“It’s not time that passes, it’s you, it’s I”, is a line from the poem Time by the renowned Dutch poet Rutger Kopland (1934-2012). It reminds us that we are “only briefly” part of a greater and continuous whole.
This is exactly how three IMAU master students, which feature in our recently launched short master film, look at the climate system: “In the climate system nothing is separate. Knowing how these processes are linked, is, I think, one of the main learning goals in our master.” The film beautifully illustrates what our master Climate Physics is about, in addition to showing the passion and motivation of a young generation of climate scientists.
Just recently do we seem to have been overtaken by time. The heavy showers in June which caused flooding in the south of the country were predicted to happen only by 2050. Now that 2050 has become 2016, measures need to be taken faster. Not only on large scales, individual citizens can also help to improve water storage. Our small city garden with its rain barrel and unkempt lawn (the size of a stamp) now seems to be the latest trend.
“How much time do we have left?”, my son asks every morning when we get ready for school, afraid we may be late.
The dangers of climate change and the exhaustion of our planet are real and are becoming ever more visible on a larger scale. One warm winter is no cause for concern, but in recent years temperatures have often risen and stayed above the long-term averages; just look at the speed at which glaciers are disappearing.
During the past fifty years, IMAU’s founding principle to study the climate system has only gained momentum. On June 23rd, the past, present and future together celebrated the golden anniversary of our institute. Just as with Kopland’s poem, on that day one could feel how precious it is to be part of a bigger whole, for a shorter or longer period of time.