Number of the Month

August  2007

Here we go again

Once again Foot and Mouth disease has reared its ugly head in England. To mark the occasion, we reproduce in these pages a chapter from The Epidemiologists, Holocaust, Lest we forget.

04/08/07

Coup d’état

Not with a bang but a whimper.

Once again Christopher Booker is the isolated hero trying to tell his countrymen what is being done to them. The headline in the Daily Mail says it all. But the political classes and their media co-conspirators are not listening. The great adventure that was the British Nation is being brought to an end by a combination of guile, obfuscation and sheer malevolence. The same may be said, of course, for the Polish Nation and all the others whose forefathers have fought and died for their identity and freedom.

It is difficult to find a flaw in the argument at EU Referendum that the Conservative Party is just going through the motions. A thousand years of struggle and sacrifice to seize liberty from tyrants, and then to preserve it from tyrants, is to be brought to nought by the mere flourish of a pen: yet the spokesman for the official opposition writes about it as though he were discussing an abstruse point of grammar. He establishes the fact that the Prime Minister, like his predecessor, is a lying renegade and then administers a verbal slap on the wrist. Where is the passion? Where is determination?

We have by now become accustomed to the absence of opposition in our parliamentary debates, but token opposition is just as futile, though even more sinister.

That it should all end like this!

07/08/07

Hush, not a word to the public!

Here is the headline you won’t see in the Establishment Media

Global warming caused by a millennium bug

Get the story with links here.

And here is the headline you did get:

Global warming forecast predicts rise in 2014

Yes folks, it’s yet another computer model, but with yet another version of HIWTYL. Now the weather is going to moderate before a surge, just so the punters don’t get confused by the present absence of disaster. And, of course, all the other models are suddenly rubbish. There is only one genuine snake oil!

Link to this piece

If it looks like a fish and smells like a fish …

Douglas J Keenan has some comments to make on more of the IPCC’s basic data.

A right royal panic

Try this thought experiment. You are in charge of the world’s premier scientific institution, and have espoused a particular theory in which you believe. A lone director produces a documentary for a minor TV channel that contradicts the theory. What is your reaction – if any?

Now repeat the experiment, but assume that you do not really have any faith in the theory to which you have irrevocably committed your institution.

Now look at the Royal Society web site and its comments on Swindle. Hysterically OTT or what?

But there’s more. The Royal Society has suddenly closed its discussion pages without explanation. Having orchestrated the international campaign to impose censorship on scientific debate, it is now applying the clampdown to its own pages with a bald statement that “These discussions are now closed.” The Greenie clique who mounted the successful coup within the Royal Society have not only robbed it of its integrity, but also of its dignity. It is pretty clear that there were simply too many contributors who were off message. How are the mighty fallen!

Link to this piece

10/08/07

Go for it, Granny!

Meanwhile, in another part of Wiltshire, the struggle against the suffocating Nanny State continues.

11/08/07

National shame

If the law supposes that, then the law is a ass, a idiot!
Mr Bumble

It is the greatest of human tragedies – the gradual dissolution of a personality. It is the thing more feared by us oldies than death itself. Professor David Baron writes:

I note that the High Court has ruled in favour of NICE: Aricept is not a cost-effective treatment in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

A bit odd though. If you are in the early stages of Alzheimer's in England and you travel North, as soon as you cross the River Tweed, Aricept becomes cost effective. It used to be the River Jordan which had such magical properties.

Yes, it is now an official component of the Blair Legacy that a Scots brain is worth 2.50 pounds a day, while an English or Welsh one is not, and it is encapsulated in the law. Never mind any arguments as to whether the drugs are effective, this is a gross, crude and cruel injustice. The greatest victims are the carers, consigned by our depraved society to a life of hopeless desperation.

How hateful our once great nation has become!

Link to this piece

12/08/07

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13/08/07

Bugs

The silly season rolls on. There seems little point in continuing to comment on the inevitable and familiar stories that are trotted out by desperate editors. Epidemiologists and other professional scaremongers come out to play, with yet more data dredges about their favourite chimeras, such as wine, a glass of which will now give you bowel cancer. The professor of salt insanity made his usual appearance, with a manufactured story about somebody’s salad being more salty than someone else’s hamburger, to parade his totally baseless claims of lives to be saved by eliminating this flavoursome essential to human life from our diets.

Two stories stirred memories in your bending author, who well over half a century ago gave a talk to the Bug Club (the school biological society) and passed round an electron microscope image of bacteriophages disrupting cells of  coli, ending with the claim that one day we would use viruses to cure disease. That image was cut out from Nature. How things have changed. There were no computers then, or even overhead projectors, while Nature was the pre-eminent science journal, uncontaminated by religion. It was always a nagging regret that one's first attempt at scientific prediction did not seem to come to anything.

