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Gazprom significantly boosts natural gas supplies abroad in 2021

RT | March 15, 2021

Russian energy major Gazprom’s gas exports to non-CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries increased by 28.3% since the beginning of the year to 42.9 billion cubic meters, the company said.

That is “9.5 billion cubic meters more than in the first 2.5 months of last year,” according to Gazprom.

The company pointed out that the high demand for gas was due to the cold start of the calendar spring this year. “We continue to provide gas to domestic and foreign consumers on a full-scale basis,” it said.

Gazprom’s supplies particularly rose in Turkey (by 80.5%), Romania (77.7%), Finland (74.2%), Serbia (61.5%) and Bulgaria (52.1%). Gas deliveries to Germany and Greece also saw a boost of 28.7% and 24.5%, respectively.

The company said that in the first two weeks of this month, gas supplies to Turkey increased 11.5 times compared with the same period last year. Exports to China via the Power of Siberia mega gas pipeline regularly exceed Gazprom’s daily contractual obligations. The actual volume of supplies from March 1 to March 15 was 3.2 times more than in the same period of 2020, it said.

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment

The social costs of carbon cancelation

Banning carbon-based fuels will impose enormous costs that Team Biden deliberately ignores

By Paul Driessen | Watts Up With That? | March 15, 2021

Fearing that incessant warnings about manmade climate cataclysms would not be enough to end US fossil fuel use, the Obama-Biden Administration instructed a special Interagency Working Group to concoct a “social cost of carbon” concept. The SCC would “scientifically” calibrate the dollar value of damages that a ton of carbon dioxide emitted today in America would inflict on the USA and world in the future.

The price tag was set at $22/ton in 2010, raised to $36/ton in 2013, and just as arbitrarily increased to $40, before finishing the Obama era at $51/ton. President Trump disbanded the IWG and had the SCC slashed to less than $10/ton. Within hours of taking office, President Biden resurrected the working group, reinstituted $51/ton as a starting point, and directed federal agencies to devise a definitive SCC by 2022.

This “updated” version will reflect “recent developments in the science and economics” of climate change, including the costs of other greenhouse gases, the White House said. It will also factor in US commitments under the Paris climate treaty, and especially “considerations of environmental justice and intergenerational equity.” Climate “scientists,” economists, “ethics experts” and “diverse stakeholders” will all participate in the process, which many expect will devise a final SCC of $100 or even $200/ton.

The IWG methodology for developing SCC estimates is so infinitely flexible, so devoid of any rigorous standards, that it could produce almost any estimates that Biden and his climate czars feel is needed. Adding “justice” and “equity” to the mix makes it doubly malleable, doubly prone to abuse by an administration and Democrat Party that are obsessed with “manmade climate change” (even Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Defense appointees must be committed to ending the “climate crisis”) and are determined to make America “carbon neutral” by 2050.

Social cost of carbon is intended to advance that agenda and a 981-page “CLEAN Future” bill requiring that electricity generators provide 80% carbon-free energy by 2030 and 100% “clean” power by 2035.

Right now, over 80% of all US and global energy come from fossil fuels – and ChinaIndia and other countries are building thousands of new coal-fired power plants, on top of the thousands they already have. So even total cancelation of fossil fuel use and CO2/greenhouse gas emissions by the United States would be imperceptible and irrelevant amid the world’s enormous and increasing levels of both.

Social cost of carbon is a key tactic in a war on reliable, affordable American energy; on jobs, human welfare and human rights; and on US and global lands, wildlife and environmental quality. It will be used to justify raising carbon taxes and prices to at least $160 per ton of CO2 and imposing Covid-on-steroids lockdowns every two years, supposedly to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees C from pre-industrial/post Little Ice Age levels, which alarmists claim would be catastrophic.

The SCC enables agencies and their allies to attach any price they wish to every conceivable cost of using fossil fuels: hotter and colder, wetter and drier climate and weather; more frequent and intense hurricanes; reduced agricultural output; forest health and wildfires; floods, droughts and water resources; “forced migration” of people and wildlife;  worsening health and disease; flooded coastal cities; even “reduced student learning and worker productivity,” due to warmer planetary temperatures.

The SCC also lets practitioners completely ignore the obvious and enormous benefits of using fossil fuels, and emitting carbon dioxide – such as enhanced productivity via affordable air conditioning in summer and heating in winter; improved forest, grassland and crop growth (and greening deserts) due to more CO2 in the air; greater home and human survival rates amid extreme weather events; and having the jobs, mobility, living standards, healthcare and longevity of modern industrialized life.

