In many ways the modern environmentalist movement has a lot to thank Germany for. With its Green Party and strong environmental movement, Germany has been a leader in environmentalism for decades. But now some recent moves in the state of Hessen have begun to highlight some of the absurdities that result when modern environmentalist ideology clashes with traditional notions of protecting the Earth.
It’s not for nothing that environmentalists are commonly referred to as tree-huggers. And defense of forests played a large role in the growth and success of environmentalism in Germany. But now those same environmentalists are determined to clear forests in order to install wind farms.
The problems with wind farms are well known. Wind energy is notoriously unreliable, expensive to produce, and isn’t really economically viable without massive subsidies. The windmills themselves require significant maintenance and don’t last more than a few years before blades and other major parts require replacement. And they’re also a major eyesore.
But environmentalist ideology demands “renewable” energy, anything to the contrary be damned, and when forests get in the way, the trees are going to lose out. Proponents of the wind farm claim that the areas in which windmills will be placed are those in which trees have already been damaged or destroyed, particularly by the bark beetle that is ravaging German forests, especially spruce, and that relatively few healthy trees will have to be removed.
Opponents of the wind farm, however, believe that significantly larger areas of forest will be cleared, something they don’t want to see happen. The first 18 windmills have already been approved, and will have a height of up to 241 meters (790 feet), with blade diameters of up to 150 meters (492 feet).
Will the opponents of the wind farm win out in the end and prevent the windmills from being constructed? Or will the government get its way and bulldoze trees, replacing them instead with windmills in the quixotic quest for green energy? Either way, the absurdity of the modern environmentalist movement is now on full display for everyone to see.