Saturday, 14 September 2013

Jose Manual Barroso meddling in UK politics

The president of the EU Commission, former maoist Jose Manuel Barroso, apparently thinks that he is the Emperor of Europe. Who is this failed bureaucrat to lecture anybody on what UK voters might decide about their own elections?

The president of the European Commission hit out at the leader of the British Conservatives in the European Parliament on Wednesday, saying his party's copying of the eurosceptic UKIP group risked election defeat.
In unusually frank remarks, Jose Manuel Barroso broke with the Commission's usual reluctance to comment on national politics to challenge the Conservatives' stance of questioning Britain's continued membership of the European Union.
Responding to criticism from Martin Callanan that he had not "delivered on any of the big promises or any of the grand rhetoric", Barroso countered that the Conservatives risked losing British elections to the eurosceptic UK Independence Party led by Nigel Farage.
"I think increasingly your party and your Group is looking like UKIP, a Eurosceptic, anti-European group," Barroso said, having earlier delivered his annual "state of the EU" speech.
"And I am starting to have some doubts that you are going to be elected yourself in Britain, or if it is not UKIP that is going to be the first force in the British elections," he said.
"Because when it comes to being against Europe, the people, between the original and the copy, prefer the original," he added. "That is probably why they are going to vote more for Mr Farage than for Mr Callanan."

Read the entire article here

Why on earth is the BBC wasting money and resources on "the largest ever study of people's experience of climate change in seven countries"?

BBC Media Action (the new name for the BBC World Service Trust) has today launched, Climate Asia, "the largest ever study of people's experience of climate change in seven countries - Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam."

Ahead of the launch, senior research manager at Climate Asia, Sonia Whitehead has written a summary of the research project in the warmist Guardian, titled "The first rule of climate change research: don't mention climate change".

And what did the scores of BBC researchers find out, when they talked to 35,500 people in seven countries, without mentioning "climate change"?

Senior research manager Whitehead relates some core findings:

It was clear that people were noticing changes in weather and resources. They said things like, in Vietnam "I now don't need to wear a jumper until November", in India "I have to walk further to get water", and in Nepal "maize is not as fat as it used to be" and in China "goats are now grazing further up the mountain".

The Climate Asia website gives us some more fascinating "results" of this ground breaking research:

of people feel changes in climate are affecting their ability to be healthy
of people in the region feel the number of extreme weather events has increased over the last 10 years
do not feel well informed about these issues
The purpose with the research is this, according to the information published in the Climate Asia portal:
This unique data provides information for governments, donors, the media, NGOs and everyone who wants to support people to adapt to the changing environment.
Even the BBC "researchers" themselves do not appear to be too convinced about the reliability of their research:
No Warranties
The Data is believed to be correct at the time of posting.  BBC Media Action cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the Data or any information on or provided in connection with the Site, or any other information accessed through this Site.  BBC Media Action and any of its officers, trustees, agents, employees, and sub-contractors, are not responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information and disclaims any representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement, to the fullest extent permissible under any applicable laws.
BBC Media Action does not warrant that the functions contained at this Site will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this Site or the server that makes it available are free of viruses or other harmful components.
The entire undertaking raises at least on basic question:
Why is the BBC wasting huge sums of money on this kind of empty and useless research, which is totally unrelated to its task of producing high quality programmes?

Matt Ridley: Real possibility that "overall effect of climate change will be positive"

The IPCC's "fifth assessment report", to be published on September 27, will - quite like its predecessors - be presented as a portender of ominous happenings. However, as Matt Ridley points out, it is quite possible that the overall effect of global warming will be positive:

It is significant because it points to the very real possibility that, over the next several generations, the overall effect of climate change will be positive for humankind and the planet.--

Warming of up to 1.2 degrees Celsius over the next 70 years (0.8 degrees have already occurred), most of which is predicted to happen in cold areas in winter and at night, would extend the range of farming further north, improve crop yields, slightly increase rainfall (especially in arid areas), enhance forest growth and cut winter deaths (which far exceed summer deaths in most places). Increased carbon dioxide levels also have caused and will continue to cause an increase in the growth rates of crops and the greening of the Earth—because plants grow faster and need less water when carbon dioxide concentrations are higher.

Up to two degrees of warming, these benefits will generally outweigh the harmful effects, such as more extreme weather or rising sea levels, which even the IPCC concedes will be only about 1 to 3 feet during this period.

