ARTISTS FOR FUTURE
We all have known for a long time that global temperatures are rising, but still it is uncanny that from year to year we can see and feel them rising at a local level. Political irresponsibility in the face of this reality has also reached an all-time high – in the childish attitude of the U.S. president. Shameful for a guy in his seventies... How is it that one man has the power to make the future look so bleak? My future is short anyway, he might respond.
It is no wonder that the most viable confrontation of this attitude has been led by our youth. In less than a year, the student movement Fridays for Future has achieved worldwide presence and brought millions out on the streets. Though many of these activists are too young to even vote, the FFF movement has taken on the mantle of leadership in working toward the changes that have to come. In the German-speaking world, the initiative has given rise to other groups, most notably Scientists for Future, who put their professional qualifications and expertise behind FFF’s clearly formulated demand for international compliance with the Paris Agreement on climate change.
As a musician I actively support Artists for Future. This includes taking to the streets and marching with FFF, but as adults we can and must do more. Voting and seeking to improve environmental policymaking are important, but our most direct (and perhaps influential) course of action rests in the decisions we make as consumers. Before you buy something, think of its environmental impact! Even making little changes helps. For a family, having a car is very convenient, and we don’t want to give it up. But we can use it less and do our best to make sure it is full when we do.
For years, getting to the places where I perform in Vienna has posed a dilemma. Public transportation is good here, but I have my guitar, and usually my amp and quite a bit of other stuff. And my route might look like this: get to the bus stop, from the bus into the subway, then to the tram, and finally to the venue... Schlepp, schlepp, schlepp... Or I can get in the car and creep along through evening traffic, only to find that there is no parking space anywhere near the venue. On my bike I am almost always in a good mood, even if it is raining. The evening gets off to a good start. Drivers might ask: Who the hell is that idiot with the orange helmet, that thing on his back, that trailer behind his bike? Meanwhile it only lifts my spirits more.
The following short text (in German), written on the occasion of the 5th World Climate Strike on 24 April 2020, shares some thoughts and statistics on both the "Corona Crisis" and the "Climate Crisis" here in Austria. Happily, I can report that the government has meanwhile expressed its intention to tie funding distributed through the country's economic rescue measures to emissions reduction and environmental sustainability.