lördag 23 februari 2019

INTERVIEW WITH CARL HAMNESJÖ

Carl Hamnesjö is about to leave for South America on a Human Rights research trip – and he will go there without flying. Speaking of rights, Carl believes that we do not have a right to fly, but rather an obligation not to do so. And it is certainly possible to travel without using aeroplanes: in 2017 Carl journeyed around the world without flying, and this summer he attended the World Cup in Russia by train
Carl has been engaged in the climate crisis for quite some time. While studying climate history and landscape development at University, he began to realise how seriously we humans affect the climate, and that made him reflect on his own lifestyle. After discovering the Climate Account on the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute website he calculated his own carbon footprint.
“I played around with it a few times and discovered that I had a lot to do in order to become sustainable. For me, flying was my largest source of emissions and I realised that even in five short years, flights add up to a huge amount. ”
Carl started thinking about how he could travel without flying. Since then he has travelled the world without flying and this summer he went to the World Cup in Russia by bus and train.
“It was incredibly fun! Both me and my friends felt that the train experiences were something special. You hung out with others and spent a lot of time together. It is more of an adventure to go by train, and it is much more comfortable: you can move, you have a bed, and as there were three of us we almost always had our own compartment.”
He thinks that you generally experience more by travelling by train, because you get to see so much more, you meet more people and therefore get a different feel for the country.
“By plane you come directly to a big city but by train you first see how the landscape looks, the countryside with small houses, the suburbs and then the city. I feel that I have experienced more of the country I am visiting than if I was only staying in the city for a week."
He says that even though you can travel to most places in ways other than by air, there are some places that he will never visit. But that’s not a bad thing: there are still plenty of wonderful places to go, and it’s nice to not be overwhelmed by so much choice. Thailand is not the only place with beautiful beaches. Carl, who has a Master's degree in Human Rights, believes that it is not our right to travel everywhere, but instead we have an obligation not to destroy places by flying there.
Sometimes people wonder if he is afraid of flying. Carl usually answers that he is not afraid to fly, he is afraid of what might happen to the climate. This often leads to good conversations about what you can do instead.
How Carl got involved with Flight Free 2019
Carl tells us that when he saw our poster at a climate event he was immediately attracted to the idea of doing something together, with as many people as possible. He had previously wondered if it were possible to do something in the style of a Paris agreement at the individual level because he believes it is important to see that other people are fighting as well.
“Otherwise, all you do is focus on the fact that the people around you aren’t taking action. It feels like an injustice. But the real injustice is between you and the people who are already being affected by climate change, such as those in developing countries, or between you and nature. That’s the real injustice,” says Carl.

How many are you going to try to recruit for the campaign?
"I think that it’s important to talk to people and tell them about this. If I try hard, I should be able to reach at least ten,” says Carl.


Maja Rosén
We Stay on the Ground

Translated by Ingrid Hesser and Anna Hughes

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