News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Smog from China engulfs Korea, Chinese gov. won't reveal data about its pollutants-Chosun

11/1/13, "Toxic Smog from China Engulfs Korea," english.chosun.com

"Heavy smog blanketed Korea this week blown in by northwesterly winds from China. The concentration of ultrafine particles is often at its worst between December and March, with most of the smog comes from Beijing and surrounding Hebei Province.

The smog crosses the West Sea and reaches the Korean peninsula anywhere between six hours and a day later. Meteorologists say the smog is diluted as it crosses the West Sea, but 40 to 50 percent still reaches Korea.

On Thursday, the concentration of ultrafine particles in Dongducheon, Gyeonggi Province north of Seoul, reached 255㎍/㎥, five times the normal level in the region. It stood at 138 ㎍/㎥ in Incheon and 112㎍/㎥ in the capital. ...

Winter smog carries more ultrafine particles and is more hazardous than the sandstorms that blow over here in spring. According to the National Institute of Environmental Research, around 20 to 30 percent of sandstorms consist of ultrafine particles, but smog contains 60 to 70 percent....

It is difficult to predict smog levels since it is not clear where it originates and how many pollutants it contains. The Chinese government does not reveal data about the origin of pollutants, but the most polluted parts of China are along the east coast, which is near Korea."
...images Reuters, via Free Rep.





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BBC reports global CO2 may be in 'permanent slowdown' despite jump in coal use in UK, Spain, France, and Germany. Suffering Europe economies forced to go back to cheap coal

10/31/13, "Report suggests 'permanent slowdown' in CO2 emissions," BBC, McGrath

(Following about increase in coal use is sidebar on BBC article, main article about CO2 follows).

"Back to the black stuff"

"The rise of shale in the US pushed down the cost of coal, beleaguered European economies turned to it, in ever-increasing amounts. 

The UK leads the way with its biggest rise in coal use since 2006, up 24% in a year. A similar rise was seen in Spain, with France and Germany also showing increases. Ironically, Poland and the Czech Republic reduced their use by 4 and 8% respectively. 

"Countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Italy have new coal plants and that is a decision for 40 years ahead - you can control particulates, it's not so much a problem. But for the CO2 it's quite dramatic," said Dr Maenhout."

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(Following is from main BBC story about slowdown in CO2 emissions): 

"Global emissions of carbon dioxide may be showing the first signs of a "permanent slowdown" in the rate of increase.  

According to a new report, emissions in 2012 increased at less than half the average over the past decade.

Key factors included the shift to shale gas for energy in the US while China increased its use of hydropower by 23%.

However the use of cheap coal continues to be an issue, with UK consumption up by almost a quarter.

The report on trends in global emissions has been produced annually by the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.

It finds that emissions of carbon dioxide reached a new record in 2012 of 34.5bn tonnes....

But the rate of increase in CO2 was 1.4%, despite the global economy growing by 3.5%....

In the US, the shale revolution continues to make waves. Overall emissions were down by 4% in the year mainly because of a continuing shift from coal to gas in the generation of electricity. Shale is now responsible for one third of US gas production and almost one quarter of total oil production....

The other major decline came in the European Union where economic recession in the 27 nation bloc saw emissions decline by 1.3%. This was down to a decrease in energy consumption of oil and gas, with a 4% decline in road transport."...

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Comment: It's still the evil US's fault. They forced coal to be cheap which forced economies starved by greedy, parasitic monarchs like Prince Charles to have to use coal again.




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Japan eases CO2 target though it needs no CO2 target at all. China controls global CO2 and erases sacrifices made by Japan and every other country

10/30/13, "Easier greenhouse target in offing," Japan Times, Kyodo

"The government is making final arrangements to set a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3.8 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, according to a government source.

The source said the new target assumes there would be no restarts of nuclear reactors and takes into account energy-saving measures and renewable sources, as well as forest absorption of carbon dioxide.

Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara is expected to announce the new target at the 19th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP19, to be held in Poland next month.

The new target was created after the government decided to review the earlier policy of cutting emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, with achievement of the goal hampered by the reduced reliance on nuclear power because of the Fukushima debacle, the source said.

The new target represents an increase of 3 percent from 1990 levels and could draw international criticism." via Free Rep.

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China dominates CO2 2005 to 2011, energy related, US EIA (US Energy Dept.), WSJ, April 2013










4/18/13, "Rise in U.S. Gas Production Fuels Unexpected Plunge in Emissions," WSJ, Russell Gold


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6/10/13, China dominates 2012 CO2, Chart from IEA report. (Above chart is 2005-2011, this chart is 2012 only) :



 










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11/29/12, 134 scientists write to UN Sec. Gen. Ban Ki-Moon, asking him to desist from blaming climate disasters on global warming that hasn't happened:

"Global warming that has not occurred cannot have caused the extreme weather of the past few years."...“The NOAA “State of the Climate in 2008” report asserted that 15 years or more without any statistically-significant warming would indicate a discrepancy between observation and prediction. Sixteen years without warming have therefore now proven that the models are wrong by their creators’ own criterion.”…(2nd parag. fr. end of letter).  …"Policy actions that aim to reduce CO2 emissions are unlikely to influence future climate. Policies need to focus on preparation for, and adaptation to, all dangerous climatic events, however caused."...Special to Financial Post, 12/10/12 

