Archive for the ‘humour’ Category
Disgraced Former Energy Minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce have been freed after serving just under a quarter of their eight month sentences for perverting the course of justice in the matter of Pryce falsely taking speeding points for Huhne’s motoring offence in 2003. According to the Crown Prosecution Service: Perverting the course of justice is a serious offence. It can only be tried on indictment and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Clearly lying about a speeding offence isn’t so serious as some crimes, but this move will rankle with many people who have served a bigger proportion of similar sentences for misleading police about driver identity. Especially in this case where the deception was maintained for a sustained period of nine years.
The powerful employers’ group BusinessEurope has called on European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to radically shift the EU’s energy policy away from climate change mitigation towards cost-competitiveness and security of supply.
Speaking after a regular meeting with the ‘Social partners’ chaired by Barroso yesterday (2 May), BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer argued that the EU should re-industrialise and that for this purpose a change of energy policy was needed.
BusinessEurope is the the organisation representing 41 industrial and employers’ federations in 35 European countries, which is seen by its critics as the most powerful lobbyist with many friends in the European Commission’s leadership.
Beyrer argued for the need to re-industrialise Europe. “The crisis has shown that Europe cannot be successful with an industry quota way below 20%. We think [20%] is the right target,” he said.
In order to make the continent competitive, energy policy should be “totally re-shaped,”
On May second 1200+ UKIP local government candidates took the country by storm. More than half of them came first or second in the elections. Congratulations to them all. This has ignited debate in the media, primarily over EU membership. Lord Lawson write a strong article in the Times calling for a referendum giving the opportunity for Britain to get out. He has been followed by Bernard Jenkin, Sir Gerald Howarth and Lord Tebbit. Old Tory grandees are putting Prime minister David Cameron under pressure. Climate policy doesn’t figure high on the public’s radar these days, apart from those unfortunate to live close to (occasionally) spinning wind turbines which cause noise disturbance and flickering of sunlight. Party Leader Nigel Farage made it clear that although he wasn’t subjecting the successful new councillors to a party whip, he does “expect them to oppose every planning application for a wind turbine”. Go Nigel.
Earlier today, I spotted the wailing and gnashing of teeth beginning over the fact that the airborne fraction of co2 is about to pass 400 parts per million – 0.04% of the atmosphere. Peter Gleick was one of the protagonists.
This one made me laugh. He’s probably right so far as it goes, if it were to be one of the failed main parties sorting out the mess. However, Mr Schulz little world, constrained and demarcated by red tape and rules as it is, could be in for a seismic shift if the political tide turns in the UK and ordinary folk get a say in the matter, like they’ve been promised on more than one occasion. Ordinary folk in the UK are a little freer than mainstream politicos with the old anglo-Saxon and might take exception to what Mr Schulz is telling them…
Any attempt by the UK government to repatriate powers to Westminster is likely to be a drawn out and cumbersome negotiation.
Over on Talkshop Suggestions Gray quotes nicely so here it is
By Roger Harrabin
Last spring’s forecast has been obtained by BBC News under Freedom of Information.
The Met Office three-monthly outlook at the end of March stated: “The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier than average conditions for April-May-June, and slightly favours April being the driest of the three months.”
A soul-searching Met Office analysis later confessed: “Given that April was the wettest since detailed records began in 1910 and the April-May-June quarter was also the wettest, this advice was not helpful.”
In a note to the government chief scientist, the Met Office chief scientist Prof Julia Slingo explains the difficulty of constructing long-distance forecasts, given the UK’s position at the far edge of dominant world weather systems.
She says last year’s calculations were not actually wrong because they were probabilistic.
The Met Office explained it this way: “The probabilistic forecast can be considered as somewhat like a form guide for a horse race.”
Something does not compute, the BBC using FOI with the end effect of mocking the Met Office?
A Personal Appeal to Britain’s Politicians: Wake-Up From Your Warm Dreams! Fuel Poverty is Killing PeoplePosted: March 24, 2013 by tallbloke in atmosphere, Carbon cycle, climate, Clouds, government, Gravity, humour, Incompetence, Natural Variation, Ocean dynamics, Philosophy, Politics, Robber Barons, Shale gas, Solar physics, solar system dynamics, Tides
There are times when I find it hard to speak politely. I left school at sixteen and worked on the shop-floor of a large engineering works for ten years, gaining a higher national qualification in mechanical and production engineering along the way before getting the chance to study for a degree in the History and Philosophy of Science. While I worked in heavy industry, I learned some choice ways of expressing myself which are basic, direct, and hurt the sensibilities of those who have spent their lives in polite company, although they got the job done effectively. So I sometimes struggle to find the right tone at those times when a message needs communicating forcefully to people in a position to influence policy, but without having them recoil and ignore things they don’t want to contemplate.
But the time for niceties has passed. Britain’s people face a looming disaster of epic proportion. Britain’s political class needs to act swiftly to minimise the damage which cannot be wholly averted at this late stage. Successive governments have set the stage for the impending denouement, so this is not a partisan rant, but a cross-party appeal to common sense. People are dying by the thousand as a direct result of botched energy policy and we must act to save lives. Now.
Let’s clear some of the undergrowth so we can see the shape of the problem. Firstly, we’ll deal with the climate scare.
Over at the ‘Open Mind’ blog, Grant Foster, AKA ‘Tamino’ has put up an entertainingly ludicrous post on long term temperature trends. It’s a Baron von Richthofen flying circus of mish-mashed paleoproxy data (with creatively re-engineered core top dates), Hadley/CRU ‘adjusted’ instrumental data and climate model output for the next 90 years. The spliced up curve has a distinctive shape which he dubs ‘the wheelchair’.
The Wheelchair? Grant? Does it need one because it doesn’t have a leg to stand on?
To me it called something else to mind, so at the risk of him getting all upset about me reworking his graph, here’s my take: