Sunday, 17 August 2014

David J. Kramer is right: "The last thing we need is a renewed search for accommodation with Putin"

David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House, has written an excellent article about the dangerous dictator Vladimir Putin. Here are the last paragraphs of Kramer´s article:

Russia’s military doctrine from 2010 cites as Russia’s top “external military danger” the enlargement of NATO and its military infrastructure “closer to the borders of the Russian Federation.” The reality, of course, is that Russia’s most secure and stable borders are with those countries—Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Poland, Norway, and Finland—that are members of NATO and/or the European Union.
Citing this history is not to suggest that Putin is all rhetoric and no danger. On the contrary, a paranoid Putin is very dangerous for Russia’s neighbors and for internal critics. Just ask Georgia, which Russia invaded in 2008, or Estonia, the victim of a Russian cyberattack in 2007, or Moldova, which has endured trade cutoffs, or Ukraine today.
At the end of the day, Putin wants to destabilize Ukraine and other neighbors to make them unappealing to the West. Putin fabricates a threat to ethnic Russians in Ukraine to justify his invasion; the reality is there were no such threats, but more importantly he doesn’t give a damn about their welfare. After all, he doesn’t care about the rights of Russians living in his own country as evidenced by his nasty crackdown on human rights there and the import food ban. Whether Ukraine creates a federal model or some other form of governance is of no interest to Putin; fomenting chaos and separatism in Ukraine are his main objectives.
This is why calls by some commentators for Western leaders to “explore a quiet compromise” with Putin over the crisis in Ukraine and to “understand the Russian leader’s concerns, his demands, his ideas for possibly de-escalating the situation”are pointless, even counterproductive. Putin is not interested in de-escalating unless that would help him with his number one priority: staying in power.
Indeed, Putin is willing to do whatever it takes to stay in power, including, it appears, invading Ukraine under the phony pretext of a “humanitarian intervention.” Making matters worse, through his control over television programming, Putin’s propaganda has tapped into an increasingly ugly mood among Russians (see this “Bike Show” over the past weekend in Sevastopol) that will be hard to tamp down—and may even spin beyond Putin’s control. This makes Putin, and now even Russia, a serious threat. To deal with this challenge requires even tougher sanctions, including adding Putin himself to the sanctions list, and the provision of military assistance by which Ukraine and other neighbors—and not just NATO members—can defend themselves. The last thing we need is a renewed search for accommodation with Putin.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Wind farms require 700 times more land than fracking to produce the same amount of energy!

Fracking does not create this kind of landscapes ...

Fracking is clearly the better alternative when it comes to creating small intrusion on the landscape:

A wind farm requires 700 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a fracking site, according to analysis by the energy department’s recently-departed chief scientific advisor.
Prof David MacKay, who stood down from the Government role at the end of July, published analysis putting shale gas extraction “in perspective”, showing it was far less intrusive on the landscape than wind or solar energy.
His intervention was welcomed by fracking groups, who are battling to win public support amid claims from green groups and other critics that shale gas extraction will require the “industrialisation” of the countryside.
Hundreds of anti-fracking protesters on Thursday occupied a field near Blackpool neighbouring a proposed fracking site for energy firm Cuadrilla.
Prof MacKay said that a shale gas site uses less land and “creates the least visual intrusion”, compared with a wind farm or solar farm capable of producing the equivalent amount of energy over 25 years. --

Prof MacKay, who is Regius Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, said that a shale gas pad of 10 wells would require just 2 hectares of land and would be visible - due to an 85-foot-high drilling rig - from 77 hectares of surrounding area. However, the drilling rig would be in place for "only the first few years of operations".

By contrast, a wind farm capable of producing the same energy would span an area of 1,450 hectares, requiring 87 turbines each 328-foot tall.

Read the entire article here

 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Hillary Clinton is right when she distances herself from Obama´s foreign policy

Hillary Clinton is of course right:

Distancing herself from President Barack Obama's foreign policy, potential 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in an interview published on Sunday that the U.S. decision not to intervene early in the Syrian civil war was a "failure."

Republican critics and others have faulted Obama for doing too little to support Syrians who rose up against President Bashar al-Assad. Syria has been torn apart by a civil war for three years, with Assad staying in power and Islamic militants among the opposition gaining strength.
"The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad - there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle - the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled," Clinton said in an interview with The Atlantic.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

What made Obama say that "It´s not a new Cold War"?

