January 24, 2010

The only surprise about this is that they’re admitting it

Filed under: Environment, Politics — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 15:41

Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn’t been verified:

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’

It was unverified, but so important that they couldn’t hold back? It would be funny, if trillions of dollars were not being forcibly redirected in useless, futile “green” directions, and the lives of billions of people may be negatively impacted by government and UN mandates on unproven technologies to curb global warming.

Canadian infantry to get new personal equipment

Filed under: Cancon, Military, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 13:25

Strategy Page reports that the Canadian Forces will be introducing new equipment for infantry soldiers next year:

Canada is joining its NATO allies in providing its infantry with new basic equipment, including electronic gear that, until quite recently, no one saw the troops getting for a decade or more. The Canadian gear set is called ISSP (Integrated Soldier System Project). The first components of ISSP will be issued next year. ISSP contains the usual elements of improved infantry gear. New uniforms, that incorporate improvements the troops have been demanding for years, plus new helmets and protective vests, that are lighter and provide improved shielding from bullets and fragments. New communications gear gives each soldier a link with everyone in his unit, while individual GPS is something troops have already provided for themselves. As other armies have discovered, the troops have already bought a lot of the new gear that is now proposed for the new standard issue.

A lot of this new stuff is commercial, with the military taking the best and most appropriate gear designed for outdoor living. This is particularly true of stuff marketed to the demanding mountain climbing and winter sports enthusiasts. Canada isn’t plunging into unknown territory here. The U.S., France, Germany and most other major NATO countries have already gone this route, and left a lot of practical experience in their wake. Thus the major goal is to get all the most useful gear, and reduce the weight of stuff the infantry have to carry into combat. It’s much easier to find new gear that works better, than it is to find stuff that’s lighter, and still gets the job done.

This is very good news, although there’s always a trade-off between “useful stuff to have” and “weight to be carried”. Modern computer gear is far lighter than it used to be, except for batteries, but there’s always the temptation on the part of the planners to add “just one more” neat bit of kit to the burden already being humped across the field by the infantry.

There’s also the challenge of making the technology both useful and as non-distracting as possible. As Robert Heinlein wrote back in the late 1950’s, “If you load a mudfoot down with a lot of gadgets he has to watch somebody a lot more simply equipped — say with a stone axe — will sneak up and bash his head in while he is trying to read a Vernier.”

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