Overshoot Day: German ARD Public Television Calls For Consumers To Be Punished By “So Damn Expensive” Prices

Green hubris: ARD German public television commentary labels its audience “consumption addicts” – mentally ill – and pleads they be punished with “so damn expensive” prices.

Germany’s equivalent of the BBC, publicly (forced) funded ARD Broadcasting aired a commentary on Monday evening by journalist Lorenz Beckhardt. The commentary was to respond to the latest Earth Overshoot Day report. Eckhardt’s angry commentary was a scathing tirade against western society’s “addiction to consumerism” and an unveiled call for a collective punishment so harsh so as to lead to submission.

According to international sustainability organization Global Footprint Network, humanity has already used up nature’s resource budget for the entire year. According to the organization, this means that humanity needs almost 2 earths to satiate the human demand for her resources.

Over the years, Germany’s massive ARD public broadcasting network has increasingly moved to the left, and has since embraced extreme environmentalism and climate protection. And if anyone had any doubts about this, Beckhardt’s anti-free market tirade last Monday night puts these doubts to rest.


In his angry 1-min 41 sec. tirade, Beckhardt tells the audience how he’s fed up with hearing year after year how western societies are consuming way beyond the limits and that nothing is being done about it. He demands that policymakers take action to punish the ARD audience.

Consumption junkie

To drive home his point, Beckhardt admits how earlier in the evening he too had “a nice piece of meat on the grill” and that this is something he has “often”. He also tells the audience he often uses his car and flies all over the world because he loves coral reefs. He admits: “I’m a consumption junkie” and that he cannot help it.

He says he does it because “it’s fun, rewarding, enjoyment, lust and everyone else does it.” Next he indirectly calls the entire audience mentally ill, addicts who are in need of extremely harsh medicine.

Beckhardt’s “so damn expensive” medicine

Beckhardt then characterizes western consumption as a disease, telling the nationwide audience:

Everybody knows addicts need help. The problem is that no doctor is able to cure environment-damaging consumption addiction. This can only be done by courageous policymakers. That’s why the request: make meat consumption, car driving and flying so damn expensive that we get ourselves off it. Please! Quickly! Then we’ll vote for all of you!”

What’s astonishing is that the ARD is perfectly comfortable with airing such deranged commentaries that call for the draconian blanket punishment of its audience while harboring the delusion that we all want this punishment and that we would all vote for it.

Here’s what the ARD and the Greens really want to say: “Make meat, car driving and flying so damn expensive that you all get yourselves off it. Please! Quickly! Then only the very rich, the elite and me – the ARD journalist – will afford it. The rest of you will live as peasants in serfdom.”

And if that doesn’t take the cake:

The ARD has a budget of €6.9 billion and 22,612 employees. The budget comes primarily from a licence fee which every household, company and public institution are required by law to pay. For an ordinary household the fee is currently €17.50 per month.” – Wikipedia.

20 responses to “Overshoot Day: German ARD Public Television Calls For Consumers To Be Punished By “So Damn Expensive” Prices”

  1. Ron Clutz

    Michael Shellenberger writes at Forbes Why Earth Overshoot Day And The Ecological Footprint Are Pseudoscientific Nonsense.
    “Six years ago I helped debunk Earth Overshoot Day and the Ecological Footprint calculation it’s based upon in a paper for the peer-reviewed scientific journal, PLOS Biology called “Does the Shoe Fit? Real vs. Imagined Footprints.”

    We broke down the six measures that comprise the Ecological Footprint and found that five of the six, including food and forestry, were either in balance or surplus. The only thing out-of-balance were humankind’s carbon emissions.”

    Shellenberger’ article is at https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/07/29/why-earth-overshoot-day-and-the-ecological-footprint-are-pseudoscientific-nonsense/#1a152a827e76
    My synopsis is at https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2019/07/30/eco-footprint-nonsense/

  2. Logic and Reason

    My comment is, you first. If you are so concerned about being a consumption junkie, try going cold turkey…sorry cold tofu.
    If you feel better after a year let us know.

    1. Yonason

      I thought that was Tofurkey, but whatever. But yeah, watermelons first! I’ll get around to complying when I feel like it, …or not.

      1. Yonason

        PS – How about “Activist Overhype Day?”

        1. Kurt in Switzerland


          Excellent idea!
          Satire is the best tool.

  3. xenomoly

    I think the concept of “Earth Overshoot Day” is ridiculous and does not seem to acknowledge that markets already price scarcity into each resource anyone would use. Artificially creating scarcity or boosting price to destroy markets does more damage than good because the market cannot accurately convey the true scarcity of a resource to the marketplace in the form of natural emergent price.

    And the idea that all of these “resources” are limited is economically illiterate as well. Hell you can sift seawater and get almost all of the elements in the crust if the price for any of them was sufficient to justify the expense. This idea that the world needs to be punished for human activity just seems anti-human and poorly thought out.

  4. Philip of Taos

    Time for pitchforks anb torches, time to dump the envirowackos!!!

  5. A C Osborn

    They are mentally ill, but that does not excuse them for how evil they are.

  6. mwhite

    They better be careful, if you upset the voters they might vote for the “wrong” party

    1. Chris Hanley

      Bertolt Brecht, after the 1953 E German uprising:
      The Solution
      After the uprising of the 17th of June
      The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
      Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
      Stating that the people
      Had forfeited the confidence of the government
      And could win it back only
      By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
      In that case for the government
      To dissolve the people
      And elect another?

  7. Josh

    I’ve been in Germany for just under six months now and came here with the intention of teaching English. I would consider the rantings of Beckhardt and the like to be bad comedy. The scary thing is that a large number of Germans actually think and feel this way. Given the moral and intellectual state of present-day Germany, it’s hard to believe that this was a country/region that produced so many great composers, scientists, poets and philosophers. I love this country but I hate what is happening to it. Once again they are being led down a destructive path.

  8. Kenan Meyer

    Pol Pot Groupie

  9. Martin

    Should we have collapsed by now due to the sheer number of earths needed to ‘sustain’ civilization?
    Ludicrous exponential green nonsense.

    1. Yonason


      Ludicrous green nonsense is rising exponentially?

      Excellent observation! I think you have uncovered a new law of nature.

  10. AlexS

    One more organization that exists only due to violence since Germans don’t pay for it voluntarily.

  11. sasquatch

    Settle down, Lorenz, it’s not that bad. You doth protest too much. Find something to do other than bellyache like a fool. Good luck to ya, you need plenty of it.

    Time to move on, relax, have a Suffering Bastard. For gosh sakes, get with the program. You’re out to lunch, obviously. You need a drink, so there ya go.

    Besides, flying is for the birds.

    In the past 49 years, I have flown in five different jets on commercial airliners. I really don’t like being up in the sky for more than an hour and a half, makes me nervous. 750 miles is far enough, once every 40 years is plenty.

    The second greatest thrill in the world is flying. The greatest thrill in the world is landing.

    No doubt about it, you have to land, can’t stay up there for long, you’ll run out of jet fuel. Landing is far more important, the most critical part of any flight.

    Flying is for the birds.

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