Saturday, 28 July 2012

Wind energy is subsidized slaughter - and should be stopped

As Paul Driessen writes, "wind energy is not green, eco-friendly, sustainable or sensible" - it is subsidized slaughter, which should be stopped: 

Industrial wind is actually our least sustainable energy resource.It requires perpetual subsidies to survive. The tax revenues it takes from productive sectors of the economy, the insufficient and unreliable nature of wind electricity, and the exorbitant electricity rates that wind turbines impose on factories and businesses, kill two to four jobsfor every "green" job created. Wind is a net job loser .
Big Wind also imposes excessive environmental impacts. It requires vast amounts of raw materials and land for turbines, backup power and long transmission lines. The extraction and processing of rare earth metals and other materials devastates large agricultural, scenic and wildlife habitat areas and harms people’s health, especially in China. Worst, the turbines are returning numerous bird and bat species to the edge of extinction, after decades of patient, costly efforts to nurse them back to health.
These are not sparrows and pigeons killed by housecats. They are bats that eat insects and protect crops . They are some of our most important and magnificent raptors, herons, cranes, condors and other majestic sovereigns of our skies. They are being chopped out of the air and driven from numerous habitats.
The American Bird Conservancy (ABC)and other experts estimate that well over 500,000 birds and countless bats are already being killed annually by turbines. The subsidized slaughter “could easily be over 500” golden eagles a year in our western states, Save the Eagles Internationalbiologist Jim Wiegand told me. Bald eagles are also being killed at alarming rates that could soon reach 1,000 per year.
In the 86-square-mile area blanketed by the Altamont Pass wind facility, no eagles have nested for over 20 years, and golden eagle nest sites have declined by half near the actual facility, even though both areas are prime eagle habitat, says Wiegand. Wildlife expert Dr. Shawn Smallwood estimates that 2,300 golden eagles have been killed by Altamont turbines over the past 25 years.

Another vital, majestic species being “sliced” back to the verge of extinction is the whooping crane, North America’s tallest bird. Since 2006, installed turbine capacity within the six-state whooping crane flyway has skyrocketed from 3,600 megawatts to some 16,000 MW – and several hundred tagged and numbered whooping cranes “have turned up missing and are unaccounted for,” says Wiegand. And yet, another 136,700 MW of new bird Cuisinarts are planned for these six states!
The Service knows this is happening, and yet turns a blind eye – and Big Wind is not about to admit that its turbines are butchering whooping cranes, bald eagles, Peregrine falcons, bats and other rare species.
This subsidized slaughter and legalized carnage cannot continue. Every vote to extend the PTC, or approve wind turbines in or near important bird habitats and flyways, is a vote for ultimate extinction of majestic and vital species in numerous areas all over the United States.
Wind energy is not green, eco-friendly, sustainable or sensible. Extending the subsidized slaughter is not something any members of Congress, state legislatures or county commissions – Republican or Democrat – should want to have on their conscience.

Read the entire article here

Friday, 27 July 2012

Czech President: Eight measures that could save Europe

Czech President Václav Klaus is just about the only European leader who dares to tell the truth about the present state of the euro and the European Union. And he knows what should be done in order to make the necessary changes: 

