Saturday, 23 March 2013

Greens want to put the climate of Switzerland on the UNESCO World Heritage list

The Swiss climate soon on the UNESCO World Heritage list?

We all know that the Swiss enjoy their beautiful snow covered mountain tops and sunny green valleys - almost as much as some of the world's richest people enjoy having a Swiss bank account. 

And who would not want to protect the unique Swiss landscape and scenery? However, the latest action by the Swiss Young Greens party (Die Jungen Grünen Schweiz) could perhaps be considered to be a bit over the (alp)top.

The Jungen Grünen are now busy collection signatures for a petition asking the Swiss government to start working for the Swiss climate to be put on the list of UNESCO World Heritage natural sites!

The World Heritage listing would, according to the Swiss greenies, make it easier to save the Swiss climate for "our children" and to fight the threat of global warming. 

It is well known that UNESCO - like many of the other UN organizations - is now safely in the hands of the leftist global warming alarmist crowd, which is why we may very well see the Swiss climate on the World Heritage list in the not too distant future. After that victory, the next project for the Jungen Grünen will probably be to start collecting names for the Swiss Cuckoo Clock to be put on the UN List of Endangered Species

(image by

Friday, 22 March 2013

Former tory minister Ann Widdecombe on the failure of the global warming religion

Anne Widdecombe
(image by wikipedia)

Former tory minister Ann Widdecombe, who retired from politics a couple of years ago, has always been one of my favorite British politicians. She is a feisty lady with strongly held opinions, which she never is afraid of expressing. Her credentials are rock solid e.g. with regard to global warming:

WHAT do Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie, Philip Davies Christopher Chope and I have in common?

We were the only MPs to vote against the 2008 Climate Change Bill, which is to say we had by then considered all the evidence and found it wanting.

For years we have endured insults.

Behind the scenes Fiona Bruce, normally the most courteous of broadcasters, called me a “flat-earther” to my face.

Others branded us “deniers” as if we were disputing the holocaust. The Al Gore film was accorded the status of Holy Writ. David Bellamy lost his job. Doubting scientists were scorned.

Nigel Lawson found it difficult to get his book An Appeal To Reason published.

In short there was an orthodoxy which was enforced with all the rigour of communism or fascism or, for that matter, the Spanish Inquisition. Dissenters must not be heard and global warming became a religion.

Well the dissenters have now been proved right.

Heaven knows how many billions of pounds later the world is now being told that actually the warming is so far off predictions that all bets are off and indeed the world’s temperature is static or falling.

So all those wind farms were in vain, as were all those expensive carbon-saving measures inflicted on industry and passed on in costs to you and me.

If I could tell that from the published Hadley Centre figures, the scientists must have known for years yet only now do they admit it. Why?

Heaven forbid that it should be because of all that money tied up in their research.

Another day - another solar energy failure: German Bosch quits the solar business

It is time to say bye, bye to another major solar energy business. This time it is the German engineering giant Bosch, which is throwing in the towel
German engineering company Bosch said Friday that it is abandoning its solar energy business, because there is no way to make it economically viable amid overcapacity and huge price pressure in the industry.
The solar power industry has been hit by falling subsidies, weaker sales and increasingly stiff price competition, especially by Chinese manufacturers. Robert Bosch GmbH's move came after German industrial conglomerate Siemens announced last October that it would give up its loss-making solar business.
Bosch said that it will stop making products such as solar cells, wafers and modules at the beginning of next year. It will sell a plant in Venissieux, France, and is abandoning a plan to build a new plant in Malaysia.
The solar energy division, which employs about 3,000 people, lost around 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) last year. The company said that, despite efforts to reduce manufacturing costs, it was unable to offset a drop in prices of as much as 40 percent.
Earlier this week, Suntech Power, the world's largest producer of solar panels, began bankruptcy proceedings. 

Putin and Xi Jinping to meet in Moscow

Xi greeting Putin's puppet, Dmitry Medvedev in 2010.

Xi Jinping, the authoritarian communist apparatchik, who recently was "elected" President of China, is today due to meet his colleague, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, in Moscow

Although Xi is expected to sign a number of economic agreements during his visit, it is highly unlikely that Putin will be able to convince the Chinese to buy overpriced Russian gas:

It seemed unlikely that the visit would resolve an impasse over an ambitious deal that would see Russia deliver 68 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually for 30 years, an amount equal to about half of what Gazprom exported outside the former Soviet Union last year. China has rejected the offering price as too high, and the two governments now set a new deadline for the end of the year to reach an agreement.

However, ahead of Xi's visit, Putin seems eager to point out that the two empires share a common interest in protecting criminal and corrupt dictators and authoritarians worldwide:

Ahead of a visit by China's new president, Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Moscow-Beijing partnership is aiding global security and helping create a fairer world order.

He added that Russia and China have set an example of a "balanced and pragmatic approach" to international crises — an apparent reference to their lockstep opposition to U.N. sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

On a more personal level, Putin and Xi also will have a chance to share their views about matters of common interest: 


"here’s the Russian President Vladimir V. Putin who is rumored to be among the world’s wealthiest men, with a fortune worth tens of billions, which he of course denies. Born in a middle class Soviet family, Putin who also once compared ruling Russia to being a ‘galley slave’ reportedly lives a ‘king-size’ lifestyle with access to Presidential perks including four grand yachts, 20 homes with opulent fittings, 58 aircrafts with one Russian-made Ilyushin Presidential jet with a $75,000 toilet, not to forget Putin’s ultra-expensive watch collection worth $700,000."

"As Xi climbed the Communist Party ranks, his extended family expanded their business interests to include minerals, real estate and mobile-phone equipment, according to public documents compiled by Bloomberg.

Those interests include investments in companies with total assets of $376 million; an 18 percent indirect stake in a rare- earths company with $1.73 billion in assets; and a $20.2 million holding in a publicly traded technology company."

In an interview given before the visit to Moscow, Xi wanted to impress his hosts by giving the impression that he is a great friend of Russian culture:

In a potential boost to bilateral ties, Xi told the Russian state newspaper that classic Russian literature, including the works of Pushkin, Lermontov and Tolstoy, "deeply influenced" him in his youth.

Here Xi must have been seriously misinformed by his underlings. They should have known that Putin probably never has read a book by any of the above mentioned authors. 

If one is to believe Putin's personal website, the dictator does not have any literary interests - he is mainly interested in the martial arts:

Vladimir Putin firmly believes that martial arts teach such knowledge, abilities and skills that every politician needs, among them the ability " to see the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses".

Thursday, 21 March 2013

U.S. Government officials in D.C. will soon either freeze, sweat or practice Earth Hour

A site called Clean Technica brings us this piece of news:

Government agencies in Washington, D.C. will soon be powered 100% by renewable energy, according to a recent press release. Wind energy, provided by a Washington Gas Energy Services owned wind farm in Northern Virginia, will provide all of the electricity needs for the district’s government agencies

If this is true, there will be a lot of extremely cold or alternatively hot days in the numerous D.C. government offices, because when the wind does not blow in Northern Virginia, the poor government bureaucrats will have to manage either without heating or air conditioning. 

People working in buildings which possibly use oil, gas or coal for heating and air conditioning, will have many opportunities to practice Earth Hour activities, because there will be no lights on days without North Virginian wind. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Wolfgang Schäuble on the Cyprus bailout mess

Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, last night said that “nobody other than Cyprus is to blame for this” (the Cyprus bailout mess)

“Cyprus is living with a banking sector with low taxes and favourable laws that is completely overdrawn and that makes Cyprus bankrupt. This business model is not sustainable.”

Schäuble is, of course, right. But what he "forgot" to mention, is that without the euro, neither he, nor any of his other eurogroup colleagues would have the slightest reason to worry about massive bailout packages and possible repercussions on the eurozone financial markets. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Baroness Ashton is tired - will retire next year

In 2009 the relatively little-known British Labour politician Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, decided to sacrifice of her personal interests for the sake of her party, country and the entire Europe; Although the Baroness had no experience or grasp of diplomacy, she finally agreed to take the job of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union

It is of course possible that the Baroness's annual pay package of  $538,000 - which made her the world's best paid female politician, with a better salary than e.g. U.S. President Obama and German chancellor Angela Merkel - made it just a little bit easier to make the sacrifice. 

Now, when Baroness's External Action Service has come under attack from all sides, she has decided to step down next year, noting that she is tired of all the first class and private jet travel that comes with the job: 

"It's quite hard and there's a lot of travel and a lot of sitting on planes". 

