December 24th, 2010

Climate Clamour, Looting the Looted, Open Gov

After showing us how to do it (look, look, drought in Australia, Katrina - your fault) warmists are complaining about sceppies using weather to ridicule claims that CO2 emitted by humans causes catastrophic warming and counter claiming CO2 warming causes global cooling. Barmpots.
It comes to this. It does or it doesn't.
As it hasn't done since 1995 ( and as the approaching $100bn spent over 2 decades in proving it is humans driving the climate has only resulted in heavily massaged graphs produced by speculative modellers to support the fancy, I would suggest it is time for the media to get back to reporting facts as against wishing driving an SUV was harmful to the climate.

Texas sues EPA anew on climate
The GHG SIP Call is contrary to both the Clean Air Act and the Constitution. Recognizing the proper role of the States, the Clean Air Act declares pollution prevention to be “the primary responsibility of States and local governments,” and not the federal government. 42 U.S.C. § 7401(a)(3). EPA rejects that approach and seeks to deprive Texas of its right to manage its air resources.

Doug L. Hoffman: Climate Science Parasites
[...] In 2009, a number of climate change activists sent a letter to Science, bemoaning the ability of society to make use of scientific knowledge and urging scientists to form an organized, dumbed-down front when communicating with non-scientists regarding climate change. At that time, this blog labeled the authors climate change spin doctors. Evidently, the results of that naked appeal for help in bamboozling the public were insufficient, since a number of the same people have again written to Science with a new appeal for expanded scientific subterfuge. This new request has caused me to relabel the offending authors science parasites, for the reasons explained below. /full essay

232 Opinions Concerning the IPCC
A committee struck by the InterAcademy Council (an international organization of science bodies) was charged with investigating the IPCC’s procedures and processes. It invited public comments via a questionnaire earlier this year and took these comments into account before writing its report. Released in August, the report was described as ‘damning‘ by journalists (and has been updated since).
[...] The public comments, with most names and identifying details removed, have taken this long to materialize. Persistence on the part of Canadian blogger Hilary Ostrov appears to have played an important role in shaking them loose
Interestingly, David Henderson‘s comments (which were submitted in the form of an essay, rather than as answers to specific questions) are not included in this document. Which leaves one wondering how many other submissions might still be AWOL

Bankers' bonuses: don't get mad – get even
Savers and borrowers appalled at the prospect of contributing to bankers’ bonuses again this Christmas do not need to rely on politicians’ feeble attempts to intervene. Instead, they can join rising numbers of savers and borrowers who are doing it for themselves online.
So-called ‘peer to peer’ or P2P banking cuts out the middlemen by using the internet to bring willing lenders and borrowers together with minimal costs to set their own rates. P2P remains tiny compared to traditional banking but it is growing rapidly, with five rivals competing in this sub-sector.
They are Funding Circle, Rate Setter, Yes-Secure, Quakle and – first and biggest in this area -  Zopa. Named after business jargon for ‘zone of potential agreement’, Zopa says it has now arranged £110m of loans with lenders obtaining an average return of 8 per cent after charges and a default or bad debt rate of just 0.7 per cent.
A spokesman for the company claimed: “This is the lowest default rate for any unsecured loan book in Britain for any kind of lender – and many of our individual lenders have not suffered any defaults.
“This is all money that has been lent between ordinary individuals at rates they agreed themselves – and all without a banker’s bonus or taxpayers’ bailout in sight.”
Check the downsides before committing.

Record spike in EMU default risk on Portugal downgrade and Greek restructuring scare
[...] The Greek newspaper Ta Nea said Athens was examining plans to impose a cut in interest rates on its debt and to extend maturities once the €110bn (£94bn) rescue deal from the EU and the International Monetary Fund expires in mid 2013.
The proposals stop short of "haircuts" on the principle of the debt and would be done in a co-operative fashion with bondholders. While this would qualify as an orderly restructuring of debt, it is tantamount to default.
Note that what the plan consists of is AFTER the taxpayer money has been shared out. I would suggest that it is the EU and UK public that is getting its hair cut.

