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Saturday, June 11, 2011

An Untold Story of the Cold War - Philby, Pournelle and Albania

  Some time ago, on news that the Russians were honouring Kim Philby, Jerry Pournelle made this quite remarkable statement.
Philby did monumental damage to the CIA, and it was his actions more than anything else that convinced James Jesus Angleton that the Soviets had moles in the Company. We can make the case that Philby prolonged the Cold War by a decade
  This is a statement from somebody who was in a position to know, not given to unwarrented statements and no friend of Philby or other fellow travellers. It is certainly true that Angleton's molehunts damaged the CIA  
[following the defections of Golitsyn and Nosenko] Angleton became increasingly convinced that the CIA was compromised by the KGB. Golitsyn convinced him that the KGB had reorganized in 1958 and 1959 to consist mostly of a shell, incorporating only those agents whom the CIA and the FBI were recruiting, directed by a small cabal of puppet masters who doubled those agents to manipulate their Western counterparts. ..the resulting paralysis...
In the period of the Vietnam War and Soviet-American détente, Angleton was convinced of the necessity of the war and believed that the strategic calculations underlying the resumption of relations with China were based on a deceptive KGB staging of the Sino-Soviet split. He went so far as to speculate that Henry Kissinger might be under KGB influence. During this period, Angleton'sAngleton was also responsible for an illegal operation that screened international mail and telegrams.
  That may be what Jerry is talking about but here is something else
Another joint Anglo-American intelligence operation with which Philby was involved was doomed by his participation. From September 1949, British and American intelligence services had been developing a plan to foment counter-revolution in the Stalinist republic of Albania. This project, known as Operation Valuable, aimed to overthrow the Enver Hoxha regime and reinstate Albania's King Zog. Albanian émigré guerrillas were trained by British and American forces, overseen in Washington by the CIA's Office of Policy Co-ordination and by SIS's representative: Philby. From 1950 through 1952, these guerrilla forces were parachuted into Albania. However, the Sigurimi (Albania's Stalinist secret police) had been forewarned by intelligence communicated to the Soviets by Philby. A large number of the guerrillas were killed upon landing; those who survived were brought to trial and executed.

More on the attempted Albanian subversion here which says the failure was historically inevitable - something most historians normally say of most things. But here is something the Wikipedia authors know nothing about 
My favorite story that Jerry [Pournelle] told me about his adventurous life is the tale of his attempt to liberate communist Albania.
"Back in the mid-1960s, Jerry, his mentor Stefan Possony, and Leka, Pretender to the Throne of Albanian... started to organize an invasion of Albania by patriotic exiles to overthrow communist dictator Enver Hoxha.
"The larger strategic goal was to puncture the myth of communist inevitability by rolling back one country. Hoxha had alienated the Soviets by denouncing Khrushchev's 1956 policy of de-Stalinization. And he had earlier broken with Tito's Yugoslavia, making his nearest ally Red China. So, invading Albania wasn't likely to start WWIII.
"King Constantine II, last King of the Hellenes, lent them his summer palace in Corfu, from which the hills of Albania are visible, as their headquarters.
"Their sponsors in the U.S. government didn't want to be seen providing the crucial air cover needed to allow the invaders to cross the channel from Corfu. And without air cover, it would just be another Bay of Pigs.
"So Jerry and Co. persuaded King Hussein of Jordan, who owed a lot of favors to the U.S. and was amenable to liberating his fellow Muslims in Albania from the godless Communist tyranny, to promise his British-built air force would wipe out the 11-airplane Albanian air force on the ground in a surprise attack. Jerry thus spent a lot of time in Jordan training their pilots on how to pull off a sneak attack.
"Back in Corfu on June 5, 1967, Jerry was called to the radio to hear the news: the Israelis had pulled off their own sneak attack, wiping out the Egyptian air force, and in the subsequent fighting later that day destroyed most of the Jordanian air force
"So, the liberation of Albania had to be called off.
"Decades later, Jerry met the President of Israel, Ezer Weizman, who had been Chief of Operations in the Six Day War. Jerry explained how Weizman had wrecked his invasion of Albania. Weizman exclaimed to the effect that: You were that foreigner who was training the Jordanians how to pull off a sneak attack? We thought you were a Russian training the Jordanians to attack us!"
Okay, so this sets the bullshit meter ringing about three different ways....But there might have been *something* going on. The junta of the Colonels had recently taken over in Greece, and various odd stuff was in the air.
  So how much of this is true. Does Jerry think Philby prolonged the cold war by 10 years because the roll back of communism in 1949 was prevented by Philby? Did Jerry actually do all this? Fucked if I know. However Jerry was an active cold warrior who came up with many schemes and had a large personal role in selling SDI to Reagan which did if not win the cold war on its own played a very major part so he has an informed opinion of how it was fought at the very least. Were Philby's actions, which certainly happened or Jerry's, if they did, good, bad or otherwise. Again I don't know - this is to big for me.

