Saturday, August 26, 2023

AI does Climate Change

 Having just watched (by chance) an old video talk given by Professor Ian Plimer on the Earth's history and the many factors influenceng climate, I asked our robot thinker ChatGPT to do a mini essay:

Itemise and evaluate factors other than carbon dioxide that may affect climate change

Climate change is influenced by a variety of factors beyond carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These factors can have both natural and human-induced origins, and their impacts can either amplify or mitigate the effects of climate change. Here's a list of some important non-CO2 factors:

  • Methane (CH4): Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with a much higher heat-trapping potential than CO2 over a short period. It primarily comes from sources like livestock digestion, rice paddies, wetlands, landfills, and fossil fuel production. Addressing methane emissions is crucial as reducing them could provide significant short-term climate benefits.
  • Black Carbon (Soot): Black carbon consists of fine particulate matter emitted from incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels, biomass burning, and industrial processes. It absorbs sunlight, warming the atmosphere and contributing to the melting of snow and ice, thus accelerating the warming of certain regions.
  • Aerosols: Aerosols are tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere that can either reflect sunlight back into space (cooling effect) or absorb sunlight and heat the atmosphere (warming effect). They can originate from natural sources like volcanoes or human activities like burning fossil fuels. Aerosols can have complex and sometimes counteracting effects on climate.
  • Land Use Changes: Deforestation, urbanization, and changes in land cover can influence climate by altering the Earth's surface properties. Forests, for instance, act as carbon sinks, absorbing CO2, while urban areas with dark surfaces (such as asphalt) absorb more heat, contributing to the "urban heat island" effect.
  • Albedo Effect: Albedo refers to the reflective properties of a surface. Light-colored surfaces, like snow and ice, have a high albedo and reflect sunlight back into space. Dark surfaces, on the other hand, have a low albedo and absorb more heat. Melting ice reduces the planet's albedo, leading to more heat absorption and further warming.
  • Water Vapor: Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, and its concentration increases with higher temperatures. While it's not directly controlled by humans, it acts as a feedback mechanism, amplifying the warming effect of other greenhouse gases.
  • Solar Variability: Changes in the sun's output can influence Earth's climate. While variations in solar radiation are relatively small and play a minor role in recent climate change, they have contributed to past climate variations.
  • Volcanic Activity: Volcanic eruptions release aerosols and gases into the atmosphere, which can have both warming (due to greenhouse gases like CO2) and cooling (due to aerosols reflecting sunlight) effects, depending on the type and magnitude of the eruption.
  • Ocean Circulation Patterns: Ocean currents play a significant role in redistributing heat around the planet. Changes in these currents, such as El Niño and La Niña events, can influence regional climates and weather patterns.
  • Industrial and Agricultural Emissions: Besides CO2 and methane, other greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide (N2O) from agricultural practices and industrial processes also contribute to climate change.
  • Human-made Reflective Surfaces: Urban planning and infrastructure choices can impact local climate through the use of reflective materials that reduce heat absorption.

Evaluating these factors involves considering their magnitudes, lifetimes in the atmosphere, and interactions with other components of the climate system. Addressing non-CO2 factors requires a comprehensive approach to climate policy that goes beyond CO2 reduction strategies.


It missed the Milankovitch (Orbital) Cycles but there's plenty to chew on there.

I liked the talk - and the crack about plate tectonics ridding Australia of New Zealand ('and that's a good thing') and hope to find a cheap copy of his latest book, Green Murder - WOB just sold out.

Friday, August 25, 2023


VOCES8 is a British vocal ensemble originally founded in 2003, and regrouped in 2005, by brothers Paul and Barnaby Smith, both former choristers of Westminster Abbey. For most of its history, the ensemble has contained two sopranos, two countertenors, two tenors, a baritone and a bass. By 2018, one of the countertenors had been replaced by a female alto.

The ensemble has a diverse repertoire including early English and European Renaissance music, traditional folk song, classic jazz, pop and their own arrangements. They have appeared internationally, touring especially in Europe, Asia and North America.

