The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
German Greens Behind Recent Cold Snap

Last weekend, a cold snap spread across Germany as hundreds of thousands found their heating shut off due to an inability to pay staggeringly high (and rising) energy bills. Gas prices have risen 15 percent in the past two years, and are poised to rise even higher, leaving a large number of Germans in the cold.

While there are certainly a number of factors behind the increase, the influence of Europe’s strong green movement is detectable here. Stringent environmental regulations from Brussels and the imposition of carbon taxes in many European countries have increased the price of energy for businesses around the continent, which in turn pass these costs on to consumers. Green proposals like a union-wide carbon-trading scheme would send these prices higher still.

In case it wasn’t obvious, this is why Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s comments that American energy prices should be as high as Europe’s are such a political loser. High energy prices may make alternative fuels relatively more economical, but at high and wide-ranging cost: Those of modest means would have to cut back on life essentials like heating, cooling, and transportation. Advocates of European-style energy should imagine spending winter in Minnesota without heat or summer in Florida without air conditioning. This position is one of the craziest and most tone-deaf ideas to come from the left in some time, and it will serve the Democrats poorly come November.

Published on March 2, 2012 4:57 pm
  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    “This position is one of the craziest and most tone-deaf ideas to come from the left in some time, and it will serve the Democrats poorly come November.”
    And well it should, modern technological civilization is built on replacing muscle power with energy consuming machines, and the Greens have been blocking energy development for decades. They are against the development of Nuclear, Coal, Oil, and Gas, and are therefore responsible for the high price of energy due to limited energy supplies.

  • elisa

    one wonders how the greens imagine work would be accomplished in a green utopia of no machines. slavery?

  • Jeremy, Alabama

    The green lobby/climate catastrophists become remarkably silent when it gets cold and poor folks start freezing to death.

    In the UK, in unusually cold months the govt often provides extra heating assistance to retirees and welfare recipients. So, govt policy is to price energy out of reach of the poor, and then buy their votes with cash rebates.

  • Kris

    Jacksonian@1: “They are against the development of Nuclear, Coal, Oil, and Gas”

    Not to mention that many Greens also oppose real-world implementations of Hydro, Geothermal, Wind, and even Solar. It almost makes one wonder as to their seriousness or real motivations…

  • Corlyss

    Since the Administration’s energy plans prohibit American use of American fossil fuels, maybe we could sell them to the Germans.

  • Mick The Reactionary

    @Jeremy, Alabama

    “govt policy is to price energy out of reach of the poor, and then buy their votes with cash rebates.”

    Whatever you think about this devilish design, it is pretty clever and serves statists exceedingly well.

    And if current people are smart enough to see through such designs, well there is always mass immigration of poor, downtrodden and barely educated who would love the devil’s bargain.