This is a continuation of a remarkable thread that has now received 10,000 comments running to well over a million words. Unfortunately its size has become a problem and this is the reason for the move.

The history of the New Statesman thread goes back to December 2007 when Dr David Whitehouse wrote a very influential article for that publication posing the question Has Global Warming Stopped? Later, Mark Lynas, the magazine’s environment correspondent, wrote a furious reply, Has Global Warming Really Stopped?

By the time the New Statesman closed the blogs associated with these articles they had received just over 3000 comments, many from people who had become regular contributors to a wide-ranging discussion of the evidence for anthropogenic climate change, its implications for public policy and the economy. At that stage I provided a new home for the discussion at Harmless Sky.

Comments are now closed on the old thread. If you want to refer to comments there then it is easy to do so by left-clicking on the comment number, selecting ‘Copy Link Location’ and then setting up a link in the normal way.

Here’s to the next 10,000 comments.

Useful links:

Dr David Whitehouse’s article can be found here with 1289 comments.

Mark Lynas’ attempted refutation can be found here with 1715 comments.

The original Continuation of the New Statesman Whitehouse/Lynas blogs thread is here with 10,000 comments.

4,543 Responses to “Continuation of the New Statesman Whitehouse/Lynas blogs: Number 2”

Pages: « 181 82 83 84 85 86 [87] 88 89 90 91 » Show All

  1. 4301
    Brute Says:

    Looks like Peter Martin’s “savior” is ready to be confined to the booby hatch about now……..

    Greens Give Gore 2 Thumbs Down: Gore’s climate ‘reality’ show faces strongly negative reviews from his fellow global warming activists

  2. 4302
    Alex Cull Says:

    I was awfully concerned to read the following, last night, on Think Progress Green:

    The Climate Reality Project’s 24 Hours of Reality continues in London, England. Great Britain is already starting to abandon its coasts as sea levels rise, and extraordinary floods in recent years are reshaping the island country’s landscape, as it endeavors to shift away from dirty fuels.

    Worried, I took the risk of using dirty fuels by switching on the TV – maybe the BBC’s News at 10 would have some coverage of the mass evacuations that might well now be under way, as Brighton and other seaside places are abandoned to the rising oceans. But unaccountably, they didn’t mention the subject at all.

    Then I started to watch the video segment for Hour 19, on the internet, presented by sustainability expert Evan Williams, in the hope of finding out which areas of the UK’s coast are now disappearing under water, due to global warming. But after about 3 minutes, I started feeling sleepy, and despite the urgency of the situation, decided to go to bed, none the wiser.

    It has occurred to me since that the Think Progress or Climate Reality people might have been slightly exaggerating. But that can’t be right. The project is called “Climate Reality” after all, so they couldn’t possibly be just making up stuff, could they?

  3. 4303
    Brute Says:


    Considering the fact that sea levels are declining, it must be that the coast is moving further away from the population hence giving the illusion of a mass exodus. The fact of the matter is that the coast is abandoning the populous.

    Sea Level Continues Its Historic Decline

  4. 4304
    Brute Says:

    Coldest summer in 20 years wipes out two-thirds of the common blue butterfly

    Recent 8 Months U.S. Temperature trend/decade – 10.2 F COOLER in 100 years

  5. 4305
    tonyb Says:

    Hi Alex

    I’m involved in Flood defence in the South. Each area of the UK has a similar committee working to an overall Govt policy which in turn is imposed (in part) by the IPCC through our signature on the Kyoto treaty.

    This is very complicated as most of the land of the British Isles is either sinking or rising which confuses the actual rate of sea level rise.

    Our sea levels are currently around some 30cm lower than in Roman times taking into account land change. I wrote about the subject here;

    The full-and much more interesting version can be accessed in the third paragraph where the word ‘document’ is highlighted.

    Over the centuries a great deal of land-especiallyon the East coast-has been reclaimed from the sea-(where land levels are generally siking)

    The IPCC in effect forces Got agencies to add 30cm to any new sea defences in order to cope for ‘climate change’ (this remins so elsusive that latest information suggests levels are now dropping after a five year period (highlighted here) where sea level rise was tailing off)

    Bearing in mind that much farmland is protected by defences now at the end of their useful life AND that substantial populations have moved to the coast and now need protecting, it is inevitable that with sharp cuts in biudgets farm land-and land subject to erosion-will be let go in a policy of .’managed retreat.’ This is accentuated by the various Nature bodies who wantr to see much greater areas of sea marsh.

    I can think of no recent floods on the coast that are out of the ordinary and greater than others experienced over the last 100 years.


  6. 4306
    Alex Cull Says:

    @Brute, that item you linked to about the common blue butterfly brings home the truth that cold trumps warm, when it comes to wildlife mortality. It reminds me of an article, back in January 2010, by the RSPB (a UK conservation organisation not overly endowed with AGW-scepticism) about animal deaths during that winter:

    The extremely hard winter spanning 1962 and 1963 was arguably the single event that had the greatest impact on Britain’s wildlife within living memory. With the icy weather predicted to last at least another week, this winter could be the single greatest wildlife killer of the new millennium.

    @TonyB, many thanks for the link to your excellent document about sea levels (I saw this earlier, then couldn’t remember where it was, but have now saved the pdf for future reference.) You probably noticed that my alarm over Climate Reality’s claims may have been slightly exaggerated. :o) The east coast is an area I’m interested in, having spent my childhood years within half an hour’s drive from places like Cromer and Overstrand, and the effects of coastal erosion have been dramatic but indeed have had less to do with the slow rise and fall of sea levels than with the relentless action of wind and waves (here’s a web page devoted to the local history of Happisburgh, for instance, where houses and fields have been known to fall to the sea more or less overnight.)

    The North Sea floods of 1953 are the ones that people remember, but here are some earlier examples of floods in the area that had they occurred in modern times would no doubt be ascribed to man-made climate change. Much of Norwich was under water in August 1912, as reported here (this was more to do with heavy rainfall than anything to do with the sea, but thought I’d include it), and in November 1897 a massive storm appears to have taken its toll over much of the nation’s coastline, as recounted here (with an allowance for journalistic inaccuracies):

    Phenominally [sic] high tides are reported in many localities. The district near the mouth of the Thames has suffered severely, several townships being partly submerged. The Sheerness dockyard and the Woolwich arsenal were inundated. At Scarborough, the fashionable watering place, the seawall was washed away. At Yarmouth, Lowestoft and other coast towns of Norfolk [NB. Lowestoft is actually in Suffolk] the esplanades were flooded.

    I’d say you are right in observing that recent floods are nothing out of the ordinary. The only surprising thing, perhaps, is the sense of surprise with which these kinds of events have been reported, in the last few years, almost as if history had started sometime around 1974.

  7. 4307
    Brute Says:

    Follow the money: BBC exposed in biggest climate racket on planet

    How did I miss this?

    Tonyb, TonyN,

    Has this been reported in the British press?

    The BBC’s handsome pension pot is invested in the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) alongside another 50 plus member funds. The total assets of this consortium is around €4 trillion (Euros), that in turn are invested in a larger consortium known as ‘UNEP FI’ worth about $15 trillion (US).

    The BBC is in the chair of this carbon trading driven investment scheme. Now you know why the BBC’s thought police have been censoring climate skeptics shamelessly for years.

    [TonyN says: That's a very old story and there seems to be some confusion between trillions and billions. Nor would I see as a particularly reliable source of comment on this topic.]

  8. 4308
    tonyb Says:

    Alex said

    “I’d say you are right in observing that recent floods are nothing out of the ordinary. The only surprising thing, perhaps, is the sense of surprise with which these kinds of events have been reported, in the last few years, almost as if history had started sometime around 1974.”

    I think History ceased to be taught comprehensively and coherenty around about 1974. Our current crop of top politicians (all mostly educated since that date) are often shockingly ignorant about much of our history and Tony Blair admitted he didn’t do history.

    The last Labour Govt cleared the Foreign Office of 500 years of treaties, agreements and other historic papers-some of them appeared on E-bay.

    I fear that climate scientists are unlikely to be different to much of the general population and have no grasp of historical context. Dr Mann is a prime example in the way he trashed a thousand years of recorded history with his silly reinterpretation of climate history, despite havimg written records in abundance of the conditions that appertained in that period.

    I think we have learnt to control our personal climate in homes offices and cars which has coincided with a particularly benign period of climate, and consequently anything outside of a narrow ‘norm’ is cause for concern-not helped by researchers who think that if somethimg hasnt been converted into digital form it doesnt exist. There is a treasure trove of climatic history in forgotten books and references.

    The more I learn of the subject the more I come to the conclusion that disatrous climatic events are more closely associated with supposedly cold periods in our history rather than warm periods, which tend to be relatively settled.

    The flood examples you gave were good so don’t be surprised if they appear in part of my series of articles on historic variations in sea levels :)

    I am well on the way to completing Part two and it is evident that sea levels were also higher than today aroud the medieval period (which helped the Vikings sail up Europes deeper than today rivers.)


  9. 4309
    manacker Says:

    And now we have “Atlas-gate” (or “Greenland-gate”, if you prefer)

    Publishers of the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World scrambled Tuesday to correct a controversial statement that Greenland had lost 15 percent of its permanent ice cover over the last 12 years — an assertion scientists labeled “incorrect and misleading.”

    Poul Christoffersen, a glaciologist at the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, said the 15 percent decrease in permanent ice cited “is both incorrect and misleading.” He believes the actual number is closer to 0.1 percent.

    Oh well, they were only off by 150X.

    Is this “par for the course” in climate science today?


  10. 4310
    TonyN Says:

    Steve McIntyre has an ingenious and plausible explanation of what may have happened with The Time atlas here:

    But the real payload of his post is in the last paragraph: mainstream glaciologists, unlike the hard-line climate community, actually want to have a scare story corrected. And that’s a good example of how scientists should behave, but in sharp contrast to most high profile IPCC functionaries performance.

    Perhaps it’s significant that the scientists who have turned the spotlight on The Times’s blunder are not exactly household names, though no doubt respected in their own field.

  11. 4311
    Alex Cull Says:

    There has now been a surreal, comic-opera sort of twist to the Times atlas saga, in that James Delingpole’s satirical blogging on the subject has apparently caused some minor political ructions in the Maldives, as per this article.

  12. 4312
    Brute Says:

    Planet Healer Obama Calls It: In 2008, he declared his presidency would result in ‘the rise of the oceans beginning to slow’ — And By 2011, Sea Level Drops!–And-By-2011-Sea-Level-Drops

    President Barack Obama can take a bow. As Obama struggles with poor polling numbers, persistent high unemployment, the possibly of a primary challenge within his own party and a stagnant economy saddled with massive deficits and debts, one area where he can claim success is his prediction that he would slow sea level rise.

    Obama — in similar fashion to baseball legend Babe Ruth calling his home run during the fifth inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series — called it successfully on sea level rise.

    Obama declared in a June 8, 2008 speech, that his presidency will be “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Obama’s prognostication occurred during his victory speech in St. Paul for the Democratic Party nomination.

    Climate Depot can now announce it is official. Earlier this month, the European Space Agency’s Envisat monitoring, global sea level revealed a “two year long decline [in sea level] was continuing, at a rate of 5mm per year.”

    In August 2011, NASA announced that global sea level was dropping and was “a quarter of an inch lower than last summer.” See: NASA: ‘Global sea level this summer is a quarter of an inch lower than last summer’

    The global drop in sea level followed NASA’s announcement that sea level around the U.S. was declining in February 2011.

    Most surprising, despite the fact that Obama only said he would only “slow” the rise of the oceans, his presidency has presided over what some scientists are terming an “historic decline” in global sea levels. Obama appears to have underestimated his own powers to alter sea level.

    Even more impressive for President Obama is the fact that just six months into his presidency, sea level started its historic reversal. In July 2009, sea level was already showing a “slowdown and was “still flattening.” See: Sea Level Rise: An Update Shows a Slowdown & See: Global Sea Level Updated at UC – still flattening’

    President Obama’s success in lowering sea level has not gone unnoticed. The skeptical website Real Science, made sarcastic note of Obama’s “healing of the climate” and his sea level accomplishment on June 3, 2011.

    “No hurricanes have struck the US since Obama became president, temperatures and sea level have dropped, and we have had record snow,” Real Science noted. “Reservoirs are filling up – and all of the damage [President George W.] Bush did to the climate has been healed. Obama should declare ‘mission accomplished’ and take credit!” Real Science concluded.

    Can Obama control the Earth’s Thermostat Next?

  13. 4313
    manacker Says:


    All I can say to your #4312 is WOW!


  14. 4314
    Alex Cull Says:

    Firstly – Brute, would it be possible, please, to petition the Great Planet Healer to turn down his healing powers just a notch or two, this coming winter? Just to make it a tad less freezing than last year and the year before? Thanks! Amen.

    On another note – this morning, the managing director of Collins Geo, imprint of HarperCollins which publishes the Times Atlas of recent Greenland error fame, was on the radio with some (kind of) explanations. The audio is here, and I’ve typed up a transcript here.

  15. 4315
    Brute Says:


    I’ll ask him after I receive a 6 figure cheque from you made payable to “the healer’s” re-election campaign (tax deductable of course).

    An alternative would be to cut a cheque to fund one of “the healer’s” “green” subsidiary companies (Solyndra would be acceptable).

    Typical Pay to Play: ABC News Breaks Obama P2P Scandal

    LightSquared: The next Obama pay-for-play morass?

  16. 4316
    TonyN Says:


    I caught only the last few sentences of The Times Atlas report as I drove out of the gate yesterday morning. Your transcript is fascinating, not least because Sheena Barclay’s idea of providing an explanation sounds so much like Rebekah Brooks in full defensive mode to me. This is not surprising really.

    One of my first jobs was working for William Collins when that firm was a very large and well respected reference book publisher with profitable, but far less distinguished, fiction and non-fiction lists. My boss was Jan Collins, a fifth generation member of the founding family and, as the eldest son, chairman-in-waiting. He hated publishing and was useless at it, but loved hands-on farming which I understand he was extremely good at.

    When the mantle eventually fell to Jan he sold his shares to one Rupert Murdoch enabling a takeover, and so far as I know farmed happily ever after. Later there was a merger with Harper.

    So both The Times and HarperCollins are part of the ‘evil empire’. Is this significant or newsworthy? I don’t know, but I’m surprised as hell that the the blogosphere and the media aren’t making the connection.

  17. 4317
    Alex Cull Says:

    @Tony, in fact the BBC’s Richard Black did mention the News Corp connection in an article, a few days ago; however, I think he and similar commentators will gain only a limited amount of capital out of this. That another Murdoch publishing outfit has been embarrassed would be on the plus side for them. However, the fact that it has also been another exposure of exaggerated claims about global warming would offset this benefit, somewhat. If the Times Atlas had gone in the opposite direction and overstated Greenland’s ice cover, let’s say, and this had been picked up by scientists, I suspect the News Corp connection might have been greater emphasised, and the tone I think would have been different.

    In connection with this story, here’s the transcript of an ITN news item from earlier this month, featuring Sir Brian Hoskins (h/t Steve McIntyre and Climate Audit):

    Newsreader: You might think an atlas is one of those books that does[n't] need updating much. The Earth was formed a long time ago, after all. True, there are the occasional new countries, such as Kosovo and South Sudan. But outside that… Well, the new edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World turns out to show an inconvenient truth, highlighting just how much global warming is changing the face of our planet. Jethro Lennox, from publishers Collins Bartholomew.

    Jethro Lennox: We’re seeing an increasing amount of physical changes around the world. So you’ve got things like the sea ice extent – we’ve mapped the extent of that. The Greenland ice cap – we’ve seen a drastic reduction of about 15%. We’re also showing the former coastlines of the Aral Sea and Lake Chad.

    Newsreader: Professor Sir Brian Hoskins is director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London. He thinks it’s a useful tool against climate change sceptics.

    Sir Brian Hoskins: Scientists like me will talk about the, sort of, gradual melting of the ice sheet. But then, if you take a snapshot every now and then, you suddenly see a bit of Greenland has gone green. Then that makes you realise: yes – something is happening, in the frozen north – it’s not quite as frozen as it used to be.

    Newsreader: The Atlas, which contains 220,000 place names, only appears every four years. With a price tag of £150 and weighing in at 5 and a half kilos, it may be a luxury, but it’s also a glowing tribute to the planet we call home.

  18. 4318
    tempterrain Says:


    You’ve written “But the real payload of his post is in the last paragraph: mainstream glaciologists, unlike the hard-line climate community, actually want to have a scare story corrected. And that’s a good example of how scientists should behave, but in sharp contrast to most high profile IPCC functionaries performance.”

    So the implication here is that there is a divide between those who say, quite rightly, that the Times Atlas should be corrected, and those who say AGW is a problem which needs to be addressed?

    One name which came up prominently in the criticism was Liz Morris of SPRI:

    I must say I’ve never heard of her previously. Could she become famous as the UK’s most prominent climate sceptic? Let’s see what else she has to say:

    ‘ Morris explained in detail how the size of the Arctic’s frozen mass has been rapidly shrinking due to global warming and an increase in glacial melting right across its surface.’

    ‘Even though we are experiencing the cooler La Niña climate cycle, we have still recorded five record temperatures in the past two years. As we move from La Niña to the warmer El Niño, Morris predicted record temperatures across the globe.’

    Oh dear! She doesn’t sound to be your type at all!

    But never mind, maybe you mean someone else?

    [TonyN says: I'm sure that all makes sense to you.]

  19. 4319
    TonyN Says:


    I also remember problems with atlas’s from my time at Collins, including one that had to be either recalled or amended. There was something approaching a diplomatic incident because of the position of an international boarder in the Middle East or Africa: I don’t recall which. Collins was eventually accused of giving in to diplomatic pressure.

    So far as the Murdoch empire is concerned, it is the unwillingness to just say ‘We screwed up”, close the story down, and move on, that seems to be so typical of the corporate ethos. I wonder what impact the publlicity will have on sales? Certainly a hell of a lot of peolpe will know about the Times Atlas who would never have heard of it before, and although the editioin in quetion costs £150, so far as I know there is still a concise edition at a much more moderate price.

  20. 4320
    peter geany Says:

    Hello everyone. I haven’t had much to say on climate lately as I have been engrossed with our impending western financial collapse. Its hard to know where to start to try and put in perspective just how perilous is the situation in Europe. Yet we see the cogs of the unelected EU working desperately to fix everything by “willing” to to be fixed.

    The same bone headed thinking that has bought us all the ruinous policy responses to climate change is being applied now to saving the Euro. So we know absolutely they will fail. I’m afraid to say the Euro is finished, and with it any hope we have of economic growth out of the mire we are in.

    The positive we can look forward to is, as I have been saying for some time, the money has run out! How can this be a positive? It will force a change of direction and policy on a wide variety of matters that under normal business as usual conditions we will never see happen.

    We still have some groups of politicians and commentators calling for measures to stimulate growth by spending, but it surely must soon sink in that this will not work, and has not worked in the last 4 years, and in fact has never worked long term.

    There is a great work by Obourne and Weaver called the Guilty Men that may become the reference work for the era. James Dellingpole comments on it here

    What happens in the immediate future? I don’t know. This is partly because my imagination just can not comprehend how stupid the political classes are. One thing is I don’t think we will see a repudiation of global warming or climate change, at least not in Europe, but rather it will be used by the stupid to try and gain favour with a group of the electorate that is shrinking by the day. But I’m sure we will not see all the planed wind turbines built as raising the cash to build them in the face of the uncertainty that the subsidies will service will be extremely difficult.

    We will have a change of government before the 5 year term of the coalition. The Lib Dims have been wrong on just about everything, and in those areas such as liberty and freedom that they champion they have not done anything of substance, proving that having power is more important to them than what you actually do. Cameron, Osbourne and their cronies are just as bad.

    What would I do? One word “carrots”

  21. 4321
    Alex Cull Says:

    @Tony, re your experiences working for Collins in earlier days, it’s quite striking how the character of an organisation will change over time, and when its leaders or sponsors change. For example, Jethro Lennox, who is now senior editor of the Times Atlas, seems (to me, anyway) to have a distinctive environmentalist’s perspective of his work, as this article from 2008 suggests; he was also involved in the publication of Fragile Earth in 2008.

    The Times Atlas has a channel on YouTube here, and there are video clips of TV news items from 2007, when the Atlas was last updated – one from the BBC, with David Shukman reporting: “Now the challenge for mapmakers is to try to keep up with the incredible rate of change, to our deserts, to the cities, to the ice sheets, and of course to our climate.” However, the BBC report actually focuses less on climate than it does on other environmental changes, such as the draining of the Aral Sea. There’s also an ITV news item from that time, which starts with a bit of a non sequitor: “Climate change is altering the face of the planet, quite literally. The new edition of the Times Atlas shows how natural disasters, human conflict, economic growth and some irrigation projects have sent mapmakers back the drawing board.”

    @Peter Geany, re the unfolding debacle in Europe, I’m not sure I’d want to be in the shoes of former Euro enthusiast Chris Huhne, who I think is likely to end up on the wrong side of history if he heeds the green lobby and declares a moratorium on shale gas activity, order to get the UK “off the fossil fuel hook”.

    By the way, I’m intrigued when you write “carrots”. Is that carrots, as in incentives (carrot vs stick)?

  22. 4322
    peter geany Says:

    Alex yes you understand exactly what a carrot is. As do most humans. But not our leaders which is proof they are not humans and therefore we could do things to them without fear of retribution.

    I see tonight there is some sort of push to recapitalise everything. Germany will again put up impossible conditions of austerity and “haircuts” partly to convince their own electorate that they need to do this. It will fail because it is the system of the EU with centrally driven commands that is failing. They need to bite the bullet and let Greece default and fix the system. But I guess if they refuse to understand the fault, they will never be in a position to fix it.

  23. 4323
    tempterrain Says:


    You say ” I’m sure that all makes sense to you.”

    Well, er, yes it does. But not to you?

    Which bit are you having most difficulty with? I’ll see if I can make it a bit simpler for you.

  24. 4324
    peter geany Says:

    Just as I mentioned above Germany, who’s banks have unloaded all their Greek bonds, now want all banks that hold Greek bonds to take a 50% loss. This is all to save the Euro and hence the great political neo communist EU. There is no democratic legitimacy for this. Yet another Trillion will be poured down the drain to the benefit of the ruling corporate, banking political elite, all paid for by those on low and middle incomes. And this time everyone must understand it is NOT the Banks fault. Politicians and regulators had required banks to switch their bond holdings to sovereign bonds as they were safe. Oh dear!

