Saturday, 9 March 2013

British Antarctic Survey: There is much more ice in Antarctica than previously thought

(image by wikipedia)

Great news from the British Antarctic Survey: There is much more ice in Antarctica than previously thought!
These are the main findings included in Bedmap2, "the most detailed map yet of Antarctica's landmass":

  • The volume of ice in Antarctica is 4.6% greater than previously thought
  • The mean bed depth of Antarctica, at 95 metres, is 60 m lower than estimated
  • The volume of ice that is grounded with a bed below sea level is 23% greater than originally thought 
The new findings are of course a severe disappointment for all global warming doomsday prophets. In order to console the disappointed warmists, the people at the British Antarctic Survey have added this, basically meaningless piece of information:

(Because there is much more ice than expected), "there is a larger volume of ice that is susceptible to rapid melting."

Friday, 8 March 2013

German Finance Minister Schäuble is worried

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is worried about the possibility that the UK will leave the European Union:
A British exit from the European Union would be disastrous for Europe's image in the world, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview published Friday by Austrian newspaper Der Standard.

"Try to explain to an Indonesian: Europe is an incredibly strong, dynamic entity, but sadly not in a position to keep a globally focused member such as the U.K.," Mr. Schaeuble is quoted as saying. "The image damage alone would be a catastrophe."

One wonders what Schäuble has been doing during the last five or six years. He must be just about the only European who is describing the crisis ridden European Union to Indonesians (and presumably to other non-Europeans) as "an incredibly strong, dynamic entity". 

Both Indonesians and other foreigners are of course very familiar with EU's real image - a slow motion Titanic, drifting aimlessly in a sea of perpetual recession and financial crisis. Whether the UK is in or out, cannot change that image very much. 

Craig Scott Rosebraugh - the man behind the alarmist "Greedy Lying Bastard" "documentary"

Craig S. Rosebraugh (image wikipedia)
"It is safe to proclaim there is a legitimacy to political violence"
Craig Scott Rosebraughspokesman for the Earth Liberation Front 1997- 2001

"one of the most horrific terrorist organizations in planetary history."

Craig Scott Rosebraugh  (on the U.S. Government in a congressional testimony) 

All over he world, people have lost interest in the global warming hoax. No wonder the alarmists are getting desperate. The latest alarmist "documentary", with actress and "environmental activist" Daryl Hannah as executive producer, is called "Greedy Lying Bastards", and pretends to be "an exposé of climate-change deniers and their oil-industry backers".  

Not surprisingly, most reviewers in the politically correct alarmist main stream media have welcomed this "documentary".  However, what they all "forget", is to tell their readers what kind of a person the director of the film, Craig Scott Rosebraugh, is.

A few years ago Rosebraugh wrote a book, "Burning Rage of a Dying Planet
Speaking for The Earth Liberation Front". This is how the publisher, Lantern Books, specializing in "general, non-fiction trade books on vegetarianism, animal advocacy, environmentalism, religion, and social justice", introduces the author:

Craig Rosebraugh was a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front from its inception in 1997 to September 2001. In February 2002, he was called to testify before Congress, where he invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 50 times. Rosebaugh has appeared in numerous publications, such as the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, National Geographic, and others, and has written for Earth First!, No Compromise, and other radical journals. He lives in Tempe, Arizona.

Rosebraugh's publisher also offers this information about the organization for which he was a spokesperson:

The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) has been active in the United States officially since 1997, causing more than $45 million in damages to various entities. As the organization continues to grow and expand its range of targets, ELF has taken an extreme position against individuals, corporations, and governments that, in the organization's view, places monetary gain ahead of the natural environment. Rejecting state sanctioned means of legal protest, ELF uses economic sabotage to inflict financial suffering on those deemed objectionable.

In February 2002, the FBI listed the ELF as the largest and most active US-based terrorist group. Although no one has died in any of these operations, ELF's campaign against loggers, SUV dealerships, and others it considers threats to the planet have galvanized and polarized the environmental movement.

Before you plan to watch Rosebraugh's "documentary", it might also be useful to read what he thinks about the use of violence:

In reference of the legitimacy of political violence, often times, in the minds of those arguing for and/or committing the acts themselves, there is a belief that the decision to resort to violence comes from sound reasoning. Additionally, political violence has a long documented history globally, as a practice which has and continues to play a role in political activity. For these reasons alone, it is safe to proclaim there is a legitimacy to political violence. This is not an effort to condone or condemn it at this point, rather to create a realistic analysis of the controversial subject. 
No one in their right mind wants to use or resort to violence at any time during their lives. Instead, it is honestly more desirable to petition for peace, and have the luxury and privilege to engage in the respectable means verses ends debate. That said, it is also a matter of realism to state that it is impossible to have peace without justice. In pursuing justice, when nonviolent means of social and political change have been exhausted, one is left with the choice to advance tactics to a level of political violence or to do nothing
The question, how long is one supposed to wait to see if a particular tactic is going to be effective, is an important one but is also relative to each situation. For example, middle class citizens of the United States, of the leftist or liberal persuasion, arguably have far more time to debate tactics and experiment with strategies on general progressive “issues” than say a member of the PLO, who rightfully believes that Palestinians are in an immediate and desperate struggle for their lives and sovereignty against Israel. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

For once Greenpeace is fighting for a good cause

It does not happen often that I find myself agreeing with something Greenpeace is doing. But in this case, I think they should be supported: 

Greenpeace has launched a new crowd-funded campaign to protest the federal court’s decision to support Coca-Cola in its fight against a Northern Territory recycling plant.
Three days ago the Australian federal court sanctioned the dismantling of a Northern Territory 10c deposit recycling scheme after Coke argued the initiative, introduced in January last year, was costly and ineffective.
The scheme was similar to one which has been running in South Australia since 1977.
The soft drink company argued the extra 10 cents added to its products was unfair to consumers, despite the fee being refundable. --
Greenpeace said that in two weeks over 50,000 people had already signed up to the campaign calling on politicians to implement a national ‘Cash for containers’ scheme.
Depicted in the ad is a flesh-footed shearwater from Lord Howe Island, which starved on a full stomach - full of plastic waste it had mistaken for food.
According to Greenpeace, two-thirds of seabirds are affected by plastic trash which pollutes our waterways, rivers and end up in the ocean.
Other species known to be impacted by plastic pollution in our oceans include turtles, whales, seals and fish and Greenpeace asserts that one of the biggest culprits is creating this plastic pollution is the beverage industry.
However, I cannot understand, why there is a need to launch a campaign in order to stop Coca-Cola from opposing the recycling plant. 
Only a few weeks ago Greenpeace International boss Kumi Naidoo boasted about his close relationship with Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent:
"A few weeks ago, the McDonald's chief executive pulled out of the Natural Refrigerants Alliance. So to get them back in, I had two options: start another campaign against McDonald's – which eats up resource time – or use another route. So I had 15 minutes with Muhtar Kent, chief executive, Coca Cola, and I said he needed to pick up the phone and call the chief executive of McDonald's, who he is friends with, and he agreed to it. Also, I am able to call Kent and say "Listen, I understand that you are a part of this association at the state level that has been lobbying against climate, and you guys have to make up your mind which side of the fence are you on because it is inconsistent. You are doing some really positive things on climate action in your practice, but actually you're part of a business coalition that is pushing in the other direction."
Why doesn't Kumi just pick up the phone, and tell Kent to stop Coca-Cola's fight against the recycling plant? Or is their relationship restricted only to the AGW hoax?

Gorbachev on Putin's inner circle: "there are so many thieves and corrupt officials there"

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev says that he is "astonished" by the number of controversial laws passed in Russia since Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin. Gorbachev describes the laws, which include fines for organizing unsanctioned protests, stiffer libel penalties, a wider definition of treason ans restrictions on websites, as an "attack on citizens' rights". 

"The common thread running through all of them is an attack on the rights of citizens," he told the BBC. "For goodness sake, you shouldn't be afraid of your own people."

"What people want and expect their president to do is to restore an open, direct dialogue with them. He shouldn't take offence at this."
"He should concentrate on trying to drag Russia out of the difficult situation that she is in," Mr Gorbachev added. --
In the BBC interview, Mr Gorbachev claimed that Mr Putin "sometimes loses his temper".
"Once he said that 'Gorbachev's tongue should be cut short'."
"I get the feeling that he is very tense and bored. Not everything is going well. I think he should change his style and make readjustments to the regime," he added.
Mr Gorbachev also expressed concern about the president's entourage.
"Even the inner circle, those by his side, there are so many thieves and corrupt officials there," he said. "If things don't change, Russia will continue to drift like a piece of ice in the Arctic Ocean."
Read the entire article here
The former Soviet leader's criticism of the recent attacks on citizens' rights is most welcome. And Gorbachev is right about Putin's inner circle being full of "thieves and corrupt officials". 
The BBC says that Gorbachev's recent criticism has "not gone down well in the corridors of power" in Russia. That is of course true. Had the former Soviet leader been an ordinary opposition figure, he would already have ended up in prison or some other unpleasant location. 
Gorbachev knows that his international status protects him, but only to a certain degree. That is why he restricts himself to calling people in Putin's inner circle "thieves and corrupt officials", although he most certainly knows that the biggest thief and most corrupt official is dictator Vladimir Putin himself. 
And Gorbachev also must know that only Putin's removal from power will prevent Russia from continuing to "drift like a piece of ice in the Arctic Ocean".

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Paul Krugman on the "cockroaches" in charge of the failed euro

Commissioner Olli Rehn - one of the minor European "cockroaches"

I do not often find myself agreeing with Paul Krugman, but what he has to say about European "cockroaches", like EU commissioner for Monetary and Financial Affairs and the Euro, Olli Rehn, is spot on.

I’ve written several times about cockroach ideas in economics — ideas that you try to flush away, but keep coming back. (Are cockroach ideas the same as zombie ideas? Not quite, I would say; I think of cockroach ideas as misconceptions held because the people holding them are just unaware of basic facts, while zombie ideas are held by people who refuse to acknowledge contrary evidence).
The amazing thing is the way men who know neither theory nor the history of previous crises are utterly convinced that they know what to do in our current crisis; and how their confidence in their prescriptions has been unaffected by the fact that they have been wrong about everything so far. Of course, what’s even more amazing is the fact that these men are actually running things.

Rehn is unfortunately only a minor representative of the breed. The main "cockroaches" are the current political leaders of the European Union and their predecessors, who are responsible for introducing and upholding a failed currency union. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Grillo's success a blessing in diguise: "Europe's Lost Generation Finds Its Voice"

As I tried to explain in an earlier post, the result of Italy's recent parliamentary election could actually be a blessing in disquise. Now German Der Spiegel seems to have come to a similar conclusion:

For years, Europe's young have grown increasingly furious as the euro crisis has robbed them of a future. The emergence of Beppe Grillo's party in Italy is one of the results -- and is just the latest indication that disgust towards European politics is widespread
Grillo is an Italian phenomenon, but his party's election results are an expression of the mounting rage and anxiety that is spreading throughout crisis-stricken Southern Europe. A new citizens' movement is taking shape, one that shares a mistrust of the established political system and a desire for more grassroots democracy. Only in Italy has it been democratically legitimized thus far.
These irate citizens are also united in anger against their own elite: politicians who have been tainted by party scandals and corruption, yet still remain in power or leaders who are seen as being the mere lackeys of Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Despite its name, Movimento 5 Stelle has long since ceased to be a movement. It has become a political party that is expected to take responsibility and make proposals for the formation of a government. During the campaign, it relied on a thin, 15-page platform.
The Grillini now have to prove that their country is not merely corrupt, indifferent and infiltrated by the Mafia. Ultimately, they could save Italy's image around the globe. They are the latest example of an uprising of the lost generation, that mass of people on Europe's periphery who are under the age of 40, desperate, unemployed and who have very little left to lose. The public outrage in Europe came to a boil in tent camps in Madrid's Puerta del Sol. It inspired the Occupy Wall Street activists. And it continued in Greece, where youth unemployment has reached 59.4 percent, and where there are no jobs and no economic recovery. =

Yet whereas the Greeks have not yet stirred up the old political system, the Grillini have found unexpected success. They were long underestimated in Italy, yet they long ago started having an effect. They have, for example, fundamentally shaken up the old party system, with its irreconcilable right-wing and left-wing factions. A new political class has emerged with them. Since the advent of the Grillini, Italians are debating Europe more than ever before, including their country's possible exit from the euro zone.

It must be terrifying for current bunch of European political leaders and Brussels eurocrats to watch the mounting anger, not only in southern Europe, but in other regions as well. In their hearts they must know that they have utterly failed, and that the day of reckoning cannot be far. 

Monday, 4 March 2013

To the attention of the soon to be elected new Pope

A global warming message by Greenpeace, WWF, Friends of the Earth or perhaps even UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon?:

Industrialised countries are responsible for 70% of carbon dioxide emitted since the start of the industrial era. Developing countries have the least capacity to cope and are most vulnerable to changes in weather patterns, catastrophic storms and other effects of climate change.

Our message is to achieve effective climate justice the polluter must pay. 

Climate change threatens the sustainable use of the land, the water resources of our planet, and the very existence of some countries. It will have adverse effects on food security, both agriculture and fishing, already a major issue in parts of the world. New patterns of natural disasters will impact adversely on the battle against poverty and the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals. 
Inevitably the bad effects of climate change will be felt most by those who are already poor. As women are the great majority among the poor, the effects of climate change will further increase their vulnerability. Decreased agricultural productivity, increases in waterborne diseases, and accelerating desertification are all impacts of climate change which will impact in a greater degree on women because of the type of work they do in developing countries.
No, it is the Catholic Church voicing its opinion through Caritas, the confederation of 164 Roman Catholic reliefdevelopment and social service organisations operating in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Caritas has - and probably still is - been doing a lot of excellent relief and social work in different parts of the world. How sad then that this once so respected organization has allowed itself to be hijacked by the global warming alarmists. 

The process of picking a successor to Pope Benedict XVI has officially gone underway today in Rome. One can only hope and pray that the papal conclave will end up electing someone, who is prepared to put an end to this kind of global warming madness within the Roman Catholic Church. 

Gazprom is fast running out of steam

Time is running out for Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is seriously underperforming. American shale gas and coal have completely have completely transformed the world energy markets. "Putinprom" remains stuck in its massive and costly pipeline network. 

Andrew McKillop's analysis is worth reading:

Russia's problem, since at latest 2010 is that the gas world has been transformed far beyond anything that Russia, and other gas exporters could have imagined. The South Stream pipeline is as noted above, very likely to be underutilized and under worst case scenarios might have to be abandoned. The second Nord Stream line, completed with pomp and fanfare in late June and commissioned in October 2012, to supply Germany and western EU27 countries, was almost certainly not needed given forward trends for gas demand in Europe. Gazprom's very high cost "Eastern strategy', featuring the Shtokman and Sakhalin gas-and-oil development projects has been cut back to near zero since 2011, but spending so far has left a $100 billion gap between the Gazprom market price and its underlying asset valuation based on its "performing assets", mainly west Siberian gas fields.

For the moment, with apparently surprising but real "objective allies" such as major European oil, gas, energy and power producers, and national governments Gazprom is forced to argue for a "slow and ordered" abandonment of  longterm oil indexed gas supply contracts, that is linking or indexing gas rent to oil rent. The base of this was simple: For as long as oil prices remained high, so would gas prices. Since midyear 2012, Gazprom has increasingly "conceded" that oil-indexed pricing will have no role and place in global gas pricing by as early as 2015. --

Time is very likely running out for Gazprom to dither and hope. For the Kremlin and its energy revenue maximizing strategy, sometimes nicknamed "Putinprom", it is clear that Gazprom is underperforming. Russia's oil revenues running as high as $900 bn in 2012 vastly outrun Gazprom's gas-plus-oil revenue offering, probably well below the net figure of around $210 bn a year for 2012 claimed in Gazprom's deliberately complex accounts.--

