Thursday, April 10, 2008

BBC now a laughing stock

The BBC's retreat from balance in their global cooling story is now being laughed at all over the place -- e.g. here and here. One lot of mockers even squeezed a brief comment about it out of the BBC -- in which the Beeb calls balance "ambiguous". And we can't tolerate ambiguity, can we? According to received wisdom among psychologists, intolerance of ambiguity is a sign of narrow-mindedness, bigotry and dogmatism -- so who am I to argue with that?


An email from John A [] of Climate Audit

Can it be any more apparent that the BBC is actively engaged in laundering environmental reports especially on climate to satisfy a few extremists? That what we read about climate history changes faster and more efficiently than even Winston Smith could have managed with his Speakwrite? Witness the constant changing of historical temperature data by James Hansen now being dissected on Climate Audit.

This is not simply a scandal, it is a crisis reaching to the foundations of our democracy - that news and information be disseminated by a Free Press without fear or favour to the Powers that be, nor to extremists and radicals seeking the overthrow of democracy by stealth through a crisis which bears all the hallmarks of being manufactured?

Just imagine, for a moment, what a global emissions trading scheme would look like: no Western democracy would have any control over the price of energy even in its local markets, its entire economy being subject to minute bureaucratic control of everything from the gas heater in the house to energy required to produce steel. Without any control of the cost of energy, food prices would inevitably rise and a black market in basic foodstuffs would appear (this is what happened during the fall of the Soviet Union) including a resurgent Mafia-style criminal underclass.

What then, would be the point of voting for any party? Or of democracy itself? What state could withstand the inevitable social turmoil when basic foodstuffs become more expensive than the poor can afford because the market has been rigged?

It is axiomatic that any State, no matter how brutal, must eventually fall when it has lost control of the price of food - witness Zimbabwe right now, or the fall of the Soviet Union, or the fall of Suharto in Indonesia, or the Weimar Republic in the early 1930s.

Make no mistake, and speaking as a classical liberal, we are looking at the most serious attempt to collectivize the world economy since the fall of Communism in the 20th Century and to render democracy moot in the Western World and beyond. Who speaks for the farmers of Kenya whose exports into the EU and beyond are the only thing between themselves and starvation and whose products are now being labelled with airmiles by Western environmental extremists?

Did any of us vote for the imposition of world energy cartel? I can't remember such a proposition being on any manifesto. But that's what it is.

All of this makes the betrayal of the BBC even to its own charter that much more dangerous to all of us who hold liberal democracy so dear. In the "Green Room" we see academics and activists talk blandly about population control (really? how?), the marginalization of democracy through a consensus of self-appointed "experts" and the need to somehow control the absolutely uncontrollable (the Earth's climate) via trying to moderate a single variable, carbon dioxide concentration, whose ability to control climate in any meaningful way is entirely absent from any paleoclimatic proxy?

Yet the opinions given by academics on subjects well away from their areas of specialization are published as if those opinions are unquestionable truths. Comments are censored prior to publication to prevent serious criticisms being made, and a false impression of support for the ludicrous and dangerous propositions is thereby created.

No right of reply is ever allowed except by that favourite abuse of propagandists - the "skeptic sandwich". Note that twice now, the BBC has announced that the work of Svensmark has been debunked, and twice Svensmark has replied showing that the studies are flawed and the BBC has refused to publish those replies.


An email from David Lord Howell []

Many commentators on Lawson have obviously not read the book I published last summer, in my capacity as deputy leader of the Conservatives in the House of Lords, which warned against climate and green hysteria and pointed to a more balanced way forward. The book, 'Out of the Energy Labyrinth' is published by I.B. Tauris. I am in Tokyo today, launching the Japanese edition. Lord Lawson is definitely not alone!

Lord Howell of Guildford, Energy Secretary under Margaret Thatcher

More than half of NHS staff feel patient care is not the priority

Less than half of NHS staff believe that patient care is the top priority where they work, according to the annual survey of staff opinion run by the Healthcare Commission. One in four does not believe that health trusts see patient care as their most important issue, with 29 per cent undecided. The poll also indicated that only 26 per cent of NHS staff think their employers value their work; just 22 per cent believe there is effective communication between staff and senior managers, and only 23 per cent feel staff are involved in important decisions.

Survey forms were returned by 155,922 employees from all 391 NHS trusts - a response rate of 54 per cent. The poll found wide variations between hospitals on measures taken to fight infections such as Clostridium difficile and MRSA. Only 61 per cent said handwashing equipment was always available when they needed it. The number saying it was always available varied from the 39 per cent at Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in East London, to 82 per cent at the Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in East Grinstead.

Thirteen per cent of those questioned had suffered physical violence at the hands of a patient or their relatives in the past year, the same as in 2006 and 1 per cent more than in 2005. Among those working in ambulance trusts, 29 per cent reported being attacked, while the figure was 22 per cent for mental health trusts.

Anna Walker, the commission's chief executive, said: "We know that health workers are more likely to experience violence, harassment and abuse than workers from other sectors and the NHS has made a concerted effort to address this problem. "Trusts must continue to step up to this challenge because it is unacceptable for NHS staff, who provide vital, often life-saving care, to be put in the position where they face violence and abuse as they go about their work."

The findings were released as a second survey showed that GPs are pessimistic about the future of the NHS. The poll in Pulse, the medical magazine, suggests that the advance of the private sector into primary care is unstoppable. A quarter of the 500 GPs who responded to the poll said that they had already been approached by a private firm with an offer to team up in providing primary care. About 40 per cent of the GPs said they were prepared to practise in a surgery owned by a private company, and a third said that they were willing to work for a private concern.

Meanwhile, figures released by the Department of Health show that GPs are still failing to offer patients a choice of hospitals for elective operations. The annual patient choice survey showed that, in November 2007, 44 per cent of patients said that they had been offered a choice of hospitals. This was down from the figure of 45 per cent in September 2007 and 48 per cent recorded in March 2007


No comments: