Technically they aren't that different & I suspect if somebody was turning out something like an improved powered hang glider in the sort of numbers the Model T Ford was produced in it would not be that expensive. Without automated control it would be carnage. With it & with the level of reliability modern cars have, it is fully possible.
2. Intrinsically there is plenty of room in the sky. With accurate enough electronic control, there wouldn't be traffic jams.
3. Less land would be occupied by highways and there would be less expense in building them.
4. Flying is fun.
5. Islands will become much more habitable when flying machines become an important form of personal transportation. The advent of cars, trucks and buses made land transportation more convenient and water transportation suffered by comparison.
More details centred here - a genuinely revolutionary automated tool now exists. A tool which is easy to implement, easy to use, easy to adapt to any airspace and extremely inexpensive. It comes with carefully constructed arguments to support its efficiency, safety, capacity and cost benefits.
This tool is part of a comprehensive and fully defined Concept of Operations called The New Model for Air Traffic Control.
The tool is also designed to facilitate a fully evolutionary approach to getting from where we are today to where we want to be in the future.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
To all & sundry - getting out of recession - 6th Aug:
One way out of recession, which has worked repeatedly in the past, is the growth of a new industry. Readers may not know that the commercial space industry in Britain is worth £6.5 billion annually & has been growing at 5% which made Lord Drayson the Minister for Science & Innovation very pleased with himself saying “Britain is currently undergoing a space renaissance ... the launch of the Space Innovation and Growth team last month will build on this to strengthen our outstandingly successful space programme and take UK space into a new age.” The ministerial contribution to this amazing growth is putting £275 million a year into ESA, which is a useless piece of eurocratic pork barreling.
The American commercial space industry is growing at 17.6% a year, largely kickstarted by various space X-Prizes, entirely put up by public benefactors, which apparently does not include the government.. The value of these prizes has been growing at 22% a year & is now £190 in total.
If £190 in total in prizes has done that in America imagine what £275 every year, used in a similarly constructive way rather than being squirted away on Eurocrats, could lead to.
Telegraph reply 10th Aug:
There has been a certain amount of coverage about apparent British government complicity in the torture of Binyam Mohammed. In the process Alan Johnson & David Miliband have said that though they are responsible for preventing thuggery by our own police, because the tortures weren't British government employees they aren't involved. May I congratulate the entire media in the way they have reported the torture of this unattractive character while refusing to report the numerous massacres in Kosovo, the ethnic cleansing of 350,000 & the kidnap & dissection, while still alive, of as many as 1,300 wholly innocent people by NATO police (formerly KLA but employed by us) for which, by the above admission, they have acknowledged personal guilt. I trust we can rely on our media to continue censoring further atrocities while using comparatively very minor things like Abu Graib to give the impression that all their atrocities are minor & unintended rather than mentioning things like the Dragodan Massacre where under the noses of the British military HQ in Kosovo, our police were allowed to murder at least 210 people & dump them in a mass grave.
All & sundry - Royal Society as Fakecharity 14th Aug:
The Royal Society has been one of the strongest & certainly the most reputable of government supporters in their campaign to persuade us of the dangers of catastrophic global warming. Is there not some conflict of interest in the fact that, as with most charities which lobby for more government controls, they are heavily funded by government? In 2008 the Royal Society got £44.9 million grants in aid, £7.8 million in other grants & a further £2.3 million to "Influence policymaking with the best scientific advice." How generous would government have been with our money if their advice had been that there is no actual evidence for catastrophic warming (which there isn't) & that government should not be spending taxpayer's money to fight it?
Nor is the Royal Society the only organisation getting government money & lobbying thus. Indeed barely an "environmental" organisation is free of this & for at least 1 party the roll call of lobbying organisations at their conference is overwhelmingly filled with recipients of government money.
Indeed, considering the temptation the Royal Society deserves some credit that their most recent announcement on the subject. While acknowledging that there is an "international consensus" & that it is "possible" we could face rising temperatures & that this "could" involve "serious impacts" makes no claim to certainty or indeed to there being any evidence.
All & sundry - the Met Office having "lost" the data supporting their claims about warming - 17th Aug:
A couple of years ago the US government accepted the validity of a correction to their climate figures. The correction showed that, far from them having seen catastrophic global warming up till 1998 (even alarmists accept there has been cooling over the last 11 year) the warmest year on record was actually 1934.
The warming alarmists nonetheless claimed that world figures, collated by our Met Office, trumped the American figures. 1934 was warmer than anything since. It should be of interest that after years of the Met Office saying they would not hand over their data to Mr McIntyre to check both because other countries insisted on it remaining secret & because he might "find something wrong with it" they have now answered a FoI enquiry by saying it was all destroyed years ago. Because science depends on results being verifiable or repeatable this makes their interpretation of such non-existent data scientifically worthless.
There can now be no serious scientific argument that not only has the globe been cooling since 1998 but that it is cooler than 1934. The entire charade is exposed.
I have confidence that this, the most important piece of news about catastrophic warming since McIntyre corrected the American figures, will, like that, go unreported by the BBC.
(I was right again though the BBC have backtracked quite spectacularly on the warming lie today)
John O'Groats Journal - response to their article - 22 Aug:
In reporting the radioactive "hot spot" found near Dounreay I assume the John O'Groats Journal has not merely rewritten SEPA's press release, as so often happens, but gone back to the spokesman to get figures since the number of 58,000 Becquerels does not appear in their original press release. Indeed reports of "hot spots" have consistently failed to give numbers.
58,000 Beqs certainly sounds like a scary number. However the Becquerel relates to decay of single atoms & is thus a very small number indeed. According to Wikipedia "natural potassium in a typical human body produces 4,000 Becquerels". Potassium is not normally considered a radioactive material but in terms of the purest physics it is - as is everything else. Potassium incidentally makes up about 2 thousandths of the human body. I can sympathise with SEPA's difficulty in finding this particle since it thus emits less radioactivity than the SEPA representative's body.
Background radioactivity is a perfectly natural phenomenon. The top 1 foot of a square mile of land will contain 3 tonnes of uranium & 6 tons of thorium so to find a particle of it is no more a sign of it being manmade than a prospector finding a particle of gold dust is a sign that they have found Montezuma's treasure. The same must obviously apply to all the "radioactive hotspots," of unreported intensity, found on Dounreay beach over the years on which so many hundreds of millions of pounds are being spent.
On a previous occasion SEPA claimed to have found manmade radioactivity on Dalgety beach, by finding sand there which contained the "daughter elements" of radium. In fact the daughter element of radium is radon, a gas & it seems what they had actually found was perfectly natural. The degree of hysteria & misinformation surrounding the nuclear industry can hardly be underestimated. Since we face blackouts by as early as 2012 the importance of informed discussion cannot be underestimated either.
Becquerel definition on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Becquerel
Dalgety Bay (apparently undisputed by SEPA) http://www.dunfermlinepress.com/news/roundup/articles/2009/06/11/388386#comments
All across Scotland - "radioactive hotspot" at Dounraey fraud - 24 Aug:
There has been relatively little coverage this time, except by the BBC, of the fact that SEPA have, yet again, claimed to have found another manmade radiation"hotspot" at Dounreay. For once the strength of the particle has been mentioned - 58,000 Becquerels.
58,000 Beqs certainly sounds like a scary number. However the Bequerel relates to decay of single atoms & is thus a very small number indeed. According to Wikipedia "natural potassium in a typical human body produces 4,000 Becquerels". Potassium is not normally considered a radioactive material but in terms of the purest physics it is - as is everything else. Potassium incidentally makes up about 2 thousandths of the human body. I can sympathise with SEPA's difficulty in finding this particle since it thus emits much less radioactivity than the SEPA representative's body.
Background radioactivity is a perfectly natural phenomenon. The top 1 foot of a square mile of land will contain 3 tonnes of uranium & 6 tons of thorium so to find a particle of it is no more a sign of it being manmade than a prospector finding a particle of gold dust is a sign that they have found Montezuma's treasure. The same must obviously apply to all the "radioactive hotspots," of unreported intensity, found on Dounreay beach over the years on which so many hundreds of millions of pounds are being spent.
On a previous occasion SEPA claimed to have found manmade radioactivity on Dalgety beach, by finding sand there which contained the "daughter elements" of radium. In fact the daughter element of radium is radon, a gas & it seems what they had actually found was perfectly natural. The degree of hysteria & misinformation surrounding the nuclear industry can hardly be underestimated. Since we face blackouts as early as 2012 the importance of informed discussion cannot be underestimated either.
