Shutdown two, week thirty-eight

Are we still in lockdown?

Technically speaking, yes – the CoSchVO still affects Cologne, with an average incidence rate of 31.8 and R at 1.28, and restrictions are in place.

I’m keeping my distance and wearing a mask indoors; however, there are many parties in our parks, and many people travel for fun and vacation. I hope fall won’t be a big disaster! With R above 1, chances are slim, though.

The climate justice camp in Cologne is in its 8th week now – come and visit!


(Directions, Cologne Climate Camp, 7/25/21)

Shutdown two, week thirty-five

Not surprisingly, the numbers are going back up again.

Still, it feels almost as if the lockdown was over, at least outside. In shops and public transport, everybody wears a mask, though.

We’re getting closer to the next general election. Unfortunately, the current ruling party and their primary candidate are trying to tackle the climate emergency not by addressing the issues, such as burning fossil fuels, but by trying to outlaw protests.

Difficult weeks lie ahead of us.

However, the climate justice camp in Cologne is going strong, with daily activities and many people visiting.


(#NoVersGNRW Cologne, Ebertplatz, 6/28/21)

Shutdown two, week thirty-four

Infections rates are down; the weather is fine, and people are out and about. Almost nobody observes social distancing rules anymore. Summer!

We’re probably four to six weeks behind the UK on Delta-Infections. The numbers we get from the UK on infection rates and hospitalization are not encouraging – fall does not look promising right now.

The preliminary IPCC report is equally disturbing and does not bode well for our future either.

We need to unite behind science and continue to fight both crises!

Unfortunately, the answer of our state government is to outlaw climate protest rather than focus on fighting the climate emergency.


(Nightshift in the Climate Justice Camp, Cologne, 6/24/21)

Shutdown two, week thirty-three

The number of new infections is still going down; we’ll most likely ease the mask mandate soon now.

However, the information we receive from the UK on the Delta-Mutation is not encouraging. We need to prepare in summer for a possible fourth wave in fall. Doesn’t that sound somewhat familiar?

The other emergency is not going away, either. Our governing party just released an abysmal election program with no ambition to reach the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris accord.

We need to go back to weekly strikes.


(Warming stripes for NRW 1881-2020, CC-BY Ed Hawkins ShowYourStripes, 6/21/21)

Shutdown two, week thirty-one

The infection rates are still going down, and we can look forward to NRW (and Cologne) move to a lower level of restrictions. People are out and about; outdoor dining is in full swing. It seems that the curfews and the federal emergency brake did work.

Does anyone remember last spring? And the third wave that followed?

I, for one, have decided to remain cautious and not venture out until after the second dose.

On a very positive note: Cologne now finally has a climate justice camp! It’s here to stay, at least until the next federal elections.


(Cologne, Klimacamp, 6/5/21)

Shutdown two, week twenty-eight

We’re still in lockdown, and the curfew is still in effect, but the infection rates are finally going down. There is cautious optimism for the summer, and some people are already thinking about traveling for vacation – I’ll wait until 2022, I think.

After months of rallies, we had our first bicycle demonstration on Friday – six feet apart and wearing masks, of course.

It’s time to look at who’s financing the fossil fuel industry, and in Germany, the Commerzbank is heavily involved.

I think we shall make sure that their customers and shareholders know this during the next couple of months.


(Commerzbank Cologne, Unter Sachsenhausen, 5/14/21)

Shutdown two, week twenty-two


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)

Shutdown two, week twenty

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)

Shutdown two, week nineteen

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)

Shutdown two, week sixteen

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)