Saturday, 18 February 2012

Warmist Schwarzenegger misinforming Indians about U.S. energy imports

Former California governor Arnold Schwarzegger gave an interview to India´s NDTV television company during his recent visit to Delhi. The transcript of the interview shows that the warmist ex governor seriously thinks that India is going to achieve energy independence by installing solar panels developed by the former railway engineer R.K. Pachauri! Schwarzenegger also had some interesting things to say about the US dependence on foreign fuel.

This is what Indians should do according to the great energy and security "expert" Schwarzenegger:

 We are going to go and create energy independence. We are not going to do this like the developed countries, where everyone has to beg for the grid to work, for electricity to arrive or for some power company to say, alright six weeks maybe we will install some energy in your part. No, I am going to go and develop a solar panel like Dr Pachauri is, where he took out a whole idea where to light a billion lives. That whole programme where he wants to go get people off kerosene lamps and have a solar panel, so they can have a light, they can have a stove and refrigerator etc. That's a whole new way of going that gives you energy independence, which other people don't have. They have to be slaves to the power companies now. And also India has a way of looking at the rest of the world and saying, why is for instance, America is relying 60 percent on fuel to come from outside? That makes the United States very vulnerable. So the national security goes down, as you rely more and more on this outside power.

The Terminator has probably been busy with too many greenie cocktail parties lately, because otherwise it is difficult to understand where he got his information about the "very vulnerable" US "relying 60 percent on fuel to come from outside".

A fact check could have spared Schwarzenegger from misinforming Indian television viewers. (But maybe the truth would have spoiled his environmentalist message?):

U.S. Energy Information Administration:

The United States imported about 49% of the petroleum, which includes crude oil and refined petroleum products, that we consumed during 2010. About half of these imports came from the Western Hemisphere. Our dependence on foreign petroleum has declined since peaking in 2005.

And some more facts:

The U.S. has reversed a two-decade-long decline in energy independence, increasing the proportion of demand met from domestic sources over the last six years to an estimated 81 percent through the first 10 months of 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from the U.S. Department of Energy. That would be the highest level since 1992.
“For 40 years, only politicians and the occasional author in Popular Mechanics magazine talked about achieving energy independence,” said Adam Sieminski, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to head the U.S. Energy Information Administration. “Now it doesn’t seem such an outlandish idea.”
The transformation, which could see the country become the world’s top energy producer by 2020, has implications for the economy and national security -- boosting household incomes, jobs and government revenue; cutting the trade deficit; enhancing manufacturers’ competitiveness; and allowing greater flexibility in dealing with unrest in the Middle East.

U.S. energy self-sufficiency has been steadily rising since 2005, when it hit a low of 70 percent, the data compiled by Bloomberg show


Schwarzenegger´s description of R.K. Pachauri´s appearance in California some years ago is also interesting:

But I have seen him in California. He is like a rock star over there. People were listening to him like this, leaning forward, kind of inhaling and taking in every word that he said, because he is an extra ordinary human being, that has taken it upon himself, that I am going to lead an environment crusade, and go around the world and make sure we are going in the right direction, that is going to protect us from an international disaster.

It is of course possible that some of Pachauri´s most ecstatic followers in California were "kind of inhaling".

The BBC reruns Jonathan Dimbleby´s uncritical "An African Journey"

The BBC is currently rerunning Jonathan Dimbleby´s  "An African Journey". The three part series  shows Dimbleby uncritically praising "not a continent of beggars but of industrious people".  Barely a word about dictatorship, corruption or crime in Dimbleby´s fawning presentation.

Just one example:

At a party celebrating the Year of the Tiger, he learns how China's billion dollar deals have rebooted African economies, once dependent on Western aid and investment.

Dimbleby does not interview people like the South African professor and economist James Blignaut, who know that China’s African safari has a flip side:

China´s biggest interest in Africa is in her natural resources and not in her people. Oil from Sudan, Nigeria, Angola and Gabon and minerals from South Africa and Zimbabwe, timber and agriculture products from everywhere, to name but a few. China’s sudden interest in Africa is therefore not only in oil-rich countries, but rather in all forms of raw materials. In return for natural resources, Africa is offering China a lucrative offset market for her cheap manufactured products. These products, such as textiles, are replacing domestic industries.
In essence, Africa is exporting her mineral wealth to act as fuel and much needed materials for the Chinese expansion, while importing manufactured products that outcompete with domestic alternatives, leaving Africa’s trade balance with China in a deficit! This is not altogether a new phenomenon – it has happened over a many decades in Africa’s trade with North America and Europe, the only difference now is that Africa imported technologically advanced products from the West she did not produce herself whereas Chinese products do replace local products and undermine local industries and companies.
Judging from the past, China is ultimately likely to begin to use its significant economic power for political ends. In other words, using political and economic
ties and contracts, it could pressurise African countries to support China’s political agenda - as it has done and continues to do to isolate Taiwan.

