Skip to comments.Germany Opts for Economic Suicide
Posted on 06/05/2011 6:17:16 AM PDT by radioone
The narrative of the Obama presidency has been a soap opera, with the lead character careening from one dilemma to another -- never resolving any. Each episode ends on a cliffhanger -- a promise that the next show will grant resolution on whether the economy will grow or descend into a double-dip recession or will the Middle East become a idealized democratic wonderland or the tinderbox of a new world conflict.
Yet the lead in this drama is so self-assured that he feels a sense of entitlement to the trappings of the role he now portrays. President Obama has become the personification of political expediency and cynicism as his ego and vanity allow him to say or do anything in order to win re-election irrespective of the short or long-term well-being of the American people.
He is not alone. In Germany they too have a leader who feels no compunction in doing whatever it takes to win re-election regardless of the impact on the country's economy and future.
The government of Germany in an astonishing about face has decided to phase out all nuclear energy by 2022, shuttering many plants (up to 17) this year. It was only in September of 2010 that the same government headed by Angela Merkel came to the conclusion to extend the operating lives of Germany's 17 nuclear power plants, which had been scheduled to go off line by 2021 as a means of helping the country meet its ambitious goal of reducing CO 2 emissions.
The Green Party and movement have become a potent force in German politics and using the Fukushima reactor meltdown in Japan as a rallying point calling for the abolition of all nuclear power. Facing a contested re-election the current chancellor chose to side with the environmental lobby. Per Der Spiegel, "In Merkel's mind, the only thing that matters is that she remains chancellor." Political expediency and cynicism are alive not only on the banks of the Potomac but in halls of power in Berlin and many European capitals.
It is not clear in the recorded history of the current German landmass when the last time a 9.1 scale earthquake and massive tsunami simultaneously devastated that part of Europe. Perhaps in the Neogene Period (23.0 to 3.6 million years ago) but that's hard to say as accurate weather records were unavailable. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:
The ethics commission had been given the task of "reevaluating" the risk of nuclear energy. But by the "reevaluate" what was meant was the slightest possibility of a nuclear accident similar to the one in Fukushima -- no matter how unlikely -- was now to be classified as unacceptable. What is being ignored in the process is the fact that each form of energy is associated with incalculable risks.
It took humanity hundreds of years to realize the dangers that burning fossil fuels pose to the environment and people's health. The harmful effects of an overhasty energy revolution will be mainly felt in economic and social terms -- and it is future generations that will be affected.
[For the record there has never been a significant nuclear accident in Germany.]
Now what does the country more obsessed and dominated by the Green Movement than any other in the world do now? Per Der Spiegel:
To begin with, electricity will get more expensive in Germany. The country's energy utility companies will opt to get money to finance their investments in new technology from the state or consumers. The bill for this has hardly been discussed and it could take quite some time before the blessings of the new eco-boom are felt.
One must also consider what the transformation will do to the natural landscape. If the government succeeds in rapidly expanding the electricity grid and constructs many additional wind parks and pumped-storage hydroelectricity plants, it will make Germany uglier -- not prettier. Despite the Greens' protestations to the contrary, there is no point in beating around the bush: Nobody wants wind turbines or utility poles in front of their home.
And the phase out will in the short-term focus on fossil fuel-based technology including gas and coal fired power plants. The Russians can rejoice thanks to the new Nord Stream gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea which will mean even more lucrative business with the Germans.
In addition, large German coal-fired plants will remain on line, generating ample amounts of CO2 from cheap imported coal.
But who wants to talk about the fine print?
Nuclear energy accounts for about 35% of Germany's electrical needs. By shutting it down completely the country will be extraordinarily dependent on the whims of another historically implacable foe: Russia. The ephemeral hope of so-called renewable sources such as solar and wind, cannot begin to substitute without a massive and unsustainable financial investment in infrastructure and destruction of the same environment the Green Movement is sworn to protect.
Perhaps no newspaper in Germany summarizes this headlong dash toward national suicide better than Die Welt:
The nuclear phase-out marks a creeping rejection of the economic model which has transformed Germany into one of the richest countries in the world in recent decades...What will the new energy age cost us Germans in terms of money and jobs? Are we completely indifferent to the risk of a major power outage? Just recently, the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance warned that Germany is totally unprepared for a large-scale blackout.
It is certainly true that our economic system can survive without nuclear power in the long term. But it is careless to carry out a phase-out under extreme time pressure, rushing it through with scant regard for how fast the economy can adapt. Energy is the lifeblood of industry, which in turn is the basis of our economy and our prosperity. A stable energy supply is taken for granted in Germany and is an enormously important locational advantage when attracting foreign investment. The mere impression that this supply is no longer 100 per cent guaranteed would be enough to scare off investors.
For the United States, the countries of Europe have often been the harbinger of things to come. The same extremists that finally succeeded in Germany are in various positions of power, including the White House, here in America. Prosperity often creates strange bedfellows, it allows the most ego-centric individuals and ideologies that promote that sense of importance to flourish as these individuals have no concept of what creates, promotes or sustains the very prosperity that allows these groups to exist.
The United States can, if it chooses to reverse its current course, benefit from the national suicide Germany is bent on pursuing. By drastically modifying its regulatory, tax, and energy policies, America can become the most sought after location for investment and manufacturing in the world, particularly for those companies that will look to either leave Germany or for an alternative to that country. If not, then China will be the major beneficiary and America will fall further behind.
I avoid conspiracy theories, but the economic decisions of western governments appear to be adjusting for a significantly reduced population in the near future.
It’s as though they are readying for the planned sustenance of a mere remnant.
I sense a War coming on. When the economic devistation of the failure of the Euro happens..and the EU fails..plus continues Islamic takeover...the people of europe are going to start blaming each other......
The Germans should just withdraw from Germany and all move to France and Italy.
Why is everything going backwards? Humanity seems to be devolving on every front.
There are Lions, and there are Lemmings. The Lemmings vote, and in Germany, they vote to run off the cliff. The Democrats are ecstatic.
I don’t know if I would call it “suicide.” It’s sort of like suicide by smoking cigarettes. It’s a very long time before it will reach fruition, and in the meantime, they can change their minds. Right now, though, they are headed in a direction that will ultimately cause them economic pain, if not death.
The last time I was in Paris, there were an awful lot of Germans there and they didn’t have to invade it.
And so darkness descends on Europe (again).
Christianity moved across the world like a wave. People are not perfect, and bad things came with and behind it.
Europe is post-Christian (Socialism replaces God with government, it is patient Communism). The US is pretty much there, thanks to the media and education system being corrupted.
The is a false god of this world uniting Islam for the theists and statism for the atheists. The doomed plan is to stop the Kingdom of the One True Living God.
What is going backwards are battles the Enemy is winning.
Jesus Christ has already won the war.
The government of Germany in an astonishing about face has decided to phase out all nuclear energy by 2022, shuttering many plants (up to 17) this year. It was only in September of 2010 that the same government headed by Angela Merkel came to the conclusion to extend the operating lives of Germany's 17 nuclear power plants, which had been scheduled to go off line by 2021 as a means of helping the country meet its ambitious goal of reducing CO 2 emissions.And now it should be obvious that the so-called green movement, like political candidates of both US party affiliations (notice my choice of phrasing that), works for foreign economic interests -- OPEC.
I’m glad the author has written this article about nuclear power in Germany. I was afraid no one was going to say anything about this incredibly stupid decision. The Japanese, who have more reason to be concerned, did not make a similar blunder. Nor the Chinese. Nor the French. The Germans have been so good a policy in this hideous Great Recession. Now they’re going to blow it all?
Well, there probably aren’t many Jews in Germany this time, maybe they’re going to decrease their Muslim population.
This analysis fars fall below what I’ve come to expect from writers in the American Thinker.
To compare Merkel to Obama on any meaningful level is just plain stupid.
Moreover, this author is writing in complete ignorance of the sociological “meaning” of nukes in Germany, in particular, and Europe, in general. There is a long-standing, entrenched, powerful FEAR of all-things-nuclear that absolutely pervades the German public.
Yes, the German public did consent to nuclear power plants, but their relationship with nuclear has never been anywhere near comfortable.
This is a relatively small country, with a lot of people crowded into its regions. Nuclear power plants are never really in “someone else’s backyard” as far as Germans are concerned.
Further, like all of Europe, the German public in general leans more toward the radical environmentalist view of all energy sources. Again, this makes for a highly reluctant relationship with nuclear from the get-go.
The bottom line is that, while the German government may have acted too quickly, and, indeed, overreacted, under all the circumstances, there’s no way this author’s essential charge of political pandering and cowardice is well-founded.
Merkel is one of the grown-ups on the world stage. Those that write about her political decisions should have some understanding of the domestic zeitgeist she has to deal with.
. . .
Brillant: I dont know if I would call it suicide. Its sort of like suicide by smoking cigarettes. Its a very long time before it will reach fruition, and in the meantime, they can change their minds. Right now, though, they are headed in a direction that will ultimately cause them economic pain, if not death.
I've already posted my thoughts on the author's take (first quote). But I do want to emphasize again that to understand this decision, one has to be familiar with exactly how much Germans are willing to sacrifice to be freer of the fear they have of nuclear energy/weapons.
And on that point, you've hit the nail on the head, really. They are going to take their time to figure this out and they are willing to pay the price for that. That is all.
I find nothing about this that fits the charge of political pandering, much less political pandering that is even in the same league with the dangerous bumbler in the White House.
I was thinking this same thing yesterday, although for much more mundane reasons.
I was driving around and it occurred to me that it was like our society is headed back to the Middle Ages, as if we are entering at least the Age of Monty Python.
Believe it or not, what got me musing on that was seeing store sign after store sign with misspelled words and grammatical mistakes. Seems dumb, but it isn't. When a business can't post a billboard without sounding like an uneducated, literally illiterate, beer-brained adolescent, we're going backwards.
For example, there was a time, not that long ago, when there was not a standard spelling for most words. People just wrote phonetically and everybody else had to figure it out. Even by this scale, we're going backwards.
I agree with you that it wasn’t a great decision. But I strongly disagree with the author that it was a decision made purely of crass political pandering on the part of Merkel and for her re-election bid.
Plus, as Brilliant, pointed out this decision is not irreversible.
I think the Turk connection is going to come alive. Shades of the Orient Express, Europe is going to be turned into one heck of a gay and drugs loving old population camp of death, all well managed by muslims and Turks and their making the hapless sheeple caught with a baggy beg them mercy through death by “umba kumba”.
Corruption and plying people before a judge to beg mercy for crimes they did not comit, or making them sign, is a great art of the kingpin. Now even their idiot leaders are falling for it.
Democracy shmemocracy, this is moronic.
... oh, and yes, false messiahs, power hunger and wars... what a great high too. All those peace and love protestors... tsk tsk tsk... it’s real inadequate...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.