Friday, 12 October 2012

On how Al Gore became a rich man

Gore's real passion is using taxpayers' money  to enrich  himself

The myth: 
“Maybe there’s someone as knowledgeable and passionate about climate change. I just haven’t met that person,” said Orin Kramer, a leading New York hedge fund manager, friend of Gore and top Democratic campaign bundler. “His schedule is intensely busy, and my sense is he lives a life that profoundly reflects his values and passions.”

The reality:
"Just before leaving public office in 2001, Gore reported assets of less than $2 million; today, his wealth is estimated at $100 million."

"Fourteen green-tech firms in which Gore invested received or directly benefited from more than $2.5 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks, part of President Obama’s historic push to seed a U.S. renewable-energy industry with public money."
Read the entire article here

The smile of a Nobel laureate

Former maoist Barroso: "I have to say that when I wake up this morning, I not expected to be such a good day." 

A bunch of Norwegian socialists, led by former prime minister Thorbjoern Jagland, has awarded the once highly regarded Nobel Peace Prize to the EUSSR, also know as the European Union. What a joke!

The European Union has transformed most of Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace," Nobel Committee chairman Jagland said when he announced the award in Oslo

Yes, we have fortunately had no major wars in Europe after WW II, but there is not a shred of real, hard evidence for the claim - so often spread by the Brussels nomenklatura -  that this has been because of the European Union.

If the Norwegians on the Nobel Committee had been honest, they should of course have awarded the peace prize to the country that during the cold war secured peace in Europe and still is the ultimate guarantor of security in Europe (through NATO) - the US.

Besides, it is interesting to note that the Norwegians themselves have chosen to stay outside of this great EU peace project.

The prize money will probably be used to printing new business cards for thousands of Brussels bureaucrats, who now will be able to call themselves "Nobel laureates".

Germany's leading economic institutes critical of Merkel's policies

Will Merkel end up as a failure?

With only a year until the next parliamentary elections in Germany, things are looking really bad for chancellor Angela Merkel and her government. Merkel's failed euro policy and the absurd energy transition policy are seriously weakening the German economy and her chances for re-election. In order to have a chance to continue in office, Merkel must reverse both these key policies. But there are no signs that she has the courage to do that.

A report presented by Germany's leading economic institutes this week must be sober reading for the chancellor, just back from Greece

Just two days later, however, leading economic institutes in Germany have darkened the mood considerably. The institutes presented their autumn economic forecast on Thursday, and cast doubt on whether Greece would be able to remain part of the euro.
"We believe that Greece cannot be saved," said Joachim Scheide from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, one of several top economic institutes tasked by the German government with examining the state of the country's economy twice a year.
Oliver Holtemöller, of the Halle Institute for Economic Research, was also pessimistic at the Thursday press conference called to present the evaluation. He said it is unlikely that Greece will ever be able to free itself from its debt burden -- and called for a new debt haircut for the country.
Specifically, the report forecasts that German economic growth for 2012 will only end up being 0.8 percent, slightly down from recent predictions, and that growth next year will likely be weak. Instead of the 2 percent previously forecast, the report released on Thursday now estimates GDP growth of just 1 percent in Germany in 2013. That growth, such as it is, will come almost entirely from exports, which are holding up, the report says.
But that is the best-case scenario, based on the assumption that the debt crisis in the euro zone does not worsen. The report's authors, however, do not believe the worst has passed. "The current evaluation of the German economy is based on the assumption that the situation in the euro zone … will gradually stabilize and investor confidence will return. That, however, is in no way assured," the report reads. "Downside risk dominates … and the danger is great that Germany will fall into recession."

The report was also heavily critical of the European Central Bank's plan to purchase unlimited quantities of sovereign bonds from debt-ridden euro-zone member states on secondary markets. "The ECB is becoming the guardian of national budgetary policy and possibly even holds sway over the solvency of individual countries," the report reads. "In addition to the bank's independence, its credibility is also in danger."
Furthermore, the report adds, such behavior could trigger high inflation, which would seriously damage the ECB. "Should higher rates of inflation result, it will be extremely difficult to re-establish the ECB's credibility," the report says.

What is sad, is that the opposition in Germany does not offer any credible alternative - with the socialists and the greens in charge, the situation would get from bad to worse. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Gazprom's belated birth day present to Putin: A loss making pipeline

The Russian government controlled energy giant Gazprom's boss Alexei Miller on Monday - the day after Vladimir Putin turned 60 - offered a rather strange birthday present to the celebrator - an underused, loss making gas pipeline: 

The second phase of the mammoth Nord Stream pipeline went into operation Monday, increasing Gazprom's options for selling its natural gas to Europe.Unlike for the first line, no country leaders turned out for the ceremony, but President Vladimir Putin received perhaps the biggest ever tribute for his distinct role in the Gazprom-led project.
Gazprom chief Alexei Miller described the completion of the second — and as yet the final — phase as a present to Putin, who celebrated his 60th birthday Sunday.
"There is symbolism in the fact that we're bringing the capacity to its fullest during the days of Vladimir Putin's anniversary," Miller said, addressing an audience that included former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, now chairman of Nord Stream's board. "It's a gift of sorts to the author of the idea."

