Saturday, 3 December 2011

The IPCC falsified satellite altimetry: "“We had to do so, otherwise there would be no trend.”

Dr. Nils Axel Mörner, former president of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, again debunks the IPCC myth about rising sea levels in an article published by the Deccan Chronicle. The IPCC has according to Mörner e.g. dishonestly altered satellite altimetry upwards to imply a sudden rise level rise in 2003.

And now the IPCC is promoting its fake "science" at the Durban COP 17 conference:

This year’s focus is on a familiar and certainly arresting argument: that sea levels are rising at a catastrophic and unprecedented rate mainly due to man-made global warming.

No one makes this point with quite so much panache as Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives. In the run-up to the summit, he declared that he leads “an island nation that may slip beneath the waves if all this talk on climate does not lead to action soon”.

Since chairing a meeting of his Cabinet underwater, Nasheed has been busy rallying other low-lying countries to make similar points. He chaired a summit of them in Bangladesh, to compare notes ahead of the Durban summit, and they agree to limit their own carbon emissions.

Ban Ki-moon, the head of the United Nations, was delighted — saying that it was unfair to ask “the poorest and most vulnerable to bear the brunt of the impact of climate change alone” and called for them to be given subsidies by richer countries to adapt. Such funds do not seem to be forthcoming. It seems the summit in Durban will, like so many climate summits, be disappointing.

I may be able to help. As someone with some expertise in the field, I can assure the low-lying countries that this is a false alarm. The sea is not rising precipitously. I have studied many of the low-lying regions in my 45-year career, recording and interpreting sea level data.

I have conducted six field trips to the Maldives; I have been to Bangladesh, whose environment minister was claiming that flooding due to climate change threatened to create in her country 20 million “ecological refugees”. I have carefully examined the data of “drowning” Tuvalu. And I can report that, while such regions do have problems, they need not fear rising sea levels.

My latest project was a field expedition to India, to the coast of Goa, combining observations with archeological information. Our findings are straightforward: there is no ongoing sea level rise.

The sea level there has been stable for the last 50 years or so, after falling some 20cm in around 1960; it was well below the present level in the 18th century and some 50 to 60cm above the present in the 17th century. So it is clear that sea levels rise and fall entirely independently of so-called “climate change”.

Dr. Mörner then compares the facts with the IPCC´s version:

But the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007) tells a different story: “Even under the most conservative scenario, sea level will be about 40cm higher than today by the end of 21st century and this is projected to increase the annual number of people flooded in coastal populations from 13 million to 94 million. Almost 60 per cent of this increase will occur in South Asia.”

This is nonsense. The world’s true experts on sea level are to be found at the International Union for Quaternary Reseach (INQUA) commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, not at the IPCC. Our research is what the climate lobby might call an “inconvenient truth”: it shows that sea levels have been oscillating close to the present level for the last three centuries.

This is not due to melting glaciers: sea levels are affected by a great many factors, such as the speed at which the earth rotates. They rose in the order of 10 to 11cm between 1850 and 1940, stopped rising or maybe even fell a little until 1970, and have remained roughly flat ever since.

So any of the troubles attributed to “rising sea levels” must instead be the result of other, local factors and basic misinterpretation. In Bangladesh, for example, increased salinity in the rivers has in fact been caused by dams in the Ganges, which have decreased the outflow of fresh water.

The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment claimed that “there is strong evidence” of sea level rising over the last few decades. It goes as far as to claim: “Satellite observations available since the early 1990s provide more accurate sea level data... This decade-long satellite altimetry data set shows that since 1993, sea level has been rising at a rate of around 3mm yr–1, significantly higher than the average during the previous half century.”

Almost every word of this is untrue. Satellite altimetry is a wonderful and vital new technique that offers the reconstruction of sea level changes all over the ocean surface. But it has been hijacked and distorted by the IPCC for political ends.

In 2003 the satellite altimetry record was mysteriously tilted upwards to imply a sudden sea level rise rate of 2.3mm per year. When I criticised this dishonest adjustment at a global warming conference in Moscow, a British member of the IPCC delegation admitted in public the reason for this new calibration: “We had to do so, otherwise there would be no trend.”

This is a scandal that should be called Sealevelgate.

Read the entire article here

Only 12 heads of state attending COP 17 in Durban

Not more than twelve heads of state or government are joining the thousands of climate tourists delegates attending the COP 17 climate change jamboree in Durban, according to the latest information:

Durban - Twelve heads of government and state have said they will participate in UN climate talks in Durban, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said on Friday.

African leaders from the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Republic of Congo and Senegal are set to attend the 12-day talks which wrap up on December 9, Figueres said.

Nauru, Honduras, Samoa, Monaco, Fiji, Niue and Norway will also be represented by their heads of state.

Well, Norway´s prime minister Stoltenberg really must be looking forward to joining this exclusive group of world leaders from such beacons of democracy and human rights as Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Fiji and Honduras ....

