Saturday, December 13, 2014

(OT) Abe's Just-In-Case Election - "This Is The Only Way"

Japan's Prime Minister Abe called a snap election without a cause, other than to make sure, just in case, his party LDP and coalition partner Komei Party still has popular support to carry out so-called Abenomics.

Today (December 14, 2014) is the voting date in Japan, and Japan's media outlets have been overdrive ever since the Lower House (House of Representatives) was dissolved in telling people that:

1. The voting rate will be very low, as there is no "cause" for the election;
2. Low turnout means parties with organized votes (i.e. LDP and Komei) will win big;
3. LDP alone will surpass 300 seats.

Angry voters in the small world of social media (like Twitter) doesn't seem to translate into real-world angry voters who will vote against LDP/Komei over abysmal real-world Abenomics accomplishments (higher stock market, lower yen, lower wages, more contract workers, negative GDP growth, etc. etc.) or over Abe's peculiar idea of "Beautiful Nation Japan" by changing the Constitution and removing "fundamental human rights" references.

Here's a photo in the post by independent journalist Ryusaku Tanaka on the last evening of the campaign (December 13), showing people waving small Japanese flags to greet Prime Minister Abe, as if he were the emperor of Japan:

Mr. Abe's Party has this as the official poster for the election. It says,

"For Economic Recovery, This Is the Only Way"

So the madman Haruhiko Kuroda at Bank of Japan will keep printing increasingly worthless yen to boost the stock market even further, as Abe's ministers having handsomely benefitted from the rising Nikkei. His ministers, particularly Finance Minister Aso, would point out the Nikkei index and say, as if it should be so self-evident to anyone, "See, Abenomics is working. The stock market is rising."

For his part, Abe will restart nuclear power plants, export arms, invite Las Vegas casinos, curtail citizens' rights for the greater good for his "Beautiful Nation". If the ruling coalition wins two-third majority, he may try to amend the Constitution by national referendum. LDP already has the draft, and it makes a very scary reading unless you are Abe believer.

The only thing I have noticed different this time around, compared to the last election (Upper House), is that more net citizens look more determined to vote for the opposition, EVEN IF THEY DON'T LIKE THE OPPOSITION. Because they detest LDP/Komei more, many are willing to hold their noses and vote for the opposition candidates, whatever the party.


netudiant said...

Well, it seems the LDP has won the two-thirds majority postulated.
That clears the way for Mr Abe to implement his policies, whether constitutional changes, more aggressive rearmament or nuclear restarts.
Instead, I'd welcome a focus on reversing Japan's demographic slide.
A country whose people don't have children is on the wrong track, no matter how high the Nikkei.

VyseLegendaire said...

I vote for storming the Bastille. ;0

Anonymous said...

Japan, keep printing money - it's only the future generations that will have to pay the price

Just like the future generations of Japan will pay the price for the Fukushima disaster.

The only way? Yup, the only way forward into oblivion.

netudiant said...

It would be nice to have a plausible way forward to offer to Japan.
Fukushima made it clear that nuclear is a much higher risk option for countries on the 'ring of fire' than was thought. The next time the problem may be a volcanic eruption, rather than a tsunami, but the result may be similar or worse.
Yet the leadership has little choice except to restart the reactors. The alternatives are pay for fuel oil and gas and get pilloried for the carbon footprint. Neither solar nor wind nor tide power are able to meet Japan's energy needs now or in the next decade.
Against this backdrop, what choice does the leadership have except to make reassuring noises while restarting the reactors with a mandate to make more money, but to pay more attention to safety?

Anonymous said...

The "leadership" in the NRA believes it has this choice:

Tanaka: 'empty the tanks!'

A nation of seafood eaters-on-steroids sucking-up reactor poisons. "Willful ignorance" will be required as can be seen on Tanaka's face of devolution.

Anonymous said...

@ Netudiant
You almost makes it look like they have no other choice than going on the way did... You always have a choice, but the key questions is do you think it's worth the trouble?
Government of Japan has more or less blocked all projects to increase renewable energy. Of course only renewable energy is not going to solve all problems, but if you are a sensible government of Japan, it's clear you should have as little as possible nuclear powerplant, as the risk is (too?) high. By making it more or less impossible for new projects of renewable energy sources, it looks to me that the Japanese government is solely interested in one thing: keep their buddies happy and let them make them even more money. Renewable energy has one major drawback, the big fat guys can not make much money out it...
So who is Japanese serving ?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, last sentence went wrong:

so who is the Japanese GOVERNMENT serving ?

netudiant said...

Hi Anonymous @ 5:32AM,

Agree entirely that Japan's government let this crisis go to waste, they could have had Japan lead a charge for more renewable power and greater efficiency. They muffed it, just as the Bush administration did with the 9/11 challenge, issuing a fatuous recommendation for Americans to go shopping instead of going for real energy independence. At least Japan has not started any wars in response. But apart from that, there has been zero national leadership on the Japan energy issue, not on fusion, not on better nuclear, not on renewables, not on ultra efficient systems. It is as if the nation was still traumatized and in shock.

Separately, I'm not sure why renewables would not allow big fat guys to make money. Indeed, I'd think they would get more from higher 'green' electricity prices. Certainly here in NYC our utility charges dearly for the distribution service, but they don't care about the source or cost of the power. Our utility no longer owns any power plants, instead they just pass the power purchase costs directly to the consumer.

Anonymous said...

Hi Netudiant. I agree with you about Japan missing the boat after Fukushima. I remember commenting to a Japanese person soon after the accident that this could be a golden opportunity to become a leader in the development of alternative energy. Unfortunately the government decided the health of the economy is more important than the health of the people. You mention many kinds of alternative energy to nuclear in your post but there was no mention of geothermal energy. Surely in a country with so much volcanic activity there is huge potential for Japan to develop this form of energy or are their beautiful traditional onsens too important to them.

netudiant said...

Geothermal is an interesting option, which is demonstrated daily in Iceland. You are quite right that Japan could be a leader in scaling up that technology, it seems another missed opportunity.
In fairness though, geothermal is not a walk in the park, the fluids are usually very contaminated and corrosive, injected water tends to get lost in the geology and the formations have limited heat capacity, so the sites get played out quickly if they are not very prudently managed. None of this is really hard for Japanese industry to manage, but there needs to be national leadership, something industry cannot provide.

Anonymous said...

Here 'ya go, netudiant, electricity and waste heat for desalination, near-boiling water to spin turbines instead of nukes to do it with, nearly at Fischer-Tropsch temps. ..

Seems after demonstrating such proficiency as optimizing 4-cylinder engines post-World War a creative use of the above would be a similar demonstration, if not worlds better ..

Anonymous said...

Hi Netudiant
Why the big boys do not like renewables ?
- you do not have to dig it up
- you do not have to ship it
- you do not have to reform it before you can use it ( oil )
- you can not speculate with it
- you can not raise prices due to exchange rates
- you can not use it as an economic weapon upon other countries ( Russia )
- you can not start a war over it... ( Irak )
etc etc
Lots of oppertunities to make big money are gone. You install some solar panels, windmills, geothermical or whatever and that's it. These big guys are not interested in little crumbles like maintenance or so.
That's the biggest problem of renewable energy, it's too good for humanity...

Anonymous said...

Imagine, with a free energy source the technical prowess of humankind being put on Hold while entrenched interests pretend nuclear is "green" ..

Anonymous said...

oneimportant thing i forgot to add
- You can not tax it, if you create your own energy by solar panels.
That one also hurts the big boys a lot. and that's why the EU is putting a very hefty import tax on those cheap Chinese solar panels, think about it if everyone has solar panels on their roofs, the ampount of tax they are missing is huge! You should think in a much bigger context than making a few extra buck by higher rates for green energy. Thats peanuts for them.