Coming now to the downright ugly side of the Chinese-Africa trade boom is China’s dubious human rights and environmental legacy, a legacy that is likely to blow over to Africa as China’s involvement in Africa increases. China’s close association with Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, for example, is a testimony of China’s seeming indifference to human rights abuses.

Neither does Dimbleby interview somebody like Raymond Hu, writing in Princeton´s American Foreign Policy:

Dissatisfaction with China’s close ties to corrupt African authorities also extends to other countries in an international context. Because China grants aid packages with “no strings attached”, oppressive dictatorial regimes have been able to subvert and survive Western efforts to initiate political reform. While Western nations have attempted to pass a UN arms embargo on the Sudanese government to stop the genocide in Darfur, China has sold $24 million worth of arms and $57 million worth of vehicles and equipment to Sudan. In Zimbabwe, Western sanctions to bring about reform were likewise undermined by China’s support to President Robert Mugabe’s regime in the form of $200 million worth of military vehicles and equipment.

Moral argument aside, the long-term political consequences of current Chinese investment practices in Africa will also be adverse. Already, signs of malcontent indicate that China needs to change its ways if it is to sustain its investment interests in Africa. In 2006, an opposition presidential candidate in Zambia ran his campaign on the idea of “Zambia for Zambians,” a platform in favor of expelling Chinese influence from the country. The disconnect between the official Chinese government rhetoric of “win-win” agreements and local realities will only entrench and perpetuate distrust of the Chinese. It will not take long for the common public to see through the veiled Chinese rhetoric of win-win situations that belies its real quest for natural resources and political control. China’s support of these rogue governments will inevitably harm its reputation on the global stage, reduce its credibility in international affairs, and degrade relations with its neighbors.


Dimbleby´s uncritical approach is very typical for the BBC´s present Africa coverage in general. For some reason the BBC reporters also often treat Africans almost like children. One wonders why?

The shale gas revolution forces Gazprom to reduce prices in Europe

Russia´s Gazprom has been forced to lower the price it charges for the gas delivered to European Union customers and Turkey:

Deputy chairman of Gazprom Aleksandr Medvedev said "our partners asked us to revise our prices and…what we did is correct the parameters of our formula, which lead to the relative price reduction of 10 percent on the average."
Medvedev said "the new price will ensure Russian gas remains competitive."

Complaints by some EU countries that Gazprom was charging too high a price have been strengthened recently by the success in the U.S. of shale gas production.

The U.S. canceled plans to import liquefied natural gas from Russia after it became clear domestically produced shale gas could fill U.S. needs.

Russia reoriented that gas intended for the U.S. to markets in Europe but Poland, for example, is going ahead with exploration for shale gas Gaand Ukraine has already produced small amounts in its initial stage of development.

Gazprom continues to cast doubts on the viability of shale gas with Gazprom chief Aleksei Miller saying in his blog on the Gazprom website earlier this month "the so-called shale gas revolution is one and the same thing as American Hollywood."

Read the entire article here


Miller may still continue to belittle the importance of shale gas. But the fact that Gazprom - which was hoping to dominate the European gas market - now has been forced to reduce the price in Europe, speaks volumes about the credibility of its childish denial of reality. And this is only the beginning of the shale gas revolution ...

Friday, 17 February 2012

EU institutions and agencies waste enormous sums of taxpayers´ money

The huge bureaucracy called the European Union has 31 agencies, which are supposed to provide studies on issues ranging from drug addiction to trademark registration and police co-operation. Like most other EU institutions, these overstaffed and overpaid agencies, located in different member countries, live in a fantasy world of their own, without any connections to the real world of crisis and austerity measures.

Finally though, the European Court of Auditors is putting some pressure on these mostly useless institutions. According to a report sent by the Court to the European Parliament 11 of the 22 surveyed agencies could e.g. not properly account for half of their expences!

