Saturday, 4 February 2012

Cameron faces revolt by tory MPs about wind power subsidies

With the extreme warmist Chris Huhne gone as energy secretary, it appears that more rational forces are gaining ground in UK politics:

A total of 101 Tory MPs have written to the Prime Minister demanding that the £400 million-a-year subsidies paid to the “inefficient” onshore wind turbine industry are “dramatically cut”.
The backbenchers, joined by some MPs from other parties, have also called on Mr Cameron to tighten up planning laws so local people have a better chance of stopping new farms being developed and protecting the countryside.
Critics say wind farms are inefficient because the wind cannot be guaranteed to blow at times of greatest energy demand. They are also said to be unsightly, blighting the landscape.
Wind farms are also accused of forcing up energy bills while swallowing disproportionate amounts of taxpayer-funded subsidies.
The Tory MPs, including several of the party’s rising stars as well as former ministers, say it is wrong that hard-pressed consumers must pay for the expansion of onshore wind power.
In the letter sent to No 10 Downing Street last week, which has been seen by The Sunday Telegraph, the MPs say they have become “more and more concerned” about government “support for onshore wind energy production”.
“In these financially straitened times, we think it is unwise to make consumers pay, through taxpayer subsidy, for inefficient and intermittent energy production that typifies onshore wind turbines,” they say.

Read the entire article here
According to a Downing Street spokesman, the Government is proposing "a cut for onshore wind subsidies to take into account the fact that costs are coming down", but the same spokesman still clings to the Cameron government´s stupid green mantra: “We need a low carbon infrastructure and onshore wind is a cost effective and valuable part of the diverse energy mix".

The fact is, as the economist Ruth Lea, recently pointed out in a report, "there is no economic case for wind-power" - neither is there an environmental case. Maybe somebody should send Dr. Lea´s report to Downing Street?

Schwarzenegger telling Indians fairy tales about "booming" green economy in California

 "The measures taken in California have brought the state in the forefront of green movement in the US. Green economy is booming with 10 times more jobs in green sector and 40 percent more energy efficiency."

However, the Terminator appears to have a rather selective view of the "booming" California economy. Here are some facts which he chose not include in his keynote speech:

In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned. President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. Gov. Jerry Brown promised 500,000 clean-technology jobs statewide by the end of the decade. But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream.   
Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show. Two years after it was awarded $186 million in federal stimulus money to weatherize drafty homes, California has spent only a little over half that sum and has so far created the equivalent of just 538 full-time jobs in the last quarter, according to the State Department of Community Services and Development.      
Job training programs intended for the clean economy have also failed to generate big numbers. The Economic Development Department in California reports that $59 million in state, federal and private money dedicated to green jobs training and apprenticeship has led to only 719 job placements — the equivalent of an $82,000 subsidy for each one.

Maybe the Terminator was actually thinking about a new kind of "booming" green economy waiting to become reality?:

Last week, more than 200 prisoners at California’s notorious San Quentin State Prison turned out for a “green jobs” fair. The soon-to-be-released felons were greeted by representatives from several nonprofit groups and training programs, all offering advice and information about the ecologically friendly employment opportunities that supposedly await the men beyond the prison's gates.
The inmates of San Quentin also took part in psychobabble discussion groups. An examination of the topics presented included growing your own food will save money; watching plants grow will develop patience; gardening will teach tolerance toward plants and people; and another that literally promised, “smelling the plants changes behavior.”
The way utopian-minded non-profits like Planting Justice and Insight Garden Program see the world is, if we’ll just give an ex-con a bag of vegetable seeds upon release, he’ll grow his own food, save money, be more patient and tolerant, his overall behavior will forever be altered, and his criminal ways will be a distant image in the rearview mirror of life.

If only it were so easy.

Forgive me for being cynical, but my antenna is way up. Seems to me, if anything, Planting Justice and the Insight Garden Program may be unknowingly preparing some of these prisoners to become master growers of marijuana and poppy plants.

Read the entire article here

Friday, 3 February 2012

German climatologists: The extreme cold weather in Europe is due to global warming!

The deep freeze has already claimed over 200 lives in Europe, with the death toll raising to 100 in Ukraine only. Forecasters are warning that the cold weather will tighten its grip at the weekend.

