We’re in year two of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the prime minister of NRWE is taking Easter off to think and try to understand how the virus transmits from person to person.
It’s consistent, though; he also fails to understand the impact of CO2 on the climate emergency and the immediate need to stop burning fossil fuels.
Could it be an option to listen to our scientists?
(Easter vigil, Rudolfplatz, 4/3/21)
The lockdown is finally grown up; it’s no longer a teenager. After today’s about-face from our government over Easter restrictions, we’ll probably see it go into its thirties or forties. Can we get a new government, please?
Last Friday, though, we had the latest global climate strike – it was a total success! In Cologne, we had six fully Corona-compliant stages and made ourselves felt and heard throughout the city.
People understood the urgency of change to prevent the climate emergency, and we got pretty good media coverage.
Corona enabled us to have remote presenters from all over the world, and we were able to invite renowned scientists, such as Jason von Juterczenka, to give short lectures without the need for travel.
We will, however, need to elect a government this fall that understands the climate crisis and is willing to act!
(Cologne, Lecture by Jason von Juterczenka, 3/19/21)
The lockdown is almost grown-up; this week was its last week as a teen.
Infections are on the rise, and the predictions for Easter are dire. Vaccination efforts are stalling.
Nevertheless, we’re opening the schools.
Aside from Corona, our governments also keep ignoring the climate crisis.
So we need to go back to the streets – this Friday, March 19, Global Climate Strike!
(© Markus Burbach, @MaBurbach, 3/13/21)
The number of infections is slowly increasing again. Surprise! Not.
We knew that the new mutations would be more contagious, but still, our government refuses to acknowledge and prepare for the third wave.
A year ago Friday, right-wing terrorists murdered six people in Hanau (Hesse). There were vigils in their honor all over Germany as we still battle the underlying systemic racism in our security forces.
In Northrhine-Westphalia, the state government actively works against all measures to prevent the coming climate crisis and supports the fossil fuel industry, mainly RWE and E.ON.
Our first minister, Armin Laschet, has been caught red-handed, twisting the law to act against climate activists.
Our minister of the interior, Herbert Reul, is trying to outlaw activism outright.
Oh, NRWE – there’s a lot of work ahead!
(Red Rebels, Cologne, 2/20/21)
Still no end in sight; today, our government has tightened the contact restrictions again and extended the lockdown to the end of January. Quite rightly so, the infection rates are still way too high.
Even though we all know that the virus transmits from person to person, some politicians from our governing party advocate to lessen the restrictions and have more people die instead. I guess that’s all about shareholder value.
Also, RWE uses the lockdown to destroy more villages around the Garzweiler open-pit mine, even though we know that we won’t need the lignite anymore. Is that about shareholder value, too?
(Photo op, Zülpicher Platz, 1/10/21)
It came, and it went, my first virtual New Year’s Eve. Relatively uneventful, zooming with family and friends, and watching a Techno live stream on Twitch.
The start of the new year was not a big thing; we’re still in the first year of life in the age of pandemics, and nothing is going to change a lot in the short term. I hope that by the end of 2021, we will have made significant progress towards solving both crises, Covid-19, and the Climate Emergency!
To keep the momentum going, we started 2021 off with our first climate strike of the year, asking for #solidarity
(Climate strike, Haymarket, 1/2/21)
I’m happy to say that I reached most of my 2020 goals, except for my YouTube targets.
Here are my goals for this year:
- Continue to support Fridays For Future and the Climate Justice movement actively
- Maintain my weight and continue to exercise
- Move my transport needs to a (shared) cargo bike
- Continue regular (online) Rancher meetups in Cologne
- Write my Bachelor thesis and finish my studies
2021 must be the year in which CO2 emissions finally begin to drop!
(Final paper of 2020, Overleaf, 12/31/20)
As expected, the current lockdown measures were not enough to slow the infection rates, and we will go into a much harder lockdown beginning Wednesday. Schools and shops will close, and contact restrictions will remain in place over Christmas and New Year’s.
Then there is still the other crisis, the looming climate emergency.
Two years ago, Fridays for Future staged their first climate strike in Cologne. In honor of this birthday, we dropped a giant banner on Deutzer Brücke to remind us to always #FightFor1Point5 and our politicians to #MakeParisReal.
(Fridays For Future, Heumarkt, 12/11/20)
The current measures do not reduce the number of infections enough; this week, state and federal governments will convene again to tighten the rules. Aside from Covid-19, we also had two significant events on the other crisis, the climate emergency:
On Friday, we had a scientist, Jason von Juterczenka, deliver a fascinating lecture on tipping points in our climate and how close we are on the road to the worst-case climate scenarios (RCP8.5).
On Sunday, we met the Eiffel tower en route from Dresden to Brussels to remind the EU government to keep the Paris Climate Accord.
(Eiffel tower and cathedral, Roncalliplatz, 12/6/20)
Infection rates are dropping way too slowly; we will likely see an extension of the current lockdown at the next federal conference tomorrow.
Still, Police in the state of Hessen is using the lockdown to press ahead with the utterly unnecessary destruction of the Dannenröder Forst. And the Greens are keeping their silence.
All over the republic, activists are staging protests in support of the people defending the forest. Well done!
(Danni bleibt, Volksgarten, 11/23/20)