Friday, 24 June 2011

British company expects to begin pumping shale gas in Poland within two years.

The shale gas revolution in Poland is progressing fast. A British company, co-operating with US energy giant ConocoPhillips expects to start pumping Polish shale gas within two years:

The prospects for shale natural gas production in Poland took a positive step this week when a British firm said it completed the country's first horizontal gas well.
Peter Clutterbuck, chief executive of 3Legs Resources, announced Tuesday the horizontal well at Lebien -- believed to be the first in Poland's Baltic Basin shale gas field -- was drilled and cased at a depth of 13,385 feet in the "organic-rich lower Paleozoic shales."
The effort, Clutterbuck said in a company release, "encountered high gas saturations throughout the horizontal section" and will be followed by a "stimulation program" and further tests in the third quarter.
The development of horizontal drilling has been a key in tapping the potential of "unconventional gas" as a viable power source. Once drilled, the wells need to be "stimulated" to produce gas by fracturing the dense shale deposits, usually accomplished by pumping in a water-sand mixture.
"We are very encouraged by the excellent gas shows encountered while drilling this horizontal well and we look forward to the results of the well stimulation and test program later this year," Clutterbuck said.
3Legs, which is working with U.S. energy giant ConocoPhillips to cover the costs of its Baltic Basin exploration program, conducted a $101 million initial public offering this month on London's Alternative Investment Market. Its pitch was its access to 1 million acres of prime shale gas land in northern Poland.
Clutterbuck has said he expects to be able begin pumping such gas within two years.
The fact his company was able to quickly raise that amount of cash in a generally lackluster IPO market indicates investors are excited about the viability of European unconventional gas production.

Read the entire article here


The Poles, who are soon about to take over the EU Presidency are now in a unique situation to promote their own - and the entire EU´s - energy interests by pushing hard in favour of shale gas. They must not let the climate-industrial lobby, working together with Russia´s Gazprom and a number of enviro-fundamentalist NGO´s, destroy the the best thing that has happened in the European energy sector since oil drilling began in the North Sea.

Fighting climate change in Scotland

The Scots are famous for their frugality. However, that may not be true anymore. Otherwise it is difficult to understand why the Scottish taxpayers have been paying  £ 50.000 to the 1100 strong Edinburgh Hindu community to find out the carbon footprint of each member of the community.

The Edinburgh University based Carbon Masters consultancy carried out the study, the main findings of which are these:

The report revealed that the highest contributor to emissions was energy consumption, which accounted for 40% of each individual’s carbon footprint, transport and flights and food were both responsible for 24%, followed by consumables (8%), and leisure activities (4%).
Several cultural factors were evident in the Hindu community’s carbon footprint. A major contributor to high-energy use was the large number of bright, white lightbulbs popular in Hindu homes. The bulbs are not commonly available in the UK and most are bought in India where they are cheaper.

Food buying habits peculiar to the community also contributed. Most people buy fresh indigenous produce from local Asian stores rather than homegrown produce from supermarkets. A high number of international flights, most to India, but also to Africa, the Middle East and America had the effect of raising the community’s carbon footprint significantly.

These findings must have taken everyone with surprise. Who could have guessed that the Hindus in Edinburgh buy cheap light bulbs, shop Indian produce in Asian stores and visit their relatives and friends in India and elsewhere?

The next step "will be to focus on challenging people to change their lifestyle". So, no more cheap Indian light bulbs, no fresh Indian produce and no flights to India for the soon to be re-educated Hindu community in Edinburgh.

Kevin Houston, the chief of Carbon Masters, is excited:
“The carbon footprint report provides a baseline indication of the Edinburgh Hindu community’s emissions which demonstrates, clearly, the main areas that need attention.
“This is a great example of a community taking responsibility for helping to reduce climate change and a precedent for others throughout Scotland and the UK to follow.”

Read the entire article here

No wonder that Mr. Houston is smiling - after all, his consultancy must have pocketed the major share of the £50,000 so generously provided by the Scottish taxpayers. And now he is looking forward to many more similar payments. All in the name of fighting the non-existent problem of human-induced global warming.

