The advert Sammy Wilson tried to ban..

If Stormont Live can defy the Northern Ireland Environment Minster, so can we.. [Let’s see him put a ‘postcode lockout’ on Slugger – Ed]. Adds Here’s a related post on some of those sceptical “international scientists”. And On misleading arguments.

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  • The Impartial Observer

    What people need to remember is that Sammy Wilson has made a career out of being a wind up artist who goads interest groups with outrageous comments, remember his remarks about how the Irish Language was a “Leprechaun Language?” From my own experience there is no group who take themselves as seriously or are as easy to wind up as environmentalists, so it was inevitable that Sammy would go out of his way to annoy them! Of course he will be loving all the reaction that he has got from this and the attention that will be focused on him. The way to deal with him is to just ignore him and eventually he’ll get bored and look for another lobby group to wind up.

  • Grassy Noel

    He is right, though.

    It is all nonsense.

  • Rory Carr

    Listening to Sammy Wilson on Radio 4’s PM programme just now I began to understand why so many people from Northern Ireland living here make great attempts (usually futile) to disguise their accent and failing that to disguise their origins.

    “I am from Carsholton; Vauxhall; Croydon; Hampstead garden Suburb…” is the response one gets to a ” And where are you” question when we meet someone new with an underlying touch of the Ulsters in their speech. Never “Bangor, Ballymena, Enniskillen, Lisburn, Portadown, Pontyz Pass or Portavogie.” It’s bloody NornIron Denial.

    And who could blame them as they secretely squirm with embarrassment at the audible public utterances of the Sammy Wilsons of this (or really, that) world?

    Being assumed to be somehow associated with BigMouth because of one’s accent was bad enough in the past but although he was seen as the archetypycal bigot he was not considered to be a total cretin.

    After this the little language schools around the West End and the City will be flooded by NI applicants seeking help to quickly attain RP skills.

    All together now, say after me: “How now brown cow?”.

    Again please. And again…

  • Its an advert that is encouraging the public to be less wasteful with energy usage and not to leave appliances on about the house – thus saving people money primarily! I think Sammy the Censor has lost the run of himself banning this advert although I think Impartial Reporter has a point, Wilson deliberately does something controversial just to get himself some extra air-time.

  • The Raven

    You may have a point, Noel.

    However, with “Save money Save energy” being the initial strapline, I am wondering how Mr Wilson leads his particular lifestyle? Obviously on over £60k per annum, he can afford to lead a more opulent lifestyle.

    Impartial, you mention how Sammy loves to goad environmental groups. Yet this minister likes to goad them by pushing it to the limit of the law – like withdrawing special environmental designations, only to return them when threatened with a legal case.

    I find his behaviour to be crass and frankly irresponsible. And it is only exceeded in its irresponsibility by those who continue to vote for him – and people of his ilk.

    Regardless of your agreement or otherwise of the ad’s message, Mr Wilson’s response, by pulling the ad, and coming out with this gem, that the ads were:

    “giving people the impression that by turning off the standby light on their TV they could save the world from melting glaciers and being submerged in 40ft of water”

    …only reinforces how unfit for government he – and many others – really are.

  • 6cp

    A sympathetic hearing in the Telegraph to Sammy’s common sense approach.

    Is the tide turning on global warming hysteria?

  • The Impartial Observer

    Raven as someone who works in DOE I’m well aware of the case you refer to, and believe me, as someone on here said at the time that was Wilson testing the law to see what he could get away with. Most environmental law comes from the EU so thankfully there is very little real harm that he can do!

  • cynic

    “What people need to remember is that Sammy Wilson has made a career out of being a wind up artist who goads interest groups with outrageous comments”

    …. have you just noticed that he’s a politician?

  • The Raven

    It’s a shame, 6cp, that the global warming hysteria as you call it, becomes the general dumping ground of just about every environmental issue under the sun. It’s very easy to sweep everything under the one carpet.

    Impartial – very re-assured to hear that! 🙂

  • Peat Blog

    Most environmental law comes from the EU so thankfully there is very little real harm that he can do!

    Impartial,

    Expect tear up the local planning system to facilitate the worst kind of short-term economic interests…

  • Peat Blog

    Sorry – Except tear…

  • cynic

    Excuse me but aren’t you perhaps missing the big picture here?

    We have a devolved Government in NI and this is a devolved matter. But Gordon wants to control so he and his Ministers tend to forget small things like devolution and subcontract out lots of things to groups that operate UK wide. Without consulting or bothering with things like the constitution.

    So frankly Sammy is right to pull them up. If they want to spend money on this and all the other ‘messages’ designed to make us think they are actually doing something, then it should be channelled through the Stormont Government not farmed out to London based ad agencies and quangos packed with London Labour Luvvies

    And Sammy’s right to challenge all this climate balls. Yesterday one UK National Sunday (broadsheet) had a 3 page spread. ‘Global warming could make human life almost extinct in her lifetime’ with a picture of a pretty little 5 year old and quoting a ‘world expert’. The story was that we were all about to die horribly because of leaving the lights on. And somewhere there are some poor souls who believe this nonsense and are terrified.

    Does anyone remember Acid Rain from the 1970s? it was going to kill all the trees and destroy all the crops and we were all going to starve. But it didnt and we didnt.

    Now there are all those pictures of poor polar bears floating on lonely sheets of ice on wide open seas just waiting to swallow them up. Except that the photos have all been carefully cropped to cut out all the other sheets of ice nearby that they can swim to.

    Around 80% of this climate nonsense is complete balls. Unsupported by evidence, designed to prop up ever more research grants and seized on by Governments who want to deflect attention from other things they are doing and lazy journalists desparate to fill space.

    Here endeth the second lesson

  • dixie

    Climate change or no climate change, Wilson has chosen to speak for the population based on his fag packet research.
    As a country 95% dependent on hydrocarbons for our energy are we going to leave that responsibility in the hands of this muppet?
    Kick him in the hole for good measure on his way down the steps……

  • The Impartial Observer

    Peat Bog, there are limits still. One of the reasons Sammy seemed so angry about the Aurora development being refused was that if he tried to railroad an approval through, Belfast Civic Trust and the UAHS, both of whom are opposed to the scheme, would lodge a judicial review and the DOE wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance of justifying the decision, and by publicly throwing his toys out of the pram, Wilson has now prejudiced himself from having any role in the decision! Sammy does like to use the line that certain developments will be of “economic benefit” that overrides environmental legislation, well someone senior in Planning Service who I know told me that there is currently a judicial review underway into a development in South Down which if successful, would demolish that argument. As long as there are vigilant people watching what’s going on then Sammy won’t be able to cause too much harm!

    Wilson does remind me of how Kenneth Bloomfield described William Craig in his memoirs. Bloomfield wrote that Craig’s actions in trying to oppress the Civil Rights movement gave him the impression that he thought he was a minister in “some great and powerful state.” Wilson doesn’t seem to appreciate how much he is hemmed in by EU legislation, sooner or later, (hopefully sooner!) Sammy is going to become a cropper!

  • Peat Blog

    Problem is Impartial that the planning system is a devolved matter and not so dependent on EU regulations – see PPS21 for example which is so poorly constructed and open to interpretation that the previous single dwelling bandwagon is certain to continue. EU regs. ain’t going to do anything about that.

