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18 January 2013

by afew Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:43:41 AM EST

Your take on today's news media


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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:55:17 AM EST
Britain to drift out of European Union without reforms: PM | Reuters
(Reuters) - Britain will drift out of the European Union and the European project will fail unless the bloc tackles three serious problems it faces, British Prime Minister David Cameron had planned to say in a postponed speech on Friday.

Cameron had been planning to say that the EU faces three major challenges: the euro zone debt crisis, faltering competitiveness and declining public support, particularly in Britain.

"If we don't address these challenges, the danger is that Europe will fail and the British people will drift towards the exit," Cameron had been due to say, according to extracts of his postponed speech released by his office.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:04:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Opinion / On Cameron, Europe and other demons
BRUSSELS - To an outsider here in Brussels, Britain's stance towards Europe is utterly incomprehensible. Like it or not, the EU is the largest market in the world, while the unification process has ensured that, for the first time in our continent's history, war is just a distant memory of the past, not a bleak prospect for the future.

Take every issue that really matters to our troubled world, from environmental protection, to human rights, democracy and peace, and you will see that Europe is a global leader and a prominent force for good. True, Europe's response to the economic crisis has been weak, to say the least, while its decision making system is broken. But the same could be argued for the American political system, following the dramatic negotiations on the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling. Does this mean that the US is also beyond salvation?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Headline News / MEPs struggle to keep Eurobonds idea alive

BRUSSELS - MEPs have kept alive support for joint liability Eurobonds despite critics describing the plan as "a socialist loonie-land" and a way to create a transfer union by the back door.

A majority of deputies backed a report by French liberal Sylvie Goulard on Wednesday (16 January) calling for governments and the European Commission to keep working on the issue, and for the immediate introduction of short-term Eurobills and a European Redemption Fund to pool excess debt.

The Goulard report, which is not legally binding, sets out a possible road-map eventually leading towards a mutualised debt market for the eurozone. It calls on member states to start by setting up a 25-year Redemption Fund and introducing Eurobills to replace short-term debt.

MEPs, who are more federalist than national governments, have championed Eurobonds for several years as part of the re-writing of the eurozone's rules on economic governance. They are currently blocking key budgetary oversight legislation referred to as the "two-pack' until ministers agree to create a redemption fund.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:28:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Iceland denies death of EU accession talks | EurActiv

Iceland's ambassador to Brussels has denied reports that accession talks with the European Union were dead, telling EurActiv that only the thorniest negotiating points are on hold until after upcoming elections.

"The correct message is that we are slowing down the negotiations, and we are not disbanding them. That has never been an issue," Ambassador Thorir Ibsen told EurActiv on Wednesday (16 January).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:33:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN official: The EU should consider the global impact of its farm policy | EurActiv

A UN rights official is urging the European Parliament to require that the EU monitor how Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies and other support for growers affect farmers in developing nations.

Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food who last year pressed the EU to scrap its biofuel targets to help ease global food prices, on Thursday (17 January) called for MEPs to restore proposed amendments to the CAP that were left out of a compromise document to be considered next week by the Parliaments' agricultural committee.

"Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy means high stakes not only for European farmers, but for millions of others worldwide who are affected by EU policies," said De Schutter.

"Opportunities are running out for development-proofing the CAP," he said in a statement. "In order for the CAP to work for farmers inside and outside the EU, we must undertake detailed monitoring of the impacts of EU farm exports and imports on developing countries, consult developing world farmer organizations, and conduct a proper assessment of the impacts on the right to food."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:48:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What does this mean in practice? Even after reading the article, it's not clear to me whether the promonents of the dropped amendment want more food imports from the developing world into Europe (boo) or less dumping the other way (hooray).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 06:40:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN official: The EU should consider the global impact of its farm policy | EurActiv

In June, the development committee adopted the recommendations made by German MEP Birgit Schnieber-Jastram (European People's Party) that also urge an end to export subsidies and that direct payments to farmers be decoupled from production "to create a level playing field between EU and developing countries' agricultural production."

Amendment dropped in draft compromise

Anti-poverty groups welcomed the development committee's position, but the amendment was later dropped in the compromise proposals on the CAP - traditionally the EU's single most expensive programme.

All sensible people want an end to export subsidies, which are unfair and punitive for the developing world. This provision has apparently been cut from the European budget... to save money?? I guess they cut the whole CAP amendment package, in which an end to export subsidies was coupled to direct payments to farmers, decoupled from production levels. These changes have been years in the making, but I guess they were not revenue-neutral (increase in payments to farmers greater than the decrease in export subsidies?)

No, the article is not clear.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 06:56:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Portugal gets ready for bond market return, though not within the next days (18.01.2013)
A Portuguese newspaper reports that the government is preparing to issue a 5-year syndicated bond in the next few days; another reports says Portugal had authorised the debt agency to tap into improving market sentiment by issuing bonds and bills shortly; PM Passos Coelho said that there would be no early return to the markets, and a government spokesman confirmed there was no schedule for the time being; the Greek parliament voted  overwhelmingly for George Papaconstantinou to face a parliamentary inquiry; there will no inquiries against Evangelos Venizelos, George Papandreou and Lucas Papademos; Michael Noonan says obstacles could still derail a deal on promissory notes; Christine Lagarde warns about complacency in the fight against the eurozone crisis, as the firewalls have not yet been tested, and the banking union is not yet completed; she also urges the ECB to consider more monetary easing; Spain's domestic tourism demand dropped by over 3% in 2012, as the recession destroys 23,000 jobs in the sector, mostly in the last quarter of 2012; the downturn is expected to continue, at a slower speed, in 2013; the eurozone crisis is driving up rates for kidnapping insurance;  the European Court of Justice rules says lower VAT rate in Spanish health sector is a breach of European law; the latest polls give the centre-left and the centre-right the same number of votes in the important Lower Saxony state elections; outcome will have important implications for the Bundesrat, and for the candidacy of Peer Steinbruck; Belgium reduces its 2012 to under 3%, and plans further austerity measures this year; Wolfgang Schauble says he is concerned about the loosening of Japan's monetary policy; Pier Luigi Bersani attacks what he calls a "cabaret style" campaign by his opponents; the ECB says political uncertainty in Italy had a negative effect on investors; il Foglio says whoever wins the Italian election is likely to apply for the OMT, and will abide by the Fiscal compact; Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi says the Italian politicians and the media have persistently misdiagnosed the crisis: the issue is competitiveness;  Sl[a]voj Zizek criticises a decision by the Slovenian Constitutional Court to ban a referendum on a bad bank; Nikolaus Piper, meanwhile, says Germany's sick obsession with gold ultimately constitutes a distrust in democracy.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 04:14:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nicolaus Piper on Germany's obsession with gold

A very nice commentary by Nicolaus Piper in Suddeutsche on Germany's obsession with gold, as evidence by the recent decision to repatriate part of the German gold. He writes it is impossible to have a rational discussion about gold in Germany. This panic ultimately constitutes a deep mistrust in the institutions of the state, not only the ECB and the Bundesbank, but a mistrust of democracy at large

Wow.
Germany a natural audience for Glenn Beck? Say it ain't so.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 04:54:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. Is there any evidence German households hoard gold?

Or do they not expect the BuBa to hold tonnes of it so the money is sound? In which case, they would seem to have some confidence in at least the independent central gold hoard.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 05:14:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there any evidence German households hoard gold?
I don't know...
But it seems there is a more important argument for the vending machines than a price advantage of a few euros. If one buys gold through a bank, the transaction can take several days, whereas with the vending machines, the gold is immediately accessible. "Money in, gold out," Geissler says. He also promises his clients anonymity: "People want to make purchases without the state keeping track of it."

...

And it seems that his clients see it this way too. Hardly had the gold vending machine in Munich been installed than passersby were pressing their noses up against the glass of the locked bank foyer where it was located. After a while, the security guard realized what they wanted and opened up to let one of the interested parties inside. The elderly man promptly purchased a gold bar that he planned to give as a gift at an upcoming baptism.

