2024 02 01
xxxx 02 01
Published on GAT.ST - read German Version here
"The island of climate skeptics is sinking into the sea. "
We wade through salty water. The climbing sun creates salt crystals on objects that still protrude above the water surface. The air is dry, and the salt stings in the nose. Here and there, resilient, mangrove-like plants have settled, and it seems as if they have taken the places of old trees and shrubs that grew here before the flood. The plants snake their way up the walls of half-submerged houses. The changing sea level marks the water levels on the facades—similar to the times of our youth when we marked our growth on door frames. However, here, no one rejoices in a few more centimeters. Initially, one could still navigate through the rising water during high tide, but eventually, it took more and more of the land.
Hence, low tide offers the only opportunity to visit this part of America. A limited time window allows a glimpse into the past with its contradictions between the impending catastrophe and the political attitudes of the past. People knew where their actions would lead, but they skillfully ignored it. The facades not only reflect the sea level; many also carry messages like, "Do not trust scientists, the climate crisis is not real!" Next to them, there are campaign posters for conservative parties and their candidates.
Remnants of a former America float by several times in the water; houses are adorned with torn and weather-beaten flags, suggesting the mindset of the former inhabitants. The MAGA sticker on a toppled streetlamp makes us smile as we pass by. How great is America here now?
The entire place is a monument to the situation we find ourselves in, influenced by the temptation of rulers and their manipulative words. Populist themes permeated public attention to divert from the truly relevant matters that long-term affected humanity. With the island's demise, these personalities from politics and society also began to disappear. Over time, when it was already too late to change anything, people began to regret their actions and search for solutions. Unfortunately, success eluded them; the sea level rose and swallowed streets, gardens, houses, as well as the ideology of those who denied the change. Just as their ideas once flooded the land, now the water does.
The rise could not be prevented, but alliances and new settlements formed, accommodating those fleeing from the water. New communities emerged, where heated discussions continue about what we could have changed and what we can still prevent to mitigate or avoid further disasters.
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Symbolische Weltuntergangsuhr: Forscher warnen vor Katastrophe
Umwelttragödie befürchtet: Im Nordosten Brasiliens droht eine Salzmine einzustürzen. Dadurch würde eine riesige Menge Salz ins Meer gelangen. Das hätte drastische Folgen für das Ökosystem. Der Notstand wurde ausgerufen, tausende Familien in Sicherheit gebracht.
Inselstaat droht zu versinken: Australien bietet an, die Einwohner:innen der pazifischen Inselgruppe Tuvalu als Klimaflüchtlinge aufzunehmen. Tuvalu ist eines der am stärksten vom Klimawandel bedrohten Länder weltweit.