Monday, May 30, 2011

A momentous day

Fantastic news and the beginnings of positive change as the current Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel announces a serious commitment to shutting down all of the country's nuclear reactors by 2022 following mass protests against nuclear power following Japan's nuclear disaster. This will make Germany the first major industrialized nation to go nuclear-free in decades.

In September 2010, she had planned to extend the lives of Germany's 17 nuclear plants, but within days of Japan's nuclear disaster, she temporarily shut down seven of Germany’s older plants and revised the pro-nuclear policy.

It gives Germany just over ten years to find alternative sources for its energy, although Germany is already reputed for it's long standing and high standards of green credentials. The plans would include cutting electricity usage with better insulation and double the share of renewable energy by 2020. Merkel said the plans would give Germany a chance to be a "trailblazer" for renewable energy.

Many have criticized the decision as "knee-jerk politics" or simply a move to regain popularity for her political party after recent losses in polls, but here's what I think:

1) Knee-jerk or not this could be the beginning of politicians starting to listen to the public they are mean to represent. If so, this is a success story we should not let them forget about.

2)  Germany is not alone, among other G8 nations, Italy has also abandoned nuclear power.

3) It can be done, as the video below which I have featured before states, Scotland itself can generate large percentages of clean energy not only to power itself but the European Union, so why not Germany? 

4) In the end, environmental, political, whatever reasons aside, shouldn't we be doing this anyway for our safety in health and life? In better words than mine and for a short, optimistic, tongue-in-cheek but poignant article on the subject please read Bonnie Frye Hemphill article where she states:
But strangely, no clean energy source spills, explodes, melts down, or crumbles and entombs our miners and our mountains like oil, natural gas, nukes and coal. And history is littered with violence, repression and genocide fueled by oil and atomic bombs. But clean and efficient energy? I dare you to name the nation or paramilitary arming for war with caulking guns. 
To read Guardian article please CLICK HERE.  
To read The New York Times article please CLICK HERE


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