Green French Turn to Emergency Fossil Fuel Reserves

Liberté, égalité, fraternité - except when it comes to climate change

Liberté, égalité, fraternité – except when it comes to climate change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The strongly pro-green French Government have unlocked their strategic fossil fuel reserves, to keep the economy going, in the midst of economically crippling strikes which are preventing oil deliveries and threatening the stability of the national electricity supply.

France Faces Fresh Strikes And Power Shortages As Nuclear Workers Join Protest

AFP – France faced fresh strikes Thursday after nuclear power station workers voted to join gathering protests against labour law reforms that have forced the country to dip into strategic fuel reserves due to refinery blockades.

With football fans due to flood into France in two weeks for the Euro 2016 championships, pressure is piling on the government as queues at petrol stations lengthen by the day.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned the CGT union leading the disruption at refineries and fuel depots that it “does not make the law in France”.

The CGT, locked in an increasingly bitter struggle with the government, has called for its action to be extended Thursday to nuclear power stations that supply 75 percent of the country’s electricity.

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This is an example of why I think the climate movement will ultimately fail. When all else fails, even French greens embrace fossil fuels, to keep the lights on.

194 thoughts on “Green French Turn to Emergency Fossil Fuel Reserves

  1. It will be amusing to see if being in the dark with no TV, no game, and no gas to get food will awaken any to the stupidity of fuel use restrictions…

      • No worry’s Captain alternative energy to the rescue with giant heaping’s of subsidized wind, solar, horses and carts, that will do the trick. Every green knows we don’t needs that filthy fossil fuel. LOL.

      • “they’ll be ok until the batteries on their iPhones run out…..”
        Perhaps an enterprising young engineer will invent a mini-windmill that attaches to the cell phone to provide recharging power. Or maybe just put a propeller on your beanie and recharge that way.

      • A solar panel strapped on the back outputting 5V @1.5A through a Lightning connector will do. Shouldn’t be more than 1 meter squared. I’m sure some enterprising French fashion designer can make it work.

    • Well I don’t think the French will care about the dark. They will just get on with some more if that ” Fraternite-ing ”

    • This has nothing to do with “greens” and is not an environmental dispute. It is about labour law. Prime Minister Valls just used article 49:3 to force through a contentious law that makes it easier to get fired from your job and cuts over-time pay from 25% to 10% above normal hourly rate. ( to mention just two points ).
      Unable to get the support of elected representatives of the people he used the equivalent of an executive order.

      Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned the CGT union leading the disruption at refineries and fuel depots that it “does not make the law in France”.

      Indeed Mr. Valls, but neither do those elected to make laws, make the law. That’s the problem.

      • “he used the equivalent of an executive order.”
        He used an article that says “let me do, or fire me”.
        So he encouraged the representatives to fire him. (And then said that those socialists who do that would be punished by the party).

      • France is an enigma to outsiders. The French always say one thing and do another. The ‘mob’ is a traditional French way of protest and the government response is almost always to let the protesters get it out of their system while the Police take names. Three months after the protests, whatever they may be, have ended the arrests are quietly made.I live in SW France, and frankly apart from the occasional panic queue at the supermarket service station you wouldn’t know that the CGT, who represent only 7% of the workforce (and mostly government employees at that), are causing any trouble. We have filled three cars up this week and were the only car at the pumps on each occasion. Yesterday, during the ‘day of action’ a team from EDF turned up to do some line maintenance on our road – these are supposed to be the people who would have downed tools. Really it is time for France to have a ‘Thatcher moment’ when the extreme left wing unionists are put down for good. Maybe the lights will go out for a while and the shops will empty, but it’s a price worth paying. I speak as someone who was an active trade union member throughout my career. That said the cut in overtime rate needs to go 🙂 On the subject of greenery, there is a very vocal and ignorant green lobby, and the government makes the noises they want to hear, whilst basically ignoring them, making changes to things that don’t really matter much. Talk is cheap, you know.

      • Excellent post by Bertram. The French believe in democracy, but they take it that their ‘local’ democracy supersedes the national one. France needs to change, and change quick. They could be heading for some desperate times because of it. As Bertram rightly says, they need a Thatcher. My entire view of the EU changed because of the French – and the EU’s acceptance of French behaviour. When British beef was banned, France continued the ban for three years against EU law (because it suited their agricultural industry, of course). The EU never fined France a single Franc. We had our lamb dragged out of trucks on the dockside and burned. Our TV crews filmed the French police just standing there, watching it. One of the news crews went up to a French policeman and asked him why he was doing nothing about it. The policeman just shrugged his shoulders and went back to watching. The French will always do what’s best from them – even while all the time preaching about the ‘good’ of being in the EU. Some say that’s to be admired, but I disagree.

        • “Our TV crews filmed the French police just standing there, watching it”
          That’s all what they are allowed by the power.
          The attacks of taxis against Ubers and even clients of Ubers were extremely violent.
          When one Uber tried to defend himself against the mob, HE was jailed.
          In France people who defend themselves or others are put on trial. Even defending a sleeping woman who had an unknown man in her pant.

      • “I live in SW France, and frankly apart from the occasional panic queue at the supermarket service station you wouldn’t know that the CGT, who represent only 7% of the workforce (and mostly government employees at that), are causing any trouble.”

      • Like I and Bertram said, you need a Thatcher…and quick. I hated her at the time, but then I was a naive Socialist. She was needed, and rose the occasion. I can see now that without her, our unions would have crushed the country.

      • Well, CGT represent 7% but currently, you have a 7 union movement. Don’t forget that the current government is supported by less than 16% and it is a very minority government using 49.3 law to impose decision without any vote for a law first written and imposed by UE which aren’t elected and of course, not democratic.
        And yes, the use of reserve fossil fuel is opposite to what he claims…

        • “for a law first written and imposed by UE”
          You just made that up.
          Don’t forget that there is no law at that point, only a law project. The law project has been discussed in the Assemblée nationale, which removed most useful parts and added a pro-union silly rule to kill franchise, and is being discussed in the Sénat.

      • “simple-touriste May 26, 2016 at 11:45 pm
        In France people who defend themselves or others are put on trial. Even defending a sleeping woman who had an unknown man in her pant.”
        Yeah, Belgium was (Still is?) a bit like that. Guilty until proven innocent. Sadly, my parents told me if I heard someone calling for help, ignore them, otherwise become a suspect and be arrested.

      • I think you miss the point. The cause of this crisis in somewhat irrelevant. Lot of scenarios could halt energy supply. Under most scenarios, fossil fuel reserves are an infinitely better solution or , at the minimum, minimizer of harm then solar and wind. Long term battery storage of solar and wind power is not feasible or affordable.

      • “bazzer1959 May 26, 2016 at 11:37 pm”
        The French are well practiced in ignoring EU laws, well those in the EU HQ who are not elected who create these laws. It’s to do with food. I don’t recall the specifics however, it’s to do with a small bird. Popular. Banned by the EU. But the French came up with idea that, if you ate it under a cloth over you head, so that you could not be seen eating it, it was ok. I sort of admire that.

      • Except the trades unions/farmers have in effect been making the law in France since the 1960s.
        The usual proceedure is: Government proposes X. ‘Grève’. Unions take to streets, burn stuff, block roads,(if farmers) dump manure in front of the Ministry. Government announces its resolve; will stand firm. This last usually two days so honour dan be satisfied on both sides, then emergency meetings, Government caves in to the demands and cancels X.
        Next day the jubilant strikers hold another day’s strike to celibrate.
        Everyone knows the routine.
        This time it might be different because France really has no where to go except to follow Greece down the drain. But the Government has said, it will not alter the structure or the meaning of the new employment law, but…. but… maybe there could be ‘improvements’ or ‘modifications’… but these changes will not actually change anything. Got that?
        Nous verrons.

