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Jesus Christ on a monocycle!

Jerome a Paris comment on 31 January 2007:

The problem is that there are now too many euroskepitcal countries (and the leaders of France and Germany themselves are less euro-enthusiastic) to get the second leg working. Or it's just that the euro was such a great economic reform that it has brought no crisis that would really bring about the need for political integration. Compared to the monetary crises and devaluation traumas of the 80s, the current spats on budget deficits are very mild.
Be careful what you wish for...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 10:12:45 AM EST
That's cruel. Trawling/trolling through the deep ocean/distant past.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 10:41:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was just looking for stuff on "asymmetric shocks"...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 10:45:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I often wear asymmetric socks (or parti-coloured, if you prefer). Not sure if that's what you're looking for.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 11:52:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 12:20:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Asymmetric shucks are dissimilar corn leaves.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 12:28:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If shocks were symmetric wouldn't they stop shocking?

Except the short, sharp ones of course. ;)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 09:43:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
J was always the enthusiast for the euro. He faded way before the great realisations here of what a disaster it had become

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 12:21:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Euro with political and fiscal integration (as in major fiscal transfers, not unified targets with national budgets) makes sense.
It's the without that is a disaster.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 12:29:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I was always the enthusiast for the Euro and for European Construction, but reality caught up with me.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 12:32:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turns out Europe really was doomed.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 06:54:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But for pretty much the opposite reasons to those generally claimed.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 06:58:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well with 2 world wars in our fresh history we were double-doomed before the EU came along.

I'm beginning to think that while it remains a good, nice idea the humans of requisite competence and good faith have not emerged with shoulders broad enough to take responsibility for maintaining what they started.

The present clusterfuck is still better than interstate warfare a la Libya but I am far from convinced by the evidence that leaders were at the necessary intellectual level to fairly manage the large and unwieldy beast as it has proven to be.

Unwinding said beast will not be a walk in the park, should it come to that, but then possibly this mess the currency is in has revealed how shallow the commitment to a united Europe really is, and once adjusted that could re-energise the project in toto.

I haven't given up entirely on the EU, but confess to being bitterly disappointed that after the years of Barroso the best we can throw up to take his place is Juncker. FFS, that's like putting Strauss-Kahn in charge of a convent.

I cringe at how naively I trusted back in the late 90's that we were really ready to do this all together.

The red flags for me should have been how profligately Berlu and Co were spending EU money on bridges to nowhere, cementing N Italy over (funnelling billions to the mob in the process) how the farmers were cheating on the CAP, (planting sunflowers for the funds and then letting them shrivel and rot in the fields unwatered), roundabouts going in every 50m etc etc.

All these shenanigans unmonitored by EU watchdogs.

The all-too-rapid expansion to the East and later the way the Ukraine card was played exposed what for me is the most tawdry side of the project. Tolerating dodgy leaders and corrupt states that could even teach Italy a thing or two in that department was apparently a small price to pay in order to flog washing machines and cars on too-easy credit to folks who didn't have them yet.

Lastly the extremely retrogressive stances regarding allowing OGM food for animals that people eat, and worst of all the new brown coal mining and cessation of support for renewables make it impossibly hard to believe they are up to anything good at all.

Then there's the idiotic idea that to solve the influx of refugees all we need is to send an expensive navy to go shoot holes in poor folks' fishing boats, (after throwing the Libyans to the wolves by deposing Ghaddafi), that takes the proverbial cake...

None of this will change unless America radically rethinks macro-economics, (not to mention hegemony and Empire), this much I have gratefully learned here at ET these last 11 years.

Europe is dead, long live the European Union!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:11:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same here, but I went a step further: I now believe that any excessive integration would be a bad idea. For several reasons, but I leave just 2.

With integration there is a single point that can be taken up by power interests. With 30 nation states, the same power-hungry interests have to be successfully 30 times.

Diversity is compromised by excess integration. Diversity sometimes brings along bad things (think 20th-century fascism in Southern Europe) but it also can bring about good things (think European social model in the North). We need to try different things, to find the best ways...

Diversity is better than uniformity.

by cagatacos on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 08:48:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And, by the way: would anyone consider removing that flag on the banner of the site? It is becoming an offensive symbol to the values of Equality, Fraternity and Liberty. Values that I still think (wishful thinking?) are a bit European.
by cagatacos on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 08:51:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's still the flag of the Council of Europe. Do you object to that?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 09:09:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is the symbol of the EU for all effects. With the obvious differences (I am not putting it on equal footing, just exemplifying) it is a bit like saying that the swastika is a symbol of Hinduism (which it is and in that case deserving of complete and utmost respect), but most people associate it with something else (unfortunately).

That symbol on top is associated with things that do not represent values that are worth fighting for...

How many people in Europe know what is the Council of Europe? That symbol, for most people, represents something else...

by cagatacos on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 09:29:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's still the main topic here. Why change it?
by generic on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 09:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, we can start a campaign against the European Union's usurpation of the symbol...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 09:44:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Symbols do have value. Sorry, do have meaning.

The symbol above, via whatever method, has become a particularly nasty one. Fair or unfair, such is the case. It is starting to mean the antagonizing of democracy. I find it slightly nauseous to see it here.

by cagatacos on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 11:35:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
" I find it slightly nauseous to see it here."

Nowbody forces yot to participate here.

But if you want to replace it with a mashup of the american and chinese flag...

by IM on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:46:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
cagatacos:
How many people in Europe know what is the Council of Europe?

It's worth wondering why they don't, since the Council of Europe predates the EEC and the EU by quite a bit.

Mostly, I'd say the reason is that the individual member countries have kept quiet about it. When Cameron scores nationalist-reactionary points by firing bazooka rounds at the Human Rights Act, he doesn't tell the British people about the Council of Europe and the fact that Britain was a prime mover in its foundation, hosting the treaty signing in London. And it's little better anywhere else.

This is just one reason why I don't expect individual European countries to somehow do better separately than collectively. Even though the current collective effort is visibly a failure.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:47:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When Cameron scores nationalist-reactionary points by firing bazooka rounds at the Human Rights Act, he doesn't tell the British people about the Council of Europe and the fact that Britain was a prime mover in its foundation, hosting the treaty signing in London.
No, he tells them it's a European Union imposition. And it works. Well done, European Union!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:50:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a neat way of shifting blame. No, Cameron is responsible.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 03:13:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron is guilty. He does not strike me as particularly responsible.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 03:30:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blair wanted to get rid of the Human Rights Act, too...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 03:30:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh dear. My hero...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 04:21:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure. Blame the EU for Cameeron playing the Little Englander.
by IM on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:41:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
was almost always a powerless and largely irrelevant body, one where Comecon countries met their Nato equivalents back in the day.

On paper commendable, in reality though, not much to talk about.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 05:47:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 05:49:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it was the only body who cared to run an investigation of the CIA rendition flights and black prisons 10 years ago. It is quite effective as "watchdogs" go, powerless and irrelevant goes with the territory.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 05:52:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European body which can occasionally tell the truth.

No need to create new ones, of course, we can do this ourselves.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:00:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Define "we" and define what "we" can do ourselves.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:32:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
relatively intelligent, sporadically funded and highly powerless Europeans.

What "we" can do is issue ignored-in-advance reports on this that and the other thing, like Belarus' lack of democracy and transparency (as opposed, say, to any Eurogroup negotiation, say) or the report Migeru cites.

 

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:44:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a good line in scornful dismissal, but it doesn't have much content. I doubt if "we" in your definition could even bring out a report. Let alone have 47 countries (minus Belarus) sign up to a convention of human rights, and run the European Court of Human Rights to judge complaints under the convention.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:56:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A belarus supporter, what?

That fits.

by IM on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:24:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German lack of ability to read irony, or simply stupidity.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 08:12:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Easy on the ad-hominems, Redstar!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 08:21:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
being a fan of reactionary dictatorships is not ad hominem.

I see.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 08:24:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Racist ad hominems are, how shall I put this?...

Racist.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 08:25:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Those are just nonsequiturs on IM's part.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 08:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Racial and national stereotypes really should be left at the door in rational discussion. I don't see why this is so hard to understand.

Perhaps it's because you're Irish?

:) No irony intended.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 08:53:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Winston Churchill, a key father of this Council of Europe which this sub-thread is putatively about, once famously responded, rhetorically, to his musing "where would we be without humour" with the response: "Germany".

Your accusation of racism is both silly and insulting.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 09:35:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have German friends who are funny as hell. I've known intelligent Irish people. Your silly insulting racist accusations are.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 09:46:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I recall that at least one participant was, after repeated warnings, expelled from the forum for persisting in national/racial stereotyping, generalising from his personal experience. I believe he never understood what the problem was.

Is it now OK, or not? Does it depend who does it?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 09:53:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In what may be my last ever act of [ET Moderation Technology™] ...

I think we should all take a step back and reflect on the ridiculousness of the situation.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:13:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Calm, sure. But at a certain point, we need to know what the rules are.

The usual measure of whether something is offensive is whether the putative targets are offended by it (not whether someone else takes offense on their behalf). My guess, which no doubt would require confirmation, is that German participants in this forum are annoyed and offended by redstar's frequent humourless gybes about alleged German humourlessness (leaving aside other alleged national characteristics which he has, in the past, attributed to them).

It might seem trivial, but it's a principle that I feel strongly about. It might be seen as an extended piece of performance art, rather than as representing redstar's true beliefs, but that would actually be an aggravating factor in my view, as it is easy to interpret the intent as being to sow discord between people based on their nationality.

If I were a nationalist, I might suggest that redstar's problem be sorted out by his compatriots (and I would happily delegate the job to the Irish caucus, who might be more expeditive than the French).

But I think it's a collective problem.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:40:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The serious answer to "I seek a ruling" would have been "do we need to set up a tribunal?".

I tried humour. It didn't work. So be it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:44:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite right. One of the reasons why I mostly don't see much sense in taking part here is exactly this nationalism and racist stereotyping.
by Katrin on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 11:41:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Churchill was a racist dick. What's your point, other than "I'm really angry at everyone"?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Laughing.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:13:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your sig line is an open display of Germanophobia, and though this has been pointed out before, you haven't seen fit to change it. So don't complain about "racist ad hominems".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:26:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ad hominems?

Not I.

I don't see any racist ad hominems.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:28:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:
Your accusation of racism is both silly and insulting.

But whatever. Just don't complain.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:38:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Churchill has his band of merry adulators just as Maggie Thatcher or Ronni Raygun have.

'Mustard gas' Churchill, the most lionised man of the 20thC.

A sometimes very witty man, but certainly no sage to subscribe to.

His ability to give uplifting oratory at a terrible time gained him much love and respect, but his core values were pompous and predatory, Empah incarnate.

Your sig, Redstar is trolling and you know it, I commend the Germans here for ignoring your provocation and answering on the merit of your often interesting arguments.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2015 at 07:16:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's also getting boring. How about varying it and using other Churchill quotes, Such as "I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion."
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 12:39:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only Churchill quote I like is: "We are all worms, but some of us are glow-worms." :)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 02:53:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fits in with your other right-wing tendencies.

And irony is really not your strong suit.

by IM on Sun Jun 7th, 2015 at 07:40:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the real world the European Courts on Human Rights is a big success story.

Even if the rest of the Council is an fossil now.

by IM on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:37:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's worth wondering why they don't, since the Council of Europe predates the EEC and the EU by quite a bit.

No wonder. The Council has withered away outsidde the Court and has been seen in the east as an mntechamber to the EU-membership.

It alsoo tends to overlap with the functions of the OSCE

by IM on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:44:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
truly getting mad.

hat is the problem if people go around and screech that everything is fascist: They totally loose their bearings.

by IM on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:35:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe we could cobble a logo together out of this (with a few additions).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:37:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A physical map of Europe might be better.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:41:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't serious...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:48:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Big challenges cannot be addressed at a tiny level.

Admittedly, the EU has performed appallingly of late (as it has been captured by austerianism), but I don't see that this is a battle that was being lost in every country. Greece seems to be the only one to really push back.

On the other hand, if you want to address a far bigger issue (yes, I know 60% youth unemployment is shocking and actually does wake me up at night -still, I stand by far bigger) such as sustainability and averting catastrophic climate change, then you need very strong integration. And, until 2008, the EU was indeed a strong hope for the world and the only superpower that was making any sort of noise in the right direction.

Remove that and you have the guarantee that the fate of the world will be decided between Washington and Beijing - nice beacons of hope.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 09:49:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On that note...
The plan looks harmless at a glance. Laws in Europe should be "better", said Frans Timmermans, first Vice-President of the European Commission. Therefore "more transparency and control" are needed in the future when the EU adopts new laws, vows the Commissioner. The European Parliament and the Council of EU governments should also commit contractually to subdue all legislative changes to a "rigorous" examination before voting on them, demands Timmermans, who presented a contract draft.

...

Gradually, Europe gets deeper and deeper into the "post-democracy" state against which the British political scientist Colin Crouch warned us ten years ago. As legislation has moved to a transnational sphere that escapes public control, democracy loses its substance and citizens turn away. "People who actually only reject the current EU policy are forced to turn against the EU system as a whole," says European expert and political consultant Ulrike Guérot - a circumstance that increasingly takes them to vote for parties relapsing into nationalism, like France's Front National.

If the EU parliament or at least its pro-European majority take themselves seriously, they should reject Timmermans' plan altogether and call for the exact opposite, a reform facilitating European citizens' initiatives and finally allowing referendums. The EU needs more democracy, not less. Otherwise its days are numbered.



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:12:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I fully agree that the EU looks like post-democracy.

But so do both the country I currently live in (the UK - which is not bound by Maastricht) and the one in which I was born (France, who at some point gave all levels of power except the EP to an allegedly leftist party, only to get right-wing economics if, admittedly and that was welcome, left-wing social policies).

Post-democracy seems to be a feature of our times, one which we must fight, but not, I think, one limited to the EU. International trade agreements apparently among the major culprits.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:48:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention our 800-pound adolescent across the pond, where our supposedly socialist president is busy pushing a trans-pacific trade deal that is being kept secret even from the legislators who are expected to approve it, not to mention the population who will have to live with it.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 01:40:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sounds undecided:

http://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/newsroom/better-regulation-should-not-be-excuse-deregulation

"There needs to be more clarity on the Commission's idea to have both a Regulatory Scrutiny Board and independent panel. These impact assessments should be comprehensive and not just look at the costs imposed on businesses, but also the cost to health services, consumers, workers' rights and the environment of not regulating."  

by IM on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:32:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 08:23:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Integration, big issue governing cuts both ways... Look at what market regulators, environment protection agencies protect now...

I was a rather indifferent (or even passively skeptical) towards the EU integration. Appreciated it as a beneficiary.

