Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our German word for the day is Weltschmerz

"IN Germany, Weltschmerz is the sadness one feels when comparing the way the world is to the way it ought to be. German environmentalists must be suffering a profound case of it as not-in-my-backyard protests derail industry and government-planned alternative energy projects. Germany's Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz, or EEG) was supposed to help the German Ministry for the Environment achieve its goal of renewables producing 30 per cent of the country's electricity by 2020. Instead, the EEG has met with widespread opposition."


Though, if you read the article, it turns out that it isn't just nimbyism that's causing problems for Germany's ambitious renewable energy targets.

There are little things like the laws of physics and current hopeless inefficiency of solar panels. (Not to mention, as the article doesn't, the very high carbon footprint of solar panels - it takes a lot of burnt coal to provide the energy needed to make them. Oh, that and the fact that chlorine is used at every stage of the manufacturing process.)

This of course leads us onto my favourite German word: schadenfreude.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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