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BBC discussion suggests a pause in confiscation of taxpayer dollars in the face of dual problems, that temperatures have remained flat since 1998 while CO2 has increased. Money was diverted based on predicted outcomes that didn't happen which "peer reviewed literature regards as established yet unexplained:"

7/22/13, "Andrew Neil on Ed Davey climate change interview critics," BBC, Andrew Neil

Multi-billion dollar "spending decisions, paid for by consumers and taxpayers
...might not have been taken (at least to the same degree or with the same haste) if global warming was not quite the imminent threat it has been depicted....The recent standstill in global temperatures is a puzzle. Experts do not know why it is occurring or how long it will last....There is no consensus. Extensive peer-reviewed literature regards it as established yet unexplained. It is widely accepted that the main climate models which inform government policy did not predict it."... (subhead, "Reputable evidence")  


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Japan should know CO2 doesn't even cause "global warming" or "climate change:" 

30 year peer reviewed scientific study, Jan. 1980-Dec. 2011, finds in all cases CO2 lags temperatures, never precedes temperature change. Scientists: "The common notion of globally dominant temperature controls exercised by atmospheric CO2 is in need of reassessment."
 
January 2013, "The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature," Global and Planetary Change, ScienceDirect.com


Ole Humluma, b, Corresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author,Kjell Stordahlc, Jan-Erik Solheimd 

a Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway, b Department of Geology, University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), P.O. Box 156, N-9171 Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, c Telenor Norway, Finance, N-1331 Fornebu, Norway, d Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway


[Green line is global CO2, red line is surface temps., blue line is ocean temps., Jan. 1980-Dec. 2011]


 "Abstract

"Using data series on atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures we investigate the phase relation (leads/lags) between these for the period January 1980 to December 2011....

In our analysis we use eight well-known datasets:

1) globally averaged well-mixed marine boundary layer CO2 data, 2) HadCRUT3 surface air temperature data,
3) GISS surface air temperature data,
4) NCDC surface air temperature data,
5) HadSST2 sea surface data,
6) UAH lower troposphere temperature data series,
7) CDIAC data on release of anthropogene CO2, and
8) GWP data on volcanic eruptions."...

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6/2/13, "EPA Climatism: Dictating Our Lives, Living Standards And Life Spans – OpEd," Albany Tribune, by Paul Driessen

"Justifying life-altering policies through “dangerous manmade global warming” claims."

"Numerous articles document how European climate policies have been disastrous for affordable energy, economic growth, entire industries, people’s jobs and welfare, wildlife habitats and human lives. Even the IPCC, BBC and Economist have finally recognized that average global temperatures have not budged since 1997....

Meanwhile, in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency is issuing more anti-hydrocarbon regulations and more statements detailing the coming horrors of “dangerous manmade climate change.”

Two points must be kept uppermost: the global warming “disasters” exist only in computer models, Hollywood movies and alarmist assertions; and the “preventative measures” are worse than the disasters."...


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1/18/13,Climate change: scientists puzzle over halt in global warming,Der Spiegel, by Axel Bojanowski (translation from German)

The British Met Office forecast even more recently that the temperature interval could continue at a high level until the end of 2017 – despite the rapidly increasing emissions of greenhouse gases. Then global warming would pause 20 years.”…”The exact reasons of the temperature standstill since 1998, are not yet understood, says climate researcher Doug Smith of the Met Office.“…


 
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UK Met Office chart via Der Spiegel

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For over 30 years the US government has been simply stealing US taxpayer dollars for something that doesn't exist, human caused CO2 terror. Why not?

12/14/2005, “Climate Change: Federal Expenditures for Science and Technology, CongressionalResearch.com

Climate Change: Federal Expenditures for Science and Technology,Michael M. Simpson,  Specialist in Life Sciences, Resources, Science, and Industry Division, John R. Justus, Specialist in Earth and Ocean Sciences Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service, ˜ The Library of Congress
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 “For over 25 years there have been federal programs directly or indirectly related to climate change. This report identifies and discusses direct climate-focused scientific and research programs of the federal government, as well as an array of energy programs that relate indirectly to climate change.”…


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Distinguished scientist says the idea of global warming "is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud" I have seen in my long life as a physicist."...
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The late Harold Lewis was Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel:
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8/10/2010, "Hal Lewis: My Resignation From The American Physical Society," Global Warming Policy Foundation

"It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist."...





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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Solar co. left contaminated, carcinogenic squalor at Colorado site, millions more tax dollars needed to decontaminate filth and cancer left by green ‘stimulus’ recipient Abound Solar. Cadmium used to make solar panels is cancer agent

10/30/13, Bankrupt solar panel firm took stimulus money, left a toxic mess, says report, Fox News and AP

A Colorado-based solar company that got hundreds of millions of dollars in federal loan guarantees before going belly-up didn’t just empty taxpayers’ wallets – it left behind a toxic mess of carcinogens, broken glass and contaminated water, according to a new report.

