Tuesday 29 December 2015





Edit 30/1/15: I thought this was worth inclusion...


  1. This is just the beginning of more frequent severe climate events caused by man's continued burning of carbon based fuels.
    Cameron's response is to accelerate the rate of greenhouse emmisions through fracking licenses and reduction in subsidies for renewable technologies.
    A man clearly not in touch with reality.
    The right wing neoliberal global cabal are shortly going to have to face the fact that there is a price to be paid for everything and that there really is no such thing as a "free lunch" (to quote those great exponents of voodoo economics...Thatcher and Reagan).
    We cannot continue with the outdated orthodoxy currently being practiced by politicians where eternal economic growth is possible through reiterating the policies of the past.
    Radical solutions are required but who is up to the task?

    1. I hate to bring this up, but we're still coming out of the medieval mini ice age. *Of course* the global temperature is going up.

      Look up the Greenland ice core data, and you'll see that the current temperature fluctuations that have gotten everyone so worked up are within the normal margin of noise, and we're still colder than 2000 years ago. We're due a warmer century or two.

      It's not us.

      It may still be a problem.

      Taxing specific industries ("carbon credits") isn't going to help.

      The oil is still going to run out eventually, so using it to bootstrap us onto a more sustainable replacement (wind/wave/tidal/solar) is just good foresight.

    2. Illy, I think I am right in saying that in the period of the Black Death the world was not going through a medieval mini ice age, it was in fact pouring, they were starving because nothing was growing in the wet and this contributed to the health of the population which in turn assisted the disease. Yes the weather is continually changing, but can we put hand on heart and say we are not contributing. I agree with this trading of Carbon Credits, not only between companies but between countries has to stop. We need to ensure that we do not have corruption at the seat of government but how do we do this without a media that should be on the people's side when we have corruption in the fourth estate.

    3. The vast majority of the scientific community and now most of the world's political leaders agree that man is mainly responsible for the present levels of CO2 in our atmosphere which is affecting our weather.
      See attached from NASA
      The only people I have heard who claim that man is not responsible are those funded by the fossil fuel Koch Brothers.
      Perhaps if people in the USA were to build less swimming pools we could reduce accidental deaths and carbon emissions at the same time!
      Despite what those on the political right think,climate change is not a Democratic conspiracy designed to curb free trade but an issue which,if left unaddressed,will lead us into irreversible environmental chaos by which time saying "sorry I was wrong" just won't cut it.
      Who are Cameron and Osborne taking their scientific advice from,Nigel Lawson?

    4. We've had this discussion before many times.

      I take the attitude that I haven't the scientific nous to know what is causing the change of climate.

      There are those who say that it is a part of the continuing change over the years; there are others who say that carbon is to blame.

      I tend to err on the side of caution. if it is possible that we are doing it to ourselves then we should try to stop what we are doing. If that isn't the reason it won;t have done any harm to find cleaner ways of living.

      The point of the post however, was that whatever causes the change in climate, it is the government's job to deal with the fallout.

      And it's not happening, because of austerity.

      However when it comes to royalty, lords, MPs, wars and weaponry, there's little sign of austerity. Additionally as someone pointed out, even someone on social security pays more in tax than Amazon or any of the large billionaire banks.

    5. Appeals to authority and missing my point...


      That's wikipedia's graph of four temperature proxies from the Greenland ice cores, our best long-term measure of global temperature. (Note that "now" is the left edge, and back in time goes to the right, don't ask me why it's that way around)

      From that you can see that global temperature has been steadily (but slowly) declining over the last 10,000 years, and that it tends to fluctuate significantly more than recently. The "spike" everyone's complaining about is nothing more than regular fluctuations.

      Remember that guy in England who thinks Salmond deserved everything he got from the media, yet Corbyn doesn't? I'm feeling that you haven't successfully re-evaulated where your information came from in light of the last few years of "the media flat-out-lies to you" revelations.

      Like I said before, it's going to be a problem for us as a species, but it's highly unlikely to actually be us causing it.

      I also don't like having that conclusion (same as my conclusion about guns - just because it's where the data led me doesn't mean I like it), because if it *is* us then things would be a lot easier to fix.

    6. Can you direct me to the Wikipedia sites that this image is used in?

    7. Illy, over to you....

  2. You can easily imagine the media, feeding frenzy, if the Scottish Government found itself in the same position, as that the Westminster Government now finds itself.
    There is no sustained attack on the Tories, from the BBC on MSM; strange that, eh?

    1. I've noticed that, Jim.

      It should be headlines every day. But it's not, and you're right, they would have jumped heavily on any failings on the part of the Scottish government.

      I recall a few years ago when we had incredibly heavy snow fall, and there was mass disruption in Scotland because of it, including the closure of Edinburgh Airport, the media eviscerated the Transport Minister in Edinburgh. Much less was said a couple of days later when the storm spread and Heathrow had to shut down and England came to a standstill.

      Oh to have the press on your side!

    2. Tris, it didn't help that the then Transport Minister didn't have a bloody clue. His response was frankly awful and the difference when Keith Brown took over was notable. First time there was an issue under his watch he too positive action. It wasn't the media's fault but the consequences of giving your ally a ministerial post. I and a few others got caught up in the problems.

      I'm in a right cynical mood today. Partly because some silly bitch complained that "she thought I was leaving the car park but you were only putting shopping away."



    3. True, but the fool in London was even worse....

      Not the day to go shopping Zog...

  3. tris
    The right wing neoliberal global cabal are shortly going to have to face the fact that there is a price to be paid for everything and that there really is no such thing as a "free lunch" (to quote those great exponents of voodoo economics...Thatcher and Reagan).

    Tris there is and always has been a free lunch for the wealthy plutocrats and their minions any price to be paid is always paid
    as charged to the toiling masses
    Its called capitalism its how it works you cant change it you cant reform it you have to kill stone dead

    1. Oh you defeatist you Niko, you can never win if you never fight. See I told you that you only won one battle not the war, that is still to be fought.

    2. But they have been facing that for a long time Niko. They just don't bother about it.

      And you don;t get a clearer example of how they are never hurt than the banking crisis and financial crash of 2008 onwards.

      Who's paying for that?

      The people that caused it? Or the people who had nothing to do with it?

      Has there been any constraints on the royals, parliament, banks, big business? Are bankers suffering?

      On the other hand everything from unemployment benefits to the wages and conditions of firemen, nurses, etc has been frozen.

      Except in Iceland, where they jailed bankers, sacked the government and bailed out the people.

      And guess what? Iceland is back working fine again, despite being bankrupt 7 years ago. And it has free education, good social security, excellent health facilities... Not a socialist paradise (because I've seen them, and paradise isn't really a good adjective for them), but a totally functioning capitalist state that cares about its people.

  4. I have some business contacts in Carlisle. I understand that part of the problem there is construction of new houses on the natural flood plain of the rivers, preventing spill away and backing water upstream. It was implied to me that some people are able to magic planning consent for sites, so long as they know who to ask.

    Its not just the Conservatives cutting budgets. We have a bigger problem. Construction on low lying areas. Containment of watercourses. Silting up of rivers that are not dredged any more. Perhaps a holistic approach may be more appropriate than a blame culture. It is well known the Ouse floods. So does the Danube. It has done for centuries. Its not really the fault of the SNP ( or it would be front page of the Daily Unionist).

    It is not pleasant being flooded - happened to me once - an inadequate culvert on a trickle of burn - til the snow melts. So I sympathise with those affected. But it is not the particular fault of any politician. For us to pin the tail on Dave is just like the BUMS blaming us for cracked bridges. Was the problem solved when that War Criminal ran the place? Carlisle flooded in 2005 after all.

    I see the Mississippi is getting floods too. So perhaps the problem is less localised than we are being told.

    Saor Alba.

    1. We had a similar problem to your wee burn, a culvert in a shopping centre which was neglected till it flooded the place and the houses round it. We have places which were well known as places which flooded. We called them Inches, the Council built houses on one in Edinburgh but I do not remember it flooding, the bit that did though that self same culvert was indeed very close to it.
      I certainly agree with this not being a localised problem, drought in California, and too much rain elsewhere. Places which normally have snow have none and places which shouldn't have, have. Never mind when the rich and the greedy of this world are suffering along with the rest of us something will be done, not until. Looks like Ridley Scott was not too far wrong all those years ago with his portrayal of the weather in his cult classic Bladerunner.

    2. A lot of what you say is down to the fact that budgets have been cut.

      At least in England, the environment agency's budget has been reduced, so they can no long afford to dredge rivers or have people unblock culverts.

      It reminds me of when they privatised water in England. The new profit making companies decided to cut back on the people who used to look after the feeds into the reservoirs. Men or women who walked over the hills and scythed long grass out of the ditches, and removed build ups of leaves or kids' dams so that the water flowed down tot the reservoir. It must have saved them a little amount over the year. It also meant that when there was a hot summer they ran out of water.

      But who cared. People had to pay their water charges anyway, whether there was any water or not.

      Of course you're right. They build on flood plains. people always have, I guess. It's good to be near a river for lots of reasons. I've love a stream running through my garden! But obviously there are also economic reasons for it.

      But they continue to build on flood plains, and I read somewhere a few weeks ago, that a large percentage off the land set aside for new build in England, to fulfil Osborne's promise to provide "affordable" housing, is on flood plains.

      Cameron isn't to blame any more than the great North Briton, or the war criminal. But under the Tories they have slashed spending.

      Everything except the things that are important to them is fair game.

      And now people are angry.

    3. Yes Helena, Scotland is not free of these things either.

      Neglect of drainage is seriously dangerous, and there are many places where they have built on flood plains.

      I heard an expert from the Netherlands this morning saying that they had discovered that they simply had to widen the rivers. That mean compulsory purchase of land, knocking down of proper and allowing the river more space. I'm inclined to think that if anyone knows about floods, it is the Dutch.

      In South America large parts or Paraguay, Uruguay, southern Brazil and northern Argentina are flooded due to unprecedented summer rain. And Missouri, Danny's state is suffering floods.

      Last year the south of France was flooded seriously badly...

      We need some action from the government. The USA needs to tell them to spend some money otherwise the Russians will send a submarine up Margate high street. That will make them dig deep.

    4. Would not disagree with you with regard to money not being spent on things which are needed. I worked for the Highways Department, first in Lothian Region, I am showing my age, and later when they reconvened City of Edinburgh. When I started 1975, we cleaned gullies, we weeded the gutters and kerbs, by the time I finished in 2000, weeding was no longer a priority hence more repairs will be required, a dandelion can do one heck of damage far less the weeds which are coming through the tar. Leaves were cleaned up by the Cleansing Department, I think Dunfermline is the last bastion of the Scaffy with a barrow. Sometimes cleaning is the answer to some of the flooding. Sometimes it is not. I think the one country in the world I would take seriously on the subject of flooding is the Netherlands, they are experts.

    5. It seems that they imagine that they can save money but cutting out functions, which in the long term are necessary.

      Short term management. It's the UK all over.

  5. The Captcha there was pix of kayaks. Should I have sniggered?

    Saor Alba

    1. Ha ha... I wish I could say that I had some responsibility for that!!!

  6. Global warming, the UK national debt, PFI repayments etc etc are all for future generations to tackle - nothing whatsoever to do with present governments!

    1. I was a bit worried about you. I thought you might have been blown off your wee island and had visions of you swimming towards the lights of the pub.

      UK debt? Surely after all this prudence from generations of Tories and crypto Tories they don't have any?

    2. Glad someone missed me - I was on my annual pilgrimage to Byblos to visit the in-laws....

    3. Looks like an interesting place to visit.


    4. Tris, incidentally despite all the problems in Lebanon their first question is always "Is Niko still as daft as ever?" I have to stand up for him and say "Not all the time"

    5. jimnarlene,

      Yes, lovely place and lovely people despite adversities...

    6. Yep, course we missed you.

      I can imagine. Why when I arrive in Paris I'm hardly out of Charles de Gaulle when someone is asking: "Est-ce que Niko est toujours fou?

      I always say only at the weekend, then I realise that they are speaking French!

      I didn't realise that you went to Lebanon every year. Fascinating place. They really know about refugees, and somehow they cope.

  7. Incidentally, there are claims that Byblos is the old city in the world with the oldest library and there are, unconfirmed, rumours that Conan was their first library manager....

    1. Hmmmmm....

      As he said to Aristotle... I'll get that young whipper snapper Brownlie, just as soon as he's born!!!

  8. It might help if there wasn't £12 billion odd going to overseas aid. Nor does it help that the EU effectively pays farmers to uproot trees.

    While politicians need to be seen at disaster sites, they really need to get out of the fucking way and make their comments at the side. None of them give a shit unless it is in their own patch.

    Both UK and Scottish governments need to put the priority of their own citizens first and foremost. Once that is sorted then we can think about helping others.

    Rant over!


    1. Couldn't disagree with you more there, Zog. Over seas aid is important, as is "looking after our own", we the " British " in the past have raped countries all over, it's about time we paid them back; and then some.
      Some contrition, from the government, accepting past misdeeds; would go a long way in repairing international relations.
      "Hitting above our weight", should mean we are capable of accepting our past strength was built on the backs of the oppressed, a host of the world's problems can be laid at our feet, thanks to our predecessors.
      We must break the mold, and repair relationships and build bridges, especially if we want an independent Scotland to flourish in peace; with our past and our fellow travelers.

    2. I tend to Jim's view point on this Zog.

      My problem with foreign aid is not that it exists, but that it is incredibly badly targeted.

      Despite India begging us not to send them aid, we do. We also give money to Bahrain, an oil rich nation where they torture opponents of the crown and jail the doctors who treat them.

      We should allow countries to make application for aid money, putting a project to us for consideration. If it is considered worth funding we should fund it incrementally... Here's the first €100,000...when you have completed stage one, come back and ask for the next amount...

      I'd far rather my taxes were spent helping some poor person in Jordan that paying for endless holidays for Princess Tubby and princess Goofy.

      If we need to save money there are many other things we could cut. Royals only need one palace, not 6. If they only had one palace then they wouldn't need all the priceless art that they have, because there would be a lot fewer walls to hang it on.

      The government wastes endless amounts of money on other things.

      The state crown for example is exactly how much use?

      As Jim says, Brits kinda owe people rather a lot.

      Foreign aid just needs to be more effectively manages, as does every department.

    3. Good article on the floods in Scotland by John Robertson. Hope it's ok to post this:


  9. have peek boo at the mans work.
    Princeton U. Physicist Dr. William Happer. A very interesting take on climate change.

  10. Off to the pub to strut my stuff on the dance-floor so can I wish you all a very Happy New Year! Bliadhna Mhath Ur, a chairsden!

    1. Well, I hope the minister doesn't see you, or you'll be in trouble!!!

      Say Happy New Year to Angus for me...

      Bless you, John, Have a great night....