background and aims

Protection of our climate is one of the most urgent issues of the present day. Unless the ‘2 Degrees’ target set by international climatic researchers and politicians can be attained, a climatic catastrophe threatens. In order to limit CO2 emissions not only Politics and Industry are required to respond, but each and every citizen. Each person can make a contribution to the protection of our climate by the way they behave and the way they take such emissions into account, when they travel and when they make decisions about what they purchase. However, for this to happen there needs to be a clear awareness of the problem, an awareness that does not fade or diminish with time, amongst the whole public sphere. Such an awareness can be created by education and information. Scientific information as such can be understood by people, but to make people understand that climatic change is also a personal issue one has also to reach their hearts. This is what our ‘Climate Bells’ project has as its aim.

a far-reaching idea: the Climate Bells

The basis of the project is an idea of the Berlin composer Klaus Wüsthoff (born 1922). Following his personal encounter with the climate researcher Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Wüsthoff became concerned for the very basis of living for future generations and created the Climate Bell Melody, a 30-second composition for Carillons (Bell towers).

the sound of bells is moving

The Climate theme is something for everyone – the sound of bells which can be heard over wide distances and which has a deep emotional impact on many people should remind us of the responsibility each person bears for the climate. The sound of Bells ringing creates a special effect and creates deep emotional reactions, whether as a symbol for the passing of time in a clocktower, as a church bell, a fire-bell or the Bells for the Dead or as joyous celebratory sounds.

the Climate Bells melody

The Climate Bells Melody is based upon the orchestral composition ‘Die Regentrude’ by Klaus Wüsthoff, which itself is based on an 1863 fairy story of this name by Theodor Storm (‘The Rain Fairy’). In the story there are references to fire created on an industrial scale and to the destructive power as well as the importance for humanity of a balanced climate and nature, explained through a love story of two young people. Storm’s work is of importance in German literature; Today the ‘Regentrude’ is a warning parable concerning the climatic changes and warming through CO2 emissions and can be understood as a classic ‘Climate Tale’. Storm’s fairy story has a happy ending, and this happy end should give everyone the courage to do whatever they can to ensure that things can still turn out better.

The melody of the Climate Bells leads downwards, which should remind us of falling rain. The sequence is interrupted by an intermediate blow, an expression of risk and also a reminder not to lose sight of the ‘Two Degrees’ target – an impressive cultural contribution to the theme.