Voces8 are (currently) -

Andrea Haines – First soprano (2008–present)
Molly Noon – Second soprano (2021–present)
Katie Jeffries-Harris – First alto (2018–present)
Barnaby Smith – Second alto/countertenor & Artistic Director (2005–present)
Blake Morgan – First tenor (2016–present)
Euan Williamson – Second tenor (2019–present)
Chris Moore – Baritone (2018–present)
Dominic Carver – Bass (2022–present)

VOCES8: Mass In B Minor, BWV 232: 
Credo: Et In Unum Dominum Jesum Christum

VOCES8: Ave Maris Stella by Edvard Grieg

VOCES8: Sleep by Eric Whitacre

VOCES8: The Deer's Cry - Arvo Pärt

Voktett Hannover & VOCES8: Agnus Dei (Samuel Barber)

VOCES8: Miserere Mei, Deus by Gregorio Allegri

Friday, August 18, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: The Lennon Sisters, by JD

The Lennon Sisters are one of the most admired and longest-performing female vocal groups in American music history marking 67 years since their television debut in 1955 as children on The Lawrence Welk Show. Growing up in the public eye with their weekly television performances, the sisters rose to fame as acclaimed recording artists and vibrant live performers throughout the nation.
They've recorded more than 20 albums and over 100 singles. They have a star on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, are inductees in the National Vocal Group Hall of Fame and memorabilia chronicling their career is on view at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.

Following the retirement of sisters Peggy in 1999 and Dianne in 2001, the current performing sisters are original group members Kathy and Janet Lennon and their younger sister Mimi.

These videos are from TV shows broadcast in the 1950s and give an idea of how the country saw itself during the post-war boom with increased affluence plus the move to 'Levittowns' in the suburbs. In the 1950s, televisions became something the average family could afford, and by 1950 4.4 million U.S. families had one in their home. The Golden Age of Television was marked by family-friendly shows like I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Twilight Zone and Leave It To Beaver as well as the Lawrence Welk show which featured the Lennon Sisters every week.

The booming prosperity of the 1950s helped to create a widespread sense of stability, contentment and consensus in the United States. However, that consensus was a fragile one, and it splintered for good during the tumultuous 1960s.

The Lennon Sisters, Roberta Shore & Rocky Rockwell
Pink Shoelaces (1959)

The Lennon Sisters - Mockingbird Hill

The Lennon Sisters - Dodge Dart Commercial (1960)

Lennon Sisters -- The Lawrence Welk Show Biographies

Lennon Sisters at the Hollywood Palace

The Lennon Sisters with Round and Round.

Monday, August 14, 2023

START THE WEEK: How Much Is Just Hot Air (Climate)... by Wiggia

According to the lunatics in JSO (Just Stop Oil) this is happening now.
“If ever you wanted a prime example as to the gigantic con trick inflicted on us poor taxpayers that is the Green scam, then look no further than Drax. This conglomerate goes through the motions of pretending that it is beneficial to the planet whilst burning imported wood chips, sometimes manufactured by cutting down trees in Canada or the USA, whilst getting a huge subsidy of around £2 million a day. Not only that, the CEO of Drax managed to trouser upwards of £5 million last year as a reward for running this fake green company. That Drax exists is a testament to successive governments who have gone along with this con trick and particularly to the successive so-called energy ministers like Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and Ed Davy, who have , no doubt, done very well personally out of this. That these ministers are not locked up for fraud rather than prospering is a national disgrace but all you have to do nowadays is shout "green" and you can get away with almost anything.”
Drax also now own the logging company that supplies them. They say this is to offset when the green subsidies stop, but by then of course they will control the price of the wood pellets that Drax use.

This farce will then continue under the banner of green energy, despite the fact that the wood pellets produce as much CO2 as coal. Some say it also produces more airborne toxins as well, plus the moving of thousands of tons of pellets across oceans is hardly a green exercise, which when put together begs the question as to why we can’t use our own gas and coal resources until such time as so-called sustainable energy comes of age - and we are a long way from that.

