Dr. Merkel is the #1 driving force behind keeping the anti-Russian sanctions in place, the good US lapdog that she is. Yet at the same time, Germany and Russia merrily work on planning the expansion of the North-Stream pipeline, where at the same time Brussels ordered Bulgaria to stop implementing South-Stream. Italian PM Renzi, one of the EU politicians with the relatively most positive attitude towards Putin-Russia, got irritated by this and a row escalated during the last summit in Brussels. According to Tusk, the discussion had been “hard” and “emotional”.
After all, the South-Stream pipeline was torpedoed as part of the sanctions policies and now Germany does go ahead with North-Stream, making Germany the main distributor of Russian gas in Europe. No wonder the other Europeans are mad about this German hypocrisy.
For the record: we want maximum European dependency on Russian gas & oil and as such want to see both South-Stream and North-Stream expansion implemented without delay or “third energy package” baloney (and all sanctions lifted).
[spiegel.de] – Pipeline-Projekt Nordstream 2: Heftiger Streit zwischen Merkel und Renzi auf EU-Gipfel
[politico.eu] – Matteo Renzi picks fight with Angela Merkel
‘You cannot say that you are giving your blood to Europe,’ the Italian premier told the German chancellor at the EU summit. “It was very impressive how tough he was” in confronting Merkel on several key EU issues, said a minister who was in the room. The clash with Merkel highlights Renzi’s increasingly confrontational posture towards EU officials… Renzi is under political pressure at home, facing local elections next year in which he is expected to lose ground to populist, Euroskeptic parties. During the course of the two-day meeting in Brussels, Renzi went on the attack against Berlin several times, according to sources. And with Italians increasingly disillusioned with German-led Europe, his more aggressive strategy could be popular with voters… Renzi also accused Merkel of a political double-standard over the involvement of German companies in the construction of a gas pipeline with Russia, Nord Stream, at a time when the EU is about to approve the extension of sanctions against Moscow, according to a diplomat. Renzi said he was opposed to automatically renewing the sanctions without opening a discussion on the pipeline project.
Italian peak demand was 2004 and is sliding into the abyss since. This can explain the global crash in fossil fuel prices, if other countries had similar demand destruction patterns. But if you go to page 40 of the pdf, linked to below, you can verify that fossil fuel demand in most developed countries is indeed stagnating or slightly declining since 2004, although not as strong as Italy. But if you compare the global consumption over the last few years, you see it is flat, which leads to the conclusion that the collapse of oil prices over the past year cannot be explained from a sudden collapse of demand over the same period. There is another mechanism at work.
[cassandralegacy] – Post-peak Italy: the decline continues
Many peak oil doomers maintain that you can’t have an advanced society without fossil fuel. This can be debunked at least for the production of (biodegradable) plastic. Brussels intend to lift the quotum on the production of sugar beets from October 1, 2017. From then on the sky will be the limit. It is expected that European farmers will produce a lot more sugar beets, especially in the Netherlands, where currently 5% of the agricultural area is used for this purpose, but this number could grow to 14%. Purpose: plastic production. Expected investment volume for building three new processing plants in the coming 10 years: 1-3 billion euro.
[nos.nl] – Hoe je van een suikerbiet plastic maakt
Planting sugar beets in Biddinghuizen, the Netherlands
Harvesting sugar beets. Seeing pictures like these it is not difficult to understand why modern Dutch agriculture only needs ca. 3% of the workforce to keep a vibrant sector going and is the 2nd largest agricultural exporter after the US, but before Germany and France.
Biodegradable plastic production from sugar beet (waste) in Italy
In 1989 two of the world’s leading electrochemists, the Brit Fleischmann and American Frenchman Pons, shocked the world with their announcement that they had found a way to initiate a exogenous nuclear fusion reaction at room temperature. After initial world wide excitement, things calmed down. Cold fusion research however never really stopped and now an Italian inventor and entrepreneur Andrea Rossi claims to have developed a cold fusion or Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) thermal power source. 1-megawatt cold fusion power plant now available, that is on pre-order – yours for just $1.5 million.
[extremetech.com] – 1-megawatt cold fusion power plant now available – yours for just $1.5 million
[forbes.com] Finally! Independent Testing Of Rossi’s E-Cat Cold Fusion Device: Maybe The World Will Change After All
[forbes.com] – Psstt! Want An E-Cat LENR Generator? For Free?
[wikipedia.org] – Cold fusion
Varese Ligure is located in northern Italy and has 2400 inhabitants and produces more electricity from renewable sources than it consumes. The number of tourists increased six fold as a result. Varese Ligure has four wind turbines. Several buildings have solar panels and to top it off: 108 organic farms supply 98 percent of the town’s food.
Compare this graph with a post from May this year to see that Germany is making progress with breakneck-speed. And clearly, if a country can cover 50% of its electricity needs from solar during peak hours, it also can cover 100%, provided sufficient storage facilities are available. The big difference between Germany and the US probably largely has to do with cost.
Here is an article with a lot of solar data, like cost.