Here is one more reason why Mr. Houston and the climate alarmists at his university are smiling:

A University building, close to the Scottish Parliament, is to be refurbished to house the ECCC (Edinburgh Center on Climate Change)

"The £10 million refit, scheduled to open in 2012, will deliver a forum for collaboration and the development of professional skills on all matters related to climate change.
Award-winning Malcolm Fraser Architects has been appointed to design the facility".

As can be seen,  no ordinary building is good enough for the University of Edinburgh climate change alarmists. Of course, saving Scotland and the world from (bogus) catastrophic human-induced climate change requires a world class working environment, courtesy of the Scottish taxpayers. (If you look close enough at the video, you will notice that the University of Edinburgh warmists even are going to be able to watch fellow warmist BBC on a huge flat screen in the cafeteria!)

And all this at a time when the reality for ordinary Scots looks somewhat different:

POVERTY campaigners have made an urgent call for more government support for poor families after a “shocking” new study showed their day-to-day living costs have risen 50% faster than richer households since the recession struck.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Both the EU and the US are in a terrible state - but "who will save them"?

" It is hard to think of a time when both the U.S. and the E.U., the two biggest players in the international economy, were in such miserable shape"

The editor of the German weekly Die Zeit, Josef  Joffe, describes the economic mess in which both the US and the EU find themselves right now. This is what he thinks about the current euro crisis:

 As many economists cried out in the run-up to the euro 15 years ago, in monetary policy, one size won’t fit all—certainly not a bunch of diverging economies untrammeled by common governance. And, indeed, the euro, instead of forcing member states into fiscal convergence, has only accentuated the bad habits of the PIIGS. These countries had always lived beyond their means. With the euro, however, they could suddenly spend like Italians, but borrow like Germans, at low rates. Bond spreads converged between the spendthrifts and the tightwads, but not basic policies. Indeed, cheap money encouraged even more profligacy—worst of all in Greece (which also managed to cheat on its financial statistics before and after entering the euro). 

This is where we are now: With Greek two-year bonds fetching almost 30 percent, the markets are growling that Hellas is doomed. Both Merkel and Sarkozy dread the looming default as “Lehman squared“—and so, by the way, does Washington. So, too, does the IMF, which wants to withhold a critical $12 billion pay-out to the Greeks unless the E.U. swears a holy oath on bailing out Athens, come what may.

Europe will inevitably buy time by handing over a few more slices of bail-out money to Greece, even though, one day, the country will default. With 50 cents of the euro, it will halve its debt as well as its repayments and thus buy more time. The E.U., meanwhile, still won’t have any idea where it’s going or how to handle the crisis long-term. But what else is new? Twenty-seven governments do not a “more perfect union” make. Certainly not when the natural leader, which is Germany by dint of wealth and weight, sounds such an uncertain trumpet as it has under Chancellor Merkel. Yet what, exactly, is she supposed to do when the chickens of an ill-designed monetary union have finally come home to roost? Neither she nor Sarkozy can undo the mismanagement of the PIIGS in one fell swoop.

Meanwhile, back to the United States—to its still-sinking dollar and rising unemployment. It is hard to think of a time when both the U.S. and the E.U., the two biggest players in the international economy, were in such miserable shape. We are talking about two giants with a total of 50 percent of global GDP. Who will save them?

Read the entire article in the New Republic here


Joffe´s questions is, of course, rethorical, at least with regard to the EU. What he means, is that the political leaders do not have a clue about how to get out of the mess that they themselves and their immediate predecessors have created. The European house of cards is inevitably beginning to crumble. Merkel, Sarkozy and the others are scared stiff. - their cosy club is not anymore what it used to be. That´s why they are warning about a coming chaos and catastrophy. And the other day, the Fed´s Ben Bernanke joined the doomsday chorus:

Ben Bernanke, the US Federal Reserve chief, reminded them that "a failure to resolve that situation (in Greece) would pose threats" to the entire European and global financial system.

