This Is Not A Riot

[ UPDATE FROM JOABBESS.COM : ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND, EDINBURGH, CLIMATE CAMP SITE HAS BEEN TAKEN. ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION FROM process@climatecamp.org.uk, Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 9:59 PM : “Site taken! People needed NOW! At 9.15PM tonight Climate Camp took the site on RBS HQ. Get on site as fast as you can! Defence help urgently needed. Come to RBS Gogarburn Gardens, off Gogar Station Rd. More info later. x” ]

Al Gore has been telling all the young people, and well, all of us, really, to protest, in public, to make a downright law-unabiding nuisance of ourselves :-

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/114717-al-gore-calls-for-us-protests-on-climate-change-inaction

“Gore calls for major protests on government’s climate change inaction…In a post on his personal blog headlined “The Movement We Need”…”

Well, it won’t work to call people out onto the street. Most people are too busy credit-crunching, wage-slaving or favour-scraping to be able to commit to a short-term, potentially self-defeating public display of annoyance, frustration and shrill demands.

And if people do come out to the big protests, it won’t achieve much. News reports can be swept into the trash. Activists can be swept into holding facilities. Politicians can conveniently ignore anything that isn’t violent.

Drop the loud-hailers and home-made placards, I say, and do something more…focussed.

The Climate Camp want to target the Royal Bank of Scotland for financing Coal power plants and Tar Sands oil projects, which are very bad things to be doing, and smacks of huge corporate irresponsibility, considering the bank is largely owned by the British taxpayer, and I say, if you can’t make the camp (and I can’t for reasons which I shall not go into just now), do something about money in other ways instead.

What’s your money doing ? Which oppressive regimes in oil-rich countries is it supporting ? Which Fossil Fuel companies trashing your Environment do your bank support ? Why not switch your money to an ethical financial organisation ? Why don’t we all try to do this at the same time ? “Crowd-banking” could have an impact, you never know until you try.

Let’s pick, say, Monday 23rd August 2010. And let’s all spend our way out of Climageddon together on that day. Transfer your money to an ethical bank, or pledge to do so. Phone your bank and tell them you’re leaving for a sustainable bank.

Other actions possibly useful :-

1. Refuse to buy Fossil Fuels for a day.

2. Refuse to use any hot water for one day (most hot water is produced by burning Fossil Fuels). It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere – come on – a cool shower won’t hurt you.

3. Don’t spend any money on anything that had Petroleum-based plastic or Natural Gas-based chemicals in its production – which would rule out 85% of non-food purchases, I reckon.

4. If you’re working for a company or an organisation who have anything to do with the Energy industry, make a point of asking your boss, or their boss, or the Chief Executive or something what the company/organisation intends to do about moving the whole business to Renewable Energy.

5. One short telephone call could have you moving from burning Coal for your home electricity to a Green Energy account.

This is not a riot – but it is an emergency, and the response should match the scale of the problem.

Our Climate – Not for Sale.

Bloody Oil from Felix Gonzales on Vimeo.

Say No To Coal

Banks + Coal = Climate Chaos

People + Information = Social Change

Just say no. No to Coal. And then no to all the other Fossil Fuels.

The Rate of Change

I well remember the huffing and puffing over the release of James Hansen’s paper “Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?” :-

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/TargetCO2_20080407.pdf

“…Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began 50 million years ago, large scale glaciation occurring when CO2 fell to 425 +/- 75 ppm…”

The sceptic-deniers laughed and scoffed and said things to the effect that clearly there’s nothing to worry about that the current concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the air is over 390 parts per million – it won’t melt the polar ice caps.

What the sceptic-deniers haven’t understood, or pretend not to have understood, is that it is a combination of factors that caused major lasting glaciation on Earth. Yes, the level of Carbon Dioxide in the air is important. But the rate of change of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is a significant component.

If the levels of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere change rapidly, the heating or cooling effect is amplified, in effect. You have to take account of the relative change in levels of Carbon Dioxide, not just its level at any particular point in time.

Continue reading The Rate of Change

Pat Michaels is Right

Of course, Pat Michaels is “right-wing”, but that’s not what I meant.

Some folk will be surprised that I agree with anything that Patrick Michaels says, as he is consistently inaccurate about the Science of Global Warming.

However, he is right that a Carbon Tax is the wrong way to proceed.

Carbon pricing, whether by direct taxation or by a trading scheme, effectively creates a double disincentive for change.

