Saturday, 14 July 2012

Putin´s and Gazprom´s dirty gas game in Europe

Aviezer Tucker, assistant director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin has written an article in the Washington Times which deserves to be widely read - particularly in Europe - because it reveals the truth:  

We lost Bulgaria. We are likely soon to lose the Czech Republic. We gained Ukraine. Poland has always stood with us. Germany hedges its bets. France definitely is not with us. The United Kingdom probably will side with us. The Baltic States would love to join us if they have the resources. A fierce battle rages over Romania.
The adversary is Russia, a petro-state that projects power through control of the European energy market. President Vladimir Putin’s regime depends on selling hydrocarbons. That pays for the Russian state and for a patronage system that keeps his supporters and backers in clover.
Many of Gazprom’s decisions are political. It pays for long pipelines to bypass Ukraine. Political appointments and scams are costly. Analysts estimate that Gazprom needs to charge about $12 per 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas to break even. It collects about $16 per 1,000 cubic feet in Eastern Europe. In the United States, the cost is about $2.
The price of natural gas in America dropped because hydraulic fracturing glutted the market with cheap gas. There are no such commercial wells in Europe.
If hydraulic fracturing can be used on a commercial scale in Europe, the price of natural gas there will plummet. It could force Russia to start working for a living and would have radical political repercussions.
The holy grail for Gazprom is a European Union-wide ban or moratorium on the technology. The more countries adopt such restrictions, the stronger the case for it would be in Brussels, capital of the EU, and Strasbourg, seat of the European Parliament.

The challenge facing Gazprom is to convince nations that pay it exorbitant sums of foreign currency to forgo a technology that can save them a lot of money, create local jobs and support their political independence. This challenge is not unlike the task the Soviet Union faced after World War II: The United States offered the devastated countries of Europe substantial free economic aid in the Marshall Plan. Fearing economic and political independence, the Soviets had to persuade Europeans to give up free money.
Some Czech anti-hydraulic-fracturing demonstrators, who protested against granting concessions to Hutton Energy, an Australian company headquartered in London, carried signs proclaiming, “We do not want your American money.” They could have dusted off similar signs from 1947.
This time, the mobilizing ideology is not anti-capitalism but environmentalism. Russia’s Mr. Putin has become a great champion of other countries’ environments. Gazprom and Russia pay directly or indirectly, through public-relations firms and environmentalist groups, for the creation of grand coalitions with authentic environmentalist groups. As in the national fronts of post-World War II Europe that paved the way for communist takeovers, the groups that are loyal to Moscow control the coalitions. Such organizations do not, for example, criticize nuclear power as long as it is provided by Russia or condemn the effect of drilling in Siberia on the Russian environment.
Read the entire article here
Hopefully somebody shows this article also to Gazprom´s latest recruitment in Europe, German football legend Franz Beckenbauer!

Former editor of the Economist: Being part of the EU is the same as membership in Fifa!

The Economist has spent years trying to convince the British that the European Union and the euro are very much part of the UK future. No wonder then that Bill Emmott, editor of the europhile magazine during the years 1993 - 2006,  is still so blinded by this empire in decline that he compares being part of it with membership of the UN - and Fifa
On a recent BBC Newsnight debate, Jeremy Paxman drew applause by popping up on a screen a photo of Herman Van Rompuy, the rather nondescript Belgian president of the European Council, and asking the audience whether they had voted for him and even knew who he was. Argument over: of course we’d rather not be bossed about by unelected officials whom we can’t even name.
Except for this. It was tosh. Why didn’t he also put up photos of the Secretary General of Nato, or the head of the World Trade Organisation, or the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the International Maritime Organisation, or even the head of Fifa? We didn’t vote for any of those either; they come from funny foreign countries and we don’t even know their names – except perhaps the President of Fifa.
So, whatever the Eurosceptics, and especially UKIP, try to say, the debate about British membership of the EU cannot be reduced to a choice of black or white, shackled or free, servile or sovereign. Unless we want to pull out of all of these organisations, that is. It is a matter of degree, of shades of grey, of how much loss of sovereignty is too much, of much more boring issues of benefits and costs.

Read the entire article here
Bill Emmott is currently the chairman of London library. It might perhaps be a good thing if somebody would ask him to spare us from further Fifa comparisons and instead concentrate on chairing the books. 

