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Positive US Media Coverage of Environmentalism in Germany

The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting article about "New German community models car-free living:"
It's pickup time at the Vauban kindergarten here at the edge of the Black Forest, but there's not a single minivan waiting for the kids. Instead, a convoy of helmet-donning moms - bicycle trailers in tow - pedal up to the entrance.  Welcome to Germany's best-known environmentally friendly neighborhood and a successful experiment in green urban living. The Vauban development - 2,000 new homes on a former military base 10 minutes by bike from the heart of Freiburg - has put into practice many ideas that were once dismissed as eco-fantasy but which are now moving to the center of public policy. 
US Blogger Andrew Hammel commented on this article in German Joys and concluded: "As this article shows, Germany's far-sighted environmental policies also earn positive press internationally."

Recently, EU Commissioner for Environment Stavros Dimas blasted Germany for not setting a good example on environment protection.The German government first opposed EU plans for stricter car emissions, but then reached a compromise on Germany's general greenhouse gas emissions, writes Reuters.

Following are two more examples of positive US press coverage of energy saving in Germany/Europe, which serve as counter-examples to the claim that the US coverage of Germany is not diverse enough.
A New Yorker travels to Germany and the Czech Republic, encounters regular energy saving technology and several simple services that work on demand only in order to save energy and then writes about it in his blog at Dailykos.

"Home importer turns to Europe for quality, speed and energy efficiency, not to mention looks," writes the Rocky Mountain News:
The obvious question: Why would anyone go to the trouble and expense of shipping an entire home here from overseas? "Quality, speed and energy efficiency," says Meier, a German-born wood importer who has since started his own company, Platz Haus USA, in hopes of doing the same for other would-be homeowners. In January, his first client, Mary Ellen Vaughan, watched her 2,000-square-foot German chalet go up in a matter of days in Salina, down the road from Meier's house. "Everything you can imagine went wrong weatherwise, and we were still able to build it in a week," says Meier. While U.S. home-builders beg to differ, Meier argues that European homes tend to be better-built for many reasons: Because families own their homes far longer, the homes are "built to last," using slow-growing Nordic timber that has tighter rings and, thus, makes stronger boards. Because fuel costs have always been higher and government regulations tighter, energy efficiency in Germany is top priority. Walls tend to be thicker and better-insulated, passive solarheating is the norm and building materials are greener, he says. And they're beautiful.
Personal comment: Energy efficiency saves money, protects the environment, and decreases our dependency on oil and gas rich countries and reduces the threats from terrorism. No need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out, but Europeans and American still have a long way to go in terms of improving energy efficiency.

Advice on saving energy: Dr. Steffen Schmuck Soldan, the Regional Coordinator of the Fulbright Alumni in Berlin, works for co2online, a German non-profit limited liability company that is campaigning for a reduction in emissions of the environmentally harmful gas carbon dioxide (CO2). Co2online provides quick and specific advice on various aspects of residential heating, energy-saving modernisation, and subsidies. They help home owners and tenants to evaluate their residential energy consumption and to cut costs and CO2-emissions.  More information about co2online and the online advisors.

Endnote: A gas station in Omaha, Nebraska, claims to sell only
Terror-Free Oil:
The Terror-Free Oil Initiative is dedicated to encouraging Americans to buy gasoline that originated from countries that do not export or finance terrorism. We educate the public by promoting those companies that acquire their crude oil supply from nations outside the Middle East and by exposing those companies that do not. We are also looking into creating a healthy debate concerning alternate methods of fuel production and consumption.

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Pat Patterson on :

The Terror Free Oil Initiative would be funny if it weren't so sad. For example almost half the oil imported into the US by Amerada Hess comes from mainly Azerbijan and smaller amounts from Gabon, Equitorial Guinea, Algeria and Thailand. None of these countries are described as Free by Freedom House, though Gabon and Thailand are listed as Partly Free. They may not be importing oil from countries that support killing people in other countries but seem to have no problem importing oil from countries that kill their own people. http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/saudigas.asp

John on :

Energy saving will become more and more important!

Rev. Jim on :

The "Terror-Free Oil" initiative is nothing more than an initiative of its owners to scam Americans. See http://hatewatchhallofshame.blogspot.com/2007/02/is-terror-free-oil-really-snake-oil.html

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