In addition, Stoltenberg will have an excellent opportunity to discuss climate change - and perhaps the profitability of the Casino in this adverse economic climate - with Monaco´s head of State, former playboy turned climate activist, Prince Albert II.

Swedish journalist: Vladimir Putin is a criminal

The Moscow correspondent of the Swedish quality daily Svenska Dagbladet confirms earlier reports - also reported on this blog - that Russia´s de facto dictator and future life time president, Vladimir Putin, is a criminal, who has become one of the richest men in Europe through corruption and bribery. In a chat one reader asked the correspondent Jan Blomgren, whether Putin is a criminal. Here is Blomgren´s reply:

Yes, that is what I believe. I would be surprised if Putin is not one of Europe´s richest men, and in that case it´s not his official salary which is behind his wealth. The rumours linking Putin to corruption, bribery and unlawful takeovers of companies surfaced already during his time as assistent to Sobtjak, the mayor of St. Petersburg in the beginning of the 1990´s. Putin´s position as the official responsible for foreign trade in St. Petersburg gave him undreamed-of possibilites "na leva" (to the left). As president from the year 2000 he has then had all the opportunities to enrich himself, his relatives and friends at the expense of either the Russian state or stateowned companies.

Putin, here together with his friend and supporter, former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder


It can be extremely profitable to be close to Putin. Vladimir Putin's right-hand man Igor Shuvalov is a rising star in Russian politics. He's also made a lot of money since joining the government:

While Shuvalov has gained prominence as arguably the government's second-most important leader, he's also gotten notice as Russia's wealthiest public servant. In required annual income declarations, Shuvalov's reported earnings rose from about $160,000 in 2008 to about $500,000 in 2010. Over that same period, however, his stay-at-home wife—Olga Shuvalova, a law school classmate—outearned him, some years reporting more income than all top government ministers combined. In 2008, Mrs. Shuvalova declared income of about $12 million. In 2009, about $20 million. In 2010, about $10 million. When the Russian press made note of Mrs. Shuvalova's earnings, and her registered ownership of some valuable property outside Moscow, the deputy prime minister said his wife was receiving dividends from investments that he'd placed in a trust before entering government service.

Read the entire article here

Human rights violations in Syria condemned, but the West remains silent about China and Russia

Western leaders ignore China´s gross human rights violations. Instead they choose to kowtow in the hope of better business deals and bailouts.

The UN Human Rights Council yesterday adopted a new resolution condemning human rights violations committed by the Assad regime in Syria.

The Assad regime, of course, needs to be strongly condemned. However, the UN Human Rights Council resolution now adapted, is more or less and empty gesture, because Russia and China voted against an attempt to refer Syria´s violations to the United Nations Security Council.

The Chinese and the Russian governments offer all kinds of excuses for their opposition to sanctions, but the real reasons become quite obvious, when one looks at their own human rights record:

Human Rights Watch on Russia:

President Dmitry Medvedev's rhetorical commitments to human rights and the rule of law have not been backed by concrete steps to support civil society. The year 2010 saw new attacks on human rights defenders, and the perpetrators of brazen murders in the previous year remained unpunished.

Amnesty International on China:

Amnesty International has documented widespread human rights violations in China. An estimated 500,000 people are currently enduring punitive detention without charge or trial, and millions are unable to access the legal system to seek redress for their grievances. Harassment, surveillance, house arrest, and imprisonment of human rights defenders are on the rise, and censorship of the Internet and other media has grown. Repression of minority groups, including Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongolians, and of Falun Gong practitioners and Christians who practice their religion outside state-sanctioned churches continues. While the recent reinstatement of Supreme People's Court review of death penalty cases may result in lower numbers of executions, China remains the leading executioner in the world.

China and Russia oppose sanctions against Syria because they are afraid of being targeted for their own human rights violations.

The real question is: Why are the European Union (which initiated the UNHRC resolution) and the Obama regime refusing to take any action against the gross human rights violations in China and Russia?

The answer is clear: EU leaders and Obama do not want to disturb the trade and political relations with these two major human rights offenders. Instead of rightful condemnation, we even witness increasing western kowtowing, particularly towards China.

If important business deals - and bail-outs - are endangered, Merkel, Sarkozy, Cameron, Obama and the rest simply choose to ignore human rights violations, like e.g. the state sponsored slave labour camps in China.

Sad, indeed.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The new European Council building in Brussels

Europe is full of ugly new office buildings, without the slightest relationship to the people working in them. Fortunately, there is at least one exception.

The new European Council building is still under construction, but one can easily grasp the genial idea behind the entire structure by looking at this picture:

What could better symbolise the work of the European Council (with its countless mostly useless "summits") than an empty bubble - or is it a balloon? - in the centre. The top eurocrats, who chose the winning entry, probably demanded that the architects hide the bubble in a box in order for it not to be too visible for ordinary passers-by.

