Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Marxist roots of the envirofundamentalist movement

There are a lot of "useful idiots" in the environmental movement, who have no idea of the roots of the envirofundamentalist ideology. They should read Marxist sosiology professor John Bellamy Foster´s (University of Oregon) "scientific" article published in the Monthly Review, "an independent socialist magazine":  

 It is no secret today that we are facing a planetary environmental emergency, endangering most species on the planet, including our own, and that this impending catastrophe has its roots in the capitalist economic system. Nevertheless, the extreme dangers that capitalism inherently poses to the environment are often inadequately understood, giving rise to the belief that it is possible to create a new “natural capitalism” or “climate capitalism” in which the system is turned from being the enemy of the environment into its savior.1 The chief problem with all such views is that they underestimate the cumulative threat to humanity and the earth arising from the existing relations of production. Indeed, the full enormity of the planetary ecological crisis, I shall contend, can only be understood from a standpoint informed by the Marxian critique of capitalism.

After a verbose "introduction" the professor (who can be reached at offers the following conclusion:

The Meaning of Revolution

The ecological critique generated by twentieth-century monopoly capital theory—the bare outlines of which I have sought to present here—only adds additional force to Marx’s classical ecological critique of capitalism. Every day we are destroying more and more public wealth—air, water, land, ecosystems, species—in the pursuit of private riches, which turns consumption into a mere adjunct to accumulation, thereby taking on more distorted and destructive forms.
The metabolic rift in the relation of humanity to the earth that Marx described in the nineteenth century has now evolved into multiple ecological rifts transgressing the boundaries between humanity and the planet. It is not just the scale of production but even more the structure of production that is at fault in today’s version of the capitalist Raubbau. “Such is the dialectic of historical process,” Baran wrote, “that within the framework of monopoly capitalism the most abominable, the most destructive features of the capitalist order become the very foundations of its continuing existence—just as slavery was the conditio sine qua non of its emergence.”40
It is the historic need to combat the absolute destructiveness of the system of capital at this stage—replacing it, as Marx envisioned, with a society of substantive equality and ecological sustainability—which, I am convinced, constitutes the essential meaning of revolution in our time.

Read the entire article here

Here it is: Combating "the absolute destructiviness" of the western market economy and free enterprise is "the essential meaning" of the Marxist revolution "in or time". The present system should be replaced with "a society of substantive equality and ecological sustainibility". Sounds familiar, doesn´t it?

Flashback May 2011:

 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the need for fundamental changes in humanity’s resource consumption patterns and values, saying the planet’s natural environment is under unprecedented pressure with far-reaching social and economic consequences
"Our excessive use and consumption and production patterns are no longer sustainable".

Flashback November 2009

Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warned that western society must undergo a radical value shift if the worst effects of climate change were to be avoided. A new value system of "sustainable consumption" was now urgently required, he said.
"Today we have reached the point where consumption and people's desire to consume has grown out of proportion," said Pachauri. "The reality is that our lifestyles are unsustainable."


Neither Bellamy, nor Ban Ki-moon or R.K. Pachauri mention that there already are countries where "a new value system" has replaced the old one - North Korea and Kuba. One kind of wonders why they choose not to bring up these beacons of hope for humanity as models for us to follow?

Is Pope Benedict a closet climate sceptic, after all?

Britain´s new ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Baker, last week presented his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI. In his address to the Pope, ambassador Baker "highlighted areas of shared common values, in particular efforts to combat climate change, the elaboration of an international arms trade treaty and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals".

It is interesting to note that Pope Benedict, in his carefully prepared address to the ambassador, did not say a word about climate change, which was a priority item in the new ambassador´s speech. Maybe the Pope is not that convinced about human induced climate change, after all?

Read the Pope´s entire speech here

The EU travelling circus heading for the Big Apple

The world is waiting for EU President van Rompuy´s words of wisdom in this hall

The EU travelling circus is all set to go for its annual appearance at the United Nations General Assembly "ministerial" week in New York. This year´s show promises to be the biggest ever in the Big Apple. The official EU press release explains why:

"This will be the first General Debate since the adoption of the historic resolution 65/276 in May, under which the EU statement in the General Debate will be delivered for the first time by the President of the European Council."

President Herman van Rompuy himself gave this statement before boarding the EU private jet to New York:

"It is a great honour for me to be the first EU representative to address the gathering of world leaders at the UN. I am keen to promote at the UN General Assembly the EU's position on climate change, sustainable development, the Arab Spring and the Middle East peace process and global interdependence."

The world is now eagerly waiting for the poet president´s words of wisdom (and maybe a new UN haiku?). And, no doubt, the champagne bottles at the EU delegation in New York are already in the fridge waiting for the celebration on the great day.

The official press release gives us an idea of the other eurocrats joining van Rompuy in New York, although it does not mention the tens, if not hundreds of other, minor EU representatives in attendance:

In addition to President Van Rompuy’s presence during the so-called ministerial week, the EU will be represented by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, High-Representative/Vice-President Ashton, as well as by Commissioners Piebalgs, Dalli, Georgieva and Hedegaard.

All these people, staying in five star hotels, will attend hundreds of official and inofficial meetings, lunches, dinners and cocktail parties, most of which - like the ones listed below -are totally meaningless, and a waste of taxpayers´ money:
  • the Leaders’ Dialogue on Climate Change, sponsored by President Zuma of South Africa and President Calderón of Mexico, where Heads of State and Government will discuss the preparation for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Durban in November this year
  • the Executive Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative, where President Barroso will present the EU's leading work on resource efficiency and the green economy in the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
  • a series of high-level meetings in connection with the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Many of the meetings will help to prepare the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa, at the end of the year
  • a meeting of the High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, which has been mandated to formulate a global blueprint for sustainable growth and low-carbon prosperity ahead of the 'Rio +20' UN Conference on Sustainable Development
  • a meeting of the Troika of Women Leaders on Gender and Climate Change, hosted by former Irish President Mary Robinson
  • a panel discussion on climate change at the Louise Blouin Creative Leadership Summit


Shouldn´t Greenpeace and other climate change fundamenalists be worried about the huge carbon footprint of all these bureaucrats jetting to New York?

Leaked cables: Polish foreign minister Sikorski worried about German-Russian axis

Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski has without doubt worked for strengthening relations with both Russia and Germany lately. However, leaked diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks indicate that  German-Russian cooperation also worries him:

Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski in a private conversation with US diplomats in 2008 said that Germany protects Russian interests in Nato in return for access to the Russian market.

"Asked what the US strategy should be towards Germany and Russia, Sikorski responded that Germany appears to have a deal with Russia. 'They'll play with Russia and in return German companies will get hundreds of billions of euros of business there, a pretty good deal'."
Sikorski made the comment after Germany opposed giving Georgia and Ukraine a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at a Nato summit in Bucharest.
The Nato decision came shortly before the Russia-Georgia war in the summer of 2008. Several commentators later said a positive MAP decision would have prevented the conflict, which has ended up with Russian occupying two Georgian provinces.
Germany at the time was ruled by a coalition of the centre-right CDU and centre-left SPD parties. The then SPD foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, was openly pro-Russian and is a close associate of former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who now works for the German-Russian gas pipeline firm, Nord Stream.

Read the entire article here

Steinmeier is no longer German foreign minister, but not so much seems to have changed. Germany in March sided with Russia when the UN Security Council voted to give NATO a mandate for Libya air strikes. Former chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who now is on Russian Gazprom/Nord Stream´s payroll, is still an influential figure promoting Russian interests. There is a clear danger that envirofundamentalist groups, supported by German and Russian business interests, will succeed in preventing Poland from utilizing its enormous shale gas potential.

New study: Shale gas "likely to have a significant impact on current European gas supply dependency on Russia"

A fresh report by a Polish think tank confirms what this blog has been saying already for months (see here, here and here): The shale gas revolution will be a gamechanger in Europe putting a stop to Putin´s ability to blackmail countries dependent on gas imports from Russia:

The EU gas market could undergo significant changes over the next 10 years due to an "unconventional gas revolution", according to a report Friday by Polish think tank The Kosciuszko Institute.

The report, compiled by 20 academics and scientists for the Krakow-based agency, said the development of the unconventional gas sector in Europe, chiefly shale gas, could lead to increased energy security, lower gas prices and reduced CO2 emissions.

Even if European shale gas exploration and production costs are 50% higher than in the US, gas prices may still be lower than Russian gas, which currently accounts for a quarter of the EU's supplies, the report said.

"Unconventional gas is likely to have a significant impact on current European gas supply dependency on Russia. Once the European unconventional gas industry has developed to scale and has properly got its costs under control, it will be very competitive against both Russian gas, hauled all the way from Siberia, and LNG," Professor Alan Riley from City University in London said in the report.

Marcin Tarnawski from Krakow's Jagiellonian University said that large-scale industrial exploitation of unconventional gas in the US, Europe and Asia could seriously upset the balance of power between existing gas exporters and importers.
"It may lead to a situation where new investments in the trans-European pipelines, such as Nord Stream and South Stream, will not prove to be economically viable," he said.

The report estimates that Poland, with resources estimated as high as 5.3 trillion cubic meters and considered one of Europe's most promising shale gas plays, may deliver up to 100 billion cu m/year of production in 10-15 years, although a more probable scenario is 20-30 billion cu m/year.

But that would more than cover the country's current annual consumption of 14 billion cu m and transform Poland from a country which relies on Russian supplies for two thirds of its consumption to a gas exporter.

Mariusz Ruszel, The Kosciuszko Institute's energy expert, said Poland could begin to export gas to neighboring countries such as Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania, and even further afield

Read the entire article here

Friday, 16 September 2011

Addio Roma - Benvenuto Bruxelles!

                             Addio Roma - Benvenuto Bruxelles!

Italy has this year celebrated its 150 years of unification in grand style. Even EU poet "president" Herman van Rompuy joined in the celebrations by writing this haiku:

From the multitudes to unity
After a century-long journey
Together forever

But now it appears that Berlusconi´s foreign minister, former EU comissioner Franco Frattini, thinks that the country´s sovereignty and unity after all is not that important:

In a rare federalist outing, Frattini, a former European commissioner, may have given an indication of how serious the eurozone debt crisis is perceived in Rome.
"Different countries have different views on European federalism, but Italy is ready to give up all the sovereignty necessary to create a genuine European central government," Frattini told the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday (14 September).