    Just as we have found that the politicians have paid little heed to science in the climate debate, they are paying little heed to the financial reality of today. Our good friends at the BBC broadcast anyone who says that nice things about the EU and ignore the voices of caution and reality. Sound familiar?

    And for those that think China is running the world, you are in for a shock. China relies on the West more than the shallow MSM would have us believe for its wealth, and we are about to stop buying their goods. They have taken our money but forgotten to understand they need to reciprocate. Watch this space They have a looming property bubble and rather than allowing their currency to float have held it artificially low. They now want us to consider them as a market economy when they are most definitely a command economy.

    This is of interest to those who oppose wind turbines. Much of the manufacture is done in China in an effort to reduce the capital cost, and much of the technology has been transfered. But the Chinese don’t have the same understanding of making sure everything is correct to 10 decimal places required of some of the components, and a chat I had recently with an engineer working for one of the major European suppliers suggests that many of these turbines are not going to last the distance. The larger they get the more critical the gearboxes. Watch this space as they say. The whole China thing will come back to bite us, from many directions.

  25. 4325
    peter geany Says:

    The world Bank and IMF getting in on the act of Carbon Taxes. This is why we need a revolution to get rid of the rulling classes. There has to be some way they pay for all the bailouts.

  26. 4326
    manacker Says:


    What tonyb wrote made sense to me, as well.

    It is refreshing to see some of the scientists being honest, even if it goes against the IPCC (or “mainstream”) party line.

    I predict that there will be more of this, now that skeptics are turning up the heat post-Climategate.

    The emperor’s clothes?


  27. 4327
    manacker Says:

    peter geany

    So the airlines of the developed world will simply increase their fares to cover this bit of IMF-sponsored robbery and smart passengers will start looking at China Airlines or others that do not pay the tax.

    Smart shipping lines will purchase their fuel oil outside the developed world, as the article suggests.

    Getting rid of the ruling class starts by firing your MP (or letting him know he will be fired if he supports such rubbish).


  28. 4328
    manacker Says:

    peter geany


    Having lived and worked in China, I can only agree with the words of the engineer with whom you talked about Chinese reliability and quality.

    It took Japan 35 years with a lot of US help to become reliable quality suppliers. In the process their per capita GDP increased dramatically and salaries/wages there are as high as in the west.

    This may take 50 years in China, which is starting at an even lower level today than 1950s Japan.

    The wind turbine craze will be a fiasco in the UK, with or without lousy quality turbines.

    Why UK taxpayers are allowing their money to be squandered for such silliness is beyond me.

    Maybe you have a clue why this is happening, but I can’t figure it out.

    (Sounds to me like the Brits need a “Tea Party”).


  29. 4329
    manacker Says:

    ‘scuse me for 4326

    Should be “TonyN” (not “TonyB”)

  30. 4330
    Alex Cull Says:

    Re the proposed global carbon tax on aviation fuel (Peter Geany #4325), for UK air travellers this would be in addition to Air Passenger Duty (APD) and price rises due to the airlines entering the EU ETS in 2012 – a triple whammy. Here’s a relevant article in Travel Weekly from April this year:

    Economic secretary to the Treasury Justine Greening today ruled out a key demand of the travel industry’s Fair Tax on Flying campaign when she said Air Passenger Duty (APD) rates would not take account of the costs of airline emissions trading from next year.

    All airlines flying within and to the European Union will join the European emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2012.

    But Greening told the Abta Travel Matters conference in London: “The emissions trading scheme will be in addition to APD. ETS is seen as separate to APD in terms of revenue.”

    She added: “APD represents a £2.6 billion [annual] tax take to the Treasury. Emissions trading is expected to raise £160 million.”

    When it was pointed out Treasury forecasts suggest APD will raise £3.6 billion a year by 2015, Greening told the conference: “It is not easy to move away from the tax take already baked into our figures.”

  31. 4331
    peter geany Says:

    Alex This is all part of the bone heads in the EU having decided that air travel within Europe will be banned by 2050 and all intra European travel will be by high speed rail. Long car journeys will also be baned.

    The HS2 in the UK is part of the EU plan and has nothing to do with any actual need in the UK.

    More and more people are realising that the EU is turning into the Soviet Union. As we see all these policies play out we see why so much has been invested by the political classes in AGW. Slowly the scientists are realising that they have been hoodwinked, and only those at the core of the scam who’s reputations rest entirely on AGW are holding out.

    Max you ask “Why UK taxpayers are allowing their money to be squandered for such silliness is beyond me” Well let me say strong representations are being made, and many Tory MPs are being buried under a mountain of correspondence. I have Told my MP (Tory) that he will not be getting my support whilst Cameron is in charge and whilst they are in Coalition with the Lib Dims. I write to him at least every 2 weeks outlining my disgust at the waste, at the incoherent economic policies and the fact that we are ceding powers to the unelected EU at an even greater rate than under Labour. And all the time they use AGW to add additional taxes to an already over taxed electorate.

    Amongst the UK public AGW is dead, a non issue. But the moves by the Tories to short circuit the planning process is nothing short of scandalous. The political classes are more and more desperate to try and get there way. If only we could understand why they do this.

  32. 4332
    peter geany Says:

    This was a jaw dropping moment for the BBC. A true classic

  33. 4333
    geoffchambers Says:

    Peter Geany
    Oborne’s diatribe against the Europhiles to which you link at #4320 can be adapted without changing a comma to apply to CAGW belief. It’s about arrogant leaders believing their role is to tell their electors what to think. It’s perhaps more dangerous even than belief in CAGW itself, because it implies a loss of belief in democracy, and is found everywhere on the political spectrum in Europe from Merkel to Danny “the Red” Cohn Bendit.
    I disagree about the EU being communist though. One of the most sinister aspects of the EU is that they have actually rendered illegal the kind of socialism implicit in the Labour Party’s old Clause Four. I don’t expect many here to support nationalised industries, but to anounce retrospectively that the National Coal Board or British Railways were illegal organisations – on a par with ETA or the IRA – is the kind of affront to democracy which renders the EU itself an anti-democratic body.

