Chelsea planning to axe Di Matteo and Drogba – reports

first_imgRoberto Di Matteo expects to be axed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich even if he wins the Champions League, according to The Sun.There have been calls for the interim boss to be installed as manager this summer, but it is claimed that Di Matteo believes Abramovich is determined to appoint a big-name continental coach.A ‘senior Chelsea source’ is quoted as saying: “He’s resigned to leaving regardless of what happens in Munich.“He has tried to talk to the club’s hierarchy about pre-season training for next season and been given very short shrift.“That convinced him he really is just an ‘interim’ manager, filling the post until a full-time appointment can be made.“He’s hugely disappointed after the miracles he has worked here since taking over from Andre Villas-Boas in March.“Two Cup finals is an amazing success after inheriting that mess and winning the FA Cup last Saturday was very special.“He won it with Chelsea as a player, scoring that amazing goal against Middlesbrough in 1997, and now he has won it as a manager too.“That guarantees him hero status with the fans but won’t budge the powers-that-be. Di Matteo has the full support of all the players but, fundamentally, nothing has changed.”Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror say Chelsea will ditch Didier Drogba at the end of the season.The Ivorian, whose contract expires this summer, is said to want to sign a two-year deal and then retire in 2014.But it is claimed that the club are planning to ignore the wishes of fans and let him leave Stamford Bridge.The Blues hierarchy are apparently keen to instead build a team around Fernando Torres. Should Di Matteo be given the Chelsea job? Click here to voteClick here for Thursday’s Chelsea quiz Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

How to Improve Energy-Efficiency Programs

first_imgThe need to be objectiveThird, both communities need to be fair and objective when they conduct studies, and not seek to bias the results or report valid results in a biased manner.Study designs that implicitly tilt the playing field in one direction are more rhetoric than useful investigation of what is happening. Examples of tilting the field include studies that look at only costs but not benefits (see here for an example); include extra costs unrelated to energy efficiency (e.g. home repair costs); leave important costs out, such as changes in maintenance; or are based on a simple cost-benefit framework without considering other goals that the programs might have.Likewise, each program is different and one problematic program should not cast doubt on all of the others, particularly dissimilar programs. Conclusions can only be generalized to similar programs. RELATED ARTICLES Is Weatherization Cost-Effective?A Second Look at a Surprising Study on EnergyHard Truths of Home PerformanceIndiana Cancels Energy-Efficiency EffortWeatherization Funding Has Been SlashedWeatherization’s Home-Stretch RecoveryLawmaker Targets DOE’s Weatherization ProgramWeatherization’s Political Fallout Combining skills to create the best research possibleSo how can we better work together? First, rather than each community conducting separate studies, perhaps economists and energy-efficiency practitioners can jointly work together on some studies, as each profession brings useful skills, perspectives and information.Economists tend to be good at research methods and statistics but they don’t always understand the markets they are evaluating. By coupling economists with knowledgeable practitioners, many of these problems can be avoided. Likewise, it would be useful to have the other community review studies before they are published, allowing problems to be identified and corrected before publication. Similarly, the two communities can work together to identify good programs that are worth studying, rather than marginal programs that are not typical.Finally, when results are obtained, it can be useful to look not only at the results but why the results happened. In this way, studies can achieve what perhaps we can all agree is the intended purpose: to understand what works, and to improve what falls short. Getting beyond paradigms to discover the truthSecond, there is a tendency, in both the economics and energy-efficiency communities, to work from established paradigms and work with colleagues who share similar views. When the two communities meet they often talk past each other.There is a need for both sides to better understand where the other side is coming from, and to explore opportunities to find a middle ground. For example, many economists look for rigorous evaluation, preferring what they call the “gold standard”: randomized control trials in which a large group of potential participants is randomly assigned to either a study or control group.But randomized control trials can be very difficult to implement, as the recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics has discussed. This is particularly a problem for full-scale programs in which everyone is eligible and random assignment to a control is not possible. On the other hand, the energy-efficiency community in recent years has increased use of “deemed savings estimates,” since these are easier to use and provide certainty for program implementers.Deemed savings estimates are supposed to be based on prior evaluations, but these evaluations are not always as rigorous or frequent as would be ideal. Perhaps the two sides could agree on more frequent “quasi-experimental” studies that carefully select a control group that is not randomized. There is much to learnFirst, we admit that not all energy-efficiency programs are stellar. It’s critical to have good evaluation to help tell what is working well and what needs improving.For example, one of the useful findings from the recent but controversial Fowlie et al. evaluation of the low-income weatherization program in several Michigan communities is that the energy audits in this program were overestimating the energy savings that can be achieved. Fortunately, as my colleague Jennifer Amann recently wrote, other research has found that calibrating audits to actual energy bills can do much to address this problem. This is an example of how identifying a problem can help lead to solutions. Steven Nadel is the executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. This post originally appeared on the ACEEE Blog. In the past year, a growing number of papers from economists have questioned the effectiveness of energy-efficiency programs and policies. We have reviewed many of these studies and blogged about several of them (see here, here, here, and here).In general, we have found that some of these studies have useful lessons, but too often they miss the mark because they miss some key issues in the programs they are evaluating, or they seek to over-generalize their findings to programs very different from the ones they evaluated. But rather than continuing a tit-for-tat debate, I want to go past some of these details and look more broadly at how economists and energy-efficiency practitioners can better avoid these past problems, better understand each other, and better work together.last_img read more

Lighthizer agrees to do whatever it takes to get new NAFTA passed

first_imgOTTAWA — U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer says he will work with Democrats to do whatever it takes to ratify the new North American free trade deal.Lighthizer made the pledge in testimony today before the U.S. Senate finance committee as part of the Trump administration’s push to get the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement ratified by a divided Congress.Lighthizer’s appearance on Capitol Hill comes two days before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets President Donald Trump at the White House to give impetus towards ratifying the deal.Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the committee, says the new deal has “weak enforcement” provisions on raising labour standards in Mexico that he and his party want to fix.Lighthizer says USMCA has stronger enforcement provisions than the old North American Free Trade Agreement, including improved labour rights in Mexico, but he’s open to making it stronger.Lighthizer says he has had good discussions with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and suggests that getting a ratification bill introduced in the lower house of Congress — a necessary first step towards U.S. ratification of the pact — might be weeks away.The Canadian Presslast_img read more