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Chanting 'Keep It in the Ground,' Thousands Descend on German Coalfields


Chanting 'Keep It in the Ground,' Thousands Descend on German Coalfields

Jake Johnson, staff writer

"We want to fulfill our historic responsibility. That's why we go to the coal mines, to protect the climate there."


Very clever to mine millions of years of solar energy–until it FAILS in our faces.


Our economy has a fatal flaw — the destruction of humanity.


Peruse this map to find the ugly scar on Our Mother. It’s to the west of Cologne, use the satellite image to show the fields.


Trump “is looking to use the COP23 talks as platform to sell fossil fuels and coal in particular as necessary and beneficial”. Sad. Very sad.


Here’s the shift in German electricity production over time:

Natural gas had been shrinking, but for the past two years it has been increasing and is now back up to where it was a decade ago. Hard coal and lignite have had trivial reductions since 2011. The main thing the large expansion in renewables has accomplished is offsetting the reduction in nuclear power output. The result has been that the energy industries carbon output has gone from around 350 megatons CO2 eq. per year at the turn of the century down to around 330 megatons CO2 eq. per year now.

That’s a CO2 reduction of not quite 6% over 17 years, despite the fact that the share of renewables increased from around 5% to nearly 30% of electricity generation over that period. (And some of that reduction was due to replacing old coal plants with newer, high-efficiency, flexible-output plants.)

This is a snapshot of German electricity production from Jan. of this year:

The blue swath is all on-shore and off-shore wind production combined, the yellow spikes are the national solar PV output, the dark red swath represents the conventional fossil and nuclear sources, and the red line at the top is the installed intermittent renewable capacity. And I’m guessing most of these demonstrators would like to see the entire dark red swath eliminated. Do they have a plan for how that red swath could quickly be replaced with anything as dependable and flexible, or do they simply not care about the consequences of ripping out the production sector which has been providing balancing for their intermittents?


I agree - ‘peaceful protest’ is an obfuscation - ‘an assumption of a virtue which is not present.’
And that’s OK - but I think we really should cut the bs, as you put it.

Peaceful protest, if allowed at all, is only permitted until it is effective, when it will be ruthlessly put down. A form of escape valve for the oligarchy.

I wish there was a better word than oligarchy ?

I am reading Yanis Varoufakis’ “Adults in the Room”, brand new, about his 162 days as Greek finance minister, beginning in January 2015. It is sickening in the extreme to see up close and personal the utter cowardice and subservient behaviour of both the European Union and American so called leadership.

Civilisation is totally bankrupt, both economically and morally, and I am dead certain this is not coincidence - rather cause and effect.

Moral degradation = economic collapse.

But the pathological at the top are also rich and powerful, which is why, I presume, in over five thousand years there has been the obliteration of justice itself from the ‘civilised’ lands.

All forms of opposition to this Age of Stupid are welcome, but I think much much more is needed.

Some type of hive mind - realising at long and painful last that life itself is at stake.

Nothing less than this will jar the mesmerised billions from out of their trance.

If we are to survive, there will be a transition period, from civilisation’s massive and unwarranted hierarchies to some form of direct democracy.

But we don’t own or run the Internet.

Maybe we’ll need HAM radio, or something of the like.

In any case - I am through with this trying to fix this system.

This system is the problem, and needs to go - to be replaced.


“Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world?”

  • Abe Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.


No, I don’t think there is any better or equal hope, but we have been patient now for millennia, and the situation is now a ‘runaway’, to use an expression from my old haunts in the Canadian oilpatch.

I ran away from that, and climbed mountains for seven years. I had learned when a young man, on my first solo canoe trip down the North Saskatchewan from west of Rocky Mountain House that I was entirely OK alone on the river - evolved over hundreds of thousands of years for this life of the individual, and yet social too.

In short, tribal - always and forever.

Time to stop denying our true nature.

I urge everyone to re-discover this wild animal inside, for our enemies are not going to bend.


Paul, I also ‘think’ we should look to reduce coal emissions and switch to cleaner and more productive options than coal. And not just because it’s ‘cleaner and more productive’. The reason is a bit more sober than merely choosing another production option. The desperate purpose for the demonstrations is that there isn’t any other status quo ‘options’. Unless you’re keeping some secrets.


