Thought for the day

"We're so self-important. So arrogant. Everybody's going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save the snails. And the supreme arrogance? Save the planet! Are these people kidding? Save the planet? We don't even know how to take care of ourselves; we haven't learned how to care for one another. We're gonna save the fuckin' planet? . . . And, by the way, there's nothing wrong with the planet in the first place. The planet is fine. The people are fucked! Compared with the people, the planet is doin' great. It's been here over four billion years . . . The planet isn't goin' anywhere, folks. We are! We're goin' away. Pack your shit, we're goin' away. And we won't leave much of a trace. Thank God for that. Nothing left. Maybe a little Styrofoam. The planet will be here, and we'll be gone. Another failed mutation; another closed-end biological mistake." -- George Carlin

Russian energy giant Gazprom announced on Friday that transit of natural gas to the European Union via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will be halted from August 31 to September 2 for maintenance.

“On August 31, the only working Trent 60 gas compressor unit will be shut down for three days for maintenance,” the company stated, noting that all repairs will be carried out jointly with specialists from the German manufacturer, Siemens.

Eleven Moroccan children were rescued by Spanish authorities near the exclave of Ceuta this week after they attempted to cross the Strait of Gibraltar alone in a small boat.

The 11 children, said to be aged between six and 11 years old, were first seen by a lifeguard on a beach in Ceuta and were intercepted just over half a mile off the North African coast as their small boat was headed toward the Spanish mainland.

Polish oil and gas company PGNiG is forced to take out a loan to purchase natural gas in anticipation of a warming period.

At the end of April this year, Gazprom stopped the gas supply to Poland for refusing to pay in Russian rubles. Previously, the republic received up to 10 million tons of this fuel annually from Russia.

The group’s statement states that PGNiG has “signed a loan agreement with the National Economy Bank (BGK) amounting to PLN 4.8 billion (a little over one billion euros at the current exchange rate)”.

The writing is on the wall for Europe in terms of this coming winter – It's going to get ugly.  With natural gas imports from Russia cut by 80% through Nord Stream 1 along with the majority of oil shipments, the EU is going to be scrambling for whatever fuel sources they can find to supply electricity and heating through the coming winter.  Two sources that were originally suggested as alternatives were Iran and Venezuela.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin is facing calls to take a drug test after she was captured in leaked cellphone videos dancing and partying wildly with her celebrity friends.

Marin, who at age 36 is one of the youngest heads of state in the world, defended her conduct seen in the viral clips, and vehemently denied using drugs.

“I have not used drugs myself, or anything other than alcohol. I’ve danced, sung and partied and done perfectly legal things,” she said at a press conference Thursday.

Apparently, European countries are understanding that the path to peace in Ukraine requires stopping military aid. Data show that in July the six major European powers abstained from making new military agreements with Kiev. It was the first month without European aid pledges to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian special military operation, in February. In fact, this indicates that Western support is on decline, leaving only Kiev to decide whether or not to continue with the conflict.

European natural gas prices are trading at levels equivalent to about $70 per million British Thermal Unit (BTUs), which is roughly seven times higher than prices in the United States, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing Lipow Oil Associates.

Analysts told the outlet that Europe’s natural gas crisis is contributing to higher prices in America, noting however that it’s not the main driver. US natural gas prices have surged to levels unseen since 2008, closing at $9.33 per million BTU on Tuesday.