it is not the strongest that survive, but the one most responsive to change
Evolution takes thousands of years, and in the last few days our thinking about every situation seems to have changed. fundamentally. Perhaps our beliefs, attitudes, and actions are trying to play catch-up with us here. None of us is used to a daily diet of bad news that rivals that which was fed to us English in the early months of the last war. Catastrophic thinking is what we have here, the idea that the human brain is predisposed to jumping to worse-case scenarios, and it’s fucking dangerous.
In the not so distant past I was thinking about my next overseas vacation, perhaps a visit to California, or a trip to Crete, Nowadays, I can’t go anywhere at all. I turn on my TV and the news is just a long series of nightmares with the death toll being right at the top and tail of everything.
It’s a relief when a piece of news, or a telephone conversation with a friend, isn’t full of doom and gloom, a call that doesn’t have the fear of death looming over it. Almost everyone is scared almost all the time, and there is a feeling of helpless resignation.
Well, I for one am going no further down that depressive, defeatist road. This morning I did my usual laundry, took my usual walk for an hour or so, called at the store as usual, (although I did have to stand in line just to get in there), bought the kind of stuff I would usually buy…. Sadly when I got back to the garret I was too knackered to do my usual yoga and other exercises. But thus far I’ve managed a fairly normal day, (for me), and I can live like this indefinitely.
But it’s not a great life if I can’t journey to the sun, see friends, travel all around England, walk towards the far horizons…. And sex is out of the question. As far as I am concerned the sooner the world safely gets back to what we are predisposed to call normal, the better.
One big upside, I haven’t been brainwashed into believing all that catastrophic anthropogenic climate change crap for a little while. Global warming looks pretty unimportant right now ~ call it evolution in action.
Stay safe and be well. And may the Deities of your choice go with you.
even a bed of roses is full of thorns
there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather
Snow in New Mexico
As far as I’m concerned the weather here is bad today ~ gale force winds and driving rain, courtesy of an Atlantic storm sweeping in from the south-south-west. Some fool decided that severe storms here should have names, and this one is called Erik ~ pathetic. Hurricanes should have names, minor storms over the British Isles shouldn’t. (Actually it’s Met Éireann, the Irish Meteorological Office which names storms here ~pathetic.)
For all of history, today, and into the foreseeable future mankind’s activities have been /are / will be dependent upon the weather. Agriculture relies on the right kind of weather at the right time, travel can be disrupted due to high winds rain, and snow, and power consumption rises if the weather is too hot or too cold.
Right now 70 million Americans across the Midwest are bracing themselves for dangerous storms bringing high winds, cold, rain, hail, and the possibility of a tornado or two. Now that’s really bad weather. But then America does have extremes of climate.
Weather refers to what’s going on in the atmosphere at a particular place, over a short period of time; temperature, humidity, wind, rain / snow, clouds, visibility….. Climate is the long-term weather pattern over a large area over many, many years ~ long enough to generate meaningful statistical data ~ say a hundred years or more.
Which is why all this brouhaha over catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is just so much crap. If global temperatures show a significant warming over the next 30 years or so, then maybe there may be something to it ~ or more likely it’s still just changes in long-term weather patterns driven by the usual suspects.
Our weather is created by the sun, and sometimes catastrophically modified by rare events such as a very major volcanic eruption, (Krakatoa), or a comet / meteorite hitting the surface of the earth, (whatever killed off the dinosaurs). Occasionally local weather can be catastrophically changed by the actions of man; the Great London Smogs for example, but those events are rare and temporary.
Some say that man is killing the planet. And that we need to stop using cars, aeroplanes, electricity, living in houses, and definitely stop eating meat. All I know is that every now and again Chicken Little runs around screaming that the sky is falling.
snow on the high plains isn’t so very rare
Environmentalists are killing the planet, destroying the economy, and stealing your children’s future.
A bunch of rabid environmentalists have forced the British Government to announce that all petrol and diesel cars will be banned from the year 2040. Nobody ever accused rabid environmentalists of being intelligent, or having any common sense. Banning diesel and petrol cars, (or will it be all cars that have exhaust emissions?), has staggering implications that the officials, politicians, and environmentalists haven’t properly thought through.
