Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Moving part 2

Ran out of storage boxes half way through the moving process. Where the hell did all this stuff come from? I sure as hell didn't buy it.

Ergo, have been packing and unpacking boxes which has kind of slowed the job up. What is fortunate is that I gave myself four days to get everything transferred to new place. Today will be day three upon which Internet connection goes down and is restored at new premises. Local ISP is Shaw, who seem to be very good at what they do. Although I have heard negative comments about the quality of the content on cable, but I've found that holds true for most Television, so no surprises there.

New place is toasty inside, with none of the sneaky little draughts that populate our current apartment. Landlord is going to show me how the woodburner operates today. It's not one of those I've been used to, where everything's manual. There are manual controls, yes, but there's a forced air system and the vents are electronically controlled.

Old place is looking quite bare now. Tomorrow I finish the cleanup and hand over the keys. I'll miss it a bit, as Mrs S and I have racked up a lot of happy memories here.

However, the new place is bigger, warmer, and with a splendid view which I will post shortly. No more snow, and none forecast for the moment, which is a relief. Just light rain, which is more usual for this part of Canada.

Joe Bastardi's forecast for this part of the year was interesting. Wonder if the cold stuff we were gearing up for will give us the go-by this year. You wouldn't catch me complaining if it did.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Moving.....

Begins tomorrow morning, and I will be shuttling between old and new places with vanloads of our worldly goods. The next two days are work, and the day after the final handover of keys and cleaning. Still, there's no rain forecast for tomorrow, so we can get all the big stuff shifted without threat of getting anything wet.

Helping hands are ready. Tools for disassembly / reassembly are ready. I'm ready. Papers are signed and we're good to go. Must e-mail Mrs S and tell her Skyping will be minimal.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas Canada

Quite a frost last night has given way to an utterly gorgeous British Columbian morning. Sunrise was like a cauldron of molten gold spilling over a white crisped landscape. Thin surface mist roiling off calm water down at the seafront, and light Turner would be jealous of. This has morphed into a gorgeous blue sky with a fine haze developing overhead and only a few clouds lurking around the horizon like guilty looking teenagers. Fabulous. You couldn't package this if you tried. Bloody cold though.

Mrs S has Skyped me from the other side of the water. She and the girls are in good form and staying in one of the snow free areas of the UK. Youngest has growled that she wanted a white Christmas, but she'll find as a grown up that snow and ice can be over rated. Might look all pretty and picturesque from inside the snug warmth of your home, but when you're trying to shovel your way to work, the white stuff ain't no fun at all.

Despite being on my own apart from the dog, I'm in good spirits. There's plenty to look forward to in the New Year. Not having to faff around with the restrictions of Work Permits for one, which has been a background source of frustration. There's work out there for me that I will be allowed to take on, a fact which I'm sure will make the Canadian tax man happy. A trip back to the UK will be needed to finalise my affairs there; and that, as they say, will be that.

On the weather front, the thought does occur that we're seeing Mother Nature's cluebat for the warmista's in action. So you thought you puny humans controlled the weather huh? Locally, the temperatures are mildly below average, but nothing outside of, well, the normal pattern of things. At least if you bother to look out of the window and not regurgitate peer reviewed propaganda, that is. It may only be weather, but hey, so is the climate. We've also got the coldest part of the year to come, which is a mildly unhappy thought.

Today will be spent (still) cleaning the apartment ready for the move next week. I'm still recovering from that dose of whatever, and taking my own sweet time about things. Will take the dog for a good stiff walk around noon to loosen the sinews and get a few lungfuls of good clean Vancouver Island air. The apartment has too much of an odour of cleaning chemicals for even my tolerant tastes.

Anyway. That's enough mental peregrinations for a wonderful day. Merry Christmas Canada, and all the best for the new year. 2010 could be a truly great one.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A pause for a word from our sponsors

Still suffering slightly with the lurgi. Will be back up and sarking shortly. Until then, Greg Lake 'I believe in Father Christmas' and Mike Oldfield 'in Dulci Jubilo'.




Have a good one. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Nobel thoughts

Minor case of the pre-festive lurgi which has robbed me of sleep and caused excessive tiredness. Tell you the truth, I'm a little bored which is a bit of an oddity for me. Mrs S has exhorted me to go and get some new kit for myself, but I don't want to spend the money on myself at present. There will be sales in January with deeper discounts which I intend to take full advantage of. That, and I don't want to be bothered with braving the scrum of Christmas shoppers right now.

Come tomorrow or the day after I shall be as full of beans as ever. Supper will have to be a take-out tonight as our Landlady forgot to re-order propane, which means I can't use our apartments gas stove. Bit of a nuisance, but not a big deal.

Paused at Wattsupwiththat at this post to make the following comment;
It was never the actual science, the problem has always been in the way the science has been reported to the public. A balance which Anthony and friends should be lauded for their efforts in redressing.

Anyone else think the WUWT team and Steve McIntyre should be put forward for a joint Nobel prize?

Then I popped over to the Nobel.org website to see what could be done in that regard.....oh.

Unless you belong to a pretty elite club, you have no chance of being proposed, no matter how deserving. Seeing as the qualifying people are mainly part of the group pushing the opposing agenda......Sorry guys.

Monday, 21 December 2009

A little song for Solstice



By Chris Squire and Alan White of 'Yes'. 'Run with the Fox'. A very good bass cover. Re recorded (So I am informed) in 2007 by Chris Squire's Swiss Choir. Good Christmas song from the early 80's. Used to be on a video jukebox in my local pub many moons ago.



The melody originates from the 'Sussex carol', one of those rare tunes that actually might tempt even a hardened atheist into church. Although the thought does occur that the original tune (Lyrics penned by a Bishop Wadding in the 1600's) might well reach back into pagan folklore. Still a good tune though.

Happy solstice.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Seasonal Movie

Was talking to Mrs S via Skype, and we reminded ourselves of the Christmas themed Curtis RomCom 'Love actually' from which this little number comes. Yes, I know Maria Carey had a version, but I prefer this one, which is less irritatingly tinkly. My vote goes to this movie version sung by Olivia Olsen with the fabulous Ruby Turner on backing vocals, but this is the only Olivia Olsen version that allows embedding due to copyright issues.


The other interesting thing was finding the 'Billy Mack' version of 'Christmas is all around'. Full video only previously seen in one brief moment during the movie. WARNING! Sexism alert. Skimpily dressed Pole Dancers and Bill Nighy appearing to enjoy himself immensely. I was SOOO shocked I had to watch it again and again to milk it for the full seasonal moral outrage. Evil snigger.

Right. Off to another party.

Professor Bob Carter - Does CO2 cause global warming? From 2007

A real climatologist discusses the issues. He is a geologist specializing in palaeoclimatology, stratigraphy, marine geology, and environmental science.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


H/T Small Dead Animals

More recently interviewed on Australian radio, parts one, two and three.

