Sunday, August 31, 2008

a response to Bishop Hill


Bishop Hill is a climate change denialist (633 posts, 134 of them with the tag 'climate' and as many of those as I could stomach to read poored scorn on climate change research) who recently penned a diatribe against the work of several climate change researchers. His work seems to be lauded by other climate change deniers like David Duff. I spent a little time ripping it to shreds recently and BH had the grace to post a comment in reply claiming that I was being misleading and suggesting that I was endorsing academic misconduct. This is my reply.

BH, you are not a climate scientist, are you? In fact you are not a scientist at all, yesno? I take it you have some modicum of understanding of statistical procedures as this is where your main criticisms seem to lie. There and in the conduct of the researchers in question. I will deal with these two criticisms in that order before dealing briefly with your bizarre suggestion that paleoclimate research is 'dodgy'.

I started trying to draft a critique of your own criticisms but quickly realised that my understanding of the ins and outs of the statistics in question fell short of that necessary to understand the finer details of paleoclimate modeling. McIntyre's blog contains much intricate technical analysis and I canot begin to verify whether his criticisms are justified. This is the point where my faith in the power of science is tested. Because if I- a scientist currently writing his PhD thesis with formal training in statistics- can't begin to fathom the subtleties of the science in question then I'm absolutely one hundred percent sure that you don't either. Do correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think I am. Therefore, BH, you aren't actually criticising anything. You are merely collating and regurgitating others' analysis- flawed or otherwise- that supports your own position of denial. This position- known as "cherry-picking"- stems from your fundamentally unscientific denial of anthropogenic climate change, as previously noted. Unlike you, I follow the consensus and accept without reservation that climate change is happening, as does every single national scientific body on the planet, because I afford the opinion of experts some considerable authority. There is a chance that you- as a layperson in these affairs- might have achieved some insight into the statistical procedures and methods used by these expert researchers that has previously been missed. It is also possible that there exists in orbit around mars a teapot belonging to one Bertrand Russell. It is also possible that McIntyre as an economist (note, not a climate scientist) might have achieved some insight into the appropriate nature, or otherwise, of the statistical procedures carried out by MBH and Wahl and Amman, as has been detailed by other researchers, as well as a panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences, as you yourself observe. However, it seems that any error produced from inappropriately applied statistics on their part is small and does not significantly affect their conclusion- as reported by both independent researchers and the MBH group in a follow-up paper. I wonder why you fail to mention this affirmative follow-up work?

BH, fuck you with bells on. You are a climate change denialist and actively prosetylise your anti-scientific views in a pseudo-scientific manner so if anyone is being misleading, it is absolutely you, you, you. Pretending to report on scientific matters without any substantial grasp of the science involved is grossly fraudulent. I may as well criticise the design of my car for lacking the obvious efficiency saving of a fusion reactor and antigravity motors. Whilst I accept McIntyre's peer-reviewed criticisms I reject your ignorant regurgitation of them out of context and out of proportion without reservation.

Ah! That was refreshing. Righteousness is a refreshing beverage so excuse me while I take a moment to savour its zesty flavour . . . . . . . . . There! Now, on with the climate-change-denialist thrashing.

BH's second criticism of the climate researchers involves their conduct in not releasing the aforementioned R-squared statistics for subsequent independent confirmation. Irrelevant of the merit or otherwise of these data (as far as I can tell from subsequent review they stand up reasonably well) I can say that it is inappropriate for researchers to withhold supporting data from a fellow researcher attempting to independently reproduce your work. I have contacted several people to ask for such information when developing methodologies and have always been pleased by the prompt and comprehensive responses I receive. I don't know what else to say about the conduct of the researchers in question, except that they gave plausible reasons why they shouldn't share the R-squared statistics- that it wasn't relevant- and that they were awaiting publication of another paper which would establish that this was so. That that paper was then rejected does not make their refusal to share the statistic any more reprehensible but it is also unsurprising. Research has become a dog-eat-dog world thanks to the supremacy of the publish-or-die mentality which now pervades all fields and as a result data is jealously guarded until publication to prevent others copying and expanding upon your own hard-won ideas. If you feel this climate is an inappropriate one in which to conduct research with global implications then I wonder why you haven't blogged about it? (I don't even need to search your blog to know that you haven't, do I.)

Yawn! I'm bored now. This is all obvious to anyone who is prepared to look at issues objectively. I can't be arsed to make a decent job of trashing your statement that paleoclimatology is 'dodgy'. I have little doubt that you watch TV, use a computer, paint your house and take medicine. You are content for science to underpin our provision of all of these services but reject it out of hand when the very same process of critical reasoning leads us to conclude that we are catastrophically altering the global climate. That is called hypocrisy.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

a moment of quiet reflection on the subject of a dog-with-tits


What Pigdogfucker said. Gods, there are some right cnuts out there.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

for the third time in the past few weeks I want to point out that nuclear generation is not sustainable and will not help against climate change


The Lazy Environmentalist lays it down (in three parts).

PS The beach was awesome this weekend. I am proper de-stressed and ready to save the world again from scum like David Duff.

Friday, August 22, 2008

punkscience goes to the beach


Its bank holiday so me and punkwiff are off to Sennen. The surf's shit but I'm taking my kite as the wind will be good. I will finish putting all the RENs and climate change denialists in their respective places when I get back.

Word to all your mummas.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

just another day at the office for Laird


Fucking hell.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ron Suskind


I don't think I'd make it through one of his books. Just the Salon reviews are almost to much to stomach.

