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The Ethics of Fossil Fuels

Well, dear Reader, from the title you would be justified in wondering whether Fossil Fuels even have ethics. Are FF’s conscious? Can they think? Are they more Platonic or Aristotelian, or perhaps even Hegelian in their metaphysics?

In this little number, Alex Epstein — a former fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute and the founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, a think-tank thinking about energy resources — debates one Bill McKibben, sometimes said to be on the same plane of Enviroloonyism as the Bore.

I present this not because I think you will wish to watch the whole thing (unless you are into masochism), nor because I think Mr. Epstein, be his heart every so rightly placed, is the greatest debater since Socrates or somebody (he could learn a lot from James O’Keefe), but because I am genuinely interested in whether Mr. McKibben’s performance strikes you as it does me. It might take you a mere 10 minutes, or maybe half an hour, of watching and hearing the man. If no one cares to commit his gut reaction to pixels, I will tell you what I made of the McK performance, in a day or two.

Go pour yourself a nice tall chill glass of bathtub gin, neat, and settle in. –Oh, bring your Pet Rock. You may feel the need to be Soothed even beyond the powers of the gin.

Quote of the Week.

You heard it here. “Human emissions of carbon dioxide have saved life on Earth from inevitable starvation and extinction due to lack of CO2”. To use the analogy of the Atomic Clock, if the Earth were 24 hours old we were at 38 seconds to midnight when we reversed the trend towards the End Times. If that isn’t good news I don’t know what is. You don’t get to stave off Armageddon every day.

Dr Patrick Moore.

Yes this gent was one of the founders of Greenpeace, but is a scientist (which is more than can be said for the current activists) and the article is a long one, but one of the sanest, most concise and convincing pieces I have ever read on “Global Warming”.

RAFF Protests Halite Decision

Unfortunately they’re doing it wrong.

For once Residents Action on Fylde Fracking and I have something in common.  Sort of.

Who is Halite?  Once calling themselves Canatxx they are the people who want to store pressurised gas in salt caverns slap bang in the middle of a geologically unstable area, full of brine wells, a collapsed salt mine and geological faults, in my neck of the woods.  The YouTube video I have linked to will explain why 40,000 local residents have been fighting for years to resist this insanity.

There are no weasel words like might or could or maybe.  Brine wells at Preesall have collapsed in the past and one is in the process of collapsing.  The depression in the ground is growing fast and an entire field has been lost to it already  Another well is filled with God knows how many tons of mercury sludge courtesy of the now departed ICI.  Just image what will happen to the water table if that bad boy collapsed.  And Halite want to store pressurised gas right next to the brine well field.  Let’s not forget the partially collapsed salt mine.  And did I mention the natural faults that gas can migrate along?  Well it needs saying over and over.

Anti-fracking campaigners have reacted with anger and frustration at a Government decision to allow a controversial gas storage facility on the Fylde Coast.

And I agree with their reaction.  Three applications from Canatxx/Halite have been rejected by local government because of the real danger of catastrophe yet some cretin in central government has given the green light to this insanity.

Energy minister Lord Bourne has, on appeal, granted permission to Halite to create a huge underground gas store in salt caverns at Preesall despite three rejections of the plan and massive public opposition.

Now residents and campaigners opposing shale gas say that decision by the Department of Energy and Climate Change was undemocratic and bodes ill for their own battle against energy company Cuadrilla.

But this is where my strange comradeship with RAFF and their associate anti-fracking groups parts way.  You see their “protest” appears to be purely selfish.  They don’t seem to care about the real dangers of the Halite proposal.  They only seem to care about how it will affect their own cause and how they can exploit it.

Two bids by Cuadrilla to test frack on the Fylde were rejected last month by Lancashire County Council, but the shale gas explorer could yet appeal to a Government inspector.

It’s not about Halite, you see.  It’s about Cuadrilla and the appeal they will no doubt be submitting.  A real danger has been hijacked to support an anti-capitalist cause that really would benefit all if fracking were permitted to go ahead.  That really piddles me off.

Barbara Richardson, from the Roseacre Awareness Group, said: “We are appalled by this decision to overrule local democracy and fear that Westminster will try and intervene in the fracking debate too against the wishes of the people and elected representatives.

What Barbara doesn’t tell you is that Mike Hill, who was campaigning on an anti-fracking ticket, was wiped out during the GE by the Tory incumbent who I believe is actually pro fracking.  It seems that democracy is something of a loose concept in Barbara’s world.  At this point I will add that the proposed Roseacre site is highly problematical because access will be a nightmare and Barbara does have a point.  However there is no such problem with the Plumpton proposal which I support and Barbara doesn’t.  She is opposed to fracking absolutely.

“We elect local councillors (parish, borough and county) to represent us and this is democracy in action. Local people understand local issues and the will of the people.

Yeah, I saw how the craven sods at Lancashire County Council were cowed by a few tens of anti-fracking protestors and voted against the advice of their own legal department.  Democracy my left nether cheek.  Perhaps you think the 40,000 plus local residents fighting the Halite plans can be co-opted by proxy to your own cause, eh Barbara?

