James Delingpole : Going Underground

James Delingpole hardly ever sets his delicate foot in Wales, the country he archaically refers to as “the Principality”, apart from, ooh, about ten days a year when he holidays there, but nonetheless, feels he has some kind of inherited ex-colonial right to be affronted that large electricity generation and transmission infrastructure are going to be built there :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100088906/wales-is-in-danger-why-isnt-the-prince-of-wales-saving-it/

He gets top marks for being rather offensive himself – achingly rude, in fact, about the Welsh Assembly, besides his getting untethered about the wind farms and pylons for the transmission cables :-

“…The wind farms are bad enough on their own. But to make matters far worse […], in order for these bird-crunching, bat-chomping, view-blighting, rent-seeking monstrosities to be connected to the grid a huge 400kv power line is going to be constructed all the way from Montgomeryshire through some of Britain’s most spectacular scenery to the equally beauteous Shropshire…”

Continue reading James Delingpole : Going Underground

George Monbiot : Wrong Choice

Data Source : IEA via ESDS

This chart shows why George Monbiot, Mark Lynas and Stephen Tinsdale have all plumped for the wrong choice – new Nuclear Power cannot deliver more electricity or reduce carbon dioxide emissions for us at the time when we need it most – the next few years :-

0. Massive energy conservation drives – for demand management – are clearly essential, given the reduction in UK generation.

1. It is impossible to increase new Nuclear Power capacity in less than ten years, but total UK generation is falling now, so now and in the next few years is the timeframe in which to add capacity. We cannot go on relying on Nuclear Power imports from France – especially given the rate of power outages there.

2. The fastest growing generation sources over the next few years will be Wind Power, Solar Power and Renewable Gas – if we set the right policies at the government and regulator levels.

Continue reading George Monbiot : Wrong Choice

George Monbiot : Nuclear Failure

The more I read George Monbiot these days, the more I think he’s descending, morphing into a reactionary waxwork automaton of his former radical, analytical, reasonable self. His recent web log posting on the Guardian Eco site hasn’t attracted many comments, compared to some articles of yore, but people seem to think, judging by Twitter chatter that getting equal numbers of critics from anti- and pro-nuclear commentators means that he is beating a middle-of-the-road and reasonable track through the thorny-hedged path to lower carbon energy. Just setting people up for a fight doesn’t appear to me to be making genuine headway. Seems to be more about ratings. And anyway, there are a number of assumptions and assertions he makes I simply cannot agree with. And here is a brief and non-complete run down.

Continue reading George Monbiot : Nuclear Failure

George Monbiot bites Thorium bait

George Monbiot in his new role as an apologist for the twice-bailed-out-of-insolvency British Nuclear Power industry, has now taken the Thorium bait, quite probably the most well-funded piece of astroturfing propaganda in existence :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/09/coalition-greatest-threat-to-environment

“This ‘greenest government ever’ is the greatest threat yet to our environment : The coalition is preparing to bin Britain’s climate change targets. After all, ministers have corporate sponsors to take care of : George Monbiot, guardian.co.uk, Monday 9 May 2011”

“…we should start considering other options for decarbonising the electricity supply: especially new nuclear technologies such as thorium, integral fast reactors or travelling wave reactors…”

“New”, George, “new” ? The only thing that’s “new” is the desperate rush to try Thorium power out, now that there are doubts about “classic” nuclear reactor design. Here’s what James Birkin has to say over at the Claverton forum, where they have real energy experts discussing Thorium reactors :-

Continue reading George Monbiot bites Thorium bait

Chin Up, George Monbiot !

George Monbiot looks back in regret at Copenhagen :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/20/climate-change-negotiations-failure

“…The closer it comes, the worse it looks. The best outcome anyone now expects from December’s climate summit in Mexico is that some delegates might stay awake during the meetings. When talks fail once, as they did in Copenhagen, governments lose interest. They don’t want to be associated with failure, they don’t want to pour time and energy into a broken process. Nine years after the world trade negotiations moved to Mexico after failing in Qatar, they remain in diplomatic limbo. Nothing in the preparations for the climate talks suggests any other outcome…”

Copenhagen was never seriously going to deliver, and I don’t think most of the protesters on the streets in Copenhagen thought so. Activist demands, including from activist nations, were always going to be ignored, The solutions really didn’t come to the conference, and the problems really lay elsewhere.

But there’s no need to utterly despair, George !

Continue reading Chin Up, George Monbiot !

IPCC : Could Do Better ?

[ UPDATE FROM JOABBESS.COM : GOOD LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION : http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/08/ipcc-report-card/ AND http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100831/full/467014a.html AND http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/ipcc-review-by-interacademy-council-iac/ AND http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2010/100830_IPCC.doc.htm AND THE SLIGHTLY NEGATIVE http://www.economist.com/node/16941153?story_id=16941153 ]

Entropy versus Order – the central battle of the Universe.

Also the struggle within the realm of Science, trying to make global sense out of a very disparate, creative spectrum of study on Climate Change.

Here, at the very hub, we find the bubble of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC – a wide variety of people with a wide variety of knowledge and viewpoints all trying to establish a common perspective.

