Friday, 23 August 2013

Hilton Hypocrites Again Introduce a "Green" Project: Useless and Ugly Rooftop Wind Turbines

Hilton has already for years been a leader in "green" corporate hypocrisy. Perhaps you remember that Hilton Worldwide in 2011 chose to shut down "business center equipment" during Earth Hour.

Hilton is at it again:

A new rooftop attraction is turning heads at one South Florida hotel.
The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort has installed six wind turbines to plug into the natural breeze blowing from the Atlantic Ocean and help power its facilities.
It's the first Hilton of more than 500 properties to have installed wind turbines, executives said. They also believe it's the first hotel in South Florida to get them.
The turbines are now undergoing inspections to be operational by mid-September, a hotel official said Tuesday during a tour.
The Fort Lauderdale resort invested more than $500,000 on the energy savings project, which is expected to help it reduce the amount of power it uses primarily in common areas such as the lobby.

"We are proud of this renewable energy initiative as well as other eco-friendly programs that implement sustainable practices that will help future generations," General Manager Andreas Ioannou said. --

The custom-design wind turbines, which Ioannou called "whimsical, beautiful structures," were originally slated for installation in September 2012, but this was delayed to ensure their supporting mechanism was strong, he said.

The good thing about Hilton's Fort Lauderdale and other similar "green" projects is that the senseless "whimsical, beautiful structures" (which destroy the land/cityscape and kill birds) serve as excellent warning signs for customers who at any price want to avoid using a Hilton hotel.


This is Hilton's idea of a romantic paradise for greenies:

 ... the hotel plans to build a small restaurant and lounge, nestled on the roof between the solar panels and wind turbines, creating an ecological oasis 200 ft above the beach.

Ban Ki-moon on the chemical attack in Syria

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been making the case for dictator Assad to allow UN experts to visit the site of the chemical attack in Syria:

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pressed for a UN team to gain access to the site of an alleged chemical attack in Syria, saying he sees “no good reason” for either side in the civil war to deny a chance to get to the truth of what happened.
Ban said today he has asked Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s government for its “full cooperation” so that the UN team of chemical experts already in Damascus can “swiftly investigate” the Aug. 21 attack that opposition groups say killed as many as 1,300 people.
“Any use of chemical weapons, anywhere, by anybody, under any circumstances, would violate international law,” Ban said in a speech in Seoul. “Such a crime against humanity should result in serious consequences.”

Ban Ki-moon must be a rather naïve man. Of course Assad has a very good reason to prevent the UN chemical experts from visiting the site - he does not want them to see the truth.

It is much too early to write the epitaph for Poland's shale gas future

Gazprom, the world's most corrupt energy company, has been lobbying furiously in Brussels for EU-wide legislation to curb fracking. Particularly the Russians have been targeting shale gas exploration in Poland. The Russians have evidently also been sponsoring a number of "experts" who have written down Polish shale gas hopes in western media:

The Polish intelligence service (ABW) warned in a declassified report last year that Russian spies are engaged in widespread espionage operations targeting Poland's shale projects. --

"There have been a number of very poor bore holes so far," said Mr Poprawa, now at the Energy Studies Institute in Warsaw. "This has to be admitted, but it was mostly due to lack of experience by PGNiG [Poland's gas leader] rather than the geology. We need at least 100 lateral drills to reach any conclusion. So far there have only been six."

Poland may not be the next Norway - the fond hope of foreign minister Radek Sikorski - and its failure to draw up a legal regime that is remotely fit for purpose threatens an exodus of foreign explorers. But anti-frackers have also been too quick to write the epitaph of Poland's shale drive. --

"We have already proved 12 to 18 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in our bloc. We are delighted," said San Leon's Mr Fanning. That alone is two years of Polish imports. ExxonMobil's widely reported withdrawal from Poland has been from the Lublin Basin to the south, an entirely different story. "Nobody is pulling out of the Baltic Basin," he said.

Mr Fanning said it is a "fallacy" that Polish shale gas is unusually hard to extract. "The rocks are 2,500 to 4,000 metres deep, which is not so different from the US. Even if they are deeper, there is more pressure, so you get more gas. It balances out.

"The catalyst that is missing in Poland is sheer intensity of drilling. You need 60 wells in each area to find the right 'recipe', and until you start fracking you are just guessing. There have been only three or four horizontal fracks in the country so far."

The authorities have not made it easy. "Everything has been far too slow. The higher levels of the government are committed, but once you go lower, you get bogged down in the old Communist bureaucracy. It took a year to get permission just to drill deeper, so we had to stop and wait. This was very irritating, but it has been cleared up now."

