Articles Tagged "Law/Policy"
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Monday, February 4th 2013, 5:58 AM EST
Click source to read FULL report from the BBC
Monday, January 21st 2013, 5:06 PM EST
ROME—The L'Aquila judge who last October sentenced seven scientists and engineers to six years in prison each for advice they gave ahead of a deadly 2009 earthquake explained his reasons for the manslaughter convictions on Friday. He said that the seven, at the time members of an official government body called the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, had analysed the risk of a major quake in a "superficial, approximate and generic" way and that they were willing participants in a "media operation" to reassure the public.
The seven were brought to trial in September 2011 for advice they gave in a meeting on 31 March 2009, six days before the earthquake, and a day after the latest, and strongest, in an ongoing series of tremors, known as a swarm, to strike the area around L'Aquila. They were accused by the public prosecutor of having caused some of the town's residents to change their behaviour and led them to stay indoors on the night of the quake instead of seeking shelter outside, as they were used to doing when tremors happened.
Following his conviction of the seven commission members on 22 October, Judge Marco Billi had 90 days to make public his reasoning, and in the event did so with just three days to spare. The 950-page document Billi released, known as the "motivazione", shows him to have largely accepted the prosecutors' argument. He explains that the trial was not against science but against seven individuals who failed to carry out their duty as laid down by the law. The scientists were not convicted for failing to predict an earthquake, something Billi says was impossible to do, but for their complete failure to properly analyse, and to explain, the threat posed by the swarm. Billi ruled that this failure led to the deaths of 29 of the 309 people killed in the quake and to the injuries of four others. "The deficient risk analysis was not limited to the omission of a single factor," he writes, "but to the underestimation of many risk indicators and the correlations between those indicators."
Thursday, December 27th 2012, 2:52 AM EST
Up to 70,000 British jobs are at risk as a direct result of European carbon reduction targets, according to a report.
The policies have pushed up the cost of energy, threatening the vital mineral industries which deal in materials such as cement, chemicals, glass, ceramics and steel, the study claims.
It says the aluminium industry has been ‘virtually eradicated’ after closures in Anglesey and Northumberland, and blames policies which penalise ‘energy-intensive’ industries for emitting too much carbon dioxide.
As a result, firms in such industries, which employ 70,000 people, could be driven abroad where there are less stringent targets, costing jobs on our shores with no overall environmental benefits.
Click source to read FULL report
Sunday, October 28th 2012, 8:59 AM EDT
Two days ago I picked up on what Graeme Archer at The Telegraph had to say about The L'Aquila earthquake trial, in as much, Graeme's essay stated that "The L'Aquila earthquake trial reminds us that scientific evidence shouldn't determine public policy".
Now the BBC have also joined in with a similar point of view with Charlotte Pritchard - "Should scientists stop giving advice?" All I can stress on these two essays is how far removed would it be for when the day comes, that the Met Office and other Institutions admit their failure to correctly correlate CO2 to Global Warming and also face crimminal action.
Just like scientists have at the L'Aquila earthquake trial, the Met Office and other Institutions have tried to achieve an impossible task as a result of Government Policy, rather then science....maybe that day is not far away!
L'Aquila ruling: Should scientists stop giving advice? by Charlotte Pritchard, BBC News
This week six scientists and one government official were sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter, for making "falsely reassuring" comments before the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake. But was this fair?
Friday, October 26th 2012, 1:23 PM EDT
I had to pinch myself over this story from Graeme Archer at The Telegraph.....The L'Aquila earthquake trial reminds us that scientific evidence shouldn't determine public policy!..Graeme have you not thought of another area this may apply?
The L'Aquila earthquake trial reminds us that scientific evidence shouldn't determine public policy! by Graeme Archer - The Telegraph
People find it hard to understand the nature of risk: discuss. A pertinent assertion, in the week that scientists have been found guilty in an Italian court for understating the likelihood of the L’Aquila earthquake. Moreover, the assertion is true, as can easily be demonstrated. Stand behind someone in the queue at WH Smiths while they purchase a lottery ticket, and watch the care with which they select “their” (irrelevant) numbers. Or travel across the Atlantic on a plane, sat beside me.
