Saturday, 26 May 2012

"Roof top gardens" and "sunken terrace" restaurant for climate bureaucrats

The Green Climate Fund - the crowning achievement of the UN led global warming hysteria - is supposed to start distributing huge sums of cash -  $100 billion a year by 2020 - from "rich" industrialized countries to often corrupt regimes in the "developing world". All in the name of fighting global warming/climate change. 

The governments of the "rich" countries - right now busy trying to solve real economic problems - have began to realize the utter stupidity of the "commitments" agreed in Cancun and Durban. Even the countries which constitute the European Union - the "climate change superpower" - are beginning to backtrack on their "commitments"

There was also little progress on the key issue of the financing by rich countries of actions in the developing world. Meeting in Bonn, negotiators and officials from around the world haggled over the set-up of a 'Green Climate Fund' that would channel cash from the developed world to poorer countries, to help them cut greenhouse gas emissions and cope with the effects of climate change.

It is 100% certain that the "rich" countries will never deliver anything close to the sums "promised" in Cancun and Durban. But this does not deter the global warming bureaucracy. No, the bureaucrats are right now concentrating on what they are really good at: The planning of a huge bureaucratic structure to administer the climate change billions (which will never materialize). 

Six countries are now competing to host the new Green Climate Fund heaquarters. One of the favourites is Germany, which offers this kind of simple working facilities for the 300 (probably more) highly paid bureaucrats expected to distribute the billions: 

The Federal Republic of Germany has selected the proposal of Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) for the Green Climate Fund Headquarters, Bonn. LAVA's proposal for the headquarters is an 'ecological model project' and demonstrates their motto: 'green is the new black.'

With a design inspired by the beautiful setting in the Rhine valley, and with curvilinear forms, nature light wells, roof top gardens and a large sunken terrace for the restaurant, the three level structure will comply with the latest energy and building ecology standards, meeting the highest demands in terms of sustainability (German Gold Certificate), ecology and energy efficiency (net zero energy).

Described as 'architecturally appealing' and 'environmentally friendly with functional spaces that foster working productivity' the purpose built GCF headquarters will offer ideal working conditions for approximately 300 Green Climate Fund officials, on a 13.000m2 site. Offices with state-of-the-art office technology, logistics areas with security controls and a visitor reception zone, an auditorium, a conference room, a canteen/cafeteria and an underground car park create optimal working conditions.

But who knows, maybe Namibia, Mexico, Poland, South Korea or Switzerland will offer even more exciting working environments for the future climate "billionaires"? There are rumours that the Swiss are intent on beating the Germans with a GCF hideaway high on a mountain top, with the in/outdoor pool offering a breathtaking view over a melting glacier. 

    US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: Democratic Taiwan sets an example for China

    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, influential chairwoman of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign  Affairs, has praised the role of Taiwan as a beacon of democracy: 
    A senior U.S. congresswoman praised Taiwan's democracy in Taipei Monday as an example for China by showing that political power can come out of ballot boxes. 

    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Taiwan's democratic development, which has seen direct presidential elections and two transfers of power, is an achievement that must be preserved. 

    Ros-Lehtinen, who is heading a 21-member congressional delegation that is in Taiwan to discuss bilateral ties and congratulate President Ma Ying-jeou on his inauguration for a second term, made the remarks at a dinner hosted by opposition Democratic Progressive Party. 

    "When bloggers in China hear of Taiwan's democratic elections, they ask 'why can't we also elect our president if Taiwan citizens can cast their ballots freely in the ballot box all the time?'" Ros-Lehtinen said. 

    She also cited the case of Chinese blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, a human rights lawyer who had been under house arrest before escaping to the U.S. embassy in Beijing. Chen and his family arrived in New York last weekend to begin a new life there. 

    The light from Taiwan pointed the way for not only for Chen but also for millions in China, who thirst for liberty, Ros Lehtinen said. 

    Read the entire article here

    Ros-Lehtinen´s support for democratic Taiwan and democracy in Communist China does not always get big headlines in US and other western mainstream media, but it gets attention where it matters most - in Taiwan and mainland China. 