“To blatantly ignore this is sheer arrogance and a recipe for disaster. We will stand with the people of the Wyre.

That’ll be a “yes” then.

“They have spent years to successfully defeat this, with good grounds, and even had the support of the Planning Inspector as well as local councils. They must be absolutely devastated.

We are devastated and we are still fighting.  But Barbara, where were you and your pals all those years we were fighting Canatxx?  How come we get your support now?

“Fracking is an altogether different game as it could affect over 60 per cent of the UK, and should Westminster intervene again, I am sure it will have serious repercussions.”

Whereas gas storage is a dangerous game and has the real potential to affect more than 60% of the residents of Fleetwood, Knott End, Presall, Stalmine, Steynall and parts of Thornton if the storage caverns rupture following the collapse of a brine well (it has already happened in the US which is why storage of the type proposed for Preesall has been banned in the US on safety grounds), the gas escapes and finds an ignition source.  All thanks to Westminster intervention.

All that seems to bother Barbara is the precedent set by overturning a decision made by local government.

Alan Tootill, from the Preston New Road Action Group, said: “This confirms our worst fears.

“This government has no concern for local democracy and local decision-making.

“Over 40,000 people objected to the Preesall applications and three times the plans were turned down at local level.

I didn’t hear your voice raised against the initial Canatxx/Halite proposals either Alan.  I don’t recall you standing up at the many meetings and voicing your concern.

There is also a familiar name mentioned in dispatches.  You’ll find her in the comments below the Mike Hill post.

Tina Rothery, from Residents Action of Fylde Fracking, said: “It is awful news not just for the people of Wyre but for the rights of local people anywhere in the UK.

“That central government can overrule the clear will of the people and their Council that has three times rejected this application, makes a mockery of our ‘democracy’.

“Many of us have been fighting to keep fracking out of Lancashire for nearly four years now and the recent support of Lancashire County Council was very welcome; with this announcement today though at the overturning of the decision on Halite, we are of course deeply concerned about what will happen next in this campaign as well.

See what I mean?  They’ve tagged on their anti-fracking campaign to the Halite fight.  I know Tina by sight having seen her on TV and in the papers several times but I don’t recall seeing her at the Stop Canatxx meetings either.  All of a sudden the Canatxx/Halite cause has become the No Fracking cause.  At least in the anti-fracking eyes.

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said: ‘This decision raises big questions about the Government’s commitment to local democracy because this facility was turned down several times before Westminster stepped in to make it happen.

Then maybe Friends of the Earth ought to hand back the millions in taxpayer money, whether taxpayers agreed with it or not, that has been handed to FoE by various governments over the years.  It’s obviously a matter of principal after all.  But I guess, like Barbara, your perception of democracy only goes so far, eh, Tony?

“This must not be repeated in order to force fracking on Lancashire after the county refused to swallow the hype from central Government and the fracking industry.”

“This must not be repeated in order to refuse fracking on Lancashire after the county swallowed the hype from minority anti-frackers and the Big Green industry.”

There, fixed it.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne, who is the Minister responsible for energy planning consents, said the Halite plan was strategically important for the nation.

Yeah, because what the Scammell truck would a Professor of Law know about geological faults, collapsed mines. the unsuitability of layered salt beds, unsafe brine wells and other unimportant shit that affects the lives and safety of tens of thousands of locals?  Oh and we’re considered an area of Special Scientific Interest too because of the rare fauna and flora living in and around Morecambe Bay which will be grossly affected by the brine outfall. Why, after so many years,  has central government, after even that towering intellect, John Prescott, recognised the serious flaw in Canatxx/Halite’s planning applications, suddenly made this perverse decision?  Well I have a theory.

Wyre has been a marginal seat for a long time.  Since 1997 it has been tinkered with twice which gave us Hilton Dawson (Lab) a decent MP who worked hard for the constituency before resigning and returning home to his native Northumberland. Then came Ben Wallace (Con) who also fought hard on the Canatxx front and moved over to the newly created Wyre and Preston North in 2010.  Despite Labour stacking the boundary decks in its favour we got Eric Ollerenshaw (Con) clinging to his seat by the skin of his marginal teeth, only ever rebelling (well abstaining really) against the Tory whip once but who still recognised the dangers posed by the gas storage proposal and added his effort to the fight against corporate venality and stupidity.

Then in May, 2015 we get Cat Smith (Lab) also on the slimmest of majorities, with her BA in sociology and gender studies who, while paying lip service to both the anti-Halite and anti-fracking camps, clearly hasn’t got a bloody clue what she’s talking about.  Perhaps, once in a while, when she isn’t too busy identifying herself as a Christian, socialist, feminist, republican, trade unionist and LGBT, she’ll pick up and read The Idiot’s Guide to Wyre Estuary Geology so she doesn’t look a total fool and will finally be able to tell the difference between a landslide and a great big Scammell off sinkhole.  Meanwhile we get the standard leftie gobshite response to Lord Bourne’s decision by calling for the “launch of a new action” and “seeking urgent clarification” rather than going up to the idiot and hitting him with FACTS.  But then she did previously work for Jezza Corbyn so she quite possibly has a good grounding in political stupid.

