Number of the Month

October 2013

Just a thought

Regarding the alleged failed quest of the egregious Roger Harrabin of the BBC to find a sceptical climate scientist:


No respectable scientist would call himself a “climate scientist”. Putting “climate” in front of “scientist” is like putting “witch” in front of “doctor”.



Airy fairy theory

At the risk of self-contradiction after complaining about the readiness of sceptics to respond to red herrings cast about by desperate warmists, it is irresistible to remark on a festival of unmitigated garbage launched by the University of Boulder (noted by WUWT) on the “conductivity” of the atmosphere. My excuse is that by dealing with it I might save the wasting of valuable time of working scientists.

 We are told that this team have now “developed a global electric circuit model by adding an additional layer to a climate model created by colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder.” It is not just the presence of the ominous phrase “climate model” that causes unease. There is something odd about the vocabulary, as though they are unfamiliar with the body of literature on charge motion in fluids.  Do they even understand the words they use, or is all this actually a construction of the PR department? What do they mean by “conductivity”, if other than a property of matter based on the proportionality between magnitudes of the local electric field vector and the current density vector? How does this relate to the conveyance of charge by convection, which does not even require the carrier fluid to be conductive at all? Except in highly extreme cases, such as lightning, it is somewhat rare (certainly outside the laboratory) that electrical conduction in fluids is significant in comparison with convection. I have mentioned elsewhere that a very long time ago I worked briefly on electrohydrodynamic instability in liquids. That work by my former colleagues in Grenoble included the rigorous testing of theory by physical experiment. That is how science used to be done.

An implication of the verbiage here is that the further modelling is based on guessed coefficients or, even worse, coefficients obtained from a computer model based on guessed coefficients. That is all there is: a computer program piggy-backed on a bigger computer program, with not a sniff of any attempt to compare it to the real world. That is the modern way, creating a mountain out of a molehill by treating the product of a tacky computer model as though it has the same worth as physical observation. What kind of scientist thinks that adding 2,000 lines of code to a dodgy computer model improves matters?

I could go on and on, but what is the point? I belong to the past. That is a foreign country. They do things differently there.


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Daily Telegraph lead headline - Betrayal of elderly on social care costs.


Prisoner at the bar, you have been found guilty of being old and unable to contribute to the Revenue. You have pleaded in mitigation that you have contributed copiously for over half a century, but that plea is deemed inadmissible. You are therefore sentenced to be sent to another place, where you will be subject to Government controlled care until you are dead. Furthermore, any moderate wealth or property you have accumulated will be subject to seizure down to a prescribed nominal level. God have mercy upon you.


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Preparation for siege

We have just bought a mobile gas heater (and a CO alarm). I do not have much expectation of life left, but it would be a bitter irony to go as one of the first sacrificial victims of the insane religion that I have fought since its inception. Even the “experts” are now warning of the raised probability of power cuts in the coming winter, but we have been warning of the inevitability of such events for more than a decade: the heading Power Mad was first used here in 2001, but that was with reference to the dark state of insanity when that was still unique. Two years later it was used in red with reference to Britain, in a piece that included the five principles of a sound energy policy. Who would have thought then that such principles would be wilfully disregarded for a further decade? But then, who would have imagined that the Greenies across all parties would maintain virtually absolute control of the House of Commons for that period, or that our nation’s precious unwritten constitution would be signed away by an unelected leader of debatable sanity in a sordid, one-man, hole-in-the-corner ceremony. Our new authoritarian Government in Brussels has proved to function even more beyond the bounds of reason than the old one. As we said before (first in August 2003 and ten times since): people are going to die. Yet our ignorant political class talk of it all as a minor inconvenience.

As it happens, we have had some practical experience of the effects of a major power cut on a modern town, when a large agricultural vehicle took down our overhead supply line. Some of them were quite unanticipated; such as all the shops closing because the electronic tills had ceased to work. That might have mystified some who bothered to read our prognostic Jeremiad “Time: the future” but it happened then and it will happen again. Fortunately, that all occurred at a mild time of year, but we all learned some important lessons (such as keeping a supply of batteries, let alone food).

When the lethal big freeze comes, you can be sure of one thing: Macavity will not be there.


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Irresponsible idiot

The man who said this is alleged to be responsible for Britain’s energy policy

“So if people at home want to be able to keep watching the television, be able to turn the kettle on and benefit from electricity, we’ve got to make these investments. It’s essential to keep the lights on and to power British business.”

Meanwhile, people are going to die.


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A sense of proportion

This was forwarded by Helen Dyer of Perth, W Aust. I had minor quibbles, but then I always do (about use of the word “cause” for example). I think, however, that most number watchers will find it entertaining and informative.




Number of the month – 34

The House of Commons has debated the HS2 project. There were 34 votes against. This might seem derisory, but compared with the magnificent five who voted against the 2003 energy bill, which has all but destroyed the British economy and is now as expected killing people, it is a triumph. This is a sign that vertebrates have begun to evolve in the primeval swamps of British parliamentary politics.

Apologies to any who find this number underwhelming, but it emerges from a short comment started by your bending author that growed like Topsy to become a new essay entitled Bureaucrats like big.


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