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Well, not so  much a hiccup, actually, more a small heart attack.

Happened a week last Saturday Night (probably the fourth of a short series),

Operation on Thursday put in two stents.

Now home and recuperating, but obviously, not overly active, for a while.

Honest, it had nothing to do with the paper…

This will probably give me a bit of time to trawl around the blogosphere and irritate a few folks. 🙂

Apologies to all those who were expecting to hear from me. Now you know why.

Some interesting may conceivably follow in the days to come.

It’s not even as if I’m actually really that old, you know….

A new theory which attempts to explain the causes of global warming has been published today, and it looks like those doubting Thomases were right all along.

The study, from the University of Lappland’s Department of Seasonal Studies, points the blame for recent warming around the globe firmly at a new, previously unconsidered source. This is bad news for the ‘climate change’ lobby, who have long claimed that the science was clear and that we are directly responsible for the change, which is projected to lead to dramatic, perhaps catastrophic consequences in the next few years.

The theory points to a seasonal phenomenon which has a strong correlation to recent increases in global temperature. What makes it unusual is that, unlike many other hypotheses, this seems to account directly with the phenomenon known as ‘Polar Amplification’.

‘This is an astonishing breakthrough in climate science, something beyond even our expectations,’ explained Professor Helga Elvffrend, the Department’s director.

‘When the idea was first suggested, we were skeptical, naturally, but the strength of the correlation and the additional explanation for Polar Amplification places this as the top of the tree as far as alternative theories go.’

The new theory uses estimates of population growth and demographics, combined with calculation of the carbon impact of flying, along with ruminant methane emissions, to produce a combined global trend which closely matches the instrumental temperature record since the 1750’s.

Using these well-understood measures, the team calculated the emissions trend of Santa Claus, who now covers an estimated 27 million air miles each December. Combining the CO2 emissions from his ‘sled’, an unspecified aircraft which the team estimates must be at least twenty times the size of the new Airbus ‘superliner’, with the emissions from his reindeer ‘companions’, whose methane emissions are expended directly into the mid-troposphere, the team has shown that Santa’s annual ‘excursion’ could account for as much as fifty percent of the current warming.

Since it is well established that Santa visits every home at Christmas, and since the number of good little boys and good little girls has increased at a rate consistent with the warming of the late twentieth century, the conclusion, that population growth, stimulating an increase in Santa-activity, is responsible for Global Warming appears, on the surface of it, to be robust.

‘If we work on the assumption that Santa must use the Polar routes more than any other during the many visits to and from his grotto, then we have a simple explanation why warming has been greater in the Arctic region than any other. It also explains why the same phenomenon has not been observed so clearly in the Antarctic,’ Professor Elvffrend told me, Her final comments really put the whole ‘is it/ isn’t it? AGW ‘debate’ into its proper context.

‘This is a great moral victory for the few of us who dared to express our doubts about the IPCC and it’s so-called consensus, those who they ridiculed as skeptics and denialists,’ she said, ‘and even the most hard-line alarmist will have to finally admit that there really is an alternative explanation for global warming, which is as credible as anything that skeptics have previously produced.’

As I stumbled through the thick, fresh snowfall from the university building to the airfield, on my way back south to Tromso, I couldn’t help wondering how many people would read to the end of my article and realise that they’d just ordered another set of encyclopedias.

merry christmas to you all.

:w00t: 😀

It seems like everyone wants to do a quickstep on the climate, but the band insists on playing a gentle waltz. The Bali buzz is all about getting on with it, with some places pointing out that soonest is best (like Bhutan, for example). Even Australia is making noises – perhaps pushing an involvement with acting as China’s ‘friend’ for other than policy-development reasons – time will tell. With Bush as the first fiddle, though,  we ain’t gonna get the Souza we need, just a gentle tune-up and a scrape or two of the Blue Danube. Woody Allen springs to mind.

But the Indian section of the band (bagpipes and Bhangra) is also making nasty noises, slightly out-of-tune, though no doubt saying what many others are thinking: there is still the overriding issue of who pays for all the changes which are needed. You can’t really blame politicians for considering their own national interests first, or for wanting to avoid having to tax their own people unnecessarily or unfairly, but if Bali ( and the 2012 agreement) is reduced to horse-trading about where the cash is coming from, and where the changes are happening, we aren’t going to see the progress we need to avoid dangerous change; it really is as simple as that.

