The Total Rollback, Interview with Harald Welzer
The climate is subordinated to security – language and mentalities are becoming militarized. The total rollback, says Harald Welzer.
taz lab: Mr. Welzer, the topic of the taz lab remains climate and class, but we also have to talk about the war. To what extent does this war influence the climate transformation process?
Harald Welzer: The war radically influences the climate transformation process. That’s because there’s a total rollback in almost every way. You can already see that the climate issue is taking a back seat to the issue of security. And any form of energy that is available will soon be used to compensate for the loss of Russian energy imports – fracked products, coal, anything that burns.
And what impact does the war have on our society in general?
As far as the inner constitution is concerned, we are amazed at how a militarization of the language and possibly also of mentalities works within a week. Basically, everything that happens is the opposite of what some of us lined up for 30 or 40 years ago.
Has class played a role in the climate transformation process, does it still do, and has this role changed?
The class question does not arise here in a Marxian sense. But at least the social issue plays a major role in the context of the energy transition. The CSU is already calling for a fuel price brake, and the commuter allowance was also increased at the same time.
Do you see a positive development anywhere?
My cats are positive and enjoy excellent health. That’s the positive thing I can see at the moment.
What’s next when this war stops? I’m sure, like many, having a hard time seeing what comes next…
Nobody knows exactly what comes next. We don’t know how long the war will last and accordingly we don’t know what the possible state of affairs will be afterwards. Whether there will be a ceasefire, whether there will be peace negotiations, whether there will be a division of Ukraine, whether the war will continue to expand. These are all things that we don’t currently know and they all make different futures. So no idea.
What do you wish for?
I am hopelessly unhappy.
Harald Welzer will speak at the taz lab on April 30, 2022 on the “The current situation’s need for theory”.