Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “history”

World Made by Hand – Netherlands 1920

Colorized pictures from the Limburg mining province in the south of the Netherlands, 1920. Pictures from a world where very little fossil fuel is burned, other than coal in a stove.

The people own little more than the cloths they wear, a bicycle perhaps, some shabby furniture, a kettle. For the vast majority no cars, no holidays, no private homeownership, no means of electronic communication, no kitchen appliances, life expectancy 50 years, most labor is done manually, population 6.5 million rather than the 17.5 million today.

The difference between that world and the present is mostly defined by energy. Take away energy and you will fall back to that old world again, well, amidst the ruins of the modern world that is.

Better think about that before insisting that Kievan Rus of more than 1000 years should become member of the declining MacDonald’s Empire, no matter the cost.

[] – Netherlands’ tight fist now chokes Ukraine’s EU bid
[] – EU leaders fail to set a date to end energy dependence on Russia
[] – What the hell does Emmanuel Macron think he’s playing at with Putin?
[] – Bennett advises Zelensky to surrender to Russia, Zelensky refuses

The Dutch block Ukraine EU-membership, no date has been set for cutting off Russian oil and gas imports, Macron keeps talking with Putin and Israel advises Kiev to give up, all four wise moves.

The Netherlands, in a referendum in 2016, rejected the 2014 EU-Ukraine association treaty. The wisdom of the Dutch population shines through these days. NATO and EU-membership for Ukraine are no realistic options, so much is certain. The drive to do so has caused misery by the bucket load and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, there’s nothing left for us Europeans than to engage in damage limitation, toning done and silencing the loons who demand a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which would mean World War 3.

It is unlikely that Russia will conquer the entire Ukraine, they might not even be able to occupy Kiev without destroying this city completely. It is certain though that Russia will be able to keep Ukraine in a stranglehold indefinitely, by taking out Ukrainian military infrastructure from the skies, road blocks and occupying key areas and power stations, until an international settlement has been reached, which inevitably will boil down to the Finlandization of the country.

The only prospect for Ukraine to reach the European Nirvana is that it does so hand-in-hand with Russia. The Gaullist dream of a Europe from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains, without America, isn’t dead, in fact it came closer, by booting the Americans out from Ukraine and Russia.

US neocon Victoria ‘F*ck the EU’ Nuland cried victory too soon. Here she returned home to Yankeeland to report that the CIA-coup and violent overthrow of a legitimately democratically elected Russia-friendly government in Kiev had succeeded, after years and billions of preparations, using neo-Nazis from Lvov to do the dirty work for the US. Currently, the neo-Nazis are being decimated in Mariupol. Euro-Maidan is history and Ukraine will be drawn back into the Russian sphere of influence. Charles de Gaulle would love it.

Groningen, Netherlands in 1919, Colorized

Pictures taken from the front of a tram. Crowded streets, no cars [*], many pedestrians, cyclists, a few horses and carriages, electric tram. Bizarrely, many people prefer to push their bikes rather than sit on them. Everybody has his/her head covered. The trees have green leafs, so apparently this is Spring or Summer. Few children to be seen. No public advertising, other than shop labels.

Nobody is burning oil or gas, let alone hydrogen, yet society functions. Life expectancy: 55.

[*] Exception [3:14]

Dutch History Illustrated by ‘Schoolplaten’

1666 – Dutch fleet preparing for yet another battle against the British.

Yours faithfully had the privilege to attend primary school during the golden early sixties in the Netherlands and regularly thinks back with nostalgia to the class room, the three rows of two-seat-benches (‘schoolbanken‘) with build-in ink pots, the maps and the headmaster teaching history.

But the point of this post are the ‘schoolplaten‘, no need to translate that word into English, on the walls, mostly illustrating the great moments in Dutch history. Spending a weekend collecting almost all of them and put them in chronological order and adding comments, is all in all a very pleasant task.

A schoolplaat is a piece of hard carton with typical size of 80 x 110 cm, sometimes reinforced at the corners with a piece of iron and a picture painted on it, that is not directly High Art, but sufficiently attractive and above all lovingly made. The purpose was education of children, the first ones were brought to Holland from Germany in 1839, but from 1857 on-wards they were all Dutch made by artists like Jetses, Ising, Bueninck and many others and served their purpose until the sixties, after which they went out of fashion. The pictures usually have an idyllic character, the harsher aspects of life are avoided and Dutch history is presented in a positive light only.


Idyllic scenes of typical Dutch landscape

Below a large number of pictures that illustrate Dutch history in chronological order:

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