Sunday news commentary

I’ve found that newspapers are rarely really newspapers anymore, but I still like to read especially the Sunday paper carefully. The newspaper of choice over here is Helsingin Sanomat, though I do miss Boston Globe or NY Times. Anyway, a couple of things caught my eye in todays paper:

Mayor murdered, everyone’s a suspect

    In Spain, the mayor of the Fago village was murdered and suspects are not less than everyone in the village. The story could probably make a good movie, but the question I was wondering is why did a village of 37 inhabitants have a mayor to begin with?

Nordic electricity markets suck – and not just consumers’ money

    There was also a good article on why the Nordic electricy market is a fiasco. I agree that it’s a fiasco, but I’m not qualified to argue on the reasons. However, what I do know is that the pricing and PR departments of the electricity companies could use some overhaul. The stock price of electricity has gone down this winter, significantly so. The electricity companies raised prices recently, but there’s no talk of lowering the prices. All they say is that there’s “no immediate pressure on raising prices at the moment”. Riight.. just like many other companies, they pass on every singly rising cost to the consumer, but keep the profits if some costs come down.
    It’d be interesting to see some (at first, a small one) community attempting to live off the grid – a few wind turbines should support a sizeable community and I’m sure the price of the electricity would be very competitive. All we need is a village to try this out.

Winds of change – somewhere else

    There was an interesting (though a bit shallow and with not much new information) interview of Jorma Ollila, the chairman of Shell and Nokia about the topic of climate change. It was good to hear see that Ollila is apparently very serious about fighting climate change, and it’s good to see another corporate exec voicing opinions on the actions needed etc. It’s actually quite ironic as well as amazing that major corporations are becoming more aware of the dangers of climate change than governments.
    Meanwhile, the situation in Finland is downright pathetic. Is there any serious debate in Finland about climate change? Not really. Are we seeing any of the necessary tax shifts? No. Are we building up the only non-polluting energy source that we have access to, namely wind power? No. Instead, politicians foam about bioenergy, production of biodiesel and some insignificant changes which are debated for much too long.
    To illustrate just how far behind we are compared to some parts of the world, check out this photo on the right (click to enlarge) from Tenerife. This small island with 800,000 inhabitants has much more wind generator capacity in this photo alone than the entire country here. We would have excellent chance of building up a LOT more wind power capacity, so why aren’t we? My vote is on stupidity and short-sightedness.
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