Tag Archives: Germany

A History Of The Culture Wars

Jared Stacy

Culture War Christianity has long since ossified into the de facto expression of faith for many white American evangelicals. In Part One of this series (which you can find here) we introduced the American Culture Wars. As a whole, this series examines the historical & theological shape of Culture War Christianity in comparison to Jesus’ Kingdom through the lenses of these two camps, conscientious objectors and vocal advocates. We concluded last week with a descriptor: Culture War Christianity tends to make enemies, not love them.

This week, our second part examines the historical orgins of the Culture Wars. If you’re pressed for time, I present a TL;DR that takes 2 minutes, and you can return to read the article at your leisure…

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read Summary)

The key to understanding modern Culture War Christianity is the history of American race relations and Christianity. This article locates the birth…

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Voids in the fight against anti-Muslim racism

The Ampel-Vertrag announces religious policy initiatives. There are empty spaces on the topic of Islam: the fight against anti-Muslim racism and equal rights for Muslim religious communities.

The coalition agreement of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP takes up important demands and initiatives on religious policy of recent years and announces initiatives that take into account a religiously and ideologically diverse society. There are gaps in the equal rights of Muslim religious communities and in the fight against anti-Muslim racism.

The coalition wants to examine whether “additions to the legal status of religious communities are necessary” and wants to discuss this “in close consultation with the churches and religious communities concerned”. If this would also happen in cooperation with the religious communities and would result in a legal status with equal rights, this would be welcome.

When it comes to implementing the cooperative separation of state and religion – especially the replacement of the state benefit and the abolition of the special church labour law – words must now be followed by deeds. The new government must respect the human right to religious freedom, protect religious minorities from discrimination and launch an initiative for the Bundestag to finally outlaw anti-Muslim racism.

It will be necessary to keep up the pressure for equal rights for Muslim religious communities and other religious and ideological communities with the Christian churches.

Read: Leerstellen im Kampf gegen antimuslimischen Rassismus

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Capitalism and The environmental record of the communist world

Continuation of Capitalism and relevance to climate change

When looking at the pollution in communist countries questions can be posed if those communist regimes were somehow unable to regulate the use of their common resources.

Nice to notice that Gezwin Stanley finds it more reasonable to posit that the communist failures were also failures of capitalism, specifically “state capitalism”, the economic system in which the state undertakes business and commercial (i.e. for-profit) economic activity and where the means of production are nationalized as state-owned enterprises (including the processes of capital accumulation, centralised management and wage labour). He writes:

The environmental record of the communist world, once it finally started to be revealed with the fall of the Warsaw Pact and the at least partial “opening up” of China to Western business interests, was, at times, disastrous. The proposition is essentially that ownership makes owners take more care of the environment, and that the communist record is one huge tragedy of the commons (for example, see: “Marxism and the Failure of Environmental Protection in Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R.”). {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Though in the idea of communism is included the ownership of everybody of everything. Everything is namely part of that what we are allowed to use or to be confronted with. We do not own the world, but we may use the world, as having it in loan. As such in communism is expected that everybody shows respect for the goods of others and for the nature where we are allowed to live in.

We agree that in the communist system we have seen it evolve in the wrong way, in the Soviet Union going to dictatorships as Stalinism and Leninism, which have not much to do with real communism, as well with the hypercapitalism we can see now in the Republic of China.

The communist world’s track record on the environment really is rather catastrophic. The most infamous examples include the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the shrinking of the Aral Sea and the irradiation of northern Kazakstan by the Semipalatinsk (present-day Semey) nuclear testing site. The Soviet record in terms of air and water pollution is also very poor. Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, in the early 1990s, Russia’s Hydrometeorological Service, which monitors air quality, reported that 231 out of 292 cities exceeded maximum permissible concentrations (MPCs) for particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, or carbon monoxide, with eighty-six cities exceeding MPCs by a factor of ten. At around the same time 75 percent of Russia’s surface water was polluted, 50 percent of all water was not potable according to quality standards established in 1992, and an estimated 30 percent of groundwater available for use was highly polluted (http://countrystudies.us/russia/25.htm). {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Gezwin Stanley looks at (a) communism where there is an economic system where the things that people need to live and make a living are controlled by the few. For him it doesn’t have to mean “free” markets as many capitalists aim for and sometimes achieve oligopoly or monopoly.

Also, though “control” normally means “legal ownership” that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case: there are situations where very effective control of the things that people need to live and make a living is possible without formal legal ownership, from a company where directors are able to laud it over shareholders to the situation we are about to explore: state capitalism in the Soviet Union.

One very clear reason why we should take the concept of “state capitalism” in Marxist-Leninist regimes seriously is that it is not an invented phrase imposed on such regimes after the fact. It was, in fact, a phrase use by Lenin himself in 1918, not to describe a state of affairs that should be avoided, but as a stage in a plan to modernise Russia as part of its road towards socialism. Basically the idea was that, to transition to a system where the workers would take over the means of production, large-scale, centralised industries had to be created first, under state control, but using the techniques and expertise of capitalists.

The main aim of “state capitalism” was therefore to build, in relatively backward and agrarian Russia, the very capitalist enterprises that the workers could later control as part of socialism. From the very inception of Soviet “state capitalism” though there was a secondary aim: to modernise the economy of Russia so that it could better defend itself militarily against foreign hostility. In 1918 Russia had just lost a war to a much more industrially advanced Germany. This was a further driver influencing the nature of state capitalism in the Soviet Bloc that would persist for the duration of the Soviet Union. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Here was how, in 1918, Lenin who claimed that World War I had transformed laissez-faire capitalism into the monopolist state capitalism, described his plan for state capitalism:

“What is state capitalism under Soviet power? To achieve state capitalism at the present time means putting into effect the accounting and control that the capitalist classes carried out. We see a sample of state capitalism in Germany. We know that Germany has proved superior to us. But if you reflect even slightly on what it would mean if the foundations of such state capitalism were established in Russia, Soviet Russia, everyone who is not out of his senses and has not stuffed his head with fragments of book learning, would have to say that state capitalism would be our salvation.

I said that state capitalism would be our salvation; if we had it in Russia, the transition to full socialism would be easy, would be within our grasp, because state capitalism is something centralised, calculated, controlled and socialised, and that is exactly what we lack: we are threatened by the element of petty-bourgeois slovenliness, which more than anything else has been developed by the whole history of Russia and her economy, and which prevents us from taking the very step on which the success of socialism depends.” (Session of the All-Russia C.E.C. April 29 1918: https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/apr/29.htm)

The greatest problem is man’s love for power and control and often when people come to power they start enjoying their status and often want more. Often those who got in power want to stay in power and do not want to share their power with others.  The article writer notices this also and writes

once a state capitalist system under the control of Communist Party apparatchiks was created, any transition to actual socialism was stalled indefinitely.

Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin, secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–53) and premier of the Soviet state (1941–53), misusing his power eliminating everybody whowas in his way or did not agree with his ruling (and dictatorship).

“State capitalism” had severe effects on how the Soviet system would deal with environmental concerns. As with western style capitalism this was partly because those in control had much more to gain by, say, maximising production, than they had to lose through environmental degradation. It was those at the top, higher up the party structure, who by driving up their production figures, could gain promotion or at least, at times, and especially during Stalin’s rule, avoid being purged. Also, as ever, it was those at the bottom who were generally least able to escape the effects of environmental degradation, as in the “exemplar” Soviet steel producing city of Magnitogorsk, where party officials enjoyed a comparatively luxurious life in the wooded “American town” that was originally built for specialists from the United States in 1930, while many workers lived in barracks where filthy conditions and a lack of clean water contributed to the spread of deadly disease ( see “The secret history of Magnitogorsk, Russia’s steel city”). {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Magnitogorsk: monument

Magnitogorsk: Monument depicting a steelworker giving a sword to a Soviet soldier, Magnitogorsk, Russia. – Photo © ekb/Fotolia

The whole command and control system of the Soviet Union felt compelled to drive for economic growth at almost any cost, and did not mind losing lives for it. It became so bad that there was an obsession with economic growth and with high status on all levels, but in particular in sports and arts, like ballet. Any opposition to the ideas of those in power had to be killed by the root, as that could endanger targets.

