Saturday, 11 February 2012

UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability delivers a final report

In August 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) "that bring together renowned world figures to formulate a new blueprint for a sustainable future on a planet under increasing stress resulting from human activities".

The Panel, which was co-chaired by Finnish President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma, met a few times - with Zuma not present on most occasions - to hear what the bureaucrats and "experts", who actually wrote the report, had on their mind.

The GSP launched its final report, "Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing" on January 30 in Addis Ababa.

As was to be expected, there has more or less been silence after the launch. Who in the world would be interested in yet another compilation of UN "sustainability speak"?!

Here are a just a few excerpts to show you what was written in the name of these "renowned world figures":

The long-term vision of the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability is to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and make growth inclusive, and production and consumption more sustainable, while combating climate change and respecting a range of other planetary boundaries. This reaffirms the landmark 1987 report by the World Commission on Environment and Development, "Our Common Future" (United Nations document A/42/427, annex), known to all as the Brundtland report.

But what, then, is to be done if we are to make a real difference for the world’s people and the planet? We must grasp the dimensions of the challenge. We must recognize that the drivers of that challenge include unsustainable lifestyles, production and consumption patterns and the impact of population growth.

The current global development model is unsustainable. We can no longer assume that our collective actions will not trigger tipping points as environmental thresholds are breached, risking irreversible damage to both ecosystems and human communities. At the same time, such thresholds should not be used to impose arbitrary growth ceilings on developing countries seeking to lift their people out of poverty.

It is time for bold global efforts, including launching a major global scientific initiative, to strengthen the interface between science and policy. We must define, through science, what scientists refer to as "planetary boundaries", "environmental thresholds" and "tipping points".

Most goods and services sold today fail to bear the full environmental and social cost of production and consumption. Based on the science, we need to reach consensus, over time, on methodologies to price them properly. Costing environmental externalities could open new opportunities for green growth and green jobs;

International governance for sustainable development must be strengthened by using existing institutions more dynamically and by considering the creation of a global sustainable development council and the adoption of sustainable development goals;

Note the key words and phrases:

  • unsustainable lifestyles, production and consumption patterns
  • The current global development model is unsustainable
  • "planetary boundaries", "environmental thresholds" and "tipping points"
  • Based on the science, we need to reach consensus, over time, on methodologies to price them (goods and services) properly
  • the creation of a global sustainable development council

What these "sustainability socialists" want is in reality to have some kind of world (socialist) government to decide our lifestyle, production, consumtion, markets and prices. Fortunately, their dream will never come true, but it will keep hundreds - if not thousands - of highly paid bureaucrats and "experts" busy planning the next major totally useless "sustainability" reports.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Carbon capture: The enormous waste of taxpayers´money continues in the EU

The enormous waste of taxpayers´money in the name of fighting (non-existent) human caused global warming, continues in the European Union. Now we hear that the failed carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) is going to get another €1.37 billion:

Experimental technology to capture, store and bury carbon emissions in geological formations is in line to receive a payout of as much as €1.37 billion from the EU’s energy infrastructure package, EurActiv has learned.

The funding could prove controversial as carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is an unproven technology that critics say is not commercially viable, climate-friendly or safe.
Supporters on the other hand say CCS will be crucial to reducing the global warming impact of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, on which the International Energy Agency says the world will continue to rely for decades. The European Commission has already backed the technology to the tune of €1 billion.

António Correia de Campos, the rapporteur tasked with seeing the energy infrastructure package through the European Parliament, told EurActiv that “around 10%-15%” of the €9.1 billion funding in the legislation would be spent on the technology.

“CCS is by nature under-developed and by definition this leverage will be fundamental for it,” he said.

European CCS projects have been beset by delays, despite receiving billions of euros of EU funding.

Of 12 CCS demonstration plants due to begin operation in 2015, only between four and six are now expected to be up and running by 2020.

Yet there has been little public discussion about the allocation of CCS funding in the package and renewable energy grandees said the funding made no financial or policy sense.

“How can you build an infrastructure for something that has not been implemented yet?” said Arthouros Zervos, president of the European Renewable Energy Council, an industry group. “It would be another white elephant.”

“Even the people building CCS say it won’t be commercially viable until 2030,” he added, “and if you give the money to CCS you subtract it from other electricity infrastructure projects which Europe needs urgently.”

In 2008, the International Energy Agency estimated that, every tonne of CO2 captured through CCS would cost $40-90 (€30-€68), but current carbon prices are closer to $11 (€9).

