Saturday, 10 March 2012

German professor speaks out about the latest efforts to save the euro and Greece

Another German professor, who is prepared to speak out about the latest effort to "save" the euro and prevent Greece from bankruptcy:

Nearly 86 percent of private investors have agreed to join in the debt-swap deal that will help Greece avoid an uncontrolled default. But is that good news? Many experts have their doubts. In a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, economics professor Harald Hau argues that not only will the plan put the burden on taxpayers, but it will mean an even bigger crisis to come.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is the debt haircut enough to free Greece from its worst burdens?

Hau: No. The agreed-upon debt haircut is insufficient. No matter what, there will be a second, proper bankruptcy. It will probably take another nine months to three years, but then there will be a really big crisis, both economically and politically. The problem has only been deferred. The next time it will only affect the taxpayers, though.


Hau: The banks have been stalling for time over the last one and a half years. They wanted to take as many interest payments with them as possible. Now they realize that time is running out and have thus changed their strategy. They are just trying to pass on as many debts as possible to the public sector. From their perspective, this is a smart move. But it will be a catastrophe for taxpayers in the end.

Read the entire interview here

Merkel, Sarkozy and the rest know all this very well, but they all have their own reasons to behave as though they would be saving Greece and the euro.

China blocking Airbus orders worth $12 billion because of EU´s senseless emission trading scheme

Representatives of the Brussels EU bureaucracy are still insisting that the inclusion of aviation in the European Union´s  senseless emission trading scheme will take place as planned, but - as we have pointed out earlier - this is a fight the "EUSSR" will loose.

Trade war is looming, and China is blocking Airbus orders worth at least $12 billion. And this is just the beginning of a process that is bound to seriously hurt the already now weak EU economy. It cannot take long before saner voices will replace the Connie Hedegaard and the other Brussels climate fanatics:

China is blocking orders for at least $12 billion worth of Airbus jets to protest the European Union's emissions trading fees, in a new challenge to the program aimed at fighting global warming, the planemaker said Thursday.
With some analysts warning of a brewing trade war, Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath said his company is seeing "retaliation threats" from 26 countries, "in particular from China."
Speaking to The Associated Press, he said 35 orders by Chinese airlines for A330 planes are on hold because China's government is refusing to approve them. He said orders for another 10 A380 superjumbos are also under threat, and that the combined list prices of the aircraft is $12 billion.

Read the entire article here

Study: Replacing all coal plants with renewables would have practically no cooling effect 50 or 100 years from now

"I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration"

Al Gore

Robert Rapier, writing in the Consumer Energy Report, summarizes a new paper in Environmental Research Letters, which must be rather depressing reading for Al Gore, Greenpeace and the rest of the anti-coal warmists:

Even if you could in theory shut down all of the coal-fired power plants in the world and replace them with wind, solar, and hydropower — in 50 years the projected temperature is only one-twentieth of a degree C cooler than the base case of continuing to use coal. In 100 years, if I could replace all global coal-fired power plants with firm, renewable power — the temperature is only projected to be about 0.2 degrees cooler than under the coal base case. And the way this is being spun is that the 0.09 degree reduction from switching to natural gas is equivalent to an effect of “zero”, but the 0.2 degree reduction in hypothetically replacing everything with wind and solar power 100 years from now is significant. About the natural gas case, Romm literally said the 0.09 degree lower temperature in switching to natural gas means that “natural gas is a bridge fuel to nowhere”, but the 0.2 degree lower temperature in switching to renewables is “the worlds only plausible hope to avert catastrophic temperature rise.”
Bear in mind that this is for a global replacement of coal — most of which is used in Asia. Good luck trying to sell China and India on a 0.2 degree temperature difference in 100 years if they quickly abandon their coal-fired power plants and replace them with wind power.
To be honest, if I was devoting my life to fighting against the threat of climate change, this would be one of the most depressing papers I have ever read. If we could convince everyone in the world to shut down their coal-fired power plants — which we can’t — and replace them with renewable power — which isn’t available in quantities sufficient to replace coal-fired power — then by the end of my life there would still be no statistically significant temperature change to even be able to tell if my life’s work was successful.