The “Plan” and the careers, or at times lives, of individual apparatchiks. Similar to how in the West the climate crisis was first concealed with well-funded and orchestrated denial and then greenwash, in the Soviet Union the true state of the environment was kept hidden by deeming environmental statistics to be state secrets. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Next: State capitalism and climate emergency

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Related

  1. Separated under the Same Roof: The Revived Relationships of State-Market Institutions. 
  2. The return of the visible hand: How struggles for economic and political dominance turn state capitalism into authoritarian capitalism
  3. State Capitalism: Its Possibilities and Limitations (Pollock, 1941)
  4. Why was There No Capitalism in Early Modern China?
  5. Debating ‘State Capitalism’ in Turkey: Beyond False Dichotomies
  6. Sino State Capital and the Strengthening of Serbian Stabilitocracy
  7. The Socialist Market Economy in China, Vietnam and Laos: A development model to embrace?
  8. 4 Lies They Told You About China—Debunked
  9. Chapellian socio-economic inversions
  10. Economic Corridors as Infrastructures of Extraction
  11. The Pandemic and Capitalism
  12. State Capitalism Part I – Dorit Geva on Hungary’s Ordonationalism and the Parallels to Russia
  13. Russian State Capitalism Part II – Matveev on dirigiste and neoliberal synergies
  14. Russian State Capitalism Part III: How can Russia be neoliberal and dirigiste at the same time?
  15. Coming Cold War with China: Good or Bad?
  16. The Geopolitics of Financialisation and Development: Interview with Ilias Alami

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EU and Germany launch the East Jerusalem Tourism Development Programme

The European Union and Germany launched the East Jerusalem Tourism Development Programme and inaugurated the Tourism Development Hub in East Jerusalem. The East Jerusalem Tourism Development Programme is the first joint project between the EU and Germany in the framework of the East Jerusalem programme. It aims at maintaining the Palestinian identity of the city and supporting the tourism sector in East Jerusalem, against the backdrop of a worrying trend of increasing hardship for Palestinian life and economic activity in this part of the city.

“This new programme is full of innovative and creative concepts to revive the sector,’’

said the European Union Representative, Sven Kühn Von Burgsdorff.

’Our joint work as Europeans reflects once again the clear and united position of the EU and its member states with regard to East Jerusalem. For us, East Jerusalem is part of the occupied Palestinian territory and the status of Jerusalem as the future capital for the two states should always be respected and protected.’’

As one commentator put it

“The decision by the European Union (EU) and Germany to launch the East Jerusalem Tourism Development Programme is in reality a blatant attempt by them to see Jerusalem divided by creating political facts on the ground under the guise of helping promote tourism in East Jerusalem.”

Notice how the EU representative says

“For us, East Jerusalem is part of the occupied Palestinian territory.”

They want it to be part of a future Palestinian State.

The Bible says that all nations will be gathered to Jerusalem to battle. Jerusalem is going to become like an intoxicating drink that drives the surrounding people mad. The EU is fermenting this drink….

“2 behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling unto all the peoples round about, and upon Judah also shall it be in the siege against Jerusalem. 3 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it.” (Zec 12:2-3 ASV)

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> Please do find Andy Walton’s Weekly World Watch of October 17 – 23, 2021

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Streams caused by temperature differences

Andreas Kluth in The Day, a daily newspaper covering a 20-town region in eastern Connecticut, in his guest opinion piece writes about weather disasters spanning the globe this summer, looking at the many infernal fires in California and Greece, deadly floods from Germany to China, heat waves from Canada to Siberia that according to him

are really just nature’s shots across our bow.

That becomes clear if we absorb the recently published report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of the United Nations that assesses the state of science on global warming. He writes:

No matter what policies we adopt − and obviously we should aim for good ones – the weather will keep getting more catastrophic more often.

A lot of people would agree with the fact that even when we are so progressed in science, there is still what we do not know.

Part of what makes the overall problem of climate change so psychologically daunting is that there’s so much we know, but so much more that we know only partially, and even more that we have yet to understand at all.

We know perfectly well, for example, how coal-fired power plants pump carbon dioxide into the air – bad. We only partially understand how the thawing permafrost could release enough methane on top of the greenhouse gases we’ve emitted to cause additional, sudden and terrifying spikes in warming – really bad. And we have yet to figure out exactly how all this would affect the earth system as a whole, and in particular the massive currents of air and water that have made the world a familiar habitat to us.

One current of particular concern is the polar jet stream, a group of winds that whips at enormous speeds around the Arctic from west to east (owing to the earth’s rotation) at a height of six-to-10 miles up in the atmosphere. Another is the Gulf Stream, a vast oceanic conveyor belt that makes warm water from the tropics flow northward on the surface until it cools and, around Iceland, sinks down and heads back south.

One thing these streams have in common, with each other and the many other currents all around the world, is that they’re caused by temperature differences between the hot tropics and the cold poles. Another thing they share is that, in their own ways, they protect or nurture us humans.