In fact, hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide benefits outweigh costs by 50:1, 400:1 or even 500:1! Will Team Biden and others in the anti-hydrocarbon movement acknowledge any of this?

Unless compelled to do so by our courts, the odds are probably 500:1 against it. They won’t even admit that the sun and other natural forces still play dominant roles in climate and weather, as they have throughout history. In their minds, every SCC cost is directly and solely due to fossil fuels. (For a reality check, read Indur GoklanyPatrick MooreGregory WrightstoneMarc Morano and Jennifer Marohasy.)

In fact, eliminating carbon-based energy and carbon dioxide emissions will impose far greater human and ecological costs. It is fossil fuel replacements that will inflict incalculable damage to people and planet.

Replacing coal, oil, natural gas and internal combustion vehicles would require millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels, billions of battery modules, millions of acres of biofuel plantations, a complete overhaul of electrical grids and infrastructures, on millions of acres. That will require billions of tons of steel, aluminum, copper, lithium, cobalt, rare earth elements, concrete, plastics and other materials – which will require digging up and processing hundreds of billions of tons of ores and minerals.

Under Team Biden, Democrats and Big Green, little of this will take place in the US, under our rigorous laws and regulations. It will be done overseas, in China, Mongolia, Africa, Bolivia – often with slave and child labor, and with few or no workplace safety, air and water pollution, toxic substances, endangered species or other rules. Don’t their health, human rights and environmental quality mean anything?

The technologies may be clean and emission-free in the USA – but won’t be in any of these countries.

Even manufacturing the turbines, panels, batteries and other technologies will be done overseas – again with few or no pollution, health, safety or fair wage rules – because expensive, unreliable, weather-dependent, blackout-prone electricity will send America’s manufacturing and other basic industries into oblivion, along with millions of good jobs. Minority and blue-collar families will be hammered hardest.

The proliferation of “clean, climate-friendly” wind and solar energy will pummel wildlife and habitats. Wind turbines already slaughter a million birds and bats annually in the USA – far in excess of what Big Wind admits to – and that’s from a “measly” 60,000 turbines. The same thing is happening in Europe.

With the best wind sites being along migratory bird flyways, raptor hunting grounds, bat habitats, and Great Lake and sea coasts, the slaughter will get worse with every passing year. I just put new bluebird, hummingbird and wood duck nest houses around my home and neighborhood. It is terribly depressing that such efforts in suburban areas will be overwhelmed by a tsunami of death in our wildlife kingdoms. As forests, grasslands and deserts get torn up for turbines and blanketed by solar panels and biofuel crops, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and wild plants will also disappear.

Team Biden, Democrats, Big Green and Big Media will loudly deny these realities. They will insist that any wildlife losses are “inadvertent.” As though the wildlife are less dead because it was inadvertent; as though negligible inadvertent deaths from fossil fuel extraction and pipelines were bad, but these are OK.

Wind turbines, solar panels and batteries have short life spans – and are difficult or impossible to recycle. Where will we bury millions of 300-foot-long fiberglass-composite turbine blades? billions of solar panels? Will we just keep sending solar panels overseas, where parents and children burn them in open fires to recover the metals – breathing toxic fumes all day long?

This is just the tip of the iceberg of adverse impacts from SCC/Green New Deal policies. Any honest, accurate, complete social cost of carbon analysis would require that every one of them be fully accounted for, before we make any decisions on fossil fuels. Will oddsmakers even take bets on that happening?

Will courts step up to the plate? Will state attorneys general? Will Republicans become better informed about our energy lifeblood, better organized, less focused on less critical issues – and more willing to mount passionate, principled opposition to this irresponsible insanity? Or will Democrats just ram this through, because they can, because they control the House, Senate, White House and Deep State Executive Branch – perhaps with bare 1-10 majorities, but arrogant totalitarian control nonetheless?

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books, reports and articles on energy, environmental, climate and human rights issues.

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Is Biden Holding America Hostage Until ‘Independence’ Day?

By Ron Paul | March 15, 2021

Last week President Biden addressed the nation on the first anniversary of the coronavirus being declared a “pandemic.” It was a disturbing speech, warning us that the “hopeful spring” will only emerge “from a dark winter” if all Americans “stick with the rules.”

Whose rules? His rules.

The message from the president was clear: he will only allow us to have some of our freedoms back if we do exactly as he tells us. It was the language of extortion, of a bank robber who demands you do what he says or face the consequences. It was not the language of someone we are told is the leader of the free world.

In the speech Biden laid out a list of what was taken from us over the past year, “weddings, birthdays, graduations… family reunions, the Sunday night rituals.” It was as if somehow the virus, instead of authoritarian government officials, prevented us from enjoying these normal human activities.

Though we continue to see Covid disappear across the country with the end of the winter season, Biden was not about to let go of his perceived power to control our lives. He said, “if we do all this, if we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4, there’s a good chance you, your families and friends, will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day. That doesn’t mean large events with lots of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together.”

Imagine our Founders hearing this speech. The US president might – just might – allow small family gatherings at home in four months if we follow all of his rules. King George looked benevolent by comparison!

As Rep. Thomas Massie Tweeted shortly after the speech, “If you’re waiting for permission from the chief executive to celebrate Independence Day with your family, you clearly don’t grasp the concept of Independence.”

It seems like yesterday – it almost was – that Biden “asked” us to just wear the mask for 100 days. “Just 100 days to mask, not forever. 100 days,” he said. So from “just 100 days” to maybe you can have a small gathering by July 4th? Perhaps he just forgot his earlier speech?

As usual, the goalposts keep being moved because politicians cannot bear the possibility that they might have to give up some of that power over us they have grabbed for themselves. Fauci made the usual mainstream media rounds over the weekend and was asked by the fawning host when Americans might have permission to hold weddings again!

So now Americans need Fauci’s permission to get married? What is happening to this country? The propaganda is so relentless that it seems most Americans don’t see how not normal this is! In saner times, Fauci would be laughed off the stage. Now, he’s treated as some sort of divine source of truth.

Biden promised he was “using every power… as the president of the United States to put us on a war footing.” Of that I have no doubt. But Biden’s war is not against the virus. It’s against the US Constitution and liberty itself.

Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

The AstraZeneca Vaccine Is NOT Safe. None Of Them Are.

By Richie Allen | March 15, 2021

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have both declared that the AstraZeneca coronavirus jab is “safe” and “working well.” Johnson and Sturgeon are liars. Both of them have blood on their hands.

Speaking this lunchtime, Johnson urged people to “keep coming forward” to have their vaccine despite significant and growing evidence that the AstraZeneca jab is causing serious harm.

Today, Germany joined Ireland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Bulgaria, Norway, Italy, Estonia, Luxembourg and Iceland in suspending the AZ vaccine. Evidence is emerging that it is causing blood clotting and heart failure in recipients.

Bulgarian Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said that a 57 year-old woman died of heart failure less than a day after having the AZ jab.

Italy began a new lockdown today and German ICU doctors are warning that the country needs to return to lockdown because of a rise in cases and hospitalisations.

I don’t believe them. I think they are using the threat of more lockdowns to pressurise the public into taking the vaccines. I speculated weeks ago, that governments had already encountered resistance and that uptake was slowing down as the jabs were being offered to younger age groups.

News that the vaccines are killing people will do nothing to convince the doubters. The suits at AZ and Pfizer have told their lackeys in Academia to get on TV and warn of more lockdowns unless uptake is close to 90 per cent.

All of these vaccines have already proven to be potentially deadly. Tens of thousands of injuries have been reported through the UK government’s yellow card reporting system.

VAERS, the US monitoring system for vaccine injuries has been similarly overwhelmed. However, you may not know this, because the media has been told not to breathe a word of it.

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | 1 Comment

10 years since the war in Syria began, Western media & pundits still eager to keep it going

By Eva Bartlett | RT | March 15, 2021

After many wars built on lies over the decades, people might have developed a good BS radar. Instead, in March 2011, when media and human rights groups pushed propaganda about Syria, the public once again fell for it.

Front page, round-the-clock headlines were pumped out, and transparently hollow Western pundits tut-tutted Syria’s president and claimed the Syrian government was cracking down on “peaceful protesters.”

But this is March 2021, and while Western lies and fake concern have dominated news on Syria, Syrians deserve to have the reality – their suffering under some of the most heinous terrorism the world has known – highlighted instead.

In reality, March 2011 in Syria saw well-armed thugs attacking not only government buildings, but killing soldiers and civilians too.

In the months and years that followed, some of those who had been dubbed as “peaceful protesters” committed massacre after massacre of Syrian civilians and security forces.

Independent observers like Homs-based Dutch priest Father Frans van der Lugt witnessed “armed demonstrators who began to shoot at the police first.”

Flemish priest Father Daniel Maes, based in Damascus’ countryside, said:

“I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people.”

From my own fourteen visits from April 2014 and over the next seven years, what I’ve heard and experienced in Syria only confirmed my early suspicions that what Al Jazeera and Western media were purporting were lies.

– While people did aspire to political change (and the government made changes), from the start there was violence from well-armed “protesters.”

– Contrary to what the media would have us believe, there wasn’t wide support for what was dubbed a “revolution,” and it wasn’t actually a revolution. Predominantly Sunni Aleppo rejected the non-revolution.

