Saturday, 23 June 2012

Waiting for the "modern world´s first 100 per cent fuel free sailing cargo ship"

The World Maritime News tells us that "Development is underway to design the modern world’s first 100 per cent fossil fuel free sailing cargo ships":
With rising fossil fuel prices and the global challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this project is set to change the shipping industry by providing efficient and affordable low-carbon shipping. The project combines proven technology, using the state of the art dyna-rig sail propulsion system with an off the shelf Rolls-Royce engine powered by waste derived liquid biomethane (liquid gas).
The ships are being developed by B9 Shipping, part of the B9 Energy group of companies, which has started work on a full-scale demonstration vessel validating the engineering and economic assumptions of the initial vessel design.
The fundamental testing programme is being conducted at the University of Southampton’s Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics (WUMTIA), which has provided innovative marine technology and industrial aerodynamics expertise for over 40 years to a world-wide customer base.
Diane Gilpin, Director of B9 Shipping, says: “The shipping sector is a highly complex, interconnected system and our task has been to develop relationships with key players across the industry. Having worked previously with WUMTIA, I believe this collaboration will enable a robust, commercially and technically viable solution to be ready for scale once the engineering is proven.”
Wouldn´t it be nice to return to the age of great commercial tall ships? Why not, but before all sail enthusiasts are carried away by the promises, they should understand that the essential piece of information here is: "once the engineering is proven". So far none of the new "revolutionary" cargo sail ship technologies have been even remotely successful, and it is doubtful whether this one will be, either. 
And looking at the picture, one might be entitled to ask, where the inventors of the new "fossil fuel free sailing cargo ship" are planning to put the containers, which are the backbone of modern cargo shipping?

Vestas withdraws from UK wind turbine factory project

The loss making Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has decided not the proceed with its "flagship" Sheerness project:

Vestas, a Danish company, said it would no longer proceed with its flagship Sheerness project amid concerns about political support for wind power in Britain.
The company’s withdrawal will be an embarrassment for the Government, which had cited the Sheerness factory as evidence of new green jobs being created in the UK. Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, last week described wind power as a “strategic industry of national importance” on which Britain’s “clean energy future depends”.
The company last year promised to build the factory if the Government gave it “long term political certainty” and there was “stability in the market”. It would have been one of the largest offshore wind turbine factories of its kind in Europe. But Vestas yesterday said it had not received enough orders and hinted the industry had not had sufficient political support from the Government. “We are following the political situation very closely,” a Vestas spokesman added. “The right political decisions are needed in order to support the market for offshore wind energy in the UK.”
Ministers are preparing to cut subsidies for onshore wind farms by up to 25 per cent, and there are concerns that generous handouts for offshore wind farms could follow suit.
The decision to pull out of the factory is the second time Vestas has opted out of the UK market in recent years. It closed down a plant making onshore turbines on the Isle of Wight in 2009, with the loss of 400 jobs.
The decision of Vestas to withdraw from the Sheerness project clearly shows that wind power is not a viable source of energy without huge government subsidies. Vestas reported on May 2 a first-quarter net loss of 162 million euros ($205 million), almost double its deficit a year earlier and close to triple the estimated low in a Bloomberg survey of eight analysts. 

A summary of Rio+20 + a reminder about COP 18/MOP 8

The bright lights of Doha are waiting for the COP 18/MOP 8 delegates

AP summarizes the UN Rio+20 sustainability conference, attended by 100 heads of state and over 50,000 participants from 193 countries:
"In the end, this conference was a conference to decide to have more conferences."
The never-ending Environmental Circus must go on ...
A reminder to Rio+20 delegates who want to build on the "success" in Rio:
Have you remembered to make your hotel reservations for the COP 18/MOP 8 in Qatar, November 26 - December 7? We hear that suites at Doha´s five star hotels are 
already almost fully booked ... 