We have a large number of companies and organisations that are highly dependent on the use of Fossil Fuels. Carbon pricing will make these companies and organisations less financially efficient, and they will try anything they can to pass on the costs of Carbon to their consumers and clients, in order to remain profitable.

Carbon Taxation will therefore stimulate cost offsetting, but not Carbon reductions.

Moreover, if companies that make and sell energy are forced to pay for Carbon, they will have less funds available to deCarbonise their businesses; less capital to invest in new lower Carbon technologies.

Carbon Pricing will not alter the patterns of emissions significantly, if at all.

We have to face facts : the economists are largely wrong about environmental taxation. Record fines and levies demanded of Fossil Fuel companies in the last ten years have not stopped the spills, the leaks, the poisonings of waterways; nor have they helped the companies change course and start to develop Renewable Energies.

The pricing of large scale environmental pollution is a failed disincentive.

Continue reading Pat Michaels is Right

Make Me a Model

Statistical analysis of the raw data on Global Warming suffers from two major pitfalls :-

1. You are looking at the combined effects from several causative sources. Unless you have the means to distinguish the various factors, you cannot apply statistical techniques to the data and expect to get anything truly meaningful out. All that can be said, at best, is, “The Globe. Still Warming.”, as the warming trend over a long enough period of time has managed to stand out over the short-term variations.

2. Looking at the data purely by eye, some of the warming or cooling effects are clearly short-term, others longer-term; so picking a range of years/months/seasons at random, or according to some bias, is likely to distort the analysis. This is known as “cherry-picking”. The results of cherry-picking include the fallacious and discredited claim that, “Global Warming stopped in 1998”, or the much more crafty and misleading, “There has been no statistically significant Global Warming since 1998”.

Some researchers are content just to point to the overall effect of the raw data – global temperatures on land and at sea are rising sharply and the charts should be sufficient to understand the basic problem.

However, some people still contest that Global Warming is taking place, or that if it is, it isn’t serious. This then, is the cue to do an in-depth analysis into the known factors in global temperatures, and to attempt to “deduct” obvious short-term warming and cooling features in order to eyeball the underlying trends :-

Continue reading Make Me a Model

Unqualified Opinion (1) : Dan Gardner

There are several journalists out there who simply can’t cope with the real risks posed by dangerous Climate Change.

Following a rather reasonable, rational article by Louise Grey, Tom Chivers gave the “loaded dice” metaphor to straighten her up on language :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/7937269/Pakistan-floods-Climate-change-experts-say-global-warming-could-be-the-cause.html

“Pakistan floods: Climate change experts say global warming could be the cause : The world weather crisis that is causing floods in Pakistan, wildfires in Russia and landslides in China is evidence that global warming predictions are correct, according to climate change experts. : By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent : Published: 10 Aug 2010 : Almost 14 million people have been affected by the torrential rains in Pakistan, making it a more serious humanitarian disaster than the South Asian tsunami and recent earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti combined. The disaster was driven by a ‘supercharged jet stream’ that has also caused floods in China and a prolonged heatwave in Russia. It comes after flash floods in France and Eastern Europe killed more than 30 people over the summer. Experts from the United Nations (UN) and universities around the world said the recent “extreme weather events” prove global warming is already happening. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-president of the body set up by the UN to monitor global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the ‘dramatic’ weather patterns are consistent with changes in the climate caused by mankind. “These are events which reproduce and intensify in a climate disturbed by greenhouse gas pollution,” he said. “Extreme events are one of the ways in which climatic changes become dramatically visible.”…”

Continue reading Unqualified Opinion (1) : Dan Gardner

BBC Hedges

[ YouTube Credit : The link to the video above comes thanks to the endeavours of that most fair and balanced individual James “no net global warming since 1998” Delingpole. “No net global warming since 1998” ? James ! You’re quoting Pat Michaels, but did he perhaps make that up ? Or was it something that Christopher Monckton might have made up ? ]

The BBC puts the blame on Climate Change – almost – in a report on the Russian heatwave-wildfire disaster.

But they just can’t bring themselves to admit it as an organisation – and put the claims into the mouths of others – using quotation marks in the headline (‘partly to blame’) and ascribing the opinion to “researchers”, the “UK Met Office” and “experts” :-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10919460

“10 August 2010 : Climate change ‘partly to blame’ for sweltering Moscow : By Katia Moskvitch : Science reporter, BBC News : Global climate change is partly to blame for the abnormally hot and dry weather in Moscow, cloaked in a haze of smoke from wildfires, say researchers. The UK Met Office said there are likely to be more extreme high temperatures in the future. Experts from the environmental group WWF Russia have also linked climate change and hot weather to raging wildfires around the Russian capital. Meteorologists say severe conditions may linger for several more days…”

Well, I’ve got a bit of a question to pose – it might not be possible to ascribe the current weather conditions in Russia (and Pakistan and China and and and…) to Climate Change, statistically. I mean no one weather event can be said to have been caused 100% by Climate Change. But would these extreme weather events have happened without Climate Change ?