Luckily, German climatologists at the Research Unit Potsdam of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research have found out the reason for the extreme cold: Global warming!
Their study has been published in the scientific journal Tellus A:

Even if the current weather situation may seem to speak against it, the probability of cold winters with much snow in Central Europe rises when the Arctic is covered by less sea ice in summer. Scientists of the Research Unit Potsdam of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association have decrypted a mechanism in which a shrinking summertime sea ice cover changes the air pressure zones in the Arctic atmosphere and impacts our European winter weather. These results of a global climate analysis were recently published in a study in the scientific journal Tellus A.

We can be assured that these innovative German scientists will be able to "decrypt a mechanism" showing that even the coming of a new ice age is due to global warming!

When it is really cold, do not count on gas deliveries from Gazprom!

When it is really cold - and the need for gas is at its greatest - do not count on deliveries from Russia´s Gazprom!:

RWE AG (RWE.XE) unit Supply & Trading is getting around 30% less gas than usual from Russia, an RWE spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires, after national operators in Poland and Austria reported declining delivery volumes from gas giant OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) amid severe cold weather.
In Germany, a spokesman for Wingas--the country's second-largest importer of gas and a 50-50 joint venture between German chemicals giant BASF SE's (BAS.XE) Wintershall unit and Gazprom--said earlier Thursday that there were noticeable reductions in Russian deliveries, but that these are hard to quantify. He also said that Gazprom had previously notified customers that there may be reductions in deliveries during the cold weather.

Read the entire article here

Merkel in China: "The euro has strengthened Europe"

Europe´s de facto ruler, German chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on a kowtowing visit to China, has been extolling the virtues of the common European currency:

"I want to tell you: The euro has strengthened Europe," Ms Merkel said in a speech at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, one of the country's leading academic institutions, which functions as a think-tank for the government. "This is not a crisis of the euro, it is a debt crisis and a crisis of different levels of competitiveness," she said.

At the same time the IMF has warned that the recession in Merkel´s "strengthened Europe" will slow the global economy this year: The 17 nations that share the euro will shrink 0.5 percent this year.

However, we should always remember Merkel´s rule number one: Even if Greece and a couple of other euro countries would go bankrupt, it is NEVER the fault of the eternally excellent, political euro.

Whether Frau Merkel was able to convince her Chinese hosts, remains to be seen.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The new Greenpeace mega yacht on its way to the sunny Caribbean

After a brief stop in New York the new Greenpeace mega yacht is now on its way to the Caribbean

Just as we expected, the new Greenpeace yacht Rainbow Warrior III is joining all the other mega yachts in Florida and the Caribbean for the winter months. The Greenpeace yacht is now - after a brief stop in New York - on its way to Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg. From Florida the global launch tour continues to the blue and sunny waters of the Caribbean, and from there on to Brasil. (The Rainbow Warrior will probably not make it to the Rio Carnival, which opens already on February 17th this year, but there is Carnival all year round in the "world´s party capital"!)

No wonder, that the "activists" on board are excited. Here is the account of one cruise participant:

What a huge privilege to be aboard the ship and for the Atlantic crossing no less!
Gazing out at the hills and islands of Grand Canaria slip into the distance with Penny, the bosun, she explained that it’d take about two weeks to cross the Atlantic (our deadline to get to NY is Jan 29th), spend a few weeks in the US and then head on to Brazil. It was encouraging to hear the timeline and confirm I’ll head to Brazil with the ship!

And now I’m in my bunk, freshly haven taken a hot shower in my own cabin and about to head to bed–the prospect of 9 hours of sleep sounds amazing. I’ve felt a bit lightheaded all day and wondered if it’s exhaustion or seasickness but I’m feeling pretty confident it’s just exhaustion and probably a bit of dehydration from all the traveling. On a similar note, I realized my lunch today was the first proper meal I’ve eaten since last Wednesday night in Madison.
I’m still in amazement that I’m here. Penny pinched me earlier to confirm it was real.

In other blog posts the happy Greenpeace activist relates pleasant encounters on the way to New York:

Dolphins! We watch as eight dolphins jump, glide and dart mere feet in front of the bow, playing in the momentum of our forward motion and the early morning light. After ten minutes about twenty dolphins had rendezvoused at the bow while another dozen jumped in crescent shaped arches to our starboard. A beautiful sunrise, dolphins and sailing on the ocean–a pretty fantastic way to start the day!
I was in the perfect place when Lila came out from the bridge pointing to port and exclaiming that there were whales.

Dan slowed the ship and made an announcement over the PA so the rest of the crew could partake in such a treasured and rare occasion. For the next twenty minutes or so we watched the whales occasionally surface and blow air creating huge swaths of glassing rings on the water in their wake. How beautiful and magnificent!

