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Unseen Scenes From COP26: E-Racing Cars And Youthwashing Events

By Christopher Pavenstädt

COP has now become a Global North Greenwashing Festival”, summarized Greta Thunberg as she closed the rally of the Youth Climate Strike in Glasgow.

COP26, Glasgow, November 2021. Photo by Christopher Pavenstädt

Greta has come a long way. In 2018, COP24 elevated her voice onto the global consciousness. The young, then 15-year-old girl talking in an accusing, emotional tone, to the distant, very formal process of the COP. Now, she doesn’t need the plenary hall anymore. Here, she was outside, missing no opportunity to distance herself from the inside of COP. My personal view of COP26 comes from my week-long experience in Glasgow, observing the unseen scenes — those which did not catch the media audience’s eye. Continue reading Unseen Scenes From COP26: E-Racing Cars And Youthwashing Events

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After Lunch Post: Zum Essen mit Sighard Neckel

von Michael Brüggemann

Wie kommt die Gesellschaft in die Zukunft? Sighard Neckel, Professor für Soziologie an der Universität Hamburg, unterscheidet drei Szenarien.

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Prof. Sighard Neckel

(1) Modernisierung. Dies ist der Merkel-Weg, den die meisten westlichen Politiker:innen gehen. Sie erkennen die vor uns liegenden ökologischen Probleme durchaus an, wagen aber nur kleine Schritte Richtung Klimaschutz, Nachhaltigkeit, aber ohne große Veränderungen an den Logiken von Konsumgesellschaft und Wachstumsdenken. Damit befinden wir uns auf dem Weg zu 2,7 Grad, wie gerade ein Bericht der UN-Umweltbehörde UNEP ausgerechnet hat – was harmlos klingt, birgt gewaltige Risiken für Menschheit und Ökosysteme. Continue reading After Lunch Post: Zum Essen mit Sighard Neckel

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COP26: Media and Twitter Attention at All-Time High

A quick update with visuals drawn from our Online Media Monitor on Climate Change (OMM)

News media attention to climate change (2017-2021), Online Media Monitor

Good news: COP26 has refocused news media attention and Twitter attention to climate change to an all-time high since 2017. This is also true when dating back to 2004, according to Max Boykoff’s observatory on media coverage, which shows–based on slightly different method and sample–similar results. Continue reading COP26: Media and Twitter Attention at All-Time High

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Where Realism Tips Into Optimism: Review of “The Ministry for the Future” (2020)

by Felix Schaumann

Just as the current climate talks begin , allow us to imagine another future. An optimist one.

Credit: Pixabay 8385

This spring, I gave my mother a book as a present, promising an optimistic take on climate change and on how our next 30 years might play out. Half a year later, she still has not read past page 32 – “it’s too depressing”, she says. I cannot blame her. The Ministry for the Future, a science fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson, starts with a heat wave killing around 20 million people in India and subsequent international conflict about unilateral solar geoengineering. On the other hand, the novel ends in 2050 with people flying around the globe in electric air ships, marveling at all the rewilded and restored ecosystems. In between, it forms a subtle narrative arc in which the initial pessimism (or realism) slowly and almost unnoticeably tips into optimism and hope. Continue reading Where Realism Tips Into Optimism: Review of “The Ministry for the Future” (2020)

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Climate Change in Pop Culture Part 3: alternative and independent music

by Christopher Pavenstädt

Following up on our series about climate change in pop culture (read part 1 about young adult novels and part 2 about pop songs), here are some more examples of songs dealing with the topic of climate change. This time, we focused on independent and alternative music.

Climatization in pop culture

Through climatization, a process of re-framing several societal issues in light of the climate crisis, we can also expect the music industry to be affected by its rise in salience. The environment has already been a topic in pop music for a long time, mostly as a lyrical theme – many may know songs like Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song”, Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” or Midnight Oils “Beds Are Burning”. Continue reading Climate Change in Pop Culture Part 3: alternative and independent music

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Climate change: the basics | Basisfakten über den Klimawandel

by Ann-Kathrin Krutsch & Millie Peach

Our up-to-date collection of useful information sources in English and in German.

Climate change is a reality that we can no longer run from. It’s here and it’s happening now, threatening our food supplies, our infrastructure, our health, and the fabrics of our societies. The idea of tackling such a large-scale problem can seem overwhelming.

However, as diplomat Christiana Figueres said in 2015, “we can despair and plunge into paralysis, or we can become stubborn optimists with a fierce conviction that no matter how difficult, we must, and we can rise to the challenge.” Without a doubt, our best weapon in this fight against climate change is knowledge. Knowledge is free. It’s transmissible. It liberates us. Knowledge is power. Continue reading Climate change: the basics | Basisfakten über den Klimawandel

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Climate Change in Pop Culture – Part 2: Pop Songs

by Fenja De Silva-Schmidt

Following up on our series about climate change in pop culture (read part 1 about young adult novels here), we would like to present you some examples of pop songs from different musical genres dealing with the topic of climate change. There are many reasons for science to take popular culture seriously – one of them being that pop culture can be seen as a “battlefield” where scientific knowledge and attitudes are presented and disputed. If science disregards this field, it is left for pseudo-scientific actors, fundamentalists and figures with vested interests who use pop culture as a way to spread their view on scientific topics such as climate change (see also Allgaier 2017). Continue reading Climate Change in Pop Culture – Part 2: Pop Songs

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Downscaling the Aviation Industry

by Ella Karnik Hinks

The dramatic reduction in flights during the COVID-19 pandemic opens a natural opportunity for us to consider: what role does the aviation industry have to play in tackling the climate crisis?

Illustration by kreatikar at pixabay.com

Before the pandemic, it seemed unthinkable: a 70 percent drop in flights worldwide? Yet this is exactly what happened in May 2020. The dramatic changes seen in our lifestyles since the beginning of 2020 disposes of the idea that radical change is not possible. Under the right pressure, industry, governments and individuals seem to adapt their priorities to comply with external conditions. Climate change – as COVID-19 – is a global crisis. There can, and will, be radically different lifestyles which we adopt in response to this externality.

Continue reading Downscaling the Aviation Industry

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Veganism – solving the climate issue?

by Ella Karnik Hinks

Germany’s Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) just released a report showing that in 2020 the amount of meat produced in the country dropped by four percent. Conversely, production of meat substitutes rose by 39% [1]. With record numbers signing up to Veganuary this year, the controversy around veganism seems to be diminishing. The question is, is going vegan really good for the climate?

500,000 people participated in the global campaign Veganuary which encourages people to commit to a month of veganism in January [2]. The number of vegans in Britain has quadrupled in 5 years to 600,000 according to the vegan society, whereas in Germany the figure has reached over 2 million. Far from being the fringe lifestyle choice of a few hippies, more and more people are turning to veganism for a wide range of reasons related to health, morality, or climate protection. Continue reading Veganism – solving the climate issue?

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Take a deep breath, and keep your mask on!

by Hadas Emma Kedar 

How did Israeli television news communicate the pandemic in early 2020? In one word: Panic. If anything, I think that news should not make us anxious. Particularly in times of crisis, news should inform us, so that we can decide how to act.

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Screenshot from Ha’mahadura Ha’merkazit, Channel Reshet 13, 29.03.2020

Since its foundation, Israel has been entangled in a constant state of emergency (The Knesset), due to a “protracted conflict”, which evidently influences the news media’s conduct (Peri 2012, p.21) as well as its audiences. Even though the public shows low trust in the media (Mida blog, 2018), Israelis are quite ‘obsessive’ to hard news (Peri 2012, p. 20). Looking at the initial Covid-19 outbreak as communicated in the mass media, the event significantly lured television audiences: in the first Corona months, television news ratings skyrocketed to roughly 30% viewers (in particular in March 2020). Considering the numerous viewers during this health and socioeconomic crisis, I have been examining how Israeli televised news communicated the pandemic in early 2020.

In one word: Panic. But more specifically, I will share some viewing impressions to clarify that. Continue reading Take a deep breath, and keep your mask on!