That is by far the most important question to ask, and Michael Tobis does just that :-

http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/08/moscow-doesnt-believe-in-this.html

“…Are the current events in Russia “because of” “global warming”? To put the question in slightly more formal terms, are we now looking at something that is no longer a “loading the dice” situation but is a “this would, practically certainly, not have happened without human interference” situation? Can we phrase it more formally? “Is the average time between persistent anomalies on this scale anywhere on earth in the undisturbed holocene climate much greater than a human lifetime?” In other words, is this so weird we would NEVER expect to see it at all?…”

Continue reading BBC Hedges

BP Oil Spill : The Undead Story

Despite the best early morning wide-eyed televised efforts of Carol Browner this week, the BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill story just will not die :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/05/oil-spill-white-house-accused-spin

“Gulf oil spill: White House accused of spinning report : Scientists say it is ‘just not true’ that the vast majority of oil from the BP spill has gone : Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, guardian.co.uk, Thursday 5 August 2010”

Use all the dispersants you want (or are just about legally entitled to), but an ecological catastrophe like this will not go away and die quietly, even though a large number of marine animals will be forced to :-

http://motherjones.com/environment/2010/08/feds-giving-spill-data-to-bp-not-public

http://unearthed.earthjustice.org/blog/2010-august/lets-celebrate-and-mourn-plugging-bps-gulf-oil-spill

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/07/30/30greenwire-oil-spill-dispersants-shifting-ecosystem-impac-95608.html

“…to use dispersants…doesn’t make the oil go away, it just puts it from one part of the ecosystem to another…”

Continue reading BP Oil Spill : The Undead Story

“Kill Kill Kill This”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TINzvWrtjYI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyutuErxPo8

Carol Browner, Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the United States of America, has been all over the Media, announcing the policy to “kill kill kill this” BP nightmare story, telling the world that a turning milestone point has been reached :-

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/PDFs/OilBudget_description_%2083final.pdf

Have they decided that BP have been punished enough now for the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher, and the reputation of the company needs to be rehabilitated sharply in order to protect the Economy ?

I made the mistake of taking in a BBC TV news bulletin on the matter. I heard several talking heads say it’s “good news” that roughly three quarters of the accountable oil from the spill has “disappeared” :-


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10870159

Breaking this story is “good news” for the stability of pension funds, maybe. But what is the real extent of the real damage to the real world, the world of oceans and fish and plankton ? Will the world be watching as the researchers scavenge data and clues to the marine ecotastrophe that is still unfolding ?

Continue reading “Kill Kill Kill This”

Keep Stating The Obvious

The straight-talking continues :-

http://www.jamespowell.org/Globalwarming/page0.html

http://climateprogress.org/2010/07/30/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-climate-science-in-under-10-minutes/#more-30726

We shouldn’t have to keep restating the very obvious, but it appears that public understanding is very poor in some cases.

We could simply say, “Ah well. The general public doesn’t need to be convinced of the truth of the matter. We can just present the data to the decision-making authorities and they will do the right thing, so it won’t matter what the people in general think.”

Trouble is, there appears to be continuing interference in the patterns of thought of the decision-makers, from a range of sources, notably the mainstream media.

Tune in to the facts. Banish the pacifying voices. We are at war with ourselves, and if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels, there will be an end to vast swathes of life on Earth.

BP Tony Hayward’s Marching Orders

Did he jump, or was he swamped ?

And is he really leaving, or is he being hounded out by propaganda ?

The reports of his demise may be premature, but the clock is probably ticking on his tenure anyway.

You know as soon as the board of a company, or a central government expresses “full support” for an executive or a minister, their job is at risk.

At least BP didn’t have to invent a scandal about his private life to get shot of him, like the (I think, despicable) way they ousted John Browne, the “sun king”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10753573

“25 July 2010 : BP chief Tony Hayward ‘negotiating exit deal’ : Mr Hayward has been with the company for 28 years BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward has been negotiating the terms of his exit, with a formal announcement likely within 24 hours, the BBC has learned. Mr Hayward has been widely criticised over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. An official statement issued by BP in response said he had the “full support of the board and senior management”. BBC business editor Robert Peston says Mr Hayward is likely to be replaced by his American colleague, Bob Dudley, who is in charge of the clean-up operation…”

Is Bob Dudley a fan of solar and wind power ? Only asking…

And will a change of figurehead on the prow stop the BP vessel sinking ?