Read the entire article here

Friday, 9 March 2012

Another great speech by Daniel Hannan

Daniel Hannan, tory MEP, is without doubt one of the great political orators of our time. His recent speech at the Australian Institute of Public Affairs is further proof of his greatness:

Here is a link to more of Hannan´s speeches.

Over 1,3 billion people to "celebrate" Earth Hour on March 29

Hundreds of activists are now busy planning the 2012 Earth Hour, "the largest environmental event in history". According to the official Earth Hour website "more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change".

But we already know that the 2012 Earth Hour, on March 29, is going to be an even bigger success, with over 1,3 billion people "celebrating" worldwide, particularly in Africa:

“Some 1.3 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity – and 45 per cent of those live in Africa".

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General


In spite of the expected high "attendance", the WWF´s African activists are working hard in order to emulate last year´s success stories, like this one:

Kenya first took part in Earth Hour in 2009 and is organised by WWF. The highlight in 2011 was a high-level cocktail reception ..

"Scottish pioneers of climate justice"

Alex Salmond - A proud "pioneer of climate justice"

Scotland´s First Minister Alex Salmond has suggested that 2012 should be the "year of climate justice". Consequently, the Scottish parliament has had the "first ever parliamentary debate" on "climate justice".

The World Development Movement blog enthusiastically summarizes the debate:

As SNP MSP Marco Biago said: “I am drawn to the World Development Movement’s phenomenal statistic—which I have no reason to doubt—that the UK emits more carbon dioxide in one year than Bangladesh has emitted in its entire history. When we have spent 200 years polluting our way to prosperity, the issue becomes not noblesse oblige—helping because we can help—but helping because we caused or contributed greatly to the problem, so we have an obligation to help.”

Politicians also recognised Scotland’s historic responsibility as one of the countries that created the modern world, with its reliance upon coal and oil for fuel. The image of the Scot as pioneer of old who ‘in coffee shops and taverns up and down the Royal Mile... put together the ideas that underpinned the modern world and the industrial revolution’, and who should now become a pioneer of climate justice, was a nice one promoted by Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie.

And as the Labour MSP Neil Findlay put it: “Scotland has been a world player in so many fields in past centuries, and I hope that over the next ones we will be seen as pioneers whose actions have environmental justice as a core philosophy, unhindered by balance sheets, corporate greed and further exploitation.”

Importantly, Neil Findlay also picked up on WDM’s concept of climate debt, saying:
“The World Development Movement argues that we in the west have accrued an adaptation debt because of our contribution to climate change internationally. It is calculated that our share of that debt is £22 billion over 40 years. I am not arguing that we immediately write a cheque to settle that, but it is morally right that we develop policies that try to repair some of the damage that we have inflicted. We should provide expertise and capability to assist countries in the developing world.”

The debate was also an opportunity for Stewart Stevenson ( Minister for Environment and Climate Change at the Scottish Government) to announce a new ‘climate justice fund’ that will help people in poor countries to adapt to climate change.

Meanwhile The Scotsman is reporting about "development movement" in the real world:

‘Twenty years of austerity’ for Scots public spending

SCOTLAND’S battered economy will remain flat throughout the first half of this year and public finances face an austerity chill of almost two decades before spending returns to its pre-recession high, the country’s chief economist has warned.         
The study predicted spending cuts would last longer and have a far deeper impact than first envisaged. Some £51 billion will be lost from the Scottish budget – a third higher than the £39bn forecast last autumn. The cumulative loss would build up year on year and mean an 18-year austerity chill in spending. Holyrood’s budget would start to rise again in 2017-18, but it would be 2027-28 before it got back to its pre-recession high of 2009-10.
Unemployment also showed little sign of picking up, with the rate in Scotland having more than doubled from about 4 per cent before the recession struck to almost 9 per cent.

Twenty years of austerity and spending cuts is on offer for the people of Scotland - and paying the £22 billion "climate debt", of course, comes on top of that. Perhaps we should congratulate the "Scottish pioneers of climate justice"?

