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Your taxes at work

More from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office activism files. This is a comment from Hannah Wood, the FCO climate officer last seen showing "green" movies to the natives in her posting in Tanzania. In this episode, she reports on a visit by Met Office staff:

Here in Tanzania we have also been happy to welcome the UK Met Office, working alongside the Tanzanian Meteorological Agency to provide advice and guidance on future plans. We were delighted to welcome two UKMO staff emembers – David Robinson and Tim Donovan.

David was here to install some essential digital recording equipment, provided by the Foreign Office, which will allow the TMA to record and digitally distribute their weather forecasts, thus keeping the forecasting up to date and helping with distaster risk reduction. David also provided guidance on filming and editing of material to produce a climate change awareness film for broadcast on national television and distribution among Tanzanian secondary schools.

Just remember when you hear people complaining about cuts to government spending, that we can still afford to help Tanzanians make "climate change awareness" films.

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Reader Comments (108)

How on earth did the FCO get involved in the great global warming swindle? I could understand it if it was a ruse to sell British windymills, but there doesn't seem to be a commercial connection. The alarmist infection seems to go fairly deep and will be difficult to cure. Could take decades :-(

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR


"... there doesn't seem to be a commercial connection."

If we're intent on buggering up our economy because of our fears of the terrifying carbon monster, then it makes economic sense to spread the fear and get other countries to bugger up their economies too. Otherwise it's unfair.

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

"... there doesn't seem to be a commercial connection."

There is a reason this is being pushed mostly out of the U.K. , not much happens on this scale by accident.

Probably because the UK relies on the City of London for ~ 35% of their GDP, and the finance sector would love to take a slice off each carbon trade worldwide on the way in and way out.
81% of WW carbon trading goes through London now.

Hence the Tri-partisan support.

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterRipper


I wonder - does the Met Office's globetrotting "Head of Climate Hazards & Impacts" take precedence in the climate pantheon over our own dear Richard who is only "Head of Climate Impacts"?

Is there an even more important panjandrum with an even more alarming title like "Head of Climate Apocalypse, Hazards & Impacts" who lords it over both of them and only visits heads of state, descending from his personal jet on a jewel encrusted elephant?

As some one else alluded to recently - where are Gilbert & Sullivan when you really need them?

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Speaking of taxes, I see that the latest stealth tax doing the rounds is for if you need to replace a boiler (or add a conservatory or make pretty well any home improvement) - you will then have to ask for permission [bad luck if you meanwhile freeze to death] and, to get it, you will have to pay to have loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or some other greenery installed at the same time! { See }

Is there no end to the power/control over our lives/wallets that the pols want?

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM | Foxgoose

The Met Off are soooo easy to take the michael out of because they do such stupid things without realising they are stupid.

Gilbert and Sullivan probably stayed at home to adjust CRU3 for CRU4. :)

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Is our Hannah a fired-up enthusiast like our newly ennobled Bryony, or our recently disgraced Franny? These were gals on a mission. One helped give us the colossal economic blunder of the Climate Change Act. One helped give us the ugly moral blunder of 'No Pressure'. Hannah may be relatively harmless in comparison to these, but I do wonder if they are all chums.

I've just come across another lady on another continent, a very distinguished harpist - so she has considerable achievement behind her before saving the planet came along to take up her time - who has written a book to help make sure children don't escape from all the alarums. (

Quite a hitlist here from the fair sex: the Labour Party, the London luvvies, the Tanzanians, and the Kiddies.

Apr 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

The green fingers of eco fundamentalism stretch further and further - at taxpayers' expense of course.

Any AGW sceptic who declares that the fight is won, or nearly, needs to think again.

AGW alarmists lost the science/evidence battle a long time ago - it's the vested interests, eco loons and the complacent sheeple that are the problem now.

Apr 9, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

There's something splendidly Edwardian about us sending our climate emissaries out to spread the word to the primitive peoples of the world...... I can see it now.....

Richie "Jungle" Betts of the M.O. stands in a clearing in the rain forest, the ostrich plumes on his hat wilting in the sticky heat....."I come in the big silver bird to bring you greetings from the Great White Queen across the ocean"......... the chiefs and their warriors listen cautiously and their weathermen sitting at their feet, with their chicken entrails & magic bones spread around, nod approvingly.

"I know your weathermen have told you that the gods are angry and they have tried their best to appease them with their best spells and magic without success - but I have news from the weathermen of The Great White Queen of spells a thousand times more powerful than yours. The Queen has taken much gold from her subjects to build a machine which makes spells we call teraflops. Just one teraflop is more powerful magic than the sacrifice of a thousand fine white goats and with a few more teraflops the weather gods will be happy again"...

A murmur rises from one corner of the clearing and, as an old jungle hand, Richie knows instinctively that something's not quite right - he gives a quizzical look to young Hannah the pretty but inexperienced local D.O. "It's OK Ritch, I've spoken to the chiefs and their weathermen before you came, everything's fine - there are just a few old tribal elders being a bit difficult"...

Ritch feels the hairs stand up on the back of his neck, but he carries on - he's done a lot of these gigs and they've always turned out alright...... "Chiefs, elders and people of this land - without more teraflops the weathermen of The Great White Queen know that the gods will soon flood your valleys and burn your crops and your children will starve. My assistant will now pass among you with pieces of paper we call contracts - if you make your marks on the paper to promise to send gold to the weathermen of The Great White Queen they will buy more teraflops and the gods will be appeased".

Suddenly the murmuring from the old men in the corner starts to spread around the clearing and the volume rises, some of the villagers and even a few of the young warriors start talking to the elders and Ritchie notices their spears are beginning to be pointed towards young Hannah and himself. With no time to lose, he grabs her her arm crying "It's turning nasty we've got to get out of here".....

......... as Ritchie guns the F.O. Land Rover out of the clearing he hears the spears clattering on the roof and realises they've only just made it in time "I don't understand Hannah, it's always worked in the past, what's gone wrong - who were those old guys?"........... "I don't understand either - the chief told me himself they were just a bunch of drooling old loonies that nobody listens too - I think he called them deniers"

Apr 9, 2012 at 12:43 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Which literary award is good enough for Foxgoose? We have had art here, we have had poetry, and now this prose. Very enjoyable!

Apr 9, 2012 at 12:53 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Ah, the missionary zeal lives on, striving to bring enlightenment to darkest Africa.

Who are we to begrudge it?

Apr 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM | Registered CommentermikemUK

Bring on GFC Mark II, the sooner the better. It's the only way to bring rationality back to deluded Western governments and their cronies. Of course it will be ordinary people who suffer the economic pain while the elites, as always, get off scott-free. Loss of seat? No problem with a parliamentary pension. But the pain will be worth it to get rid of these dopes, including by way of massive cuts in public spending on modelling fripperies and climate change propaganda. Used super computers going cheap! Climate change "experts" going even cheaper!

Apr 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Check this link out

Apr 9, 2012 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Foxgoose didn't even mention the Great Eater of Teraflops, the Arch-Devil Gigo.

Apr 9, 2012 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

Missionaries, tithes, so what's new?

Apr 9, 2012 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark F

May I suggest a traditional end to Foxgoose's story - the missionaries end up in a big cooking pot over a blazing fire for a bit of "tribal warming" ?

It does it for me.

Apr 9, 2012 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

That's it! human sacrifices to GIGO, the great devourer of teraflops.

Apr 9, 2012 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

My understanding of the missionary position is that you still get fu**ed.....

Apr 9, 2012 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Global Weirding is the new hot air...

Apr 9, 2012 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterfenbeagle

The Foxgoose story reminds me of a visit to a museum in Fiji. One of the exhibits was a pair of old boots. They were all that remained of a fully dressed missionary who had been boiled and eaten by the locals back in the 19thC - apparently this was an occupational hazard for missionaries in those parts in those far off days. Apparently they had complained about his "tough skin" and decided enough was enough when they got down to his boots.

Apr 9, 2012 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Literary Award for Foxgoose? Thoroghly deserved, but wait, doesn't the UEA run a 'creative writing course'? (or is that the CRU?). Foxgoose should be the Professor!

Apr 9, 2012 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterphilip foster

And talking of missionaries, there is a splendid Noel Coward song which began

Poor Uncle Harry, wanted to be a missionary,
so he took a ship and sailed away.
Poor uncle Harry, hotly pursued by great Aunt Mary,
found a south sea island on which to stay...

