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Mike Colera

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Why is Western Europe faced with these problems

Western Europe has a long history of advanced civilization. Nearly 400 million people have used most of their natural resources as they advanced their civilization. In the last decades, these countries had turned to nuclear power to maintain their growth and development. However, that became politically.... inconvenient, so they turn to buying fuel resources from outside. Now that outside source has turned on Western Europe, attempting to exert political control. Western Europe is now faced with economic blackmail. How did this happen and why?

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    Mar 27 2014: Mike, There is no one answer ... poor political decisions, bad economic decisions, poor use of resources, apathy, etc ... Most of Europe bought into the Socialist programs without modeling them for impact. They have bought into Keynesian economics and spend without regard to the balances necessary to sustain growth. They lack the resources and ignore options that would greatly assist them. Without options they are indeed asking to be extorted by those who have the resources.

    Political cowardice and enept decision making have brought these countries to a all time low ... they have followed Keynisean economics until they are deplete and now want Germany and others to spend their money to bail them out and still insist that the programs that broke them remain in place.

    Politician demand that these welfare programs remain because they are popular ... most free things are popular to those receiving them. They refuse to follow sound economic advice and direction.

    As the defination of crazy .... they continue to do the same things and expect different results ..... ain't gonna happen.

    Just my two cents worth. Be well my friend. Bob.
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    Mar 26 2014: If one person or nation depends on another, it is human for an advantage to be used as a means of control.
    Western Europe also has its way of exploiting economically weaker nations and weaker economic blocs.
  • Mar 26 2014: This has occurred in two parts; one being political pressure and economic market power.
    Political policy was pressured in a direction opposing nuclear power this caused leaders to look for new sources of energy this increased the worldwide demand for energy (given that less are self producing nuclear energy) as major player in the energy market, oil, has a monopoly share giving it the ability to price set their goods increasing the producer surplus and overall marginal revenue gained from the sale of oil. As in many cases this monopoly power also allows for questionable market decisions to be made such as blackmail or other corrupt policy without great recourse on the demand for oil as it has made its way from a luxury good to a normal good, and as of late oil has moved far closer to a necessity good as far as global economies are concerned.
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      Mar 26 2014: As I understand, current policies limit the use of oil for energy generation. The loss of nuclear power was replaced by the purchase of natural gas. There have been great strides in use of solar power for residential use and an increase of wind generation. But the demand for commercial power has grown and the loss of nuclear power has strained future development.
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        Mar 27 2014: How soon we forget Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima... ain't selective memory and wishful thinking amazing?
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          Mar 27 2014: We don't. Nuclear power is not easy. Anytime a great amount of energy is stored or collected in a small space it can be dangerous. Dams burst, coal seams on fire burn for years. These things have happened, too.
          But, our civilization is built on energy consumption. So we either find a energy source that will replace radioactive nuclear power, air polluting coal power, inconsistent solar power and wind power and not raise the cost of BTU or we go back to life of the 1500s.
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        Mar 27 2014: Hi, Mike-

        One thing we might try that no government has had the guts to buck Big Energy corps enough to try is enforced energy conservation. Some say an energy tax should be implemented, but that still allows the rich to continue wasting energy.

        1) No unnecessary lights on at night in businesses
        2) Unplug Vegas - how much water and power wasted on gambling that robs people?
        3) Tax breaks for folks who car pool
        4) No personal cars with more than 200 horsepower
        5) Expand inner city transit (GM bought and ripped up trolley systems in major cities)
        6) New car models every 5 years (think WW II when that happened)
        7) Tax breaks for families that have one child (reduce pop before Mom Nature does it for us)
        8) Tax breaks for Mom and Pop groceries and businesses that move back into neighborhoods
        9) Outlaw drive-up windows in businesses (get yo lazy butts out o' that car, people!)

        Etc, ad infinitum, basically disciplining ourselves to reduce energy consumption (and consumerism that generates it) to mid-1960s levels, Mike. You remember when families had only one car, right? When a kid could ride a bike to a store 4-5 blocks away and when that kid had a paper route and his sister baby sat so both parents didn't have to work. Throttle back 30% on energy consumption voluntarily so we don't find ourselves in the 1500s involuntarily.

