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.”

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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.

PS: Get your free sample of Brain Quest – A Fantastic Voyage through the Progressive Mind today! For risks and side effects ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Paris?

Germany can’t even reach the climate targets it has set for itself (see objective media coverage below).

Earth

A thirty-three page report has just confirmed what most German global climate saviors already knew: There is no way in hell that the more than ambitious climate target set by the federal government some ten years back will ever be reached. Emissions were to drop 40 percent the year 2020. They haven’t quite dropped 28 percent yet. The main problem – now get this – being German cars. Like, duh. Ever hear of Volkswagen & Co.?

Ein wesentliches Problem: Der Verkehrsbereich hat seine Emissionen kaum reduziert. So notwendig ein allgemeines Umsteuern beim Autoverkehr ist, so unpopulär sind die Maßnahmen im Einzelnen.

“We in Germany, in Europe and the world will band together to take more decisive action than ever to confront and successfully surmount major challenges to humanity such as climate change.”

Egyptians Better At This, Too

Not only do Egyptians beat Germans when it comes to completing building projects (German construction sites are built to last and last and last), they are also better than the Germans when it comes to reducing CO2 emission levels (and they don’t preach about it all day long while they’re doing it like the Germans do, either).

CO2

A new ranking of how well countries are working to limit climate change shows that Germany has fallen behind countries like Egypt and Mexico to 29th place worldwide.

PS: But when it comes to completing construction site projects, not even the Egyptians can whop the Japanese.

Amateur Climate Scientist Puzzled How Earth’s CO2 Got To Mars

That’s right. I’m going to do a little amateur science today for once already if you don’t mind thank you.

Mars

I mean, I’m puzzled or something. If human CO2 emissions are the cause of climate change here on Planet Earth today (this is at least what folks here in Germany tell me every freakin’ day) and a similar type of climate change took place long ago on Mars as well (there used to be a lot more ice there a few hundred thousand years ago, you see) then how on Earth did we on Earth manage to transport our human CO2 emissions back through time and space to Mars to cause that Martian climate change in the first place and like not even be aware that we were were doing it or even how we were doing it and still aren’t for that matter? I’m just asking.

Is that creepy or eerie or what? Otherworldly, how insidious and tricky these human CO2 emissions can be these days.

Klimawandel gibt es auch auf unserem Nachbarplaneten Mars.

I Got Your Green Credentials For You Right Here, Pal

“It’s ugly, but it gets you there.” But it’s ugly. And it’s getting uglier by the minute.

VW

The timing of the scandal could not be worse for the government.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to travel to New York on Friday to persuade fellow members of the United Nations to adopt climate goals ahead of a UN climate conference in Paris in December.

Merkel sees herself as champion of climate issues and would like to see Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power and the transition to renewable energy as one of her most lasting legacies.

In June, she helped draw up ambitious carbon emission reduction goals adopted by the Group of Seven (G7) countries.

At the same time, she has always robustly defended the interests of her country’s automakers and postponed the implementation of European emission limits.

“Has the climate change brand been ruined?”

I’d say yes. At least when it comes to films and documentaries, it seems. It’s just like way too “bo-ho-horing” to make it at the box office.

Climate

It (“An Inconvenient Truth”) made a ton of money which made some people think that suddenly the topic was unboring. Which produced a spate of climate documentaries that were all boring, and eventually resulted in an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker friend saying to me they all blend together — all the same shots of melting glaciers, polar bears, carbon emissions … blah, blah, blah. By 2008 another friend was at a gathering of indy film distributors in which they were saying, “no more environmental documentaries!”, there’s no audience for them. And by 2010 a producer friend of mine said, “Even the Green Channel doesn’t want “green programming…”

Climate definitely interests the climate crowd at some science magazines, talks or blogs. Some blogs are amazing. They will post one comment about one graph of temperature records from tree rings and get over a thousand comments. Which is boredom so purified and crystalized it’s in an unadulterated form that could make even a robot want to commit suicide.

Global Boring is a term used to describe the widely accepted scientific conclusion that the world is getting progressively less and less interesting, and will ultimately become so incredibly dull it will no longer be able to support human life.

NGOs Go Home

NGOs went home, I mean. Or at least a whole bunch of them just did.

NGO

It’s either our way or the highway said spokesmen at Oxfam, the WWF, Nabu, BUND and Friends of the Earth, among others, shortly before heading for the highway today.

They had been attending something called a “United Nations Climate Change Conference” in Warsaw and suddenly got completely and totally pissed off at the slow speed of progress and the lack of, well, media interest or ambition among those doing the negotiating. And at Poland, the host country. Poland is bad because, unlike Germany, for instance, it burns coal in its power plants.

Although holding their collective breaths until turning blue in the face hadn’t worked earlier in the day, the impulsive Weltverbesserer (starry-eyed idealists) are now convinced that this impressive act of pouty petulance is sure to put back more urgency and agitation into the ever so humdrum and tedious global climate change debate.

So you asked for this, world. Don’t say you didn’t.

“Der Zynismus hier ist nicht mehr auszuhalten.”