Archive for September, 2010

Another Domino Falls: UK’s Leading Scientific Body Retreats on Climate Change

September 30, 2010

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
Sept 30, 2010

It’s the latest in a series of high-profile set-backs suffered by global warming theorists- the UK’s leading scientific body has decided to rewrite its own definitive guide on climate change, now admitting that it is “not known” how much warmer the planet will become.

The Royal Society has released a new guide which outlines a retreat from its former vanguard stance on the threat of climate change and man-made global warming. The decision to update their scientific guide came after 43 of its members complained that the previous versions failed to take into account the opinion of climate change sceptics.

The new guide, entitled ‘Climate change: a summary of the science’, concedes that there are now major ‘uncertainties’ regarding the once sacred ‘scientific consensus’ behind man-made global warming theory, admitting that not only is it impossible to know for sure how the Earth’s climate will change in the future but it cannot possibly know what the effects may be. The 19-page guide states clearly, ’It is not possible to determine exactly how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the climate will change in the future, but careful estimates of potential changes and associated uncertainties have been made”.

The guide continues stating, “There is currently insufficient understanding of the enhanced melting and retreat of the ice sheets on Greenland and West Antarctica to predict exactly how much the rate of sea level rise will increase above that observed in the past century for a given temperature increase”.

In a Sept 20, 2010 article published on the UK Daily Mail, Professor Anthony Kelly, academic advisor to  Britain’s Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) explains, ”The previous guidance was discouraging debate rather than encouraging it among knowledgeable people. The new guidance is clearer and a very much better document”.

The decision to revise and tone down its alarmist position on climate change demonstrates a clear u-turn on its previous 2007 climate pamphlet, one which is said to have caused an internal rebellion by the 43 fellows of the Society, triggering a review and subsequent revision. The 2007 publication, which parroted the IPCC’s popular, but misleading impression that the ‘science is settled’ – made way for the new guide which accepts that important questions remain open and uncertainties unresolved. “The Royal Society now also agrees(with us) that the warming trend of the 1980s and 90s has come to a halt in the last 10 years,” said Dr Benny Peiser, the Director of GWPF.

Economic realities and a marked shift in public opinion since last year’s Climategate scandal and failure of the much-hyped UN Copenhagen Summit have triggered a series of falling dominos within the climate change and anthropogenic global warming (AGW) orthodoxy. The Royal Society’s shift also follows last week’s blow to the radical climatist agenda within Britain, where the new Coalition Government announced it will be slashing its Climate Change Department’s budget and folding the former free-standing bureaucracy into the Treasury department.

 

The UN's "Hopenhagen" Summit ended in failure as no real binding agreement could be reached (PHOTO: Patrick Henningsen)

 

Some analysts also believe that the Society’s new guide does not go far enough. Dr David Whitehouse, the science editor of the GWPF said: “The biggest failing of the new guide is that it dismisses temperature data prior to 1850 as limited and leaves it at that. It would cast a whole new light on today’s warming if the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Bronze Age Warm Period were as warm as today, possibility even warmer than today. A thorough discussion of the growing empirical evidence for the global existence of the Medieval Warm Period and its implications would have been a valuable addition to the new report.”

In addition, this retreat by the Royal Society signals a very real trend in climate science circles where political activism is slowly being replaced by a more sober assessment of the scientific evidence and ongoing climate debates.

The Political Fallout

To date, the political activist engine powering climate change has been anchored by an elite circle of scientists, foundations, green journalists, carbon financiers- and politicians looking for a good cause. The fuel for this engine has been supplied by short-term economic opportunities, most of which has been in the form of massive research grants, subsidies and feed-in tariffs(triggering a rise in energy costs to the consumer) by the State and confederate bodies like the UN and the European Union. In the US, problems with climate change inspired instruments like Cap and Trade are more chronic, where North America’s sole carbon trading market, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), has recently been scaled down following a decline in investment and the near complete collapse in carbon emission prices.

As formerly obedient IPCC scientists and insiders gradually break ranks and defect over to the common sense camp, and foundations like the Royal Society reverse their policies on the nature of the climate threat, politicians may lose the once reliable traction they enjoyed when promoting their various green agendas.

This is followed, of course, by the economic reality of any democracy whereby taxpayers cannot really back departments, much less policies, that do not deliver a measured benefit to the public welfare. If the IPCC’s elite chamber of scientists cannot be trusted to objectively measure past global temperatures (actual UN data sets show that there has been no temperature increase since circa 1998), then it goes without saying that politicians cannot build real-world policy catering for a crisis that is not actually happening. The rising tide of scepticism and the reemergence of real scientific analysis will surely spell an end to the innumerable faith-based policies and guesswork forecasting that has plagued the climate change movement to date.

As science gradually makes its way back into line with reality and real world observation, it follows that many of the climate bureaucracies erected since 2000 will stumble as a result. The reason for this phenomenon is spelled out in the basic laws of ‘political physics’; a collapse of the so-called “scientific consensus” comes into direct conflict with one of the main tenets of politics- plausible deniability. When politicians can no longer use scientists as scapegoats, as in “it’s not our fault, they told us CO2 was heating up the planet…”, then the political agenda is all but dead.

The reality curve is certainly catching up to climate change now.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
21st Century Wire EXCLUSIVE VIDEO REPORTS from Copenhagen 2009

SHORT FILM: “HOPENHAGEN”

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About the author: Patrick Henningsen is an independent writer, filmmaker, communications consultant and managing editor of 21st Century Wire.

Contact: pj.henningsen@gmail.com

FUNKY TOWN FINANCE MEETS THE NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE

September 29, 2010

By Andrew McKillop
21st Century Wire
Sept 29th 2010

Like a Marlene Dietrich show in a remake of 1945 Berlin, surrounded by Soviet troop hordes, the nuclear sales show has to go on.  The vaunted “Nuclear Renaissance” which is being proclaimed by the industry could see more than 200 new reactors built during the 2010-2020 decade, rivalling the industry’s previous high-water mark of 1975-1985 when one new reactor came on line, on average, every 17 days. The image of cheap, clean, safe and low carbon energy which is also secure – despite the uranium being mostly imported – has seduced political deciders and the corporate elite, worldwide. But the reality behind this romantic green image of a nuclear panacea to future energy needs is something altogether different.

Welcome to Funky Town

Since 2004, a future globalized electrical village lit by the atom is the meat of the obsessional ad campaign run by the French Areva state-backed nuclear monopoly, under the banner of “semi-private” as portrayed in the business press. This longstanding and massive advertising campaign runs to the background music of the Lipps Inc 1970s disco dance track “Funky Town” (see and hear this advert at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3B__ovj2jU).

   Areva wants to take you to Funky Town.

