Germany: What Is the Role of Environmentalists in the Ahr Flood Disaster?
While there seems to be a consensus among media and political figures alike to blame the near 200 victims of the recent flood disaster in Germany and Belgium on “climate change”, one of the major aspects of the disaster that should be looked into, is the role of “environmental” groups that prevented or delayed necessary flood protection measures.
Exactly this debate has erupted in Austria, after Agriculture Minister Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP), said, in a statement on July 18: “I do not have the slightest understanding for the fact that approval procedures are delayed by NGOs for years and thus prevent effective protection of people and goods… Investing in protective measures for people and goods is a high priority. The people on the ground do not have the slightest understanding for objections from NGOs that result in years of delays in protection projects,” as reported by Die Presse.
In fact, for years now, “environmentalists” have been busily going even further to take down flood protection measures and are proud of it. The German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) produced and published, in late 2019, a short promotional film about the renaturation of the Ahr river that praises the fact that 62 km of the river have been “renaturated and made passable for fish… For this purpose, almost 100 fish obstacles have been removed since the beginning of the 1990s…. Since then, the Ahr has been able to develop freely here and form natural structures.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svJ4G_f4fTE)
Indeed. But flood protection was obviously forgotten or perhaps even deliberately ignored, in planning such measures. In a statement published through his Facebook account, Alexander Hartmann, a candidate in the Federal elections for the Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (BüSo) party, demanded “an investigation as to what extent these ‘renaturation measures’ have contributed causally to the flood disaster in the Ahr valley, and whether there is culpable negligence of the responsible authorities here.”
For Prince Philip’s Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Ahr renaturation is just the beginning. In a paper, published in April 2021, “New WWF analysis shows huge potential for river restoration through barrier removal in Europe” (https://www.wwf.eu/?2898441/New-WWF-analysis-shows-hugepotential-for-river-restoration-through-barrier-removal-in-Europe), the WWF demands a whole a program to take down barriers along European rivers, identifying over 7,000 “barriers” to be eliminated, in a sample representing 3% of Europe’s estimated 1 million barriers, “liberating” nearly 50,000 km of rivers.
European rivers, complains the WWF, “are the most fragmented in the world. Barriers in rivers – such as dams for hydroelectric power – are one of the main reasons for rivers failing to reach good ecological status under the EU Water Framework Directive, and are a key cause for the 93% decline of European freshwater migratory fish populations in the last decades.”
Apparently, the WWF’s aim is to drive civilization away from the rivers, where it originated, in order to make room for the fish to flourish.