   What I am sure of is that history is not inevitable, and that it is made up of many more things than get in the history books. That the acts of individuals do matter almost as much as those of Presidents and armies. And that many of the actors don't get to fit into the official historian's picture.
younger Philby and Pournelle

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Friday, June 10, 2011


    Here are 3 letters I have recently sent to newspapers on the subject of Ratko Mladic, which has, after all, been a major news item in the last few days. As expected none of them have been published anywhere according to Google News. I have retained the references and PS comments to prove that they are (A) true & (B) the accusations of impropriety which no journalist has felt able to answer.

    I know that to most people Yugoslavia is "a far away country of which we know little" and that putting the entire population of Serbia in Nazi concentration camps, as advocated by the US Vice President would no more impinge on our lives than Auschwitz did on German's. However the fact that this can be so totally censored that not a single news item or even letter, so far as I know, has been published in the Anglo-American press reporting the facts from Maldic's side is very important. If our media can manage 100% censorship and propagandism on this issue then, by definition, they can on ANY issue they choose. I grant it might be slightly more difficult things that took place in Britain in public (eg the Kelvingrove "riot") but not those in private (eg each cabinet meeting being opened with the ceremonial rape, disemboweling and sacrifice to Satan of 2 children taken from care homes)(I'm not guaranteeing that Cameron does this but I am guaranteeing that if he does it could be made to receive exactly the amount of coverage it now does). Being able to totally censor one important news item is like being a little bit pregnant.

    If anybody does see a mainstream news item or even published letter anywhere in the US/UK which does report accurately I would be interested if you could send a link.
                Joan McAlpine's article about Srbrenica today refers to the "massacre victims" being sent to Tuzla so she clearly knows something about the real situation. Tuzla is on the opposite side of the Moslem enclave from Srebrenica, as anybody looking at a map can see, and not where refugees would have naturally gone. What happened is the 7,000 soldiers of the Srebrenica garrison did indeed reach safety and were immediately dispatched to the relative obscurity of Tuzla so that the Bosnian Moslem leader Izetbegivic (according to the western media at the time a "moderate multiculturalist" but in fact an unrepentant Ex-Nazi, associated with the SS Handzar Division, & publicly committed to genocide) could claim they had been massacred
This is because, as he himself said "You know, I was offered by Clinton in April 1993 (after the fall of Cerska and Konjevic Polje) that the Chetnik forces enter Srebrenica, carry out a slaughter of 5,000 Muslims, and then there will be a military intervention."
There was a genocide at Srebrenica but it was of over 3,800 civilians, mainly women, children and old people, because they were there, murdered, in many cases beheaded, by Srebrenica's Moslem ex-Nazi garrison. This was possible only because NATO "peacekeepers" who, having agreed to disarm them, instead allowed them free movement and protection as they carried out their genocide. This other genocide is not disputed. Even NATO's general Morrillon and others have testified to it during the Milosevic "trial". It is simply that this real genocide has, for 16 years, been censored by the western media.
I do not think it can be honestly claimed that Milosevic, Karadzic, Mladic or almost every other Serb "convicted" by the NATO funded "court" is legally 1/1,000th as deserving of punishment as every single MP who voted for these criminal wars.

