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Posts tagged ‘Northern Europe’

Popes John Paul II, John XXIII Canonized April 27.


Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be declared saints on April 27, 2014.

Pope Francis announced the date Monday during a meeting with cardinals inside the Apostolic PalaceA Newsmax exclusive revealed the correct date in early September.

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The date was set in April in part to help Catholics on pilgrimage, Newsmax Vatican correspondent Edward Pentin revealed.

Pope Francis “realized that in winter, it would be difficult for pilgrims from Poland and countries of Central and Northern Europe to attend, and so it was better to postpone until the spring,” Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told Newsmax.

Francis had announced in July he would canonize two of the 20th century’s most influential popes together, approving a miracle attributed to John Paul’s intercession and bending Vatican rules by deciding that John XXIII didn’t need one.

Analysts have said the decision to canonize them together was aimed at unifying the church since each has his own admirers and critics. Francis is clearly a fan of both: On the anniversary of John Paul’s death this year, Francis prayed at the tombs of both men — an indication that he sees a great personal and spiritual continuity in them.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Despite Data, Global Warming Backers Won’t Admit They’re Wrong.


Image: Despite Data, Global Warming Backers Won't Admit They're Wrong

Richard Rahn‘s Perspective: It’s hard for believers to admit they’re wrong.

Much of Northern Europe, including Britain, is suffering under the coldest winter and spring of the last 30 to 100 years. The Northeastern part of the United States has had a record cold March. The record cold in Europe has killed thousands and cost billions.
It was not supposed to be this way.

Back in 1998, scientist Michael Mann published a paper with the famous “hockey stick” showing a sharp rise in global temperatures. Mann and others argued that if global action was not taken immediately, then the temperature rise would be rapid and uncontrollable.

Much of Mann’s work was the basis for Al Gore’s famous film “An Inconvenient Truth.” What has turned out to be an inconvenient truth is that Mann and his allies were sloppy in their research and engaged in a campaign to disparage their critics.

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The United Kingdom’s Met Office has been a major source of global temperature data in recent decades, and has been heavily relied upon by global-warming proponents. On March 12, a report written by David Whitehouse and published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation concluded that “there has been no statistically significant increase in annual global temperatures since 1997.”

In the accompanying chart, using the same official data from the Met Office that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change uses, it can be easily seen that global temperatures have not been rising as predicted by the best-known climate models.

According to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, “The report shows that the temperature standstill has been a much discussed topic in peer-reviewed scientific literature for years, but that this scientific debate has neither been followed by most of the media, nor acknowledged by climate campaigners, scientific societies and prominent scientists.”

Lord Turnbull, former Cabinet secretary and head of the Home Civil Service, commented: “Dr. Whitehouse is a man who deserves to be listened to. He has consistently followed an approach of examining observations rather than projections of large-scale computer models, which are too often cited as ‘evidence.’ He looks dispassionately at the data, trying to establish what message it tells us, rather than using it to confirm a pre-held view.”

Those of us who have studied “public choice theory” are not particularly surprised that many scientists and their media followers are in denial about what is increasingly obvious — that is, most of the climate projections were just plain wrong. If a person has a strong vested interest in a particular point of view and obtains government grants to show what politicians want to hear, or if he has been very public in his beliefs based on faulty data or information, it is hard to say, “I was wrong.”

Politicians embrace any theory that justifies more taxing, spending and regulating because their power increases along with the accompanying financial opportunities.

Nobel laureate, economist and philosopher F.A. Hayek explained how there are limits to the knowledge that any one individual can possess, yet many have the “fatal conceit” that they know more than they do, and thus, they think they can plan and predict in ways they cannot.

It is no surprise that climate models were wrong. For them to have been right, the model builders would have had to know all of the significant variables that affect climate, and the magnitude and interaction of each of those variables.

There is virtually no single variable on which scientists are in total agreement about the magnitude of its effect. Carbon dioxide (CO2), for example, is considered to be very bad by most global-warming alarmists, including many officials in governments.

We know that some level of CO2 is necessary for life, but we do not know the optimum level. The higher the level, the more rapidly plants grow, and the cheaper food becomes. It is just as plausible to say that there is too little CO2 in the atmosphere as that there is too much to maximize human well-being.

One of the world’s foremost experts on climate change, professor Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado at Boulder, recently wrote: “Flooding has not increased over the past century, nor have landfalling hurricanes. Remarkably, the U.S. is currently experiencing the longest-ever recorded period with no strikes of a Category 3 or stronger hurricane.”

These anecdotes, along with a cold March, prove nothing one way or the other except that human beings know very little about what drives the climate.

Germany has spent more than 100 billion euros ($130 billion) on subsidizing the solar industry; yet, as Der Spiegel reported, “the 1.1 million solar systems have generated almost no power” this winter, and Germany is forced to import power from elsewhere. They are paying three or four times the U.S. rate for electricity, making many of their industries noncompetitive.

The U.S. has been equally stupid. Even The New York Times has acknowledged that the U.S. ethanol experiment has been a disaster. It has actually increased carbon emissions and the price of fuel and world food, which really whacks the poor — all because of a “fatal conceit.”

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth. Read more reports from Richard Rahn — Click Here Now.

© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC

Source: NEWSmax.com

EU leaders strike deal on long-term austerity budget.


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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders reached agreement on the first ever cut in their common budget on Friday after 24 hours of intense negotiations, seeking to placate millions at home struggling through government cutbacks and recession.

The expected deal met the demands of northern European countries such as Britain and the Netherlands that wanted belt-tightening, while maintaining spending on farm subsidies andinfrastructure to satisfy the likes of France and Poland.

It is the first net reduction to the EU’s long-term budget in the bloc’s history, representing a decrease of around 3 percent on the last budget and shaving spending in areas such as infrastructure, bureaucracy and scientific research.

Last-minute haggling over precisely how to divide up the 960 billion euros ($1.3 trillion) to be spent between 2014 and 2020 dragged out the process, before Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council and chairman of the summit, announced that a definitive deal had been struck among the leaders.

“Deal done!” he said in a message posted on Twitter.

At a news conference shortly afterwards, battling to stay alert after nearly 36 hours awake, Van Rompuy said the agreement was a budget of moderation that reflected straightened times.

“We simply could not ignore the extremely difficult economic realities across Europe, so it had to be a leaner budget,” he said. “For the first time ever, there is a real cut compared to the last multiannual financial framework.”

The deal must now be approved by the European Parliament, where leading legislators have already expressed opposition. Securing parliamentary approval is likely to take several months and is far from guaranteed.

After negotiating through the night, leaders broke for a brief rest, allowing German Chancellor Angela Merkel to swap her green jacket for a lilac one, and returned to address a list of questions, including how to satisfy smaller countries such as Romania and Bulgaria among the 28 states covered by the budget.

Mindful of their restive voters, Northern European countries were adamant that as they shrink spending at home and grapple with the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the European Union had to do the same by cutting headline spending.

Around 12 billion euros was cut from the last budget proposal, made at a summit in November, bringing the total reduction from the European Commission‘s original blueprint to 85 billion euros. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he was disappointed, but understood the logic.

While vast as a headline figure, in annual terms the budget amounts to just 1 percent of total EU economic output.

The cuts agreed fell mainly on spending for cross-border transport, energy and telecoms projects, which were reduced by more than 11 billion euros. Pay and perks for EU officials – a top target for Britain – were lowered by around 1 billion euros.

Spending on agriculture was spared further cuts, and there was an increase of about 1.5 billion euros on rural development over the seven years, satisfying France, Italy and Spain.

NARROW GAP

Even with a deal, around 40 percent of the spending will still be dedicated to farming, something that frustrates many northern European states, which want a more dynamic budget.

At the same time, officials said money had been set aside for measures to stimulate economic growth, for research and for structural funds to flow to countries worst hit by the economic crisis, including Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

There were also stipulations for green investment and 6 billion euros for a fund to combat youth unemployment via apprenticeships in hard-hit countries.

The deal still faces further hurdles, not least at the bloc’s parliament. “The European Parliament will not accept this deficit budget if it is adopted in this way. That is certain,” the parliament’s president Martin Schulz said.

Van Rompuy urged the parliament to be responsible and to reflect carefully before deciding to reject the spending plan.

In recent weeks, Van Rompuy has been in touch with every EU leader to assess where the contours of an agreement may lie.

But reaching a deal was never going to be a simple since it also involves delicate negotiations over rebates – amounts countries get reimbursed after they have made contributions.

Denmark won a refund of around 130 million euros a year, but other rebates were trimmed or modified. The Czech Republic was among a small group of countries that fought for final extra distributions, mostly for funds to build infrastructure.

The EU calculates two budget numbers: a headline ‘commitments’ figure that sets a ceiling on how much can be paid out, and a lower ‘payments’ figure that indicates what will actually be spent.

The baseline payments figure in the framework agreed on Friday was 908 billion euros, a figure low enough to convince Britain, which focuses on payments rather than commitments, that it was getting a satisfactory deal.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Charlie Dunmore and Jan Strupczewski | Reuters

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