Friday, 7 October 2011

New "Nobel class" research: Salamanders unable to reach Washington in 2071-2080

Simulated into extinction?

Scientists at the Brown University have, using climate models, simulated the fate of the 15 species of frog in the US. None of the frogs are currently endangered, but after going through the Brown simulation, "eight species would be extinct or, at best, endangered in 2100".

Here is one of the new findings:

For example, during the latter half of this century, the speckled black salamander could expand from its range in northern California, north into Oregon. However, in the simulation, climate fluctuations rendered areas along that path unsuitable — for example, between 2071 and 2080 — preventing the animal from spreading toward Washington.

Read the entire article here

Isn´t it amazing, how the scientists are able to pinpoint that some "climate fluctuations" in areas north of California are going to stop the northward trek of the speckled black salamanders towards Washington state, exactly during the years 2071-2080. (Please note, that the salamanders "roads" are still open in 2070. Hopefully most of the amphibians will hit the road latest by then!).

Welcome to the wonderful world of climate modelling!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

New paper published in Sciene: Plants adapt to climate change

Here is another hugely disappointing study for the climate alarmists:

A new paper, published in Science shows that plants seem to be rather succesfully adapting to a changing climate:

Plants may have the genetic flexibility to respond to climate change. In experiments with the common European plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a team of researchers led by Brown University scientists learned that climate is the agent that determines the suite of genes that gives the plant the best chance of surviving and reproducing throughout its natural range. The finding may unlock the molecular basis for other plants' adaptability to climate change

"We found that the genetic basis of survival and reproduction is almost entirely different in different regions, which suggests that evolutionary adaptation to one climate may not always result in a tradeoff of poor performance in another climate," said Schmitt, the Stephen T. Olney Professor of Natural History and professor of biology and environmental studies. "Thus, the Arabidopsis genome may contain evolutionary flexibility to respond to climate change."

Read the entire article here

Not a very suprising result, really. Humans, wild animals and plants have always adapted when the climate has changed. Anyway, the study should make good reading for the warmist community.

Robert Bryce: The world needs energy that is "cheap, abundant and reliable"

Robert Bryce, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, thinks that it is time to accept that the world needs to produce a lot more energy in order to "remain productive and comfortable". The energy needed will not  be provided by renewables.

Bryce concludes realistically:  

Will Happer, a professor of physics at Princeton and a skeptic about global climate change, recently wrote that the "contemporary 'climate crusade' has much in common with the medieval crusades." Indeed, politicians and pundits are hectored to adhere to the orthodoxy of the carbon-dioxide-is-the-only-climate-problem alarmists. And that orthodoxy prevails even though the most ardent alarmists have no credible plans to replace the hydrocarbons that now provide 87% of the world's energy.
It's time to move the debate past the dogmatic view that carbon dioxide is evil and toward a world view that accepts the need for energy that is cheap, abundant and reliable.

Read the entire Wall Street Journal article here

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Poland does not want EU to regulate shale gas exploration

The Polish government has - probably very wisely - changed its position on the need for EU regulation for shale gas exploration. The Poles have realized that a common EU shale gas policy could in  reality mean an end to Poland´s golden opportunity to rid itself of the dependence on Russian gas:

Poland, long seen as promoting a common European approach to shale gas, has now published a surprising study describing possible EU regulation on the industry as "unfeasible".
Just ahead of its Presidency, Poland had lobbied for shale gas to become a "common European project". But Warsaw would apparently now prefer Brussels to abandon plans to develop the industry.
The Polish Permanent representation to the EU hosted a public event in Brussels on Tuesday (4 October) to present a new study on shale gas, published in Warsaw the day before.
The paper, published by the Polish Institute of International Affairs, is called: "Path to prosperity or road to ruin? Shale gas under political scrutiny." It argues against a European approach to shale gas regulation, distancing itself from the earlier Polish position.
Since last June, when environmental concerns led France to ban hydraulic fracturing - the technology by which shale gas is extracted - there has been no common European approach to the sector. Warsaw is believed to have feared that regulatory restrictions would evolve from a common policy.
The study admits that Poland could be counted on as a European nation where one could speak excitedly about shale gas. In pushing for its development, Poland is not so much motivated by the expected "inflow of petrodollars", but by the political implications for Polish energy security, the authors say.
Optimistic expectations regarding Polish shale gas reserves contributed to the euphoria, the report admits. For the last couple of years, more than a hundred of concessions have been granted for shale gas exploration. The list of beneficiary companies include energy majors such as Chevron, Marathon oil, Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips and ENI.
"What seems obvious from the EU level becomes less so from the perspective of an individual member state," write the authors, who claim that for Central Europe, "shale gas should be seen as a local or regional game-changer".
The authors take stock of the public debate in various European countries including France, where the Parliament has banned hydraulic fracturing.
"Because of the complexity and breadth of this debate, it seems unfeasible to consider introducing a comprehensive legal or regulatory framework [on shale gas] within the EU," they conclude.