Now, suddenly, in the midst of the silliness, bacteriophages have re-emerged as a form of treatment to obviate the over-use of antibiotic drugs. Furthermore, right on cue, an outbreak of E. coli has emerged with already fatal consequences.

There are more coincidences. Your bending author has received about eight different antibiotics over the last year (by pill, injection and infusion) without any obvious benefit. The trouble began with a flight taken to Sweden in September. It was a known risk, as your bending author  is a victim of the law of unintended consequences: the smoking ban on planes, intended to be a health measure, gave airlines the opportunity to reduce dramatically the level of air filtering, which means that susceptible passengers almost inevitably arrive at their destination with the bonus of a lung infection. The cumulative damage over the years (bronchiectasis) means that your bending author is now the proud owner of a blue EU disabled driver’s badge. Furthermore, the hell that is Heathrow has at last been recognised by the media and even Ken Livingstone (to whom we raise our hats). Everything is connected.

Incidentally, talking about connections, anyone whose eye strayed below that September link will come across the Glory that was the Royal Society, which is redolent of one of the themes of this month.

Pardon the naivety of the question, but

If El Niño warmed the whole planet in 1998, where did the extra thermal energy come from?

14/08/07

The cutler did it!

First they came for the smokers…

Well, it was not long in coming. The zealous banners, fresh from their triumph over smoking in public buildings, have already turned to the next target, revealing their usual mixture of opportunism, perverse logic and orchestrated campaigning.

The push was lead by a Chief Constable. As we have so often remarked in these pages, if you appoint senior policemen on the basis of their political correctness rather than their ability as thief-takers, that is what you get. Standing by to respond the call, as though it were an unexpected development, are the politicians and bureaucrats who cannot wait for the further advancement of authoritarian government.

It is hard to imagine a greater degree of arrogance and complacency from one who has so evidently failed in his duty as comprehensively as Fahy. He has left the streets of his manor free for occupation by feral gangs, while his officers are wrestling with bureaucracy and red tape in the confines of their stations. To exploit the death of an innocent citizen, caused by this man’s own failure of policing as much as anything, in order to advance the next politically correct ban is the height of cynicism.

Blaming alcohol for youthful indiscipline is like blaming the cutler whenever there is a stabbing. Calling for a tax increase in response is like increasing the price of household cutlery to stop stabbings. “Penalise everyone for the misdemeanours of the few” has long been the cry of authoritarians and tax-fanciers.

The core of the problem is the total breakdown of discipline in schools, deliberately engineered by trendy do-gooders, who are now interfering in families. Making a crime of mild parental smacking is to go against the nature of ourselves as mammals. Watch a cat raising a brood of kittens. If one gets out of order it receives a gentle, affectionate cuff. It is a gesture instinctively understood by both parties, built by evolution into the genes. In the wild imaginings of the do-gooders, this loving correction becomes a vicious assault. Children from the age of about four learn that they are untouchable and can commit any offence they like; this at the time when it is in their nature to explore the boundaries of what is permissible. The boundaries they need are no longer there. Like the victims of crime who foolishly try to defend themselves, parents who try to instil discipline are likely to find themselves up in court. Yet the political elite now have the characteristic audacity to  blame the parents for the mess that they have created.

The self-styled educational experts have deliberately wasted a large proportion of a generation of boys, by subjecting them to a feminised system of education totally unsuited to them. They do this out of pure political zeal, regardless of the consequences. The accumulated wisdom of the past led to boys and girls being separately educated. Evolution has determined that there are three things boys need – discipline, competition and challenge (with the risk of failure). It is a law of nature that was understood by the great educators of the past. In so far as these things are absent, the boys will provide them for themselves. If they do not get them from the teachers, the gang leaders will provide. Now the teachers have only cajoling and pleading in their armoury: the gangs have fists, knives and guns. Who prevails? The stark contrast between the tranquil, recycling, carbon-neutral world of the new establishment imagination and the brutal jungle they have actually created is destined to be the enduring quality of our age.

Not that there is anything new in the presence of intimidating gangs of youths. Over half a century ago we children learned to avoid the street corners where teddy boys gathered, the curl of a cut throat razor poking ominously out of the top pocket of each long drape jacket. They would fade away as the constabulary approached. The big difference nowadays is that the constabulary is back in the nick filling in forms, expressing the political correctness required by their chief constables.

Like the knife, alcohol is just one of the tools that the feral gangs use to express their defiance. In our local co-op, when there is an offer on alcoholic beverages, it is the old-age pensioners who are first in the queue. It is a little light in their grim, deprived lives when something they enjoyed in the past comes into the realm of affordability. There are no under-age purchasers in evidence. They must be getting their supplies from older accessories. None of the proposed impositions of legislation are going to change that. The wealthy politicians and chief constables would not be inconvenienced by their drinks becoming more expensive, so why should they worry about anyone else? The ban’s the thing!