Yet these latest IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity may still be too high. They don't adequately reflect the latest rash of published papers estimating "equilibrium climate sensitivity" and "transient climate response" on the basis of observations, most of which are pointing to an even milder warming. This was already apparent last year with two papers—by scientists at the University of Illinois and Oslo University in Norway—finding a lower ECS than assumed by the models. Since then, three new papers conclude that ECS is well below the range assumed in the models. The most significant of these, published in Nature Geoscience by a team including 14 lead authors of the forthcoming IPCC scientific report, concluded that "the most likely value of equilibrium climate sensitivity based on the energy budget of the most recent decade is 2.0 degrees Celsius." --

Since the last IPCC report in 2007, much has changed. It is now more than 15 years since global average temperature rose significantly. Indeed, the IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri has conceded that the "pause" already may have lasted for 17 years, depending on which data set you look at. A recent study in Nature Climate Change by Francis Zwiers and colleagues of the University of Victoria, British Columbia, found that models have overestimated warming by 100% over the past 20 years.

Explaining this failure is now a cottage industry in climate science. At first, it was hoped that an underestimate of sulfate pollution from industry (which can cool the air by reflecting heat back into space) might explain the pause, but the science has gone the other way—reducing its estimate of sulfate cooling. Now a favorite explanation is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean. Yet the data to support this thesis come from ocean buoys and deal in hundredths of a degree of temperature change, with a measurement error far larger than that. Moreover, ocean heat uptake has been slowing over the past eight years.

Read the entire article here

Friday, 13 September 2013

Charles Krauthammer on Obama's "epic incompetence"

Charles Krauthammer says it all:

Yet consider what’s happened over the last month. Assad uses poison gas on civilians and is branded, by the United States above all, a war criminal. Putin, covering for the war criminal, is exposed, isolated, courting pariah status.
And now? Assad, far from receiving punishment of any kind, goes from monster to peace partner. Putin bestrides the world stage, playing dealmaker. He’s welcomed by America as a constructive partner. Now a world statesman, he takes to the New York Times to blame American interventionist arrogance — a.k.a. “American exceptionalism” — for inducing small states to acquire WMDs in the first place.
And Obama gets to slink away from a Syrian debacle of his own making. Such are the fruits of a diplomacy of epic incompetence.

The European Union's huge - and expensive - climate bureacracy should be cut down

European politicians and bureaucrats often boast about the EU's climate policy leadership role in the world. However, as Europe's competitiveness is continuing to deteriorate as a result of these policies, it is not surprising that influential business leaders have began to demand an end to the excessive, costly - and useless - climate policies.

And it is not only the policies which should be rewritten. The huge and expensive EU climate bureaucracy should also be abolished, or at least scaled down drastically.

The Commissioner for Climate Action, the former Danish journalist Connie Hedegaard, has a staff of over 20 bureaucrats, and when one adds the staff of the Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG.CLIMA) and other climate related EU units, then we are talking about hundreds of overpaid bureaucrats, wasting European taxpayers' money that could, and should, be used for some meaningful purposes.

A look at the DG.CLIMA's staff page shows that the Directorate-General consists of at least 23 units:

+++ CLIMA.DG (Reporting directly to the Director-General)
++++ CLIMA.DG.SIAC (Shared International AuditCapability ENV/CLIM)
++++ CLIMA.DG.001 (Office of Policy Coordination and liaison with DG ENV)
++++ CLIMA.DG.002 (Communication)
++++ CLIMA.DG.003 (Administrative & Legal support, Liaison SRD)
+++ CLIMA.A (International and Climate Strategy)
++++ CLIMA.A.1 (International and Inter-institutional Relations)
++++ CLIMA.A.2 (Climate Finance and Deforestation)
++++ CLIMA.A.3 (Monitoring, Reporting, Verification)
++++ CLIMA.A.4 (Strategy and Economic Assessment)
+++ CLIMA.B (European and International Carbon Markets)
++++ CLIMA.B1 (Implementation of ETS)
++++ CLIMA.B2 (Benchmarking)
++++ CLIMA.B3 (International Carbon Market, Aviation and Maritime)
+++ CLIMA.C (Mainstreaming Adaptation and Low Carbon Technology)
++++ CLIMA.C.1 (Low Carbon Technologies)
++++ CLIMA.C.2 (Transport and Ozone)
++++ CLIMA.C.3 (Adaptation)
+++ CLIMA.SRD (Shared Resource Directorate, ENC/CLIM)
++++ CLIMA.SRD.1 (Human Resources and Administration)
++++ CLIMA.SRD.2 (Finance)
++++ CLIMA.SRD.3 (Information Technology)

