European Commission study shines light on the true cost of conventional and solar energy 

The European Commission study on “Energy subsidies and costs in the EU”, released on October 13th, 2014, demonstrates that the direct total cost of conventional energy technologies, such as coal and nuclear, is much higher than the direct cost for solar energy, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) announces.”

Source: www.solarserver.com

Interesting press release

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German model is ruinous for Germany, and deadly for Europe

“France may look like the sick of man of Europe, but Germany’s woes run deeper, rooted in mercantilist dogma, the glorification of saving for its own sake, and the corrosive psychology of ageing.”

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Brilliant analysis in The Telegraph – ‘The country has mistaken a confluence of exceptional events for permanent ascendancy. It cannot continue to live off exports of capital goods to China and the BRICS as they hit the buffers, or by stealing a march on southern Europe through wage compression, a zero-sum game.’

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It’s Postgrowth, Stupid!

The growth era we are used to and that started after World War 2, is about to end – mostly out of economic reasons Gordon portrayed for the US but will most certainly apply to other economies as well; but also out of serious environmental limitations and a squeeze on resource prices, directing more and more investment into resource exploration and extraction as can be seen by the investment folly of fracking.

Source: www.andrereichel.de

Good analysis of our current economic predicament

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Unions back Hinckley C State Aid decision

Energy and construction unions have welcomed the final go-ahead given by the European Commission to build Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation at

Source: touchstoneblog.org.uk

See how smart the nuclear sector is in getting the trade unions on board for defending its short-term interests: ‘Unions have signed a ground-breaking industrial relations agreement to build the new station. The ‘Common Framework Agreement’ establishes how industrial relations will be managed on the project and guarantees that the signatory unions will be provided with the necessary facilities to ensure workers are treated fairly.’. Similar aliiances between the old energy complex (fossils and nuclear) and unions can be observed in the coal sector (e.g. in Poland).

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Why Weren’t Alarm Bells Ringing? by Paul Krugman

Martin Wolf’s The Shifts and the Shocks is an extended, learned, and well-informed exposition of the consensus view about what went wrong with the economy. But is it the whole story? And are policy recommendations based on this consensus likely to solve our problems?

Source: www.nybooks.com

Interesting critique by Krugman in the NY Review of Books about Martin Wolf’s new book on the lessons from the crisis.

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Economists Are Blind to the Limits of Growth

“For all their calculating nature, economists are surprisingly optimistic about humanity’s ability to have as much prosperity as it wants. Express concern about the negative impact of excessive growth on our planet’s ecosystems, and many will simply chuckle and say you don’t understand what growth means.”

Source: www.bloombergview.com

Excellent article in Bloomberg views.

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Getting Beyond the 2-Degree Threshold on Global Warming

An author of a commentary questioning the value of a hard danger threshold for planetary temperature defends his views.

Source: dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com

A fascinating debate has started on the 2 degrees climate target. Andrew Revkin in the NY Times summarises. I agree that it is time to look beyond this political target.

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Record year for fossil fuel emissions pushes carbon budget to the brink

Graham Readfearn: Scientists release multiple journal papers showing increased challenge of cutting emissions as coal and China dominate growth

Source: www.theguardian.com

Great Guardian article with some interesting figures. We put 36 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2013 (new record) – Our remaining carbon budget is 120Gt – at this rate we will have used it up in about 30 years. For all the nice ‘patting ourselves on the back’ in New York, this week, climate chaos continues to speed up. Try to remain positive and optimistic if you can handle these realities.

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