Friday, October 21, 2011


According to the BBC:
The Earth's surface really is getting warmer, a new analysis by a US scientific group set up in the wake of the "Climategate" affair has concluded.
[...] Funding came from a number of sources, including charitable foundations maintained by the Koch brothers, the billionaire US industrialists, who have also donated large sums to organisations lobbying against acceptance of man-made global warming.
[...]Since the 1950s, the average temperature over land has increased by 1C, the group found.
Although there are caveats -- the work hasn't been peer reviewed, for example -- because its claims are not extraordinary, and corroborate previous studies, this suggests to me that this is copper bottomed science. Now, the scepticism about AGW -- whether this change is driven by humans or by sun spots -- will remain, but it has fewer boltholes to run into.
Whatever one's politics, one will have to take climate change into account, and responding to it will become the governing imperative of the century. Hopefully now no-one (especially a front rank politician) will be able to dispute climate change science with any credibility.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy the World

OK, so - time to get grumpy. The occupy thing is cute. It's reaching out, and getting people to take notice; but it's not enough.
I was at Occupy LSX last weekend, and it struck me that the easy way to occupy the stock exchange is:
  • Win the elections.
  • Send the riot police to occupy the stock exchange.

  • That is -- political action will get results. Now, I'm not saying the grumpy leftist thing of: "we need a programme". Not at all. What I'm saying is simply that a political party (or parties - hell, why doesn't someone register 'Occupy the Council' as a party name?) is an effective outcome.
    Look, it costs nothing to contest a council seat (OK< if you want to print leaflets it'll cost a hundred quid) -- but if the occupiers can turn themselves into nominators then that is something.
    An absence of policies is a good thing, a determined movement of 'Vote the scoundrels out' will send shock waves through the political elite like no bugger's business. Once we've occupied the seats of power, then lets debate what to do -- in a way compatible with the democratic impetus of the #Occupy movement. But, but but. Political action is needful, elst it turn into simply pleading with the powerful.

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    Friday, October 07, 2011

    Chase me...

    Clue 1
    Clue 2
    Clue 3

    The answer? Pink washing - all are promotional pieces taken from the JP Morgan Chase - the financial collossus: not that you're know it from looking at their website. You'd think they were a charitable foundation. The most significant bit of charity, though, is:
    From the end of 2010 through the first quarter of 2011, JP Morgan Chase donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation, in the form of 1,000 new patrol car laptops, security monitoring software in the NYPD's main data center, other technology resources, and funding. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple.
    Very charitably, they have strengthened the hand of the state. of course, this is what happens when the capitalists are against paying taxes - they have to pay directly for their protection. The good citizens of New York will have the clear pleasure of knowing that the police on the streets are the paramilitary wing of JP Morgan Chase.

    So, when they volunteer to help us out, and fix the problems of the market, we need to remember they do so on the basis of protecting the market. Charity is private property trying to treat the ills of private property.

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