Apr 9, 2012 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterphilip foster

an individual on twitter has apprently decided that this thread is evidence of commentators racism and sexism, why not tone it down. lest that is used to smear Bishop Hill as racist and sexist..

I note that Oldtimers comment, whilst in poor taste, and largely irrelevant to the serious concerns about where the FO waste there money on..

does seem to be factually accurate -the quote paraphrased..

Some people will USE anything to besmirch Bishop Hill and sceptics.

Apr 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I am the individual from Twitter referenced by Barry.

Can Oldtimer please explain if he is not a racist, why Foxgoose's story immediately reminded him of this story?

I believe a lot of progress has been made on racism and thought the days of people thinking jokes about black people cooking missionaries were a thing of the past, but perhaps I am too much of an optimist.

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Wilson

Whilst I don't think these comments are quite as bad as Robert does. I do think this is completely lowering the tone at Bishop Hill and I do see Roberts point, is this really what B Hill is about (of course not)

Why not talk about the actual serious issue, raher than a few comments, distracting from it.

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Thank you Barry

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Wilson

Be reassured Robert - nothing about you gives the impression that you're "too much of an optimist".

In fact, even at the risk of being accused of a further descent into racism - I can't resist P.G. Wodehouse's quote "It has never been hard to tell the difference between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine."

Last night on Twitter, when I suggested the origins of the climate change movement were ideological you told me to "go to hell" - now you're fainting like a maiden aunt at our modest jokes.

You're just a grim greenie with a chip on your shoulder mate - and Barry's daft for letting you yank his chain.

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:23 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose


Has it ever crossed your mind that a PhD student in Glasgow, may not even be Scottish?

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Wilson

More about UK/Norwegian money wasted in Tanzania:

The WWF, REDD, and Tanzania

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:27 PM | Registered Commentershub


and to think I was of the impression that jokes about black people boiling missionaries alive were not "modest." Where exactly are these things acceptable in today's society?

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Wilson

There seem to be differing opinions about the acceptability of cannibal jokes Robert.

Guardianista's hate 'em of course - but Maori elders apparently think they're quite funny:-

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:47 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Inappropiate for Bishop Hill. Very probably

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Robert seems a bit free with the accusations of sexism etc, I'm afraid. This is the second time today that I know of, that he's slung this accusation out there, online - goodness knows how many times in real life.

I was on the receiving end of the other time, on Twitter, but I think it's worth noting that, rather sexistly, I chose not to defer to my better half, who instructed me to tell Robert to "F&%£@ OFF!"

Apr 9, 2012 at 9:55 PM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

I just looked at Robert Wilson's twit stream. He seems to be boiling away.

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

You can delete this, but the guy is just a twitter bombing activist. Not good at all.

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Oh dear...
Well done
My chances of persuading people that don't agree with me, that they may be wrong about aspects of CAGW, now approaching zero.

Let's all live the sceptic stereotype/cliche shall we :(

I'm a little grumpy right now. Having walked into a knee high concrete bollard, in an alleyway.. thank you Tesco Express. Blood and food shopping.. nice.. :(

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I think most of the comments on this thread have been polite and charming, and I have not seen the turmoil they are said to be causing elsewhere. Accusations of racism and sexism do generally lack charm, but they have been so over-used by the left that they are all but devoid of any discriminatory meaning, and have merely become a tribal chant to be used when slightly inconvenienced by someone else's argument or action.

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:15 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade


On what planet is the following not a sexist remark?

"Is our Hannah a fired-up enthusiast like our newly ennobled Bryony, or our recently disgraced Franny? These were gals on a mission."

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Wilson

Sorry about that, but it was just an enormous stream (with hashtags and all!!) of 'racist', etc etc. Thought it was not fair. Especially the hashtags.

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Robert, I am confused here. I am a Bishop Hill regular and take offence that as such I am now apparently labelled as a racist. (FYI I am also more left than right on most issues - yes, there are a few of us lefty climate sceptics here - some of us prefer to judge the science on its merit rather than just accept the spin and bollocks from the thermageddonists in the WWF and IPCC).

