Friday, November 25, 2011

Observations From the Back Row

By Rich Kozlovich

Blogger keeps track of the top ten countries reading the blogs. The "all time" top ten of those reading Paradigms and Demographics has been from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Australia, Netherlands, France, India and Japan. Over this last month it has now changed to United States, Germany, Russia, South Korea, France, Japan, United Kingdom, Romania, Netherlands and Canada.

I have never been able to account for any of these rankings, nor did I really concern myself about it either because it bounces around a lot from week to week. As I said, normally I'm not really interested; at least I wasn't interested until this week. I was mystified by the number of hits I have been getting from Germany in the last few days. I was happy to see this but I have to admit that I wondered why. Now I think I know. The article that was getting all the hits was the 7/7/11 Observations From the Back Row. You will understand why after reading the English translation of this article originally published in German. At least that is what I think. Germany’s Green Energy Revolution Falters. 
Germany's abandonment of nuclear power is facing increasing obstacles. The rating agency Moody's has warned Europe's electricity and gas suppliers about downgrading their creditworthiness due to growing political risks. This means that German energy companies which are supposed to make the switch to renewable energies are having increasing difficulties to get raise money on the capital markets. At the same time, the expansion of renewable energies has made only little progress.

After the nuclear disaster in Japan in March, Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Party, CDU) had called the switch to alternative energies a "huge opportunity". Eight months later, the issue has slipped far down the political agenda as the political parties are blocking key laws."The many fragments that have been legislated at the federal and state level must now be brought together," demanded Hildegard Müller, chief lobbyist from the industry association BDEW.

Federal and state governments are divided about the question, which should carry the burden of the proposed tax benefits for the people and companies that increase the energy efficiency of their buildings. A first attempt by the Conciliation Committee to resolve the dispute failed. On the crucial issue of energy efficiency, the federal government is divided: The Free Democrats (FDP) reject an ambitious EU proposal, which would provide mandatory targets. At the same, German states develop energy plans – but uncoordinated." Next year, we need a script for the energy transformation," said Mueller.

Fritz Vahrenholt, CEO of RWE's renewable division, warned against the "danger of blackouts" given the rapid shutdown of many German nuclear power plants and pointed to rising energy prices and the growing import of nuclear power. At the same time, the nuclear energy phase-out also removes a source of revenue for investments in green power for energy suppliers. Lack of electricity grids are further slowing down the development of renewables; delays are caused by bureaucratic procedures and citizen protests.

The situation is critical for wind energy, which plays a central role in the energy concept of the government. On Wednesday, the electricity network operator Tennet, which has to wire all offshore installations in the North Sea, warned that to wire dozens of wind farms at a same time, as planned, would fail due to "lack of financial, human and material resources of all involved", as it is written in an urgent letter to the Chancellor's Office, the Economic and Environment Ministries. "The conditions have to be substantially revised and the burden has to spread over more shoulders."

Tennet estimates that investments of 5-6 billion Euros are needed over the next ten years. The company wants, among other things, to extend the target deadlines: currently, it must add a wind farm to the grid within 30 months after approval, which fails regularly. Installation vessels as well as sufficient suppliers of sea cable are lacking. The construction of wind turbines is getting delayed too – banks shy away from financing the 1.5 billion-Euro projects.

The financial strength of the energy industry, meanwhile, is disappearing fast. The valuation of the companies with the lowest A-level "A3" is at risk, according to Moody's. So far, RWE, E.ON and EnBW still have this investment-grade and are considered as prime borrowers. However, the nuclear phase-out and fuel taxes increase the burden on their balance sheets.

What is more, the industries of the future suffer: Almost all solar companies are deep in the red, wind turbine manufacturers complain about lack of demand and are reporting growing losses. The stock index Renixx, which lists 30 international Greentech companies, has lost 56 percent since the year-high in April.
We really do need to get this.

There is no such thing as anthropogenic climate change; as a result there is no need to implement insane policies to limit emissions any more than those that already exist; as a result there is absolutely no need to establish alternative energy systems.

