Saturday, 14 December 2013

Sanity prevails in Scotland: Scottish Power cancels the Argyll Array, which was to be the world's largest offshore wind farm

Another huge blow to the wind energy lobby - and a victory for sanity: Scottish Power abandons its £5.4bn plan to build the world's largest offshore wind farm, the Argyll Array.

Scottish Power has abandoned a £5.4bn plan to build the world's largest offshore wind farm, after four years of planning, because it is "not financially viable" (NNoN: not even the present high level of subsidies was high enough):

The decision to abandon the Argyll Array was a great victory for the No Tiree Array group, which yesterday welcomed the decision by the developer, calling the plans an "environmental disaster for Tiree and the west coast of Scotland".

Here is the No Tiree Array press release:

Friday, 13 December 2013

Garry Kasparov: Putin is winning because of Obama's lack of leadership and weakness

Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion turned political activist, has written a must read article in The Spectator on why Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is winning the poker game of international politics:

 Although — as I will explain — his winning streak may not last, at least for the time being he has outplayed all his opponents, largely because President Obama and other western leaders have left the game wide open for him. Putin is now so confident that he is busy drawing up plans for a new ‘post-Assad’ Syria. He is sure he can retain his influence, whoever is in charge.
The West’s inadequate and vacillating response to the Syria crisis has made some people draw parallels with Munich in 1938 — and for once the comparison actually rings true. Even while Cameron and Hollande have been desperately trying not to look like Chamberlain and Daladier, they looked exactly like them. Meanwhile President Obama showed he could not keep his own promises. The consequences of his failure to enforce his own ‘red line’ on the use of chemical weapons will come back to haunt him long after this current impasse is over.

But it wasn’t just that Putin played his hand well. Both Obama and Cameron played a genuinely inept game. The Conservative party was disorganised and Obama’s argument about legal technicalities proved unconvincing. If you want people to authorise and approve of military action, you have to sound both convincing and capable. Persuading the American public to intervene in Europe in the 1940s was a tough sell for FDR. But he succeeded in selling it, winning the election and winning the vote in the House. That was leadership.
But the disaster of President Obama’s presidency is not just his lack of leadership but the fact that he shows such weakness. It is not only Putin who is watching and taking note of this. There are other players in this new Great Game waiting in the wings — the Iranians in particular, who will arrange their nuclear progress in accordance with the weakness they see.

Coal is king in Germany: Record imports of coal despite of Merkel's "progressive" energy transition policy

US coal mines are busy with exporting coal to Germany.
(image by Wikipedia)

Eco-fundamentalists are often praising Germany for its "progressive" energy transition policy. But the reality behind the façade is somewhat different: German coal imports are this year to hit record levels, 51 million tonnes, a 6.5% increase compared with last year. The share of coal in the total electricity production is 45%.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Swedes give a huge NO to the euro

The Swedes were smart enough to say no to the euro in a 2003 referendum. And now, ten years later, they are even more critical of the crisis ridden eurozone:

A whopping 78 percent of the electorate would choose to stay out of the eurozone if the country held a referendum today.

"Of those who replied in May 2013 that they would vote yes to the euro, about 67 percent would still vote yes, while about 21 percent now in November would vote no," Statistics Sweden said in a statement.

A slim 13.9 percent of men and 11.3 percent of women were in favour of introducing the euro currency in Sweden.

Baby It's Cold Outside: -135.8 (-93.222ºC) in Antarctica - Lowest Ever Temperature Recorded

It was cold on Antarctica also a hundred years ago: Photograph of Eric Marshall, Frank Wild and Ernest Shackleton at their Farthest South latitude, 88°23'S. Nimrod expedition 9 January 1909
(source: Wikipedia)

Yes, Baby It's Cold Outside:

There's cold, and then there's Antarctica cold. ... How does a frosty reading of 135.8 degrees (-93.222ºC) below zero sound?
Based on remote satellite measurements, scientists recently recorded that temperature at a desolate ice plateau in East Antarctica. It was the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth --

"I've never been in conditions that cold, and I hope I never am," said ice scientist Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. "I am told that every breath is painful, and you have to be extremely careful not to freeze part of your throat or lungs when inhaling."
The -135.8-degree reading is "50 degrees colder than anything that has ever been seen in Alaska or Siberia or certainly North Dakota," he said.
"It's more like you'd see on Mars on a nice summer day in the poles," Scambos said from the American Geophysical Union scientific meeting in San Francisco on Monday, where he announced the data.

The record cold is if course something that warmists hate to see. That's why "ice scientist" Waleed Abdalati was quick to pronounce that it has "little to do with global warming":

The record for cold has little to do with global warming, because it is one spot in one place, said Waleed Abdalati, an ice scientist at the University of Colorado and NASA's former chief scientist.
Both Abdalati, who wasn't part of the measurement team, and Scambos said this is probably an unusual random reading in a place that hasn't been measured much and could have been colder or hotter in the past.
"It does speak to the range of conditions on this Earth, some of which we haven't been able to observe," Abdalati said.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Downton Abbey's Carson (actor Jim Carter) makes a fool of himself as Greenpeace Santa

"Dear children, regrettably I bring bad tidings,"
 "Melting ice here at the North Pole has made our operations and our day-to-day life intolerable and impossible, and there may be no alternative but to cancel Christmas."
Jim Carter as Greenpeace Santa
Downton Abbey's Carson (actor Jim Carter) makes a complete fool of himself as Greenpeace's Apocalyptic Santa. Watch CNN's Jeanne Moos rip the organization's latest doomsday video:

