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 Machines, Politics and Lobbying

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PostSubject: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:44 pm

tags: energy cars vehicles Gormley U-Turn on Lightbulb Ban

This guy has a simple solution to the crisis in the States - flexifuel. Car manufacturers should be compelled by law, he thinks, to fit their cars with engines that can burn many types of fuel so the customer, petrol station and energy producer are all given new incentives. The market would be forced to open for all sorts of oil and give incentives to hitherto under-funded industries like algae oil production. Such a Bill would force the profits that oil companies are currently creaming off to be diluted among many other industries, many of them Green enough like the use of natural gas or already mentioned algae biodiesel.

It's possible to modify a diesel engine at the moment to burn vegetable oil as well as diesel and the cost is fairly low at around €1500 and is a simple mechanism introduced next to the engine to cope with the viscosity of the veg oil. Diesels were originally developed to be able to burn peanut oil anyway.

Would it work?



Last edited by Auditor #9 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:05 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:52 pm

Not a bad idea at all.... doesn't Saab make some of its engines such that they can run on diesel and/or biofuel??
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:34 am

Sometimes the idea of a site like Machine Nation is that machines, systems and processes can or should change or at least influence politics but the other way around can happen too, especially in Switzerland...

Quote :
Swiss proposal would be among the most extreme anti-car laws anywhere



The Porsche 911 shown above could soon be a thing of the past in Switzerland. The land locked alpine European nation has a direct democracy system like the one in California that allows citizens to put forward legislative proposals. If they can get 100,000 signatures on petitions, the proposals go to a vote of the population. A move to drastically restrict cars spearheaded by the Swiss Green Party youth section has already gained 130,000 signatures. If the proposal passes a majority of the voters and more than half of the countries 26 states, it would ban all cars that weigh more than 4,820 lbs, emit more than 250 g/km of CO2, have a front end dangerous to pedestrians or that don't have a particulate filter for a diesel engine. Just to make sure that Swiss drivers don't flock to older cars that don't meet the new rules, all older cars would be required to be equipped with a governor that would limit them to 100 km/h. For what it's worth since this proposal system was introduced in 1848, more than 90 percent of them have been rejected by voters. Thanks to Jean-Claude for the tip!

Unashamedly copied from Autobloggreen - which brings me to a question possibly for Slim Buddha offhand or if anyone else knows - isn't the petition system in these places not overbearing and annoying? How do you stop everyone and his uncle going around petitioning for whatever little whim their heart craves ?
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:36 am

Do the swiss still make tourists buy stickers to put on their windscreen which allow you to drive on their main roads?
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:15 am

johnfás wrote:
Do the swiss still make tourists buy stickers to put on their windscreen which allow you to drive on their main roads?
Is there a different system for tourists over there?

Bosch think the exhaust-fume emitting internal combustion engine has another twenty years before electric vehicles replace it completely and no harm as it's very inefficient technology. The internal combusion engine changes 25-30% of the petrol energy to movement, a lot of energy is lost in heat.

Long overdue, we might see some more attempts than just the below to capture that excess heat for use by the car before the internal combustion design leaves us. Autobloggreen is reporting that the US Department of Energy has issued a challenge to auto manufacturers which might see a bit of new tech appearing in American cars over the next while. The article gives no more details on the policy side other than what is below.

Quote :
Researchers are competing to meet a challenge from the U.S. Department of Energy: Improve fuel economy 10 percent by converting wasted exhaust heat into energy that can help power the vehicle. That's not a trivial improvement: 10 percent savings would amount to more than 100 million gallons of fuel per year in GM vehicles in the U.S. alone.

So this is where a group of researchers have created a metallic device which is attached to the exhaust pipe, producing electricity from the otherwise wasted heat: a thermoelectric generator, a device that uses temperature differences to create electricity.



Plenty of fertile ground there for thermo-electric research too.
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:38 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Sometimes the idea of a site like Machine Nation is that machines, systems and processes can or should change or at least influence politics but the other way around can happen too, especially in Switzerland...

Quote :
Swiss proposal would be among the most extreme anti-car laws anywhere



The Porsche 911 shown above could soon be a thing of the past in Switzerland. The land locked alpine European nation has a direct democracy system like the one in California that allows citizens to put forward legislative proposals. If they can get 100,000 signatures on petitions, the proposals go to a vote of the population. A move to drastically restrict cars spearheaded by the Swiss Green Party youth section has already gained 130,000 signatures. If the proposal passes a majority of the voters and more than half of the countries 26 states, it would ban all cars that weigh more than 4,820 lbs, emit more than 250 g/km of CO2, have a front end dangerous to pedestrians or that don't have a particulate filter for a diesel engine. Just to make sure that Swiss drivers don't flock to older cars that don't meet the new rules, all older cars would be required to be equipped with a governor that would limit them to 100 km/h. For what it's worth since this proposal system was introduced in 1848, more than 90 percent of them have been rejected by voters. Thanks to Jean-Claude for the tip!

Unashamedly copied from Autobloggreen - which brings me to a question possibly for Slim Buddha offhand or if anyone else knows - isn't the petition system in these places not overbearing and annoying? How do you stop everyone and his uncle going around petitioning for whatever little whim their heart craves ?

No, it is not overbearing. The Swiss system functions perfectly well. Very rarely do you find some headbanger getting some lunatic proposal onto a vote.

Votes are every three months. If somebody has a proposal to, for example, fix noise emissions at a certian level withina 4 km radius of Zurich Airport, then he/she will go to a sympathetic political party to ask them for aid in getting this accepted for a vote. The political party, if it agrees to help, usually mobilises a coalition of interested bodies to support the initiative. On the other side, those against will do the same. This helps keep out the nutters. The vote is usually conducted by postal vote. The electorate is confined to the canton.

Then there are the federal votes, country wide. Similar structures are involved, coalitions of interested bodies for and against. Sunday shopping is a subject that gets the blood going. This came up last year for a vote and was narrowly rejected. But what is extraordinary is the stance of people who passionately believe in something which is narrowly defeated. They are usually disappointed but that is that. I asked one such person was he not still fuming that something he believed in totally was narrowly defeated. "Yes I am disappointed" he said, "but I must accept this unreservedly. My fellow Swiss voted the other way and this is our democracy. The vote result must command total respect".
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:42 am

johnfàs, the cost of the sticker is CHF 40. Everybody has to have this to drive on the autobahns in Switzerland, not the main roads. Driiving around Ireland for a week as a tourist, you would pay more than €25 in tolls anyway. No real difference. Except in Switzerland the CHF 40 allows you to drive for 51 more weeks.

It is not punitive.
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:44 am

What do you mean by Sunday shopping? They wanted to close all shops on Sundays?
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:53 am

AfricanDave wrote:
What do you mean by Sunday shopping? They wanted to close all shops on Sundays?

All shops, with the exception of bakeries which are open for a few hours on a Sunday and shops inside airports and railway stations, are closed on Sundays
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:12 pm

And it's brilliant.

Do they close for half days on Saturdays too - Ausser langer Samstag (which by Irish standards is just a slightly longer half day)?
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:21 pm

Kate P wrote:
And it's brilliant.

Do they close for half days on Saturdays too - Ausser langer Samstag (which by Irish standards is just a slightly longer half day)?

No, Kate, I think that is confined to Germany and that is fast disappearing there too. Swiss shops generally stay open longer during the week. In Zürich they are open until 7.00 pm Mon-Wed and until 9.00pm Thu-Fri.

So the staying closed on Sunday is no big deal.
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:54 pm

Slim Buddha wrote:
No, it is not overbearing. The Swiss system functions perfectly well. Very rarely do you find some headbanger getting some lunatic proposal onto a vote.

Votes are every three months. If somebody has a proposal to, for example, fix noise emissions at a certian level withina 4 km radius of Zurich Airport, then he/she will go to a sympathetic political party to ask them for aid in getting this accepted for a vote. The political party, if it agrees to help, usually mobilises a coalition of interested bodies to support the initiative. On the other side, those against will do the same. This helps keep out the nutters. The vote is usually conducted by postal vote. The electorate is confined to the canton.

Then there are the federal votes, country wide. Similar structures are involved, coalitions of interested bodies for and against. Sunday shopping is a subject that gets the blood going. This came up last year for a vote and was narrowly rejected. But what is extraordinary is the stance of people who passionately believe in something which is narrowly defeated. They are usually disappointed but that is that. I asked one such person was he not still fuming that something he believed in totally was narrowly defeated. "Yes I am disappointed" he said, "but I must accept this unreservedly. My fellow Swiss voted the other way and this is our democracy. The vote result must command total respect".

