Thursday, December 28, 2006

China and Illegal Energy Plants

Those who pretend to be concerned about global warming and the emissions of greenhouse gases spent years negotiating. They support the Kyoto Treaty which exempts developing countries, even large fast growing China and India. Does this make any sense?

President George W. Bush wants to assist China in providing their energy needs increasingly via nuclear power. Read the Wall Street Journal December 27, 2006 article Illegal Power Plants, Coal Mines In China Pose Challenge for Beijing by Shai Oster and see who makes more sense.

■ “One fifth of the power plants in China are illegal, according to government estimates -- enough to light up all of the U.K.”
■ “By eschewing even basic environmental safeguards, they stand out as polluters even in an industry that is one of China's leading sources of emissions”
■ “In China, more power plants almost invariably mean more coal consumption. The country has been unable to diversify away from coal”
■ “They also have driven up the demand for and price of coal, the country's most abundant source of fuel. That, in turn, has spawned thousands of illegal coal mines that have contributed to more than 4,000 coal-mining deaths in China this year”
■ “The country's economy has expanded an average 10% a year since the late 1970s”
■ “the soaring demand for coal-fueled electricity has upended Beijing's efforts to rein in pollution”
■ “Last year, China consumed about 2.2 billion metric tons of coal, one-third of the world's total and more than any other country”

The article uses the word pollution referring to smog and air pollution, but burning coal and wood are major sources of greenhouse gases which may cause global warming. I don’t know, but I am serious enough to support zero greenhouse emitting nuclear power.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Iraq Economy is Growing at a Rapid Rate

There’s plenty of bad news from Iraq but did you read the latest issue of Newsweek Magazine and the article by Silvia Spring “Iraq's Economy is Booming”? The subtitle is “In what might be called the mother of all surprises, Iraq's economy is growing strong, even booming in places.” The article Includes:

■ “there's good money to be made in Iraq”
■ “Iraqna, the leading mobile-phone company,…. posted revenues of $333 million in 2005. This year, it's on track to take in $520 million.”
■ “now 7.1 million mobile-phone subscribers in Iraq, up from just 1.4 million two years ago”
■ “Real estate is booming. Construction, retail and wholesale trade sectors are healthy, too, according to a report by Global Insight in London.”
■ “34,000 registered companies in Iraq, up from 8,000 three years ago”
■ “Global Insight puts GDP growth at 17 percent last year and projects 13 percent for 2006.”
“there's a vibrancy at the grass roots that is invisible in most international coverage of Iraq”
■ “Consider some less formal indicators. Perhaps the most pervasive is the horrendous Iraqi traffic jams. Roadside bombs account for fewer backups than the sheer number of secondhand cars that have crowded onto the nation's roads—five times as many in Baghdad as before the war.”
■ “Real-estate prices have risen several hundred percent, suggesting that Iraqis are more optimistic about the future than most Americans are.”

Monday, December 11, 2006

Iraq Oil Production and Economy

I was chatting with a liberal friend of mine who said that things were so bad in Iraq that they were importing oil. I said that my understanding was that they might be importing refined products like gasoline, but that they were producing about 2 million barrels a day of crude oil.

Another liberal said that the Iraq government had no control and was a joke. I said a key ministry was oil and that somebody must be going to work and getting things done to be able to produce 2 million barrels a day of crude oil.

I was met with disbelief. My friends should read the December 8, 2006 article in the Houston Chronicle which takes it information from the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group. See Iraq panel: Security hampering economy
The article included many negative comments, but also included this information:
■ “There are some signs of progress, the bipartisan commission told President Bush. New businesses are cropping up and computers, cell phones and other consumer goods are flowing into the country.”
■ “Iraq produces around 2.2 million barrels of oil a day and exports about 1.5 million”
■ “Iraq could boost production from existing fields to around 3 million to 3.5 million barrels a day over a three- to five-year period, the report said.”
■ “Overall, Iraq's economy is growing but not as quickly as hoped.”