Saturday, 29 December 2007

In the Zone

I wrote this last week. Now I have a cold.

With half a bottle of Rioja in me, and the Beastie Boys "Ill Communication" on the stereo thinks are going swimmingly.

Happy New Year, and that sort of thing.

Well, apparently this blog has been going for an entire year now, though I can't claim the volume or quality of posts is of particular note. Got engaged, got promoted, went to Geneva, Bangkok, Bonn, up to Mosel, across to Forth and around Suffolk. Oh, and to Bali.

But what does it all mean? What does the fact that I've written more about the political situation in Pakistan than about my fiancée?

Things are pretty much as they were a year ago, engagement aside. Kate and I are still living in Battersea with Win, although our view of the Thames is becoming gradually more obscured as new flats are constructed. We still have a tiny sliver of water, visible above the helipad.

We still don't own a bed, which is a slight concern. I'll consider I've made it when I own a bed. And a fridge. And washing-machine. I have got a nice tailcoat, however.

Wedding planning is going ahead. Venues are booked, we are looking into buses (not literally) and Kate is having some sort of dress-thing made. I'm not going to spoil the surprise by looking at it before the ceremony. Of course, there's the possibility it might clash with my lilac dress suit and green waistcoat, but I'll take the risk.

Bhutto

Despite my posturing, I have no real qualifications to talk about foreign (or indeed domestic) affairs. The murder of Benazir Bhutto has totally unmasked me. I can't comment. I can't offer analysis. I have nothing intelligent to say. Sadly, I have yet to come across a journalist who can say otherwise.

If that counts as sarcastic cultural criticism, I. Don't. Care.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Post-Kyoto negotiations : The Bali Roadmap

So excited am I that Juliet chose to make a comment on the blog (the first in goodness knows how long) I've decided to celebrate by presenting two postings in one day. Another good reason for doing this is that I then don't have to justify, over and over, my ridiculous trip to a beachy paradise in the name of climate change.

So, what is the Bali Roadmap (I think it's now called the Bali Action Plan, to be precise)? Well, this is the Bali Action Plan.

Fine. What does that mean?

Historically this is a slow process. COP 1* met in Berlin in 1995. The Convention had already been signed by many countries but this COP recognised that, as it stood, the Convention alone could not solve the problem of Climate Change. It dealt with general principles rather than specific actions. "The Berlin Mandate" called for parties (i.e. countries) to find a way to deliver something under the Convention to solve (or at least start to solve) the problem.

2 years later, at Kyoto, the Kyoto Protocol was came into being. The Protocol set up a number of principles include specific targets for emissions reductions during the period 2008 - 2012. The Protocol was not designed to expire after this date but it did not specify what action would occur after this date. It is a commonly held misconception (spread by some, but by no means all, Americans, and by many others) that China and India do not have obligations under this Protocol. The do not have an emissions reduction target for 2008 - 2012. However they do have obligations to continue to do what they signed up for under the Convention (see Article 10 of the Protocol). Furthermore, since the Protocol only commits parties to quantified emissions reductions until the end of 2012, a second phase of Kyoto (i.e. action "post-2012") could include either more parties joining Annex I (the parties that take hard cuts) or additional/new/different commitments by non-Annex I parties.

It is my personal opinion that, had the US joined Kyoto, they would now be in a far stronger position to negotiate with non-Annex I countries, particularly big emitters like China, Mexico, Brazil and South Korea. I shall ignore India for the time being, because although are a large country, their per capita emissions are so low that it seems unlikely they will take an hard cuts any time soon.

Enough of personal opinion (for the time being).

The drafting of the Kyoto Protocol was not, in itself, significant. It required ratification by the parties. At COP 6, in 2000, in The Hague, negotiations on ratification broke down. By COP 6 bis
the following year President Bush had already indicated that he wasn't going to support US ratification (though to be fair, even if he had supported ratification it would likely have been impossible to persuade the US Senate to follow suit). The EU and Japan, as well as others, did ratify, but the Protocol could not come into force until sufficient numbers of parties, including a significant proportion on Annex I parties, ratified. In effect this meant that until Russia ratified, the Protocol was stalled.