We are told that the president of the European Council, a haiku poet by the name of Herman van Rompuy, will have his new luxurious offices in the building - on top of the bubble, perhaps?).

The European Council bubble is set to open in 2014, that is, if everything goes well. There is, of course the possibility that an even bigger bubble could burst before that, creating slight problems for the financing of the construction project.

Shale gas is clean - new Cornell University study rebuts a previous study

Flashback April 11,  2011:

Cornell University researchers say that natural gas pried from shale formations is dirtier than coal in the short term, rather than cleaner, and "comparable" in the long term.
The New York Times

Earlier this year most MSM media, among the the New York Times, were eager to publish stories about a Cornell University study purportedly showing that shale gas was dirtier than coal.

However, a soon to be published new Cornell University study completely refutes the findings of the earlier  widely cited study:

A research team from Cornell University finds that shale gas is better for the climate than coal, a conclusion that rebuts the earlier findings of other Cornell scientists.
During a Nov. 29 roundtable discussion with industry experts hosted by the American Clean Skies Foundation, Cornell's Lawrence Cathles III outlined the findings of a soon-to-be published study asserting that shale gas has a greenhouse gas footprint half or perhaps a third that of coal.
The Cathles study identified three errors in the widely cited study by Cornell's Robert Howarth, Renee Santoro and Anthony Ingraffea. Cathles and other researchers said Howarth's findings were "seriously flawed" because of erroneous methane leakage data, a too-short methane global warming potential and because it compared coal and gas in terms of heat rather than electricity generation.
Specifically, Cathles and others have criticized Howarth's assumption that up to 7.9 percent of methane produced from a shale gas well is vented into the atmosphere. "That's such a huge and valuable volume of gas. To say that is the norm ... just isn't plausible," Cathles said.
Carnegie Mellon University's Paulina Jaramillo with similar research that debunked the earlier study, echoed much of Cathles' assertions and elaborated on others. Jaramillo joined Cathles earlier in the day to brief lawmakers in the Natural Gas Caucus about their findings

It is no use trying to find anything about this new study in the New York Times or most other mainstream media. The results of the new study do not fit into their fake environmentalist global warming agenda.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Frank Furedi on the EU oligarchy´s downsizing of democracy

My favourite academic, University of Kent sociology professor Frank Furedi, is as always spot on in his essay on how the EU oligarchy has downsized democracy and popular so:

Over the past month, it has become clear that the European Union doesn’t simply suffer from a democratic deficit; rather, it has decided that in the current climate of crisis and uncertainty, the institutions of government must be insulated and protected from public pressure. In Brussels, and among an influential coterie of European opinion-makers, the idea that ordinary people have the capacity to self-govern is dismissed as at best a naive prejudice, and at worst a marker for right-wing populism.

As we shall see, this desire to renounce the politics of representation is by no means confined to EU technocrats. To no one’s surprise, many businesspeople and bankers also prefer the new unelected governments of Greece and Italy to regimes that are accountable to their electorates. And such elitist disdain for nations’ democratic representative institutions is also shared by sections of the left and the intelligentsia, too. So in his contribution on the crisis of democracy, Jürgen Habermas, the leading leftist German philosopher, writes off national electorates as ‘the preserve of right-wing populism’ and condemns them as ‘the caricature of national macrosubjects shutting themselves off from each other’.

Indeed, it isn’t the old-fashioned conservative detractors of the multitude who are at the forefront of the current cultural turn against democratic will-formation – no, it is liberal advocates of expert-driven technocratic rule who are now the most explicit denouncers of democracy. The current political attack on the principles of representative democracy is founded on three propositions. First it is claimed that the people cannot be trusted to support policies that are necessary for the preservation and improvement of society. Secondly, it is suggested that there is an important trade-off to be made between democracy and efficiency, and that in a time of crisis the latter must prevail over the former. And finally, anti-democratic ideologues believe that governments, especially democratic governments, have lost the capacity to deal with the key problems facing societies in today’s globalised world.

Furedi ends his essay with the following observation:

The demotion of the role of national government is often presented as an enlightened and progressive thing, a way of challenging outdated and decrepit institutions. However, it is important to understand that the denunciation of the institutions of national government is not simply an attack on national but also on popular sovereignty. The claim that governments do not work is another way of saying that democratic representation within the context of a nation state does not work. The alternative that is proposed is invariably to have less democracy, not more. Habermas’s transnational democracy represents the institutionalisation of the rule of a cosmopolitan elite, which is merely a variant of the technocratic oligarchy that has recently been imposed upon the peoples of Greece and Italy.

Read the entire essay here

The drive towards a deeply undemocratic European Union

Leigh Phillips, EUobserver´s finance reporter, has written an interesting and important article about the dangerous move towards anti-democratic government in the European Union.

Here are  just of few excerpts:

But under what one Brussels wag recently called the EU's 'techno-party' strategy - replacing elected representatives with technocrats and an end to consideration of fiscal policies by parliaments in favour of fiat by civil-servant 'experts' - nobody has any choice any more about what kind of music they want to listen to.

