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Wednesday 9 September 2009

Sarah McDermott | 17:46 UK time, Wednesday, 9 September 2009

In 89 days time more than 180 countries will gather in Copenhagen to thrash out a new international deal to tackle climate change. Tonight Susan Watts will be asking if there's sufficient political will to make the talks a success.

Justin Rowlatt has been at Heathrow Airport as Rochelle Wallis, the Canadian woman who became one of the first people to fall foul of the unintended consequences of rules brought in last year to stop forced marriages, prepared to leave the country. In a letter to Mrs Wallis the Home Secretary Alan Johnson described what was happening to her was "an inconvenience" - she says her marriage has been ripped apart.

The mother of WPc Yvonne Fletcher who was murdered by a Libyan gunman in 1984 fears that the release of the Lockerbie bomber means she may never get justice for her daughter's killing. Queenie Fletcher has been speaking to Jeremy.

And on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the discovery of DNA fingerprinting Claire Marshall has been speaking to its inventor, Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, and to Kirk Bloodsworth - the first man to be freed from death row in the US by DNA evidence. Have you taken a DNA test? Join the debate here.

Do join Jeremy at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Perhaps alleged Copenhagen Climate Change deal is just an excuse for the biggest ever stock market parasite investment scam, all in the name of King Canute. London Market back over 5000 as a result of Panda's virtual welfare state for the parasites, the false economic growth generated on alleged climate change projects could keep it there in at least the short term.

  • Comment number 2.

    from mimpromptu to thegangofone
    I thought I'd enlighten you further on JadedJean's identity.
    Well, Jean really stands for jeans which sometimes are jaded. But this is not the end, as a certain lady called Jane has just the right name to have been used in this 'sophisticated' game invented by two 'representatives of Symbolism'. Names like Jay also fit the bill very nicely.

  • Comment number 3.

    #2 continuation from mimpromptu re: jj's identity
    thegangofone
    I thought I might as well let you know about other symbolic devices that are being used: they involve numbers, they involve lookalikes and, as you've rightly pointed out, there are other devices that are being used, like the ones that permit justification for expressions like 'walls have ears'. Now, they are much more difficult to ignore as they do have a direct interventional ability to follow a person's daily life. Should stalkers have access to those, they can make the life of their object of desire rather unpleasant and infuriating. I would consider use of such objects as illegal but then who am I to make any judgements? I'm but mad Madam Mim being chased by Merlin as per Walt Disney's film 'The Sword in the Stone', according to Barrie Singleton (please see #25 on the previous page).
    It's a real shame I have to occupy my precious time with posts like this as I would prefer to put it to much more valuable use by contributing, for example, to some constructive and positive cause.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi,

    scrap all the TV cameras and policies that breed fear and curtain twitching and ID cards,

    suggest dna details could catch many criminals ie 40 % of burglars, most serious criminals,

    perhaps the database could be voluntary and police could concentrate their efforts on those not on it

    best wishes

  • Comment number 5.

    SCIENCE - DAMNED SCIENCE - AND BLINKERED 'TRUTH' CALLED SCIENCE

    I have tried to alert Susan Watts to the an electrically suffused (plasma) universe, whose parameters have been defined and integrated over 50 years, and which now constitutes a paradigm that 'out performs' the Big Bang (gravity-only) universe when tackling the more perplexing phenomena of cosmology. She seems uninterested.

    Electricity flows in plasma and can induce further flows, magnetic effects, attraction and repulsion. Earth's electrical activity is not just lightning and Aurora - we are PLUGGED IN to the Electric Universe.

    To take the unproved (unprovable) CO2-based heating as the lone source of temperature rise (if such there be) without even a glance at 50 years of available scholarship, to my mind, is to be a poor scientist.

  • Comment number 6.

    #5 from mimpromptu
    Whatever you're up to Mr Singleton, take care not to get an electric shock in return
    sweet dreams

  • Comment number 7.

    brossen99 (#1) & Barrie (#5) It's a clever way of raising taxes from a generation which is 'into the environment', isn't it?...

  • Comment number 8.

