It was suggested by Perth Business Gateway to rewrite the 2001 proposal to use the Millennium Dome as a global environmental management centre, this time relevant for Scotland in 2006. The outline executive summary, Scotland:The World's First Ecological Superpower, was produced. The next stage is to implement it, what do you think?

Monday, 30 July 2007

Applied Planetary Engineering is pleased......

Applied Planetary Engineering is very pleased to announce that it has been invited to take part in the UK Government's Sustainable Development Research Network conference in London in September.

Sponsored by DEFRA and run by the PSI, the Policy Studies Institute, it will bring together around a 100 of the top advisors to the UK Government on sustainable development, climate change and other aspects to resolve the global environmental challenge.

Applied Planetary Engineering thanks the PSI, DEFRA and the UK Government for it's invitation to the event.

Hello Berry Pickers

When I was at the farm sometimes I would ask what degrees and things you were doing. Sometimes I would get asked what I had done. This is a brief biog.
All the time I was told what to do by Eddie, Ann and Gregor, it would have been nice, for just one day to have been able to have managed the field my way. Having to "dumb down" to work on the farm made life difficult. In my career no matter how difficult a job I am asked to do. I am just asked to do it, never told how to do it, that is up to me. The job gets done in the most effective and effiicient, hopefully happiest and fun way. Everything tends to get run in the same way as running rock concert.
An instruction like, "please help everyone pick the largest amount of high quality berries and maintain the highest productivity of the fields over the season", would have been suitable. The we could have just rock'n'rolled.

Roger Thomas. Born in rural Cheshire of Welsh and Scottish (Jardine) descent he now lives near Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland. His first interest has always been in the environment as long as he can remember. Childhood influences include Jacques Cousteau, Galileo and James Lovell commander of Apollos 8 and 13.

In his first job as a trainee metallurgist, he was fortunate to experience one of the world’s top engineering training systems while working within and implementing a quality control system for a factory of 2500 people. Also attending college for his qualifications he was awarded the year prize at Stoke-on-Trent Technical College. Finishing his metallurgical studies at Manchester Polytechnic he achieved the highest marks ever awarded in the subject.
His contribution to R&D work on Ministry of Defence contracts is still saving lives around the world and reducing CO2 emissions.

Returning to ecology he sought to improve on the predictive system techniques of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology behind "The Limits to Growth".

After showing young or unemployed musicians how to stage national quality events he was first choice as tour and technical manager for a Manchester band. As he had other commitments he had to decline, though they still sold more than 50 million albums without him. 25% of those who attended his workshops did go on to get full time employment as TV producers, stage managers or professional musicians.

Working as a countryside ranger his leading edge techniques in management, integration, education and appreciation soon spread to become standard practice.

Roger was once asked to give a 1 hour introductory lecture for a college course on Business and the Rural Economy at a residential in the English Peak District. Arriving the night before believing it would snow, they all awoke the next morning to find they were cut off by the blizzard. As no other lecturers could attend, he taught the entire 3 day course without preparation or notes. The snow thawed in time for the external assessors to pass all his students.

His proposal to run the Millennium Dome as a centre for global environmental management was so strong it immediately attracted the finance to be implemented had an open competition been permitted. Though some of the ideas anticipated those of the Government since, many still await their beneficial contribution to the environmental challenge.

Extensive work on climate change and sustainable development has continued since. From the first meetings to produce the new generation of climate and Earth system models (Quest), to correctly advising the PM on the outcome of FMD, being a contributor to Government reports, submitting evidence to House of Commons select committees and advisory work for the Cabinet Office.

Recently he was brought in to set up the site of one of Europe's most intensive civil engineering projects. After completing that ahead of time and within budget he was given front line logistical control. HM Chief Inspector of Railways singled him out as setting up and managing a site which was "a model for the future of the rail industry". Network Rail liked it so much they ran another project from it, halving it's set up costs at a stroke.

Occasionally he still does metallurgical design on race winning rally and oval cars.

Amongst others HRH The Prince of Wales has read his work on prediction of socio-economic and ecological trends and effective strategy implementation. He has also given him permission to use quotes to explain the methodology.

He writing a book on the next generation of global environmental management technologies. His work on both the scientific and political aspects of climate change, including United Nations reports and the agenda for G8 summits has made him one of the least know but most influential strategists of the 21st century providing the solutions to the global environmental challenges we face.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

To My Polish, Slovak, Czech and Lithunian Friends

To every one nd my friend Rafa. It has been a pleasure and honour to work with you all. I read that Polish girls are the most beautiful in the world. That Poles work the hardest and all are very intelligent. These things I have found to be true.

I could write something in Polish, but don't know how to. We spoke a common language we made between us. So I don't know how it is written.

In phonetics I know Eddie "Potzr-we miny-air vadupa"

Love everyone else

Here I Go Again

Just listening to a Whitesnake album there.

Well I've been away from the blog for a few months. My ISP who I used for connection (not email hosting) suddenly closed down. I was ill as I had an told one of the other Scottish political sites, I had a lot of work to do in other areas. Blogs generate work and more connections, more work was the last thing I wanted.Well let's start again with the floods. Those who were reading the blog at the start of the year know flooding was cover when it hit Perthshire in Dec 2006.

When the floods hit Yorkshire I contacted the Yorkshire Evening Post and spoke to their reporter Richard Edwards. I suppose I gave him the scoop of the year when I told him the flood cost would rise. I assume he didn't use the exclusive as he never got back in contact. When the floods hit the South West I spoke to Emily Cleland at the Gloucester Echo and gave her a few leads.

The BBC 'faking it' news really got me wound up. In a telephone conversation with BBC News 24 in 2004, they admitted to me they were going ahead with a weeks programming on terrorism and climate change based on an article by the Govs Chief Scientist even though they admitted I was the original author. So last week I made a complaint to OFCOM on 18th July (other blogs have covered my feelings earlier this year eg Devils Kitchen) I even cited that this diverted attention from the technologies to predict and prevent flooding. Fortunately the day before the big one hit so I cannot be accused of band waggoning.

Don't think I haven't tried, nearly every media and press newsdesk will admit they were contacted by me, but weren't interested in the story before it happened. Strange how they are now interested in the disaster but not the prevention.

Thanks to Peter Black Member of the Welsh Assembly for putting some of my comments on his blog. My father was Welsh and didn't speak English until he was 16, I had got fed up with England, my mothers family were Scottish. I had to move, so I went to Scotland for my Celtic roots, probably because Scotland was further along the path of devolution, I don't know. Anyway as Richard Edwards said there is plenty to blog about.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Creating the Future

Well the Trident debate was past by a majority of people in the House of Commons. Nearly said won by the Government, but that would be inaccurate reporting. An underlying message that many MPs who were in favour of a new missile system gave, was they felt it necessary as they couldn't predict the future and we live in an uncertain world. So what do are political leaders actually do?

There are 3 simple stages. We live in the here and now and react to the future as it rushes on to us. We try and predict the future. We try and make a better future, we create the future we want.

So what are our Members of Parliament doing. Surely it is part of their job to lead us us to a better future. If they are admitting they can't do the job, why are they there?

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Nigel Griffiths MP Plays Environmental Card in Trident Debate

No sooner than posted the The Trident and Environmental Paradox has to be amended. Nigel Griffiths Edinburgh MP and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons has just made a personal statement in the Trident debate.

