Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Prejudice against white Eastern Europeans OK

`Britain faces an explosion of crime when Romania and Bulgaria join the EU,' warned the Sun newspaper this week. According to a `secret Cabinet memo', Eastern European gangs will trigger dramatic increases in street violence, vice rackets, cash point theft and fraud. Some 85 per cent of robberies at cash points, the report said, is said to be committed by Romanians. Quite how the authorities have worked that out is anyone's guess. But it's clear that Eastern Europeans are now targeted as a problem-in-waiting by the police, politicians and pundits. So just what is so awful about these Eastern Europeans?

Since the summer, panics and prejudices about migrants from the former Eastern Bloc countries have been aired by left and right alike. They've ranged from the age-old Malthusian concerns of `too many people, not enough resources'; to last week's statement by Trevor Phillips that Bulgarians and Romanians have racist attitudes towards black people. Now, Romanians are a bunch of sex-traffickers and cash-point robbers ready to wreck havoc in the UK. `It doesn't bode well for the future', said Sir Andrew Green of Migration Watch.

When preposterous figures such as `Romanians commit 85 per cent of crime at cash points' is peddled by the government it doesn't bode well for John Reid's sense of perspective. Are there even enough Romanians in the UK to commit nearly all robberies at cash machines? Do teams of Romanians travel the breadth of the UK to make sure no cash-machine is left safe? According to those ridiculous figures, they must certainly have to.

Panics surrounding ethnic groups and criminality are, of course, nothing new. Back in the 1970s, the press and Metropolitan police force launched the infamous `mugging' panic. Then it was young black men who were said to be causing an `epidemic' of street robberies across Britain, even though such recorded crimes had gone down since the peak of 1968. The moral panic was accepted because it confirmed and exacerbated racial prejudice and hostility to black people. Today, the government and media's drive against Eastern Europeans is also driven by panics and prejudices, but of a different but no less reactionary kind.

Even though it has benefited the UK, the relatively big hike in migration from Eastern Europe has rattled New Labour on a number of levels. Firstly, the free-movement of migrants in and out of the UK goes against their regulatory, controlling instincts. UK Home Secretary John Reid's plans to impose a limited quota on migrants from Romania, for instance, says more about New Labour's target-driven approach to governance than any real consideration on migration and the economy.

More importantly, though, it seems any discussions on Eastern Europeans can be aired freely precisely because they're white. After all, who could accuse them of playing the `racist immigration card'? Therefore, low-life scare stories about cash robbers and sex traffickers wouldn't be loudly proclaimed if the migrants were from Africa. White migrants are considered fair game because, as Mick Hume has pointed out, it's a reflection of how the political class sees white working-class Britons too. When Trevor Philips said that Bulgarians have backward attitudes towards black people, and therefore should be denied entry into Britain, he could have easily followed that up with: `haven't we got enough of those types of people already?'

It's worth remembering that a few years back, a leaked government memo reckoned that British pensioners couldn't be accommodated into New Britain because of their dated `racist attitudes'. Clearly, though, it hasn't stopped with pensioners either. Younger generations of white Britons and now Eastern European migrants are either under suspicion or downright guilty of harbouring hostility to non-whites. The old pub philosophy of `there's good and bad everywhere amongst people', it seems, no longer applies.

All this, though, is simply a consequence of `objective subjectivism' that lies at the heart of multicultural thinking. What this means is that humans are no longer seen as transformative agents, but having fixed or `essential' characteristics passed on through traditions, values and beliefs. So according to the sociologist Tariq Modood, ethnicity or cultural belonging should be viewed `as being essential to a person's characteristic as skin or eye colour'. In other words, there's no escape from our cultural heritage.

This is why today black people are viewed solely as victims of slavery and racism and therefore objects of pity. British Muslims are seen either as victims of Islamophobia and therefore inherently anti-western and/or ultra-religious, while whites are viewed as racial supremacists itching to cause pogroms or go lynching. If humans really are automated products of generational cultural influences, then it makes sense to manage them accordingly. This is why the language used to justify restrictions against Eastern European migrants and to regulate the `backward' white masses of Britain are often the same. What it really demonstrates, however, is the deeply anti-human thinking of official, multicultural thinking.

