Species extinction, health problems, environmental pollution
By Lauren Ramoser
How bad is this really for our planet? And who is actually to blame? Is it enough to take a train with a little more than a car? Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen in his new book “Mensch, Erdie!” Reply. For us readers, they are uncomfortable, honest, and ruthless – and so we should know them for sure.
520 pages are full of problems – but also solutions
In his new book, “Mensch, Erde! We Can Get It So Beautiful,” said the doctor and artist Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen has done a lot: the climate crisis. In over 520 pages, Hirschhausen has deconstructed the crisis, wrapping it with bad news that is small and easy to digest.
This is grateful to the readers and honest only. Because in his in-depth analysis of climate studies, Hirschhausen explains: Nothing can be hidden here. Rich in tales from meetings with climate pioneers and environmental greats like the famous monkey researcher Jane Goodall. This reads entertaining and interesting.
What you, as a reader, should immediately put aside, is your distance from the topic, even if it hurts. Because one thing is getting clearer from one side to the other: We are all complicit and the years we are all supposed to consume without thinking are definitely over in terms of our planet’s perspective. Those who are not willing to admit to this book should read this book urgently.
Can you tell jokes about the climate crisis?
The fact that Eckart von Hirschhausen is not just an author of a book, but above all an artist is evident from the first few pages. Everyone who knows him from TV or theater directly has his voice in his ears. This makes the book chapters almost feel like a show and of course there’s also a lot of humor here. Even if it’s, according to the cover, “guaranteed 10% less fun than before.”
Anecdotal jokes mix with jokes of words, and time after time you find yourself smiling and laughing as the chapter describes the catastrophic state of our planet in more detail. Hirschhausen has taken the risk of making jokes about the odd-looking biggest crisis of our time – but the balancing act has been surprisingly successful. Because as a reader I want to smile every now and then, even if the situation is dangerous, otherwise it is all unbearable.
You rarely make yourself famous with your raised index finger, but …
Even those who consider themselves well informed of the climate crisis will still find plenty of new information, examples and personal anecdotes here. “Man of the Earth!” He is an intelligent person who likes to read, despite the difficulty of understanding the topic. Hirschhausen runs a good mediating function between the climate-conscious “Fridays for Future” generation and older classrooms. They have been his primary audience for decades, when he was on stage as an artist and I read that he knew this target group well and thus could remind them of their climate responsibilities with a wink.
Daily tips, photos and drawings, all in color and with a lot of smile, help to relax the wealth of information. Even if the implementation of digital requirements in the layout is sometimes delayed, for example when the computer mouse moves over the links printed on the pages of the book.
Photo by Eckart von Hirschhausen, smiling at a bathing lake, lying on tree roots or sleeping on a train, relieves few weaknesses. This doesn’t put fans in just the right mood for the next seasons – even if, unfortunately, the analysis doesn’t show a perfect scientist. But this is the benefit of this book. The climate crisis is dangerous, but explaining it in a charming and sympathetic manner, there is still hope.
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