Archive for October 18th, 2007
For casual bystanders like me, there is nothing as entertaining as a dogfight in the literary circles: So courtesy of Berlingske Tidende, I bring you Niels Barfoed vs. Klaus Rifbjerg – round 1, round 2.
No shotguns, unfortunately.
If you’re curious – and read Scandinavian – here is the Danish PM’s unofficial official position. (Danish politicians are still trying to find a stance on whether or not to hold a referendum on the thing).
Finally, Philip Lane of Trinity College discusses the reform treaty from an Irish perspective on VoxEU. Ireland is interesting as the country has to hold a referendum on the treaty.
Holy cows! We have a brown bear lurking around in these parts of Umeå.
The second section is built around my belief that the word “torture” tends basically to be a placeholder, which means that it needs to be filled in with concrete definitions and exemplars that are often lacking.
Erst zwei deutsche Nobelpreise, am Freitag neue Elite-Unis – die Wissenschaft jubelt. Doch wie forscht und lehrt es sich eigentlich an einer Siegeruniversität?
According to the Danish broadsheet Politiken, the Danish government spent much of the time between 2001 and late 2004 denying the climate change debate and the discussion about the consequences, climate change will have for public policy in general and infrastructure in particular.
This is hardly surprising news: The Danish Liberals which held the Finance and Environment portfolios from 2001 to 2004 have never had an environmental policy worth the name. A recent radio interview with Hans Christian Schmidt, the Liberal Minister for Environment until 2004 when he was replaced by the Conservative Connie Hedegaard, demonstrated clearly how the party still sees itself mainly as the promoter of producer interests with regard to environmental and infrastructure policy. The government’s very public endorsement of Bjørn Lomborg during this period, culminating in the creation of the Environmental Assessment Institute, was one example of how this anti-environment stance played out in everyday politics.
The article in Politiken (which of cause has an agenda of its own) points to some aspects I had not thought of but which almost makes the Danish policy look like a copy of the anti-environment policies and strategies of the US administration under George W. Bush: Government promotion of specific research programmes designed to disproof claims about human impact on the climate and environment and de facto intimidation of public research institutions.
From a public policy perspective, it is worth noting how the hand-over from a Liberal to a Conservative Minister of Environment also led to a change in the government’s publicly stated stance on the climate to the degree that the Liberal Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen discarding his party’s earlier stance and endorsing policies to reduce the use of fossil fuels at the recent UN Climate Summit.
Personal note: Lomborg was a Ph.D.-student in Political Science in Copenhagen at the same time as me in the very early 1990s so I knew him marginally back then. As I recall, environmental policy only became his shtick later.