They demand that, because of the occurrence of under-age drinking, the legal age should be raised. What more perverse logic could you ask for? The existing offenders are already under the legal age, so how does bringing more people into the scope of the law do anything but exacerbate that problem? Have they learned nothing from the history of prohibition? Long experience with young people tells you that it is the ones who have not had a gentle introduction to alcohol at home who are the ones who go off the rails. No, what they are enamoured with is the idea of the ban itself. When they have done tobacco and alcohol, what next? Success breeds success and the appetite does not weaken and so die.

Link to this piece.

What he should have said

I humbly apologise. I have taken the money (in substantial sums) of ordinary people, who engaged me to protect them and I have let them down. I have sacrificed their interests to unproven trendy political theories. I have taken the police, that these people have paid so dearly for, off the streets and confined them to offices where they perform irrelevant bureaucratic duties that frustrate them, while mayhem reigns on the streets. Many have suffered and some have died. For that I take full responsibility. I have acted as a cat’s paw for authoritarian politicians whose only interest is in extending their control over other people’s lives. I have no alternative but to resign.

16/08/07

And now for the weather forecast ...

John A, of Climate Audit fame, reminds us of this forecast from the people who can tell us what the climate is going to do for hundreds of years. Further discussion in our Forum.

For those who do not avidly follow British affairs, this year will go down in history as the year without a summer.

Footnote: and there's more.

The Orwellian nightmare continues

More snoopers are being trained and their powers are increasing by the day. State sponsored kidnapping is being carried out by social workers aided by the secretive family courts. The quangocracy has grown to the point where it is a secretive state within a state.

If only we had an opposition!

19/08/07

Blue Note

Epidemics are all the rage among the chattering classes. Now we have to add to the ever growing list the depression epidemic. In line with our long standing definition in the vocabulary, the Number Watch view is:

Anyone who is not depressed does not understand what is going on.

The common factor

Funding cuts are blamed for the degree of devastation in a hotel fire. Funding cuts to flood defences were cited after the devastating floods. Funding cuts also took place at Pirbright Laboratory before the alleged leak of foot and mouth virus.

Yet the Government can fund huge investments in quangos, recruiting and training snoopers as well as many other repressive measures. It is just more of the Brown stuff.

20/08/07

El Niño

Well, no one has offered an answer to the naïve question, so here is a naïve attempt at an answer:

bulletEl Niño is a phenomenon of convection of air and water
bulletConvection cannot create energy, only redistribute it
bulletYet El Niño appears to change the estimate of global temperature
bulletTherefore the estimate of global temperature is not a reliable indicator of global warming

Bookmark

Footnote (in response to correspondence): The corollary of this is that the sensor distribution and/or the subsequent data processing favour those volumes of matter that are recipients of thermal energy over those that are donors.

Yet another triumph for the EPA

Yet another species saved from extinction.

21/08/07

Help!

Another aspect of the new religion appeared in the newer, blander, Cameronian Spectator. It represents the modern equivalent of those notables of the Jane Austen era who attended church and joined in its rituals primarily with the purpose of being seen. Please, somebody, say that it was a spoof and that the apoplectic condition induced in your bending author by such a display of mindless, po-faced, self-satisfied, camp posturing was illusory; for there is still three months to go on the prepaid subscription.

25/08/07

Clutching at straws

Number watcher P J Hilton draws attention to this gem of a coda for admirers of Paul Simons’s Weather Eye in The Times for today:

Temperatures this summer have held up remarkably close to the average, despite the rains, sunless skies and wind. Perhaps sustaining near normal temperatures in such dreadful conditions is a sign of climate change at work.

28/08/07

 

The Hansen phenomenon

It is one of those classic moments of high drama when the protagonist loses it: as in The Caine Mutiny when Captain Queeg in the witness box reaches into his pocket for the steel ball-bearings that are his comforters in paranoia. Just as Queeg condemned himself out of his own mouth, so the contemporary prophet of doom, in a quite remarkable outbreak of hysteria, needs no contributions from opponents to reveal himself. Just look at these paragraphs:

Usufruct. The deceit behind the attempts to discredit evidence of climate change reveals matters of importance. This deceit has a clear purpose: to confuse the public about the status of knowledge of global climate change, thus delaying effective action to mitigate climate change. The danger is that delay will cause tipping points to be passed, such that large climate impacts become inevitable, including the loss of all Arctic sea ice, destabilization of the West Antarctic ice sheet with disastrous sea level rise later this century, and extermination of a large fraction of animal and plant species (see “Dangerous”, “Trace Gases”, and “Gorilla” papers). 