Back to the issue. I do not see how it is racist to mention that a 19th century aboriginal tribe was partial to a little cannibalism. It is historical fact (and one that I and I am sure most anthropologists would not have a problem with - unless we happened to be on the menu).

Am I being a racist to mention that white Europeans were guilty of organising and profiting from the abhorrent African slave trade? (and some Arabs within Africa also of course).

Is it racist to point out that it was the British who first 'invented' concentration camps during the Boar War?

The answer to my questions is of course no, it is not racist to point these historical facts. The slave traders and camp builders were racists, no doubt, but that is a different issue, just as the fact that some aboriginals were cannibals.

Political correctness is okay up to a point but you appear to have gone well beyond that and lost sight of rational analysis.

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:22 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus


At what point have I accused you or Bishop Hill of being racist? I have called out the people on here who have made racist and sexist remarks. I haven't said a thing about Bishop Hill, or the regulars here.

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Wilson

"Is our Hannah a fired-up enthusiast like our newly ennobled Bryony, or our recently disgraced Franny? These were gals on a mission."

The above is sexist? You've got to be kidding! I just don't see it.

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub


Viewing a woman simply in terms of her gender is a pretty good definition to me.

Why did John Shade read the name Hannah Wood and immediately think of two other women, and make reference to the fact that they were women, if he is not sexist?

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Wilson

The fact that they are women does not make them any less the practitioners of a certain type of activism that has been observed, and commented upon before - in not very positive terms. That is what I 'see'.

I remember a post on Byrony explaining how it came about that she had such an important hand in the climate bill in UK. I have written about Franny and her 'civil society' brand of activism on my blog myself. I can certainly see the phenotype, although I don't know anything about Hannah Wood.

Might I add that serious researchers like Betsey Beymer-Farris, and Hanne Svarstad are at work in Tanzanian issues, and recognizing their work makes me no more a 'feminist' that it does John a 'sexist'. I just don't know!

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:37 PM | Registered Commentershub

Robert - I took from Barry's comment:

"an individual on twitter has apprently decided that this thread is evidence of commentators racism and sexism, why not tone it down. lest that is used to smear Bishop Hill as racist and sexist."

that you were smearing Bishop Hill commenters, of which I am one, of being racist. However, I don't do twitter so if I have inferred incorrectly, or read too much into Barry's summary, I apologise.

However, I maintain that your political correctness is leading you to see racism where none exists.

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Robert, I am a bit slow-witted, so any suggestion of my 'immediately' thinking of something is very welcome and I thank you for it. But the 'simply' part is not so good. I am not convinced that 'women' are any simpler than 'men', but I do think it can be interesting to spot overlapping sets on the Venn diagram of political life. And back there, it slowly dawned on me that these ladies shared both their sex and their political activities or attitudes as far as raising alarm about climate was concerned. In your circles, is it forbidden to mention such observations? Do you think it out of the question that they all know each other? Does it matter if they do? If think so, since I think a lot of ideas spread by contagion so to speak, and not by rational thought. Climate alarmism, in this view, is a bit like catching the flu only it lasts a bit longer. Are you a bit of an alarmist by any chance, or is that word also forbidden in your circles? So many difficulties, so little time!

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:44 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade


The problem here is that the fact that John Shade has written a post naming 3 other environmentalists, purely on the basis that they are women. In what way is this feminist and not sexist?

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Wilson


I have not accused Bishop Hill or every commenter here of racism or sexism, and I do not believe that is what Barry was saying. I am accusing individuals.

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Wilson


Can you explain why you pointed out their gender? What relevance is that to anything?

Apr 9, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Wilson

Is it their names that gives their 'gender' away, Robert, or the word 'gals'. I need to know this because I think you are a chap who is very sensitive to these things. Could I have used one without the other and escaped your censure, for example?

Secondly, do you admit of no difference between the sexes that might be of interest and relevance for political discussion? It was not so many years ago that some regarded women as oppressed for example, and that therefore they had a distinct political interest by being in that state. I have even heard some say that women in particular will suffer more from global warming, i.e. that they will suffer more than men will. These things all puzzle and interest me, and I would like to know how you see them.

Apr 9, 2012 at 11:02 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

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