What it says about you

Here at the bunker, every now and again an interesting article pops up that has my eyes crossing. The one that has me in double vision this morning is car colors.

Apparently there are all sorts of new colors being introduced such as Truffle Mica, which to me sounds more like a dessert. Call me boring, but I’d like to have an idea of where to look in the rows of paint cans by its name. Also it isn’t cheap to come up with these designer visions, apparently Maserati’s Ehoodin says the company spends roughly $1 million per colour. That includes developing the hue, testing the paint on different surfaces, and adding it into production.

Silver remains the colour of choice for consumers worldwide. According to the report,  in the U.S., nearly 20% of vehicles are silver, and a quarter of all crossover utility vehicles are as well. In Europe and Japan, the figure is closer to 30% of all vehicles. Well duh, having had all sorts of colors in cars, from an orange Triumph that had the quaint monicker Vermillion, through various shades of black, red and assorted other hues, my current transport is silver too. I like silver, so it works for me, but the main reason is nothing to do with an ego trip, it is much more sensible.

It doesn’t show the dirt.

I can drive for ages before my sense of what is acceptable makes me visit a carwash. I had a black car once, which gave me visions of the Godfather, and had me seriously thinking about putting the car jack into a violin case but never again. I’d leave the carwash and by the time I got home it already looked like it had travelled through the Australian Outback. As for one of the latest trends, which is matte black – are you out of your mind?

I suppose if you have a portable detailing company on speed dial, or sell enough drugs to have your own chauffeur, then you can indulge yourself, but you still have to fill out the insurance app, and Truffle Mica just isn’t cutting it for me.

Turn the volume up

When there are contrary views, one of the easiest ways to counter them is to SHOUT LOUDER. Al Gore is now doing that with his latest diatribe on the Alberta Tar Sands projects.

The esteemed scientist (giggle) and well paid talking head said the following:

Extracting oil from Alberta’s tar sands jeopardizes the survival of our species, says Al Gore.

“Gas from the tar sands gives a Prius the same carbon footprint as a Hummer,” the former U.S. vice-president told the Star in an interview prior to a Toronto speaking engagement scheduled for Tuesday evening.

“I know that doesn’t make me popular in Alberta,” said the jet-hopping environmental activist, best known for the movie and book An Inconvenient Truth.

“But it’s simply a fact. A lot of money is at stake, but a lot of lives and the future of human civilization are also at stake.”

Note the line about Jet Hopping, maybe that says all that needs to be said about Gore. Facts for him simply never get in the way of a good story or a great headline. What he did get right is when he said a lot of money is at stake. Yes he is completely right here, but it isn’t the money that you think it is, it is the money being siphoned away by an increasingly shrill and desperate Anthopogenic Global Warming community as they see their meal ticket being exposed for what it is – scientifically unproven.

Don’t get me wrong here – I think pollution is a major threat to our planet, our water, our food and our wellbeing, but the emphasis is on carbon footprint, not the toxins that are pervasive throughout our environment and that is wrong, criminally wrong.

Courtesy of James Delingpole writing in the Daily Telegraph

Normally, my comments on this site are a bemused look at an ever stranger world, however I read this, and felt that it needed wider distribution….so here goes….

If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka Hadley CRU) and released 61 megabites of confidential files onto the internet. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That)

When you read some of those files – including 1079 emails and 72 documents – you realise just why the boffins at Hadley CRU might have preferred to keep them confidential. As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be “the greatest in modern science”. These alleged emails – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory – suggest:

Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

One of the alleged emails has a gentle gloat over the death in 2004 of John L Daly (one of the first climate change sceptics, founder of the Still Waiting For Greenhouse site), commenting:

“In an odd way this is cheering news.”

But perhaps the most damaging revelations  – the scientific equivalent of the Telegraph’s MPs’ expenses scandal – are those concerning the way Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause.

Here are a few tasters. (So far, we can only refer to them as alleged emails because – though Hadley CRU’s director Phil Jones has confirmed the break-in to Ian Wishart at the Briefing Room – he has yet to fess up to any specific contents.) But if genuine, they suggest dubious practices such as:

Manipulation of evidence:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

Suppression of evidence:

Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.

Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

Fantasies of violence against prominent Climate Sceptic scientists:

time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat
the crap out of him. Very tempted.

Attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP):

……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back….

And, perhaps most reprehensibly, a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with AGW can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority.