(image by wikipedia)

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Schwarzenegger announces the creation of a virtual world of overpriced energy

The former Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday announced in Geneva the creation of Sustainia, "a virtual world featuring sustainable solutions", with himself, the two other superwarmists Connie Hedegaard and R.K. Pachauri, and eternal UN sustainability queen Gro Harlem Brundtland in the driving seat:

Sustainia will be a model of the world showing what it could be like if currently available technologies and concepts to reduce emissions were put in place in cities, homes, energy stations and transportation systems. Sustainia is built on the technology behind the virtual world Second Life.

Anders Eldrup, CEO of the Danish DONG Energy, "a main partner in Sustainia" explained the thinking behind Sustainia (which is a Danish idea):

The idea behind the world, Eldrup said, is "to illustrate for ordinary people, consumers and companies how a more sustainable society could look."
"It is possible to make significant changes over a rather short period of time," Eldrup said. "We want to broaden that to make other companies, cities and people take part in this change."
Developers are already working on Sustainia, and the world is set to launch between June and October. Once it's up, anyone will be able to visit it, inhabit it and participate in it as a sort of virtual construction site. Eventually the world is to host lectures, presentations, workshops and tours.

As the CEO of the the largest power producer in Denmark, with market shares of 49% for electricity production and 35% for heat production, Elderup was, without doubt, the right person to speak about what it means when "currently available technologies and concepts to reduce emissions" are "put in place in cities, homes, energy stations and transportation systems".

Elderup´s own Dong and the other Danish energy companies charge the highest household electricity prices in the world - about four times as expensive as e.g. Ontario (9.23 US cents/kWh) and five time as expensive as Washington (7.66 US cents/kWh) - because of energy taxes and subsidies to wind energy.

Thus, there is no real need to create a virtual "Sustainia", because a real version of it already exists -  in Denmark. However, a change of name might be useful; why not call it e.g. Expensivia, or perhaps even more fittingly, Stupidia.

A proud warmist

D.R. Tucker, former conservative freelance writer turned warmist, is probably not feeling quite comfortable among his new greenie friends, because, like all new converts, he seems to have a need to reassure himself : Say It Loud, I'm Warmist and Proud!:

To be a "warmist" is, in short, to be a concerned citizen. An advocate of responsible capitalism. An idealist in the best sense of the word -- since one cannot be a true idealist without convictions and a commitment to facts.
To be a "warmist" is also to reject blind ideology -- which is why the conservatives and libertarians who insult "warmists" are engaging in explicit projection. In truth, these conservatives and libertarians are the ones who have sworn allegiance to ideology over facts, who have chosen irrationality over reason. They are the ones who cannot understand that there is no dignity in dogma.
What was once an ignorant insult is now a point of pride. The term doesn't bother me in the least anymore. Now, to the ideologues, I say:
Damn right, I'm a "warmist." Got a problem with that?

As to Tucker´s "commitment to facts", this is how he described how he was "defeated by facts" last year:

I’m very fortunate to have acquaintances in the environmentalist movement, and I began discussing my concerns with them last fall. One friend recommended that I read the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, suggesting that it might resolve some of the questions I had about the science behind climate concerns.
I began reading the report with a skeptical eye, but by the time I concluded I could not find anything to justify my skepticism. The report presented an airtight case that the planet’s temperature has increased dramatically (“Eleven of the last twelve years [1995-2006] rank among the twelve warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature [since 1850]”), that sea levels have undergone a dramatic and disturbing increase since the 1960s

No "blind ideology" here. Just the plain facts!

No matter what happens in the real world, "the planet´s temperature has increased dramatically" if an IPCC report is your bible.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Fish are growing 30% faster thanks to global warming

Tuna sandwiches will not disappear even if the globe would warm up

Great news for the fishing industry; fish are growing faster in warmer waters:
Stephan Munch, fisheries ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has won a prestigious $150,000 award for his research:

Studying fish in the laboratory, Munch found that raising them at higher temperature made their offspring grow 30 percent faster. "This suggests that there's a possibility for rapid responses to climate change," he said.