There is a whole new world to experience in Qatar according to the COP 18/MOP 8 organizers: 

Visitors can search for bargains along the alleys and stalls of Souq Waquif, wander spellbound among one of the world’s most extensive collections of Islamic art in the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art or take the family for a stroll along the scenic Corniche or beaches and shops of Katara. For the more adventurous, a short drive yields everything from abandoned forts, archeological sites and old cities along the northwestern coast to singing sand dunes and desert adventures in the south. And that’s just the start. Qatar's natural heritage goes far beyond the desert and camels many expect to find. 

Qatar’s trademark hospitality makes it easy to relax, but we invite you to explore this amazing gem of the Arabian Gulf during your time in the region.

And car rental is a bargain in Qatar: For a liter of unleaded gasoline you pay only 0.23 USD!

Jerry Brown celebrates new electric car which is neither clean nor green

The loss making electric car maker Tesla has been rolling out its first "mass-market sedan" in California. The base model, which sells for $49,900 after a federal tax credit, can go 160 miles on one charge: 
A crowd estimated to be in the thousands, including Tesla employees, their relatives, and a host of local politicians, cheered for the lineup of speakers that included California Gov. Jerry Brown. They roared when the first cars left the building.
“This is another example of California on the move,” Brown told the crowd. “This is a great car. You’re a bunch of great workers.”
Exactly why Brown and the others were roaring is difficult to understand:
Hybrid and electric cars are neither clean nor green according to a new environmental book, Green Illusions (June 2012, University of Nebraska Press), written by University of California - Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner. Green Illusions exposes numerous hidden side effects of new hybrid and electric cars, such as the Tesla, Leaf, Fisker Karma, and Prius. The analysis considers mining impacts, toxins, energy use, suburban sprawl and carbon footprints of production. From an environmental perspective, Zehner argues that hybrids and electric cars are no better than gasoline vehicles, a conclusion backed by a National Academy of Sciences report.
Read more here:
Read the entire article here


Electric cars are definitively not to the future neither in the US, nor elsewhere. However, natural gas - of which there is an abundance in the US thanks to the shale gas revolution - is another matter, according to a newly published Brookings Institution discussion paper, written by MIT professor Christopher R. Knittel:

Technological advances in horizontal drilling deep underground have led to large-scale discoveries of natural gas reserves that are now economical to access. This, along with increases in oil prices, has fundamentally changed the relative price of oil and natural gas in the United States. As of December 2011, oil was trading at a 500 percent premium over natural gas. This ratio has increased over the past few months. The discovery of large, economically accessible natural gas reserves has the potential to aid in a number of policy goals related to energy. Natural gas can replace oil in transportation through a number of channels. However, the field between natural gas as a transportation fuel and petroleum-based fuels is not level. Given this uneven playing field, left to its own devices, the market is unlikely to lead to an efficient mix of petroleum- and natural gas-based fuels. This paper presents a pair of policy proposals designed to increase the nation’s energy security, decrease the susceptibility of the U.S. economy to recessions caused by oil-price shocks, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. First, I propose improving the 
natural gas fueling infrastructure in homes, at local distribution companies, and along long-haul trucking routes. Second, I offer steps to promote the use of natural gas vehicles and fuels.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Google Trends: The decline of global warming and Al Gore

Global warming and Al Gore - down they go. Take a look at the Google Trends graph based on the wordwide search traffic for "global warming" and "Al Gore". Both peaked in 2006, but after that the decline has been more or less steady ....

(Gore is the red line)

Western countries ignore the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in China

"The world has resoundingly condemned the atrocities of the Nazi concentration camps, the Soviet Gulag, and many other systems of repression around the globe, but has remained largely silent on one of the most extensive and repressive prison camp system in the world: the Chinese Laogai. Since the early 1950s, China has used the Laogai to crush dissent and root out potential sources of opposition, whether political, economic, or religious in nature, while simultaneously exploiting prisoners as a source of free labor."
The Laogai Research Foundation

The renowned Chinese human rights activist Wei Jingsheng, who was deported to the United States in 1997 on medical parole, has been addressing the European Parliament about the worsening human rights situation in China. Here is an extract of Wei´s speech

- The human rights situation in China "has been rapidly deteriorating" because, among other things, "the United States and European countries reduced pressure against the Chinese government." This will "bring an even more extensive disaster than the human rights affairs alone," said the great Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng who on Wednesday spoke before the European parliament about the current situation in China. 

The third is the strengthening of repression of ordinary citizens by the Chinese government under the so-called "maintaining stability" excuse.  The Communist Party has employed a large number of non-professional thugs to cooperate with the police, using violence to suppress protests and the redress of grievances by individual and collective activities.  Several million cases of such crackdowns are occurring each year, resulting in the expenditure for "maintaining stability" being more than military spending. 
The fourth is the repression of the rights defending workers and lawyers.  Lawyers often get their licenses revoked and are even put into prison, because they took cases that an official or officers do not like.  Just like other rights defending workers, lawyers are not only pressured by the officials, but also receive pressure and violation from thugs from the Chinese Mafia or pretend to be the Mafia.
The fifth is the Mafia style of the law enforcement agencies in China.  In the past two decades, the judiciary under the control of the Communist Party more and more has used illegal means to handle cases.  Torture for confessions and fabrication of evidence has been a common phenomenon.  The Attorney Li Zhuang case in Chongqing from three years ago is a typical case. In a common language used by judicial officers, it was called "using the technical means". Especially in dealing with political cases, using illegal means of the Mafia has become the practice of the judiciary.  The recent questionable death of Li Wangyang also proves the general view of the mafia style of the judiciary. 
The sixth is the legalization of illegal means.  In order to increase the efficiency of repression and maintenance of stability, many illegal means have been legalized.  Take the example I mentioned in my testimony to the U.S. Congress on May 15, 2012.  In 1994, illegal detention could only be approved within the police department, and was not recognized by the prosecutors and courts in China.  But this kind of illegal detention has been extended gradually nationwide in the past a decade or more.  Recently, the National People's Congress in its new Code of Criminal Procedure has recognized this illegal detention as legitimate.  This declared legitimacy indicates that the means of gangs and Fascism are legalized step by step.
It is all fine and well that the European Parliament gave Wei Jingsheng a chance to speak out about the gross human rights violations in his home country. On the other hand, all this can be seen as mere window dressing, when one considers that the authoritarian communist party apparachiks now in charge of the brutal regime in China are feted like royals when travelling in Europe, and the West in general. 
This is e.g. how Hu Jintao, the "Paramount leader of the People's Republic of China", was welcomed by the Queen of Denmark in Copenhagen recently:

Europe is burning - Barroso promises to "mobilise" new aid millions in Rio

This is the sad predicament of Europe right now: 

The eurozone is stuck firmly in a sharp economic contraction, with the region’s escalating debt crisis hitting Germany with increasing severity, according to a closely watched survey.
(Financial Times)

The outlook for Europe's economy has worsened significantly, the European System Risk Board (ESRB) said on Thursday, warning that a slowdown along with an intensification of the debt crisis could put further strain on the already weakened banking sector.

Euro-area manufacturing output shrank at the fastest pace in three years in June and a Chinese output gauge indicated contraction as Europe’s worsening fiscal crisis clouded global economic-growth prospects.
(Business Week)

But all this does not seem to bother the Brussels top eurocrats at all. José Manuel Durão Barroso, the former Portuguese maoist who is now President of the European Commission, continues to brag about the European Union being "the world´s largest donor" as if nothing would have changed.

This is what Barroso had to say at the opening session of the Rio+20 mega conference: 

The European Union and its members will remain the world's largest donor, with a significant share of our aid around the globe already going to "Rio-priorities".

We remain staunchly committed to reaching our collective objective of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on aid by 2015, and we will mainstream sustainability considerations into our cooperation programs and all other EU policies even more in the future.
For 2012-2013 alone, our EU aid to all three dimensions of sustainable development already amounts to almost 8 billion Euro – more than 10 billion US Dollars.
And on the front of sustainable energy, I will propose to mobilise 400 million Euro over the next two years to support concrete new investments in this key area. In this regard, we very much welcome the Secretary General's initiative to ensure Sustainable Energy for All.