Read the entire article here

The Poles have realized that the less EU regulation (lobbied for by nuclear power producing France and the green movement in an unholy alliance with Russia´s Gazprom) the better. With the UK and possibly some other EU members on their side, the Poles should be able to protect their national interest and be ready for the gamechanging shale gas revolution.

PS 2

Robert Amsterdam notes that the Poles are now in Moscow trying to lower the much too high price Gazprom is demanding for gas:

The heads of Poland’s state gas company PGNiG are in Moscow to negotiate what they hope will be up to a ten% reduction in gas prices from Russian energy giant Gazprom. Echoing a threat by Ukraine, should talks fail to reap the desired conclusion, Poland is apparently willing to take the matter to international arbitration.

In the not too distant future, the Poles will fortunately be in a much better position to say NJET to the Russians!

Medvedev - "the Puppet President"

Christian Neef and Matthias Schepp have written a  must read article in German Der Spiegel about the puppet president Dmitry Medvedev and his master Vladimir Putin:

The most important question is whether Medvedev, in the three-and-a-half years of his presidency, ever fought for the values he promoted. It is quite possible that he knowingly accepted the role of the obedient Kremlin soldier in a drama, whose outcome the Putin/Medvedev tandem only revealed to the public last weekend. If that is the case, he was merely a seat warmer on the Kremlin throne -- a figurehead not unlike the farmer's son Mikhail Kalinin, who formally represented the Soviet Union as its nominal head of state for 23 years under Stalin, or the Ukrainian Nikolai Podgorny, who did the same thing for 21 years under party leader Leonid Brezhnev.
If things truly unfolded the way it appears, this president played an ominous role for Russia in the last few years, despite his supposedly liberal views -- or precisely because of them. It appears that he was nothing more than Putin's accomplice.
It isn't Putin's return that is surprising, but the manner in which the tandem -- or rather, Putin -- staged the game they were playing: as a big production at the convention of the United Russia party. The directors had brought in 10,000 schoolchildren and students to be an enthusiastic audience for the eerie government drama at the Luzhniki Palace of Sports in Moscow. No one knew what exactly the party would be voting on, but each attendee was given a sheet of paper with instructions on what to wear ("jacket, no tie, with jeans") and a list of slogans to chant ("chant each one at least five times").

Medvedev, who had condemned the practices of Russian state propaganda several times, was nothing but decoration. He sat silently next to Putin, the politician who could very well end up ruling Russia longer than Leonid Brezhnev.

Yuri Ryzhkov, the former Russian ambassador to France, says it was Yeltsin's biggest mistake, even "a crime," to install as his successor Putin. He describes Putin as a "man full of complexes" who is convinced "of his absolute freedom to do as he pleases when it comes to his own people."

This is how one highly regarded commentator describes Medvedev´s presidency:

"He preached the mantra of modernization and in doing so awakened hopes of change -- while at the same time doing absolutely nothing at all," says Lilia Shevtsova of the Carnegie Center, a Moscow-based think tank. Many, she adds, believed in his plans to bring Russia forward.
Now, says Shevtsova, Medvedev has yielded the floor to Putin again. This means no reforms and the return of the old model of tough leadership. It is an irony of history, she says, that "a politician who looks like a reformer can be a greater impediment to progress than an open traditionalist." Liberal rhetoric in a non-liberal environment in which the thumbscrews are tightened even further, she argues, "only increases cynicism in society."

All in all, a sad story. And what is even more sad, is that there is no happy end to be expected in the foreseeable future with former KGB spy Putin as president again.

Durban preparing for the mega carbon footprint event of the year: 8000 hotel rooms missing

Hopefully the huge European Union COP17 delegation already has booked a sufficient number of hotel suites in Durban. If not, they may have to settle for slightly less comfortable accomodation in the Climate Refugee Camp

Preparations for the mega carbon footprint event of the year are in full force. Over 15.000 accredited delegates and thousands of other climate tourists are expected to fly in to the COP 17 conference in Durban in the end of November. According to the estimates by the organizers 50.000 metered taxi trips will be taken and 450.000 meals will be eaten during the 135.000 accommodation “bed nights” expected. Thousands of delegates are exptected to visit tourist attractions.

One of the main "attractions" will most likely be the Climate Refugee Camp, organized by the COP 17 hosts. (Also the "climate refugees" will probably be flying in from a number of far away countries).

This times the organizers are taking the carbon footprint seriously - it will be scientifically calculated:
An experienced team of professionals from ARUP Consulting has been appointed by the eThekwini Municipality to calculate the local carbon footprint of COP 17-CMP 7

(Probably the hosts have already developed a plan for "climate indulgences", using the the CDM, described by an Indian expert as the "Corrupt Development Mechanism".)

The major sources of carbon emissions linked to COP 17-CMP 7 are according to the hosts likely to be transport in and around Durban for those attending the conference and energy use at event venues and in accommodation facilities.

However, the organizers seem to think that they have "solved" the carbon footprint problem :

Sue Bannister, the acting head of the city’s Strategic Projects Unit, told how 600 bicycles would be lent to delegates to get around during the conference.

