Lacoma and German Energy Policy

Laco­ma is an east­ern Ger­man area threat­ened by lig­nite min­ing despite being reg­is­tered in the EU as a flo­ra-fau­na habi­tat (FFH). Its inhab­i­tants refer to all the vil­lages planned for dev­as­ta­tion (Horno, Heuers­dorf, Laco­ma) as the
“focal points of our cur­rent ener­gy pol­i­cy”. It is pre­cise­ly for that rea­son that Ger­man politi­cians have made a spe­cial effort to avoid vis­it­ing these scenes of conflict. 

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, many ambi­tious objec­tives that once dom­i­nat­ed polit­i­cal rhetoric have van­ished from speech­es and essays. The fol­low­ing exam­ples — dis­cov­ered in gov­ern­ment brochures — vivid­ly illus­trate that no Ger­man doc­u­ment should ever be tak­en at face val­ue upon which the ink has already dried. 

1. “Ger­many is the inter­na­tion­al leader in cli­mat­ic pro­tec­tion”: This hon­or has since been passed on to Great Britain. The British gov­ern­ment has openly
crit­i­cized the cli­mate poli­cies of the USA, while the Ger­man gov­ern­ment sup­ports the Amer­i­can min­ing com­pa­ny MIBRAG in its efforts to destroy Heuersdorf. 

2. “The goal of the Ger­man Fed­er­al Repub­lic to reduce CO2 emis­sions by 25 per­cent by 2005”. As soon as two new lig­nite pow­er plants ded­i­cat­ed in 2000 began emit­ting addi­tion­al quan­ti­ties of CO2 into the atmos­phere, this
long-stand­ing goal was qui­et­ly retired. Ger­many has man­aged to elim­i­nate only about a 16 per­cent of the car­bon diox­ide record­ed in the ref­er­ence year 1990, and that par­tial suc­cess has large­ly been cred­it­ed to “wall fall prof­its” in the east­ern part of the country. 

3. “Preser­va­tion of Cre­ation”. This lofty aspi­ra­tion was declared at the 37th Par­ty Con­gress of the then-rul­ing Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Union (CDU) in 1989. Since that time, how­ev­er, Ger­many has become intent on redefin­ing Creation
despite Bib­li­cal warn­ings against any such purposes. 

4. “Avoid­ing errors from the west in east­ern Ger­many”: This pro­nounce­ment is ignored in many dif­fer­ent ways. The errors of the west are often sim­ply over­com­pen­sat­ed into obliv­ion. Thus, more than two times the retail floor space
per capi­ta have been built com­pared with west­ern Ger­many, and sewage treat­ment facil­i­ties would actu­al­ly suf­fice for a five­fold pop­u­la­tion. In a sec­ond tech­nique, the errors of the for­mer GDR are enhanced using new tech­nolo­gies. For
instance, the for­mer com­mu­nist regime gen­er­at­ed 70% of east­ern Ger­manys elec­tric­i­ty using lig­nite, while its suc­ces­sor Vat­ten­fall has since boost­ed that con­tri­bu­tion to over 80%. A third method is to make life so unat­trac­tive in
the new Ger­man states that young peo­ple will migrate to the west of their own accord. Due to a chron­ic defi­cien­cy of employ­ment per­spec­tives, it has been esti­mat­ed that the east­ern Ger­man pop­u­la­tion may decline by 15% with­in the
next two decades.

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