"Suskind's coup de grâce on this subject is his reminder of Osama bin Laden's message to the American people just before the 2004 elections. The CIA's consensus: "bin Laden's message was clearly designed to assist the President's reelection ... On that score, any number of NSC principals could tell you something so dizzying that not even they will touch it: that Bush's ratings track with bin Laden's ratings in the Arab world." When Bush speaks, bin Laden's popularity soars -- and vice versa."

answering David Duff's "simple question"


Duff has revealed himself to be a rather unpleasant character over the last few weeks through ad hominem attacks on me on his own blog and trolling here. Lately I decided to delete any further comments of his from this blog and I just wanted to justify why, as well as take the opportunity to hold his hand and walk him through my answer to his persistent, rhetorical question of "do wind turbines need back-up supply from conventional power stations?".

So, he will not be tolerated here any more for two reasons: Firstly his racism, as I established in the comments thread of this post. Secondly, his climate change denial, which he explicitly advocated in a comment that I deleted from the comments in this post and I will reproduce here:
"Yes, but unlike Lomborg I'm not using it to try and sell a dangerous and unscientific conclusion to the public"

Well, that, of course, is your *opinion*, to which you are fully entitled, believing, as you do, that:

1. Global temperatures are increasing, and,
2. That the cause of it is man-made.

On the other hand, it is my *opinion* that you may, or may not, be right on the first, but that you are probably wrong on the second.

However, let us agree (go on, give it a try!) that in this debate we must be strictly scientific and maintain ethical standards. Thus, we can both join hands and condemn loudly the disgraceful behaviour that went on in the publication of Amman & Wahl's papers which claimed to have replicated the Mann 'et al' results and thus confirmed the 'hockey stick' graph upon which much of the global warming hypothesis depends. The whole thing appears to be as reliable as a nine bob note! You can read a layman's summary here:

Now, I'm going to actually take on the task of debunking this rubbish, at the expense of my own research, just so I can put Duff in his place for being so pig-ignorant of the real world.

Duff states that I am "probably wrong" that the cause of climate change is anthropogenic activity and even abstains from endorsing the fact that global mean temperatures are increasing. He goes on to condemn the work of two research groups who have authored papers on the "hockey stick" as "disgraceful" and "as reliable as a nine-bob note" before linking to a page containing what is alleged to be a critique, in laymen's terms, of the bad science behind these researcher's publications. I'll leave the anthropogenic causes of climate change to the end because that's clearly the easiest and juiciest bit.

What I don't understand is why Duff confesses to be unconvinced that climate change is happening before going on to rubbish peer-reviewed publications that present data suggesting it is. But then, he is clearly an idiot so I won't pretend to understand. I'll just carry on with my criticism of his bullshit position.

Everyone is probably familiar with the "hockey stick" graph. It makes a major cameo in An Inconvenient Truth. The graph came from a paper (pdf)- referred to as 'MBH'- by Mann, Bradley and Hughes in which the authors had reconstructed estimates of Northern Hemisphere mean temperature changes over the past millennium. A summary of their findings, and more, can be found in the Wikipedia article on the controversy surrounding the hockey stick, so I won't explain that any further. The second paper attacked in the critique is this one, by Wahl and Ammann. The criticisms levelled against these authors is that they have used inappropriate statistical analysis and simple 'cherry picking' to produce results that validate their conclusions as well as manipulating peer review to allow their data to become part of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report. The author of the critique doesn't begin to address the nature of the data used in the papers, which is derived from dendrochronological analysis and the isotopic composition of snow, corals, and stalactites.

Now, I do not pretend for one second that peer-review is flawless. It isn't. Simple as that. But I do condemn out of hand, the implication that, because criticisms of these author's work exist and have been published (and also refuted), it is 'bad science'. The nature of science at the cutting edge is incredibly subjective. That's just the way it works. When something controversial appears in the scientific community it inevitably shoots down someone's pet project and offends others' philosophies and convictions and so people set out to knock the new kid off his block. What happens next is what makes science so awesome. Independent replication of the original work- as happened with MBH- reveals the robustness of the theory and allows it to be developed. What 'Bishop Hill' and Duff are criticising is that the original theory wasn't perfect. But few papers are! Certainly neither of the ones that have my name on are. What matters is that subsequent work validates or contradicts the original work and the ultimate synthesis of climate science- although admittedly politicised, years behind the cutting edge and heavily conservative- is the IPCC annual reports. MBH is referenced prominently in the IPCC AR4:

With the development of multi-proxy reconstructions, the climate data were extended not only from local to global, but also from instrumental data to patterns of climate variability (Wanner et al., 1995; Mann et al., 1998; Luterbacher et al., 1999). Most of these reconstructions were at single sites and only loose efforts had been made to consolidate records. Mann et al. (1998) made a notable advance in the use of proxy data by ensuring that the dating of different records lined up. Thus, the true spatial patterns of temperature variability and change could be derived, and estimates of NH average surface temperatures were obtained. (IPCC AR4 - WG1, Chapter 1, pp107) - emphasis is mine

So criticising their- and follow up worker's- choice of statistical analysis is somewhat pointless because a load more groups have picked up their work, critically assessed its merit and replicated or expanded upon it to get the same results!

