Desert Tech and Fridays for Future- ecological-industrial complex?
The Desert Tech solar project is a non-profit organization as a platform that was initiated by the Club of Rome. Initially, potential investors such as Siemens, RWE, Allianz, Münchner Rück were involved, but have now jumped off the project. The aim of Desert Tech was to build a gigantic belt of solar systems in the Sahel and Sahara as the project of the century, which should supply Europe and Africa with solar power. But nothing has come of it so far. On the one hand, economic and technological reasons apparently spoke against Desert Tech, then also the pressure of the oil, gas and coal industries and, above all, as a US entrepreneur told me, political reasons, namely political stability. On the one hand, Islamism is rampant in the desert tech region (Sahara / Sahel zone) – my thesis: If the trends continue, there will be 2 Islamist belts in Africa: Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman empire with the Muslim Brotherhood in the MENA region and a second Islamist belt from Nigeria via the Sahel zone to Somalia which will be controlled by IS, Boko Haram and Al Shabab. In the best case, many companies fear a repetition of the experiences of the oil industry in the Arab states: They build the solar parks for the Africans, but these could then be expropriated or nationalized, as well as there might be a solar OPEC. Would the oil wars in the Greater Middle East be followed by solar wars in Africa and would the peace movement then have to replace its slogan “No Blood for Oil” with “No Blood for Sun”?
The vice-president of the Club of Rome Germany and co-initiator of the tree planting initiative Plant for The Planet, Frithjof Finkbeiner is still active at Desert Tech with Roland Berger / Munich. It is interesting that there was already a similar Europe-Africa energy project called Atlantropa in the 1920s, but which, like the project of a German architect who wanted to pump out the Mediterranean and create a land bridge between Europe and Africa was never realized. So apparently quite utopian plans. Not quite, because in the meantime China and Saudi Arabia have expressed their interest in Desert Tech – but originally it was intended as a Western or European project to supply Africa and Europe with solar power. The Chinese may also do this on their own as an element of their New Silk Road (BRI).
Climate deniers and climate change skeptics like the Axis of the Good (Achse des Guten) (which is close to the nuclear, oil and gas industry) see Finkbeiner especially as the enemy and mastermind of Greta and Fridays for Future, with whom the supposedly ecological-industrial complex would now have its PR „child soldiers“:
“Anyone who examines the organization behind“ Fridays for Future ”in this country will come across the Vice President of the German Club of Rome, Frithjof Finkbeiner. His son Felix Finkbeiner appeared ten years ago as a child environmental messiah with “Plant for the Planet” in public and before the UN. Now Felix is too old and Greta is following in his footsteps. And „Plant for the Planet“ manages the donation account of „Fridays for Future“. „
There are similar dynastic connections as with the Finkbeiners with the leading figures of the German Fridays for Future movement Luise Neubauer and Carla Reemtsma. Here everything is grouped around the Reemtsma house, which in earlier times attracted attention as a supporter of the NSDAP and Adolf Hitler, while the following generation became more anti-fascist spirits, such as Jan Philipp Reemtsma, who caused a nationwide stir with his Wehrmacht exhibition. Luise Neubauer’s grandmother , who she sees as her great role model, was temporarily married to Feiko Reemtsma. Her grandmother was involved in the anti-nuclear power movement of the 1980s, sensitized her to the climate problem and gave her her share in the taz cooperative. Her cousin Carla Reemtsma is also one of the leading figures of Fridays for Future in Germany.
Luise Neubauer is already a member of the Green Youth, but now other activists from FFF are pushing into parliaments:
“In fact, a number of them now seem to be seriously considering swapping the protest march on the street for the one by the parliamentary institutions.
Jakob Blasel is ready. The founding member, born in 2000, announced on Wednesday on Twitter that he wanted to run for the next Bundestag. The decision had matured in him for a long time, said Blasel of the F.A.Z. He was repeatedly approached by parties. For a long time he refused to do so. After all, the movement was very successful.Blasel recently retired from FFF.
Fridays for Future has clearly reached a limit that the movement cannot cross. There are majorities against global warming, droughts and climate collapse. But the steps passed in the Bundestag are not enough to make the necessary German contribution to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Blasel now wants to enforce the solutions himself. “It takes people who bring radicalism into parliaments,” said Blasel. A month and a half ago he quietly ceased his work as spokesman for the movement.
It is no longer an isolated incident. The “Business Insider” portal reported on Wednesday about Urs Liebau, another activist of the movement who wants to compete on a Magdeburg list. Like Blasel for the Greens. The SPD and the Left Party also held talks. From the movement it was told to the F.A.Z. that there are currently five activists who are still active or have just stopped their engagement in talks about similar candidacies. In addition, there are candidacies at the municipal level, for example in the election in Cologne in September.
It is not always clear whether the parties or the activists are more involved. Blasel has been a member of the Greens for years and completed an internship with Lisa Badum, the Greens‘ climate policy spokeswoman in the Bundestag, in spring. Now he wants to compete on the Schleswig-Holstein state list. He knows that there are many others who have similar thoughts, says Blasel. But he doesn’t want to talk about them. But he personally received a lot of encouragement for his decision.
This step is not surprising for Leonie Bremer. She is one of the speakers for Fridays for Future in Germany. Like Blasel, Luisa Neubauer and Carla Reemtsma, she is one of the most famous faces of the movement in Germany. She is a friend with Blasel and has often spoken to him about his decision. „
Most members of FFF are likely to be drawn to the Greens. The strengthening of the Greens makes them the likely next government coalition partner of the CDU / CSU, especially since the Fridays for Future demonstrators will join or vote for the Green Party by 2024 at the latest and the Greens will also look to those retired 68 people and those old people who want to stay young in their lifestyle and attitude towards life. But before perceiving this as the main trend. one should read the study by youth researcher Bernhard Heinzlmaier. There is no such thing as youth, but the young Green Voters and FFF are above all a movement of the educated upper class, if not the upper third, as evidenced by the biographies of Felix Finkbeiner, Luise Neubauer and Carla Reemtsma. Like the extreme right-wing ex-left Jürgen Elsässer once said, the Bionade bourgeoisie: The middle and lower social classes, conversely, can still be won over to the AfD in the medium term, provided that the AfD does not yet split and disappear in the Corona hole or, in view of the coming corona economic crisis, gain popularity again . Furthermore, Heinzlmaier analyzes the difference in lifestyle between the younger and older generations and that the parties and institutions only perpetuate boring, humorless conformists into the infinite (of which Philip Amptor, the oldest 26-year-old in the world is the best example ), which discourages the younger generation as successors to the hedonistic fun youth of the 90s and 2000s. In addition, Heinzlmaier still considers the social question to be decisive, also for the future when the economic times are no longer so rosy.
And finally the breaking news: Greta is going back to school – after she survived Corona and was with Luise Neubauer and FFF at the meeting with Merkel in the Federal Chancellery.