Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Global Warming, global roundup.

February 23, 2007

Hi Brit,

Not surprisingly, Global Warming is rearing its ugly head in today’s news.

First, and also not surprisingly, we find that Al Gore lied in his alarmist “documentary” by indicating that hurricanes are wore lately because of, you guessed it, Global Warming.  However, in this article, Expert disputes storms’ link to global warming, we find just what the title says:

Chris Landsea, science and operations director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said the notion that global warming is causing an increase in hurricanes gained widespread attention after the stormy seasons of 2004 and 2005.

But that perception is wrong and the statistics don’t bear it out, Landsea told about 200 students and professors in the auditorium at USC’s geography building.

It seems that even the IPCC bought into the Gore propaganda, as on page 5 of the IPCC WGI Fourth Assessment Report, they also blame Global Warming for an increase in intensity of tropical cyclones. 

Moving on we have, State distances itself from climatologist.  Here we find an expert “climate scientist,” who is experiencing political pressure because he does not hold with the consensus opinion on Climate Change.  The article mentions that this has also happened in other States than Delaware.  So much for “science.”

Which leaves us with the Business of Global Warming, China, India Smile as West Overpays for Climate: Andy Mukherjee.  You really should read this one as it’s choked full of information.  However, this bit bares repeating:

Sydney-based Easy Being Green says it will mitigate your cat’s flatulent contribution to global warming for A$8 ($6). The same company could also make your granny “carbon-neutral” at A$10 a year, according to a report in the Australian newspaper last weekend.

Then there’s Carbon Planet Pty, another company cited in the article. If you are hopping on a short-haul flight between Sydney and Canberra, and feeling bad about the damage you are doing to the ecosystem, you can buy credits worth A$23, for which the Adelaide-based company will guarantee to keep 1 ton of carbon dioxide out of the air for 100 years.

Well, I must go now as I have some scheming, ah, thinking to do.

the Grit

UK Human rights and Freedom extinguished

February 18, 2007

Hi Grit

The government in the UK, if re-elected at the next election, will be taking the final steps to abolish human rights, freedom and privacy for the individual UK citizen, all in the name of protecting us against terrorism.

If the labour government have their way, all adults over the age of 16 will, by 2009, be required to place their fingerprints on a central computer. The suggested law may even extend to “iris” prints. These moves are in addition to the requirement to provide photographs for driving licences; requirement to provide details for the census and annual local government property occupancy register (for council tax purposes); and the multitude of close-circuit television cameras that adorn our towns, streets, villages and roads. An extra measure of identity that is also being considered is to place our medical records in the same “identikit” of us.

Not satisfied with us already being the most watched nation in the EU, these latest moves will actually increase the gap between us and other countries, turning us into one of the most monitored nations in the world. Some may argue that these moves are positive, but are they? Let us consider the evidence.

1) COST:

Naturally, there is the cost of the citizen ID rules. The government suggest that this will amount to just over £5.4 billion ($10.8 billion). However, independent sources put the figure at £19.3 billion ($38.6 billion). This represents over £300 ($600) per annum, per citizen. In addition to this, it is compulsory for people to give this information at one of 69 centres through the UK, at their own cost. In some cases this means travelling up to 100 miles, irrespective of age, financial situation or infirmity. A round trip of this nature, taken in work time will cost the worst affected another £100 at least. Of course, this does not take into account the annual running costs of the scheme.

2) PRIVACY

A basic human right is that of privacy. The ability to live our lives without fear or favour, and to keep parts of our lives free from the prying eyes of others. From 2009, if these plans go ahead, this will no longer be possible. Some will argue that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, but that is not the point. Do I really want my health, age, medical condition, financial status and life history potentially exposed to every form of media and individual nationally and internationally? Our data protection act suggests that such information should be secure but, in view of the fact that the government has incorporated rules to allow certain organisations, commercial as well as government and non-government organisations to access the data, this guarantee no longer holds true.

3) DISCRIMINATION

Such a system will also lead to discrimination, both intentional and by devious means. Employers will be tempted to access medical and financial information about potential employees, therefore leading to unfair bias against certain applicants. This is particularly the case in medical issues. For example, take the case of a person who may in the past have had cancer. Although possibly totally cured, when such a person is set against an applicant who has not past health problems, which is the less than totally honest employer going to chose?