Furthermore, if monetary policy has long been insulated from politics and now fiscal policy is to be as well, what on earth is now left for an elected chamber to deliberate on? Judicial and foreign policy? Why not abandon these fields to the ‘experts’ as well? Why bother with elections at all?
However sympathetic one may be on the face of it to the view that politicians are vile creatures, the implicit suggestion in the idea that now is not the time for "political games" is that politics is mere sport, a distraction that sullies and perverts the One True Path for a society, at all times known by economists (and at that, only certain flavours of economist). It is all right for this dilletantism to proceed at normal times, but, confronted with the worst crisis since the Great Depression, the potential destruction of the eurozone and even the European Union, we must put away these childish things, even if only for a brief period.

Consider for a moment the utter contempt for democracy that silently inheres in such an attitude.
And even further beneath such sentiment lies a still darker cynicism, not just about politics but about people themselves. A common complaint one hears in the bars and cafes of the European quarter in Brussels is that people are far too stupid, too ignorant of what is in their own best interest.

Unfortunately Leigh´s definition of the "Techno party" is not very helpful:

The 'Techno Party' may come dressed up as a coterie of independent academics and specialists, but is in fact the party of the market, composed of the very same people that created the crisis in the first place.

The "Techno party" is in reality not "the party of the market", but the party of the current EU leaders and top bureaucrats, who´s aim is to create a United States of Europe.

Lleigh is right about the need for a democratisation, but I still wonder whether he quite understands that "eurosceptics" - or better eurorealists - are the the ones that really believe in a democratic Europe:

And this will only happen when the Greek and Italian people themselves, alongside the Spaniards, Portuguese and Irish, and all Europeans together refuse to keep dancing to the techno beat.
It is time for all those who hold democracy dear to speak out against these moves without fear of being cast as eurosceptics. Indeed, if one believes in Europe, we must speak out all the more loudly. In counterposition to the anti-democratic panic in the chancelleries of Europe that has led to the rule of the Techno Party, it is time to burn down the disco and, as the song says, hang the blessed DJ.

Read the entire article here

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Unelected EU "president" van Rompuy: Members states should "sacrifice" sovereignty

Unelected EU "president" Herman van Rompuy today again proved that he does not care about the sovereignty of EU member countries:

"Regardless of whether there will be treaty change or not: both entail a sacrifice of sovereignty in exchange for providing the economic and monetary union with a structural credibility"

UKIP´s Nigel Farage has often noted van Rompuy´s - and his fellow eurocrats´ - distaste for national sovereignty. The day before yesterday he again addressed the "president" and his other unelected colleagues:

Head of UK government advisory body on climate change: Climate change good for Scotland

Lord Krebs, an internationally renowned scientist and the head of a UK government advisory body on climate change, has great news for Scotland: Climate change in will lead to fewer winter deaths, lower heating bills, a boost for tourism and good opportunities for Scottish business.

The Scotsman summarises Lord Krebs´s newly published report:

Lord Krebs, a former chairman of the British Food Standards Agency, said that the changes to seasonal temperatures were likely to grip Scotland by 2050, with other positive affects also leading to a boost for tourism, due to sunnier climes, as well as lower heating bills. He said: “There could be implications for heating bills, as there’s a likelihood that winters will be milder.
“In the longer term there could well be a reduction in people’s heating bills as the winters get warmer.
“It’s uncertain as to when this might happen, but we could be talking about the period from the middle of the century.
“Part of the story for Scotland is that we’re perhaps talking about people who are getting towards middle aged now, enjoying a warmer climate when they are pensioners.
“It’s not just heating bills though, as there will be positive opportunities in leisure and tourism, with the warmer climate meaning that there are more chances for outdoors activities and people are also more likely to visit as tourists when the weather is warmer.”
Lord Krebs said that the melting of Arctic ice due to climate change could lead to a growth in global trade opportunities for Scottish business.
He said: “If Arctic ice melts, it will have benefits in opening up new shipping routes and boosting international trade.
“But at the same time there’s more of a risk of pollution, as the water becomes more active. We’re talking about anywhere covered by ice.
“Climate change for Scotland would mean that there would be good opportunities for Scottish business if it thinks well ahead.

This should be really good news also for the Scottish government. But instead a government spokesman had this to say:

“Taking action on climate change is one of our top priorities.”

Or maybe he actually meant, that the Scottish government will take action to speed up the positive developments mentioned in the new report?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The end of the global warming cult

Bret Stephens discusses the death of one contemporary religion in his WSJ column:

Consider the case of global warming, another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.

As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with religion, it comes with an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences. As with religion, its claims are often non-falsifiable, hence the convenience of the term "climate change" when thermometers don't oblige the expected trend lines. As with religion, it is harsh toward skeptics, heretics and other "deniers." And as with religion, it is susceptible to the earthly temptations of money, power, politics, arrogance and deceit.

