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« Green spouts on drought | Main | More on phone hackers »
Sunday
Aug072011

Climate cuttings 57

It's all a bit quiet on the climate front at the moment, but there are one or two little snippets that might interest readers.

Interest in the last couple of days has focused on the Guardian's involvement in phone hacking. David Leigh tweets that he didn't make a habit of it. I've asked him how often he did so.

Green grandstanding by European politicians looks as if is going to have consequences. Bayer are telling the German government that they are feeling the strain and hinting that they may make investments elsewhere.

Twelve protected golden eagles were killed by a windfarm in California:

"Wind farms have been killing birds for decades and law enforcement has done nothing about it, so this investigation is long overdue," said Shawn Smallwood, an expert on raptor ecology and wind farms. "It's going to ruffle wind industry feathers across the country."

No doubt government subsidies to the windfarms will be increased to cover the government fines that will now be levied.

Uber-warmist Tim Flannery's calls for owners of seafront property to be worried about sea-level rise are looking fairly hollow with the revelation that Flannery has bought not one but two properties in the tidal reaches of the Hawkesbury river.

The disgraced former minister David Laws is being tipped for a return to politics, replacing Chris Huhne as Energy and Climate Change minister. The latter is facing the possibility of serving jail time for (alleged) perversion of the course of justice.

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Reader Comments (46)

[O/T]

Aug 7, 2011 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered Commenteralistair

Isn't Tim Flannery just being a typical prophiteering liar? Convince people that beachfront properties are worthless, snap a few up a rock bottom price, then when the sea levels continue to rise at the same slow rate as they ever did, make a killing.

Aug 7, 2011 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

When it comes to crap that Flannery really is a two face bit of work huh! Can you imagine that the Australian taxpayer has to put up with!

At today rate that is £.5 million UK! Nice tax paid work if you can get it! Almost has me praying for the Greenland Ice Shelf to collapse!

Aug 7, 2011 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

From the article on Bird kills:
"BioResource spokesman Peter Cantle suggested that those bird deaths may be unrelated to Pine Tree's wind turbines.

"It's hard to tease out those numbers," he said. "Basically, we walked around the site to find bird mortalities, which could have been attributable to a number of things including natural mortality and predators."

Now what the heck is hard about spotting that a bird has been hit by a mammoth blade at up to 200 M.P.H.?

Lets give them a clue at 1 min 56 seconds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svicELHAWyw&feature=player_embedded

Aug 7, 2011 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

bish,
just got an opportunity to catch up on the david leigh thread and CA's coverage. the UEA/Wallis story is still the big one, so big the MSM won't go near it.

without alleging anything, just want u to take a look at the Alan Edwards in these two photos. they bear a striking resemblance to me, tho the NOTW Edwards is seemingly quite a bit older than OO's Edwards:

PIC: Alan Edwards: News of the World Chief Sub-Editor
http://news.yahoo.com/photos/news-world-chief-sub-editor-alan-edwards-speaks-photo-061710415.html

PIC: Alan Edwards: Outside Organisation
http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/1003861/Outside-Organisations-Alan-Edwards-set-speak-Google-Zeitgeist-conference/

the pr week page is no longer available, but you can get a free trial. this is the pic that was in the article:
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=%22alan+edwards%22+%22outside+organisation%22&view=detail&id=1C7B1E4879A54DE4A1A68A8B0BEEDBD02204820F&first=0&FORM=IDFRIR

the NOTW Edwards seems to have been at Trinity Mirror when Neil Wallis was there:

January 2003: MediaWeek: People editor Wallis takes up News of the World job
Wallis has been replaced on an interim basis at The People by the paper's deputy editor Alan Edwards, who will edit the paper as the process to appoint a successor begins...
http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/news/168553/People-editor-Wallis-takes-News-World-job/

he left Trinity Mirror in 2005:

2005: Guardian: People loses deputy in job cuts
The deputy editor of the People, Alan Edwards, is understood to be leaving as part of the latest round of job cuts at Trinity Mirror.
Edwards, who has been at the People for seven years and briefly edited the paper before Mark Thomas joined two years ago, is understood to have left the paper already.
He is the most senior casualty so far of the cuts across Trinity Mirror, which warned staff in October it planned to axe jobs to offset tough advertising conditions...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2005/dec/08/pressandpublishing.mirror2

the NOTW Edwards who was prominent in the MSM when the paper closed down, is said to have been with NOTW for six years - haven't got time to find the links saying that, which fits with the date he left Trinity Mirror, but i cannot find a document to indicate the Trinity Mirror and NOTW Edwards are the same man.