Everyone is boogying to DJ Friendly Atom in these richly detailed TV and print media offerings. The comic strip presentations often show Areva-owned clean and environment-friendly uranium mines in Canada – rather than Islamic militant-menaced Niger where Areva has a massive mine. The ads sometime flash dark-suited, smiling Men of Finance proffering hard cash at the edge of the stage, to underline the new illusion: nuclear power is very market friendly.

Indeed, nuclear power is market friendly and uranium mining is always clean and environmentally friendly in Funky Town. Quite often the reactors on the skyline are joined by serried ranks of friendly windmills and gleaming solar panels also delivering low carbon electricity. When in Funky Town, the revellers dance to the Areva tune.

The Atomic Reality

At the time when “Funky Town” was regular disco fodder circa 1977, nuclear power generation was still almost totally and exclusively reserved for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the USSR and to a smaller extent, China and India. It was almost exclusively State-controlled, State-financed and State-operated. Its strategic deployment and costs were ultimately linked to the real business of the atom – nuclear weapons making and state security which, of course, was a State secret.

Why nuclear economics “did not matter” back then is certainly an interesting economic question and brings us to the root of the nuclear illusion. The State was not in the background, rather it was entirely present at the forefront of the nuclear scene, for the simple reason that nuclear powered electricity is expensive. Producing electricity for the civil power grid was still a side issue and interest for the State, in the early 1970s. The real objective of the State-backed and State-controlled nuclear industry was plutonium brewing to make atomic weapons.

This context had lasted from the early age of the atom until the 1960s in the “old nuclear” countries – although America’s “Atoms for Peace” programme began with Eisenhower’s speech to the UN Assembly on Dec 8, 1953 (later called the “Atoms for Peace speech”). This programme was more an exercise in PR and communication, and wishful thinking, than making nuclear power a real world source of “cheap, clean and safe” electric power for the coming mass consumer society.

The first coming of civil nuclear power in the 1955-1965 period did not scale up and become “international” by extending outside the USA and Europe, until the end of the 1960s and early 1970s where nuclear power became an “export” to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. In all cases, in each country, the start-up of their civil nuclear programmes was organized and structured by the State, from start to finish. The so-called nominally private operating companies that were founded were usually private only in name. All building, construction, land use, environmental, worker safety, and financial, economic or legal regulations – especially liability insurance in case of an accident – were taken charge of by the State, from start to finish.

The State was present and paid for the upstream – the power transmission and distribution infrastructures, fuel supply and fabrication, spent fuel removal and reprocessing, storage of wastes, and other nuts and bolts on the hardware side. The State was present and paid for the downstream – assured and constant financing at below-market rates, the creation of closed capital State-private holding companies and the massive gift of accident liability insurance. Data on how much this cost is clouded in controversy, and in many cases all documentation has been destroyed, but the French Reseau Sortir du Nucleaire estimates that in France, the “civil-isation” of the atom perhaps needed US $ 75 billion of state aid and support (some $300 billion by today’s standards). A conservative estimate.

To be sure, no other energy supply industry, with the possible small-scale exception of Green Energy, could ever dream of receiving this royal flush of State largesse. This surely helps explain why in 2010, “Funky Town” go-go financiers have massively crowded into the nuclear sector. While the state aid pickings are good, this is the place to be.

From Put Options to Development Aid

The French EDF ex-monopoly electricity supplier with the biggest number of nuclear reactors of any traded power company in the world, also the most debt-laden traded company in France, and with a share price down about 25% through Jan-Aug 2010, is using financial engineering to keep a foothold in the US nuclear power market. Using debt instruments, EDF bought half of Constellation Energy Group’s nuclear business for US$ 4.5 billion in 2008, thwarting a takeover of Constellation by Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. At the time, Constellation set up an option for a later possible sale of non-nuclear plants to EDF. Since then, the financial crisis and unsure economic recovery have taken their toll on high-priced assets of highly indebted corporations, such as electric power plants.

EDF and Constellation are now in dispute over Constellation’s option to sell EDF non-nuclear plants for as much as US $2 billion. The so-called put option – implying the value of these plants would fall – is due to expire in December 2010. EDF is Constellation’s biggest shareholder, but if Constellation exercised its put option, EDF would incur more debt or lower-performing assets and view this as a hostile move likely to jeopardize their relationship. This would in turn compromise plans to build new nuclear projects in the near future.

Closely linked to this example of financial engineering, is the Congressional decision on what will be the last government aids for nuclear power plant building in the USA- a decision that would likely go to Constellation. If the corporation backs out of nuclear expansion, due to financial stress caused by EDF in retaliation for Constellation using its put option, the chance of it building another friendly atom plant may be low.

Moving up a long way in funky financing, state-to-state bilateral deals in the nuclear power sector are now in high gear. Amounts in play are usually well above US $ 10 billion per project, and very complex mix-and-mingle methods and processes are used for their financing. From development aid finance, to market plays wielding put-and-call options, and natural resource based offset and compensatory trading all have a role for Funky Town financing of the atom.

As Iran unveils its own version of Funky Town, as it begins loading its new Bushehr nuclear reactor.

Like deals between South Korea and Abu Dhabi, Russia and Iran or France and Pakistan, the US-India arrangement targets business opportunities of epic dimensions. On the basis of the 2008 bilateral agreement, U.S. companies—most importantly Toshiba-Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi—are planning to build nuclear power plants in India. A linked American-Indian trade group claims that this business may ultimately be worth US $130 billion by 2030. At the basis of the long-running 30-year standoff between the USA and India was the question of uranium enrichment. During the negotiation of the 2008 agreement, Washington initially resisted giving India long-term consent to reprocess spent fuel subject to the agreement, because a 1982 U.S. National Security Decision Memorandum had limited such consent to the European Union and Japan. Business and plain sense however won the day: any questions of nuclear proliferation are in fact relics of a very distant past: India tested its first atom bomb in 1974 !

Already marshalled into this private-public ‘Marshall Plan’ for selling US nuclear power and services to India are the US Ex-Im (export-import) Bank, leading Wall Street private banks, and major downstream infrastructure companies such as Bechtel, all primed and ready to go. Under special arrangements for nuclear financing, US state agencies, especially the Ex-Im Bank can in some cases finance up to 85% of the initial sale for projects with a 15-year lifetime after an initial open-ended time period during which construction and hand-over to Indian buyers took place. Unlike smaller and specialized aid agencies like US AID, the Ex-Im Bank is an ideal vehicle for closely working with the big creative players of private finance, who shy well away from the atom for many reasons.

