Number of the Month

December 2009

Making history

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

Well, here it comes, the International Conference on Global Governance in Copenhagen . According to the ever-truthful BBC it is the most important meeting in the history of the world. They even might be right this time, following the ease with which the European nations slid into antidemocratic, bureaucratic centralised government and the rise to power of a new movement towards the authoritarian left in America . 16,500 carbon-based entities will produce over 40,000 tones of carbon dioxide to travel to the conference. At least there will be some benefit to plant growth. The potential for new, insane attempts at world economic suicide is limitless. According to The Times the wild-eyed economist in charge of the IPCC is a leading world authority on climate science. His project is to suck gaseous plant food out of the atmosphere.

There is one glow on the southern horizon, however, where that glimmer is promising to turn into a beacon of hope, lighting the path of return to rationality. Read all about it in JoNova, which includes this heartfelt acknowledgement to the CRU whistle-blower, with which many of us may concur:

Thanks to the ClimateGate instigator, who-ever you are. The Australian people owe you a fortune. Somehow the God of Reason has smiled upon us and our democratically elected leaders are hesitating to give away $7 billion dollars of voter’s money annually (and ad infinitum) to foreign forces in the hope of changing the weather.

(WT)2 du jour

Don’t panic! It’s only a computer model

They are SO predictable. As promised, the WORSE THAN WAS THOUGHTs are coming thick and fast. The latest got a front page spot in The Times plus two centre pages, a big splash in the Telegraph and, it goes without saying, the ever-truthful BBC. It is a classic too, ignoring the data that there is no warming occurring (fashionably, hiding the decline) and building more computer predictions on other discredited predictions. You may now choose your depth of inundation from the à la carte menu, anything up to 50m (though that one comes only from the exclusive Hansen range). This modest little number comes in at about 1.4 metres; not too elaborate but just enough to enliven forthcoming banquets in Copenhagen

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Shell shock!

Interesting stuff about sea shells and ocean acidification in WUWT today! When Number Watch queried in passing the dissolution of calcium carbonate a couple of years ago a reply was received in the nature of “Calcium bicarbonate. Stick to numbers in future.”

Your bending author was inclined to argue the point, but in the absence of evidence either way decided the game was not worth the candle. The question that came to mind was “Does calcium bicarbonate actually exist?” You can have calcium ions and bicarbonate ions simultaneously in solution, but it is not isolatable as a solid. The sea is a soup containing hundreds of different positive and negative ions. How do you say which belongs to which?

Carbonic acid is a very weak acid. It can be displaced in a salt by almost any other acid. Its so-called acid salt, sodium bicarbonate turns litmus paper blue and is used medically as an antacid. It seemed back then that the ingenuity of evolution would have little problem in overcoming such an insubstantial barrier.

Now there is evidence that increasing CO2 increases shell growth. It is all just another invention of the scaremongers.

Incidentally, notice the bottom line in this account. In modern times religion still has the power to cancel out observation.

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(WT)2 du jour – warming costs to double

They call economics the “dismal science”. This is a misnomer. It might be dismal but there is little relation to the scientific method in it. It is just a set of untested hypotheses on which there is total disagreement among the practitioners. It is also no coincidence that the head of the UN IPCC and Britain ’s Scaremonger in Chief are both economists. Now the latter, LORD Stern, tells us that preventing runaway global warming will cost TWICE AS MUCH AS PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT. Nothing has changed, there are no new data (apart from the hidden decline), but Copenhagen is in the offing. So our hero, who gave up eating meat to save the planet, is upping the ante, just in time for the junkfest. They are SO predictable.

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Dying of the light

Change and decay in all around I see.