Ref Izetbegovic quote

PS Of the 2 letters today I would prefer this one published since it is clearly a subject on which the degree of media lying and censorship far exceeds even that of the pro-nuclear cause

I have highlighted the bit about the reporter's reference to Tuzla because the line of retreat of Serb troops was to the Goradze pocket,  and thence to Sarajevo. Tuzla, at the right hand end of the Moslem territory is nowhere near where they arrived and as out of the way a spot as the Bosnian Moslems had. The fact that the reporter knows this proves they know there is, at least, something fishy about the whole story. In this case, and I suspect most others, the journalist cannot plead total, ignorance
                 May I commend the Scotsman on its sense of patriotism in printing letters on both sides of the issue about the Highland Clearances 2 centuries ago. This is clearly a much more topical subject than the ethnic cleansing, and other atrocities too obscene to be mentioned in a newspaper, of 350,000 Serbs, Gypsies & Jews from Kosovo by NATO and its "police" (formerly the openly genocidal KLA & before their recruitment, training and arming, a collection of drug lords, WW2 Nazis, sex slavers and organleggers); the similar treatment of half a million Serbs and Yugoslavs from Croatia, with our military support; and another half million in Bosnia by the Moslems under their ex-Nazi & openly genocidal leader Izetbegovic, again only possible because of our military assistance. On all of these atrocities the Scotsman steadfastly refuse to publish anything which might embarrass our political masters.

I am glad to see that the Scotsman's political line does not extend to making Scots Highlanders into "unpersons" as they do with the Serbian "Untermensch".
and this one to BBC, ITN, STV, C4 News, Ayr newspaper, "Independent", Sidney Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Dunfermline local, Express Scotland, Express UK, Scotland on Sunday, Glasgow local, Daily Record, Edinburgh Evening News, Economist, Morning Star, New Statesman, Sun, News of the World, Aberdeen P&J, Telegraph, Sunday Post, Sunday Times, the Australian, Irish Independent, Scottish Review, US Seattle times, Dundee Courier, Yorkshire Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Globe (US), Asia Times, Metro (Glasgow free), Scotsman, Chronicle (US),  Baltimore Sun (US), Evening Times, Financial Times, Guardian, LA Times (US), Daily Mail, Newsweek (US), NY Times (US) Sunday Times, Herald, The Times, Time (US) Sunday Herald, Toronto Star, Star (US), NY Times (US), NY Post (US), Newsweek (US), San Francisco something (US), Seattle Times (US), SJ Mercury (US), & Sun-Times (US).. OK a few don't come out till Sunday but I will take bets.
      I note that, despite significant coverage of the Ratko Mladic "trial" your coverage has not only been one sided but that, even among reader's letters, which is supposed to be the ultimate hold-out where opinions without official approval can be aired, you have chosen to allow no letters questioning the claims of his guilt.
If this were a real "trial" this would not only be unconscionable but, if seen across all the mainstream media, as it is in this case, would be strong grounds for a mistrial.
Fortunately, from the point of view of this in power, the Mladic "trial" has little in common with real trials. There is virtually no evidence that the alleged Srebrenica massacre of 7,000/8,000/11,000 Moslem soldiers ever took place. There is no question that, before Izetbegovic, the openly genocidal (& ex-Nazi) Moslem leader announced the "massacre" Bill Clinton met with him and was asked to intervene. Clinton said that if there were 5000 casualties, he could intervene.
What is worse, even than promoting a false massacre, is the censorship of real genocide. It is accepted, even by NATO, that at least 3,870 unarmed Serb civilians, mainly women, children and old men, were murdered, often by beheading by "raiding" parties from Srebernica, who were allowed to pass safely through NATO "peacekeeper's" lines. Such civilian murders are far more clearly genocide than anything alleged against Mladic (or Karadzic & Milosevic before him) yet none of those against whom there is undoubtedly a case to answer, have been charged with this by the NATO funded "court"
So long as the vast bulk of the mainstream media censor in the cause of genocide there are no circumstances under which similar allegations whether made against Gaddafi or the Israelis can be treated as truthful or that the widely used term "lamestream media" can be considered as anything other than the greatest courtesy.

Ref - 1 of several instances of Izetbegovic boasting of Clinton's "fake a genocide" offer.

- NATO general testifying to the real massacre at the Milosevic "trial"
PS I authorise you, if you wish, to edit out the last paragraph because, while entirely factual, I recognise it would embarrass you. If any of you wish to say you will not print this because you have actually already allowed a single article or letter putting the facts given here I would accept that as evidence that there is 1 western newspaper which is not wholly divorced from journalistic ethics and eager to censor any fact in the cause of racism and fascism.

I except the British Morning Star and Hong Kong Asia Times from this stricture since they have already published truthful material about the alleged and undisputed Srebrenica massacres and thus demonstrated they posses more commitment to journalistic ethics than all the rest of these media outlets combined.

UPDATE Andrej has come up with 1 letter, giving the facts. What chance 2?

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Thursday, June 09, 2011


  In 1924 the first Labour government amended a previous Tory plan to build an airship to make travel across the Empire easier. They decided, putting their ideological convictions on the line, to have 2 built. One by a private company, Vickers, that became the R100 and another by the civil service, that became the R101.

  To be fair the "capitalist" project was also the "great engineers" project, led by Barnes Wallace and including Nevil Shute.The "socialist" one wasn't any sort of progressive adventurous socialist but the old British civil service adopting the newly fashionable ideological protective colouring as they now do with "environmentalism".

  The R100 was a well designed craft 
R100's contract originally required a final acceptance trial flight of 48 hours duration, together with a demonstration flight to India. The decision to change the specification to petrol engines prompted a change in destination to Canada as it was reasoned that a flight to the tropics with petrol aboard would be too hazardous. It was also decided that the Diesel powered R101 would make the flight to India instead

R100 duly departed for Canada on 29 July 1930, reaching the Canadian mooring mast at the airport in Saint-Hubert, Quebec in 78 hours having covered the great circle route of 3,300 mi (5,300 km) at an average speed of 42 mph (68 km/h). The airship stayed at Montreal for 12 days and over 100,000 people visited the airship each day she was there, and a song was composed by La Bolduc to commemorate, or rather to make fun of, the people's fascination with R100. She also made a 24 hour passenger-carrying flight to Ottawa, Toronto, and Niagara Falls while in Canada.

The airship departed on her return flight on 13 August, reaching Cardington after a 57½ hour flight.
  The flight was so successful the US offered to sell or perhaps even give helium in exchange for seeing the technical specifications. Up till then the only source in the world for helium was some US oil wells but by then Canada had some too. Nonetheless it does show how serious they were.
Vickers' experts had calculated that the fare on an airship journey might be £45 (around US$215 at the time),[1] compared to a contemporary airliner fare of £115 (about $550), and the non-stop range of an airship would be far superior, making the journey quite competitive.

  The R101 was less successful
From the first the Air Ministry promoted its ship, R101, by using press agents to keep up public interest, presenting R101 as a great public enterprise: so the designers of R101 became the prisoners of public and political expectations.

At the time, and even today, opinion about R101, varies from the best airship ever designed to an appallingly bad piece of engineering. This is largely because, whilst the design was undoubtedly both elegant and ingenious, and the workmanship superb, the ship had basic flaws which were largely due to weaknesses in the design committee...

R101 departed from Cardington on 4 October at 6:24 p.m. for its intended destination of Karachi (then part of British India) via a refuelling stop at Ismaïlia in Egypt under the command of Flight Lieutenant Carmichael Irwin. Among the 12 passengers were Lord Thomson, Secretary of State for Air, Sir Sefton Brancker, Director of Civil Aviation, and Squadron Leader William Palstra, RAAF air liaison officer (ALO) to the British Air Ministry.[11] On release from the mooring mast, the nose of R101 dipped alarmingly,[citation needed] forcing the airship to drop four tonnes of water ballast from the nose section to bring the airship back to true.[10] This used all the forward ballast and reduced usable lift by almost half.[citation needed]

In contradiction of reports received from the airship about cruising height, observers both across the UK and in France were amazed and alarmed to see the airship flying so low. Even though the weather was foul, observers reported that it was so close they could see people at the windows of the airship.[citation needed]

In France, the low and erratic flying pattern further alarmed observers with a number concerned that it was going to hit rooftops (from witness reports at the formal inquiry held at the end of 1930).[citation needed]

Over France, R101 passed close to Beauvais ridge at a height estimated at 800 feet (240 m) and went into a dive from which she slowly recovered. Rigger Church was sent forward to release the forward ballast bag but before he could do so the ship went into another dive and hit the ground.
  It should be noted that the R100 was built on a very tight fixed price contract. I have been unable to find any information about what the failed R101 cost, which itself I find as conclusive evidence that it was  embarrassingly more expensive. So it looks like absolute proof of the superiority of private enterprise and good engineering to government control. However there are 3 even more disgraceful things to be set against the state control ledger:

1) When government regulates itself there is no regulation
Despite the issue of a Temporary Permit to Fly the safety inspector, McWade, refused to issue a Certificate of Airworthiness citing the following causes: that her outer cover was in a poor state, that her gas bags were leaking badly, that the 4000 odd protection pads were not working. He also questioned the effect of lengthening her on her stability in pitch, which had always been very poor.

