Saturday, 6 April 2013

Warmists desperate in Australia: Alarmist Julia Gillard's likely successor as Prime Minister will dismantle the vast climate change bureaucracy

Tony Abbott 
Reason to celebrate: "Australian elections on 14 September threaten a rollback of years of climate change progress" 
The (warmist) Guardian

No wonder global warming alarmists are getting desperate in Australia. It now appears more and more likely that warmist socialist Julia Gillard will be replaced by the conservative climate realist Tony Abbott, when the Aussies have a chance to vote in the general election on 14 September. 

If everything goes well, Abbott will be a great ally for U.S. Republicans and climate realists everywhere:

A COALITION government would dismantle the climate change bureaucracy and put commissioners including Tim Flannery out of a job, Tony Abbott predicted yesterday as a report painted a gloomy picture of the future.
The Opposition Leader, who vows to remove the carbon tax if elected in September, said there would be no further need for the bureaucracy that supports it.
"When the carbon tax goes all of those bureaucracies will go and I think you'll find that particular position you're referring to will go with them," Mr Abbott said.
Mr Abbott will consider dumping the Howard government's renewable energy target, which he says is "significantly increasing the cost of power".
Speaking to Sky News last night, he equivocated on his previous support for the scheme, which aims to ensure 20 per cent of electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. "There is going to be a serious review of this, should there be a change of government," he said. "We'll wait for the review before deciding what we do, but I take your point that renewable energy is increasing the price of power."
In the latest poll Abbot's coalition is supported by 50% of the voters compared with just 30% for Gillard's Labour Party. 43% of the voters think that Abbot will do a better job as Prime Minister. Only 35% are convinced that Gillard would be better. 

(image wikipedia)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Dr. Bernd Lucke, founder of Germany's new anti-euro party: "We are running on a platform to dissolve the euro in a stepwise fashion"

What Hamburg University economics professor Bernd Lucke, the founder of Germany's new anti-euro party, has to say about the European common currency and the EU in general is worth reading. 25% of Germans  are according to an opinion poll sympathetic to the party's anti-euro policy. Lucke's party also has a great number of influential members and supporters among German academics and industrialists:  

BI: Germany has managed to avoid recession, and unemployment continues to fall. Why would you want to endanger that status quo by leaving the euro?

BL: There is a huge build-up of fiscal risk in Germany by the obligations which we have agreed to under the European Stabilization Mechanism. So, while it currently seems to be the case that we do benefit from the euro crisis, there are tremendous risks in the wings, and we would like to end these policies of disguising fiscal risk, and discharging banks of their risk to the detriment of taxpayers.
We think that the tensions in the euro zone, which are currently just hidden by those transfer payments we make, should be made visible and should be solved by reintroducing national currencies and exchange rate flexibility.
This may, in the short run, put some burden on the German economy as well, but I think in the long run, it will be much more beneficial than the current policy.
BI: What is the real downside to continued wealth transfers from Germany and other northern euro member states to those on the periphery?
BL: Well, I don't really see that those economies are coming back on track. What we see currently is a steep rise in unemployment and youth unemployment in the southern European countries. We do observe some improvement in the terms of current account deficits and measures of productivity, but these are an improvement only because unemployment is rising – because less productive workers have been fired.
So, I do not think that this does indicate any kind of real progress, or at least enough progress to make those countries competitive again.
The problem seems to be that we have started with a transfer union, and there is no way out that we currently see as long as we stay in the euro. Rather, it seems that this policy will linger on for years, and possibly decades, which will put a heavy burden on German taxpayers, households, as well as enterprises.
This heavy burden we just do not want to bear, and this is why we have formed our party to oppose it.
BI: Does Alternative advocate that Germany should leave the euro?
BL: No. We are running on a platform to dissolve the euro in a stepwise fashion, on a platform which proposes to reintroduce national currencies, but not by having Germany leave the euro, but rather by making the southern European countries leave the euro first, and then breaking up the remaining euro zone into other smaller currency areas, or into countries which each have their own national currency.
What we do not propose is that Germany leave the euro either now or in the future in any kind of unilateral sense.
BI: How has your background informed your views on the euro and Alternative's euro policy platform?
BL: I think there are basically two sources. One source is that I do not see much support for the economics behind the rescue policies. We have a big misallocation of capital by the rescue facilities.
We use the completely wrong incentives for the crisis countries. We do not help them solve their problems, but pile up more debt for them and force them into a recession, which makes the situation simply unsustainable.
So, there is a lot of economics which can actually be advanced against current policies.
The second source of my thinking was sort of more democratic or legalistic way of thinking in the sense that I was shocked by the fact that our government does not respective the Treaty of Maastricht. It just acts as it pleases in certain circumstances, completely disregarding all the promises which ever have been made to German voters, completely disregarding the legal framework of the European Union.
This, I think, is something which is really shameful for a democratic society, and is also a major source for my political engagement.
(bolded by NNoN)

