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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/31/2005 12:09:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2005 4:29:26 PM EDT by Zhukov]

At least this editorial makes me feel a little better:

Here is the link on the Website "Der Spiegel"


Kicking Hurricane Victims While They're Down

By Claus Christian Malzahn

Hurricane Katrina has cost the lives of hundreds and devastated the US Gulf Coast. But instead of aid donations and sympathy, the Americans have heard little more than a haughty "I told you so" from Germany. It's another low point for trans-Atlantic relations -- and set off by a German minister. How pathetic.

For the record: German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder offered his condolences to US President George W. Bush for the Hurricane Katrina disaster that has hit the Gulf Coast. Both he and his fellow Germans, Schröder wrote, feel "great sympathy for the fate of those people affected by the hurricane."

Nice words to be sure, but that was it. No pledges of aid money, no announcements of immediate help -- although finally, two days later, the German interior minister did manage to come out with a hesitant offer of assistance. And let's be honest, the crisis region this time around isn't in the Third World, but is in the United States of America. There really isn't much of a need for German helpers -- experienced as they may be from aid missions from Kosovo to Afghanistan -- because the American authorities are already doing as much as can be done.

Nevertheless, German aid money delivered to American aid agencies would surely be welcome on the other side of the Atlantic. But apparently, people over here believe that the Americans over there don't really need help. Strange. The same people who normally spend their time pointing their holier-than-thou fingers at the ghettos and slums in the US, the same ones who describe America as an out-of-control capitalist monster, are now, when the Americans could really use a bit of help, oddly quiet.

Cold and malicious

Apparently the Americans had it coming: "The American president has closed his eyes to the economic and human damage that natural catastrophes such as Katrina -- in other words, disasters caused by a lack of climate protection measures -- can visit on his country." Who wrote this? None other than Jürgen Trittin, Germany's minister of the environment.

At a moment when the dead on the Gulf Coast are still being counted, the German minister of the environment could think of nothing better to do than -- in an essay published Tuesday in the center-left daily Frankfurter Rundschau -- to blame the US itself for the catastrophe. The piece is 493 words long, and not a single one of them is wasted to express any sort of sympathy for the victims of the storm. The worst of it is that Trittin isn't alone with his cold, malicious tenor. The coverage from much of the German media tends in the same direction: If Bush had only listened to Uncle Trittin and signed the Kyoto Protocol, then this never would have happened.

Bullshit. Trittin's article is a slap in the face to all the victims. Let's just assume that the environment minister is right, that there is a direct relationship between greenhouse gases and Hurricane Katrina. Even still this would hardly be the time for yet another round of America bashing and finger pointing. Three years ago, just before the US election, former Minister of Justice Hertha Däubler Gmelin compared US President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler. This time, with German elections looming, the environment minister is using a natural catastrophe as an excuse to once again campaign with subtle anti-Americanism and to unabashedly pat himself on the back. A "Kyoto Two" is "desperately needed" screamed the headline over his insensitive attack.

There are scientists and Nobel Prize winners who see the problem of global warming totally different than Trittin. Many consider the fight against AIDS, hunger and malaria as higher priorities than a reduction of carbon dioxide output. Last year, some of these experts jointly published the "Copenhagen Consensus," in which they outlined the greatest problems facing the world. Global warming figured low on the list. And believe it or not, the scientists are not on the payroll of the Texas oil industry. But that's hardly the point at the moment. Right now, the situation calls for empathy with the people in the American south who are suffering the after effects of the massive storm.

It's not the American people's fault that the storm hit and they couldn't have stopped it. The Germans, on the other hand, could have done a lot to prevent World War II. And yet, care packages still rained down from US troops. Trittin's know-it-all stance is therefore not only tasteless, it is also historically blind.

Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:09:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:12:04 PM EDT
Here is the reply by the minister:


German Minister Stands Behind Criticism of Bush

German Environmental Minister Jürgen Trittin remains stolid in his assertion that Hurricane Katrina is linked to global warming and America's refusal to reduce emissions. He may be right, but the timing of his tirade is way off.

In an article in the Frankfurter Rundschau, Jürgen Trittin, wrote, "Greenhouse gases have to be radically reduced worldwide. The US has, up until this point, had its eyes closed to this emergency."
Germany's Minister of the Environment, Jürgen Trittin of the Green Party, on Tuesday unleashed a firestorm of criticism in the United States over comments he made in a newspaper column directly linking the natural catastrophe in the American South to global warming. After Hurricane Katrina bashed America's Gulf States and left New Orleans a sunken wasteland, Trittin wrote an editorial lashing out at US President George W. Bush for "closing his eyes" to the dangers of global warming. The polemic began with the line, "Recently in the theaters, now in real life," and went on to compare the scenes of Hurricane Katrina to Roland Emmerich's Hollywood blockbuster "The Day after Tomorrow."

He also said that if something is not done soon -- in other words if Bush maintains his current stance on global warming and continues to reject the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions -- America and Europe can expect even more storms like Katrina in the future. American readers reacted with a vengeance and their angry words filled our in-box Wednesday here at SPIEGEL ONLINE. Essentially, they were outraged that in the middle of a crisis, a German minister would turn to America and -- instead of reaching out a helping hand -- virtually point a finger and say, "You asked for this."

