back to article The pan-European Office for the Ecodesign of everything

Paul Krugman, our most recent Nobel Laureate in economics* has pointed out that while productivity isn't everything, in the long run it’s almost everything. As, on average, labour becomes more productive then for each hour of work there are more things made, meaning more things to share around. Rising productivity is thus the …


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  1. Kenny Millar
    Jobs Halo


    It's eco-design,

    Took me ages - I was trying to figure out what e-code-sign was all about.

  2. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down

    Maybe not.

    "This simple and basic fact about our world"

    And entirely wrong too. Not bad. Arguably a property of our economic system, maybe. That's the problem with economics masquerading as a "science" - the model and the process are logically indistinct, therefore with the right amount of mendaciousness virtually anything can be proven.

  3. Christoph

    No problem

    The innovations will take place in countries where they don't have the stifling regulations but do have a big internal market.

    And we can all make our living putting on displays of quaint native customs for the Chinese tourists.

    Morris dancers rule!

  4. gjw

    this essay...

    is full of silly suppositions, sleazy half truths and childish insinuations like:

    “Hands up everyone who thinks that we’re going to get a reasonable and rational testing system?”

    But then someone who boasts about writing for an institute that is named after Adam "the invisible hand that got us in the current mess to begin with” -Smith must be a very sad person indeed.

  5. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    Ho hum

    "while productivity isn't everything, in the long run it’s almost everything."

    Nothing about increase of productivity, is there.

    Maybe because there's a limit to how productivity growth can manage to maintain whilst the basic materials are limited.

    See also moore's law (and the discovery that multi-core doesn't solve this).

  6. Mark

    As another poster said


    "By slowing down invention through adding to the costs the inventors face, we’ll reduce the number of inventions that we plebs do actually get to play with. We won’t see the things we haven’t got, but that doesn’t change the fact that by reducing productivity growth we will make our children poorer than they otherwise would be."

    But what about the unknown benefits of slowing down invention by adding to the costs inventors face? What disaster will be avoided (cf Thalidomide, asbestos, etc) if the cost is high enough to make considered testing BEFORE application to patent worthwhile?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lisbon agenda nonsense

    That directive (from 2005) is just another piece of that Lisbon agenda nonsense, the idea that Europe can sell each other ethereal rights, IP or design rights or knowledge rights and somehow not have to compete in the real world, making, food and clothes and gadgets and entertainment and stuff people actually want and need.

    Software patents were the same thinking, the idea that they can create an abstract right that can be bought and sold and traded and that they can force it to have value by creating laws. Make a software patent law, and you need to buy the license to the edge bi-section algorithm, or super-sort 3 algo or.. or... Make an eco design law and you need to pay the eco center to test your product and design the eco aspects of it..

    Trouble is, it doesn't really create value, it just shifts it. The company buying super-sort3 is less efficient than the foreign company not paying for it. The economy using goods without the eco certificate is more efficient than the economy that requires it. It just shifts value it doesn't add it.

    I'd prefer to see a badge, a positive marketing thing, 'this product is better because it's been tested to A+ Eco European standard'. Then the test adds the value that causes the product to sell more, if it didn't cause the product to sell more then nobody would rate the test as important and companies would not waste money on that test.

    My fridge is A+, I view that as worth paying extra for.

  8. neal clewlow

    "But But"

    You sound like my car :-)

  9. Ben
    Thumb Down

    Tired of hearing such black/white commentary

    The same argument is continually put forward wherever there are "safety" issues... whether it was the first proposals (for hideously expensive) car safety testing, pharmacutical testing, and the list can just go on and on.

    This is a mechanism that goverments use to *open up* new markets, by forcing their industrial base to be the first/among the first to enter it. It's also a handy way of locking out nations that are slower on the uptake.

    Yes, it's expensive to get started... but to say that it limits innovation to large companies is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. This is a tech. magasine. Ever heard of Venture Capital?!?

    We live in a Capitalist society, and these massive regulatory shifts provide precisely the opportunity for technological innovators to enter the market (backed by sufficient capital) because they can overcome the smothering market presence of the larger players.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Economists? Don't make me laugh.

    Economists know nothing.

  11. Adair Silver badge

    90% of everything we make is crap

    'As, on average, labour becomes more productive then for each hour of work there are more things made, meaning more things to share around. Rising productivity is thus the secret to rising living standards.'