The next round in financing the new Nuclear Renaissance promises to be a lot less easy. Lined up on today’s buy side are a lengthening list of low-income and mid-income new nuclear countries wanting the atom. They include: Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh and others. Even “entry level” nuclear projects tend to cost US $ 2 – 5 billion, take years to construct and will have to be operated for a minimum of 30 – 40 years to make a profit and pay back initial costs. To be sure, the now standardized “operating life extensions” of 10 years here or there, may help avoid the prohibitive costs of decommissioning.

In a likely return to the dawn of civil nuclear power, the UN’s nuclear agency the IAEA could be extended to cover nuclear financing. When the IAEA was announced by US president Eisenhower in a Dec 1953 speech to the UN general assembly, his original proposal included power plant financing, building and fuel supply. As we know, the IAEA in fact was only given the “watchdog” anti-proliferation role that it still has. The World Bank and its regional bank affiliates were also excluded from financing the atom – and although today’s World Bank talk about nuclear power is positive, the financing is not there.

Modelled on the Global Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund, a US $ 100 billion fund that was definitely not approved at the December 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, the IAEA is working towards a “sister fund” known as the Global Nuclear Energy Fund for sustainable energy. In particular, this fund would aim to marshal and mobilize at least as much financing capability as the green energy fund: US $ 100 billion, but present and current promises, only from Europe, are of US $ 100 million. The nuclear fund would focus “small and innovative” nuclear power projects in low income countries, according to the IAEA.

Sovereign Debt to Global Debt

The UN’s Nuclear Suppliers Group has an impressive 45-nation list of supposed nuclear equipment and service suppliers, but these include countries like Iceland, Malta, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania, everyone short of the Vatican. The “serious suppliers” especially include the 5 UN Security Council permanent members, China presently mostly importing nuclear equipment and of course fuel, but quite soon planning to be a major builder of overseas power plants and operator of overseas uranium mines, like in India.

Most major suppliers, like the USA, France, Japan and Germany are also “seriously indebted” to new epic proportions following the 2008-2009 blow-out and collapse of the not-so-funky financial sector and its collateral damage to banks, and the economy in general. The result of all this is that selling nuclear power almost any place on the planet is now an attractive option – reinforced by the inevitable collapse of international financing and funding hopes for the green energy bubble at the December 2009 Copenhagen climate summit.

All illusions aside, the economic reality of Nuclear power is that it is expensive and comes in big slices. Country risk in a long list of New Nuclear countries is high and in the extreme, over and beyond the weapons proliferation, waste handling and storage challenges in these countries, and elsewhere. Financing the Nuclear Renaissance in 2010-2020 will almost surely shift to international and multilateral debt financing methods. The IMF will surely be there, and all creative methods will have a look-in to using nuclear power plants as the underlying security in a vast new upsurge in global debt trading.

A. McKillop copyright 2010

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

Contact: xtran9@gmail.com

BRITAIN’S CLIMATE CHANGE DEPARTMENT MAY BE CUT

September 22, 2010

By Patrick Henningsen
Sept 22, 2010
21st Centurywire

With the current protracted recession still in play and a government budget deficit to reconcile, Her Majesty’s Government may be looking to trim some fat by giving its bloated £3.2 billion Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) the royal chop.

Such budget austerity measures for UK government spending should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the political slate since the keys were exchanged at Downing Street this past June. It’s an all too familiar story in Westminster and the thing that all bureaucrats fear the most. When your departmental number is called, you realise that all the liquid lunches, expense accounts, canape receptions and conference junkets could soon come to an end. So it was only a matter of time before fiscal reality came home for a seat at DECC’s own annual gravy dinner.

The fact that Britain’s DECC is on the butcher’s block also signals that some ministers and policy gurus might be reconsidering whether the highly politicised global warming movement should be a top priority for the country, and evidence that some are now doubting the legitimacy of such a department. Policy makers are now weighing up the benefits of such a massive bureaucratic department which is steering a politcal agenda based solely upon what is now deemed to be highly questionable science by some-  and outright fraud by others.

 

REALITY BITES: Britain is expecting another record breaking freeze this winter. (PHOTO by Patrick Henningsen)

 

An article published on Sept 22nd in the Guardian, details the move brought on by the inevitable spending cuts pledged by Britain’s new coalition government:

“Climate change secretary Chris Huhne is fighting to defend his department’s funding and independence, fending off a suggestion that his civil servants should be moved to the Treasury to cut costs.”

“But when all government departments were asked to model the effect of 40% cuts over the summer, officials at Decc told ministers that cuts of that level to its £3.2bn budget would make it unable to stand alone as a viable entity. At that time it was suggested it merge with the business department, but that was never formally suggested to the Treasury. Instead the Treasury renewed a push to get Decc relocated.”

“The news came today as Huhne gave his speech to the Liberal Democrat conference. His pitch was that the government wanted to foster a “third industrial revolution” in low-carbon technology. But the techno-optimism of the speech sat awkwardly with the news that he has been forced to contemplate breaking up his department.”

 

Climategate: the scandal which damaged the credibility of global warming theory.

 

Today’s announcement in the UK and recently events like the unravelling and near collapse of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) in the US, where carbon trading prices have bottomed out at a rather lackluster .10 cents per tonne (see fire sale), have added additional momentum to the previously unpopular common sense, or climate realist cause.

What preachers of Anthropogenic Global Warming(AGW) and climate change are slowly discovering is that no amount of spin and political propaganda can cover up a lack of results over a long stretch. Money eventually runs out, people start losing interest and the gravy train always stalls as a result.

In the last 12 months radical climatism has certainly faltered from its lofty position in modern mythology… back down to Earth. The economic reality in any democratic nation is that taxpayers cannot back departments, much less policies, that do not deliver benefits to the public welfare. Here in the UK, we have a government department which is busying itself with an apocalyptic event… that is not even happening.

Skeptics have two things on their side: one is science and the other is mother nature. If science can rediscover its old backbone, it will simply present the data (what the UN’s CRU at East Anglia did not do) of what mother nature has really been doing all this time, namely, the data which shows that there has been no global warming since 1998.

Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker spelled out the current insanity behind UK government energy policy recently, “If all this sounds like pure lunacy, we must recall that two years ago, our MPs voted all but unanimously for the Climate Change Act. This commits Britain, uniquely in the world, to cutting its CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, at a cost of up to £18 billion a year, or £734 billion in total. This is what our politicians have made the law of the land, although in practice it could only be achieved by closing down virtually all our economy”.

There are numerous gov’t departments around the globe, including the UN’s own IPCC that have been erected in recent years to “tackle the climate change problem”.  Although they market themselves as an environmental concern, they have their roots and structure firmly based around politics. Like East Germany stepped up to dismantle its greatest Cold War symbol, will Britain be the first EU country to bring down its “Carbon Wall”? Perhaps. It’s certainly clearer now in 2010, than it was back in 2006- that the whole concept of global warming is fatally flawed. Henceforth, any policies or budgets attached to it need to be discarded. There is no other sane alternative in such a policy debate.