– The core message of the protesters who continued beyond the first few protests was not about democracy but about driving out Christians to Beirut and killing Alawites. A sectarianism promoted by the West and its Gulf allies.

Although mass media attempted to paint events in Syria as a “civil war,” both Israel and Western nations have long been supporting terrorists in Syria, including Al-Qaeda in Syria (reportedly providing them medical treatment), and even Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

And as I detailed, the West has long been working to change the government of Syria, even decades prior during Hafez Assad’s time.

How I saw Syria vs. what it looks like through Al-Qaeda-tinted glasses

In April 2014, I met an American living in Latakia who recalled reading a LA Times blog post alleging a protest which had turned violent in her city three years prior, but which never happened. According to her, she had been to the places mentioned in the report that day, and there was no unrest.

Years later in Damascus, I met and interviewed a Syrian doctor who had been based in Dara’a province in March 2011. He described how his hospital operated at normal capacity at the time. At the same time, he says he saw a repeated report on another mainstream outlet that said the facility was overwhelmed, not enough doctors were available, and moreover, the hospital was denying treatment to civilians, when in fact the hospital directives were to treat civilians before soldiers.

Since a core message in regime-change reporting on Syria has been that the people want the president gone, it’s worth noting that President Bashar Assad is actually quite popular among Syrians. In fact, I was surprised to come across a January 2012 admission of this, one of the worst purveyors of lies and war propaganda on Syria.

Assad’s popularity has only steadily grown. From the early months of 2011 to late 2011, 2012, and beyond, Syrians held mass demonstrations in support of their president.

In Lebanon in 2014, I witnessed a mass show of support during the presidential election. These were people determined to vote, and the people I spoke with proudly declared their support for Assad.

From 2014 to my last visit in 2020, Syrians have maintained to me that while there are a host of changes they do want for the country, seeing Assad step down is not one of them.

The Syrian government issues visas to journalists from the worst propaganda outlets (including the BBC, Channel 4, the New York Times and CBC), yet they have reported a vastly different Syria than that which I or my colleagues know.

In their Syria, the suffering of civilians in government-controlled areas doesn’t exist. If mentioned, they are dubbed “regime supporters,” thus somehow deserving of the shelling and other abuse perpetrated by terrorist factions.

The outlets don’t take into account the millions of internally displaced Syrians who have fled terrorism or fighting elsewhere in Syria and taken shelter in government-controlled areas, frequently coming under attacks of terrorists.

When greater Aleppo, with around 1.5 million people, was for years being attacked with gas canister bombs, mortars, grad missiles and sniping by terrorists occupying areas of the city (by November 2016 resulting in the deaths of nearly 11,000 civilians), media downplayed this, or simply didn’t mention it at all.

Even when mixed Christian and Muslim areas of Old Damascus were shelled by terrorists occupying eastern Ghouta – and they were shelled for years, until Ghouta’s liberation – this terrorism, and the many maimed and killed, was underreported, if reported at all.

In one instance, after an elementary school was mortared (killing one child and injuring over 60 more) the BBC’s reporter later disingenuously wrote, “the government is also accused of launching [mortar shells] into neighborhoods under its control.”

In summer of 2016, I travelled around Syria, meeting Syrians who had started their lives anew, displaced by terrorists, and meeting Syrians who had survived terrorist attacks only to be living within a few hundred metres proximity to them and at daily risk of sniping and shelling.

And all the while, the same war propagandizing, script-reading media glossed over the horrific realities of life under terrorist rule, which included imprisonmenttorturestarvation, rape of women and public executions of civilians by sword or point-blank assassination.

‘Fallen’ cities, ‘chemical attacks’ and other lies

I’ve gone to many key cities and towns post-liberation from terrorist factions. Western media inevitably said these areas had “fallen,” bizarrely trying to claim that life under the government would be worse than life under the extremists who easily and routinely murdered civilians in the street.

Civilians under terrorist rule were starving – not by the Syrian government, but by the terrorists – and were often imprisoned in ghastly often underground prisons.

From the old city of Homs, to the ancient Aramaic-speaking village of Maaloula, to eastern Aleppo, to Madaya and al-Waer, to eastern Ghouta and even areas of Idlib province, civilians I met spoke of the hell they had lived under terrorist rule, and of their relief at being liberated.

When mass media said those areas “fell,” they were lying. Those areas returned to peace and stability.

UN representatives may feign concern and neutrality in matters Syria, but the UN has been complicit in ignoring terrorists’ shelling of Damascus and in silencing the voices of suffering civilians and Syrian representatives at the UN.

Then there is the issue of the alleged and never proven “chemical attacks” by the Syrian army.

I’ve written about the chemical weapons accusations, noting even a lead member of the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry, blamed the “rebels.”

Many journalists, including myself, have gone to Douma, the location of the latest alleged chemical attack, and interviewed medical staff and civilians, concluding that a chemical attack did not take place.

Douma witnesses spoke at The Hague, including a boy featured in Western media’s claims. Instead of considering these Syrian sources, pundits and media sneered at the “obscene masquerade” regarding the testimonies.

Yes, the same media which uncritically endorsed the Twitter account of a seven-year-old English-illiterate Aleppo girl as gospel in the lead up to the liberation of Aleppo refused to consider the testimonies of seventeen civilians from Douma.

The same media refused the revelations of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) whistleblowers who spoke out, damning the final OPCW report for its glaring omissions – omissions that completely changed the narrative around Douma.

In October 2020, the UN Security Council itself refused to allow Jose Bustani, former general director of the OPCW, to speak. I urge people to read Bustani’s words on the cover up of OPCW expert findings around the Douma allegations.

Still lying after all these years

Even now, five years after his image was plastered across global media as the “face of suffering in Syria,” allegedly hurt in a Russian or Syrian airstrike, the UK’s Independent has a photo of Aleppo boy Omran Daqneesh as its Twitter cover photo.

But this was a narrative debunked in mid-2017, when I met a healthy Omran and his father. The father specifically said there was no airstrike.

Still other lies that were debunked years ago are being recycled anew, in the West’s ceaseless attempt to criminalize Assad and legitimize the US coalition’s illegal presence in Syria.

But none of the media or pundits who claim to care about Syrians’ well-being address the actual causes (including terrorists) of their suffering, chief among which is the brutal Western sanctions against Syria, which directly impact on Syrian civilians’ ability to live and procure medicine, much less rebuild.

Also impacting on Syrians’ economy and sufficiency, the US’ theft of Syrian oil and cotton, and burning of wheat. And this, along with other US illegal policies in Syria, will only get worse under the Biden administration.

And if you peruse recent headlines, you’ll see the same old Western insistence that things won’t change until Assad is gone. They’ve blatantly said sanctions will continue until then.

And now they’re going after the first lady, a woman who is well-liked on the ground in Syria for dedicating her work to helping the country’s poorest through development and microfinance projects.

The West would have us believe she has “incited and encouraged terrorist acts,” a claim, emanating from the UK (which most definitely incited and encouraged terrorism), that would be laughable were it not so revolting.

Russia has called this “psychological pressure on the eve of the presidential election.”

A look at the legal entity behind the absurd allegations reveals this isn’t the first time they’ve attempted a legal attack against the Syrian government.

To adequately write about the past ten years of war on Syria would take volumes. For the sake of brevity: it need never have happened, nor the deaths and destruction accompanying it.

This was a premeditated and cruel war on the people of Syria, spurned forth by the media who truly do not care about the lives of Syrians.

To quote Father Daniel: “The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists.”

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years).

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 2 Comments

US is an ‘out-and-out eavesdropping empire,’ says Beijing, as Washington lists Chinese companies as security threat

RT | March 15, 2021

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has taken aim at Washington, labeling it ‘hypocritical’ and claiming it spies on its own allies, after the US designated five Chinese companies as posing a threat to national security under a 2019 law.
“The US government has generalized the concept of national security, abused national power and unscrupulously suppressed Chinese high-tech enterprises,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Monday.

These US practices are a complete contradiction of the market economy principles that America has always advertised, Zhao added, blasting Washington for its “groundless” and “hypocritical” move against Chinese firms.

The spokesman said other nations should not be wary of China, but the US, which is guilty of spying on everyone, including its own partners. “The United States has used its technological advantages and installed backdoors to carry out large-scale indiscriminate eavesdropping on other countries in the world, including its allies.”

“The United States is an out-and-out eavesdropping empire… The actions of the US have seriously harmed and threatened the security of other countries.”

On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated five Chinese companies, Huawei Technologies Co., ZTE Corp., Hytera Communications Corp., Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. as posing a threat to national security under a 2019 law aimed at protecting the US’s communications networks.

Acting FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement: “This list provides meaningful guidance that will ensure that as next-generation networks are built across the country, they do not repeat the mistakes of the past or use equipment or services that will pose a threat to US national security or the security and safety of Americans.”

Last week, Beijing criticized Washington after it was reported that President Joe Biden’s administration had tightened rules on dealing with Chinese tech giant Huawei, restricting US companies from supplying Huawei with products that can be used in 5G devices.

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 2 Comments