Germany has for fifteen years loudly proclaimed its brave new green economy, based on wind turbines and solar panels. However, German power plants dumped 6 million tons more carbon dioxide (CO2) into the planet’s atmosphere in 2012 than in 2011. That 6-million-ton difference is enough to fill Rogers Centre, home of the mighty Toronto Blue Jays, more than two thousand times. In total, the CO2 that German power plants dumped into the air in 2012 is enough to fill Rogers Centre more than 116,000 times. This is almost exactly as I predicted—here, here, and here.
In light of the climate change crisis gripping the world, this is remarkable. Germany has very publicly set about to reduce CO2 emissions, and shows no sign of deviating from its plan to do so, which is to build the biggest wind turbine fleet in Europe. But what is even more remarkable is that though Germany’s CO2-reduction plan is clearly and spectacularly failing, there are many people, including environmentalists and media observers, who warmly approve of Germany’s approach and demand more of the same. This is close to the definition of insanity—continuing with the same thing and expecting a different result. And because of the sheer size of the carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur garbage Germany is dumping into the global atmosphere, and its implications on the global climate, and the current world-wide human caused mass extinction of species—the greatest such calamity to afflict life on earth since the end-Cretaceous event 65 million years ago—touting this madness as success comes close to fraud.
Here’s a quick quiz: how many Germans, alive or dead, can Sigmar Gabriel name who have been adversely affected by the operation of a nuclear power plant? Answer: zero.
The German government has made a big show of cracking down on Volkswagen over the car maker’s apparently deliberate and worldwide overriding of pollution control software in its vaunted turbo diesel injection (TDI) cars. Pollution controls come at the cost of road performance, and it appears VW cleverly coded the pollution control software so as to render pollution controls non-operational whenever the car is not undergoing an emission test (which is more than 99.99 percent of the time).
The Volkswagen software scandal, while serious, is nowhere near as serious or egregious as the power plant one. In that scandal, the German government is directly complicit. Unlike the VW scandal, which took a careful and painstaking investigation by the US EPA to uncover, the evidence of software fraud concerning power plant emissions—software fraud in the form of numerous websites trumpeting Germany’s shining example of the right path forward on climate change—is out in plain sight.
For an example of a website cheerleading the German “transformation” have a look here. You will be hard pressed to find a better example of weaseling through facts en route to portraying bad as good, down as up, night as day, and 2+2=3. The authors allege, for example, that the nulcear phaseout is not the reason Germany is now using more coal to make electricity. Instead, they say the reason is Germany is exporting coal-fired power. That’s just a small sample of the quality of argumentation.
Another is the use of the word “renewables” instead of wind and solar. This is not just a semantic irrelevancy. Germany cannot replace real power sources with wind and solar, and it knows it. This is why the German government admits, on its own cheerleading website, that most “renewables” are actually “biomass.” What is biomass? Wood. Biomass power is actually wood-fired power. Wood is less efficient and far dirtier even than coal. But because it is nevertheless far more efficient than wind and solar, it is what Germany is really basing its energiewende on.
And in spite of the over-representation of wood in the Germany’s “renewable energy transition,” Germany still uses more coal.
Hence the weasel-word “renewables” on the allegedly independent cheerleading site.
That’s what I mean by software fraud. Maybe we should just refer to it as malware.
Germany invented the energiewende precisely to fight carbon emissions. Carbon emissions are, predictably, way up. The article points out that the minister responsible for this nonsense, Sigmar Gabriel, now calls coal a bridge technology to the green future. Whiskey is a bridge to sobriety.
Here’s a quick quiz: how many Germans, alive or dead, can Sigmar Gabriel name who have been adversely affected by the operation of a nuclear power plant? Answer: zero. There isn’t a single one.
Gabriel isn’t the first German politician who has written science fiction into national policy. Nor is he the first to fanatically promulgate preposterous nonsense in the face of overwhelming facts that contradict him.
For the sake of the planet and all its inhabitants, human and non-human, I really hope he is the last.