History will demonstrate that no matter how popular an ideology might be at any one time, it cannot survive very long if it is divorced from the reality outside of bureaucratic rooms. In this case, the focus is on real science and cost vs benefit economics. If the UK falls out of love with AGW, expect more climate change bureaucracies around the globe to find themselves thin ice too.

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Contact: pj.henningsen@gmail.com

THE WRONG REVOLUTION

September 18, 2010

By Patrick Henningsen
Editor

Sept 19, 2010
21st Century Wire

History will most likely define this present political generation as the one who will either have stemmed the tide of reckless federal expansion, or the one who was brought to its knees by it.

If you can for moment, unzip yourself from whatever political bio-suit you are sporting and take a look at what has been created in the United States during the last decade in terms of government, you will see a machine that far dwarfs the collective apogee of the Clinton, Bush Sr, Reagan, Carter, Ford and Nixon governments… combined.

There is a sizeable constituency of Americans today who no longer identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans. The two parties’ once distinct features have become blurred, taking on a new form. The lines which once separated each from the other are all but gone, as the two have come to merge into a much larger entity. The ‘Democrat’ and the ‘Republican’ have become The Federal.

After researching a number of video clips and speeches made by former US President Ronald Reagan it became evident that during his tenure in the California Governorship (1967-1975) and into his first term as chief executive, he espoused a very strong stance on the benefits of a small Federal Government and held the scope and size of government accountable to provisions laid out in the Constitution of the United States. Once in the White House, it is obvious to students of realpolitik that Reagan, as most chief executives have and as each of his successors did, oversaw an overall expansion of Federal Government. Perhaps the pressure chamber of the Oval Office is too great even for the most ardent of  political idealists.

Realpolitik aside, where can this idea of small government fit into the present day revolution that has given birth to the post-modern Goliath known as the United States Federal Government? Make no mistake- there has been a revolution alright, but in terms of the founding principles of the United States, it is the wrong revolution.

The cost of the federal revolution is astronomic and has all but plunged the country into virtual bankruptcy and arguably, into receivership to the very banking institutions who print and loan our Treasury its greenbacks. So do you find yourself supporting or believing in this revolution? As we see support for Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty and the Tea Party surging in America, it’s clear that many don’t support it. So who can actually afford to sit on the fence anymore? The answer to that question is simple: anyone feeding from the government trough.

HIGH ON THE HOG: Countless Federal agencies and Wall Street are feeding from the public trough.

Understand that this is the new mandate. For students of the Chicago Mafia school, it’s called the patronage system. That’s what you get when enough voters are in the employ of the Big Boss, thus making him “Boss for Life”. You never question the Big Boss because the he pays your rent, your holidays and pays for your kid’s tuition fees. In our story, the ‘Big Boss’ is the Federal Government. He is accountable to no court of law and has no oversight, so long as everyone who is important gets their brown envelope on Friday. If you find yourself employed directly or indirectly by one of a multitude of federal agencies and programs, then you are indeed part of the this patronage system and you will likely support any growth in the size and scope of your given agency or program. There are over 20 million of you now on the payroll, as well as many millions more contractors and grantees, making the Big Boss top dog, way past any labor union and way above any industry giant. Even as a middle manager in some obscure bureau, chances are you are probably on a six figure salary along with every benefit imaginable. Life is good if you are working for the Big Boss.

Lessons must still be learned though, and the message is still a crucial one- regardless of the messenger. One would hope that students of history would still be able to listen and learn from vintage Reagan, the actor turn politician, the unlikely idealist, defender of the Constitution and champion of small government. The last two administrations have proven that the Federal machine no longer discriminates between Democrats or Republicans. It speaks one language, that is the language of  ‘growth’.

Clear back to '67, Reagan most certainly had a vision.

If you are a “Democrat” (we will use quotations to demonstrate the construct), seeing beyond the Left-Right pattern is important.  Look past the low-hanging fruits that we have come to recognise as the bitter end of palette of the Reagan legacy, namely Iran-Contra, Star Wars, and certain military industrial aspects of Reaganomics. Judging by economic performance, you will have figured out that Keynesian approach has not done as well as you had hoped. History will reveal that the legendary Stimulus Bill was  nothing but a fool’s errand, as was Healthcare Reform. Know the difference between the politically loaded word Capitalism, and consider using the more sober thinking man’s term, Free Market Economics. As a Democrat you must also come to terms with the fact that your party has expanded the already overblown National Security State that it inherited from Bush the Younger. You may see the wisdom laid down by the Founding Fathers of the nation when they provided for individual states rights. You may also come to reconsider the whole concept of “entitlement”. You might then consider, just for a second, the benefits of small government.

If you identify yourself as a “Republican”, then your success in this discussion will be your ability to resist nostalgia of the Neo-Conservative glory years, the Gipper mythology, and a tendency to romanticize about George Bush 43’s rhetoric over his actual results. Know who the Chicago-Straussian school are and why they were so influential in constructing the neo-conservative agenda of the 1980’s. Understand that if you dislike the amount of power which is currently in the hands of the executive, you only have yourselves to blame as you turned a blind eye to Bush 43’s full-scale Executive Branch heist. You will see how this same administration rode roughshod over your Bill of Rights. You will need to understand that history will not judge the Pentagon’s military escalation from 2001- present (and beyond) as anything more than the inevitable flamboyant gesture of an empire in decline (see Rome). You will have realized that the Crusades had already been done and dusted during Medieval times. Surely, there is no real glory in these adventures. You will come to know that talking heads like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly are mere entertainers and not philosophers. Last but not least, do not forget that most Democrats are fellow Christians too.

Bush 43 and Obama have too much in common. Both have lots of friends in high places. Both lobbied heavily for the first Banker Bailouts in October 2008 (as did John McCain). Both ran on an election platform that was ditched as soon as the locks were changed at Pennsylvania Ave. Bush ran on traditional conservative planks like  “no nation building” and “we don’t want to be policeman of the world” and a “smaller government”. The reality was just the opposite- lots of nation building, world police and a doubling in size of the Federal government. Similarly Obama waxed lyrical about ending the wars, closing Guantanamo and repealing Patriot Acts I and II. No doubt, this was an exciting prospect. But again, the reality was the opposite- expanding the war theatres east, a skyrocketing military budget and further transgressions on civil liberties by the State. The military largess of these two administrations has literally bled the republic dry to the tune of $4 Trillion by today’s count. The total debt has increased over $500 billion each year since fiscal year (FY) 2003, with increases of $1 trillion in FY2008 and $1.9 trillion in FY2009. We’re still waiting for the final bill for 2010.

