The total speed limit is a fetish of eco-ideologues. He is invoked at every convenient and embarrassing occasion – be it the war in Ukraine. The demand is factually grotesque: In fact, there is already a speed limit almost everywhere.

Whatever happens with the weather or in global politics, Germany’s eco-ideologues reflexively demand a total speed limit. Thunderstorms in India, rising oil prices, killing spree in Texas, war in Ukraine – the communicative fetish appears immediately. The speed limit is something of an eco-puritanical sacrificial ritual. In the case of monkeypox, too, one will certainly soon construct a connection that suggests the total speed limit as a solution.

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On the one hand, the ideological exuberance on the subject of speed limits can be seen in the fact that a tiny fringe phenomenon of everyday life in Germany is being blown up into a giant bugbear. On the other hand, the totalitarian furor with which the last centimeter of the road of the prohibition order is to be covered.

Because the facts show that Germany has long had a comprehensive speed limit. Of the 650,000 kilometers of roads in Germany, 99 percent are subject to a speed limit. In all towns and cities, cars are only allowed to drive 50 and increasingly only 30 kilometers per hour. A speed limit of 100 kilometers per hour applies on all country roads, as well as on federal and district roads. In many cases this is reduced to 80. And even on the 13,000 kilometers of motorways, most sections are now subject to speed limits.

Wolfram Weimer was born in Gelnhausen in 1964 and spent his childhood in Portugal. He studied history, German, political science and economics in Frankfurt and Washington. He received his doctorate in 1991. He was editor-in-chief of the daily newspapers “Die Welt” and “Berliner Morgenpost” as well as the magazine “Focus”. In 2004, Weimer founded a publishing house and the magazine “Cicero”. His publishing house publishes the newspaper “Wirtschaftskurier”, the magazines “Börse am Sonntag” and “Anlagetrends” as well as the satirical portal “Pardon”. Wolfram Weimer has also been the publisher of “The European” since 2015.

On top of that, the control pressure increases enormously. More and more speed traps are harassing the citizens, 4,500 permanently installed, plus more than 10,000 mobile speed traps. The state is less concerned with road safety or environmental protection than with the sheer money.

There are still a few kilometers of freeway scattered throughout Germany without a speed limit. But they are often provided with construction sites – and thus also under the speed limit curate. And the increasing number of traffic jams means that really fast driving is almost impossible. On average, 2000 traffic jams are counted per day, and Germans spend 460,000 hours a year in traffic jams and then listen to debates about a speed limit on the car radio. That’s grotesque.

Conclusion: There is a comprehensive speed limit in reality. But that’s obviously not enough for eco-ideologues. They are concerned with the last few centimetres, into which a 140 may still drive.

Traffic studies show that on the few free routes this only happens sporadically, in the evening or at night. For example, when the shift worker drives quickly across the freeway to the mother in need of care to put her to bed. Or when the representative rushes home late in the evening after a long day at work to see his family for a moment. Or when the contractions come at night and the parents-to-be rush to the hospital.

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This is real life, for which Tempo ideologues have neither an eye nor a heart. They prefer to live out a totalitarian paranoia. If 99 percent is not enough, you have to ask yourself what your true motive is. The environmental effect of the total speed limit is likely to be in homeopathic doses, especially since all cars will soon be electrified and hopefully emission-free. So what is the drooling demand for a general ban?

One gets the impression that this is a political bugbear for people who do not tolerate freedom and regard state paternalism as a general blessing. Apparently behind this is an image of humanity that sees citizens as frantic, egomaniacal idiots who have to justify themselves when they live freedom. In a democracy it is exactly the opposite, that a state power has to justify well why the freedoms of the citizens are restricted. But that is hardly possible with the total speed limit.

Heinrich Heine complained: “The Englishman loves freedom like his lawful wife. The French like his bride. The German like his tiresome old grandmother.” The lawsuit is legend. But Heine had no idea that German eco-ideologues would have to kill freedom every last inch.

Could it be that the speed limit debate reveals how far a new ecologism is spreading? Ecologists see themselves as end-time prophets, as the last generation, who only allow their one pure doctrine with increasingly aggressive vehemence. 99 percent regulation is not enough for them. They want a virtuous republic of eco-puritans who demonize everything from bratwurst to airplanes and constantly demand that we sacrifice freedom for the conformism of good.

Her tone is, at best, that of a pointing supernanny. Your know-it-all repertoire knows dozens of prohibitions and enemy images – from the fireplace to the cruise ship, from the schnitzel to the beer. Everywhere they want to tax, regulate, prescribe, ban. The trend is: don’t leave anything at the discretion of the individual. Even if we are already halfway suffocating with bureaucracy, the eco-social supernanny still has one regulation, one warning, one regulatory authority ready.

Anyone who looks out for Schiller’s tolerant world among ecologists (“How comfortable it is with people for whom the freedom of others is sacred”) must be wearing big glasses. Because the new paternalism knows profiteers who push it further and further. The ecological milieu is constantly producing new lobbyists for the certainty industry, from self-appointed consumer advocates and climate rescuers to welfare state managers who pursue money and business with collective infantilization in such a way that they always generate their own demand. Their intention to transform the country into a gigantic kindergarten follows its own logic, because then they can make a living as kindergarten teachers for the greater common good.

“Ecologicalism is now an influential religion of the western world,” wrote the late writer Michael Crichton (“Jurassic Park”). “It seems to have become the preferred religion of urban atheists.” In fact, their doomsday rhetoric is reminiscent of radical religious movements of the past. And so ecologism formulates commandments that come across as para-religious. For example: You should always be afraid! The worst scenario is always the most likely. You should have a guilty conscience! Anyone who works, moves and lives harms the environment. Thou shalt abhor freedom!

The planet can only be saved through central planning by large state bureaucracies. They sacrifice freedom of debate and defame dissenters as infidels. They think they have the only valid truth, but there are many truths, especially when it comes to environmental and climate issues – and also many solutions to problems. The total speed limit is none.

The original of this article “In reality, the speed limit already exists, but that’s not enough for eco-ideologues” comes from The European.