It is of course possible that the "golden goodbye" type of retirement package she can look forward to makes it just a little bit easier to adjust to a life in retirement. There is yet no information about the value of the package, but at least it cannot be smaller than the modest retirement benefits given to the commissioners, who stepped down a few years ago:

Open Europe has calculated that the 13 outgoing EU Commissioners have cost taxpayer €2.7 million each.

Each one will walk away with an average of €1.3 million in ‘golden goodbyes’ alone. The total bill in ‘golden goodbyes’, including pensions, for those leaving is more than €16.6 million.

Through earnings and pay-offs, the 13 Commissioners will walk away with a total of more than €35.6 million, or €2.7 million each. Their pensions alone are expected to be worth a combined total of more than €11.6 million over their lifetimes (Assuming an average life expectancy of 16.7 years from the age of 65.)

Each Commissioner stepping down is entitled to a ‘resettlement allowance’ of a month’s salary (€19,910 or €22,122 for Vice Presidents), irrespective of how long they have served; a ‘transition allowance’ paid for 3 years worth between 40 and 65 percent of their final salary (this is a minimum of €286,703 but can rise to as much as €438,017 for a long-serving Vice-President); as well as a generous pension worth at least €51,069 a year from the age of 65, for those serving for five years.

Read the entire article here

The Baroness also has spoken about her achievements: 

Ashton said her main legacy will be the creation of the European External Action Service as an institution.

However, not even this impressive legacy is universally admired. It is reported that there are ungrateful people, who think that the EEAS is in reality a costly anb useless network of "embassies" (delegations) led by overpaid EU "ambassadors" in such world centers as e.g. Suva (Fiji), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Dili (Timor-Leste), Bujumbura (Burundi), Praia (Cape Verde),Port-au-Prince (Haiti) and Dushanbe (Tajikistan). 

Not even the usually so friendly members of the European Parliament have learned to love the Baroness's legacy. As late as today the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control committee adopted a less than salutary report:

Czarnecki: EU External Action Service must cease breaching the rules

In the report on the EEAS, the committee expresses its deep concern regarding non-compliance with the rules that has led to incorrect payments to staff members, legal uncertainty for temporary staff, a failure to respect the Financial Regulation, unrecovered VAT, and a breach of procurement rules. “What we need is more transparency in terms of the EEAS’s structure and expenditure. The EEAS must do better”, said Czarnecki (ECR, Poland Law and Justice).

It's an ungrateful world. 

Anyway, best wishes for a very happy flightless retirement, dear Baroness!

Herman Van Rompuy - Master of haiku and Orwellian doublespeak

Herman's most memorable haiku so far: "The night has fallen/The bare branches can be seen/Even more lonely”.  (November 2012)

Herman Van Rompuy, master of haiku - and Orwellian doublespeak - is again in the news

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy said the euro is out of danger and called the 27-nation EU “still sexy” as policy makers negotiated the final touches of a bailout package for Cyprus.
Yes, indeed, the EU is "still sexy", if by sexiness we mean Nigel Farage's description of Van Rompuy himself: has the "charisma of a damp rag" and the appearance of a "low-grade bank clerk."
And the euro is "out of danger", if by that we mean "Not a single problem in the currency zone has been definitively resolved" (Der Spiegel's recent description). 

Expert on Putin's winter Olympics: "A monumental waste of public money"

You cannot blame Vladimir Putin for neglecting his friends. Bloomberg tells us that the dictator's boyhood friend and former judo partner Arkady Rotenberg's companies have been awarded 227 billion rubles ($7.4 billion) of contracts for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. That is more than the entire budget for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, although it represents only about 15% of the estimate for the Sochi events. 

This is how an expert rates the most expensive - and probably also most corrupt -  winter Olympics ever:

“This is a monumental waste of public money,” Stefan Szymanski, a sports economist at the University of Michigan who tracks Olympic spending, said by phone from Ann Arbor. “A small number of people at the top have control of resources and there is no accountability.”
Rotenberg, 61, is among a handful of men Putin has known since childhood or from his days in the KGB or St. Petersburg government who’ve amassed riches and power during his 13-year rule. Their fortunes have come at times at the expense of men who flourished under his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, and the consequences of the differing wealth pedigrees are on display in Putin’s $50 billion push to prepare Russia for its first Winter Games. The country is considered the most corrupt of the Group of 20 economies by Berlin-based Transparency International. --
While Rotenberg and longtime Putin associates such as Gennady Timchenko, co-founder of oil trader Gunvor, and OAO Russian Railways Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Yakunin, stand to gain from Russia’s Olympian largess, Yeltsin-era tycoons led by Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska say they’re getting squeezed.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Germany wakes up to reality: Key climate change programs to be canceled

Goodbye to the program to put 1 million electric cars on German roads by 2020!

Germany is finally waking up to realityAngela Merkel is forced to cancel key climate change programs:

As prices for carbon emission continue to languis, Berlin is planning to cancel some key subsidy programs aimed at increasing reliance on renewable energies. Germany and other European countries seem uninterested in fixing the problem. 

In response, SPIEGEL has learned the Environment Ministry is set to cancel several flagship subsidy programs this month -- programs that were to be key elements of Germany's transition away from fossil fuels and towards complete reliance on renewables.
By the end of the month, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, is set to cut the program aimed at promoting electric cars, a fund for research and development of energy storage technologies and a third program focused on protecting and expanding forestland in Germany as a way to absorb more CO2 out of the atmosphere. In April, further programs are on the chopping block, according to an internal ministry document seen by SPIEGEL. In total, 14 programs or one-time measures are affected. --

The endangered program for "electro-mobility," for example, was to put 1 million electric cars on German roads by 2020, a project that was to receive €1 billion between May 2011 and this autumn. Meanwhile, the fund for research into energy storage technologies promised the development of facilities in Germany to store energy created by wind turbines and solar panels to even out production fluctuations. The construction of such facilities is a key to becoming more reliant on unpredictable renewable energies. --

The funding shortage currently faced by the Merkel government is massive. The budget for 2014 includes €2 billion for the Energy and Climate Fund to be generated via the sale and trade of CO2 emissions certificates. But the calculation originally assumed a price of €17 euro per ton. Real emissions prices, however, have been well below that for months and are currently trading below €4 per ton. A paper presented to Merkel's cabinet last week by the Finance Ministry predicted a €1.1 billion shortfall.

One thing is certain: Other European Union countries will soon follow the leader, and we will see a massive and most welcome return to reality in Europe - and hopefully also elsewhere. 

Burglars busy planning 2013 Earth Hour activities

Tools for Earth Hour activities.

Representatives for the only group of people worldwide actually benefiting from the Earth Hour, are reportedly busy with the final planning and preparations for their 2013 Earth Hour activities. 

The Earth Hour organizers and their followers in the western MSM have chosen not to report on these activities, but the police director in Davao in the Philippines volunteered this:

"Even when the lights are on at home these robbers still manage to do their thing. How much more if the lights are off"

De la Rosa also appealed to residents to avoid wearing jewelries, or bringing valuable stuffs outside their house if it is unnecessary so as not to attract the attention of criminal elements.

De la Rosa reminded everyone on the danger of attracting thieves during the Earth Hour, citing previous cases of robbery, theft and burglary victimizing unattended houses where the inhabitants are all busy with their personal schedules.
No wonder then that burglars and other criminals, who for the time being happen to be behind bars, are eagerly embracing this annual celebration of darkness:
“Earth Hour +”, the 60-minute world-wide observance of cutting down on fossil fuel use, has become a tradition of sorts for inmates of the Baguio city jail.

As cities around the world prepare to plunge in darkness for at least an hour beginning 8:30 p.m. of March 23, the prisoners and their guards plan to switch off an hour earlier to keep their four-year record of going at least two hours.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

China's new leaders vow to fight corruption: "Time" will tell, whether they succeed

China's new leaders have promised to fight corruption

President Xi Jinping told the nearly 3,000 delegates gathered at Beijing's hulking Great Hall of the People that his government would "resolutely reject formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance, and resolutely fight against corruption and other misconduct in all manifestations."--

Shortly afterward, freshly appointed Premier Li Keqiang said the central government would slash its payroll and freeze spending on overseas trips, guest houses, office buildings and new vehicles in response to falling revenues.--

Niu Jun, a scholar at Peking University's School of International Relations, said Xi and Li hit on topics familiar to a Chinese public that has grown weary of promises to fight inefficiency, corruption and waste.
"I don't have terribly high expectations for these new pledges," he said.

Maybe we should say, that time will tell, how well the latest campaign against corruption will succeed:


Corrupt politicians and officials seem to share the same interest in watches also in a neighboring country: