This one is bound to become a recurring theme on this blog, so I might as well give it an introduction (and even its own tag).
One of the most discussed subjects in our
spoiled industrialized neck of the woods is energy. Directly or indirectly it keeps showing up in discussions all over the place. Politics are a huge part of it, much larger than is warranted by such a deeply technological issue.
Why? Because politics in western countries is prone to leave the reality of technologies altogether behind, as soon as cronies have to be pleased or voting preferences be followed – the latter being an indelible part of our current political systems. The result is all too often that actual policies are contradictory to their stated goals (often intentional) and incoherent (often unintentional).
The Energy Circus is certainly one of the great shows in
news and magazines all around the world. But a lot tends to go missing as stories are tossed around in the echo chamber.
Unfortunately, it has become virtually impossible to discuss the Energy Circus without talking about some of those nasty areas where politics didn’t have the good sense not to extend its battlefields into the sphere of science. Have a look at the field of economics to see what that means.
It has become a field tainted by hyperbole in both politics and reporting. It is subject to preferential selection of scientists on the basis of whether a given scientist says what people-in-power want to hear – this fact brings to bear all the principles that underpin both breeding and natural selection in the realm of science. Unfortunately, the result isn’t pretty.
Leading economic advisors, hand-picked for professing certain economic believes by politicians, ended up being perfectly oblivious to the greatest economic crisis the world has ever seen. They were sweeping the contradictions of their world view under rug and gave economic advise that defied all historic experience, it was repeating all the fallacies of the last hundred years or so and even went so far as grossly distorting historic facts in their favor.
I have personally seen a Professor of economics blaming the Great Depression on hyperinflation – shrugging away my remark that hyperinflation was the problem of the early 1920ies (the aftermath of WWI) and the Great Depression was concurrent with rapid deflation (on the order of 10% per year). This sort of ideology-driven, reality-defying behaviour can only be compared with the economic sects on the other end of the spectrum – the Marxists.
And that is exactly what we are seeing more and more in the Energy Circus. Two extremist sites defending their ideologies against all reason and observations of reality. Further blog entries will go into the details.