It is disquieting to think that those in power, as well as those with megaphones, might be clueless. But in the fearless spirit of science we insist that if it is true we need to know it. Which brings us to another alternative energy story out of Germany, or possibly another energy story out of an alternative reality Germany. According to kaltesonne.de, run by the authors of the valuable book The Neglected Sun, Hamburg built a shiny new coal plant, then shut it down five years later… and doesn’t know where the replacement power’s coming from. But certainly not the local nuclear plant, gloriously free of fossil fuels, which is also to be shut down because boo hiss radiation bad or some such deep thought. It’s almost like Germany is run by reality deniers.
Speaking of deniers, Wikipedia’s article on kaltesonne.de co-founder and The Neglected Sun co-author Fritz Vahrenholt (his colleague and co-author Sebastian Luning only gets a page in German) starts “Fritz Vahrenholt (born May 8, 1949 in Gelsenkirchen-Buer) is a German politician (SPD), industrialist and a climate change denier.” In case that denunciation is too stuble, if you click their “denier” link it blares at you that “Climate change denial, or global warming denial is denial, dismissal, or unwarranted doubt that contradicts the scientific consensus on climate change, including the extent to which it is caused by humans, its effects on nature and human society, or the potential of adaptation to global warming by human actions” and shows you charts of Naomi Oreskes’ and others’ work, as well as offering a link to “Tobacco industry playbook”. Speaking of substituting insults for argument.
Regrettably that habit tends to undermine the capacity for coherent thought, to the point that you might forget factories and indeed homes and even politicians’ offices need electricity and the stuff doesn’t fall from the sky. Which could turn out to matter, and even make you look foolish.