We arrived at the Bavarian village of Iffeldorf the morning after the first snow, in late November, 2015. Dr. Uta Raeder, Co-Director of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) facility, greeted us in the parking lot. We huddled close, straining to catch her words before the wind, or traffic noises took, them away. She and her colleagues has been considering keeping us indoors. Instead they led us toward the boathouse, to see how they are monitoring how the climate is changing Germany’s lakes.
One of my wife’s fondest memories of Germany is the well maintained trails going through idyllic forests. She was visiting relatives during the late 1960’s and early 70’s. My impressions are both much later, and different. After my second trip to Germany, last year, I asked Andreas König, Head AG Wildlife Biology and Wildlife Management at the Technical University of Munich, where are Germany’s bears, wolves and eagles?
This was to have been an article about the urban waste water and energy project for a new subdivision in Hamburg’s Jenfelder Au district. This as yet-to-be finished neighbourhood will use 30% less water than the surrounding area and have a completely self-sufficient energy supply. But this project is only one of the reasons why we need to look at Hamburg Wasser.
Sea levels have been rising 0.14 inches (3.5 millimeters) per year since the early 1990s. In the decades to come, many of the world’s coastal cities will be threatened. Hamburg’s new city core responded to this challenge with a relatively inexpensive solution, HafenCity is designed to be flood proof.
I finally met Thomas Grigoleit last week. The Director of Energy and Environmental Technology for Germany’s economic development agency (Germany Trade and Invest) peddled up to the restaurant where we were waiting. He had left the office for the day and, folding his suit into a rucksack, set off on his bicycle to meet the North American journalists. This was probably going to be my best opportunity for questioning Thomas Grigoleit about Energiewende.