All of these units have large staffs. Just as an example, the CLIMA.A.2 includes at least the following bureaucrats:

Mr    Peter WEHRHEIM Head of Unit 

Secretary - to the Head of Unit

Secretary - to the Head of Unit

Policy Officer - International climate finance

Policy Officer - Land use, land use change and forestry issues (REDD+)

Legal Officer

Policy Officer - International relations

Policy Officer - Land use, land use change and forestry issues and follow-up on partnerships with Latin America (esp. Brazil)

Policy Officer - Energy & Environment Policy

Policy Officer - International climate negotiations and cooperation with 3rd countries esp. on innovative clean energy technologies

Policy Officer - International climate negotiations (esp funding issues) and follow-up on partnerships with Africa

Policy Officer - Energy & Environment Policy

Policy Officer - International relations

Policy Officer - EU's climate action

These people are of course only the tip of the iceberg. To keep the EU warmists rolling, there is a huge number of unnamed ushers, drivers, caretakers, cooks and other service staff ....


EU president Herman Van Rompuy wants European Court of Auditors to tone down critical reports

"But given this media handling of information, and its impact on public opinion in some countries, the Court might want to give some further thought as to how it can encourage more nuanced reporting. It's important that citizens can have the whole picture, with all its nuances."

Herman Van Rompuy
President of the European Council

EU president Herman Van Rompuy has congratulated the European Court of Auditors, celebrating its 35th anniversary, by encouraging it to publish less critical reports ("more nuanced reporting"):

In a frank speech to the European Court of Auditors, the EU president expressed alarm at the negative public reaction to its regular reports that frequently find problems in accounting for over £110 billion in annual spending.

Mr Van Rompuy and other Brussels officials are concerned that rigorous accounting standards do not give a "nuanced" enough picture of European expenditure leading the public to learn the wrong lesson about the EU.

"As European institutions, we share the responsibility to make these results known, and to work hard to overcome shortcomings. In doing so, we share another responsibility: that of being as didactic as we possibly can," he said.

"In the end we are all responsible for Europe and its image. We all have to account for the Union. In times of crisis, it is more vital than ever to foster confidence by impartial control and meticulous evaluation of public policy. We should also be teaching to convince Europeans and demonstrate clearly that Europe is not the source of problems, but the solution."

The world of Brussels officialdom was shaken in July by EU polling showing that trust European institutions had plummeted to an all time low of 31 per cent in the wake of eurozone crisis and collapsing living standards in many countries across Europe.

Read the entire article here

Bright future for Greenland: World's largest deposits of rare earth metals likely to be opened up for mining soon

Danmark's image as a green, anti-nuclear energy country, full of swivelling wind turbines, could according to the Danish weekly Weekendavisen soon change, if the autonomous Greenland government, as expected, decides to say yes to mining of Uranium and rare earth metals in the world's largest island.

The Australian mining company GME, in charge of preparatory work, is enthusiastic about the prospects:

The mining project at Kuannersuit is a unique project in southern Greenland. The mining preparatory work that has been in operation since 2007, has unveiled the world's largest deposits of rare earth metals including uranium and zinc. --

Kvanefjeld has the potential to meet the world's rapidly growing demand for rare earth metals, and thus can contribute strongly to the Greenlandic economy for many decades to come.
Greenland Minerals and Energy believes that Kvanefjeld can be the starting point for a mining area in the world that can be developed in a responsible and environmentally friendly way and become one of the world's leading sources of rare earth metals.

The ore in Kvanefjeld contains a number of elements with a very high commercial value. The rare earth metals are the primary product and the uranium is extracted as a byproduct. The potential annual production of rare earth metals are more than 40,000 tonnes, which is ten times more than the production of the byproduct uranium oxide.