These climate effects have implications for marine conservation and management plans. Munch wants to gain a large-scale view of how these changes are affecting fisheries. He hopes to create a free online tool to enable management bodies and scientists to predict marine population responses.

It is good to know that fish are responding quite nicely, should the oceans really begin to warm. 30% more fish to eat in a world with a rapidly growing population is no bad thing.

(image by wikipedia)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Where are the solar powered Australian underpants we have been waiting for?

In  Australia opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb has been criticizing the Australian Research Council´s lavish funding of climate change related research. Here are a couple of examples:

- "Sending and responding to messages about climate change: the role of emotion and morality" by a Queensland university, which secured $197,302.
- A study to determine if birds are shrinking, which got $314,000

Mr. Robb added:

"Australian Research Council criteria has been extended beyond the scientific, the innovative and the practical to include some real airy-fairy stuff. Which means less money for more worthwhile research."

The Australian Research Council has responded by claiming that "the study into climate change emotion was an important psychology project". Indeed.

A quick look at the ARC´s website showed that this is not the first time climate change related projects have been favoured by the Research Council.

Here is an example from 2008:

"The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, today announced funding of nearly $90 million for researchers in Victoria to conduct 292 research projects that will produce significant national benefit.
Some of the projects funded include developing portable and compact solar cells that may be incorporated in fabrics opening the solar cell market to the clothing industry, storm activity in the Arctic and implications for rapid climate change"

It would be interesting to know what happenened to the "portable and compact solar cells incorporated in fabrics" that were supposed to revolutionize the Australian clothing industry. Has anybody seen the solar powered Australian clothes we were promised? During the arctic cold spell here in Europe this winter I would certainly have been happy to own a pair of solar powered Australian underpants!

No future for failed wind energy in the UK

Matt Ridley gives us some useful facts about wind energy:

To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero. Despite the regressive subsidy (pushing pensioners into fuel poverty while improving the wine cellars of grand estates), despite tearing rural communities apart, killing jobs, despoiling views, erecting pylons, felling forests, killing bats and eagles, causing industrial accidents, clogging motorways, polluting lakes in Inner Mongolia with the toxic and radioactive tailings from refining neodymium, a ton of which is in the average turbine — despite all this, the total energy generated each day by wind has yet to reach half a per cent worldwide.

If wind power was going to work, it would have done so by now. The people of Britain see this quite clearly, though politicians are often wilfully deaf. The good news though is that if you look closely, you can see David Cameron’s government coming to its senses about the whole fiasco. The biggest investors in offshore wind — Mitsubishi, Gamesa and Siemens — are starting to worry that the government’s heart is not in wind energy any more. Vestas, which has plans for a factory in Kent, wants reassurance from the Prime Minister that there is the political will to put up turbines before it builds its factory.

This forces a decision from Cameron — will he reassure the turbine magnates that he plans to keep subsidising wind energy, or will he retreat? The political wind has certainly changed direction. George Osborne is dead set against wind farms, because it has become all too clear to him how much they cost. The Chancellor’s team quietly encouraged MPs to sign a letter to No. 10 a few weeks ago saying that ‘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’.

Let´s hope that George Osborne´s view will prevail in the UK!

Will "Shari´ah compliant suduk financing" save the world from catastrophic global warming?

Shari´ah law forbids lending money for gain.That is why Aaron Bielenberg of the Abu Dhabi based Clean Energy Business Council is now promoting  "Shari’ah compliant, clean energy investment opportunities" for the "Islamic community".  The new financial instruments, "Green Suduk Climate Bonds", are also promoted by the HSBC´s "Islamic arm":

“There is a lot of pent up demand (for suduk)," agrees Mohammed Dawood, the head of capital markets at HSBC Amanah, the bank’s Islamic arm.

The Energy & Environmental Magazine has more on this:

A new type of financing is being developed to encourage millions of pounds worth of long-term investment in green technology, in particular from the Islamic community.
Hundreds of billions of pounds worth of investment in green technology is required around the world to create the low-carbon future. However, many projects are unattractive to some investors because of their long-term nature.
Also, Shari'ah law forbids the lending of money for gain, yet many green energy projects are required in Islamic nations, such as Saudi Arabia, and yet there is a surplus of cash held in the Muslim world waiting to be utilised.
All three challenges are being tackled by the development of a type of bond called Green Suduk Climate Bonds.
The Climate Bonds Initiative, the Clean Energy Business Council of the Middle East and North Africa and The Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association are today launching a Green Sukuk Working Group, which will use market expertise to promote the issuance of sukuk for the financing of climate change investments and projects, such as renewable energy projects.
The Working Group is inviting participation from other organisations interested in the potential of green sukuk financing.
Suduk are financial certificates, or the Islamic equivalent of bonds, which are structured to comply with Shari’ah Islamic law, which prohibits the charging, or paying of interest.
To give an idea of the potential, Standard & Poor estimates that 20% of banking customers in the Persian Gulf and Asia would now choose an Islamic financial product over a conventional one with a similar risk-return profile.
Because the lending of money in Islamic culture has a moral dimension, rather than a financial one, then there is a good fit with the ethical aspect of green financing.
Aaron Bielenberg of the Clean Energy Business Council, a non-profit, non-governmental association established in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, said that projects in the region are desperate for finance.
“There is a significant and growing number of projects, for example renewable energy in the Middle East, that are ideally suited to sukuk investors," he said. "This group will help investors more easily identify Shari’ah compliant, clean energy investment opportunities.”

"Suduk financing" - "although probably not "Shari´ah complient" - is actually nothing new to Europe. That´s what the European Central Bank has been concentrating on recently. And there have been more than enough takers for the ECB´s (practically) interest free loans. So, probably Mr. Bielenberg´s "Shari´ah compliant" financial instruments will be a success in the Islamic world, too. However, one wonders  what business opportunities HSBC´s "Islamic arm" sees in the "Shari´ah complient" interest free "suduk financing"?

And by the way, the huge European and U.S. subsidies to "renewable" energy projects are in reality a kind of "suduk financing", extremely popular among "green investors" in western countries. Fortunately, however, many governments have now realized that it is time to cut this enormous waste of taxpayers´ money.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Two ways of looking at Putin´s victory

The International observers are in no doubt:

International observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said there were "serious problems" with the election, which meant that the result was "never in doubt". Independent Russian election monitors said there were widespread violations including ballot stuffing and "carousel voting" - packing vans with voters and bussing them to several polling sites to cast numerous votes.

However, this is how the Putin regime describes the election and the European observers:

The controversial head of Russia's Central Election Commission, Vladimir Churov, accused the international observers of being spies. He also said the election was the world's most honest.

Read the entire article here

Remember, Putin´s Russia is the European Union´s strategic partner and Obama´s "reset" partner!

The EU´s "Fiscal Treaty" is dead

The Spanish Rebellion has begun, according to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:

As many readers will already have seen, Premier Mariano Rajoy has refused point blank to comply with the austerity demands of the European Commission and the European Council (hijacked by Merkozy).
Taking what he called a "sovereign decision", he simply announced that he intends to ignore the EU deficit target of 4.4pc of GDP for this year, setting his own target of 5.8pc instead (down from 8.5pc in 2011).
In the twenty years or so that I have been following EU affairs closely, I cannot remember such a bold and open act of defiance by any state. Usually such matters are fudged. Countries stretch the line, but do not actually cross it.
With condign symbolism, Mr Rajoy dropped his bombshell in Brussels after the EU summit, without first notifying the commission or fellow EU leaders. Indeed, he seemed to relish the fact that he was tearing up the rule book and disavowing the whole EU machinery of budgetary control.
He is surely right to seize the initiative. Spain’s economy will contract by 1.7pc this year under his modified plans and unemployment will reach 24pc (or 29pc under the 1990s method of counting). To compound this with manic fiscal tightening – and no offsetting devaluation – is intellectually indefensible.
There comes a point when a democracy can no longer sacrifice its citizens to please reactionary ideologues determined to impose 1930s scorched-earth policies. Ya basta. 

