The heat has lessened, but the crises remain:
- The Tsar is trying to expand his empire and murdering everyone standing in his way; he’s showing his apparent disdain for western democracy and our open and tolerant way of life.
- Prices are rising, especially for energy, and might soon lead to social unrest.
- The climate is collapsing since we’re not stopping the use of fossil fuels fast enough.
- Pandemics are on the rise, and we’re not acting fast enough for fear of upsetting a vocal minority of fear mongers.
Sometimes I miss the early 2000s when I still believed flying, driving a car, or eating meat and animal products were okay. And sometimes, I feel powerless as an individual looking at the magnitude of change that will be necessary to survive as a species.
So, what can we do? Live our life as it is necessary to overcome the crises and safeguard our planet for future generations!
(South Bridge, Cologne, 7/18/22)
We’re still in a summer lull. The heat sits like a blanket atop our city and slows everything and everyone down.
But the crises do not wait.
All over the world, from the Tsar in Russia and Xi Jinping in China to Trump and Bolsonaro in the Americas, right-wing dictators are fighting against western values. At the same time, the climate justice movement is embracing global and intersectional goals.
There are two directions in society now that move in opposite directions.
I believe that we will need to work hard, and there will be sacrifices ahead if we want to continue living in a liberal and open society, which I do.
The same goes for dealing with the Climate Emergency and the current and coming pandemics.
(Vegan Lunch, Cologne, 7/23/22)
As the crises continue, I’m running out of things to write:
- The Tsar is still killing people
- The Climate Emergency is still killing people
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus is still killing people
These three disasters are connected, and we can tie them to using fossil fuels and over-consumption.
Unfortunately, our governments are not doing much about these issues besides lip service. So, what can we as individuals do?
- Send money to Ukraine
- Switch to bicycles and public transport
- Wear a mask and get vaccinated
And join the rallies worldwide, trying to pressure our governments to look up and act!
(Bicycle rally, Cologne, 6/19/22)
“At times like this, all we can do is practice the world we’re trying to live in.”
(Quote taken from TeenVogue: Roe and Privacy Rights by Namrata Verghese)
And indeed, this is all we can do if we do not want to succumb to despair.
I am utterly disgusted by the inaction of my government towards the war in Ukraine – they are altogether abandoning any pretense to support the people there but focusing solely on economic gains.
Covid-19 is in the usual summer slump but far from over – the incidence rate in Cologne is at 210 right now; we can expect new viruses to emerge relatively soon.
And don’t get me started on the climate emergency – even though the danger is a little less immediate than the war, it is a much more significant threat to our planet and species. Just look up!
(100 Maps and the War, Katapult Magazine, May 2022)
This week was utterly frustrating – Ukraine is under heavy attack, and our government is doing almost nothing to support them.
There was a good analysis by Anders Östlund on Twitter, pointing out the four old white men in our governing party (Olaf Scholz, Gerhard Schröder, Sigmar Gabriel, and Walter Steinmeier). They do not want to acknowledge that their policy toward Russia has failed. The approach that worked well with the former Soviet Union now fails with the Tsarist autocracy and leads to bloodshed and murder.
Also, we should not underestimate the role of fossil fuels and greed in this.
On Covid, the incidence figures in Cologne have remained stable at 600. Nevertheless, I got my recommended second booster this week, four months after the first.
(Ferris wheel and bridge, Cologne, 4/12/22)
The slaughter in Ukraine continues, and evidence of war crimes mounts every day.
Our government acts as indecisive as it did the last couple of weeks. It shows an apparent unwillingness to support the people of Ukraine by sending arms and stopping energy imports. Why did I even vote for them?
Pink Floyd released a new song in support of Ukraine, which I have on repeat ever since – David Gilmour’s guitar touches me on so many levels, and I’m so grateful that they came out in support of the people of Ukraine.
On Covid, the incidence has further gone down to 600 in Cologne.
(Pink Floyd: Hey Hey Rise Up, YouTube, 4/10/22)
Six weeks into the war and the slaughter of civilians is continuing unabated.
For Europe, there is only one course of action left before entering into the war: Stop buying energy from Russia. Now!
However, the German government is too afraid to agree to an outright embargo, even though most Germans would support a ban on Russian gas.
I wonder what we can do to make our government act. Any ideas?
On Covid, the incidence has gone back down to 1000 in Cologne.
(Tunnel with light at the end, even though there is none; Frankfurt; 4/3/22)
We’re in the third week of the war and the seventy-first week of the second Covid-19 shutdown.
The Czar is continuing to murder for his personal gain, and Covid-19 is killing people, too; the incidence in Cologne is at 2525 right now. And I haven’t talked about the climate emergency yet.
Our government is too afraid to take decisive action against Russia and stop all energy imports – I’m not proud of them right now. At least we’re taking in refugees this time.
I’ve turned off our heating to minimize energy consumption and not fund Putin’s murders.
(Gira Smart Home, Cologne, 3/13/22)
The czar is still murdering people in Ukraine.
Thirty-five years after the end of the cold war, this new hot war reshapes our world and ends decades of peaceful cooperation.
The iron curtain is coming back up again. Sigh.
When the war started, Cologne was at the beginning of Carnival – we turned the annual parade into a peace rally, and many people attended. Not surprisingly, the incidence in Cologne skyrocketed during Carnival and is now at 2333.
(Cathedral, Cologne, 3/6/22)
“The EU would have let Joseph and Mary freeze to death behind barbed wire in the forest”
Center for Political Beauty, Instagram, 12/21/21
“Die EU hätte Josef und Maria hinter Stacheldraht im Wald erfrieren lassen”
Zentrum für Politische Schönheit, Instagram, 12/21/21