Having less hassle with currency, travel, employment was nice... but what were the true motivations for the institutions? Was there a real chance for a hoped progressive performance? What about the EU now being exactly where it is supposed to be?

by das monde on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:51:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
real-existing EU, and not the one we idealise and which a certain generation of french elites dreamed up.

And, that real-existing EU has not been a force for good, for longer than since 2008.

And the fate of the world is indeed currently being decided in Washington and Beijing, and that might be a good thing, as I'm not sure having François Hollande and Angela Merkel have much of a say is a good idea.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 05:52:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It started going downhill right after Maastricht, with the ill-fated (and uninspiring) Santer Commission. The Prodi Commission was a respite of sorts, but 10 years of Barroso just about killed it. And Barroso was reappointed in 2009, just so there wouldn't be a Commission counterweight to German "leadership" on crisis management.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:08:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:
the fate of the world is indeed currently being decided in Washington and Beijing, and that might be a good thing

Irrespective of how bad the EU is, the world under Washington and Beijing is increasingly free-trade authoritarian liberal, and that might not be a good thing at all.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:35:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
liberal over german authoritarian conservatism à la wolfgang shauble any day of the week.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:37:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How much difference is there? What the free-trade agreements currently imposed by the Washington-sponsored corporate world will lead us to is an authoritarian pro-business set-up. In fact the EU, weakened by individual member-state contention and infiltrated by lobbies, is falling apart to be simply replaced by that set-up.  
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:46:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by more than member-state contention and the inevitable lobbies which set up wherever power centres are created.

EU weakness is at its core, starting with the Euro construction, and given that construction, continuing on through the German conservatism which is dominating the aftermath.

And that conservatism is far less dynamic, allows for far less social mobility, than the alternatives.

It is, in a word, conservative.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:52:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed, it's not just member-state contention and lobbies, and the euro is a millstone round the EU's neck. But I'm not expecting much in the way of social mobility (unless that means a handful of lucky duckies who make it to the 1%) from the broader global free-trade agreements that are being undemocratically "negotiated".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:02:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Schäuble, the TTIP enemy. Now I have seen anything.
by IM on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:25:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We need to try different things, to find the best ways...

Diversity is better than uniformity.


Diversity is only better if there is a mechanism by which the superior outcomes can be transmitted to the parts of the grand experiment which experience inferior outcomes.

In the absence of an imperial arbitrator with a vested interest in promoting the good outcomes, there are at least as many ways for the bad outcomes to spread as there are for the good ones.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 01:43:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting to look through that diary and discussion.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 12:44:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hollande wasn't in an electronic format, or I could add to your trolling.

Must be love, which means never having to say you are sorry :-)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 05:41:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Somebody I knew died this weekend. I had worked with them for a few months, although rarely talked. Nobody at work, including myself, was particularly shocked or even upset and I was curious about that reaction in myself as well as others.

So this is an obituary of sorts, but more of a tribute to a singular type of character. I have just watched the film of "On the Road" and realised how some aspects of Dean Moriarty/Jack Cassady reminded me of this person.

So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, ...and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty. I think of. Dean. Moriarty."

I thought of that line when I heard J. had died,  OD'd over the weekend of heroin in Thailand, he thought it was cocaine which you'd do if you were stoned in Thailand and somebody offered you some white powder cos cocaine is what white powder always is, isn't it? Except, in Thailand it's heroin. That's not a mistake anybody gets to make twice and so poor old J. is dead, at 27.

There was something of Dean in J. That charm, the easy languid smile, the restless seeking of the next sensual thrill. He was a user too, of people as well as chemicals, although more an abuser of both. Oh yes, he even studied how to be a bastard at Pick-Up School-for-Scoundrels. He'd steal from anyone, which was how he got fired from when I knew him but there was more to it than just a dark mischief, he stole for fun, to prove he was a better survivor, more predatory, sharpened his instincts. I'm sure he was fun to be around, but he wasn't a nice person even if he did me no harm.

It's tempting to say he deserved what he got. Although any of us who've woken up after rattling our bones at the ol' reaper know that it's never about deserving. No, in those circumstances when you wake up in unfamiliar rooms with the sweats upon you and you count your limbs and lucky stars you know it's all about dumb luck and the roll of the dice. Well he chased snake eyes all the way of the dragon and somewhere along the line his luck ran out.

Dean was the life and soul of a party, wherever he was there was a party. He was a hedonist, relentless in his mischief and, disguising his damage with energy, he attracted the very best of people to him and the intellect and spirit to keep 'em. The positives outweighed Dean's dark side and made his awfulness forgivable.

J lacked such enthusiasms, he was just damaged and lost. And now he's dead. In Thailand, where the cocaine is heroin and the heroin is cheap and nobody cares about another dead tourist who OD's cos there are always plenty more.

The saddest thing is, unlike Dean, few will think of him. At work everybody went "meh", there had always been that "oh me oh my, feel like I'm fixin to die" inevitability. Live fast,  die young, leave a beautiful corpse. If it wasn't going to be from sleeping with the girl with the deranged ex-boyfriend (in SX that is always a possibility) then drugs was always the probability.

I think of Dean Moriarty, cos something in you reminds me of him. I'd never met a self-styled "pick up artist" before and the desperate sleaziness fascinated me. But I will not think of you anymore. A lost soul who lost out.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 1st, 2015 at 12:49:38 PM EST
by das monde on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:33:25 PM EST
The carpenter/plumber opposition is intriguing. Do plumbers make more money than carpenters?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:31:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes


Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:46:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pay Scale

Carpenter:  $19.33 per hour
Plumber: $20.11 per hour

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 11:33:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But what if they have their own business?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 11:40:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was the aspiration of "Joe." In typical fashion, he was neither named Joe nor a licensed plumber.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 11:51:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A plumber will normally work alone, a carpenter normally in a work crew.

I'd also hazard a guess that carpenters have a higher unionization rate (for the same reason).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 01:39:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, that's generally true in France, anyway.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 02:53:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would add, carpeting is a sort of creative work, with a pretty colloquial relation to customers. Plumbing is a dirty, individualistic work, with a bit of mutual disrespect between the worker and the customer.
by das monde on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 10:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Jaws' turns 40: Five reasons it wouldn't work today
4. No one goes swimming anymore

OK, that's an exaggeration. But it's true that summer beach vacations just aren't the tradition they once were. Parents and kids alike are burdened with more commitments and less free time, and Griswold-style family trips are becoming a relative rarity. A shark terrorizing a seaside resort wouldn't resonate the same way it did in 1975 - most of us would shrug and say, "Who has time to go to the beach?"

by das monde on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 11:04:22 PM EST
Although the author mostly writes about good beer, he is, at heart, a marketing person, and so brings an interesting perspective to things. I found this very illuminating

Pete Brown - How Big Lager Lost The Plot And Developed Narcissistic Personality Disorder

As anyone who has read Man Walks into a Pub will know, my entry into the world of beer was via Big Lager. I loved lager ads when I was growing up as a teenager.

Later, once I was helping make those ads, I was fascinated by the tribal loyalty people had to their favourite beer brands.

If you were a group of mates in your twenties, Carling or Heineken or Carlsberg was like another one of your gang, always there when all the best times happened. In research groups you sometimes do an exercise where you ask people to imagine what brands would be like if they were people at a party. Beer brands were always characterised as confident, friendly guys, witty and popular without being an arse, enjoying a drink but never getting too drunk. This guy was never the pack leader, not necessarily the most popular or pushy guy in the room, but everyone liked him.

