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)


War in Europe, week 93 and week 9

The Tsar is still murdering people in Ukraine, and the Arab-Israeli war is continuing unabated, not to mention the other ongoing forgotten wars.

After the Tsar has declared the LGBTQI* community as a terrorist organization, he’s now going after women’s rights, very much like all the other fundamentalist dictators worldwide do.

The current state of the final resolution at COP28 is a disgrace – driven by fossil fuel lobbyists, the necessary phase-out of fossil fuels is not included in the text.

We know that COP will likely continue to fail us, so we spent the last week at the Earth Social Conference in Casanare, Colombia, working on a shared vision for a climate-just world.

During this year’s conference, we learned a lot from each other about concepts like Buen Vivir or Radical Tenderness. I am very much looking forward to continuing the work throughout the year! The ESC in 2024 is scheduled to be in Mexico at the same time as COP29 and will help us to prepare for COP30.

(Transversal del Sisga, Colombia, 12/11/23)

War in Europe, week 92 and week 8

Nothing new on the Eastern Front: The Tsar is continuing his murderous assault on Ukraine and its people. To continue to justify the war, he recently branded all queer people as a terrorist organization, following the same path as many dictators before him.

Fighting in the Arab-Israeli conflict has resumed, and there will be more cruelty and death in the coming weeks.

The chairperson of the COP, Sultan Al Jaber, has said that there is ‘no science’ behind demands for the phase-out of fossil fuels, according to The Guardian. That was not unexpected, but it’s a chilling statement nonetheless.

In a couple of days, the Earth Social Conference in Casanare will start and try to address the climate emergency and create a plan for a sustainable and equitable future.

(Breakfast with a view, Bogotá, 12/2/23)

War in Europe, weeks 90 and 91, weeks 6 and 7

The war in Ukraine drags on, and the Tsar continues to slaughter innocent civilians for his personal gain.

Unfortunately, the Tsar has found a new ally in Europe – the Dutch have elected a far-right politician for president. Together with Hungary’s president, the two ultra-nationalists do not bode well for our efforts to protect the Ukraine and thus ourselves against the Tsar’s imperialist ambitions.

The Arab-Israeli war has entered a new phase, with a temporary truce and the exchange of hostages. For the sake of the people living there, I hope they will soon reach a step toward lasting peace!

But I am skeptical; the military leaders of Hamas, like the Tsar, have no interest in protecting the lives and well-being of civilians; their only interest lies in their respective ideologies of power and the illusion of their own grandeur.

Two weeks from now, the Earth Social Conference will start in Casanare, Colombia. The program is almost complete, logistics are in place, and I can’t wait to meet all the other climate activists from around the globe to build a realistic alternative to the COP.

KubeCon in Chicago was good but less energetic than the spring conference in Amsterdam. And there were new Geekos!

(Geekos on the shelf, Cologne, 11/16.23)