New year – old problems

From Claus P. Baumeister. The “riot” in the village of Lützerath, now lost to coal mining, took its course. In addition to creative, non-violent techniques, some activists unfortunately did not shy away from the use of fireworks and stones on police officers. The activists are aware that the legally legitimized eviction will ultimately be enforced according to the rule of law. Consequently, it is exclusively about publicity-effective actions with symbolic power, which have already successfully brought the whole media force to Lützerath and became the lead story of news broadcasts for days.

Here one must ask oneself, why climate activists and politics seem to be united in one goal. Both groups speak constantly of exit and little or not at all of entrance. This should have preceded the phase-out of coal and nuclear power to an appropriate extent long ago. Without a massive expansion of renewable energies and energy efficiency as well as sustainable consumption, no energy transition is possible. Young activists can also contribute to this, e.g. with more conscious consumption, renouncement of SUVs, lower indoor temperatures, etc..

The demands for state relief are not yet silenced, although the gas price on the stock exchange has fallen below the pre-war level again and thus the hasty and unfair relief via gas price cap and above all the takeover of the December discount (a crazy idea by the German “Council of Experts” anyway) has already become obsolete. That applies also to the fuel prices, which undercut likewise again the Vorkriegsniveau, after the state burned 3.5 billion ? to the nonsensical discounting. Of course, the petroleum companies have helped themselves to a great deal of this – excess profits tax or not. And how long will it take for the low gas exchange price to reach consumers? Companies are also not getting tired of courting subsidies with horror scenarios of economic development, whereby the DAX and other stock exchanges have only known one direction since the beginning of the year: up. Is that cool or rather greed?

By the way, on Habeck’s SmartMeter initiative:

Germany’s Vice Chancellor of Germany and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action wants to make “modern” meters mandatory. Industry representatives are rubbing their hands and every critical observer is wondering. What is a “modern” meter? Experts agree that the huge, black Ferraris meters with rotating discs do not belong to this category. So much for unambiguity. Is an eHZ (electronic residential meter) “modern” although it has been in use for more than a decade? Is it even “intelligent”? Do “smart meters” exist at all? Or does a meter only become “intelligent” through an Internet gateway (which is also mandatory?)?

Perhaps, however, it is then rather the “intelligence” in the backend that is fed with detailed data about the lifestyle of the house residents. And the benefit for the energy transition? Zero! Who whispered something positive to Habeck to justify the additional costs? Better grid management? A fairy tale. More favorable flexible tariffs? We can wait a long time for that and, in any case, expect incomprehensible billing.

Who, please, will enlighten Herrn Habeck before he allows himself to be driven further by the network operator and industry lobbies? All of this, and perhaps even climate change itself, would be dwarfed by a scenario that the power-mad Kremlin ruler is already openly threatening – the use of nuclear weapons. Unlike the other problems, unfortunately all too few see or seek room for maneuver there, not even by refusing to supply battle tanks to Ukraine, but only by winning or losing Putin’s “special operation.” Perhaps a change of sides by China – in economic interests alone, of course – could help. Might Xi, whose imperialist pretensions are often portrayed as barely below those of Putin, have this change of heart?

But let us not be discouraged from at least turning the screws for which we have long had adequate tools. We only have to use them.

Yours sincerely, Claus P. Baumeister