Heating Your Greenhouse in Europe This Winter

Started by Bern, September 03, 2022, 09:59:17 AM

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Martin Bohnet

Well, I'm in camp "Trolling is Russia's style", so I actually take the unofficial positions with a lot more salt than the ARD/ZDF/BBC ones, their journalistic standards are indeed high. I guess Americans have trouble understanding that, as from what I see you don't really have independent media. There's a reason the European right wing parties want to get rid of public funding of those networks. Industry lobbyists on the other hands... well, crying "we'll all die if you don't do exactly as we say" is part of their business model.

As for Habeck: His style of communication is highly unusual for a politician, usually tending towards the honest side, even for green party standards. German Greens are very pragmatic - and accused of being ideologically blinded by those who really are (like neoliberalistic FDP and conservatives).

Is Putin on the winner side? I doubt. His army is rapidly devolving - every computer chip they loose can't be replaced - not even by china unless they get hold of Taiwan. So that's the true goal: showing China what awaits them should they try to step on that Island. Is china on the winning side? mildly concerning cheap resources, mostly because Putin has difficulties moving the wares to the east - too little investment in infrastructure is a traditional problem in Russia. On the other hand: if the Russians had invested in Infrastructure and maybe some education, a land with such rich resources may have florished without imperialistic nonsense. I also doubt the "new axis China-Russia": Russia sees itself on eye level with China - China doesn't. Combine that with Putin's ego -> no future scenario.

Will we Europeans get through relatively unscathed? It really depends on the severity of the winter. Long term prognoses for Germany are 2-3 Kelvin above 1960-89 reference period, and still .5-1.5 K above 1990-2019 reference - let's hope they're precise. The Industry will adapt - the sooner they stop screaming and start seeing opportunities, the better.
Martin (pronouns: he/his/him)

David Pilling

Unbiased, so lets see the BBC produce a programme "10 good things about climate change".

They also have not found fault with the current Ukraine regime. One of the other UK news outlets did a programme pointing out that their treatment of the disabled would prevent them from joining the EU.

I recall an EU politician saying that Europe was paying Russia as much as a year ago, but receiving far less in return. One of the first moves in the West was to hand over to Russia lots of assets - e.g. Shell/BP projects. Unlike the pound/euro the Rouble has held its value against the dollar.

For these gains they have paid a price in blood.

Putin did look like the junior partner in the recent meeting with China, but maybe he sees China as the future and Europe as the past.

The BBC is a great thing and we could not manage without it, but it does present an alternative reality. I would not criticise US media.

At the moment my favourite news source online is Reuters, because it has very little opinion.

Any idea how to join the wumao (50 cent party), seems like good money to me.

(Internet commentators who are hired by the authorities of the People's Republic of China to manipulate public opinion and disseminate disinformation to the benefit of the governing Chinese Communist Party (CCP)).


I have observed over time that the news in the US has transitioned from being news with true and useful content to being news with political propaganda content.  In my opinion, US news is now mostly either Republican Party propaganda or Democratic Party propaganda - sometimes with some useful content to try to diminish the appearance of bias and propaganda.  I now use the internet to read the AP News and sometimes Reuters because these sites have less opinion and hence less propaganda.  I quit watching news on TV altogether and I don't miss it at all.  A friend of mine's husband had a head injury at work that left him with some substantial disabilities. When's she is busy during the day, she will sometimes set him up in front of the television so he's both safe and engaged while she does her chores. She related that she did this once and turned on one of the dreaded 24 hour news channels and a bit later she heard him screaming at the TV because of the content.  Do you ever find yourself screaming at the TV when the news is on?

David Pilling

Bern - thanks for the pointer to the AP News site.
The channels can certainly be irritating - its called engagement.
Throwing TVs into swimming pools is not as cathartic since they got rid of the high voltages and glass tubes.


I took my tube TV to the electronic recycling site at the local landfill to get rid of it. I wanted to smash it, but that's so un-PC. I haven't replaced it with a flat screen TV and I don't intend to.  Here's some advice from an old John Denver song from 1971.  It seemed relevant then and it seems relevant now. Enjoy.

Blow Up Your TV (Spanish Pipe Dream)
Song by John Denver


She was a level-headed dancer on the road to alcohol
And I was just a soldier on my way to Montreal
Well she pressed her chest against me
About the time the juke box broke
Yeah, she gave me a peck on the back of the neck
And these are the words she spoke

Blow up your TV throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on your own

Well, I sat there at the table and I acted real naive
For I knew that topless lady had something up her sleeve
Well, she danced around the bar room and she did the hoochy-coo
Yeah she sang her song all night long, tellin' me what to do

Blow up your TV throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on your own

Well, I was young and hungry and about to leave that place
When just as I was leavin', well she looked me in the face
I said "You must know the answer."
"She said, "No but I'll give it a try."
And to this very day we've been livin' our way
And here is the reason why

We blew up our TV threw away our paper
Went to the country, built us a home
Had a lot of children, fed 'em on peaches
They all found Jesus on their own

David Pilling

Good old John Denver, had his own TV series in the UK. The song is apparently by John Prine. Back from the time people worried about watching too much TV.


There were some postings on this thread about hurricanes. I returned yesterday from Miami, Florida where I attended the International Aroid Society's annual show, sale, and banquet at the Fairchild Botanical Gardens last weekend.  I had to change my flight to leave early to avoid the wrath of hurricane Ian.  It's about ready to slam into the Sarasota area.  Here's a link to the National Weather Service radar in Sarasota.  You can clearly see the eyewall of the storm as it makes landfall in real time. 


It should work if you copy and paste the link into your browser.  I'm reconsidering my desires to relocate to Florida now.



It appears that the Bank of England stepped in today to try to defend the GBP from falling by purchasing UK government bonds in an attempt to squash the rise in long term interst rates.  Will this affect the cost of energy in the UK this winter by making it less expensive? Will this move by the BOE be successful?  Will the GBP come under pressure again soon?  The US stock market loved the news and US stocks rose today and the 10 year US treasury yield fell. I think that this is transitory and it will start to erode fairly soon. Can David or anyone else in the UK opine on what is going on with the BOE's action?


I just read that there's been an incident with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea that renders it unable to supply natural gas to Europe. This alone seems assured to raise heating bills this winter and make heating greenhouses and regular abodes more expensive.  Who is responsible for this? Did NATO do it?  Did the Russians do it?  Was it an accident?  Does it matter anymore?

Randy Linke

Four ruptures following sizeable explosions that were measurable on the Richter scale to a heavily reinforced pipeline is hardly accidental.

David Pilling

The UK government fixed energy prices some weeks ago - that's the end of worrying about energy prices here. The cost is estimated to be 150 billion and the scheme will last for two years. They did not fund this spending and that was the prelude to what followed...

Given His Majesties Government is paying, I can keep my bulbs as cozy as I like.

Energy costs are around 2.5 times what they were a year ago, in addition to being fixed there have also been handouts of cash, more to those in greatest need.

A week ago HMG announced tax cuts, again unfunded, and that lead to a fall in the value of the pound this week.

The knock on effects were problems for pension companies and worries about the housing market. The Bank of England started to buy bonds to protect pension companies (who are holders of UK debt and were having problems selling it).

Full scale panic in the media here.

Nordstream 2 was not in operation and has never been used, and given the war probably never would have been. Nordstream 1 was not in operation due to "maintenance". No immediate effect then.

Whodunnit? Will be interesting, but unlikely to ever be answered.


I agree completely that the destruction of the pipeline was no accident. And I also agree that we will never know for sure who was responsible.

The Financial Times had the following titles for some of their online articles this morning.

"Eurozone inflation hits record 10% as energy prices continue to soar"

"UK government bond tumult ripples into US and European markets"

Earlier this week Hurricane Ian chased me out of Miami Florida a day early. Today, the remnants of it will drench the area wheri I live with between 4 and 6 inches of rain.

We live in interesting times.....


Reuters pipeline news article.  Until now I had not known that both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 had been damaged.