Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 05:17:17 AM EST
EU consultations. Questionnaires. We have been through this before. Mostly they present us with wonderful opportunities to answer sequences of questions structured to manufacture consent for neoliberal market ideas.
So, is it worthwhile to spend a lot of time on these things? Probably not. It might however be worthwhile to spend some time answering, and in particular, providing text that more fully addresses what we preserve as the main point in the free answer boxes, as well as possibly making a fuzz about the process... See EU Energy Green Paper Consultation for past efforts...
Here's a new one anyway:
- New and Renewable Energies - Intelligent Energy for
Europe (Deadline: 13 May 2007)
from the diaries, with small edits. --Jérôme
Europe has entered a new energy
Global demand for energy is increasing within a framework of high and unstable energy prices. Emissions of greenhouse gases are rising. Reserves of oil and gas are concentrated in a few supplier countries. Against this backdrop, it is clear that the European Union and the rest of the world have not reacted quickly enough to increase the use of low-carbon energy technologies or to improve energy efficiency. As a consequence, climate change has become a real threat and security of energy supply is worsening.
And from the questionnaire:
Energy policy goals
The goals of the newly proposed European energy policy are: to improve the competitiveness of our economy; to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and to improve our security of supply.
Right! Economic competitiveness. So it's business as usual, then.
I am thinking about sending
them suggestions on what I really think about this:
- Energy is a strategic resource and should not be in the hands of those whose primary concern is profitability.
- Therefore, a call to re-regulate and de-liberalise energy markets
at the European level. A suggestion to re-form national (regional) energy
monopolies, with small scale private feed in provisions, and Europe
wide coordination of cross border power transmission. Provisions to
prevent the various regional energy providers from competing with each
other by promoting cooperation for increased generating and
transmissions efficiencies, and supply security.
- We must recognise that the manufacturing and transport of goods is quite energy intensive. The EU should therefore seriously think about
the kinds of regulations that would promote product longevity ahead of
the perpetual reach for ever greater performance. This is particularly
true for electronic devices. The current state of the computer market,
for example, guarantees the obsolescence of a purchased machine, so that
even if the hardware works as well as ever, newer software modules
will often not be compatible, and upgrades will be forced. Any serious
energy policy must address the issue of waste through premature
product obsolescence in all areas, as this might very well provide a
significant level of energy demand destruction, which more than
increased efficiency, is what should really be aimed for.
- Transportation of goods and people must also be considered a Europe
wide strategic issue. The formation of a Europe level train operator,
to work cooperatively with regional operators, for establishment of
efficient and convenient transportation links between major European
metropolitan areas, and integration with regional networks. This area needs to be re-regulated and
de-liberalised. Transport is an issue too important to be left to
actors with profit motives, considering that transportation accounted for 30.7% of energy use in the EU in 2004.
And so on. I am thinking that maybe each and every consultation (okay,
not each and every...) should be met with answers not to the
questions actually asked, but to the ones wished for,
repeating the same answers again and again, whenever the
occasion can be stretched to accommodate it. This is pretty much the
general strategy of anyone who is playing the policy game, as far as I can tell.
have any delusions that this will really be heard or anything, but
hey, I've got nothing else planned for the Easter vacation forced upon
me by my place of work, so why not give it a go? Does anyone have suggestions
for other policy directions that are completely unacceptable to the creators
of this survey?