Munich’s Energy

Sun, Wind and Water

Munich was out on the streets today, protesting against the government’s energy policy. The tenor of the protest was that nuclear plants should finally be shut down in favor of renewable energy. I came to Munich in 1962 and have never seen crowds like this in downtown Munich before. This is a topic that moves probably not just Munich, but the nation.

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Several interests groups, political parties and all age groups were present. I saw lots of fellow members of the generation of ’68. I for one had lost faith in the effectiveness of demonstrations. I am sure many others are also disillusioned. But there we were, out on the streets once more.

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2 Responses to Munich’s Energy

  1. Joe (C2Cin2006) says:

    That one fellow in one picture was sort of familiar!

    Pennsylvania has lots of coal maybe we could form a company to import loads of dirty coal to provide for lights and electrical motors in your neighborhood. Just kidding!

    Actually I vote for putting sails on the trains, trams and buses. OK, so they would only be able to travel one way some days or none if it were calm but think how much electricity would be saved….
    Bit tongue in cheek there.

    If one gets beyond the emotional and thinks rationally it is a giant dilemma re: how to enjoy the modern life style the western world “enjoys” and still cut down pollution and usage of non-renewable energy sources.

    I know you have traveled in the Far East so Manila might not shock you BUT I am completely shocked at the way 11 million Manila inhabitants get about. All streets are jammed 24/7 with buses/taxis/jeepneys (jitneys that have their origins [style] from WW2 jeeps. They actually are manufactured here from salvaged auto parts.) /moto trikes as taxis/bikes with side cars as taxis but NO, well almost no bicycles! All of the jeepneys and most of the local and inter-region buses spew a cloud of nasty fumes! Looking along a street is scary with the very visible black cloud hovering over.
    Even more shocking is that Manila has a mini-elevated light rail system that is tiny and so ill run (corruption is rampart here) that most of the rolling stock is always parked. There was a small rail system that even had overnight sleeper trains to far off parts of the biggest island but it was all pre-WW2 standards, never updated and fell into complete disuse. Squatters had even built on the tracks. Some very limited service has been restarted on a small portion of one of 2 lines radiating from Manila but millions allocated for turning line into a viable transport artery (low polluting even if diesel) have mysteriously been used up. Most of 11 million don’t have cars so it is a mess. I would like t know how much petroleum is used per Manila inhabitant. It is not a small number!

    Main Manila streets have been widened to 4-5 lanes to provide more space for the exhaust spewing machines to be stuck in perpetual grid lock.

    Think I need to go home and use my bike to go to the market and post office.

    C2Cin2006 (Joe)

    • suzson says:

      You’re right, it’s a tremendous dilemma since we all want to have our cake and eat it. And developing countries certainly aren’t learning from our mistakes. Thinking about solutions is very discouraging – so I just ride my bike.

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