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PM Glass Box for Wednesday

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Sequin | 14:30 UK time, Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Hello, would you like to let us know what you thought of tonight's PM? Put your comments in the glass box and Eloise Twisk, tonight's editor, will take a look after our meeting which takes place at 6pm.



  • 1. At 2:40pm on 28 Oct 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    I hope that the show goes off great, Carolyn and thanks
    for the editing of Eloise.....

    =Dennis Junior=

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  • 2. At 3:57pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    "Environment Analyst Roger Harrabin will be reporting for us this evening from a conference of climate change deniers".

    My, my, this IS going to be interesting. Keyboards sharpened and at the ready.

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  • 3. At 4:22pm on 28 Oct 2009, ValeryP wrote:

    I must admit, when I got the newsletter I skim-read it, and skidded to a halt when I reached the word "deniers" - thought it was going to be something to do with stockings. Sorry to lower the tone....

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  • 4. At 4:25pm on 28 Oct 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    ... climate change deniers ...

    Will they have nylons over their heads then? 20, 30 or 40 denier?
    No point in that anyway - we can't see them on the radio!

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  • 5. At 4:26pm on 28 Oct 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    Ah Val, you beat me to it!
    Darn it! (not literally you understand)

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  • 6. At 4:52pm on 28 Oct 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    A conferenc? Who organised it for them? It will be funded by the oil industry I expect - the major instigators of this nonsense - they feed disinformation constantly and these challenged individuals quote non-facts and non-scientists as if they know what they're talking about. Graphs will feature strongly but mean nothing. I think it actually fullfills all the criteria for a cult, they certainly sound/read like it while claiming climate change is a religion dreamed up by extreme leftwing Al Gore accolytes to create a world government and tax us all into penury. Really sensible stuff.

    By the way, the spellchecker, which was an American one, appears to have gone awol, no red words no matter how deranged the typing. Isn't there a British one for the BBC?

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  • 7. At 5:25pm on 28 Oct 2009, ValeryP wrote:

    PF - 2 minds.....

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  • 8. At 5:32pm on 28 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    In the trail for your climate change item, someone mentioned sun activity, so may I get my retaliation in first?

    Solar activity

    Most scientists believe that solar variations do not play a major role in determining present-day observed climate change. The IPCC says that the measured magnitude of recent solar variation is much smaller than the effect due to greenhouse gases.
    National Centre for Atmospheric Research et al (Sept. 06): "Scientists have examined various proxies of solar energy output over the past 1,000 years and have found no evidence that they are correlated with today’s rising temperatures. Satellite observations over the past 30 years have also turned up nothing."

    Heliophysics and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (Sept. 2006): ‘Sunspot-driven changes to the sun's power are simply too small to account for the climatic changes observed in historical data from the 17th century to the present.’

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  • 9. At 5:46pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Evening Sid.

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  • 10. At 5:48pm on 28 Oct 2009, ianhickey wrote:

    is there a theme for Nils to follow in the way that companies like Northern Rock and the Post Office are looked upon as assets to be stripped? Nils talked on this briefly tonight but for most listeners I'm sure there's more to understand here. The post office for instance has already had the most profitable parts of it "parcelled " off and sold leaving it with a dwindling base to make profits from....

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  • 11. At 5:49pm on 28 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    Evening Lady Sue - that's an excerpt from my essay!

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  • 12. At 5:49pm on 28 Oct 2009, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    If people are claiming climate change is solely due to the sun that's rediculous, afterall, what about the effects of volcanoes, both magma emitted and that's that yet to be emitted.

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  • 13. At 5:51pm on 28 Oct 2009, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    I thought it was accepted that MMR caused climate change, or was it autism?

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  • 14. At 5:52pm on 28 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    Weather forecasters are not climatologists!!!

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  • 15. At 5:53pm on 28 Oct 2009, U3254135 wrote:

    The average global temperature has been falling for 8 years - see the ipcc and bbc web sites, CO2 has been rising.

    Therefore your excuse that CO2 rises cause global temperature rise is absolute nonsense!

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  • 16. At 5:53pm on 28 Oct 2009, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    It's not just CO2 that causes global waming, methane and CFC's cause it too but it's mostly human activity and so avoidable. I understood these were called CO2 equivalents.

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  • 17. At 5:55pm on 28 Oct 2009, U3254135 wrote:

    Isn't it wonderful hearing MP's wives complaining that they will be losing their jobs!

    How many 'workers' have heard MP's taking a vote in Parliament causing many thousands of jobs to be lost, communities destroyed.

    How the circle turns......

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  • 18. At 5:55pm on 28 Oct 2009, wildhorse5678 wrote:

    Surely the issue about MPs employing Family is about EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES for people who aren't members if the MPS family to have a crack at getting the job as well !! Its not just an issue regarding if the family member can DO the job .. its if there was a proper and acceptable recruitment system for the posts not just handed to a family member on a plate.

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  • 19. At 5:56pm on 28 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    Jonathanmorse - you've been reading the Daily Mail Science column again!!

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  • 20. At 5:56pm on 28 Oct 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    Corbyn makes a living selling weather forecasts, he flings about accusations yet doesn't like it when criticies himself. |The sun has an effect on our climate, but that doesn't mean that it is the SOLE affecter, he is a single issue obsessive and makes a lot of noise, but doesn't come up with evidence.
    If this is all this 'conference' has to offer, it's already been dealt with endlessly by people who DO know what they're talking about, but it seems this particular irritant to rational people just keeps coming round and round.

