The most exciting consequence of Germany’s parliamentary election so far is a selfie. As soon as the four people in it posted the image on Instagram, it went viral and was, perhaps inevitably, set to soundtracks such as Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.” Why the fuss?
In a narrow sense, the answer is that the selfie could signal a solution to the hardest part of building the next German governing coalition. In a wider sense, that same signal could also echo around the world, because it just might become a model for coping with the climate crisis. Viewed with such optimism, what the selfie really depicts is the potential reconciliation of ecology and economy, state and market, environment and prosperity — in short, the future.