The Greens have separated from many things: anti-capitalism, free love, pacifism. They just don’t want to give up the fight against nuclear power, no matter what happens. attempt at an explanation.

Former Green Party leader Simone Peter says we should be glad we’ve been freed from the “diabolical energy source” nuclear power. I think it’s nice that in our present-focused time, someone still talks like that. Even the Church has stopped talking about the devil.

I like that. I’ve always had a soft spot for popular piety. I’m just skeptical that this will steer the world’s fourth-largest industrial nation through the crisis. Since the Enlightenment, the world of faith and the world of politics have been separated for good reason.

Fateful week for Germany: will the nuclear phase-out tip over, won’t it? Since Tuesday, there has been a big sigh of relief in the green community: Knight Robert smothers the flames of hellfire, gas emergency or not.

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No so-called stretching operation, where you try to get more out of the fuel rods than was actually intended. Certainly not an extension of the term, as the FDP has in mind. The nuclear power plant in Emsland will be shut down completely at the turn of the year. There will be elections in Lower Saxony in October, and the Greens’ federal executive committee doesn’t want any irritation at the grassroots level. The two remaining power plants in the south go into reserve. That means they are still there, but practically not.

For months, the Greens have been trying hard to convince the Germans that keeping the last nuclear reactors in operation would only increase their energy problems. The new party leader, Omid Nouripour, explains that nuclear power would clog the grids for renewables. Scientifically, this has as much substance as the green belief in globules. But with “Maybrit Illner” there is still a lot of nodding.

The chairman of the Green Youth tries to argue that the shelling of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant at Zaporizhia shows how dangerous nuclear power is to society. The hint is also limping on all feet. If Russian troops have surrounded Isar 2, then we have completely different problems than the safety of our nuclear industry, I would say. But mei, if it’s for your own well-being that you make a fool of yourself.

The word of the moment is “high-risk technology”. No performance where the word of horror may be missing. The only problem is that when you look at the new payments on your electricity bill, many Germans would like a little more high-risk technology if it would reduce the high financial risk. At Saturn they turned off the escalators, I read. Climbing stairs to save electricity – and in the Federal Ministry of Economics in Berlin they say that we no longer need nuclear power. Let’s see how far the argument carries.

It’s strange: The Greens have already said goodbye to everything possible in their history. They threw the idea of ​​socializing all the means of production overboard. They have renounced free love and anti-authoritarian upbringing. They even said goodbye to unconditional pacifism. The only thing they hold on to is the fight against nuclear power.

According to the explanation, the Greens are getting in the way of their ideology. I don’t know if the word “ideology” really describes it. The emotional bond between Greens and the fire of nuclear power seems to run deeper. Emotional layers are touched here that elude normal explanation. One would have to speak to an expert on pagan beliefs to get any closer. In any case, classical political science or psychology is at the end of the ropes here.

Last week I watched the first two episodes of the new Amazon series “The Rings of Power”. That’s when I got the idea: Simone Peter and the Greens would fit perfectly into Middle-earth. Can you think of a better place for them than the bucolic world, where nothing smokes or makes any noise but the hearth of the huts and the gentle flapping of the pinwheel, and where a fairy and an elf peers out from behind every tree? The inhabitants of Middle-earth know: Don’t sin against Mother Earth, or the orcs will come out of the ground and devour you!

For the participants of the green experience generation, the fight against nuclear power is a superhuman event, a myth. I know, I was there. Or at least almost.

I was 16 when it came to bringing the nuclear state to its knees in Brokdorf and Gorleben. I had grueling discussions with my mother, who didn’t want to let me go to Wendland, where the future of the country, oh what: the planet, was decided. If I had had a mother like the children of the “last generation” who, when in doubt, sticks to the streets, everything would have been easier. Unfortunately, my mother belonged to a generation of parents who didn’t want to be their children’s best friends.

There is a lot of talk these days about the selfishness of the boomers. The most stubborn boomer of all is the green boomer, who stubbornly clings to his lifelong dream of a nuclear-free Germany. That’s what it’s all about: consideration for Jürgen Trittin and his family, so that they can continue to say that they have liberated Germany. Every kilowatt hour counts? Only as long as the green boomer is proud of what has been achieved. Or as the Trittin buddy and longtime spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment Michael Schroeren wrote: “I fought for the phasing out of nuclear power for almost 50 years. Now, just before the last ones go off the grid, I won’t let my success be stolen from me.”

If you move in mythical spheres, it is inevitable that at some point the dimensions will become blurred. Everything seems more frightening and threatening, not only at night. To this day one can read in green publications that the reactor accident in Fukushima claimed tens of thousands of lives. In truth, not a single resident died in the fire. The only dead to be mourned in the plant were five workers – after accidents at work during clean-up work. The tsunami that hit the region on March 11, 2011 claimed 20,000 lives. It was the water that killed people, not the radiation.

It could be a very cold winter for the Greens. Many people may be too busy to follow the political business in detail. But they are not stupid. When their economy minister pretends that four gigawatts of nuclear power can be done without, while in the same breath telling them to change showerheads to ensure prosperity, they know they’re going to get charred.

In my experience, voters are more forgiving than we journalists often think. Whether someone cheated on their doctoral thesis or their airline miles doesn’t play a big role in their voting decision. But what they definitely don’t like is being taken for a fool.

Incidentally, Ms. Peter blocked me on Twitter, as I found out. I am not aware of having given a reason for this. I have not pestered her with ugly comments or otherwise approached her in an improper manner. But that’s probably how it is when you think in psychic terms: you have to protect yourself extensively from everything that could be negative for your well-being.

Have we talked about the diabolical power of the internet? That’s what we should do next.

• Read all of Jan Fleischhauer’s columns here.

The readers love him or hate him, Jan Fleischhauer is indifferent to the least. You only have to look at the comments on his columns to get an idea of ​​how much people are moved by what he writes. He was at SPIEGEL for 30 years, and at the beginning of August 2019 he switched to FOCUS as a columnist.

Fleischhauer himself sees his task as giving voice to a world view that he believes is underrepresented in the German media. So when in doubt, against the herd instinct, commonplaces and stereotypes. His texts are always amusing – perhaps it is this fact that provokes his opponents the most.

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