Anonymous said...

Very good, 9:16.

A bigger context .. like defense industry companies letting opponents hack their intellectual property as part of their definition of 'planned obsolescence', for them a positive thing to get their computers hacked. It guarantees employment and investment.

So 'green energy' is for politicians the energy sources we already have and renewables are to receive tepid support, only. Tepid support & politicians equate to advocating for green energy while actually asking for bids to resist it.

Concentrated solar cells having cooling requirements. Those requirements are only .. centuries old, by now?

Anonymous said...

If you look at an even bigger scale, the truth about renewables is getting shockingly clear.
It should be obvious by now to everybody that big banks and other financial institutions , big companies like big oil and pharma and so are the ones who are really in charge behind the political scene.
One simple example: just think what would happen if we would lower our energy need generated by coal, oil, gas, nuclear by half in 5 years from now. And we would implement renewables as an alternative and all houses generate their own energy need by solar, wind or what ever.
Banks and big companies will panic, no more big infrastructure projects are needed like harbours, new power stations, pipe lines etc etc, for many decades to come. Mining the stuff will becomes very uneconomical ( too big supply, prices will go down ), there will be to many ships, trucks, etc etc. Many people will become unemployed ( no taxes, worse: you have to pay them from the less taxes you get )
It will have a massive domino effect. It’s obvious to the big boys we can not use gas, oil, etc for ever, so the rate that we are going to change to more renewables have to be as slow as possible for as high as possible price. This is already decided by banks and so on. Governments will change every few years, banks not. It’s as simple as that.
Another reason why it should be as slow as possible: banks and big companies will love it when we need big infrastructure to protect us from the rising water or any other weather changing calamity. Construction companies are already drooling over this fact. Another reason why it has to go as slow as possible, you can keep mining, shiping, building etc ect for a much longer time, so less lost of capital.
So, please as slow as possible for as high as possible price. Guess who is paying that price ? Yes, YOU !!!
If humanity would decide today we are going to spend half the money we spend now on militairy costs on renewables and research, and put all our smartest brains together to tackle problems like how to store solar generated energy efficiently at each house, factory and so on, bankers will jump out of the window, because they kno wit can be done in 5 years and it will take another 5 years or so to implement it. If you think i’m talking nonsense, think of this: in 1969 they could put a man on the moon, recently a spacecraft landed on a meteorite, but we are still not able to solve the difficulties we have with renewables??? What could be the reason for that ?
It’s that shockingly simple and because it is so simple, hardly any one wants to admit or see it. Humans love fairytales, especially if they let you believe you can even become maybe rich by it …
This pattern or senario above can be more or less used for anything you wonder why it is happening or not happening.
Maybe somehting to think about under the X-mas tree the coming up days?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Obo perplexed ..

Anonymous said...

Let's revisit your talk of "big boys" in light of the amount of business to be done, worldwide, by industrial process cooling technology mated to concentrated solar panels.
"Lots of oppertunities to make big money are gone."
No. That's what a fairytale would whisper in your ear, but no sale.

Nuke plants use their own cooling tech, and the companies that manufacture it for them make Big money doing so. @ rather low volume, wouldn't you say?
The volume that'd be needed for distributed, concentrated solar would be enormous in comparison.

Therefore, the "big boys" are to be defined as .. Corruption? Yeah.

Anonymous said...

This type of concentrated solar could do double, triple duty at latitudes north & south of the equator that must spend large portions of their budget for heating and cooling.

Places like Drake Landing in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada ..
[the dreaded "copper serpentine tubing"!]
[so much un-waste heat to "dispose of"!]

sorption chilling

Anonymous said...

Oh my!, more un-waste heat flexibility

Engaging in 'expensive, unicorn-based fairytales', NOT. [leave your skittles @ the door, lol]

Anonymous said...

All of those stories feature big businesses, or big government-subsidized research facilities. It is false to think that a shift to renewables is a big poke-in-the-eye to big business.