        We need to stop breeding like rabbits now and stop acting like spoiled kids using limitless energy.
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          Mar 27 2014: Good Morning, You are up early...
          OK, You make some good points. And some of these are already in effect. We do need to be more energy conscience. But, Americans are not thinking about these issues. Ask any youngster about charging his cell phone. " I just plug it in" No concept of were that electricity comes from or cares. The other day, a reporter asked some college students in Washington DC to name a US Senator. Too many couldn't.
          Everyone is too busy being amused.
          The Roman citizens at the Coliseum. The US citizen on Facebook. The Romans were to busy watching Christians getting eaten and Americans are too busy watching movie actors getting divorced. Neither was watching their governments on the road to hell. I don't fault the big corporations making profits for their shareholders, that is what they are supposed to do.
          I fault us for being too self absorbed to learn and understand what is happening.
          If the US continues on this path. I would predict that some future "President": will declare martial law under some threat and suspend the constitution. Then we become a dictatorship,. After domination by another county, I see us forming into a number of smaller "third world" nations. Think of Italy's history after the fall of the Roman Empire.
          And don't say that it well never happen because we are smarter then the Romans. That is what they said about the Egyptians.
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          Mar 27 2014: True.
          But, It is not the investors, they are out to receive a profit. It's the governmental agencies who put our a "solicitation for bid". that clearly defines the services they seeking and then award a contract to buy those services. Companies are formed to submit those bids and execute the contracts. I am not saying that these companies are without fault, I am saying that they are the spawn of an overextending bureaucracy that is seeking more control. And why do the people keep the elected officials that sustain these bureaucracies. As Pogo said, I have seen the enemy and he is us....
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          Mar 27 2014: Two points.
          You are right, An investor can invest anywhere he wants. There are investments out there that are for people who want to do only green. There are investors out there that look for maximum return on investment. All legal. Each investor has to address his own morality.

          And then..... Those companies out there that are invading our privacy and trashing our rights are responding to bureaucrats desire to invade our privacy and trash our rights.
          Now, you can judge the morality of these companies, and I do, but I find fault with bureaucratic officials that ask for these services.
          Which brings me to a question for you.... did you last vote for an incumbent?
          If you did, tell me how long he has been in office and what made you vote for him.
  • Mar 29 2014: Politically inconvenient?

    Was the Chernobyl, Fukishima and 3 mile Island disasters politically inconvenient?

    Nuclear power is limited for numerous reasons including it requires a large amount of water, nuclear materials are not readily available, people do not want to live anywhere near the plants, the costs for nuclear power are higher that other energies, security of nuclear materials must be controlled, and possible disasters that wipe out entire regions.

    That is not POLITICAL CONVENIENCE that is reality and nuclear will never be a long term energy source for all of those reasons and is not needed when we have clean alternative energies like solar and wind that can and are being used all over Europe and the world right now.
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      Mar 29 2014: Well, not so much. The closure of many nuclear plants in Europe were replaced with gas fired power plants as were many of the old coal plants. So Europe has to buy gas, over one third is purchased from Russia
      As far as the three "nuclear problems" noted... one was a non issue, one was a tidal wave and one was cheap construction. Not that they were not problematic, but these can be controlled by design and location.
      As far as costs per btu, coal is cheapest, then comes gas, then comes nuclear and there isn't a big spread. Wind and Solar is about twice or more then the big three. One of the first electric power sources used were wind generators. Solar panels were used to heat water. In the 1960s there were plans to use solar mirrors to generate steam and power generators. As I remember, there were installations build, But, as I said, too inefficient.

      You are correct about nuclear is not long term, best guess is less then 300 years of world supply.
      Sorry, of your offense to "politically inconvenient". I use that term as not to offend some people who are irrational when considering nuclear fuel. All power sources are problematic, but that is not the issue....
      The issue is that Europe is dependent on outside fuels sources and could be victim to this situation.
      Why, How and Who is responsible for this situation.
      • Mar 29 2014: Europe is only dependent on outside fuel sources because they waited to develop alternative resources just like the US did and are now scrambling to bring them online.

        Solar and wind power work just fine in Europe and could easily replace the NG they get from Russia.

        To call nuclear disasters caused from any reason a non-issue is just because you want yo ignore the reality that nuclear plants have many weaknesses and risks that makes them unsustainable as a major energy source.

        Germany is producing 60% of their energy from solar and wind and that has only happened in the last 4 years and will reach 80-90% in the next ten years so there is absolutely no reason to go back to high risk nuclear anywhere.