Frau Merkel and the commissars in Brussels must be furious. Mr. Rajoy´s action means that the much hyped "fiscal treaty" is - what it has been from the beginning - just a worthless piece of paper.

Here is the first reaction from Bussels:

Altafaj said Rehn already asked Spain for "clarity" on the figures during talks among eurozone finance ministers last Thursday and is still waiting.
"It's clear we need these hard figures, validated, in order to do a full assessment," he said.
As a eurozone state, Spain risks a cash fine worth between 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent of GDP depending on the severity of the circumstances under new laws meant to tighten budgetary discipline that came into force at the start of the year.
"Once we have clarity," Altafaj said of the detailed figures and analysis wanted in Brussels, "we will do our analysis and make our recommendations.

To think that Spain would pay that kind of  a "cash fine" is, of course, a joke.

The Putin regime tries to appease the opposition

“Nothing has changed. You cannot call what just happened elections.”
Alexei Navalny

Vladimir Putin, the "winner" of Russia´s presidential "election" is desperately trying to appease the growing number of critics against his criminal rule; Today he authorized the current puppet president Medvedev to ask the prosecuter general to study the legality of the criminal cases against the jailed former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia´s most wellknown political prisoner.

With Putin and the opposition on collision course, the Kremlin issued a statement that could be intended to take the sting out of the protests which began over alleged fraud in a parliamentary poll on December 4 and increasingly target Putin.
Medvedev, who will stay in office until early May and is expected to swap jobs with Putin, told the prosecutor general to study the legality of 32 criminal cases including the jailing of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Khodorkovsky, who headed what was Russia’s biggest oil company, Yukos, and was once the country’s richest man, was arrested in 2003 and jailed on tax evasion and fraud charges after showing political ambitions and falling out with Putin.
The Kremlin said Medvedev had also told the justice minister to explain why Russia had refused to register a liberal opposition group, PARNAS, which has been barred from elections.
The order followed a meeting last month at which opposition leaders handed Medvedev a list of people they regard as political prisoners and called for political reforms.
Medvedev’s initiatives “have only one goal: To at least somehow lower the scale of dismay and protest that continues to surge in society,” Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

Zyuganov is of course right. And one thing is certain: The growing opposition against the Putin regime will not take the puppet president´s initiatives seriously.

Are U.S. taxpayers funding research which helps African dictators to stay in power?

Are U.S. taxpayers funding research that will help African dictators cling to power?

That should, of course, not be the case, but take a look at what the Strauss Center Program on Climate Change and African Political Stability (funded by the U.S. Department of Defense´s Minerva Initiative) says in its Policy Brief NO 3:

In poor, fragile states—like many of those in Africa—
climate shocks and swift-onset meteorological hazards
can pose severe threats to domestic security by
compromising a state’s monopoly of force within its
borders. In the absence of effective humanitarian relief,
the destruction of infrastructure and interruption of
services can trigger such desperation that the populace
resorts to stealing or rioting to secure necessities. These
risks to state control are compounded if citizens exploit
the absence of a security presence to loot for personal
gain. Moreover, disasters may provide focal points
around which government opponents may rally.

Extreme weather events also represent important security
concerns for external actors, with militaries frequently
deployed to provide humanitarian relief.
This diversion
of military resources represents an opportunity cost by
preventing troops and equipment from being deployed
for other purposes.

Link to the Policy Brief on this page.

With that kind of research funding, maybe it is not so surprising that the Minerva Initiative website has this to say:

Funding outlook for Minerva: While the Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bill cut $7M of Minerva funding intended to go toward new research from the recent BAA, the Minerva program staff remains optimistic that some proposals can still be funded and continues to investigate other ways to bring in support. All funding decisions from the 2011 competition will be announced in Spring 2012.

Mauritius will celebrate Earth Hour in grand style - key landmarks will light up!