I even heard a smug eco zealot talking about tidal wave power. That went out of favour some time ago when the costs were analysed and the fact that the tide has dead periods when it doesn’t move or hardly moves. It is no good talking about further storage to overcome these problems the cost is enormous and prohibitive, in the majority of cases.

But we are in a dire state regards energy supply. Once again decades of poor decision making by governments has come back to bite us in the backside. We have thrown away our ability to lead the world when we did with nuclear power decades ago. We close the only large gas storage facility and stop further gas exploration in the North Sea, rely on shipping gas in from the middle east and elsewhere when we could frack, stop a specialised coal mine from opening to supply industry and import the same from elsewhere and somehow believe that makes us green.

And become evermore reliant on intermittent wind and solar. It doesn’t matter how many wind farms you build, if the wind doesn’t blow there's no energy; yet the policy demands that all must change to electricity:

Despite the claims that more and more energy is supplied by wind power, the above shows how unreliable it is. The troughs out weigh the peaks by some margin; this will apply regardless of how many windmills are built.

All this has been repeated hundreds of times,. Does anyone actually take notice in the positions of power? It certainly does not look like it: the glacial approach to decision making is only matched by the glacial slide of the country into the second tier of world powers. Anyone believing we still have a top table say in the world's affairs is living in the previous century; energy wise, the century before that is where we are heading in the short to middle term.

I can see the time when a box of these…

... will become so valuable that the tulip mania that gripped Europe will return in the form of bidding for a box of matches, to provide light and create arson in order to stay warm. Far fetched? Maybe…

AI Does Spad (2): Wargaming 'Max Headroom'

 Write a confidential memorandum for the Conservative Party leadership to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer, and to predict what he will do if he becomes Prime Minister

Confidential Memorandum

To: Conservative Party Leadership From: [Your Name] Date: [Date]

Subject: Evaluation of Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer and Potential Future Scenarios

As we approach the upcoming political landscape, it is essential to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Labour Party under the leadership of Sir Keir Starmer. Additionally, we must anticipate potential actions and policies that may emerge should he become Prime Minister. This memo aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation for strategic planning purposes.

Strengths of Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer:

  1. Moderate Image: Sir Keir Starmer's leadership has positioned the Labour Party as more moderate and centrist, distancing it from the far-left policies associated with the previous leadership. This could attract a broader range of voters, including some traditional Conservative supporters who may be disenchanted with our party's direction.

  2. Professionalism and Legal Background: Sir Keir's legal background and professional demeanor appeal to voters seeking stability and competence in leadership. This may enhance his image as a credible alternative to our own party's leadership.

  3. Focus on Accountability: His emphasis on accountability and proper governance resonates with voters who prioritize transparency and ethical conduct in politics.

Weaknesses of Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer:

  1. Internal Party Divisions: Despite his efforts to unite the party, internal divisions between different factions of the Labour Party still exist. These divisions can weaken his ability to present a cohesive and united front, especially during critical policy debates.

  2. Lack of Clear Policy Direction: While the moderate stance may appeal to a broader audience, the Labour Party has struggled to articulate a distinctive policy agenda that resonates with voters beyond criticizing our party's policies. This lack of clarity may hinder their ability to gain widespread support.

  3. Limited Charisma and Popularity: Sir Keir Starmer's leadership style lacks the charisma and natural popularity associated with some past political leaders. This could impact his ability to connect with voters on an emotional level.

Anticipated Actions under Prime Minister Keir Starmer:

  1. Economic Policy: Expect an emphasis on social welfare and a more interventionist approach to the economy. Tax reforms may focus on higher earners and corporations to fund increased spending on public services.

  2. Healthcare and Education: There will likely be efforts to invest heavily in the National Health Service (NHS) and education, capitalizing on his legal background and professional credibility.

  3. Climate and Environment: Anticipate an ambitious push for green policies, including stricter emissions targets, renewable energy investment, and sustainable infrastructure projects.

  4. Social Justice and Equality: Policies to address inequality and social justice issues will likely be central to his agenda, with a focus on labor rights, gender equality, and diversity initiatives.

  5. Foreign Relations: Starmer is likely to maintain a strong international stance, prioritizing alliances and diplomatic efforts. However, his approach may differ from ours, especially in areas like trade negotiations and international interventions.

In conclusion, while Sir Keir Starmer's Labour Party presents both strengths and weaknesses, it is crucial for us to proactively address his potential actions as Prime Minister. By understanding his policy priorities and potential strategies, we can better position ourselves to counter his proposals and present a compelling alternative to the electorate.

Please treat this memorandum as highly confidential and limit its distribution to relevant party leaders and strategists.

AI Does SPAD (1)

 Asking ChatGPT...

Write a manifesto for the Conservative Party that is most likely to help them win the next General Election

Manifesto for a Strong and Prosperous Future: The Conservative Party Vision

Protecting Tradition, Empowering Progress


In these critical times, the Conservative Party presents a vision that combines the enduring values of tradition with the dynamism of progress. Our manifesto is centered on fostering a strong and prosperous future for all, while preserving the foundations that have made our nation great. By embracing innovation, empowering individuals, and securing our nation's interests, we will lead the charge toward a brighter tomorrow.

1. Economic Growth and Fiscal Responsibility

We commit to a low-tax, pro-business environment that incentivizes investment, job creation, and economic growth. Our plan includes:

  • Reducing the burden of unnecessary regulations on businesses, allowing them to thrive and innovate.
  • Ensuring fiscal responsibility by carefully managing public spending, eliminating waste, and reducing the budget deficit.

2. Education and Skills Development

We recognize that a well-educated and skilled workforce is essential for our nation's success. Our pledges include:

  • Investing in schools to ensure every child has access to a world-class education.
  • Expanding vocational training and apprenticeship programs to equip individuals with practical skills for the modern job market.

3. Healthcare and Social Welfare

We are committed to a strong and sustainable healthcare system that leaves no one behind. Our proposals involve:

  • Increasing funding for the National Health Service (NHS) to reduce waiting times and enhance patient care.
  • Targeted welfare reforms that encourage self-sufficiency while protecting the most vulnerable members of society.

4. Infrastructure and Innovation

We recognize the importance of modern infrastructure for economic growth and connectivity. Our plan entails:

  • Investing in transportation, broadband, and green energy projects to create jobs and enhance connectivity.
  • Promoting research and development through tax incentives, fostering innovation across sectors.

5. Law and Order

We are dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of all citizens. Our approach includes:

  • Supporting law enforcement agencies with the resources and training needed to maintain public safety.
  • Strengthening laws to address emerging challenges such as cybercrime and domestic terrorism.

6. Immigration and National Identity

We believe in controlled and fair immigration that preserves our national identity. Our approach includes:

  • Implementing an immigration system that prioritizes skills, contributions to the economy, and national security.
  • Promoting English language proficiency and social integration for newcomers.

7. Environmental Stewardship

We acknowledge our responsibility to safeguard the environment for future generations. Our commitments include:

  • Setting ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to renewable energy sources.
  • Encouraging responsible consumption, waste reduction, and sustainable practices across industries.

8. International Relations

We pledge to uphold our nation's interests on the global stage. Our strategy involves:

  • Forging strong trade agreements that benefit our economy and maintain our sovereignty.
  • Supporting international development efforts that promote stability and prosperity in less privileged regions.


In this manifesto, the Conservative Party embraces the essence of our values while embracing the opportunities of the future. We believe in a society where individuals are empowered, businesses flourish, and the nation prospers. By uniting tradition and progress, we will secure a stronger, more prosperous future for our citizens, and together, we will prevail in the next General Election.