Medical, legal and financial practitioners will be able to access medical records, providing a situation where they can discriminate against those they do not want to assist.   

4) MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE:

No computer or other registration system is infalible and the identity system will be no exception. With personal and biometric information on around fifty million people on file, the incidences of misinterpretation, incorrect identification and transpostion of information will rise. As a result this is bound to lead to an increase in the incidence of miscarriages of Justice. Add to this the fact that none of the biometric identity measures are 100% accurate and it can be seen that this will compound the issue. A small example of this might occur with twins for example. Especially in cases of identical twins wrong identification is even more likely.

5) THE CONCEPT OF INNOCENCE

The United Kingdom laws have always been founded upon the rule of “innocent until proven guilty.” It is bad enough that in recent decades tax and other laws have led to a reverse of this process in such areas. Now, with the introduction of of these measures, such a foundation has been totally eroded. The onus on the citizen will now be to prove their innocence in all cases.

Does this mean that in future one has to keep a daily diary of life events to ensure that one cannot get into a situation where lack of evidence to suggest otherwise leads to automatic guilt? I work from home and, during the day, this means that there is no-one to provide an alibi for my whereabouts, especially if I am not on the computer. If I take two hours off for a bath and rest, will I in future have to log this and provide photographic evidence? 

6) IDENTITY THEFT

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes of the past decade. It is also one of the least obvious to the victim, unless it has been committed for financial purposes. How can we be sure that our identity will not be stolen or duplicated for other criminal purposes? What is more important is, if such an event does occur, how will we know until a crime, using our identity has been committed?

7) PROTECTION AGAINST CRIME AND TERRORISM

The assumption that identity laws will offer protection against crime and terrorism is flawed in so many ways as to make it laughable. It only works if one starts from the premise that every hardened criminal and committed terrorist is going to abide by these laws. Naturally, Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists, and underworld criminals are going to assist the law by coming forward voluntarily to offer their biometric identity to the authorities. I think not! Such an assumption is, at best, insane.

There are those who argue that it is easier to catch someone who does not possess an identity card. How does that work? There are 60 million people in the UK and it is certain that there are not enough law enforcement agencies or officers to check each indicvidual. Add to this the fact that there is unencumbered travel in the EU through 25 countries and a determined criminal or terrorist has more than adequate escape routes. These are in addition to the many illegal ways of escaping from the country. Furthermore, why should such persons worry about being apprehended when there is always the route of identity theft to cover their tracks?

Although there may be rules and laws in place to address breaches of the protections in place, these are an “after the event” remedy, by which time the damage is done. Once the security of information has been broken, one cannot recapture the privacy, irrespective of how much money has been recovered in damages.

The hypothesis that these measures are a protection against crime and terrorism, as has been clearly demonstrated, is totally wrong. They will have little to no effect in these areas. 

In conclusion therefore, one has to observe that these new laws will have limited impact upon detering any major crime and terrorism attempts. What they will do is to damage the human rights of the innocent citizen.

the Brit

Now this is my kind of research!

February 15, 2007

Hi Brit,

This is why the United States has the best economy in the world, innovative technology applied to practical purposes.  Not being satisfied with just making my favorite beer, and quite likely the best beer in the world, Samuel Adams has taken the next logical step and has created the best beer glass in the world, Does a Better Glass Make For a Tastier Beer? One Brewer Seems to Think So.  This is the sort of thing all that money being wasted on Global Warming should be going to.  Down with Climate Science, up with Beer Science!  And just think, this astounding feat was done without a dime of Government money or a 5 year politically manipulated research project by the United Nations.  Maybe the people who really believe in global warming should consult Budweiser about solving the problem.

the Grit

Democrats move toward socialized health care!

February 15, 2007

Hi Brit,

I hope the American people are happy, because putting Democrats in charge of Congress is already starting to pay unexpected dividends.  While the subject of socialized medicine was carefully avoided during the recent campaigns, here it comes: Mental health bill moves forward in Congress.  Of course, this sounds innocent enough, just another attempt to force Big Business to be fair to the little guy, in this case forcing health insurance providers to cover mental health treatments.  However, underneath the feel good surface lurks a sneaky plan to drive health care costs high enough that the average person can’t afford it, forcing the kind and good hearted Government to take over and protect the innocent, but not too bright, general public.  Placing Big Brother firmly in charge of another 15% of the US economy, is just a bonus.  What’s that old saying, “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it?”  So get that elective surgery now, because, after Big Government takes the reigns, the wait time for that nip and tuck or those fake boobs is going to be measured in years.  Oh, and pick up a good thick book, because the wait time at your doctor’s office is going to make a trip to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) seem like the service at McDonald’s.

the Grit

87,000 reasons liberals suck!

