No, Germany Will Not Be Free From Climate Change Consequences

Maybe you still believe that rich, western countries will go free from the consequences of climate change. Brace yourself for a reality check.

Until now, we westerners have relied on an assumption. Western countries will not suffer too much from the effects of climate change. That assumption is wrong. I believed it as well. After all, we have so many possibilities, that other countries don’t have. We have enormous wealth we stole from our former colonies. We have good education systems, that can produce great minds to come up with solutions. And, if you live in central or northern Europe like me, the climate is very temperate. How bad can it get?

Image created with Imgflip.com

Well, let me give you a little glimpse of how climate change affects Germany. Germany is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet. We can continue, as usual, right?

Record Droughts and Forest Fires

As I write this, it is 38 degrees outside. This is a common occurrence now.

Climate Change leads to ever more heat records in Germany. All current heat records occurred after 1980.
Image from Statista.de

Look at the chart. It shows the highest recorded temperatures in Germany. We began measuring in 1881. Do you notice something? None of them happened prior to 1980. Since then, we have been breaking record temperatures in the summer over and over.

The heat intensity is not the only thing that changes. We also get prolonged periods of drought. I thought that the drought in 2018 was a unique event. It wasn’t. Since then, we even surpassed it. The soil is as dry as it was then. I can see it on my vegetables. They scream for water. Even mulching doesn’t help much. It does rain from time to time. But the water just evaporates. It does not penetrate the soil.

The forests outside Berlin are extremely dry. And there are a lot of forests. Right now, 400 firefighters are busy fighting a huge forest fire just outside Berlin. Yesterday afternoon it was only a size of 40 hectares. The firefighters were confident they would be able to control it. By now, they lost control. The size is now over 200 hectares.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3isJojueoY

Forest fires are becoming extremely common. It does not help, that the majority of forests are monoculture, that has been planted for extracting profit. Most of them are pine trees. Pine trees burn well. Also, these forests are more water craving. Which exacerbates another issue.

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Alex

Alex

My Name is Alexander Benesch, but it is okay to just address me with Alex. I am from Germany but have spent more than half of my life in Denmark, where I have been teaching special needs students, among many other activities. I write about education and teaching, provide tips for teachers and lesson materials, and blog about educational technology. I also offer my tutoring services via the blog. I am passionate about teaching and I have many thoughts and opinions about pedagogy, education, and social issues. I believe that our education systems need a major revolution to be fit for the challenges that humanity faces in the 21st century. That is why I decided to write about it.

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