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Orlowski interview with Lord Turnbull

Andrew Orlowski interviews Lord Turnbull on the GWPF report.

The former head of the civil service has called for a new approach from scientists and policy makers to restore waning trust in climate scientists. Speaking to The Register, Lord Andrew Turnbull, former cabinet secretary and head of the Home Civil Service between 2002 and 2005, says the University of East Anglia's internal enquiries into the Climategate affair were hasty and superficial, and called for Parliament to sponsor two wide-ranging investigations.

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Reader Comments (51)

WOW ...Trumbull's comment '

"I see some damage to British academia, and lasting damage to the [University of East Anglia] Climatic Research Unit which is possibly terminal, really. I don't see how it can now recover."

says it all really...if the heart stops pumping can the rest of the body continue...

Sep 15, 2010 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Let battle commence.

To review or not to review that is the question
Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The literature that leads to outrageous fortune,
Or take arms against a sea of troubles
And, by opposing, end them.

Oh the heartache.....something something something
More coffee please...

Sep 15, 2010 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

" We will just fall further behind the schedule. Then, eventually, there'll be the dawning that we're doing this when nobody else is"

I do not know about others but I am not satisfied with that approach. I know how the civil service works and how the old boy network has chaired the enquiries but people have to be held to account for the huge monetary damage they have done!

Saying that, it's refreshing to hear there are actually members of the RS that are unhappy and that we have a Lord that knows that the positive feedback is simply a theory.

Sep 15, 2010 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

"What about the civil service itself, we wondered. How deeply wedded is it to an increasingly unpopular position? "

"It's almost totally embedded. Ministers don't get a range of views presented to them."

That's precisely my experience. I have written many times to gov't ministers and to DECC and Defra. I get back the same response from all. The government just accepts what it is told as fact, and parodies what the bureaucrats tell them.

If you try and argue with the bureaucrats, I find that after a while they just ignore you and stop communicating. Whether they are following orders and it is just a few senior civil servants that are responsible, or whether it is endemic throughout the civil service, I don't know. I suspect the latter. It will be hard to remove the congnitive dissonance in the civil service.

Sep 15, 2010 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I hate to spoil the game but Lord Turnbull is a member of the board of trustees of the GWPF - who commissioned the Montford report.

To paraphrase: "He would say that - wouldn't he?"

I'm not criticisng the report. I just criticise the apparent reliance on the people who commisioned it - for support.

Sep 15, 2010 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

You know Jerry, you are right but Turnbull is the former head of the Civil Service. Humpfrey Appletons boss so to speak! He has a unique insight into how it all works. One would hope he still has some shout! How could he get to that position by being stupid.......oops, back to Yes Minister again! Seems that now he is on the outside he can at least speak his mind.

Sep 15, 2010 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

Lines have now been clearly drawn. The gap is widening between the two climate camps. The battle is now for the public mind and not with each other. Warmism is on the wane, and needs bolstering, scepticism is on the march. Speaking with authority no longer works, people are unconvinced. The warmists are now praying for a miracle, a timely earthly disaster of such magnitude that will convince the growing army of doubters. The sceptics just need one more cold winter in the northern hemisphere. It has become as simple and as complicated as that.

Sep 15, 2010 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Turnbull holds a mixture of views...

" I can compare what my childhood was like, and I can see climate change going on"

Just how old is Turnbull ? I have noticed no difference at all in my lifetime - we wear the same kind of clothes, enjoy the same seasons, eat the same types of food, still need to heat our homes, cars still need windscreen wipers. Farmers still grow the same kind of crops. Maybe he lives in a different area to where he grew up ?

The "Janet and John" version. The problem with the warmista version is not that it's too simple. The problem is that it's wrong. It's not Janet and John - it's Toy Story. It's built out of computer simulations that have no grounds in reality.

And the idea of "restoring public trust in climate scientists". This kind of assumes that the scientists are in the right place and the public needs to move.

Sep 15, 2010 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Whilst I think the report is an excellent summary of the problems with the various non-examinations the UEA has managed so far, I can't help feeling that placing it out there under the GWPF was a bit of a mistake at least from a PR point of view - maybe Mr Ward would be proud.

It just seems that the conclusions presented are being drowned out in the noise of endless comments about the GWPF and it's funding openness or otherwise.

I don't have anything for or against the GWPF or what it does, it just seems to be a major distraction. We could put that down to the way the MSM normally reacts but is something that could have been anticipated.

Sep 15, 2010 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris

Orlowski's sure is getting increasingly telling quotes with his interviews.

Sep 15, 2010 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

I think the warmistas are already losing the war for public opinion. Climategate was their own Stalingrad moment.

Getting the politicians to budge is the next problem.

They live in a bubble where they mainly talk to each other and are often proud of being out of touch with the public.

Most politicos have no real views of their own and are only interested in getting richer for themselves and their families. Clegg and Cameron both have financial links to wind power (through their wives).

It's going to be a long slog - but we can win this as well...

Sep 15, 2010 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

"The so-called guardians have bought into a particular narrative. I'm not a skeptic, I can compare what my childhood was like, and I can see climate change going on," said Turnbull.
How can i write FAIL!! `in six foot high letters?
Whatever else Turnbull has to say on the matter can be completely disregarded,the mans ignorance is astounding.

Sep 15, 2010 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterobnob

"But the hypothesis depends on positive feedbacks that are far from certain, and these haven't been explained to the public, with confidence wrongly assumed."

At last a senior, non scientific civil servant who has bothered to look into the real scientific questions. Perhaps his opinion might have more affect on our government than those of ordinary citizens. I have made the point about feedback to politicians on many occasions, in addition to other dubious assumptions. Frankly their answers either ignored the point or assured me that I was wrong. I was assured, the matter was proved.

Perhaps there is hope at last.

Sep 15, 2010 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Jerry, for your delectation:

Sep 15, 2010 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

A poster 'SimonH' has delivered a compliment to the Bishop on a Climate Audit thread worthy of repetition.

'I just finished my first cover-to-cover read of Montford’s review. As always, Montford demonstrates an extraordinary ability to guide his reader through minuscule detail, delivering crystal-cut clarity while somehow not dropping any of the detail essential for full comprehension.

I imagine there is no knot known to man which Montford could not untangle in seconds flat.'

Sep 15, 2010 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

"hasty and superficial": who's 'e fink 'e is, Lord Bloody Turnbull? Stuck up git.

Sep 15, 2010 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Oxburgh's Mum

John Silver

Yes Minister watched and appreciated since year zero when it first appeared.

One of my favourites is the push-poll on conscription.

This still doesn't alter the fact that the inverse of 'preaching to the choir' is happening. I'd also like a term for when a bunch of authorities ( bishops, archbishops etc) come out in unqualfied support of a lonely vicar. Any suggestions?

Sep 15, 2010 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

Very interesting interview, this.
Lord Turnbull, as former head of the Civil service, must be the Mandarins Mandarin, retired or not.

While I share the doubts others have expressed above about how our present civil servants will deal with this, I have the feeling that Lord Turnbull's opinion, as expressed both in this interview and in the preface to the good Bishop's excellent report, will carry some weight in the top ranks. It is quite possible that some there may start to look again at what has been going on - behind the scenes, as it were, and without much fanfare and publicity, but in places where policies are being made.
It'll be glacially slow, and the scenario described by Lord Turnbull (letting it slip into oblivion by not doing much, if anything) is probably how this is going to happen in regard to political decisions being taken.

The more the 'science' of AGW is being questioned, the more contradictory papers being published, the more vigorous the quiet back-pedalling of policy-makers will be.

Which means, of course, that nobody in the sceptics' 'camp' should even start to think its time to rbeak out the champagne ...

Sep 15, 2010 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

'e's at again that Lord Oxburgh's Mum. I'll be sendin' Paddy Kelly round with the Paddy Wagon. You just all fur coat and no knickers Lord Oxburgh's Mum.

'e's a good scouser is our kid. Cockney rhymin' slang indeed.

Sep 15, 2010 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Oxburgh's Ma

Viv Evans
It'll be glacially slow, and the scenario described by Lord Turnbull (letting it slip into oblivion by not doing much, if anything) is probably how this is going to happen in regard to political decisions being taken.

And in the mean time we contribute billions of pounds into countless funds organised by the EU and UN, while cutting back on sevices in this country. This country is bankrupt and needs fixing before we distribute what little money we have into lame brain schemes ran by unelected money grabbers.

Sep 15, 2010 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

The former head of the civil service has called for a new approach from scientists and policy makers to restore waning trust in climate scientists.

Do they actually care a jot about public opinion? The impression I get is that they're just going to ram stuff through whether people want it or not. Ever closer European union, cutting carbon footprints, banning smoking. On and on and on it goes, in ever more minute detail.. It's all the same. The authorities decide what their utopian fantasy world will look like - united, green, smokefree, etc, etc. - and set out to legislate it into existence, just because they can.

The trust has gone. It's not just trust in climate science that's gone. It's trust in authorities who no longer attempt to represent ordinary people, but instead to instruct them and regulate them. And, as far as I can see, that applies to the whole damn lot of them. Science, government, media. The lot. They've turned representative democracy upside down.

Sep 15, 2010 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank Davis

As is mentioned by the earlier posters of, the way the civil service will deal with this – if it deals with it at all – is by letting it fade quietly into the proverbial ‘Long-grass’.

They'll deal with it this way to several reasons.

The first is to protect reputations. The entire political and media elite have now climbed on the global warming bandwagon. All the parties are largely indistinguishable (and equally ill-informed) on this subject. The genius of the Warmist agenda is that it makes it impossible for anyone to stand up and criticise without sounding like they are saying: ‘hey, yes, I'm not in favour of the planet!’. And since we live in an era of focus group politics it is impossible for mainstream politicians to go against what the media tell them that people are saying. This generation of politicians will be around for 10 to 20 years. There is no way they can ever stand out and do a mea culpa on global warming. So, they must press on regardless of the damage they do.

The second is money. Big business has entirely bought into global warming, but not in an ideological way. They have seen the stupidity of the bureaucracy and political classes and have been pleasantly surprised at their readiness to give away billions, if not trillions of dollars. They would consider themselves stupid (and therefore terrible businessman) not to take it. They are going to exploit this cash cow as long as it continues to give milk. However, unlike the politicians, business will abandon the global warming cow when the subsidies and scams dry up.

Left to themselves, scientists, technologists and business would probably abandon this hysteria within the decade and get onto more useful stuff like environmental protection, technological advancement leading to cleaner, greener fuel systems. All this would happen naturally. Unfortunately the entire thing will be skewed by the inability of the politicians to admit they were wrong, and the constant hysterical bleating of advocacy and media organisations.

Unless we can embarrass the politicians I fear we are stuck with this madness.

Sep 15, 2010 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

The question I have is "would we have seen this a year ago?"

I doubt it. I see this as an indication that the great, massive and ponderous ship of the civil service slowly altering course now that they heard the crunching sounds of their hull hitting something solid -- the skeptic shoal.

The momentum is changing, very clearly. Has anyone heard a word about the "international conference on Global Warming" due to be held in Mexico City some time or another? I've been looking for announcements or what not, but not a peep. A year ago, the news was all a buzz about the meeting in Copenhagen, was it not? This year, it took me several minutes to discover COP16 is being held in Cancun -- must have a better beach. It will be held between Nov 29 and Dec 10 when those beaches should be full of "delegates".