    I have no doubts that Sammy and the DUP will do all that they can to loosen up the system under the proposed planning reforms and will undoubtedly use the arguments of needing to stimulate the economy during the recession as an excuse. Making it more and more difficult for people to get involved in the planning process will inevitably be a part of speeding it up and placing a greater emphasis on development – after all, who funds the political parties here?

    Sorry, got to go as Sammy is about to appear on C4 News…

  • michael

    @ Cynic,

    ‘Around 80% of this climate nonsense is complete balls. Unsupported by evidence, designed to prop up ever more research grants and seized on by Governments who want to deflect attention from other things they are doing and lazy journalists desparate to fill space.’

    Give us an example of a common assertion from the climate change lobby that is ‘complete balls’. I want you, and people like Sammy Wilson, to explain your particular objection by citing examples where previously accepted scientific evidence has been debunked, thus becoming ‘balls’.

    Your mindless rhetoric is as much a distraction from debate about anthropomorphic climate change as those who are slated for treating environmentalism as a new religion.

  • The Raven

    Cynic, in all fairness, I don’t think anyone said that acid rain was going to be apocalyptic to the degree you have mentioned, and to say otherwise is a misrepresentation.

    It hasn’t gone away either – Canada and the States’ own EPA believes it contributes to over 200,000 “asthma symptom” days each year. All those nice coke-burning plants in Asia aren’t getting “clean-up” assistance for nothing, either.

    But again, this just illustrates the point – “80% of this climate nonsense is complete balls” – it then becomes a very handy means of sweeping all the other problems under the carpet.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t agree with the idea that people trying to be careful about energy usage is somehow bad or propaganda, but on the other hand, it is quite correct to point out that devices on standby don’t consume that much power.

    It’s true to say that devices on standby waste energy. But that is a different thing from saying that they contribute significantly to our overall energy footprint – they don’t.

    Some numbers. A litre of diesel fuel gives you about 11kWh. Let’s say for someone living just outside Belfast that they get about 20miles per litre from their car which is enough to do their daily commute (that is a very conservative estimate – a decent diesel car will do better).

    My TV on standby draws 5W, so I’ll use it as an example. Leaving it that way for one hour uses 0.005kWh. Let’s say for the sake of argument in a typical young family home that the TV is on standby 7 hours a day (11pm thru 8am) and on for the remaining time.

    By turning the TV off instead of leaving it on standby, this family will take 314 days to save the same amount of energy as they would save if the individual driving the car took the bus to work or cycled for just one day during that period.

    This is why I find this obsession with standby to be so nonsensical. The reason why the governments are focussing on it is because they want to back up their mantra about saving the planet with simple, easy things that mean that people won’t have to do any real work. They’d much rather soothe you with some simple rules you can follow, rather than do meaningful things like slap hefty levies on devices which draw too much power on standby, or tax the cost of electricity to make people more careful about using it – because if they tried to implement those they’d be out of office.

    The stupidity of this goes further. They’re now building TVs that draw no power on standby. Sounds great, right ? Well, it turns out that the TV has a little battery inside it that keeps it just about alive enough in order to know when the remote control is used to switch it on. In other words, when the device is on, it draws more power in order to charge the battery. And what else do we know kids ? Rechargeable batteries leak away their energy over time (a regular one will discharge within about six weeks) which means that the charger in the machine is continuously drawing extra power to keep the battery going. When the battery dies – more landfill. So here we have a solution which actually draws *more* power in order to meet the government’s objectives of drawing *less* when it is turned off.

    It’s a mad world.

  • Comrade Stalin

    While we’re on the subject of energy wastage, I wish Slugger would fix whatever it is on the site (javascript somewhere?) that causes the CPU on the laptop to go apeshit.

  • The Raven

    Just out of interest, Stalin, if you take 150,000 homes in Northern Ireland…throw a few offices in for good measure…and add in the washing machines…the PCs…the photocopiers…the hi-fi’s…the charging mobile phones…the useless bars of lights which have six halogen bulbs instead of one lamp…the DVD players…and so on…

    ….what do you think that multiplies up to?

    No-one disagrees with you, Comrade. That’s EXACTLY what campaigns like this are supposed to focus on – the little things, as you say. Just switch the darn thing off. It really isn’t that much bother. I think most offices have the “photocopier left on overnight uses enough energy for 1500 copies” poster.

    Is it not better to NOT waste all that energy…? Regardless of climate change arguments…?

    But you’re right. These messages are coming from a government that still hasn’t worked out how to, for example, switch one in every two streetlights off between, say, 2am and 5am.

    By the way, those batteries can be recycled now – though I understand most Councils don’t have the facilities just yet.

    Anyway. We seem to have meandered away from Sammy Wilson. Not a bad thing really. This thread is probably more meaningful without him.

  • Comrade Stalin

    …and add in the washing machines…

    Most washing machines don’t have a standby.

    the hi-fi’s…the charging mobile phones..

    Charging a mobile phone consumes even less power than leaving a device on standby.

    I think most offices have the “photocopier left on overnight uses enough energy for 1500 copies” poster.

    That can’t possibly be the case, if it is, it dates back to the early 1980s. The photocopier and laser printers in my workplace all go into standby when they’re out of use, and there they’ll use about 5W.

    ….what do you think that multiplies up to?

    It multiplies up to fuck all compared with what would happen if everyone who drives to work every day (and that’s a lot of people) used public transport or cycled one day out of the week, which is what I try to do. Suggesting that this will help global warming is a bit like suggesting that you can stop a charging rhinocerous by throwing a twig at it.

    Yes, it is better not to leave devices on standby (I put all mine on a switched extension plug so that I can easily turn them on and off each night, and when there’s nobody in the house) but what’s the justification for running an ad suggesting that this will make some kind of impact ? It’s lulling people into a false sense of security. We need to make real changes to the way that we use resources in general, not just energy, and the truth is that governments aren’t prepared to tell people that. The money being wasted on these ads would be better spent towards building a few more wind turbines or researching into better ways to make nuclear power plants cleaner.

  • The Raven

    “Yes, it is better not to leave devices on standby”

    Well then. That’s ok, isn’t it? 🙂

    Anyway, getting back to Sammy…..

  • indeed

    Just watched the BBC piece about this. Sammy Wilson is a buffoon. It is made worse that he indulged by those around him and by those to whom he is being rude. His central government paymasters should ignore him.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Well then. That’s ok, isn’t it? 🙂

    Well, no it isn’t. The government wasting money on expensive ads like this filled with vapid claims is very serious. That might not have been Sammy’s real point, but to me it is important to highlight.

  • gram

    Comrade the standby option on a device is a completely pointless use of energy unlike people having to use their car to get to work. It’s something simple that can be tackled pretty quickly unlike the development of a decent public transport system.

  • gram

    cynic:Around 80% of this climate nonsense is complete balls. Unsupported by evidence, designed to prop up ever more research grants and seized on by Governments who want to deflect attention from other things they are doing and lazy journalists desparate to fill space.
    >>

    The climate change lobby can afford to be wrong, deniers like you and sammy can’t. And even if it all turns out to be balls we might have some useful spin offs like energy independence and a long term replacement for oil.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Comrade the standby option on a device is a completely pointless use of energy unlike people having to use their car to get to work.

