Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Happy new year | Main | How DECC fiddled its figures »

New Years Honours 2012

The New Year's honours list for 2012 has been published (H/T Martin Brumby). Congratulations are due to Bob Watson, the former head of the IPCC and the man who brought us the hole in the ozone layer. He is now Sir Bob.

Also honoured is Professor Professor Stuart Haszeldine of the University of Edinburgh, honoured with an OBE. Prof Haszeldine's claim to fame is that he brought us carbon capture and storage technology. Or perhaps not.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (57)

You have to be prepared to **** the Government's **** and then you will get lots of honours and monetary rewards. How many times have we seen this patronage in action?

I asked Caroline Spellman to sack Watson from his post as chief scientic advisor (Labour Government appointee), but I got no response from her.

Dec 31, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

...Bob Watson, the former head of the IPCC and the man who brought us the hole in the ozone layer.

And I thought he had long-since shriveled up in shame and blown away. Or dissolved...
There really is no justice; but long live the Queen, anyway.

Dec 31, 2011 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Carr

Brass gongs for brass necks - one way of deciding how to dish them out.

Dec 31, 2011 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

People like Watson never shrivel up in shame and blow away. They just go on collecting tax-payers' money and accumulating more gongs.

Dec 31, 2011 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

In a shameful display of arrogant contempt for the public, Watson turned up as a panellist at the Guardian's Climategate debate last year, then brazenly admitted that he hadn't read any of them.

But still he 'treated' us to his collected thoughts on the matter - presumably sans any idea at all what he was talking about. Par for the course, Sir Bob?

Dec 31, 2011 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Bradley's email -3803- comes to mind

Dec 31, 2011 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

Professor Professor
Stuart Haszeldine
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Carbon,
Though he was only three.

Dec 31, 2011 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Hi all

Unrelated to the thread, but could some one help me with the CRU global mean temperature dataset? I previously downloaded it from the UEA website at the start of December to see the 13 year flat line trend in the global temperature anomaly. However, on hearing the news that we've just had the second warmest year 'ever' I wanted to redownload the data and update my plots. However on doing so, I can no longer reconcile the data I previously used (which ended in October 2011) with the current dataset, as all of the temperature anomalies seem to have changed for each month.

Call me crazy, but now I no longer know which dataset is accurate. Can someone please put up a link with an explanation of which dataset I should be using as the CRU website is less than helpful to say the least (with the data saved in seemingly ancient software formats).

Many thanks and happy new year to all.

Dec 31, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterDJM

DJM - The 'second warmest' year is claimed for just the UK, not globally, (and given that the warmest temperature in my part of the UK through the year was just over 24C I assume that it's the Central England Temperature that's being discussed). The data for the CET is usually quite easy to find on the Hadley pages at

The CRU global sets are a mystery I have yet to fathom.

Dec 31, 2011 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Odd but when I worked in a small engineers shop I would as a matter of respect would always call the customer no matter who they were or how irritating 'sir', but when some one is given that title in a sham [ in my view] process and expects to be called it! I go all militant and wouldn't use it with a sword to me head !

Dec 31, 2011 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered Commentermat

Congrats are also due to Andrew Patrick Keith Boyle, chm, Road Haulage Association. Gets an OBE for services to the transport industry.

Dec 31, 2011 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Well done to Andrew Patrick Keith Boyle of the Road Haulage Association. Without road haulage we would all starve death and society would collapse. These people actually do something constructive, whereas the like of Bob Watson and Stuart Haszeldine are parasites on society.

Dec 31, 2011 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Let's not forget Adrian Newey, chief technical offr, Red Bull, for serv motorsport. OBE

Yes where would we all be without motorsport ?

Dec 31, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

It's arguably still the season of goodwill and I have to say that for me Hengist has made a more substantive and positive to this thread than any other I've perused in 2011!

Dec 31, 2011 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

@Richard Drake
Thank you

and to all you curmudgeons who think its appropriate to diss the whole honours system let's look at the pedigree of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The GWPF's Board of Trustees consists of five Lords, one Baroness, a knight of the realm, one Bishop but only one person , plain Henri LePage, bereft of any title whatsoever.

Dec 31, 2011 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Missed 'contribution' there, of all the ironies. I'm genuinely grateful to Hengist because we do need the reminder of those honoured for keeping the UK's carbon emissions in decent shape for a modern economy, in line with the new ethics of the Grateful For Carbon moment.