The best write up about COP16 I found is in Wikipedia (yeah I know, but you should have seen the alternative sources.) Of interest is the following:

Four preparatory rounds of negotiations (i.e. sessions of the AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA) were to be held during 2010. The first three of these were in Bonn, Germany, from 9 to 11 April, 1 to 11 June (in conjunction with the 32nd sessions of SBSTA and SBI), and 2 to 6 August. The Bonn talks have been reported as ending in failure.[2][3][4] The fourth round will be in Tianjin, China, from 4 to 9 October.[5]

Ban Ki-moon has stated he doubts member states will reach a new global agreement to address global warming (the current climate change). [6]

What a difference a year has made. Think of it in that light.

Sep 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

A nice job by Andrew Orlowski. Good to know that journalism has not completely disappeared from the UK. (Journalism, you know, tracking people down, interviewing them, obtaining new information, reporting it, that kind of thing, people used to do more of it when newspapers were profitable).

Regarding Mexico: you'd think that the UN and the academics would make more use of teleconferences, if they were really concerned about CO2, wouldn't you?

Sep 15, 2010 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Having had to deal with civil service bureaucrats for 20 years of my life, I did gain one perspective: Civil servants will never cease creating new bureaucracies and new regulations; it is how they guarantee their future employment. It is a form of perpetual motion than could probably be described in a mathematical theory or formula based upon "positive feedback". Ever hear of downsizing of bureaucracy; i.e., "negative feedback"? The latter is a rare phenomenon.

Sep 15, 2010 at 4:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrCrinum

For giggles, and while waiting for my writers block to pass, I went to the above noted Wikipedia article and looked at its sources. My, my, it was the GUARDIAN! At least two of them by John Vidal -- mister doom and gloom it seems.

First item Aug 06, HERE

A few days later, he says THIS

Now do I expect them to cancel the meeting? Hell NO, not when you will be meeting at THIS PALACE!

Where do I sign up! Move over Al Gore, I need to work on my suntan too!

Sep 15, 2010 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Nothing but an unremitting purge of every corrupt, malfeasant Climate Cultist from East Anglia's Briffa and Jones to Oxburgh and Muir Russell --not to mention Hansen, Mann, Trenberth et al. in U.S. academic and official milieus-- will even begin to address the decades-long propaganda war waged by these pseudo-scientific Luddite sociopaths who have willfully sabotaged global energy economies by every possible sub rosa means. So long as Gore and Romm and Schmidt (to name a few) suck at Big Government's teat to milk their extraordinarily destructive carbon scams, no-one remotely associated with their Warmist drivel will retain any credibility whatever.

As Earth enters on a 70-year "dead-sun" Maunder Minimum, perhaps presaging the overdue end of our current Holocene Interglacial Epoch, the idea that official bodies in a fiduciary capacity set out to purposefully deprive constituents of all well-being represents a crime against humanity on an unprecedented scale.

Sep 15, 2010 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Blake

The problem with letting it all go quiet and forgetting it, is that there's so much commitment to it; the Climate Change Act and so on. Altering anti-climate change measures to energy security or preparing for climate change makes more sense.

Anyway, there's no point talking about what can be done by the UK government without taking the EU into consideration. Much of the legislation here is based on EU legislation and it's pretty clear that the EU has high hopes for anti-CAGW measures as a way of extending its influence.

Sep 15, 2010 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

Yeah, send 'em all to Cancun. In hurricane season. Never mind the escalating civil/drug war and the corpses falling gently from the trees. It's just their culture, a little local color.

Hell, maybe the Zetas will slice this knotty problem for us. Weirder things have happened.

Sep 15, 2010 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

"The trust has gone. It's not just trust in climate science that's gone. It's trust in authorities who no longer attempt to represent ordinary people, but instead to instruct them and regulate them. And, as far as I can see, that applies to the whole damn lot of them. Science, government, media. The lot. They've turned representative democracy upside down."--Frank Davis

They took away your guns. What did you think would happen?

