Irresistible Filth?

I guess that’s one thing you could call it.

Filth

As previously reported, the Germans are having big problems meeting their ambitious CO2 emissions targets these days. One of the reasons for this dirty little secret – after having turned off most of their nuclear power plants due to a tsunami in Japan (don’t ask) – is their burning need to burn dirty, filthy, dreckig brown coal, aka lignite.

It is mined in vast, open pits that devour landscapes and villages, leaving Martian vistas of desolation roamed by gigantic excavators straight out of “Mad Max”.

Brown coal made up about 23% of the country’s energy supply last year, and black coal another 14%, according to the Economy Ministry. Renewable energy sources made up 33%—up from 6% in 2000.

Hey, whatever gets you through the dark as black coal night.

“The image of Germany as a country leading on the renewable energy transition is very, very wrong,”

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Reality Can Be Like That

Germany’s green dreams run into climate change reality – Berlin’s commitment to stay nuclear free complicates Europe’s push to lower emissions.

Green

The contradictions in Germany’s energy policy are coming home to roost.

It’s struggling to balance efforts to combat climate change while at the same time shutting down its nuclear power plants.

Don’t sweat it, Germany. If you need any advice on how to improve things in the CO2 department just contact the folks in Washington.

“The rushed and improvised exit from nuclear power that some support is not our policy. Recent events prove that pretending otherwise is a pure illusion.”

Just Like That Japanese Reactor

Not quite as dramatic, granted, but just like how Fukushima took down the nuclear power industry in Germany, all it takes is a collapsed highway bridge in Italy to suddenly put Germany’s bridge infrastructure in full tilt crisis mode. You gotta worry about something, after all.

Bridges

The latest reminder of the risks of aging infrastructure came Tuesday, when a highway bridge in Italy collapsed, killing at least 35 people. Germany is also exposed. Its once-envied network of roads, bridges and railways are decaying due to decades of underspending. The country has fallen to 15th in road quality behind Oman and Portugal, according to the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness rankings.

Autobahnbrücken in Deutschland – Jede achte Brücke in schlechtem Zustand.

German Of The Day: Angemessen

That means appropriate or suitable.

Angemessen

You know, like the appropriate or suitable compensation that the German government will now how to  pay to  the power companies it expropriated after the infamous (and ongoing) Fukushima Panic Attack of 2011?

Of course what this appropriate or suitable compensation will actually end up being once the non-atomic dust settles is quite another matter. Something tells me it’s going to be a whole lot. Hey, nichts ist umsonst. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

SPD-Vize Stegner gibt Merkel Schuld für Milliardenentschädigung.

Eco-Power?

As in enormous-cost-power?

eco

And green power must be short for greenback power, right? Only they have to pay in euros here in Germany.

You’re never going to believe this: Energy prices will be rising dramatically again next year in Germany (same procedure as every year). It has something to do with this little thing they call the “eco-power levy” here (levy sounds better than tax). It’s going up another 8.3 percent. But it’s for the Energiewende so that’s a good thing, or something. Hey. It’s not easy being the world’s leader in renewable energy but somebody has to do it. And you still don’t mind paying for it… And you still don’t mind paying for it… And you still…

Öko-Strom-Umlage steigt um 8,3 Prozent.

Hysteria Half-Life Not Yet Reached In Germany

Nor will it be any time soon. It must be artificially maintained in order to justify the German Energiewende, you see.

Chernobyl

Thirty years after the Chernobyl disaster, it has become clear that radioactivity might be less harmful than originally thought. Some researchers even believe it may be beneficial in small doses.

That is a surprising finding. Three decades ago, half of Western Europe was contaminated with weakly radioactive precipitation. The public at large was taught to view the ubiquitous radioactivity as particularly insidious.

But now, apparently not everything that gives off radiation is bad after all. The body seems to be able to cope with low doses of radon. “We are continuing to search for damage to the genome,” says Fournier, “but so far we aren’t seeing anything.”

