by Harald Welzer
Most of us are aware that our current way of living is not sustainable. We have to change our habits, create new technologies, use less resources – but most importantly phase out unsustainable our current unsustainable practices instead of trying hold on to them. Why is it so hard?
Harald Welzer explores this question in his book “Nachruf auf mich selbst/ obituary for myself” by combining scientific findings, psychological insights and deeply personal experiences and comes to the conclusion that our culture does not have a concept or plan for endings. We continue to build unsustainable infrastructures despite the fact that we know cars, airplanes, or cruise ships cannot exist in the future in their current form (even if they become much more resource efficient) if we want to maintain our planet. Optimizing current technologies is not the way forward according to Harald Welzer, instead we have to finally acknowledge that resources are finite and our exploitation of the earth has boundaries (many of which we already surpassed).
There is no easy way out of this way of thinking. Welzer suggests to write an obituary for yourself. How do you want to be remembered? What matters in the end? And how do you have to start changing your life to accomplish this?
This book offers a new perspective on the discourse of planetary boundaries and the post-growth community. Thinking about your life from a perspective of your future self may not convince everyone to change their current way of life since capitalist values are deeply rooted in society, but it certainly helped me to reconsider and refocus on my priorities.