During Nazi Germany, a researcher studying the roots and consequences of psychological disorders developed his investigation as follows:
He put together some individuals suspected of being mentally ill with a non-ill, control sample of the population. Then, he locked them inside a room with many faucets, mops and buckets. He opened the faucets and as soon as the water started flowing, the people inside the room had two different reactions, which he used to classify people into sane and insane:
The insane ones ran all over the place, distributing the mops and buckets and organising a strategy in order to defend themselves from the water.The sane ones, in contrast, just went to the faucet and simply closed it.
This Machiavellian experiment undertaken in even more Machiavellian times can be compared to the different reactions that people have when facing the current climate crisis and the potential crumbling of the ecosystems that support the life and survival of the human species.
It is easy to make a comparison between the insanes in the Nazi scientist experiment and the decision makers of Miami or Venezia: trying to defend themselves from the future sea level rises with higher walls and complex systems that will hopefully keep the water out of their streets (or piazze).
There are also those trying to stop the water from flooding our cities. They attempt daily to reduce the release of CO2 into the atmosphere by changing their way of living (eating, consuming, transporting…). They aim to cut their emissions as much as possible reasoning that they don’t want the spatial, giant ball that we inhabit to doesn’t washes away in front of our eyes. For this category the term insane would seem a bit extreme, so, in our the daily livesfe, we use other labels, such as poor, green, brainwashed and “flower-eaters”. Or perhaps, simply, utter hipsters.
The behaviour of our social, economic and political leadership, however, does not fall into any of these categories. As in the German experiment, they were un not able to observe and categorise the big fish of our system., I would give myself the credit of calling them “auto-destroyers”. Instead of taking any kind of action, they were just danceding when the water arrived, and now they are splashing as the first puddles start to form. Tand they will continue to swim in their modern lavish pool until they realise that they reallyt need to close the tap. Unfortunately, by then, the water will be so turbid that diving back to the source of the climate crisis will be impossible and the future of the humans inside the pool will be as unclear as the water inside the pool.
Written by: Andres Oliva Lozaon
Edited by: Keren Sneh and Shy Zvouloun