Saturday, 10 September 2011

Obama´s "austerity" program: A new $21 million climate change "embassy" in Papua New Guinea

We all know that the Obama administration is trying to improve the dismal US government finances through an austerity program. However, even when ordinary Americans are suffering, the president is wasting US taxpayers´ money on senseless climate change projects:

The top U.S. diplomat for East Asia and the Pacific, Kurt Campbell,
said despite enduring strategic and political interests in the region
dating from before World War II, Washington has reduced diplomatic
missions there and assistance over the past 20 years.

As part of efforts to reverse that trend as the Obama
administration steps up engagement across the Asia-Pacific,
the U.S.
Agency for International Development will open a regional office in
Papua New Guinea this year to administer a $21 million grant to help
islands cope with the effects of climate change.

Campbell described low-lying atolls in the Pacific as the "canary in
the coal mine" for climate change.

Read the entire article here

Or maybe the new "regional office" will use the money to cope with this "effect" of "climate change" ?:

"200 new species found in Papua New Guinea"

With the rate at which new species are being found and extinct species are being rediscovered and with unknown marine species being estimated to be between 1 and 10 million and micro-organism species thought to be in excess of one billion, I am beginning to wonder if humans are not soon going to be crowded off the planet.

From Reuters today: Some 200 news species of animals and plants, including an orange spider, a jabbing spiny-legged katydid (bush cricket) and a minute long-nosed frog, have been discovered in Papua New Guinea‘s remote jungle-clad mountains. A team of international scientists made the discoveries during a two-month expedition in the remote Nakanai and Muller mountains in 2009, Conservation International said on Wednesday. In the Nakanai mountains on New Britain island, the team found 24 new species of frogs, two new mammals, nine new species of plants, nearly 100 new insects including damselflies, katydids and ants, and approximately 100 new spiders.

New major American study: The US should not appease China by sacrificing Taiwan

A new study sends a clear message to president Obama: The US should sell Taiwan the F-16 fighters it has requested:

“However frightening or seductive China is, appeasing it by sacrificing Taiwan would not be good policy,” said Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, a professor at Georgetown University, and Bonnie Glaser, a senior fellow and China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Their joint paper, titled Should the United States Abandon Taiwan?, has just been published by the CSIS journal, the Washington Quarterly.
It comes as the administration of US President Barack Obama is nearing a decision on the sale of the fighters.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said that the decision will be announced by Oct. 1.
“The US should neither abandon nor reduce its commitments to Taiwan, but strengthen them,” the authors wrote.
“A decision to jettison Taiwan, or even cut back significantly on US support, would prove to an increasingly confident China that Washington has become weak, vacillating and unreliable,” they said.
At least in part, the study is in response to a growing chorus of critics in Washington who have called on the White House to stop supporting Taiwan to better promote relations with Beijing.
Abandoning Taiwan could simplify and improve US-China relations temporarily, but in the longer run Beijing would conclude that a weaker US, lacking vision and ambition, could be pressured and manipulated, they said.
“Both friends and rivals regionally and globally would decide that the US was not to be trusted,” they said.
Tucker and Glaser urged Obama to “stop equivocating” and move forward with arms sales now because “there will never be a good time.”
“Upgrading existing aircraft would be welcome, but Taiwan’s aging and shrinking air force also needs new planes. Were the US to wait and the F-16C/D production line to close, Taiwan would have no other source,” they said.

Read the entire article here

The entire study can be downloaded here

The CSIS study comes almost simultaneously with a Pentagon report outlining the risks of China´s expanding military:

The reach and capability of China’s navy and air force are expanding, posing a growing risk to security in Asia, military officials say.
A new aircraft carrier that began sea trials this summer and the public test flight in January of an advanced fighter jet designed to rival U.S. technology are just two examples of China’s growing military might, U.S. officials say.
China’s new focus on air, naval and missile capabilities reflects its desire for greater mobility to conduct operations at a greater distance from its mainland.
That’s according to a new 84-page Pentagon report outlining some of the latest intelligence on the Chinese military.

