BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Monday, 27 April, 2009

Sarah McDermott | 17:32 UK time, Monday, 27 April 2009

Here's Kirsty with news of this evening's programme:

Tonight, will swine flu become the fourth flu pandemic in a hundred years? Our Science Editor, Susan Watts will be investigating the nature of swine flu (this strain is called H1N1), the speed of its transmission, the treatment, and what - if anything - can be done to prevent its spread. As I write, the number of deaths in Mexico stands at 103. The US administration has declared a public health emergency and the European Union Health Commissioner has urged Europeans to postpone any non-essential travel to the US and Mexico. We'll be discussing our state of readiness to deal with a big outbreak. What are the safety measures the government can take? And with both Relenza and Tamiflu effective treatment for swine flu, and the makers of Relenza trying to up production, do we have enough stocks for our population?

Is there a bigger shambles than the mess over MPs' expenses? Gordon Brown has had to suffer the embarrassment of having his plans for a daily allowance for MPs to replace the second home allowance kyboshed by the opposition, not to mention dissenters on his own benches. Michael Crick will be assessing how much damage this is doing to the government - and the standing of politicians with the voters in these straightened times. We hope to be joined live by the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

And from Washington, the start of our coverage leading to Wednesday's special programme to mark Barack Obama's first one hundred days. We focus on of his most troublesome problems. Obama's decision to publish the Bush torture memos is the most controversial and divisive move he's made since entering the White House. Peter Marshall's been hearing very outspoken criticism from a leading Democrat, Senator Patrick Leahy, who told him: "I don't agree with people who say let's turn the page if we haven't taken time to read the page. We can learn from our mistakes."

And Justin Rowlatt (our Ethical Man) is at the international climate change talks in Washington. Obama wants to lead the world on a new deal on climate change, but he's having trouble rallying Congress. So where is the biggest opposition coming from?

Join us at 10.30pm.


  • Comment number 1.

    And Justin Rowlatt (our Ethical Man) is at the international climate change talks in Washington.

    Wow, so much going on elsewhere I must have missed this latest one. Is there a link to a page for these talks?

  • Comment number 2.

    # 79 on 26 April 2009 @ 9.18 am

    “Unless we can OVERTHROW the whole current matrix - from the lynch-pin of royal patronage, via bogus democracy, right down through destructive education and ruinous nurture, we are headed for a messy collapse.”

    Mr Singleton
    Should any of the above happen, would you stand as a candidate for the post of the President of the UK,
    or take on the responsibility of restoring true democracy or introducing a new type of the education system in this country,
    or would you wish to become the chief nutritionist of the nation?
    If not, have you any other persons in mind?

    By the way, I think your poem about mind & body, oysters & pearls, the World & inventions is great – so much content in so few words!

  • Comment number 3.


    "While I am at it here this morning let me add one more thing. The literature abounds with nonsense about viruses and how they "cause" all sorts of disease processes and do all sorts of strange and destructive things. Get this point - no virus has life, the minimum requirement of which is metabolism and reproduction which requires a cell wall or at the very least, a membrane. For life to exist there must be the ability to take in energy, metabolize it, and then store the energy in a form of information that will allow reproduction of the thing that is "DOING" the metabolizing and reproducing. Therefore, since no virus has the power of metabolism and reproduction, no virus can "DO" anything. The virus is "DONE TO" by sick cells. A sick cell will produce a "bad" virus. A sick cell might even allow a virus entry into its domain. The cell will then "DO" all the "DOING" that is "DONE" - because the virus - not having any life, cannot "do" anything - a lot of otherwise intelligent men have been led down the path by all this junk science being generated in labs around the country, most of it at taxpayers' expense. What we need to do as quickly as possible is, get these people off the dole and get their hands out of the public till. We need to start denying tax money to pursue these stupid projects - and we need to get big government OUT OF THE MEDICAL BUSINESS!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    "'Climate Change' Parlaiment Protesters."

    These people need psychiatric help. It truly is astonishing how the breathtakingly futile aim of 'combating climate change' seems to spontaneously lobotomise seemingly-intelligent people, giving them the belief just one more 'climate change' stunt will persuade the rest of us to join them in their crusade. Haven't they seen the roads are still filled with 'polluting' cars; 'polluting' planes still fill the air with their businessmen and holiday-maker cargo; our shops are still filled with food from all corners of the Earth; and we still leave our lights on? This isn't ever going to change. Human beings have a nasty habit of thinking for themselves.

