Spot Gas Falls by 30% Since Ukraine Crisis Started

Politics and wars affect the prices of commodities which come from politically unstable regions or regions where there is a threat of war, armed conflict or insurrection. Since the crisis in Ukraine started the price of natural gas on the spot markets has fallen by 30%. I expect that this probably due to expectations about the prospects for shale gas, and perhaps a lower demand caused by warmer than normal European weather. Whatever the reason, I note that the energy companies in the UK have not reacted to the price fall by cutting their prices to consumers.
According to the energy companies, the price of gas that they buy accounts for more than half the energy cost of gas that the consumers pay.

Put Your Fingers in Your Ears and Sing “La la la”

If the whole of the ice at Antarctica were to melt sea levels would rise (it is estimated by scientists) by 58 metres. Of course the whole of the ice at Antarctica will not melt in the foreseeable future, but the continent is shedding ice more quickly than we previously thought. Continue reading

Russia, China and Future Growth

Ten years ago conventional business wisdom was that if you had to make something you moved the production to China and invested (directly or indirectly) in production facilities in China. Today the position has almost reversed. Production in China has been so profitable that Chinese businesses are encouraged and urged to invest their profits in business in the United States, the European Community and other parts of the world. The Chinese economy has transformed from a branch of the western economy to an economic centre in its own right. Continue reading

Humanity is a Prime Suspect

Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have experienced severe flooding. There have been unprecedented levels of rainfall and the floods are certainly the worst that the region has experienced for a century, possibly longer. Continue reading

It seems normal

We get used to things. We get used to illness, disability, loss of life in others and most of all, loss of freedom. It is odd to see after people have expended so much investment in freedom, how easily they are prepared to lose what they have invested. Continue reading

Empires of the Bureaucrats

The votes have been counted in the European election for members of the European Parliament and in the United Kingdom UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party) has proved the most popular organisation.  Continue reading

We Are All Tax Avoiders

There is a great deal of  hypocrisy exhibited by folk when they talk about tax avoidance.  In truth we are all tax avoiders, Continue reading

On Being Called A Fascist

Some years ago over a diner with acquaintances at which we talked about politics I was surprised and offended by one of the diners who said, in response to a statement I made about politics “you are a fascist”. The term was applied by a person who had left wing views of a traditional left wing nature to me, a person whose view do not easily fall into either a left wing or a right wing or a centrist designation I have been called many things before, but never a fascist. Continue reading

An Honourable Abode For John Kiriakou

In the United States of America a citizen called John Kiriakou is in prison. Mr Kiriakou (in Britain we would spell his surname Kyriacou) has apparently or allegedly committed the heinous crime of exposing torture committed by US government personnel. You should know that it is not against the law in America to torture people; there is no law against that, but it is against the law in America to expose or publicise the fact that American personnel have been torturing people. Continue reading

Who Should You Believe about Shale Gas

You cannot believe two different statements when each purport to be the absolute truth and those statements contradict each other. That means you have to chose. I offer some choices.  Continue reading