Read the entire article here


Economically the US is now weak, but that is not a good excuse for giving up its support for traditional allies like Taiwan in order to appease China´s authoritarian, communist leaders. Such an appeasement would perhaps appear to bring some short term benefits, but in the long term it would lead to a fatal loss of trust for US leadership all over the world.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Another environmental lecture from Prince Charles

Prince Charles continues his doomsday scaremongering. He demands that people should "change their lifestyles so they consume less petrol, food and other resources":

Mankind faces extinction, the Prince of Wales has warned, unless humans transform our lifestyles to stop mass consumption, run away climate change and destruction of wildlife
He referred to a “sustainability revolution” that would force people to change their lifestyles so they consume less petrol, food and other resources.
“History will not judge us by how much economic growth we achieve in the immediate years ahead, nor by how much we expand material consumption, but by the legacy for our grandchildren and their grandchildren,” he said. “We are consuming what is rightfully theirs by sacrificing long-term progress on the altar of immediate satisfaction. That is hardly responsible behaviour. There is an urgent need for all of us to concentrate our efforts on sustaining, nurturing and protecting the Earth’s natural capital and, moreover, reshaping our economic system so that Nature sits at the very heart of our thinking.”

Read the entire article here

Reality check 1:

Accounts released by the prince’s Clarence House office show that Charles spent £1.08 million (€1.2m) on air and rail travel in 2010-2011, a rise of 56% from the previous year.

Charles’s spending is spiralling out of control. Why on earth are taxpayers continuing to fund his lavish lifestyle when public services are being cut," Republic spokesman Graham Smith said.

Reality check 2:

Clarence House, the former London residence of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, is the Prince of Wales' current official residence. Previously, he resided in an apartment at St James's Palace. Charles also holds a private estate in Gloucestershire, Highgrove House, and one in Scotland, the Birkhall estate near Balmoral Castle and also previously owned by the Queen Mother. Upon the occasion of his marriage to Diana, Charles had reduced his voluntary tax contribution from the profits generated by the Duchy of Cornwall from 50% to 25%.
In 2007 the Prince purchased a 192–acre (150 acres of grazing and parkland, and 40 acres (160,000 m2) of woodland) property in Carmarthenshire, and applied for permission to convert the farm into a Welsh home for him and the Duchess of Cornwall, to be rented out as holiday flats when the royal couple is not in residence. Though neighbours said the proposed alterations flouted local planning regulations, the application was put on hold while a report was drafted on how the alterations would affect the local bat population. Charles and Camilla took residence at the new property, called Llwynywermod, in June 2008.
In 2006 the Prince bought a house in the village of Viscri in south-eastern Transylvania, one of the Saxon villages with fortified churches in Transylvania designated in 1993 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO; in 2008 he bought another house in the village of Valea Zălanului / Zalánpatak in the Székely Land region of Transylvania, a 16th century village probably founded by one of the Prince's Transylvanian ancestors. Both properties are rented out as guest houses when the Prince is not in residence


My free advice to His Royal Highness: Why not begin by changing your own lavish lifestyle? It might increase your credibility as an environmentalist.

This is not quite enough : 
Britain's Prince Charles has converted his 38-year-old Aston Martin to run on biofuel made from surplus wine, his office revealed Tuesday.

Dutch professor: "To assume we human beings have a golden key to keep the world at zero position, is arrogance"

Salomon Kroonenberg, professor of geology (ret.) at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands is worth listening to:

Kroonenberg argues that climate change has been happening since antiquity and humans are known to have survived "two ice ages, with bear skins and ice axes".
In 2008, Kroonenberg published an enlarged, revised edition of his book, which has since been translated in several languages, including a recent Chinese edition (Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House). In it he challenges Gore's "alarmist rhetoric".
"We're smart enough to evolve flexible solutions" to deal with a devastating deluge should the glaciers melt and inundate the earth, Kroonenberg suggests.
But more importantly, he insists that reducing carbon footprints would not necessarily make a difference to the future of the world.
Urging his audience to see things in terms of geological time, (10,000 years at a stretch), the geologist contends that we are, in fact, living at the peak of summer between ice ages, and, if the cyclical rhythm of climate change is anything to go by, we should be preparing for a "little ice age" like the one experienced between 1350 and 1800.
Often labeled a "climate skeptic" by the anti-CO2-emissions lobby, and criticized for his indifference to the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, in which parliaments of 55 countries decided to cut down on greenhouse emissions, Kroonenberg prefers to call himself a climate relativist. He doesn't consider CO2 emissions "an insurmountable problem" in the context of nature changing and adjusting itself as a continuous process.
"I don't deny climate has been warming and I also do not deny that humankind has emitted large quantities of CO2. I only challenge the importance of that for climate change.
"To assume we human beings have a golden key to keep the world at zero position, is arrogance," he adds.