    The Scottish government´s renewable energy spin vs reality

    Scotland - quite like the UK - has a "green" government, which has eagerly embraces
    all the warmist propaganda arguments and cheap renewable energy slogans. Now the Scottish Department for Energy and Climate Change is claiming that the government´s "low carbon initiatives will have a big impact on consumers´energy bills": 

    Using renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, is a good way to reduce your energy bill.
    The DECC argued that by 2020, policies to reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint will shave £94 off energy bills, a feat that would not have been possible if they hadn’t been put in place.
    The current drive towards using renewable energy sources will see average household energy bills stand at £1,285 by 2020, a figure which would have climbed up to £1,379 had the government not acted.
    The findings were also backed by research by industry regulator Ofgem, which supported the idea that energy bills will be lowered by the government’s green initiatives.
    The news will be welcomed by consumers, many of whom are expecting a rise in energy bills by as much as £50 after Centrica, which owns Scottish Gas, announced an increase in wholesale gas prices.
    “Renewable energy is vital to Scotland and to the rest of the UK. It is essential if we are to keep bills down for ordinary families, boost the economy and meet our climate change targets,” said Fergus Ewing, the energy minister.
    The Scottish government is of course quite right when saying that its "low carbon initiative will have a big impact on consumers´ energy bills". However, the problem is that the impact will be a steep rise in energy prices
    ELECTRICITY bills will rise by at least 58% if the UK Government is to meet its renewable energy target within the next eight years, according to an industry expert.
    Sir Donald Miller, who spent a lifetime as an engineer in the power industry, rising to chair both the South of Scotland Electricity Board and ScottishPower, warned the cost to households would increase by that amount if ministers were to meet their tar-get of 30% or more of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020. It would mean the average annual electricity bill of £489 for Scottish homes would go up by £283.62 to more than £773 a year within the next eight years.
    The more ambitious Scottish Government target of generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020 would mean even greater rises in household bills, he warned.
    Sir Donald calculations are contained in his submission to the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee's inquiry into the Scottish Government's targets.

    The former engineer, who favours a mix of energy sources including nuclear, also claims Scottish Government targets imply a four-fold expansion of wind power in Scotland, offshore and on land, within a period of eight years, but counsels: "This seems unlikely and not least because of resistance to a proli-feration of wind farms onshore."
    He believes the conduct of planning inquiries into wind farms is bringing the Scottish planning system into disrepute and points to growing evidence based on experience in the United States and Ireland that high levels of interruptible generation, such as wind, produce much smaller savings in CO2 emissions than had been thought.

    Read the entire article here

    Germany comes up with a "new" idea for solving the euro crisis

    In the true spirit of the EUSSR, the German government has now come up with a "new" idea of how to solve the economic problems of the crisis ridden euro zone: 

    SPIEGEL has learned that the German government has developed a proposal calling for special economic zones to be created in crisis-plagued countries at the periphery of the euro zone. Under the plans, foreign investors could be attracted to those zones through tax incentives and looser regulations.

    The Germans must have found inspiration for this idea from another "empire": 

    Particularly, noteworthy is the recent decision of the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to set up free economic zones. Through these, market principles will for the first time be introduced directly into parts of the Soviet economy. The zones will also be an important means by which to adv ance the country's integration into the international economy and to achieve rouble convertibility. 

    (UNCTAD report, 1990)


    There is actually one area in which the German idea could turn out to be be very succesful: The dreaded trade war with China and India (and possibly a number of other countries) over the senseless EU aviation emissions tax could be avoided if all international EU airports were declared special economic zones, with "looser regulations" ...

