Saturday, September 13, 2008

They will find us.....

There was a documentary on the other night, summarising the considerable efforts that humanity has made over the past few decades to find ET. It was all very upbeat, loads of clever bastards telling me how it was inevitable that contact would happen one day and that this was likely to be within the next 10 years or so. In truth, a bit dull and whilst I have no doubt that we are not alone, none of what was being said was particularly new and certainly didn’t warrant the enthusiasm that the various experts exuded. That said, my attention was held (through repeat footage of Martian landscapes and those oh so boring thermal vents) by the promise that the star of the show (and one of my heroes) Mr Stephen Hawkin, would be along to say something at the end. I was expecting his opinion to be definitive and I guess, in a way, it was.

‘We shouldn’t be looking for alien life forms, we should be…yeah John, drop off and pick up outside the Big Mango, over…be keeping our heads down and hoping that they don’t find us. Sorry about the interference there.’

No science trickery, no super hypothesis, just plain old common sense. And let’s face it, if Hawkin is scared, shouldn’t we be scared too? After all, when the Daleks eventually find us, he already speaks the lingo. All he needs is a bin bag and some bottle tops and he’ll probably be okay.

Recycling Jimmy

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Global warming...some stuff you maybe didn't know.

I came across this article the other day. It presents some facts about how our planet and the organisms that live on it have gotten along together over the years. Actually, I say came across; I work in the energy sector and was sent it by my CEO (kind of a ‘please stop everybody picking on me and my share price’ whinge I guess). True too that knowing it’s origins you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s nothing more than a blunt riposte, a pathetic attempt at saving face, like the bloody nosed geek flipping the finger at the fat bully’s back as he walks away from a playground kicking; meaningless but it makes him feel a bit better. Then I read it. I suggest you do too.

Here’s some examples of the type of things presented in it (and I stress ‘presented’ here; impartially without any spin).

Greenhouse ‘gases’ make up only 2% of the atmosphere, okay some of us might have know this. However, something that we are never told in public is that water vapour accounts for 95% of these; CO2 only 3.6%. Even better, when you look at how human activity contributes to ‘greenhouse gas’ levels, we actually only manage a pitiful 0.28%; the rest is down to volcanoes and cow farts.

It’s kind of a mute point anyway because regardless of whether you believe the CO2 number or not, there is in fact no clear relationship between CO2 and average global temperature. There never has been either.

‘But why are the polar bears dying then?’ I hear you cry. Well don’t worry people. Polar bear populations (with the exception of 2) are stable or increasing. Phew! And there’s more good news here too because contrary to what we’re told, the ice sheets are actually thickening in the interior of the two polar caps and only thinning at the edges. That’s why the current rate of sea level rise is the lowest recorded over the last 14,000 years.

The only thing that concerns me about the article (and you must read it!) is that it estimates 45% of the scientific community don’t accept the global warming position taken by the other half. What I want to know is, where the hell are these people because without them balancing the argument we’re just going to have to keep on not only taking this crap but paying for it too.

Recycling Jimmy