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« Modular nukes: coming soonish. | Main | Ditching precaution in favour of innovation »
Thursday
Feb182016

Investigative journalism isn't dead

Public domain

Left-wing investigative journalism site Political Scrapbook has been doing some, erm, investigation. This is the kind of stuff that only the sharpest minds can get their heads round. You will be amazed.

Snuffling round records of government expenditure they have come up with an extraordinary finding.

Despite floods, the government is paying 100 times more to chop a tree than plant one

The British government is willing to pay people £144 per tree to chop it down and dispose of it.

Meanwhile, how much do you get paid if you plant one? £1.28 per tree.

So big, dangerous jobs cost much more than small safe ones. Who would have guessed?

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Reader Comments (99)

...and next on their list for investigation: is the Pope catholic?; do bears defecate in the forest?

Feb 18, 2016 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Where in Europe have load of trees just being cut down ?
First due to lefty idealism at this place they planted 250,00 trees
Then due to lefty idealism ...they've just cleared much of this land of trees

"More than 160 acres have been cleared of trees and shrubs to improve visibility and prevent migrants from hiding before trying to enter the tunnel." Telegraph Jan 24
...We are talking Calais of course (Heard on BBC R5 this morning from the BBC Journalist with exclusive access to the 'Jungle camp' ....(BTW Isn't that a racist name ?)

Feb 18, 2016 at 1:25 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Your Grace,

With this superb piece of investigation and analysis, you have absolutely confirmed my long-held belief that you are richly deserving of a Pulitzer Prize.


With profound gratitude and admiration,
Diogenes

Feb 18, 2016 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

"The British government is willing to pay people £144 per tree to chop it down and dispose of it."

Meanwhile, Drax imports millions of tons of firewood from across the pond.

Feb 18, 2016 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

£144 to dispose of a full size tree is a good deal. I'm paying a guy $1,000 to get rid of an oak tree in my yard and grind down the stump.

Feb 18, 2016 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke in Central Illinois

"I'm paying a guy $1,000 to get rid of an oak tree in my yard and grind down the stump."

You could just wait for the stump to decay.

Jus' sayin'.

Andrew

Feb 18, 2016 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

I've been charged not far off £144 just to remove a single damaged branch, a triumph for elf and selfy legislation.

Feb 18, 2016 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

The people two doors away had a similarly sized tree removed recently. During the action, part of it fell and destroyed a section of wall which must have entailed significant rebuilding costs.

In the next generation of models, increased tree growth due to CO2 can only make this problem much "worse than we thought"™. The downfall of Western civilisation, and probably Christianity itself, awaits.

Feb 18, 2016 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Often you don't need to plant a tree. Just keep grazing animals off a patch of soil and, bingo, trees spring up unbidden. Unless your patch is above about 1000 feet, or you insist on mowing it.

Feb 18, 2016 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Bloke in Central Illinois,
Governments can get good deals as they are bulk buyers with a very good long-term credit ratings.

It's also why the NHS is so much more efficient than other health provision schemes.

Feb 18, 2016 at 2:46 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The capacity for the Human brain to skip any sort of reasoned rational logical process never ceases to amaze me! I bet this high IQ chump gets paid thousands of pounds a year to arrive at such observations!

Feb 18, 2016 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Anyone familiar with progressive logic knows, profit = revenue

Feb 18, 2016 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterTDK

Evil government. They need to find someone who charges £144 for planting, or find someone who fells a tree for £1. I'm sure the far left can solve this. Hold your wallet.

Feb 18, 2016 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterwert

In college I planted pine trees (seedlings) over the winter break. On a good day we could plant 1000 to 1200 per person, at minimum wage. To cut down a real tree (something I've also done) you have to pay someone much more than minimum wage and it can take all day.
By comparing "trees" (grown) with "trees" (seedlings) they got nonsense.

Feb 18, 2016 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig Loehle

Perhaps some of the Green Blobbies are unaware that trees, no matter how big, do start smaller. They will probably claim this is another unprecedented consequence of global warming

Feb 18, 2016 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@Andrew
"You could just wait for the stump to decay."

Err, if it's oak, you might be waiting several hundred years.
By which time, you will have decayed and been recycled several times yourself!
In a carbon-neutral kind of way, of course.
Just saying.

Feb 18, 2016 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRudolph Hucker

I put an ad in Craigslist that I had a tree with the widest recent tree rings I had ever seen. Some little fat bloke with a beard flew in from the States, paid me 5k quid and took the lot, stump and all

Feb 18, 2016 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

"You could just wait for the stump to decay."

Not in my jurisdiction. "Street trees" must be maintained (and cut down) at the expense of the homeowner, including removing the stump.

We're from the government and we're here to help.

Feb 18, 2016 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

EternalOptimist, was the bearded little fat bloke going to get someone else to pay for the excess luggage on the return air trip? It would seem too big an item to conceal in a holdall as cabin luggage.

Feb 18, 2016 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"Perhaps some of the Green Blobbies are unaware that trees, no matter how big, do start smaller. They will probably claim this is another unprecedented consequence of global warming." --golf charlie

Definitely a consequence of CO2.

"...and next on their list for investigation: is the Pope catholic?..." --Dave Salt

The issue is now in considerable doubt. I'm adopting a "wait and See" attitude.

'...do bears defecate in the forest?" --Dave, a man worth his Salt

If true, this earth-shittering finding could put the Yamal tree in an entirely new light.

"With this superb piece of investigation and analysis, you have absolutely confirmed my long-held belief that you are richly deserving of a Pulitzer Prize." --Diogenes

This fine piece qualifies as meta-analytical, if not meta-ironic, by pointing out the triviality of the trivial. So amen to the pullet surprise, with some chianti (the Pope's favorite), but no fava beans.

Not sure Golf Charlie
Last I heard, he put it in the hold along with his Nobel prize

Feb 18, 2016 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

"Err, if it's oak, you might be waiting several hundred years."

I didn't a say a little patience wouldn't be required!

Andrew

Feb 18, 2016 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Reading through the requirements to gain access to that $144, it'd be quicker and probably cheaper just to cut the tree down yourself. How much does an environmental impact study cost?

Feb 18, 2016 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

A tree like that would provide all my home heating needs for over a year! Bargain!

Feb 18, 2016 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

M Courtney.
"It's also why the NHS is so much more efficient than other health provision schemes."

I take that you are joking. Please tell me you are.

Feb 18, 2016 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterStu

Greg Cavanagh, it is not just the cost in Pounds to carry out an Environmental Risk Assessment. It is all the trees that have to be cut down to make the paper, to do all the form filling.

Feb 18, 2016 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The first photo is likely not what one does if paid £1.28 per tree. That photo suggest digging a hole, kneeling down, and carefully handling the roots and soil. Planting many trees, as in thousands, and one needs a faster method.

Use the following phrase

" planting pines with dibble bars or hoedad "

in a search and look at images and then use the same for videos. With a little practice a person can plant a few trees per minute. Frequently, dozens of people will participate, many as volunteers, and thousands of trees will be planted in a day.

As for the big tree being cut – I'd do it for $1,000; but no less. And I get to keep the wood. You get to keep the stump.

Feb 18, 2016 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

I've done both: Planting them was much safer, easier and felt a hell of a lot better than chopping them down.

Feb 19, 2016 at 2:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

In other news sperm donors get paid less than contract killers.

Feb 19, 2016 at 3:09 AM | Unregistered Commenterkeith L

EO

"bearded little fat bloke"

Did he say if he was from Penn State?

Feb 19, 2016 at 9:20 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

 he put it in the hold along with his Nobel prize

Probably this guy.

Feb 19, 2016 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

The people of North Carolina and Virginia are wealthier thanks to the sharp thinking displayed by the journalist and those who support that position. The Americans are laughing all the way to the bank from every shipment of wood chips sent to Europe for use in power plants.

