Monday, October 21, 2019

Bay of Bengal

Flying out over the Bay of Bengal, I am irreversibly awake and decide to walk back to the galley to ask for some black coffee. Returning to 24B, the exit row seat that I was lucky enough to secure, I listen again to the same Comrades podcast. Somehow, I felt that its story of ghosts, lives in exile and anti-apartheid activism deserved that.

Afterwards, as I connect to the inflight Internet, I receive an e-mail from a former neighbour and journalist in South Korea who is now working for the French school in Seoul. For the moment, she is writing a magazine article on climate change education for kids and it reminds me again of how important these issues are for the future.

‘Working at a school now, I hear children repeating things that their parents said, like "the Earth won't exist anymore", "we will all die" etc., which I found really sad. And yet, climate change is a real and urgent issue to tackle and educating the new generation is one of the keys.’

Over the last few years, I feel that the debate on climate change has lost whatever proportionality it may have had, that it has become this overriding apocalyptic frame that lacks any meaningful discussion about causal mechanisms (like, how exactly do you think that your life in Umeå will “end” due to climate change?) and that, instead of evaluating the relative merits of different solutions, we have come to treat climate change as purely a moral issue. In fact, listening to some of the more agitated voices, it is as if the “climate” has even replaced God as the ultimate moral adjudicator. As such, I think we are seriously at risk of losing track of our possibilities and what we can positively achieve as a planetary civilization.

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