Not heard of GfC? Neither had I until this morning, when the phrase came to me in an idle moment, as I thought back to a couple of recent BH threads, one where I suggested a white rose of resistance to mark us out (in honour of the wonderful people who went by that symbol in Germany) and the other where we mooted a wristband to say we wouldn't give to any charity active in preventing the developing world from using carbon-based energy for the fastest and cheapest way out of mass poverty.

There was no snappy slogan though. Suddenly New Ethics and Grateful For Carbon came unbidden to mind. We need something more positive than disdain for the latest recipient of a gong for services for carbon confusion (and worse). Carbon-based energy is a tremendous blessing to mankind, most of all the poorest. I'm grateful and willing to organise :)

Dec 31, 2011 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Hengist: point taken. I was thinking of exactly the same thing. In fact I have an anecdote about Bob Watson and Lord Lawson from last year to share. Well, part anecdote, part hypothesis. But I have to do that later. Genuine best wishes for the new year, even if you may not the first to sign up for Grateful for Carbon in 2012.

Dec 31, 2011 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Yes. Happy New Year to all :-)

Dec 31, 2011 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Stuart Haszeldine was one of my lecturers when I studied geology at Strathclyde in the late 80's. He was a good bloke - somewhat unconventional. His lectures were on coal and petroleum geology. I last met him at an oil industry conference in London a number of years ago and he was the only guy of the severa thousand there who wasn't wearing a suit and tie.

Dec 31, 2011 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Reminds me of a Yiddish word I learned in college. The German word Schmuck means "decoration", particularly military metals and other governmental awards made in recognition of services.

Those speaking Yiddish in 19th and 20th century Germany gave it a more appropriate meaning.

Dec 31, 2011 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

The last version of HadCRUT which I downloaded ends in Aug'11, so is a little older than yours, but comparing it to the current version on the website I see only very slight differences going back no more than a year. If all of the anomalies differ, it seems more likely that you're comparing HadCRUT3 with HadCRUT3v, or (less likely) a hemispherical dataset with a global. Unfortunately, the various datasets don't have comment lines at the top to identify them; they're just a set of numbers, so unless one is careful with naming the files it's easy to lose track of precisely which dataset is represented in a file.

Take a look at some of the other current datasets online, comparing them to what you saved earlier.

Dec 31, 2011 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Hengst I don't think any part of the system works as it should and I have no interest in which side gets what 'honour' so pointing a finger and going 'but sir they did it too' means nothing to a curmudgeon like me !

Dec 31, 2011 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered Commentermat

Can I also just take this opportunity to wish everyone at Bishop Hill a Happy New Year!

Thanks for letting me join in the conversations this year, it's been very interesting, and I look forward to more stimulating discussion in 2012!

Best wishes,


Dec 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts

schmuck = "decoration" - my yiddish-speaking friend at university told me it meant "penis", Don Pablo

Dec 31, 2011 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Are bishops allowed to be Knights as well? If not, it may explain our hosts absence from the list ;-)

Happy New Year to all!

Dec 31, 2011 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

'but sir they did it too'

I think the difference here is that the GWPF members already had their gongs - they didn't receive them for their services to AGW!

Richard Drake

Grateful for Carbon is a great moniker. I'd sign up to that!

FWIW, I notice that is available as a domain name...

Dec 31, 2011 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Motorsport employs an awful lot of people working at the cutting edge of technology and paying a huge amount of tax so that certain parasites in our society don't have to get themselves a proper job.Its put food on my table for the for the last forty years but no thanks to a follow countryman of yours I am having to work on past retirement age
(Sorry Bish, rant over)

Dec 31, 2011 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson


You are right, according to Leo Rosten's The Joys of Yiddish. He gives the following example:

When Mr. Lefkowitz reported his camel had been stolen, the desk officer at the police station asked him if it was a male or a female camel.

"A male camel." said Mr. Lefkowitz.

"Are you sure?" said the policeman.

"Definitely. Every time I ride it, I hear people saying: 'Look at the schmuck on that camel.' "

Dec 31, 2011 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Jeremy raises an interesting question, which Debrett's seems to answer at

Dec 31, 2011 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Jones


The word has several related meanings in Yiddish, of which the most anatomical is "penis". Another less common use of the word is "foreskin." Other more pejorative meanings commonly referring to that organ were also used. A more polite meaning is "pompous ass", but it was rarely used as the more pejorative were generally the intended meaning.