February 14, 2007

Hi Brit,

While I generally have a poor opinion of labor unions, I have an even lower opinion of liberals.  Here, DaimlerChrysler says ‘no option excluded’ in Chrysler revamp, we have a story that breaks my heart.  On one hand, the over paid union workers of the American auto industry have been, for decades, the backbone of financial support for the Democratic Party, whether the workers wanted things to be that way or not.  Now, because of the shift of the ruling liberals to supporting eco-fanatics, our auto industry is being left high and dry.  Typical do-gooder mentality, not caring how many they hurt in their effort to save the world.  The really sad part is that, those 87,000 newly unemployed workers are probably so uninformed that they will spend their copious amounts of recently acquired free time campaigning for the very politicians who cost them their jobs.

the Grit

It’s that time again!

February 14, 2007

Hi Brit,

No, I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day.  Even better!  It’s time for Sports Illustrated to publish the Swimsuit Issue.  You’ve got to love the brilliance of the concept, a magazine full of scantily clad beauties rolling in the surf of warm tropical beaches, released right in the worst part of winter.  No wonder this one issue sells more copies than everything else they publish for the year combined.   I have to say that just the cover, featuring Beyonce in a bikini, is enough to take a good deal of the chill from the air!  You should check out the link; they’ve done it up good this year with video and photo galleries.

the Grit

Hi Dixie Twits!

February 12, 2007

Hi Brit,

I suspect this will confuse and bore you, but I have to get it out of my system, sorry.

dixie-chicks.jpg

 The musical group, Dixie Chicks, who made their name as a country-western group, screwed up several years ago and let their lead singer open up her fat mouth about politics.  She,  Natalie Maines, during a concert in a foreign country just had to go and bad mouth President Bust.  Of course, the vast majority of their fan base, including me, were conservatives, and their music quickly dropped off the play list for country music radio stations.  To me, this was a great shame, as I really enjoyed their music.  Of course, after they associated themselves with a political ideology, it totally ruined the experience foe me, and several million other people.  This action has put a major hurt on their career ever since.  However, their new liberal friends have tossed them a bone, in the way of five Grammy awards.  Of course, this is probably not that much help, as liberals are hardly likely to purchase their music, let alone enjoy it.  In my view, all entertainers should learn a lesson from this, and keep their political views to themselves.

the Grit

Stupid liberals!

February 11, 2007

Hi Brit,

I was reading this, Hybrid-Only Car Service Launches in San Francisco, and it hit me as to just how stupid liberals are, as a general rule.  The key point in this is that, according to the story, the idea is to make rich people flying into Nanny Pelosi’s home town feel better by taking “green” transportation around town, after dumping untold tons of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere while flying in a fuel waisting jet.  Then I read the details, and was shocked.  Keep in mind that the article is tainted with the usual liberal bias, even though it does throw in a tiny hit about the jet travel thing, but it also includes, “with a fleet of leather-seated Priuses.”  I’m sure that the reporter, not knowing squat about Global Warming, didn’t think twice about this.  However, the secondary part of the Climate Change Conspiracy, the one that really gets the radical liberals frothing at the mouth over its potential for bringing about social change, is the implication of cow farts in heating up the globe.  That would, of course, be the methane content in the massive flatulence produced by our bovine food supply, which is an excuse for left wing groups to insist everyone turn vegetarian.  Thus the paradoxical nature of a “green” car with leather seats.  Oh, well, I am assuming that the leather was produced from cow hide and not Jews, but that is most likely a safe assumption.

the Grit

Kylie, hotpants, Shilpa and culture

February 10, 2007

Hi Grit

Don’t you think it amazing the way that modern celebrities are breaking down the culture structure of our society. Only a few years ago in the UK popstars, film actors and other celebs were percieved to be not worthy of the attention of the establishment. Now they cannot seem to get enough of them.

First we have Kylie’s stage costumes, including the famous gold hot pants, being exhibited in the very staid Victoria and Albert Museum. before they go on a nationwide tour. The exhibition was opened by Kylie herself with all the pomp and ceremony that such an occasion usually attracts at the V&A. One writer even suggested that the gathered important people even bowed when introduced to the star.