And should the baptized child not know where to put his golden gift, then Geissler can help out there too. In Metzingen in his home region of Swabia in southwestern Germany, he has invented what he calls the "Swabian Fort Knox" -- a high security storage facility that is guarded around the clock. The facility is intended for customers who want to store their valuable gold "outside the banking system."

(Spiegel, 2010)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 06:00:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the article in Süddeutsche: Schwarz, Rot, Gold
Soweit feststellbar, ertragen zumindest die Leute bei der Federal Reserve in New York die deutschen Kapriolen mit Humor; schließlich sind sie Ähnliches von der extremen Rechten im eigenen Land gewohnt.
"The people in the federal reserve take the German excentricities in stride, after all they are used to similar antics from the extreme right in their own country".

Ouch.

The title of the article refers to the colours of the German flag: Black, Red, Gold (or did you think the German flag was yellow?)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 05:50:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The German political elite find their closest cousins in the Republican party in the US...as well as perhaps some of the more extreme right elements in the former Comecon countries.
by redstar on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 05:56:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 06:46:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
?? I didn't mean Jobbik, was more thinking of the sort of extremist neo-liberalism which produces things line the flat tax you see in some former Comecon countries today, a fiscal posture which is imho incompatible with maintaining the welfare apparatus which should be the ironclad underpinning of EU and EU member-state institutions.
by redstar on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 07:14:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course not. Isn't there someting about not putting 'colour on colour' except for sable?

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 05:58:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's actually a lawsuit going on in Germany right now, brought by a descendent of one of the designers of the original flag, claiming that the use of yellow is unconstitutional....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 11:55:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:55:54 AM EST
Analysis: More Americans leave parental nest in boost for housing | Reuters

(Reuters) - Americans are feeling increasingly confident in the future and more and more are striking out to set up their own homes, a move that is helping propel the housing recovery.

The deep financial crisis and recession of 2007-2009 kept many Americans from leaving their parents' nests and drove others back into them, putting a sharp brake on the pace at which new households formed.

Household growth averaged about 500,000 per year from 2008 through 2010 - less than half the rate seen at the height of the housing boom in the years just before that. The pace in 2010 was the weakest since 1947.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:01:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China's economy rebounds in fourth quarter, 2012 weakest since 1999 | Reuters

(Reuters) - China's economy regained speed in the final quarter of 2012, pulling out of a post-global financial crisis downturn that produced the slowest year of economic growth since 1999.

Evidence of a burgeoning recovery in exports, stronger than expected industrial output and retail sales, together with robust fixed asset investment, all signaled that Beijing's pro-growth policy mix has gained sufficient traction to underpin a revival without yet igniting inflationary risks.

Year-on-year growth of 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter beat a consensus forecast of 7.8 percent in a Reuters poll.

Full year growth of 7.8 percent was also just ahead of the poll's 7.7 percent call and comfortably ahead of the government's own 7.5 percent target, which just months ago seemed to some economists to be in jeopardy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:02:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IMF Chief: Failure to raise U.S. debt ceiling would be "catastrophic" - Fast Forward | Video | Reuters.com
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, says the global economy risks "catastrophic" consequences if the U.S. fails to raise its debt ceiling. Lagarde tells Thomson Reuters Consumer News Editor Chrystia Freeland she's certain "serious people" in Washington would never let the U.S. fail to make payments that the country owes.

VIDEO

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:03:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Barclays boss tells staff: adopt new values or leave | Reuters

(Reuters) - Barclays' new boss has told staff they should leave if they do not want to sign up to a set of standards aimed at rebuilding the bank's reputation after a string of scandals.

Antony Jenkins, who took over as chief executive at the end of August after the bank was rocked by an interest rate rigging scandal, said bonuses and performance would be assessed against a new "Purpose and Values" blueprint.

"I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of you ... will enthusiastically support this move. But there might be some who don't feel they can fully buy in to an approach which so squarely links performance to the upholding of our values," Jenkins said in a memo to his 140,000 staff on Thursday.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:17:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in the coming weeks more than 1,000 staff would be trained to spread the new values and embed them throughout the bank.

(Aargh. "Embed," the "synergy" of the 2010's. )

Whitewash. Is there anything it won't solve?


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 05:02:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Confidence in Europe Up, Even as Economies Stall - WSJ.com

behind European markets' buoyancy lie some real shifts, both in the flows of money that caused the crisis to erupt and in the will of Europe's institutions to tamp it down.

Struggling euro-zone countries such as Spain, Italy and Portugal are steadily curbing their reliance on foreign borrowing to support their economies--the dependence that made them vulnerable when that foreign capital fled. Mr. Draghi's vow has also persuaded markets that Europe's crisis won't end in catastrophe.

Investors from the savings-rich countries of Northern Europe have paused from pulling their money out of the euro zone's indebted south. Some are even moving back in.

... But the good news largely ends there. Businesses in southern Europe are still starved for financing, preventing the investment and hiring that would be needed to start an economic recovery.

Across southern Europe, economic activity is shrinking. Industrial output in the euro zone fell 3.7% in November from the prior year, the European Union's statistical agency said Monday. Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece all reported drops from October.

GDP isn't expected to recover to precrisis levels for several more years. That matters because the ability of individuals, companies and governments to repay their debts in full depends on their future incomes. The likelihood of a lost decade in the euro zone suggests some countries might not be able to bear the burden of their foreign debts in the long run.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:52:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great.
I can see them now, the homeless and permanently unemployed with signs saying "will work for confidence."

(Not funny at all, actually. Sorry.)


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 05:02:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Econoblog 101: Sala-i-Martin does not understand Rajoy, Mundell-Fleming model (January 18, 2013)
Xavier Sala-i-Martin has a post on his website (in Spanish) in which he attacks the economic consultants of Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish president, asking the hypothetical question: "But who is consulting Rajoy?". Rajoy and others are asking Germany to introduce expansionary fiscal policies in order to help the deficit countries in the periphery, among them Spain. Now Sala-i-Martin analyzes the question of an increase in government spending with the help of a model, namely the IS/LM/BP (or Mundell-Fleming) model. That, as such, is laudable. However it seems to me like Sala-i-Martin does not apply the model correctly. Before I critique his views it is necessary to expose them (in English). I duplicate the graph Sala-i-Martin uses below, followed by his story. (Some knowledge of economics is needed, sadly I cannot explain the whole IS/LM model here plus its extension concerning the balance of payments.)

...

Let me translate that (sticking very close to the Spanish words that are the same in English):

Conclusion: an expansive fiscal policy in a country like Germany will have positive consequences in Germany but VERY NEGATIVE consequences for all countries which have the same currency. This is, at least, what comes out of the Keynesian theory of the macroeconomy, which is not my theory but the theory of those who say that fiscal stimulus is desirable.
On my part I entertain serious doubts about the use of the Mundell-Fleming model by Sala-i-Martin. I am not a big supporter of the model, but I leave out my criticism of the model for now and only refer you to my latest working paper (which is more general than the Mundell-Fleming model and includes it as a special case). In the following I only comment on Sala-i-Martin's use of the model as it is. Let me go through these issues one by one. When I quote from Mundell, I use his reprint from the Readings in International Economics book.

...

Nevertheless, the conclusion of the economic consultants of Mr Rajoy that they get from the Mundell-Fleming model are right. An increase in fiscal spending in Germany under conditions of the liquidity trap would very likely lead to higher incomes in Spain, not lower incomes like suggested by Sala-i-Martin. Mr Rajoy, who in autumn 2011 was member of the confidence fairy club, seems to have changed his opinion about economic models. Austerity, which does not rely on a model but on an assumption (cutting government spending will lead to more growth), is out, and expansionary policies as explained by the Mundell-Fleming model, are in. A change for the better, I say.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 09:12:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:56:14 AM EST
Mali Islamists tougher than France anticipated: envoys | Reuters

(Reuters) - French troops' initial clashes with Islamist militants in Mali have shown that the desert fighters are better trained and equipped than France had anticipated before last week's military intervention, French and other U.N. diplomats said.