    What this statement completely ignores is that 90% of everything we make is crap. Okay, the 90% is an arbitrary grab out of thin air, but probably pretty close to the truth. Just think about it. Hardly anything we make, relative to the totality of production, is actually needed. Everything we make that is not actually needful for a good existence is not contributing to well being or wealth in any objective manner; subjective maybe, but we could get along quite happily without that kind of stuff.

    Upshot: in our present system 'labour' is largely concerned with making a tiny minority inordinately wealthy relative to the rest of us. 'Productivity' is an illusion because most people are not engaged in making something we actually need. Work for them is about keeping occupied and paying the rent, perfectly honourable pursuits, but let's not kid ourselves they are being 'productive' in any morally or objectively meaningful sense of the word.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This kind of thing could conceivably put my 10-person company (based in the US - but most of our business is in Europe) out of business, unless they remember to put in some kind of exemption for low-run, niche products.

    Talk about a nanny state - the idea that the government would tell people what kind of monitors to use, what kind of lights to buy, and in general how to live their lives in every detail... christ, it's blood-chilling. State-enforced morals. Ugh.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Here we go again....

    It always saddens me when a writer starts to think their opinion is fact and that by "miraculous osmosis" they have become an expert in the field they write about.

    Productivity is the Holy Grail of business is it? So the far east aquired much of the world's manufacturing by using state-of-the-art automation and systemology?

    It couldn't possibly be that lower costs always trump productivity / efficiency and that a thousand unskilled Chinese workers with hand tools offers a cheaper product than an automated mega-factory?

    Isn't it time we moved on past Daily Mail rants of "The EU is banning our bent bananas!" and "The EU will tell you which sock to put on first!"

  14. Pheet

    Flawed Premise

    There's the typical flawed premise that economics can quantify everthing, when it can only quantify something when it has been comodified, and thus is completely blind to various things, the environment being one of them.

    For example, the air that you breath is completely worthless from economics' point of view, until someone bottles and sells it*, but in reality it's extremely valuable ("I'll cut off your air supply...").

    "Rising productivity is thus the secret to rising living standards."

    This only holds true when living standards is measured purely as the amount of material possessions owned, which for the majority of people isn't the case. There's lots of other factors for quality of life - stresslevel,amount of free time, friends & family, environment, etc.

    Indeed, if raising producitivity raises the amount of pollution, living standards will actually decrease ( at least for those effected, which eventually is everyone), even if if economics can't see it.

    The directive is there to rectify the economic system's myopic view of the world. The FUD that this will stifle innovation (so no-one will come up with an innovative energy saving idea then?), would appear to come from a "Free market"** -tard perspective.

    "Tim Worstall <snip> writes for <snip> the Adam Smith Institute, among others."

    Somehow I'm not surprised. I wonder if Tim has ever considered that belief in the invisible hand of the market is a bit like believing in the tooth fairy. Ok for kids, but no way to run a economic system in the 21st century.

    Most forms of human activity are regulated (by laws, customs, social norms, etc.) for better or for worse, why should material production be exempt? Do you actually *want* more pollution?

    * Which given the level of air pollution in the UK, won't be long.

    ** You can't use the adjective free with the noun market unless you're talking about about a collection of stalls where you don't have to pay for anything. What is really meant is unregulated market, and we all know how much of a sucess that is...

  15. Seán


    The result of the disastrous US experiment in unregulated behaviour is engulfing the world at the moment.

    The Chinese are experiencing massive growth in the malformed baby statistics due to disregard for food safety and environmantal regulations.

    Then you seriously suggest unregulated EU products as a good thing.




    [insert massive bloody list here]

    Laissez faire kills people and destroys value, accept it and move on.

  16. Raph

    Hold on a minute

    Really interesting article, however there are two issues I'm struggling with:

    - the shift from profit/productivity to innovation -- innovators aren't necessarily creating productivity, so the dramatic intro is actually quite unrelated to the rest of the article.

    - the chill effect of regulation -- it's an old saw, but is there actual evidence of that? It sounds pretty logical with those examples, but US food safety as described in The Jungle really did need regulation, didn't it?

    Regulation simply can't be dismissed out of hand.

    How about the opportunities such a framework would create for green-minded innovators? Big companies may have an advantage with the administrative aspects, but they aren't any more apt at green innovation than anybody else, really. In fact, regulation creates rewards for innovation in this specific field.