Read the entire article here

Kroonenberg is spot on when he describes the arrogance of the warmist doomsday prophets. Fortunately, recent polls show that ordinary people are increasingly sharing his view. That´s why there is hope that decision makers and environmentalists before long will again begin to focus on fighting real pollution.

For those interested, here is a link to Dr. Kroonenberg´s home page.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Ban Ki-moon thinks Kiribati is sinking - Study says it is growing!

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:

Regarding climate change, he urged sceptics to visit the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, where rising sea levels are a very real threat.
The impoverished nation was facing a bill of $947 million just to protect infrastructure from the effects of climate change, and had yet to come up with viable ways to relocate some of the population.
Ki-moon added the country was running out of time and hoped Australia would lead the way "for your own good as well as well as that of the planet".

Read the entire article here


A new geological study has shown that many low-lying Pacific islands are growing, not sinking.
The islands of Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia are among those which have grown, because of coral debris and sediment.
One of the authors of the study, featured in the magazine the New Scientist, predicts that the islands will still be there in 100 years' time.

Read the entire article here

So, no need to make flight reservations to exotic Kiribati - although it would be nice to visit the island state and other Pacific islands now, when summer is over in Europe and the US (as the Secretary General is doing now). A little bit of reading, instead of  the constant traveling could do good for Ki-moon. That would also reduce his huge carbon footprint!  

Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer calls for a federal Europe

European concerns about sovereignty loss are "almost amusing"
Joschka Fischer

Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer (green party) called for a federal Europe at a gathering of federalists:

"We need to hand over some budget prerogatives to the EU ... we need similar pension ages ... we are going to have to draw all the threads together ... [and] future integration steps need a political Europe," he said.

Read the entire article here

What Fischer really wants, is a federal United States of Europe, led by its biggest and most powerful state, Germany. Even if many European political leaders admire the German economic success story, most of them - and their electorates - would probably not want to become citizens of Fischer´s new "green" German Europe.

Nord Stream pipeline launched - but its future does not look great

 Former KGB spy Vladimir Putin, former chancellor Gerhard Schröder and former Stasi agent Matthias Warnig smiling. (Schröder is Chairman of the Nord Stream AG Shareholders’ Committee and Warnig is Managing Director of Nord Stream AG.  Both men have  to thank their "friend" Putin for their lucrative jobs.

A former KGB spy, a former Stasi agent and a former German Chancellor were hand on former Finnish territory (The Finnish name of Portovaya is Satamalahti) in order to launch the Nord Stream pipeline, which will start pumping gas to Germany and a couple of other countries, next month.

Although the smiling Putin was bullish about future gas deliveries, the long term prospects for the Nord Stream are less than good. The combined effects of the shale gas and the LNG revolutions will before long seriously weaken Gazprom´s ability to dictate prices in Europe, as well as elsewhere.

Swiss USB bank scaremongering about euro breakup

The Swiss bank USB is scaremongering about the effects of a breakup of the euro zone:

A breakup of the euro zone would have grim, long-lasting social and political consequences that extend far beyond its economic costs--an ugly risk that is widely underestimated, according to UBS AG (UBS).
The Swiss bank warned that the economic cost of a breakup should in many ways be the least of investors' concerns.
"The economic costs of breaking up the euro are high, and extremely damaging. The political costs of breaking up the euro, even in part, are too great to quantify in bald cash terms," Stephane Deo, an economist at UBS, said in a note to clients Tuesday.
Following a breakup, euro countries would barely have a whisper on the world stage, Deo said. What is more, past instances of monetary union breakups tend to spark either an authoritarian response from the government or create social disorder and civil war.
While UBS isn't seriously suggesting that euro-zone states will inevitably descend into social chaos and civil war if the currency union were to break up, it warns that "monetary union breakup is not something that can be treated as a casual issues of exchange rate policy."
Sovereign default, corporate default, collapse of the banking system and international trade are just some of the problems a seceding peripheral euro-zone country would have to face, said UBS. That could entail an initial cost of around EUR9,500 to EUR11,500 per person in that country followed by an annual cost of EUR3,000 to EUR4,000 per person.
Even if a stronger country like Germany were to leave, UBS still thinks it is going to set every German back by about EUR6,000 to EUR8,000 in the first year and then around EUR3,500 to EUR4,500 per person in every year thereafter. A stronger euro-zone country wouldn't face sovereign default but it is still vulnerable to corporate default, recapitalization of the banking system and a collapse of international trade.