        • Yes, farmers have been making the nitrate regulations, the GMO regulations (no GMOs), the removal of Gaucho® and Régent TS®… nooooooooooooooooo.
          Ecoloons and inept, irresponsible bee-keepers have been. See Abeilles, l’imposture écologique, Gil Rivière-Wekstein. Read Gil Rivière-Wekstein in general.
          Now they want to outlaw glyphosate!!!!!
          The French people have been brainwashed by the green/media complex into thinking the farmers get the regulation they want and are allowed to poison the waterbed. But nitrate isn’t a poison (and even the ultra-green “pro-consumers” UFC wrote that there is no evidence it is a poison for adults). OTOH, “les agris bio” (organic farmers) are allowed to poison the soil with heavy metal, sous les applaudissement.
          We have permanent propaganda against US food, called “malbouffe”. The TV “information” is a joke. It’s continuous undiluted BS.
          I think the French TV isn’t behind the Russia TV in term of propaganda anymore.

      • “The French are well practiced in ignoring EU laws”
        The rule of laws is just not really part of our culture. Not even of the culture of the (sort of) “supreme court”, the Cour de cassation (yes, French Justice is rotten all the way to the top, that’s why many companies choose arbitration as often as possible, and French arbitration is very respected).
        We routinely ignore laws. The government creates stuff that goes against its own laws it just create. Then the law itself pretty much goes against the law.
        Many people in France admire Poutine for this reason. It’s very sick.

    • There is only one ethnic group of people in this world I have a real dislike for and that is the French. Others I may dislike because of their ideology but only the French annoy me just because.

      • First of all, there wouldn’t be a United States without France. Second, you have to admire the way they have made eating garden slugs an art form. They also invented the bidet, a great leap for mankind.

  2. My question is; where did they get these “emergency reserves” to start with? Hoarding fossil fuels? Isn’t that against everything the green religion preaches? And why did they even feel they needed a “reserve” as they tell all us skeptics that renewables are the be all and end all. Don’t they trust their own propaganda?

    • “where did they get these “emergency reserves” to start with?”
      These are war-time reserves.
      And yes, we are at war with the communists, forever.
      And yes, there are communists in France, less than in North Korea but probably more than in Russia. And they control the energy sector.

    • They are there so they can continue to use their car even when there is an event which makes it difficult to import or process oil (This can be a war, a strike, an economical crisis, …)
      And it’s fuel for cars, plane and heating system, not for power plants… Don’t know where WUWT got the idea that it was to replace nuclear power plants. But reality cannot comes in the way of an article!

      • “Don’t know where WUWT got the idea that it was to replace nuclear power plants”
        I don’t think anyone wrote that, or believed that.
        You are reading too much in the article.

      • 2PetitsVerres commented: “…And it’s fuel for cars, plane and heating system, not for power plants…”
        “They are composed of 44 percent of crude oil and 66 percent of refined products.” Reserve is reserve regardless of its’ state.

      • @simple-touriste
        “even French greens embrace fossil fuels, to keep the lights on”
        They were referring to the lights of the cars?

      • @markl
        66% and 44% percent makes a large reserve of 110%, this seems to be 10% too much.
        They only used in the recent day the refined part. So I maintain, the article above on this page makes false claim, such as “When all else fails, even French greens embrace fossil fuels, to keep the lights on.”

        • 2PetitsVerres commented: “…66% and 44% percent makes a large reserve of 110%, this seems to be 10% too much…..So I maintain, the article above on this page makes false claim, such as “When all else fails, even French greens embrace fossil fuels, to keep the lights on….”
          Complain to Reuters about the math….. You missed the point that you don’t know what the reserve is being used for. Do you? You can’t use crude oil for transportation or home heating so it must be in reserve for something.

      • ““They are composed of 44 percent of crude oil and 66 percent of refined products.” Reserve is reserve regardless of its’ state.”
        Yeah, but reserves of crude aren’t that useful when your refineries are blocked by CGT thugs.
        Oh and some CGT delegate said on TV “one refinery is understaffed”, “this is Sévéso 2 stuff” (meaning major chemical danger) and “if an accident happens, we will have told you”.
        “even French greens embrace fossil fuels, to keep the lights on”
        “Fossil fuels” have a small part but an important role in the electric mix, but that probably wasn’t the point.
        I believe that “to keep the lights on” is just a genetic expression for “to keep stuff running”, but it heaters, coolers, motors… I agree that the text of that post is not stellar.

  3. The hope is this will cause people to question the AGW meme. If saving the world means disrupting their lifestyle or even life itself they may have more impetus to start asking the right questions.

    • This will not cause people to think about AGW at all. It may cause them to realise that there are more REAL and pressing issues facing us like loss of democracy and erosion of pay and working conditions, collapse of the pension system they have had to contribute to for all their working lives and the ever later age of retirement to be able to claim it.
      Thinking that everything is related to climate policy is to be just as obsessed as the alarmists.

      • Starting to worry about important stuff is still a win condition for energy sanity.

    • “If saving the world means disrupting their lifestyle”
      We have a French politician, Jean-Vincent Placé, who was caught in a scandal: he had 18,000 € of unpaid fines, for about one hundred parking tickets. The guy doesn’t park his car according to regulation, and doesn’t pay fines. Well, that happens (we have seen worse abuses in France very recently)…
      Just a minor detail: he is a proud member of EELV, Europe Écologie Les Verts. The green party. The pro-mass transportation party. The anti-cars party. The anti-parking anywhere party.
      After this scandal, Hollande made him a member of the government. He had to make up a function for that: “Secrétaire d’État auprès du Premier ministre, chargé de la Réforme de l’État et de la Simplification” (secretary of state attached to the Prime Minister, in charge of reform of the State and simplification).
      I am NOT making this up. (I still can’t believe I am NOT making this up.)

  4. Well, they have one fine source of energy, powering most of their baseload needs. Nuclear, and that makes France unique from other so called green minded countries.

      • We sell electric power to everyone most of the time (and buy some back from Germany in winter, because we have a lot of electric heating; we have consumption records at 100 GW when it’s very cold, and “only” 63 GW of nuclear).
        The electric energy we sell is enough to pay for all the uranium we need for the energy we use… talk about a good deal!
        And almost all political parties talk about reducing this economic advantage. Even the emerging communist party (le Parti de Gauche); commies used to be pro-energy, and are not pro-ecoloonacies!

  5. It will make a good demonstration of what a fossil-fuel-free future without nuclear power will be like. I guess they can charge their electric cars using those portable phone charger thingys. Make sure to point them directly at the sun.

  6. One thing you can rely on the French for is, when they get mad at stupid Govn’t policies (Like taxes etc), they strike and they do it well as well as blocking rail and road networks. I suggest more countries in Europe do the same.

    • “One thing you can rely on the French for is, when they get mad at stupid Govn’t policies (Like taxes etc), they strike and they do it well as well as blocking rail and road networks”
      It works so well, we have the higher level of taxation of the world. LOL

      • I never said taxes were not imposed. I just said the French were good at striking at stupid Govn’t policy, like blocking roads and rail, in protest at taxes (As an example).

      • I don’t remember any anti-tax, or anti-big government strike/unrest, but one: the protests against the “écotaxe poids lourds” (cameras on the road to add a tax on road transport, a stupid law created by the government of the closet socialist Sarkozy in 2009); the opposition (and destruction of the “portiques”, these ugly bridges over the road build to host the cameras) was let by a grassroots movement, the “bonnets rouges” (red hats), in 2013.
        The “bonnet rouge” is the revolutionary hat, and the modern “bonnets rouges” movement is a reference to the “Révolte du papier timbré”, an unrest against taxes under Louis XIV.

      • Well, I do, way back in the 80’s. Taxes on fuel for instance. Had truckies blocking autoroutes forcing the Govn’t to deploy military hardware to try to remove them (Failed of course).

    • Joel O’Bryan
      May 26, 2016 at 9:41 pm
      Just an earlier, longer French summer holiday.
      Vive la France!!
      Let me know when summer arrives will you. Here in SW France the cat has only had a handful of “all-nighters” usually solid from mid or end March. We’ve had heating on this month – unknown in May since 2005.

  7. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “This is an example of why I think the climate movement will ultimately fail. When all else fails, even French greens embrace fossil fuels, to keep the lights on.”

  8. Perhaps my information is outdated, but it’s my understanding that there is a severe shortcoming to nuclear power, as compared to other means of generating electricity. As I understand it, nuclear power plants only have one power setting; that is, you can’t “turn them down” during periods of low usage– like midnight to 6 AM. So, if I remember right, France was selling its off-peak electricity to the middle east or Africa, altho at a low price. This helped to defray what was otherwise a dead loss & I believe was one of the reasons that France didn’t want a nuclear-powered Iran. Iran also planned to sell surplus nuclear-powered electricity.
    Of course the cleanest form of electricity is hydroelectricity– which is perhaps why Maurice Strong was so unalterably against dams. Really, all in all, knowing that AGW doesn’t perpetuate itself, but is given the lifeblood of megabucks by US billionaires’ foundations, it’s difficult not to feel that we are at war with those who would undo civilization. Or at least to reduce it’s ability to sustain human life.

    • “Perhaps my information is outdated”
      It is not outdated, just totally wrong, and typical antinuc propaganda. I am wondering if you even know there are subs with nuclear power and they don’t need a constant power.
      “As I understand it, nuclear power plants only have one power setting; that is, you can’t “turn them down” during periods of low usage”
      The CGT (communist union) members are doing exactly that just now to protest against this law project (not yet a law, a text discussed in Parliament).
      No relation what-so-ever, but the “Chernobyl catastrophe” (the Lenin plant accident) happened during a test at low power. I thought people knew that, esp. antinuc people; or maybe the “Chernobyl catastrophe” is only useful with its alleged 1 million victims (lol).

      • Nuclear, coal, natural gas, and even hydro are required not just to load follow, but to ramp up and down to follow solar and wind, which are allowed first right on all energy they mange to produce, regardless of the current need in the grid.

        • “solar and wind, which are allowed first right on all energy they mange to produce, regardless of the current need in the grid”
          Indeed, the priority access of the less valuable sources of energy is one of the nastier form of subsidy because:
          – it is often not even counted as a subsidy
          – its value is very difficult to measure
          it destroys the economic value of its competitors, in a predatory way, to the point of causing negative prices, even when some producers (wind and solar) can stop the energy overflow at no cost: it’s pure economic warfare, because they can!
          That there is no civil unrest when we see negative prices of energy show how much our European nations are hypnotized.

    • Penelope, nope. Modern reactors/control systems allow nukes to follow loads well enough. The thing is, at least until recently, were that nukes were so “cheap” that full load 24/7 was the most economical loading scheme.

      • “were that nukes were so “cheap” that full load 24/7 was the most economical loading scheme”
        No, not “were”. Running a nuclear reactor is still very cheap (compared to just keeping it online), and maximum reactor load is always preferred, except when nobody is willing to take your energy at any positive price.
        France has 63 GW of nuclear capacity, so it won’t use all most of the time. And exports are limited by the small interconnexions, esp. to GB.

      • Different generation designs perform more or less well at short term load changes. Larger boilers likewise need more time to adjust and coal needs significant time just to heat up to operating temperature so system regulators have to take these things into account when planning to respond to expected ( or unexpected) changes in demand. Larger system and coal tends to be used as base load whereas gas fired plants are quite nimble. Offset all the advantages and disadvantages against cost differences and distribution limitations and you have a pretty complex management job. Then you switch on the wind and there’s nothing there ’cause it ain’t blowing, so you switch on the solar except it’s night. Dang!

      • Usually reactors produce more heat by running at higher temp. The new EPR design can more easily change power, at constant temperature.

      • @simple-touriste: The new EPR design has yet to produce a single watt of power, anywhere.

  9. This won’t come to much simply because France has a strategic oil reserve to draw upon (many major world powers do). A more obvious lesson is what is happening in Venezuela. Government offices are only working 2 days a week, power is being cut four hours a day. Their oil production, which accounts for a huge amount of their economy, has been crushed because there isn’t enough electricity to run the pumps in the oil fields.
    Sure, there’s a drought, which is killing their hydro production. Lack of diverse generation and supply options has brought them to the brink of economic collapse (though there’s plenty of blame to go around). But without electricity, they can’t use or sell the vast oil wealth they have.
    Lesson learned – obtain diverse reliable supplies of electricity. Else you’ll eventually face an emergency that could destroy your economy and break down the structures of civilization. Note to the greens.
    Wind and Solar are not reliable. Without co generation from fossil fuels, they are also not diverse. Yes green blob, push hard enough and we too can be Venezuela.

    • “This won’t come to much simply because France has a strategic oil reserve to draw upon (many major world powers do).”
      Not much?
      When people are waiting 2 hours to find out there is no gas?
      With people who can’t go to work?
      With 52 % of gas station with not enough or no reserve at all?
      With the impact on tourism (already hit by the terrorism, by illegal actions of taxis including blocking the roads, including violent actions of taxis including attacks by taxis on tourists, including one movie star, also illegal counter actions of Ubers (after taxis got a tailored anti-Uber law as a reward for their mafia-like behavior), including blocked access to airports)?

      • I’m sorry simple-one, that you do not understand the difference between a temporary labour dispute causing a brief blip in energy supplies compared to the impending collapse of an entire national economy due to the outright inability of the electrical infrastructure to function at all.

        • “the impending collapse of an entire national economy due to the outright inability of the electrical infrastructure to function at all”
          So please explain the causes and mechanism of this “impending collapse”.

      • David, I’m not as sure as you. This is France, they like to play brinkmanship. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this didn’t go ‘the whole way’. It probably won’t, but you shouldn’t be so sure. Because…it is France. France has had this coming for years, due to its inability to reform (and this is exactly what’s wrong with the EU). Even when this is settled, there is more bad news for unions in the future in France. They never had their British Thatcher/miners/unions moment. I don’t think even this is it yet, but it’s a popcorn moment.

  10. It’s a good job the UK Government is relying on the 2GW of interconnector to France to supply us with French nuclear power in winter. Not that the UK Government is forcing the closure of our power stations in favour of wind and solar power to see us through the long dark still winter nights.

  11. CGT (confédération générale du travail) is historically the communist union, with strong links with Soviet Union.
    During WWII, its members were helping the German army by sabotaging the planes. By the magic of propaganda, the communists who helped the n.a.z.i.s were still heroes at the end of the war. They also helped the enemy during WWI, Vietnam war and Algeria “events” (not officially a “war”).
    Now they are blocking oil and lowering the power output of nuclear reactors and turning off electricity in some places.
    And destroying French economy in general. They destroyed the economy of our commerce ports and by extension all the economy around these.
    The French railway company is also in a terrible shape: high prices, gigantic subsidies (hidden in the hypocrisy of the distinction between cost of rails and cost of trains – accounting tactics), dirty trains, poor service, unreliable trains, and now even accidents (the argument of highly professionals workers has been destroyed by videos were they are drinking at work).
    CGT (communists) destroyed France.

    • Hey! I drink at work all the time and I’m not a communist! I’m a drunk! That doesn’t make me a communist!.
      Sabotaging trains is another thing entirely; I don’t sabotage trains (or anything else). I’m a drunk damnit! And damned proud of it! OK, I might be a little depressed, but it has nothing to do with trains…

    • During WWII, wouldn’t it have been the case that the only planes a French union would have access to, would have been German ones?

        • After the invasion of France, they probably had access to no planes at all, so they could only be kollaborators (collaborators of the German occupation army).

      • “During WWII, wouldn’t it have been the case that the only planes a French union would have access to, would have been German ones?”
        When the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was applicable?

  12. I just don’t understand the insanity that has hit our planet. It is old to keep saying it but we just don’t seem to learn from previous generations. There is something seriously wrong with humans.

    • “There is something seriously wrong with humans.”
      Well yes. There certainly is. What it is remains a mystery, but there is certainly something wrong.

    • We’re too trusting and can be manipulated easily. That’s why it should be a criminal offense when it’s used to panic the population or to steal vast sums of money or power. As I’ve said before, we need to learn how to deal with this or civilization will never get beyond this level.

      • Here in Britain, we are undergoing the vote to stay in the EU or leave. Daily (daily!) our government and the supporters of staying in the EU are using the Politics Of Fear. We won’t know yet if it has worked. I hope it doesn’t work, as it will be used over and over in coming government ‘proposals’. I desperately hope that the people of the UK will have the intelligence to see through it.

        • bazzer1959 commented: “…Here in Britain, we are undergoing the vote to stay in the EU or leave….. I desperately hope that the people of the UK will have the intelligence to see through it….”
          +1 The EU is nothing but a government on top of more governments sucking sovereignty, freedom, prosperity, and culture down to the lowest common denominator.

          • “The EU is nothing but a government on top of more governments sucking sovereignty, freedom, prosperity, and culture down to the lowest common denominator.”
            The EU also brought freedoms against the oppressive national laws, and some liberalization of the economy in France.
            But France is opposed to the rule of liberalization of the health assurance, a rule which is clear in term of the decisions of the European Justice (for those countries that don’t have a “legal” health assurance system, as Britain).
            France is also opposed to the cultivation of “GMOs”.
            The “rule of law” is only a theory in France, not the practice. Don’t trade with France – ever.

      • When the French people were asked to approve the Treaty enabling the Constitution of the European Union, French people were told by both “left” and “right” that:
        – it was NOT a “constitution”, despite the word in the very title of the document
        – if it wasn’t approved, a catastrophe would occur.
        The French people voted NO, with a very large participation. No catastrophe occurred.
        Later, President Sarkozy (a closet socialist) approved another treaty, equivalent to the one rejected (according its promoters).

      • People ARE waking up in all countries, and the more governments try to force the issues – or sneak them in the back door – the angrier people become. It surprises me that when the people vote so loudly NO that today’s politicians push on regardless. They have to be playing for totalitarianism, I can’t see any other reason for it. We have the same problem here in Australia with the carbon tax by a different name brought in YET AGAIN by politicians who promised not to.
        With Britain and voting Brexit. I sure hope they do. I lived in Britain for ten years and I know the people can be stubborn when they want to. Strong-willed is a better term. I am following the story closely and I pray that the vote to leave will be overwhelming. Britain deserves a better future.

      • “bazzer1959 May 26, 2016 at 11:57 pm”
        I am not convinced that the UK exiting the EU will be a good thing. Yes maybe a good thing for older or retired people on private AND state pensions. The EU imposed policy on the UK Govn’t to INCREASE the state pension by quite a bit apparently. So they win outright. And you may find the demographic in support of the exit are largely retired or soon to be retired people. Young people with get the smelly end of the stick just as EVERYONE in the UK got the smelly end of the stick in the 70’s when Heath (1973?) took the UK in to the “common market” without ANY mandate. Yes, it was voted on after (1974?), but so what?

      • BREXIT. Disaster? I doubt it. When the USSR became the Russian Federation and several states left, the world did not stop. I have to believe Britain would be better off charting its own course. Just as a separate France out from under the thumb of Meekel might be better off.
        The EU looks ill. A vaccination or isolation is needed to ensure the world doesn’t catch a cold.

      • Patrick, it’s actually REALLY simple. It doesn’t matter about economics, it doesn’t matter about our justice system being usurped, it doesn’t matter about us making fishermen unemployed, then importing fish from Norway, it doesn’t even matter that we literally give away £23.5 million a day (that’s AFTER all the money that has gone out and come back). What matters is that one person comes into Britain every 50 seconds (government’s own figures). This is simply not sustainable. We CANNOT carry on like that – it’s over 3 million people in just five years! Their nationality or religion doesn’t come into it. We very simply cannot sustain such an influx. We have to control our borders as we are a very attractive country. For all our faults, it’s wonderful here. We have decent weather (variable and interesting), we have civility, we have a fair justice system, we have employment, we have attractive scenery, the people are basically good (look at our enormous giving to charity), and we have a free health care system. We even now have the living wage. But we will simply not be able to sustain any more people coming here – none. We are full up. Our GP surgeries are bursting, our schools are all full, we don’t have land to build any more houses, and even A&E is maxed out. If we stay in the EU, we are finished, you would have seen the best of Britain…gone. For me, 95% of this referendum is about regaining control of our borders (with no reference to race or religion). I’m almost 60, and coming out isn’t about me. I’m well off enough that I’ll retire in clover. I want out for all those younger than me, all those who cannot find a home. Mark my words, Patrick. If we stay in, then we are finished as a nation.

      • “bazzer1959 May 28, 2016 at 4:41 am”
        I am British, born in Croydon. I lived through the 60 and 70’s strikes and power outages and, ultimately, the winter of discontent in 1979. And you say it was being in the EU that causing the issues now? I don’t think so. Sure, it has got worse since then. And who do we have to thank for taking Britain in to the Common Market, as it was called? Heath in 1973 who had no mandate. I migrated to New Zealand in 1995.

      • To understand the Brexit argument, you have to see the sheer amount of red tape that British businesses have to deal with, thanks to the EU. Go into any business and compare the number of form-fillers and box-tickers to productive workers. In some cases it’s four to one.
        So, the work of the one person in five doing a real job of work, is generating enough income to pay five wages, effectively. I reckon that if it hadn’t been for automation, and thus one man running five NC machines doing five times the work, then our economy would have collapsed long ago.
        The French have an ingenious solution; just ignore all the regulations that come out of Brussels. I’m not sure why but we’re not allowed to do the same.

      • “Ian Macdonald May 29, 2016 at 9:11 am”
        Started with BS5750…and morphed from there.

  13. I can’t see the conundrum. Greens hate nuclear. Green hate fossil fuels. This is all consistent.
    The French are demonstrating against energy. They like horses. I sort of like horse. I wouldn’t want to live in that society, but I respect their preferences. Deux Chevaux!

    • NO, the French are demonstrating about an authorotarian government destroying their pay and working conditions. NOTHING to do with energy, AGW or greens. That’s the obsession here but is not what France is striking and demonstrating about.

      • “destroying their pay and working conditions”
        Ah ah. Very funny.
        You have no idea what you are talking about. It’s an extreme left attack on a law with very limited changes to the crazy work laws we have. The law allows the employer, if a union (with at least 30% of the representation) in the entreprise is OK with it, to organize a referendum (of the employees) on a reduction of the pay. So the employees would get to approve or reject a change they feel is necessary to face the economic conditions. Is that too extreme?
        If anything, such (small) relaxations would allow more job creations. But probably not as the even more unionism craziness was added to the law by the extreme left.
        But the “law” isn’t a law yet as it is currently discussed in the Parliament.

      • Well its true this isn’t really about energy, but its not about destroying their pay and conditions. Their unions did that 20 years ago. I was briefly involved with a consortium thinking about buying the F1 racing team, Renault. In the end it was a non starter. French employment law made it impossible to restructure. Fortunately most of it is based in England.
        France is the example of the socialist fool persisting in his folly. By erecting massive protections around the ‘workers’ the result has been one of the highest unemployment rates in Western Europe. France is for the French, because no multinational really wants to set up shop there.
        When you hear about the EU, Potential British Exit, and free trade, dont be fooled. The EU is a fortress Europe structure that seeks to control trade within it and discourage imports from outside by the erection of tariff and regulatory barriers.
        France is one of its founding members. And France absolutely exemplifies where it leads,. Stagnant economy, falling living standards, high taxes and low productivity. And now, with luck, electricity blackouts.
        Perhaps the redoubtable Ms Le Pen, can do for France what Margaret Thatcher did for Britain. Take the Unions on full face and smash their power for a generation.
        But somehow I doubt it.

      • “Perhaps the redoubtable Ms Le Pen, can do for France what Margaret Thatcher did for Britain”
        Obviously, someone who says global trade is like n.a.z.i.s.m, who says allowing entreprises to create bus lines is an awful idea, who has the ecoloon ideas of Pétain, who defends everything that failed (national entreprises, the bankrupt social system) … is like Thatcher. Not.

      • Greg is right that this is nothing to do with AGW or climate.
        Some people here (and especially Eric Worrall) see everthing through the prism of climate change. Strikes in France or a coup in the Maldives can be about other things completely

      • The French government has nothing to do with greens anyway. They are only “green” to get the votes of the greenies.
        But they will still want to build the costly (even non financed) and useless airport “Notre-Dame-des-Landes” near Nantes (called the “Ayraultport” after local clownlitician Jean-Marc Ayrault, former first Sinister of Français Hollande and teacher of German who apparently can’t speak German) over two “zones naturelles d’intérêt écologique, faunistique et floristique” (natural zones).
        Nantes already has an airport, Nantes-Atlantique; it’s a one runway airport with less than 50 000 commercial movements per year, far from saturation. Of course it’s only a local airport, not a “hub”, not enough for the ego-inflated local clowns.

      • “Leo Smith May 26, 2016 at 11:41 pm”
        Not only Renault based in Britain, pretty much all of them are and with in stone throwing distance too. It’s not only about employment laws in this case. It’s about technology and a skills base too. (I worked for Renault in Swindon, at the building that featured in a Bond movie. I drove several of their cars, Clio, 11 and Megane, I would not but one. Terrible cars).

    • “Greens hate nuclear. Green hate fossil fuels. This is all consistent.”
      The CGT isn’t green, they are communists. They are for class warfare, not energy warfare.

      • Energy warfare is class warfare…no difference because the wealthy and waste all the energy they want.
        If gasoline sold for $50.00 per gal Al Gore and the elites would still have the big SUVs, jets, exotic vacations and seaside homes.
        They don’t believe in CAGW they just want enough cheap labor to clean their castles.

      • This is a very similar story to the British union movement before Thatcher ( B.T.) Rigid and militant unionism leads to ever decreasing standards of living which the Socialists use to scream for more militant action. So it goes around. It’s about power. Just like Arthur Scargill took a step too far and got crushed, some French leader will have a moment of crisis to act for the future. Maybe that is now but I don’t know enough about French politics. Is there a real leader/ Are the people sufficiently fed up? Is it bad enough yet? Ask the Venezuelans or Zimbabweans how bad it can get under eco-Socialist power mad lunatics! And remember in Canada, Australia, the U.K. and even the U.S. (NOAA, NASA), the civil service and educational elites are labour monopolies and the enemy of progress.

        • “Are the people sufficiently fed up?”
          They are. But they have been spoon fed stories of the horrors of “neoliberalism”, or “ultraliberalism” for all their lives.

      • -simple-touriste
        Then they are not sufficiently fed up. Sorry to inform but it will need to get so bad that no one believes the consensus any longer. Such was France in 1788. Such is Venezuela today! Such was Britain B.T. Good luck!

      • I’ve pretty much decided the communists are using energy policy to take control, at least in the US where labor policy failed them during the 60’s an 70’s. Labor was driven offshore and instead of that having the desired effect, the US labor pool shifted to information from manufacturing. There was certainly displacement and some amount of civil unrest, but not enough to “do the job”/
        I agree it’s really the communists, energy policy is another tool. I was being flipant about something that probably shouldn’t be a joking matter.

  14. Currently on the Med coast in France. There are some gaps on the shelves in shops due to diesel shortages, but nothing too serious. plenty of cars are still on the roads. First petrol station I tried yesterday was out of diesel (still had petrol) but I managed to fill my diesel car at the Hypermarket. Enjoying my holiday but a bit concerned about fuel for the long drive back to Scotland. Much is being written about the issue in the French press but I haven’t seen anything linking it to climate change or the green agenda; it is very much a political battle of unions versus government.

    • “it is very much a political battle of unions versus government.”
      More like the most radical unions (with most members in protected sectors) against pretty much everyone else.
      And yes we hate this pathetic government.
      And this law project (not a law!) is silly.

    • Drive down to Alicante as soon as you can. The water temperature at San Juan Beach is acceptable, the ocean is flat, temperature will rise to 24 deg C, it’s sunny, and you can find weekly apartment rentals at low cost until mid June. And there’s no problems with fuel or empty shelves. I wouldn’t go to Benidorm or the other British expat hang outs, they are too crowded.

  15. Off topic but just seen the great Don Trump say on tv that the first thing he will do as pres is tear up the Paris treaty and stop any money going to any climate change agency .

  16. There is no Republican Party, no Conservative Party, no UKIP in France.
    All mainstream parties are keneysians and socialists. They all love the bankrupt social system.
    There is no well known politician or party who is at the same time pro-trade and anti-UN power.
    Nowadays, no one on TV voices criticism against IPCC, which we call GIEC = groupe d’experts intergouvernemental sur l’évolution du climat. A few years ago we had scientists like Claude Allègre (who is in very bad health, this explains why we don’t see him) and the much more calm and convincing Vincent Courtillot (who contradicted the dogma, this explains why we don’t see him).
    We have a politician/lawyer who is considered centrist and very not radical who wants to make a list of skeptics of the CAGW theory in order to blame them later. In France making lists of people is considered an abomination since WWII. Except in this case, nobody said a thing.
    Almost one in France will speak against Super Mario the crazy plumber and its monetary experiments – at least not in the mainstream medias, but the French blogs are full of criticism of Super Mario.
    French people watch TV news but don’t take these seriously. We know this is propaganda; not as much as in Russia, but just next.

      • Really? Christian Estrosi???
        He is a populist of the closet socialists party who voted for the dangerous “anti terror” (NSA like) law.

      • Politics is a broken game, no more ideology please, good ideas instead.
        Political parties are the problem not solution

    • The modern Republican party is not as far right as many people in other countries think.
      Most the Republican leadership has no problem with socialism, they just want to be the ones getting rich off it.

      • I am a liberal Republican, of course after 40 years that makes me conservative because many of the liberal ideas worked so well that they are accepted as conservative ideas now. For example, the US has an all voluntary military. A second example is having black neighbors in a nice neighborhood in Virginia. This could not happen in the 70s.
        MarkW tells big fat lies and I would especially those in other countries he is clueless. First off there nothing liberal or progressive about socialism. It is an old idea. Second I do not know any that are socialist or got rich from it. MarkW could provide provide lots of specific examples it he is telling the truth.
        Building new nukes in the US was a liberal idea when George Bush became POTUS. Now we are building 4 new nukes. It is up to the nuclear industry to show that it is a good idea. This is one example of using government to affect change. Not socialism, and Bush is not getting rich from the nuclear industry.

      • I see my personal troll is back trying to tell everyone that black is white and up is down.
        As far as big fight lies, it has always been the liberals who have fought nuclear power.
        There were many conservatives who have always opposed the draft.
        As to racism, that was your fellow Democrats who always pushed that into the legal system.
        I love the way fascists on the left actually believe that they are the source of all good ideas and anyone who disagrees with them must be evil.
        As always, Kit will link away after getting his tail whupped again.

      • PS: If you want to find segregated neighborhoods, all you need to do is find the most liberal areas.
        Liberals talk the talk, but never walk the walk.

    • It takes a long time for states to fail. Even union-designed pension plans with impossible benefit promises take time to reach the end.

  17. Bertram Felden : “France is an enigma to outsiders.”
    Indeed. I spend lot of time on the PACA coast and have never seen a ‘parking warden’.

      • CGT = more fight for more censorship:

        Avoir honte de l’action syndicale
        Comme tous les quotidiens nationaux, l’Opinion est interdit de parution, ce jeudi 26 mai 2016. Une date qui restera comme un de ces moments où l’on peut avoir honte de ce qu’est devenue l’action syndicale. La CGT a en effet décidé de bloquer l’impression des journaux qui avaient refusé de publier sous la contrainte un tract appelant le gouvernement à retirer la loi Travail. Cette intrusion scandaleuse du syndicat dans les contenus des médias doit être dénoncée comme une déplorable atteinte à la démocratie.
        Translation (thanks to Google):

        Be ashamed of union action
        Like all national dailies, the Opinion is not printed, this Thursday, May 26, 2016. A date that will go down as one of those moments where you can be ashamed of what happened union action. The CGT has decided to block the printing of newspapers that had refused to publish under duress a leaflet calling on the government to withdraw the Labour Act. This outrageous intrusion of the union in the media content must be denounced as a deplorable attack on democracy.

  18. When a French politician says, “Le buck arrete ici”, he really means it. There is no carry on regardless or early retirement with a fat pension, if it all goes horribly wrong on your watch you go to prison. I think this is a good thing.

  19. Listen to the pigs squeal when their consumer-unfriendly labor rates and regulations that make it practically impossible to ever fire or lay off anyone, once hired, actually are endangered

  20. Climate is going to be big during this presidential election season in the US. Trump has thrown down the gauntlet during a speech yesterday at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, ND. Clinton we know is already in the Obama camp on climate, but Sanders is even more rabid on climate, and could push her, and the Democratic party even further Left on the issue. Election of Trump could mean the death knell for Climatism. It could go either way though. All those opposed to the Climatist movement need to become united against Clinton, who represents not just a continuance, but a doubling-down of the irrational, econonomically-suicidal, and anti-democratic Climatist policies.

    • Both Clinton and Sanders are anti-nukes judging on observing them for many years.
      Berie seems to think that solar from California can keep houses warm in Vermont in winter. Sanders was on the NRC oversight committee. He did not seem to understand that the NRC did not regulate solar. One way to kill solar is to have the NRC regulated it to the same safety criteria as nuclear plants.

  21. “This is an example of why I think the climate movement will ultimately fail. When all else fails, even French greens embrace fossil fuels, to keep the lights on.”
    Until it all runs dry. Some day, Eric, a new idiom like the famous “You can’t get blood out of a stone” will be coined and I think everyone can figure out which word to change.

  22. I’m a bit surprised they haven’t blocked the Channel tunnel to/from England yet. I thought that, and blocking the ports, was part of the normal course of events when they have one of their tantrums in France, whatever the reasons for the complaints.

    • French air traffic controllers are the ‘favourite’ people around the Europe. They are still working, but apparently they spotted a fox wondering around one of two runways at Nice airport, so they promptly divert incoming flights to Marseille, but hey, the Marseille airport operations are disrupted by the strike.
      Since rest of my family is flying to the Nice airport this weekend, I told my wife just sing La Marseillaise, her response “s.o.d that I’m English”.

  23. If you really want to see a mess, just look at the former French colonies in Africa. Most educated Africans and university students agree on that point.

  24. Scanning the complexities of the French Revolution and later the case of the Vichy Regime during German aggression helps explain the current chaos and its spread into EU design and operation. The modern Germans sure put up with a lot of noise just to keep their trade and currency advantage working in all the chaos.

    • “complexities of the French Revolution”
      The French revolution = the statement of the fundamental rights of people and immediately after, a genocide (of the Chouans and Vendéens) (the term “genocide” is an objective description, and is not acknowledged as such by the mainstream history dominated by leftists/pro-revolution historians).
      Our national celebration day is the 14th of July, it’s the anniversary of “fête de la Fédération” the 14th of July, 1790, which is on the anniversary of 14th of July, 1989, the day of the murder of the guards of the prison of the Bastille, whose chief surrendered without fighting; the guards were then beheaded and their heads with put on pikes.

  25. By sheer dumb luck, the French government accidentally did something right and allowed rapid expansion of nuclear power, which now generates close to 80% of France’s electrical demand.
    The French government screwed everything else up and now the French people suffer a 10% unemployment rate and an even worse underemployment rate.
    Why don’t the French live up to their national anthem and “march, march…let the blood of tyrants water our fields.”…(figuratively speaking of course….).
    When will the French finally figure out Socialism is the worst kind of tyranny ever devised by man?
    C’est la vie…

    • ““march, march…let the blood of tyrants water our fields.”…(figuratively speaking of course….).”
      “Marchons, marchons, qu’un sang impur, abreuve nos sillons.”
      March, march…let the impur blood water our fields.
      The blood of the serf, the blood of the people, not the blood of tyrants!

      • Simple– No… Let the impure blood (of tyrants) water our fields…
        Earlier in the anthem, it mentions how tyrants are slitting the throats of our sons, so the people must, “March, march, may the impure blood (of tyrants) water our fields…
        Impur= impure…

        • Since it’s the “Chant de guerre pour l’armée du Rhin”, it’s about war against the army of Léopold II. So the impure blood would be the blood of the German soldiers, not of the French aristocrats.

      • Simple– Again… Spilling “impure blood” refers to tyrants…. Not the blood of serfs or the people…
        Hint: “No SOB has ever won a war by dying for his country. Wars are won by making the other poor SOB die for his country” ~ George Patton

      • I am beginning to understand something: “Marchons, marchons, qu’un sang impur, abreuve nos sillons.” doesn’t mean “water our fields,” it means “water our furrows”, so it implies tilt.
        This may be why we in France hate Monsanto so much: Monsanto promotes Roundup, RR seeds, notably RR maize and corn, with less mechanical work on the land. “No tilt” may be best environmentally and for the carbon emissions, but we don’t sing “qu’un sang impur, abreuve nos champs planté de graines OGM Roundup-Ready sans labour traités au glyphosate”!

    • No, you got that very wrong, Socialism is a rather feeble version of Communism impersonating Capitalism, I happen to have experienced all three.

      • Vukcevic– Unfortunately, I’ve had the displeasure of doing business with Communist and Socialist countries…
        Doing business with Capitalist countries is mo’ bedda..

      • Capitalism is superior if “controlled” and by this I refer to the the 1890’s with safety and extreme child labor abuses before early 1900’s labor laws came into being. A lot of these abuses were responsible for the eventual rise of excessively powerful unions which somehow escaped many needed controls. There were also abuses with monopolies and in the 1920’s/30’s banking practices which brought Glass Steagall into play (not so much anymore). There is also some overlap as for example Social Security is considered by most to be “socialistic” and also some minor means should be provided for those who can’t take care. The point being that “pure” forms of these ideologies are worse and unfortunately oversight will never come from within but has to be from an imperfect government. A government which tends toward excesses because their rewards are obtained by voter and lobbyist appeasement.

      • I love it when people who know nothing about history go on and on about it.
        The reason children worked had nothing to do with the so called excesses of capitalism.
        It was because the technology of the day had not advanced to the point where their parents could earn enough so that children didn’t need to work.
        Go back through history and you will find that children had always worked, be it on the family farm or helping around the store. Whatever the parents did, the children helped. It was only the rich who had the money to send their children to school.
        It was capitalism that improved the technology that allowed children to no longer work. Government laws had NOTHING to do with it. Check the history books. By the time child labor laws were passed, the only place children still worked were the family farms and family stores. BTW, what were the only places exempted from the child labor laws? Why family farms and family stores. As always the politicians banned something that was no longer happening and took credit for it’s disappearance.
        As to labor conditions. The same explanation applies here to. It was technology that made work less back breaking and dangerous. The laws weren’t passed until long after the worst of the problems had already been solved.
        Labor unions came about because people wanted something for nothing. That’s always been what unions have been about. It’s not a coincidence that most of the early labor leaders were openly communist.

      • Monopolies are impossible without the help of a government. Can you name these so called banking practices that resulted in Glass/Steagall, or have you just accepted the claims of the politicians that these changes were needed. Just like you accepted the politicians claims that they were the ones who stopped child labor and improved working conditions?
        Government will always tend towards tyranny. That is it’s nature.
        Capitalism on the other hand is characterized by the free exchange of goods and ideas.

      • Mark, So I see that you believe that American industrialists are more “moral” concerning profit than the ones in Asia using similar labor standards of the 1890’s and I’m sure that there are always a few “slants” in studies to turn things that way. I also suppose that labor stats showing almost 100% of new jobs are made up of alien workers (don’t know how many illegals since they aren’t broken out) with a record numbers of much cheaper H-1 visa’s (and cheap home labor) that those “moral” CEO’s just hate to use. Historical observation (including slavery) shows that such morality is in short supply, even today, when it comes to the almighty “profit”, especially if without minimum safe guards. Companies that treat their workers well rarely have trouble with workers wanting union involvement. As to Glass Steagall, there are references, (along with a few not well laid out counter arguments), that the essential demise of that act by
        Greenspan resulted in most of the 2008 debacle. Yes the mod in housing lending practices wanted by Dem’s didn’t help but they only added fuel to the fire proving that reducing oversight and calling it deregulation is not always a good thing (also see what happened in the Savings and Loan de-reg debacle under Reagan and ENRON, World Com etc. etc.). You can attempt to argue for a completely unsupervised capitalistic structure depending on corporate morality (are you also for those lobbyists also running DC) if you want, but brutal historical examples don’t agree. (Inside Job the movie)

      • Yes, Bob. The French Revolution and the American Revolution took different philosophical paths…
        The French Revolution was based on collective mob rule, while the American Revolution was rooted on an individual’s inalienable rights. I.e mob rule vs. the rights of men.
        Our Founding Fathers hated democracies and tried their best to prevent that despicable form of tyranny, but, alas, America has slowly devolved into yet another failed tyrannical democratic state.

  26. Shoot the Dead Cow
    I found this thread entertaining and it reminded me of something I experienced. A friend and I were hunting in the mountains when we came upon a dead cow. It had been dead for quite some time but was still intact and quite bloated. It was so bloated that it looked like a parade balloon that had been over inflated to the point that it could explode at any moment. It was quite a curiosity. The skin was stretched to the tautness of a snare drum. Since we were hunting, we were both carrying high powered rifles. I turned to my friend and said, ” why don’t you shoot the dead cow and see what happens, what could be the harm?”. He looked at me for a moment, and then looked at the cow, then his gaze turned back to me and he said, “no, you shoot the cow, it was your idea, and I’ll move back while you do it”. I raised my rifle and put the sights on the giant festering belly, and hesitated. I contemplated the mass of pressurized vileness festering in the vessel before me and wondered if I was too close. The uncertainty of what I was about to unleash raced through my mind as I began to press the trigger, but then I stopped just at the threshold of the discharge. I lowered my rifle, put on the safety, and we walked away wondering what the outcome would have been, but not willing to find out.

    • That is a great story! I see that dead, bloated cow as a metaphor for the Climatist movement. When it goes bust, you don’t want to be anywhere near it.

      • But you will be near it fiscally and socially. That is the design plan—for no one to have a safe distance. It is fundamentally a shared plan.

    • Dead cow was bloated by build up of methane gas in the rumen which is normally expelled by belching.
      If a hot bullet hit the rumen, gas would have been set on fire, releasing CO2 rather than methane the much more potent GHG. By not firing the bullet you contributed to increase in the global warming, which otherwise may not have been as catastrophic. (/sark)

    • I see it as a metaphor for the functions of the state in modern Western economies. Hundreds of thousands of government leaches need to be fired but the effect on the economy will be horrendous in the short term. Combined with the demographic nightmare that we are about to see and the debt we have amassed, there is absolutely no way we can avoid an economic apocalypse. The Greens will get their way when we are all living in caves and dressed in animal skins by 2050. The triumph of Socialism-with or without eco-lunacy!

      • Mr. harmsworth, perhaps you are too pessimistic.
        – Debt matters only as long as an effort is made to be repaid; those who lent money could be in as much trouble if they rely on the regular repayments income.
        – demographic nightmare solution is something that Mrs. Merkel had in mind when she invited one million middle east refugees. In the UK demographic ‘nightmare’ is of opposite kind, people of certain faith do not have just one or two children as the most Europeans do, it is usually four or five. London schools are far too overcrowded, those kids are going nowhere, and as long as they turn into productive working population there will be no shortage of labour.
        France is in similar position, but their labour laws need modernising, Switzerland has the highest immigration per capita. The fact that many European local communities, their culture and at certain degree religion are endangered or often destroyed is regrettable, but it is far too late to do anything about it.
        I regularly visit the Mediterranean village of my birth and youth, now it has less than the half population it had 30 or 40 years ago, but not a single ‘immigrant’, not even a local from the other side of the river. After London certainly it is refreshing, but there is acute shortage of younger families. Sadly, the ‘progress’ means that we can’t have it all.

  27. The Germans tolerate the French and the others……all the way to the bank. Only one country really has benefits from the single currency design with no neighbors allowed to devalue their own currency to undercut them. It just requires a lot of vigilance on the debt and fiscal rules side, or limited cheating that is.

    • ResourceGuy– The purpose of the Euro was to prevent Germany’s strong currency/economy from dominating other Euroean countries’ weak and faltering currencies and economies…
      It was a way to plunder Germany and redistribute Germany’s wealth to other impoverished European countries that destroyed their currencies through excessive spending and excessive debt/money priting…
      The Swiss were brilliant not to switch the Euro…. The failed Euro will soon collapse. Germany simply can’t afford to pay for all of Europe’s excessive Socialist largess/debt anymore…

      • “The purpose of the Euro was to prevent Germany’s strong currency/economy from dominating other Euroean countries’ weak and faltering currencies and economies…”
        Wait… what?
        Everywhere in Europe, the Euro currency WAS called the “Euro-Deutschmark”. Not anymore:

        Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is also head of the SPD and vice chancellor, has likewise refrained from publicly criticizing Draghi. Instead, he says it was the “inaction of European heads of government” that has transformed the ECB into “a kind of faux economic government.” But Draghi’s most recent decision to make money in the euro zone even cheaper has been heavily criticized within Gabriel’s Economics Ministry. “It jeopardizes the trust of all those who work hard to establish a small degree of prosperity or a nest-egg for retirement,” says one ministry official. “Plus, the cheap money hasn’t helped get the economy back on track.”
        Most dangerous for Draghi, however, is the displeasure from the German Finance Ministry. A few weeks ago, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble warned the ECB head that his ultra-loose monetary policies could “ultimately end in disaster.” The fact that Schäuble said anything at all is rather surprising, as were the words he chose. Out of respect for the ECB’s independence, finance ministers tend not to comment on decisions made by the central bank.
        The Legal Boundary
        But Schäuble believes Draghi’s course is calamitous. He is concerned that the unchecked creation of money could lead to new bubbles on the financial markets. Furthermore, negative interest rates have a negative impact on the profit margins of commercial banks — and part of the ECB’s mission is ensuring the stability of such banks. Schäuble believes that Draghi’s policies create misguided incentives for the governments of euro-zone member states.
        To be sure, ECB independence is also of vital importance to Schäuble as well. But that is no longer the case when the bank’s policies exceed its legal mandate. It is a boundary that Schäuble believes Draghi and his people have crossed, which explains why the minister does not have a bad conscience about abandoning traditional reserve. “We have to initiate this dialogue about monetary policy,” says a Finance Ministry official.
        Were the ECB, as Draghi has indicated it might, to open the monetary policy gates even wider — with, for example, helicopter money — the German finance minister would view it as a breaking point. Such a policy would see the ECB bypass the banking sector and distribute money directly to companies, consumers or states, all of which would stand in violation of the central bank’s own statutes. Should it come to that, sources in the German Finance Ministry say, Berlin would have to consider taking the ECB to court to clarify the limits of its mandate. In other words: the German government and Draghi’s ECB would be adversaries in a public court case.
        Such a legal battle between the government and a central bank would be a first in German history. It could lead to a constitutional crisis of unprecedented severity or to currency turbulence — which is why it is extremely improbable that the two sides would allow the conflict to escalate to such a degree.
        But the very fact that senior officials in the German Finance Ministry are considering their legal options makes it clear just how great the frustration with Draghi has become. The ECB head’s ever more imaginative ideas for increasing the money supply, say Finance Ministry officials, indicate that he is only concerned about the psyche of the international financial markets and not about average German savers.
        We will need more popcorn.

  28. “one of the reasons that France didn’t want a nuclear-powered Iran. Iran also planned to sell surplus nuclear-powered electricity.”
    Anti-nukes often confuse nuclear power with nuclear weapons. No countries with nuclear technology to sell are opposed to the peaceful use of nuclear power. However, trade with countries developing nuclear weapons is not allowed. China and Russia however, will sell reactors to anyone with the money.
    I think it will be a long time before Iran has to worry about exporting nuclear generated power.
    US regulations now allow reactors to be sold to places like China and India but we have to show that will not be used for weapons. This is why I could work in China and on China reactors from the US.

  29. One of the good things about being retired is not working for a French company. The French and the Japanese went on a buying spree of US nuclear companies. One day I worked for a French company but the name on the building was the only thing that changed.
    The problem with the French in nuclear is arrogance. There is a difference arrogance and accomplishment. In the US, young engineers seek out older engineers for guidance because of experience. In China, I was the oldest and most experienced. I had to get business license because I was past the retirement age in China and too old to get a work visa. None of the French engineers or management had been around for building older plants. So I was treated with great respect by Chinese engineers and dismissed by the French who were working at a power plant for the first time.
    In the US, the nuclear industry and the nuclear regulatory commision have an adversarial relationship. The NRC expects the industry to do quality work and only spot checks compliance.
    The French documentation (configuration management) is sloppy. Twenty years ago some US plants had these problems. Arrogance is not learning. It would appear that the French have a problem with convincing repective regulators that it is okay to operate the plants.

    • So you believe that the relation of IRSN/ASN vs. EDF isn’t “adversarial”?

    “Le compte à rebours est lancé” = The countdown is started.

    “C’est un dessin qui pourrait être résumé ainsi: la situation est explosive. C’est ce que vous dîtes tous les jours à la prise d’antenne. Arrêtons de jeter de l’huile sur le feu. La situation est explosive, c’est une façon de l’illustrer.”
    Philippe Martinez (CGT) says:
    “It is a drawing that could be summarized as: the situation is explosive. That’s what you say every day when you go online. Let’s stop throwing oil on the fire situation is explosive… it is a way to illustrate it.”
    During a state of emergency, after the worse terror attacks outside war time, the CGT union draws a bomb with a timer and says “the situation is explosive”.
    Great taste.

    • Pour le syndicaliste de la RATP, il ne s’agit pourtant que d’un dessin humoristique, sans provocation ni maladresse. “On est vraiment dans la sur-interprétation d’un dessin, déplore-t-il. Tout parallèle avec des attentats terroristes est non seulement malvenu, mais très insultant pour notre organisation, affirme Jacques Eliez, pour qui “la provocation vient de la direction de la RATP, soutenue par le gouvernement.”
      With the help of Google Translate:

      According to the RATP (Paris metro/bus society) union member, it is just a cartoon, without provocation or clumsiness. “It really is in over-interpretation of a drawing, he says. Any parallel with terrorist attacks is not only unwelcome but very insulting to our organization, says Jacques Eliez, for whom the provocation comes from management of the RATP, supported by the government.

      Maybe it’s an “over-interpretation” to view a bomb in this context as a “provocation”, after the terror attacks in Paris.
      Maybe it’s “unwelcome” and “very insulting” to take a drawing of a bomb on a tract by a Paris metro union as a “parallel” with a terror attack, after the bombing in the metro of Brussels.
      Maybe… not.

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