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Monday, December 07, 2009

Our Obsolete Playbook

I think it would be quite easy to make the case that our playbook has failed us quite badly. And to make matters worse, only a few are even aware of it. Energy and government experts are fudging the numbers on a daily basis, while our financial experts are groping in the dark. No one, and I mean no one that matters, is prepared to cope with scenarios not contained in the playbook. Our current world view, or “playbook”, is based upon classical, or “Newtonian mechanics” after Sir Isaac Newton and his laws of motion. Big thinkers of the time, like Rene Descartes, concluded that the world was one of mathematical precision, not confusion. Science and technology were seen as the tools to rearrange the stuff of nature in a way that best advanced the material self-interest of human beings.

Generations of economists have since proffered that an endless growth in material welfare is the economy’s long-run normal state and created a debt-based monetary system upon that ludicrous assumption. In a finite world of limits, constantly looking for expansion, for economic growth, for prosperity, and for solutions to a continuation of the unsustainable path we are on, will be the root cause of our inevitable downfall. Our hubris has fostered an increasingly objective view of nature; we admire its’ natural beauty in photographs, dissect it’s workings under a microscope, and then conquer it with technology.

As William R. Catton writes in his latest book; Bottleneck: Humanity’s Impending Impasse, “May future generations of people inhabiting this planet be descended from the most hubris-free members of each preceding generation.”

Any reasonably well-read person, unfettered by too much sit-com TV, should be able to recognize the unfolding trend; that limits to growth are manifesting, that our insolvent financial system and our global environmental sink issues are overwhelming, any and all, technical efforts to “fix’ them. And we won’t even discuss the elephant in the room—overpopulation.

The fundamental enabler of our industrialized American way of life has been a continuous access to enormous quantities of cheap, readily abundant non-renewable natural resources in the form of energy, metals, and minerals. That “access” is increasingly becoming problematic.

The problem lies with the fact that most of the remaining oil available in the world either has a very slow production rate, or is quite expensive to extract, or both. The production rate of any unconventional oil (such as tar sands or heavy crude) is never going to compete with conventional oil. In 1901, with gushers like Spindletop in Texas, the EROEI was something like, 100 to 1. Today, the EROEI of tar sands and deep water oil is 5 to 1 or less. When the EROEI becomes < style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">
Thus, declining domestic and foreign sources of, primarily, energy, will force American society to powerdown all aspects of our economy, by either design or by default. We will have to learn to view the world differently, to a degree almost unimaginable to those who scarcely understand the concept just now. “The decades to come will see many things that are now done by machines handed back over to human beings, for the eminently pragmatic reason that it will again be cheaper to feed, house, clothe, and train a human being to do those things than it will be to make, fuel, and maintain a machine to do them.”

Many harbor an unquestioned assumption that it will be possible to just shift from the use of fossil fuels to alternative energies. The reality is that no basket of current alternatives can replace fossil fuels on the scale and in the manner we use them. People must realize that wind, direct solar, and other renewable technologies are all pretty marginal and take a lot of fossil fuel energy and time to construct the supporting infrastructure.

Our new playbook must be based upon an ecological world-view that recognizes limits; where nature’s renewable processes dictate the rate of resource consumption, not GDP, nor a desire for endless progress and growth.

And to reiterate the constant theme in my many posts over the years; peak oil is an economic crisis, not an energy crisis.

As James Kunstler recently wrote: “Both reality and history will probably take us out to some woodshed of the national soul and beat the crap out of us.”

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Joe Sparano: The Facts about the Peak Oil Theory

Part of the problem here lies in the fact that the word theory has two distinctly different meanings.

In science, the word theory is used to denote "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena".

In colloquial non-scientific parlance, the word theory is mistakenly conflated with the termhypothesis, "a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena". Of course obfuscationists rely on and encourage this confabulation in the public mind to keep the uninformed swallowing their drivel.