The Abound Solar plant, which got $400 million in federal loan guarantees in 2010, when the Obama administration sought to use stimulus funds to promote green energy, filed for bankruptcy two years later. Now its Longmont, Colo., facility sits unoccupied, its 37,000 square feet littered with hazardous waste, broken glass and contaminated water. The Northern Colorado Business Report estimates it will cost up to $3.7 million to clean and repair the building so it can again be leased.

“As lawyers, regulators, bankruptcy officials and the landlord spar over the case, the building lies in disrepair, too contaminated to lease,” the report stated.

The owner of the property tried to force a bankruptcy trustee to clean the facility, but the report said it would “place humans at imminent and significant health risk. One of the hazards is the presence of cadmium, a cancer-causing agent that is used to produce the film on the solar panels, the report said.

While the loan guarantees exposed taxpayers to hundreds of millions of dollars, the federal government lost a total of $70 million backing the failed company. Unsold inventory which should have been used to offset those losses, including 2,000 solar panels, mysteriously disappeared, according to the National Legal and Policy Center.

If a coal, oil or gas company pulled something like that the EPA would send out SWAT teams and the U.S. Marshals to track down the offenders, bankrupt or not,” the center said in a report of its own.

President Obama touted Abound in a July 3, 2010 announcement of a $2 billion “investment” in green energy projects.

“The second company is Abound Solar Manufacturing, which will manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs,” Obama said. “A Colorado plant is already underway, and an Indiana plant will be built in what’s now an empty Chrysler factory. When fully operational, these plants will produce millions of state-of-the-art solar panels each year.”

But less than two years later, the company laid off half of its 400 workers, and then, in the summer of 2012, filed for bankruptcy. It became the third clean-energy company to seek bankruptcy protection after receiving a loan from the Energy Department under the economic stimulus law. California solar panel maker Solyndra and Beacon Power, a Massachusetts energy-storage firm, also declared bankruptcy. Solyndra received a $528 million federal loan, while Beacon Power got a $43 million loan guarantee.

While solar energy is touted as clean, The Associated Press reported that many panel makers are grappling with a hazardous waste problem. Fueled partly by billions in government incentives, the industry is creating millions of solar panels each year and, in the process,
millions of pounds of toxic sludge and contaminated water.

To dispose of the material, the companies must transport it by truck or rail far from their own plants to waste facilities hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles away.

The fossil fuels used to transport that waste, experts say, is not typically considered in calculating solar’s carbon footprint, giving scientists and consumers who use the measurement to gauge a product’s impact on global warming the impression that solar is cleaner than it is.

After installing a solar panel, “it would take one to three months of generating electricity to pay off the energy invested in driving those hazardous waste emissions out of state,” said Dustin Mulvaney, a San Jose State University environmental studies professor who conducts carbon footprint analyses of solar, biofuel and natural gas production.

The waste from manufacturing has raised concerns within the industry, which fears that the problem, if left unchecked, could undermine solar’s green image at a time when companies are facing stiff competition from each other and from low-cost panel manufacturers from China and elsewhere.”


“The Associated Press contributed to this report “





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New $9 billion oil refinery in Vietnam to have 200,000 barrels/day capacity, will import oil from Kuwait to process into liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and other substances-Thanhniennews

10/24/13, "Vietnam starts work on $9 bln refinery," Thanhniennews.com

"Construction on Vietnam’s second refinery started Wednesday as the country plans to increase its petroleum output to meet growing energy demand.
 
The Nghi Son refinery, which will cost a total of around US$9 billion to build, will have a refining capacity of 200,000 barrels per day, or 10 million tons per year, once it comes online in 2017. 

As a team, the new plant and the existing Dung Quat refinery are expected to satisfy 65 percent of the nation’s oil and gas needs by 2020. Dung Quat, Vietnam’s first refinery, opened in the central province of Quang Ngai in 2009.

Located in Thanh Hoa Province, about 200 kilometers south of Hanoi, the Nghi Son refinery will import oil from Kuwait to process it into liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, polypropylene, paraxylene, benzene and sulphur.
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Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung appreciated the efforts of PetroVietnam and foreign partners for arranging capital and completing investment procedures to enable the groundbreaking. Dung required relevant ministries and agencies to support the investor, Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical Company, to implement the project.

The refinery is a joint venture between Petro Vietnam, Kuwait Petroleum International, Japan's Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsui Chemicals.

A consortium led by Japan's JGC Corp., Chiyoda Corp., GS Engineering &; Construction Corp., SK Engineering &; Construction Co., Technip France, and Malaysia’s Technip Geoproduction are the contractors.

Vietnam has forecast that the demand for petroleum products would reach 27 million tons per year by 2025.

As part of efforts to meet the country’s growing energy needs, Dung Quat aims to increase its output to 10 million tons per year by 2015 from its current output of 6.5 million tons. 

PetroVietnam is also preparing to build the 10-million-ton-per-year Long Son refinery in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, slated for completion in 2018. 

