Wednesday, 20 March 2013

So what will the AGW alarmists do next?

When the AGW scam started it was in a period of rising temperatures. I can remember moving house in the 70s and using a pickaxe to chip through the frozen ground to get the garden shed erected and being shocked by the depth of the frozen surface. The coming ice age scare was in full swing, but for some reason it didn’t get hijacked by vested interests, except perhaps by house insulation companies and to create the birth of the double glazing industry.

 In the 80s winters did get noticeably shorter and less extreme, so it was easy to believe in the idea that the world was warming up. I would even concede that many of the original researchers may have genuinely and honestly looked at rising CO2 levels as the explanation; it was a reasonable theory. So the theory of AGW was born. It would probably have been a mostly harmless theory had it not been completely hijacked by vested interests that included everyone from individual scientists through government tax collectors, landowners, environmental groups and up to the UN pushing their ideas for agenda 21.

But now, after years of extravagant spending, the whole edifice in danger of being destroyed by reality. The science is dodgy, models are not the same as data, and increasingly the theory of warming and placing the blame on CO2 has become derided as uncertain and dishonest. The world is not heating up, indeed just the opposite with increasing urgent signs that we are in for a very cold and cooling future. Ordinary people are waking up to the fact that they have been scammed and fleeced for the benefit of banks, energy corporations, governments and the already rich landowners.

So far these vested interest groups, aided by politicians of weapons grade stupidity and short-sightedness, have kept the bandwagon rolling. Data has been manipulated, a generation of children have been brainwashed, scientist have been bought by large grants and propaganda has been relentlessly pumped out by the left wing press and the BBC. Meanwhile naysayers have been vilified, have lost their jobs in government and academia or with the BBC, and have been ignored by the media. 

But I believe we are reaching a point where even despite all their efforts common observation has given the lie to all the propaganda. People are getting angry about the costs, the unfairness of taxing the poor to pay the rich to destroy the land with turbines, and are realising the scam that has been perpetrated.  No longer can the elites argue that the poor little UK is an exception, that we have had extra cold while the world heats up. For one or two years maybe, but as it goes on for longer, and people hear stories about extreme cold in Russia and China, snow in southern Italy, record snow in America, snow gridlock in central Europe it won’t hold together. Intellectually people can separate weather from climate but severe cold and disruption have an emotional impact that is not so easily forgotten.

Around where I live it is a rural village community, people are intrinsically environmental in their outlook and care deeply for the countryside and for their children’s futures - yet I know nobody who supports windfarms to mitigate CO2 and very few who still believe the world is warming.

So what will the government, the renewable industry, the landowners, the ‘scientists’, the NGOs, the pressure groups do when the population rebels from their ideas?  They cannot continue indefinitely to lie and continue hounding and silencing dissent. They will try.  We have already seen the change from global warming to climate disruption in order to downgrade the idea of heating and we are seeing various moves to stifle free speech, censor the Internet and news media, and attempts to bastardise the justice system and remove dissenters. But even that can’t work for many more years.

Sooner or later, as cooling becomes more obvious, they will have to change the narrative, so here is my prediction. 

I think they will come over all contrite and apologetic and admit that they were wrong.  They will admit that the increase in world temperatures over the last century was due to solar fluctuations. This will go hand in hand with a complete review of all data, unwinding the various recalibrations and ‘homogenisations’ of data that have massaged the numbers to support rapid warming, leaving only a very slight change over the past century. In this way the scientists and modellers can be made scapegoats.

 They will introduce the idea that in fact solar warming since the last solar Maunder minimum should have been more rapid than it has been and something has been holding temperatures down. Research papers will start to appear suggesting that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas at all but a refrigerant, thus we must continue decarbonising to prevent catastrophic cooling. After all it’s the decarbonising that makes the money, keeping us proles poor and controlled and the elite rich, the narrative has only ever been the excuse.

Friday, 15 March 2013


So off I went to the local shops to buy the replacement item. Came home and fitted it, everything back to normal, job done. 

Then later, during the evening I came to recycle the packing into the appropriate council approved sorting system containers and came across the instructions, which, in a moment of boredom, I decided to read. (I’m told that real men normally carry out jobs in this order).

Across the top of the instruction sheet were a load of symbols. Now I get the ‘indoors’ one. I understand through years of training that this item would not work correctly in the bath or if wet. I accept that the illumination bulb must be 40 watt max, because it said so all over the box and there were stickers on the bulb holder anyhow. Nobody in their right mind would try and use it without it being properly fixed in place and it needs an earth and a fuse (the F in a triangle?). The volume control symbol had me beat.

Then I find another piece of paper that’s included solely to explain the symbols. But not just these symbols, it describes a set of 52 symbols, and does so in 28 languages! The sheet of paper is as large as an OS map (double sided) and a high quality magnifying glass is required to read it. It looks like this.

These are the symbols for anyone who fancies a quiz, they are the top corner of the sheet being pointed at by the pen.

If you are suddenly overcome by an urge to learn all about these wonderful symbols, or indeed need a 28 language cross reference chart to health and safety symbols for installations you can easily get one. Pop into Wickes and they are in a tidy small cardboard box and most usefully they come with a free wall light. You’ll need it to see the tiny writing.

Does anybody actually read or need this information, 52 signs in 28 languages?

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

One way the government can cut government spending at a stroke.

Put a legal maximum limit, let’s say of £80,000 (or tie it to the PM’s salary), that can be paid as salary to any one person who is paid directly or indirectly out of taxation. That’s all civil servants, education chiefs, police chiefs, NHS managers, defense staff, social services chiefs, council employees, government agency workers, quango members, and to include anyone working for any organisation that directly or indirectly accepts grants or funding from government taxpayers or council ‘ratepayers’ money. Nobody gets more than £80,000 per year salary from the taxpayer no matter what their job or who they are.