(There will probably be a fight among the official delegates about who gets a bike! No doubt the EU "embassy" in South Africa already has reserved a couple of the bikes for photo opportunity pictures with Herman van Rompuy, José Manuel Barroso and Connie Hedegaard biking to the conference venue).

One major problem remains, though: 8000 hotel rooms are still needed to cater for accredited delegates.

If the organizers do not succeed in finding the missing hotel rooms, they will probably have to accomodate the 8000 roomless delegates in the Climate Refugee Camp. From a carbon footprint point of view staying in a hut or tent would not be such a bad choice. But it is doubtful whether e.g. EU "President" van Rompuy, EU Commission President Barroso or Climate Commissioner Hedegaard, who are used to suites in 5-star luxury hotels, would find the "alternative" accomodation very appealing.

Thank God, South Africa has excellent coal plants, providing 93% of its electricity, which will make sure  that the the 450.000 meals are going to be served to the dignitaries as well as to the "climate refugees".

Monday, 3 October 2011

The euro and EU crisis: Bavarian CSU and Czech President get it right

Merkel should listen to the CSU - and President Klaus!

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble says that "The answer to the (euro) crisis can only be more Europe". We have been hearing similar words from Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

Fortunately there are also some more sane opinions - among ordinary Germans, who do not support wasting more of their money on Greece - and particularly among the representatives of  CDU´s Bavarian sister party, the CSU:

"Anyone who concludes from the debt crisis that centralized Europe needs to be strengthened is headed in the wrong direction," Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich of the CSU was quoted by the news magazine Der Spiegel as saying.

Merkel and Schäuble would be wise not to ignore the Bavarians, who represent the wealthiest and most successful region in Germany.

Read the entire article here

There is clearly a lot of wisdom coming from Central Europe. Could it be that the Bavarians have been influenced at least somewhat by the thoughts of their close neighbour, President Václav Klaus of the Chech Republic?

A couple of weeks ago Klaus offered another superb analysis of the present situation:

In the 1950s, the leading idea behind European integration was to liberalize, to open-up, to remove all kinds of barriers which existed at the borders of individual countries, to enable free movement of not only goods and services but also of people and ideas across the European continent. This was a step forward and it helped Europe significantly.
It took a different course during the 1980s and the decisive breakthrough came with the Maastricht Treaty in December 1991. Political interests to unify Europe and to create a new superpower out of it started to dominate. Integration had turned into unification, liberalization into centralization of decision making, into harmonization of rules and legislation, into the strengthening of European institutions at the expense of institutions in the member states, into the enormous growth of democratic deficit, into post-democracy. Europe’s constituting elements, the states, have been consistently, systematically and to my great regret “successfully” undermined. It was forgotten that “the state” is the only institution where real democracy is possible.
Many of us in Europe are convinced that we cannot escape from making a tough and unpleasant decision: Shall we continue ignoring the deepness and the non-accidental nature of the current European crisis (I do not mean the Eurozone debt crisis, which is only the tip of a much bigger iceberg) or shall we take, finally, and with an inexcusable delay, the European situation seriously?
I am in favor of the latter approach. The European situation deserves to be taken seriously, which is, however, not the case. The undergoing European discussions – and I am a frequent participant in many of them – continue to be based on the dangerously self-satisfying presumption that the past developments have been positive, that the problems we face are not serious and that we could go ahead with our old, only marginally modified policies.

And this is what President Klaus proposes in order to solve the present crisis:

1. We have to get rid of the sacred mantra of European politicians, which is the unproductive and paternalistic soziale Marktwirtschaft, “augmented” (which means further undermined) by the growing role of the green ideology.
2. We have to accept that the short-term economic adjustment processes take time and that the impatient politicians and governments usually make things worse. The European politicians have to give priority to the solution of problems caused by their own activities rather than try to mastermind the market and to micromanage the economy.
3. We have to prepare systemic preconditions for economic growth rather than try to accelerate growth by government stimuli and incentives.
4. We should – without any delay – prepare comprehensive reduction spending plans and forget flirting with solutions based on tax increases. Spending reductions must dominantly deal with mandatory expenditures, because discretionary spending cuts are – in the longer run – quantitatively more or less insignificant.
5. We should stop the creeping, but constantly expanding green legislation. We should stop the Greens from taking over much of our economy under the banner of such flawed ideas as the global warming doctrine.
6. We should stop the centralization, harmonization, standardization of the European continent and after half a century of such measures start decentralizing, deregulating, desubsidizing our society and economy.

Read the entire speech here

No doubt President Klaus - and also the Bavarian CSU - will be on the winning side in the end. However, because Merkel, Sarkozy and the others have invested so much politically in their version of the European project, they will fight until the bitter end in order to try to preserve their impossible dream. This will no doubt prolong the crisis and be both destructive and extremely expensive for European taxpayers.


And no doubt this speaker will also be on the winning side, when the current politically correct "leaders" have left the scene: