Saturday, 14 April 2012

New study: Ecosystems are resilient to global warming!

Here comes another huge disappointment for the global warming alarmist community:

Ecosystems are basically unaffected and adapt well to a warmer climate, according to a fresh study, published in the journal BioScience:

An analysis of 35 headwater basins in the United States and Canada found that the impact of warmer air temperatures on streamflow rates was less than expected in many locations, suggesting that some ecosystems may be resilient to certain aspects of climate change.
The study was just published in a special issue of the journal BioScience, in which the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network of 26 sites around the country funded by the National Science Foundation is featured.
Lead author Julia Jones, an Oregon State University geoscientist, said that air temperatures increased significantly at 17 of the 19 sites that had 20- to 60-year climate records, but streamflow changes correlated with temperature changes in only seven of those study sites. In fact, water flow decreased only at sites with winter snow and ice, and there was less impact in warmer, more arid ecosystems.
“It appears that ecosystems may have some capacity for resilience and adapt to changing conditions,” said Jones, a professor in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. “Various ecosystem processes may contribute to that resilience. In Pacific Northwest forests, for example, one hypothesis is that trees control the stomatal openings on their leaves and adjust their water use in response to the amount of water in the soil.
“So when presented with warmer and drier conditions, trees in the Pacific Northwest appear to use less water and therefore the impact on streamflow is reduced,” she added. “In other parts of the country, forest regrowth after past logging and hurricanes thus far has a more definitive signal in streamflow reduction than have warming temperatures.”


One can hear the alarm bells ringing in the cathedrals of climate change. The high priests are most certainly already preparing a counter attack in order to silence the heretics, who dare to say that doomsday is not coming.

Australian climate madness: Quantas jets to fly on cooking oil

Julia Gillard´s Australia is clearly showing the way in climate madness. Now the country´s major airline Quantas has began using cooking oil - about ten times more expensive than ordinary jet fuel - as fuel for its kangaroo jets:

On Friday, Qantas Airlines launched Australia's first commercial flight using a 50/50 mixture of regular fuel and refined cooking oil. Faced with the threat of an upcoming European tax on airline carbon emissions, Qantas is one of many airlines scrambling to find a green alternative to regular jet fuel.

"From July, Qantas will be the only airline in the world to face liabilities in three jurisdictions, so our sense of urgency is justified."
Europe already imposes a controversial carbon tax on airlines, while New Zealand has a carbon tax that applies to flights within that country by Qantas' budget carrier Jetstar.
Australia's tax on carbon emissions comes into force on July 1.

If Quantas is serious about using cooking oil, then this is only the beginning of its problems:

Jet fuel is the largest operational expense for the Australian carrier, which in February announced it would slash at least 500 jobs and cut costs after an 83-per-cent slump in first-half net profits.
In March it hiked its fuel surcharge for the second time in two months, saying its fuel costs were expected to rise by $312 million U.S. in the six months to June 30.

Maybe Quantas is planning to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil to fuel their first class only flights?


A Canadian airline is apparently eager to follow the kangaroos:

Next week, a Porter Airlines Bombardier Q400 powered by an oilseed-based fuel will travel from Toronto to Ottawa in what Porter calls the first biofuel-powered passenger flight in Canada. The demonstration flight Tuesday comes five days before Earth Day.

If this madness spreads, be prepared to pay considerably more for your home cooking oil!

This also fuels suspicion that the entire EU air carbon tax could be a devilish scheme set up by the European olive oil lobby in order to dramatically increase lagging exports, :-)

Climate change madness: Aussie Foreign minister wants International Court of Justice to rule against his own country!

Bob Carr - ready to testify against his own country

Aussie Foreign Minister Bob Carr apparently wants the International Court of Justice to take action - against Australia!. That´s the logical conclusion, if he really means what he says:

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr has volunteered Australia to give evidence on behalf of poor nations that want the United Nations to investigate if big emitters - potentially including Australia - have a legal responsibility to keep their greenhouse gases from hurting other countries.
In an interview with The Saturday Age in New York, Mr Carr said he had told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Australia would give evidence supporting a push led by Palau for a UN resolution asking the International Court of Justice to assess how much countries were responsible for the damage their emissions did overseas.
Climate law experts said that if the resolution was successful, it could be the first step by worst-affected nations in seeking reparations from countries such as the US, China and Australia.

Carr´s statement is, of course, not meant  to be taken seriously. His Excellency just wants help to secure a seat for Australia on the UN Security Council, according to one commentator:

''It is obviously a bit tokenistic, trying to garner support for Australia's campaign for a seat on the UN Security Council,'' he said. ''If you took this to a logical conclusion you would be saying Australia would be helping legal action against Australia. While Australia's global emissions are not as high as some countries', in per capita terms they are very high.''

