Protest #8 on Saturday, 2019-05-11, Stockholm Arlanda Airport

I protested against air travel risking climate breakdown between 13:00 and 15:00 on Saturday, 2019-05-11 at the drop-off area at Terminal 5, Stockholm Arlanda Airport. I distributed around 120 “Bend the carbon curve!” stickers – less than last Saturday because I think I was chatting more. Otherwise my experience was in general similar to last Saturday, in terms of reactions of passengers (about 33% of the passengers ignored me or tried to avoid me by walking another way around me, about 33% of the passengers politely declined, the remaining passengers agreed to take a climate sticker).

Highlights were:

  • a Swedish guy in a camouflage jacket first taking my sticker, then returning after a while giving me a bottle of water which he had obviously bought for me. He told me how great (“grymt”) it was that I was protesting here. (Thanks, you warmed my heart and cooled my throat! I was actually quite thirsty at that point …) Note: He also told me that passengers in the terminal building were actually staring at me through the windows.
  • two  Austrian farmers and fishers who told me about their personal observations how the seasons, weather and distribution of fish in Austria had already changed and that they felt that people had already given up. Anyway, really nice, knowledgeable and cool guys!
  • an Australian guy working in  the fossil fuel industry who described his personal experience how he witnessed first hand how SHELL had devastated Nigeria and broken environmental laws. We also discussed how western greed had been exported to all parts of the world, leaving behind destruction, and that the Western world was utterly hypocritical considering the treasures they exported from third world countries and how little they returned in development aid. Really interesting insider knowledge and perspective on the Western world! Much appreciated!
  • a young Swedish guy working in the energy business who I discussed various aspects of the necessary transformation to mitigate global warming.  For example, electric cars may only have a small role in mobility in the future because limitations in green energy, rare metals to build batteries, and deficiencies in the power grid. Well informed, nice guy!
  • two young guys from California who stopped by on their way into the terminal to shake my hand to tell me how great it was that I was protesting. One guy even mentioned that he was reading the last assessment report of the IPCC.  Much appreciated!

Unfortunately, a few passengers reacted defensive stating that they were flying only very little, pointing out their other environmentally friendly behavior, that there was only little air traffic around Arlanda, or asking whether I wanted them to feel #flightshame. I reacted very supportive and appreciative pointing out that we all had to question our life style.  I am aware that my sheer presence makes many people feel bad, and I am sorry about this, but we both have to suffer through this to change society.

All in all, a really nice day of protesting with many interesting, knowledgeable and friendly people. You have warmed my heart!

The must-have selfie:

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