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Feb 20, 2013

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China slowdown implications on RI spook policymakers

The Jakarta Post Headlines | A recent slowdown in the Chinese economy could persist in the long-run, affect global demand and depress commodity prices down even further, eventually hurting its trade partners, including Indonesia. The Indonesian government earlier targeted its economy to grow 6.3 percent this year, but the slowdown in China may force Indonesia to face the reality of less than 6 percent growth for the first time in almost three years. “Economic slowdown in China is one of the reasons why we cut our economic growth forecast to between 5.8 percent and 6.2 percent this year,” Bank Indonesia (BI) Deputy Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Friday, citing the fact that China accounted for around 15 percent of Indonesia’s exports. China posted economic growth of only 7.5 percent in the second quarter, its slowest pace since the 2009 global recession, with a further slowdown expected. A slower growth of China would consequently drag down Indonesia’s growth, according to Eugene Leow, a regional economist with the Singapore-based DBS Bank. “If China’s growth faces a slowdown, then commodity prices will become more lackluster,” he told reporters in a press briefing in Jakarta on Friday. “This has important implications for Indonesia.” In addition, low commodity prices would weigh on Indonesia’s export earnings. This would consequently put pressure on its current account deficit and ultimately the rupiah, Leow said. China is Indonesia’s biggest export destination, absorbing US$21 billion of exported goods — mostly commodities, such as coal or palm oil — from the archipelago throughout last year, according to data from the Central Statistics Agency. A 1 percent deduction of economic growth in China could decelerate Indonesia’s economy by up to half a percent, attributed to strong linkage between the Asian giant and Southeast Asia’s largest economy, noted the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Responding to the recent slowdown, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has stated that his government viewed a 7 percent growth as the bottom line for tolerance of an economic slowdown, and that he would not tolerate anything below that. China, now the world’s second-largest economy, once grew by 10.4 percent in 2010. “[China] once had double-digit economic growth, demanding a lot of commodities to support it, and Indonesia was more than able to supply,” Leow said. “The situation for the next three to five years will be very different for China, and very different for Indonesia.” Besides hurting Indonesia’s economic growth from the export side, a deceleration in the Chinese economy would also hurt the archipelago from investment channel, which is Indonesia’s second-biggest growth driver after household consumption. A gloomy economic outlook in China would prompt local, commodity-reliant companies in Indonesia to hold back from increasing their investments, Leow said. “I don’t think there will be huge demand for investments in commodity-related sectors because the prices of commodities are likely to remain low as China is moderating.”In its report released earlier this month, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also warned that slower economic growth in China was “weighing on the outlook for developing Asia”. International report from https://www.facebo rown-Management/55 8345590862158 “The drop in trade and scaling back of investments are part of a more balanced growth path for the People’s Republic of China, and the knock-on effect of its slower pace is definitely a concern for the region,” ADB chief economist Changyong Rhee said in a statement.  (Jul 28, 2013 | post #1)

US Politics

On the road to 2014 scam watch solutions

“The possible presidential-type contest between the two emerging personalities will make it worse for the Congress. The possibility of one of the two major parties forging way ahead appears real. And this time it won’t be the Congress” The 2009 general election results, however, presented a different analysis. In most parts of the country there was a visible pro-incumbency trend. The Congress did better than its otherwise natural strength in the states. The urban constituencies voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Congress. The performance of the Congress in states like Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat was much better than its strength in the legislative assemblies of those states. As we approach the next general elections some significant changes have taken place. The very acceptable persona of the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, in 2009 has been adversely affected. Corruption, indecisiveness, weak leadership, price rise and the terrible state of the economy have created a huge anti-incumbency environment. The Congress has withered away in Andhra Pradesh on account of a political split. It has lost partners in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu on whom it had piggy backed to success in 2009. While disillusioned with the Congress, the charge against the BJP was that it had not been able to put its own house in order. Its galaxy of leaders was regarded as a liability rather than an asset. Fortunately, the party has now started putting its house in order. News flash from other side of the world: I The possibility of the party contesting under one leader is now real. The BJP had won 12 seats in Bihar in the last elections where its alliance has recently suffered a setback. It has an opportunity to improve upon this figure. In Karnataka, the party has to factor in electoral realities rather than internal imbalances. With the two principal national parties without some of their regular allies, smaller and regional parties smell an opportunity for a Third Front. The Third Front has been experimented with on several occasions in India. It is a failed idea. The political issues which are evolving in the run-up to the general elections are loaded against the Congress. Lack of decisiveness and firm leadership is the cause of popular concern. Never in history has the institution of the prime minister been so severely belittled. The Congress now looks upon its new leader as a possible saviour. Its new leadership is a creation of the dynasty. The problem with dynastic leadership is that it is based on the charisma of families and surnames rather than on proven ability. Dynasties function only on the strength of charisma. They relish creating a mystique around them. Their political ability, administrative competence, leadership and decisiveness are unknown to the country. Are Indian voters aware of the economic vision of the scion of the ruling dynasty? Are they aware of his views on how to tackle the Maoist problem, the issues related to Jammu & Kashmir and Indo-Pak relations? His silence on issues of corruption is worrisome. His economic vision is unknown. Dynastic parties are only as strong or as weak as the potential of the current generation of the dynasty. Irrespective of whether the two principal parties declare their candidates for the prime ministership in the next elections, the de-facto leaderships are becoming clear. Besides the conflicts of parties and ideologies, the next elections could also be a contest between personalities. The nature of the contest would be more presidential. In the 2009 general elections, the Congress and the BJP shared 323 Lok Sabha seats among themselves. This figure is not likely to reduce in the forthcoming elections. With anti-incumbency working against the Congress, the party’s alliance being in a shambles in several states and the near sweep situation of 2009 in urban India likely to be reversed, the odds are loaded against the Congress.  (Jul 7, 2013 | post #1)

Science / Technology

Crown International Relations: Constitutionality of Renew...

Jakarta Environmental Solution ( Fg) - In a potentially crushing strike against advocates for renewable energy mandates, a federal court ruling recently raised the issue of constitutionality of major provisions of many states’ renewable energy mandates. On June 7, 2013, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) position against the state of Michigan (and other petitioners) in a disagreement over FERC’s proposal to distribute costs for new power lines to supply millions of megawatts of wind power in the Great Lakes area. Michigan believes that this plan would, in essence, require them to pay for expensive new power lines intended for transmitting renewable energy out of the state. Based on the law establishing Michigan’s 2008 Renewable Energy Standard, only renewable energy generated inside its state borders is qualified to fulfill Michigan’s obligation to utilize 10% of eligible renewable energy sources by 2015. Lawmakers in these states with power mandates may now question the value of raising electricity rates on their state power consumers for the purpose of subsidizing “green” job creation in another state nearby. In the end, what this ruling has done is to unravel the problems and complexities with a market for renewables ( ar)that has been created through government policies. Thirty states, including the District of Columbia, have mandates on renewable energy that require electric companies to purchase a certain quota or percentage of renewable energy by a projected year. Just like Michigan which has a clear ban on wind produced in other states from being allowed into their mandate, other states also “discriminate” against out-of-state renewable power. When counting mandate compliance, several states count in-state power at a higher rate than out-of-state power, a practice popularly labelled as “multipliers”: Delaware has a 300% credit multiplier for customer-sited, in-state photovoltaic (PV), a 350% multiplier for a specific offshore wind project, and a 150% multiplier for all other in-state wind projects; Colorado applies a 1.25 multiplier for its in-state generation; Michigan provides an extra 0.1 credit for projects that use state-available components and its local workforce; Missouri grants a 1.25 multiplier for all in-state generation. Kansas uses a 1.1 multiplier for all in-state resources; Moreover, some state renewable policies have a list of renewable energy grades, where certain power sources can only be utilized to fulfill a part of the mandate. Others have grade levels dedicated particularly to in-state power generation that may now be doubtful in view of the recent decision by the federal court.  (Jul 1, 2013 | post #1)

Business News

Crown Capital Management - BIOMASS as a fuel for Boilers

Everyone is talking about the advantages and how much good biomass could do for us, maybe we are forgetting that there is always two sides of the coin. There are much disadvantage as well but at least lesser than the energy we are currently using now.  (Mar 6, 2013 | post #11)

The Great Renewable Energy Scam: Is There A Change In The...