The Plan for Iran

With extra economic sanctions imposed against Iran, and a rise in diplomatically expressed disapproval, recent political engagement from the international community is beginning to take on a decidedly sabre-rattling flavour.

The United States of America, and its allies and press-ganged collaborators, may not wage an actual military assault on Iran, but they may be staging another kind of rout – with the aim of securing Fossil Fuel energy supplies for the industrialised West.

Iran’s “public face” people have still not learned that the Western media are prone to pursuing irritating, provocative lines of enquiry, in order to elicit a scandalous response, in order to back up the “axis of evil” view of the world.

The responses given in the interview at the top of this post show how Iran walks into the trap so easily. Iran cannot correct world opinion, regardless of the logic they use, when world opinion on Iran is so blatantly manipulated by those who manage the Western media.

But there’s more going on here than just media corruption and the demonisation of Iran.

Continue reading The Plan for Iran

The Rehabilitation of BP : Solar Shares

Here’s a plan to save BP CEO Tony Hayward’s job.

Why not bring in a special new executive at BP’s London Headquarters, maybe ex-CEO of BP, Lord John Browne of Madingley, who was rather green, really, or that other Anthony, the ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair, and make them responsible for expanding an entirely new share offering in Solar Power.

Investors would be encouraged to explicitly finance new solar projects around the world by buying “solar shares” in the company, who make a priority of environmental matters, as we all know.

The British Government could offer extensive tax breaks, declining to tax revenues from solar electricity in the same way that BPs’ Oil and Gas sales are tapped for a percentage slice to help the public purse.

And there you could have it, bish bash bosh.

And while you’re at it, rename the company “Beautiful Photonenergy”.

The world could forget about the Gulf of Mexico plumes and seepages and we could all, together, forge a clean, smooth new Low Carbon, Low Dirt world.

The Population Question (2)

Image Credit : Lauren Manning under Creative Commons Licence : “World Population Growth From 2008 to 2050”

Who could have guessed that my previous post would not be the final word on “The Population Question” ?

As anybody who has ever looked at this question and its surrounding myths will know, there is layer upon layer of mis-fact, swirl around swirl of supposition and conjecture on the topic of human-to-land density in the imaginings of the newspaper-reading populace.

Continue reading The Population Question (2)

The Worst Is Yet To Come

The Transnational Institute are carrying a story warning of further oil industry nightmare scenarios :-

http://www.tni.org/article/bp-style-extreme-energy-nightmares-come-four-scenarios-next-energy-mega-disaster

“BP-Style Extreme Energy Nightmares to Come: Four Scenarios for the Next Energy Mega-Disaster…Michael Klare : The Huffington Post : July 2010 : The BP Gulf oil spill is not an anomaly but the result of industry-wide recklessness, as companies employ more and more risky methods to reach inaccessible reserves as the conventional ones run dry. On June 15th, in their testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the chief executives of America’s leading oil companies argued that BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was an aberration – something that would not have occurred with proper corporate oversight and will not happen again once proper safeguards are put in place. This is fallacious, if not an outright lie. The Deep Horizon explosion was the inevitable result of a relentless effort to extract oil from ever deeper and more hazardous locations. In fact, as long as the industry continues its relentless, reckless pursuit of “extreme energy” – oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium obtained from geologically, environmentally, and politically unsafe areas – more such calamities are destined to occur…Until then, prepare yourselves. The disaster in the Gulf is no anomaly. It’s an arrow pointing toward future nightmares. [ Michael Klare is a professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire University, a renowned analyst on oil politics and US defence policy and was TNI’s first Phd graduate when TNI used to run an academic programme through a virtual US university. ]”

Continue reading The Worst Is Yet To Come

BP North Africa Mystery

Reflection Eternal “Ballad of the Black Gold” from Sam Ellison on Vimeo.

