When talking about violence, Weizman maintains, we have to understand that besides the eruptive violence well known in times of conflict there is the slower form of ecological violence not so easily discovered but no less lethal. A case in point is the expulsion of the Bedouins from the Negev desert in Israel simply by claiming that being nomads they hold no claim to the land. Driving the – climate-change induced – desert line further willfully enhances this strategy: thus agriculture becomes officially impossible in the lands traditionally occupied by these tribes. The only valid counterstrategy is building up a transnational Public Forum employing forensic means usually reserved for the state. Satellite survey data can help to prove there are and always have been settlements in the area.

Dipesh Chakrabarty drives the idea of a supranational forum even further. He takes up a planetary perspective, looking on climate issues from far away, say Mars or Venus. Seen from outside, Humankind as a complex species has an animal life and a moral life, both getting in each other’s way. By flourishing quicker than evolution homo sapiens has made it impossible for the ecosystems to adapt, thus bringing about changes that are now – in the Age of the Anthropocene – falling back on us. Nonetheless taking up a moral stance won’t help, as e.g. being just to microbes – the most important factor in life on Earth – makes no sense. Furthermore, “humankind” as an addressee is too vague a category to be of any use.

Therefore, Chakrabarty concludes, such a planetary public forum is caught between the need to constantly zoom in and out. It takes zooming in to detect injustice on the individual level and is takes zooming out to realize that after all, the quality of life – for rich and poor – has increased on the big scale. That means, seen from outside, a glimmer of hope.