The BBC and their - not exactly an about-turn, but certainly a halt - on global warming :
What happened to global warming?
By Paul Hudson
Climate correspondent, BBC News
This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.
But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.
And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.
So what on Earth is going on?
That doesn't mean the BBC (or I) have abandoned the principle that chucking large amounts of CO2 into the air is not a wise thing to do without knowing the possible consequences. But once again the existing climate change models seem to have failed - as so often before. Doubtless they will be tweaked until once more they match the latest data, but this is, in the words of the late Sir Fred Hoyle :
“Bloody bad science,” growled Alexandrov. “Correlations obtained after experiments done is bloody bad. Only prediction in science.”
“I don't follow.”
“What Alexis means is that only predictions really count in science,” explained Weichart. “That's the way Kingsley downed me an hour or two ago. It's no good doing a lot of experiments first and then discovering a lot of correlations afterwards, not unless the correlations can be used for making new predictions. Otherwise it's like betting on a race after it's been run.”
On a related issue, it seems we're not going to run out of fossil energy quite yet - a good thing too, given our nuclear shambles and our green dreamworld.
Energy crisis is postponed as new gas rescues the worldThe advances involve shattering rocks deep underground, freeing the gases they contain. We might even see a self-sufficient United States once more.
Engineers have performed their magic once again. The world is not going to run short of energy as soon as feared. America is not going to bleed its wealth importing fuel. Russia's grip on Europe's gas will weaken. Improvident Britain may avoid paralysing blackouts by mid-decade after all.
The World Gas Conference in Buenos Aires last week was one of those events that shatter assumptions. Advances in technology for extracting gas from shale and methane beds have quickened dramatically, altering the global balance of energy faster than almost anybody expected.
Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive, said proven natural gas reserves around the world have risen to 1.2 trillion barrels of oil equivalent, enough for 60 years' supply – and rising fast. "There has been a revolution in the gas fields of North America. Reserve estimates are rising sharply as technology unlocks unconventional resources," he said.
This is almost unknown to the public, despite the efforts of Nick Grealy at "No Hot Air" who has been arguing for some time that Britain's shale reserves could replace declining North Sea output.
Last but by no means least, the Government are actually rattled enough about the decline of their white working class vote (and the rise of the BNP vote) to try and do something about it.
Wrapping himself in the Union Flag doesn't seem to have worked for Gordon. We have moved into a new phase of the Canute-like struggle against demographic reality and human nature.
A £12m programme to connect with resentful white working-class communities in 130 wards across England and undercut rightwing extremism was launched today by the communities secretary, John Denham.
He insisted it was not the role of the state to combat the BNP. But he said the Connecting Communities programme would address legitimate fears and concerns that if neglected could prove fertile territory for extremism.
The first 27 areas named in the scheme included parts of Bromley and Barking and Dagenham, in London, parts of Birmingham, Stoke and Nottingham, as well as Milton Keynes, north Somerset and Poole, in Dorset. They were identified under criteria including cohesion, crime and deprivation, perceived unfairness in the allocation of resources and feedback from local people.
The funding will be used to give local people the space to air grievances and ensure that the way housing, education, healthcare, jobs and training are allocated do not cause resentment...
He said the communities involved were the least likely to have prospered when the economy was booming and were the most vulnerable to the recession. "It's not surprising that they may question whether they are being fairly treated and to worry that others are, unfairly, doing better. Not entirely surprising that feeling unfairly treated can lead to resentment or worse."
Denham said it was necessary to make clear that the government was committed to making sure that every community in every corner of the country knew it was on their side. "No favours. No privileges. No special interest groups. Just fairness," he promised.
Trouble is, when you say to a community that you're 'on their side', who are the other side ? If you're on everyone's side then you're not on anyone's side.
I'll be interested to see what the Connecting Communities initiative actually does with the money.
"The funding will be used to give local people the space to air grievances" - and then you'll call them racists. How much space can you get for £12 million ? And as for it not being the role of the state to combat the BNP, look at the initial list of recipients - Blackburn, Barking (4 areas), Stoke, Broxbourne etc. It'll be interesting to compare them with local council election results.
When immigrant communities riot, or let off bombs of Tube trains, the concern of the Government, not necessarily having much clue about what's going on at street level, is to find 'community leaders' or minority organisations to throw money at. Throw enough money and a feisty firebrand can be tamed, although at an organisational level that didn't work too well with the Muslim Council of Britain.
But there are only one set of people who declare themselves to be the voice of white Britons. I don't see any of our £12m heading in that direction. Instead, according to the usually well-briefed 24Dash site "individuals will be encouraged to act as community champions or tenants and have a bigger say in local issues. This will help build up the confidence and self-esteem of residents so that they feel that they can regain control over their estates, their lives and their futures."
The rest of the money will be thrown at the usual suspects :
"There will be investment in councillors and other leaders and frontline staff to support their confidence and skills in addressing these problems and help them shape the strategy for their area."
The 24Dash report looks like a straight paste of a Government handout and is interesting for that reason. The message is that there isn't actually a problem other than a load of dreadful myths that need to be refuted. This one will run and run, with much dark humour to be mined therefrom. It isn't really funny, though.