The Meaning of “Nature” (Warning: Not Even a Little Conclusive. But I Tried.)

Spring is slowly approaching Tokyo and in some parts of the city the first cherry blossom trees have already started blooming. A few days ago, while on a little morning walk, I actually spotted the first sakura in my neighbourhood, and as I was frantically taking pictures from every possible angle for my instastory (I’m such a victim of modern society, hah), I remembered something that my thesis supervisor mentioned during the introductory session of one of my classes last semester.

(Taken at Yasukuni shrine during last year’s cherry blossom season)
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The Paris Agreement in a Nutshell – And Why It’s Probably Not Going to Work

Unless you live somewhere in a hut on top of a mountain on Mars without internet connection (although apparently now there’s wifi on Mars, hah, my fellow Germans will know what I’m referring to), you have probably at least heard the famous (can I say “infamous” or is that too much bias too early on? I mean, we are only one sentence into this blog post, calm down, Simone. Oof, and already I’m censoring myself. Why can’t I write like a normal person?! This is not the best start.) term “Paris Agreement”. But if you’re not majoring in an environment-related field or taking a course on climate change policy or the like, you might not know what exactly it comprises (even I have to still look it up all the time and I’m an environmental studies major AND took a climate change policy class last semester … but I think that’s just my personal problem), so allow me a brief summary before I start bashing it.

In 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC for short) came into force, “an international treaty[…][,] a framework for international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and coping with impacts that were, by then, inevitable” (UN Climate Change). The Kyoto Protocol was created and negotiated along the guidelines outlined in the UNFCCC, and so was the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement came into force on November 4th, 2016. By January of this year, 184 countries had already joined the agreement, almost all of those that are party to the UNFCCC (197). 

UN Climate Change (2019)

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A Sign of Life (Attempt No. 394872934)

A random photo of a sunset to symbolize new beginnings? (lol)

Hola internet, remember me? I cannot count how many times I started writing a post like this … but this time I’m determined to actually finish writing and upload it. But to be honest I wrote that in every single one of the posts I got started on and it never happened … so we will see how it goes this time.

A long time has passed since my last post on this blog, and a lot has happened. I moved to Tokyo in September 2017 and did an internship at the German chamber of commerce for one year, in the Communications department where I mainly helped make a German magazine on Japanese business, politics and society (if you look hard enough on the internet [and know German heh], you can find some of my work, like here [okay, to be fair, this was only a translation] and here [on page 34, co-authored with another intern]). It was definitely stressful at times, but also a really rewarding experience. Right after the end of my internship I started my Masters in Global Environmental Studies, also in Tokyo. I just finished the first semester (out of four sigh, already dying, but ok) and am now on spring/winter/whatever (I mean, I really don’t know how to feel about this season, what even is this weather, thanks global warming) break – and thought that this might be a great opportunity to revive this blog. Continue reading