Dienstag, 27. Mai 2008

Earth to politicians: Quit coal

Great piece from the Inquirer.

Mittwoch, 21. Mai 2008

Albay Province (Philippines) quits coal!

Powerful words spoken by Brando M Sael. And, no, he is not a Greenpeace activist. He is Vice Governor of Albay Province in the Philippines: "We believe there is no place for coal in a world beset by climate change and certainly there is no place for coal in Albay". If only the alleged global climate leader, "my" Chancellor: Angela Merkel, would be so wise! - Hats off to Greenpeace Southeast Asia - yet again!

Dienstag, 20. Mai 2008

Bye bye Oliver Kahn

Back in 1984, I had a poster up in my room that simply read: "Arreviderci Kalle". Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was the hero of my youth. And he left me in tears that year as he deserted Bayern to join Inter. In retrospect, this was a good thing, really. It left me less distraught as I started to grow up and realize Bayern Munich's extremely close ties with the nasty Bavarian conservative party (CSU: they supported the Apartheid regime - among many other sins). My political awakening made me fall out of love with Bayern Munich. In general. But there were always Munich players, that I could not help but to continue to admire or adore. Mehmet Scholl, for example. Or, especially, Oliver Kahn, who finally retired last Saturday. Kahn's politics, too, are awful. He has said things about unemployed people, for example, that I'd rather not repeat here because they still make my blood boil. He has no sense of injustice in the world that does not involve a wrongly given off side or free kick. His whole personality is a billboard advertisement for mordern capitalism: Every vein in his body is about 'Leistung' and competition. And, yet - and yet: Kahn, without question, has been the best goalkeeper on this fragile planet. He has saved impossible shots. He was the one and only reason Germany reached the World Cup final in 2002 (and how ironic that he made a rare mistake in that final). He was simply fabulous. A true phenomenon. And consistently brilliant for 20 years. Indeed, I am among those 'conspiracy theorists', who feel that Kahn may have saved the day, if only he had been allowed to keep the goal in the fatal semi-final match Germany played against Italy in 2006 .... We will never know, of course. (And Lehmann is [was?] a fine keeper too ...). But what we do know is that (football) life will not be the same without Kahn. The world will be a little less colourful. The teams playing Munich will have a slightly better chance of scoring goals. - It's time to say Arreviderci, Oliver. I will not be putting up a poster in my room. I will just quietly pray that he uses his retirement to read up on what is wrong with this world. That he may put his deserved fame to some use. - Kahn revealed recently that he watches youtube videos of saves he has made before matches. So, enjoy these, Oliver. I am sure you have seen them before ...

Dienstag, 13. Mai 2008

Green Peace for sale at Berlin's Carneval of Cultures ...

It's easy to be cynical about multiculturalism. With benetton, Ford and many others all using people of different colour in ads to increase their global appeal; with lived cultures - not least through mass tourism - often being reduced to charicatures of themselves, it is easy (may be all too easy) to dismiss multi-ethnic cultural events as mere folklore without depth. For sure, at Berlin's mutlicultural festival, the Carneval of Cultures, you are more likely to drink Chinese beer than to discuss Chinese politics. Still, the Carneval is wonderful. Berlin, at first sight, looks 'white', especially compared to London, Paris or New York. But that there are vibrant African, Asian - as well as the better known Turkish and Kurdish - minorities in Berlin is something that's made visible by the Carneval each year. And, as the organizers claim, the Carneval provides a 'framework for multicultural initiatives' all year round. That, more than the colourful parade each year, is it's real value. - Plus, at the Carneval, every year, I gain some fun impressions. This year, I only managed a quick (and very tasty) West African lunch. But I still got a laugh out of the possibility, at the stall next door, of eating The Green Peace. For just 5 EUR, that sure would have been a bargain ...

Mittwoch, 7. Mai 2008

Global Compact Critics blog unblocked by UN!

Pressure works. Hence now people at UN headquarters in New York can read the Global Compact Critics blog. Read details here. I hope they can also read this blog ;-).