The truth is, that a breakdown of the present euro system is not going to be the kind of catastrophic event that the politicians are talking about. On the contrary, it will lead to a smaller, much better functioning euro group - or whatever you would like to call it - or even to the return of  the German D-Mark. Of course, there will be a lot of problems and difficulties in the beginning, but the end result will without doubt be much better than the present unstable system. And a scaling down of the present, badly working European Union in general, would probably be a welcome added bonus.

The fact of the matter is, that politicians, pundits and other "experts" always tell us that a breakdown of any major system, country or institution, will have unheard of, catastrophic consequenses. You may e.g. remember the doomsday scenarios about what would happen, if the Soviet Union were to crumble. The experts where wrong then - and they are wrong now.

Union of Concerned Scientists: Win a (high carbon footprint) trip to Brazil!

Public interest in global warming is on the wane in the US and in most other western countries. That is why climate alarmist organizations now are desperately trying to sell their doomsday messages by using "innovative" methods, particularly targeting young people.

The latest - probably very costly - propaganda effort was recently introduced by the Union of Concerned Scientist: "The Climate Hot Map Scavenger Hunt":

From catastrophic flooding to airplane delays, from itchier poison ivy to food and water shortages, global warming is already having an impact on your life and the world around you. Embark on our Climate Hot Map Scavenger Hunt to explore the places (or "hot spots") where scientists have gathered evidence of climate change. Not only will you virtually travel the world, but you could win a trip for two to help find answers to the challenges of climate change in the Rio Cachoeira Natural Reserve in Brazil!

One wonders why the Concerned Scientists are not at all concerned about the the carbon footprint created by the trips to the Rio Cachoeira Natural Reserve in Brazil? If the scientists were really serious about global warming, they certainly would not actively want to contribute to make it worse, would they?

Here are just a few examples of the dubious "facts" on offer in the climate propaganda hot map:

Cities in the Netherlands and throughout Europe suffered through an unprecedented and deadly heat wave in the summer of 2003. Unless we make deep and swift cuts in our global warming emissions, a similar heat wave could hit Europe every other year by the end of this century, on average. Here, Amsterdam residents take a break from the scorching heat.

New York City's location on the Atlantic Ocean -- at the mouth of the Harlem River, and in a tidal strait connecting upper New York Harbor to Long Island Sound -- has served its growth as a global center of commerce and culture. Now, sea-level rise caused by global warming threatens the Big Apple's future.
Rising sea levels and ocean temperatures caused by global warming threaten the people, economy, and very existence of Kiribati, a low-lying island nation composed of coral atolls in the tropical Pacific.
Syracuse, NY, is already one of the snowiest cities in the United States, and is paradoxically becoming snowier due to global warming (specifically because of warmer surface waters and decreased ice cover on the Great Lakes). Increasingly heavy snowfalls in Syracuse could disrupt transportation and commerce throughout central New York State.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

"The end of green ideology"

"Within this new geopolitical framework, green ideology will survive like a cult or a recipe for economic suicide"

In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, western media have been full of articles about the growing influence of the "green" parties and NGOs - particularly in Germany. However, it is not at all likely that the present temporary success of the greenies will last for very long. On the contrary, the renowned French economist, philosopher and author Guy Sorman thinks that the shale gas revolution and small nuclear power plants will change the overall situation in favour of the western democratic countries and lead to the end of the green ideology:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government was the first to overreact by deciding to close down all nuclear reactors in the coming years – a radical move driven by domestic politics. Merkel's government does not include Germany's Greens, but the Green ideology has become a widely shared national creed in Germany. Indeed, one can relate popular hostility toward nuclear energy to Germany's traditional romantic cult of nature, not to science.

