Never Lie about Experimental Results.

As you may know, Anthony Watts has a term for people like me. I am a Luke Warmer. In other words, I roughly go along with the theory that we may be increasing the Earth temperature due to the emmission of green house gases.

I am though, open to debate. I also hasten to point out, I am neither a "End of the Worlder" or a disciple of Al Gore. But in the past I have placed the the odd ding-dong comment on sites like Anthony's.

I must say though that I do find find Watts entertaining, if though sometimes rather off-base.

But today, he has a really good (and dare I say fascinating) article on why people really should not fiddle scientific results. (See Here)

That simple rule applies to everyone. Including Al Gore.

Al Gore recently did a 24 hour Gore-athon to "save the world in 24 hours" (Sigh)

I must say I find Al Gore downright embarrasing. Almost as embarrasing as his glassy eyed evengelical following.

Really, who can take seriously a man who couldn't even beat George Bush in an election?

But even worse. One of the simple experiments they did as part of this Gore-athon was fiddled.

If the science behind Global Warming (or anything else for that matter) is to stand and be believed, fiddling the results of simple secondary school experiments is really totally beyond the pale.

Read the article on Watts - and cringe.

Actually, I must say, it is really interesting and entertaining. The author should be congratulated for an excellent peice of detective work. While it doesn't do anything to resolve the science behind global warming it really does make Gore and his followers look like a complete bunch of pillocks.

It really shows how, in science, especially in a contentious field, there is absolutely no room for fiddling the results.

Al Gore - hang your head in shame (fat chance)

Yvette Cooper, Immigration and Honesty

I suppose I should have some sympathy for someone married to Ed Balls.

But after what I heard from Yvette Cooper this morning on Radio 4 I don't know which of the two I regard as the more dishonest or duplicitous.

Perhaps I should reserve my sympathy for Ed Milliband. After all, he only knifed his brother in the back. He didn't sell the whole country down the river like these other two.

There are some suppressed reports on immigration which are about to hit the fan. They concern the uncontrolled immigration policy that was quietly engineered by the Labour party during the last decade.

The findings in these reports are damning. see Here and Here.

If you think this was down simply to Labours incompetence rather than a deliberate half-cocked policy then perhaps you should read these too  Here and Here

So what did Yvette have to say about these reports this morning on radio 4?

Well, after many weasel words about the enormous immigration she and her colleagues presided over, she did actually mumble the word "sorry". Although rather disgustingly she first tried to blame it all on the Poles.

Maybe too many Poles did come here all at once. But at least they usually work also generally try and fit in.

Unlike some of the others, copiously reported on in these suppressed government reports and who Yvette Cooper so scrupulously avoided mentioning.

I suppose a mumbled "sorry" is at least a start. Coupled with her better (or worse?) half and his half baked apology for ruining the economy then I suppose the Labour party can congratulate themselves on glossing over two areas of their arrogance and incompetence.

Lets see....that only leaves

Lack of helicopters for Afghanistan
Housing policy
Attempted regional dismemberment of England
Cosying up to the Banks
Destroying UK industry
Reducing state education to a constantly changing shambles
Imposing bogus and ridiculous targets on the NHS
A half baked and very dangerous energy policy
Supporting a vast range of gangsters and dictators world-wide (including Gaddaffi)
More wars than any previous government since WWII
The Barnett Formula
Being George Bush's lapdog
Political Correctness

Oh I'm bored now. Make your own bloody list. There is just too much to choose from.

As for Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls, they obviously deserve each other.

The Road to Weimar UK

So the Bank of England is falling over itself to  do some more Printing Money Quantitative Easing. ( Guardian Here )

Oh Joy!

More Funny Money. The new Opium of the Masses. The delicious fix from a set of new credit cards and payback on the never never.

Who cares if it is our kids who will pick up the tab.

Like a country of stoned addicts, we can (for a while) all run away from the harsh economic truths caused by undiluted Globalisation and irresponsible government. We can all have a nice time pretending there is nothing much wrong with the world economy.

Dear old Ed Balls (that well known Economic superstar) even thinks we should go further. Lets cut VAT!

Dear old Ed just begs the question: Why not just cut up the credit cards, forget about the debt and start it all again.

So when do we pay it all back? Ah Manana, Manana.

Who cares? Tomorrow never comes. Just ask the Greeks.

And if its good enough for the Greeks then its good enough for us. Let the Germans pay! Serve then right for clocking up so much overtime. I'm sure they don't mind (much).

