Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Peace and Plenty

The EC President Manuel Barroso has dropped by Northern Ireland (Norn Iron) and confirmed that about £600m of European funds would be devoted to NI and the Republic's border counties over the next six years.

Isn't he the nice man. That's six hundred million pounds people. Those useful things that are now 2 to the US dollar.

Together with the buckets that nice man Tony Blair promised its all a fair bit.

Who said peace doesn't pay.

Or as that formidable man Dr Ian Paisley (Big Ian) would say, "thank God for peace", and the border people people would eacho that and add "and thank Tony and Manuel for the money".

Don't bash business

Peter Drucker in one of his best books postulated that Government had taken control of the institutions in modern society that were once free entities a few hundred years ago.

Institutions which were powerful and important for their members were shadows of their former selves.

The Universities were bought, the churches subsumed, the public service, the legislature, the army, you name it government controlled it.

Except one. Business.

Only the communists stopped business and what a success that was.

A supermarket brings 0ver 25 thousand items to its shelves for your choice
and yet the loonies mock the market.
Everywhere the Government is in charge of food the people starve.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The new religion of Green

The idea of personal carbon offsets is proof if proof be needed that the Green movement has passed beyond rational argument and become a religion.

The idea that you can offset your carbon sins if you pay someone to plant a tree is touching.

Wherever or whatever this tree is up to you can fly with abandon around the world and drive anywhere you want.

You see dear sinner of the great sins of carbon you have that most recyclable and sustainable thing in the world. You have money.

Money to spend on your environmental salvation, to soothe your conscience at your unsustainable venality.

And those without money, who only have enough to pay the fare and not enough for the luxery to pay for the offset of the wilful carbon emissions of the jet engines well you can regard them as evil and environmentally incarnate.

Plainly they should walk or stay at home.

The whole notion resembles nothing so much as the Roman Catholic system of indulgences decried by Martin Luther in the middles ages.

The Australian carried a story about a nice person in Sydney who paid $600 to offset her carbon emissions for a year. The pope abolished Limbo the other week . Purgatory can't be far behind on Benny's list. But for the sinners against the environment the costs are mounting and just beginning.

Heresy can't be far behind. It will be no time before braying mobs of environmental zealots drag the climate deniers from their home and take them to the stake. The only problem is that the heretics cannot be burnt. Damn carbon, stuffs everywhere.

And in time as the dark thought strikes the faithful that 5% of human breath is carbon dioxide then expect trouble. All you heavy breathers had better suck it in mate.

Calls will go forth for whole towns to make the sacrifice and stop breathing for 5 minutes to help the planet.

What I want to know is - if all the trouble is being caused by these CO2 particles, these 350 per million what are the other 999750 particles up to.

What are these bunch of losers doing in their spare time.

Do they just lie on their backs all 999,750 of them being bossed around by these mere 300 or 400 upstarts. This is the atmosphere we are talking about.

Its big and gaseous and the idea that the other 999700 parts of the million are bystanders and play no part in the great heat exchange after the sun tosses in a few heat particles is an interesting question.

But hey when you have the weather off pat and the forces of climate nailed down for the next two hundred years and some legislation to write which stipulates the behaviours of us, our children and their children's children you have to rush. What is the reality of the situation? Well that can come later.

You see this new religion is one of penance and suffering. There is no bright upland plain where we will find deliverance. No shining future where peace will reign and the poor will be better off.

Nope its sack cloth and no ashes. What is promised is this.

If we can just manage to get the parts per million of Carbon Dioxide back to the magic 250 per million we will keep the climate as it is. (Well the Russians and the English may complain and people in Dunedin miss out on better weather but tough biscuits)

That's it. Keep it as it is. Well maybe you see no one knows if getting it to 250 parts per million will work if its been up to 450 per million but hey thats a detail. But yes what if after 50 years of recession, depression ,wars recessions and different science it does not work?

What if the precautionary principle is a fraud (as it often is)

What if all the sacrifice to get the parts per million from 500 to 250 fails.

What if the climate change has some other cause.

What if the process is already too advanced,

What if half way through the process it is all changed by science, nuclear war, a depression and the goal is abandoned.

Will it have been sensible to embark on a religious endeavour, to determine our future by legislation based on the difference of a few parts per million without investigation of the other 999700 parts of the million of the behaviour of the sun at high altitudes, of real mitigation changes and some of the real benefits of global warming.

The Government can't do half of what it does.

What lunatics put the government in charge of the weather.
It just gives them one more excuse for a tax.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nuclear Free

I first took an interest in nuclear matters in the late 1950''s.

Reading English newspapers the march from Aldermaston struck me as a stroke of sanity in a world enamoured of the nuclear Bomb.


Arriving back from Europe to New Zealand in 1968 sporting my shiny CND badge everyone seemed to think it was the peace badge.

Well it was because in 1966 the hippies of San Francisco had appropriated it as the peace sign. Its original meaning was lost. The peace sign was against nuclear weapons not a fanciful wish for a peace. Not that peace would not be a wonderful thing.

But getting rid of nuclear weapons was the aim of the founders of CND.

(I did with a few mates drive a station waggon across America in 1967 from San Francisco to Washington with the "peace" sign on the side but that's another story.)

I was strongly supportive of Norm Kirk's sending a frigate to stop French testing in the pacific. A standing ovation at the conference for Big Norm was well deserved. But at the same time as a humble civil servant I served the notices in the early seventies for a putative nuclear power station at Waiau Pa near Waiuku.

By 1985 we were successful on all fronts.

New Zealand government policy was to be nuclear free.