This week, the conclave of global warming's cardinals are meeting in Durban, South Africa, for their 17th conference in as many years. The idea is to come up with a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire next year, and to require rich countries to pony up $100 billion a year to help poor countries cope with the alleged effects of climate change. This is said to be essential because in 2017 global warming becomes "catastrophic and irreversible," according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency.

Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the climate apocalypse. Namely, the financial apocalypse.

The U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada and the EU have all but confirmed they won't be signing on to a new Kyoto. The Chinese and Indians won't make a move unless the West does. The notion that rich (or formerly rich) countries are going to ship $100 billion every year to the Micronesias of the world is risible, especially after they've spent it all on Greece.

Stephens offers a realistic scenario for the end of the gloabl warming cult:

On Sunday, 2,232 days will have elapsed since a category 3 hurricane made landfall in the U.S., the longest period in more than a century that the U.S. has been spared a devastating storm. Great religions are wise enough to avoid marking down the exact date when the world comes to an end. Not so for the foolish religions. Expect Mayan cosmology to take a hit to its reputation when the world doesn't end on Dec. 21, 2012. Expect likewise when global warming turns out to be neither catastrophic nor irreversible come 2017.
And there is this: Religions are sustained in the long run by the consolations of their teachings and the charisma of their leaders. With global warming, we have a religion whose leaders are prone to spasms of anger and whose followers are beginning to twitch with boredom. Perhaps that's another way religions die

Read the entire article here

The sad thing is that so much energy - and money - will have been wasted by our leaders before the global warming hoax finally finally is put to rest. Just imagine how much of real importance could have been done with without this enormous misuse of resources.

"Beach related activities" at the COP 17 in Durban affected by heavy rain

This must be a huge disappointment for the more than 20.000 climate change tourists delegates at the COP 17 warmist beach jamboree in Durban. After heavy rainfall and flooding in Durban the South African Government Communication and Information System has issued the following statement:

Some beach related activities of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) have been affected. They have been delayed by a day.

Swimming also seems to be restricted :

Bart Fokkens, from the Duzi-Umgeni Conservation Trust, says large amounts of plastic debris are piled up on the Umgeni River mouth.
He says paddling and swimming in the lagoon area are not recommended either, as the water quality at this stage does not look good.
Fokkens has described the water as being a 'chocolate brown' colour.

It cannot take long, before the first "expert" statement appears in the MSM blaming global warming/climate change for the flooding and the brown water.

China to "help" western countries with infrastructure projects?

Are we going to see this again in the west?

We all know that thousands of badly paid Chinese workers were used to build the Central Pacific and other American railroads in the 19th century. Now it appears that cheap Chinese labour may be again become a familiar sight in the western world.

European and US leaders have already for quite a while begged China´s communist leaders to save their countries from the self-created economic and financial disaster that seems to worsen day by day.

So far China has been reluctant, but now the CEO of the mighty China Investment Corporation Lou Jiwei, writing in the Financial Times, says that China wants to participate in infrastructure investment in developed countries.

Traditionally, Chinese involvement in overseas infrastructure projects has been as a contractor only. Now, Chinese investors also see a need to invest in, develop and operate projects.

Infrastructure is underinvested in European countries and the US. The British Treasury has estimated that by 2015, £200bn will be needed to invest in energy, water, transport, digital communications, waste disposal and other related projects. Meanwhile, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that the US needs to spend at least $2,200bn on infrastructure repairs or rebuilding. Free of the inflationary pressure that afflicts many emerging economies, the US and Europe should make substantial investment.

But Chinese help comes with strings attached:

Governments should introduce pro-investment policies to create an attractive environment. This should include making fiscal adjustments, reducing taxes and offering bank loans at discounted rates.

Read the entire article here

Lou Jiwei´s colleague, Jin Liqun, chairman of the board of supervisors of China Investment Corporation, was more outspoken in a recent interview:

The head of the Chinese state’s overseas investment arm said he would only help Europe if it reformed its ‘outdated’ labour laws and welfare systems.
Jin Liqun, chairman of the board of supervisors of China Investment Corporation, said Europeans should stop ‘languishing on the beach’ and work harder it they want to drag the eurozone out of its downward spiral.

Obviously the labour laws in e.g. Sri Lanka and the Maldives - where China recently has been running infrastructure projects - are better suited to the wishes of the Chinese:

Relieving pressure on overcrowded national prisons by employing convicts as laborers at Chinese-run projects in the developing world is a novel strategy China has adopted - an approach that is certain to create a new backlash against Chinese businesses overseas in addition to highlighting the country’s egregious human-rights record.