Oh boy, it´s tough to be a Greenpeace activist these days!

BBC uses former Kremlin adviser as main consultant for series on Putin´s Russia

The BBC offers Vladimir Putin a helping hand

The once great BBC again shows its true colours. The overall narrative in a new documentary series on Russia is slanted towards the country´s corrupted - and according to many observers criminal - dictator Vladimir Putin. No wonder, because the main consultant to the series, former BBC Moscow correspondent Angus Roxburgh, worked for three years from 2006 as an adviser to the Russian government:

Angus Roxburgh is well known to the British public as a former BBC Moscow correspondent. Much more relevant is the fact that Mr Roxburgh was a public relations consultant to the Kremlin for three years between 2006 and 2009. I have no doubt that he is a man of integrity, but it is profoundly shocking that the BBC should even have considered using him, given the nature of his previous employment.
Just imagine the outcry if the BBC were to employ President Ahmadinejad’s former spin consultant when making a film about Iran, or a former Tory central office type when making a film about David Cameron in a British election year.
So why is Roxburgh acceptable? I have been hearing very sad and alarming accounts about the BBC’s coverage of Putin’s Russia for over a decade. Those wanting to learn more can read an article written by the former BBC producer Masha Karp in Standpoint magazine in November 2010, which tells how her programme about the death of Alexander Litvinenko was suppressed by the World Service.
There are other such stories. As The Guardian correspondent Luke Harding records in his recent book, Mafia State, “the BBC Moscow bureau in particular is extremely reluctant to report on stories that might offend the Kremlin”.
The elections on March 4 are of huge importance. If he wins, Vladimir Putin can look forward to a further 12 years in power, making him the longest-serving Russian leader since Stalin. Some good judges believe that this outcome might plunge Russia into a new dark age. How fortunate for Putin that he has a useful idiot in Jonathan Powell and a fearful news organisation like the BBC to make life easy for him.

Read the entire Telegraph article here

The deadly deep freeze in Eastern Europe continues

The deadly deep freeze in Eastern Europe continues:

RESCUE helicopters have evacuated dozens of people from snow-blocked villages in Serbia and Bosnia as the death toll from a severe cold spell in Eastern Europe climbed to 83.

Temperatures fell to -32C in some areas, parts of the Black Sea froze near the Romanian coastline and rare snow fell on Croatian islands in the Adriatic Sea.
In Bulgaria, 16 towns recorded their lowest temperatures since records began 100 years ago as four more people were reported dead from hypothermia.
In central Serbia, choppers pulled out 12 people, including nine who went to a funeral but then could not get back over icy, snow-choked roads.
Two more people froze to death in the snow and two others are missing, bringing that nation's death toll to five.
''The situation is dramatic, the snow is up to five metres high in some areas, you can only see rooftops,'' said Dr Milorad Dramacanin, who participated in the helicopter evacuations.
Two helicopters were also used to rescue people and supply remote villages in northern Bosnia.
Some villages have had no electricity for days and crews were working around the clock trying to fix power lines.
Ukraine alone reported 43 deaths, mostly homeless people.

The extremely cold weather also continues in Finland, with the coldest day of the year in northern Finland:

Yet another cold record for this winter was set in Kiutaköngäs near Kuusamo, where the temperature plunged to -38.7 degrees Celsius on Wednesday morning.

And this is only the beginning. For the weekend temperatures over - 40 degrees are forecasted in northern Finland!
It cannot take long before we hear the first reports by AGW warmists that this coldspell is all happening because of global warming.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

"It’s a complete myth that Putin’s Russia is stable"

The Robert Amsterdam website is one of the best sources of information about Russia. The interview with German businessman Franz J. Sedelmayer, who knows Russia and Putin better than most Europeans, is another proof of that:

In this exclusive interview, German businessman Franz J. Sedelmayer discusses his decades-long dispute with the Russian government, challenging Russia’s sovereign immunity, and the link between state corruption and the current environment of civil unrest in Russia.

I have picked a couple of excerpts from this must-read article.

