War in Europe, week fourteen

“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)

War in Europe, week thirteen

The tsarist autocracy is still waging its bloody war against the people of Ukraine. And our government is still holding back on support.

I had expected much better from the ruling Social Democrats. Still, they are unfazed in their allegiance to Russia, even though they suffered a massive defeat in the last state elections.

Especially our chancellor seems to be utterly tone-deaf to the needs of the Ukrainian people and public support for them in Germany.

But this is only one of the three crises we currently face: There is the climate emergency and the fossil fuel lobby that is trying to reverse the course towards renewable energy and the 1.5-degree goal. And Covid-19 is far from over, as the current spread of monkeypox shows.

We staged a state-wide rally this Saturday to pressure our politicians to address all three crises, stop importing energy from Russia, and secure a future for our planet.


(NRW rally, Roncalli Platz, 5/21/22)

War in Europe, week twelve

The war rages on, causing countless deaths and immeasurable suffering.

Our government is still moving at a glacial pace when it comes to aiding the people in Ukraine.

I just learned of an initiative by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to directly collect donations from people worldwide: United24. Go and have a look!

This weekend we will have state elections – given the size of the state, we call them small federal elections. Depending on the outcome, the power balance in our current federal government might change.

The Covid-19 incidence rate in Cologne went further down; it’s at 350.


(Defense donation receipt, 5/13/22)

War in Europe, week eleven – Liberation Day

It’s seventy-seven years after the allied forces defeated Germany and liberated us from the National Socialists, and there is again a war ravaging Europe.

The tsarist autocracy is trying to subdue the sovereign nation of Ukraine and grab as much territory from it as it can get, committing severe war crimes and countless atrocities on the way.

Finally, our government and the EU are getting serious about supporting the people of Ukraine: There are more weapons on the way, and the EU has committed to an embargo on Russian coal and oil.

Also, more and more European state officials are making their way to Kyiv; currently, our parliament chairperson is meeting with the Ukrainian government, and our foreign minister will be next.

If Russia wants a new Iron Curtain, so be it – but east of Ukraine!

The Covid-19 incidence rate in Cologne is further down; it’s at 390.


(Bärbel Bas with Denys Shmyhal, Kyiv, 5/8/22, Photo by Enrico Brissa)

War in Europe, week ten

The war continues, with more atrocities coming to light every day.

I can only assume that the Tsar wants to reestablish the Iron Curtain and shutter his country off from the world.

There is slight movement from our government; we have agreed to send at least light tanks, and also, we no longer oppose a ban on oil imports. Having said this, a ban on gas imports is still not on the table.

Last week also was Take Our Kids to Work Day, so we decided to showcase the work that climate activists do – we had 30 pupils attending, and we covered several topics, such as organizing a rally or creating banners. We were pretty happy with the event and will do it again next year!

The Covid-19 incidence rate in Cologne is further down; it’s at 480.


(Take our kids to work day, Alte Feuerwache, 4/28/22)

War in Europe, week nine

The war in Europe continues to ravage Ukraine, and our government is still not doing even remotely enough to support the people and fight the tsarist autocracy.

Same for the other two crises: If RWE gets to use all the lignite at the Garzweiler mine, we’ll be right on our path to 3 degrees warming. It’s not very likely that we as a species will survive that.

The Covid-19 incidence rate in Cologne is again slightly lower, at 530. By now, almost everybody I know has had Covid-19 at least once. And we do know that every infection depletes the immune system. Do the math.


(Opening rally, Immenrath, 4/23/22)

War in Europe, week eight

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)

War in Europe, week seven

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)

War in Europe, week six

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)