Snow reports

Goodness gracious me, at the conclusion of the dramatic Copenhagen talks which turned into a global giveaway of Western taxpayers money cometh the snow. Even the south of France came in for an icy dollop, and it doesn't happen there often, although the incidence does, anecdotally at least, appear to be increasing. Maybe the weather has cottoned on to how certain humans want to control the climate by taxation and decided to put its vote in the box.

Here on the Island we've had one brief bout of snowiness, and the all weather tyres on our venerable battlebus coped admirably. We've got a couple of putative snowfalls due next week, and might even get a (slightly) white Christmas. These are not common on Vancouver Island, although last year we had a foot or so on the run up to the festive season as shown in the pictures from last year. Snow ploughs didn't get to us until the 28th December 2008 at 2:30 in the morning. This end of 2009 I haven't had to trot our 4x4 out for foul weather purposes at all.

Dog loves snow (and mud, and bear scat)


There's a layer of six inches of compacted ice and snow on the only road out towards town in this picture from 17th December 2008. At times we were driving at an angle of fifteen degrees to the direction of travel. Tricky stuff. Even 4x4's were coming to grief in the ditches as seen below.


When we first came to the Island, our local friends assured us "Snow? Heavens no. You'll have to go to Mount Washington for that." Okay. "It doesn't snow here on the West Coast." They said. Right.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Having a thoroughly bachelor Xmas part 1

I'm not much of a Christmas person. To be candid, I'm quite often ecstatic when it's all over. This year I'm getting Christmas off. Mrs S is in the UK with the kids, and I'm busy moving house, which is the ideal excuse for not fussing around with decorations and shopping.

The apartment is a glorious mess with everything packed in boxes ready for shifting, furniture stacked and I'm living in one room with a camp bed and a keyboard. Reference books on star catalogues, Canadian history, and various aspects of physics lie open on every flat surface. The only fiction I have at present is Joe Haldeman's 'Marsbound', but I think that one will go back to the library half read. The prose and style are fine, just that the story doesn't grab me.

No-one is around my ears demanding specific foods at particular times. It's gloriously relaxed. The only creature with demands on my time is the dog, and all he wants to do is snooze and fart under my feet, get walked and fed, and have his ears scratched from time to time. So long as the keyboard is rattling, he knows his god is in his heaven (Pack leader, whatever, these terms appear interchangeable from a canine point of view) and all is well.

This year I'm not missing;
  • Turkey
  • Christmas shopping
  • Having to accede to everyone else's demands to 'open it now' in squeaky little voices
  • Turkey and sprouts
  • Tinsel every bloody where
  • Pine needles all over the rug
  • The inevitable straining at the waistline and necessity of new year weight loss
  • 'Fun' that isn't fun at all
  • Extreme tackiness
  • The wearing of flashing plastic antlers
  • Turkey leftovers cluttering up the fridge
  • Maxed out credit cards
  • That awful bloated feeling from eating and drinking too much
  • The grave foreboding that the future holds yet more Turkey
Incidentally, anonymous comments are turned off for the next few days. Not for any particular reason, only that I'm having a wonderfully lazy time and simply can't be arsed to engage with the world for a while.

Friday, 18 December 2009

..and for those who don't like Christmas all that much...



Achmed the Dead Terrorist sings carols. Well, sort of.



And a seasonal recipe for all you food lovers.

On a more cheerful note...

Christmas countdown begins with...Stop the Cavalry by Jona Lewie.


Also my favourite track of his 'In the kitchen at parties' which rather sums up my Christmases.


Off to a party. TTFN.

All I have to say is...

While Northern Europe freezes; on the last minute deal at Copenhagen. A 'date that will live in infamy' no less.

My feelings can be summed up by this quote: Louis MacNiece from 'Bagpipe Music'.
It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet;
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever,
But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Wasta est

It's freezing in Copenhagen. Snowing. Yet still the nutcases are going to flush 100 billion of other peoples (Yours and mine) money down the economic toilet? I know Gordon Brown is so far over the insanity event horizon even the Hubble couldn't get a decent photograph, but the rest?

Even with the current public mood against it, the current 'leadership' of the western world seems hell bent on committing economic suicide. Brown foremost amongst them. He doesn't care because electorally he's toast anyway next election. What is that idiot on?

Any treaty coming out of the Copenhagen talks faces stiff electoral opposition in the USA and Canada at least. Senates must ratify treaties of this nature with a pretty stiff majority and there will be stiff lobbying against ratification. Unlike the UK, where Gordon the moron would cheerfully sign anything put in front of him, even his own death warrant. Hmm, there's an idea. No need to read it sir, just sign there.

One of the things that has continually bothered me about this whole affair is why? The science isn't remotely settled, no matter what the fanatics say. CO2 has no direct causation of the climate. Considering what is currently public domain, only someone with a very tenuous grip on reality or stands to make a serious wedge out of said fiction would insist that it has. CO2 is a symptom, not the disease, if disease there is. You can sign all the bits of paper you like and wreck the western economies, but it won't change the weather.

Should any such 'treaty' be ratified the result may well be, as the Latin from the English Doomsday book says; 'wasta est' (It is a waste).

However, our Mainstream media north of the 49th parallel seems to have had an outbreak of sanity, so perhaps there is hope yet. See five vids posted below. A heartfelt 'get well soon' to Lord Monckton of Brenchley following his heavy handed treatment in Copenhagen. Oh, and sue your assailants to perdition. Although I don't think he'll need much encouragement.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


H/T Plato Says, and welcome to the sidebar your supreme capricious majesty.

As previously speculated


Well, well. Re this post. Piers Corbyn 1 Warmists 0. A late score from plucky Mr Corbyn, but he still got his forecast for snow and biting winds over the southern Scandinavian area mostly right. The UK Met office might be well advised to consider using Mr Corbyn's service as an alternative to that overhyped PC they're using at present.

Relatives in the UK are complaining about the snow. As usual half the UK grinds to a halt at the merest flurry. Even here on Vancouver Island, three inches of snow is nothing, and saying that you can't get in to work through that much might earn you your Canadian version of a P45. What white stuff we had has come and gone, with only the frosting on Mount Benson remaining.

From Guido Fawkes; Gordon Brown and Al Gore go into broom cupboard and, as one of Guido's many co-conspiritors pointed out, come out with their jackets unbuttoned. What were they up to in there? Checking the global temperature index?

Currently v.bored kicking my heels awaiting my final package of forms and confirmation of appointment for final immigration medical.

Amusing myself as best I can.

Well blow me down

Al Gore admits he was wrong!

Holy mis speak Batman! What else is he going to 'fess up to next?

That all the glaciers of the world aren't melting as promised?

That those Polar Bears aren't jumping out of planes. Yeah, I'd heard Airline food was getting worse. I'm just amazed they can afford the tickets, what with all the extra carbon taxes.

Meanwhile, down at the South pole.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

That's interesting

Looks like a bunch calling themselves CFACT are turning the tactics of organisations such as Greenpeace back upon them. These people have got angry enough to directly challenge the emotionalising of climate and environmental issues which are said to cloak an extreme left wing agenda.

This could get plenty interesting, plenty fast. I shall be watching with interest.

Something else to look forward to



This is the new trailer for the Robin Hood movie starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.

I've heard tell that Russell can hit a target at 45 metres with a longbow and say 'well done that man'. Not bad, but he ought to try a Clout shoot where the target is 180 yards (Just short of 165metres) away.

Have 'cleft the peg' (Hit within a six inch radius of the target marker) at this distance with a bare competition recurve and my fifty inch classic hunter. Harder with a Longbow and cedar shafts of course, but I've seen longbowmen get good results with traditional 'self-wood' bows.

Clout and field shooting were two of the reasons I always liked the British Longbow Society shoots. All good fun, and none of the "look at my compound" willy waving and unsolicited coaching nonsense you got at more mainstream competition GNAS and FITA rule shoots. I used to enjoy competition shooting, but some of the obsessive-compulsives it attracted tended to put me off.

Nonetheless, my bow will be with me by the end of January, and it'll take me a couple of months at least to get my shooting muscles anywhere near retuned. Archery is a vice that requires constant abuse practice. A year or so of field and target work may see me up to a reasonable standard of shooting once more.

Skeptics handbook 2

Skeptics handbook 2 now out.

Science and Public Policy website added to sidebar.

That is all.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

So, we're not all doomed then?

Well the climate change house of cards appears to be collapsing despite all the hot air expelled in vain efforts to prevent it's fall. Gore discredited in public by the very scientist whose work he was supposedly quoting. The UK Daily Excess coming up with "100 reasons why climate change is natural". The UK Daily Telegraph has cited the same report. Even the BBC have doing a vague 180 on the issue. I'm vaguely uneasy about having people like this on the sceptical side of the argument, but as they say in diplomacy and warfare "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." He happens to be repeating what many sceptics have been saying for a long time. e.g. Biofuels create more problems than they solve.

Al Gore's prediction of 2013 or 2014 'ice free Arctic' is hereby redacted from the Apocalypse sweepstake. The Emperor of Climate Change has been found to be (Gasp! Shock! Horror!) naked all along. Oh yes, and the American DOE is sitting up and taking legal notice by the sound of things.

So we're not doomed then? That's nice, and just in time for Christmas.

Time for coffee.

Update: to clarify, this blog is not, and never has been in favour of the left wing agenda of the BNP. Just because their leader has been agreeing with the sceptical side of the climate change argument does not mean any ex-pat votes will be going their way from this address. Not even in protest. Now if you'll excuse me, I have several much nicer parties to attend. Those with wine, food, and easy conversation in copious quantities.

Monday, 14 December 2009

And you are getting what for Christmas.....?



Couldn't resist it. Loved the original, but this is so appropriate.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Watching PMQ's

Went for supper at our NDP friends house last night and he put UK Parliamentary Question time on. I have been out of the UK a long time. How long has Gordon Brown had that dreadful stammer? Er, Er this and, and, and that. Brown looked like a man completely out of his depth and drowning.

The Labour back benchers questions were so obviously plants ('Does the Prime Minister not agree' type of question), and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats stood up and roundly castigated Brown for various failures. All denied with fudged figures of course, but Brown looked badly rattled. Funny thing though, the Tories were mostly mute in the ten minutes or so that we watched before my friend turned channels to an Olympic presentation at Ottawa. There the most contentious item was the proposal of a fitness regime for Federal MP's.

What a contrast. Harper looked confident and in control. At ease and relaxed, even though his majority is wafer thin. My friend as I've probably mentioned, doesn't like Stephen Harper. I've never been able to fathom out why, so there were a few tense moments in case the remote went flying at the screen while I kept my peace. Then we were treated to an interview with one of the Olympic Torch bearers, an 81 year old lady who won Canada's first Winter Gold medal for figure skating back in 1948 and thankfully the political temperature dropped. Phew.

First snow

We've had our first snow of the Winter this morning. Nothing much, a light dusting which looks no more than a heavy frost. A translucent pallid frosting on lawns and roofs. We're due our first real snow sometime in the early part of next week. Not like the Midwest, who have been catching it big time if what the news says is correct. A Calgarian for instance would dismissively turn his nose up at our little strinkling and say "Call that snow? T'aint even a deep frost!"

Monday's prophesy is for overnight light snow turning to rain by late Tuesday. Tell you the truth I'd rather not see any real snow until January so I can get the house move done and dusted.

Have been watching some of the stories coming out of Copenhagen with mixed feelings. The Anarchists are turning the place into a battleground, and a lot of people who haven't a clue are shouting downs the one's who do. Certain Businesses are getting dissed by the politicians, and deals appear to be being done behind closed doors. Personally I think any treaty coming out of these talks will be bad news for us peons, as a tiny 'elite' have already decided what's going to happen by way of extra taxes, and all the hoo-hah is simply a sideshow. The boy President from the USA will fly in for a photo-op and a little glad handing, pick up his prize and sign whatever is put in front of him.

The thought occurs that many politicians are unaccountable to most of the electorate and seem to get hijacked by minority special interest much of the time. This is certainly true of the UK, whose current government seem to be trying to run everything themselves and failing miserably. Even though they've run out of taxpayers money, they're still trying to give away billions. All on the insane premise that paying more tax will somehow change the weather. Their sheer asinine bone headed insistence that this is the only way forward just annoys me, and I'm not the only one.

Stuff this, I need feeding. My system is crying out for a delicious liver and bacon sandwich which always acts as a tonic. I need a protein fix and I need it now.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Well I would if I could

Packing stuff up in the storage cupboards and outdoor storage this afternoon. Duck my head out of the chill to brew a well earned cup of tea and Mrs S is calling me on Skype, having been out on the razzle with youngest. "Have you cleared the outside storage yet?" She asked in that pointed way of hers, wagging a mock admonitory screen finger at me.
"That's what I've been doing, just now, breaking stuff down for recycling." Spake I.
"You sure?" She asked. Mm-hm. My baby girl has been on the sauce methinks.
"Yes, what else would I be doing?" I said, feeling slightly miffed at the implied challenge to my integrity. It was only the lure of a hot cup of tea that drove me indoors. Mrs S is obviously missing my strong manly presence as this is the second call today, and as the first went on for an hour and a half, she's obviously bored. I'm not that interesting am I? To be honest, like most men I can't talk for hours in subtext alone. I need a hook to hang a conversation off, a subject, a purpose, or what's the point? When I want to ask a question I ask it straight out, not circle round the subject as though I'm not interested - then pounce.

Fortunately I was rescued by Youngest, who urged her Mother to close down and go to sleep as it was one in the morning UK time. Since Mrs S has been gone I reckon I've spent more time talking to her on Skype than we do at home. Something like three hours a day. It must be love.

Neighbours have invited me round for drinks and nibbles in their very plush waterfront pad next Sunday, so I will take a nice Argentinian Gamay Noir, which I must confess to being quite partial to, and make as much small talk as I am able. I have a Victoria Sponge cake to make for my friends at the Red Cross, and other dainties to prepare for various Christmas do's to which I've been invited.

Closer to the festering season, probably from the 20th onwards I shall be posting my favourite Christmas songs and their carolling equivalents where extant on Youtube. Those who are Xmas averse should have no qualms, as I'm also busy crafting a piece on hopefully amusing seasonal prejudices that would make the Grinch blanche and say "Steady on old thing, that's a bit strong." The big wuss.

Mrs S has demanded however that the 'pooter be left on all Christmas day with Skype running, the thought of which has me praying for power cuts and service outages. If I have to pull the plug out of the phone to get some respite; so be it. I shall be out fishing and the bloody phones can ring as much as they like. This is mutiny Cap'n, and I'm not fussy if everyone gets the hump at me. Stuff Turkey. Radish the sprouts, and deck your own flaming halls.

MWP Denial

I'd always been led to understand that the Medieval warm period was a done deal; there was so much historical evidence for a time when the earth was warmer than even the past twenty or so years (Or the 1930's). However, like with all History, there is an academic element of revisionism who want to prove that black is white and the sun rises in the West.

Holocaust 'Deniers' are one such minority grouping. They cannot accept that there is solid documentary evidence of the slaughter, both in pictorial records and documents kept by the concentration camp operators, A.Hitler Gmbh. As with the 1937 'Rape of Nanking', political blinkers are donned and no amount of gentle persuasion and empirical evidence can shift them. Rather like the people who say the Moon landings were all a hoax. Now it appears that there is a similar grouping in Paleoclimatology circles who are involved in an Orwellian undertaking to rewrite the climate records because it suits their agenda. Got challenged by one such on a comment thread in James Delingpole's Daily Telegraph blog. He / She /It (May even have been one of those very clever Turing personalities) wanted 'evidence' of the Medieval Warming Period. I shunted a random sample of three scientific papers on the subject at the trollish creature (Be it Silicon or organic) and am watching the speed of response. Anything quicker than three hours should indicate that; a) Whoever it is never read any of the scholarly articles b) Really is a very clever dicky with a bad case of Aspbergers syndrome and a phenomenal typing speed.

Nevertheless, those even cleverer chaps over at Wattsupwiththat have put together this video (See below) which puts all the ice core data in it's proper historical perspective.

Lovely job. Factual, short, sweet, and to the point. Based on NOAA's own ice core data.

Update: Joe D'Aleo's explanation of current conditions is likewise lucid and understandable by climate laymen such as myself.

H/T to Wattsupwiththat reader Magnus A in this comment thread.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Another tick in the box


Was in the local grocery store doing the weekly shop. My Cell phone rang. Who the hell was calling me after close of play on a late Friday afternoon? Is the thought that went through my head. I didn't think of anything I hadn't finished this week.

"Put down whatever you're holding." Mrs S's dulcet tones came from the other side of the Atlantic.
"I've just finished shopping. I'm at the checkout." I replied, wondering what on Earth she was going on about from over six thousand miles away.
"Never mind that." Vouchsafed my beloved. "Where are you?"
"In the Supermarket. What's up?" I reiterated. At this point I was mildly concerned, but her tone gave me pause for thought. She sounded excited; pumped, even.
"Get back home. There's stuff you need to see -now." She sounded quite emphatic, so I quickly dropped the weekly shop into the back of the battlebus and sped off back to the barn.

Twenty minutes later I'm back at home staring at a form on the computer screen forwarded from our immigration Lawyers in Quebec with my jaw lightly grazing the carpet. Final medicals have been requested for Mrs S, myself and our girls. Considering we're all in rude, dare I say even abusive health, this should be a breeze. We have all passed all the immigration qualifications re education and experience, and all our Police clearance certificates are 'green board'. Yes! Yes! Bloody yes!

I'm delighted, amused, and currently very light headed having sunk two triple Jameson's on an empty stomach by way of celebration. The Dog is prostrate across my feet, obviously content simply because his boss is happy. Mrs S is happy because she's a step closer to where she's always wanted to be, and I am utterly, wonderfully, ecstatically, pleasurably, and completely contentedly delighted with this news.

Tonight gentle reader, if you will forgive me, I am slightly more than a little drunk. I am also a very happy man. Of course I will be even happier when our permanent residency is definitively confirmed and we can put in our citizenship applications. A metaphorical 'postcard from Switzerland' may follow. God bless Canada. It may be a trifle premature but the theme of a certain movie is playing in my head right now.

Update: Our requirement for an Immigration interview has been waived (We don't have to do one). Another two thousand dollars for landing fees, medical costs, and final lawyers bills and we're in. Bloody hell.

Brrr!

Mrs S on Skype this morning; "I'm bloody freezing!" She complained to me. On the video I could see she was in her day clothes with a jacket and scarf and wrapped up in a duvet. At present she's lodging with youngest for a couple of days before moving on to Mother in Laws for Christmas. I tried not to laugh, much.

Having been a lowly Engineering student in days of yore I can imagine why. Student housing is pretty basic, and English buildings tend towards the poorly insulated and draughty. Energy costs have always been comparatively steep over there as well, so the kids can only afford to have heating on for four or five hours a day. This rather gels with my own experiences of student days gone by when the only heating I had was a two bar electric fire on a coin fed meter. For three years. I like to think of those times (Although I don't try to think too hard about them) as a rite of passage. Shades of Python's 'Four Yorkshiremen' sketch.


For Mrs S, used to Canadian standards of insulation and indoor warmth it's coming as a bit of a culture shock. Where she is at the moment it's one degree Celsius, as it is for me. However, let's do a quick rule of thumb comparison of housing stock. Average British housing: Brick, Cement and Plaster; bloody freezing. Average Canadian housing: Rendered wood and plasterboard (Drywall); toasty and snug. British rooms; small (120-200 Square feet). Canadian rooms; large (270 Square feet and up) even in a small apartment like ours. The new place has a dining (Breakfast) area next to the kitchen of 100 Square feet, and that's the smallest space there is short of one walk in closet.

To give you an idea, the picture below tries to compare your bog standard Canadian House with the closest equivalent in the UK. Each individual property is three bedrooms, and at about the same place in the respective house pricing structure. The little 'Rancher' on the left is fairly typical of most local down town locations, although the yards (Gardens) may be tidier or scruffier. To compare what is called a BC 'Town House' with a typical UK Terraced house just isn't a fair comparison. Nor comparing what I call a 'Barratt box' house with it's Canadian equivalent.


There are times in the immigration process when we've wondered whether we're doing the right thing in switching countries. Especially when yet another bureaucratic hurdle has to be jumped. However, for Mrs S at least, a trip back to the UK freshens the reasons why we left, and strengthens our resolve to make a life here for future generations.

Ooo! Noooo! Arrgh! Oh for crying out loud.

Fellow blogger Henry Crun, who runs grumpyoldsod reminds me that the shrillness of the pro warming brigade continues unabated. Scare stories abound, and quite frankly I'm yawning at the ridiculae being thrown out in the mainstream media for the Copenhagen climate conference. Bored now.

Oo look. 2010 is going to be the 'Warmest year on record'. Hmm. Depends who is keeping the records though, don't it? Not content with being repeatedly wrong on the subject it's paid to be right on, the UK Met Office descends ever deeper into farce. Never mind about all you poor Brits being drahned in yer beds.

OMG! The oceans are getting more acid! Hold on a minute, by how much is the oceans ph going to change? Has anyone bothered to wonder about how many cubic miles of water there are in the oceans, and how many gigatonnes of CO2 it would take to turn them into neat Carbonic acid? Anyone going to bother doing the sums? Simple journalistic fact checking? No? Thought not. Oh, FFS. BTW, has anyone picked up on the improvement in conditions for marine environments from a little extra CO2? Commonly added to salt water aquaria to improve conditions for fish? The elephant in the room here is industrial overfishing and good old fashioned toxic waste dumping.

Arrgghh! Pacific Islanders are going to lose their homes because the oceans are rising out of control! Never mind the reality where the disintegration of their coral atoll home has been at least partly attributed to the destruction of coral by repeated dynamite fishing and other such dubious practices. In places like the Maldives and Vanuatu, the sea level isn't rising at all.

Noo! Those poor Bangladeshis being flooded out! Well it's what happens when you live on a fertile low lying flood delta and someone chops down too many trees upstream. That one's been going on ever since pre partition and the days of the Raj.

Then you dig a little and trawl through the financial pages where the real stories sometimes lurk. Billions lost in Carbon trading fraud. A certain Billionaire suggesting the IMF throw away billions. After 1992 and 'Black Wednesday', I've always suspected his motives. He loves money, not the Earth.

That's just stuff culled from the Torygraph in ten minutes flat.

Never mind, I'm watching for the big wedge of Arctic air that's about to dump on Northern Europe. As they say in the movies, "It's a doozy!"

Thursday, 10 December 2009

News from overseas

Rudely rolled out of my pit at six this morning by the Computer shrilling. Bounced grainy eyed out of bed in my pyjamas to be greeted with a call from Mrs S in England.

She's fine, our Girls are fine, but Mrs S can't believe how crowded where they live is. She was talking to me from inside a Starbucks, and the background noise of a bunch of hyperactive teenagers was so loud it overloaded her laptops sound card. What I heard six and a half thousand miles away was something akin to what the BBC Radiophonics workshop used to put out as sci-fi sound effects. Very difficult to catch everything Mrs S said.

Still packing and disassembling furniture ready for the move. Have a number of invitations to various parties which I'm going to attend and do the nod and smile thing. My heart's not really in it at the moment.

Update: A good reason not to be concerned about our girls safety is that youngest does Kickboxing, and eldest is into martial arts as well. As an ex-Judoka I'm very happy about this. It means that any would-be assailant will end up looking for their teeth in the gutter should they try it on with either. I'm even more pleased that they have chosen to do so without direct encouragement on my part. A big well done from their crusty old Stepdad, whose heart shines with a little more familial pride than usual.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Happy Climategate


From the splendidly risible Minnesotans for Global Warming. Show them some seasonal Interweb affection, for yea and verily, the video and MP3 is only USD$1.99.

Out of the mouths.....



Well, if it's so simple a 6th grader (With some help from his Dad) can work it out, why didn't those terribly clever climate science johnnies at NASA or CRU? As sweet a proof of the Urban Heat Island effect as I've ever seen. Found at this post at Wattsupwiththat.

Time for tea.

Interesting.


Seen over the Island Highway footway overpass at the Long Lake junction. A crude banner protest sign. White print on black background, about three feet high by ten feet long had been erected which read thus;
Exposed. CLIMATEGATE. N.W.O..
Another one of those 'should have had my camera with me' moments.

Wonder if it will still be up by Friday?

Cold day

We're in the middle of our third day with temperatures mainly below zero Celsius. Yesterday we hit the giddy heights of two degrees Celsius. This is not usual for this time of year. Our friends, who have lived around here most of their lives, are going "Damn cold eh?" In that slightly sarcastic rhetorical manner characteristic of rural Canadians. For once no-one's talking about 'climate change', and whenever the subject is raised, an embarrassed silence descends upon the conversation until someone changes the topic. Usually to sport or travel. Me, I keep my lips clamped together and listen.

Lot of extra traffic via the blog. Most of it is people looking for the HARRY_READ_ME.TXT file, and the FOI2009.Zip file. Happy to redirect you seekers of information to the mother lode. Do not believe one source alone (or my word alone); make up your own minds is one of the policies I operate here. Scepticism is my default position. Well it would be wouldn't it?

I even seem to have generated my own 'Hockey stick' graph. Good grief.

Mrs S is safely in the UK with our girls and will be spending her time with them in the South West of England. Christmas cards are all written and distributed, and I'm cleaning up our old place, getting ready for the move. Our apartment currently looks like it's been burgled. Half packed boxes all over the place, wall decorations half packed. Furniture in various states of disassembly. Usual stuff. Official moving date will be 31st December, although I'll probably be in and toasting in front of a nice log fire the evening before.

Meanwhile at Copenhagen........

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Huh?

Was over at Wattsupwiththat reading this post. I was watching the video and thinking Steve McIntyre could do with some serious grooming before going on TV. When I could have sworn I heard 'scientist' Michael Oppenheimer, supposedly an expert in his field; say that CO2 stayed in the air "for decades, for centuries, even for millennia".

Now I'm not given to aural hallucinations, and had to listen twice to be sure. If what he said were the case and CO2 just 'stayed' in the atmosphere; where would all the CO2 utilised by plants during photosynthesis come from? How about outgassing and CO2 absorption by the oceans? Does he not understand the Carbon Cycle? This is Elementary School science stuff. Or at least was when I went to school.

Context or not; this guy is supposed to be an expert in his field. Oppenheimer should know better. FAIL.

Blog comments policy

Just a quickie on the comments policy for this blog.

Intelligent, informed and / or reasoned commentary is welcome. Everything else may be;

a) Ignored
b) Reported to the relevant authority
c) Hit with my big prose / doggerel hammer
d) Laughed at (Not with, at)

Nothing will be deleted unless it's transparently spam.

That is all.

More propaganda

The politicians at Copenhagen are all trying to tell us how they, and only they alone, can 'save the world'. Sounds like an exercise in self justification to me, sort of "Nooo, you can't do without my phoney job because I'm busy saving the world, don'cha'know."

The problem is that no one has conclusively proven that man is responsible for our ever changing climate on a global scale because of CO2 emissions. If you actually bother to plough through the immense verbiage of various scientific papers' instead of letting others do the 'translating' for you, you'll find they're full of 'could' and 'might' statements which club together into a massive 'we don't really know'.

