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Good news and bad news

In these crazy and confused times, characterised by the names Trump, Putin and Kim Jong-un, how does a journalist manage to write reasonably objectively and realistically? Perhaps by juxtaposing good and bad news and putting them into context.

So let’s give it a try. First the bad news:

Jamaican President Andrew Holness has just had to declare his country a disaster zone for seven days after hurricane “Beryl”, with wind speeds of up to 270 kilometres per hour, destroyed or damaged 98 per cent of buildings. There is no electricity, water or mobile phone reception. All the vegetation on Jamaica’s neighbouring island of Carriacou was also destroyed. The island was levelled to the ground by the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Caribbean.

The Prime Minister: “This hurricane is a direct result of the climate crisis that Grenada, the Caribbean and other small island developing states are at the forefront of.” Grenada will demand climate justice from the international community. It will no longer accept having to rebuild year after year and take out loans to do so, while the countries responsible for the crisis remain inactive.

Here it becomes clear what the causes of future wars, crises and disasters will be if we do not stop climate change.

But there is also good news at the same time. For example this one:

It’s downright electrifying: we can achieve the solar energy revolution – even worldwide. We are currently experiencing a trend towards renewable energies of historic significance. In 2024, solar, wind, hydropower, bioenergy and geothermal energy will set a German and EU electricity supply record.

This record has been confirmed by both independent experts and the energy industry. It shows the path of one of the world’s largest economies towards a 100 per cent energy transition, towards a solar world revolution. This is nothing less than an economy’s way out of the climate crisis. The more renewable energies, the less nuclear-fossil destruction. Within ten years, emissions from electricity generation in Germany will have halved. From the first half of 2023 to mid-2024 alone, greenhouse gas emissions fell by 20 per cent. Goodbye oil and gas.

The most pleasing aspect is that this German and EU trend towards renewable energies is actually a global trend. This means two things: firstly, progress is being made and secondly, it is happening faster than before.

The global energy transition can succeed. Clean electricity also means: progress in the transport transition via e-cars and in clean living via heat pumps through to green hydrogen and green steel. All good news in otherwise gloomy times.

The number of balcony power plants in Germany is also growing faster and faster. In the second quarter of 2024, 152,000 of these devices were newly connected to the grid, 52 per cent more than in the second quarter of the previous year, according to the Federal Network Agency. We are experiencing exponential growth in renewable energies worldwide.

The global energy transition is picking up speed despite – or perhaps because – the old fossil-fuelled nuclear energy industry is still being supported with billions in taxpayers’ money every year. The International Monetary Fund has calculated that fossil fuels are subsidised with an unimaginable 1,300 billion US dollars of taxpayers’ money every year. If you add to this the consequential costs of the health and climate damage caused by the old energy industry, the result is a “staggering” seven thousand billion US dollars per year – or seven trillion, “DIE ZEIT” has calculated. (Die Zeit, 4 July 2024). Stefan Schmitt in his editorial in “DIE ZEIT”: “The good news is not evidence of the new as a self-runner, but of a show of strength against the old”.

Conclusion: The energy transition is possible, but it won’t fall from the sky. It has to be fought for.


FRANZ ALT 2024 | Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator 

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