The Bank of England’s interest rate-setting committee has growing concerns about inflation
[that it is not causing - for once]
THE Bank of England’s interest rate-setting committee has growing concerns about the risks of rising inflation, despite leaving the cost of borrowing unchanged. Minutes of its meeting this month, when rates were pegged at 0.5 per cent for the 20th time in a row, showed that members are worried about the pressure on rising prices. Seven members of the Monetary Policy Committee voted to hold rates, with one in favour of a rise and one calling for more emergency stimulus measures. The report showed that members felt the risk of inflation had increased as firms raised prices ahead of the January rise in VAT to 20 per cent and global pricing pressures increased

China and India's latest love-in raises serious issues for the West
[...] The main point of Wen's visit was to promote bilateral trade between these two Eastern giants. He last visited India in 2005 – at which time he set a goal of raising combined Sino-Indian imports and exports from $18bn (£12bn) to $30bn by 2010. In fact, bilateral commerce totalled around $60bn this year – twice Wen's target, despite the massive sub-prime related shock to all global trade during 2009. Over the past decade, in fact, trade between China and India has increased 30-fold.
In case anyone is in doubt, it is worth stating the relative importance of the Chinese and Indian economies. Between them, these countries are home to two-fifths of the world's population. They are also the two fastest-growing major economies on earth. China is already the second largest economy after the US, having overtaken Japan last year. Less widely recognised is that, on an inflation-adjusted basis, India is the world's number four.
[...] From a Western perspective, ever-rising trade between China and India has to be a good thing – even if it is symptomatic of our relative economic decline. When the sub-prime crisis broke in earnest, and Western economies hit the skids, many pundits said the East would also crash and burn, on the basis that "they can't grow without us".
That's turned out to be nonsense.
[...] The two men also agreed to have a "hotline" installed between their offices – so they could easily and regularly confer.

Precious Metals Propaganda Games
It’s never a waste of time to read the views of Canadian gold icon, John Embry, and a recent article he wrote is no exception. Much of his thoughts on how and why the precious metals markets are so strong are based upon “fundamentals” with which we’re already familiar. There are no longer any surprises here.
In this instance, I was more interested in what Embry had to say about the other side of the gold market: the anti-gold cabal of bankers who have sought to suppress this market ever since they duped Western leaders (and most notably the U.S.) into dumping the gold standard, which allowed them to print infinite amounts of their worthless paper.
In this respect, I will beg to differ with Mr. Embry, somewhat. He observed that the U.S. propaganda machine had (finally) cut back on its plethora of “gold bubble” articles, and he had now been reading that the “reason” why the precious metals market won’t keep going higher is because these markets are (supposedly) “overbought”.
In fact, the propagandists haven’t stopped one form of gold-bashing in favor of another. Rather, what has been exposed is one of the innate weaknesses in propaganda: once a saturation level of propaganda has already been reached, additional attempts at brainwashing will have a steadily diminishing impact – eventually numbing readers/listeners to the point where the propaganda is simply tuned-out.

There's gold in windmills (link)
"To make the most efficient, lightest weight, lowest service wind turbine generator of electricity takes one ton of the rare earth metal, neodymium, per megawatt of generating capacity." (Jack Lifton, 5/07/09)
"Let's take a look at wind turbines. In certain applications, two tons of rare earth magnets are required in the permanent magnet generator that goes on top of the turbine. If the permanent magnet is two tons, then 28% of that, or 560 lbs, is neodymium." (Mineweb, 5/13/09)
[The problem is in convincing the scrap metal merchant that the tons of magnet is valuable]

Open Gov
Julian Assange says he could be killed in US jail
WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange says there is a "high chance" he would be killed in a US jail if he were to be extradited from Britain on espionage charges.
The Australian is on bail in Britain fighting a bid by Sweden to extradite him over sex assault claims, but Washington is believed to be considering how to indict him over the leaking of thousands of US diplomatic cables.
Mr Assange told The Guardian it would be "politically impossible" for Britain to send him across the Atlantic, adding that the government of Prime Minister David Cameron would want to show it had not been "co-opted" by Washington.
"Legally the UK has the right to not extradite for political crimes. Espionage is the classic case of political crimes. It is at the discretion of the UK government as to whether to apply to that exception," he said.