The latter is the mistaken sense in which the term is used when people utter the platitude, "just a theory". The former, scientific meaning is what is actually indicated when the phrase "peak oil theory" is used amongst those who understand the phenomenon. Denialists of course attempt to convince people that the colloquial misapplication of the term is what is meant...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Big Move

We just recently moved after looking for what seemed like forever for our new home. What a pain in the butt...! After arranging a million different details, then we still have to confront the actual move itself. We went with the rent a ruck & hire individuals method this time, which was a mistake.... broken furniture... missing items... tracking mud & dirt thought both houses... how I wish we had found these guys first. http://www.moveme.com

Conveyancing means more than just moving stuff, as we discovered. All the contract and legal work could have been done through a single vendor, but we tried to save money doing these things oursels and ended up spending even more money. All in all I sure wish we had done a little research before diving headfirst into this process without professional guidance.

We sure could have used this advice for a Conveyancing Quote.
The first mistake we made was being dependant on the sale of the old house to purchase the new house. This meant we could not close on the new property until we had cash in hand from the sale of our current property. This created all kinds of difficulties we could have avoided if we had used a service like MoveMe! Not only that but having professionals to help guide us through the entire process could have saved countless headaches as we went thorough the process of listing, closing, the old house as well as getting setup for the new house.... what a pain!
The key is finding Cheap Conveyancing of course. A little research suer would have saved us a ton of hassle, money and frustration. Make sure you do your homework on your next move and avoid these problems.

Hindsight is 20/20

Thursday, October 08, 2009

IBID

Sorry to serial-rant, but I should say that I think there is actually some hope in all of this....
.
I should also explain that I used to work in one of those places where the incumbent technology was about 40 years old, the sales cycle for innovative products was about 10 years, because it is a basic-materials business that is pretty well commoditized, selling into a mature industry (the automotive supply chain, of course)....It's similar enough to the refinery business that I can figure out a lot of the economics....

In that kind of environment, it is pretty easy to build a nice career, and get a nice salary, by being an innovation killer. Here is how it works: Someone in engineering, or maybe customer service, has some idea about how to improve the product, or improve some aspect of service, delivery or logistics, and in one of the periodic communication meetings that happens would thoughtfully put out some kind of proposal..... Sometimes this happened informally, but from time to time, this would happen deliberately, and a lot of the planning and business modeling would be laid out in some detail.

Meetings would be held, the innovators were allowed to state their case, and it was at that point that the "counter-innovators" would come up with a lot of excuses for not doing it, question the base assumptions, and slow down, if not completely stop, the entire process. The reason that this was a successful career strategy is that it is easy to kill an idea, or starve it to death, because the default position, so to speak, let things go on the way they have, is risk-free. The basic assumption is, "that's the way it is... it's what made us successful all of these years...."

An innovation that fails, of course, makes the innovation killers look brilliant and the innovators look like idiots. It takes 100 times more energy and talent to innovate than it does to kill an innovation, so most of the time, the innovation killers have the odds in their favor.

Any changes to this massive-scale equipment was expensive, of course, and sometimes the business would have to make a pretty sizeable investment to make it work, so in a way, in the short run, they were right. In the long run, of course, it's a catastrohpe.

An offshoot of this, of course, is the Al Dunlaps and/or Nardellis of the world, who built their career on cutting..... reducing overhead and/or streamlining operations, which is a useful skill in and of itself because it improves economic efficiency, but is terrible from the standpoint of innovation, because by its very nature, innovation is messy and inefficient.....That was the subject of an earlier rant, that we can probably unearth....

The point of all of this is, that there gets to be a lot of tension between the innovators, who have ideas on how to improve the business and make it grow, and implement change, and the counter-innovators......and at least in the mature business that I was in.....It was particularly dangerous for an innovator to be put into any kind of position of authority, because the first thing he or she did was start to shake up the status quo.... which got people nervous....and violated Peter's first and foremost rule of organizational behavior: The Hierarchy Must Be Preserved....Typically, the innovation killers were the ones that were populating the higher levels....being as it was one of those mature industries....

And, of course it is the very reason, particularly in automotive and other manufacturing, that these companies refused to change, even in the face of catastrophe, and had to be bailed out by the government.