The complex swirls of the jet streams tend to blow away pressure systems that could otherwise kill us on the ground with storms and floods and heat. If these streams blow less hard, or more weirdly, or not at all, those meteorological danger domes just hover in place without moving, until they discharge their payloads on us. Although the details aren’t clear yet, scientists believe this partially explains why the floods in Germany, the heat waves in North America and forest fires in Greece and Turkey turned into such doozies.

Changes in the Gulf Stream work more slowly but are just as consequential. It’s already known that the current is at its weakest in a millennium. There are many reasons, including torrents of freshwater pouring in from melting ice and bloated rivers (freshwater is lighter than saltwater and prevents cooling water from sinking) and shrinking temperature differentials between south and north as the Artic heats up. A new study in Nature suggests that the whole Atlantic circulation and convection system may “collapse” altogether.

Read more about it: If jet or gulf streams collapse, we’re in for it

A woman throws away flood damaged rubbish July 19 in the center of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany. (Bram Janssen/AP Photo)

A woman throws away flood damaged rubbish July 19 in the center of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany. (Bram Janssen/AP Photo)

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Flash Floods Are Proof That Climate Disaster Is Already Here

To remember:

Mary Dhonau is one of the leading flood risk experts in the UK, and says we all need to be concerned about the proliferation of so-called “super basements” in areas like Kensington and Chelsea.

“There are a lot of celebrities in those areas – Simon Cowell, Kate Garraway, Brian May – and they were all flooded,”

“A lot of them have these super basements, and when you stop and think of the earth that has been excavated to accommodate all these projects, that’s earth that would have absorbed water had it still been there.”

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We will almost certainly not avoid climate emergency now. As the Met Office puts it:

“Even if we were to stop all emissions today, we would not prevent some changes. However, the sooner we cut emissions, the smaller the changes will be.”

There is no longer time to stop the process; that ship has well and truly sailed. But there is still time to mitigate the worst of its damage.

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Perhaps the question of ‘what can we do?’ is not the right one to ask after all; a self-lacerating response engendered by a society that has gaslit us into believing that it’s our plastic straws that are to blame – rather than, you know, the 71 percent of all carbon emissions that come from just 100 companies.

“The onus is on the government to reduce emissions,”

Juliet Kinsman adds.

“That’s why they exist, to protect every member of society. We all have to think what we can do more, of course, but essentially this is on the government, private sector, and manufacturing to think of solutions.”

Matthew Neale

Credit: Twitter/Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

On the evening of the 12th of July, bookseller Lynn Gaspard received a text from her mother, concerned that their west London bookshop would flood yet again. “We were really worried,” she says over the phone, “but thinking, ‘What can we do?”

It’s a desperate question that has reverberated around the world, perhaps this month more than ever. The floods that have swept across the southeast of England in July caused significant property damage, leading to evacuations in London – on the 12th of July and, remarkably, again on Sunday – and the cancellation of Standon Calling festival.

But they are not yet comparable to the devastation in Germany and Belgium, where over 180 people were killed in flash floods, nor the horrific scenes of submerged homes in India or flooded subway train carriages in China. In the UK, many are praying that it…

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Are the European floods linked to the climate crisis?

Almost certainly. Scientists have long predicted climate disruption will lead to more extreme weather, such as heatwaves, droughts and floods. Human emissions from engine exhaust fumes, forest burning and other activities are heating the planet. As the atmosphere gets warmer it holds more moisture which brings more rain. All the places that recently experienced flooding – Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, London, Edinburgh, Tokyo and elsewhere – might have had heavy summer rain even without the climate crisis, but the deluges were unlikely to have been as intense.

There has not yet been an attribution study for the latest floods in Europe because the analysis takes several days.

Please continue reading: What is causing the floods in Europe?

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Investigating how climate affects intense rainstorms across Europe, climate experts have shown there will be a significant future increase in the occurrence of slow-moving intense rainstorms.

The scientists estimate that these slow-moving storms may be 14 times more frequent across land by the end of the century. It is these slow-moving storms that have the potential for very high precipitation accumulations, with devastating impacts, as we saw in Germany and Belgium.

Professor Lizzie Kendon, Science Fellow at the Met Office and Professor at Bristol University, said:

“This study shows that in addition to the intensification of rainfall with global warming, we can also expect a big increase in slow-moving storms which have the potential for high rainfall accumulations. This is very relevant to the recent flooding seen in Germany and Belgium, which highlights the devastating impacts of slow-moving storms.