It is always difficult to distinguish the jockeying for position and the posturing from the actual stance or potential for action, but I’m not expecting the Bush administration to move an inch (just look at the track record), nor am I expecting China or India to move from their current entrenchments quite yet. So the question is, what is Bali likely to be able to achieve? I’m not optimistic; at best, I expect the delegates to agree to continue discussing the key points somewhere else exotic next year, while the horse-trading continues in the interim.

Back home, Inel points us to the Tory party getting with the CC agenda, promoting microgeneration. There isn’t really much new in Mr. Cameron’s proposals, apart from a suggestion that they would earmark £300 million to support new projects, which is somewhat more than the Government has currently committed, but otherwise, the proposals seem pretty much in line with what is already going on. I agree with the MP who is proposing, in a member’s bill, to cut the paperwork, though: it could still be simpler to do the right thing, if the will to do so exists within government.

On a more personal note, thanks to you regulars who visit, and apologies for the relative slowness of recent posts and updates; the Old man, having come out of his hermitage, has found that the pace of the world is taking a little getting used to; at the moment, I have five major projects on the go, apart from the blog, so it is, inevitably, suffering a bit. Perhaps, also, the blog is suffering because I am moving somewhat away from the pure communication side of climate change towards the active (as in actually doing something constructive) side, and I haven’t really decided how far I should be pushing my new agenda, as opposed to the ‘routines’ that have grown up over the past few months on the site.

This is where you come in; if you can let me know what use my blog is to you, and where you think it ‘scores’ for you as a visitor, I can adapt and adjust my output accordingly. So, please let me know what you want to read about and what interests you, and I’ll do what I can.

More on the issues shortly…

This probably isn’t original, but it seems to me that many environmental and climate change organisations are missing a trick.

A lot of people are getting turned off these important issues, because the messages are just so depressing: everything needs ‘saving’, everything is ‘at risk’ , thanks to the media, the perception is that we are on the edge of an environmental disaster every other day.

So the messages about the environment, and the climate, have been couched in largely negative terms; destruction, loss, decline, suffering. We have become used to the idea that we are facing significant changes to our world, all of these are bad, and, like the post used as an exemplar by Inel, there isn’t much we can do about it: in other words, we’re all going to Hell, so why not party while we can?

Such a negative narrative  makes use of psychological keys which were useful in the post-war and cold war periods. It encourages the neurotic in us and the idea that we are ‘facing an enemy’ who must be ‘overcome’, that the choices are between destruction and preservation; that change brought about by forces outside our control and not chosen by us are thus enemies of our freedom, our way of life, our sense of who we are.

So what’s the trick?

Let’s agree that we are in living in a world of rapid changes. We can also agree that many of the changes which have happened and which are expected to happen are – undesired.  Yes, there is risk, but, as with all situations where change is coming, it is also a fantastic opportunity.

We have a chance to change the world. We have a chance to contribute to the new directions our world might take in the coming decades. We are the architects of tomorrow.

As we stand on a  hilltop looking out over the horizon of the future we are facing, we are a new generation of pioneers, of explorers, settlers. The future is the new frontier, the place(time) where a fresh start and a chance to escape the bonds of the past, of servitude and oppression, reaches out to embrace us. And we have the benefit of knowing what successes and failures our forebears had, what good choices they made, and what mistakes we should avoid.

Of course there will be problems; rivers to cross, mountains to climb, and no fixed place which is ‘home’ for a time, until the journey brings us to a place we want to be. We will feel insecure, even threatened, at times. We will, occasionally, face hard work and will need to toil to make progress along the rocky trail before us. But we believe it is worth the effort; we believe that what is yet to come will be better than what was left behind.

Changing our lives to adapt to the demands of the changing climate, disposing of the social strictures of the past and adopting new rules for living together which we believe are fairer, better, than the old ones, breaking away from what was not good enough is not a risk, it is a great adventure.

We don’t have to accept that we are going to Hell; that is where our current lives are taking us, but we don’t have to accept it; we can be the agents of a positive change. And I’m not going to say that we are heading for ‘the promised Land’; this is too much, but we could, we can start, to make steps to get to a better place.

Sometimes, a lot of different ideas happen very quickly. It can be like a bomb going off in your head. It happened this weekend. There will be a few weird posts coming up.


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January 2022