Archive for August, 2012

China’s on-grid wind power capacity sees substantial growth – 87% annually over 6 years[Xinhua]

Posted in Alternative Energy, China on August 31, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) — China’s wind power sector has witnessed substantial growth, with the country’s on-grid wind power capacity reaching over 50 gigawatts to date, the State Grid said Wednesday.

The State Grid, China’s largest utility company, said in a press release that on-grid wind power capacity under its distribution has reached 50.26 gigawatts as of this year, indicating an annual growth rate of 87 percent for the last six years.

However, the regional concentration of wind resources and technical obstacles have prevented the efficient use of wind power, the company said.

Zhang Zhengling, spokesman for the State Grid, said China’s utilization of wind energy has reached a "relatively high level" following a string of measures to monitor and adjust the use of the energy.

In 2011, power generated from wind totaled 70.6 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh), 28.2 times the amount generated in 2006, according to Zhang.

Linking regional networks to the national power grid remains a stumbling block for the growth of the sector, Zhang said.

"The key problem is that regional connections are still weak, and there is not yet a unified national market and corresponding grid network," said Shu Yinbiao, deputy manager of the State Grid.

Shu said China should speed up the construction of trans-regional power grids in order to meet its new energy development goals.

The country’s on-grid wind power capacity is expected to reach 100 gigawatts by 2015 and 200 gigawatts by 2020.

The focus on new energy comes as the country tries to shift away from fossil fuels and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent per unit of gross domestic product by 2015.

Article link here

“NBC’s war for fun and profit” [Glenn Greenwald @ Salon]

Posted in Corporate Media Critique, Pentagon on August 30, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

A new reality show of soldiers and celebrities playing war games showcases our [the US’] national religion: military worship

by Glenn Greenwald

Aug. 13, 2012

[Excerpted]

A new military-themed reality show from NBC, entitled “Stars Earn Stripes,” debuts tonight [sic]. The show “enthusiastically melds warfare and fame,” as a Washington Post review today put it. It features eight celebrities (using the loosest definition of that term) — …paired up with “military and law enforcement veterans, including a Green Beret, a SWAT officer, two Marine sergeants, a retired member of the Delta Force and two Navy SEALs”, whom NBC hails as the “Bad Ass Operatives.” They’re all under the “command” of Gen. Wesley Clark, who once actually thought he should be President, as he co-hosts this reality show with former Dancing with the Stars host Samantha Harris…

…of course, the substantial profit NBC hopes to make from selling commercials won’t be donated to veterans groups at all but will be tallied up as corporate profits — but that’s all just totally incidental to the Honor The Troops goal motivating all of this.

The ways in which this is all so sleazy, repulsive and propagandistic are too self-evident to require much discussion. There is, though, a real value: here we have a major television network finally being relatively candid about the fact that they view war and militarism, first and foremost, as a source of entertainment and profit…

Full article here

China’s "father of hybrid rice" expects increasing yields [Xinhua]

Posted in China on August 30, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

XI’AN, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) — Yuan Longping, a scientist who helped develop some of the first strains of hybrid rice, said Monday that yields from the rice are expected to reach 1,000 kg per mu (0.0667 hectares) by 2020.

Yuan, 82, presented the latest progress regarding the development of "super-hybrid" rice at an international academic conference on hybrid grain held in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi province.

Experimental research on the new strain has entered a critical period, Yuan said.

"Scientifically speaking, hybrid rice has the potential (to reach the yield target)," he said.

Research on super-hybrid rice began in 1996 as part of the country’s efforts to ensure food security.

A team of researchers led by Yuan reached a target unit yield of 700 kg per mu and 800 kg per mu in 2000 and 2005, respectively, setting world records both times. Last September, his team further raised the yield to 926.6 kg per mu.

Article link here

“Strategic pivot of stabilizing economic growth and adjusting economic structure” – China’s Minister of Industry and Information Tech speaks [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, CPC Central Committee (CPCCC) on August 30, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Miao Wei (People’s Daily Online)

August 12, 2012

The CPC Central Committee and the State Council have always attached great importance to the strategic status of the integration of informationization and industrialization in the process of China’s modernization, whether it was on the 16th CPC National Congress, which proposed "to stimulate industrialization with information technology and promote informationization with industrialization," the 17th CPC National Congress, which proposed "to vigorously promote the integration of informationization and industrialization," or on the Fifth Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee, which explicitly put forward "to promote a deeper integration of informationization and industrialization." The integration of informationization and industrialization has been viewed as an important task on the new path of industrialization with Chinese characteristics, as well as a strategic pattern to push the industrialization forward.

Currently, the international and domestic economic environment becomes more complicated and the world’s economic resurgence is faced with difficulty and twists. Some prominent conflicts and problems especially economic downward pressure still exist in the domestic economic operation. Therefore, actively developing a new generation of information technology industry and promoting a deeper integration of informationization and industrialization are especially important to maintain a long-term, stable and rapid economic development. It has become the strategic pivot of stabilizing economic growth and adjusting economic structure.

