In this article Rebecca Solnit shifts the perspective on climate change: Instead of framing the shift towards a green future as abundance to austerity, we should look at it as freeing from a flagellating state. By getting rid of “deadly emissions[…], nagging feelings of doom and complicity in destruction.” We could shift to a “sense of security, social connectedness, mental and physical health, and other measures of well-being are often dismal.” She shows how this would be an opportunity for “a sense of meaning, of deep connection and generosity, of being truly alive in the face of uncertainty. Of joy.”
November 2022 hatten Aktivisti der Letzten Generation im Wiener Leopold Museum das Schutzglas eines Klimt-Bildes mit Öl beschüttet und sich daran festgeklebt. Der Museumsdirektor Hans-Peter Wipplinger hatte die Aktion damals als inhaltlich richtig aber formell kontraproduktiv kritisiert.
Nun hat das Museum eine eigene Form der Aufmerksamkeitsgenerierung gefunden und 15 Kunstwerke schief aufgehangen. Die Neigung der Bilder skaliert dabei mit dem Temperaturanstieg in den entsprechend gezeigten Orten.
Churchill is a town in northern Canada that is famous for migrating polar bears. The shortfilm (14’, 2022) documents clash between human infrastructure and animal, but also the tourism resulting from the spectacle. It leaves you with the question who the nuisance is.
The shortfilm (2022, 25′) documents walrus haulouts – large gatherings of walruses seeking refuge on shore when their search for remaining sea ice forces them to swim much farther and farther distances.
The marine biologist Maxim Chakilev records these dramatic gatherings in Cape Serdtse-Kamen, Russia. Living together with the scientist in a small, wooden hut surrounded by thousands of walruses, the film team captures the intense atmosphere and suffering of the animals. And the helplessness of Maxim.
The film is produced by The New Yorker (which provide valuable background information on the film), is shortlisted for the 2023 Oscars and premiered 2022 at Berlinale. It is currently disabled on YouTube, which might be due to the Oscar nomination, but is still available at Yahoo.
Light pollution is an often overlooked environmental problem. In his “The Darkness Manifesto”, the Swedish ecologist Johan Eklöf describes the various problems the lid-up night sky has for animals and plants. But also the effects of screens and other light sources for humans.
A team of scientists from the University of Würzburg published an updated estimates of weight of biomass on earth by category. Wild land mammals have a total biomass of 22 million tons. Marine mammals account for 40 million tons. These numbers are far overshadowed by 390 million tons of human biomass and 630 million tons of livestock and other hangers-on such as urban rats.
Reading the list of numbers in the article makes me wish for a visualisation, that would make the relations and categories much clearer.
But at the very end, the article reveals another insight. But this time, it’s about the thinking of one of the involved scientists, which could be read as representative of Western thinking about nature in general: “We can only conserve what we understand, and we can only truly understand what we can quantify.”
Terra Nil is an intricate environmental strategy game about transforming a barren wasteland into a thriving, balanced ecosystem. Bring life back to a lifeless world by purifying soil, cleaning oceans, planting trees, and reintroducing wildlife, then leave without a trace.
It might not look like much but it's probably the most defining number of our time, one that will shape this century and many beyond it. It is the amount, in partspermillion, of carbon dioxide in our planet's atmosphere.