Eg (its a link):

This rather pretty graph is a plot of the various results from these papers:

  • Jones, P.D., K.R. Briffa, T.P. Barnett, and S.F.B. Tett (1998). "High-resolution Palaeoclimatic Records for the last Millennium: Interpretation, Integration and Comparison with General Circulation Model Control-run Temperatures". The Holocene 8: 455-471.
  • Mann, M.E., R.S. Bradley, and M.K. Hughes (1999). "Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations". Geophysical Research Letters 26 (6): 759-762. (light blue 1000-1965): [abstract]
  • Crowley, Thomas J. and Thomas S. Lowery (2000). "Northern Hemisphere Temperature Reconstruction". Ambio 29: 51-54. ; Modified as published in [abstract] [DOI]
  • Crowley (2000). "Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years". Science 289: 270-277.
  • Briffa, K.R., T.J. Osborn, F.H. Schweingruber, I.C. Harris, P.D. Jones, S.G. Shiyatov, and E.A. Vaganov (2001). "Low-frequency temperature variations from a northern tree-ring density network". J. Geophys. Res. 106: 2929-2941.
  • Esper, J., E.R. Cook, and F.H. Schweingruber (2002). "Low-Frequency Signals in Long Tree-Ring Chronologies for Reconstructing Past Temperature Variability". Science 295 (5563): 2250-2253.
  • Mann, M.E. and P.D. Jones (2003). "Global Surface Temperatures over the Past Two Millennia". Geophysical Research Letters 30 (15): 1820.
  • Jones, P.D. and M.E. Mann (2004). "Climate Over Past Millennia". Reviews of Geophysics 42: RG2002. (red-orange 1500-1980):
  • Huang, S. (2004). "Merging Information from Different Resources for New Insights into Climate Change in the Past and Future". Geophys. Res Lett. 31: L13205.
  • Moberg, A., D.M. Sonechkin, K. Holmgren, N.M. Datsenko and W. Karlén (2005). "Highly variable Northern Hemisphere temperatures reconstructed from low- and high-resolution proxy data". Nature 443: 613-617.
  • Oerlemans, J.H. (2005). "Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier Records". Science 308: 675-677.

The black line represents instrumental data jointly compiled by the Climatic Research Unit and the UK Meteorological Office Hadley Centre. Global Annual Average data set TaveGL2v was used. Documentation for the most recent update of the CRU/Hadley instrumental data set appears in: [abstract] Jones, P.D. and A. Moberg (2003). "Hemispheric and large-scale surface air temperature variations: An extensive revision and an update to 2001". Journal of Climate 16: 206-223.

So, we have extensive evidence, from a variety of sources, confirming that mean global temperatures (or Northern Hemisphere temperatures specifically- as for many of those models) are rising. Got it, Duff? End of story.

Phew! (wipes sweat from forehead)

As for the statistical basis of the Bishop Hill's criticism, he states that, in constructing his criticism he has met with "a heavy mathematics burden for the casual reader, which, with a bit of research I think I can now just about follow". Well, no Bishop. You can't.

Most of Bishop Hill's criticism revolves around the failure of Mann et al or Ammann & Wahl to present associated R^2 values for their models, despite the fact that they both do include those values, Mann in figure 3 and Wahl et al in appendix 1. I spent about a minute scanning through each paper before I found them so the people doing the criticism here are a little bit stupid.

Now! Onwards to Duff's insane rejection of anthropogenic responsibility for climate change! I'm running out of steam after all this so I'm going to make it brief:

"With the July 2007 release of the revised statement by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate."

There. That was it. That one sentence. I really don't think I need to elaborate further. Got that, Duff? You are wrong.

Finally, I bring myself to Duff's pathetic inability to follow a link and answer his own question. I was posting about renewables, being the renewable evangelist that I am. In a comment where I condemned nuclear and hydrogen technologies for their sustainability- my words were:

"once again, in case anyone missed it, both 'safe nuclear generation' and 'the hydrogen economy' suck goat cock"

The post links to a couple of pages detailing why this would be the case. Duff then asked, perfectly reasonably:

"So what do you suggest?"
To which I replied:

Supegrids [sic]

and massive investment in renewable generation

So, we have a question and we have an answer. Duff, however, wasn't content to keep my meagre hit rate climbing by following the links. Instead he responded with some classical REN bullshit (I'm not going to keep copying his crap in here- you can follow the link). Basically, Duff thought he'd posed a nasty little reality-slap of a question by postulating that wind turbines required conventional base-load supply as a back-up to keep the electricity flowing when the wind wasn't blowing. Typically, I refused to answer this question, having just linked to two of my posts that contain plenty of links to information explaining why this wasn't the case. I also chastised him for concentrating on wind generation when I was referring to 'renewables' generally. Duff didn't get it. He really didn't even bother. He just kept asking for a 'yes' or 'no' answer. So, Duff, you lazy bastard. Here's your answer, framed within the context of my original answer to you re. supergrids and renewables:


Capisce, cockweasel?

a little philosophy


Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

more XKCD



The Ballmer Peak


I just discovered the wonderful webcomic XKCD through a Chicken Yoghurt post and from that little gem I discovered this theory. I can vouch for its affect on pool playing skills. Everyone knows you're game takes off between the end of the first and second pints. Unfortunately, as soon as the third hits your lips you're fucked. I've also tried to tame this effect when writing science (no shit!). When I was writing my master's thesis I would start drinking stubbies of cheap Sainsbury's lager at around 1300 and by the time I gave up at ~0200 I would be well steamed. Typically I'd look at what I had written the next day and edit half of it out but then that happes with my sobre writing too and the remaining material tended to be slightly more insightful and lucid then my usual, pretentious, flowery crap I seem to churn out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

MOD report into Iraq war concludes that UK breached Geneva Convention obligations


The public know that Blair et al are guilty of war crimes. Now we see that the military know. Shouldn't someone bring this to the attention of the judiciary?

It is also confirmed that Blair was secretly planning the invasion in 2002.

Wikileaks rules.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

UK authoritarianism


I mentioned the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (apparently a QUANGO- not even an accountable government body) in relation to their pocket guide for policing the Climate Camp protest. Well, awesomely enough, Wikileaks has posted a copy the guide.

Its rather alarming to hear a legitimate protest being policed in a manner that treats those protesters as "extremists". I'm no lawyer but to my mind the climate campers had the power of rationality heavily on their side, as opposed to the government or E.On. True, they had made clear their intentions to shut down the power plant through direct action but that's hardly akin to firebombing people's homes or bodysnatching. The police were by far the most confrontational and provocative element at the protest and even deployed anti-terrorist legislation to stop and search people when they were clearly not terrorists.