Meanwhile, the UK's Technostar Management and Russia’s Telloil are planning to build the Vung Ro refinery with a refining capacity of eight million tons per year in the south-central province of Phu Yen." via Free Rep.




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Britain launches Sharia compliant investment, Cameron announces at World Islamic Economic Forum-UK Telegraph

10/30/13, Prince Charles speaks at Sharia finance conference in London
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10/29/13, "Britain to become first non-Muslim country to launch sharia bond," UK Telegraph, Harry Wilson

"David Cameron to unveil £200m Sukuk at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London on Tuesday." 

"Britain is set to become the first non-Muslim country to sell a bond that can be bought by Islamic investors in a bid to encourage massive new investment into the City. 

David Cameron will say in a speech on Tuesday at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London that the Treasury is drawing up plans to issue a £200m Sukuk, a form of debt that complies with Islamic financial law. 
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The new sharia-compliant gilt will enable Britain to become the first non-Muslim country to tap the growing pool of Islamic investments that is forecast to top £1.3 trillion by next year. 
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The Prime Minister will say that it would be a “mistake” to miss the opportunity to encourage more Islamic investment in the UK and that the City of London should rival Dubai as a centre for sharia-compliant finance. 
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“When Islamic finance is growing 50pc faster than traditional banking and when global Islamic investments are set to grow to £1.3 trillion by 2014, we want to make sure a big proportion of that new investment is made here in Britain,” Mr Cameron will tell an audience of senior officials from Islamic countries. 

Among those at the meeting are Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, King Abdullah of Jordan, Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain. 

The World Islamic Economic Forum has never been held before in a non-Muslim country and highlights the growing role London is playing in the Islamic finance industry. 

The London Stock Exchange is preparing to launch an Islamic Market Index to help the managers of sharia-compliant funds identify new investment opportunities. 

The UK’s plans to issue its own Sukuk could lead to billions of pounds of British gilts being sold to Islamic investors, enabling the Treasury to diversify away from its traditional sources of funding. 

“For years people have been talking about creating an Islamic bond – or Sukuk – outside the Islamic world, but it’s just never quite happened,” Mr Cameron will say. “Changing that is a question of pragmatism and political will. And here in Britain we’ve got both. 

To comply with sharia law, Islamic investors are forbidden to receive interest. Sukuks avoid this problem by ensuring the fixed return investors receive on the debt is linked to the profit generated by an underlying asset. 

The value of Sukuks already listed on the London market has reached $34bn (£21bn) over the past five years with nearly 50 bonds quoted by the London Stock Exchange. 

Sharia-compliant funds have already been used to fund some of the capital’s largest developments, including the Shard and the Olympic Village. 

More than 20 banks currently offer Islamic financial products and services in the UK, more than any other Western country, with the number expected to grow further. 

The Government has put securing links with growing financial centres in Islamic countries and fast-growing Asian markets at the heart of its plans for the City. 

Earlier this month the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced a deal with China to make London a leading centre for the growing trade in renminbi-denominated assets and to make it easier for Chinese banks to set up investment banking operations." image of mosque from UK Telegraph, via Atlas Shrugs

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"It failed to ask the classic headwaters question: what is the problem?..."That would have pointed to the Middle East’s regimes, and to our ruling class’ relationship with them, as the problem’s ultimate source."

10/20/11, "The lost decade," Angelo M. Codevilla, Claremont Institute

"At home, the American people are less free, less prosperous, more bitterly divided, and much less hopeful in 2011 than in 2001 because a decade of the War on Terror brought a government ever bigger and more burdensome, as well as security” measures that impede the innocent rather than focusing on wrongdoers. Our ruling class justified its ever-larger role in America’s domestic life by redefining war as a never-ending struggle against unspecified enemies for abstract objectives, and by asserting expertise far above that of ordinary Americans....It failed to ask the classic headwaters question: what is the problem?...

That would have pointed to the Middle East’s regimes, and to our ruling class’ relationship with them, as the problem’s ultimate source. The rulers of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority had run (and continue to run) educational and media systems that demonize America. Under all of them, the Muslim Brotherhood or the Wahhabi sect spread that message in religious terms to Muslims in the West as well as at home.  

That message indicts America, among other things, for being weak.

And indeed, ever since the 1970s U.S. policy had responded to acts of war and terrorism from the Muslim world by absolving the regimes for their subjects’ actions"... 




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Monday, October 28, 2013

Escalating corruption in science funding in China, schmoozing with bureaucrats and their favorites is more important than good research, corrosion affects entire Chinese culture-People Daily

"A report from the Xinhua News Agency last week said at least 39 reports from auditing authorities over the past three years revealed serious problems of misuse and embezzlement of billions of yuan in scientific research funds in 2007 and 2012."
 

10/28/13, "Academic Questions," english.peopledaily.com

""I was so stunned, angry and distressed." It is rare to hear such words from a senior Chinese official uttered publicly. China's science minister even repeated the word "angry" early this month to express his anxiety over academic corruption.

What shocked Wan Gang, minister of Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), were two major graft cases that he revealed authorities were now working on at a press conference on October 11. Although Wan didn't give details, he said the cases involved abuse of power and the embezzlement of huge amounts of funds by a well-known environmental scientist and a senior science official.


