Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The lunatics are in charge


No wonder NHS psychiatric services are stretched to the limit. All this stress brought about by the credit crunch, global warming and endless surveys telling us how dangerous everything is has driven swathes of people into the arms of their local psychiatrist.

Of course, it would help ease pressure on mental health services if there weren't so many lunatics already knocking around the system. Fortunately, some of them have been released into a special 'Care in the Community' project housed in a large gothic building in Westminster, right on the edge of the Thames. The inmates of this facility have a nice big clock tower so they know when their appointment with the doctor is due. They also get endless pocket money and a series of subsidised bars and restaurants to cater to their every whim.

Unfortunately, some of these nutbars have been listening to 'experts' when it comes to matters of climate change. I should declare at this point that I am a global warming 'denier' - a term of abuse is applied to anyone with a heightened ability for sniffing out bullshit and humbug. Chief amongst those having a go at the 'deniers' while feeding the residents of the Westminster care project with heaps of nonsense is one Lord Stern. This former career civil servant and economist is now an expert and is telling the loonies that anyone not swallowing the whole global warming story is 'muddled'!

To be fair, Lord Stern condescendingly agrees that sceptics deserve to be heard (there, there... pat on head) but that their views should not be seen as 'searing insight'. On the other hand, lying and cheating academics keen to create a new religion out of climate change by manipulating data and covering up facts, apparently do have searing insight.

The shrill clamour for us to do something about global warming grows ever louder while I sit here writing this, shivering under a blanket with the heating turned up. In the meantime, the noble old goat is urging higher taxes on everything that helps fight the good fight. He even wants us to borrow lots of money and then give it to poorer countries so they can join in his fantasy too. No doubt his Lordship will be well insulated from the financial effects of his climate change medicine with the help of his index-linked, gold-plated, final salary pension.

Perhaps it's time we tried reducing our carbon footprint and improving our mental health statistics at the same time by burning politicians and their advisors instead of using fossil fuels. It may not make much difference but we all have to make sacrifices, don't we?

Throw another MP on the fire, will you?

29 comments:

  1. Dear XTM, as you sit shivering, we in Melbourne await the new fire season. The house above mine in the Dandenongs is a 19th century guest house so fire has not been through before. Last year we evacuated 4 times. We had one day of 49 degrees C. It is expected that there could be three or more similar days this year. This is not typical weather!
    The Melbourne water supply is at a dangerously low level for this time of the year. The Victorian fires from last season are still fresh in our minds. The death toll stood at 173 I think.
    Tonight I watched a documentary on Kiribati in the Pacific which has lost two islands and the inhabitants are preparing to leave if things get worse. Many islands, including Samoa, are in the same boat. This is a typical site: http://www.unescap.org/mced2000/pacific/background/climate.htm.
    Climate change is not evenly spread and England is not threatened, but those of us in areas under threat are in trouble whether you know about us or not – especially in the case of many Pacific Islands.
    Whatever the cause, many of us are in trouble. Are you sure humans can do nothing to prevent the warming? Are you sure those unaffected have no responsibility for those whose homes and lifestyles are affected? Actually I am often scared, especially on warm nights.

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  2. I'm sympathetic to your plight but I can't be sure humans are responsible for climate change. All sorts of things influence the climate: sunspots, volcanoes, oceans etc. Humans are responsible for 3% of greenhouse gasses (according to some research I read this week). I really think changing a lightbulb or switching to an electric car isn't going to make any difference even if everyone did it. It will make a lot of money for someone, however.

    Humans have been on this earth for an incredibly short time. I think it's a sign of arrogance that we can imagine that our 200 years of industrialisation is anything more than a flea on a dog's back. Of course, politicians love global warming as its yet another stick in their armoury with which to beat us using higher taxes.

    Climate science is on shaky ground. Anyone who disagrees with the consensus is ignored, ridiculed or gagged. That's ridiculous. If the scientists would open up their data to proper peer review as other branches of science then we might get at the truth. We may even discover that they're right, but if they are why have they manipulated data, admitted cheating and generally been underhand about the whole thing.

    Perhaps one day we'll look back on this as some sort of South Sea Bubble or Tulipomania. The problem is the time scale. Trying to prove or disprove global warming is as easy as proving or disproving the existence of God.