    JadedJean #7

    You slightly missed the point about taxation, wind farm subsidies ( ROC's ) are a PRIVATE TAX paid in subsidy to the energy companies. I believe that we are already paying on average one quid a week on energy bills, this is soon set to rise to four quid a week if the government reaches its projected wind farm generation target. They recently suggested something similar to fund faster broadband connections with a private tax on phone land lines.

  • Comment number 9.

    WHILE YOU ARE IN CONSPIRACY MODE JADED JEAN:

    What is behind the decision of the medical overlords to decry the British 'Staff of Life' - booze? I get the feel it is timed for the election, but am not smart enough to join the dots. Who is going to gain the most votes from this?

  • Comment number 10.

    "xx days to save the world!" Oh, dear, it sounds like another Independent front page. The planet doesn't need saving, the science is based on Green hair-shirt politics. The only reason the governments are so keen on it is that it gives them a whole new raft of excuses to tax us more.

  • Comment number 11.

    So Franny has flown to New York to launch her film in 45 countries, Milliband is just back from South Africa and the BBC spends £10 million a year on flights. Just the sort of people to be debating about excessive flying. Please spare us any more of this rank hypocrisy and go back to reporting the news instead.

  • Comment number 12.

    When I see all this worthy coverage of the run-up to Copenhagen, I feel like the little boy in The Emperor's New Clothes. Please, please, please, can a serious BBC programme actually analyse the climate change issue, rather than follow the orthodox line? What price the Corporation's impartiality?

    I am dumbfounded by the politicians' conviction that they can actually control something as complex, unpredictable and non-linear as the earth's climate by changing one variable - when the effect of that variable is not even known. This could be the most expensive policy mistake in history, and no one questions it.

  • Comment number 13.

    Just one or two good volcanic eruptions and millions of tons of Co2 will be blasted into the atmosphear.This makes a mockery of eforts to reduce man made Co2 emmissions.In the last few years we have had Mount St Helens,2 or 3 in Indonesia one in the Alutians plus one in the Carabean.Global warming is cyclical and the truth of it should be told.Some people love to get all excited about a cause,be it enviromental or religion or ufo's,they need to step back and take a deep breath and be honest to themselves.Traveler6

  • Comment number 14.

    WE'RE ALL YELLIN' - BUT THEY AINT LISTENIN' TEX. (#12)

    Plenty of folk on this blog are in agreement with you Frank. Susan and the Milibands get paid either way, so what the heck - eh?

  • Comment number 15.

    The police are asking people to "volunteer" their DNA. If you refuse to "volunteer", you become as suspect in a serious crime and are investigated. That does not sound very voluntary to me.

  • Comment number 16.

    Very sensitive, moving and empathetic interview by Jeremy with Queenie Fletcher on the release of Al-Megrahi. Thoroughly excellent.

    Loved Claire Marshall's report on Sir Alec Jeffreys about DNA testing, and agree with the innnocent former death row person from the US who wants Sir Alec to gain the Nobel Prize. It is thanks to people like him that innocent people are not wrongly sentenced to death/long incarcerations, and that the right person is caught.

  • Comment number 17.

    from mimpromptu to those who're following the unravelling of the mysteries surrounding some of the NN bloggers:
    At #6 I mention some of the symbols used by jj while yesterday I also spoke about a colleague of his whose name is julian. Now, his favourite number is 3 and he likes names and words like:
    Alex, as an Alex reminds him of himself,
    graph or demography, it's something to do with his name
    boy, it's something to do with his past experiences or lack of them
    Just like I frequently spot jj's lookalikes, I also spot graph's lookalikes with regular frequency, etc

  • Comment number 18.

    3. At 0:30 am on 10 Sep 2009, mimpromptu wrote:
    #16 from mimpromptu

    Mistress76uk

    I share your impression of the quality of Jeremy's interview with Mrs Fletcher. Shame only that the government have been so appaling in dealing with the enquiries surrounding Yvonne's murder, as is the case of the young couple separated by stupid bureaucracy. It's ironic that Alan Johnson signed the letter informing them of his decision with his first name while refusing to grant them an exception to the rule re: forced marriages. It didn't look like Rochelle was being forced into her husband's arms, did it?

    In fact, I thought the whole programme was excellent tonight with Jeremy on in the chair on top form.