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  • 21. At 5:58pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Sid@14: some of what you have said has clearly sunk in because that very phrase went through my mind during the discussion!

    It seems the question is still not resolved.

    Carolyn, I do love the charming way you signed off Lord Wotsit. Expertly done.

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  • 22. At 5:59pm on 28 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    U**** - anyone who talks about 'eight years' in the context of climate change is out of their depth. Did you hear the proper scientist talking about fifty to a hundred years? That's probably as short a time span as you can sensibly use when talking about climate (as opposed to weather).

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  • 23. At 5:59pm on 28 Oct 2009, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    Surely the biggest part of being an MP's assistant is secretarial - clerical support and, dare I suggest, looking after the MP - making the tea, making sure he's presentable, arranging meetings, all the things wives do. I'd have thought that an MP's significant other is the most appropriate person to be the MP's assistant, although I'd expect him to need more, more admin, welfare advisors, perhaps political researchers. In any case the significant other has an interest in the MP's success and probably the MP's constitiuents so will supervise these other staff well.

    If not the MP ought to be able to chose his staff because those who helped him or her get elected are probably those with a big interest in keeping them there and so will ensure that he does his job well by his constitiuents.

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  • 24. At 6:00pm on 28 Oct 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Global Warming - right or wrong? That it is man made? Here we go again. I am on the side of being cautious not just dismissing it and doing nowt.
    I was told too I was wrong about something today. Me. In error.
    No! Not about Edward of Mair. Eddie is so good - his acolytes still allegedly need to remind him regularly he is "mortal".
    So I have been searching for what that error was - so I can correct it. Sorry for the confusion Sequin just said - about composer for Upshares Downshares theme today - a different one every day this week? Wow!
    But if I am right - about whom I am allegedly wrong about - I am not. Sorry I mean but I will temper future remarks - cut back on emissions let loose up there to the Sky sort of.
    Charm, eh? lol

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  • 25. At 6:01pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    DoctorD@20: it could be argued that the IPCC makes a living out of being rather single issue and even more irritating on a global scale.

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  • 26. At 6:05pm on 28 Oct 2009, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    I thought the Daily Mail was just the freebie I got with various CD's and DVD's I got at the newsagents.

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  • 27. At 6:06pm on 28 Oct 2009, nikki noodle wrote:

    Evening all!!

    Just in, so I will listen again, (or iplayer again) and then see if I can post anything sensible.

    I doubt I will be able to contribute much to a debate concerning temperatures, but I can definitely contribute to a debate over the really rather very high levels of atmospheric CO2 - and would be interested to hear what folk thought about those

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  • 28. At 6:06pm on 28 Oct 2009, normanmugabe wrote:

    Mr. Cameron needs to instruct his aides to reread the Lisbon Treaty if he thinks Europe has no need of a president. Not only is a president on his way, but also a European army; European embassies all over the world; a European police force and a centralised European intelligence agency run by, the Germans. There is no job description for president of Europe. Whoever comes in is going to set his own agenda. He's going to want to ring Brussels and ask for all the intelligence regarding blah blah blah. Member countries will be required to comply. The central bank in Frankfurt will increase as the world's financial capital as influence in Wall Street and the City decreases.
    Europe is an empire without an emperor. That emperor will be chosen by the Germans, with considerable assistance from the Vatican.
    Mr. Cameron needs to do his homework.

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  • 29. At 6:09pm on 28 Oct 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    15. U3254135. 8 years is a tiny blip in an upward rise. You should try to take a longer view, I know it's difficult.

    What is it about arctic ice melt, glacier melt, permafrost melt, extreme weather events like massive floods and prolonged drought, a month's rain in 24 hours etc etc to name just the more obvious climate change effects of global warming you don't understand?

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  • 30. At 6:09pm on 28 Oct 2009, chatterisgirl wrote:

    Heard that the MP expenses are undergoing a rethink and the allowance for "end of tenure" is to be reduced. Great, but why does someone who has decided proactively to stand down still eligible for it? I can understand someone who loses their seat at a General Election being faced with a period of time where they have to readjust and find alternative employment. But why when that person has not fought to say on? Many have made their intentions known some months before the election - even before an election is called in some cases- so why are should they get paid? They have ample time to line up their next job.

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  • 31. At 6:16pm on 28 Oct 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    25. Lady_Sue - I suppose it could if you were determined to ignore a mass of evidence in favour of a maverick who no scientist takes seriously. But actually I'm sure the IPCC is a) staffed with highly qualified people who have other jobs and could get employment elsewhere very easily, b) isn't a career or money making opportunity, but an assembly of professionals who can evaluate data. Same sort of thing as is used for a variety of issues. The oil companies though, have been very active conning people with this disinformation and have a definite vested interest.

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  • 32. At 6:18pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Wasn't that UKIP chap on the other day talking about the EU parliament doing a version of PM's Questions, for the sake of the show?

    Surely the EU needs Blair as President for his comedy skills?

    I am not sure the EU parliament becoming some pastiche of Jongleurs will help the economy or bring about world peace.

    But what do I know?