Both the Bush Jr and Obama governments have contributed to the greatest unseen revolution to date in the history of the United States- a four fold expansion of the Federal Government, as well as a creeping global Theater of War. It is this revolution which is now threatening to eat the nation from within. The history books will be final on this.

With its manufacturing base all but outsourced overseas, a financial sector which has transformed itself into a deregulated bent casino, federal departments like Homeland Security (only 8 years old and currently carrying the largest budget of any federal department), the TSA and FEMA annually running up a bill that is larger than the civil budget of some developed countries, and a Pentagon being funded by a bottomless blank cheque book- the United States Government is at that unique point in history where it has nothing left to feed on, except on the Constitution. Except on the founding principles of the nation. Except on you.

Whether you class yourself as a “Democrat” or a “Republican”, it is becoming clearer that no citizen can afford to play the traditional controlled Left vs Right punch and judy game. You might just sit and muse in hindsight, as many do, on where you think Ronald Reagan sat on the political spectrum but you cannot deny that his message of small government is still valuable and never more relevant than today.

One day in the future Americans may finally wake up to realize after all, that they can no longer afford this massive Federal machine. But more importantly they may come to understand that the two-sided political game they have been playing… well, it’s just not all that fun anymore.

This short video (below) offers up a comparison between principles of small government vs the wild logic of borrowing and spending embodied in Joe Biden’s now infamous declaration of “we got to spend money to keep from going bankrupt”, a concept fully embraced by the current administration. In times of strife, we often lose sight of how far we’ve gone from the fundamentals and where we are headed. It’s essential for a civilization to refer to history in order to get its proper bearing.

        Pre-White House Reagan delivers a powerful message.

Watch this thought-provoking video montage: A pre-White House Ronald Reagan interspersed with contemporary clips of his alleged ideological adversaries, namely, the current President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and Joe Biden.

    In 2010, Ron Paul offers ideas that few in Washington dare entertain.

Let the real debate begin.

To wait any more, puts America’s Constitutional Republic at risk.

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About the author: Patrick Henningsen is a writer, filmmaker, communications consultant and managing editor of 21st Century Wire.

Contact: pj.henningsen@gmail.com



FLASHBACK: Insights from Hunter S. Thompson’s Post-911 Interview

September 15, 2010

“It was if something had brought on a bad trip, but this time it wasn’t the drugs. It wasn’t even the Sept 11th attacks…”


By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire

The latest installment of the annual 911 anniversary has since come and gone. Like George Washington Day and the Pro Bowl, it seems to have passed without too many people noticing this time, for not a lot more can be said about it that hasn’t already been dragged over the proverbial bed of charcoals.

Still, so many questions remain unanswered. Hoping to achieve a little perspective on where 911 sits in the wider frame of American history, I found myself looking back in time to see what was said right after the attacks. What I discovered was unexpected- how time can crystallise some fighting words and preserve a few fearless ideas.

Like any decent bottle of wine, quality in film and literature never turns- it always resonates and its unmistakable character continues to improve with age. The same can be said for timely interviews with seminal personalities.  On Sept 2, 2002, one Hunter S. Thompson of Fear and Loathing fame, was interviewed by host Mick O’Regan on Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio- Down Under’s equivalent of NPR or BBC Radio 4. O’Regan wanted to hear Thompson’s take on the world following the attacks of Sept 11th. What he got was something that would hardly surprise followers of the irreverent gonzo scribe’s long career.

Still relevant: Thompson's comments after 911 were straight from the gut.

It was if something had brought on a bad trip, but this time it wasn’t the drugs. It wasn’t even the Sept 11th attacks. It was what came after 911 that disturbed Hunter’s sense order in the universe. It was Sept 2002 and the first anniversary saw two weeks of continuous programming about the previous year’s horrific incident. When you listen to this interview, bear in mind it was conducted in the midst of a global media blitz with hundreds of pieces dedicated to the event- commemoration followed by redux, followed by memorial, followed by endless terror announcements. It would be fair to say that Thompson’s comments were certainly brave in the context of what was playing in the media at that time, although it appears that few mainstream pundits took serious note of them back then.

During the broadcast Thompson predicted that George W Bush and his esteemed Cabinet would use 911 as a rallying call for the eventual invasion of Iraq- the record will show that he was only 6 months off in his prediction of that war. More insightful though, was his commentary on a wide range of issues that we are still grappling with today in 2010. In this interview which lasts about 40 minutes, many important points were made about the nature of government, the loss of freedoms in the West after 911, freedom of the press in war coverage, and the corporate media’s new-found inability to objectively report on major world-changing events.

On the subject of media, the former Rolling Stone Magazine rogue writer explained, “Overall, American journalism has been cowed and intimidated by this massive flag-sucking, this patriotic orgy the White House keeps whipping up, that if you criticise the President it’s unpatriotic, there’s something wrong with you- or you may be a terrorist.”

Straight out of the gonzo playbook, he also shares his feelings on ‘official’ announcements, “Be very skeptical about the pronouncements of authority. As a gambler I would say it’s a bit of an even bet that if you question the statements of truth from the White House or the government, more often than not you will be right… the truth is hugely stranger than fiction.”

Later in this interview, Hunter explains that in his opinion, the attacks of Sept 11th may very well have been an ‘inside job’ and goes on to support this opinion with his own personal experience and what he learned while running in high political circles for the good part of half a century- much was learned and little love was lost between the Nixon and Bush Jr regimes.

Sure, we’ve heard it all before but he said it way back then. We can only wonder where we’d be today if more media personalities did the same that early in the game- before the fear had really sunk in, embedded under our skins. Was that when the West was well and truly hijacked? Hijacked by leaders and their industrial counterparts preying on peoples’ apparent need to feel hyper-secure, leaving society with nowhere to turn but in on itself? If there ever was an authentic fear and loathing moment for America, this was surely it.

What a difference a year makes. Illustration by Ralph Steadman.

When one looks at the Anti-War movement in 2010, it looks like a movement that has lost its way, and in many ways has lost its spine too. If he were still alive today, perhaps Thompson would have pointed out that war protestors who still buy the official 911 story cannot, in good faith, be really against the initial invasion of Afghanistan, billed as a ‘defensive’ invasion fabricated out of the popular 911 lie. In this way, the 911 Truth movement is the Anti-War movement with a brain.

This is definitely a brilliant and candid summary from the writer who redefined journalism during his era, a writer who so often managed to ‘get away with it’. This time he didn’t need to though. Certainly an interview for the American archive and further proof that some forms of rock ‘n roll from the past can- from time to time, offer a little wisdom to successive generations.

Listen to the full interview below in seven parts, each segment is approximately 5 and a half minutes long:

Learn how the US Government is selling out your future:

September 14, 2010

  What is the human cost of US Government’s budget deficit? This video will put things nicely into perspective.


