May 26th, 2011

Indulgences a shot to the head, not the foot - Drill baby drill, shale's ok

CCNet – 23 May 2011

The Climate Policy Network

British Industry Rebellion Over Carbon Targets

Chemical firms lead calls to halt a leap in carbon costs. Manufacturers say the move, taken with other plans, including a UK-only carbon tax, will cripple industry. They insist thousands of jobs will be lost as firms move their plants to countries where the cost of doing business is lower. Tata Steel last week announced it was cutting 1,500 jobs at its Scunthorpe and Teesside plants. Meanwhile, in a letter to No10 this month, Ineos founder Jim Ratcliffe warned that he could be forced to shut the firm’s Runcorn chlorine plant, a big energy user and employer of more than 1,000 people. --Danny Fortson, The Sunday Times, 22 May 2011

The current set of ‘green’ policies, whereby levies and taxes are used to punish the greatest energy users like the chemical sector, will prove to be economic suicide. If the government continues to simply add one energy or carbon reduction levy after another on to the energy-intensive sectors, then the risk is that these industries will no longer be able to compete internationally and will simply cease to operate in the UK. --David Merlin-Jones, The Sunday Times, 22 May 2011

Even if Chris Huhne does lose his job over allegedly persuading his ex-wife to take his penalty points for a speeding offence, he will have been in office long enough to leave a damaging legacy – last week’s Carbon Budget, which commits the UK to halving emissions of carbon dioxide by 2025. Mr Huhne’s Budget is likely to drive much of British industry abroad – to countries including the United States, China, India, Japan and everywhere else in Europe, which have made no binding CO2 commitments, and where energy will thus remain much cheaper. --David Rose, The Mail on Sunday, 22 May 2011

The government's flagship environmental policy, the "green deal" whereby millions of households are to be fitted with energy-saving technology, is likely to be rejected by homeowners because of its high cost, campaigners have warned. A report from the environmental thinktank E3G and research by the Green party MP Caroline Lucas suggest that householders' bills are likely to be so high there will not be enough of an incentive to "energy refurbish" a home. --Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 19 May 2011

Once you examine it closely, the idea that "renewable" energy is green and clean looks less like a deduction than a superstition. --Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal, 21 May 2011

Life is about making decisions, and decisions are about trade-offs. We can choose to promote investment in technology that addresses real problems and scientific research that will let us cope with real problems more efficiently. Or we can be caught up in a crusade that seeks to suppress energy use, economic growth, and the benefits that come from the creation of national wealth. --William Happer, First Things, 20 May 2011

1) British Industry Rebellion Over Carbon Targets - The Sunday Times, 22 May 2011

2) Green Deal Likely To Push Rents Up Higher - The Henley Standard, 23 May 2011

3) Homeowners Will Reject 'Green Deal' For Its High Cost, Environment Group Warns -The Guardian, 19 May 2011

4) Christopher Booker: Wales In Revolt Over Mammoth Wind Farm Scheme - The Sunday Telegraph, 22 May 2011

5) David Rose: UK Carbon Budget - The Science Isn't Settled - Mail on Sunday, 22 May 2011

6) Matt Ridley: Inconvenient Truths About 'Renewable' Energy - The Wall Street Journal, 21 May 2011

7) William Happer: The Dubious Science Of The Climate Crusaders - First Things, 21 May 2011

[If Chris Huhne loses his job over speeding ticket avoidance it is just further confirmation that eco fascist politics lives in a nasty fantasy world disconnected from reality.]
(More brilliant humour from the Telegraph's Matt here.)

[Huhne's dept took over the role of wind energy boondoggle imposition from EuLab. As if wind energy would ever be more than a blot on on the landscape and there is worse to come aside from the CCS boondoggle, purple electricity pylons, maybe as many as 500 per wind farm, including sea and estuary farms. If you thought triffid turbines were a diabolical scab on the countryside, wait until it is populated by pylons. Purple pylons. Why purple? Birds don't like purple so the turbines will be painted. The pylons will have to co-ordinate. No green spots? Stuff you, budgies and boondoggles are infinitely more important.]

CCNet – 24 May 2011

The Climate Policy Network  

UK Lawmakers Green Light Shale Gas Drilling

British lawmakers said Monday that shale gas resources in Britain should be developed to reduce the country's reliance on imported supplies. The approval makes it likely that Britain will follow in the footsteps of Poland, which last week announced plans for major investment in shale gas to break free of dependence on Russian imports and boost its economy. --Associated Press, 24 May 2011

Drilling for shale gas should not be banned and the new fuel source could improve national energy security, according to an influential committee of MPs. The energy and climate change committee report warned, however, that exploiting shale gas could steer investment away from lower-carbon energy. --Sylvia Pfeifer, Financial Times, 24 May 2011

A report by a committee of MPs ruled (sic) yesterday that controversial "shale" gas drilling should not be banned in the UK. In their report published yesterday, MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee echoed Matt Ridley’s enthusiasm for shale gas production, saying they found no evidence that the process for extracting it posed any risk to water supplies from underground aquifers. The MPs agreed that the new source of gas could improve this country’s energy security but warned it could also steer investment away from lower carbon energy sources such as renewables. --Peter McCusker, The Journal, 24 May 2011