And my theory?  Well Lord Bourne has nasty previous when it comes to the opposition.  He plays very dirty tricks and then lies about what he’s done before being forced to come clean.  Ask Rhodri Morgan.  Lord Bourne got handed this particular chalice when it turned out that Amber Rudd’s brother , Roland, heads a lobbying company, Finsbury, that numbers Halite amongst its clients.  Given Bourne’s scandalous history could the recently tinkered with constituency returning a Labour MP be an underlying reason for his perverse, against all common sense decision?  I think we should be told.

Here’s the “offical” reason for the decision.

He said: “Investment in new energy infrastructure is essential if we are to keep the lights on and bills down.

“This is a major project which will benefit the local economy by creating jobs and stimulating businesses.

Yes, we’ve seen how central government keeps the bills down with bills hiked up to feed the heavily subsidised and deeply despised renewables monster.  As for the local economy, destruction of the environment aside, there may be a temporary injection of jobs to construct the storage caverns and build a pipeline to connect with the main grid at Garstang.  But honestly, long term, how many people will it take to press a button at the control station in order to release or store gas?   Three hundred?  Four hundred?  Try a handful.

What is the impact of millions of gallons of concentrated brine that Halite propose to pump into the sea off Anchorsholme as they carve holes in the salt?  What will happen if the geology ruptures a cavern and the project goes sky high tits up?  The infrastructure to deal with an explosion doesn’t exist.  There are mainly small villages and narrow country lanes in this part of the world.  That is providing, of course that no structure damaged in the blast doesn’t block those narrow country lanes and blocks access to the grossly inadequate emergency services.

Oh and the storage capacity that Halite proposes will give a close to zero contribution to keeping the lights on.  Selling the gas back to the grid at premium rates will keep bills down how?   The man is a moral bankrupt and a weapons grade pudendum

“Gas is also the greenest fossil fuel and helps us lower our carbon emissions, which is important in the UK’s move to a cleaner energy future.”

I agree but what would be the point of pumping gas from underground only to pump it back underground?  The only people to benefit from storage is Halite who will buy cheap and sell at a premium rate at great risk to the locals.  Halite propose to do it here because back in their native US they would be given very short shrift.  You see storing gas in layered salt, most particularly anywhere near a field of brine wells (we have more than a hundred of them), is banned because it is demonstrably unsafe and a threat to life. Is that what Bourne calls stimulating businesses?

And if he really believes that gas is the greenest fossil fuel will he be insisting that the Drax power station will be converted to gas instead of burning CO2 producing wood pellets from felled US forests?

No?  Thought not.

Externalities: Barking Dogs

Let us change the subject from Shrill, BHO, and their disgusting selves and actions. Today, dateline April 16, 2015, from the New York Daily News:

Oregon court orders ranchers to ‘debark’ Tibetan mastiffs


A pack of Tibetan mastiffs, one of which is shown guarding sheep at Liongate Farm, have been slated for “debarking” after their owners lost a lawsuit by a pair of neighbors annoyed by excessive barking.

A pair of Oregon ranchers will be forced to subject their massive Tibetan mastiffs to a controversial “debarking” procedure after losing a lawsuit, according to a court ruling.

Karen Szewc’s neighbors won $238,900 in damages for having to put up with what was described as “a decade of ceaseless barking by the giant dogs,” as reported by the Mail Tribune.


The surgery removes a portion of the dog’s vocal cord, but it’s recommended by veterinary experts only as a last resort. It does not silence the dog, but it muffles their communique to a mere squeak.

Animal activists with PETA call the procedure “a surgery for human convenience.”


Read the whole thing (it’s not long). There are two photos. And don’t blame me for the fact that the NYDP‘s writer don’ do so good wit’ Inglees.

Personally, I can’t stand people who get upset over barking dogs. At any hour of the day or night. I also can’t stand rock. At any hour of the day or night.

On the other hand, much as I might damn the rock-lovers in my heart (no offense, I love you all. Besides, whatever non-metaphorical noise emanates from Zanzibar is much attenuated by distance), provided that they were otherwise palatable people I would (and have) let it go.

Still, the problem that libertarianism has to deal with really is “externalities.” Roads? Tchah! Sooner or later it would work itself out. So would the stopping-every-three-miles-to-pay-tolls-on-the-Rhine problem. (Whatever you Outlanders call it, we finally have the transponder-equipped Interstates. Private road-owners would probably have gotten them sooner. And there are other methods of paying for road usage, in the same manner as pre-paid phone cards.)

So we can talk all day about the Common Law rules that developed to handle various “externalities,” such as easements and laws of nuisance etc.

But the problem is twofold. One is that one man’s nuisance is another man’s love. Such as the barking dogs, or the smell of mown hay or burning leaves. Or whether people should be “allowed” to play their loud rock at 10 a.m. when the guy next door is sleeping, having gotten off the night shift at 8 and hit the sack forthwith. But he can’t sleep through that racket. So if he & the neighbor can’t resolve things between themselves, what should be done? Yes, we can find formalistic solutions (first guy there gets to stay, other guy has to move), but that’s already a law (or part of the covenant, if it’s a covenant neighborhood–and covenants do not Solve All Human Problems). Related, there’s the example that Alisa brought up on Samizdata: I don’t care at all about longish grass at my place or really long grass at yours, but it does provide a habitat for pests. (OTOH, “pests” also serve a purpose useful to humans in some parts of the ecosystem. Was it Mao who dictated that all the feral cats in some city be destroyed, and the result was that rats took over?)

