The Sunday Times
has long been the
One of the areas of dispute has been the influence of the Urban Heat Island effect. Critics point out that most of the measurements purporting to support the hypothesis of man made global warming are thereby contaminated (see, for example, Watts up with that) while defenders say the effect is small and anyway it has been allowed for.
Wipe the slate clean! The scaremongers at the Met Office (you know, those people who cannot tell us what the weather is going to be in a couple of days time) now say that, because of the threat of the UHI effect coupled with global warming, city dwellers are going to roast.
To summarise, we now know two things about the UHI effect:
(a) It is too small to affect measurements that prove the existence of global warming
(b) It is so large that city dwellers are going to die because of the proven effects of global warming
That’s what we call HYCAEI.
Words, words, words
“That's an ill phrase, a vile
The scaremongering industry and its media hangers-on are very imitative of each other. New scary phrases catch on and rapidly become clichés. One of the most recent examples is “worse than previously thought”. What gives the game away is that the objective is almost always one of the favoured targets of PC scaremongers (alcohol, tobacco, coffee, adiposity, carbon etc.) Googling the phrase produces 36,600 hits. Often it means that that new guesses of disposable parameters in infinitely tunable models give scarier results. Global warming is, of course, always to the fore.
Latest to climb on this particular bandwagon are the alcohol zealots, who have worked themselves up into a frenzy over recent months. Now alcohol related dementia is WTPT. The article in the Telegraph is an interesting example of the genre. The word “worrying” appears four times, just in case you fail to experience the correct reaction. On the other hand you might come to the conclusion that it is just another piece of junk epidemiology and pour yourself a soothing drink. If so many things are WTPT, how comes there was so much incompetence shortly before, compared with the new wisdom?
Only those of us who have memories that go back to BC (Before Censorship) recall that it was once widely accepted that tobacco halves the risk of dementia. The knowledge went through the normal progression of the politically incorrect, first a stage of being a “paradox” and then disappearing off the face of the earth. That’s the way stuff happens these days.
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Talking of paradox
One of the areas in which our definition of paradox is most pointedly apt is in the subject of obesity. A whole new band of zealots and an enormous associated industry have accumulated around the kernel of human adiposity. It has been observed over and over again that moderately obese people are more robust and live longer than thin people. It is one of those things that is rediscovered and then ignored with monotonous regularity. Here is a recent example.
Followers of the popular media are not allowed to know that the obesity paradox even exists. They must be drilled into PC conformity. That’s the way stuff happens nowadays.
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It is reported that police are abandoning imposition of the hunting ban. We sought an interview with Lord Delpus, the Junior Minister for Bans. Here are his views.
This is a very serious
development. Bans are the very essence of a socialist society, which is what we
in The West are trying to build. Now that the
It is important, however, not to be discouraged by one adverse development. Remember that only a few years ago inappropriate behaviour was regarded as the norm. People were overfilling rubbish bins with unsorted material, smoking in public, producing carbon dioxide with no evidence of guilt and engaging in many other antisocial activities. It must be said that the police on the whole have been very supportive in many of these aspects and particularly in reining in the excesses of motorists in driving and parking their cars. Some people seem to think that life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure when, as we know, its main aim is the construction of an ordered society. I am also gratified to note that the police are now helping to enforce appropriate dress codes, with the help of those invaluable allies, the informers.
Consider the outstanding success of the smoking ban. People now accept that lighting up in public is a far more serious crime than, say, burglary and the legal punishments reflect that belief. It has also led to an acceleration of the demise of the British pub. Six of these evil institutions are now closing every day. In rural areas the rate of decline is even more marked. Pubs have long been centres of dissent and inappropriate discussion. It is a healthy change that more of their former customers are now in their own homes watching BBC TV, where they are kept safe from thoughtcrime.
There is much more work to do before the imposition of a complete alcohol ban, but as an intermediate measure we are upping taxation, so that it is only affordable by responsible persons, such as politicians and doctors, who can be trusted not to abuse it.
Furthermore, we are not entirely dependent on police support. There is now an army of agents employed by local authorities. Ignorant opponents call them snoopers and a burden on the taxpayer, but they are the key to an orderly society. The consequent increase in local taxes limits the capacity of citizens to indulge in frivolous expenditure, which all adds to the healthy control of society.
We have much to be proud of in
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Meanwhile, back at the trough
A reader has remarked on the silence from Number
Watch about the
The hapless Major Government limped on, its reputation sullied by a few bad eggs and an economic disaster caused by a profoundly misjudged pro-EU policy on exchange rates, but it did leave behind the healthiest budgetary inheritance in recent times. That Gordon Brown could convert that into the biggest deficit ever (by a long, long way) in one short decade is one of the most remarkable turnarounds in history. Compared with this lot the House was then well-run and apparently honest. A key difference is the current Speaker, a Blair placement, who has been worse than anyone could possibly imagine, a quite despicable creature, whose role in all this has been gross.
It is also perhaps worth remembering that the present
corruptible system came into being in 1971, when the Heath
Government sneaked it through as a covert substitute for a pay rise during an
inflation crisis. Most blame, however, must fall on the media, who turned a
blind eye to the manipulation and rejoiced in the phoney economic expansion
based on inexorably rising debt. As for the opposition, what can you say about a
bunch of chancers whose policy blows with the wind? Poor old
Footnote: apologies for originally ascribing the system to the Thatcher Government. The latter did, however, implement a covert pay rise by expanding the system in a non-rigorous manner.
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Another collector’s item
Here is a fine example of environmentalcorrespondentship.
Consider this sentence in the introductory paragraph:
farming techniques, pollution and climate change had threatened to wipe out both
species across much of
And then this
in the meat of the piece:
Meanwhile The Environment
Agency have invested £1 million in exterminating mink and other invasive
species and improving wetland habitat for water voles. As a result numbers are
back up to 500,000. The voles have also been re-introduced to areas where they
were formally extinct, with 100 recently released into the River Axe.
discerning reader might ask “if the three items first named are the causes,
why bother with the extermination of mink?”
Here is a
paragraph from Sorry, wrong number! 2000:
were responsible for more deaths than all the hunters put together. They
released captive mink
, which have infested large stretches of
our riverbanks, killing millions of creatures and causing the extinction of
species in many areas, including the one in which I live. I used to spend hours
watching water voles
work and play. Why is it these people direct their affections towards ruthless
and indiscriminate killers, such as foxes, mink and swans? Alas, my beloved
voles are no more. The vandalisers of GM
are causing farmers to carry on using excessive amounts of pesticides and
nitrogen, which they claim to oppose.
It is, of course, mandatory to cover up that the near extinction of native species was caused by self-styled animal lovers. The inclusion of the target list of environmentalists in the introductory paragraph is now obligatory, much like “Once upon a time” in more traditional fairy stories. Do people no longer think about what they read (rhetorical question, no answers please)?
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There are certain words and phrases that are flags, indicating that you are about to be regaled by nonsense. They include The Planet, model, according to scientists and the perennial might, may and could.
Perhaps it is unkind to rain on a chap’s obituary, but this introduction to one for the winner of a Nobel-type prize in economics is rather unfortunately timed:
Professor Sir Clive Granger, who died on May 27 aged 74, was a Nobel prize-winning economist whose work on analysing economic data was credited with improving the forecasting performance of the Treasury and the Bank of England.
Economics, the so-called dismal science, is beset by the delusion that human traits can be formulated mathematically. The recent financial fiasco had its origins in human greed, political incompetence and mass hysteria, none of which is amenable to mathematical modelling. It was therefore not foreseen.
Sport is another area dominated by human characteristics that ambitious statisticians love to get
involved with. An example is the Fink
Tank, a regular feature in The Times.
On May 30th (print edition) it included the estimate that the
probability of a
Then there are
the forecasts of non-human origin. The Burghers of Bournemouth are upset with
the Met Office after losing an estimated one million pounds, following a
forecast of thundery showers for a day that was actually the clearest and
warmest of the year so far. There is no shame in being unable to forecast
British weather; the shame is in pretending to be able to. The Met Office, who
are yet again boasting of bigger
and better computers to make their forecasts even
more accurate, are a bit of a joke in these parts, especially when they
essay into long term forecasting. As we noted last
month, they have forecast hot summers for two years in succession with the
result of complete failure. They have done the same this year. They have no
scientific basis of doing so and are simply falling back on their religion.
When, by chance, they eventually get it right, we will be invited to forget the
lapses and become believers.
brings out the best in hyperbolic zealots, which brings us to the number of the
Number of the month – 300,000
One of the
techniques favoured by the
zealots in their campaigns to enslave humanity is the self inflating number. The
prime example was the putative number of deaths from passive smoking, which
gradually increased by an order of magnitude in the build up to the draconian
smoking ban in the
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