Yet, despite the uproar he has caused, Trittin remains unrepentant. On Wednesday, his spokesman Michael Schroeren even said that he "can't understand ... at all" why Americans are upset. Trittin's comments "are true and he wrote what he meant."

Carsten Voigt, who coordinates German-American relations for the German Foreign Ministry, attempted to smooth over any hard feelings on Wednesday, by stressing Germany's concern for America's Gulf Coast states and suggesting that Trittin's comments -- albeit accurate -- were badly timed and somewhat misplaced, given the scale of the catastrophe.

"I agree with what he said, but of course, the way it was said is another matter," said Voigt. "The main point though is that climate change is an issue that needs to be put on the table. ... I think that at this point, given the circumstances, one should be a bit more diplomatic than Mr. Trittin was, but there is general consensus in Germany that climate change is a major issue. It has nothing to do with who is in power (German Chancellor Gerhard) Schröder or Bush. It is not about Kyoto. The most important thing is that we do something."

He also said that though he does not see Bush or American policy as to blame for Katrina, he does believe that the hurricane "was stronger because of climate change." Global warming, he said, is a "long-term question" but it is "certainly true that when a land is so highly developed as the US, it has a responsibility to work against climate change. When the US has a better plan (than Kyoto or anything else currently being suggested), then please," we'd like to hear it, he said.

Voigt also took pains to stress Germany's willingness to help America and American victims in any way possible. Indeed, Interior Minister Otto Schily offered up as much aid as America needs. An upper-level government spokesperson told SPIEGEL ONLINE that, "the Foreign Ministry is in constant contact with its American partner agencies" and is following the aftermath of Katrina "with concern." The bottom line though is that America -- which has one of the most sophisticated rescue operations in the world -- almost certainly won't be asking for assistance.

"We only send things when our help helps," Voigt said. "Right now, this is not about money. It is about solidarity with our American partners. And we certainly feel that."

Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:12:27 PM EDT
At least Bush wasn't blamed this time
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:12:52 PM EDT
Jorge Bush should've signed the Kyoto protocol, then this would have not happened. It's due to greenhosue gases and global warming.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:13:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ZitiForBreakfast:

Damn. The dupe police got me...
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:14:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zhukov:

Originally Posted By ZitiForBreakfast:

Damn. The dupe police got me...

It was my first time doing it....I feel so shameful and dirty, I am sorry.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:16:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ZitiForBreakfast:

It was my first time doing it....I feel so shameful and dirty, I am sorry.

It's alright. I didn't even search for previous threads, because I figured there was such a low likelihood of that having been posted already...
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:19:09 PM EDT
wonderful volks, them germans... started two major wars in the last century, killed millions, enslaved millions, put millions in gas chambers..

spent the last 60 years under the US nuclear umbrella and under the rusky boot.. polishing their socialist abilitiles on BOTH sides of the border while the good-ole-boys on the east side shot their fellow countrymen who just wanted to leave..

and now they have the gall to blame the US for the world's eco-probs..?

these guys are worse than a joke.. and if the devil starts the next war with these fine fellows we shouldn't even send one homeless person to piss on their brimestone covered bodies....
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:19:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zhukov:
Here is the reply by the minister:

Yet, despite the uproar he has caused, Trittin remains unrepentant. On Wednesday, his spokesman Michael Schroeren even said that he "can't understand ... at all" why Americans are upset. Trittin's comments "are true and he wrote what he meant."

Well there you have it folks. Greenhouse gasses are the cold hard fact behind this hurricane. He said it's true therefore it must be so.

Hey German dude..... shove it up your ass buddy. Good thing for the rest of the world we dont act the same.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:26:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2005 12:26:26 PM EDT by ArmedAggie]
Germany: Trying to Regain Relevance Since 1945.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:26:12 PM EDT
Typical Euro-elite ignorance. Of course, Robert Kennedy Jr said much the same thing. But he is a Euro-phyle anyways.

Don't mind the fact that most scientists say there is still little evidence of a direct correlation of the limmited effect of global warming on climate patterns. or the fact that most scientists agree that the Kyoto Accord will have only a negligible effect on the emmission of greenhouse gases, especially in a just a few years. Or the fact that the US Senate unamimously rejected Kyoto during President Clinton's time in office do to the fact that it would (A) have serious economic effects on industry, and (B) numerous third-world countries would be exempt.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:27:12 PM EDT
Oh, to be Jorge for one day. My reply-

"Hey, you Kraut motherfuckers started global warming with the smoke from your crematoriums. So, [ begingermantranslation ] FOAD. [ endgermantranslation ]
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 1:30:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By callgood:
Oh, to be Jorge for one day. My reply-

"Hey, you Kraut motherfuckers started global warming with the smoke from your crematoriums. So, [ begingermantranslation ] FOAD. [ endgermantranslation ]

Mine would be similar.. I would be mumbling the above under my breath as I called around to see what heavy bombers were available.

Damn shame that minister's bloodline survived the war, but a mistake we can definitely make up for.
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