    In all likelihood, writers of the future will have a field day writing of this hysterical period in Human history.

  • Comment number 5.

    MPs 'second home' allowances and other 'expenses'

    A simple solution would be to accept proportional representation, or one of the variations in successful use elsewhere. In my long lifetime I have canvassed for several prospective MPs, yet have never found a candidate in any party, or even an independant who would support all the policies that I would want from a government. Neither has it been useful to have an MP living locally to me, as I have always preferred to set out my problems in writing, and prefer to direct these to a more effective and appropriate government departments or Ministers.

    Proportional representation could require attendance at Westminster just as any other form of employment requires attendance at a specific location. Alternatively, technology allows debate and deliberation without the mass assembly, out-dated and archaic Parliamentary process, so no second homes or untaxed travel expenses, etc., would be needed.

  • Comment number 6.

    BBC journalist Justin Rowlatt once again demonstrates brillaintly BBC's appalling bias. He stated the Cap & Trade would "satisfy most climate sciences". The overwhelming number of scientists in the world (see The Petiton project) disagree with the AGW hoax/financial fraud.

    Mr Rowlatt went to lost of biased experts to interview, no dissenters whatsoever!!

    Mr Rowlatt showed the Senate hearings featuring the global clown Al Gore. His only dissenters were countering on an economic basis.

    Mr Rowlatt and the BBC continues to ignore the science and demnonstrates their palpable bias for junk science. This isn't a "public service" broadcaster this is a corrupt old socialist antique peddling propaganda. Bin the BBC and its monopololistic license fee

  • Comment number 7.

    #2 Mimproptu

    I'll stand for president of the UK. Don't want any of that party rubbish though.

    Swine Flu

    Don't believe in Bird Flu,unless it is from keeping birds at high concentrations and feeding them anti biotics etc. This is what I have been told was the only accurate model of FMD in the UK in March 2001. Sent to PM Tony Blair, he sent thanks return of post.

    Mods see it was in reply to your Newsnight Special.

    There might be a problem with Swine Flu. Express caution.

    Climate Change

    This is what ex Chief Scientist Sir David King and Nicholas Stern are squabbling over. My work. That's me JJ cos I wrote it. For UN report. Climate change and Africa became agenda of 2005 G8. Stern produced flawed assessment (IMO) of economics of climate change.

    Sir David gave my assessment of climate change/ terrorism assessment global publicity. Mods there are no contact details her, just for reference.

    Stern and King. I'm the Daddy. As President I wouldn't need a chief Scientist. How cool is that. A President who is an ecologist and not an economist or lawyer.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 8.

    Perhaps hardly surprising to find that the Corporate Nazi Bush administration, indeed the whole US political establishment had been in breach of their sacred US constitution. How can we trust them on the climate change question when it is clear that some eco-fascists have plans to reduce at least the UK population by half. No need to provide the masses with productive jobs if you could have plans to dispose of half the population ( the less wealthy ) apart from a small number of virtual migrant wage slaves on minimum income to do the unpopular jobs.

    Al Gore has never come across to me as the brightest tool available in the box, and the same principle would appear to apply to most environmentalists. Environmentalism is potentially far more dangerous to our human rights than Islamofascists portrayed as Iran with nuclear weapons can ever be.

  • Comment number 9.

    ONE (carefully selected) PRESSED MAN IS WORTH TEN VOLUNTEERS (And a REALLY good woman worth all eleven.) (#2)

    If I were 'called upon' in a manner I felt valid, to undo some of the crass misdirection that has overtaken Britain (but only if I felt I had the required abilities) I would agree to 'having a go' at any or all of what you propose, mimpromptu. What I would NOT do, is PROMOTE MYSELF for any position of power.

    Many thanks for approval of the poem 'OF BEDS'. You will have realised it amounts to a test. (;o) You passed - perhaps YOU shuold be President?

    PS Are you related to Mad Madam Mim, who duelled so disastrously with Merlin?

  • Comment number 10.

    Brossen 99

    Please don't make the mistake of confusing environmentalism with deep ecology, if you have. In an environmental studies etc degree, a typical question in an exam would be compare and contrast an environmentalist and ecological perspective on global development.

    Not particularly good assessment of deep ecology but it is convenient. Deep ecology would be more in keeping with Barrie's concept of wisdom etc.

