Monday, 8 August 2011

The Climate Doesn't Do Weekends

I've been away on vacation for a week's time. I realized that while I might physically be on vacation, and away from routines, I've always got my solastalgia with me on trips.

I thought about it in Morocco on our past two trips there (by train, of course). Thought about how our beloved Essaouira will look underwater. I wonder where the inhabitants will go. Will they collectively relocate, or will they disperse individually or as families? I look at each and every person I interact with, and think about where they will be, and what their world will look like in twenty years. Will they be hungry? I try not to think these thoughts completely through, but let the endings stay open, to interpretation, to miracles, or hopefully, positive human action.

Last year, in Finland amidst absolute forest bliss, my climate fears were never far. We stayed at my friend's family cottage, 20 kilometers from the nearest country store, on an island in the middle of a large lake. My friend commented on how hot it was, and how the normally damp island earth was dry and porose. The neighbor came over one day and talked of how water was unusually warm. The nights were warmer too. The blueberry and mushroom harvest were also particularly sparce because of the heat.

Of course, some years are just different than others, they just are. But it always gets my thoughts going, and instead of enjoying a carefree holiday, I end up worrying. Studying my children and wondering how many years they'll experience the world as I've always known it before it irrevocably changes. Again, I let that thought stay just out of reach of a conclusion, god forbid.

This year in Stockholm, I couldn't help but notice how many places in the city were high above sea level. I love city living - would I be better off in the long run living there, as opposed to Copenhagen, where everything is situated at precisely sea level? In the case of sea level rise, there's an awful lot of coast to be levied in and around Copenhagen. And Sweden's got so many trees everywhere, surely a lush location like that would be a cooler place to live than tree eschewing Denmark after a few more decades of warming?

Again, I can't help but let my mind wander, even if I'm supposed to be relaxing. Climate fears do not take breaks.

I was pondering something over the weekend. Anyone within reach of a newspaper in the West knows how close we've come to complete and utter global economic collapse. However, it was the weekend. All talk was about how the markets would look upon opening Monday morning. Now, I get economics. For all intents and purposes, it's been quite a positive thing overall, adding wealth and prosperity to societies, creating jobs, giving people work and money, giving societies money to put to good use for the greater good. But it's all just a psychological sham when it gets down to the nitty gritty. An economy is only available for growth or collapse during weekday working hours. How organic and real is that? And for all we know, having a weekend break for speculation and further fear mongering can only really make that situation worse. What a construction. It's all just human behavior.

But while potential economic collapse takes breaks, climates fears - and climate change - do not.


  1. I know the feeling - you get involved in activism, research and think about it a lot, but then you start to percieve everything trough this vision, and you are worried about so many thing, and for me on the top of that I get very angry. For me it is not so much enviromental issues (though I am interested of course), but mostly social stuff, human rights, immigration, anarchism, etc. Frankly speaking sometimes it is so hard on my mind, that I have to disconnect from the activism for a while, just to get back to normal, peaceful state of mind. Otherwise I just go crazy:). Any way, I admire your involvment, maybe I could help sometimes with something(since I live in Denmark). Interesting blogs, I am vegetarian, so I will take advantage of the reciepies you are posting:). Take care.

  2. Hi Martin - I have only been mildly angry, but I have a very specific anger, a post on that later! When I've been completely down, I have to do something drastic, but I choose not to shelve it, since these feelings are essentially what propel and drive me in the first place. There will be a project coming up (I hope), mostly via fb, but more on that later, if you're game to help that would be great! Thx for commenting!