Read the entire article here

The shale gas and oil revolution is paving the way for the great American railroad revival

The great steam engines will not return, but the American  railroad  revival is in full bloom.

The American shale gas and oil revolution is spreading its beneficial influence on a great number of industrial activities. The great American railroad revival is a case in point: 

According to data from Union Pacific (UP), the shale industry accounted for 133,000 extra UP carloads in 2012 – that’s an 84% increase from 2011. Indeed, even in the face of a coal shipment fallout, the rail industry is doing better than ever.

And the US Today reports that the railroad oil sector grew from 10,000 shipments a year to an estimated 200,000 a year in 2012.

The future for the once beleaguered U.S. and Canadian railroads is looking good:

Plus, another added benefit from America’s booming energy industry is that new manufacturing and chemical plants will also need to get their goods from landlocked states to the coast – I’m looking at you Ohio.

From a market standpoint all of the big names in rail are up double digits year over year. – Union Pacific (UNP) up 29%, Norfolk Southern (NSC) up 15% and CSX (CSX) up 10%. Each also pays near a 2% dividend.
Feeding off the same trends, the smaller U.S. rail players have done even better.
Kansas City Southern (KSU) is up 48% year over year. And one company that falls short of the top-5 by revenue, Genessee & Wyoming Inc (GWR), jumped 64% year over year.
Importantly for today’s discussion, the gains for these rail companies are just the beginning…
According to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, by 2040 demand for rail hauling is expected to increase 50% — to $27.5 billion. Indeed, rising demand for a low-cost industry like rail can lead to some solid long-term gains.

And the rail industry will benefit from the shale boom also in another way: 

Speaking of low-cost, the costs for rail providers may be getting even lower with the advent of natural gas-powered locomotives. Recently Buffett’s BNSF along with other major railways (including CSX and our neighbor to the north, Canadian National Railway) have begun testing natural gas powered locomotives.

These engines can run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), which provides an amazing cost break. In particular, while a gallon of diesel will run you about $4 the equivalent of natural gas costs about 50 cents.
So while it’s costing more and more to ship via truck or plane, the rail industry could be set for even more cost breaks. That’s a solid long-term trend if I ever saw one.

Read the entire article here

A map of the US railroad network in 1922. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Former Maoist J.M. Barroso almost in a trance at the sight of his beloved "imperial" flag in Prague

A former communist and a former Maoist today joined forces at the Prague Castle:

The new Czech president hoisted the European Union flag at the seat of the country's presidency for the first time on Wednesday, marking a significant shift in attitude from his euroskeptic predecessor.

The Czech Republic joined the bloc in 2004, along with nine other countries, but then President Vaclav Klaus refused to raise the flag at Prague Castle, an ancient landmark.

But after Klaus's departure from office last month, new leftist President Milos Zeman - a self-proclaimed euro-federalist - made a point of hoisting the flag with much fanfare in one of his first public appearances.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso accompanied Zeman at the flag-raising ceremony, which featured a military band playing Czech and EU anthems.
The Maoist, who was almost in a trance at the sight of his beloved "imperial" flag, considered this occasion so important that he felt a need to tweet the following in the EU's premier language: 
Heureux de voir drapeau hissé sur Chateau de pour la 1ère fois depuis l'adhésion avec le Président


Flag raisings are without doubt some of Barroso's favourite events. They apparently make it easier for him to forget this less than pleasant reality: Only 34% of the Czechs have a favourable view of the European Union, and even fewer, 31%, think that European integration has strengthened their economy. 

