In the middle of summer, New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, is hit by extreme rain that floods entire districts and triggers landslides. Animal species are dying out. And according to a UN report, climate-related disasters increase crimes like human trafficking. These are just three current examples of the multifaceted effects of the climate crisis.
Staying optimistic in these catastrophes is a challenge. The one who tries it is the moderator and journalist Katrin Bauerfeind. In her new podcast "Frau Bauerfeind saves the world" she wants to show possible solutions to the climate crisis in an entertaining way, she explains in the 453rd episode of "important today". Every attempt counts, she thinks: "I don't want to give up just yet. I think that always leads to being passive and saying: Now it doesn't give a damn anyway."
The feeling of a certain doomsday mood seems to be real for many people. Last week, the doomsday clock, the so-called doomsday clock, was put forward by ten seconds to 90 seconds before midnight. The clock is intended to draw attention to the general danger to mankind.
One has never been so close to the end of the world, say the responsible scientists of the organization "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" and justify this with the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis, among other things. Topics that also concern young people and make them more pessimistic about the future than previous generations. This is also shown by a representative study by the Bertelsmann Foundation from 2022.
Many people have recognized climate change as an existential crisis and are trying to make a small contribution. Also Katrin Bauerfeind, she reports in an interview with "Today important" editor Mirjam Bittner. By switching to public transport, offsetting flights or second-hand fashion. It's an important start, but you have to see the big picture: "You get so frustrated as an individual because you always think: You're struggling, you're stressing yourself and you always have a guilty conscience. And the bottom line is that you know it anyway won't be enough."
This frustration is also evident among many activists fighting for a better world. Studies show that those who are so committed have a high risk of burnout. Katrin Bauerfeind herself has taken part in Fridays for Future demonstrations and used to want to become an activist with Greenpeace. She understands the pessimism of many young people: "I think the young people are right. There isn't that much reason to be optimistic about the future." But she still wants to try. In any case, burying one's head in the sand is not an option: "I don't believe that this doomsday mood - even if it has its right to exist - is expedient. Of course, I don't know whether optimism is expedient either. But I believe that we should try again."
With the podcast, the trained technology journalist wants to make her own contribution to making the topic more approachable with humor. In "Frau Bauerfeind saves the world", start-ups that offer possible solutions to existential problems compete against each other in several rounds. For example, new and sustainable local transport, food made from algae or an early warning system for forest fires. The podcast follows a principle similar to that of the show "Die Höhle der Löwen", with the winner receiving a prize of 100,000 euros at the end. Katrin Bauerfeind does not know whether she will ultimately save the world. But she finds: "Let's only give up when nothing works anymore. But something is still possible."
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