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Ending the Fossil Fuel Era$
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Thomas Princen, Jack P. Manno, and Pamela L. Martin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028806

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028806.001.0001

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The Future Would Have to Give Way to the Past

The Future Would Have to Give Way to the Past

Germany and the Coal Dilemma

(p.223) 9 The Future Would Have to Give Way to the Past
Ending the Fossil Fuel Era

Tom Morton

The MIT Press

Germany is in the forefront of Europe’s ecological modernization move, the technological transformation of industrial society toward cleaner and greener energy and a sustainable economy. Yet even as it does, plans are underway in the heart of former Communist East Germany, to expand the mining of brown coal, the most polluting and inefficient as well as the cheapest and most available form of coal. Here Tom Morton explores Germany’s coal dilemma through the words and struggles of farmers and villagers whose lands and homes are threatened once again by a coal juggernaut, a juggernaut many Germans thought would have been long ago abandoned, the dirty legacy of the Communist era with millions of tons of brown coal safely left in the ground.

Keywords:   Brown coal, German Climate Alliance, Energy Transformation, German Democratic Republic, Reunification, Vattenfall, Ecological Modernization

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