Torn Between Hope and Despair


I suppose it is an occupational disease: always being torn between “The world is doomed, we’re all gonna die!” and “There are so many amazing people out there with amazing ideas – we will safe the planet and our lives!” I have studied environmental management for three years and now I’m here between all these wonderful people who now have the same symptoms.

It’s difficult to not lose your hope. It’s difficult to imagine a different world than the one we live in right now. There will be no smooth transition. “Around Christmas, people usually get really depressed in this programme” our lecturers warned us. I see why: The presentations are flooded with horrifying statistics and upwardsloping exponential lines. And these lines don’t seem to stop. On some days I just want to curl up under my blanket and never go outside ever again.

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And then I think: I have a responsibility. I learn all these things in my studies in order to do something good. I educate myself to be able to bring people together and to find solutions. I am trained as a problem solver and that’s what we need to do in the next few decades. Sure, it will be difficult. Sure, we will be hopeless on some days. But losing hope altogether paralyses us. Yet, we need more movement than ever before.

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To fight against this negativity, against all these gloomy statistics, I decided to write some nonfiction again for NaNoWriMo this year. I have participated for three consecutive years now and it’s always been a highlight of my year. I’m going to write about climate change. I’m going to write about what we can do and why it is good when we do something. And voilá, here’s my working title:

Beyond European Climate Solutions: What We Win When We Fight Against Climate Change

This will be my project for November. I’m excited. And a tiny bit terrified.

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In class this week we talked about environmental discourses and how different people see the environmental crises we’re in. It was fascinating.

Promethianism. “Technology is great. Technology will fix everything. Live, Technology!” That’s the Elon Musk kind of discourse.

Survivalism. “We’re all gonna dieeeeee! There are limits to this earth and we jumped over them and it’s really bad and only politicians and smart scientists can save us now.”

Economic Rationalism. “Markets are great, they will fix everything. Leave it to the market, make a carbon tax. Also: Money money money moneyyyyy.”

And then we have a few less dramatic ones that focus on collaboration but that are nationalist and those that are focused on sustainability but in the end put humans on top of every hierarchy. It’s fascinating analysing texts and speeches in connection with these discourses. I think I will go into these in more detail in the book I’m writing. Because they do have a huge impact when it comes to how we see our environmental solutions.

Would you like to read a sneak peak of what I’m writing every day this November?

lopapeysa

Enough of the doom and gloom: Last weekend I finally managed to cast off my lopapeysa, knitted with original léttlopi yarn from Iceland. I’m always torn what to knit my pullovers with: Sheep or alpaca wool is not vegan and I cannot ensure that the animals are treated well. Cotton needs huge loads of water to grow and is harvested in areas where there isn’t a lot of water. Acrylics is made of plastics aka crude oil. And linnen or hemp fibres themselves are not in any way soft and easy to handle. Do you have any suggestions? I’m having a really difficult time deciding on what to knit with. Do you know any good fairtrade organic yarns that you can recommend?

 

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