söndag 28 april 2013


On April 20, at about 5:30 in the morning, my mother-in-law tried to cross some railway tracks. It was still dark and somewhat rainy. Her husband walked a few meters ahead of her and eventually noted out of the corners of his eyes some fast approaching lights. But it was too late for any reaction. Magret was run over by the fast-train. The fact that she never realized what was about to happen and that she must have been dead immediately is the sole consolation. 

Today, more than a week after, it is still unimaginable that this actually happened. Can this really be true? Yet, the coffin reminds that it is, unfortunately, not just a bad dream. 

I do miss her. Remember the fun and the small quibbles with a glimpse in the eye that we had. The discussions we had about existence or non-existence of a higher will or power. A power which, for the sake of discussion, we came to call “Das grosse Urmel”(*).

But what hurts even more is the pain of others. Above all the pain of my wife, Magrets daughter, the pain of my kids, Magrets grandchildren, the pain of my father-in-law, Magrets husband Michael. It was so incredibly hard to tell our daughters that their beloved grandmother will not come for the planned visit two weeks later. That she will never come for a visit again. She who always started to count days until her next trip to Sweden as soon as she left us. She who always played the role-games the kids liked so much. Camping on her bed, playing that they would go hunting for game and roast it over an imaginary fire. Or princess and king and queen of course. Or whatever else would please her grandchildren. 

It is a heavy loss and I remember with pain when Mira cried out that it can’t be true, that she needed her, and that she wanted her for so many more years and wanted to be much older when a thing like this had to happen …

But it happened otherwise and even though one longs for explanations one will never find one.

Der der dich gekannt

Der der dich gekannt,

der weiß was wir verloren.

Der der dich gekannt,

wird sich immer nach dir sehnen.

Der der dich gekannt,

wird nie wieder ganz sein.

Der der dich gekannt,

der weiß dass du uns nie verlässt,

du lebst in unseren Herzen weiter.(**)

Mira Margareta am 27.4.2013 für Margarete (1947-2013)

from the children’s play "Urmel aus dem Eis" by MaxKruse and the Augsburger Puppenkiste

Those who knew you

Those who knew you,
knows what we lost.
Those who knew you,
will always crave for you.
Those who knew you,
will never be whole again.
Those who knew you,
knows that you never leave us,
you live on in our hearts.

torsdag 18 april 2013

Close fertilizer factories!

On April 17, a massive explosion at a fertilizer factory in West, Texas occurred. According to The Guardian “the blast registered as a 2.1 magnitude seismic event and was heard at least 45 miles away.” The blast is assumed to have caused the death of several people and injured over 100. Many houses collapsed or were set on fire. Hundreds had to leave their homes and were evacuated to a nearby school.

Again according to The Guardian mayor Tommy Muska from West, Texas, told reporters: "It was a[s] like a nuclear bomb went off. Big old mushroom cloud. There are a lot of people that got hurt. There are a lot of people that will not be here tomorrow."

As a result increasing concerns are already being raised all over the world questioning the use of fertilizers and the existence and safety of fertilizer factories. A person living close by the plant expresses the thoughts of many: "They always claimed it was safe! That nothing like that could ever happen. Now look at the result!"

Some people even go so far as to compare the incident with the Bhopal disaster in 1984. US officials however told AP: "You can’t compare this case to Bhopal. You simply can’t. It is a very different case. It is as if you were comparing the Fukushima accident with Chernobyl. It is different technology and has very different causes! Bhopal wasn’t even producing fertilizers."

Meanwhile, the German government has again shown that it is capable of quick action and has ordered an immediate production stop for several dozen chemical factories. Also first demonstrations in Germany attracted a large number of people. Members of a well-known so-called environmental organization also entered the site of a chemical factory in Frankfurt. "We want to show how easy it is to get in here. It’s not a real challenge. Just imagine what a terrorist could do. And we are pretty much inside a large city in the middle of Germany! We want these factories closed as soon as possible." a participant says.

Chancellor Merkel seems to partly agree with these claims and has ordered a stress test of all chemical factories in Germany. "My vision is to use only natural and renewable as fertilizers."

Claims have, however been raised that the German devision comes too late and will prove to be of little effect. Activist have therefore formed a new organization called Have-a-Green-Piss. The goal is to get more people out into nature when doing their business.

[see also svd.se for more information]

Footnote: This is about risk perception. This is NOT to make fun about the accident in Texas and NOT to make fun about the Bhopal disaster.