Dienstag, 24. Juni 2008
Sonntag, 22. Juni 2008
Berlin hat sich fuer viel Geld ein total nichtssagendes Stadtmarketing geleistet. Unertraeglich ist das. Eine Verschwendung von Steuergeldern. Und die Sprueche - sei innovativ, sei Berlin - koennten sie sich echt sparen. Denn die Plakate sehen saulangweilig aus. Und bauen laesst dieses "kreative" Berlin 08-15-Muell. Wer anders leben will wird geraeumt. Auch von den Gruenen. - Nur gut, dass es schon erste Parodien dieses Stadtmarketingkrampfes gibt. Z.B. gegen die schandhafte Abschiebungsindustrie (siehe Bild). Hiergeblieben, sage ich! Deswegen unterstuetze ich seit Jahren Pro Asyl. Pro Asyl macht viel fuer MigrantInnen - mit wenig Geld. Das Berliner Stadtmarketing schafft wenig fuer Berlin - mit viel Geld. Shame! Shame, shame, shame ...
Montag, 16. Juni 2008
Obama's candidacy holds promise for the Left. But the battle over the economic policy Obama will implement should he reach the White House starts now. John Edwards must continue to stay involved in this debate to keep Obama as progressive as possible. And Obama needs some more progressive economic advisors! His "Chicago Boys" worry me. As they do Naomi Klein. Good on her for raising the issue. The Economist quite likes Obama's team. Need I say more?
Samstag, 14. Juni 2008
Mittwoch, 11. Juni 2008
It was hot yesterday. Even in pyjamas. Fitting, really, as we staged a pyjama protest here at the Maritim to wake up negotiators to the dangers of a warming world. There are only three days left to yet another two weeks of negotiations. And on too many issues, governments are going backwards or are stalling. Fights we fought years ago, when the Kyoto Protocol was being negotiated, are back (giving some of us a sad sense of deja-vu). Some, for example, are daft enough to suggest that nuclear power should be subsidized through the Clean Development Mechanism. Understandable, really. For the economics of nuclear power just don't stack up. But tiresome. Nuclear power, to put it mildly, simply will not deliver (anything but nuclear waste). And we really have better things to do than fighting that particular old battle all over again .... - Of course, not all delegations are to blame. It's the usual suspects - especially the US, Canada, Japan and - even under Rudd - Australia, that are the worst. The US, in fact, is being outright offensive. They, like other industrialized nations, have broken their promise made at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to transfer technology to the South. They have failed to put financial resources behind their rhetoric that they care about the need to adapt to unavoidable climate change. But when the developing world points out this failure and demands action, this is what the US replies: "the UNFCCC is a climate change convention, not a development aid convention." In other words: We do not care. I wish I was making this up. But they said it - and even circulated the statement in writing! - So, despite the heat, it felt good to give governments a wake up call. And many delegations seemed to like us more in pyjamas than in suits. Several came up to me in the corridors later to say that "we are awake now". Let's hope so. I, for one - after a night of doing ECO - need another coffee first ... (at least the coffee at the Maritim is fair and organic, unlike at the UN in Bangkok!)
Samstag, 7. Juni 2008
It's Saturday, but the climate negotiations are going on as usual. And I am trying to remember how many days of my life I have spent at the Maritim in Bonn - in the name of the climate. Under the huge chandeliers of this boring, somewhat pretentious, hotel, it can be difficult to remember the reality of the climate crisis. The reality of floods, droughts or oil-polluted land - not of elevator music and 3 EUR coffees .... The reality of destruction, that we are here to remind governments of - and to force them to, at least, prevent from getting worse .... As I walk back and forth between meetings, I despair of the lack of urgency many government delegations seem to feel. It's then that I wish the Lifeboat we built here in 2001 would still be standing in front of the Maritim and remind governments of the urgent need - and popularity - of decisive climate action. - The Lifeboat was built by thousands who had all written their demands to governments on wooden planks and hammered them personally onto the boat. Once done, the Lifeboat was pushed all the way from downtown Bonn to the Maritim. Thousands were allowed into the UN security zone. And for days, government officials had to pass the Lifeboat as a memento, when they walked from room a to b. The Lifeboat, at least according to ex-environment minister Trittin of Germany, may have helped save Kyoto in June 2001, when that oil man from Texas had just announced that the US will not ratify it ... So imagine my delight yesterday, when I noticed that the UNFCCC secretariat has the plank we gave to the Chair of the climate talks back in 2001 with them to their temporary office at the Maritim. "Kyoto in Bonn" it says. And I must say, it looks as beautiful as ever. The plank reminds me of one of the most fun activities I have ever organized (I have a few planks at home as well). May it remind governments of what they are here for: action!
P.S. And here am I looking much younger in 2001 - proud to show off "my" baby
Mittwoch, 4. Juni 2008
May be I just wasn't paying attention. But it appears that Greenpeace is on the menu all over the world, not just at the Carnival of Cultures. The picture here was taken in Prague. Green Peace, this time, was a pasta dish; appropriately enough, this dish looks green - as it involves Spinach. I didn't try it (wanted to go for more local vegetarian food, such as fried cheese, yum ...). But I am starting to wonder where else I could, er, eat my employer. Let me know if you come across Greenpeace dishes through the comments function! Thanks!
It's almost time for EURO 2008 - and I am very much looking forward to it (though I haven't decided yet who I will tip for the title this time. Should I dare to go for Spain???). - Back in 2006, when Germany so dramtically lost against Italy, I was blamed by some friends. After all, I had dared to eat pizza before the match .... May be this take away in Prague (see picture) had similiar Pizza memories. Or just a bad dictionary. Either way, it made me laugh ... Not 'Ami go home', but Pizza. Poor pizza! P.S. I loved the EURO, especially the Kreuzberg atmosphere during the Germany-Turkey team. And I did dare to tip Spain for the title. And was right. Well done, Torres & Co.! The best team won. What a change, compared to 2004!
Politics is about symbols. And Obama knows all about that. So he chose to cross the finishing line in St. Paul last night - at the very place, where Republicans will crown McCain as their candidate later in the year. It's finally down to Obama vs. McCain; it's finally time for the real race - the race for the White House. That is a relief. And yet, the key question remaining right now is whether Hillary means what she said in her strange 'I congratulate Obama and otherwise pretend nothing has changed'-speech in New York last night. "I am committed to uniting our Party, so we move forward, stronger and more ready than ever to take back the White house this November." That's how she started. And that does sound good. Hillary must do the decent thing now. Which is to endorse Obama and to campaign for him especially hard in the 19 states that she won .... Yes, she can.
P.S. Good on you, Hillary!
P.P.S. Now it's official. Hillary backs Obama. Thank God.