Brian Micklethwait's Blog
In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.Home
Simon Gibbs on Wedding photography (4): Preparations
6000 on Bookshops as Amazon showrooms
Darren on Bookshops as Amazon showrooms
Michael Jennings on Wedding photography (2): Signs
MarkR on Feynman Diagrams on the Feynman van
MNB Achari on Google Nexus 4 photos
MNB Achari on The ups and downs of English
Robert Hale on Feynman Diagrams on the Feynman van
Laurence Sheldon on Bookshops as Amazon showrooms
Bryn Braughton on Bookshops as Amazon showrooms
Most recent entries
- Wedding photography (4): Preparations
- Bookshops as Amazon showrooms
- Reflections on a strange coincidence involving an Android app and a malfunctioning bus stop sign
- Feynman Diagrams on the Feynman van
- Rothko Toast
- Wedding photography (3): Technology as sculpture
- And another posting from my smartphone
- Posted from my new smartphone
- Google Nexus 4 photos
- Wedding photography (2): Signs
- Wedding photography (1): The superbness of the weather
- A Fleet Street lunch
- So painters also used to “take” pictures
- Funniest run out ever?
- Shadow photography
Other Blogs I write for
6000 Miles from Civilisation
A Decent Muesli
Adventures in Capitalism
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Another Food Blog
Antoine Clarke's Election Watch
Armed and Dangerous
Art Of The State Blog
Boatang & Demetriou
Burning Our Money
Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry
China Law Blog
Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog
Coffee & Complexity
Communities Dominate Brands
Confused of Calcutta
Conservative Party Reptile
Counting Cats in Zanzibar
Deleted by tomorrow
Don't Hold Your Breath
Douglas Carswell Blog
Dr Robert Lefever
Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights
Everything I Say is Right
Fat Man on a Keyboard
Ferraris for all
Freedom and Whisky
From The Barrel of a Gun
Gates of Vienna
Global Warming Politics
Greg Mankiw's Blog
Guido Fawkes' blog
Here Comes Everybody
Hit & Run
House of Dumb
Iain Dale's Diary
Jeffrey Archer's Official Blog
Jessica Duchen's classical music blog
Laissez Faire Books
Last of the Few
Libertarian Alliance: Blog
Liberty Dad - a World Without Dictators
Lib on the United Kingdom
Little Man, What Now?
Loic Le Meur Blog
L'Ombre de l'Olivier
London Daily Photo
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
Michael J. Totten's Middle East Journal
More Than Mind Games
Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism
My Boyfriend Is A Twat
My Other Stuff
Nation of Shopkeepers
Never Trust a Hippy
Non Diet Weight Loss
Nurses for Reform blog
Obnoxio The Clown
On an Overgrown Path
One Man & His Blog
Owlthoughts of a peripatetic pedant
Oxford Libertarian Society /blog
Patri's Peripatetic Peregrinations
Police Inspector Blog
Private Sector Development blog
Remember I'm the Bloody Architect
Setting The World To Rights
SimonHewittJones.com The Violin Blog
Sky Watching My World
Social Affairs Unit
Squander Two Blog
Stuff White People Like
Stumbling and Mumbling
Technology Liberation Front
The Adam Smith Institute Blog
The Becker-Posner Blog
The Belgravia Dispatch
The Belmont Club
The Big Blog Company
The Big Picture
the blog of dave cole
The Corridor of Uncertainty (a Cricket blog)
The Daily Ablution
The Devil's Advocate
The Devil's Kitchen
The Dissident Frogman
The Distributed Republic
The Early Days of a Better Nation
The Examined Life
The Fly Bottle
The Freeway to Serfdom
The Future of Music
The Happiness Project
The Jarndyce Blog
The London Fog
The Long Tail
The Lumber Room
The Online Photographer
The Only Winning Move
The Policeman's Blog
The Road to Surfdom
The Wedding Photography Blog
The Welfare State We're In
UK Commentators - Laban Tall's Blog
UK Libertarian Party
Violins and Starships
we make money not art
What Do I Know?
What's Up With That?
Where the grass is greener
White Sun of the Desert
Why Evolution Is True
Your Freedom and Ours
Arts & Letters Daily
Bjørn Stærk's homepage
Butterflies and Wheels
Dark Roasted Blend
Digital Photography Review
Ghana Centre for Democratic Reform
Global Warming and the Climate
History According to Bob
Institut économique Molinari
Institute of Economic Affairs
Ludwig von Mises Institute
Oxford Libertarian Society
The Christopher Hitchens Web
The Space Review
The TaxPayers' Alliance
This is Local London
UK Libertarian Party
Victor Davis Hanson
WSJ.com Opinion Journal
Bits from books
Bloggers and blogging
Brian Micklethwait podcasts
Cats and kittens
Food and drink
How the mind works
Media and journalism
Middle East and Islam
My blog ruins
Signs and notices
The Micklethwait Clock
This and that
Category archive: Environment
A fortnight ago today, I went to a wedding. The weather, just as the weather boffins had been prophesying throughout the previous week, was superb:
Click to get a bit of context.