  34. 4334
    tempterrain Says:


    The point, simply put, is that the scientists you, and TonyN, are praising for pointing out that the Greenland cartographers got it wrong, are a very same scientists who are saying AGW is a serious problem.

    So you’re saying scientists only have credibility when they are saying something you like but not when they don’t?

    I suppose that sounds about right.

  35. 4335
    tempterrain Says:

    Peter Geany ,

    “This is why we need a revolution to get rid of the rulling classes.”

    ” …but not our leaders which is proof they are not humans and therefore we could do things to them without fear of retribution.”

    Whatever next? Gangs of enraged right-wingers engaging in Bader – Meinhof style revolutionary tactics?

    Does MI5 keep an eye on blogs like this? I might have to have a word with them.

  36. 4336
    peter geany Says:

    Hi geoff. Those were my thoughts about the piece as well. OK Communist was the wrong word, but it sort of implies high ideals, that are never quite delivered because it ignores many basic human behavioural needs by imposing its creed upon the many to the benefit of the few. I hate the terms left and right because the MSM use them in completely the wrong way and ignore the true meaning and use the terms as one is good and the other bad, which is not how reality is.

    But when you centralise everything and then impose those decisions on the population you get apathetic responses and poor productivity. This is why governments without a single exception in all history cannot successfully run enterprises. What governments “were” good at was in regulations, that sort to ensure monopolies didn’t extinguish competition and protected the general population from the predatory instincts of man. Improving health and safety and a cleaner environment have been positives of past regulation that have benefited all. Today though regulation is at the very core of what has gone wrong, being used to impose political beliefs rather than technical necessities.

    We have got past the point of power corrupts and reached the point of absolute power corrupts absolutely. I don’t excuse any stupid behaviour by some investment banks but one of the best and easiest commentaries to understand about how this whole failure is down to our arrogant politicians is this one by EM Smith. Many of you will know him as a climate sceptic, but I follow his pieces about seismic activity and his commentary during the Fukushima crisis was one of the best and attracted some very sane and expert commentary.

    I think we are now moving into the end game. Just how it will play out is anyone’s guess. I listened to the BBC news tonight and their commentary on the financial crisis bore no relationship to what I have been reading today. This is exactly how they have reported CAGW all these years, cherry picking the bits that fit with their idea of what they want us to hear.

  37. 4337
    tonyb Says:

    Peter Geany

    Perhaps its always been the same, but most of the current generation of politicians of whatever colour just don’t seem very clever and have little strategic vision. Those (few) that do have something about them are often arrogant, dogmatic and driven by idealogy which clouds their judgement.

    The number that have all the virtues we as voters might seek AND have commonsense seems to be reducing with every generation. Whether that is genuinely so, or whether our expectations have risen its difficult to know.

    Perhaps the world is becoming so complex that few individuals are able to grasp how to deal with it, perhaps they are driven by power and money rather than public duty, perhaps they are out of touch with ordinary people as an increasing percentage of them go straight from University to politics without a real job intervening.

    The EU has undoubtedly changed things-I feel like I have no part whatsoever in the decisions they take which increasingly impact on my life.

    Temperterrain is more a student of politics than I am and might be able to confirm if we are looking back to a golden age of competent principled politicans that never really existed.


  38. 4338
    peter geany Says:

    Peter M ref your #4335

    Even you I think would agree we live in a democracy and that means those we elect have been temporarily passed permission to govern us and that they should implement the will of the people, not set off on some grand personal crusade. An example of the latter is being discussed at Bishop Hill

    I have in the past pulled you up about your use of the term right wingers, a typical tactic of those whose views are from the hard left and anti democratic. Left and right refer to the level of central control and I have mentioned to you before that both Stalin and Hitler were of the left. I am for the rule of law and democratic accountability, both of which we have precious little available to us now in the UK. I am anti extreme left and extreme right in equal measures.

    As an example of what I mean, Tony Benn a politician you perhaps know of was staunchly democratic, always prepared to accept his fate at the polls. He was staunchly anti the EU as it was in his view anti-democratic and not accountable. So I could see there was much to admire in his basic principles. I often found I agreed with what he stood for. However that does not mean I agreed with him when it came to policy responses and how to achieve our common aims.

    He thought many things were too important for the market or private enterprise , whereas I thought that bureaucracy and incompetence were greater problems when government attempted to run enterprises. They should regulate in an intelligent manner and put in place sanctions for those that fail buy breaking those regulation. So given that you now have an inkling of how I think, can we have some intelligent comment rather than the rather crass comment above.

  39. 4339
    manacker Says:

    tonyb and tempterrain

    Let me add my bit, from yet another vantage point (non-EU Europe).

    The beauty of Swiss democracy (and also its weakness) lies in its total decentralization. It was conceived as a “bottoms up” representative democracy, with communities getting the largest portion of the tax income, Cantons coming second and the federal government coming a distant third. Since money = power, this means that historically the local governments have had greater power than the centralized ones.

    This balance of power is gradually changing. Federal regulations are increasing; so far federal taxes have been kept down, but there are already “equalization” schemes, whereby “rich” cantons have to share with “poorer” ones. These are encouraged by the socialist and green parties, tacitly approved by the centrists and vehemently opposed by the parties that could be classified as “libertarian” or “conservative”.