What Miller did not tell, is that the first pipeline has been running only on 30-40% of its maximum capacity. Adding a second pipeline will make the situation even worse:

Analysts think that Russian pipeline gas, bound to the oil price, is too expensive, that’s a problem for the consumers, and for Gazprom itself. They explain the low level loading of the first branch of Nord Stream by the unflexible pricing policy. It was 30-40% of maximum capacity within the first 11 months of operation, the press-secretary of the pipeline operator Nord Stream Company, J. Mueller confirms. It transported within the period 9 billion cubic m.

Gazprom is likely to be dissatisfied with commercial results of the first year of the pipeline's operation. The risk of idling even increases with the launch of the second branch if the supplier disagrees to offer its products by lower prices, the expert for energy of the analytical center of Deutsche Bank, J. Auer thinks. In future the USA will start liquid shale gas supplies to Europe, maybe in 2015 when the liquefying device will start operation. It will damage the competitiveness of Nord Stream.

Read the entire article here

However, what Miller told the press at the inauguration of the second Nord Stream pipeline was even more strange than the "birthday present":

Miller said that Nord Stream shareholders concluded earlier that day that it was feasible and commercially viable to add a third and a fourth line to the project. They agreed that a separate company would execute any further expansion, Nord Stream said in a statement. The shareholders will decide on their participation by the end of March, which will also be the deadline for incorporating that company.

Gazprom owns 51% of the Nord Steam shares, Germany's BASF and E.On Ruhrgas own 15.5 percent each, while Holland's Gasunie and France's GDF Suez split the rest. If the European power companies who own 49% of the shares really think that it is "feasible and commercially viable to add a third and a fourth line" (at the prices Gazprom charges), their shareholders have a real reason to worry about the professionalism of the top executives of these companies.

Another of the EU's pet climate change projects goes down the drain

image by wikipedia

For a change, there is some great news from the European Union: Another of the EU's flagship climate change/global warming projects - biodiesels - is going down the drain:

The continuity of the European biodiesel industry appears threatened as this summer's food vs. fuel debate has injected fresh life into long-pending EU proposals on how to prevent the indirect displacement of forest by crops grown for fuel ('indirect land-use change' or ILUC). Studies have shown that production of biofuels can lead to a net rise in CO2 emissions if ILUC effects are taken into account. Debate has raged in Brussels over whether and how these effects should be handled in new biofuels legislation. In October, proposals originally due in early 2010 are finally likely to see the light of day. A leaked draft suggests they are full of surprises - but one thing is evident: they spell big trouble for the European biodiesel sector.

Like almost everything else done by the EU, also the new biodiesel regulations will be complicated and require a host of bureacrats to administer them, although in this case the outcome - the end of the useless European biodiesel industry - will be a positive one:

Conventional biofuel production would be capped through a second mechanism as well: ILUC factors, or emission penalties to account for ILUC. The Commission proposes them not per feedstock, as NGOs wanted, but per crop category: 55grams of CO2-equivalent per megajoule (gCO2/MJ) for oil crops, 13gCO2/MJ for sugars and 12gCO2/MJ for cereals and other starch rich crops. These figures would be added on to the emissions balance sheet of biofuels and result in a new weighting of their climate friendliness – and thereby their usefulness to fuel suppliers who face a 6% emission reduction target under the fuel quality directive. Basically, the proposed penalties would be catastrophic for the biodiesel industry, which relies on oil-based crops. Fuel suppliers looking to meet their 6% target will not buy biodiesel when ILUC is taken into account. 
But there is one thing they agree on: the proposals as they stand spell the end of the European biodiesel industry as we know it. The lethal blow comes from the ILUC factors – they make it impossible for fuel suppliers to use conventional biodiesel and comply with the 6% target in the fuel quality directive. The European Biodiesel Board (EBB), which represents producers who make about three-quarters of all EU biofuels today, says the proposals, if implemented, would “definitively cause the death of the whole EU biodiesel industrial sector.” 

Read the entire article here

US National Academy of Sciences: Glaciers in Western Himalayas could be growing

Glaciers in Western Himalayas are stable or growing
(image by wikipedia)

The US-based National  Academy of Sciences has published a report according to which glaciers appear to be retreating in eastern and central regions of the Himalayas, while glaciers in the western Himalayas are more stable and could be growing: 

"There is evidence of glacier retreat int he eastern and central Himalayas while glaciers in the western Himalayas appear to be more stable, and may even be advancing. The HKH region is geographically vast and complex both climatologically and hydrologically, and this complexity is dynamic and possibly changing. This large spatial variability makes it very difficult to generalize
observations and findings over the entire region."

However, in another paragraph the same report states:

"Scientific evidence indicates that glaciers in the HKH region are retreating at rates
comparable to those in other parts of the world, and confirms that the rate has accelerated
in the past century."