The bright side is, from time to time, the analysts and management figured out that the headcount was too high, so there was an overhead purge, and along with the skill-free yes people, occasionally the innovation killers that were running the place would use it as an excuse to get rid of some of the 1% of the people that ticked somebody off at some point........From the point of view of the organization, these people were a bit dangerous..... but from the point of view of the rest of the world, they are the ones who are bright, ambitious, determined, innovative, risk-taking, and not afraid to keep the ball in play even if they failed from time to time...Naturally they did not fit into the corporate structure.....especially in a mature industry where a "success" might take you five years... A lot of them even had cluttered desks... can you imagine?

With these seeds of creativity finally liberated from their protective pod, these people are free to develop new products, establish new business and industries, and generally make things better for the economy and society as a whole. Of course, there are plenty of failures that are liberated as part of this too.... and it's kind of hard to distinguish between the two in the early stages.... but that is not all bad...

Failure makes you smarter, provided you learn from it, and use it as a chance to change....

The point is, that situations like this have the potential free up a lot of human energy that, in maybe 1% of the cases, can sow the seeds of a new industry. It's definitely going to be rough for the 99%.....

BTW a side point: I think the current argument about universal health care completely ignores the fact that a lot of bright people right now are dumbing themselves down, and putting up with a lot of BS in a corporate type environment, so that they can work in a place that has health insurance, rather than going out and innovating......

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

w/ population growth, a jobs recovery is now impossible

Quote:
Just to stay even with where we are today, and keep our total unemployed number stable, we'd have to add 144,000 jobs a month.


Well, the population growth thing is a two edged sword, naturally, because population growth also equals "more customers"....

There is a school of thought that says that the population growth in the country is too slow, thanks to us baby boomers discovering artificial birth control, and having smaller families than the two previous generations. We got into the preposterous situation of this baby boom generation all reaching middle age, and not consuming as much as we used to. There's now way for the echo generation/gen Y to buy as much crap as we did....particularly in light of the fact that we have screwed them out of decent entry level jobs, as documented elsewhere, hence the big slowdown....

I think the demographers have been worried about this for years... The solution: Import the most productive segment population from south of the border, so that they can buy cars, cellphones, and rent our apartment buildings. and pop out a few babies to keep the game going...Same can be said for the H1B cases that we were talking about the other day.....In either case, we are not going to tell 10 million people at the prime of their consumption phase to go back home......You never hear that argument....

Quote:
Those in their 50s who remain unemployed for any serious length of time are completely screwed. They are too old to go back to school and too expensive to insure. Moreover, these are exactly the people who have been draining their home equity to fund consumption.


I just have to comment on this, as well.....since I am in this age group....I am focused on the 50-year old white collar worker at the moment....

I've been around some corporate-type environments, and I have to say that it never ceases to amaze me how many people there are in some of these places that add no real value to the business....They show up every day, email things back and forth to one another, have important meetings to determine the agenda for the next meeting and do a lot of wheel spinning, and a lot of them get paid a lot of money for it. How did such a thing come about? There was a 25 year period without a serious business downturn, and during this time, a lot of weak managers got jobs they shouldn't have, and set up their organization full of attractive people with good lines of BS but no real skills....There was no "cleansing" period during which some of the excess could be wrung out of the system.

The modern "HR" systems added to the problem. If you could manage somehow to get a job, all you had to do is be pleasant around the office, ideally well-dressed and good looking, and you'd get a favorable job review every year, because the systems are set up, as Laurence J. Peter suggests, to measure "input", that is, your participation in the system, rather than "output", the performance of some measurable amount of work....

So year after year, even at the high levels, these companies were populated by people who got where they were by agreeing with the boss, looking good around the place, and making as few waves as possible. Some of these people actually became managers. A lot of them, not all, have never run any actual business more complicated than a lemonade stand...

This did no favors to the employees, as we are now seeing. You get a job, you figure out the corporate environment, you keep your head low, and make sure to show up at the company christmas party and play nice during the meetings, and you get a good review and you do exactly the same thing the next year.... so there is no incentive to innovate, to take risks, develop new skills, and do anything if there is a potential of failure. You get people in their jobs who have not developed any sort of risk-taking skills, have no real self-assessment ability, since all they did was agree with the boss for all of those years....You get your 3% raise every year, and eventually, you are making pretty good money doing nothing of real value to the organization.

Naturally, you go out and buy a bigger house, you get a nice car, so that you can be seen as powerful around the office, you take your vacations to Cancun, put your kids in private school.... I suppose I do not need to rant at this point.....because Tyler is exactly right.... this is where the spending habits entrap them even more into the situation.

So the business hits a brick wall, the few competent managers around finally correctly start to question some of the activities, and start to lay people off, and before long, a lot of these people find their way onto the street....The situation is correctly described above: No relevant job skills except agreeing with the boss, a lot of overhead to pay for, maybe you are smart enough to save and maybe not, and you get a lot of fearful people....the most fearful, of course, are the stepford/trophy wives, that are at home taking care of the status symbols.... and have themselves developed no useful skills since getting their MRS degree in 1985 and then retiring....This adds one more source of irritation to the already frustrated man of the house..

A lot of them got overweight during this period too. Just saying.

Ironically, well, not ironically but tragically, the reality is, that a lot of these people know that they're trapped. They are not emotionally or intellectually satisfied with their jobs either (it is soul-robbing to spend your career being a yes-man )..This causes just as much stress and frustration, and makes it pretty unsatisfying to show up at the office every day.

So, what ought to be a blessing, a chance to be liberated from this kind of environment, be creative, be all you can be, and reset your career to something fun, which gives you a sense of accomplishment, becomes a life catastrophe for some of these guys. They sit around and whine, and do their outplacement which is a placebo version of what their job was, and wait....I am sure the suicide rates among these people are increasing, but suicide requires a bit of initiative, so it would not surprise me if it did not....Their stepford wives go into panic mode, at the prospect of losing their gravy train, which makes the situation even worse....So the divorce rate starts to climb....The health insurance thing makes it even worse.... I can name at least 3 overweight 50-55 year olds that need hip replacements....

So, what is going to happen? Well, these are the flower children of the 60-'s and 70's... They will use their political power (it's a democracy, after all) to do what they always did, which is to whine so that someone comes and bails them out.

So that is what is going to happen. This will go on as long as it can.

BTW my personal attitude toward this issue is completely different than most....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

US will experience collapse from First to Third World

laissez-faire economics... Keynesian fiscal policies...

Social Darwinism anyone?

Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)

Quote:
The core belief of free-marketeers is that people should be free to do what they want in life as long as they don't harm anyone else. They say that on the whole, society's problems and challenges are best dealt with by people and companies interacting with each other freely without interference from politicians and the State. This means that government action, whether through taxes, regulation or laws, should be kept to a minimum.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_Economic_Affairs

Quote:
There are "troubling similarities" between the US President's actions since taking office and those which in the 1930s sent the US and much of the world spiralling into the worst economic collapse in recorded history


Quote:
"It is also not impossible that the US will experience the kind of economic collapse from first to Third World status experienced by Argentina under the national-socialist governance of Juan Peron."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/6147211/Barack-Obama-accused-of-making-Depression-mistakes.html

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cell Phone Technology

So not long ago I laundered my BlackBerry. I was just washing a load of laundry, and found my BlackBerry Curve staring up at me from the bottom of the washing machine with a look of sad resignation on it's face. Just as a note for future cell phone treatments, this washing did nothing to improve the performance of my device. In fact... well... you can imagine.

I've been a BlackBerry user for many years as a corporate warrior, and consider the phone an extension of my digital presence. So of course I went on a hunt for a replacement for my now water-logged device right away. Being the Internet guy I am, I started looking online for shops specializing in smartphones and came across these guys. I had intended to just replace my damaged phone, but after looking at some of the other offerings I decided to replace my BlackBerry with Google's GPhone. I had considered the iphone because of the many iphone accessories, and cool iphone case choices but went with the Gphone instead. I liked the iphone car charger available with the iphone, and the full body case as well as the dockking station which is also a charger, but liked how the GPhone used the same mini USB for headphones. It was a tough decision because the iphone is so popular, and there are many add-on applications available for it, but in the end it was the open source operating system of the GPhone, and the excellent HTC hardware which won me over.

I love it...

Since I already use GMail & Calander etc... the GPhone was a simple transition. Popped my old sim card into my G1 and the phone did the rest. All my contacts, email, calanders etc... just appeared like magic and I was off to the races.

