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Ends and Means

Guest Post by David Holland

The tragic event of Friday reminded me of a lunch-time chat that I had with a Russian, at the London meeting at which Ross McKitrick presented the Fraser Institute’s independent analysis of AR4 in February 2007.   Like others, I had been disappointed that the Russians had signed up to Kyoto and even more disappointed at the horse trading over gas prices that had led to it.   I had heard of Andrei Illarionov and knew he had been a close advisor to Vladimir Putin.   However, I must confess that I thought some of the shocking and frightening things that he said of Mr Putin might have been sour grapes.   Over the years since, and particularly after Friday, I have realised that Dr Illarionov was perhaps too soft on him.

It's worth looking back at the Guardian of 22 May 2004 with its headline “Putin throws lifeline to Kyoto as EU backs Russia joining WTO”
President Vladimir Putin yesterday reversed months of fervent opposition to the Kyoto protocol and agreed to speed up Russia's ratification of the treaty.
The change of heart - which provides the ratification necessary for the protocol to come into effect - follows a decision by the EU at a summit in Moscow yesterday to drop its objections to Russia joining the World Trade Organisation.
“The fact that the European Union has met us halfway at the negotiations on membership in the WTO cannot but influence Moscow's positive attitude towards ratification of the Kyoto protocol. We will accelerate our movement towards ratifying this protocol,” Mr Putin said at the summit.
In September 2004 Businessweek reported ‘Russia’s path to Kyoto’:
When the EU asked Russia to join in on Kyoto, not surprisingly, “Russia said: What's in it for us?” explains Annie Petsonk, international counsel for Environmental Defense (ED). Russia wanted more than the dollars from emissions trading, it wanted EU support for its entry into the World Trade Organization.
“But the EU wanted Russia in Kyoto badly enough to compromise and support its WTO membership bid. Europe will allow Russia to keep natural gas prices lower at home -- as long as Russia agrees to slowly raise them. The Continent's companies also realized that having Russia sign on to Kyoto would help them because they could meet their own Kyoto targets more cheaply by buying Russian emissions reductions.”
In fact no one bought many Russian emission credits but much of Europe became dependent on Russian gas.   Whether we realised it then or not, gas is a political weapon that we gave Russia in exchange for Kyoto.   Russia has abandoned Kyoto but still has its weapon unless we follow suit, and reopen our coal-fired stations and 're-life' our nuclear power stations in the short term.     For the longer term we need to get fracking and developing safe, socially acceptable and economic low carbon energy sources including nuclear. 
Dr Illarionov came in for some harsh words but I think history may judge him better.


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Reader Comments (70)

Text of letter sent to Telegraph this am.

"“Time to punish Putin says PM” (Telegraph 22nd Jul) Has he checked with his Lib Dem Energy Secretary? As I write the National Grid is supplied by Coal 16% Nuclear 23% Gas 45% Wind 3% Other (mostly import from nuclear France) 13%. When Putin turns off the gas to Europe in retaliation, then what? Unless we embrace other sources of energy such as fracking, we shall be in no position to confront a Russia with its hand on the European gas supply. To exacerbate this position, the coalition has pledged to reduce drastically the coal and nuclear contribution which leaves us with wind. Get the candles ready!

Jul 22, 2014 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Hanwell

We should follow Germany's lead and build some coal fired power stations: with great haste. But we should also refurbish our existing stock, where possible. But we know that this will never happen, whilst the LibDems share in the government.

Jul 22, 2014 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Putin must smile everytime the Greens demonstrate against fracking. Even he must see how stupid they are.

We shut coal-fire power stations Germany builds them! How idiotic can you get!

Jul 22, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

I guess the sour grapes info is not for publication?

Amusingly (sort of) Putin rolls around the world setting up a major bank and getting trade deals. And all we see from our lot is big loose mouth threats with joyous news of turbines in the channel. Plus the dumping of some good grey, male and stale folk. No good end to all this.

You sit on you're ar*se long enough following the lefty hand wringers and stuff has either happened or is going to happen before you get your 1st phone call out.