    It’s not completely pointless. It saves you time when you’re turning on your devices.

    It’s something simple that can be tackled pretty quickly

    I could stand on one leg, stick my finger in my ear and say “flibble”. That could be tackled pretty quickly, and it would contribute about as much to reducing CO2 emissions.

    unlike the development of a decent public transport system.

    We have a public transport system that people choose not to use. The reasons for that need to be explored more carefully. What do you think they are ? Hint : they’re not politically popular.

    The climate change lobby can afford to be wrong, deniers like you and sammy can’t. And even if it all turns out to be balls we might have some useful spin offs like energy independence and a long term replacement for oil.

    You weren’t addressing me there, but I should say that I am not a denier, and I completely agree with the government spending money to research alternative sources of energy – especially nuclear which is the only way we can really seriously get down to reducing our oil consumption as well as our reliance on very unstable and politically unfavourable foreign states. That would be a much better way to spend the money than to fund these stupid adverts enthusing people to turn off devices that will make fuck all in the way of noticeable difference to our energy usage.

  • While the debate on this is hilarious – even more than the surreal attitude of the environment minister, what needs to be brought into focus are a couple of points: (1) The vast majority of informed climate scientists concur that the so-called hockey stick model is an accurate representation of man’s impact on the environment; (2) while climate scientists have been wrong before, never have so many agreed on this point; (3) Sir David Attenborough says it is a real threat – who would you trust? Sammy Wilson or Sir David?; and, (4) we are a small entity almost entirely dependent on imported energy and hydrocarbons. If, and as Comrade pointed out it is a big if, we can find ways to conserve energy, find alternative sources of energy, and save ourselves some cash at the same time then it is win/win whether you believe the climate change model or not. Therefore we can only conclude that the DUP is sponsored by one of the energy companies…wonder what the energy companies expenditure is on lobbying and if they are members of the local public affairs professional association, NIGAG?

  • willis

    Actually it is quite a humorous ad which takes the mick out of a frugal father who will use any excuse, including Global Warming, to get his electricity bill down.

    Still, it is just telling us what we already know, if you use less energy you save money.

  • cynic

    “Wilson has chosen to speak for the population based on his fag packet research. ”

    Nah, the way the system works is that we elected him to speak. If you don’t like what he says then don’t vote DUP. That’s the deal

  • cynic

    Ok, a problem for the hypothesis is that data shows that temperatures in Antarctica have fallen not risen as suggested.

    Then around 2 months ago we find a new study that shows that this was wrong. They have rinsen after all, the researchers allege. Shock horror headlines.

    But when this is examined in more detail it turns out that the researchers had a problem because of insufficient weather station readings for their model. So they modified the model to extrapolate data for the ‘missing’ stations. This conveniently gave a ‘global warming’ result.

    Was it evidence of global warming? No, it was evidence that if you set your model up that way you get that result. It bore little relation to the real world where it was getting colder.

    And what about all the pictures of the poor polar bears? Either clever camera angles or sometimes photo shopped to fit the narrative.

    We live on a planet that continually evolves and changes.One of the things about Climate Change Balls is that it is a very anthropomorphic perspective. The zealots believe that only man changes the planet, that he only changes it for the worseand that he can save it!

    On this perspective it’s all our fault that climate may (and I say may) change. Presumably we were also responsible for the last ice age and for the regular reversal of the magnetic poles. And by the way that is overdue so expect a panic about that soon if , of course, an asteroid doesnt get us first.

    And by the way ‘mindless’ implies someone who does not think rationally about things. I do…. I have looked at a lot of the evidence. Sometimes its inconclusive. Sometimes its just bad science.

    Believe it if you want. In the end, having an invisible friend is just as rational.

  • Harry Flashman

    “And even if it all turns out to be balls we might have some useful spin offs like energy independence and a long term replacement for oil.”

    Ah but it’s not that simple is it? If all we were being asked was for us to use a bit less energy, not to be so wasteful and to keep the environment around us clean then of course no possible harm could come from the cult like prognostications of the gurus of the man made global warming lobby (subtly renamed “climate change” when they discovered that the earth was actually getting cooler, despite the rather obvious fact that climate changes all the time, that’s why we call it ‘climate’).

    But the fact is that there is a much more serious intent behind the warmist agenda. The original proponents of this gobbledygook were for the most part hard left activists who abandoned overt Marxism at the time of the collapse of Communism by leaping on the Green bandwagon. They may have abandoned overt Marxism but they have retained its motivating ethos ie state control over all human activities with severe punishment for anyone who dissents from the state ideology. They do so of course by using the same tried and trusted methods of the hard left by brainwashing children and threatening condign punishment against anyone who opposes their agenda.

    The BBC has admitted that with regard to global warming they have indeed abandoned all pretence of neutrality on such a contentious political issue and have accepted the hysterical propaganda of the warmists at face value, like so many issues on which the BBC has chosen to ignore its own rules on impartiality this will bounce back and hit them hard.

    As regards Belfast Metal’s assertion that “the vast majority of informed [b]climate scientists[/b] concur that the so-called hockey stick model is an accurate representation of man’s impact on the environment” well they would say that wouldn’t they, and I would treat it with as much scepticism as if I heard that brothel owners were almost unanimous in their belief that paying for sex with women other than your wife is hugely beneficial to a man’s health.

  • cynic

    OK Belfast Metal

    (1) The vast majority of informed climate scientists concur that the so-called hockey stick model is an accurate representation of man’s impact on the environment;

    Well, if they didn’t their grants would dry up and it would be very hard to get their work published. Also the way that UK universitys get money these days is being rated on research where refernces to published work is a major factor. If you dont run with the herd then you dont get referred.

    (2) while climate scientists have been wrong before, never have so many agreed on this point;

    This is the herd instinct. For around 400 years scientists accepted that the sun revolved around the earth. Doctors believed in bleeding patients. We have only had ‘climate scientists’ as we know them now for perhaps 25 years so ‘never before’ doesn’t mean much

    These people weren’t madmen. Many of them were intelligent men and women but they followed the herd.

    (3) Sir David Attenborough says it is a real threat – who would you trust? Sammy Wilson or Sir David?;

    Neither. Being photographed with baboons doesn’t make you an expert on climate change – nor a member of the DUP

    Well, I will be popular after this as all the deluded wretches come round to break my window here. Next we will hear the calls of ‘witch’!!

  • Harry Flashman

    “Being photographed with baboons doesn’t make you an expert on climate change – nor a member of the DUP”

    Briliant.

  • Kaido

    Climate change, global warming, global cooling, lots of opinions from all over, but conspicious by their absence are any from South Australia.

  • gram

    >>But the fact is that there is a much more serious intent behind the warmist agenda. The original proponents of this gobbledygook were for the most part hard left activists who abandoned overt Marxism at the time of the collapse of Communism by leaping on the Green bandwagon. << And of course the climate change deniers, like the pro smoking lobby before them, are completely untarnished by the influence of big business.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I do not agree with Harry F at all, I don’t think climate change is some kind of left-wing conspiracy – there’s a large body of scientific evidence pointing to the distinct possibility that human activity is a factor in warming, and as someone else said earlier I don’t think we can simply choose to ignore that because the evidence isn’t concrete enough yet.

