Politics in a time of climate change: how will it change the ...

World

Politics in a time of climate change: how will it change the first world?

Rich countries tend to think it won’t affect them, but the man in the street, in Germany at least, feels differently

Andreas Kluth

There she was again, the proverbial mother of the nation, walking sombrely through the rubble and mud of a nearly destroyed town called Schuld, which happens to be German for “guilt”. 

German chancellor Angela Merkel, two months before an election that will usher her out of politics and into retirement, has done her best to stay aloof from the campaign to succeed her. But the natural disaster that struck her country last week left her no choice but to wade in. 

The regions along the Rhine and its tributaries haven’t seen flooding on this scale in centuries, if ever. As the death toll in Germany and Belgium creeps towards 200, with many victims still missing, the torrents seem to some residents like the beginning of a medieval morality play. Is the story of Schuld, like that in Genesis 6-9, one of God punishing humanity for polluting His creation?..

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