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”

How do climate change documentaries imagine the future? A video commentary

Documentaries are one way of presenting the problems climate change poses, but also possibilities for a better future, to a broad audience. In this video, our team member Shorouk Elkobros, now Science Communication Consultant at the European Science Foundation, compares the approach and framing of different climate documentaries. Have fun watching it – but be warned, you might want to watch some or all of the documentaries mentioned afterwards!

The video summarizes the results from Shorouk’s Master’s thesis in Integrated Climate System Sciences at the University of Hamburg, titled “Multimodal framing of climate change-related future scenarios in documentaries”.

Why we need airtravel for an accurate weather forecast

by Joana Kollert

Flying is bad for the climate – this is an uncontested fact. However, air traffic is necessary for weather forecasts, as airplanes send live data to weather stations. COVID-19 has caused a massive decline in air travel, hereby affecting the quality of weather forecasts.

Density of meteorological airplane data from AMDAR on 23 March 2020 (Stewart Taylor, EUMETNET)
Density of meteorological airplane data from AMDAR on 2 March 2020 (Stewart Taylor, EUMETNET)

Continue reading “Why we need airtravel for an accurate weather forecast”

Is the Corona Crisis good or bad for the climate?

by Joana Kollert 

A few days ago, at the end of March, it snowed! Having never experienced snow this late in Hamburg and with the knowledge that 2019 was the second warmest year on record after 2016, my first thought was: this must be the direct cooling effect due to the COVID-19 induced industrial shutdown.

I felt a strange sense of righteousness, as if all climate change skeptics and politicians could now no longer deny the link between economic growth and global warming. This is of course an extremely oversimplified analysis; it is impossible to link two unexpected snow days in Hamburg with a global slowing down in industrial production . Moreover, climate change is a statistically significant variation in “average weather” over a period of 30 years, such that we cannot make any scientifically sound connections between a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions lasting but a few months and global warming.

Nevertheless, the economic shutdown has led to some directly observable environmental benefits.

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What would you miss the most?

Interactive visual arts project on climate change consequences

by Fenja De Silva-Schmidt

During my research stay in Stellenbosch, South Africa, I came across an interesting arts project on climate change, which was installed during the cultural festival “Woordfees”.

A note on the wall invites onlookers to participate: to illustrate or write about what or who they would miss the most if our climate completely collapsed. Another note asked to describe fond memories of nature.

interactive art project on climate change

All around, people posted little notes and drawings, all of which gave interesting insights into their perceptions of climate change, especially their fears.

Continue reading “What would you miss the most?”

Technische und politisch-soziale Innovationen: Nicht nur Ingenieure sind gefragt, sondern wir alle

von Michael Brüggemann

Kürzlich gab es mal wieder eine deutsche Talkshow mit prominenter Hamburger Professorenbeteiligung. Hans von Storch, mein Kollege an der Universität Hamburg und ehemaliger Leiter des Instituts für Küstenforschung am Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, saß in der „Hart aber fair“-Sendung von Frank Plasberg zum Thema Klimapolitik. Drum herum die üblichen Verdächtigen: ein Klima-Aktivist, eine Grünen-Politikerin, ein konservativer Publizist und eine Schauspielerin; eine Zusammenfassung gibt es bei Spiegel Online. In seinem (bald von Plasberg unterbrochenen) Eingangsstatement hebt von Storch die Bedeutung technischer Innovationen hervor, um die globalen Emissionen zu reduzieren.* Das ist eine gute Idee. Damit ist es aber nicht getan.

Hartaberfair 2. Dezember 2019
Die Talk-Runde vom 2. Dezember. / Quelle: WDR

Continue reading “Technische und politisch-soziale Innovationen: Nicht nur Ingenieure sind gefragt, sondern wir alle”