“…Democratic senators from New York and New Jersey are now calling on BP to suspend drilling operations in Libya’s Gulf of Sidra until an investigation can be completed into whether the company pushed for the release of a convicted terrorist in order to seal a major oil deal. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) decried the release last August of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi a “moral outrage” at a press conference on Wednesday. Megrahi is the only person who has been convicted of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing that killed 270 people in 1988. BP has admitted that it lobbied for a prisoner exchange—they have just not said which prisoners. Now Menendez and three other senators have called on the State Department and the British government to investigate precisely what role BP may have played in negotiating his release, as the company has since admitted that they pushed for a prisoner transfer to help ensure the $900 million oil deal went through. In recent weeks, one of the doctors who gave the dire prognosis for Megrahi that led to his release from a Scottish prison has come forward to say that the Libyan government paid him to make that determination. He now says Megrahi may live for another 10 years, and there are rumors that he has secured a book deal. “If BP is found to have gained access to Libyan oil reserves by using a mass murderer as a bargaining chip, then make no mistake, any money it makes off that oil is blood money,” said Menendez…”

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/07/senators-want-bp-halt-libya-drilling

http://www.grinzo.com/energy/index.php/2010/07/14/did-bp-aid-a-terrorist/

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Regulate

Video Credit : Gasland the Movie

The ever-vigilant and fair Rowena Mason at the Daily Telegraph dives deep into the Shale Gas (Gas Shale) story with a piece featuring a trailer for the new Gasland film :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/rowenamason/100006602/shale-gas-pollution-fears-leave-americans-with-another-energy-headache/

“Shale gas pollution fears leave Americans with another energy headache : By Rowena Mason Energy Last updated: June 23rd, 2010 : Still politically scorched from BP’s giant Gulf of Mexico spill, it couldn’t be a worse time for America’s oil giants to find themselves roasting in another environmental firestorm. But new flames of controversy are on the horizon – in fact, literally emanating from the drinking water of US citizens living near so-called “shale gas” fields. A controversial documentary, Gaslands, which was aired on television channel HBO this week, shows one Colorado homeowner bending over his tap, holding a lighter with outstretched arm and igniting his chemical-laden water…”

Continue reading What We Have Here Is A Failure To Regulate

Obama : Tough on Grime

Image Credit : McClatchy

Tough on grime; tough on the causes of grime.

American President Barack Obama declares that as regards environmental pollution, “we shall fight them on the beaches”.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-nation-bp-oil-spill

“Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it’s not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.”

“But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.”

Continue reading Obama : Tough on Grime

BP : Too Big To Fail ?

Image Credit : Nick Turner : “BP Exec” : Image Owned By : Art Not Oil

Phew ! That’s a relief ! The American President Barack Obama has personally spoken to British Prime Minister David Cameron apparently to reassure him he meant no harm to the reputation of Britain by blaming BP for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/13/gulf-oil-spill

I should hope not ! BP stopped being “British” Petroleum some time ago. Forty percent of BP’s business is in the United States :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/jun/10/us-bloodlust-bp-oil-spill

Continue reading BP : Too Big To Fail ?

Blackout Asia : Crispy Baking

While Europe has been enjoying an early Summer, elsewhere in the world high air temperatures have been record-breaking.

When the heat gets this bad, public services need to provide air-conditioned community shelters as a key adaptational strategy.

But any plans of this nature are being thwarted by power shortages, for example, in India and Pakistan :-

http://www.ecanadanow.com/world/2010/06/01/200-dead-in-india-heatwave/

“200 Dead In India Heatwave”, 01 June 2010

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/07/pakistan-energy-policy-proving-deadly

“Pakistan’s heatwave and a deadly lack of energy policy : The blackout-blighted country should be free to accept development help from China, and not rely on US financial aid : Nosheen Iqbal”, 07 June 2010

Clearly, the time has never been more right for clean, renewable energy.

Northern Summer’s Here



Yes, why does the heat dip in the Stratosphere, when it bumps up in the Troposphere ?

And why has the temperature in the Stratosphere averaged downwards over the years as the temperature in the Troposphere has pushed upwards on average over the same period ?

Wouldn’t have anything to do with…Anthropogenic Global Warming, would it ?

I believe it might…

Continue reading Northern Summer’s Here

BP : Oily Hands On The Arts

   

PLEASE IGNORE ADVERTISEMENT AT START OF VIDEO

The Gulf of Mexico just now is no oil painting, and it’s costing BP in share price and reputation.

Just how much do BP care about Nature, about life, about humanity ? The answer can be found, perhaps, in their liberal sponsorship of the Arts :-

http://www.britishmuseum.org

Criticised by some as a blatant attempt to court public favour and tacit acceptance, BP have continued to financially support the Tate Britain gallery :-

http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9026067&contentId=7048078

It is a statement of the most culturally sensitive kind. Yet, the key question in my mind is : will they be able to continue to afford this, what with their excessive liabilities in the Gulf of Mexico ?

Continue reading BP : Oily Hands On The Arts