Germany to raze a 1,000-year-old forest in the name of 'going green'

Germany, as we well know with its Russian gas capers, is a highly industrialized society in need of a lot of energy. 

Fine and dandy. But how they get it presents increasingly bad options.

They got rid of their nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown after a big earthquake in Japan, (despite Germany not being in a quake zone), driving themselves to dependency on foreign suppliers. That's presented problems for them what with Russia filling that role, so their other recourse has been the one Joe Biden is touting for America: Green energy -- like wind and solar power.

It's costly, requiring state subsidization, given that Germany is not a big sunshine zone nor particularly windy:

But it's costlier than just the wasted cash. They are now looking at the loss of their 1,000-year-old Reinhardswald old-growth forest -- known as the "treasure house of European forests."

German authorities, completely ignoring German sentiment about forests, which is quite mystical, have decided to mow down the big one to get some wind power put in, in the name of 'going green.' Like the Central Valley of California, which has been turned brown and starved of water in the name of 'going green,' Germany is trashing its most beautiful forest in the name of 'going green.' Funny how that works.

Reinhardswald is also known as the Grimm's Fairy Tale forest. In a weird conundrum (the Germans probably have a word for this) the greenie industrial complex has morphed into the Brothers Grimm's Rumplestiltskin, spinning wind into gold for the state of Hesse's bureaucrats but demanding Germany's first child -- its forest primeval -- as payment.

Don't get us wrong: We are all for progress. But to call this 'progress' is pretty disgusting. How is it 'progress' to trash Germany's 1,000-year-old irreplaceable forest? Germany has a big population, a lot of ugly postwar urban landscapes, and yucky modern art. It has a few nice traditional places, too, but the big one for Germans is their beautiful ancient forests, the ones that eminent Germans like Goethe and Kant and Durer and Schubert likely walked through, marveled at, and drew inspiration from. Google 'Reinhardswald' at Google Images and see what this place looks like. There are also some likely practical reasons to keep the forest in reserve. In France, when the roof of the Cathedral of Notre Dame burned in 2019, what was lost were old-growth beams that could not be replaced easily at all because the old-growth forests in France apparently were gone. Germany would not have such a problem if it needed to harvest a couple of trees to save, say, the Cologne cathedral if it were, heaven forbid, to endure such a catastrophe. There are always unexpected reasons to want to conserve some unique and irreplaceable natural habitats.

P. Gosselin of WattsUpWithThat has been watching this travesty for a while and has some excellent coverage:

About a year ago we reported on disturbing plans by the government of the German state of Hesse to clear 20 million square meters of 1000-year old “fairy tale” forest in one of Germany’s most idyllic, fairy tale-like forests: the Reinhardswald located in the hilly region west of the city of Göttingen.

The Reinhardswald is known as the “treasure house of European forests” or the “Grimm’s fairy tale forest”.

A total of about 2000 hectares ( 20 million m²) of the thousand-year-old Reinhardswald was designated for destruction by the state in order to clear the way for a massive wind power plant development.

Conservatives, Greens ram project through

Tragically, that battle to stop the destructive project has been dealt a severe blow as the construction of access roads began 2 days ago. The massive resistance of the affected citizens was ignored by the Hesse state government, which ironically is governed by a coalition of the CDU conservatives and environmentalist Greens. Updates posted here.

Germans, to their credit, don't care for this one bit and are protesting across the political spectrum. The state actors who are doing this are pan-political, too, an unholy political alliance of conservatives and greens who apparently don't think they need to pay attention to the local sentiment, let alone their state's heritage. Gosselin links to a nonpartisan German group called "Stop!" or (an impressively coded site) which has some excellent visualizations of what this butt-ugly specter is going to look like as 18 to as many as 50 wind turbines go up, as well as photos of what is going on now and information on the bad impact the plan will have on birds, wildlife, and the general eco-system. So much for 'going green.'

It sounds like a money scam, with politicians and connected political business cronies planning to harvest themselves some green of the monetary kind. Germans are complaining that these characters are not paying attention to their petitions nor heeding their warnings about the impact of the destruction on the untouched old-growth forest. 

This is very bad for Germany, given that such intransigence on a reasonable petition opens the door to extremism, as in eco-terrorists. At a minimum, it opens the door to 'yellow vest' or Canadian trucker-type protests, given that something deep in the German soul is at stake. We may be seeing that in the future. What we need to see now is far louder protests from the usual quarters, such as Pope Francis, who has spoken out a lot on global warming under the justification of conserving creation, and Hollywood characters like Daryl Hannah, Mia Farrow and Sting, all rainforest champs who created quite spectacles of themselves in recent decades. Hannah for one dipped her hands into Lago Agrio's oil pits over in Ecuador several years ago, falsely blaming Chevron for killing the rainforest there, when it was the state oil company of Ecuador that did the damage. Where's Hannah to holler about this far more authentic outrage?

For the rest of us, it shows what an inefficient and costly scam green energy is. It's not cost-free, it's full of corrupt and unresponsive politicians who no longer care about democracy, and it certainly doesn't make the environment better. It's a nasty juggernaut of waste, fraud, corruption, and ecological degradation - with dead birds, turbine vibration sickness, strobe dizziness, and landscape pollution. Germany could fix this in two minutes by bringing back its nuclear power, ending both the Russia issue and the forest-loss issue right then and there. One hopes that the idea will eventually occur to them. Otherwise, they lose their fairy-tale forest. 

Image: Lebrac, via Wikimedia Commons //  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

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