Shiny Happy People

Shiny Happy People

A little over a month ago Danes voted largely in favor of the status quo.

The status quo therefore remains in effect.

Good and hard.

Thousands of homeowners are struggling to pay bills – banks have never seen anything like it
Sabina Louise Nesheim, TV2 News, December 5

There’s nothing new about our financial conditions in Denmark: they’re still awful. The “news” that seems to have been used to justify this article was the release of an analysis by FinansDanmark (a finance industry trade group) that shows… nothing new.

Everything still sucks.

The article cites the managing director of FinansDanmark, Ulrik Nødgaard:

It’s clear that when people have to spend money on interest and gas there’s less money for other things, therefore (consumer) demand in society will fall, and then something will happen to employment.

He says that like it’s a bad thing.

How can it be? It’s what the Danish people want. It’s what we ordered. What we demanded.

There were parties and candidates out there offering some sober suggestions for improvement:

“No thanks,” we said on the first of November, “we’re good.”

The director has no doubt that the fact that the Danes have less money in their hands will have an impact on next year. He believes that this will mean that there will be a downturn and economic decline in Danish society.

It will also affect employment. The Economic Council has estimated that there could be up to 100,000 more unemployed in 2023.

That would be the downturn and decline we ordered, served up hot and fresh with the unemployment we demanded. The people have spoken! Vox populi, vox dei!

The temperature dropped significantly across Denmark this week. They’re forecasting an extended period of subzero temperatures starting within the next day or two, and lasting… well, as far into the future as they’re willing to predict.

TV2 News recently had an article related to that:

Special combination knocks the electricity price sky high
Ida Marie Lomholt Wismann, TV2 News, November 29

Sky high prices? That must be the delicious combo platter we ordered along with our financial crunch.

There are several reasons why electricity prices are rising right now, says weather presenter Jacob Mouritzen from TV 2 WEATHER.

First of all, we’re facing a wintry period, which causes Danes’ consumption to increase. Furthermore, there’s not much wind or solar energy right now, he says.

Jacob Mouritzen elaborates that we are therefore dependent on energy from outside. We get it primarily from Germany, but we do so in competition with our European neighbors for electricity, and that causes prices to rise. In Denmark, we normally also get power from Norway, but here the lakes are about to freeze over, and hydropower is therefore at a low level.

Jim Vilsson from Energinet adds that Sweden, which also supplies energy to Denmark, is having problems with its nuclear power and has taken a reactor offline.

“We’re so connected in a common European energy market; fluctuations in other countries have huge significance for the price here at home. I think this year’s energy crisis has really made the Danes understand that,” he says.

Of course we understand it!

It’s not a crisis if it’s what we asked for. We’ve been asking for it for years.

After all, if you review the individual items on this combo platter, you’ll notice that none of them can be considered unexpected or unpredictable.

Denmark gets “a wintry period” at least once a year, most often during the period we call “winter.” (Well, technically in Danish we call it vinter, but tomayto-tomahto.)

Those “wintry periods” are frequently—almost always—accompanied by low levels of wind and sunlight.

(Sunlight in particular is something with which Denmark has very little to do at this time of year. Relying on solar energy in a Danish winter makes about as much sense as relying on iceberg power in Nairobi.)

Norwegian lakes freezing over is hardly an unusual phenomenon in “wintry periods.”

Reliance on external power definitionally puts our energy supply at the mercy of forces beyond our control.

None of that is new, or novel, or strange. It’s simply the way things are, and always have been, and always will be.

And on the first of November, Denmark said halleleujah and amen to all of it.

So here we are. The takeaway from Mouritzen is supplied in the article’s lede:

If we want to keep prices down, the way forward is for us to use less electricity overall, says the energy expert.

As Søren Kierkegaard famously observed: “Well, duh.

Denmark is getting very dark and very cold, and our finances are in trouble, so we’re going to have to use less electricity.

It looked uncertain just a couple of weeks ago, but it’s finally beginning to look like we may get the winter we asked for after all.

Good and hard.

No wonder we’re the world’s happiest people!

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Søren Rasmussen
Søren Rasmussen
2 months ago

A good old Danish word which never goes out of style is “politikerlede” – contempt for politicians. After the election, one sees an increasingly pressing need for an analogue directed towards the voters, “vælgerlede.”

Good and hard is what the voters signed ip for. So, good and hard it will be.