    The media is full of experts called 'environmental campaigners'. Sadly many if asked to go deeper into the subject eg thermodynamics etc on TV would fill their pants.

    Also may I express caution as to the opinions to anyone who uses my pet hate 'Green'. Green can be applied to anything. It is a defence mechanism used to deflect analysis to what is under analysis. Oh 'Green' that must be OK Yah. You have to follow JJ's posts on natural language etc which I find useful.

    Certain people and groups use 'Green' to present an aura of deeper understanding when they have none. Politicians and environmental experts use the word 'Green'. The media very rarely ask, "What do you mean". If they did, this would be the point pants would be filled. Unfortunately I find the media are also 'living within the lie', so do not challenge what is presented as "Green is Good". Anyone remember the film Wallstreet. Only one letter has been changed.

    I have a feeling that lots of legislation is being passed in the pursuit of 'phantom terrorims'. If Governments are taking on an alternative hidden climate agenda you might find out your worst nightmares realised, when it manifests. It will be nothing to do with ecology, deep or otherwise. Just control, but hey, what's new-other than the name.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 11.


    Our all-singing-all-dancing-all-grinning-all-prancing (YouTube) James aka Gordon - Brown, shamelessly using a backcloth of squaddies, has declared that opium poppies are an affront to our VALUES.
    But does he not know that Britain is now a province of Europe, wherein around eight provinces GROW SUBSIDISED TOBACCO? How might value and tobacco be reconciled? Perhaps the answer is TAXATION. Could it be that our Prime Minister has been hiding from the truth, in a cloud of tobacco smoke, unable to see his Moral Compass, and guiltless in the tax hike just enacted? I think not. I am quite sure that ONE HALF of Jekyll and Hyde Brown, knows exactly where his VALUABLE tax take comes from. And when THE OTHER HALF spends it on saving African lives, then his Moral Compass spins with righteous delight. Oh Britain - what have we done?

  • Comment number 12.


    Remember Tony Blair. A lawyer mind. He went potty about computers - saw them as magical - could do anything. We ended up with a whole swathe of dumb schemes, sold by sharp salesmen. I have likened Obama to Blair in so many ways - now he is getting excited over SCIENCE. But does he know how far science has strayed from the scientific method; rigour and humility?
    Not likely - he is a lawyer mind, just like Tony. Oh America, what have you done?

  • Comment number 13.

    Entertaining answer, Mr Singleton.
    Me, mad or a President? What an idea!
    I’m more into mucking about with this and that.
    If I’m consciously into anything on the politico-socio-intellectual side of things, it’s promotion of sound ideas, my own or those of others, as they appear to me at any particular time in evolution. The problem is that my position in evolution, as I see it, may not correspond to yours, at a given time, for example. Rather than just slagging off, I prefer suggestions on a take it or leave it basis. Not that some male equivalents of Mad Madam Mim wish to come to terms with the idea. You seem to have befriended at least one of them. Pity, methinks, though I wouldn’t be getting into this correspondence with you, if I didn’t believe that there wasn’t some wisdom left in your bloggings. It seems to me, however, that wisdom needs to be based in reality, if there is any chance for one to find if not sympathetic then at least listening ears.

  • Comment number 14.

    # 9
    By the way, what does (;o) stand for? I’ve noticed Mistress76uk uses funny signs too. With regard to testing, perhaps I’m doing it to you as well, though have no plans to award you any specific marks.

  • Comment number 15.

    I note that Paul Mason's despatch from Gary, Indiana, which was trailed last week to be shown in Newsnight this week, appeared yesterday in the Daily Telegraph. No need to watch the programme then!

    By the way, did the BBC or the Telegraph pay for his trip?

  • Comment number 16.

    KCL #10

    I myself have a bit of a " green " pedigree, being brought up in the Farming community as a " Craven Indian ". Whatever I do I try to impose the least impact on the environment as I understand it and the one thing I will not stand for is university boffins coming along dictating to me how to live my life or do my job. I already run a fuel efficient small car and now some Corporate Nazi comes along and tells me to drive it slower even though I know through my engineering education it will cause more pollution if I do so.

    Back in the 1990s I was a member of a local protest group concerned about serious pollution being generated by or local cement works. The main factor was the use of toxic waste printing solvents as fuel, but I had suspicions all along that it was also the quality of the imported coal. I know about coal due to an early interest in mining, and having carted the stuff around in wagons for much of my working life. Some of the coal being used by the cement works was so bad that even the docker's didn't nick it for free use at home. I suspect that the waste toluene etc was needed to make the coal burn at all under some conditions.

