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What makes our current situation so unnerving is an outbreak of “nonsimultaneity.” At least that’s what I recently heard Robert Habeck, Germany’s energy and commerce minister, tell a gathering of German industrialists.

What a big word, I thought to myself. And what a difficult — though possibly deep — concept. That’s just like Habeck. A leader of the environmentalist Greens in the German governing coalition, he’s also a serial co-author (with his wife) of novels and children’s books. He has an intellectual curiosity that’s rare among politicos.

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