So, Spiegel today published that the German government downsizes its announced measures on climate change actions, even though their original proposal was already quite unambitious and pointless.
I guess it is about time to point out that this is not just about climate change. Maybe it is too much to ask for foresight and caring about future generations of our current system, as sad as it may be.
This kind of politics is very much against our economic interests as well. Fossil fuels are not here to stay and sooner or later cheap renewable energy will replace them. Germany once was leading solar panel development and had a healthy newly established industrial sector, thanks to the EEG. Our government must have decided that this was too successful and potentially may damage the established big players and just shut it off. Now solar panels are developed and produced mainly by China. Now, they are basically doing the same to the wind energy sector, while we are still pouring money into coal, which clearly is a dead end. Thus, we are sacrificing a prospering future for the short term benefits of few established companies that have the money to outweigh long term strategies. Similarly, German car manufacturers slept on the development of electric vehicles and instead pushed Diesel as it boosted their short-term profits. Again new technologies are developed elsewhere. I think, this has already been done multiple times, but it is worth to reiterate that the current policies are rather hostile to innovation and prosperity.
As described in The Innovator's Dilemma
, changes can happen rather suddenly and then overwhelm complete industries. I guess, it is kind of part of a natural cycle that new developments will be driven by newcomers that lack more established structures with vested interests. Nevertheless, this only enforces the feeling of people being left behind and strengthens the leaning towards isolationist, xenophobic and simplistic "solutions".
I think a nice article in this regard is Bad ancestors: does the climate crisis violate the rights of those yet to be born?
Capitalism, it seems, lacks the attention span required for survival.
Worse still, the logic of maximising profits prevents adequate investment in renewable energy solutions (while also encouraging outright sabotage of anything that might depress demand for fossil fuels). Though the sun supplies the planet with more energy per hour than humans consume in a year, this abundance is unwelcome to people with substantial investments in the status quo.
So, while they (German Government, conservatives) claim that what they are doing now is to protect our economy and we need to find a balance between economy and ecology, this just is not true. "The economy" is just referring to the current profiteers that have no interest in change and would lose their power at least to some part. It is not the economy as a whole or the wellbeing of the people it is supposed to serve. Boosting the economy and preparing for the future would mean to embrace a Green New Deal for Europe
I am so sick of this pretense by the established parties that there is a clash in interests between saving a livable planet and poor people or employment. You are not protecting "the economy" and much less the poor. On the contrary, you are bolstering short-term interests of few rich people, no matter the costs for society as a whole. If you would care about the poor and the economic welfare of most people, you would try to leverage the accumulated wealth of the big players to allow for changes that can open the possibility of a prospering future.
We are living in a world, where solar power is already the cheapest source of energy in many parts of the world, and the extraction of fossil fuel gets ever more expensive. The economic pressure to adopt the cheaper options will only grow and it is a deeply regressive act to step out of the development of those technologies. Thus, I think we need to be more clear, that the current government parties are clearly hostile to innovation, prosperity and the majority of the population.