Monday, 17 September 2012

Bruno Walther September 2012 Edition

Sunday's edition of the Taipei Times also featured the return of Bruno Walther - accompanied by fellow environmentalists - to protest the slip of Fukushima from the headlines whilst the possibility of military conflict rumbles over the Senkaku islands...
"More loss of land and suffering of people was caused by the Fukushima disaster than could ever be gained by winning sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), which take up so much of the media’s attention at the moment — but then the media’s attention is always easily diverted."
If I remember correctly, Bruno Walther "retired" from his letter-writing campaigns to the Taipei Times in March last year after having seen another letter of mine published there (I think the letter in question may have been this one). His protest, in essence, was that "notorious hate mongerers" * like me should be blacklisted by the paper - and indeed, the editors of the Taipei Times seemed to have agreed with him because they thereafter refused to publish my subsequent letters on the DEHP scare or on the theft of the Wang family's property. So Bruno Walther has returned to the Taipei Times after his previous decision to quit, whilst I have not - because I am apparently blacklisted.

It is not clear who actually wrote this new letter; that Bruno's name appears at the top would seem to suggest that it was written entirely or primarily by him and merely approved (or should that be "peer-reviewed"?) by his myrmidons. Here is the list:
Bruno Walther,Taipei
Linda Arrigo,Taipei
Peter Chang,Taipei
Jens Damm,Tainan
Paul Jobin,Taipei
David Reid,Taradale, Australia
Scott Simon,Ottawa,Canada
Thorsten Spath,Taipei
Gunter Whittome,Taipei
The tone of the letter is however, remarkably restrained by Bruno's standards and so I would guess that others had a hand in drafting it. It is interesting that their names appear.

Anyway, the substance and purpose of the letter appears in its final paragraph...
"What we hope for is that all the nations of the world, including Taiwan, will embrace the path toward clean energy adopted by Germany, Denmark and other countries which clearly illustrates that countries can gain energy independence and security while being economically successful without having to pollute the planet for centuries or even millennia to come."
As I said, remarkably restrained by Bruno's standards.

Where I would criticize this would be the underpinning Statist assumption of what constitutes "economic success"; whilst it may be possible for the German State to achieve its economic targets whilst implementing a policy of switching to renewable energy (at least over the short term), there will nevertheless be negative economic consequences of this policy throughout Germany itself and beyond.

The reason for this is elementary; electricity is more expensive to produce by renewable sources than by the burning of fossil fuels or by nuclear fission.

Because the German State is committed to subsidising the increase of renewable energy, the inevitable outcome will be inflation. Beginning with increases in the cost of electricity, there will be a knock-on effect on the prices of other goods and services, particularly those the production costs of which depend heavily on electricity prices. As is only logical of course, this will have the effect of imposing proportionally greater costs on the poor than on the rich. Even the German government's own ministers are aware of this.

The consequences of what these people - e.g. Bruno and his brave band of followers - are arguing for [must be made clear - ed].

State subsidization of renewable energy requires theft (via taxation and monetary inflation) and it will necessarily result in the relative impoverishment of poorer people via price increases.

Moreover, even if the assumption be granted that climate change is driven by the burning of fossil fuels, it is nuclear power alone that offers the possibility of cheap electricity without significant carbon dioxide emissions.

Moreover once more, granting the assumption that climate change is driven by the burning of fossil fuels, the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in Germany or any other developed country is a futile gesture in any case - for carbon dioxide emissions will continue to rise globally due to rising demand in China, India and Brazil for the production of electricity.

Why? Because poor people wish to become less poor.

The objective Bruno and people like him adovate then is, in effect, a policy of stealing from the poor to assuage the conceited consciences of the comfortable middle class.

* That phrase was edited out from his actual letter back in March 2011, but can still be read here.

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