Global Climate Strike

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.

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(NeustartKlima, Cologne, 11/29/19)

Vagabundo

During the winter developer’s conference at Senacor Technologies AG in Nuremberg, they presented a nice little tool to measure and offset carbon dioxide emissions during business travel.

The tool is called Vagabundo and is realized using a serverless framework; it collects data from all business travels, calculates CO2 emissions and offsets them through Atmosfair – great approach at using technology to protect our climate!

It’s currently an in-house project, but Senacor seemed amiable to open-source it.

Much more than the offsetting part, I like the reporting – how much CO2 do I emit during travel and how could I optimize it?

Taking this a step further, I could see creating internal (team) competitions – who’s the best at having video conferences instead of in-person meetings? Who’s able to reduce air travel the most?

I think, there’re endless possibilities – anybody as interested as I am?

2019-11-16

End of an era

If we’re serious about protecting our climate, we need to show and apply the true cost of CO2 emissions to where they occur.

One business that will for sure suffer is the airline industry, especially the low-cost carriers – that most likely will not be a business model that can be sustained much longer.

Of course I do accept the necessary change and will adapt, but that’s where it hurts me the most personally, and I quietly mourn the ability to travel the world freely; it almost feels as if my wings were clipped.

But long distance trains are an option, too – if they weren’t so expensive … I really hope we will reintroduce sleeper carriages and over night trains in Europe!

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Feierabenddemo

Yesterday we had the first afternoon climate strike, organized by Parents 4 Future, Scientists 4 Future, Extinction Rebellion and many more, to support the Fridays and acknowledge our responsibility.

It’s the grown-ups who’ve caused the climate emergency, and it’s up to us to do our part to mitigate it – individually, of course, but also collectively as a society.

After the abysmal “Klimapaket” was presented by our government, the idea was born to add a weekly protest on Friday evening, to reach the people who are at work during the day, to increase awareness for the need for climate action, broaden support for the Fridays and compel our government to act.

Wish us luck!

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(Chlodwigplatz, Cologne)

Going Green

After last week’s catastrophic failure of our governing parties to address climate change, I have decided to formally switch my affiliation to the Greens.

I have kept my affiliation with the Social Democrats for quite some time now in honor of my late father, who dedicated his life to the politics of Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, but enough is enough.

Earlier this year, the Social Democrats failed to protect the digital realm and we’re still waiting for the fallout from that disaster; this Friday they abandoned our environment and our planet to support measures that will harm the climate for the benefit of our car industry.

Protecting our planet for the future of our children is the most pressing issue of our time and I want to make sure that our next government will listen to climate scientists and act accordingly!

Meanwhile I will of course continue to do my part, and change to a sustainable way of life.

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(#NieMehrSPD #NieMehrCDU #NiemalsAfD)

Climate Fail

We’re currently being massively let down by our politicians, first last Friday by our local government and on Monday by the world.

We all know that in order to protect our planet and ensure the survival of humanity, we’ll need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically and stop burning fossil fuel. The science behind that is crystal clear and non-negotiable; a system change is necessary.

So why is it that our politicians, instead of leading the change, waste our time away and endanger all of us by sticking to old habits?

There is only so much we as individuals can and definitely should do – on a personal level we can change the way we eat, travel, commute and consume – on the level of our society we need politicians. Maybe we need new ones – the next general elections are on the horizon!

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(“Spanner in the works”, IAA Frankfurt)

E-Mobility

Yesterday, the international Motor-Show in Frankfurt (IAA) saw a big protest, demanding an urgent change in politics towards eco-friendly mobility.

A lot of people think that this is only about the question which power train to use in a car.

Alas, it’s not. Even with an all-electric car, it’s still neither a good idea nor good use of resources to propel 2 tons of steel forward to get a single human being to work.

Rethinking mobility is much bigger and needs to focus on how to keep us mobile, with a strong focus on public transport and bicycles. It also includes questions like home office – why do people need to commute to work, if work could also commute to them?

If we’re serious about saving our planet, we need to stop putting individual car ownership on top of our agenda.

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(Deutsche Bahn, ICE 3, Cologne Central Station)

Climate Pledge

Here are my five pledges to support climate action in 2019:

  • I will not renew the contract for our family car
  • I will stop flying for vacation, and minimize air travel for business
  • I will avoid using single-use plastic items
  • I will buy fair-trade and carbon-neutral wherever possible
  • I will go back to a vegetarian life once I have reached my target weight

What do you plan to do?

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(#SoKoFuture)

Fridays For Future Summer Congress

Over the last five days I had the honor and pleasure to be able to support the Fridays for Future summer congress #SoKoFuture in Dortmund as a volunteer.

And was I in for a treat!

I have never seen so many people being so kind to each other, working all day diligently and earnestly on the most pressing issues of our time, and coming up with ideas on how to save our planet – people, especially politicians, who belittle these efforts should be ashamed.

The center-right paper “Die Welt” called the congress the Political Woodstock – I think that’s quite a fitting description.

After spending this time with all these young people I know for sure that a different world will be possible.

The Fridays deserve our full support!

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(Closing ceremony)