Last month, former head of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology, Li Xinghua, was removed from his post. It is believed that Li's fall was connected to a large number of research projects in the LED industry which were under his control for the past few years, according to Guangzhou-based Time Weekly.

According to a recent national science and technology funds report from the National Bureau of Statistics, China's total annual investment in research and development (R&D) last year exceeded 1 trillion yuan ($164 billion) for the first time and had increased annually by 20 percent over the past five years.

There is no doubt that the Chinese government's generous input shows its firm determination to promote the development of science and technology as a national strategy. In theory, this should allow China to make truly outstanding progress in scientific research. But it is an embarrassing fact that the growing corruption caused by a faulty scientific funding system has become an unexpected obstacle for the country's scientific and technological advancement.

More investment

After returning from the US in 1990 as a winner of the Chang Jiang Scholars Program, which was set up by the Ministry of Education to attract outstanding scholars to China, Chen Liangyao became the founding director of the School of Information Science and Engineering at Fudan University. However, over the past two decades, he has not been able to get a single project funded from the National Program on Key Basic Research Projects (973 Program), despite trying every year until his retirement.


The 63-year-old professor told the Global Times that he didn't lose out because of a lack of academic qualifications or sufficient preparations, but because of the irrational application system.

According to Chen, grants for most scientific research projects in China come from the government. More specifically, they come from two sources, the MST and its local branches, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), which was established under the ratification of the State Council.

A report from the NSFC, the major national fund supporting scientific research in China, showed the organization only invested 80 million yuan annually for the entire country's scientific research development when it was established in 1986, but last year, the number had surged to more than 23.6 billion yuan.

In 2012, the NSFC had accepted more than 177,000 applications for project funding nationwide, a 70 percent increase compared to five years ago. Over 38,000 projects were chosen to share 23.6 billion yuan in funds.


Sketchy process

But obtaining funds is an incredibly difficult task for Professor Chen from Fudan, who told the Global Times that the process of applying for major national scientific research project funds starts with a key official document named "Guidebook for Applications," which was written by several key experts appointed by the authorities.

On the surface, these guidebooks aim to outline the "major needs of the country" each year, but in fact are specific and narrow descriptions decided by several experts. Chen questioned such a top-down approach, saying it suppresses true innovation and just reflects the "mutual understanding and appreciation among a small number of officials and scientists."

"Knowing who made the guidebook is the key. These projects were designated for someone who had good relations with those key experts and officials," Chen said.

All participants firstly need to submit their applications for the first round of examination and review. This is overseen by a special committee composed of a number of experts whose identities are not known. But Chen claims that only those who have good relations with key people and officials have a chance of entering the second round.

If you are lucky enough to get past the first phase, you will then need to take part in an open debate to justify your project to a group of experts.

"The unreasonable thing is I always found that more than half of the experts at my debate are not really experts in the field that I pitched. The debate requires a high degree of professionalism, and if they can't even understand what I said then how can they be expected to judge my projects fairly?" Chen asked.

Chen said these debates are deceptive because in most cases, experts will only ask some specious questions and echo those few who understood what he said.

"And what really decides the destiny of the project is beyond the debate itself," Chen said.

According to related disciplinary policies, information about the experts on the project review committee is supposed to be classified. Applicants are not supposed to know the members' identities until the day of the debate. But in fact, committee members will always get a strange phone call or message from someone offering to do them favors in return for a favorable review.

Chen himself had such an experience. "I got an anonymous text message as soon as I arrived in the city when I attended a debate as a committee member. Only MST had this information, and I can't help thinking how they got it."

At the third and last round of the review, a group of highly-regarded academicians from different fields gather to make a final decision. In fact, any project that makes it into the last round rarely fails. Chen says it is just about going through the motions.

What's worse, some senior officials of MST who are in charge of large amounts of funds also apply for research projects despite the obvious conflict of interests. It is not difficult to predict the results of such cases.

Chen was so angry about the fact that many research teams less qualified than his repeatedly won grants that he posted his experiences and questions on his blog under his real name. Although most people applauded his courage, as a consequence, his applications have never passed the first round of review since.


Corrupting culture

Chen is not alone in his opinions. In 2010, Shi Yigong, director of the School of Life Sciences at Tsinghua University and Rao Yi, director of School of Life Sciences at Peking University, both returned from the US, published an editorial article criticizing China's problematic scientific research fund application and review mechanism in Science, one of the world's top scientific journals.
 
"To obtain major grants in China, it is an open secret that doing good research is not as important as schmoozing
with powerful bureaucrats and their favorite experts," the article said.

It concluded that although most Chinese scientists complained about this defective application and distribution system in public, the vast majority of them choose to accept it.

"A significant proportion of researchers in China spend too much time on building connections and not enough time attending seminars, discussing science, doing research, or training students (instead, using them as laborers in their laboratories). Most are too busy to be found in their own institutions. Some become part of the problem: They use connections to judge grant applicants and undervalue scientific merit," the article said.