Read the entire article here

It appears clear that the USB´s Stephane Deo - who is speaking for the endangered banks - is clearly exaggerating the effects of a possible euro breakup. And in addition, nowhere does Deo seem to define what kind of breakup he(she?) is talking about. As there are many scenarios, it is rather populistic e.g. to talk about setting "every German back by about EUR6,000 to EUR8,00".

In this case, I prefer the opinion of the eminent economist/historian, professor Hans-Joachim Voth, who in a recent interview said:

I believe that the consequences of ending the euro have been overstated. Not every dumb economic idea needs to be defended to the bitter end. Europe is infinitely more than the European Union, and the European Union is infinitely more than the euro.

In addition, professor Voth (together with Dr. Jacopo Ponticelli) has a fresh paper out (Austerity and Anarchy: Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe, 1919-2009), which shows that austerity measures have tended to go hand in hand with politically motivated violence and social instability.
This is something we should really be worried about, as the EU leaders continue on the austerity track in dealing with the euro crisis.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

"Green jobs" - A total failure in Germany as well

Green jobs turning to Green Hell in Germany

News about the total failure of the "green energy jobs" ideology are coming in almost daily now. This report by Der Spiegel makes somber reading for the greenies, who have been touting the success of  "green jobs" in Germany:

Green energy used to be Germany's great hope for its economic future. But now the German solar industry is in trouble amid huge losses, job cuts and the threat of bankruptcies. Chinese firms are gaining an ever greater share of the German market -- and are benefitting from German subsidies for renewable energy.

The situation is desparate in town of Bitterfeld-Wolfen, once nicknamed the "German Solar valley":

One photovoltaic manufacturer after another located in the area. The clean, future-oriented industry generated jobs and income, employing as many as 10,000 people in its heyday.
But now Q-Cells is struggling to survive. The company made a heavy loss in the second quarter of 2011. It doesn't take a business degree to recognize the desperate situation in which the company, once the world's largest solar cell manufacturer, now finds itself.
Solar Valley threatens to turn into a vale of tears. Mayor Wust fears that her town is heading toward another historic watershed. This time the fates of 3,000 workers are at stake
The outlook has turned bleak for the entire solar industry. Companies that were the darlings of the stock market and the political world until recently are now experiencing a sharp downturn. Their share prices have plunged, as they downsize and write off millions in losses.

Only a few months ago leading German politicians were boasting that Germany´s manufacturers of renewable energy systems would be among the winners of the so-called energy revolution:

"Germany is the global market leader in the renewable energy sector," German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen recently crowed. "If we expand this position, it will enhance the competitiveness of our industry and our country." Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she anticipated "opportunities for exports, development, technology and jobs."
Now, of all times, the green industries of the future are faltering. The goal of developing a new leading industry with global aspirations has become a distant hope. German players play only a secondary role in global markets and are steadily losing market share -- despite being heavily subsidized. Or maybe the industry is ailing precisely because of the billions in government aid.
Hardly any other industrial sector has received such generous political support as the producers of green electricity, especially the solar industry.

The Chinese manufacturers are now cashing in:

Chinese competition is now more likely to benefit from the billions in feed-in tariffs in Germany than domestic producers. To a substantial degree, German electricity consumers are helping to fund the rise of Chinese solar producers. According to the Rhenish-Westphalian Institute for Economic Research, the average German household pays about €123 a year to subsidize green electricity.

Read the entire article here

And, as we reported earlier, the German (and other EU taxpayers) are now also asked to finance a huge solar power project in bankrupt Greece!

Finally proven: Humans behind decline of Greenland glacier

"Iluliaq Original Iceberg Water is the ideal water for distinctive gourmets and fine liquor amateurs. It will pair beautifully with the best wines too". 

Finally, there is definitive proof , (that even sceptics must accecpt) for the alarmists´ claims that Grenland glaciers are declining because of human activities. Trendhunter magazine reports:

You thought Evian was expensive, the Iluliaq Iceberg Water will make it look like a second rate brand.
According to the company, this water comes from the Sermeq Kujalleg glacier in Greenland. In other words, it’s pure, it’s icy, and it’s likely reserved for the rich and famous. This high-end drink is packaged in a crystal clear bottle that even comes with a glass cork. The Illuliaq Iceberg Water will set you back $50 so at that price it’s bound to be good… right?

More info from the producers:

It began as snow, falling from an ice age sky onto what is now the Greenland ice cap. There it remained preserved, untouched and pristine throughout the millennia. Located north of the Arctic Circle on the west coast of Greenland, the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier has been a protected site on UNESCO's (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List since 2004.


