Saving The Planet The Convenient Way

Lord knows that “saving the planet” from climate change is hard work.

Planet

That is why so many Germans are so “conscientious about the purchases they make, ride bikes and try to reduce their trash and carbon footprint.” They are also perfectly aware of the fact that they “can’t solve the problem on their own,” which us very, well, convenient but “they can force politicians and businesses to act,” which they do, if it isn’t all too inconvenient, that is.

And all of this gives them a good conscience, which is good. A good conscience one must have when one is riddled with guilt. A good conscience one must have when one is driving one’s expensive German non-electric automobile down the autobahn at excessive speeds, for example, or purchasing goods and products grown or manufactured on the other side of the planet being saved and flown in to Germany at dumping prices. A good conscience one must have when one simultaneously exports one’s plastic waste to the other side of the planet while flying off on vacation three times a year to culturally exchange with other cultures about the virtues of saving said planet.

Good conscience and convenience go hand in hand here, in other words. Here, too, Germany is a forerunner and we should look up to their shining example with admiration and humility.

“Sustainability is becoming a ‘quasi-religious’ promise of salvation.”

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German Of The Day: Bußgeld

No, that doesn’t mean bus money. It means fine or penalty.

Fine

And that’s what the parents of the kids who have been taking part in Joan of Arc’s, I mean, Greta Thunberg’s wackedelic Fridays for Future (FFF) demonstrations will now have to be paying. At least here in Germany.

German school authorities are starting to get tired of all the truancy going on or something and have begun handing out fines starting at 88.50 euros a pop. Jeepers. That might get FFF-freakin’ expensive before too long, folks.

Eltern von Klimaschutzdemonstranten müssen Bußgeld bezahlen – Seit Monaten demonstriert Fridays for Future für besseren Klimaschutz. Weil das auch während der Schulzeit geschieht, wird in Mannheim das Ordnungsamt aktiv.

Reality Can Be A Bitch Like That

After Missing Emissions Targets, Germany Creates Climate Watchdog.

Climate

Brilliant, really. First you shut down all your nuclear power plants, build more coal-firing power plants to compensate for them (renewable energy isn’t enough here for some odd reason) and then fail to meet the ridiculously ambitious emissions reduction goals you have set.

Then, once you’ve finally come clean about not being able to come clean, you “set up a ‘climate cabinet’ to coordinate emissions reduction efforts and ensure politicians (you, that is) keep their promises.”

I thought Kafka was dead. Come on, now. Did he write this?

Environment minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) detailed the plan to create a ministerial group to German newspaper Tageszeitung on Saturday, saying it would ensure that ideas to lower the country’s emissions don’t slip through the cracks.

Maybe Merkel Will Walk Out, Too

Someday. Maybe. Could be but we must all remain patient. And hopeful.

ProtestGerm

German students walk out of school in climate change protest – Germany’s Angela Merkel backs student ‘Friday for Future’ climate protests.

The protest is part of a global movement known as “School Strike 4 Climate” or “Fridays For Future” launched last August when Thunberg began protesting outside the Swedish parliament on school days.

About 3,000 students marched through the streets of the port city chanting: “We are here, we are loud, because you are stealing our future.”

“I believe it is a very good initiative.”

German Of The Day: Tempolimit

That means speed limit.

Speed Limit

Odd, yesterday we dealt with getting caught in traffic jams in a country that doesn’t have any speed limits (on parts of the Autobahn) and now it’s time to introduce such speed limits in the same country? At least that’s what the commission National Platform for the Future of Mobility is proposing, whatever that is. Look, these drivers aren’t going anywhere now as it is. How will reducing their speed get them nowhere any safer? Oh, it’s about CO2 again. I should have known.

Limit the maximum speed on the German Autobahn to 130 km/h? This could lead to another revolution, folks. And it probably won’t be a bloodless one this time.

Kommission ist sich der Brisanz bewusst – Noch ist es nur ein Entwurf, doch die Ideen der Kommission “Nationale Plattform Zukunft der Mobilität” haben es in sich. Sie sollen den CO2-Ausstoß bis 2030 um die Hälfte senken.

The Future Looks C-C-Cold

In Germany. In the winter.

Cold

Thousands of people marched Saturday in Berlin to demand that Germany speed up its exit from coal-fired power plants, a day before the opening of a U.N. climate summit in neighboring Poland.

“Stop Coal!” is the rallying call today. “Stop nuclear power!” was yesterday. The Germans have already shut down their nuclear power industry due to an earthquake in Japan. Don’t ask.

Some of these demonstrators have clearly thought all of this through, however. That’s why they’re wearing those polar bear suits. “Somebody turn on the freakin’ heat already!” Will by the rallying cry of the future.

“The future is coal-free.”

World Ending Again

In Germany.

Heat

In a country where everyone is always complaining about the lack of sunshine, several consecutive months of heat and sunshine (in other countries referred to as “the summer”) have led the alarmist fringe of the population (that’s roughly 97% of the population) to the scientific conclusion that they now find themselves smack dab in the middle of a major “state of meteorological emergency” and are all going to die even before the sky gets the chance to fall down. If only the gray skies and rain would come back so they could bitch and moan about that again! As nature intended.

What makes summer 2018 an exception is the unusually long period of heat. Such a persistent period of fine weather, with lots of sunshine and little rain, occurs on average once every 10 years at most in the country. And given the lack of rain, it’s not the heat that’s the problem, but the drought — especially in northern and eastern Germany, where there has been virtually no rainfall in some places since May.

This may be due to climate change, but it may also be unrelated. Germany has also experienced extreme droughts in previous years. In 1992, for example, when wheat withered away in the fields, wells dried up and priests prayed for rain at church services. Or in 1971, when forest fires flared up in many places across the country. Or in 1947, when even drinking water became scarce.

“Somebody is always complaining. It’s sheer nonsense.”

The Short Answer Is No

Not without nuclear energy.

If Germany Can’t Quit Coal, Can Anyone Else?

Coal

It would seem like a major step toward Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent of 1990 totals by 2020. But German utilities just can’t seem to quit burning coal. Some power plants are switching to cheaper imported black coal from the United States, Russia, or Colombia. And at the same time, Germany is also digging more lignite, or brown coal. Lignite is 50 percent water and yields much less energy than the shiny black anthracite. But lignite is easy to bulldoze from massive strip mines that dot Germany’s northwest and eastern border with Poland. Among Europe’s power plants, Germany’s brown coal stations constitute six out of 10 of the worst polluters.

“It’s like organizing your own funeral.”

 

Going, Going…

Gone.

CO2

Here’s another one of those well-intentioned-do-gooder-mandates-from-above-meeting-reality kind of things. Why is it that reality is always popping up its ugly little head all the time, anyway?

The two parties likely to form the next coalition government in Germany have agreed to give up on the country’s climate targets for 2020. The goal was to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels. In 2016, Germany’s had only reduced emissions by 28% versus the baseline (pdf), so the plan is now unrealistic.

There are two ways to interpret the announcement.

A charitable response would be that the news isn’t a surprise. Although Germany has made heavy investments in renewable energy, it has also been shuttering zero-carbon nuclear power plants since 2011. Giving up on the 2020 climate goals makes sense, especially if the coalition maintains the 2030 target of a 55% emissions reduction versus 1990 levels.

A harsher response would be that the news is devastating. “This damages the credibility of Germany but it also damages the whole international climate process,” Tobias Austrup, an energy expert at Greenpeace told the Financial Times. “Why should other countries stick to their climate goals if we don’t?”

We Worry

People living in Germany are the most worried about climate change, according to new analysis of 18 countries published this week.

Climate

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) examined data collected by the European Social Survey on public attitudes to climate change of 16 European countries, Russia and Israel.

Of these 18 countries, it found Germans are the most concerned, with 44% “very or “extremely” worried about climate change. At the other end of the spectrum, just 15% of Poles say they are “very or “extremely” worried.

MeanwhileChaos hits European flights as snow snarls major hubs. Germans worry about that kind of stuff, too. They’re always leaving Germany in the winter to escape the cold weather.

Der Winter hat in vielen Teilen Deutschlands zu chaotischen Zuständen geführt. In einigen Regionen zählte die Polizei in der Nacht zum Montag Hunderte Einsätze.

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