BACKLASH AGAINST BIG WIND ENERGY:ROBERT BRYCE Last month, 60 residents of New York’s Herkimer County filed a lawsuit in Albany that provides yet another example of the growing backlash against the wind-energy sector. It also exposes the double standard that exists in both the mainstream media and among environmental groups when it comes to “green” energy. The main defendant in […]

Going Through the Motions in Doha

The United Nations Climate Change Conference beginning in Doha this week is turning into a farce. While negotiators are sticking to the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, even climatologists admit that the project has failed.

Protecting the climate is incredibly important to Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, as evidenced by all the resolutions it has adopted in the past to save the planet. Germany has climate funds and reduction targets, building and transportation programs, and even an entire strategy to wean itself off nuclear power and shift to green energy, which has been dubbed the Energiewende, or “energy revolution.” But at some point there is such a thing as overkill.

Can a member of parliament be expected to be chauffeured around Berlin in a small car? Or should he even stoop to the level of taking a cab? Now that, the Bundestag recently decided, would be asking too much. But because the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the elegant limousines normally used to chauffeur German lawmakers exceeds standards set three years ago, the Bundestag came up with a convenient solution. They simply raised the previously established limit of 120 grams of CO2 per kilometer to 140.

And what about the fact that the European Commission in Brussels has been fighting for months to set the limit at 95 grams? Forget it! And the climate? Oh, that again.

Only a few years ago, lawmakers would have hardly dared raise the limits for allowable greenhouse gas emissions coming from their official cars. They would have been too worried about upsetting climate activists and triggering outraged editorials in the papers.

But things have changed, so much so that the Bundestag’s decision hardly attracted any notice in the press, and neither did the government’s decision to eliminate a rule requiring official trips to be climate-neutral. As mundane as these decisions seem, they symbolize a significant failure, namely that no issue of global urgency has tanked quite as quickly as the warming of the earth’s climate.

A Bizarre Ritual

What was seen as a question of man’s survival not too long ago is little more than a side note today. Even forest dieback, the great bugaboo of the 1980s, did not suffer a comparable plunge into irrelevance.

This only amplifies the bizarrely ritualistic nature of the Climate Change Conference starting this week in Doha, Qatar. Thousands of negotiators, environmentalists and industry lobbyists are meeting in the Arab emirate to set the course for an international treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

But the world has already turned its back on the issue. And if that weren’t unnerving enough, the attendees from 195 countries will be debating a project that everyone suspects is no longer achievable: the 2-degree target.

It remains a mantra for saving the climate that the earth’s temperature curve cannot be allowed to climb any further than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Climatologists have calculated how much carbon dioxide emissions from cars, chimneys and fields can increase without jeopardizing the 2-degree target. If we fail in this mission, at least according to their computer models, life on the planet will become intolerable.

But a look at their calculations reveals that limiting the earth’s warming to 2 degrees Celsius is no longer realistic. Our thirst for energy is too enormous and our efforts to wean ourselves off fossil fuels have been too insignificant.

Instead of declining, emissions continue to rise year after year. If nothing changes, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) predicted last week, global carbon emissions will increase to about 58 gigatons by 2020 — much more than the 44 gigatons necessary to adhere to the 2-degree target.

According to the 2011 World Energy Outlook published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), global fossil fuel subsidies jumped 30 percent to $523 billion (€403 billion) last year. Although countries are spending more and more on renewable energy, subsidies for coal, oil and gas are still six times as high. About 1,200 new coal-fired power plants are planned worldwide, and even Germany generated more electricity from coal in the first nine months of this year than it has in a long time.

Unwilling to Admit Defeat

In times of crisis, burning fossil fuels helps industry, while the climate must wait. According to a study by the research institute Oxford Economics, almost all key producers of greenhouse gas are spending decreasing amounts on saving the planet. Crisis-ridden Spain plans to cut €3.8 billion ($4.9 billion) from its climate protection budget by 2015, Great Britain will reduce spending by €3.1 billion, and even Germany is cutting climate-related spending by €1.5 billion. When ranked by how much it spends on climate protection as a percentage of total spending, the United States comes in last.

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist in Paris, isn’t the only one who sees the 2-degree target as a “nice utopia” — well-intentioned, but unfortunately totally unrealistic.

But hardly anyone is about to admit it. Climate activists won’t admit it, because they’re afraid that without strict targets, no government can be compelled to reduce emissions. And neither will politicians in Germany and Europe, because they’re the ones who injected the 2-degree target into the global debate in the first place. “If we don’t reach the target, it will get a lot more expensive for many of us than we can imagine today,” warns European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard.

That’s why Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, is being courageous when he says: “Although physically speaking it is still possible to reach the 2-degree target, it seems to me that it’s hardly feasible politically.” He thinks it’s more realistic to limit global warming to 3 degrees Celsius. “Even that, of course, would be associated with massive efforts worldwide,” he adds.