There has been a lot of hot air recently about the dangers of shale gas drilling, but our inquiry found no evidence to support the main concern — that U.K. water supplies would be put at risk. There appears to be nothing inherently dangerous about the process of 'fracking' itself and as long as the integrity of the well is maintained shale gas extraction should be safe. --Tim Yeo, UK Energy and Climate Change Committee, 23 May 2011

Shale gas will encounter formidable opposition from entrenched and powerful interests in the environmental pressure groups, in the coal, nuclear and renewable industries, and from political inertia. Ultimately, it will be a matter of whether over-borrowed European governments, businesses and people will be able to resist such a hefty source of new revenue and a clean energy source requiring no subsidy. –-Matt Ridley, The Shale Gas Shock, May 2011

Governments are going to be more and more concerned at the subsidies they will have to pay for consumers, to have high-cost renewable energy. Governments hate admitting they got it wrong, but at the end of the day cheap energy will win over expensive energy. –Nigel Lawson, 12 May 2011

Europe's conventional climate and energy strategy now faces a huge challenge. Governments would be well advised not to squander this golden shale gas opportunity. –Benny Peiser, Public Service Europe, 9 May 2011

1) UK lawmakers green light shale gas drilling - Associated Press, 24 May 2011

2) UK Panel: No Water Risk From 'Fracking' - The Wall Street Journal, 23 May 2011

3) Shale gas gets support from MPs in new report - House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee, 23 May 2011

4) Green Light For Shale: British Hopes For New Energy Boom - The Northern Echo, 23 May 2011

5) Shale Gas ‘Calls Renewables’ Bluff’ - Petroleum-Economist, 12 May 2011

6) The Shale Gas Revolution In 12 Slides - Business Insider, 9 May 2011

7) Michael Levi: Rebutting The Howarth Shale Gas Study - Council on Foreign Relations, 20 May 2011

NATO's Feast of Blood

Dispatch From Tripoli

While serving on the House International Relations Committee from 1993 to 2003, it became clear to me that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was an anachronism. Founded in 1945 at the end of World War II, NATO was founded by the United States in response to the Soviet Union’s survival as a Communist state. NATO was the U.S. insurance policy that capitalist ownership and domination of European, Asian, and African economies would continue. This also would ensure the survival of the then-extant global apartheid.

NATO is a collective security pact wherein member states pledge that an attack upon one is an attack against all. Therefore, should the Soviet Union have attacked any European Member State, the United States military shield would be activated. The Soviet Response was the Warsaw Pact that maintained a “cordon sanitaire” around the Russian Heartland should NATO ever attack. Thus, the world was broken into blocs which gave rise to the “Cold War.”

Avowed “Cold Warriors” of today still view the world in these terms and, unfortunately, cannot move past Communist China and an amputated Soviet Empire as enemy states of the U.S. whose moves any where on the planet are to be contested. The collapse of the Soviet Union provided an accelerated opportunity to exert U.S. hegemony in an area of previous Russian influence. Africa and the Eurasian landmass containing former Soviet satellite states and Afghanistan and Pakistan along with the many other “-stans” of the region, have always factored prominently in the theories of “containment” or “rollback” guiding U.S. policy up to today.

With that as background, last night’s NATO rocket attack on Tripoli is inexplicable. A civilian metropolitan area of around 2 million people, Tripoli sustained 22 to 25 bombings last night, rattling and breaking windows and glass and shaking the foundation of my hotel. I left my room at the Rexis Al Nasr Hotel and walked outside the hotel and I could smell the exploded bombs. There were local people everywhere milling with foreign journalists from around the world. As we stood there more bombs struck around the city. The sky flashed red with explosions and more rockets from NATO jets cut through low cloud before exploding.

I could taste the thick dust stirred up by the exploded bombs. I immediately thought about the depleted uranium munitions reportedly being used here–along with white phosphorus. If depleted uranium weapons were being used what affect on the local civilians? Women carrying young children ran out of the hotel. Others ran to wash the dust from their eyes. With sirens blaring, emergency vehicles made their way to the scene of the attack. Car alarms, set off by the repeated blasts, could be heard underneath the defiant chants of the people. Sporadic gunfire broke out and it seemed everywhere around me. Euronews showed video of nurses and doctors chanting even at the hospitals as they treated those injured from NATO’s latest installation of shock and awe. Suddenly, the streets around my hotel became full of chanting people, car horns blowing, I could not tell how many were walking, how many were driving. Inside the hotel, one Libyan woman carrying a baby came to me and asked me why are they doing this to us?

Whatever the military objectives of the attack (and I and many others question the military value of these attacks) the fact remains the air attack was launched a major city packed with hundreds of thousands of civilians. I did wonder too if the any of the politicians who had authorized this air attack had themselves ever been on the receiving end of laser guided depleted uranium munitions. Had they ever seen the awful damage that these weapons do a city and its population? Perhaps if they actually been in the city of air attack and felt the concussion from these bombs and saw the mayhem caused they just might not be so inclined to authorize an attack on a civilian population.

I am confident that NATO would not have been so reckless with human life if they had called on to attack a major western city. Indeed, I am confident that would not be called upon ever to attack a western city. NATO only attacks (as does the US and its allies) the poor and underprivileged of the 3rd world.

Only the day before, at a women’s event in Tripoli, one woman came up to me with tears in her eyes: her mother is in Benghazi and she can’t get back to see if her mother is OK or not. People from the east and west of the country lived with each other, loved each other, intermarried, and now, because of NATO’s “humanitarian intervention,” artificial divisions are becoming hardened. NATO’s recruitment of allies in eastern Libya smacks of the same strain of cold warriorism that sought to assassinate Fidel Castro and overthrow the Cuban Revolution with “homegrown” Cubans willing to commit acts of terror against their former home country. More recently, Democratic Republic of Congo has been amputated de facto after Laurent Kabila refused a request from the Clinton Administration to formally shave off the eastern part of his country. Laurent Kabila personally recounted the meeting at which this request and refusal were delivered. This plan to balkanize and amputate an African country (as has been done in Sudan) did not work because Kabila said “no” while Congolese around the world organized to protect the “territorial integrity” of their country.

I was horrified to learn that NATO allies (the Rebels) in Libya have reportedly lynched, butchered and then their darker-skinned compatriots after U.S. press reports labeled Black Libyans as “Black mercenaries.” Now, tell me this, pray tell. How are you going to take Blacks out of Africa? Press reports have suggested that Americans were “surprised” to see dark-skinned people in Africa. Now, what does that tell us about them?
The sad fact, however, is that it is the Libyans themselves, who have been insulted, terrorized, lynched, and murdered as a result of the press reports that hyper-sensationalized this base ignorance. Who will be held accountable for the lives lost in the bloodletting frenzy unleashed as a result of these lies?

Which brings me back to the lady’s question: why is this happening? Honestly, I could not give her the educated reasoned response that she was looking for. In my view the international public is struggling to answer
What we do know, and what is quite clear, is this: what I experienced last night is no “humanitarian intervention.”
Many suspect it is about all the oil under Libya. Call me skeptical but I have to wonder why the combined armed sea, land and air forces of NATO and the US costing billions of dollars are being arraigned against a relatively small North African country and we’re expected to believe its in the defense of democracy.

What I have seen in long lines to get fuel is not “humanitarian intervention.” Refusal to allow purchases of medicine for the hospitals is not “humanitarian intervention.” What is most sad is that I cannot give a cogent explanation of why to people now terrified by NATO’s bombs, but it is transparently clear now that NATO has exceeded its mandate, lied about its intentions, is guilty of extra-judicial killings–all in the name of “humanitarian intervention.” Where is the Congress as the President exceeds his war-making authority? Where is the “Conscience of the Congress?”

For those of who disagree with Dick Cheney’s warning to us to prepare for war for the next generation, please support any one who will stop this madness. Please organize and then vote for peace. People around the world need us to stand up and speak out for ourselves and them because Iran and Venezuela are also in the cross-hairs. Libyans don’t need NATO helicopter gunships, smart bombs, cruise missiles, and depleted uranium to settle their differences. NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” needs to be exposed for what it is with the bright, shining light of the truth.

As dusk descends on Tripoli, let me prepare myself with the local civilian population for some more NATO humanitarianism.

Stop the bombing!

(Emphasis added and minor editing liberties taken.)

Cynthia McKinney is in Tripoli,  it is being bombed.
A former member of Congress from Georgia, she can be reached at: (Replace AT with @)
This essay has also been published by CounterPunch and Information Clearing House
(Thanks to Cynthia for the essay and to levantine for advising me of its existence)

Attack helicopters to be sent in so they can be shot down, providing the excuse to send in the fascist boots. Link


WWII never ended, just the method changed – to financial warfare.
Europe and the US have been conquered but financial warfare is not winning in Africa.

So it’s back to violence.

Europe and the US against a tiny nation of 6 million. It’s oil is a bonus as is its strategic location.

Libyagate: The cluster bombing of Misrata: The case against the USA

The ongoing HRI investigation of the cluster bombing of Misrata in April 2011 has found convincing evidence the bombing was committed by US naval forces.
Full details here: Human rights investigations, evidence-based, independent and rigorous investigation of human rights abuses.
Human Rights Investigations calls for:
1). A full investigation into the possession and use of cluster munitions by all forces in the Libyan conflict with no impunity.
2). The suspension of military personnel found to be involved pending investigation and prosecution for war crimes.
3). A full investigation by the US authorities.
4). There should be investigations by the United Nations and by each of the nations participating in the coalition as the use of these munitions in a residential area is a clear violation of UN Resolution 1973, and
“those responsible for or complicit in attacks targeting the civilian population, including aerial and naval attacks, must be held to account.”
5). All members of the coalition, including the USA, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to declare their use of cluster munitions and to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
6). An end to the ‘information war’ and military distortion of the public debate.
7). An end to the ongoing bombing of Libya which is against the spirit and intent of UN Resolution 1973 which was intended to protect civilians, not justify bombing of civilian areas, never mind justify war crimes and the cluster bombing of Libyan cities.