Things started go go wrong around 1997. Advertising regulations grew ever tighter and the funny campaigns of the eighties were no longer possible. And beer started to take itself seriously. It wanted to provide a bit of substance behind the good-natured banter. Fair enough. But the picture started to blur.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 11:58:36 AM EST
The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion - NYTimes.com

Dr. Ehrlich's opening statement was the verbal equivalent of a punch to the gut: "The battle to feed all of humanity is over." He later went on to forecast that hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s, that 65 million of them would be Americans, that crowded India was essentially doomed, that odds were fair "England will not exist in the year 2000." Dr. Ehrlich was so sure of himself that he warned in 1970 that "sometime in the next 15 years, the end will come." By "the end," he meant "an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity."

As you may have noticed, England is still with us. So is India. Hundreds of millions did not die of starvation in the '70s. Humanity has managed to hang on, even though the planet's population now exceeds seven billion, double what it was when "The Population Bomb" became a best-seller and its author a frequent guest of Johnny Carson's on "The Tonight Show." How the apocalyptic predictions fell as flat as ancient theories about the shape of the Earth is the focus of this installment of Retro Report, a series of video documentaries examining significant news stories of the past and their aftermath.

Advertisement Continue reading the main story

After the passage of 47 years, Dr. Ehrlich offers little in the way of a mea culpa. Quite the contrary. Timetables for disaster like those he once offered have no significance, he told Retro Report, because to someone in his field they mean something "very, very different" from what they do to the average person. The end is still nigh, he asserted, and he stood unflinchingly by his 1960s insistence that population control was required, preferably through voluntary methods. But if need be, he said, he would endorse "various forms of coercion" like eliminating "tax benefits for having additional children." Allowing women to have as many babies as they wanted, he said, is akin to letting everyone "throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor's backyard as they want."

by Bjinse on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 04:22:32 PM EST
Can we be sure that the stubborn austerity policies, the labour squeeze, financial bubbles and busts, suicidal Indian farmers, immigrant boats in the Middeteranian, military activity in Donbass, Iraq, Syria have nothing to do with the $7 billion figure?

The public discussion of the demographic elephant did not progress much since Malthus and Darwin, Wallace:

In the fall of 1838, [Darwin] picked up the most recent edition of Thomas Malthus's best-selling "Essay on the Principle of Population" [...] The future of the human race, Malthus argued, was shaped by two factors:

First, That food is necessary to the existence of man.

Secondly, That the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state.

[...] because the food supply does not increase as rapidly as the population, a large percentage of those born will always die of starvation: the "difficulty of subsistence" provides a "strong and constantly operating check on population."

This, for Malthus, meant that there would never be such a thing as a perfect society, in which all members live "in ease, happiness, and comparative leisure"; some part of the human race will always be suffering from poverty and hunger.

Wallace, then in Indonesia, had been forced by a recurrent fever to spend hours every day lying down. "I had nothing to do but think," he later wrote, and one day

something brought to my recollection Malthus's "Principles of Population," which I had read about twelve years before. I thought of his clear exposition of "the positive checks to increase"--disease, accidents, war, and famine--which keep down the population of savage races to so much lower an average than that of more civilized peoples. It then occurred to me that these causes or their equivalents are continually acting in the case of animals also....

What if a few clubs of responsible deciders are preoccupied with this line of thinking ever since (if not earlier)?
by das monde on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 11:22:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is some more news:

 Germany dominance over as demographic crunch worsens -- The Telegraph

Germany's birth rate has collapsed to the lowest level in the world and its workforce will start plunging at a faster rate than Japan's by the early 2020s, seriously threatening the long-term viability of Europe's leading economy.

A study by the World Economy Institute in Hamburg (HWWI) found that the average number of births per 1,000 population dropped to 8.2 over the five years from 2008 to 2013, further compounding a demographic crisis already in the pipeline. Even Japan did slightly better at 8.4.

We can do the demographic transition so effectively now!

Let's look closer to the welcome demographic shift:

(birth rate per 1000 women, per year)

Whatever you think about dumb misogynist US conservatives, reproductively they are doing darned well. That is not exactly big news - but the numbers are really distinctive. Just when real natural selection game is starting...

The liberal baby bust -- USA Today (2006)

What's the difference between Seattle and Salt Lake City? There are many differences, of course, but here's one you might not know. In Seattle, there are nearly 45% more dogs than children. In Salt Lake City, there are nearly 19% more kids than dogs [...]

It's a pattern found throughout the world, and it augers a far more conservative future -- one in which patriarchy and other traditional values make a comeback, if only by default. Childlessness and small families are increasingly the norm today among progressive secularists. As a consequence, an increasing share of all children born into the world are descended from a share of the population whose conservative values have led them to raise large families.

[...] Europeans who are most likely to identify themselves as "world citizens" are also less likely to have children.

Does anyone here break the trend?
by das monde on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 11:50:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anecdotal evidence suggests that in developed countries, educated, employed people will have children if they reasonably can. They will have extra children if it is financially and organisationally possible.

Statistically, this can be seen very clearly in the difference of fecundity rates between Germany and France. The difference is social engineering by the government : mandating maternity leave, with the obligation for the employer to take a woman back afterwards; organisation of schools and affordable childcare to make parenting compatible with full-time work; tax breaks for families with children; etc.

I suspect that Washington, Oregon etc. have increasing populations, because they are fine places to migrate to. But I think their state governments would do well to examine these policy areas if they are concerned about fecundity rates.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 04:54:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Conservative values" are hardly genetic traits. The gay bars of San Francisco are filled with the former kids of Utah and the Dakotas.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 06:40:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The social-genetic dynamics is worth more analysis, surely. Is it like in old times, a younger son was supposed to become a priest (now immigrate to a liberal place)? Are settled liberals yet more behind in procreation than newcomers? If nuture is the dominant factor, how attractive is the "liberal package" for personal lifes?

Seattle is the the most atheist US city, by the way.

by das monde on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 10:21:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the Seattle area it's only 52 percent. Reflecting the community's diversity, 10 percent of "believers" claim non-Christian faiths like Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hindu.
I like those quotes around "believers".....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 10:40:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not entirely new. Way back when, Seattle was heavily populated with immigrants from the Nordic countries. I personally know 5 "old" Finnish Seattle families. Every single individual is atheist.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 10:54:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well worth a visit if you are in the area: Seattle's Nordic Heritage Museum

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 11:53:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The dynamics needs first and foremost be able to explain why the world has gone in a general liberal direction the last century, when conservatives has as a rule had most kids.

Removing genetics as a factor is imho the first step.

by fjallstrom on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 05:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Their kids go to schools. Education has a well-known liberal bias.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 06:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had mentioned Graves' values systems at ET. (Also here and here.) Individual core values are a big thing in transformational psychology (as in NLP, corporate training). Challenging them instinctively brings forth emotional resistance, denial.

Graves build up his general system from numerous interviews, inspired by Maslow's pyramid of needs. The progression of values fairly reflects available resources (individually or collectively). The odd-numbered values transpire to be ego-centric (so to speak), while even-number numbered are "society" centric.

The liberals (and socialists) fall neatly into the value level #6: humanistic values, human rights; opposing extreme inequality and hierarchy; providing satisfactory living standards to everyone; supporting sexual choice, etc. The conservatives are represented by a mixed bag in this system: #4 (traditional society values, religion); #3 (authoritarian leadership of various sorts); #5 (entrepreneurship, opportunistic autonomy). The reason that conservatism encompasses a few different value systems is that those systems co-existed for centuries already. Besides, the meta-level #7 (awareness that values are not absolute, and using that for personal benefit) generally favors conservativism as well.

