Viridian Note 00240: News from EuropeBruce Sterling [email@example.com]
Attention Conservation Notice: Makes Americans feel even more like grimy Neanderthals. Goes on at quite some length.
The International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York http://www.metropolismag.com/html/fair/fair.htm I'm keynoting there on May 19. Man, life is rich and full!
Okay, never mind the prospect of massive extinction: is that a cool-looking robot dinosaur, or what? http://www.ai.mit.edu/people/chunks/chunks.html
(((Nevertheless, the issue is shaping up, and by June
we should have a (shall-we-say) markedly unusual magazine
on the stands. And soon the list will once again be
picking up speed, because the Greenhouse Effect couldn't
be any sexier this season, and the material I've
accumulated is tremendous.
(((Meanwhile, as I was saying earlier, 2001 is
America's 1983 Redux. People who didn't believe that Al
Gore invented the Internet should be properly surprised to
see it vanish so quickly without him around. In the
corny zeitgeist of Bush II, 1989 never took place, so
we've got Cold War II, Energy Crisis II, Star Wars II, and
Stagflation Economy II, while telephone monopolies and
giant oil companies rule the Congress.
(((So much for the high-tech global superpower of the Clinton era. In Europe, rather interestingly, the 21st century is still progressing. This is a very good time for Europeans to stop watching Washington for answers. Because there aren't any there. As for Americans, there has rarely been a better time to watch Europe, while even poor comatose Japan is showing some feeble signs of political life.)))
"PARIS, May 3, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) == French
President Jacques Chirac Thursday announced his
environmental protection program, suggesting adoption of a
Charter on Environment to the Constitution, opening of a
debate of energy policy, and creation of World Environment
"In a speech made in Orleans, northern France, Chirac
said he was setting forth a conception of 'humanist
ecology' based on a new approach to the ecology. (((One
may hope that the malapropism "the ecology" is some kind
of Franco-Chinese mistranslation.)))
"'The right to protected and preserved environment
should be considered equal as other public liberties,' he
said, adding that the Parliament should adopt a Charter on
Environment and add it to the French Constitution.
(((Liberte, Egalite, breathable air.)))
"Five principles == responsibility (defined as 'one
pays when he pollutes,') precaution, prevention,
integration of ecology into decision-making, and
participation of citizens and decision-makers in
transparent decisions == should be written into the
Charter, said Chirac.
"He also suggested the opening of a public debate over
the energy policy in France while stressing the necessity
of diversified energy sources.
"On the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that demands rich nations
to cut greenhouse gases emissions, Chirac once again
called on the United States to join efforts with France
and other European nations to take the responsibility of
fighting against global warming.
(((And here's the weird part: this guy is the right- winger.))) "Chirac will run for a second term in the 2002 presidential elections while French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, who is from the Socialist Party and supported by the Green Party, might be one of his biggest rivals."
"Danes Open Largest Windmill Park
By JAN M. OLSEN
Associated Press writer
"COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) == A string of 20 white
windmills spinning at the entrance of Copenhagen's harbor
stand as a symbol of Denmark's position as the worldwide
leader and pioneer in the pollution-free wind energy
"The world's largest offshore windmill park, with a
capacity of 40 megawatts of electricity == four times more
than its nearest rival offshore windmill park in Sweden ==
will be inaugurated by city officials and start producing
energy on Sunday.
"The Middelgrunden park will supply 32,000 households
or 3 percent of the Danish capital's electricity
"Ever since the late 1970s, when renewable,
nonpolluting wind power emerged as an alternative energy
source, environmentally aware Danes have been up front.
"'This is the fastest growing energy generating
industry,' said Soeren Krohn of the windmill
manufacturers' association, adding that Danish production
was expected to double by 2005.
"The local industry, which employs 12,000, held a 50
percent share in the world market last year by supplying
2,500 megawatts, the equivalent of a medium-sized nuclear
"Denmark's largest producer Vestas alone had 26
percent of that.
"Middelgrunden's 211-foot-tall windmills with a rotor
diameter of 250 feet are co-owned by Copenhagen Energy,
the city's electricity company, and the 8,500-member
Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Cooperative.
"Spokesman Jens H. Larsen said 90 percent of the cooperative's members were Danes who 'wanted to be sure they get green energy,' while the remainder were companies and trade unions.
"'You get a lot more support when people get a say,' said Tarjei Haaland of Greenpeace. 'People have no say when oil companies are in charge.' (((And how!)))
"Today, more than 5,600 windmills dot the Scandinavian
nation, producing about 10 percent of Denmark's
electricity. In 2030, half of Denmark's energy should come
from windmills, according to the government. (...)
"Last year, Denmark exported windmills to key markets
including the United States, Germany, Britain, India and
China. Its sales have increased sixfold in the last five
years, amounting to $1.5 billion in 1999, according to the
"Middelgrunden will retain its position as the world's
largest offshore park for at least a year.
"Two bigger seaside parks are expected to open in Denmark next year, and more are planned off Sweden and the Netherlands, some producing as much as 160 megawatts == four times the size of the Middelgrunden."
"Joint Venture to Power World's Largest Solar Plant
"NEWARK, Delaware, US, 2001-04-30 <SolarAccess.com> A $65
million solar electric power park will be built in Spain,
and will cover an area equal to 57 soccer fields.
"AstraSolar, a Spanish joint venture of the U.S.
manufacturer, AstroPower Inc., will supply 13 megawatts of
APex(TM) solar cells for the facility in Murcia. When
commissioned in two years, the power plant will be four
times larger than any PV power plant currently in
"The consortium selected to construct and operate the
project includes the Spanish utility Iberdrola and Atersa,
co-owner of AstraSolar. A group of private investors are
also participants. The consortium will capitalize on
various incentives offered by the region of Murcia, the
Spanish Government and the European Union.
"'This project demonstrates the leadership position of
the Spanish industry within the rapidly growing European
market for solar electric power,' says Fernando Monera,
president of Atersa. The company is a major solar power
company in Spain and a key customer of AstroPower. It was
founded in 1979, and has offices in Madrid, Cordoba and
"The solar power plant will generate up to 4 percent
of the peak load for the Murcia region, which has one of
the best solar resources in Spain. (...)
"The AstraSolar solar manufacturing facility is based
in Valencia and has been producing solar cells since March
2000. For the Murcia project, it will supply large-area
Apex solar cells based on AstroPower's patented Silicon-
"AstroPower is based in Delaware and claims to be the world's largest independent manufacturer of solar electric cells, modules, panels and systems for off-grid and on- grid applications."
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