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  • 33. At 6:21pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    It's OK for a climate scaremonger to reference Winston Churchill, but not Nick Griffin?

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  • 34. At 6:21pm on 28 Oct 2009, AndBrotherJohn wrote:

    MPs employing family

    In the good old days it could have been called "nepotism": favouring relatives.
    All MPs or family members interviewed have accepted that fairness and having the right qualifications are basic to the issue.OK. A good starting point. Fairness. To secure the post fairly there would have to be open access,advertisement, a shortlist, an interview. How could an MP who is parent partner or relative of one of the applicants
    possibly be fair in making their choice? Not on. It's blatant conflict of interest. The only situation in which fairness could be assumed is where the relative did NOT get the job!

    Last point. One MP interviewd on TV said that she pays her husband between £30 and £40.000. My wife pertinently asked, "Would she give an outside PA that salary?" Hardly likely.

    It's a no-brainer. It's favouritism. The fact that the partner/relative may work hard is neither here nor there. Hard work is expected from any employee. They have no case.

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  • 35. At 6:23pm on 28 Oct 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    22. Sid It is the reality which frightens some into denial. Whern you think this has been brewing since the industrial revolution started digging and burning coal, and being added to ever since. And it isn't going to stop anytime soon, our shortsighted politicians will see to that; always having to remain popular to get their job renewed, they pamper to the selfishness of [people, so until the majority get very very scared and start demanding radical change beyond that of today's climate change protesters [who the police see fit to treat as terrorists in their secret police way] there will be nothing but window dressing and carbon trading; fiddling while Earth burns.

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  • 36. At 6:23pm on 28 Oct 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    As DD says at (20), Mr Corbyn runs a weather forecasting business, and while I'm glad the reporter pointed out that he's consistently failed to publish his work - meaning his theory can't be tested by peer review - I don't think it was stressed enough that he has a financial interest in his views as opposed to the professor who is involved in actual research.

    A quick skim through Google Scholar shows only one reference to Corbyn in a proper refereed journal, and that's a paper by someone else: "A verification of UK gale forecasts by the ‘solar weather technique’: October 1995–September 1997" by Dennis Wheeler at the University of Sunderland. (Payment needed to view the article. :o( )

    I know that in the world of journalism it's important to get "both sides of the argument", but that's not how science works. You come up with a theory, you expose it to the rest of the scientific world, and if they don't manage to falsify it (pick it apart/prove it wrong) it becomes the dominant theory. Corbyn's ideas, while they remain hidden and unpicked-at, have no more validity than me saying global warming's caused by the movement of the tiny magnets in pigeons' brains as they fly around.

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  • 37. At 6:28pm on 28 Oct 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    36. The Stainless Steel Cat - steady on, there are now pigeon brain magnet effect theorisers writing up their websites!

    And if anyone thinks that's far-fetched, try google 'climate change conspiracy' to see the truly in need of treatment.

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  • 38. At 6:29pm on 28 Oct 2009, JRWoodman wrote:

    What a waste of time was that interview with the Climate Change denier. So by what stretch of the imagination is this considered news? The chap hadn't even published any relevant research. His argument was as weak as saying, "it isn't, just because it isn't". Pathetic. This was stretching the 'balance' argument to a ridiculous extent.

    If you must give airtime to deniers, please ensure your interviewees have an equivalent credibility to those warning of Climate Change. This subject matters; and unlike 'flat earthers' these CC deniers can cause real damage to the prospect of preventing major hardship and deaths in the not-too-distant future.

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  • 39. At 6:32pm on 28 Oct 2009, AndBrotherJohn wrote:

    The Nimrod Disaster

    Such blatant negligence. Such callousness and dereliction of duty in considering cost over safety. Surely that is criminal negligence, criminal callousness? Deliberate endangering of life, which is what such carelessness is - is murder. We have here a clear case of corporate manslaughter.

    I must confess I found it difficult to stomach the Minister's apologies.
    We can all make mistakes. But we cannot with impunity be grossly careless with life, or put cost over safety where lives are at stake. The "Lessons will be learnt" mantra is not a sufficient response to the situation. A crime demands an appropriate retribution.

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  • 40. At 6:36pm on 28 Oct 2009, Really_Paul wrote:

    I have to say that I am currently unconvinced by the assertion that mankind's actions are primarily responsible for global Climate

    If that assertion is true, then the Scientists on that side of the argument should be able to point to a large spike in global temperature as a consequence of World War 2, evidence that I have not (thus far) heard any claim for. I'd point out that that conflict was marked by; the deliberate destruction of large numbers of towns and cities (most of which burned at some point), the massive increase of Industrial Emissions due to the need to produce war-materiel and the prolonged use of very large numbers of Internal Combustion Engines (in Tanks, Trucks and Aircraft) which were designed to produce raw power, rather than for fuel and emissions efficiency.

    Against the assertion is the fact that the world seems to have been getting steadily warmer for centuries. When, for example, was the last "Ice Fair" able to be held on a frozen-over River Thames?

    I'm also perturbed that the supporters of the Climate Change assertion have not already moved to ban polluting activities that seem (IMHO) somewhat frivolous in nature; Motorsports like Formula 1 and the Red Bull Air Races spring to mind; as well as the continued use of Dry Ice (solid CO2) to produce fog-effects at pop-concerts etc.