    However, the climate change proponents are doing themselves no favours by getting behind stupid initiatives like this one about standby, or hybrid cars (which aren’t that efficient or earth-friendly at all compared with a good diesel engine) which do nothing except patronize the general population.

  • Grassy Noel

    there’s a large body of scientific evidence pointing to the distinct possibility that human activity is a factor in warming, and as someone else said earlier I don’t think we can simply choose to ignore that because the evidence isn’t concrete enough yet.
    When asked why they tink man-made emissions of CO2 are responsible, they say, all of them, that they cannot find any other credible reason for late 20th century warming, so that’s what it must be.

    and Belfast Metal, anyone, but anyone who refers to the Hockey Stick as credible evidence, surely can’t use Google or can’t spell Wegman, McKitrick, or McIntyre.

    That graph is sure to cause man-made induced warming to the cheeks of all those who gave it any credibility when the curtain comes down on all this insanity.

    Also, I’m all for energy conservation and protecting the environment, but I won’t take lectures on this from multimillionaires or givernment ministers or movie stars, usually the biggest consumers of all.

  • bollix

    alleging that all the climate change scientists are falsifying data so they can get grants is a pretty serious allegation. its also a “play the man, not the ball” tactic which usually doesn’t hold much water here on slugger.
    Do you really imagine some bespectacled geek in a white lab coat (please insert scientist stereotype of your choice here) in his cold and drafty lab says “hmm, looks like its getting colder after all, i’ll just make up some results so i can get a grant”? This isn’t simply laziness, it is an allegation that all these scientists are big fat liars.
    If so, is this an accusation that you can make against every single scientist conducting every single piece of research in the world? they all want grants for their particular subject, ergo they are all making up results to get those grants.

    back to sammy wilson. even cretins like george bush accept climate change and its anthropogenic roots. living in london, it just embarasses me taht i come from the same place as he does.

    one final point. there is something known as the Precautionary Principle in environmental policy – if you think something is bad for the environment but you’re not sure, then stop doing it, just in case. As someone else pointed out, if climate change science is wrong, then we haven’t lost that much, and have actually saved ourself cash / energy. however, is sammy is wrong and we do nothing about climate change, we have screwed the planet.

  • cynic

    “alleging that all the climate change scientists are falsifying data so they can get grants is a pretty serious allegation. ”

    Bollix

    Read the post again. I didn’t say they consciously lied. I said that they developed a model that relied on extrapolated data. They then drew conclusions from that model.

    That then poses the question, is that extrapolation valid. The scientific community looks at it and says no, this approach is flawed. Someone then applies for another grant to explore and test this further. That is how science works!!

    In the meantime however, the Media have run all over the study and all the cranks and special interest groups are citing the research as yet more vindication for their cause.

    On the general issue you really do need to look at some scientific history. The past is full of scientists who made their reputations on pet theories that were complete garbage. Some of them ‘adapted’ experimental data to make it fit the hypothesis. Others were just genuinely committed to a particular view and found it hard to adapt even when fresh data suggested that they were wrong.

    If you think this cant happen today try googling Korean Cloning Scandal for a start.

  • Dev

    Heard Sammy Wilson on PM last night, felt accutely embarrassed to be from NI, we must be the laughing stock of the UK.

  • kensei

    cynic

    That then poses the question, is that extrapolation valid. The scientific community looks at it and says no, this approach is flawed. Someone then applies for another grant to explore and test this further. That is how science works!!

    In the meantine, the world goes to hell in a handbasket. No one is saying the science is perfect, no one is ruling out the possibility of a brilliant new theory displacing it. Currently, we don’t have one. On the balance of evidence, the accepted view is taht this is at least partially man made. So you make your judgements on the best information you have available. That might mean you accept global warming and its consequences. That isn’t the domain of science.

    But the ruthless undermining of science for soley politcal ends is both dishonest and dangerous — and that remains so if the theory is wrong.

    If you think this cant happen today try googling Korean Cloning Scandal for a start.

    One team in one country. Acceptance of the climate change is both wider and deeper than this.

  • Harry Flashman

    “[i]And of course the climate change deniers, like the pro smoking lobby before them, are completely untarnished by the influence of big business.[/i]”

    I would humbly suggest that when it comes to big business exploiting imaginary global warming, it is the warmists who are way out in front.

    From palm oil producers destroying the rain forests of Sumatra to the “carbon credit scheme” merchants (and we’ll pass over the sniggering associated with that particular Ponzi scheme) to the Hollywood moguls churning out Gorefest movies convincing us that we’re all killing polar bears by switching on the central heating it has to be said that global warming is big business these days.

    “[i]but conspicious by their absence are any from South Australia.[/i]”

    The bush fires in South Australia are a phenomenon that recurs with unerring regularity in that country every generation, they are part of the climate associated with that part of the world as floods, snowfalls, and occasional droughts are part of the climate of south east England.

    It takes a person with the mental retentive abilities of a goldfish to assume that every major event associated with weather must ipso facto be proof of global warming. In Australia they have bush fires, in Ireland we have heavy rain, in England they get snow storms occasionally, in Greece sometimes it’s very hot indeed, and in the Caribbean they get hurricanes. How bad these phenomena will be from one year to the next no one knows, but it is the height of infantile ignorance to assume that the severity of these events must conclusively prove that me leaving my telly on standby caused them. Even the primitive stone age tree worshipers never came up with nonsense like that!

    Remember Hurricane Katrina? Of course you do, it came in the middle of the Bush presidency and was posited as conclusive proof that Dick Cheney’s patent ‘Halliburton Global Warming Racist Hurricane Making Device’ was out of control (not of course of how an utterly incompetent and corrupt Democrat run city couldn’t organise simple evacuation procedures). We were assured by Al Gore et al that this was only the start of it, the US would be assaulted by all manner of dreadful hurricanes as a result of man made global warming. Oddly enough the next few hurricane seasons passed off without serious incident and now we hear nothing more about Katrina.

    Funny that.

  • I’m basically with Comrade Stalin on this one – I have no problems with the idea of global warming, agree that the balance of evidence supports a significant anthropogenic componenet, think we ought to take sensible remedial and avoidance measures but still think this advert and most of the green lobby’s standard lines are a load of old shit.

    A TV on standby draws about 25 mA. Switching off your TV overnight will do nothing, as in zero, zip, nada, to impact on CO2 emissions. Something ineffective is actually worse than nothing if it prevents you doing something actually useful.

    Like much green propaganda it encourages things that either have minimal real impact on the environment but let people feel good about themselves or else involve expensive steps beyond the reach of ordinary people, which have no real impact. Another good example of the former is current recycling policy. What happens with most of our recycling is that it gets shipped out to China or Indonesia, and is ‘recycled’ when it gets dumped on a landfill for the poorest of the poor to sift through. Shipping our waste halfway around the world on carbon-producing ships to dump it on people much poorer than ourselves is not exactly ethical.

    Friends of the Earth have just managed to overturn permission for the construction of an energy to waste plant in Surrey – just on the outskirts of one of the richest villages in England – through judicial review. And these clowns are actually proud of the fact! NIMBYs and snobs the lot of them.

