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« The Spectator debate | Main | Quote of the day »

Light blogging

I'm off on my travels from Monday morning. I should be back on Wednesday evening.

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Reader Comments (129)

See you at the Spectator debate at the RGS if that's the object of your travels.Cheers.

Mar 28, 2011 at 7:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

See you there as well. It looks like there are a few of us from Scotland attending the Spectator debate.

Mar 28, 2011 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterCameron Rose

have a good trip. Be good !

Mar 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohndeFrance

Hoy!!! Your job is to keep me entertained, not go off on some jolly. Get back here and blog!!!

Mar 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Have fun...

Mar 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Which pub!
I'm tempted to wear my eco warrior badge, in case anyone wants to say hello

Mar 28, 2011 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Light Blogging

Modern light bulbs are rubbish

Mar 28, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

golf charley
ditto in Australia

Mar 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAusieDan

Re Pub:

After diligent research and taking advoce from Dreadnought, the best pub around for our purposes seems to be the Queens Arms in Queens Gate Mews. A few mins walk from the RGS around the back of the RAH.

I guess we will know each other by not sporting the Halos of Sanctimonious Rigtheousness exhibited by the True Believers...who will probably all go to Hyde Park to worship Gaia afterwards rather than show a healthy but sceptical regard for the Brewer's Arts.

But for those in need of a landmark, I'm sure that Atomic Hairdryer will forgive me for pointing out that he is well named - think Piers Corbyn on steroids plugged into the mains. Or, should he not be there, the Scottish contingent will no doubt be noticeable by their national dress.

The code question shall be 'Is His Grace the Bishop in Residence tonght?' :-)

Mar 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Play time! The boss is away!

Mar 28, 2011 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo

Behave and set a good example ;-)

BTW how's commenting now captcha is off? No problems for me for a few days, but I haven't been commenting rapidly enough to trigger the lockout problem.

Mar 28, 2011 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Who me? Cause trouble? NEVER! ;--}

I have had no problems since Saturday, but I have not tried to post much either. So far so good. Do you still need Captchas for postings with links like before? I have not tried them. That rule should be left as people can cause real mischief with links.

Mar 28, 2011 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo

Captcha seems to be completely disabled at the moment - I've posted a few comments with links and it didn't re-appear.

Mar 28, 2011 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I got caught out by the lack of a captcha. I got used to reviewing at captcha-entry stage, so didn't bother to preview, and so posted some typos in a previous post. Doh!

Mar 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

Wow, have to share this latest 8888wittedness, from EU central/BBC:

"Announcing a series of "challenging" targets, Mr Kallas said there should be a 50% reduction in conventionally-fuelled cars in city centres by 2030, disappearing altogether 20 years later.

The Commission also hopes to "move close" to eliminating deaths by road accidents by 2050, halving current fatality rates by 2020."

Lunacy, who let Kallas out?

Mar 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

OOPS, link here [H/T Tom Nelson]:

Mar 28, 2011 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan


Someone should ask Kallas some hard questions, eg:

- A projected national fleet of cars by 2050 = ~30 million vehicles

- Typical battery chargers require 2 - 3 kWh

- Maximum potential change in demand ~60GW

- Typical (night-time) demand = ~40GW or higher.

What is going to provide the absolutely reliable load-following capacity to match night-time recharge demand increase on this scale? Because it isn't going to be wind, and we are busy phasing out coal.

As usual, the energy fantasists are skipping around in fairy-tale future land.

Mar 28, 2011 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

We would need to ramp up baseload nuclear (or coal) to free up enough gas for load-following to meet a demand cycle of this scale.

We aren't preparing for the reality of an electric fleet at all. Quite the reverse, in fact.

Mar 28, 2011 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Latimer, I think I can still recognise you and Atomic Hairdryer. See you tomorrow.

Mar 28, 2011 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter B

Anyone know what kind of discovery rules apply in litigation in Canada? Michael Mann has sued for defamation.

In the US, all his records, including e-mails, would have to be made available at the request of the defendant.

Mar 28, 2011 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

I've just seen a report that according to Paddy Ashdown, we must prepare for "of a new kind of future in which mega-disasters are going to be more frequent".

There are currently 245 news reports including this clip, according to google.