.. there is time for a fundamental decision: should we continue believing in the dogma that politics can dictate economics and continue defending the common currency at whatever costs or should we finally accept that we have to return to economic rationality?
The answer to such a question given by the overwhelming majority of European politicians has been until now YESwe should continue. Our task is to tell them that the consequences of such a policy will be higher and higher costs for all of us. At one moment, these costs will become intolerable and unbearable.
We should say NO. The European politicians should be forced to admit that we find ourselves in a blind alley and that in such a case the only possible way out is the way back.
Europeans should say NO and start introducing radical systemic changes which have to include the following measures:
1. Europe has to get rid of the unproductive and paternalistic soziale Marktwirtschaft, “augmented” (which means further undermined) by the growing role of the green ideology.
2. Europe should accept that the economic adjustment processes take time and thatthe impatient politicians and governments usually make things worse. The politicians should not try to mastermind the markets, to micromanage the economy, to “produce” growth by government stimuli and incentives.
3. Europe should start preparing comprehensive reductions of government spending and forget flirting with solutions based on tax increases. The reductions must dominantly deal with mandatory expenditures, because discretionary spending cuts are – as a long term solution – quantitatively more or less insignificant.
4. Europe should interrupt the creeping, but constantly expanding green legislation.The Greens must be stopped from taking over much of our economy under the banner of such flawed ideas as the global warming doctrine.
5. Europe should get rid of the excessive centralization, harmonization, standardization of the continent and after half a century of such measures start decentralizing, deregulating and desubsidizing its society and economy.
6.Europe should make it possible for countries which are the victims of the European monetary union to leave it and to return to their own monetary arrangements.
7.Europe should forget such plans as a fiscal union or a banking union, not to speak about antidemocratic ambitions to politically unify the whole continent.
8. Europe should return to democracy which can exist only at the level of nation-states, not at the level of the whole continent. It requires returning from supranationalism to intergovernmentalism.
Read the entire speech here

US heatwave: Wind energy powered 4000 blow dryers in Illinois when the demand was greatest!

The hype:

"Last week wind industry leaders and advocates gathered in Normal, Illinois to discuss the progress we're making in harnessing the power of the wind in the Prairie State.
A highlight of the gathering was the release of a new report documenting the economic impact wind is making in Illinois, and the numbers are striking. Among the key results, the study finds that the 3,334 megawatts of wind generation in Illinois:
· Will generate a total economic benefit of $5.98 billion over the projects' 25-year lifespan"

The reality: 
During the recent heatwave in Illinois nuclear, coal and gas-fired plants were running at full capacity. But we did not see any reports by the otherwise so active "progressive" enviro-fundamentalists about the great contribution of the much touted wind turbines. Jonathan Lesser, PhD, and President of Continental Economics, tells us why:

Illinois wind generated less than five percent of its capacity during the record breaking heat last week, producing only an average of 120 MW of electricity from the over 2,700 MW installed. On July 6th, when the demand for electricity in northern Illinois and Chicago averaged 22,000 MW, the average amount of wind power available during the day was a virtually nonexistent four MW, less than the output of two large wind turbines, or about and enough power to operate 4,000 blow dryers.

Wind power’s failure during last week’s extended heat wave is no fluke. When I performed a similar analysis last summer, the results were the same: the hotter the weather and greater customers’ demand for electricity, the less electricity produced from wind. Of course, this should not really be surprising. After all, the most miserable summer days are hot, humid, and still. What is surprising, however, is that policymakers keep throwing consumers’ and taxpayers’ hard-earned money at wind generation. And, because Illinois has one of the most aggressive renewable portfolio standards in the country, those subsidies, and electricity bills, will continue to soar, driving more businesses away from a state that continues to hemorrhage jobs in tough economic times. It is difficult to imagine a worse energy policy.

Read the entire article here

The truth about Putin´s mafia state

Vladimir Kara-Murza, Washington bureau chief of Russian Television International, on the  impending Magnitsky Act
This bill, a rare example of congressional bipartisanship, proposes to introduce a targeted visa ban and asset freeze for Russian officials “responsible for the detention, abuse, or death of Sergei Magnitsky” — an anti-corruption lawyer tortured to death in a Moscow prison in 2009 — as well as for any “extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights” (among them, “the freedoms of religion, expression, association, and assembly, and the rights to a fair trial and democratic elections”). The Magnitsky Act would bring a much-needed measure of accountability to corrupt Russian officials and human rights violators who prefer to rule in the manner of Zimbabwe or Belarus but opt for such destinations as the United States or Britain when it comes to storing and spending their ill-gotten gains.

In any civilized country a thief and criminal like Vladimir Putin would be locked up in a well guarded prison. But instead of serving a deserved lifetime sentence, Putin has elevated himself to de facto lifetime president. 

Bill Browder, founder of the Hermitage Fund, and the moving spirit behind the impending Magnitsky Act in the US Congress, tells reveals the reality of Putin´s Russia in a must read article: 
Putin’s interests flipped at the end of 2003, when he arrested Mikhail Khodorkovsky. That arrest had an extremely powerful effect on the country’s remaining oligarchs. Just imagine: you are the seventeenth richest oligarch in Russia. You turn on the TV on your yacht moored off the Hôtel du Cap in Antibes, and you see the richest guy in Russia — someone far better than you in all respects — sitting in a cage in a Moscow court. Your natural reaction is, ‘What do I have to do to not sit in a cage?’ In the summer of 2004, one by one, the oligarchs went back to Moscow, met with Putin and asked, ‘Vladimir Vladimirovich, what do we have to do to make sure we don’t sit in a cage?’
Putin’s answer was ‘50%’. I’ve surmised this from dozens of conversations and anecdotes I’ve heard since then. Of course, it could be 40%, or even 60% — I don’t know the exact number. But what I am sure of is that all the guys who said no to that deal ended up being run out of the country, losing all of their assets, or being sent to jail.
How can this amount of money go to Putin without anyone noticing? What needs to be understood about all these Russian oligarchs who are on the Forbes rich list, and who are supposedly worth 10, 15, 20 billion dollars is this:  it is not actually all their money. In most cases, the people who are labelled as oligarchs are just extremely wealthy trustees.
For example, there’s a well-known Russian oligarch who owns four enormous mansions in North London. In my business I’ve come across many wealthy people and I can tell you that it is not normal behaviour to have four mansions in one city. In normal circumstances rich people will own a mansion in London, maybe one in the south of France, perhaps one in Miami. But it’s irrational to own four in North London. Unless, of course, three of them don’t belong to you.
As soon as Putin acquired a hefty interest in the assets of these oligarchs, his incentives changed. He was no longer interested in controlling or crushing these guys, since they were no longer independently wealthy. I, on the other hand, hadn’t noticed that the game had changed and had continued exposing the corruption in major Russian companies.
Read the entire article here

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Good news: A sharp downturn in global wind turbine orders

There will - fortunately - be fewer of these ugly convoys in the coming years

Global orders for wind turbines are down by 30% during the first half of this year. The largest wind turbines companies are fighting for survival, as governments have begun to cut the generous subsidies on which the manufacturers are totally dependent: 

MAKE Consulting has examined global order intake for 1H/2012, and we 
note that wind turbine order intake (MW) in 1H/2012 fell by 30%  YoY, 
principally due to weakness in core markets  in  Asia Pacific and Europe, in 
particular China, India, UK and Germany (offshore). Regulatory uncertainty, 
subsidy cuts and grid connectivity issues all contributed to the weakness and 
offset good growth in new emerging markets.  

The  Americas held up well driven by the U.S. where developers endeavor to squeeze in projects before 
the PTC expires at the end of 2012 and high order activity in several  Latin 
American markets.

Weak orders in 1H/2012 support MAKE’s view that 2013 will be a weaker 
year for installations (-5% vs 2011).  However, we expect that order flow 
could improve in 2013 and beyond.

MAKE´s expectation of an improving order flow next year should be taken with a pinch of salt. The consulting company is not a neutral actor, but exists mainly in order to assist the wind turbine industry. That is obvious when one reads how they choose to describe themselves:

MAKE Consulting is a professional team of independent advisors with proven experience in the international wind energy industry. This has given us detailed insight and market intelligence which we make every effort to translate into an end product that provides our clients with a competitive advantage.
We are as passionate about renewable energy as you are, and have developed the analytical skills and tools to match.
The sharp downturn in wind turbine orders is evident also in the order books of two of the industry´s main actors, Siemens and Vestas
German engineering conglomerate Siemens reported on Thursday a 66 percent drop from a year earlier in new third-quarter orders for its renewable energy business, which includes its wind and solar units.
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas has announced first-half orders for turbines with total capacity 1,973 megawatts, down from 2,895 MW in the first half of 2011.
Read the entire article here
The bad news for the turbine makers is good news for the growing number of people all over the world who oppose these inefficient, bird killing and landscape destroying monsters, which for totally irrational reasons became the darlings of the "progressive" enviromentalists. 
(image by wikipedia)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

"The EU and Russia hold human rights consultations"