At one time a master card, Gazprom's ownership or leasehold on gas pipepline routes into Europe is no longer what it used to be. Pipeline transit fees charged to third party suppliers are tending to fall. Upkeep and infratructure costs and charges on Gazprom-owned lines, in a massive and sprawling network of more than 150 000 kilometres total length, described by some as "madman's macrame", are relentlessly rising. And while Gazprom strives to string existing and new pipelines together and reduce its massive gas losses in transit, estimated to be as high as 16-20 bn cubic metres per year, Moscow has to look over its shoulder at the US shale gas revolution. Here, apart from the near-vertical growth of production the mismatch between existing gas pipeline routes at the start of the shale boom, and needed routes linking new supply regions to existing demand centers has created its own boom-and-bust in new US gas line projects. Gazprom's huge pipeline asset is becoming a liability.

Read the entire article here

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Germany's "official" warmists as comic heroes

German warmists as comic heroes. 

The "official" warmists in Germany must be desparate. As the general public in Germany, as well as elsewhere, shows less and less interest in global warming, a taxpayer funded government advisory body of warmists calling itself "Wissenschaftlichen Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen (WBGU)" has decided to waste money and energy on a series of comic books in the (vain) hope of attracting young people for their lost cause.

The bright idea behind the "scientific project" is that members of the WBGU - people like the superwarmists Stefan Rahmstorf and Hans-Joachim Schnellhuber from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research - are acting as "comic heroes" fighting the evil forces of global warming (and presumably global warming "deniers"). 

Judging from the trailer the project has published, the likelihood that German youth will be ready to replace James Bond with global warming agents Rahmstorf and Schnellhuber does not seem to be overly great, to say the least. 

The WBGU comic site also has a page for press commentaries about their project.
First on the list of press voices is a very positive comment by a blogger. Maybe not so suprising; the blogger is nobody else but one of their own, Mr. comic hero himself, Stefan Rahmstorf!

Agent Rahmstorf (?)on his way to check the rise of the sea level.  He must be extremely disappointed. The sea level has not risen at all, only the 2050 sign is higher.

Majority of Germans opposing Merkel's wasteful euro rescue policy finally get a voice

A clear majority of Germans has already since at least last summer been against throwing more taxpayers' money to Greece and other crisis ridden eurozone countries in order to "save" the common currency. 

Euro-critical Germans have so far not had a chance to voice their opinion through any of the country's established political parties, which all have been for more euro aid. 

However, this is now going to change. Germany will finally get a serious euro-critical party, "Alternative for Germany". The new party will be working for the abolition of the euro by replacing it with national currencies or smaller currency unions. The party is also against further bailout payments to problem eurozone countries, and it opposes the idea of the EU becoming a transfer union. In addition the "Alternative for Germany" demands a "debureaucratization" of the European Union by returning competences back to nation states. 

It will be difficult for the old parties and their supporters in the MSM to maintain that the people behind the new party are a bunch of populist extremists: The list of founding party members is full of present and former economics professors, leading editors and industrialists. The main initiator, University of Hamburg macroeconomics professor Berndt Lucke, was for over thirty years a member of CDU, until he in 2011 had enough of Merkel's failed euro rescue policy. 

Other well known economists supporting the new party are e.g. professor Stefan Homburg (Leibniz Universität Hannover), professor Charles Blankart (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) , professor emeritus Joachim Starbatty (Universität Tübingen), professor emeritus Wilhelm Hankel and professor emeritus Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider. Also the former President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Hans-Olaf Henkel and the well known industrialist Dieter Spethmann are among the supporters. 

"Alternative for Germany" is planning to participate already in the German elections to be held in September, and latest in the euro elections next year. 

It will be interesting to see, whether the German mainstream media will give the new party a decent chance to present itself for the electorate. 

"Alternative for Germany" is a most welcome addition to the political scene in Germany. Hopefully it will inspire eurocritical movements in other EU countries.