Two CCS plants in Germany and Britain were recently cancelled, and many remaining projects are at risk, due to regulatory objections, funding shortfalls, public opposition, and questions about their contribution to mitigating climate change.
Even so, the EU’s 2050 Energy Roadmap still estimates that CCS will account for between 19%-32% of Europe’s emission cuts by 2050.

Read the entire article here

The EU climate change madness has already cost European taxpayers billions of euros. However, the current failed EU leaders and the unelected Brussels bureaucrats, united by the fake global warming religion, could not care less. They continue wasting billions while ordinary taxpayers are suffering (also from other failed projects, like the common currency).

But the day of reckoning is getting closer, day by day.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Putin - A "miracle of God"?

It is sad to see the head of the Russian Orthodox church and other religious leaders praise Russia´s ruler, former second rate KGB agent Vladimir Putin as a "miracle of God":

The head of the Russian Orthodox church on Wednesday called the 12 years of Vladimir Putin's rule a "miracle of God" and criticised his opponents, at a gathering where religious leaders heaped praise on the prime minister.
Putin wants support from spiritual figures for his campaign to win his third term in the Kremlin in a March 4 election. He is facing a growing protest movement and needs to consolidate his core support to avoid a runoff.
Putin has built his campaign on a contrast with the turbulent 1990s, when millions were thrown into poverty after the collapse of the Soviet Union while ethnic conflicts such as the war in Chechnya threatened to tear Russia apart.
Patriarch Kirill, a bearded cleric seen as a modernising figure in the Russian church, the largest in Orthodox Christianity, compared the period preceding Putin's ascent to power to the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.
"What were the 2000s then? Through a miracle of God, with the active participation of the country's leadership, we managed to exit this horrible, systemic crisis," Kirill told a meeting at the ancient St. Daniel's monastery.
"I should say it openly as a patriarch who must only tell the truth, not paying attention to the political situation or propaganda, you personally played a massive role in correcting this crooked twist of our history," Kirill said.
Kirill's speech was echoed by leaders of other faiths.
"You had it right, the fact that they (opposition protests) took place on Saturday suggests that it was not a Jewish business," Russia's chief rabbi, Berel Lazar, told Putin.
"We joked in the synagogue that it would have been better to come for a prayer on that day."
The gathering was also attended by four muftis from predominantly Muslim Russian regions, a Buddhist lama, an Armenian bishop and representatives of Roman Catholics and other Christian churches.
"Muslims know you, Muslims trust you, Muslims are wishing you success," said mufti Ravil Gainutdin. Mufti Ismail Berdiyev from the turbulent North Caucasus added: "You are the only person who has shown the United States its place."

Read the entire article here

One sect, led by a former prisoner who now calls herself "Mother Fotinya" goes even further in her praise of Putin:

"Miracle" in the village of Bol'šaja El'nja, Nižnyj Novgorod, Russia: icon of current Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said to shine and cry myrrh.
A few days ago Mother Fotinya (real name: Svetlana Frolova), the leader of a 'Putinist' Christian sect officially called Chapel of Russia's Resurrection, announced on her web page that a Putin’s icon had begun to мироточить (literally: to seep myrrh), meaning a religious phenomenon where the faithful believes to see myrrh appearing like tears in the eyes of an icon.
Mother Fotinya's all-female sect worships Putin as the reincarnation of Grand Prince Knyaz Vladimir and of apostle Paul.


The Russian Orthodox church of course has a long tradition of co-operation with the Communist regime and the KGB, so maybe one should not be too surprised by the open praising of Putin.

The European "slow-motion train wreck" getting closer to its final destination

While we witness the "slow-motion train wreck" (Nouriel Roubini´s description of the eurozone) getting closer to its final destination, it is good to know that at least one member of the European Parliament has seen this coming already long ago.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Vestas, the world´s biggest wind-turbine manufacturer, makes huge loss

Now No. 1 loss maker

Vestas, the world´s biggest wind-turbine manufacturer, today delivered a terrible result for 2011, with an annual loss four times wider than analysts had estimated:

Three members of wind turbine maker's board, including chairman, announce their departure after declaring billion kroner loss 

Wind turbine maker Vestas suffered pretax losses of 1.1billion kroner in 2011, far higher than the 450 million kroner loss which was expected.
The numbers were announced on Wednesday and were followed by the news that chairman Bent Erik Carlsen, his deputy chairman, and the company's head of finance will leave after the annual general meeting in March.
The company had already lowered its earnings forecast, but after the loss turned out to be almost triple what was expected, the company has now decided not to publish its expected number of orders for coming years.
“After input from several of the company’s large shareholders, we have decided to reduce the number of parameters that Vestas publishes information about in 2012,” the company said in a press release.
Vestas share prices tumbled almost 15 percent overnight, wiping about two billion kroner off the company’s value.

This comment to the article in the Copenhagen Post pretty well describes what has been happening in Denmark:

According to our current government, this is where the future growth of DK should be--green energy sources.......The government hates other industries and has done everything to ruin them such as high energy costs (greenhouses), NOx fees (cement), over the top animal rights and pesticide legislation (meat and farming), high petrol taxes, environmental zones (transport). The only growth I can see will be an increase in border shopping in Germany and Sweden.   

Der Spiegel: "It's Time To End the Greek Rescue Farce"

Stefan Kaiser, writing in Der Spiegel, has published a realistic account of the efforts to "rescue" Greece:

For the past two years, Greece has wrangled with the euro-zone states and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over its so-called "rescue." Austerity measures have been agreed to, aid has been paid and private creditors have been forced to accept "voluntary" debt haircuts. Despite all this, Greece is in even worse shape today than it was then. Its economy is shrinking, the debt ratio is rising and the country and its banks have been cut off from capital markets. There isn't even the slightest sign that the situation might improve. Something has gone very wrong with this rescue.

But none of the protagonists seem to have grasped this. They continue to negotiate as if things are business as usual, they let one "final ultimatum" after the other pass and they persistently fail to realize that their discussions have started to verge on the absurd. It would be a lot better to end this farce.

For months, Greek government politicians as well as the so-called rescuers in Berlin, Paris and Brussels have all been deceiving themselves. Each supposedly final rescue package is followed by yet another, and austerity pledges aren't being adhered to.
That has a lot to do with domestic political considerations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy must convey to their voters that they have the situation and, especially the Greeks, under control. Meanwhile, the government in Athens must, out of self-preservation, limit the burdens to its own people as much as possible.
That's why both sides repeatedly agree to promises that everyone knows they will not be able to keep. The current rescue package, for example, officially agreed at the euro summit at the end of October, already has to be improved because it has become too small.

Read the entire article here

Frau Merkel is still, according to fresh polls, very popular in Germany. However, that can change very fast, when people begin to realise what a weak leader she actually is. That realisation will come when the German economy slows down, at least partially as a consequence of her failed "green" energy policy and partially because of the China bubble beginning to burst.

Unelected EU bureaucrat threatening US and China on airline carbon emission tax

The opposition against the European Union´s unilateral carbon emission scheme for international airlines is hardening. The US seems likely to join China in preventing its airlines to take part:

In December, the US lost an appeal before the EU Court of Justice against the application of the emission permit scheme to non-EU airlines.
In retaliation, the US Senate is considering a bill preventing US airlines from taking part in the EU scheme, which has already been approved by the House of Representatives. President Barack Obama could not stop it unless the EU gave something in return, White said.

China is also retaliating. On Monday its civil aviation authorities ordered its airlines not to pay for the EU permits. US, Chinese, Russian and Indian representatives are set to meet in Moscow on February 21 to mount a united front against the measure.

As we have said before, this is a fight the EU is going to lose. Unelected EU bureacrats, like Jos Delbeke, head of the European Commission's climate change department, are - as they usually are on most matters - seriously out of touch with reality:

But Delbeke stood firm. He noted that so far all foreign airlines have applied for the 85-per-cent quota of EU emission permits that are being handed out for free. Those which will refuse to pay for the remaining 15 per cent will be taken to court, he pledged.

Equally, countries taking retaliatory measures will be taken to the ICAO or even to, as a last resort, the World Trade Organization, Delbeke said.

'If there is retaliation we are going to react ... we are going to be damn serious,' he warned.

Read the entire article here

Putin´s backward turn of the clock

Russia´s ruler Vladimir Putin tries to woo voters by new populist promises:

Vladimir Putin promised on Tuesday to turn back the clock and restore winter time in Russia if elected president, in a bid to woo millions of voters who have complained about waking up and going to work in darkness.

President Dmitry Medvedev, who will step down in May, scrapped winter time in 2011, arguing that switching the clock back and forth was bad for people's health. Medvedev's critics joked it was the incumbent's boldest move during his presidency.

"I am not going to stick to this decision. This is not some kind of a fetish. We can go back to it (winter time), but let's not do it in a hurry," Putin told a meeting of volunteers who will campaign on his behalf.

Putin is expected to win the March election but is facing growing protests from urban Russians unhappy with his decision to seek a third presidential term. The demonstrations also focused on accusations of fraud in December's parliamentary election, won by Putin's party.

In another populist move Putin also pledged to reduce the number of government cars using flashlights, which give them the right to ignore traffic rules and bypass traffic jams - a major irritant for Russian motorists.

Read the entire article here

However, it is not likely that the growing number of critics will be convinced by Putin´s new promises. They know that the entire Putin era has been one disastrous backward turn of the clock.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The end of a failed presidency: "The Island President" resigns

"The Island President" - Another total failure

No more underwater cabinet meetings in the Maldives. The darling of the international AGW cultists, Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed, resigned today following weeks of sometimes violent public protests over his controversial order to arrest a senior judge:

It marked a stunning crash for Nasheed, a former human rights campaigner who defeated the nation's longtime ruler in the country's first multiparty election. Nasheed was also an environmental celebrity, traveling the world to persuade government's to combat the climate change that could send sea levels rising and inundate his archipelago nation.

Nasheed fell out of public favor after he ordered the military to arrest Abdulla Mohamed, the chief judge of the Criminal Court.

The arrest came after the judge ordered the release of a government critic, calling his arrest illegal.

Read the entire article here

Maybe Nasheed now will have more time to enjoy his membership in the Legacy club for very affluent Asians?

The end of the failed global warming project gets closer

The end of another major failed EU (and UN) project is also getting closer:

“THE CO2 LIES … pure fear-mongering … should we blindly trust the experts?”
That’s what Germany’s leading daily Bild (see photo) wrote in its print and online editions today, on the very day that renowned publisher Hoffmann & Campe officially released a skeptic book – one written by a prominent socialist and environmental figure.
This is huge. More than I ever could have possibly imagined. And more is coming in the days ahead! The Bild piece was just the first of a series.

Mark this as the date that Germany’s global warming movement took a massive body blow."

Read the entire blog post here

The end of the failed euro project is getting closer day by day

The final failure of the political euro project is getting closer day by day. And it is not only the eurozone countries that are being hurt:

A eurozone recession could almost halve Chinese growth this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF forecasts China's economy will grow by 8.2% this year - but warns that a recession in the eurozone could cut this to 4.2%.

It said Beijing should get ready to inject billions of dollars into the economy to fend off any downturn.

China's economy grew by 9.2% in 2011, but growth was slowed by Beijing to avoid over-expansion.

Read the entire article here

Austerity programmes are worsening the situation in several EU member countries:

Romania's prime minister quit on Monday after a series of at-times violent nationwide protests against budget cuts and declining living standards, as deepening political turmoil fueled by Europe's prolonged economic crisis spreads across the Continent.

Thousand of Romanians have taken to the wintry streets of Bucharest and other cities in recent weeks to vent their anger at the center-right administration of Emil Boc, who has implemented tough austerity measures in an effort to shore up state finances.

Neighboring Slovakia, also hit by Europe's downturn, was shaken on Friday by the largest protests since the end of communism there in 1989, as people demonstrated against alleged government corruption against a backdrop of cuts to health care, transportation and other state services.

Such upheavals are increasingly calling into question the longer-term political viability of the kind of austerity programs prescribed by the European Union and International Monetary Fund for Europe's struggling and indebted nations.

In Greece, whose debt problems have dragged on the entire euro zone, politicians on Monday struggled to reach agreement on a set of painful steps required for the country to avoid default with a second, large international bailout package.

But the leader of the most powerful - and succesful - eurozone country, Germany, still keeps on repeating her mantra: "There is no crisis of the Euro itself, there is a debt crisis."

Frau Merkel - and her assistant M. Sarkozy and almost all other minor EU leaders - refuse to recognise that there would NOT be a euro/debt crisis of the kind we are now experiencing without the euro. But sooner or later they - or at least their successors - have will have to. And that will be the end of a failed political project.

Monday, 6 February 2012

A f(l)ight the EU will lose

This Air China plane - rightly - refuses to pay!
(image by Wiki)

The Chinese government has made a very rational and wise decision:

China said on Monday it was forbidding its airlines from joining a European Union carbon emissions scheme to protect the climate. The companies now face fines or may even be barred from landing at EU airports. The dispute comes as the EU is looking to China to help tackle the euro debt crisis.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement on its website that the rules "contravene the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and international civil aviation regulations."

Since January 1, all airlines are required to buy certificates for the carbon dioxide they emit through landings and takeoffs in the European Union. Airlines that fail to comply face fines and may even be banned from landing at airports in the EU.
The China Air Transport Association (CATA) estimates that the EU scheme will cost Chinese airlines some $120 million in the first year alone, and that the amount could triple by 2020.
The dispute comes at a sensitive time for the EU, which is wooing China, a major holder of foreign reserves, to invest in bailout funds to help tackle the euro debt crisis. Chinese and EU leaders are due to hold a summit next week.

Read the entire article here

This is a fight that the European Union will lose. However, as there seems to be no limit at all for the stupidity of the EU decisions makers, it may take some time before the Europeans will be forced to withdraw their empty threats.

Putin has blood on his hands

No wonder that opposition against the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is growing, both in Russia and internationally. The former third rate KGB agent has more blood on his hands than most of his contemporary "colleagues":

No one knows exactly how many people have already died. The UN estimated 5,400 in December, then stopped counting as the fighting intensified. Thousands more have been beaten, tortured and jailed. I heard the horror stories myself, visiting Syria a few weeks into the uprising.That December death toll had doubled since early October, when Russia and China first vetoed a UN resolution threatening sanctions against the regime. On Saturday, these two autocracies – both wary of foreign intervention given their own problems with restless minorities – combined forces again to prevent a watered-down resolution being passed.
In actual fact, opposition was led by Russia.
But although the former KGB comrades running the country have good cause to worry about their own protest movement, their support for al-Assad is far more cynical.
Syria is the biggest importer of Russian weapons in the Middle East – so the odds are that bullets aimed at the heads of children and shells setting houses aflame in Homs are Russian-made. It takes an incredible 10 per cent of Russia’s global arm sales.
Just last month, a Russian cargo ship laden with ammunition arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus, while the two nations signed a £420million deal for military aircraft. Russia has refused to bend to diplomatic pressure to stop fuelling the violence and volatility. Little wonder its flag has been burned in cities at the centre of the uprising.
Additionally, as Russian oil revenues dwindle it has spent heavily in Syria, drilling wells and building a gas processing plant – investments valued at £15billion. When I visited Syria, I was told there were also Russian computer experts helping hunt online opposition activists.
Read the entire Daily Mail article here

David Hearst, writing in the Guardian, thinks that Putin has completely misread the situation:

Not for the first time Putin's political antennae are failing him. If he calls the white ribbons Russian protesters were wearing "condoms" and if he continues to believe that the extraordinary domestic protest he is facing has all been staged by the US state department, there is little chance of him seeing the turmoil in Syria differently. Putin's deadly enemy is the isolation in which he lives.

It is time for Obama to reset the reset.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Tens of thousands of Russians march against the Putin regime

This Al Jazeera report also includes some footage of the much smaller Kremlin-orchestrated pro Putin demonstration

The opposition against the criminal Putin regime in Russia is growing fast now:

Their frozen breath rising in the brutally frigid air, tens of thousands of protesters marched through downtown Moscow on Saturday to keep up the pressure on Prime Minister Vladimir Putin one month before a presidential election that could extend his rule for six more years.

The protesters have few illusions that they can drive Putin from power now, but for the first time in years Russians are challenging his control and demanding that their voices be heard.

Wrapped in furs or dressed for the ski slope, as many as 120,000 people turned out for the third and perhaps largest mass demonstration since Putin's party won a parliamentary election Dec. 4 with the help of what appeared to be widespread fraud.

Read the entire article here

"Earth Hour Beyond the Hour" 2012 - One "inspiring story"

North and South Korea by night

The preparations for the 2012 Earth Hour are in full swing. The Earth Hour website wants people to
"find out what’s happening around the world and hear some inspiring stories from countries and territories that have already taken Earth Hour Beyond the Hour".

However, for some strange reason the organizers have chosen not to include the most succesful "inspiring story" from the country that already for decades has "taken Earth Hour Beyond the Hour":

North Korea's capital faces its worst electricity shortages in years just as a new leadership takes power in the impoverished state and pushes ahead with lavish building projects to celebrate the centenary of its founder's birth.

The Pyongyang-based diplomat, who asked not to be named, said the city of 3 million and home to the leadership elite, has seen daily power supplies almost evaporate as freezing winter temperatures bite.

"Embassies and others with generators are using them most of the time to compensate both for poor quality and cuts, and I can tell you that power problems are a main issue of discussion," said the diplomat, one of a small number of foreigners allowed to live in the country.

"We certainly assess that there is more darkness on the streets and in the residential blocks in the evening than before/during the mourning period (for Kim Jong-il)."

The North is also struggling with chronic food shortages, with United Nations' food agencies estimating nearly 3 million people will need food assistance this year.

Media reports this week said that the North's main ally China sent food shipments after Kim Jong-il's death to stabilize the new leadership under his son.

Read the entire article here