He wrestles with himself, describes his plight, asks for understanding. Robert Habeck, the federal minister responsible for economics and climate protection, has it all. He is the most popular German politician. Anyone who hears him suffers. But for how much longer?
Habeck’s justification for the energy policy of the traffic light coalition rests on two pillars: the failures of the previous governments to expand renewable energies and the need to become independent of Russian natural gas. As a result, there would be no alternative to all impositions. That sounds familiar.
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Anyone who nevertheless brings alternatives into the debate – such as lifting the ban on fracking in Germany or extending the life of the nuclear power plants still in operation – will be rebuffed.
That is absolutely not possible with him and his party, the Greens. That’s surprising when you consider how much else there is to do with him and his party.
Habeck went to Qatar and bowed to the Emir to obtain cheap sources of energy. Qatar is ranked 114th in the global democracy index and is one of the most important allies of the radical Islamic Hamas organization. Its boss, Ismail Haniyeh, resides in Qatar and Turkey.
Habeck has a huge liquid gas terminal built in Wilhelmshaven to enable imports from the USA, among others. These imports are mainly obtained by fracking. If you add the long transport costs, the overall energy balance is miserable. In addition, the German Environmental Aid has already announced its protest against the project because they fear for the porpoises in the Wadden Sea.
Habeck plans to start up lignite-fired power plants in reserve again. In a week, the Federal Council is to finally discuss the replacement power plant availability law. Coal-fired power plants are carbon dioxide slingshots. climate protection? Comes later.
Habeck wants to expand the renewables, wind power and photovoltaics. Rare earths are necessary for the manufacture of wind turbines. China has a monopoly in the field with almost 90 percent market share. Photovoltaics, on the other hand, does not work without polysilicon, more than 80 percent of which also comes from China.
The most important production location is the Xinjiang region, where the communist regime harasses the Muslim Uyghur minority. Human rights activists say that anyone who expands photovoltaics in Germany supports the system, which is based on forced labor and oppression.
It was a mistake to fill Vladimir Putin’s war chest by importing his natural gas in bulk. The mistake was made because natural gas was considered a bridging technology to make Germany’s dual phase-out of nuclear power and coal manageable. Those responsible had set their priorities.
But anyone who now, as a consequence, hopes for national energy independence in order to become morally clean is quickly succumbing to an illusion. “As far as the world economy is concerned, it is intertwined,” Kurt Tucholsky succinctly stated. Rare earths are found in smartphones, electric motors and laser technology.
The economy of Germany, the fourth largest industrial nation, cannot be organized in an ethically consistent manner. What is Russia today could be China and climate change tomorrow.
What happens when gas in Germany becomes increasingly scarce and electricity more and more expensive and the first tenants can no longer pay their bills? Habeck says he takes shorter showers than he used to. In an emergency, that might sound cynical.
Only if he succeeds in presenting all the federal government’s measures as actually having no alternative – and omissions as unavoidable – will his communicative talent protect him from the wrath of the people. But only then.