This human induced decline of the glaciers should be good news for the climate alarmists, too: The more you drink of this unique water, the less likely the catastrophic rise of  sea levels becomes.

The only problem is that the iceberg water is so damned expensive, that only Al Gore and a few of his friends can afford it. But this need not be a serious setback: The European Union could use a tiny part of its multi million euro climate aid package to subsidise the Illuliaq. Instead of wasting money on all kinds of  more or less useless climate projects, these subsidies would make the Greenland iceberg water availaible everywhere, even the "sinking" Maldives. Something for EU climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard to consider!

World leaders in New Zealand for climate talks (read: Rugby World Cup)

Ban Ki-moon: "In rugby, you lose teeth. In diplomacy, you lose face"

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, China's Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao ....

Why are these, and a great number of other international top leaders suddenly in Auckland, New Zealand?

Official reason: 
They are all participating in the Pacific Islands Forum in order to discuss climate change

Real reason:
New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said the forum's final day had been deliberately planned to coincide with the opening match of the Rugby World Cup as a way to attract more international guests to the Pacific summit.

"It was a conscious strategy to make this a magnet for big multilateral organisations whose presence could only enhance the standing of the forum but also provide practical support (read: money) for its initiatives," he told the NZ Herald.

Already on his arrival in Auckland, Ban Ki-moon showed his knowledge of rugby by giving the following unforgettable statement:

"In rugby, you lose teeth. In diplomacy, you lose face"

EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, who - like to other dignitaries - was welcomed by traditional songs and ukuleles, did not comment on the World Cup. But already before his arrival Barroso let it be known that his intention at the meeting is to announce even more "climate change" aid to the (not) "sinking" islands:

I will reemphasise the key role the EU intends to play as the region’s second largest donor to promote sustainable development and in helping to mitigate the impact of climate change in the region."

A radar for Europe needed

"Geophysicists, archaeologists and computer specialists have discovered a well-preserved Roman gladiator school just outside Vienna -- without even lifting a shovel. Instead of digging they used a special radar to map the site in stunning detail."
Der Spiegel

If only the same special radar could be used to locate some real political leadership in Brussels - and the capitals of the EU member countries!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Greece announces huge solar energy project - paid for by EU taxpayers

Is this the future for Greece - and the European Union?
Greece is de facto bankrupt, in spite of  the huge sums of money provided by the EU countries and others. Still, there seems to be no end to the enormous waste of  EU taxpayers´ money:

The Greek word for sun is the name of a proposal for a large scale solar project George Papaconstantinou, the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change of the Hellenic Republic introduced on the first day of the EU PVSEC 2011 in Hamburg.
Against the background of the massive public depth and the suffering economy in Greece, the initiative is seen as an opportunity to generate economic growth in the economically battered EU-country which enjoys about 300 days of sunshine per year. Supported by EU-funds to stabilize the Greek economy the country, the plan includes the installation of 3-10 GW of solar power in the country, covering an investment volume of roughly 20 billion Euros and the interconnection of mainland electricity grids with the multiple islands.
While Papaconstantinou admitted that the project will not be feasible without EU-support, he also pointed out that HELIOS offers the possibility for other EU-member states to fulfill their national renewable energy goals set by the European Commission in the so-called 20-20-20 plan. The regulations allow allows statistical transfers of energy (?), joint projects and joint support schemes, which all could be realized within HELIOS.

Read the entire article here

The Greeks have apparently not learned anything from the Spain´s solar and wind power policy failure:

Government support of renewable energy production does not provide long-term employment and in fact destroys jobs.
In the Spanish example, we found that each renewable job cost the Spanish taxpayer between $752,000 and $800,000. Even more troubling is the fact that diverting these critical resources cost the Spanish economy 2.2 jobs for every job created. Further, the jobs created in Spain were temporary — two-thirds of them were in installation.
All signs point to a fatally flawed idea. Developing these jobs on a reliable and consistent basis requires ever-more subsidies. It’s a never-ending cycle to keep a bubble inflated, which as Spain discovered costs billions in public funds. Even before Spain’s investment bubble began bursting, the massive investments in renewable energy companies were producing disappointing results.
What’s more, the subsidization of these inefficient sources of energy has led to significant economic hardship on the macro and micro levels. As of 2008, when our study was conducted, the Spanish government had committed approximately $36 billion to renewable energy subsidies; since then the resources committed have grown exponentially and are now well over $100 billion, an amount equivalent to more than 10% of Spanish GDP.