Read the entire article here

The EU travelling circus "among wild animals"

                        "Friends hold a summit among wild animals".

In June the Bureau of Investigative Journalism disclosed the lavish lifestyle of the top European Union executives:
Commissioners travelled in limousines, stayed in five star hotels and splashed out on lavish gifts including Tiffany jewellery as their member states faced savage budget cuts and rising EU taxes.
An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism into spending by the EU executive has shown that more than €7.5m (£6.6m) was spent on private jet travel for commissioners between 2006 and 2010.

Read the entire article here

In spite of the criticism after the disclosure and the growing financial crisis, there are no signs that the EU top executives are intent on changing anything in their way of doing things. On the contrary.

Last week Commission President José Manuel Barroso embarked on a global trek that took him (and a number of his colleagues) to such exotic places as Australia, New Zealand (where the Rugby World Cup opened) and Singapore.

Yesterday Barroso´s private jet took him to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where according to Africa Intelligence "Friends hold a summit among wild animals". The haiku poet and EU "president" Herman van Rompuy was also spotted in the famous wilderness park, which boasts "the most diverse game viewing experience in Africa". The exotic environment clearly seems to have inspired the poet, who in his official press release was deeply grateful to the host:

"I would first like to warmly thank President Zuma for hosting our annual Summit in such
an enjoyable setting in the Kruger National Park".

Barroso - and probably also van Rompuy - can look forward to another exciting visit to South Africa soon again. The size of the EU delegation at the UN mega climate jamboree COP 17/MOP 7 in Durban is not yet known, but one thing is certain:  The EU fleet of high carbon foot print private jets will not suffice for the transportation needs.

The South African safari of the EU top brass was a well executed display of imperial style (after all, the EU is an empire according to Barroso). Neither did the high imperial envoys forget the old tradition of bringing gifts to the natives: They launched a Primary Health Care Programme, worth € 126 million and promised more gifts for other purposes.

But van Rompuy and Barroso must have noticed the cracks in the imperial splendour. Next week South Africa´s finance minister will discuss aid to the European Union together with his BRICS colleagues:

The emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) will discuss possible aid to the European Union amid its debt crisis, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega says.
Mr Mantega and his counterparts will be in the US capital next week for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

The story has a familiar ring to it: Barroso could be right about the empire - although it is of the type that is described in this fairy tale by the famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.

Meet Al Gore´s personal climate model

Meet the presenter in Al Gore´s brand new climate hoax show, who was personally trained by the Nobel laureate himself - former Miss Fiji and Miss South Pacific, Merewalesi Nailatikau:

The Climate Reality Project said in a statement Ms Nailatikau would speak on the impact of climate change in Fiji, Tonga and the South Pacific.
According to the project, Ms Nailatikau was trained by Mr Gore to deliver a multimedia presentation to connect the dots between our changing climate and the extreme weather we have seen around the world.

Read the entire article here

Knowing Al Gore´s dedication to the subject, he must have used hours, if not days of his valuable time to teach the sweet Merewalesi. But it surely must have been worth it.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

A new Golden Age for the EU (and the US)

A Chef as the head of the European Union could be the beginning of a New Golden Age

We live in challenging times, to say the least. The present leaders of the European Union (and also the US) seem incapable of solving the serious financial crisis and other related problems that threaten western civilization. A completely new - or in this case old - approach is needed.

Why not learn from the Chinese success story (not the present one, but another somewhat earlier one)!: 

Ancient Chinese historian and astronomer Sima Qian (145-90 BC) pushed cooking to the next higher dimension in human history. He declared that Yi Yin, the earliest well-known prime minister to Chinese emperors, became prime minister because he was a fantastic cook.

Sima Qian, or Ssi-ma Ch'ien, wrote in his celebrated Shiji, or "Records of the Historian", that Yin was originally Ah Heng, a slave of the Youxinshi family. In due course of life as a free man, Yi Yen wished to convey to Emperor Tang his humble ideas on how to run the empire.
Yen, perhaps founder of the school of thought that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, arrived for the appointment with the emperor armed with his kitchen utensils. He proceeded to cook a feast so delicious that the sated emperor decided anyone with such outstanding ability to cook would also have an outstanding ability to govern the country.

Emperor Tang, according to official Chinese history, was right. Yi Yen did a good job as prime minister.

Other cooks flourished in ancient Chinese politics. Peng Zu, hailed as founder of Chinese cooking, became a confidant of one of the great Chinese emperors Emperor Yao, about 4,000 years ago.

Less time chewing food was converted into more time preparing elaborate feasts. Historical records say that imperial kitchens in the Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC-476 BC) had 22 departments and over 2,300 food and beverages staff. This is reckoned to be the golden age of Chinese cooking.

Read the entire article here

Think about the blessings of having the huge - and mostly uselesss - EU bureacracy in Brussels converted to food and beverages staff for a future new EU Chef President. There are now 33 or so departments (Directorates-general, DG), but the number could very well be reduced to 22, or less. There would not e.g. be any need for the Translation DG, because the language of haute cuisine is of course French.  (This is something the Francophiles are going to like!). But what should be done with the EU´s Climate Change Action Service, which is soon to be out of business anyway. Connie Hedegaard and her people could perhaps be offered jobs as dishwashers and cleaners. Former maoist José Manuel Barroso and haiku poet Herman van Rompuy will not have any problems finding new jobs - waiters are are always in demand.

