Saturday, 30 April 2011

Monaco´s "green" prince Albert - climate change hypocrite of the year?

"We have to move away from a society that´s obsessed with consumption and consumerism. It has to be something else". "We cannot go on the way we are going"

Are these the words of  the notorious Stanford University doomsday prophet Paul Ehrlich, or perhaps climate alarmist, Nobel laureate Al Gore? They could be, but this is actually His Serene Highnesss Prince Albert II of Monaco lecturing us about how to live our lives in an interview with the EU sponsored Euronews:

"Green" prince Albert has probably observed a lot of consumtion and consumerism - particularly thanks to shady Russian billionaires and mafia people who have chosen to live in Monaco - in and around his palace and his money making machines, the casinos:

This week, a Russian sugar daddy with several female companions had breakfast at a restaurant, shelling out 110,000 euros and then giving a 10,000 tip.

An unfamiliar word, screamed out in a horrifying voice, attracted everyone’s attention at Casino SUN. Three-hundred thousand euros that an unknown Russian lost in one fell swoop enriched the Monegasques’ vocabulary with a Russian profanity. The loser walked out of the hall, while the game continued as usual.

The beach at the Beach Hotel is the best in Monaco: It is used by the prince himself. Yet even here everyone was stunned by the appearance of a boy of about 10 with a wad of pink 500-euro bills, saying: ”Dad gave it to me to celebrate my birthday!“

Last year, the yacht of a minor oil tycoon called at the Port d’Hercule. At midnight, its lights went up to the accompaniment of disco music. Before long, however, the yacht’s owner lost moorage rights and was told never to enter Monaco waters again. Well, you don’t argue with the prince.

Still, the more money they spend, the better
(for His Serene Highness. NNoN). Even the harsh traffic police try not to fine the drunk drivers of luxury cars when they leave casinos.

Monaco’s uncrowned king — Societe des Bains de Mer (SBM) which owns the country’s best hotels, casinos, and banks — has for the past one and a half centuries been managing its properties with an iron hand. Each SBM hotel, where prices start at $1,500 for a single room, has luxury suites at 2,000 to 7,000 euros a night during the high season.

 There are more car showrooms than groceries here. A Maybach or a Lamborghini here costs one-half of what it does, e.g. in France, where the luxury tax is charged. Motor vehicles parked outside the Grand Casino, built by the legendary Garnier and reminiscent of the Opera de Paris building, are not to be seen anywhere else. You cannot, however, drive to neighboring Nice in such a car, gold coast people complain: Its body will be scratched or its tires will be slashed there. You’ve got to live in Monaco: It has everything — golf fields, tennis courts, sea baths, and spa salons. Russians in Monaco are clients who must not be humiliated by low prices, especially when comfort, heat and excitement are closely intertwined.

Yachts are another important prestige factor. There is a kind of tacit competition for yacht size. Every extra meter costs about 1 million. Yacht builders meet at Port d’Hercule every year, showing their products, striking deals, and taking orders.

Read the entire article here

Monaco is famous around the world for its image of a tax haven. In effect, the residents of the principality can enjoy no income tax, no tax on large fortunes, no local tax, no housing tax and no tax on property gains.
From the beginning, Monaco has known how to mix all the ingredients for an exceptional Jet Set lifestyle; perfect year round weather, safety, famous casinos, 5 stars palaces, world-known nightclubs and last but not least the name Monaco has become a brand in it self that exemplifies Jet Set.

Read the entire article here

And now we read that the (former?) playboy prince of the lilliput state is trying to polish his "green" image by letting us know that he will be driven to his wedding in June in a hybrid Lexus:

It may be the greenest royal wedding of the year, as Lexus Europe announced on Thursday that it has scored a major coup: His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco will use the hybrid Lexus LS 600h L for his July nuptials, marking the first time a European royal has selected a hybrid for a royal wedding.
Prince Albert will marry Charlene Wittstock on July 2. He is a high-profile advocate of green vehicles and has pushed Monaco to develop a mobility plan with lower environmental impact. Lexus issued a gushy press release, saying that the prince confirmed "his commitment for more environmentally friendly solutions," with the choice of the Lexus hybrid.