EU to get "toughest in the world" emission targets for cars

The European Commission Wednesday proposed further cuts to carbon dioxide, CO2, emissions from new cars and vans by 2020, making EU targets the toughest in the world:

Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, called the new targets "a win-win for the climate, consumers, innovation and jobs." "With our proposals we are not only protecting the climate and saving consumers money. We are also boosting innovation and competitiveness in the European automotive industry," said Hedegaard. "And we will create substantial numbers of jobs as a result."

The EU climate queen Connie Hedegaard is once again talking nonsense. How on earth could these suggested measures "boost the competitiveness" of an European industry that is already now losing money!

The message from European Automobile Manufacturers' Association´s Secretary General Ivan Hodac was polite, but clear: 

"Indeed, contrary to some claims, the proposed targets for the European fleet are far more stringent than those in the United States, China or Japan."
This will increase manufacturing costs in Europe, creating a competitive disadvantage for the region and further slowing the renewal of the fleet, he said.

"Considering that most manufacturers are losing money in Europe at the moment, the industry needs as competitive a framework as possible. Targets - while ambitious - must be feasible.

Read the entire article here


Another example of the only thing in which the European Union really excels: Shooting itself in the foot

Barroso´s only British fan revealed

A portrait of José Manuel Barroso´s only  known  fan  in  the  UK

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, on the European Union in an interview published in the New Statesman July 11: 

"The biggest integrated market in the world, the first economy in the world, the biggest donor of development assistance in the world . . . "

After reading this speech, given on the same day, my first thought was that Barroso is beginning to repeat himself: 
"the EU is the world’s largest integrated economy. And when it comes to climate change, this union has served us well: Europe negotiates as a bloc at the UN, one with more authority than we could muster individually.By working together, we have been able to achieve so much more than we could alone. A gathering of individual agents, each fighting for different national priorities, could not have secured the Kyoto Protocol, or its extension.

We should draw strength from this legacy. Rather than letting ambition slip, we should pay tribute to our past achievements by raising our sights still higher".

However, it was not Barroso this time. It was David Cameron´s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Jonathan Davey, Barroso´s probably only remaining public fan in Britain. (Although one suspects that there still are a number of closet Barroso fans around)
Maybe Barroso´s and Davey´s friendship goes as far as to sharing the same speechwriter? Who knows.

Friday, 13 July 2012

José Manuel Barroso - the Brussels court jester in action

In a new report blandly titled "Eurozone jobs crisis: trends and policy responses," the ILO warns that 4.5 million more jobs could be lost in Europe unless policies "change course in a concerted manner."
The coming jump would put the total number of jobless at nearly 22 million, the ILO says.

"What I can see from Brussels is that, and also from a European perspective, I find it a little bit ironic that some people are suggesting for Britain a role comparable to that of say Norway or Switzerland. Norway or Switzerland are two marvelous countries, I very much admire, the most advanced countries in the world in fact with great qualities of life. But I think Britain is expecting a bigger role in the world than small countries."

"The fact that some are suggesting for Britain a role that is smaller than the one Britain already has today seems to me a little bit curious. When the prime minister of Britain meets the president of the United States, or the president of China, he has much stronger status and much stronger leverage because everybody knows that Britain is a country that is very influential in the shaping of European policy. The biggest integrated market in the world, the first economy in the world, the biggest donor of development assistance in the world ."

José Manuel Barroso (in an interview in the New Statesman)

The Telegraph´s Nile Gardiner rightly points out that the former Portuguese maoist is suffering from illusions of grandeur: 

The idea that it could not survive as a major international actor outside the EU is the stuff of fantasy, beloved by the likes of Barroso and Van Rompuy, who are firmly in denial regarding the scale of decay that has set in across the Eurozone. The European Project has been, as Lady Thatcher so eloquently put it, “the greatest folly of the modern era.” It is heading in only one direction – decline and economic ruin. For Britain, life outside the EU offers only opportunity, sovereignty and freedom, and the chance for the British people to shape their own destiny.

Well put, Nile Gardiner. 

There is, though, a bright side to Barroso, which should not be forgotten: The longer this clown - or court jester - is around with his act, the more people see the reality of a European project in steep decline. 