The stench of corruption hangs in a pall over the delightful city of Copenhagen. The studied stoking of hysteria in the establishment media is in a crescendo, aimed at a climax next week. Those online readers who wonder why The Times was so quiet on the subject on December 3rd should know that all of us subscribers received a glossy colour magazine entitled Eureka. It purports to be a scientific supplement, but this one is a climate change special. As you would expect, most of it is a travesty of science. What is not fraud is subreption. As an example of the latter, there is a side box entitled Why does carbon dioxide in the air change the temperature? It is based on a simple diagram of the earth with arrows going up and down representing radiation: no mention of water vapour, the dependence of energy distributions on source temperature or absorption/emission spectra – in fact nothing to do with the so-called greenhouse effect at all. There is a page of quotations from eleven green extremists in politics and propaganda, with pencil sketches of each of them. Climategate? What Climategate? The only mitigating feature is a single column by Richard S Lindzen; calm, reasoned and entirely lacking in frenzy.

Omitting the contribution of water vapour in favour of carbon dioxide is the mainstay of the climate fraud. It is like warning that the tail of an elephant is the most dangerous part.

On the 4th the main edition of The Times returned to form, with a litany of articles referring directly or indirectly to climate change. A central double page features a retreating glacier and luminaries no less than Al Gore (the Midas of Meteorology) and his familiar, James Hansen.

In the Telegraph, Ed Miliband, with his own distinct brand of cool reasoning calls his political opponents, who actually understand the science, “Climate Saboteurs”. Ah, the power of religion!

Of all the tales of giant institutional trees of the scientific forest being brought crashing down by the insidious creeping greenie mycelia, however, the most heartbreaking for older scientists is that of Nature. There was nothing like the thrill of seeing your first scientific results published in this journal, the ultimate recognition of original contribution. If anyone had suggested all those years ago that this caricature of a scientific editorial could have appeared in such an august location, they would have been condemned as quite mad. Honourable people carrying out the honourable tradition of sceptical science are depicted as evil “denialists”, while self-revelatory fraudsters are given every encouragement to continue their deceitful activities. How are the mighty fallen!

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The road to megalomania

It was powerfully mapped in one of the finest films ever, Citizen Kane, the story of progress from youthful idealism, via a series of small unplanned steps, to a climax of total corruption by self-absorption. It has recurred often throughout history: those who achieve supreme power through inheritance, usurpation or other political chicanery, favourites of the king, Hollywood divas, pathologically acquisitive industrial moguls etc. Some of them maintain their status to the end of their lives but few survive the judgement of history. Others head during their lives for the mighty fall and end their time in justifiable ignominy.

It has not been something that happens in the cloistered world of science, but until now science has been free of the taint of politics and therefore relatively incorruptible. Suddenly, however, political patronage has become a prime motivator for science. In those stories of old, powerful patronage was one of the movers on the path to megalomania. The world governance movement, after the collapse of the new-ice-age scare, discovered in global warming just what it needed to herd the masses in the desired direction. Furthermore it provided a justification for the grinding taxes that would be necessary to implement international socialist rule.

Climategate was a bit of a setback. They were relying on the historian’s fallacy – that nothing happened unless it was written down. Of course, ordinary people know that you never write down anything you might be ashamed of, but megalomaniacs are different. Secure in the blanket of powerful patronage, they committed their thoughts and deeds to the unforgiving and indelible ferromagnetic stockpile of computer memory. The e-mails and, even more, the program annotations stand as monuments to blatant abuse of everything that science stands for. The only available defence was to pass off those extraordinary blunders as trivial side-issues.

The heroic whistleblower of Climategate had changed everything. The sceptics had fully known what was going on, just as the practiced observer of water knows that a particular undulation on the surface of a pool reveals the hidden presence of something fishy and monstrous, but they had no evidence.

Apologists for the climate fraudsters claim that those e-mails were just normal banter between working scientists, the repartee of close colleagues. This is a gross calumny on the thousands of people who have dedicated themselves to the cause of science. Scientists in general simply do not organise themselves into international review rings to exclude those of different opinions. They do not apply pressure to the proprietors of journals to apply draconian censorship. They do not rejoice in the deaths of potent opponents. They do not include fudge factors in their data processing programs. They do not try to keep their source data secret and when challenged claim they have lost them, but are willing to substitute cooked versions. There are many other forms of behaviour in these revelations that they simply do no indulge in.

Inevitably it will be portrayed as a victimless crime but, in addition to the trillions of dollars fraudulently amassed, there are all the forgotten fervent young scientists whose careers were unjustly terminated by having their work excluded from publication.

The likes of Rupert Murdoch and his dynasty want to charge you for the information they provide on the internet. They claim it is expensive to produce, yet much of it is barely processed stuff straight from the press releases of various zealot groups. Often articles on a particular topic in the establishment media are virtually identical. The journalists are not just incompetent, they are lazy. Increasingly people looking for information are searching for themselves on the internet. A farmhouse in Wiltshire satisfied the just curiosity of seekers for knowledge by providing more than 25,000 downloads of the now notorious READ.ME files, which the establishment media were desperately trying to ignore as nonexistent. They concentrated on the lesser evil of the “stolen” e-mails, which were marginally less condemnatory. Reluctantly and with great resistance these organs of the establishment are now yielding to their customers’ demands for genuine information rather than propaganda. Even dedicated cherry pickers liked the Sunday Times are being forced by their readers to acknowledge that their beloved consensus does not exist.

It is now all in the melting pot.


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(WT)2 du jour – well there’s a surprise

It had to be something special for the opening of the junkfest in Copenhagen , and here it is. Today’s WORSE THAN WAS THOUGHT is Earth much more sensitive to global warming than thought. It is amazing what you can achieve by ignoring small items like the sun, the prime driver of climate. Pity they had to add that footnote that global warming saved the human race. No tact, some people!

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The crunch

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

If you are one of those who have not yet heard the peroration of Christopher Monckton’s speech in Minnesota hear it now. Then hear it again. Then pass it on to your friends and neighbours.

Regular readers will know that Number Watch is not inclined to make obeisance to those in the public eye. Christopher Monckton is different. Despite his arts background, he has amply demonstrated that he understands both the physics and mathematics of the global warming scare. He is a giant among dwarfs on the international scene. He has an intellectual mastery of the facts coupled with the gift of oratory. He is the Winston Churchill of his time, standing virtually alone in defiance of the antidemocratic forces that threaten to take over the world.

If you are American you have the extra incentive that you are elected to pick up the bill for the international socialist takeover. Already, Carol Browner of Socialist International is being granted control over your industries and economy.

The incompetent and impotent prime minister of Great Britain signed away his nation’s sovereignty in private and in shame, having resiled from a solemn manifesto promise to give his people a referendum before doing so. The incompetent and impotent leader of the opposition is not prepared to do anything about it. The President of the United States is poised to surrender the sovereignty of his nation in equally squalid circumstances.

It is in your hands.

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Send for Mr Bond

It is all an example of  Langmuir’s 5th law of bad science.

You have to admire the creative zeal of the apologists for Climategate. Of course, in the world of spooks, spies, moles and leaks anything is possible, but those of us who subscribe to Occam’s razor would be inclined to look for the simplest explanation. It is nicely summarised here. The rather tenuous link between the deposition of the files on a Russian server and a nefarious Russian plot is about as believable as the alleged funding of climate sceptics by Big Oil, for which there is zero evidence. In fact, thanks to the leaks, we now know that it was the Climategate conspirators who were courting the oil companies, and the latter would certainly be disinclined to miss out on the biggest scam in human history. Anyway, why would Russia , who stand to make a killing out of the racket, go to such lengths to kill it?

Nice try, though!

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The Midwich Cuckoos: Anti-social behaviour, 1950s style.It has been observed that the outstanding characteristic of those leaked e-mails is that there is not one joke in them. Like Islam, the New Left do not do jokes. We noted recently that the big change in university life has been the absence of laughter. As the new generation gradually took control of the universities they pursued relentless campaigns over such things as the control of language and tobacco. It was all done in those plonking tones adopted by the po-faced when they are on mission. Jokes were for the frivolous oldies.

As with the Spanish civil war, tobacco was only a rehearsal. The methods developed for the campaign, such as using CDC and EPA to manufacture fake statistics, would be ready to be reeled out when the final push came.

While the Right thought they were in control in the Thatcher/Reagan years, the New Left were quietly infiltrating institutions, most crucially the schools. Education became a cultureless brain-washing exercise.

The crucial move is the by-passing of democracy, as the EU bureaucrats did so successfully in establishing control over a continent. Now the EPA is being used as a means to by-pass democracy in the USA . By declaring the very stuff of life, carbon, to be a hazard to life, again on faked data, they have given the President power to ignore the elected representatives of the people. Make no mistake about it; Socialist International now has control of America  as well as Europe .

The small but welcome flurry of democracy in Australia has become a side issue. The impact of the Climategate whistleblower is in the process of being shrugged off by the privileged throng who have converged on Copenhagen in their limousines and private jets. Their naïve supporters (Lenin’s “useful idiots") take to the streets with painted faces demonstrating against the stuff they are made from. The silent majority do not do demonstrations, but if they do not soon bestir themselves they will be silenced forever in the Orwellian future that looms so ominously.

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Faking all over

A picture is worth a thousand words

It was the late, great Australian scholar, John Daly, who first noticed that temperature records were being retro-adjusted. Indeed, as far back as 2001 he was commenting on the lack of quality control in data presented by CRU. Fate has brought us full circle as the latest example of gross tampering with data in favour of a political theory emerges in Darwin. Perhaps sceptics have been too ready to concede that there has been any genuine warming at all.

What this tells us is that, not only are they “hiding the decline”, but they have artificially created a rise. That they chose to lie in this way demonstrates that they knew their theory was empirically invalidated but were prepared to commit a crime against science to conceal the fact. It seems to have happened all over the world, NASA, East Anglia and elsewhere. It illustrates the corrupting effect of politics and religion on science. This allows a universal conspiracy to exist, though unspoken.

Alas, poor science!


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The ever truthful BBC – a crack in the wall?

In an extraordinary development a maverick commentator, Clive James, tells it how it is on the media coverage of Global Warming  _ HERE. The man is so rational!


Footnote: Non-British readers might have to use the link:

Thanks to Barry Hearn for the tip.

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Mail service

The Daily Mail has always been a bit of a curate’s egg – good in parts. Much of it involves irritating insubstantial scares, the dull doings of so-called celebrities etc. It has the great merits however of featuring several sound columnists and not subscribing to the environmental self-censorship adopted by the rest of the establishment media. Now it has created a breakthrough by actually showing to ordinary people just one example of the sort of scam that is being perpetrated in order to filch the hard earned pennies from their deflating pockets. It is almost a small miracle that a popular newspaper has shown its readers what “hiding the decline” actually means by a simple graphical illustration. This does not, of course, convey the sheer scale of obfuscation that has been going on over the years, but it is a dramatic beginning.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair, who will shortly be called to give evidence about the alleged threat of WMD, attacks sceptics on Global Warming and pronounces the evidence for it overwhelming.

If you believe that Sir, you will believe anything. Many of us think it represents the greatest fraud in human history (by a long, long way), but what are a few billions here and there when you are a world figure? But then Blair believes that we must take action even if the science is incorrect; echoes of WMD?


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Decline and fall

We have long noted the fall of our once great media institutions, such as The Times and the BBC into the maw of the climate/ world-governance movement, but the descent of the Daily Telegraph into this gaping abyss of nonsense propaganda is harder to take. It was always far, far from perfect, but there was clearly an attempt to maintain a balanced view, plus the fragile hold of Christopher Booker in his small, irregular columns of reason. In recent weeks, however, there has been a sea change. Presumably some sort of coup has taken place. For the centre of the paper is now occupied by Greenies of the wildest disposition. They are Geoffrey Lean and Louise Gray, plus attendant courtiers. No wonder that EU Referendum has taken to dubbing it The Scarygraph. Oddly enough, the web version of the journal still seems to demonstrate some effort to keep on an even keel, with quite a different emphasis. This makes it harder to illustrate a commentary as it is hard to find links to the pieces that actually align with the printed page.