The realization that the fighting could be bloodier than anticipated in the weeks -- or months -- ahead might make Western countries even more reluctant to get involved alongside France. French officials, however, hope it will rally their allies behind them, diplomats say.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:06:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU states agree on military training mission to Mali | Reuters

(Reuters) - European Union states agreed on Thursday to send hundreds of military personnel to train Mali government forces in fighting Islamist rebels, whose campaign to impose Islamic law across north Africa is causing growing unease in Western capitals.

The training mission has been the subject of discussions for weeks but the sense of urgency has grown since the al Qaeda-linked rebels pushed beyond their stronghold in northern Mali to threaten the capital Bamako and France launched air strikes to drive them back.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:16:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or so they say (this has apparently been confirmed from other sources)

The fall of Konna to the Islamists was the trigger for the French intervention.

MSF are requesting access to Konna in order to set up mobile clinics to bring medical aid to those touched by conflict. They are present in Gao and Timbuktu, and have operated on people after French bombing. They have 450 locals and 50 expats in Mali.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 07:13:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Algeria confirms deaths in hostage rescue bid - Africa - Al Jazeera English

At least 30 hostages and 11 members of an al-Qaeda-affiliated group were killed when Algerian forces stormed a desert gas plant to free the captives, drawing international attention to al-Qaeda in North Africa.

Eight Algerians and seven foreigners, including two British, two Japanese and a French national, were among the dead, an Algerian security source said.

Nine foreign nationals have been released but the fate of a number of those who had been held by the fighters remains unclear.

The hostages included Algerians, as well as foreigners from at least nine countries - including the US, Britain and Japan.

... Algerian officials says those behind the attack were part of an Al-Qaeda linked group and included Egyptian, Algerian and Tunisian nationals.

The government said it was forced to launch the military operation because the fighters had threatened to blow up the gas plant.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:14:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Home

The UK Foreign Office believes the 'terrorist incident in Algeria is ongoing' 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:25:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And nobody (except the Algerian military) knows how many dead. We know that there are dozens of hostages unaccounted for, but some may be in hiding rather than in the hands of the terrorists.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 06:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bombs strapped to Irish hostage - The Irish Times - Fri, Jan 18, 2013

Stephen McFaul, an electrical engineer, told his family in Northern Ireland after the operation that he narrowly escaped death, first when bound and gagged by the gunmen who fastened explosives around the hostages' necks and then on Thursday when he was in a convoy of five vehicles driving across the complex.

"(The gunmen) were moving five jeeploads of hostages from one part of the compound," his brother Brian McFaul said.

"At that stage, they were intercepted by the Algerian army.

"The army bombed four out of five of the trucks and four of them were destroyed ... He presumed everyone else in the other trucks was killed ... The truck my brother was in crashed and at that stage Stephen was able to make a break for his freedom."

Mr McFaul said it was unclear whether the vehicles had been struck by missiles fired from helicopters or by ground forces.

It is reported by an Algerian site that the Algerian special forces have engaged another assault. Ongoing.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 06:47:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:56:45 AM EST
BBC News - Sydney bakes in hottest day on record as bushfires rage

The Australian city of Sydney is experiencing its hottest day on record, with temperatures reaching nearly 46C.

A temperature of 45.8C was recorded at Observatory Hill in the city at 14:55 local time (01:55 GMT).

Some areas in the wider Sydney region were even hotter, with the town of Penrith, to the west, registering a temperature of 46.5C.

Firefighters are still battling dozens of wildfires sparked by the intense heat in New South Wales and Victoria.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:20:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But coal mining should be expanded as a key economic sector!...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 06:52:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How else are you going to get the energy needed to power your air conditioners?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 11:57:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New UMass Amherst Research Shows Fishways Have Not Helped Fish

Despite modern designs intended to allow migratory fish to pass, hydropower dams on major Northeast U.S. waterways, including the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers, have failed to let economically important species such as salmon, shad and river herring reach their spawning grounds, say a team of economists and fish ecologists including Adrian Jordaan of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

This raises serious questions about the impact of new dams now being planned and constructed on major waterways worldwide, say the researchers in the current issue of Conservation Letters. The international team led by J. Jed Brown of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, United Arab Emirates, included investigators at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse; Virginia Tech, the University of Arizona, City University of New York and the University of Victoria, British Columbia as well as UMass Amherst.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:37:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2 new studies show why biodiversity is important for pollination services in California almond

Agricultural demand for pollination is growing more quickly than the supply of honey bees, the dominant species managed for crop pollination. Increasing the efficiency of pollination represents a way of increasing crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area.

A study recently published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (9 Jan 2013) 1, shows that the pollination effectiveness of honey bees in California almond orchards was greater in the presence of other bees.

Almond is a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination and is a $3 billion industry in California. The study by researchers in Germany at Leuphana University of Luneburg and California at UC Berkeley and Davis found that where other species of bees were present, honey bee behaviour changed and their pollination effectiveness was greater than in orchards where other bees were absent.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:39:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Counting the Consequences - The Ecologist
We need ideas as compelling as those that embarked the world on its current competition-driven `free' markets spree. We need to ignite a revolution that big, but one based on sustainability, writes Tony Juniper
The sad and unfortunate truth is that we are losing.

I don't believe I am alone in feeling that campaigners for a sustainable world have in recent years lost the impact they once enjoyed. There are a number of reasons for this. Economic crisis is one. So is the tendency for the media and the public to become fatigued with issues, especially ones that appear to have no quick fix. Plus much of the ongoing debate has been horribly confused by various `sceptics'. Politics has changed as well, with many of those now in power lacking any serious commitment to sustainable development.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:42:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:57:03 AM EST
PODEX Experiment to Reshape Future of Atmospheric Science

Satellite Earth science missions don't start at the launch pad or even in orbit. They start years before when scientists test their new ideas for instruments that promise to expand our view and understanding of the planet. NASA scientists and engineers are working now to lay the groundwork for the Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem (ACE) mission, a satellite that "will dramatically change what we can do from space to learn about clouds and aerosols," said ACE science lead David Starr of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

How should the satellite's instruments be designed, and how can the data be turned into useful information for research? To find out, three teams have each developed prototype instruments that will be put to the test this month during the Polarimeter Definition Experiment (PODEX) in Southern California.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:36:58 AM EST
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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:57:29 AM EST
BBC Sport - Lance Armstrong & Oprah Winfrey: cyclist sorry for doping

Lance Armstrong has ended years of denials by admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France wins.

The 41-year-old cyclist confessed during his interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey in front of a worldwide television audience.

"I view this situation as one big lie I repeated a lot of times," he said. "I made those decisions, they were my mistake and I'm here to say sorry."

Bwahaha!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:21:38 AM EST
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for getting caught.

Lance Armstrong admits doping in Oprah Winfrey interview | Sport | guardian.co.uk

However, Armstrong, 41, denied being a mastermind who threatened other team-mates to dope, and rejected allegations that he bribed the International Cycling Union and a Swiss laboratory to cover up his cheating. He also denied taking drugs during his comeback in 2009 and 2010, and did not indicate - at least not in the first of a two-part broadcast - whether he would cooperate with the anti-doping agency Usada so that he can return to competitive sport, as has been reported.

This limited confession will fuel suspicion in some quarters that it was a made only because Armstrong was backed into a corner after an excoriating report from Usada last year and that, in a strategy devised by his close-knit team of advisers, he chose to withhold the full truth in an attempt to avoid criminal prosecution.

Oof, I'm relieved. He's an avowed cheat, but he's still a lying scumbag. My world view was almost shaken for a minute.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 05:01:14 AM EST
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Quick one -- In Wales must be digging herself out of the snow.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:45:14 AM EST
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