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Young German climate activist. Stock photo from Pexels

Climate hypermoralism grips Germany

Young Germans are deeply concerned about changes in the weather, which is part of the new hypermoralism gripping the country.

Published: August 20, 2019, 10:02 am

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    Berlin

    Politico reported that environmental and climate protection is the most important societal issue for Germans aged 14 to 22, according to a preliminary study by the German Environment Ministry.

    The issue has been hotly debated in Germany, with an educator warning that students may be facing punishment if they stay away from school.

    The survey found that 45 percent of respondents believe that environmental and climate protection are “very important” while the issues of education and social justice only received 39 percent. Around 25 percent said they were already participating in Fridays for Future climate demonstrations, and 90 percent said they would continue to do so.

    And almost 50 percent of those who have never participated in the school strike, said they may be joining in the future. The final study, which surveyed more than 1000 young adults between April and May, is due for release only next year.

    The survey found that nearly 70 percent said they attended because of the importance of climate change, while nearly 60 percent said they wanted to make a difference. Only 6 percent said they wanted to avoid going to class.

    Too bad that Greta Thunberg is not a German Gretchen, many politicians complain. But the climate “emergency” and the fight against CO2 continues to make Germany less attractive as a business destination.

    The nuclear phase-out, the attacks on the auto industry and the lack of qualified skilled workers are contributing to the dismantling of the once-leading economy in the EU. Germany has also long lost its pole position in research and development.

    The ratio between successful patents and applied patents has been on a long-term decline. There is further evidence that the quality of patents, as measured by patent citations, has also declined, while other countries such as China and South Korea improved their relative position in terms of patent citations vis-à-vis the United States.

    Data from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) shows that only four German firms are among the top 30 innovative companies in the areas of 3D-printing, nanotechnology and robotics, in terms of patent applications.

    Total factor productivity (TFP) growth, a common indirect measure of innovation, shows that “peak innovation” in Germany occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, and has declined ever since. Most firms in Germany are actually investing nothing or very little in innovation.

    The former export world champion now exports “attitude” Made in Germany and this new political slogan expresses a mission of hypermoralism, argues  Laila Mirzo who was born in Damascus in 1978 as the daughter of a German and a Kurdish Syrian and spent her childhood on the Golan Heights.

    The columnist and author says Germany “has become a world savior and does not realise that nobody likes know-it-alls”. Mirzo added: “We forget that a moral dictatorship is also a dictatorship.”

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