Saturday, 31 July 2010

I'm Back!

Yes, I am now back from my holiday in Norfolk. I have returned to the 21st century; I have access to a laptop and my phone can find a signal. I am, once again, connected*.

So, obviously, there will now be a stream of posts covering what I realised about myself during those hours of introspection in the Eastern sun, what changes need to be made to the world around us in order to make it a better place, and so on...

Fat chance. The weekend is full - today I am off to see an in-law and good friend be made into a Catholic priest. It will be a rare occasion - it is not often that you get to attend someone's second ordination (his first was as an Anglican - if I am feeling cheeky then I may ask where he plans to go next).

Then I will be back to work, with a week's backlog to catch up. Ho Hum.

So, in brief, I have learnt that it is important to make space in life for the important things. I will be putting that into practice today, but will have to try from Monday onwards. Fingers crossed.

*Can I go back to Norfolk now, please?

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Save the Ozone layer Polar bears Whale Climate!

There is a shop on our high street, sandwiched between the long line of estate agents, which originally offered a Home Information Pack service. Now, it offers to prepare an environmental report on your house (which is, I believe, the last remaining bit of the HIP legislation that the EU will not allow Dave to repeal).

This morning I noticed their poster:

Would you like to reduce your home's CO2 emissions?

To which the correct answer is, of course, "that is impossible; as there is no such thing as CO2, therefore my house cannot be emitting any, so a reduction in the emissions of this non-existent entity is not feasible".

However, I shall be charitable and assume they mean CO2.

The answer to that question is, of course, "If I did, I would not be employing a firm whose understanding of matters scientific and environmental is so poor that they do not understand the difference between CO2 and CO2".

But even if we assume that I could find a company who I trusted to "reduce my home's CO2 emissions", I would not wish to. Having thought about the matter on my way to work this morning, I can only identify one part of my house* that emits CO2, and that is the boiler which consumes natural gas in order to heat my radiators and my bathwater. It burns the gas, so it will in fact emit CO2. However, given that my house is insulated, double-glazed, and so on, and the boiler is serviced, to reduce those emissions would require that less gas is burnt. Or, to put it differently, that I have a colder house and colder (or fewer) baths. No, thank you.

What I think they meant was, would I like someone to help me reduce the CO2 footprint of my home. Or, in other words, would I like the see a reduction in the CO2 which is emitted by other places but which is prompted by what goes on in my home? To which the answer is, probably, "yes". But it took us a long time to get there.

Now, you probably think I am being pedantic. And you would be right. But I do think that instead of railing against the scepticism of the many, it would be better if the climate change industry put its own house in order first. When I see so much misunderstanding of basic scientific concepts among those who tell me that their belief has a firm scientific underpinning, can you blame me for raising an eyebrow?

*although it should be said that my son emits large quantities of CH4, also believed to be a greenhouse gas.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Plus ca Change

It was Master P's turn to appear in the annual school production, last night. This year, the school decided to be ambitious, and ran Joseph - the Lloyd Webber musical. I have to say, they did very well indeed and Master P put an admirable effort into his (albeit small) contribution.

The story is, of course, one that you will know well. Joseph's superiority complex irritates his brothers, who sell him into slavery in Egypt to get rid of him. There, his dream interpretation skills come to the attention of Pharaoh, who wishes to know what his mysterious dream about seven fat and seven slim cows means (don't we all?). Joseph explains that the seven fat cows mean that there will be seven years of plentiful harvests, but that the seven slim cows mean this will be followed by seven years of poor harvests. Therefore, says Joseph, Pharaoh needs to build grain stores to conserve the nation's food during the good years so that there will be food available during the bad years.

Pharaoh explains, however, that this is totally wrong because his farming reforms mean that he has brought an end to boom and bust. Therefore, not only is it OK to consume all of the bumper crops during the next seven years, Egypt can in fact borrow food from others because the good years are going to continue forever and there will always be plenty of food in the future. This will enable Egypt both to support itself and to pay back those loans of food without difficulty. The additional food can be used to feed an new army of public servants who will be able to do Pharaoh's bidding, even if most of that takes the form of unwelcome interference in the daily lives of the farmers and the creation of endless additional work for them to do while they should really be out farming. And thus has Pharaoh ensured a future fair for all Egyptians.

Oh, hang on, my mistake. Gordon accepts Joseph's advice and appoints him in charge of mending the roof while the sun is shining. As a result, when the financial crisis hits, the UK is well-placed to withstand it and has ample funds available to bail out its banks without having to resort to borrowing money that it can no longer afford. Without a huge burden of debt and a massive public deficit, the UK is able to continue its wide range of public sector services and to finance the generous terms & conditions to which its public sector servants have become accustomed.

No, wait, I still haven't quite got this quite right....

Monday, 5 July 2010

Has another year gone already?

It must have, it's time for Iain Dale's list to start up all over again! And, of course, everyone is asking for a vote...

So I'm posting this up purely to explain that I've taken last year's "top 100" sticker down because the new vote is on its way. Not in order to urge you to vote for me. Oh no, because I wouldn't do that. You see, all my readers are too intelligent and discerning to be swayed by such platitudes. You'll all make your minds up totally independently...