“This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”

“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

Hadley CRU has form in this regard. In September – I wrote the story up here as “How the global warming industry is based on a massive lie” – Hadley CRU’s researchers were exposed as having “cherry-picked” data in order to support their untrue claim that global temperatures had risen higher at the end of the 20th century than at any time in the last millenium. Hadley CRU was also the organisation which – in contravention of all acceptable behaviour in the international scientific community – spent years withholding data from researchers it deemed unhelpful to its cause. This matters because Hadley CRU, established in 1990 by the Met Office, is a government-funded body which is supposed to be a model of rectitude. Its HadCrut record is one of the four official sources of global temperature data used by the IPCC.

I asked in my title whether this will be the final nail in the coffin of Anthropenic Global Warming. This was wishful thinking, of course. In the run up to Copenhagen, we will see more and more hysterical (and grotesquely exaggerated) stories such as this in the Mainstream Media. And we will see ever-more-virulent campaigns conducted by eco-fascist activists, such as this risible new advertising campaign by Plane Stupid showing CGI polar bears falling from the sky and exploding because kind of, like, man, that’s sort of what happens whenever you take another trip on an aeroplane.

The world is currently cooling; electorates are increasingly reluctant to support eco-policies leading to more oppressive regulation, higher taxes and higher utility bills; the tide is turning against Al Gore’s Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. The so-called “sceptical” view is now also the majority view.

Unfortunately, we’ve a long, long way to go before the public mood (and scientific truth) is reflected by our policy makers. There are too many vested interests in AGW, with far too much to lose either in terms of reputation or money, for this to end without a bitter fight.

But if the Hadley CRU scandal is true,it’s a blow to the AGW lobby’s credibility which is never likely to recover.

Trust the Italians

Gianfranco Rotondi said that taking an hour or two out of the working day for lunch “brings the country to a standstill”.

“It is bad for output and also for the harmony of the day.” Long alcohol-fuelled lunches were bad for the waistline, the minister said, and meant that shops and offices often closed down entirely at lunchtime.

They also had the effect of lengthening the working day and preventing parents from getting home to spend time with their children, he said.

Mr Rotondi, who said he gave up long lunch breaks 20 years ago, held up the British and Germans as models of lunchtime parsimony and workplace efficiency.

“A recent study shows that most Germans work through their lunch breaks, while the English only take theirs three days out of five,” he said.

The populace is not taking this sitting down, so there is a little hope for expanding waistlines in Florence. It was lampooned by newspaper cartoonists and criticised by nutritionists, who pointed out that Italians typically have a very light breakfast – usually a cappuccino and a cornetto pastry. Without a hearty midday meal, Italians would faint for lack of sustenance, they said.

Somehow I doubt that the city of Turin is going to fall over in a faint if they skipped one course of their midday repast, but calling the comment an attack on workers’ rights is just a teeny tiny bit over the top rhetoric. Still, the Italians are one of the countries in Europe where living a full life (sic) is important and I for one wouldn’t dream of trying to change that.  Importing Teutonic efficiency to Italy is homogenisation of the worst sort and oh so holier than thou musings of Gianfranco Rotondi are receiving the comments they deserve.

For goodness sake, he really needs to take a pill, or maybe a meatball or two and get a life.

Public spectacles

All through the ages, there have been public spectacles. In Roman times, it was fun to feed Christains and other unfortunates to the lions on a Saturday afternoon. I guess things don’t change too much as we still have Glasgow Rangers matches, which are very similar.

In the Middle Ages, we had public hangings, which was very popular with the masses, and on a less final scale, the stocks, where petty criminals were exhibited.

As you travel through the ages, it is a common theme, however, the one thing that was pretty consistent is that the subjects of these terrors, both small and large were not there by choice. They quite literally had to be carried kicking and screaming.

In the enlightened 21st century, not that much has changed, there are still public stonings in the somewhat less enlightened parts of the world and in the West, well, we have daytime TV.

The Romans would be very jealous. Audiences are in the millions, rather than the thousands, and the victims are all volunteers. Imagine that, no longer having to round up and imprison Christians, all you have to do is make a casting call and they tumble over each other to be part of, or should I say make a Spectacle of themselves.

Also, the other thing that hasn’t changed is the purpose of these spectacles which is to distract the masses from the trials and tribulations of their everyday lives. Sleight of hand by the rich and powerful.

We used to have Caligula, now we have Oprah.

Afghanistan – can someone please explain it to me

I’m struggling with this one. There are coalition troops fighting and dying in Afghanistan and reports from the region say that the fight against the Taliban is being lost. I’m wondering why we bother.

The current government there is only marginally legitimate, propped up by foreign military support and the majority of the political power is held by warlords whose aim in life is to control the heroin trade. I have yet to hear a cogent argument about why we should stay in this god-forsaken country, and please don’t give me the “democracy and freedom speech”. There is no freedom and very little democracy.

The Taliban are oppressive and don’t allow women to be educated. Very true, however how is that different from the majority of hard line Muslim countries? 

I just don’t get it. I can see the point in a post 9-11 world of military strikes against Al-Quada training camps, but this 8 year military incursion simply isn’t acheiving any measurable objective that I can see. Even the Russians, who, lets face it weren’t exactly constrained by the Geneva convention gave up when they tried military force. The place is stoneage and we are trying to win “hearts and minds”…..please, that is political bafflegab of the first order.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising the military effort that is going on. I believe the soldiers are doing the best they can in a difficult and dangerous situation, where IEDs are as common as postboxes. Where I have an issue is with the political mandate.

We have soldiers fighting and dying – can someone please explain it to me…..

Fort Hood follow up

Facts are slowly emerging about the tragedy at Ft. Hood, and it seems that Major Hasan had been in email contact with a radical Muslim cleric. The various intelligence agencies knew about this, and determined, wrongly as it turns out, that this was not an indicator of potential disaster. Additionally, there were a number of people in the process that had concerns about Major Hasan that did not voice them.

My concern in all of this is twofold. Firstly, there seems to have been a conspiracy of silence and it relates to the apparent kid glove treatment of various identifiable groups. If Major Hasan had not been Muslim, would the various people that stayed quiet about his slide into irrationality stayed quiet? I don’t know, but it is certainly a concern.

The second is that we cannot, and must not paint a picture of all people in any identifiable group being of particular concern.

What happened here is tragic, and there is definitely a lesson to be learned. People can and do go off the rails , and irrespective of whether you are WASP, Black, Jewish, Muslim or Wiccan there needs to be intervention when necessary, and that intervention should happen when needed and not be tempered by some irrational desire not to single out a particular group.

Climate Change – Again

It is vitally important that a global arrangement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions leaves a level playing field for all economies, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Saturday as leaders of emerging and developed countries met in Singapore.

Couldn’t agree more with Stephen Harper’s sentiment on this, although I’m very ambivalent about the whole greenhouse gas emissions science, and would prefer a focus on Global Pollution instead. I think there is definitely work to be done to combat global warming, but it needs to be on the side of mitigation, not prevention as I don’t personally believe that we can have any material effect on the sun warming up and all we can do is prepare and mitigate the results.

Irrespective, it has to be a level playing field here. If targets are to be set, then they need to be met by all, not just the developed countries. Anything other is simply a wealth redistribution scheme. The combined populations of China and India are now in the region of 2.4 billion people and they account for half of the global pollution so excluding them is simply folly.

The Third World has discovered a very potent playing card in Global Warming and with the help of the Environmental Lobby has been playing it very well, however it is time to declare it to be what it is – not an Ace but a Joker.

When you gotta, you gotta

The world never ceases to amaze me.

TAMPA, Fla. – Florida police say a man arrested for repeatedly calling 911 looking for sex claimed it was the only number he could dial after running out of cell phone minutes. Tampa police said 29-year-old Joshua Basso made sexual comments to the 911 dispatcher and asked if he could come to her house. Investigators say she hung up, but he called back four more times.

This caused me to inhale coffee, which as we all know is not a pretty sight at the best of times, but after my coughing had died down and I’d wiped the tears from my eyes, I realized that the purveyors of the oldest profession in the world were potentially missing an opportunity. 1 800 Hookers R US needs to get into the 21st century and provide a means for poor unfortunates to deal with those inconvenient times when your cell minutes run out and, well, how can I say it, the pressures of modern living need to be relieved.

Considering that most municipalities are running huge deficits, maybe there is a potential business case here for public/private partnerships. This could help put the sun back into the sunshine state.

Hold Your Horses

Jumping to conclusions is one of my favourite sports, I’m really good at it.

Even I know, however, that there are times when it is just plain foolish.

The current news is abuzz about the mayhem caused at Fort Hood by Major Nidal Malik Hasan. In case you have been living under a rock, Major Hasan went postal and left 13 people dead and dozens more wounded during an attack on a staging centre.

The news media are all over this and are currently making noises about Major Hasan being a radicalized Muslim, and that this wasn’t a soldier, depressed about being assigned to serve in Afghanistan losing sanity, rather it was a deliberate terrorist attack.

I don’t know whether this is true, or the news media blowing things out of proportion, but it certainly isn’t time for a backlash against the many Muslim men and women serving with honour in the armed forces. They deserve to be treated with an even hand and judged on their own merits, as all members of the armed forces or the world in general for that matter should be.

Just like the population in general, there are good people and bad in the forces and every shade in between. It has ever been thus and will probably remain that way.

I’m following this with interest, as I’m sure many of you are, but for me, the story still has to be told.