Moving on to the spirit of the day, I do wish all a Happy New Year, and may it bring you all happiness, health and a better life than you had. The Irish have a saying:

"May the wind always be to yer back and the rain soft."

'Tis a blessing best understood after ya lived there for a while, but a blessing nonetheless.

Dec 31, 2011 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Jeremy - in the old days, Bishops could be knights, princes...anything as long as they were prepared to do the necessary duties to fulfil all functions. being a knight was not a sinecure in those days - you had to train squires and maintain a force of men-at-arms etc.....

Dec 31, 2011 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Wishing everyone here a happy, healthy and rewarding New Year!

As they say in Spanish ... salud, amor y dinero.

Dec 31, 2011 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

I reckon Jeremy Clarkson should be knighted.
(Now, that should cause bilious attacks amongst all our "warmist" posters!)

Dec 31, 2011 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

Don Pablo
Is there not also an Irish blessing: "May the road rise to meet you."?
I've never been sure whether it's a blessing or not. I can think of a second possible interpretation connected to over-enthusiastic alcohol intake!
Forbye that .... as they say.
Je souhaite bonne année a tous!

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Congrats also to Clive James CBE . For his services to wit and raconteuring I hope

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

@Roger Tolson
Yes motorsport employs an awful lot of people, and pays some tax no doubt but the product is what exaxctly ? Cars going round in circles ? A backdrop for the ad industry ? There's no public / communal benefit to it all. Sorry. I was a fan once , honest , but a long time back .

Happy New Year anyhow.

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

"Clive James CBE"

Those responsible for gong-commendation presumably missed his R4 talks... :-)

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Tous mes meilleurs voeux de bonne et heureuse année!

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Culd I just take this opportunity to reccomend Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James
Read it a few years ago whilst in Mexico v. funny ... he's a brilliant writer ... could hear his voise whilst reading it. OK plug over.

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Molt d'anys!

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth


Clive James at his incisive best.


Dec 31, 2011 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

from the Yiddish Handbook (online @ ) and consistent across 5 other sources:

Often used as an insulting word for a self-made fool, but you shouldn’t use it in polite company at all, since it refers to male anatomy."

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRayG

Commercial motor sport is the technological cutting edge for the development of engines, transmissions, brakes suspension for motor vehicles. One could argue that without it we would still be driving vehicles of 40-50 year old technology with much poorer mileage than current technology.

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterOld Mike

I believe motorsport took off in its early years partly in response to doomsayers and their requirement for red flags carried before advancing vehicles.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

What a miserable life we would lead if everything had to have "public/communal benefit" — as decided by who exactly? You, Hengist? Who is to say your view of what is a "public benefit" is the same as mine? Where is the public benefit in horse racing or the Olympic Games. Horses and people running round and round and, in the case of the Olympics, not even paying any tax.
Lighten up a bit, you old Puritan.
(You're not a Wee Free, by any chance, are you?)

Dec 31, 2011 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Schmuck definitions at the Urban Dictionary

A happy new year to all at BH & WUWT.

Dec 31, 2011 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJabba the Cat

Dear Bish, much appreciated the hard work put into the blog, general view is a blinder played. As we will no doubt discuss at the HoL next New Year where clearly the drinks are on us!
Best wishes

Dec 31, 2011 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

"Thanks for letting me join in the conversations this year, it's been very interesting, and I look forward to more stimulating discussion in 2012! Best wishes, Richard"

I look forward to your input here, too, as I'm sure do most of us. All the best in 2012. --Jorge.

Dec 31, 2011 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Clive James is a remarkable person, but to me - deaf as a post for many years - he is first and foremost a poet and essayist. (That Hengist and I can agree unreservedly about something is surely a measure of James's universal appeal. :-))

For those with time and an interest in more serious things, his collection of essays "Cultural Amnesia" is worth every ounce of its considerable weight in gold. Regrettably, he has been very ill this past year or so but I believe that he is concentrating his remaining energy on a second volume. I hope he survives for many years, but at least long enough to complete it.

I wish every one in His Grace's Diocese a happy and prosperous New Year.

Dec 31, 2011 at 10:01 PM | Registered CommenterMique

Can I start the ball rolling for our nominee 2011 Honours?

Patrick Moore
for his comment on Steve Jones's Telegraph 'flatearth' piece

Peter Sissons
for his book 'When One Door Closes'

to Michael Buerk
for his unbridled support of Sissons BBC criticism

Dec 31, 2011 at 11:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>