  • Comment number 19.

    JJ - HAVE YOU TAKEN THIS ONE IN? (Blogdog permitting)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw&feature=fvw

  • Comment number 20.

    from mimpromptu
    traveler6
    Like your posting at #13
    + Being rather ignorant on the subject of the global warning, it was interesting to read about the contribution of erruptive volcanos to the scheme of things.

  • Comment number 21.

    Don't believe the hype:

    I bought into the man-made climate change - to a skeptical degree - until Al Gore jumped on the bandwagon. Since then, have discovered its a bogus science but the idiots at the beeb still bleet about it like some new religion or something. I do hope that last line of Paxmans on the subject.. "the survival of the planet" was scripted, because if he believes in the man made climate change, its prove that even a relativily smart mind can also be duped...Paxo! your a jurno, do some research buddy..your slacking.

    Baz and link: Watched this only recently. A.Jones is really stiring it up in the US with his megaphone and Docs. Thank God for the internet eh Baz!

  • Comment number 22.

    #19 from mimpromptu
    Barrie
    A good link, that one. Bravo!
    Watched only the beginning and the end but it does look promising.

  • Comment number 23.

    The debate with Ed Miliband and Franny was surreal in the extreme. Firstly, the UK is a very small player in terms of global emissions - whatever we do in the UK has a minute overall impact - China, India, Brazil, the US are the biggest producers of greenhouse gases by a mile. Secondly, Miliband completely ignored the question of the third runway at Heathrow, which just goes to show that when business economics runs into climate change, economics and jobs always wins. The Government merely postures and sets impossible targets for 2050 which it knows cannot be achieved, primarily to placate the climate lobby and to provide grounds for taxing us more than ever!

  • Comment number 24.

    For once you would have been right to get a minister or home office rep on to your programme and beat him over the head on the idiot forced marriage case until he screamed for mercy. I am old enough to have been fed by the Royal Canadian Navy and rescued from a nasty spot in Malaya by New Zealanders and my late uncle fought alongside the diggers under General Allenby. As a matter of principle we owe the old dominions a lot as one Aussie friend reminded me once there were no visas at Gallipoli. The reason that people exist in any system is to decide where rules need to be bent as they did over the embryos and like the copper who doesn't book you for doing 31 mph. Alan Johnson who often looks like the sanest man in the government should be ashamed of himself and might be saked the old ad hominem question 'how would you like it to happen to you?

  • Comment number 25.

    Barrie (#19) Poor propaganda I fear - too much invective etc. I watched some of it the first time you linked it, and put it on teh back burner.

    May I suggest this series instead?. It's more measured and just covers the history. As I see it Obama's campaign and funders inevitably include Wall Street (just as Blair and Brown had people like Levy and Cohen fund raising for them), but that's the USA (NYC) these days, just as London is UK. Free market libertarianism is anarchism technical speaking and the Austrian School and Chicago School is where they breed them. They have just had good PR makeovers. Watch BBC2 tonight, the Crunch one year on...

    I fear the slowly dwindling number of reasonably able people in the Liberal-Democracies (just those in teh upper 50% of the curve) are now so immersed in this ubiquitous makeover/subterfuge that they can't, or they won't, see the cost to shooting themselves and their limited progeny in the foot. They've been very effectively self-indoctrinated as adolescents by the post-war denazification programme and books such as Brave New World, 1984 and Animal Farm that they now fear structure and order as 'nazi'. The more that are educated in not critical (science) subjects, the more effective the 'freedom' (anarchistic) propaganda and the weaker the welfare state and Public Sector becomes. They describe their own self-indoctrination as reality rather than good inductive conditioning. They tell everyone what they 'think' as if what they 'think' is true, when in fact, what they 'think' should play second fiddle to reality (the results of 'pursuit of truth' aka science) and I don't mean all this 'climate change science' either. They 'think that' they are being honest by reporting their mental states, but don't know that mental states are notoriously unreliable, and that this is why behavioural science eschews them!

    Narcissism rules...

  • Comment number 26.

    MY CREDO - DISBELIEVE NOTHING (#25)

    I was deeply irritated by the banal lighting of those 'giving testimony' and noticed, at the end, THREE individuals credited for 'visual effects'.
    But being made primarily for the American audience, I suppose without 'fat and sugar' no one would 'buy it'.

    But having always seen Obama as America's Blair, I knew we had to wait for Toto to pull back the curtain. Whether we are still waiting, remains to be seen.

  • Comment number 27.

    from mimpromptu
    Barrie, if I may call you that, Mr Singleton,
    what do you think of jj announcing at #25 the contents of tonight's NN programme? If I'm not too tired I might go up there and see for myself what's going on in that studio.

  • Comment number 28.

    from mimpromptu
    Re: I liked the images of the Universe and Jeremy's comment to them which finished last night's programme.
    I appreciate that the investment of the money spent on the telescopic project has been justified, especially in the long run. But I refuse to agree that some of the other harmful projects are one bit justified to be paid for the taxpayers as they're nothing but a private, obsessive pursuit of a few obsessional individuals who've lost the plot anyway.

  • Comment number 29.

    mimpromptu (#27) 'The Love of Money' BBC2, 9pm, Thursday 10th September.

    Be extremeky wary of inductive logic - it amounts to 'making stuff up'.

    In science, its only used (as are counterfactual conditionals) under controlled conditions because of their extreme 'volatility'...

  • Comment number 30.

    the climate changer talked about the uk as a rich country. in that lies the delusion. in what way is a bankrupt country rich?

    why didn't justin give the jokey mr bean act on the marriage report that he normally gives to 'eco' reports?

  • Comment number 31.

    Well, according to The Sun today, there is an easy way to combat climate change:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/Green/2629748/Use-condoms-to-cut-carbon-and-climate-change.html

  • Comment number 32.

    Mistress76uk (#31) Guess which (literate) sector of the 'world' population that bit of neocon advice will be most effective upon.....(which types wring their hands most over their little carbon-footprints ;-) ?

  • Comment number 33.

    #29 Jaded_Jean

    "Be extremeky wary of inductive logic - it amounts to 'making stuff up'. "

    This from the poster who brought you Holocaust "agnosticism" and "Hitler was a peace lover" and so on.

  • Comment number 34.

    #25 Jaded_Jean

    "They've been very effectively self-indoctrinated as adolescents by the post-war denazification programme and books such as Brave New World, 1984 and Animal Farm that they now fear structure and order as 'nazi'."

    You are so ridiculous sometimes you are almost a parody of yourself!

    1. post-war denazification - what do you think was going on during the war as it was not a love in by those that love democracy of National Socialist ideas.

    2. Given that mind crushingly obvious fact there was little need for a denazification programme in the UK - though I would kill to know about the still secret way in which Churchill handled British Nazis.

    3. Given the estimates of fifty to seventy million dead in WWII there was not much need to "denazify" as Hitlers mob were clearly evil. There are photographs of Himmlers furniture made from human bone as testified by Martin Bormans son amongst others.

    4. The Holocaust, solid history, tended to put people off in quite a big way too. It was not "made up to put people off "statists" as you have suggested before.

    Today, even if there were sane rational people who wanted National Socialism, where would they find political expression?

    The BNP are " not a Nazi Party" they are " modern and progressive".

    So its a futile cause isn't it.

  • Comment number 35.

    #5 barriesingleton

    "
    To take the unproved (unprovable) CO2-based heating as the lone source of temperature rise (if such there be) without even a glance at 50 years of available scholarship, to my mind, is to be a poor scientist."

    But you aren't a scientist from previous posts you "have done a bit of R&D".

    Of the thousands of relevant scientists there is consensus in the order of 99% that there is proof of human impact via CO2 as the main contributor to climate change.

    From your other posts "you have a brother in hell" and I seem to recall you have a negative view of democracy and a positive view of Hitler?

  • Comment number 36.

    #12 texasfrank
    "Please, please, please, can a serious BBC programme actually analyse the climate change issue, rather than follow the orthodox line?"

    Given that every major power including the US, with the UN, all agree that there is climate change happening due to human impact via CO2 it has been "actually analyse"-d by the thousands of pertinent scientists who all agree.

