Al Gore is pissed. The former vice president dropped in on an Aspen Institute media forum in Colorado titled "Networks an Citizenship" on Thursday and railed against corporate evildoers who put profit above society. [In a related story, Al Gore could become the first 'carbon billionaire']
Gore referenced the book "Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming" by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, which tells of how petroleum, steel, autos, utilities and others enlisted lobbyists to cloud the climate debate.
Gore recalled how not long ago tobacco giants "succeeded in delaying the implementation of the surgeon general's report for 40 years - 40 years! In every one of those 40 years the average number of Americans killed by cigarettes each year exceeded the total number of Americans killed in all of World War II: 450,000 per year. My sister was one of them. . It was evil, evil, evil."
[Same old tired tobacco argument that has nothing to do with climate change. But, since he brought it up, Gore fails to mention he grew up on a tobacco farm, worked on it, and continued to accept checks from that farm for years after his sister died. In 1988, while running for president, he defended tobacco farmers while campaigning in Southern tobacco states (and made the quote: 'I've raised tobacco ... I've shredded it, spiked it,... and sold it.') He accepted contributions from tobacco companies as late as 1990. Gore claimed that "emotional numbness" led him to defend and profit from the tobacco industry. "Sometimes, you never fully face up to things that you ought to face up to."]
The model of media manipulation used then, Gore said, "was transported whole cloth into the climate debate. And some of the exact same people - I can go down a list of their names - are involved in this. [Gore fails to mention a single name] And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists [again no evidence provided; Gore himself is the poster-child pseudo-scientist and profiteer] to pretend to be scientists to put out the message:
[Profound scientific argument coming up:]
`This climate thing, it's nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn't trap heat. It may be volcanoes.' Bullshit! `It may be sun spots." Bullshit! `It's not getting warmer.' Bullshit!" Gore exclaimed.
[Notes to Al regarding his pseudo-scientific 'Bullshit!':
1) Nothing in the universe can 'trap heat' radiation, other than a black hole
2) Your buddies Hansen and Mann claim the Little Ice Age was a result of volcanic eruptions, and have also claimed a "delayed" effect of the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption resulted in a recent lack of warming
3) Solar activity has been shown in many peer-reviewed papers to have multiple direct and secondary amplified effects upon climate
4) Even your fellow warmists admit the globe has not warmed since 1998]
"When you go and talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you the same crap over and over and over again," he continued. "There's no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened. People have no idea! And yet our ability to actually come to a shared reality that emphasizes the best evidence. It's no longer acceptable in mixed company, meaning bipartisan company, to use the goddamn word climate. It is not acceptable. They have polluted it to the point where we cannot possibly come to an agreement on it." Gore lamented the diminished role that reason and fact-based analysis play in modern U.S. politics.
During the debt-ceiling debate, American Crossroads, Americans for Prosperity and a collection of smaller groups followed tobacco's blueprint for bombarding the media with its messages, he said.
"Unnoticed in Washington and New York as the debt-ceiling debate was going on, the ratio of television advertisements was nine to one on the `Don't-lift-the-debt-ceiling debate. Spending is the problem.' And now we're going to tip the country back into recession. It's absolutely insane," Gore said.
"Mark my words on this: we became the greatest country on earth because we made better decisions than any other nation," he continued. "And we made better decisions because we used shared consciousness, shared reality, rule of reason, best evidence, democratic discourse, free debate to figure out what's more likely than not to be the best decision here. It didn't always work, but it worked a hell of a lot better. Since we adopted this new system we are making catastrophic decisions that have massive consequences. The Iraq invasion. What just happened with macro-economic policy. It really is extremely difficult."
Judge Flannery by his deeds, not his words
Andrew Bolt reports on one of Australia's most prominent Warmists
Professional alarmist Tim Flannery in 1996 warned that global warming would drown beachfront houses eight storeys high (see from 4:23):
Anyone with a coastal view from their bedroom window, or their kitchen window, or whereever, is likely to lose their house as a result of that change, so anywhere, any coastal cities, coastal areas, are in grave danger.