As always in the EU, there is going to be a lot of internal fighting about who will be the first EU Chef President. The UK will probably insist on Gordon Ramsey, but his style of diplomacy may not be appreciated by all. Germany and France could therefore opt for a compromise candidate, like e.g. the Danish chef René Redzepi, whose Noma is the winner of the best restaurant of the year award, 2010.

My personal choice for Vice Chef President and Head Maitre´d in charge of customer relations would be Nigella Lawson.

Instead of being cought in a seemengly endlesss spiral of crisis, the European Union (and also the US) could  learn from China and head towards a New Golden Age under the stewardship of  bold new Chefs! All it takes, is to start the ball rolling and get the stove steaming!

Scientist:" If anything, a few degrees warmer would probably be a net benefit"

"Coral reefs have survived everything from asteroid impacts to ice ages and even extensive reconfiguration of the oceans and continents by plate tectonics. Nevertheless, the self-appointed experts of climate change tell us that coral bleaching due to a barely detectable warming threatens reefs with extinction and is already devastating them through coral bleaching events."
Dr. Walter Starck 

Dr. Walter Starck, one of the pioneers of the scientific study of coral reefs, has written an article that should be compulsory reading for politicians and others, who may not yet have realized that catastrophic human caused climate change is a hoax. Here are a few excerpts:

The idea that a few degrees of warming will somehow wreak havoc on the environment arises from the postmodern mythology of nature as fragile and existing in a delicate state of balance which is vulnerable to collapse at the slightest disturbance. If caused by humans, any detectable effect is described as an impact. (If the words in italics seem familiar in this context it is because you will surely have heard and seen them used many times before. They are all favourites of the eco-salvationists.)
This fairy tale view of nature has found strong appeal with the large population of urban non-producers which our increasing prosperity has spawned. Environmentalism offers them a satisfying sense of righteousness and absolves any need of gratitude for the effort from others their way of life demands or guilt about the massive impact it imposes on nature. In reality, the delicate fragile myth bears little relation to the tough, hard, messy and often tragic struggle which is life in nature. This is also the reality with which primary producers must cope in order for the urban cocoon to exist. Without a constant flow of energy, food and water the condition of life in the huge modern urban areas would become desperate within a few days; and ironically, it is where the naïve demands of climate alarmists would quickly lead if fully implemented.

Without exception, the environmental threats from AGW are entirely hypotheticals. They are things which might or could happen at some uncertain time in the future. They are not things which are demonstrably real now or even ones to which mathematically meaningful probability can be applied for the future.
The only reasonably certain effect of increased CO2 has been a significant greening in arid regions and an increase in agricultural and natural plant productivity attributable to the beneficial effect of increased CO2 on water use and growth by plants. Certainly there is nothing to indicate that the climate a century ago was the optimum for life on Earth. If anything, a few degrees warmer would probably be a net benefit.

Rising Sea Levels
A repeated alarmist claim involves the melting of the polar ice caps and threat of inundation of low lying coastal areas and islands by a rise in sea level of from a meter, to perhaps several, or even many metres, over the next century. The fact that sea level has been rising since the end of the Little Ice Age and the current rate of about 1.7mm per year (i.e. 170mm per century) is no greater than it was a century ago is simply ignored. In the fantasy world of climate sci-fi, predictions based on models always trump real world data.
Alternative Energy
Proponents of restrictions on the use of fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable energy appear to believe that this is eminently practical and all that it is really needed is to decide to flip some switch from “FOSSIL” to “RENEWABLE”. Things like fundamental physical limitations, resource constraints, economics and the foreseeable potential of known technologies are only boring details which “they” will work out.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, there is simply no form or combination of alternative energy which shows promise of delivering anywhere near the price, utility and availability of fossil fuel. Ships, trucks, tractors, bulldozers, and airplanes are not going to be run on sunbeams and summer breezes. High energy liquid fuel is required and no viable substitute for hydrocarbons from fossil fuels either exists or is currently foreseeable. The most imminent problem we face is not going to be from using too much fossil fuel but from finding enough of it to keep our economy functioning and food on our tables over the decades it will require to develop viable alternatives.

Dying Reefs
Coral reefs are the oldest and richest of all animal communities. They support a greater diversity of life living closely together than is found anywhere else. Many present day reefs have histories going back millions of years and many of the types of creatures living on them today are also found in very similar form on fossil reefs from over 50 million years ago. Coral reefs have survived everything from asteroid impacts to ice ages and even extensive reconfiguration of the oceans and continents by plate tectonics. Nevertheless, the self-appointed experts of climate change tell us that coral bleaching due to a barely detectable warming threatens reefs with extinction and is already devastating them through coral bleaching events.
What the doomscryers have failed to recognise is that the warm water associated with bleaching events does not come from heating of the atmosphere but is a result of periods of extended calm weather when normal wave driven mixing ceases and a shallow surface layer heats up from the sun. A week or more of calm weather can result in the upper metre or two of the ocean becoming bathtub warm. At the same time wind and wave driven currents also slow or cease and water over the shallow tops of reefs becomes especially warm. Corals on tops of reefs are steeped in this warm water and, as it moves up and down with the tide, large areas of coral can be repeatedly subjected to sudden temperature changes of as much as 5°C or more.
Extended periods of calm are most often associated with El Niño events when the trade winds falter and the calms of the doldrums expand in latitude. The climate models and other studies predict stronger winds from global warming not extended calms.
The strong bleaching events claimed to be due to climate change have all been the result of this kind of El Niño associated calms which have nothing to do with atmospheric CO2 or global warming. Scars from numerous past bleaching events can be seen in the skeletons of corals over the past thousand years and also in fossil corals from millions of years ago.
The claim that recent bleaching events are due to AGW is simply untrue and can only be either ignorance by the experts if they really don’t know any better or deliberate misinformation if they do.

Good News is Unwelcome
A seemingly incongruous characteristic of climate change alarmism and environmentalism generally, is that although their proponents profess to be deeply concerned about threats to the natural world they show no interest in any evidence that a threat may not be as bad as they fear. Strangely, such a possibility not only fails to arouse any hopeful interest, its mere suggestion provokes angry rejection. It is obvious their deepest commitment is not actually to nature but to the threat which affords them purpose, importance, funding, recognition and a delicious sense of righteousness.
In the matter of climate change this aggressive defence of the threat is especially apparent. Any suggestion that the danger may be less than predicted or that some natural cause could be responsible for even a part of the claimed warming is like poking a hornet nest. When the evidence for such a valuable threat resides in less than 1°C of warming, every small fraction of it must be defended at any cost.

Read the entire article here

Leading expert about electric cars: "To me, this electric hype is inexplicable"

This Detroit Electric car appeared over 90 years before the much hyped "stimulus injection" Chevrolet Volt manufactured by Obama´s Government Motors hit the market.

The green lobby, assisted by its numerous supporters in the media, has been busy hyping electric cars for years now. But the there is a huge gap between hype and reality, reports German Der Spiegel:

The Frankfurt Motor Show is devoting an entire exhibition hall to electric mobility this year -- but truly marketable electric vehicles are conspicuous by their absence. The technology is being developed more slowly than expected. It will be a long time before the world can bid farewell to the combustion engine.
"To me, this electric hype is inexplicable," Fritz Indra, a doyen in vehicle development, recently told the trade magazine Automobil Industrie. The honorary professor at Vienna University of Technology and former head engine developer at Opel and General Motors still sees a good deal of "open questions" -- and no satisfying answers.
The first electric cars that aren't DIY projects and offer acceptable crash protection have arrived in the dealerships. Most of them are no-frills mini-vehicles that cost as much as a mid-sized sedans and can only take you a short distance and back on a single battery charge if you're lucky enough to avoid heavy traffic. Of course, that's not the case in the winter, when energy-sapping interior heating significantly diminishes its range. And if it runs out of juice on the road, no jerry can will help. Your only option is to call a tow truck.
With all the drawbacks of this type of car, you have to be a true believer in electric mobility to imagine that there really are one million people out there who want to have one.
Krebs believes an electric car will have to be able to reliably travel more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) even under unfavorable conditions, such as rain, cold weather or extreme heat. To do so, it would have to have at least 25 kilowatt hours of power. That would require a battery that weighs somewhere in the range of 250 kilograms and costs €10,000 -- in other words, almost as much as a complete small car with a conventional drive system.
Developers currently predict that, over the next decade, battery capacity will double while production costs will be halved. But, even so, the electric car would be nowhere near as inexpensive and flexible as a conventional car.
"In the foreseeable future," Krebs says, "you can forget about electric drives for long-distance use."
Indeed, everything seems to suggest that we should still give the electric drive system a few more decades to mature instead of proclaiming a breakthrough that can't come so quickly.

Read the entire article here


It is true that electric cars seem to be slow in coming. Already in 1905 there were 33 different models of electric cars on display at the 5th National Automobile show in New York. If we wait another 100 years, maybe ....

Polish finance minister scaremongering about war in Europe

Polish finance minister Jacek Rostowski, representing the rotating EU presidency, has issued the following warning to the members of the European Parliament:

"If the eurozone breaks up, the European Union will not be able to survive, with all the consequences that one can imagine."

To hammer home his point, Rostowski recounted a chance meeting with an old acquaintance at an airport last week. As they discussed the crisis, the minister said the man voiced fears of "war in the next 10 years".
"War! Ladies and gentlemen, those are the terms he used," Rostowski said, adding that the acquaintance said he was so fearful that he intended to seek US residency permits for his children.

Read the entire article here


Polish PM Donald Tusk should seriously consider whether it is time to have a less embarassing representative in the group of European finance ministers.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

EU:s strategic ally and Obama´s "reset" partner Russia to have joint military excercise with North Korea

While David Cameron and a number of other western "useful idiots" hobnob with Putin and his puppet Medvedev, the European Union´s strategic ally and Obama´s reset partner is set to have a joint military excercise with North Korea:

North Korea and Russia are set to hold their first joint defense drill as early as this year in an attempt to balance the United States, South Korea and Japan's influence on the Korean Peninsula, the Asahi newspaper reported Tuesday.
Members of the two neighbors' navies and air forces will take part in a joint rescue exercise at sea, following an agreement reached last month by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and President Dmitry Medvedev, Japan's Asahi said, citing a source close to the North.