References - original SEPA press release http://www.sepa.org.uk/about_us/news/2009/particle_found_at_site_of_prop.aspx
local John O'Groats paper rang up SEPA & got the figure http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/7096/Hot_spots_found_at_nuclear_dump_site.html
amount of natural radioactivity http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/05/radium-at-dalgety-bay-guest-article-on.html
All inc the US - Pan Am bomb nothing compared to NATO genocide - 25th Aug:
All the hand wringing by politicians in Westminster & Washington about the releasing of Megrahi would, even if he were guilty, be the grossest hypocrisy.
It is now a year & a half since Carla del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of the NATO funded Yugoslav War crimes commission admitted that she had known for 8 years that NATO police (formerly the NATO organised & armed KLA "freedom fighters" had been allowed to kidnap & disappear 1,300 Serb civilians & been proven to have dissected, at least a very large number of them, while still alive, to supply body parts for western hospitals. Can anybody deny that, even if the Libyans had been involved in the Pan Am bomb, that in sheer disgusting Nazi style horror it does not come even close to what NATO police perpetrated under our government's authority. This is only a small part of the atrocities carried out by NATO elements before, during & after that war. Atrocities which match in obscenity, if not in numbers, anything that happened at Auschwitz. Atrocities which have gone essentially as unreported by our media as the Holocaust was by Germany's.
Until all those complicit in these crimes have been brought to justice let us not hear anything from politicians responsible about their concern for alleged human rights abuses by anybody else in the world.
Herald - comparing atrocities - 26th Aug:
I see some Liberal Democrats are "breaking ranks" over the party's opposition to freeing Megrahi. What a pity that not one of them broke ranks not over supporting illegal wars, ethnic cleansing, the sexual enslavement of children & the dissecting of living people to steal their body organs. All of these are things done by NATO's police, in Kosovo, with that party's full support. Perhaps a more direct comparison is their refusal to break ranks to call for the freeing of Fikret Abdic, the most popular Muslim political leader in Bosnia, a genuine fre market liberal & the only one with multicultural support who is presently serving 15 ears for the "war crime" of opposing press gangs run by our, then, al Quaeda allies.
Some sorts of "dissent" clearly are approved & some aren't.
Herald - X-Prizes compared to high speed rail - 28th Aug:
For about half of the £34 billion demanded Britain, by putting it into X-Prizes, could have a commercial orbital space shuttle, a large industrial manufacturing centre in orbit, a permanent Moonbase & start building a space elevator & solar power satellites. Putting it all into a more expensive competitor for airflights to Scotland seems a little perverse.
Herald - we can get out of recession - 1st Sept:
All politicians know how to get us out of recession. Almost all of them & all Holyrood MSPs oppose doing so because it would weaken their power. Hugh Walker (letter Tues) is quite right that nothing they are doing now is beneficial or indeed intended to have more than a cosmetic effect.
It seems that government spending is now 50% of the UK economy & rising (probably approaching 60% of Scotland's). This section is very largely unproductive, indeed since regulations cost the citizen £20 for every £1 spent on enforcing them it is likely that the net economic value of government is well under zero. Does anybody really think it is possible to get out of recession let alone ever have a successful country struggling along in this one lunged fashion? Does anybody doubt that if we invested the £200 billion, above the inflationary increase, that the budget has risen in the last 12 years we would not only not be facing Depression but growing as fast as India & China still are?
Herald - Blackouts - 2nd Sept:
I note even the British government is now acknowledging that we are going to have blackouts by 2017. Even this extremely optimistic scenario depends on us staying in the current recession so that demand does not continue its historic increase. It also depends on us having mild winters. Fortunately the Met Office, as enthusiasts for the global warming theory, are predicting a mild winter this year - having predicted a "barbecue summer". Of course if we have blackouts, particularly mid winter ones, we will have more deaths than the normal 24,000 fuel poverty ones.
This is, of course, wholly & completely the fault of politicians & those who report them. In 2002 I spoke at the scottish LibDem conference predicting this if we didn't go nuclear. In 2007 I stood for election on this programme which your own correspondent Bill Black declared himself unable to understand because he confused the term "blackouts" with the results of him drinking. I suppose when everything is black we will all need something to laugh about.
It is, of course, possible to build nuclear plants in 3 years, just not under our regulatory system.