But the very next year he bought a house just four or five metres from the edge of the tidal waters around the Hawkesbury estuary:
According to property searches, in 1997 Professor Flannery bought one house on the Hawkesbury with his wife, Alexandra Leigh Szalay, for $274,000.
Five years later—even as climate scientists, including Professor Flannery, claimed evidence of global warming and rising sea levels was even more solid—the couple bought the property next door, for $505,000.
And now the shameless alarmists contradicts that earlier scare, without apologising for it:
For a week, Professor Flannery declined to speak to journalists about his properties, but he broke his silence yesterday to tell The Weekend Australian that while waterfront property generally was at risk, his little bit of paradise was secure for his lifetime.
”There is no chance of it being inundated, short of a collapse of the Greenland Ice Shelf,” Professor Flannery said.
Let’s check on another Flannery scare from 2008 - his claim that the Arctic could be ice-free by 2013:
So, if you look at the data for the decay of the Arctic ice cap for example, that is just moving so quickly now. I mean last year was the worst year ever. People are saying, you know, that instead of the ice cap lasting a century, that maybe in five years there’ll be no Arctic ice cap. So you can’t look at things like that without seeing that we are in deep trouble.
Now being debunked:
Writing in the journal Science, the team found evidence that ice levels were about 50% lower 5,000 years ago.
They say changes to wind systems can slow down the rate of melting. They argue, therefore, that a tipping point under current scenarios is unlikely....
Dr Svend Funder from the Natural History Museum of Denmark ... and his team say their data shows a clear connection between temperature and the amount of sea ice. The researchers concluded that for about 3,000 years, during a period called the Holocene Climate Optimum, there was more open water and far less ice than today - probably less than 50% of the minimum Arctic sea ice recorded in 2007.
Kevin Rudd doesn’t believe Tim Flannery, either:
Yesterday, the former prime minister and his wife Therese Rein put some high-profile faith in both the Brisbane property market and its resistance to flooding by buying a block of dirt near the river in his electorate of Griffith.
Arctic Fires and CO2 Emissions
Last week, a widely-repeated pronouncement was made, that after an absence of more than 10,000 years, "wildfires have returned to the Arctic tundra" spurred by an apparent increase in lightning strikes and leading to carbon dioxide (CO2) releases from a traditional CO2 sink region. Another positive feedback to anthropogenic global warming. Oh yeah, and the fires will get worse and more widespread in the future.
But as with most dire global warming predictions, this one seems to lack grounding in reality.
This grave assessment of things arctic was issued by Michelle Mack (University of Florida) and co-authors after publishing in Nature magazine the results of their examination of the impacts of a large wildfire which in 2007 burned about 400 square miles of Alaskan tundra in the Anaktuvuk River basin and was reported to be the "biggest wildfire ever recorded on the North Slope of Alaska."
Lead author Michelle Mack described her main findings in an interview with NPR's Christopher Joyce:
Ms. MICHELLE MACK (Ecologist, University of Florida): I’m at Toolik Lake field station, in a trailer that’s on a gravel pad that’s in the middle of Arctic tundra.
JOYCE: Mack is an ecologist from the University of Florida who prefers the desolate beauty of the North Slope of Alaska and the snowcapped Brooks Mountain Range. She says what the Anaktuvuk fire did-burn through 400 square miles of tundra-amazed her.
Ms. MACK: We’ve never seen anything like it in this area. What’s surprising is that forests have huge trees, whereas tundra has six-inch tall, tiny little plants.
JOYCE: Nonetheless, the fire sizzled for three months, then burst into a major conflagration before snowfall put it out. So if there weren’t any trees, what was there to burn?
Ms. MACK: It’s coming from the soil.
JOYCE: Organic matter, dead plants, accumulated over decades. And what set it off was dry weather, and then a lightning strike.
Ms. MACK: There’s been a marked increase in lightning strike activity on the North Slope, particularly in the last 10 years.
JOYCE: But Mack was really surprised when she calculated how much carbon that fire put up into the atmosphere. It was two million tons. Is that a lot? Well, think of it this way: Every year, the Arctic tundra absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases. It’s a net carbon sink. Because carbon warms the atmosphere, the Arctic is actually cooling the planet by taking up carbon. But Mack says the Anaktuvuk fire reversed that equation.
