More German insanity: Dead bird stops new clinic building

In the main roles: a desperate city boss, an astonished talk show host, a stubborn minister and a dead bird. Title: The nightjar on the clinic roof.

Prologue: An ornithologist hears it chirping

Palmer was once a member of the Green Party, left after party quarrels, but was re-elected with great success. At Markus Lanz talkshow he now discussed the FDP's 12-point paper, especially the topic of bureaucracy.

“We are the location of a university hospital,” reported Palmer. “Three million people depend on the supply. It’s about human lives!”

But, said the mayor: “The complex urgently needs an expansion. It's about a quarter of a billion. I would like to sign the building permit. But then I'll go to prison. Because an ornithologist there as a patient heard a rare bird chirping. The Nightjar.”

Act One: In the nightjar habitat

The problem, Palmer continued: “The bird is strictly protected. A single male specimen had made it a habit to sing regularly on the rooftops of the University Hospital. That’s why this area is now nightjar habitat.”

The consequence, according to the mayor: “The nature conservation authority says: You can build, but you first have to create an alternative roost for the bird. Doesn't sound bad at first. But nightjars are an open-land species. They need wide areas that they can fly through. That’s why they bother trees.”

Second act: cat misery

The conservationists' current proposal: felling 10 hectares of forest behind the clinic so that the bird can fly freely there. Palmer is aghast: “I'm looking forward to the discussion with the city society when I cut down 1,000 adult trees. I get citizens’ initiatives because of just one tree!”

Glimmer of hope: “Now they didn’t see the bird last year,” says the mayor, describing a possible turnaround, “and then I thought: a cat got him. Problem solved!"

Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! Lanz immediately objects: “Nothing solved! Sad!” His face doesn’t reveal whether he’s really serious.

Act Three: Death certificate for a bird?

“The nightjar was a male, did not breed, there are no offspring,” states the mayor. “But the conservationists say: If there was ever a nightjar there, then that is nightjar country. The bird hasn't appeared for a year. Still, you have to pretend it’s still there and cut down the forest!”
Palmer's reaction: "I wrote to the Prime Minister asking whether some official could say that we should issue an official death certificate for the bird so that we can finally build!" But even MP Winfried Kretschmann (Green Party) cannot help.

Fourth Act: Completely crazy!

“Nature conservation says: If you cut down the forest, you have to reforest a forest somewhere else to exactly the same extent,” Palmer quotes his strict inspectors. But: “If I did that, ten hectares of new forest, then the nightjar wouldn’t be able to go there anymore. So it’s completely crazy!”

Source: Bild

Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of a forest stream.

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