The Federal Reserve's 24 hr 365 day a year printing press (PHOTO: Jim Young/Reuters)

Where does all the money for all these wars come from? Your taxes? Hardly. Don’t ask don’t tell, but how long can the party go on? The answer to that question is perhaps too painful for any politician to answer. Notice that the private Federal Reserve Bank is not complaining… the status quo of fiat currency suits them just fine, as long as the interest payments keep rolling in.

ABOUT 21st CENTURY WIRE…

September 12, 2010

The 21st Century Wire – “News for the Waking Generation” 

WHAT ARE WE?

We are an open source public service, non commercial online news and analysis resource, working with an array of volunteer contributors aggregating news and opinion from all over the world.

21st Century Wire receives regular submissions from writers and blogs internationally on a daily basis and is not responsible for the opinions and statements of its Citizen Journalists whose articles appear on our site – who opinions and statements are those of the authors.

If you would like to contact the author of any article by 21st Century Wire, simply email the editor with any request you may have.

If you have a comment on a particular article, you may post it in the comment section located at the bottom of each article.

Our site was officially launched in Dec 2009 at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, initially as a vehicle to expose the collectivist mythology behind global warming and climate change, and has since expanded coverage to include exposés on intelligence, foreign policy, the war on terror, technology and Wall Street. Besides demonstrating freedom speech and thought, one of the main intentions of 21st Century Wire is to empower readers by giving them the tools to decode mainstream propaganda. Inspired by sites like Infowars.com, we try to offer a historical perspective on contemporary issues and where possible, provide strategic reference links throughout our content- allowing you the reader to delve deeper into the issues- if you so choose

EDUCATE YOURSELF

The 21st Century is the beginning of a new information epoch and you, the reader, are the freshman class of critical thinkers in terms of news analysis and consumption. In its totality, there is an immense volume of information to be had on the internet but we truly believe that in this new decentralised, grassroots and egalitarian world-wide web, the cream will eventually rise to the top.

In spite of the internet revolution, the corporate mainstream media (MSM) still clings to a predictable and monolithic format which is one of the reasons why the alternative media is winning large portions of their audience every day. We know the free internet is all about choice and interaction, and not about being force-fed a narrow band of information from a few major networks.  It’s not about being a passive couch surfer, it’s about you- going out and digging to find the blog or video you are looking for. That’s why you are here now- and not reading news off of CNN.com, FOXNEWS.com or the TIMES ONLINE.

Try explaining that one to a room full of highly paid media execs.

OUR MISSION

Aside from the independent media remit, our number one intention here is to get you thinking, and hopefully inspire you to take on an active role yourself, perhaps by creating your own website or information portal. This may be by using free blog software, creating your own podcast,  Youtube channel, or just by utilising social networks like Facebook or Twitter.

EDITORIAL POLICY

The editorial policy of 21st Century Wire is simple and resides above partisan politics and the traditional Left vs Right paradigm which we believe only serves to divide people who have more in common than not. Rather than aligning our slate with any particular party or ideology, we will attempt to deliver content that looks squarely at power, its architecture, as well as the seeds corruption. We will also try to stay within that which can be proven, or at least corroborated by credible sources. So our remit is to identify, inform, enlighten, expose – and offer solutions where possible. We will take a controversial position on an issue if we feel that the Mainstream Corporate Media is trying to bury the truth by simply reporting canned government propaganda. Without a doubt, 21st Century Wire is not everyone’s cup of tea, but we hope that those who do read here will be of the open minded sort.

It’s a tall order for sure, but we promise to do our very best…

OUR TEAM…


Patrick Henningsen
Founder, Writer & Producer

Producer and features writer, is an informed, highly opinionated and passionate commentator specializing in current affairs and geopolitics. Patrick is host of the new ’21st Century Wire’ TV show on PSTV SKY channel 191 in the UK which premiered in August 2012, and is a regular contributor to Russia Today (RT Moscow). He has also appeared as a guest on  ITV/ITN, Al Jazeera English, Coast to Coast AM, The Alex Jones ShowPress TV, Edge Media(UK), and Germany’s Channel 3, and has published featured articles appearing on popular news sites like Infowars, London Guardian, Global Research, OpEd News, Market Oracle, Tech Radar, Huff Post, American Free Press, Examiner.com and IndyMedia, and many more.

Contact: pj.henningsen@gmail.com

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Peter Sterry
Master of Web
A new edition to the team, Peter is the engine who keeps the wire moving. He brings life experience to reporting the news – a veteran investigator, retired corporate hack and formerly with Granada Television/ITV.

Contact webmaster/editor for content or commercial queries:
21stcenturywire@gmail.com

 
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Basil Valentine
UK-based writer, speaker and political pundit. A valuable member of the 21st Century team, Basil has gathered extensive political experience in and around the centres of influence and corridors of power in the UK, read history at Cambridge University, is a skilled intelligence analyst, as well as being an accomplished sport and horse racing pundit.

 

 

 

 

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Nicholas Myra
Nicholas is a former actor, television documentary producer, and a voice for the voiceless. He currently spends his free time pursuing his true passion – motorcycles, and can be found most summers touring Europe, and America via Harley Davidson. He is also working on his first novel about his media experience, with any luck – due out in late 2013.

 

 

 

 

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The InfoHighwayMan
Researcher & Whistleblower
Although he still remains a bit of a mystery to us, it’s no mystery why the 21st Century Wire gets regular and extraordinary news tips and ideas, and works as a stringer for the Guardian in London, and others. A vast scholarly resource and a political sharp-shooter, he is no stranger to world of media (some even claim he was the internet before it was even invented). With a lengthy list of credentials, he is the ideal inside man- or deep throat if you will, for the wire…

 

 

 

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Andrew McKillop
Andrew is a writer and energy markets analyst for 21st Century Wire. He has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has extensive experience as an EU energy policy consultant and project administrator, including the development and financing of alternate energy. Andrew is also author of the groundbreaking nuclear critique, The Doomsday Machine, as well as other books and published research papers available for review online.

 

 

 

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FUTURE UPDATES

Changes are afoot In recent months the content on this site has been syndicated via a number of popular sites on the web and our articles have attracted interest from a number of formidable writers and contributors, and there are plans to relaunch the site to a new and more dynamic platform later this year in Winter of 2012. In addition we have just completed our first season of ’21st Century Wire’ TV show on SKY TV in the UK. And much, more to come…

Please RSS our site, bookmark it or share our link to your friends and colleagues.

So…

WATCH THIS SPACE…

“RECONSTRUCTING” CLIMATE CHANGE

September 7, 2010

“The IPCC may therefore be allowed to die a timely death. Its budgets can be cut or frozen, and its  transition to the added status of becoming a full-blown UN agency pushed further back…

By Andrew McKillop
Sept 8th 2010

21st Century Wire

Through the whole year of 2009, building up to the failed Copenhagen “climate summit”, climate change was heavily promoted by a small but powerful group of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) political leaders and their corporate, press and media elites as a major challenge to the planet and to our way of life. It was also the big signal for selling Low Carbon energy: everything from nuclear power and wind farms to landfill methane gas recovery or electric cars. Anything not needing oil or seeming not to, was a great big emerging and breaking business opportunity.

By midyear 2010, however, the climate change and green energy transition to “a new ecological society” theme had imploded and fallen off the teleprompters of the few political leaders who had taken this theme as serious, and had invested political “face” or capital in it. Climate change almost disappeared from public view. The USA’s voluntary but legally binding CO2 emissions trading exchange, the CCX in Chicago, announced that it was scaling back its activity, and possibly going out of business, as the traded value of a ton of CO2 fell to 10 US cents. The UN IPCC has since swivelled back into view with the role of scapegoat: its climate experts panel had delivered the wrong newsbytes and soundbytes to the few but important politicians who ran with the climate change ball up to 2009.

By 2010 it was a ball and chain, the IPCC needed reform, and the IPCC’s communication needed serious reconstructing.

Reconstruction of news, science data, other views and different opinions is a long-term stalwart in modern society and its politics. From organizing public support for wars, even when the public itself may be attacked or subject to economic loss, to ensuring that political leaders are re-elected, or that women start smoking and the public keeps buying the consumer products which rack up the highest profits, the role of “communication” is primordial. Communication and Public Relations (PR) are most basically propaganda, because the underlying facts and reality have to be reconstructed to make the message easy to sell. The climate change theme of 2009 was an example of this process, but in its quest to serve its masters and lever up its own prestige, the UN’s own IPCC had gone too far in reconstructing climate science and data.

Pre-climategate halcyon days: it wasn't long ago that Gore and Pachauri were collecting their world-saving allocades.

THE CRITICAL PR MOMENT

The window of opportunity for “saving climate change”, and perhaps relaunching it as the new dominant social, political and business theme, is narrow and likely already closing. For climate change this is a critical moment. The largest of its lies, or “enhanced truth” in PR newspeak have been exposed, and lesser extremes of generating constant fodder for the press, media and TV to uncritically recycle were also heavily criticised in the Climategate process. This underlines the critical challenge for attempts at saving the Climate Change and Anthropogenic Global Warming  (CC and AGW) theme. When a big lie starts being exposed in public, or a previous completely accepted and slickly sold “truth” starts to slip in the opinion polls and lose traction in the minds of average consumers, the theme is in danger. At this time the role of PR is critical.

To save the theme, or in ecological parlance to “recycle” it needs a repowering of the propaganda machine. This also needs political leaders prepared to stick their necks out a second time, but due to the presence of new truths and new doubts about the basic reality of climate change also competing for dominance, the so-called public debate is necessarily chaotic and clumsy, unsure and uncertain. The outlook for saving CC and AGW is therefore doubtful.

One key fact concerning the failed launch of climate change fear and admiration of green and low carbon energy is that this effort only concerned four major political leaders. To be sure, these were from the four leading OECD ‘Old World’ rich nations, but this was always a minority – or elite political quest. Their year-long and massive PR campaign on CC and AGW, ending in farce and chaos at the December 2009 Copenhagen Summit, was only a minority endeavour.

Until December 2009, the four leaders- Obama, Merkel, Sarkozy and the soon-voted-out Brown gave regular interviews where emotive soundbytes of the type “catastrophe”, “saving the planet”, “our last chance” were regularly utilised. Their doomster rhetoric was so extreme it was hard to believe they were much concerned about the trifling problem of their economies being mired in the worst economic crisis since the 1930s Great Depression, according to the equally hysterical International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their handling of the economic crisis tended to confirm this conclusion.

The alternatives offered by these four-only leaders was typically confused. Supposedly an “ecological” society totally dependent on “green energy” would arise, perhaps by about 2035, but this magical transformation would just as magically not affect sales of BMW cars, Boeing airplanes or French nuclear reactors in the meantime. CO2 emissions trading would of course vastly expand, but to what end ? How would this cash be “recycled” to build the bicycle-dependent eco-society just around the corner, in an eye blink of time ?

Proving the theme was launched in haste, with bad planning and logistics, the missing strands were more substantial than the substance of the magical transformation dangled by these four political leaders at the microphone, through 2009, but dropped like a lead weight in 2010. Since their failure at the Dec 2009 Copenhagen meeting to vendre la meche and obtain worldwide support for a supposed global transition to an ecological society depending on green energy, the four leaders have predictably “walked away” from the issue (this was especially easy for Gordon Brown). Today, the implosion of this new social, political and business theme is starkly evident.

RECONSTRUCTING THE PAST

With CC and AGW we are still in the “shock” phase following the effective collapse of what was launched as a new and dominant theme. These new dominant social themes are not painstakingly built, using large amounts of funds and the investment of “face” or personal prestige by political deciders and corporate elites for the fun of it. Rather, such new themes are launched to either reinforce existing, or build entirely new economic and financial, business and commercial themes. The personal investment by the four leaders was made clear by the speeches and pronouncements of this four-person OECD launch team with CC and AGW fear and public admiration of so-called ecological lifestyles and alternate or renewable energy, throughout the whole year of 2009.

Failure of the launch process was made concrete by the North-South divide, between Old World and ‘New World’, on all parts and components of the new theme. This culminated in open stand-offs between the four OECD leaders and powerful emerging economy leaders, at the ill-fated Copenhagen meeting. Quite shortly after this, culprits and scapegoats had to be found, and this was materialized by the UN’s IPCC group of experts on CC and AGW, who were blamed for various faults. These extended from plain lying, to exaggeration, distortion and more technical failures such as “imperfectly quantifying uncertainties”, yet another example of the incoherent, confused and unrealistic values and goals surrounding the CC and AGW theme.

Today, a “decent interval” after the Copenhagen farce and the resignation of its Director, Yvo de Boer, the UN’s IPCC is now fully playing its scapegoat role. It is now in “reform and reconstruction”, and in major part this concerns its communication. The remaining figurehead, Rajendra Pachauri, may however not be forced to immediately quit, given the further loss of prestige for the IPCC that this would inevitably cause, a point well appreciated by Pachauri himself.

In a Times Of India interview, 3 September 2010, Pachauri had this to say about what the IPCC is supposed to communicate. Speaking of how he would go about “repairing” the panel’s governance and methods and keep his job, he said:

“At the (IPCC) meeting, we dwelt at length on Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which says the central objective of the convention is to prevent the anthropogenic interference with the climate system which is in terms of ecosystem, ensuring food security and ensuring that development can take place. These are the three central pillars”.

The newspeak or PR speak stands out in this confused mix-and-mingle of dominant social themes. Keywords like “ecological” and “anthropogenic interference” are jumbled with “pillars”, “food security” and economic development, while the now-controversial roles of green energy and energy transition are totally downplayed. This signals that green energy is at least on hold or has already been “recycled” to the waste bin of IPCC “communication”.

GIVING UP ENERGY TRANSITION

In early 2009, when the four-only world leaders who most openly nailed their colours to the mast or “pillar” of CC and AGW took their supposedly courageous, or foolhardy political decision to launch this totally new theme, world oil prices were still declining from their most recent all-time high of about US$ 145 a barrel, attained in July 2008. Natural gas prices would soon fall even more massively than oil or traded coal prices, due to the recession and the “supply side miracle” of shale and fracture gas reserves, at least in the USA. Due however to the slow-moving process of political thinking (or slow thinking by the persons who write politicians’ speeches), the very high price levels for oil and other traded fossil fuels in 2008 were a “founding fact” to exploit, as a key motivation for preaching energy transition away from oil and other fossil fuels.

The global economy had entered recession, also offering the CC and AGW theme as a way to get the public distracted from economic rout. The recession slashed economic growth, energy demand and traded energy prices along with employment, raised government debt and budget deficits to new and extreme highs in the Old World OECD countries – but not in the “decoupled growth” Emerging economies of Asia.

The political pressure, as well as economic rationale for “jumpstarting” and “ramping up” green energy was always different in North and South, or East and West: recession sharpened and intensified this. The high oil and gas price driver, or rationale for green energy development greatly declined through the year of 2009, thanks to recession and the gas supply breakthrough. This made the December climate conference a conference too late for the OECD team’s announced goals of creating new and massive funding and financing mechanisms for green energy in the low income countries, mainly in Africa, to prevent them “getting the oil habit” and to siphon off more of their growing oil production. Similarly, the rationale for “ramping up” carbon finance and CO2 credits trading, to generate funds for investing in the Old World’s own transition to green energy also greatly declined in a single year, notably because the “feed through” from trading, to one-the-ground and real world green energy projects was so low. This was quickly reflected, in 2010 by “fledgling carbon markets” showing every sign of being crippled birds unable to fly, even if they chirruped loud and strong in their cash-stuffed nests.

To be sure, this left two of the IPCC’s supposed “pillars” – ensuring food security and economic development, but this through using more and more oil and other fossil fuels, as in China and India. World agriculture’s link with and dependence on climate and weather is of course well known, but its extreme, near-total dependence on oil and other fossil fuels is less well known or carefully ignored. Notably in the ‘developed’ Old World North, in the OECD countries, farming and food production can attain extreme highs of oil intensity, as in Japan, exceeding 10 barrels of oil per hectare, per year, of direct farm input oil energy. Food security, very simply, is oil security. Using windmills and solar collectors to raise food output very simply lacks any credibility.

Also the IPCC’s role in preaching energy transition away from oil was never direct: the logical framework created to buttress this PR role of the IPCC was complex. It firstly posited large or even near-apocalyptic CC and AGW, established this was heavily due to CO2 emissions by a careful choice of exaggerated data, and the identified mainly oil as being responsible for these CO2 emissions. This was despite the clear and massive role of coal-fired power stations as CO2 emitters, as underlined by James Hansen and the wind-power, nuclear power, and other “low carbon” energy lobbies. The role of natural gas or methane, of which extremely large and fast increasing unburnt amounts are emitted each year, was never given high prominence by the IPCC, and will probably be given less in the future due to natural gas returning, provisionally of course, to the nice-price fold of cheap energy.

The IPCC's latter day version of Nixon? Coming off back-to-back scandals, embattled chief Pachauri remains defiant to the end.

RECONSTRUCTING THE IPCC

It is certain the IPCC will be reformed and reconstructed, if only because of the heavy loss of face suffered by the three remaining political leaders of the 2009 four-person OECD leadership team advocating CC and AGW, and accelerated energy transition. From this year, the IPCC will be expected to be more scientific and less controversial, that is less easily faulted and harder to expose. Despite this “new moderation”, Pachauri engaged in “fighting talk”, in his September 3 Times of India interview, seeking a second term as chief of the IPCC, and promising, or threatening: “(I will) certainly shed any inhibitions or feelings of cowardice. I believe this is now my opportunity to go out and do what I think is right. In the second term I may be little more uncomfortable for the people than I was in the first”.

While oil prices stay relatively low – and as set by present ‘realistic anticipations’ of political and business leaders this would be anywhere below US$ 90 a barrel – and the OECD group remains mired by extreme public debt and huge budget deficits, the need for massive PR to achieve a quick transition away from oil has melted away much faster than even Pachauri’s melting Himalaya glaciers. Energy transition is now the “long term issue” it always was, and for political leaders, a long-term issue is anything which extends through all or most of their mandate- a cycle which lasts about 4 years. This further places the CC and AGW theme outside the range and out of time for the real world temporal framework of political deciders.

The IPCC may therefore be allowed to die a timely death. Its budgets can be cut or frozen, and its  transition to the added status of becoming a full-blown UN agency pushed further back. To be sure, the vast quantities of impressively imaginative studies and scenarios produced under its aegis, some of which was the “meat” of Climategate, will continue being recycled in the press and media, on the inside pages, and in TV documentaries at off-peak hours, but as a new and powerful social theme announcing large scale economic, financial, business or commercial action the time has passed and the theme has failed. Reconstruction will shade into destruction – unless the IPCC and budding green energy czars get the windfall gift of much higher oil prices and a raft of climate catastrophes to feed on.

©ANDREW MCKILLOP 2010

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

Contact: xtran9@gmail.com

Best Interview of the 21st Century So Far?

September 3, 2010

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire

    British kids show are little enlightenment, a ray of light for    the next generation?

In case you missed this… to date, this is probably the best interview I’ve ever seen in the first decade of the 21st century. It seems that some kids in the UK have managed to escape the matrix of classical conditioning and mental programming rained down on them over the last decade of their young lives.

It appears also, that the children in this video understand what most adults are still struggling to grasp, a fundamental understanding of power that has been echoed throughout historical record…

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the public believes is false”.
– The late, William Casey, Director of Central Intelligence’s 1st address to his staff in 1981.

“Never in the history of the world has there been a situation so bad that the government couldn’t make it worse.”
– Anon

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.”
– George Washington

Video was shot by the UK’s own Love Police. Impressive.

Indy journalism, in the spirit of the gonzo…