In summing up his opposition he strongly played the environmental assessment. Resources being used in the creation of the Trident replacement could be better used in being deployed in the challenge of climate change.

He did not go into such a deep analysis as has been outlined here over the last few months, but the environmental assessment has now been brought out in an important personal statement.

The Trident and Environmental Paradox

Over the last few days the political parties have been trying to get their environmental policies to the top of the political agenda. Today they vote on the replacement for Trident.

This site has spent so much time on the Trident debate presenting a political and ecological analysis that the political parties or the media are not presenting.

Yesterday we were told that the environment is the biggest challenge we face. So we have to turn TVs off standby and recycle our cans. How many people for how many years will have to do everything we are told to do in order to offset the emissions produced and resources used in building such a s system. It just puts dissonance into to minds of the population.

All our efforts are futile when we see the resources that want to be allocated. The cold war was a world run on the balance of fear. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The environmental challenge is a world of Mutually Assured Survival.

There needs to be a coherent and cooperative global approach to planetary management. The superpowers of the present and future are the ones that the world can depend on and look to for survival. The survival of everyone, everything and this Earth.

Scotland: The World's First Ecological Superpower. Sent to all MSPs April 2006
The UK Nuclear Deterrent.
Scotland, Trident and the Legacy of JFK

Thanks to Perth

Yesterday I had an afternoon in Perth Scotland. I realised it is important to put the country when working with the www. I remember when I started searching for Blairgowrie and thinking to myself, what surf beach?

So it's a big thanks to everyone I spoke to and has helped with the promotion of the Blairgowrie Town Hall Event on the 28th March. The Perthshire Advertiser and The Courier are both going to do a piece. Both are covering stories of environmental interest and there letter pages are constantly full of debate on the environmental challenge and dilemma. The Blairgowrie event will give a chance for their readers who attend where the agenda for the G8 in Perthshire came from, and how we can take the results into the future for the benefit of Perthshire, Scotland and the planet.

Remember it doesn't matter whether climate change is due to man made or natural causes, we still have to do something about it.

Mountain Supplies and Craigdon Mountain Sports have both posters up in their shops. I have bought some of my recent kit, waterproofs, sleeping bag and rucksack from them, plus all the other odds and ends. It is in the mountains of Perthshire where I get the natural perspectives on the environmental situation. Whether it is just seeing where the snow is or checking grazing pressure of deer populations etc.

Thanks to everyone in Perth who has helped.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Flaws in Nobel Prize Winning Work

In my post of 11th March I reviewed The Trap, what happened to our dreams of freedom. (Some national news reviewers commented on why such a long title. Clue? Try searching for that title, but add Bob Marley). Done a bit of it for you.
I have to say I knew very little of Nash's work. I had seen the film Beautiful Mind, late one night (probably while doing something else). What I hadn't realised was Nash's influence on western politics from his Game Theory. I was aware of John Von Neumanns work, and was happy to accept this as valid. What I hadn't realised was Nash had built on and changed some of Von Neumans work.
There are various phrases that hit popular culture and become well known. 'Blue sky' was a phrase I knew from the 70's as a term for free design thinking. This suddenly around 2002 it started being used in political chat shows re Government and associated thinking. The phrase 'tipping point' is one I really detest because it is so close to 'self-organised criticality'. Tipping point is a term I feel people use because it is safe, they will not be asked to explain it. Self organised criticality is a phrase which might prompt the question, what does it mean? The phrase that is going about at the moment is "the elephant in the room". As in something so obvious it is forgotten about or ignored. Is that what it means?
Having seen a brief overview of Nash's work. If what I knew when I was about 22 and I had been in a room and Nash was explaining his to be future Nobel Prize winning theory, I would have leaned over his shoulder and pointed something out. The current phrase being "the elephant in the room". Would that have been considered sick. This was a Nobel prize winning paranoid schizophrenic.
I really don't think so. I think Nash would have wanted someone to enter his world and give him some direction, The flaws in his work could have been pointed out from associated work known at the time.
Let's leave the work of Nash for now. In passing when I do a presentation on 28th March at Blairgowrie Town Hall if it crops up in passing I will show the flaw Nash made in his work, something I think he would have been grateful of at the time. The Conservative Government of Thatcher could have been so hated if they tried to incorporate Nash's work, because no one pointed out to him the fundamental flawed premise in his work.
Blairgowrie Town Hall 28th March. Let us disprove a Nobel Prize winning theory. In so doing create a better future. I am sure John Nash would want us to do this, take the paranoia out of schizophrenia. Or we could just listen to Marley's Exodus.

Did Gordon Brown Visit My Blog?

In my post of 10th March Professor Lindzen I Presume I took a swipe at the suggestion to turn off TVs. As can be seen from the permanent writing down the right hand side of this site I have have been at this environmental game for a good many years ( all my life). In the post I made a reference to TV on/off switches and a very brief environmental impact assessment on them. I have to hold my hand up and admit once I worked as a TV installation engineer. Previously I had been trained to and worked on MOD research, and been approached by some of the biggest bands in the world to be tour and technical manager. When I worked with TVs I had a bit of an 'approach'. Some of the OAPs thought I was ......

So on the 10th March I took a swipe at turning off TVs. Al Gore, don't try and teach your Granma to suck eggs, as they say.

On the 13th March Gordon Brown, the UK Chancellor, makes a statement he wants manufactures to put on off switches on TVs. This is even more bizarre as coincidentally I had an email to sign a Gov petition re on/off switches (after I wrote my post).

At this point I am not going to go into the links and connections. Thank you though Gordon, you knew I was right. Probably the best way is to investigate the power requirements of the stand by system. I am pretty sure you can get the stand by system to work at such a low wattage you would not need a physical on/off. Explore that route as well. I think you might find I was right.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Tory Tax Policy

Heard the Tories talking about environmental tax policy today. Something about covering the social and environmental costs of air travel. Hardly revolutionary. Virtually the same words as the Cabinet Offices draft Guide on Regulatory Impact Assessment covered here in work I did for them in 2002.

Remember these are another political party talking about "shifting tax burdens". This means the environmental damage is not being repaired etc. Again it is just talking about the sound bite "climate change". The problem is global ecological life support system collapse.

Brian from Devon and Cornwall View left a comment in Professor Lindzen I Presume which drew attention to the correct challenge, the response of the earths ecology to changing factors. Again smoke and mirrors, define the problem first. Climate change is just a symptom.

The Trap: Dreams of Freedom, Reviews

For anyone who missed the BBC 2 documentary this is a collection of reviews from the Guardian

Sunday, 11 March 2007

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom

Having just watched The Trap: What happened to our Freedom of Dreams, BBC2 Sunday 11 March, this must be the recommended must see programme of the week. If it is shown again as a repeat or on BBC 3/4 or on You Tube then try and catch it if you haven't seen it.

It starts with
Game Theory developed by John Nash as part of the strategies used by the US in the cold war nuclear stand off with Russia. These were incorporated, but unknown to the Rand Corporation and Pentagon, Nash was a schizophrenic and paranoid.

The theory is simply that individual freedom is based on mistrusting everybody else. The ideas were then applied as the basis of Thatchers Conservative Government. The programme personally hit so many resonances with me from an assessment of my work in planetary ecological systems and reading such posts as
Doctor Vee's review of YouScotland and MacNumpy's Independence 1, together with many other blogs.