In the next breath we learn that Shilpa, of Big Brother fame, has been asked to appear on “Question Time.” Question time is a BBC debate programme that deals with political and social issues of the times. It usually consists of a panel of people from both sides of the political divide together with business interests.

How times have changed

the Brit

How long can you hold your breath?

February 9, 2007

Hi Brit,

I just read this, Congress eyes legislation to fight climate change, and immediately asked myself “how long can I hold my breath?”  After all, each of us expel the Evil Greenhouse Gas CO2 with each breath, and, now that Nanny Pelosi has the issue firmly clinched in her dentures, I expect that soon we will be faced with a Breath Tax, to encourage us to slow down our individual contributions to Global Warming.  By my quick, and not necessarily totally accurate, calculations, we in the US can offset her jet set life style if we each take 30 fewer breaths per day.  Of course, this increased interest in decreasing our breath rates will have at least one benefit, that being, getting some of the joggers off the road.

Although, considering that:

The White House said Snow was referring to figures from the International Energy Agency that from 2000 to 2004, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion grew by 1.7 percent, while in the European Union such emissions grew by 5 percent.  From: U.S. cuts emissions better than Europe: White House.

It would seem obvious to any rational person, thus excluding most Democrats I admit, that we are on the correct path to achieve the liberal agenda of reducing CO2 emissions without further Government meddling.  With liberals in control, of course, they will ignore the facts, raise taxes and piddle around in our lives until they manage to, not only, increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions, but, also, screw up our economy.  Typical.

the Grit

Silence is golden!

February 7, 2007

Hi Brit,

That sound you don’t hear is the liberal chatter presented by the talk radio network Air America.  The reason you don’t hear it is that they went belly up, Air America Fire Sale.  The reason for their dismal failure wasn’t a lack of words.  After all, Al Franken alone produces more than enough hot air to fill up a normal broadcasting schedule.  No, they flopped because their target audience, knee jerk liberals, don’t listen to talk radio.  Radical left shows have been tried time and time again in markets all across the country with the same result, no one listens.  Of course, not being believers in capitalism, liberals have trouble understanding the nature of the problem, so they just keep on throwing money at it.

And now, a moment of silence for the dearly departed…………..

the Grit

Can you say “buying votes?”

February 4, 2007

Hi Brit,

While y’all have almost completely sunk into the warm, smothering embrace of the Nanny State, we still have a few vestiges of freedom and self determination left, such as worrying about our own health care.  That is, until John Edwards gets elected, and this evil rich guy isn’t afraid to spend other people’s money buying votes: Edwards: raise taxes for healthcare.  It’ll be interesting to see how many votes he can purchase with a promised $180 BILLION of looted cash that will, supposedly, come from higher taxes on his fellow fabulously rich country men and women.  The targets of this bribe are the 43 MILLION Americans who are without health insurance.  Mr. money bags doesn’t mention if he is going to weed out those who could afford coverage, but decide not to do so.  Of course, if we get into details, it seems that our trial lawyer champion of the people is playing tricky games with the meaning of words.  “Rich” for example, appears to mean anyone making more than $200,000 per year.  His rather expensive plan also calls for an attack on our economy through adding more regulations and costs on business. 

Not to be outdone, I have a health care plan of my own.  I say we confiscate, ah, that is tax at 100%, Edward’s new super luxury estate, and put that $6,000,000 in a fund to buy health care for poor people.  Just the interest on that should cover decent insurance for 50 to 100 people.  Be a sport John, use your own money to buy votes.

the Grit

Global Warming 2007

February 4, 2007

Hi Grit

I believe our first post on the issue of Global Warming was getting on for three months ago. Since then I have participated a few times and read with interest all of the comments from both sides of the divide, along with studying all of the literature that people who have commented have posted have directed us towards. I hasten to add here that I am not a scientist, so there are aspects that I would not understand. However, I consider myself an intelligent person capable of assimilating sufficient data and making a reasoned judgement. Therefore, I feel that I have a reasonable understanding of the issues so far made available. A rider to this of course is that, in view of the enormous amount of data on the subject, both for and against, it is impossible for any one individual, scientists included, to be able to assimilate it all and I would be no exception to that rule.

