Saturday, 11 December 2010

US Congress will not accept Hillary Clinton´s climate change cash pledge

Climate change cash payments pledged by the Obama administration in Copenhagen a year ago - or now in Cancún - will not be heeded by the new Rebublican majority in the US House of Representatives:

Hillary Clinton opened up the United States' checkbook last December in ice cold Copenhagen and pledged to help poor countries deal with global warming.
But now, the well is running dry.

The secretary of state's offer to spend tens of billions of dollars over the next several decades is being met with strong resistance back in Washington.
Republicans wielding power next year will have no appetite to spend discretionary money on climate-related issues, especially when they doubt the underlying science. And the demise of comprehensive climate legislation leaves the administration without the long-term funding stream it had envisioned using to cover much of its pledge.
Obama administration officials insist they are full-steam ahead with their pledge to help create a $30 billion short-term fund to help developing countries keep their forests standing, gain access to low-carbon energy technologies and adapt to rising seas, extreme weather and new crop patterns.

"They can make all the promises they want; they may have to find somewhere else to pay for it other than the Appropriations Committee," said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the spending subpanel that oversees the State Department's budget.
"They promised to pass a cap-and-trade bill and reminded us they wanted to give away $100 billion, and I said, 'From where?'" incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) told POLITICO.
Republican Sens. Jim Inhofe (Okla.), David Vitter (La.), John Barrasso (Wyo.) and George Voinovich (Ohio) urged Clinton last week to freeze all future spending requests related to international climate change finance programs and make no new commitments.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

This is China

The Chinese government show its true colours:

China today launched its most prolonged and severe crackdown on activists and dissidents in recent years ahead of tomorrow's Nobel peace prize ceremony honouring the jailed writer Liu Xiaobo.
Scores – perhaps hundreds – of people have been placed under house arrest or surveillance, had communications cut off and been forced to leave the capital or prevented from travelling abroad. While such tactics are common before important events such as political meetings, it is rare for pressure to last so long and be applied so extensively. Amnesty International said it believed more than 250 people are affected.
"The scale and intensity are unprecedented. It is an attempt to prevent any voice supporting this prize coming from China," Nicholas Bequelin, the Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, said.

Euro crisis hits the "heart of Europe"?

There are signs that Belgium could become the next country to suffer in the eurozone:

Jetzt wackelt auch noch das kleine Belgien

Hohes Pro-Kopf-Einkommen, solides Wachstum: Auf den ersten Blick geht es Belgien gut. Doch nun explodieren die Schulden – und die politischen Probleme sind riesig.

Es ist der dritthöchste Berg Europas – und steht ausgerechnet in Belgien. Das Land hat in der Finanzkrise viel Geld in sein Bankensystem gesteckt und dabei den dritthöchsten Schuldenberg in Europa aufgebaut. Und der macht die internationalen Investoren zunehmend nervös. So sehr, dass in der vergangenen Woche bereits das Gerücht die Runde machte, dass Belgien als nächstes Land um Hilfe aus dem EU-Rettungsschirm bitten könnte.

Here is some additional information on Belgium´s problems.

US - the new energy kingdom

The US is fast becoming the world´s new energy superpower :

With rising production from shale fields, the U.S. surpassed Russia last year to become the world’s largest supplier of natural gas. Shale now accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s natural gas production – up from 2 per cent in 1990. Chesapeake’s production from its next Texas project, expected by the end of 2012, will by itself supply the energy equivalent of 500,000 barrels of oil a day.
For new oil, the U.S. has the huge Green River play that overlaps Colorado and Utah, one of the largest shale oil fields in the world. The EIA reports that the country’s proven reserves of crude rose last year by 9 per cent to 22.3 billion barrels.
For natural gas, the U.S. has the four largest fields in the world: the Haynesville field in Louisiana (with production up by 77 per cent in 2009); the Fayetteville field in Arkansas and the Marcellus field in Pennsylvania (both with production up by 50 per cent); and the Barnett field in Texas and Oklahoma (with production up by double-digit increases). The EIA reports that proven U.S. reserves of natural gas increased last year by 11 per cent to 284 trillion cubic feet – the highest level since 1971.
Beyond shale oil and shale gas, there’s the awesome energy promise of methane hydrates, frozen crystals of water and gas that lie beneath the northern permafrost and beneath oceans floors around the world in quantities that boggle the imagination.