One of the many objections to participatory democracy is that it takes up time and intrudes on people's lives but once every three months doesn't sound so intrusive. I think in Ireland there is a lobbying ethos but it's more demogogueish and reactionary and should perhaps be institutionalised like in Switzerland. I suppose it depends on a taste and aptitude for politics but those two things grow with time. It's also necessary as an informative tool too, some effort at participatory democracy.

Even in the EU at large there is very little notice news about political or policy changes or introductions. How often do we hear about a new an interesting directive? Yes they exist. Recently there was one rejected by Spain where people from any member state could avail of the health services of another automatically once they were an EU citizen. The Spanish I think felt they might have been flooded with extranjeros as their system there is very good apparently. They also had legitimate concerns about the practicalities of dealing with a multitude of languages descending on them.

Now, it might be good to have these sorts of news related publicly on tv once a month or week - or if there was advance notice of proposals by the Commission presented systematically and clearly so that the dogs on the street might understand. What else is television for? I feel we're straddling two worlds of information though - tv and internet and when there is a more integrated combination then I will finally be satisfied by being able to select the best Politics Channel on my digital set to see what they are proposing this week or month.

It's not out of bounds either to think that proposals may and perhaps should arise from forums like this or communities proper.

And one last thing - do votes always need to be secret ballot? If I'm voting against or for Sunday shopping then I think I wouldn't be unhappy to do it publicly.
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:12 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
No, it is not overbearing. The Swiss system functions perfectly well. Very rarely do you find some headbanger getting some lunatic proposal onto a vote.

Votes are every three months. If somebody has a proposal to, for example, fix noise emissions at a certian level withina 4 km radius of Zurich Airport, then he/she will go to a sympathetic political party to ask them for aid in getting this accepted for a vote. The political party, if it agrees to help, usually mobilises a coalition of interested bodies to support the initiative. On the other side, those against will do the same. This helps keep out the nutters. The vote is usually conducted by postal vote. The electorate is confined to the canton.

Then there are the federal votes, country wide. Similar structures are involved, coalitions of interested bodies for and against. Sunday shopping is a subject that gets the blood going. This came up last year for a vote and was narrowly rejected. But what is extraordinary is the stance of people who passionately believe in something which is narrowly defeated. They are usually disappointed but that is that. I asked one such person was he not still fuming that something he believed in totally was narrowly defeated. "Yes I am disappointed" he said, "but I must accept this unreservedly. My fellow Swiss voted the other way and this is our democracy. The vote result must command total respect".

One of the many objections to participatory democracy is that it takes up time and intrudes on people's lives but once every three months doesn't sound so intrusive. I think in Ireland there is a lobbying ethos but it's more demogogueish and reactionary and should perhaps be institutionalised like in Switzerland. I suppose it depends on a taste and aptitude for politics but those two things grow with time. It's also necessary as an informative tool too, some effort at participatory democracy.

Even in the EU at large there is very little notice news about political or policy changes or introductions. How often do we hear about a new an interesting directive? Yes they exist. Recently there was one rejected by Spain where people from any member state could avail of the health services of another automatically once they were an EU citizen. The Spanish I think felt they might have been flooded with extranjeros as their system there is very good apparently. They also had legitimate concerns about the practicalities of dealing with a multitude of languages descending on them.

Now, it might be good to have these sorts of news related publicly on tv once a month or week - or if there was advance notice of proposals by the Commission presented systematically and clearly so that the dogs on the street might understand. What else is television for? I feel we're straddling two worlds of information though - tv and internet and when there is a more integrated combination then I will finally be satisfied by being able to select the best Politics Channel on my digital set to see what they are proposing this week or month.

It's not out of bounds either to think that proposals may and perhaps should arise from forums like this or communities proper.

And one last thing - do votes always need to be secret ballot? If I'm voting against or for Sunday shopping then I think I wouldn't be unhappy to do it publicly.