Never mind that we are mortgaging our kids future. Just as long as we can selfishly indulge in more predatory priced Chinese imports, then we can forget about the reality.

Meanwhile we can all celebrate as those villainous bandits who have actually saved some cash get further stuffed by the inevitable inflation.

All those greedy old folk who paid their way throughout their lives and never touched the welfare state.

The fools.

Fancy putting away cash for a rainy day when you could spend! Spend! SPEND!

Why not just let someone else pick up the tab?

Lets face it, these contemptibly independent old folk deserve to suffer don't they?

How dare they have money - just because they saved.

How dare they even think their money should be safe-guarded - just because they didn't squander it.

At least UK industry won't complain. It is so broken by unfair predatory foreign competition it just bows its head and accepts its fate. If UK businesses are lucky they may pick up the odd scrap from the funny money. As long as they don't expect anything more than a straw to clutch at then that's OK.

While savers get robbed and UK industry continues to be demolished by unfair competition, our great leaders all yearn for a nice boom. Something that they can grandstand over, strut about a bit, show us all how important they all are.

Meanwhile the economy can go to the dogs.

If this dangerous addiction to QE continues it will just lead to the next fix, and the next, and the next. Then one day soon, you may well find that you are taking you wages home in a wheel barrow.

Just like they did in the Weimar Republic.

(For those who don't know what the Weimar Republic was Read Here)

Engineer Spotting in Public Toilets.

There is one simple and easy method you can use to spot an engineer. Unfortunately it does involve hanging around public toilets. As a consequence of this Billothewisp recommends that you only indulge in this bit of "I Spy" when you are actually taking a leak yourself. Otherwise who knows what might happen.

Billothewisp cannot be held responsible for any over zealous engineer spotting and certainly will not post bail for any  person using this blog post as an excuse for hanging around public toilets.

Anyway, the simple and easy method:

Watch the target as he/she enters the public toilet. Observe closely both the pre and post urinary ablutions.

If they wash their hands after taking a leak then they are probably nice clean fastidious people. Some engineers are. Some engineers are not. This is no indicator as to any engineering vocation.

If however, they wash their hands before taking a leak then they are guaranteed 100% bona fide engineer.

You know it makes sense.



Fracking in Lancashire

So it looks like Cuadrilla has stuck big in Lancashire. Loads of Natural gas. Some reports say enough to meet our energy needs for the next 50 years. (see here)

A great many of the Great Green disciples of Huhne are lining up to whinge and moan about extracting this gas.  But really they ought to do their basic research first and then think things through. (Oh, how I wish!)

Let us see how fracking for gas relates to their BIG idea. aka Wind Turbines. Wind turbines are, after all, truly BIG. Large in size but unfortunately minuscule in ability.

We know, (and they know) all about intermittency and unreliability etc. often expounded on in this blog, I won't go on about it any more here than just to say that even the most inflexible Luddite supporter of these things has to confess that they need considerable backup for when the wind doesn't blow.

Because Wind Turbine output is so unpredictable and massively variable over short periods of time, the forms of backup are limited. The backup is mainly limited to Open Cycle Gas Turbines, although some Closed Cycle Gas Turbines can be used at a pinch for less violent changes in output.

What do you power OCGT or even CCGT on?  Yes. That's right. Gas.

So if (God forbid) we carpet our country with these useless wind turbine monsters, where will the gas come from for the necessary spinning reserve?


Or perhaps we could just get the whole population chewing on Mung beans for a fortnight and then plumb them into the nearest OCGT.

Those two suggestions are far more lucid and coherent than anything you will find coming out of the Green party or their comrades.

Of course, Fracking needs to be controlled and monitored. But the ridiculous, ill informed and politically biased charade of mortified concern that is being pumped out by the Greens  and others is simply absurd.

Now, what about my back yard?

Well, I live in Purbeck in Dorset. We currently have the largest on-shore oil field in the UK. It is quite likely that the Kimmeridge shale will also hold a considerable amount of gas.

Over many years, the oil field has performed impeccably. There is no reason to assume that any gas extraction would be any different.

If, you are going to build gas power plant you might as well use it efficiently. Then you can simply dispense with the wind turbines all together.

Actually, I would rather have nuclear plant, then you don't need gas. (at least for electrical generation). But either way we can dispense with the  fairy-land lunacy that is the wind industry.

So, if it is a choice between carpeting Purbeck with (as some suggest) 42 huge and useless wind turbines or have a few fracking gas extraction wells, give me the wells any day.