If prince Albert means what he says, he should start with making some more convincing changes than the choice of the Lexus luxury hybrid, or having the Formula 1 cars run on biofuel, which he has suggested. And installing a few solar panels on the roof of Villa Girasole is not enough, either.
While waiting for Albert to give proof of some real "green" credentials - like imposing a 40-50 % "green" tax for all the billionaires who have chosen to live or keep their megayachts in his tax haven - he remains the strongest candidate for our Climate Hypocrite of the Year award. 

PS 2
In the meantime the good prince also has to prove that these allegations are wrong.

Friday, 29 April 2011

The arrogance of Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker

Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker refuses to see "any real problems" in the negotiations for the Portuguese bail-out package - there is only a "Finnish problem". The arrogant Mr. Juncker follows the traditional EU line: If voters in one or several countries oppose what the "colleagues" in  Brussels have decided, the same "colleagues" will find a way to ignore them.

Eurozone leaders should be able to find a way for
Finland to sign onto a bailout program for Portugal by mid-May despite
an exceptionally strong showing in recent national elections by the
nationalist anti-bailout party, True Finns, Eurogroup Chairman
Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday.

“There are no real problems” in the negotiations for a Portuguese
package, Juncker told reporters
following a working lunch here with
France’s Prime Minister Francois Fillon. But there is a “Finnish
problem,” he noted.

That problem is the strong third-place showing of True Finns, which
has catapulted them into the likely position of governing jointly in a
coalition that will be led by the pro-Europe National Coalition party.
The True Finns campaigned against Finland’s contributions to the
European Financial Stability Facility and against its participation in a
Portuguese aid package. Now those views will have a strong voice in the
new government.

Negotiations to form a post-election government are taking place in
Helsinki this week.

Juncker said he had been in discussions with European Central Bank
President Jean-Claude Trichet, European Council President Van Rompuy and
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to find a “solution”
to the Finnish issue.

“I  continue to think that by mid-May we will find a way to permit
our Finnish friends to accompany the process in a constructive manner,”
he said.

Read the entire article here

Already on April 13 Juncker told the Finns to behave:

Finland’s next government will be bound by pledges made by the current government, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said.
“I want Finland to remain euro-pragmatic, euro-realistic, strictly and profoundly European,” Juncker, who heads the panel of euro finance chiefs, told reporters in Luxembourg yesterday.

It is, by the way, interesting to note that Juncker asks the Finns to be "euro-realistic". Does he mean that they should be like Czech pesident Václav Klaus, who likes to describe himself as a eurorealist? Probably - and regrettably - not, but it is an interesting choice of words.

Brainwashed indigenous people blame their problems on global warming

This video is another example of how the European Union climate alarmists use poor indigenous people to spread climate change propaganda. The method is rather simple and cynical: Find some representatives of indigenous people, who - quite rightly - have experienced all kinds of problems with regard to their traditional lifestyle. Then - most likely in the form of a project grant from the EU - tell them that all their problems are caused by human induced climate change/global warming. The last step is to write a script in which the poor people recite what they have been tought. After the "statements" have been recorded, the result is most likely something like this:

This is the offical caption to the propaganda video:

"Climate change is the ever growing reality faced by the inhabitants of the Arctic regions. They must adapt to the changing landscapes, increasing temperatures, disappearing species, new hunting techniques. In this video, several leaders of indigenous peoples' organizations, represented in the Arctic Council, share their thoughts and concerns about the changes in their lifestyles brought on by the changing climate."

At the same "project meetings" the EU bureaucrats most likely also teach the indigenous participants how to apply for EU climate change aid, which is generously on offer. No wonder that these people are easily converted to the climate change religion!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Putin´s German spy friend to join the board of state oil firm Rosneft

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Who is Mr. Putin to lecture anybody in the west about civilized behaviour?