They are always secret ballots in Switzerland. The Swiss take their democracy very seriously because it has been shown to work. Several years ago, an economist in Canton Vaud (Lausanne is in Vaud, to give you an idea where it is) determined that the revenue intake in taxation over time would not be enough to maintain the level of services into the future so he instigated an initiative to increase the level of cantonal taxation in order to ensure the level of services would be maintained. It was put to a vote and was approved. Since then, the canton has run small budget surpluses.

The success of the vote for higher taxes was put down to the clarity of information put to the electorate, the reason for the necessity of the increase and the plan for its introduction. The issue was fully transparent and the people voted accordingly. I think this would not happen everywhere but it is a unique feature of democracy here and, as I said, it works for the Swiss.
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:25 pm

The residents of Milton Keynes also voted in a costed budge that required higher taxation a couple of years ago. People are prepared to pay for services.
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:15 pm

The Greening of America is here!
from Ecogeek:

Quote :
Solar Investment Credit FINALLY Passed!

The House of Representatives has just passed what may be the largest bit of renewable energy legislation in the history of the world. Over the next eight years, this 30% tax credit for solar energy will create 440,000 permanent jobs, 35 gigawatts of renewable electricity, and foster the growth of a $300 billion market for solar energy.

So I guess I was being too cynical when I wrote last week that I thought the 8-year extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit was going to stall out in the House because the bailout package would eat all of this session's remaining time. In the end, they just stuck the legislation into the bailout package, and it passed.

For those of you complaining about the DOE's measly $17M investment in solar companies earlier this week, this should please all, since it's going to pump billions of dollars into the solar industry.
Is this what got pushed through along with the bailout bill because of corporate pressure from certain neglected sectors? The next bit is what the solar bill means:

Quote :
The bill does a few things:

* Extends for 8 years the 30-percent tax credit for both residential and commercial solar installations
* Eliminates the $2,000 monetary cap for residential solar electric installations, creating a true 30-percent tax credit (effective for property placed in service after December 31, 2008)
* Eliminates the prohibition on utilities from benefiting from the credit
* Authorizes $800 million for clean energy bonds for renewable energy generating facilities, including solar

The bill has been widely touted as a win-win for America, but congress struggled for over two years to pass because they couldn't figure out how to pay for it. General Electric has said that the tax credit will more than pay for itself by encouraging companies to spend money and grow the solar industry. Several companies vowed to leave the United States entirely, and move their operations elsewhere, if the bill was not passed.

By the time this tax credit expires in 2016, the solar industry (and EcoGeek) expects solar power to be the least expensive form of energy. And without the heroic actions of the House of Representatives today, this simply would not have happened.

So yes, this is big frikkin' news...and very exciting. For the full press release from SEIA keep reading.
My bold, italics and font size changes


http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/2177/

Something like that could be done here too. Low-cost loans for micro-production of electricity and heat. It could be a massive project but I think it would focus industry as well as Fás but would it threaten an ESB grip on the market?
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:26 pm

We talked above about the Swiss system of participatory democracy. The three-monthly cantonal vote is always interesting. My canton (Kanton Zürich) had its three-monthly vote last Saturday. They voted for a smoking ban. This must now be introduced. They reckon it will take a year before it comes into force. The reason for this is that the cantonal authorities must find the best way of introducing this while giving effect to what was voted for. There were two alternative "smoking ban" suggestions. The more severe one won the day. We watch and wait.
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PostSubject: The Outlawing of Plasma TVs!   Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:41 am

No one was asked but it looks like the EU is going to set a maximum (?) energy usage limit on plasma TVs if not pull the plug completely.

Quote :
European Union countries are close to agreeing upon minimum energy performance standards for televisions, according to reports this week in the British press. It’s likely the largest plasma models will be outlawed under the new requirements because of the extraordinary amount of electricity these units consume.

On the whole, plasma televisions use about 50 percent more power than those with liquid crystal displays.

“Energy-guzzling flatscreen plasma televisions will soon be banned as part of the battle against climate change,” noted The Independent newspaper. The new standards, expected this spring, will lead to a phasing out of the most inefficient TVs, and also establish a compulsory labeling system to identify the best and worst models, the paper explained.
http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/on-the-heels-of-a-bulb-ban-europe-mulls-pulling-the-plug-on-large-plasma-tvs/

Quote :
On this side of the pond, the creation of a new national efficiency standard for televisions is in stand-by mode. But regulators at the California Energy Commission are proposing state standards that would require all new TVs use 50 percent less energy by 2013.

