Ah, nuclear power in Germany. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Well at least not as long no one here is willing to do with less power while paying higher prices for it. And believe me, no one in Germany is or ever will be willing to do that, no one here who actually has to pay the bills, that is.

Germans are notorious schizophrenics when it comes to big political issues like this, you see, big political issues big and small alike, I might add. That’s one of their favourite Schimpfwörter (swear words) here as a matter of fact, schizophren, although they usually prefer throwing it at someone else.

The German man or woman on the street apparently has no problem with the idea of shutting down German nuclear power plants and demanding the reduction of German CO2 emissions at the same time by building dozens of new coal-burning power plants, for instance, provided they don’t have to pay more for or use less energy, of course. No contradiction here, none that a German can see. If you are not even aware of the contradiction, being schizophren, how can you possibly do anything about it?

This reminds me of the recent news item that no one else in this country other than me seems to have noticed. The number one pacifist nation on earth (or can anyone deny that this is what all Germans aspire to be?) is number three on the same earth when it comes to weapons exports. Schizophren? Like I said, if you are not even aware of the contradiction, how can you do anything about it? I mean let’s face it, if the Germans would actually be aware of this glaring contradiction, we would have to be using another term or two for them other than the relatively harmless one of schizophrenia, wouldn’t we? And that wouldn’t be very nice (and we want to be nice). These are just two small examples, by the way. I could go on like this all day long.

But the thing to keep in mind is that in the end, none of this “hot debate” they refer to here ever means anything. It’s just a Volkssport (national pastime) which everyone cheerfully participates in until the next hot debate comes along, nothing more. As unpleasant as these inconvenient truths are, cold hard economics and something we used to call “common sense” always take the day. Germany will keep its nuclear energy, of course, and build its new coal-burning power plants, as well. And the energy prices will continue to climb anyway. And no severe national collective mental disorder, however well-cultivated, will ever be able to do anything about it.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

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