    So it would be a bit of a waste of time analysing something else if there was no scientific basis. You offer no explanation of why the decades of research that yielded our current understanding is wrong.

  • Comment number 37.

    On the tragic story of Yvonne Fletcher I have to wonder if there is anything in the Libyan claims that the UK was involved in the attempted assassination of Gadaffi.

    Perhaps there is nothing in their claims or a third party (al Qaeda as I believe they actually carried out the attack) is sowing discontent. But perhaps the time is now for "truth and reconciliation" that will prevent future strife and innocent death.

  • Comment number 38.

    There seemed to be nothing in the report on Rochelle Wallis that suggested they were going to fix the problem as soon as possible.

    Are they leaving it for the Tories or the Lib Dems as its a mad implementation of a well intentioned idea?

  • Comment number 39.

    #21 thecookieducker

    "Since then, have discovered its a bogus science but the idiots at the beeb still bleet about it like some new religion or something"

    But you didn't care to say why it is "bogus" so your view is just hot air?

    Its also noticeable that those inclined towards the BNP who pollute this page often make such remarks and never sustain their arguments with boring old facts and figures.

    Such people see "evidence" for the third tower of 9/11 having been demolished - despite the fact that it would have required carrying tons of explosives past the intelligence officers who inhabited the building over a period of months.

    There is the inevitable Holocaust "agnosticism" and the "Jewish Communist International".

    You don't see any genuine facts regarding those conspiracy theories either.

    People who refute the nonsense are called "anarchists and Trotskyites" - or "sane people".

    There were those poor kids in Belfast who were induced to acts of violence against Roma. Perhaps they had been groomed over a period of time or perhaps some ideologue filled their head with racist nonsense.

    Meanwhile in London there was a very decent pensioner killed outside a Mosque - not determined to be a racist attack by arrested youths at this time - and another chap who was kidnapped at knife point.

    The latter was following a BNP leaflet protesting at the local mosques.

  • Comment number 40.

    This latest discussion has maintained my frustration with certain messengers and their messages.

    But also inspired a philosophical notion or two evolving Darwin. As you do.

    'I am in the persuasion business' (Miliband. E)

    Now, how is that going so far? Looking at the Indy, Gruaniad and even here... not so great, really, I'd hazard. And why?

    '...won't realise the scale of the danger until it is too late'

    ...is already suffering slightly as I am still trying to purge the image of Miliband's D. and E. in an office in some Nordic capital, with a papier mache model of downtown Gothenburg they made in tech class last week, pushing around wooden models of crocodiles (plastic ones from China via Toys 'R Us obviously a big no-no) as various Eurocrats run around squealing 'the horror, the horror!' and, hopefully, forgetting to mention ze 3rd runway, which is... er... 'different'.

    And then onward and, er, still airborne, we have Mr. Kennedy of yet another committee I doubt comes cheap, getting us off the notion of 3 long hauls a year. Not so sure many of us this side of the screen have much of a problem with that already (esp. on Ms. Armstrong's quoted stats), but O.....K. Nice to have a quangocrat's package to be well placed to empathise with the public.

    But, but... lest we bash a luxury, let's head over to what by any measure might be deemed a necessity. Phew... we can have green energy (that will meet all the targets, apparently), but 'we' will have to pay. Ignoring what lies behind that little gem to a few sections of society paying tax but not funded by them so much as some, I would have been keen to pursue further the enviROI of that statement. Can we be assured that, if enough wonga gets thrown around, the planet will also benefit too? I am a little unclear, as we head to 70M and counting, TV owning (and licence fee paying -yay!) viewers, where the energy from this and other stuff might be coming from, greenly.

    Like biofuelled 747s, might there not be... consequences elsewhere?

    And while it was interesting that the Eddy and Fanny love in did get to some 'you're rights!' from one side at least, I remain less than clear, and hence convinced on how just saying something makes it, Picard-like, 'so'. That darn persuasion thing again.

    I think the time is right for another poll to show how 'we' are all on board... that is, the pledge bit at least, if not not stopping boarding the planes, as such, unless it is for highly necessary stuff that really should not be brought up, like earning livings, etc (sadly, while Ms. A has produced a noble piece of thought provocation I am sure, and all credit for that, the in-person advocacy was not perhaps as convincing as it might have been in complement. I rather fear Mr. Nixon looked like the soul of televisual conviction and audience empathy in companion, especially when confronted by a questioner not perhaps as 'on message' as others).

