I’m worried. Big worries. So big that – when I wake up at night – my thoughts are constantly revolving around it. These are existential concerns. Worries that our planet is being thrown off balance. Through climate change, through environmental degradation and mass extinction of plants and animals, through plastic pollution. In front of our eyes. Now. Caused by us. Those who have the invaluable privilege of living on this wonderful, unique planet.
My worries are mixed up with pure bewilderment. About that we just keep going like before. About the fact that many people do not seem to worry about these things. As if the countless signs did not exist. Don’t we see them? Do we refuse to see them? Because they scare us – or because they require us to change? Are we so caught up in our consumption-oriented lifestyle, influenced by advertising messages and filter bubbles, that we just pretend that everything is alright?
Why don’t we fight with all our strength for the preservation of our natural life resources?
Only 100 years left?
I feel the worries physically. Something lies on my chest and presses on my heart. I have children. Children whom I love infinitely and for whom I am responsible. Responsible for having a good life on this planet. Stephen Hawking predicted that mankind will have just 100 more years on earth. 100 years. That would mean that the children of my children – my grandchildren – would witness the end. That’s so big, so unreal. If you see it as a realistic scenario, you would have to slam on the brakes immediately. In every sense.
And what do we do? Continue. At full throttle. Sighted eye. Against the wall. It seems we mistake the brake and the gas pedal.
I feel that I have to do something. Get out of the armchair, immediately. Stand up, sharpen the view, act.
Most scientists agree: time is running out!
An overwhelming majority of climate researchers agree and continuously publish warnings and wake-up calls (see, for example, the IPCC’s latest Special Report) – calls that usually trail off quickly or are even dismissed as fake news. As if you can solve the problem by denying it. It would be too good to believe that all this is not true.
In the meantime, the temperature curves predicted for the second half of this century are becoming increasingly frightening. We are heading for 3-4 degrees of warming, which could trigger uncontrollable chain reactions and make large areas of the earth uninhabitable. Do we really want to take that risk? Is mass consumption really more important to us than the future of our children and grandchildren?
Everyone can do something!
In this blog I will try to organize my thoughts, to get my fears off my chest – but also to draw hope and generate ideas. To encourage others to also get up and fight for our children and everything wonderful on this planet.
This blog should not get tangled up in apocalyptic predictions. Stephen Hawking was a very smart man. But that does not mean that his prediction must inevitably become true. We can do something, but we have to act now, and with full determination. Every day on the gas pedal makes the distance to the wall shrink faster.
This blog shall give hope and encouragement. For that each and every one of us is able to do something. That it is possible to change one’s lifestyle without the feeling that one is losing something. On the contrary: that it is incredibly enriching to live sustainably. Not having to feel guilty about having your own lifestyle at the expense of others. Not having to radicalize yourself for that. Realizing that today there are many opportunities for all of us to practice an alternative way of life. And “alternative” does not mean “ideologically left-wing” here, but simply: conscious, with the consequences of our actions in mind.
I am still pretty much at the beginning of this journey myself, falling back into old habits once and again. I do not want to teach or instruct anyone, but instead document my own learning and encourage others to participate.
Preserving by changing
This blog is not left-wing and not right-wing. It addresses the human being as such. Our mind. Our instinct of self-preservation. It shall create awareness of the seriousness and urgency of the situation. Awareness for those who found the extremely dry and hot European summer of 2018 “glorious” and are longing for its return in 2019. For those who thoughtlessly consume, without having the consequences for the global climate and our natural environment in mind.
It is about nothing less than that we preserve our natural life resources. But since so many things are going so badly wrong today, we can only preserve by changing. Fundamentally. It is a misbelief that one can preserve something good for the future by sticking to the accustomed. The opposite is true: We must act – act against climate change and environmental destruction, for the preservation of our natural life resources.
So get out of your armchair, stand up, get rid of your lethargy. Act. Now.
For German readers: The German version of this post.