Furthermore there is no economically viable alternative energy system in existence today that won't bankrupt every advanced industrialized society in existence. Not to mention the fact that every greenie love fest with alternative energy has turned out to be so environmentally unfriendly they are now protesting all of the alternative energy schemes they loved so intensely a few years ago. The Greenies sure are fickle. Hmmm...I wonder....is it possible that fickle is a German word for insane? Probably not, but I do like the thought.

Prince Charles could finally become king... of ROMANIA, thanks to his ancestor Vlad the Impaler
He is already the longest serving heir apparent in British history. So if Prince Charles ever gets too bored of waiting to accede to the throne, then he might just be tempted to have himself crowned King Carol 111 instead. Central European newspapers yesterday were alight with speculation that the Prince of Wales could be anointed the next King of Romania if the country’s monarchy is restored. The last royal ruler, King Michael – who reigned from 1927 to 1930, and again from 1940 to 1947 - was forced to abdicate by the country’s new Communist leaders, who threatened to carry out mass executions if he refused to step down.

My Take - Talk about a slow news day! This really falls under the category of ….who cares? It is interesting in this respect though. The people of Europe are culturally incapable of grasping democracy in the American sense. Socialism took hold so easily in Europe simply because they have always had someone at the top making all the decisions, fulfilling all the social obligations and being responsible for the care of their citizenry, whether it was the nobility or socialists. Central planning has always been the theme of their governments.

In the 1870’s Germany was the geographic center for socialism in the world. Bismarck was the primary instrument in implementing the concept in German government, believing that socialist policies would solidify the relationship between the people and the ruling class. He was right, but he just never grasped that the ruling class might not be the nobility. The concept of individual rights being “inalienable” is an American concept that was not only radical and exceptional when the Declaration was written; it is still unique in the world today.

We have difficulty understanding why other cultures can’t set up democratic governments such as ours. They have difficulty understanding why it is necessary. They are as culturally incapable of grasping our concepts of individual rights as we are at grasping why they can’t see the superiority of a system where power emanates from the people to government versus a system where power emanates from government as it sees fit. The mess with the E.U. is one example. They have turned their fate over to a bunch of unaccountable bureaucrats, whose qualifications are suspect at best. Unfortunately our system is attempting to do the same thing with the Environmental Protection agency and other abusive agencies and departments.

In other areas of the world religion plays a major role in keeping the population from even thinking about the idea that they should act and think separate from the doctrines of the dictates of their leaders. Sharia isn’t merely religious law. Sharia is a combination of the religious and the secular. Sharia is the secular law of a truly Muslim state. Islam isn’t a religion, it is a governmental concept with religious overtones.

American individualism is impossible in any country that practices true Islam with Sharia as the basis for the enforcement of law.

And we wonder why it is so difficult to get things straightened out in Iraq and Afghanistan. The minute they can they will revert to the culture that was overturned in the first place. They have no choice culturally or intellectually. Nothing that has happened over the last 1400 years in Islam allows for me to draw any other conclusion.

‘Old’ Middle East Resurfacing in Cairo
Tens of thousands of anti-regime protesters have been swarming in the Tahrir Square area for about a week. Police have killed about 40 and wounded hundreds. A ceasefire was attempted on Thursday morning, with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi’s regime going so far as to apologize for the deaths and promising to prosecute the perpetrators. But by Thursday afternoon it had already broken down with fresh outbreaks of violence........In other words: the shabab or violent, youthful protesters basically don’t know what they’re doing, probably are not keen on an Islamist regime, but are helping pave the way for one while the Islamists observe with satisfaction..........Islam remains the strongest identity framework in Egyptian society in particular, and in Arab society generally. The Arab national dictatorships that were layered over this basic Islamic identity for the past 80 years were but a thin veneer of repression. With the fall of these dictatorships, what remains is the core Islamic underpinnings of society, and these will now come to the fore. Consequently, no democratic structures, processes or values are likely to emerge in the Arab world for many generations.

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