The media service of the Brussels based EUSSR has published another useless press release (A 350/12):

The EU and Russia hold human rights consultations 

On 20 July 2012, the European Union and the Russian Federation held their fifteenth round of 
human rights consultations in Brussels. The consultations were held in an open atmosphere. 
The EU and Russia focussed in particular on the work of civil society in light of the recent legal 
developments in Russia affecting NGOs receiving foreign funding, tightening rules on freedom of 
assembly, reinstating slander as a criminal offence as well as the strengthening of the state control 
over the internet. The EU and Russia also discussed developments in the rule of law, notably the 
investigation into the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009, the reform of the judiciary and the 
implementation of European Court of Human Rights judgements. As usual, both sides also explored 
ways to improve their cooperation in international fora (UN General Assembly and Human Rights 
Council; OSCE and Council of Europe).  
The EU raised a number of concerns related to specific human rights issues in the Russian 
Federation, including issues pertaining to freedom of expression and freedom of the media 
including online media, LGBT rights, freedom of religion or belief (notably the implementation of 
anti-extremism legislation), as well as continuing intimidation and impunity, especially regarding 
cases involving human rights defenders (e.g.Natalia Estemirova), journalists (e.g. Anna 
Politkovskaya) and lawyers in the Northern Caucasus. Both sides agreed to provide further 
clarification on individual cases of concern.  

One has to ask the question, what´s the point of carrying on with these empty consultations, which have not produced the slightest results in the way of improving human rights in Russia. On the contrary, as we all know, Russian dictator Putin´s first 60 days as the "new" president have been disastrous:

In the two months since returning to the Russian presidency, Vladimir Putin has pursued a stunningly retrograde agenda with stunning alacrity.
“… it has taken no more than 60 days to reverse the few timid positive steps on civil and political freedom that took place during the Medvedev interregnum,” writes Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch.
Putin’s United Russia party has blitzed parliament with bills to impose massive fines for violating public assembly rules, recriminalize libel, expand the government’s power to restrict Web content – especially regarding gay and lesbian issues – and require internationally-funded civic groups to register as “foreign agents,” which connotes “foreign spy” in Russian, Denber notes. Today, these separate measures are either law or fast on their way to becoming law.
So, to sum up, in just over 60 days Putin has taken on freedom of association and assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression. And all this while launching a campaign of arrest and intimidation against the growing opposition movement that has seen tens of thousands of Russians take to the street since December to challenge Putin’s rule. Shudder at what the next 12 years could bring.

“… Putin has singlehandedly quashed the long-held myth that he himself propagated: personalized power can modernize the country while preserving stability,” writes Lilia Shevtsova of the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank. “After waiting 12 years for change from the top, Russians finally understand that their political system can be transformed only from the bottom – through popular revolution.”


 "As usual, both sides also explored ways to improve their cooperation in international fora (UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council; OSCE and Council of Europe)." 
Hopefully the EU side at least pointed out that the best way for Russia to improve "cooperation in international fora" would be to stop the human rights violations in their own country. But that would of course be too much to ask from the Brussels apparatchiks, who specialize in empty rhetorics.  

Our forebears lived in peaceful harmony with nature - or did they?

The so-called “developed” countries must reduce their levels of over-consumption to reestablish harmony among human beings and with nature, allowing for the sustainable development of all developing countries. 
Harmony with Nature
 Resolution approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations

Before the introduction of the ecologically degrading, evil capitalist system of production, humans lived in peaceful harmony with nature. Except that before our forebears reached this state of harmony, they had to fix the Neanderthal problem:

The recent news coming from scientists seems to confirm suspicions about "social Darwinism." Modern man or homo sapiens outperformed, out-maneuvered and outright slaughtered the less advanced Neanderthals. A study of volcanic ash suggests that it was this factor, and not the ice age, that led to the extinction of this forerunner of humanity. 
"Neanderthal extinction in Europe was not associated with the CI eruption," researchers from an international team led by Professor John Lowe from Royal Holloway, University of London say.

"Our evidence indicates that, on a continental scale, modern humans were a greater competitive threat to indigenous populations than the largest known volcanic eruption in Europe, even if combined with the deleterious effects of climate cooling.

