Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Germans are in the streets again

One of the things that has impressed me over the years is that in Germany, even the right-wing pro-business parties have an outstanding track record supporting renewable energy.  But unfortunately, neoliberal policy dictates that nothing should be spent on something so necessary and practical as windpower or solar cells when that money could go to buy off the banksters.  Eventually, even the Germans would feel compelled to cave in to such madness.  You could smell it in the air.

So now the CDU / SDP in their grand coalition has decided that the big push for renewables should be scaled back.  And Germany, which has led the way on these issues because so much could be accomplished through conventional political means, is now seeing concerned citizens taking to the streets again.  And when folks take to the street hoping to compel their leaders to do the right thing, the betting odds tilt heavily in favor of those with official titles and well paying jobs doing the wrong thing.

This is NOT good news.  It means that the infinite greed of the Leisure Classes is reasserting itself.

Tens of thousands demonstrate for renewable energy in Berlin

RT: May 10, 2014

Up to 20,000 people have rallied in Berlin to support renewable energy Saturday under the slogan “Do not capsize the energy revolution!”

The protest was triggered by a planned reform by the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), two of Germany’s main political parties, called the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).

The demonstrators say the law will “strangle the transition” from gas and nuclear to renewable energy such as wind and solar. The organizers of the protest accuse the German government of backtracking on energy policy.

The rally started at Kapelle Ufer am Hauptnahnhof, Berlin’s central station, and then the protesters marched through central Berlin to the CDU party office. They were joined by a flotilla of about a hundred boats and canoes which made their way down the river Spree, which runs through the center of Berlin.

Activists wore caricature heads of the Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Some of the placards read “Sustainable Energy Transition Now!”

Musicians were also at the event to express solidarity with the protesters, including the Berlin bands Gunslinger and Seeed.

At the closing of the protest in front of the CDU offices, Hubert Weiger the head of Friends of the Earth Germany, called on parliament not to pass the act.

In a separate part of the city there was much smaller demonstration against fracking.

Hermann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association, warned “with this bill, the government will clearly loose the momentum of the energy revolution.”

While the chairman of the Economic Forum Geothermal Association criticized the fact that the EEG reform will mean that geothermal energy and other weather dependent energy sources will be denied a long term perspective.

Over the past twenty years Germany has had a good record of developing its clean energy sector and Germany’s renewable energy sector is among the most successful in the world. The percentage of electricity produced from renewables increased from 6.3 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in the first half of 2012. more (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

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