    Anyway, to get back to the story the group was in dialog with the then HMIP and the cement company, I attended the meeting where it was agreed that the latest Flue Gas Scrubber would be installed at the cement plant. They also changed the coal and went back to cleaner British stuff after I mentioned it at the said meeting.

    Also attending the said meeting was a then friend of mine an ex Greenpeace activist who had once been arrested for blocking the outflow pipe at Selafield. He ran an old LWB Land-Rover, which he needed because he lived at a remote farm in the next valley. I never met his wife but it was always arranged that she was out when I went to visit him for a chat. We had lots of interesting discussions on the " environment " and like me he resigned from the said group after the Scrubber project was agreed. The group tried to keep going but the only people left in it had the sole purpose of closing the quarry and theoretically increasing the value of their homes.

    Soon after the scrubber was agreed my friend decided to move away, but this may have been colored by the fact that his wife was experiencing problems with her job a head teacher at a remote school. It got into the national news that the said school had cancelled Christmas due to the bad behavior of the children. I can just imagine that if said headmistress was trying to preach eco-fascism to children brought up on farms there would be some friction.

    I do not buy the current preaching that a small amount of CO2 is a bad thing, one naturally occurring big volcano could put out more CO2 than man can ever save. The proposed 80% reduction in man made CO2 is unachievable without drastically reducing the population, yet more CO2 in the atmosphere could improve crop yield to feed more people.

    If the sea level could rise we should be concentrating on improving our sea defenses, not acting like King Canute attempting to stop climate change by cutting CO2.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hope Susan can shed more light as to why cases outside Mexico have not been fatal or it seems those affected very ill? I really want a better picture of how things developed in Mexico - they seem to have been overwhelmed in a fairly short space of time?

  • Comment number 18.

    TO SLAG OR NOT TO SLAG (#13 and 14)

    Nice to encounter some gravitas Mim. I like to think that my slagging has some substance (and, on a selfish level, offers me catharsis).
    As for the 'horifiz' (:o) (horizontal physiognomy) I use it to deliver what my face would (perhaps) convey, if we were dropping crumbs on some party-giver's carpet. Most of my pomposity is tinged with irony and self-mocking, but some is the real thing - hence reluctance to be your leader. I intend to be perfect by the time they screw down the lid.

    PS Anyone who uses 'methinks' with such aplomb cannot be all bad! Warm regards.

  • Comment number 19.


    I have always wondered what the volcanic contribution is. Also, now that the TRULY VAST mass of frozen muck, up Arctic way, is thawing, has anyone quantified the methane output?

  • Comment number 20.

    It's looking like the Obama Administration is finding out that real life is not like a Disney Movie.

    And that redirecting a pendulum that has probably swung too far one way is like changing the course of an oil tanker (how apt) and might take time and a bit more subtlety than trying to whack it with a mallet in the other direction, from foreign affairs to climate.

    Speaking of the latter, I am glad our new International (I'm guessing Global has unfortunate connotations) Ethical Person has flown back out West again to cover what those on the ground there already could not, with all those contacts he built up before, and expertise in the field.

    At least he managed to find this pre-Copenhagen, Kyoto's end conference that President O did not attend, but Mrs. Clinton did. As it wasn't linked above here I tried the BBC search (ever the optimist) first, and then even Google let me down. Couldn't catch the title: 'Major Economic Forum'?

    Then over to Congress for testimony from such as a non-cutesy Mr. Gore. Speaking of the dangers in dealing in absolutes, I think I heard him say that 'man-made global warming pollution causes global warming'. Non negotiable. Now, I had thought the debate had moved to climate change, and for some even newer incarnations, but it seems a tough sell to not even concede that man's contribution may well be significant and worth addressing, but possibly not total in the natural scheme of things.

    Anyway, in the spirit of sensible enviROI efforts back home, I have just had a DEFRA PR headed '£11m to protect our seas from climate change '. Actually the headline does not accurately the content of the release (what does these days?), but the words 'drop in the ocean' still spring to mind.

  • Comment number 21.

    19. At 09:52am on 28 Apr 2009, barriesingleton wrote:

    I have always wondered what the volcanic contribution is

    I don't know if this may help, but it may at least set you on a path...

  • Comment number 22.