    Another surprise is the utter failure to introduce an immediate ban on deforestation, particularly in the case of the Rain Forests (which have been called, in some programmes, "the lungs of the Planet").

    One thing that has mushroomed during my lifetime is travel by jet-powered aircraft - recently some large and very large jet-powered
    aircraft. These are both much more powerfully engined than any of their predecessors and also fly far higher. Could these be having an impact? I think that some investigation is required.

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  • 41. At 6:44pm on 28 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    Goodness me, Really paul, what a ragbag of nonsense!

    I don't have time to deal with them all - but Google is your friend.

    However: ice fairs on the Thames - used to be due to the slowing of the river by the old London Bridge - but that has sadly burned down, my dear lady.

    If you freeze CO2 and release it at a concert, you're not exactly making more CO2, are you?

    We do need the rain forests for all sorts of things - but they don't actually have much effect on CO2.

    Do you know anybody who doesn't think air travel needs to be reduced?

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  • 42. At 6:52pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    39, Agreed.

    There's no connection between the plans to cut £20M from the MoD budget by reducing TA training sessions to once a month and the Nimrod mess?

    Lockerbie? I guess Nimrods never need to be refuelled over mainland Britain?

    QinetiQ? That company sold too cheaply, enriching the Civil Servants that sold it at a knockdown price, and then we have the plan to cut TA training sessions to save costs.

    It's saddening.

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  • 43. At 6:56pm on 28 Oct 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    One other thing about Piers Corbyn; your reporter called him Doctor Corbyn. I've been trying to track down where he got his PhD, but I can't seem to find it. I'm assuming it was either in meteorology or astrophysics. Any chance of tracking this down for the benefit of listeners? The highest degree I can find a note of is a Masters.

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  • 44. At 7:08pm on 28 Oct 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #43 The Stainless Steel Cat
    Piers Corbyn's wikipedia entry does not mention a PHd either.
    Perhaps it was a PHd from the same institute that the diet expert you know the one the "poo inspector" got hers.

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  • 45. At 7:29pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    31DoctorD: there is evidence that the IPCC has been not exactly falsifying evidence but certainly cooking it in a way to suit its so-called findings, rather than looking at the scientific facts. I do tire of phrases like "most scientists agree" without any information backing up which scientists are being referred to, where they are and what the basis for this generic "statistic" is.

    TSSCat and Ln: think it important to discover Corbyn's credentials and look forward to your collective detective work. Nothing worse than someone passing themselves off as something they are not, especially in cases like this. Thought it rather suspicious and very well picked up by Roger Harrabin, that the conference was taking place "at" a university premise which was rented and not accrediting the conference. Enormous difference and well spotted Rog.

    Bit of background: Sid, TSSCat, Nikki and I had an on-going debate about all of this a couple of weeks ago. It was a fascinating and extremely civilised debate which wasn't resolved and I can only apologise to Nikki and particularly to Sid - who went to a lot of trouble to provide information and links in order to change my opinion - for not getting back to them.

    My opinion hasn't changed and I think it HILARIOUSLY funny that there is paid research going on to find a way to stop cattle farting. It's like a comedy sketch - isn't anyone else out there as skeptical as I am?

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  • 46. At 8:07pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    We should humour the climate change scaremongers because unlike the indutsrial military complex they don't start wars?

    Dr. Corbyn and his PhD? It was from the same place the dreadful 'poo lady' got her quack degree? And Derek Draper his?

    It's a potential odd one out gestion for HIGNFY? The odd one out being a person with a real qualification from a real university?

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  • 47. At 8:20pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    This mild weather we're experiencing?

    I think it can be directly linked to the new PM weather forecast.

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  • 48. At 9:10pm on 28 Oct 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    43. The Stainless Steel Cat - hmmm, in an email exchange with him some time ago, I happened to mention that some 'degrees' were purchased... I got an immediate aggresive response asking 'who said that?' and threatening 'legal action', I had to tell him to grow up and not be so silly. Dig deeper!
    45.Lady_Sue - we have been trawling the nether reaches! I think you haven't changed your mind because you have never had any intention of assessing the facts and arriving at a balanced view, despite putting Sid, TSSCat, Nikki to some trouble, I know from your language where you're coming from as I've had some years reading/listening to it, it's all recycled, about the best thing one can say about it.
    The antis are contrarians pure and simple. They think being against the 'herd' gives them some importance and credibility, when they have none. There is also a large amount of fear involved as they willfully avoid reading anything which might shake their beliefs to the core, and which would spell out what the furute will hold for them.
    If you really, really want to know, try reading Six Degrees by Mark Lynas, who has assembled a huge amount of scientific evidence backed up by peer reviewed science [not Piers reviewed] and drawn it all together for the educated lay[wo]man to digest and understand. It raises the hairs on your neck. I guarantee you will be scared by the time you reach the end. The five degrees of the title are the chapters, and are one degree of temperature rise. By 5 degrees the only uncertainty is whether the warming will by then be un unstoppable, resulting in a loss of atmosphere as the planet becomes mnore like Venus. We will be long gone by then, and so will most other species. If there were only the reotest one percent chance that we could be responsible, don't you really think we should be trying to reverse the decline and start behaving like grownups?
    If you don't want to give a climate conspirator money, you can get the book from a library which I believe still exist in most places still, although doubtless on the spivs' [of Whitehall] agenda to sell to the highest bidder soon.
    Time to put up or shut up. Stop looking for your 'information' from idiots who are barely literate yet still think they can disseminate unscientific mumbo-jumbo as long as it contains colourful graphs on cult websites, and, if sincere, get the facts.
    Re cows farting. It has long been part of the case that meat eaters are contributing more to climate change than vegetarians. The only way to reduce this impact is to eat less or no meat. Meat eating has increased hugely in the west despite being the single most common cause of bowel cancer - the artistocracy have died from bowel cancer for centuries, the biggest cause of death among them, while the peasants ate a healthy diet of vegetables with the occasional chicken and venison if they were lucky and didn't get caught.
    Add to the cows' flatulence, the industry's energy requirements and carbon footprint, including shipping beef from the UK around the world after the livestock farmer was subsidised by EU taxpayers for each bovine,and it seems to me meat consumption and thus production could be effected simply by cutting out the subsidy and allowing the meat to be sold for its true price. This isn't positive encourtagement so much as removing encouragement to grow cows. We all subsidise sheep farmers as well, but at least sheep mostly graze on land unsuitable for arable. Beef graze on rich, fertile lowland.

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  • 49. At 9:11pm on 28 Oct 2009, nikki noodle wrote:

    @45 Lady Sue is, as ever, very generous with her comments

    I wonder, in a debate that touches on the levels of atmospheric CO2 - what are your thoughts about this?!

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  • 50. At 9:13pm on 28 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    Lady Sue ... if you say "there is evidence that the IPCC has been not exactly falsifying evidence but certainly cooking it in a way to suit its so-called findings", you should be able to pint us to where this evidence is. Please.

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  • 51. At 9:17pm on 28 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    Pint us - or, indeed, point us.

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  • 52. At 9:53pm on 28 Oct 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    If climate change is a science why does it feel like a religion?

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  • 53. At 10:57pm on 28 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    Because it has heretics?

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  • 54. At 09:51am on 29 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    DD@48: I am very grateful to Sid, Nikki and TSSCat but for every link they were able to give, I could find 'counter' links. It started to become a bit like blog-table-tennis.

    "They think being against the 'herd' gives them some importance and credibility, when they have none." Steady on! That's a bit unfair DD.

    "There is also a large amount of fear involved as they willfully avoid reading anything which might shake their beliefs to the core," - I could equally accuse you of the same. I think this global warming business is founded entirely on fear and scaremongering.

    "Time to put up or shut up. Stop looking for your 'information' from idiots" - that is quite out of order but I'm not referring you for the simple reason that leaving your post there merely shows your own hysteria and does nothing at all to credit your argument. Do you consider David Bellamy an "idiot"? (See below).

    Re. your para 5: I'm surprised there isn't a lobby to ban baked beans! It's all such a nonsense.

    49Nikki: there seem to be a lot of links that indicate raised levels of CO2 is no bad thing. You have questioned me on this previously and, if I may, would you mind giving a summation of what your main concerns are?

    Sid@50: the most damning comments on the IPCC came after the 'New Scientist' articles you had put a link up for - we have discussed this previously. The Australian political group against the notion of humans having any real impact on climate change/global warming have many, many links to different accredited scientific reports. I believe you mentioned David Bellamy as being a respected scientist "denier".

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  • 55. At 10:09am on 29 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    Lady Sue - David Bellamy is a botanist. The further you get from climatology, the more likely you are to find climate change deniers. Piers Corbyn's first three scientific papers were on weather, the eccentricity of the earth's orbit, and pebbles. [According to Wikipedia]

    And I say again- if you say "there is evidence that the IPCC has been not exactly falsifying evidence but certainly cooking it in a way to suit its so-called findings", you should be able to point us to where this evidence is.

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  • 56. At 10:43am on 29 Oct 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    Lady Sue, I think you will find that David Bellamy has gone rather quiet on climate change since he was revealed (and effectively admitted) to have made an elementary typo which massively affected his claims for glacier growth - see this piece by George Monbiot

    As for climate change as religion, I think this gets to the heart of the matter where many people think that it is a matter of belief whether climate change is occurring and what might be its causes. I am one of those who would prefer to make a clear distinction between belief and scientific analysis and proof, which crucially includes the possibility of disproof. The latter being something that Piers Corbyn currently denies us.

    In any case, as I think we've agreed before, the pollution and other adverse effects of industrialisation need to be curbed for all kinds of good reasons if the planet is to remain habitable by humans.

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  • 57. At 11:11am on 29 Oct 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    Anne P (56) - Thanks for that link - a very forensic piece.

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  • 58. At 11:41am on 29 Oct 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Thanks, Anne P (56) I was holding off on mentioning that because I didn't have time to check for references and sadly, the refutation hasn't been nearly as widely disseminated as Bellamy's original words.

    On belief vs scientific analysis I agree completely with you and it's the only thing about PM (though certainly not *only* PM) that consistently disappoints me. If you want to learn the current state of knowledge about a scientific subject, you don't have a debate between two opposite viewpoints, you talk to the people whose published work has survived informed criticism.

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  • 59. At 11:55am on 29 Oct 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Lady Sue (54):

    Do you consider David Bellamy an "idiot"?