Isn´t it nice to be able to "mobilise" an additional 400 million Euro of taxpayers´ money to some "mainstreamed" sustainability projects, while Europe is burning, with EU youth unemployment  at almost 23% (in Spain 51%) and poverty on the increase everywhere. 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Boulder researchers predict extinction of "happy feet" penguins - Real data do not agree

There are more than twice more "happy feet" penguins than previously thought

A new study published by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution warns that the Emperor penguins could soon be on the brink of extinction because of global warming:

Global warming may have another victim in its sights: the penguin.
According to newly released report, penguins are facing an intangible threat that may ultimately decimate the population.
A study produced by several Boulder researchers notes that penguin populations could decline by as much as 60 percent. The team noted that a series of recent observations showed that the penguin population is already witnessing a steep decline in numbers.

The Boulder researchers based their projections on simulations from 20 computer climate models. They could of course have used real data from another brand new study - but that would have spoiled their alarmist message: 

 A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals that there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica than previously thought. The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this iconic bird, which breeds in remote areas that are very difficult to study because they often are inaccessible with temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a technique known as pan-sharpening to increase the resolution of the satellite imagery, the science teams were able to differentiate between birds, ice, shadow and penguin poo or guano. They then used ground counts and aerial photography to calibrate the analysis.
Lead author and geographer Peter Fretwell at British Antarctic Survey (BAS), which is funded by the U.K.'s Natural Environment Research Council, explains, "We are delighted to be able to locate and identify such a large number of emperor penguins. We counted 595,000 birds, which is almost double the previous estimates of 270,000-350,000 birds. This is the first comprehensive census of a species taken from space."

Rio+20 beach party gets into serious business

It looks like the Rio+20 mega beach party is finally getting into serious business:

On Wednesday, the first session of the high-level summit was addressed by 17-year-old activist Brittany Trilford of New Zealand, who challenged leaders: "Are you here to save face or are you here to save us?"

Ban suggested that the highly criticized final document could still be revised by world leaders before the summit ends on Friday.

When asked by reporters about that possibility, he responded: "Why do we have a summit meeting! Why have I been inviting and urging leaders, heads of state and government? They are the ones who can make political decisions, who can make a choice".

Obama, Merkel and Cameron are among the many leaders not attending. But maybe UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes that e.g. King XVI Carl Gustaf of Sweden and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, who have arrived in Rio, are the ones to "make a choice"?

But where is Britain´s bonnie enviro-fundamentalist Prince Charles? Well, he has been busy in Ascot:

Prince Charles, reigning clothes horse of the British Royal family, gave an excellent lesson in how to wear a pocket square yesterday at Royal Ascot.
Chaz knows that a well-chosen pocket square gives even the most formal suit a refreshing change in tone, creating an atmosphere of sartorial friendliness.

Perhaps the Prince thinks that his prerecorded  video message about the "catastrophic" consequences of inaction, is enough to save the world?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Horst Seehofer, Prime Minister of Bavaria, is against Merkel´s idea of a federal Europe

Seehofer - a voice of sanity

Horst Seehofer, the Prime Minister of the Free State of Bavaria - the most prospereous of the German states  - is a politician who´s influence on the national level in Germany should not be underestimated. Now Seehofer, who also is the leader of the CSU - sister party of Angela 
Merkel´s CDU - is openly declaring that he opposes Merkel´s idea of a federal Europe

SPIEGEL: The chancellor says: "We have to relinquish powers to Europe step by step." It sounds as if such a development could end in European federalism. Is that what you want, too?
Seehofer: Anyone who wants to transfer rights of sovereignty to Brussels, over and above certain rights of control, will encounter our resistance. The CSU will not support a European federal state and anything that moves in that direction. We don't want a European finance minister, and we don't want a European economics minister.
SPIEGEL: Many in the federal government, especially the finance minister, take a different view.
Seehofer: Anyone who wants to go that far would have to consult the German people. I want people to be more heavily involved in decisions on European issues in the future. We have to change the constitution in such a way to make referendums mandatory in three situations: when additional powers are to be transferred to Brussels; when the EU wants to accept new members; and when new aid programs that go beyond the current bailout funds are to be established in the context of the euro crisis.
SPIEGEL: In other words, you want citizens to have to approve all efforts to increase Germany's guarantees beyond where they are now?
Seehofer: That's right. The people should decide. And because I know that there is resistance to referendums in the political sphere, we'll write it into our CSU election platform. Then the people can vote on it in the next Bundestag election.