In Sweden, Volvo has announced that from 2019 all of its new models will be either completely battery powered or hybrid vehicles. There’s a couple of interesting points here. Firstly this move will put a whopping premium on the price of all new Volvo’s. And secondly, hybrid cars still have to have a petrol or diesel engine that will produce nasty polluting exhaust fumes.
Diesel exhausts are killing us all, allegedly.
Across Europe several major cities, (Paris, Madrid, Athens), say that diesel cars will be banned from entering their environs from 2025. The Hell-Hole that is Mexico City has followed suit ~ ha! The mayor of London, Mad Sadiq Khan, wants to ban Petrol and Diesel cars from London by 2050.
These headline grabbing moves will achieve absolutely nothing except to cost consumers and taxpayers trillions of Pounds / Euros / Dollars. Banning diesel and petrol cars in the UK will impose vast costs on drivers for little environmental benefit.
There is no conceivable way that the British electricity generating and distribution systems will ever be able to provide enough power for all those battery powered cars, (and vans and busses, and trucks?). Just where will all the extra power come from? The back of an envelope estimate is that all these electric vehicles will add an extra 30 gigawatts to UK peak demand, and that means we would need 50% more generating capacity. That’s equivalent to another half-dozen huge nuclear power plants like Hinkley Point, or another 20,000 wind turbines, (which only work some of the time). I have no idea how many acres of solar collectors it would take to generate that amount of power, but they don’t work at night, which is when most people will be charging their electric vehicles.
The British Government says it will install a fast charging point every 20 miles on major roads ~ imagine how many holes in the road and road works delays that will mean.
The British Government are also considering slashing the maximum speed on our motorways to 60 mph, and what is that supposed to achieve except more fines from speeding tickets?
This all seems a bit rich considering that the whole man-made global warming agenda has been exposed as nothing more than a massive fraud. The best estimate is that if all the trillions of dollars Obama proposed to spend on his Clean Power Plan to tackle non-existent man-made global warming was actually spent, then global temperatures would perhaps be reduced by 0.057 degrees Fahrenheit ~ one five-hundredth of a degree.
Climate change is a normal, natural, and perpetual process which occurs, and has always occurred, with sublime indifference to man’s puny input. ~ James Delingpole.
There are a few inconvenient truths that politicians and environmentalists would rather the public didn’t wake up to;
- Man-made global warming / catastrophic anthropogenic climate change doesn’t actually exist in any meaningful form ~it’s nothing but a fraud, a massive scam designed to give politicians back control over an increasingly independent populace.
- There is no such thing as completely clean power. Green Energy produces nastier and longer term environmental pollution than does burning fossil fuels. Nuclear Energy is a case in point, look at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. Wind turbines have a massively negative impact on the environment, are bad for wildlife, and a blot on the landscape. All batteries are inherently polluting, expensive, and dangerous.
- Switching to electric-powered private transport will require at least a 50% increase in electricity generating capacity in any country that tries it.
- A vast investment in an infrastructure of new charging points to support all these new electric vehicles will be needed.
- Electric vehicles cost a hell of a lot more than an exactly equivalent bike / car / van / truck / bus powered by an internal combustion engine.
- Electric vehicles are less capable, and have a shorter life-span, (about 5 years), before major maintenance is required, (new batteries), than do ‘conventional’ cars, trucks, and busses.
- There aren’t enough qualified mechanics to maintain the huge increase in the number of electric vehicles the politicians propose.
- Disposing of all of the ‘dead’ batteries will require a huge investment in a recycling technology that, as yet, doesn’t actually exist.
- The value of used vehicles powered by petrol and diesel engines will plummet, destroying the economies of the developed world. There is a vast investment in lending to finance vehicle purchases.
- Internal combustion engines don’t have to run on either petrol or diesel fuel. Is a ban on ethanol / methanol / vegetable oil / propane / butane fuelled vehicles also proposed?
- Are politicians also proposing to ban aircraft / railway engines / ships / electricity generators powered by fossil fuels ~ otherwise what’s the point?
- If Politicians think the backlash against Hillary Clinton was an isolated aberration, they’ve got a big surprise in store after all this banning cars crap.
In my life I’ve seen some insane ideas put forward by politicians at the behest of special interest groups, but a total ban on the internal combustion engine running on fossil fuels has got to be maddest thing I’ve ever heard. But then, politicians, special interest groups, and bureaucrats have never been known for putting much thought into anything.
Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it. ~ Henry Ford
At least I have the personal benefit of being able to totally and completely ignore all this banning petrol and diesel fuelled cars crap. Not only that, because I live in a democracy I can cast my vote in ways designed to discomfort the current crop of lightweight, insane, political pygmies. (And that’s an insult to pygmies and the mentally ill.)
Meanwhile, the Lotus 7 is 60 years old this year. Now that’s a great car.
read about the Seven
Big Brother is watching You.
Sometimes it’s called Political Correctness, and sometimes Equality and Diversity, and sometimes Inclusively, but by whatever name it’s a sickness taking over our society in the name of Human Rights. If you say the wrong thing, if your opinions don’t fit in, if anyone thinks you show disrespect towards minorities, you too could be prosecuted for a hate crime.
There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. ~ George Orwell, from 1984.
Along with many, many other UK Institutions All Souls College, Oxford, now has a diversity officer, whose job it is to warn or discipline colleagues who stereotype, show disrespect towards minorities, or create a climate in which an individual might feel their dignity infringed. That sounds a lot like thought police to me.
Campuses that were once havens of free speech are now patrolled and regulated by thought police. Intellectual dishonesty has become a job requirement for University Administrators. ~ Michael Barone.
A woman, 26, appeared in court accused of raping a man, twice. How the hell does that work? How can a woman rape a man? Turns out that the rapist, Katie Brennan, was born a man, but we weren’t initially allowed to know that because of the political correctness surrounding misgendering. To qualify as rape I assume that Katie Brennan still had male genitals at the time of the assault, but we aren’t allowed to know that either. I do know that, for a woman, the transgender Katie Brennan looks like a bloke.
The militant transgender lobby are powerful, and have found natural allies within the left-leaning liberal BBC, (British Broadcasting Corporation). Anyone who questions the self-proclaimed ‘rights’ of transgender people will be silenced.
Axe, machete, knife, truck, and bomb attacks all across Europe are responded to by anti-terror squads, even though nobody in the media ever calls these incidents terrorism, and certainly never Islamic religious terrorism. In order to fit in with multiculturalism we are usually told that the attacker comes from somewhere that isn’t on President Trump’s list of banned countries, (until the real story comes out). Even the British Government are keen to push this non-Islamic terrorism line by saying that one in three terror suspects arrested in Britain last year was white. Which means that two-thirds of those arrested in the UK on suspicion of being a terrorist was non-white. Only 10% of the censored UK population is non-white ~ so 10% of our population commit 66% of terrorist attacks. Yet, nobody is ever allowed to say that Islamic extremism is a problem in Great Britain ~ because of Political Correctness.
The term ‘Political Correctness’ has always appalled me, reminding me of Orwell’s ‘Thought Police’ and fascist regimes. ~ Helmut Newton
The thought police are powerful enough to stifle scientific debate, change world politics, and even dictate the car you drive to work. Anyone who dares to challenge the politically correct view that man-made carbon dioxide is causing catastrophic anthropogenic climate change will be labeled a ‘denier’. This is the language of religious intolerance and has nothing to do with science. You know what? The whole man-made global warming industry is a scam, and pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes will have the proponents of global warming going into fits of apoplexy. But respectable scientists never question the man-made global warming mantra because to do so would mean that they never again get published, never get another grant, see their tenure cut off… Question anthropogenic climate change and your career as a scientist is over.
Women can say anything they want to men, or blacks to whites, with impunity. But strong words in the other direction can bring down the wrath of the thought police, as well as punishments… ~ Thomas Sowell
I am English, and I like to think I’m a Gentleman, so there are some things I would never say in public, and there are some opinions which are an anathema to me. However, there are some things I’d like to say, and some thoughts I’d like to think, that I’m not allowed to for fear of running up against the Politically Correct, Diversity Inclusive, Thought Police. I thought we’d spent the last few hundred years working and fighting for freedom of thought and expression.
Maybe not. Maybe I am a prisoner in my own land.
Remember, Big Brother is watching You.
every snowflake is the last of the great individualists
In English, there’s often a new meaning for an old word, it happens every day. Yet, never in my long and interesting life have I seen such a meteoric rise of an all-purpose insult created out of a familiar word, in the way that Snowflake has instantly appeared everywhere. I like snowflakes, real snowflakes that is.
To be clear, a snowflake usually refers to; often a younger person, prone to taking offence, emotionally vulnerable, unable to cope with views that challenge their own, easily distressed when met with rejection, incapable of seeing an opposing point of view, unable to hold a cogent argument, and liable to pointlessly futile demonstrations of anger. In my time I’ve met a hell of a lot of people like that.
Back in the day we had a few other words for those of the snowflake ilk; wazzock, prat, jessie, dil, and many more that are considered extremely politically incorrect today. All in all I quite like snowflake. There, there, don’t cry.
Older snowflakes do exist; for example our own Archbishop of Canterbury, who used a major speech to call President Trump, (and almost everyone else), a Fascist. Oh! Do get a grip Welby. Then there’s loathsome Ken Loach, who used the BAFTA awards ceremony to say the that current UK Government is callous, brutal, and disgraceful. Champagne Socialist is a good insult to Loach the Roach. And, my award for Old Snowflake of the Year goes to that limousine liberal ~ Meryl Streep. In a speech at a New York Gala, mad Meryl seemed to equate President Trump with Hitler, and intimated that Mr. Trump was likely to start a nuclear war. No dear, that was your beloved JFK in 1962. It’s always nice to see the old Buffs again.
When they are not using awards ceremonies to give us unopposed foul-mouthed tirades, or shouting down opponents, or holding pointless marches, snowflakes have their own interesting range of insults. My own political views could easily get me labeled as an old-fashioned, misogynist, racist, war-mongering, climate change denier, and supporter of populist politics. I’ll admit to a couple of those.
My views are mine, and mine alone. Other than I will not usually break the law, I will not be told what to do, and I will not be told what to think. My views are based on things like a lifetime’s study of; hard science, engineering, geography, geology, history, finance, literature, current affairs… My views do not come pre-packaged from the pages of the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the New Statesman, or even the BBC.
Providing that you are polite, I will take care to hear your opinions, and the opinions of anyone else for that matter ~ your opinions tell me many things about you, and that’s interesting. But that’s about as far as it goes. If you think the Earth is flat, the Moon is made of green cheese, and that man-made carbon dioxide is destroying the planet, then that’s interesting too. Those views will tell me that your opinions are mostly misguided, that you don’t know much hard science, and that you need to widen your circle of friends. Have a nice day.
If you regularly use social media like twitter and Facebook, then that tells me a lot about you too. It tells me that your brain is slowly turning to mouldy oatmeal, that you have a lot of ‘friends’ you’ve never actually met, and that you really don’t know anything that’s worth listening to. (Or, maybe you still do, but soon you won’t.) By demographic definition, all regular users of twitter and Facebook are soft snowflakes.
Generally, I find a lot of sound sense in most blogs I read. It takes time and effort to write a decent blog post. It takes a lot of time, effort, and a little money, to maintain a regular, high-quality blog. Any wazzock can write 140 badly worded characters and stick it on twitter. Maybe President Trump is a snowflake too? Anyhow, where I come from trump is just another word for fart.
these views are mine and mine alone
Burning coal is the most efficient and cost-effective way to produce large amounts of electricity. Unless you happen to live in an underpopulated country that is also blessed with many large lakes, mountains, and rivers, or Iceland.
However, apart from in the industrial powerhouse countries like China, Germany, and India, the idea of burning coal is an anathema to politicians, left-leaning media, and the metropolitan elite. They all
believe profess to believe that burning coal causes global warming, and unless every country in the world stops burning coal we are all going to die / drown / choke / starve.
We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. ~ Hillary Clinton
In that one sentence Hillary Clinton conclusively demonstrated that she is unfit to hold the office of President of the United States. Either she in scientifically uneducated, or a liar, or both. She shows that she cares far more for the few fashionable metropolitan elite than for the vast majority of real Americans. She demonstrates that she has no grasp of day-to-day economics, hard science, or industrial strategy.
Hillary Clinton doesn’t like coal or coal miners. Next to coal, the most cost effective way for Britain and America to generate large amounts of electricity is to burn natural gas obtained by fracking.
By the time we get through all of my conditions I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place. ~ Hillary Clinton
The really sad thing is that the other candidate for president is probably even worse than the harsh voiced harridan, albeit in different ways.
Where do the proponents of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change think the carbon in that coal came from in the first place? Outer space? (Well actually, it did, but that’s another matter.) It came from the carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. Plants turn carbon dioxide into more plants, then over millennia that turns into coal.
It’s an inconvenient truth that predictions of doom by the man-made global warming alarmists, like Hillary Clinton, just have not come true.
If anyone bothered to learn some real hard science they would know that the only way mankind can possibly change the Earth’s climate is through all-out and total nuclear war. There is no empirical or hard scientific evidence that burning coal, oil, or gas can ever change the Earth’s climate. There is plenty of empirical and hard scientific evidence that burning fossil fuels in cities causes stinking smog ~ just look at London before the Clean Air Act, and Los Angeles, and any number of cities in China today.
Climate change is a normal, natural, and perpetual process which occurs, and has always occured, with sublime indifference to man’s puny input. ~ James Delingpole
Smog is not climate change. And, the ultimate cause of smog today is cars, buses and trucks. If some of the bone-idle, lazy, and indolent people would get out of their cars once in a while and actually walk places for a change, then there wouldn’t be anything like as much smog either.
Do yourself a favour and stop looking stupid by banging on about non-existent anthropogenic climate change. Learn some hard science, or just take a walk instead.
(By the way, the stuff coming from those ‘chimneys’ in the pictures is steam, not smoke.)
these opinions are mine and mine alone
Amidst the latest brouhaha and persecution of ‘climate change deniers’ there’s one good reason I can’t get at all excited about catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, (man-made global warming), and ‘green energy’. The fact is that the Northern Hemisphere is still in the last hurrah of the last ice age.
Some 10,500 years ago, (the blink of an eye in cosmic and geological time), most of the people on Earth lived in Africa because everywhere else was too damn cold. In fact, the last ice age hasn’t yet really ended, so any time in the next few hundred or few thousand years Europe, North America, and Northern Asia could be again covered by sheets of ice miles thick.
Much of the geology of these continents was structured by ice ~the Great Lakes in North America were formed 20,000 years ago as a result of the last period of glaciation. Where I live now was covered by a sheet of ice three miles thick only 10,000 years ago ~ and the ice reached as far south in England as where London is now. As I said 10,000 years is but the blink of an eye in terms of geology and the life-cycle of our sun and the planets.
Agriculture has only existed in England for 6,000 years, because before that it was too cold, so Mesolithic Man lived by hunting. Up until 6,200 years ago, so much of the seas’ waters were locked up in ice on the land that you could walk from what is now Germany to England, without getting your feet wet ~ over a stretch of dry land called Doggerland. Where the English Channel is now used to be part of what is now called the River Rhine.
Ice Ages have come and gone over the last 2.4 billion years, starting with Snowball Earth and the Lower Huronian Ice Age. It is thought that Ice Ages are caused by changes in the Earth’s orbit and the amount by which our planet tilts. Typically, a period of extreme glaciation could happen about every 100,000 years or so, (but can last for up to 200 or 300 million years.) The last one has only being running, (on and off), for around 100 million years. The Earth is now in an interglacial period, so we have a lot more worries over freezing to death than we have over global warming.
May I suggest that you don’t worry too much about global warming, but make certain you know how to cope with a hell of a lot of snow and ice.