Tagged: climate change

Encounter with the Rebellion

It is Friday evening and I am on the way home. It is one of these days where the sky clears up just before sunset to make way for a beautiful play of colours. The city is buzzing with life, the Bruxellois are enjoying the start of the weekend outside. The chatter and laughing mixes with the sounds of music and clanking beer glasses.

The lively city streets are in stark contrast with the thoughts that are swirling through my head. I just attended a talk by Roger Hallam, one of the founders of the Extinction Rebellion movement. Given the waves they’ve made in recent months, there is a good chance you heard of them before. But for the uninitiated, let me quickly introduce them before heading into the beef – or tofu for the vegans – of this blog post.

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Career for the Climate

It is the beginning of summer here in Belgium and that means the academic year is over. After an undoubtedly excruciating exam period, students have left the library and are now to be found on festival grounds or on the Mediterranean beaches in Southern Europe. For most of them, July is the beginning of a long holiday, for others, it is also the start of their career. A small army of young graduates is lined up to enter the work force anytime soon. Are they ready to take it by storm?

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It’s time to fix democracy

I am writing this blog post at the end of election day in Belgium, May 26th 2019. I headed out to the polling station early this morning to cast not one, but four votes: for Europe, Belgium, Brussels, and the Brussels representation in the Dutch-speaking Community (if you don’t know what that is, don’t bother, it’s complicated). Holding my convocation letter ready, I entered the voting station feeling a tad nervous.

Nervous, you ask? Yes. Nervous, because in the democracy of 2019, voting day is still the only day I truly participate in it. The only day in five years’ time. These two minutes in the voting booth are precious democratic time. During 120 seconds, I finally hold (a tiny bit of) democratic power: the power to give away my power. That’s what representative democracy looks like. I better get my vote right, I thought.

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System Change not Climate Change – my protest sign explained

Sunday the 27th of January, 11 am. I am preparing myself to leave the house, putting on an extra sweater before I get into my warmest winter jacket. I am about to navigate myself through the rainy streets to the North Station of Brussels, where soon another climate protest will start to demand action from the Belgian governments. It’s the second march this week, the 5th in the last two months. The last thing I pick up before I head off is my protest sign. It reads: ‘System Change not Climate Change’.

Rained out but full of energy after walking with more than 70 000 through the streets of Brussels to demand system change over climate change (own photo)

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COP24 in coal town Katowice: what to expect?

It’s that time of the year again. The days are getting shorter, the trees have shed off their last leaves, and the city is preparing itself for the Christmas festivities. It can only mean one thing: the yearly climate conference is around the corner! This summit, known as Conference of the Parties or COP, in short, is ready for its 24th edition. This year’s host is the (former) coal king of coal-addicted Poland: Katowice.

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Why I will not read the new IPCC report

I have been extremely busy lately and therefore running completely behind on my writing schedule. If that was not enough, the IPCC decided to publish another of its so-many-hundreds-of-pages-counting reports on climate change. This time I decided to not even start reading the executive summary. Why, you ask? Because I am getting so damn tired of reports, press conferences, talks, climate summits, and what not the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been dropping on us since the first global Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.

The cover of the IPCC’s latest special report on global warming.

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