In the current climate (pun intended), traveling by train is the most ecological alternative.
Austrian Railways have understood this and are offering sleeper trains from Germany to Austria. Leaving Cologne in the evening, you arrive at Vienna central station early in the morning, with a full day ahead for meetings or sightseeing.
Swedish Railways have just announced plans for an overnight Stockholm to Brussels train, which would add a much needed East-West connection.
Alas, Deutsche Bundesbahn seems to ignore the opportunity.
(NJ 40421 to Vienna, 8/1/20)
Our government recently passed a law that guarantees several large corporations, such as RWE and LEAG, the right to mine lignite until 2038. It also awards them huge compensation for shutting down money-losing plants.
There’s no need for coal-firing plants to generate electricity – it’s even not commercially viable anymore.
Instead of protecting the environment and its people, our government subsidizes a couple of big companies and violates the Paris accord.
We’ll ask the EU for help.
(Getting ready, 7/10/20)
For a new client, I had to travel to Copenhagen last week. It originally started as a remote assignment, but we agreed on an initial, on-site meeting.
So, how to get from Cologne to Copenhagen? It’s not that far, about 370 miles (600 kilometers), about the same distance as Paris, Munich or Berlin.
Short-haul flights in Europe are out of the question. That left me with two options: Hiring a car and driving, or taking the train.
In times of Corona, I didn’t fancy the idea of spending almost 12 hours in a closed carriage with a large group of people, so I hired a car. Was that the right decision? I don’t know – I’ll revisit it for the next trip.
Here in Cologne, wearing a face mask in public places is mandatory. Not so in Denmark – there’s hand sanitizer and gloves everywhere, but nobody is wearing a face mask; shops and offices are almost back to normal. It felt somewhat strange, though.
(Face mask by Gamescomwear)
“We must never forget that Caritas has its origin and essence in God Himself (John 1, 4:8). Caritas is the embrace of God, our Father, for every person, especially for the very last and the suffering, who take a privileged place in his heart.” (His Holiness, Pope Francis, May 2019)
I am deeply ashamed about our actions at the EU borders in Greece and the Mediterranean Sea, and our utter lack of compassion for the people in need.
(Dhagpo Kagyu Ling)
A couple of days ago, the unthinkable happened: A candidate got himself elected as governor with the help of the far right.
In Thuringia, of all places, where last century the Nazi party scored their first victory and started a spree of unspeakable atrocities and heinous crimes against humanity.
All just a couple of days after Holocaust Remembrance Day, just a couple of days after the 75-year anniversary of the liberation of the German death factory in Auschwitz through the Red Army.
What is wrong with people?
Never Again – Never Forget!
During the weekend we had a networking event with for-Future climate activists from all over Germany and many other European countries.
Networking becomes ever more important in the climate justice movement, to unite and coordinate activities, as our governments fail to address the emergency we’re facing and even harbor plans to make it worse, by adding more fossil fuel power plants, such as Datteln IV or Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.
The event was an Open Space, expertly facilitated by Jutta Weimar, Jens Wellendorf, and many supporters, who graciously donated their time and effort; results will now be forwarded to the local groups.
Vegan catering came from Fläming Kitchen, a so-called people-kitchen based in the Fläming region between Berlin and Leipzig – yum!
We were hosted at Max-Bill-Schule in Berlin Weissensee – many thanks to the director, Bernhard Klein, for having us!
I recently went to Barcelona, to attend a concert by Adexe y Nau as part of the Festival Mil·lenni in Sant Jordi Club. Fantastic show, by the way!
For this first time, though, I made the whole trip by train and public transport, and it was surprisingly easy. No need to fly or hire a car.
And the CO2 emissions are much lower – highly recommended!
Here are my goals for this year:
- Further reduce my carbon footprint and continue to actively support Fridays For Future in the struggle to achieve climate justice
- Reach at least a normal BMI, i.e. a BMI less than 24.9:
- Reduce my weight below 174 lbs. (79kg) and start exercising
- Submit at least three responses to Call for Papers / Meetup talks
- Run regular Rancher meetups in Cologne
- Process YouTube backlog, publish regularly on YouTube throughout the year, and improve my video and photo skills
- Reach these Social Media milestones:
- 10.000 Tweets
- 1.000 Instagram posts
- 100 YouTube videos
- Earn enough credits to start my Bachelor thesis in early 2021
2020 must be the year in which CO2 emissions begin to drop!
(#COP25 – posted by Aidan R. Gallagher)
With the (still) pretty abysmal Klimapaket of our government and the catastrophic failure of COP25 in Madrid, there’s only one course of action left – to organize ourselves and start protecting our climate!
One small step is the Visions For Climate summit in Berlin, January 24th to 26th, for people and organizations that are actively working to reach climate justice in time, for all.
Come and join us – see you there!
(Social Media post, from the organizer)
The latest reports from climate scientists are quite devastating, we’re getting close to what they call irreversible tipping points – do we really want to risk turning our earth into an inhabitable rock?
This Friday we were 630,000 people overall in Germany, according to the Fridays, protesting together against the inaction of our governments facing the climate crisis; in Cologne, we were in total 20,000 people on the streets.
Young Sheldon joined Jane Fonda for their weekly FireDrillFriday in front of the Capitol – at 11 years of age, Iain apparently has much more courage and intelligence than many adults!
On a positive note, the ailing Social Democrats have chosen a new group of leaders, and hopefully with it a more socially and environmentally friendly direction in their politics. Time will tell, though.
(NeustartKlima, Cologne, 11/29/19)