Sir Nicholas Stern - a leading contemporary charlatan - has again been performing one of his confidence tricks

A Renaissance mountebank by Hieronymus Bosch. 
(image by wikipedia)

"A charlatan (also called swindler or mountebank) is a person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretense or deception."

Nicholas Herbert Stern, Baron Stern of Brentford, the former chief economist for the World Bank, now a leading contemporary mountebank, has again been performing one of his traditional "confidence tricks", this time at an IMF meeting: 

Without changes to emission trends, the planet has roughly a 50 percent chance that temperatures will soar to five degrees Celsius (nine degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial averages in a century, he said.

“We haven’t been above five degrees Centigrade on this planet for about 30 million years. So you can see that this is radical change way outside human experience,” Stern said in an address at the International Monetary Fund.
“When we were at three degrees Centigrade three million years ago, the sea levels were about 20 some meters (65 feet) above now. On sea level rise of just two meters, probably a couple of hundred million people would have to move,” he said.
Stern said that other effects would come more quickly including the expansion of deserts and the melting of Himalayan snows that supply rivers on which up to two billion people depend.
Even if nations fulfill pledges made in 2010 at a UN-led conference in Cancun, Mexico, the world would be on track to warming of four degrees (7.2 Fahrenheit), he said.

With the knowledge that "global warming" stopped at least 16 years ago, it is becoming increasingly difficult to understand why a charlatan like Stern is still invited to speak as an "expert" at IMF and other similar gatherings. Most likely these people actually want to be conned, in order to be able to avoid making real decisions about real global problems.  

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

"The EU growth and jobs strategy is beginning to bear fruit": Eurozone unemployment rose to a record high in February

The European Union internet bookshop offers the publication "Jobs and growth in the EU" free of charge to anybody who is interested:

"Economic growth and job creation are vital to safeguarding our way of life and our standard of living. Faced with the challenges of globalisation, ageing populations and climate change, EU leaders have agreed a comprehensive strategy for creating jobs and growth, and sharing the benefits equitably across the EU and all groups in society. The EU growth and jobs strategy is beginning to bear fruit. It works to unlock the knowledge and innovation potential of the EU, to translate ideas into competitive business opportunities, to invest in people, and to create a greener economy in the interests of job creation now and tomorrow."
Like so much else coming from Brussels, this "roadmap to a sustainable tomorrow" is a document devoid of all meaning and substance. The reality of today's eurozone and EU is this

Unemployment rose to a record high of 12 percent in February in the Eurozone, according to the latest data released by the EU's official statistics agency.

The Belgium-based Eurostat said on Tuesday that some 19.07 million people in the 17-member currency bloc are looking for jobs, up by 1.01 percent from the same month last year.
"Such unacceptably high levels of unemployment are a tragedy for Europe,"said a spokeswoman for EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor. "The EU has to mobilise all available resources to create jobs...young people in particular need help," she said.
The figures and a weak manufacturing sector report added to the gloom after data earlier this year had encouraged some hope the European economy might finally have touched bottom.
Analysts suggested Tuesday's reports pointed instead to worse to come, with the jobless queues likely to grow as the debt crisis continues to sap the economy.
Youth unemployment
The highest unemployment rates in February were found in Spain with 26.3 percent and neighbour Portugal, on 17.5 percent.
Greece was put at it 26.4 percent but this figure is for December, the latest available.
The lowest rates were 4.8 percent in Austria and 5.4 percent in Germany, Europe's biggest economy.
With youth unemployment a huge cause of concern, Eurostat said that the jobless rate for under-25s ran at 23.9 percent in the Eurozone and 23.5 percent in the EU.
Among the countries with the highest youth jobless levels, Spain was on 55.7 percent, followed by Portugal on 38.2 percent and Italy with 37.8 percent.
Greece was the highest with 58.4 percent but this was also for December.
Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said the figures marked a "dismal landmark" at 12 percent -- already very close to the official EU 2013 forecast of 12.2 percent.

Fortunately more and more people are beginning see the reality behind the propaganda. The European "leaders" who have created this mess deserve to be thrown out of office as soon as possible. Their place is in a new European institution, hopefully soon to be created - the European Hall of Shame