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38° in June. Join the dots of the Climate Emergency

Macron faces down this week's G20 summit with his "red lines" on the climate emergency. It's a tragedy for each and every one of us.

Sweating like a …

Like a whore in church. Like a pregnant nun. Like the accused. Oh, how those “sweating like a…” similes have kept us amused down the ages. But, in these small hours of a Berlin Thursday in June – yes, it’s still only month six of what will be another record-breaking year – that joke is wearing a wee bit thin.

We are boiling to death. But, unlike the apocryphal and oblivious frog, at least we know what is happening. Unquestionably.

For a little context. Today is the day that Germany cracked the record for June heat with a CPU-melting 38,6° in the city of Offenbach. And, this is just the warm-up act. The weekend is set to be even hotter with the mercury ticking up in to the 40°+ danger zone that now regularly claims a significant body count right across continental Europe. Climate emergency, healthcare emergency, personal tragedy – call it what you will.

Emmanuel Macron, doing his job.

It is fair to say that French President, Macron, might not be the messiah but, ahead of this week’s G20 summit, he is saying that the good and the great must commit to the 2016 Paris Accord goals and the climate emergency.

In a nutshell, France has said it will not sign-off a final communiqué that does not mention the Paris climate change agreement, as their position hardens on climate change ahead of the G20 meeting. And let’s hope against hope that this gains some traction beyond the domestic audience while the morgues from the Dordogne to Dunkirk begin to tag the toes of those who simply could not weather the heat storm.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say ‘I have red lines’, and there are a lot of people who are saying that they no longer want to sign G7 or G20 communiqués because there are these red lines,” Macron told an audience of his French countrymen in Tokyo, Japan. “As for myself, I have one red line. If we don’t talk about the Paris Agreement and if we don’t get an agreement on it amongst the 20 members in the room, we are no longer capable of defending our climate change goals, and France will not be part of this, it’s as simple as that,” he concluded with an air of apparent resignation.

It is hard to even begin to see anyone demurring from this standpoint but, as we know, those hotels and golf courses don’t finance themselves, let alone presidential re-election runs. We fear that those in positions of global leadership will, once again, hunker down in a bunker of wilful denial. That much is inevitable, depressingly.

Hopeless, possibly.

And this all brings us back to what we do; producing sustainable furniture in Berlin. It is not that we ever thought that our modest contribution be would be able to change the world but we fear that it will never be enough.

Furthermore, for every haughty Macron statement, there were a hundred cops on overtime ready to crush the skulls of coal protesters in Germany’s Rheinland on a recent balmy June afternoon.

Unless we can enlist a million foot soldiers to the cause for responsible consumption, we will have failed to meet whatever meagre targets we might have set ourselves. But, we are not going down without a fight and we refuse to shut up.

“Please, make it stop.” That is the familiar refrain for the times we live in. No dice? Perhaps, we could try again to meet them halfway. “Please, just join the dots.”

Join. The. Dots.




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