Ms. MACK: One fire, that alone is enough to offset the whole uptake.
JOYCE: That’s right. The fire put out more carbon than the entire Arctic tundra absorbed in 2007. That includes Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia.
Mack’s findings are part of an increasingly feverish research effort going on in the Arctic. Arctic sea ice has been melting, putting more moisture in the air and creating more thunderstorms.
Let's look at a few of these claims and their significance to "global warming."
Thunderstorms in the arctic, including northern Alaska, were reported by the region's earliest explorers.
A brief article by T. Neil Davis, from the University of Alaska titled "Arctic Thunderstorms" and published in 1979 included this account:
Looking into thunderstorm history, Mr. Arne Hanson of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory at Barrow, Alaska, has uncovered an observation of an arctic thunderstorm made in 1580. A manuscript Hanson has prepared contains a quotation written aboard a ship sailing the Kara Sea, north of Siberia: "… the wince with a showre and thunder came to the Southwest and then wee ranne East Northeast."
Several thunderstorms on the north Siberia coast were recorded in the late 1700's, and at least nine were observed on the northern coasts of Canada, Alaska or Siberia by explorers in the period 1815-1826.
And where there's thunderstorms there's fire.
The occurrence of wildfires in the region of northern Alaska has been summarized since the early 1950s. For instance, Racine et al. (1985), reviewed wildfire records from 1956 through 1983 for the Noatak River watershed region which lies to the west of the North Slope and reported 79 fires during the 28-year study interval, the biggest of which burned nearly 200 square miles of "treeless thaw lake-studded portion of the Mission Lowlands tundra" and most, if not all of which were started by lighting.
And while the frequency of fire occurrence the region of Alaska's North Slope where the 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire took place is less than in the region studied by Racine et al., fires on the North Slope are not undocumented.
Consider the USDA Forest Service Research Note "Wildfires and Thunderstorms on Alaska's North Slopes" written in 1973 by Richard Barney and Albert Comiskey, which has the following conclusion:
Although there has been limited formal record of fire previous to this time , we think it is safe to assume that lightning and the associated weather and fuel conditions suitable for fire have been present for many years. It also seems reasonable to assume that fires have not just recently begun occurring north of the Brooks Range. With continued activity in that location, we are certain to receive more and more wildfire reports. Although the North Slope is apparently not a fire-dominated ecosystem, wildfire is not unknown to this arctic environment.
So there is historical documentation of both thunderstorms and wildfires in the Arctic including Alaska's North Slope for many years into the past-and clearly previous to the past decade-facts which serve to destroy both the lead-in of the University of Florida press release announcing the findings of Mack et al. ("After a 10,000-year absence, wildfires have returned to the Arctic tundra.") as well as NPR's implication that the 2007 fire was a result of thunderstorms spawned by reduced sea ice caused by anthropogenic global warming.
Our Figure 1 shows why the latter claim is unsubstantiated. Figure 1 shows the sea ice conditions for the Arctic since 1900.
Figure 1. Arctic sea ice extent (data source: Cryosphere Today)
Now, whether or not you believe the details of this Arctic sea ice history as you go back in time (see here for problems with this history ), the point is that there was a lot more sea ice during the summers back in the early 1970s and years prior, than there was in 2007-the year of the fire, which NPR's Christopher Joyce desperately tried to link to sea ice decline: "Mack’s findings are part of an increasingly feverish research effort going on in the Arctic. Arctic sea ice has been melting, putting more moisture in the air and creating more thunderstorms." History tells a different story-that even with high sea ice conditions, thunderstorms can and do develop over the North Slope of Alaska and spark wildfires.
And what about claims that CO2 emissions from arctic wildfires will offset the carbon storage produced by a greening arctic and increase the rate of global warming?
That, too, is a bit of a stretch.
Figure 2 below shows the weekly progression of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide as measured at Mauna Loa observing station during the period January 2000 through July 2011. Since CO2 is generally well-mixed in the atmosphere, Mauna Loa's measurements should reflect anything unusual that is going on in the annual CO2 cycle. The period of the time when the 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire was burning is highlighted.