    The history of the UN led global warming circus

    The Toronto Sun´s columnist Simon Kent has written an excellent brief history of the UN global warming travelling circus:
    Which of the following major world cities and/or seaside resorts has NOT hosted United Nations climate change talks since the inaugural meeting way back in 1997?
    Marrakech, Morocco; Bali, Indonesia; Lyon, France; Bonn, Germany; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cancun, Mexico; The Hague, the Netherlands; Vienna, Austria; Montreal, Canada; Bangkok, Thailand; Barcelona, Spain; Durban, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Milan, Italy; Kyoto, Japan and New Delhi, India.
    Sorry, trick question. All have played host at some time to the 47 UN-funded get-togethers in the past 15 years.
    I know, I know, it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.
    Here is a supplementary question: How many binding treaties have been ratified by all parties in the name of defeating so-called anthropogenic global warming in that time?
    Not abstracts of intent or noble purpose like the Kyoto protocols. We’re talking binding agreements with enforceable penalties, measurable aims and deliverable achievements signed by every single nation on the planet from the richest to the very poorest.
    How many? None.
    That’s right, a big fat zero. Nada. Zip. Nil. Zilch.
    Still, the talking goes on in some of the most desirable locations on earth.
    Three and sometimes four times a year the great and the good of the global warm-monger industry meet to chatter and wag their fingers at major industrialized nations like Canada.
    These unelected and unaccountable members of the UN ineptocracy were at it again last week.
    In Bonn, Germany the latest meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ended Friday.
    The fortnight-long get together was meant to develop a timetable for implementing the so-called “Kyoto 2” extension which Canada along with the US, Japan and Russia wisely announced they’ll ignore.
    At the end of the meeting negotiators agreed that “progress had been made” and “important principles established’’ but really, they would have to meet again for more talks soon.
    So next stop is Doha, Qatar for another round of debate, starting November 26.
    At which point you could reasonably ask: What was achieved at Bonn besides abject inertia?
    Not much. Just continuing division over how long the extended Kyoto protocol should operate, some very public squabbling over whose turn it was to chair the various sub-committees and an agreement to talk more about future agendas.
    There was also the small matter of (ahem) money.
    UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres insisted it was critical the Bonn talks made further progress on how funds will be raised – extorted might be another apt word — from major industrialized nations and directed to poorer countries in the year’s after 2020.
    This epic global fundraising will underwrite something called the Green Climate Fund, to be run under the paternalistic auspices of the UN.
    The fund will need $100 billion a year from 2020 onwards to operate. No precise agreement at Bonn on how it would work, despite Christiana Figueres exhortations, just consensus that major developed and industrialised countries like Canada will have to foot the bill. So there.
    All of which pretty much reflects the UN as it is today; a preening debating society that marries incompetence with good intentions, meddling with over-reaching ambition.
    Read the entire column here
    In a best case scenario the US Congress stops funding these useless climate clowns - the sooner, the better.  

    Friday, 25 May 2012

    The Economist on the EU: "All the putatives responses to the democratic deficit are being found wanting"

    The European Parliament: "almost always in favour of new regulation and always in favour of more spending."

    The fact that the European Union is a deeply undemocratic structure, driven by the political elites, has been clear for years now. In an interesting article the Economist offers this thoughtful analysis of the EU´s democratic deficit: 

    Now the crisis has struck, all the putative responses to the democratic deficit are being found wanting. The qualified majority voting introduced by the Single European Act of the 1980s and the subsequent enlargement of the union mean that nations, especially small ones, can frequently feel marginalised, and their electorates voiceless; the system is opaque, complex and remote. Countries outside the euro zone are not party to some decisions, which can make them fear marginalisation; the “six pack” of fiscal regulations agreed last year and the newly devised fiscal compact erode even further the ability of a government within the zone to control its own fate. Crucially, the pact imposes fines on governments in breach of its strictures automatically, unless a qualified majority of all the others votes against doing so. In 2002 Francis Mer, newly installed as French finance minister, dismissed commission requests for budget cuts to comply with the stability and growth pact by saying that “France has other priorities.” Pierre Moscovici, François Hollande’s new finance minister, stands no chance of being similarly highhanded. This lack of governmental override worries not just debtor nations but also some creditor countries such as the Netherlands—and even German states.
    The other responses to the democratic deficit look even more tattered. Output legitimacy is a hard sell when the outputs voters use to reach a judgment are a crisis they didn’t create and austerity they don’t want. The idea that the EU is all about distant technical adjustments is laughable now that the euro is impinging on many basic functions of sovereign national governments, most obviously in Greece, Ireland and Portugal, but also in all the parties to the fiscal compact. If the euro is to survive, it will likely do so by impinging on them yet further.
    And what of the European Parliament? It has, if anything, widened the deficit it is meant to make up. It has increased its powers with every EU treaty, including the fiscal compact; but it has seen no parallel growth in its legitimacy. In the commission and in national capitals alike, frustration with the parliament has been growing. It is almost always in favour of new regulation and always in favour of more spending. Any claim that this is what the voters want is undermined by the fact that the voters show ever less interest in it. At every election for the European Parliament since 1979, the turnout across the continent has plumbed a new low (see chart 2). National elections see higher turnouts almost everywhere.