Herald - response to Luddite lie - no other response allowed either - 5th Sept:
Chris Parton (letter Sat) is quite correct to point out that the "free" nature of "renewable" power is meaningless if we ignore the cost of getting it - indeed everything is free in such circumstances. For example the Spanish government have spent £16.5 billion in one year subsidising solar power 0.4 GW of capacity(only available during daylight. On the other hand a 1GW off the shelf reactor can be bought for £0.9 bn. Thus the "free" renewable power turns out to cost 91.6 times as much as nuclear.
It seems almost unnecessary to point out that uranium can be recovered from seawater, albeit at a greater cost than mining which is why it isn't done, & is thus equally "free" & "renewable".
All & sundry - We can build nuclear plants in 3 years - 5th Sept:
Even the British government is now acknowledging that we are going to have blackouts by 2017. This extremely optimistic scenario depends on us staying in the current recession so that demand does not continue its historic increase. It also depends on us having mild winters. Fortunately the Met Office, as enthusiasts for the global warming theory, are predicting a mild winter this year - having predicted a "barbecue summer".
This is the fault of politicians. It could have been predicted, indeed in a debate to the Scottish LibDem conference in 2001 I did predict it. The shameful thing is that this is totally unnecessary since, even now, it is possible to build nuclear plants in 3 years, just not to do the paperwork.
Ref 2001 speech http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2006/09/my-pro-nuclear-speech-from-2001.html
Government prediction of blackouts http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jGxxCQiHSsrWH_wMcfxmR-cRfyGw
Scotsman - Norman Borlaug & the Malthusians - 14th Sept:
You have published several letters explaining why the predictions of Dr Malthus "are already being fulfilled." He predicted that the rise in living standards achieved in the 17thC was temporary & we would quickly plunge back into medieval poverty because improvements in crop growth could never match population growth. Certainly he has had no shortage of followers. In the 19thC among pre-industrial right wingers opposed to any attempt at improving the lot of the common people, by letting Malthus "prove" it was doomed to failure. In the 21st C among "post industrial" extreme right wingers in the Green parties, proposing to reduce the standard of living of the common people & indeed succeeding at it (i.e. recession, higher electricity prices, preventing foreign holidays).
Perhaps now would be a suitable time to take a moment to remember Norman Borlaug, the man who saved more human lives than anyone else in history, who has died at age 95. Unlike today's "Green" doomsayers Borlaug devoted his life to the Green Revolution - the creation of new varieties of crops. Even if the statement that he "saved a billion lives" is somewhat exaggerated he is one of the few Nobel Peace Prize winners who stands tall compared to winners of the non-political prizes.
A far better man than Malthus, or his do-nothing followers.
Borlaug memorial http://reason.com/blog/show/136043.html
Irrespective of publishing this reply he should be remembered
Scotsman - Nuclear & "renewables" - 15th Sept:
Barry Lees says that it doesn't matter what the "payback time" ("cost" to the monetarily inclined), of windmills is. That would be fine if he was willing to pay it. Electricity bills have more than doubled over the last few years when they could have halved. The 8,000 offshore windmills the government intend to build will produce electricity at 17 times the cost of nuclear. We should have a voluntary scheme whereby we each get to choose whether we want windmills or nuclear. Then I would be charged at the proper nuclear production rate & Mr Lees & most of our politicians would pay the proper rate for what they personally want. Clearly every "Green" politician & activist, who does not consider themself a parasite, would be keen to pay an extra 1600% on their electricity bill. Indeed I doubt is any electricity company will reject the money if presented now. I think the public should know how many of the "environmentally concerned" are actually paying their way now since, while one may consider windmillery foolish one could at least respect the integrity of "environmentalists" who do not want to be parasites.
All & sundry - Cancellation of Glasgow airport rail link & possibility of a monorail - 19th Sept:
When the Labour/LibDem administration decided we should pay for the Glasgow Airport rail link the accountant report that had commissioned had said it not only made no economic sense but wouldn't have been viable even at twice the expected passenger levels. That was back when it was costed at £130 million, whereas anything up to £400 million is now being quoted. They also had an offer to build a monorail connecting to Paisley Gilmour St station for only £20 million which, since there are trains to Central every few minutes, would normally have got people there faster. It would also allow cross connection to Prestwick effectively turning the 2 airports into a regional hub.
When the SNP came in they were also offered the same alternative but saying that because they had not investigated it they couldn't Immediately guarantee that it was "so much superior" to the Lab/Lib offering & so wouldn't even investigate it.
Now, though the monorail offer is still available they have simply decided to cancel everything. The Conservatives & Greens obviously, though well aware of the monorail option, refuse to support anything in any way innovative.
This is typical of the way Scotland is run. Every public project run as expensively & slowly as possible, averaging 13 times more expensive than other countries manage. We see the same with the Forth Bridge being 13 times more expensive, after inflation, than the previous bridge & 100 times more expensive than a tunnel. Is it because anything not invented by the Scottish civil service is never even considered or is it because they wish preferred bidders to be happy, or can anybody think of another reason.
There can be no dispute that this airport link, a Forth Tunnel, the Scottish Tunnel Project, unlimited 'affordable" modular housing & so many other things could be easily afforded with less than present budgets. The people of Scotland are entitled to competent government.
References - background to all this is given on this blog http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/09/scottish-budget-glasgow-airport-rail.html
I also think the people of Scotland are entitled to media that ask real questions about why everything costs 13 time what it should. If we don't have the latter it nay explain why we don't have the former.
Scotsman - Response to Luddite fakecharity - 25 Sept:
Liz Murray of the World Development Movement, an organisation fighting against development in the name of preventing the current catastrophic warming (the so called War Against Fire) says that their report based on "independent" evidence proves we can lose half our electricity generating capacity without losing any electricity generating capacity. The "independent" opinion was obtained by hiring Garrad Hassan who advertise themselves as the "worlds leading renewable energy consultancy". Perhaps not as surprising as first appears then that they came to such an incredible conclusion. I regret the WDM site does not provide its accounts so we cannot say if or to what extent, like much of the "independent" "environmentalist" movement, it is government funded.
She is on stronger ground when she says a new conventional power station breaches the law. Our MSPs have voted, unanimously, to destroy 50% of our electricity generating capacity over about the next 11 years. This, while supporting a war against global warming, when they all know it is cooling, will reduce Scot's standard of living by 50%. But it will give politicians, recipients of government funding & bureaucrats more power so that is all right then.
Scotsman - Origins of the Cold War - 29th Sept:
It can be argued that it was only nuclear weapons that stopped the cold war turning hot, though only in the same way that keeping your revolver loaded deters from using it to play Russian roulettte. However it can be at least equally argued that without the Bomb there would have been no cold war at all. Without the Bomb worn "ostentatiously on our hip" Russia would have had no reason to feel threatened. That threat forced them to keep their army in eastern Europe, at enormous cost to their economy as a counter threat to the west. In turn the Soviet development of the Bomb was the only weapon they had which could reach the USA meaning that the Americans had to keep confronting them. Without the Bomb both sides were unable to seriously threaten each other.
All & sundry - Commenting on the unreported news that McIntyre had proven another warming fraud - 2 Oct:
May I comment on the recent spectacular news that Stephen McIntyre has just proven that the basic data on which the Hockey Stick theory of fast global warming in the 20thC & indeed the entire catastrophic global warming scare is based has proven to be not merely wrong but fraudulent.
In this case he has proven statistically the Hockey Stick theory was deliberately faked in its most basic evidence. After 10 years of data being withheld that would allow true scientific replication, and after dozens of requests for that data, Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit finally was given access to the data from Yamal Peninsula, Russia. He discovered that only 12 trees had been used out of a much larger dataset of tree ring data. When the larger data set was plotted, there is no “hockey stick” of temperature, in fact it goes in the opposite direction.
Since all 12 trees were very much at variance with the average readings from that group it is just statistically impossible that Mann selected all 12 at random. Therefore it is fraud. These particular tree rings were the evidence on which the entire Hockey Stick theory, that we had flat temperatures for the previous, originally, 1,500 years & an unprecedented sharp rise this century. This is effectively the entire "global warming"/"climate change"/"dangerous climate change" case.
McIntyre has previously found that the Britain's Climate Research Unit, charged with collating world climate records, whereby official records allegedly show warming this century had "lost" all their original data. This excuse after their chief had said "Why should I make the data available to you when you are going to try to find something wrong with it". Even if it were true that "the dog ate the homework" that remark alone proves the CRU is a propaganda organisation not a scientific one.
Previous to that he found a somewhat different group of scientists had fabricated data purporting to show Antarctic ice melting.
Previous to that he obtained the US official climate records, found they were deeply flawed, stations being moved or built over & no corrections made and that in fact the claim that 1998 had been the warmest year there was false & it was actually 1933.
