Sunday, 29 November 2009

Cheese shop denial

Just having a browse around the forums and comments pages. I'm trying not to laugh myself silly at some people. Their position is categorically falsified by evidence, and all they can do is gainsay everyone else. It's like reading the script for Monty Python's famous 'Cheese shop' sketch.

As a student I used to be one of those sad cases who actually played the game of 'cheese shop' as a drinking game. The game was played in a pub to decide who bought the next round of drinks. The rules were, a subject (Not necessarily cheese) was picked. Each contestant got three tries. Don't ask me why, I didn't make up the wretched game, to find out that the 'cheese shop' proprietor didn't have whatever they were asking for. It was the sort of thing I got up to as an Engineering student (Nuff said). The more colourful and outlandish the excuse, the more 'beer points' you scored.

Why a drinking game between students? Why not? We were all too geeky and poor for the girls to look our way. In those poverty stricken days we had to make our entertainment where we could. If sex was off the menu, then beer and stupid pseudo intellectual games at least partially filled the void.

It seems some researchers at various climate modelling establishments are also skilled practitioners of this game after this fashion;
Customer; "Hello. I'd like some data please."
Researcher; "What sort of data's that then?"
Customer; "Climate data. Unadjusted."
Researcher; "Unadjusted? How much?"
Customer; "You know the unadjusted data and programs you use for climate modelling."
Researcher; "What d'you want those for then?"
Customer; "To verify that the globe really is warming uncontrollably."
Researcher; "Well it is. Take my word for it. Absolutely boiling. Look at my Hockey stick."
Customer; "Really? Can I see your data modelling structures?"
Researcher; "What d'you want to see those for?"
Customer; "To see if you're correct."
Researcher; "Well we are. However there's a nice one here - oh, the mice have eaten it."
Customer; "Do any of your climate models work?"
Researcher; "This one does - Bugger, the batteries are flat. Got this Hockey stick though."
Customer; "Have you got any batteries for it?"
Researcher; "Not this type. They don't make them any more."
Customer; "What about that one?"
Researcher; "Can't have that."
Customer; "Why not?"
Researcher; "Source data's missing."
Customer; "The source data's missing?"
Researcher; "Got some adjusted data."
Customer; "I don't want adjusted data!"
Researcher; "Pity, got loads of it."
Customer; "I just want some original source data to verify your hypothesis."
Researcher; "What for?"
Customer; "To see if you're right."
Researcher; "Well we are. Take my word for it. As right as right can be. Like this Hockey stick."
Customer; "Well I'd like to prove it for myself!"
Researcher; "Oh we do, do we? The research of millions of highly trained minds not good enough for you eh? Look at this one; lovely peer reviews." (Sorry, wrong sketch)
Customer; "No, I just want to look at your original source data and your modelling code please."
Researcher; "Well why didn't you say so?"
Customer; "But I just did! I'd like to look at your source data and modelling methodology please."
Researcher; "Adjusted or unadjusted?"
Customer; "But I just told you; unadjusted!"
Researcher; "All right, all right, keep your hair on. I had some here somewhere."

And so on, and so on. You could go on all night. But better not, eh?

Climategate; Monckton calling for prosecutions

Following the revelations which are oozing out into the mainstream, this interview shows Christopher Monckton calling for the prosecution of those who promoted the doomsaying. This is going to get very interesting. Although a little too interesting for some. I can hear the shredders from here.

H/T Minnesotans for Global Warming

Ironic really, as it was not so long ago that hard core Warmista's like David Suzuki were calling for unbelievers to be jailed. Ah me. All makes work for the lawyers.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Climategate; you turn if you want to

Holy disclosure Batman! The UK Daily Telegraph reports that the University of East Anglia is going to do a full disclosure to fulfil a Freedom of Information request lodged by a Mr David Holland.

Go see.

Wow. What a weekend. I publish my latest offering and we get disclosure from the Met Office and Hadley CRU? I'm going to have to go and have a lie down in a darkened room.

I may never need Prozac again.

Update: Now the Times has weighed in. How long before the notoriously Warmist BBC finally cracks?

Climategate: Bookers input

Just picked up on Christopher Bookers latest column in the UK Daily Telegraph. I am in full concurrence. Yes it is the worst scientific scandal of our times. Science has been abused to promote a totally false world view.

I'd write more on the subject, only the final preparations on my project over here has been taking up my time. Once I'm done with that I will be doing a little digging through the archives with my little cyber shovel to find the people most guilty of promoting the fraud. As far as I'm concerned, Uncle Al Gore is just the front man, and it seems will be the one to take the biggest fall. He's already been chased off one of his own book signings in Chicago. More, I suspect, is yet to come.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Climategate; data links

I'm really having a hard time keeping up with the deluge of information spewing out of the Climategate leak. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Suffice it to say that the big FORTRAN hitters are over in the comments section at Bishop Hill and Steve McIntyre's mirror site. What they have to say about the various tricks to 'hide the decline' is both enlightening and almost exhausting to read.

The hard core warmista's can shout and scream all they like, but when their data and modelling is held up in the light of enlightened scrutiny the evidence is clear; there is no global warming trend. There never was one. Ergo there can be no correlation between CO2 and temperature. The mainstream media could be having a field day with this, the story is so huge. Instead, with a few notable exceptions, they're treating it like an academic bitch slapping contest unworthy of much mention.

Nevertheless, I must perforce be gone; as I have other more pressing needs upon my time and energy. I shall leave the fight to worthier minds. Talk amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Codifying a verdict

Well, like so many others I've had a look at the HARRY_READ_ME.TXT file and read the opinions of professional FORTRAN programmers. Even with my extremely limited programming ability it looks like someone has been trying to create climate models with a copy of 'FORTRAN for Dummies' on one side of the desk, and a pile of heavily smudged BBC forecasts for Chorlton cum Hardy on the other. No wonder the climate models never worked.

Just remind me will you? How much money was going to be flushed down the toilet on this? On second thoughts don't.

Monday, 23 November 2009

'Climategate' fallout begins

Senator Inhofe: Call for Investigation on "Climategate".

Lord Lawson: Calls for public inquiry into UEA global warming data 'manipulation'.

Not such a bad idea. We need this whole business out in the open. On the other hand the depressing thought occurs that 'Public Enquiry' and 'Whitewash' are oftentimes synonymous.

My day was cheered up by the news item about seven activists who occupied the office of Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister. The actoivists declared they would not leave unless Canada signed up to all the Copenhagen protocols. The Ministers response? He had his staff give the activists coffee and took care of business elsewhere without promising anything. “We won’t be changing our target as a result of an office occupation,” said Mr. Prentice’s spokesman, Bill Rodgers.
Police arrested the activists early this evening. The seven protesters face criminial mischief charges and will appear in court next month.

Well done that man.