    Wind turbines kill hundreds of thousands of bats

    "Through conservancy efforts of groups such as the Organization for Bat Conservation and Bat Conservation International, bats are becoming better understood and people beginning to understand the crucial role bats play in insect control and pollination.
    In the United Kingdom, all bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Acts, and even disturbing a bat or its roost can be punished with a heavy fine." (wikipedia)

    It is a well-known fact that wind turbines kill hundreds of thousands of birds every year. Now it is becoming clear that these expensive, ugly and inefficient machines also kill a huge number of bats:

    Even if all the wind farms in Pennsylvania were utilized, they’d still only make up for about 6 percent of needed electricity in the state. And, ironically, they also seem to be messing with nature: One unintended consequence of the installation of wind turbines has been a massive increase in bat deaths. Bats seem to be drawn to them, and scientists can’t figure out why. But they do know that the rapid decline in our bat population—which is crucial to general insect control—is really bad news.
    “A high [bat] fatality rate was observed at a wind farm in West Virginia in 2003 and from that point on, we began seeing high fatality rates in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and then different rates across the country,” says Dr. Cris D. Hein, coordinator of the Bats and Wind Energy Program for Bat Conservation International. “So it became an issue that needed to be addressed quite rapidly, as wind development grew in the early 2000s.”
    Each year, an estimated hundreds of thousands of bats are killed after colliding with, and getting shredded by, wind turbines. Last year, Pennsylvania’s 420 turbines killed an estimate 10,000 bats, according to the state Game Commission

    Read the entire article here

    Thursday, 24 May 2012

    The end of the UN global warming travelling circus is one step closer

    The end of the UN led global warming travelling circus is - fortunately - one step closer. Leaders and governments of the rich industrialized countries have clearly put the global warming hoax on the back burner - there are other, much more urgent - and real - problems to take care of. 

    The fact that the hundreds of climate bureaucrats - especially those representing countries, which have been expecting a climate change bonanza  -  meeting in Bonn, are becoming more and more frustrated, should be viewed as an encouraging development:

    Hopes are fading that climate talks in Qatar late this year will make even modest progress towards getting a new globally binding climate deal signed by 2015, as preliminary negotiations in Germany this week have left much work to be done.

    The fear is that if work plans and agendas are not set by the end of this year at the latest it could have a knock-on effect, holding up the entire effort to avert potentially devastating global warming.

    United Nations climate talks in South Africa last year agreed a package of measures that would extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, a global pact enforcing carbon cuts, and decide a new, legally binding accord by 2015, coming into force by 2020.

    In the first negotiating session since that agreement, delegates from over 180 countries were nearing the end of two-week long session in Bonn, but progress has been hampered by procedural wrangling.

    Additional sessions later on look unlikely, due to a lack of funding, so a range of unresolved issues will be left until the two-week summit in Doha, Qatar, at the end of November.

    Delegates and observers fear there will be too much work to do to make proper progress on the new global deal and ensure deeper emissions cuts are made both up to 2020 and beyond.

    "(We know that) trade talks collapsed in Doha. Are we setting the stage for the collapse of climate negotiations?" said Mithika Mwenda, co-ordinator for campaign group the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance.

    "This is like the Titanic, where both developing countries and industrialized countries will sink."
    Read the entire article here
    Mr. Mwenda´s Titanic comparison is as a matter of fact not bad at all. However, he does not seem to realize that the only thing that is finally sinking is the bogus UN led climate change process, a development which should be welcomed by all sane people. 

    The euro is "ripe for creative destruction"

    The Guardian´s economics editor Larry Elliott thinks that the euro is ripe for "creative destruction". And it is difficult to disagree with him: 