The climate data has been fudged, of that there is no doubt. Why would all the adjustments in the "HARRY_READ_ME.TXT" (Direct link) file need to be upwards anyway? If, as according to surfacestations.org, US temperature readings are artificially skewed upwards anyway because climate measuring stations have been moved onto Car Parks, or had air conditioning / waste heat sources installed nearby? No wonder the Met Office thinks it's getting hotter.

So why the fuss and slagging off all those who say "Hang on a minute, this doesn't look right" as 'Deniers' or 'Denialists'? Ah. Mainly it's the activists and politicians who are trying to silence dissenting voices because there's money in it for them. Let me enlarge; companies like GE see money in sales of Nuclear Reactors and other 'low emission' technologies. Financial institutions want to make money from Carbon Trading. You know, those financial institutions that were behind the credit crunch and needed taxpayers billions to be bailed out? Lobby organisations get paid to place Fark-like stories about how everything including tectonic subsidence and my mothers cat getting the mange are all caused by man's activity. Activists get cash from interested politicians. Interested politicians get favours / Directorships / influence / money for pet causes thrown at them to push the warmist guilt agenda because it pays them to. The money goes round and round. What it all boils down to is the climate gravy train is out of control. See the excesses at Copenhagen.

What the propaganda doesn't change is this; the simple truth is that climate changes. We don't really know why, and all the untruths, arguments and fudged data are getting in the way of our ever finding out.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Come in Jonah Brown your time is up.

Well, there goes an entry in the apocalypse sweepstake. Gordon Brown's "Fifty days to save the world" prediction passed yesterday and guess what? We're still here. Where's Brown and chums? Copenhagen no doubt, scoring free tricks off call girls, watching supermodels strip, scarfing Caviar and riding in massive gas guzzling limo's? Oh yes, very environmentally friendly I don't think.

Well there's a surprise.

It's like the excesses during the reign of Louis 16th of France..... Just before the French Revolution.......

Out of the blue

Went for supper at a friends house last night. We'd finished regaling our hosts about the last of our adventures with our immigration lawyers and getting ready for house moves when, apropos of nothing, the master of the house looked at us and said; "So this Global Warming thing, all a hoax, eh?"

Now, I've never broached that subject in day to day conversation at all with these particular friends. You know how it is, you don't talk politics or religion so as not to tread on the toes of your hosts and cause an argument. Our host is a solid NDP voter and I tend towards the conservative. I like what Harper's doing, he doesn't, so we don't talk about the subject as feelings can run a little high. Besides, we were their guests and they'd just fed us handsomely.

I must confess to being caught a bit left footed, but gave them a brief précis of events and a little background filler as best I could. You know the sort of thing, a compressed history of the events leading up to the revelations without boring them to death with the details.

"Oh." Vouchsafed our host after I'd finished. "So we've been sold a bill of goods then." He then went on to describe his feelings about being fooled by the media personalities who have thrown their weight behind the pro AGW arguments. Suffice it so say, he was not happy with them. No idea where he'd got his information. The TV I suppose.

Funnily enough I felt no pride in seeing someone turn their thinking about like that. Mrs S and I just feel sorry that the reputation of science will lose out through these revelations. A lot of hard working scientific researchers in other fields will be tarred with the same brush as the fanatical warmista's. Their credibility will be demeaned.

Just funny the way it came out of the blue at us like that.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Getting things in proportion, the thoughts of a simple man


The war of words over Earths ever changing climate is based upon one contention; that man is responsible for variations in climate over the past thirty years because of Human generated Carbon Dioxide emissions. This guerilla verbal combat is driven by agenda setting polemicists, broadcasting authorities, politicians, lobby organisations (Fenton Communications, Media Matters to name but two), those seeking funding from government sources, and iiin the blue corner, independent thinkers, retired professors, Meteorological specialists, and half the general public. Never mind the various incarnations of the tinfoil hat brigade, whichever side of the argument they are on. Notwithstanding; there is a saying that the first casualty of warfare is the Truth. Yet from the looks of things, the truth of this particular matter is hiding in plain sight.

Okay, let's look at the crux of the matter dispassionately. How much of a 'warming' effect does CO2 actually have? Yes, it does have an effect, but how much is that really?

Oh. Not that much at all. CO2 only reflects energy up to a saturation point in three narrow wavebands. Atmospheric CO2 is currently above that saturation point. Ah. As for how much energy it lets through, that's another thing, because when it comes to reflecting energy, molecules don't know up from down. Ergo, when it comes to the atmosphere, molecules of CO2 reflect as much outwards as inwards. As far as energy absorption is concerned, one way is as good as another, and the molecules in question don't care which.

Right. How much Carbon Dioxide is actually in the atmosphere anyway? The 388 parts per million as generally quoted is measured at Mauna Loa, right next to a volcano. Uh - huh. So wouldn't that measurement give a false impression depending upon which way the wind is blowing? Because volcanoes give off massive amounts of CO2, SO2 and similar, so couldn't that create a bit of a false positive? If so, by how much? The point is, we only know what we're told, but if the people doing the telling have their own agenda, can we trust them as a source?

Nevertheless, just say for a minute the measurements are honest, and the raw data is good. How much of the Earth's CO2 is mankind responsible for? 2% of 387.75 parts per million according to most reputable sources. Do the sums, 387.75/100 x 2 = 7.755 parts per million per year. Okay. Right, so all the breathing, industry, motor cars, agriculture; in fact all of humankinds activities run to a whopping great...oh. 0.0007755% of Earths measurable atmosphere. That's not really very much at all, is it?

How can that small an amount have an effect upon anything given that reflection absorption is so small? Especially in the magnitudes indicated. If we as a species don't shut everything down and stop breathing then we would only add 775.5 parts per million per century, and most of our output can comfortably be processed by green growing things on land and plankton in the sea. In fact higher levels of CO2 are very good for plants and plankton. They love it, the little tinkers. Because as is common knowledge, CO2 is routinely used for improving plant growth in greenhouses at concentrations of about 1000ppm, over twice current atmospheric levels. Even without that extra uptake of CO2, at current rate of increase, it would take, let's see now, just under a century for atmospheric CO2 to reach 1.163%. Even if you ignore the carbon cycle and outgassing etc. Then there's the old chestnut that CO2 levels lag (not lead) temperature changes, which the warming side of the debate disparage. Hmm.

Given that the infrared absorption of CO2 decreases with concentration on an inverse logarithmic scale, think of a reverse hockey stick. It has to work this way or the planet of Mars, with an atmosphere of 95% CO2 would be far hotter than it actually is. Therefore we can take it as given that our descendants will be safe from the universal heat death widely prophesied. Hooray!