1.1: The weather outside my front door.
1.2: The weather at Aldermaston Station, near where the wedding was to be, when I stepped out of the train.
1.3: The weather at the venue, when I first got there.
2.1: Ditto, this time with a view from the venue. Different view. Same superb weather.
2.2, 2.3: More water-based picturesqueness. 2.2: A cloud! Scary! The little square from 2.3 is a bit lighter than the others, because the photo (click) was mostly landscape, with only a tiny bit of sky, which caused the Automatic setting on my camera to make the sky lighter. The original version of the little square picture featured those sharp shadows, but I decided to stay abstract.
The Bride and Groom, the Groom especially (what with him being the fretter of that team) had been fretting for the last two months about what the weather would be like. Would it be horribly cold? No bother. As another guest said, they chose the first day of Summer.
I have many more wedding snaps to show you, but am doing them in separate postings which each make a few particular points, rather than as a huge and totally unwieldy posting that nobody, apart from the Groom, would have read. That way, I also get some of these postings done, as opposed to (maybe) none of them. That itself being a point.
British Summer Time began last Sunday, and I surely wasn’t the only Brit taken by surprise. According to our excellent and invariably accurate short range weather forecasters (the long range climate guessers are something else entirely), the current (bitterly) cold spell that we are enduring will only end around the middle of this month.
On April 20th, two friends of mine are to be married, hopefully in the warm outdoors, and I hope to be taking photos of it, in the warm outdoors. They hope, as do I, that the cold will soon abate. Fingers crossed. The weather is getting sunnier now, but is still amazingly cold. Coldest March Britain has had for over half a century, they are saying. It was several years ago now that they (i.e. the long range climate guessers) changed Global Warming to Climate Chaos. Wise move. Wiser would have been to shut the fuck up and let Western Civilisation (a) proceed without them fucking with it, and (b) deal with any climate dramas if and when.
Meanwhile, the cold has kept me from roaming London taking snaps during the last week or two. Instead I roam through my recent archives, looking for interesting snaps taken on warmer days.
Here are some more:
This time there are more of those commonplace things that look better in good photos, as I hope you think these somewhat are, than they do when you actually see them. That’s if you even do see them, as in notice them.
Besides which, a double decker bus advert may be pretty obvious stuff to a fellow Londoner. But what if you are one of those lost souls who lives outside London? Or worse, who has never even been to London? Or perhaps never even set eyes on a double decker bus? A double decker bus advert must seem, to such a person, almost unbearably exotic and glamorous.
Note, in the first picture, top left, reflections of these buildings.
One of the about seventy seven signs of aging is definitely being more sensitive to the weather, and in particular the cold. I remember feeling this way as a small child, when first compelled to travel every morning to school. Now, I feel it again. I actually “caught a chill” earlier this week, and had to take to my bed for a whole day.
However, I will soon be getting out from under the weather, if the next ten day weather forecast is anything to go by, which it is. As of today, it looked like that (see right).
Talking of short range weather forecasts, James Delingpole did a silly piece in the Daily Mail a while back, saying the Met Office is a total waste of space. But it is precisely because the Met Office’s short-range weather forecasts are generally so spot-on that its mad opinions about the weather in the more distant future are taken so seriously. If the short-range forecasts were as bad as so many unthinking idiots say, the Met Office wouldn’t be half such a menace on the C(atastrophic) A(nthropogenic) G(lobal) W(arming) front. This Delingpole article played right into the hands of CAGW-ers. Asked the News Statesman: Was there ANYTHING in James Delingpole’s Daily Mail piece which was true? Yes. The Met Office is bonkers about CAGW. But Delingpole’s attempts to prove that the Met Office never gets anything right were indeed ridiculous, and did the anti-CAGW team no favours at all.
But I digress. To more serious matters. There is another reason I am glad the weather is going to perk up soon, which is that rugby matches are far more entertaining when the weather is nicer.
The Six Nations began with what the commentators were all telling each other was one of the best Six Nations first weekends ever. All three games were full of tries. England won. Okay, only against Scotland, but they won, and actually Scotland are looking a bit better now, with some backs who can actually run fast. Ireland and Wales scored lots of tries against each other. Italy beat France. It doesn’t get much better for an England fan.
But then the weather turned nasty and the games turned attritional. England beat Ireland, but nobody scored any tries. England beat France, with one fortuitous England try which shouldn’t have been allowed. Italy reverted to being … Italy. The one truly entertaining thing about the next two weekends, after the entirely entertaining first weekend, is that now it’s England played 3 won 3 and France played 3 won ZERO! Arf arf. Sorry Antoine.
Talking of England v France, I’ve been reading (and watching the telly) about the 100 Years War. And it seems that towards the end, the French cheated by having guns. That explains a lot.
So anyway, no more 6N rugby until the weekend after next, and I really miss it, just as I did the weekend before last. The Six Nations takes seven weekends to get done, with weekends 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7 being occupied with games, and weekends 3 and 5 being skipped. During weekends 3 and 5, I pine, and watch ancient rugby games, the way I never would normally, to fill the rugby gap.
The best ones I recently watched were two epic Wales wins against France, in 1999 (France 33 Wales 34) and 2001 (France 35 Wales 43), on VHS tapes. Sorry Antoine. But the next one I’ll be watching will be 2002 (Wales 33 France 37).
That’s the headline, but really, all that the cats are doing is killing off a few endangered bird species.
I guess people get so used to saying that something is both destroying the planet and meanwhile killing a few endangered species, that if all that it’s really doing is killing a few endangered species, it must also be destroying the planet.
Kitten blogging from Delingpole:
Among the report’s findings are that large scale industrial wind farms can:
Rescue drowning kittens from sacks in canals and lead them to secure, happy homes where they are well cared for in handcrafted wicker baskets with lovely, snuggly faux-sheepskin blankets for them to purr on and little saucers of organic Jersey cream designed by Cath Kidston.
Whoever she is. This, apparently.
The enviro-argument has reached an odd stage. Day after day, enviro-non-loonies like the increasingly contemptuous Delingpole pound away at enviro-looniness. Yet because the Cameron Government is a coalition, founded on a deal to do (among other daft things) enviro-looniness, the government just ignores all the complaints, merely cutting the sillier enviro-schemes by small amounts, but leaving the basic looniness to continue. Yet the public must be noticing. They are paying the mad energy bills. They, some of them, must be reading about all the corruption (YeoGummer, etc.). The entire Conservative Party is disgusted and in the mood to vote UKIP en masses. The top end of the Labour Party says nothing, because they believe in enviro-looniness also, yet their massed members must be disgusted by YeoGummer.
So, nobody is happy. The enviro-loonies aren’t getting as much public money as they had hoped for. Many of the rest of us still think they’re getting far too much.
It’s one of those situations where, as Instapundit would say, it if can’t last for ever, it won’t.
But maybe it will.
More enviro-blogging from Natalie, here.
I just attached this comment to a Samizdata posting about Bjorn Lomborg. I don’t want to forget about it, so it also goes here.
My prejudice about Lomborg (which is why I have not studied his thoughts in much depth) is that he doesn’t understand the argument he says he is in.
In particular, he doesn’t grasp that the essence of the Climate argument concerns whether or not there is going to be a Climate Catastrophe. If there is, then all Lomborg’s chat about merely improving the lives of the poor is just fiddling while Rome awaits incineration.
But if the evidence for a forthcoming catastrophe is no better now than at any other time during human history, then Lomborg’s arguments make sense, as do all other arguments about merely improving things. Economics, business, capitalism, etc. all make sense, and there is no excuse for global collectivism, because it only makes things worse. The only excuse for global collectivism is in preventing a global catastrophe that is otherwise unpreventable.
Which is why the global catastrophe was fabricated. The whole point of the Catastrophic bit in Catastrophic AGW is to render economics, business, capitalism etc (Lomborgism you might say), pointless.
And Lomborg has spent his life ignoring that bit of the argument, that bit being the bit that matters by far the most.
As it happens, the Catastrophists are now losing (on the science), which is why they are switching back to gibbering on about “sustainability”, or even more ridiculously, shortages of this or that. In short, they are moving back to the territory where Lomborg and all the rest of us will defeat them with ease, again. But Lomborg himself has contributed nothing to this intellectual victory. He has merely confused things somewhat, by implying that this is all about regular economics. It is not. It is about whether regular economics now applies to the world, or not.
I would be interested to know if commenters who know Lomborg’s writings better than I do think that these are accurate prejudices.
Presumably these exoplanets are inhabited by gods.