China´s "man-made" growth statistics

AP reports that Asian stock markets were higher today after China said its economy grew in the second quarter of this year at its slowest pace since 2009 - which was in line with analysts expectations: 
China's gross domestic product expanded 7.6 percent in the April to June period from the same period a year earlier, down from 8.1 percent growth in the first quarter. China also reported that retail sales and factory output growth slowed in June
Equities in Asia had mostly fallen the previous few days amid speculation that China's growth may have slowed more than the consensus 7.6 percent forecast. Some analysts say expected interest rate cuts and fiscal stimulus spending by China should spur lending, investment and stronger economic growth in the second half of the year.
It appears, though, that those optimistic analysts have chosen to "forget" one important consideration -  realism. They should read this Bloomberg report

The figures that go into China’s gross domestic product are “man-made” and “for reference only,” Li Keqiang, then a regional Communist Party head, said in 2007.
The comments by Li, now a vice premier who’s expected to become premier next spring, were revealed in a diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks in late 2010. Li’s remarks are especially relevant as China announced today that the economy expanded 7.6 percent last quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace in three years.

“Out of the black box comes a number, and that number doesn’t always line up with the other numbers,” says Andrew Batson, Beijing-based research director at macroeconomics consultant GK Dragonomics. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the GDP numbers this year are smoothed.”


One legacy of the planned economy is that bureaucrats are given targets by the central government for everything from steel production to harvests and local GDP. These same officials traditionally have been promoted on their success in making their numbers.
“We have a saying in China: The cadres produce the data, and data produces the cadres,” said Jin Yongjin, a professor of statistics at Renmin University in Beijing.
China still tends to treat its data gathering as a national secret, said Anne Stevenson-Yang, co-founder of Beijing-based J Capital Research, which analyzes equities. She cited the government’s refusal to release the weighting of goods tracked to compile its consumer price inflation index.

“Why would you ever lift the hood and show people how you do it?” Stevenson-Yang said. “That only reduces your ability to change numbers if you need to.”

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Australian climate madness: Hundreds of towns "could cease to exist by 2050"

Australian climate change madness:
A new report is warning hundreds of inland Australian towns could cease to exist by 2050 if locals do not adapt to climate change.
The report, commissioned by a wonderful institution called "Federal Government´s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility" is of course a joke:

The report studied 1,600 bush towns and found the ones with low education rates are least likely to make the decisions needed to adapt to a hotter future.
But in many regional areas there is resistance to change because of lingering scepticism about climate change.
The same scepticism means the research may not have much impact on the areas it targets.
The report was commissioned by the Federal Government's National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.
Author Professor Andrew Beer says climate change and market forces will de-populate entire towns.
"It's impossible to predict because between now and 2050 is a very long time," he told The World Today.
"But you could easily see the loss of 10 per cent. So 160 country towns across Australia could be gone within 20 years and a further 10 per cent by 2050 - simply because of climate change and the failure to adapt to it.
"So, many people living in a small place right now will discover that their town won't be there in 40 years' time."
Even the man behind the report, warmist professor Andrew Beer has to admit that "it´s impossible to predict because between now and 2050 is a very long time", but that does not prevent this academic giant from talking about hundreds of towns disappearing by 2050! 
No wonder that people who live in, or close to the towns which will disappear according to professor Beer, beg do disagree:
Mount Gambier resident Leon Ashby disagrees.
Mr Ashby is a spokesman for the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics Party, which believes that while the climate is changing, it is only minor and not due to humans.
He says the party has 800 paid-up members, but represents an opinion that is much more widely held in rural areas.
"I lean over the fence post, and talk to a lot of farmers and that, and I would say 80, 90 per cent would scoff at what's happening politically when you are talking about climate change," he said.

Read the entire article here

Putin´s and Assad´s "brotherhood" bonds

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is able to continue the mass killings of innocent civilians because of the support he receives from fellow dictator Vladimir Putin and China´s communist party authoritarians. 

The real reason for Putin´s support is the fact that he is afraid - even scared - of sharing the (coming) fate of Assad and all other evil dictators, who have been forced out of power. 

Putin also clearly acts in accordance with the old rules of the Italian mafia, as described in Letizia Paoli´s excellent book "Mafia Brotherhoods: Organized Crime, Italian Style":

The strength and weakness of the two mafia associations lie in the brotherhood bonds through which their members are connected (p. 17). The rite of mafia initiation establishes not only a status as "man of honor", but also a ritual kinship, an almost religious communion (p. 76), that creates obligations of correctness and solidarity vis-à-vis the other members of the same mafia family and in principle also to all other mafia brothers (p. 81). These ties promote trust and provide a basis for specific purposive contracts (p. 89), even between members from different families who have never met before (p. 150). 

