Lights Out: Britain’s Energy Crisis

Lights Out: Britain’s Energy Crisis

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Britain faces the ‘double squeeze’ under EU regulations.

Coal-fired power plants are closing across Britain as they fail to meet European Union pollution requirements. March will see the closure of at least four coal plants, signaling another step toward a major energy crisis in Britain.

Why the closures at a time when energy is vital to the economy of the UK? EU law.

EU anti-pollution laws were set in place at the end of 2008. The laws stipulate that high-polluting power plants must close by 2015 or after 20,000 operating hours unless they fit greenhouse-gas-reducing equipment.

The equipment has not been fitted, so the closures are coming. The sites will not shut down at the 2015 deadline. Instead, they will close next month. The coal plants have been working hard since January 2008. Companies have been running flat-out to make the most of cheap coal to boost profits. The 20,000-hour limit has arrived.

German utility company rwe is set to close two UK-based power plants in March. It says they have hit the quota and are closing the doors. It is not alone. German utility E.ON will also be shutting down in March. Scottish Power’s Cockenzie coal plant will close at the end of the month. The companies meet every emission law that the UK stipulates, but EU laws rule supreme.

The days of cheap coal power are numbered in the British Isles. Now is the hour of natural gas. Expensive natural gas.

This is where Britain’s energy crisis starts to hit home. Up to this point, Britain’s use of natural gas has accounted for 30 percent of household energy costs. With the demise of coal power, that number is set to jump to 60 percent, according to industry regulator Ofgem’s chief executive, Alistair Buchanan.

Such a dramatic rise in cost of living is not out of the ordinary. It has already happened to Japan. But it will happen in Britain despite the fact that it has its own supply sources, which Japan lacked. Generators are being forced to run off expensive natural gas. Mark Todd, director of price comparison service Energyhelpline.com, said that 2013 will be the year of record-breaking bills. It is an expensive battle to keep lights on in Britain.

Lucy Darch, energy director at uSwitch.com, said Britain is “on the brink of an affordability crisis.”

While the coal stations have been working through the night using up their 20,000-hour limits, the government has more or less sat by and twiddled its thumbs. It has banked on new nuclear power stations, gas plants and renewable energy to boost supplies. Unfortunately, the nuclear power stations are in disarray after a number of firms have distanced themselves from such projects.

Renewable energy has not made any headway due to lack of funding, and gas plants are limited. Britain is finally waking up as the lights go out, and is left scrabbling about trying to find a new source of energy. The only option is to go to gas.

Ofgem has been warning Britain since 2009, but its claims were drowned out by the financial crisis. Now the energy crisis is looming over the nation. Britain needs the natural gas, and it needs it quickly.

To get natural gas, Britain must do battle on the international markets. The UK is not the only nation interested in natural gas. Many European nations are falling short of the EU emissions plan, and find themselves in need of gas. They are just the small fish though. Nations such as China are gobbling vast quantities of natural gas. The fear for Britain is that it will come out to buy and face two options: It will pay top dollar to ensure that some of the natural gas comes to it, or get nothing.

Mr. Buchanan said this will create a “double squeeze.” As Britain faces a shortage of coal plants, it will face a shortage of natural gas.

The British government has tried to minimize its energy costs by offering tax cuts to encourage home owners to make their homes more energy efficient. Unfortunately, the EU saw this move as a violation of European law, and took the UK to court. This means that Britain is being penalized for breaking EU law, and penalized for attempting to uphold it.

Some officials are calling for shale gas extraction, but analysts don’t expect any significant yields from that venture until 2020. There is no option but to pay the big bucks.

Tim Yeo, chairman of the Commons energy committee, said, “A lot of it depends on international gas prices over which we don’t have any control.” That is an understatement. Britain is at the mercy of the energy giants. It has been forced into energy reliance by EU regulation. It must battle China and the European conglomerate for what natural gas it can afford.

These factors highlight what Herbert W. Armstrong foretold and theTrumpet.com has long echoed. Columnist Ron Fraser wrote in the February 2000 Trumpet print edition, “Time and time again, Herbert Armstrong … pointed to news events that were leading to the inevitable rise of a European fascist federation, under the spiritual influence of the Vatican, which would rival and even overtake the U.S. and Britain commercially,economically and, ultimately, militarily. Prior to World War ii, Mr. Armstrong predicted this. During the heat of the Battle of Britain, he continued to forecast it. When Germany lay defeated, crushed to dust under the onslaught of the British Commonwealth and American forces, still he proclaimed the future resurrection of Germany to dominate a European combine that would be the final revival of the Holy Roman Empire” (emphasis added).

Watch as Britain struggles to keep the lights on while Germany rises as the next economic superpower, and then turns into a military superpower shortly thereafter.

UK Loses AAA Rating

UK Loses AAA Rating

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Moody’s warns Britain over its failure to control its debt.

