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Light posting

I'm busy over the weekend, so posting will be light-to-nonexistent.

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What an ideal opportunity for anyone who fancies starting or having a conversation on the Scottish Climate & Energy (SCEF) forum.

Jun 29, 2012 at 3:22 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

So perhaps I can highjack this thread to discuss the appointment of Sir Mark Walport as the government's next chief scientific adviser.

See reports in the Guardian and Times Higher.

He is Director of the Wellcome Trust and was originally an immunologist. Initial comments are encouraging - forcing Wellcome Trust grant holders to use open access, and talking of advice "based on the strongest evidence".

Candidates were discussed previously at BH.

Shucks, Mike beat me by 2 minutes!

Jun 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

"Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential if we are to help tackle climate change, but we need to better understand the potential health impact of these strategies," says Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust. "Climate change could have a devastating impact on people's health, with those in the developing world at greatest risk. Well-planned and successfully implemented climate change mitigation strategies could actually improve public health - a win-win solution."

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, added that in Sir Mark “we have absolutely the right person for the job”.


Jun 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

It would be nice if we could get a responsible and reliable interviewer (Andrew Neil perhaps) to sit Sir Mark down and start:
"Sir Mark, you say that 'reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential if we are to help tackle climate change'. Can you explain to our listeners exactly why that is?"
The answer would be illuminating — one way or another.
Meanwhile we have yet another unthinking mouthpiece for the anti-humanity lobby, it would appear.

Jun 29, 2012 at 3:58 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Or we could talk about the Energy Saving Trust and its call to switch machines off rather than leave them in standby. Just think about all the energy we could save, just don't tell anyone about the power showers. The report itself is extremely dodgy and Lewis Page at The Register has pretty much shredded it to small tiny pieces.

Jun 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM | Registered Commentersadbutmadlad

Have a good one bish and see you on the flip side !

Jun 29, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered Commentermat

The "anti - standby" ad campaign is the ultimate in feel good green propaganda. It's interesting that their research is, as usual, utter garbage, but irrelevant. For most of the year in the UK climate, some form of heating is neccessary. The only place that "standby" power can go is heat, which simply reduces the amount of heating needed by a trivial amount.
Same applies to "energy saving" lightbulbs, compunded by the fact that lighting is mainly used at night when it is cooler.

If we had a climate which required extensive use of air conditioning it might have some validity, but even then the power levels are trivial.

The adverts of course use the usual technique of multiplying the numbers by a long enough period to get a Big Scary Number.

Jun 29, 2012 at 7:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

I had thought that the message about turning things off on standby had been produced as an early warning that power cuts are coming-- and it will be all our fault, because we don't turn things off and we are all using too much electricity. Back to the Stone Age, you lot..

Jun 29, 2012 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Just a reminder that regular 40, 60 and 100 watt incandescent bulbs are still freely available on line in quantity and at reasonable prices, for now.

But candles are, too !

Jun 29, 2012 at 8:38 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Commentary on NoTricksZone on the Technical University of Berlin recently awarding the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber an honorary doctorate:

'Dr. Wolfgang Thüne, a retired German meteorologist and member of the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) commented yesterday on Schellnhuber’s honorary doctorate: That Professor Dr. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, the inventer of the “tipping elements”, is now being celebrated and awarded an honorary doctorate is amazing. But what’s even more amazing is that he received this from the TU Berlin for his ‘outstanding scientific achievements in the fields of climate impact research and policy counselling’. Did the TU Berlin, in its addiction to political attention, even stop to consider just how much it is damaging its excellent reputation among the professional world? The climate science by Schellnhuber & Co. is pure voodoo-magic spreading fear among the public and reaching big time into the pockets of taxpayers. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is senselessly wasting the money of taxpayers. ‘Climate protection’ is a scientific swindle because the weather is not something that can be protected.”

Thüne even demands that the PIK be shut down immediately. That would be a small but effective step in preventing the national debt from getting out of control.“ Dr. Wolfgang Thüne is a certified meteorologist, who for years was weather expert for ZDF television, and has written about the falsifiications and fraud surrounding the UN IPCC. He is the author of numerous books. His latest work is: Prophets in the Struggle for the Climate Throne. The latest German skeptic book exposing junk climate science and shady politics.'

Jun 29, 2012 at 8:47 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Did anyone else catch Philip Stott on the Jeremy Vine lunchtime radio 2 slot explaining the extreme weather in the NE today? . He comes on at about 00:18:40 in

On the BBC mind you, no spin, no climate change propaganda, normal service resumed.