Stare at/ponder/analyze Figure 2 all you want, but nothing unusual is going to pop out either during or immediately following the Anaktuvuk River fire. Simply put, the CO2 released by the "biggest wildfire ever recorded on the North Slope of Alaska" had an undetectable impact on the evolution of the global CO2 concentration.
Figure 2. Weekly atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide as measured at Mauna Loa, January 2000 through July 2011 (data source: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/mlo.html)
The bottom line is that undoubtedly Mack and co-authors have done a lot of hard field work documenting the details of the large 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire and collecting valuable data on fire characteristics and their impacts on the local tundra environment of Alaska's North Slope. However, they have overreached in concluding that such fires either are caused by, or feedback from factors that extend much beyond that local environment. The paper would have been better off, and more scientifically grounded, had it not brought global warming into the discussion-although, in that case, it would not have found publication in Nature or press coverage the world over.
Proof that climate change kills polar bears
Polar bear kills British schoolboy and then gets shot
At last, one might say, we have proof the climate change is killing polar bears. The youngsters on the fated expedition, we are told, were in the Norwegian wilderness to study the effects of climate change.
While there, the party was attacked by the bear and then shot (the bear, that is). Had there been no climate change, the party would not have been there, and the polar bear would not have been shot. Ergo, climate change killed the bear.
Actually, the reality is even more ironic. Apparently, Norwegian polar experts (the ones not consulted by the BBC) are saying that there are more polar bears because there is an unexpected (to some) increase in sea ice, which has enabled them to travel more easily.
In fact, it has been so unseasonably cold up there that some of the party had already been airlifted out because of frostbite - oh and "sunburn" ... actually burn from snow glare. Furthermore, we are informed, the camp's protective tripwires did not work because they were frozen solid.
However, it does not stop there. Pravda, in a throwback almost to Cold War rhetoric, is most definitely not amused. The British NATO contingent, it complains, wastes up to $100,000 of their taxpayers' money per aircraft per hour, every single day since February 17, bombing kids, strafing water supplies, murdering babies, targeting civilian structures, in Libya.
And now in Norway a polar bear has been shot because of a British student. No mention of Chechnya there, I see - but at least the emphasis is largely correct. Not so the BBC, which is matching Pravda with its with its own brand of rhetoric, asserting via a stooge scientist that it is the absence of ice (i.e., global warming) which brings polar bears into greater contact with man.
Professor: Skeptics of Man-made Climate Change Aren't a Fringe Group
For nearly 20 years George Taylor, former Oregon State professor of climatology, has been one of the more vocal skeptics of man-made climate change.
Like other climatologists, such as Patrick J. Michaels in Virginia, Taylor lost his title as a "State Climatologist" in 2007 after refusing to jump onto the man-made climate change wagon. Taylor was also actively involved with the American Association of State Climatologists, which ran afoul of the U.S. Congress and lost funding for not going along with climate alarmists.
When asked once by a reporter whether the Earth's temperatures would be warmer or colder in 5,000 years, Taylor pointed out that by that time we'd be headed back toward the next ice age.
"It will almost certainly be colder," he explained.
That was the sort of politically incorrect answer that has gotten Taylor in trouble with the man-made climate change crowd for years. About three years ago Taylor, now 63, left his post as Oregon State University professor and is now a private-sector climatology consultant.
Capitol Confidential interviewed Taylor via telephone on Aug. 1. The following are excerpts from that interview.
Q.: There are those who describe climatologists who don't believe in man-made climate change as being on the fringe. Is that true?
"Absolutely not. It's very much in the mainstream now. There are many, many climatologists who are skeptical about it (man-made climate change). I don't know if it's more than 50 percent or not. But in science that really doesn't matter. Science has nothing to do with who has a consensus or a majority.
Q.: That's true about science but not politics and this has all become very political hasn't it?
Yes, it has. By the way, I'm a minimalist. I do believe that human activity might affect the climate a small amount, but whatever that is it's vastly overshadowed by natural forces. There are many, many people who feel like I do.
