Living in Germany, I can attest to the solar and wind industry presence in a first-hand way that most Americans will never get a chance to experience, and I am so tired of hearing about windmills “shredding bats and birds” (they forgot to add babies) from anti-wind folks I could scream. That whole spiel is nothing more than a big bunch of anti-environmental malarkey brought to you by the fans of big oil and the powers that be.
For The Birds
My German neighbors love birds so much it’s against the law to trim trees during selective times of the year depending on whether there is ANY possibility of disturbing nesting birds. Pruning is done very, very early in the season around here! I see many fields and ponds allotted for species preservation or migration, as they are marked with signage denoting same (my favorite sign was a graphic denoting a wild boar crossing). Under such bird and wildlife friendly conditions, you can probably guess I get to see a lot of birds, and you’d be right.
Blowing in the Wind
I can also see dozens of windmills within only a few kilometers of my house. The Germans would not allow the bird slaughter these anti-wind spammers claim. They have this thing called Umwelt here in Germany. Few in America would understand. The US corporate controlled media obviously doesn’t want them to.
The people here in Germany aren’t just hugging trees, they’re making love to them. They’re introducing them to their children as best friends.
You think I’m exaggerating? I have witnessed a precocious six year year old (properly) scold his mother for dropping the ASHES off her cigarette onto the sidewalk. The trash cans at the airport in Dusseldorf are color coded into FOUR separate bins for proper recycling as shown above.
Huge Deposits Ensure High Returns
I pay a quarter deposit on every aluminum canned soda I purchase. Sounds harsh, but the sidewalks and ditches aren’t cluttered with empty cans, and you can believe I take those suckers back for recycling! Efficiency is job one around here. Many are rapidly upgrading from their already efficient totally fluorescent lighting (even the streetlights are fluorescent here) to even more uber-efficient LEDs. When you pay close to fifty cents a kilowatt hour for electricity, it fosters an environment of extreme efficiency. Nobody leaves a light on here if they aren’t in the room. Don’t quote me on this, but it might be an actual crime to do so.
How Green Can You Go?
I’ve got a neighbor driving one of those new battery-only electric vehicles that gets recharged off the solar panel that runs his house. I’ve been told the car actually acts as a huge extra back-up battery for his home system, since he’s totally independent from the grid. I’ve also seen a real life Twizzy in the wild here!
The norm for most of my solar-equipped neighbors is just to tie-in to the existing power grid with their solar panels and use them to supplement regular power needs, and potentially even produce more than used on some days, generating a check for the homeowner as well as extra capacity for the grid. Solar is EVERYWHERE here. From residential to industrial. There’s a small army of highly competent sales, installation and support workers already in place. This is not a test. Germans spend a billion euro PER MONTH expanding their solar grid. Did I mention that these people live in one of the most overcast and non-equitorial places on the planet? Those who denigrate the benefits of German solar tend to gloss over this bit of data. But when the sun isn’t shining there’s a ninety percent chance the wind is blowing here! It’s a win-win for the planet, my neighborhood, and my peace of mind.
My Next Moped Will be Electric
I ride my moped when I’m not in my Mercedes. My Iron Donkey, a used Tomos moped I picked up a couple years ago, gets 122 mpg utilizing it’s powerful three cubic inch engine (50cc) and is speed-restricted for bike lane use to 15 mph. Gas is almost ten bucks a gallon here, but they make it up by almost giving away groceries in Germany. That may seem quite a claim, and I’ll admit to the use of a minor bit of hyperbole, but grocery costs in Germany are some of the lowest in the free world.
Fact is, the number one discount retailer in America, Walmart, could not compete with the Germans, and after dropping a billion dollars trying, abandoned the market. The EuroZone countries enforce strict trading laws to prevent the kind of abusive practices that Walmart employs to it’s advantage in a fully “deregulated” America. Walmart couldn’t compete on an honest playing field (no selling below cost to run competition out of market just because you can afford to, no subsidizing labor costs on the back of the state social services, e.g.) As to the breadth of food choices available? Plenty, if you can live without pink slime and GMO, both of which are outlawed here:
I can buy eggs in ten different varieties at the larger grocery stores, the most exclusive of which are rumored to come from free range steroid free birds, fed lightly roasted whole grains, and hand massaged while laying their eggs on carpets imported from Turkish rug merchants.
The Germans have been living in the same place for centuries. They know that if they trash up the neighborhood they can’t just make or move to a new one. It’s not like they didn’t try that a couple times already. They don’t have some God-forsaken place in Utah or Nevada to bury a ton of toxic anything. Half of German businesses are family-owned and people often live very close to the factories that allow a tiny country like Germany to export as much as CHINA last year without making their neighborhoods into urban slum holes or trash pits.
Sorry for a bit of a ramble, but I get tired of hearing and seeing the blatant US corporate propaganda against sustainable non-polluting energy sources as well as the denigration of all things remotely capable of improving efficiency (witness hissy fit over moving away from incandescent lighting in the USA e.g.).
I promise no birds were shredded in the production of this tirade.