Or perhaps by very rich socialite ladies. “My exoplanet is simply divine, my dears.”
I know, silly. Divine means identify. But I laughed.
There was that hideous cold snap in early February (which is not that surprising), which was the time, fool that I was, I chose for my recent trip to Paris. And then at the end of March there was a warm snap, when I was back in London.
So here are some snaps of the other kind of London’s Millennium Footbridge dug up from the archives, taken during that warm snap:
And now it’s back to being cold. Sign of advancing years: being acutely sensitive to temperature.
Once upon a time, I used to have a Culture Blog, now ruined of course. But be that as it may, one of the semi-cultural things I found I really liked was stuff that wasn’t Modern Art, but which looked like it was Modern Art. So, for instance, I love this:
Found it here. Apparently it proves that all that “hide the decline” stuff was worse than we thought.
Which is the general effect that Climategate 2 seems to be having. Worse than we thought.
I here at BrianMicklethwaitDotCom do love a good bridge, and here is a bridge with a difference:
It’s the Rainbow Bridge next to Lake Powell in Utah, USA. The difference from regular bridges being that nobody built it. It just happened. It is very big. Bigger, I suspect than it looks in the many, many photos that have been taken of it, on account of the clear air making everything in those parts look nearer and hence smaller than it really is.
I learned of it because Stephen Fry went to visit it, in the course of making his TV series about America.
Indeed. Try to guess what this next oddity is before you follow any links. Or, don’t. It’s entirely up to you.
It’s one of these.
Says Anthony Watts:
If there’s one speech about the climate debate worth reading in your lifetime, this is it.
Arguments can be placed along a spectrum. At one end there are arguments which hinge on people understand just one simple chain of logic. Many other things, which seem to matter, don’t. It’s not complicated. Are you older than me or younger? If we know both our birthdays, there’s our answer. Which of us merely looks older, for whatever complicated reasons involving the look of our bodies or the sound of our voices or the colour of our hair, can be set aside, if we have the dates of birth to compare. Your birthday comes before mine, therefore you are older. Simple.
But other arguments are complicated. No one little bit of logic clinches things. The things being argued about are complicated, and the number of different considerations involved in the argument, all of them significant, are similarly complicated. Climate is complicated. The case for not getting excited about C(atastrophic) A(nthorpogenic) G(lobal) W(arming), and in particular not in the ways now being recommended to and inflicted upon the world, is complicated.
Ridley’s summary of the case for climate skepticism is the best I have yet read. As long as it has to be, but as short as it can be. Understandable to the intelligent layman, and especially to the non-climate scientist.
I believe that the argument against CAGW has long been won. But news of this victory has been slow to circulate amongst the wider public. This lecture could change that. And the number of comments accumulating at Bishop Hill and WUWT proves that I am not the only one who feels this way about it. Thank you Ridley, for speaking our minds so well.
From commenter Aynsley Kellow (at 9.29 am), on this at Bishop Hill:
Confession time: I wrote an essay for Raser on how we could dismantle the military-industrial complex. I suggested that we needed a new mission to occupy all those physicists and mathematicians employed on missiles and the space program, and suggested that environmental protection would provide sufficient complexity, challenge and (importantly) employment. Be careful of what you wish for, I guess.
Even if no-one deliberately unleashed such a plan, might this be a part of what is happening? Otherwise about-to-be-unemployed geeks (i.e. the rather less bright variety) suffering from post Cold War downsizing?
Last night I did a Samizdata posting about a BBC Radio 4 programme on the psychology of the global warming debate. Then, since one of his commenters had mentioned in passing that this programme was coming up, and what with him having long specialised in the subject, I thought maybe Bishop Hill might be willing to give my Samizdata posting a mention. So I emailed him with the link, on the off chance. And sure enough, there it is, generously quoted, in the latest (as I write this) Bishop Hill posting. I have just emailed him thank you.
It says a little something about how well Bishop Hill has been doing that now it is a Samizdata contributor hoping that Bishop Hill will give a plug to a Samizdata posting. I can just about remember when we were plugging him, and he was emailing us his thankyous. Those days are now long gone. Another straw in that wind: five comments so far on the Samizdata piece, one by me. On the Bishop Hill posting, already, seemingly in no time: eleven.
When trying to think of an example of significant bloggers to mention in my previous posting, I found myself giving equal billing to Guido Fawkes ... and to Bishop Hill. And I think that’s now about right. I don’t know the numbers, but, in terms of impact and influence in their distinct arenas, I think they are very roughly on a par. And that’s absolutely not to do down Guido. It’s to do up the Bishop.