Read the entire article here


It is fortunately unlikely that Carr´s case will ever reach the International Court of Justice. Instead His Excellency will be judged by the citizens of Australia in the next political elections. 

Two Germans not willing to admit huge EU failures

The Independent has published an article by German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and the (also German) EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger, which proves that they are not connected to the real world around them:

A functioning global order has yet to emerge – to regulate the financial markets, to combat global warming and for foreign and security policy and energy security. Europe needs to enter into partnerships with other global players and work towards effective global governance with them. And we must also measure ourselves against them – our competitors in terms of economic success, ideas, educa­tion systems and models of society. We can only answer these pressing questions if we start pooling our strengths much more and acting together as Europeans.

Westerwelle and Oettinger should have started by asking themselves, what the "pooling of strengths" so far has achieved for Europe:

  • A failed and economically disastrous common currency area, which already has cost taxpayers billions of euros, with no end in sight.
  • A failed, useless and costly global warming/climate change policy, which is seriously weakening Europe´s competitiveness.
  • A failed and costly "green" energy policy, contributing to slow or no growth in Europe.

Instead of admitting the huge failures, Messrs Westerwelle and Oettinger prescribe more of the same!

Westerwelle and Oettinger also are less than honest about the euro crisis (which they, as all other present European leaders, prefer to call "the debt crisis"):

On one hand, they state: "The debt crisis was a massive wake-up call, and its lessons are plain to see: the monetary union needs to be supplemented by a functional, comprehensive economic union".

On the other hand, they say: "Germany is demonstrating an unprecedented level of solidarity with our European neighbours who face pressures due to the debt crisis. Not least among our acts of solidarity is Germany’s contribution to the euro rescue package."

Why first pretend that the euro crisis was "a massive wake-up call", while somewhat later admitting that "our European neighbours" still are facing "pressures due to the debt crisis"?

Europeans get cheaper gas thanks to American led shale gas revolution

European political leaders - and taxpayers - might do well to remember, that they are $10 billion richer thanks to the American led shale gas revolution, which has forced the Russians to lower the price of natural gas:

OAO Gazprom may have to refund European customers as much as $10 billion in retroactive discounts after the Russian natural-gas exporter reduced prices in long-term contracts, Interfax said today, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the matter.
The amount owed has grown from about $7 billion estimated at the start of the year, Interfax said. Of the total, Gazprom has confirmed $5 billion of refunds.
Gazprom’s agreement in March this year with Eni SpA (ENI) to lower the price of fuel deliveries applied the discount retroactively from the beginning of 2011, Interfax said.
Read the entire article here

Friday, 13 April 2012

Chinese human rights activist Fang Lizhi dies

China´s communist leaders are still extremely scared by anybody who is speaking out about human rights. When news about the death of the distinguished astrophysics professor and human rights advocate Fang Lizhis death began to spread on internet, the government immediately took action:

News of his passing spread quickly on the Chinese Internet. Students whom he had taught in the 1980s and admirers of his eloquent championing of human rights wrote their accolades. State Security officials noticed, and within hours ordered Internet police to delete all messages that mentioned the words “Fang Lizhi.” After that, tweets about Fang on weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter) disappeared about a minute after posting. 

Perry Link, writing in the New York Review of Books blog, gives some background on Fang Lizhi:

After Mao died Fang’s star rose again, and in 1984 he became vice-president of China’s prestigious University of Science and Technology in Anhui.
By then he had shed his attachment to Marxist dogma and, in addition to teaching physics, began delivering trenchant speeches on human rights and democracy. For example, when the government of Deng Xiaoping began using the slogan “modernization with Chinese characteristics” (i.e., modernization without power-sharing by the Communist Party), Fang responded satirically by asking students if they believed in physics with Chinese characteristics. Students were charmed; the authorities were not. In January 1987 they fired him from his university job (for this and other speeches), expelled him from the Party, and compiled excerpts from his speeches that they then distributed to campuses all across China as examples of “bourgeois liberalism” that students should avoid. But students found the excerpts themselves far more attractive than the warnings, and Fang suddenly became famous everywhere in China. He became the spirit behind the nationwide pro-democracy demonstrations in the spring of 1989. He lived on the outskirts of Beijing at the time, but refused to go to Tiananmen Square. He wanted to make it clear to the authorities that the students were acting autonomously.

After the June 4 massacre that ended the protests, the government published a list of people wanted for arrest. Fang Lizhi and Li Shuxian were numbers one and two. On June 5 they took refuge in the US embassy in Beijing, where they lived for thirteen months in a basement apartment that had no windows. On being told that Deng, in a conversation with Henry Kissinger, had said he wanted him to write a confession, Fang wrote one in the form of a forthright statement of human rights principles. In June 1990 the Japanese government negotiated the release of Fang and Li by offering economic concessions to China, and for the next nearly twenty-two years they lived in exile.
The 1989 warrant for his arrest was never dropped, so that when he died he was still officially “wanted”: for “the crime of counterrevolutionary incitement” and as “the biggest black hand behind the June Fourth riots.”

China has without doubt experienced impressive economic growth during the last ten years, or so. Western leaders are lining up as beggars in Beijing in front of China´s communist rulers, who speak with a soft voice and are dressed in impeccable tailor made business suits. But behind this empty facade you will find a group of authoritarians, who have no respect for decency, democracy and human rights. The system they have created may last for a few more years, but before long these corrupted and undemocratic politicians will be replaced by better people. By then new generations of Chinese will have a chance also to remember people like Fang Lizhi, who were ready to fight for their principles.

New study: Plenty of penguins in Antarctica

Even in a worst case global warming scenario, there  would be  plenty of  emperor  penguins  in Antarctica

A new study, based on satellite image tracking, shows that there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica than previously thought:

University of Minnesota researchers have counted twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica as were previously estimated.
Doctoral student Michelle LaRue is perfecting techniques to enhance high-resolution satellite images to accurately counts Emperor Penguins — these are the penguins who sit on their eggs through the cold Antarctic winter, and were the stars of documentary, "The March of the Penguins."
LaRue's images were analyzed by the university's Polar Geospatial Center, which revealed that nearly 600,000 penguins live in Antarctica.   

Not surprisingly, the warmist researcher issued a warning about the influence of possible future global warming:

The biggest challenge for the penguins and seals is the loss of sea ice due to global warming, LaRue said. Scientists expect the population of emperor penguins to decline by half in the next 50-100 years because of global warming.

Even if the emperors would decline by half in 50-100 years, they would still be as many as experts previously thought they are now!
(image by wikipedia)

A lazy German civil servant

A German civil servant has admitted doing nothing during the 14 years before he retired:

The man, aged 65, sent a farewell message to 500 colleagues on his retirement day after learning his job was axed due to cuts.
In the email round robin to other civil servants in Menden, in Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia, he boasted that he had earned £613,000 (745,000 euros) for doing no work.
"Since 1998, I was present but not really there. So I'm going to be well prepared for retirement – Adieu," he wrote, in an email leaked to the Westfalen-Post newspaper.
The admission that a civil servant could be paid for 14 years without doing any work is embarrassing for Germany because it is leading calls for austerity cuts to the public sector in eurozone countries such as Greece and Spain.
The unnamed man, who has worked in a municipal state surveyor's office since 1974, accused the municipal authorities of creating inefficient, overlapping and parallel structures, even employing another surveying engineer to do the same job, leaving him with nothing to do. Of course, I well benefited from the freedom that came by to me," he wrote. 

The anonymous civil servant has been condemned by the Mayor of Menden and others in Germany. But looking at this case from a somewhat different point of view, the civil servant´s behaviour is maybe not so reproachable :

The do-nothing civil servant was in reality very inexpensive compared to the thousands of civil servants and "experts", who are wasting huge sums of taxpayers´ money on a plethora of completely useless "climate change" and "renewable energy" programs in Germany, as well as in all other EU countries. 

10.0000 wind turbine enthusiasts take high carbon footprint flights to Copenhagen

Over 10.000 wind power subsidy beneficiaries enthusiasts from all over the world are taking high carbon footprint flights to Copenhagen this weekend for the European Wind Energy Association´s annual celebration of this costly and ineffective form of energy production:

"EWEA Annual Event is Europe's premier wind energy event; a place where the industry's brightest minds meet to exchange the latest knowledge, forge meaningful business relationships and create connections with influential people around the world."

One of the most anticipated keynote speakers will be Ditlev Engel, CEO of the Danish wind turbine company Vestas
Mayby he will enlighten the audience about why one of the company´s newest turbines recently caught fire in Germany?:

Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest wind-turbine maker, said a V112 3.0-megawatt turbine caught fire today at the Gross Eilstorf wind farm in Lower Saxony, Germany. No injuries were reported.
The cause of the 3 p.m. blaze, which is burning out under“controlled conditions,” hasn’t been determined, the Aarhus, Denmark-based company said in a statement. The turbine, a new model for Vestas, was disconnected from the grid and three nearby V112 turbines were shut for safety reasons, it said. 

Or maybe Mr. Engel will surprise the "the industry´s brightest minds", and deliver a third profit-warning within a few months?:

The head of Danish turbine maker Vestas said on Friday he had no plans to resign after the election of a new chairman of the board and he remains the right leader to carry out the strategy set for the company.
Two profit-warnings in the course of three months, at the end of October and again in early January, have piled pressure on Chief Executive Ditlev Engel to ensure there are no more disappointments at the world's biggest wind turbine maker.
"I have no other plan than staying as CEO," Engel told Reuters after the annual general meeting of shareholders in the city of Aarhus.
"I am the right one to execute the new strategy for Vestas in the coming years," Engel said.

