Tuesday, March 20, 2012

International Date Line

Right now at cruising altitude high above the Pacific. In a minute we will cross the International Date Line and it will be Tuesday morning once more. Looking out of the window I can see the lights of another aircraft flying right next to our Boeing 767. Apparently it is pretty common for aircrafts to join up like this on transoceanic crossings. I remember once when I was flying SAS from Copenhagen to Washington D.C. on SK925 and we made company with the Newark-bound SK909 all across the Atlantic. Only just before entering U.S. airspace did the two airplanes split into different tracks to their respective destinations.

Since I have had very late evening habits in Seoul, I guess it will be difficult for me to catch much sleep before we get into Vancouver. Instead I have tried to finalize my conference presentation and gone through the latest issue of Environmental Politics. Whenever I read these representations of mainstream environmental scholarship, I feel that there are so much more to be said and so many more important conversations to be had. Of course, at times, I must admit that it can also feel rather hopeless. That it would be better for me personally to simply give up on green political theory and do something completely different, be it the politics of the Weimar years or mySQL databases. But the environment is not just any question. The way we chose to relate to it will most likely determine the very future of human civilization. It is thus literally impossible to be on the side-lines of these engagements. In the coming decades, as the environmental crisis is prone to become even more acute, we will probably see more of both ecosocialist and neoliberal millennialism. Under such circumstances, it will be more important than ever to stand in the middle and to point to the possibilities of cross-class compromises and to remind people that human beings are an asset and not a liability.

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