    Despite this monetary chaos, there are still some in Brussels or Frankfurt who argue that the euro has been a success and will go from strength to strength. They sound suspiciously like the members of the politburo who in the 1980s said the Soviet Union was working and would last for ever. The undoubted political commitment to the euro means that there are now calls for a fast-track approach to full political union, but this means repeating the top-down approach used for monetary union and – at a time when the markets are talking about a Greek exit within weeks or months – would take years to finesse.
    Instead, the realistic options for the euro are that it breaks up or staggers on in a zombie-like condition, with low growth, high unemployment, growing public disenchantment and widely divergent views in Europe's capitals about what needs to be done. As a company, the euro would have gone bust by now. It had a duff business plan, which has been poorly executed. The experiment survived in the benign conditions of the early 2000s but only the core business, Germany, has been able to cope with the much tougher climate of the past five years. There is boardroom squabbling, the workforce is in open revolt and there are no new product lines.
    The euro, in short, is ripe for what Joseph Schumpeter called creative destruction. Capitalism, according to Schumpeter, was the story of constant, normally gut-wrenching change, in which innovation put established firms out of business and made whole sectors obsolete. Anybody working in the music industry, publishing or newspapers in the past decade understands what Schumpeter was talking about.
    Does Schumpeterian theory apply to the eurozone? In a way, it does. The centre of gravity in the global economy has moved from Europe, which looks old-fashioned and lumbering in a world of rapid innovation and loose networks. Tweaking the flawed model in the way François Hollande is suggesting will not do the trick. The only real solution is to rip up the blueprint and start again with the small group of countries that could hack it together. Making the eurozone work is like finding a long-term business model for HMV or Thomas Cook. Like them, monetary union is the past, not the future, an analogue construct in a digital world.´s 
    Read the entire column here
    So, please, Frau Merkel, the sooner you hire an efficient and creative destruction company to do the work, the better - also for your re-election chances!

    The failure of the German energy transition policy

    A year ago German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised her government´s new energy transition policy: 

    "We can be the world's first industrialized country to successfully navigate the transition to the electricity of the future". 

    Twelve months later Merkel has to face this grim reality:  

    Germany Stalled on the Expressway to a Green Future

    There is no recognizable strategy, no grand design upon which to organize the transition into the age of renewable energy. The only thing clear is that installing more solar panels and wind turbines won't be enough. The other task -- and the more challenging and costly one -- is to adapt the rest of the energy system to new conditions.
    Germany lacks the power lines it needs to bring electricity from the north to the more industrialized south. It lacks the technologies needed to store renewable energy. And, finally, it lacks power plants to satisfy demand for electricity when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining. The estimated costs of the necessary infrastructure expansions range between €154 billion ($195 billion) in the next 10 years, according to the market research firm Trendresearch, to €335 billion by 2030, according to Bavaria's VBW industry association. Other forecasts are even higher.

    Passing On Risks and Costs to Customers

    So, who is supposed to pay for this? So far, politicians have succumbed to the illusion that the energy turnaround will basically pay for itself. But potential financiers have shown little interest in investing their capital in projects promising only slim returns.
    Due to the lack of investment incentives, consideration is now being given to an alternative source of funding so that the necessary power plants, grids and energy-storage facilities can be built after all: passing the costs of the energy revolution on to electricity consumers.
    This model has been already applied to solar energy for years. The EEG grants the operators of solar power plants fixed feed-in tariffs for more than 20 years, while electricity consumers foot the bill.
    Although rates have gone down in recent years, several hundred billion euros have accumulated so far -- money critics refer to as "solar debts" that are being passed on from one generation to the next.
    The excessive subsidies have made solar power by far the most expensive source of green energy. It is now emerging that the other components of the energy turnaround are also being artificially propped up with government help to make them profitable: offshore wind power, the power grid, energy-storage systems and gas-fired power plants.

    Read the entire Der Spiegel article here


    From Angela Merkel´s point of view, the problem is that this is a failure entirely of her own making. The Chancellor made a horrible mistake by overreacting to what happened in Fukushima.

    The global warming scaremongering continues

    One sometimes wonders what goes on in the heads of alarmist scaremongers, like the ones employed by an outfit haughtily calling itself "the Natural Resources Defense Council". Do they really think that they can scare people by bogus "wake-up calls" about global warming killing tens of thousands of Americans when even by their own account "the estimates do not take into account how more people are likely to buy air conditioners or take other measures to avoid exposure to heat as temperatures rise"?  Besides, the kind of temperature increases mentioned in the "report" are of course pure speculation, based on unreliable climate models. 

    An additional 150,000 or more Americans could die by the end of this century due to excessive heat caused by climate change, according to a report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
    The New York-based advocacy group, which based its findings on other studies, projects that Midwestern cities will bear the brunt of hotter summers, with 19,000 additional deaths by the end of the century in Louisville, 17,900 in Detroit, and 16,600 in Cleveland. The Midwestern cities are more vulnerable because of their greater temperature swings, lack of air conditioning and green space, and the types of buildings.