Within this paradigm, the general liberal direction in the last century is well explained by unprecedented abundance of resources. Extrapolation to a bright liberal future is then reasonable only assuming the same abundance of resource further down. But if resources become tight instead, prevalence of the value level #6 is in deep trouble. Firstly, it will badly become a punching bag for the conservatives and #7, as they are more eagerly perceptive of resource limitations. Secondly, it will be tougher to sustain or buy #6 personally, with the personal share of resources and benefits becoming unsatisfactory. Liberals will prevail in the biggest cities pretty long, as this is where resources and services are concentrated. But the liberals (generally) find themselves already pretty low in the financial food chain and social influence. Habitually, they profess their values passively and have intrinsic leadership issues. No wonder that they were led by #7 wolves in the last two decades to wholesome irrelevance. The progress in LGBT rights only masks the lost ground on social-economic issues.

Genetics is surely not a dominant factor in the Graves value system. Rather explicitly, it is postulated that Graves' values "progress" pretty inevitably with a larger cake of resources. In particular, #6 is dependent on the level of education, and appearance of having enough to everyone. Genetics might play a role in flexibility, readiness to embrace or avoid particular value systems. For example, (non)stickiness to authority dynamics might be a genetic determinant for #6 acceptance.

What I notice is that there are several trends heralding a depression of #6 values. The brief rise and fall of #6 might be a recurrent story of great civilizations.

by das monde on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 11:26:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think this confuses cause and effect. Even if you accept the premise of the system - which is questionable - resources are perceived to be scarce because it's the in interest of #7s to make them so.

In reality resources are abundant, and with reality-based development there's no need for current and future constraints.

What there is a need for is a removal of resource use for pointless tribal wealth display - which directly and indirectly creates scarcity in the short term, and stunts resource development in the longer term.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2015 at 08:04:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, we take it for granted that "in reality resources are abundant"? There will be "no need for future constraints"? No matter what the population on Earth? No bottleneck resources ever?!

The current average Western lifestyle is beyond Earth's carrying capacity (for today's 7 billion) already, many suspect. We are already flaunting our tribal display to the future generations.

Even if humanity is objectively safe with resources for this century, perceptions of the concerned may matter more. The current austerity regime for the masses is indeed artificially sharpened scarcity. Would this be the first time in human history that tribal elites prefer to experiment with artificial scarcity rather than risk a cannibalistic collapse? Would #9s agree to compromise their transhumanist hobbies just to allow a billion more of fit, happy, productive people live on Earth? What if we won't ever reach planets near other stars if we dig into planet's oil resources for another 50 years like now?

by das monde on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 04:15:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait, you're lecturing the ET crowd that we're taking it for granted that resources are abundant? I do believe you win the Internet. Well trolled.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 05:20:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who else will troll "in reality resources are abundant"?
by das monde on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 05:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're both wrong :

Firstly, it will badly become a punching bag for the conservatives and #7, as they are more eagerly perceptive of resource limitations.

Excuse me, who are the people who are perceptive of resource limitations? Do you class the global green movement among the conservatives?

Conservatives are generally in deep denial about resource limitations, or they pretend to be (global warming denialists are rarely liberals, for example). They consider that the commons (fossil fuels, fish in the sea, an unpolluted environment) are theirs for the grabbing, and eagerly exploit them for individual profit, while the negative consequences are denied (and become a collective responsibility, that only liberals care about).

Resource limitations are real. Scarcity is both the result of confiscation, and of mismanagement by the confiscators, who don't care about optimising the global outcome as long as they get their share.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 04:27:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the conscious level, the conservatives deny resource limitations indeed. But they never daydreamed (correctly or not, at different times) that there is enough for everyone on the planet. Generally, they do not take personal resources for granted, and they are ready to be adequately competitive. Their respect for hierarchy, territorial and private property forms a seamless way of dealing with resources. As rationalists, we still have to show that we have anything smarter than historical (or even nature's) territorial/hierarchical arrangements.
by das monde on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 04:41:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are these your personal fantasies, or were they dreamed up by some new-age pop psycologist? You seem to be extrapolating a lot from the basic notion of the conservative's respect for hierarchy : you appear to have created a personal system of values based on your perception of the fitness of hierarchical organization to automatically manage resource constraints.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 06:17:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After a few encounters with some personal and (somewhat) corporate training, suggestive ideas do come to mind. It is then more fun to read ecological, evolutionary or political philosophy, Archdruid, watch "American sniper". I could appropriate those links between value sets and resource management, to some degree.

The NLP/transformational training industry (whether for persons organizations) has definitely gathered a lot of practical impactful knowledge that is guiding big organizations and their leaders. In particular, corporations build up their inner structure as "societies" of individuals with "complimentary" Graves value sets. Not too surprisingly, the industry is not particularly interested do disseminate its knowledge to public just so. An academic formulation is apparently not the most attractive option for those involved.

Hierarchical structures are anti-fragile (in Taleb's sense) with respect to resource limitations, almost tautologically. That is a better characterization than fit.

by das monde on Tue Jun 9th, 2015 at 04:25:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And as a philosophy of political and social organisation, this is distinct from fascism in what way?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Jun 9th, 2015 at 09:00:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fascism is just misunderstood. Probably the fault of the feminists.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 9th, 2015 at 09:24:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fascism = corporatism, old news.
by das monde on Tue Jun 9th, 2015 at 10:37:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a hard time believing those figures.

Even defining "women" as "women over 20" or so, and rounding down to 55, that is still 3.3 children per woman, in other words a runaway population increase. That does not seem right.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 10:47:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I looked up the CDC source. Apparently, they mean "births per 1000 women aged 15-44 years".

The map is for the year 2011.

by das monde on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 09:54:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words, you cannot distinguish real effects from artefacts of the age distribution of women of childbearing age.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 04:04:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What does this alter in the relative comparison? I was just paying minimal attention to the statistics specification.
by das monde on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 04:18:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can easily get a factor of two in either direction.

Quantifying the effect in this particular case would require me to go dig around in BLS databases for an hour or two, which I don't feel like doing right this moment.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 05:55:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do not see what you still need.

The "replacement rate" of 2.0 children per women corresponds to 66.7 for the map data (=2.0x1000/(30 years)) - right in the gap between the blue and red numbers (apart from Hawaii).

by das monde on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 06:27:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Imagine a contrived scenario where all women have twins sometime during their 30th year of age, and no children in any other age bracket.

Now imagine that you have two states, one in which all the women are 29 years old, and one in which they are all 28 years old.

Now tell me what the absolute birth rate would be in those two states.

Now tell me what the absolute birth rate would be in the following year, for both states.

For extra credit, calculate whether the states in this example are over or under the replacement fertility.

In the real world, of course, both the demographics and the fertility distribution by age are much messier than in the nice, clean example above. Hence the need for spending an hour or two poking about in BLS data.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 08:02:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A long river in Egypt comes to mind.
by das monde on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 08:19:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Mississippi?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 09:58:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Checked the CDC, it is children per woman aged 15-44. So stable population.
by fjallstrom on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 08:06:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to reinforce my earlier remarks.
Regardless of ideology, there are powerful economic drivers to the geographical trends. I'd bet that wages are generally lower in red states, but the cost of living is also considerably lower (you can buy a house for next to nothing in Topeka). The result is that it is often feasible to run a single-income family. Whereas in Seattle or Boston, you need two incomes just to pay the rent.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 02:57:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Economy is indeed a direct driver. But can this be a theory of "everything"? Texas is not cheap. The liberals could look at cheaper living options as well. Rentiers in Boston, Seattle must be doing great. And what about the proportions of singles?

The article with the map says:

When Lesthaeghe studied the map county by county, he found the link between family size and political leaning became even stronger.
It then acknowledges that (basically) your economic drivers increasingly pressurre the conservatives as well. It makes a guess that the fertility predictive power will last until 2020. A probable dominant factor for liberal optimism is mentioned (birth rates rise amongst women of color).
by das monde on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 04:26:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cherry-picking, some, in that map?

But let's look at the total population picture (US Census Bureau for 2013:

Total Population of the cited "red" states: 42.4 mn

Total Population of the cited "blue" states: 94.3 mn

In other words, the "red" states don't get to even half the population of the "blue" states.

Which relativises the shock value of the chart.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 03:32:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What cherries don't you like? A better pick somewhere else?

Yeah, we can just go sleep well and never look at this subject.

by das monde on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 04:34:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the subject?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 04:40:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why no reply?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 02:52:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even more: there are a lot of replies to your post, and I took the time to do the numbers on total population from the Census Bureau.

So please cut the crap about people are suggesting we just go to sleep.

So the cherries. There are a heap of red states in that CDC table that are barely higher than the blue states, and that are under the 62/1000 level that you tell us means population renewal. Why aren't these cited?

Alabama 60.6
Georgia 61.6
N Carolina 60.4
S Carolina 60.6
Virginia 60.9
W Virginia 61.5

And blue California (not cited) is spot on the 62/1000 level.

If the chart means that the top numbers in the table are pretty much all culturally-isolated conservative religious Mid-West states, well duh.

And secondly that the lowest levels are in the less isolated less conservative less religious heavily-populated regions, well double-duh.

If the point is to say that the rednecks are going to catch up on the bluebottles, then the total population figures show that it isn't going to be much of a thing any time soon.

So what is that chart about?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 03:51:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Firstly, the observation of discrepancy between "redneck" and liberal birth rates is not based on that one chart. I gave two other articles, one of them is statistics heavy. That is the broad subject we are talking about, if it needs to be spelled out.

Secondly, "cherry picking" the most extreme cases of birth rate and observing the color consistency is a totally fair game. Your can surely analyze further the middle pot, isolatedness. But your "double dough" is not on target. The less isolated, less conservative states are more mixed cases, thus their middle range birth rate is fully consistent with the supposed high discrepancy between conservatives and liberals. The researcher says, the discrepancy on the "county by county" level is only more clear.

So you will only worry when the absolute numbers even out? No discussion until then? Then I say, there is always sleep or the Nile.

by das monde on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 04:44:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I must admit I miss the Nile reference.

Is it a reference to Brave New World and the early attempts to teach kids during their sleep? A play on word with nil or nihilist?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 04:34:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a play on words. "The Nile" sounds like "denial".
by fjallstrom on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 05:24:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.", usually attributed to Mark Twain
by Katrin on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 07:35:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The chart is a "Wow!" chart. It relies on displaying outliers in a distribution to make a point. That is indeed a form of cherry-picking, especially when the other 27 states are considered, that present a much more ambiguous picture. Why present only 10 red states but 13 blue? Because 3 more red states would have muddied the picture presented? Why show Florida (not a particularly true-blue state) on 59.6, but not the neighbouring red states that are on 60-61?

das monde:

So you will only worry when the absolute numbers even out? No discussion until then?

  1. "No discussion" is a strawman. There's plenty of discussion. If it doesn't say what you believe, that's tough.

  2. Given the fertility rates cited across the whole distribution, and given the total population figures I gave for the outliers, it would seem that it'll be a long time before the population of those red states equals that of those blue states. And this is without considering mobility -- what will an increased population in the isolated interior have to build a life on? How many will leave for the exterior states? How many will then change their cultural and political attitudes (see melvin's comment)?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 04:59:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By "No discussion until then?" I refer to your strongly dismissal tone, as if we should not even think about this matter (until overwhelmed by numbers, presumably). It does not mean I have no moles (with tight beliefs) to whack here.
by das monde on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 03:34:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as if we should not even think about this matter

I've done enough discussion to show that you're wrong.

What I'm dismissive of is that chart. And, probably too, the notion that political demography is just a matter of birth rates.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 03:53:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You proved everything, surely.
by das monde on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 04:20:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Grid Constraints on Renewable Energy | The Energy Collective


If renewable energy is ever to become truly subsidy independent and earn its keep in electricity markets, that means there is a natural stopping point at which a marginal increment of wind or solar will become unprofitable. The market revenues earned by these VREs will eventually fall far enough that it's no longer worth deploying more.

This is also why the idea of reaching "grid parity," or a levelized cost equal to the prevailing market price, is pretty meaningless. As soon as wind or solar penetration grows, the goal posts move further away due to this merit-order or market price effect. Wind and solar costs will have to keep falling to secure greater penetration levels and remain profitable at the ever lower and lower market prices caused by increasing VRE penetration.

Alternatively, if wind and solar are to remain subsidized, the amount of public subsidy per unit of energy supplied will have to keep growing in order to push VRE shares higher and higher. The total subsidy cost could rise sharply, as the price per MWh required increases alongside the quantity of electricity generated from these sources. 

(...)

Indeed, according to a major new study of the challenges of integrating wind and solar in the Western Interconnection of North America, the maximum production of variable renewables at any instant can't exceed about 55-60 percent of total demand without risking system stability.

In Ireland, which, as we saw in part 1 is the world leader in variable renewable penetration, system operators currently limit variable renewable production to 50 percent of demand at any given time, although operators are working to increase this limit.

In short, the capacity factor threshold may actually be generous: if the instantaneous penetration of wind and solar can't exceed half or two-thirds of power system demand in any given moment, system security concerns will begin to bind before the penetration of variable renewables reaches their capacity factor.


by Bjinse on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 04:11:44 PM EST
That is, uh, nonsense.

A fixed-price take-or-pay agreement is not a subsidy.

In every other freaking sector of the economy, you can write long-term, fix-price frame agreements for variable levels of production. But apparently this bog-standard instrument that every first year student of supply chain management should be familiar with suddenly becomes a puzzling novelty when applied to wind power.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 04:25:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of the old arguments that were rolled out (intermittence, variability) have lost their potency in the face of experience in countries with a substantial share of renewables in the mix. The fact of lower electricity prices due to the merit-order effect is also taking the edge off the "renewables are hideously expensive" argument.

So here is the "thinking man"'s new sophistry: the merit-order effect puts a natural cap on renewables penetration.

It's a pretty convoluted effort. Will we see it trotted out much?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 01:13:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you think that's nonsense, you should have seen a segment on wind power on BBC this morning.

the presenter simply could not shake his obsession with wind power being subsidized and unable to pay its way, despite the Head of Scottish Power trying to tell him that it was not so, but the questions were perfectly framed to prevent him doing so effectively

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 02:03:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are extensive contributions from Bruce McF in the comments section.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 02:54:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It should also be noted that the prime sponsors of this site are Siemens and Royal Dutch Shell, which Bjinse has neglected to point out.

And Bruce's comments are indeed detailed.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 03:24:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that the author is a longtime collaborator with the Breakthrough Institute (further comment), that argues against "environmentalism" and in favour of "making clean energy cheap". Which mostly means arguing against renewables and for gas + nuclear.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 03:37:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah because the etiquette to report sponsors of websites from which quotes are taken has been around since, wait, never. Grow up, CH.
by Bjinse on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 02:58:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When Royal Anglo-Dutch Shell pays money to a website that is spreading nasty lies about wind power, it does seem like the sort of fact which even the casual reader might consider pertinent.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 03:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
These people have the right to propagate their views.