Sep 15, 2010 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Lord Turnbull’s line “The reports have been more Widgery than Saville.” is very telling to UK readers.

Widgery was seen as a whitewash inquiry into the Bloody Sunday killings in Northern Ireland in 1972 – it largely cleared the soldiers involved. Saville completed his new inquiry a few months ago after spending 12 years and tens of millions of pounds. It led to an apology by the British Prime Minister.

I say, don't underestimate Lord Turnbull.

Plus, these days we have life coaching, counselling, and numerous 12-Step-Programme successes (all areas familiar to environmentalists and liberals), for word to be able to get out even to politicians and MSM that it's not only ok, it's psychologically healthy and, yes, actually economically beneficial to say "sorry". We know here that truth works... the way these blogs have grown, and the responses to Fred Pearce that show how scientifically literate people are getting.

If some brave journalist suggests this...

Sep 15, 2010 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

jorgekafkazar - They took away your guns. What did you think would happen?

We haven't had much in the way of guns for a long time in Britain, so that's not why this has happened.. And anyway, should we ever want them, they'll start becoming as readily available as hashish or heroin, regardless of whether they're illegal or not.

Sep 15, 2010 at 11:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank Davis

orlowski actually works like a journalist should, unlike Jowit -

30 Aug: Guardian: by Juliette Jowit: Bjørn Lomborg: the dissenting climate change voice who changed his tune

15 Sept: Wall St Journal: U-Turn On Global Warming? Hardly.
Being skeptical of Al Gore's solution doesn't make me a 'denier.'
After years of being accused of believing something I didn't believe—or, more accurately, not believing something I really did—I made headlines last month for changing my mind even though I hadn't.
Confused? Imagine how I feel...

full piece here:

will jowit be sacked by the guardian? hardly.

pity lomborg uses the term "denier" in his WSJ piece, but hey, at least the WSJ put the record straight, which the guardian hasn't.

Sep 15, 2010 at 11:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

"Climategate" has nothing on "Satellitegate".....

Official: Satellite Failure Means Decade of Global Warming Data Doubtful

Sep 16, 2010 at 2:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Moffatt

Why can't I load the website?? Anyone?

Sep 16, 2010 at 2:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

While skimming a magazine in my library called Buildings I found an article that demonstrates the level of commitment many professionals have to this CO2 belief. All kinds of professions are joining together to set new green (sustainable) building codes. The responsible organization (IGCC) “enters a comments period in 2010 and is subject to code change proposals and public hearings in 2011 in advance of the publication of the 2012 edition.” It seems we still have time to influence the nature of these regulations, which are listed near the end of this article. I would be interested in mounting a counter-offensive to these groups.

“……….the launch of the IGCC "establishes a previously unimaginable regulatory framework for the construction of high-performance commercial buildings that are safe and sustainable … through a delivery infrastructure [that can] reach all 50 states and more than 22,000 local jurisdictions."

Sep 16, 2010 at 2:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterKathryn


"We are experiencing a rash of performance issues that are taking the site down, and making it hard to diagnose the problem We bring it up and attempt fixes that seem to work, but later the site cascades into a slight different failure. Sorry about the problems. No idea how long any one attempt at a fix will last.

- AJStrata"

Sep 16, 2010 at 3:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Sorry OT.

This link to the RS was posted by Lucy Skywalker over on CA. I find the publish date 12 Feb quite interesting can anyone confirm that the date is correct? I must have missed reading it at the time and certainly doesn’t help Acton if the date is correct. Acton looks like he is being set up as the fall guy.

12 February 2010The Royal Society will provide advice to the University of East Anglia in identifying assessors to conduct an independent external reappraisal of the Climatic Research Unit’s key publications.
Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, said: “It is important that people have the utmost confidence in the science of climate change. Where legitimate doubts are raised about any piece of science they must be fully investigated – that is how science works. The Royal Society will provide advice to the University of East Anglia in identifying independent assessors to conduct this reappraisal.
The names being put forward by the society will be acting as individuals, not representatives of the Society and the Society will have no oversight of this independent review.”