  • Comment number 23.

    sunspot activity at an all time low, the last time this happened was in 1918....just a thought

  • Comment number 24.

    If in the summer the odious BNP should actually win something might it be the time for Newsnight to examine the question about whether the far right is a cult built up around Hitler or a genuine political movement.

    There is the attitude to climate change, Holocaust "Agnosticism", race "realism", eugenics that is all seemingly based upon false "science" and lies. Additionally there are the reactions to Hitler's niece and the seemingly unsated desire for the "great leader". No great scientific tomes, nobody giving evidence at Nazi war crime trials to show there might not even have been a Holocaust.

    The reason for wanting to know whether they are a cult is simply that in a democracy people understand others by their declarations, but the declarations that some issue do not reflect their genuine beliefs and intentions. They may not even have any genuine beliefs of their own but simply an emotional need to belong to a group and vent their frustration at others.

    Perhaps that is also why they are attracted to symbols and paraphernalia. This summer they may use the carrot and stick - the "carrot" of Hitlers symbol of racial purity the "Heck cow" and the stick of their poetry. Myself I am not a sensitive literary type but to others this could be a hideous experience and may intimidate some in their voting intentions.

    Probably in a few years time though the highlight of their year will still be the bouncey castle at their annual conference-in-a-field - because nobody likes them and they can't hire a hall.

  • Comment number 25.

    #17 streetphotobeing

    I do so agree.

    Also can they tell yet how long the pandemic will last , should it happen? Can it mutate and "dodge" the vaccine that they are preparing, do we have the capacity for a series of vaccines if we get more than one strain sloshing around the globe?

  • Comment number 26.

    leftieoddbod (#23) "sunspot activity at an all time low, the last time this happened was in 1918....just a thought"

    Don't tell New Labour, they'll try using it to explain the economic downturn once their new panic/distraction has blown over. Still, perhaps being Scotish or recently married or something like that helps one fight off Swine Flu? In Israel that's not Kosher so it's being called 'Mexican Flu' allegedly - which as pointed out here, seems a bit harsh on Mexicans, but then Mexico is way down in the 70s on the Transparency International league table....

    What happened to the age of austerity and 'the downturn' - did the media get bored already?

  • Comment number 27.

    Once again we see the strong balance of opinion on catastrophic global warming (rebranded "climate change") from members of the public strongly sceptical about the whole thing.

    Meanwhile the BBC continues to show they will not report this scam with "due balance". Once again we see free reporting of news replaced by supporting the government line.

    I have asked the BBC why they will not allow a formal debate on the subject between experts on both sides but they declined to reply. Perhaps the answer is obvious since such debates have uniformly been victories for scepticism.

  • Comment number 28.

    This is alarming :

    "Doctors don't have swab kits so we haven't been tested"

    Crikey basic stuff, get it sorted !!!

  • Comment number 29.

    streetphotobeing (#28) Given that IQ tests are a bit non PC these days, does our NHS really have enough supplies of tests for ignorance/irrationality? In Mexico, deaths definitely attributable to 'swine flu' so far are how many exactly....?

    Is anyone counting temperature rise and red faces as tell-tale signs of hyper-excitability_but_should_know_better syndrome yet?

  • Comment number 30.

    JJ you need to understand the value of drama and excitability_you_should_know_better.

  • Comment number 31.


    Search 'Electric Universe'. The sun is not a Hydrogen bomb (stand down chaps) it is electrically driven, as is the earth. The Sun's magnetic field is 'busy' too - like the earth. Don't Tell Al Gore. 2012 anyone?

    PS Did Margaret Thatcher REALLY have a freezer full of TINNED FOOD as stated on BBC radio? Wasn't she supposed to know a bit of chemistry? Anyway - looks like we all need to stock up!

  • Comment number 32.

    barrie (#31) "Anyway - looks like we all need to stock up!"

    Are they selling anti-gullibility shampoo/soap etc in the supermarkets already? I know we're helpfully subsidising pro free-market de-regulationist landmarks, but really..... ;-)

  • Comment number 33.

    #19 Barrie


    I got the rough draft of the last UNEP IPCC climate model (4th). There must have been a 1000 pages in pdf. As far as I am aware from that draft, as the methane deposits have not been quantified in terms of what they will release, they do not play any part of the climate models.

    They didn't even factor in a guess estimate etc. It was the draft model, it was 3 years ago, 1000 pages and I am working from memory. (The file is on my other computer). So I could be mistaken or the methane deposits could have been factored in later.

