Who does not know the song "36 degrees, and it gets even hotter ..."
Even if the band 2raumwohnung is not singing about climate change here, I can't help but think of this one and also of the so true quote from Dalai Lama "The earth is not only our common heritage, it is also the source of life."
Today my thermometer reads 38 degrees and it is supposed to get even hotter tomorrow.
That's when our earth glows in the climate change that is now beginning. Projections of species extinction and shrinking biodiversity, groundwater levels, forest health, food production, marine and freshwater ecosystems, soil health, climate neutrality of cities, climate refugees (By 2050 there could already be over 140 million a. G. of failing harvests, hunger, poverty, rising sea levels, drought and habitats destroyed by weather extremes) etc. are all depressing to dramatic and there are still so many reality deniers and "keep it up".
Even if all the above mentioned points should still not convince some people that something dramatic is happening to our climate, the red alarm signal should light up at the latest at the point of direct and indirect effects on our health.
All the extreme weather events like heat, storms, hailstorms, forest fires, floods with many victims (see Ahrtal 2021), heavy rain, landslides, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, more intense and more frequent heat waves, as well as a decreasing air quality demonstrably also increase the total mortality, increasing burdens on physical and mental health, burdens from UV radiation, particulate matter and ozone and and and ...
Who hasn't heard of the phenomenon of "thunderstorm asthma" (The most massive "thunderstorm asthma" to date occurred in Australia in 2016: after a violent storm in Melbourne, 8500 people had to be treated in emergency ambulances within 30 hours, ten of whom died of an asthma attack).
We have all certainly registered one or the other increase in allergies in our circle of acquaintances, family and friends, or experienced it in our own bodies (that the pollen season and thus also the complaint periods have lengthened significantly - I myself perceive this difference very clearly and massively in recent years), we have all noticed that new highly allergenic plants such as ragweed, have now also become native to Germany and are spreading rapidly, the proliferation of ticks as significant health pests is present in the garden.
And surely each of us has also noticed that the EU health authority has shown clear concern about the further spread of invasive mosquito species such as the tiger mosquito (In the meantime, 13 EU countries are affected by the tiger mosquito, including parts of Germany) and has called on EU citizens to exercise great caution. Global warming as a result of climate change, with increasingly frequent heat waves and floods, is creating more favorable conditions for the invasive mosquito species (tiger mosquito and yellow fever mosquito).
All of these are immediate threats to EVERY one of us and simply stark reality.
Not only the war refugees but also the many climate refugees will be a major social, economic and also European challenge for ALL of us and all this will not happen for us without conflicts.
The health sector itself must also make a corresponding contribution here, because according to the study "Health care climate footprint report", the health sector is responsible for 4.4% of global net emissions (2 gigatons CO2 equivalent/year) and thus has a central responsibility. (Source: German Medical Association).
In Europe, the renaturation law is waved through in the EU Parliament with an extremely narrow majority, now unfortunately renegotiated and softened again.
I wonder what the individual federal states are actually doing to control the energy transition in terms of planning? My impression, not really much ... Poland is restarting opencast lignite mining in the border triangle, the number of air travels has reached an all-time high worldwide ...
Right now I wonder if I should slowly give up my hope that we people there really want to move something for the better and rather a large majority closes its eyes and issues the slogan "keep it up".
It makes me more than sad that we will (have to) leave a devastated world to the coming generations if the "keep it up" remains everyday reality.
Actually, I have always thought that we all strive together for a better world.
A sentence of a landscape professor still rings in my ears today and this sentence has always motivated me to think of coming generations and to want to preserve our creation earth. He said to me at that time: "With me, the topic of environmental, climate and landscape protection is loved and lived every day, but with all the people like you, it is a great attitude, so much more value! As for climate change, I really hope that somehow it still takes a turn for the better, but that may be more the principle of hope than realism..."
Maybe I too should just live by the motto "what do I care about tomorrow if I can still enjoy today to the fullest" and forget all this "climate nonsense"....
Oops and just the reality has caught up with me again hard, because I feel the really hot and uncomfortable air on my skin, see that my liter water bottle is already drunk again and observe, a while the behavior of the birds in this sweltering heat. For the many native green, the valuable shade and retreat places in our garden, our feathered friends are very grateful.
I think the birds have it good, they have developed a real heat strategy they limit their activities to the necessary minimum according to the motto "If you don't move, you don't produce body heat by active muscle work and thus don't heat up the body even more."
