It’s a lesson that I feel my own generation learned too late, the result of which has been apathy, a lack of political engagement, and the feeling that there is no point participating in a system that does not have our interests at heart. And so we do not vote as much as we should, or even bother to register, and then politicians continue to make policy without considering us. Because why should they tailor their policies to you, when they do not feel they need your vote?
Depressingly, and despite having the power to swing the result, it is predicted that turnout among young people was low – though we won’t know exactly how low just yet – and for this we can only blame ourselves.If you are young, and especially if you voted, I hope that the outcome of this referendum doesn’t put you off voting again.
Germany had so much renewable energy on Sunday that it had to pay people to use electricity — Quartz
On Sunday, May 8, Germany hit a new high in renewable energy generation. Thanks to a sunny and windy day, at one point around 1pm the country’s solar, wind, hydro and biomass plants were supplying about 55 GW of the 63 GW being consumed, or 87%. Power prices actually went negative for several hours, meaning commercial customers were being paid to consume electricity.
Sixty years ago, nothing could survive in the Thames – but today it is home to seals, porpoises and even the occasional stray whale
There is a great debate about the success or otherwise of Germany’s Energiewende, or Energy Transition. Most of it is uninformed, and much of it is fuelled by the nuclear and coal industries, which have most to lose from the push into renewables by Europe’s most successful economy.
This series of graphs shows how the renewable targets are on track, have lowered emissions, decoupled energy consumption from economic growth, pushed wholesale prices down to record lows, and are now pushing retail prices down. And it has done some interesting things to the energy mix.
The graphs were prepared in a report by Agora Energiewende, a Berlin-based think tank whose former head Rainer Bakke is now the chief advisor to Germany’s energy and economics minister on the future of the Energiewende.
The first graph shows that the renewable target is still on track. This graph shows the target for 2025, and that will continue to a target of 55-60 per cent by 2035, and 80 per cent by 2050.
The graph […] may resemble a mountain range, all plunging valleys and soaring peaks. In fact, it tells a remarkable story of social and economic change, a story that ends bleakly for millions of medium and low-paid Britons – one of relentless forces cutting deep into occupations that have traditionally made up our economic landscape, and driving ever lower the real wages of all but the most fortunate and best-paid of the country’s employees.
The UK government should establish an expert technology ethics body to help address complex challenges, including health monitoring, autonomous vehicles and legal disputes such as the right to be forgotten, an independent review has recommended.
The ethical body, which would be similar to those in medicine and academia, is just one of a slate of wide-ranging recommendations in the Making Digital Government Work for Everyone review published on Tuesday, which explores how technology and digital services could be better used to help citizens.
Commissioned by Labour and written by an independent panel of more than 20 advisers and volunteers, the review has been in progress since December 2013.
The incident of Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and the dog is a famous one. It was 2007 and Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, was visiting Putin at his presidential residence in Sochi to discuss energy trade. Putin, surely aware of Merkel’s well-known fear of dogs, waited until the press gathered in the room, then called for his black Labrador to be sent in. The Russian president watched in unconcealed glee as the dog sniffed at Merkel, who sat frozen in fear.
Later, in discussing the incident with a group of reporters, Merkel attempted an explanation of Putin’s behavior. Her quote, reported in George Packer’s recent profile of Merkel in the New Yorker, is one of the most pithily succinct insights into Putin and the psychology of his 14-year reign that I have read:
“I understand why he has to do this — to prove he’s a man,” Merkel said. “He’s afraid of his own weakness. Russia has nothing, no successful politics or economy. All they have is this.”