People don’t like being forced to purchase things they may not want, which is why over half of us are hoping that the Supreme Court throws out the individual insurance mandate in President Barrack Obama’s health care plan. There’s also a worldwide rebellion brewing against being forced to purchase expensive electricity produced by so-called “renewable” sources, now being exacerbated by the availability of very cheap natural gas from shale formations. But, here in the U.S. there are some 30 different statewide “renewable portfolio standards” (RPSs) that also mandate pricey power, usually under the guise of fighting dreaded global warming. RPSs command that a certain percentage of electricity has to come from wind, solar, geothermal, or biomass. Given that this power generally costs a lot more than what comes from a modern coal or gas plant, your local utility passes the cost on in the form of higher bills, which the various state utility commissions are only too happy to approve in the name of saving the planet. RPSs generally do not include hydroelectric power, which produces no carbon dioxide. It’s also much more predictable than solar or wind, and costs about the same as the average for gas and coal combined. It’s not in the portfolio standards because dams are soooo 20th century, and it isn’t a darling of the green lobby, like solar, wind and biomass. But hydro can deliver more juice than solar is ever likely to. Nor do RPSs allow for natural gas. There are massive quantities in shale formations around the country, and new horizontal drilling techniques are releasing so much of it that it is now the cheapest source of electrical power. If our environmentalist friends were at all serious about climate change, they would enthuse over it because it produces significantly less carbon dioxide than an equivalent quantity of coal when used for power generation. Instead, they are horrified that cheap gas will destroy solar and wind. Their worries are quite well-founded. In November, NextEra Energy, the country’s largest wind-energy producer, said it would develop no new wind projects this year, as utilities sell cheaper gas power. When are governments going to learn that they ought to butt out of the energy business? RPSs that specify certain technologies are essentially picking winners and losers based more upon political pull than market logic. One needs to look no further than ethanol as a motor fuel, mandated by the feds. Sold as “renewable” and reducing pernicious carbon dioxide emissions, it actually produces more in its life cycle than simply burning an equivalent amount of gasoline. It also—unconscionabl y—consumes 40% of U.S. corn production, and we are the by far the world’s largest producer of this important basic food. The popular revulsion against ethanol has succeeded in cutting its massive federal subsidy, of $0.54 per gallon, which ran out on Dec. 31. But that doesn’t stop the federal mandate. Last year it was for roughly 14 billion gallons from corn and it will be nearly 15 billion in 2012. By 2022, up to 20 billion gallons will be required — all from corn — unless there is a breakthrough in so-called “cellulosic” ethanol, which, no matter how much money the government throws at it, hasn’t happened. Indeed, the largest cellulosic plant, Range Fuels, in Camilla, Ga., just went bankrupt. The loss to American taxpayers appears to be about $120 million, or about 25% of a Solyndra. http://crown-capit al-eco-mngt.tumblr .com/  (Feb 20, 2013 | post #1)


International Reviews Crown Eco Management Jakarta Climat...

Rampant CO2, high global temperatures, rising sea levels.This is Mesozoic North America 250-65 million years ago. Climate change has happened long before humanity’s emergence, it will happen again, with or without us. The key to preserving what we as humans value, including not only our cities, towns, and countryside, but also ecosystems and species – is to devise technical, pragmatic solutions to ensure no matter what the climate does, we can not only survive, but thrive. Global Research: At a recent Washington climate change rally, who is demanding action? Demanding action from whom? What action? In reality, the diminutive, corporate-media inflated rally in DC was organized by the very corporate-financie r special interests that have been wreaking terrible havoc on both the human population and the environment of this planet for decades. They are demanding action from a government that already represents their interests. Their demands are policies, particularly financial tax schemes that they themselves created and are best positioned to benefit from while making no discernible impact on the very real environmental threats we collectively face. It was an exercise in manufacturing consent for policies already long-ago devised and simply waiting for piecemeal implementation. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and its “Earth Hour” for instance, includes Fortune 500 corporations; Walmart, Unilever, Coca-Cola, draconian intellectual property racketeer Christopher Dodd representing the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as a director, Bank of America, Google, and others. While the WWF claims having big corporations as partners is “good news” for the environment, implying that they are shifting toward environmental responsibility – in reality it is exactly the other way around. Real Environmental Threats The climate of Earth has always changed throughout its natural history, and many times before the existence of man, has changed so dramatically that it has caused mass extinction events. 65 million years ago, for example, Antarctica was a thriving ecosystem covered in temperate forests inhabited by dinosaurs. The global temperatures were higher, sea levels were higher, and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were many times higher than they are today. Higher temperatures, sea levels, and CO2 levels made the planet more habitable, not less. This changed however, and to the detriment of many species that are now extinct. The climate will change with or without us. To ensure the survival of what we value in terms of human society, history, and infrastructure, as well as ecosystems and individual species we desire to preserve, we must come up with something better than “carbon neutrality” implemented by giving bankers yet another derivative to trade, and energy companies a legal framework to maintain monopolies over powering human civilization. Part of the solution is not only leveraging technology to protect our towns, cities, and countryside from adverse weather, flooding, and changes in temperature through innovative infrastructure projects, but undermining, decentralizing, and eventually eliminating permanently these corporate monopolies that are demonstrably destroying the environment. Don’t Demand Action – Be the Action Real solutions generally don’t involve corporations or governments, in fact, as a necessity must exclude them. The marriage between corporate interests and government regulations should be something all of us can agree on, regardless of where we sit on the political or environmental spectrum. Real solutions involve a real education in science, technology, design, and manufacturing. This empowers people in all levels of society to accurately assess problems and apply local solutions. This, coupled with modern manufacturing technology enables more to be done on a local level, short-circuiting the petroleum intensive logistical chains WWF sponsors like Walmart couldn’t live without. http://jdave2274.b  (Feb 20, 2013 | post #1)