    But at least she manged to provoke a truly statespersonlike response from one of our 'leaders' with the gibe on his likely tenure. Haven't seen or heard its like since since 3G, when I managed to drop Harbottle right in it for one of my dark deeds... 'But, but...Sir... it's not faaaaaair...'. Easy to see why the opposition benches quake when such power of wit, speed and oratory is unleashed. And makes me proud to think how the UK is going to be represented in he forthcoming negotiations*. I can imagine the likes of the Chinese reps, whose model of governance I remain unsure if Ms. Armstrong was or was not advocating... in this instance at least... really going for the bared throat approach, concession wise.

    And as for the sound-biter bit exchanges. 'Impossiblists' vs. defeatists trumped by the shining knight of... 'we're doomed in months, but.. er... optimism' (sorry, the attempted claim of realism is a shipping industry -sized 'that's another issue' long since sailed).

    Oh dear. As we're on a water-borne metaphorical streak, this I have just witnessed is what is going to effect a sea change to the careering tanker that is short termism-informed local politics globally and recession-driven public fears, and hence opinion????

    * The last exchange was so telling. Because from what I heard it seems the getting of a deal IS THE TARGET, to pols and media alike. Without, it appears, no great concerns as to what that deal might be actually doing, planet wise. Again.

    I wish I could have watched iPlayer longer, but the further irony of (ex, twice) Ethical Man at Heathrow Airport in light of the above was satire too far.

    I am off now to ponder the notion of the Survival of the Selfish, and how Darwinian theory can be related to the human. We are already a long way from the motivations and actions of a Serengeti Lion pride, and in many cases can be proudly so, but not perhaps so far we should forget that a faltering competitor is still accorded about as much slack as tonight's dinner.

    So I'll keep on doing all I can to improve efficiencies and reducing unnecessary wastes, but for the sake of future generations I might also be paying heed to survival strategies as well, just in case man proves either nothing to do with future impositions nature might visit upon us, or our mitigating efforts are not up to the task if we are. Especially bearing in mind the deeds vs. words of those who already see themselves in other, 'better' arks to the majority, by virtue of being somehow 'unique' in mysterious, though a tad 'more equal' ways.

    Call it Plan 'A' open brackets (contingency)close brackets. I like to keep my options open, especially when the hens currently sitting all above our one basket seem pretty headless, mobile and putting on a lot of excess weight daily.

  • Comment number 41.

    #25 jaded_Jean

    "They tell everyone what they 'think' as if what they 'think' is true, when in fact, what they 'think' should play second fiddle to reality (the results of 'pursuit of truth' aka science) and I don't mean all this 'climate change science' either."

    Yet you fail to grasp that genetic variation is greater within a race than between races and that therefore your race "realism" nonsense has no scientific basis and hence there is no major academic scientific establishment in the world that would support you views.

    That is just an instance. Your Holocaust "agnosticism" is an unsustainable farce. You challenge the climate change SCIENTIFIC consensus - and offer not a single reason why it should be rejected. I could go on and on.

    The far right promote irresponsible views that are propelled by an adolescent need for attention.

  • Comment number 42.

  • Comment number 43.

  • Comment number 44.

    thegangofone (#41) "That is just an instance. Your Holocaust "agnosticism" is an unsustainable farce."

    Please provide us with credible forensic evidence of mass murder. Alleged confessions extracted under duress and used in show trials do not suffice. Evidence of bodies would be helpful. Please explain how there are 14 million today and there were 15 million in the 1930s when the group has an overall below replacement level fertility and is prone to lose members by becoming secular. See Russia's falling population since 1989 and other East European populations in decline because of low TFRs (exacerbated by the collapse of socialism?). Where was their holocaust? Is this their holocaust? Where was the holocaust in North English cities - massive population drops in many. My point here is just to show that there are other possible explanations for missing people at the end of WWII. I am curious as to why people like yourself won't even consider these. It's as if peole like yourself have a vested interest in there having been a holocaust. It's as if it serves a political purpose, an attention/sympathy seeking purpose, and this serves an affirmative action purpose, whilst also vilifying a socialist form of government (Jews were ousted from high power in the USSR in the late 20s and 30s, just as they were driven out of Germany in the 1930s. I'm sure many justly resented this). If it does serve that function, it doesn't even make any difference if there was a holocaust, as there are socialist states where there is no evidence of such a thing. Why should the idea of national socialism itself be vilified? Old Labour was national socialist. Did city populations in England fall after the war because of secret extermination camps or because of low TFRs? Which is more likely?

