What would Sigmar do?

He would give a speech!

Today, 1200 people from press and media, universities, politics and public met at TU Berlin to listen to the presentation of working group III’s contribution to the fifth IPCC report. After 2 hours of speeches, the audience had learned three shocking facts.

1. We – the global community – are not on track! Nothing is going to change, except the climate, our health and security.

2. No one is shocked by this statement, that is the really thrilling point. This is because the reason for this inertial situation is well know. In the short term: money. And in the long run: money.

This is alarming! Globally, Sigmar Gabriel stated, we have no shared understanding for the need of collective „measures“ and thus deny all three necessary actions, the new IPCC report proposes. However, we do have the same sense for the need of a healthy economic development (especially since „the crisis“) in mind. This leads to learning number three.

3. The only way to make an ecological development happen is to make money with it.

So, what I concluded, is that Sigmar wants no more academic talk, but action! But what kind of actions does he talk about? Innovative technologies and clean energy, which is supposed to reduce our CO2 emissions and help save resources or avoid producing nuclear material. I see in this a major logical mistake. As long as people do not share one common ecological mindset, they may vote for „green“ electricity or ask for new e-cars, but they will not change their behavior. Instead, they just talk of action. It’s such as our „the same procedure as every year“ new-year-wishes. Will we loss weight this way? Most often, we will only reach our goals if we have the inner strength within us and a strong motivator with us. But is Sigmar Gabriel able to be our personal fitness trainer in terms of sustainable development and ecological education? Maybe not, maybe WE have to start first.

What about taking all these results, advises and conclusions and let’s stay optimistic while doing so?! Why not learn from those we always want to teach? Dr. Rajendra Pachauri closed Sigmar Gabriels speech much more enthusiastic and stated that India would be proud to take the challenge and follow the great effort that had been taken already by others. Maybe it’s time to move from the front position and learn from – for example – the Indian creativity, as well as necessity to change. There, young entrepreneurs are already tackling the problems of waste production, lacking water treatment and recycling systems (small little changes, which of course do not replace governmental actions). Here, the people and not technology are active and thus the climate change causing reasons are tackled at its very starting point: The human beings.

Organisations such as Climate KIC, which is trying to bring all angles of the sustainable triangle together (economy, ecology, society/education), are maybe also in Germany the right way to first build up a shared common awareness, attitude and willingness towards climate friendly actions and then act collectively!

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