Greenland decided more than 30 years ago that there should not be exploration or mined uranium and other radioactive elements. This political decision remains valid - the so-called zero tolerance.
But the Greenlandic authorities have eased zero-tolerance a little bit and changed the standard conditions for mineral exploration, so Greenland Minerals and Energy has been allowed to continue test drilling and complete exploration work on Kvanefjeld, although there is uranium in the ore. --

The US and the EU - as well as China - are closely watching the development of the Kvanefjeld project:

China accounts for nearly 95 percent of world production of rare earth metals. The national demand is so high that the majority is consumed in China, and only a relatively small proportion is available for export. China has slowly but surely reduced its export quotas and increased their export tax knowing that the rare earth metals in the degree is a strategic commodity.
Unless large and stable detection of rare earth metals outside of China happen, foreign companies may be forced to relocate their production to China to get access to the rare earth metals. In the light of that the deposit on Kvanefjeld plays a significant strategic role, and the mining project will be followed with great attention in the EU and the U.S. and multinational industrial groups.

Greenland was in 1979 granted self-government by the Danish parliament. In 2009 Greenland acquired greater responsibility for internal affairs, including the right to decide about use of raw materials.

The Russian proposal to destroy Assad's chemical weapons is not serious

The Russian proposal to destroy Assad's chemical weapons is nothing but a ploy to play for time. US experts explain why:

Experts in chemical weapons disposal point to a host of challenges. Taking control of Assad's enormous stores of the munitions would be difficult to do in the midst of a brutal civil war. Dozens of new facilities for destroying the weapons would have to be built from scratch or brought into the country from the U.S., and completing the job would potentially take a decade or more. The work itself would need to be done by specially-trained military personnel or contractors. Guess which country has most of those troops and civilian experts? If you said the U.S., you'd be right.
"This isn't simply burning the leaves in your backyard," said Mike Kuhlman, the chief scientist for national security at Battelle, a company that has been involved in chemical weapons disposal work at several sites in the U.S. "It's not something you do overnight, it's not easy, and it's not cheap." --

Finding and securing all of Assad's sites would be the first major challenge of implementing the Russian plan, but it would be far from the only one. The U.S. and allied personnel would then have to separate the chemical substances themselves from the warheads of his rockets, artillery shells or missiles that had been designed to carry them to their targets. The work itself would be carried out by either robots, contractors or specially-trained troops, but it would still be time-consuming and dangerous.
The next step would be to physically destroy all of chemical weapons, which can be done through one of two basic options.  The first involves spraying the chemicals themselves into specialized furnaces and then burning them at around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for one or two seconds. Nerve agents like sarin can also be rendered largely harmless by the addition of liquid sodium hydroxide, while mustard gas can be made safe with alkaline water.
Kuhlman and other experts say that either type of destruction would have to be done at individual Syrian weapons sites because it wouldn't be safe to move the munitions to a centralized collection point inside Syria while the fighting was raging.  That would mean either building a new permanent disposal facility at each Syrian compound or bringing in newly-fielded mobile disposal units from the U.S.  The mobile systems have not been tested in an active warzone and may not have the capacity to deal with Assad’s huge quantities of weapons.  
"Do you really want to have truckloads of chemical weapons driving around Syria during the current situation?" Kuhlman asked.
A senior Defense Department chemical weapons specialist raised a different concern.  The official said the biggest security challenge would be keeping the weapons safe while they were in storage waiting to be destroyed, not while they were being moved.
“Does an insurgent group attack a heavily armed convoy of chemical weapons moving from one or more sites to a disposal facility, with lots of response plans and forces on call, or does it wait until the weapons are moved and the nasty military units go away and the disposal operations start,” the official said. “The easier target is the disposal facility.”
The official said a safer option might involve moving the weapons out of Syria entirely and doing the disposal work in a safer and more secure country. 
Cheryl Rofer, who supervised a team responsible for destroying chemical warfare agents at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said none of the work could be carried out until there was a full cease-fire between Assad and the rebels fighting to unseat him. There are no indications, she noted, that either side was prepared to come to the negotiating table or wind down a civil war that has already been raging for more than two years.
"This is simply dangerous to do while people are shooting at each other," she said.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Europe's leading energy companies want to put brakes on the building of new wind farms and solar panels

Europe's leading energy companies are warning that the European Union's climate change policy is destroying Europe's competitiveness. On Tuesday nine leading energy companies - GDF Suez, Eni, Enel, E.ON, RWE, GasTerra, Iberdrola, Gas Natural and Vattenfall - presented a package  of proposals to the European Parliament:
The proposals, which call for “ambitious but realistic” targets, were designed to sway the ongoing debate in Brussels concerning new climate change goals for 2030.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Gérard Mestrallet, chief executive of GDF Suez, said: “We have to reduce the speed at which Europe is building new wind farms and solar panels. At the moment, it is not sustainable.”
Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, voiced his agreement.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph at the Ambrosetti forum of global policy-makers at Lake Como, he said: “I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can't be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. 
“We have to stop pretending, because we can't sacrifice Europe's industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide.”