It is also interesting to note that Seehofer does not think that a "grexit" would be damaging for the euro: 
Seehofer: The country will need new money from the bailout fund in July, and that means that clear rules have to be observed. The troika has to determine whether the conditions have been met for the next tranche. If not, the aid will come to an end. Then there'll be a moment of truth…
SPIEGEL: … and the entire euro will fall apart.
Seehofer: No, I've never supported the theory that the withdrawal of one country would jeopardize the entire euro zone or even European integration. On the contrary, I believe that it would be more dangerous to keep the Greeks in the euro if the price means drifting into a debt union. That would create much bigger problems for our economy than a Greek withdrawal.

Read the entire interview here

Seehofer is a voice of sanity in Germany - and in Europe. On can only hope that he will put an end to Merkel´s and her finance minister´s  misplaced dreams of a federal Europe. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Poland continues to oppose the European Union´s stupid zero carbon plan

Poland is to be congratulated for standing against the European Union´s unrealistic, and downright stupid zero carbon plan, which - if adopted - will guarantee a permanent recession in this crisis ridden club of climate change alarmists. But what a pity that other club members, who basically agree with much of what the Poles are saying, are too scared to dare to challenge the politically correct empty greentalk still dominating the EU debate:

With European delegates preparing to push a low-carbon agenda at the Rio Earth Summit this week, coal-reliant Poland has prevented EU governments  from speaking with a single voice in the bloc's debate on a low-carbon energy future.
At a meeting in Luxembourg on Friday (15 June), EU energy ministers debated an energy 2050 road map published by the bloc's executive in December, which sets out the route towards almost zero carbon power generation by the middle of the century.
Poland has repeatedly objected to any language in EU texts pointing towards deeper carbon cuts to guide decision-making for the years following 2020, when the EU is set to meet a binding target of a 20% emissions cut from 1990 levels.
Ministers from 26 EU member countries backed a resolution calling on the European Commission to propose a new policy framework for low-carbon energy up to 2030, but Poland was the only country to oppose the move.
"Poland cannot accept regulations concerning reduction targets after 2020 without reaching a global agreement on climate issues, and technologies reducing emissions at industrial scale are not implemented," a statement from the country's economy ministry said.
The country's reservations concerned the EU's decarbonisation objective, as well as a call for "robust and adequate" carbon pricing, which in its opinion could be seen as an encouragement to artificial support of CO2 emission prices.
Carbon prices on the EU's Emissions Trading System have fallen to record lows below €7 per tonne in recent months, while analysts say prices of €20 to €50 are necessary to spur investment in low-carbon energy.
A spokesman for the Danish EU presidency said Poland's opposition to the resolution would not prevent the bloc from pressing ahead with its low-carbon plans.
"The resolution was supported by 26 EU countries, and that is a clear signal to the Commission that it can start working on legislative proposals for 2030," the spokesman said.
Read the entire article here

China is a country run by thieves

This photo is from the headquarters of one Chinese state owned company.  A tour of the  crazy  palace is available here.

The authoritarian communist party apparatchiks now in charge of China are received like emperors when visiting western countries. From Obama to Merkel and the Danish Queen, everybody is competing in the art of kowtowing. 

Nobody wants to admit - although they know, or at least should know - that the these "emperors" are no more than a bunch of thieves. 

China is a kleptocracy - a country run by thieves - of a scale never seen before in human history. That is the view of Australian blogger John Hempton, who´s analysis of the Chinese economy is devastating, but very much to the point: 

The Chinese banks are the finest deposit franchises in human history. They can borrow huge amounts at ex-ante negative real returns.

