Feierabenddemo

Yesterday we had the first afternoon climate strike, organized by Parents 4 Future, Scientists 4 Future, Extinction Rebellion and many more, to support the Fridays and acknowledge our responsibility.

It’s the grown-ups who’ve caused the climate emergency, and it’s up to us to do our part to mitigate it – individually, of course, but also collectively as a society.

After the abysmal “Klimapaket” was presented by our government, the idea was born to add a weekly protest on Friday evening, to reach the people who are at work during the day, to increase awareness for the need for climate action, broaden support for the Fridays and compel our government to act.

Wish us luck!

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(Chlodwigplatz, Cologne)

Going Green

After last week’s catastrophic failure of our governing parties to address climate change, I have decided to formally switch my affiliation to the Greens.

I have kept my affiliation with the Social Democrats for quite some time now in honor of my late father, who dedicated his life to the politics of Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, but enough is enough.

Earlier this year, the Social Democrats failed to protect the digital realm and we’re still waiting for the fallout from that disaster; this Friday they abandoned our environment and our planet to support measures that will harm the climate for the benefit of our car industry.

Protecting our planet for the future of our children is the most pressing issue of our time and I want to make sure that our next government will listen to climate scientists and act accordingly!

Meanwhile I will of course continue to do my part, and change to a sustainable way of life.

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(#NieMehrSPD #NieMehrCDU #NiemalsAfD)

Climate Fail

We’re currently being massively let down by our politicians, first last Friday by our local government and on Monday by the world.

We all know that in order to protect our planet and ensure the survival of humanity, we’ll need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically and stop burning fossil fuel. The science behind that is crystal clear and non-negotiable; a system change is necessary.

So why is it that our politicians, instead of leading the change, waste our time away and endanger all of us by sticking to old habits?

There is only so much we as individuals can and definitely should do – on a personal level we can change the way we eat, travel, commute and consume – on the level of our society we need politicians. Maybe we need new ones – the next general elections are on the horizon!

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(“Spanner in the works”, IAA Frankfurt)

E-Mobility

Yesterday, the international Motor-Show in Frankfurt (IAA) saw a big protest, demanding an urgent change in politics towards eco-friendly mobility.

A lot of people think that this is only about the question which power train to use in a car.

Alas, it’s not. Even with an all-electric car, it’s still neither a good idea nor good use of resources to propel 2 tons of steel forward to get a single human being to work.

Rethinking mobility is much bigger and needs to focus on how to keep us mobile, with a strong focus on public transport and bicycles. It also includes questions like home office – why do people need to commute to work, if work could also commute to them?

If we’re serious about saving our planet, we need to stop putting individual car ownership on top of our agenda.

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(Deutsche Bahn, ICE 3, Cologne Central Station)

Encryption

There’s been a lot of discussion lately (again) on the need for encrypted Email or Messaging, and the pros and cons of various services, from WhatsApp to Telegram, from RCS to SMS.

I am not fully on the post-privacy bandwagon, but for sure people are aware that by using a third party service for Email or Messaging their messages can be read, aren’t they? We don’t call root super-user for no reason.

In the last century the Network Working Group wrote in RFC 1855 “Netiquette Guidelines”

2.1.1 For mail:

Unless you are using an encryption device (hardware or software), you should assume that mail on the Internet is not secure.  Never put in a mail message anything you would not put on a postcard.

That’s today as true as it was then – unless you own both sides of the encryption, don’t send anything through the Aether that you don’t want other people to see!

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:13th_Annual_Wichita_Postcard_Club_Show,_Wichita_Postcard_Club_(NBY_17466).jpg)

Climate Pledge

Here are my five pledges to support climate action in 2019:

  • I will not renew the contract for our family car
  • I will stop flying for vacation, and minimize air travel for business
  • I will avoid using single-use plastic items
  • I will buy fair-trade and carbon-neutral wherever possible
  • I will go back to a vegetarian life once I have reached my target weight

What do you plan to do?

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(#SoKoFuture)

Fridays For Future Summer Congress

Over the last five days I had the honor and pleasure to be able to support the Fridays for Future summer congress #SoKoFuture in Dortmund as a volunteer.

And was I in for a treat!

I have never seen so many people being so kind to each other, working all day diligently and earnestly on the most pressing issues of our time, and coming up with ideas on how to save our planet – people, especially politicians, who belittle these efforts should be ashamed.

The center-right paper “Die Welt” called the congress the Political Woodstock – I think that’s quite a fitting description.

After spending this time with all these young people I know for sure that a different world will be possible.

The Fridays deserve our full support!

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(Closing ceremony)

Europe goes Green

I am very happy about voter turnout in Sunday’s European Elections and even more happy about the strong support for the Greens!

Many people have understood that we need to take urgent action to protect our climate and our environment, and that we cannot do it alone – it needs a regional and global approach.

With their newfound power, the Greens can now affect change in Europe and work with S&D, ALDE and EPP to protect our climate for future generations!

I’m also quite happy that in Cologne the Greens came in first, with almost 33% of votes – in the city center the Greens were almost at 43%. Yay!

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(Screenshot from Tagesschau, during election night)

European election

This is a crucial election for Europe – if you care about our online and offline worlds and want to support Europe, make sure to vote!

There’s still ample time to participate through postal ballot, if you cannot make it on election day – don’t let your vote go to waste!

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(Public mail box)

Elyas M’Barek

During the weekend, we saw “Der Fall Collini” by Marco Kreuzpaintner, based on a novel by Ferdinand von Schirach.

The film paints a very accurate picture of West Germany in the time after the war and before the 68 unrests, a time when a lot of Nazis were still in positions of power and used their positions to escape prosecution for their war crimes.

Der Fall Collini is most definitely a very important film, especially given the rise of the new Right in parts of Germany and Europe, but most striking is the lead actor – Elyas M’Barek in the role of the lawyer Caspar Leinen.

Elyas handled the transition from comedy to drama really well and excels in his role, torn between family, law and justice.

I believe he’s probably the best young German-speaking actor in the moment and am very much looking forward to seeing him again on the big screen!

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(Movie poster at Rex am Ring Lichtspiele, Cologne)