Sunday 4 December 2016

Kevin Myers: Wind is a waste of capital -- but at least it makes the Greens feel good

Published 10/06/2011 | 05:00

Has Germany gone mad? It does this every now and then, you know. The saga of the cucumbers is grim, but it will, however, pass.

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However, what are we to make of Chancellor Merkel's decision to phase out nuclear power? What virtuous energy will now drive the factories of Europe's industrial behemoth? Kites? Wind-chimes? Some Bach motets, maybe?

Merkel proposes spending fortunes seeking some new green miracle technology. Now, I dislike using cliche images about Germany, because it's both simplistic and it alienates German readers (and we have a few). But there's one great example where a German leader ignored a practical but advanced technology in preference for some future hypothetical one. In October 1942, Hitler ordered priority to be given to the V2 rocket, and largely ignored the Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter. Why? Because the V2 was the future! The V2 was clean! The V2 was unstoppable! But most of all, the V2 appealed to his emotions. And so the V2 -- which, per unit, was about 50pc more expensive than the Me262 -- was put into production.

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