I’m back

The long school holidays draw to a close, and with it the disruptions to my online-ness.

We went to Mallorca, we went to Wales, we went to Torpenhow (the latter set is rather boring because the interesting ones are private. Sorry).

So I have to catch up on a whole pile of online stuff, and rant about our stupid politicians. And cut the grass. Tomorrow.

Friends of the Earth has a campaign to reduce CO2 emission limits for cars

I’ve been on hols again – life is tough when you have kids – and am working my way through the backlog. I find…

Friends of the Earth has a campaign to reduce CO2 emission limits for cars. Apparently:

* In October 2008 the European Parliament is to vote to adopt the European Commission’s proposed regulation on CO2 emission limits.
* The proposed limit for new cars registered in the EU is to be 130g CO2 / km instead of the existing 160g CO2 / km.
* BUT Friends of the Earth believes that 130g / km is not enough and is campaigning for a more restrictive limit of 120g CO2 / km with further reductions to follow, (80g/km in 2020 and 65g/km in 2025)
* To highlight this they have set up a microsite: http://www.forlesspollutingcars.com/ to get people concerned about this to write to their MEPs

So they emailed some friendly bloggers to stir up some interest. They seem to have omitted the irritating content-free flash intro from the microsite, so thats good.

However… my feeling is that this isn’t really going to work. What is going to, and is now, reducing the amount of CO2 emitted by cars is the increases in the price of fuel (and before any greenies start rejoicing about that, the increases in the price are driven by high demand which means that lots of it is being burned). This legislation will only get passed if it doesn’t inconvenience too many people.

Sanity rescued from the jaws of madness

Not the Georgians and the Russians, though indications are they they too have pulled back from utter stupidity. No, this is far more important: rowing, and in particular the bumps. Background: those paying close attention on day 4 will have noticed the problem with Robs 1. It seems that the 10 minute delay on the start was a bit more than I’d realised: it consisted of the umpires telling Robs they had an illegal crew and couldn’t row, and Robs refusing to listen (they even had the man they’d bumped out standing on the bank, so they didn’t even have the excuse of no sub available). And the arguments became heated.

You can read some background (letters to the Cambridge Evening News) here.

So it all escalated to an EGM of the CRA tonight, with the AGENDA: To discuss the behaviour of Rob Roy Boat Club during Bumps week 2008 and to consider the proposal that they be suspended from the CRA for a minimum of one year and one day from 8.40pm on Friday 25th July with any additional sanctions, penalties and fines that the Bumps Committee, after further reflection, may decide to impose. Pedants and fans of adminitrivia will immeadiately notice that this proposal doesn’t have a named proposer; and indeed during the meeting itself it became remarkably unclear who was proposing it. John Jenner managed to say something like “people assume that this motion is proposed by the bumps committee; it isn’t; it is from one or two members of the bumps committee”.
Continue reading “Sanity rescued from the jaws of madness”

More sea ice

Nothing much going on with sea ice at the moment, but people are getting excited about it, so why shouldn’t I contribute to the smoke?

[A little concept I just created in the comments but am so pleased with I’m going to put it here: is 2007’s Arctic sea ice like 1998’s global temperature?]

First up in the stupidity stakes is Tim Flannery, for his Words of warming in the Grauniad, in particular for by June 2008 signs of a great melt were emerging and a senior adviser to the Norwegian government was warning that this may be the Arctic’s first ice-free year. Even in June, that was blatantly silly. Repeating it now is worse. The Arctic will not be ice free this summer. Or next summer. Or the one after that. Or… The rest of the article is full of the usual over-excitement but isn’t very interesting.

The grauniad has another go at sea ice in Meltdown in the Arctic is speeding up, which spends a lot of time saying “we don’t know”, then continues Professor Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Using US navy supercomputers, his team produced a forecast which indicated that by 2013 there will be no ice in the Arctic – other than a few outcrops on islands near Greenland and Canada – between mid-July and mid-September. ‘It does not really matter whether 2007 or 2008 is the worst year on record for Arctic ice,’ Maslowski said. ‘The crucial point is that ice is clearly not building up enough over winter to restore cover and that when you combine current estimates of ice thickness with the extent of the ice cap, you get a very clear indication that the Arctic is going to be ice-free in summer in five years. And when that happens, there will be consequences.’ (HT ES in globalchange). But I dont believe it. Nor is it clearly true that ice doesn’t have time to rebuild over winter.
Continue reading “More sea ice”

Georgia stuffs it up

Not that Georgia of course, I mean the country.

In one of the stupidest political miscalculations since Bush thought it was a good idea to invade Iraq, the Georgian Prez seems to have decided that since everyone was watching the olympics on telly now would be a good time to “invade” South Ossetia (and amusingly enough, it seems some Georgian troops currently in Iraq are heading home). The Beeb seems to have a reasonable summary.

Notice that I had to put “invade” in quotes above: SO technically is a part of Georgia. But as far as I can tell, it does so in roughly the same sense that Kosovo belongs to Serbia: ie, as an accident of the break-up of old political blocks.

Just to make things more entertaining, Russia then decided on a vast over-reaction and appears to be bombing bits of Georgia largely at random, presumably to punish them for being to Westernised. That’s not going to win them any friends, but I’m very curious to find out what we manage to do about it. Given our current dependence on their oil and gas, I’m betting “not very much”. It would be hard to formalise that, but if I have any takers we could try.

Meanwhile, there seems to have been some rowing at the lympics, in between the smog.

And while I’m here, thanks to PW for the Dire Weasel.