The EUobserver has more on the report:

The report - sent on Wednesday (15 February) to the European Parliament and seen by EUobserver - analyses the costs, financial management and "operational efficiency" of 22 out of the EU's 31 autonomous agencies.

As most of the bodies' budgets are based on EU subsidies, the Court of Auditors looked at their book-keeping practices and found that "increased vigilance is required in respect to the establishment of an agency's budget."

Eleven out of the 22 surveyed could not properly account for half the expenses they filed in 2010, the auditors found.
Another problem are the large "management boards" of some agencies - normally comprising around 30 representatives of member states, the European Commission, industry stakeholders and observers.
Three agencies mainly dealing with social and labour-related studies employ 84 members each on their respective management boards, as each country sends one government representative and two more representing employers and workers.

The auditor's report comes only a few days after Belgian eurosceptic MEP Derk Jan Eppink wrote a stinging analysis of how two other mini-institutions - the Brussels-based Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) waste huge sums of taxpayers´money.

Here is a summary of Mr. Eppink´findings:

Over the last eight years, the budgets of the EESC and CoR will have increased by some 50 percent, reaching €130 million and €86.5 million, respectively. There are around 50 officials at each committee with a minimum salary of €123.890 and six officials at each committee earning over €180,000 - more than the Dutch or UK prime minister.
Over half of the EESC's and the CoR's annual budgets are devoted to their members' expenses, travel costs and staff salaries and pensions.
In 2010, the 344 EESC members produced 181 opinions, which when divided with the annual budget means each opinion came at an average cost of €660,000, while no information is made available regarding how these opinions influenced legislation. If they did so at all.
Average travel expenses per member were €49,000, while a scheme whereby members receive 'lump sums' per meeting attended - without the need to prove they actually incurred the expenses - will still be in use until 2015. Why not now? The EESC remains elusive.
The main mandate of both committees is to "engage participation" from citizens. But there are many indications that neither committee is successful in this.


This is the kind of information that mainstream media should provide to their readers in the various EU member countries. Regrettably the majority of media mainly follow the agenda set by the Brussels spin doctors. Kudos to the EUobserver for highlighting these important reports!

The harsh reality of wind and solar energy

The harsh reality of green energy does not match its spin. Gary Lamphier, writing in the Edmonton Journal,  tells us a story that the greenies want to sweep under the rug:

After all, when it comes to job creation, the green lobby isn't exactly dealing from strength. The renewable energy sector it so avidly promotes is full of investor disaster stories, bankruptcies, plant closures, job losses, red ink, foregone taxpayer loans, and allegations of political meddling.

It ain't a pretty picture, and it's one the enviro activists would rather sweep under a rug, safely out of public view. After all, the gritty truth undercuts their utopian dream of a clean, green energy future, one without fossil fuels.

Consider. Last year, the Wilderhill New Energy Index - a global index of nearly 100 green energy companies - plunged by 40 per cent. And that was no blip. Since the index was formed in January 2006, it has lost a third of its value.

Meanwhile, the Bloomberg Wind Energy Index, which includes 64 global companies, slumped by 22 per cent in 2011.

Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems, the world's largest wind turbine maker, shed two-thirds of its value last year. After turfing its CEO last fall, the company has repeatedly slashed its sales forecasts in the face of stiff competition from China.

Early this month, after Vestas posted a 2011 loss of $220 million US - four times bigger than analyst estimates - the company's chief financial officer quit. The company's stock closed Wednesday at just over $3, down from a 2008 high of nearly $50.

Solyndra, a California-based solar panel maker the U.S. administration enthusiastically supported - with Obama staging photo ops at the plant to affirm his green credentials - went bankrupt last fall, leaving taxpayers on the hook for a cool $535 million.

"Since the failure of the company, Obama's entire $80 billion clean-technology program has begun to look like a political liability for an administration about to enter a bruising re-election campaign," the Washington Post reported in December.

Read the entire article here


The truth is that the wind and solar industries are totally dependent on tax subsidies for its existence. Fortunately the US Congress is beginning to realize that it is not worth wasting more tax payers´ money on these unprofitable and useless technologies. On Thursday it was reported that Congress would not be renewing a tax credit deal for wind energy projects.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

"The arrest of Vladimir Putin"

This video could vey well become reality in Russia in the not too distant future ...