    “This is a wake-up call,” said Dan Lashof, director of the council’s climate and clean air program, on a conference call with reporters. “Climate change has a number of real life-and-death consequences. One of which is that as carbon pollution continues to grow, climate change is only going to increase the number of dangerously hot days each summer, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of lives lost.”
    The projected deaths are based on the assumption that carbon pollution will rise in the absence of new policies, increasing global temperatures between 4 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. The estimates do not take into account how more people are likely to buy air conditioners or take other measures to avoid exposure to heat as temperatures rise.
    Other cities’ estimated additional death tolls through the end of the century include: Baltimore, 2,900; Chicago, 6,400; Columbus, 6,000; Denver, 3,500; Los Angeles, 1,200; Minneapolis, 7,500; Philadelphia, 700; Pittsburgh, 1,200; Providence, R.I., 2,000; St. Louis, 5,600; Washington, D.C., 3,000.

    Read the entire article here


    What is sad is that mainstream media still uncritically publish this kind of rubbish. 

    Wednesday, 23 May 2012

    Finally, good news from Greece: Greek beaches cleaner than French and German bathing sites!

    Among the beaches on the French Riviera several are quite dirty

    Finally some good news from the European Union - and Greece
    92.1 % of bathing waters in the European Union now meet the minimum water quality standards set by the Bathing Water Directive. This includes the Serpentine Lake in London, which will host several Olympics events, including the Open Water Marathon Swim and the swimming section of the triathlon.
    The results are from the latest annual Bathing Water Report of European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission, which describes water quality in more than 22,000 bathing sites at beaches, rivers and lakes acrossEuropelast year
    The report found that 77.1 % of sites had excellent quality, i.e. complying with the most stringent guide values, an improvement of 3.5 percentage points on last year's data. Some 93.1 % of coastal bathing waters were classified as ‘sufficient’, or complying with the less stringent mandatory values – a 1 % increase. Less than 2 % of bathing waters were non-compliant.
    Cyprus, Croatia, Malta and Greece had excellent reports on their bathing water sites, all with more than 90 % of bathing water sites meeting the most stringent guide values (excellent quality), and the remainder complying with the mandatory values. At the opposite end of the scale, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Latvia, Luxemburg and Belgium had relatively low proportions of sites meeting the strict guide values, especially as regards inland waters.
    The report also noted that in France, home to 16 percent of bathing sites in the EU, only 2/3 were of excellent quality while 88 percent met the minimum mandatory water quality requirements.
    Another challenge for France´s brand new President! 
    Maybe France - and perhaps also Germany - could use some Greek beach pros to clean up their polluted bathing sites! 

    South African minister: Coal will continue to play critical role in SA´s energy landscape

    The government of South Africa deserves praise for saying this, loud and clear: 
    Despite stated plans to rebalance its energy mix, South Africa's minister of mineral resources, Susan Shabangu, Tuesday, outlined coal's importance to the country's future.
    "There can be no doubt of the critical role coal will continue to play in our country's energy landscape - long into our nation's future" said Shabangu at the inauguration of Sasol Mining's first major replacement mine since starting operations over six decades ago.

    Here are some basic facts about the role of coal in South Africa´s energy production:

    About 77% of the country's primary energy needs are provided by coal. South Africa produces an average of 224 million tons (Mt) of marketable coal annually, making it the fifth-largest coal-producing country in the world.

    About 25% of the production is exported internationally, making South Africa the third-largest coal-exporting country. The remainder of South Africa's coal production feeds the various local industries, with 53% used for electricity generation.

    The key role played by coal reserves in the economy is illustrated by the fact that Eskom is the seventh-largest electricity generator in the world, and Sasol the largest coal-to-chemicals producer.

    Moose population dying - or growing: Blame it on global warming!

    In Minnesota moose are said to be dying because of  global warming.  In  Finland  the  moose  population is  growing  for the same reason.

    Moose are dying in Minnesota.  Experts are said to be "baffled and helpless", they "don't necessarily know the exact causes of mortality." But the fact that you do not know, does not matter in cases like this. There is always one sure-fire way to grab the headlines: Blame it on global warming!

