The World is Darkening

Melting permafrost, glaciers and ice caps, warmer oceans, violent storms, floods, heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires are clear signs of the climate crisis. However, for many, the effects are still too far away to induce them to change their lifestyles in a way that could slow the warming of the earth.

Last spring, the world came to a halt. The sky above me was empty for weeks, and so were the streets and trains. Restaurants and movie theaters were closed. I had imagined that this could only happen in the context of a nuclear disaster. I had also dealt with the consequences of a computer virus, but I did not expect a biological virus to stop the world.

If it takes so little to destroy the world’s balance, how will we handle much more significant problems like rising temperatures?

For months, virologists and medical doctors warned of a second wave of COVID-19, yet the world came to a second halt toward the end of the year.

Did we take the warnings seriously enough? I don’t think so. This failure is the reason why I fear the consequences of the climate crisis.

The consequences of the climate crisis are clearly visible and an incalculable danger to people and the planet. In his book, On Time and Water, Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason asked, “If we are sensitive creatures and we know where we are heading, why don’t we stop?”

We don’t have to wait for politicians and companies to act finally; everyone can do something against the crisis. There are solutions, such as talking about the situation with your friends, biking to work, consuming less meat and dairy, recycling your stuff, voting green whenever you can, offsetting your CO2, and so on.

Even if I achieve nothing by traveling less on airplanes, I think it is worthwhile because I know I am not alone. The trend toward the eco-modern citizen allows for cautious optimism.

The pandemic will end, but the climate problem will remain.

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