Marotzke knows what he is talking about. He is the chairman of the German Climate Consortium and one of Germany’s top climatologists. He has had the computers at his institute calculate what would be necessary to comply with the 2-degree target: Worldwide CO2 emissions would have to consistently decline by 1 percent a year, starting in 2020, to end up at almost zero by the end of the century.

That would require a carbon-free global economy, in which no more oil or gas is burned anywhere on the planet, and in which all cars operate without fossil fuel and aircraft fly without kerosene. Is this realistic? Marotzke doesn’t think so. “In general, this raises the issue of whether it’s good policy to proclaim unachievable goals,” he says.

Other Priorities

But his voice will probably remain unheard in Doha. The countries will still talk about the 2-degree target, but they will hardly follow their talk with action. On the contrary, while Europe’s crisis-ridden countries are rediscovering classic industrial policy, emerging economies like China and India are turning into emissions giants.

China, for example, is responsible for 29 percent of worldwide, energy-related CO2 emissions, and it’s also the world’s biggest air polluter. But the leadership in Beijing doesn’t like this superlative, preferring to cite a different number, which shows that per capita, the 1.4 billion Chinese are responsible for only a fraction of what Americans and most Europeans emit.

Whatever a climate compromise looks like in the end, it will have to be characterized by “fairness, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,” said Xie Zhenhua, the head of Beijing’s delegation, when he presented his strategy for the Doha climate conference last Wednesday. What he meant was that emissions reductions are ok, but everyone else should start first.


The Cornerstone of Regional Stability and Peace

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is eating her words, or perhaps I should I say leather. Open mouth insert foot. Or in this case open mouth insert sandaled feet.

After meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and others to bring about a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, she stated,

“I want to thank President Morsi for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence.”

“Egypt’s new government is assuming responsibility and leadership that has long made it a cornerstone of regional stability and peace.”

Exactly what is Clinton’s definition of the word “long”, the 33 years of peace with Israel since the signing of the treaty with Sadat or the less than 24 hours that it took Morsi to name himself the new Pharaoh?

Once again the U.S. chooses the wrong side to align itself with. This is a re-run of the U.S. stance on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) from June of last year when Secretary Clinton announced the formal recognition by the U.S. of the MB.

June of 2011 saw the reversal of a five-year-old U.S. policy banning contact with the Muslim Brotherhood organization in Egypt and was reported by Reuters,

While Clinton portrayed the administration’s decision as a continuation of an earlier policy, it reflects a subtle shift in that U.S. officials will be able to deal directly with officials of the Islamist movement who are not members of parliament.

“We believe, given the changing political landscape in Egypt, that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful, and committed to non-violence, that intend to compete for the parliament and the presidency,” Clinton told reporters at a news conference.

“Now in any of those contacts, prior or future, we will continue to emphasize the importance of and support for democratic principles and especially a commitment to non-violence, respect for minority rights, and the full inclusion of women in any democracy,” she added.

HERBERT LONDON: THE ISRAELI WAR WITH GAZA It is astonishing to see Ban-ki-Moon and Hillary Clinton, among others clamoring for a truce between Israel and Hams-led terrorists. One wonders where these diplomats were when more than a thousand missiles rained over Israel without retaliation. Clearly the pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt the bloodshed is intense. But the fact […]

A Leap of Faith: Analysis of the Israeli-Hamas Ceasefire Agreement by MARK SILVERBERG Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman marked the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Gaza that went into effect on November 21st by announcing that the limited goals set for the operation had been achieved – eliminating Hamas missile sites and reinstating the Gaza ceasefire. But were these goals […]


“When Israel withdrew from Gaza, allowed Hamas to control it, and did nothing but prevent Hamas from having outside access, the world howled as if Israel had filled the country with graves from end to end, as Sudan or Iran or some of the other members and former members of the UN Human Rights Commission have. That is not justice. That is a lynch mob. And what does Netanyahu do in response? Like nearly every Israeli government before him, he backs off. Because given that tidbit the lynch mob will be appeased. It will, won’t it. Won’t it?”

Israel is being hanged on a public gallows erected on the grounds of the United Nations with yards of rope gleefully supplied by the Muslim world. But the hangmen are mostly Westerners who still think that the Muslim lynch mob at their doorstep can be pacified with the death of a single victim.
There are three things you can do when you are about to be hanged. You can walk proudly, recite a glorious line or two to embed your martyrdom in historical memory, and then allow yourself to be hanged. Jews have an extensive body of experience with that brand of martyrdom.

Alternatively you can plead your case all the way to the gallows, arguing that a mistake has been made, that your case has been improperly reviewed, begging for someone to listen and do something. This way also ends in a hanging. But it’s the hanging of a slave without even a shred of dignity attached to it. A man that dies pleading with his murderers, and puts his fate in the honesty of the liars and hypocrites whose own crimes makes the worst of his look like virtues, is a craven fool.

