Shades of Fahrenheit 451 – British retirees burning books to stay warm

Remember these chaps? This time they’ll be putting out the book fires rather than starting them.
Click for larger image

From Benny Peiser’s daily newsletter, it appears to be time for a revolt in Britain:
GREEN BRITAIN: PENSIONERS BURN BOOKS TO STAY WARM

Metro News, 5 January 2010

Excerpts:

Hard-up pensioners have resorted to buying books from charity shops and burning them to keep warm.
Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6ºC in London, -5ºC in Birmingham and -7ºC in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite.

Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal.

A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night.’

A 500g book can sell for as little as 5p, while a 20kg bag of coal costs £5.

Since January 2008, gas bills have risen 40 per cent and electricity prices 20 per cent, although people over 60 are entitled to a winter fuel allowance of between £125 and £400.

============
And it appears the problem is only going to get worse….
============
GREEN BRITAIN FACES ENERGY NIGHTMARE

Daily Mail, 3 January 2010 Tom McGhie

Household gas and electricity bills are expected to rocket fourfold to nearly £5,000 a year by the end of the decade to meet Government-imposed green targets. And the price heavy industry will have to pay by 2020 is so high that energy-dependent firms could be wiped out, causing thousands of job losses, said an industry spokesman.

A massive rethink on the cost of ‘green energy’ is taking place in Whitehall among senior regulators and industry, leading some to question whether the public will be prepared to pay increasingly high bills for the UK to become greener than most countries.

Officials at regulator Ofgem now privately admit that a report they issued only last year severely underestimates the cost of cutting carbon emissions by building a new energy infrastructure for the UK.

more here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1240201/Watchdog-rethinks-consumer-cost-green-energy.html

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200 thoughts on “Shades of Fahrenheit 451 – British retirees burning books to stay warm

  1. More from Benny Peiser’s newsletter.

    WHAT HAPPENED TO SPAIN’S GREEN JOBS?

    NC Media Watch, 4 January 2010

    Russ Steele

    The Sunday San Francisco Chronicle Business section has this story on unemployment soaring among Spain’s youth by Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times. As you will recall, Spain was on the forefront of going green. While Spain has traditionally suffered from relatively high unemployment, double the 9.8 percent average for the European Union, but the sharpest increase has been among young people. It has jumped from 17.5 percent three years ago to the current 42.9 percent.

    Unemployment soars among Spain’s youth

    “Like hundreds of thousands of other young people, Jesus Pesquero Penas dropped out of school to go to work when the Spanish economy was booming. But since he was laid off from his construction job two years ago, he has been living on unemployment benefits. Now Penas finds himself part of a lost generation in Spain, where unemployment among people ages 16-24 is 42.9 percent, the highest in Europe, and more than double the overall rate.”

    Where are all the promised green jobs? How could this happen when Spain was on the leading edge in the EU to convert to a sustainable life style free from their oil addiction, by adopting wind and solar power. California Governor has often pointed to Spain as a example for California to follow.

    “Adding to Spain’s woes, its government is unable to inject more stimulus and offer further support for job creation while its economy languishes as one of the weakest in Europe. The outlook on Spanish sovereign debt was recently downgraded, and the government is moving to raise taxes and cut spending.”

    As I have written before, every green job in Spain created through government subsidies resulted in the loss of 2.5 jobs in the regular economic sectors. Details here. Though not mentioned in the NYT article one has to wonder how much going green contributed to the job losses in the youth sector?

    “In part, Spain is paying the price for its efforts to make it easier to put young people to work. In recent years, a disproportionate share of Spanish youth were employed on temporary contracts. So they were the easiest to lay off when the economy sank, said Alfonso Prieto, deputy director general of employment studies at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.”

    Again, one has to ask were those temporary employment contracts funded with government subsidies for green jobs? Will the same happen in California, if we create job with government subsidies? We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation and the Governor is seeking green subsidies a Federal bailout? We should all be aware of the Spanish experience.

  2. Since January 2008, gas bills have risen 40 per cent and electricity prices 20 per cent

    This is what Barak Obama wants—“necessarily skyrocket” electric bills.

    As long as they burn books with ‘Audacity’ in the title I’m fine with it.

  3. Message from the Great Britain, a country that used to run a third of the globe

    …We’re stuffed…

    That is all.

  4. A massive rethink on the cost of ‘green energy’ is taking place in Whitehall among senior regulators and industry, leading some to question whether the public will be prepared to pay increasingly high bills

    The public can’t pay it now. They’re wondering if the public is prepared??

    Man, these guys are on the ball!

  5. dave ward (07:15:31)

    “Energy Efficient” bulbs

    Ya, pay no attention to the mercury in them.

    This going green thing is working out so good!

  6. Call me crazy but I do believe this is deliberate. Looks like the Brits are leading the road back to serfdom.

  7. ??44 lbs of coal costs $7.50 – $10??

    Time to export some relief to the good ol’ USS United Kingdom!

    Isn’t it about time to kick some “bleeding heart liberals” out of their well heated 44,ooo sq ft mansions and villas and put things back to normal? Burning books? Books cheaper than coal? Hello! What planet am I on?

  8. There’s a good 6″ of white global warming soot in my back garden in West Yorkshire.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/6935965/Britain-paralysed-by-snow-and-freezing-weather.html

    “Forecasters warned that the snow and arctic conditions are set to continue into the weekend, while southern England is braced to be the “crucible” of the severe weather later today.

    The renewed wave of bitter weather comes as experts predicted that Britain is facing the coldest winter in 100 years.”

  9. I would invite all readers to help improving the climategate article on wikipedia, which has been hijacked by alarmists that have a troop of sleepless zealots that work in conjunction with the aim to keep the page as useless as possible. Please bear in mind the use of reliable sources and read and add your views in the discussion page before changing the main article. We need more people to counter W. Connolley and his troop of alarmists:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_e-mail_hacking_incident

    talk page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Climatic_Research_Unit_e-mail_hacking_incident

  10. Thats not all

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/6935965/Britain-paralysed-by-snow-and-freezing-weather.html

    “The prolonged cold snap has also led to fears that Britain could be confronted with a shortage of gas after the National Grid warned supplies to reduce use of the fuel.

    It was the second time ever that the move has been taken and came after a 30 per cent rise on normal seasonal demand. ”

    What confuses me is the snowfalls in th e US and Canada are more considerable, yet you don’t get the same paralysis. I guess it’s because we haven’t had a cold winter like this for a long time (apart from last year)

  11. Is this likely soon to be the USA … And isn’t that the problem.

    If green is your god, then nuclear power should be your savior … Else it’s all a lie, isn’t it.

  12. Don Keiller (07:07:02) :

    More from Benny Peiser’s newsletter.

    WHAT HAPPENED TO SPAIN’S GREEN JOBS?

    It seems those should be called ‘welfare jobs’. In America Van Jones had planned for ‘green jobs’ to be inner-city jobs—“climate ‘justice’……give them the wealth, give them the wealth!”—was his mantra.

    But Van Jones was ‘stepped down’.

  13. I want James Hanson to tell us once again what it is that constitutes a “crime against humanity”

    This is appalling and calls up mental images of Fagin, complete with fingerless gloves, burning rags and garbage to stay warm at the end of the LIA.

    Return of the Frost Fairs.

  14. Britain does not exist any more – its been taken over.

    Its about time for tanks on Parliament Square (and not water tanks). Anything Cromwell can do, we can do better…

    .

  15. Many years ago, during one of the many previous manifestations of the eco-terrorist phenomenon, I saw a bumper sticker at a geological Society of America meeting which read:

    Ban Mining: Let the Bastards Freeze in the Dark.

    I wish I had bought out the man’s entire stock so I could have put one on each the many cars I have owned since.

  16. Funny story, but anyone with a fireplace in which they can burn books would get a lot more benefit from blocking it up and using something like an oil-filled electric radiator.

  17. Re: Dave Ward’s link:
    “An average gas and electricity customer pays £38 a year towards subsidies for green projects, according to Ofgem”

    Perhaps some of the British can capitalize on this insanity by selling T shirts, with the caption: ” 38 Pounds a Year and all i got was a lousy lightbulb”.

  18. joe (07:22:09) :

    Call me crazy but I do believe this is deliberate. Looks like the Brits are leading the road back to serfdom.

    Piers Corbyn thinks higher food prices caused by biofuels is intentional.

    He’s right a lot.

    I paid attention when he said that.

  19. We had a new boiler fitted in August so our first quarterly bill for gas and electricity came in December. We were very pleased that it showed a 25% decrease compared with more or less the same period in 2008. And that with no price increase during the year from our supplier.

    However our “delight” has been short lived with the recent cold “snap” as the BBC calls it increasing our gas consumption by almost 100% to maintain the same temperature. We’ve had to turn it down and put on even more layers. I’m typing this wearing thermals, a fleece top and a blanket round my shoulders.

    So our next bill will be at least 50% higher than the last quarter and we are on a limited income. Hate to think what it might have been with the old inefficient boiler. Probably at least double.

    How on earth our government in the UK thinks we are going to be able to afford a 400% increase in fuel charges to fund their outrageous plans I really don’t know. Gordon Brown has announced plans to spend £100bn on more windmills even though the link to this table below shows that the current wind turbines only produced 0.4% of the country’s power output, the bulk supplied by the gas and coal powered stations (that we are having to close down from NEXT year on the orders of the EU)

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/01/monument-to-folly.html

  20. Pascvaks (07:22:27) :

    Burning books? Books cheaper than coal? Hello! What planet am I on?

    I think they’re talking about used, donated books at places like Goodwill.

    Pretty crafty of the pensioners I think.

  21. Don’t send us food parcels please. Send oil! Send coal! Send LPG!

    Our world-leading (according to them) government has put off building more nuclear power stations for so long that the lights will start going off in a couple of years.

    Brown may have saved the world, but he’s run the UK into the ground.

    Ah well, as a third-world country, at least we’ll get loads of carbon credits from the UN. Do they come with any paperwork? Paper will burn!

  22. What do the environmentalists whose heart are filled with care and concern have to say about this?

    Wait, I know, ‘the burnt ink in the smoke is harming the environment’.