Only one of these claims can be true. One wonders why the National Academy of Sciences decided to include the latter proposition, which is completely at odds with the main finding of the report?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The European Commission tries to re-brand its global warming propaganda

The European Union is in the middle of its worst financial crisis so far, but that does not stop the European Commission from wasting taxpayers' money, particularly when it comes to the commission's pet project, combating imaginary human caused climate change. Now, when the commission has noted that the usual scaremongering does not work, it thinks that the propaganda should be re-branded. The EU warmists are now pouring money into a campaign called "Worldulike". Have look at the webpage, and you will realize that also this project is nothing but an enormous waste of money:

An EU-wide campaign has been launched by the EC to re-brand the issue of climate change from “doom and gloom” to a more hopeful outlook.
The campaign is aimed at showing how low-carbon solutions can improve quality of life. But the EC believes that policies to cut greenhouse gases and reverse climate change will only work if members of the public share in the vision.
The campaign, titled ‘Worldulike’, is being transmitted through the commission’s website. It also has social media platforms on Twitter and Facebook in order to attract as wide an audience as possible.
Spaces have been created online to showcase positive examples of tackling climate change throughout Europe. These include schemes to use excess body heat from one building to warm another in Sweden, and allowing neighbours to use your car in the UK.
The campaign follows on from past criticisms that politicians have failed to show the public how climate policies could make their own lives better, as well as reducing planetary risk.
The EU Climate Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, said climate policies would cut local pollution, reduce dependency on fossil fuel imports and improve resource efficiency. She also claims it could also make people fitter, by encouraging walking and cycling as transport alternatives.
Read the entire article here

Monday, 8 October 2012

Putin: "I don't deny myself anything."

The Wall Street Journal reports that dictator "Vladimir Putin marked his 60th birthday by granting reporters from Russia's NTV network what was billed as an unprecedented inside look at his presidential routine".

The hour long prime-time report surprisingly included one honest sentence:

"I really do whatever I want," he said. "I don't deny myself anything."

So true, Mr. President!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Adapting to a world with people "walking around three feet tall"

The pygmies on this old photograph show  the  size  of most  people in the future,  if  one  is to believe  recent studies
Humans and other mammals as well as a lot of other living creatures are going to shrink dramatically because of human caused global warming, if we are to believe a number of recent studies.The newest shrinkers are 600 types of marine fish, which are about to dwindle up to 24% between 2000 and 2050, according to a report published in the journal Nature Climate Change. 

Warmist scaremongers of course are telling us that shrinking will cause all kind of calamities for humankind. A L.A. Times writer e.g. thinks that "Fewer, smaller fish could result in a supply crunch, leading to higher prices of seafood down the line." However, Philip Gingerich, the researcher who first looked into shrinking animals during the PETM (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum) does not see any reason to worry too much about a shrinking humanity:

"I joke about this all the time - we’re going to be walking around three feet tall if we keep going the way we’re going,” Gingerich, of the University of Michigan, said. “Maybe that’s not all bad and if that’s the worst it gets, it will be fine. You can either adapt, or you go extinct, or you can move, and there’s not a lot of place to move anymore, so I think it’s a matter of adaptation and becoming smaller.”
And in fact, a shrinking world population might not be a bad thing. Other scientists have suggested that getting a lot smaller might help with other global problems, like the fact that we're running out of food and using up too much fossil fuels to drag our obese selves around, thereby releasing too much carbon dioxide.

However, adaptation to a world with ten billion pygmy sized people will not always be that easy. What will e.g. be the future of the NBA, now relying on players as tall as 7'7" (2.31 m)? It will probably be a whole new ballgame with three feet tall players! :) 

Harvard study: " Between 2010 and 2099, climate change will cause an additional 30,000 murders, 200,000 cases of rape"

A new Harvard study "estimates the impact of climate change on the prevalence of criminal activity in the United States": 

"Between 2010 and 2099, climate change will cause an additional 30,000 murders, 200,000 cases of rape, 1.4 million aggravated assaults, 2.2 million simple assaults, 400,000 robberies, 3.2 million burglaries, 3.0 million cases of larceny, and 1.3 million cases of vehicle theft in the United States."

The study amply demonstrates what creative artists scientists can do when they base their simulations on the  IPCC, Hadley Centre and  the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research climate models:

"To assess how climate change is likely to a ffect crime rates in the United States, I combine the
regression estimates from the previous section with data on simulated U.S. weather conditions 

for the time period from 2010 to 2099. These simulations are based on the IPCC's A1B 
scenario, a \middle-of-the-road" climate change scenario that assumes eventual stabilization 
of atmospheric CO2 levels at 720 ppm (IPCC, 2000, 2007). 

I use predictions from two general circulation models: the U.K. Hadley Centre's HadCM3 climate model, and the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research's CCSM3 climate model."

Isn't it amazing what science can do nowadays! 

Matthew Ranson, the author of this groundbreaking new study, must be a serious candidate for one of the Nobel prizes next year.