    For a scientist of his standing to not check his facts or trace the original sources of a badly referenced claim was certainly idiotic or at the very least unprofessionally careless, but we all have idiotic lapses. In fact, one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century - Nikola Tesla - appeared to go completely loopy at times.

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  • 60. At 12:41pm on 29 Oct 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    54. Lady_Sue 'Stop looking for your 'information' from idiots" - that is quite out of order but I'm not referring you' well, gee thanks. Threats of censorship have never impressed me any more than a gesticulating TV botanist and figure of fun has impressed me he knows squit about anything other than caring about 'his' view being 'ruined' by wind turbines. He's a Nimby who has tried to use his limited scientific knowledge to fight wind power. When people start quoting him I know they have very little to go on. But by idiots I was referring to the crazed sites which verge on the totally insane, where they claim a global conspiracy is afoot to institute world government, deprive honest amurcans of their liberty and guns and make Al Gore rich. You must know them. Or perhaps you don't think them idiots. How about David Icke? They are on the same level, and we are supposed to discuss their outlandish claims in the same manner as those of tens of thousands of climate scietists who've spent decades carefully doing their jobs.

    'I'm surprised there isn't a lobby to ban baked beans! It's all such a nonsense.' Bowel cancer isn't nonsense, meat eating causes it, go find out if you disbelieve. The meat industry globally is huge, and its efect is also huge. It's nonsense to think this isn't relevant.

    The 'Australian political group against the notion of humans having any real impact on climate change/global warming' presumably haven't heard about the drought devastating their country, with many farmers committing suicide and animals dying. As this has been happening for years perhaps they just prefer not to. The population of Australia are going to find it hard to survive when the underground aquifer they've been draining for decades to sustain their unsustainable lifestyle runs out. Then maybe these people will go silent.

    'many links to different accredited scientific reports' which you have fully read and understood?

    'I think this global warming business is founded entirely on fear and scaremongering.' There is no 'global warming business' as you so quaintly term it, it is an understanding and appreciation of reality by some, which others do everything they can think of to refute [unsuccessfully]. Scaremongering suggests there is really nothing to be scared about, there is, and you would know that if you removed your head from the sand and stopped accepting every lame argument you can find and started looking for the truth, which is staring you in the face.

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  • 61. At 1:09pm on 29 Oct 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    Sid, Si-id, SID!, This is to you and your point:

    And Monbiot 'is' a zoologist. (Incidentally, why didn't he just check with the World GlacierMonitoring Service, University of Zurich, or did he need x thousand words?)

    And Sid is?

    If Sid is right, we should be wary of the opinions of non-climatologists. (They may, when when quoting or referencing, be selective unknowingly, not being proper climatologists, 'n' all).

    So should we take any notice of Sid, hisself (on these grounds, I mean)?

    Nick Stern? He's an economist. (HE thinks a Banglageshie's life is a fraction that of a Westerner. Monbiot said that. Should I trust either of them?)

    Or PF?

    Or Anne P?

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  • 62. At 1:44pm on 29 Oct 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    On this morning's Today programme a scientist stated that very few "Scientific Facts" are beyond question. At last, someone is prepared to acknowledge this.
    I was amused when by accident Evan suggested that Professor Nutt thinks Cannabis may be less dangerous than politicians.

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  • 63. At 1:52pm on 29 Oct 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Vyle (62):

    I would think there are virtually no "scientific facts" that are beyond question. That's axiomatic in the Scientific Method.

    But "question" is scientific terms means "I've found something that contradicts that fact or theory" or "I've found something that provides a more complete explanation for that fact and provides more testable hypotheses" rather than "I just don't believe that."

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  • 64. At 1:54pm on 29 Oct 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Hmmm, by saying "That's axiomatic in the Scientific Method." am I saying that qthat in itself is an unquestionable fact about the Scientific Method? I've confused myself now.


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  • 65. At 2:27pm on 29 Oct 2009, Looternite wrote:

    People who deny the great work of the Prophet Darwin are not usually considered scientists. It seems that people who deny global warming are people who depend on belief in the same ways as evolution deniers.

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  • 66. At 2:29pm on 29 Oct 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Between physics and its metaphysics?

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  • 67. At 3:51pm on 29 Oct 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    EtE (66):

    "Metaphysics"? Is there anything after or beyond physics?

    I think not.

    (Take that any way you like...)

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  • 68. At 4:50pm on 29 Oct 2009, patmartin wrote:

    Will there be any room on this blog for the comments Carolyn wanted after the programme has gone out. There's still another 15 minutes to go. I'm going to try really hard today to listen to Nils. His items have the same effect on me as the weather forecast has on other people. I really mean to concentrate but once the music has finished I drift off and then realise that I have no idea what he's said. Maybe that's why I'm not very good with money.

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  • 69. At 5:04pm on 29 Oct 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Um, Pat, today's Thursday and there is a Glass Box all ready and waiting ... here:


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  • 70. At 5:07pm on 29 Oct 2009, patmartin wrote:

    My kids are always telling me I need to keep up with the times but I was only one day behind. Mustn't have signed in yesterday and for some reason haven't received Thursday's newsletter. Was it good.

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  • 71. At 5:10pm on 29 Oct 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Read it for yourself, Pat:


    Developments on BBC pay are brewing - about which more later.

    As European leaders gather in Brussels, our correspondent Jonny Dymond will report for us on what's likely to come out of this two day summit and what are they all really saying about Tony Blair and the possibility of him becoming President of the European Council.

    We're trying to set up two discussions - one prompted by the Telegraph front page headline that schools are reporting 40,000 case of racism each year. Primary school children and toddlers in nurseries are being punished for making racist insults, a report claims, even if they don't undertand the terms they use. But how do you judge what is a "racist incident", and should children be taught at an early age to see wider issues in terms of race?

    Our other discussion centres on the issue of Freedom Passes - free travel at all times on the Underground and London buses and trains which is on offer to those aged 60 and above. The writer Matthew Parris asks why he should get such a benefit when he earns well and suggests the money should instead be spent on increasing state pensions and clawing back from the rich in tax. So should benefits like this be scrapped for the elderly and the money reprioritised? We'll be discussing that.

    Otherwise we have a lovely piece from Nigel Wrench who's been checking out a new production in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne of Romeo and Juliet re-imagined as if Shakespeare's most famous lovers were in their seventies. Northern Stage in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where this new play, A Tender Thing, has its first performance this evening, is part of the annual Royal Shakespeare Company season there.

    And we might have something on the first new Noddy book in more than 40 years.

    See you at 5pm


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  • 72. At 5:40pm on 29 Oct 2009, nikki noodle wrote:

    @54 Lady Sue,

    Thanks, yes I would be very happy to sum up about CO2:
    1. CO2 levels are currently at 387ppm, a level not seen on this Planet for over 420,000 years, or more.

    2. CO2 rates are increasing at about 1.6ppm per year, which will lead to CO2 levels of 400+ within a decade.

    3. If CO2 has increased over the past 150 years as much as it normally increases over thousands of years, and is still going to increase in the future decades way beyond it has ever done in 420,000 years, then we are in for a Planetary Experiment - with massively unpredictable consequences.

    4. Scientists have had a bash at predicting some of the consequences: Global warming, Global cooling, Global extremes, Global variation, Global catastrophe, Global shutdown of the ocean's thermohaline circulation - I dont really care which.

    My major concern is about a voyage into the unknown, not necessarily for you and me, but for one's children, and one's grandchildren. And they will thank us for taking action now.

    Please tell me how you feel about this,

    This is the reference I have used for long term variation of CO2 and it is one we have discussed previously:
    and one about annual CO2 variation:

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  • 73. At 5:45pm on 29 Oct 2009, nikki noodle wrote:

    @54 Lady Sue,

    Thanks, yes I would be very happy to sum up about CO2:
    1. CO2 levels are currently at 387ppm, a level not seen on this Planet for over 420,000 years, or more.

    2. CO2 rates are increasing at about 1.6ppm per year, which will lead to CO2 levels of 400+ within a decade.

    3. If CO2 has increased over the past 150 years as much as it normally increases over thousands of years, and is still going to increase in the future decades way beyond it has ever done in 420,000 years, then we are in for a Planetary Experiment - with massively unpredictable consequences.

    4. Scientists have had a bash at predicting some of the consequences: Global warming, Global cooling, Global extremes, Global variation, Global catastrophe, Global shutdown of the ocean's thermohaline circulation - I dont really care which.

    My major concern is about a voyage into the unknown, not necessarily for you and me, but for one's children, and one's grandchildren. And they will thank us for taking action now.

    Please tell me how you feel about this,

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  • 74. At 6:13pm on 29 Oct 2009, Idcam wrote:

    Good grief! Is this silly argument about climate change still going on? This is getting as bad as the creationist thing! Only with rather more significant potential consequences, IMHO.

    OK, it's like this. There's a big Big BIG PROBLEM with the climate. Probably our fault, although some think (apparently) there's possibly an outside chance it's just some natural phenomenon. Regardless of whose fault it is, what matters is to get done what needs to be done. Which is to drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to find other ways of reducing and producing the energy that we need. That's what the forthcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen is all about.

    So let's not waste time arguing the toss about whether it's happening and whose fault it is. Let's just get on with saving the planet for our descendents. Less hot air and more hot action please!

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  • 75. At 6:35pm on 29 Oct 2009, Idcam wrote:

    Re Lady_Sue's comment @48 about farting cattle, my understanding is that this produces methane and that is even worse than CO2 in terms of climate change. It is also my understanding that producing meat uses up something like 6 to 10 times as much land as the equivalent food value in vegetable and grain. Therefore it follows that as well as reducing energy use it would also be extremely beneficial to reduce meat eating as well. That would also probably be a good idea also in terms of health.

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  • 76. At 7:02pm on 29 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    EtE @ 61

    "If Sid is right, we should be wary of the opinions of non-climatologists." Only if they're making assertions about climatology. And I wouldn't say wary (where did I say that?) - I'd say properly sceptical.

    "So should we take any notice of Sid, hisself ..." Please feel free to ignore me if you wish - in fact I'd be rather grateful if you did. Anyone here is free to read my opinions (or not) and make of them what they will (or not).

    "And Sid is?" Well, you seem to have made your mind up already ... I'd be (vaguely) interested to know what you think I am. But the relevant point is that I'm not using my scientific credentials from one sphere of science to pontificate about issues in a branch of science about which I know nothing.

    By the way, Real_Socialist says you've got socialism wrong.

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  • 77. At 09:05am on 30 Oct 2009, nikki noodle wrote:


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  • 78. At 1:17pm on 30 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:


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  • 79. At 2:39pm on 30 Oct 2009, Gillianian wrote:


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  • 80. At 2:53pm on 30 Oct 2009, U14138029 wrote:


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  • 81. At 5:10pm on 30 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:


    AnneP@56: every time I click on that link I get bumped off and have to start all over again, so I'm afraid I've not been able to read it yet. However, I do agree with your final paragraph.

    DoctorD@60: "Bowel cancer isn't nonsense, meat eating causes it". I did not say bowel cancer was nonsense. My mother died from it when I was a small child and your statement is an absolutely ridiculous oversimplification of what causes it. A prime example of your "reasoning".

    The Australian political party "presumably haven't heard about the drought devastating their country, with many farmers committing suicide and animals dying". Do you think there is an Australian alive who isn't aware of the droughts the country has suffered? Another prime example of an attempt to make a sarcastic point that wildly misses the mark in its foolishness.

    "...if you removed your head from the sand and stopped accepting every lame argument you can find and started looking for the truth, which is staring you in the face."

    As I have pointed out, I am yet to see a "truth" based on a theory that fits the facts and I most certainly do not have my head in the sand.

    In future, perhaps you might care to be a little more polite in your debating. It seems a pity to refer you as mentioned above, your own postings expose your irrational hysteria and lack of logical reasoning.

    Nikki@73: I do respect your concerns, which are of course admirable (though you know I believe them to be misplaced) but what I think our children and grandchildren will say about all of this is akin to what we think about the use of leeches in 'medicine'.

    I find the idea that farting cattle are responsible for rises in the level of CO2 and the notion that millions of dollars will be invested into research in the reduction of same all too silly.

    Just listened to Clive James on 'Points of View' re. climate change. Maybe it's to do with being Australian but he does rather sum up my view and skepticism.

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  • 82. At 9:30pm on 30 Oct 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    Love the graph, top, rhs.

    All sides of the debate dodecahedron invited to explain.

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  • 83. At 03:48am on 31 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    EtE@82: we have seen it, thankyou. Nikki's @73 re. 420,000 years makes reference to it and relates to a debate we had on the matter a fortnight or so ago.

    Graphs and factual scientific information such as this doesn't seem to make any difference to those who are stubbornly insistent that what they are being told by governments must be right.

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  • 84. At 04:28am on 31 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Anne: I was finally able to read the article, dated May 2005, you linked above but I found after g@@gling "David Bellamy and 'global warming'" that he has been far from quiet. I can't do those hyperlinks but if you search as I did and hit the 'Daily Express' link you will see an interesting article (November 2008) by him claiming how he was shunned by the BBC for denying climate change. There are some interesting comments beneath it, including one which says:

    "Monbiot's article [on Bellamy] was enlightening only for the way he steadfastly refused to counter the specific arguments against anthropogenic global warming with evidence, but instead resorted to insults and patronising comments."

    I don't think we (Sid, Nikki you and I) will ever agree on global warming/climate change but at least we can agree to disagree.

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  • 85. At 08:44am on 31 Oct 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    Lady Sue, if you are interested in what George Monbiot has to say, as opposed to what people say he says, I can recommend his book Heat . Available in paperback from a publisher whose symbol is an antarctic bird or a biscuit(other editions may well be available).

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  • 86. At 10:07am on 31 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Anne thank you but, with due respect to your kind suggestion, I had a look at it via that rainforest website and as it is yet another book about 'global warming/climate change' about which I am really not in the least bit interested in reading any more than I already have.

    I'm sure Monbiot has made quite a bit of money from writing a book about this and adding to what I consider, as you know and without wishing to offend, international scaremongering. It shows why he had such a go at David Bellamy.

    Thank you for pointing it out but I will respectfully decline.

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  • 87. At 12:15pm on 31 Oct 2009, nikki noodle wrote:

    @81 Lady Sue,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really dont see what farting cattle have to do with any of this!!! I claim that a "Red Herring".

    You are entirely entitled to your own views, as were previous generations in times gone by. You mention leeches, and there are many other medical advances on the alternate side that were ridiculed before being accepted: hygene and detergents in maternity wards is one example.

    What you may not dispute, and you haven't, is that CO2 levels are currently higher than they ever have been in 420,000 years. And that the rise in the last 10 decades is incredibly fast, and still rising.

    The only one test of science, which is that "any theory must fit the facts" and the facts can't be altered to suit the theory. I hope you will allow that the CO2 levels are high.

    Clive James (who I always listen to!) is brilliant.

    "Being sceptical has always been one of the best ways of caring about the future of the human race. For example, it was from scepticism that modern medicine emerged, questioning the common belief that diseases were caused by magic, or could be cured by it" he said.

    And it is that sceptism that is rearly valuable: I hope you will remain sceptical - open minded - about this whole topic!!!

    best wishes

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  • 88. At 1:51pm on 31 Oct 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already

    tomorrow in Australia.

    -- Charles Schultz

    Don't worry about global warming, anthropogenic or bovinogenic, it's sheer numbers that'll get us. Say hello to another 368,314 folk born today, and goodbye to 155,131 deaarly departed this mortal coil, leaving us with (approximately) 213,183 more mouths to feed than yesterday....


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