Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blogging in German?

Kein Endlager Gorleben (Photo BZ)
German friends sometimes ask me: Why don't you blog in German? Well, I gave some reasons for my choice of English in my very first blog. Let me repeat it here: My blogs are meant to inform my American friends about what is happening in Freiburg and surrounding Germany, for many of them the land of their ancestors. Blogging in English also helps me keeping my knowledge of Shakespeare's idiom alive. Blogging in German I do too although not as frequently as in English in the form of letters to the editor of my favourite local journal, the Badische Zeitung (BZ).

Here comes a letter I lately sent dealing with one of my favourite topics: Endlagerung (the final disposal of highly active nuclear waste). I only mention it because for the first time the Badische Zeitung added a somewhat gruesome picture to my contribution. All those who read German click on the link above. They may stop here for in the following I shall just explain in English about what I wrote to the BZ.

Germany's minister for environment in Doha (dpa)
Our Federal Minister of Environment Peter Altmaier an unmarried workaholic - compensating his stress at hearth and home with some visible consequences but no myocardial infarction yet - proposed a moratorium on the search for a final depositary of nuclear waste from Germany's power reactors. This provisional stop shall last until next fall waiting for the outcome of our federal election. The proposal was hailed by all parties since nobody wants to load the political atmosphere with such an unpopular topic before the outcome of the election is known. Anyway, the explosiveness of this issue is only beaten by the discussions of how much it will cost the German tax payer to keep Greece in the euro zone. As an alternative, we are told, throwing the Greek out will lead to an euro collapse, i. e., doomsday.

Coming back to the moratorium. This is one of the tactics of politicians dulling the electorate's minds (das Stimmvolk verdummen). Nobody will gain in postponing the decision but everybody will lose in particular our Ministerpräsident (governor). It seems that neither abandoned salt mines like so far proposed in Germany nor granite formations favoured in the States are suited best for a "final disposal" of highly active nuclear waste. The choice tends towards Opalinus clay of which mighty deposits are found in Germany's south at the High Rhine along the border with Switzerland. Although building a depository in Baden-Württemberg will be a blow to our green Ländle it may open an opportunity to work with our neighbours. The Swiss too are considering to bury their nuclear waste along the same border. Will there again be an outcry not in my backyard or is there a chance of a common effort?

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