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.

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

Shutdown two, week thirty-two

Like last spring and early summer, the number of infections is steadily declining, and we’re easing all restrictions on public life. Outdoor dining is possible, and the streets are full of people!

The climate justice camp in Cologne is also going strong, with almost daily events, music, and lectures.

On a personal note, I’ve completed all written exams for university; now, I can focus on my thesis.

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(Cologne, Climate Justice Camp, 6/13/21)

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.

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

Shutdown two, week twenty-two

#laschetdenktnach

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?

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(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!

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(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!

#NoMoreEmptyPromises

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(© 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!

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(Red Rebels, Cologne, 2/20/21)

Shutdown two, week ten

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?

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(Photo op, Zülpicher Platz, 1/10/21)

Shutdown two, week nine

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

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(Climate strike, Haymarket, 1/2/21)

2021 Goals

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!

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(Final paper of 2020, Overleaf, 12/31/20)