Wind Turbines: The 30% Capacity Factor Myth

I don't know about you, but I am getting really tired of large corporate bodies continually peddling half-truths and even outright lies in order to service their own greed.

Take the wind industry for example. Especially with the way they try to big up the ludicrous ineffectiveness of their money machines.

Truly, if it was not for the fact that they get paid (at least) twice for their intermittent and unreliable production of electricity, these ugly white elephants would be abandoned and left to rot.

Whenever the wind industry talks about the capacity factor (that's the actual averaged output over a year compared to the maximum turbine rating) the wind industry always try and pretend that this capacity factor is 30%.

While this may sound low, it is actually a massive exaggeration on the real figures.

Unfortunately, the wind industry have repeated the lie so many times it is often taken as" a given" by organisations that should know better.

So what is the capacity factor for on-shore wind turbines?

Luckily there are people like Professor Michael Jefferson who has has done an analysis of the exaggerated claims of the wind industry.

His presentation is available Here

While his presentation truly demolishes the mythical 30%, it is just one of the many false claims he debunks. His presentation is well worth a read.

Look at this for 2009: (taken from Professor Jeffersons presentation)

In 2009, the real capacity factor for on-shore turbines was 21% NOT 30% Only 7.5% achieved the mythical 30% capacity factor. In other words 92.5% of on-shore turbines in 2009 failed to reach the 30% capacity factor that is promoted by the wind industry. Remember, since 2009, it has got even less windy.

Even in 2008, which was an abnormally windy year,  over 81% of on-shore turbines failed to chalk up a  30% capacity factor. In fact in 2008, the windiest year in recent history, the real on-shore average capacity factor was 23%.

So when is the wind industry going to stop telling lies?
When are they going to confess that the real output from these monstrous money making machines is much less then the figures they ritually push?

If you are waiting for the truth from the wind industry, I wouldn't hold your breath.

But even this farcically low capacity factor hides the true hideously ineffectiveness of these white elephants.

Always remember when comparing capacity factors of generating equipment that wind power is intermittent. With wind, most of the energy arrives in infrequent, irregular and unpredictable bursts. Most of the time their actual output is much less than even the real dismally low capacity factor.

But more on this in a future post.

Scottish Tories and a Changing Game

Murdo Fraser, frontrunner to be the Conservative party’s next Scottish leader is planning to disband the Scottish Conservatives and start up a new independent, though affiliated  center-right party. He sees this as the best way to neutralise what is seen as the poison infecting the centre-right voter base in Scotland.
(Daily Mail article Here)  (Morning Star article Here)

Maybe though there is another agenda here.

Just as the Scottish electorate have lost faith with the Conservative party, I think it quite possible that the Conservative party has in turn lost faith with Scotland.

This proposal from Murdo Frazer would make the political viability of Scottish independence more certain. A General Election in Scotland would be (at least in part) a Scottish electorial fight between Scottish political parties. Today is is in reality, the SNP versus UK national parties operating under Scottish banners. With Murdo Frazer's proposal, a General Election in Scotland will be a Scotland centric affair.

For the Tories, there is certainly no longer any political advantage to propping up the Scottish economy with English taxes. Currently the Tories (and previously Labour) are funding huge subsidies to Scotland via the Barnett formula and various job schemes (such as the two white elephant aircraft carriers). This Danegeld is being paid primarily to try and undermine Scottish Nationalism.

Maybe though the Tories have now dispaired of ever seeing any return on this expenditure and have decided to abandon Scotland to its own self determinist fate. Then the Tories could concentrate on England. England is of course, where the overwhelming Tory support lies.

If the conservatives abandoned Scotland and then promoted and encouraged the formation of an English Assembly they would, most likely, within that English Assembly, be unassailable.

After all, although a minority in the UK parliament they are still today the largest single party. If you take out Scottish, Welsh and Irish MPs, the Tories are solidly in the majority.

Where does this leave Labour?

I think Labour saw this coming in the early 2000's. They tried to defeat the prospect of an English parliament by attempting to dismember England into a number of competing Regions. As we all know their policy was derailed by a popular vote in NE England. Even so, a number of the Regional Quango's, elites and assorted hangers-on still remain.

Labour realised that if there ever was an true English Parliament or Assembly, then Labour would be the main loser. It is likely that, in England, there would never again be another Labour government with an absolute majority.

An English Parliament would be, by far, the most powerful and influential national parliament in these islands.

I don't think it would be long before an English Assembly tired of any remnant UK parliament. It would soon see the many advantages of simply being a wholly separate state. Especially if the other UK nations like Scotland has similar ambitions.

Scotland, and possibly Wales and Northern Ireland too, could muddle along by themselves.

Maybe this statement from Murdo Frazer is less about a new Scottish Party but is more about testing the water for a new English Party - The English Conservatives.

We live in interesting times.

Despots versus the Deserving

OK my grubby little Englanders, here are a couple of very happy individuals, possibly celebrating some of the few billions you have shovelled their way.

Now, while the one on the left has recently spent a great deal of time sat on the toilet thinking up excuses for the rape, torture and murder he has inflicted on his own people, there are several other equally vile despots queuing up to take his place on the world stage.

All of these despots are gleefully massaging the ego of  the UK governmental "Ship Of Fools" who promote the  prevailing "vision" of the UK being a [sic] (or is that sick) foreign aid "Super-power".

The other smiling bastard in the picture needs no introduction.

While Mugabe is regarded as a bit of a bad boy by the foreign office, that has not stopped them in the past giving him everything from gold plated Mercedes limos to jet fighters.

Oh, So much better value than spending it on hip replacements for old ladies.

Needless to say all the money, aid, skill and sheer hard work that has been squandered on these so called "World Leaders" has effectively gone down the drain.

Now have a look at this bunch.

Billothewisp along with about 30 other folk, each lent them the princely sum of $25.00.

It is being repaid, on time and to the penny.

Or this group.

I blogged about these guys earlier Here (if you adore guinea pigs - look away now!)

Again, like the African group, they are normal, average, honest people who need a hand up, not a hand out. They also have met all their re-payments in full.

The loan was set up by an organisation called Kiva (Here).

I do have some issues with Kiva. But compared to traditional foreign aid and "charity" they are shiny white virgin saints.

Our government can continue to stroke its political ego. It can continue fuelling the despots of this world by giving them massive hand outs.

Or it can promote personal responsibility. Enable honest people, who are willing to lend relatively small amounts, to directly help other honest people wanting to borrow.

A hand up not a hand out.

If Cameron wants to install some "moral" imperative, maybe he should facilitate individuals doing their own "foreign aid". Cut the appallingly wasteful foreign aid budget and give tax breaks to the average person. Encourage them to lend on a person to person or Peer to Peer basis.

Cut the Mugabes and Gadaffis out of  the loop.

Am I dreaming?


Is this wishful thinking?


But it cannot be worse than the current foreign aid debacle which swindles the UK tax-payer, fuels depravity and gains little or nothing for those who simply need a hand up.

The Elephant In the Turbine

Sometimes when Billothewisp is reading through papers on the foolishness that is wind turbinery, he comes across a paper or article which makes him feel a bit Queasy. A bit like he has read something that is not for general consumption, but has inadvertently been put into the public domain. Something that makes old Billothewisp feel like a spy in a foreign camp.

You know - a bit like overhearing a crimmo secretly confess to a crime while the press and the cognoscenti are baying about a miscarriage of justice.

Or hearing one of "His Majesty's" entourage quietly whisper: "Yes! the King really is wearing no cloths".

Recently I had two of those almost meta-physical moments. And they were related and did not involve any cider.

The first concerned a new  piece of posh propaganda released by the zealots in Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE).

Who are the CSE?

Yet another "charity" (and I wonder where the cash comes from.). While they are no doubt, a bona-fide charity, I don't think any-one there is going short on the pay and perks front.

Anyway, I digress. The CSE have released a document called "Common Concerns about Windpower"

It is without doubt a truly wonderful piece of propaganda.

It is so good Billothewisp awards it the Joseph Goebbels Truth Economy Award for 2011. (First Class)

To be fair, it doesn't tell many lies (although there are some) but it does vigorously, wholeheartedly, and with serious malice afore-thought, twist the truth into its own perverted little vision.

Not since some guy in the CIA described the 1975 failure in Vietnam as a "sub-optimal victory" has there been such a shiny spin put on such a dismal subject.

There is so much that is wrong in this document it is difficult to know where to start, so as Julie Andrews once said "I'll start at the very beginning" (a very good place to start).

There will, no doubt, be several posts about this as I cut my way through this "charitable work" of the CSE.

Anyway part one show us all how wonderfully greeeeeeeen the average turbine is, and how is repays its energy deficit in the wink of an eye.

In fact, according to our charitable friends at the CSE  (billothewisp assumes a straight face here) the average turbine repays its energy cost within 3 months - 6 months at the outside.

The CSE then go to tell us that in its lifetime, a turbine will return at least 20 times the energy used to manufacture it.

