Protecting the environment

Environmental Protection – a topic that was and still is a reason for hard discussions. Some people say that there is no such thing like a threatened environment on the edge of collaps, others argument that it is already too late to save anything.

I don’t matter if it’s the one or the other case or somewhere in between. In my eyes we should regard ourselves as guests on this planet and therefore act as we would do visiting a good friend, because that is what the earth is, isn’t it? A friend that has invited us to spend our time here.

I have to admit at this point, that I have been born with an ecological sensitivity with both my parents maintaining quite an ecological way of life. So, it was just the decision of either sticking to it or not. To be honest it wasn’t even a conscious desicion. I grew up being educated to handle nature and natural ressources in a responsible way. The first things I learned were quite simple:

  • Not to waste water by excessive showering or bathing
  • Saving natural ressources, like gas, by taking the bike or walking instead of driving by car
  • Using public transport to get anywhere farther
  • Saving energy by not leaving all lights in the house turned on and rather wearing a pair of thick wool socks than leaving the heating running at full blast all day
  • Eat my plate up and not complain too much about what I’m eating, because there are lots of children in the world who don’t have enough to eat

The older I got the more I became aware of other things affecting the enivronment. E.g. in the 1980s and 1990s there was a huge discussion about acid rain and it’s negative effect on plants (often there was talk about the woods dying). I went into the woods with my parents and we looked for trees that were affected (This can be easily seen looking at the fir cones. When they stand up straight into the air the tree is ill). It turned out the major part of the wood was lost.

Then in the late 1990s we got a new government: a coalition of the Social Democrats and the Green Party. It was an absolute first, but I thought it was a good turning point. After decades of doing nothing this government tried to change things. They turned the environmental policy around 180°s. Their most valuable achievements were perhaps the following:

  • Growing support of renewable energies (sun, wind, water) by giving financial aid and tax cuts for people and companies
  • Phasing out of nuclear energy
  • Laying the basical structure for the Law for Renewable Energies passed in Jan. 2009

Looking back at those years Germany was on a good way to become market leader on the field of renewable energy. German companies hold this position at the moment, but I doubt, that with the current government we’ll be able to hold number one.

But at least, we could try to behave a bit more responsible in our private life. I’ll post new ideas I find on the Internet from time to time to give you ideas of how we can each protect the world a tiny bit. In the meantime you’d find it interesting to follow http://climateprogress.org/. It’s the internationally famous and honored blog by  Joe Romm about the big and tiny effects of climate change. Sometimes it’s just interesting, sometimes it’ll freak you out!!!

 

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