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Tuesday
Mar082011

Enviromentalists trashing the environment (again)

A few months back there was a report that the low-energy lightbulbs demanded by environmentalists and served up by a complicit government are causing dangerously high levels of mercury in children's bedrooms. Now, in strangely similar news, it is reported that recycled cardboard is causing some foods to have dangerously high levels of mineral oils.

Researchers found toxic chemicals from recycled newspapers had contaminated food sold in many cardboard cartons.

The chemicals, known as mineral oils, come from printing inks.

Cereal firm Jordans has stopped using recycled cardboard and other firms are to ensure their recycled packaging does not contain any toxic oils.

Monday
Mar072011

Ask a Green a question

Questions have been invited for a Green question time at the University of Oxford this Thursday. The panel features Myles Allen amongst others and the theme is on John Beddington's "Perfect Storm" theory, which supposes that if sufficient funds can't be raised from the prospect of global warming then it should be possible to drum up interest from scaremongering on other fronts (I'm paraphrasing here somewhat).

Final Session: Perfect Storm "Question Time Panel" 5.30pm Thursday 10 March 2011

Please send your questions to: ridingtheperfectstorm@gmail.com by 12pm Wednesday 9 March 2011

Panel:

  • Professor Myles Allen, Professor-elect of Geosystem Science, SoGE, and Leader, Climate Dynamics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford
  • Professor Jim Hall, Director ECI, Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks, University of Oxford
  • Dr Steve Jennings, Head of Programme Policy Team, Oxfam
  • Professor Chris Leaver CBE, Emeritus Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford
  • Mr Colin Tudge, Author and co-Founder, Campaign for Real Farming

H/T DR

Monday
Mar072011

Tim Flannery on Andrew Marr

The BBC is back to full frontal global warming propaganda, with Tim Flannery given the promotional treatment on Start the Week this morning. By happy chance, I switched the radio off this morning before the show started.

Someone recently noted that it doesn't matter how often the Flanneries of the world are wrong, or how wrong (and Flannery has banged on endlessly about drought in Australia). They will always get a sympathetic hearing on the BBC.

Sunday
Mar062011

Commenting

I may have a fix for the commenting problem. It's DNS related so may take 24-48 hours to take effect.

Fingers crossed.

Sunday
Mar062011

Josh 83

Josh writes: "her actual quote was 'If we are to overcome the climate crisis we must move on to the equivalent of a war footing' and she then likened the leadership this would require to Tony Blair's in taking us to war in Iraq"

Sunday
Mar062011

Schmidt calls IPCC "fraudsters"

Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, that is, not Gavin.

The climate policy adopted by many governments is still in its infancy. The publications provided by an international group of scientists (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC) have encountered skepticism, especially since some of their researchers have shown themselves to be fraudsters (Betrüger). In any case, some governments' publicly stated targets are far less scientific, but rather politically endorsed.

Full story here.

Sunday
Mar062011

Hammond brought to Booker

Christopher Booker has picked up on the suggestion by Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond that onshore wind pays its way, an extraordinary error that was picked up BH readers earlier in the week. Booker is similarly unimpressed.

Talking on the BBC last week about wind turbines, which are at the centre of our Government’s energy policy, the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said “onshore wind doesn’t need subsidy any more, onshore wind can pay its way”. This was so laughably untrue that one has to wonder whether Mr Hammond was being deliberately untruthful or whether, which is almost worse, he is so ignorant that he actually believed what he said.

Sunday
Mar062011

The litmus test

Some time ago somebody asked Andy Revkin if he had read the Hockey Stick Illusion, a request that was met with what I felt was a fairly silly reply: (a) he said that he was too busy and (b) he gave a pointer to Tamino's RealClimate "review". As I pointed out in my response it was odd to see a reputable journalist pointing to such a travesty of an article - I certainly can't think of many other quotations out of context quite so outrageous as the one Tamino pulled on me.

A couple of days ago, Revkin was asked exactly the same question, and interestingly he gave a somewhat different response.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar052011

Things can only get dearer

Also in Standpoint, a look at Britain's energy policies.

In private, the best-informed analysts now agree that Britain's environmental policies have put the country on track to have the world's most expensive electricity.

It feels to me like we are heading for crunch time.

Saturday
Mar052011

Of droughts and flooding rains

Clive James, writing in Standpoint magazine, looks at the shifting sands of the global warming narrative as presented to Australians.

Before the floods, proponents of the CAGW view had argued that there would never be enough rain again, because of Climate Change. When it became clear that there might be more than enough rain, the view was adapted: the floods, too, were the result of Climate Change. In other words, they were something unprecedented. Those opposing this view — those who believed that in Australia nothing could be less unprecedented than a flood unless it was a drought — took to quoting Dorothea Mackellar's poem "My Country", which until recently every Australian youngster was obliged to hear recited in school. In my day we sometimes had to recite it ourselves, and weren't allowed to go home until we had given evidence that we could remember at least the first four lines of the second stanza, which runs like this. 

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror —
The wide brown land for me.



Saturday
Mar052011

Breaking the ice

The Gulf of Finland is in danger of grinding to a halt from a lack of ice-breaking capacity.

The Gulf of Finland is covered by thick ice from the Estonian mainland to Osmussaar, making it possible for only large ships to reach Muuga Harbour. Recently, eight vessels were icebound near Kunda and Sillamäe. The situation has been no different on the Gulf of Riga, where the port authority is working its icebreaker Varma non-stop, and still needs help. Chaotic conditions have been reported.

EUReferendum has the story.

Friday
Mar042011

New names for Speccy debate

The Spectator's global warming debate on 29 March now has two new names on the list of combatants. The sceptic team has added Graham Stringer MP, while Simon Singh will add his voice to the institutional interest side. Let's hope his contribution rises above name-calling this time.

Full details here.

 

Friday
Mar042011

LSE boss resigns

The head of the London School of Economics, Howard Davies, has resigned over the links between his institution and the Libyan regime. There appears to be some sympathy in the media, with the Guardian in particular pointing out that universities have been encouraged to get more and more funding from private sources.

Readers here are aware, of course, of the source of funding for the Grantham Institute, home of a certain Mr Ward. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noted the incongruousness of Ward's overtly political actions being issued from the heart of a centre of learning.

Of course Mr Grantham is free to do what he likes with his own money, including setting up study institutes in famous universities. To my mind the problem is more in the fact that the LSE took the money without any apparent concern for what the Grantham Institute would be getting up to. There is something of a parallel in the case of the Gadaffi money, which seems to have been accepted without considering the risk of damage to LSE's reputation. Pecunia non olet, perhaps, but in business reputation is all. In a rapidly commercialising higher education sector, university bosses would do well to remember it.

Thursday
Mar032011

DownWard

A thread for those who want to discuss Bob Ward's recent piece at the Guardian, complaining about the Johnny Ball piece on the Daily Politics.

Interestingly the criticism is that nobody challenged Ball's views. This is odd because there was a studio debate immediately after Ball's recorded piece, but even then it's hard to take the article seriously when Ward and his ilk consistently refuse to engage in debate with sceptics because the science is settled.

Perhaps if the BBC were to hold a debate so that Ward could challenge away to his heart's content?

Thursday
Mar032011

Crisis over?

Anthony Watts is reporting a new paper that puts the climate's no-feedback sensitivity to CO2 at 0.45°C per doubling, less than half that of previous estimates. Interesting stuff.