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Why A Rearmed Germany Is Exactly What The World Needs Now

For decades, burdened by its history, Germany refused to face the harsh realities of foreign policy. Now, suddenly spurred by the Ukraine crisis, the German government is ready to once again show strength — long-awaited good news, for all.

Why A Rearmed Germany Is Exactly What The World Needs Now

Soldiers of the Bundeswehr's honor guard

Ulf Poschardt

-Op-Ed-

BERLIN — Germany has changed fundamentally over the past week. It has arrived at the reality that it had so stubbornly — and with convenient idealism — refused to face. That is remarkable. Spectacular, actually.

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The reality in which we live is being acknowledged. There was the pointed, unequivocal government statement by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who promised to increase Germany's military profile and supply weaponry to the Ukrainian military. He pledged to spend $113 billion this year alone to modernize the country's underfunded army. (Unlike Angela Merkel, Scholz actually wants to go through with NATO's target to spend 2% of the country's GDP on defense.) Opposition leader Friedrich Merz also gave a dignified and wise speech supporting the government unconditionally. Their statements echo the wishes of the German people as over 100,000 protesters marched in Berlin for Ukraine's freedom.

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Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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