Read the entire article here

Or perhaps Mr. Engel will seize the opportunity and inform the gathered enthusiasts about the wind power industry´s crucial contribution when it was really cold in Europe in February?

If not, you can read it here:

Russia's main gas-company, Gazprom, was unable to meet demand last weekend as blizzards swept across Europe, and over three hundred people died. Did anyone even think of deploying our wind turbines to make good the energy shortfall from Russia?
Of course not. We all know that windmills are a self-indulgent and sanctimonious luxury whose purpose is to make us feel good. Had Europe genuinely depended on green energy on Friday, by Sunday thousands would be dead from frostbite and exposure, and the EU would have suffered an economic body blow to match that of Japan's tsunami a year ago. No electricity means no water, no trams, no trains, no airports, no traffic lights, no phone systems, no sewerage, no factories, no service stations, no office lifts, no central heating and even no hospitals, once their generators run out of fuel.

Read the entire article here


One thing is certain, however. The Danes know how to throw a  party, with lots of good food, wine and beer. That´s why the formal conference dinner is "the most popular event of EWEA 2012":

Venue: ØksnehallenDress code: formal
This exclusive seated dinner will be the most popular evening of EWEA 2012 Annual Event. Not only will you be able to meet professionals from the wind industry over an excellent meal, but you will also enjoy unforgettable entertainment.

James Delingpole: "Australia here I come"

The great James Delingpole is heading for Australia. Aussie eco-loon activists are warned!:

Those who are sceptical of AGW alarmism, though, are going to like me a lot. The first reason for this is that, in common with many Australians, I have a rare gift for tact and diplomacy. Not for one second in any of my speeches will I dream of being rude about Australia's much-loved A$180,000 a year (for a three-day week) "Climate Commissioner" Tim Flannery, let alone about Australian's even better loved Prime Minister, the flame-haired, pert-rumped temptress Julia Gillard. And I'm sure my audiences will respect me for my polite restraint.
Therefore, when Australia finds itself burdened with an administration which decides to put a swingeing tax on fossil fuels – Gillard's hated Carbon Tax – in the name of saving the earth from "Climate Change" then clearly Climate Change becomes of pressing concern not just to enviro-loon activists but also to ordinary, sane people who worry about tedious stuff like paying their bills, keeping their jobs and ensuring that their kids have some kind of economic future. The Queensland election result was, I suspect, just the beginning. The tide against the Great Global Warming Scam – the biggest and most expensive outbreak of mass hysteria in history – is turning and, right now, Australia is the best place in the world to go for a beachside view.
And the third reason is that I've had all the hard work done for me by my old mate Professor Ian Plimer. Following in the footsteps of his new bookHow To Get Expelled From School is a bit like going into battle behind the elite, super well-equipped Panzer Lehr division: it's by far the feistiest and most no-nonsense book I've ever read on "Climate Change" and all the better for it.

Read the entire article here

New study: Global warming will not destroy the Great Barrier Reef

The future of the Great Barrier Reef is bright

Another warmist myth debunked: Global warming is not going to destroy the Great Barrier Reef! That is the  "surprising" result off the first large-study of the impact of presumed rising ocean temperatures: 

Rising ocean temperatures caused by climate change are unlikely to mean the end of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, according to a new scientific study.
The Cell Press journal Current Biology this morning published what it says is the first large-scale investigation of climate effects on corals and found while some corals were dying, others were flourishing and adapting to the change in water temperatures.
For the study researchers identified and measured more than 35,000 coral colonies on 33 reefs across the length of the Great Barrier Reef to see how they were responding to warming ocean waters.

In results they have described as ‘‘surprising’’ the study found while one species declined in abundance, other species could rise in number.
One of the researchers, Professor Terry Hughes from James Cook University, said while critical issues remained he now believed rising temperatures were unlikely to mean the end of the coral reef.
‘‘The good news is that, rather than experiencing wholesale destruction, many coral reefs will survive climate change by changing the mix of coral species as the ocean warms and becomes more acidic,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s important for people who rely on the rich and beautiful coral reefs of today for food, tourism, and other livelihoods.’’
He said earlier studies of climate change and corals had been done on a much smaller geographical scale, with a primary focus on total coral cover or counts of species as rather crude indicators of reef health.

Read the entire article here

(image by Wikipedia)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

EU überwarmist Hedegaard cannot stand the bright lights of Doha

                           Connie Hedegaard does not like the bright lights of Doha

Qatar is the world´s biggest producer of liquefied natural gas. Oil and gas account for about 60% of the country´s economic output. That´s why the country´s capital Doha can afford to keep the city well lit during night hours.