    If they haven't then potentially the climate models are underestimating the problem.

    Brossen 99

    Limiting Factors and CO2

    As far as I am aware CO2 is never a limiting factor in plant growth. Perhaps in a well watered, poorly ventilated greenhouse on a hot day only.

    Do a thought experiment. CO2 concentrations are even over the planet. Consider the tropical rain forest. High temp, high rain fall, 12 month growing season. Go anywhere else eg desert, water is limiting factor. Go away from the equator colder temperature and reduced growing season (light) becomes the limiting factor. Or it could be nutrients nitrogen etc.

    Increased CO2 will not increase food production because it is never the limiting factor in natural systems to plant growth.

    Barrie might enjoy the last reference

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 34.

    #27 Neil Nine Percent

    Forget the argument of for or against climate change. Climate change is just a symptom of planetary ecological life support system collapse. That is problem, we need to solve the cause not discuss the symptoms.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 35.


    Where is your lateral thinking JJ? Tinplate (mining - refining - steel industry) label: (paper and printing inks glue) wide range of foods (veg = labour intensive - animal husbandry - seasoning - colourants etc)

    If 6+ billion, stock up on tinned food, we can be trading ourselves to oblivion in no time. AND THINK OF THE LOANS AND DEBT!!!!

  • Comment number 36.


    April 26
    April 27
    April 29

    Now, how many people die from flu each year on average (in Mexico)? and why do infectees recover?

    Can we get back to the behaviour of venal Financial/Business Service predators and why teh Liberal-Democracies aren't as sound or benevolent as cracked up to be, or is that whole idea now subject to revision/confidence trickstering too?

    I don't know about police-persons looking younger, but it certainly seems to me that the media and population in general is looking much 'younger' cognitively. Is that what all that talk about 'gree-shoots' was about?

    Don't you just love it when people say 'that's not relevant!' and flounce, as if they DO know what's relevant ;-)

  • Comment number 37.

    KCL 33 you are just plain wrong to say that increased levels of CO2 do not make plants frow faster. This experiment has been done many times. It is currently being done on a planetary scale with observed increases in tree ring growth.

    34 I seem to see a backing off from the global warming scam the entire Luddite movement has been trying to scare us with for 2 decades. Clearly it is no longer possible to claim that catastrophic warming is happening in the light of the fact that it is cooling.

    Your "planetary ecological life support system collapse" is, of course, utter nonsense & has been since the eco-fascists promised in 1970 that we would have it by the 1990s. The eco-fascists have promised literally dozens of world catastrophes to choose from & trillions from us & time has proven that not a single one of them was anything but a pack of lies.

  • Comment number 38.

    #37 neilninepercent

    "KCL 33 you are just plain wrong to say that increased levels of CO2 do not make plants frow faster. This experiment has been done many times. It is currently being done on a planetary scale with obs"

    Could you forward a link to your assertions that plant growth will increase with increased CO2 as any research done to date has shown that coupled with increased temperature then the opposite is true as one needs to increase available water and other nutrients.

    Climate myths: Higher CO2 levels will boost plant growth and food production

    The media laps up fake controversy over climate change

  • Comment number 39.

    "By adding CO2 to the atmosphere around the plant, a 40% crop increase was achieved" etc. etc.

    This is a well established fact. What you are saying is that if "coupled with (sufficiently) increased temperature" there will, on some cases, be less growth. In the same way one could prove that praying over plants worked since plants grow better if prayed over than a sample group which were not prayed over, combined with somebody taking an axe to them.

    Deliberately changing other factors to distort the results is the antithesis of science & further evidence of the complete dishonesty of virtually the entire eco-fascist movement.

  • Comment number 40.

    #39. neilninepercent

    I prefer to rely on peer reviewed articles not a one man band Karl Loren

  • Comment number 41.

    #40 cynicalHighlander

    Google 'The Petition Project' and there's 34,000 scientists against the scam that is global warming. That should be enough "peer review" for you?

    The Petition Project includes the science on CO2 and it enhancing plant growth. Indeed market gardeners have been using the addition of CO2 in their small plastic greenhouses to enhance plant growth for decades.

    Your reference to "peer review" is because of the corruption of this method by AGW protagonists. Some of the comments I've seen from peer reviewers amount to anti-science and show more concern for "how this will appear" and look. Peer review is zero guarantee of good science (see M.Manns Hockey Stick).