I do not intend this post to become embroiled in detailed scientific argument, as that will produce just a series of scientific counter arguments from both sides. It is my intention to comment on the structure and management of the analysis and the way the global warming issue is being handled.

1.) IPCC REPORT
With the IPCC report being published this month (February 2007) and it being one of a series being produced this year, many are claiming that this puts beyond doubt all of the global warming issues, particularly with regard to this being a “man-made” phenomena. However, whilst I accept that global warming exists, there are several factors that I would take issue with, both in terms of the report itself and the general reaction.

My first point of concern here is the secret nature of parts of the process building up to the report issue. In letters to Governments and Organisations in December and October 2006, although having made these letters public, they have deleted text within them, which appears to be access to the draft report. This raises two issues. Firstly, as the report is intended to benefit all of mankind, why is there a need for withholding any information? Secondly, does one presuppose that, by virtue of some deletions there could be changes of significance that the IPCC would rather the public did not see? In my view, transparency in this above all issues facing mankind is of paramount importance. Anything less is unacceptable.

Terminology
(Un)Certainty – In a document issued in July 2005, the IPCC issued guidance notes regarding the ways the lead authors should address uncertainty. It could be construed that some of these guidance are of a leading nature as it is asking that all issues to be consistent with the approach determined in the document. Another issue related to this document, which I will come to later is Table 4 – Likelihood Scale (on page 4.)

Consensus – My understanding of the term consensus is that it is the agreement of the majority, after having mitigated the objections of the opposing views. I read somewhere that, in this report it was to be a consensus of 300. I believe this needs more clarification. Bearing in mind that the report was produced by over 2,500 scientists, plus 800 contributing authors, plus 450 lead authors, I have difficulty in equating the consensus of 300 with these figures and feel they need further explanation.

Confidence – The levels of confidence are divided into five sectors, as can be seen on page 3 (table 3) of the summary report. On the other hand, the likelihood scale is divided by seven. In my view, this inequality between the two scales is confusing. Surely, it would have been more rational to have equal divisions on the two scales.

2.) The Response
In a number of areas, the immediate response to the report has not been rational. The hype concentrated on the term moved from “likely” to “very likely.” As you say Grit, the latter term relates to 90% probability. However, this also does not accurately reflect the findings of the report.

On the summary for policymakers, page 3, there is a chart of human influence on trends. The chart lists seven areas of influence under three references. The term “very likely” only appears in two instances. In media and other responses, there is no reference to other aspects of this table. Whilst I do not blame the scientists for this, it does appear that the “powers that be” are guilty of misrepresentation in this instance. Again, this raises suspicions in the minds of the public and questions as to the agenda for the report.

Is it thought that the public is not intelligent enough to understand the full information or was the hype deliberately directed by politicians?

3.) Remedies
It is disappointing to learn that a detailed study on remedies will not be available from the IPCC until later in the year. If, as has been reported, we only have ten years to address this problem, I fail to see any conceivable reason why the research on remedies was not designed to produce results in the same timescale as this current report. Six months or more has been lost. The argument that the scale of the problem has only just been defined does not wash as this report follows on from one that was issued six years ago.

Of the remedies that are being put into action, there are some issues as well. Firstly, there is serious concern regarding the consequences on remedies and cooperation between agencies. The case of Basel in Switzerland as I reported earlier is a classic example. Looking to achieve global warming saving measures, people began drilling into the earth’s surface starting a chain tremor reaction that they cannot possibly control, potentially unleashing more harm than good. How many more projects are being mishandled in this way?

In addition, there is the problem that has been raised regarding the potential danger from energy saving light. Has anyone evaluated the potential future harm of following this route, if not, why not?

Only a few weeks I posed the question how do we know that remedies can be controlled. The above are two obvious examples of that not being the case.

Another contentious issue is nuclear energy. Scientists say that this will go a long way to addressing the global warming issue, and I agree that this is one of the most efficient ways of producing energy. However, it is almost impossible to use this option within a volatile world, where there are countries such as Iran and North Korea who could not be guaranteed to utilise this method for peaceful purposes. Similarly, accidents happen as we saw in Russia, and that can be equally damaging.

In the UK, the go ahead has been given to build two huge wind farms off the coast. All of the reporting on this has concentrated on the benefits, which is admirable. Nevertheless, little has been written about the downside of such action. The effect on the bird life needs to be identified, an area where naturalists have raised concerns. But what about the effect on tides and wave patterns?