The new generation of information technology plays a great role in promoting economic growth. At present, the global informationization has a rapid development and the innovation of information technology is given a richer connotation. The deep integration of technologies, networks, applications and services continuously created new industrial patterns and business models, as well as brand-new demand for consumption and investment and economic growth points…

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“Perfidious Albion” – a term you should know, revitalized due to UK regime’s diplomatic outrages against Ecuador & Wikileaks’ Julian Assange [Wikipedia]

Posted in Diplomat, Julian Assange, U.K., Wikileaks on August 29, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Perfidious Albion is a pejorative phrase used within the context of international relations and diplomacy to refer to acts of duplicity, treachery and hence infidelity (with respect to promises made to or alliances formed with other nation states) by monarchs or governments of Britain (or England) in their pursuit of self-interest and the requirements of realpolitik.

Perfidious signifies one who does not keep his faith or word (from the Latin word "perfidia"), while Albion is an ancient Roman name for Great Britain.

Wikipedia entry link here

“The pursuit of Julian Assange is an assault on freedom and a mockery of journalism” by John Pilger [New Statesman]

Posted in Afghanistan, Cameron, Ecuador, Egypt, Genocide, George W. Bush, Iraq, Julian Assange, NATO, Sweden, Tony Blair, Torture, U.K., USA, Wikileaks on August 29, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

22 August 2012

[Excerpted]

The British government’s threat to invade the Ecuadorean embassy in London and seize Julian Assange is of historic significance. David Cameron, the former PR man to a television industry huckster and arms salesman to sheikdoms, is well placed to dishonour international conventions that have protected Britons in places of upheaval. Just as Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq led directly to the acts of terrorism in London on 7 July 2005, so Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague have compromised the safety of British representatives across the world.

Threatening to abuse a law designed to expel murderers from foreign embassies, while defaming an innocent man as an “alleged criminal”, Hague has made a laughing stock of Britain across the world, though this view is mostly suppressed in Britain.  The same brave news­papers and broadcasters that have supported Britain’s part in epic bloody crimes, from the genocide in Indonesia to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, now attack the “human rights record” of Ecuador, whose real crime is to stand up to the bullies in London and Washington.

Unclubbable

It is as if the Olympics happy-clappery has been subverted overnight by an illuminating display of colonial thuggery.  Witness the British army officer-cum-BBC reporter Mark Urban “interviewing” a braying Sir Christopher Meyer, Blair’s former apologist in Washington, outside the Ecuadorean embassy, the pair of them erupting with Blimpish indignation that the unclubbable Assange and the uncowed Rafael Correa should expose the western system of rapacious power.  Similar affront is vivid in the pages of the Guardian, which has counselled Hague to be “patient” and that storming the embassy would be “more trouble than it is worth”.  Assange was not a political refugee, the Guar­dian declared, because “neither Sweden nor the UK would in any case deport someone who might face torture or the death penalty”.

The irresponsibility of this statement matches the Guardian’s perfidious role in the whole Assange affair.  The paper knows full well that documents released by WikiLeaks indicate that Sweden has consistently submitted to pressure from the United States in matters of civil rights.  In December 2001, the Swedish government abruptly revoked the political refugee status of two Egyptians, Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed el-Zari, who were handed to a CIA kidnap squad at Stockholm airport and “rendered” to Egypt, where they were tortured. An investigation by the Swedish ombudsman for justice found that the government had “seriously violated” the two men’s human rights.

In a 2009 US embassy cable obtained by Wiki­Leaks, entitled “WikiLeaks puts neutrality in the Dustbin of History”, the Swedish elite’s vaunted reputation for neutrality is exposed as a sham. Another US cable reveals that “the extent of [Sweden’s military and intelligence] co-operation [with Nato] is not widely known” and unless kept secret “would open the government to domestic criticism”.

The Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, played a notorious leading role in George W Bush’s Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and retains close ties to the Republican Party’s extreme right.  According to the former Swedish director of public prosecutions Sven-Erik Alhem, Sweden’s decision to seek the extradition of Assange on allegations of sexual misconduct is “unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate”.  Having offered himself for questioning, Assange was given permission to leave Sweden for London where, again, he offered to be questioned.  In May, in a final appeal judgment on the extradition, Britain’s Supreme Court introduced more farce by referring to non-existent “charges”…

Full article link here

Whose interests will money-backed US president protect? [People’s Daily]

Posted in Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Obama, Romney, USA on August 28, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

August 10, 2012

[Excerpted]

As the U.S. presidential election draws near, both presidential candidates are lavishly throwing more money into the race. With total spending on the 2012 presidential and congressional races estimated to reach a record 5.8 billion U.S. dollars, people cannot help wondering whose interests a money-backed president will protect during the recession.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney collected over 101 million U.S. dollars in July, more than the fund raised by President Obama for a third straight month, the Washington Post reported on Aug. 7….

…Fundraising determines the fate of a presidential candidate and a successful candidate exerts great influences on U.S. policies. Therefore, a president is most likely to place the interests of contributors above those of ordinary people.

Read the Chinese version: 钱砸出来的美国总统, source: People’s Daily Overseas Edition, author: Wang Piyi

Complete English article here