  23. Burning cars in Paris on New Years? Now burning books in London? I have a feeling the MSM have missed another headline story (or are trying to keep it hidden to let the White House and Congress pass a resolution or something). Life IS a beach, and I think there’s a hurricane coming.

  24. I’ve been listening to a BBC radio programme about the history of the Royal Society. Compared to the state and status of science in the UK over 300 years ago, you would be forgiven for thinking that we are in now back in the dark ages. Science has been thrown in the bin at the expense of green and politically correct advocacy. It’s enough to make a grown man weep.

  25. Here in Michigan, Governor Granholm (economic advisor to Obama) has passed an initiative that requires 10% of electricity in the State to originate from renewable sources.

    The Detroit Free Press explained yesterday that a power company was letting contracts to solar farms to buy electricity at an average rate of fifty cents per kilowatt hour for twelve years. The going rate is 11 cents.

    So 10% of our electricity will cost 400-500% more, on average the overall cost will go up 30-40 percent over the cost in nearby States.

    It is not for nothing that Michigan is listed dead last in business climate.

    When building an economy, it is wise to consult Michigan then do the opposite.

  26. One third of the consumption of bituminous coal in England is residential heat.
    In India and China 75% of homes use fire to burn papaer, corn stalks, coal or dung for cooking and heat.
    Of course playing games with energy hurts the poor.
    The unemployment rate in Spain and the youth and minorities in America is due to defective thinking in economics.

  27. Our glorious leader it quick to grandstand over the execution of a British citizen in China but says nothing about the 36,700 old people that his government effectively executed last winter because they had to decide whether to spend their meagre income on food or heating.

    How many more will die this winter as his idiot gOVERnment pushes ahead with expensive green energy projects which will make their decisions even more difficult just so he can project himself as the world saviour of global warming?

  28. Jeff, you seemed surprised that we still buy bags of coal. Why? Every winter, in the long evenings, we quite often light the fire in the sitting room (having turned off the central heating for the room). And we burn coal in our fireplace (sometimes with a coupla small logs on top). I top up the fire with coal from our nice shiny brass coal scuttle. There’s nothing like a bright coal fire, flickering flames, dancing reflections, and oodles of radiated heat, to make a room really cosy. And yes, I buy the coal in bags. What else? It’s difficult to carry when loose.

  29. Well Jeff, some of us buy coal to fill a bunker. It’s a great thing to either use when you don’t want to switch the central heating on or to augment its effects.
    As is normal in these cold spells, there’s very little wind to power those bloody bird-choppers!
    Local councils are running out of salt & grit to treat roads and pavements with, thanks to the Met Office’s ever-so-reliable forecast of a mild winter.

  30. The thing that gets me is how fragile our energy sector is. For example, the US once had a thriving industry that built luxury yachts. Then the Dems came along and figured they could get a lot of revenue by taxing these as luxury items. Well, it didn’t take long for rich people to do some comparative shopping and start buying their luxury yachts from overseas. So all those artisans and supplier that had been building luxury yachts in the US went out of business. Then the Dems realized they’d made a huge mistake and rescinded the tax. But you know what happened? The yacht makers had families and themselves to feed, so they had found other jobs doing something else by that time. And with the prospects of yet another “Tax the Rich” on their yachts should they go back to building them, they just said “Nuts”, and so an industry was lost.

    The same thing happens with mining–an industry I’m fairly familiar with, having worked as a mining engineer in the western US for 15 years. There, it takes a bunch of disciplines and a huge amount of money to get a mine up and going–including financial gurus, geologists, mining engineers, equipment operators, etc. etc. You destroy an industry and it may never return. Ever! Why? It becomes easier to buy from overseas suppliers, just like luxury yachts.

    But the Dems have never been strong on production or business–no, they’re generally a bunch of lawyers who have never produced a workable, useful widget in their lives. They’re so far from the reality most of us face that they’re the butt of many nasty jokes and rightly so. It is pretty sad they impose their unworkable pardigm on the rest of the world.

  31. The UK could use some additional wood lots. As could California, particularly the Bay Area. Especially on Winter “Spare the Air” days!

  32. From Britain

    Wind, in all its glory, managed to deliver a risible 0.4 percent – which is hardly even a rounding error and amounts to an insignificant contribution to the national electricity supply. Producing a mere 163 MW at around midnight last night, against an installed capacity of just over 4 GW, that represents a load factor of four percent.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/01/monument-to-folly.html

  33. ‘A spokesman for the National Grid said the alert had been effective in prompting electricity companies to import more gas or switch to coal-fired power stations. ‘

    Presumably the lack of wind means all those expensive windfarms are not working. Tut. Tut. More bloody carbon dioxide but hopefully that might warm things up a bit.

  34. Thanks, Anthony and Benny, for continuing to remind us of reality and its conflict with fake climate predictions from a corrupt alliance of scientists with politicians.

    PAIN is the greatest teacher. Only ACCEPTANCE of reality will relieve the pain.

    May “Climate-gate” produce enough pain for corrupt scientists and politicians to finally accept this basic spiritual principle of science:

    “Truth is victorious, never untruth.”
    (Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6; Qur’an 17.85)

    Again, I thank you for helping the scientific community face reality.

    A list of scientific “Observations That I had To Accept” since 1960 was posted on the “Naked Science Forum” earlier this year:

    http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=9197

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

    http://www.omatumr.com

  35. Mark Bowlin (07:08:01) :

    “I suspect it’s a cold cold winter in East Anglia.”

    BBC lunchtime news & weather (from the good ol guys n’ gals from the Met Office), snow & sleet blizzards will make their way eastwards in the southern half of the country & head up towards East Anglia. Rather appropriate I thought.

    Yes I recommend book burning, although IPCC SPMs burn jolly well, I think they contain vast amounts of phlogiston! Then again so do cow pats!

    Cold & miserable in the south-west. Snowed quite heavily at lunchtime with low cloud over the hills, at least the dog enjoyed his walk over the fields chasing snow flakes all the way!

    I know Piers Corbyn would take issue with me over cause, but I seem to recall Prof Mike Lockwood of Southampton University & Rutherford Appleton Lab said a while back of the quiet sun in early autumn, that if there was going to be any cooling effect as a result we would have seen it by now! Well err………..take a look outside your window Mike, you’ll be surprised what you might see! Not many takers on giving an explanation of why we’re experiencing such cold conditions in the northern hemisphere it seems to me. We know the jet stream has shifted south, there is a huge high pressure over Greenland (F*%k-its-freezing-land), but no “why”, & that’s it, nada, zilch! I am waiting for the wacko who then suggests that this is global warming big time causing the cool temps that were predicted back in thne 70’s hailing in the next ice-age!

    Dodgy Geezer has it bang on the nose me thinks!

  36. Nobody burns books for heating … unless you use a lot of gasoline, or plan to stay awake overnight to feed the fire page by page, otherwise the book won’t burn much. Thick books burn even harder …

    Watch for park benches and wooden fences: when those go, then somebody is in trouble paying for heating.

  37. Welcome to the reality of “green”. Our politicians are living a complete fantasy.

    Our current “ministry of climate change” moron was busily talking the talk on TV earlier as 6 ins of snow falls outside my window and temperatures haven’t got much above zero for weeks.

    It is a surreal experience listening to “global warming blah blah” coming from some moronic minister in a warm office and the next news item switches to the chaos and -20C expected in parts of Scotland.

    Green objections to energy and X-Box expectations of Mediterranean climate mean we will be living through power cuts at this time of year from around 2015.

    Can’t wait for an election and the chance to consign these clowns to history. Gordon “flat earth” Brown and his fellow travellers leaving office as pensioners burn books to stay alive.

    Says it all really.

  38. I have an open fire which is a real boon in the depths of winter. And very attractive too. I’ve just paid £76 for a 250kg of economy coal.

    I’m still flummoxed by the option to buy low carbon coal [at a higher price]? I assume to get x amount of heat you have to combine the same amount of hydrocarbons with oxygen [producing CO2] so how does that work?

    cheers David

  39. “Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands”

    Weather forecast on BBC News just forecast as low as -20ºC for the Scottish Highlands before the end of this week.

    So prepare for a heatwave ;>)

  40. In the UK, I believe we only have six weeks worth of reserve gas supply. I wonder it is since I have not seen a full gasometer in my travels around the country in the last six months. Indeed, they have mostly been completely empty! Luckily, we have a wood burner.

  41. It’s continually depressing to me that however much honest science and sensible opinion I read at sites like this our politicians are now so blinkered and brainwashed by AGW and the opportunities for control and tax that they have become seemingly incapapble of admitting it’s a scam. I honestly think that no amount of good science will ever make them admit they have been wrong.
    I therefore think the recent news that Ofcom have suddenly admitted to costing ‘error’ and that the treasury are rethinking the impact costs may be the best news we have had in some time.
    It suggests to me that the facade is cracking. Some hard rethinking is taking place where the politicians can’t ignore it. And most importantly the ‘we can’t afford it at the moment argument’ is the one situation that allows politicians to both save face and hold back from further action.
    One can hope!

  42. Correction to comment (08:35:53) – I wonder WHERE it is….. re reserve gas supply!

  43. Time for a Libertarian Republic of Great Britain with a Victorian pride for industrial progress.

  44. And all this time I thought books were a carbon sequestration mechanism. Clearly the UK needs to put an emergency carbon tax (or price floor) on the carbon content of books.

  45. Hello from a little place near Montreal, Canada

    “What confuses me is the snowfalls in th e US and Canada are more considerable, yet you don’t get the same paralysis.”

    In Canada we are ready for it. Building code, snow removal by the cities, private snow removing services, personnal snow blower, lots and lots of shovels and winter tires.

    “Funny story, but anyone with a fireplace in which they can burn books would get a lot more benefit from blocking it up and using something like an oil-filled electric radiator.”

    Slow combustion wood fireplace are the norm here. And since the hail storm a lot more people keep a wood reserve, just in case. I was one month without electricity at my place. But with the slow combustionr fireplace I still spent that month in a t-shirt and jeans in my house.

  46. Pascvaks (07:22:27) :

    Time to export some relief to the good ol’ USS United Kingdom!

    Isn’t it about time to kick some “bleeding heart liberals” out of their well heated 44,ooo sq ft mansions and villas and put things back to normal? Burning books? Books cheaper than coal? Hello! What planet am I on?

    For those outside the UK, don’t laugh to loudly. This insanity will be coming to your country before long.

    Pete (07:22:46) :

    There’s a good 6″ of white global warming soot in my back garden in West Yorkshire.

    Confirmed. Yorkshire is just about shut now as temps head down freezing the roads up nicely. Expect the UK to be shut by tomorrow afternoon.

    Off to enjoy a good book now.

  47. Roy, that’s not true (and I’m a heating consultant). The radiated heat from a roaring fire actually produces more heat than a room-sized heater, despite the fact that a lot of the heat is going up the chimney. I know this thread is only light-hearted but books don’t actually burn very well – even paper in the form of a newsletter doesn’t burn very well. You just can’t beat a split log, although modern laminated flooring cut into sections burns really well. Compressed paper bricks are next to useless.

  48. Bags of coal… yes, we did try using pipelines once, but the lumps kept getting stuck.

    The MetOffice predicted a warmer than average winter and now local councils are running out of grit for the roads and the National Grid are warning that gas reserves will run out, because demand is so much higher than expected. D’oh, I can’t tell you how proud I am to be British.

    But don’t worry… in order to ensure that this winter is ultimately a warmer than average winter the Met Office has requested that all British subjects go outside at 2100hrs tonight and breathe OUT as hard as possible. The sudden surge in CO2 should cause a tipping point as the CO2 absorbs the energy being radiated from the burning encyclopaedia Britannicas (if only Wikipedia was on paper !) In addition, it is anticipated that the water vapour we breathe out at this time will combine to form huge clouds that blanket the nation overnight and keep all the heat in.

    Knowing that around half the UK population is pretty gullible (higher percentages exist in some professions, such as politics and news media), I’d better declare this a hoax. I would hate to be responsible for someone dying from hypothermia just after 9 o’clock tonight.

  49. P Wilson (07:23:16) :

    “…What confuses me is the snowfalls in th e US and Canada are more considerable, yet you don’t get the same paralysis. I guess it’s because we haven’t had a cold winter like this for a long time (apart from last year)

    The northern areas have snow removal equipment. There are enough storms so the towns have the equipment or contractors available.

    Out here in the boonies (mid North Carolina) we fire up the tractors and plow the roads ourselves. Our local roads were cleared before the state got to the main highways. I keep a set of chains for my Pick-up truck so I can get to town and work no matter what. Also there is a rock quarry with sand and gravel down the street less than 10 kilometers. Rock quarries and land scape businesses with sand piles are all over the place here in the USA so that helps too.

    After the last big hurricane we were all out with the chain saws and tractors and had the roads cleared before the road crews got to us. One big old oak was almost as tall as my pickup. We could not budge it with the dual wheel pick-up and had to use a couple of VERY big tractors as well.

    However you are more likely to see the paralysis in the cities especially if ice storms hit. Also Americans are a mobile bunch so most of us have had to deal with snow. I moved south from NH/MASS/NY area but I made sure I have all weather tires and chains… just in case.

  50. Jeff Alberts (07:39:49) :

    > People actually buy bags of coal??? … How 19th century!

    Why? Here in New England people with pellet stoves can buy bags of wood pellets or corn.

    http://btpellet.com/price_list has wood pellets (bagged) at approximately USD$275/short ton. I think corn is somewhat higher but burns hotter. I don’t have one, otherwise I’d likely say a lot more.

  51. @Jeff Alberts

    Why shouldn’t people buy coal? Coal is a highly compact and easily transportable source of energy. I assume you’re in the USA. Do you notice that people buy firewood here? How 10th century!

    Mike.

  52. Pensioners grateful to Al Gore for keeping them warm in the current deep freeze.

    “Our Choice, A Plan To Solve The Climate Crisis”,

    free and available in large quatities at your local junk store.

  53. Don Keiller (07:07:02) :

    “More from Benny Peiser’s newsletter.

    WHAT HAPPENED TO SPAIN’S GREEN JOBS”

    Jobs are not the issue in of themselves. People don’t want jobs – they want to consume. They need jobs in order to consume. But it’s no use distributing unproductive “green” jobs at the expense of productive non-green jobs. Anybody employed in an unproductive industry can only be paid a low wage.

    A while ago, a western observer in China was watching a dam construction project and noticed that there were thousands of workers toiling with picks and shovels. Surprised at the inefficiency, he explained that if you gave the project bulldozers they could do the job with a tiny fraction of the work force. The Chinese official retorted “of course, but think of the contribution we’re making on unemployment.”

    And therein lies the rub. Too many people mistake jobs for wealth creation. You can put everyone to work in similar unproductive jobs, but you will do so only at the cost of destroying wealth.

  54. 3×2 (08:44:12) :

    Off to enjoy a good book now.
    ——————–

    Reading it or burning it ??

    Aren’t library books “renewable” ?

  55. Re: Ric Werme (08:41:23) : carbon sequestration via books.

    I once read an article in the “Journal of Irreproducible Results” ( a fine journal, which like far too many, does not require archived raw data) which postulated that wealthy suburbs of New England were subsiding due to an accumulation of Natioal Geographics. In our house, it was Scientific Americans, but nonetheless, it was a valid and thought provoking insight. Since they are now available on CD, releasing of all those superfluous magazines into the environment could cause climatic and tectonic disasters. The threat is a significant, worse than we thought, and I think we need a big conference in a nice place to discuss it.

  56. jjs (07:27:25) :

    God save the Queen and get rid of the green.

    Put the Queen on the green and let out free rooms at Buckingham Palace to the homeless and pensioners.


    Ralph (07:30:35) :
    Its about time for tanks on Parliament Square (and not water tanks). Anything Cromwell can do, we can do better…

    It was pretty cold when Cromwell took on the royalists too. The depth of the little ice age in fact. 1640-44

    He and his men drunk the Black Bull pub on Otley market square dry a couple of nights before the battle at Marston Moor. The nourishing Yorkshire beer put some mettle in them and they kicked royalist ass good and hard.

  57. @P Wilson

    “…What confuses me is the snowfalls in th e US and Canada are more considerable, yet you don’t get the same paralysis. I guess it’s because we haven’t had a cold winter like this for a long time (apart from last year)..”

    The problem isn’t that we don’t get cold winters. The problem is that our rulers have told themselves not to expect warm winters. So when they happen, we’re stuffed. However, the British never complain when anything bad happens to them, so the rulers can keep doing whatever they want….

    @Grumbler

    “..I’m still flummoxed by the option to buy low carbon coal [at a higher price]? I assume to get x amount of heat you have to combine the same amount of hydrocarbons with oxygen [producing CO2] so how does that work?..”

    Didn’t you know? This more expensive coal comes in green bags with a picture of a penguin on them and an option to donate £5 to the World Wildlife Fund…

  58. Ric Werme (08:41:23) :

    And all this time I thought books were a carbon sequestration mechanism. Clearly the UK needs to put an emergency carbon tax (or price floor) on the carbon content of books.

    **************************************

    Correct. And furthermore, what with Wikipedia, Google Books, Kindle and all, printed books are fast becoming a non-renewable resource. Still, this problem will not be solved by unilateral action by single states, even in so bookish a nation as Great Britain. Clearly what’s needed is a U.N.-sponsored summit to formulate a Binding (!) International Agreement.

  59. my town is closed.. no gritters, no traffic all the schools shut.. if this is gw then how cold would it be..???

    on the uk news how come no one is mentioning agw .. as britain freezes solid..

    luckily we have candles and lots of clothes, i have wind up torches. battery players, for radio and music.. i have a laptop charged ready. not used.. incase the power goes out..

  60. @Jeff Alberts:

    How else would you transport coal to your home? I can’t carry much in each hand and I find it makes the car seats rather dirty.

    @Hyper-thermania:

    Best laugh of the day — thank you!

  61. Be very aware and afraid this is what will happen to the US if Congress and Senate pass the Cap and Trade bill! Obama has threatened to kill coal and all carbon based energy sources in favor of green energy. Britain now is paying the price for this folly.

  62. “Hard-up pensioners have resorted to buying books from charity shops and burning them to keep warm.”

    Hard-up journalists have resorted to collecting bullsh*t from anywhere and recyling it to keep their newspapers full.

  63. Quitting AGW cold: “poop on my dock,”.
    …-

    “Hot Weather Convinces Media of Climate Change; Cold Weather Ignored

    The news media constantly misuse extreme weather examples to generate fear of global warming, but when record cold or record snow sets in journalists don’t mention the possibility of global cooling trends. While climatologists would say weather isn’t necessarily an indication of climate, it has been in the media, but only when the weather could be spun as part of global warming.

    In Iowa, temperatures are 30 degrees below normal according to the Des Moines Register. That’s a near-record low. Beijing is facing the coldest temperatures in decades according to Australia’s The Age.

    And in Pichccahuasi, Peru, bitter cold may cause the extinction of communities of alpaca farmers suffering from pneumonia and other respiratory problems. Ironically, that Guardian (U.K.) report called the

    (Excerpt) Read more at businessandmedia.org”

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2421461/posts

    …-

    “Extended cold could kill invasive iguanas

    With this week’s evening temperatures falling toward the upper 30s, strange fruit may drop from South Florida trees: non-native, invading iguanas that many residents consider more pest than pet.

    “It’s a big deal for me,” Jessica Morgan, a Margate homeowner, said as she watched a yard-long, bright orange male iguana roam near her butterfly habitat. The reptile has a slightly smaller green girlfriend.

    “They climb up on the bank and will poop on my dock,” she said. “Fingers crossed that this cold snap will kill them. I don’t have the heart to beat one to death. I hope the weather does it for me.”

    (Excerpt) Read more at sun-sentinel.com”

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2421406/posts

  64. There was a news story yesterday that the unemployment rate in the US for the 16 to 24 age group is 53%. We have topped Spain.

  65. So aren’t there warehoused full of unsold Al Gore books available for shipment to Britain ?

    Time to revive the Lend Lease Program :)

  66. Plus 30 degrees here in Godzone.. Fill some planes and come and lie on the beach!! The albedo from all the “white body” effects might save us painting our roof white..
    Set the flamingos free..

  67. Sharon (09:33:18) :

    “Clearly what’s needed is a U.N.-sponsored summit to formulate a Binding (!) International Agreement.”

    That’s right. Governments need to get a spine !