Heartland Institute's Jim Lakely comments:

Radical left-wing organizations have long-enjoyed stenographic coverage in the mainstream media. So it certainly came as a shock to Greenpeace to see CNN rip into the organization for employing a decrepit Santa to advance lies that scare kids and adults alike about the climate.
CNN’s Jeanne Moos has for many years specialized in quirky human interest stories at the venerable cable channel. This week she ripped Greenpeace for its latest video featuring a disheveled and depressing Santa that makes Billy Bob Thornton’s iconic “Bad Santa” look as warm as the one from “Miracle on 34th Street.”
You see, says Greenpeace’s Apocalyptic Santa, if the ice doesn’t stop melting at the North Pole, “there may be no alternative but to cancel Christmas.” Worry not, kids. Arctic ice has actually increased this year by 533,000 square miles (and total polar ice is at highest point in about a decade), which Moos notes in her report.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The European Union's "vast empire of overseas officed staffed by highly-paid bureaucrats" exposed

A common sight: An EU "ambassador" shaking hands with a dictator.
Michael Arrion, Head of Delegation European Union is here smiling together with Rwanda’s Paul Kagame,
the "darling dictator of the day" according to the New York Times.

The Daily Telegraph has investigated the European Union's "vast empire of overseas offices staffed by highly-paid bureaucrats":

A Telegraph investigation discloses that the EU is operating 140 overseas delegations at an annual cost of more than £420 million.
The delegations – effectively embassies and consulates – help to oversee billions of pounds spent on EU projects around the globe.
The delegations can negotiate in trade and political talks as well as being involved in the EU’s huge overseas aid programme.
The body, called the European External Action Service (EEAS), was established in 2010 as a consequence of the Lisbon Treaty and is headed by Baroness Ashton, a Labour peer and the EU High Representative. The EEAS has 3,417 staff: 1,457 in Brussels and 1,960 in its overseas offices.
Critics accused the EEAS of being wasteful and either duplicating – or even competing with – Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
A Telegraph analysis shows 29 EEAS officials earn a basic salary, excluding benefits, worth £150,000 a year, more than David Cameron as Prime Minister.
With generous benefits added in – such as an expat allowance, household allowance and child allowance – it is estimated that about 500 officials can earn more than the Prime Minister’s basic salary. --
A senior diplomat on a basic salary of up to £114,000 will pay only about 15 per cent in tax.
Official figures supplied by the EEAS show that the largest single delegation is based in Ankara, the Turkish capital, and employs a total of 140 people, including staff and “local agents”.
Last week, the EEAS announced that at the end of the year it was shutting down one of its smallest offices in Vanuatu, an archipelago in the South Pacific 10,000 miles from Brussels.
The EU has spent in the region of £80 million there since it first opened an office as long ago as 1984 – prior to the establishment of the EEAS.
The Telegraph can disclose that the EU has funded such projects as a scheme to teach children cricket, costing £130,000, and spent more than a million pounds on wind turbines and biofuel plants that have not been built.
The responsibilities for the Vanuatu office will now be moved to delegations in Papua New Guinea and in the Solomon Islands.
Opponents have called for the EEAS to be dramatically scaled back, pointing out that the UK has a large and well-established network of embassies and consulates of its own.
Lee Rotherham, a former adviser to three Conservative shadow foreign secretaries and author of The EU in a Nutshell, said: “The EEAS is the FCO’s costly doppelganger, competitor, and usurper. Its aim and its unchecked destiny is to edge out the national diplomatic services.
“Naturally, as a creature of Brussels it has inherited its key flaws. This notably includes a lack of awareness that it is spending someone else’s tax money.”  

There is absolute no need for this "empire". The European External Action Service network of "embassies" should be scaled down to a maximum of ten (or even less), and the future of the Entire EEAS should be reconsidered.

Obama Gives Owners of Useless Wind Turbines License to Kill Bald and Golden eagles

"The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of American, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks."   

"The eagle represents freedom. Living as he does on the tops of lofty mountains, amid the solitary grandeur of Nature, he has unlimited freedom, whether with strong pinions he sweeps into the valleys below, or upward into the boundless spaces beyond."

Shame on Barack Obama for giving the owners of useless and ugly wind turbines a licence to kill US national birds, the symbols of freedom. But it is not a surprise - this administration has already long ago showed that it does not understand what the US as a society is all about:

Under pressure from the wind-power industry, the Obama administration said Friday it will allow companies to kill or injure eagles without the fear of prosecution for up to three decades.
The new rule is designed to address environmental consequences that stand in the way of the nation’s wind energy rush: the dozens of bald and golden eagles being killed each year by the giant, spinning blades of wind turbines.
An investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration’s reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. President Barack Obama has championed the pollution-free energy, nearly doubling America’s wind power in his first term as a way to tackle global warming. --

conservation groups, which have been aligned with the industry on other issues, said the decision by the Interior Department sanctions the killing of an American icon.
‘‘Instead of balancing the need for conservation and renewable energy, Interior wrote the wind industry a blank check,’’ said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold in a statement. The group said it would challenge the decision. --

Another AP investigation recently showed that corn-based ethanol blended into the nation’s gasoline has proven more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and worse than the government acknowledges. --

A study by federal biologists in September found that wind farms since 2008 had killed at least 67 bald and golden eagles, a number that the researchers said was likely underestimated. That did not include deaths at Altamont Pass, an area in northern California where wind farms kill an estimated 60 eagles a year.