As if we weren’t scared enough already, Glänta’s new issue on ‘Climate Angst’ appears just as Donald Trump announces that the US is pulling out of the Paris climate accord.
Julia Nordblad, a historian of ideas, has guest-edited the issue. In a candid yet canny essay, she remembers the stickers all over Paris during the climate summit in 2015: ‘We are nature defending itself’, they read. But are we really defending ourselves? ‘We are nature driving SUVs and building pig factories. We are nature flying to the other side of the globe to attend a climate conference, getting all anxious about it. We are nature tearing itself apart – and knowing it. Why don’t we defend ourselves?’
We stick to the liberal principle that says that as long as my actions don’t hurt others, it’s up to me to decide what I do. ‘But that principle wilts in a world warming up,’ writes Nordblad. How much longer will the question whether I choose to carpool or to drive alone to work in my SUV remain a private one?’
Cold panic: In two updated chapters from her 2013 book In Catastrophic Times, Belgian philosopher Isabelle Stengers describes an historic moment – the present – in which ‘we’ don’t know in whose name ‘we’ should and can act. ‘Our guardians are responsible for the management of what one might call cold panic, panic signalled by the fact that we accept openly contradictory messages: “keep consuming, economic growth depends on it” but “think about your carbon footprint”; “you have to realize that our lifestyles will have to change” but “don’t forget that we are engaged in a competition on which our prosperity depends”. This panic is also shared by our guardians. Somewhere they hope that a miracle might save us – which also signifies that only a miracle can save us.’
Also: Paintings by Anna-Lisa Unkuri, poems by Sara Granér and Naima Chahboun, and poetry-statistics by Jonas Gren: ‘The majority of crying minors / are consoled by glaciers’.