Noah Horowitz, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, says the European television efficiency standard, in its draft form, is “not very aggressive” compared to the California proposal.

“The levels being discussed in California are much more stringent than those being discussed in Europe,” Mr Horowitz said. “If enacted, the California standards would save the state 600 megawattss — the equivalent of a good-sized power plant.”
Exclamation

Quote :
The focus on television efficiency in Europe is part of a broader “Eco-design” campaign aimed at curtailing electricity consumption in the home. E.U. member states recently approved a ban of incandescent light bulbs by 2012 — a move that will save Europe an estimated 40 terrawatt hours, roughly the electricity consumption of Romania.

LCD is ok though, it seems.


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:21 am

Sadly, it won't lead to people not being able to buy bloody enormous TVs - they'll be forced, crying and weeping in outrage, to buy bloody enormous TVs that don't cost them quite as much on their electricity bill:

Quote :
Now European governments are finalising a mandatory EU regulation to set minimum standards for televisions. The worst performers will be phased out, and the rest will have to be labelled with energy ratings which, says Defra, "will make it easier for consumers to identify the most and least energy-efficient televisions available". The scheme is modelled on an existing one for fridges and other white goods which has greatly increased their efficiency over the past decade.

The EU has already agreed minimum standards for the electricity consumed in standby mode. Defra says this should cause a fourfold drop by early next year in the energy used by a TV when it has been switched off by remote control instead of the main switch. Similar steps are being taken in Australia and the United States; in the US, 275 million televisions gobble up as much electricity as is produced by 10 coal-fired power stations.

Manufacturers are responding by making their products greener. The best new plasma televisions now use one-third less energy than the average, and new LED televisions, which are more efficient, are being developed.

I think people should be outraged over this. I think they should demand less efficient TVs that use more electricity, since, after all, the economy needs the stimulus.
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:28 pm

Only a person with feudalistic and patronisation notions could think that Direct Democracy is intrusive on peoples lives. The "public thing" should be everyones concern, and even dis-interest or non-participation is a political stance. For my money the swiss system comes closest to allowing human being express themselves freely and openly and as real equals among their peers. While we dont have to copy the swiss down to a tee, I would hope and pray that one day the other nations of the world, including Ireland would adopt popular democracy. I'm sick and tired of having decisions foisted on us by fools and only been allowed choose between basically two sets of ideas for everything. Even mathematically its stupid.
I might be for planting more trees in leitrim but allowing 4x4s drive, so do I vote Green? Why not vote on the 4x4s just? You see the inefficieny here.

The great thing about the swiss is that if they ban large cars this year and come to regret it they can easily change back. Not so with the stubborn bone heads in the palriamentary system that will stand by their own ham-fisted legislation which they can never disown as it has become intertwined with their own public personas.

(note I edited the last line)
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:49 pm

ibis wrote:
Sadly, it won't lead to people not being able to buy bloody enormous TVs - they'll be forced, crying and weeping in outrage, to buy bloody enormous TVs that don't cost them quite as much on their electricity bill:

Quote :
Now European governments are finalising a mandatory EU regulation to set minimum standards for televisions. The worst performers will be phased out, and the rest will have to be labelled with energy ratings which, says Defra, "will make it easier for consumers to identify the most and least energy-efficient televisions available". The scheme is modelled on an existing one for fridges and other white goods which has greatly increased their efficiency over the past decade.

The EU has already agreed minimum standards for the electricity consumed in standby mode. Defra says this should cause a fourfold drop by early next year in the energy used by a TV when it has been switched off by remote control instead of the main switch. Similar steps are being taken in Australia and the United States; in the US, 275 million televisions gobble up as much electricity as is produced by 10 coal-fired power stations.

Manufacturers are responding by making their products greener. The best new plasma televisions now use one-third less energy than the average, and new LED televisions, which are more efficient, are being developed.

I think people should be outraged over this. I think they should demand less efficient TVs that use more electricity, since, after all, the economy needs the stimulus.
Maybe you should post that suggestion on P.ie - I suspect you'd have a lot of posters working themselves up about it. After all, it is an EU proposal so, by definition, it most be evil. :-)
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:00 pm

Is this an example of economic events overcoming policy necessities, technology racing ahead of policy, lobbying by groups, lack of research and foresight by politicians or example of doing a necessary u-turn when that's what's required?

