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.

German Engineering At Its Finest

Fortschritt durch Technik. That’s Audi’s motto and means progress through technology.

Audi

And their latest advance in defeat device technology is a great step forward in consumer deception indeed.

Audi’s defeat device, camouflaged as a warm-up function, keys in on movements of the steering wheel to detect if the car is in the lab or not. Once in normal traffic, however, this warm-up function is deactivated and the vehicle switches to a higher fuel consumption mode, thus producing more CO2. Brilliant, don’t you think?

Come on, America. Why can’t you produce technology like this? These new fangled electric cars everybody is talking about these days don’t have any of this cool stuff.

So schummelte Audi bei CO² – Mit einer Software sollen Messergebnisse manipuliert worden sein.

Germany Leaps Forward Again

In the saving the world game, I mean.

Unsinn

And here you thought the Germans shutting down their nuclear power plants after an accident in Japan was hardcore enough (and it was). Now they’re going to outlaw internal combustion engines (albeit not until the year 2030).

Amazing Scheiße, I find. It does make me wonder what they’re going to be outlawing next, however. I would have bet on the wheel but it’ll be pretty much taken care of as soon as the internal combustion engines go so I’m now going to put my money on fire itself. Do you have any idea how much CO2 cooking your food releases into the atmosphere? Me neither, but you can be sure that it’s way too much. At least in Germany.

Being a subscriber to Mad Magazine, when I first saw the title of this article at Gizmodo recently, I assumed I’d mixed up my bookmarks and gone to the wrong site. “German Lawmakers Vote to Ban the Internal Combustion Engine.” Oh, come on, man. That can’t be right, can it? The home of some of the higher performance engines in the history of fine cars can’t seriously be talking about this, can they? Well color me embarrassed because, with a few caveats, it turned out to be true.

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.

A Green Superpower?

Germany?

Coal

Germany is a superpower when it comes to setting ambitious goals. But it’s even better at burning coal.

Germany aims to generate 80% of its power from renewable sources by 2050 with nuclear being fully phased out by 2021. But given the costs associated with renewables and the challenge of replacing nuclear power efficiently, it is not clear that Germany will succeed in either of these goals…

The Germans have increasingly turned to coal as their power generation source of choice, especially U.S. coal. Today coal power plants are responsible for generating nearly half of Germany’s power, and numerous new plants are scheduled to come online in the next few years.

Overall, the increase in coal is likely to create a significant increase in airborne pollution and potentially stoke tension between Germany and its neighbors. But at the same time, if Germany wants to phase out nuclear power, coal is the only realistic option; a fact which some German politicians are starting to admit.

Just Like The Duracell Bunny

Germany’s Energiewende (energy turnaround) just keeps on going.

Not only is the cost part still working: The cost of government subsidies for green energy is passed directly through to consumers. As a result, German households pay twice as much for electricity as their US counterparts.

Coal

The unreliability of renewables keeps on working, too: Berlin has little choice but to rely on electricity generation from dirty coal-fired power stations (evil nuclear power has been turned off here).

Which brings us to the next absurd turn of events.:  A striking example of the absurdity of this emerged this week with the publication of a letter from Germany’s vice-chancellor to the new Swedish centre-left government. Ms Merkel’s deputy warned of serious consequences for electricity supplies and jobs if Vattenfall, Sweden’s state-owned utility, ditched plans to expand two coal mines in Germany. While the Germans may need the dirty lignite these facilities produce, the Swedes are under pressure to scale back the mines because of popular concerns in Sweden about CO2 emissions.

“It can’t work without Russian gas”

The German energy turnaround can’t, that is. And that’s why the way things look right now, the turnaround is about to get turned around – yet again.

Power

If Germany makes its goal of having 80 percent of its power come from renewable sources by 2050, there is no question it will add to the country’s energy security. But along the way, as it takes nuclear power plants offline and builds up its renewable network, the country remains reliant on fossil fuels – and that means Russia.

Germany gets some 35 percent of its natural gas and oil from Russia, as well as significant quantities of coal, a dependency that weakens Germany’s energy switchover plan, according to Hans-Werner Sinn, a prominent economist.

“Es wird eine neue Betrachtung der gesamten Energiepolitik geben”

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.”

CO2 Is Bad, Right?

Germany has produced 2 percent more CO2 than it did the previous year, 20 million tons more. Oh yeah, and there had been an increase in CO2 production the year before that, too.

CO2

Uh, I thought that this Energiewende (energy turnaround) thing was supposed to reduce these emissions. I mean, after turning off all of the German nuclear power plants and all, CO2 emissions just had to have dropped, right? I was never very good at science, though, much less at rocket science. This Scheiße is clearly way too complicated for me.

“Nach ersten überschlägigen Schätzungen dürften sich die energiebedingten CO2-Emissionen in Deutschland um etwa 20 Millionen Tonnen oder um reichlich zwei Prozent erhöhen.”

PS: Speaking of Scheiße, it turns out, to my amazement, that there actually are Germans who don’t like dogs. There seems to be a new anti-dog movement in the making that is being spearheaded by a magazine called Kot und Köter (Crap and Muts). I guess this had to happen sooner or later. And Kot causes CO2 emissions too, right?

Kot

How Alarming

No, not that shocking IPCC global warming report (yawn). Alarming is just how much of a fiasco Germany’s Energiewende (energy turnaround) is turning out to be.

Wetter

Michael Limburg, vice-president of the European Institute for Climate and Energy, told CNN that the government’s energy targets are “completely unfeasible.”

“Of course, it’s possible to erect tens of thousands of windmills but only at an extreme cost and waste of natural space,” he said. “And still it would not be able to deliver electricity when it is needed.”

Limburg told CNN the rapid transition to renewables is economically “insane,” arguing that wind farms will cost at least 13 times more than traditional coal plants.

He added: “Offshore wind is somewhat better in performance, cost and usability but still you have to spend six times as much as what you have to spend for a conventional power plant.”

Germans are already facing some of the highest energy bills in Europe.

According to the Institute for Energy Research, this year German electricity rates will increase by over 10% due to a surcharge for using more renewable energy and a further 30 to 50% price increase is expected in the next ten years.

Blackouts are another problem facing Germany’s energy industry…

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a report that a hiatus in warming this century, when temperatures have risen more slowly despite growing emissions, was a natural variation that would not last.