EU´s überwarmist, Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, currently visiting Doha, apparently thinks that the inhabitants of Doha should switch off their bright lights and start living in the same kind of semi-darkness that people in her home country Denmark are used to:

“When you drive through the city of Doha at night, you just think, ‘Wow, look how big our challenges are when we’re talking about more energy efficiency, less energy consumption and a low-carbon world,’” Hedegaard said. “The bright lights are all over. It would send a strong signal if Qatar came forward with concrete proposals on how they will pursue a more climate-friendly growth strategy.” 

“You have these tall, tall skyscrapers, and there are lights literally in every window because why turn off the lights when energy is for free,” Hedegaard said. 

Yes, indeed, why should the people of Doha turn off their lights! If Mrs. Hedegaard does not like the bright lights of the city, she should put on her sunglasses the next time she is out driving in Doha!

South Korea denies Greenpeace representatives entry

Congratulations to the government of SoutKorea! You have made the right decision:

Greenpeace East Asia executive director Mario Damato and another employee were denied entry into the country on Monday.

Mario Damato was accompanying Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo into the country on Monday when they were denied entry at Incheon International Airport at roughly 2 p.m. on Monday.

Naidoo was allowed entry.

According to a Korea Immigration Service officer, they received a request to deny entry to Greenpeace officials from a government branch. The officer, on the condition of anonymity, refused to disclose which branch it was.

The officer added that the government branch had filed the request on the basis of “national interest.”

Greenpeace stated in a press release that they believe this was an attempt by the Korean government to stop the organization from voicing its opinion against the expansion of nuclear energy.

Read the entire article here


The only mistake was to allow Mr. Naidoo entry.

Putin knows that the shale gas revolution will lead to the end of his corrupted regime

Russia´s ruler Vladimir Putin seems to realize that the American led shale gas revolution will in the end lead to the demise of his corrupted regime. In a speech to the Russian Duma Putin desperately urged energy giant Gazprom and other Russian energy companies to find ways to stop the shale gas revolution:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has urged his country's gas industry to "rise to the challenge" of shale gas as the United States and some European countries forge ahead with developing the controversial energy source.
US shale gas production may "seriously" restructure supply and demand in the global hydrocarbons market, Putin said yesterday (11 April) in his final address to the Russian Duma before he takes over as president on 7 May.
"Our country's energy companies absolutely have to be ready right now to meet this challenge," he said.
Putin said Russia must be prepared for "any external shocks" as the world had entered "an era of turbulence", coupled with "a new wave of technological change" that was "changing the configuration of global markets".
"I fully agree with the proposal of deputies that we need to create a system better, long-term forecasting of macroeconomic, financial, technological and defense. This is especially important, given that the XXI century promises to be an epoch folding the new geopolitical centers of financial, economic, cultural and civilisation," he added.
According to press agency Bloomberg, the U.S. overtook Russia as the biggest producer of gas in 2009 as it extracted fuel trapped in shale rocks (see background). That has cut prices and led nations from China to Poland to explore for such resources, potentially cutting their reliance on Russian gas.
According to Statfor, the U.S.-based global intelligence company providing geopolitical analysis and commentary, the Russian gas business is struggling with a number of problems, mostly related to its Byzantine pricing system.
Indeed, Gazprom is losing money on its domestic sales as it costs the company approximately $132 to produce or acquire and then distribute 1 tcm of natural gas, but its revenue from the domestic market is only $80 per tcm, which means Gazprom loses more than $50 per tcm sold domestically. Considering that the domestic market makes up 60% of sales, the loss is monumental, Stratfor reports.
Gazprom is also concerned about its revenues from sales to Europe, which will decrease amid negotiations over new natural gas prices with many of its European customers. Coupled with Europe's diversification of natural gas supplies away from Russia, this means Gazprom could soon be unable to continue offsetting its domestic losses with high profit margins from sales on the European market, the U.S. global intelligence company writes.

Read the entire article here

Putin´s speech is another sign of desperation. The Russians - with Putin as the de facto "chairman of the board" of the badly managed Gazprom - will never be able to compete with the professionally run American and international energy companies which are in the forefront of the shale gas revolution. Without the easy money from the sale of Russia´s energy resources, Putin will not be able to stay in power for long.

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has lost touch with reality

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg clearly has lost touch with reality. Now he is attacking experts and media, who - rightly - point out that the Cameron/Clegg governments "green" policies are both extremely costly and environmentally mostly useless:

Nick Clegg today attacked purveyors of "ludicrous scare stories" over the cost of green measures, warning they could derail the UK's potential role as the "number one destination for clean, green investment".
Responding to questions after his keynote speech this morning on greening of the economy, Clegg took the opportunity to express frustration with recent media reports suggesting the government's green measures are expensive and will take jobs out of the country.