Just to think...all those tracker radars are watching.

Jul 22, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

The top 3 posters have each hit absolute bulls eyes.

Before Cameron struts his tough-guy stuff on the global stage he may consider what could possibly happen to the well-being of millions of people, not to mention the UK economy & industry, when Putin turns the gas taps to 'Off'?

If we can see this so clearly why cannot the people tasked with running the damn country?! As has been said so many times before, this passes careless and instead is full-speed ahead reckless.

Jul 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

Aren't you ignoring that we get most of our coal from Russia too.

Jul 22, 2014 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Unlike gas, coal is easily transportable and we can get it from Australia, USA, China if necessary.

Jul 22, 2014 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

We need coal fired power, perhaps we could follow Germany and use their technology and brown coal from them. With 30 years of stupid energy policies behind us there'll be no quick fixes unfortunately.

Jul 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS


"Even he [Putin] must see how stupid they [greens] are." Actually he's way ahead of us, financing the useful greendiots for his own ends - Bishop Hill

Jul 22, 2014 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Jones

Unlike gas, coal is easily transportable and we can get it from Australia, USA, China if necessary.
Or how about even from under our own feet? There's reckoned (at the latest I heard) to be still about 300-years worth of easily recoverable coal under the UK.
It really is time that Cameron told his "partners" where to get off. Re-activate coal-fired stations; put subsidy (if needed) into re-opening pits; get cracking on cheap, small, modern nuclear (not the obsolescent technology the UK has signed up to). And stop poncing about the world thinking that anyone cares any more what the UK is doing or saying.
Do you think the Lib-Dims would dare oppose these measures properly explained? And put the final nail in the coffin? I don't think so.

Jul 22, 2014 at 12:10 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Masterly understatement in the last sentence of the post!

I'd like to think that there will be the 'Illarionov Prize' to displace the discredited Nobel Peace Prize which seems to be in the hands of adolescents in Norway.

Delingpole is worth quoting at length from his 2010 article where I have put Illarionov's words in italics:

Sir David – who, like Osama Bin Laden, believes strongly in man-made global warming – has had a bit of a problem with the Russkies ever since they made him look ridiculous at an international climate seminar in Moscow in July 2004 chaired by Putin's chief economic adviser Alexander Illarionov.

According to Christopher Booker's The Real Global Warming Disaster, Sir David was horrified to find so many sceptical scientists at the conference and tried, unsuccessfully to have them censored. The final straw came during a speech by Professor Paul Reiter, one of the first IPCC contributors to point up the flaws in the IPCC process: the 2001 report had utterly misrepresented his expert views on insect-borne diseases in order to make it seem as if the incidence of malaria would increase with "global warming."

As Booker recounts:

"When King himself then put forward the now familiar claim that global warming was responsible for the melting of the ice on summit of Kilimanjaro, Reiter challenged him by referring to various studies showing that the melting had been taking place since the 1880s. It was due not to global warming, these had concluded, but to deforestation causing a sharp drop in local precipitation. Apparently unable to answer Reiter's point, King broke off in mid-sentence and led his delegation out of the room."

Illarianov was appalled by the behaviour of Sir David and his delegation, he wrote afterwards:

"It is not for us to give an assessment to what happened but in our opinion the reputation of British science, the reputation of the British government and the reputation of the title "Sir" has sustained heavy damage."

I'm touched that the Independent continues to do the charitable work of making Sir David feel better about himself by still taking him seriously. But I'm not sure I can promise to carry on this tradition when I take over as Environment Editor.

Problem is, I'm with Illarionov. I believe, as he does, that the eco-fascist ideology and warped science underpinning the AGW scam are like something out of Stalin's Soviet Union.

As Illarionov wrote:

That ideological base can be juxtaposed and compared with man-hating totalitarian ideology with which we had the bad fortune to deal during the twentieth century, such as National Socialism, Marxism, Eugenics, Lysenkovism and so on. All methods of distorting information existing in the world have been committed to prove the alleged validity of these theories. Misinformation, falsification, fabrication, mythology, propaganda.