More on the US energy future here.

With all these energy resources available there is no need for any heavily taxpayer subsidized wind and solar power parks in the US.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

To Oppose Multiculturalism Is Not Racism!

The eminent philosopher Roger Scruton has written an article about multiculturalism, that should be read by all politically correct politicians in Europe (especially in Sweden):

Throughout my adult life governments around the Western world have been propagating the gospel of multiculturalism, which tells us that immigrants, from whatever part of the world and whatever way of life, are a welcome part of our "multicultural" society. Differences of language, religion, custom, and attachment don't matter, they have reassured us, since all can form part of the colorful tapestry of the modern state. Anybody who publicly disagreed with that claim invited the attentions of the thought police, always ready with the charge of racism, and never so scrupulous as to think it a sin to destroy the career of someone, provided he was white, indigenous, and male. To be quite honest, living through this period of organized mendacity has been one of the least agreeable ordeals that we conservatives have had to undergo. Keeping your head down is bad enough; but filling your head with official lies means sacrificing thought as well as freedom.
But now, quite suddenly, the oppression has ceased. Even Angelika Merkel, chancellor of a country whose reputation for political correctness is more carefully nurtured than any other cultural asset, has just told us that multiculturalism is dead -- quite dead. President Sarkozy has for some time been saying the same, while Prospect, Britain's leading left-wing intellectual monthly, currently carries the caption "re-thinking race: has multiculturalism had its day?"

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The euro was from the beginning also a political project

The eurosceptic former Thatcher cabinet member, Lord Tebbit notes in his column that it was quite clear that the euro was also a political project that would lead to a political union:

Writing in the Financial Times of January 4th, 1993 Chancellor Kohl was perfectly clear.  Having described the Maastricht Treaty as ‘an interim step, albeit an important one on the road to European Union,’ he continued,  ‘The parts of the treaty dealing with political union are just as important as those concerning economic and monetary union.  Everyone in Europe must realise that we can preserve all our economic achievements only if we also secure them politically.  An economic union will survive only if it is based on a political union.’
At the press conference following Central Bank Council Session of the Bundesbank on 20th April, 1995, the Bundesbank’s president, Dr. Hans Tietmeyer, observed that ‘a currency union is in the long term an irrevocable community of solidarity.  Every experience shows that it needs a continuing commitment in the form of a comprehensive political union for its survival. By 1999 Chancellor Schroder was even clearer when he spoke at The Hague on 19th January: ‘The introduction of the euro is probably the most important integrating step since the beginning of the unification process.  It is certain that the times of individual national efforts regarding employment policies, social and tax policies are definitely over.’ ‘The internal market and the common currency demand joint co-ordinating action.  This will require to bury finally some erroneous ideas of national sovereignty.’

Here is Tebbit´s take on  why the the euro plan was launched ins spite of the knowledge that it would probably lead to a crisis:

If it was so obvious that without enforced convergence by the establishment of political union and a single euro treasury with tax powers it would be in danger of failure, why did the creation of the euro go ahead? The answer, I fear, is that the elite of Brussels saw it as a way of enforcing economic and political union. They knew the crisis would come and they intended to use it to grab power from the member states.  Instead of resisting such a plan, our political leaders here (and some elsewhere) put their fingers in their ears, closed their eyes and buried their heads in the sand.  They must have, or ought to have, known that the leaders of the euro project saw it as a way of enforcing fiscal and political union, that is the creation of the European Republic. They must have, or ought to have, known that a crisis would arise for the euro which would lead either to its collapse or to the ceding to Brussels of economic and tax powers.

Who are not attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony?

The list of countries which do not send a representative to this week´s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo makes interesting reading:

China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq , Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco.