Germany's nuclear plants will be replaced by more thermal plants, implying a large increase in German carbon emissions – so much for Green concern with global warming! And so much for intellectual honesty, because a Germany without nuclear power of its own will be compelled to buy it from France, which has no intention of closing its nuclear plants.
In the US, the ideological aftershock is closer to Germany's than to France's: the US may not be overly prone to romanticism, but a cult of nature remains part of the American psyche. This may go some way toward explaining why the Democrats, who control the presidency and the Senate, are so committed to so-called alternative energies.
President Barack Obama's administration has thrown billions of dollars at wind, solar, ethanol, and other alternative-energy resources. Now the Fukushima tragedy is being used to justify continuing these economically dubious programs. We can bet that none of these alternative energies will easily replace oil, gas, and nuclear power in the foreseeable future.
At market prices, without public subsidies, a unit of energy produced by solar or wind in the US costs five times more than a unit produced by oil, gas, or nuclear plants. Moreover, supporters of alternative energies systematically downplay their negative environmental impact. A wind turbine requires 50 tons of steel and half a square mile of ground space. If California were to rely on solar power for its electricity consumption, the entire state would have to be covered with photovoltaic cells.
The great irony of the current situation is that real innovation and entrepreneurial activity, without government support, is taking place in the field of energy generation, such as in the creation of miniaturized nuclear reactors. The most promising breakthrough may well be the discovery of huge reserves of shale gas all over the planet.
Indeed, thanks to the new techniques in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, shale gas may well become the dominant energy resource of the future. Shale gas could thus reduce dependency on OPEC oil and gas while reducing carbon emission. Gas generates ten times less carbon than biomass or ethanol, which ecologists so heavily promote.
Beyond Fukushima, future energy supplies will most likely rely more and more on miniaturized nuclear plants and shale gas – a mix capable of responding to a rapidly urbanizing world population's growing demand for electricity.
Such a renewed energy balance would impact the current global balance of power. Shale gas is abundant in Europe and North America, in contrast to oil and gas. Thus, the energy of tomorrow could well reinforce the world's democracies and weaken its most repressive regimes, where most oil is to be found nowadays. Within this new geopolitical framework, green ideology will survive like a cult or a recipe for economic suicide.

Read the entire article here


It is interesting to note, that you can read professor Sorman´s outstanding article in the China Daily, not in any of the major English language western newspapers. No, a sober, realistic and positive analysis like this, is not welcome in the politically correct mainstream media, which are more than happy to publish every piece of rubbish, written by ignorant enviro-fundamentalist scaremongerers. 

The end of the green ideology will, as an added bonus, also lead to the end of the global warming religion. One must only hope that this happens sooner rather than later, in order to avoid the wasting of the huge sums of money that many of the present western governments now are planning to use in order to fight imaginary human-induced warming.     

EU Brussels trade union leader: "Our national leaders are imbeciles"

Carpenito: "Our national leaders are imbeciles"

Austerity packages, including major pay and staff cuts, are being adopted everywhere in the EU member countries. In view of these radical measures, it is only natural that member countries also would like to see some cuts in the overblown 50.000 person EU bureaucracy.

As a response, the  European Commissíon is, according to the EU Observer, proposing to cut five percent of the jobs in the EU institutions for the next seven year budget, in line with austerity measures in member states.

The Brussels trade union´s reply was to be expected. This is how Mr. Renzo Carpenito, a high representative of the EU trade union, reacted to the plan:

"Our national leaders are imbeciles. There are about eight northern countries pushing for cuts, the UK, Denmark, Holland, Finland. What they don't say is that out of the EU's €142 billion annual budget, we [staff] do not even represent five percent, and that includes the cost of [EU] buildings.