"Warm Up New Zealand" campaign a success in Kiwi land

As cold winter weather descends on New Zealand, the government´s Warm Up New Zealand campaign is proving to be a success:

Cold weather is proving good business for some companies.
Heaters and wood burners, gas fireplaces, insulation materials and heat pumps are flying out the door of DIY, specialist and hardware stores.
Businesses providing services through the Government's Warm Up New Zealand campaign are also enjoying brisker trade and with frosts hitting sea level areas of Auckland, consumers are opening their wallets.
Dave Elliott, Mitre 10's marketing general manager, said sales of locally made wood burners and low-cost panel heaters were up nationally.
Tony Te Au, general manager of Tasman Insulation, said people wanted warmer homes and Warm Up New Zealand had helped drive sales.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The euro crisis explained

Hooray! The euro is saved!

Listen to these two dynamic pillars of European stability, Juncker and Rehn: 

And here is another way to look at what is happening in the eurozone:

Take your pick!

The Schwarzenegger legacy: San Bernardino third Californian city to file for bankruptcy

California (no) dreaming:

San Bernardino’s City Council voted to become the third California city this year to file for bankruptcy, as it struggles with declining tax revenue, growing employee costs and accounting discrepancies in its ledgers.
The council voted 4 to 2, with one abstention, last night to authorize a filing under Chapter 9 of U.S. bankruptcy law. The city of 209,000, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, is so broke it can’t make its Aug. 15 payroll, interim City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller said.
“If the employees are not paid on Aug. 15, on Aug. 16 there will be a mass exodus of city employees,” City Attorney James Penman told the council before the vote. “People are not going to work when they don’t get paid. Most of our employees will not show up to work. That would include police, fire, refuse, everybody. The city will virtually shut down.”
Read the entire article here
The question is, when will the entire state of California file for bankruptcy? It can´t take too long now, when one remembers how the Schwarzenegger global warming legacy is impacting  life in the Golden State.  

The Baroness in Beijing

The European Union informs the public about Baroness Ashton´s visit to Beijing:

The Baroness and Wen Jiabao enjoying a nice cup of tea 

Beijing, 10 July 2012 
A 321/12 

High Representative Catherine Ashton met 
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China 

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security 
Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, met the Prime Minister of People's Republic of 
China, Wen Jiabao, in Beijing today. In their discussion they expressed satisfaction with the 
positive momentum in the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership and with the significant 
progress achieved in many areas of cooperation over the last decade. They looked forward to the 
15th EU-China Summit, scheduled to take place in the autumn; it will be the 10th Premier Wen will 
attend. The High Representative thanked Premier Wen for China's strong and consistent support for 
Europe and its economy. 

Maybe this was what the "High Representative" meant when she talked about the "positive momentum in the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership"?:

Torture, organ harvesting from live prisoners of consience, long prison terms, harrassment, Internet censorship - these are just a few of the human rights violations discussed at a hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels last week. 
Overseas dissident Su Yutong, who now works as a journalist for Deutche Welle, was one of the guest speakers. She told an audience of over 100 people the story of her exile and described the suffering human rights lawyers, journalists, and petitioners undergo at the hands of the Chinese communist regime. 
Members of the European Parliament, EU officials, human rights activists and dissidents attended the hearing.
The day before the hearing, Su spoke with blind lawyer-activist Chen Guancheng on the phone. 
[Su Yutong, Human Rights Activist]:
"Because I talked to him after he (Chen Guangcheng) arrived in the U.S., he told me just this one thing: please believe me, even though I'm abroad, I will not be cut off from China, I will still do whatever I can from here."
Sakharov Prize winner Wei Jingsheng expressed his concerns about the worsening situation of human rights in China through a video message.
[Wei Jingsheng, Sakharov Prize winner]:
"Nowadays the human rights situation in China is in the most dangerous phase. Judicial authorities have been transformed into mafia, which will definitely make the whole society rapidly enter the time of Nazi Fascists or that of the Culture Revolution."

Gazprom and European football: When two kleptocracies meet

"Gazprom is acting as the extension of the Kremlin kleptocracy"

Jürgen Roth 
German investigative journalist, whose book, "Gazprom - Das unheimliche Imperium" (Gazprom - The sinister Empire) has recently been published

Why do the big clubs of Europe – Bayern, Manchester United, Barcelona, Internazionale, et al – need UEFA and FIFA when the two bodies have hitherto demonstrated they are opaque entities governed by self-interest, overseen by incompetent and oftentimes corrupt kleptocrats and almost completely oblivious to the desires of players, club owners, corporate sponsors and fans?

Karl Heinz Rummenigge
President, European Club Association

We are now told that Russian Gazprom will be Uefa´s official partner for the Champions League

Gazprom will be Uefa's sixth official partner for the upcoming three editions of the Champions League.

The Russian energy giants will promote its products via Europe's most elite club competition from 2012 to 2015 as well as the next three European Super Cups.

"Gazprom is a global energy company and the Champions League will benefit from Gazprom's presence in more than 20 European countries and many more around the world," David Taylor, CEO of Uefa Events SA commented to Soccerex Business Daily

"We expect that involvement with the Champions League will assist Gazprom to help build their brand awareness and identity on a global stage."

In a recent article, Jürgen Roth describes Gazprom´s kaleidoscope of blackmail for exercising influence in Europe: 

 In 2006, Elmar Brok, member of the European Parliament for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), raised the alarm about Gazprom’s expansionary efforts. Before that, Gazprom had announced that it would partly shut off its gas supplies to Europe if its plans for expansion in Europe were blocked. “Brok warned that the Russian energy company was pursuing a strategy not only to become the EU's biggest energy supplier, but also to gain control over the supplier networks and transit rights to ensure that “nothing happens without Gazprom.” 
Being dependent means being prone to blackmail. Consumer prices can be increased without really provoking resistance whenever it seems necessary – even if the reason is simply to exercise political pressure. 
Latvia’s oil supply was shut off in 2003; the same happened in Lithuania between 1992 and 2002 and once more in 2006. Poland was cut off from gas in 2004, and the Czech Republic from oil in 2008, not to mention the so-called ‘gas war’ between Russia and Ukraine in 2006.  In January 2006, the most important German oil refinery in Schwedt stopped receiving oil via the pipeline with the fitting name Druschba (friendship) and in Leuna, oil deliveries were also halted a year later for “business reasons". 

What should one then make of Uefa´s deal with Gazprom?

Well, maybe that´s what happens when two kleptocracies meet ...

Maybe Gazprom´s brand new representative in Germany was the man who secured the deal for Putin´s energy outlet ?

Soon we will probably have to get used to this kind of images when FC Bayern Munich again tries to win the Champions League:

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Great news: "Largest ever cereal harvest predicted this year"

Wasn´t global warming supposed to lead to greatly diminished harvests and global food scarcity? 

Well, tell this to Bill McKibben, Al Gore and the other scarmongers:

"Largest ever cereal harvest predicted this year"

The world is expected to harvest the largest ever crop of cereals in 2012-13 according to an estimate released by the UN affiliated Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recently. It is estimated that this year's world cereal production will be a record 2371 million tonnes, marking a 1 percent, or 27 million tonnes increase over 2011. 

India is forecast to produce a bumper harvest of 234.4 million tonnes of cereals, up from last year's 232.3 million tonnes. Wheat production is expected to grow marginally from 86.9 million tonnes last year to 88.3 million tonnes this year and rice from 103.4 million tonnes to 105 million tonnes. 

Read the entire article here

Cardiff University warmist desperate: "campaigners need to ditch the language of catastrophe and the images of polar bears"

Adam Corner, a warmist Cardiff University research associate, who´s "interests include the psychology of communicating climate change", reluctantly has to accept "that scepticism about the nature and seriousness of climate change has increased – rather than decreased – in recent years": 

Where public opinion about climate change could once be characterised as a state of mild concern, it has now become an amiable – or even disinterested – shrug. The more sophisticated analyses of trends in public opinion point to a clear link between the priority with which politicians and the media have treated climate change (linked to the economic crisis), and the weight it is assigned by members of the public. The issue has moved from centre stage to somewhere barely visible in the wings. Is it any surprise people have stopped paying attention?