(image by wikipedia)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Russia´s Gazprom tries to belittle the US shale gas revolution

Educational video for Gazprom executives

As we all know, the shale gas revolution has been - and will continue to be a gamechanger in US and global energy markets. As T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oil magnate, so rightly has stated, abundant gas reserves in the United States make the country the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas."

This is of course extremely difficult for Vladimir Putin and his energy outlet Gazprom to swallow. That´s why they are peddling cheap anti-shale propaganda, now apparently also with the assistance of a company that is desperately trying to advocate Russian gas exports to the US (a ridiculous undertaking in a country that has more than enough of gas of its own!):

Long-term prospects for the shale natural gas sector in the United States aren't very encouraging, Russian natural gas company Gazprom said.

Sergei Komlev, who represents Gazprom's exporting division, said optimism over U.S. natural gas may be overblown.
"We forecast that soon, the disparity between the shale gas costs and sales price will disappear," he told the Platts news service. "When it happens, it will make the U.S. plans to become a major gas exporter economically unviable."
Gazprom worked on its analysis of the U.S. natural gas sector with Pace Global Energy, whose mission, disclosure forms state, is to advocate for Russian gas exports to the United States.

Read the entire article here

Here is a free piece of advice to comrade Komlev and his bosses in Moscow: Watch the video above before you make your next statement concerning US shale gas. It is in English, but the message should be easy enough even for you to understand.

Cameron´s energy transition policy even worse than the German one?

There are many cases of governments and parliaments agreeing on something they have no idea about. This appears to be the case when the UK parliament - apparently soon - is going to agree on the British version of Germany´s "Energiewende": 

One could easily overlook it, amidst all the talk about the German "Energiewende", but the UK too has announced a very ambitious "decarbonisation" plan. Indeed, the UK government's draft Energy Bill, introduced in May, has broad political support and is expected to pass into law in the second half of this year.

Energy analyst Jonathan Lane, writing in the European Energy Review, appears to understand the problems with the legislation, but he thinks that there is no choice because of the Cameron governments "decarbonisation agenda": 

Some of the key provisions of the UK government's draft energy bill, released in May 2012, have come under sharp criticism. This applies in particular to the new scheme aimed at supporting investment in low-carbon generation (nuclear power and renewable energy), which will give producers government-guaranteed prices for their output. Yet, according to independent energy analyst Jonathan Lane, the government has little choice but to go ahead with its plan if it is to deliver on its decarbonisation agenda. The main problem will be in getting the details right once the bill is passed in the second half of 2012.

There is an excellent comment on the Lane article, which I think pretty well sums up what the British "Energiewende" is all about:

"The main policy goals of the EMR are to help the UK reach its 80% decarbonisation target by 2050 ambitions and to ensure that 15% of its electricity is generated from renewable sources by 2020." 

What a farce this whole thing is. MP's have absolutely no idea about that on which they are voting. There is no chance of achieving these crazy, nonsensical targets and absolutely no reason for even attempting to do so.

The "Carbon Scam" is daily shown to be just that, as more evidence emerges that the computer models are wrong and CO2 is not cooking the planet, nor will it ever do so. A cap on emissions is simply to freeze out coal, whilst the Chinese are using it with gay abandon.

The imposition of a floor price on CO2, for that is what it is, not "carbon", is simply to gurantee profits for the vested interests that are running UK policy.

When the chairman of the Climate Change Committee, John Gummer, is also chairman of the wind consortium, Forewind and the chairman of the commons Climate Change Committee, Tim Yeo, is chairman of the Renewable Energy Association and the author of the Stern Review which has guided government policy, is involved in carbon trading via Idea Carbon, how then can the UK have an objective energy policy?

When was conflict of interest re-written so that it became mandatory that anyone on a government committee must have a financial interest in the results of their deliberations.

"Decarbonisation" is a foolish ideological policy, with no future except the imposition of even more costs on an unaware public. How laughable are the liittle chimney fans on the Crawley photograph, I expect they may power the odd light bulb, but the rest of us are paying for this madness.
Read the entire article here
Surely there must be some sane people - including politicians - in the UK who will stop this madness! If not now, then at the next general election. 

The Sergei Magnitsky case - Russia protecting criminals

The Sergei Magnitsky case is proving to be highly damaging to Vladimir Putin and the mafia kleptocracy that he has created: 

Over the course of the last two years, investigators with Hermitage Capital have compiled highly detailed reports on the alleged theft of $800 million in Russian tax money and the cover-up murders of five people, including Hermitage lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. The most recent report drills down to the detail of showing receipts for vacations that alleged gang leaders and Russian government accomplices took together in Cyprus and Dubai.
Hermitage recently released a powerful 18-minute video that is now moving minds across the world. Posted on YouTube, it’s called: “The Magnitsky Files: Organized Crime Inside the Russian Government.”
At last count, about 20 parliaments, starting with the United States Congress and the British Parliament, are drawing up legislation to ban visas and freeze assets of suspects in the Magnitsky case.
Facing this international PR disaster, what is Russia doing?
It is painting the attack on about 44 suspected Russian criminals and corrupt government officials as an attack on Russia’s 144 million people.
It has assigned a deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, to attack the U.S. Congress full time on the issue. In almost daily comments to the press, he has expressed the Russian government’s “outrage” at the “Magnitsky Act” under consideration in the U.S. Congress and has promised “a symmetrical response” if legislation is approved. Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Duma’s International Affairs Committee has told Interfax: “We will certainly react to this and the American Administration will feel the consequences.”
It sent a delegation that included Dmitry Klyuyev, alleged ring leader of the criminal gang, to a meeting two weeks ago in Monaco where legislators from 56 Western and Eurasian nations debated adopting visa bans and asset freezes on the Russian gang members and government accomplices.
It sent to the United States Senate a delegation led by a Russian senator, Vitaly Malkin. A billionaire, Malkin has been denied visas to Canada and was cited by the Canadian government in court proceedings as “a member of a group engaging in organized or transnational crime.”
Moscow apparently believes the best defense is a strong offense.
But in Europe and the United States, legislators are finding the Russian offensive, well, offensive.
At the end of the Monaco meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation, 90 percent of the 320 parliamentarians present voted to call “on national parliaments to take action to impose visa sanctions and freezes on persons responsible for the false arrest, torture denial of medical care and death of Sergei Magnitsky.”
In Washington, Russia’s Senator Malkin alleged that Magnitsky was a drunk, out of shape, who probably fatally injured himself in jail. In response, Natalia Magnitskaya, mother of the dead lawyer, wrote an open letter to Malkin: “I believe that an attempt to slander the good name of my son posthumously looks shameful and not deserving of the honorable title of people’s representative.”
On Wednesday, a U.S. Senate committee voted unanimously in favor of the ‘Magnitsky Act” – the third American congressional committee to do so in six weeks. Passage of the bill is expected in coming months.
Clearly, the Kremlin is losing big time in the international court of opinion.
Read the entire article here
Wherever you look, Vladimir Putin, Russia´s capo di tutti capi, is defending fellow crooks both in his own mafia state and abroad. He may still be able to delay justice in cases involving the likes of Magnitsky and Assad,  but he is fighting a losing game. Before long Putin will share the same fate as all other criminal dictators ...

Monday, 23 July 2012

The euro is doomed

Greece is on its way out:

Greece has fallen behind with its budget cuts and is asking lenders for more time to meet the conditions of the 130 billion euro aid package. But that would require fresh help of up to 50 billion euros, SPIEGEL has learned. Neither Berlin nor the IMF are prepared to make that money available.

Germany and other important international creditors are not prepared to extend further loans to Greece beyond what has already been agreed, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday. In addition, SPIEGEL has learned that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) too has signalled it won't take part in any additional financing for Greece.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung cited an unnamed German government source as saying it was "inconceivable that Chancellor Angela Merkel would again ask German parliament for approval for a third Greece bailout package."
Merkel has had difficulty uniting her center-right coalition behind recent bailout decisions in parliamentary votes and would be unwilling to risk a rebellion in a another rescue for Greece, the newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, German Economy Minister Philipp Rösler said on Sunday he was "more than skeptical" that Greece's reform efforts will succeed. "If Greece no longer meets its requirements there can be no further payments," he said in an interview with German public broadcaster ARD. "For me, a Greek exit has long since lost its horrors."

Spain is also teetering on the brink, and Slovenia is fast becoming a bail-out candidate ...

The euro in its present form is doomed. It will remain in the history books as an example of monumental political and economic failure. 

Chinese olympic athletes leave UK because of cold weather

Chinese olympic athletes have left London because of cold weather:

Chinese athletics gold medal hopeful Liu Xiang has abandoned London’s “cold weather” for warmer temperatures in Germany to complete his pre-Olympics training.

"Other Chinese teams have also chosen to move their base thanks to London's cold weather, so Liu Xiang is not the only one," coach Sun Haiping said.

Agence France-Presse said Liu is among the “leading contenders” to win gold in London. His main rival will be Cuban Olympic champion and world record holder Dayron Robles.

Read the entire article here

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Of mice and a man - Could Putin´s life expectancy be doubled?

Official portrait of President  Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (2050)  
(image by

Last year the Russian New Times magazine asked "What has happened with Putin's face?":
It spoke to four plastic surgeons who contended that the Russian leader had probably had cosmetic surgery. It was likely that he had undergone Botox injections in his forehead, an eye-lift on his lower lids, and an injection of firming filler into his cheek bones.
Putin's face has contorted and smoothed out so much that it's at times unrecognisable. Talking to teenagers at the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth group's summer camp this year, he was at pains to smile. All wrinkles had disappeared. 

Now that Putin has had himself confirmed as de facto lifetime dictator president, it appears that he is looking for something more lasting than a Botox treatment: 

Russian scientists will model a chemical compound to serve as a basis for medicines, slowing aging processes in human body on the Lomonosov supercomputer, CNews reports citing Dmitry Cherepanov, senior scientist in the Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry of the Russian Academy of Science (RAS).

The compound SkQ1 was synthesized in 2004 by a group of Russian scientists, headed by Valdimir Skulachev from RAS. The project includes over 40 organizations, including the Moscow State University, RAS and its institutes, as well as several foreign labs. 

Vladimir Skulachev, the head of the project, said that mice testing showed that the compound could slow down about 40 signs of aging, including eye dryness, balding, losing moustache hair, osteoporosis, hump, etc. As a result of the experiment, life expectancy of mice, living in non-sterile conditions, doubled, Mr. Skulachev said.
It is not yet clear whether the SkQ1 treatment also will be offered to Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev. 

Global warming: Psychologists busy finding ways to manipulate people

You cannot blame warmists for not trying. 
Scores of well funded psychologists in a great number of universities are now busy trying to find ways how to manipulate people in order to make them more receptive to global warming propaganda. That is the unintended gist of a New York Times Opinion Pages article, which includes this revealing finding: 

Sometimes, when forming our opinions, we grasp at whatever information presents itself, no matter how irrelevant. A new study by the psychologist Nicolas Guéguen, published in last month’s Journal of Environmental Psychology, found that participants seated in a room with a ficus tree lacking foliage were considerably more likely to say that global warming was real than were those in a room with a ficus tree that had foliage.

It is good to keep this study in mind when reading about new global warming opinion polls - done in the middle of a heatwave - like the one recently published by the University of Texas. 

Fortunately, the global warming manipulators also are faced with one big problem in the US, which they have not been able to solve: Republicans (who are not as easily manipulated as democrats). 

While concern about warming crosses party lines, the intensity is sharply different. More than half of Democrats say it will be "very serious" if no action is taken, compared with 23 percent of Republicans

It is also important to understand that climate change polls are not always done by "neutral" pollsters. This is e.g. what the University of Texas poll director had to say:

While the survey didn’t ask about the causes of climate change, Sheril Kirshenbaum, the poll director, said “there is no debate” that man-made carbon emissions are warming the planet. “We need to get beyond arguing if it’s occurring and start developing policies to adapt to extreme weather events and rising sea levels,” she said in an e-mail.