And those deposits are mostly lent to State Owned enterprises.

The SOEs are the center of the Chinese kleptocracy. If you manage your way up the Communist Party of China and you play your politics really well may wind up senior in some State Owned Enterprise. This is your opportunity to loot on a scale unprecedented in human history.

Us Westerners see the skimming arrangements. If you want to sell kit (say high-end railway control equipment) to the Chinese SOE you don't sell it to them. You sell it to an intermediate company who on-sell it in China. From the Western perspective you pay a few percent for access. From the Chinese perspective – this is just a gentle form of looting.

Hempton´s analysis is confirmed by this New York Times report

Publicly controlled enterprises have become increasingly lucrative, generating wealth and privileges for hundreds of thousands of Communist Party members and their families. And in a clear sign of its position, the government has moved to limit public debate on economic policy, shutting out voices for change. While political reform has always been a taboo topic in China, in economics, from the late 1970s to the early 2000s, almost anything went, with powerful voices backing strong measures that challenged the status quo. But now, despite the rise of social media, fewer prominent voices within China are able to make the case for a systemic overhaul that would prepare the nation for long-term prosperity on sturdier foundations.

Unelected eurocrat Barroso lectures world leaders

Jose Manuel Barroso, the unelected Brussels bureaucrat and former maoist, is more and more convincing in his role as the new emperor without clothes. Today he was lecturing real world leaders: 
Earlier today, Jose Manuel Barroso said he was tired of being lectured by G20 leaders and urged the international community to be patient as the region tackles its debt crisis.
"We are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy," he told reporters.
"By the way, this crisis was not originated in Europe.e
"This crisis originated in North America and much of our financial sector was contaminated by, how can I put it, unorthodox practices, from some sectors of the financial market."
And to make his point even clearer, the "emperor" added
 “The European Union has a model and we are very proud of it.…We are certainly not coming here to receive lessons from nobody.”
One wonders how long the democratically elected world leaders are willing to allow the two European Union clowns, Barroso and van Rompuy, to attend G20 and other similar meetings. Or are the two already considered to be the so established as official court jesters that their presence cannot obe avoided?

Barroso´s PR department has now put the "emperor´s lecture on YouTube. But it is worth noting that the possibility to comment on or rate the video has been disabled. So much for the openness Barroso is bragging about! 

(image wikipedia)

Shale oil is the next big thing

The major impact of the US led shale gas revolution on the global energy markets is already a widely known fact, but another as important development - the shale oil revolution - is just around the corner:
 We have discussed some of the shale oil prospects and their recent successes, but the story of US shale oil does not end there. There is, for example, the Green River Formation (mainly in Colorado and Utah). According to estimates from the USGS, this contains about 3 trillion (3,000 billion) barrels of oil, about half of which may be recoverable, depending on the available technology and economic conditions. Note that the US consumes about 7 billion barrels of oil per year.
If the United States is able to commercially exploit part of these resources and combine this with successfully exploiting conventional oil resources in new offshore prospects, it is quite possible for the country to substantially reduce its oil import dependency and perhaps even achieve self-sufficiency by 2035. According to rfigures from consultancy PFC Energy, oil companies are investing an estimated $25 billion this year to drill 5,000 new oil wells in tight rock fields in the US. Energy consultancy IHS CERA foresees that, based on production plans from industry, unconventional oil production could rise from about half a million barrels per day now to 3 million barrels per day in 2020. Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS CERA, has said: "This is like adding another Venezuela or Kuwait by 2020, except these tight oil fields are in the United States."
To conclude, the potential of both conventional and unconventional oil production in the US is quite significant and one could expect that by 2035, if backed by sound policies, US oil import dependency would be substantially reduced. This means that crude oil meant for the US will look for other markets. If countries like China and India could also increase their oil production, substantial supplies would become available for the rest of the world.
Read the entire article here
One thing is certain: The prospects for the US economy are excellent in the decades to come, providing that American politicians make the right decisions and allow all the good things to happen. The same possibilities are open to China, India and many other countries. 