The odd thing is that the report, and the press release, say no such thing. So where did it come from? Is this a case of one 'journo' making it up and the rest cribbing it?

Mar 28, 2011 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk


"As usual, the energy fantasists are skipping around in fairy-tale future land."

Very well put.

Mar 28, 2011 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan


I think I heard him say in the interview he gave this morning on Today, that climate change was going to increase the number of natural disasters (sigh...) (from me....)

Mar 28, 2011 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Andrew, you did an excellent job of pulling together the facts and presenting them in your "The Hockey Stick Illusion". How do you feel about writing another CACC "slayer" covering "Another Hockey Stick Illusion"? I'm referring to the CO2 "hockey stick" derived from air allegedly "trapped" (virtually unchanged) in ice for millennia.

I have been researching this for over a year now and conclude that the claims about past global atmospheric CO2 content are no more valid that the claims made by Michael Mann and his hockey team are about past global temperatures.

You can get a fair idea of my hypothesis by reading my recent comments on Judith Curry’s “Agreeing(?)” thread (, on the New Zealand sceptics Climate Conversations threads ( & and on the New Zealand CACC supporters Hot Topic thread ( Those last exchanges have petered out as a result of Professor Mike Palin, Otago University, failing to respond to my challenge for him to justify why paleo-climatologists choose to use as their measure of the molecular diameter of the different atmospheric gases their collision rather than kinetic diameter.

I have put this same challenge to numerous recognised ice-core “experts” but not one has justified this choice. In a nutshell my hypothesis is that they are using the wrong measure and consequently ignore the preferential fractionation of CO2 out of the air “trapped” in those air pockets which depletes the amount of CO2 in deep ice and enriches it at higher levels, hence the false “hockey stick”.

I’d be delighted if someone could clearly present the flaws in my hypothesis (but not simply claim that I’m talking nonsense without any supporting evidence, as they have done with Professor Zbiniew Jaworowski). No-one has done so yet. Who’s going to be the first?

Best regards, Pete Ridley.

Mar 28, 2011 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete Ridley

Paddy Ashdown's "mega-disasters" comment on Radio 4 this morning can be heard here:

Apparently these disasters will be a mixture of weather and seismic events. "We believe, we've concluded, that what we have seen of tsunami - the Japanese, of course, tsunami - the Typhoon Nargis, Haiti, Pakistan floods, all these are not some abberation from the past. They're the beginnings of a new kind of future in which mega-disasters are going to be more frequent."

Also on Radio 4's Today Programme this morning, John Humphrys and Roger Harrabin discuss the Weather Test, a collaboration between the BBC and "the Royal Meteorological Society, Royal Statistical Society, Royal Astronomical Society and various other experts"... " to come up with a protocol so we can measure different weather forecasters against each other, and find out how accurate they are..."

However. "The Met Office are a bit nervous, because they see their reputation, potentially, on the line."

Apparently, Piers Corbyn is going to be involved, too. The Weather Test was formally launched earlier this evening at the Royal Institution, according to their website:

Mar 28, 2011 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Messenger. Alex Cull. Just played it back for the 4th time. That's not what Ashdown said on the original broadcast, where he had melting snow or ice from the Hindu Kush, which he referred to as the 'Third Pole', pouring into the earth and causing earthquakes and tsunamis. However as I'm sure our independent National Broadcaster wouldn't edit it, I must have mis-heard !

Mar 28, 2011 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

All due to Global Warming, of course.

Mar 28, 2011 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Logic, when missapplied, is an irrelevance.
Hope and belief trumps scepticism every time!
Nothing can disprove the gospel of CAGW, the cetainty of carbon taxation or the slam-dunk of consensus.
Dogma defeats data.
Politics pummels Science,
which, happily, let's it dribble onto
their chin.
And say's thank you for that.
"Is that what you wanted?"
"More funding "
"More tax-dollars"
That's all they asked.
And these are those, whom we are told to believe?

