Every day, the worsening pathology of the planet confirms the predictions of the expert reports. No continent, no state, no neighbourhood, … none of us is spared from the devastating effects of climate change, yet we persist in underestimating the situation. We have even become accustomed to the euphemistic term ‘climate change’ as if it were a variation in the weather, when it is the climate of our only planet that we are irreversibly compromising. States continue to argue, to announce actions and measures that are not implemented or are only partially implemented, making them ineffective. Moreover, even if these measures were fully implemented, they could only slow down the speed of environmental degradation, not reverse the trend and improve things. This is no longer an emergency, but the new normal. For too long we have underestimated the alarms sounded by science, considering them mere projections, suppositions of excessive scenarios… science fiction. Awareness has made its way into society and has taken the form of individual and collective actions, which may seem irrelevant, but which are significant in measuring the change in mentality that is taking place. This is the only way to put pressure on politics to act.
Let’s start at the beginning. Why run?
1. We are late and the race against the climate crisis is now a race against time.
2. Running saves lives: Homo sapiens has come down to us because he could run, while Neanderthals were less able and are now extinct.
3. We run to shorten distances, to connect, unite … and today there is a great need to be united on the climate issue.
4. The mother of all races (the marathon) was born to deliver the message of victory … we must believe in the possibility of winning the war against our self-destructive instinct that is endangering the survival of humanity.
What to do? What can I do?
asked himself Greek actor Agis Emmanouil and then he started to run what is perhaps the longest marathon in history: 2,421 km, covered in 80 days at a rhythm of 40-60 km a day.
He will arrive in Glasgow on November 1st, when the Conference of Parties (COP) 26, the meeting of the countries that have ratified the climate change agreements, begins.
The word symbol comes from the Greek sym-bàllô, which means “being together”, and it is perhaps for this reason that the entire Agis project has both a strong civic/social connotation and numerous symbolic references.
The duration of the trip? 80 days like Jules Verne’s “Around the World in eighty days”. Agis will only cross Europe in eighty days but will do so with the whole world in mind. It left on August 11 from Pnyx, the place on the acropolis in Athens where the first democratic assembly of ancient Greece was held, an ideal reference to the original values of western culture. From the Mediterranean basin, the cradle of the ‘western world’, he carries his message across a continent that is now old, but whose roots lie in the fertile soil of the highest values of humanistic culture.
The beginning of the third millennium is for humanity a collective Odyssey in which the return home is very uncertain and full of obstacles, the paradox is that we ourselves are burning the common home: Gaia, mother earth. To return home, we have to make an inner journey, return to the root of the values of pacification with nature. The voyage of this new Ulysses is also an Odyssey (his and that of the whole of humanity), but Agis, despite being nobody (Outis, the nameless) has a thousand faces: those of us all.
Like the health crisis, the climate crisis affects everyone but not indiscriminately: it impacts differently depending on the conditions of places or people, it attacks weaknesses and affects frailties. Global suffering manifests itself locally, the effects are individual, they change from place to place and from person to person, which confirms that globality is a set of localities: it is here that diversity, differences and values to be protected, reside. That is why, as he progresses along his path, Agis will gather the requests of the local communities he encounters. The idea is to bring together maximum general systems and minimum local problems.
In addition, Agis wears a device around his neck that detects air quality in real time, transmitting continuously updated data on the web . In essence, at the end of the trip you could have a record of local climate-related problems and an overview of air quality. Reports on the first two countries crossed are available at the following links:
– Italy: https://cleanairingreece.org/2021/09/22/daily-air-quality-measurements-along-agis-emmanouils-2421km-athens-glasgow-climate-run-part-2-italy/?fbclid=IwAR0XwE8Epw0ZMopP0_YemTRhwh57ayvBzeHcKGbPmafSYZnSHc9QVZCRr1c
After Greece and Italy, he entered France and has already covered more than 1,000 kilometres, crossing cities and suburbs, roads and fields, a part of Europe. Anyone who wants can follow his journey live on the facebook page and contact Agis and run together for Climate.
Run Agis, run…