Read the entire article here

Or, more probably, the Greek government is well aware of these facts, but it does not care, because it is not their money, but the money provided by EU taxpayers, that is wasted. The time, when the German and other EU taxpayers will put a stop to the insane "renewable" energy/climate change policy both in Greece and elsewhere, cannot be too far away. Otherwise the entire European Union will go broke - and be transformed into a Green Hell.

Europe is burning - Top EU leaders busy promoting failed carbon price scheme in Australia

European stocks tumbled 4 per cent, with banks plumbing a more than two-year low, as worries about public deficits in Greece and Italy and a regional election rout for Germany's ruling party cast fresh doubt on the euro zone's ability to tackle its debt crisis.

Europe is burning, but that does not seem to bother the un-elected top eurocrats, who have their own strange priorities: Instead of dealing with the soon to explode crisis at home, EU Commission president Jose Manua Barroso and commissioner Connie Hedegaard are busy in Australia propping up PM Julia Gillard´s crumbling election campaign:

Joining Ms Gillard on a news briefing on Monday, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso urged the Australian government to continue what it has started on its planned carbon pricing scheme, which he said only highlighted the country's commitment as a responsible member of the international community.
"Australia's decision to put a price on carbon emissions is, in our view, an important step both environmentally and economically," Barroso was quoted by ABC as saying.
Also, EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard praised Ms Gillard for integrating her carbon pricing schemes with the basic dynamics of the market as she met with members of the Australian Parliament led by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.
"I can only say that our experience in Europe is to have a market-based system that works and we saw during the crisis when demand for allowances dropped, so also did the price," Hedegaard recalled in giving her approval to Ms Gillard's efforts to work her political solutions through existing local market conditions.

Read the entire article here


Barroso and Hedegaard should perhaps be a little bit careful when lauding the EU "carbon price system". The picture they paint of it has very little in common with reality:

Emissions trading scheme is a 'failure'
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is like a cargo ship stranded on a beach. Expected to play its vital part in an international carbon economy, it is grounded on the hard economic realities facing Europe. It sits there looking lonely and pointless thanks to the failure to secure an international deal. Instead of lucky locals picking over crates of consumer goods, there are big businesses and financiers making handsome profits at the expense of poor consumers. Instead of an insurer picking up the bill, families get higher electricity prices. Too many manufacturing workers play the role of the crew, and will be looking for a new job.
There is a lot of money in the ETS for special interests. ArcelorMittal has enjoyed €1bn worth of surplus allowances in the last two years as steel production has fallen in the recession. Energy companies have made billions in windfall profits as a result of getting valuable allowances for free.
Even criminals are making a fortune. Europol announced, in December 2009, that governments had lost €5bn to carousel fraudsters - using the ETS. And, more recently, the whole market had to be suspended for a while thanks to repeated thefts.
The price is paid by consumers – residential and business – stood at €15.6bn in 2010. For consumers, in the UK for example, the burden was about £75 a family. And that is just for a rotting failure of an ETS. At the medium term target price of £30, that cost would be more like £175 a family for the same emissions. The cost to families is tough enough. It hits the same poor and elderly families - who depend most on benefits and, therefore, makes it harder for governments to control public spending.

Read the entire article here

Monday, 5 September 2011

Reuters´ Chrystia Freeland and Perry´s "faith-based approach"

Chrystia Freeland, editor of Thomson Reuters Digital is doing her part in the Obama re-election campaign:

What does Obama really stand for?
To his critics on the right, the president is a socialist with dangerous foreign antecedents. To his critics on the left, he is a waffler with no real point of view and a craven desire to be liked.
Krueger’s nomination points to an entirely different explanation: The president is an empiricist. He wants to do what works, not what conforms to a particular ideology or what pleases a particular constituency. His core belief is a belief in facts.

Freeland then goes on to compare the great scientific "empiricist" Obama with the Rick Perry and other Republican candidates with a "faith-based approach" (read: Christian anti-science simpletons):

But as the presidential campaign begins to heat up, starting with the Republican primary race, the empirical worldview that Obama embodies is taking a beating. The candidates who have made the strongest start are those with a proudly faith-based approach. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released this week, Governor Rick Perry of Texas is the Republican front-runner. He spoke at a Christian religious rally on the eve of entering the primary contest last month and has questioned the science of evolution and climate change.
The Republican Party has its own evidence-based candidates, and they are struggling to respond to the faith-based worldview that Perry so powerfully embodies. One of them, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., is playing up his credentials as the right’s empiricist. He has said he thinks climate change is a fact and warned Republicans against becoming the “anti-science party.”
Mitt Romney, who was the front-runner before Perry blazed onto the scene, has been more ambivalent. Romney’s business background puts him squarely in the camp of the empiricists: it is hard to make millions in private equity without appreciating the power of data. But Romney knows who votes in Republican primaries, and last week he hedged his previously explicit position on climate change.