    Saving fossil fuel makes economic sense, minimising pollution is also a smart thing to do... but if we follow that by trashing our economies and end up living in a stone hut, eating tofu and drinking rainwater without access to decent medical care etc... Count me out! I doubt, even if we did discover a non-polluting totally safe form of energy, the hairshirt climate changers would still object. They seem hellbent on altering society and using the excuse of climate change to do it. Right or wrong... that's the way I see it until someone shows me irrefutable proof to say otherwise.

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  3. You have acknowledged that the earth seems to be warming – naturally you assert. However, you write, “In the meantime, the noble old goat is urging higher taxes on everything that helps fight the good fight. He even wants us to borrow lots of money and then give it to poorer countries so they can join in his fantasy too.” Whatever the cause of the problem, when did we decide that we in the developed nations should throw the third world to the wolves? Are you sure that the ice is not melting? That the Pacific Islands are not being submerged? As a member of an NGO in India I am worried about this indifference to a problem that appears to exist.
    The Pooterish one . . .

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  4. Hi XTM. I'm also one of the human race branded denier ( by the climate chumps ). You might know that the Emissions Trading Scheme, as it was called here got voted down in the Senate. I couldn't have expressed myself what you have succinctly said, particularly about the lobby that is driving this nonsense. As yourself, I am all for sensible outcomes but whose 'science' is correct? There seems to be two camps of the elite becoming shriller by the second. If you look back in history for this area, there's really nothing frantically unusual about a few hot days or a wet weekend that instantly makes it due to climate change.Oz is a drought prone country, nothing will change that.To Anon:Hey what are you doing living in the Dandenongs? If the trees around you make you nervous, have a word with them or move to the burbs.The water supply problem might have something to do with the escalating population and a bit of poncing around planning by the trolls in the State Government. If Plan A doesnt work, we'll have to go to Plan B. Whats Plan B? The same as Plan A but with a great deal more panic! I mean, remember how they recently dealt with the impending critical shortages? Prayed for Rain - lucky it worked.
    Last night I was fortunate enough to be able to see Lord Stern grace our screens in a live interview on our Auntie ABC late evening current affairs program. Having read so much about him recently, we were delighted that he could spare the time from his busy schedule to address us, wittily calling us muddled and confused at the same time as offering dietary advice. Such comments should endear him in this part of the world as much as the comments of the new High Commissioner, Baroness' everywhere everyone else has moved on' Amos, who also seems to have an endless supply of framed climate change maps to present to PMs and other dignitaries. Huddled around the 56in Plasma TV, air conditioning running, lit only by the flicker of the romantic energy saving bulbs, one yellow and one white, the hum of the generator in the background, the interview drew to a close. Me: Well, what did you think? Family: Poor man looks really unwell, unless it was the studio lights. Needs a good feed and probably a large B12 shot I should say.Imbalance of vitamins can do funny things to you. Me:Probably the same for that Indian climate change wallah who says slaughter all cows. Still, we are trying to get the sheep to stop burping as much, cos you know, methane is much worse than Co2. Anyway night all.Family: Night dear.

    Hope you are well XTM, Cheers, Chris ,Melbourne OZ

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  5. @Chris - better than that: moving to Canada in February . . . Not bad for a 61 year old. p.s. you are lucky to be wealthy enough to live in a safe area.

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  6. I don't acknowledge that the world is definitely warming as recent data shows it's been cooling pretty rapidly. As far as throwing the developing world to the wolves... who would want to do that? But you can't simply throw billions and billions of dollars at a 'problem' unless you're absolutely sure of the outcome and that it is based on good science. We don't know that. If the climate change scientists weren't hellbent on proving their theory at any price there would be far fewer deniers. I'm open to persuasion but no one has persuaded me yet.

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  7. @Anonymous. Good luck in Canada! Vancouver is nice, but gee a lot of trees ( and fires ) in Canada plus big bitey things in the woods. 61, a spring chicken! Me wealthy? Don't make me laugh! True wealth is Family,friends and health plus next doors cat which I am training to wrap itself around my neck for winter warmth if the crazies get control and the energy bills get much higher!
    Seriously Canada's great, if you don't all ready the French language comes fairly quickly if you have no other choice. Regards Chris.

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  8. Sarah - London2 December 2009 12:17

    Morning ETM and morning all!

    hmm - climate change is the term I prefer but am still sceptical - remember back to the days after 9/11 when all flights in US were grounded - when air temperature actually rose by several degrees due to the lack of aircraft moving the air around ......

    Anyway - Happy Hump Day to all!

    ETM - Hope that you are having a good day without too much pain/boring stuff!

    Regards, Cats' Mother

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  9. Thanks Chris - And before you condemn me for being able to go to Canada if I cannot afford to live in Melbourne - I wish to hide behind Peter Palladas et al – I am the wife of a priest - transfer is easy enough if you take over a parish. There are few fires in Victoria itself.

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  10. I'm with you, Sarah. I'm not going to agree to spending squillions of pounds until someone shows me proper science. The whole climate change bandwagon is being hijacked by charlatans and agitators.

    Show me the hard evidence that scientists on both sides of the argument agree on and then I'll change my mind. However, I won't be blackmailed and panicked into a wholesale change of my way of life (which is pretty efficient and frugal by UK standards) without more concrete evidence. Sorry.

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  11. Actually we are playing nicely XTM. These are serious issues and this has been an excellent forum. You are partly responsible for me asking my husband to be creative and get us out of the mess. This is a serious discussion so it must be honest in naming the parameters of the issue. I am very grateful for the blog and wish that you get very well soon - while hoping you continue the fight against the NHS in what ever forn it appears.

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  12. I think moving to Canada is very brave. I'd love to visit the country, especially Vancouver Island. Who knows? one day perhaps. I hope it works out for you.

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  13. All climate change amounts to is a way to get more tax. the country need to look after itself before trying to help other contries. Ive always gone by the saying if you dont look after number 1 no one else will.

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  14. XTM and others.

    I'm neither a denier or agreer when it comes to climate change.
    The very fact we have "seasons" tends to suggest it has to change.

    The problem i have with the current argument is that it is treated like a "hard" science and used as an excuse to scare people into modifying their behaviour.

    At the moment "climate change" is observation on a very tiny scale (in terms of time and things looked at) and predicting what will happen based on very small subsets of data.

    As it currently stands there is no ability to experiment or draw a conclusion because we don't have a "control" system to compare against. The current models do not have the capacity or depth of understanding of how the earth currently works to do anything more than that.

    This might seem like i come across as a "denier" but i genuinely think that neither side currently has any capacity to do anything other than guess at what might be happening.

    Doing something for the sake of doing "something" is just folly.

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  15. That's one the most sensible and fair statements I've read on the subject. Thanks for posting.

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  16. Not only do we have seasons, but we also have ice ages. We are currently in an interglacial period. during past interglacials the ice has receded further and the temperature has been higher than at present. If we haven't yet reached the high point before heading towards the next glacial period then 'global warming' is normal, isn't it?
    To me it seems obvious that climate change is nothing new, and has been happening continuously for hundreds of thousands of years. The trouble seems to stem from the fact that temperatures, sea levels and CO2 levels have only been recorded for such a short period of time, it is impossible to predict anything accurately.

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  17. Aside from the global warming dispute, how do you feel about resources such as oil and gas running out? The economy, such as it is, might grind to a halt, whether or not we are flooded/frozen/fried to a crisp.

    Cora

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  18. I think it's a good idea to save fossil fuels but the economics have to be right. No point producing lots of windmills if they don't produce more energy than it takes to put them up. Preserving finite fuels is important but we mustn't lose our heads in a bout of global warming panic.

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  19. I've just finished reading your blog and all the comments here. It's a really interesting debate. It has made me realise that I have been less critical in my acceptance of climate change arguments than I usually am in the face of research of any kind. I knew there was controversy but didn't know about the manipulation of data and the like. I would love to read more on this. If you have an links to articles then it would be great to see them. I will certainly research it a bit more. Thanks for this.

    Hope today isn't too sore a day.

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  20. XTM and others
    After watching Earth Story with Aubry manning a repeat on Yesterday at 5pm for the last few afternoons,(highly recommended) I am siding more and more with the deniers, as I consider this climate change furore another ruse to manipulate the masses as religion is dying a death so the polititians have to find another means to control us, the mass hysteria can also be manipulated to deflect us from other more serious matters that they would rather we were not aware of.
    More importantly how is the physio going?
    Take care.

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  21. I've searching stuff on climate change since your post. I found this article:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,342376,00.html

    It is definitely worth a read.

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  22. @ Anon: "I wish to hide behind Peter Palladas et al..."

    Sorry, who, what, why, where when?

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  23. chris of melbourne3 December 2009 00:00

    @ anon, December 2nd at 14.28.

    I've changed me mind! The 'toy' wheelchair can wait,all I want for Xmas is a modicum of your ability and be able to say what I mean as eloquently as your post.
    Thanks Chris, Melbourne OZ

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  24. XTM, good on you for raising this topic of the mis-named "climate change". It's meaningless for people to ask if you are "for" or "against" "climate change" because climate has always changed! They really mean human caused global warming. Anyway, check out http://www.wattsupwiththat.com/ for plenty of "sceptical" information.

    Bob from Australia.

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  25. As a Scientist I can tell you the only thing "exact" about science is more questions.You cannot get answers that can be set in concrete because they results are always changing.
    Yes in history we have had CO2 levels higher than they are now.It has been shown in core samples.We have also had other climatic disturbances which have been shown too and even evidence of a large scale flood such as Noah and his Ark.
    However,the only real difference now and what makes the most sense about why our climate and other parts of the environment are doing what they are, is that NOW is the first time in the history of man that we have had such a large number of radio waves,microwaves,telephone signals etc in our atmosphere.All of these jiggle the little carbon molecules and this creates heat.As there are so many molecules the heat gets trapped in like a blanket holds heat and so causes an effect on the Earths surface.
    We are not going to be able to remove the effects of our imprint in a hurry and whilst it maybe arrogant to think that our impact is not anything significant, I think if you asked the Pandas that are starving and the Polar bears who drown because there is less ice,then you may find a different answer.
    No, you dont have to throw billions of dollars at it and you dont even have to change your light bulbs,all you need to do is be more aware about what you consume and where the residue ends up.Turn the light off more often is a more energy saving idea as is recycling and reusing.And its simple.Use less shampoo in the shower,less toothpaste to brush your teeth, and thus there is less soapy stuff going into the water.Saves money as well as you dont have to buy more products as often.And in this way we can make a difference.I live in Bangkok where there are about 8-10 million people.Plastic bags is a major issue.If everyone said No Thanks to one bag a day that is a lot of rubbish not made.
    Thank you for listening and Merry Xmas to all

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  26. hmm, moving to Canada eh? Victoria to boot eh? Won't have to worry about drought there--it rains in the winter and the spring. On the plus side everything grows there! It really is a beautiful city. And lots of really old trees on Vancouver Island...not a lot of wild fires, those are mostly in the Okanogan, our fruit growing area, semi-arid to arid.

    As to the climate change, we have a ad on the radio from some group of scientists who are saying that there hasn't been any warming in 3 or 4 yrs. (can't remember which). Me and my friends are waiting for it to warm up here. brrr. Our summers are shorter and wetter and cooler. Our winters have less snow than before but can be downright frigid and our winters seem to last longer. I can't remember having a spring being more than a day or two. This past summer was really wet...thankfully my hubby & I spent the wettest two weeks in Florida soaking in the warmth which unfortunately isn't like storing solar energy...I could use some of that in January (our coldest month).

    I'm with the group that it is a natural cycle and I'm really beginning to think that humans are not as adaptable as I thought in my younger days. Humans really do not like change. Every single animal and plant that has ever lived must continue to live even though extinction could also be a constant cycling. We try to keep humans alive because, heck I really am not sure why we aren't allowed to finish our time on earth.

    Yes, life is sacred but really now, in Canada our hospitals are full of people waiting for long term care beds in nursing and supported living residents. Yes, death is sad--for those left behind, but it is also natural (cue: "Circle of Life" by Elton John).

    I personally believe that Al Gore (North America's climate change fear monger) was pouting because he lost the Presidental election and needed a new soapbox and believed some flyer that came in the mail from who knows who (PETA? GreenPeace?).

    I do believe that we humans have gotten ourselves into a bind with all the manufacturing we do...we keep making stuff and really, it isn't all being used. We do have to take care of our land and respect it by not overworking it (remember the 'dirty thirties'? It's the same thing happening in the Saharan regions and other receding farmland areas).

    Off my soapbox....keep up the good work there ETM! I love the photo btw...but where is their Coke bottles?

    Libby in Canada (not Victoria, but in the next province)

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  27. Hi Traction Man,

    This is nothing to do with the above post or conversation, but it's a suggestion for your blog. Now that you're out of hospital, why don't you ask those who are in hospital to send you pics of their food? You started a very important campaign on a huge issue in the NHS; Basildon and Stafford illustrated that and I think you found the right way of tackling it. A few cursory inspections in house is never going to solve the problem of nutrition in hospitals; a blog that constantly shows the problem in pictures might.

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  28. I'm always delighted to get any pictures and experiences of hospital food... good or bad. Please spread the word. Anyone can email me photos. Anonymity assured.

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