Finally, in this section, I would like to ask why existing remedies, which require little cost, are not being used. For example, with the airline issue there is a “greener” fuel available, but is currently only being used in military aircraft. The emission levels are significantly lower than normal aircraft fuel and there is, as I understand it, no cost differential. I have heard that the argument against it is safety, which I find incredible. Are we saying that the lives of the military are of less value than other citizens? If not, take the step and change the fuel.

4.) The Carbon Footprint
Much is being made of the need to reduce the global footprint. However, there seems to be a great deal of double standards in this area. The media, the UK BBC organisation being a case in point, are saying that their contribution is by publishing the issues and that, in some way, this seems to exempt them from responding to the carbon footprint limitations. At the same time, the IPCC, governments and other NGO’s are spending millions of dollars transporting thousands of people to conferences and meetings all over the globe. Yet, these organisations are asking us, airlines, and other sectors to reduce our carbon footprint. Surely, one should lead by example. Whatever happened to the ability to achieve video and Internet conferencing?

There is a lot of pressure being placed upon airlines to cut their carbon footprint, yet unless I have missed it, no one has answered the question of why, in the 24 hours post 9/11 when most air travel was grounded, there was an increase in earth warming for that day. Has anyone analysed what effect reducing the carbon footprint, particularly in air travel, will have in this respect? In other words, has the downside of the equation been quantified?

In my view, one of the largest and most expensive carbon footprints is laid by governments nationally and globally. Yet, we see no clear picture of measures that these people are taking steps to address this. In the UK, politicians are asking us to reduce our carbon footprint, and even putting pressure on the Royal family to do so. All well and good, but what do we see the politicians doing? The answer is very little. Do not ask me to do something unless you are prepared to match it and lead by example Mr Government.

5.) Political
I have to admit that I was amazed at the token gestures made by some governments by calling for an hour without lights. This seems to me to have been counter-productive. Did anyone monitor the results of these actions? As I have said, I am no scientist, but from what little I know the resultant surge from it, with all electrical compliances being switched on again more than counteracts the benefits of the gesture in the first place. Has there been a study made of this and is it a responsible response? Surely, such theatricals should have been left until the position was well known by the public and they could have been advised about the cost.

In respect of the above, the political response is similar in many ways to the media reaction. It is uncontrolled, irrational and without serious thought as to how to present the issue in a way that will generate the right response. The political response between nations is also not harmonious, which does little to engender confidence.

6.) The media Circus
Unfortunately, the media circus has continued, even on the latest event. I watched a news programme in the UK, which was designed purely to entertain the public, rather than get the message across. In this programme, they spend the time passing a copy of the report through screens to reporters in different countries, such as Europe, Australia, India and the US. No attempt is made to explain the message properly.

In addition to the previously mentioned carbon footprint of this situation, I noticed also another problem. The report they were passing was a fake. They were wads of blank paper with just the title cover printed. It was obvious from the reporter’s comments that none of them had read any of the documents and it was just a publicity stunt to show how clever the network was.

Can this be the right approach to what is meant to be a serious matter? I seriously doubt it.

7.) The Cost
Another issue that really annoys me is cost, and here I am talking about the financial side. Every aspect of the global warming issue in terms of conservation and remedies always seems to be followed by additional cost to the individual. What happens to the resultant savings from change? Who gets those?

Leaving aside the dangers of energy efficient light bulbs discussed earlier, one of the main reasons their use is limited is the cost. In the UK, they are over 6 times the price of current bulbs. If politicians and scientists are serious about this issue, then use some of the billions of waste to reduce the cost of remedies to a competitive level. It is a short-term commitment. Then demand will grow and the effective change desired will be achieved with far more speed and fluency. Another example is public transport service. Raising prices and cutting services on what is considered a “greener” method of transport does not seem to me to be an approach that will increase its usage.

Every time someone mentions global warming, it seems to result in the public having to put their hands in their pockets. Is it any wonder that this meets with resistance?

8.) Kyoto Agreement
There have been arguments about the effectiveness of the Kyoto agreement, mainly centring on those countries that have not signed up to it. However, there are countries within the agreement that have not met their targets, such as Canada. Before the world goes off trying to find another agreement, we need to know how effective this one has been, and that information has not been publicly forthcoming.

How many countries met the targets set? What effect has it had on carbon emissions? How much worse would it have been were the agreement not in place? Surely, we are entitled to this information in the public arena. If it has not been effective, even with those countries that signed up, then it is the wrong answer or structure and we need to look for another resolution.

The other matter here is the developing countries, which has still not been properly addressed in my view. All this documentation seems to be indicating that the only way they can help is to deprive themselves of the advances in technology that the developed world has. Is this going to be acceptable to them? I cannot see this being the case. Therefore any agreement needs to take their situation into account, without placing an untenable burden on the developed world. 

9.) Nation, NGO Bashing and fairness
Why is it that every time there is an issue of global importance there is an automatic nation, NGO or business witch-hunt? This posturing does nothing to confirm the validity of the situation, in fact the opposite. The French attack on the US is a prime example. It is almost as if it is just a fight amongst politicians to see who can be top dog, rather than a serious issues that requires global accord. Besides, there are other countries that have taken the same stance as the US, so singling out the big boy on the block is not only unfair, it smacks of this will get me the biggest headline. Countries antagonising each other will lead only to one conclusion, namely that nothing constructive will be done.

Other sectors are also being bashed, in my view sometimes unfairly. Business is always a favourite. Whilst I accept that, in some cases their response is not good on some issues, they are generally responsive to consumer demands. In the case of global warming, it is fair to say that in many cases business is being far more positive in their actions than politicians are. For example, the supermarket industry in the UK is taking active reduction measures, whereas politicians are looking at costly offset programmes, which in the end are second best options.

Similarly, I object to some of the rhetoric and language that is used by the various lobbies on global warming, from both sides of the divide. To call someone a denialist or sceptics because they do not accept ones argument is as bad as calling someone an “eco-nut” for proposing the argument in the first place. Serious issues demand serious discussion and conversation and this requires patience. At present, the stance taken by some scientists and many politicians on the issue of global warming is too dictatorial, dismissive and impatient. All it does is make both sides more entrenched in their views, which is counter-productive.

The problem with a divide of this nature is that both sides lose. Both sides spend so much time attacking the other that they do not a) fully understand the argument of the other and b) do not gain from the potential valid points within the others cases, validity that could be of significance to their own studies.

I do not consider myself a denialist or a sceptic on this issue. However, I am also not going to be sat down and told this is the problem and anyone who disagrees is wrong. I need to understand the full facts supporting the issue, including analysis of assumptions; explanations of provable facts and honest acceptance and discussion on those that cannot be proven. I want risk assessment on all aspects of the issue, including remedies and I want acknowledgement of and discussion regarding opposing views.

As I said previously, one of the things that infuriate me about the current IPCC/Political situation is the piecemeal approach. In my years as a business consultant any report that I produced did not only identify and make conclusions about the problem, it was also required to provide recommendations that had been expertly evaluated. If it did not I was failing in my task. Governments and the scientific world have taken six years to prepare this report. I fail to see why, at the same time, and for publication at the same date, the remedial data could not have been produced.

the Brit

Hillary slips, admits she’s a whore for socialism!

February 2, 2007

Hi Brit,

While I have never had any doubt that Hillary Clinton is, at heart, a socialist, she finally admitted it to the world today, Hillary on Oil Profits.  In this short clip from her speech, she proclaims that, as President, she would take the profits from the oil companies and invest it in research programs.  I’ll leave the rant about alternative energy and its general state of being a pipe dream until later.  However, I must take a moment and explain to the Candidate From Hell that the race is for President.  If she wants to be Dictator, she should go to Cuba or Venezuela.  Even though I hope daily that Bill finally gets tired of her and adds her to the long list of dead Friends Of Bill, this admission of greed and corruption having a prominent place in her personal philosophy, once again demonstrates the stomach turning ugliness that is the true face of the Democratic Party and liberalism in general.

the Grit

Europe sucks up to Iran?

January 31, 2007

Hi Brit,

I may need a bit of translation here, Europe Resists U.S. Push to Curb Iran Ties.  OK, did y’all miss the part where Iran is run by insane religious fanatics who want to conquer the Middle East, develop nuclear weapons and long range missiles, slaughter the Jews, crush Western civilization, and all that? A little help?

the Grit

Once again I say, Britney’s not stupid.

January 31, 2007

Hi Brit,

Once again our favorite pop tart has proved that, while she’s a tramp, slut, tart, bad parent, poorly dressed, obnoxious, media whore, with unusual taste in men, she’s not stupid: Casa Federline Up for Grabs.  If she gets her asking price, which you know she will, that’s $6.6 million in profit in 3 years, almost doubling her money.  So, if she ever looses her voice, it looks like she has a fall back career in property investment.

the Grit

Damn this good economy!

January 31, 2007

Hi Brit,

Sorry to swear, but our insanely good economy, Economy Grows 3.5 Percent in 4th Quarter, is causing lots of problems over here.  The people are not happy:

“An AP-Ipsos poll in early January found that 55 percent of Americans disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy, while 43 percent approved.”

 Obviously, we miss the recession at the end of the Clinton Administration.  It’s Bush’s fault, his and the evil Republicans.  They were warned that the American people wouldn’t stand for having the strongest economy in the world, strong growth in personal income, lower taxes, and almost complete employment, but they went ahead and pushed it on us anyway!  I say it’s time for a good riot in the streets!  Down with Bush!  Down with the economy! 

the Grit

NGO’s empowered

January 30, 2007

Hi Grit

I read with interest your comment about power being delegated to committees and am really thinking that you and your fellow Americans would not feel at home in the UK, despite popular beliefs.

The problem with where power lies and decisions can be made in the UK is even more complex than the US. Like you, we have a system where governments, when they get into power, think “don’t need the electorate now!” so they delegate some of the most difficult laws and regulations to those who do not have to vote on it. For example, when there was all the furore about big business, ancient men (notice I did not use the word wise?) were gathered together to define new regulations to control corporate governance. This produced a regulation that, whilst not law, was orchestrated in such a way that if a corporation did not implement, they would be delisted from the stock market. No voting on that then!

Similarly, the government passes a lot of regulations that it does not want to bother Parliament with, to outside NGO’s, probably because they feel that we as voters, apart from being surplus to requirements, would be too confused by the issues to make a sensible decision. Of course the other way that the politicians can sidestep the due process of democracy is to take a leaf out of John Reid’s (the Home Secretary) book. He changed the way our legal system worked within twenty four hours by simply writing to the Judges and asking (so he says) that they stop imprisoning guilty criminals.

Finally, as if this wasn’t enough, we in the UK have another non-democratic “big brother” showering us with laws and regulations like confetti at a wedding. It is called the EU. In my view the European Union structure is an ideal place for politicians who are tired of allowing themselves to be subjected to the vagaries of democracy. They sit in their ivory towers constructing regulations about matters in which they have no knowledge nor have been asked to interfere with, and churn these out at the rate of knots. Of course no-one outside of the EUSS (European Union Secret Society) is asked for opinion or allowed to cast judgement. Thus suddenly us mere mortals find ourselves waking up in the morning to find that we cannot have milk in our coffee because the EU have deemed that milk should not be cream in colour or something stupid like that.

The moral of this of course is that there is always someone worse off than you 🙂

the Brit

Rich, famous, and two faced!

January 29, 2007

Hi Brit,

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Davos conference, where the rich, the famous, and the rich and famous get together with top level politicos and decide the fate of us common people.  Well, the hot topic this year is Global Warming, what to do about it, and how to fleece the rest of us in the process.  As this article, High-altitude hedonism in Davos, points out, not only is it not all work, but the meeting provides an excellent example of just how two faced these Important people are:

“For all the grave talk about the dangers of climate change at the four-day meeting of corporate and political leaders, petrol-guzzling limousines and SUVs remained the transport mode of choice for the vast majority of participants.”

And, if that doesn’t make you want to see the High and Mighty stoned in the street:

“For the really “serious money,” the road was left behind altogether in favour of a helicopter entry and departure to the small ski resort high in the Swiss Alps. ”

There needs to be some climate change alright, but it doesn’t have anything to do with Global Warming, but rather about the Global Shafting we’re getting from the people in charge.

the Grit
 

New product idea.

January 29, 2007

Hi Brit,

I’ve got an idea for a new product that could be a best seller in Britain, lead underwear.  Why would you need that, you’re probably asking?  Read this, X-ray cameras on lampposts plan, and I expect you’ll know.  I’m assuming that the English tradition of modesty is not dead, so, considering these cameras can see through your clothes, my unique unmentionables will fly off the shelves.  As an added benefit, the extra weight of the extra heavy garments will give the wearer a good workout during their regular daily activities.

the Grit