This article has been started and scrapped time and time again. An American studies blog should run Native American stories regularly and most definitely for Native American Heritage Month this November. But then I, the author, am just another white European trying to share somebody else’s stories. So here’s what I decided to do: I’ll use this platform as a reminder to listen elsewhere, all year around.
What if a belief you deeply held and one that’s reciprocated by your entire social circle is actually wrong and harmful? In the spirit of my last blog, I want to tell the story of how I changed my mind on a major issue. The position I want to challenge is deeply engrained in the DNA of the mainstream environmental movement, especially here in Germany: the opposition to nuclear power.
Robin Wall Kimmerer’s presence is magnetic. Stepping out to the podium at the 2014 Bioneers Conference – an annual forum for topics like climate change and human rights – her silver hair hangs loosely, framing a pair of leather earrings decorated with small pink flowers. She greets the crowd with a large smile, and when she speaks, the room falls silent and the audience listens closely:
“Let us begin today with gratitude … of food to eat, of sweet air to breathe this morning, the preciousness of water, the companionship of clouds, and geese, and sugar maples. Gratitude for each other, for the privilege of our work together, and for the original peoples in whose homeland we meet, and for the more-than-human beings with whom we share the earth.”
Such poetic and tender, prayer-like words come as a surprise for some when they realize that these are the words of a scientist and professor.
Let’s just stop for a minute and reflect on a political, philosophical, or moral issue you’re wrong about. It ain’t that easy, right? But why not? The chance that you’re right on every topic you think and argue about is basically zero. Of course, if you knew you were wrong about something you wouldn’t hold that belief or even preach it. Whenever somebody utters an opinion we don’t agree with, our minds go: How dare you believe that? Of course, you can shield yourself from such thoughts by avoiding opinions that differ from yours. However, that’s a bad idea. It’s important to talk to people, so let me give you some practical advice on how to do it. Especially since the holidays are upon us, you’ll likely meet family members you haven’t seen in a while. So here comes an instruction manual on how to deal with that crazy aunt of yours who worships conspiracy theories.
Looking out for feasible, effective, and easy ways to stop climate change has become an important goal in our daily lives. As one of the least contemplated measures – believe it or not – surfing on the internet could contribute greatly to a more sustainable environment.
How much do celebrities, influencers, and social media actually impact us? The way we consume media has changed dramatically over the past decade, and while many of these changes come with a multitude of new challenges, social media has also enabled us to communicate on a global scale. Celebrities, influencers, artists and the work they promote and produce directly and indirectly influence our society and our behavior towards our planet.
A while back, rapper Lil Dickey released a song in collaboration with thirty famous artists and celebrities in order to raise awareness for the issue of climate change and the damages it produces. Lil Dickey’s song immediately went viral, and millions of people watched it. But what is this song actually good for? Will it change anything at all?