"The Arrest of Vladimir Putin: A Report From The Courtroom" has been watched almost 2 million times on YouTube and republished to dozens of Russian blogs and websites.

Viewers have left more than 18,000 comments, including calls that the producer be awarded an Oscar for film editing.

The startlingly realistic clip, in the style of a Russian television news report, purports to show "former" Prime Minister Vladimir Putin being hauled into a Moscow courtroom to face charges including large-scale corruption and participating in a terrorist act with the purpose of intimidating the public and influencing the government.

The charge apparently refers to the 1999 apartment-building bombings that rocked Moscow and other Russian cities in the run-up to Putin taking over the presidency in 2000.

Free trade is not working

I used to be an eager believer in international free trade. Not anymore. The kind of free trade that has led to huge unemployment, with industrial production moving to cheap labour countries in Asia, has not benefited the great majority of people in the western countries.

More and more people in the U.S. and Europe are beginning to realise what is happening. The American economist Ian Fletcher, who´s book "Free Trade Does Not Work" has received a lot of positive attention recently, here explains what is wrong with the present cult of free trade:


Free trade between e.g. the U.S. and Europe - possibly including countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand - where the economic, political and cultural systems are close to each other, could very well be a good option. 

Unelected EU Commission President Barroso´s imperial dreams

European Commission President José Barroso, who has been on a begging mission to China, has not forgotten to tell his hosts about his dreams of an imperial Europe:

"It is true that in many of our member states there have been student protests and strikes. This is normal in our open societies where people have a right to protest," he said.
He added that the crisis has prompted a new wave of integration, however, such as the fiscal treaty agreed last month by 25 EU countries.
"I want to make this very clear to Chinese public opinion. Because I understand when you see the news you may be putting some questions. Is the European Union really going to progress? I say: 'Yes. No doubt about it' ... Precisely because of the problems in the euro area the conclusion has been to further integrate and to complete the monetary union with a fiscal union and, I believe, in the future toward a political union."

Read the entire article here

What an insult to the struggling people of Greece - and demonstrators in other countries - who are fed up with the humiliating Brussels dictatorship, to talk about the massive demonstrations only as "student protests"! Who the hell does this unelected former maoist think he is, the crowned emperor of Europe? No Mr. Barroso, the only thing you will ever wear on your bald head is the old cheap toupé, not the imperial crown you are dreaming of!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Beggars in Beijing reality show continues

There seems to be no end to the Beggars in Beijing reality show. The latest visitors taking their begging  bowl to the Chinese capital are the two unelected European Union Presidents, Herman van Rompuy and José Barroso. They are both well versed in the old Chinese tradition of kowtowing, and for former maoist Barroso a visit to Beijing must feel like a nostalgic home coming, but in spite of these credentials they will have to return to their downgraded "empire" without more than empty words from the EU´s "strategic partner":

China is ready to increase its participation in efforts to resolved the eurozone's debt crisis, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has told European leaders at summit talks in Beijing.
Wen said on Tuesday that China was "full of confidence in its own future" and hoped to see Europe "maintain stability and prosperity" as well.
But Wen stopped short of saying whether China would buy bonds in a bailout fund designed to rescue debt-stricken EU countries.
Al Jazeera's Melissa Chang, reporting from Beijing, said that China had the potential to purchase a large amount of European bonds to help fight off the financial crisis, but had not done so due to doubts over whether its investment would generate sufficient returns.
"We have seen plenty of European delegates and envoys in the past few months come through here asking for assistance. And so far all that we have seen from China is a lot of words, but very little action," she said.
"The Chinese are not entirely confident that they will get their money's worth if they assist the Europeans."

However, the Belgian beggar, made a serious mistake by this thinly veiled threat:

Herman Van Rompuy, the European Union's top official, said the economies of the two sides were "so interdependent that change in the growth rate in one of the two strategic partners has a direct and palpable impact on the other one."

What the haiku poet actually told his hosts is, that "if you do not help us, our financial and economic crisis will soon start seriously hurting your growth, too". Not exactly the kind of language that beggars on a kowtowing mission should use in front of the eastern mandarins.  

Read the entire article here

Monday, 13 February 2012

Merkel - "the great eurosceptic"?