Jul 22, 2014 at 12:22 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Frau Merkel has been strangely silent on the matter of the downing of flight MH17.

Perhaps the fact that they get 35% of their gas from Russia might have something to do with it...

Jul 22, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Sorry, this post stinks.

The subtext of this is that Putin is a monster, a Keiser, Hitler, Musolini or Hirohito bogeyman on the strength of his reluctance to completely ignore ethnic Russians being cleansed by a western backed coup from their homeland. The airspace above the fighting is a mixture of planes that bomb ethnic Russian targets, and civilian aircraft deliberately directed over the area by the western backed government regime. A ragbag of rebels down a civilian aircraft with a patched up launcher, the yanks had no such excuse when they downed an Iranian airbus killing all on board, including many children.

How are the Wahabi regimes of Saudi Arabia or Qatar more enlightened than Russia?. In which society would you feel more at home?. Are we to spurn hydrocarbons from fundamentalist arab regimes because of the hell they are sponsoring/raising n Syria, Iraq and across north Africa, with the help of the west toppling the strongmen that gave some stability.

If goods can not cross borders then armies will.

Long may we buy goods from Russia in exchange for overpriced London real estate etc.

The hysterical anti Russian propaganda in the press today makes me wonder if anything at all has been learned from events in Europe 100 years ago, from which classical liberalism has never recovered.

Jul 22, 2014 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterian h

I bet Ian h has never, as I have, worked in Russia. The Russian psyche is brutal, mysoginistic and intolerant. In 1942, in the Canal zone, my father saw a Russian soldier summarily executed by his officer for a misdemeanour.

The fact is, every generation there's a member of the intelligentsia in charge; it was Yeltsin. Then he's replaced by a brutal bully - Yeltsin.

Jul 22, 2014 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

"gas is a political weapon that we gave Russia in exchange for Kyoto."

We? Britain takes very little gas from Russia.

I find this energy-markets-as-geopolitics thing disconcerting. A bit like the idea that the War on Terror etc were 'about oil', it is BS.

Of course Russia seems to have the power to switch off the gas supply to parts of Europe. But it has very little interest in doing so. Those pipelines are not sticks to beat people with, they are cash cows. The idea that the gas supply gives Putin leverage is somewhat far-fetched.

I'm all up for more nuclear, and domestic production of gas and oil. But not because it 'reduces our dependence on energy imports', or for that matter on Putin. For instance, it might be better to import energy, if we're better at adding value to it than producing it.

Climate sceptics should not get caught up in Russophobia. Clearly, the EU did have some kind of interest in getting Russia on board with Kyoto, and self-serving UK officials were part of that process. The EU's interests now seem to lie in belittling Russia, and adding not inconsiderable tensions to its borders. As I have pointed out elsewhere, the image of Putin as some kind of tyrant, that seems to dominate European commentary belies the fact that he has a democratic mandate, whereas many European political institutions don't. And worse, where they have been denied a mandate, they have said 'we don't care'.

This is no defence of Russia or Putin. But I'd sooner buy gas from Gazprom than buy into the Russophobia that the EU (and US) now finds expedient.

Jul 22, 2014 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

" In 1942, in the Canal zone, my father saw a Russian soldier summarily executed by his officer for a misdemeanour."

Gosh, so shocking given that, at the time, the entire continent... no, the world... was at peace.

We can judge a country by a third hand account of an interaction between two Russians, under a brutal dictatorship, in a war, against Nazism, seventy years ago.

Jul 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

I've done some fairly intensive study of the desert campaign and while there were British and Indians and South Africans there during the retreat to and then advance from El Alamein this is the first time anyone has suggested that there were any Russians in the area.
Unless you're thinking of a different canal.
My studies of WWII are by no means definitive but the only contacts I recall between UK and Soviet troops prior to the final meeting of the two fronts in 1945 were in the northern ports where convoys were unloaded and occasional forays by Bomber Command staging out of Soviet airfields trying to clobber Tirpitz.