In the cold war stand off it was assumed there would be a climate of mistrust and no co-operation. This was only a theory of the game. This was then allowed to become a political doctrine and for society to believe in this. This was the basis of mutually assured destruction(MAD) and the 'balance of fear' of the cold war.

In my post
Scotland, Trident and the Legacy of JFK, I presented a case that was the opposite of MAD, that would try to ensure a better for Scotland. That the programme was exposing the myth of Game Theory, which in a way is what I was trying to do, or at least present an opposite workable implementation of it, has given me a little outside influence that I was going in a positive direction.

The programme covered the work of Scot's psychiatrist
R D Laing and many other areas. This weeks work will now be trying to tie this critique of Game Theory, which myself was rejecting, into the things and influences I have gained this week fro all the high quality blogs I have been reading and much of current affairs seen in the media which I disagree with.

Thanks to everyone whose blogs I have been reading! The second part of The Trap will be shown next week, unmissable for bloggers questioning the political and social climate we live in.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Profesor Lindzen I Presume: Tax lies and Videotape, The Great Global Warming Swindle

The Great Global Warming Swindle has generated some debate around the blogsphere. Here I have to say I do believe in climate change, to me it doesn't matter the driver, whether it is human or natural, it still has to be dealt with. I don't even believe in the Cartesian reductionism that separates human and natural factors. The next level of organisational hierarchy is as a whole and integrated planetary system, applied planetary engineering.

Right for Scotland and Devil's Kitchen both welcomed the programme and it's findings. Prior to the programme I did make make my views know about one of the contributors Prof Richard Lindzen, purely on what he had written in the Daily Mail Global Warming a bogus religion of our age.

Entering his name into Google produced a strange result, and many of the articles relate to him and other associates
working as consultants for the oil and gas industry.

If you are taken to hospital and when lying in a bed the doctor comes up and says I've got some good news and bad news. First the bad, you're going to die, and the good, it's from natural causes. Now I don't agree with the
Stern Report and neither do I agree with Lindzen.

Lindzen does make an appropriate quote on this though."Picking holes in the IPCC is crucial. The notion that if you’re ignorant of something and somebody comes up with a wrong answer, and you have to accept that because you don’t have another wrong answer to offer is like faith healing, it’s like quackery in medicine – if somebody says you should take jelly beans for cancer and you say that’s stupid, and he says, well can you suggest something else and you say, no, does that mean you have to go with jelly beans?

Personally I don't go with either but do have an alternative.

My take on the situation is that this whole body of knowledge and understanding of what makes a planet tick has been hi-jacked by politicians, the media and big business. Unfortunately the debate and presentation by them is only on a very small fraction of the knowledge available. The soundbite culture. Climate change=global warming=man made CO2 emissions. That is what the public are believing through the narrow slot of understanding presented to them.

Let's go to a tropical rain forest in South America. Lush and thick vegetation, hot and high levels of rainfall. This is a waste of space, it is far better to use this area as farmland to feed people, so chop down all the trees. We can make lush farm land like Cheshire or lowland Perthshire. The first thing after chopping down all the trees is the rain stops. About 85% of all the rain that falls on a TRF is made by the forest, transpiration, water passing through the tree and out through the leaves, and also evaporation. It is continually being recycled.

Next there is no soil for the crops. A TRF does not need high quality soils. Nutrient recycling is so rapid and efficient, partly due to the large number and diversity of living organisms supported by the high productivity of the forest. (The primary productivity is the amount of biomass created by the plants and trees per square metre per year).

Having cut down all the trees in a high rainfall region. You are left with arid conditions and poor soils which will grow very little. Climate change. No flights for foreign holidays, car journeys or light bulbs have been involved. Still it is climate change.

The programme also drew attention on the inverse relationship between CO2 and temperature as outlined in Al Gores "An Inconvenient Truth". Which I cannot be bothered to watch. If climate change to you Al is so important, why are you criss crossing the world in aircraft to tell us about it. It is a pointless exercise me turning my TV off and not leaving it in standby as it will take a million lifetimes to save the amount of energy you squander flying about telling me to save it. I don't need you to tell me, please stop. Anyway if you had anything that was really important to say about saving the planet, when you spoke in Scotland recently why did you not permit the media to report it. It wasn't because tables were £3000 a go, and if the press had reported anything important and useful to the public that could save lives, you wouldn't be able to fly in again and tell another group.

Anyway most TVs at present aren't really designed to be turned on and off physically all the time the switches are very frail. Please tell me when someones TV switch breaks and a man in a van has to come round and fix it. Have much emissions have been saved in the switching off and how much have been used in the man coming round to fix it?

For every 10c rise in temperature the rate of reaction doubles. Decay and conversion of biomass to CO2 of leaf fall and other dead material in a forest could be in equilibrium with that produced. Raise the temperature slightly decays speeds up at a rate greater than new material is produced. Hence CO2 levels in the atmosphere of a closed system increase.

Even Lindzen admits CO2 may cause some (but not all temperature rise). If temperature rises say due to increased solar activity, then CO2 levels will increase. These may then feed back into the system and contribute to the increasing temperature. This is positive feedback mechanism. An increase in temperature from another factor my initiate the rise, then afterwards CO2 can still contribute. The increasing CO2 curve may be after the rising temp curve doesn't mean it still can't be contributing.

Co2 in oceans. Fully agree warming water can have less dissolved gas in it, as long as the concentration of the atmosphere remain constant. The shift in the equilibrium of CO2 concentrations in the oceans depends on the temperature of the water and the concentration in the atmosphere. We are not just talking about CO2 in terms of climate change damage. What is the effect of CO2 on increasing acidification of the water, changes in nutrients cycling and a potential reduction of productivity. This linked with increasing pollution, decreased light penetration in estuaries and coastal waters due to siltation and suspension caused by deforestation. You then have marine ecosystem collapse and no fish with your chips.

The biggest lie in the programme was environmentalism was caused by 'reds under the bed' as a result of the collapse of the communist block, Marxists have to look for targets elsewhere. The study and understanding of mans relationship with the environment is as old as man. The rise and fall of the flood waters of the Nile for the ancient Egyptians as one example. Ecology was given it's name by
Haeckel in 1869, evolving with the work of Mobius in 1887, greatly influenced by the Russians Dokuchaev and Morozov through to Tansley's concept of the ecosystem in 1935.

Modern environmentalism has a major influence in the decline of the hippy flower power movement at the end of the 60's and a desire for a more practical application of sustainable ideas. The 60's also had the highly influential
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. The development of the wildlife and ecological documentary in television, David Attenborough and Jacques Cousteau. Psychologically but highly influential was the Apollo space missions to the moon. Not necessarily the moonlanding itself from Apollo 11 in 1969 but Apollo 8's orbit around the moon which gave those first pictures of the beautiful jewelled Earth alone in the infinite and eternal void of space. This produced the collective, cohesive, interconnected and even fragile nature of life on Earth. From this was a defining work Only One Earth by Barbara Ward and Rene Dubos. Then we have Gaia by James Lovelock from 1979.