The former is less physically demanding, as I’m less likely to claw at your arm in terror during the purchase of a lottery ticket than I am while the plane bounces around in turbulence. There’s no point telling me that there’s a very low probability of falling from the sky in a ball of flame, that such disasters happen only rarely. I don’t care about “long-run” arguments: I care about this flight. If the probability of any event is non-zero – if there’s a finite chance that it will occur – then it will happen, at some point; and nothing in the construction of a long-run probability (in its English sense, or its precise mathematical expression) has anything useful to say about any particular instance of any particular flight.
Sunday, September 23rd 2012, 3:07 PM EDT
Even though neither U.S. presidential candidate is talking up man-made global warming behind the scenes courts are hard at work making laws based on controversial greenhouse gas science.
An undemocratic, largely unseen shift in American law is now taking place. You would never know it from the media facade but 2012 has witnessed an inexorable Big Green legal juggernaut driving across America. Judges not voters are at the wheel and by stealthy maneuvering we are being steamrollered by secret government diktat rather than electoral preference. It is happening away from the public political barometer because the mainstream media focuses voter minds on believing the race for the Whitehouse is all about the grassroots economy. With $3 billion per year in government climate funding up for grabs neither Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney nor Democrat President Barack Obama appear willing to debate the American courts’ back door imposition of new draconian climate laws. Left unchecked more democracies are headed for the abyss of unreasoned totalitarianism.
Voters don’t know it yet but our courts shifted gear to drive us all to accept – by imposition of law – the cornerstone of man-made global warming science: the greenhouse gas hypothesis. All this despite repeated concerns expressed by conscientious climatologists. For example, only last week another top climate scientist unswerved by government bribes (Dr. John Christy) gave evidence to the U.S. House Energy and Power Subcommittee declaring: “I’ve often stated that climate science is a ‘murky’ science. We do not have laboratory methods of testing our hypotheses as many other sciences do.”
Saturday, September 22nd 2012, 8:15 AM EDT
She also said the villagers lacked standing because they could not trace their injury directly to the companies.
CN) - Native Alaskans whose village is teetering on the edge of survival cannot use a federal public-nuisance law to nail energy giants on global warming, the 9th Circuit ruled Friday.
Kivalina is a tiny town on Alaska's northwest coast, located at the tip of a barrier reef some 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Most of the residents are self-governing Inupiat Native Alaskans.
With global warming shrinking the sea ice that once blocked seasonal coastal storms, unchecked waves have eroded the land beneath Kivalina in recent years. The village faces imminent relocation or destruction.
Thursday, August 23rd 2012, 6:38 AM EDT
One of the Government's most senior scientific advisors has said that efforts to stop a sharp rise in global temperatures were now unrealistic.
Professor Sir Robert Watson said that the hope of restricting the average temperature rise to 2C was "out the window".
He said that the rise could be as high as 5C - with dire conseqences.
Professor Watson added the Chancellor, George Osborne, should back efforts to cut the UK's CO2 emissions.
Updated below with BBC MUST SEE VIDEO LINK
Monday, August 6th 2012, 8:26 AM EDT
The 2°C guarantee should be dropped from the global climate change deal to allow for more flexibility and avoid deadlock, US Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern has said.
Speaking at Dartmouth College he said removing the 2°C specification from the agreement would allow countries to get on with actions to limit climate change now while leaving it open for further ambition at a later date.
“It is more important to start now with a regime that can get us going in the right direction and that is built in a way maximally conducive to raising ambition, spurring innovation and building political will,” he said adding that insisting on an agreement that would guarantee the 2°C limit would only lead to deadlock.
The 2°C target, which all countries signed up to at the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, follows from the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change looking at the impacts of climate change which surpasses this limit.
Click source to read FULL report
Monday, July 16th 2012, 4:06 AM EDT
A climate change group has taken the National Institute for Atmospheric and Water Research (NIWA) to court over what they say are inaccurate temperature recordings.
The New Zealand Climate Education Trust - a branch of the NZ Climate Science Coalition - are challenging NIWA figures which show a rise in temperatures in New Zealand of 1degC over the past 100 years.
This figure is significantly higher than global warming figures around the world and the trust is questioning how NIWA calculated the figures and whether they are accurate.
It believes there has either been no warming or a trivial warming of around 0.2degC.
The group's lawyer Terry Sissons told the High Court at Auckland today that NIWA could have obtained inaccurate New Zealand average temperatures due to 'sudden site relocations' and by regularly changing temperature gauging instruments.
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