Trog, there isn’t any plan ‘B’ that can satisfy the present energy status quo and simultaneously make the climate reality and its consequences disappear. That status quo is not an innocent bystander to our horrifyingly precarious planetary situation. A situation of literal survival. Now if you have any ideas, by all means don’t keep it a secret. Because there isn’t any other plan ‘B’ for survival, either.


People are constantly looking for new ways to develop better technology. What many of these activists fail to recognize is the scope of fossil fuels effect our lives. We not only use fossil fuels for our electricity, but also for the production of all of our goods. With this in mind it is nearly impossible to suggest that we can get off of fossil fuels within the next century, but there are technologies that can substitute fossil fuel application. We are currently focused on many applications for alternative electric generation and that is good, but we must recognize that this task is very complex and we need to make plans that are feasible in our current economy.

Personally I am a nuclear supporter, and as such one of the most disheartening challenges I see is how so many of these activists refuse to even acknowledge advanced nuclear as a potential option to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Nuclear with the addition of solar and wind can be utilized to help reduce fossil fuel consumption world wide. There are also many applications of nuclear with the addition of biomass gasification that can be used to help produce products or run facilities that fossil fuels produce such as hydrogen and ethylene production.

There are in fact many sources and new advancements that can be developed over the next 20-30 years to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, but we need our media to actually educate people on the subject. Instead of listening to baseless news reports online or on television I encourage you and other activists to look up advance projects in the US Department of Energy’s website and at US National Laboratories. For solar I recommend checking out the Sunshot Initiative especially into multi-junction halide perovskite. For biomass gasification I recommend the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Department’s biomass programs. For nuclear I recommend Argonne, Oak Ridge and Idaho National Laboratory sites. For wind I recommend the Federal Advanced Wind Turbine Program at the Energy Efficency and Renewable Energy Department (although wind is a bit more tricky due to its higher dependence on fossil fuels per design of both CFRP and GFRP designs). You can also find interesting information at MIT.edu/technologies and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Perhaps the greatest issue in society today is our media’s inability to educate Americans on the advancement of energy. We are so focused on emotional responses that garner the most views that we have failed to adequately teach people about energy sources, challenges, advancements, projections, applications, designs etc Today most of the news that actually teaches people information requires one to actually look for it themselves, which used to be the job of journalists- I guess they have all decided to no longer do this.

I should also note that we should maintain and improve hydroelectric production, but in the USA we have nearly reached full capacity for hydroelectric based on geographical conditions as reported by the EIA and USGS. This also reminds me if you want to everything you could possibly know about current production of energy by source, economic sector, subsidies, economics, area etc the Energy Information Administration as part of the US Department of Energy has literally everything you could ever want to know. Its literally their job to mass collect information on all energy in the USA, and they collect information worldwide in some cases. For more worldwide reports there is also the IEA and IAEA.


Now isn’t the time to debate gun control. By the time is it time to debate it, there will be another mass gun murder and then that won’t be the time and so on and so on and so on.


Sorry, wrong article.


The big difference, is the German government will notice this


Why are the Germans so determined to get black lung disease?


The latest strategy of the vulture capitalists has been to steal the initiative from the pro earth activists and completely turn the topic around in favor of the dirty energy.
The same strategy is used to take advantage of natural disasters by not only denying federal aid but picking up land and property for Pennies to the dollar and directing federal relief funds to the corporate criminals.


Capitalism is suicidal.


Sure sure that would be akin to the vultures picking on your body while you just peacefully sit there and let them. How the fuck did they acquire that land they have been raping for so long?
That land is used to kill off the planet and everyone on it, fuck your stupid argument about trespassing, it must be trespassed by ever greater number of protesters.
That land belongs to all Germans. Your stupid trespassing argument is fucking flawed, land was never possessed until some ass whole in England decided to fence off what he claimed as his and his only. Prior to that all lands were open to whoever could cultivate it.


Growth to the size of dinosaurs ends in mass extinction.


Actually, we need to STOP coal production and emissions – permanently.

What would prevent anyone from understanding that?

Unless you’re Koch Bros./John Birch Society, of course.

I don’t see the “peaceful protesters” spraying anyone with pepper spray …

nor trying to do harm to anyone one. Rather it’s the other way around.

PEACEFUL protest is the right of all citizens everywhere and it’s their
right NOT to be met with police violence to interrupt those protests.

This is a fascist response by corporations and the police in Germany.