When we set out in Europe to achieve the goal of sustainability, many did not realize how rocky the path is. The destination was green meadows, a light wind that carries the scent of fresh herbs into your nose., Sun rays gently warming your skin, chirping crickets and deer grazing on the edge of the forest. It was not clear to anyone what kind of economic impact we could actually expect.
The price of electricity is exploding. At the end of the year, the Germans will take their nuclear power plants off the grid. A completely hasty measure that will further reduce the supply of electricity. Because at the same time the alternative offer was not expanded. An example? Two percent of the German land area should be equipped with wind turbines. In fact, three (!) Wind turbines were applied for in Bavaria in 2020, none in the first quarter of 2021. Understandable, because the official state rule is: The distance between wind turbines and settlements must be 10 times the height of the system. At a height of 200 meters, this makes expansion difficult. A similarly sad situation arises with solar panels. In addition, coal-fired power generation will end in 2038. All the forecasts agree on one thing: electricity consumption will continue to increase by 25 to 35 percent by 2030, and by as much as 130 to 185 percent by 2045.
In short, electricity is becoming a scarce commodity and the economic impact on private households and companies is enormous. Germany is the best way to degrade yourself. Because the French will not share their nuclear power with Germany in the event of a future emergency. You will need it yourself.
Electricity generation, however, is just an exacerbating problem. Individual traffic with all its freedoms is restricted. Because the charging infrastructure for electromobility is still far from being equipped for a significantly increasing number of electric vehicles.
When it comes to heating, the necessary goals are simply not achievable. The renovation rate for buildings should at least be doubled, district heating networks should be massively expanded and investments in heat pumps should be made. There is also a social danger in all of this. Because with higher heating costs, drastic social problems threaten. And without help for low-wage earners, climate protection will radicalize the political landscape.
The only essential measure so far has been the protection of the ozone layer. But although the British research station Halley Bay warned against it as early as 1957, it did not appear on the political agenda until around 30 years later.
Now everything has to go faster. It’s our own fault. In the 1990s, climate policy was pursued much too ambitiously. Political decisions have become ridiculous due to the ensuing inaction. We all have to pay the price of this reality-negating politics. And we can already feel it in the dramatically rising electricity prices.
All of this will be of no use. The question is no longer how we can stop global warming by 1.5 to 2 degrees. The question is, how can we keep the temperature from rising by more than five degrees? We are on track in Europe. But we also have to get the other countries on board. Otherwise our efforts are in vain – and that is toxic food for hungry political demagogues. The American psychologist Maslow already knew that if the existential and security needs of an increasing number of the population can no longer be met, then social unrest is inevitable. Let’s hope it won’t come to that.