These are just mainstream well known history of environmentalism. At this point the cold war was still on and no one was even considering the
Berlin Wall to come down. How the a documentary maker could even consider such complete lies and fantasy being considered for supposedly informative viewing is beyond me. That contributors could even take part when they knew what was going out was completely and 100% false has to call into question the validity of their scientific contribution.

Ask 100 environmentalists what was the most influential and galvanising book of the 1970s on environmentalism and at no 1 or at least in the top five would have to be
Limits to Growth. Not having it in the list would be the equivalent of asking what were the decent albums of the 70's and omitting Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. Don't think Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is unaware of the work. Limits to Growth was written and published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The most globally influential and important book on modern environmentalism was produced 'just down the corridor' from Prof Lindzens office in 1972 and he seems to have forgotten the fact, preferring to take part in a programme which attributes environmentalism to some Marxist plot after the fall of the Berlin Wall some years 17 later.

How Channel 4 got away with such a complete and easily checkable misrepresentation is a serious question? This wasn't some informed debate presenting evidence for and against a particular view, it was quite simply lies, a deception on the viewing public. What did the makers assume, that no one watching the programme would have any knowledge of the material being presented?

There even seemed to be some confusion over the financing of the global warming swindle. There was a view presented that research into global warming attracts mega bucks funding an unlimited pot of money to further some lie to be foisted on the public. I was part of the original group involved in setting up
Quest, the UK's latest generation of climatic and other models. The total funding for the entire project was £25 million. You can't buy a Premier league footballer for that. It is less than one Harrier jump jet.

Were the money is, is in the climate change industry. Instead of global capitalism we have global carbonism. The point of the exercise should be to save the planet. All we have created is some totally irrelevant global trading scheme. If you can't make big fat cat bonuses in the financial sector why not pop over to the carbon sector.

This life, this planet is the result of 14 billion years of evolution. Why do politicians and the finance industry believe that the entire knowledge of that process and it's sustainable continuation can be condensed into simple "shifting tax burdens" and other centres and forms of global trading.

I don't agree with Stern,
the media know that, and I don't agree with any political party. This programme had the option of challenging the drivel politics and the media foist on us as truth and 'the way forward'. Instead the programme presented another package of lies and misinformation. Trying to disprove one set of lies with another set of lies does not produce the truth.

Professor Lindzen any of the contributors and the programme maker are quite welcome to turn up at Blairgowrie Town hall on 28th March. Famine, fire, war, terror, extinctions, drought, pollution, disease, cruelty, flood, death, injustice and all the other furies fill the news and haunt the planet. Do something about it instead of wasting time presenting one set of misinformation to attack another set!
It was a slick and excellent programme. It told me things I didn't know. Then presented sections that I knew were complete and total lies. So how can I trust what it told me about what I didn't know. A programme which lost all credibility, a wasted opportunity to present something that could have constructively addressed the cuurent world situation in a positive way. Lies to disprove lies do not make truth.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Global Warming Swindle, Guilty, But A Butterfly Made Me Do It

Having watched the Great Global Warming Swindle on Channel 4 last night I have to admit my guilt in the crime, but it was a butterfly that made me do it. I produced the assessment that climate change was a greater threat than terrorism for a UNED-UK report commissioned by the UK Gov in 2002. The UNED-UK is part of the UNEP IPCC.

In 2004 the UK Gov's Chief Scientist Prof Sir David King produced an article in Science magazine that "climate change is a greater threat than terrorism". This got him and the assessment global publicity. Sir David is a member of the UNEP IPCC. Those of you who have having seen him interviewed may have noticed that he is always rather vague about where he got the idea from. As a scientist he really should be able to cite and reference his source.

This then gave the whole climate change movement some simple tabloid banner headline. In 2004 the BBC did a whole week of programmes on 'climate change is a greater threat than terrorism" by the UKs Chief Scientist. I contacted them, told them I was the original author, the BBC read the original work, agreed that I was the original author not Sir David. As I was not a media personality or celebrity they did not feel it was appropriate for me to take part. The BBC did a weeks programming on the work but did not have the original author.

What was not done was to read the other 200 articles I had produced. I did not think climate change was entirely man made neither do I think it is a problem, it is a symptom. Neither do I think it is the greatest environmental challenge. I just wanted to deflect some of the lunacy of the war against Iraq and try and get some focus on the environment.

It the Butterfly Principle of Chaos theory, some one in the UN read my work (I have the draft summary and it is there), decided it was catchy and it became a major part of the whole global band wagon. Yes climate change is dangerous, yes it can kill billions, but it has become a simple political soundbite. Politicians don't have to know anything about the wide and total environmental agenda, all they have to say is climate change.

I found the programme excellent, it told me things I didn't know and importantly for me other people were there expressing the same concerns that had been niggling me. Concerns that I had thought I had been on my own with.

Remember it doesn't matter what causes it, it can still kill you. One little bit of the challenge seems to have been hi jacked by the media and politicians, probably because they haven't spent a life time studying and trying to understand what makes a planet function. It only takes 5 minutes for them to learn the phrase climate change, rising CO2 emissions and they suddenly appear knowledgeable on life the universe and everything.

I checked and no where on the permanent parts of this page do I mention climate change. Neither in the
one page summary of the use for the Millennium Dome did I mention climate change. Many other environmental organisations such as WWF and Stop Climate Chaos use my work, "climate change is a greater threat than terrorism" on their sites to raise awareness and raise, I don't even use it on my own and I wrote it.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

It's Getting Hotter, Does it Matter What is To Blame?

Let's have a quick blog before 9.00 pm and The Great Global Warming Swindle. "You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows". sung Bob Dylan more than 45 years ago. You don't need 10,000 scientists with 100 squillion terra flops of super computers to tell you it's getting hotter.

Oh it's to do with the increasing man made CO2 emissions says one side. No it is not man made says the other. Climate is dependent on many, 1000s of factors. All interrelating with each other. Fact, increasing CO2 emissions do increase global warming. It's to do with very simple physics of wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum and absorption spectrums.

It is and may not be the only factor in global warming. I accept there may be another 1000 reasons as well. Some of these reasons such as solar activity we have not control over.

You have a child and it gets hit by a car, a man made incident. It is going to die. Do you try and stop the death by taking them to hospital for treatment. Yes you do most people would answer. You have a child it is going to die of a cancer, a natural occurrence. It is going to die. Do you try and stop the death by taking them to hospital for treatment. Yes you do most people would answer.

Climate change will very soon kill 5 billion people. It is a very complex subject. Now the voice is being raised that it may not all be due to man made factors. Do you breathe a sigh of relief and say thank goodness for that I don't mind being killed by none man made factors.

It doesn't matter. When you are juggling all that matters is the ball in your hand. If in theory there are 8 factors causing global warming. If you can only affect one of them, then it is more important that you achieve that 100% to reduce the overall 8 factor implication.

It doesn't matter if 80% of global warming is caused by solar activity or what ever. Some of it is due to man made CO2 emissions. That means the bit you can control you have to work harder and more intensely to control to offset the rise in temperature you cannot control.

Climate change is not even a problem, it is a symptom. If a child has a fever and it is caused by cholera. You do not focus on the symptom you treat the disease. How did they stop cholera, they provided clean water and sanitation. They did not stop cholera by apply damp towels.

If any politician says climate change is a problem, they do not know what they are talking about. I have lived a bit of a Forrest Gump life which has resulted in me being taught by and having worked with the most eminent and world respected ecologists and engineers. I have written things that world leaders discuss and most people with access to the media have heard of. I admit they don't know it was me.

