What is happening there will soon be affecting us here unless we have political leaders who have the courage to stop it. Read on to see why. 

 The international press has maintained near-total silence on the escalating insanity of what is happening in Germany.

Media outlets that routinely celebrate German progress towards energy transition don’t want you to know that Europe’s dominant industrial power has entered a deeply destructive political and administrative spiral from which it may never recover. The fault lies with the self-defeating and unworkable energy policies that have a death grip not merely on the Scholz Government, but on the entire administrative state. Since completing the nuclear phase-out in the midst of an ongoing energy crisis and avoiding winter catastrophe thanks only to the accident of mild weather, our rulers are now forcing devastating changes to the so-called Gebäudeenergiegesetz, or the Building Energy Act, which regulates energy consumption in residential and commercial structures.

That sounds bland and boring, but it’s not. This latest turning of the screws aims to phase out traditional gas and oil heating by mandating that all new heating systems installed after 2024 use no less than 65% renewable energy. In most cases, this can only be achieved by installing electric-powered heat pumps. Particularly in the case of many older buildings, the associated renovation costs will prove catastrophic, and unless they’re drastically revised, the rules will simply upset the housing market and destroy a great deal of personal wealth. Nor does the grid have any hope of powering these new heat sources, now or in the future.
In the midst of growing alarm and the seeming futility of all opposition, even some German establishment media have begun to voice unease. On Friday, Der Spiegel (of all magazines) published a lengthy piece on the origins, funding and rise to power of the ‘Eco Network’ currently controlling German energy policy, and I want to discuss it in detail, because it is so revealing about so many things. It pulls together many separate threads, to show how policy behemoths originate and are set in motion in modern managerial states, and how they can remain impervious and even contrary to popular opinion even in allegedly democratic systems.

The Spiegel reporting takes a close look at the careers of several key characters behind the energy transition, among them the Green politician Rainer Baake, and Robert Habeck’s scandal-riddled right-hand man Patrick Graichen, who is the policy brains driving most of the current insanity.
"The rise of the environmentalists in the Ministry of Economics began a full decade ago. For a long time, the view was that the state should impose as few rules as possible on the corporate sector. … According to this logic, environmentalism and economic policy were seen as nearly mutually exclusive. It was not until 2013 that the dominance of free-market civil servants began to crumble.
At this time, Sigmar Gabriel of the SPD became Minister of Economics and appointed an unusual State-Secretary for Energy: Rainer Baake. … The move was a surprise, because Baake is not a Social Democrat, but a Green. … As State Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment … Baake helped orchestrate the first legislation on Germany’s nuclear phase-out. …
In 2012, Baake founded Agora Energiewende, probably the most influential think-tank advocating a carbon-neutral society in German politics. Patrick Graichen was at that time already Baake’s protegé. …"
As the old-guard industry-friendly civil servants in the German bureaucracy began to retire, Baake filled their posts with Green technocrats wherever possible, such that when control of the Ministry passed to the centre-Right CDU in 2018, the damage was done. The institutional momentum had already shifted towards climate change and begun to gather strength under its own power. The catchword for Baake’s political vision was the so-called ‘All Electric World’, one in which a grid powered entirely by renewables drives cars (electrical vehicles), heats buildings (heat pumps) and even powers industry (though here the solutions are much vaguer).
During his five-year tenure as State Secretary, Baake appointed Graichen to head the Agora think-tank, which began churning out policy papers, sponsoring Green scientific research andgathering an ever-growing crowd of loyal advocates and technocrats. This paid off:
Whenever energy and climate were discussed in Berlin [in the years after Baake’s resignation from the Ministry of Economics in 2018], Graichen’s name came up, often peddling unwieldy terms that only experts understand. The “merit order principle”, for example, or the “locked-in effect”. The red-haired man with the sonorous voice knew his way around this specialist world like no other. …

The ability appears to have come naturally to him. His mother worked in the Ministry of Development, his father for a while in the Ministry of Transport. He himself became involved in environmental issues as a schoolboy, initially in the youth organisation of BUND. In 1993, he began studying at the University of Heidelberg. In 1996, he joined the Green Party. In 2001, he became a consultant for international climate protection… and helped draft the Kyoto Protocol.

Graichen is straight from the German political establishment, and his was the first generation that saw significant Green penetration in the years around the turn of the millennium. We are witnessing the fruition of long-term environmentalist activism, stretching back to the 1970s.
Full post

via climate science

May 16, 2023 at 05:18AM

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