Mar 29, 2011 at 1:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

They needed funding. They needed facts. They found the funding, The facts followed from the finding of the funding,
Simples, To support their finances, they had to cherry-pick the supportives and subborn the negatories!
Totally understandable, politics at it's best but is that science

Mar 29, 2011 at 2:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

Agree with Peter Ridley -look at this web site then go to papers where peer reviewed papers can be downloaded. The paper 50yrs of continuous measurement at Mauna Loa explains some of the fiddles. There are stacks of references under literature some of which can be downloaded.Under History there is an Excel file of the actual data used.
There are other articles around as well.
The story needs to be told -how did it become accepted that the pre-industrial level of CO2 should be based on doubtful proxy icecore results instead of actual measurements made by competent scientists. Then, why have they eliminated accurate measurements of CO2 in the 1940's (hide the rise!)

Mar 29, 2011 at 2:49 AM | Unregistered Commentercementafriend

Criticism of UK energy policy in MSM at;

As the author says "I'll be accused of being in the pay of the utilities for writing this piece..."
Welcome to the club Mr. Warner.

Mar 29, 2011 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

You might enjoy todays dilbert:

Mar 29, 2011 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

TerryS & Dilbert - Good One!

Mar 29, 2011 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian


A good summary article in the Telegraph - thanks for the link.

I'm not sure UK consumers yet fully appreciate what's about to hit them in terms of rising utility charges. Never mind higher oil prices. The carbon price floor alone will add 4pc to bills by 2015/16.

"Feed in tariffs" (FITs), providing low carbon power generation with certainty of revenue, will pile on the agony. The Government is as serious about consulting on FITs as it was on carbon price flooring, so don't expect anyone to listen.

Both these measures are justified as part of "polluter pays" environmental policy, but they are also expected to be important revenue earners for the Government and are therefore in essence just another stealth tax. The Office for Budget Responsibility has pencilled in £3.9bn for environmental levies by 2015/16, against just £0.6bn last year.

Big, big numbers. So there should be a commensurate achievement in saving the planet, shouldn't there?

Let's see:

Little better can be said about the carbon price floor. By raising the cost of power to energy hungry manufacturers, it will further undermine competitiveness against Europe, where no such floor is contemplated.

What's more, there will be no net benefit to overall European emissions, since if the floor succeeds in driving emissions down in the UK, the permits will only be taken up and used somewhere else. This is not an environmental measure at all; in all but name, it is just another tax.

But most important of all, if the floor succeeds in earlier than otherwise decommissioning of already struggling coal generation, as might well be the case with some of the more marginal producers, then Britain is going to be left with a thumping great energy gap and nothing other than a renewed "dash for gas" to fill it. Fukushima has almost certain delayed nuclear renewal by some years, leaving few immediate alternatives for base-load power besides more gas, this at a time when the Government has trounced the incentive to invest in further UK production. Brilliant.

So, that's a colossal policy failure then. All because of out-of-control carbon rhetoric.

When is the UK going to wake up to what is going on and demand a complete change in the direction of energy policy?

I hope it's soon, or it will be too late.

Mar 29, 2011 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Latimer et al

I should be able to come along for a pint afterwards. Hope to see you there.

Mar 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I have recently had correspondence with one of the establishment speakers at the Spectator bash. He referred me to this as empirical evidence that CO2 was causing global warming. ( It is I know, but to what extent and how can we understand the relationship sufficiently to put together a sum that can forecast the relationship - unlikely in a chaotic system - but we should be trying).

This article claims that the OLR has reduced over the measuring period, but fails to mention that they're only measuring OLR in the CO2 bands and that OLR over the period in other has risen. 'Nuff said. Read the comments and note how John Cook assiduously ignores the fact that the OLR is going up in his responses. I've written back to the person, who hasn't given me permission to use our email exchange yet, explaining the above, and other anomolies, like the assertion that the models are accurate! But the key point here is that people who seem to think we're the creationist/looney side of the coin don't even read the literature thoroughly once their bias has been confirmed.

Sock it to 'em Andrew.

Mar 29, 2011 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Alex (Cull), thanks for that link to the BBC interview of ex-politician Paddy Ashown following his Department for International Development (DFID) report. From about 2mins into that interview* Lord Ashdown played the usual political propaganda game of merging fact with fiction He talked first about the real natural catastrophes such as the devastating Japanese earth quake then speculated about “ .. a new kind of future where mega-disasters are going to be more frequent .. ”. There is no evidence whatsoever that this is the case. He then moved on (3mins) to bring in “ .. you have to build up resilience in the at-risk coountries , those round the Hindu-Kush area and of course those in Africa where the effects of global warming are going to be ??? .. (drowned out by the interviewer)”. Next it’s the turn of the UN (3mins 20) “ .. leadership has been very weak and the consequence is that in Haiti and Pakistan floods we have had .. lost opportunities .. ”. To complete the deception he returns to the genuine need for the UN and aid organisations to improve their response to natural disasters.

