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"While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change"

von Gallina
68 P

In der letzten Juni-Woche veröffentlichte Green Writers Press „While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change“ - das erste Buch der Autorin M.Jackson. In diesem untersucht sie den Klimawandel mit Hilfe der Kombination von persönlicher Geschichte und wissenschaftlicher Forschung.


M. Jackson ist eine Abenteuer- und Umweltpädagogin und promoviert derzeit in Geografie und Geowissenschaften an der Universität von Oregon. Dort untersucht sie Gletscher und den Klimawandel in der Arktis. Als National Geographic-Expertin bekam sie mehr als 20 nationale Auszeichnungen und Ehrungen für ihre akademische und kreative Arbeit. In Alaska arbeitete sie mehr als zehn Jahre als Guide geführter Touren. Dort und in Island führte sie National Geographic Studentenexpeditionsprogramme durch, um die verschiedenen Kulturen und die Vielfalt der natürlichen Welt zu untersuchen.

In ihrem Buch werden zwei parallele Geschichten miteinander verworben, die schildern, was passiert, wenn sich das Klima einer Familie und das eines Planeten ändert. Jackson zeigt, wie ähnlich und tief verwoben diese Ereignisse sind – wie die Verschlechterung der Gesundheit ihrer Eltern so verheerend war wie der unerbittliche Wandel des Klimas. Sie erzählt die Geschichte ihrer Eltern, die innerhalb von zwei Jahren dem Krebs unterlagen, während sie die globalen Veränderungen im Detail beschreibt. Als sie ein Kapitel eröffnet, in dem sie den Krebs ihres Vaters kennenlernt, findet sich der Leser am Ende in einer Diskussion über die Geschichte der Windkraft als eine menschliche Energiequelle.

Vor allem zeigt die Pädagogin, dass es selbst in den dunkelsten Zeiten immer Gründe für Hoffnung und Licht gibt.

Sie schildert komplexe klimatische Themen und glaziale Prozesse für ein allgemeines Publikum verständlich. Jackson klärt uns über sonnen- wind- und geothermale Mysterien auf und nimmt uns mit auf ihre Expeditionen, auf denen der Klimawandel erforscht wird und die Menschen unterrichtet werden, wie sie ihn stoppen können. Beim Klimawandel – davon überzeugt sie – geht es nicht nur um Wissenschaft sondern auch um den Mut und die Fantasie der Menschen. "While Glaciers Slept" zeigt uns, dass die Geschichte einer Familie die Geschichte eines Planeten sein kann, und dass der Klimawandel ein menschliches Gesicht hat. 

Christopher Zumski Finke interviewte M. Jackson für das Yes!Magazine.

Das Interview im Original:

Christopher Zumski Finke: You could have written one book about climate change, and another one about how you’ve coped with the death of your parents. Instead, you combined them into a single book. Why?

M Jackson: After my mother died, I was numb, in shock, and having a difficult time engaging with the world. In many ways, I just turned off. It was too much to handle. But while my heart was in pieces and tucked down in the darkest basement, my mind kept telling me not to stay in that grief-stricken landscape for too long—or I might not come back. So I started writing—because, for me, writing makes me feel like I am participating in the world. I started writing about my mother. But then my father died, and there I was, numb and in shock again. And my heart was not coming out of that dark basement. Eventually, when my mind piped up and started chatting, it drew analogies between what I was experiencing—the loss of my parents—and what I was researching—climate change. The language for both is quite similar. This is what I focused on.

Zumski Finke: Your book explores the loss you felt, and pairs it with climate change, energy solutions, and scientific discovery. Big heart and big brain, as Bill McKibben puts it in your book’s intro. Are you a heart or head person?

Jackson: I am both a big heart and a big brain person, but I think my heart tends to filter my mind. Zumski Finke: How does that dynamic influence your thinking about climate change? Jackson: I think we can create the very best science out there about the problems of climate change, yet if we aren’t filtering that science through our hearts, there remains—as we see today—a disengagement. People intellectually understand climate change; we know “the science” of it. But now, vitally, we need more heart.

Zumski Finke: I want to ask about the section of your book when you’re brought into close contact with the woman driving the car that crashed into your mother and led to the amputation of her leg. In those pages you explore your impulse for violence, and your thoughts wander into cold, alien planets hidden in the cosmos. It’s a beautiful piece of writing. What is it like writing, and sharing, such personal pieces of your experience?

Jackson: Climatic changes are experienced first through the human condition. We are living in this changing world together and subsequently are in many ways responsible to one another for our actions. That’s a really big thing. How do we even start that move forward in a productive manner? If anything, climate change has shined a really bright light on the rampant inequities of the human condition on this planet. Why are we all not angry? For me, I think that authentically sharing our personal experiences—the good and the bad and everything in the middle—is an excellent place to start, to move forward into our shared future. In the book, I tried to share my experience as I lived it. And there are times when I go back through the pages and certain things catch me. This was a hard book to write, and it makes me vulnerable in a way to the world. But then, we have to be vulnerable. Climate change is made up of millions people, human beings with human lives. My story is your story, and our story.

Zumski Finke: Your book has garnered attention from climate change deniers and trolls. That started even before it was released. How are you handling that?

Jackson: Today, I’m largely ignoring them. I wasn’t at first, and I found the negative attention—let’s call it what it is: hate mail—incredibly hurtful. But that was in the beginning. The thing is, while my heart goes out to the people who think sending bullying, sexualized, and hateful letters is somehow helpful, I do not have time for them. Climatic change is increasing on our shared planet. I’m interested in moving forward and working on collective and creative methods for living with existing climatic changes and ameliorating further impacts.

Zumski Finke: Are you optimistic about the future of combating climate change?

Jackson: I am not necessarily optimistic about combating climate change—I’m not sure that is the most helpful way to think about the changes that are and will be happening. I am optimistic about slowing and lessening our global greenhouse gas emissions, learning to live with present day climatic changes, and shaping our future and our society’s place within that future. Climate change is not an enemy to be vanquished; it is a phenomenon deeply tied to our daily lived existence. It is part of the conversation our mixed up, beautiful, contrary, and imaginative people must have about who we are as a people and where we want to go. I am optimistic about peoples’ better selves, and I think right now is an optimistic, hopeful time where we can be bold together.

Zumski Finke: That’s a nicely described vision for climate optimism. How do you manage to stay that way?

Jackson: For me, there isn’t another option. I don’t find terrifying messages of apocalyptic disaster all that helpful, nor the messages about every single thing that wasn’t done perfectly right. There is no fabled “solution” for climate change. Rather, there are a million and more creative ways to engage at multiple scales across the planet. What works in one place might not translate to another, or up or down a scale of governance. What I have seen are hundreds of thousands of people quietly getting things rolling. And so each morning, I get out of bed and get excited for the creative things I’ll see that day—the wows and the unthinkables and the quiet smiles—and sometimes, frankly, I go to bed feeling a little down. But each day is different, and each morning is a hopeful one. I’ve been to that dark place with little hope. That place doesn’t help. My compass can’t just spin and spin on darkness. My compass spins on hope, and points toward an exciting future.







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Klingt super interessant, danke für den Tipp!


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