Our lives and the future of existence of this planet are being compromised by politicians and people in the media that go climate change, that's a nice two word soundbite, if I say it often enough people will believe I know what I am talking about, and I can make a nice career. Climate change is smoke and mirrors. Get a grip of the situation and stop the spin.

The Great Global Warming Swindle?

Yesterday in Trusting My Life and this Planet to Politicians I expressed my dissatisfaction with Sir Nicholas Stern's report on climate change as "get a red pen mark it and send it back to them with see me on it". Today in the Daily Mail there is an article by Professor Lindzen of the MIT, Global Warming: the bogus religion of our age. He too is critical of Stern and expresses it as:

"I agree with the economist critic who noted: 'If a student of mine were to hand in this report as a masters thesis, perhaps if I were in a good mood, I would give him D for diligence, but more likely I would give him an F for fail".

The one good thing about blogging is you can write things and get them 'out there' even before Professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have got them into print.

Just because I am critical of Stern and Professor Lindzen is critical of Stern doesn't mean I agree with him either. They are both wrong in their own way. The article is a leader to tonight's Channel 4 will broadcast The Great Global Warming Swindle.

Even though my mothers family is Scottish, even though I live and work in Scotland, even though I write about Scotland etc etc. If I ran naked, on fire, through Edinburgh, juggling custard, burst into Holyrood, straight into the chamber and peed in Jack McConnell's ear I would not get any coverage from the Scottish media. One person who does take my comments is Benedict Brogan, Political Editor of the Daily Mail, due to the small number he publishes he seems to be very selective, reciprocating I always try to give him something accurate and analytical. At his blog my concerns over Stern have been running for a while. Brogan's blog is always good as a teaser, very often a snippet of a story will appear there before becoming front page mainstream days or weeks later.

The one thing I do agree with Professor Lindzen is "Politicians love the green agenda, of course, because it means more control, more regulation, more taxes, more summits, and more opportunities for displays of self-important zeal. " The whole environmental issue is one big ******* mess.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Trusting My Life and This Planet to Politicians

I don't know whether I was being a bit hard on Blairgowrie Liberal Democrats in my post Just when did you write this? My complaint of their election campaign consisting of 'a' leaflet being probably 5 months out of date. Should I apologise, should I have expected better or more from a political party that wants to be taken seriously. If the Lib Dems think they deserve an apology then have one.

I had read Tartan Hero's Campbell Tests Brown for Coalition Job, basically the "vote Ming get Gordon" ticket, (why is it nearly every time I type Gordon I have to go back and correct Gorgon). Then I had this Lib Dem Focus leaflet. The Lib Dems have set out their climate change policy, to be fair the only ones yet with something I can really assess.

They want to tax heavy polluters then give the money to (via shifting tax burdens) to "hard working and particularly low paid Scots". So who are these heavy polluters, the energy industry, the transport industry etc? We live in a market economy, if you increase these costs, they still get passed on to "hard working......". There is no net gain financially. Even if there was a financial benefit to them what are they going to spend the money on, increased consumerism and foreign holidays? Adding to the problem they tried to resolve.

In my post Carbon Offsetting I did the rough overall calculation for politicians to start basing their environmental policies on. We are damaging the environment, this is a cost, this damage if not repaired and stopped will lead to the demise of us all. These (all) polluters cause damage. What the Lib Dems are not doing is using the tax revenues to repair and improve the environmental situation, they have not recycled the money back to solve the problem of the damage caused. Ergo, they do not have an environmental policy. So why have a "wee pretendy go" that they have.

When I had the discussions with the Government's consultants to run the Millennium Dome as a global environmental management centre these were penetrating and incisive. There again they must have realised I knew my subject, because it was them who wanted to support my proposal. Until that is it may have been undermined, Isn't it iconic. Even 10 Downing Street won't deny the facts. As such I feel I have a right to feel annoyed and frustrated at politicians pretending they have solutions to the environmental challenge. We won't let Roger do it, it is much better for our ego and kudos if we can get the public to believe we know what we are doing. This is putting my life, my families, my friends, every bodies life and the future of this planet in danger for the sake of political posturing.

Sometime I want to get the Stern report and everything a politician presents on the environment, get a red pen mark it and send it back to them with see me on it. There again perhaps that was why the Cabinet Office did want me to proof and comment on their Regulatory Impact Assessment guide. (And produce the outline agenda for the G8 Summit in Perthshire, Climate Change and Africa). Why should I or anyone else with more than 40 years study of how this planet works have any confidence what so ever in someone who wanted to be a lawyer and in the last few months thinks they are an expert in planetary ecology just because it became fashionable to do so. Solicitors and politicians don't fix my central heating boiler or MOT my car so why should I trust them with a planet.

There I was feeling alone in my frustration when I read Doctor Vee's tribute to Chris Lightfoot. "read each manifesto until you encounter something really offensive or stupid, then stop and reject that party." Bye Bye Lib Dems.

I do agree with MacNumpty about negative comments. My view is critique as much as you want, but be prepared to outline the better alternative as well. So Ming, Gordon, Jack, Alex, Annabel, Dave, Nicol, Tony, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all are you going to turn up at Blairgowrie Town Hall at 7.30 Weds 28th March.

Scottish Ship Building Everything is Possible

This is a post from January on how Scotland can have a ship building future, what it's potential is and where the money comes from. The UK Nuclear Deterrent.

It was followed up here,
somehow JFK, Apollo 13 and Glen Lyon all got mixed together with Scottish shipbuilding.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Scottish Ship Building Job Losses: You Can Take a Horse To......

All the Scottish media, such as the Herald, have today covered the story of the potential job losses at the Ferguson yard. Yesterday J Arthur MacNumpty covered the ability of an independent Scotland to respond to change, with a follow up here, an ecology of independence.

In April last year every single MSP was sent the consultancy document Scotland: The World's First Ecological Superpower. That is every single MSP, even the ones the media are quoting and are making statements. I have many replies or receipts. The document specifically outlined the strategy to ensure a secure future, and need, for the Scottish ship building industry.

It just seems every MSP is involved in a blame game against the other parties and not having the courage and vision to make a better future for Scotland, which includes the once great ship building industry. I am pretty certain I heard that there are at present 20,000 ships world wide under construction (will have to check that) and we cannot keep 100 men in a job.

Scotland has the opportunity to respond to the needs of the global ecological revolution and lead the world. Why are our politicians involved in some pointless do nothing round of name calling and not getting on with the programme of making Scotland the world leader in maritime and oceanographic industries? Scotland was once. Why are we not doing it again? The world needs Scotland and the political establishment is not rising to the challenge.

Do you know what the saddest thing was? There was a Jim Moohan from the 'Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions' who was in all the TV and press coverage of the situation. So I thought I would contact him and tell him what every member of the Executive knew and what every MSP knew nearly 12 months ago. So I Googled his union for his contact details, well you try it as well. It's 2007 and the union doesn't have a website, well at least not in the top 100 hits in Google.

I sit here crying, tears flowing from my eyes in numbness and bewilderment. When I left school I did an engineering apprenticeship. Foundries, boiler shops, machine shops, drawing office, fabrication. 2500 of us could make anything you wanted. All gone, and when you see a 100 men making a last stand to protect something so pure and vital, the ability to do, the ability to make, the ability to create something tangible and real. Something that lives, something you have a pride and a connection with, something that when you see it, you can say, "I did that". When you want to help in some small way, you cannot even use the first choice of communication of the modern world.

How can you build a nation if you can't build a ship? How can you build a future if you can't build a ship? How can you put a planet back together and ensure a future for the continuance of all life if you can't build a ship? How can you build hope in a troubled world if you can't build a ship?

Well I suppose you could always build one as a weapon of war and destruction. £25 billion, a bargain, thank you very much. Somehow I think we have our priorities slightly wrong.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Blairgowrie Town Hall 7.30pm Wednesday 28th March Scotland:Ecological Superpower?


Wednesday 28th March 2007
7.30pm Blairgowrie Town Hall

£3.00 inc resources and refreshments

A talk and discussion with Roger Thomas, the Godfather of modern environmental culture. "Climate change is a greater threat than terrorism" is a phrase many people have heard and most environmental organisations use. Though the media attribute it to the Government's Chief Scientist, Sir David King, the original author was Roger Thomas.

The leaders of the G8 met in Perthshire at the Gleneagles Summit to discuss an agenda of climate change and Africa. An agenda prioritised by Roger Thomas 3 years before in a contribution to a UN report commissioned by the UK Government.

These world changing ideas derived from the 2001 proposal to use the Millennium Dome London as a £50 billion per year centre of global environmental management. This is the proposal the Governments own consultants wanted to support for the Dome.

Al Gore, politicians and many other 'celebrity campaigners' appear in the global media talking about climate change and the environmental challenges the planet faces. This is the opportunity to find out the source of some of their work and most importantly discuss the solutions they cannot give.

Changes in the Common Agricultural Policy, the solutions to Foot and Mouth used by the Government, Greenpeace's involvement in the Glastonbury festival, reversal of Government policy on older cars, flood prevention in Perthshire and why did Gordon Brown and David Cameron come up with similar environmental policies at the same time. All connected.

The future is the most important commodity we all share. Without the future you would not be able to read this sentence after the last one. Roger Thomas is the most influential and least known global authority on creating that better safer future for this planet. Join him, take part in a master class and make tomorrow better than today.

An Ecology of Independence

The development of human civilisation is going to be more dependent on ecological and environmental factors influencing it's political, social and economic components. Will Patterson writes a very concise but to me very accurate assessment of a benefit of independence for Scotland at J Arthur MacNumpty.

His conclusion or summation almost halfway through the post. Answer: when trouble does come, an independent government will be better equipped to respond to it than under the present system.

Ecological and environmental factors will now start to affect human civilisation at an increasing exponential rate. Whoever can best respond to these will 1) have the best chance for survival, and 2) be in the best position to take advantage of them. My reasoning is accurate predictions of human systems can best be done using the ecological tools, used to assess the ecological systems which we must now increasingly have to respond to.

One of these assessments is r and k selection. This covers a wide spectrum of applications, here let us just concentrate on the ability to respond to change. Imagine a bare area of ground is suddenly made available. One of the first species to colonise or make use of it will be something like an ant colony. They are straight in, they can multiply quickly, are small and can take advantage or respond to the new situation rapidly. They are an example of a r selected species.

A cow, oak tree, or lion cannot immediately respond, they are k selected. They are slow to reproduce, large have more long terms needs. It is the dinosaur concept. Conditions change. The dinosaurs cannot adapt quickly to the new conditions, they become extinct. The small pre mammals did. They responded quickly and took advantage of the changing conditions. It applies to many things. A small sporty car can respond quicker to the fast bends of a minor country road than an HGV.

The world is now going to change very rapidly, this is the opening of the global ecological revolution. Perhaps the world may not respond effectively or quick enough. There may well be upwards of 5 billion deaths and those that remain live in the 'Mad Max' scenario of the collapse of civilisation and society run by marauding war lords. Or society could respond and sort out the mess the planet is in and there could be some continuation of life as we know it on Earth.

An independent Scotland not slowed down by the clinging inertia of a great clunking UK, could respond quicker and take advantage of the essential global ecological revolution. Both for the advantage of Scotland and of the planet of which it is part.

The question is do the SNP have the policies to implement after independence. Or will they be the political party equivalent of Tony Blair. Great at getting elected, but in retrospect should have handed the running of the party to someone else with at the simplest, thought out long term workable policies.

At present the SNP seem to want to gain independence but then just do the same that has been tried before and also compete with all the other countries of the world. They seem to lack the vision and practical implementation to put Scotland at the front centre and leading edge of the global ecological revolution.

Will The SNP squander the one over riding benefit of independence. The ability of Scotland to respond quickly and effectively to whatever the future throws at it. Squandering that asset like Governments before squandered North Sea oil. A resource that could have been the foundation for the future frittered away on champagne, Porsches and rows of cheap consumer electrical shops in our towns. A billion year old legacy, here today gone tomorrow.

Scotland: The World's First Ecological Superpower?

Rangers Fans Threaten Sir Tom Farmer's Kwik-Fit

I have to admit to a childish minority past time, it started when watching the TV in the kitchen. The sound of kettles boiling, fan ovens etc always occurring when the news was on, that vital name or phrase often missed, so I took to having the subtitles on at times.

This has now resulted in the game of what did that say? The subtitles don't often read as to what was said, the results seem to skew towards the funny. Weakest Link occasionally has some classics, but it is the news and live programmes which offer the best in entertainment.

Last night Reporting Scotland had a story about David Murray from Rangers wanting clarification about how independence will affect Scottish business. The library pictures described 50,000 Rangers fans turning up with saltaires. The subtitles referred to an incident where 50,000 Rangers fans turned up and sold tyres.

If you haven't tried the subtitle game yet have a go, if nothing else it can occasionally add interest to the news. Though I suppose if you were really deaf it could be confusing.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Blairgowrie Liberal Democrats: Just When Did You Write This?

If you haven't been watching the TV, listening to the radio, reading blogs or newspapers, you might still know elections are approaching. Mysterious strangers knock on your door trying to introduce themselves, piles of papers and pamphlets appear through you letter box.
While I was reading this weeks Scottish Blogging Roundup, (thanks for another mention), the letter box clunked. Not with a big fist, but another pile of papers. The Scottish Liberal Democrats Focus for Blairgowrie and the Glens. I do read everything every political party sends, so don't think they are wasted. If you have gone to the trouble to write it, I will read it. That's as fair as I can be.
"With the dark nights now settling in the residents of Blairgowrie are having to walk around their town in the dark". Opens the reading. "With the dark nights now settling in.....". It is the 4th March, red squirrels play in the early morning sun just down the road, birds are calling and courting in the hedges and trees. New growth of grass and clover is appearing through the dark soil of footpaths through the fields. Just have to stop the description of Perthshire spring there, but you know where I am going.
So if dark night are settling in, we definitely know you wrote this before the Winter Solstice, as the nights haven't began to shorten. Settling in, that's like they've started and are noticeable but are not fully at home yet. Any guesses. Mid October OK with everyone. That is an election leaflet posted through the door an hour ago, that was written 5 months ago (probably).
Nice to know the Lib Dems have got their finger on the pulse.

Pole Position Articles and Blogs

I've always been into ecology, life and planets since I was a toddler, that was my main interest. Due as was it Bob Dylan said a simple twist of fate, I ended up getting qualified and working as a metallurgist. Once I took a car for a service, the owner of the business which specialised in performance engines and rally cars, finding out I was metallurgist removed me from my vehicle and I was presented with a set of drive shafts for my comments on. One thing lead to another and at one point the works factory vehicles were being shown the view of an exhaust. As a metallurgist the owner thought I should go down south and sit outside the office of Frank Williams or Ron Dennis until they gave me a job. Me, I was more interested in saving planets.
So this week has come as a bit of a surprise. First Honda announce their new 'Earth' livery and second the quality of some of the blogs that have appeared on the subject. One of the things I have found important about blogging is to read other blogs, you end up finding work better than you could have wrote on the subject and saves you time trying to write things. Firstly Shaun's Bicester blog got in touch for comments on the Honda livery, then Doctor Vee pulled out the biggest surprise, having only read him in context of Scottish politics, with his view of the Honda colour scheme and image. All I can add, trying to reconcile cars, politics and planets is the article I did for Dundee based website British Classic Cars. An update last year on an article I originally did in 2000.

My focus, probably influenced by such websites as Scottish blog roundup, is now going to move more into setting up the Scotland:World's First Ecological Superpower project, developed at the suggestion of Perth Business Gateway from the 2001 proposal to use the Millennium Dome as a global environmental management centre. Scottish Blog roundup and links has shown me the quality of political and social commentary writing, as Clint Eastwood said a man has got to know his limitations. This might mean we may have more chance of successfully sorting out the problems of the planet from a Scottish base and for Shaun and Brian I will get the metallurgical analysis of the MSC Napoli done. Though it seems a waste of what I have been taught and done, if anyone does want work doing in metallurgy especially on race cars, I am always open to suggestions.
What can't be ignored though is when politicians and political parties are trying to formulate policy on the environment. If your central heating boiler broke down and you called a plumber and Tony Blair turned up to mend it, "on your bike", might the first thing to say. Tony Blair wants to be a global leader on the environment. You wouldn't want a corporate lawyer fixing your plumbing, so why should we trust them with the planetary environment. It's not just New Labour all political parties are coming up with environmental policy. Unfortunately most is wrong, unworkable, useless or dangerous. Do they know what they are doing is pointless or is the media and public just not well enough informed to know our political masters haven't got a clue on the environment.

Probably the top engine builder outside of Formula 1 Dave Brooks Engines

Friday, 2 March 2007

YouScotland:Let Me Try Again

After the reviews here on the YouScotland website and Doctor Vee's blog and the Scottish blog round up I have been returning every day to see if they have implemented changes. Well this morning they have.
It seems they have left the old forum but added a new one. It seemed random which one you got. I tried to post, this meant I had to login, so did so in the left hand side. This took me via my options page to the old forum. As this was not the one I wanted, I clicked debates on the top which took me to the new forum.
This I then found I was not logged in for it. So did it again in the embedded part of the new forum. I tried 3 times but it kept on rejecting my pass word. I took the option of having my password sent to me under the forgotten password option, (even though I knew I was entering the correct one). The site then told me my email address was not recognised and had to contact the site administrator. There were other pages that said that an error had occurred or page not available and also had to contact the site admin.
Decided to leave it alone and come and write this. Perhaps someone else will test it and it might get sorted out. Anyway that was 20 minutes wasted. If anyone has worked out how to use it please could they leave the instructions in the comments here please.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Contaminated Petrol, Mass Hysteria or Trying It On

The lunch time news has been contaminated fuel, contaminated fuel etc etc. Is it or just mass hysteria? There are 10's millions cars on the road, so how many break down each day. The reports are saying hundreds or thousands of cars affected. One petrol station will serve hundreds of cars if not 1000s for a large one. So the figures don't seem to make sense.

The news seem to be reporting any old rubbish. ITV did a 5 minute interview with a Porsche owner who had broken down, the last question was, what was wrong? He replied the air mass meter. Dong. This is on the air inlet side, nothing to do with fuel or the exhaust and has nothing at all to do with the fuel side of the engine management system.

The BBC took one report from someone in Belfast who went to a nature reserve, crashed into a rock and his brakes seized, he put this down to the oxygen sensor. No you drove into a rock.

At the moment nothing from the media is giving me any indication that the breakdowns are anything more than the statistical average number that have then been whipped up into some mass delusion by the media.

One thing it has exposed is the complete inaccuracy of news reporting, absolutely no checks or any attempt to check the accuracy or validity of reports. If the media are doing it with something as simple as engine management systems of cars, what other bullshit are they passing off as truth. Apart from most of what they say on the environment that is.

Got to go the spare tyre needs repairing and I did buy some diesel last week, there must be a connection. I'll do the interview for Panorama or Dispatches first then contact trading standards to see what my rights are to getting 4 new ones in compensation.

Going to be really interesting to see how this one turns out. One thing is for certain there are going to be loads of people caught out for trying it on. Every scrap and knacked car in the south east is probably now being pushed into the road in an attempt to get some compensation.

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Flooding in Perthshire 'Retrospective' Update

The Courier has reported that the WWF has recommended that alternative methods be used to ease flood problems in Perthshire other than the building of concrete flood defenses. These include restoring flood plains and wetlands, going for a more sustainable approach to flood management.
It is unclear why the WWF has gone public on this or why the Courier has reported it as news. This method was known about 25 years ago to my knowledge and experience. In consultations for DEFRA in 2002, in the post FMD epidemic shake up of farming and land use, and in work I did for the Cabinet Office, these were changes I strongly argued for. This contributed to changes in the Common Agricultural Policy, which were pushed through with strong support by PM Tony Blair.
Really the Courier and the WWF should be looking at the reason for the unsustainable 'concrete solution' always having pre-eminence when flooding is mentioned. Is it anything to do that when a report is commissioned, it is very often done by concrete loving civil engineers?
The situation also raises the problem solving approach to environmental challenges. Far too often a technocentric approach is taken over the more appropriate ecocentric solution. The situation of flood prevention is a good example of where the media and headline makers should report on the most advanced perspectives on a subject area and not rely on reporting as news things which were current 25 years ago.
All Perth and Kinross Councillors had access to the Perthshire Flood Damage article of 17th January 2007 so for many yesterday's report told them nothing new. One benefit of the internet is that the most accurate and up to date information can be supplied to those who require it. A Benefit for all of society and the planet.
Perthshire SNP MP Pete Wishart has since written to me and informed me that his is waiting for a reply from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Though I have no doubt that any reply may fall short of the truth at least it is another point from which we can start asking questions from as to why when the Government had the solutions to flood problems in Perthshire in 2001 they chose to ignore them.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Michael Meacher Labour Leadership: 10 Nil

Having given an early assessment on David Miliband, Miliband v Brown: Just What is it? and his potential bid for the Labour leadership up pops Michael Meacher for a crack at the title.

The only time I have seen Meacher speak in person was at the Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House a few years back when he was still Minister for the Environment, he was part of a panel discussing the UKs follow up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa. Due to a defeat in the Lords over a Foot and Mouth connected matter, Meacher was delayed in Downing Street and the meeting had to start without him.

About 25 minutes late Meacher arrived took his place on the panel and jumped straight in. Without notes or any briefing he was a man at the top of his game and with the command of his subject. Without any notes he was able to comment on the debate he had missed when asked and was completely fluent in any question or topic presented. To say he was impressive would be an understatement.

It was noticeable that when he was later sacked from his Ministerial post there was a current of disenchantment with the decision from within the environmental movement.

Just hearing the news that Meacher was to stand against Gordon Brown was interesting. In any leadership contest with a general move of the agenda putting environment at the centre Meacher would have to be strong influence.

So what of Meacher’s bid. Well his knowledge of the environment is impressive, certainly it would be an environmentally and ecologically better world with Meacher having more control in that area. Nationalisation of the railways? Well personally having been brought in from the ‘outside’ and given a team to set up the site of one of the biggest civil engineering projects in Europe for Network Rail, I suffered from severe culture shock.

There are many things not right with the set-up. These seem to stem from it’s genotype at the birth of Railtrack. The way it’s legal and commercial frame work was constructed has very little to do with efficient delivery of projects and more to do with other agendas. Working within the organisation is a conflict between common sense and institutionalised stupidity. Throwing in a word like nationalisation does not address the situation and more likely to distance people away from the idea of creating a better rail system.

£7.00 minimum wage, well were is this going to come from? OK I can see a situation if somebody is being paid the £5.00 plus while working for a firm paying the massive bonuses in the city or for a supermarket making £ billions in profits. The money is there it is just not being distributed equitably. What about the small corner shop existing on tight margins that has to open 16 hours a day just to survive. They might need to have someone there all the time. Pushing up a wage bill by £2.00 an hour with the extra NI is an extra £225 a week on top of the existing overheads. That is a lot of money. They close, instead of walking to the local shop people drive to the supermarket. A local job lost , you are feeding your climate change inferno and removing a community resource.

So what is all this left of centre politics, just moving side to side on the old political spectrum. If you were making a bid couldn’t you have produced something more imaginative and relevant to the present and future political landscape. I admit you know more than Miliband on the environment, but at least he’s got ‘bold labour not old Labour’.

Don’t try and hide it, I read your 911 conspiracy theory. I have lots of questions about it, at the moment I am on the hypothesis (not yet a theory) that the terrorists (if we are allowed to call them that) got lucky, very lucky. So lucky there may well be some other explanation for it. Having said that I still don’t buy your theories yet. That takes more organisation and opportunities for things going wrong or the plot to be uncovered than the simple, terrorist hijack planes and fly them into buildings.
Michael Meacher has fantastic, awesome and impressive knowledge and insights into the global ecological and environmental challenges. He just seems to keep his intellect in separate little boxes and does allow the connections between them to be made to present a workable whole challenge. Michael Meacher’s political brain is it's own political football match, Environment 10 The Rest 0.

Meacher’s involvement in the leadership adds interest and could be of benefit as he could stir up the environment agenda, but his overall presentation is so disconnected you could drive a bus from a public transport policy through it.

Besides when I wrote to him, despite his PA (Monica) saying he would reply, he didn’t.

Monday, 19 February 2007

YouScotland The Morning After

After yesterdays review of the launch of YouScotland, this morning had a visit to see how they were progressing. With about 20 more general posts on their welcome forum there had been some activity.
Nicely they have apologised for the technical problems they had encountered. Launching a web based democracy movement with a dodgy site may well have resulted in late night arse kicking competition. Other forums have been added for discussion. If you enter the one on Xenophobia it appears compulsory to have a line about warrior princesses, a bit like discussing the MSC Napoli without mentioning it's academic qualifications.
Anyway there are bits on Trident 2, Cash for Peerages etc. I started with a post on the Trident forum and replied to one on environmental concerns for Scotland in the any other ideas part.
The technical problems probably won't affect the site in the long term as they might have not got all that many visitors to notice them. It stuck me this morning that if you are trying to attract people disenchanted with the political establishment, then perhaps the Politics Show, The Herald, Scotsman and Guardian weren't the ideal places to market the site. These are part of the established political set up.
Anyway good fortune may be their way. Not many people visited a technically flawed site. Which is far better than million going there. Now they will have the chance to improve the site in balance with hopefully more visitors. All in all worked out OK for them.

Sunday, 18 February 2007


Saw The Politics Show piece about participatory democracy and YouScotland, revolution in cyberspace and thought that was interesting. Somehow was the first to their blog site to post, though didn't know what I was posting to. The subject was only added later, Dragons Den, which is why no ones post made any sense to the subject for those going there now.

Then I found the forum, which took an age to register for. Thought that I would never get a post with the expected rush straight after the TV programme. Then found out when posted I was only about the 20th post having already been in the blog as well. In my post to add support to the cause I had added a hyperlink, unfortunately when it published it turned everything into a hyperlink, so was useless. Tried to edit my post 3 times without success. So posted a brief comment without hyperlink, having to point out the software was dodgy.
There are many deserving projects and initiatives that could and would create a better future that are starved of the publicity they deserve to help them evolve because they do not have friends or contacts in the media. YouScotland got the publicity, but didn't back it up with the heart of a site to match. Only bloggers would have the patience and knowledge to work through it, but they don't need such a site, they have the whole 'blogsphere' to roam, post and discuss in. The non bloggers disenchanted by the present political establishment should have been the target for YouScotland, unfortunately such a user unfriendly site would loose them straight away.

The site was supposed to be accessible for those with the minimum of computer experience. Not so, it was very unintuitive, links did not work, the site was unfinished for a launch and very difficult to navigate. Some posts noted the lack of response re the number of posts. It would be interesting to know how many hits it had, and how many tried to or wanted to make a comment and were put off or failed.

The idea was laudable, but if you are going to try to create a revolution in cyberspace, the first priority should be your site and software is at least basically up to the job. This Google blogger set up was better, as in easier to use for a visitor, than their revolutionary cyberspace offering.

The sad thing is they got so much media coverage, probably due to their connections, on TV and in the papers, then let the whole project down with the most important aspect, a sloppy site set up. It's not even though they can say well you try it. I haven't done it with websites, but with concerts. when you are doing large open air concerts you cannot have a rehearsal. Everything comes together on the day, it is the preplanning that ensures when you have a sea of thousands watching, when it starts, it is perfect and is perfect in every way through the event. You owe that to your audience who have made the effort to turn up.
Part of the proposal to use the Millennium Dome as a global environmental management centre relied very heavily on internet and advanced interactive communications so the YouScotland initiative was very interesting to me as an example of how some of those ideas could be implemented. The difference with the Millennium Dome proposal was though it contained most of the solutions to climate change and many other environmental challenges as well as being able to save many lives and stop the extinctions of lots of animals and plants, and create £billions of revenue per year, the media had no interest in it.
Probably it would have been better for YouScotland to have run the site for a while before having the big media launch, iron out the bugs and got some feedback on how to get it ready for a big hype launch. It will be interesting to see how many do return to the site in spite of the first day let down. I have volunteered to moderate or run their ecology or environment forums, it remains to be seen if they will contact me over that. If they have only a low level of participation though my time is better spent on this site and other projects which will have a bigger impact for a better future than YouScotland will have in it's present form and if it doesn't evolve. At present it is no threat to the political establishment. Even taking the whole of Scotland, it still lost it's deposit. In political terms it is yet not even a Kilroy-Silk.