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Monday
Aug222011

Sometimes it's hard to find words

I'm really struggling to put into words just how insane this government is:

Figures from Utilyx, the energy consultants and traders, forecast a 58pc rise in the cost of power by 2020, largely driven by the impending avalanche of green taxes due to come into force over the next 10 years.

The consultants estimate that 18pc of the current electricity price relates to climate change policies – or £15 per megawatt-hour out of a £82 per megawatt-hour average.

There seems to be a quaint theory in government circles that their policy decisions do not actually have any consequences - they are just part of the ongoing public relations effort.

When is reality going to bite?

Sunday
Aug212011

August tip drive

There was no tip drive in July, so here, after a short intermission, is the latest attempt to fill the episcopal coffers. As always all contributions are gratefully received.

I am keen to get more subscriptions going, because subscriptions enable me to set aside a block of time each day/week/month for global warming activities. To that end I am going to offer an enticement - I'm going to start putting out an email newsletter to subscribers (and major donors), which will give early insights into (some of) the things I'm working on. Subscriptions are at a set level of £5 per month. The subscribe button is on the right-hand side.

 

Sunday
Aug212011

Tories out!

Really,  that's the only conclusion that sane people can reach after reading Christopher Booker's latest in the Sunday Telegraph.

In a sane world, no one would dream of building power sources whose cost is 22 times greater than that of vastly more efficient competitors. But the Government feels compelled to do just this because it sees it as the only way to meet our commitment to the EU that within nine years Britain must generate nearly a third of its electricity from “renewable” sources, six times more than we do at present.

Saturday
Aug202011

Prof Jones and citing your evidence

Tony at Harmless Sky has noticed that the BBC has published a correction to Professor Steve Jones' report on scientific impartiality at the BBC. It seems that remarks apparently attributed by Professor Jones to Lords Lawson and Monckton never passed the two peers' lips.

With the false attribution removed,  Professor Jones is in the awkward position of not actually attributing the remarks at all.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug202011

RC

With RC's (putative) reappearance on the scene, I think we need an alternative handle for the guy. "RC" is just going to get confused with RealClimate. "The hacker" or "the leaker" assumes we know more than we do.

Can we think of some snappy alternative along the lines of Watergate's "Deep Throat"? Deep Climate is already taken, of course, but I would have thought we could come up with something else. Perhaps still with the initials "RC"?

 

Friday
Aug192011

Not-so-white

The news that David Leigh had admitted to involvement in phone hacking left the Guardian's reputation looking a little less white than they might have hoped. Today the colour is more black than grey, as Guido reports:

... today a 51 year old police officer, working on the phone-hacking inquiry named Operation Weeting, was arrested and suspended for leaking to the Guardian.  Given that David Leigh has already confessed to phone-hacking, the Guardian’s squeaky clean reputation is collapsing at a rapid speed. Was this blatant police corruption of integrity sanctioned?

Friday
Aug192011

+++Has the Climategate hacker just spoken?+++

Afficionados of the Climategate story know that the person behind the disclosures signed themselves "RC", a reference presumably to RealClimate. They linked to a file called FOIA.zip on the RealClimate server.

Steve M has been speculating that RC was a UEA insider, who held back some important parts of the email archive as a bargaining chip:

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug192011

Scientific independence

Updated on Aug 19, 2011 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Matthu in Unthreaded notes a video of a retired CSIRO scientist named Art Raiche speaking about scientists' ability (or inability) to pursue their research independently of government:

The original Scientists of the CSIRO were the best of their day and the CSIRO was a non-government organisation working with quality science and how useful it was to Australia. (research)

In the 80s, I noticed we were under increasing pressure to become more “business-like” and the doors were opened to “management consultation.”

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug182011

The requester

H/T to Messenger for pointing me to the actual FOI request for Paul Dennis's emails. The name of the requester is unfamiliar to me.

 

Thursday
Aug182011

Ambiguous

BBC Radio 5 just tweeted this:

5 live's reveals MP's call for the murder of a private investigator to be examined in inquiry.

One for Quote Unquote. 

Wednesday
Aug172011

Mail takes down Leigh story

Autonomous Mind is reporting that the Daily Mail's story about the Guardian's David Leigh being interviewed about phone hacking has disappeared from the web.

 

Wednesday
Aug172011

FOI-ing Paul Dennis

Paul Dennis left this comment on the Suspicious Mind thread:

...yesterday the UEA did receive a FOIA request for copies of all my correspondence, email and mail, between myself and McIntyre, Condon, Watts, Mosher and Fuller. This is an interesting list of names. It's public knowledge that I had sent maybe 10 emails to McIntyre over the past 4 or 5 years some of these asking about the climategate release of emails, 1 email to Condon sending him a copy of my paper on the Gomez Glacier which had relevance for his work on Antarctic temperatures, particularly with reference to the lower Peninsula. It's not, as far as I know, on the public record that I had a very brief correspondence with Tom Fuller immediately after climategate. This amounted to 2, maybe 3 emails. To my recollection I have never corresponded with Mosher or Watts. I have never spoken, or written by any other means with any of the named correspondents.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug172011

Shrinking sand

Philipp Mueller, who is Benny Peiser's deputy at GWPF, has written an excellent short paper about the recent greening of the Sahel.

The Sahara is actually shrinking, with vegetation arising on land where there was nothing but sand and rocks before. The southern border of the Sahara has been retreating since the early 1980s, making farming viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa. There has been a spectacular regeneration of vegetation in northern Burkina Faso, which was devastated by drought and advancing deserts 20 years ago. It is now growing so much greener that families who fled to wetter coastal regions are starting to come back. There are now more trees, more grassland for livestock and a 70% increase in yields of local cereals such sorghum and millet in recent years. Vegetation has also increased significantly in the past 15 years in southern Mauritania, north-western Niger, central Chad, much of Sudan and  parts of Eritrea. In Burkina Faso and Mali, production of millet rose by 55 percent and 35 percent, respectively, since 1980. Satellite photos, taken between 1982 and 2002, revealed the extensive re-greening throughout the Sahel. Aerial photographs and interviews with local people have confirmed the increase in vegetation.

I wonder what the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report had to say about the Sahel?

Tuesday
Aug162011

Consumers' electricity bills

Here's an odd thing. Some weeks back I noticed that Gregory Barker, the Climate Change minister, had met with representatives of the Electricity Retailers Association to discuss "information on consumers' bills".

To me this seemed rather odd - why would electricity retailers need to discuss the information on bills with ministers? Perhaps Mr Barker wanted to insist that some information was passed on to consumers?

An FOI request later, I discover that the meeting was at the request of ERA itself - it appears that they asked to speak to ministers about a number of issues - Fuel Poverty, the Green Deal, the Community Energy Saving Programme and the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target. Putting this together with DECC's record that "information on consumers' bills" was discussed, I conclude that ERA wanted to make the costs of these government programmes transparent.

Unfortunately, I can only infer this because according to DECC, no record was kept of the meeting.

Tuesday
Aug162011

Suspicious mind

Autonomous Mind has been looking at the story of the Guardian's outing of Jeff Id and remains suspicious of what went on. I'm not convinced myself - what do you think?