Tagged: climate change

Corona and the Climate: a Tale of two Global Crises

In my last article, I kicked off this mini-series on the relationship between the Corona pandemic and the fight against climate change. Today, I am taking a closer look at the differences and parallels between these two global crises.

A time lag of ten days or ten years

As the YouTube channel Our Changing Climate wittingly points out, one of the big differences between climate change and the current pandemic is their relation to time. When comparing cause and effect, we observe a delay of about five to ten days between getting infected with the new Corona virus and disease symptoms to emerge; this is the incubation period. Give it another three weeks and most human immune systems have fought it off .

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Corona and the Climate: don’t be delusional

Being home alone in self-isolation since mid-March, several of you have turned to me asking what I think about the relationship between the global COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. Watching a transformation of global proportions enfold in front of my eyes is interesting, frightening, and sometimes inspiring at the same time. No longer neglecting my itching fingers, I am taking place behind my computer and starting a small series of articles about the current events and their relation to the climate.

Before getting into the complicated matters of politics and economics, I want to address the links and articles that some of you have been sharing with me over the last few weeks. Hopeful articles, often, about the signs of nature recovering in Chinese and Italian cities as a positive side-effect of the lockdowns enforced to keep the Corona virus at bay. I must admit these articles have slightly irritated me at best and rendered me hopeless at worst (no offense to everyone who sent them, I appreciate you are thinking about me 😊). Let me explain.

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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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