Sounds good, but for us humans, if the economy is not to go completely down the drain, it is unfortunately not realizable in such a way ... it must therefore finally tangible, convincing, realizable and not again and again "softened" strategies here.
I have to convince myself once again whether my impression is perhaps deceiving me that dryness and drought are really increasing more and more.
From the European Drought Observatory I learn that just According to the latest map of the combined drought indicator, 40.1% of the territory of the EU-27 (excluding Madeira, Azores, Canary Islands) is in a state of warning and 4.4% is in alert conditions. (Source: https://edo.jrc.ec.europa.eu/edov2/php/index.php?id=1000 - first ten-day period in July 2023).
In addition, I am currently looking at the drought statistics from the Helmholtz Center. As I find a quite alarming statistic.
There are a lot of red peaks sticking up here, which represent extreme and exceptional drought. Since the record drought in summer 2018, not much has changed in the red peaks here except for a few individual "wetter and cooler" periods. For parts of Bavaria (especially Upper Bavaria here), they even show a map with an "exceptional drought" rating. It is very interesting and exciting to "work" through the drought monitor, but unfortunately also very scary, because you can clearly see that precipitation is no longer enough to really fix the drought and how deep it already goes into the soils. (Source: Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research / Drought Monitor)
My conclusion: my impression does not deceive me ...
I just ask myself will the planned European Green Deal really come???
Had not actually 27 EU member states committed to make the EU the first climate neutral continent by 2050. To this end, they agreed to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and much more.
Do all the wonderfully announced missions which are in the plan to reach the goals by 2030 (see announcement of the European Commission from July 19, 2023 "Horizon Europe: EU Missions on track to meet their 2030 ambition towards a greener and healthier continent") really reach the citizens and the media?
This mission actually aims to mobilize and activate public and private actors such as EU Member States, regional and local authorities, research institutes, farmers and land managers, entrepreneurs and investors to achieve a real and lasting impact.
These missions also directly address US as CITIZENS to promote social acceptance of new solutions and concepts.
And this raises several question marks for me right away ....
Do these wonderful missions really reach us directly???
For sure, a lot of know-how and time goes into these working papers of the Commission, but I doubt that this is really communicated directly to the citizens and arrives. How many really know about Horizon Europe, New European Building and all the other laudable missions?
I spontaneously asked around in my circle of friends and acquaintances ...
Conclusion: all shook their heads.
A heartfelt request to all project participants - since in the end EVERY one of us is affected - please also really pick us up for this valuable and unpostponable mission "horizon europe"!
Have you ever made the effort and entered the keywords "Horizon Europe: EU Missions", "horizon europe 2023" or "green deal europa" into Google?
No, not yet!?
Too bad, then you might have noticed that the hits that appear are mainly and in the first place only EU Commission, authorities, research funding agencies, regional and project sites.
No media, no citizen-oriented sites ... among all the front "hits".
Unfortunately, it is in the nature of things that one does not want to click through various official pages to learn something about "horizon europe".
Such a sonorous and hopeful name, which should actually go to one's heart. Horizon europe (a wonderful term), where heaven and earth should touch, one should have an overview, a judgment, knowledge, education, spiritual interests, union, common sustainable development of the earth ...
Even if I wish it with all my heart, I ask myself just now (also again in view of the current discussions and tensions within the EU member states) currently on the subject of "restoration of natural habitats" i. R. of the Green Deal.
Will the EU member states really manage together to create a greener and healthier continent? And will they find a space for dialogue together despite tensions?
All this is written in the stars ...
So, as before, at least in SMALL I will have to and want to continue to make a difference and I firmly believe that every drop can contribute and make a difference.
Or you can also see it as Marc-Uwe Kling once said: "Yes, we could do something against climate change now, but if we would then find out in 50 years that all the scientists are wrong and there is no global warming, then we would have ensured completely without reason that you can breathe the air again even in the cities, that the rivers are no longer toxic, that cars neither make noise nor stink and that we are no longer dependent on dictators and their oil reserves. That would make us pretty angry." (Marc-Uwe Kling)
Which sources have additionally strengthened and encouraged me in my opinion making:
Thunderstorm asthma: Thien F et al: The Melbourne epidemic thunderstorm asthma event 2016: an investigation of environmental triggers, effect on health services, and patient risk factors. Lancet Planet Health 2018
Photo: by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay