Lai See

Greenpeace's Christmas warning can be put on ice

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 December, 2013, 3:15am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 December, 2013, 11:07am

We see that Greenpeace has produced a touching Christmas video showing "Father Christmas" in a small dirty room with water dripping off the ceiling. His message is that he may not be able to deliver Christmas presents due to global warming.

"Dear children, I regrettably bring bad tidings. For some time now, melting ice here in the North Pole has made our operations and our day-to-day life intolerable and impossible and there may be no alternative but to cancel Christmas ... My home in the Arctic is fast disappearing and unless we all act urgently, then I have to warn you of the possibility of an empty stocking for ever more. Please help me."

But unbeknown to Father Christmas and, and apparently to Greenpeace, Arctic ice has made a spectacular rebound from the record low recorded last summer. This is only the third year since records were started in 1980 when more than 10 million square kilometres of new ice has formed.

The Arctic is unlikely to disappear any time soon.


Runway logic

The airline industry is upping the ante on Hong Kong's controversial third runway proposal. The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines yesterday issued a statement headed "Third Runway Critical to Hong Kong's Future". So is the message that without the third runway, the city faces a bleak future or even no future?

Explaining this dramatic assertion, the group's director general Andrew Herdman said: "Aviation has indisputably played a crucial role in Hong Kong's successful development as a major tourism destination, and a leading international centre for business and professional services, trading and transport logistics." Hong Kong needs an additional runway to meet increasing demand for air travel and to remain competitive.

So we just keep building as long as the demand for air travel keeps growing?


Climate changer

We came across an interesting assertion by Reuters in a recent story based around a report bemoaning the mainland's lack of preparedness to deal with climate change. "A coal-dependent manufacturing base has made China the world's biggest contributor to climate change," part of the story read.

It may well be true that China now produces more carbon emissions than other countries. However, other countries were producing vast amounts of carbon emissions long before China began making a significant contribution.

The assertion also includes the assumption that carbon dioxide emissions are a direct cause of climate change. Despite the best efforts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the view that anthropogenic production of carbon dioxide is a significant factor in climate change is losing ground. It beggars belief that China should be expected to cut back on its consumption of fossil fuel on the basis of fuzzy science. The increase in the use of fossil has been one of the key factors in lifting millions of its people out of poverty.

Obviously, as it is now finding to its cost, the mainland needs to clean up its emissions, but it is not the carbon dioxide that is contributing to dirty air.


The joys of prison

Every setback, they say, masks an opportunity. This principle is now being deployed by Britain's biggest female fraudster. Joyti Waswami served half of her seven-year jail sentence for defrauding her Goldman Sachs' bosses of £4 million.

After she was released from prison in 2007, The Guardian reports, she worked as director of fundraising for the Royal London Society, the prisoner charity. But she has now taken up a new role as a consultant at a start-up business called Prison Consultants, which aims to coach white-collar criminals on how to cope with prison.

The business coincides with a number of high-profile white-collar crime cases coming to court that includes bankers accused of rigging interest rates and journalists of phone-hacking.

The business was set up by Steve Dagworth, another white-collar criminal who served half of his six-year sentence for running a £3 million Ponzi scheme. Between them they have an unrivalled sales pitch of horror stories of prison life enabling them to bring considerable added value to the firm.


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