    As for the expensive but pointless stuff, try hybrid cars – more or less just as polluting over their lifecycle as a standard modern petrol model, but expensive and flaunted as status symbols by Holywood stars who clock up tens of thousands of air miles every year. Or what about organic food, on both health and environmental grounds as scientifically proven as homeopathy and astrology, but happily patronised by people with too much money and not enough sense. Who then like sneering at the working-classes for eating ‘scrotum burgers’ or whatever Jamie Oliver’s snoot-du-jour is. Yet more moral masturbation for the chattering classes.

    Sammy might be an idiot, but I don’t se what this advert does other than put more of my money in the hands of advertising and TV executives, who are all a lot richer than me to begin with. While this decision might have been made for the wrong reasons, it was still the right decision to make.

    We need serious investment in non-carbon emitting power – both renewables and nuclear – serious investment in public transport, serious research into higher vehicle efficiency, serious investment in domestic insulation, serious research into more efficient space heating. But not silly moralising advertisements, at least unless we’re advertising executives.

    PS – to the Global Warming sceptics out there, the Daily Telegraph’s Gerald Warner is a nut. Absolute fruitcake. Don’t quote him if you ever want any credibility.

    but conspicious by their absence are any from South Australia

    And PS to the greenies – don’t cite every extreme weather event as evidence of climate change. The Australian bush, like many other types of woodland, need to burn periodically to regenerate. Not only are the bush fires (in Victoria and NSW rather than SA, incidentally) not evidence of global warming, they’re actually a key part of Australia’s ecology. Gum trees are made to burn spectacularly. And for more than 200 people, tragically.

  • 6cp

    Belfast metal: …hockey stick model is an accurate representation…

    Just for your edification, BM, da daa, The Hockey Stick Hoax.

    Enjoy!

  • cynic

    “In the meantine, the world goes to hell in a handbasket. …………………..On the balance of evidence, the accepted view is that this is at least partially man made. So you make your judgements on the best information you have available.”

    For a good exposition of how science works try this:

    It always reminds me of some of the climate change debates I have seen

  • circles

    Great 6CP – next time can you send us a link proving that pinko Liberals have caused the financial crisis and the Sarah Palin is a genius? Power Line should have something on that too.

  • kensei

    Sammy Morse

    As for the expensive but pointless stuff, try hybrid cars – more or less just as polluting over their lifecycle as a standard modern petrol model, but expensive and flaunted as status symbols by Holywood stars who clock up tens of thousands of air miles every year.

    Which is true at the moment, but hybrid, hydrogen and electric vehicles have the potential to be substantially greener than the best petrol or diesel engines and offer lots of other potential advantages. Which one or mix coems out on top is still in flux. To improve the vehicles and find the answer, they need a shedload of money chucked at them. Quite content for others to spend shedloads on them, and encourage the government to spend money on helping develop them if not actually directly raise the price fo petrol to force it.

    We’ll not get anywhere if we can exist in a steady state before it’s too late. That needs to be some impetus to spur development.

    Shuttingthings off standby isn’t going to do a huge amount. But Standby on TV for a year is according to CS, one car journey. What about the DVD player? Two. Sky? Three. Mobile Charging? Four Wii? Five. It might add up to a few percent which si not world changing but appreciable.

    In any case, those weren’t the arguments Sammy ran.

    cynic

    If you aren’ty going to contribute anything sensible, just piss off.

  • gram

    sammy>>Friends of the Earth have just managed to overturn permission for the construction of an energy to waste plant in Surrey – just on the outskirts of one of the richest villages in England – through judicial review.<< I'm assuming this was a typo but based on idiotic content of paragraph 2 in the same post I'm not so sure.

  • Jamie Gargoyle

    2 things:
    – I’d see his point if he objected to spending money on a campaign which, in all probability, is far too little & way too late… but as discussed above he’s done this on the basis of making his mind up first then looking for evidence that suits his decision (& yes, probably not for the first time…)
    – as this presumably only affects advertising slots on UTV, how exactly does he intend to exercise his devolved muscle with respect to all the cable and satellite channels showing the same campaign? Even for terrestrial viewers the advertisements on Five are, unless I’m very much mistaken, the same in every UK broadcast region.

  • 6cp

    Hi Circles, there are two sides to every story, after all. Just trying to add a little balance and perspective.

    Looks like some reinforcements are on the way to bolster Sammy’s courageous stand against the foes of light and truth.:) Catholics to the rescue, http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/articles/a0000471.shtml

    Still in BF? Better get those Allemands to build some new barrages to defend Ouaga from the floods when the ice caps melt! Predicted for some time after the next ice age.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Michael,

    “Give us an example of a common assertion from the climate change lobby that is ‘complete balls’. I want you, and people like Sammy Wilson, to explain your particular objection by citing examples where previously accepted scientific evidence has been debunked, thus becoming ‘balls’.”

    I’ll take that challenge. The most obvious is that temp is related to CO2 concentrations. Err, except that they aren’t at all. For example, before the carboniferous era when lots of coal seams were laid down there were far higher concentrations of CO2 – as high as 7,000ppm during the Cambrian period. About 450 million years ago temp average global temp was about 12C despite CO2 concentrations of 4,400ppm. Global temps tend to swing between 12C and 20C and it’s fek all to do with CO2.

    In late 2007 McIntyre discovered GISS (NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies) had been systematically reporting overly warm U.S. temperatures. McIntyre caused a sensation in late 2007 when he proved NASA had been unjustifiably adding a significant 0.l5º Celsius to its U.S. temperature reports since the year 2000. As a result of McIntyre’s research, scientists discovered 2006 was not the warmest year in U.S. history, as GISS had very publicly claimed. In fact, 1934 was the warmest year, and 2006 fell to a distant fourth. Only four of the top 11 warmest years have occurred since 1954, according to the corrected data. Since McIntyre discovered GISS’s error and similar statistical errors in prominent global warming alarmist Michael Mann’s famous 1998 “hockey stick” graph purporting to show more rapid global warming than has in fact occurred, GISS scientists and their allies who claim humans are causing a global warming crisis have been remarkably unwilling to share their data with McIntyre.

    Yet you still have people mentioning the hockey stick. Even on this thread FFS!

    Might I also mention something about electrical equipment. Switching electronics on and off causing them to heat and then cool and thus causes them to expand and contract. This is a major cause of breakages. So, if you have expensive equipment I wouldn’t worry about the cost of a few pence keeping it at a constant temp. Replacing the device, both in terms of money or energy needed to make a new device, will be much more costly.

    On the precautionary principle – does that mean we should all also be Christians, Jewish, Muslims, Satanists, etc, etc? Just in case?

  • gram

    >>Might I also mention something about electrical equipment. Switching electronics on and off causing them to heat and then cool and thus causes them to expand and contract. This is a major cause of breakages. So, if you have expensive equipment I wouldn’t worry about the cost of a few pence keeping it at a constant temp. Replacing the device, both in terms of money or energy needed to make a new device, will be much more costly.< < That's just rubbish. From your post I take it you aren't an electronic engineer. Overheating is actually one of the major challenges with reducing the size of electronic components. Keeping the components warm isn't an issue. Also you might notice a little fan noise in some of your electronics. That's actually a fan. Being a mechanical part it's prone to wearing out if left running for too long. I expect you'll leave your car on tonight just in case you can't start it tomorrow. You wouldn't want the parts to contract and expand afterall. This statement doesn't give me much confidence in the earlier part of your post. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4620350.stm

  • kensei
  • michael

    Congal Claen,

    Thanks for the reply, this is more like the responce that would actually add to some meaningful discussion. However, i have no idea where you’re getting your information from. So like Gram i cant place a whole lot of confidence in it. There is one easy way to correct that though! 😉

    Im not being pedantic here, it just that in an interview with Jim Fitzpatrick (I think!) last year, Sammy Wilson exposed some of where he was getting the ‘info’ that supported his disbelief in anthropomorphic climate change. It was all very conspiracy theory-esque to say the least, much like the very ‘credible’ websites linked to by 6cp earlier in this thread.

    With regards to the constant switching on and off of electronic appliances, an article last month (or month before) in New Scientist magazine stated that the constant switching on and off of energy saving lights can reduce their lifespan by up to 70%, so this might also apply to other electrical devices. I dont know!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Grassy:

    When asked why they tink man-made emissions of CO2 are responsible, they say, all of them, that they cannot find any other credible reason for late 20th century warming, so that’s what it must be.

    You sound like the kind of guy HBOS would hire as their risk manager.

    This is the way science works; it’s the theory that best fits the available facts. I think it’s mad to ignore it, especially if just because the bandwagon jumpers and other wankers are abusing it.

    kensei:

    Which is true at the moment, but hybrid, hydrogen and electric vehicles have the potential to be substantially greener than the best petrol or diesel engines and offer lots of other potential advantages.

    For hybrids, I don’t really see how, not without significant improvements in battery technology, and even though their combustion engine design is a lot more efficient it’s still pants compared with an electric motor.

    I don’t doubt that the day will come, but if you’re going to put an improved super-battery in a car, you’re as well just using electricity to top it up. I think electric cars are the future and the Tesla Roadster will be seen as a real pioneer in 20 years time.

    I don’t get the hydrogen thing. Hydrogen/hydrogen cells are a battery technology. Making hydrogen requires large amounts of energy. The dangers of storing a high-explosive gas at very high pressure aside, it will be useful only if other battery technology fails to meet the distance and longevity requirements that liquid fuels now do.

    Which one or mix coems out on top is still in flux. To improve the vehicles and find the answer, they need a shedload of money chucked at them.

    Agreed, and that’s where the government should be putting the grants and tax incentives. The government does also have incentives to encourage the use of gas as a fuel, which is not a bad idea, but gas supplies are not stable.

    It’s daft as a brush right now that the government are not incentivising diesel cars more than they are. By driving a diesel you’re getting another 15-25% right there. The government needs to make this point by providing VED discounts for diesel vehicles.

    Quite content for others to spend shedloads on them, and encourage the government to spend money on helping develop them if not actually directly raise the price fo petrol to force it.

    Agreed. Going by the number of cars I see on the M2 each morning with only one person inside, fuel sold for domestic transport purposes is clearly still far too cheap. The sad thing is that the politician who says this will find his political career over in a shot.

    Shuttingthings off standby isn’t going to do a huge amount. But Standby on TV for a year is according to CS, one car journey. What about the DVD player? Two. Sky? Three. Mobile Charging? Four Wii? Five. It might add up to a few percent which si not world changing but appreciable.

    In the face of a world where you have two-car households, both vehicles being used by two individuals driving to the city centre, such miniscule savings feel like a complete waste of time. There is no point in me turning off my standby devices and feeling good about not wasting things when my neighbour drives his SUV to the local shop every day rather than doing the 5-minute walk. Talking about saving waste while pointedly refusing to address the massive sources of waste that go unchecked every day is ridiculous. And that’s what this is all about – talking about doing something while not actually doing anything.

    Besides, I’m not sure that the entire country leaves all their devices on standby anyway. My parents always switch everything off and pull the plug out, most likely due to those safety ads about fire hazards we all remember from the early 1980s, rather than any energy conservation concerns.

  • Sammy Morse

    Which is true at the moment, but hybrid, hydrogen and electric vehicles have the potential to be substantially greener than the best petrol or diesel engines and offer lots of other potential advantages.

    Only if the means of producing the hydrogen or battery and generating the electricity to be stored in the hydrogen or battery is itself clean and efficient (remember, e.g., that extracting hydrogen from seawater is energy intensive). That means more investment in non-carbon producing energy and, bluntly, that means nuclear.

    At the minute, while I’m glad that battery cars are being sort of field tested through the Prius, in practical terms it’s still an expensive status symbol, often owned by people who live in big houses, often in rural areas and travel lots by air. It isn’t a significant contribution to CO2 production being reduced and won’t be for a long time.

  • Comrade Stalin

    In principle, Sammy, you do have economies of scale. Fossil-fuel power stations do not run efficiently overnight when they are operating on low loads (that is why you have Economy 7 and NIE Powershift, etc). If people had electric cars and consistently charged them overnight, it would be drastically more efficient than a combustion engine, remembering that an electric motor is a lot more efficient than a combustion engine.

    But to do it on a national scale, where you would have buses and trains as well as cars on electricity, nuclear would be the way to go. And frankly, once you do that, there should be very little reason to burn fossil fuel again as a principal energy source.

  • FIRE SAMMY WILSON
    Sign the Green Party petition for the removal of Sammy Wilson as Minister for Environment.

    Check out http://www.greenpartyni.org and follow the link
    http://www.petitiononline.com/bt43xx/petition.html

    If you don’t want to sign – just read the comments. The people of Northern Ireland are saying NO to Sammy Wilson.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Greens, all you guys are doing is feeding Sammy’s publicity crusade. Don’t think that people won’t notice that you seem to think this is more important than, say, Ruane’s mess over selection.

  • cynic

    Kensei

    Its about as sensible as some of the arguments I have seen here support bad science and was deliberately posted to make just that point. IF you dont agree then just read your won post.

    “Standby on TV for a year is according to CS, one car journey. ”

    Where to? That’s just a meaningless figure / statement.

    “We’ll not get anywhere if we can exist in a steady state before it’s too late.”

    Too late for what? The Second Coming? Global Fireball? Seas rising 10m? Polar bears drown? All of this?

    Have a look at this and see if you find any similarities to some of the Global Warming advocates.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_cult

  • kensei

    For hybrids, I don’t really see how, not without significant improvements in battery technology, and even though their combustion engine design is a lot more efficient it’s still pants compared with an electric motor.

    The point being we want significant improvements in….. oh, right, what I said earlier.

    I don’t doubt that the day will come, but if you’re going to put an improved super-battery in a car, you’re as well just using electricity to top it up. I think electric cars are the future and the Tesla Roadster will be seen as a real pioneer in 20 years time.

    My money is on hydrogen. I can’t see batteries becoming good enough quickly enough to make them realistic in the time hydrogen gets there. Sure it is dangerous, but so is petrol.

    That’s the thing though — we are genuinely in flux.

    In the face of a world where you have two-car households, both vehicles being used by two individuals driving to the city centre, such miniscule savings feel like a complete waste of time. There is no point in me turning off my standby devices and feeling good about not wasting things when my neighbour drives his SUV to the local shop every day rather than doing the 5-minute walk. Talking about saving waste while pointedly refusing to address the massive sources of waste that go unchecked every day is ridiculous. And that’s what this is all about – talking about doing something while not actually doing anything.

    We need to more seriously tackle the big things, and both Labour and the Tories talk green but then use it merely as an excuse to increase revenues which is a bollocks. But its relatively cheap, easy to do and saves money. If it even knocks 1% CO2 consumption off our total then that is 1% we don’t have to find elsewhere.

    Sammy

    Only if the means of producing the hydrogen or battery and generating the electricity to be stored in the hydrogen or battery is itself clean and efficient (remember, e.g., that extracting hydrogen from seawater is energy intensive). That means more investment in non-carbon producing energy and, bluntly, that means nuclear.

    Extracting hydrogen form seawater is currently energy intensive. If it looks like the winner, you can bet insane amount of money will go into finding ways of getting the job done at less cost.

    In any case, it is an advantage in itself to be able to move from a single source of power to variable sources. I’m also not entirely convinced by nuclear; they are incredibly expensive to build for a start and not only mean more nuclear material floating about, but a single attack could wipe out an appreciable amount of profit the plant is ever likely to make. Renewables are getting cheaper, and when we get out of this mess the Oil price is going way back up in the long term. I’d prefer to see investment made in better transmission networks, microgeneration, renewables and a proper shot at fusion but I accpet you are probably not getting away without nuclear.

    At the minute, while I’m glad that battery cars are being sort of field tested through the Prius, in practical terms it’s still an expensive status symbol, often owned by people who live in big houses, often in rural areas and travel lots by air. It isn’t a significant contribution to CO2 production being reduced and won’t be for a long time.

    A shift from petrol in cars would make a huge difference in CO2 emissions. It also means we are less worried about Russia switching off the gas, and less worried about meddling in the Middle East. It’s a win-win.

  • Comrade Stalin

    My money is on hydrogen. I can’t see batteries becoming good enough quickly enough to make them realistic in the time hydrogen gets there. Sure it is dangerous, but so is petrol.

    Hydrogen is a lot more dangerous than petrol. It’s a lot less stable, and it’s under pressure as well. My money is on electric, but we’ll see in a decade or so 🙂 You have to look at how far batteries have come in the past 15 years. The Tesla Roadster, as you probably know, is built on the innovations used to create laptop and mobile phone batteries.

    We need to more seriously tackle the big things, and both Labour and the Tories talk green but then use it merely as an excuse to increase revenues which is a bollocks. But its relatively cheap, easy to do and saves money. If it even knocks 1% CO2 consumption off our total then that is 1% we don’t have to find elsewhere.

    I doubt that saving on standby would even knock 1% off. It’s an almost microscopic proportion of our total energy consumption. It’s probably >1% of a household’s electricity (assuming that household has 4-5 devices that it can turn off) usage, but if that household has a car and uses it, it’s going to be <1% of the total energy usage. Look at all those heavy industries that use massive gobs of electricity, like Montupet up in Dunmurray for their aluminium processing/manufacturing. These guys are using thousands of kWh per day. The benefit of not using standby quickly descends into statistical noise when you look at the electricity usage by both households and businesses right across the country.

    Extracting hydrogen form seawater is currently energy intensive. If it looks like the winner, you can bet insane amount of money will go into finding ways of getting the job done at less cost.

    I wouldn’t feel safe betting on that. Fundamentally to get hydrogen atoms out of a water molecule you need a lot of energy. That won’t change. There may be innovations to make the process more efficient, but you can’t get away from this fundamental fact. The only other way is to find a source of hydrogen other than water – some other hydrogen compound; or to have a plant that produces lots of energy very cheaply and make the hydrogen right there so that you avoid transmission or conversion losses.

    A shift from petrol in cars would make a huge difference in CO2 emissions. It also means we are less worried about Russia switching off the gas, and less worried about meddling in the Middle East. It’s a win-win.

    I agree with this, assuming that by shifting away from petrol you mean diesel. As I said earlier, if you’re going to make batteries really good, why then bother with hybrid when you can just have electric ?

  • eranu

    “or hybrid cars (which aren’t that efficient or earth-friendly at all compared with a good diesel engine)”

    talking of hybrid cars, has anyone seen the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? it has a touch of the michael moore dramatics but is very interesting. basically general motors built an excellent electric car called the EV1 in the late 90s. lithium ion batteries would have given it a 300 mile range but big oil companies had it killed off to protect their market.
    the environment is screwed until we’ve burnt off the last drop of oil…

  • circles

    Thanks for that link to the catholic herald 6cp – reminds me that the pope in his infallibility recently alerted the world to the equal dangers of gay mariage and environmental catastrophe(amongst other really insightful remarks of late). It also reminded me of that great tradition in the catholic church of recognising scientific progress – like the time they gave Galileo that big prize and considered naming a church after Darwin 😉

    The best line in the article was “Green ideology was so incompatible with Christian beliefs that calls from many bishops and priests for the “greening of the Church” were “misguided”.” Reminds me of that bible quote (if I may paraphrase) “That God so loved the world he said “There you go my children, here are the keys to the planet, feel free to drive it at top speed and wrap it round an interstellar lamp-post when you’re done”.”

    I’m in Niger now – funnily enough since the 60’s there has been a steady decrease in rainfall here with individual rainfall events now much more intense. Soil erosion increasing, productive agricultural land getting less, population doubling every 11 years that kind of thing. But now I’ve read that article I know now its nothing to worry about – I should be more concerned about the “spiritual values” of the people.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Michael,

    Here’s the graph I was referring to earlier…

    I’m a bit worried about your use of whether a website is ‘credible’
    or not. Surely, it’s either right or wrong?

    Hi Gram,

    My primary degree was in Physics and I can assure you most materials do expand and contract when heated and cooled and it causes breakages. BTW, I never said you should try and keep electronics warm. I said you should try and keep them at a constant temp. Which incidentally is what that fan is attempting to do that you mentioned.

  • Congal Claen
  • kensei

    I doubt that saving on standby would even knock 1% off. It’s an almost microscopic proportion of our total energy consumption. It’s probably >1% of a household’s electricity (assuming that household has 4-5 devices that it can turn off) usage, but if that household has a car and uses it, it’s going to be <1% of the total energy usage.

    It’s not simply the standby though; it’s washing at lower temptatures, turning your stat down a degree or two, using low ebnergy light bulbs that collectively add up. It is part of a unified message.

    This article gives Irish household 25% of CO2 usage:

    http://www.sei.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/SEI_Report_Shows_Average_Irish_Household_Emitting_8_1_Tonnes_of_CO2.html

    You reckon you couldn’t get a few percent off that?

    I wouldn’t feel safe betting on that. Fundamentally to get hydrogen atoms out of a water molecule you need a lot of energy. That won’t change. There may be innovations to make the process more efficient, but you can’t get away from this fundamental fact.

    Er – catalysts? Genetically engineered bacteria to produce hydrogen as a byproduct? There are a number of ways to skin that particular cat. We don’t particularly care where the hydogen comes form. I’d bet a million quid we’d produce innovations that result in economies of scale. Whether it’s enough, I don’t know.

    And if we manage to get fusion, we’d have insane amounts of energy anyway.

    I agree with this, assuming that by shifting away from petrol you mean diesel. As I said earlier, if you’re going to make batteries really good, why then bother with hybrid when you can just have electric ?

    The problem with batteries is that they take a long time to charge in comparison with the time it takes to fill the tank, and even decent range may not be enough for long journeys. So I can’t see them working at the moment without a fallback.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Michael,

    Here’s a link that may be of some interest…

    http://www.tmgnow.com/repository/solar/lassen1.html

    Here’s a link giving tree ring data from around the world…

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/treering.html

    I’m afraid you’ll have to do the work yourelf. I’ve graphed the tree rings from Shane’s Castle (as I reckoned it probably hasn’t changed much over the centuries) and I found no trace of any warming. I also graphed rings from other parts of the world – same result.

    Hi Kensei,

    Charge time is indeed a problem. Why not have universal transferrable batteries that can be exchanged at filling stations? That way the public would just be doing what they currently do…

  • cynic

    “And if we manage to get fusion, we’d have insane amounts of energy anyway.”

    We don’t need fusion…existing nuclear technology will do

  • michael

    Congal Claen

    Thanks for the links, i’ll absolutely give them a look over later. Ironically I’m off to a lecture about sustainability by a guy from Grimshaw’s. *ahem*

    The credibility thing was about being able to see who produced the data and how. A lot of the debunkers that i’ve come into contact with, get their sources from random ‘conspiracy’ websites produced by some guy in his basement in New Mexico. As someone with next to no expert knowledge regarding climate change I have to take the risk and place greater weight on a document that i know has been peer reviewed, like the IPCC reports.

    The debate reminds me very much of the evolution debate. I’ve looked seriously at the counter arguments, all of which hold no weight. I get the uneasy feeling that counter arguments for climate change (man made) may be the same. But I’m fully open to be convinced, just not through said websites.

  • Pete Baker

    Here’s a previous post on some of those sceptical “international scientists”.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Michael,

    One thing to remember is that the real worth of science is to be able to make predictions about the future based on your past observations. Note what either side are saying about their predictions for the future. Then see how that turns out. In my opinion the sceptics seem to be onto something with the sun argument as they were predicting cooling which seems to be occuring. Whereas the IPCC were predicting burn baby, burn and appear to have been caught out on the present cooling.

    There was a guy in England (GW believer) who was offering bets of £10,000 of his own money as to whether it would be hotter or cooler in the future with. This was his way of trying to get sceptics to put their money where mouth was. However, 2 Russian scientists have taken him up on his bet and he hasn’t been offering it any longer. Can’t remember his name tho…

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Pete,

    Would it not be better to rubbish the message rather than the messenger?

    For example, it would be easy to suggest that Sir Nicholas Stern who wrote the Stern report which is held up as an excellent document by the GW lobby can’t be much of an economist considering he was an economic advisor to the government in the run up to the biggest housing bubble in our history and failed to notice it. So why would you listen to him on something outside his area?

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Pete,

    Back to the actual argument…

    Here’s a link to a graph showing CO2 concentrations over millions of years together with temp…

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html#anchor147264

    Do you accept that this is correct? If not where are the errors?

    Here is another link, with the x axis reversed…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_the_Earth's_atmosphere

    How can you believe temp is related to CO2?

  • Genetically engineered bacteria to produce hydrogen as a byproduct?

    That’s an interesting thought and a long way from becoming reality, if it ever does, but you know the greenies would object to that too, as GM Is The Spawn Of Satan. Un environmentalist est un homme qui trouve une probleme pour tous les solutions.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s not simply the standby though; it’s washing at lower temptatures, turning your stat down a degree or two, using low ebnergy light bulbs that collectively add up. It is part of a unified message.

    This ad focussed on standby.

    Washing at lower temperatures comes with drawbacks; the machine can get mouldy.

    But I’d like to see the calculations behind some of the other proposals to save energy. My heating controls are set to a comfortable level (during the winter I wear a jumper in the house, and it’s toasty). If I turn it any lower it will be too cold.

    I see the lightbulbs thing as a bit of a red herring as well. Yes, the low-energy ones do clearly use 20% of the energy of a normal candescent bulb (at the expense of the nasty chemicals and compounds that go into making them). However, again, lightbulbs are not a significant proportion of a busy household’s energy usage. Cooking, washing, and anything that heats anything use the vast majority of the energy in your house; and when you commute with a car you’re driving a machine which burns up 75% of the energy which goes into it and farts it out the exhaust. At best, improving these areas (and it should be done) will make no more than a small dent in our energy usage/carbon footprint.

    Er – catalysts? Genetically engineered bacteria to produce hydrogen as a byproduct? There are a number of ways to skin that particular cat. We don’t particularly care where the hydogen comes form. I’d bet a million quid we’d produce innovations that result in economies of scale. Whether it’s enough, I don’t know.

    I ain’t a chemist, but no matter what you do you can’t genetically engineer bacteria to break the laws of physics, since produce hydrogen from water requires a fixed and well-understood amount of energy.

    And if we manage to get fusion, we’d have insane amounts of energy anyway.

    Agreed, I think it is a major crime that governments are not prioritizing funding for the ITER project. The initial version will require tritium (=quite, but not very, radioactive) which if we’re lucky we’ll see in our lifetimes. I don’t believe anyone currently alive will live to see D-D fusion reactors. But I live in hope.

    But if we’re generating power with fusion reactors, why bother with hydrogen when we can just go straight to electricity ? It’s a lot safer and more versatile, and it doesn’t blow up.

    The problem with batteries is that they take a long time to charge in comparison with the time it takes to fill the tank, and even decent range may not be enough for long journeys. So I can’t see them working at the moment without a fallback.

    You’re right that batteries are not likely, in the immediate future, to be able to be fast charged, which rules them out for long-distance use. However, they’ll work just fine for commuting purposes, where the car would be charged overnight. If they can come up with a modular concept where you can plop in a new battery and swap out your discharged one, that might also work, but I agree that this is unwieldy compared with being able to fill the tank.

    cynic:

    We don’t need fusion…existing nuclear technology will do

    We absolutely do need fusion. Existing nuclear technology will do, but only for a couple of hundred years at best (and that’s assuming some new technologies which are reasonably likely but haven’t been invented yet). Fusion power on a commodity scale will be significantly cheaper than fission, and it won’t have the waste problem or the terrorist threat.

  • Sammy Morse

    We absolutely do need fusion.

    Especially if we want to move from about 30% of the people on the planet having a decent standard of living to as near to 100% as practicable. I know I do.

  • Comrade Stalin

    There’s a lot of really good information about nuclear power technologies on Wikipedia. ITER is pretty incredible when you look at the scale of energy production involved. By burning 0.5g of fuel, it will (for 1000 seconds) produce 500MW which is the same as the peak operating output power of Kilroot power station.

    So that’s 45g of fuel for a full day, or 16kg for a year. Compare that with the tonnes of coal or oil kilroot uses in one day (which it turns into tonnes of ash and soot..)