He almost sounds as if his audience of politicians and ministers had never heard of climate change, as though thousands of them hadn't thronged together at more than a dozen World Climate Conferences over the last two decades.The article contains all elements of a climate narrative, which is all too familiar to us. It comes year after year, season after season, summit after summit, with generations growing up with its fierce imagery. The stage is set, the staff is familiar, the roles never change. Just the numbers presented are higher each performance. Strange thing that we neither can get rid of the problem nor the story.
Again, more alarming numbers; more politicians who have things more important to do than to take care of the climate; another desperate scientist who shows new slides; more illustrations from the spiegel with polar bears, corals, and smoking factories in China; more warnings that there is less time left to reach the 2 degree climate goal; less time to prevent the worst, the tipping points, when the Gulf Stream will collapse, the glaciers will melt, when.... And Jochem Marotzke is the tragic hero of this depressive narrative; he is the desperate scientist who preaches but no one listens; who wanders through an empty world which is already vanishing; just like a modern hero who does not believe in the power of reason anymore but can't help from doing the right thing. Which means presenting more numbers, more slides, more "grim facts", more speaking truth to power. But even this spiegel-online article, which made headline yesterday, can't escape reality: today, you already have to scroll down through politics, economy, society, culture and sports etc to finally find it as third article in the rubric "science". Maybe tomorrow it will be already in the archive - until Durban.
Strangely enough, this is not a theater performance just like Beckett's Endgame or Waiting for Godot; it seems to be the real world.