Photo credit Pierre Crosby
On the 15th of March, 2019, children around the world walked out of school and took to the streets to march in the first global climate strike. Across the world, classrooms from Tokyo to Kampala emptied to send out the message; in Stockholm’s central square, particular attention was being paid to 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, whose activism had seen her nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize just one day prior.
The strikes received sufficient media attention to call them a success, but Thunberg knows better than anyone that placid token gestures can be more dangerous than silence. The now-famous speech she gave at Davos hit home specifically because it took aim at those polite expressions of contrition – what we might call the “thoughts and prayers” narrative – in the way we talk about climate emergency. “I don’t want you to be hopeful,” she said. “I want you to panic.”
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The yggdrasil is the great tree of Norse mythology that connects all of the Nine Worlds, the supreme unifier between heaven and ash and everything in between. The term essentially translates as ‘Odin’s horse’, though various hair-splitting etymologies delineate its importance as either a symbol of the gallows or a dread call to Ragnarök, the succession of natural disasters and grand battles that ultimately purge the planet of humanity, the better to purify its scorched earth once more. It is part-way through a discussion of this concept with Daniel Higgs that he turns his ire to CD-ROMs.
“So you get a tool user’s manual, and then you gotta watch a movie about it before you can go use it, you know? It makes me uneasy,” he tells me down the phone from Washington, DC. To be in conversation with Higgs, the former frontman of legendary post-hardcore band Lungfish, is to be frequently drawn down such rabbit holes – only to be dragged sideways at the last moment, a fresh excavation each time. If it sounds exhausting, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s an invigorating seventy minutes.
Continue reading at The Quietus