Friday, May 21, 2010

Electricity Prices in Spain and Rumour-mongering

Apparently there's an article going around the Internet that Spain's economic troubles are entirely due to its green energy policy producing "sky-rocketing" power costs. I live in Spain. I just dug out my old electricity bills and worked it out. Over the last five years, the cost of electricity's gone up by 7%. That's 3% more than inflation. Not ideal, but hardly "sky-rocketing."

Spain's economy is struggling. We have a large budget deficit and 20% unemployment. But the energy policy has little or nothing to do with it. We've got plenty of other problems.

Spain's been hit hard by the drop in foreign tourists. Since Spain is sunny, it's the most popular holiday destination in Europe. This year they've mostly stayed home, due to the banking crisis. Plus there's the banking crisis itself. Then there's the linger-term problems like too much paperwork and a lot of public holidays. We've also had more storm damage and forest fires than usual in the last few years.

Basically, the "facts" quoted in this article are fiction.

Someone seems to have worked out that you can sow a lie into cyberspace, and then deny all responsibility if people find out the truth.

I'm sure it's much easier to spot lies and wonky logic when it's something you disagree with in the first place, but most of the really la-la land stuff I've seen seems to support the far right, usually the American right wing. You know, like the lies and lies and lies about the British NHS and Obama being a Muslim, and "sky-rocketing" electricity costs in Spain and so on. Or that Muslims will make up the majority in Europe within 20 years (only if the women have about 20 babies each, see

And perfectly nice people repeat this stuff in good faith, and make decisions based on junk data.

1 comment:

Doc said...

Good to know, Sheila.
Chalk up one more for the rumour-mongers, eh? There seems to be a new lie published every day!

I envy you... I LOVE Spain! I spent some time in Cartagena many years ago, and nearly convinced myself to stay.