    The UN IPCC's own Reports do not have peer reviewed science. And in particular their computer projections have not been validated and indeed omit key known science of climate (eg. cloud albedo has a large cooling effect on climate) which invalidates their (faliscously warming) projections.

    In fact the entire case for man made climate change rests on a fabrication used by the IPCC, that mans 2% contribution to annual CO2 emissions is 'multiplied' many times over by water vapour. There is no known science of this effect. This is a theory with a mega hole in its entire basis and that fails even basic scientific principles to the point of total ineptitude (and that's a nice way of looking at it!).

  • Comment number 42.

    #41. Spanner7337

    "The Petition Project includes the science on CO2 and it enhancing plant growth. Indeed market gardeners have been using the addition of CO2 in their small plastic greenhouses to enhance plant growth for decades."

    Nobodies disputing that in a small controlled environment one can increase growth by controlling inputs in correct balance but in the wider environment growth is restricted by what is naturally available and those other nutrients are not increasing rather the reverse.

    Climate change: A guide for the perplexed

    Climate prediction

  • Comment number 43.

    #37 neilninepercent

    "KCL 33 you are just plain wrong to say that increased levels of CO2 do not make plants grow faster. This experiment has been done many times. It is currently being done on a planetary scale with obs"

    No I am not plain wrong, I also tried to explain it simply. Just look outside people water gardens, or put fertilizer on them. Because these are the 'limiting factors' to plant growth not CO2.

    Then you have the metabolic potential of the plant to assimilate CO2. It doesn't matter how much CO2 you have something else is usually the limiting factor to assimilation.

    Spanner 7337

    "The Petition Project includes the science on CO2 and it enhancing plant growth. Indeed market gardeners have been using the addition of CO2 in their small plastic greenhouses to enhance plant growth for decades."

    I did include this as the exception that proves the rule. See #33.

    Plants have already got around the problem of CO2 being limiting factor with C4 or CAM. With intense tropical sunlight not being the limiting factor, the take up of CO2 is optimized in other ways.

    For some plants, CO2, which is taken in through the stomata, is not the limiting factor, it is water loss when the stomata is open. So increasing availability of water, will allow stomata opening to be extended.

    This is why we water our gardens and not spray them with a fire extinguisher.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 44.

    KCL post 42 says "nobody disputes" that CO2 can increase crop growth.

    KCL post 38 says "Could you forward a link to your assertions that plant growth will increase with increased CO2 as any research done to date has shown that coupled with increased temperature then the opposite is true"

    So that would make KCL nobody then. Fair enough.

    Having somewhat changed his ground "nobody" #43 says that the only factors limiting plant growth are water & fertilser & "not CO2". Well guess what CO2 is one of many limiting factors. In deserts water is the primary limiting factor, in deep ocean it isn't, but nutrients are. but CO2 is pretty much the same everywhere. This is basic science & there really should be no dispute about it. Yet again we see that the eco-fascists will, with a straight face, argue that black is white.

  • Comment number 45.

    #44. neilninepercent

    Using insults and rhetoric to justify an argument is how most entrenched AGW deniers work rather than true facts. Using your 'analysis' then one can increase growth by increasing nutrients without restriction which then creates reverse osmosis and susequent dehydration, there are limits to growth in all things and you can't exceed that by adding more nutrients.

  • Comment number 46.

    #44 neil nine percent

    In deserts if water is the limiting factor then increasing CO2 will not increase plant growth.

    In deep ocean if nutrients are the liiting factor then increasing CO2 will not increase plant production.

    So in neither of these cases is CO2 the limiting factor. Thank you for ponting out I was correct.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 47.

    44 it was KCL not I who said he was "nobody", I merely pointed it out. If actually read what you are criticising you will see that I said water, nutrients & CO2 were each "one of many limiting factors" so attacking it for saying that nuitrients or water were the only ones is rather silly.

    45 See the above answer. Also note that the Sahara has been shrinking recently apparently as a result of increased CO2, so your first example clearly proves the reverse.

    This is basic science & there really should be no dispute about it. Yet again we see that the eco-fascists will, with a straight face, argue that black is white.

  • Comment number 48.

    #47. neilninepercent

    "45 See the above answer. Also note that the Sahara has been shrinking recently apparently as a result of increased CO2, so your first example clearly proves the reverse."

    More assertions on your part or is there a credible link to show this!

