Approaching Climate Change

In our last blog post, we explained why we walk to experience Climate Change and changing Climates. While this alone is a daunting task and would be reason enough to do it, it is not the whole story. Today we will talk about how we get there, and what we will do while we walk.

The Future is now

So what do we do besides walking way too far? Remember what we want to achieve: We want to experience Climate Change ourselves. We want to immerse ourselves in the lives and worlds of people in changing Climates all around Europe. We want to grasp the gravity of living in an environment which seemingly grows more fragile, unfamiliar, or even more hostile with each year. We want to uncover Climate Change for what it is: A creepingly slow yet sweeping process with real, tangible impacts, taking place right here, right now, reaching very well into the future, with vastly different local implications.
Humanity has arrived at a critical point, everyone should know this by now (the fact that some people don’t makes this all the more urgent for us). We know that we cannot keep living our lives the way we do – especially we consumerist societies of the global North, who benefit most from capitalism’s exploitative practices. We know that we cannot carry on in the usual race of ever faster, ever bigger, ever more. We know that there must be structural transformations which may go beyond our societal or individual comfort zone.
But still we stay largely ignorant in our everyday lives, hoping that this gordian knot somehow resolves itself, refusing to acknowledge the need for meaningful individual and collective action. Why is that? 

The many faces of Climate Change

We need a new narrative. A kind of narrative that involves new protagonists: You, me, us; here, there, everywhere. We need to uncover what facing a climate crisis looks and feels like, and capture the everyday struggles and tragedies, the small and big acts of people all around us. We need to shine light on these stories, and talk about them. We need these stories to give us perspective, direction, and understanding. Only then can we comprehend what it means, what it really means – not in some abstract scenario of a possible future, where the earth will have warmed 1,5°C – to live in a changing world right here, right now. Because change is happening, and it’s happening fast. I, for my part, would rather face the facts, unpleasant or not, than stumble forward blindly.

That is why we center our approach around the affected people and landscapes all across Europe, and why we want people to join us. Walking all this way allows us to experience the subtle changes of landscapes, climates, and ways of life. Walking with affected people, talking to them about their experiences gives us valuable perspectives. This way we will be able to see and feel for ourselves, and learn from each other what Climate Change entails, how the global shapes local problems, and how we could respond across all levels.

Stand together, walk together

We know that there cannot be one definitive answer, one that is ultimately right. We know that the diversity of human experience calls for open deliberation. We want to integrate this by creating open spaces for the exchange of perspectives, experiences, and stories in the form of workshops, where locals can come together and work out what Climate Change entails in their region, what they could do to overcome its challenges. We are convinced that the first step towards meaningful Climate Action is understanding and knowing where we stand. That’s why we not only walk, but we talk and listen

I know this is overly cliché, but we are all in this together. We have been and will be, that much is certain, and we certainly need to make something happen before everything happens to us. However, the rest of the story is made up of uncertainties: How should we face the impending change, how do we need to change? What can we do? Who can help and who needs help? We will face these questions together, face them across more than 12.000 km. Come face them with us. We want to know your story too. Because we need your help. Come on the Climate Walk with us, and experience it for yourself.

If you want to find out more about our approach, our route and what we do, check out

The author

Portrait von Gerald Hofbauer

Gerald Hofbauer

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About this project

The Climate Walk is a combined research, education and media-art project by the Wanderers of Changing Worlds. It is about walking across Europe to understand regional experiences of Climate Change. It is about listening to local perspectives, learning from them and connecting these stories together to construct a holistic, people-centric understanding of these complex phenomena.
Learn more about our project

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