Climategate's HARRY_READ_ME.txt file

For those programmers and analysts currently with time on their hands, click on the title bar for the link to the CRU sourced file 'HARRY_READ_ME.txt'. Even a relatively cursory reading of the documented code is damning. For a less polite analysis, trot over to the Devils Kitchen for a more pejorative view. For those who like a more studied approach, got to this post at Wattsupwithat. I think that nasty smell from Hadley CRU is that of books being cooked.

Oh, and the UK's Daily Telegraph finally makes comment of the released e-mails. I suppose they had to wait for the heads up from their lawyers.

Is all this genuine? Well, no real denials from CRU to date. They'd get verbally ripped to shreds in public. I'm off to Victoria today and simply don't have the time or inclination to comment further. All that hacks me off that the journey will cost more because of pointless carbon taxation, for which I hold the 'Hockey Team' at least partially responsible.

H/T An Englishman's Castle.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Flight prices

I got a call from my Mother today who asked me when I was next going to be back in the UK. I told her I wasn't sure, but would have a nose at the prices. Took a meander into town and paused by the window of a travel centre. There was a flight to London advertised for CDN$149. "That's good. I can afford that." I thought. Then I took another look at the small print. In addition to the cost of the flight, there was an additional CDN$465 in fees and taxes. "Ah. Not so good."

Anyone out there justify these taxes and fees? I mean really justify them.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Aprés nous, le deluge.

Following the revelations, here comes the Tsunami of damning words....

Associated Press, UK
Hackers leak e-mails, stoke climate debate
Quote;"Some climate change skeptics and bloggers claim the information shows scientists have overstated the case for global warming, and allege the documents contain proof that some researchers have attempted to manipulate data."

Boston Herald, USA
E-mail leak turns up heat on global warming advocates
Quote;"The e-mail authors also refer to skeptics as “idiots,” fantasize in one case about beating up a skeptic, and discuss ways to prevent skeptics’ papers from being published, London’s Daily Telegraph reported"

Canada Free Press, Canada
The Death Blow to Climate Science
Quote;"CO2 never was a problem and all the machinations and deceptions exposed by these files prove that it was the greatest deception in history, but nobody is laughing. It is a very sad day for science and especially my chosen area of climate science. As I expected now it is all exposed I find there is no pleasure in “I told you so.”"

Global warming research exposed after hack
Quote;"Jones' e-mails offer some candid insight into the thoughts of a noted climate researcher and his peers."

Daily Mail, UK
Hackers 'expose global warming con': Sceptics claim that leaked emails reveal research centre massaged temperature data
Quote;"A spokesman for the University of East Anglia said: ‘We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites."\
ClimateGate emails provide unwanted scrutiny of climate scientists
Quote;"Some have questioned the authenticity of the emails and documents with the university saying, “Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all of this material is genuine.”, a website that oftentimes serves as a publicist for many of the scientists, said the messages were ‘possibly edited’ but was unable to cite any examples where that may have occurred"
E-Mail Hacks Heat Up Global Warming Debate
Quote;"Another expert the Washington Post spoke with, Myron Ebell, claims the illegally obtained documents do indeed show that the researchers are in cahoots to solidify the theory that humans are the cause of climate change."

The Spectator, UK
The Smoking Iceberg
Quote;"If true, a revealed systematic fraud of this magnitude will surely not only bury AGW once and for all but, as Philip Stott anxiously observes, this ultimately inevitable outcome may well bring all of science into disrepute as a result."

Daily Telegraph, UK.
Climate Scientists accused of 'manipulating global warming data'
Quote; "Scientists who are alleged to be the authors of the emails in question have declined to comment on the matter."
James Delingpole news blog Climategate: how the MSM reported the greatest scandal in modern science
Quote;"So don’t expect this scandal to be written up in the MSM any time soon. But why would you want to anyway? It’s all here, where the free spirits and independent thinkers are, on the Blogosphere."
Hacked e-mails highlight climate dispute
Quote;"Several e-mails allegedly were written by Phil Jones, head of the university's climate unit. One message, dated Nov. 16, 1999, referred to temperatures and a "trick" that could be used to "hide the decline," The New York Times reported Saturday."


Waiting for Sunday

Well, what a momentous 48 hours. It's like when the MP's expenses scandal broke in Britain (And that's still rumbling on). The mainstream, as usual, are playing catch up or playing the 'Climategate' story down. For my own part I'm waiting for people like the UK Daily Telegraph's Christopher Booker to get his teeth into the tale. There are going to be a lot of red faces before this business is over, from certain academic Climate research units, all the way up to their sponsors at the top of the political pile.

I think Sunday is when the wet brown smelly stuff will finally hit the mainstream fan. Two weeks was how long it took for the Yamal reconstruction saga to bubble into the mainstream. Shortly after that, the propaganda over man's effect on the climate seemed to drop off somewhat. The daily stories promising the end of the world seemed to fall off my radar, which was a shame, I was enjoying those. This time there is conclusive evidence against the big climate lie and several mainstream columnists will be gleefully driving their vorpal swords into it.

Privately I think those political leaders who tried to tell us that we only had so long to 'save the world' are going to be looking for exit strategies; the most popular of which will be pretending it never happened and finding another 'crisis' to talk up. When it comes to Climate, our latter day political 'gods' will be shown to be hollow men with leaden feet. There will be a lot of muttering while everyone involved backs away from the subject, perhaps even a form of human sacrifice in the form of a bankrupted and discredited politician. Funding for climate research will evaporate. Afterwards will be anticlimax with only a few activists shouting pointless slogans on their empty temple of climate doom web sites. Finally an embarrassed silence will reign on the subject, and the edifices to man's hubris over the weather will be left to crumble. I could of course be wrong, but I predict the much vaunted Copenhagen climate conference will be populated by second and third string politicians. The big boys will suddenly find they have more pressing matters to attend to. Well there's a surprise.

Friday, 20 November 2009 (No link to ftp location)

Regarding Climategate, Hadleygate, CRUgate, whatever. One thing that has particularly piqued my interest is the title of the zipped file used to leak e-mails and data that are currently bringing the 'science' of CO2 caused Anthropogenic Global Warming (or Climate Change, please yourself) crashing down to Earth. Was it really 'hackers' or an inside job?

My money is on an inside job. Let me share my rather modest thought processes on the matter. First the file title; FOI2009. FOI refers to the UK's 'Freedom of Information act' and 2009 of course the year. As file name conventions go, there's something so very MS-DOS about it. Seven alphanumeric digits. Also the particularly English (Not Canadian or American) language that went with the accompanying note which seems to me to indicate the author is an educated native born English speaker with a specifically British middle class education. The vocabulary and sentence structure is a big clue here. So we're looking at someone who has experience of operating systems which only support the old eight and three file name convention. Technical writing ability, possibly. See below.

"We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps.
We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents"
I'm not giving anything away here as no doubt any investigator would have the brains to profile a possible whistleblower with legitimate access within the Hadley Climate Research Unit. Considering the type of institution Hadley CRU is, that's a lot of potential suspects.

BTW: For those of you looking for the file itself, your best bet is via Wattsupwithat or Jeff Id's Air Vent. I haven't the time to keep up with whichever changing links are working and which aren't. Best of luck.

Important update: The e-mails are now on a searchable database to be found here at H/T This post at Wattsupwithat.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

If this is true... It is.

Have just seen the breaking news reported on a number of sceptically inclined climate blogs that someone has hacked Hadley CRU and posted 157Mb of rather stupefyingly momentous information on a Russian FTP server in a 61Mb zipped file. The big brains are currently sifting and fact checking, but from the little I've seen it doesn't look good for the pro-AGW camp. The long and short of it appears upon first reading to be that yes, the source data was fudged to make it look like the Earth was in for a period of catastrophic warming. The motivation I could guess at, but it does tend to gel with all the third hand rumours I've heard about ensuring continued funding of a Carbon Dioxide gravy train.

Now I'm not going to be celebrating because if the released data holds true this is a very bad day for the reputation of science as a whole. I will simply allow myself a small smile of grim satisfaction, and hope like hell that this release of data isn't some massive hoax.

H/T Bishop Hill, Wattsupwithat.

Wonder when (or if) this will go mainstream?

Update: Confirmation from Hadley CRU has been seen at Wattsupwithat. According to them, the hacked data is the real deal . This is not a hoax. Oh my.

New word in my lexicon

I was pootling around a local bookshop yesterday, waiting for Mrs S to finish work, and saw a copy of a particular book on sale. On an impulse I made the purchase. Upon reading, my chortle glands were stimulated, and a veil ripped from my inner eye. Subsequently a new word has been added to my vocabulary. Not a new occurrence, but, I feel, an important one I'd like to share with whoever drops by my little pile of semi literate ravings. That word is 'Fark'. Sounds a bit Douglas Adamsish doesn't it? You know, as in a "Holy Zarquon, singing fish!" or "Farking Zarquon!" kind of way. It has the monosyllabic pithiness of a swear word, and just the right amount of pejorativeness without being overtly offensive.

According to Wiktionary, it is prosaically just another way of vouchsafing a common swear word. On the other hand, Drew Curtis and friends use it as a different kind of adjective to describe a spuriously inaccurate and even misleading news 'story' used as mere column inch filler which so many bloggers often spend huge amount of time exposing as fraudulent by the practice of 'Fisking'. It is within this context I wish to indulge my mental meanderings.

For example; let's consider types of news story as 'Fark'. Usually thought of as the more bizarre and outlandish stuff. However, a perusal of the news media, or TV or radio news brings the message home with a vengeance. For example; attributed quotes from public figures which they never uttered, or quotations so far out of context that they are accelerating over the dishonesty event horizon. Statements derived from scientific reports misinterpreted and subsequently sensationalised beyond all recognition. Opinion pieces masquerading as news. Lazy cut and paste from activists' press releases. Are they often spurious? - Yes. Inaccurate? - Very possibly. Misleading? - Most certainly. You could be justified in thinking that all the spurious and bizarre stories were in the National Enquirer and Sunday Sport; E.G. 'Elvis sighted on Lunar Holiday', 'God seen fishing on unidentified friend's luxury yacht'. There's something honest about those kind of stories because their veracity is so obviously, and humorously questionable. They don't masquerade as factual like real 'Fark'.

Therefore I would posit that 'Fark' is 'news' which misleads and misinforms. It is media spin and misdirection. Linguistic smoke and mirrors. As an adjective 'Fark' can be used as shorthand for unworthy of belief, as in "What utter Fark", or "That's a load of Fark isn't it?"

Ladies and gentlemen; I present you with the world of 'Fark'. It's remarkable how much there is of it about.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Crisis what crisis?

The recent persistent heavy rain has caused a few local aggravations. Temporary floods on some of the roads, the odd flooded cellar, but no major dramas. But ye cats that was wet! There was even a local state of emergency declared it was that rough. Reminded me of the December before last when we first arrived. No wonder so many of the locals have pickups and SUV's that are raised three or six inches. Some of the creations we see on the road need two steps to get into the cab they've got so much ground clearance.

Even back in the UK I used to secretly lusted after one because they are so all-fired useful if you live a rural area. Although apart from monster truck shows we never saw anything remotely like the raised and dual axled beasts that routinely womble around our locale. There is even a burgeoning fashion locally for suburban families to purchase a 4x4 crew cab with a short bed as a general multi purpose vehicle. The crew cab means you can pack the whole family in, and the 4x4 allows access down all the gravel roads and back country tracks, the bed at the back can take anything from a snowmobile or several kayaks to a brace of full size motorcycles or all of a large broods requirements for a camping weekend.

With a decent pickup, suitably shod with all weather tyres, even the heaviest snow or rain is a snip. One of my neighbours has a 1980's Chevrolet that we routinely see purring up and down one in six hills through even two feet of snow as though it's not there. Neighbour fills the rear bed with wet snow to keep the rear axle down on the ground and off he goes. I suppose so long as the vehicles capabilities don't make you over confident, that is when the nearest culvert beckons, as we saw last winter.

This coming winter is showing all the signs of shaping up to be a real brute. Roll on spring and Summer.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Which hunt?

Is Climate Change be the new witchcraft? That was the question that popped into my mind this morning after a quick peruse of the news.
The sun shines a bit more / less than average - Man Made Climate Change! - We need Green Taxes!
The rain falls a little more / less than average - Man Made Climate Change! - We need Green Taxes!
The wind blows a little more / less than average - Man Made Climate Change! - We need Green Taxes!
It's all getting a bit tired and repetitive.

If someone is dubious about the whole CO2 caused climate change thing and says so - "Denier!" Scream the 'believers'. I'm sure certain of said camp would like to see those of us who dare to question their belief of Carbon Dioxide generated Armageddon metaphorically or even physically burned at the stake. Like the Heretics of old they would want those of a sceptical mind converted to the 'true faith' and arrange some kind of auto de fé for those who do not recant. The 'believers' have even been deleting web pages which contradict their assertions where they can, like this wikipedia entry about the Roman Warm Period.

Oh well, if the warmista's get their way at least I'll end up toasty. It's a bit parky out at present and the local mountains look quite scenic with their frosting of snow.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Out here on the wet coast

Another rainy day with yet more forecast. Wind and rain warnings from Environment Canada. I have meetings to attend today which means I'm going to be stuck indoors. Definitely cooler than this time last year by over five degrees Celsius, and looks to be staying this way for the next week. Just as well I've got plenty of indoor stuff to do. MSS editing and working on the next one in the trilogy. Everything looks to be on schedule.

In my (brief) off duty time am amusing myself catching old re-runs of Alias Smith and Jones and reading up on Salmon fishing techniques. Mrs S has just renewed her work permit, and mine is due shortly. As our respective employers appear still to be amused by our presence, we foresee no real problems. We're still earning in the downturn, but economically speaking things over here are gradually pulling out of the nosedive. I'm not saying it's easy, but we're doing okay. Of course when permanent residency kicks in we won't have this palaver every twelve months. Won't have to be so precious about what work we can accept either. I hate having to turn down jobs because they would violate the terms of my current work permit, there's so many little jobs I could boost my income with it's not true. Hi ho. The papers are in, and all we can do, as usual, is wait, read the UK press and try not to laugh too hard.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Assimilating on a rainy Sunday in British Columbia

Have been busy making arrangements for our move to the new and much bigger place. Our landlord is a friend of some friends of ours, so references etc have been treated as a given. Not that they'd be a problem. Current landlady is sorry to see us go and I will make a point of asking her to draft a letter for us that we can show to others if required.

Have been pootling around with measuring tapes and pads, making notes on what we need and don't need in the new place. For example I'll have to make a couple of lightweight dog gates for the new kitchen to stop our mutt scrounging, as he does quite shamelessly. He's a 'rescue dog' procured from the UK Dogs Trust who was found living rough on the streets of Birmingham, which rather explains his strange appetite for Apples, Oranges, Bananas and grapes. New Landlord likes our dog, which has gotten us around the delicate 'No pets' negotiations that many landlords put before their advertisements. As a helpful aside to newcomers looking for accommodation, even though the advertisement says 'no pets' or 'N/P' just ask nicely and take your pet along to any viewing, just so your landlord / landlady can make up their own mind. The 'No Pets' rule on accommodation adverts is often as a first line of defence to put off people with aggressive and problem animals. However, this rule variant only applies when you are dealing directly with the landlord. If the vacancy is via an agency, then 'no pets' means just that, no exceptions.

There's also a little note I recall from a book called 'living and working in Canada'; in broad terms it makes the comment that you have to build up your local social networks. Mrs S and I have always been fairly active in whichever community we've lived in, but all the CV's etc that we have submitted have been worthless compared with the power of a single verbal recommendation from a friend. That is how we found our new place. We were saying that we found our apartment a little bit crowded nowadays when it came to having friends in, and friend said; "Oh, you want to talk to Jim." Two phone calls later, we've seen the place and all we had to do was gently negotiate a mutually beneficial arrangement. This has been accomplished. New landlord is so relaxed about everything I'm rather thinking it's all a little too good to be true, but that's how I feel about life over here anyway.

The scenery is a bit grimly painted today, what with a southerly wind bringing blustery rain and wind, but I will say this; Canadian building standards look fragile to someone brought up with brick and concrete, but their insulation is pretty good, so staying toasty all through the Winter is not going to be a problem.

We're still learning the ropes in a new country and becoming part of the scenery. Although I joke that "I'm keeping my accent for tax purposes" I reckon if I visited any of my old haunts in the UK I wouldn't be recognised (More tanned), and neither would my voice. My double T tends to slur into a D when I'm not paying attention, and my vowels sounds occasionally become a little flattened and drawled after the North American fashion. My voice pitch has lowered as well. I'm also a lot more relaxed, don't drive as fast, and positively enjoy the day to day politeness of people, which I'm still having a hard job getting used to. I even walk taller. You also don't have the feeling that everything you say and do is under such judgemental scrutiny all the time.

Notwithstanding; give me another couple of years here, and strangers will think I was born Canadian.

Great posts

Popped over to Wattsupwithat as usual this morning and read TonyB's guest post on historical temperature measurement. As a keen student of history, I like the way he drew threads from old records and wove them together to draw conclusions. There is also another post which makes less pleasant reading about pollution in China, where the western world has exported much of it's industrial capacity. One of the commenters made ironic mention that China is where many of the base components for those oh-so-green and environmentally friendly solar panels are made.

Both posts are a bit heavy duty, but well worth the perusal.

On a related topic; last night I was browsing the local paper and just for curiosities sake had a run through all the flyers that come with it. You know the sort of thing, bargain offers at Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire, those never to be repeated deals on pieces of brightly coloured plastic which are little more than what Mrs S calls 'clutter'. Pages and pages of the stuff. Most of it made in China.

Wonder what all this nascent landfill material will break down into in a million years or two? Fossilised layers of polyethylene in ancient landfills? Will the media archaeologists of some two million years hence be digging into our layers of rubbish, finding a half intact Marvel Comics action figure or some such and saying "Looks like some kind of votive offering. A religious icon perhaps?"

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Oh.. that concensus

Another one of those 'glad I don't live there any more' moments.

The UK Times and Telegraph by the tone of their articles, seem a little miffed that just under sixty percent of the UK's general population don't think man made climate change is a done deal. I'm mildly surprised, but not amazed that forty one percent still believe the propaganda. The thing here is that the only people pushing the "Oh my GOD! If you don't do what we tell you you're all a-gonna DIE!" Are some minority pressure groups, sensationalising elements of the mainstream media and certain businessmen and politicians. In spite of the media carpet bombing, there is a growing movement in the scientific community which is examining the evidence and collectively going "Er, CO2 isn't the answer and the answer isn't that simple." Unfortunately for the rest of us, these guys speak and write a highly technical form of academic language which is almost incomprehensible to most people. Ergo we need translators. Yet the mainstream media, generally speaking, have fallen from this role of honest arbiter of the truth and gone with the dishonest emotionalising of the issue. The result is that the actual facts of what is, and what isn't happening to Earth's climate get buried.

From what I can make out there never has been a scientific 'consensus' as Gore claimed. The science was never 'settled' at all. It was just words. Inaccurately used and misleading words at that. Words that led to the setting up of the much vaunted 'carbon economy'.

Evidence is coming to light that fortunes are being made off carbon trading, despite the market tanking to ten cents a tonne on the Chicago exchange in August 2009. Last I looked in October the price had risen to fifteen cents a tonne, but what does that prove? People are actually making money selling an atmospheric trace gas to each other? It's a farce, a particularly unfunny joke. The elements involved are trying to create a new and private wealth creation scheme for themselves which actually becomes a tax on the air everyone else breathes.

Fortunately, we in Canada appear to have a government who aren't letting the vested 'carbon' interests push them around. They are resisting the siren calls to throw taxpayer dollar down a bottomless carbon pit. Well done Stephen Harper and company, say I. At least the Canadian Government seem to recognise that whilst we need to look after the natural world, if we wreck our economies on the back of misleading information, we won't have the resources to do so.

This animated graphic should help put everything in perspective.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Name calling

You know when the opposition have no real authority or evidence against your point of view when their first response to disagreement is personal attacks. If nothing else it points to a poor standard of education and overall low moral literacy on the part of the insult leveller. The forums and blogs are full of it.

The worst offenders? Eco-warriors and embittered lefties, with redneck righties (Who probably ate their last keyboard) coming in a very, very poor third. By way of illumination, I was reading Robert Harris's excellent 'Ghost' last night, in which one of his characters ironically observes that 'peace' protesters are the most violent. Well maybe that's hyperbole, but like all exaggeration, there is a grain of truth in it. The more fanatical a belief, the less rational and amenable to reason its followers become. For this reason I think the current crop of global warming believers will carry on believing and insulting those of us who have been examining the empirical evidence, calling people like the top climatologist at MIT a and anyone else who doesn't kowtow to their claims 'denier'. In this fashion the 'AGW Believers' rather remind me of the slightly apocryphal tale about a slightly dotty old lady who used to turn up at public Science lectures about the nature of the Universe to declaim "It's turtles all the way down!" loudly at the lecturer.

For myself, I will listen to more reasoned voices with a great deal more scientific credibility than mere politicians and campaigners. People like Roger Pielke (Snr $ Jnr) Richard Lindzen, Dr John Christy, Bjorn Lomborg, Lief Svaalgard. Whilst not everything anybody says can be treated as gospel, simply calling people names because they don't agree with you is for kindergarten.

Anyway. It's been a lovely day today, the sun has come out while Mrs S and I were whizzing between meetings, and the top hundred metres or so of Mount Benson has been frosted with a light snowfall. See pictures. This is very early, snow doesn't usually turn up until mid December. Oh, and a gratuitous picture of two Mule Deer bucks respectively over three and five years old (A six and a ten pointer) we saw whilst up in the north part of town.

Mt Benson from Parkway trail yesterday.

Mt Benson from south of town today.

Where's that two bucks I asked you for? Oh, there they are.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Got a slightly panic stricken call from Sister in law last night. She's just had a blood test and according to the test, her cholesterol was very high. Almost 'dangerously' so if the conversation was to be believed.

This came as a bit of a shock because Sister in law is almost vegetarian, doesn't eat red meat and not much chicken. Lots of bran, low fat milk, in fact she hasn't got a spare ounce of flesh on her. Her Doctor, obviously a graduate of the tick box school of medicine, insisted that she was eating too much fatty stuff, and despite Sister in law describing in detail her low fat lifestyle which includes thirty mile cycle rides, lots of other exercise, fresh vegetables, hardly any alcohol; in fact all the things certain 'health' experts incessantly lecture us about. Both my brothers in law suffer similarly. Low fat, high exercise lifestyles, cholesterol and blood pressure through the roof. Go figure.

By contrast there's chunky old me, who only walks about three or four miles a day on average (Not like the route marches I used to do), and spends the rest of his time rooted behind a keyboard and sitting in meetings. I tuck into steaks, eggs, bacon, coffee, cheese, granary bread and don't fuss too much about what I eat so long as it's freshly cooked. My only dietary prejudice is processed food like ready meals - won't touch 'em with a bargepole. My cholesterol was measured recently and my doctor told me it was well below average. My Blood pressure runs around 110 over 75 and my resting pulse is generally around 60. Heart enzymes low, all the indicators of potential illness well below the wire. You'd think the situation would be reversed if you apply accepted dietary wisdom that is. However, my stress levels are one hundredth of what my corporately employed Sister in law undergoes on a daily basis.

Food for thought, what?

Better now

Have calmed down. There's nothing like a long meander up and down trails in beautiful fall scenery to restore one's equilibrium and perspective. Don't see why I get so wound up about the decline of a country I left behind over two years ago. Maybe it's because I still give a monkeys.

Anyhow; my fieldcraft must be on the wane because all I heard and saw was wildlife disappearing into the distance. Must have been breathing too hard, or that scented shower gel was a mistake. The sun is periodically shining. Ommm. The world is as it should be. Well, at least our little enclave is.

Neighbours have developed this great new way of Quail hunting. Wait for Quail to settle in the shrubbery in your front yard. Send stupid house pet of a dog bounding out through side door. Quail will spook, and a couple of them will perform Kamikaze-like collisions with the nearest solid surface, to wit, neighbours house. Walk round front yard, pick up brace of dead Quail, prepare and cook for supper, or throw into freezer. The saving in ammunition is considerable, and there's no breaking your teeth on shot. Sigh. Life is so hard.

Well, Mrs S and I have come to a decision; we're moving. Not very far, just a mile or so into a bigger place with an even more spectacular view and bigger front yard. When all bills are taken into account we'll only be looking at a CDN$400 increase in monthly expenditure, so that's not too bad. We're earning more now to cover that. New place has three big bedrooms, big kitchen, great front room and dining room, a Wood burning stove, solar heated swimming pool, and room for visitors to come and stay. The view from the front window is amazing, a one hundred and twenty degree plus vista of forests, Islands and sea. We already know the neighbour folk, and apart from next doors oversized puppy, a German Shepherd sized old 'Yaller Dawg' whose slightly overenthusiastic greetings freak my own slightly more restrained English born mutt out, there are no issues we know of. The neighbours have already offered trailers and willing hands to help us get settled in, so no need to hire a professional removals gang, just buy in a couple of cases of beer and a large freezer pack of steaks. The rest, as they say, will be history.

Mrs S will be in England over Christmas and so will miss the trauma of moving. She is leaving all the logistics to me; Internet, phone, postbox, bank detail changes, and keeping immigration up to date with our new address. Nothing onerous. I propose to have a nice quiet time and treat myself to a boxed set of DVD's and a computer game or two to help the time pass while she's away. I will pine a little of course, but that is all to the good. Me, the Dog, the view and some snow; that will be my Christmas this year. Add a little Jamesons and my soul will restore itself. Not that I'll be on my own, neighbours will see to that. I will share my extensive knowledge of Single Malts, and they will teach me the rules and acceptable mores of Ice Hockey. We'll sink some beers, barbecue a few steaks on the new side porch, and it's a big covered porch. Fair trade.

Have put off applying for a gun licence while this business over the long gun registry runs it's course. At present, all guns have to be registered and listed, which makes it difficult for me to take up invitations to go hunting at the moment because of all the bureaucracy involved in sorting out permits. You feel a bit of an idiot stalking without armament or a decent camera. However, all this will change. Mrs S will be bringing back the grip and riser section of my old Hoyt competition bow from the UK in January. and I'll buy new bow limbs, arrows, and strings from Bucky's down in Duncan and get a full years hunting licence some time in February. Springtime will be spent at la chasse and stocking up the freezer. Good 'ere, innit?

Today is also Remembrance day, a National holiday. Offices and many shops are shut. There will be the usual parades and services, and I will ponder my own forbears part in the upheavals of that time.

It took a Canadian to write that.

As an aside; In Flanders Fields inspired this much lesser known work from an American.

Monday, 9 November 2009

I don't believe it

We all used to laugh when Victor Meldrew, the fictional arch curmudgeon, that misanthropes misanthrope, vouchsafed his famous catchphrase; "I don't believe it!" Now having read the news over the past few days I can only stand aghast and echo that sentiment to the metaphorical rafters.

