## Friday, February 01, 2013 ... /////

### France bans light at night

François Hollande became many French conservative women's most favorite socialist politician of all time. Not only his government attacked the Islamists in Mali but they have also decided to expel some radical imams from France.

Well, the second event is a positive one and I am somewhat less enthusiastic about the first one because the situation in Mali is mostly incomprehensible to me and I am not an instant fanatical supporter of anyone who just happens not to be a Muslim. And the 75% tax for the rich in France is just insane and it will be harmful to the country, too.

Prague at night, taken a few days ago by Kevin Ford from the International Space Station. Altitude 400 km, speed 27,000 kph. Picture with geographic local names.

But what the Czechs are stunned by is this plan:

Lights out – France to force shops and offices to go dark overnight
From July 1st, shop windows won't be allowed to be illuminated at night. The same is true for offices after the last workers leave and so on. During Christmas, you will need paperwork from local bureaucrats for Christmas tree lights that would violate the rules. Paris could soon seem very different than it looks now – and very different than Prague on the picture. It could resemble North Korea that permanently celebrates the Earth Day.

How do they justify this insanity? The emissions of CO2 may be reduced by 250,000 tons per year. Even if you believed the IPCC that the CO2 emissions are heating the Earth by 3 °C a century, which is at least a 3-fold overestimate, it's still due to 30 billion tons of CO2 a year. So we're talking about 10 parts of million of the global emissions which means 30 microkelvins per century or 0.0000003 °C of "mitigated warming" per year. Did I miss a zero? I hope it's correct.

Do they really want to turn these things off?

A rational person surely doesn't think that it's appropriate to pay the price of Paris looking like Pyongyang at night for this utterly negligible – and negative, when you look carefully – change.

"Light pollution" is quoted as another justification. I've seen some movies about "light pollution" and although one could a priori think that this could be a legitimate concern, I think that all the people claiming that light pollution is a problem are Luddite lunatics, too. There's just lots of places on Earth where light pollution is nearly non-existent. You may still go there. It's probably not too important because not too many people are going there.

Delphine Batho, France's minister of "ecology and sustainable development". It's just an example of political correctness run amok when an insanely stupid slut of this type whose main "achievement" is her previous membership in various violent left-wing guerilla groups becomes a minister in one of the cradles of modern democracy who may decide about totally technical questions such as the amount of artificial light in the whole country.

Light isn't garbage. Light is what God wanted to exist before He said it was great. Light is what we use to see all the pretty and other things. Lumo is light in esperanto. Light is $\gamma$, photons, quanta of the gauge field of the only unbroken unconfined gauge group we have in Nature. Light is great. Who hates light is a satanist, a Devil fanatic, a Dark Age advocate, a loon.

At any rate, I am calmed down at least by the clear comment by the Czech ministry of environment that they "resolutely reject all similar kinds of obscurantism". I sort of believe that this attitude would persist even if the current center-right government were replaced by a left-wing one. Also, our newly chosen president elect often mentions the EU light bulb ban as his favorite example of absurdities that shouldn't be decided at the EU level.

#### snail feedback (34) :

Paris City of Light, no more.

Let the night burglary rampage begin!

Thieves et al will love this. Rapes of women will go up too. As each living person exhales about 0.3 of a ton of CO2 the next would be obligatory birth control.

I didn't even think of this aspect! ;-)

Hmm my comment must be somewhere... never mind.

The beginning of a new dark age ...

Hollande wants to remove the word "race" from the Constitution. He wants to allow foreigners to vote. He wants to allow gay marriage (which would allow children adoption) without debate. The bitch Justice minister Taubira wants to authorize the surrogate mothers in France without debate. One of his minister -who must be bored- wants to create a "age pride" movement (like the gay pride), because she wants to make old people "sexy" (her words). Five millions civil servants will be demonstrating in the street of France soon to moan about their "low wages" (which are much higher than in the private sector !). France is the country of civil servants. (7 millions !). France helps the islamists rebels in Lybia who want to instaure charia and they kill them in Mali. This might be the socialists' logic.

You ain't kidding! I witnessed the beginning of a gang rape during a power outage. Some Latino guys chased a girl out of a bar and down the street, ripping her clothes off and getting ready to rape her. I walked around the corner to a public phone and quietly called the police. I don't know how far these guys got before the police showed up, because I kept walking.

As long as they leave the streets lights on it should be ok....

Why did this girl leave a bar, alone, at night with no street lights... Some women have no internal warning lights, do they ?

Or alternatively, they have too high libido and low demands concerning the details. ;-)

I don't know if that's true Lubos. I'll never understand women ;-)

The “jihadists”in Mali are, for the most part, foreign invaders from Libya who lost their jobs as Gaddaffi’s enforcers with his western-engineered fall. Most Malians welcome the French liberators and hate the jihadists. As an American, I am very happy that we are not the lone policeman trying to enforce law and order in the world.

Of course the French environmentalists are nuts but we have our own share of these kooks.

These djihadists from Lybia took the heavy weapons and the "pickups" given by us for their revolution to invade Mali. Nobody took care of who those weapons were going to once the revolution was achieved. So we end up fighting the ones we were helping in another country. It is exasperating.

