In spring of this year, a journalist of the german Greenpeace Magazin was in the wood on a visit for a couple of days. A wonderful article has been made from it. We translated a part of it in english.
The Droning in the Forest
Text: Svenja Beller / Pictures: Markus Feger
It is night, when they start walking, deeper into the forest. Thin branches crack under bare feet, falling buds patter gently on the leaves of the trees. Since the spring made explode the woods two weeks ago, the moonlight hardly penetrates to the forest floor. Nevertheless, they turn off their flashlights because it’s beautiful, they sing. Gradually they split up, now they are only a couple or alone. On long ropes, they climb into the treetops, pulling themselves up, meter by meter. Nothing can be heard, but the rustling and the droning, the everlasting droning. Up there in the crowns they lie down to sleep in their self-built tree houses, so that the trees are still there when they wake up the next morning.
They try to stop what is unstoppable. Every tree, every bush, every blade of grass will disappear in about ten years, into the hole that swallows the land, coming from the north. The Hambach Forest, once a stately forest of 55 square kilometers, is only a narrow green strip south of the old A4 motorway now. Since last autumn no car runs on it anymore, north of the ghostly silent asphalt strip, the forest is already shaved down to the stumps. The hole is the open-cast lignite mine of Hambach. With more than 42 square kilometers it is the largest coal mine in Germany. There the biggest machines in the world are digging – 220 meters long, 96 meters high and as heavy as 10,000 cars – every day 240,000 tons of slag and lignite, the most harmful to the climate among all energy sources. The ratio of energy output to greenhouse gas emissions is worse than in any other form of power generation. In times where the effects of climate change all over the world are becoming clearer, RWE calles lignite adamantly as “a reliable partner of the energy transition”. In the dark, the huge excavators shine brightly on the hills on the horizon, they shovel without a break. And they drone, drone, drone.
“That’s the last thing I hear before I fall asleep,”. says Tom, whose real name is different. “That always reminds me why I’m here.”. (…)