From the get-go, the multi-billion euro investment “Nord Stream 2” has been widely criticized, regarding political independence from Russia, political oppression through Russia, and the climate implications of investing in gas pipelines.
When there is an imminent threat of war looming over the horizon it is hard to find clear-cut answers to global issues. This is very much the case in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Ongoing for the past eight years, the crisis has just been met with renewed media attention as Russia initiated a full-blown military standoff, deploying more than 100.000 troops to the border and demanding that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO, a concession the alliance has ruled out. With a new threat of armed conflict on the horizon, politicians are grappling with diplomatic means to prevent all-out war. While Germany – one of the largest arms exporters – writhes at the thought of supporting Ukraine with weapons, insisting on other diplomatic means, the prominent stance seems to focus on economic sanctions, especially relating to the European energy and financial markets. Allies are increasingly disconcerted with Germany’s reluctance to use the termination of Nord Stream 2 as leverage in negotiations. Continue reading Nord Stream 2: where the climate crisis meets geopolitics
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?
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
(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
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)
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.
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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
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
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?
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.
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% . 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 . 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?