In her government statement, the British short-term prime minister Liz Truss had described her desired policy as follows: “Growth, growth, growth” plus tax cuts for the super-rich.
With this neoliberal program, even conservatives are failing today on the arch-conservative stock exchanges in London. At a time when books like „Das Ende des Kapitalismus“ are becoming Spiegel bestsellers in this country, the classic neoliberal growth ideology has simply had its day. The new British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, then immediately promised to quickly revise the mistakes of his predecessor. This explains the fall of his predecessor. The financial investors have understood that the departure from the old energy policy and the rapid energy turnaround are inevitable in the next 15 years.
There is a second lie of fossil growth capitalism: “Man-made climate change does not exist.” Christian Stöcker speaks on Spiegel-online of the “two biggest lies of fossil capitalism”.
The first lie is that tax cuts do not finance themselves.
And to the second lie: On a limited planet there can never be unlimited growth. What is needed now is economic maturity instead of perpetual growth. That means striking a balance between classical economics and a contemporary ecology.
Climate change can no longer be denied
Disasters are on the rise worldwide. 2021 Floods in the Ahr Valley in Germany with 35 billion euros in damage. Forest fires in California and Australia. Flooding in Pakistan with priceless damage. Ice melting at the poles and rising sea levels. Worldwide coral die-off. UN Secretary General Guterres: We are killing our children. In fact, we have lost our breeding instinct.
That’s why climate change deniers have had to come up with a new narrative: Climate change has always existed and it’s too difficult and too expensive to stop. Therefore, we just keep doing what we’re doing. That’s just as illogical as unlimited growth on a finite planet. That is why the interests of the old fossil-nuclear energy lobbies are now to continue. As a reminder: in the USA, only 54 percent of the population consider climate change to be a real problem.
The representatives of the old energy industry still don’t want to admit that renewable energies are unbeatably cheap. They fantasize nostalgically about “cheap nuclear power,” even though it is unaffordable in the long term. A scientific study has just been published in the USA, which predicts that a kilowatt hour of solar power can be produced for one cent as early as 2025. The Biden administration has just decided to support the rapid expansion of renewable energies with $380 billion.
With the first lie, the principle laid down by the scientific representative of neoliberalism, the U.S. economist Milton Friedman, still applies. “I am always and under all circumstances in favor of tax cuts, for whatever reason and whenever they are possible.”
Christian Lindner still clings to this ideology, which has long since proved disastrous. For neoliberals, it is still true that tax cuts for the rich make everyone richer and richer.
“Ideology-free energy policy” by Christian Lindner
This article of faith is even more unshakable than the ideology of climate change deniers. Lindner only now spoke again of an “ideology-free energy policy,” meaning coal, gas, oil, and longer running times for the remaining nuclear power plants in Germany, although in a fit of enlightenment in the Bundestag he also once spoke of renewable energies being “freedom energies.”
The German neoliberals and the U.S. Republicans will eventually meet the fate of Liz Truss if they do not finally learn a truly ideology-free realpolitik. After the last three state elections in Germany, the FDP is already on its way to the political sidelines. But it still shows itself incapable of learning.
Perhaps this October summer of 2022 will help Germany to take climate change more seriously than before and to accelerate the energy transition. The leaves are already yellow and red and brown, but the temperatures remain summery.