We are told that preparations for the 2012 Earth Hour celebration in Mauritius are going full steam ahead. This year the Mauritians have decided to celebrate "the largest environmental event in history" in a truly grand way: The official Earth Hour website informs us that the main historical street in the beautiful town of Curepipe and key landmarks will light up at night!

Earth Hour was pioneered by ACM and later on ANPRAS stepped in as a major promoter of the event. The theme “Une Heure pour notre Terre” (literally meaning One Hour for Our Earth) was coined by Dr Raj Chintaram. Mauritius will be organising its 6th consecutive Earth Hour in 2012. The national celebrations, also known as National Earth Hour Mauritius, will be held in the beautiful town of Curepipe where the Queen Elizabeth Avenue (main historical street) and key landmarks will light up at night.

Congratulations Mauritius! Let´s hope your innovative initiative will inspire many other Earth Hour organizers around the Globe to follow your example!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Putin declares "victory" - But soon he will be in trouble

Putin will soon be in trouble

Vladimir Putin has claimed "victory" in the presidential election. But he will soon be in trouble:

His greed means public revenues that should have gone to ease life in the former Soviet Union have actually gone to line his pockets — and that of his former KGB (now FSB) cronies. The road system remains farcical, but Putin has a palace in the south of France; the price of oil has shot up, but the Russian people can't educate their children properly; and so forth. Suddenly, Russian voters feel they've been taken for a ride — and, in a remarkable episode last November, they booed their PM when he appeared at a wrestling match: it had never happened to him before, and if you look at this video, you can see how shocked he was by the hostility. Worse was to follow: in a wintry version of the Arab Spring, Russians started pouring into the streets and the squares, clamouring for his removal.
Putin may well wish to please them and go: why stay in cold, hostile, run-down Russia when he could bask in the sunny welcome that the west (especially the UK) regales Russian oligarchs with? But unfortunately the man who spun the cleverest of red webs has been caught in his own deceptions. Putin 's rise to power is down to a Mafia of spies; his continued success is guarded by thugs. Too many sinister figures have a vested interest in his being at the helm; if he lets them down, he's history.
So Putin goes through the motions of an election like today's. And he makes a fuss about foiled assassination attempts like the one "foiled" by his security police last week. But in the end, Putin will be caught in a messy plot: the opposition wants him out, and the men who put him at the top want him silent. Not an easy place to be.

Read the entire Telegraph article by Cristina Odone here

Michael Mann: Climate sceptics are "a few marginal individuals largely affiliated with special interests"

The warmist National Public Radio is doing its best to promote Michael Mann´s book The Hockey Stick And The Climate Wars.

Considering Mann´s role in Climategate, it is rather amusing to hear him speak about those, who "don´t play by the rules":

But unfortunately, scientists are ill-equipped to deal with those who, like I said, don't play by the rules. They are more than happy to make disingenuous and sometimes, frankly, quite dishonest allegations and arguments against the scientists.
And we can't play by the rules of knife-fighting ourselves, because, you know, science is about being honest, about following the data and your hypotheses, where they lead you, by changing your, you know, conclusions when led to do so by the data.

So we can't engage in the dishonest tactics that those looking to discredit us may be willing to engage in. But we can try to become better communicators of the science, try to find novel ways to explain to the public the fact that the science is solid, that this is a real problem. We can't just bury our heads in the sands and pretend it doesn't exist. And there is a good-faith debate to be had about what to do about this problem.

But there can no longer be a good-faith debate about the reality of the problem, and unfortunately, there are still those who are trying to have that debate.
And so I think we have to get away from this idea that in matters of science, it's, you know, that we should treat discussions of climate change as if there are two equal sides, like we often do in the political discourse. In matters of science, there is an equal merit to those who are denying the reality of climate change who are a few marginal individuals largely affiliated with special interests versus the, you know, thousands of scientists around the world. U.S. National Academy of Sciences founded by Abraham Lincoln back in the 19th century, all the national academies of all of the major industrial nations around the world have all gone on record as stating clearly that humans are warming the planet and changing the climate through our continued burning of fossil fuels.

Read and listen to the entire interview here


Here is an account of how the great scientist and humanist Mann treats his critics.