Anyway, the powers and offences listed int he booklet are incredibly broad, ranging in target from "public processions" (A procession consists of two or more people who are together with a common purpose and are in motion) to "being threatening, abusive or insulting in a way likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress" (eg. Display[ing] any writing or sign or visible representation which is threatening or abusive or insulting). If that's the case then this blog falls heavily under those terms as it is intended to offend and insult the thugs and oiks who create and enforce such bullshit legislation.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bjorn Lomborg is a moron


He's at it again! This guy never learns! You would imagine that after being found guilty of scientific dishonesty he might have changed his ways but frustratingly not (hat tip to RobinLove in the comments).

I wrote this in the comments.

Lomborg, your climate change denial is as nonsensical as your criticism of Tickell's article.

1. Tickell may use the extreme term 'extinction' but he doesn't predict 70-80 metre sea level rises by the end of the century. You claim he is "simply exaggerating by a factor of up to 400", whereas in reality he simply observes that these are the long-term end-points of complete melting of the ice caps without specifying a time scale upon which it would occur.

2. You don't state which models you base your criticism of Tickell's predictions of complete melting of the ice caps on. Its really irrelevant to both yours and Tickell's analysis as models become unreliable over scales of more than a century as it is simply impossible to predict the dramatic feedbacks involved. The IPCC reports are generally based on science that is a couple of years old, due to the lengthy process involved in carrying out cross-discipline research and drawing up up consensus reports. Therefore much recent science is neglected in their politically-influenced science-lite reports. I recommend James Hansen as an informed observer of the current progress of climate change and he certainly doesn't think that sea level rises will be restricted to less than a metre this century.
Of course, if you were a climate scientist and you had evidence that suggested otherwise I would consider your position but you're not and you don't.

3. Your assertion that CO2 has an atmospheric residence time of a century is correct but misrepresents reality. Individual molecules of CO2 may have a residence of that length but due to carbon cycling a molecule that is removed will be instantly replaced and so the total amount of CO2 released by anthropogenic activity remains in circulation for far, far longer.

4. Tickell does not, as you imply, specify a time-span within which "billions would die". See point one above.

5. I can't find the report by Gary Yohe anywhere on Google so I trust it has been buried because of the dubious methodology used to produce such bizarre conclusions. Given your previous record on misrepresentation and spin, I simply don't believe that you are presenting the IPCC statistic for average wealth in context.

6. You're sweeping statement that "all peer-reviewed, published economic models demonstrate that such an effort is a colossal waste of money" is clearly bullshit. No field of research offers such a clear-cut consensuse so you are lying. In fact the Stern Review concluded that combating climate change was essential for the stability of our economy. Strange how you fail to mention this, yes? I quote from the short executive summary:

the Review estimates that if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.

In contrast, the costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of global GDP each year.

7. Tickell does not advocate "more of the same" as you claim, he specifically endorses scrapping the current system based upon national allocations and recommends a quite different global carbon trading system based on taxing emissions at source.

8. I agree with you wholeheartedly that R&D into low carbon or carbon neutral energy projects is inadequate but I simultaneously reject your absurd postulation that increasing spending in this area will make spending on emission reductions unnecessary. The IPCC's climate model for emissions in 2050 that are unchanged from 2000- "scenario 3"- (and the best possible scenario that might occur if we halt all attempts to reduce emissions, also extremely unlikely given geopolitical reality) then we find that mean global temperature rises by an apocalyptic 2.8 to 3.2 degrees (see table SPM6, page 20).
Could you please unequivocally confirm here that this apocalyptic scenario is the one that you advocate?

How you manage to misrepresent established science so badly escapes me. I can only conclude that your analytical skills are grossly inadequate for the career you currently follow and advocate that you restrain yourself from any further comment on matters of such import until you can demonstrate the ability to reason clearly.

More climate science from Hansen.


I would have posted it if CiF would accept the comment.


Johann Hari is awesome


His article on child-marriage and Islam got rather predictably flamed to shit. His response is mature and balanced and I have utter respect for him.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Consider Phlebas


I've read this Iain Banks book as I am a huge fan of his sci-fi, particularly the Culture ones (although I think his best book so far is The Algebraist).

Anyway, there's a blog of the same name and I cam across this post relating to the following list of books. Anyway, read it yourself and you'll get the gist.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 The Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I haven't struck out any books because I feel that all these works have value, even if they are not attractive to me as entertainment.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tim Leunig is a fucking idiot


He thinks everyone in "failed regeneration towns" in the North should relocate to the South East. I think this is utter bullshit. The sheer inhumanity of this guy's reasoning cannot be adequately vilified. Treating people as if they have no culture, no connection with their environment and community. This is the worst sort of centralised, rule-by-diktat crap. "You aren't being productive where you are, so you should move your family and entire existence to this grotty little, purpose-built estate of poor-quality, mass produced 'workers quarters' to increase your productivity for the Motherland!"

Sound familiar?

And they say that the Left has come full circle to become the new neoliberal harcore! Here we have a Liberal Democrat (surely a closet Tory?) writing for the Tory's favourite thinktank, advocating the organisation of the population into Stalinist production centres.

Seriously, what the fuck?


A certain person in the comments can't tell when I'm laying out an argument so I've made it really simple and gone through the summary of Leunig's report and highlighted the most glaringly obvious insanities and logical disconnects. Here we go:

"We need to accept above all that we cannot guarantee to regenerate every town and every city in Britain that has fallen behind. Just as we can't buck the market, so we can’t buck economic geography either. "

Its funny that this is the opening gambit because the rest of the document appears to argue for policies that do exacty that.

