Does global warming lead to increased aggression? Observations from the banks of the Lühe on a wonderful Sunday afternoon.

The river Lühe near Steinkirchen in the Altes Land

Beautiful here: the Lühe near Steinkirchen Photo: Ulf Nammert/imago

What an idyll! The sun is shining, fruit trees are blooming in Altes Land, motorbikes chug along the road that winds between Mittelkirchen and Steinkirchen, next to a small river called Lühe. Its water rotates silently and is quite high, so that it almost reaches the piers and spills over the meadows that extend from the pretty little houses to the river, meadows with swings where children play. It seems as unreal as a film adaptation of Astrid Lindgren.

But where there is idyll, terror is never far away. The trail goes over the dam, past a carefully restored 1937 savings bank advertising the “Reichspfennig” and it's hot, very hot, maybe too hot for the time of year. The air feels like a pillow and is now pierced by an angry honk that turns into a concert of honks. It comes from several cars parked in front of a bridge that crosses the river near Steinkirchen.

A traffic jam has formed in one direction of travel. The tourists, the cars with boat trailers, the locals can't go any further because in front of them, on the bridge, a tourist car is too far in the middle of the road, so the little red car on the other side of the road can no longer pass, but would have the right of way.

The situation is desperate, no one can move forward. An elderly woman is sitting in the small red car, the driver of the car has gotten out and shouts (is she from Thuringia? Maybe): “Yes, well, I was wrong, but now, please go back one meter!” .

Wrong entry

The older woman shakes her head. The honking is getting louder, now there's shouting, at some point you'll hear her high-pitched voice, insults hissing through the warm air, are they going to fight?

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The patio cafe, a few hundred yards away, is quiet and shady, with tables on the grass. But the woman in the kitchen, where all the tourists stumble one after another because they mistake the kitchen door for the entrance, shudders when she enters.

There are only two, he says. Your homemade cake tastes wonderful. But later, the guests who had already ordered had left when the tray with the coffee cups arrived. And she can tell that this is affecting her, she disappears distraught into the kitchen. Maybe it's all too much today.

According to the “heat hypothesis,” there is a connection between heat and aggression. Given global warming, these are not good prospects. On the way back, again in Mittelkirchen, another bridge crosses the river. An Audi runs around the bend and the driver honks at all the pedestrians who are about to cross the street. He disappears around the corner, tires screeching. The fruit trees are in bloom, the air is warm. Nice here in the Old Country!

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