JR´s Little (German) Press Review

The European Union and the United States must do more to support those countries which suffer most from climate change and added least to it, writes Dorothea Steiner in the Green Party´s gazette Schrägstrich of December 2009. Globally, the need for combatting global warming is estimated to be 100 billion Euros from 2020, she writes.

It is absurd to build walls and fences against “boat people” who have lost their livelihood to climate change, rather than supporting their countries in coping with the consequences of climate change for their societies. […] More than “two degrees plus” hurt us all. Latest scientific calculations show that from now to 2050, we can only emit 750 billion tons more of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if we want to keep global warming at less than an additional two degrees. Any further rise is said to be neither technically nor financially controllable.

It’s not too late to build a dyke

To learn from the Netherlands means to learn victory

In the long run, our carbon dioxide emissions needed to be reduced by 80 per cent, according to Steiner. The surprising bit: what Steiner, herself one of the two chairwomen of Lower Saxony´s Green Party, doesn´t demand much more than the older political parties, or the EU, or – in terms of money needed to be pledged to poor countries to cope with global warming – not all that far from Hilary Clinton´s qualified offer in Copenhagen. Ms Steiner does however remind her readers that the German government must tell the citizens in detail how they will need to help to achieve the stated goals.

Giesbert Wiltfang, a dykemaster in Krummhörn, Ostfriesland, is not so worried, reports the Ostfriesen-Zeitung (East Frisian Times) of Tuesday. Wiltfang refers to the Lower Saxony Water Management, Coastal Defence and Nature Conservation Agency´s data: the  agency´s tide gauge on Norderney has recorded no tidal rise in addition to the 25 centimeters per century which had long been known. Therefore, the sea level was certainly rising, but its rise wasn´t accelerating. Wiltfang doesn´t want to play the issue down, but carbon dioxide wasn´t simply poisonous: “After all, the flora needs carbon dioxide. One shouldn´t vilify it.” East Frisians had little to fear from rising temperatures: “After all, we are profiting from it – tourism, farming, lower heating costs. When lowlands (like the Netherlands or Ostfriesland) are threatened, “they must build dykes”.

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