Read the entire article here

In his speech Clegg gave a rosy - and totally unrealistic - picture of the government´s green dream:

I cannot remember a time when consumers, industry and environmentalists had so much in common. Those of us who believe in a more sustainable future must seize the opportunity that creates. Don´t believe the naysayers when they tell you environmentalism is off the agenda. And don't be in any doubt of our commitment of being the greenest government ever.

This is a Coalition that has committed to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, the boldest target set, in law, by any government, anywhere in the world. And we'll be pressing our neighbours to set much more ambitious EU targets at talks in Denmark next week.

A Coalition leading the biggest shakeup of the electricity market in thirty years.

A Coalition creating the UK's first ever market in energy efficiency through the Green Deal.

A Coalition investing in a series of world firsts despite the huge pressures on the public purse: the first ever national bank devoted to green investment; the first ever Carbon Capture and Storage project at commercial scale; in just four months, the greenest ever Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Make no mistake: the economic situation creates challenges, but it has not weakened our resolve. It has only strengthened our ambition.

At the next election Clegg will see, what the voters think about "the greenest government ever".

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

French Renault introduces a new electric "car"

Would you like to pay 10,000 USD for this doorless "car" without heating ?  And, yes,  the battery  is not included, either. The Twizy is supposed to be a 2-seater - Where the second seat is located, is a mystery. 

French Renault thinks that this new new electric "car" - without doors,ventilation and heating - is going to be a great success. Based on a calculated 10 year life span, the car will cost more than an ordinary compact car.

Good luck, Renault!

Hopefully there will be drivers, who enjoy the door- and heatless Twizy when the winter temperature is -20 °C, with driving conditions like this:

Der Spiegel has some more information on the new French beauty:

This vehicle, called the Twizy, is also a two-seater, although its seats are positioned one behind the other. Its wheels are mounted outside the body of the car, making it look a bit like the "Kabinenroller" cars produced by German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt after World War II. On the whole, the Twizy looks as if it could have sprung from the imagination of a comic book artist.

The Twizy comes with a roof and, if desired, doors as well, although without windows. Full weather protection with heating and ventilation would have been prohibitively expensive, the vehicle's designers explain.

Now, Renault needs to succeed in making its pared-down vehicle the latest elite trend -- the Twizy is not a cheap, when measured by its capacity. The base price of €7,690 for the 80-kph version includes neither the half-high doors nor the battery. As with its other models, Renault plans to rent out the Twizy's rechargeable batteries for a monthly fee ranging between €50 and €72, depending on the contract.
Calculated across an assumed lifespan of 10 years, that means the Twizy actually costs more than some full-fledged compact cars.

T. Boone Pickens: 'I've Lost My A--' in Wind Power - 'The Jobs Are in the Oil and Gas Industry'

Business magnate and financier T. Boone Pickens knows what what he is speaking about:
'I've Lost My A--' in Wind Power - 'The Jobs Are in the Oil and Gas Industry'

This is the kind of realism that is needed, both in the US and the rest of the world (particularly in Europe):

Pickens continued, “You know that wind and solar are not going to move an eighteen-wheeler.”
With this in mind, Barnicle asked about so-called “green jobs” in America. “Are there jobs in this?”

“Sure,” answered Pickens, “if you go out and subsidize some of these things to develop them – yeah, you get jobs out of, of course. The jobs are in the oil and gas industry in the United States. I mean, that’s where it is. You have an industry that is superb in comparison of oil companies around the world. They are the best.”
Pickens continued, “They found the oil the cheapest, they found the gas the cheapest for you and all, and you have somebody saying, ‘Hey, they’re not paying their fair share, and they make too much money, they need to be taxed more.’ Hey, they’ve gone out and done exactly what you wanted. They got jobs for you, they got the oil and gas cheaper for you. The problem is nobody understands energy in America. If they understood energy, they would know that, hey, something good is happening here.”

Co-host Mika Brzezinski said that domestic oil production is up, and asked her guest what the Obama administration has done that is good concerning energy.
“Well, they don’t have an energy policy," answered Pickens. Brzezinski followed by asking if Obama has done anything to increase oil production. He replied, “It has nothing to do with the administration…We’ve gotten someplace, but it’s because of technology advanced by the industry.”
“What’s getting ready to happen to you,” offered Pickens, “the horizontal drilling and the multiple frack zones in it, that’s all going, it’s going to be exported away from America. Is that bad? No, it’s not bad. It’s an industry developed here, share with other people, develop reserves.”
“Let me tell you,” Pickens continued, “you are looking at a fundamental change in energy globally is what you have. The OPEC nations are going to have the power taken away from them that they’ve enjoyed for the last twenty years.”

