Thursday, December 27, 2007

Flash of the blindingly obvious

One of the three parties in the red-green coalition currently running Norway claims to be the go-to party for academically inclined people with a sense of social conscience and a concern for environmental issues. At least, this is how SV - the "socialist" party is portrayed. What was specifically promised before the election in 2005? The red-green coalition would be all about education, science and the environment. What have they accomplished?
  • Norwegian universities and schools are dropping like anvils on international academic rankings. At the same time, an increasing number of colleges have gotten university status, thus effectively diverting the available funds and pushing the student quality toward the shallow end of the pool. Way to go!
  • The allocations to the research council are lower and still dropping despite a stated goal of research activities contributing to 3% of the GNP by 2010. The solution: Push the deadline for this goal back ten years. In other words, don't make an effort to reach a goal, just lower the standards. Kudos!
  • Norway was gonna be a beacon in the fight against climate changes and other environmental issues. As of December, both Denmark and Sweden spent five times more money on research into alternative energy. Norway, on the other hand, spends ten times more on petroleum research. And did I mention that the much-touted CO2 removal technologies were going to be in place before any gas-to-electricity power plants were to be put in active duty were swept under the rug? Congrats!

0 for 3 for the "socialist" party. Essentially, if you're an academic and you plan to vote for SV in hopes of improving anything concerning academia/education, research or the environment, you're either a masochist, or you need to get your head examined. Grand Theft Credibility.

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