It's no longer enough that morality has been re-drawn around who is considered racist or anti-racist (though more often, officialdom is in the latter, self-flattering camp). Instead, the essentialist outlook of multiculturalism means that some groups in society will be guilty through historical association, rather than anything they've actually done. The current hysterical panic against the supposed racism, and now the criminality, of Eastern Europeans says as much about what the political class thinks of white Britons over here as it does Romanians and Bulgarians over there.



The Church of England's only Asian bishop, whose father converted from Islam, has criticised many Muslims for their "dual psychology", in which they desire both "victimhood and domination". In the most outspoken critique of Muslims by a church leader, Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, said that because of this view it would never be possible to satisfy all their demands. "Their complaint often boils down to the position that it is always right to intervene when Muslims are victims, as in Bosnia or Kosovo, and always wrong when the Muslims are the oppressors or terrorists, as with the Taliban or in Iraq," said Nazir-Ali. "Given the world view that has given rise to such grievances, there can never be sufficient appeasement and new demands will continue to be made." The failure to counter such beliefs meant that radical Islam had flourished in Britain, spread by extremist imams indoctrinating children for
up to four hours a day, he said.

Nazir-Ali added that rigorous checks, from which the government had retreated in face of Muslims' protests, should be imposed to ensure that arriving clerics were committed to the British way of life. "Characteristic British values have developed from the Christian faith and its vision of personal and common good," said the bishop in an interview with The Sunday Times. "After they were clarified by the enlightenment they became the bedrock of our modern political life. These values need to be recovered to help us to inculcate the virtues of generosity, loyalty, moderation and love."

Nazir-Ali, who was born in Pakistan and whose father converted from Islam to Catholicism, said radical Islam was being taught in mosque schools across Britain. "While radical teaching may not be happening everywhere, its presence is felt across the country. It affects all Muslims," he said. "The two main causes of the present situation [rising extremism] are fundamentalist imams and material on the internet." He proposed to filter out imams who might whip up extremism: "They must be vetted for appropriate qualifications, they must have a reasonable knowledge of the English language and they must take part in a recognised process of learning about British life and culture."

The government, after lobbying from Muslim groups, retreated from proposals to toughen entry requirements put forward by David Blunkett, the former home secretary, two years ago. Plans to require foreign clerics to sit a test on British civic values a year after arriving were cancelled along with the introduction of a requirement to speak English to conversational level.

Nazir-Ali also criticised women wearing veils that cover the whole face. Tony Blair called the full veil a "mark of separation", but Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said any curbs on wearing it would be "politically dangerous".

Nazir-Ali drew attention to a "huge increase" in the wearing of Muslim dress in Egypt, Malaysia and Pakistan, saying that in Britain there were circumstances where the full veil should not be worn: "I can see nothing in Islam that prescribes the wearing of a full-face veil. In the supermarket those at the cash tills need to be recognised. Teaching is another context in which society requires recognition and identification."

Nazir-Ali, 57, was born a Catholic in Karachi, converted to Protestantism and was received into the Church of Pakistan at 20. He settled in Britain in the 1980s and became the youngest bishop in the world at 35.

Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said his comments were not "very helpful for community relationships".


Climate chaos? Don't believe it

By Christopher Monckton

Download Christopher Monckton's references and detailed calculations [pdf]

The Stern report last week predicted dire economic and social effects of unchecked global warming. In what many will see as a highly controversial polemic, Christopher Monckton disputes the 'facts' of this impending apocalypse and accuses the UN and its scientists of distorting the truth

Last week, Gordon Brown and his chief economist both said global warming was the worst "market failure" ever. That loaded soundbite suggests that the "climate-change" scare is less about saving the planet than, in Jacques Chirac's chilling phrase, "creating world government". This week and next, I'll reveal how politicians, scientists and bureaucrats contrived a threat of Biblical floods, droughts, plagues, and extinctions worthier of St John the Divine than of science.

Sir Nicholas Stern's report on the economics of climate change, which was published last week, says that the debate is over. It isn't. There are more greenhouse gases in the air than there were, so the world should warm a bit, but that's as far as the "consensus" goes. After the recent hysteria, you may not find the truth easy to believe. So you can find all my references and detailed calculations here.

The Royal Society says there's a worldwide scientific consensus. It brands Apocalypse-deniers as paid lackeys of coal and oil corporations. I declare my interest: I once took the taxpayer's shilling and advised Margaret Thatcher, FRS, on scientific scams and scares. Alas, not a red cent from Exxon.

In 1988, James Hansen, a climatologist, told the US Congress that temperature would rise 0.3C by the end of the century (it rose 0.1C), and that sea level would rise several feet (no, one inch). The UN set up a transnational bureaucracy, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The UK taxpayer unwittingly meets the entire cost of its scientific team, which, in 2001, produced the Third Assessment Report, a Bible-length document presenting apocalyptic conclusions well beyond previous reports.

This week, I'll show how the UN undervalued the sun's effects on historical and contemporary climate, slashed the natural greenhouse effect, overstated the past century's temperature increase, repealed a fundamental law of physics and tripled the man-made greenhouse effect. Next week, I'll demonstrate the atrocious economic, political and environmental cost of the high-tax, zero-freedom, bureaucratic centralism implicit in Stern's report; I'll compare the global-warming scare with previous sci-fi alarums; and I'll show how the environmentalists' "precautionary principle" (get the state to interfere now, just in case) is killing people.

So to the scare. First, the UN implies that carbon dioxide ended the last four ice ages. It displays two 450,000-year graphs: a sawtooth curve of temperature and a sawtooth of airborne CO2 that's scaled to look similar. Usually, similar curves are superimposed for comparison. The UN didn't do that. If it had, the truth would have shown: the changes in temperature preceded the changes in CO2 levels.

Next, the UN abolished the medieval warm period (the global warming at the end of the First Millennium AD). In 1995, David Deming, a geoscientist at the University of Oklahoma, had written an article reconstructing 150 years of North American temperatures from borehole data. He later wrote: "With the publication of the article in Science, I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. One of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said: 'We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.' "

So they did. The UN's second assessment report, in 1996, showed a 1,000-year graph demonstrating that temperature in the Middle Ages was warmer than today. But the 2001 report contained a new graph showing no medieval warm period. It wrongly concluded that the 20th century was the warmest for 1,000 years. The graph looked like an ice hockey-stick. The wrongly flat AD1000-AD1900 temperature line was the shaft: the uptick from 1900 to 2000 was the blade. Here's how they did it:

* They gave one technique for reconstructing pre-thermometer temperature 390 times more weight than any other (but didn't say so).

* The technique they overweighted was one which the UN's 1996 report had said was unsafe: measurement of tree-rings from bristlecone pines. Tree-rings are wider in warmer years, but pine-rings are also wider when there's more carbon dioxide in the air: it's plant food. This carbon dioxide fertilisation distorts the calculations.

* They said they had included 24 data sets going back to 1400. Without saying so, they left out the set showing the medieval warm period, tucking it into a folder marked "Censored Data".

* They used a computer model to draw the graph from the data, but scientists later found that the model almost always drew hockey-sticks even if they fed in random, electronic "red noise".

The large, full-colour "hockey-stick" was the key graph in the UN's 2001 report, and the only one to appear six times. The Canadian Government copied it to every household. Four years passed before a leading scientific journal would publish the truth about the graph. Did the UN or the Canadian government apologise? Of course not. The UN still uses the graph in its publications.

Even after the "hockey stick" graph was exposed, scientific papers apparently confirming its abolition of the medieval warm period appeared. The US Senate asked independent statisticians to investigate. They found that the graph was meretricious, and that known associates of the scientists who had compiled it had written many of the papers supporting its conclusion.

