In case you wondered, I’m not at the Tory Party Conference this week. Really, what would be the point? I’m with Richard North on this one: our political class exists in a bubble so remote from reality there is just no point taking their witterings seriously any more.
I’ll give you one example: Theresa May’s tough talk on the Human Rights Act. (Which, presumably, was agreed on after anxious consultation with the Lib Dem Coalition partners: “It’s OK, Vince, Chicken-Man, Nicksy-poo, Theresa doesn’t really mean it. We’ve just decided its time for our Token Woman to play our Token Red Meat Tory for the week. So she can regain her credibility after her crap performance during the riots”).
As May must surely have known – cabinet ministers do get briefings, don’t they? – the chances of Britain pulling out of the Human Rights Act are about as likely as Greece suddenly becoming the world’s new economic power house.
Yes, it’s quite true that EVERYONE in Britain (apart from leftish politicians and human rights lawyers that is) loathes and detests all the crazy rulings from the European Court of Human Rights which give succour to terrorists, rapists and prisoners who feel their rights have been breached if they’re only allowed Sky Sports 1 but not 2 and 3 – but which only leave the rest of us feeling abused, powerless and poor. But what is also unfortunately true is that we are committed to accept them under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty, which Cameron’s rampantly Europhile Foreign Secretary William Hague made quite clear at the weekend he has no intention of breaching. Under Protocol 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the EU as a political entity has acceded to all terms of the convention. And as a member state of the EU political union created under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty, the only way we can possibly now withdraw from this convention is by withdrawing from the EU altogether.
But why single out Theresa May for talking rubbish? This week, they’ll all be talking rubbish, except perhaps at the odd fringe meeting where authentic Tory values still miraculously obtain.
It’s in celebration of these values that I’m showing you this recruitment poster for Donal Blaney’s madrassa for post-pubescent righties – the Young Britons Foundation.
I can imagine it making quite a conversation point when they stick it up on their walls at uni. Of course it will goad lefties; but the people it will annoy most of all are the Real Enemy – the Nicholas Boles/Oliver Wetwin ideological suicide wing of the Tory party which seeks an eternal death embrace with the Liberal Democrats. Since that wing of the party has no self-knowledge and no sense of humour, the poster’s wit, revolutionary spirit and unimpeachable soundness will make them curl and writhe like that scene in The Omen where the parents try to take young Damien to his first church service. Of one thing you can be sure: they won’t like it up ’em.
This is what i told your ‘small Govt’ mate Daniel Hannan would happen. If the Tories were piss poor in opposition they’d be even more shambolic in Govt faced with real (as apposed verbal) challenges.
But forget re-arranging the deckchairs, or in Oliver Letwins case he’s the trash in the bin, on the Titanic James.
The real iceberg is the economy. Everything else is bunting.
Housing, consumers and retail have all just started tanking again.
When the economy rollercoasters down into its 2nd Double-Dip the public, the real ones not the current bleating pigs of the public sector, will (finally) lose their rags and (finally) kick off into the streets (Circa. 2012-2014)
The current Lib-Con jokers will find a hell on earth and at last awake from their cushy elite educated socialist slumber ….welcome to reality retards
But, since you still have not invalidated his argument, I return to the central point made by Greg Craven, that we should stop arguing about the science and start debating about the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of whether or not we should take action to mitigate the potential consequences of AGW being/turning out to be true.
Feynman came up against this in the 1960s with radioactivity. He found the natural background radiation in Denver is double that at sea level altitude cities (on account of the extra cosmic radiation at altitude). Then he noticed people protesting about a 1% increase in radiation due to nuclear tests. Why, he asked, were the people not protesting against the much bigger radiation, the 100% increase in sea level radiation from living in Denver? Why not protest to have such cities closed, if you claim a hazard exists?
Feynman classic repudiation of 1960s radiation lies for political scaremongering:
What depressed me what the way this argument of Feynman’s was ignored by reviewers in science magazines when the essay above was republished as part of the Feynman book The Meaning of it All. I recall that one reviewer, probably in New Scientist wrote that Feynman’s views of radiation risks were outdated and shocking to readers: he made no mention of the point Feynman was getting at, which is the lying and deception. Yes, Kennedy signed the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty on 5 August 1963, four months after Feynman’s lecture. But it had a terrible price in “justifying” pseudo-science.
Unfortunately, while denialists prevent more effective mitigating action being taken, the climate is changing (as Greg Craven would say, “the experiment is running and we are in the test-tube“); and the time lag between cause and effect means that by the time this mad “debate is finally over, the cost of preventing significant change will have escalated enormously because, as Nicholas Stern has pointed out:
“This is not an investment project like a new road or a bridge. The costs and benefits of such projects can reasonably be understood in terms of a marginal change, set in the context of a given growth path for the entire economy. What we are discussing with climate change are strategies concerning patterns of growth, or possible decline, for the world economy as a whole in the context of uncertain outcomes. The analytical tools and policy constructs must be capable of taking on these issues directly. All too many discussions – and it is astonishing that they have done so – see policy on climate change as a single-investment decision, analogous to a new bridge. Standard or marginal cost-benefit analysis is appropriate for the latter kind of decision. For climate change, however, the relevant economics are much more difficult and profound“.
Page 13 of “A Blueprint for a Safer Planet” (2009).
In other words, Stern was right the first time, the longer we delay taking action, the more expensive it will be to take action that achieves the same result. The fact that the libertarian ideologues at the Institute of Economic Affairs do not accept this just shows how blinded they are by their idolatry of the free market. Again, Stern was therefore also correct to conclude that AGW is the biggest market failure in human history.
Please describe the harm you say CO2 is causing. Remember, as you describe it, that CO2 is emitted by natural processes, such as by animals breathing, and that it is the single most important plant food, even for aquatic and oceanic plants.
I am interested to hear what harm this natural ‘pollutant’ causes to our environment.
Climate Conversation Group.
No amount of consensus based on ignoring the facts can ever be science, it must be called pseudoscience.
The page you link to, http://www.skepticalscience.com/Evaporating-the-water-vapor-argument.html states the old positive-feedback IPCC hypothesis (used in every IPCC model) that sunlight warmed water vapour doesn’t rise to form clouds in the low-pressure at thousands of feet above air pressure.
The positive feedback hypothesis is disproved by the data in my paper, and what we’re dealing with a socialist conspiracy called popular fashion, which is the most prevalent conspiracy you can find, even sucking in “conservative” nutters like David Cameron!
As I’ve written before, I was pushed into statistics before mechanical applications of mathematics. Suppose you toss an unbiased coin, observe how it landed, but don’t tell me. From my perspective, I still have to assume that there is 50% probability of heads or tails, even though the event is done and dusted, and you know the result with 100% accuracy. In this case, probability is just is a measurement about how ignorant you are of the facts. As soon as you have the facts, probability ceases to have values between 0% and 100%, or 0 and 1, yes and no. There is no fuzziness, no probability in the real world. Probability is just a subjective measure of ignorance, varying from person to person, depending on the knowledge available to that person. It’s subjective, not objective.
What you’re trying to do, Martin, is to ignore the fact the coin has landed tails up on the AGW controversy, by asserting that there is some probability that warm moist air doesn’t rise. This reminds me of the fallicious argument that there is some small probability that all the air molecules will cluster in one corner of your room, suffocating you (or causing you to explode in the vacuum thus formed around you).
It’s fallicious because although it looks like solid “probability theory”, it violates the conservation of energy, the third law of thermodynamics, etc., like the “probability” that a ball will roll uphill of its own accord. As soon as any slight pressure enhancement in one place arises, that air expands, physically re-establishing an uniformity of pressure. To get all the air molecules in one corner of your room would require a lot of work energy to be expended in greatly compressing (and thus heating up) the air into a corner, and that large amount of energy needed to reduce the entropy of the gas is simply not available. Even if you assume that quantum field vacuum energy is “borrowed” to power a temporary re-arrangement of air molecules in your room, you find that it is impossible to achieve because the amount of borrowed energy (Joules) = h-bar/time (seconds), so the time taken by 500 m/s air molecules to all reach one corner of your room prevents enough energy being borrowed to compress that that air.
So in the real world, things are impossible, contrary to the popular fashion that probability is a statement of reality. Furthermore, the “self-fulfilling prophecy” principle is alive and well in “science”, well explained by Shaw:
The tolerance of criticism and the need to debate openly is the definition of progressive libertarian freedom. The pretense in mainstream physics that science is a “consensus of experts” is useful in showing such mainstream physics to be politically defended. Democratic politics, where the “consensus” is supposedly established every four years by elections, shows some of the problems with such consensus.
First, a consensus means nothing where everyone has been misled by liars. Second, a consensus can form behind a liar who makes false promises that people want to hear (vote for Nige Cook, I promise everybody I’ll cut tax and provide millions of new public sector jobs, and better services for everyone). Third, nobody decent and moral and uncorrupted by the sewer smell of power wants to go into politics any more that they would want to board the Titanic while it was sinking, because they can see the country is bankrupt and there is nothing that can be done without money. So the consensus of liars ends up attracting more liars to it, just as overripe fruit attracts flies until they become very unattractive. At this stage, it’s too late for would be critics, because there’s a supercritical mass of bullshit exploding.
“It is hard to escape the conclusion that the US Congress has entered the intellectual wilderness, a sad state of affairs in a country that has led the world in many scientific arenas for so long. Global warming is a thorny problem, and disagreement about how to deal with it is understandable. It is not always clear how to interpret data or address legitimate questions. Nor is the scientific process, or any given scientist, perfect. But to deny that there is reason to be concerned, given the decades of work by countless scientists, is irresponsible“.
Nature 471, pp.265–266, 17 March 2011.Is this how you want your children to remember you?