And take my advice... if you want a headset... get the JawBone... you will love it. Clear as a bell.

Now if I can just manage not to wash this one... I'm good.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Why Peak Oil may prove irrelevant (REDUX)

No. The US experience is vastly different than that of other nations owing to the ability of citizenry to own mineral rights, which has created a whole class of minor scale operators who have no analogue in any other producing nation.

Look at the EIA page for Distribution and Production of Oil and Gas Wells by State. 355,537 operating oil wells, 125,933 of which produce 0-1 boe/d. This is not a situation that obtains elsewhere. I've asked people with experience in the industry such as R Rapier or ROCKMAN if they thought NOCs could replicate this level of attention by opening up drilling rights to citizenry, and the answer was "damn unlikely," followed by "likely wouldn't make much difference."

The HL method seems to suggest overall world decline will be fairly gentle anyway, however. But we have a lot of very steep declines making their way into the equation, owing to the prevalence of deepwater in the last quarter of the 20th century, which could hasten the decline somewhat.

More pressing than that is how nations will react when peak oil registers as a fait accompli, which of course is wholly unmeasurable.
Where you measure the decline rate is of import as well:

Biggest Losers for 2008 from Stat Review:

Code:
Yemen -11.59%Chad -11.50%Italy -10.88%Brunei -10.00%Mexico -9.05%Tunisia -8.89%Other Africa -8.33%Nigeria -7.89%Denmark -7.72%European Union # -6.24%Vietnam -5.98%United Kingdom -5.76%Other Europe & Eurasia -5.18%Other Middle East -4.98%Syria -4.10%

Biggest Winners:

Code:
Other Asia Pacific 3.23%Brazil 3.48%Indonesia 3.48%Saudi Arabia 3.66%Turkmenistan 3.66%Oman 3.70%Total Middle East 3.94%Kazakhstan 4.54%Thailand 4.81%Azerbaijan 4.95%Peru 5.13%Kuwait 5.32%Angola 8.27%Colombia 9.21%Rep. of Congo (Brazzaville) 10.92%Iraq 11.52%Qatar 13.17%

Would be interesting to compare decline rate to overall production.Tex - US Production minus Alaska:Looks like a neolithic spear head.

That piddling little uptick in the 80s is what the greatest drilling campaign in history produced.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Heart Surgery In a couple hours

So I've been recovering at home in what I assume is the traditional fashion.

No unexpected complications to relate... just the healing process. Had my first follow-ups with surgeons & cardiologists which seem to have gone well, so it seems like these folks have saved my bacon, as it were.

As mentioned earlier this thread, I fall into a category of preexisting, & therefore non-insurable cardio-treatment. Which basically means I'm on the hook for 100% of the costs associated with this experience. This makes me a poster-boy for medical reform efforts in the US I suppose...

The short version is I'm a 45 year old male with a pretty typical history of medical care, as well as professional history. I have been working since 14 years of age in a variety of occupations, the last 20 years of which have been as a professional technologist. I started at $2.10/hour way back when, (minimum wage) & worked my way up the wage ladder over these many years to the 6 figure guy I am today.

It's been a rocky ride between 1975 & today, with many ups & downs along the way; both personal & financial.

The vast majority of this time I have been contributing to mandatory taxation including Social Security contributions, as well as voluntary insurance programs mostly sponsored by my employers. I'd be hard-pressed to give an accurate total for these contributions over the decades, but it's certainly been many 10's of thousands of dollars.

Fast-forward to a period where my Cobra extended insurance coverage expired before I managed to procure new employment-sponsored insurance, and we find my first cardiac event. This of course makes all subsequent heart-related medical events preexisting as far as insurers are concerned, and therefore un-insurable.

The result of this timeline of events is of course, massive amounts of debt.