Does anybody believe that a leader of  a trade union in any of the member countries could keep his job after calling his country´s prime minister an "imbecile"? Probably not even in Mr. Carpenito´s home country, Italy. This again shows the enormous arrogance - on all levels - of the EU bureaucracy. It is to be hoped that the UK, Denmark, Holland and Finland will demand much higher staff reductions - including shutting down of  a number of totally useles EU institutions. There is no reason whatsoever why this army of arrogant eurocrats should be excluded from severe austerity measures!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

European Parliament: "big, corrupt and unaccountable bureacracy"

The Wall Street Journal is taking a look at corruption in the European Parliament and the parliament´s efforts to prevent the publishing of a crucial report about corrupted MEPs:

Rumors of European Union expense abuse have been circulating since 2008, when news of a damning internal audit surfaced in the Daily Telegraph. The so-called Galvin Report, named after its author, European Parliament internal auditor Robert Galvin, was part of a 2006 annual internal audit. In 2008, Irish lawyer and activist Ciarán Toland applied for the report to be released on the basis of an European law that allows public access to parliamentary documents. Brussels refused.

Little wonder. The few details disclosed in February 2008 led to an internal investigation of MEP policy. Later that year, the European Parliament released a statement that no individual cases of fraud have been revealed, though today more than 10 MEPs are under investigation for their abuses of allowances. Some members, such as Britain's Chris Davies, wanted a public hearing.

Instead, the European Parliament suppressed the report and cut MEPs' allowances for travel and constituency offices, while limiting their monthly salary to €7,957 ($11,355) a month, which had previously been directly correlated with the salaries of MPs in their home country. Despite these efforts, Mr. Davies noted in 2009 that many of Mr. Galvin's suggestions had not been implemented.

Last week the Sunday Times of London published more of the documents. It turns out Mr. Galvin's audit discovered how some MEPs claimed well over one million euros each in what were supposed to be business and staff expenses during their terms. Some MEPs granted themselves bonuses 150% greater than their base salary, diverted money to front companies and had roughly €180,000 in staff allowances without receipts. In sum, more than €100 million was not properly accounted for.


Mr. Toland is now back on the hunt. He brought the European Parliament to high court this year, arguing that, since it is a democratic institution, citizens have the right to see the Galvin Report. He also noted, rightly, that only transparency can help improve the institution. Sweden, Finland and Denmark are backing him.
But the EU continues to stonewall. Parliamentary lawyers responded in court this year that releasing the documents would "derail" MEP decision-making (though much of the content has already been leaked over the Internet). The EU's highest court, the European Court of Justice, found that the Parliament acted unlawfully in denying Mr. Toland's request. The Parliament has until June 22 to appeal, and Mr. Toland has re-applied for an official release of the Galvin Report.
The European Parliament was supposed to be a great exercise in transnational democracy. At the current rate, it's looking more like one more big, corrupt and unaccountable bureaucracy.

Read the entire article here


Yet another example of the sad state of the European Parliament. What an enormous waste of taxpayers´ money this bogus body is! No wonder, most people never bother to show up at EU "elections".

Europe as a whole - not only the eurozone - needs a Plan B

German Der Spiegel tells the truth about the euro crisis:

The euro is becoming an ever greater threat to Europe's common future. The currency union chains together economies that are simply incompatible. Politicians approve one bailout package after the other and, in doing so, have set down a dangerous path that could burden Europeans for generations to come and set the EU back by decades.

In the past 14 months, politicians in the euro-zone nations have adopted one bailout package after the next, convening for hectic summit meetings, wrangling over lazy compromises and building up risks of gigantic dimensions.

For just as long, they have been avoiding an important conclusion, namely that things cannot continue this way. The old euro no longer exists in its intended form, and the European Monetary Union isn't working. We need a Plan B.

Instead, those in responsible positions are getting bogged down in crisis management, as they seek to placate the public and sugarcoat the problems. They say that there is only a government debt crisis in a few euro countries but no euro crisis, citing as evidence the fact that the value of the European common currency has remained relatively stable against other currencies like the dollar.