    My point is that socialist regimes get a very hard time from the USA both in the form of economic sanctions and in the form of threats, if not military attacks (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq), but there's little reliable evidence of more cruelty to their people than elsewhere. So why does the USA do this, and why is the Israeli Lobby so hawkish? Wouldn't you think they would be setting an example by spreading peace, love, equality and tolerance?

  • Comment number 45.

    PRESUMABLY THE SMARTEST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET KNOW THE TRUTH OF IT? (#44)

    Hi JJ. I seem to remember you quoted a Jewish source that supports your hypothesis? Of course, every grouping has its disaffected wrecker, so one voice, and no data,will not do. But (mindful of the revised notice at one camp - not seen it myself) it would appear that h officialdom is 'n the case' Is there wind of any studies that never got reported (so popular a ploy here - especially with Gordon) or rumour of a report-or-two of Jewish figuring, that yielded an 'inconvenient truth' and has/have been buried?

    Just asking.

  • Comment number 46.

    #36 thegangofone

    See my earlier post (#18 on this page http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2008/07/the_channel_4_documentary_and.shtml.

    In particular, on the question of whether human-produced greenhouse gases are the cause of the warming that was observed in the last 3 decades of the 20th century, I suggest you go and read the relevant chapter of the IPCC's 4th assessment report - chapter 9 on Attribution Studies. Shorn of the technical language, it basically says this: we ran computer models without enhanced greenhouse forcing and with, and we found that only the models with it matched what has happened.

    But that supposes that the models are good - and there's ample evidence that they aren't - and in particular that they take into account all factors.

    It's incontrovertible that, all things being equal, more CO2 in the atmosphere will warm it; the question is how much, and that in turn depends on feedbacks. With no feedback, a doubling will result in 1.2C, of which (if you believe the theory) 0.6C has already happened. The only way to get to 2C, let alone Stern's 5C, is to build in strong positive feedbacks. And there's just no evidence that they exist. In fact, if you go and look at http://www.drroyspencer.com/research-articles/satellite-and-climate-model-evidence/ you'll see pretty good evidence suggesting that feedbacks are negative. That would mean that less than 0.6C of the warming is due to CO2, casting severe doubt on the predictions.

    All I said is, there is a case to answer - and there is. It would be great if our national broadcaster would look at it. Otherwise we are left with contrasting polemics like An Inconvenient Truth and the rejoinder The Great Global Warming Swindle.

  • Comment number 47.

    43. At 3:17pm on 10 Sep 2009, mademoiselle_h wrote:
    If the new law was brought in only after the couple got married, shouldn’t the old rule still apply in their case?


    One of my least favourite aspects of where we are headed is retrospective legislation.

    First up I think it was used to grab some more tax booty. Now it seems a tad more sinister.

    I look forward to when I am in power (Bwaawhawa! And no meds to explain that outburst) , as there have been and are now a few concocting stuff in government who it might be fun to turn up to the retirement home in Barbados years hence and greet with: 'You know that act you pushed through in 2009? Well we've made it treason and backdated. Good job we still have an extradition treaty. Nah, you won't need your cardy. We've also fast tracked the ditching due process stuff you started'. Just kneel down there. Oh, and that'll be £50 for the .45.'

  • Comment number 48.

    Addendum (#44) Hopefully, some of the erroneous conjectures on the part of bloggers suffice to illustrate how creative we all can be when we try (angrily) to explain events for which we have insufficient evidence.

    We know that people were dispossessed and displaced in WWII, and we know that most of the European Jews lived in Poland, West Russia/Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, and other East European countries etc. These were all areas which were under Soviet control by 1945. Many Europeans died in the war, some would have been Jewish. Some would have died as combatants too.