Mr Tajani also warned that Europe's idealistic race for renewables was driving the cost of electricity out of the realm of affordability.
The vast expense of energy is leaving Europe struggling to compete against the US, he argued.

The price of natural gas in the US has plummeted by 80% as the shale revolution pushes forward, leaving Europe lagging behind in the industry competition stakes.

It is, of course, excellent that a person like Antonio Tajani understands the problem, but knowing the strength of the climate change and wind&solar lobbies, it is highly unlikely that very much will change to the better in Brussels.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Top Syrian rebel commander: "President Putin is a terrorist"

At least one person, top Syrian rebel commander, General Salim Idris, is telling the truth about "peace maker" Vladimir Putin, whom weak and incompetent US President Barack Obama seems to be trusting:

The top rebel commander in Syria, General Salim Idris, in an exclusive interview with TIME on Tuesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “terrorist” and accused Syrian dictator Bashar Assad of an effort to “win some time … to deceive our American friends and the international community.”

Speaking via Skype, the Free Syrian Army leader warned that widespread violence in Syria would make it impossible for U.N. weapons inspectors to certify that Assad had given up all of his weapons, the goal of a Russian-backed proposal now under consideration in Washington and at the U.N. Idris said his forces would grant U.N. inspectors access to rebel-controlled areas if necessary, though he said he hoped such inspections wouldn’t occur as he considered them a Russian-backed diversion from strikes against the Assad regime.

Speaking via Skype, the Free Syrian Army leader warned that widespread violence in Syria would make it impossible for U.N. weapons inspectors to certify that Assad had given up all of his weapons, the goal of a Russian-backed proposal now under consideration in Washington and at the U.N. Idris said his forces would grant U.N. inspectors access to rebel-controlled areas if necessary, though he said he hoped such inspections wouldn’t occur as he considered them a Russian-backed diversion from strikes against the Assad regime.

Although Idris is battling Assad’s forces on the ground, his fury was mainly directed toward Assad’s patrons in Moscow. The Russians “are trying now to find a solution for the regime,” he said, warning that “it is very important … not to be deceived [by] the Russians. They are liars. President Putin is a terrorist. He is a liar. He is lying. He is killing the Syrian people with Russian[-supplied] air jets and Russian tanks. They are killing our people since two and a half years. We can’t trust them, and we can’t trust in Bashar and believe in President Putin. The two are criminals and liars. Excuse me, please, but this is the reality.”

Idris said Syrian rebels still live under constant threat of not just chemical weapons, but also SCUD missile and other heavy artillery. He renewed his longtime pleas, rejected by Washington, for antiaircraft weapons and a no-fly zone over Syria. And he reiterated his insistence that his forces do

Could airborn wind technology replace the costly, ineffective and ugly conventional wind turbines?

When I first saw the video below, I thought it was a joke. A kite actually producing energy?

However, after reading what the conservative German daily Die Welt writes about wind kites as a possible future alternative for the ugly, ineffective and costly ordinary wind turbines, I think that this new technology at least deserves some serious attention. Energy kite technology could, according to Die Welt, produce energy at a fraction of the cost for conventional wind turbines, offshore wind turbines included. Expenditure on materials is also 95% smaller. An additional bonus: Kites do not destroy the landscape like ordinary wind turbines do.

No wonder that the conventional wind turbine industry is, according to Die Welt, doing its best to ignore the newcomers, who have organized their own Airborn Wind Energy Conference in Berlin.

This is how the company EnerKite describes the energy kites compared with ordinary wind turbines:

Today's wind turbines supply their rated output less than a quarter of time. At inland sites the gondolas grow on expensive towers into the heights of more persistent winds. Offshore apart from the grid connection also the costs of the complex foundation push up the prices for environmentally friendly energy.

For the use of steady and strong winds above the hub heights of conventional wind-power plants onshore as well as offshore, kite wings offer a unique potential. The savings in the field of foundation, tower and blades are made possible by most modern control technology and efficient wing design. Wind energy from EnerKites one day could be more favourable than those from fossil fuels. --

 EnerKites work in two phases. In the working phase, the wing is flying cross wind, pulling out the tether with optimal force and speed. This drives the rope drum, in which the generator is mounted. In the recovery phase, the wing is returning back to the starting point as fast and smooth as possible, here the cycle closes. In the long working phase the force is ten times higher than in the recovery phase, therefore the energy balance is positive. The autonomous control manages the cycle, limits the peak loads and determines the optimal flight path in changing wind conditions. Unlike standard wind turbines, the electric energy is generated at the ground station, from where the wing is also controlled. Accordingly, the number of airborne components is minimized.

Norman Podhorez on Obama: ¨his behavior fits his strategy to weaken America abroad"

The astute foreign policy observer Norman Podhoretz sums up Barack Obama's "Successful Foreign Failure":

The president may look incompetent on Syria. But his behavior fits his strategy to weaken America abroad. --

The consequent erosion of American power was going very nicely when the unfortunately named Arab Spring presented the president with several juicy opportunities to speed up the process. First in Egypt, his incoherent moves resulted in a complete loss of American influence, and now, thanks to his handling of the Syrian crisis, he is bringing about a greater diminution of American power than he probably envisaged even in his wildest radical dreams.

For this fulfillment of his dearest political wishes, Mr. Obama is evidently willing to pay the price of a sullied reputation. In that sense, he is by his own lights sacrificing himself for what he imagines is the good of the nation of which he is the president, and also to the benefit of the world, of which he loves proclaiming himself a citizen.

The problem for Mr. Obama is that at least since the end of World War II, Americans have taken pride in being No. 1. Unless the American people have been as fundamentally transformed as their country is quickly becoming, America's decline will not sit well. With more than three years in office to go, will Mr. Obama be willing and able to endure the continuing erosion of his popularity that will almost certainly come with the erosion of the country's power and influence?

No doubt he will either deny that anything has gone wrong, or failing that, he will resort to his favorite tactic of blaming others—Congress or the Republicans or Rush Limbaugh. But what is also almost certain is that he will refuse to change course and do the things that will be necessary to restore U.S. power and influence.

And so we can only pray that the hole he will go on digging will not be too deep for his successor to pull us out, as Ronald Reagan managed to do when he followed a president into the White House whom Mr. Obama so uncannily resembles.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Smithsonian: "Homo Sapiens is especially able to cope with a broad range of climatic conditions"

The National Museum of Natural History ( part of Smithsonian) has an article  - "Climate Effects on Human Evolution" -  on its webpage, which should be read by all politicians, who have been brainwashed by the global warming alarmists. 

After describing the latest research on how humans have coped with climate effects, the author's conclusion is clear:
Overall, the evidence shows that hominins were able to adapt to changing environments. The genus Homo, to which our species belongs, also had the capacity to adjust to a variety of environmental conditions all over the world. Homo sapiens is especially able to cope with a broad range of climatic conditions, hot and cold environments, arid and moist ones, and with all kinds of varying vegetation. We use resources from a vast variety of plants and animals and use many specialized tools. We have many social contacts and means of exchanging resources and information to help us survive in a constantly changing world.

Considering the fact that the alarmists have been able to dominate the debate for years now, it is not surprising that the author of the article does include a caveat:

The question ahead is how well our sources of resilience as a species will succeed as our alterations to the landscape, atmosphere, and water sources interact with the tendency of Earth’s environment to shift all on its own. This is an ‘experiment’ just now unfolding, one that has never been tried before. The intensity of environmental change seems likely to create entirely new survival challenges for the lone hominin species on the planet, and many other organisms as well.

But this caveat does not alter the main conclusion: "Homo sapiens is especially able to cope with a broad range of climatic conditions, hot and cold environments, arid and moist ones, and with all kinds of varying vegetation."

UK warmists whining as government is reducing wind energy subsidies

On July 4 the UK TaxPayers' Alliance launched its "Stop the Energy Swindle" campaign:

"Families and businesses are struggling with their electricity and gas bills. Politicians should be cutting energy taxes to ease that burden. Instead they are adding to them on an enormous scale to pay for fat subsidies that support expensive energy sources like wind turbines and solar panels. People who are already finding it hard to pay their bills will not be able to cope with the big increases in prices needed to meet draconian targets for the energy sector. We cannot allow more families to suffer needlessly and more jobs to be driven overseas thanks to high prices here in Britain. It is time to stop the energy swindle."

Now it appears that the UK government is finally listening - and the "independent" warmist Committee on  Climate Change is whining:

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has written to Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, to warn that "required investment is at risk under current proposals".