Dr. Richard North, having read this column by Mary Ellen Synon, offers an interesting analysis of what actually could be happening in Germany:

Still burdened by national "war guilt", Merkel cannot break out overtly. She has to be seen as a "good European". She must be seen to be supporting the euro and, more generally, the European Union. But the EU has become a prison. To develop further, Germany must break out its destructive embrace. And this is what we are seeing. It being done by creating the conditions for the destruction the single currency, or a major re-alignment, without Merkel leaving her fingerprints at the scene.

Such a "game plan" presents a contrast with the perceived wisdom. In this scenario, other countries leave of their own volition, or are forced out by the "market" or other extraneous pressures. It eventually leaves an independent Germany (or a Greater Germany grouping) free to follow its preferred domestic policies, without having been seen to be responsible for the break-up of the European construct.

Merkel, therefore, is the great eurosceptic. It will not be Cameron's Britain that will bring down the European Union, but Germany, escaping its shackles and redefining the post-war settlement. That is the game being played. Germany wants "out", and the rest of Europe is trying to keep her in.

A message of hope from the EU Commission to the people of Greece

"the euro gives the EU’s citizens a tangible symbol of their European identity, of which they can be increasingly proud"

(Source: EU Commission)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The IPCC global warming hoax exposed by German energy expert

The German energy expert, environmentalist and social democratic politician Fritz Vahrenholt, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, has caused quite a stir in his home country and internationally by his book "Die kalte Sonne" (The cold sun).

In this Der Spiegel interview Vahrenholt argues that the official United Nations (IPCC) forecasts on the severity of climate change are overstated and supported by weak science: 

Vahrenholt: In my experience as an energy expert, I learned that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is more of a political than a scientific body. As a rapporteur on renewable energy, I witnessed how thin the factual basis is for predictions that are made at the IPCC. In one case, a Greenpeace activist's absurd claim that 80 percent of the world's energy supply could soon be coming from renewable sources was assumed without scrutiny. This prompted me to examine the IPCC report more carefully.
SPIEGEL: And what was your conclusion?
Vahrenholt: The long version of the IPCC report does mention natural causes of climate change, like the sun and oscillating ocean currents. But they no longer appear in the summary for politicians. They were simply edited out. To this day, many decision-makers don't know that new studies have seriously questioned the dominance of CO2. CO2 alone will never cause a warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. Only with the help of supposed amplification effects, especially water vapor, do the computers arrive at a drastic temperature increase. I say that global warming will remain below two degrees by the end of the century. This is an eminently political message, but it's also good news.
SPIEGEL: You make concrete statements on how much human activity contributes to climatic events and how much of a role natural factors play. Why don't you publish your prognoses in a professional journal?
Vahrenholt: Because I don't engage in my own climate research. Besides, I don't have a supercomputer in my basement. For the most part, my co-author, geologist Sebastian Lüning, and I merely summarize what scientists have published in professional journals -- just as the IPCC does. The book is also a platform for scientists who apply good arguments in diverging from the views of the IPCC. The established climate models have failed across the board because they cannot cogently explain the absence of warming.
SPIEGEL: You claim that the standstill has to do with the sun. What makes you so sure?
Vahrenholt: In terms of the climate, we have seen a cyclical up and down for the last 7,000 years, long before man began emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. There has been a warming phase every 1,000 years, including the Roman, the Medieval and the current warm periods. All of these warm periods consistently coincided with strong solar activity. In addition to this large fluctuation in activity, there is also a 210-year and an 87-year natural cycle of the sun. Ignoring these would be a serious mistake …
SPIEGEL: … but solar researchers are still in disagreement over whether the cycles you mention actually exist. What do you think this means for the future?
Vahrenholt: In the second half of the 20th century, the sun was more active than it had been in more than 2,000 years. This "large solar maximum," as astronomers call it, has contributed at least as much to global warming as the greenhouse gas CO2. But the sun has been getting weaker since 2005, and it will continue to do so in the next few decades. Consequently, we can only expect cooling from the sun for now.,

Most rational people agree with Vahrenholt, but such is the power of the political correctness that even his own party leaders avoid discussing his findings:

The book is a source of discomfort within Vahrenholt's party. No one with the SPD leadership is willing to comment on the theories of their prominent fellow party member, from former Environment Minister and current SPD Chairman Sigmar Gabriel to parliamentary floor leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was given an advance copy of the book.
A lecture Vahrenholt was scheduled to give at the University of Osnabrück in northwestern Germany was recently cancelled.

This will, however, soon change, when more and more scientists, experts and other influential people join Vahrenholt in his condemnation of the IPCC hoax.