Who would voluntarily breathe in radioactive gas? These days, there are people who do. They swear by the notorious noble gas radon, created by the decay of uranium: They inhale it deeply.

We Did Nothing Wrong

“We paid our taxes, we paid our wages, we have done what every other company does with its investments.” Then what are you whining about, you fools? That just makes it all the more obvious that you must be punished.

Atom

Power firms brought a legal challenge on Tuesday against a German government decision to shut down the country’s nuclear plants by 2022, a lawsuit that could allow them to claim 19 billion euros ($21 billion) in damages.

The decision deprived the utilities of one of their main sources of profit and pitched them into crisis as the focus moved to renewables and electricity prices tumbled.

“Wir sind als Bundesregierung sehr zuversichtlich, dass unsere Rechtsauffassung obsiegen wird… Die Kernkraft war von Anfang an hoch umstritten. Es musste jederzeit mit der Möglichkeit einer Neubewertung gerechnet werden.”

Fukushima Five Years Later: Everything The Germans Feared Has Come True

Well, not really. Actually, none of it has. But still.

Fukushima

Let’s see… The reactor is under control – still. There are no cancer deaths or deformed babies to report after the radiation in Japan. Not one. The UN (UNSCEAR) even predicts that there will be no significant increase in the cancer rate in the area at all. The exclusion zone around Fukushima keeps getting smaller and smaller. Japan is not saying no to nuclear energy. Im Gegenteil (on the contrary): After a short break, Japan has returned wholeheartedly to nuclear energy. France and America never contemplated doing away with nuclear energy. Of all the countries that have access to nuclear energy, only Germany has taken such drastic action.

By the way, the fish in the waters around Fukushima have no more higher level of radiation than the fish found in the North Sea. Put that in your Spiegel and smoke it.

But the Atomausstieg (nuclear phase-out) – in Germany – was certainly worth it (this is what Germans still repeat to themselves before going to bed each night).

Well, maybe “worth it” isn’t quite the right term to use, taking into account the outrageous wind and solar energy subsidies that have driven/are still driving energy prices up through the roof here in Germany. But other than that, though, everything seems to be going to plan.

I’ve just got to ask: Are these the same people who planned Germany’s refugee policy, too?

Japan auf Jahrzehnte verseucht, Hunderte verstrahlt, Unzählige an Krebs gestorben. So stellte man sich die Folgen von Fukushima vor. Doch vieles ist anders gekommen.

Energiewende Update: German Solar Energy Production Still Not Working At Night

Or when it’s cloudy and gray and yucky outside (an estimated 359 days a year here). Wind energy does, however. But only when there is enough so-called Wind (wind) to go around.

Wind

German environmentally renewable scientists have now been informed, however, and once they figure out a way to keep it sunny and windy all day long this German energy turnaround thing is going to turn everything around for good.

Because Energiewende has been accompanied by a rapid move away from nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster Germany has had to make up its energy deficit by increasing its reliance on coal for the first time in years. German CO2 emissions have actually been rising over past three years.

Germany Still Threatened By Fukushima

Or by the ghost of Fukushima, I should say.

Fukushima

Danger! Danger! More “experts” issuing expert warnings here again: Nearly three years have passed since the Fukushima disaster in Japan and Germany is still not adequately prepared for a nuclear incident, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

I can only assume that they mean being not adequately prepared for  a nuclear incident caused by a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake hitting somewhere off the coast of Bremerhaven in a region of the world that doesn’t “do” earthquakes and causing a massive tsunami that could wipe out one of Germany’s coastal power plants, or maybe even one in Bavaria, provided, of course, that said tsunami could still find a German nuclear power plant that was still in operation, which is very doubtful indeed, but still.

Nope. You can never be prepared enough when it comes to preparing for one of those worst conceivable and most completely unpredictable natural disasters like-in-recorded-history-type-disasters that has already happened somewhere else, I guess.

Deutschland ist nicht ausreichend auf einen nuklearen Störfall vorbereitet.