As a French I am proud that we got rid of the islamists in Mali's main towns, but we should eventually do the same in Lybia and all the Sahel region that is becoming a nest of djihadists. Hilary Clinton agrees with me ;-)

As much as I enjoy visiting France, and speaking and reading my somewhat passable French, the French are incredibly touchy and insecure about themselves....another way of looking at it is impossible arrogant and narcissistic :)

The same applies to Quebec, in Canada. There, the language police ( Office québécois de la langue française ) goes to absurd lengths to keep their bastardized joual "pure". One pet store received a fine because a parrot in the shop spoke only English. Recently, a Montreal councillor tried to introduce a motion that in order to get a dog licence, the dogs would have to demonstrate that they understood commands in French, because he was in a public park and a large "Anglo dog" jumped up on him and licked him and he said things like non mauvais, couche, s'assis etc, but he only responed to his Anglo owner's commands....:) So when getting the licence at the municipality, the pet would be given French commands, and if unresponsive what? deport them to Ontario? Many, many Chinese, English, immigrant shopowners have been fined and harrassed for having signs in their windows so that their customer base understand them. Now it is allowed only if the other language is minuscule compared to the French.
SNL or Monty Python would have trouble being more silly or petty.

Oh, and now you can't say "hashtag"...

http://www.shinyshiny.tv/2013/01/dont_say_hashtag_the_french_dont_like_our_silly_internet_words.html

I am with you and Hilary on this, of course, but Mali is a piece of cake compared to the rest of the Sahel. The French have the support of the bulk of the Mali population but the rest of the region is much more complex. Loyalties shift back and forth during a revolution and many of the armed thugs that supported Gaddafi turned against him when it became opportune to do so. It was natural for the West to support these guys rather than send in our own troops, which would have been difficult politically.

Libya is mostly about money. High grade petroleum is produced there (at the wellhead) for about \$2 per barrel and everyone wants a piece of that.

Revolutions always breed chaos, don’t they? Yours certainly did.

Merde!

She didn't "leave" normally. She was already running as she came out the door. By the time I turned the corner, she was already on the ground. You can conjecture she would have been safer inside, but that would be a conjecture. Bad neighborhood, dark inside the bar...

Is not Paris the center of burning cars? Such give off a lot of light. So, burn more cars. Problem solved.

France has much more of a problem with "stupid" than light.

Why do the French let the stupids, not only run around, but run their bloody country?

I recently read that an American couple named their female child, Hashtag. Sound pretty, doesn't it?
Another example of very nearly insane naming, is the female Olympic skier Peekaboo Street. She is of course also American. ;-)

Interesting Gordon. Having said that what's wrong with French wanting to put French words instead of English words into our everyday language ? We say "courriel" for "e-mail" for example. "Mot-dièse" replaces "hashtag", French can modernize their language as they see fit, can't they ?

French Revolution brought chaos but it didn't install it for good :-)

Or how political correctness deprives a young woman of her otherwise natural defense instinct. Sad.

There's nothing wrong with wanting French words for things, but when the law starts getting involved, that's pretty funny. The same goes for the refusals to permit children to be given foreign names.

Of course, I'm assuming that at least some of the things I've read are true; you may tell me otherwise. Also, the interesting thing is that if they are true, what makes the French this way? Just going on criticizing them after the facts are known is stupid. (The same goes for criticizing the Americans.)

Someone - Robert Heinlein, I think - told a story of a Polish immigrant in the U.S. who became known as (say) "Joe Smith" after people either couldn't pronounce his name, or couldn't figure out the pronunciation from the spelling. He finally went to court to get his name changed to "Joe Smith," spelled the same as his original, undecipherable Polish name. The court went along with it.

Its a rather odd decision given that France obtains most of its electricity from nuclear power. I was also under the impression that coal fired power stations had to be kept running all night anyway in order to keep the boilers hot. Its hard to see where the 'carbon savings' are coming from. At least the business's power bills will go down for a short period before they go up again.

Dear Smoking Frog, in France a lot of foreign names were Frenchified in the past to make it simpler too. In those days they did it for free, nowadays you'd have to pay for it ;-)

Well, yes, that was not my point. Most languages absorb words from other languages, slang, etc and don't feel compelled to go through painful distortions to translate words into something "pure", and they certainly don't have an office of language purity with the authority to fine businesses for using words in another language on signage on their own property.

IMO the French can, of course, do what they want, but is it the French modernizing their language, or is it the government telling the plebs what they must do? I do object to that. The Quebec govt here is particularly egregious.

Dear Gordon, All things considered it is not that bad to be a pleb in France ;-). It is the Académie Française who decides of the new words in French language. A lot of English words have been accepted in our dictionary too. It's strange how any sort of nationalistic feelings that French people might have is always pointed at by foreigners... when they themselves are at least as nationalistic than us. It's ok, we French are used to paradoxes ;-)

The keyboards are nothing compared to their driving on the left side of the road... what dumb decision was that ? And I won't mention their refusal to use the metric system... Anyway we like our "rosbifs" friends (they call us "froggies" because we're supposed to eat frogs... how cute)

Shannon: The Romans drove on the left hand side and this custom prevailed in most of Europe and the Mediterranean in Roman times and mostly until the time of Napoleon. Then, France, and the countries that Napoleon conquered converted to right-sided driving. His motive?---revolutionary cussedness likely. Countries he didn't reach, like Sweden, drove on the left side until mid-late 1900s. The Americans preferred to emulate the French rather than the British whom they had just fought for independence.
BTW, it is thought that the Romans chose to drive on the left so that their right sword arm could be used if the oncoming traffic was threatening :)
So, blame the French.
As far as metric goes, we can blame the French as well (though the Imperial system is irrational, a strange reversal---anyway, we Canadians are metric)