“Our finding that slow-moving intense rainstorms could be 14 times more frequent by the end of the century under the high emissions RCP8.5 scenario, shows the serious impacts that we may expect across Europe if we do not curb our emissions of greenhouse gases.”

The study findings are relevant to climate mitigation and adaptation policy in Europe, with specific implications for future flooding impacts, the design of infrastructure systems, and the management of water resources.

Currently, almost stationary intense rainstorms are uncommon in Europe and happen rarely over parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Accurate predictions of future changes in intense rainfall events are key to putting effective adaptation and mitigation plans in place to limit the adverse impacts of climate change.

> Extreme Storms Will Be More Likely In Europe Research Shows

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Europe’s catastrophic flooding was forecast well in advance – what went so wrong?

Almost 200 people dead and many others still missing. Billions of euros’ worth of damage. Communities devastated. Thousands of homes destroyed and their occupants traumatised.

Hannah Cloke  advises the Environment Agency, the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, the Copernicus Emergency Management Service, local and national governments and humanitarian agencies on the forecasting and warning of natural hazards. She is a Council member of the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council, a fellow of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, a fellow of the Centre for Natural Hazards & Disaster Science in Sweden and is also affiliated to Uppsala University in Sweden. Her research is funded by the UKRI Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

I am a flood forecaster who helped to set up the forecasting system that was used to predict the recent floods in Germany and surrounding countries. I saw days in advance that they were coming. I read reports of rainfall and river levels rising. And then I watched with growing horror as the death toll surged.

The European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), which I helped to set up, is part of the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service. It provides early information on flooding to national and local authorities across Europe. I work closely with people there in my role as an independent flood scientist at the University of Reading to improve and analyse EFAS data. I don’t work in the team that issues early flood information to authorities, but looking at the data with colleagues, I could see early on just how serious the floods looked.

Forecasts on Friday July 9 and Saturday 10 for the Rhine catchment, covering Germany and Switzerland, had shown a high probability of flooding that would begin on Tuesday July 13. Subsequent forecasts also showed the Meuse in Belgium would be affected. The forecasts in the following days showed that there was little doubt that a major flood was coming.

EFAS sends out bulletins of early information which are designed to be read, understood and acted on by experts. They are not directly available to the public. Public flood warnings come from the national and regional weather, environment and civil protection agencies, and EFAS information needs to be used by these authorities alongside their own forecasts.

The first EFAS bulletin was sent to the relevant national authorities on Saturday July 10. More updates continued over the following days as more precise predictions became available. Formal flood notifications were issued to authorities in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg, as well as the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) of the European Commission throughout Monday and Tuesday. As the event neared and uncertainty in the forecast shrank, the predicted start of the flooding was pushed to Wednesday for smaller rivers and Thursday for the larger downstream rivers. Around 25 individual warnings were sent out to parts of the Rhine and Meuse.

The German weather service, DWD, had independently forecast extremely high rainfall too and issued warnings for more than 200 mm of rain in the same areas several days ahead of time, saying that flooding was possible. Regional warnings were also issued, for example by the Environment Agency in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, one of the areas hit particularly hard by flooding.

The floods that did happen matched the scale and distribution of those that were forecast several days before. I was very surprised, therefore, that so many people died, given that authorities knew about the event and had sufficient warnings to get people to safety before the floods began.

Where flood warnings fail

Clearly, tragically, the whole system designed to save lives by ensuring people act on warnings before floods arrive, did not work as it should have done. It may be that individual parts of the system worked exactly as they were designed, and it is certainly true that forecasts were accurate, and there were some warnings issued through official channels. In some areas, many authorities did act in time, to evacuate people, erect temporary flood defences, and move vehicles to higher ground. But this clearly did not happen everywhere.

In the middle of an election campaign, some German leaders in national and regional government still seemed to defend the locally-devolved nature of disaster management in Germany, insisting that the warnings were adequate and agencies did their work well. It is like claiming that the maiden voyage of the Titanic was a success because 99% of its engineering worked perfectly throughout. While their arguments may be true on an individual scale, unless those in power admit that the system ultimately failed, they risk failing to learn lessons and put others at risk in the future.

Science, in large part, is about helping people see the invisible. What is the use of a perfect forecast if the people it is supposed to warn cannot see the danger they are in? Effective flood warnings require people to be able to see into the future and imagine their house full of water, to assess the likelihood of that happening, and to see the multiple paths they could take to keep them, their family, and their property safe.