Significant, I feel.

Jun 29, 2012 at 9:24 PM | Registered CommenterPharos,1284.html

Radio 2 Talking about severe flooding in the Northeast of England
Blame it Climate Change Blah Blah

So what would they have blamed it on in 1771 before the Hockey stick

Jun 29, 2012 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

For interest:

Jun 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

"will be light-to-nonexistent"

Eh up Bish, what's with the Met Office speak?

Jun 29, 2012 at 11:58 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

Government Chief Scientific Advisor – My aXXX! Government Chief Immunological Science Adviser perhaps!

What does he know about the UK’s interest in CERN, the physics of energy and so on that he does not pick up from the New Scientist and the like or friendly blokes who do complicated things he doesn’t understand that he meets at shindigs?

In these days of specialist PhDs what nonsense apponting a routine eminent specialist scientist to the position is - there would be more sense in appointing a scientific journalist with broader experience. (And then never listen to him!)

Maybe they should have appointed me – I could make more time available to read up about scientific stuff I know nothing about, and it would only contain one extra speciality – immunology. And I look absolutely spiffing in a suit.

Jun 30, 2012 at 3:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

I thought Tim Ball's latest post on his site was pretty good. Well I learnt a lot from it, especially what he has to say about the Rossby waves in the circumpolar vortex.

Jun 30, 2012 at 7:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

Thanks Paul Matthews for the alert about Sir Mark. I liked what he said at the Royal Society's consultative meeting on open science at the Southbank Centre a year ago and I liked him when I spoke to him afterwards about DDT and the need for scientific openness to extend to African health specialists being able to get access to factual and unbiased material on such crucial subjects.

Josh and I didn't think Walport shone so well at the IoC debate of open science, sitting next to David Colquhoun and, with Onora O'Neill, one of two members of Geoffrey Boulton's working group for the RS being given a hard time, quite rightly, by Colquhoun and Monbiot.

But the fact Walport was on that working group and that it produced something of pretty decent quality is for me a real positive. Even the way David Colquhoun felt able to rib him was a good sign for me. I agree with Eccles Uncle that nobody can be expected to master the further reaches of science these days. But someone in Walport's shoes could be very useful on openness. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Jun 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

A further thought on Walport. Pharos has dug out (thanks) something supportive of carbon controls and AGW he said in 2009. But a lot of water has flowed under main bridges since 2009 and everyone on the Royal Society panel on openness knows it. Thanks again FOIA.

Based on his response to being teased by the irascible Professor Colquhoun at the debate at Imperial and on my first-hand impressions at the Festival Hall I'd say Walport lacks one crucial quality that is normally to be expected of someon at that level: pomposity. That outweighs for me anything said in 2009.

Jun 30, 2012 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Yes, Richard, fine! Like you I love to see the good in people.
Would you care to square your cautious optimism with

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential if we are to help tackle climate change
Walport is Chief Scientific Adviser. "Science" is more than just climate change. He didn't have to make any comment on that particular subject any more than any of the other subjects he chose not to say anything about.
Add to that Nurse's view that he is "absolutely the right person for the job" and I repeat
... we have yet another unthinking mouthpiece for the anti-humanity lobby, it would appear.
Please somebody prove me wrong but I'm past giving the benefit of the doubt to this clique of mutual backscratchers.

Jun 30, 2012 at 10:14 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The following link you straight to Stott's segment on Radio 2 yesterday:

The ?t=18m45s only works with the iPlayer but I consider a nifty trick, as I've said before (many times :))

Jun 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Mike: I answered two minutes before you asked! I'm not universally positive about those in positions of power, I think people that know me well would agree. Walport is still a warmie, based on what he said to me at the Southbank a year ago. But I think the debates within the RS openness working group about the climate situation, based on the feedback they received, including from Doug Keenan at the June event and from various good people at the Index on Censorship debate at Imperial in early December ... I think these would have been having an affect on any person of honest heart. And I think Walport is one of those. Indeed, I haven't even written off Paul Nurse. Mark me down as an outlier, by all means, at this stage.

