Germany asks for help from churches to cope with extreme heat

In large areas of southern Europe, temperatures of more than 40 degrees Celsius during the day and more than 30 degrees at night have caused problems for people. Bulgarian, Spanish and Italian meteorologists have already warned of another heat wave next week.

Meteorologists in heat-affected countries repeatedly point to climate change as the cause of heat waves. According to them, in the coming years, a severe heat wave with hot air from Africa, for example in Turkey, is predicted. According to the local weather service, heat waves have increased in Spain in recent years.

The risk of forest fires in other regions also increases as a result of severe drought and strong winds in some regions of the Green Continent.

The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) considers water consumption restrictions possible due to drought. According to this agency, legal means are available for this. Christoph Schulte, head of the water and soil department at UBA, told the Handelsblatt newspaper: “Counties can issue so-called general ordinances in order to limit specific uses in case of water shortages.”

Water saving measures have long been a real scenario for the association of cities and municipalities in Germany. Gerd Landsberg, CEO of this union, said: Climate change has reached the water source. Regarding the possible relief measures, he pointed to last year, when the heat and drought required additional measures in the region. According to him, in some cities, water consumption was limited last year to save money, for example by banning watering of lawns and filling pools or washing cars.

According to the German newspaper Tagus Spiegel, in this situation, Karl Lauterbach, the Federal Minister of Health of Germany, has called for the reopening of churches to provide shelter from the extreme heat.

As a measure against the summer heat, German Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has called for the doors of churches to be opened to people as a refuge from the heat. The German official tweeted on Monday from a church in Siena, Tuscany: “Churches should be open during the heat wave as cold rooms during the day and protect (citizens). He said: These churches can be used as beautiful medieval architecture, but also as a cold room.

Twitter users reacted to the request partly with approval and partly with bewilderment. In almost all countries, churches are open during the day, the statement said.

A spokesman for the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) told the German news agency: “Mr. Lauterbach is running for open doors.” All are welcome in our churches, for prayer, worship, and also for protection from the heat.

A spokesman for the German bishops’ conference confirmed: “Almost all churches are open during the day – and in all seasons.” The spokesman of the archbishop of Aachen also assured: the churches are always open.

Overheated offices, lethargy after lunch, and, in the worst case, even health problems await business workers in Germany during the hot season, according to the weekly SPIEGEL. A simple recipe from the southern part of the green continent can definitely help here, assuming the flexibility of the employer.

Due to the high temperature, doctors want to introduce a plan based on the southern European model in Germany. Johannes Nissen, the head of the association of doctors in public health services (BVÖGD) said: “When the weather is hot, we should take guidance from the southern countries and that is to wake up early in the morning.” According to him, working in the morning and resting in the afternoon is a concept that we should adopt in the summer months.


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