For Czech readers only: My article about the IPCC report in the October 2013 Václav Klaus Institute Newsletter is now out: PDF(Yes, I wrote Czechia: I've been using the word at least for 9 years, since the beginning of this blog. Last week, President Zeman visited Israel and praised Shimon Peres for his usage of the word Czechia - which isn't hard for Peres because the common Hebrew word for Czechia sounds exactly the same. I don't expect that foreigners will actually start to use the short apolitical name but Zeman and your humble correspondent did their best.)
The second edition of The Elegant Universe (in my translation) will be out in 2-3 weeks. More info about the book.
In July 2013, the Czech government finally approved the complete end for subsidies for all "renewable energy" projects after the end of 2013. We've been obedient toadies for quite some time. Despite our being a medium-size EU country, we have become the #3 photovoltaic EU power in absolute numbers at some point. The price was substantial and everyone could realize that we simply didn't want increasing energy prices, arguments who pays for all of that, and so on. So the plan to avoid all similar "renewable" hysterias in the future seems to be a completely general consensus of all the political parties, including those that otherwise suck and that will win the snap elections in less than 2 weeks.
Simon Lincoln Reader wrote a pretty amusing reaction to this "against the stream" behavior of Czechia, and less visibly Poland, in a South African newspaper:
‘Insolent’ Czechs look to coal for energy
Already the beginning made me laugh out loud.
OUR perceptions, in Johannesburg at least, of the Czech Republic are skewed. We forget Pilsner Urquell, Bata Shoes and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra as our minds race to peroxide-blonde bouncers in a steroid rage and heavyset women reporters holding microphones up to the mouths of insensate gangsters emerging from courtrooms after yet another tepid bollocking. We think of the murdered corpses of naughty or just unfortunate men, or of cagefighting or indiscriminate mockeries of justice. There is no talk of Franz Kafka, Milan Kundera or Vaclav Havel — but there is no talk of Czech coal either.That's a funnily symmetric situation because our perceptions in Czechia are skewed, too. When you say "South Africa" and "Johannesburg" and ask us what do the words make us think about, we would probably also answer "gangsters" – whether or not the latest gangster who was shot in South Africa was also an associate of Radovan Krejčíř [Cray-Cheers], a Czech fugitive criminal and entrepreneur (not to be confused with Viktor Kožený, a TRF's URL contributor LOL), and so on.
The second thing we think about when you say "South Africa" is ironically Pilsner Urquell because the brewery 0.5 mile from my home now belongs to the SABMiller empire, a British-based transnational corporation that was founded in South Africa. So we say that the brewery belongs to the South Africans – and sometimes blame some (mostly hypothetical) "recent drops in quality" on them.
At any rate, Mr Reader points out that we're the small Davids not afraid to face the Palestinian bully, Goliath, who would like to do exactly the opposite things. Ex-president Klaus' words are mentioned in the last paragraph.