In his research Corner has apparently found out that "this is a difficult time to communicate about climate change". Particularly the "clear and consistent links between conservative views and elevated levels of uncertainty about climate change" are worrying the research associate, who thinks that conservative climate sceptics could be brainwashed using this kind of tactics: 

Why are political conservatives more likely to downplay the risks of climate change? One possibility is that climate change has simply not been communicated in a way that resonates with conservative values and beliefs. Whereas those on the left can see obvious co-benefits in taking action to tackle climate change (initiatives to tax big polluters, for example, inevitably mean targeting the wealthy), there has so far been little for right-leaning folk to identify with.
But it doesn't have to be this way. There are policy solutions – and ways of framing the problem of climate change – that sit more comfortably with a conservative perspective. It is here that the business case for climate change – green jobs – is most likely to be effective. But there is also an urgent need to identify the conservative values – perhaps security and belonging, or an appreciation of the beauty of the natural world – that chime with arguments for tackling climate change.
Oh, yes, "green jobs" is a foolproof way to lure conservative climate sceptics!:
According to the report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy, Section 1503 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka the stimulus), the part that covers green energy projects got some $9 billion in stimulus cash for 2009-11 and created a whopping 910 direct jobs — those involved in the ongoing operation of the wind and solar projects that were funded.
 For a $9 billion investment, the administration created just over 900 new, permanent jobs. We could have had 20,000 jobs building a pipeline with not a dollar of taxpayer money being wasted. 
And of course the "appreciation of the beauty of the natural world" is another safe bet for getting conservatives onboard the global warming train:
The Spanish Ornithological Society in Madrid estimates that Spain's 18,000 wind turbines may be killing 6 million to 18 million birds and bats annually. “A blade will cut a griffon vulture in half,” says Bechard. “I've seen them just decapitated."
“The troubling issue with wind development is that we're seeing a growing number of birds of conservation concern being killed by wind turbines,” says Albert Manville, a biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Arlington, Virginia.

“There are species of birds that are getting killed by wind turbines that do not get killed by autos, windows or buildings,” says Shawn Smallwood, an ecologist who has worked extensively in Altamont Pass, California, notorious for its expansive wind farms and raptor deaths. Smallwood has found that Altamont blades slay an average of 65 golden eagles a year2. “We could lose eagles in this country if we keep on doing this,” he says. 

Other species at risk include the critically endangered California condors (Gymnogyps californicus) — which number only 226 in the wild — and the few hundred remaining whooping cranes (Grus americanus), concentrated in the central United States.
Good luck with "security" and "belonging", Mr. Corner! We are waiting for new creative suggestions! 


Corner actually comes up with one excellent piece of advice, particularly addressed to the likes of WWF, Greenpeace and Al Gore:

 "campaigners need to ditch the language of catastrophe and the images of polar bears"

Monday, 9 July 2012

Megalomaniac global warming project in the Australian Bush

Global warming alarmists love to peddle false information about the "huge big oil funding" available for "climate deniers". Instead they should perhaps take a look at their own funding, which makes the modest resources available for "sceptics" pale. This brand new megalomaniac project in Australia is just one example:

Nine storey cranes and 28 metre high ring structures in native bushland that can produce the elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations predicted for later this century are among the state-of-the-art research facilities to be officially opened today (April 4, NNoN) by Senator Chris Evans at the University of Western Sydney’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment.

The unique research facilities, which are among the largest and most complex in the world, allow scientists to create future climatic conditions, including elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, higher temperatures and changed rainfall patterns.

The Institute’s research facilities were developed as a result of a $40 million grant from the Australian Government as part of its Education Investment Fund, together with funding from the University of Western Sydney.


While money is flowing to completely useless global warming projects, ordinary Australians are struggling to pay the new carbon tax, a unique Australian invention introduced by the Gillard goverment:
High cost and nil effect: that's our carbon tax
The Australian carbon tax is a species orphan, the Collins-class submarine of global environmental policy. It is environmentally inconsequential, economically costly, administratively nightmarish and unlike anything else in the world. Policy folly that it is, the Gillard government would still have a better chance of selling it if it occasionally told the truth about it.

Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor, The Australian

EU aviation tax: Brussels busy planning face saving retreat

I have said it before - and I say it again: The European Union is going to be the big loser in a forthcoming trade war about the EU´s (incredibly stupid) carbon tax on foreign airlines. Now we hear that the Indian government is planning tough countermeasures: 

The trade battle with the European Union over the latter's unilateral decision to impose carbon tax on Indian airlines flying into or via the EU could turn into a full scale war with the Cabinet to soon consider a proposal for counter-measures against EU including reducing the number of flights and breaking existing bilateral agreements. 

