Record heat, forest fires, drought - global warming is increasingly noticeable, here in Europe too. The climate crisis appears unavoidable. But most people are continuing to eat, fly and consume just as they always have.
In Germany, many are talking about the need to protect the climate, but few are taking action. This report asks: can humanity still save itself? Dedicated climate activists are seeking to hold a mirror up to society through protests and blockades, resorting to drastic measures at times. Their protests may grab the headlines, but to what extent do they resonate with those attending the Cruise Days in Hamburg or the IAA motor show in Frankfurt? Then there’s always the question of how much can one person do anyway to stop climate change and how much is down to the politicians? And does banning things really help? One problem that stops effective action in Germany is the lack of public trust in politicians. In the eastern state of Thuringia, for example, citizens initiatives were set up to protest the building of the ‘Suedlink' underground power line, designed to transport wind-generated energy from the north to supply areas in the south. It’s one of the key infrastructure projects in Germany’s planned switch to a low-carbon, nuclear-free economy. Residents along the route don’t want the landscape in their area being dug up for energy that wouldn’t benefit them personally. Clearly it’s not easy to introduce measures to stop climate change in a society with insufficient public trust and little sense of solidarity.