Feb 19, 2016 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Jimmy Haigh, brilliant!

Phil Clarke, are you suggesting that Mann was only joking everytime he falsely claimed to have a Nobel Prize?

Hunter, lets not forget the owners of oil fired ships, laughing at the Green Blobbies, as they transport America's unwanted waste wood across the Atlantic, where it becomes a valued Green resource, and gets incinerated.

Feb 19, 2016 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

GC: whatever his other qualities, the Nobel prize winner never fails to entertain

:-)

Feb 19, 2016 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, don't you have any links to Michael Mann's false claims to have won a Nobel Prize on the back of his discredited Hockey Stick graph, that forms the dodgy underpinning of so much climate science and the scare tactics of Global Warming Alarmist false propaganda?

Anyone would have thought he would be keen to get to Court to demonstrate his innocence, and extend his lucrative professional earnings, but for some reason .....

Feb 19, 2016 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Knowing the tree planters that I do here in Canada, most of that £1.28 per tree earning would go to some, er, "medical" marijuana, which of course leads to the required purchase of "medical" munchies.

Feb 19, 2016 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaligula Jones

I would guess that is a Douglas Fir which is being so lovingly planted is the first photo. Most of the million or so trees which I planted in the 80's were Sitka Spruce. A good average on decent ground was 2000 trees per day. The most I ever planted in one day was 4000.

When I first started planting trees in 1981 I joined a squad of about 12. We were paid 11 quid for each thousand we planted - the boss of the squad was being paid 22... He was making a lot of money... It was basically a "tax avoidance scheme" - the land was owned by the Rolls Royce pension fund at the time so they were putting up the money. Well, some of the money. The government would fund half of it or more - I can't remember now - and the 'investor' would put up the rest.

I planted 1800 trees on my first day. The forester came up to me and asked me how many I'd planted so I told him. He said: "Is that all? All those guys over there have planted between 6000 and 8000!" "OK" I said" Lets think about planting 8000 trees in a day. We are here from 8AM until 5AM. Let's say we have an hour off for lunch. So that's 1000 trees an hour. That's one tree every 3.6 seconds. All day. For 8 hours." I did the beat - one clap every 3.6 seconds. I think he had to go away and work it out in his own time.

I started on the same day as a couple of other guys. A Liverpudlian called Ken Carr and a East Kilbridean called Iain Cameron. Iain is sadly no longer with us. He was a great bloke. We formed the "Sitka Spruce Society". We had a secret handshake which involved the raising of the left leg and shaking the right hand by passing the right hand under the left tree - while reciting the mantra "Sitka Spruce Society". The most important part though was that we had to whistle the 's" sounds. Bloody stupid but it was good fun.

Countless thousands of trees were buried in those days. There was an old house on the hill where most of the guys in the squad I was in stayed when they were working there. They knocked the house down and found the loft space crammed with dead trees. For years after we would dig drainage ditches around the 11000 acre estate and every so often we'd come across an "arboreal burial" site.

Of course now, thanks to the madness of rampant tree-huggery, they have chopped most of these trees down and built a bloody wind farm...

Feb 19, 2016 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

An unfortunate typo there... When we performed the secret Sitka Spruce Society handshake we didn't pass our right hands under our left tree - it was the left knee. (Although had we had left and right trees on us at the time we would have...)

Feb 19, 2016 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

GC - The 1998/99 'hockey stick' studies are now pretty much irrelevant to the environmental case; they have been confirmed so many times, and besides the unprecedented nature of the current GW is only one strand of evidence out of many.

Don't YOU have any links?

Feb 19, 2016 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil C

On what basis do you claim that current global warming is unprecedented? Remember that our planet has been around for c. 4.5 billion years and "unprecedented" means (according to my trusty Concise OED) "never done or known before".

Feb 19, 2016 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Phil Clarke, why is Mann's Famous Holy Hockey Stick now considered irrelevant? Would it not be better to admit it was rubbish in the first place?