When such a corrupting culture is formed, it creates a crisis where scientific funds may be misused or embezzled when some people who have no interest in pursuing science have control over large amounts of money, and it can be no surprise to see corruption grow.

A nationwide survey conducted by the China Association for Science and Technology published in 2004 said that only 40 percent of research funds were spent on R&D. The claim is backed by Guangzhou Vice Mayor Wang Dong, who revealed at a press conference on July 31 that the other 60 percent is actually used for activities such as meetings and travel.

A report from the Xinhua News Agency last week said at least 39 reports from auditing authorities over the past three years revealed serious problems of misuse and embezzlement of billions of yuan in scientific research funds in 2007 and 2012.

The report concluded that some of the most common methods of embezzling funds included paying benefits to staff members, which is not allowed in China; organizing recreational activities; and purchasing properties or cars for private use.

Chen from Fudan told the Global Times that scientific research funds can mostly be divided into "vertical" and "horizontal" parts, based on their source. The former mostly comes directly from government-backed funds, which have to go through the school's financing and auditing systems, making it less likely for them to be misused.

But the latter type of funding usually comes from government entrusted enterprises, and functions as a product of jointly developed projects between enterprises and schools, leaving room for profiting from lax supervision.

"In some projects, enterprises promise the project leaders that they can use as much as 20 to 40 percent of the funds
for their own purposes," Chen said.

Time to act

Minister Wan Gang said at the news conference on October 11 that authorities had realized the significance of the problem and the key to fighting corruption is strengthening information transparency and public supervision.

Wan said the ministry is now working with other departments to build a unified platform to openly share all information related to scientific institutions that receive funds as well as their project application content and research results. This will ensure that his colleagues and related parties can supervise the process and prevent underhand operations.

However, Wang Pingxian, Professor of Marine Geology at Tongji University and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the Global Times that corruption in scientific research funds was not only due to a failure in the management system, but also the result of a collective moral decline in Chinese society today.

"Science used to be thought of as one of the few clean sectors left in society. In the past, scientists always acted as if they were morally better than other people, but now it has changed. Maybe we should think about whether we are focusing too much on the productive forces science can bring us and ignoring the humanity side of science, which urges us to follow some basic moral codes. And if we fail to stand for that, the result will be really terrible," Wang said." via Free Rep.





Dubai to build $5 billion 'Energy City' in Philippines

10/24/13, "$5B energy fund seen from Dubai," malaya.com, Irma Isip

"Kampac International, based in Dubai, is firming up a  $5-billion investment in the Philippines to set up an “energy city” somewhere in Southern Luzon.   

Charles Ampofo, chairman of Kampac Internationa PLC in his speech at the 39th Philippine Business Conference in Manila Hotel  said the project which will take five years to complete will include a LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant, a petrochemical facility, one water company among others that would boost energy supply in the country.
 
Upon completion, Ampofo said, the project would employ between 8,000 and 10,000. Ampofo said the company decided to invest in the Philippines due to good governance that gives investors confidence.

The other factor, Ampofo said, is  the Philippines’ investments code and the liberalization instituted by the government to make the country investment-friendly.

Ampofo also cited the geographic location of the Philippines  being in the middle of other growing economies in the region as a major edge. “You do not need an economist (to realize) that if you want to invest  in a place which has potential , the Philippines presents a better location,” Ampofo said.
 
“The Philippines has become  a hotcake today, because of high economic growth, increase in tax collection and investment  grade rating,” Ampofo said.
.
But he said the question is whether the country can sustain growth.

One of the key areas of Kampac’s project is the LNG regasification plant using LNG.

LNG is the  cheapest form of energy and the cleanest.

“It is a  bit expensive to develop but always every economy has to take a long shot. LNG regasification for power generation is cheaper, cleaner and more efficient,” he said.

Ampofo also said a country needs a strong petrochemical industry. “I can guarantee that investors would locate here because the raw materials are here,” Ampofo said.

Ampofo said a country such as the Philippines which is prone to natural disasters needs strategic reserves for fuel.
 
Ampofo earlier signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and had communicated his plan in separate meetings with President Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay .

The company, which has an annual turnover in excess of $3 billion.
.
Kampac is engaged in oil and gas trading, exploration and production, refining, oil Infrastructure development." via 10/25/13, "Dubai Company to Develop $5 Billion Energy City in the Philippines," oilprice.com, Charles Kennedy, via Free Rep.
 
 
 
 
 
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Greenland votes to allow rare earths mining-Reuters

10/24/13, "Greenland votes to allow uranium, rare earths mining," Reuters, Nuuk

"Greenland's parliament voted on Thursday to end a decades-long prohibition on mining for radioactive materials like uranium, further opening up the country to investors from Australia to China eager to tap its vast mineral resources.

The move will not only allow the mining of uranium deposits, but also of rare earths, minerals used in 21st century products from wind turbines to hybrid cars and smart phones and that are currently mostly extracted by China.

With sea ice thawing and new Arctic shipping routes opening,"...

[Ed. note: Reuters provides no substantiation for these two claims nor for the implication that one caused the other. Nor do they state that world CO2 is controlled by a single country, China.]