Sedelmayer on Putin:

Well there is a nice phrase that describes what happened to Putin: “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
When I worked with Putin, he was known for two things: being honest and being loyal to his boss, who at that time was Mayor Sobchak. Putin would do absolutely anything for Sobchak, including covering up his corruption – and it was incredible, he did a very good job at it. It was this type of display of loyalty that eventually landed him his first top job in Moscow, and I think essentially that was the role he was originally expected to play by Yeltsin and his family.
If Putin would really be reelected as president in March 2012 he will, in order to stay in control for the whole duration of his term, restrict the freedom of the Russian people even more harsh; possibly to rival the situation as it has existed under the communists in the 1970’s. The Russian people are fully aware of that danger!
The crisis in Russia is not just limited to Putin the person, but the people who work around him. By nature, a dominant and charismatic personality like Putin is not going to surround himself with very capable people. That actually describes the whole situation in Russia today, whether you are talking about the FSB, the bureaucracy, or the nachalniki that control the cities and regions. These are not exactly the brain surgeons and rocket scientists of Russia – these are people who jumped on the bandwagon of Putin’s party, just like the same type of people who jumped on the bandwagon of the Communist Party for decades.

Sedelmayer on foreign investment in Russia:

 Look, the truth is that Russia’s image as a destination for foreign investment is terrible, and I don’t care about all the positive things that any Western government, including the United States, has to say about how great the country is, how it is moving in the right direction, etc. And the American “reset policy” in particular has failed miserably in bringing any progress to Russia that continues to fail to protect people’s property and freedom.
A normal businessperson today would not invest a dime in Russia. The only companies that are able to invest are multinational corporations of the size that they don’t care if they lose their investment. On the one hand, the investment is either relatively small in the terms of the company’s overall portfolio, and on the other, they don’t care if they lose the money because it is not their money but rather that of the shareholders. These guys can go out there and take all the risks, and then worry about handling the disputes among shareholders and auctioneers in the event that they lose the investment, but in no case are they making any investment that would cause the end of company. It seems strange some shareholders have not woken up to that reality, yet! But when you talk about small and mid-sized companies, there is no way they would take the risk to invest in Russia when there is no way to recover debts.

Sedelmayer on stability in Putin´s Russia:

It’s a complete myth that Putin’s Russia is stable. The lack of control over the country is the same as back in the Czar’s days – “the heavens are high and Moscow is far.” It is sheer logistics that do not allow a vertical line of power from the Kremlin to all the cities and the villages in the faraway regions, requiring Moscow to relinquish wide ranging discretion to locals.
What Putin has done essentially is to strike a deal with anybody in the regions that doesn’t step on his feet and or on the feet of the federal government, and then this or that governor or mayor is allowed to fill his own pockets without any oversight from the federal government. But the moment that they mount an opposition to the center, no matter how small it might be, Putin and his people will do anything possible to break it up.

New British study: There is no economic or environmental case for wind power

Offshore wind parks are indordinately expensive

There is no economic case for wind power. Neither is there a case for cutting CO2
emissions by using wind power. These are the two main conclusions in a new study ("Electricity Costs: The Folly of Wind Power") by the renowned economist Ruth Lea, published by the independent think tank Civitas. 

These are the inconvenient facts about wind power that both the British government and other European governments so far have chosen to ignore: 

Onshore wind looks relatively competitive on the MM (engineering consultants Mott MacDonald) data. But MM exclude the additional costs associated with wind-power. When allowance is made for these additional costs, the technology ceases to be competitive for both near-term and medium-term projects.
Offshore wind (even before allowing for additional costs) and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies are inordinately expensive.

Nuclear power and gas-fired CCGT are therefore the preferred technologies for generating reliable and affordable electricity. There is no economic case for wind-power.

Wind-power is also an inefficient way of cutting CO2 emissions, once allowance is made for the CO2 emissions involved in the construction of the turbines and the deployment of conventional back-up generation. Nuclear power and gas-fired CCGT, replacing coal-fired plant, are the preferred technologies for reducing CO2 emissions. (Chapter 3)

Wind-power is therefore expensive (chapter 2) and ineffective in cutting CO2 emissions (chapter 3). If it were not for the renewables targets set by the Renewables Directive, wind-power would not even be entertained as a cost-effective way of generating electricity and/or cutting emissions. The renewables targets should be renegotiated with the EU.

Some additional facts about why wind power is not effective in cutting CO2 emissions:

At first glance it could be assumed that wind-power could play a major part in cutting CO2 emissions. Once the turbines are manufactured (an energy-intensive business in itself) and installed then emissions associated with the electricity could be expected to be zero - as indeed for nuclear power.

But, as pointed out in chapter 2, wind-power is unreliable and intermittent and requires conventional back-up plant to provide electricity when the wind is either blowing at very low speeds (or not at all) or with uncontrolled variability (intermittency). Clearly the CO2 emissions associated with using back-up capacity must be regarded as an intrinsic aspect of deploying wind turbines. This is all the more relevant given the relatively high CO2 emissions from conventional plants when they are used in a back-up capacity.

