Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Well, I confess that the last two years of french greens participation to the gouvernement have left me very wary of the party.

I feel less and less prone to give them a vote in the next elections. What about the CO²/nuclear power dilemna? I don't know how it is for the other european countries, but french low CO² power is highly dependent on nuclear and most of our power plant should really be modernized or closed. But in case of a close down, our CO2 emissions would go way up, and disasters would ensue.

In Europe, energy policy is high on the neo liberal agenda, where are the greens on that? And what about the free trade agreement with US?

And, i'm absolutely not convinced by the veg' aspect of the yougest one: Going full veg' is not an environmental constraint, but a personal choice. I've met countless veg' tryong to "convert" me to this habit, with I may be following from time to time, but without the morals, which are insuferables (and contrary to the idea of individual freedom).

Last interrogation: should my european vote go to the syriza likes or the greens? Theses are two very different parties, and, as M Quatremer dislikes the former, and support the later, I would rather take the opposite stand. ;-)

by Xavier in Paris on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 11:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I find Quatremer pretty insufferable too, so we have common ground...

Sadly, once the Greens went into government with the Socialists, it was inevitable that it would get tarred with the brush of their sell-outs and blunders. There was a negotiation on points of program beforehand of course; and it was thrown out the window at the first opportunity by the PS. This now leads to occasional comical situations, e.g. when EELV tries to amend the budget to merge income tax with CSG... an important progressive reform, and a promise made by Hollande and since abandoned.

This leads to a familiar quandary : the Greens are perfectly aware of having next to nil impact on policy, and of being obliged by the principle of governmental solidarity to keep their mouths shut about stuff they disagree with (with the exception of speaking out against Valls when he said clearly intolerable stuff)

The dilemma is always : at what point do you exit the government? The argument for staying is that Duflot and Canfin are putting through important progressive reforms, with a fairly free hand, in their respective portfolios of housing and foreign aid, and want to see it through.

As for the actual policy positions of EELV, have no fear... Clearly anti- "free trade" agreement. Yes, still anti-nuclear, but without sufficient influence to shut it down.

And as for your apparent fear of compulsory vegetarianism... you're joking surely?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 12:10:28 PM EST
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partly... ^^

I like eating vegetarian meals because they taste good, not because someone tells me that my eating or non-eating has a moral value. I'm perfectly OK with meat, by the way. And I perfectly accept that some people would like to eat a fully vegetarian food. why not?
Nevertheless, I can also see that, in my own neighborhood, there are some street tags "meat is murder", and not a single "carrots live too". so i jokingly express my unease in front of the more radicals. The last candidate described is, if I'm not mistaken, a member of such radical pro-veg groups. That's very well for her, as long as she doesn't include me in her food diet.
Frugal diet is not the same as fully veg' diet. The lady is on the later side.

Regarding the nuclear issue, I have no clear convictions either: should we abandon nuclear -as energy? May we abandon nuclear? (taking the CO² issue into account)? Is it not already too late for that? Are we stranded with nuclear as part of a non CO2 energy-mix? If we decide to abandon nuclear, are we actually able, from a practical, industrial and technical point of view, to develop and put online enough capacity to replace the closed-down plants? Anyway, is there still an industrial capacity to buld nuclear power plants in Europe?
And about the negawatt program: are we able to produce the skilled crew, legal framework, technical means necessary to reduce housing energy consomation?

to take an example: in Paris, all building are managed by neighboors councils called "syndic". For all radical building modification, a single vote may derail the decision. External thermic isolation is deemed a radical modification and requires a consensus. So the logical consequence is that any building counting more than three or for diferent owners will never implement any energy-saving action on the scale of the complete building. You will never see neither an action taken to use the local high temperature artesian water for heating, even if the local resource is largely sufficient to procure the heating for the whole 10 millions inhabitants of greater paris...

by Xavier in Paris on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 12:45:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's very well for her, as long as she doesn't include me in her food diet.

Fear not... People are animals too. Her ethics surely preclude all meat, including people. (Anyway, I doubt if you could be certified organic.)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 01:44:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt it too... ;-)

but that was a language error, as you surely understood.

by Xavier in Paris on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 01:46:18 PM EST
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Well, you are being generous calling your phrasing 'a language error'. At worst it was susceptible to (deliberate?) misinterpretation. :-)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 08:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe it was an unconscious statement on some vegan' attitude to human life as opposed to animals... (see below)


by Xavier in Paris on Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 04:26:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though, as an article in 972 today shows, not eating people is about as far as their ethics may go.
When asked by +972 about the possible collision of agendas in appearing in a place deemed illegal by the entire international community for the purpose of promoting an end to animal suffering, Yourofsky was very blunt in brushing aside the question.

"Since the `international community' is comprised of violent, bloodthirsty thugs who terrorize billions of innocent animals every second of every minute of every hour of every day, the `international community' can go to HELL," he wrote back.

Responding to the core question of the Palestinian struggle and the call to boycott Israeli academia and the settlements, Yourofsky said he sees no point in caring about any human beings so long as animals that are being regularly slaughtered. "When people start eating sliced up Jew flesh, or seared Palestinian children in between two slices of bread with onions, pickles and mustard, then I'll be concerned about the Middle East situation."

"Humans are the SCUM of the earth," he continued. "I don't care about Jews or Palestinians, or their stupid, childish battle over a piece of God-forsaken land in the desert. I care about animals, who are the only oppressed, enslaved and tormented beings on this planet. Human suffering is a joke. Therefore, I will speak anywhere, in any city, in any country, in any location that will have me. I would lecture IN a Palestinian school if they would bring me in."

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Nov 13th, 2013 at 02:53:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's true that the Duflot law on thermal renovation is targeted at individual owners, whereas, clearly, it's at the level of an apartment building that the biggest gains can be made.

I think this will require regulatory constraints as well as subsidies, and French proprietors don't take too kindly to that sort of thing.

For the use of artesian water, surely that needs to be done on the level of district heating? Messing with the groundwater at the level of individual buildings in an urban environment doesn't sound like an excellent plan to me.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 01:58:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Below Paris, there is a vast hot water reserve at 1700m underground. A company is already using it (and other heat sources) to provide urban heating to houses and buildings in Paris, including private houses.

There was a great effort to develop this use following the oil crisis in the seventies, which subsided afterwards and have been renewed since 2007.

Regarding the effective development of thermal insulation, constraints are often ineffective -except for new buildings- because the owners who are supposed to pay for the works are simply unable to do so. A lot of the collective houses in the greater Paris are simply broke and cannot even pay for the security maintenance of the buildings. Problems are frequent.

A new strategy has been initiated by the region Ile de France, which is to develop a system of third party investor: a public owned company (but of private law) is acting as a financer, and contracting authority in place of the owners organisation. It collects every aids and financial incentives already available for the project and controls the works. It pays for all works and then gets paid through a share of the savings created by the energy overhaul, while the owners of the building have to pay for their (reduced) energy use and diverting part of the saving to the third party company to pay back for the works.

I tried to contact them without success, as it's quite new and probably not completely operational.

by Xavier in Paris on Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 04:25:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah oh this sounds like a Chris Cook type scheme...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Nov 15th, 2013 at 04:45:02 AM EST
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