Read the entire blog post here

There is something almost sinister in the way Freeland and other Obama supporters are trying to portrait Christians who - together with thousands of scientists - are critical of the science of human induced global warming, as being anti-science. But expect more if it, when the election campaign intensifies. 

Whether we will hear more about the great scientific "empiricist" Obama, remains to be seen. So far, it is rather difficult to find proof for Freeland´s claim that "His core belief is a belief in facts."

An affluenct Californian lady they all are chasing

What do Greenpeace, Al Gore, ObamaWWF, the Democrats and the marketeers of luxury products have in common? Answer: they are all doing their best to empty the purse of this person:

An affluent Californian (preferably from San Francisco) lady, who believes that human caused global warming is real and happening, supports and votes democrat, drives a Prius and spends thousands of dollars on "green" luxury products and services.

Here is some background information about this "Super Green" lady:

An analysis of eight years of data from Gallup's annual environmental poll found that greater numbers of women tend to believe the body of science on climate change and be concerned about how warming will affect the planet.

Read the entire article here

 Today, the consumer looking to go green is increasingly likely to be an affluent professional woman wearing an eco-friendly and animal-free Stella McCartney suit and satin shoes. And if you want her dollars and her loyalty, you need to pay attention to the priorities she finds important when making her selection of luxury goods and services.

Read the entire article here

"In all of the green issues that Unity Marketing studied, women popped as being much more concerned than men. This is an important signal for luxury marketers to sit up and take notice, as women are often the major shoppers for a family, making the primary decisions about the products and services the family will purchase. For luxury consumers, an increasing number are looking to a company's environmental practices before making a purchase."

Read the entire article here

The New York-based consumer lifestyle market research firm defines the Super Green sector as adults who engage in more than 10 environment-friendly activities regularly, such as recycling, using rechargeable batteries or re-using grocery store bags.
The Super Green accounts for five percent of the entire U.S. adult population, and are mostly found in the northwest portion of the country.
San Francisco, the most sustainable city in the world according to a study commissioned by Siemens Corporation, has the most number of “Super Greenies.” At least 17 percent of San Francisco adults engage in 10 or more eco-friendly activities on a regular basis.
As to their spending habits, the Super Green sector are more likely than the average adult to spend upwards of $500 yearly on products like cosmetics, clothing, and fine jewelry. They are 49 percent more likely to buy a luxury vehicle in the coming year, and 77 percent more likely to spend upwards of $45 thousand on new car purchases in the household.

On voting patterns, almost half (42 percent) of the Super Greens are Democrats, while an additional 20 percent declare themselves as independents with Democrat-leanings. Republicans and independents with Republican leanings account for a combined 16 percent, or less than one fifth of the sector.

Read the entire article here

There are thousands of  academic studies related to (bogus) global warming/climate change. However, it is apparent that one important study is missing: Shouldn´t somebody try to find out why women - particularly affluent women - are more easily than men ready to accept the global warming hoax?

Knowing the realities of the politically correct, alarmist academic establishment, such a study is not very likely to appear. Therefore one can only speculate about the reasons for womens´credulity.

Women are often perceived to be more soft and caring than men, which often is a good thing - but not always. There is a danger that this soft and emphatic side in women also makes them more inclined to believe in all kinds of snake oil sellers (including the global warming doomsday scaremongerers). The Super Green ladies are thus an easy prey for Greenpeace, Gore and the rest.