"Places that enjoyed the conditions for creating wealth in the coal-powered 19th-century often do not do so today."
Luck has also played its part: in 1900
London had finance and Manchester had cotton. Finance has since prospered and cotton collapsed, reinforcing geographical changes."

It is obscene that Leunig cites historical geographical changes and ignores the potential for similar factors to influence future prosperity. Certain settlements in this country have been in steady decline for decades or even centuries. This doesn’t mean that those places should be gutted. People are still free to live in such places even if they an economic drain on the rest of the country. Expecting every single settlement to conform to some economic success model smacks of authoritarianism. Freedom includes the freedom to fail. In any society you will have successes and failures on a given scale of success and launching pogroms against the failures is insane and obscene. You must accept that people can and will fail in life and societies and communities are no different. It is the function of society to carry such failed communities along and support them for the sake of the wider society, just as the success stories are not left to consume their extreme wealth by themselves, but instead are forced to redistribute their wealth amongst the wider community. It also doesn't mean that such failed examples are devoid of value. They may still excel in certain aspects of their existence, aesthetically, eccentrically, intellectually, socially, culturally.

"There is no realistic prospect that our regeneration towns and cities can converge with London and the South East."

Why would we want them to? What sort of fuckstick imagines for one second that every settlement in the entire country can be managed to some sort of economic parity where they are all equally productive? Reality check, motherfucker!

"There are over 2,500 hectares of industrial land in London alone, and 10,000 hectares in London and the South East together. If only half of it were used for housing, it would create £25 billion in value and allow half a million people to move to an area that offers much better prospects than where they live now."

The South East is already overpopulated. The infrastructure and ecosystem services can barely sustain the existing population, let alone another million people. Water abstraction levels are 10 per cent higher than the water supply available in the South East. Without significant investment an influx of migrants will rapidly push services to breaking point. The incumbent communities will view the migrants with resentment and allocate blame for compromising services to them. It will be a fucking nightmare. The future holds few absolute certainties but three of them are resource depletion, climate change and population growth. These three factors suggest that food prices will rise continuously in the future as they are now. The population densities living in London will soon be unsustainable if food prices continue to rise as people resort to seeking their own land to produce groceries from in order to maintain a reasonable standard of living.

Edit log:

Yeah, I made some changes to this because I'd misrepresented the first quote. Better now. He's still a fucking idiot.

UK and EU fisheries policy is stupid and unsustainable



Labour's drugs policy "based on what would play well with Daily Mail readership"


Like we didn't already know that, but its nice to hear it from someone from the administration itself. Same goes for the argument against prohibition.

Jesus is a junglist


Shit, I laughed!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008



This is just so awesome I might actually spiff in my pants.

Now I know what 'casus belli' means


And I found out from Spinwatch's take-up of the story about Dick Cheney planning to have a bunch of Navy Seals dressed as Iranians attack a US warship in the Persian Gulf to provide an excuse to attack Iran.

Dick Cheney is a monster and needs to be locked away.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"green gold" - a response to Rossinisbird's critique of algal biofuels


Microalgae are widely touted as a solution to all of the world's carbon-related ills, from replacing fossil fuels to capturing carbon to reducing pressure on food prices by replacing existing first generation biofuel feedstocks that effectively take food from the mouths of the poor and hungry and convert it into fuel for gas guzzlers. (short space for breath after long opening sentence) Rossinisbird finds these diverse claims encouraging but remains sceptical about their real contribution to climate emissions due to the necessity to consume resources and electricity in their production whilst not actually contributing to any serious reduction in emissions. I wholly support his criticisms of the technology, in that it is far from being carbon neutral at present, relying extensively on components and energy derived from fossil fuels. It would only be fair, at this point, to observe that most renewable technologies at this stage still rely extensively on power from conventional technologies to manufacture them. I doubt if their currently exists a wind turbine orPV cell manufacturer whose business relies exclusively on renewably generated energy (correct me if I'm wrong). This is because we are in the earliest stages of the inevitable transfer to renewables and have barely begun to climb the mountain.

This is not an excuse- in my opinion it should be compulsory for all new buildings and structures that require electricity, industrial or otherwise, to be enlisted in local collectives for the installation of appropriate renewable generations systems- i.e. meiogeneration. The prefix 'meio-' in ecology denotes an intermediate scale between macro and micro. I am using this term to differentiate the above proposal from the two prevalent forms of generation and distribution. All three of these designs have their advantages and disadvantages and there is no 'right' model for a global network of renewables. Given the challenge of converting a nation from centralised generation to diffuse renewable sites across the nation it seems sensible to start from an intermediate scale such as meiogeneration as micro generation is very inefficient- if twenty houses contribute £1000 each to buy one bad-ass wind turbine and share the output they'll get a lot more generation than if they each bought their own poxy £1000 turbine that won't break into the clean air flow above ground. There are cooperatives springing up across the country to take advantage of this phenomenon and once the resistance of the cunts in Westminster to feed-in-tariffs is finally overcome the revolution will grow exponentially.

I digress from the subject in hand, but I just wanted to point out that "renewable generation" is a dynamic term that is becoming less oxymoronic every day. All "renewable" technologies still have a way to go before they become independent of fossil or nucular power though.