Jun 30, 2012 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

No, I don't see you as an outlier, Richard. I wouldn't totally write off Walport this early but he's made a bad start in my book simply because there was no need to make any comment at all on any aspect of any branch of science at this stage.
Keeping one's own counsel until one has surveyed the landscape is a pretty good principle and he's needlessly got sceptics' backs up (this sceptic, at least!). And he's not even in post yet!
I agree that a lack of pomposity is a plus but given all the water that has flowed under the AGW bridge in recent months this statement suggests he is not applying a particularly open mind which, I would have hoped, is a pre-requisite for the post of scientific adviser!
I agree that the noises coming out of the RS are marginally more objective than they have been in the recent past and for that reason I wouldn't necessarily write off Nurse either. It may be that he is sitting at home this afternoon watching Wimbledon and thinking to himself "those b...s at UEA have hung us all out to dry. How do we all wriggle out of this without losing too much face?"
But given what we have been hearing about the corruption of the scientific process in all disciplines, it seems to me more likely that he is shrugging his shoulders and thinking, "that's life, guys. Live with it!"
The trouble is you can no longer fall back on "but he's a Nobel laureate" as at least prima facie evidence of his probity and acumen, given his naiveté in the face of the climate change arguments and the devaluation of the Nobel prizes following the IPCC/Gore award.
Nevertheless, perhaps I'd better be a good lad and reserve judgement!

Jun 30, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Bankster Marcus Agius, a Bilderberger, married to Katherine, daughter of Edmund de Rothschild, serves on the BBC's executive board as director, is Chairman of Barclays (CEO Bob Diamond is a Bilderberger as well), is also Chairman of the British Bankers Association (BBA) and in LIBOR oversight (his bank lied to his interest rate setting cartel)... Conflict of interest?

Jun 30, 2012 at 9:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

Prof. Nir J. Shaviv's musings and critique on the CO2-temperature lag interpretation of the Shakun et al. paper in Nature:

Jun 30, 2012 at 10:18 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

C-day in Oz. We have now officially joined the ranks of the Lesch-Nyhan nations, by some coincidence all Western and (formerly) prosperous.

Jul 1, 2012 at 2:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Interesting discussion Mike Jackson / Richard Drake.

I try to think well of people unless and until they prove themselves to be mendacious nitwits.

But looking through the other end of the telescope, it is worth a moment's thought to consider (a) who was involved in the appointment of Walport and (b) who were his predecessors and how did they perform. (By all means go right back to Margaret Thatcher's days).

Give Walport the benefit of the doubt at this stage?


But, like Zsa Zsa Gabor's ninth wedding, I fear that this will be another triumph of hope over experience.

Jul 1, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Martin Brumby
I fear you may be right.
The most frustrating aspect of this whole sorry Scientific Adviser story is the way that some people (whom I take to be reputable scientists but who know at first hand no more than I do about global warming) should have so far suspended their critical faculties as to accept the AGW line without any thought.
The alternative (conspiracy theory alert!) is that organisations like Greenpeace, WWF, FoE and others have indeed infiltrated the political/scientific establishment to the extent that eco-activists are now in a position virtually to dictate who fills the relevant sensitive posts in government departments or that those organisations have themselves been infiltrated by Delingpole's "watermelons" with effectively the same result.
Actually, given the general level of naiveté of your average tree-hugger and the skill with which the Trots infiltrated the Labour Party in the 70s I would find the latter the more plausible and would not be keen on betting big money against it!

Jul 1, 2012 at 12:22 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Government appears seriously embarrassed about the failure of the Met Office to predict weather and climate so the Public is openly scornful. It's worse because Common Purpose whose aim is to get windmills and carbon trading, the core of the Stalinist EU and support for the Euro, have had climate change at the core of their indoctrination.

It's a bit like Scientology except you can't easily prove the absence of Aliens. This presumably explains why the two past Chief scientists, King and Beddington have been so dogmatic about climate science when any objective person with well-rounded science and engineering sees the obvious mistakes.

So, many senior members of this present government plus the Prescotts and Milibands etc.on the other side, but they're not really, have had their core faith sorely stretched and are having to consider a different future, one in which they can’t blame hotter weather and CO2 for the rapid fall of living standards and rapid rise in mortality.

The latter will please the Optimum Population Trust, which wants 30 million of us to die early and comprises many in the Establishment. However, the CP people are idealistic, Big Society and all that, a genuine but half-cocked movement. Hence the well educated but dim elite is trying to bring in intellectuals otherwise the project goes down the pan.

Never met the new Chief Scientist but an immunologist has to be better than Beddington, an economist.