Now we come to the first "spy in the camp moment"

3 months x 20 = 5 years. Does a "productive" wind turbine really wear out in 5 years? Or maybe 10 years for the ones that hardly produce anything - aka The Wind Turbine in Reading

Or maybe the figures are..... (dare I say it) Wrong.

Oh, I can hear the indignation.
I can see the trembling bottom lips.
The tears of of outrage welling up in the average windies eyes.

That was "at least 20 times". At least means more than. 5 years is the minimum.

Hmmm let us have a comparison.

I buy a new car. It will be good for at least 100,000 miles. Most though won't get to 120,000 let alone 200,000. 300,000 will be a freak exception.

As a comparison it would (sort of) indicate that hardly any turbines (if any) will ever make it to the much vaunted 20 -25 year life span.

But that of course is just an old engineer making a dodgy comparison.

How about some inside facts?

Here my grubby little Englanders we come to the second document and the second "spy in the camp" moment.

This second article was so well named  I stole the title for this post. It is available Here.

The document is the June 2010 cover story for the August journal: "TRIBOLOGY & LUBRICATION TECHNOLOGY" The article is obviously written by an "enthusiast" i.e. one who thinks wind turbinery can do no wrong.

But the basis of the article, which the author  does comprehensively expound on, is that the gear box blows up every (wait for it) 5 to 7 years. Actually, although it is written by an enthusiast, the article lacks the self serving  deceit of the CSE document. The guy is obviously an engineer. He just needs treatment.

Here is a cut and paste of highlighted paragraphs...

Oh Dear! but then... (Ugh!) there is this....

The author informs us that gear box reliability has been a known problem for well over ten years, without yet even coming close to being solved.

So today the problem of gearbox reliability is NOT solved.

One day it maybe solved. One day. but not today. Maybe tomorrow, maybe never.

We are building these things and plan forcing the Grid to rely on them, even though have a known ( and terrible) reliability issue.

Let us go back to the transport analogy.

Say you operated a a fleet of lorries. Would you replace your existing old but "known to work" fleet with a fleet of shiny new lorries which were known to have a massive reliability problem?

If the salesman came up and said to you, "Oh that'll (probably) be solved in a few years" would whip out your cheque book or kick him out of the door?

Not only are these things ugly, inefficient, intermittent and uneconomic. they are also hideously unreliable.

Other than that (besides the health issues, the subsidy and landscaper damage) I suppose they are (to paraphrase the CIA propagandist) sub-optimally OK

Redcar and the Barnett formula

In my last post I described some good news (at last) for the North East of England as the Redcar Steel works re-opened. I also mentioned how the region has been so badly treated by successive governments.

The North East of England is, obviously, part of England. No surprises there. Consequently, like the rest of England the North East pays substantially into the Barnett formula. The Barnett formula provides a huge subsidy to Scotland. It was a stop gap quick fix for a long past Scottish funding problem that was supposed to last a year. While the funding issue may be long gone the Barnett formula is still with us 20 years later.

Nobody in government has the balls to cancel it.

Each person in Scotland get an extra £1200 a year spent on them compared to their English counterparts (i.e. like the good folk of the North East). This amounts to no less than a 11p in the pound tax break for the Scots. (See Yorkshire Post here)

In a time of national penury, if anyone should get such a tax break, surely it should be North East England rather than the whole Scottish nation.

Much of Scotland is wealthy - very wealthy. It is not right that poorer parts of the UK end up losing their services and opportunities simply to subsidise and placate the ever greedy Alex Salmond and the Scottish Parliament.

The Barnett formula is intrinsically unfair.

Ask yourself this:

Should poor (or even well-off) English working people be paying extra to support the likes of like Sir Fred Goodwin (Scottish resident). Should English tax payers support Scotland so it can offer free student education to not only Scottish students but other European students as well? While English students wanting to study in Scotland have to pay the full whack?

Scotland has plenty of resources. Even if Scotland wants to remain part of the Union then the Barnett formula should be abolished or at least modified so that subsidy is given on basis of need not national boundary. But if Scotland wants out of the union, well, by all means, in that case the Scots should spend their taxes however they want.

If the Scots want independence then it is their right to pursue it. Trying to buy them off with this dirty little Danegeld called the Barnett Formula is as repulsive as it is unfair.

But if that is how it is going to be, then what is good for the Goose is good for the Gander. Please do not expect my taxes to subsidise Scottish largesse or anything else for that matter.

English taxes are desperately needed elsewhere - like bringing jobs to Yorkshire and the North East