But if it wasn't for the euro, Greece's debt crisis would be an isolated problem -- one that was tough for the country, but easy for Europe to bear. It is only because Greece is part of the euro zone that Athens' debts are a problem for all of its partners -- and pose a threat to the common currency.
The euro's founding fathers did not anticipate such a crisis, and thus did not include any provisions for it in the European Monetary Union's set of regulations. The euro welds together strong and weak countries, for better or for worse. There is no emergency exit, and there are no rules to follow in an emergency -- only the hope that everything will turn out well in the end. This is why the crises of a few euro countries are a crisis for the euro, as well as a crisis for the European Union, its governments and its institutions. And this is why the euro crisis has suddenly and expectedly mushroomed into a crisis for the political Project Europe, its future and its cohesion.

Read the entire article here


The Spiegel journalists are spot on in their description of the euro crisis, but they seem to think that it would be a major problem if the "Project Europe" fails. This is not at all the case. It is becoming more and more clear that the entire "project" is as badly designed as the monetary union. The euro crisis is in reality only a reflection of the collapse of the entire EU in its present form. Europe really needs a Plan B - perhaps something along these lines.

Free microblogs threaten communist party rule in China

Opposition against the rule of the Communist Party in China is growing thanks to new social media, particularly microblogging, the Wall Street Journal reports:

Indications are emerging that dissenting voices are gaining traction in the public square. For instance, ordinary Chinese are running for election in local legislative bodies that are usually rubber-stamp bodies filled with reliable worthies chosen by the Party.

A similar trend briefly emerged in the early 2000s, but the authorities were largely able to intimidate or co-opt the challengers. This time crude measures are only encouraging more candidates to emerge. As in the Middle East, young, white-collar urbanites angry about corruption, inflation and poor governance are less cowed by threats.

Another difference is that the candidates are gaining such a large following that detaining them risks causing a wider societal backlash. The rise of social media is a contributing factor. When the major Web portals sprang to prominence a decade ago, authorities hired tens of thousands of censors and commenters to control the debate, with some success.
Now microblogging sites such as Sina Weibo are further speeding up communication, allowing celebrity "thought leaders" to broadcast their ideas to tens of millions before the censors can respond. As of March last year, Sina's service had only five million users. In the first quarter of 2011, the number passed 140 million and is still climbing.
The government has blocked Western sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and the Chinese equivalents maintain in-house censorship operations that obey government orders on what must be taken down. But the instantaneous nature of microblogging combined with user ingenuity in substituting alternative words for blocked phrases makes it more difficult to control.

One of the first independent candidates was Liu Ping, a laid-off worker who announced her candidacy in April. Jiangxi province officials harassed her and refused to allow her to run. That inspired others around the country, including a popular blogger with three million Weibo followers, to throw their hats into the ring.

Read the entire WSJ article here

The Economist also has an interesting article on the same theme:

Now, despite a sweeping crackdown on dissent this year involving the arrest of dozens of activists, the party is finding it harder to impose silence. A surge in online social networking has enabled citizens to connect instantly with vast numbers of like-minded people. Intellectuals and journalists with high profiles online are among those who have declared their candidacies. Li Chengpeng, an author and social critic in Sichuan province, has more than 3m followers of his Sina Weibo account. In a message posted on June 15th Mr Li wrote that a policeman had said he would vote for him, with many fellow officers wanting to follow suit.
The emergence of these candidates has coincided with a spate of local disturbances in different parts of the country. They make the party, which is preparing to celebrate its 90th birthday on July 1st, all the more anxious. In Zengcheng, a town in Guangdong province that manufactures jeans, thousands of police appear to have quelled days of rioting which broke out on June 10th after an altercation between security guards and a migrant street vendor. This came after rioting in Lichuan in Hubei province over the death in police custody of a local legislator and anti-corruption campaigner. In late May a man with grievances against the government in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province, blew up himself and two others, prompting an outpouring of sympathy on the internet. Xu Chunliu, a self-proclaimed candidate in Beijing, who has 12,000-plus Sina Weibo followers, says such incidents have encouraged some to venture into politics. Better, he says, to battle it out in parliament than on the streets

Read the entire Economist article here


The Chinese government is trying to counteract the dissenting microbloggers by introducing its own microblogs, with the Foreign Ministry leading the way, reports the official news agency Xinhua. However, even if these government blogs may get some attention, they will not be able to compete against microblogs offering real information, instead of government propaganda. The success of the first free social media, may very well be a sign of the beginning of the end of one party rule in China.