So algal biofuels might, one day, become carbon neutral. However, Rossinisbird emphasises that becoming neutral is not good enough. If we are to avoid significant risk of catastrophic climate change by limiting mean global temperature rises to 2 degrees or less then we need to reduce emissions by as much as 98% in the West. Simply preventing further rises is predicted by the IPCC to result in a global mean temperature rise of 2.8 to 3.2 degrees, with all the megadeaths, resource wars and extreme weather events that are predicted to accompany crossing the 2 degree threshold (see table SPM6, page 20). Algal biofuels, therefore, theoretically do nothing to help meet this cut. In pragmatic terms, however, they have a massive contribution to make towards emission cuts. The rate of car ownership is exploding across the world, although the similar rise in fuel prices has certainly dampened the market, I doubt it will have halted its rise. Currently biofuels are exacerbating this problem. Several studies looking at life-cycle costs have revealed biofuels to result in more GHG emissions that a corresponding quantity of fossil fuel. These extra emissions result either from carbon emissions from the clearance of virgin bush, forest or savannah or from the extensive use of intensive agriculture techniques involving considerable mechanisation and application of fertilisers. Algal biofuels avoid both of these elements as the sole prerequisite for an algal bioreactor is the footprint of ground upon which it stands and the light required to grow the algae. As a result many pilot farms are being established in desert areas. Water can- and is- recycled efficiently and 'grey water' can even be incorporated into more extensive production models. The output of cutting edge algal "bioreactors" is currently claimed to be a staggering 100,000 litres per hectare. The production of one of these hectares is reducing disel consumption by 100,000 litres a year. If a fake, German mini rip-off does 72.4mpg and produces 104 grams CO2/km then putting that hectare's worth of algal biodiesel into one will save . . . . . . (I can't wait for metrification to be completed because these sums are going to be a bitch)

  • 72.4mpg = 3.2 litres per 100 kilometres
  • so 100,000 litres will keep the piece of German toss going for (100,000 / 3.2) * 100
    • = 3,125,000 kilometres
  • thereby saving ((3,125,000km * 104) / 1,000,000) metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents
  • = 325 tonnes CO2 (wasn’t that hard after all)

This amount of carbon would not be released into the atmosphere- it would be taken up and released again. In real terms this produces a cut in emissions.

In terms of halting our exponentially increasing emissions this cannot be a bad thing as it does not require the public to change their habits one little bit. And- lets face it- public opinion remains the biggest barrier to meaningful action to combat climate change thanks to Channel 4. And what's the difference in the end between a car running on renewably generated electricity and one running on algal biofuel? Both propulsion systems have their advantages and disadvantages and are not at all mutually exclusive. In a model system neither produces carbon emissions but one utilises existing technology and the other requires a whole new infrastructure and culture to develop. I love electric cars and am intending to build my own but convincing my neighbour Trevor to trade in his Subaru Imprezza for a more environmentally friendly option will only meet with ire and outrage. His kids may see things differently once they've seen things like this but that's a generation away and action must be taken before then.

Automobiles and car culture are far from being the only potential beneficiaries of algal biofuels. I mentioned this before but petroleum hydrocarbons form the basic feedstock for . . well . . . everything. From paint to fertilisers to plastics. I won't go into detail as I'm sure if you've read this far you know that. But its definitely worth pointing out that, as the easy oil supplies dry up, the price of every oil-derived product in the world is going to rise, making the investment in renewable technologies and infrastructure that much more expensive and making the eco-apocalypse of tar-sands and coal more and more attractive to companies that want to maintain those nice multi-billion dollar profit margins. Algal biofuels are a tool in every sustainably-minded politician's rhetorical toolbox.

Don't get me wrong- I'm not trying to sell algal biofuels as a 'magic bullet' to the world's problems. However, in a world still hostile to sustainable development they cannot be ignored. Joined-up-thinking is clearly essential if we are actually going to take on the triple-headed motherfucker of the credit crunch, climate change and peak oil. We need to invest in a wide range of efficiency measures first and foremost as this is where the easy gains are to be made. By the same logic we need to get every single renewable technology on the bench at the moment and throw them at China and India. Spending ten million pounds to reduce our own- already relatively efficient industry's emissions by a fraction of a percent may give us the moral high ground but its fucking stupid when that money could halve the emissions of a similar industry in India or China, especially when that industry is producing tat that is bound for your local branch of Tesco and will end up in landfill in six months time.

If I seem obsessed by algal biofuels lately I must apologise but I’m reaching the end of my PhD and considering where to best apply my efforts in order to save the world as its certainly not in marine ecotox, where I’m working at the moment. You can save all the fucking whales and cuddle all the dolphins you want but when people have nothing left on land to eat they won’t balk at a dolphin steak. My intention is to prevent that happening at all- as opposed to crying over my dolphin steak in twenty years time. Algal biofuel cultivation requires a working knowledge of biology and water quality management- two things I’ve got up my sleeve- and it is a whole lot more applicable to our current plight, as I’ve tried to make clear here, than polychaete metal resistance.

high-grade tunage


These guys are playing at Recydrate. They're gonna rule.

laugh for the day


Charlie Brooker is a funny chap.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

war is abhorrent


The papers are full of articles analysing the causes of the Georgian-Russian war. Much of it discusses who is responsible. Few of them condemn the actions of either party. I think that's bullshit.

At least its not 12th July 2006 all over again. I have to approve of Gordon Brown's call for a ceasefire. At least he can do one thing that national leaders are meant to. Shame about the several thousand others.

the hydrogen economy sucks goat cock


Yeah, I mentioned this recently, but last time was soooooooo much fun, what with David Duff's comments, that I thought I'd raise it again! Plus, Monsieur Blaireau de Hérissement (Babelfish rules) does a rather comprehensive job.

this is ultra-rad


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Union Issues


I recently joined a union and I got sent a load of paperwork laying outtheir new rules as Amicus has recently joined with that other big union. Anyway, I was reading through their political section, which is a big masturbatory session over the Labour party, who I hate for the planet-killing, sociopathic genocidaires that they are. I was wondering if there is such a thing as a 'Green Union'? Any ideas?