The question is, how do we resolve these problems in the real world yet in line with libertarian theory? (I’m not looking at Libertopia, which is an ideal, not an actual possibility.)

The other is that it’s silly to think that everybody will behave in a way that is objectively non-harmful to others. Reputation? Yeah, but there’s a sucker born every minute. Take the money & run. —-OTOH, I was brought up with caveat emptor. Still, it’s not possible to know much about most of what we buy … and the right to go someplace new, take on a new identity, and start over fresh and undogged by the past, is precious. Especially if you were unjustly accused and convicted, in the Court of Public Opinion if not at law.

Which by the way is one reason why National ID’s are a bad idea. Whereas Voter ID’s are necessary in this day & age. –Oh wait…. [Don't go jumping to conclusions, guys. I absolutely reject National ID's. And I support Voter ID's strongly, since things are as they are. Sigh. And here I'm a sort-of mathematician who is absolutely totally allergic to contradictions. Make me break out in hives, they do.]

So … Discuss, if so moved.

Gang Green and the Government Staff Infection

*Ee-ee-ewww*, Bill! Whittle, that is. What a wicked pun! Two in fact.

Well, if this little 6 1/2-minute number doesn’t make you heave, nothing will. It’s not news, I mean anybody whose head isn’t in his knickers already knows it, but for the collectors in the audience, here are a few more specific abominations.

Bill has entitled this “Tie-Dyed Tyranny.”

Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris was a massive part of my youth. It would appear now that he was a massive part of other kids youth too – and not in a good way. I mean I always thought Saville was a sleazy sod but Rolf! Rolf was Aussie gold.

I use to watch his show “Cartoon Club” as a kid and as 19 year-old he headlined the end of year party at Nottingham University. He was great. He got bigger cheers than Dannii Minogue who was the second on the list. I was right at the front and she certainly was “well fit” in the live. I guess she was maybe (even then) too old for Rolf’s tastes and Kylie would have clobbered him with a knotty prop – always struck even from her days in Neighbours as a feisty one our Kylie.

So I saw Rolf with his wobble board and doing Jake The Peg, painted an Outback scene and did a few songs and told a few jokes. The consummate light entertainer – especially after a few tinnies of Fosters – yes there was a reason the evening had an Australian theme.

I just don’t get it. If you are a successful, wealthy, entertainer you can actually get a consensual sexual relationship with an attractive adult. So why all this nasty, grubby stuff? Is it to quote Wilde, “Dining with Panthers” or is it just egomania or what?

Rolf, you let a generation down. You let me down. Now you are going down.

I USED to be a Coal Miner’s Daughter…

Well Barry couldn’t get this one through by democratic means, despite being an er… Democrat, so he reverted to the old standby of tyrants… Executive Authority.

The usual suspects are mutedly applauding (it doesn’t go far enough apparently). Germany is now reinvesting in coal after their hasty total shutdown of nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. And China, India and Brazil haven’t missed a beat, opening one Coal powered station a week.

So well done Barry, finger on the pulse of a dead corpse again as usual. If I didn’t know better I’d say you were deliberately trying to destroy the United States Of America.

The end of the footie…

Well, I had my Dad on the phone… He’s a Liverpool fan and was gutted they were pipped by Man City. Well, they finished second and in the final game they had they beat my team (NUFC) 2-1 at home. Now, if Stevie G hadn’t fallen over a bit back in a “schoolboy error” (I quote St Alan of Hansen) then… Anyway, more to the point we wouldn’t be in this position (10th) if (a) Alan Pardew (the manager) didn’t feel the need to chin people on the field and (b) our long-playing striker Shola Ameobi didn’t, in the final game of the season, with nothing of substance to play for, (against Liverpool at Anfield) feel the need (why Shola? why?) to call the ref a, “Fat Dwarf Mong!” and get sent off for his trouble. Possibly his last game for the club. He is out of contract now. Way to go! I mean he could have lapped it up as a fine player and servant of the club in the centre circle and then been lamped by Pardew as the confetti fell.

So, my Dad was complaining about finishing second and not having won for donks. Well, fair enough up to a point. It was the 1920s when the Toon Army last won the Championship. It was 1969 when we last grabbed silver-wear (Fairs Cup) and I was born in 1973. Anyway, we have that “Hazard Blunt” Mike Ashley conning the ship and Pardew running the team.

Being a Newcastle fan is an act of self-harm. We got beaten by the fucking Mackems 3-0 at St James’ Park this season. Have you ever been to Sunderland? Jesus Christ on a bicycle! They haven’t invented the fucking wheel in Mackemshire! If Hull is the land where dreams go to die Sunderland is where nightmares kick the bucket. Just don’t go. And we got beaten by them, 3-0, at home. And then there is Peterlee (a town where there is something gynaecological wrong if you’re not pumping out numero 3 by your 15th birthday. And Blythe, or Consett… Or even Tynemouth. On the headland there is a beautiful ruined abbey. The Vikings did a number on it but that had nothing too North Tyneside Council who built a coast guard station next to it. Built in the ’70s. It looks grand.