As energy consultant David White has written:
 "…(fossil-fuelled) capacity is placed under particular strains when working in this supporting role because it is being used to balance a reasonably predictable but fluctuating demand with a variable and largely unpredictable output from wind turbines.

Consequently, operating fossil capacity in this mode generates more CO2 per kWh generated than if operating normally."

 "…it seems reasonable to ask why wind-power is the beneficiary of such extensive support if it not only fails to achieve the CO2 reductions required, but also causes cost increases in back-up, maintenance and transmission, while at the same time discouraging investment in clean, firm generation."6

In a comprehensive quantitative analysis of CO2 emissions and wind-power, Dutch physicist C. le Pair has recently shown that deploying wind turbines on "normal windy days" in the Netherlands actually increased fuel (gas) consumption, rather than saving it, when compared to electricity generation with modern high-efficiency gas turbines.7,8 Ironically and paradoxically the use of wind farms therefore actually increased CO2 emissions, compared with using efficient gas-fired combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) at full power.

(image by wikipedia)

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Finland and Eastern Europe in a deep freeze - Russia sends nuclear icebreaker to secure shipping

The world´s largest nuclear icebreaker "50 Years of Victory" is on its way to the Gulf of Finland

A high pressure area over Northwestern Russia keeps Finland and Eastern Europe in a deep freeze:  

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) predicts severe cold to continue until at least next weekend. Early Monday, a new cold record for this winter was set in Kuhmo, where the mercury plunged to -35.4 degrees Celsius.

Eastern Finland is experiencing the bitterest cold. In the provinces of North Karelia, Koillismaa and Kainuu, temperatures hover around -30 to -35 degrees Celsius.

After a mild start to the winter, frigid air is now pouring into Finland from the east. This Russian blast will keep the country in the deep freeze all week, says FMI meteorologist Antti Jylhä-Ollilla.

Read the entire article here
So far the there is only moderate icing in the Gulf of Finland, but the situation will change if the cold weather continues. In an effort to avoid a repeat of the situation last year, when tens of ships were stuck in the ice, Russian shipping officials ordered the world´s largest nuclear powered icebreaker to assist in the Gulf of Finland. The Russian nuclear giant "50 Years of Victory" left its home port Murmansk last Wednesday, and now on its way to the Baltic Sea.
As we reported in a post last July, the Finnish and Russian goverments have decided to modernise their icebreaker fleets, not trusting the global warming predictions of the AGW alarmists.
(image by wikipedia)

EU leaders continue their dance around the holy euro totem pole

The European Union leaders continue their dance around the holy euro totem pole, despite the fact that this ritual has lost touch with reality already long ago.

Now the 25 out of 27 EU states have agreed to a more or less meaningless German-inspired fiscal compact for stricter budget discipline. At the same time European politicians are once again discussing a new bailout for Greece, even if everybody understands that the result will be no different than in the past:

Europe's politicians continue to battle reality. Everyone knows that Greece cannot repay its massive pile of debts, now at more than €350 billion ($459 billion). But instead of effectively reducing the financial burden, European politicians intend to approve new loans for the government in Athens and go on fighting debt with new debt. "If the country wants to remain in the euro zone, we should support it," says Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

But throwing money to a bankrupt economy is not going to help anyone:

The Greek economy is not productive enough to generate growth. Aside from olive oil, textiles and a few chemicals, there are hardly any Greek products suitable for export. On the contrary, Greece is dependent on food imports to feed its population.
"Greece has been living beyond its means for years," an unpublished study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) concludes. "The consumption of goods has exceeded economic output by far."
Especially devastating is the assessment that the DIW experts make about the condition of an industry that is generally seen as a potential engine for growth: tourism. According to the DIW study, the Greek tourism industry concentrates on the summer months, with almost nothing happening throughout the rest of the year. There is almost no tourism in the cities, which translates into low overall capacity utilization and high costs for hotel operators. By contrast, capacity utilization in the hotel sector is much more uniform in other Mediterranean countries.
According to the study, a key cause of the problem is the relatively poor price/performance ratio. In Mediterranean tourism, Greece has to compete with non-euro countries like Croatia, Tunisia, Morocco, Bulgaria and Turkey, which can offer their services at significantly lower prices. The per-hour wage in the hospitality industry was recently measured at €11.39 in Greece, as compared with only €8.49 in Portugal, €4 in Turkey and as little as €1.55 in Bulgaria. The study arrives at grim conclusions, noting that the drastic austerity programs will not only remain ineffective, but will also stigmatize the country as "Europe's problem child" for a long time to come.