Read more: Report from Europe’s flood zone: researcher calls out early warning system gridlock amid shocking loss of life


I recently took part in an exercise encouraging scientists, from senior professors to school pupils, to trace the path of water in a river through time using just their imagination. Weeks later, we are seeing what happens when people cannot visualise the threat of a river ripping down their street, or a lake appearing in their house. These are the elements of flood warnings that must improve.

As climate change increases risks from heatwaves, fires and floods, we need to not only slash emissions but prepare ourselves for the problems we already have in store. Even with sufficient decarbonisation measures – which we are still yet to see from any major government – there is no avoiding the consequences of a hotter, more turbulent environment.

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Suggested further reading

McEwan, L., Garde-Hansen, J., Holmes, A., Jones, O. & Krause, R. (2016). Sustainable flood memories, lay knowledges and the development of community resilience to future flood risk. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42, 14 – 28. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12149.

Alexander, M., Priest, S. & Penning-Roswell, E. (2017). The risk of ill-informed reform: The future for English flood risk management. Area, 50, 426 – 429. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12393.

Forrest, S., Trell, E. & Woltjer, J. (2018). Civil society contributions to local level flood resilience: Before, during and after the 2015 Boxing Day floods in the Upper Calder Valley. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44, 422 – 436. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12279.

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Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue

Probably we are looking at more than 150 victims of the heavy rain and flooding which took parts of Germany, Belgium and the South of the Netherlands. Authorities said late Thursday that about 1,300 people in Germany were still listed missing, but cautioned that the high figure could be due to duplication of data and difficulties reaching people because of disrupted roads and phone connections.

In Belgium, Pepinster, Theux, Chaudfontaine, Spa, Liège a.o. got enough water to forget draughts for months. Most of the drowned were found around Liege, where the rains hit hardest. Skies were largely overcast in eastern Belgium, with hopes rising that the worst of the calamity was over.

Please find this report about the flash floods this week which followed days of heavy rainfall, sweeping away cars and causing houses to collapse across the region.

“Some parts of Western Europe … received up to two months of rainfall in the space of two days. What made it worse is that the soils were already saturated by previous rainfall,”

said Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization.

Those who keep saying Climate chance is an invention of revolutionaries and lefties, should have a better look of how our weather becomes unpredictable.

Extreme weather events are hitting Europe more frequently as climate change warms the continent, experts agree.

2020 was Europe’s hottest year since records began over 300 years ago, according to analysis of global weather stations by Berkeley Earth, and eight of the 10 hottest ever years have been in the past decade.

The continent’s average temperature is now roughly 2C warmer than it was at the start of the 20th century – an increase that has come with a growth in extreme weather.

For example, warmer air holds more water which, in turn, can lead to extreme downpours.

Please find to read and watch another video > Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue by Frank Jordans

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France, Germany Propose EU Summit With Russia’s Putin, Diplomats Say

Brussels (Reuters) – France and Germany proposed on Wednesday a European Union summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to improve relations, two diplomats said, potentially paving the way for the first such meeting since 2014.

Such an event would follow U.S. President Joe Biden’s summit in Geneva with Putin earlier this month and reflects concern in Paris and Berlin that the EU’s approach to Russia in recent years has mainly been focused on sanctions on Moscow.

“Germany and France have given some ideas for the EU-summit-debate on Russia. Merkel has mentioned before that not only the U.S. should talk with Russia (and China) on the highest level. Russia is a neighbour. Such a format existed already in 2007 in Finland,”

a person dealing with the preparation of the summit told Reuters.

“The entire post-war history of Greater Europe confirms that prosperity and security of our common continent is only possible through the joint efforts of all countries, including Russia,”

the Russian President pointed

A strategy paper by the European Commission and the EU’s diplomatic service said earlier this month that despite years of tensions,

“the EU and Russia have a fundamental common responsibility for peace and security on the European continent.”

It can well be that Russia is open to honest and constructive cooperation with Europe. It calls for the recovery of a comprehensive partnership with it, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in an article “Being Open, Despite the Past” timed to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945).

“I reiterate that Russia is in favour of restoring a comprehensive partnership with Europe. We have many topics of mutual interest. These include security and strategic stability, healthcare and education, digitalization, energy, culture, science and technology, resolution of climate and environmental issues,”

the Russian leader said in an article published on the Kremlin website.

“We are open to honest and constructive interaction. This is confirmed by our idea of creating a common space of cooperation and security from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, which would comprise various integration formats, including the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union,”

he noted.

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