Anyone affected would have a choice of accepting redundancy – payments to be capped at minimum legal levels based on weeks’ salary per year worked in the post. – or of continuing the job at the new lower salary. Agencies and fake charities would have a choice, keep paying the boss or lose the grants. 

That sounds harsh, and somewhat left wing perhaps, but hard times mean drastic remedies and the pay gap between the top and bottom of public servants is more out of control than banker’s bonuses. 

No doubt plenty of well paid people would squeal, but in reality it’s considerably less harsh overall than the present method of cost saving in our public services, which leaves the well paid management level employees untouched or given golden handshakes to a revolving door next job, yet makes large numbers of low paid front line workers redundant with minimal generosity and leaves important front line public services understaffed and in crisis. 

Anyone can survive to a very good level of comfort on £80,000 per year, certainly they will be much better off than an ordinary £20,000 a year employee when thrown onto the dole, and that’s the alternative, every salary reduction at the top would save one or two lower paid jobs.

Every £100,000 person who chose redundancy would save up to 5 lower level employee jobs. That helps keep front line services running and restricts the jobless total to an increase of one rather than five, all of whome would need to be paid benefits.

There are plenty of intelligent, sensible and capable people who would be more than happy to work for £80,000 per year to fill the vacancies created by those who resigned rather than take a cut.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Dumbing down

We all know it’s a constant feature of our society that people are increasingly treated by government as childish simpletons, with the obvious consequence that they behave to fit the mould.

This was recently raised in the press with regard to the Vicky Price trial, and yet as I understand the public details I have some sympathy for the jury on that occasion. Their job was not to hear the evidence and make a simple factual decision whether Prof Plum did it in the library with a lead pipe. In this case they knew she did it. They had to try and decide the much trickier situation, whether the wife of a bullying husband would ‘reasonably’ be under pressure to break the law and protect that husband. It seems to me that the whole basis of the case hinged round a definition of ‘reasonable’, and around the assumptions and expectations within a family, their needing guidance possibly reflected that difficulty.

No, the dumbing down that really irritates me at the moment is displayed by the increasing misuse of language. It’s not just a case of imperfect predictive text and finger-trouble spelling errors, we all do that. I have seen “it’s” used as a possessive so often that my fingers try and type it even when I know it’s wrong! 

It all started with the humble apostrophe of course. All of us of a certain age were told, as I was, that it means a letter (or letters) is missing, most often used to shorten the possessive and still distinguish it from the plural. Yet even on respected web sites and media there are frequent mistakes, just now I found the word “ Tories’ “ and I don’t know if it was used correctly to describe a policy belonging to all the individual members of the party (unlikely) or was used in error for “Tory’s” meaning belonging to the party?

The problem is not that linguistic errors erode the meaning of text but more significantly that they can display a fundamental lack of understanding. As we know people who can’t articulate their thoughts clearly are often not thinking clearly. It shows as misplaced language, or as the gibberish of marketing speech which obscures all meaning.

The worst linguistic offences used to be the misuse of homonyms like there/their/they’re and to/too/two, but nowadays most Americans (it appears) don’t understand the difference between words like affect and effect either. That suggests confusion between what’s done and what happens, a confusion which in fact displays a basic underlying failure of understanding of cause and effect. This ties up with the apparent increasing inability of people, and governments, to make logical policies and deductions.

More recently much of London (it seems to be London-centric) appears to have forgotten the use of the verb ‘to be’ with regard to the singular (is) or plural (are). This shows up as the continual use of “ there’s ”  even when the subject is plural. It drives me mad, once you catch on you see and hear it everywhere.

I think this error demonstrates the modern lack of numeracy.  Along with it we find the word ‘amount’ increasingly used instead of ‘number’.  I was always taught that ‘amount’ was to be used for uncountable materials while for physical discrete countable items I should (almost always) use the word ‘number’. Thus we have an amount of money in our pocket but a number of coins. When I hear a phrase like “an amount of cars” it means to me that they were all chopped up, mixed together and dumped in a heap. 

The use of the word ‘number’ to describe a quantity of ‘things’ is rapidly dying out. That suggests to me that large sections of the population are actually unable cope with or frightened of numbers. That modern language users subconsciously shy away from the concept of countability or accuracy. Rather like Detritus in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series whose counting ability is restricted to ‘one, two, many’ much of modern society can only count ‘one, two, three,… amount’.  The fact that something can be given a numeric value has become not just unimportant but a reminder of numerical illiteracy and thus to be avoided.

The misuse of “less” in place of “fewer” is a parallel situation to “amount” and “number”.  You hear it on the BBC all the time, for example “Less people out of work”.  I know there are plenty of people who would tell me to stop being over-pedantic, after all does it matter if Tesco’s sign reads “10 items or less” rather than “10 items or fewer”? Well yes it does, because in the deeper sense it ignores and hence diminishes the distinction between a lower number and lower significance. Are all those remaining benefit claimants perhaps dwarves? Is that why they are less?

Is this laxity of language and inability to articulate precisely a result of people becoming less educated and less able to think logically, or is a diminishing ability to think clearly leading to the inability to differentiate different concepts? It’s a downhill slope either way. When politicians and those in charge of our lives can claim, and probably believe, that making something more expensive is somehow cheaper, and that cold weather is caused by heating we know that we must be nearing the bottom of the slope.

NB - I'm fed up with politics this week. The butter came from a National Trust cafe.