Well, it's at least three weeks since we wrote about Global Bloody Warming, but we're damned if we're going to knuckle under to the government's bullying, so let's have another go. This Is Money reports this week that government advisers are recommending that Climate Change Secretary Ed Milipede should introduce a new scheme whereby householders should be compelled to take out government loans to install even more double-glazing and insulation in their homes, and that people who refuse will be penalised with higher council taxes. If they haven't paid off the loan by the time they sell the house, the debt will be transferred to the buyer, which should encourage the housing market to pick up - we don't think.
As one Daily Mail reader pointed out indignantly, his house is like a bloody sauna already, and extra insulation is the last thing he needs. The GOS agrees - in his bedroom the window is permanently open and the radiator turned off throughout the year, as he believes you have bedclothes to keep you warm. In China they don't heat the spaces in which they live, believing you should heat yourself instead by wearing suitable clothing. Very sensible.
The new scheme is suspect right from the start as it is to be announced by one John Adams, of Knauf Insulation, which provides - you guessed it - loft and cavity wall insulation. There is no truth in the rumour that when Ed Milipede is chucked out of parliament (oh, we wish) he'll walk into a cosy directorship at Knauf Insulation. No truth at all. Yet.
Odd, isn't it, the way these people's minds work? They warn that the earth is heating up but they want us to make our homes even warmer. What are they trying to do - cook us?
Ed Milipede is about to reveal another piece of draconian foolishness in the new White Paper about government's plans for the expansion of green energy. Millions of families face being hit with higher fuel bills to pay for a new 'green energy revolution'. The levies will help pay for the building of 7,000 wind turbines over the next 11 years.
At present the renewables element of the typical household bill is an average £55 a year, but this could increase to as much as £120 by 2014, and the respected UK Energy Research Centre has predicted that by 2050 the subsidy will cost the economy at least £17billion a year, the equivalent of an extra £700 a year per household.
The White Paper follows the Government's pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent within 11 years, and by 80 per cent within 40 years. Britain is the only country in the world stupid enough to adopt legally binding carbon dioxide targets (you remember carbon dioxide? That's the poisonous planet-killing gas we all ... er ... breathe out. How reprehensible of us). The UK also faces tough European targets to ensure that at least 30 to 40 per cent of Britain's electricity will be generated by wind, solar, wave and tidal power by 2020.
Currently, just three per cent of the UK's electricity comes from renewable sources.
The Government says the shift away from fossil fuels towards wind, nuclear, tidal, solar and biomass power is essential to prevent dangerous climate change. They warn that the country could face deadly heatwaves, rising sea levels and regular floods within 50 years unless urgent action is taken to 'decarbonise', insisting on pushing the same hysterical mumbo-jumbo that most people in this country, including very many scientists, recognise for what it is - superstitious hogwash.
The White Paper is expected to propose 'social tariffs' to ease the burden of higher energy bills on the poor and the elderly, but the Government's advisers on climate change say the greenhouse-gas targets could push 1.7million into fuel poverty all the same. Energy companies will be told to subsidise the cost for the poor by adding extra to the bills of better-off customers.
The White Paper will also say that climate change targets can be reached only with a massive expansion of offshore wind farms, and will introduce incentives for householders to produce their own energy from solar panels, ground source heat pumps and combined heat and power units. The government will, of course, be doing their bit by increasing their output of hot air.
Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: 'The last thing that the Government should be doing right now is pushing up electricity bills even more to line the pockets of renewable energy firms. Wind farms aren't delivering reliable energy when we need it, and their massive subsidies are paid for by pushing up ordinary people's bills. Action needs to be taken to reduce the burden of ineffective climate change policies, instead of ploughing blindly on and throwing even more money at the problem.'
If it is a problem, of course. This masterly demolition of the IPCC by Dr.David Evans of the Science and Public Policy Institute makes it quite clear that our problem is not vanishing polar bears or melting glaciers, but dishonest politicians with an eye to the main chance. Nothing new there, then.
Speaking of polar bears (and why not? They're lovely fluffy cuddly animals after all, not vicious killers we wouldn't want to share a continent with), Christopher Booker writes in the Telegraph about the latest fair and even-handed approach to rational debate by the green alarmists of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission.
Over the coming days a curiously revealing event will be taking place in Copenhagen. Top of the agenda at a meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group (set up under the IUCNature/Species Survival Commission) will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming.
This is one of a steady drizzle of events planned to stoke up alarm in the run-up to the UN's major conference on climate change in Copenhagen next December. But one of the world's leading experts on polar bears has been told to stay away from this week's meeting, specifically because his views on global warming do not accord with those of the rest of the group.
Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.
Dr Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming over the last 30 years. But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues – but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea.
He has also observed, however, how the melting of Arctic ice, supposedly threatening the survival of the bears, has rocketed to the top of the warmists' agenda as their most iconic single cause. The famous photograph of two bears standing forlornly on a melting iceberg was produced thousands of times by Al Gore, the WWF and others as an emblem of how the bears faced extinction – until last year the photographer, Amanda Byrd, revealed that the bears, just off the Alaska coast, were in no danger. Her picture had nothing to do with global warming and was only taken because the wind-sculpted ice they were standing on made such a striking image.
Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week's meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. The chairman, Dr Andy Derocher, a former university pupil of Dr Taylor's, frankly explained that his rejection had nothing to do with his undoubted expertise on polar bears: "it was the position you've taken on global warming that brought opposition".
Dr Taylor was told that his views running "counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful". His signing of the Manhattan Declaration – a statement by 500 scientists that the causes of climate change are not CO2 but natural, such as changes in the radiation of the sun and ocean currents – was "inconsistent with the position taken by the PBSG".
So, as the great Copenhagen bandwagon rolls on, stand by this week for reports along the lines of "scientists say polar bears are threatened with extinction by vanishing Arctic ice". But also check out Anthony Watt's Watts Up With That website for the latest news of what is actually happening in the Arctic. The average temperature at midsummer is still below zero, the latest date that this has happened in 50 years of record-keeping. After last year's recovery from its September 2007 low, this year's ice melt is likely to be substantially less than for some time. The bears are doing fine.
Back on our own doorstep, mercifully polar-bear-free (though it's worth remembering that only a mere thirty years ago some scientists were predicting that Britain was doomed to an arctic climate akin to that of Newfoundland) it's the BBC that is doing so much to stifle reasoned debate about climate change. We've all noticed how every single wild-life and natural world programme has to have the obligatory warning about how the rain forests/oceans/coral reefs/ickle birdy-wirdies/nasty little rat-like creatures in the deepest Sumatran jungle are facing extinction because we don't turn our mobile phones off. The most recent scare has it that the world's sharks are dying out, to which our immediate response is "bloody good job, vicious bastards".
Of the BBC, veteran broadcaster Peter Sissons recently went on record about the treatment of "interviewers who have so much as raised the possibility that there is another side to the debate on climate change. The Corporation's most famous interrogators invariably begin by accepting that "the science is settled", when there are countless reputable scientists and climatologists producing work that says it isn't. But it is effectively BBC policy ... that those views should not be heard."
And the BBC aren't the only organisation taking a partisan attitude. Most of the predictions about global warming are based on computer models (which we take to mean computer simulations), but there seems to be a lot of secrecy about just what data goes in to those computer models to produce the results they claim. It's obvious, of course, that what comes out is only as good as what goes in, but the Met Office and other organisations refuse to say what they're putting in, in case someone is bright enough to point out exactly why they're mistaken.
There's a Number Ten Petition here. It says "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to force the Climate Research Unit, or other publicly funded organisations, to release the source codes used in their computer models ... these are tax-payer funded institutions, which are influencing government policy decisions which will affect the day to day lives of us all. With the Prime Minister's belief in a new age of transparency, it is unsupportable that these publicly funded organisations are not open to public scrutiny".
Right on. Sadly the petition has attracted only a few names as yet, so do sign it.
The GOS says: And while you're there, you might pop your name on this one as well. It's got nothing to do with climate change (or .... cue sinister music ... has it?), but sign it anyway. It demands that the UK should leave the EU, which is something I'm sure we can all relate to.
It's free, as well, which is more than you can say for the feckin' EU.
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.
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