Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
High energy costs, and high uncertainty on future energy costs, are a brake on productive investment

yes, but investment has been growing notwithstanding, in enterprises that are meeting the future head on, not trying to pretend we can go on for ever in the old way.

Jerome is proof of that. yes there would be much more investment, IF governments could get their heads out of their keisters and stop sending such mixed, stop-and-go signals to the sustainable energy market, with their tie-in tariffs, incentives etc.

as for trying to cleave some daylight between the two political clusterfucks we have going on right now, unemployment and peak oil, i'm not sure there's any point really. a bit like worrying whether you're going to get hit by the front or the back of a bus. neither one is going to go away by itself, and banks, hedge funds, credit markets have no interest in solving any problems that plague everyone else but them, in fact they can profit off all the volatility and keep distracting us with their power to send whole countries to hell, while they amass their baubles.

as tbg consistently reminds us, we are not dealing with ration -let alone decent- human beings here, rather a sad parade of our worst psychological aberrations, nothing to admire except the boneheaded tenacity with which they clutch the banana in the jar, and their shapeshifting talents in spinning themselves as responsible, serious people voters and shareholders can trust, in that they are masters.

why cut the bus in two by arguing? it's heading for us, upside down and spinning, we don't know which end hitting us will be worse, and without fossil fuel supplies running low we don't know for sure whether we'd still be having such worrying divisions between rich and poor, and vice versa.

everyone here is describing the same elephant, just from different angles.

financial wealth-poverty continuum is a vertical polarity, with ever less people in the middle. where we are greedy and we need to be more austere, fine no problem, as long as the sacrifices are (perceived to be) across the board.

due to expert marketing, we have a collective stockholm syndrome that keeps voters trusting
tough, no-nonsense' leaders, and only challenging them with insipid milquetoast alternatives, both sides of the dyad serving the same masters, counting on the lapdog media to throw the juicy morsels of xenophobia and gossip, celeb-adulation and sports into the baying crowd of low-info voters, while a few educated folk trade possible solutions on blogs like this.

you're all making great points, and i think there's a fundamental agreement on most of them.

they own the airwaves, the masses are confused, so the numbers against intelligent change -whether consciously or brainwashed into abetting the status quo- remain dauntingly superior.

so the only way to beat them will be quality of ideas, which is generously represented here at ET.


we could mobilize the resources (and employ the people) to implement a green new deal and transition our economy to lower resource use while preserving employment.

the nub's right there... the question is how to spread that idea to where it's most needed, ie the electorate, who then must demand valid leaders with reality-based policies instead of the current wankfest.

to combat the current propaganda, and catapult a reasonable set of alternatives... that's the challenge, much more than microanalyses of what's correlation and what's causation. they are necessary and fascinating, but we can't really afford the luxury of over-intellectualising, not with a climate clock ticking, and especially if disagreements add extra drag to our progress and creat factions, when we know unity in slamming home the message mig summed up in one pithy phrase, a phrase you don't need any wonkiness to understand, even the lowest-info citizen can get it....if he hears it at all...

somewhere between yelling it from the rooftops, and silently wishing people would connect the dots by themselves, without any added pressure from us.

that middle way, not scaring people with doomery, not getting them excited about utopia, just patiently explaining what's going down, and how to ask for what we need.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jan 31st, 2012 at 12:47:35 PM EST
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