The House of Commons Transport Select Committee is to launch an inquiry into the chaos in Britain's transport network this winter. No doubt the Met Office's "warning" will receive an airing. (H/T GWPF)
Transport Committee announces inquiry on the impact on transport of recent adverse weather conditions
The impact of the recent cold weather on the road and rail networks in England and Wales and on the UK’s airports, including the extent to which lessons were learnt from winter 2009-10, the provision of accurate weather forecasts to transport providers in advance of the bad weather, and the recommendations of the Quarmby reviews of the resilience of England’s transport systems in 2010.
The Committee expects to hear oral evidence on this issue in February and would welcome written evidence from those affected by the adverse weather conditions by Wednesday 2 February 2011.
Also in the Independent, the simply flabbergasting story that the Environment Agency is proposing airlifting fish from the Lake District up to Scotland, in order to mitigate the effects of global warming.
Fish from the Lake District will be moved to cooler waters in Scotland under radical plans – which will be unveiled this week – aimed at coping with climate change.
Haunting the Library (to whom a hattip is due) wonders if the government are on LSD. It's possible, but I wonder if this is just one of those bureaucratic documents that the minister signs off without reading. The explanation is more likely to just be bureaucrats wanting to expand their empires, and grubbing about for a way of doing so.
Two interesting days ahead. Firstly I should get my embargoed copy of the House of Commons report on the Climategate inquiries later today, so there will be some reading to do. The embargo is lifted at midnight, UK time, and I'll time a post to go up shortly thereafter, so those of you in other parts of the Anglosphere may be able to read it at a sensible time.
Then later today we have the BBC Horizon programme on wicked sceptics. I'm really looking forward to this. There is a trailer article here in the Independent, in which the paper's science correspondent Steve Connor manages to get the trick to hide the decline completely wrong. You would think that after all those inquiries, a science journalist would understand what Jones did.
A few days back I climbed down rather on the George Monbiot advocates violence thing. Interestingly, Matt Ridley has recalled an incident when he was on the receiving end of one of GM's diatribes, which was delivered in the following terms:
Crucifixion wouldn't have been good enough for him.
... which does seem rather oddnow that George is calling for an end to vitriolic abuse and calls to kill people.
Ellee Seymour has had a chat with Lord Deben, the politician formerly known as John Gummer, and who, if you go a little further back, was called John Selwyn Gummer.
Lord Deben is now the head of GLOBE International, the green legislators organisation. Given the number of GLOBE's members who have come to the attention of the constabulary, it's a wonder that anyone would want the role.
The report is, well, pretty toe-curling.
Tim Worstall has a lovely post looking at a new Campaign for the Public University. The campaign, featuring the cream of UK academia says it is "seeking to defend and promote the idea of the university as a public good".
As Tim explains, they seem to be a bit mixed up about what a public good is though. Which is not very impressive for the cream of UK academia.
A few weeks ago I reported on a skirmish in the battle over the University of Virginia's struggle to withhold emails from the state attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli. A state congressman, Bob Marshall had proposed legislation that would allow for government employees to be fired for breach of FOI legislation.
Now, we hear, Marshall's bill has been rebuffed by a subcommittee of the legislature and he has been told to try again.
[T]he bill Marshall offered before the FOIA/procurement subcommittee of the House general laws committee contains language he didn’t intend. It allows a judge to terminate the employment of a public employee if they’ve been found guilty of violating FOIA. Marshall, who does not possess a law degree, offered a disclaimer. He’d simply asked for staff to create a bill that contained punishment for violating FOIA, he said.
“I just asked … to draw me up a statute where there was something punitive there,” Marshall said
This was sent to me by a reader. It compares discussion of climate change and nuclear war in books by date. Click here for source and a larger version of the graph.
Hattip to Luca Turin for the graph and also the basis of the headline.
Sure looks like it. It's been, what, months since the BBC last gave global warming enthusiasts free rein to spout their views, so why not? I mean, what is the BBC for if not for acting as the voice of the vested interest?
The latest addition to the BBC's impressive back-catalogue of one-sidedness is an hour of the new president of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse, looking at "attacks" on climate scientists. I don't know why they didn't just redub Climate Wars with Sir Paul's voice. It looks to be pretty much the same programme. They're probably planning the next one already.
BTW, I wonder if they interviewed McIntyre?
BBC radio is running a three-part series on the atmosphere (H/T Phillip Bratby), presented by Gabrielle Walker, a former climate change editor at Nature. The most recent episode apparently features Chris Rapley, the boss of the Science Museum, discussing radiative physics. Phillip isn't sure he's got his facts right.
When the kerfuffle over the Met Office's winter forecast blew up, I wrote to the Quarmby team to see if they had actually received a copy of the Met Office's cold-winter forecast, which was apparently sent to the Cabinet Office. It is alleged that the forecast should have provided sufficient warning to the government machine to ensure that everyone was ready for what happened in December.
Today, rather later than I expected, the Quarmby team have responded and have helpfully provided a copy of the forecast:
Met Office Initial Assessment of Risk for Winter 2010/11
This covers the months of November, December and January 2010/11, this will be updated monthly through the winter and so probabilities will change.
3 in 10 chance of a mild start
3 in 10 chance of an average start
4 in 10 chance of a cold start
3 in 10 chance of a wet start
3 in 10 chance of an average start
4 in 10 chance of a dry start
Summary: There is an increased risk for a cold and wintry start to the winter season.
Looking further ahead beyond this assessment there are some indications of an increased risk of a mild end to the winter season.