Jul 1, 2012 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

september 2011 -
and Agius/Barclays are one of the biggest carbon cowboys in the world:

Barclays: Products and Services for Business
Marcus Agius, Chairman, Barclays: “Forward thinking companies around the world are re-evaluating the way they work in light of pressing environmental pressures – not least the profound changes that are happening to the earth’s climate. These companies, large and small, have recognised that businesses in the future will have to be green to grow and that sustainable business practices and reducing environmental impacts can have genuine bottom line benefits. But it is not just about cost savings, it is also about meeting growing consumer expectations that companies should be ‘doing the right thing’ and grasping the commercial opportunities that arise.”…
Barclays Capital Global Carbon Index
Barclays Capital launched the Barclays Capital Global Carbon Index (BGCI) in December 2007 – the first benchmark of its kind...
The index is governed by the Barclays Capital Environmental Markets Index Committee, a newly formed independent body comprising representatives from the carbon industry, the institutional investment community and Barclays Capital. The Committee has been mandated to provide oversight to the development of the BGCI…
Emissions Trading
Barclays was the first UK bank to set up a dedicated carbon trading desk to help clients, and Barclays Capital is the most active player in the emissions trading market, having traded some 300 million tonnes as at February 2007…

still, it's no wonder BBC are such shills for all things CAGW.

Jul 2, 2012 at 5:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

also interesting for what it claims Agius does for BBC!

15 June: Digital Journal: Op-Ed: Bilderberg in and out of the news
"Justice Secretary Ken Clarke and former business secretary Peter Mandelson
weren't the only Britons who attended the Bilderberg conference...The BBC
had a man there, too, at the weekend: Marcus Agius, senior independent
director of the BBC's executive board.
Agius, who is married to Katherine Rothschild and earns a £750,000 salary in
his day job as chairman of Barclays Bank, is paid £47,000 by the BBC for 28
days' work per year, principally advising the BBC Trust, which represents
the interests of licence-fee payers.
This might explain why the corporation did not report on the event this

as if the Beeb ever reported on Bilderberg!

Jul 2, 2012 at 6:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Would you be thinking of this Marcus Agius soon to be ex-chairman of Barclays Bank?!

And what's all this obsession with Common Purpose and Bilderberg. Some people seem to forget that cock-up trumps conspiracy at least 95% of the time. Just because Bilderberg meetings are held in private and are restricted to people of influence does not make it a conspiracy or part of some "new world order", though even Denis Healey suggested that such an outcome had something to recommend it if the alternative was everybody continuing to fight everybody else in every sphere of human existence.
More accurate is current chairman Etienne Davignon's comment, "There will always be people who believe in conspiracies but things happen in a much more incoherent fashion... When people say this is a secret government of the world I say that if we were a secret government of the world we should be bloody ashamed of ourselves."
And while we're chasing up these blind alleys, the real culprits get a free hit.

Jul 2, 2012 at 11:31 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike; CP reportedly used the IPCC CAGW scare as the core of their indoctrination. If they had adopted a reasonable stance, which means getting balanced scientific advice, we would not have the likes of Huhne being allowed to destroy our economy to enrich the carbon traders and Mafia who own the windmill and solar companies. The technologically-ignorant elite have a lot to answer for.

Jul 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Sir Mark is the wrong person for this very important post. (unless being an alarmist is a prerequisite which I think it is).
His specialization is great for the Wellcome Trust but not for a job needing a wide knowledge of areas well outside his knowledge. His advisers will be of the same thinking and defer to the IPCC as the fount of all climate knowledge.
And we all know how good they are

Jul 2, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

The technologically-ignorant elite have a lot to answer for.
Now on that we are in total agreement. But Common Purpose is very far from the only organisation that has got sucked into the AGW black hole and if every one that has were an example of a group conspiring to take over the world Blofeld-style then they would have been at each other's throats long since.
Just as with my reservations of AGW itself I have never seen a shred of evidence that Common Purpose is the evil conspiracy that the fevered imaginations that live under Delinpgole's blog or Booker's weekly ST article assert (and never do more than assert) it to be.
It may be so but then where's the proof?

Jul 2, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

For clarification/On adjustments/To "Bob Diamond":

In order to limit diverse probable "damages", please, let me try clarifying my anonymous (and besides, in reflection -- with regard to some of my "points" -- obviously rather constrictive and even shameful) comment (above Jun 30, 2012 at 9:25 PM) and, please, try to have mercy on me while we all try to set our records straight and to avoid "Verschlimmbesserung":

I apologize, especially as well to Robert Edward "Bob" Diamond as to "Your Grace", Andrew Montford, as I think I showed above unwantedly some of the/my worst anonymous practices, for example by my verisimilar wrong assertion that a certain CEO, Bob Diamond, would be a so-called Bilderberger. When I search now it seems that my post lacks virtually any reliable source in that important case and thus, for instance, lacks credibility and, of course, lacks most (self-evidently) good scientific practices or scientific methods/merits.

Therefore "I feel" -- what other persons might feel too (especially when they think of themselves as "well educated persons") -- that I have to apologize.

Also, furthermore, I apologize at least for the likely waste of our time with a few of my "points" above which were anyhow (too) "snarky" ("Bankster") and perhaps unnecessary(?) direct ("name calling/dropping"?) or, then again, vaguely and unconnected. It is known that often those very short remarks like mine are a potential source for common misconceptions.

Additionally, my comment were -- and is -- made in a somewhat more "cowardly", i.e., anonymous manner, as some would certainly restate (a similar discussion with Richard Drake existed on another thread...).

As well, IF one should believe/say/write -- may I say: probable wide-eyed -- the "Bilderberg Group" or any other group were some kind of an or even THE "evil" (which, in my humble opinion, they can't be, with a probability bordering on certainty -- not at least because of nearly all "Groups'" diversity) my unbacked statement from above is even more awful than just repeating probable lies.

Moreover, my comment is not "just" telling probable lies but even doing that with regard to certain, living persons.

Before I made my above comment I have read something about that CEO elsewhere but -- quasi -- beyond excuse -- confessedly, it seems that I didn't check one web based "factoid" well enough and, furthermore, I didn't archive my "sources"/"data" in this case.

Issues (like these discussions on certain "Groups") which are mostly covered in the World Wide Web -- and often apparently only covered within the virtual space, often.........alone -- are often wicked, for example for the very same reason, namely for being frequently concentrated on dubious Web-stuff. Especially, when the issues shall cover current topics the fact checking can become difficult.

After I realised (on my own) that that CEO seems NOT to be a "Bilderberger" I do understand if even fewer people are interested in reading anything further from my pseudonym now since I wrote that CEO were... . I deeply regret my above, unsecured claim. I do hope that my voluntary acknowledgement of my shortcomings and fault(s) affect this web site at least positively.

Of course, as it always should be, let's stay by the facts, let's investigate the sources of our claims and so forth. The truth will prevail. Suggesting evidence or even certainty where there is little to none is like pissing in the wind -- I would be pleased if we could let leave it at that.

To Mike Jackson:

I believe that I understand your point(s) and surely do appreciate them. I want to make sure also that obviously nobody should claim to know there would be a Common Purpose with regard to the "Bilderberg Group"; and just writing about that "group" at times didn't make one "obsessive". I once had on another thread a small written conversation with Richard Drake about "Bilderbergers" and others which was deleted by the Bish -- justifiably. In that discussion (unfortunately I haven't kept a copy) I think I declared, as I did elsewhere (ask if you want), that I don't think one must call the "group's" form of existence a conspiracy -- at least one mustn't see that "group" in the conventional kind of meaning of the word conspiracy (think for example about H.G. Wells' "Open Con..."). It is no monolithic block. And of course there are plenty of other groups which are not linked to any "globocratic Bilderbergers" at all.


An excerpt from a serious German poem by Hilde Dormin from 1962 on the everlasting power of (spoken?) words (with my translation below in brackets):


Das eigene Wort, / wer holt es zurück, / das lebendige / eben noch ungesprochene / Wort? // Wo das Wort vorbeifliegt / verdorren die Gräser, / werden die Blätter gelb, / fällt Schnee. [...] // Am Ende das Wort, / immer / am Ende / das Wort."


"One's own word, / who brings it back, / the living, / just now unspoken / word? // Where the word flies past / the grass withers, / the leaves become yellow, / snow falls. [...] // At the end the word, / always / at the end / the word.")

Jul 3, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

Ooops! The excerpts are from Hilde Domin.

Jul 4, 2012 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

pat, you write:

as if the Beeb ever reported on Bilderberg!

To make it clearer: The Beeb-BBC didn't mention, for example, that above discussed connection, but well -- I think -- since, roughly, the turn of the millennium, the BBC did some short reports on Bilderberg; although, even since then, nowhere near every year and of course not all year round.

One interesting aspect to see in LIBOR-Gate is for example also how closely private and public banks or financial/investment institutions are interconnected to the central bank(banks?)/issue bank(banks?).

For example one quote from Carroll Quigley's voluminous book Tragedy and Hope can come to mind:

The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.

One other -- perhaps unnecessary -- point is that "Thomson Reuters" calculates/announces the official LIBOR interest rates (bbalibor) on behalf of the British Bankers; these interest rates have a nearly global effects.

Did Reuters ever reported, for example, on Bilderberg? So far as I know, the answer is: No.

Jul 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

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