On Sunday, we had local elections in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia.
In my home town, Cologne, the Greens reached a clear majority in both the city council and the boroughs.
Let’s make Cologne climate-neutral and keep it colorful, tolerant, and diverse in the years to come!
(Source: https://wahlen.stadt-koeln.de/prod/KW2020/05315000/html5/index.html, 9/14/20)
The Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos was a disgrace for a long time already.
A devastating fire recently left 12,000 people without food and shelter.
And our Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, offers to accept between 100 and 150 minors into Germany and calls it a robust humanitarian gesture – even though many cities and counties in Germany have offered to take in several thousand.
I’m utterly ashamed and disgusted.
(Mario Sixtus on Twitter, 9/12/20)
On Friday, September 25, we’ll have the next global climate strike!
Fighting the climate emergency is as important as ever, and we need to keep up the pressure on our politicians.
Last Friday, we had a relatively successful dress rehearsal in Cologne and were able to validate the distancing concepts for the next big protest.
See you in the streets!
(In the streets of Cologne, 9/4/20)
I miss travel. I miss attending concerts.
I have been traveling most of my life as part of my professional career and in my free time. Once I understood the climate emergency, I started to decarbonize my life and change the way I travel.
Then came Covid-19, and subsequently the shutdown.
Now travel is pretty much out of the question, and will probably remain very limited for the next couple of years.
There are quite positive aspects: Last week I attended a book club in New York. Yesterday I participated at the Heyou Awards in Gothenburg and then later at a concert in Madrid – neither would have been possible pre-Corona. I hope that we’ll keep the online accessibility for the future!
Early October I have tickets for a concert in Madrid – will I be able to go? Or will we be in lockdown again at that time?
Only time will tell, but I feel like my wings have been clipped. And I seriously lack content for my YouTube.
(Heyou Awards Livestream, YouTube, 8/15/20)
This week (August 7 – August 14) is World Mask Week.
Wearing a mask is the best tool we currently have to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and break the chain of infections.
By wearing a mask, I protect others from infection, in case I carry the virus.
Does this in any way infringe on my freedom or any constitutional rights that I have? Not at all – wearing a mask is about being a decent and considerate person.
Even the Google doodle dons a mask. And so can you!
(Google doodle, Android, 8/5/20)
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)
Space: The final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Mars Rover Perseverance. Its two-year mission: To drill and search for signs of past microbial life. To boldly search where no one has searched before.
Follow the launch and the full mission on Nasa’s Mars website!
And get your boarding pass 😎
(Perseverance Boarding Pass, 7/26/20)
So far, knock on wood, I have been able to (almost) maintain my weight during the Corona pandemic.
Although we’re not under lockdown anymore, I spend most of my days indoors at my desk – there’s no commute, no shopping, no going out to the cinema, no meeting with friends.
The one app that helps me maintain a healthy dose of exercise is Pokémon Go. A virtual buddy helps me to socially distance while playing, and the gamification works well, compelling me to walk long distances every day. And there’s no end in sight, neither for the pandemic nor for the game.
So – thank you, Niantic!
(Shiny Gastly, Community Day, 7/19/20)
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)
A couple of weeks ago, I built myself a second desktop workstation, based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and the XFCE desktop environment.
The workstation is fanless, with a low-power CPU. And fast!
I am so happy with my new setup’s performance and usability; if it weren’t for Microsoft Office, I’d switch for good.