Photo: Abstract Aerial Art / Getty Images
As you read this text, climate change will continue to advance.
In the next 24 hours, an area of the tropical rainforest the size of almost 13,000 soccer fields will be destroyed, and humanity will blow around 115 million tons of CO₂ into the atmosphere.
At the end of last year we thought about the journalistic priorities for 2020.
On a flipchart there was, somewhat illegible, next to "sustainability" and among other things "climate change".
We asked ourselves which topics will accompany us in the coming years, which journalistic focuses we want to set (and how?).
Then came Corona - and dominated everyday life, reporting, and our way of working.
We carried our monitors under our arms to the home office.
But beyond the current corona situation, the climate crisis remains the most pressing issue of our time.
That is why a SPIEGEL special will be published on Tuesday with the title "Departure for Utopia. This is how we save the environment and prosperity. A solution booklet", and that is why we will dedicate a separate section on the SPIEGEL.de homepage to this topic.
As a journalistic mega-topic, climate change breaks the boundaries of a classic departmental logic - and deserves special attention.
There is hardly any other socio-political topic where the need for knowledge and classification is so great; hardly any other topic permeates all areas of society with such force and intransigence.
Climate change, the scientific search for its causes and consequences, divides politics and sometimes families.
As of today, you will find the SPIEGEL climate report on the homepage: a continuously updated interactive graphic.
It illustrates the indicators of change: the destruction of the tropical rainforest, the rise in sea levels, the melting of the Arctic sea ice.
Comparable to the debt clock, whose values increase second by second.
We display the data in real time; they come from the IPCC and the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), among others.
(Read an article by my colleague Patrick Stotz on the calculation of the data here.) The data speak for themselves.
They show that doing nothing is a conscious decision and it has consequences.
Another box leads to a new topic page on SPIEGEL.de.
There reports, analyzes and interviews will be presented that address various facets of the climate crisis: the consequences of species extinction, the struggle with e-mobility, approaches for sustainable consumption and much more.
Graphics, videos and audio stories deal with the controversies and conflicts of interest in science, politics and business.
The content comes from the various departments of SPIEGEL.
From November we will also inform you once a week in our new newsletter "Unter Zwei - der SPIEGEL Climate Report" about the most important debates and the latest research results.
You can already register for the newsletter here. It is written by my colleague Kurt Stukenberg, who helped design the entire focus.
departure for utopia
This is how we save the environment and prosperity.
A solution booklet.
From tomorrow at the kiosk and digitally.
The new SPIEGEL special asks how we can successfully shape our world in such a way that it becomes climate-neutral and remains livable.
The texts will also be available digitally on SPIEGEL + in the coming days and weeks.
You can already read the cover story "Der Kraftakt" digitally: Europe wants to become the first climate-neutral continent.
Are politicians in Berlin and Brussels serious?
And how could it work?
The climate crisis leads to migration, social division, conflicts.
It is catapulting entire industries into the sidelines, changing our consumer behavior, our mobility.
It permeates everyday life and dominates political debates.
People fear the loss of jobs, parties and governments are struggling to find solutions, the issue decides elections.
The climate crisis has driven what is probably the most significant global (youth) movement since the 1960s: Fridays for Future have politicized a generation by taking the issues of intergenerational justice and responsibility onto the streets every Friday.
Greta Thunberg is the icon of the movement, she is a role model in her anger, maladjustment, determination.
But it is at the same time a stimulating figure, it ignites the resistance of the climate skeptics, who probably fear change more than the climate.
But, as our climate report shows, it is progressing steadily, minute by minute.
It is not a question of whether there is change;
but only how we shape it.
The whole project will grow, we are constantly adding to it.
Dr. Barbara Hans, editor-in-chief
Barbara Hans, editor-in-chief
Icon: The mirror