Shutdown, first week, with home concerts

In Cologne, we’ve just completed the first week of the shutdown, with many more to come and a lockdown looming on the horizon.

As long as there are neither tests nor a vaccine, the only course of action to prevent spreading the infection of an airborne virus is to maintain physical distance. Staying at home as much as possible and avoiding physical contact is a show of solidarity, a display of caring for others, not an infraction on personal freedom.

I am very privileged and very thankful for that: FOM has quite successfully moved to remote teaching, and I can carry out all my work from home.

I am also very thankful for all artists that go out of their way to make our life at home much better!

  • Adexe y Nau,
  • Johnny Orlando, and
  • Oscar Stembridge,

to name a few. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!

IMG_20200321_200343_edited

(Adexe y Nau, #Yomequedoencasa, 3/21/20)

O caritas, o caritas nobis semper sit amor

“We must never forget that Caritas has its origin and essence in God Himself (John 1, 4:8). Caritas is the embrace of God, our Father, for every person, especially for the very last and the suffering, who take a privileged place in his heart.” (His Holiness, Pope Francis, May 2019)

I am deeply ashamed about our actions at the EU borders in Greece and the Mediterranean Sea, and our utter lack of compassion for the people in need.

P1000023_edited

(Dhagpo Kagyu Ling)

Hanau

This Thursday, Weiberfastnacht, was the start of Carnival, which is usually a week of fun-filled celebrations leading up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

Not this year.

Wednesday night before, yet another right-wing terrorist went on a killing spree, taking nine lives in the small town of Hanau; from his social media accounts, we know that his motivation was blind hatred and xenophobia, fueled by current AfD rhetoric.

The names of his murder victims are:

Ferhat Ünver

Gökhan Gültekin

Hamza Kurtović

Said Nesar El Hashemi

Mercedes Kierpacz

Sedat Gürbüz

Kaloyan Velkov

Fatih Saraçoğlu

Vili Viorel Păun

IMG_20200221_193801_edited

(Köln gegen Rechts, 2/21/20)

Thuringia – why do we care?

A couple of days ago, the unthinkable happened: A candidate got himself elected as governor with the help of the far right.

In Thuringia, of all places, where last century the Nazi party scored their first victory and started a spree of unspeakable atrocities and heinous crimes against humanity.

All just a couple of days after Holocaust Remembrance Day, just a couple of days after the 75-year anniversary of the liberation of the German death factory in Auschwitz through the Red Army.

What is wrong with people?

Never Again – Never Forget!

IMG_20200207_181718_edited

(#koelleforfuture, 2/7/20)

Visions For Climate

During the weekend we had a networking event with for-Future climate activists from all over Germany and many other European countries.

Networking becomes ever more important in the climate justice movement, to unite and coordinate activities, as our governments fail to address the emergency we’re facing and even harbor plans to make it worse, by adding more fossil fuel power plants, such as Datteln IV or Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

The event was an Open Space, expertly facilitated by Jutta Weimar, Jens Wellendorf, and many supporters, who graciously donated their time and effort; results will now be forwarded to the local groups.

Vegan catering came from Fläming Kitchen, a so-called people-kitchen based in the Fläming region between Berlin and Leipzig – yum!

We were hosted at Max-Bill-Schule in Berlin Weissensee – many thanks to the director, Bernhard Klein, for having us!

IMG_20200126_075002_edited

(Program schedule)

Visions For Climate

With the (still) pretty abysmal Klimapaket of our government and the catastrophic failure of COP25 in Madrid, there’s only one course of action left – to organize ourselves and start protecting our climate!

One small step is the Visions For Climate summit in Berlin, January 24th to 26th, for people and organizations that are actively working to reach climate justice in time, for all.

Come and join us – see you there!

SM who

(Social Media post, from the organizer)

Global Climate Strike

The latest reports from climate scientists are quite devastating, we’re getting close to what they call irreversible tipping points – do we really want to risk turning our earth into an inhabitable rock?

This Friday we were 630,000 people overall in Germany, according to the Fridays, protesting together against the inaction of our governments facing the climate crisis; in Cologne, we were in total 20,000 people on the streets.

Young Sheldon joined Jane Fonda for their weekly FireDrillFriday in front of the Capitol – at 11 years of age, Iain apparently has much more courage and intelligence than many adults!

On a positive note, the ailing Social Democrats have chosen a new group of leaders, and hopefully with it a more socially and environmentally friendly direction in their politics. Time will tell, though.

IMG_20191129_115628_edited

(NeustartKlima, Cologne, 11/29/19)

Vagabundo

During the winter developer’s conference at Senacor Technologies AG in Nuremberg, they presented a nice little tool to measure and offset carbon dioxide emissions during business travel.

The tool is called Vagabundo and is realized using a serverless framework; it collects data from all business travels, calculates CO2 emissions and offsets them through Atmosfair – great approach at using technology to protect our climate!

It’s currently an in-house project, but Senacor seemed amiable to open-source it.

Much more than the offsetting part, I like the reporting – how much CO2 do I emit during travel and how could I optimize it?

Taking this a step further, I could see creating internal (team) competitions – who’s the best at having video conferences instead of in-person meetings? Who’s able to reduce air travel the most?

I think, there’re endless possibilities – anybody as interested as I am?

2019-11-16

End of an era

If we’re serious about protecting our climate, we need to show and apply the true cost of CO2 emissions to where they occur.

One business that will for sure suffer is the airline industry, especially the low-cost carriers – that most likely will not be a business model that can be sustained much longer.

Of course I do accept the necessary change and will adapt, but that’s where it hurts me the most personally, and I quietly mourn the ability to travel the world freely; it almost feels as if my wings were clipped.

But long distance trains are an option, too – if they weren’t so expensive … I really hope we will reintroduce sleeper carriages and over night trains in Europe!

IMG_20191024_181755_edited

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!

IMG_20191004_193058_edited

(Chlodwigplatz, Cologne)