2005: Independent: Alan Edwards (Outside Organisation)
At home, what do you tune in to?
A bit of Sky, Match of the Day, check out pop programmes like T4, old movies.
What is your Sunday paper and do you have a favourite magazine?
I read the tabloids but have usually gone through the News of the World and Sunday Mirror the night before to ensure I'm up to speed with any breaking news about clients with farmyard animals or whatever. Always read The Sunday Times...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/alan-edwards-my-life-in-media-503825.html

don't know what i'm getting at here - maybe nothing - but just wanted to put it out there in case anyone has any further info.

Aug 7, 2011 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Tim Blair quotes from Flannery defending his hypocracy:

While his place was, he admitted, “very close to the water”, the issue was how far it was above the water – something Professor Flannery would not reveal because, he said, it could help identify the location and subject him to a Norway-style attack by conservatives.

What a Maroon. (line heavily edited since it's Sunday morning at the Bish's place)

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin B

http://outside-org.co.uk/2011/05/outsides-ceo-alan-edwards-featured-in-pr-weeks-2011-powerbook-and-the-guardians-music-power-list-2011-2/

An addition to the Alan Edwards list given by 'pat' above. Interesting that "crisis management" is mentioned.

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

I'm not convinced -- the NOTW Edwards is simply a sub-editor, i.e. a glorified copy editor, a drone who might write a few headlines. Hard to see why he'd be hobnobbing with Desmond Tutu

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/oct/02/marketingandpr.mondaymediasection

I don't think the Alan Edwards of OO can be the same one as the NoW one.

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Here's a letter published in the Sunday Times, August 7th.

============================================================


Scientific suppression

ANDREW TURNBULL is rightly worried by Professor Steve Jones's recommendations about how the BBC should report science ("Those upstarts Darwin and Galileo would fail the BBC's latest science test", Think Tank, last week). Doubtless, Lord Reith himself would be too. Reith recognised the danger of the BBC being suborned by propagandists. That's why he insisted its royal charter should contain strict safeguards.

Reith feared that the enemies of free speech would be politicians, but if the BBC carries through the Jones report, the enemies will be the grandees of modern science. In the ex cathedra tone typical of the science establishment, Jones argues that scientific consensus should almost have the status of absolute truth, and that Reith's principles should therefore be set aside.

In the 20 years in which I made science programs for the BBC, the editorial guidelines on impartiality were sacrosanct: "to resist the temptation ... to accept consensus or received wisdom as fact or self-evident" and "to remain independent and distanced from [external bodies'] agendas".

Those are noble rubrics designed to prevent the Orwellian nightmare that the Jones report would create. Behind the report is the self-serving myth that science progresses by consensus. Yes, some science does, but all major scientific advances have challenged consensus. Consensus implies dogma, and dogma is for religions, not science. The publicly funded BBC has a public duty to remind scientists of that.

Tony Edwards
Kent

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

There ought to be an offence of 'bone-headed stupidity while serving as a government minister'. Huhne and other ministers at DECC would then be facing a lengthy spell behind bars, and I'm sure others would fall foul of it.

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

[No]

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Sara Chen - Thanks for highlighting that, thanks to Tony Edwards for writing it and thanks to the ST for publishing it.

IMO Professor Jones' report should be rejected by the BBC Trustees and I challenge Alison Hastings, Chair of the Trust's Editorial Standards Committee, to write a coherent and quantified 1000 word article outlining the sceintific facts which are established beyond doubt.

Given that

..."my own committee has dismissed complaints about the BBC's coverage of climate change on the basis of the way impartiality is applied where there is a compelling body of evidence on a controversial scientific issue."

all the references to this evidence will be to hand and easily referenced.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/comment/science_impartiality.shtml

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

[Response to troll]

Aug 7, 2011 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

[Response to troll]

Aug 7, 2011 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

[response to troll]

Aug 7, 2011 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterjerome imoo

[Snip]

On to serious matters: Bayer. Merkel has made a fundamental error in pandering to populist green anti-nuclear sentiment post-Fukushima. And German industry will ultimately make her pay for it.

Not only will the politically - but not infrastructurally - expedient rush to phase out nuclear mean punitive energy prices and national shortages, it will also necessitate the building of 20GW of new coal-fired plant. So Merkel has, at a stroke:

- reduced German security of supply

- instigated construction of 20GW of high-emission, long life-cycle coal baseload plant

- ensured that the highest energy prices in Europe will rise to punitive levels that will force German industry to relocate (and emit) elsewhere

This is what happens to energy policy when greens get close to power.

Aug 7, 2011 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Jones's Telegraph 'flatearth' piece and Beddington's BIS blog follow up 'Preparing for the future' both seem to fade into ignominy accompanied by the rousing anthem of the National Bronx Cheer Symphony Orchestra.

It really is worth a last look at the most recent comment on Jones's item, by 'patrickmoore', who, judging by the profundity of the comment, is probably by the man himself.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/steve-jones/8675729/Scientists-always-anger-those-who-prefer-the-Earth-to-be-flat.html

Aug 7, 2011 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Sigh.

Regardless of what she writes - absolutely regardless - the troll must be ignored. Every response to her posts is a win for her.

It really is that simple.

Aug 7, 2011 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil D

[Snip response to troll]

Aug 7, 2011 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Thanks pharos - a good comment indeed! If it is Patrick Moore himself, then the irony in Prof Jones' headline(s) is acute :-)

Aug 7, 2011 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

While we worry about security of supply and having more windmills some places are taking action to counter recession nwith investment in fossil fuels: "Ohio Governor John Kasich announced that he is thrilled by the prospect for the job creation that will accompany development of the Utica Shale in Ohio." Oil & Gas Law Brief. Utica has oil as well as gas liquids per Chesapeake and lies under the Marcellus shale.

Come on UK and Aussie governments - noone else is playing your game any more, no matter how much you spin the myth of a low carbon economy.

Aug 7, 2011 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterjheath

Zed
Did it never occur to you that there are some things just best ignored?

Aug 7, 2011 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

[Response to troll]

Aug 7, 2011 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterZX10

Rick Bradford -
sorry if i wasn't clear. i don't think the two alan edwards are the same person. it just struck me that the two men look so similar. whether or not the NOTW edwards is old enough to be the father of the OO edwards, i can't say.
mainly wanted to note that wallis/edwards were at Trinity Mirror in the years ICO documented phone hacking etc, and both appear to have ended up at NOTW. that is, if the NOTW edwards is the same as the Trinity Mirror edwards.

Aug 7, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

There's a nice little round up of some of Flanneryisms here
http://www.users.on.net/~rjfenwickelliott/Flannely.html

Aug 7, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Cruickshank

Which would be the lesser of two evils: criminal Huhne or criminal Laws?

Actually, we need somebody who understands something about the climate and something about energy. Unfortunately I am tied up at the moment (which is what Huhne and Laws should be).

Aug 7, 2011 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

[Response to troll]

Aug 7, 2011 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Regardless of what she writes - absolutely regardless - the troll must be ignored. Every response to her posts is a win for her.

It really is that simple.
Aug 7, 2011 at 12:32 PM Phil D

Phil...you are so right and that is the last time I do it! I promise!

Aug 7, 2011 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

[Snip - venting]

Aug 7, 2011 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

Please could commenters avoid responding to the troll.

Aug 7, 2011 at 4:34 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The Express has posted a copy of a letter by Cameron`s Political Private Secretary (Laurence Mann) to a Conservative party activist (Anita Segar) on reasons why the PM is against a referendum on Europe ( we had one as recently as 1975 when it was called and sold as the Common Market). Among other things he writes:
"And we should not lose sight of the EU’s very useful work, such as ensuring that all the nations of Europe are equipped to face the biggest challenges of the 21st Century: global competitiveness, global warming and global poverty. These are compelling arguments for why we believe Britain should be an active member."

The link to the letter is:
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/263461/The-letter-sent-by-David-Cameron-s-political-private-secretary

I think that confirms what we already know about Cameron`s attitude on the CAGW issue and why government policy will not change while he and the Coalition are in charge of our affairs

Aug 7, 2011 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

oldtimer

that is the standard boilerprint reply to anything...I send letters to my (Conservative) MP about the absurdities of the current energy policy and get much the same responses. They stick to the party line as rigidly as the guys who worked for Stalin.

Aug 7, 2011 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Pharos, not banned

It might be the Patrick Moore who used to be in Greenpeace, rather than the eminent presenter of the Sky at Night.

The style looks similar to this:

http://www.greenspiritstrategies.com/D242.cfm

Aug 7, 2011 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Hopefully, Cameron's dealings with the Murdochs and the Police will soon be revealed and he'll have to resign. Then the Tory party can get back to being Conservative.

Aug 7, 2011 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterPFM

Jones begins "In 1870 a biologist set out to test a popular myth." But the flat earth was not a popular myth. The American writer Washington Irving invented the notion that medieval thinkers believed the world to be flat, in an attempt to discredit the Roman Catholic Church. A handful of eccentrics, and probably a few crooks, took up the "cause". That was it. Jones really should get his facts right. Scientist, innhe?