This report is by the Russian propaganda channel Russia Today

The corrupted ruler of  Russia, Vladimir Putin has again been - this time in Copenhagen - lecturing the western countries about moral behaviour:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Western military efforts to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi are destroying the nation’s infrastructure and violate a United Nations mandate to protect civilians.
“Who decided they had the right to execute a man (Gaddafi), regardless of who he is?”

US Defense secretary Robert Gates, who has described Russia as an oligarchy run by the security services”.  of course rejected Putin´s dubious claim:

"We are not targeting him [Gaddafi] specifically." However command and control centres were legitimate targets, the US defence secretary clarified

Instead of just looking surprised, the host, Denmark´s Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen could replied with e.g. these words:

"Who are you, Mr. Putin, with blood on your hands, to lecture anybody anywhere about civilized behaviour. Your are directly or indirectly responsible for the murder of Anna Politkovskaya and hundreds - probably thousands - of other innocent Russian people. More than 300 journalists have beeen murdered in Russia since 1993. Your legacy is a massacre, the mothers of Beslan have testified. You most likely gave the OK to the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. Only a few months ago Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year anti-corruption lawyer was tortured and killed by your regime. The show trial and imprisonment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, orchestrated by you, is an outrage. Yet you have the effrontery to come to my country and lecture us about morals. You probably think that the Russian energy resources - which you and your friends have been  busy stealing from the Russian people -  are so important for us in the west that we will not react to your insults. But let me assure you that you are dead wrong! No gas and oil contracts in the world can make us forget the criminal acts of your corrupted mafia state. And thanks to the shale oil revolution, there will soon be even less need for your dirty energy deals. No, Mr. Putin, why don´t you return back to Moscow and start thinking about your personal future - which will not differ very much from the fate of other bloodthirsty dictators."   

Well, it is of course no surprise that Mr. Løkke did not reply to Putin in this way. No, Putin is - regrettably - still welcomed as an honoured guest in the west. In Copenhagen he was e.g. received by Queen Margrethe and in Sweden by king Carl XVI Gustaf. Energy deals are more important than human rights concerns in most western countries - also in Denmark and Sweden.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

China steps up its repression against dissent

Communist China is stepping up its country-wide crackdown on dissent. The regime is now tightening security throughout ethnic Tibetan areas following a crackdown on unrest around a monastery in the Sichuan province:

 The US-based International Campaign for Tibet said Saturday two people were beaten to death Thursday when they attempted to stop police from detaining hundreds of monks from the monastery.
More than 300 monks were also forcibly removed to undergo 'patriotic re-education' at an undisclosed location, activists said.
Villagers, most of them elderly, had attempted to protect the monks and tried to prevent police, soldiers and party officials from entering the monastery. According to the Free Tibet activist group, the villagers were forcibly removed.
One 60-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman died in the process. The causes of death could not be independently established so far.
According to Free Tibet director Stephanie Brigden, several of the younger protesters remain in detention, their fate unknown.
Tensions at the monastery have been running high since a young monk immolated himself on March 16 to protest government controls on Tibetan Buddhism.

Read the entire article here

Activists say video obtained by VOA of unrest at a Tibetan monastery where a monk burned himself to death refutes Chinese government claims that conditions at the facility are normal.

The video, which the rights group "International Campaign for Tibet" said was shot at great risk last month, shows Chinese security forces patrolling near the Kirti monastery, in an ethnically Tibetan area of China's Sichuan province. It also shows the young monk covered with burns and apparently in shock after self-immolating March 16 to protest China's policies on Tibet.

The entire article here

The corrupted, authoritarian leaders of China know that sooner or later they are going to be ousted from power. The popular upraisings in Northern Africa and the Middle East have reminded them of their ultimate fate. They may be able to suppress freedom and human rights for a while still, but change is on its way ....

Monday, 25 April 2011

"Never Right, But Never in Doubt": The sad story of Lester R. Brown

Brown has manipulated the data for twenty-five years to advance his overpopulation vs. food production claims.

Brown's forecasting record was a hundred percent wrong then and it is a hundred percent wrong now.
Professor Julian Simon, 1994

For over 40 years now, Lester R. Brown, the, has been the darling of leftist and liberal believers in a soon to come world population and food catastrophy. In spite of being wrong for all these years - "Never Right, But Never in Doubt, as Reason magazine´s science correspondent Ronald Bailey describes him - Brown is still allowed to regularly spread his doomsday propaganda in mainstream media. His latest scaremongering "analysis" is published in the Foreign Policy magazine:

The New Geopolitics of Food

THE DOUBLING OF WORLD grain prices since early 2007 has been driven primarily by two factors: accelerating growth in demand and the increasing difficulty of rapidly expanding production. The result is a world that looks strikingly different from the bountiful global grain economy of the last century. What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity? Even at this early stage, we can see at least the broad outlines of the emerging food economy.
On the demand side, farmers now face clear sources of increasing pressure. The first is population growth. Each year the world's farmers must feed 80 million additional people, nearly all of them in developing countries. The world's population has nearly doubled since 1970 and is headed toward 9 billion by midcentury. Some 3 billion people, meanwhile, are also trying to move up the food chain, consuming more meat, milk, and eggs. As more families in China and elsewhere enter the middle class, they expect to eat better. But as global consumption of grain-intensive livestock products climbs, so does the demand for the extra corn and soybeans needed to feed all that livestock. (Grain consumption per person in the United States, for example, is four times that in India, where little grain is converted into animal protein. For now.)
At the same time, the United States, which once was able to act as a global buffer of sorts against poor harvests elsewhere, is now converting massive quantities of grain into fuel for cars, even as world grain consumption, which is already up to roughly 2.2 billion metric tons per year, is growing at an accelerating rate. A decade ago, the growth in consumption was 20 million tons per year. More recently it has risen by 40 million tons every year. But the rate at which the United States is converting grain into ethanol has grown even faster. In 2010, the United States harvested nearly 400 million tons of grain, of which 126 million tons went to ethanol fuel distilleries (up from 16 million tons in 2000). This massive capacity to convert grain into fuel means that the price of grain is now tied to the price of oil. So if oil goes to $150 per barrel or more, the price of grain will follow it upward as it becomes ever more profitable to convert grain into oil substitutes. And it's not just a U.S. phenomenon: Brazil, which distills ethanol from sugar cane, ranks second in production after the United States, while the European Union's goal of getting 10 percent of its transport energy from renewables, mostly biofuels, by 2020 is also diverting land from food crops.
This is not merely a story about the booming demand for food. Everything from falling water tables to eroding soils and the consequences of global warming means that the world's food supply is unlikely to keep up with our collectively growing appetites. Take climate change: The rule of thumb among crop ecologists is that for every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature above the growing season optimum, farmers can expect a 10 percent decline in grain yields. This relationship was borne out all too dramatically during the 2010 heat wave in Russia, which reduced the country's grain harvest by nearly 40 percent.
 At issue now is whether the world can go beyond focusing on the symptoms of the deteriorating food situation and instead attack the underlying causes. If we cannot produce higher crop yields with less water and conserve fertile soils, many agricultural areas will cease to be viable. And this goes far beyond farmers. If we cannot move at wartime speed to stabilize the climate, we may not be able to avoid runaway food prices. If we cannot accelerate the shift to smaller families and stabilize the world population sooner rather than later, the ranks of the hungry will almost certainly continue to expand. The time to act is now -- before the food crisis of 2011 becomes the new normal.

Read the entire article here

Here is a "response" to Brown´s latest doomsday "forecast"  by two leading agricultural academics, Daryll E. Ray and Harwood D. Schaffer:

(Daryll E. Ray holds the Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, and is the Director of UT's Agricultural Policy Analysis Center (APAC). Harwood D. Schaffer is a Research Assistant Professor at APAC)

Current projections hold that the population of the world will increase from 6.9 billion in early 2011 to somewhere between 9.0 and 9.3 billion by 2050, an increase of over 30 percent. When that increase is coupled with increased prosperity in developing countries and the desire for a diet that includes more meat, it is projected that the production of agricultural crops will need to increase by 70 to 100 percent.
The question facing policy makers is what it takes to accomplish that amount of increase over the next 40 years. The multinationals that are engaged in seed research and sales argue that such an ambitious agenda will only be achieved if trade policies are liberalized and they are given free rein to sell their genetically modified seed everywhere. They also argue that farmers in the major grain exporting countries will be needed to feed the world.

Before moving forward, let us look at what has happened to grain production over the last 40 years. In 1970, the production of corn, milled rice, and wheat was 788 million tonnes. By 2010, the production of those three grains was 1.912 billion tonnes, an increase of 142 percent.
Looking at the grains individually, corn production increased from 268 million tonnes to 814 million tonnes, an increase of over 200 percent. The production of milled rice increased from 213 million tonnes in 1970 to 452 million tonnes in 2010 - an increase of over 110 percent. Wheat production, the largest of the three grains in 1970, was 307 million tonnes. By 2010, wheat production had increased by over 110 percent to 648 million tonnes.
For all three grains, the 40-year increase was over 140 percent. If you had asked most people in 1970 if they thought that production would more than double over the next 40 years, they probably would have said, "No." (Lester Brown would most certainly have said no! NNoN)
In the 1970s, it was expected that grain production in India would lag consumption and India would continue to be dependent upon imports. In 1970, India was a net importer of 3.2 million tonnes of the three grains, mostly wheat. By 2010, India was a net exporter of 4.8 million tonnes of the three grains. The 2010 exports were almost evenly divided between corn and milled rice.
In addition, soybean production was 42 million tonnes in 1970. By 2010, world production of soybeans had increased to 258 million tonnes - that's a whopping 513 percent increase. So, the two commodities that are most critical to meat production have seen dramatic increases the last 40 years.
Can farmers worldwide make the make the 70 to 100 percent production increases that are projected to be needed? If the last 40 years is any indicator, the answer is yes, though perhaps a guarded yes.

Read the entire article here

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The nightingale does not sing anymore - blame it on climate change!



It is sad if the song of the nightingale is in danger of disappearing. But it is also sad that the automatic reaction of the environmentalists is: blame it on human induced climate change/global warming.


"Spring may lose song of cuckoos, nightingales and turtle doves"

When I saw this headline in the Guardian today, my first reaction was a question: On which line does climate change appear in the article as the reason for the sad decline of these bird populations?

It turns out the "blame it on climate change" answer is to be found on line 27:

"Climate change is almost certainly involved as well. Our poblem is to unravel those different causes and assess how they interact."

And later in the text climate change is again highlighted:

There is almost certainly a significant problem caused by climate change. Migrant birds arrive and breed and then have chicks at times which are no longer synchronised with the best periods when food, such as insects, is available. Again this is likely to have a serious impact on population numbers.

Read the entire article here


To be fair, the article mentions also a number of other, most likely much more real reasons for the bird
decline. But the golden rule for modern day environmentalists is: Whatever the problem may be, you are always safe if you blame it on global warming. That will give you a lot of media attention and - what is even more important - easy access to reasearch funding from various government and other sources, not to mention the European Union.

Last hope for alarmists: "an extreme climatic event like a national draught"

An "extreme climatic event" William K. Reilly is looking forward to?

Climate change alarmists are getting desperate these days. Global warming has almost disappeared from the political agenda, and ordinary citizens have lost interest in the scaremongering propaganda offered by the warmists. The republican alarmist (yes there is one), former EPA chief William K. Reilly does not find many reasons for optimism, but in the interview published by German Der Spiegel he clings to one last hope:

"American politics can turn on a dime," he says. "If our economy woes become smaller and we then face an extreme climatic event like a national draught, things might change."

Read the entire interview here.

One wonders what kind of persons Reilly and his likes really are? To openly hope for a national disaster in order to promote (bogus) climate change policy is both immoral and contemptible.