Monday, 20 June 2011

The world´s first Reaganites

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."

Ronald Reagan´s views about government are still very much to the point, and perhaps even more so than during his own time. There seems to be a tendency towards ever growing government bureacracy in the world in general, and in Europe in particular. The "ever closer integration" has lead to a huge unelected bureaucracy, effectively taking the command in the European Union. Formally the heads of state or the ministers of the member states are still supposed to make the most important decisions, but because there can be no real discussion between 27 - and soon probably more - disparate members, the unelected bureaucrats - the eurocrats - have in reality usurped much of the power that is supposed to belong to the states.

The political leaders are all aware of the bureaucrats´ power grab, but they do not want to admit it in order not to appear weak or dumb, in front of the voters and even their colleagues. Thus, what we have in Brussels, is a mega version of "Yes, Minister", the classical British television series, which so well described the realities behind the scenes.

One can only hope that there will be more Ronald Reagans in the future, both in Europe and elsewhere - politicans who are not afraid to challenge the seemingly ever growing bureacracy, even if it means real decentralisation and a smaller role for politicians and parties in general.

It is quite possible to create extremely succesful communities with much less government control - and even without any central control at all. Ask the ants, who have managed to do it with great succes for millions of years:

Ant colonies operate without central control; there is no one in charge and no ant directs the behavior of others. Colonies perform many tasks including foraging, nest construction, and care of the young. Task allocation is the process that adjusts the numbers of workers performing each task, according to the current situation.

The quote is from the introduction to this fascinating lecture given by Dr. Deborah Gordon, one of the leading authorities on ant behaviour in the world:


Maybe the secret behind the success of ants is that they have intuitively understood the truth in the two Reagan quotes above.  They have also managed to adapt to much worse global warming than even the worst IPCC scaremongers are trying to peddle. 

For a look at the life of a live ant colony at work, check out  this site at the University of Turku in Finland. (During the night hours, they seem to put out the light)
Recommended viewing for all the world´s politicians and bureacrats, particularly the members of the European Commission!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Some facts about renewable energy

                          A not very successful Danish wind turbine

Now that it has become clear the IPPC´s claims about the future role of renewable energy was written by a Greenpeace activist and a renewable energy industry lobbyist, it is perhaps useful to take a look at some real facts about renewables. Peter Glover and Michael Economides have published an excellent fact sheet in the Energy Tribune. Here are some of their findings:

Sir Martin Holdgate, former chairman of the British Renewable Energy Advisory Group, sums up the contribution of wind farms thus, “The trouble with wind farms, they have a large spatial footprint for a piddling little bit of electricity. You would need 800 turbines to replace the output of a coal-fired power station.”

Confirming that fossil fuels, not renewables, will continue to be our main source of energy for decades to come, science writer Dr Matt Ridley, states: “We would have to build 100 times as many wind farms as we have today in order to get even 10 percent of our energy from wind. And we’d soon run out of locations to put them.”

Dr Howard Hayden, professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Connecticut, puts the total dependence of renewables in perspective: “With the right subsidies, wind could become a viable energy source. And, with the right subsidies, gasoline could be made free, and 2-carat diamonds could be given away in cereal boxes. How is it that wind, with a 4,000-year head start, is such a small player in the energy scene? Could it be – just possibly – that the answer has something to do with the physics instead of economics and politics?”

Internationally-recognized energy and climate expert, Dr Richard Courtney, makes the case more graphically. “The New Age dream of a world operated by wind farms will remain a dream because the laws of physics do not allow it in an industrialized world. If wind power were economic then oil tankers would be sailing ships.”

Dale Allen Pfeiffer, writing about photovoltaics, does the math to defeat the solar science fiction too:
“The U.S. would require 17 percent of the planet’s entire surface area, or 59 percent of the land surface to produce solar energy to replace its current daily oil consumption.”

Read the entire article here


The writers also note German chancellor Angela Merkel´s flip flopping on energy policy during recent years. Recently her government published a "road map for the energy revolution" that among other things includes the phasing out of the country´s nuclear energy plants. Leading industrialists have criticisised the unrealistic roadmap, which will lead to a dangerous dependence on Russian energy deliveries and nuclear energy import from France. It appears that Ms. Merkel has based her calculations on the same math that she used already in 2007:

In 2007 the European Investment Bank calculated it would cost the EU 1.1 trillion euros over the next 14 years to pay for its Renewable Energy Roadmap to be implemented. The entire EU budget at that time was 100 billion euros. Asked who would pay for it, then EU president Angela Merkel, in a moment of unreserved honesty, responded, "With the best will in the world, I can't tell you that." Taxpayers beware politicians who haven’t done the math.

Ecologist Dr John Etherington’s pre-emptive epitaph for renewables as “the minting of money for the undeserving, aided and abetted by the uneducated” may be rhetoric, but it’s also reality. As we have quoted elsewhere, “He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense”.

In politics, as in life, it has always been thus

Greenpeace fake "interviewer" calls Barbie "a serial killer"


The enviro-fundamentalist Greenpeace apparently does not shy away from anything, while peddling its alarmist propaganda. Now it is using the toy icon Barbie in its baseless campaign against the Barbie manufacturer Mattel Inc., the Asian pulp and paper company APP and the Indonesian government.

Greenpeace has put together the animated video shown above where Ken finds out that Barbie in reality is a crazy woman who hates rainforests and cute tigers. And the fake interviewer even calls her a "serial killer".  The organization has also launched a Facebook campaign to support its attack against the "offenders".

Mattel, which first tried to counteract the false Greenpeace claims, now seems to have caved in, reports The Blaze:

But that only lasted so long. The latest news is that Mattel has capitulated and caved, suspending its relations with APP

The Asia Pulp & Paper company strongly denies Greenpeace`s accusations, and also - quite rightly - questions the way the organization uses children in its campaign:

"We believe it’s irresponsible to play on the emotions of children and their parents to rehash old,
discredited allegations in order to attack the industry of a developing nation."

But it looks like the Asian company´s voice of sanity is drowning in Greenpeace´s  large scale and costly propaganda war. However, in the name of fairness, the American (and global) public should have a chance to hear what the "offender" is saying:

Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP) meets the legal requirements for all countries to which we
distribute our products throughout the world. Additionally we follow the legal guidelines of the
Government of Indonesia. It is our responsibility to adhere strictly with these laws, not to satisfy the
unreasonable and groundless demands of a foreign-based NGO.
Greenpeace’s allegation that it found mixed tropical hardwood fibers in some products that we
might have produced is meaningless. Indonesia’s pulpwood land concessions, legally provided by the
Government of Indonesia, include some degraded forests, which are required by law to be
developed into plantations. Rather than burn the wood residues, increase carbon emissions or
create disease outbreaks in the forests, the government requires that they be used to produce paper
pulp. Despite this, as publicly stated, we have set the goal of 100% sustainable plantation pulpwood
by 2015. There is absolutely no illegal wood tolerated, nor is high conservation forest (HCV)
harvested for pulpwood production.
Regarding carton box packaging, the specific target of the Greenpeace report, we are proud to clarify
that our packaging materials contain more than 95% of recycled paper sourced from around the
world, making APP a leader in Indonesia in recycled paper production.
We call on Greenpeace to do the responsible thing and share with the public the detailed scientific
analysis and independent result on which it bases its allegations. If the group has identified any
specific illegal fiber in the products it analyzed, we want to know what it is because of our zero
tolerance for illegal wood.
We believe it’s irresponsible to play on the emotions of children and their parents to rehash old,
discredited allegations in order to attack the industry of a developing nation. You can learn more on
our perspectives about this issue and join the discussion at