Read the entire Der Spiegel article here

As much as one would like to see the euro prosper, Dr Doom´s assessment is looking more and more likely:

"The euro zone is a slow-motion train wreck," said economist Nouriel Roubini, nicknamed Dr Doom after he predicted the U.S. subprime crisis.

Roubini sees Greece leaving the euro within a year, possibly followed by Portugal. He told delegates there is a 50 percent chance of the bloc breaking up completely in the next 3-5 years.

(image by wikipedia)

The Bulgarian ban on fracking may have to be revised

The Bulgarian parliament recently banned hydraulic fracturing, or shale gas fracking.  Now experts in Bulgaria are according to the Southeast European Times saying that the ban may have to be revised, because it would in reality block all drilling associated with the exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the country.

Even the Bulgarian Energy and Economy minister now realises what the ban means to his country:

Bulgarian Energy and Economy Minister Traicho Traikov told bTV that Russia's Gazprom is currently charging Bulgaria more than 382 euros for 1,000 cubic metres of natural gas, while countries that have shale gas are paying 76 euros for 1,000 cubic metres.
"The parliament's decision is depriving us of an argument in the negotiations with the Russians," the minister said.
Bulgaria, which buys 98% of its gas from Gazprom, could be sitting on 300 billion cubic metres to 1 trillion cubic metres of shale gas, Bloomberg news agency said, citing the Bulgarian energy and economy ministry's estimates.

The ban was passed by parliament by a vote of 166-6 on January 18th in wake of mass protests by environmentalists (supported by Russian Gazprom).  However, there were at least some sane voices in the parliament:

Ivan Ivanov, a member of the parliament's economy, energy and tourism committee and an MP for the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party, regretted the ban's adoption, but was content that his party voted against the measure.
"Our position is based on several principles -- mainly that energy is an element of the country's national security," he told SETimes. "The efforts therefore should be aimed at ensuring Bulgaria's energy security and energy independence. The prospecting for, and subsequently the extraction of, shale gas can help achieve both goals simultaneously."

Secondly, Bulgaria would be able to reduce its dependence on Gazprom, which, taking advantage of its monopoly, keeps raising the price of the natural gas it delivers to the country, Ivanov continued.
"Thirdly, the competitiveness of Bulgarian goods will grow, as the price of the main energy resource, which is natural gas, will be much lower," he said.
Bulgaria's unilateral dependence on Gazprom allows Russia to play a certain role in the country's political decision-making process, according to Ivanov.
"Gazprom, which is implementing Prime Minister [Vladimir] Putin's geostrategic plans through its policies, knew that if Poland, Romania and Bulgaria start extracting shale gas, the western route of Russian natural gas deliveries will effectively be cut off," he said

Sunday, 29 January 2012

EU climate change commissioner Hedegaard in need of a break

As we reported only a couple of days ago, the European Commission has published a study stating that there is no need for new legislation to regulate shale gas exploration in the European Union.

Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger:"The legal study confirms that there is no immediate need for changing our EU legislation"

Connie Hedegaard, the European Union´s überwarmist and promoter of (Danish) wind energy, does obviously not keep in touch with Oettinger and the rest of the Commission; she keeps on blabbering that the European Commission is "looking into what kind of regulation could be implemented across the bloc".

"What we're doing is before it gets to be a very big issue we are trying to see about the chemicals, about the fracking, about the consequences. That need s analysis , " she told Reuters .

"We would never mind having international legislation around this, but as that will probably take some time, it's just important for us to check whether our own legislation is adequate , " she added.

Read the entire article here

Time for a long holiday, Mrs. Hedegaard?

Sixteen distinguished scientists: Drastic actions on global warming not needed

This letter, signed by sixteen distinguished scientists should be read by all politicians who may have to decide about "global warming" measures:

A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about "global warming." Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.
The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.

The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere's life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere.
Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.

A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now. Many other policy responses would have a negative return on investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet.

If elected officials feel compelled to "do something" about climate, we recommend supporting the excellent scientists who are increasing our understanding of climate with well-designed instruments on satellites, in the oceans and on land, and in the analysis of observational data. The better we understand climate, the better we can cope with its ever-changing nature, which has complicated human life throughout history. However, much of the huge private and government investment in climate is badly in need of critical review.

Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of "incontrovertible" evidence.

Here are the signatories:

Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.

Read the entire letter in the Wall Street Journal here