Anonymous said...

I'll phrase this reply in terms of your context.

To illustrate: one of your "big boys" acquired RCA around the time RCA was demonstrating their early solar cells. They've had decades to get around the heat buildup in concentrated solar cells, and are certainly no strangers to industrial process cooling tech.
They were considering building a solar cell plant in the U.S. and decided not to for "competitive" reasons. Chinese tariffs made their panels non-competitive with Chinese imported panels. That favor has now been returned to the Chinese, and suddenly domestic U.S. manufacturers are back in the profitable zone.
The buyer of RCA still has not decided to revive its plans to manufacture solar panels.

Still has no plans to sell designs similar to IBM's.

Will IBM's design threaten to kill too many birds with a single stone and be relegated to IBM's patent heap?

Anonymous said...

"It is false to think that a shift to renewables is a big poke-in-the-eye to big business."
Certainly true.

After all, a perhaps-parallel development-in-kind is the Skylon spaceplane by the British. It also is claimed to have advanced cooling in the ramjet or scramjet.
A revolution, they say.
So, pretending that that advance is imminent within a few years time [?], perhaps IBM will transport their concentrated solar systems to customers by Skylons.

"cooled and cooled quickly"

Fairytales, or as they say on the internetz, "Vids or it never happened."

Anonymous said...

A little more insight on the Inaction of "big boys":

"While it was not hit quite as hard as China, the tariffs on Taiwan are likely to cause that nation to lose many PV orders in the U.S. due to the higher prices ..The tariffs will specifically hurt Taiwan's high-efficiency products, since those are the only ones that have competitive advantages in the U.S."

Seems "big boys" have been enabling China to do 'super-dumping' and the Taiwanese to do 'high-efficiency dumping'.
Granting that kind of "competitive advantages" is termed 'Conspiracy'.

Mike said...

Hi Ultraman -- I wish you a happy holiday season! Thank you for all your hard work over the years on this blog. I hope some better news will come our way in 2015. Best of luck for the new year!

Anonymous said...

Skylon, developed in part by the European Space Agency, and in part by the British Government with help from a $350 million dollar grant, with expected total development cost of $12 billion. Why, its practically a cottage industry.

Anonymous said...

Want to bet their cooling tech for the Skylon works for a very short period of time .. then 'freezes-up' (pardon the term) either choking the fuel flow or somehow sets up its cooling as an aside system within continued combustion .. and the ramjet burns itself up like a Mig25 at full throttle?

Anonymous said...

It's probably safe to say the World has never seen tech performance this robust as claimed for the Skylon's engines: taking the inlet air temps. " from over 1,000 Celsius to minus 150 Celsius in less than 1/100th of a second, without blocking with frost,”

Next they'll be telling us they've figured a way to beat frictional heating from dropping from orbit: They say they've simply had enough of 'just passively taking-it', the best way to beat the heating is to rotate the engines so they're pointing towards the nose and super-heat the atmosphere to plasma arc temps.
Reaction Heating. A new dimension of falling like a brick: turn the Skylon into a super-brick and rely on the beefy suspension system to land, light-as-a-feather, anywhere. Quick! Supercomputer required. Gravity be damned!

Anonymous said...

Nikola Tesla predicted long ago and was working on a process by which electrical energy could be extracted from space itself, and be transmitted without the need for wiring, meters, etc. This would be totally free energy (see 'Zero Point' energy). Because of that, JP Morgan cut off his funding. Others since his time, like Bruce DePalma, had made similar observations and experiments. But just like Tesla, his revolutionary and humanitarian ideas were shunned. It will be up to others to carry on the Free Energy revolution.

Anonymous said...

Tesla was kicked out of NYC because his experiments had grown so wild the residents began to fear unknown effects to their health.
He relocated to Colorado where, remove from his patrons' skullsockets, he failed to systematically bring inventions to market.

The .1% declined to be his own personal circus funders, and that was that.

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