Read the entire article here

Pickens could have added that Russia´s de facto dictator Putin also will have his power taken away from him, thanks to the American led shale gas revolution.

Thomas Friedman: Global warming a major factor behind "Arab spring"

Columnist Thomas Friedman is again scaremongering about climate change. This time he is promoting the idea that global warming has been an major factor behind the "Arab spring":

All these tensions over land, water and food tell us something: The Arab awakening was driven not only by political and economic stresses, but, less visibly, by environmental, population and climate stresses. If we focus only on the former we will never be able to help stabilize these societies.
Take Syria. "Syria's current social unrest is, in the most direct sense, a reaction to a brutal and out-of-touch regime," write Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell, in a report for their Center for Climate and Security. "However, that's not the whole story."
From 2006-11, up to 60 percent of Syria's land has suffered one of the worst droughts and most severe crop failures in history.
The United Nations reported that the livelihoods of more than 800,000 Syrians were wiped out by droughts.
"If climate projections stay on their current path, the drought situation in North Africa and the Middle East is going to get progressively worse, and you will end up witnessing cycle after cycle of instability," argues Femia.

And - surprise, surprise - the "pioneer" of global warming scaremongering, Lester Brown, is the "expert" Friedman cites in his concluding warning:

Lester Brown, the president of the Earth Policy Institute and author of "World on the Edge," notes that 20 years ago, using oil-drilling technology, the Saudis tapped an aquifer far below the desert to produce wheat. Now most of that water is gone, and so is the Saudi wheat. So the Saudis are buying land in Ethiopia and Sudan, but that means they'll draw more Nile water away from Egypt.
The real threats to our security, said Brown, are climate change, population growth, water shortages and the number of failing states in the world. How many states must fail before we have a failing global civilization, he asks.
Hopefully, we won't go there. But, then, it was Leon Trotsky who said: "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."
You might not be interested in climate change, but climate change is interested in you.

Read more here:

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The Roads of Russia

"Russia must realise its full potential in high-tech sectors such as modern energy technology, transport and communications, space and aircraft building".

Vladimir Putin, Annual Address to the Federal Assembly, May 10, 2006

This year Russia is expected to top Germany as Europe´s largest car market. But Putin´s empire is light years behind Germany when it comes to the quality of roads:

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, Russia ranks number 125 out of 139 countries on the quality of its highway infrastructure. According to another report, this one by Renaissance Asset Management, barely half of Russia’s road networks meet minimum riding quality and strength measurements.
All this leads to a highway fatality rate in Russia that is higher than in Brazil, China and India

But I don’t need reports to tell me this the morning after I made a hair raising 250 kilometer drive from Moscow to Yaroslavl. And then back again.
In a 20-kilometer bypass of the M8, the drivers of 18-wheel trucks zig-zagged around huge potholes eased their rigs slooowly over deepening trenches gouged in crumbling asphalt, or tried their luck in the spring chocolate sauce of deep mud that bounded that two lane “highway.” All the while, drivers of private cars wrestled to find their space in this obstacle course.
I felt a pang of nostalgia. I felt I was back in Brazil in the 1970s, trying to move along the fringe of Amazon rainforest.
But this was “European Russia” and my destination was Yaroslavl, an ancient city founded in 1010.
After 1,000 years, the Russian state still has not learned how to build safe and solid roads.
Judge a nation’s economy by its car fleet.
Judge its government by its roads.

Roads reflect a government’s ability to project power and to harness bureaucracy for the common good.

In Russia today, the “highway” between Moscow and St. Petersburg is such a death trap that I spent $1,200 on train tickets last December for myself and my three sons. Driving to St. Petersburg and back would have seriously risked cutting one branch from the Brooke family tree.
While China builds an interstate highway system that connects cities you have never heard of, Russia still cannot link its two largest cities with a safe, eight-lane divided highway.
The traditional Russian response is to quote Nikolai Gogol. This satirist once wrote that Russia’s two problems are – duraki i dorogi – fools and roads. But Gogol wrote that almost two centuries ago.

Read the entire article here

No wonder that Russians have to buy a lot of new cars!


Lately things have been improving a little bit, though. At least one road has been repaired:

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

French philosopher: Global warming scaremongers are "tiny minds who wish us suffering"

The French writer and philosopher Pascal Bruckner´s analysis of Al Gore´s and all the other doomsday scaremongers´ tactics is very much to the point:

My point is not to minimize our dangers. Rather, it is to understand why apocalyptic fear has gripped so many of our leaders, scientists and intellectuals, who insist on reasoning and arguing as though they were following the scripts of mediocre Hollywood disaster movies.

Over the last half-century, leftist intellectuals have identified two great scapegoats for the world's woes. First, Marxism designated capitalism as responsible for human misery. Second, "Third World" ideology, disappointed by the bourgeois indulgences of the working class, targeted the West, supposedly the inventor of slavery, colonialism and imperialism. 

Environmentalism sees itself as the fulfillment of all earlier critiques. "There are only two solutions," Bolivian president Evo Morales declared in 2009. "Either capitalism dies, or Mother Earth dies."
"Our house is burning, but we are not paying attention," said Jacques Chirac, then president of France, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. "Nature, mutilated, overexploited, cannot recover, and we refuse to admit it."

Sir Martin Rees, a British astrophysicist and former president of the Royal Society, gives humanity a 50% chance of surviving beyond the 21st century. Oncologists and toxicologists predict that the end of mankind should arrive even earlier, around 2060, thanks to a general sterilization of sperm. 

One could cite such quotations forever, given the spread of apocalyptic literature. Authors, journalists, politicians and scientists compete in their portrayal of abomination and claim for themselves a hyperlucidity: They alone see the future clearly while others vegetate in the darkness. 
The fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, with the press reporting, as though it were a surprise, that young people are haunted by the very concerns about global warming that the media continually broadcast. As in an echo chamber, opinion polls reflect the views promulgated by the media. 
These are not great souls who alert us to troubles but tiny minds who wish us suffering if we have the presumption to refuse to listen to them. Catastrophe is not their fear but their joy. It is a short distance from lucidity to bitterness, from prediction to anathema. 

Read the entire article here

Monday, 9 April 2012

Greek hopes for economic recovery rest on an illusion

Solar energy will not save Greece

If there still are some people, who have the illusion that Greece could be able to return to real growth under the present regime, these words by PM Lucas Papademos must mean the end of that false hope: 

"The (solar) energy sector gives Greece an opportunity to become a hub for the European Union and third countries.”

PM Lucas Papademos, who recently spoke at a renewable energy and infrastructure development summit in Athens, said that investment in green energy was a “national priority” to boost economic growth. Project Helios is the Greek government’s massive initiative to ramp up solar power production from 206 MW to 2.2. GW by 2020 and up to 10 GW by 2050. The country is aiming to become the EU’s largest exporter of green energy.
The government hopes that this plan will attract the investment needed and Greece can then transform itself into an exporter of solar power and help other EU countries to meet their renewable targets. Greece’s Energy and Climate Change Minister, George Papakonstantinou, also launched a draft renewable energy plan which will ensure that the country meets EU targets to deliver 80 percent emissions cuts by 2050.

Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy, thinks that the Greek solar project will succeed:

“Helios is a unique opportunity to demonstrate that renewable energy technologies like photovoltaics are becoming competitive in the near future through European cooperation. It could be the showcase project on the way to a truly integrated European market for electricity from renewable sources, while simultaneously helping the Greek economy to recover.”

Read the entire article here

Papademos and Oettinger - like most other EU leaders - live in a "renewable green energy" dream world of their own, far from the realities of the energy sector. Solar power is failing just about everywhere - why on the earth should it succeed in Greece, of all places?

Sunday, 8 April 2012

New study: Global warming to "revitalize" the UK and northern Europe

It is time to stop scaremongering about global warming in northern Europe. A new study, published in the Environmental Research Letters, shows that climate change can help to revitalize this part of the continent, particularly the UK:

Climate change could help to revitalize the flagging economies of northern Europe over the coming decades. The UK in particular is set to benefit from an influx of skilled migrants, relocating from the countries hit hardest by global warming. New work in Environmental Research Letters (ERL) suggests that this wave of migrants could help to alleviate some of the economic and social pressures caused by an aging population.

The inhabitants of the developed world are living longer and having fewer children. As a result, they are on the march towards an aging, and ultimately contracting, population. Already one fifth of the population is over the age of 60, while only one sixth is under the age of 15 in more developed regions, like northern Europe. By 2050, projections suggest th at there will be twice as many older people as there are young people.
The arrival of these older age structures in Europe's population has raised concern over the social and economic pressures that they may bring. Who is going to pay for pensions and healthcare, for example? And what is going to attract and keep young skilled workers so that Europe can avoid economic decline? 

Northern Europe, by contrast, is predicted to fare better when climate change takes hold. "As a result, northern European cities are likely to become more attractive to skilled migrants, because they are situated in less environmentally challenging zones," argued Harper in her paper. Southern Europe is predicted to be too dry to benefit in the same way.
But will these skilled migrants be attracted to northern Europe in time to relieve the demographic deficit? "The skills shortage is expected to really hit northern Europe within the next couple of decades," said Harper. Climate models indicate that some of the more serious impacts of climate change will start to bite around the same time. Only time will tell, but if the models and projections are right then Asia's loss may be northern Europe's gain.