Tim Worstall

Amanda Marcotte

That’s why I’m mostly unable to get on the train with the strange fascination with this woman. Yes, she’s horrendously wrong and pig-headed and possesses a shocking lack of self-awareness, but I’m a softie and I just end up embarrassed for her.

Sadly, no, not a moment of self-realization. She\’s talking about someone else.

Too Good To Be True?

Prof. Salter\’s cool yachts do have one major design flaw: They promise to save the planet for a pittance, and without making humans pay a dear price for their profligate ways. Fifty ships a year, built at a cost of some $400-million to $500-million, would remove the increased warming now attributed to all the fossil fuel burning.

That would never do now, would it? Stopping climate change without a radical change in our consumerist capitalism simply cannot be considered.




Any so-called "Trick or Treaters" banging on my door dressed as zombies and vampires, bringing this ghastly transatlantic tradition unasked for to these shores, will find me dressed as Fred West, carrying an axe. My garden does need re-concreting….

Sense on Abortion


In so far as ethics should determine a time limit on abortion, the relevant question is at what stage, if at all, a foetus should be regarded as a person,

At what point does a person, a person whose right to life should be protected, created? That is, absolutely, the nub of the entire argument. Until that\’s answered we\’ll never have sense on the subject.

US College Costs

This is a remarkable piece of work. Truly.

Holders of bachelor\’s degree earn 70% more than their high school counterparts, and those with advanced degree earn 130% more. In a 40-year career a bachelor\’s degree means an added $903,320, and a graduate degree $1,670,360.

This is used as an argument in favour of further government subsidy, the use of grants to students, rather than their taking out loans to pay for it.

No, seriously, that you\’ll earn §1.6 million extra is evidence that you shouldn\’t pay for it. We should tax the garbage collector so that you can earn that extra $1.6 million.

This is from a professor of American Studies at Sarah Lawrence College:

Small coeducational liberal arts college located in Bronxville, NY that recognizes the creative and performing arts as integral to a liberal arts education.

Not all that keen on logic there then.


Solving Global Warming

According to the Pentagon, at least, it\’s all rather simple:

At some point before 2050, satellites collecting solar power and beaming it back to Earth will become a primary energy source, streaming terawatts of electricity continuously from space. That\’s if you believe a recent report from the Pentagon\’s National Security Space Office, which says confidently that we will see "a basic proof-of-concept within 4-6 years and a substantial power demonstration as early as 2017-2020".

The technology itself exists, both for the collection and transmission of such power. The one sticking point is the cost of getting into orbit. That, unfortunately, is still far too high….sadly, one of the reasons for that is the existence of the Space Shuttle itself.

"The technology has been in development for a while," says Joseph Rouge, associate director of the space office. "The truly hard and expensive part is going to be getting it into orbit. We\’ll need regular launches and on-orbit robotic assembly systems. It\’s a $10bn [£4.8bn] programme, but by 2050 it could deliver 10% of America\’s power needs."

$10 billion? In the context of climate change this is a pittance of course. Why not just go ahead and build one? It would, after all, save the planet, wouldn\’t it?

An Interesting View

A Labour MP tells us that:

The purpose of the courts is to protect the public.

Personally, I thought the job of the courts was to sort the innocent from the guilty and then to treat each appropriately.

Well, Yes

Shocking really:

The law lords have delivered a major blow to the Government\’s anti-terror policy, ruling that stringent control orders should be watered down so that suspects will be able to wander free for half of the day.

That people who have been convicted of no crime should be free to wander the streets! What is this? A free society or something?

Latest Diet Advice

Most amusing really. We\’re told all about things we must avoid in order to beat the "rising cancer rates".

No more than two units of alcohol a day for men, ie, one pint of weakish beer. One pound of red meat a week, tops. Wholegrains and beans at every meal. No bacon, ham, salami, ever.

Difficult to reconcile this with the fact that with alcohol, just as an example, you need to consume 63 units of alcohol a wek to get to the same health risks as teetotallers.

Further, it\’s very difficult to reconcile this with hte fact that we don\’t actually have "rising cancer rates". What we have is increasing life spans, meaning that we\’re not all dying of things other than cancer and are staying alive long enough to get it. Age adjusted cancer rates (which are the true measure) are falling.

Sorry, this study does not compute.

Scottish Council Housing

This isn\’t really a surprise now:

Ministers announced the end of the right to buy for new council homes yesterday and signalled that the scheme could go altogether within four years.

Since 1979 more than 480,000 council tenants have bought their homes under the right to buy, which offers a discounted purchase price based on the period of residence.

But Ms Sturgeon claimed that the scheme had a negative effect. "Authorities see little point in building houses for rent if they are lost through the right to buy", she said.

How are you going to keep the Doughboys down on the farm once they\’ve seen Gay Paree? How do you keep the proles in helotry if they actually own their own housing? Far easier to keep them voting socialist if they\’re dependent upon the State for the very roof over their heads.

She also announced plans to force homeowners — rather than buyers — to pay for surveys from next year despite a lukewarm reception the plan received in a pilot study.

Sounds rather like HIPs, doesn\’t it? Such a success they\’ve been in England and Wales as well.

D\’ye think you lot could hurry up and go independent then? Wouldn\’t want the entire nation to get infected with such nonsense now, would we?

Why Do People Buy Politicians?

Why, eh?

According to estimates from the CBO, supports for sugar in the House bill could cost taxpayers from $750 million to $850 million over the next five years. The eagerness of members of Congress to please their sugar daddies is not surprising. Campaign donations from the sugar industry have topped $3 million in each of the last four political cycles.

Because they\’re so damn cheap, that\’s why.

50 x (that\’s 50 times, not 50%) return on investment.

Hang them all.


Royal Sex Scandal

Naming the person at the centre of the royal sex scandal might not be all that wise an idea:

A lawyer who is defending one of the men accused of blackmailing a member of the Royal Family has called for anyone identifying the alleged victim to be prosecuted.

Giovanni Di Stefano, who represents Ian Strachan, an Icelandic socialite, has written to Baroness Scotland, the Attorney General, and Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, after overseas media were reported to have named the victim.

The lawyer has emphasised that his client never intended to harm the Royal Family, but wanted to alert them to the behaviour of an aide.

Mr Di Stefano claims that he has consulted several QCs and has been told that British authorities could have powers to act against foreign-based broadcasters and websites and issue a European arrest warrant. They could be liable for breaching an English court order guaranteeing anonymity to the blackmail victim and witnesses if their speculation reached Britain.

Mr Di Stefano said: “I am writing to Baroness Scotland and Sir Ken asking them to bring criminal charges against a number of people who have violated the orders of the judge.

“A violation of a contempt of court act is an extraditable offence and I am going to ask for charges to be brought against any newspaper from any jurisdiction that names any people, even if it is the wrong name, because it is in violation of the order.”

Fortunately, I didn\’t. Phew.

Bay Area Earthquake

Last night there was an earthquake in the Bay Area, about 5.6 on the Richter scale and centered on San Jose.


Sort of a "small earthquake in Chile, not many hurt" type story really.

Quick question. That story of that headline is that Cyril Connoly and mates were trying to invent the silliest or most boring headline possible, wasn\’t it? So the question is, was this just what they came up with in said competition, or was it actually printed?