The management of this enterprise has been under review, and thought to be found partially wanting :-

http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/ReportNewsRelease.html

“InterAcademy Council Report Recommends Fundamental Reform of IPCC Management Structure : UNITED NATIONS — The process used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to produce its periodic assessment reports has been successful overall, but IPCC needs to fundamentally reform its management structure and strengthen its procedures to handle ever larger and increasingly complex climate assessments as well as the more intense public scrutiny coming from a world grappling with how best to respond to climate change, says a new report from the InterAcademy Council (IAC), an Amsterdam-based organization of the world’s science academies. “Operating under the public microscope the way IPCC does requires strong leadership, the continued and enthusiastic participation of distinguished scientists, an ability to adapt, and a commitment to openness if the value of these assessments to society is to be maintained,” said Harold T. Shapiro, president emeritus and professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University in the United States and chair of the committee that wrote the report. Roseanne Diab, executive officer of the Academy of Science of South Africa and professor emeritus of environmental sciences and honorary senior research associate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, served as vice chair of the committee, which included experts from several countries and a variety of disciplines…These assessment reports have gained IPCC much respect including a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. However, amid an increasingly intense public debate about the science of climate change and costs of curbing it, IPCC has come under closer scrutiny, and controversies have erupted over its perceived impartiality toward climate policy and the accuracy of its reports. This prompted U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and IPCC chair Rajendra K. Pachauri to issue a letter on March 10 this year requesting that the IAC review IPCC and recommend ways to strengthen the processes and procedures by which future assessments are prepared…”

http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/OpeningStatement.html

Continue reading IPCC : Could Do Better ?

Hell Freezes Over : BBC Apologises

Jaw-droppingly, the BBC have apologised for the contents of a Today Programme. Not the one that caused poor, deceased Dr David Kelly so much embarrassment, God rest his soul. No, the one that featured the breaking of the “Climategate” e-mail scandal :-

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/bbc_apologizes_to_university_o.php

The BBC picked the wrong scandal story to run with, it appears.

The real scandal of Climategate is how the scientists’ e-mails were “liberated” from the University of East Anglia, and then annotated to give heavily biased interpretation, then released to the general public via the Internet, and how the Media were taken in.

Certain people at the BBC chose to go with the fake scandal, it seems – the narrative fabricated and dictated to them by Climate Change deniers.

Anyway, now the BBC have made an apology, of sorts. Better late than never, but all the same, it would have been better earlier rather than later.

Thankfully, despite the late apologies, this particular alleged witch-hunt didn’t end with a suspected suicide. Although it did include reports that Professor Phil Jones had, in fact, contemplated suicide; the reporting of which just added to his completely groundless public humiliation at the hands of the Press. Which they should apologise for, in my humble opinion. Just as good (old) George Monbiot had the good grace to offer some regret for :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jul/07/russell-inquiry-i-was-wrong

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7180154/Climategate-Professor-Phil-Jones-considered-suicide-over-email-scandal.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017922.ece

http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/rebuttalsandcorrections/johnhumphrys

“BBC apologises to University of East Anglia for “incorrect” remark”

“The BBC has apologised for an “incorrect” remark made by John Humphrys that UEA researchers had “distorted the debate about global warming to make the threat seem even more serious than they believed it to be”.”

Continue reading Hell Freezes Over : BBC Apologises

Tim Holmes : Wrong on Balance

PLEASE IGNORE ANY ADVERTISEMENT THAT MAY PLAY AT THE START OF THIS VIDEO. Video Credit : The Guardian

At risk of tumbling after The Guardian newspaper journalists into a deep dark rabbit hole of possible intellectual compromise falls young Tim Holmes, who attended the Guardian’s “some parts of the debate have been edited out for legal reasons” Climategate event on 14th July 2010 :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2010/jul/15/climategate-guardian-debate

What on Earth were The Guardian thinking, inviting Steve McIntyre and Doug Keenan to share a platform with Professors Trevor Davies and Bob Waston at a public meeting ?

Don’t The Guardian know that the general public have had their views so seriously warped by the Climate Change sceptic-deniers that no serious, open discussion/debate would be possible ? All you seem to get from sceptic-deniers is hot-and-cold insults, sniping and over-detailed analysis of minuscule slithers of Science. Their position is rock-solid anti-Science, from my analysis. There is nothing to be gained from talking to them in my opinion.

Continue reading Tim Holmes : Wrong on Balance

George Monbiot : Bunkum Masquerading As Insight ?

[ CORRECTION FROM JOABBESS.COM : David Adam has had his name struck from the list of journalists at The Guardian who have given the impression of blaming the quality and speed of UEA media relations for the Climategate pseudo-scandal. ]

I was in telephone conversation with somebody in the Climate Change policy arena in the last two weeks (names will remain unnamed for obvious reasons), and they complained to me about George Monbiot’s position on Climategate.

I could sense incandescent rage, even at the other end of the phone line, as the person expressed extreme displeasure with George Monbiot, and asserted that he was a “nasty little man”.

I don’t agree with that summary. For a start, George Monbiot is probably taller than the average Briton, so the epithet is literally inaccurate. I don’t even agree that George Monbiot is “little” in terms of influential, public figures, either. I think George Monbiot is very smart, usually highly accurate and incisive, assiduous in his research.

His pieces are factually rich, and he is often on the money. But on this particular train of events I believe he is most assuredly wrong, even after backtracking from his original position.

Continue reading George Monbiot : Bunkum Masquerading As Insight ?

Christopher Booker : Insane Threats ?

Christopher Booker, opinion-former, and seemingly bad-tempered seeming curmudgeon at the Daily Telegraph newspaper, has issued what looks like a threat to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in his weekly highly unsubstantiated rail against Climate Change science :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7870359/Climategate-Amazongate-when-will-the-truth-be-told.html

“‘Climategate’, ‘Amazongate’ – when will the truth be told? : By Christopher Booker, 03 Jul 2010 : …Meanwhile, there has been a further twist to that other IPCC scandal, “Amazongate”, on which I reported last week. This centred on the claim in its 2007 report – attributed only to a paper from green activists at the WWF – that a slight reduction in rainfall caused by climate change could kill up to 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest. After exhaustive analysis by my colleague Dr Richard North of every document cited by the WWF to back its claim, it seems clearer than ever that there is no good evidence. I have given the WWF one more chance to come up with that evidence, and will reveal its response next week. If it is unable to do so, the IPCC will again be convicted of having made a wildly alarmist claim it cannot justify. Yet this is the body on whose allegedly unimpeachable scientific authority our Government and others propose to land us with the biggest bill in history.”

Eurgh. I’m quaking in my boots. What a terrible threat. Who will fear this peerless man ?

Continue reading Christopher Booker : Insane Threats ?

George Monbiot : Wrong Call

There was a long time during my life when I refused to read British newspapers. They irritated me. The stories hinged on the opinions of a few unresearched writers; facts were dubious; the ideological cultures distinguishing the publications were artificial; and the constructed narratives offended me.

I distinctly recall the day I decided I needed to read the newspapers again. It was a chance glance at the Guardian Weekly, on the shelf in an international bookshop in Brussels. In there, I read a piece by George Monbiot, and my reaction was, in paraphrase, “how can he be allowed to write such a thing for publication ?” I was impressed, both at his audacity and his plainspeaking, and the facts to back up his position looked credible.

In overview, it was a good thing that I started to read the newspapers again, even though I have had to wade through interminable barrelloads of rotten opinions and poor research in following the public story of Climate Change and Energy Revival. I have traced the emergence of some almost acceptable Science and Environment writing in the Press, but there has been a remarkable turnaround just recently.

Continue reading George Monbiot : Wrong Call

How You Were Taken In : Media “Balance”

Poor (middle-aged) old George Monbiot ! He really feels like he’s been wasting his time trying to get through to people to communicate about Climate Change :-

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/03/08/the-unpersuadables/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/mar/08/belief-in-climate-change-science

I don’t think that he should despair. What the ordinary, Tabloid-reading , Daily Telegraph-reading, Times of London-reading or even Guardian-reading man-or-woman-in-the-street thinks about Climate Change Science doesn’t really matter in the end, as long as the policymakers know the direction of travel required. That is, towards strong regulation on Carbon Emissions.

And anyway, I think that the problem of Climate Change “doubt” can be resolved relatively easily – by educating those who work in the Media.

Let me begin my argument by asking a question : is it right and fair and balanced to pitch Dr Benny Peiser against Professor Phil Jones on the subject of the Science of Global Warming ?

I ask this, because this is effectively what happened during the hearings of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on 1st March 2010, when Dr Benny Peiser and Lord Nigel Lawson were first in the seats, and then Professor Phil Jones and Professor Edward Acton sat in the seats later on :-

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/uc387-i/uc38702.htm

Continue reading How You Were Taken In : Media “Balance”

James Delingpole vs George Monbiot

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00r9x9n/The_Daily_Politics_04_03_2010/

James, James, yet again you betray your apparent lack of comprehension about Science, the way it works, the things it says, the truth it holds. Your accusations are in my opinion completely unfounded, baseless. It seems your inquiring mind has been corrupted by the Climate Obstructers’ continual rant of denial after denial.

Here’s a challenge : read up about the “time lag”, the “warming inertia” in the Climate system, and then come back with an alternative scenario that other people can accept, with facts, figures and falsifications of mainstream opinion. I’m sure your employer could come up with the funds to buy the research papers you need to read to come to an well-informed view. Alternatively, you could try e-mailing the authors for gratis copies of their work. If you show yourself a genuine student of Science, I’m sure people will share their data and research with you freely :-

Continue reading James Delingpole vs George Monbiot

Climategate : George Monbiot Fights Back

George Monbiot recounts the Climategate affair with wit, verve and gusto; and then proceeds to suggest a sharp technique for making a fightback against public lying in the Media. Useful if you happen to be trapped in a television studio with a billion watts of stage lighting shining menacingly right down on you. It’s time that every Climate Change Scientist had their own personal Public Relations manager; because somehow the academic community have to keep the messaging Media-savvy. Seen enough geeks turn into dorks in the Press. Need to see a change.