    And we've all seen that in our companies: until an energy-efficient approach is made part of the cost of doing business, it'll never get priority. External pressure can change that order of priority.

    So while I agree with many of the issues raised in this article, I differ in my conclusion: let's get the right framework, and the right enforcement.

  17. Martin Gregorie

    The art of looking for what isn't seen?

    All I can say is that its a pity that more economists don't seem to be aware of this definition of their job. Why, pray tell, do so many of them fail to see the cost of waste disposal and environmental damage?

  18. Grant Czerepak

    There is nothing wrong with Ecodesign standards

    Standards do not obstruct invention. They create new opportunities.

    All invention is the product of small innovators. Large corporations do not invent anything. They provide the manufacturing, distribution and infrastructure.

    Nothing that perpetuates the status quo is an innovation. Innovation creates solutions outside the scope of existing standards.

    And future innovation will create solutions that Ecodesign never accounted for.

  19. Pierre

    Nice piece of paranoid drivel

    The testing might be some kind of mad stuff killing every bit of innovation and banning inventions. Or, it could be just requesting that some kind of power optimization be done. In the latter case, it would make our beloved kids richer (energy *is* money after all).

    Anyway, if you believe dear Jacky, before this is enforced our kids will all have fallen to the hands of abusers or kiddie fiddlers, the remaining being irreversibly corrupted by extreme porn images, strip clubs and the like. Or, to protect them, they will all have been taken away from their families and gathered in walls-and-barbed wires educative facilities where they will be protected from any contact with adults (teaching being done by autonomous computer) untill they reach 18, at which point they will be expelled in the outer world -and cast directly in prison, as they are potential criminals. In any case, they won't really need money.

  20. Roger Heathcote

    Shallow "free market" dogma...

    Pissing away all the worlds cheapest fuel and mineral wealth will make "all our children poorer". Massive pollution to clear up or suffer the consequences of will make "all our children poorer". Building a world that has no regard for quality, ethics or environment will "make all out children poorer".

    The world is not short of 'inventions' and it never will be and besides inventions are no good if there's nothing left to make them out of.

    If you're so concerned about the little man how about lobbying for improvements to the patent system that seems almost built to exclude him? How much does it cost to get a good patent these days? About 20 grand? This eco-certification is not likely to be anything like as expensive or grueling as that and may force companies to consider the environmental impact of their products before making them, especially the large companies who, by definition, make most of this lousy shit in the first place.

    Personally the one 'innovation' I'd like to see is a company that makes something that lasts substantially longer than it's 12 month warranty or a company that can design something that can be repaired and upgraded cost effectively rather than thrown in a landfill if it ever goes wrong.

    Increased cost isn't a loss if it leads to increased quality, durability and energy efficiency. As an economist you ought to know the reason Europe and America can't make high quality products any more is because they would be instantly undercut by superficially similar but materially and ethically cheaper imports. Way to go "free" market! Do want your children to live in a world of cheap plastic shit (not that plastic will be cheap in a generation or two but that's beside the point) or a world where quality has some value?

    Insisting on minimum environmental and ethical standards is the only way to create a market for and drive the design and adoption better quality products but it seems you would rather we abandon any notion of sustainability and join China in a race to the bottom which we are unlikely to win.

    You ASI types seem to think markets just run themselves, when are you going to realise that regulation is the cornerstone of any non-trivial market system?

    Roger Heathcote.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Niche products

    It really will impact niche products which aren't manufactured by big business though. In particular specialist items for people with disabilities could be quite highly affected if *everything* has to be approved.

    Sure bigger electrical/electronic items perhaps should have efficiency standards set, that seems no different to fuel efficiency for cars. Small electronics however perhaps not. This would probably have seriously harmed the development of the ultrasonic cane for the visually impaired, the "talking GPS" for likewise, and various other specialist products.

    Regulation of the materials they are constructed out of I don't see a problem with, so long as they create a list up front. This would allow them to try and avoid particularly energy inefficient or environmentally damaging materials without having to run the whole thing through entire batteries of tests. After all how much energy would having eco design requirements of wrist watches actually save?

  22. Colin Barfoot
    IT Angle

    Nobel Prize in Economics!

    You'll be telling me there's a Nobel Prize for writing novels next.

    The material from the Adam Smith Institute is a bit variable* although Adam Smith himself advocated the minimal interference from governments which would have let the banks fail.

    One problem with Economics is that it is a crude model created largely by academics. One finger of blame for the current "crisis" was pointed at the economists' focus on technical detail while ignoring the bigger picture.

    * I remember one story on the ASI's website that effectively said that communism was once tried in the US. They all died because nobody did anything. Well, I don't think that's biased at all.

  23. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    A good idea if done right

    I used to work for a big corporation. They are even sold on "inventiveness" and "innovation".

    They didn't care about anything unless it made more money. As far as approvals, just enough to sell it; as far as safety, just enough to prevent lawsuits; as far as the environment, who cares? This corporation only has 1 shareholder who can hardly spend the £140M profit each year; imagine a whole load of shareholders jumping up and down for dividends!

    The A+ system for fridges and washing machines actually drove innovation in those areas. The WEE directive has driven innovation in recycling technologies.

    As far as small inventors go, regulations are easier to deal with; you can get a list of all the ones (in Europe anyway) that apply, and if you know your subject, you can meet them. A bigger problem is patents. Even large corporations with several full-time patent searchers can struggle to find everything relevant to design around. It also seems that the most obvious things can be patented, and although it theory you can contest it, no-one can afford to.

  24. Lol Whibley

    regulation = corporate pork payback

    there'll be a back-end support market the moment they legislate for it.. The system will always be gamed somwhere and it'll be the finance-heavy corporates that fork out to get the correct classification for a product. There'll be a sub-service industry that will specialise in the processing of the proto-product to this new standard of compliance.

    seems to that way already in the Patent world.. you have to pay a specialist to ensure you're intellectual property hasn't been staked by some prospector elsewhere.. the guides on safari always get paid in advance and all it gets you is where you wanted to be at the start of the process.. just in possession of a more insurable product. and you pay for that certainty and the 'protection' it brings.

    another question: will it govern the import market for alternative manufacturers.. as mentioned previously, distribution is largely the proviso of much bigger organisations which own the mass-production/global-spread portion of a product's life.. and china has most of that sewn up.. there're many layers of import controll for grey products already, so will this devolve into a process of 'you want to market the product here, pay us some more and we'll consult on how it meets the eco-directives' ? hmm

    as for this article, i second the various 'economists.. Meh!' sentiments. worse than Psychologists for supposition.

  25. Aron

    to the teenagers above me

    A well fed 15 year old teenager with anarchist fantasies who disses Adam Smith on the internet doesn't make for intelligent debate and just goes to prove how our youth have had it too too easy compared to previous generations and complain about the slightest things. It's these type of idiots who grow up with eco-socialist utopian ideas of world equality in their heads and open the doors for future dictators.

  26. Luther Blissett

    Grapes of Wrath

    The point is that in the EU a bunch of unelected idiotic corrupt watermelons propose themselves to become the Official Gatekeepers to technological innovation. But since when did a policy wonk know technology from a hole in the ground? Za nu labour demonstrate this every day in every way in their handling of IT.

    There are 2 insidious consequences:

    1. The productivity factor is exactly the one which makes the Malthusian over-population argument ridiculous. Oh dear. Well, let's change the facts of (future) history! That is the tactic over the causes of climate, and that should not be a surprise because the underlying agenda is the same - to cultivate a fear of over-population - a fear so great it paralyses the brain cells of its victims, and renders their moral sensibilities numb and atrophied - and so paves the way for a clear run at ethnic cleansing on the planetary scale. Some people want to see the global population reduced by 90%. Are you with them? (Or do you think you aren't because you think 60% or 30% or any number will do as long as your policies can make it go negative?)

    2. The "little guy" has no future. The costs of getting innovative technologies thru the gateway will be prohibitive to anyone but the mega-corporations. The mega-corporations do not necessarily want innovative technologies if the hoi polloi is filling up their pigopolist trough nicely thank-you very much (think operating systems, thorium-fueled nuclear power, light-bulbs, health cures, etc). The little guy cannot afford the big lawyers either, so he will not get the payback on his IP - consider what happened to Tesla. When the little guys have no future as innovators, they have no way to go except serfdom and peonage.

    Some goods must to be made in vast quantities, because people need them - bricks, literal and metaphorical for the creation of wealth. When sufficient wealth is available, only then does it become possible to make the world a Beautiful Place by enabling crafts and human craftsmanship to flourish, and culture to be expressed freely. But who cares, when next year you might be able to buy a robot that will give you a game of darts while dispensing pints (of whatever za nu labour think is ok to drink).

  27. Aron

    To Sean

    You said "The result of the disastrous US experiment in unregulated behaviour is engulfing the world at the moment."

    It was regulation by government (the Community Reinvestment Act, etc) that caused the sub-prime fiasco. Banks always have had regulation and relied on credit agencies to make judgements, but with a bit of government intervention the banks were made to give out loans to people who couldn't afford them otherwise they would have been "discriminating" against the poor or ethnic minorities.

    Then you mention DDT, the regulation of which has resulted in preventable death and poverty on a massive scale. Yet you see continue regulation of everything as a good thing.

    You're either unstudied or yet another 15 year old with communist utopian ideas.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to really annoy everyone again...


    >Then you seriously suggest unregulated EU products as a good thing.


    Saved millions from starvation.


    Prevented the deaths of many people from fire.


    Used to cure some blood cancers.

    Obviously all these things have had enormous negative consequences, but you have to consider the upside as well. Certainly DDT and Asbestos had no suitable alternatives when they were introduced and had valuable effects. (Admittedly, thalidomide less so.)


    >Maybe because there's a limit to how productivity growth can manage to

    >maintain whilst the basic materials are limited.

    We've had this before, productivity is not necessarily bound to resource use. Just because one car burns more fuel than another doesn't mean it's achieving anything more.

    The EU measure sounds like a protectionist move designed to create a higher hurdle to selling goods in the EU, they do this quite often.

  29. Mark


    >>Maybe because there's a limit to how productivity growth can manage to

    >>maintain whilst the basic materials are limited.

    > We've had this before, productivity is not necessarily bound to resource use. Just because one car burns more fuel than another doesn't mean it's achieving anything more.

    And it has never been shown why there is never a limit. Heck in your car's case, when it runs out of petrol, you no longer have a car. You have some high-tensile steel and plastic. Ergo, using less fuel, your car remains what you bought it for (a car) much longer.

    Heck, since this legislation would require less resource use, it should allow more headroom before resources are exhausted, allowing EVEN MORE "growth" (by the definition that seems to be Tim's metier).

  30. DutchOven

    RE: Aron

    "A well fed 15 year old teenager with anarchist fantasies who disses Adam Smith on the internet doesn't make for intelligent debate and just goes to prove how our youth have had it too too easy compared to previous generations and complain about the slightest things. It's these type of idiots who grow up with eco-socialist utopian ideas of world equality in their heads and open the doors for future dictators."

    A person with a mad rant, who disses other posters doesn't make for intelligent debate and just goes to prove how our youth have had it too too easy compared to... etc

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Yes, it's expensive to get started... but to say that it limits innovation to large companies is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. This is a tech. magasine. Ever heard of Venture Capital?!?"

    Nice to see that you feel it should be impossible to start a company without VC. My business, in particular, could never have gotten VC - for VC you need to be able to 10x somebody's money in five years. A manufacturing business will (almost) never do that.

    CE is already very, very difficult to deal with for us - it's extraordinarily expensive, not because it's expensive to make the equipment compliant, but because it costs many tens of thousands to TEST it. Add another (almost certainly more-amorphous) burden and doing business in Europe would probably become impossible for us. Is this what you're after?

  32. Leszek KENSBOK

    @ Ben

    Posted Sunday 1st February 2009 12:39 GMT

    "The same argument is continually put forward wherever there are "safety" issues... whether it was the first proposals (for hideously expensive) car safety testing, pharmaceutical testing, and the list can just go on and on."


    in the realm of economics you lack knowledge.

    The first words of your comment show it clearly, thereafter things get even more confused. I will explain it to you. Let's take cars, your subject of choice.

    After some six (indeed four) decades of compulsory and mind-bogglingly unnecessary testing of automobiles we have got product which are aptly, neatly and stealthily streamlined into the governmental laws and regulations. The car as we knew it does not exist any more. It evolved.

    Mind it, Ben: our cars are now made not to suit our needs, not at all. They are produced to fit into governmental idiosyncrasy to blackmail the producers into manufacturing of cars 'for the masses', a kind of collective volks-wagen for the unwashed, who yearn to be protected, cared for, and otherwise spoon-fed the wisdom they lack.

    For customers like you, Ben.

    Cars are double as heavy now as they used to be only decades ago. Jump-lifting a Mini with four strong hands? Try it today. Have a look how confined they are - inside. I still remember how roomy and nimble Sir Alec's car one was. Today--be it Audi, Honda or BMW--they are big on the outside only. All looks and no function. Or, heavily hampered function. Pun intended.

    I'd prefer government would retract from the relation of producer and consumer. A cobbler does not need be regulated how shoes be made. Those which are obviously unsuitable for the purpose won't sell. Others will first sell poorly, then not at all. Same with cars, socks, homes. Yes, homes, too. We are well informed--even if a building does not attach to a regulation or two it still might suit my needs, or yours. It might suit my needs best precisely because it was constructed out of the envelope.

    We are well informed today--if you so desire, make it mandatory for the manufacturers to publish how does their product fit into Big Brother's funny ideas, but let me make the decision.

    Do not castrate the inventor because of a folie-du jour, which is en vogue today amongst the law-making bunch in the capital city. And never try to emasculate my decision-making powers.

    But, exactly this is happening today.

    We have not the problem of unfit producers turning out unwanted goods. We never had the problem here. This was constantly the case in the communist block, but not in the West. There is no problem with the demand, either. Set the price right, and you will see. Tax the constituency into servitude, and they will cry for subsided goods for themselves, i.e. for cheap and abundant credit lines.

    Once the money can be had easily, the public will spend it on virtually anything. It won't matter if the product is long-living, if it suits their need well, or if it is at all necessary. The relationship consumer-producer has been abolished. Regulations has been produced, they were.

    Enough about industrial goods.

    Do not even get me started on food, or medicine, or whatever has to do with taste, health, or life. One man's meat is another man's poison--ponder these words.

    Google "Frederic Bastiat", Ben. Read "The Law". An hour well spent, I assure you.


  33. Jim
    Gates Horns

    Thalidomide, DDT, Asbestos

    ...are all examples of cases where extensive testing and widespread use did not initially reveal the harms eventually attributed to them. In most animal experiments Thalidomide did not cause developmental defects. This is why ongoing monitoring is important.

  34. Mark

    @Leszek KENSBOK

    The small inventor is already castrated and shafted like a 10-cent hooker by the patent system you praise for their survival.

    Invented something? Well, Big Corp has 10 patents yours rely on. And another 20 that can be construed as prior art. If you try to persue it in court, you'll go bankrupt because WE are making stuff and have lots of expensive lawyers on retainer, whereas YOU have to pay them piecemeal and have nothing to sell in the meantime.

    Or you can license it to us for some money.

    Hey, at least you got SOMETHING, eh?

    (Not to mention the patent trolls and over-broad patents.)

  35. Seán


    Shut the fuck up you mindless prick.

  36. Pierre

    @ Mark (Re:@ Leszek KENSBOK)

    I'm afraid I have to second you on this one, you filthy commie, sir. ;-)

  37. Pierre

    PS @ Mark

    ...however I fail to see how it invalidate Mr KENSBOK's views.

  38. Pierre

    PPS @ Mark

    ... not that I think Mr KENSBOK was right in the first place...

    ...quite the contrary actually

  39. Mark

    Pierre Posted Tuesday 3rd February 2009 01:46 GMT

    Well, I may think you're an arsehole, but that doesn't mean someone should give you a telling off when you don't deserve it.

    If I don't accept defending you when you're right, how can I accept attacking you when you're wrong? I can do either or neither. Doing one and not the other is being an arsehole.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Niche products?

    I posted this before, no idea why it was't approved.

    Small companies which produce extremely niche products will definitely be squeezed by this. If you want to know what I mean try looking at some time with particular reference to various pieces of specially designed kitchen items or clocks/watches to allow people with vision trouble to live a more normal life with greater ease.

    If they want to regulate something then regulate the materials which may be used, and perhaps also larger electrical items in a similar way to fuel efficiency. Even the experts didn't ask them to look at regulating everything, and I don't see the point in requiring everything to pass testing when you might only sell a few hundred or thousand low cost very low power consumption items such as talking digital kitchen scales. If the types of plastics etc which may be used were regulated then this should be enough in itself for these companies which are honestly trying to make a living producing extremely necessary items. It isn't as if we don't have trouble with foreign manufactured items being made of non-permitted materials as it is, I recall something a while back about some big brand of toys being recalled due to being made of unsafe plastics.

  41. Mark

    Mark Posted Tuesday 3rd February 2009 14:35 GMT

    I ought to clear up on that, since it can be misread: you agreed with me when it was right from your POV. If you hadn't and just disagreed because you have done in the past, that would be *deliberate* assholery.

    In the same way, I would correct someone telling you off for being wrong when you weren't because to fail to do so just because we disagree on something would be being an asshole too.

    But it doesn't mean I will agree when I think you're wrong, nor that I don't think where we have had disagreement you haven't been an arse. And in the same vein, I wouldn't expect you to change your opinion of me either.

  42. Pierre

    Erm, Mark (also, niche products AC)

    "And in the same vein, I wouldn't expect you to change your opinion of me either."

    I lack the ability to form strong clear-cut opinions on people I don't know*.

    @ niche products: "Small companies which produce extremely niche products will definitely be squeezed by this."

    Why would that be? Noone knows what the requirements will be. Given the broad field of application, there will probably just be some generic "steps must have been taken to minimize energy consumption". If the tests are "new cars must use less than 1 Wh per 100 km", it will make life difficult for innovators, but again it could also lead to impressive technical breakthroughs (just joking. That would be a bad idea).

    *I do think you probably have an awful lot of time in your hands, but it's more an observation than an opinion, ain't it?

  43. Mark

    Pierre Posted Wednesday 4th February 2009 01:36 GMT

    "By your words shall ye be known"?

    Not really lots of time, just that there's no need to spend a lot of time debunking some of the complete shite spouted on here. cf "machine gun" comments: it doesn't waste a lot of time to shoot 20 bullets from a machine gun compared to a bolt-action single shot rifle.

  44. Paul M.


    "it doesn't waste a lot of time to shoot 20 bullets from a machine gun compared to a bolt-action single shot rifle."

    So that's why you always leave 50+ comments on every eco thread.

    Pierre: Mark works for a climate institute.

  45. Mark

    Nope, you SAY I work for one Paul

    Who do YOU work for (I assume you ARE at work...)

  46. Mark
    Black Helicopters

    Given I post 50 times to any Linux thread

    Surely I work for Red Hat...

  47. Paul M.


    Thanks for the non-denial.

    (You were quick to deny being a climate scientist)

    Which climate institute do you work for then mate?

  48. Mark

    So I deny it then

    Who do YOU work for?

  49. Pierre

    Hehehe I work for...

    @ Mark [about having a lot of time in one's hands]: «"By your words shall ye be known"?»

    Well, I DO work for some Uni, whichever question this may answer...

    «Given I post 50 times to any Linux thread [ ]Surely I work for Red Hat...» (and @ the Mark Works For people)

    Given that said 50 posts are praising Ubuntu, I would rather say Canonical... now the real question would be: "Do Canonical have a climate science branch?". Supposing I cared about whose money you lot are stealing by posting here*. As for me, IT'S YER TAXMONEY, BITCH.**

    {SAGE} By the way, these arguments are best kept on USENET, where they can be rightfully ignored by the innocent bystander {/SAGE} See you all on . Bring it on!

    # Damn, where is the "weasely followup-to" button in these new-fangled web2.0 "Comment Pages"? Gimme me coat; USENET, here I come!#

    * Hint: I probably couldn't care less, even if I tried.

    **OK, not really. Just couldn't resist.

  50. Mark


    didn't ask who you worked for Pierre. PaulM seems to be fixated on OTHER people answering that, though he never answers or even acknowledges the question.

    Paul is displaying the NEED for an ad hominem by demanding he must know who I work for. If the answers given are true, it doesn't matter who I work for. If the answers are false, then that falsity needs to be exposed, not who I work for.

    Worse are the ACs. Not even willing to give a unique name (so you can see whether there is a pattern to the posts), but still insinuating and demanding information that is not needed, but gives an easier argument to say "don't listen to them!". Takes a lot less work than finding the flaws.

  51. Pierre

    @ Mark (then I call quits)

    "Takes a lot less work than finding the flaws."

    You whimp! As every hard-core geek knows, finding the flaws is all the fun. ;-)

    Now, as it seems to be only you and me in this thread, I propose we postpone this interesting discussion.

    See you in other Comment threads.

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