Read the entire piece here

Solyndra - A major scandal for Obama?

Ed Morrisey thinks that the failed Solyndra solar power company could become a major scandal for the Obama administration:

The Obama administration chose Solyndra as its poster child for this effort. The White House fast-tracked approval for taxpayer-backed loan guarantees. The company received $535 million from the Treasury's Federal Financing Bank to build a new manufacturing facility. Obama himself appeared at Solyndra touting his green-jobs initiative, while Solyndra insisted as late as this summer that their financial status was strong.
Suddenly, though, Solyndra collapsed, seemingly without warning. Its employees — more than a thousand of them — showed up to work on the last day of August to discover that the company had shut its doors. And just as suddenly, we began to find out that the collapse was not unforeseen after all. Despite the assurances of Solyndra executives to members of Congress, the company's stock price had fallen drastically over the past two years as questions arose about Solyndra's competitiveness and financial strength. And its taxpayer-backed expansion didn't create many new jobs, as Congress noticed in February.

Here it gets interesting:

Solyndra has connections all the way to Obama himself. When Solyndra initially applied for taxpayer subsidies, auditors at the Department of Energy questioned Solyndra's stability. So why did the Obama administration fast-track Solyndra's application? One reason might be that one of the chief investors in Solyndra is George Kaiser — who also was one of Obama's campaign bundlers in 2008, raising more than $50,000. Solyndra executives made more than 20 visits to the White House between March 2009 and April 2011. Was it a coincidence that Solyndra ended up with an interest rate from the feds at one-fourth the going rate for green-jobs projects?

Read the entire article here


As we all know by now, fraud and other irregularities have been thriving in the "green jobs" business in Europe for several years now. Why indeed should the situation be different in the US?

Latest warmist scare: Cholera!

Another day, another global warming scare. The latest scare is about sea bacteria putting millions of swimmers and sailers at risk: Cholera!

A new European report says the warming oceans caused by climate change are leading to the spread of dangerous bacteria in the sea.
The report to be presented Wednesday at a two-day global warming conference in Brussels predicts that millions of people may be exposed to contaminated food and water. They also could become sick by swimming and sailing in the dirty seas.
The study by 17 European marine institutes says the warming is leading to a proliferation of the Vibrio bacteria, which has been linked to such diseases as cholera and gastroenteritis.
The report also says the Earth's oceans are heating up at a rate faster than previously thought, causing ice sheets to melt and putting some island nations and coastal regions in peril.

Read the entire article here


The only thing that surprises is that it took so long for the warmists at the 17 marine institutes to link cholera to global warming. Their land based "colleagues" linked Bubonic plague to global warming already in 2006!

And for Californians the cholera scare probably does not matter that much, because they will anyway soon have to adapt to a life without beaches - if one is to believe a fresh study.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The hubris of an Australian warmist professor: "We put the physics in and then the answer pops out"

The Australian global warming lobby is desperately trying to convince an increasingly sceptical audience about the blessings of their climate models  Dr. Dave Griggs, from the Monash Sustainability Institute and Dr. John Church of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research made the following claims at an online briefing organised by the Australian Science Media Centre:

models were getting more accurate as scientists incorporated data from more areas.
Scientists were often surprised by their results because the climate system was so complicated, Prof Griggs said.
"We don't tune these models to get the answer we want.
"We put the physics in and then the answer pops out - so yes, you can be surprised."

The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research's John Church says virtually all climate data is shared among scientists worldwide.
While there is a variety of models in his study area of sea levels all show the same trend

Read the entire article here

Reality check:

There is a multitude of evidence about the total failure of the warmist climate change models. The fact is that the warmists are doing exactly what Dr. Griggs says they are not doing. Warren Myer, writing in Forbes magazine, summarizes what´s wrong with the models:

a lot climate experimentation occurs within computers, rather than via direct observation of natural phenomena. For example, in the last IPCC report, their conclusion that most of the recent warming had probably been man-made was based mainly on computer study of the period between 1978 and 1998. They ran their models for this period both with and without manmade CO2, and determined that they could only replicate the temperature rise in this period with by including manmade CO2 in their models.

Believe it or not, that is the main evidence that global warming catastrophism is based on. Yes, I am sure you can raise all the concerns I have — what if the computer models don’t adequately model the climate? What if they leave out key factors or over-emphasize certain dynamics? Drawing firm conclusions from these models is like assuming you can be a rock star after winning a game of Guitar Hero.

But it is when these models are used to project catastrophic outcomes in the future that they are perhaps the most suspect. Scientists often act as if the projected warming from various CO2 forecasts is just an output of the models — in other words, “we built in a sophisticated understanding of how the climate works and out pops a lot of warming.” (exactly what Dr. Griggs is doing! NNoN) And in the details this is true. The timing and regional distribution of the warming tends to be a fairly unpredictable product of the model. But the approximate magnitude of the warming is virtually pre-determined. It turns out that climate sensitivity, the overall amount of warming we can expect from a certain rise in CO2 concentrations, is really an input to most models.

This means that the inputs of the model are set such that a climate sensitivity of, say, 4 degrees per doubling is inevitable. The model might come up with 4.1 or 3.9, but one could have performed a quick calculation on the inputs and found that, even without the model, the answer was already programmed to be close to 4. Rather than real science, the climate models are in some sense an elaborate methodology for disguising our uncertainty. They take guesses at the front-end and spit them out at the back-end with three-decimal precision. In this sense, the models are closer in function to the light and sound show the Wizard of Oz uses to make himself seem more impressive, and that he uses to hide from the audience his shortcomings.

And if you want the opinion of a real scientific heavyweight, here is what Dr. Freeman Dyson thinks about the climate models:

The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world we live in ...

Read the entire article here

John Church is partially right when he claims that virtually all climate data is shared among scientists worldwide. The truth is, of course, that all the warmists share the same false data (obtained from the false models) worldwide.
It may very well be true that all the warmist sea level models show the same trend , as Church claims, but studies based on real observations tell another story:

Reality check:

AGAINST all the odds, a number of shape-shifting islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are standing up to the effects of climate change.
For years, people have warned that the smallest nations on the planet - island states that barely rise out of the ocean - face being wiped off the map by rising sea levels. Now the first analysis of the data broadly suggests the opposite: most have remained stable over the last 60 years, while some have even grown.
Paul Kench at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Arthur Webb at the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission in Fiji used historical aerial photos and high-resolution satellite images to study changes in the land surface of 27 Pacific islands over the last 60 years. During that time, local sea levels have risen by 120 millimetres, or 2 millimetres per year on ...

Read the entire article here

Memorandum by Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, Head of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden President, (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, Leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project:

It is true that sea level rose in the order of 10-11 cm from 1850 to 1940 as a function of Solar variability and related changes in global temperature and glacial volume. From 1940 to 1970, it stopped rising, maybe even fell a little. In the last 10-15 years, we see no true signs of any rise or, especially, accelerating rise (as claimed by IPCC), only a variability around zero. This is illustrated in Fig 3.

In conclusion; observational data do not support the sea level rise scenario. On the contrary, they seriously contradict it. Therefore, we should free the world from the condemnation of becoming extensively flooded in the near future.
There are more urgent natural problems to consider on Planet Earth like tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc.

Read the entire memorandum here


It is not surprising that Dave Griggs and John Church are so busy promoting climate alarmism, when one considers their background:

in 1996 he was appointed Head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientific assessment unit. IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2001 he became Deputy Chief Scientist and Director of the Hadley Centre for Climate Change, widely acknowledged as the world's leading centre for climate change research. After a brief spell as Met Office Director of Government Business, in September 2007 he moved to Australia to become Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI). Dave is also CEO of ClimateWorks Australia.

Dr Church has recently accepted a position as coordinating lead author of the Sea Level Change chapter for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, to be completed in 2013.
He was co-convening lead author for the Chapter on Sea Level in the IPCC Third Assessment Report.

Monday, 12 September 2011

"Useful idiot" David Cameron meets a thug in Moscow

                           A useful idiot meeting a thug in Moscow

David Cameron has today met with a thug - Vladimir Putin - in Moscow. Simon Tisdall´s column in the Guardian is very much to the point:

Cameron's role, in Putin's eyes, as modern-day useful idiot may be further enhanced by the former's cautiously oblique references to bilateral concerns including corruption, legal swindles encountered by British businesses and human rights issues. In Putin-land, where "democracy" is clumsily stage-managed, theft is institutionalised, free speech is largely illusory and the whole concept of civil liberties is viewed as suspect and potentially subversive. The mention of such matters by a visiting national leader who plainly has other, more pressing, priorities means they may more easily be discounted and pushed aside.
The de facto, unthinking legitimisation of Putinism, if this were indeed the result of Cameron's foray, would be unfortunate in the extreme. It hardly seems worth the £215m in trade deals and 500 British jobs that Downing Street reckons it may get out of it. For the Litvinenko affair is but the tip of a rather large Arctic iceberg whose full, submerged extent is not widely appreciated in Britain or in other EU states, notably Germany, blinded by energy dependency and other unlovely manifestations of "realpolitik".
It was only last Christmas, after all, that pro-democracy opposition street protests were repressed and leading campaigners such as Boris Nemtsov arrested. The crackdown followed last year's expansion of the powers of the FSB secret police and Putin's exhortation to the security apparatus to "crack heads with batons" if people protested without permission. All this against the backdrop of the show trial of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an arch-opponent of Putin, and other more recent abuses.
Nor is it that long since Britain was complaining about what officials called a "huge Russian intelligence operation in the UK" and the two countries were expelling each other's diplomats. Is Cameron suggesting that this espionage problem, like the Putin regime's human rights record, can now be safely ignored? Are Putin's policies in the Muslim Caucasus, where his mishandling of Chechen separatism has kindled something akin to a region-wide conflict, now a matter for British silence or, worse, indifference? And what of Russia's continuing obstructionism on Syria and its ongoing nuclear collaboration

Read the entire article here


Verdict: Cameron - like so many of his international colleagues - is a person without principles. Which is sad, because in these difficult and challenging times there is a desparate lack of politicians of stature.

Global warming causes armed robbery, prostitution, drug abuse and lack of quality time in Ghana

The climate change/global warming (indoctrination) programs, financed by the European Union, the United Nations and other "stakeholders" are beginning to show results in Africa. Modern Ghana reports that climate change is now creating "deviant behaviors" such as "armed robbery, prostitution, and drug abuse" among the youth in Ghana:

We observed during a tour in the community that Farm lands have been destroyed due to the main river of the community overflowing its banks. Crops such as Cassava, Yam, Cocoyam, and Plantain are unable to be harvested. Thus the youth including young women have become jobless and are forced to engage in deviant behaviors such as armed robbery, prostitution, and drug abuse as means of survival.

The disappearance of parents´ quality time with children is also blamed on climate change/global warming:

Parents no longer have quality time with their children thereby not able to inculcate in their children the necessary values and principles needed to forming the right attitude in life. When children become wayward, their actions and/or inactions may be detrimental to society. Women are tasked with the pain of walking several kilometers to access water for domestic chores. Husbands may not be willing to devote all the needed support and care that their wives deserve in the name of striving for survival.

Read the entire article here


The fact that people in developing countries have learnt to blame almost all their problems on global warming/climate change - and to demand billions of dollars and euros as "compensation" - seems to be the only lasting result of the myriad of  EU, UN and US climate change programs in the third world. Unfortunately, the Ghanese and other people are going to be disappointed. The leaders of the western industrialized countries are still talking "the global warming talk", but many of them already realize (in private) that the entire "project" was a huge and costly mistake, that should be buried and forgotten. Their problem now is, of course, how to deal with the situation without loosing face. That probably means that the "climate change show" will still go on for some time, but - luckily - mainly on a verbal level. Even then, the costs for ordinary taxpayers are going to be astronomical ... 

Former president of Ireland: Ireland is "a developing country"

The situation in Ireland must be much worse than generally thought - at least that´s the impression one gets from this interview with former Irish president Mary Robinson:

Mrs Robinson said she hoped the EU and Ireland would continue to play a constructive role in discussions on climate change, and that she hoped the EU could offer the type of leadership that the world is crying out for.

“Given our history, suffering the effects of famine ourselves, given the fact that we are a developing country, without colonial baggage … Ireland, I believe, is uniquely positioned to play a valuable role as a bridge between the EU and the developing world,” said Mrs Robinson.

Read the entire article here

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Russian energy giant Gazprom scared by the shale gas revolution

The US-led shale gas revolution seems to have scared the pants off  Russian energy giant Gazprom´s top leaders. The Telegraph´s Rowina Mason went to a press conference in London:

So how does Gazprom react? Under threat, it’s gone into battle against shale on all fronts – cooking up as many reasons as it can why the technology is an ugly prospect. At a press conference in London this week, a long row of impassive Gazprom executives watched as their head of export, Alexander Medvedev, sharpened his knives against shale.
It’s a danger to drinking water, he tells us. “Every American housewife is aware of shale gas, but not every housewife is aware of the environmental consequences of the use of shale gas. I don’t know who would take the risk of endangering drinking water reservoirs.”
Nice of him to show such altruistic concern for their health, but an Environmental Protection Agency report will soon demonstrate whether there are real risks of contamination.

Then there’s the question of economic viability, of course. A Gazprom official described shale’s margins as a joke, saying there was no way it would be able to match the prices of conventionally-produced gas.
Add to this Gazprom’s warning to the US that it is already beginning to redirect its affections elsewhere. The company recently signed a long-term supply contract with China, and is likely to nurture this relationship if it believes the rapidly industrialising country’s need for gas imports will be steadier in the future.
What about the possibility that Europe could head into the shale revolution? This is “almost unimaginable”, says Mr Medvedev. The cautious Europeans would never be as gung-ho as the Americans without proper evidence of shale’s commerciality.
The effect of this offensive: it doesn’t look good for Gazprom. It may claim to be “unconcerned” about the threat of shale gas, but it has, after all, been forced to delay its Shtokman field for three years, owing to depressed demand. And by complaining so loudly, with such a variety of different objections, it simply suggests that the Russian company considers shale much more real and imminent competition than it would like to admit.

Read the entire article here

The fact that the Gazprom top leaders are engaging in this kind of cheap propaganda against shale gas exploration clearly proves that they - and their masters in the Kremlin - are deeply worried. And they should be, because soon they will not any more be able to dominate the European - and international - gas market. 

Still it is surprising to see how primitively these supposedly top managers are conducting their propaganda campaign. Or maybe it is not so surprising - these are leaders who have been chosen, not by business professionals, but by the likes of  Mr. Putin and his henchmen in the Kremlin.

Now it is up to the Poles (and some other European future shale gas producers) and the Americans to see to it that the Russians do not succeed in their efforts - together with the greenies - to prevent or slow down the shale gas revolution in Europe.


EU energy commissioner, German Günther Oettinger a few days ago told a Polish audience about the plans to regulate shale gas exploration:

"I think we'll get a high level of acceptance when we have the same, European common standards, a high level of safety and security and quality for environmental interests," Oettinger told reporters during a visit to Wroclaw in southwest Poland.
"The best way is to Europeanise standard-efforts. We will bring some proposals to our member states maybe in the spring next year," he added.

The Poles must not let Gazprom and the greenies dictate the rules