[BH adds: Why? There is no dispute that the RS advised on the panellists]

Sep 16, 2010 at 5:43 AM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

Climategate" has nothing on "Satellitegate".....

Official: Satellite Failure Means Decade of Global Warming Data Doubtful

Is this the same data

Sep 16, 2010 at 7:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterstephen lewis

Don Pablo: "... the crunching sounds of their hull hitting something solid -- the skeptic shoal." A good expression - I'm optimistic too, and agree that it's worth taking a step back to look at all this in context. Events like these would have been difficult to envisage back in 2006 and 2007. And who would have thought that people such as Fred Pearce of the Guardian and Roger Harrabin of the BBC would even consider taking a serious look at AGW scepticism?

And yet, as Frank Davis and Kathryn remind us, CO2 mitigation seems to be written into the DNA of everything we do nowadays - working, shopping, exercising, buying a car, selling a house, choosing an energy provider. It will take a while to untangle, it seems to me.

It's a bit like witnessing an irresistible force meeting an immovable object - although history, of course, will decide whether the force was truly irresistible, or the object immovable.

Sep 16, 2010 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

My mistake yer Grace I thought for some reason Oxburgh was approached before the 12th Feb to chair the (non) science review.

Sep 16, 2010 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

Baron Widgery was fortunate enough to grow senile and die before his shameless cover-up of the Bloody Sunday massacre was exposed, and his name became a pseudonym for whitewash.

Oxburgh and Russell look pretty healthy to me. They may not be so lucky

Sep 16, 2010 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Wilson


Just so you have no doubt what Ed Milliband thinks on CAGW...

I believe that climate change is the greatest global threat facing our generation. It demands leadership and resolve. It should be at the very heart of our plan for a successful economy, at the centre of our foreign policy and integral to our mission to change Britain. Britain needs a leader who understands this and can provide this leadership.

We must seize the moment to inspire people with a positive vision. The mission to create green jobs through clean energy and low-carbon manufacturing will be at the heart of my plans for the economy. The coalition's idea of a laissez-faire DIY state cannot achieve it. It requires determined action by government in partnership with people, driven by fairness. There are immediate challenges our country faces but the climate crisis is fundamental to the choices we have to make as a country in the years ahead. I will lead a Labour party prepared to rise to the challenge and to lead, in Britain and around the world.

An opinion piece in the Guardian...

Sep 16, 2010 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Cohen

Alex Cull

It's a bit like witnessing an irresistible force meeting an immovable object - although history, of course, will decide whether the force was truly irresistible, or the object immovable.

More like two tigers trying to stare each other one down in my mind. Sooner or later one will flinch. And clearly they have flinched. And like the cat that did flinch, they will try to pretend that they didn't until the other who knows that it did flinch growls. Then the loser will turn and run. We are not to that point in this staring contest yet, but a good loud growl, perhaps an election, will get the point across. It will happen quickly, much like a tiger running for its life, when it finally does fail.

And I agree it will take time to untangle the web of regulations and rules regarding "carbon footprint." About 20 years ago the City of Philadelphia in the US finally repealed the law they had on the books against driving horse wagons on the city streets on Sunday. Nobody knew or cared that it was a law for almost 200 years. It had just been ignored. I believe most of the silly carbon footprint rules will simply be ignored as well.

Sep 16, 2010 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo, this is the UK, we specialise in silly laws. Just look at our Climate Change Act. But silly laws can be fun. Long list of US ones here, no idea how many are true or false, but some could be implemented as 'green' policies-

Prunedale: Two bathtubs may not be installed in the same house.
Boston: No more than two baths may be taken within the confines of the city

Government could also take action by introducing regulations to force higher standards, such as tougher building regulations and more water meters to encourage homeowners to be more careful with their water use, he said. Another potentially controversial suggestion was that industry regulators, such as the water and electricity sectors, should be given powers to make lower bills less of a top priority and more weight to other considerations such as adaptation, said Krebs.

Privatised utility companies will love that last part. Report does make some sense and adaptation is arguably better and more cost-effective than many of the crazy 'quick fix' mitigation policies being proposed. Ed Milliband's been talking about those, but hopefully it'll be a long time before he/his party is back in any position of power. Unfortunatly we're still stuck with Huhne.

(And from the law list, did the US ever have a problem with giraffes? Also think there's some correlation between strange laws and places with high student populations)

Sep 16, 2010 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Atomic Hairdryer

Perhaps you should start a Tea Party over on your side of the pond? It should be an interesting November 2 on this side when there is a good possibility that we will do a thorough house cleaning. And in case any wonder where the Tea Party comes from, it is really the child of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President. These are two of my favorite quotations. Unfortunately they have been ignored for years, but are coming back into vogue.

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

Source: November 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith, quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy, ed., 1939

The following is aimed squarely at Obama:

"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds... [we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another ]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression."

Source: Letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816

See, you can pick up some good advice from Colonial and Irish rebels.

Sep 16, 2010 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Yes Don, it was the same way, Stanton Glantz and his friends triggered leapfrogging frenzies of "ban public smoking" legislation in countries across the world. In Australia, you cannot smoke on the beach, I believe.

Sep 16, 2010 at 9:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub Niggurath

Spotted one for Mr Watts..

Chico: Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results in a $500 fine.

Problem is the UK has never been as good at complaining or organising citizen protests as the US. Otherwise it'd still be a colony I guess :p

Good thing about this report is Lord Turnbull should be hard to ignore. Can't really get more part of the establishment than a former head of the civil service. Them's fighting words, in a polite, government kind of way. Unfortunately the UK doesn't have a declaration of independence, or a constitution and instead is subordinate to whoever spends the most lobbying. If they can't get legislation passed locally, try Brussells. They're always receptive, and always looking for ways to justify their existence and expand their funding. The public is generally easy to ignore over here, and the 4th estate is thriving. If not the media, then NGO's like the one Ward works for, funded by the bubble king.

The US does though have some nice laws, like RICO, which may be pertinent to this-

At the center of the investigation was Sicilian businessman Vito Nicastri, 54, a man known as the "Lord of the Wind" because of his vast holdings in alternative energy concerns, mostly wind farms.

Including some familiar entities-

Nicastri says he has worked on projects resulting in construction of wind farms for International Power (IP) of the UK, Falck Renewables, the London subsidiary of Falck Group based in Milan, IVPC and Veronagest, an Italian firm.

Nicastri is mentioned but not charged in a 530-page court document that resulted in the arrests in February of eight people - local officials, businessmen and an alleged Mafia boss - all accused of corruption in a wind farm project.

If you're rent seeking in Italy, remember the pizzo..

Sep 16, 2010 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Amusing development in US.

It appears that the White House has finally noticed all the people who were digging their cars out of last winter's blizzards were not enthralled with "Global Warming"

It is now 'Global Climate Disruption' Read all about it HERE

See Dr. Holdren's Power Point tour de force as PDF HERE

You can sleep soundly knowing that the White House is on the job.

I wonder what Lord Turnbull would say? The Power Point presentation is a howl! I think they had Mike Mann do it.

Sep 17, 2010 at 3:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Strange how we have 3 PR exercises running in parallel, the Whitehouse, the AAA conference with Gavin attending

and the new output from the UK Govt

I think someones got the message they are in trouble with AGW and are loosing, it will be the old 'Its not the message but how it is put across that's the problem ' spin followed by defeat at the polls, no wonder Cameron is quiet and the Condems policy is moving towards mitigation. Turnball may become very popular shortly.

Sep 17, 2010 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohnH

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