  68. Uber Jalemon (08:43:05) :

    Hello from a little place near Montreal, Canada

    “What confuses me is the snowfalls in th e US and Canada are more considerable, yet you don’t get the same paralysis.”

    In Canada we are ready for it. Building code, snow removal by the cities, private snow removing services, personnal snow blower, lots and lots of shovels and winter tires.

    It is a very regional difference. In areas on the Eastern seaboard like Washington DC and New York that are normally held to moderate temperatures by the nearby ocean, the cities will nearly shut down over a snow fall, that would hardly be noticed in the middle of the country. The difference as noted above, is a combination of existence of infrastructure, (plows, crews trained to plow snow, locations to dump the snow, and supplies of sand and salt or de-icing mix to spray on the roads).

    It also changes with the times. In the 1960’s I can only remember 2 or 3 “snow days” where they shut down the schools. One of them was due to almost 3 ft of snow in a single day. I remember it very well because I spent my “day off school” shoveling out my dads car a 1954 Hudson which was buried up to the lower edge of the windows in a snow drift. After that was done, my brother and some friends spent the rest of the day building snow forts and diving head long into drifts beside the road. Later in the evening my brother and I spent a couple hours with shovels helping drivers negotiate the hill in front of our house. If they got stuck and started spinning the tires we would go out and dig the snow out in front of their tires and toss a bit of dirt and sand under their tires and give them a push to get them going again. Sometimes they would give us a quarter for our efforts and a few were so thankful they gave us a dollar.

    We thought it all was great fun, but the area was quite self supporting. when the weather cleared, we would have shoveling parties, as everyone would come out of the house about the same time and start shoveling their walks and drives, and when you were done with your home, you walked next door and helped the neighbor deal with his snow drift, knowing that during the next storm the snow drift might be in your driveway.

    In areas not used to heavy snow fall, no one has adequate snow tires, the drivers do not know what areas to avoid when it gets slick. Many are not accustomed to driving on ice and snow and do stupid things and get stuck when they should not. No one has chains, the city has too few snow plows or limited supplies of sand and salt.

    In the 1970’s the Mayor of Denver lost his job due to poor snow clearing in the preceding winter. As a result they bought more snow equipment, and changed their snow clearing plan, designating some routes as “snow routes” which had priority.

    On those routes they get first crack at snow removal to provide essential access to hospitals etc. and any cars stuck on those routes are summarily towed to keep the route navigable by the plows and emergency equipment. They also began applying chain law type ordinances in really severe weather banning all vehicles from the roads that did not have snow tires, or in some cases 4 wheel drive or chains only.

    Larry

  69. P Wilson (07:23:16) :

    What confuses me is the snowfalls in th e US and Canada are more considerable, yet you don’t get the same paralysis. I guess it’s because we haven’t had a cold winter like this for a long time (apart from last year)

    Could it be because the UK has so many tiny efficient cars that don’t have the ground clearance to cross an American rain puddle? Meanwhile we have 4×4 pick-ups that don’t even need to be jacked up for lots of maintenance and repair work, just slide underneath. My Ford F150 doesn’t even require shoveling the driveway, it can be parked in snow up to the top of of the bumper easily. Which is considerably higher than a UK-standard bumper.

  70. ah yes, the “good intentions” of leftists / statists / liberals resulting in sky high prices for utilities. which results in the need to grant pensioners an “entitlement” to some sum to cover the cost. just leave people alone already! who among us wouldn’t help our elderly relatives if they couldn’t afford to pay for heating fuel? i’ve already told mine that they are expected to move in with me! families consolidated during The Great Depression – it worked then and it will work now.

  71. I really hate to be a party-pooper, but this story is no more than an urban myth in the making.
    This Metro report talks about ‘pensioners in Swansea’ , and EUReferendum links to this report only.
    Pity we weren’t given even the name of the charity shop …

    Thing is – Swansea is in South Wales, and while its been cold here, we’ve not had that much snow – yet! – as those poor Scots or those in Northern England.

    Moreover – this has not been reported in the local papers, not that for Swansea nor those for Cardiff.

    So excuse me for being decidedly sceptical here!

  72. philincalifornia (09:10:18) :

    3×2 (08:44:12) :

    Off to enjoy a good book now.
    ——————–

    Reading it or burning it ??

    Aren’t library books “renewable” ?

    Burning of course. Isn’t like you can pass them on to the kids. Might just as well hand them to the Dog.

    Q1) In what year was the battle of Hastings? Was it ….

    a) Climate Change.
    b) Fictitious, created by big Oil in order to deny the very real effects of Climate change.
    c) Too cold for fighting until now.
    d) Conflict is another aspect of recent climate change.

    Little souls will probably be collecting Wikipedia URLs to send to pensioners if they ever get back to school.

    That reminds me, the Laser printer has gone quiet…

  73. The books should be burned so it will be easier to rewrite the past.

    BTW: What is the carbon footprint of burning a book? The carbon in the paper is out of circulation but is released when it’s burned. Better to freeze to death!

  74. Wait a few years, and it wont just be pensioners

    “The National Grid yesterday (4th January) issued only its ­second-ever warning that demand for energy is threatening to outstrip available supplies unless industry quickly slashes its consumption and more gas is rushed in from abroad”

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/149760/Gas-supplies-running-out-as-Britain-shivers

    “The alert prompted the wholesale cost of gas to rocket by 70 per cent and raised fears that businesses and households could soon be hit by power cuts if the freezing weather persists as forecast for the rest of the month.”

    Britain is becoming over reliant on gas fired powerstations. Yestersays shortfall was made up for by an increase from coalfired powerstations, most of which will be closing down in the next decade.

  75. @ John Galt (11:11:34) :
    John, I guess you forgot to insert the sarcon/sarcoff tags on that comment:

    …Better to freeze to death! ….

    But, if not: you first, please!

    Anyway, my wife, me and my kids really like to read books, so there about
    2500-3000 books and paperbacks available, even if my heart would truely bleed. (Didn’t count lot’s of manuals, printouts and approx seven years of weeklies about computers and science)… just in case if the refilled heating oil
    – should be enough for 15 to 18 month, is not enough.

    But before burning them I would use them as an additional insulation for the
    windows, stacking them up in the window frame.

  76. Bud Moon (07:50:18) :

    Anthony,
    OT but I thought you might enjoy this one:
    Met Office chief receives 25% pay rise.
    He now gets more than the British prime minister.

    Productivity bonus for having reduced global warming!
    Look at the snow outside!
    He must have been working overtime.

  77. A while ago, a western observer in China was watching a dam construction project and noticed that there were thousands of workers toiling with picks and shovels. Surprised at the inefficiency, he explained that if you gave the project bulldozers they could do the job with a tiny fraction of the work force. The Chinese official retorted “of course, but think of the contribution we’re making on unemployment.”

    The traditional ending of this probably apocryphal story is as follows:

    “Oh,” said the businessman, “I thought you were building a dam. If it’s jobs you want to create, then take away their shovels and give them spoons!”

    “Businessman” is the most common hero of this story, sometimes also “engineer” or “economist”. I’ve even seen this attributed to late Milton Friedman.

    Looking at all these “green jobs”, it doesn’t sound much like joke anymore.

  78. Barry Foster: I daresay a fire gives off lots of heat while it is roaring away, but as soon as you run out of books or go to bed it just squirts heat out of your house and into the sky. I am of course prepared to be shown scientific proof that fireplaces burning logs or books are a net benefit, but I am skeptical until then.

    PS: I have a very pleasant log fire right now. It smells great, it looks great, and it is even a kind of company. I wouldn’t want to seal the house up so I can incubate in my own warm stale fug. But I can’t believe a fire is efficient.

  79. “…Thin spreading fingers seek
    to embrace the sill-warm bundles
    that huddle on the doorsteps
    of a white London Town. …”

    Something’s On the Move – Jethro Tull

  80. Katabasis: “The BBC’s Richard Black ambivalent about the influence of “global warming…””

    I don’t see any ambivalence in Black’s comments. His explanation for the current cold snap in the northern hemisphere is that it is weather spilling down from the Arctic as a result of a negative Arctic oscillation.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/01/arctic_conditions_arctic_cause.html

    This seems to be a reasonable explanation, and intuitively supports the notion that the mid-northern hemisphere is suffering from “Arctic conditions”. Interestingly, my morning newspaper quotes a Beijing meteorologist who opines that the current NH weather is linked to unusual atmospheric patterns caused by global warming.

    The article doesn’t elaborate on the “unusual atmospheric patterns”, but it’s also reasonable to suppose that increasing energy levels within the atmospheric system would lead to greater instability and more extremes of weather.

    On the book-burning story, while this smacks of “pensioners reduced to eating dog-food”, the outcome of book-burning might not be wholly negative. In fact, if pensioners were to warm their toes against the curling pages of, say, The Da Vinci Code, there could well be a positive benefit to humankind.

  81. These IPCC volumes should keep the cold away. All UK pensioners should be issued with a copy.

    [image]http://web2.nies.go.jp/gaiyo/kokusai/images2009/kokusai-2e.jpg[/image]

  82. In 3 years, we’re going to send Obama (along with a supply of ‘region 1′ DVDs) over to bed down with his “good friend”, Gordon Brown.

  83. Predicador – China’s cities are full of newish freeways. They see a certain amount of use but nothing like you’d expect on a Western freeway in similar locations.

    After three or five years many of them are crumbling. The rebar money no doubt paid for many Party bosses’ daughters’ weddings.

    And so now you’ll find twenty or thirty guys out there pounding on the broken pavement with picks, if they’re lucky chopping up pavement with jackhammers, troweling out concrete with big pole floats, then moving on to the next bad spot.

    So yeah, been there seen that.

  84. I knew there was a reason I shouldn’t have bought a Sony ebook reader. Convenient for lugging copies of papers around, but not sure the lithium battery would be good for the fireplace. Here in sunny Reading, UK I’ve had about 8cm of global warming falling in the last 5hrs. Think the uni’s climate brigade have now been banned from my local pub :)

  85. Ralph (07:30:35) : You already have the technology, just call those british NGO´s specialists in promoting civil unrest in third world countries.

  86. tallbloke (09:23:43) :The depth of the little ice age in fact. 1640-44

    I´ve been saying that cycles repeat, so the screw it is already turning….beware ye fools, your time is over, the doom you forecasted for us was yours. Time for nature to process its rotten crops and turn them into soil…

  87. IF CHURCHILL WERE ALIVE TODAY

    He might say, “Never have so many given so much for so D@#% little!”

  88. @ Roy (11:44:51) :

    Have you ever examined a Rumford Fireplace? They utilize principles that the science at the time hadn’t caught up to yet, such as radiant energy (infrared) for heating instead of heating the air, and a laminar air flow from the room. They have great performance, are EPA tested, and very efficient. And this from a masonry open fireplace with a simple chimney design with no damper.

    Jefferson had them put in at Monticello. Makes them worth a look. Check out the Technical Details page of links, start clicking. You might just be impressed.

  89. to all of you brits out there re: Jeff Alberts (07:39:49) :

    I just think Jeff may not be terribly well-travelled. I have used and seen plenty of domestic coal fires in my travels. However, here in the US, there are constantly warnings about using coal to fire our fire places. They say it can and does lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. I never looked into whether this is true or not (if our fireplaces or design is different somehow) or if this is something that just keeps the personal-coal industry down for whatever reason.

  90. OAP’s slip-sliding down to the local charity shop then warming themseves with a smouldering tome?
    Sounds like a leg-pull to me….but then I am in climate denial.

  91. Roy (11:44:51) :

    Barry Foster: I daresay a fire gives off lots of heat while it is roaring away, but as soon as you run out of books or go to bed it just squirts heat out of your house and into the sky. I am of course prepared to be shown scientific proof that fireplaces burning logs or books are a net benefit, but I am skeptical until then.

    PS: I have a very pleasant log fire right now. It smells great, it looks great, and it is even a kind of company. I wouldn’t want to seal the house up so I can incubate in my own warm stale fug. But I can’t believe a fire is efficient.

    That is why Ben Franklin invented the “Franklin stove”

    Much more efficient than a conventional fireplace

    http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/frankstove.htm

    Larrry

  92. Mark Bowlin (07:08:01) :

    “I suspect it’s a cold cold winter in East Anglia.”

    Good one :-)

    I hope they freeze their knickers off…

  93. In the 1970’s the Mayor of Denver lost his job due to poor snow clearing in the preceding winter.

    Michael Bilandic in Chicago in that era lost his Mayor’s job to Jayne Byrne.

  94. P Wilson (07:23:16) :

    What confuses me is the snowfalls in th e US and Canada are more considerable, yet you don’t get the same paralysis.

    kadaka (10:36:58) :

    Could it be because the UK has so many tiny efficient cars that don’t have the ground clearance to cross an American rain puddle?

    No. Snowfalls in the US and Canada are met with massive snowplow efforts for which all of our northern states (Canada being even further north) are well prepared.

    You see the same problems the UK is having in southern US, however, as they are not prepared for snow. Flurries in Jacksonville, FL, for example, result in bridge closings everywhere. TV crews sat along side an Atlanta highway one year watching all the wipeouts from so-called “black ice” that had formed during a freeze.

    Of course, no region is not without its idiots that don’t understand why speed limits don’t apply during snow storms or conditions that otherwise result in icy conditions. Drive down any Colorado road in the winter and count the number of cars in the ditches for proof.

    Mark

  95. JEM (13:11:08) :

    Said

    “Predicador – China’s cities are full of newish freeways. They see a certain amount of use but nothing like you’d expect on a Western freeway in similar locations.

    After three or five years many of them are crumbling. The rebar money no doubt paid for many Party bosses’ daughters’ weddings.

    And so now you’ll find twenty or thirty guys out there pounding on the broken pavement with picks, if they’re lucky chopping up pavement with jackhammers, troweling out concrete with big pole floats, then moving on to the next bad spot. ”

    ========================

    If they last 3 to 5 years before needing repair we should get the guys who built them over here to the UK for those few short sections of road we see built each year.

    Our new roads, if you can find one, barely last 3 to 5 months before they are being repaired. The repair methods sound similar too.

    @Ray some posts back.

    Glad to know you have a fire.

    For various reasons (mainly the lack of choice of suitable natural gas burning cooking ovens) since last summer we now have an all electric kitchen. So if the electicity supply fails we are without heat (the controls for the gas boiler will not work) and the ability to prepare warm food and hot drinks. Not that such a facility would last for long since pipeline gas supplies would be regulated and controlled at some point by equipment requiring grid electricity … but we might have a little time available before things turned bad.

    Electricity reliance just means we have a single point of failure for all life support in cold weather.

    I’m thinking I should maybe invest in some sort of bbq with a bottled gas supply just in case.

  96. I suggest foreign aid. We send them all those 2,000 page bills with the 500 page amendments introduced at 3 AM. Nobody reads them, and they contain some heat content. Further since they are made from dead trees, they are carbon neutral. Prince Bat Ears the serial adulterer of the House of Hanover should appreciate that.

  97. outside temp: -2C
    room temp: 23C

    all thanks to some pallets of wood and bankfiles from the past years.

  98. Rajendra Pachauri chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) writes in the Guardian that, “The same group of climate deniers who have been active across the Atlantic have now joined hands to attack me personally, alleging business interests on my part which are supposedly benefiting me as well as the Indian Tata group of companies.” “As the science in the IPCC Fourth Assessment report clearly demonstrates, there is no leeway for delay or denial any longer.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/jan/04/climate-change-delay-denial

    Yes Rajendra, no leeway for denial any longer, it is time for reckoning, you should prepare yourself for your next starring role with the ICC:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Court

    Rajendra Pachauri, there are people freezing to death tonight and you are partially to blame…

  99. During the recent US housing boom, in one of those quick-build developments I visited to see a unit being built, they were boasting of using “slow recovery” heating, just a heat pump and central air ducting. The incoming heat is low, but the place will warm up eventually. Just set the thermostat and never touch it, no benefit to adjusting it for different times of day etc as it didn’t respond that fast.

    They were also running plumbing upstairs through an outside wall.

    Ah such wonders of modern insulation, as none of that will ever be a problem no matter what the weather. Yeah, right.

  100. emerson cardoso

    One of the problems with wikipedia is the way minority opinions are handled. The majority use their clout to keep any dissenting opinion off “their articles,” while insisting that balance requires they have half of “your article.”
    So, for example, skeptics are pushed off any Global Warming page because there is a scientific consensus they are non-rational (and so can be safely ignored) but the mainstream insists on being given half of any article discussing, say, a coming little ice age, because that’s only showing the article has balance and “No POV” (having a Point of View in an article being a major no-no on wikepdia). What you end up with is 100 percent of their opinions on their pages and 50 percent of their opinions on your pages. And all this is in the name of openness and balance.

  101. Tree-Coring Fool (09:27:58) :

    “After 100,000 years won’t all the BS Gore spouts turn to peat?”

    No it will turn to coal

  102. On the plus side, at least when it gets really cold the tiny amount of mercury in those energy-efficient bulbs should get really, really small, right?

    There has to be a pony in here somewhere.

  103. Paddy (10:24:20) :

    Here is the link to the 53.4% unemployment story I mentioned:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/the_dead_end_kids_AnwaWNOGqsXMuIlGONNX1K

    Paddy, here in the USA we trashed our education system that is why the kids are unemployable. Worse the kids think they are “the greatest” and have no decent work ethic. I rather hire a retiree than a kid out of college.

    “For 10 years, William Schmidt, a statistics professor at Michigan State University, has looked at how U.S. students stack up against students in other countries in math and science. “In fourth-grade, we start out pretty well, near the top of the distribution among countries; by eighth-grade, we’re around average, and by 12th-grade, we’re at the bottom of the heap, outperforming only two countries, Cyprus and South Africa.”
    :[url=http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0804/0804textbooks.htm]Source[/url]

    Is it any wonder Corporations now import workers from other countries?

    “… Surveys of corporations consistently find that businesses are focused outside • the U.S. to recruit necessary talent. In a 2002 survey, 16 global corporations complained that American schools did not produce students with global skills. United States companies agreed. The survey found that 30 percent of large U.S. companies “believed they had failed to exploit fully their international business opportunities due to insufficient personnel with international skills.” One respondent to the survey even noted, “If I wanted to recruit people who are both technically skilled and culturally aware, I wouldn’t even waste time looking for them on U.S. college campuses.”

    …the U.S. ranks 21st out of 29 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries in mathematics scores, with nearly one-quarter of students unable to solve the easiest level of questions….

    …In 2000, 28 percent of all freshmen entering a degree-granting institution required remedial coursework”

    http://www.edreform.com/_upload/CER_JunkFoodDiet.pdf

  104. jeroen (14:18:59) :

    “wonder if the people in Florida have a fire place.”

    Yes, and when the temps drop below 60 I can smell the wood burning. Seems kind of silly, though when the temps go below 50 it’s probably not a bad idea to have something to supplement the electric, especially if there’s a power outage.

    “freeze watch in Florida. Is that common?”

    Not more than about 5 to 7 every year in central FL, which is where I’ve been for the past 7 years. Usually we actually get from 3 to 5 frosts a year, usually late in the winter. Although they have had extreme weather before (dropping down into the upper teens) it’s usually over quickly. Currently it’s been lightly freezing every night for several days now, with the prospect of continuing for the rest of the week. That is NOT normal, though it isn’t unprecedented.

    Of course, being from New England, and being used to driving in 4 to 6 inches of snow, sometimes just for fun, it’ kinda nice. Sometimes, when in High School we couldn’t get the family car, we would hitch hike into town to go to a movie, during a blizzard. Yeah, it was stupid, but it was fun, and proves it to be doable.

    If 2 to 4 inches of snow, and temps in the teens and 20’s (F), are shutting the UK down, then maybe it should be shut down.

  105. Gail Combs (14:46:18) :

    “Tree-Coring Fool (09:27:58) :

    “After 100,000 years won’t all the BS Gore spouts turn to peat?”

    No it will turn to coal”

    My guess is it will STILL be toxic waste.

  106. Re: Mark T (13:58:44) :
    TV crews sat along side an Atlanta highway one year watching all the wipeouts from so-called “black ice” that had formed during a freeze.

    Here in the UK, we also didn’t have sensible urban planning, so tarmac’d over cart tracks and called them roads. If they’re widened and straightened a bit, they become ‘A’ roads.

    We also have lots of people that saw BMW ads and the ‘drivers machine’ tagline. Many discover rear wheel drive and ice make for an interesting driving experience and good business for the body shops. Me, in this weather would prefer something with tracks.

    Curious where the blame will end up in the UK. Many councils were woefully prepared for this, possibly because they bought into the ‘mild winter’ lie. Shame we have less agressive lawyers over here.

  107. The Greens want your grandparents to die in the most depressing manner possible.

    Greenpeace’s current banner ads using Google’s adsense system currently says they are seeking £3 donations to save polar bears, which they say are facing extinction, and to help direct physical action/terrorist campaigns to block shipments of coal.

    This is what the ad looks like:

    You could always group yourselves together and take direct physical action against Greenpeace’s offices.

  108. At the present time all the wind turbines situated in and around the Uk are producing only 1% of UK`s power needs, there is little or no wind.

  109. Jeroen (14:18;59) – Actually , yes . Northern and central Florida experience frosts and a hard freeze or two almost every winter . Several days in a row is unusual , however . Northern Florida uses more electricity due to heating demands during the winter than it uses for cooling during the summer , surprisingly enough . At least peak demand occurs during winter .

  110. Richard deSousa (09:57:19) :

    Be very aware and afraid this is what will happen to the US if Congress and Senate pass the Cap and Trade bill! Obama has threatened to kill coal and all carbon based energy sources in favor of green energy. Britain now is paying the price for this folly.

    Reply:
    Waxman has another present for US citizens besides Cap and Trade, the Food safety enhancement bill. It will double the price of food at the very minimum. A british dairy farmer stated he now spends 60% of his time on paperwork and that is the same system Waxman wishes to impose on ANYONE who grows food in the USA. Combined with the increased cost in energy and fertilizer, the use of grain for bio-fuel, expect food prices to at least quadruple. Once independent farmers in the USA give up because of the fines, paperwork and legal liability, the transnational corporations running the World Trade Organization will have a monopoly and food prices will really sky rocket.

    For Animals:
    Guide to Good Farming Practices:

    http://xstatic99645.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/ggfp-06-oie.pdf

    For Plants:
    HR 2749: Food Safety’s Scorched Earth Policy

    http://farmwars.info/?p=1284

    Some of the technical details

    http://www.ftcldf.org/news/news-15june2009.htm

    Al Gore and Obama’s partner in crime, Maurice Strong stated

    ““Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”

    looks like Waxman and Congress is working real hard at it too. Thanks to the doubling of the US money supply and all the bailouts “Stewart Dougherty, a specialist in inferential analysis, agrees. It is now “statistically impossible for the United States to pay its obligations”. http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/08.09/metastasis.html

    Like Iceland we as a country are now technically bankrupt it just has not hit yet.

  111. ” Dodgy Geezer (07:15:20) :

    Message from the Great Britain, a country that used to run a third of the globe

    …We’re stuffed…

    That is all.”

    That is why I left 17 years ago… I could see all this coming….

    Just call me Nostradamus

  112. There should be many copies of OwlGores book available since it has been thouroughly discredited. We could also refer the pensioners to the IPCC reports and while we’re at it anything that this lousy US Congress puts together…they seem to like their new laws by the paper case size.

  113. Atomic Hairdryer (13:15:41) :

    … Here in sunny Reading, UK I’ve had about 8cm of global warming falling in the last 5hrs. Think the uni’s climate brigade have now been banned from my local pub :)

    Reply:

    Why ban them, wouldn’t they be good for dart practice? I would think moving targets would be more fun. /Sarcasm

  114. jeroen (14:18:59) :

    wonder if the people in Florida have a fire place. [some do but most have heat pumps in the south USA]

    http://www.accuweather.com/index-severe-weather.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0

    freeze watch in Florida. Is that common?

    No it is not at all common, at least in recent years. Citrus trees do not do well in freezing temps. Sprinklers and “smudge pots” are used (or were) to raise the temperatures in the orchards.

    Citrus fruits and juices may be going up in price soon. A bad freeze can actually kill the trees. Temperatures in the teens (F) will severely damage or kill trees and temperatures in the high 20s (F) will readily kill or severely damage first or second year of the trees.

    I am about 1000 kilometers north of these orchards and on the border of the “snow zone” north of us normally gets snow and south of us does not. I see snow about once every three to five years.

  115. SandyInDerby (14:37:37) :

    Curling is unknown in Australia but I could not help but laugh at the last comment on your first link……..

    Apparently it was quite a day in Lochmaben. The ice had been checked by the local council and was 7-8 inches, and solid. However, someone phoned the police to say there were lots of people on the ice and they didn’t think it was safe. Anne tells the story, “Six police officers arrived but they couldn’t go on ice to warn people because of health and safety so they passed the buck to the Nith rescue who came with a rescue boat but because of heath and safety they couldn’t go on ice either. So the Coast Guard arrived, lights flashing! But guess what? Because of health and safety he couldn’t go on the ice either! A great day was had by all.”

    Mmmm…. too many regulations ?

  116. Watching the BBC news tonight, which is mainly about the weather, there was a comment about how the Met Office have goofed because they had predicted a BBQ summer and a mild winter and then the news reader said that “predicting whole seasons is an inexact science”.

    What does that make predicting a quarter of a century ahead?

    We try to cover all eventualities here in our rural part of the UK. Because we had a lot of power cuts when we came here 24 years ago we installed a bottled (no mains here) gas cooker and have an open fire in the drawing room and keep a good supply of candles. We have oil fired central heating (horrendous cost but at the time of installation it was cheaper than electric or bottled gas – a bit like the choice of car; I bought a diesel car when it was cheaper than unleaded and guess where the price of that is now!) Our world saving PM has been promoting grants of £400 to poorer people to change their boilers to more efficient ones. Given that said new boiler costs around £2k apparently, where are the poorer people going to find the difference and what hope is there for me to keep changing expensive equipment to try to save a few pounds and then have the government come along and raise taxes to negate any advantage I might have gained? I sometimes feel like a hamster on an eternal treadmill. Now there’s a thought – generate my own electricity.

    Roll on the election in May but if there is a change of government is it going to be any different from the current nanny state? I wonder………..

  117. Re: jjs (07:27:25) :

    God save the Queen and get rid of the green.

    Since the House of Windsor are in the forfront of the eco-alarmist movement (probably because they can afford to be) what on earth are you talking about?

  118. In the UK we were promised a Mediterranean climate, and that France would be a desert! B*****DS!

  119. Don’t knock wind turbines – they may not be good at producing energy but they are fantastic at making money! In the UK with subsidies to build them and the right to sell any electricity at a high price means you can expect to make 25% per annum on your original investment for the 25 to 30 year lifetime of the turbine!

    Actually if any ‘green’ technology needs a subsidy then it isn’t green. Most of the cost of a product is the energy used to produce it, both directly and indirectly. The energy used in mining raw materials, moving them, refining them, shaping them, assembling them, and other transport costs. The wages of all the people in turn will be used on products which required energy to produce them. Most of that energy will be from oil. If subsidies are required then it suggests more energy from fossil fuels was used to produce it than it will produce in ‘green’ energy.

  120. Gail Combs (16:27:41) :

    jeroen (14:18:59) :

    wonder if the people in Florida have a fire place. [some do but most have heat pumps in the south USA]

    http://www.accuweather.com/index-severe-weather.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0

    freeze watch in Florida. Is that common?

    No it is not at all common, at least in recent years. Citrus trees do not do well in freezing temps. Sprinklers and “smudge pots” are used (or were) to raise the temperatures in the orchards.

    Citrus fruits and juices may be going up in price soon. A bad freeze can actually kill the trees. Temperatures in the teens (F) will severely damage or kill trees and temperatures in the high 20s (F) will readily kill or severely damage first or second year of the trees.

    I am about 1000 kilometers north of these orchards and on the border of the “snow zone” north of us normally gets snow and south of us does not. I see snow about once every three to five years.

    If they have a hard freeze and lose the citrus crop, then folks who like orange juice should go out and buy some frozen concentrate because the price will go up substantially.

    I am not sure how much of the juice market is now served by the Florida growers but in years past when they had serious freeze losses the effects on prices for citrus crop products like orange and grapefruit juice went up substantially.

    I can remember in the 1960’s and 1970’s as I recall it being a major news item with live shots from the orchards where they were spraying the trees with water 24 hrs/day to stave off freeze damage with the latent heat of freezing of the water spray, holding the local air temp near freezing and protecting the fruit from major frost damage. The smudge pots were not very effective as I understand it and today would probably be very expensive to fuel, not to mention pollution concerns probably blocking their use.

    http://www.flcitrusmutual.com/industry-issues/weather/freeze_timeline.aspx

    http://flcitrusmutual.com/news/ledger_freeze_010510.aspx

    Larry

  121. Apologies if this is posted elsewhere, but Joe Bastardi takes a well-deserved victory lap over at his European blog. A few choice quotes:

    “What else am I supposed to say? There is nothing else since I AM A FORECASTER, NOT A NOWCASTER. Anyone can come in tell you it’s snowing and cold, once it’s snowing and cold.”

    “But hopefully this winter will wake people up to the EXTREME position that has been taken by climate scientists on the global warming issue. For I must point out to you that the forecasts for cold winters came from people that A) are predominately private forecasters and b) have been at this competitive situation so long, that they are well aware of the practical aspects of the climate. I am not talking about ivory tower dictating from above, but instead the ditch diggers that do this every day of their life out of love of subject. The goal is not to “save the planet” but to nail the forecast.”

    Read the rest.

    http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp?partner=accuweather


  122. Gail Combs (15:28:26) :

    Waxman … the Food safety enhancement bill. It will double the price of food at the very minimum.

    Ambiguous claim; like the global warmers making predictions 50 years hence.
    .
    .


  123. Gail Combs (15:00:52) :

    Paddy, here in the USA we trashed our education system that is why the kids are unemployable.

    Paddy, Gail is prone to just a little more than exaggeration on subjects; read her like you would Mark Twain except she is dead serious and …
    .
    .


  124. P Wilson (07:23:16) :
    “…What confuses me is the snowfalls in th e US and Canada are more considerable, yet you don’t get the same paralysis. I guess it’s because we haven’t had a cold winter like this for a long time (apart from last year)”

    Gail Combs (08:52:24) :
    The northern areas have snow removal equipment. There are enough storms
    so the towns have the equipment or contractors available.

    In Michigan, Indiana and Illinois all the county road-commission trucks are equipped with under-body scraper blades; deeper snow requires a front mounted snow plow that can be angled left, right or straight ahead.

    Deep snow plowing required a V-plow for ‘breaking’ through the snow on a street that has not seen a plow previously.

    If you have bandwidth available, there are a number of snow-plowing videos on youtube; some of the videos involving snow plowing trains are particularly spectacular …
    .
    .


  125. Gail Combs (15:28:26) :

    Once independent farmers in the USA give up because of the fines, paperwork and legal liability, the transnational corporations running the World Trade Organization will have a monopoly and food prices will really sky rocket.

    I almost missed this on: The Grand Transnational-Corporation Food Conspiracy.

    One would have thought this would would have been one of THE oldest and most enduring conspiracies (because, uhhhh, everyone has to eat!)

    But no, not yet. It’s still in the making …
    .
    .


  126. Gail Combs (15:28:26) :

    For Plants:
    HR 2749: Food Safety’s Scorched Earth Policy

    http://farmwars.info/?p=1284

    Shades of “Fear Factor”; do you have any studies, ag-university documented studies as opposed to a loose collection of anecdotal tales followed up by worse-case extrapolation?

    Or is just all this self-authored stuff by people (with a high content of scary adjectives, some hyperbole and no doubt some basic misconceptions of what’s in these bills)?
    .
    .

  127. P Wilson (07:23:16) :

    “…What confuses me is the snowfalls in th e US and Canada are more considerable, yet you don’t get the same paralysis. I guess it’s because we haven’t had a cold winter like this for a long time (apart from last year)”

    In Ottawa, Canada we just are just a lot more prepared for the winter.

    City snow-removal equipment: 700 plows and trucks, about one for every 750 people.
    Snow removal budget 2008: $65 million, about $130.00 per person
    Amount of salt used: 220,000-plus tonnes, about 400 kilos per person
    Amount of snow moved: 2.4 million cubic metres, about 5 cubic meters per person.

    We can move a lot of snow. We can clear a 20 cm. snowfall from the city roads in less than a day.

    We salt/sand all the road sometimes just in case of freezing train, why wait.

    If this keeps up, someday you will too.

  128. Alan the Brit (08:13:57) :

    Mark Bowlin (07:08:01) :

    “I suspect it’s a cold cold winter in East Anglia.”

    ——————————————————————

    How will they ban Mother Nature from their global warming science!? What a travesty!

    Maybe Ben Santer can beat her up.

  129. Rich Day (08:11:27) :

    Enjoy it. Winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting event.

    —————————————————–

    Nice sarc!

    As Svensmark said—enjoy the warm we have now.

  130. Spen (08:08:25) :

    ‘A spokesman for the National Grid said the alert had been effective in prompting electricity companies to import more gas or switch to coal-fired power stations. ‘

    Presumably the lack of wind means all those expensive windfarms are not working. Tut. Tut. More bloody carbon dioxide but hopefully that might warm things up a bit.

    —————————————————————-

    Don’t bet good money on that. You may need it for home heating—-or to buy used books at Goodwill for winter warmth….

    you know, curling up by the fire of a good book.

  131. Rajendra Pachauri on Guardian radio today, “this is also in my view a measure of desperation on the part of the skeptics…” “Highlight the importance of the core benefits from mitigation of emissions of greenhouse gases, (I mean the holy syrup/ inaudible) energy security…”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/audio/2010/jan/05/climate-change-climate-change-scepticism

    Yes Rajendra, we are so desperate watching you squirm as the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming narrative collapses. The desperate ones right now are those who are enjoying “the core benefits from mitigation of emissions of greenhouse gases”, like the “energy security” of knowing that they cannot afford to heat their houses tonight…

  132. oldgifford (07:53:24) :

    the 36,700 old people

    Do you have the link or the source for this. I really want to know it.

  133. Phillip Bratby (07:48:22) :

    I’ve been listening to a BBC radio programme about the history of the Royal Society. Compared to the state and status of science in the UK over 300 years ago, you would be forgiven for thinking that we are in now back in the dark ages. Science has been thrown in the bin at the expense of green and politically correct advocacy. It’s enough to make a grown man weep.

    —————————————————————-

    I can relate.

  134. Just The Facts (20:46:28) :

    Rajendra Pachauri…

    I heard it said that pressure on people magnifies what is in them. It’s like squeezing a sponge: whatever is in it comes out. The pressure on Rajendra Pachauri from a poor Copenhagen showing, and the cooling earth, is showing what is in him.

  135. photon without a Higgs (21:02:13) :
    “Rajendra Pachauri…
    I heard it said that pressure on people magnifies what is in them.”

    Yes, and also a degree of projection, where one assumes and/or desires that others think and feel the same, in Rajendra’s case, desperation…

  136. John A (16:43:14) :

    Re: jjs (07:27:25) :

    God save the Queen and get rid of the green.

    “Since the House of Windsor are in the forfront of the eco-alarmist movement (probably because they can afford to be) what on earth are you talking about?

    Being a (protestant) Scottish football fan maybe I can throw some light on jjs’ strange comment. I would guess that he is a Rangers fan (a protestant) and Royalist, and he is commenting about Catholicism …

  137. Just The Facts (21:20:41) :

    photon without a Higgs (21:02:13) :
    “Rajendra Pachauri…

    Mother nature is kicking their butts.

  138. Swift’s description of the men of Laputa, the flying island, is thought to be a satire on the Royal Society of his day (Gulliver’s Travels 1726) and could still be relevant.

    The Laputians are highly adept at mathematics and astronomy, but totally inept at practical uses for their knowledge:
    “….These People are under continual Disquietudes, never enjoying a Minute’s Peace of Mind; and their Disturbances proceed from Causes which very little affect the rest of Mortals. Their Apprehensions arise from several Changes they dread in the Celestial Bodies. For Instance; that the Earth by the continual Approaches of the Sun towards it, must in Course of Time be absorbed or swallowed up….the Earth very narrowly escaped a Brush from the Tail of the last Comet, which would have infallibly reduced it to Ashes; and that the next, which they have calculated for One and Thirty Years hence, will probably destroy us……[the Earth] must in its Passage be set on Fire, and reduced to Ashes……at last be wholly consumed and annihilated….
    …They are so perpetually alarmed with the Apprehensions of these and the like impending Dangers, that they can neither sleep quietly in their Beds, nor have any Relish for the common Pleasures or Amusements of Life. When they meet an Acquaintance in the Morning, the first Question is about the Sun’s Health..”
    Furthermore:
    “…. The Women of the Island have Abundance of Vivacity: they contemn their Husbands, and are exceedingly fond of Strangers…”.
    All you alarmists out there and you know who you are, be warned.

  139. photon without a Higgs (21:45:24) :
    “Mother nature is kicking their butts.”

    I still can’t believe that they bet the house on the trajectory of Earth’s average temperature, it was a sucker’s bet from the beginning…

  140. Burning paper can be done. Books burn slowly. But so does a lot of other high-density paper, not just because of the lack of air. There is stuff like clay and fabric in paper, which doesn’t burn (/well).

    But you can recover a lot of heat by burning paper. Best done with a cross-cut paper shredder and compressed air to feed the paper intothe furnace.

    Maybe CRU @ UEA has some pre-shredded paper?!? :-)

  141. With all this cold weather, you’d think ManBearPig would go into hibernation……. permanently……… or is he just native to a few dodgy weather stations here in Australia?

  142. Roy (07:33:35)

    Funny story, but anyone with a fireplace in which they can burn books would get a lot more benefit from blocking it up and using something like an oil-filled electric radiator.

    Not according to my rough numbers. If you can buy 500g (about a pound) of paper for 5 pence, that has a heat value of about 9,000 BTU. Electricity in London costs on the order of 12 pence per kilowatt hour, so five pence gives a heat value of about 1,400 BTU.

    So even though a fireplace is only something like 20% to 50% efficient, you are still ahead buying books and burning them even at the low end of the efficiency range. If you have a wood stove you’re better off than a fireplace, of course. And if you are smart about your fireplace (crack the window nearest the fireplace to avoid pulling warm air from the room) you can up the efficiency at no cost.

    What, you think just because they are old the pensioners are dumb? I guarantee if there was more energy in electricity you wouldn’t be reading about them burning books …

  143. We are officially “Wacko’s” now on Wiki:

    >>>

    Wacko alert?
    Recently posted off in Wottsup [25]:
    I would invite all readers to help improving the climategate article on wikipedia, which has been hijacked by alarmists that have a troop of sleepless zealots that work in conjunction with the aim to keep the page as useless as possible. Please bear in mind the use of reliable sources and read and add your views in the discussion page before changing the main article. We need more people to counter W. Connolley and his troop of alarmists:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_e-mail_hacking_incident

    talk page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Climatic_Research_Unit_e-mail_hacking_incident
    William M. Connolley (talk) 16:17, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
    Probably worth mention at the Climate change probation page. Semi-protection is always an option. Guettarda (talk) 16:38, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
    At the moment, SPAs don’t seem to be a huge problem. If it becomes one, I’m considering some sort of enhanced semi-protection (e.g. 100 edits, registered 3 months ago) I have no idea what the numbers would be at the moment. But right now there doesn’t seem to be a huge problem. Prodego talk 17:27, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
    The person who posted that comment to Wottsup is obviously a regular contributor to this Wikipedia topic, so it might not be a good idea to refer to them as a “wacko”. This is a clear case of meat puppetry though, and that should probably be addressed in some manner. — Scjessey (talk) 17:57, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
    Oh goody, I’ve always wanted to add User:JzG/Uninformed wingnut drivel to an article… — ChrisO (talk) 18:14, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
    Thanks for the link. I’d never seen that template before. Guettarda (talk) 18:32, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
    I’ve raised this matter at WP:ANI, in case anyone is interested. — Scjessey (talk) 19:11, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
    I’ve tried to AGF and made a comment on William M. Connolley (talk • contribs) talk page, but what happens? I get attacked, ridiculed, and minimalized. My point was don’t use such words describing other people contributing to other web pages like wacko, Wottsup etc. Thanks! Nsaa (talk) 07:24, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
    Sorry that you’re offended by a little levity about potential meatpuppets. As for Watts Up With That? (or wottsup? in common English as spoke in the sarf) this post from the Big Yin may inform you a bit more about the issue that was so sneakily hidden away here. Please accept that going on about it is not a way of improving this particular article, and hence is inappropriate for this talk page which is governed by talk page guidelines. Hope that sets things to rest, do feel free to discuss it further on my talk page rather than cluttering up this article talk page. Thanks, dave souza, talk 08:02, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

    >>>

  144. Alas it is obvious the British political class are contemptuous of its responsibilities towards the domestic population. They are far too busy thinking they are saving the world to worry about the effects of their stupid polices and decisions. Not only do they intend to make energy so expensive that most will be unable to afford adequate heating, but they also intend to expand their remit into the provision of food so we can all starve. Perhaps in combination this will finally stir the nation enough for them to finally abandon their ridiculous affection for party allegiance and find those who will run the nation effectively.

  145. Pascvaks (07:22:27) : edit
    ??44 lbs of coal costs $7.50 – $10??

    Time to export some relief to the good ol’ USS United Kingdom! [...]Burning books? Books cheaper than coal? Hello! What planet am I on?

    And that pretty much sums up the problem with “managed” economies and “command and control”.

    Under the old USSR they found pig farmers feeding bread to pigs, since it was subsidised to cheaper than grain…

    Coal in the USA runs about $20 to $50 a TON last time I looked. (But in some places is as low as $12 / TON in some years).

    So whenever you distort prices artificially, you get bizarre results like burning books or running cars on corn…

    When will folks learn that the laws of economics are just as immutable as the laws of physics?

    @Roy:

    Per the search function in my browser, first use of “fireplace” is in your comment, not the article. The article does say a large book can last all night. That does not happen in an open fireplace, but does in a very efficient wood stove.

    My conclusion: They are using wood stoves, not fireplaces, and you have leapt off a cliff of conclusion…

    Save The Books, send coal to Newcastle…

  146. A Modest Idea:

    UK Retirees need to submit FOIA requests for copies of the email and budget of various government agencies. The resultant boxes of paper ought to make a winters worth of nice fires. ;-)

    Might I suggest starting with the ministries that run the Met Office and the green police?

  147. Hyper-thermania (08:51:16) : Bags of coal… yes, we did try using pipelines once, but the lumps kept getting stuck.

    You laugh, yet… The town of Laughlin Nevada has it’s own little coal fired power plant (being in the middle of nowhere) fed via a coal pipeline. It come in as a slurry in water. Coal pipelines are fairly common… but the diameter is probably a bit too big for a single home.

  148. E.M.Smith (02:08:09) :

    “….Under the old USSR they found pig farmers feeding bread to pigs, since it was subsidised to cheaper than grain…

    Coal in the USA runs about $20 to $50 a TON last time I looked. (But in some places is as low as $12 / TON in some years).

    So whenever you distort prices artificially, you get bizarre results like burning books or running cars on corn…

    When will folks learn that the laws of economics are just as immutable as the laws of physics?

    @Roy:

    Per the search function in my browser, first use of “fireplace” is in your comment, not the article. The article does say a large book can last all night. That does not happen in an open fireplace, but does in a very efficient wood stove.

    My conclusion: They are using wood stoves, not fireplaces, and you have leapt off a cliff of conclusion…

    Save The Books, send coal to Newcastle…”

    I hate to say this but I feed our goats and sheep bread here in the USA because it is cheaper than grain. There is a waiting list at the bread store for “day old” bread. I imagine the Russians were using fresh bread though. (Corn and other grains are produced at below production costs in the USA thanks to tax subsidies according to one PEW report)

    I also think the Brits use coal stoves and not the wood stoves we have here in the USA. If I recall correctly, we were warned NOT to burn coal in our new wood stove. I mention this because I think specially built coals stoves would handle slow burning fuel like coal and books more easily. Perhaps our friends in the UK could comment.

  149. If this weather continues for a few more weeks, it will badly damage most (?) UK vineyards. Perhaps so much that we won’t hear more about them in the future from the warmists.

  150. From yesterday’s browsing France’s public debt for 2009 75% of GDP, Germany 78%, Greece 120%.

    Because the Fed is trading short term Treasuries for longer term commercial paper and banks are buying equities on margin we now see interests rates starting to climb before the support ends! Treasuries are already underperforming.

    China warned after Copenhagen that there is not enough money in the world to support a doubling of US debt, i.e., this year followed by last.

    The end is met. Hyperstagflation and Near-eastern conflagration in 2010.

  151. Pensioners to sell carbon credits.
    Pensioners not using heating energy they intended to use (if they could afford it) should be able to sell the carbon equivalets as carbon credits under Kyoto protocol, no? Perhaps a pensioner association should present a class action claim.

  152. The first time I visited London, on our honeymoon, was in 1995. My wife and I both being bibliophiles, we of course visited Charing Cross Rd, the famous London bookstore area. We were apalled to find shops selling 200 yr old books *by the yard* at negligible prices for interior decorating purposes.

    The Brits have *a lot* of old books. . . tho keep this up for awhile and they won’t. I’m still apalled, particularly knowing how often used bookstores can have some real valuable gems mispriced due to ignorance.

  153. “Gail Combs (02:50:44) :
    I also think the Brits use coal stoves and not the wood stoves we have here in the USA. If I recall correctly, we were warned NOT to burn coal in our new wood stove. I mention this because I think specially built coals stoves would handle slow burning fuel like coal and books more easily. Perhaps our friends in the UK could comment.”

    Oh dear, you make us Brits sound so backward, so Dickensian.

    Speaking for my small circle of aquaintances/friends etc, a lot of people have open fires and mostly burn wood or they have woodburning stoves which are very popular now. I don’t know many people who have coal burning stoves but I am sure there must be plenty. We had solid fuel central heating when we bought this house and, as husband was away a lot, I was the idiot lugging the coal in and emptying the ashes – that was 24 years ago.

    However, I live in a village with a lot of social housing and I see the coal lorry visiting once a week delivering small quantities of coal. Electricity is expensive, as is oil, we have no mains gas, and it is cheaper to burn a bit of coal in an open fire to keep the main room warm. However, I am sure the price paid for small quantities of coal is high compared with one large delivery to see you through the season but if you are on a low wage you can’t afford to buy a large delivery. It’s the same with all products; buy in bulk and it’s cheaper but you can’t do that if you’re a low paid worker (or unemployed) and so you are caught in the poverty trap even more.

    (And, no, I don’t read The Guardian. I read the Telegraph but being a conservative doesn’t stop you seeing the injustices and inequities in this world.)

  154. photon without a Higgs (20:47:05) :

    oldgifford (07:53:24) :

    the 36,700 old people

    Do you have the link or the source for this. I really want to know it.

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/deaths1109.pdf

    Excess winter mortality
    highest since 1999/2000
    There were an estimated 36,700 excess winter deaths in England
    and Wales in 2008/9, an increase of 49 per cent on the previous
    year, according to provisional estimates published today by the
    Office for National Statistics. This is the highest number since
    1999/2000.

    The excess winter mortality (EWM) index is calculated so that
    comparisons can be made between sexes, age groups and regions,
    and is calculated as the number of excess winter deaths divided by
    the average non-winter deaths, expressed as a percentage.

    The greatest numbers of excess deaths occurred in people aged
    over 85. Continuing recent trends, women accounted for the highest
    number of excess winter deaths. There are more women aged over
    85 than men, which explains the majority of the higher number of
    excess winter deaths seen in women.

  155. Why don’t the Met Office just toss a coin? You see they will always want to forecast warming until they stick their heads out the window. If their models forecast some cooling then there must be something wrong with the models. These people are lost in propaganda and can’t see where the climate is headed. :o)

    25 September 2008
    The Met Office forecast for the coming winter suggests it is, once again, likely to be milder than average. It is also likely that the coming winter will be drier than last year.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20080925.html

    25 Feb 2009
    Coldest winter for a decade – Met Office

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20090225.html

    —–

    30 April 2009
    The coming summer is ‘odds on for a barbecue summer‘, according to long-range forecasts

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20090430.html

    Met Office cools summer forecast

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8173533.stm

    —-

    Met Office – 5 January 2010
    The current cold weather started in mid December and it has been the most prolonged spell of freezing conditions across the UK since December 1981.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2010/pr20100105.html

  156. Local businessmen Craig Compeau and Rudy Gavora contracted the piece from award-winning sculptor Steve Dean and say they’ll keep erecting one each winter until Gore accepts an invitation to discuss the global warming issue in Fairbanks.

  157. EU and UK politicians are sold on renewables – its their contribution to saving the world. There has been a continuing investment in wind energy which is supported by enormous subsidies paid through electricity prices. This subvention has to be supported by consumers including pensioners so burning books is one solution.
    No one has seen a wind turbine moving for weeks and this is the time of peak demand. Of course the lack of wind is normal at this time of the year something that our political betters do seem to be aware of.
    Perhaps a good dose of global warming is just what we need (never mind warmer weather) as well as getting rid of these political numpties.

  158. BBC presenter Andrew Neil is due to interview the head of the Met Office, according to his blog the interview is today, but I think it will be broadcast on Thursday 7th.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/dailypolitics/andrewneil/

    If anyone has the ability to record & upload it, then I think the “wider community” might be interested in seeing the vociferous sceptic take on the Cheif Executive of “the best geophysical science institute in the world” !
    Andrew Neil is a well known sceptic so I don’t expect John Hirst to be caught off guard, but hopefully he will be made to squirm a bit.

  159. Gail Combs (02:50:44) :
    I also think the Brits use coal stoves and not the wood stoves we have here in the USA.

    But mostly we burn gas in central heating systems.

    The newer stoves that I have seen are usually multi fuel. There are an awful lot of rules, especially in densely populated areas, regarding what you can burn. During weather like this (cold and still) just going back a few decades smog was a big killer.

  160. I understand that it has been experimentally determined that one gets more BTUs per pound out of ‘Earth in the Balance’ and ‘Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis’ than any other books…..

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