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“Cranky Uncle” – A Game Against Denial

smartphone game Cranky Uncle

by Fenja De Silva-Schmidt

One big question for climate change communication is how to deal with deniers and stop misinformation from spreading. A smartphone game called “Cranky Uncle” teaches players common techniques of denial, such as ‘cherry picking’, logical fallacies, and conspiracy theories.

What looks like a funny diversion is actually built upon a scientific theory and developed by a team with long experience working with climate change deniers – in the US, but also in other countries like Germany. Continue reading “Cranky Uncle” – A Game Against Denial

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The Soundtrack of the Climate Crisis – or: „Where are all the Climate Songs?“

logo music and climate crisis

by Fenja De Silva-Schmidt

Extreme weather events and forest fires have recently pushed the climate crisis up on the news agenda – still, going to the cinema or listening to the radio rarely gets us in contact with the topic. Where are the songs dealing with the climate crisis?

In two previous posts, we have written about climate change in pop songs and climate change in alternative and indie music (all posts of our series on “Climate Change in Pop Culture” can be found here). Now there is even a database for songs dealing with the climate crisis and mass extinction: Continue reading The Soundtrack of the Climate Crisis – or: „Where are all the Climate Songs?“

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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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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.

Sighard_Neckel_11_2019.jpg
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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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 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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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.

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!

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Greenwashing’s new distant cousin

by Clara Nack

“Act Responsibly Even when You Don’t.” Next to this ambiguous slogan, two young models in jeans are lolling about, promoting Diesel’s Green Label, the brands’ sustainable line. And this is what follows: “Go crazy and at the same time treat the planet with our responsible pieces from the Fall Winter 2020 collection”. Sustainability and shopping the new arrivals of each and every season – how “consciously” and “responsibly” sourced they may be – does that match? On another rather urgent note: I still needed Christmas presents when I read this.

Screenshot Diesel Jeans

Googling “sustainable gifts” will return all sorts of attractive results that labels have not only given the Christmas coat of paint, but also a supposedly green one. And in 2020, sustainability as an incentive to buy has had other suits made to measure. There is the #supportyourlocals hashtag, with which online retailers such as Amazon and Zalando are luring me to buy, buy, buy and feel good about it. It’s Christmas after all and everyone should share a piece of the cake. Continue reading Greenwashing’s new distant cousin