    Where would all those peole have returned to as DPs if not to behind the Iron Curtain from whence they came? Who liberated them if not the Soviets?

    I'm curious as to why more people don't even ask these questions? I think it most odd. There is also no doubt that there was a major difference between the original (largely Jewish led according to Hansard, Churchill, Lloyd-George, Woodrow Wilson, Bertrand Russell and many others...) Bolsheviks who were essentially anarchists, and the party which Stalin built up to replace them in the 1930s. The political battle between Stalinists and Trotskyists is legendary. The latter were regarded as enemies of the state, and in cahoots with foreign powers. For some it is very convenient to make out that there was no difference, they were all 'communists'. In fact, Stalinism was very much Old Labour! See Sidney and Beatrice Webb on this. We had no GULAGs in the UK under Labour. Just a NHS etc....

    Seen anarchistic USA and some of their odd claims about the NHS etc? Think of Hayek and his 'Road To Serfdom' scaremongering via General Motors - to what end? That's what Neocons/anarchists/Chicago/Austrian School Wall Street?Madison Avenue free marketeers do in pursuit of money. These are the caring people who brought you the Credit Crunch and teh world's biggest Ponzi Schemes, which benefited who at whose expense? Check out NYC demographics for yourself, and when you do, think predatory elite doing predatory lending to trusting not very bright people...

  • Comment number 49.

    Some matters to make us think again about the CO2 man-made global warming “consensus”:

    31,000 professionally qualified scientists in the US have signed a petition urging the US to reject Kyoto and similar proposals, and saying that “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate.”

    A group of independent scientists has come together to form the Non-Governmental International panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), which has recently issued an authoritative 700-page report challenging the IPCC conclusions. See http://www.nipccreport.org/frontmatter.html

    The Australian Senate turned down a carbon trading bill.

    The US Chamber of Commerce is seeking to put global warming science on trial.

    Mother Nature isn’t playing the game: global temperatures have been going down in the past few years, to the consternation of those who foolishly claim “the science is settled”.

    Perhaps it’s time the BBC took note of what’s happening and recognised there’s actually a (rather important) news story here – and who better to start it off than Newsnight?

    Meanwhile, Fox News is not afraid to be labelled heretical: see http://www.mofopolitics.com/2009/09/09/video-accuweather-coms-joe-bastardi-the-globe-is-actually-cooling/ .

    May I also recommend a website which gleefully publishes articles debunking the orthodoxy: see http://climatedepot.com/ .


    - Mike

  • Comment number 50.

    #31 CARBON MATING

    As governments and the media are so reluctant to acknowledge that human population increase is directly and indirectly the major cause of damage to our planet, as well as of strife, it is worth summarising the report of the Optimum Population Trust:

    "CONDOMS are the cheapest way to fight climate change... putting the brake on global population growth is the most effective way to lower carbon emissions. Contraception would be FIVE TIMES cheaper than any other method of tackling the world's greenhouse gases".

    "The Trust recommends giving free condoms to all women worldwide who want them. The United Nations estimates 40 per cent of all pregnancies are unintended. It's always been obvious that total emissions depend on the number of emitters - as well as their individual emissions.

    The taboo on mentioning this has made the whole climate change debate so far somewhat unreal."

    "The Trust claims its proposals would reduce unintended births worldwide by 72 per cent. The projected world population in 2050 will be 8.64billn
    The Trust says contraception could reduce this to just over 8.1billion - with a potential saving of 34 gigatonnes of CO2".

    So many taboos have been ditched, but it seems that religious beliefs, however contrary they run to the preservation of our planet, must be treated as 'sacrosanct'. I see no reason to restrict my carbon footprint until UN, EU and G20s, etc., put this on their agendas and start to treat this issue seriously.

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi,

    re Rochelle Wallis,

    how many Brits have gone to live in Canada over the years including perhaps Ms Wallis's forebears? how many Canadians died in two world wars fighting with our forces,

    its a completely outrageous decision if not inexplicable, please keep on this one Newsnight, thank you for featuring this story

    best wishes

 

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