Read the entire article here

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Yulia Latynina on why kleptocracies do not get along

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has failed abysmally in his efforts to get Ukraine to join a customs union with the kleptocracy he is presiding over. Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times, explains why:

 Then, Putin reportedly instructed his officials to restrict Ukrainian exports. And because Russia has no real system of government and everything is carried out based on vague orders from the top, officials became overly zealous and ended up banning all imports from Ukraine.
Russia has invested an insane amount of money and effort in discrediting the Orange Revolution, and Putin's inner circle has always had huge and completely unrealistic plans for Kiev. They assumed that after the collapse of the Orange Revolution, Putin's men would be able to buy up everything they wanted in Ukraine. It has been reported that after Yanukovych came to power, Russia's presidential administration sent an extensive list of factories, newspapers, steamships and so on to Kiev that St. Petersburg businesspeople with ties to Putin had wanted to purchase  for a song. They got nothing. Everything they were after went instead to Yanukovych's friends, supporters and business partners in Donetsk.
In fact, Ukraine has nothing to discuss with Russia. The only thing that makes sense is for Kiev to negotiate with Europe, which has transparent rules.
What can Russia offer Ukraine? Corruption? Know-how on imprisoning opponents on trumped-up charges? New skills and techniques on how to seize private property? Ukraine has enough expertise in these fields that they hardly need Russia's help.
Democratic states enjoy a certain camaraderie among themselves, and despite their shortcomings democracies manage to peacefully coexist. At least, they do not behave like unruly neighbors, tossing beer bottles into each other's yards. But in contrast, there can never be an international brotherhood of kleptocracies. All of the deals Putin struck with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko or all of the pow-wows Putin once had in Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's tent did nothing to change this.
The very nature of modern authoritarian kleptocracies makes it impossible for them to have meaningful working relationships. Such states are built exclusively upon the principle that the president distributes the country's wealth among his friends. And when two such leaders come together, they can smile all they want for the press and claim to have reached agreement on this or that issue, but they can't pretend that businessmen in St. Petersburg own factories in Ukraine that have already been sold to local business moguls in Donetsk.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The real reason why so many German greens prefer Merkel

German Der Spiegel notes that almost half of the country's Green Party voters would like to see Angela Merkel continue as Chancellor:

According to a new survey, some 45 percent of Green Party voters would like to see Angela Merkel remain in the Chancellery following fall elections.

To be sure, 53 percent of those queried by the pollsters at Forsa on behalf of the business daily Handelsblatt said they would like to see a change at the top. But the high share of Merkel supporters shows that the Greens have left their rambunctious beginnings far behind.
On the one hand, that's not terribly surprising. Germany's 1968 generation, out of which the Greens were born, has aged and left radicalism far behind. The Green Party itself has likewise become more staid, and large swaths of the party belong to a similar upper middle class demographic that tends to vote for Merkel's Christian Democrats -- or, in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union, the party to which Stücklen belonged.

Indeed, a study last September found that the Greens have some of the country's richest voters, along with the business-friendly Free Democrats. On average, they earn more than €2,500 per month ($40,000 per year). A majority of Green voters tend to live in big cities and are well educated. In short, they increasingly fall directly into that catchall category of being spiessig, Germany's take on bourgeois.

However, Der Spiegel misses the point. The main reason why so many German greenies prefer Merkel is the fact that the lady - and her formerly conservative CDU/CSU - has adopted most of the policies of the greens, including an absurd energy transition policy (Energiewende), which soon will seriously begin to hurt economic growth in the country.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Anti-fracking extremists planning illegal action in Britain

"We're definitely expecting some direct action and civil disobedience. It's possible that some people might do something that is against the law."

Jemima Banks
spokesperson for No Dash for Gas

Anti-fracking extremists are encouraging illegal activity by planning two days of civil disobedience in Balcombe, West Sussex. Tory MP Douglas Carswell's description of these new Luddites is spot on:

Just like with coal at the beginning of the industrial revolution, beneath our feet lie zillions of cubic feet of gas. A way of extracting it has been discovered which could unleash enormous productive potential.
So what do we do? Enterprises that seek to lawfully utilise the new technology are prevented from doing so by the new Luddites. The state stands by, regulating every aspect of the new technology, but doing little to guarantee the freedoms of the innovators.
Tim Yeo yesterday suggested that we are better at regulating shale gas here in Britain than they are in America. Indeed. Which is why right now we have no shale industry to speak of. In the US, meanwhile, where they are so "cavalier"  about these things, shale gas revolution has cut energy costs dramatically, triggering a wider industrial revival.
It would be tragic if we let the looters and the moochers get in the way of shale gas technology.

The wind turbine madness must be stopped in Devon - and elsewhere!

This is a wake-up call for people in the UK and elsewhere. Only fierce protests can stop the wind turbine madness!

RWE, a German energy firm, wants to construct 240 offshore turbines, each 722ft tall – more than four times the height of Nelson’s column – to generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity.

The scheme, which could earn RWE hundreds of millions of pounds a year in consumer subsidy, is planned for an area 10 miles off the North Devon coast, eight miles from Lundy Island, a 1.7 sq mile outcrop owned by the National Trust.

Its developers say it will help Britain meet its renewable energy targets and could boost the economy by creating thousands of jobs.

But the plans have prompted a backlash from residents in Devon and Lundy, as well as environmental and heritage groups, who claim it could cause lasting damage.

Describing the Atlantic Array proposal as “truly alarming”, the National Trust warned it would “fundamentally change” views from North Devon and Lundy and pledged to fight it. --

The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a charity publishing data on the energy sector, calculated that it could earn RWE around £313 million a year in consumer subsidy under the Government’s Contracts for Difference (CFD) scheme.

Dr John Constable, director of REF, said: "The scale and pace of the EU renewables targets is unquestionably leading to devil-may-care development on and off-shore, which leads to concerns about local environmental impact, but these objections will pale into insignificance when the public understands that subsidising renewables leads to real, indeed major reductions in standard of living.

"For prosperity you need cheap energy; but wind power generally, and offshore wind in particular, is very expensive energy indeed."

Read the entire article here