It is prudent when politicians, ex-politicians and the power-hungry support a particular issue to enquire into what possible vested interest they may have other than any suggestion that it is purely due to concern for humanity or the environment. DFID commissioned Ashdown to produce a report and I suspect that he was anything but poorly rewarded for doing so. It is well recognised that there is a lot of money to be made out of supporting the UN’s Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change” scam.

As The Former Mr. Angry, Perth 29/03/2011 10:54:40 commented “Lord Ashdown conveniently forgets that we are skint. Taking the lead in matters like this costs a lot of taxpayers' money, which we will therefore have to borrow to fund this and all the other over-generous schemes like foreign aid to Pakistan (nuclear power), India (nuclear power, healthy economy, space programme), Africa (Swiss bank accounts, Mercedes fund, palatial residences scheme).
We cannot continue to over-extend our capabilities like this and expect to deal with the aftermath of Gordon Brown's vote-buying activities and faux socialist "help the disadvantaged" failed schemes.
Is it too much to ask that countries so afflicted could open their own coffers and take a lead in helping themelves rather than us always rushing to assist as if we have the monopoly on help and compassion. Some of this being demonstrated at home by our own politicians including Lord Ashdown would be far more impressive” (

But Ashdown is an ex-politician and we all know how far we can trust politicians to put the interests of the voting public ahead of personal interest – think expenses scandal. Once a politician always a politician. Al Gore was a politician too and his mentor Maurice Strong. Dragon “slayer” Tim Ball ( – but that’s anther story) says “The blame begins with the political manipulations of Maurice Strong, but he only succeeded because of the so-called climate scientists. Among them, computer modellers caused the biggest problem. They needed to know the most but knew the least. If they knew anything, they would know there is inadequate data and understanding of the major components and mechanisms on which to build the models” (

Anyone interested in following up on Tim Ball and the dragon slayers should make a start at the “begging bowl” page for Principia Scientific International ( and the comments thereon. There’s more if you want it.

*For anyone preferring to read rather than listed, Sky News published a similar report “Global Disaster Response Can Be Better” (

Best regards, Pete Ridley.

Mar 29, 2011 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete Ridley

You might enjoy todays dilbert:
'deed I might! :-))

Mar 29, 2011 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic


I think it was Gaby Hegerl who said that the problem with 'sceptics' is that they don't ask 'interesting questions'. Even if it wasn't her, the point is well made. Many go on and on about things that are either non-issues or well explained.

This however, sounds like an interesting question.

Pete Ridley's earlier comment about interpreting the evidence for paleoatmospheric CO2 concentrations from ice cores struck me as similarly interesting.

Alexander's discussion of cloud optical physics on the Beddington thread is extremely interesting.

Kevin Trenberth's well-known concern as to the whereabouts of the 'missing energy' raises interesting questions.

And so on, and on.

It's not that I dispute the physics of the greenhouse effect per se, just the booming certainty of so very many that it 'will' mean GATA rising by >3C by mid-century or thereabouts.

There are interesting questions that need answering before we dismantle the energy infrastructure of Western industrial civilisation and start pouring billions into Africa in the name of 'climate justice'.

Mar 29, 2011 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

When you get back on Wednesday, you might consider this piece about the Left's war on the Koch brothers. Soros money is attacking those who are sceptical about the catastrophic version of AGW.

Here in the UK, money from money manager Jeremy Grantham funded the two Grantham Institues, one of which houses attack dog Bob Ward.