Jul 22, 2014 at 1:46 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

While we're on the subject of Russia and climate. Let us not forget that it was Jeff Sachs who helped to completely ruin the lives of Russians where the CCCP had not quite completed the task. He created the ground for the oligarchs. And it is Sachs who now lectures the world on 'sustainability'.

Jul 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

If I want jingoistic inuendo against the political rivals of our masters in their great game I dont need to read Bishop Hills blog, the Daily Mail will suffice.

The great thing about international trade is that nations that freely trade with each other for mutual advantage are more likely to find peaceful solutions to disagreements. Bring on the Russian gas/oil/coal, if it is cheaper than that from elsewhere. Good on Merkel for not rushing to judgement, would she have joined in the escalations before proper investigation had it not been for the gas?.

I accept your brutal Russian officer and raise you the photograph album of my school friend's father from the Burma campaign, complete with lines of farm women tied to bamboo poles and executed by British soldiers for hiding ammunition. Soldiers are brutal.

Jul 22, 2014 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterian h

"...but much of Europe became dependent on Russian gas"

That happened a long, long time before 2004.

Europe today is less dependent on Russian gas than in 2004. BTW, wholesale gas prices are falling steadily in Europe, and even more sharply in the Far East, where they are now back to pre-Fukushima levels. And oil is softer, too - Gaza, Iraq and Donetsk notwithstanding.

That's Putin's other big problem: declining revenues from his primary exports. He's in a corner, all right.

Jul 22, 2014 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterNick Drew

oh, and BTW (2): in the Red Army, the death penalty was a company-level punishment in wartime, therefore available to any Field Officer (or Commissar)

Jul 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterNick Drew

Ian: "I accept your brutal Russian officer and raise you the photograph album of my school friend's father from the Burma campaign, complete with lines of farm women tied to bamboo poles and executed by British soldiers for hiding ammunition."

Exactly the image I was thinking of. And worse.

Jul 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

To Ben Pile: the survivors of the fight for supremacy in Russia in the 1990s, like GRU Putin, only know force. I saw it first hand and with an American banker was arrested on the street by militia, and interrogated.

50 years before my father saw the same mentality.

Jul 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

I've been banging on about this for a while! As it stands DECC's mission is utterly and completely useless for the age we live in! Given the issues with Russia's desires to rebuild it's empire avid instability in the Arab world DECC should instead become the DEES, or the Department for Energy and Energy Security where's it's role is to deliver a coherent energy policy AND protect the UK from suppliers who would easily be our enemies!


Jul 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

"I saw it first hand and with an American banker was arrested on the street by militia, and interrogated."

If I had seen my family experience the consequences of Jeffry Sach's policies in post-soviet Russia, I would treat American bankers with exactly the same ruthlessness.

If you create Wild West capitalism, you can expect day-to-day life to look like the Wild West.

Jul 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

" ... Russia's desires to rebuild it's empire ... "

Because the EU had no desire to expand...

Jul 22, 2014 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

I'm with Ian h and Ben on this as if anyone cares.

Jul 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Ben Pile

Jeffrey Sachs and George Soros , the American gangsters who raped Russia and stole its oil are two of the biggest supporters of global warming.

Ignore the man behind the curtain.

The Sunday Times can identify Lord (Jacob) Rothschild as the secret holder of the large stake in Yukos that was previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil company’s chairman.

Khodorkovsky, reputed to be Russia’s richest man, was last week arrested by Russian prosecutors on charges of fraud and tax evasion. His imprisonment has triggered a trustee agreement he put in place with Rothschild a few months ago.

Russian prosecutors tried to freeze a 44% stake in Yukos on Thursday. Their move highlighted the previously unknown arrangement that allowed voting rights to be transferred to an unnamed foreigner — Rothschild — should Khodorkovsky be unable to “act as a beneficiary” of the shares. It is thought that Khodorkovksy, 40, took this precaution when he realised he was facing arrest. The shares are held via the Gibraltar-based Menatep Group.

