Honest broker: President Eichlers thoughtful remarks

I wish to congratulate very sincerely President Eichler for his sobering and very wise thoughts. It is indeed time to get away from pure promotion of the political slogans (like the 2000 W society, the green energies, the natural energies) that are intended to pacify and please the public opinion (the electorate of the politicians), to make everybody feel good, while missing the fact (and refusing the discussion): they are not the only obvious solutions.

By making the wrong or unimportant choices (like emphasizing the use and diverting resources for applications of present-day photovoltaic technology in Switzerland, a technology that is the least effective, the most expensive and has a minuscule impact on the total electricity production anyway), we are wasting time, efforts and resources that could be used much more effectively elsewhere (e.g. using the same funds to even more actively and efficiently improve the thermal insulation of existing buildings, or the efficiency of lighting or traffic systems, or simply reinforce the education of the public on how to use energy efficiently).

Unfortunately there are no beautiful sounding slogans for these rather mundane but certainly efficient actions…

Yes, ETH Zurich could and should be the honest broker, but unfortunately the slogans circulate even inside its walls. Yes, ETH should start with an honest and thorough internal discussion not based on ideological positions and taboos. Yes, naïve messages should be discussed before endorsing them. ETH certainly has the talents capable of doing this, but all the voices should be listened too, not only the ones that please the public.

The European Union is politically promoting the green energies, while the European utilities are furiously installing natural gas burning plants and even coal burning plants. The European member states are making promises to comply with the prescriptions from Brussels while they well know that they will not be able to keep them. Thanks Professor Eichler for your courageous remarks.

George Yadigaroglu - 19.11.09

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