You and fellow global warming alarmists seem keen to have Mann's Holy Hockey Stick forgotten. Where would you be without it?

I have never posted a link to Mann's deceit. I am sure others could if you would like to know more. It is only the stubborn understains of Mann's 'pants' science holding the Global Warming scam together.

Feb 19, 2016 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"The British government is willing to pay people £144 per tree to chop it down and dispose of it."

Meanwhile, Drax imports millions of tons of firewood from across the pond.
Feb 18, 2016 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Probably the wrong kind of wood! ;-)

As I understood it Mann's Hocky Schtick had been debunked loads of times. When he finally released his code, after many years of prevaricating & outright refusal, it turnd out that one could feed in gobbledy-gook & still get a Hocky Schtick!

Feb 19, 2016 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Hey! I could have planted trees with a hockey stick! That would have been ironic. Or something...

Feb 19, 2016 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

It is interesting to learn that the famous Phil Clarke thinks "The 1998/99 'hockey stick' studies are now pretty much irrelevant to the environmental case; they have been confirmed so many times, and besides the unprecedented nature of the current GW is only one strand of evidence out of many."

Only last year, Mann was still citing it in scientific journals.

And the old jokes are still the best ones - the later studies and reconstructions look nothing like the 1998/9 hockey stick, and the currently observed "increases" in temperature are only unprecendented (if you take an extended view back beyond the length of time the temperature has remained roughly static) if you don't look back to the 1930s.

Keep telling them, Phil. Maybe you can get a gig on the BBC.

Feb 19, 2016 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Alan the Brit, you could have fed unwanted American wood chip waste into Mann's programs, and got a perfectly reconstituted Hockey Stick, for shipping across the Atlantic and burning as fuel.

Rather than woodchips, why not refer to burnable waste wood as Hockey Sticks? It would bring some circular logic and humour into Green Fraudulent activity.

Feb 19, 2016 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Only last year, Mann was still citing it in scientific journals.

That is not a climate science article.

And the old jokes are still the best ones - the later studies and reconstructions look nothing like the 1998/9 hockey stick

PAGES 2K looks very similar. Perhaps you could name a reconstruction that falls outside the error bars of MBH98/99?

, and the currently observed "increases" in temperature are only unprecendented (if you take an extended view back beyond the length of time the temperature has remained roughly static)

A different matter is the current rate of warming. Are more rapid global climate changes recorded in proxy data? The largest temperature changes of the past million years are the glacial cycles, during which the global mean temperature changed by 4°C to 7°C between ice ages and warm interglacial periods (local changes were much larger, for example near the continental ice sheets). However, the data indicate that the global warming at the end of an ice age was a gradual process taking about 5,000 years (see Section 6.3). It is thus clear that the current rate of global climate change is much more rapid and very unusual in the context of past changes.

IPCC FAQ No 6.2.

Feb 19, 2016 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil

Even allowing for the fact that the IPCC is not the most disinterested source of information, 1 million years represents a smidgeon more than 0.02% of the life of our planet. And "much more rapid and very unusual" are not the same as "unprecedented".

You either need to withdraw your "unprecedented" claim (one much loved of the climate alarmist brigade, but one which is unfounded) or work much harder to justify it.

Feb 19, 2016 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark, that's just nuts, everyone is aware of warmer periods in the distant past; but to keep the pedants happy:

'The rate of warming is unpecedented and much larger than any global warming n the time covered by the ice core record, some 800,000 years.'

In fact, plotted on that scale, the modern day warming would effectively appear vertical.

Feb 19, 2016 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

"the modern day warming would effectively appear vertical"

Yes, in the world of Squigginology, you can make Ol' Red do some cool things.

Andrew

Feb 19, 2016 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

In fact, just as I typed my last comment, I rotated my 'Hide The Decline!" mug (that I use at work) that I ordered from Lucia back in the day, to see the colors on the chart, and sure enough, Ol' Red was there. I felt a moment of extreme satisfaction.

Andrew

Feb 19, 2016 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

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