Saturday, 2 March 2013

US special forces training in Finland

A Finnish machine gun crew during the Winter War in 1939-1940

This is great news from Finnish YLE:

US Army special forces in Finland for winter war games

The troops and their equipment will be heavily sequestered from the public eye during the two weeks of training exercises.
Apart from learning the ins and outs of winter warfare, the Americans are hoping for some night-time skiing, said Utti regiment commander Colonel Heikki Välivehmas.
“The timing is the best possible, because we now have a national training exercise that they can naturally join so they can experience a Finnish winter,” Välivehmas said.
The elite US Army soldiers will also provide training for their Finnish counterparts in international operations.  Välivehmas said the joint training will be beneficial for local forces.--
This year the Utti Jaeger Regiment has a contingent of 60 troops to be deployed as reinforcements in Nato’s Response Force (NRF) operations. The troops don’t know in advance what their assignment will be or where they will have to ship out.
From Utti, the US Army special forces will move on to Lapland next week. Members of the Utti infantry regiment will then test their American colleagues’ winter war skills across northern Lapland.
The number of US special forces now training in Finland is limited - only a ten-man team - but their war games together with Finnish colleagues are still most welcome,particularly when one considers Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's recent bravado about Russia's armed forces moving on "to a new level of capabilities in the next three to five years". 

Greenpeace yacht to begin polluting two week cruise of the Great Barrier Reef

Yachts like the Rainbow Warrior 3 disturb the sensitive reef ecosystem. 

"The highlight for me was getting to surf and dive in places that not a lot of people 
have actually gone to"
Dominico Zapata, Greenpeace cruise guest activist, travelling on Rainbow Warrior 3

The Australian reports that the new Greenpeace yacht Rainbow Warrior 3 is about to begin a two week cruise of the Great Barrier Reef:

The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior is about to visit Australia to highlight the threat to the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and coal exports.
The boat will remain on the Great Barrier Reef for two weeks, as part of a campaign against the expansion of the Abbot Point coal port in central Queensland.
Not a bad time to visit the possibly greatest natural wonder of the world. With loads of sunshine, warm seas, refreshing sea breezes and a warm climate all year round, tropical North Queensland weather is hard to beat.

In order not to make ordinary visitors, not able to afford the comfort of a small cruise ship, too jealous, the people at Greenpeace have chosen to call the cruise a campaign "to highlight the threat to the Great Barrier from climate change and coal exports". 

Scientists have for years now been worried about the great number of tourist boats disturbing the  sensitive reef ecosystem:

The millions of visitors that the Great Barrier Reef draws every year are also an unintentional contributor to the general decline of the reef. Not only leisure vessels heading out for tours to the reef but also reef-based activities such as reef-walking, using submersibles and even the runoff from various sunscreens are all thought to be contributing negative factors that – when combined with the sheer volume of tourists who frequent the reef – are much more impactful than they may seem. This is also not taking into account intentionally or neglectfully destructive practices such as littering and various other forms of man-made pollution.

The Greenpeace greenies obviously could not care less. These people think that their idiotic fight against imaginary human caused global warming gives them the right to pollute this and  other unique habitats.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Should we be worried about global cooling?

Global warming has stopped. But should we again start worrying about global cooling? Ken Gregory, director of Canada's Friends of Science thinks we should:

“The current solar activity is similar to that at the start of the Little Ice Age of sustained low solar activity and frigid global temperatures,” says Gregory. “It is the changing solar magnetic flux that affects climate, not the total solar energy which is virtually constant.”