    Scientific American:

    Rapid Climate Changes Turn North Woods into Moose Graveyard

    ALONG THE GUNFLINT TRAIL, Minn. -- If moose disappear from the boreal forest of northern Minnesota, as some biologists predict, they will not exit with a thunderous crash. Climate extinctions come quietly, even when they involve 1,000-pound herbivores.
    Experts who have studied the Northwestern moose -- Alces alces andersoni -- believe they are witnessing one of the most precipitous nonhunting declines of a major species in the modern era, yet few outside Minnesota fully appreciate the loss.
    The moose is an iconic species whose existence is woven into the social, economic and cultural fabric of this region. Its elongated head and wide antlers are emblazoned on everything from T-shirts to tire flaps. The 1960s cartoon character Bullwinkle J. Moose and his flying squirrel friend Rocky were residents of the fictionalized town of Frostbite Falls, Minn.
    But the animals that inspired Bullwinkle are not what they were. Here, even healthy bulls -- whose size, strength and rutting prowess make them the undisputed kings of the North Woods -- are dying from what appear to be a combination of exhaustion, exposure, wasting disease triggered by parasites and other maladies.
    The biologists are baffled and also helpless.
    Mark Lenarz, who retired in March from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), where he led moose research efforts, said it's not like the TV show "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."
    "Unlike 'CSI,' it's very hard to identify in the field exactly what an animal is dying from," he said. "We know something about the symptoms" of distressed moose, he added, "but we don't necessarily know the exact causes of mortality."
    What Lenarz and other experts do know is that a variety of climate stressors -- including higher averoage annual temperatures, a long string of very mild winters and increasingly favorable conditions for ticks, parasites and other invasive species -- are conspiring to make northern Minnesota a moose graveyard.

    It is interesting to note that European moose seem to be thriving, in spite of - or because of - "global warming". This is what a Finnish study notes:

    The elk will mainly benefit from a warming climate and thinning snow cover. Thus, food will be more easily available and the management of the population will become even more important than today. 

    (image by wikipedia)
     The elk will mainly benefit from a warming climate and thinning snow cover. Thus, food will b

    Tuesday, 22 May 2012

    US unconventional oil reserves are as large as the entire world’s proven oil reserves

    The testimony to Congress by Anu K. Mittal,  director of the US Government Accountability Office’s natural resources and environment officeconfirms what Robert Mills recently wrote in an article: We can forget the talk about "peak oil". There is more than enough of "unconventional" oil and gas.

    Tapping the vast amounts of oil locked within U.S. oil shale 
    formations could go a long way toward satisfying the 
    nation’s future oil demands. Oil shale deposits in the Green River Formation
    are estimated to contain up to 3 trillion barrels of oil, half of which may be 
    recoverable, which is about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.

    Socioeconomic benefits. Development of oil shale resources could lead to 
    the creation of jobs, increases in wealth, and increases in tax and royalty 
    payments to federal and state governments for oil produced on their lands. 
    The extent of these benefits, however, is unknown at this time because the 
    ultimate size of the industry is uncertain.

    The Green River Formation—an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks 
    that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming—contains the 
    world’s largest deposits of oil shale. USGS estimates that the Green 
    River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half 
    of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and 
    economic conditions. The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research 
    organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the 
    Green River Formation can be recovered. At the midpoint of this 
    estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be 
    recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s 
    proven oil reserves. The thickest and richest oil shale within the Green 
    River Formation exists in the Piceance Basin of northwest Colorado 
    and the Uintah Basin of northeast Utah.

    Testimonies like this show that wasting huge amounts of time and (tax payers´) money on such technologically underdeveloped, ineffective and expensive energy sources as wind and solar power is sheer stupidity. 

    Václav Klaus on the global warming debate: "It is all about freedom"

    Chech President Václav Klaus´s notes for his speech at the Heartland Institute conference are worth reading. Here is an extract: 