(continuing): "the former Cold War ally of the West has emerged from isolation and gained geopolitical attention from the likes of Beijing and Brussels thanks to its untapped mineral wealth.


"We cannot live with unemployment and cost of living increases while our economy is at a standstill. It is therefore necessary that we eliminate zero tolerance towards uranium now," Greenland Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond was quoted as saying by local newspaper Sermitsiaq during the debate.

Hammond's government won the heated debate by 15-14 votes.

The possibility of uranium mining has been criticised by environmental groups. Earlier, a group of non-governmental organisations warned uranium mining in Greenland could threaten the Arctic region's pristine ecological system.

While Greenland is self governing, former colonial ruler Denmark still has a say in security and defence issues and the uranium decision may need to be approved by the Danish parliament - possibly putting the two nations on a diplomatic collision course.

Greenland's "zero tolerance" policy on mining radioactive materials is inherited from Denmark, but the island is keen to develop mining to help pay for welfare and jobs in this country with a population of around 57,000 people, mostly Inuits.

Since Greenland won self-government in 2009, most politicians have aimed for growing autonomy and eventual independence.

The more revenues from mining or oil, the more Greenland weans itself off Denmark's annual grant that accounts for more than half the island's budget.

One rare earth deposit being explored by Australian-owned Greenland Minerals and Energy could be one of the largest outside China, which accounts for more than 90 percent of global production.

But still, mining production could be a long way off.


"I think the Danish government is prepared for the no-tolerance to be lifted" said Cindy Vestergaard, senior researcher at Danish Institute for International Studies.

"After that the Greenlanders and the Danes are going to start hammering all the legal aspects. We will not be mining on Friday, nor next year, or 2015."

Separately, iron ore producer London Mining said on Thursday it had received the go-ahead from the Greenland government for a 15 million tonne a year mine in the country, paving the way to attract partners for the project.

The Isua project which will cost an estimated $2.3 billion (1.4 billion pounds) has been controversial in Greenland as fears its construction would attract a flood of Chinese workers into the country."


======================

Comment: The science says China is the only country that can lower global CO2 significantly. US CO2 emissions have plunged steadily over the past two decades, especially since 2006, and experts don't expect them to rise in the foreseeable future. China's CO2 emissions conversely have skyrocketed and are expected to rise further. The CO2 industry rests on being able to blame the US for world CO2 so technically it's out of business. The US government doesn't want that to happen so it changed the rules. The US is still going to punish itself as if it were the bad guy--because we're selfless and good--and continue destroying the US economy as a 'good example' for China. Not that CO2 even matters. The notion that CO2 increases global temperature has been proven completely false in a 30 year peer reviewed study. Global temperatures have remained flat for 15 years while CO2 has increased. (This data is separate from the 30 yr. study). This wasn't predicted by anyone in the multi-trillion dollar global warming industry. Billions of dollars were transferred from taxpayers to CO2 terror profiteers based on opposite predictions. 
  
==================

1/18/13, UK Met Office says no warming since 1998:

1/18/13, Climate change: scientists puzzle over halt in global warming,” Der Spiegel, by Axel Bojanowski (translation from German). Chart by UK Met Office, via Der Spiegel


.










Der Spiegel (chart, UK Met Office)  


===================

.

 6/4/12, Climate change stunner: USA leads world in CO2 cuts since 2006,” Vancouver Observer, Saxifrage

 


 

“Not only that, but as my top chart shows, US CO2 emissions are falling even faster than what President Obama pledged in the global Copenhagen Accord.”…Here is the biggest shocker of all: the average American’s CO2 emissions are down to levels not seen since 1964  --over half a century ago. …Coal is the number two source of CO2 for Americans. Today the average American burns an amount similar to what they did in 1955, and even less than they did in the 1940s. …It is exactly America’s historical role of biggest and dirtiest that makes their sharp decline in CO2 pollution so noteworthy and potentially game changing at the global level.”...

---------------------------------------------------

"Bentek says that (US) power companies plan to retire 175 coal-fired plants over the next five years [by 2017]. That could bring coal's CO2 emissions down to 1980 levels."...

8/16/12, “AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low,” AP,
Kevin Begos

In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

Many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't see the drop coming in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide....


In a little-noticed technical report, the U.S. Energy Information Agency, a part of the Energy Department, said this month that energy related U.S. CO2 emissions for the first four months of this year fell to about 1992 levels."...

.
========================= 
.
CO2 US v China, 2005 to 2011, energy related, US EIA (US Energy Dept.), WSJ, April 2013


4/18/13, "Rise in U.S. Gas Production Fuels Unexpected Plunge in Emissions," WSJ, Russell Gold

"U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions have fallen dramatically in recent years, in large part because the country is making more electricity with natural gas instead of coal.

Energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is widely believed to contribute to global warming, have fallen 12% between 2005 and 2012 and are at their lowest level since 1994, according to a recent estimate by the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the U.S. Energy Department."...


=====================================

6/10/13, 2012 US CO2 continues to drop. Chart from IEA report, China continues to rise. (Above chart is thru 2011) :



 






======================
 

11/29/12, 134 scientists write to UN Sec. Gen. Ban Ki-Moon, asking him to desist from blaming climate disasters on global warming that hasn't happened:
 
"Global warming that has not occurred cannot have caused the extreme weather of the past few years."...“The NOAA “State of the Climate in 2008report asserted that 15 years or more without any statistically-significant warming would indicate a discrepancy between observation and prediction. Sixteen years without warming have therefore now proven that the models are wrong by their creators’ own criterion.”…(2nd parag. fr. end of letter).  "Policy actions that aim to reduce CO2 emissions are unlikely to influence future climate. Policies need to focus on preparation for, and adaptation to, all dangerous climatic events, however caused."...Special to Financial Post, 12/10/12 

==========================

BBC discussion suggests a pause in confiscation of taxpayer dollars in the face of dual problems, that temperatures have remained flat since 1998 while CO2 has increased. Money was diverted based on predicted outcomes that didn't happen which "peer reviewed literature regards as established yet unexplained:"

7/22/13, "Andrew Neil on Ed Davey climate change interview critics," BBC, Andrew Neil


Multi-billion dollar "spending decisions, paid for by consumers and taxpayers
...might not have been taken (at least to the same degree or with the same haste) if global warming was not quite the imminent threat it has been depicted....The recent standstill in global temperatures is a puzzle. Experts do not know why it is occurring or how long it will last....There is no consensus. Extensive peer-reviewed literature regards it as established yet unexplained. It is widely accepted that the main climate models which inform government policy did not predict it."...(subhead, "Reputable evidence")  


========================

30 year peer reviewed scientific study, Jan. 1980-Dec. 2011, finds in all cases CO2 lags temperatures, never precedes temperature change. Scientists: "The common notion of globally dominant temperature controls exercised by atmospheric CO2 is in need of reassessment."
 
January 2013, "The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature," Global and Planetary Change, ScienceDirect.com

Ole Humluma, b, Corresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author,Kjell Stordahlc, Jan-Erik Solheimd 

a Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway, b Department of Geology, University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), P.O. Box 156, N-9171 Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, c Telenor Norway, Finance, N-1331 Fornebu, Norway, d Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway

[Green line is global CO2, red line is surface temps., blue line is ocean temps., Jan. 1980-Dec. 2011]



 "Abstract

"Using data series on
atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures we investigate the phase relation (leads/lags) between these for the period January 1980 to December 2011....

In our analysis we use eight well-known datasets: 


1) globally averaged well-mixed marine boundary layer CO2 data, 2) HadCRUT3 surface air temperature data,
3) GISS surface air temperature data,
4) NCDC surface air temperature data,
5) HadSST2 sea surface data,
6) UAH lower troposphere temperature data series,
7) CDIAC data on release of anthropogene CO2, and
8) GWP data on volcanic eruptions."...

.
============================= 
.
Washington Post: China erased US CO2 improvements in 2011:
 
"China was the biggest contributor (in 2011), with carbon dioxide output growing 9.3 percent." (3rd parag.)
 
5/25/12, "U.S. cut its carbon emissions in 2011 — but China erased the gains," Washington Post, Brad Plumer

============================== 

CO2 emissions from fossil fuel dominate in underdeveloped countries:

"Although emissions from developing countries now dominate, the industrial countries set the world on its global warming path."...(scroll down to 3rd graph, this text 2 parags. below)
 
7/23/13,
  "Fossil fuel use pushes carbon dioxide emissions into dangerous territory," Earth Policy Institute, Emily E. Adams
















======================
 
China emitted 4 billion tons more CO2 in 2011 than the US:

2/2/12, "Carbon pollution up to 2 million pounds per second," AP, Seth Borenstein

"The overwhelming majority of the increase was from China, the world’s biggest carbon dioxide polluter. Of the planet’s top 10 polluters, the United States and Germany were the only countries that reduced their carbon dioxide emissions....

The latest pollution numbers, calculated by the Global Carbon Project, a joint venture of the Energy Department and the Norwegian Research Council, show that worldwide carbon dioxide levels are 54 percent higher than the 1990 baseline."...

.
====================
 
Comment: We're told China might follow the US example of committing genocide against its own country. China has watched the US example for decades and has chosen to do the opposite. Probably after laughing its head off that so many Americans would buy into their own genocide. As to a 'global climate treaty,' it would've been laughed into oblivion decades ago if the US still had a functioning two party system. As the world saw during October 2013, the Republican Party has merged with the Democrat Party. George Bush #1 was key in moving Republicans left decades ago and George Bush #2 finished the job. A country with only one functioning political party is legalized theft. Selling out 300 million people is apparently quite lucrative. Neither party officially admits the merger of course. The whole point is to keep people fooled into believing or hoping they still have a country and a congress. Not that people could do anything to change it, but they'd likely be very noisy and bothersome. That can't happen. Politicians benefit from the fact that most people don't have the time and couldn't begin to fathom what's been done to them today in the name of government. If they rely on mass media they'll likely never know.
 
 
 
 
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