America might be viewed on a global level as a country of progress, but when it comes to clean energy, we have been absolute dinosaurs. Our country is run by an engine of dollars, giant oil and fossil fuel investment and bottom line political investments. For that reason, the recommendations for clean energy from the 1980’s was rejected and absolutely ignored within the government. However, Germany stood up, took notice and enacted these recommendations and are now not only reaping the profits, but standing as visionary examples that should put the U.S. to shame.
An example of the German energy initiatives can be found in Reichstag. Known as ‘Energiewende’, which translates into ‘energy change’, this is an area that was rebuilt from the 1999 ruins. The Energiewende establishes the end of the use of nuclear power and fossil fuels and the institution of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass. The target date set by the government is for eighty percent of renewable power by the year 2050. When German citizens were interviewed, many believe that this number will actually be one hundred percent; and this demonstrates the attitude commitment of the people. Their debate about clean energy started in the 1980’s when the U.S. was focused on the continued search for oil and fossil fuel sources. Germany was already looking to their own future and for the well-being of their country and people.
It is a terrible shame that the U.S. and the various political arms could not raise their heads out of the sand to see the incredible opportunities that clean energy brings. When people are yelling about the jobless rate, scientists are warning us of global warming and the deficit continues to spiral out of control, the one area that could have provided at least a partial answer would be to move in the direction of clean energy. Maybe it’s not too late. The Obama administration is one of the first to move beyond the boundaries of the intensity of the big oil giants; but Germany has shown they are truly an innovative country.
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