Proposed reductions in subsidy levels for offshore wind farms this decade are too severe for the cost reductions that the industry can achieve, it warns.

Ministers also appear to have dramatically scaled back their ambitions for how much offshore wind is wanted in the long-term, undermining confidence in the sector.

This creates a vicious circle whereby developers are reluctant to make the investments that would be needed to reduce costs, the CCC warns.

David Kennedy, chief executive of the CCC, said: "I have spoken to every major investor and they are all concerned."

What the CCC considers a "vicious cycle" is in reality a much awaited virtuous cycle, which hopefully will be strengthened in the near future.


Putin and Assad playing games with weakest US president since Carter

Dictators Putin and Assad are playing games with the weakest US president since Carter:

If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gives up his chemical weapons, a military strike would "absolutely" be on pause, President Obama said today.
"I consider this a modestly positive development," Obama told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an interview at the White House when asked whether Syria's apparent willingness to relinquish control of its chemical weapons would prevent a U.S. strike.
"Let's see if we can come up with language that avoids a strike but accomplishes our key goals to make sure that these chemical weapons are not used," the president said.
Obama's comments come after the Russian foreign minister suggested today that Syria could avoid a U.S. attack by turning over its chemical weapons stockpiles over to international control and destroying them, a proposal the Syrian government "welcomed."
Obama said that Secretary of State John Kerry would pursue the proposal with Russia, an ally of Syria.
It is so sad to see the leader of the Free World in free fall. Barack Obama has lost whatever credibility he might have had.

Monday, 9 September 2013

The global warming establishment in a state of shock: The Planet is cooling!

The UN led global warming establishment is terrified. A secret memo to the IPCC reveals that the planet is getting cooler, not warmer:

The extraordinary “reverse” of global warming has led to a 60 per cent rise in ice-covered ocean. Just six years ago, some scientists were predicting that all of this ice would have melted away by 2013.
The big chill has persuaded some experts that temperatures will keep falling for decades and throws fresh doubts on claims that global warming will devastate the planet.
Details of the latest twist in the debate emerged in a secret memo to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
It says that a chillier-than-usual summer has left a thick ice layer stretching from the Canadian islands to the northern coast of Russia. The ice prevented dozens of yachts and a cruiser getting through America’s North-West Passage.
The memo surfaced days before the Arctic freeze is about to begin and six years after warnings that global warming would melt the ice by this winter. An ice-free Arctic was boldly predicted in a 2007 BBC report, which quoted ­Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
He said his grim but conservative estimate was provided by the most realistic computer models. Cambridge University expert Professor Peter Wadhams added: “This is not a cycle, not just a fluctuation. In the end, it will all just melt away quite suddenly.”--

The UN memo’s authors say they are “95 per cent confident” that global warming has been caused by greenhouse gases, which have risen by 90 per cent in the past six years.
But US climate expert Professor Judith Curry said carbon dioxide is less influential and ocean temperatures are more important, leading to a period of cooling.
She said the world might be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when temperatures fell over a longer period – leading some scientists to predict a new ice age.
Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the University of Wisconsin, said: “We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.
The doomsday prophets will without doubt try to continue their scaremongering, but with their credibility badly diminished, we will soon witness a major u-turn by the mainstream politicians, who have allowed themselves to be misled by the global warming lobby.

Failed former European leaders try to hide their failures by advocating a federal European state

A group of (mostly) retired European politicians - and a few academics - have signed an article in which they pretend that a federal European state is the answer to all present European problems:

When the heads of the EU’s three major institutions -- the European Commission, the European Council, and the European Parliament -- collected the Nobel Peace Prize together in Oslo last December, they spotlighted the vague mandate and lack of institutional clarity that are at the core of the organization’s current problems. Unless these institutions can garner legitimacy among European citizens and transform the EU into a real federal union, with common fiscal and economic policies to complement its single currency, Europe will be worried by its future as much as its past and continue to find its social model battered by the gales of an ever more competitive global economy.

