A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Simon Jenkins magisterial on Blair and 'global warming' hypocrisy.....

Today, I need not blog. It has been done for me, and far better than I could do myself. Every now and again you encounter a piece by a famous commentator and you know precisely why they arrived where they have. This morning I woke to read Simon Jenkins of The Times on Mr. Blair and his 'global warming' speech of yesterday. Jenkins is seminal in his excoriating deconstruction. I believe Jenkins is also absolutely right. This is a magisterial analysis of the Prime Minister's new clothes on climate change and energy. Here is the link to The Times - please do take time to read the article in full at their site: 'Our future is nuclear: the rest is only wind' (The Times, 15 September).

And, if you are in London, look out for my own more humble letter in today's Evening Standard. It says exactly the same thing, 'though less elegantly.

But bravo Simon Jenkins - this is such an intelligent commentary. We owe you.

Philip, in good heart for a hearty breakfast.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A plague on both your houses.....

No, not Michael Howard (God forbid!) and Tony Blair this time round (what a load of old 'global warming' garbage yesterday and today, by the way. Howard's speech, in particular, was pure vacuity and desperately embarrassing hurricane opportunism), but.....

The new all action Series of the critical environmental programme, 'Home Planet', continues again on BBC Radio 4 today.

This week's topics include, inter alia, bird baths and disease; the Black Death, plague and rats (always a happy programme!); slow worms, grass snakes, and wrynecks; and, slugs and snails and puppy dogs' tails. As ever, lots of jollity! Don't miss old Stotty ratting on about the plague and being chastised by Our Derek!

If you are in the UK, the programme is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 every Tuesday afternoon at 15.02 BST, directly after the news summary; if you are outside the UK, you may still listen to it, online, via the BBC 'Home Planet' Web Page:

(a) on the day in question at 15.02 BST, choose the 'Listen Live' button; or, (b) for one week after the first broadcast, choose the 'Listen Again' button; or, (c) after one whole week, select the relevant date under 'Previous Programmes'.

Philip, reminding everybody, over coffee, that the plague is just lurking round the corner..... "Yer sin ia pestis recently?" That'll get a flea in my ear. "Rats and rabbits! Now where did I put that Camus I was reading? Such a pest!"

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Your Sunday meditation: Tractatus Logico-Climaticus.....

1 The world is wholly contingent
1.1 The world is the totality of changes
1.11 The world is determined by the changes, and by there always being change
2 It is a river-bed proposition throughout all geology that climate changes
2.1 Climate change is a tautology
2.11 Climate is always either 'warming' or 'cooling'
2.12 Climate changes with or without human contingencies
2.13 Human influence neither creates nor halts the fact of change
2.2 The world divides into the facts of change
2.21 Doing something and not doing something are equally contingent
3 Causality is not a law which Nature obeys
3.1 Causality is the form in which propositions are cast
4 Monocausal propositions deny contingency
4.1 Monocausal propositions are but the witchcraft of their time
4.11 Monocausal propositions lead to authoritarian actions
5 Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself
5.1 Human monocauses are inherently self-deceptive
5.11 The world is independent of my will
5.12 There is no logical connection between my wish and the world
5.121 fx = "x is controllable"; "fx is false for all values of x"
5.122 How likely then is ($x).fx?
5.123 [p,£,N(£)]
6 Logical climate space can be reduced to three words
6.1 Climate always changes
6.11 Climate is uncontrollable
7 What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

Philip,always beware of those who attempt to foist monocausal explanations on the world, whether race or carbon dioxide. Now, "A breakfast is sitting on my table....." NO BREAKFAST! Help!

N.B. I have now added the facility to send a specific blog to a friend by e-mail. Simply select the letter symbol below the blog in question and complete the form.

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