Thank God, that the Queen of Denmark is not one of them!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

German professor on the euro: "a bad solution for a nonexistent problem"

The eminent German economic historian Hans-Joachim Voth (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) has specialized in financial markets, long-run economic growth, as well as political risk and macroeconomic instability. That is why his views on the current euro crisis are of particular interest:

SPIEGEL: Why can't the euro survive?
Voth: Even bad economic arrangements can be kept going for a long time. But the real questions are: Whom does that help? How long can one stand the pain? And what's the use? The euro can technically survive, but so can the never-ending attacks on the bond markets that are increasing the pain. But that just exacerbates the fundamental problem: that the main shock absorber has fallen away in the countries with very rigid labor markets …
SPIEGEL: … because these countries can no longer manipulate the values of their currencies to meet their individual needs.
Voth: Before, if Spain had gotten stuck in the kinds of difficulties it has today -- unit labor costs are too high, growth is too low, and there is enormous unemployment -- the peseta would have simply been devalued by 20 percent. In those days, Spain only had to change a single price -- that of its currency -- in order to make itself competitive again, and the market would generally help out as well. Cars could keep on being built in Pamplona and Seville. Houses on the Costa Brava were still affordable. There were no forced wage cuts in Spain, and prices remained stable. That's it.
SPIEGEL: Why do you think the euro was a dumb idea?
Voth: Because, at its core, it is a bad solution for a nonexistent problem -- a political object of prestige with massive economic disadvantages. Everyone thought the common currency would cause all of the structural differences in the euro-zone countries to automatically disappear. But, after 2000, the low interest rates in the euro zone artificially fuelled growth in the weaker countries and caused real estate prices to skyrocket. This kind of speculative bubble is fun while it lasts. But every party comes to an end eventually. And then comes the rude awakening: Growth slows down, and unemployment rises. Since the banks have given out too many loans, they become a brake on growth. This causes an increase in the structural divergences that were actually supposed to decrease. The euro can't survive for long without having much more redistribution between richer and poorer member countries or much more flexible economies. And neither of those things is politically feasible.
SPIEGEL: Wouldn't abandoning the common currency sound the death knell for the entire EU project?
Voth: I believe that the consequences of ending the euro have been overstated. Not every dumb economic idea needs to be defended to the bitter end. Europe is infinitely more than the European Union, and the European Union is infinitely more than the euro.
SPIEGEL: You give the euro another five years -- what will Europe look like then, in your opinion?

Voth: I can imagine a world where there will a left-over euro: with France, Italy, the Mediterranean countries, perhaps Belgium as well. Apart from that the old Deutschmark zone will return, comprising Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, perhaps Denmark as well, perhaps Finland, which have no problems conducting the same monetary policy as Germany. We had a similar system during the European Exchange Rate Mechanism ERM. That was the optimal system, and then we gave it up for the euro.

Read the entire interview here


It is not difficult to agree with what professor Voth says. Sooner or later, the European political leaders - if not the current, less than brilliant ones, then the next generation - will make the same conclusions. Let´s hope it will be sooner rather than later.

Game over for the IPCC? - Railway engineer Pachauri now building a canal in India

Railway engineer Pachauri is now helping to build a canal

We all know that IPCC chairman R.K. Pachauri does not have a degree in anything close to climate science - he is a railway engineer. But now it turns out that Pachauri is also an expert on shipping and the construction of canals:

An expert team, led by Dr R K Pachauri, Chairman of Inter-governmental Panel on climate Change, has visited costal Dhanushkodi and neighbouring areas to analyse the possibility of finding an alternative site for Sethusamudhram Shipping Canal Project.
Officials said the team after visiting the area yesterday, also interacted with Coast Guard officials at Mandapam.
The panel was formed following the direction from the Supreme Court to find a solution to the problem.
The sources said one proposal suggested was digging part of land near Dhanushkodi to connect Palk Straits and Gulf of Mannar.
SSCP proposes linking Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka by creating a shipping channel through the shallow sea and a chain of islands known as ‘Ramar Sethu and Adam’s Bridge.

Read the entire article here


The fact that Pachauri now concentrates on other things than the IPCC and the global warming hoax, should be seen as a positive development. It shows that the game is over for the UN climate circus - and the Nobel laureate is turning his attention elsewhere.

It also appears that Pachauri has lost his personal belief in global warming. Why should he otherwise participate in the construction of a canal, for which there would be no need, if the alarmists´ predictions of a huge rise of the water level were true?  

Should Pachauri like to return to the railway business, there are, of course, plenty of opportunities. Here is just one: The Indian railways are looking for an Assistant Station Master in Mumbai. Filling the application form should not be too difficult:  

02 The candidate's Name, Address with Pin Code, Date of Birth, Father's Name and nearest Railway Station should be written legibly in English in bold capital letters, even if the candidate fills up the application form in Hindi.

03 Photographs: One recent (not earlier than three months from the date of application) colour passport size photograph with clear front view of the candidate without cap and sunglasses should be pasted on the application form in the space provided.

(image by wikimedia)