Make no doubt, however, if tipping points are passed, if we, in effect, destroy Creation, passing on to our children, grandchildren, and the unborn a situation out of their control, the contrarians who work to deny and confuse will not be the principal culprits. The contrarians will be remembered as court jesters. There is no point to joust with court jesters. They will always be present. They will continue to entertain even if the Titanic begins to take on water. Their role and consequence is only as a diversion from what is important. 

The real deal is this: the ‘royalty’ controlling the court, the ones with the power, the ones with the ability to make a difference, with the ability to change our course, the ones who will live in infamy if we pass the tipping points, are the captains of industry, CEOs in fossil fuel companies such as EXXON/Mobil, automobile manufacturers, utilities, all of the leaders who have placed short-term profit above the fate of the planet and the well-being of our children. The court jesters are their jesters, occasionally paid for services, and more substantively supported by the captains’ disinformation campaigns.

Prepare to meet thy doom was once the slogan borne by shabby old men on sandwich boards as they shambled, muttering and drooling, up and down The Strand. In our strange times it is propagated by highly paid state employees, further enriched by hand-outs from politicized funds. Ever since mankind developed language there have been prophets of doom, but this is different. This is a man identifying himself as a scientist, writing about others who are carrying out the normal function of science in attempting to falsify theories. In particular there is one villain of the piece, Steve McIntyre, who had the temerity to deduce the existence of an error, despite being refused access to the primary data and the adjustment criteria employed.

The language seems more appropriate to a mad king, raving on a storm-tossed heath about the injustices visited upon him by his tormentors, than to a scientist dispassionately analysing experimental data. It is, however, worse than that. Not only does he predict the end of the world, but he also reserves the right to keep to himself the methods by which he deduces this from measurement data, quite contrary to scientific tradition. There is, indeed, disturbing evidence of continual meddling with data from the past. The abominated McIntyre, however, publishes all his data and programs, accepting manfully the flak when he is caught out in an error. Though the adjustment in question is small, like others that have been made, it just happens, by sheer coincidence of course, to be in the direction to favour the establishment theory. The metaphors Hansen employs might be high in drama, but they are low in appropriateness. In applying the intended insult of “Court Jester” to his opponents, he not only transgresses the normal courtesies of scientific discourse, but also reveals that he does not understand the function of the said courtier in mediaeval monarchies, thereby causing his insult to rebound as something of a compliment. The corny ad hominem about his adversaries being in the pay of evil industrialists is not only without any basis of evidence, but it reveals his wholly political motivation, and comes ill from one who is not only in receipt of a generous salary but has also received munificence from a politically active foundation (the so-called ketchup money).

What a contrast! On one hand we have the modest stillness and humility of the dedicated seeker after truth; on the other, the shrill cackle of the politico-religious demagogue. One can imagine the embarrassment felt by the real scientists and engineers in NASA at the antics of Hansen. 

Hansen is quite right, however, in stating that the change brought about by the correction of his error is insignificant, but the fact is that all the numbers that muddy this debate are insignificant, including the purported warming over the last century. It is of no scientific importance that the warmest year of recent times might be 1934 and not, as we were so frequently told, 1998; just as it was of no significance when the ranking was the other way round. It is, however, of great political importance. It was a highly emotive point of propaganda, endlessly repeated, that the earth is warmer now than it has ever been. That it is not even true for recent times is a devastating blow to the alarmist cause, and only the docile acceptance of self-censorship in the media has prevented total collapse of the campaign in the public mind. The few right-wing demagogues that have taken it up are, to say the least, dubious as allies of science and its methods. Global warming is not only a multi-billion dollar industry; it is a religion and a vehicle for political enforcement. The interests involved are not going to abandon all that profit and power lightly; so dirty tricks must be expected. That a handful of individuals without funding can take on and expose such a ruthless industry, however, goes a little way to restoring ones faith in the human spirit.

Of course, many of us elderly scientists turn from detachment to polemic in our cantankerous old age, but at least we do the honourable thing and retire first.

You can follow Hansen’s Jeremiads and, if you have a few hours to spare, the rest of the saga at Climate Audit.

29/08/07

Link to the above piece

Number of the month – 1934

There was no competition in this month that is traditionally the height of the silly season. We have had it all; the health scares, the customary outbreak of the birth month fallacy, the salt man rampant and the alcohol nuts trying to keep up with the tobacco zealots. As we observe above, the deputy demagogue is now claiming that the change of leader in the hottest year stakes is without significance. Too true in a scientific sense, but it is a bit late to start appealing to science. Over and over again 1998 has been paraded in the propaganda as the record year – in that forecast for example. Now they are trying to hush up the fact that there is a new champion; successfully too, as the fact is completely unknown to the general public.

So, shout it from the rooftops, 1934 was the hottest year of the twentieth century (in the USA)!

31/08/07

Index

 

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