Thousands of Chinese convicts, for example, have been pressed into service in projects by state-run Chinese companies in Sri Lanka, a strategically important country for China, which is seeking a role in the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka sits astride vital sea lanes of communication. China - in return for being allowed to make strategic inroads - provided Sri Lanka offensive weapon systems that helped end the long civil war on that island nation. Now, Beijing is being rewarded with port-building, railroads and other infrastructure projects.
Chinese convicts also have been taken to a microstate in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives, where the Chinese government is building 4,000 houses on several different islands as a government-to-government “gift” to win influence there.

Read the entire article here

It appears that China´s more than 1000 slave labour prison camps - with over five million inmates - are so overcrowded that the country´s communist rulers see a need to "export" some of the prisoners. Europe and the US should say no to this particarly ugly type of Chinese exports.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Daniel Hannan on the future of the euro

Daniel Hannan, one of the few sane voices in the European Parliament gives a brief, but accurate  account of the Eurozone´s problems:

EU leaders have spent the past year issuing sententious bromides about “avoiding contagion.” It’s an odd metaphor, since the usual defence against contagion is quarantine. Eurocrats, however, have insisted on taking Italy and Greece’s problems and making them everyone else’s. Result? The only economic havens in Europe are those outside the single currency: Switzerland, Scandinavia, and (oddly, when you consider that our deficit is higher than Portugal’s and almost as high as Greece’s) the United Kingdom.
From the beginning, the Brussels elites made it clear that, to adapt Abraham Lincoln, their paramount object was to save the Union. Never mind if that meant imposing epochal poverty and emigration on the southern members, and unprecedented tax rises on the northern. Never mind if it meant toppling the elected prime ministers of Italy and Greece and replacing them with Eurocrats (respectively a former European Commissioner and a former vice president of the European Central Bank — two perfect specimens of the people who caused the crisis in the first place). They were prepared to pay any price to keep the euro together — or, more precisely, to expect their peoples to pay, since EU employees are generally exempt from national taxation.
The alternative policy — an orderly unbundling of the euro — has never been seriously considered. Had it happened two years ago, a great deal of pain might have been avoided. If it happens now, there will be a cost, but it is still patently the least bad option.
Germany and its satellites could leave the euro tomorrow, establish a hard currency and bequeath the legal carcase of the euro to the Mediterranean states. The peripheral countries would thus devalue, price themselves into the market and receive an immediate stimulus. Their devaluation would probably be accompanied by a partial default (although not necessarily in Italy). Each state would then be free to adopt a monetary policy that suited its own conditions and, while the recovery would be painstaking, at least there would be a recovery.
Eurocrats, though, won’t countenance any challenge to their project. They remind me of the nomenklatura at the end of the 1980s. Even as the revolution overwhelms them, they carry on trotting out the old slogans — European economic government, fiscal federalism, eurobonds. Not in the hope of convincing anyone; not even in the hope of convincing themselves; but simply because they don’t know what else to do.
“Something must be done,” the economics editors of the world intone. By “something,” they mean “sufficient fiscal transfers from Germany to preserve the euro.” This, though, is to beg the question. The euro is the problem, not the solution. It is a recessionary device, whose maintenance threatens to topple large parts of the world back into recession. The quicker it is dismantled, the better for everyone.

Read the entire article here

Syrian writer Rana Kabbani´s greeting to Vladimir Putin

The Syrian writer and broadcaster Rana Kabbani, writing in the Guardian, sends her greetings to Vladimir Putin:

As I watch the city of Homs (where many of my school friends have been bombed in their gracious homes or killed in a Syrian city renowned for its fabulous sense of humour and its delicious cheese kunafa) turned into a latter-day Grozny, I curse Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, for helping in its wanton destruction, as he uses his veto to protect murderers, and supplies submarine and state-of-the-art weapons to kill yet more innocent Syrians. We Syrians recognise the type only too well. Vainglorious, brooking no dissent, buoyed up by financial mafias and laying on putrid cold war rhetoric, which leaves us even colder.

The Dying Russia blog is spot on in its comment:

The Russian government has stood against the people of Egypt, and watched their victory with bitter resentment.

It stood against the people of Libya, and was again humiliated before the world.

Now, it stands against the peoples of Syria and Iran, giving aid and comfort to the brutal dictatorships that oppress and destroy them.

But the people of Syria are winning, too. And they clearly see that Russia stands against them, while the nations of the West urge them to victory. When they prevail, they will not forget Russian treachery. All through the Middle East, Russia’s reckless foreign policy is alienating nation after nation, leaving Russia a pariah with only the likes of Iran to call its friend. This disastrous pro-terror policy is a hallmark of the horrific failure of the Putin regime across all aspects of foreign policy.

Greenpeace "activists" enjoying the "launch tour" on board the new luxury yacht

The economic and financial crisis in Europe and the US has hit hard on ordinary people, who are trying to trying to get on with their lives in a climate of austerity. But the elite "activists" on board Greenpeace´s luxurious new "Motor Sail yacht with helicopter landing deck", the Rainbow Warrior III, apparently could not care less. They are enjoying the sights and sounds of world capitals.

One of the participants in the Rainbow Warrior "launch tour" was clearly taken by the beauty of the Swedish capital:

The Rainbow Warrior's fourth stop on her launch tour brought us to the capital of Sweden.  She came in on a beautiful morning, with water as smooth as a mirror reflecting a low-hanging November sun.

There is even a video to show that description above is true:

For those who are interested, the Greenpeace web page proudly introduces the new luxury yacht:

She boasts a video editing suite, a conference room, a campaign office, two fast action boats, webcams fore and aft and a helicopter hanger and helideck. She can accommodate up to 30 people.

And the yacht is even said to be driven by "electric drive engines"!

The Warrior does have electric drive engines
Electric drive system (10 knots on only 300kW)

But right in end of the information page, under the headline Specifications, you will find this snippet of information:  

Main & Auxiliary Engines: Caterpillar

Greenpeace often accuses private companies and governments of spreading false and misleading information. But what about Greenpeace itself? It does not appear to be very honest to give ordinary people the impression that the new yacht is driven by electic engines, when it in reality uses diesel powered main and auxiliary engines. This fact is nowhere mentioned on Greenpeace´s information page.

On Caterpillar´s home page you will find this information about the engines they make:

Caterpillar is the marine industry's leading provider of medium- and high-speed marine diesel engines

The Geenpeace luxury yacht runs on fossil diesel fuel, even if the greenies do not want to admit it! And without diesel the "beautiful morning, with water as smooth as a mirror reflecting a low-hanging November sun"  in the Stockholm archipelago would not have been possible.

South African president Zuma to give keynote speech on World AIDS day

It will be interesting to hear what South Africa´s president Jacob Zuma will say in his "keynote speech" on the World AIDS Day, to be celebrated in Port Elizabeth on December 1.

A few years ago the same Zuma - then head of South Africa´s Aids Council - had this to say:

"It would minimise the risk of catching the disease"
Jacob Zuma
(During his rape trial in 2006, explaining to the Johannesburg High Court why he took a shower after having sex with an HIV-positive woman. infection.)

Jacob Zuma, a polygamist with 20 children, is now revered as an international statesman. Here he is posing with Finnnish president Tarja Halonen, who together with him is a co-hair of the UN's High Level Panel on Global Sustainability

Before Zuma was elected president he had to face a number of significant legal challenges. Here is the BBC´s timeline:

June 2005: Sacked as deputy president

October 2005: Charged with corruption

December 2005: Charged with rape

April 2006: Acquitted of rape charges

September 2006: Corruption case collapses

December 2007: Elected ANC president; then re-charged

September 2008: Judge rules corruption case cannot proceed

January 2009: Prosecutors win appeal

6 April 2009: Prosecutors drop case citing phone-tap evidence

(More details on this BBC page)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Putin, worried about his sinking popularity, again puts the blame on the West

Putin in KGB uniform

Russia´s dictator, the wife beater and philanderer Vladimir Putin - soon to be recrowned "president" -has again warned the West of "interfering" in Russia´s votes. The former second, or rather third rate KGB spy is clearly worried about his own sinking popularity (you may remember how he was booed on television only a few days ago by ordinary Russians). The old KGB handbook - which Putin always turns to - calls for blaming the West in these kind of situations. But it may very well be that Putin´s "bible" is now seriously out of date:

Russia will hold a crucial parliamentary vote next week, followed by presidential elections in March next year.
“Representatives of some foreign states” were paying politically-active NGOs in Russia to “influence the course of the election campaign in our country,” Putin said to a roar of approval and applause.
Such defiant rhetoric has come to dominate Russian political discourse since liberal revolutions in neighboring Ukraine and Georgia in the early 2000s forced pro-Kremlin leaders from power there.
“It would be better if they used this money to pay off their national debt and stop conducting an ineffective and costly foreign policy,” he added in a clear reference to the debt-ridden United States.
Lilia Shibanova, the head of Russia’s main independent observer group Golos, said Putin’s stinging warning reveals his “total misunderstanding” of the current climate in Russia.
“They have cornered themselves by creating the only governing party, by impeding normal political competition and turning the political process into a monopoly,” Shibanova said. “This has nothing to do with monitoring.”
“What they’ll get is even fiercer protests of the [liberal] opposition,” she added.

Read the entire article here

Oxford professor Garton Ash: Europeans should again do what they are told to do

I have said it before, but having read the interview with Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European Studies at Oxford, it must be said again: Garton Ash is one of the most overrated European academics. His downright naive answers makes one wonder, why fairly serious magazines, like Der Stern, still bother to talk to him:

SPIEGEL: You are British and a pro-European, a rare mixture. Doesn't your country face the question of whether to either participate in Europe completely or not at all?
Garton Ash: Yes, now is the hour of truth for Great Britain, because if the euro zone is saved, there will be a fiscal union, which means a political union of the euro countries -- I suspect without Greece, but with a few new candidates. At the same time, the British government is trying to bring certain powers, in social policy, for example, from Brussels back to the island. This will hardly succeed. Then, in the next two, three or four years, we in Great Britain will face the final question: in or out?
SPIEGEL: And what will the answer be?
Garton Ash: You'll be surprised, but it could still be: in.
SPIEGEL: Do you really believe it will turn out that way?
Garton Ash: Yes, and that is why the conservative euroskeptics are doing their utmost to prevent it from coming to this existential alternative. The passive consensus in favor of Europe is bigger than it appears in Great Britain.

There cannot be more than a handful diehard europhiles in Britain who share Garton Ash´s opinion. The comfortable life of an Oxford don seems to have completely insulated the professor from the real world.

SPIEGEL: (Former German Chancellor) Helmut Schmidt charges that the European elites don't know what is at stake in this crisis, because they don't know enough about economics. Is he right?
Garton Ash: I don't think that this is a decisive aspect. What's more important is that leaders like Helmut Schmidt or Helmut Kohl, as well as François Mitterrand, could expect a passive consensus within the population. Perhaps people weren't particularly enthusiastic about Europe or in Germany about the monetary union, but they accepted it because the elites told them: In principle, this is important and it's the right thing to do. Today this passive consensus is missing throughout Europe. As a result, there is a great deal more persuading to do in each country and it's significantly more difficult.

Read the entire interview here

Garton Ash is probably right about "people weren't particularly enthusiastic about Europe or in Germany about the monetary union, but they accepted it because the elites told them", but it is outrageous and deeply undemocratic to claim - as Garton Ash does - that "it's the right thing to do". With this kind of attitude the professor must be an ardent admirer of countries like China and Russia, where people still do what the ruling elites tell them to do.

OECD and IEA intensify their global warming propaganda - US is main paymaster

American taxpayers should realise that the United States is the main paymaster of two of the international organizations, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), which are in the forefront of the global warming propaganda machinery.

Both organisations have during recent years increasingly focused on AGW scaremongering instead of concentrating on their original tasks - helping governments foster prosperity through economic growth and to meet their energy needs.

Both the OECD and the IEA have joined the warmist UN organisations, Greenpeace, WWF and similar groups in a more or less coordinated publicity campaign prior to the Durban COP17 climate change jamboree.

Here is how the OECD chooses to describe its "latest analysis":

According to OECD’s latest analysis, global greenhouse gas emissions are projected to double in the next 40 years. This would result in a 3-6 degree increase of the average global temperature by the end of the century unless governments take decisive action.

The OECD’s Environmental Outlook to 2050 (full publication in March 2012) paints a grim picture of the Earth in 2050 if we do not change our policies and behaviour to accommodate the 9 billion people it will have to support in the coming decades. For example, without new government policies, the mix of energy technologies will not change significantly by 2050, with the share of fossil fuel-based energy remaining at 85%. By 2050 the concentration of warming gases in the atmosphere could reach 685 parts per million (ppm) CO2-equivalents. This is well above the level of 450 ppm CO2e that scientists say is needed to have at least a 50% chance of achieving the 2°C goal.

“The economic costs and environmental consequences of political inaction on climate change are significant”—said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría—“Governments have to break out of their national mind-sets and look at the global picture. They must speed up negotiations in Durban if we are to meet the internationally agreed goal to limit the global temperature rise to 2°C”.

And the IEA´s "New Policies Scenario" is at least as scary:

In the New Policies Scenario, cumulative CO2 emissions over the next 25 years amount to three-quarters of the total from the past 110 years, leading to a long-term average temperature rise of 3.5°C. China?s per-capita emissions match the OECD average in 2035. Were the new policies not implemented, we are on an even more dangerous track, to an increase of 6°C.
The world is locking itself into an unsustainable energy future which would have far-reaching consequences, IEA warns in its latest World Energy Outlook

"As each year passes without clear signals to drive investment in clean energy, the "lock-in" of high-carbon infrastructure is making it harder and more expensive to meet our energy security and climate goals," said Fatih Birol, IEA Chief Economist. The WEO presents a 450 Scenario, which traces an energy path consistent with meeting the globally agreed goal of limiting the temperature rise to 2°C. Four-fifths of the total energy-related CO2 emissions permitted to 2035 in the 450 Scenario are already locked-in by existing capital stock, including power stations, buildings and factories. Without further action by 2017, the energy-related infrastructure then in place would generate all the CO2 emissions allowed in the 450 Scenario up to 2035. Delaying action is a false economy: for every $1 of investment in cleaner technology that is avoided in the power sector before 2020, an additional $4.30 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions.

The politicians in the US Congress ultimately decide whether American taxpayers should continue financing this kind of global warming propaganda. And we are talking about considerable sums of money - the US pays about 25% of the combined close to 500 million USD budgets of the OECD and the IEA. (The German, British and French taxpayers´combined share is about the same as the US contribution). There might be better ways of using the money in these economically troubled times .....