Page 12 of the edition of December 15th is typical. It is dominated by pictures of fluffy Emperor penguin chicks, cuddly koalas and a clown fish. Believe it or not, this last is at the top of the list of these endangered species. Apparently, the acidification of the sea by carbon dioxide has caused this fish to lose its sense of smell so that it cannot find its protective host.

Come off it! The only reason that the clown fish is there is that it was the sympathetic hero of a Disney cartoon. Until then the great majority of the population had never heard of it.

The bottom right hand corner of the page is reserved for the ersatz sceptic, Bjorn Lomborg, damaging to science as usual, but the rest of it is taken up by the dynamic duo, who have been drumming up the Copenhagen hysteria for weeks.

By the way, the intrusion of ocean acidification is no accident. You might not have noticed, but this has been opened up as a second front after setbacks on the warm front. The vital strategy is to keep up the war on carbon, both as a proxy for energy and the mainstay of western economies, to say nothing of the little matter of all life on Earth.

One of the stories that the establishment media have been energetically burying is the emerging detail of the financial web of intrigue surrounding Dr Pachauri, the prime driver of the climate scam at the UN. You can read all about it at EU Referendum, but to find it at The Telegraph you have to delve into the web version and the still independent blog of  James Delingpole. By the way, you can also find within those confines a pointed comment on the suicide of the establishment media, which the editors of the Telegraph would do well to contemplate. As for our erstwhile hero, Boris Johnson, just another fall of the mighty.

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Article of faith

It is surprising how much baggage can be carried by one little word. Have you ever noticed the difference in modern communication between “Science” and “The Science”? The first is a term we have used for centuries and is part of the common language, but just add that little definite article and you enter a whole new world of  belief, prejudice and hostility.

Likewise, there is a world of difference between “Earth” and “The Planet”. Again one is just a word in our common tongue, but the other phrase immediately sets a whole agenda as soon as you hear it. Mass political and religious movements seem to develop a need for a jargon of their own, just as thieves develop their own cant. It gives them identification and a sense of belonging. Fortunately for the rest of us it also enables us to spot them and, if wise, avoid them.

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In remission

The Telegraph seems to have mounted a temporary recovery from its bout of Copenhagen fever, if the Sunday edition is anything to go by. Most significant of all is a full page article by Booker and North raising questions about the man at the centre of a malodorous web of finance and power, Rajendra Pachauri. This is one of those topics that the establishment media have been desperately trying to bury, though it is, of course, bubbling away among those irresponsible bloggers.

The Indian connection is just part of the story, but a very significant one for the British. It is serious enough, for example, that 1,700 steel workers in Redcar have had their jobs stolen and removed to Orissa, but do they know that it is facilitated by the system of carbon credits that their own Government has supported and funded with their taxes through the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) scam inflicted on them by the corrupt bureaucrats of the EU? The hapless and hopeless British Government has stood aside while the country it is supposed to represent is being stripped bare. The once prosperous fishing ports are empty, agriculture is tied up in bureaucratic knots and now the remaining heavy industry is being filched from under the eyes of the uncomprehending populace. Government-created poverty and dependence spread inexorably across the benighted land. Meanwhile, as Booker notes separately, Copenhagen accord keeps Big Carbon in business.

Even Matthew d'Ancona, Stuntman Dave’s representative on Earth, weighs in with a piece entitled Copenhagen was the MPs' expenses scandal writ large. The political class, faced with resistance from hoi polloi to their projected impoverishment, have abandoned argument and now resort to puerile name-calling unworthy of the infants’ school playground.

Further, the Telegraph’s letters column is dominated by a collection under the heading Climate science should not be reduced to scare stories.

On another tack, the Telegraph has also, at last, noticed the devastation left behind by that philistine political thug, John Prescott, on the streets of Britain ’s towns. The main front page headline in the printed version is Thousands of gardens ‘stolen’ by developers. Your bending author now seldom goes further than the short walk (or, to be more accurate, electric vehicle ride) to the village pub. Over the last forty yards or so, three gardens have disappeared in the last two years, to be replaced by houses wedged in the gaps, so that each house in the row has no surrounding space at all. Many beautiful mature trees have been felled and the result is the worst kind of urban blight in what was once an attractive semi-rural area. Greenery and song birds are a thing of the past. New Labour has certainly left its mark here.

Oh, and by the way, the bottom corner of the front page has an article by Chief Hysterian, Louise Gray, and friends, headed Climate summit ends in chaos and ‘toothless’ deal.

Even that home of extreme Green propaganda, The Sunday Times, seems to be moderating. The Copenhagen farce is glad tidings for all is the headline for a piece by Dominic Lawson that exposes the inadequacy of our political leaders.

Rogue columnist Rod Liddle has a piece noting the threatened retirement of Britain ’s Health Tsar Zealot, SIR Liam Donaldson: Watch out, world – Dr Doomsayer may be visiting you soon.  This master of the fake statistic has also caused great cultural devastation throughout Britain and much unnecessary panic among the credulous.

“Stand not on the order of your going, but go at once.”

On the whole not a bad day for reason.


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The ninth annual Numby Awards

Even the great glamour spots of the world are affected by recession. Like Dubai , the Assembly Rooms above the Takeaway Kebab in the Balls Pond Road are no exception. As regular readers will remember, this caused the displacement of the ceremonials to another location last year. Thanks to the finding of a replacement sponsor (Honest Joe, Bookmaker, of Essex Road , Islington) they have now returned to their traditional home. There was a last minute panic when, following a raid by the local Elfin Safety Executive, half the seats were condemned. Sterling work by the supporters group, however, produced loan replacements from a variety of local establishments. Your reporter managed the somewhat rickety stairs by dint of an early arrival and so bagged a front seat.

The opening address was given by Lord Delpus, who was Chairperson of the Organising Committee last year. He was subsequently appointed Government Minister for Bans and we all remember his stirring words in May of this year. Here is just a short section of his speech, which actually lasted for an hour and a half:

“I believe that these awards make a definite contribution to our aim to create an orderly society. It is only through the efforts and example of outstanding individuals that we can achieve progress towards the socialist world government that we all crave. As with the Nobel Peace Prize, honouring the pioneers who point the way to our goal can only speed the process of its achievement. But do not feel discouraged in the face of the effortless supremacy of these extraordinary human beings. They also serve who only stand and wait, and the passive acquiescence of ordinary people is just as important to the cause as the strides of these giants. So, in considering these magnificent contributions, be of good cheer. The cause goes marching on.”

The major award this year is for the Person of Influence. There was only one possible candidate, Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, who bestrides the world like a colossus. As one of the audience remarked (only joking of course) “He weaves bigger and more complex webs than a James Bond villain.” Naturally the establishment media have the good taste not to delve into these complexities, but unfortunately those ill-intentioned bloggers, such as EU Referendum and The Devil’s Kitchen,  show no such constraint.

The award for Demonstration of the Power of Imaginary Numbers goes to SIR Liam Donaldson.

The award for Creative Flights of Imagination goes to Professor Jonathan Winickoff, who created the concept of deadly third hand smoking, supported by a survey of the beliefs of 1500 households. This one was actually related to your reporter as a scientific fact by a bright young GP. As always, go to Sandy for a thorough examination of the proposition.

For Dramatic Re-emergence the award goes to Dr David Viner, whose divinations have been revisited by EU Referendum, who noted the present relevance of his forecasts. He received the trophy for Post-science Personality of the Year as long ago as 2001, which was an early tribute to the achievements of the CRU, destined soon to multiply.

An innovation this year was the introduction of special named medals, which pay a double tribute – to the eponymous title-holders as well as the winners. The organisers enticed Old Ned out of retirement to do the presentations. Old timers will remember him as the author of our first Nature Notes, which led him on to fame and fortune.

The Phil Jones Medal for Hiding the Decline goes to the RSPB, also Numby laureates last year, whose triumphant public relations exercise has maintained the blame for the dramatic decline in British songbirds on practices by evil farmers and (of course) Global Warming. Despite the wavering of politicians the birder establishment is able to celebrate the marked increase in avian predators of all ilks, while deflecting all blame for the consequences. It seems to be in the nature of organised animal lovers that they favour ruthless killers (foxes, hawks, magpies, swans, mink, polar bears etc.)  but are relatively uninspired by the effects on their prey. Well, they are the experts and know better than us ordinary folk.

The Paul Erlich Medal for Courageous Continuation of Forecasting in the face of a History of Failure goes to the UK Met Office. Before all the jokes about their “barbecue summer” had subsided they were once more predicting a mild winter. It is not going to well so far but, as has been observed, they are bound to get it right one day.

Old Ned, now greatly skilled in the use of language after his late career in broadcasting, in his laudatory comments on these awards said:

“It just goes to show how ungrateful many people are to those who work so tirelessly on our behalf. Every garden in the country now resounds to the merry chatter of magpies and bears witness to the graceful swooping of sparrow hawks on their prey. Those nasty farmers with their shotguns would have prevented all that if they were allowed to. As for the Met Office, it must be horrible for them when people keep laughing at their forecasts. I believe they are only trying to cheer people up by promising them a bit of warmth. Me and Old George have bought a little place in Tenerife , to get away from this cold country. It is amazing what a bit of warmth does for old bones. We feel like new men. We call it “hiding the decline”. I am off back there as soon as this gig is over. The only thing we miss is the TV. It is so much better now. On Saturday evenings the main channels have Hammerchewer Talent Shows, Just like the old days when we were kids on holiday at the Butlins holiday camp”

At this point your reporter must have dozed off, but is advised that the remaining awards were relatively minor. The audience went off on its merry way, slipping and sliding on the icy pavements of the Balls Pond Road , the consequent minor injuries causing much amusement. And so yet another enchanting annual occasion came to an end.

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Number of the month – 16,500

This is the number of carbon-based entities who attended the Copenhagen junket, thereby emitting over 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide: so, though it was of little effect, at least global plant life benefitted.

Number of the year – 62

This is the size in MB of the (zipped) files that were released from the CRU computers in the affair that has become known as Climategate. If you read a selection of the e-mails contained therein, you might come to the conclusion that there is ample evidence of a conspiracy to commit scientific fraud. When you think about the creation of a multibillion dollar industry based on such work, you might conclude that such fraud is not just scientific. Given the political capital that many leading figures have invested in this, we live in interesting times.

Number of the decade – One

One stands for the Norwich One, the whistleblower who revealed the contents of emails and program files from the CRU at the University of East Anglia . He provided much solace to those who attempt to continue the tradition of sceptical science, by providing evidence that what they had deduced about what this and associated outfits were up to was, in fact, true. Of course, it could also be true that the release of information was a result of hacking as alleged by the University, but the organised nature of the material suggest otherwise. What is not true is that theft has occurred. Nothing was removed; it was simply copied. The offence, if any, was the civil one of breach of copyright. So why, other than their love of publicity, are the police involved?

For sceptical scientists this is partial reparation for the decade of vilification they have endured at the hands of the new climate establishment. They have been branded liars, cranks and many other insulting epithets. They have been locked out of publishing their work in major journals by the creation of refereeing cliques. They have been ignored by the establishment media. The establishment reaction to the breach of security is likely to be nasty.

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