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Climate change: why do we have to change our thinking, Mr. Welzer?


Despite the climate crisis, we act according to old patterns - we are geared towards eternal growth. We lack a culture of quitting, says sociologist Harald Welzer. Here he talks about what needs to change.

Our present has a problem: the climate crisis is here and we must now try to contain the heating of the planet.

But at the same time the will for constant growth is firmly anchored in our culture.

Instead of giving up wrong paths, the familiar will continue to be optimized.

An example: Why are you building new highways and airports for a future in which there should be fewer cars and air traffic?

Harald Welzer addresses this contradiction in his new book "Obituary for myself".

In the podcast he says: »The success story of modernity and especially capitalist modernity consists in constantly crossing borders.

In the non-acceptance of the fact that somewhere there are limits or the insurmountable. "

For decades we have lived on the illusion that our resources will never run out, even though we have known better for a long time.

Air travel, for example, produces a lot of CO₂, but it is cheaper than ever before.

The consequences are suppressed.

Harald Welzer describes in the podcast how a trip around the world in low-cost airlines with this attitude can even be sold as a positive example:

“That was a full-page article in the 'Bild' newspaper in which a reporter proudly tells how he made this world tour in the shortest possible time and for little money.

And that works as a role model.

Everything follows the model of crossing borders, without the destruction of the climate being discussed at any point. "

Our reaction to the climate crisis is shaped by “keep it up,” says Welzer.

Our technical innovations look like outdated utopias from the 1950s.

Even then, people had dreamed of hyperloops and flight taxis.

Welzer's core thesis: Our culture has no concept of stopping.

Only if we stop moving in the same direction of constant growth can we cope with the climate crisis.

Is that correct?

In the podcast, Harald Welzer speaks about his plea to quit - and about his new book.

Have we really taken a path where standing still is not an option?

What does this mean for our fight against the climate crisis?

Can quitting be the decisive impetus to calm our climate?

You can hear the new episode of »Climate Report«, our podcast on the climate crisis, here:


Then you will now hear our »Climate Report«.

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-10-19

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