Let's put that in comparison with the rest of the atmosphere, which forgive me if I'm a little out in this;
Figures culled from the Encyclopaedia Britannica
Nitrogen (N2) 78.084
Oxygen (O2) 20.946
Argon (Ar) 0.934
Neon (Ne) 0.0018
Helium (He) 0.000524
Methane (CH4) 0.0002
Krypton (Kr) 0.000114
Hydrogen (H2) 0.00005
Nitrous Oxide(N2O) 0.00005
Xenon (Xe) 0.0000087

Of course there are these variable gases as well.
Water Vapour (H2O) 0 to 7
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 0.01 to 0.1 (average about 0.032)
Ozone (O3) 0 to 0.01
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) 0 to 0.0001
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) 0 to 0.000002

How much of an average temperature change are we talking about? How many degrees Celsius / Fahrenheit per century? 0.6 Degrees Celsius or thereabouts? It is also worth noting that temperature records were set in the 1930's which we have yet to surpass, no matter what anyone says. Oh.

My conclusion must therefore be that when you stick the facts and figures up against each other like this, it rather puts everything in perspective. Never mind the fudged code and the e-mails, the simple facts and physics are stacked up against CO2 influenced Climate Change / AGW / MMGW / Whatever.
(Please note that I have deliberately not used Wikipedia as a source because there's been way too much partisan propaganda mongering going on over there. In this specific area of information dissemination, it can no longer be considered trustworthy.)


Fine. Great. Panic over. The world isn't going to end. That's nice. The pubs are open and mine's a pint.

Google

Don't care much for the new 'feature' added to the Google.ca home page. The way the little bar of text links at the top left doesn't appear immediately like it used to when I'm using Firefox. Gives you the impression that there's a loading problem with Google. It's bloody irritating.

Please Google folk, return your search engine front end to its previous status. What you've inflicted upon the rest of us looks like a bug, not a feature. That is all.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Who will be correct?

Popped over to Weatheraction and found this prediction on their website re the Copenhagen talks. According to Piers Corbyn the climate talks are going to be plagued by deluges and possible blizzards.
The weather forecast seems to disagree. Who is right here? We'll see by Friday.

Oh dear. I seem to have contracted that nasty climate virus.

(Yes I know I nicked the idea, but in the words of a serial liar who shouldn't be believed about anything - "So what")


Update:
Piers has very kindly added in the comments that his forecast is for the region; not merely for Denmark. Having said that, we've just had a large dump of snowfall over Alberta, and it looks like the weather system that did that is heading over the Maritimes and may be already on it's way to Europe. Winter Storm warning for Labrador Avalon Peninsula South as of 11pm 6th December. Also for the mouth of the St Lawrence. Wrap up warm over there.

Source: Environment Canada Weather Warnings

Seen in Duncan, BC


Yup, that Hockey stick is the real thing, and it's a big one. You should see the players!

A "No shit, Sherlock." moment

The thought occurs.

If science becomes politicised, it becomes politics, not science.

Hmm.

News and thoughts from afar

Another gorgeous BC morning. Rang Ma Sticker this morning for our usual familial transatlantic chat and found she had a couple of my cousins visiting. Apparently business is still fairly poor for one of them (Distribution) but they've survived. The tone of my one cousins voices spoke volumes. Although he sounded envious of our life over here, which isn't totally brilliant and carefree, but we don't do badly, he was not a happy bunny. My siblings likewise. 2009 will be a year they'd all rather forget, economically speaking.

Made a bit of a production of Saturday breakfast, as I will tomorrow. Mrs S is jetting off Eastbound shortly and leaving me to take care of the house move. Tomorrow will be the last Sunday breakfast we will share for a while. This bothers me somewhat. We've worked so closely together as a team over the past two years that the thought of our parting is quite discomforting. The bed will be too big without her for one.

Odd that. I've been alone for much of my life. No big reason, just too damned busy and preoccupied to do much dating. Unsocial hours, long commutes, that sort of thing. I got used to being a solitary male. In my home town the usual gossips' self fulfilling prophesies were applied to me, so no real social life; until the lady who was to become my wife came along. I suppose you could say we both came to one another's emotional rescue.

In a way I do miss the time for contemplation and concentration that being single brought to me, there were always so many things to do; but I don't miss the single nights. I don't miss the chill hollowness of bedtime. Your only companion an applications manual. Waking up to find the TV and lights still on, with the banality of breakfast TV itching maddeningly at your consciousness. The need to get out of the door for eighteen hours to earn a crust.

Mrs S changed all that. Now she's going away for six weeks. I am not going to be a happy camper I can tell you. All ahead Sarcasm Factor twelve. Misanthopy on full. My vorpal sword will be singing.

Fortunately the mind has a way of overpainting unpleasant experiences. Almost as if the unpleasantness in life were wounds which never really heal but simply develop a crust protecting the inflamed tissue beneath. Knocking off the scab only makes the unpleasantness livid and raw once again. Constantly 'picking' at the wound simply inflames it more. Only times ablation of memory seems to help. I've found it often takes years before truly bad memories can be looked at in the clarity of experience. You only relive the experience when a specific trigger dumps a cascade of ancient guilt / remorse / sadness on your head and you're almost back in the bad old days. You know the sort of thing; losing friends and family. The guilt of screwing up badly and having no opportunity to make it right. Stuff like that. Happens to us all.

Thus it is that I'm having trouble recalling the UK apart from the real high points. Riding empty early morning A-roads in Summer (Not possible now). Spring mornings when the blossom breaks. The heady muskiness of Maythorn in late May. The thrill of my first Shark. A Pilot Whale spouting and diving right under the boat I was on. The triangle of dirty slate of a Basking Sharks dorsal fin jutting out of the water as we puttered by. Sunny Summer days with your hat tilted over your face while the boat gently wallows on a lapping light chop. Wild Autumnal nights as the sweat boils through your body and hair after a long run. Watching the almost snakelike flight of an arrow as your bow releases a perfect shot; the recoil giving your shoulders that tiny rebounding jolt of rightness. The smell of Autumn bonfires. Fecund wet earth after summer rain. The sharpness of frost.

On the upside I'm going to go and have a look at that old PBR Catalina down at the airport with camera in hand. Send the pics off to Delcatto. Get my head down on the second book of my trilogy, finish the first draft mid January. Move house. Work. Sit on my new porch with a beer and some neighbours to enjoy the easy talk and the view of the Islands. Enjoy the quiet. Practice stalking Deer in the woods. Feel the heat of the Winter sun on my back. Smell the resinous freshness of Spruce. The crispness of new fallen snow and impossibly bright blue skies. Fill the unforgiving minute. Yeah.

Until my beloved is home in my arms I'll make busy. Good idea.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Oh Gordon Bennett

Mrs S and I were having one of those late night philosophical conversations we get into occasionally about separating blame from action last night. I won't bore anyone who cares to read this with the details, but we both concluded that someone who does a bad thing is not necessarily beyond redemption.

Then along comes Jonah Brown and proves that he is completely out of touch with reality big time, throwing our contentions into the briar patch. The guy is completely barking. Failing that he doesn't understand what scientific enquiry is at all. Alternatively, he sees carbon trading as a way to boost his pension fund (unlike the ones the Work and Pensions act screwed), and is vehemently protecting his investments.

