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)

War in Europe – Two Years

On this day two years ago, the Russian Emperor decided to invade Ukraine.

The Tsar continues to slaughter civilians and commit other war crimes for his gain and glory.

Western support is unfortunately hampered by the Republicans in the US, who do not want to send further aid, and our chancellor, who is afraid to send long-range weapons and more ammunition.

To help Ukraine defend itself and Europe, you can donate here: United24.

(Flag of Ukraine with coat of arms, Wikimedia Commons, CC0)

War in Europe, weeks 97 through 102, weeks 13 through 18

The Tsar is still slaughtering Ukrainians for fun and personal gain, and there are no signs of him relenting. In Germany, he’s investing in a second political party, the BSW, in addition to the AfD, to further his right-wing agenda and destroy our democracy.

In the Israeli-Arab conflict, there’s a little glimmer of hope that a ceasefire might be reached soon; both sides are drafting and exchanging plans.

Domestic politics are overshadowing all climate issues – an undercover investigation into the German far-right party AfD has revealed its plans to forcefully drive out millions of people from Germany, especially those who are not aligned with their ultra-nationalist and ultra-conservative views. This is utterly despicable, and there have been countless protests and rallies all over Germany since.

We need to turn these protests into a long-term movement to defend democracy and our open society!

(Anti-AfD Protest, Cologne, 1/16/24)

War in Europe, weeks 94 through 96, weeks 10 through 12

Just in time for the New Year, the Tsar intensified his assaults on Ukrainian civilians, murdering countless people again for fun and personal gain.

In his New Year’s speech, he said that 2024 would become the year of the family – if you’re Russian, that is. Otherwise, it will be all bullets and missiles for you. This is the same nationalistic tune that all far-right dictators and politicians sing. It still baffles me, though, how one human being can believe that another human being is less or of different worth.

No good news in the Israeli-Arab conflict either.

2024 is around the corner, and after this year, which is already 2.4 degrees hotter than last century, we need to step up our efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The big challenge for next year will be to convince more people that we’d need to do this – there’s a lot of reluctance toward the necessary changes, and it will be up to us to define a positive narrative and vision.

(Window Friday, Cologne, 12/31/23)