The quantity of destruction of architecture done deliberately by councils is stunning. They have got better but some things aren’t re-jiggable.

D. Greenfield / Sultan Knish: The Green Socialists of Mars

A most interesting, longish piece in which Daniel Greenfield discusses the place of Climate-Alarmism, and of turn-of-the-20th-century SF, in what one might call “The Project for Social Change” (cue the Usual Suspects). Follow the Kitties to Zanzibar: Read the whole thing.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Green Socialists of Mars

Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog — 14 Comments

We live in a strange world in which the weather is a subject of furious political debate. People have been arguing about the weather ever since the first rainstorm caught the first man without the umbrella that he did not yet know how to make, but they didn’t hold political debates over it.

For the last fifty years, the anti-weather side has been insisting that the world is headed toward a Frostean apocalypse of ice or fire. …. The end of weather was here.

[ ... ]

The original error of climate researchers was their assumption that planets were more fragile than they truly are and could be undone by a nuclear exchange or even by a few coal plants. Carl Sagan, who had done much to popularize unscientific paranoia about nuclear winter and global warming, warned that the Gulf War’s oil fires would lead to a miniature nuclear winter.

They did not.

The mingling of philosophical paranoia over a godless universe and political pacifism disguised as science shaped not only Sagan’s musings, but the entire ideology of weather apocalypses which derived from the conviction that ungoverned man was bound to destroy his environment.

[ ... ]

Socialist science fiction had become a booming field in the late 19th century. Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward had envisioned time travel to a Socialist American utopia in the year 2000. It was a bad book, but a popular bestseller because it used the frame of pseudoscience to depict Socialism as both a practical model and inevitable. …

Novels such as “Politics and Life in Mars”, “Unveiling a Parallel”, “To Mars via the Moon”, “A Prophetic Romance” and “Red Star” envisioned culturally superior Martians demonstrating their advanced Socialist societies with income equality, planetary labor unions and pacifism to the human race.

In the Russian “Red Star,” the Lowellian canals are a Communist triumph over inhospitable nature anticipating the USSR and Communist China’s disastrous dam projects. The German writer of “Two Planets” envisioned the advanced Martians invading Earth to impose their superior Socialist society on human beings.

The Martians, like Global Warming, were a tool of radical social change.

[ ... SNIP]

Politics in it’s old hat.

This started as a reply to Sam’s comment here.

Sam, you have a point. The older I get the more I realise that politically we are regressing to a bastardized-Victoriana that never really existed. How else would the largest ever proposed engineering project in British history be a railway that George and Robert Stephenson could envisage – literally – it’s George’s gauge metal rails of course. It’s also 50 billion quid jizzed up the wall

It was cutting edge when George and son were building the Rocket but that was nigh on 200 years from an MP idling on the track and getting mown-down by the Rocket to the first paying passenger getting on the “new” HS2. What happened to the Fairey Rotodyne? Political pignorance and bastarding fuckwittery is what happened. There were concerns over noise (Fairey had got it down to the sound of a tube train). The fact the US military wanted loads of ‘em was irrelevant. The fact there was significant commercial interest in a high-speed city to city VTOL aircraft matter nothing if it scared the horses. Literally. The Bellendius Maximus who first championed HS2 was (and is) Lord Adonis. Yes, it does sound like he should be a porn-star. Lord Andrew [which means "manly" BTW] Adonis looks like this…

What mental image do you have of a Lord Adonis? A sort of demi-god who traded blows with Hektor of Troy? Or that piss-poor wankenshaft? He wrote a scholarly history of the poll-tax.

Short version. I did more against that. I simply didn’t pay. Not because I objected nor because I knew it was wrong as such but because I knew I could get the feck away with it and those quids in my pocket were worth more to me than being in the pockets of the cuntcil. At the time, there was, as ever a C19th (perceived as) idea that the community charge was either right or wrong. I just didn’t want to pay. Yes, I was shellfish. I was the full lobster.

So I didn’t pay and they never got me. So, what’s my point? Well, possibly it is Ike’s about “guided missiles but unguided men”. No politricks this last fifty years has moved much beyond WWI. Anywhere.

Look at the lavish expense of HS2 and compare with the dismal spending on Skylon? The first is a C19th solution to a C21st problem and the second is an SSTO aerospace plane that would result in Bristol Filton being re-monikered “Bristol International Spaceport”. Now if that isn’t cooler than making the trip from London to Birmingham 15 minutes shorter I despair. I have been to Birmingham. It’s OK but space!

It is the chronic lack of imagination that gets me about politricks.

And put it this way… 50 billion quid in you or my pocket is much more likely to get us to Mars than any ammount in the poche of the taxman. And that will only get you to Brum.

Which is like OK and all but seriously nothing to write home about.

Birmingham – it’s OK I guess.

Quote of the Week.