Just as an aside; the thought does occur that Brown knows who all the sceptics are (The Internet is not really anonymous), and will set the lapdogs of officialdom on them and their families should opportunity present itself. Nothing big, just enough to make their lives awkward and miserable. He's a deeply unpleasant man, and I wouldn't put it past him if he really threw Teddy (or his Mobile phone) out of the pram. The sceptics have rained on his parade, and he'll probably want to send some precipitation our way. Not that he already hasn't. Loss of Pensions, Civil liberties, Sovereignty. You know, little things like that.

I personally hate the man for his many crimes against the UK (Him and Blair), and if truly bad things happen to him (and / or Blair), then I will break out the bubbly and P-A-R-T-Y! Not that I'll be coming back to the UK anyway if I can possibly help it. That, as they say, ship has sailed.

To conclude. For the hard of thinking, the Scientific Method goes like this;
  • Define the question
  • Gather information and resources (observe)
  • Form hypothesis
  • Perform experiment and collect data
  • Analyze data
  • Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
  • Publish results
  • Retest (frequently done by other scientists)

NOT;
  • Define the Answer
  • Form hypothesis
  • Gather information and resources
  • Perform experiments and collect data
  • Frighten politicians with predictions of doom
  • Rake in millions of taxpayers funds
  • Lose all the results that don't support your hypothesis
  • Get into huge slanging matches with those who don't agree
  • Interpret data and retest using bogus methods
  • Refuse point blank to let anyone independently verify your results and methods
  • Deny all wrongdoing
  • Take early retirement to avoid scandal

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Are the Copenhagen climate talks about to fold?


Watching the news roll in as the 'Climategate' story hits the mainstream. Al Gore has cancelled. The lead players are squabbling amongst themselves. The next Australian Federal elections will be fought with 'Climate Change' as one of the key issues.

Whatever next? Can the much vaunted Copenhagen talks survive the revelations that have been buzzing around the Internet for the past two weeks? Well when even the high priest of the Warmistas says they're a bad idea it doesn't look good for the much hyped megajunket. Will the over hyped climate talks be left high and dry like the famous Little Mermaid statue at low water?

Over here, Canada is wisely switching it's anti-pollution emphasis from CO2 to particulate emissions. Which is an intelligent move. It has long been known that particulate matter has a marked effect on weather. I cite Smog (Airborne pollution and fog) and the well documented effects of volcanic activity upon the climate.

Fortunately, the open minded Canucks and the Aussies are leading the world away from economic disaster, and a damned close run thing it's been. The politicians of the western world were running headlong over an economic cliff, and for a while there I was wondering how in God's name we'd all survive the plunge. This way things won't be quite as tough for quite as long, and only those with heavy investments in 'Carbon trading' will lose out. The thought occurs that if their names are Gore or Soros, I won't be shedding any tears. Further consideration would indicate to me that the big players money will be flying the carbon trading coop if it has not already done so.

With only three (two?) more days to go to Jonah Brown's '50 days to save the world' entry in the apocalypse sweepstake, correspondents are already talking about the next summit in Mexico and playing down Copenhagen. The Indians and Chinese are known to be less than enthusiastic if the big carbon handouts won't come their way. There's also been speculation that certain African nations will be pleased if the Carbon Handcuffs on their development are released.

Good stuff


Have just laid hands on a copy of the Altemus' edition of Dantes Inferno illustrated by Gustave Dore (See above). Excellent condition, but can't pin down the year. I know when the original illustrations were done, but there's no indication of the actual print run date. Pre 1900 seems possible as the preface page is pre incorporation of Henry Altemus publishing house.


Have also seen that the toxophilite's favourite piece of folklore, 'Robin Hood' is coming to the big screen May 14 2010. Ridley Scott directs; Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett star. Expect the usual Hollywood treatment of History, but at least in the pre release photo's, Crowe appears to be using a period correct Longbow, with a Flemish Twist bowstring, no less. If it's only half as good as 'Gladiator', I shall be booking my tickets early.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Monbiot vs. the Canadians

I thought after the revelations of the past week or so that arch AGW believer George Monbiot had undergone a Damascene-like conversion to scepticism. However, it looks like he's recanted and decided to eschew blasting 'Deniers' to go for a seemingly less robust target, like Canada. That's right, Canada.

In doing so he's taking advantage of the Canadian nations legendary good manners and forbearance to call them "A corrupt petro-state". A fellow Guardian columnist refers to Canadians as 'smug', and says 'it's embarrassing to be a Canadian'. My response to both these Guardianista's is "No it isn't."

Upon this issue I would like to stand up and be counted. Monbiot has gone so far over some bizarre frothing Enviro-mental event horizon I don't think he'll ever come back. Canadians are deeply concerned about their environment. British Columbia especially. So why pick on them?

As for Canadians being corrupt? Ahem. I beg to differ, well unless you are specifically referring to certain parts of Toronto. From a first hand perspective I'd say this is a cracked pot calling a newly polished copper kettle black. As for smug; well there's a certain holier-than-thou, fabian, pompous, nannying, lecturing, publication which originated in the Manchester area that can beat all comers. When it comes to 'smug', there is no more smugger publication than they. If Canadians score a 5 on the smugometer, the Grauniad outguns them with a self-righteous 500 plus.

I think he whole spat is to do with exploitation of the Athabasca oil sands in Northern Alberta. Georgie boy seems upset that Canada is harvesting one of its many natural resources. Why? The exploitation he seems upset about is in Northern Alberta under the muskeg. Muskeg is pretty desolate boggy country where long-dead trees rot standing up. From what I've seen of it, exploiting the oil sands could almost count as gentrification. Half of Northern Ontario is Muskeg, and pretty desolate; they even have songs about it.

Upon due consideration, maybe this isn't really about Canada's exploitation of the tar sands at all. He's just upset that Canada sells a good deal of it's oil output to George's bete noir, the USA. George appears to hate the USA, so anyone who does business with them is fair game. It's what we call over here 'a cheap shot'.

From my own observation, Canadians in general seem to view their southern neighbours with not a little good humoured distrust, but judging from the welcoming reception I see given to our migratory flocks of Americans every year, it's not a big deal. I have a strong suspicion that if most of Canada's tar sand output was sold to let's say, China; the flood of damning articles from the Grauniad's poison pens would dry up.

Writing as someone who has the daily pleasure of living and working with Canadians, I find them (Mostly, with some signal exceptions) to be a sincere and caring people who could give the fingerwagging environmental correspondents of a certain English newspaper a masterclass in caring and humility. I'm not saying it's perfect over here; there are environmental and social issues to be addressed, but Canadians are actually doing something about those themselves. Not picking on the nice guy of the nations like some spiteful child who's lost their favourite toy and is looking for an easy mark to blame.

Canada is a great nation. Canadians care (Sometimes a little too much, but that's just their nature). Compared to Monbiot, Canada has nothing to apologise for. I just hope he's got non-refundable tickets for the 2010 Olympics, and immigration won't him in. Now that would be a little poetic justice.

Update: Apparently the great Viridilunabaticus Frothicus has been seen winging his way back to England from Canada. Hope the door hit him on the way out.
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