And the readers of this blog have the right to know who backs them.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 03:24:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pity to see readers of this blog were kept so abysmally in the dark about that knowledge the previous times the website was quoted at ET and information from 'these people' was rated by you and others as "excellent".

I thought and think Bruce was onto something interesting with his outlines of discriminatory pricing systems. But off-putting response like yours teaches me to not attempt bringing adult conversation here again, I'll just stick to reading the experts from now on.

by Bjinse on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 05:54:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Talk about "off-putting" responses. The strawman about keeping people abysmally in the dark, I'll leave with you.

There's no reason why other writers reporting on other energy aspects on that site can't be considered useful or interesting. As for this article, I addressed it in my first comment. I think that, at base, it's a convoluted attempt to find new arguments against a roll-out of wind power. And I went on to point out the author's links to an anti-renewable think-tank.

If you wished to draw attention to Bruce McF's comments, you might have done so. But you didn't (I did).

So go away and play at being adult, if that's what you really think you must do. Personally, I find your above comment puerile.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 01:31:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're interested in adult conversation, why did you choose to respond to the meta rather than the substative discussions? Adult conversation requires a thicker skin than that.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 06:38:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would have - except that I don't see any discussion. There are two plain rejections with little to no substantiated argumentation plus one response labelling it sophistry without arguing against the thesis itself. Oh well.
by Bjinse on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 04:28:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's because it is sophistry, and there is no thesis underneath to argue against. Pointing that out is a substantive critique.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2015 at 04:12:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jun 8th, 2015 at 03:23:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The examples of adult discourse that you give are edifying.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 9th, 2015 at 02:21:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They're not "experts." They're professional propagandists.

Mentioning you Bjinse was simply a statement of fact, not meant as a personal negative.  You'll also notice I didn't take it any further anywhere else.

The site is part of an concerted effort to break renewables, just as climate-denial is programmed to disrupt effective policy shifts.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 6th, 2015 at 11:31:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not just because all the social and external costs are not included, which all of these energy economics ignore. (External health and environmental costs are huge. One might also attempt to calculate strategic and security costs to "level the playing field." But no...)

The Marketistas have won again. The end of the EEG feed-in tariff in Germany is already being negotiated: supplanted by tender or auction bids even for small onshore projects or solar installations. The new law will be finalized in 2016 to go into effect a year later. None of the details are now fixed. On first look there are both positive and negative aspects to this development, but one effect is clear: it's really complex.

By the way, Norway yesterday cancelled 1000 MW of windpower because of low prices. This after Sweden and Norway worked together to establish cross border tax and financial policies to make renewables work in the land of oil, hydro and nukes. Civilization, and its so-called leaders, remain blind.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 03:12:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess the overlords are thinking, a rather little of sustainable energy is a dangerous thing.
by das monde on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 07:05:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bjinse wishes to have substantive argument, even though the "experts" he prefers begin by calling renewables VRE, or variable renewable penetration, as if that wasn't a given since the dawn of time. The word penetration when referring to renewables has also been used by grid operators since the earliest days, when they had major reports saying 6% to 8% was the maximum a stable grid could handle.


In short, the capacity factor threshold may actually be generous: if the instantaneous penetration of wind and solar can't exceed half or two-thirds of power system demand in any given moment, system security concerns will begin to bind before the penetration of variable renewables reaches their capacity factor.

It now seems the previous threshold of 8% (i.e., only 12 years ago in Germany) has been exceeded greatly, since even the lower threshold of 50% appears on the surface to be a far greater number.

Would the instances of 100% "penetration" of wind alone in Spain or Denmark provide enough of an example to give lie to the "experts" argument?

Could it also be that these "experts" aren't yet aware that the power electronics of modern wind turbines are currently being used to provide grid stability, and low voltage ride-through?

Or that modern prediction of wind and solar out to 48 hours ahead is enough for planning by grid operators in industrial networks?


Alternatively, if wind and solar are to remain subsidized, the amount of public subsidy per unit of energy supplied will have to keep growing in order to push VRE shares higher and higher. The total subsidy cost could rise sharply, as the price per MWh required increases alongside the quantity of electricity generated from these sources.

Shouldn't the experts be aware that subsidies in most advanced grids decrease over time, mimicking the fact that electricity prices would be higher without "variable renewable energy?"

Fact is, these experts are wrong. Two scenarios: 1. They're wrong and they know it, but they're just doing their job: propaganda; or 2, they're wrong and they don't know it, meaning they believe their propaganda... despite all manner of real world data.

I sure wish I would grow up.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Jun 9th, 2015 at 03:43:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for that. I'm sure there are numerous examples of occasions with high wind output on the grid and that the grid can manage just fine, despite all kind of tales of woe and doom. I haven't seen any updates of last year's record on December 12, where wind contributed 37% of that day's electricity, has since been improved, so I consider that Germany's latest feat. Correct me when wrong.

The article's main hypothesis is this, though:

it is increasingly difficult for the market share of variable renewable energy sources at the system-wide level to exceed the capacity factor of the energy source.

If we take Germany as example, onshore wind has a capacity factor varying between 10 and 20 percent while the onshore market share in 2013 was 8,5 percent (with 50,8 TWh producing a third of Germany's renewable energy). I don't see how Germany's current progress could either prove or disprove the thesis proposed. If anything, onshore wind could at least grow a lot more, and when more offshore wind comes online, the figure can rise substantially further.

And to undo my own example, I don't think taking Germany (or another nation) as an example is ultimately sufficient - the scope is still too local for a systemic analysis.

by Bjinse on Wed Jun 10th, 2015 at 04:00:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're welcome.

The concept to grasp here is that the "main hypothesis" you quote is meaningless. Capacity factor is a measure over time; instantaneous or short-term have zero meaning (except for those monitoring loads of wind turbines operating above nameplate capacity.)

What do the "experts" mean by market share? Do they mean short-term grid incursion? In which case you already cited one disproving stat, of which there are thousands. Or do they mean in some poorly worded financial sense, which is a failure of market design that has nothing to do with their "variable renewable energy" output thesis.

Like climate deniers, they've used complex meaningless gobbledygook to confound and confuse. They CLEARLY don't understand capacity factor, which has been a utility standard since long before renewables entered the picture.

"the scope is still too local for system analysis"

Grid integration actually becomes easier as the grid becomes larger, either geographically or in terms of generation scale. So taking more local grids (like Denmark or Spain) does actually prove the point.

Except there's actually no point to prove or disprove. I used the phrase complex meaningless gobbledygook before. I should have said your "experts" are full of shit.

Did you know we can change the angle of attack on modern turbines in the control algorithm within minutes (including measurement), so full capacity isn't reached if necessary. At our command, for all manner of reasons. Or at the command of the grid operators! Take that, "experts."

The difference between garbage full of shit and dangerous full of shit depends on the source and funding of the shit. But it's still SHIT.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jun 10th, 2015 at 04:42:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PS. Germany's average capacity factor includes really old turbines very poorly sited by greedy fringe capitalists. Modern turbines near 20% in the worst of sites, and well above 30% (topping perhaps 36%) in the coastal north. But even older turbines in the north reach 30% CF.

Offshore ranges from lower 40's to near 55%. In some cases better than gas plants. With no fuel costs, or CO2 damage, or small particles in the lungs, or national security issues.

Fuck the dangerous well-funded "experts" who will be judged as social criminals by future generations, should those future generations survive.

