On 10 January, a group of some 40 scientists around Reinhard Steurer, among them Austrian scientist of the year 2022 Franz Essl, participated in the climate protests in Vienna. They gathered at a roundabout, a symbol for failed mobility policies that put cars above everything else.
As a society, we sometimes seem trapped in a vicious roundabout, as nicely illustrated by Annechien Dirkje Hoeben.
I am supportive of these protests and here is why:
👎 Austria under the conservative-green government is without climate protection law since over two years.
👎 Austria is unable to comply with international obligations.
👎 Austria does not even achieve its own unambitious climate protection goals.
👎 Some interest groups push for hazardous technologies such as fracking, and important interest groups fool the public with unjustified technology optimism.
👎 Prominent conservative politicians stir up hatred against climate activists instead of taking the challenges serious. Meanwhile, the right-wing party leading the polls fantasizes of a “fortress Austria”, as if climate disaster could be kept out of a fortress (but who knows, maybe they hope for masses of climate refugees as this helps fear-based agendas).
This all comes after another extreme summer followed by an extremely warm winter. We cannot ignore this crisis anymore. The time for #flashbangs is over.