Sunday, 14 September 2014

Germany’s move to sun and wind power and other news and views for Sunday 14 September

The small German island of Heligoland, a popular tourist destination, is undergoing dramatic change as the wind industry takes over. Video Credit By Erik Olsen on Publish Date September 13, 2014.
The small German island of Heligoland, a popular tourist destination, is undergoing dramatic change as the wind industry takes over. Video Credit By Erik Olsen on Publish Date September 13, 2014.
  • Sun and Wind Alter German Landscape, Leaving Utilities Behind  -“Of all the developed nations, few have pushed harder than Germany to find a solution to global warming. And towering symbols of that drive are appearing in the middle of the North Sea. They are wind turbines, standing as far as 60 miles from the mainland, stretching as high as 60-story buildings and costing up to $30 million apiece. On some of these giant machines, a single blade roughly equals the wingspan of the largest airliner in the sky, the Airbus A380. By year’s end, scores of new turbines will be sending low-emission electricity to German cities hundreds of miles to the south.”
  • The journalists who never sleep - “‘Robot writers’ that can interpret data and generate stories are starting to appear in certain business and media sectors.”
  • Power from the people: what privatisation has meant for Britain – “Britain has changed beyond recognition in the past 20 years. A failed government policy must take much of the blame.”
  • Iraq: The Outlaw State – Max Rodenbeck in the New York Review surveys four recently published books on Iraq and notes how a fusion of the homicidal and messianic is not without precedent in Iraq. The use of seemingly gratuitous cruelty as a form of display—as a talisman of godlike power and an advertisement of worldly success—has old roots there. “… the country that is now Iraq—although alas not, perhaps, for much longer in its current shape—is no stranger to the ghoulish and macabre. The Mongols, famously, built pyramids of skulls when they pillaged and razed Baghdad in 1258 and again in 1401. It was in Iraq in the 1920s that Britain introduced newer, cheaper methods for keeping unruly natives under control, such as chemical weapons and aerial “terror” bombings. Saddam Hussein’s three-decade-long Republic of Fear, with its gassing of Kurdish villagers, grotesque tortures, and mass slaughter of dissidents, made the later American jailers of Abu Ghraib look downright amateur.”
  • Sweden election: Social Democrats may regain power
  • Nations Trying to Stop Their Citizens From Going to Middle East to Fight for ISIS – “France wants more power to block its citizens from leaving the country, while Britain is weighing whether to stop more of its citizens from coming home. Tunisia is debating measures to make it a criminal offense to help jihadist fighters travel to Syria and Iraq, while Russia has outlawed enlisting in armed groups that are “contradictory to Russian policy.” The rapid surge of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and its ability to draw fighters from across the globe, have set off alarm bells in capitals worldwide. Countries that rarely see eye to eye are now trying to blunt its recruitment drive.@
  • Wine As Economic Indicator: Do Sales Of $50 Pinots And Merlots Predict Our Economy’s Future?
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