War in Europe, week 122 through 123, and weeks 38 through 39

There is no significant change in Russia’s war against Ukraine; the new delivery of weapons and ammunition helps, and the promised F-16 fighters should arrive soon.

The EU presidency changed and is now with Hungary for six months. The Hungarian PM, Victor Orbán, visited Kyiv to ask Ukraine to stop defending itself against the invasion. Then, he went on to see the Tsar and pay his respects. After being criticized by his European peers, he canceled a meeting with the German foreign minister. What?

Looking at politics in the eastern countries and states, I sometimes wonder if people there would actually be happier if they aligned more closely with Russia. Maybe Western Europe has stretched too far to the East, and we should let people who prefer the Tsar and authoritarianism over Democracy live their lives as they want to.

The Arab-Israeli war continues unabated, with enormous civilian deaths and no avenue to peace in sight. There are way too many older men clinging to power.

The European elections do not bode well for the EU Green Deal; however, the UK elections might boost climate justice. And, in an exciting turn of events, the head of the conservative Christian Democrats in Germany has confessed his love for heat pumps!

(Road to Nowhere, 6/28/24, Fischenich)

War in Europe, weeks 119 through 121, and weeks 35 through 37

The renewed military supplies from the US seem to enable Ukraine to halt and push back the Tsar’s advance in the invasion. Still, there’s a long way to push back the invaders and achieve peace.

In the eastern states of Germany, the right-wing political parties (CDU, BSW, noAfD) who support the Tsar’s agenda are starting a smear campaign against Ukrainian refugees. It gets pretty interesting in the case of the CDU, which is very much pro-Ukrainian in the western states; only in the eastern states do they peddle the hateful nationalist, pro-Putin rhetoric.

As much as there seems to be a silver lining on the horizon for Ukraine, there’s no progress in the Israeli-Arab war. Quite the contrary, every day brings new potential conflicts and border fights; even the Israeli military now concedes that Hamas cannot be beaten with military means. But, the Israeli prime minister has resolved the war cabinet and now rules without any moderate influence.

This week, the climate won a small victory: the EU parliament finally voted in favor of the Nature Restoration Law!

The European elections were a disaster. Not unexpectedly, people voted for right-wing parties in several countries, including Germany. Voter analysis reveals a significant gender gap—the percentage of (young) males voting right-wing is much higher than that of the rest of the population.

(Vantage point, Fischenich, 6/20/24)

War in Europe, weeks 117 through 118, and weeks 33 through 34

Ukraine is still short on ammunition, but luckily, most partners have finally allowed their weapons to be used against targets in Russia. The Tsar is not happy. Maybe Germany will now send Taurus cruise missiles?

In the Israeli-Arab war, year another ceasefire proposal has come and gone. Hopefully, Benjamin Gantz will leave the government today! But there’s no hope or change for the people of Gaza on the horizon.

Last Friday, we had an EU-wide climate strike to highlight the dangers to our climate coming from right-wing parties – there won’t be climate justice without democracy, and we need to fight to protect both.

This Sunday, we have the actual European election. The minimum age for voting in these elections is 16, and it’s an absolute privilege to vote.

Andate, elettori, andate!

(Zum Konraderhof, Hürth, 6/6/24)


War in Europe, week 116 and week 32

Supplies from the US have started to arrive on the frontlines, enabling Ukraine to halt the onslaught of the Tsar’s troops. We now need the Western governments to ship more weapons, especially long-range weapons, to turn the tide and allow Ukraine to free the occupied oblasts. Looking at you, Olaf Scholz!

There is nothing positive to report from the Israeli-Arab war; talks about a cease-fire have stalled, and the right-wing government in Israel is pursuing the complete destruction of Gaza.

Heavy rain has caused massive flooding in the Saarland and the state of Rhineland Palatinate. While the science between heavy rain and heating is clear, our politicians still believe that burning fossil fuels is a good idea. #DontLookUp

The European elections are in early June, and we really need to get everybody to vote progressive to save the Green Deal in Europe! On Friday, May 31, Fridays for Future will hold rallies to support voting all over Europe.

(Technologie, Toleranz, Talente – Green Tech Festival, Berlin, 5/17/24)

War in Europe, weeks 114 through 115, and weeks 30 through 31

There is little to report other than the Tsar continuing his murderous spree. We are receiving encouraging reports from the front lines, though, as assistance from the US seems to arrive and make a difference on the battlefield again.

The festivities marking the liberation of Europe from the terrors unleashed by my ancestors are much more subdued this year due to the current bloodshed performed by the Red Army.

Very much related is the increasing isolation of Israel in the current conflict with the Arab world – there is a difference between defending oneself and killing civilians. I’m pleased that the US has started to withhold offensive weaponry!

Overall, there are currently way too many strongmen in power worldwide trying to undo decades of progress and return the world to the bleak ages of the last century.

This, in turn, means that we need to strengthen the European Union and get as many people to vote for its parliament as we can to bolster its legitimacy.

Climate emergency? Which emergency?

(Fahrrad beim Funkebüdche, Ühlepooz, 5/8/24)

War in Europe, weeks 112 through 113, and weeks 28 through 29

The GOP finally agreed to provide further military aid to Ukraine, and the President signed the bill into law immediately. We can only hope it will be in time to replenish the dwindling resources of the Ukrainian army and halt the current Russian advances.

Our chancellor is still too afraid to send advanced long-range weapons; some parts of the ruling Social Democrats have not yet understood the ruthless nature of the Tsarist regime.

The outlook on the Arab-Israeli war is pretty bleak; the only way forward to a peaceful resolution and an end to the massive deaths of civilians seems to be new elections in Israel, as proposed by the Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, in early March.

On climate, the car lobby scared the German population with car-free Sundays and thus reached a weakening of CO2-reduction goals. Climate Emergency, anyone?

(Radkutsche, Alter Markt, 4/19/24)

War in Europe, week 111 and week 27

The Tsar is advancing in Ukraine with the aid of the GOP. There seem to be a lot of (mostly male) politicians on the conservative side of the political spectrum who admire strongmen and their brutality – this does not bode well for our future.

Why do so-called leaders always view their troops and civilians as mere pawns in their quest for power? I’m looking at you, too, Ali Khamenei and Benjamin Netanyahu!

With the two wars taking center stage, our fight for survival in the upcoming climate catastrophe has faded from public view. All our politicians are relieved to be able to focus on dealing with known quantities, such as war and armed conflict. Unfortunately, physical realities (like viruses) do not discuss or compromise, and the greenhouse effect is real and happening.

A step in the right direction was a law we passed on Friday, allowing everyone to self-determine their gender without state interference! It is worthwhile to note that all conservative parties voted against it – which goes back to the point of the devastating role that the feeble male ego plays in our current calamities.

If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend Cara Daggett’s essay on Petro-masculinity: Fossil Fuels and Authoritarian Desire!

(Breakfast, Cologne, 4/7/24)

War in Europe, weeks 109 through 110, and weeks 25 through 26

With the Republicans failing Ukraine, the Tsar is advancing in his murderous spree; given the sheer size of Russia, he has, unfortunately, a distinct advantage in this war of attrition.

In the Israeli-Arab war, the situation is changing – while there is definitely a right to self-defense, there’s no right to brutal revenge; outsourcing decisions on whom to kill to a computer system should not be a path one takes.

I believe the only way out for the Israeli people would be to topple the Netanyahu government before any further catastrophic developments occur.

On climate, Nature published an interesting article yesterday on the effectiveness of climate protests and civil disobedience – give it a read!

(Spring, Cologne, 4/3/24)

War in Europe, week 108 and week 24

Moscow experienced a brutal terrorist attack this Friday with more than 130 people dead; Da’esh claimed ownership for this.

In Ukraine, the Tsar continues to murder people, and in the US, the GOP continues to delay much-needed aid. Our chancellor is still afraid of fully supporting Ukraine to help them win the war.

In the Israeli-Arab war, Netanyahu continues to isolate Israel even further by alienating even his staunchest allies. He’s using Hamas’ terrorist attack as a pretense to occupy the Gaza Strip fully, killing all the people living there; he has managed to turn self-defense into an all-out aggression.

On climate, in an absurd move, our transport secretary wants to fund air taxis.

(Tagesschau Eilmeldung, Screenshot, 3/22/24)


War in Europe, weeks 103 through 107, weeks 19 through 23

Unfortunately, there is no change to report yet. The Tsar continues his murderous assault on Ukraine with no end in sight. In the US, the Republican Party is still blocking any further aid, severely hampering Ukraine’s ability to defend itself.

There was a time in the past when the GOP would rise to defend democracy; nowadays, they seem only to exist to support Donald Trump and his love of strongmen and disdain for anything that’s not old-school heteronormative.

As far as the Israeli-Arab conflict is concerned, I’m at a loss for words. There was a fleeting hope for a cease-fire, but that has passed.

On the positive side, we are back on track to reach our 2030 goal of reducing emissions. If only there were a will to tell people that climate change will bring change…

We need to create a vision for a sustainable future!

(Visionsstammtisch, Cologne, 3/11/24)