NewsWorldOPINION | Angela Merkel, doubt and the neutrino

OPINION | Angela Merkel, doubt and the neutrino


Editor’s note: Carlos Alberto Montaner is a writer, journalist, and CNN contributor. His columns are published in dozens of newspapers in Spain, the United States and Latin America. Montaner is also vice president of the Liberal International. The opinions expressed here are solely his.

(CNN Spanish) –
Angela Merkel leaves through the wide door of Germany and Europe. After more than 15 years as chancellor, the doctor of quantum chemistry is retiring as a politician. The prudence and pragmatism exhibited over four periods, combined with democratic values, have earned him a place in the hearts of Europeans.

I have just seen a long documentary by Deutsche Welle in which various politicians and some professors judge his time at the head of the German Government. In general, they are very favorable. From Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the least enthusiastic, through former US President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to former French President Françoise Hollande, they have their opinions on Ms Merkel. The only negative criticism (and it is not part of the statements of the four mentioned heads of state) is that it was too “doubtful”.

I would put that trait of his personality as something positive that he has left from his scientific training. “I just know that I know nothing,” Socrates said in a Dialogue of Plato. I hope that the head of the state in which I live, constantly doubt. Doubt is a sign of intelligence. Stalin terrifies me, who knew about music to silence the composer and pianist Dmitri Shostakovich, one of the most relevant of the 20th century. And in biology, to the extent of declaring that the pseudoscientist Trofim Lysenko was right. Or Hitler, who was absolutely sure that killing all the Jews in Europe would solve most of the planet’s problems. I fear those who speak ex-chair. As they do not doubt, they have a license to kill. We must doubt everyone and everything so that they do not kill us.

Being “hesitant” and pragmatic allowed Angela Merkel to assume one of the claims of the Greens, and go from being a defender of the energy produced by atomic plants to proposing the closure of all those that used nuclear energy within 10 years. The last six will be closed in 2022.

How did you convince yourself that something that generated a high percentage of Germany’s electrical energy was negative and dangerous for your country, despite the example of France, where 70% has this origin and is even a significant line of French exports? The Japanese disaster of Fukushima I, which occurred on March 11, 2011, was the key.

That day, after experiencing a very strong earthquake (magnitude 9) the plant burned and polluted the atmosphere, Merkel decided at that time to move away at the highest possible speed from atomic energy and bet on other ways of producing electricity.

For example, wind, solar or photovoltaic. Even energy, recently associated with a company in India, which would allow us to have cars or houses equipped with self-sufficient electrical appliances, without the need to charge batteries, because it is known of the unlimited bombardment of neutrinos with which the sun constantly gives us day and night.

Soon we could see the first Car PI cars circulating around the world. The bodies will absorb neutrinos, subatomic particles with little mass, which travel through space at almost 300,000 kilometers per second (the speed of light).

It was even debated whether or not neutrinos existed, and whether it was true that millions of them constantly pass through the Earth and everything in it, including ourselves, until in 2015 Arthur B. McDonald from Canada and Takaaki Kajita from Japan, for having discovered and weighed the mass of the neutrino, totally independently of each other.

As it is known, since Albert Einstein, that energy is equal to the mass times the square of the speed of light (the only formula that I remember from my poor high school), so that – as I understand it – the mass of neutrinos could be an inexhaustible source of energy if it can be properly trapped and accumulated. That, precisely, is what could be achieved today thanks to the Germans. Hopefully they will.


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