My son has a football (soccer) shirt that has Standard Chartered emblazoned on it. Standard Chartered was one of the most stable British-listed banks during the financial crisis. They also seemed to be paragons of corporate virtue in the messy world of British banks. Not any longer! Yesterday, US regulators claimed that Standard Chartered have for a decade or more run a 'rogue' unit that schemed with Iran's government to hide £160bn in illegal transactions (click here for BBC coverage). Its shares at one stage today were down 25%. Michael White has an interesting piece over at the Guardian on this story.
The Berkeley Earth Project , an independent study of global warming, has found that the earth has become a degree warmer over the past half century. However, the statistical uncertainty surrounding pre-1920 estimates makes it very hard to say much about long-term trends - click here for graph . This is one of my concerns with the global warming debate - we simply don't have trustworthy long-run data which looks at temperature changes over the last millennium (or two). My second concern with the global warming debate is that it is very hard to prove any sort of casual link between global warming and human activity. The scientists may be able to show correlation between global warming and our production of carbon dioxides etc., but correlation is not causation. My third concern with the debate is that those who are sceptical or agnostic are stereotyped as flat-earthers or intellectually-challenged crackpots. This only stifles debate and the progress of science itself.