British Inflationary Fears

April 23, 2009 at 7:29 am | Posted in British Politics | Leave a comment
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I have a very bad feeling about this, let me check out my hypothesis and you can shoot me down in flames if you like. Interest Rates are at record lows, but they can only stay there while the inflation climate is benign. Currently Inflation is benign, mainly due to lower fuel and commodity costs, even though the currency has dropped something like 30% in 3 years. (Here comes the real BUT. ). But….. commodities are just starting to pick up again, only a little so far, but they are starting to move and we import a huge proportion of our commodities used in manufacture. Once commodities rise to an extent where the currency depreciation is nullified then we have inflation back with a vengeance. The only way to tackle inflation is to raise interest rates to draw in the money that has been issued by the Quantative Easing that the government has undertaken. Increasing interest rates will increase costs on all those on Tracker Mortgages, and that’s the majority as Trackers were sold as “The (latest) best thing since sliced bread”, so we end up with another round of defaults and reposessions, this time with conditions tightening. If the government ignores the problem and doesn’t raise rates we have a Zimbabwe situation with potential hyper inflation, if the government does something, we have people sleeping in tents. I remember interest rates at 15% and bank loans, not credit cards, at 26%, what that would do to a typical mortgage in terms of interest just doesn’t bear thinking about.

A Sea Change on Climate?

April 22, 2009 at 11:05 am | Posted in Climate, Climate Change, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Are we at the start of a softening up process that will end the Global Warming Hype?  Here and here we have reports from the BBC about the sun.

Why are they important?

Well, the second post “No Sun Link to Climate Change” was published on 3rd April 2009 and, to me, seems typical of the GW hype that has been building over the last 10-15 years, it is also plainly wrong, if the sun didn’t shine, we’d have temperatures of about -260 degrees Celcius.  Also what is not fully understood is the interaction between higher energy radiation from the sun, extreme UV for example, and how variations in this radiation may affect the climate.

The first Post “Quiet Sun baffling Astronomers” was published less than three weeks later.  For the first time the lack of sunspots has been noticed by the MSM, and despite comments about Global Warming in the piece, there is also mention of the Maunder Minimum, and the associated “Little Ice Age” that affected Europe and Continental North America.

George Bernard Shaw once said “All great truths begin as blasphemies”, currently anyone not adhering to the Hype is blasphemous, soon it will change, there will be some people that hold to the Global Warming Ideology, but even they will be forced to postpone the day of reckoning.  We’ve had a Solar “Grand Maximum”, I hope that it isn’t immediately followed by a “Grand Minimum”, a plain “Minimum” will suffice to show how wrong the Global warmers are, as well as making life much more difficult for those in higher latitudes.

British and Irish Lions

April 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Rugby | Leave a comment
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Who could not feel sorry for Ryan Jones?  From captain of the winning GrandSlam team in 2008, to missing out with the Lions in 2009.  I feel for him, both personally and professionally.  He has not had the best season, for that matter, neither has Wales.  Perhaps a period of regrouping will do him and the Welsh team some good.

I think that it had to be an Irishman leading the team, with O’Connel a a chioce because he plays from a position where it is, relatively, easy to lead a side, although it is never easy in South Africa.

I wish them well, especially the 13 Welsh members of the squad, perhaps we can show that, even a scratch side, which is what the Lions Team is, of he Best Players that Britain and Ireland can produce, can deliver the goods against the World Champions.

Another Fine Mess

April 21, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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UPDATE 22-04-2009

All 12 people arrested after the Police raid, that was brought forward because information about the raid was photographed when the officer, then in charge of counter terrorism failed to hide it,  have been released without charge.  11 of them are still in custody as they are likely to be deported.  Is this another case of bad intelligence leading to bad feelings between different communities and the Police?  The problem for the Police here is that, as the raid was carried out in full daylight, people could see how OTT these raids can be.  If the officers have legitimate fears for their safety, then a degree of “heavy handedness” may be appropriate, but my understanding is that none of the people arrested were armed, so having Police officers point loaded pistols at you seems, to me at least, way over the top

So here we are. We’ve had the G20, with one death and at least one unwarranted assault by a member of the Police Service. The death of Ian Tomlinson needs to be investigated with absolute impartiality, otherwise public faith in the Police, already ebbing away, will decrease even further.

WHY?

Because of two things that have happened this week

First, the conspiracy laws were used to prevent a demonstration that could have happen at a power station in the East Midlands. Not only was the demonstration prevented by the arrest of 114 people A police spokesman stated
"The group were believed to be targeting the Ratcliffe-On-Soar coal-fired plant.

He added: “Information received during the operation indicates that a number of those arrested may be linked to a group of climate change protesters who have set up climate camps.

"This group have previously staged demonstrations at Drax power station in North Yorkshire, Heathrow Airport and Kingsnorth power station in Kent." "
But the protests at Drax, Heathrow and Kingsnorth went ahead, it may have involved some extra work for the police, but in all three demos the number of arrests was relatively low, the total number of arrests have been much lower. This is despite the over policing of Kingsnorth due to the policing as the police were "Responding to previous accusations of disproportionate policing measures, ministers had claimed that 70 officers were injured."

But as it later turned out, there was a degree of spinning, as, “It later turned out, however, that no injuries were sustained in clashes with demonstrators, with the figure including such incidents as a suspected wasp sting and sunstroke.”

Secondly we see heavy handed Policing, the woman hit by a baton by a sergeant during the G20 for continuing to arguie with him after he cuffed her and the threat of Life imprisonment to Damian Green for doing his job are just examples of Police acting above their powers

It seems to me that we have two things happening.

First we have a Police force that is capable, and willing, to use spin, and/ot force, rather than facts against people who would, by the law of the land, demonstrate against something which they oppose.

Secondly, and more worryingly we have some Police officers who themselves flout the law. If the officer involved in the Tomlinson attack was not a Police officer he would have been arrested for common assault if a Police officer was present. That officer broke the law, unfortunately for him he cannot be seen to have escaped the consequences, even if it destroys his career.

We must now stop the insidious erosion of human rights within this country, some Police officers may believe we are all guilty before being proved innocent and even then their cynicism may prevent them from accepting that anyone may be innocent. It’s time for you and I to say “Enough”

Solar UV and Black Body Radiation

April 17, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Climate, Climate Change, Sunspots, Weather | Leave a comment
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Data provided on websites over the last few weeks seem to indicate that, as the Sun takes a rest during solar Cycle 24, UV Radiation has dropped by about 6%.  I think this 6% is quite a drop, especially if you look and see that Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) only varies by between 0.05 to 0.1% over a Solar Cycle.  This variation in TSI is thought to be too insignificant to affect climate, but what of the UV Decrease?

It’s well known that the majority of UVB and almost all UVC Radiation is absorbed by the upper atmosphere, mainly by ozone.  But this radiation is, after absorption, re-emitted as black body radiation.  Black body radiation is taken to be emitted in any direction, which means at least 50% is passed towards space, where it may be absorbed and re-emitted again.

Associated with this drop in UV is a decrease in the diameter of the atmosphere.  NASA have said that satellites are experiencing less atmospheric drag when in low orbit (low orbit being between 120 and 200 Km above the surface).  This means that there is less atmosphere, at the edges, to intercept UV.

So what if Carbon Dioxide is not the primary driver of climate variations?  Perhaps UV plays a much larger role than previously thought. Perhaps, with a suitable lag due to the heatsink that is the oceans, we will see a much larger drop in Global temperature than is currently expected.

If you have any reliable data concerning the absorption and re-emission of UV in the upper atmosphere, I would appreciate seeing it

Alpha Inventions

April 7, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m a new(ish) blogger, and as a result I see very few visitors. I also notice when my stats go up for any reason. Yesterday I had my highest hit rate for a few weeks when I was referred by Alpha Inventions.

What a clever idea, pretty close to real time notice of updated blogs or new posts. I’ve yet to investigate it in any depth, but so far I think it looks clever and is a bit like twitter without the restrictions

Weather, Climate and Loans

April 6, 2009 at 11:32 am | Posted in Climate Change, Finance, Weather | Leave a comment
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Short termism. How many times have you heard that comment? Whether it\’s applied to stock market investors, or any other form of looking forward, it seems to be a particularly human condition. The reasons for short termism are many and varied, but I\’d like to concentrate on the type of thinking that is thought of as \”Group Think\” and see where it\’s applied to a very well known concept, man made Global Warming.

Recent Geological history shows us that, as recently as 12,000 years ago, large parts of the planet were covered in ice sheets up to a mile thick. The area covered included much of the North American continent, as far south as Chicago, Northern Europe, covering all of Scandinavia, significant parts of the Northern European Plain, and almost all of the area now filled by the North sea, as far south as the English North Norfolk Coast. In fact, the only part of Norfolk that has any significant elevation above current sea level is the terminal Moraine of that ice sheet. Many of the problems being talked about now in southern England where sea levels are rising is not due only to any l warming effect, but is primarily due to an isotactic rebound of the earths crust. The excess weight of al the ice actually deformed and depressed the crust. Once the ice had melted the crust rebounds back to it\’s equilibrium position This means that areas north of, approx. Manchester are lifting as the crust rebounds, but areas south of this are actually sinking as the crust pivots. This effect an be seen in other parts of the world as well, especially in Alaska.

Going again to the geological record, we see that the interglacials between the successive ice ages are generally quite short, in the region of 10-14,000 years, our current interglacial is at 11,500 +/- 500 years at the moment and we also see that when Glaciation occurs it is rapid, in the range of decades rather than centuries before summertime ice sheets are established. Once these summer ice sheets exist, they act as a positive feedback mechanism to the cold, keeping night time temperatures at or below freezing, even it the daytime tems rise above that. They also have the effect of increasing the albedo of the earth, this is a measure of how well the earth reflects the energy provided by the sun without absorbing it. So it could be said that a new plunge into cold is imminent, if not overdue.

What has this to do with Short termism? Simple, the \”Group Think\” that has been evident over the last 20 years has us all looking in the wrong direction, we should be looking at the potential problems with displacement of people south of their current home countries, rather than looking at the problems of Global Warming. A couple of things must be done to being to sort out the whole crazy mess that is the current debate about the world\’s climate.

First, we need to use a consistent set of data to provide evidence for, or against Global warming.

Secondly, trends in either direction must be recognised as such.

Thirdly, there must be a much longer term view taken on what variation there have been in previous epochs.

Weather is related to climate, but in much the same way that day to day spending is related to the paying off of a loan. Daily spending may vary by huge amounts day by day, whereas the payment of a loan is constant except for variations in interest rates. the interest rate goes up, repayments go up, interest rate goes down payment goes down. But this variation in payment may well affect the day to day spending, if the ineterst rate goes up, it means that the loan is more expensive, so the amount available to spend day by day goes down. This is a simple inverse rule, whereas with heat input from the sun, it\’s simply less heat = colder planet. As the amount of extreme UV from the sun decreases, and it has decreased by 6% since 1999, the atmosphere contracts, NASA is reporting less Atmospheric drag on Satellites, smaller atmosphere makes for a smaller heat collection area, therefore less heat being absorbed ad retransmitted downwards into the planet. Allied to this is an increase in Global Cosmic rays that increase cloud cover and we have a potential problem with cooling that has a positive feedback loop.

Sorry, once again I have too many things to say and not enough structure in what I’m saying.  “Group Think” was mentioned at the beginning of this post, and I believe most scientists have allowed themselves to be dragged into this “Group Think” on Global warming without applying rigorous scientific methods to their beliefs.  Just as, a few months ago, it was commented in the financial press that Sir Fred Goodwin of the Royal Bank of Scotland had a Board Room that, although there were no out and out “Yes Men”, he commanded the Board Room in such a way that they all acquiesced to his way of thinkin g. We can se the same sort of problem happening throughout science, where Isaac Newton, arguably Britains greatest scientist was reknowned for petty squabbles and arguing against anyone who questioned his views.

The fact is that science progresses when people question the orthodox, not agree with it.  The discussion of the effect of Galactic Cosmic Rays was first put forward just a couple of years ago and is still not well known outside scientific circles.  If the team concerned had bowed to the orthodoxy, they would either not have investigated, or not have published their results.

The fact is we need the free thinkers, too many have been pidgeon holed into a area of research and not allowed to comment outside their area of expertise. We need more people that can bridge subjects and join the dots between them.  As it stands today we have islands of knowledgein a sea where there are few navigable routes between the islands. We need to generalise without dumbing down.

So, we possibly stand on the edge of an Ice age and all our Governments want to Tax us for using Carbon based fuels.  I have no arguement with the idea that we should ALL live cleaner Greener lives and have less impact on the planet, however we need to remove the fear factor of Global warming from the Politics of today.

The quiet sun (continued)

April 3, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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NASA’s position seems to be changing. A couple of days ago they put out this about the Solar minimum. There is a very healthy discussion of this on wattsupwiththat , but I’d like to add a few points of my own, expanding on points from within the press release.

I suppose the first point is that the report is authored by someone other than NASA’s usual expert trotted out on these occasions, David Hathaway.  Instead it’s authored by Dr Tony Phillips, who looks after the spaceweather.com site updated daily by NASA.  Hathaway is quoted, butjust saying that “It’s the quietest sun for almost a century”  Looking at a previous presentation by Hathaway, there was an expectation, in early 2007, that the next cycle, cycle 25, would be weaker than 24, see this presentation powerpoint presentation. In fact he points out within the same presentation that the methodology used by another US Scientist, Dikpati, may be flawed.  In fact, reading between lines, to me it seems that the presentation, taken as a whole points to a lower Cycle24 than originally indicated.

Secondly, of the points made, in order of importance, the drop in extreme UV of 5% means that the amount of heat received, and aborbed by the planet stands out.  UV radiation is almost completely absorbed by the atmosphere, and is turned into heat, a drop of 5% in the extreme UV range doesn’t mean that the temperature of the planet will drop by 5%, but probably does mean that there will be a cooling trend of about 1.25 to 2.00 degrees across the planet.  There will still be individual variations where places may get warmer, but the overall trend is down.

Solar Wind pressure is also at a 50 year low, this allows more Galactic Cosmic Rays to hit our lower atmosphere.  That produces more clouds, more clouds mean a higher albedo, more sunlight is reflected, and until the sun picks up, we have the possibility of a viscious circle, with Cold having a positive feedback loop established.

Hathaway’s comment “Since the Space Age began in the 1950s, solar activity has been generally high,” notes Hathaway. “Five of the ten most intense solar cycles on record have occurred in the last 50 years. We’re just not used to this kind of deep calm.” is most instructive.  The whole Global warming hype has been with us for about half of that time.  In other data, a drop of  0.1 C can be seen at each Solar Minimum, but the minima of the last few cycleshave been very short before the sun ramped back up with lots of spots, yet even in those minima we see a global drop in temperature, so where do we go with a long minimum?  Just hope it isn’t a Dalton or Maunder length of time or things could get tricky.

Further updates later

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