Forest or Coal? ~Hambacher Forest at the front of Climate Change action

Forest or Coal? ~Hambacher Forest at the front of Climate Change action

Germany! One of Europe’s climate leaders in the transformation
to renewable solar and wind energy. There is however an underexposed darker side
to this seemingly positive image a scene of old forest devoured
by giant coal digging machines… dirty coal-power plants… ghost villages… police… and some tree houses. Stay tuned to learn more about this issue
and the possible solutions. On the edge of Germany’s largest brown coal
mine stands the last remaining bit of the old Hambacher forest. It is here where a heated discussion arose
about the conserving the scarce bit of old forests we have left and turning the tide of
fossil fuels, especially brown coal, the most inefficient
and dirties of them all. Originally the Hambacher forest had a size
of 5500 hectare but today only 200 hectares are left. Composed of old oaks & hornbeams, a forest
like this is very rare in Europe. Although it cannot be considered as a Primeval
forest, since it has always been influenced by humans. unlike Bialowieza in Poland, of which I made
a video last year. Still this special forest houses large oak
trees over 300 years old, rarely seen in a European forest. The forest is habitat to many endangered species
such as the Bechstein’s bat and the middle spotted woodpecker, who are especially dependent on dead wood, which is very abundant in this more natural forest. This piece of ancient forest would be cut
down this year, to clear the surface for these gigantic bucket-wheel excavators, who are digging this almost 45 square kilometer hole with a depth of up to 500 meters, digging up brown coal also known as lignite. It is not just about the forest itself but
also the animals that life here, the people that have been living in the villages
around the forest. who now need to move because of the coal mining that is happening right over
here. It is a big injustice that is happening, because
some people dictate over the rest of the world and say we want to dig for the coal, we want
to destroy everything for money, for profit. And it is not the way we want to live, it
is not something we can agree on. Being the largest producer of lignite in the
world, Germany has several of such mines. Groundwater is pumped away many kilometers
around these gigantic holes, causing devastating effects on the landscape. Slowly the edges of the mines expand. Besides the destruction of forest, highways
had to be moved and many villages with their inhabitants had to move for the ground to vanish into a big hole. All of this for coal. Although renewable energy production grows
steadily in Germany, reaching a share of about 40% in mid 2018, actual emissions reduction
stagnated for the third year in row. This is especially due to the dirty power
plants running on this lignite, with it’s high water content,
emitting about twice asmuch CO2 as do plants running on natural gas for example. And more lignite was burned since chancellor
Merkel closed down Germany’s nuclear power plants, after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. My vision on nuclear energy has changed as
a result of the events in Japan. However, to still reach it’s 2020
climate-change targets, of reducing emissions by 40% relative to 1990 Germany’s only option is to close
down those mines and lignite plants. So the German government set up a commission
to come up with a coal phase out plan at the end of this year 2018. But energy giant RWE, owning these mines,
felt the heat of environmentalists and coming political decisions and did not want to await the commissions judgments. And so they planned to clear the forest even
this year already. But just when the forest clearings started
this october, a court ordered an immediate halt of the clearings. A halt until is clarified if this ancient
woodland falls under protection of EU environmental rules, due to its large population of endangered
bat species. The court also argued that there were no reasons
for immediate clearing, since the excavators will only reach the current forest edge in about two years. But the big questions is: can Germany do without its coal? The problem with renewable wind and solar
energy is that it is depended on the weather and thus it can not be adapted to the demand
of energy at any moment. This can be resolved by temporary storing
energy. However Germany is lacking ways to do this. The classical solution of hydro installations,
storing energy by pumping up water in reservoirs, is not an option in Germany due to lack of suitable hilly terrain, and in general hydro dams can have
negative ecological consequences, as seen in the Amazon or Sweden for example. But there are definitely alternatives like
storing energy in batteries, heat, gas or liquids. These electricity storage technology projects
could be attracted to these mining regions and form the solution to counteract local
unemployment on account of closing the mines, since this is one of the main obstacles in
closing them. Yes, switching off coal is not an easy task, and we can not just expect it to happen
from one day to the other. But to make this transition, still a lot more can be done without the drastic consequences like climate-change it self. Especially energy company RWE seems to only think about their short term economic interest, not investing in clean technologies and solutions for local employment in the long term. For now this forest is temporarily saved, but the threat of chainsaws and excavators is still there. However, there is good hope that political
decisions will end the era of coal pretty soon and furthermore, many thousands of people
stand behind the Hambacher forest, making a statement to conserve this iconic forest in mitigating climate change by ending coal, striving for an earth where we can all live
in peace & harmony. Folks are even protecting the forest,
making cool tree houses, doing bushcraft & stuff. Yeah, we are here for another world, for a world where there is no oppression on others, or where there is no injustice for a group
of people because of interests. That it is okay to live in harmony with each
other, but also the planet. That we don’t need to use everything that
we can get, just because we can get it. Yeah, we are here, for a new world you could
say really. Build nice tree houses! Always! Always the next one! So this forest can stay. The end of the coal era is in side, this iconic forest can and should be saved! Together, we can do it! ”Another world is possible” Thanks a lot for watching, folks! It would be of great support to this new channel if you subscribe and turn on the notification bell. See you back in 2019 Let’s make it a green & peacefull year! Check out the channel introductions video and get to know more about the the potential future of this channel. Great to hear your Opinions, Suggestions, comments bellow. Take care, see yah soon!

