Friday, 30 August 2013

A sad day in the British Parliament

War criminal Assad (and his supporter and sponsor, the corrupt dictator Putin) must be rejoicing:

Dozens of Conservative MPs refused to support the Prime Minister and sided with Labour in opposing a Government motion which supported the principle of military intervention. The motion backing the use of force "if necessary" was rejected by 285 votes to 272, a majority of 13 votes.

There were not enough sensible MPs like Sir Malcolm Rifkind:

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the head of the Intelligence and Security committee, said: “At this very moment, the Assad regime in Damascus are watching very carefully as to whether they will get away with what they have done.”
“If they get away with what they have done, if there is no significant international response of any kind, then we can be absolutely certain that the forces within Damascus will be successful in saying we must continue to use these whenever there is a military rationale for doing so.

“There is no guarantee that a military strike against military targets will work, but there is every certainty that if we don’t make that effort to punish and deter, then these actions will indeed continue.”

Read the entire article here

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Thousands of huge, costly and ugly wind turbines destroy the landscape in northern Germany

Steve Goreham, Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America, has visited northern Germany, and noticed that the formerly idyllic countryside is cluttered by ugly wind turbines: 
Thousands of wind turbines have been erected in northwest Germany to capture winds blowing in from the North Sea. Almost 23,000 wind turbines operated in Germany at the end of 2012, with more than 10,000 located in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony, the two states bordering the North Sea. Germany now has half the wind turbines of the United States, in an area much smaller.
These wind turbines dominate the countryside. Most reach more than 400 feet into the sky, taller than the Statue of Liberty. Newer, larger turbines stand more than 550 feet high to the top of the blade, higher than the Washington Monument. High voltage towers add to the disfigurement, constructed to transport electricity to populated areas of central and south Germany. --

According to figures from the German Federal Ministry, the 22,962 wind turbines operating at the end of 2012 provided only 7.3 percent of the nation’s electricity and about 1.8 percent of the nation’s energy consumption. Despite the location of many turbines on the windy North Sea, German wind turbines operated at a capacity factor (actual output vs. rated output) of only 17 percent in 2012.
The low capacity factor of German wind turbines makes wind electricity expensive. Driven by increased costs from renewables, household electricity rates almost doubled from 13.9 eurocents per kilowatt-hour to 26.0 eurocents per kilowatt-hour from 2000 to 2013. Today, Germany has the second highest electricity rates in Europe, more than triple U.S. electricity prices. --

Law requires grid operators to purchase all wind electricity produced at high fixed prices, even when consumer demand is low. When wind and solar output is high, operators dump excess power onto the grid, which depresses the wholesale price, even to negative levels. Natural gas plants have been reduced to a role of part-time backup for wind, making them unprofitable. Utilities E.ON and RWE have announced plans to close many hydrocarbon power plants that have recently become money-losers.
At the same time, Germany is boosting coal-fired electricity production. Electricity from coal-fired plants provided 44.7 percent of Germany’s electricity in 2012, up from 43.1 percent in 2011. Coal-fired plant output is expected to rise again in 2014 to replace declining output from nuclear plants that the German government decided to shut down after the Japanese Fukushima disaster in 2011. Due to the coal-fired ramp up, German greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2013 and will rise again in 2014.
So what has Germany gained by cluttering their idyllic countryside with wind turbine towers? Despite the recent rise in greenhouse gases, Germany’s CO2-equivalent emissions have declined about 25 percent since 1990. If we accept the climate model-predicted rise in global temperatures of 3oC for a doubling of CO2, the small German emissions decline will reduce global temperatures by a microscopic 0.002 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.
As Winston Churchill said, “However beautiful the strategy, occasionally you should look at the results.”

Read the entire article here

Germany has for years now been the economic power house of the European Union. However, with electricity prices more than three times higher than what Americans pay, the forecast for German growth cannot be very good. And tourism will of course also suffer. Who would like to spend a holiday in a region where those huge and ugly wind turbines destroy the landscape?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Assad (and his friend Putin) must be smiling: Obama's bomb strikes "will be brief and limited"

Dictator and war criminal Assad (and his Russian colleague Putin) must be smiling: Obama's bomb strikes will be brief and strictly limited:

An American military attack on Syria could begin as early as Thursday and will involve three days of missile strikes, according to "senior U.S. officials" talking to NBC News. The Washington Post has the bombing at "no more than two days," though long-range bombers could "possibly" join the missiles. "Factors weighing into the timing of any action include a desire to get it done before the president leaves for Russia next week," reports CNN, citing a "senior administration official."

Assad is most likely already celebrating, but Obama has to wait for the champagne until he meets his "reset" partner Putin in St. Petersburg next week.

Great news from Poland: ‘Polish shale gas is flowing’

This is good news for Poland (and Europe):

Shale gas has been flowing for more than a month from a wellbore near Lębork, in northern Poland, writes Rzeczpospolita, stressing that the flow rate amounts to 8,000 cubic metres per day. Although the amount is too small to be called “commercial”, it is the best result obtained through hydraulic fracking in any European country to date.
The daily hopes that the government will now “change its attitude” towards the shale gas business and tear down the “legendary” barriers blocking companies wishing to explore for shale gas in Poland.
The Polish Geological Institute (PIG) estimates the country’s shale gas resources may amount to 768bn cubic metres, making them one of the largest on the continent.

Putin's "court film director": Putin is "too scared of what will happen to himself" to relax his grip on power

Russian documentary maker Igor Shadkhan has made several films extolling the virtues of dictator Vladimir Putin. Although Shadkhan, who has been dubbed "court director" by the Russian media, maintains that he still sympathizes with Putin, he does also see another side of the former KGB spy:

After 14 years as president and premier, Putin ended his 30-year marriage in June and his judo mentor died this month. He is again lonely -- and too scared of what will happen to himself and the country to relax his grip on power, Shadkhan said.
“Many of the people in his entourage will want revenge as soon as he steps down because many of them are humiliatingly dependent on him,” the 73-year-old chain-smoker said in a day-long interview in his St. Petersburg studio Aug. 14. “He trusts no one, not even his own people.”--

“Putin is the child of the Soviet Union and that’s the problem,” the director said. “He’s nurtured a horrible Russian phenomenon in which every functionary follows his example. His moves are often driven by mistrust and others simply imitate his style. Authorities don’t help, they attack you.” --

Khodorkovsky’s arrest at gunpoint on the tarmac of a Siberian airport in October 2003 and the subsequent dismantling and re-nationalizing of what was once Russia’s largest private company showed a darker side of Putin that Shadkhan said he hadn’t anticipated.
“That was when I realized how intolerant Putin is toward those who oppose him,” the filmmaker said. “And now several people are in jail for participating in anti-government protests in Moscow! Why?” --

“Russia needs a new leader to move on,” Shadkhan said. “Putin’s gotten terribly tired. He’s stopped evolving. That’s the main problem. The country is changing, while Putin is not.” --

With friends like Shadkhan, one can only imagine what Putin's enemies are saying about the dictator ...

What a pity that Putin did not do what he planned to do back in 1996:

Vladimir Putin was lonely and homesick after moving to Moscow to work in the Kremlin in 1996 and planned to return to St. Petersburg within a year, according to a friend, documentary filmmaker Igor Shadkhan.

Greenpeace activists invade a Shell refinery in Denmark dressed in oil-based Polar Bear party costumes

Greenpeace activists dressed as polar bears have invaded a Shell refinery in Denmark this morning:

Shell’s oil refinery in the Jutland city of Fredericia was invaded by about 40 Greenpeace activists dressed up like polar bears early this morning.
The activists forced entry to the Dutch oil giant’s refinery just after 6am and a group of them immediately began climbing up one of the refinery’s large silos , where they hung a banner featuring an image of the well-known yellow and red Shell logo juxtaposed with a polar bear's face. --

The activist group in Fredericia includes Danes as well as individuals from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Germany and Latvia.

The Greenpeace polar bear squad:

Greenpeace activists from at least seven countries dressed in fancy Polar Bear party costumes made of oil derivatives. By the way,
did Greenpeace count the huge carbon footprints of the activists who took high carbon emission flights to Denmark?
(image by Greenpeace)

The greenies pretend to be saving the Arctic, but the only ones benefiting from their PR stunt are the  manufacturers (Chinese?) of their cheap Polar Bear dresses. The Greenpeace outfit is strikingly similar to this "Polar-Bear-Mascot-Costume-Fancy-Dress" sold by

1.The deluxe costume is including head,body suit,gloves,shoes(a real boot,not only a cover)

2.It can fit 5'2"(160cm) to 6' feet (180cm)Weighing up to 180lbs.$30usd more if you need a larger size.

3.The body of this outfit is machine washable. The head can be Dry cleaned.

4.Discount accepted if you buy multiple costumes.

The "polyfoam material" used for the Greenpeace costumes is based on crude oil derivatives. The dresses could in fact be based on raw material from the Shell refinery in front of which the greenies are parading!

At least Greenpeace got a good discount for ordering "multiple costumes"! But did the Greenpeace purchasing department check that the costumes are not made by Chinese slave labor or children?


If  Greenpeace "activists" still insist on wearing fancy party dresses, here is a much nicer Polar Bear dress for the next PR stunt:

U.S. senator Tom Coburn: "I am a global warming denier"

Thank God there are people like Tom Coburn in the U.S. Senate:

“I am a global warming denier. I don’t deny that.”

The climate is changing, and has been as long as there has been a climate, he said

As a physician and a man of science, Coburn said he thinks the evidence points that the Earth is moving into a “mini-ice age.”

Read the entire article here

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Germany's Bundeswehr will not take part in any action against the forces of criminal dictator Assad

Only yesterday it appeared that the US "ally" Germany was supporting a military strike against Syrian dictator Assad's forces:

Westerwelle emphasized that if the use of chemical weapons "was confirmed, then the world community would have to act. Then Germany would be among those who would support consequences."

