Germany’s last three nuclear power reactors were shut down this weekend. Supporters of the anti-nuclear movement cheered. Many others – including some in the media and voters who worry about the environment – fear that the decision will only worsen Germany’s energy crisis.
Sabine Beppler-Spahl argues in Spiked that it is ordinary Germans who will suffer.
A culture of fear has driven Germany’s anti-nuclear movement since its inception in the mid-1970s. In its early days, it was a radical opposition movement, largely at the fringes of society. Its demonstrations were often met with massive police force. At one demo in 1986, in the German village of Wackersdorf, several protesters, and one police officer, were killed.
The public mood started to change after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, also in 1986. But the German government continued to back nuclear power in the years following the accident. Then Chancellor Helmut Kohl argued that a highly industrialised country like Germany couldn’t survive without it. …
By the time [then Chancellor Angela] Merkel announced the phaseout, the anti-nuclear movement had become mainstream. No party opposed her move (the populist and pro-nuclear AfD had not yet been founded). Her decision was applauded by the media elites, too. Even the former boss of Siemens, Peter Löscher, toed the line, welcoming Merkel’s plan to replace nuclear power with renewables. So strong was the groupthink in Germany that sceptics of Merkel’s plan were often isolated and ridiculed. Nuclear engineers saw no future in Germany, university departments for nuclear sciences began to close down, and many of Germany’s best engineers went to Canada or the US. …
The key question of course is why? Why is the Government abandoning a cheap, clean and reliable source of energy? And why is it instead betting on unreliable renewable energy, which will make Germany dependent on favourable weather conditions and will raise energy prices even further?
The answer lies in the power of Germany’s green movement, which gave birth to the Green Party, currently the junior coalition partner in Olaf Scholz’s Government. The decades-long fight against nuclear power is driven largely by its anti-growth ideology – an ideology that has spread to the establishment more broadly. For his part, Scholz has only one interest – keeping his weak coalition together. He has sacrificed a once formidable industry to green ideology and party politics.
The price of this fiasco will inevitably be paid by the German people. A backlash to the green dogma that brought us here is long overdue.
Worth reading in full.