One wonders why Barack Obama felt a need to say this:

"It's not a new Cold War," Obama told reporters. "What it is, is a very specific issue related to Russia's unwillingness to recognize that Ukraine can chart its own path."

So, everything is fine, except for "the specific issue" of Ukraine!?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

British ambassador to the United States (rightly) calls Putin a thug and a liar

Sir Peter Westmacott: This man is a thug and a liar


Kudos to Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the United States, who´s characterization of Vladimir Putin is spot on:

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, is a “thug” and a “liar”, one of Britain’s most senior ambassadors has said, as the EU prepares to approve tough new sanctions against Moscow.
Sir Peter Westmacott said the West’s increasingly firm response to Russia was beginning to have an impact on the Kremlin.
The British ambassador to the United States said Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine was starting to look like “the wrong call”.
 

The Church of Sweden has joined the International Church of Global Warming

 "The lifestyle of the industrialised world is untenable"  
  
The Church of Sweden


The bishops of the Church of Sweden have published a letter about climate change, which proves that this once venerable church is now a full member of the greenie leftist international Church of Global Warming.

Here are a few samples from the letter:

Climate change is probably the biggest common challenge

ever faced by humanity. The work to face this challenge must be

reflected in social development and make us reassess how we
think about lifestyle, welfare, sustainability and justice, for the

sake of creation, for the sake of life and for the sake of our

grandchildren and our grandchildren’s grandchildren. --


As long as the profitability of many companies

depends on fossil fuels, there will be considerable opposition to
 

change.28 For many years, what could be called the ‘fossil fuel

industrial complex’ has obstructed the development of renewable
energy sources and the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies. Solar

cell producers and other companies that have developed technologies

for the transition to a fossil free economy are still too weak
to seriously challenge those with interests in preserving the prevailing

system. --
 
 
 
 
 
Peace with the earth is increasingly becoming a precondition

of peace on earth. The role of oil in many of the world’s conflicts

has long been obvious. It is not yet equally clear whether these

conflicts will be enhanced by climate change, but competition
for limited resources such as water, agricultural land, air space

and ocean regions is already creating tension that may worsen as

the climate changes. A shortage of food and sustainable supply

potential is creating uncertainty and flows of refugees, and is

contributing to conflicts.

An awakening is required among the world’s decision makers.

They must realize that it is not possible to win a war against the

planet or to deny that the planet has limits. We must make peace

with the earth. For the sake of the poor and the vulnerable, for

the sake of future generations and for the integrity of creation.
 --

However,

we probably need to reconsider our consumption patterns more

fundamentally. Consumption of goods produces higher emissions

than consumption of services, and private consumption produces

higher emissions than public consumption. The knowledge that

public consumption largely consists of healthcare, education and

social services further emphasizes the fact that the balance between

goods and services needs to be highlighted.

We believe and hope that we can see new alliances between,

for example, scientific climate research, happiness and welfare

research and religion. The desire to make good change can be

enhanced if we can show how energy transition, sustainability

and welfare promote each other. If it is also possible to show

that a climate-friendly life is also a happier life, then we have

made a major advance and the willingness to give up old

patterns increases.
 
 
(Bolding by NNoN)



Monday, 28 July 2014

Europe finally gets tough with "erratically" behaving Putin?

Finally some good news from Europe:

After weeks of ignoring American demands to get tough with Moscow expectations are rapidly rising in Washington that Europe will agree a significant package of new sanctions as early as this Tuesday.
As recently as last Friday night, sources in Washington involved in tracking the negotiations were deeply pessimistic that a divided Europe could muster the collective political will to impose meaningful economic pain on Moscow.
However the mood in Europe is understood to have changed radically over the weekend after Mr Putin failed to return several phone calls from Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.
A separate western diplomatic source cited worrying Russian reports that Mr Putin was now behaving "erratically" in meetings and noted that he had failed to offer any last-minute concessions to mollify and divide Europe, as in the past.

The "erratic" dictator in is clearly in need of some kind of professional help. Hopefully there are some sane forces in Moscow who will be able to provide it ...

Meanwhile, there is an urgent need for tougher sanctions.