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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:16 AM

Germany Has Built Clean Energy Economy U.S. Rejected in 80s


InsideClimateNews (Berlin) -- The view from the Reichstag roof on a sun-drenched spring afternoon is spectacular. Looking out over Berlin from the seat of the German government, you can see the full sweep of the nation's history: from Humboldt University, where Albert Einstein taught physics for two decades, to the site of the former Gestapo headquarters.

I'm not here to see this country's freighted past, however. I've come to learn about what a majority of Germans believe is their future—and perhaps our own. There is no better place to begin this adventure than the Reichstag, rebuilt from near ruins in 1999 and now both a symbol and an example of the revolutionary movement known as the Energiewende. The word translates simply as, "energy change." But there's nothing simple about the Energiewende. It calls for an end to the use of fossil fuels and nuclear power and embraces clean, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. The government has set a target of 80 percent renewable power by 2050, but many Germans I spoke with in three weeks traveling across this country believe 100 percent renewable power is achievable by then.

Such a massive power shift may sound impossible to those of us from the United States, where giant oil and coal corporations control the energy industry and the very idea of human-caused climate change is still hotly contested. Here in Germany, that debate is long over. A dozen years of growing public support have driven all major political parties to endorse the Energiewende. If a member of parliament called climate change a hoax or said that its cause is unknown, he or she would be laughed out of office.

"The fight now, to the extent that there is one, is over the speed of the transition," Jens Kendzia told me as we stood on the Reichstag roof. Kendzia is chief of staff for a leader of the center-left Green Party, which crafted the legislation responsible for the Energiewende's success. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-13/germany-has-built-clean-energy-economy-u-s-rejected-in-80s.html



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Reply Germany Has Built Clean Energy Economy U.S. Rejected in 80s (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
leveymg Nov 2012 #1
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #2
amborin Nov 2012 #4
xchrom Nov 2012 #3

Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:24 AM

1. They didn't have to pay to invade Iraq and Afganistan.

A couple trillion extra dollars would build a lot of green infrastructure in America.

What will we give up to escalate in Syria and Iran? Just our future.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:32 AM

2. Well, that and the fact that Germany doesn't outsource every facet of production to Asia

They've always had this kooky idea of making sure they involve as much of their own domestic industrial workforce as possible

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:14 PM

4. strong unions and co-determination!

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:10 PM

3. Du rec. Nt

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