Perhaps our economic system has now become too complex for a democracy

Diverse — Drokles on September 5, 2012 at 5:22 am

Sådan er ordene fra europaparlamentariker for de tyske Grønne Sven Giegold, som konklusion på EU bureaukraternes lovgivende magt. Et lille godt eksempel på det efterfølgende vanvid er forbuddet mod glødepærer, der netop er trådt i kraft. Den del af industrien, der producerer belysningskilder har givet skubbet på for at få kanaliseret større omsætning deres vej (som går fra andre og mere nødvendige dele af industrien), men, for der er et men fortæller Spiegel

But there is also someone else behind the phase-out of incandescent bulbs: Sigmar Gabriel, the current chairman of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), Germany’s largest opposition party.

The 53-year-old — who is undoubtedly a shining light for the Social Democrats today — wanted to make a name for himself in 2007, when he was the federal environment minister. At the time, Germany was ruled by a grand coalition made up of the SPD, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and Germany had just assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the European Council presidency in Brussels. Gabriel was seeking the international spotlight.

In February, after Australia announced a ban on incandescent light bulbs, Gabriel wrote to the EU environment commissioner, saying: “Europe can no longer afford products with a degree of efficiency of only 5 percent, such as conventional light bulbs.”

He proposed using the Ecodesign Directive, drafted in the European Parliament in 2005, as the legal basis for a ban in Europe. Under the directive, products that consume energy must be designed to be as energy-efficient as possible.

The EU parliamentarians were just as enthusiastic as the Council of the European Union. Perhaps it was because a ban on incandescent light bulbs, which would be relatively easy to implement, would enable them to score some quick victories on the climate front. After all, the EU’s pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2020 was highly ambitious from the start.

Death Blow to the Tungsten Wire

The proposed light-bulb ban had come along at just the right time, and it was up to the Commission to develop the necessary directives. The complicated EU process known as comitology, whereby its legislative bodies delegate detailed implementing measures to the executive, had begun. Since then, the issue has been an ongoing topic in back-room meetings in Brussels.

In a preliminary study, experts working with representatives from both industry and environmental groups developed a working document. In March 2008, the document was submitted to the Ecodesign Consultation Forum, which includes representatives of the member states as well as lobbyists for industry and NGOs.

In the end, a win-win situation seemed to have been created for (almost) everyone. The industry could sell its expensive energy-saving light bulbs, bulb designers would receive new commissions for the necessary light bulbs and environmental organizations and politicians could claim credit for a success in the fight against climate change.

Og derfor fylder europærerne nu deres hjem, hvor deres hunde, katte og ikke mindst børn lever med energisparepærer fulde af kviksølv. Nå disse pærer siges at spare energi, skal det siges, er det alene målt ud fra den energi de benytter for at kaste et givent lys og ikke den energi der er gået til i produktionen. Ej heller tages det med i betragtning at glødepæren mest bruges i vinterhalvåret, hvor den qua sin dårlige udnyttelse af energi til at kaste lys leverer et tilsvarende stort bidrag til den indendørs opvarmning. Dette og mere er emnerne for en dokumentar, Bulb Fiction, som bliver diskuteret  på tysk (desværre) nedenfor

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