Multiple trips to the stint lab for angioplasty plus this latest bypass procedure adds up to about a million bucks in debt. This excludes doctor visits, prescriptions etc... I'm paying for all of this "out of pocket" as it were, which is, of course, absurd on it's surface. It effectively makes me a medical share-cropper for life. No possibility of repaying this debt in my lifetime, and therefore in perpetual servitude to the medical-industrial community in perpetuity. To be fair, this beats the alternative... these folks saved my life... no doubt. And I also have a keen appreciation of the triage process which much have occurred prior to this bypass surgery in my favor. A panel of medical folks who were well aware that I'd never repay the debt generated by this procedure, made a decision to perform the surgery anyway. What a nightmare decision this must be, especially since they must get confronted with multiple instances representing individual lives on a regular basis. Our system is literally forcing life/death choices on medical administrators, surgeons & doctors across the country.

So where do we assign blame/responsibility for this condition?

My fault for failing to get new insurance coverage and prevent gaps in coverage?
Insurance companies for excluding preexisting conditions?
Medical device/service providers for the incredible costs of these systems?

All the above?
More?

And where do we go from here?

Since I can't possibly pay for the accumulated debt of these treatments, this financial burden will fall onto the shoulders of taxpayers & insured consumers at the end of the day, in the form of higher taxes & higher premiums.

In a world of shrinking resources, what will be the criteria our medical community employs to determine who receives these heroic measures... & who does not?

I am of course grateful beyond words to be here to write this post, and my thanks goes out to all of the people who made this possible for me. But if you're gonna save Aaron from peakoil.com, you're gonna get some pointed questions eventually which are directly related to energy, resource depletion, financial fidelity & the moral/practical application of these concepts to individual humans, and society as a whole.

As always, your thoughts & comments are most welcome...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Dark Hole: How the Fed Prints Money Out of Thin Air

William Greider, The Nation

Quote:
If Congress chooses to take charge of its constitutional duty, it could similarly use greenback currency created by the Federal Reserve as a legitimate channel for financing important public projects -- like sorely needed improvements to the nation's infrastructure. Obviously, this has to be done carefully and responsibly, limited to normal expansion of the money supply and used only for projects that truly benefit the entire nation (lest it lead to inflation). But here is an example of how it would work.

President Obama has announced the goal of building a high-speed rail system. Ours is the only advanced industrial society that doesn't have one (ride the modern trains in France or Japan to see what our society is missing). Trouble is, Obama has only budgeted a pittance ($8 billion) for this project. Spain, by comparison, has committed more than $100 billion to its fifteen-year railroad-building project. Given the vast shortcomings in US infrastructure, the country will never catch up with the backlog through the regular financing of taxing and borrowing.

Instead, Congress should create a stand-alone development fund for long-term capital investment projects (this would require the long-sought reform of the federal budget, which makes no distinction between current operating spending and long-term investment). The Fed would continue to create money only as needed by the economy; but instead of injecting this money into the banking system, a portion of it would go directly to the capital investment fund, earmarked by Congress for specific projects of great urgency.


This is what Ellen Brown, author of Web Of Debt, has been advocating strenuously - get rid of the Fed and have the government print its own money without any indebtedness to private bankers. The national debt is beyond repaying anyway. Who still believes it could possibly by paid down? The current system is bound to snap.

I'd be in favor of another Estate in government, in addition to the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, called the Monetary branch. Members (say, 12 of them) would be appointed by the president, confirmed by Congress and would serve open-ended terms similar to Supreme Court Justices.

The infamous Mayer Amschel Rothschild Quote, "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws", is a pretty good indication that the People, not private interests, ought to control their own money supply.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Why is nuclear power so successful and popular in France?

Post subject: Re: Why is nuclear power so successful and popular in France?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:47 am
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Aaron wrote:
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The French State still owns 79% of Areva – the company supplying the Finnish reactor,which also operates the French reprocessing plant at La Hague. Having unnecessarily givenlarge contracts to Areva over past years to reprocess its spent fuel, EdF has accumulated over80 tons of plutonium, and vast quantities of nuclear waste at the reprocessing plant at LaHague. So it is now confronted with huge liabilities, but insufficient funds to cover them.The Court of Accounts estimated France’s nuclear liabilities at Eur 71-billion, with Eur 48-billion of that belonging to EdF. There are also huge uncertainties attached to these liabilities.For example, the cost of a potential deep disposal facility for nuclear waste could be between40% and 230% higher than allowed for by EdF, according to radioactive waste managementagency Andra. (35). It appears, therefore, that EdF currently plans to fund only around half ofFrance’s nuclear liabilities.

