Category Archives: Natural world

Nature and the natural world

Hunting with hounds

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It is necessary to control both badgers and foxes in the interests of protecting farm livestock of one kind or another. My position on the badger cull remains as it was before the election: the issues at stake are primarily scientific but the science is disputed. I have therefore decided to support my colleagues in government. I have received correspondence this week asking me to either assert, clarify or reconsider my view in relation to the proposed changes to the Hunting Act. […]

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Book review: Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations

Karl Popper’s 582-page Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge seemed a daunting read. It need not have done: the essays within are written in plain English and a lively style. The central theme of the book is that our knowledge, our aims and our standards develop through trial and error: that is, by making conjectures and seeking their refutation. I was glad I read the book knowing Popper had turned from the so-called “scientific socialism” of Marxism. In […]

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In the WSJ: No Need to Panic About Global Warming

Sixteen scientists write in the WSJ: A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about “global warming.” Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed. It’s a fascinating article and I […]

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New book finds green taxes are excessive by over £500 a family | Home | The TaxPayers’ Alliance

Something to look forward to – a new book on carbon taxes published tomorrow: The biggest threat to taxpayers right now is expensive new green taxes and subsidies. In the first ever mainstream book on this subject – published Thursday 18 August – TaxPayers’ Alliance Director Matthew Sinclair has exposed how this is the critical new threat to family finances. With rising fuel bills and petrol prices, it will be a defining feature of the political landscape over the coming […]

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Lord Lawson on Margaret Thatcher’s approach to coal, nuclear and carbon

Via The Australian: Lord Lawson, 79, has long been an outspoken critic of the direction of climate change politics, doubting the ability of world leaders to agree on co-ordinated action, instead favouring adaptation and development of new technologies to replace carbon-intensive power generation. Comments in Australia about Baroness Thatcher’s position as one of the pioneers of action against climate change were “not an accurate portrayal”, he said. “I was as close to Margaret Thatcher as anybody at the time. The fact […]

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Exhausted commodities? » The Cobden Centre

In recent weeks, we have argued strongly against any relapse into Malthusianism or any of the other, fashionable Green neuroses which readily afflict those dealing with the more tangible examples of Man’s ongoing fight against scarcity. Neither the Gaian prophets, fulminating about planetary exploitation, nor the vacationing engineers, misapplying the narrow rigour of their own profession to a wholly different, open-ended problem of ends, not means, are to be paid heed if we are to think at all clearly about […]

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AFP: Scientists predict rare ‘hibernation’ of sunspots

Fascinating: WASHINGTON — US scientists say the familiar sunspot cycle seems to be entering a hibernation period unseen since the 17th century, a pattern that could have a slight cooling effect on global temperatures. For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite. … Experts are now probing whether this period of inactivity could be […]


New Report: Shale Gas Shock Challenges Climate and Energy Policies

Via the GWPF, a new report – Shale Gas Shock Challenges Climate and Energy Policies: London, 4 May – The Global Warming Policy Foundation today publishes a detailed report about the shale gas revolution and its likely implications for UK and international climate policy. The report The Shale Gas Shock, written by Matt Ridley and with a foreword by Professor Freeman Dyson, finds that shale gas: is not only abundant but relatively cheap and therefore promises to take market share from nuclear, coal and renewable […]

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ConservativeHome’s Platform: Steve Baker MP: The greatest threat to civilisation is not climate change but bad economics

Over on ConservativeHome, I have responded to one of Paul Goodman’s articles, The dog that didn’t bark on Thursday during Energy questions: So, the greatest problem humanity faces is how to use increasingly scarce natural resources to create greater prosperity for a growing number of people in the context of a changing environment. The study of that problem is surely economics. Read more via ConservativeHome’s Platform: Steve Baker MP: The greatest threat to civilisation is not climate change but bad economics.

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Tick-borne diseases

I just stopped by a stand operated by BADA-UK, explaining the dangers of tick-borne diseases in the UK. The fact that one of the ladies was in a wheelchair was evidence that the problem is non-trivial. You can find out more about defensive measures here. My skin is now crawling – horrible.

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