Jul 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Russia signed up for trillions of dollars of carbon credits. However, carbon trading, like its creator, Enron disintegrated. It was simply too corrupt to survive.

Global warming. Probably the biggest financial scam in history.

Jul 22, 2014 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Ben Pile,

As evil as the EU maybe they, at least, aren't in the same league as our Russian friends!


Jul 22, 2014 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Xx Colin,

I can’t remember verbatim a casual seven-year-old conversation, but events since, rightly or wrongly, attributed to Putin fit with what he was implying.


I am no Russophobe. On the contrary I believe we owe a great debt to the heroic people of Russia. I also believe we handled the aftermath of WWII badly and the fall of communism even worse. I agree that Crimea is historically Russian and we should have had more sense than to provoke Russia over the Ukraine. However, the circumstantial evidence against Putin is compelling and, if he is a tyrant, he is not the first that was democratically elected.

I am also well aware that we did not need to import gas back in 2004, but we had more or less met our proposed Kyoto emissions targets using it. It was not hard to figure out that others would, if we let Russia into the WTO. Kyoto should have been a coalition of the scientifically convinced and willing, not brought into force by a political deal.

Jul 22, 2014 at 3:45 PM | Registered CommenterDavid Holland

Gawd the sheer amount of ignorance on display by Ianh and Ben Pile here is quite astounding...

IanH: Ethnic cleansing of Russians in Ukraine? Sheer and utter poppycock! Did you get that from Russia Today?

Ben Pile: "War on terror nothing to do with oil? Well maybe but the Iraq war was most certainly about oil and for any journalist of any hue not to know this is quite unbelievable. Just google 'Project for a new American Century' and find their plan for the invasion of Iraq signed by Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Jeb Bush specifically because Saddam posed a threat to oil supplies. This was when Clinton was in power, long before 9/11. It may even still be on their website for download.

Why yes of course Gazprom will suffer but does Putin care about that more than the 85% popularity ratings he gets everytime he starts a conflict? Well apparently not! In fact Putin tells Gazprom exactly what to do whether it is for the good of the country or for his personal aggrandizement. We've even seen him on TV do exactly that! Why yes it would be wonderful for Russia to be a trustworthy trade partner. It was a hope, no more. Alas....Putin doesn't seem to want that for whatever dumb reason of his own.

And no it isn't Russophobia in the least: It's all about Putin, not Russia. That so many Russians have been duped by their own media is mainly just a sad and pathetic demonstration of how relentless propaganda can move the opinion of the sheeple so easily. As soon as Putin is removed the same way as his theiving puppet Yanukovitch the better and safer the world will be.

Jul 22, 2014 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

The Ukraine situation was 100% created by American gangsters like George Soros and various branches of the US government . Same as 2004/5.

According to The Guardian, the foreign donours included the U.S. State Department and USAID along with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, the NGO Freedom House and George Soros's Open Society Institute.[34] The National Endowment for Democracy, a foundation supported by the U.S. government, has supported non-governmental democracy-building efforts in Ukraine since 1988.[35] Writings on nonviolent struggle by Gene Sharp contributed in forming the strategic basis of the student campaigns.[32]

Soros Foundation and U.S. influence

Opponents of the colour revolutions often accuse the Soros Foundation and/or the United States government of supporting and even planning the revolutions in order to serve Western geopolitical interests. It is noteworthy that after the Orange Revolution several Central Asian nations took action against the Open Society Institute of George Soros with various means – Uzbekistan, for example, forced the shutting down of the OSI regional offices, while Tajikistan's state-controlled media have accused OSI-Tajikistan of corruption and nepotism.[15] People who applauded the colour revolutions did so also.[16]

Evidence suggesting U.S. government involvement includes the USAID (and UNDP) supported Internet structures called Freenet[citation needed], which are known to comprise a major part of the Internet structure in at least one of the countries – Kyrgyzstan – in which one of the colour revolutions occurred.

The Guardian[16] claimed that USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and Freedom House are directly involved; the Washington Post and the New York Times also reported substantial Western involvement in some of these events

Jul 22, 2014 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Russians aren't the only exponents of endless propaganda. I've come to the point of expecting every news story on the BBC to have at least an angle on trying to manipulate the way I think. We used to sneer at Soviet-era Pravda - not so much now.

Jul 22, 2014 at 4:31 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

Still thousands of Nukes out there.Perhaps it is rather fortunate that the west is so reliant on Russian gas otherwise NATO would be cranking it up at Def Com 4 by now.

Cameron despite bringing all the those finely dressed women into his cabinet and he still looks like a little boy up against Putin. Ukraine ,Egypt,Syria ,Iraq, Israel and Gaza Obama and John Kerry don't look much better.

When Putin wants to look tough he takes his shirt off and chops wood in a forest in front of the Cameras and then invades a former Russian soviet state .Western leaders just talk tough on Climate Change because they can,t talk tough on much of anything else.

Jul 22, 2014 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Sure seems to be a lot of Russophobia about recently.

The extraordinary policitcal outrage at the likely unintended deaths of just under 300 poeple in the Ukraine is in extreme contrast to the slimy retoric from the politicos concerning over twice that number deliberately killed by Israel.

Jul 22, 2014 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

Outfoxed by Putin? Definitely true.

Putin's fans, please move to Russia ASAP.

Jul 22, 2014 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurious George

ian h,
I think an accurate review of events would show that Russia has been performing a slow annexation of Ukraine for many years. They have used poisoning, killing and corruption to bring Ukraine back into control. The people of Ukraine finally pushed back and Russia annoyed.

Jul 22, 2014 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Ian H
"The hysterical anti Russian propaganda in the press today makes me wonder if anything at all has been learned from events in Europe 100 years ago, from which classical liberalism has never recovered."

I agree.

Putin is certainly tough - you have to be to run Russia - but he's not a mass murderer (unlike a certain Nu-Labour PM).
He doesn't 'want' Ukraine (it's a basketcase economy anyway), but he does not like EU (and US) meddling in Kiev and pushing the EU empire east with NATO in its wake.
Of course he looks after Russia's interests as priority - that's what leaders are supposed to be for. He has remained remarkably restrained after the western inspired coup in Kiev. He quickly moved to protect his Black Sea fleet (as we would with Faslane if Salmond suddenly and violently declared UDI) - very sensible - but has shown little desire to 'invade' the rest of Ukraine currently being run in Kiev by extreme anti-semites and fascists of various hues.
Putin has protected his oil and gas industry by condemning fracking etc - yes classic bullying tactics that all corporates carry on. Microsoft has done this for years with the result the world is now in hoc to an OS which has the quality of design one might expect from the ministry of agriculture in North Korea: bad beyond all comparison.
Nonetheless Putin is regarded as a pariah whereas Bill Gates is viewed as a 'benefactor'.

Jul 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Foster

Award wining 2011 Sundance Film Festival documentary "When a tree falls the Earth screams" about a Terrorist group called The Earth Liberation Front.
What would happen if these idiots got hold of a couple of surface to air Stinger heat seeking the end of the runway.No more cheap Easy Jet flights.

Great FOI request see what files MI5 and Special Branch have got on Eco Terrorism.

They were ready to fire bomb Owen Patersons house .Very easy to trace Twitter Trolls inciting a violent act so did the police investigate?

Jul 22, 2014 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Philip ... have you followed Russia's multitude of wars over the time of Putin's reign? Are you aware of the atrocities commited? The steps being used to destabilize the east of Ukraine have been trod before. Only then the west let Putin get away with it. It's also false to call the Ukraine crisis an East vs West conflict. Where are the desires of the Ukrainian people to run their own country? Shouldn't they have a say independent of Russian aggression and independent of Russian troops and armaments?

Jul 22, 2014 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeP

I recall that the prospect of the Europeans making gas deals with the then Soviet Union prompted Ronald Reagan to express his concern about the consequences of Europe becoming dependent on Soviet gas.

He was ignored of course, after all he was an unsophisticated cowboy, a former actor and worst of all an American.

Since Reagan has gone to the big ranch in the sky I suggest the Europeans replace their Russian gas with solar cells, wind turbines and bicycles as they have so sanctimoniously been advising the rest of the world for so long.

Jul 22, 2014 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

As a former resident of Russia (7 years) and having been constantly in touch with Russians - including two Ukrainian Russians - I fully support Philip Foster's statement. Remember that this goes back to the NATO / Russia Act of 1997 which - inter alia - was meant to confirm Russia's quiescence in the merging of the two Germanies (post-facto) and as a quid-pro-quo NATO would not encroach further eastwards, which NATO soon overlooked. I could write much more, but just one point: this reminds me of Chamberlain who thought (re: Czechoslovakia) it was really only about lines on a map.

Jul 22, 2014 at 10:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Spilligan

The 'Ukraine has long been a global breadbasket because of its extensive, fertile farmlands. As of 2011, it was the world's third-largest grain exporter with that year's harvest being much larger than average.' (Wiki)

But it has also been a seething politically unstable basket case throughout 44,000 years of its inhabited history, continuing in the present day, and only 'enjoying' political independence since 1991. (Wiki- again)

And clearly still the subject of covetous political provocation - which needs wise cool heads to resolve.

But I do think it was a boneheaded conclusion to consider that airspace 'safe' for international commercial flights.

Jul 22, 2014 at 10:03 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Does the current situation in the Ukraine remind anyone else of the Sudetenland in the late 1930s?

Jul 22, 2014 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

"Philip ... have you followed Russia's multitude of wars over the time of Putin's reign..."
In reply have you followed all the wars the West have waged during the same period? Iraq, Afghanistan...Libya, all on going and getting worse. We narrowly avoided getting dragged into Syria.
Baroness Ashton was in Kiev among the rioters, the head of the CIA ditto. If Putin's head of KGB had been there... can you imagine the outcry in MSM ?
Ukraine is part of Germany's fear of the East and G is using the EU (and gullible Cameron) as a cover for its own expansionism. Yes it has similarities to the Sudetenland (entropic man), but it's the same nation doing it I am afraid.
Mike Spilligan above has it well expressed. The EU is the aggressor here and, being bankrupt, it can only hope to survive by expanding east (Remember, Cameron was it? 'from Spain to the Urals'?).

Jul 22, 2014 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Foster

Jul 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Foster
Philip Foster +100

Jul 22, 2014 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas

It should be noted that the Russian economy collapsed during the 1990's, falling from $0.51T to $0.20T in 1999, the year after they defaulted on their debt. They emitted more CO2, 2.1 GT in 1992, than they did in 2010, 1.7 GT. However, now that their economy has rebounded ($2.1T), they will want to spend it on the higher standard of living that comes from increased use of fossil fuel.

Jul 22, 2014 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank

As Illarionov wrote:

That ideological base can be juxtaposed and compared with man-hating totalitarian ideology with which we had the bad fortune to deal during the twentieth century, such as National Socialism, Marxism, Eugenics, Lysenkovism and so on. All methods of distorting information existing in the world have been committed to prove the alleged validity of these theories. Misinformation, falsification, fabrication, mythology, propaganda.

Like this, for example: TWA Flight 800 was shot down

Jul 22, 2014 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

Samuel Johnson on Americans

"Sir, they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for anything we allow them short of hanging."

Says it all for me. We should have hung them when we had the chance. They have crime built in their DNA and their culture. They call it 'manifest destiny'.

Some call it genocide

"However, the 1763 Treaty of Paris removed the French from North America; and might have opened the West for the American colonists, had not George III prevented them from expanding by preserving the trans-Appalachian West for the native Americans. This made the colonists angry at the British this time. As the colonial quarrel grew in the late 1760s and 1770s, French authorities were keen observers out of geopolitical rivalry with Great Britain in the region, and in general. Here was an opportunity to get back at Britain by contributing to the break-up of its empire. Such was French anticipation upon their official involvement in the conflict. "

Jul 23, 2014 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

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