However, this morning Die Welt reports that Germany refuses to participate in any military action in Syria. The foreign policy spokesperson for the ruling CDU party, Philipp Mißfelder, has explained that the Bundeswehr is already overstretched, which is why it cannot take part in any action.

The rich Germans never seem to run out reasons for non-action. Hopefully they will at least support US strikes, and not again side with Putin's Russia ...

Monday, 26 August 2013

The latest political gimmick: Francois Hollande and other European leaders say goodbye to extended vacations

Europe's leaders are cutting their holidays, according to this Bloomberg news article:

European leaders are saying goodbye to the extended vacations that were a continental norm until the global crisis broke out in high summer six years ago.
As the region’s economy labors to solidify its recovery, French President Francois Hollande has barely taken any time off and ordered his cabinet members to stay within commuting distance of Paris. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta ensured that either he or his deputy would be in Rome all through August. And in Greece, the epicenter of the euro crisis, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras took just four days off and even then found time to fire the head of the state asset sales fund. --

Even though this summer is the quietest for European crisis fighters in six years, rising unemployment and the advent of social media such as Twitter nevertheless means that even those leaders still taking extended breaks may struggle to do so for much longer, said Dubois.
The unemployment rate across the 17-nation euro area is at 12.1 percent, with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicting the rates for Spain and Greece are set to rise to about 28 percent by the end of next year.
While the region exited its longest-ever recession in the second quarter, the European Central Bank predicts that the bloc’s economy will shrink 0.6 percent in all of 2013.

Of course this shortening of vacations is nothing but a pseudo activity in order to make voters believe that the elected leaders are a hard working bunch of people. In reality France - and most other countries - would benefit if Hollande and his European colleagues would instead opt for prolonged, or even permanent, vacations.                               

A huge NO from Norway to the EU

From the country that awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union:

In a fresh poll, seven out of ten say they are opposed to Norwegian membership in the EU.
There is a majority against EU membership in all parts of the country, in all age groups and educationallevels. Neither is there a majority for EU in any of the political parties.
Most positive to EU are those who vote for the Conservative Party (Høyre). In this group, 60.8 per cent say they are opposed. Nearly a third would favour EU membership.

Read the entire article here

No additional comment needed.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

German columnist Henryk M. Broder: The European Union becoming a Soviet Union with a human face

What the German author and columnist Henryk M. Broder says about the European Union is spot on:

The belief in Europe has become a kind of secular religion, in which the first commandment is "Thou shalt accept everything that is proclaimed in Brussels!" If you do not agree, your are a heretic. You will not, as was the case during the Inquisition, be burned to death, but in the worst case you are invited to "hard but fair", where you are told that, if Europe goes down the drain, the detractors who have badmouthed Europe are to blame.

This is how all totalitarian systems work. They begin with the promise to make people happy; and if there are people who have a different view about happiness than the providers of happiness, then they must be re-educated, until  the last sceptic understands, that it is better to swim with the stream than against it.

The European Union is clearly becoming a Soviet Union with a human face.

Read the entire column here (in German).

The sad truth about wind energy: On still summer days wind farms have to "import" energy

This is the reality wind energy lobbyists and greenies do not want to talk about:

Data released by one of the largest green energy companies shows wind farms producing enough electricity only to boil two to three kettles at a time.

At one stage last week, three big wind farms even took electricity out of the National Grid - to run basic power supplies on site - rather than actually supplying electricity to households.

The wind farms’ owner said that in still conditions electricity “import” can occur for a few hours until the wind picks up. Such a phenomenon is known in the industry as “parasitic consumption”. --

While the snapshot analysed by the Telegraph shows how little electricity was produced by some wind farms on still, summer days, there have been other times in the past month when wind farm owners have been paid by the National Grid to shut down in order not to over load the electricity supply system.

Such payments - known as constraint payments - have reached £7.5 million for the first three weeks of August.

In other words, claim critics, there are times when turbines produce too much electricity and moments when they do not produce enough.

The Government has been keen to promote wind energy in its attempt to meet a European Union-wide target of providing 15 per cent of energy needs from renewable energy by 2020. The Labour government introduced a consumer subsidy, added on to electricity bills, to encourage the construction of wind farms.

That subsidy is predicted to rise to £6 billion by 2020.

John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation, a think tank which has been critical of wind farms, said: “Professional analysts have long known that fluctuating wind turbine output is poorly correlated with demand, but RWE’s new website is a very valuable addition to the data available to the general public, and will encourage informed debate about the relative potential for different renewable technologies.

"The truth will be painful for some, but the facts have to be faced sooner or later.”

Dr Constable added: “The uncontrollably variable output of wind power already imposes significant grid and system management costs on the consumer, costs which are set to grow dramatically; we need to ask ourselves whether the EU renewables targets for 2020 are really affordable.”

Read the entire Telegraph article here

Also on cold winter days - when the wind does not blow - wind farms have to rely on "parasitic consumtion".