About the Author

Ronny Patz
Political Scientist ()

Political Scientist from the University of Potsdam (focus: EU affairs & networks), Advisor to the Transparency International EU Office, Co-Editor at Bloggingportal.eu.

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Th!nk About It: Some Issues (from the trip to Portugal)

Published 23rd April 2011 - 5 comments - 11653 views -

Now that's been quite some days, over there in and around Lisbon, with the Th!nk and Cl!ck About It crowd.

We saw free dolphins swimming five meters away from us. But they didn't seem concerned about me and my life as I was concerned about theirs. I mean, I really was having some empathy for dolphins before I saw them in reality, but they seemed so self-focused. Maybe dolphins are overestimated. I come to watch them and then they continue their life rhythm as if we were not there. That was not very respectful of them.

Now that's really been some days over there in and around Lisbon.

We visited a huge waste water treatment plant (WWTP) and the manager or director or however they call somebody responsible for the treatment of waste water in Portugal excused to us that it smelled bad. Until that day I thought that was the least thing a waste water treatment plant manager had to care about. If there was anything about that job, I thought, then accepting that it stinks. But they even treat the air in that plant. No, really!

Now that's in fact been quite some days over there in and around Lisbon.

We listened to an EU official talk about his work and he really seemed to care. I had expected a boring guy talking in technical language about useless stuff they are wasting European taxpayers' money on. But then he was funny and enthusiastic and he seemed to deal with things that appeared to be both down to earth and kind of useful. I think this must have been staged, the EU is not like that. It's a shit-hole that urgently needs to pass through a WWTP.

Now that's honestly been quite some days over there in and around Lisbon.

We heard a presentation on climate change in the University of Lisbon and the scientist told us he thinks it is enough to get new knowledge. He said coming with the conclusions or political recommendations is way over the top. One should be happy if there was new knowledge. Let me be clear: When I listen to a presentation on climate change, I want to hear that I should stop drinking water, how we are doomed unless we take about a hundred of measures that the scientist has already readily presented in a multi-colour leaflet for take-away and dissemination.

There were many more issues during these days in Lisbon, but maybe I stop here.

The only thing I should say before closing: The bus driver we had was the most amazing person ever, always friendly and smiling, extremely knowledgeable and, which is important, a good bus driver even in situations where normal people would have freaked out. That's not how bus drivers are, really, at least not in Berlin where I have made most of my experiences with bus drivers.

I think, the next Think About It blogging competition should not be about issues - it should be about bus drivers.

Category: Climate Change | Tags:


  • Diêgo Lôbo Goiabeira on 24th April 2011:

    Well done, Ronny. I haven’t noticed you had this nice writing-style…
    I must remind you that our bus driver was really an exception, the drivers in Lisbon are crazy, crazy!!!

  • Diêgo Lôbo Goiabeira on 24th April 2011:

    I really appreciated this one… I mean, it’s young, interrelated and intelligent. It seems you know how to deal with the words… again, congrats.

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