Wednesday, 29 April 2009

A Pig of a Lot of Leaflets

According to the BBC, 'Leaflets about the swine flu outbreak and how to prevent its spread are to be delivered to every UK household.' I am amazed that we apparently already know how to prevent its spread but leaving that aside, how much is this going to cost? Has anybody done a cost –benefit analysis?


It transpires that one car in seven sold in the UK is built in the UK. This means that the Government's £1,000 per car subsidy is effectively a £7,000 per UK car subsidy.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

All Round Good Egg

I asked for and received the book Bad Science by Ben Goldacre for Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I would recommend it for anyone who receives the majority of their scientific information through the main-stream media rather than having the luxury of being able to study the original scientific papers. I also visit his website which is normally updated on a Saturday with a copy of his column from Saturday’s copy of the Guardian. Unusually, his website has been updated today, Thursday and it contains a little bonus, to wit the ‘missing chapter’ from the book. So, take a look, read the chapter then go out and beg, borrow or steal a copy of the book.

P.S. I wish I was as good as him at coming up with clever titles.


It would seem that I am not the first to notice the problem with wind turbines. To be honest, I knew that I wasn't but I was surprised to come across Jonathan Leake's article from the Sunday Times a week last Sunday. For those that don't know Mr. Leake is the Environment Editor and I have gained the impression, possibly unfairly, that he is an advocate of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). This common-sense article means that I will have to look more closely at his articles in future.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Green Around the Gills

Doesn’t your heart sink when faced with headlines such as “Gordon Brown plans an environmentally friendly Budget” and “PM heralds 'green economy' Budget”? You just know that this will mean taxing everything you already consume to meet the spurious, twin objectives of making us greener and subsidising the ‘green’ economy, whatever that is. Is it my cynicism or is it years of experience that lead me to believe that this budget will leave me worse off? How come in times of recession the tax take doesn’t reduce? Why, in these difficult times, do I have to reduce my expenditure but the government doesn’t?
We are then faced with the nonsensical statement that “Electric cars are to be introduce[sic] en masse across Britain”. Since when have electrical cars been green? The electricity has to be produced somewhere. If you think that fluffy ideas like windmills will solve the problem then you don’t understand the weather or economics. Windmills don’t turn when it is not windy. As an example of this, on January 1st 2009 there was not enough wind anywhere in the whole of the UK to turn a windmill. Where is the electrical power going to come from on a day like that? The article in the Telegraph goes on to say that “the Government [is] relaxing planning rules to allow the building of more wind farms to ensure Britain hits its target to generate 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020”. From the latest statistics I can find (Section 7.17 of the Digest of UK Energy Statistics) in 2007 we produce 4.98% of our energy requirements from renewable sources of which 27% is produced by the wind which means that the wind currently produces 1.34% of energy requirements. If wind is to be used to “ensure Britain hits its target” then it will have to produce 10.02% or a further 8.68%, of our energy requirements. The 1.34% is produced by 2,033 turbines. Even if all the new turbines have twice the capacity then we would need 6,127 new turbines. That is a rate of 1.56 turbines to be built every day between now and 1st January 2020. Just supposing that the erection of wind turbines could be achieved at that rate there is a world-wide shortage of wind turbines. It is just not going to happen is it?

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


I am overweight. My BMI is just over 30 which means I am obese. I have given up alcohol and I swim for five hours a week but, even so, I have barely lost 2 kilograms since the beginning of the year. Notwithstanding all that I found myself seething when I read that ‘Everyone aged between 40 and 74 will be called in to their GP for a 'fat test' and prescribed weight management and exercise if they are found to be overweight, under a new Government drive on obesity.’ If I want help from my GP then I will go and ask him for it.

My faith in Doctors was restored when I read the latest epistle from NHS Blog Doctor. I agree totally when he says that ‘there is no such thing as “health food”.’ I read the whole article, agreeing with every point he makes, including the one where he says “They all over-eat”. I cannot escape that fact that that statement is referring to me.