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Knowledge and Climate Change

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

Climate change influences every field of human activity, and our so-called ‘knowledge’ is no exception. In this article, we observe some of the effects of climate change on the ways humanity obtains, stores and exchanges knowledge, and what role Archivorum aims to play in counteracting these effects.

On the one hand, knowledge has developed a complicated relationship with climate change. On the other, our advances in science and technology are the drivers of rising pollution levels, fluctuating global temperatures, and the degradation of the biosphere. Studies suggest that the effect of human activity on these factors dates back to the 1830s. By that time, science formulated the main rules of sanitation, allowing for rapid population growth in the West. The population boom and industrial advances inflated the demand for resources. However, by the 16th century, Europe had already replaced most of its forests with farmlands, making the continent unable to meet new generations’ energy demands. The solution was found soon: coal became the main fuel for industrial development, and its growing use led to the accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that science started implementing knowledge to fight climate change on a large scale. Not only is science invested in creating new technologies to prevent climate change from worsening, but it is also involved in the dissemination of climate knowledge to the general public. Here, Archivorum plays an important role too. Education is an integral part of the Archivorum’s PRE philosophy (Preserve, Research, Educate). Since 2020, Archivorum has been a platform for several sessions of TEDx Countdown, “a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action”. TEDx Archivorum has invited scholars, artists, and eco-activists, giving them a platform to voice their solutions for climate change.

In a recent talk for TEDx Archivorum, Raoni Rajão explains the fallbacks and achievements in a worldwide attempt to save the Amazon forest.

Although knowledge consists of ideas, these ideas must be expressed with material means like paper, stone, etc. None of these means are immune to physical corruption and even destruction, and that means that a significant part of knowledge is also threatened by severe weather conditions. Many artifacts, manuscripts, and monuments are either threatened or already destroyed in floods, forest fires, and other climate catastrophes. This impact of climate change has urged UNESCO to create several working groups advising various parties on saving heritage sites in times of unpredictable climate. Archivorum also contributes to the cause by сollecting some of the best samples from more than 120 publishers, which will not only allow easy access for scholars, it will also help in preserving artists’ and publishers’ heritage safe from climate changes.

Archivorum fights with climate change in other ways too. In collaboration with Studio42, we organized an auction to support activities of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition. Archivorum keeps the climate in mind even when it comes to small details. Our events are always carried out with sustainable subtexts: from reusable and biodegradable packaging to buying from local producers, no matter where we are. Although our main objective lays far from the ecological initiatives and climate action, we understand that at times like this, every action matters, and Archivorum will continue to encourage and support such action in its development.

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