    "It has been reported that the Sahara is expanding south by as much as 30 miles (48 km) per year, overwhelming degraded grasslands,"

  • Comment number 49.

    Again I am asked for a link to prove a basic scientific fact by somebody who deigns to produce one to support his uninformed asertions.

    Who say Africa's deserts are in spectacular retreat. Do you consider New Scientist to be credible or are we back in eco-fascist fairyland again?

  • Comment number 50.

    #49. neilninepercent

    Thank you for that link but that does not justify your assertion "Also note that the Sahara has been shrinking recently apparently as a result of increased CO2," as the shrinking that they refer to is the increase in rainfall and nothing whatsoever with increased levels of CO2 which inhibit growth.

    High carbon dioxide levels can retard plant growth, study reveals

    Don't forget that there is a static limit to water on this Planet and as temperatures rise then there will be less available for plants as more will be held in suspension.

  • Comment number 51.

    The phrase "But there is confusion over why the Sahel is becoming green" in the article seems to indicate that it is less certain of the cause than you claim. In fact the article simply says that the Sahara is shrinking, whichb is what you disputed. To get an exact mathematical calculation of the influence of various factors would obviously be impractical but since CO2 does increase plant growth & CO2 has increased it obviously must be 1 factor.

    I have already commented on the link you provided - to repeat the article does not say that CO2 doesn't increase growth "We got exactly the same results when we applied carbon dioxide alone". It merely says that if you play around with other inputs you can swamp that effect. his is obvious but is not science. By the same method you can "prove" that gravity doesn't work by first lowering your apple to ground level & finding that it doesn't fall any further.

    Again (& again) we see the eco-fascists perverting science & simple truth to push their scare stories.

  • Comment number 52.

    You can keep blowing more and more air into a balloon but there comes a point when it can't take anymore. The same with plants give them to much water and they will die not enough and they will shrivel, its called a balance and exceed that one way or another is detrimental to there health but as it seems your understanding of biological processes are beyond logical thought other than giving people labels no wonder the world is in the mess it is in.

  • Comment number 53.

    Would that my words were so able to determine the way the world is run ;-)

    You are clearly unaware that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is just about the lowest in the entire history of this planet. Plant life evolved to take advantage of higher levels of CO2 than they now live under. he balloon metaphor you are using is almost completely deflated & very far from bursting with a little more CO2.

    Or perhaps you are going to produce some evidence for your plants about to "burst" assertion. To see an "environmentalist" producing some genuine evidence for their scare stories would be a first.

  • Comment number 54.

    neil nine percent

    Check all your post references eg I never wrote #42 you are quoting replies to my posts and referencing those posts to me. You might need to go back and follow and check the thread again.

    Remember sub Sahara Sahel was once forested. metal working up to around 13th is one attributed to tree cutting and burning. It is an artificial desert. Also where did the Romans get all those lions etc from. Was the Sahara once much smaller with woods, forest and grass lands. How much has civilisations of N Africa not sustainably managing the environment contributed to the desert.

    Think how much CO2 could have been released by destruction of once North African forests and grasslands.

    One of the differences between classic science and modern which includes ecology is the number of variables in the system being examined. Eg apple, earth, fall gravity.

    Ecology, systems dynamics, complex systems, climate and earth system models have many variables which are interacting with each other. Non linear, multiple route feedbacks etc.

    Celtic Lion

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 55.

    Of course the Sahara was much smaller in Roman times. This was a period when global temperatures were 1-2 degrees warmer than now. It was even warmer 20,000 years ago when cavemen were drawing pictures of hippopotamus in the middle of what is now desert.

    It is only the eco-fascists pushing the catastrophic warming scare who ever pretended otherwise.

    "Classic science" otherwise known as science is pefectly capable of examining multiple variables by doing experiments with each. What you call "modern science", the Guardian calls "post modern science" & Richard Feynman disapprovingly calls "cargo cult science" is all about putting on white coats, waving your arms & spouting nonsense about not being able to examine things so everybody should just trust the guys in white coats. It produces politically approved stuff like catastrophic global warming, the AIDS epidemic we will all die of by 2000, the global ice age that will get us at the same time, the pollution deaths that will bring life expectancy down to 42 by 1990 & all the rest of the scare stories governments find so useful.

    Such "scientists" are guaranteed coverage on the BBC when they say such things & guaranteed not to be embarrassed by the same organisation when they prove to be rubbish.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.