Mar 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

BBD - re your earlier post about the looming energy disaster which our 'greenest government ever' is creating..
Sarah Butler in The Sunday Times this week (27th March) had a lengthy article about the 'mega' wind turbines set to be installed in the London Array off the mouth of the Thames. The gist of the article was, of course, 'big is better' - which prompted me to fire off an e-mail letter to the ST along the lines of: Wind is erratic; unreliable; ever was and ever will be; and bears no relation to electricity demand. At the time of writing wind was contributing 0.1% to electricity demand (still is). Building them as high as the Empire State won't make any difference.
No mention anywhere about the requirement for standby generating capacity for the 75% of the time when the wind isn't blowing within the correct speed parameters..
Was it Winston Churchill who said: 'He who ignores history is condemned to make the same mistakes'..

Mar 29, 2011 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Re Latimer

But for those in need of a landmark, I'm sure that Atomic Hairdryer will forgive me for pointing out that he is well named - think Piers Corbyn on steroids plugged into the mains.

Hey, I resemble that remark! Sadly, until I've figured out how to legally rob the Green Bank I'll be unable to attend. Hope it's a fun session though and look forward to the reports.

Mar 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Mar 28, 2011 at 5:53 PM | stan

Interesting link - I rather liked the evenhandedness of the reporter - it's refreshing to see such integrity in the media.

For the rest of you, enjoy the Spectator debate. I'd love to be able to join you for a pint aftwerwards, but I just can't fit a hop across the pond into my schedule for this week.

Mar 29, 2011 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert E. Phelan


It's also worth remembering that the larger the turbines are in an array, the further apart they must be spaced. Otherwise the turbines interfere with each other and load factor falls.

So correctly spaced arrays of large turbines don't actually generate significantly more than denser arrays of smaller ones.

Butler hasn't done her homework.

Mar 29, 2011 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

David (Mar 29, 2011 at 2:04 PM) --
You attributed 'He who ignores history is condemned to make the same mistakes' to Churchill. The original is "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" from George Santayana.

My personal contribution is to update Santayana's maxim to "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to Google it."

Mar 29, 2011 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW


Regret that a sudden family problem means that it is unlikely that I will be able to attend tonight :-(

No doubt somebody will write it up for stayaways like me? Have a great evening.

Mar 29, 2011 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder


Just had the briefest scan of Butler's piece. The usual dog's-breakfast of misrepresentations of projected output and the supposed 'slashing' of CO2 emissions. Plus some hand-waving about interconnectors to the Eurpean renewables super-fairytale-grid etc.

In other words, the usual energy-illiterate guff written by a hack with no real understanding of the way it all works. Or doesn't, as the case may be.

The syndrome is clear though:

Strident CO2 rhetoric = introduction of renewables to grid

Renewables = no reduction in CO2 but huge increase in energy pricing

Strident CO2 rhetoric = breakdown of UK energy policy

Strident CO2 rhetoric = high cost to all; suffering for many; benefits only for subsidy-farmers and turbine/SPV panel manufacturers

And yet doubtless intelligent, Oxbridge-educated hacks like Butler happily megaphone the CO2 Bad, Renewables Good lie via the Sunday papers without ever bothering to check the effing facts.

Well, when the lights go off, she can shiver in the dark with all her energy fantasist friends until the good green fairies restart the grid. With magic fairy dust power.

Mar 29, 2011 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


Very amusing.

Mar 29, 2011 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

@ BBD / re Telegraph article

Thank Ford someone is starting to get it. I've been banging on about this for ages. There are three key points here.

1/ Politicians have finally stumbled upon the Holy Grail of taxes: you can't avoid it, it doesn't look like a tax and yet everyone owes it. Yes folks, they have found a way to tax air.

2/ .All political parties like this tax. The left likes it because it likes all taxes. The right likes it because it does not have to be justified. There's no alternative to saving the planet, is there?

3/ Consequently, once enacted, the taxes on air will never be repealed. Never. Never. Never.. Long after the psience is universally accepted to have been debunked, even by bigots such as Monbiot and ZDB, the taxes will remain. How many nurses must the state sack to pay for your CO2 tax cuts, you selfish b@stard? The Grauniad op-ed pieces of 2041 AD practically write themselves.

It is very, very depressing. It is as though one had voted for Thatcher in 1979, or Reagan in 1980, and upon obtaining office, s/he had then shrugged and said, Actually I lied - I haven't the ba11s, so I'm now going to continue to implement socialism.

Mar 29, 2011 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

I see the BBC are at it again - nothing 'even-handed' about their reporting!

Mar 29, 2011 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

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