I'd be willing to change my mind if the science indicated that I should. But the science doesn't suggest that.
Q.: Is it frustrating to deal with the way climatologists like you are characterized by some segments of the news media?
"Yes; very frustrating. As a scientist my job is to give an accurate assessment. In return I was getting back a lot of personal attacks - even ones that tried to impugn my integrity. They've claimed that I'm working for the oil companies and all sorts of things. OK, if you don't happen to agree with me then say so but to resort to these personal attacks . . . Then Ellen Goodman said (in 2007) that global warming deniers were on par with Holocaust deniers. It was unbelievable."
"I guess it's like an attorney friend of mine says: 'if the law is on your side pound on the law - if the facts are on your side, pound on the facts - if the facts aren't on your side, pound on the table.' So the other side pounds the table. But I have to say that now, as more and more people have been willing to say they agree with my point of view, I feel a lot more comfortable about it."
Q.: The various charts that show the history of climate change over the past 2,000 to 3,000 years; is there much dispute about them? Don't they all show basically the same history of changes - the spike of the Medieval Warm period and the Little Ice Age we've been climbing out of?
"They'd show that about a thousand years ago it was a lot warmer than it is now. That was the Medieval Warming period. Then around the 1300s it started to cool as the Little Ice Age began.
"But I guess we'd have to say this was all still in dispute. Michael Mann came along and drew the Hockey Stick graph for Al Gore, which completely changed modern climate history. It didn't have the Medieval Warming period or the Little Ice Age on it.
"He used tree rings and proxies to support this. Of course this goes against almost every other piece of historical evidence."
American Resources For American Jobs, Revenue and Prosperity
A frequent refrain during budget and debt ceiling debates is that we need revenue enhancement: higher tax rates, reduced deductions, eliminated credits. But doing this, especially amid today's massively expanding regulations, will kill more jobs and further reduce government revenues.
There is a better way. Huge revenue sources are literally under our noses, or more precisely our feet.
America is blessed with vast oil, gas, coal, uranium, rare earth and other natural resource riches - to compliment our ultimate resource: the creative, competitive, innovative spirit of our people.
Finding and developing these resources would generate millions of jobs and billions, even trillions, in new government revenue and societal wealth. It would prevent default and downgraded credit ratings, reduce the need to cut government programs, shrink unemployment and welfare payments, avoid having to send hundreds of billions of dollars overseas each year for foreign energy and minerals, and reduce the need to borrow $120 billion out of every $300 billion the United States is now spending every month.
Many of these untapped resources are on federal public lands in our western states, Alaska and Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Many more are on private land and onshore and offshore state-owned lands.
Leasing, exploration, extraction, transportation and processing unleash economic activities and revenues on extraordinary scales: lease bonus and rental payments, permit fees, royalties and severance taxes for each unit produced, direct and secondary jobs, taxes on corporate profits and workers' income, property taxes on equipment and facilities.
These activities also generate billions of dollars in purchases of equipment, food, supplies, raw materials, hotel lodging, special services and myriad other items. All this means still more employment, newly enabled consumer spending, more local, county, state and federal revenue, and other economic benefits.
Newly developed horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") techniques have enabled companies to unlock previously unavailable natural gas riches in conventional and shale gas deposits. That increased production, in turn, has reduced industry's cost for energy and raw material feed stocks.
The American Chemical Council says this is reopening idled plants and creating jobs. In 2010 it helped increase chemical and plastics exports by 17% and 10% respectively, turning a $100 million industry balance of trade deficit into a $3.7 billion surplus. Other industries could soon see similar benefits.
America's OCS generates over $19 billion annually in bonus, rent, royalty and tax revenue, IHS Global Insight has calculated. Alaska's Prudhoe Bay oil field alone has generated hundreds of billions in government revenues since 1978, and the state of Alaska has collected a whopping $157 billion (in 2010) dollars from statewide oil and gas development since 1959. Millions of jobs were created and sustained.
