That is how the Real Economics blog describes itself on its title banner. It goes on to explain to those who stumble across the blog that it ‘is about the economic and technological facts every Progressive needs to know–the neglected stories of the real economy’.
Like most immodest and self-regarding progressive sites in actual fact it is a complete pile of utter bollocks.
Being ‘progressive’ the author, Jonathan Larson, gravitates today to the German publication Spiegel as an authorative source for ‘news’ and impartial ‘commentary’ about energy and environment. There Larson discovered a lead story: Poland wages war on efforts to save the climate and has unquestioningly used it as the basis of a blog post he titles Polish coal-aholics. Very witty, no? His lengthy cut and paste job is preceded by his incisive observation and commentary thus:
It is abundantly clear that the Poles have ample historical reasons to hate all things German. But just because the Germans believe burning coal is a disaster for the environment does not make it untrue—no matter what you believe about about German thought processes.
One more time. The reason that Peak Oil and climate change are not being meaningfully addressed is because they are problems of applied science—Producer Class problems. It doesn’t matter IF Al Gore is fat or is a mega energy hypocrite, climate change is still a fact beyond rational debate. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Germans who want you to phase out coal-fired plants, it’s still a good idea. There is nothing quite so strange as hearing political arguments being used to try to discredit hard science—it’s like children debating adults.
We really must work on this problem.
In the meantime, I would like someone to explain to me how the people of NW Denmark just went ahead and built a remarkably sustainable infrastructure while less than 500 miles away, a country actually chooses to invest in the most dirty lifestyle imaginable with no “reason” for doing it except to make a statement about an historical outrage.
If Larson – writer, inventor, builder and history buff that he is – had an ounce of the technological literacy or informed historic knowledge he claims, he would have spared himself the humiliation he deserves to have heaped on him for relying on Spiegel to provide balanced material about energy policy and environmentalism, upon which he based his anti-Polish rant.
I would like Larson to explain to me how he can write an ad hominem attack on the Poles for their desire to continue using coal, citing their apparent hatred of the Germans as their rationale, yet completely ignore the fact Germany is leading the dash for coal in Europe. The chronically deluded and ill-informed Larson doesn’t mention it because Spiegel makes no reference to Germany’s coal rush in the article, let alone any explanation about why Germany is doing so as its renewables revolution collapses into costly abject failure.
So here’s some technological literacy and historic information for Larson to take onboard before someone sues him for misrepresentation in his blog title… As of the end of 2012 Germany has plans to build more than two dozen (that’s more than 24 if you didn’t know, Larson) coal fired power stations. These are in addition to the eight stations that were fired up in the last couple of years that we have referenced previously.
So where is the formidably-informed Larson’s criticism of the Germans? Is Germany’s dash for coal without reason? Perhaps they are only doing it to make a statement about historical outrages they committed? More likely though they are doing it to address their economic reality, a topic something Larson clearly remains in stunning ignorance of.
One of the labels applied to Larson’s blog post is ‘Abject Stupidity’. With no sense of the delicious irony he served up, how right he is.