Because there is really only one thing you can do when the noose is being placed around your neck. Resist. A noose works by tightening around your neck and cutting off your air or breaking your neck. If you resist the tightening of the noose, you may actually survive. On the other hand if you follow through all the procedures, if you allow your hands to be tied behind your back, and the noose to be fastened around your neck while trusting in the system to do right by you– your death is inevitable.

For seventeen years Israel has been walking toward the gallows. Its leaders have led it there by the nose ring of international assurances. Its people have been led there by refusing to see what is waiting ahead for them, even while the blood was being cleaned off the streets. Every attempt to reach a peaceful solution, every concession and show of good faith, has only tightened the bonds around its hands and the noose around its neck.

That is because every concession Israel has made, has further restricted not only its ability to defend itself, but even its ability to do basic things such as build residential housing in the capital of its own nation. Every gesture and agreement Israel has signed has bound it to ever more restrictive terms. And none of them have brought any peace. All they have ever done is set the bar higher for the next round of concessions demanded by the enemy and its aiders and abettors in the next phase of negotiations.

Rice to call on key senators with Morell
Acting CIA Director Michael Morell will accompany U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice this week when she visits key lawmakers. The visits come as President Obama decides who will succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state. Read more…

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Mayor who battled Mexican cartels found dead
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Monday, November 26, 2012
The former mayor of a Mexican town — who survived two earlier assassination attempts — was found in a ditch, beaten to death. The body of 36-year-old Maria Santos Gorrostieta was found three days after her family reported her missing, according to a BBC report. Read more…

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Two sentenced in Fast and Furious case
Associated Press
Monday, November 26, 2012
Two men were sentenced Monday for their roles in a gun smuggling ring that was part of the U.S. government’s botched Operation Fast and Furious, an investigation that unraveled after illegally purchased weapons turned up at the scene of a fatal Border Patrol agent shooting. Read more…
Any volunteers? Answering ‘tax me more’ crowd
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Monday, November 26, 2012
As the clock ticks toward a tax increase scheduled to take effect at year end, expect to hear a lot from the “tax me more” crowd. Read more…
Iran supporters hack Atomic Energy Agency
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Monday, November 26, 2012
Hackers claim to have seized the information of nearly 200 scientists and officials affiliated with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the world’s chief nuclear watchdog, according to a message posted Sunday on the website Cryptome. Read more…
Bicycle bomb wounds 16 in Afghan market
The Hill
Monday, November 26, 2012
Terrorists detonated a bicycle bomb in a busy market square in Khost City on Monday, less than a mile from where U.S. forces were meeting with key provincial leaders. Read more…
Reid’s filibuster bluster leads to one-party rule
Breitbart News
Monday, November 26, 2012
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., threatened changes to the Senate filibuster system, which forces most measures to receive 60 votes in order to receive an actual vote. Read more…
Evangelicals grow more devout, Catholics less
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Evangelical Protestants have become more devoted to their religious beliefs over the last three decades, even as Catholics have become less attached to their faith, new research finds. Read more…
Medvedev won’t ‘rule out’ second presidential run
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Monday, November 26, 2012
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he is not ruling out a return to the Kremlin after his 2008-2012 single term as Russian head of state but was happy working as premier under his mentor Vladimir Putin. Read more…
Greece’s creditors arrive at deal, open way for aid
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund clinched agreement on a new debt target for Greece in a significant step towards releasing another tranche of loans to the near-bankrupt economy, officials said. Read more…
Obamacare faces its own implementation cliff
Real Clear Politics
Monday, November 26, 2012
Delaying implementation until 2014 helped the president win re-election, but now the bill is coming due. The administration can’t forestall Obamacare’s massive regulatory impact any longer, and the result will keep Congress and the media occupied for months and years to come. Read more…
France hosts terrorist who wanted to kill top rabbi
The Times of Israel
Monday, November 26, 2012
The French Consulate in Jerusalem recently hosted as a guest of honor a Palestinian terrorist, Salah Hamouri, who was convicted of plotting to kill Ovadia Yosef, a former chief rabbi of Israel and the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday. Read more…



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JED BABBIN: FISCAL CLIFF DIVING Congress looks for a solution — or at least the appearance of one — to a problem it created. Congress returns today to another self-created economic crisis. There will be a lot of high drama on this before they go home for Christmas. Congress has built a mountain of debt, scaled the top, and […]

Israel Paying the Price for the West’s Self-Hatred by Peter Martino The moral question – “Who began the war and who denies its adversary’s right to exist?” – is never asked. The media simply do not tell the truth. Last Thursday evening, some 1,500 demonstrators convened in front of the Italian Parliament in Rome, waving Israeli and Italian flags. The demonstration “For the Truth, for […]