Never underestimate the willingness of powerful people to ignore the evidence they find inconvenient. Never underestimate their willingness to appease industrial lobbyists by repeating the nonsense they generate. Never underestimate their readiness to sacrifice the common interests of humankind for the sake of a belief they refuse to abandon.

George Monbiot.

He thinks he’s talking about Deniers, but it can equally be attributed to Watermelons and greedy greeny rentseekers like Gore et al, and er… George himself, can’t it?

Witless Downfall

It had to happen.  The infamous Downfall internet meme has finally entered the orbit of the Fylde’s anti-fracking fraternity.  According to the Blackpool Evening Gazette, the attempt by Frack Free Fylde (FFF) to land this turkey has resulted in it burning up on reentry.

A ‘comedy’ video which shows gas fracking bosses as high-ranking Nazis has sparked controversy after it was aired at a public meeting.

I think the Gazette means niche comedy video.  It must have had the anti-frackers rolling in the aisles.  The Cuadrilla CEO is really a frustrated double glazing salesman?  It has me laughing too but not for the reason FFF intended.

The video, a scene from the war film Downfall, had been overdubbed so Adolf Hitler appears to rant about people on the Fylde coast rising up to oppose to the controversial shale gas exploration process.

Those stratosphere bound people apparently being our old friends Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF) since they are mentioned both in the narrative and the credits.

The five-minute long film was met with laughter at the meeting at St Annes community centre where Gayzer Frackman, from the pressure group Frack Free Fylde, gave a lecture.

Clearly not everyone was amused.  There was a stoolie in the audience.  And it was a shade over four minutes but why let a little thing like accuracy get in the way.

But Fylde Council leader, Coun David Eaves, has described the video as “a disgrace”.

I prefer to call it an “insight”.

And Tina Rothery, from another anti-fracking group Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF), distanced her group from the video – which has received almost 300 hits on YouTube.

Was that before or after Councillor Eaves took umbrage I wonder?  RAFF is associated with the video by name – twice.  It is partly a tribute to RAFF.  Distancing itself from the video apparently doesn’t include posting a comment below the video condemning the use of RAFF’s name.

She said: “We all have different audiences. What Gayzer attracts and what we attract are different crowds.”

Because the likes of the infamous and equally wrong Gasland is the video of choice in RAFF circles?

St Annes Town Council member Coun Carol Lanyon said: “From my personal point of view I find it distasteful.

I’d go for humourless.  Satire is supposed to be witty and/or funny even if the message is bonkers wrong.

“It’s not to say I’m in agreement with fracking, but I think there’s a better way to go about it (opposing the process) than tasteless satire.”

By using, for example, one’s position on the local council to make the case for your prejudice via a soundbite in the local rag?

However, Mr Frackman has defended his decision to show the video at the meeting, which was attended by around 40 people.

Well he would, wouldn’t he.  After all he has no hard science to fall back on, only fear-mongering and ad hominem.

He said: “You’ve got to have a little bit of humour every now and then. It’s satire and that’s been going on for years.”

I think he might mean satyr because when it comes to humour the video has the wit of a goat’s arse.

Downfall is a German language film which depicts the final 10 days of Hitler’s rule.

Mr Frackman says he found the fracking version of the film while searching for something else on internet video site YouTube, and does not know who created it.

Perhaps he was looking for the latest release of that famous eco-rock band, Shale Gas Devastation, but had to settle for second best – the Titanic of protracted, double glazing salesman punchlines.

A link to Frack Off’s website appears beneath the video, but the group has denied it is responsible.

Poor Gayzer, abandoned not once but twice.  If you can’t rely on your fellow anti-fracking activists who can you rely on?

During his speech to the meeting Mr Frackman also accused the Government of “pandering” to big oil and gas companies over plans to drill at sites on the Fylde, and hit out at claims the process could lead to cheaper energy bills for householders.

Yet despite the knives in the back he remains stolidly on-message and off the reality trolley.

Fracking is the process whereby chemicals and water are forced deep underground at high pressure to release gas

Mr Frackman said: “The only people going for (fracking) are the Government, fracking companies and their shareholders.

Yet Gayzer has no qualms about benefiting from the fruits of Gaia’s rape.  His talk wasn’t given by candlelight.  His computer isn’t made out of wood and organic cotton.  And no doubt the carpark outside wasn’t devoid of motor vehicles.

“When they get the shale out, we won’t be getting it – they’ll be selling it to the highest bidder.”

I think Gayzer should get his mental lead out.  Cuadrilla is not a charity.  Making a profit out of supplying energy is not a crime against humanity, it’s what makes the world go round and raises our standard of living from the mire of a short and often brutal primitive existence.  Unlike renewables Cuardrilla does not soak up billions in public subsidies.  Remove the money extorted from us all in order to subsidise “sustainable” wind and solar industries and they will sink without trace because they are parasites, not honest businesses.  Cuardrilla actually has the real potential to produce a commodity we desperately need – a cheap, reliable source of energy that doesn’t depend on our volatile and unpredictable weather or upon mass deforestation to make wood chip pellets for back-up power plants when the weather goes moody, as it so often does.

As for “get the shale out” I’d like to see how they extract rock from a borehole measured in inches.

Energy firm Cuadrilla has several potential drilling sites on the Fylde coast.

They’ve never made a secret of it.

Cuadrilla has declined to comment on the issue of the video.

So what?  The video says more about the anti-frackers than it does Cuadrilla.  Even the activists understand that.  With the exception of Gayzer and the Judean People’s Front FFF of course.

However a spokesman for the company said: “While we are at the exploration stage in our work to unlock Lancashire’s considerable shale gas potential, we are confident that natural gas from shale could play an important part in Britain’s energy mix.

“A growing number of reports show that shale gas could help to replace gas imports, improve energy security and create well-paid jobs in the sector.

“Gas is a commodity and, like all commodities, increasing supply, in particular supply located close to domestic demand, will exert downward pressure on price.”

Providing they frack with care because the Fylde aquifer is between them and the shale deposit, I’m not going to argue with that.

As for the Vale of Glamorgan issue alluded to in the video, I’ll let you Google that for yourselves.  It’s not the victory the anti-frackers want you to think it is, particularly since Welsh Water has now retracted its “small risk of contamination” assessment upon which the local council based it’s refusal to allow test drilling.

Warble Gloaming? Do you want Ice with that?

David Rose has a very fine article in the Mail today, which is sure to have Global Warming Doomsayers in a panic, and leave the BBC and the IPCC with omelette amounts of egg on their faces. The silence from the BBC is deafening and the IPCC has cancelled its latest three volume report while it desperately scrabbles for answers as to why global warming has stopped for the last 19 years, and the Artic ice, far from disappearing entirely as gleefully predicted, is already 60% larger than it was last year at this point in time.

As David Rose reports…

“Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century – a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading.

The disclosure comes 11 months after The Mail on Sunday triggered intense political and scientific debate by revealing that global warming has ‘paused’ since the beginning of 1997 – an event that the computer models used by climate experts failed to predict.

In March, this newspaper further revealed that temperatures are about to drop below the level that the models forecast with ‘90 per cent certainty’.

The pause – which has now been accepted as real by every major climate research centre – is important, because the models’ predictions of ever-increasing global temperatures have made many of the world’s economies divert billions of pounds into ‘green’ measures to counter  climate change.

Those predictions now appear gravely flawed.”

Could this be the beginning of the end of the massive climate fraud scam? I fear not yet awhile. Politicians capacity for self deception and never admitting they are wrong, is legendary. How many trillions will they waste and how much chaos will they wreak before the truth dawns on them?

Fracking Confidential.

Are you enjoying the end of a rather splendid Summer  by spending it protesting against something you know absolutely nothing about, but which you have been told is evil incarnate?  Er just because it makes a profit and may very well cut your energy bills by half?

Have you had your picture taken with a parachuted in disapproving  international Celebrity like designer Vivienne Westwood, who is as clueless as you are? Been arrested with our one and only Green MP Caroline Lucas then?

Oh come on! some of you must want your name in the papers? No takers yet?

PS Will you be turning up in equal numbers when HS2 starts trashing our Green and Pleasant, all to shave 20 minutes off the travelling time from London to Birmingham?

No thought not!

Govt. propose removal of AGW from under 14s curriculum, Guardianistas outraged

Oh dear, so sad, too bad. I am motivated to play a tune on Nick’s micro-violin.

Debate about climate change has been cut out of the national curriculum for children under 14, prompting claims of political interference in the syllabus by the government that has failed “our duty to future generations”.

Climate change? Let’s inject some honesty here, Juliette. When you say climate change you actually mean Anthropogenic Global Warming. You know, that humungous politico-scientific scam that has finally been falsified to the point that even warmist scientists pro-AGW climatologists activists are admitting their evidence climate models were not merely wrong but very wrong. All the accruing, real life evidence to the AGW contrary has a lot of warmists on the run; at least the ones who are astute enough to see which way the empirical wind is blowing. To be frank, I see this draft, should it be adopted, as a welcome reversal of the political interference that forced AGW into the curriculum and propagandised our kids, scaring them stupid with visions of a greenie auto-da-fe. And this was initiated by the very same government that spectacularly failed in its duty to ensure that future generations weren’t burdened with the biggest debt in UK history.

The latest draft guidelines for children in key stages 1 to 3 have no mention of climate change under geography teaching and a single reference to how carbon dioxide produced by humans impacts on the climate in the chemistry section. There is also no reference to sustainable development, only to the “efficacy of recycling”, again as a chemistry subject.

What’s this? An outbreak of common sense regarding sustainable development? Can’t have that…

The move has caused alarm among climate campaigners and scientists who say teaching about climate change in schools has helped mobilise young people to be the most vociferous advocates of action by governments, business and society to tackle the issue.

Yes, all those brainwashed pre-fabricated neo-inquisitors little activists lost to the cause. What a tragedy.

“What you seem to have is a major political interference with the geography syllabus,” said the government’s former science adviser Prof Sir David King. He said climate change should be taught alongside the history of – successful – past attempts to curb chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), which is blamed for the depletion of the ozone layer, and air pollution caused by coal fires and cars.

And King, who took the Labour coin as its chief scientific advisor, wasn’t politically motivated by his paymaster’s agenda at all.

“If all of these aren’t issues for geography classes, then where should they be taught?” asked King. “It would be absurd if the issues around environmental pollution weren’t core to the curriculum.I think we would be abdicating our duty to future generations if we didn’t teach these things in the curriculum.”

Assuming that carbon dioxide is a pollutant – which it isn’t.

The draft contrasts with the existing curriculum: under the heading of geography, there are several mentions of the interdependence of humans and their environment and the impact of that on change, including “environmental change”. The current syllabus explicitly discusses sustainable development and “its impact on environmental interaction and climate change”.

The current syllabus is explicitly biased when it comes to the warmist interpretation of “climate change”. No sensible person would argue against a balanced curriculum. So what does that make you and your pals, Juliette?

“It’s just hollowed out argument,” said John Ashton, the government’s climate change envoy until last summer, and a founder of the independent not-for-profit group E3G. “Climate change should have as much prominence as anything in teaching geography in schools.”

If you listen hard enough you can hear the sound of this rent-seeker’s P45 being printed out. How I love the sound of greenie wailing and gnashing of teeth. It’s so cathartic.

The shift of any mention of climate change from geography to chemistry “makes me more concerned, not less”, said Ashton. “What’s important is not so much the chemistry as the impact on the lives of human beings, and the right place for that is geography.”

Because who cares what atmospheric chemists and physicists have to say. Science has no place in climatology. Yes, I can see that now…

The proposed changes, which are still under consultation by the Department for Education (DfE), were broadly welcomed by other groups, including the Geographical Association which represents more than 6,000 geography teachers, and the Royal Geographical Society.

So the geographers are happy about the proposed changes. That kind of puts a spanner into the greenies gears, surely.

“In the past, in some instances, young people were going to start on climate change without really knowing about climate,” said Rita Gardner, the RGS director, who does, however, want climate change taught at GCSE and A-level. “What we have got [in the new draft] is a much better grounding in geography, and it has the building blocks for a much better understanding of climate change and sustainability.”

That’s all good and dandy. I don’t have a problem with climate change being on the curriculum but let’s make sure it’s based on science and not on faith, okay? And let’s hear both sides of the sustainability ideology. And how it measures up to the fact that if CO2 is such a dangerous pollutant why are we about to burn millions of tons of US trees in a ludicrous attempt to decarbonise ourselves back into the pre-industrial era?

A DfE spokesman said the idea that climate change was being excised from the national curriculum was nonsense: “All children will learn about climate change. It is specifically mentioned in the science curriculum and both climate and weather feature throughout the geography curriculum.”

Three cheers for the science curriculum. So long as it isn’t dumbed down with AGW bias as it currently is.

Supporters of the government’s move pointed out that geography teachers could still teach specific issues such as “how human and physical processes interact to have an impact on and form distinctive landscapes”.

Putting the geography back into geography and (hopefully)removing the pro-AGW activism. What’s not to like?

Other potential lead-ins to climate change include specified teaching about ecosystems, the accumulation of toxic materials in natural life, and the difficulty for some species in adapting to changes in their environment.

Yes, but let’s not limit that accumulation of toxic materials to non-toxic CO2, eh? And please let me witness the struggle of greenies as they twist in the wind (sic) to prevent changes to their cosy little authoritarian environment.

A source at the Liberal Democrat-led Department for Energy and Climate Change said they were relaxed about the changes: “There’s nothing from the DfE that says climate change is off the agenda or will never be taught. Sensible teachers will look at that as the broadest of signposting.”

So how come the LibDem-led DECC refuses to look at the broadest of signpostings that AGW is one huge crock of the proverbial?

However, the UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC) said climate change was too important to be left to the whim of individual teachers.

Christ on a pogo stick! If the Guardian scrape the bottom of the activist barrel much harder they’ll run out of barrel.

“It appears climate change is being systematically removed from the curriculum, which is not acceptable when this is the biggest challenge our generation is going to face, the biggest challenge future generations are going to focus on,” said Camilla Born, an international expert at UKYCC.

Sadly hyperbole isn’t being systematically removed from the greenie rhetoric which is clearly too big a challenge for those suffering from a failure of logic and the ability to read the draft correctly.

Critics also point out that the danger of waiting until GCSE courses to teach about climate change in any depth is that only a minority of pupils study geography at that level.

But strangely those same critics fail to point out that despite brainwashing children to the greenie cause, the majority dump the main subject pushing the AGW BS hypothesis at the first available opportunity. Looks suspiciously like the kids are far smarter than the greenies want to believe.

Sarah Lester, a policy researcher specialising in climate change education at the Grantham Institute of Climate Change at Imperial College, London, said also rejected the argument that pupils first needed to learn the “building blocks” before they were taught about climate change. Such issues were already taught in the three sciences, even religious education and citizenship – and “all come together in geography”, said Lester. “I don’t think that’s what’s being done: I think it [climate change] is just being stripped out of the curriculum.”

Ah, the fragrant aroma of warmist rent-seeker panic. Shame it can’t be bottled.

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