Russia finally ratified in 2005 and the Protocol was then, for all intents and purposes, alive. So it only took 10 years from the text of the Berlin Mandate, to actually getting an emissions reductions treaty up and going. In that 10 years emissions globally increased significantly, and the world's largest emitter of GHGs decided not to join in.

That brings us, via 4 rather technical COPs, to Montreal in 2005. In Montreal the UK played a particularly significant role, in the role of President of both the EU and the G8. In essence Montreal started a discussion that could lead to a negotiation that could lead to future commitments. At Montreal parties eventually committed to looking not just at what Annex I (i.e. developed) parties can do, but also what all parties can do to enhance the Convention (code for talking about what non-Annex I (developing) countries can do.

Two years after Montreal (slow process, right) Bali gives us a mandate to negotiate over the next 2 years (!) in order to deliver a new, long-term goal for emissions reductions that will require contributions from both Annex I and non-Annex I countries. The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is still enshrined in the text of this Action Plan, which means that non-Annex I countries will not (in the first instance, by which I mean 2013) have emissions reductions targets. What precisely this all means is up for negotiation. As I've written elsewhere

... in the short term what we are going to see is a growth in Chinese and Indian emissions, and hopefully a decrease in Annex I emissions.

The plan would be that

i) Annex I takes deep cuts from 2013 onwards.

ii) India and China (and all other developing countries, or at least significant ones) do more to improve energy efficiency, so that their emissions growth is significantly lower than predicted

iii) Annex I contribute to ii) with technical and financial support

iv) Eventually China, then later India, enter into full emissions reductions commitments

The devil is in the detail, of course, which is why the negotiations over the next two years are so important.

What level of cuts do we take in i)? And how is that cut divided up? What level of reductions will Japan sign up to, vs. US, vs. EU?

What will China and India (and Mexico, Korea, Brazil etc.) do in ii)? And how do we monitor it? And how do we hold them to doing it?

How do we support ii) through iii)? To what level? What level of support in iii) is tied to ii)? i.e. will we end up in a stupid argument where we say they aren't doing ii) and they say that's because we didn't give enough support under iii)?

On iv), when?

Don't forget that the average Chinese emits about 1/5th of what the average American emits. But also don't forget that there are 1.3 billion of them.



A lot of these issues would be easier to deal with had the USA stuck with Kyoto. Having made cuts it would now be in a stronger negotiating position. As it is, China (and particularly India, who have very low per capita emissions) are saying to the US "You caused this problem. You move first. Once we see you move we will consider moving"

So that's the reality.

There is a potential way forward, which is sectoral agreements. We could look at particular sectors, like manufacturing in China and India, and include them in a global reduction agreement, while letting the electricity consumption for, say, domestic purposes, increase. Sectoral agreements are complex, and I'm no expert, but I expect to see this sort of thing being talked about over the next two years.

Does that help?

* Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

I wish to complain

Using one's blog to whine about the inequities of your life, especially when the inequities in question are so minor as the ones facing me, must be considered the amongst worst forms of self-indulgence. However I am going to do so, because I can. Mwhahahaaa! The power is intoxicating.

So today I am absolutely flabbergasted and moreover intimidated by the sheer volume of stuff that needs doing this week. The volume of stuff is only a surprise to me because I'm been putting off doing it for months and have erased it from my concious mind in an monumental programme of procrastination. I mean, if procrastination could make money, or be used to generate energy or some other useful product I'd be a multinational with annual turnover greater than the GDP of most African countries.

So, to summarise the drivel, there is a lot to do, and it's all my own fault. No sympathy expected.

Here are the things I'm now concious of. Feel free to remind me of other things and send me into a screaming panic.

