This and That, and Germany’s Ignored Renewable Energy Success

Just a few random observations from today…

First of all, people (at least here in Germany) are absolutely nicer to you when you’re hauling a 2o liter sack of potting earth around on public transport.  I’m serious.  They smile at you, offer you their seats, ask you what you’re planting, and so on, rather than the soul crushing “Germanic stare down of death” people usually give strangers here . A father with an infant actually got up and tried to give me his seat today.  I may make this my new thing, you know, tone muscles and make friends, all in one easy step!

I also wanted to post a link to this article on the European North Sea Supergrid, because it’s the most awesome thing I’ve ever heard of, and because I seem to be the only one, besides this one reporter, who even knows about it.   Here in Germany, at least (and I’m assuming it’s the same in Europe), people are riveted to the Big Disaster that is America right now, and all I’ve been hearing lately is how the world is going to hell and how no one is doing anything about it. So this week I did a study and asked all my clients at all my companies what they thought of the project.  Nobody had heard one thing about it.   The same goes for Rewe’s new sustainable supermarket in Berlin. It’s winning EU awards and yet, nobody seems to know about it.  This is a problem because it is an experiment. If it makes money they will build more and other supermarkets will follow suit.  If it’s a disaster, trust me that it will be a long, long while before someone else risks their money to do it again.  Germany is now also providing assistance to India to help it build its own solar parks.  Oh, and by the way, Germany is home to the second largest solar park in the world,  is neck and neck with Spain to be the world leader for wind power, and is the EU leader in implementing renewable energies.

Yes it is important to be realistic about our environment, and yes things are bad, but they never will improve unless people give things like these the attention they need.  More publicity will lead to better funding for such projects, and this, as we all know, is a Good Thing. It’s easy to say that companies and countries should be green as a matter of principle, but let’s face it.  People work for money, and if their work costs them money instead of bringing it in, they will stop doing it.  Shareholders will only invest if they think they might make some money, and green projects will not make money unless we keep our eyes open and  pay the extra 10 cents for cheese at the markets that promote sustainablilty, support the parties that will get involved in plans like the super-grid, stop complaining that wind turbines aren’t gorgeous, and so on. So consider yourselves informed.

"Solar park in Germany sits next to field of ripening rapeseed (canola). The solar panels are integrated into 6-panel units that sit on piers, each equipped with a tracking system to maximize exposure to the the rising and setting sun, much as sunflowers do. There is space between the piers to grow hay, graze sheep, plant vegetables or even grow grapes." --from EV World.