I found this. Its pertinent.

religious people are really, really stupid



(I fixed the broken link, BTW.)

late night entertainment


No, not porn. This.

A few corkers:

  • Hanlon's razor — A corollary of Finagle's law, normally taking the form "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.". As with Finagle, possibly not strictly eponymous. Alternately, "Do not invoke conspiracy as explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice, as conspiracy implies intelligence."
  • Hofstadter's law — "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law." It was created by Douglas Hofstadter in his book Gödel, Escher, Bach.
  • Littlewood's law — States that individuals can expect miracles to happen to them, at the rate of about one per month. Coined by Professor J E Littlewood, (18851977)
  • Poe's Law — Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to tell the difference between religious Fundamentalism and a parody thereof.
  • Sturgeon's revelation — "90 percent of everything is crap."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Malcolm Wicks is an ignorant, gutless, wet blanket who shouldn't be in government


"Ministers are under pressure from scientists, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and some of its own backbenchers to say it will withdraw the operating consent from Kingsnorth if by a fixed date - probably 2020 - the plant had failed to use CCS to capture 90% of its emissions.

But Wicks said such a condition would mean the plant was not built at all."

See what I mean? As much use as homosexual birth control.

Isn't he missing something here? Something like: 'If they can't commit to themselves to ensuring their instrument does not become a threat to society, why should they be allowed to build it?"

A good analogy would be a pesticide or pharmaceutical that must undergo toxicity testing before it is released into the environment. If its going to hang around and accumulate in the food chain (the technical term is potent, persistent and accumulating) or if it somehow gets transformed into something really nasty once released, it shouldn't be sold in the first place.

100 greatest quotes from Christian whackjob chatrooms


This is unashamedly lifted from Larry Teabag. But its so funny I don't care and I bet he doesn't either.
One of the most basic laws in the universe is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This states that as time goes by, entropy in an environment will increase. Evolution argues differently against a law that is accepted EVERYWHERE BY EVERYONE. Evolution says that we started out simple, and over time became more complex. That just isn't possible: UNLESS there is a giant outside source of energy supplying the Earth with huge amounts of energy. If there were such a source, scientists would certainly know about it.


This one's even better:

[on the sunject of a Bible printing company]

Yes, that is a great company. I bought one of their large print version (old eyes... what can I say?).
The only thing I don't like about them is they sell foreign language versions of the KJB. I don't think that's right. We know the only true translation is the 1600's version in English.
It's too risky for anybody to translate that into other languages. Mistakes can creep in... and that can lead to heresy. True Christians should only read English.

This one's the best, though

[Am I in discussion with a human who has a functioning brain?]

What does a functioning brain have to do with the Bible?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Green New Deal


Just found out about this from an article on CiF. The Green New Deal is frickin awesome, the CiF post decidedly less so. This bloke Aditya Chakrabortty seems to think that Labour, the government that has continued and extended the Conservative policy of privatisation, fronting every policy shoved into their pockets by the CBI and pandering some moderately progressive policies to the masses to keep the old school from deserting them completely, is somehow left wing. Wrong, Aditya! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

This bloke has so much Labour cock up his arse he is jizzing globs of right-wing spunk out of his mouth. Labour have overseen an extention of inequality that keeps the Tory front bench in awe. The last time I checked there were a fuckload of sites advocating progressive policies apart from this one. Check the link list on the left (Left! Ha!). The reason you don't see progressive policies advocated more in the press is because people are sick of just reading about them. Now is the time for action and it doesn't involve voting for Labour. It involves voting Green.

kite power


Yes, electricity from kites.

The commentator mentions that its impossible to build a turbine to take advantage of the jet stream winds, which offer 4 times more power than that available to conventional turbines. I don't see why a kite couldn't be used to lift a turbine into the sky for this purpose. Definitely more of a technical challenge but what isn't, these days?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"Free Trade" is an oxymoron


Yeah, anyone who's read Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine knows what a bunch of inhuman monsters the WTO and World Bank are. Johann would like to remind us of this.

authoritarianism update


Now the police have confiscated the pole from the wind turbine at the climate camp.

They have also managed to confiscate a selection of devastating and lethal weaponry that they trumpeted as evidence that "a minority of people had hidden them with the intention of causing harm to police officers, and possibly to the horses or dogs we are using on patrol". The weapons mentioned, and therefore those they feel most threatened by, I will list here:

  • an 'adapted knife' (adapted - woooooOOOOOOooooooooo)
  • a knife block containing knives (SURELY intended for stabbing policemen and not for cooking with)
  • a large chain with a padlock (SURELY intended to be used as an offensive weapon against police horses by a bunch of tree-hugging, vegan, animal-lovers and not to chain protesters to gates, machinery, etc.)

Weak. Just fucking weak.

Fucking pigs.

Julie Burchill is a nihilistic twat



George rules.

people are stupid


New research, reported in The Guardian today, found that public support for gender equality is waning as opinion turns against working mothers. What the fuck this has to do with gender equality I do not know! The point to be made here is that children need a parent's company in their formative years, whether that be a mother or father. I will try and find evidence of this because its such complete bullshit that this should affect people's perception of gender equality, which is has implications for far more than parenthood alone. The bigotry and subtle discrimination in the language used in this article is appalling. If I become a father I damn well hope to get some paternity leave and would happily put my career on hold to spend my days playing with kids- imagine the fun!

I have to break off from my rant and observe that other results from the research don't actually suggest we are moving back to an 18th century view of women as baby machines and housewives. However from certain lines of the text it is clear that opinion leans towards the current employment market clashing with the duties of motherhood and housekeeping. My simple solution to this is for men to pull their fingers out. I am now being grossly hypocritical (punkwiff would be going purple right now if she were reading this) as I loath washing up and have a very lackadaisical approach to housework but that is my culture. I would like to challenge the 'Cillit Bang' view of life as a house full of disinfected surfaces and gleaming plastic and return to one of grubby wooden floorboards, piles of clutter and sinks full of washing up. If I am left in charge of things I wash up once every few days. I would like to note that I have never cleaned a bath in my life. Is this a bad thing?