Quote :
Examiner - 27 January 2009

Gormley accused of U-turn on light bulb ban
By Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent

ENVIRONMENT Minister John Gormley was last night accused of doing a U-turn after withdrawing plans to unilaterally ban incandescent light bulbs in favour of a Europe-wide initiative.

Mr Gormley said Ireland no longer needed to introduce its own energy-saving move as proposed new EU regulations would produce the same result.

The EU phasing-out would begin this September, later than in the original Irish plan, and be completed by 2012, if the initiative is approved by MEPs.

Fine Gael environment spokesman Phil Hogan said the move was an embarrassing climbdown.

"After this latest U-turn by the Greens, the question once again being asked by everybody is: ‘What is the Green Party’s contribution in Government?’

"Mr Gormley’s decision is the last piece of the capitulation jigsaw of Green participation in government with Fianna Fáil in terms of implementation of the Programme for Government.

"There is now nothing in the programme that is even slightly ‘Green-tinged’.

"In the same vein as the light bulb proposal, this could mean the lights are going out on the Greens’ participation in government," he said.

Labour’s environment spokeswoman Joanna Tuffy said Mr Gormley had to change tack because his scheme could well have fallen foul of EU regulations.


She said it would have been unwise to ban light bulbs that could have been purchased in the North and it made more sense for the minister to proceed at the same pace as the rest of Europe.
http://www.examiner.ie/story/ireland/idcwidgbsn/rss2/
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:17 pm

It just took a bit longer to be dropped than the equally ill-planned car parking levy.

Then there was the bio-fuel back down.

They're Coffee-table Greens - they don't do their homework.

They are talking about the improvements in house construction as if they are a Green invention - they are in fact required under an EU Directive and can't be avoided.

Please, somebody remind me of all the good things the Greens have done.
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:24 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Is this an example of economic events overcoming policy necessities, technology racing ahead of policy, lobbying by groups, lack of research and foresight by politicians or example of doing a necessary u-turn when that's what's required?

Quote :
Examiner - 27 January 2009

Gormley accused of U-turn on light bulb ban
By Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent

ENVIRONMENT Minister John Gormley was last night accused of doing a U-turn after withdrawing plans to unilaterally ban incandescent light bulbs in favour of a Europe-wide initiative.

Mr Gormley said Ireland no longer needed to introduce its own energy-saving move as proposed new EU regulations would produce the same result.

Well, let me offer an entirely different spin, using the same facts:

Quote :
Gormley turns down grandstanding opportunity

Minister John Gormley was last night praised for choosing to abandon his personal plans to unilaterally ban incandescent light bulbs in favour of a Europe-wide initiative.

Mr Gormley said Ireland no longer needed to introduce its own energy-saving move as proposed new EU regulations would produce the same result.

He pointed out that compliance with the proposed EU regulations would reduce the overall cost of the ban, since manufacturers will have to comply in a much larger market, and it removes any likelihood that the Irish legislation might be found incompatible with the EU proposal.

"Of course I could hang on to my personal legislation just to be seen to be doing something" he said today, "but that's hardly the point, is it?".

By the way - "unilaterally"? What exactly is that word doing in there? Is there some kind of contract situation in the lightbulb industry?
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:26 pm

I presume they mean unilateral as in Ireland working on its own, rather than through an EU initiative. It is an odd use of the word though... I presume the journo in question also refers to Ireland's unilateral budget or unilateral car registration system yeah right.
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PostSubject: Re: Machines, Politics and Lobbying   Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:31 pm

Unilateral is correct, I think. We either bring in the measure on our own, independently of the EU, or we wait for a Directive.

The same thing goes for the additional wing mirrors needed to stop HGVs killing pedestrians and cyclists at junctions. We could bring the measure in unilaterally if we wanted to, but we have decided to wait a year or two until the EU does.

There is more lee way than people make out to bring in safety measures independently of the EU, but quoting the "level playing pitch" principle is a handy way out of doing things.

In the case of the light bulbs, It looks as if nothing had been thought through by the Greens.
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