Germany’s Environment Minister Declares Energiewende “Mission Accomplished” In Stunning CNN Propaganda Op-Ed

CNN recently published an online op-ed by Germany’s Federal Minister of Environment, Barbara Hendricks, titled: How Germany banishes climate myths, where she brazenly declares Germany’s Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) a success story.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In reality her op-ed piece ranks right up there close to George W. Bush’s famous “Mission Accomplished” declaration – shortly after Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled in 2003. Shutting down nuclear power plants and massively subsidizing the installation of solar and wind systems to the tune of hundreds of billions of euros was also easy and “successful”. But now comes the terrible costs and abject failure no one wishes to talk about.

Even the tree-hugging center-left DIE ZEIT has called the German Energiewendea blunder with ugly consequences“. Forbes asks if the country has gone insane. Max Planck Institute researcher Axel Börsch-Supan says Germany’s Energiewende is bordering on suicide.

Even the German government’s own commissioned independent committee of expert advisors recommends that the EEG renewable energy feed-in act be scrapped altogether.

In the op-ed piece Hendricks for example claims that Germany is on track to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels. The truth here is that Germany’s CO2 emissions have been rising over the past couple of years and the token (illusory) measures Germany decreed some weeks ago are widely viewed as mere actionism.

Europe CO2 emissions 1990 - 2012Hendricks also claims that between 1990 and 2012 greenhouse gas emissions in the EU fell by 18% while the overall economy grew by around 45%. That kind of growth over a twenty two year period is anemic at best. Moreover, the 18% reduction claimed by Ms Hendricks is likely an exaggeration. According to CDIAC data, the EU has reduced CO2 emissions only by 10.7%, see chart right (hat-tip: W. Eschenbach).

Much of the achieved reductions resulted from the shut-down of filthy, dilapidated, communist-run Eastern European industries after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

Another misleading whopper is her claim that the “economic impact has been broadly extremely positive” and that “renewable energy sources now account for nearly 30% of our electricity demands“. Here Hendricks forgets to mention that almost every single solar system manufacturer in Germany has gone bankrupt – resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, read here and here.

Hendricks also fails to mention that much of the generated 30% renewable electricity is done so when the energy is not even needed. Germany at times has to pay countries to accept the unwanted surpluses in production, leading to “negative prices” on electricity exchange markets. Also Germany’s leading power companies such as RWE have been shedding thousands of high-paying power sector jobs and spilling red ink.

Hendricks says that “1.5 million people working in this sector“. She does not say where. Europe? Worldwide? She also does not mention that each “renewable energy job” in the wind and solar branch cost far more in subsidies than what the jobs themselves earn.

Finally, Hendricks makes it sound as if the green industry is a huge benefit to poor people, claiming “money that would otherwise have been needed to import expensive fossil resources now instead goes to individuals, cooperatives, farmers, and small and medium-sized enterprises, that can all themselves become energy suppliers.” Here the opposite is true. Not only are German power consumers paying among the highest utility prices worldwide but Germany’s renewable energy feed-in act is called by many experts the biggest wealth redistribution scheme from the poor to the rich. What’s worse is that hundreds of thousands of households have had their electricity shut off because it is no longer affordable.

The op-ed piece by Barbara Hendricks resembles nothing a normal person would ever expect from a minister of a government based on democratic values.


25 responses to “Germany’s Environment Minister Declares Energiewende “Mission Accomplished” In Stunning CNN Propaganda Op-Ed”

  1. ed2ferreira

    Crystal clear: Energiewende is a dangerous blunder!

  2. DirkH

    Stunning disconnect from reality even by social-democrat standards.

    Fun fact: While subsidies for wind+solar+biogas cost German citizens 20 bn EUR/year, the state propaganda broadcasters alone devour 7.5 bn EUR/year forcibly extracted from households!

    Social-democrat redistribution in Germany generally exploits the working population and rewards a class of parasitic cronies.

  3. Boyfromtottenham

    [snip – sorry, no such comparisons allowed]

  4. Bjorn Ramstad

    It’s so sad. The situation in western civilization is such that anything can be said and accepted if you belong to the political correct side.

    1. DirkH

      Well not really. Most people will snooze through it – we deride it – but is there anyone who takes it seriously? Well the readers of Grist and such, but those are a tiny bunch of middle aged females according to Alexa data.

  5. Jeff T

    No politician can stand up and say; “Sorry, we have screwed up and have pi$$ed billions of taxes up the wall for nothing. To all those who have lost jobs, savings, belongings and live in the dark shadows of useless windmills – tough, these things happen.” Politicians are rabbits in the headlights on this one; and hoping that everyone just “forgets” all about their AGW hysteria/over-reaction/lies. Scientists have been clever; they always said could/might/maybe/possibly but only Politicians (and environmentalists) said “will” – and taxes were raised and money doled out accordingly. How to get out this mess with any degree of integrity left must tax their petty little minds.

    1. lemiere jacques

      yes they built their own trap. This policy will make you poorer and well and won’t change anything but sorry guys we have poll to win so no way to tell the truth now and admit we ve been stupid.. hard to say…

      Ususally politicians simply waste wealth, and act like cute parasite …this time they are killing the beast.

      1. DirkH

        “this time they are killing the beast.”

        They inevitably do:
        -Soviet Union (GB Shaw visited Stalin, called him a posterchild Fabian – as GB Shaw was one of the founders of Fabianism, that should tell you something)

        -UK post WW 2 Churchill rule :
        (That one collapsed very quickly. It was the reason that UK had rationing for years when TOTALLY DESTROYED Germany already had ample food production. Notice how wikipedia applaus Atlee’s modernization of agriculture – which did NOTHING to solve the rationing, wonderful benchmark for Fabian success- straight out of the padded room)

    2. DirkH

      “No politician can stand up and say; “Sorry, we have screwed up”

      Of course she could; she’s only got the job since Fall 2013, she could blame previous governments for not turning around when cost explosion was becoming significant.

      It might be that they see depopulation of the countryside as their goal, which wind turbines accomplish masterfully, it is a UN Agenda 21 goal, and a goal of the Fabians since 1884, as it converges with their desired abolition of private property.

  6. Walter H. Schneider

    As propaganda goes, it is fairly consistent, without flinching. Someone else said about successful propaganda:

    “The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.”

    —Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter VI

  7. John F. Hultquist

    Hendricks also claims that between 1990 and 2012 greenhouse gas emissions in the EU fell by 18% while the overall economy grew by around 45%.

    About that 45%
    If the 1990 to 2012 period is 21 years, the annual growth is 1.1987 (~1.2)
    If the 1990 to 2012 period is 22 years, the annual growth is 1.1889 (~1.2)

    GDP Annual Growth Rate in the United States averaged 3.24 percent from 1948 until 2014

    Comparisons are hard to do but maybe the above is useful in some way.

    Her comments remind me of “Complete denial of obvious facts can be a remarkably effective tactic. . . .”

    1. Henning Nielsen

      Even to use EU growth figueres for the period 1990-2012 is silly. The EU changes significantly in those years, with 13 new member states joining the union.

      To make sense one should use the data from the member states as of 1990.

    2. Bob in Castlemaine

      Indeed John, if the economic growth rate has been anything less than 2% then the EU performance has been truly pathetic. It is commonly held that a minimum growth rate of 3% is necessary in order to avoid unemployment growth and falling living standards. But when expressed simply as 45% growth, the figure itself probably seems impressive to some.

      Likewise the quoted 18% reduction in GHG emissions sounds suspect. I reckon if Barbara was selling you a second hand car you’d want to check that she hadn’t been winding back the kilometres.

  8. Peter Azlac

    In line with most official CAGWers the playbook that she uses is that based on the propaganda principles of Goebbels:

    or as interpreted for English users those presented by George Orwell in his book 1984 where black is substituted for white – lies for truth etc.

    1. Bernd Felsche

      Speaking of Orwell, he also said:

      Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.

      Now what does that make Ted Turner’s CNN? (And indeed, most major “news” outlets?)

    2. DirkH

      I am a bit astounded that that website does not mention Goebbels’ source – Edward Bernays’ (nephew of Siegmund Freud, NYC resident) 1928 book “Propaganda”.

  9. Loodt Pretorius

    Until the German public stop voting for these jokers there is very little you can do, except rage at the senselessness of it all. That is the price we pay for living in a democracy. And your politician can keep on spouting the green rubbish as she is protected by her electorate and strangely enough the highly sophisticated electric grid.

    If there is shortfall of electricity in Germany, you have connections to the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, the Czech republic, France and more. It will take a blackout of basically the whole European grid before the German consumers will see their power being cut-off. This is still some way in the future.

    Until that day the Greenies and the rest of the sandal wearing brigade will keep on preaching to righteous and keep being elected, and you will be in a minority.

    1. DirkH

      It’s more complicated than that. Local small grids like in villages have experienced a 20fold increase in short term outages – due to power surges from local wind turbines / solar plantations. Paper mills suffering micro outages rip their paper rolls; leading to hours of missed production, same for other highly mechanized assembly lines. Factory machines require constant power.

      This all needs to be re.fitted with emergency generators with very short reaction times – ridiculously expensive at the needed wattage – , or redesigned to work under rough conditions… at what point does it become the best course of action to just move the factory across a border…

  10. DirkH

    Red-green Minority government in Sweden – which wants to stop/shutdown/reduce lignite mining and power production in Germany via their state owned company Vattenfall ; to save the climate – avoids snap elections in spring by striking deal with “conservative” opposition: Red-Greens will govern with “conservatives” budget instead of their own.
    original swedish document:

    So, this is a Volksfront against the Sweden Democrats, who were expected to win big in the snap elections. This is also a first of such a Volksfront in Sweden.

    Let’s see how the Red-green power shutdown plans work out for Germany.

    1. Henning Nielsen

      There is no way the SD would have “won” of course, if by that one means getting a majority in an election, but they might well have increased their support from the present 13%.

      All the sheep of different colours are now huddling together in one big herd, terrified of the threat to their consensus, which refuses to include anyone not sharing their frankly extreme views on immigration. Sweden has big problems with financing the costs of integration of immigrants, but this simple fact is totally ignored by all parties except SD. SD did not even demand a reduction in immigration in order to support the social democrat budget, they only demanded that there should not be an increase. In other countries this would have appeared a reasonable view, at least as a basis for negotiation.

      However, Sweden has a strong culture for doing everything together and not “rocking the boat”. But when this seemingly united front no longer is aligned with what a large part of the electorate thinks, there is a danger to democracy.

      Many years ago there was a big campaign and even a decision in Sweden to shut down all nuclear power plants. It was based on idealism, just like the present climate campaign. They still have nuclear power though, realism won through after all, although some plants were closed. I would not be surprised if a pragmatic view will prevail also concerning coal in Germany.

  11. Duitse milieuminister pocht dat ‘Energiewende’ voorspoedig verloopt – De Dagelijkse Standaard

    […] Lees verder hier. […]

  12. Alberto Zaragoza Comendador

    Her comment about renewables vs fossil fuel imports is especially baffling.

    For the bajillionth time: oil is not used for electricity generation. How many fuel oil plants are left in Europe? Three? Wind and PV solar are used exclusively for electricity. Therefore, oil and wind/PV do not compete. Easy as that.

    Do they compete with gas? Barely. In Europe power generation account for less than 20% of gas use in most countries. The reverse is also true: here in Spain, less than 10% of electricity comes from gas. I guess Germany is about the same.

    Do they compete with coal? Yes, but coal is usually mined locally and not imported. When it’s imported it comes from Australia and South Africa, not from the Saudis. Besides, it’s so cheap it’s a rounding error in the trade accounts.

    The truth is switching to 100% renewable electricity would affect Europe’s imports very little. In Germany barely at all, since the country has coal in spades.

    Ironically, oil and gas do not compete with PV and wind – but they do compete with electricity, mostly in heating and cooking. So the electricity price increases caused by renewable subsidies may end up causing greater oil and gas consumption.

  13. Oliver K. Manuel

    By coincidence, fallout from Climategate emails have exposed the “Red Matrix of Deceit” that Joseph Stalin and a network of geophysicists built to “save the world” from nuclear annihilation in 1945:

    The New Year is an appropriate time to celebrate the end to sixty-nine years of totalitarian rule by arrogant fools.

  14. Mervyn

    Germany must really be in trouble!

    When governments promote propaganda, it is to bluff the people in order for the government to achieve an outcome it needs to achieve for whatever reasons.

    But when the government – and in this case, Germany’s Federal Minister of Environment, Barbara Hendricks – actually starts believing its very own propaganda bullshit, that spells problems … serious problems!

  15. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #162 | Watts Up With That?

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