Am i beginning to make myself clear about what's at stake in the original article.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jun 10th, 2015 at 04:53:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, for me the money quote is this one :

Grid Constraints on Renewable Energy | The Energy Collective

Instead, the fundamental economics of supply and demand is likely to put the brakes on VRE penetration.

Because it makes the ideological frame explicit. As Jake noted initially, the "fundamental economics of supply and demand" are subject to all sorts of constraints in the real world, and there is no reason the electricity sector should escape them.

One technical objection they raise concerns system stability with high renewables penetration; but North America is very much behind on these issues. In Germany and Spain, for example, active system management has pushed the frontiers considerably on this.

The main technical argument they make is clear : on a sunny windy day, generation may exceed demand! Too much energy, oh noes!

But as CH points out, over-capacity is not a technical problem -- modern wind turbines can spill excess energy; also, some industries in Germany are reconfiguring in order to increase energy-intensive processes when electricity is cheapest : demand elasticity will be much greater in the future. So the question is not of the "fundamental economics of supply and demand", but of the economics of the various generating technologies, and how to balance them to achieve the overall goals of public good.

This is where the consideration of who the site's backers are becomes pertinent; the merit-order effect has had a severe impact on the profitability of Europe's fossil-fuel generators, and increasing market share of renewables is likely to worsen that.

The solution is going to include subsidies for on-demand producers for keeping their plant available. These subsidies are philosophically no different from the fixed-price regime for renewables, neither good nor bad in themselves, but useful mechanisms.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 10th, 2015 at 06:40:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The article's main hypothesis is this, though:
it is increasingly difficult for the market share of variable renewable energy sources at the system-wide level to exceed the capacity factor of the energy source.
There are two problems with that "thesis:"

First, there's the fact that they cannot possibly have calculated the theoretical maximum market share of anything.

The theoretical maximum market share of a volatile renewable depends on the extent of the harvestable resource (for offshore wind this is for all practical purposes infinite, but that is not true for all volatile renewables), the degree of correlation between the volatile output of electricity from the modality and the (also volatile) demand for electricity, and (crucially) the capacity and dispatchability of available storage solutions.

Calculating the theoretical maximum market share, even under the assumption that consumption cannot be moved* is a non-trivial exercise in applied statistics. Which they haven't done. What they've done is look at past data, come up with a rule of thumb to describe it which kinda-sorta works (if you're not too picky about the technical details of the industry they're "studying" and the comparability of the data they're comparing), and proclaimed it a law of nature. Which is bullshit.

Second, capacity factor (actual energy delivered divided by how much energy would be delivered if you were running at full nameplate capacity at all times) has nothing to do with market share (actual energy delivered divided by the total energy consumption of the market into which you deliver energy).

The capacity factor of a particular site depends on the average availability of the harvested resource and the capacity deployed to harvest it. You will notice that these two numbers, capacity factor and maximum market penetration, share precisely zero underlying variables. Which means that to get from one to the other, you have to make all sorts of sketchy assumptions about pricing regimes, correlation coefficients, market structures, and so on and so forth. Assumptions which are never clearly spelled out. That's also bullshit, and it's dishonest bullshit too.

- Jake

*This is a very ambitious assumption, since much consumption can in fact be moved. But if you allow consumption to move in response to prices, then you need to model the full equations of motion for the demand and electricity prices under your market structure of choice. Which is for most realistic (or even merely interesting) market structures not possible.

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 10th, 2015 at 07:01:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks all for all your input. Unfortunately I don't have the time now or the days ahead to respond extensively. I have two quick comments, although view them more as reflections please.

  1. How come it wasn't possible to generate this level of insightful commentary the first time around, which would have spared all of us an earlier round of prickly back and forth?

  2. I fully expect the thesis to appear more frequently, including European media. If it is indeed the consensus around here that the idea proposed is nonsense, then your responses form the first draft of a commentary or opinion piece, though obviously in current form none would yet be acceptable for media. Perhaps you each could consider spending one more hour of your blogtime to gather your arguments into one proper post, straighten it out and have it ready at hand.
by Bjinse on Fri Jun 12th, 2015 at 08:23:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me
I once saw an adjunct not get his contract renewed after students complained that he exposed them to "offensive" texts written by Edward Said and Mark Twain. His response, that the texts were meant to be a little upsetting, only fueled the students' ire and sealed his fate.  That was enough to get me to comb through my syllabi and cut out anything I could see upsetting a coddled undergrad, texts ranging from Upton Sinclair to Maureen Tkacik -- and I wasn't the only one who made adjustments, either.

I am frightened sometimes by the thought that a student would complain again like he did in 2009. Only this time it would be a student accusing me not of saying something too ideologically extreme -- be it communism or racism or whatever -- but of not being sensitive enough toward his feelings, of some simple act of indelicacy that's considered tantamount to physical assault. As Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis writes, "Emotional discomfort is [now] regarded as equivalent to material injury, and all injuries have to be remediated." Hurting a student's feelings, even in the course of instruction that is absolutely appropriate and respectful, can now get a teacher into serious trouble.

by das monde on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 05:01:17 AM EST
The real problem is not sensitive students, it is the precarious position of the teachers. Remove the latter and the former becomes an individual problem.
by fjallstrom on Tue Jun 9th, 2015 at 05:03:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tsipras to address parliament

It seems clear that he will announce rejection of Merkel/Hollande's latest ultimatumconstructive proposal

Shit, meet fan.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 12:11:52 PM EST
Grapevine
According to data from the European Broadcasting Union, nearly every television viewer in Iceland watched this year's Eurovision, topping every country in the world.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jun 5th, 2015 at 04:07:15 PM EST
Researchers Find Missing Link Between the Brain and Immune System | Neuroscience News

Abstract

Structural and functional features of central nervous system lymphatic vessels

One of the characteristics of the central nervous system is the lack of a classical lymphatic drainage system. Although it is now accepted that the central nervous system undergoes constant immune surveillance that takes place within the meningeal compartment1, 2, 3, the mechanisms governing the entrance and exit of immune cells from the central nervous system remain poorly understood4, 5, 6. In searching for T-cell gateways into and out of the meninges, we discovered functional lymphatic vessels lining the dural sinuses. These structures express all of the molecular hallmarks of lymphatic endothelial cells, are able to carry both fluid and immune cells from the cerebrospinal fluid, and are connected to the deep cervical lymph nodes. The unique location of these vessels may have impeded their discovery to date, thereby contributing to the long-held concept of the absence of lymphatic vasculature in the central nervous system. The discovery of the central nervous system lymphatic system may call for a reassessment of basic assumptions in neuroimmunology and sheds new light on the aetiology of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases associated with immune system dysfunction.

Anyone with positive experiences using Cranio-sacral therapy will smile at this...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2015 at 07:23:33 AM EST
Researchers Find Missing Link Between the Brain and Immune System | Neuroscience News

Kevin Lee, PhD, chairman of the UVA Department of Neuroscience, described his reaction to the discovery by Kipnis' lab: "The first time these guys showed me the basic result, I just said one sentence: `They'll have to change the textbooks.' There has never been a lymphatic system for the central nervous system, and it was very clear from that first singular observation - and they've done many studies since then to bolster the finding - that it will fundamentally change the way people look at the central nervous system's relationship with the immune system."

Even Kipnis was skeptical initially. "I really did not believe there are structures in the body that we are not aware of. I thought the body was mapped," he said. "I thought that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century. But apparently they have not."

Right under their noses... (or more accurately along them)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2015 at 07:27:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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