“Canada and the US mid-west are the bread basket of the world,” says Len Maier, president of Friends of Science and a farmer himself. “Billions of dollars are being spent on climate change in the belief that the world will be warming. Our data shows a cooling trend for the past ten years. The cooling has begun due to solar cycles and galactic influences.”
The temperature index from the UK Met Office shows there has been no global warming for 15 years. From 2002 to December 2012, the best fit linear temperature trend has declined by 0.1 °C when climate models predicted a temperature rise of 0.2 °C.
Historically, the consequences of global cooling include extreme weather cycles, floods, freezing temperatures – and worst of all – crop failures.
“A one or two degree drop in temperature would significantly reduce agricultural crop yields in Canada,” says Len Maier. “We believe that current government ‘climate change’ policies to subsidize biofuel production are disastrous. These divert crops from food production to making fuel for vehicles. Food prices are up, due to a reduction in food stocks and changes in food security policies.” continues Maier. --

Maier points out: “We have spent a trillion dollars on climate change policies, diverted acres of food crops to biofuels, and made futile attempts to reduce CO2 emissions, while we stand on the brink of catastrophic cooling as the sun enters an extreme minimum of activity. Our position is that the sun is the main driver of climate change. Not CO2. These wasteful carbon reduction policies must be abandoned and food security dealt with instead.”

Read the entire article here

Former Russian banker Andrei Borodin on Vladimir Putin

Former Russian banker Andrei Borodin has been granted political asylum in Britain. Borodin told the Daily Telegraph that he was targeted by a politically motivated prosecution by Dmitry Medvedev, the former president who now is prime minister.

I do not know the circumstances in this case, but I know that what Borodin told the Telegraph about dictator Putin most certainly is true:

 “Nothing important in Russia can be done without the knowledge of the number one in the country. Mr Putin built a system of autocracy, corruption and unprofessionalism in Russia and now he is a hostage to this system. And what happened to me is the result of the functioning of this system, whose father is Putin.”

Professor Frank Furedi: history "has suffered most from the impact of the anti-intellectual ethos of contemporary pedagogy"

King George V and Queen Mary at the Imperial Durbar in New Delhi in 1911.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it".
George Santayana

University of Kent sociology professor Frank Furedi joins the UK debate on how history should be taught: 

Unfortunately, the current debate surrounding the new history curriculum is not so much about its intellectual content as how it should be taught. So when Richard Evans, the Regius professor of history at Cambridge, denounced the curriculum because it allegedly sought to restore the ‘rote learning of the patriotic stocking-fillers so beloved of traditionalists’, his main target was a pedagogic approach which he caricatured as traditionalist. His ire towards a pedagogy that assumes children should possess a sense of chronology and periodisation, and ought to be familiar with basic historical facts, is widely shared by the educational establishment.

Of all the subjects taught in the school curriculum, history is the one that has suffered most from the impact of the anti-intellectual ethos of contemporary pedagogy. In line with the vulgar tendency to promote key skills and downgrade the intellectual content of the subject, history today is taught as a series of discrete and unconnected episodes that are used as resources for developing children’s critical learning skills. The presentation of this modularised and fragmented past is justified on the grounds that facts, such as dates and names, are relatively unimportant. Instead, chronology and knowledge of the past are far less significant than the skills required to use them. According to this simplistic paradigm, skills trump knowledge.
 - -
Whatever the weaknesses of Gove’s proposed curriculum, at the very least it assumes that students studying history need to have a knowledge of the past. That represents great progress over the current academic-lite history curriculum.
Advocates of skills-dominated education regard the understanding of the past as having little relevance today. What they focus on instead is a complex, ever-changing and technologically sophisticated world. From this perspective, real history has no intrinsic virtue other than as a vehicle to teach ‘key skills’.
It is important to recall that there has been a long legacy of denouncing ‘traditional’ history on the basis that it is not relevant. Sneering remarks about ‘rote learning’, about the irrelevant lives of ancient monarchs, communicate the idea that history is an outdated relic of the nineteenth-century educational establishment.
But why should the subject of history be seen as a hangover from a nineteenth-century curriculum? Why should a study of people’s historical legacy be represented as irrelevant? Of course, from an instrumental perspective, the study of this subject is entirely unnatural and unrelated to the experience of children. How can the study of sixteenth-century English history be of relevance to twenty-first-century children confronted with the challenges of a hi-tech, globalised world? Yet, properly understood, history is probably the subject that contributes most to the broadening out of the imagination. One of its purposes is to help children transcend their own immediate experience and gain an understanding of how a community has evolved and developed an understanding of itself. It is ironic that policymakers, who are obsessed with training children to adapt to change, actively devalue the academic study of change.

Read the entire article here

(bolded text by NNoN)

How right Furedi is. This is of course not a problem that affects teaching only in the UK. Unfortunately the views of the leftist "progressive" education establishment are still dominant  in most other western nations, too. 

Earth Hour 2013: The bright lights of Berlin's (future) airport

They have not yet found the light switch at Berlin's new airport.

Remember the time when advanced technology was the pride of Germany? 

Well, nothing lasts forever:

At the problem-plagued construction site that will eventually become the Berlin International Airport, the terminal lights burn around the clock. And the reason is not to prevent workers there from succumbing to the winter blues. Rather, technical difficulties at the ultra-modern airport -- which will ultimately cost close to €4.3 billion -- mean that the lights can't be switched off.
"It has to do with the fact that we haven't progressed far enough with our lighting system that we can control it," Horst Amann, airport technical director, said on Wednesday during a rare public appearance.

That isn't the only technical hang-up at the airport, of course. Originally scheduled to begin operations in October 2011, its opening was unexpectedly delayed due to concerns about safety equipment -- before being delayed again last May. Since then, however, myriad problems, construction shortcomings, design errors and technical glitches have been found. Not to mention concerns that the building might be too small.


Nothing so bad, as not to be good for somethingAt least the missing light switch will make it somewhat more difficult for the future airport to participate in the upcoming annual stupidity called The Earth Hour, on March 23 (unless they decide to follow the example set by Mauritius last year).  

(image by wikipedia)

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Germany: Five winters in a row colder than average

The warmists' predictions about snowless winters in Europe have been proven wrong.

Dominik Jung, one of Germany's leading meteorologists brings us the following interesting information:

This is the fifth winter in a row in Germany which is colder than average

"Only a few years ago climatologists predicted that there would be no more winters in Germany with ice and snow. These days you only need to look out the window in order to know better". 

"Some clever climatologists first tried to explain this by saying that global warming was taking a breather. However, this breathing pause has now lasted for five consecutive winters. Accordingly, the debate about global warming has gone rather quiet lately. Whatever the reason may be."

"The earlier predictions and projections have been proven wrong, at least with regard to Germany and Europe and, taking into consideration the facts we have now, should be revised. Otherwise we will have a credibility problem. People are not stupid. They will understand what this is all about. So, let's see how long the 'global warming breathing pause' will last."  

How refreshing it is to hear a voice of sanity from Germany, the home of far too many envirofundamentalist greenies!

Vladimir Putin orders urgent improvements to Russia's armed forces - but does not mention the latest real threat

The dictator of Russia, former KGB spy Vladimir Putin has ordered military leaders to make urgent improvements to the armed forces:

Putin's remarks, to rows of uniformed officers and defense officials, reflected increasing hawkishness since he returned to the Kremlin for a six-year term last May, and a growing readiness to cite foreign threats and use anti-Western rhetoric to rally support.

"Attempts are being made to tip the strategic balance," said Putin, who as president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, told his audience at the General Staff academy on Moscow's outskirts. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, sat in the front row.

"Geopolitical dynamics call for a quick and considered response ... Russia's armed forces must move on to a new level of capabilities in the next three to five years," said Putin, who has not ruled out seeking another term in 2018.

The former KGB spy said moves that threatened Russia's geopolitical position included the eastward expansion of Russia's former Cold War foe NATO and U.S. deployment of an anti-missile shield in Europe.

He said drills must be sharpened up and held with less advance warning, to keep soldiers on their toes.
Putin did not mention the latest threat - the recent attack by forces, led by the famous (NATO?) General Winter - which shows that there is indeed an urgent need for new equipment and "sharpened drills" in the Russian army:

Price shock: Cost of Germany's "green" energy transition - $1310 billion!

Solar panel subsidies alone will cost German taxpayers at least 108 billion euro.    

$1310,000,000,000  1000 billion)

For an ordinary person that astronomical amount of money is almost impossible to fathom. But there it is: That is how much Angela Merkel's "green" energy transition policy - getting rid of nuclear power and installing subsidized wind and solar power - will cost the German taxpayers. 

And note that cost estimate is not coming from some shady "dirty energy" lobby organization - it is Angela Merkel's own environment minister Peter Altmeier, who disclosed the sum in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

Several German research institutes have arrived at costs close the one Altmaier mentioned.
The Rheinisch-Westfälische Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) estimates that alone the subsidies for the solar panels installed before the end of 2012 will cost the taxpayers 108 billion euro ($142 billion). 

And as Georg Erdmann, the director of the energy systems department at the Berlin Technical University reminds us, "the energy transition policy was agreed on the assumption that it will not cost anything". 

All this in the name of fighting nonexistent human caused global warming.

So far the results have been rather modest, to say the least: Last year German CO2 emissions rose by 2% as a result of more coal burning and gas use, according to Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA). 


This is what German taxpayers get for the huge solar power subsidies:

As is so often the case in winter, all solar panels more or less stopped generating electricity at the same time. To avert power shortages, Germany currently has to import large amounts of electricity generated at nuclear power plants in France and the Czech Republic.
To offset the temporary loss of solar power, grid operator Tennet resorted to an emergency backup plan, powering up an old oil-fired plant in the Austrian city of Graz.

(iimage by Wikipedia)

Greenpeace's latest scare campaign: "Untold human suffering" and "deaths of tens of millions" in 2030 because of global warming

Greenpeace boss Kumi Naidoo introduces the organization's latest global warming scare campaign:

"It is estimated that there were 5 million deaths from climate-related impacts in 2013 (yes it says 2013!) – in 2050 it is estimated that there will be 100 million, if we don’t act now." 

The people at the Greenpeace website apparently think that their boss is too modest:

The world is quickly reaching a point of no return for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. Continuing on the current course will make it difficult, if not impossible, to prevent the widespread and catastrophic impacts of climate change. The costs will be substantial: billions spent to deal with the destruction of extreme weather events, untold human suffering and the deaths of tens of millions from the impacts by as soon as 2030.-

Climate change is already supercharging our weather. People are suffering and dying now from climate change. The destruction is enormous.

As proof for the coming "untold human suffering" due to global warming Greenpeace offers e.g. this:

"Parts of Russia are super cold."

"Jerusalem was blanketed with snow in January 2013."

Global cooling is apparently now an integral part of global warming for Naidoo and his fellow greenies. Maybe that's what they have to say, because there has not been any warming for the last 16 or so years. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Germany's Institute of Automotive engineering: EU emission goals will add up to 4700$ to the cost of a car

The insane EU global warming policy will make these cars much more expensive.

The costs of the insane EU climate change policy are slowly beginning to dawn on consumers. Germany's renowned Institute of Automotive Engineering IKA says that the EU policy to enforce a 95 grams of CO2 per km (g/km) emission ceiling on cars by 2020 will add 3700 - 4700 $ to the price of every new car. 

EU uberwarmist, climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard maintains that the consumers will be fully compensated by lower fuel costs for the new engines. But that is not true according to the IKA. Even if you take the better fuel efficiency into account, the cost for the consumer (or the car manufacturer) will rise with at least 2200 $ per car. Besides, the reasoning applied by Hedegaard is misleading - the more fuel efficient engines would be there irrespective of the EU emission ceiling. 

Read the entire Die Welt article (in German) here

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The encouraging result of the Italian election: The failed euro project is one step closer to its final demise

Here is a brief summary of the Italian election:

Italy faced political deadlock on Tuesday after a stunning election that saw the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of comic Beppe Grillo become the strongest party in the country and left no political group with a clear majority in parliament. The protest vote is also a clear signal of the failure of the EU-German sponsored austerity measures which were implemented by the government of the non-elected technocrat government of Mario Monti.

Most commentators concentrate on the "ungovernability" created by the election result, but the real story is the massive anti-EU vote, showing that Italians are tired of Brussels dictates. The eurozone - and the entire European Union - is burning, but the Brussels bureaucrats continue like nothing would have happened:

"It is up to leading politicians to negotiate to form a government with a stable situation so that reforms and consolidation of the budget can continue. There is no way back, there is no alternative," Mr. Van Rompuy told reporters during a visit to Estonia, saying that holding elections in the midst of a transition was always "a risk."
The European Commission said Mr. Monti's reform and fiscal-consolidation agenda would "underpin everybody's confidence" in the Italian economy, whose growth prospects are at best tepid. The EU's economics affairs chief, Olli Rehn, said Italy should "continue to address the challenges it faces" despite the "complex" outcome.
These people do not understand - or do not want to admit - that all this would not have happened without the failed common currency. The end of the euro is now one step closer. That is the most encouraging result of the Italian election. 

People such as Van Rompuy and Rehn are the real clowns - not Beppe Grillo and his likes - in this sad (and tragic) European circus. 

French President will disappoint democracy and human rights activists in Moscow

French President Francois Hollande will on Thursday arrive in Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin. Activists today called on Hollande to seriously address human rights and democracy issues:

Rights activists called upon Hollande on Tuesday to address human rights and democracy during his talks with Putin.
“The last year has been the worst for human rights in Russia in recent memory, and Hollande should not miss this chance to persuade Putin to turn things around,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
The organization also said the French president should press Moscow to address the huge toll of the Syrian crisis on civilians, including by supporting a United Nations Security Council arms embargo.
In a letter published by La Liberation, four prominent French rights activists warned that Hollande should not forget his 2011 call when he urged Moscow to uphold the Russian public’s “desire for democracy.”

Unfortunately the human rights and democracy activists are in for a disappointment. Like all other western leaders who have visited Moscow during the last few years, Hollande will not confront the dictator of the mafia state in any serious way. Of course there will be a brief meeting with "civil society and opposition representatives" to allow the former socialist apparatchik a chance to tell the press that he indeed dealt with issues related to human rights and democracy. But that will be all. The meeting with Putin will be about French business opportunities ...

Read the entire article here

Monday, 25 February 2013

German high priests of global warming are celebrating at their holy temple in Hamburg

The red carpet is again today awaiting high priests of global warming at the German Climate Computing Centre in Hamburg. 

The German high priests of the global warming religion are today celebrating the 25th anniversary of their holiest temple, DKRZ, the German Climate Computing Centre in Hamburg

The director of the visualization and public relations department, Dr.
 Michael Böttinger, proudly describes the work done in this huge center:

"And many times the climatologists are doing this: 'We provoke the Earth virtually.' Then we add data which during the next decades will make the globe up to six degrees hotter. And many times even more."

That's how "world class" climate science works in Germany - and elsewhere. You always get what you want, depending on the input. And the current bunch of "leading climatologists" are programmed to want global warming. 

And when it comes to resources - staff, equipment and financing - the DKRZ high priests always get what they want. Their latest toy, the supercomputer "Blizzard", acquired a couple of years ago at the cost of 35 million euro, is already said to be outdated. Consequently Germany's politically correct politicians have not hesitated again to give them a helping hand - a brand new Supercomputer will ready to go latest by 2014. The bill, most likely close to 50 million euro, will of course be footed by the happy German taxpayers. 

The "Blizzard" 

The "Blizzard" annually uses as much energy as 4000 German households, but that does not bother the warmists in Hamburg the least. And of course the DKRZ uses only - heavily taxpayer subsidized - "renewable energy" to keep the "Blizzard" and its staff going. 

While the people at the DKRZ are waiting for their latest computer toy, Germans are beginning to feel the impact of their efforts in their daily life: There are now at least 600 000 German households without electricity, because they are not anymore able to pay the steeply rising electricity bills. 15% of all Germans are now threatened by energy poverty. 

(images by DKRZ)

NOAA climatologists: Humans have already lost 10% of their labor capacity because of global warming

What a wonderful science climatology is! Climate scientists a the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have now discovered the real reason for the current global economic and financial crisis.   

An oceanographer by the name of John Dunne and two of his warmist colleagues at the NOAA have published a study, which shows that we humans have lost 10% of our labor capacity "in peak months over the past few decades" because of global warming! 

And this is only the beginning. It is going to be much worse!

They report in Nature Climate Change that they estimate that environmental heat stress has reduced labour capacity to 90% in the peak months in the last few decades. By 2050, they estimate, this capacity could be reduced to 80% as workers gasp and perspire in the heat.
If carbon dioxide emissions continue at the highest projection, then by 2200 in the hottest months, future humans will struggle to deliver even 40% of their present productivity. For those people who tend to swelter in high summer right now, it will eventually be just far too hot to trot.
“Under the highest scenario considered, by 2100 much of the tropics and mid-latitudes experience months of extreme heat stress, such that heat stress in Washington DC becomes higher than present-day New Orleans,” they report.
New Orleans, in such conditions, would be hotter than present-day Bahrain. By 2200, Washington and New York would be hotter and more uncomfortable than present-day Bahrain. Average summer temperatures in the Gulf island now routinely reach 38°C, and often soar as high as 50°C.-
The old, the ill, the very young and the inexperienced, of course, are the most likely to sicken and die in conditions of extreme heat.
The scientists conclude that their projections to 2200, under the highest carbon dioxide emission scenario, would expose “most of the present population distribution to extreme stress heat in peak months, prohibit any safe labour in large areas, and expose mid-latitude regions such as the US east of the Rockies to environmental heat stress experienced only by the most extremely hot regions of the present day.”
Welcome to the wonderful world of climate modeling!
Here is a link to the study


Could it be that climatologists are particularly affected by the loss of labor capacity?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Wind energy in Scotland:"The biggest transfer of money from the poor to the rich that we've ever seen in history"

The skyline of Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, Scotland, is dominated by an enormous wind farm.
(image by wikipedia)

"We're seeing in Scotland the biggest transfer of money from the poor to the rich that we've ever seen in history"

"In parts of the Highlands now tourism is being effectively destroyed and people are leaving the Highlands because tourists no longer want to go there with the landscape bristling with wind factories and industrial wind turbines"

Struan Stevenson
MEP, Scottish Conservatives

Finally somebody is telling the truth about the Scottish government's absurd wind energy policy, which is destroying Highlands tourism, enriching a handful of wealthy landowners and leading to skyrocketing consumer prices,without bringing any significant CO2 reductions. Over the next eight years Scotland's wealthiest private landowners are on course to earn £ 1 billion in rental fees from wind farm companies, according to the book The Myth of Green Energy, written by Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson:
  • Duke of Roxburghe, could earn £1.5 million a year from turbines erected in the Lammermuir Hills.
  • Sir Alastair Gordon-Cumming, a seventh baronet, could earn £435,000 a year for allowing 29 turbines on his Altyre Estate near Forres in Moray.
  • The Earl of Seafield could get £120,000 a year from eight turbines on his estate near Banff.
  • The Earl of Moray could receive around £2 million annually in rent for 49 turbines at Braes O’Doune
  • The Earl of Glasgow, a Liberal Democrat peer, has 14 turbines on his Kelburn estate in Ayrshire that could generate £300,000 of income per year.
  • The Crown Estate, which controls large tracts of land and the seabed around Scotland, is on course to net billions of pounds from offshore wind farms. The revenue will be split between the Treasury and the Queen.
Read the entire article here

And this huge transfer of money will happen without achieving any meaningful economic or environmental benefits: 

 “In every country where wind turbines have been installed they have failed to demonstrate economic feasibility; they have failed to demonstrate viability as a solution to global warming; they have failed to achieve significant CO2 reductions and have failed to provide efficient electricity production or protection of the environment.

“Indeed in countries where industrial wind power has been added to the grid in any volume, consumer costs have rocketed. The two countries with the highest numbers of installed commercial wind turbines, Germany and Denmark, now have the highest electricity bills in Europe.
“And yet in Germany, Der Spiegel reported in a recent article that despite 20,000 installed turbines, CO2 emissions have not been reduced by even a single gram, because additional coal-burning plants have had to be built to support wind power.”
Read the entire article here