Friday, October 22, 2010
I suspect Dr Kirkland is being optimistic in asking Councillor McLeod to say that the organisation "Nuclear Free Local Authorities" is not funded, reluctantly, by ratepayers.
The situation with the Councillor's fellow letter writer, Scottish Renewables is even more egregious. Nominally Scottish Renewables is "The Forum for Scotland's Renewable Energy industry". It exists to lobby government for more subsidy & to advertise & propagandise, not least by placing stories & writing letters in newspapers, to persuade us taxpayers to support giving them yet more money. I have previously pointed out how their letter, claiming that all methods of power generation will cost more in the future was the precise opposite of the truth, wind being 10 times the cost of nuclear. This "industry" makes its money overwhelmingly from government subsidy & could not last 5 minutes if it had to compete on a commercial level playing field. Indeed the Spanish "industry" is collapsing now that government money is being reduced.
While it is understandable on practical grounds, if not ethical ones, that Scotland's renewables "industry" should be willing to pour money into such a successful lobbying organisation it turns out that this is not the full story. While SR have declined to say exactly where the money comes from their membership list shows that they are supported by Aberdeenshire Council, Business Environment Partnership, the Carbon Trust, Dumfries & Galloway Council, the Energy Saving Trust & so on & on alphabetically through a long list of government organisations. Perhaps most disgracefully Scottish Enterprise, an organisation which received £500 million annually to "help" Scottish entrepreneurs is funding an organisation whose raison d'etre is to increase energy prices & thus make our industries less competitive. I don't even consider officially charitable bodies which receive at least their advertising budget from government (known across the blogsphere as "fakecharities", though the phenomenon goes unmentioned by the mainstream media.)
So it turns out that this organisation promoting itself as a grassroots group propagandising for more government expenditure & regulation is actually a government funded propaganda organisation promoting a false catastrophe scare to support more government expenditure & regulation. Funding of false grassroots organisations is known as "astroturfing" in the advertising business, where it is a long established tactic.
When you look across the "environmental" movement it is difficult to find any organisation which does not get money or support from government, quangos or "fakecharities" & cannot be called astroturf. The weird organisation, 10:10 which recently produced an obscene video, which went viral online, showing them murdering children for the crime of doubting catastrophic warming, not only got the personal support of Cameron & Huhne but is heavily funded by government through quangos & fakecharities. Even the BBC quango is notorious for giving far more coverage & infinitely more supportive coverage to the Green Party than to UKIP or the BNP though they get respectively 4 times & twice as many votes. This is clearly not merely propaganda but deliberate partisanship in UK party politics. The same applies to the "scientists" promoting catastrophic global warming - no "environmentalist" out of hundreds of thousands asked, have been able to name as many as 2, out of the majority of world scientists who don't work for government, who support this hypothesis, indeed when I asked Green leader Partick Harvie this on the radio he refused to answer on the grounds that "everybody knows" catastrophic warming is happening. It is perhaps uncharitable to point out that few if any leaders of the "environmental" movement work, or have worked for any length of time for anything other than government money & indeed usually in the more propagandistic rather than productive parts of government. Our own MSPs being no exception.
I submit that, were it not for government funding & propagandising by government organisations the dozens of global catastrophe stories promoted by the "environmental" movement over the last 40 years, all of which have been proven to almost entirely or completely entirely false, would not have garnered them even a fraction of the minuscule vote they actually receive.
What we are seeing is the proving of H.L. Mencken's words nearly a century ago "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." The entire "environmental" movement is & always has been a well financed front by government & those in power to maintain & increase that power, no matter how much economic harm it has done to the nation.
This article is led by "Sir" because if forms most of a letter I first sent to the Scotsman. It was the 3rd time I had sent a follow up to Councillor McLeod's reply To my reply to his reply in which he had claimed, quite dishonestly, that my figure of French nuclear costing 1/10th of windmills did not include decommissioning costs.
I had not been overly optimistic about the prospect of the Scotsman actually allowing a reply, having in my first letter, pointed out that the "environmentally aware" crowd do tend to lie outrageously, with "the same old untruths trusting that repetition & their more ready access to the media will trump mere facts."
Writing to them first was more in the nature of seeking experimental evidence. The refusal to publish a reply, after representatives of both the state funded "Nuclear Free Local Authorities" & the state funded "Scottish Renewables2 have been given repeated access to the letter pages is experimental proof that the charge is correct. However I am also today sending an edited version of this letter to the rest of the Scottish & UK media as a further experiment. I will let you know if any of them find a letter pointing out the degree to which government propaganda fakecharities dominate our mainstream media (MSM) publishable in any part of that media - I trust anybody seeing it in a newspaper page not appearing on Google News will let me know.
12/13ths OF FORTH BRIDGE PRICE IS GOVERNMENT MAKEWORK, SAME APPEARS TO APPLY TO MOST OTHER GOVERNMENT PROJECTS
Image produced by http://twodoctors.org
My latest article is up on the ThinkScotland site. It challenges anybody from Scottish government (politicians or government workers) to give an alternative explanation other than 92.3% of the alleged cost being government parasitism, or to explain why this should be considered unusual. No takers so far but I will update if anybody tries to. Obviously anybody who feels this is in any way an unfair assessment may do so here too but I would rather see all comments unified there.
Something is very wrong with the Forth Bridge project
The new Forth bridge was costed at up to 13 times what the original cost. The cost of the original, inflation adjusted, is comparable with what bridges cost today across the rest of the world. Moreover the cost of a tunnel, conveniently about 10% above that of the most expensive bridge, is 100 times what such tunnels have been cut for across the North Sea. The cost of the Glendoe hydro works, with 9 km of tunnels, shows we can build at roughly Norwegian costs if the will is there. It is difficult to avoid the suspicion that the cost of a tunnel was deliberately arranged to make the bridge look cheaper, but if that were so it would be impossible to say any figures from the same source are trustworthy. The option of recabling the bridge seems to have been ignored with the government first implying that this could not be done without closing the tunnel & then quietly admitting that it could.
What explanation has there been for this/ Almost none. No Holyrood MSP has been willing to publicly defend this. One official speaking in connection with all the other bridges costing less said "In short, it is not possible to lift one bridge or tunnel design and put it into another location, because the geology of every site is different" (he was not asked to compare with the previous bridge which clearly was not at a different site) Another said "When making comparisons with other crossing projects, including bridges and tunnels, it should be borne in mind that each project is unique and it is difficult to make like for like comparisons". Neither of these are explanations of what the actual differences are simply a call to ignore the bridges behind the curtain. One senior Holyrood politician privately insisted that the reason our bridges cost 100 times what Norway's do is because RU rules require a 3rd small escape tunnel. Though unimpressed by EU bureaucracy I do not find that a credible explanation of a 100 fold price increase.
Nor is this limited purely to the Forth Bridge or even to Scotland. World comparisons would have led us to expect Edinburgh's trams to cost about £105 million. In London Richard Rogers designer of the Millennium Dome has said that of the £670 million the Dome cost to build only £46 million of it was spent on building it - the rest went on bureaucracy. In the same way the Glasgow Airport rail link was scrapped after costing £41 million, because completing it was expected to cost £300 million - when both governments had had a NIH (not invented here) offer on the table for a monorail connection for about £20 million.
It looks like Scottish public projects are running at around 13 times what they should be - higher if one includes NIH options like tunnels & monorails (& perhaps modular building of schools) where, because technology has improved since 1960 comparative prices have fallen.
Why are we in this situation? If this was a banana republic we would expect it to be because of corruption aka crony capitalism. I don't think that is the major effect here. A second explanation is that the laws of physics are different here & now from what they used to be & still are in the rest of the world - I don't think that is it at all. The only other explanation I can think of is that our government is so beset by regulation, bureaucracy & paper shuffling that everything costs 13 times what it should. This may be being unfair to some departments though it is really up to them to show why they are different.
I am led to this conclusion by several factors. There has been a blanklet refusal of civil servants & politicans to give any explanation more thorough than "each prohect is unique"; the experience of the Dome where the builder specifically said it was the bureaucracy; the monorail experience where there was (& indeed still is) a blanket refusal by both civil sevants & politicans to evaluate any NIH concept; & the fact that with the tram project spiralling out of control impartial mediation decided that 90% of the cost overrun was caused by TIE bureaucracy. A further example of the interdependence of civil servants & bureaucracy was when Sir Alastair Muir Russell admitted failing to keep politicians informed of the rise in the cost of the Holyrood building, thus largely clearing Donald Dewar. Such was their confidence in him, despite having blown £400 million, that he continued to receive plum jobs including the very delicate one of producing the desired result to the Climategate enquiry!
No reason has been given to doubt that the current bridge could be recabled & double decked at about £20 million, that a tunnel could be cut for about £40 million & that a new bridge could be built for about £320 million if the cut back in bureaucratic controls, so urgently necessary for other reasons, is carried out. If this is allowed I would go for doing the first 2 & paying for it out of petty cash.
If any civil servant or politican feels this assessment is inaccurate & their roles more defencible I am sure ChangeScotland would allow them to reply. So far the silence on the subject has been defening.
First cut price given for a new Forth Bridge £4,220 million
Revised figure given for a lesser new bridge £2,300 million
Official figure given for a Forth Tunnel £4,673 million in 2007 now increased to £6.6bn
Hong Kong-Guandong bridge £6.3 billion but it is 50 km long.
Oresund crossing in Denmark - bridge & tunnel $4.2 billion for a 5 mile bridge plus 4 kn tunnel
Severn bridge 1996 £480 million (£810 inflation adjusted) still high by world standards
Millau viaduct, France, Inflation adjusted £400 million
Stonecutters bridge, Hong Kong £245 million
Numerous tunnels in Norway averaging £7 million per km
Recabling Portugal's 24th of April bridge allowing it to be double decked - £10 million at today's prices
Gothard Tunnel (Italy to Switzerland - 57 km) £6.6bn
Laerdal Tunnel (Norway - 24.5km) £117 mollion
Proposed Stad ship tunnel for ocean going ships (Norway 1.7km, slightly less than the Forth) £200 million
Perhaps most persuasive that something is going on
1st Forth Road bridge £19 million, inflation adjusted equals £314 million
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Some excerpts from his recent speech in London. When David cameron came to leadership of the Conservative party he insisted that his shadow cabinet sit still for a lecture by ignorant & corrupt failed political candidate Al Gore but when a President whose botts Gore is not fit to lick arrives Cameron isn't interested. Incidentally EU Referendum also points today out how Cameron's alleged cuts to get the economy working are acrually a spending increase)
The current debate is a public policy debate with enormous implications. It is no longer about climate. It is about the government, the politicians, their scribes and the lobbyists who want to get more decision making and power for themselves. It seems to me that the widespread acceptance of the global warming dogma has become one of the main, most costly and most undemocratic public policy mistakes in generations. The previous one was communism....
Being free to raise questions and oppose fashionable politically and “lobbystically” promoted ideas forms an important and irreplaceable part of our democratic society. Not being allowed to do so would be a proof that we have already moved to the “brave new world” of a postdemocratic order. (I am tempted to say that we are already very close to it)...
Looking back at geologic time, the 1998 Nobel Prize for Physics laureate Robert Laughlin says that “climate change is something that the Earth routinely does on its own without asking anyone’s permission” and that “far from being responsible for damaging the Earth’s climate, civilization might not be able to forestall any of these changes once the Earth has decided to make them”. He adds that “the geologic record suggests that climate ought not to concern us too much when we are gazing into the energy future, not because it’s unimportant, but because it’s beyond our power to control” . These formulations seem to me rather persuasive...
The environmentalists succeeded in discovering a new “noble cause.” They try to limit human freedom in the name of “something” that is more important and more noble than our very down-to-earth lives. For someone who spent most of his life in the “noble” era of communism this is impossible to accept...
over the last 150 years, which is a medium-term time scale in climatology, the average global temperature has shown warming-cooling rhythms superimposed on a small upward warming trend...warming in the last 150 years is modest and everything suggests that also the future warming and its consequences will be neither dramatic, nor catastrophic. It does not look like a threat we must respond to...
Two Chinese scientists, Guang Wu and Shaomin Yan, published a study, in which they used the random walk model to analyze the global temperature fluctuations in the last 160 years. Their results – rather unpleasantly for the global warming alarmists – show that the random walk model perfectly fits the temperature changes. Because “the random walk model has a perfect fit for the recorded temperature … there is no need to include various man-made factors such as CO2, and non-human factors, such as Sun” to improve the quality of the model fit...
Our interest is, or should be, a free, democratic and prosperous society. That is the reason why we have to stand up against all attempts to undermine it. We should be prepared to adapt to all kinds of future climate changes (including cooling) but we should never accept losing our freedom.
Václav Klaus, The Global Warming Policy Foundation Annual Lecture, London, October 19, 2010.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
An article in Naturenews
Afforestation and climate change are blamed for stilling surface winds in the Northern Hemisphere.Normally the "environmental movement tells us that deforestation is happening (& they must be given more money to fight it. It is interesting to see this reversed (at least the first half). Reading the whole article it is clear there is no actual mechanism proposed for how "climate change" might be causing it it is simply that the term must be spread over any discussion of climate like margarine. Nonetheless it is a useful addition to John Brignell's list of things allegedly caused by global warming, which have a strong tendency to include more wind, storm & hurricanes, volcanoes, drowning tigers etc.
Increasing amounts of vegetation could be causing up to 60% of a slowing in wind speed across the Northern Hemisphere, according to researchers analysing three decades of wind-speed data in Nature Geoscience1 today.
The decline is a potential concern for wind-turbine efficiency. But researchers cannot tell whether the effect, an average 10% slowdown, will make much difference to wind turbines — the slowing winds measured are at 10 metres above the ground, whereas turbines operate at 50–100 metres up, where there is little global data.
The article does then go on to admit it is nonsense, or at least the dubious flying of a metaphorical kite.
"There was no quality-controlled global archive of data." ...All of which are equally strong arguments against the alleged data for the alleged global warming, up to 1998.
UK Met Office in Exeter, Devon, says that the observation is interesting. "However," he adds, "the timescales are very short for a meteorological trend — it's entirely possible that the previous 30 years would show a different trend."...
He suspects that changes in general atmospheric circulation may be more important in these parts of the world than in others.
I find it amusing that the only catastrophic effect of this is the possible but improbable effect on windmills.
Hat tip to Ed Buckley for the link.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
One sign that our own MSM don't actually do anything but rewrite press releases from approved sources is their treatment of the Stuxnet computer virus that hit Iran.
They haven't actually treated it. There has been no real comment on who did it. The BBC were keen to blame the Russian government for a cyberwar on Estonia, probably wrongly but denigrating Russia is always part of the game. They didn't mention a similar instance in Taiwan.
Over Stuxnet there is agreement that the sophistication of the attack requires a government sized entity backing it. Looking at Iran's enemies that means the USA or Israel. Since I have more respect for the competence of Israel & far more for their ability to keep a secret I think it is them.
• A New York Times report suggests an Israeli fingerprint exists deep within the malware’s code. In trying to peel back Stuxnet’s complexities, the word “Myrtus” appears. Debate continues as to this word’s significance but one possibility is a biblical reference to the Book of Esther. Esther’s birth name was “Hadassah,” meaning “myrtle”—an evergreen shrub of the genus Myrtus, native to the Mediterranean region. A Jewish orphan, Esther was later taken by a Persian king—not knowing her ethnicity—to become his queen. Risking death, she subsequently revealed to the king she was a Jew in a courageous effort to prevent a campaign to exterminate all Jews in Persia. She succeeded as the Jews launched a pre-emptive attack against their enemies. While some experts contend “Myrtus” is an Israeli calling card intended to cause the Iranians to question the ability to control their own nuclear program, others contend it was planted as misinformation.That is equally compatible with Israel doing it or somebody deliberately planting the word to put the blame on Israel, but I can't see the USA wanting to do that.
I don't blame Israel - the Iranians are threatening them & this looks like a minimum response. We don't know how successfully but I suspect with a fair measure.
I did blog previously on another unexplained piece of piracy in the Baltic which also looks like Israeli hijacking of Iranian missiles. Again the MSM had nothing serious to say.
What gets me here is not lies & censorship to propagandise against whoever the government wants us to hate or fear today, as with Yugoslavia, Russia & the catastrophic warming swindle but simply censorship to hide how inept & powerless our own leaders are. The silence on the Chinese submarine surfacing in the middle of a US carrier fleet is similarly to cover ineptness. However keeping the public in ignorance like that simply means that when real decisions have to be taken, as with Labour's corrupt decision to build 2 carriers in Labour constituencies there is no public pressure against bad decisions. It would be far better for society as a whole if the real news was reported rather than this "move along, nothing to see" attitude was displayed every time something vaguely complicated ot embarrassing came up.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
This question is raised & answered in the negative by a couple of threads on the Iain Dale site here & here.
On the 2 threads on this site which is virtually the unofficial Conservative party site & therefore has a substantial readership, 3 separate eco-fascists have made 3 specific claims -
(1) that the "sceptics" are funded significantly better than the 10 of billions available, worldwide, to alarmist "scientists" & propagandists
(2) that there is a "scientific consensus" across science about catastrophism, which would require 2 or more (much more) of non-state employed scientists to support such a "consensus"
(3) that there are "a lot of 'sceptics' who would deny that Co2 is a greenhouse gas" which would imply extraordinary ignorance on their part - the author of this lie claimed to have read all these sceptics saying so.
All 3 have been repeatedly proven to be lies.
I made the effectively the same challenge about all 3 as of the 2nd here
And still awaiting Doc or anybody naming as many as 2 out of the millions of non-state funded scientists who they can claim as members of their "consensus".Since then not only has none of the authors made any attempt to substantiate their claims but none of them have retracted them. More importantly out of the several thousand "green" supporters who must have read Iain's site not a single one has made any attempt to either support or dissociate themselves from these total lies. Worse - i have twice emailed the leadership of the Green party & they also are unable to support these lies & unwilling to dissociate themselves from them.
And still awaiting the retraction of or evidence to support the obvious lie about sceptics being funded better than the 10s of billions given to alarmists by the state.
While both claims are total & deliberate lies must we accept them as representing the pinnacle of integrity to which any eco-fascist aspires?
Since thousands of randomly selected "greens" have thus proven that not a single one of them possesses sufficient honesty not to deliberately lie & maintain lies it thus becomes a statistical certainty that any member of that Nazi movement you hear from will be "another obscene, wholly corrupt, thieving, child murdering, fascist parasite like apparently every other member of your movement from Caroline Lucus down (or perhaps up) with less than 1,000th as much integrity as my toenail clippings."
Or perhaps there is one eco-Nazi/environmentalist somewhere in the world who considers himself to have some personal trace of human decency & will either attempt to prove these lies or denounce them as lies? Any bets?