Theresa May rules, as long as you ignore the last paragraph. Fucking Tory scum.

the festival experience


It was dark and wet; soaked in the fermented juice of a million apples. I spent hours with my eyes closed and inhaled the charred fumes of exotic spices. There was a roaring fire around which dark shapes cavorted bizarrely. I feared them and retired to the bosom of the psy-trance bunker. Later they played dubstep, which suited my state of inebriation well. The following day I had the most amazing veggie burger that has ever slid past my tonsils. The mud got deeper and the tea stronger. Nell appeared and we danced and laughed like wild gypsies, drunk on the beauty of life. I had a wee in front of one of the most beautiful panorama's I have ever seen. The mud got even deeper.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Iran calls moratorium on stoning


This is pretty good news for the eight or so people currently lined up for this most hideous of deaths.

the US-UK "special relationship" . . . . or- more precisely- the trans-Atlantic fuckover


So, Diego Garcia is being used by the yanks as an interrogation base as well as a transit point for extraordinary rendition. Who knew?! Well, the CIA, obviously, and some retired general and a few other people. The big question is who knew in the UK government? Because, as the article observes, such beastliness is slightly more illegal in our barely-more-civilised little country than it is in the US.

Several attempts were made by the UK government- forced into action by the mounting rumours and even open admissions of such attrocities by US military sources- to elucidate what exactly the US military was doing out there were predictably met with smooth denials. Quite what the US is going to say now that similar accusations have been published in Time magazine remains to be seen but its not going to be pretty.

The awesomeness of Reprieve put it succinctly by commenting that:

"This remains a transatlantic cover-up of epic proportions. While the British government seems content to accept whatever nonsense it is fed by its U.S. allies, the sordid truth about Diego Garcia’s central role in the unjust rendition and detention of prisoners in the so-called ‘War on Terror’ cannot be hidden forever."

The UK, of course, had the considerable dishonour of purging the island of its previous inhabitants, as Rossinisbird explains, so I suppose the US are really just following our lead. So much for the moral high ground.

Cheney contemplates faking an Iranian attack to trigger war


You couldn't make it up.

Unless you were familiar with the US's record of illegal attacks, inflammatory territorial infringements and covert actions of the last few decades, that is. Gulf of Tonkin Incident, anyone? How about the Corinto attacks in Nicaragua? I could go on if I could be arsed.

National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit and the Kingsnorth Climate Camp


According to Caroline Lucas, heavy handed tactics by the police are widespread, ludicrous confiscations of dangerous substances such as soap, disabled access ramps and crayons are ongoing and pepper spray has been used without provocation. The title of this post refers to the organisation responsible for penning the police handbook being applied here, called "Policing Protests".

The police are present, not to prevent the enaction of crimes by hundreds of peaceful and organised protesters, but to repress their civil liberties and to disrupt the organisation and conduct of their protest (the police blocked food deliveries to the camp!). This authoritarianism is another step closer to Genoa. Fucking pigs.

of fish and sociopathy


I mentioned George's article on the lunacy of the fishing lobby a while back but Jim Bliss has done a stunning job on the sociopathy of the libertarian wet dream of property rights over everything in the ecosystem as a solution to resource overexploitation. His point is beautiful in its simplicity:

"it is clear to me that it’s wrong to allow a psychotic individual to seriously harm themself out of respect for their choice. We understand that there is a high enough probablility that they aren’t currently capable of sound judgment, to warrant intervention out of concern for their well-being.

Likewise, if the public demand fish at an unsustainable rate, then we’re not acting in sound (collective) mind. We need to make it clear to everyone that demanding resources at an unsustainable rate represents a collective madness. We need to make it clear that insofar as morality is linked with the prevention of human suffering, such demands are deeply immoral. We need to make it clear that while such ways of thinking may well be ingrained, we can no longer allow them to dictate our behaviour in the world. We need to ensure that everyone knows new rules — a kind of imposed collective super-ego, if you will — are now required to govern our interaction with the environment.

And yes, those found acting outside the rules would be viewed and treated the same way we would treat anyone who seeks to endanger the survival of millions."

Friday, August 01, 2008

corporate sociopathy


Israeli soldiers filmed shooting bound and blindfolded prisoner in the foot


Inhuman monsters.

UK's claims of leadership on emissions "simply a big lie"


Yeah, George did the maths and blew the cover on this recently. Seems some other people have caught on too.

An interesting point is made that emissions should not be assigned to the nations in which they are produced. Instead emissions should be assigned to the nations which consume the goods produced- "emissions at the point of consumption". This is essential to police the 'exporting' of carbon emissions to China and India, which is exactly the trick the UK has pulled.

This passage from the author of the two reports that revealed this accounting trickery:

"Holding China and India responsible for emissions from manufactured goods they sell to us is going to prove very hard to negotiate.

"It would be much easier to base any future deal on emissions at the point of consumption. That feeds into the equity debate in which poor countries will be allowed to increase their CO2.

"It's at the very least misleading for the UK government to claim reductions while we export our emissions. This is a problem no government wants to face.

"In emissions terms, we are constantly battling against increases of wealth. Every year, we don't even manage to improve our energy efficiency to keep up with wealth increases, let alone to cut emissions.

"There's a very fundamental problem here that no-one really wants to talk about."

The UK government and administration- because you can't blame this solely on the politicians- are a bunch of dirty, climate change denying cockweasels.