The Air Council, which had no members with any experience of airships, asked Cardington, the Royal Airship Works and builders about these matters and received an emollient reply. The record shows that despite Inspector McWade's objections a Certificate of Airworthiness was issued on 2 October; tradition has it that it was only handed to Captain Irwin an hour before her flight to India
.2 Government "Enquiries" are a whitewash in which the government will lie to itself and pretend to believe its lies
During the inquiry held into the disaster, all reports both from the Air Ministry and the government painted glowing reports of the airworthiness and competence of the airship prior to its flight to India. This was in direct contradiction to the experiences of the technical and support crew who worked on R101 and also the observations of those working on the sister ship, R100. [N 1] The true state of the construction only came to light in later decades as a number of technicians and also Nevil Shute made public observations and details of the problems that had accompanied the airship's construction
3 Government will do anything, no matter how damaging to cover their arses 
R100 represented the best that conventional airship technology in Britain had to offer at the time...

After R101 crashed and burned in France, en route to India on 5 October 1930, the Air Ministry ordered the R100 grounded. She was deflated and hung up in her shed for a year

In November 1931, it was decided to sell R100 for scrap and the entire framework ofs flattened by machinery and sold for less than £600.
 But scrapping the R100 is not like calling in Hondas because of a few crashes. These were 2 entirely separately designed and constructed vessels All that scrapping R100 was to stop itbeing a success and thereby rubbing government's nose in its own proven incompetence. At the very worst it could have been sold to the US or Canada
The R100 was seen as very advanced for its time and in the lighter than air world it was a real innovation. So much so that the American Government had offered cheap or even free helium to inflate the ship in return for the British technical knowhow and data.
It was declared that Helium deposits had been discovered in Canada and so an option was for the sale of the ship to the Canadian Government.
   And that is why we don't have an airship industry today. Not because it was uncompetitive, not even because the state could not produce a vessel matching the free enterprise one but because government found it to their own political advantage to destroy it and thus hide their own failure..

G-FAAV, Airship Guarantee Company RIGID AIRSHIP R100 C/N R100, R-100 at Saint-Hubert airport in Montreal in 1930


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Wednesday, June 08, 2011


I read this recently on Steve Sailer's blog (in my opinion one of the purely most intelligent people in the blogsphere despite, or because of his politically incorrect views). It is about the decline of interest in preventing monopolies. This used to be a major focus of "leftist" opinion yet has virtually disappeared. Few industries now exist where more than half a dozen companies do not control 80% of the market. It is something both "leftist" opponents of "monopoly capitalism" and "rightist" supporters of free markets, which, as Adam Smith pointed out, depend on unrestrained competition. Jerry Pournelle, no leftist, has said that the failure of the Marxist prediction was because anti-monopoly laws prevented all productive power being concentrated in very few hands.

  It is understandable why the "right" should not spend its energy opposing concentrated business power when we the "leftists" are so busy grabbing anything of value. Perhaps the failure of the "left" to do so shows how they have been absorbed as an arm of the state funded fakecharity industry and the state does much better out of big businesses with whom they can do deals and who are much less likely to oppose their political wishes (compare Ryanair with the big energy compnies who support windmillery or compare the CBI positions with those of the Federation of Small Businesses).

One of the less expected changes in public life over the last third of a century has been the growing apathy over the subject of antitrust (known outside of America as "competition law"). For example, the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, reducing the number of national cell phone network competitors from four to three, isn't popular in the Senate, but it doesn't seem to be a big news story with the public.

.....It's hard to explain to today's youth what a big deal trust-busting was just a third of a century ago. Alternatively, it's hard to figure out why nobody cares much anymore about cartelization.

When I was majoring in economics at Rice in the late 1970s, monopoly was a massive topic. I took a semester-long course devoted to propounding the emerging libertarian line that there was very little to worry about. Competition would tend to rapidly eliminate monopolies. This popular idea of businessmen getting together in smoke filled rooms to agree to keep prices up was a stereotype. I got a very good grade in that course. I believed.
The young professor making these arguments against antitrust law in the late 1970s saw himself as a rebel against orthodoxy. Today, though, his free market ideas seems to have become conventional wisdom, or at least nobody cares that much to argue against them.
The funny thing was that when I got a job with a young company, however, it turned out that competition, from the perspective of owners and employees holding stock options, was awful. It's like Adam Smith said, in a genuinely competitive market, it's hard for a business to make more than the risk-adjusted cost of capital, which is not much fun at all. Why go through the immense amount of hard work to invent a new, better way of doing business if that's all you'll end up with? To make good money, the kind of money the stock market demands you make, you need some kind of quasi-monopolistic edge.

... It's easy to understand the high profits of, say, Apple, but why does Procter & Gamble make so much off toothpaste and detergent these days?
One difference is that in the inflationary 1970s, it was common for members of the public to suspect that rising prices were caused by monopolistic practices. With the prices of manufactured goods stable or even falling in much of the time since the 1970s, however, it's common to assume that anticompetitive activities can't be a problem because, say, cell phones or TVs keep getting awesomer. Psychologically, it's hard to worry much about whether prices should be falling even faster.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

"Precautionary Principle" - a sure marker that the speaker is an eco-Nazi unconcerned about human life

  The "Precautionary Principle" is not a scientific principle, nor one with any sort of logically discussed merit it is simply a phrase used by eco-Nazis*. Indeed the imprecision and meaninglessness of the term is proven by the fact that it has so many definitions:

The precautionary principle states that if an action or policy has suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action.

Assumption of the worst case scenario with respect to actions whose outcomes are uncertain.

The concept that precautionary action can be taken to mitigate a perceived risk. Action may be justified even if the probability of that risk occurring is small, because the outcome might be very adverse.
The view that when science has not yet determined whether a new product or process is safe or unsafe, policy should prohibit or restrict its use until it is known to be safe. Applied to trade, this has been used as the basis for prohibiting imports of GMOs, for

a moral principle used to guide decisionmaking and prevent harm: When there is an activity or product that could threaten human health or the environment, precaution should be taken, even before there is scientific proof that the activity or product is harmful. ...

This principle establishes that a lack of information does not justify the absence of management measures. On the contrary, management measures should be established in order to maintain the conservation of the resources. ...
Where significant environmental damage may occur, but the knowledge on the matter is incomplete, decisions made and measures implemented should err on the site of caution.
The obligation to take preventive action when a chemical is suspected of causing harm to human health and/or the environment in the absence of conclusive scientific evidence in order to ensure a high level of environmental protection and of human, animal and plant health.
It is a fundamental component of the concept of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and has been defined in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration (1992) United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio, 1992 (the "Rio Declaration"): Where there are threats of serious or ...
where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
The best environmental policy is to protect the environmental systems as a priority, in particular where the results of an action/procedure are unknown.
Taking action now to avoid possible environmental damage when the scientific evidence for acting is inconclusive but the potential damage could be great.
The principle that when information about potential risks is incomplete, decisions about the future policies should be based on a preference for avoiding unnecessary environmental or health risks.
an approach to the management of risk when scientific knowledge is incomplete.
The approach whereby any possible risk associated with the introduction of a new technology is avoided, until a full understanding of its impact on health, environment etc. is available. ...

Usage examples

"We're living through a crisis with the changes to our environment," Blair said. "The fact is, just on the precautionary principle, it'd be sensible to act. And the truth is, if we don't act, and in a way that binds the main countries in...

Jan 26, 2007 - Forbes - Tony Blair
"We want to work in this environment on a precautionary principle," Kuneva said.

Apr 22, 2008 - Scientific American - Meglena Kuneva

Sturgeon said: "This is the first occasion we have had to take the step of closing a school in Scotland. But we are doing it on the basis of the precautionary principle and our containment strategy so far has been successful."

May 13, 2009 - Scottish Daily Record - Nicola Sturgeon

  None of these make any attempt to quantify such risks. In the worst cases it is simply enough that somebody, or at least some approved eco-fascist, claims tom believe their is the possibility of some sort of risk, at some time, possibly only decades or centuries away and refuses to accept any proof otherwise, sometimes even saying that there are no circumstances whatsoever that they would ever accept evidence. [This is not hyperbole it is precisely the position adopted over GM foods, the claim that low level radiation is dangerous and indeed "catastrophic global warming".

  It also involves bringing in other slippery, undefinable terms such as "scientific consensus" and "ecologically sustainable development". It should be noted that even what looks like a precise term "burden of proof" has 3 ditinct meanings - beyond reasonable doubt; clear evidence; preponderance of evidence". Thus no "definition" which includes that without specifying the meaning used is anything other than spin.

 My preferred definition is from Yes Minister's Sir Humphrey Appleby. This came before the "principle" had been adopted by ecofascism and was just referred to as civil service policy - that "'many, many things must be done, but nothing should ever be done for the first time'.

   Of course all actions or indeed inactions have more effects than just one. For example not growing GM foods means less food and more starvation worldwide. This effect can be estimated with some accuracy and set against any benefit of inaction. Usually the benefit of inaction is remarkably close to zero. However supporters of this "principle" actively eschew any such calculations which suggests they know perfectly well that they would prove they are on the side of killing people not protecting them.

  Invoking the "precautionary principle" itself is, for this reason, likely to be extremely risky and, if it were a real principle rather than spin invoking the precautionary principle could not be done by anybody who supported the precautionary principle.

  Basically anybody who invokes that so called "principle" to give themselves a veto over people's right to do things is, by doing so, proving themselves to be an eco-Nazi*.

* In this case eco-Nazi, rather than ecofascist, is the correct term since they are demonstrating a willingness to kill people.

UPDATE Al Fin has a longer article on this same subject.

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Monday, June 06, 2011

GLOBAL WARMING - Debating the Multidecadal Trend

  Professor Wolff has emailed me to dispute what I said on 2 of the seven points recently discussed and of which I said that if the warming scare is justified, all 7 must be completely wrong.

He told me, correctly, that (on question 5) it is sulphur crystals not sulphur dioxide crystals, as I said, that must be put into the stratosphere to produce cooling. He also points out that, since such crystals only stay up for about 2 years this needs to be practiced continuously and indeed, were catastrophic warming to keep rising the amount of crystals would have to be increased. However should we continue the war on fire that must also be continued indefinitely and  because the loss in economic growth is a cumulative, indeed geometric, growth process it's cost will also rise geometrically. Since the annual cost of putting up such sulphur crystals is well under 1,000th the cost of Kyoto, I do not see that as a major problem.

   On point 1 (that there has been no significant warming since 1995) the Professor has also sent me a graph, from the Met Office, of warming back to 1850, which he believes
shows a long term trend of  0.6C degree of warming, over the last 150 year, correlating with the time manmade CO2 started its steep rise. This, rather than the experience between 1979 and 1998, which was at the time promised by Hansen would show a 0.5 C decadal increase in his evidence to Congress, or the 0.2 C decadal increase Hansen later said, on oath in a British court, was the case, being the multidecadal increase he referred to.

Note that while there is an overall correlation over the period the steepest proportional rise in CO2 was from 1950 to 1980 - when temperature, at worst, flatlined.

On the other hand, as we can see from the Greenland ice Sheet, the rise, while real, is nothing outside human experience and indeed we are still cooler than normal..

I am glad he still maintains there is a  scientific consensus, excluding only "very few scientists"that the political claims of "catastrophic global warming" are clearly false.

UPDATE Professor Fred Singer has sent comments here

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

LINKS ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER - "the main driver of growth"

Chernobyl compared with normal background radiation and illness

The real lesson of this graph is that, any nation which greatly increases its power supply, as any nation able to install nuclear reactors can, it will become much wealthier.

Molten salt reactors - operate at near atmospheric pressure and thus can't explode catastrophically

Al Fin on Thorium reactors
Vietnam to build 30 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2030 which is about 60% of AL Britain's electric power now
"In modern times the main driver of economic growth has been, and continues to be, energy" - Jim Mather, SNP minister

Unregistered nuclear reactors with no safety measures whatsoever up to 1.8 billion years ago

Nuclear costs

The WSJ explains some of the various measures of radiation

Radon levels in Scotland
Map of radon in Scotland
and by what is clearly a very different shading, in England and Wales
Map of radon in England and Wales

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