CFACT Europe

  • Don’t Overdo It

    by Einar Du Rietz

    Photo: http://www.freeimages.co.uk/

    Last time I had to visit the hospital, the first thing I noticed, apart from the hilarious waiting line, was the rather outdated, but proudly displayed ISO14001 certification. This seemed to be the great pride of the place and apparently, the certification had nothing to do with the – just reported in media – lack of proper daily cleaning for the past five years, all the nurses quitting because they could not stand the working environment, some doctors who never should have been admitted to medical school, a new – thus crashed – medical record system, numerous – sometimes fatal – cases of maltreatment, and an epidemic flu spreading in some departments. The facility is considered one of the top university hospitals in Europe, and – rightly – renowned for it’s infant and cancer care, but the rest was in real crisis. Don’t know how they established their EMS, or was it a matter of cutting down on cutlery for the food no one dared to touch.

    Guess most patients would have been more comforted by a certificate for quality.

  • Scottish wind subsidies slashed?

    1,000 wind turbines gang agley 1,000 land-based wind turbines stand to be scrapped if government follows through and slashes millions of pounds in subsidies.  A report commissioned by ScottishPower concludes that reducing subsidies 25 percent will render the turbines a loss maker for investors instead of just rate and taxpayers. CFACT continues to conclude that […]

  • Cause and Effect – and Positive Signs

    by Einar Du Rietz

    Not yet a Tornado

    Please tell me that we are beginning to see signs that otherwise alarmist journalists are beginning to both listen to science and to make the distinction between cause and effect. Even the crusader Susanna Baltscheffsky manages to write an interesting article (in Google translation) on weather phenomena. She points to why Tornadoes are more powerful in the US, than in Europe, because of geographic factors, and even acknowledges that solar activity is a major force in our sometimes irregular climate and weather. Some commentators still point out that she babbles a bit over CO2, but I’m more positive. Honor as due.

    Because as all media outlets constantly need to comment on the climate debate, in most of the cases – everywhere – the reports are sloppy and filled with standard assertions, presented as facts. That Global Warming is increasing (on the contrary, if you look at current statistics). That the sole force behind this is human activity (simply a myth, as you probably know), that extreme weather has increased enormously (it has not, rather tornadoes, tsunamis and more tend to be cyclical and dependent on the geography), all polar bears are dying (the population has increased) and that we are running of oil (supplies are likely to increase if only people are alloud to drill for it, even if some middle east dictator decides to set fire to the fields in his country).

  • 35,000 jobs lost if Bayer bolts Germany over electricity cost

    Deutsche Welle reports that Germany stands to lose 35,000 jobs if Bayer chemical & pharmacuetical follows through on threats to leave the country over Germany’s high cost of electricity. Bayer CEO told Wirtschaftswoche (Business Week) that, “”It is important that we remain competitive in comparison with other countries …  otherwise a global business such as […]

  • If it Aint Broken – Don’t Fix it

    by Einar Du Rietz

    A screwdriver often comes in handy. But not as a soup ingredient. Black pepper is essential in any cooking. But don’t try repairing your bike with it.

    Calculation of GDP is, not only among laymen like myself, but also among skilled economists, regarded as a tricky tool indeed. Still, it’ very useful, also for the general public, in trying to grasp all sorts of economic facts and development.

    Since the mid 90’s, scientists, but predominantly politicians, have been playing with the concept of a Green GDP, expanding the data to include environmental costs. This process is now gaining speed, e.g., in the World Bank.

    This is a questionable path. Even as, naturally, growth and hardship can be linked to environmental factors, it’s not the same thing as to say that environmental factors should be regarded as exclusive data in their own right. Further, changing the calculation methods is difficult for several reasons. You need an international consensus, otherwise comparisons will be meaningless. GDP figures are used to calculate changes over time. If you mess with it, you will have to – somehow – compensate against historical figures.

  • The Next Generation

    by Einar Du Rietz

    In one of the – I admit funny – Naked Gun movies, the plot (if you could call it that) is the conflict between the good alternative energy guys and a peculiar conspiracy consisting of the guys in oil, coal and nuclear energy. Regardless of the stupidity in the entire plot, I remember being quite intrigued by finding nuclear on that side of the fence. Normally, nuclear power has been considered “alternative”, for those who despise fossil fuels, or don’t have access to rivers to exploit.

    There has, however, been quite a lot of water under the bridges since the technology was taken into use. The following debate, first enthusiastic, the increasingly sceptical, has also changed. First into a leveling out, then into plain hysteria following the tragic accident in Japan, prompting the German government to take the hasty decision to discontinue all nuclear power generation.

  • Do You Still Recall Your Last Summer

    by Einar Du Rietz

    Soon Enough

    Reading weather forecasts this season has been like reading horoscopes in tabloids; you can be certain that it will be the reverse.

    The only time so far, when the prediction really was correct was when CFACT Europe President Holger Thuss and I visited the Imperial Funeral in Vienna. The papers said it should be 30 plus Celsius. It was. The event became memorable in more than one way, considering the funeral attires we were wearing.

    Now, in the high season, apart from the obvious focus on the tragedy in Norway and the US economy, the occasional, but usual comment surfaces in the media, pointing out that it’s – aha – global warming.

    Meteorology is apparently not a science to be trusted for what to wear tomorrow, and we all know that. But for the general discussion, this also shows that the long term historic perspective is essential if we want to grasp the climate change debate.

  • Is this a War, or What?

    by Einar Du Rietz Apparently the UN climate meetings are not enough. Now, the Security Council will get involved. From our beloved Guardian, we learn that: “A special meeting of the United Nations security council is due to consider whether to expand its mission to keep the peace in an era of climate change.” We […]

  • That Stupid War

    by Einar Du Rietz It’s old news, but hey, that’s history for you. A new booktakes a look at both the history of the cold war and the environmental movement. And especially environmental impact from both. You may not agree with everything, but sometimes it’s important to remember how absurd the world really was in […]

  • Otto von Habsburg-Lothingen, RIP

    CFACT mourns the loss of Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius von Habsburg, a great European and advocate for individual freedom and dignity.  CFACT will be well represented at the funeral in Vienna with both Holger Thuss and Einar Du Rietz attending.   He will […]

  • UN climate of desperation

    DAVID ROTHBARD & CRAIG RUCKER – The Washington Times

    As the United Nations wrapped up its recent climate conference in Bonn, talks organizer Christiana Figueres proclaimed that climate change is the “the most important negotiation the world has ever faced.” Faced with real problems – financial meltdowns, unemployment, war and genuine human suffering – the world no longer agrees.

    It’s a good thing human productivity doesn’t threaten the global thermostat the way the U.N. would have us believe. If it did, we’d be cooked. Countries rich and poor are backing away from commitments they made years ago during rosier economic times, before the public became aware of Climategate, renewable energy costs and genuine debate.

    The Kyoto Protocol, the only binding international agreement signed since the global warming scare began, expires after 2012. Canada, Russia and Japan have declared they will not renew; China and the United States never signed it, and the U.S. has made it plain it is not about to. And poor countries are becoming less enamored about signing on, as they realize hard economic times mean there will be little climate “mitigation” and “restitution” money coming their way from (formerly) rich countries.

    Even die-hard warmists increasingly recognize that bureaucratic solutions hatched at these conferences are rife with waste, fraud and abuse. They may enrich a few, but they are powerless to control Earth’s climate.

    In March, German investigators reported that 850 million euros disappeared when shady companies swarmed into carbon trading, emissions and energy businesses.Criminal enterprises raked in tens of millions, fended off regulators with delaying tactics and then announced bankruptcy or vanished. An Italian sting operation resulted in arrests of wind-farm developers who billed the country for subsidies but never produced a kilowatt of electricity.

    London’s liberal Guardian newspaper was aghast to learn that the World Bank’s Biocarbon Fund had arranged to pay European “entrepreneurs” $1 million to establish a system under which 60,000 Kenyans would restrict themselves to farming under rigidly controlled, inefficient, “sustainable” techniques. For that they will receive $1.4 million over 20 years.

    That’s right, the beneficent World Bank will enrich more Europeans so 60,000 Kenyans can receive $23.83 apiece for 20 years of drudgery, poverty and misery – a princely $1.19 a year.

  • Shaken Consensus

    by Einar Du Rietz

    Interesting to notice how the big-whigs get nervous, as soon as someone else on the top dares to question the holy Global Warming religion.

    Recent weeks have seen uproar in the European Parliament as British, conservative members openly have defied the “green” promises from London. Recently, Commissioner Janusz Lewandowsky caused even more havoc, when questioning the entire ideology and scientific basis behind the scare. Euractiv reports and provides links, with the rather unexpected help from Greenpeace, who provided a translation.

  • Sunglasses Wont Help

    by Einar Du Rietz

    Just like Icarus, the UNFCCC and several NGO’s attempts at controlling the climate sometimes feels like the height of pretentiousness. When this permanent crowd is flying around the globe telling ordinary people to change their lifestyles and pay more for necessities, like electricity, it’s nice to find some other perspective.

    Madhulika Guhathakurta, a solar physicist at NASA and Daniel N. Baker, the director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, highlights the, for a long time seldom mentioned, impact of something we definitely can’t control; solar activity.

  • Boring – Go Surfing

    UN Climate Change Conference, Bonn, Germany, June 2011 – An Update from Holger Thuss

     It doesn’t help that the view is awesome or that the food is great, and that you are surrounded by great historic monuments, if you attend a 2-week-mega-meeting, and nothing happens. That is just boring. And that is in fact what you see if you come to the conference hotel of the UNFCCC Climate Conference in Bonn these days: bored delegates, sipping coffee with a sour face, sleeping somewhere in the corner on one of these red silk sofas, or surfing in the Internet. Delegates are so busy looking at their computer screens, any uniformed visitor of the conference would think he witnesses some kind of game convention. And – I repeat myself – close to nothing has been achieved so far.

    Today, at a meeting of the “Subsidiary Body for Implementation” – one of the many sub-groups of the UNFCCC – a lot of dissatisfaction has been expressed. Even the representative of the over-optimistic European Union expressed concerns. The EU expected a road-map or something similar to enable the upcoming COP/MOP – another big climate conference foreseen for Durban, South Africa, for December this year – to adopt another Kyoto-styled agreement. But she had to admit, that the one and only result of many and endless “informal meetings” since Monday was the adoption of the agenda. Yes, that’s correct. The only item adopted too far in four days is the agenda! Which is neither sustainable nor eco-efficient? Another concern, this time expressed by a delegate for the “G77 plus China” group from Argentina was funding. His wording was very diplomatic, but the bottom line was, richer countries should enable developing countries to send large delegations to UN-meetings. Because only this would secure their participation. And yes, including “Palestine”.