Interviews Stories

Rikard, Sweden

My name is Rikard Wärdig. I’ve been flight free since 2013 and will never fly again, neither privately nor for work. I therefore choose to join the campaign Flight Free 2021. I’m doing it for my own sake, but mostly for my three children, who will probably in the future ask; why did you do nothing, or so little when you knew what was going on? How could you fly around the world and consume like there was no tomorrow when the evidence was so clear? It would be great to see the Maldives before they disappear, but I would rather live knowing they are still there.

It would be easier for me to keep living as usual in my work as a university lecturer and researcher, since travelling and conferences are part of that, but I can no longer keep doing it. I feel a responsibility to do my part by giving up flying. Maybe it will inspire someone, or help to shift what is considered socially acceptable to something more compatible with the climate. Those of us who have a good and well-paid job, and who realise what’s going on, must lead the way! It surprises me that we rarely do that. Nice kitchens are renovated, functional bathrooms are replaced, as well as cars. Let’s hope for a future where our status symbols are time with your family, long walks in the woods, or going fishing. My hope is that climate policy here in Sweden and across the world does not remain a question of politics, but a question of our fate. We have to wake up now!

Rikard Wärdig
Med Dr, Senior Lecturer, Sweden

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