Friday, 11 October 2013

Sir Simon Jenkins on the uglyness of wind turbines in the English landscape

The Ardrossan wind park in Scotland. (image Wikipedia)

The British columnist, author and National Trust chairman Sir Simon Jenkins, who's book England's 100 Best Views has recently been published by Profileexplains in the Spectator why he has not included views of wind-turbine parks in his book:

I am asked how I could include the Ribblehead rail viaduct as one of the great views of England, yet not the wind-turbine arrays of Romney Marsh or Bodmin Moor. The answer is not hard. The viaduct, surely the grandest relic of the railway age and in the wildest stretch of England is less obtrusive than any turbine. It respects contour and lies in the valley bottom not the top. It is made of local grey stone and breaks no skyline. Turbines are invariably white, waving giants drawing the eye away from their surroundings. I am not insensitive to a turbine’s beauty, but the beauty of any structure must embrace its setting. I like cooling towers and even like the London Shard in an appropriate place (like Dubai). But appropriate means what it says. On Romney Marsh two dozen huge turbines now turn just a few hundred yards from the walls of the ancient town of Rye, dominating the view over the marsh. It is devastating, and all to make some local landowner a millionaire at public expense. Centuries of gently evolving landscape lie wrecked. I complained to a coalition minister and he could not see what I was talking about. These people would blow up the National Gallery if they got the chance.

What Sir Simon says about British politicians' lack of understanding for the countryside is regrettably true about politicians elsewhere, too:

Which makes even more baffling the modern politician’s lack of feel for the countryside. I doubt if Ed Miliband would recognise a blade of grass. He told his conference of something called a town’s ‘right to expand’ into the country, a right I can find in no political philosophy. David Cameron and George Osborne are no different. I enjoyed Private Eye’s spoof of them and their friends travelling to Manchester the other week by train and gazing bemused out of the window. Why were all these hills and fields and trees just lying about doing nothing, when they could be subsidised wind farms, Tesco warehouses and toytown estates?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Marine Le Pen - The next president of France?

Is she the next French president?

France may be in for a surprise:

For the first time, a poll shows France's extreme-right National Front leading over the two big mainstream political parties in view of he European Parliament elections in May 2014.
In the poll published in the weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, 24% of those surveyed said they would back the anti-immigrant party, compared with 22% for the centre-right UMP of former President Sarkozy and 19% for the governing Socialist Party.

Marine Le Pen immediately declared that she is ready to be France's next president:

Le Pen spoke in an interview with ANSAmed on the same day an IFOP survey for the Nouvel Observateur showed her right-wing party leading in the polls ahead of the 2014 European elections - an absolute first for France.

''Yes, I feel I am ready for the Elysee'', Le Pen assured ANSAmed over the phone. ''I can't stand those who say we're not competent enough'' to lead the country, she added.

She ''is not surprised'', she says, at the results of the survey.

''Today we are the leading party. The Socialists and the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) can only win if they make a deal and form a pact of national unity'', added Jean-Marie Le Pen's daughter, who came in third after current Socialist President Francois Hollande and outgoing UMP president Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2012 presidential elections.

Le Pen junior took over from her father as party chairman in a congress in Tours in 2011, and has been trying to change the party's image from one of racism and xenophobia to a more moderate version ever since.

''The French are clear-headed. A lot of people are becoming aware'' of France's true situation, she said. Which explains the support of personalities such as actor Alain Delon, who publicly announced he favors the FN in an interview with Swiss daily Le Matin. Le Pen went on to explain that hers ''is not an extreme right party'' but rather a ''patriotic, extremely democratic one''. It stands for more ''popular referendums'' with a ''Gaullist vision'' of national sovereignty and independence.

''Also, we are not against a market economy'', she continued. --

Le Pen, who opposes the EU and the single currency, reiterated the need to liberate France from the yoke of the Brussels technocrats - and of others.


For the first time ever, it appears that the next European election will become really interesting. France is definitively not the only country where you can expect results that which should worry the Eurocrats ...

Gore blames the media for not getting the publicity he was used to

Al Gore to The Atlantic: "Deal with the heat through tree planting and green roofs."

This is how Gore himself "dealt with the heat":
"Al Gore had much to celebrate at New Year as he and his partners in the Current TV
cable channel venture cashed in by selling out to Al Jazeera for $100 million."
“He’s supposed to be the face of clean energy and just sold the channel to very big oil,
the emir of Qatar!” said one senior Current TV staffer.

Al Gore blames the media for not getting the publicity he once was used to:

“It is now like a family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage whenever the problem is mentioned, so everybody learns to keep the peace by never speaking up,” he said. “The news media, for example, is largely scared to death to say the word ‘climate.’ The coverage has been pathetic.”
For all these failings of the press and the politicians, Gore offered two solutions: Impose a carbon tax on companies and publicly shame climate change neglecters and deniers.
“We have to put a price on carbon in the marketplace, and we have to put a price on denial in the political system,” he said.

Oh yes, of course Al had something nice to say about "climate change deniers", too:

.... he used some pretty extreme language to condemn climate change deniers, comparing them to gay bashers and 1960s-era racists.

If anybody should be publicly shamed, it would be the hoaxter and hypocrite Al Gore

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Putin must be delighted that Sweden does not want to give Bill Browder "safe passage"

After reading this piece of news in the Wall Street Journal, one would think that the only option for the Swedish government is to ask State Secretary Martin Valfridsson in the Ministry of Justice to quickly announce that he made a mistake:

Four years ago, Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was killed in prison by his jailers for trying to expose a $230 million fraud. Not satisfied with that outcome, Mr. Putin put Magnitsky posthumously on trial and convicted him, along with his client Bill Browder of Hermitage Capital, of tax evasion. Mr. Browder, who remains very much alive, was expelled from Russia eight years ago, but Moscow apparently isn't done with him. After his "conviction," Russia sought an international warrant for his arrest from Interpol, which sensibly refused to become complicit in Mr. Putin's campaign.

Mr. Browder's real crime is to have spent the past four years seeking justice for Magnitsky. He pushed for the Magnitsky Act passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law in 2012. The Act imposes financial sanctions and travel bans on Russians guilty of human-rights violations. Last month, federal prosecutors used the act to seize several pieces of Manhattan real estate owned by a Cyprus-based shell company allegedly linked to Magnitsky's jailers.

Mr. Browder has been pressing countries in Europe to adopt a similar approach, and earlier this year he was invited to testify to the Swedish Parliament about the need for a Swedish Magnitsky Act. As has become his habit, Mr. Browder sought assurance from Stockholm that he would not be arrested and shipped off to Russia.

Martin Valfridsson, State Secretary in the Swedish Ministry of Justice, twice declined the request, claiming that he was not permitted under Swedish law to provide advance notice that any particular person would not be arrested. Mr. Valfridsson's letters express all the appropriate concerns about Magnitsky's case and fate, but in the end he seeks refuge in a different set of pieties about the rule of law and Sweden's international obligations.

Mr. Putin must be amused. The Russian strongman understands the West's attachment to the rule of law and its sensitivities about international obligations, and he is perfectly willing to use that sensibility to his advantage. Part of the purpose of hounding Magnitsky in his grave and Mr. Browder in the West is to use the pretense of legality to subvert a genuine rule of law.

Mr. Browder has already sought, and received, a "safe passage" letter from the German government. The Netherlands offered him one unsolicited. And Britain, where he lives and is now a citizen, has made clear that it will take no part in Russia's legal gamesmanship. In refusing to do likewise, Sweden is allowing itself to act as Mr. Putin's cat's paw. Far from upholding the rule of law, it is subverting it to Mr. Putin's whims.

Eco-fascism in action: Scottish government "planning reporter" allows wind farm destroying historic St Andrews golf course landscape

St Andrews, the home of golf.
(image Wikipedia)

Alistair Edwards, a Scottish government "planning reporter" has - against the will of both an unanimous Fife Council and Scottish Natural Heritage - decided to allow a wind farm to be built which destroys the historic landscape of the Old Course at St Andrews, the home of golf.

This is Scottish eco-fascism in action:

“The turbines would be visible to outdoor recreational users. There are a number of coastal golf courses within ten kilometres of the appeal site, including the Old Course in St Andrews. Turbine blades would be visible from some holes on this course and others to the north of St Andrews. However, I consider that players’ (and observers’) attention would be primarily on the game, the golf course itself, the expansive sea views, and buildings and prominent landmarks in St Andrews.

“The movement of the blades may draw attention. However, the distance to the blades, a dip in the landscape where the turbines would be located, tree screening, the presence of a caravan park in the foreground (to the east of St Andrews), and the presence of the Fairmont hotel to the east of the appeal site would all reduce the visual impact of the blades. The visual impact from other courses including Crail, Kingsbarns, Fairmont, and The Castle golf courses would similarly be reduced to users due to attention to seascapes.
“No significant impacts to communities, the built or natural environment would occur.”

No wonder anti wind farm campaigners are furious:

A Government planning reporter has overturned a unanimous vote by Fife councillors to block proposals for the six turbine development at Kenly Farm, three miles South east of St Andrews.
The wind farm is being developed by St Andrews University and the turbines - each 328ft high - will be used to generate an expected 12.3 megawatts of electricity to be connected to the university’s high voltage network at the North Haugh Campus.
Both Fife Council and Scottish Natural Heritage had raised “significant concerns” relating to the impact of the proposed development on the historic skyline of St Andrews, the landscape setting of the town, and the visual amenity from town’s West Sands and the Links.
But planning reporter Alistair Edwards has ruled that the renewable energy scheme will have “no significant impact” on surrounding communities or the built or natural environment.
Linda Holt, a spokeswoman for the anti-wind farm campaign group, Scotland Against Spin, condemned the decision. And she claimed: “Many Fifers will be devastated by this undemocratic decision.. It will wreck the landscape, destroy quality of life for local residents and damage the tourist trade in the East Neuk.
“This wind farm will become a sorry symbol of the arrogant contempt with which university managers regard St Andrews and Fife”
John Goodwin, the chairman of the Kenly Landscape Protection Group which has spent four years campaigning against the proposal, said campaigners were “baffled” by the reporter’s decision. He said : “Every single councillor voted against this wind farm and local communities were wholeheartedly against it.”
He claimed: “People’s enjoyment of their homes will be diminished and house prices will inevitably fall. Similarly holiday homes and other rental accommodation will find it harder to find tenants.”

Read the entire article here

Hopefully the anti wind farm campaigners will redouble their efforts in order to have the "planning reporter's" undemocratic - and senseless - decision overturned!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Harvard says no to Bill McKibben

Harvard says no to eco-fundamentalist Bill McKibben and other radical environmentalists who have demanded that the university with the world's largest endowment divest of its holdings in the fossil fuel industry. Although paying lip service to the global warming alarmist cause, Harvard president Drew Faust is in her statement quite clear about the university's position. Faust - quite rightly - even suggests that the eco-fundamentalists are hypocritical:

While I share their belief in the importance of addressing climate change, I do not believe, nor do my colleagues on the Corporation, that university divestment from the fossil fuel industry is warranted or wise.
Harvard is an academic institution.  It exists to serve an academic mission — to carry out the best possible programs of education and research.  We hold our endowment funds in trust to advance that mission, which is the University’s distinctive way of serving society.  The funds in the endowment have been given to us by generous benefactors over many years to advance academic aims, not to serve other purposes, however worthy.  As such, we maintain a strong presumption against divesting investment assets for reasons unrelated to the endowment’s financial strength and its ability to advance our academic goals. --

I also find a troubling inconsistency in the notion that, as an investor, we should boycott a whole class of companies at the same time that, as individuals and as a community, we are extensively relying on those companies’ products and services for so much of what we do every day.  Given our pervasive dependence on these companies for the energy to heat and light our buildings, to fuel our transportation, and to run our computers and appliances, it is hard for me to reconcile that reliance with a refusal to countenance any relationship with these companies through our investments.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Sir Bob Geldof's message to the youth of the world: The human race may be extinct within 15 years

Sir Bob Geldof, founder of Live Aid, has addressed 8,000 delegates from 190 nations at the One Young World summit in Johannesburg. Here is Sir Bob's cheerful message to the youth of the world:

“The world can decide in a fit of madness to kill itself,” announced Bob Geldof at the launch of the One Young World summit in Johannesburg. “Sometimes progress may not be possible.
“We're in a very fraught time,” he added. “There will be a mass extinction event. That could happen on your watch.
The signs are that it will happen and soon.”
Sir Bob, wearing his trademark sunglasses, addressed 8,000 One Young World delegates from 190 nations across the world in Soccer City, Johannesburg last night. He is a counsellor for the organisation, which hopes to inspire and create the next generation of global leaders.
The Live Aid founder and one-time Boomtown rat announced that his generation has let down the young people of today. “My generation has failed more than others. You cannot let your generation fail. The next war will not be a World War 1 or a World War 2, it will be the end.
Attendees shouted and blew on thousands of vuvuzelas as Sir Bob added: " We may not get to 2030. We need to address the problem of climate change urgently. What are you going to do about it? Get serious. Some of the nations that arrived here so proudly will not be there to meet us."

The true costs of the subsidized wind turbines in the UK (and elsewhere in Europe)

The true costs of the uneconomic, landscape destroying, bird and bat killing wind turbines to UK taxpayers and businesses have been calculated:

Every British household will pay an average of more than £400 in higher bills over the next six years to pay for subsidies under controversial Government plans to hit green power targets.
The money will go solely to paying for otherwise uneconomic offshore wind turbines, onshore wind farms, biomass plants, landfill gas sites and hydro power plants, new figures show.
The first analysis of newly agreed prices paid to “green” generators, carried out by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, shows that the total subsidy will be nearly £22 billion by 2020.
The subsidies are paid for by consumers and businesses through their annual bills and passed to the green energy generators.
Half of energy bills are paid by business, with the other half by domestic consumers, and the total subsidy divided among British households equals £425 per household. --

Dr Lee Moroney of the Renewable Energy Foundation, which is critical of the “green” energy plans, said: “Government subsidies which are added to electricity bills in order to meet over ambitious EU climate change targets are complex, opaque, and very expensive for the consumer.

The same story everywhere in Europe - the costs of the monstrous wind turbines are skyrocketing. But with the case for human caused global warming failing (nor warming during the last 15 -17 years), more and more people are beginning to realize the insanity of the European Union's climate policy. And the politicians will follow - otherwise they will not be re-elected ...