My swear gland has finally been bestirred from it's long somnolence by this piece of news; Every e-mail, message, phone call, web site visit or other such communication passing through UK jurisdiction is going to be logged and held on a database. Which every local and national government flunky including Postman Pat's sodding cat can view without benefit of search warrant. Well at least if this article in the UK's Daily Telegraph is to be believed. Not that it'll stop any real terrorists. They'll just carry on using Phone cards, free Wi-Fi and offshore web resources which said databases will be as much good tracking as next doors flaming hamster. On the other hand, you complain over the phone to your mum that you're having trouble with one of your kids (Who doesn't?) and Child Services might just be the ones kicking down your door. HMRC might come meandering through your front hallway without a bye, leave or thank you if you go looking at one too many offshore bank accounts via the web. You will find yourself under investigation by the Police if your kids go surfing the web for ringtones and end up accessing a seriously sick hardcore porn site as our youngest once did. You have been warned.

It is rare for me to lapse into the pejorative but f*cking hell. Which utter w*nkst*in of a c*t*mite thought that was a jolly good wheeze eh? Which complete and utter onanistic waste of semen allowed that to come to pass? I would describe the implementors of such a policy as of lower worth than a putrid vaginal discharge, but that would be to decry perfectly honest, hard working bacteria. The originators of such a poorly thought through scheme make the most mean spirited Traffic Warden (And I could name a few real copper bottomed c*nts - I used to work with the b*st*rds) look like the reincarnation of St f*cking Francis of s*dding Assisi they are that low. The most drug addled adrenalin fuelled d*ckw*t with a lobotomy has more competence and common sense. So why the f*cking s*dding *rs*h*ling hades are powers of this magnitude being handed to those who couldn't run a f*cking bath properly?

The only wonder is that there isn't widespread protest from both left and right of the political spectrum. Why aren't British MP's being dragged out of their houses and stuck in the pillory for failing to preserve freedom of speech?

Millions of people from my Mother and Father's generation are laid out in f*cking rows under the ground because they believed in fighting oppression. Hundreds of thousands from Britain alone never lived past twenty bloody f*cking five because they believed that they had to defend their land. Almost half a bloody million Britons in five years, and all their sacrifice has been pissed up the wall by a bunch of greedy traitors and sodomites unfit to lick dogsh*t off the streets.You can tell I'm annoyed, can't you?

Ah b*gger it. I wash my hands of the place. There's no point; no f*cker in Britain cares enough any more. Democracy in the UK has failed because not enough people cared to do anything about it. Only a few were willing to even protest.

Me? Over the past thirty years I wrote to my MP about the various threats to liberty such as latterly the Civil Contingencies act and RIPA, signed petitions, attended protests (Yes I have), joined pro freedom organisations, lobbied, and was roundly ignored and mocked for my troubles. Ha ha, wasting your time Bill. Never happen. You're talking b*ll*cks. Stupid man. Well, girls. Quoth Uncle Bill in low and dangerous tones; you're still there, and I'm over here in Canada, free to walk my way until doomsday if it so please me. How does it feel to be property, huh?

Well as the country that founded the Anglosphere sinks slowly into the morass of the EU, all I can say is goodbye. It's a shame, but there you go. All good things as they say, must come to an end; and now the end for Britain is here. Straws, Camels backs, all that jazz. Do what you're told peon and it's back to the good old days of medieval feudality when you were mobile property, to be disposed of at the notion and whim of your social superiors.

All on the back of the excuse of terrorism. Well boys, we all know who the real terrorists are don't we?

What the hell. I console myself thus; at least the sodomites who sold you down the river won't ever breed. F*ck it, I'm going hunting. Comment if you like; I no longer care.

This rant is at an end.

*The use of self censoring asterisks throughout this post is at the request of Mrs S, who thought that mere swearing simply lowered the tone of the whole blog. It's probably funnier this way, or would be if the subject matter wasn't such a cause for concern. Hey, the UK's your country, or at least it used to be.

The night the wall fell

The Berlin wall and the evil of state sponsored communism began it's final dissolution on the night of November 9th 1989. I remember watching the events in Berlin unravel on the TV with a growing sense of hope, and dare I say it joy.

For some reason I always associate this song with the fall. I think it was popular around 88-89 and my convoluted consciousness made one of its jump cut attributions. Funny thing, memory.

Good song though. Reminds me of old friends from my wilder days. Hi ho. Nostalgia, not what it used to be, eh?

Sunday, 8 November 2009

I want one

Just the ticket for commuting during the next few Canadian Winters. Serious kit.

H/T Theo Spark

Sunday morning meanderings

New laptop is buzzing along, and Mrs S has gleefully taken possession of the new machine for when she is travelling in the UK over Christmas and the new year. Our latest technological addition allowed her to be gassing with her Mother and sister on Skype whilst having a leisurely lie-in. Youngest and eldest are currently in conference with her ladyship. I've cooked my wife breakfast in bed, walked the dog and traded gossip with the neighbours, and yet Mrs S is still in her PJ's. Lazy cat.

This morning I've also been reading the comments section of various UK Sunday papers and am trying not to leave cryptically smug little 'told you so' messages all over the place. The Canadian and US Governments have publicly stated that they aren't going to get suckered into yet another banking bail out. Old Jonah Brown wants to levy a global tax on everything to pay yet more banker's bonuses, and the rest of the world has rightly told him to sod off. He's committed the final act of treason against the people of the UK by ratifying the Lisbon Treaty. When are the tumbrils going to start rolling then? I'm not holding my breath.

Seriously, it's just like a 1970's political time warp. The parallels are that obvious. Bail outs and taxpayer funded support of an industry sector instead of letting one large company go to the wall. Last time it was Coal, Steel and the Automotive sector, this time round it's the financial sector which needs rebuilding. Then it was Denis Healey with his 'soak the rich' campaign, now it's 'soak everyone' because the rich didn't become rich by waiting for some heavy handed Burgermeisters Bailiffs to kick in the front door. The money will have flitted it's way on electronic wings out of the UK government's jurisdiction long before HMRC come a-knocking. Those taxes everyone voted for have to come from somewhere, and guess where that's going to be? Got it in one.

Anyway, that's enough British Columbian based smugness for now. There are favourites to import from our old XP machine, data files to import, and I have to show my lady wife how the various gadgets can whip stuff straight onto your hard drive without wires or strings attached. All this clever stuff doesn't just do itself you know.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Ditching the preload

Have spent a leisurely morning reconfiguring the new L510 and getting rid of all the extraneous stuff manufacturers like to clutter up your hard drive with. First was the security 'trial' software. Replaced it with Avast! Which doesn't seem to slow your machine down quite so much as it's more heavy duty counterparts. Got rid of a lot of the other stuff including Microsoft Works, and replaced it with Openoffice. Added Skype, checked the connectivity and applied for my free Windows 7 upgrade. Configured Mrs S's job related software and everything is whizzing along at a pace that makes our reasonably quick desktop seem positively slothlike. Job done.

Interesting discussion with In-laws last night. They live in Minnesota, USA and are planning to wrap up their affairs there and head north of the border to our locale within the next year or two. The wine flowed, and talk loosened, and I recall the following conversation before it all got too blurry;
"So Bill, would you ever go back to the UK?" Said Brother in law.
"No. There's nothing left there for me." Quoth I "Only my mother, and she's happy so long as she hears from me once a month. I've nothing I want to go back to. What about you?"
"Ever?" Tests brother in law.
"Not really."
"Mmm, me too."
"I don't miss England at all, apart from the odd wistful longing for a quick blast down the old Fosse Way down to the West Country."
"Really? Yet you wouldn't ever think of going back?"
"No. One of the things that always makes me smile is that the Welsh refer to England as Lloegyr; the lost lands."
"Your meaning?" Asks Brother in law. Mrs S tweaks my leg, she knows I'm about to 'go off on one'. I take the hint and wind my neck back in a little.
"When we were traveling the trans Canada in 2007, we kept on coming across ex-pat English truck drivers who all said more or less the same thing; that England isn't England any more." I explained.
"Well not for you, you haven't been back there in over two years." Observes Brother in law. "It's like the past being another country."
"There is that." I conceded. "You certainly can't get there from here, nor would you want to."
"Mm. Everything changes. England never really was England anyway." We shared a philosophical nod and the booze got passed again. Tonight Mrs S was driving, so I could indulge my thirst in a modest little Okanagan Pinot Noir. We have vinyards in Canada, so we're quite not the cultural backwater some might think. Ice Wine is the big favourite, but we get some nice dryish Reislings and there's a very pleasant Cabernet-Malbec we bought on Saltspring Island last year.

There was a slightly awkward but thoughtful expatriate silence and we watched the rain for a while. I found myself thinking about the UK's slide into becoming a mere province of the EU, and how preventable it all was. However, the politico's of the UK want it that way, and short of armed insurrection that's what is going to happen. Everyone in the room seemed aware of that acutely unpleasant possibility. The girls weren't too happy about their husbands discussing politics, however obliquely, and for a minute the social temperature dropped.

"Good chili." I remarked about our evening's repast to break the disquiet. "Superb stuff."
"You're hired." Joked Sister in law.
"Damn. I was hoping to get Sunday night off." Was Brother in law's rejoinder. Chili is his signature dish, and he does it exceptionally well.

The bonhomie surged back into our conversation, and talk turned to other matters. Shortly after this point my normally video-like memory skipped a track due to alcohol fueled misalignment, and my recollection became no longer trustworthy. Any further conversations of this ilk will have to remain unreported to the commissars. Thoroughly pleasant evening though. Doing it again tonight, although without the Chili. It will be Mrs S's turn for the odd libation this time, as we take turns to drive.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Weather is not climate

Yet snow was observed on the top of Mt Benson, Nanaimo this morning (No photo as I was driving at the time). The top 100 metres, possibly more, had a liberal coating of the white stuff. This is considerably earlier than usual in my recollection. Down below at the water's edge it's been chucking it down with rain for the past two days and October has been cooler than average, so has the beginning of November.

According to 'most scientists' it's supposed to be getting warmer isn't it? Isn't it? Yeah, right.

Snow tyres - check. Winter clothing - check. Snow shovel - check. Logs ready for winter - check. Extra food supplies - check. Extra Whiskey - check.

We're ready. Bring it on.

Upsetting the staff

Last week,Mrs S looked at my sorry old Thinkpad and vouchsafed; "Bill, we need a new laptop." I was a bit reluctant myself, being only a mere male and quite comfortable with the unashamed chunkiness of my aging 600e. However, words have been exchanged on the matter, and in the interests of domestic harmony we have purchased seven hundred Canadian dollars (Including tax and Recycling fee) worth of Toshiba L510. 4Gb Ram, 320gb HDD DVD/RW and all the rest. Did we want a Netbook? No. Did our budget run to a Mac? No. So the Toshy it was.

This model was chosen for it's portability, convenience and reputation. We could have had a bigger screen, but chose not to, we could have had a full size keyboard, but well, the overall decision was that Mrs S didn't like the bigger keyboard. Neither of us are gamers, so the faster video cards were a waste of resources, and as for purchasing Microsoft Office - well the overall agreement was "Nah." Which I'm sure will be a cause for much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the ranks of Microsoft stockholders. Not.

Armed with this decision, this morning we entered one of the local computer stores which had the L510 featured as one of their sale offers. We were greeted by a different sales person from the one we had been dealing with on the previous two days, who did not seem to realise that we knew exactly what we wanted and no more, thank you. We were offered a particular anti-virus programme for only a few dollars more. I said no thank you. We were offered for only two hundred dollars the stores extended warranty. I said no thank you. Ooh sir and ma'am you just have to have the miniature USB mouse with the extendable lead. No, I said, we already have two. Well you have to have an anti-surge protector. Erm, no thank you, said I, we already have one. You could see this particular sales assistant becoming ever more determined to reel off her spiel about what we had to purchase. The face tightened, and she was almost fanatically resolved to tell us obviously non technical people who knew nothing about computers. Yeah, right. Despite me having imaged, configured, diagnosed and repaired more laptops and desktops than I can comfortably think about over the past fifteen years. She had her conned-by-book recitation to regale us proles with, and didn't catch the meaningful looks from the senior sales staff who I had spoken to at some length the day before.

We were lectured on how to set up the laptop and treated to an almost finger wagging performance of; you-will-not-interrupt-the-setup-process. Not to mention; you-will-not-clean-the-screen-with-windex. Until we poor peasants were allowed to part with out money and leave the store with our precious merchandise. I was trying not to roar with laughter, but my better half gave me one of her 'Don't you dare Bill' looks, so I kept my mouth clamped firmly shut. She knows me too well does my wife. I would have happily stood there and gently taken the piss all afternoon. Of such things are our daily amusements constructed.

Afterwards we were so exhausted from the whole performance that we just had to go and get a cup off coffee and a bun.

What was it Alexander Pope once wrote? "A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring." As applicable to sales assistants as to the rest of us. Hi ho. Time to go get dressed up and off to in laws for feeding this evening.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

So Michael Crichton was right....

I've been reading Crichton's work since 'The Andromeda Strain' in the 1970's. Enjoyable 'cautionary tale' fiction, but just that; fiction. Crichton knew how to use a theme just far fetched enough to interest his readers. People love fairy tales and Crichton understood that. Why else do fantasy books from Harry Potter to Sword and Sorcery sell so well?

Michael Crichton once posited that belief in environmentalism and man made climate change had all the tenets of a religion. Well now there is proof that it has the status of a religion. Mind you, anyone who was so much of an idiot to try and force his company's commercial activities to suit his own belief system deserves to get fired. Call me an old fashioned old silly for thinking this, but if you get hired to do a job, then you go and do what you're paid to do; not fart around doing your own commercially unrelated thing and arguing the toss with everyone else because they won't do things 'your' way.

Posting this week will be light, as the fall Salmon run has just started and the In Laws are in town. We may also be graced with a brief royal visit. No doubt the Windsor family are looking to emigrate to somewhere decent like BC now the UK is heading towards final dissolution. Better put the kettle on then.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Hot news

Coppers blog is back up again. No new posts from Dave at the time of writing, but at least we can browse the archives.

Welcome back!

My little troll

I have a little troll, who I’m keeping as a pet,
He’s really such a little sweetie, but he doesn’t seem to get,
The web is not anonymous, I know perzackly where he is,
The silly boy keeps changing names, and railing out his spite,
Yet he can’t see I know it’s him, just spoiling for a fight.

I have a little troll, who I really think is trite,
His ignorance is boundless, yet thinks that he is right,
On topics such as climate change, he hasn’t got a clue,
Regurgitating his beliefs throughout my comment page,
I should be grateful really, because he makes me look so sage,

I have a little troll, whose brain is not the best,
Yet I’ll pat him as I’m passing, for he’s really not a pest,
I’ll chuck him ‘neath his cyber chin, and ignore his paltry jibes,
He’ll insult everything I love, just to try and get a mention,
He’ll threaten mayhem he can’t do, ‘cos he can’t get attention,

I have a little troll, who is so much goshdarned fun,
He brings out wicked thoughts in me, of mockery is but one,
However I have grown up things to do, and tasks I must perform,
My little troll forgive me, I must go to work awhile,
Because the only fool we see is you, while you steep in your own bile.


Bill Sticker

The Wootton report

I've been reading a UK Home Office document from the late 1960's called the Wootton Report. Apparently this was binned without being read by the Callaghan Government of the time, or possibly they did read it, but the findings did not gel with what the politicians of the day wanted. Rather like this row rumbling on between the UK Home Office and it's drug advisory team.

The Wootton report sets out, in fairly dry tones, the allegations about Cannabis and it's (ab)use and makes a studied comment and judgment which tends to challenge some of the prejudices about ingestion, toxicity, psychological impacts, and whether or not it is a 'gateway drug' to more harmful substances such as opiates.

Hey, don't take my word for it, take a look for yourself. It walks all over a bunch of mainstream myths. For example, Para 70 from section vi states;
"we think it is also clear that, in terms of physical harmfulness, cannabis is very much less dangerous than the opiates, amphetamines and barbiturates, and also less dangerous than alcohol."

This document is around forty years old yet it's recommendations remain, in my view at least, worthy of consideration.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

If we're all 'deniers'....

Apart from the physics, those of us who who have taken even a cursory look at the 'science' of CO2 driven climate change / global warming and smelled a very large and noisome rattus norvegicus may well ask the following question; why, if the 'science is settled' and the 'truth is indisputable' do those who raise valid concerns and opposing views need to be gagged or silenced. The 2008 Manhattan declaration which stated that the science was far from 'settled' attracted over 31,000 signatories from the scientific community. 114 highly qualified specialists actually attended the conference, 707 specialists with appropriate qualifications openly endorsed the document. How much media coverage did it generate? In the mainstream, very little, and much of that dismissive.

Surely if we're all wrong and the 'truth' on CO2 driven climate change / global warming so self evident, then there would be no need for this sort of thing.
In the words of ABC's Chris Uhlmann "Denier" is one of those words, like "racist", which is deliberately designed to gag debate. And what is wrong with being a sceptic? The Greek root of the word means "thoughtful" or "inquiring" and that used to be a virtue.
What's wrong with being a sceptic anyway? The guys who're watching the rest of humanity about to leap off a metaphorical cliff and saying "Er, guys. Are you making a mistake here?" Is that such a bad thing? Even the so called 'father of global warming' Roger Revelle called for caution as far back as 1991, only to be slandered post mortem. David Bellamy, a man for whom I still have much respect as a TV Eco-evangelist got sidelined because he said publicly the whole CO2 climate change thing didn't sound right. Christopher Landsea of the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory and contributing author to the IPCC's 2004 report. Mitchell Taylor, Polar Bear expert barred from December 2009's up and coming Copenhagen climate summit.

The list is extensive and damning. Only those no longer dependent upon the public purse for research funding can afford to voice an alternate view. That is how rotten things have become in this area of science.

This begs the question; If these guys are / were so 'wrong' why should they have to be gagged at all? What about empirical proof? Or is it as I suspect, that the CO2 driven change / warming 'proofs' and 'models' are all highly suspect and should not be acted upon.

H/T Antikva for the Herald Sun article.

Gosh, all this row over the weather eh? To think it was once deemed to be a safe subject for conversation.

Update: H/T Wattsuwithat. Letter re 'consensus' to the US senate from 160 Physicists.

The nub of the problem

Was meandering through the dear old Torygraph and came across this entry in Daniel Hannan's blog. The subject was these high level resignations.

I was moved to post the following:
"The problem here is that a Politician (Who knows little beyond their particular party political dogma) tells the Expert (Who know relatively little beyond their specialisations) what the ‘answer’ should be. The Expert disagrees with the preset, politically decided answer, and says so publicly. In order not to look a fool the Politician demands that the Expert resign.

Call me a fool if you like, but what the hell is the point of hiring someone to advise government, then demanding their head when they won’t give out the ‘right’ answer? That’s where the problem lies."

Exactly so; what is the point when the 'answer' is already decided? That's a morons way of working. Mind you, back in my UK contracting days, I occasionally talked myself out of a job by not 'toeing the party line'. Management would ask me for an honest opinion; I would deliver my report, then having asked for that specific advice the Management plump for the option they'd already decided upon, even though said option was the worst thing they could possibly do. Then when the project I was supposed to be working on all ended in tears, the contractor who delivered the specialist advice which wasn't taken (me) was fired as the scapegoat for the 'failure' while the real culprits (the idiots who arbitrarily decided what the answer was without advice) escaped without sanction. On several projects, where Tech support, the IT management team and the contractors (Of which I was one) were all in complete agreement; still the Suits upstairs decided (Much to the chagrin of anyone with even a smidgen of technical knowledge) to fund a different technology which was subsequently dumped because it never worked. Cue much shaking of heads and 'told you so's' as all the contractors moved on and the full time support staff hit the pub.

Like most Techies, I have a fundamental distrust of MBA bearing Suits (Called 'Suits' because the physical contents of the Suit are interchangeable, but the dogma driven output remains the same). One sometimes thinks that their decision making processes could be improved by replacing whole office blocks full of Managerial staff with a blindfolded CEO picking options from the gossip columns of the Daily Wail with a pin. The same for politicians.

Over here in BC, although corporate culture has a say you can at least stand your ground on a 'prove me wrong' basis without being handed your pink slip (P45). Similarly, Canadian politicians (at least where I live) are still accessible because they aren't too grand to talk to people, and aren't too scared / self important to walk the streets alone without a Police escort and / or entourage. Nor do they appear ill advised enough to believe that politics of whatever colour is the answer; rather than the source of the problem. Thank goodness for that.
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