    In post-Fukushima panic, the federal government has just decided to opt out of nuclear power (currently ~40% of total) by 2029. What will happen between now and 2029 is anyone’s guess, but the green party is launching a federal referendum in the hopes that post-Fukushima panic among the voters can swing a public vote in favor of the opt-out, possibly even accelerating it. This plot may backfire, as the greens do not have a viable alternate to propose.

    It is “PC” to be “green”. As a result, no political party can afford to be “anti-green”. A small “CO2 tax” has already been passed by the parliament, but this issue has not yet come up for referendum.

    The socialists and greens favor Swiss entry into the EU, the centrists are wishy-washy and the conservatives/libertarians are staunchly opposed. The Swiss voters are generally opposed.

    Polls taken in neighboring regions of (EU-member) nations show that a majority of the people there would actually favor joining Switzerland, where thy feel they would be better off and have more to say about how their countries are run than in the centrally controlled EU. The current Euro fiasco is strengthening an anti-EU sentiment in these regions.

    So I see the discussion here more as a debate on what is preferable: local autonomy or centralized control, with socialists/greens favoring more central control and conservatives/libertarians favoring more local autonomy.

    You in the UK have a different history than Switzerland (as do the USA), but I think the same debate is now raging in all three locations.

    It is not (as tempterrain wrote) a question of

    Gangs of enraged right-wingers engaging in Bader – Meinhof style revolutionary tactics

    but more of a debate on whether the voter still has something to say about how things are run or whether he/she should abdicate all decisions to a “wiser” political elite, which may or may not respond directly to his/her wishes.

    In the USA it appears that the “Tea Party” movement epitomizes this desire for less centralization (or expansion of the federal government). In Switzerland the strongest political party is now the conservative “people’s party”, which shares similar values. How this manifests itself in the UK (or Australia) I do not know, but I suspect that similar forces are in play there as well (but certainly not “gangs of enraged right-wingers”, as you have put it, tempterrain).


  40. 4340
    TonyN Says:


    You say:

    In the USA it appears that the “Tea Party” movement epitomizes this desire for less centralization (or expansion of the federal government). In Switzerland the strongest political party is now the conservative “people’s party”, which shares similar values. How this manifests itself in the UK (or Australia) I do not know, but I suspect that similar forces are in play there as well .


    I find it troubling that there is no libertarian up-welling in the UK, similar to the Tea Party movement or the Swiss People’s Party, but not because I have any particular sympathy with either. I’m disturbed because in our strange little island we seem to have become detached from the political process just at a time when there is the greatest need for participation.

    Mathew d’Ancona had an excellent take on this problem some time ago – sadly now pay walled – when he suggested that politicians’ concern over the outcome of the Copenhagen climate conference, and their failure to appreciate the extent of public revulsion over the MP’s expenses scandal, indicated that we are developing a political class, just like those in France and Germany, which are detached from, and incapable of seeing events in the same way as, the electorates that they purport to represent. And with this tendency, so our expectations of our politicians will fall; a perilous state of affairs in a democracy.

    The concept of a political class is a very un-British thing, and the concept of ‘grass roots’ political pressure seems to have become alien to us. This applies equally to political activism from the other end of the spectrum. Even the Trots, the anti globalisation crowd, and the climate campers, seem to have gone quiet and faded, which is equally unhealthy I think.

    Decisions are presently being taken on a regular basis that will affect our lives for years and even decades to come, yet our attitude seems to be ‘leave it all to the politicians’, although opinion polls suggest that we have scant respect for either their conduct or their judgement.

  41. 4341
    peter geany Says:

    TonyN that is a good summing up of the UK attitude. What is slowly starting to change this attitude is our worsening economic situation and in particular the excessive cost we are paying for energy. This is where the detachment of the politicians is most obvious.

    One of the things that is strange at present is the conduct of the Tories. Many Tory supporters still believe that inaction over many of the measures that should have been taken is down to the fact the they are in a coalition. I am no longer of this opinion and believe that Cameron’s Tories are a complete shower and worse than useless. Rather than get into power with a modern agenda they have pursued a tired old centralist agenda that was already being challenged and made to look inadequate before they came to power. That they are in a coalition with the Lib Dims is just are just a cover for doing what they want to do anyway.

    The closer we get to an election the more unpopular Cameron’s brand of conservatism will become. The Lib Dims are a strange mixture of old liberals and centralist new labour types. They actually have no real idea what they stand for, and in the area I thought they would make a difference, personal freedom, they have done nothing.

    We can’t unfortunately fix any of this now until the economic Armageddon arrives. That day is at hand and then some of our politicians just may grow a backbone help us decentralise government. If not I fear severe civil unrest that will have no right and wrong side, but rather spit the nation.

  42. 4342
    Brute Says:


    Mrs. Brute and I are Tea Party “members”………There is no “organization”, there is no “headquarters”, there is no official “party”, there are no “official” candidates. (The quotation marks were not directed at your comments).

    Just a collection of like minded people who feel that government, on all levels, has gotten way out of control. Overbearing, tyrannical dictates, one size fits all style government doesn’t work.

    The US Constitution was carefully constructed to limit, severely, the power of the federal government.

    Unfortunately, the founding document of our constitutional republic has been gutted, mercilessly, over the last 100 years.

    Reversing the scope and control of the federal government will not be easy………..and will most likely take 100 years to correct.

    We will return the power to the people, sooner or later………..hopefully without violence like which was witnessed last summer in London.

    However, we are under no illusion that the parasites will give up their “free treats” willingly. The wool has been pulled over the eyes of the populous for a long time and now, people are beginning to wake up.

    Anecdotally, I happened to spend the afternoon with my brother in law (not the commie) and his family.

    We discussed his desire to purchase a hybrid vehicle as an economical solution to his lengthy commute.

    My advice (as an engineer and auto enthusiast) was that he should if he felt compelled to do so.

    He went out of his way to inform me that he was no “greenie”…….that his motive was purely economical. I explained that even a plug in car was not “green” as the power used to propel the vehicle was produced by “evil” CO2 emitting coal fired power plants.

    He interrupted me…………explaining that I should have referred to the evil, global warming causing gas better known as CO………..Carbon Monoxide.

    CO he explained, is what Al Gore and company are referring to………which is causing the ice caps to melt, kill polar bears, causes mass exodus from low lying tidal areas………..Carbon Monoxide he explained, is what all the greenhouse gas, global warming fuss is about
    Now, my brother in law is not a stupid man. He is not some leftist, eco-nut, radical. He is non-political, conservative financially, a family man, college educated, steady job, tea totaler………..(you get the picture).

    I led him to a close by computer and showed him links to climate progress and other alarmist sites to provide background and to show him that yes indeed, Alarmists were claiming that CO2 is a pollutant and harmful to the planet and must be eradicated at any cost.

    He exclaimed……….”but Carbon Dioxide is plant food”! “We all exhale Carbon Dioxide!“ “Carbon Dioxide is soda pop gas”! “Life would not exist on the planet without Carbon Dioxide”!

    The propaganda that has poisoned this society will also take some time to correct also.

    In his defense, he has a family to raise and protect and not much time to keep up with the issues.

    There are hundreds of thousands just like him……

  43. 4343
    Brute Says:

    One aspect of centralized government that Mr. Martin fails to grasp is:

    Abdicating power (from the people to government) is a double edge sword……..the political leadership could change in one election cycle.

    The sweeping power that Mr. Martin so readily embraces and feels should be bestowed upon the political classes (that agree with his worldview) are retained during sucessive administrations who may not be to Mr. Martin’s liking………… then it will be too late.

    Be careful what you wish for Pete.

  44. 4344
    tempterrain Says:


    You say you are a “tea party member” Why does that not surprise me?

    But anyway here is some empirical evidence on CO2 to show your poorly educated relative. Who as you say is just one of hundreds of thousands to express an opinion on AGW when he clearly knows SFA about it!

    Finally I do suspect that those Americans who are most enthusiatic about the US constitution are also the least informed about it.

    Maybe you’d like to test out my theory on your friends and ask them their opinion, and if they’ve ever heard that it includes the phrase “to promote the general Welfare” ?

    So mightn’t that be interpreted to mean the provision of health care to the populace?

  45. 4345
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Peter Geany @ 4332
    So you reckon that BBC interview with the trader was jaw dropping?
    Try this:
    Here in Oz, there is a Sydney journalist, Andrew Bolt, whom has been famously active against CAGW. (and variously described as controversial by the establishment BTW). He also does other stuff of public interest, and right now he is big news following a court ruling of, wait for it; his racial discrimination against “white aborigines”.
    It has been described by some commentators, even a few that I commonly disagree with, that this is a sad day for free speech!
    See this page 1 short introduction article in the Melbourne Age:

    At the same time, on page 7, there was an article on highly acclaimed aboriginal art, which included this photo of two such artists. See this to discover why we have, (more so in the past), commonly called aborigines ‘Blacks’, and why also some place or road names etc are similarly labelled:×0.jpg
    BTW, there was a brief panel discussion here on the same BBC video, wherein everyone thought it was a prank, and there was reference to the man later saying that he enjoys such notoriety.

  46. 4346
    tempterrain Says:


    The complaint centred on Andrew Bolt’s problem with race. In his, and some other Australians’ opinion, if an Aboriginal person isn’t black enough then they shouldn’t be termed Aboriginal. Of course, this is just a nonsense as you could have biological siblings who would fall on different sides of whatever shade of colour was chosen as a qualifying limit. So the only sensible approach is to accept a person’s wishes on classification especially if the wider Aboriginal community accept them as such.

    There is a similar situation in North America. If you weren’t told that this guy was a Native American would it even occur to you that he may be?

    But if he says he is, and his tribe say he is, shouldn’t that be good enough?

  47. 4347
    manacker Says:

    BobFJ and tempterrain

    But if he says he is, and his tribe say he is, shouldn’t that be good enough?


    Until recently each member of the “Osage” tribe (in Oklahoma) with at least 1/16th Osage “blood” could qualify for a piece of the net revenues from oil recovered below the land of the Osage reservation (which was once a lot of money).

    The monthly payment was based on “percentage Osage blood” and the tribe decided who did and who did not qualify. [Of course, there was no cheating, bribing, etc.]

    Is this Aussie making a claim for some sort of taxpayer-funded handout?

    Or is he simply making a statement?


  48. 4348
    manacker Says:

    PS Take that dude out of his space suit and stick some feathers and war paint on him and then let’s see…

  49. 4349
    Brute Says:

    Maybe you’d like to test out my theory on your friends and ask them their opinion, and if they’ve ever heard that it includes the phrase “to promote the general Welfare” ?
    So mightn’t that be interpreted to mean the provision of health care to the populace?


    Your lack of English language comprehension is astonishing.

    Please review the definition of the words “promote” and “provide”.

    You’ll notice that the word “provide” is used in reference to common defense (military activities) just before the word “promote” is used regarding general welfare.

    Promote means encourage, not pay for.

    Using your line of reasoning, the general welfare clause could be interpreted as compelling the government to pay for a repairman to fix my leaky roof or my new shoes as well as paying for my medical bills.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  50. 4350
    tempterrain Says:

    So you’re saying that the only government spending which is constitutional relates to “common defence”?

    And all the other stuff: welfare payments to the unemployed, payments to farmers, education of children, support for the non-military part of space program, support of government scientific agencies, such government spending as there is on medical care, building of interstate highways, bridges etc is all unconstitutional and should be ended?

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