    Can a decisive change come as a result of new empirical data? I doubt it as well.It is evident that the current temperature data confirm neither the GWD alarmist and apocalyptic views, nor their quasi-scientific hypotheses about the exclusivity of relationship between CO2 and temperature. The world has not warmed up very much since the end of the last century but a period of twelve years is too short to shatter the whole carefully built edifice of the GWD. We shouldn´t forget that we have been arguing in the past that a century in climatology is too short to prove the global warming as a long term trend. That is why, to my great regret, we have to – symmetrically – accept that a decade is not sufficient to do the opposite.
    There is no doubt that most of the true-believers in the GWD remain undisturbed in their views. Some individuals leave the bandwagon (the most recent well-known case is James Lovelock) but those people who have vested interests (and there are many of them now) together with the men and women who innocently and naively sympathize with any idea which is against freedom, capitalism and markets are still “marching on”.
    Discussing technicalities is not sufficient, because the supporters of the GWD are not interested in them. We are not dealing with people who are authentically interested in science and in incremental changes in temperature and their causes. For them, the temperature data are just an instrument in their plans to change the world, to suppress human freedom, to bring people back to underdevelopment. Their ideas are the ideas of ideologues, not of scientists or climatologists. Data and sophisticated theories will never change their views.
    We have to accept that they have succeeded in establishing the religion of environmentalism as the official religion of Western society, as the religion which asks for a radical transformation of the whole Western civilization. We – at least some of us – have to play with them in the arena chosen by them.
    There are probably more and more people around us now who do not buy the alarmism of the GWD but we have to accept that they are not sufficiently motivated to do anything against it. And they don’t know how. Politicians and political activists, bureaucrats in the national and international organizations, and representatives of the subsidized businesses are organized and due to it are able to push this doctrine further ahead because to do so is in their narrowly defined interests. Ordinary people are not organized and do not have politically formulated interests. They are also not helped by the existing political parties because these parties are not raising this issue either. They are already – almost all of them – more or less captured by the Greens.
    To sum up my today’s simple message: empirical data are important; scientific discoveries are important; the disclosure of malpractices in the IPCC and other “bastions” of the GWD are important; but we have to take part in the undergoing ideological battle. The subtitle of my five years old book was “What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?” There is no doubt that it is all about freedom. We should keep that in mind.

    German socialist politician and economist: "Europe does not need the euro"

    Thilo Sarrazin, the social democratic politician and former member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, is again stirring up strong reactions among politically correct politicians and commentators in Germany. The German daily Die Welt  has published an interview with Sarrazin, in which he responds to questions about his new book  "Europe does not need the euro". 

    As you can see from these short excerpts - here freely translated - Sarrazin is not afraid of calling a spade a spade: 

    One can argue whether Chancellor Angela Merkel is smart. But she is intelligent, in any case - so intelligent that she already long ago stopped arguing that that the euro has brought us great economic success. Therefore, as the development turned critical, she found the beautiful formula: "If the euro fails, Europe fails." So like a general trying to motivate here own troops,  she invokes disaster in case of defeat.

    But I say: Everything that makes up for me, Europe - that is, peace and freedom, work for all who want to work, and ultimately growth and prosperity - all that that does not depend on the euro.


    Europe was more stable before the introduction of the euro. The euro has destabilized Europe. The single currency has brought no significant benefit - we have a little savings in transaction costs. 

    Just look at Sweden and Switzerland - these countries have kept their currencies, their economic development has been more successful, their debts are far below the German level. 

    Monday, 21 May 2012

    Unelected EU überwarmist threatening China and India

    The EU´s überwarmist, Danish wind energy promoter Connie Hedegaard is threatening China and India:

     The European Union on Tuesday gave China and India a month to comply with a new airline carbon emissions fee coming into effect across the bloc, or face penalties for flights in and out of Europe.
    "They have been given till June to report back their data," she said.
    Asked what would be the consequences should they fail to respond by June 15, Hedegaard said "if there is no data by the mid-June deadline then it will be up to member states to apply penalties."
    The two Asian giants have attacked the EU scheme, calling it a unilateral trade levy disguised as an attempt to fight climate change. India last month barred its airlines from complying with the EU carbon tax, joining China in resistance.
    Hedegaard and her cronies - living a high carbon footprint life of luxury in the Brussels cloud cuckoo land - will soon have to wake up and face the real world:
    The Germans will never "apply penalties" to China, their most important export country and the key to the export led German economic boom. Neither will any other European government. 
    The Brussels warmists will not be able to ignore the warning recently issued by the leaders of Europe´s most important major airlines and aviation industry manufacturers:
    The signatories include plane-maker Airbus, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, Air France, Air Berlin and Iberia, who jointly submitted the letter to the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Spain, the four countries that helped found Airbus.
    According to industry players, the tax could lead to billions of dollars in losses, which ultimately translates to more expensive air travel and job losses.
    Europe’s largest long-haul carrier, Lufthansa, has already started implementing a carbon surcharge in its fares. According to the German carrier, the controversial carbon tax scheme will cost the company an additional 130 million euros in 2012.
    China, who also opposes the tax, has reportedly suspended its purchase of 45 Airbus planes made in Europe because of the levy – a deal worth almost $12 billion. 

    The measure is threatening more than 1,000 jobs (at Airbus) and another thousand through the supply chain.