"In essence, the promise of green energy depends on every country giving up control over its own power grid, so the kinds of power generation some countries say they no longer want, either because it's nuclear or because of CO2 emissions, can be executed in countries that have less scruples. You can't run a grid without sufficient baseload, and you don't get baseload from wind or solar ... I guess you can't go worry too much about democracy when power, both electrical and political, is at stake, can you? ... I've seen, firsthand, governments in Canada, France and Spain let people invest in feed-in tariff solar plans only to have them unilaterally cut mere years later because the big power companies lose money over them, leaving people with huge debts and no recourse. Beware of Big Power ... So there you have it: a UK government that's getting increasingly desperate, and trying very hard not to show it, lest its voters start panicking. But everything they try looks doomed before they even begin. Shale is such a shaky bet that it should be abandoned. More coal is not hip because of CO2. More gas is grossly expensive because it must be imported. More wind and solar can't keep the grid functioning without either nuclear or CO2 producing fuels. And all the while there's the threat of Putin pushing a button or turning a switch, or a ship blowing up in the Middle East.Maybe the best way to try and make sure the lights don't go out is not to keep them on all the time. And to redesign our communities and societies in such a way that they need far less energy than they do now. Instead of letting energy demand rise, we could try to make it decrease. If we don't, the lights will go out at some point, guaranteed ... Both in finance and in energy, and certainly where the two come together, the ever-accelerating drive towards centralization has become such a threat to our lives, without us seeing it for now, that we don't have a lot of time left before we'll all be left in the position that crack addicts have vis-à-vis their dealers ... If we knew today what we'll know in 10 or 20 years, we might find ourselves wishing that we'd have woken up from our crack induced stupor sooner."

Zum Artikel von Raúl Ilargi Meijer, erschienen auf The Automatic Earth (25. Oktober 2013) »