  • Back from two weeks in Bali. So that's a huge pile of washing, drying and ironing, for a start
  • Back from two weeks in Bali. So that's about 700 e-mails to process and umpteen new tasks to add to my work 'to-do list', which is already out of control. Once your 'to-do list' is longer than a side of A4 paper you are utterly, utterly fucked beyond redemption. I fear I have now reached this stage.
  • The house needs cleaning. This, at least, I can share with Kate and Win*
  • Christmas cards. Bugger.
  • Christmas shopping. Double bugger.
  • New Year. No one has arranged anything. Why do I have to be the ideas man?
  • Fixing the liquidiser
  • Finding a bus to take guests from the wedding to the reception
  • Thinking about food for the wedding
  • Designing, proofing, printing, addressing and posting wedding invites
  • Booking a honeymoon
  • Write/e-mail/facebook/phone about 100 people to remind them that I still consider them to be friends and by the way, what have you been up to in the last six weeks/months/years?
  • Work out what the hell I'm spending all my money on, and stop it
  • Fill in a claim form for two weeks worth of expenses and a second claim for for a month's worth of overtime in a convincing a manner as possible
  • Unpack the suitcase and find a proper place to store all the random stuff like a deck of cards, a money-belt, a hotel sewing-kit, mosquito repellent, travel plugs etc.
  • Box and distribute 11 Swedish Kronë (don't ask)
I think the most important thing to do at this point is surf the internet for 5 hours.

* I can't recall if I explained the domestic situation. I moved in with Win in a spacious flat with squeaky flooring and a splendid view** over the Thames, about two years ago. Win was kind enough to allow Kate to come and share this wonderful place with us in July 2006 and since then we have all been avoiding doing the hoovering.

** This view is slowly being replaced with a less splendid view of a new block of flats. There will, so long as the Battersea Helipad remains functioning, be a bit of Thames still on view.

Friday, 14 December 2007

In Plenary : Again

Blimey! I haven't blogged for two months! Sorry about that.

In Bali (for the last two weeks, not two months) at the COP. It's 07:54 and plenary is beginning to fill up, for one last time (we hope). Have the USA compromised? Will the developing world do their part? Can the EU inject bland, meaningless language into the final text? I don't know but apparently in the next 30 minutes all will become clear.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Monday, 8 October 2007

Rugby

If you want a laugh, and you aren't Australian, read this.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Not Toby Flood

http://flood.firetree.net/ is great. Stick in mean sea-level rise and see the consequences!

I'm off to invest in companies that make concrete.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Time ..... passes

Sunday's, eh? Did some housework and made a bean curry.

I don't care what it's been, I want to know what it is now.

Monday, 10 September 2007

All's well that bodes badly

England struggle to beat the USA, conceding the final try of the match and generally looking like a bunch of tired old men well past their best (or maybe just well past their bedtime)

Wales are losing to Canada at half time.

Namibia score two tries against Ireland. I didn't even know Namibia had a rugby team.

Still, at least the Scots beat Portugal convincingly. Portugal! Rugby!

Look's like the Southern hemisphere will run away with this one.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Hallam Foe

Peter Bradshaw has got it all wrong. Not only is Hallam Foe a beautifully shot and well acted piece film, but also ranks as one of the finest tributes to Star Wars ever made.

Consider, if you will, the moody teenager stalking the grounds of his family home, his mother dead, his father (a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek portrayal of Darth Vader by Ciarán Hinds) turned to the dark-side by his step-mother/Emperor Verity. The poignant use of lush Scottish countryside to represent the desert planet of Tatooine was particularly moving I thought.

So, rejecting the dark side Hallam/Luke flees to space, or rather Edinburgh, searching for his destiny. We all know what happens next. He meets, falls in love with, and is rejected by Han Solo, who considers him little more than a child and would prefer to spend time with the powerful, if uncommunicative and aggressive wookiee, Chewbacca (Jamie Sives wasn't quite hairy enough for me). But Hallam is not alone. A wide and aged Jedi Master is there to guide him (and, quite frankly, Maurice Roëves Alec Guinness is far superior to Ewan Macgregor's paltry effort in Episodes I-III) and there's even a tribute to R2-D2 with Ewan Bremner's bumbling, jerky Concierge.

Ultimately Luke wins the love of Solo who brings him to realise that this is not enough His destiny is to return to his father and win him back from the dark-side of the Force. At first, he thinks that this means he must kill the Emperor but ultimately Hallam, like Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi, realises that mercy is a greater force than hatred. Like Luke, Hallam refuses to give in to his anger, and like Luke, in doing so Hallam triumphs and is reconciled with his father. He is now whole again.

It would have been easy for director David Mackenzie to have Hallam return to Edinburgh and spend the rest of his days flying about the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo, his one true love. But above all Star Wars is a story of love and loss. Han will never accept Luke because he sees him as a child. In the same way in the final scene Kate turns away Hallam away at the door of her flat. Although we never see the third party in this act, we all know it is his sister Lucy behind the door. And thus the Trilogy is complete.

Hallam, like Luke, is destined to walk alone through the Universe.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Living together

Kate and I are getting married. You know this already. However, as a warning to anyone else planning on embarking on what I can only describe as a 'relationship', I have a peculiar side effect to report on.

We appear, to all intents and purposes, to be becoming the same person.

At first, it was just the ordinary stuff. We lived in the same house, which meant we used the same kitchen and shared milk. Well, it's perfectly possible to share milk with someone and not actually be them.

Obviously, since we were, as they say, "going out", we tended to be at the same social events. At the time, it seemed we were separate entities, but now I'm not so sure....

A worrying step occurred a few months back, but we missed it at the time. Kate ceased working at BP, and a little while afterwards started working in Climate Change. For the UK Government. As a Civil Servant. That's right. We are doing the same job.

Now we think the same things. I don't mean opinions here. I don't mean "We both think John Humphrey's shouts too much on the Today Programme". Lot's of people think that, and I'm only one of them, not all of them. No, I mean we make the same mistakes. Yesterday we both cycled to work. We both arrived to find neither of us had packed a shirt to wear. Today we both left our wallets on our desks at work and left the building. Now we can't go our for groceries.

I'm terrified. Are we now truly gestalt? What will happen tomorrow?

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Autumn is here

I've spent the entire day charging up batteries and looking for bicycle lights.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Rejoice

Went to the Regency Cafe for haddock, chips, peas yesterday lunchtime. (picture) Despite rumours, we saw no signs that it was about to close down. Which is a relief.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Back from Holiday

the thing that bugs me is this : Why didn't Hamlet just kill his Uncle at the first opportunity?

Friday, 17 August 2007

Edinburgh Festival Picks

In reverse order

The Gently Progressive Behemoth. Witty micro-sketches. Or something. (I got on stage!)
Eurobeat. Brilliant Eurovision parody, worth it for 'Iceland' alone.
A Beginners Guide to German Humour. Very funny indeed.

Simon Munnery was patchy, Andrew O'Neall a bit better and I really didn't get the Turing Test Opera, though Kate liked it. I think anyone interested in neurolinguistics would find it hard to resist screaming out "That isn't how you program an AI!" or something similar.

1 and a half days isn't enough to enjoy it all really. Indeed, I don't imagine a month is long enough. Definitely doing back next year.

August it is

Hello

Midst holiday. It's a Fife-Edinburgh-Suffolk spectacular, with a very brief interlude in London to pick up fresh supplies, and fresh pants. Which is where you find me.

It's a beautiful day. A mixture of cumulus and cirrus in the sky (courtesy of "The Cloudspotter's Guide"). A grand day to head out to the Countryside and drink Gin, which is exactly what I'm doing in an hour's time. Huzzah.

As for Scotland, well, Kate and I cannot recommend the East Neuk of Fife highly enough. A wonderful, beautiful, spectacular coastline with enough fresh fish to keep you in Omega-3 for a decade.

Lovely.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Pakistan. Again.

Pakistan. Do recent events at the Red Mosque really matter to observers in the UK? I mean, the internal politics of a distant and not very influential country is hardly a matter of major concern for the 'West' no matter how violent and unsettling they might turn out to be.

Aside from the links between Pakistan and successful and failed terrorists in the UK (and, of course, the US), I think Pakistan is of major importance because it marks an interesting three way battle between liberal democracy, military dictatorship and fundamentalist religious rule. It also, to me, marks a major failing of UK/US foreign policy. Well, I would say that, wouldn't I?