Many of the countries on the list are not known for promoting free speech and treating dissidents decently.

But, what is even more interesting to note, is that the UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay has chosen not to attend - or even send a representative. A representative for this year´s prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, had this to say:

In a statement released to the press, Yang Jianli, a Chinese dissident who represents Liu before the Nobel committee, accused the U.N. officials of neglecting their duties. "Ms. Pillay's decision is a clear and unequivocal abdication of her responsibilities as high commissioner, which I believe resulted from direct pressure from the Chinese government," Yang said. "It is especially concerning because it occurs in the wake of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's refusal to raise Dr. Liu's case when he met with Chinese President Hu Jintao shortly Dr. Liu was announced as the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate."

Not very brave, dear UN representatives!

Monday, 6 December 2010

A majority of Germans prefer the return of the D-mark

In Germany the goverment parties are getting nervous because of growing scepticism towards the euro. A clear majority of Germans would prefer a return to the old D-Mark. And a new euro-critical book by former president of the Federation of German Industries, Hans-Olaf Henkel (see also previous post) has further increased tension among mainstream politicians.

Henkels Buch ist ein Symptom. Es erscheint im Gefolge des Bestsellers von Ex-Banker Thilo Sarrazin über den Sozialstaat Deutschland. Es ist Ausdruck von Angst und Sehnsucht der Deutschen. Angst vor der Zukunft und Sehnsucht nach der scheinbar geordneten Welt, in der noch die D-Mark Sicherheit schuf. 57 Prozent der Bürger hätten der neuesten ARD-Umfrage zufolge die frühere deutsche Hartwährung am liebsten noch immer. 66 Prozent befürchten, der Euro würde in Zukunft weniger wert sein.,1518,733115,00.html

The downfall of the euro - not a catastrophy?

The former president of the Federation of German Industry, Hans-Olaf Henkel, does not think that the downfall of the present euro-cooperation will have catastrophic consequenses. Henkel is very critical of the euro bailouts:

Wenn wir eins aus der jetzigen Krise gelernt haben, dann dies, dass es schier unmöglich ist, politisch und wirtschaftlich unterschiedliche Nationen unter das Joch einer einheitlichen Währung zu zwingen. Bei uns in Europa hat der „Norden“ nun einmal eine andere Einstellung zu Inflation, Abwertung und allgemeiner Haushaltsdisziplin als der „Süden“, der sich beim Geldausgeben und -abwerten immer einfallsreich erwiesen hat. Beide Modelle waren vor der Einführung des Euro auf ihre Art erfolgreich – warum sollten sie es nach der Trennung nicht wieder sein? Nur, um diese höchst unterschiedlichen Blöcke zusammenzuhalten, werden immer neue Löcher gestopft, ohne die mindeste Gewähr, dass es sich nicht längst um ein Fass ohne Boden handelt.

A sad consequence of Wikileaks

It is sad that some of the ablest US diplomats will have to be removed due to the leaks:

"We're going to have to pull out some of our best people – the diplomats who best represented the United States and were the most thoughtful in their analysis – because they dared to report back the truth about the nations in which they serve."

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Last Mexican Wave of climate alarmism

Christopher Booker has en excellent piece in the Telegraph:


Cancun climate conference: the warmists' last Mexican wave

What we are seeing here is one of the greatest collective flights from reality in the history of the human race. As western Europe shivers to a halt and our energy bills soar through the roof, the time has come when we should all start to get seriously angry with our politicians for being carried away by all this claptrap.
Why, for instance, when our public debt is still rising by £3 billion a week, do we allow our Government to ring-fence £2.9 billion of our money to help the developing world to build useless wind turbines and solar panels?
Why do we tolerate a Parliament which blithely commits us to spending £18.3 billion every year for 40 years under the Climate Change Act, without having the faintest idea how we are going to keep our lights on?
The global warming scare may have been fun for the children while it lasted. But the time has come for the joke to be declared well and truly over.

The same kind of questions could and should be asked in most other EU countries.