Professor Fritz Vahrenholt - A voice of sanity in the climate debate

Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, one of the fathers of Germany's environmental movement and the director of RWE Innogy, one of Europe's largest renewable energy companies, last week delivered the 3rd Global Warming Policy Foundation Annual Lecture at the Royal Society in London. Vahrenholt, whose book "Die kalte Sonne: Warum die Klimakatastrophe nicht stattfindet" (The Cold Sun: Why the climate catastrophe is not happening), written together with Sebastian Lüning, has become a best seller in Germany, is a powerful and convincing critic of the alarmist global warming establishment: 
For many years, I was an active supporter of the IPCC and its CO2 theory. Recent experience with the UN's climate panel, however, forced me to reassess my position. In February 2010, I was invited as a reviewer for the IPCC report on renewable energy. I realised that the drafting of the report was done in anything but a scientific manner. The report was littered with errors and a member of Greenpeace edited the final version. These developments shocked me. I thought, if such things can happen in this report, then they might happen in other IPCC reports too.
In the last 10 years the solar magnetic field dropped to one of its lowest levels in the last 150 years, indicating lower intensity in the decades ahead. This may have contributed to the halt in global warming and is likely to continue for a while, until it may resume gradually around 2030/2040. Based on the past natural climate pattern, we should expect that by 2100 temperatures will not have risen more than 1°C, significantly less than proposed by the IPCC.

Climate catastrophe would have been called off and the fear of a dangerously overheated planet would go down in history as a classic science error. Rather than being largely settled, there are more and more open climate questions which need to be addressed in an impartial and open-minded way.
Firstly, we need comprehensive research on the underestimated role of natural climate drivers. Secondly, the likely warming pause over the coming decades gives us time to convert our energy supply in a planned and sustainable way, without the massive poverty currently planned.
In the UK and Germany, for example, power-station closures and huge expenditure for backup of volatile wind or solar energy or harmful ethanol production will raise energy prices massively and even threaten power cuts: the economic cost will be crippling, all driven by fear.
Read the entire article here
The question is; When will the political leaders, who have allowed themselfs to be hijacked by the enviro-fundamentalist scaremongers, begin to listen to climate realists like professor Vahrenholt? Politicians should realize that the longer they toe the alarmist line, the more they will contribute to a damaging development, with a growing number of people impoverished and many real environmental problems left unsolved. 

Monday, 18 June 2012

Kiribati gets so much EU climate aid that it can´t handle it

The European Union is, in an addition to the seemingly never ending euro crisis, facing other type of problems, also entirely of its own making.

During the last few years, the European Union´s climate change "allies" - a number of small Pacific island states - have received tens, if not hundreds of millions of "climate change aid" in exchange for toeing the EU line on global warming alarmism. And more aid is in the pipeline, as a matter of fact so much that the often authoritarian and corrupt rulers of the mini states do not seem to have the capacity to open enough bank accounts for receiving the millions:

Kiribati is pleading with the European Union to make climate change funding easier for small island states to access.
An extra 23-million US dollars to help Pacific nations cope with climate change was part of a new European Union development partnership unveiled last week.
A senior official at Kiribati’s ministry of finance, Teriba Tabe, says for small island states, it is difficult to actually get the funding.
“We have limited capacity, we don’t have much time to go through these procedures, and guidelines to follow, so hopefully we’ll get there, but our plea to the European Union members if they can always make the rules more flexible and suitable for us."
Read the entire article here

Knowing the dismal corruption records of Kiribati and several of the other Pacific island states, it comes as no surprise that there are demands for more "flexible" and "suitable" payment procedures. One way of dealing with this "problem" to the satisfaction of the Kiribati and other Pacific island governments could be for the EU to pay the climate "aid" millions directly to e.g. safe private Swiss bank accounts. 

This is what Freedom House says about government corruption in Kiribati:

Official corruption and abuse are serious problems, and the government has not shown a commitment to addressing them. The number of businesses owned by mainland Chinese has rapidly increased in recent years, raising concerns over possible corruption in granting immigration status to Chinese investors and other legal wrongdoing in overseeing foreign investments. Kiribati was ranked 91 out of 178 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Hypocrite Prince Charles warns governments about climate change

Prince Charles is obviously intent on destroying everything that his mother has done for the British monarhcy during her 60 years of service. Now this unelected royal hypocrite thinks that he is entitled to criticize democratic governments for lack of actions with regard to bogus human caused climate change:

In a video message for world leaders attending the Rio earth summit the Prince criticised the lack of urgency by governments in addressing growing global issues.
He said the failure of the global community to act against warming “despite countless such meetings” was made against the background of “increasingly dire warnings”.
“Like a sleepwalker, we seem unable to wake up to the fact that so many of the catastrophic consequences of carrying on with “business-as-usual” are bearing down on us faster than we think, already dragging many millions more people into poverty and dangerously weakening global food, water and energy security for the future,” he said.
In the video filmed at Clarence House he appealed to policy makers to act in a concerted effort “before it is finally too late”.
The entire news article and video here
Can anyone imagine the Queen making a statement like that? One wonders, are there no sane people among his staff, who dare to tell the Prince to shut up, before it is finally too late?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Delingpole on the madness of the Rio+20 conference

James Delingpole´s take on the usefulness of the Rio+20 conference is rather damning - and true:  

Like the disastrous Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban  summits before it, the Rio event looks set to be another damp squib, beset by bickering, achieving nothing other than a few vague, non-binding commitments to do something serious some time in the future. 
How much simpler things were in the early Nineties. The Intergovernmental Panel on  Climate Change (IPCC) had just produced its first Assessment Report in which the world’s most expert scientists all apparently agreed that the world was doomed to burn in hellfire unless man amended his wicked ways.
The three IPCC reports since then have confirmed this prognosis with increasingly shrill certainty. 
But, unfortunately, no one outside the Government and the green movement takes  them very seriously any more, because the real world has  stubbornly refused to act in accordance with all the climate scientists’ scary predictions.
Sea levels have not risen dramatically. ‘Threatened’ regions such as Tuvalu, the Maldives and Bangladesh have not drowned. 
Polar bear populations continue to thrive. Arctic sea ice is recovering while the Antarctic ice is expanding. 
But, most damningly of all, global warming stopped at the end of the last century.
And if we’re to believe Fritz Vahrenholt in his bestselling book Die Kalte Sonne (The Cold Sun) it’s in no danger of starting any time soon.
Vahrenholt’s thesis – based on the observations of increasingly respected scientists such as the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark – is that the main agent  of climate change is not CO2 but solar radiation.
Much of the mild global warming we’ve experienced in the past 150 years (a rise of about 0.8C) was, it would appear, the result of solar activity (detectable in the number of sun spots) which is now slowing down.
We are entering a period of ‘weak’ solar cycles, and this decline in activity is expected  to continue until about 2040, by which time – according to some pessimistic predictions – global mean temperatures will have fallen by 2C.
For many of us, in other words, ‘global warming’ is something we will never experience again in our lifetime. From now on we can expect drabber, wetter summers and colder winters. 
And as if that weren’t depressing enough, here are our political leaders regulating and carbon taxing our economies as if the non-existent global warming problem was still something to fear.
This is madness – and one day future historians will see it as such. They will gasp in astonishment that in 2011 the global  carbon trading market climbed to a record $176 billion (£113 billion) – about the same as global wheat production. 
They will  ask how CO2 could be valued as highly as the essential foodstuff that supplies 20 per cent of the calories consumed by the seven billion people on the planet.
A good place for them to start would be the hysteria and optimism of that original Earth  summit, in which a mix of panic and good intentions were allowed to override common sense. In short, blame it on Rio.

Yes, madness it is indeed, the entire sad story about catastrophic human caused global warming, as MIT professor Richard Lindzen has pointed out

“Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.”

Professor Richard S. Lindzen of the Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave a seminar to the House of Commons Committee Rooms in Westminster, London on 22 February 2012.