The first step forward has to be developing an economic growth strategy, to escape the union’s current debt trap and to create breathing space for the tough reforms that can make Europe as a whole competitive again. As former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said, “Structural reforms can only work in conjunction with a growth trajectory.” Then, to sustain reform, the union needs a clear path to legitimacy for a strong but limited European government, one that resembles today’s Swiss federation. This will entail creating an executive body that is directly accountable to Europe’s citizens (emerging from the current commission), strengthening the parliament as a lower legislative house, and turning the council (a committee of the leaders of the member states) into an upper legislative house. Along the way, France will have to yield more sovereignty than its historic comfort zone has so far allowed, and Germany will have to realize that its own self-interest calls for it to bear the burden of resolving the current account imbalances within the Eurozone.--
Any move toward such a political union would obviously raise myriad thorny issues. The new institutions and their rules would ideally be established from the bottom up through a constituent assembly, rather than by a treaty change -- but how could a truly ground-up process ever get traction? The large parties that would win the most seats in the European Parliament would need to hash out a compromise or a common agenda robust enough to make governing possible -- but what if they did not? And what is most fundamental, could a political union ever really cohere if not preceded by continent-wide nation building aimed at forging a forward-looking common identity? What is crucial now, however, is recognition that the current system is not working and that closer, rather than looser, integration is the more sensible and attractive option. 

In 1789, Alexander Hamilton, then the U.S. secretary of the treasury, proposed a strong federal system of government that would assume the states’ debts from the American Revolution while guaranteeing a steady future revenue stream, further integrating fiscal policy while preserving a large swath of local sovereignty on nonfederal issues. This was the first step in making the United States a continental and, ultimately, global power. So, too, in Europe, debt resolution can be the midwife of a political union that could make Europe a powerful pillar in the geopolitical order of the twenty-first century. The only way to answer Europe’s current challenge in the face of the many uncertainties is for Europe’s leaders, and its public, to at last commit to this transformation instead of remaining paralyzed with hesitancy.
Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Juan Luis Cebrián, Jacques Delors, Mohamed El-Erian, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Felipe González, Otmar Issing, Jakob Kellenberger, Alain Minc, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Romano Prodi, Nouriel Roubini, Gerhard Schroeder, Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, Peter Sutherland, Matti Vanhanen, Guy Verhofstadt, Franz Vranitzky, and Axel Weber.
Blair, Schröder, Delores, Prodi and all the others know that a federal European state is a totally unrealistic scenario - an overwhelming majority of Europeans reject it. The real purpose of the article is, of course, to make ordinary Europeans forget that these are the people who through their failed policies to a considerable degree are to blame for the continuing European crisis.

I find it surprising that professor Niall Ferguson has signed the article. It was not long ago, when he, very aptly, wrote this about the economic integration of Europe:
Ultimately, it was a conspiracy by the European elite against their electorates. 

Swedish Foreign Minister: Putin's Russia engaged in "brutal pressure" against Eastern European countries

Most European leaders understand that Vladimir Putin is the dictator of the kleptocracy called Russia. But as long as there are "leaders", like EU "president" Herman Van Rompuy, who in their official speeches still describe Putin's mafia state in this way, there is not much hope for a more truthful approach:
Russia and Europe belong to the European family and want the same things, Van Rompuy underscored. “We want our citizens to be prosperous and safe; and we want peace and security between countries in Europe and in the world.” --
“I believe our societies will grow closer to one another, and that our economic systems, our political institutions will do so too – each of us following our own path,” said Van Rompuy.

Fortunately there are also political leaders, like Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who have a deeper understanding of  the Putin regime:

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt warned of Russia pressuring Eastern European countries like Armenia, Georgia and Moldova to cut negotiations with the European Union, urging the EU to develop a strategy to resist Moscow.

 "What we have seen during the past few weeks is brutal Russian pressure against the partnership countries of a sort that we haven't seen in Europe for a very long time," Bildt told reporters during a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Lithuania's capital Vilnius on Saturday.

He was referring to the post-soviet states Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, in which the EU supports democratic reforms under the so-called program "Eastern Partnership".

"I see they have been threatening Moldova with a cut-off in gas supplies as well as a cut-off in wine exports," Bildt said. "This is economic warfare."

He claims that Russia takes advantage of the international focus being on Syria, quietly pressuring the post-soviet states.

Last week, Russia warned Moldova that its pro-Europe stance could lead to a more costly energy relationship to its biggest gas supplier, Russia. Dimitry Rogozin, the Russian deputy prime minister, said on a visit to Moldova: "Energy supplies are important in the run-up to winter. I hope you won't freeze."

Moldova's leaders declared that they won't change their course towards more trade with the European Union.

In November, the EU will hold a summit in Vilnius, discussing new free trade agreements with the former soviet countries.

Of course Putin and his servile underlings have never liked truthsayers like Bildt, but if things go well from a European perspective, there will be more "Bildts", and fewer "Van Rompuys" in the future ....