In the Lower 48 States, Marcellus Shale deposits stretch across 95,000 square miles of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, western Maryland and eastern Ohio. In Pennsylvania, say the state Labor and Revenue Departments, Marcellus fracking activities created 72,000 jobs (with an average $73,000 salary) between October 2009 and March 2011. Workers and royalty recipients paid $214 million in personal income taxes attributable to Marcellus development, while Marcellus drillers paid $1 billion in state taxes 2006-2010 (and another $238 million just during first quarter 2011).
The shale gas success story is being repeated in West Virginia, Louisiana, Texas and other states: thousands of jobs created, billions in royalties and taxes collected. New York should take note.
Taken together, America's oil industry sustains 9.2 million direct and secondary jobs (5.3% of all US employment), generates $533 billion in total annual payrolls, contributes $1.1 trillion to US gross domestic product (7.5%), invested $2 trillion in capital improvements since 2000, and accounted for $190 billion in 2010 oil production. The largest integrated oil companies alone paid $1.95 trillion in corporate income, severance, property, excise and sales taxes, between 1981 and 2008, says the Tax Foundation.
We have it in our power to put many of our 20 million unemployed and involuntary part-timers back to work, generate trillions in revenue, and slash our chronic indebtedness. We just need to take action.
* End the leasing moratorium and "green flu" backlog on drilling permits in formerly accessible areas of the Gulf of Mexico. By the end of 2012 America could create 230,000 jobs in Gulf Coast and dozens of manufacturing states, produce 150,000,000 barrels of oil (worth $15 billion), reduce oil imports by a like amount, and generate $12 billion in tax and royalty payments, says IHS Global Insight.
(Right now, we are losing over $1 billion annually in Gulf royalty payments, because Gulf oil and gas production is down 220,000 barrels a day, thanks to DOI, EPA and White House foot dragging.)
* End leasing and drilling bans in the East Coast, West Coast, Western Gulf and Alaskan OCS, Rocky Mountains and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. America could produce up to 40 billion barrels of oil (worth $4 trillion at $100 a barrel) . create 114,000 to 160,000 jobs . and generate $547 billion to $1.7 trillion in new government revenues over the next few decades, according to ICF International.
* Open up some of the nearly 500 million acres of public lands that are now closed to mineral exploration (nearly 70% of all public lands). We could repeat these petroleum-related gains, and end our near-total dependence on China for rare earth metals that are essential for smart phones, smart bombs, night vision goggles, hybrid and electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels and a host of other modern technologies.
Unfortunately, Congress and the EPA, Interior Department and White House are doing just the opposite.
EPA denied Shell Oil permits to drill in Alaska's Chukchi Sea, after Shell had spent $5 billion acquiring and exploring leases. EPA also blocked construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Port Arthur, Texas. During construction, the project would generate 130,000 US jobs, plus $600 million in state and local tax revenues - plus $5 billion in property tax and other government revenues during the pipeline's life. EPA's excuse? The projects would contribute to global warming.
EPA is also imposing thousands of pages of new rules on coal-fired power plants that provide 48-98% of the electricity in 26 states, including our most important manufacturing centers. Experts say the actions will raise electricity rates 20-60 percent, shutter up to 60,000 megawatts of electricity generation, kill 3.5 million jobs in six Midwestern states, and cost those six states $42-82 billion in lost annual GDP.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar continues to stall OCS leasing and drilling, and keep Western States oil, natural gas, oil shale, shale gas, coal, uranium and metals deposits off limits.
Meanwhile, our state and federal governments are spending over $10 billion annually, subsidizing wind and solar energy, and bankrolling radical environmental activism on energy, climate and public land issues.
Americans deserve a complete and honest accounting of how much revenue and how many jobs have been lost to environmental excesses. We have a right, and a duty, to develop our resources, rather than depleting other countries' energy and minerals - and saddling our children with more joblessness and debt. It's a perfect time for bipartisanship, at least among Republicans and moderate Democrats.
Committee hearings and briefings could discuss and evaluate industry, government and independent analyses of our vast energy, mineral, job and revenue opportunities. They would go a long way toward revealing the enormity of our self-inflicted wounds - and charting a responsible path forward.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here