Previous to that it was he who analysed the algorithms in the Hockey Stick computer programme which magnified the tree ring data & was should would magnify almost any set of data to produce his Hockey Stick graph. Scandalously Nature refused to publish his paper, while publishing attacks, mainly of an ad hominum nature, on him.
The degree of praise Stephen McIntyre is due can hardly be understated. He should be the 2nd person, after Marie Curie, to get a Nobel Prize & bar for mathematically dissecting this (technically this shouldn't be as difficult as most Nobel winning stuff but no better mathematician did it) & the Peace Prize, if that has not been rendered worthless by Al Gore.
This final nail in the coffin of "climate change" obviously is by definition more important than all the false stories & "studies" alleging that warming "may" be worse than previously thought. It proves that ALL the members of an entire allegedly scientific discipline have been either engaged in deliberate fraud or have been hoodwinked by colleagues because they failed to show basic scientific scepticism or make the sort of investigation government was, officially, paying them for.
This story is, by definition, more newsworthy than all the numerous stories starting "experts say global warming is more serious than previously thought" put together. It is difficult to believe the politicians who supported & poured billions of our money into "research" & advertising of this fraud had no inkling of the truth. Fortunately it is still possible for Parliament to repeal the laws it has produced telling succeeding generations of parliamentarians that they must cut up to 80% of our electricity & economy to "fight" this figment.
Primer on the science http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/27/quote-of-the-week-20-ding-dong-the-stick-is-dead/
All & Sundry - British space X-Prizes - 8th Oct:
The British national Space Centre are running a consultation, finishing on October 14th, in which "stakeholders including the public" are invited to say what Britain's role in space development should be ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). Currently our role is to give £268 million annually to ESA. ESA, the European Space Agency controls a budget half the size of NASA's & 10 times the size of Russia's yet has no plans to current plans to put a human in space, It appears to exist simply so that Eurocrats can move money around & ensure that every member country gets contracts equalling the money their taxpayers put in.
An alternative suggested is to put this money into a fund for high technology X-Prizes. The expert consensus is that 2 years of Britain's contribution would fund a prize that would produce a commercial spaceship able to fly people to orbit for more, but not that much more, than flying to Australia. Even the most pessimistic could not object to us doing this since, unlike every other government programme, if they don't succeed prizes cost nothing. However history shows that prizes work very much better than the normal government method of making grants to "preferred bidder" & hoping. Indeed recently the US army admitted great satisfaction with 2 prizes totalling $3 million which had achieved as result that "would otherwise have cost more than $100 million."
Meanwhile Virgin Galactic founded to exploit the first sub-orbital craft which won the first X-Prize of $10 million, has just had a $280 million investment from Abu Dhabi valuing the company at $875 million. Abu Dhabi is also building its own spaceport. If the government continues doing nothing in space but ESA which in turn does nothing we may expect Abu Dhabi, a country of under 1 million people with little oil, to play a greater role in the development of space industry than all of Europe combined.
Background - Investment in Virgin Galactic http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1480/1
US army X-Prize "otherwise would have cost over $100 m" http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htarm/20090818.aspx
NASA assessment paper on X-Prizes (broadly supportive even though prizes compete directly with them) http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=13398
Original X-Prize proposal http://www.jerrypournelle.com/topics/gettospace.html
Recent conclusion that 2 years of Britain's ESA contribution (i.e. $1 billion) would do it http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2008/Q3/view532.html#Tuesday
BNSC consultation documents http://www.bnsc.gov.uk/assets/channels/about/UKCSS0812.pdf & http://www.bnsc.gov.uk/consultations/main.aspx?id=1
If nobody can come up with a 3rd reason why they don't get published it shows how wide the range of censorship. Not merely our government's genocide, or responses to various sorts of Luddite lies |(in these cases the last word is invariably given to "environmentalists" telling the most blatant lies), or about fakecharities which one might expect to be censored but also stuff about how to get out of recession & to achieve technological progress.
UPDATE I have since found that the 2nd last letter here regarding the BNSC consultation & my response had been published in the Morning Star. It shows that the old Marxist left is not the enemy of progress so many on the "new left" are. Indeed since government X-Prizes are, by their nature, a collaboration between government & the free market it is very creditable of the Morning Star to have published this. And very discreditable to the rest of the media that they were so conservative, in the non-party sense, as not to be willing to mention this.