1) The Air Berlin & Niki bankruptcy:
There is a lot to say about this as a sustainability advocate:
- Subsidising airlines is a prime example of the state providing subsidies which have adverse effects on sustainability. No surprise Germany is now officialy scraping the 2020 climate goals.
- Subsidising airlines and regional airports is the main reason why flying can be cheaper than taking the train in Europe: recall that airlines don’t pay VAT, fuel taxes or emmission certificates, and most German regional airports receives millions of Euros of subsidies every year; recall that train operators pay VAT, fuel taxes and in German even a contribution to support renewable energies.
- We need to support Air Berlin to have a competitor to Lufthansa in order to have cheap prizes? Why did nobody think about supporting Locomore when they went bankrupt? That would have been the only competitor to Deutsche Bahn on the railway network.
- And why do you all complain that your flights from Berlin to Zurich are too expensive now? Take the night train!
- Flights from Berlin to Stuttgart are too expensive? Take the ICE!
2) Germany is holding the world record for production of electronics garbage. Yes, even more than the US. So much about the way you’re always looking down at the US – maybe we Europeans should also be a bit more self-critical?
3) Stuttgarts eternal smog problem: the mayor declares „In the cities there is not better solution than the electromobility to quickly reduce the pollution problem.“
The electric car – Oh yes? What about removing cost-free parking lots and making users pay? What about removing parking lots and building bike lanes instead? Maybe promote at least electric scooters instead of electric cars? What about cheaper, denser, more frequent, more reliable public transport?