Aug 7, 2011 at 8:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Fair comment. But it has very much the ring of humility and respect for our rudimentary knowledge of celestial forces, and I'll stick with my gut feel. Whoever it was, a fine comment, and if anyone from the BBC Editorial Staff is listening and wishes to rise above scabby politics, they should read that comment and read it again.

Aug 7, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Dreadnought - thanks for that, not one I'd seen before. Like Pharos I think the celestial references make it more likely to be Sky at Night Patrick Moore than ex Greenpeace Patrick Moore, however the latter has an interesting looking book out:

http://www.beattystreetpublishing.com/confessions/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Confessions-Greenpeace-Dropout-Sensible-Environmentalist/dp/0986480827

Aug 7, 2011 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

@diogenes 7.30pm aug 7

My (Conservative) MP ususally forwards my letters onto Mr Huhne who, about two months later, fails to reply to the points I make. My MP seems quite keen for me to keep on writing to him in this vein so I do so. I think it is worth continuing to do so especially because no coherent or convincing reply has been delivered to date. My questions are dodged and left unanswered in the hope I will give up. That would be fatal; so I keep on lobbing them back. Of course there are no satisfactory answers available from Mr Huhne; that is why the UEA enquiries and other official utterances on the subject ignore the central questions and merely assert the prevailing gospel.

One day a tipping point will be reached; but only if those who believe that the course this country is embarked upon are willing to persist with their questions and reasoned criticisms of the views espoused by Cameron, Clegg, Huhne and MilibandE.

Aug 7, 2011 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

oldtimer
I sense there is much muttering in the ranks. Interesting times.

Aug 7, 2011 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

If he does that regarding stocks- scaring investors into selling what he would like to buy, he could face criminal charges.
This happened before in the US, where a big time tree hugger got special permits to cut his family trees while halting neighbors form doing the same.
And of course Gore with his multi-million$ beach house, after his movie and books predicting slr's to put much of the US under water.
How much of this sort of straightforward self-dealing and ethical failure will we find as the truth of the AGW movement continues to emerge?

Aug 7, 2011 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I really enjoy visiting this site. The threads are well-chosen and attract some of the clearest and brightest thinkers around.
Yet I still find myself saddened when I leave.
It's not the odd miscreant or the fact that I feel like an intellectual dwarf that downs me but the suspicion that 'sceptics' in the ascendent are not that dissimilar to 'warmists' on a similar up-slope pre-ClimateGate.
Yes, the talking-down and lip-curling is absent but there does appear to be an inclination to that effect.
I think there is a long way to go to change attitudes to CAGW and I would hate to think that 'sceptics' may make the same mistakes as their opposite numbers did and snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Aug 7, 2011 at 10:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

can't recall anyone posting this. robbins sub-heading states "little basis in fact" when there is "no basis" and then fails to comment about or investigate Wallis' covert work for UEA.

29 July: Guardian: The Murdochs had nothing to do with 'Climategate' email hacking
Attempts by Climate Progress to link the UEA email hacking to News Corp have little basis in fact, and make advocates of climate action look silly
Their theory goes roughly like this:
...Neil Wallis, an ex-News International journalist with links to the Met, also did PR for UEA after 'Climategate'...
The arguments of denialists (as opposed to 'skeptics', it's wrong to tar genuine climate skeptics with the denialist brush) almost inevitably degenerate into conspiracy theories when challenged. As the Denialist blog neatly puts it:
"This is because denialist theories that oppose well-established science eventually need to assert deception on the part of their opponents to explain things like why every reputable scientist, journal, and opponent seems to be able to operate from the same page."
It's disappointing to see climate campaigners getting sucked into the same game...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2011/jul/29/climategate-email-hacking-murdochs

Aug 8, 2011 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

WHEN GREEN DINOSAURS FALL OUT
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot
The big belly laugh of the day is now on view at the Guardian.
In the 'green' corner Monbiot, having 'dissed' every other means of power generation in which he ever believed, is hanging onto 'nuclear' by his finger-nails.
Then along comes his arch rival the Hon Jonathan Porritt Bart, in the other 'green' corner, to recommend the greater use of gas.
An acute embarrassment for George, as his coach-load of rent-a-thug yobboes are booking their coach tickets for his 'Camp Frack' at Fylde, Nr Blackpool in September.
See CACC web-site if you want to book a seat ! LOL

Aug 8, 2011 at 8:25 AM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Toad,

Though I love reading the Guardian, my comfort zone, I really don't look at the articles in the Environment section anymore.

If you hadn't mentioned it, I wouldn't have known how divided the CAGW movement had become.

They are murdering each other out there.

Aug 9, 2011 at 2:44 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Developments on the Flannery side? I think there's been some correction by The Australian but the pages have all disappeared

Aug 15, 2011 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

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