The UN, echoed by Stern, says the graph isn't important. It is. Scores of scientific papers show that the medieval warm period was real, global and up to 3C warmer than now. Then, there were no glaciers in the tropical Andes: today they're there. There were Viking farms in Greenland: now they're under permafrost. There was little ice at the North Pole: a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none.

The Antarctic, which holds 90 per cent of the world's ice and nearly all its 160,000 glaciers, has cooled and gained ice-mass in the past 30 years, reversing a 6,000-year melting trend. Data from 6,000 boreholes worldwide show global temperatures were higher in the Middle Ages than now. And the snows of Kilimanjaro are vanishing not because summit temperature is rising (it isn't) but because post-colonial deforestation has dried the air. Al Gore please note.

In some places it was also warmer than now in the Bronze Age and in Roman times. It wasn't CO2 that caused those warm periods. It was the sun. So the UN adjusted the maths and all but extinguished the sun's role in today's warming. Here's how:

* The UN dated its list of "forcings" (influences on temperature) from 1750, when the sun, and consequently air temperature, was almost as warm as now. But its start-date for the increase in world temperature was 1900, when the sun, and temperature, were much cooler.

* Every "forcing" produces "climate feedbacks" making temperature rise faster. For instance, as temperature rises in response to a forcing, the air carries more water vapour, the most important greenhouse gas; and polar ice melts, increasing heat absorption. Up goes the temperature again. The UN more than doubled the base forcings from greenhouse gases to allow for climate feedbacks. It didn't do the same for the base solar forcing.

Two centuries ago, the astronomer William Herschel was reading Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations when he noticed that quoted grain prices fell when the number of sunspots rose. Gales of laughter ensued, but he was right. At solar maxima, when the sun was at its hottest and sunspots showed, temperature was warmer, grain grew faster and prices fell. Such observations show that even small solar changes affect climate detectably.

But recent solar changes have been big. Sami Solanki, a solar physicist, says that in the past half-century the sun has been warmer, for longer, than at any time in at least the past 11,400 years, contributing a base forcing equivalent to a quarter of the past century's warming. That's before adding climate feedbacks.

The UN expresses its heat-energy forcings in watts per square metre per second. It estimates that the sun caused just 0.3 watts of forcing since 1750. Begin in 1900 to match the temperature start-date, and the base solar forcing more than doubles to 0.7 watts. Multiply by 2.7, which the Royal Society suggests is the UN's current factor for climate feedbacks, and you get 1.9 watts – more than six times the UN's figure. The entire 20th-century warming from all sources was below 2 watts. The sun could have caused just about all of it.

Next, the UN slashed the natural greenhouse effect by 40 per cent from 33C in the climate-physics textbooks to 20C, making the man-made additions appear bigger. Then the UN chose the biggest 20th-century temperature increase it could find. Stern says: "As anticipated by scientists, global mean surface temperatures have risen over the past century." As anticipated? Only 30 years ago, scientists were anticipating a new Ice Age and writing books called The Cooling. In the US, where weather records have been more reliable than elsewhere, 20th-century temperature went up by only 0.3C. AccuWeather, a worldwide meteorological service, reckons world temperature rose by 0.45C. The US National Climate Data Centre says 0.5C. Any advance on 0.5? The UN went for 0.6C, probably distorted by urban growth near many of the world's fast-disappearing temperature stations. The number of temperature stations round the world peaked at 6,000 in 1970. It's fallen by two-thirds to 2,000 now: a real "hockey-stick" curve, and an instance of the UN's growing reliance on computer guesswork rather than facts.

Even a 0.6C temperature rise wasn't enough. So the UN repealed a fundamental physical law. Buried in a sub-chapter in its 2001 report is a short but revealing section discussing "lambda": the crucial factor converting forcings to temperature. The UN said its climate models had found lambda near-invariant at 0.5C per watt of forcing. You don't need computer models to "find" lambda. Its value is given by a century-old law, derived experimentally by a Slovenian professor and proved by his Austrian student (who later committed suicide when his scientific compatriots refused to believe in atoms). The Stefan-Boltzmann law, not mentioned once in the UN's 2001 report, is as central to the thermodynamics of climate as Einstein's later equation is to astrophysics. Like Einstein's, it relates energy to the square of the speed of light, but by reference to temperature rather than mass. The bigger the value of lambda, the bigger the temperature increase the UN could predict. Using poor Ludwig Boltzmann's law, lambda's true value is just 0.22-0.3C per watt. In 2001, the UN effectively repealed the law, doubling lambda to 0.5C per watt. A recent paper by James Hansen says lambda should be 0.67, 0.75 or 1C: take your pick. Sir John Houghton, who chaired the UN's scientific assessment working group until recently, tells me it now puts lambda at 0.8C: that's 3C for a 3.7-watt doubling of airborne CO2. Most of the UN's computer models have used 1C. Stern implies 1.9C.

On the UN's figures, the entire greenhouse-gas forcing in the 20th century was 2 watts. Multiplying by the correct value of lambda gives a temperature increase of 0.44 to 0.6C, in line with observation. But using Stern's 1.9C per watt gives 3.8C. Where did 85 per cent of his imagined 20th-century warming go? As Professor Dick Lindzen of MIT pointed out in The Sunday Telegraph last week, the UK's Hadley Centre had the same problem, and solved it by dividing its modelled output by three to "predict" 20th-century temperature correctly.

A spate of recent scientific papers, gearing up for the UN's fourth report next year, gives a different reason for the failure of reality to keep up with prediction. The oceans, we're now told, are acting as a giant heat-sink. In these papers the well-known, central flaw (not mentioned by Stern) is that the computer models' "predictions" of past ocean temperature changes only approach reality if they are averaged over a depth of at least a mile and a quarter. Deep-ocean temperature hasn't changed at all, it's barely above freezing. The models tend to over-predict the warming of the climate-relevant surface layer up to threefold. A recent paper by John Lyman, of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, reports that the oceans have cooled sharply in the past two years. The computers didn't predict this. Sea level is scarcely rising faster today than a century ago: an inch every 15 years. Hansen now says that the oceanic "flywheel effect" gives us extra time to act, so Stern's alarmism is misplaced.

Finally, the UN's predictions are founded not only on an exaggerated forcing-to-temperature conversion factor justified neither by observation nor by physical law, but also on an excessive rate of increase in airborne carbon dioxide. The true rate is 0.38 per cent year on year since records began in 1958. The models assume 1 per cent per annum, more than two and a half times too high. In 2001, the UN used these and other adjustments to predict a 21st-century temperature increase of 1.5 to 6C. Stern suggests up to 10C.

Dick Lindzen emailed me last week to say that constant repetition of wrong numbers doesn't make them right. Removing the UN's solecisms, and using reasonable data and assumptions, a simple global model shows that temperature will rise by just 0.1 to 1.4C in the coming century, with a best estimate of 0.6C, well within the medieval temperature range and only a fifth of the UN's new, central projection.

Why haven't air or sea temperatures turned out as the UN's models predicted? Because the science is bad, the "consensus" is wrong, and Herr Professor Ludwig Boltzmann, FRS, was as right about energy-to-temperature as he was about atoms.



Allow me to introduce you to the greenest people I have ever known. They are paragons. If the world had only followed their example we might not now be facing the threat of either drowning in the floodwaters created by global warming or watching fertile land turn into desert. To what extent we'd be enjoying our lives is for you to judge.

They do not own a car and never have. They have never been on an aeroplane. To get where they need to go they use either bus or train. Very occasionally - if they have a particularly heavy suitcase - they might use a taxi, but no more than once or twice a year.

They do not shop in out-of-town supermarkets or buy fancy fruit out of season. They have never tasted a strawberry in January or a kiwi fruit or mange tout at any time of the year. Most of their vegetables are grown in the back garden or their allotment and the food they have to buy comes from local shops.

They have no need for recycling bins because there is virtually nothing to put in them. Indeed, the very notion of recycling is alien to them. The woman uses a shopping bag, so there are no plastic bags to get rid of and she buys her milk in bottles that are washed and returned. Every scrap of potato peeling or old cabbage leaf ends up in the compost heap and there is no kitchen waste because, quite simply, there is no waste. Stale bread is turned into delicious bread pudding and leftover vegetables into a fry-up.

They buy only what they need because they have no fridge. The larder stays cool enough year round and nothing goes rotten. Ever.

They turn off the light if they are not in the room and if they had central heating they would turn that down too. But they don't. They have a fire in one room and the rest of the house is as cold as charity.

You may be starting to smell a rat by now and, yes, I am cheating a little. This virtuous couple with an ecological footprint smaller than a dormouse's paw happens to be my mother and father. It is an accurate picture of how they (and I) lived until I was in my teens. You may very well recognise them if, like me, you were born into a relatively poor working class family 50 or 60 years ago. They were probably your parents too.



The cadet corps and the "house" system may be considered vestiges of Tom Brown's schooldays, but prefects, sporting societies and communal discipline could soon be making a far more prominent return. State schools are encouraged today to adopt the traditions of the public schools to prevent the gap between rich and poor growing ever wider. An influential left-wing think-tank has taken the rare step of advocating a return to some of the structures associated with public schools - including the house system and forcing young people to take part in structured and uniformed activities - to help the working class to gain personal skills for the 21st century.

The recommendations may be aired commonly in society's more conservative wings, but they have now emerged in a far more surprising quarter. The Institute for Public Policy Research believes that the young can no longer rely on good exam results to get on and that gaining personal and social skills will become more important to self advancement. It says that failing to teach these vital skills will lead to a widening social-class gap between rich and poor and make it more difficult for the working class to move up the social ladder. "We have looked hard at the evidence and children do better in these conditions," Richard Darlington, of the institute, said. He added: "We have to challenge some of the hippy tendencies of the Left on youth activities. Actually what works is structure, discipline, uniform and hierarchy."

All state schools should be encouraged to adopt the "house system" found in public schools and aped in grammar schools. "House systems are a good way to harness peer effects in a positive way. There are three main benefits to this approach: it ensures the pupils interact with older and younger peers, that their identity within school is not solely determined by their year or class and that they are members of structured hierarchies," the report, Freedom's Orphans, says. It adds that the house system would also encourage them to work collectively towards goals while breaking up traditional peer groups. All children aged 11 to 16 should be made to take part in two hours of structured activity in an extended school day under the institute's proposals. Activities could include martial arts, a cadet force or the Scouts - and most would involve wearing a uniform. Parents who failed to ensure their children attended the activities should face fines just as they are punished if their child is a persistent truant.

The report says that activities such as the Scouts and Guides can help to improve educational attainment, behaviour and personal and social skills. Mr Darlington added: "The evidence shows that wearing a uniform, be it in the Scouts or for martial arts, football or sports clubs, helps." The benefits of joining the Scouts or the Sea Scouts or cadet corps are, according to the institute, proven. Those who had participated in structured activities by the time they were 30 were less likely to be depressed. less likely to be single, separated or divorced and less likely to be in social housing. The report found that skills such as communication, self-esteem, planning and self-control had become 33 times more important in determining earnings between the generation born in 1958 and those in 1970.

Nick Pearce, director of the institute, said that there had always been class divides in education, but there was now a personal skills divide that was contributing to a decline in social mobility.


Surprising sense from a senior British Leftist: "Gordon Brown has called for a new global alliance of governments, business leaders and public figures to fight the reactionary "Luddites" opposed to globalisation and break the "dangerous global log jam" that is threatening world trade. The Chancellor, writing today in The Times, challenges leaders to show the determination necessary to stop the world slipping back into a new era of protectionism, comparing it to the effort needed to rebuild the international order after the Second World War."

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