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#ATOMS4CLIMATE: The Nuclear Lobby at COP26

by Christopher Pavenstädt 

An energy source that, at least from a German viewpoint, has had his days numbered for quite some time finds new life at climate conferences: nuclear energy.

Pro-nuclear ‘activists’ at COP26, photo source: iaea.org

Not only countries that still count on nuclear energy like Japan and France covered the use of nuclear energy in their pavilions, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was also there to promote nuclear energy as the green energy source of the future. The nuclear interest groups and agencies were granted quite some space to advocate at COP26, despite them fearing exclusion from the conference beforehand. One could imagine that an agency like the IAEA, equipped with considerable access to economic and political networks would focus on direct lobbying efforts, and while they did this in previous years, they were beginning to think of a different strategy for this year. Continue reading #ATOMS4CLIMATE: The Nuclear Lobby at COP26

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Eine Allegorie an den Klimawandel: Filmkritik „Don´t Look Up“ (2021)

Von Lea Sommer

Don’t Look Up film’s poster (2021). Image Source: Impawards, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Netflix appelliert mit der Veröffentlichung von „Don´t Look Up“ am 24. Dezember 2021 daran, die Wissenschaft ernst zu nehmen. Die Anspielung auf die Klimakrise und dessen Leugnung sind nicht zu übersehen. Dabei verfehlt er die Darstellung der gesellschaftlichen Lage und Handlungsfähigkeit. Wahrscheinlich, weil er diese nicht anerkennt.

 

Continue reading Eine Allegorie an den Klimawandel: Filmkritik „Don´t Look Up“ (2021)

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The Power of Data Transparency

by Louisa Pröschel 

Next year, in 2022, the IPCC will finalize its sixth assessment report. A report that is unarguably one of the most cited, far-reaching sources for trying to understand and argue policies that can mitigate the climate crisis and its impacts. It is exactly this type of imperative research that showcases the importance of transparent and reliable data. And just as much as countries need to be held accountable for providing accurate, up-to-date reporting on their CO2 emissions for policymaking, we need researchers and journalists worldwide to have access to this information as well.

Illustration by Stuart Rankin, Hotter or Colder Than Normal (Edited NASA/NOAA global map showing the most redent temperature deltas), 2015. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/24354425@N03/19647953921

Continue reading The Power of Data Transparency

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Comparing Coverage of Climate Change Across the Global North and South

by Valerie Hase & Daniela Mahl

India and Thailand are among the countries affected most by climate change. Still, we know little about how news media in these nations cover climate change. In a recent study, we wanted to change that and asked: How and how much do countries from the Global North and South cover climate change?

Continue reading Comparing Coverage of Climate Change Across the Global North and South

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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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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: 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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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.

Screenshot-Corona_Reshet13_29-3-2020
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!