Friday, 16 March 2012

"Green" Germany - myth and reality

The myth:

"It's ambitious, but Germany can be running on renewable energy by 2050 if there is the political will," said David Wortmann, Director of Renewable Energy and Resources at Germany Trade and Invest, a government body supporting the country's renewable energy sector.

"Electric powered cars will be racing down the country's Autobahns using batteries charged from renewable energy sources, slashing the need for oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

The reality:

Welcome to the new "green" Germany! A must read article in Der Spiegel:

The energy-saving light bulb ends up as hazardous waste, too much insulation promotes mold and household drains are emitting a putrid odor because everyone is saving water. Many of Germany's efforts to protect the environment are a chronic failure, but that's unlikely to change. 

Germans support protecting the environment, and they have a special relationship with nature. They like animals and plants, blue skies and the ocean. They want their children to grow up in an intact environment, and try to set an example for others. When it's time to save the world, the Germans are there, doing their utmost. They are determined that conservation efforts won't fail because of them.
Our newest goal is to minimize our ecological footprint. Thursdays are veggie days, and old-fashioned, hand-cranked washing machines are back in vogue. Websites offer environmental tips for all kinds of situations, from cosmetics based on the phases of the moon to vibrators made of plastic without toxic chemical softeners. There are urns made of cornstarch and coffins made of cardboard, so that we can embark on our final journey in an environmentally correct manner -- a final good deed before everything turns to compost.
When something benefits the environment, the need to justify it suddenly disappears. The green label eliminates all controversy. And political parties are essentially in agreement that society cannot do enough for the environment. No progressive politician wants to expose himself to the career-ending suspicion that he lacks environmental consciousness.

And remember, all this happens in Germany at a time when the country is led by a supposedly conservative chancellor!

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