Here’s a “tale of two cities” – or two countries, actually. Germany and the United States. One country is preparing for a future in which their children will breathe clean air and lead the worlds economy – and the other is preparing for a future in which their children will choke on polluted air – and fall behind the rest of the world in the global economy. Can you guess which is which? Germany just announced a $260 billion investment in new energy – that’s 8% of their GDP – with a goal of getting 80% of their nation’s energy from wind and solar. This is the largest investment in energy that Germany has made since World War 2 – and they’re even making this investment right in the middle of the financial crisis sweeping Europe – because Germany “gets it.”
No nation in the history of the world has ever cut its way to prosperity – just look at Greece. So Germany knows that the only way to get out of this crisis – is to GROW their way out of it – to come out in the end of it a better, stronger, and wealthier nation – through government investments in the future. Germany is going to build offshore wind farms – covering an area six-times larger than the size of New York City. They’re going to put up thousands and thousands of miles in new power lines to modernize their energy grid – enough new smartgrid power lines that, if they were stretched out in a single line, would reach from London all the way to Baghdad. And, prompted by the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year – Germany is shutting down 17 nuclear reactors supplying about a fifth of all the electricity in their nation – and replacing those reactors with the wind farms and solar panels they’re now building.