Archive for December 2010
During the previous cold winter at the start of 2010, and during this current cool down, one or two climate sceptics were quick to observe the temperature was not quite as warm as we had been warned by global warming theorists. There are flaws in this argument. 1) No one credible said that winters would be warmer – articles in the biased in so many other ways Independent are not to be trusted. 2) Most scientific analysis made a while back stated quite coherently that global warming (yes, warming, not climate change), could cause the gulf stream to slow down, therefore bringing Europe into the same temperature zone as Canada – a country that lies on the same parallel as the UK and other nations who are kept (relatively!) toasty thanks to the gulf stream. 3) There is another factor that is of course beyond the blame of humanity, namely the recent increased solar activity. This in turn (may) cause the Earth to almost holistically protect itself, and cool down! (Not to mention the cooling effects of high altitude pollutants and volcanic dust that deflect the sun’s rays.) 4) For some reason that I’m becoming convinced has a lot to do with genetics (controversial statement there, hmm?), those who are on the far right and often oppose any attempt to improve our lot when it comes to matters environmental seem to be both dim, selfish and wealthy. The mind boggles how they achieved the latter based on the former, beyond inheritance or outright compassionless greed.
Whilst based on years of actual studies and hands on this blog is happy to predict the technological and socio technological future ;), it isn’t experienced enough to observe that we may be living through the start of a mini ice age – predicated by aforementioned experienced scientists many decades ago.
Let’s see how things look in March/April 2011!
Remember, this isn’t about global warming. This is about climate change. Whether we roast or freeze, both are as bad as the other. But if we cannot escape either, but have a choice, what’s your poison?
[ ] Shiver
[ ] Sizzle
(Sadly no time and not geeky enough to add an actual voting widget! ‘Vote’ in comment area below.)
Fight back club: Ignore special interests. Get scientific! 2+2=4 no matter how much stock you own in big oil/coal/biofuel/static wind turbines etc
Ok. Several of you are keen to hear my views on Wikileaks. Problem is, I am way way too busy with work, that shall, until retirement, take presidence over blogging, tweeting and other social media induced distractions from the tasks at hand. Which is a pity, as this is a very important issue for several reasons that have already been discussed in this here blog.
Until the last release of cables, my views on Wikileaks where similar to those of student fees and one or two other subjects; On the fence! Arguments from all sides were reasonable, so it is difficult to form a rigid opinion. And that is one of the benefits of a free thinking flexible democracy, no? We scream and shout and compromise.
© 1977 Columbia Pictures
Where Wikileaks went wrong, undermining any good intentions was to release cables disclosing the whereabouts of ‘targets’ that if attacked by terrorists (or other entities), would threaten our national security, food supply and/or energy generation. The middle target pretty much several magnitudes of importance over all else. If you consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we can suffice without power, but we cannot live without food. Remember what happened when we had a little snow a few weeks ago, and within just 1 or 2 days, supermarket shelves emptied due to panic buying? 1 or 2 days! Hungry animals will do ANYTHING to feed their babies.
This single release may well lead to untold harm to thousands of innocent people, including those who support Wikileaks.
It showed a selfish self serving attitude that causes one to question the precise motives of those behind it all. Whose side are they on exactly? Themselves, or the good people of the world, no matter their creed?
I will write more on all this after completing work deadlines.
Fight back club: Avoid letting the Close Encounters of the Third Kind effect tarnish your cause. That concept explained somewhere else in this blog refers to a specific scene in that outstanding movie where Richard Dreyfuss is in a room full of dubious* UFO fanatics who undermine the fact he really did see a UFO.
Today’s Metro (London) reports that rail fare rises will force more people into cars. You don’t say?
In the (somewhat empty) Questions section of this blog, I ask how the privately owned energy companies are supposed to make a profit if we’re all saving energy. Well, the answer is, private ownership and profit (rightly) go hand in hand – but if you want a lean green mean national infrastructure, then as China, France and Japan have proven, it has to be a public enterprise, with the best components sourced from private industry, as works so well for the military.
Sadly, for all our grandstanding abroad, Britain is (as per my TechCrunch comment of the other day), and will be for quite a while, stuck in the past and vastly influenced by special interests. (Who owns the fascist parking wardens? 3i!)
Unsurprisingly the oil industry would rather we all drive – and so have, and will for as long as they can get away with it, ensure our politicians give our public transport infrastructure as little as possible.
The lack of grand vision in the UK is missing from our leadership and therefore often left to the hardy individual, such as Brunel, Branson, Smit and others. But without the billions available from public funds, only a small proportion of their grand plans get to see reality. For example, Virgin trains are technically advanced and great to ride, but there are only a few of them. They are not the mainstay of our public railyway network. Compare to SNCF in France.
Dr. Beeching was responsible for decimating the UK railway network in the 1960s because it wasn’t making a profit. Mistake. Just as the motorways, highways and auto bahns do not make a profit themselves, but benefit their economies signficantly by lubricating the engine of capitalism, so public transport is an investment too and if this country is not to continue to be the laughting stock of the world (which it is) it needs to invest billions in a next generation transport network – as our competitors the Chinese are doing. That will not only create thousands of jobs, but motivate the workforce – including the grumpy rail employees who woddle around the platforms, only to vanish in a puff of fear the second there’s a cockup in order to escape the seething masses who are unable to get to their destination on time therefore costing the economy.
Fight back club: Write to the Prime Minister and mention the spirit of JFK
By the way, this post authored using an appalling piece of unreliable sluggish buggy software that validates my employers philosophy that if you pays nothing – you gets nothing.