The proposal, mooted by the civil aviation ministry, seeks the Cabinet's permission to impose various sanctions against EU airlines if the Indian aviation industry is either charged a carbon tax or penalized for not adhering to their taxation regime. The counter-measures recommended in the proposal include cancellning EU flights to India as well as cancelling "horizontal agreements". 

The move comes after the government told the Indian aviation sector not to provide data the EU had asked for as part of this new carbon tax regime. The tax itself is to be imposed from next year but the EU has sought data from all flights landing in or transiting via European airspace for calculating the taxes which some estimates suggest could add up to $1.5 billion per annum. 

The decision to go for a Cabinet clearance comes after a group of 26 countries including China, US, Russia, Brazil and India jointly agreed to a bouquet of retaliatory measures against EU in February 2012. It was decided that 'like-minded' countries would pick from the menu of options to counter EU's unilateral move if things came to a head.

Read the entire article here

It is quite obvious that the European Union - which is in the middle of a serious economic and political crisis - will have to abandon its unilateral carbon tax. In Brussels the behind-the-scenes search for a face saving retreat is now intensifying. The fact that EU´s previously so aggresive "climate queen" Connie Hedegaard has recently toned down her language considerably, is another sign of what is coming. 

Fabrice Brégier, CEO of Airbus has offered one possible solution:

“Solutions like applying the [EU emissions trading scheme] first to European [airspace], giving a fair chance to ICAO to come up with a negotiated international solution with­in the next 18 months and then extending it according to the recommendations of ICAO ... would be, for me, one possible good solution.”

Read the entire article here

Sunday, 8 July 2012

China: Real pollution vs climate change

One of the tragic consequences of the almost total international fixation on fighting (bogus) human caused global warming is the fact that real and deadly pollution problems go almost unnoticed. Communist China, with its booming industry, is one of the countries worst affected. 
Fortunately ordinary Chinese people are now waking up to the dangers posed by dirty air and soil. Pollution problems have become a leading cause of civil unrest:

China has long been known as a place where the world’s dirtiest mines and factories can operate with impunity. Those days may not be over, but a growing environmental movement is beginning to make the most polluting projects much harder to build and operate.
Large and sometimes violent demonstrations against the planned construction of one of the largest copper smelting complexes on earth prompted local officials in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province to continue backpedaling furiously on Wednesday. The local government of Shifang, the planned site of the smelter, announced in a statement that the construction of the $1.6 billion complex had not only been suspended but also permanently canceled.
Thanks to the Internet — China has more Internet users than any other country — the protests appear to have resonated across the country. “Shifang” was the most-searched term on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging service, on Tuesday and again on Wednesday morning, before abruptly disappearing entirely from the list of frequently searched terms in a possible sign of censorship.
Several posts praising the Shifang protests on Tuesday evening had been deleted by Wednesday morning, another sign of censorship. But more posts had replaced them.
Read the entire article here
The US Embassy in Beijing is also playing a role in focusing attention on China´s huge air pollution problems. The embassy measures the air quality in Beijing hourly and puts the findings on this Twitter page. (At least 90% of the time the records show either hazardous, very unhealthy or unhealthy air quality). 
Here are the tweets for the last couple of hours:
07-08-2012 16:00; PM2.5; 139.0; 193; Unhealthy (at 24-hour exposure at this level)

07-08-2012 15:00; PM2.5; 130.0; 188; Unhealthy (at 24-hour exposure at this level)

07-08-2012 13:00; PM2.5; 135.0; 191; Unhealthy (at 24-hour exposure at this level)

No wonder then that the Chinese goverment wants to forbid the US embassy publishing the data: 
Last month, Chinese officials issued a general warning to foreign embassies, (but really aimed at the U.S.) to stop publishing reports about their country’s air quality.
The warning — in reference to a U.S. embassy Twitter account that, since 2008, has posted hourly readings of pollution levels of Beijing — illustrated how sensitive the government is about the country’s pollution problem.
And it's a problem that is becoming a growing concern among the public and considered a leading cause of civil unrest. The planned construction of industrial plants has sparked protests in some cities. Bowing to public pressure, officials shut down a planned copper plant for a southwestern China city on Wednesday after thousands protested the possible health impact from the facilty.
However, this is a fight the Chinese government is bound to lose. The corrupt communist party leaders will not be able to stop the growing protests of ordinary people who demand clean air and soil. 
China Air Daily is another interesting and useful site for observing the air quality in a couple of Chinese cities: