There Is No Planet B: Global Warming and Human Responsibility

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(Linz, 6.9.2021) Energy is the basis of all life — as essential for the existence of microscopic organisms as it is for us humans. But because our modern society mainly satisfies its enormous hunger for energy by burning coal, natural gas and oil, we are fanning the flames of climate change by adding ever more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. From increasingly frequent extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and the collapse of the Gulf Stream, to the thawing of permafrost and the mass release of methane, the steady warming of the earth is causing an almost unmanageable domino effect that seriously threatens the very basis of life for the species Homo Sapiens — not only in ecological terms, but also because of the resulting social, economic and political upheavals. Conflicts that are present today will become much more intense in the future.

So it’s high time to change course and slow down the pace of global warming. The absolute worst case scenarios — which are unfortunately realistic — should not be allowed to happen in the first place. We should also be able to gain the time we need to adapt our social, ecological, economic and political structures to a new normal. To achieve this, we as a society and as individuals must fundamentally change the way we deal with the world. For example, Austrians need to learn to live in a way that doesn’t use up the resources of 3.5 Earths year after year — because that clearly can’t go on forever. Part of this overall societal change and development is an energy transition worthy of its name. We must stop producing our energy in a way that robs us of our livelihood; instead, we must rely on sustainable energy sources. In the exhibition “There Is No Planet B,” the Climate and Energy Fund and the Ars Electronica Center show what the coming energy transition looks like. We also demonstrate that there’s no lack of viable concepts: we can do it here and now, if we finally take action.

Life Support System / / photo: / Printversion

The Museum of Edible Earth / masharu (RU/NL) / photo: Jester van Schuylenburch / Printversion

SolarVille / Space10 (DK) / photo: Ars Electronica – Robert Bauernhansl / Printversion