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Marcel Hänggi

Portrait of the journalist und teacher Marcel Hänggi
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»The glaciers are a memorial, a warning sign«

The Swiss historian Marcel Hänggi (* 1969) is a scientific journalist and German-language teacher at a high school in Zurich. He has written several books on climate change including: "Wir Schwätzer im Treibhaus" (We Gabbers in the Greenhouse) (2008), “Ausgepowert” (Exhausted) (2011), "Null Öl. Null Gas. Null Kohle" (Zero Oil. Zero Gas. Zero Coal) (2018). Hänggi is co-founder of the Glacier Initiative, which, if the motion is passed, will commit Switzerland to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a net zero by 2050. For Marcel Hänggi, in light of the danger posed by climate change, the maxim that journalists should not be biased, no matter the cause, no longer applies.

»We call this initiative the Glacier Initiative because the shrinking of the glaciers in Switzerland is the most visible consequence of global warming. But it is not just about saving the glaciers: the Alpine glaciers will melt to a large extent even if the objectives of the Paris Convention are met. It is about much more than that. Man-made global warming is threatening human civilization as a whole. The glaciers are a memorial, a warning sign«

(Marcel Hänggi: Null Öl. Null Gas. Null Kohle, Rotpunktverlag 2019)

On his website Marcel Hänggi regularly publishes blog entries with updates regarding the climate crisis. "There is no lack of knowledge or solutions", he notes in an article: "what is missing are the narratives, that is, stories with which we can explain the world to ourselves". The Glacier Initiative needs the support of narrative literature in two ways: on the one hand, to increase the chances of a vote in favour of the initiative, and on the other hand, to guarantee effective follow-up implementation in the event of the initiative being voted in. During the festival, he will speak with Franz Hohler and Ruth Schweikert about how, in the face of the climate crisis, there can be no 'right' life within a wrongly lived one, and how science, fiction and politics enrich each other.