I'll confess as to not knowing anything whatsoever about day to day life in Pakistan. But, like Iran, and indeed Afghanistan, to caricature Pakistanis as a bunch of backward Islamic freedom hating terrorists. While this may seem like a ridiculous statement, some clearly hold the view that all Arabs (and one would assume, by extension, Pakistanis and Persians) are terrorists. For example, this story from an Egyptian born serving US Marine

"Then she asked me where I was from. When I said, 'Egypt', she had this look on her face and she said, 'you're a terrorist.' And that was in a Marine Corp uniform. "

Weird.

The view of Muslims in Muslim countries as extremists, however, extremely useful to a number of people. I'm sure Al Qaeda would love us to believe they have 100% support in Pakistan, Egypt and Iran (Of course, if you think all Iranians are terrorists you're hardly likely to understand the different between Shia and Sunni) and I don't need to point out that if you want to invade a country it's useful to portray the natives as sub-human and/or evil.

In truth, the newspaper response to the Red Mosque conflict (both before, and after the final confrontation) shows an interesting and diverse range of opinion. (Dawn, one should note, is an English language daily with circulation of over 138,000) These articles have not been written for a nation of foaming at the mouth religious fundamentalists. Liberal opinion seems to be widely held, although it is impossible from these headlines to judge how widely held it is in a country of 156 million or so people. (The PPP, the second largest party in Pakistan, is democratic, with I guess, by definition, makes it against religious law)

So, I hold that Pakistan is a diverse and complex country that is currently at the centre of a battle between democracy and totalitarian Islamic rule where, ironically, neither group holds political power. That is held by Musharraf. Very much the secular dictator (now where have I heard that before?)

UK/US policy has been to support Musharraf. This, of course, follows a well trodden path. Saddam was a stalwart opponent of Shia Islamism in the 1980s, which is why we supported him at the time, irrespective of his faults. This stance is understandable. A strongman to take on the terrorists. And now that Musharraf has taken the step of confronting militants in the Red Mosque I can't imagine the US or UK administrations criticising him for his anti-democratic ways any time soon.

I'm not going to suggest that Musharraf's actions over the last few weeks are due to a cynical desire to hang on to power. However, the idea that Pakistan needs a dictator to deliver liberal democracy to the country is nonsensical to me. By alienating a significant proportion of the population by seizing, then holding on to power (and trying to squash any dissent) the General has weakened the very institutions in Pakistan that stand against fundamentalism. And 'The West' is, quite rightly, seen by a lot of Pakistanis as totally uninterested in their problems. We will, they perceive, support Musharraf whatever he does. Unsurprisingly this drives anti-Americanism in both the Islamic and Liberal wings of the Pakistani population.

So, what? I offer no easy answers. But by confronting the militants in the Red Mosque Musharraf has started a civil war in his country. He understands this, and he understands it is what the militants want, which is why, up until now, he has been reluctant to confront armed militias in his own country. There can be no backward steps now. He must utterly defeat Islamic militancy throughout Pakistan, or lose power (and probably his own life). However, Civil war cannot be an excuse to suppress democracy. It may seem naive to call for free and fair elections in Pakistan at this time (the election is scheduled for October this year. Whether it will be free and fair is anybody's guess) but without democracy, how can we win?

Friday, 13 July 2007

Promotion

The not particularly exciting news is that I was promoted to Senior Scientific Officer last week.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Pineapple curry

Sticking with the food theme, can I recommend Pineapple Curry? Chop, dice or otherwise mangle a fresh pineapple. Marinade in stuff (I used a bit of garam massala, some mustard and some turmeric). Mix 1/2 a cup of grated coconut with some water/coconut milk and blend with green chili. Heat oil, toss in mustard seeds and some red chili, then fry pineapple, add chili/coconut mix and finish with fresh coriander at the end. Beware! Too much chili and your eyes will fall out.

Serve with basmati rice.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Where are you going, with your fetlocks blowing?

Kate and I saw a tiny white horse this morning, in Battersea Park. Perhaps this is why we both found today slightly unsatisfying. When you see a tiny white horse trotting around at 8am, nothing else in the day can really match it.

Tonight I made tabbouleh. The recipe is very simple. Take 5 oz bulgar wheat. Add 1/4 pint boiling water. Stand for 30 minutes. Add 1/4 cucumber, diced. Some chopped tomato. 2 chopped spring onions, 2 tsp chopped fresh mint, 2 tsp likeiwse fresh and chopped parsley, lime juice, salt, pepper, olive oil.