Nuclear power is a failed technology which has failed to deliver. It has squanderedunparalleled, unstinting support from taxpayers around the globe leaving them with burdensthat may last for millennia. The idea that such an industry should be resuscitated with orwithout even more public subsidy is absurd.


http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/reports/Nuclear_Subsidies.pdf


:lol: That's just funny given that Edf turns a large profit every year selling electricity and that money is turned in to the French General Fund to be spent on other government expenditures.

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Post subject: Re: Why is nuclear power so successful and popular in France?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:52 am
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Why is nuclear power so successful and popular in France?

Can we now safely assume the correct nswer is SOCIALISM?

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yesplease wrote:
"What we're seeing, adding about a billion people every thirteen years or so, is linear population growth."


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Post subject: Re: Why is nuclear power so successful and popular in France?
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pstarr wrote:
Why is nuclear power so successful and popular in France?

Can we now safely assume the correct nswer is SOCIALISM?


I think in this case it is, the electricity industry is government owned and operated. Isn't that the definition of Socialism?

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Post subject: Re: Why is nuclear power so successful and popular in France?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:13 pm
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Aaron wrote:
Quote:
The French State still owns 79% of Areva – the company supplying the Finnish reactor,which also operates the French reprocessing plant at La Hague. Having unnecessarily givenlarge contracts to Areva over past years to reprocess its spent fuel, EdF has accumulated over80 tons of plutonium, and vast quantities of nuclear waste at the reprocessing plant at LaHague. So it is now confronted with huge liabilities, but insufficient funds to cover them.The Court of Accounts estimated France’s nuclear liabilities at Eur 71-billion, with Eur 48-billion of that belonging to EdF. There are also huge uncertainties attached to these liabilities.For example, the cost of a potential deep disposal facility for nuclear waste could be between40% and 230% higher than allowed for by EdF, according to radioactive waste managementagency Andra. (35). It appears, therefore, that EdF currently plans to fund only around half ofFrance’s nuclear liabilities.

Nuclear power is a failed technology which has failed to deliver. It has squanderedunparalleled, unstinting support from taxpayers around the globe leaving them with burdensthat may last for millennia. The idea that such an industry should be resuscitated with orwithout even more public subsidy is absurd.


http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/reports/Nuclear_Subsidies.pdf


:lol: That's just funny given that Edf turns a large profit every year selling electricity and that money is turned in to the French General Fund to be spent on other government expenditures.


Sure it does...

With taxpayer funding you always "turn a profit".

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Post subject: Re: Why is nuclear power so successful and popular in France?
New postPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:40 pm
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Tar Sands
Tar Sands

Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:10 am
Posts: 35
Location: Lut├Ęce
pstarr wrote:
Why is nuclear power so successful and popular in France?

Can we now safely assume the correct nswer is SOCIALISM?


I'm not sure you can really call that Socialism ...

First of all a lot of these big "national enterprises" , EDF for electricity , SNCF for rail date back from right after WWII or just before for SNCF, France Telecom (ex PTT) even before, and are all related somehow to "infrastructures".

And since the war, there as not been any "socialist labeled" government before 1981 and Mitterrand's election, it was either "Gaullist" in power or "center right"

Now it is true that there is a strong "services publics" tradition associated to the "corps de l'Etat" and major engineering (and administration) schools as stated above.

But this tradition is somehow down for quite some time already, the Anglo Saxon "liberalism" (European meaning) having taken its toll on this glorious devoted nationalist spirit ... :)

And in concrete terms, all these markets are being liberalized these days (EDF has been splited between the network and producers part, same for SNCF (network and trains operators), telecoms deregulated like for AT&T at about same time, etc)

To tell the truth I'm not sure the big "no government everything private" dogma means much when you talk about infrstructures ...
And for instance, whereas in France and other European countries many freeways are privately operated (with tolls), the US highways infrastructure is what ? A socialist shithole ? :)

What was exactly AT&T before the deregulation ? Is AT&T eating most of what was deregulated right now or not ?

As to EDF, the CEA, or Areva making or not a profit, yes they do (maybe not for the CEA)