Britain’s credit rating was downgraded from aaa to aa1 by Moody’s Investor Services, February 22, humiliating the government, which was proud of its perfect rating.

The ratings cut has had little effect on the economy. Many expected it. The pound dropped to its weakest against the euro for 16 months, but only because it was already low. The ftse 100 share index is close to its highest level in five years.

But the ratings cut sounds an important warning about Britain’s debt. Moody’s main reason for cutting the rating was “the continuing weakness in the UK’s medium-term growth outlook.” But the other causes it cited all revolve around the government’s ability to get the debt under control.

Moody’s said that the aa1 rating was “stable,” but only because of its expectation that “a combination of political will” and some economic strength will enable Britain to get its debt under control.

Does Britain have the “political will” to fix the problem?

The left in Britain constantly accuses the government of cutting “too far and too fast”—despite the fact that Britain’s debt is rocketing up. And even the right is looking shaky.

Tim Montgomerie, editor of ConservativeHome, used his column in the Times to point out that so far, the government has cut £48 billion from national spending. “To deliver a balanced budget, another £75 billion of cuts will be required,” he wrote. “And let’s be clear, the cuts are going to get harder. A lot harder.”

As he points out, Conservatives are mostly united in the belief that cuts need to be made. But as soon as a specific cut is proposed, special interest groups pop up and complain. “Nearly all of our political class lacks the determination to pay off Britain’s debts,” writes Montgomerie.

Cutting is hard. Those that are losing the money squeal loudly. It takes vision, determination and leadership to make it happen. It takes a leader with character.

This is the real crisis in Britain and America. In America, the left is in power. In Britain it’s the right. But both lack the strength of character necessary to fix the economy. Britain’s leaders are simply pretending the problem isn’t there. They boast about how they’re “paying down Britain’s debts,” while the debt grows by half a billion pounds a day.

Most in Britain believe the government is cutting the debt. There is no political will to tell the truth about the problem, let alone fix it. If anything, Moody’s is wildly optimistic.

Britain Will Leave EU

Germany’s president appealed to Britain on Friday not to turn its back on the European Union. He also insisted that Europe needs deeper unity to remain a significant player in a globalized world.

From his official residence at Schloss Bellevue Castle President Joachim Gauck acknowledged that the decision over EU membership ultimately rests with the people of Britain, and he made a personal appeal to try to persuade them.

Gauck said, “Dear people of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and dear new British citizens. We would like you to stay with us. We need your experience as the oldest parliamentary democracy, we need your traditions, your soberness and your courage.”

However, to many Britons, the prospect of staying inside Europe’s increasingly undemocratic federation is unappealing. Prime Minister David Cameron has said that if his party wins the next election, he will give the people a referendum over whether or not to stay in the EU.

Gauck insisted that Berlin is not trying to overpower Europe. He said, “I assure all citizens in neighboring countries that, among the political leaders in Germany, I see no one who seeks a German diktat.”

Despite this appeal from Germany’s president, you can expect German and EU leaders to put increasing pressure on Britain to either melt into the European combine or leave it altogether. Bible prophecy shows that Britain ultimately will not be a part of the European Union. For more on this subject, read “Britain Was Warned!

Pope Benedict—Preparing for Future Action?

Pope Benedict—Preparing for Future Action?

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In his final Angelus message, Pope Benedict gives a hint of further action to come.

It was a bit like the global warmists’ claim that the planet is heating up when so much evidence points to the contrary.

Despite the brickbats hurled at the pope by the liberal press and mass media since he announced his resignation and the charges of his unpopularity led by the aggressive homosexual lobby, a crowd estimated at 200,000 gathered Sunday to hear Benedict’s final Angelus, filling the piazza fronting the papal apartment at Vatican Square and overflowing into via della Conciliazione.

Hardly an indication of unpopularity!

This demonstration of affection for Benedict cut right across what Deacon Nick Donnelly had termed “the ferocious pack of media dogs who are attacking Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church” (protectthepope.com, February 20).

It was not unlike the outcome of the anti-pope media and press campaign led by Spiegel in advance of Benedict’s visit to his home country, Germany, in 2011. In that instance, despite the strenuous efforts of the liberal, homophile German press and mass media to besmirch Benedict’s character in the mind of the public, the general public ignored that effort and welcomed the pope with open arms. When push comes to shove, religion moves the masses more than any secularist ideology in Europe.

As Pope Benedict retires from the papacy, “to devote more time to prayer and meditation” as he declared in his Angelus, he has given the clearest signal yet that he intends to remain a force within the Vatican by following that statement with the declaration “but this does not mean I’m abandoning the Church” (The Moynihan Letters, February 24).

Parsing Benedict’s Angelus reveals further hints of his future intentions.

“However, praying does not mean isolating oneself from the world and its contradictions, as St. Peter would have liked to have done on Mount Tabor, but prayer leads us back to the path, to action” (ibid).

As Dr. Robert Moynihan, founder and editor in chief of Inside the Vatican magazine asks, “Could the Pope intend to ‘act’ after immersing himself in prayer? If so, in what way?”

That’s the burning question.

Moynihan attempts to answer it but is not really successful.

Benedict reinforced his hint of action to come, following a period devoted to prayer and meditation, with the words, “Christian existence—I have written in the Message for this Lent—means to continuously climb up the mount for our encounter with God, so that afterward we can descend again filled with His love and strength to serve our brothers and sisters with the very love of God” (ibid).

Highly intelligent, brilliant in papal strategy that defies the cheap shots of a liberal socialist, homophile press and mass media, Benedict no doubt has a plan articulated for the future that he is pursuing in a typical deliberate, organized German manner.

As he further stated, his resignation does not mean that he is “abandoning the Church, but rather, if God has requested this of me, it is so that I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done up until now, but in a way adapted to my age and my strength” (ibid).

The Trumpet’s editor in chief has stated that Benedict is key to the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. This is a fact of which the press and mass media at large continue to remain absolutely clueless, with very few exceptions. But it is a fact.

What’s more, it’s a prophetic fact!

Stay tuned to the Key of David television program for revelation of further developments in the unfolding story surrounding Pope Benedict’s resignation. The final outcome is destined to shake the world!

Germany More Than Doubles Weapons Exports Arabian Gulf Nations

Germany More Than Doubles Weapons Exports Arabian Gulf Nations

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Germany exported €1.42 billion (us$1.88 billion) worth of weapons to Arabian Gulf nations during 2012, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported February 22. In 2011, that figure was only €570 million (us$751 million).

Most of those exports—€1.24 billion of them—went to Saudi Arabia, an increase of 900 percent. The rest went to Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Most the money was spent on €1.1 billion worth of border security equipment for Saudi Arabia.

The newspaper claimed it received the data after a formal question from Germany’s Left Party.

Earlier in the month, German media reported that the government had given Saudi Arabia permission to buy €1.5 billion (us$2 billion) worth of patrol boats. This would be enough to buy somewhere between 60 and 150 of the ships.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote as early as 1994 that Saudi Arabia would be among several Middle Eastern countries to ally themselves with Germany. Back then, Germany’s arms trade with Saudi Arabia was almost non-existent. It sold the Saudis 36 reconnaissance tanks and 100 diesel engines. That was it for the whole of the ’90s.

Now, Germany is using strategic arms sales to build an alliance of anti-Iranian nations across the Middle East. The explosion of its arms trade in the region has caught the attention of the world. For more information on this alliance, see our article “Next in Line, Please” from the December 2012 print edition of the Trumpet.

Hormone Disruptors in Everyday Chemicals Linked to Diseases

Hormone Disruptors in Everyday Chemicals Linked to Diseases

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A report commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Health Organization has found pathogenic hormone-disrupting substances in a multitude of certain common, everyday materials like credit cards, sunglasses, toys, dashboards, pvc flooring, cosmetics and agricultural pesticides.

The report—produced over a period of two years by an international team of health experts—is titled “State of the Science of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals.” It was released February 19, and it notes the “serious consequences” for health of some of the culprit substances such as phthalates, bisphenol A and brominated flame retardants. According to the report, the consequences are grave enough to warrant a ban to protect future generations.

The report noted that the rise in health problems is just too rapid to be blamed on genes alone. It states that these endocrine disrupting chemicals (edcs)—some of which are airborne—have been linked to such health conditions as birth defects, stunted intelligence, autism, adhd, breast and prostate cancer, asthma, infertility and leukemia.

Natural hormones are vital to normal growth, development and overall health. When these hormones are disrupted by an edc, problems arise. Said the report:

The diverse systems affected by endocrine-disrupting chemicals likely include all hormonal systems and range from those controlling development and function of reproductive organs to the tissues and organs regulating metabolism and satiety.Effects on these systems can lead to obesity, infertility or reduced fertility, learning and memory difficulties, adult-onset diabetes or cardiovascular disease, as well as a variety of other diseases.

A 2002 report on the same study showed the adverse effects of these chemicals on wildlife populations. However, there was “very weak evidence that human health was similarly affected” by exposure to these endocrine disruptors back then. Ten years later, following comprehensive scientific work and improved understanding, there is concrete evidence to reinforce the link between edcs and a host of health problems.

The chemicals studied thus far, the report notes, may only be the “tip of the iceberg.”

God intended mankind to live in a healthy, disease-free, productive and uplifting environment, completely free of harmful pollutants and injurious chemicals such as edcs. In such a world, man’s potential would not be limited by chemicals and diseases.

Such a world is soon coming. Read our article “The Beautiful World Tomorrow” and write for our free booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like to understand more.