Turned out very nice indeed.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

What I have learned today

One of those 500ml bottles of Coke you get from vending machines contains 58% of your recommended daily sugar intake.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Commenting

Hello

Anyone should now be able to comment on this blog. You don't have to register.

Sorry it's taken me so long to work that out.

Friday, 18 May 2007

It goes on

Hello

Still in Bonn, but just about to stop negotiating and start cycling. The weather was regnerisch but now it is beautifully sunny and I can't wait to get on my bike and head up the Mosel.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Politics, again

Hello

This is no time to be smug, especially about events that will end with the deaths of many people, but it's all so bloody obvious.

1 - The USA encourage Ethiopia to invade Somalia and destroy the Islamic Courts (with tactit approval from the EU, who I didn't see opposing the intervention). Result? Relatively peaceful Somalia is plunged back into civil war.

2 - Musharraf (our man in Pakistan) is the next Saddam.

Meanwhile, the developing world think that Zimbabwe is a suitable country to chair the Commission for Sustainable Development.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

What I am up to?

Incidentally, if you were wondering what I was up to, the Summary for Policy Makers of the 4th report of Working Group to the IPCC (pdf file) may assist. The words "across different economic sectors" on page two are mine, I think. And there are a few commas in there that owe their existence to me.

I'm probably not allowed to say anything political about the report, but I can say that all the delegates and authors seemed pretty happy when it was finished off on Friday morning, which implies (to me, at least) that we got a good report, the full text of which will be online later this year.

Off to Bonn tomorrow, for UNFCCC negotiations. Unlike the IPCC negotiations, which are basically scientific and technical in nature, the UNFCCC process is political. Should make for an interesting two weeks.

What am I listening to?

Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band

Sidewalk Dances by Moondog (arranged by Joanna MacGregor)

Blue by Joni Mitchell

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Working for the man

Hello

In Bangkok at IPCC Working Group 3 meeting to finalise the third volume of the 4th Assessment report (Full WG1 report and WG2 summary are already out). It's 12:40am and we are still arguing about content. Due to close at 2am. We won't finish the report tonight. In fact, I don't imagine we won't get much, if any, sleep tomorrow. Discussions expand to fill the space available to them, and we don't have to finish until Friday morning.

Bangkok is a cool city. I have met all 13 million citizens yet and I've only seen a small fraction of the city (and I doubt I'll see much more, stuck in this conference hall as I am) but I'd say it's pretty good. Lots of Buddas.

Don't ask me how I fell into the boat.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Face = Book

They tell me I have a facebook

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=867420541

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Great Global Warming Swindle?

Hello

Let's be quite clear. The accusation is that Climate Change is made up by governments in order to control the population. Scientists are paid by Governments to ensure they report that Climate Change is real. The Government gags scientists who oppose climate change, thus stiffling free debate about the issue.

Which would be fine, if it wasn't so clearly utter bollocks. Where does the best Climate Science in the world come from? The Hadley Centre in Exeter, perhaps? Or maybe a research insitution in one of the great European Universities of Germany and France? Do the emerging economies of the East dominate the field? Nope.

The good old U.S. of A. is the undisputed king of Climate Science. And for good reason, that reason being that they spend more money on science than anyone else on earth. Those good folks at Nasa-Goddard keep on churning out reports, data and models, and papers galore on science, impacts and even (occasionally) mitigation come streaming forth from all over the US.

And so it came to pass that when the IPCC were looking for a lead scientist to head up the team that would produce the latest scientific assessment of Climate Change they turned to an American to head the team. A report which says thatb the scientists are 90% or higher sure that humans are causing climate change, and 90% or higher sure that, if CO2 in the atmopshere reaches 550ppm, temperatures will rise by AT LEAST 1.5 degrees Celcius. Indeed, their best estimate is 3 degrees.

Of course, this is ALL because American politicians are paying Climate Scientists to come out with this stuff, right? It COULDN'T be their independant scientific analysis. It must be a SWINDLE!

