merkel

Merkel Admits: German Multiculturalism Has ‘Utterly Failed’

The late Peter Sutherland, a member of the Trilateral Commission, originally pushed multiculturalism throughout Europe as an absolute necessary to achieve Sustainable Development. Needless to say, he lied.

NOTE: This story was originally published in 2010, but it was apparently mistakenly included in a recent RSS feed as if it had just been posted. TN will allow the story to remain because it is still an important historical insight into the failure of multiculturalism. ⁃ TN Editor

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has courted growing anti-immigrant opinion in Germany by claiming the country’s attempts to create a multicultural society have “utterly failed”.

Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democratic Union party, Merkel said the idea of people from different cultural backgrounds living happily “side by side” did not work.

She said the onus was on immigrants to do more to integrate into German society.

“This [multicultural] approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, west of Berlin, yesterday.

Her remarks will stir a debate about immigration in a country which is home to around 4 million Muslims.

Last week, Horst Seehofer, the premier of Bavaria and a member of the Christian Social Union – part of Merkel’s ruling coalition – called for a halt to Turkish and Arabic immigration.

In the past, Merkel has tried to straddle both sides of the argument by talking tough on integration but also calling for an acceptance of mosques.

But she faces pressure from within the CDU to take a harder line on immigrants who show resistance to being integrated into German society.

Yesterday’s speech is widely seen as a lurch to the right designed to placate that element in her party.

Merkel said too little had been required of immigrants in the past and repeated her argument that they should learn German in order to cope in school and take advantage of opportunities in the labour market.

The row over foreigners in Germany has shifted since former central banker Thilo Sarrazin published a highly-controversial book in which he accused Muslim immigrants of lowering the intelligence of German society.

Sarrazin was censured for his views and dismissed from the Bundesbank, but his book proved popular and polls showed Germans were sympathetic with the thrust of his arguments.

One recent poll showed one-third of Germans believed the country was “overrun by foreigners”.

It also found 55% of Germans believed that Arabs are “unpleasant people”, compared with the 44% who held the opinion seven years ago.

In her speech, Merkel said the education of unemployed Germans should take priority over recruiting workers from abroad, while noting that Germanycould not get by without skilled foreign workers.

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Study: Solar And Wind Generation Makes Electricity More Expensive

The renewable industry will howl and whine about this authoritative study from the University of Chicago, but the facts are in: Renewables drive energy costs UP, not down as claimed.  ⁃ TN Editor

Solar panels and wind turbines are making electricity significantly more expensive, a major new study by a team of economists from the University of Chicago finds.

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) “significantly increase average retail electricity prices, with prices increasing by 11% (1.3 cents per kWh) seven years after the policy’s passage into law and 17% (2 cents per kWh) twelve years afterward,” the economists write.

The study, which has yet to go through peer-review, was done by Michael Greenstone, Richard McDowell, and Ishan Nath. It compared states with and without an RPS. It did so using what the economists say is “the most comprehensive state-level dataset ever compiled” which covered 1990 to 2015.

The cost to consumers has been staggeringly high: “All in all, seven years after passage, consumers in the 29 states had paid $125.2 billion more for electricity than they would have in the absence of the policy,” they write.

Last year, I was the first journalist to report that solar and wind are making electricity more expensive in the United States — and for inherently physical reasons.

Solar and wind require that natural gas plants, hydro-electric dams, batteries or some other form of reliable power be ready at a moment’s notice to start churning out electricity when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining, I noted.

And unreliability requires solar- and/or wind-heavy places like Germany, California, and Denmark to pay neighboring nations or states to take their solar and wind energy when they are producing too much of it.

My reporting was criticized — sort of — by those who claimed I hadn’t separated correlation from causation, but the new study by a top-notch team of economists, including an advisor to Barack Obama, proves I was right.

Previous studies were misleading, the economists note, because they didn’t “incorporate three key costs,” which are the unreliability of renewables, the large amounts of land they require, and the displacement of cheaper “baseload” energy sources like nuclear plants.

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Study: Ride Sharing Services Actually Increase Traffic Congestion

Ride sharing in Smart Cities is supposed to get people out of their cars to decrease congestion and pollution. Guess what? The exact opposite is happening: more pollution and more congestion. ⁃ TN Editor

Ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft promised they would supplement public transit and help ease traffic congestion.

But data collected by the city and now made public shows almost half of Chicago’s millions of monthly ride-share trips are taking place in just a few wealthy, crowded and already transit-rich areas.

A Tribune analysis of ride-share trips that occurred in March shows that more than four of every 10 passenger pickups happened in five of the city’s community areas — the Loop, the Near North Side, the Near West Side, Lakeview and West Town. Many of the drop-offs were concentrated in those areas, too.

A more granular look at ride pickups and drop-offs by Census tract, which can be areas of just a few blocks in a dense city like Chicago, shows that aside from airport trips, the most popular ride was a short one between the Loop and the Near North Side.

Nearly 1 in 5 trips in March occurred during rush hour, when trains and buses are most readily available.

Ride-sharing services have ushered in new convenience for residents trying to get around the city and represent another transportation option in lower-income communities. But the city’s data also reflects ride-sharing’s impact on city streets and balance sheets — Uber and Lyft drivers competing with taxi cabs in already congested neighborhoods and millions in dollars of lost revenue at the Chicago Transit Authority as people shun public transportation for a solo ride in the back seat of a stranger’s car.

The release of the data comes as new Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot considers new fees for ride-share trips. Chicago already imposes a 72-cent-per-trip fee, which helps fund the CTA.

Lightfoot has not specified what new fee the city could impose, though her transition document suggested exploring additional funding for transportation, including congestion pricing and a new Loop ride-share surcharge.

“We will continue to look at creative ways to address our challenges and to improve transportation access in Chicago, including as it relates to ridesharing,” a spokeswoman for Lightfoot said in an email.

Transportation experts who have reviewed the data say that it appears some people are choosing ride share over transit.

“We’re definitely seeing trips that could have been served by transit — people are taking Uber and Lyft instead,” said Elizabeth Irvin, transportation director for the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a sustainable development nonprofit.

An unintended consequence

Ride-sharing companies started operating in Chicago in 2011 and have expanded rapidly.

As of March, there were 66,562 active ride-share drivers who make 4 or more trips a month, compared with 15,078 in March 2015, according to the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Uber and Lyft say that most Chicago drivers work part-time.

Although the number of cabs operating is limited to 6,999, there is no cap on ride-share vehicles.

Ride-share trips are far outstripping cab trips — with almost 10 million rides just in March, compared with 21 million taxi trips for all of 2018, according to the city. Taxi trips have dropped from 33 million trips in 2015, according to the city.

The services have changed the way people get around the city and, for some, have opened up an opportunity to earn extra income as a driver. But they may also have an unintended consequence: more traffic congestion.

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