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Climate Protest at Berlin Airport Sparks Massive Police Operation
Around 50 members of the group "Am Boden Bleiben," which means "stay grounded" in German, gathered in the main entrance of Terminal A to hold a sit-in.
Another 80 people held a protest further away from the terminal but still on airport grounds, a police spokesman said.
The activists, many of whom were dressed in penguin costumes, held up signs urging people to think twice before traveling via airplane.
Protesters dressed as penguins and threw paper airplanes around the terminal, calling for travelers to reconsider their short-haul flights.
Sunday's protest, however, was intended to be a symbolic act and not one that impeded travelers trying to catch their flights.
"Our protest is aimed at the airline industry and politicians — not against individual passengers," the group's spokeswoman told news agency dpa.
The demonstration had "no impact" on flights, according to an airport spokesman. Police also said the protesters stayed within the rules of not shouting over airport announcements or physically hindering passengers.
Passengers Abandon Stranded Taxis
Although flights were not delayed, travelers had to overcome considerable hurdles to reach the airport.
As part of their security operation, police shut down the highway exit ramp leading to the airport, sparking a major traffic jam. Numerous passengers walked the remaining distance to the airport after leaving their stranded taxis on the road.
Police quickly surrounded the airport, prompting traffic jams and delays.
Long lines also formed at the airport as passengers waited for long-delayed buses to arrive.
Police also carried out extra security checks on people trying to enter the airport, sending away those who did not have plane tickets, local public broadcaster RBB reported.
The climate activists called for a stop to all domestic and short-haul flights, arguing that they are disproportionately responsible for CO2 emissions and other gases blamed on global warming.
Reposted with permission from DW.
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Poverty and violence in Central America are major factors driving migration to the United States. But there's another force that's often overlooked: climate change.
Retired Lt. Cmdr. Oliver Leighton Barrett is with the Center for Climate and Security. He says that in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, crime and poor economic conditions have long led to instability.
"And when you combine that with protracted drought," he says, "it's just a stressor that makes everything worse."
Barrett says that with crops failing, many people have fled their homes.
"These folks are leaving not because they're opportunists," he says, "but because they are in survival mode. You have people that are legitimate refugees."
So Barrett supports allocating foreign aid to programs that help people in drought-ridden areas adapt to climate change.
"There are nonprofits that are operating in those countries that have great ideas in terms of teaching farmers to use the land better, to harvest water better, to use different variety of crops that are more resilient to drought conditions," he says. "Those are the kinds of programs I think are needed."
So he says the best way to reduce the number of climate change migrants is to help people thrive in their home countries.
Reporting credit: Deborah Jian Lee / ChavoBart Digital Media.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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