Are you are seriously telling me that the Bush Administration is actively conspiring to muffle climate skeptics and promote a pro-climate change agenda in US science? Are you, really?

If so, I suggest you read this. http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,2038121,00.html

Turns out there is a political agenda in Climate Science. Whenever politics and climate come into contact, politicans try to downplay the issue or introduce 'doubt'.

I'll calm down now.

Docs - http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1214
http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Working on a Saturday

Hello

Long time no see. How are you? Me, I'm peachy. /Completely/ snowed under, of course. Well, today's Greenhouse Gas Inventory Expert is a busy man. You know how it is, statitistical releases, submissions to the UN and EU, audits, reviews, questions... I hardly know where to start and when to stop. Oh, but I do blather on, don't I?

Well, it's been lovely bumping into you again. We must have that drink sometime, mustn't we?

Ta ta.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Homesick, for elsewhere

There's a new pizza place down the road. Or an old pizza place with a new menu. Or an old pizza place with an old menu that they've stuck 'New' all over. I'm not sure.

What I am sure of is that, when Kate read the menu, I got really homesick for Philadelphia. Which is kinda odd, seeing as I only lived there for two years.

The menu in question was mexican (who on earth would eat a pizza with fajhita strips and gucamole on it?) and the merest mention of soft-cheese stuff jalpeno peppers got me thinking of Chaucer's Bar and the Monday night game. Then I started thinking about the food trucks at Penn. and buritos and those magic meatball sandwiches with cheese.

You can read about some of these places at http://www.iamsilk.com/philadelphia_bars.htm Those Phildelphians out there are welcome to add comments of their own.

Excuse me. I need to go and eat something. With cheese.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Not dead. Yet.

The lack of recent activity round here has nothing, really, to do with our engagement. I mean, Kate and I have been doing fun things(TM) but this hasn't taken my away for long enough to excuse the lack of e-mail and journalism of late. Rather, I've been sitting in front of a computer all day, every day, at work, and it isn't an inspiring setting to wax lyrical about things of minor interest.

So what has happened? Well, life goes on and our (UK) GHG emissions have gone down. Or rather, they went down by 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent or so between 2004 and 2005. Which was nice.

Outside of work it is snowy, there are lovely beer festivals, exciting parties and fun games. I like Puerto Rico.

Oh, and England won two cricket matches, which was perhaps the most remarkable thing of all.

No date yet. We aren't talking about that kind of thing for a while, do don't ask.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Greetings from Geneva. I'm afraid I have nothing to say of interest, unless you were particularly interested in Greenhouse Gas Inventory Guidelines. If you are particularly interested in Geenhouse Gas Inventory Guidelines, you are probably here. It's easy to check if you are in Geneva. If there's a big lake on one side, big mountains on the other side, and every second person works for the UN, the yup, it's Geneva.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Happiest day

Hello

Last night I gave Kate a combination of this The conventional unit cell of the diamond crystal structure. and this An assortment of native platinum nuggets

She said yes.

We are both very, very, very happy.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Many thanks

Sometime ago, someone, somewhere, bought Kate and I a bottle of Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz Cabernet. Last night we drunk about half of it, and it was lovely. Many thanks.

In other news, the cold that I am currently playing host to is perhaps the most persistant I have ever had. Kate and I were ill on the 27th December, for goodness sake! It should be gone by now.

That is all.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Blogging from work

Another advantage of blogging here is that it gives me something else to do when I should be working.

Monday, 1 January 2007

The old

For reference, my old journal lives (2003 - 2006) lives at www.iamsilk.com/journal.htm

A new year, a new blog, same old rubbish

Hello

I am going to use blogger for a while, to see if I like it. If I don't, the experiment can be abandoned.

Reasons (for me) to use blogger

  • It has a label function, so posts can be categorised by subject, as well as date. This was one of the reasons I designed my own blog script, rather than using an existing one.
  • I can post from anywhere, using the web. A clear advantage over iamsilk.com
  • Spell check!
  • Most importantly of all, it will allow you to make comments. So please do.
I think they are reasons enough. So long as I don't lose any functionality, I can live with the slightly different look and feel.

Happy New Year