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62 thoughts on “Forest or Coal? ~Hambacher Forest at the front of Climate Change action

  1. First video on this new channel! Something different, but I like it at least;) Would be great to hear your thoughts on the new channel & the Hambach situation;) Many thanks for the support! Cheers, Julius

    P.S. don't forget to subscribe;p and maybe cool to follow the social media &

  2. I really appreciate how important the world is to you Julius. Keep up you're dedication and you'll make a difference. Much love from Michigan.

  3. Will follow to see other ideas. I hear you. But. I agree we all want clean air and water and a safe environment. We need to step up and join in on reducing use of fuel based carbon. The only issue is finding common ground on the time line the way I see it. The extremists environmentalists want yesterday and far right want years from now. In the end will will most likely meet in the middle somewhere. Cheers.

  4. Corporate greed unfortunately alot of these big corporations have a heavy hand in governments across the globe. I will give a shout out to Norways oil company (cant remember the name) that has changed the way it processes raw oil to cut down on harmful waste its the only company I have seen to make such changes. So cheers to you Norway. I wish you guys the best in your cause it would truely be a shame to see that forest destroyed.

  5. Excellent commentary.
    Didn't know Germany had such a problem with coal.
    There's perception that you guys had most of the power generation problems fixed.

  6. Very well spoken English, Julius. Love the new channel. Thank you for letting us know about environmental issues in Germany. Cya next year

  7. I heard that solar panels have their own problem. When it reaches the end of its life, it can't be thrown away because of the heavy metals in it, but it's also hard to reuse any of the materials in there. So it's like a garbage but you can't throw it away…

  8. I understand your love of nature and I also love nature. But, I grew up in Coal mining area,and a lot of people feed their families from coal mining. If a government puts restrictions on mining, then they need to do an equal amount to help all the families that depended on that coal. There are two sides to every story.

  9. Great ideas for this channel! The world is turning into a much smaller place that we all must share. Corporations, countries, and individual citizens alike need to see the impact we are having on the planet. Where is our civilization going to be in 20, 50, 100, or 1,000 years? Uncivilized may be the answer if we continue our destructive path. And should we remain civilized, what good is a world devoid of all animal and plant life? How hard would it be to describe something as common as a tree or a bird to your grandchild, and then tell them that humanity wiped them from the face of the planet? It is starting to become an embarrassment to think that the worlds most "intelligent" species soils and sullies their own home with total disregard for any other life. Thank you for speaking up about it!
    <– New Subscriber!

  10. Great to see the new channel Julius. Next Spring I am going to cycle around the world to raise money for a rainforest conservation charity, and am looking forward to learning some more about what I will be riding for. Your Smooth Gefixt videos have also been very useful in teaching me about wild camping! Succes ouwe!

  11. I can't wait to see what this channel will grow into! Not many people on youtube emphasise the importance of preserving what little nature Europe has left and show the true ills of corporatism.

    I will be watching your videos for sure and I hope the best for this channel!

  12. We gave so much money to these companies that use coal and oil.
    All of those past years for our convenience, not understanding or even not caring for the damage that they were causing to the environment.
    They became giants, feral animals, real beasts that will not go down without a big fight they will fight with tooth and nails to avoid their ending.
    They have financial resources, judges, police and politicians in their pockets.
    I think we can win this fight but it will be an uphill battle, and the best way is like you are doing creating a way for people to see what is going on and to get involved.
    Thank you for your initiative and for what you do. Cheers.

  13. CO2 = Plant food. Photosynthesis creates a self-regulating system on the Earth that has kept this gas at very stable levels in the last hundred thousand years or so, based on ice core samples taken from the poles. If Carbon Dioxide levels rise, as they have before in our planet's history due to intermittent periods of volcanic activity, more photosynthesis occurs, creating more biomass on earth , which converts more of this gas into plant and phytoplankton material. We will never end up like Venus, as long as we maintain healthy forests and oceans . Ironically, the plan to "dim" the earth with chem-trails of SO2, which is now being proposed by aggressive Climate Change cultists, would actually reverse this natural process and produce acid rain to boot.

  14. it makes my blood boil yo think of how big business and global interests are destroying this planet for their fucking share holders.

  15. I heard about an interesting new way of storing energy that is in development now. It uses a giant spinning disk to store energy the energy which can be recovered from the system with a dynamo.

    It's simple, doesnt have an enviromental impact and it has a lot of potential I think. And here is a like to the video explaning more about it:

  16. God bless you God bless people like you we need so many more people like you if everybody would get on the same page we can save this Earth for a great great grand kids and animals trees everything I love this Channel please keep it up

  17. I actually like these videos they're informed and educated. What the world needs to get is climate change is not a political issue yet we politicized it. One thing we can all agree on is money removed from politics is a good start. We can't convince them to start taking steps when coal companies billions of dollars speak louder than citizens and data.

  18. U know, that they are replanting the forest when they are done? It already started. They nearly finished with their work anyway. Check out whats left of the old forest:,6.3563817,2009m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x47bf5c94fc8fe1af:0x34d898611d7c9285!8m2!3d50.9!4d6.4333333

  19. Beautiful video. I'm not one for climate change, as I think it's a globalist hoax bent on control and money, but I am very opposed to deforestation, especially with other means of cleaner energy at hand. I think the globalist flag flying of the protesters shows they are misinformed. It's globalism, and the push for bigger societies, that got us here in the first place. They are well meaning in their battle, but fighting under a false flag. Either way, I hope to see the forest standing longer than any of us.

  20. Globalist propaganda. It's too bad, because when leftists abuse conservationism for their political gain, it diminishes the importance of conserving nature.

  21. There was this huge corporation who started mining the remote forests for a rare raw material. At first they tried working with the people living there but then just bulldozed through their land and chased them away. The indigenous people were pretty mad and scared because their leader was killed by a falling tree limb. But this one guy, who worked for the company had fallen in love with one of the chicks from the area. He fought for them , at first peaceably but when diplomacy failed, he took up arms. In the end the corporation lost and the guy married the girl and mated with her, impregnating her. Now they are poor, their land is destroyed and the corporation is gone. I'm not sure if there's a moral to this story or not.

  22. In my opinion the activists are completely overreacting about the Hambacher Forst. It´s a 200 ha forest. Germany has more than 11.000.000 ha of forest. Every year this forest INCREASES by about 5.000 ha. The type of forest with a mixture of Quercus spec. and Carpinus betulus is not as rare as said in this video. It grows in a lot of dry and warm areas in Germany (mostly southern slopes). Most of the forests in Germany are spruce and there is a lot of money invested to turn those forests back into the naturally occuring beech forests and in the suitable areas into oak forests.
    The companies that mine brown coal in Germany also have to invest money into the reforestation after they mined the coal.
    I think there´s a lot worse shit going on in the world (like the deforestation in the rain forests) where the activists should try to make a change instead of the Hambacher Forst. Also if everyone of them would take a spade and plant 100-200 oaks or beech seedlings under the spruce and pine forests in Germany to help change the unnatural structure of the forests instead of sitting around for weeks in the Hambacher forest to protest, they would make a much bigger change.
    Just my 2 cents…
    PS: Nothing against you Julius, I like your videos a lot and I like that you are trying to preserve nature and make a change in the world. I have a master degree in science of forestry and I appreciate everyone who cares about nature and helps to preserve it.

  23. @Nature’s Pact Ik wil niet vervelend zijn ik denk alleen dat jullie meer mensen zouden kunnen bereiken wanneer jullie je neutraler op stellen (behalve als het gaat om het behouden van de natuur natuurlijk). Dingen als jullie profiel foto zouden sommige mensen kunnen afschrikken het te kijken (ik denk niet dat dit de bedoeling is). Zou het niet mooi zijn wanneer iedereen (arme en rijke, linkse en rechtse, zwarte en blanken) het over dit onderwerp eens kan zijn. Verder wil ik jullie bedanken voor de tijd die jullie hierin stoppen. Take care about nature (and yourself).

  24. Although only a small bit is left, this forest is a strong symbol. Those images of the open mine are truly terrifying. Meanwhile, Germany still needs to buy nuclear power from France across the border. Talk about hypocrisy. I am wondering if that mine with its great height differences could not be converted to a large energy storage facility, with hydro storage reservoirs at different levels.
    Not only large corporations are a threat to nature. I live in an area with a lot of forest (central France; our village of 180 inhabitants and 10 square km has more forest than the remaining Hambacher Forest, I see several monumental trees from my window at the edge of our yard and hear woodpeckers every day; we are in a 260 square km Natura 2000 area so no large industrial activities now or in the foreseeable future – lucky me) and I see many small landowners who possess small areas of woodland who just cut down even the most emblematic, healthy old trees to sell them for the wood, in many cases just as firewood. They don't care one bit about the animals and other creatures for whom those trees were habitats, they just want the money (in all honesty, some of these people are pretty poor with very small pensions and need the money to make ends meet, so the insufficient state pension scheme is one of the causes of forest destruction). Or farmers cut down hedgerows thinking that they can enhance their production of hay, wheat or whatever by combining small fields into one large one, with better access for tractors – or to get a bit more European subsidy, which is dependent on the surface of fields not hidden by trees on aerial photos. After which there is no more habitat for small predators, so the rodents take over, multiply unchecked and destroy the fields… In that sense, many small intrusions on nature make for a lot of damage as well.
    Good initiative to start this channel, keep up the good work.

  25. we need more nuclear energy, bateries are bad for the enviorment and stop eating avocados and other shit transported from around the word eat locally produced meats grains and dairy products!!! onions are good to

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