Our way of life is destroying the planet. We hear this message regularly. When I switch on the washing machine, the CO2 that is released in the process of generating electricity causes the atmosphere to warm up a little bit more. As a result, the chances of extreme weather have already become much greater, and floods and forest fires are occurring more regularly. Also something that we see happening on the news everyday.
There is still a chance to keep global warming under control and to prevent even greater disasters. For that, we must stop emitting greenhouse gases now.
It is clear that we have to adjust our lifestyle. So why isn’t this happening on a large scale?
Part of the problem is of course, that the government does not dare to take major measures. They are too much influenced by large companies.
As individuals, we can make environmentally-friendly choices, but that often seems like a drop in the ocean. In this interview with theologian Timothy Gorringe, he says that our hedonism is also getting in the way. In recent decades, all sorts of luxury have become more and more available in the Western world. Once you get used to this life, it feels like a huge sacrifice to give it up again. Especially if others around you happily keep on living it.
Timothy finds hope in the initiatives that bring people together. Together we can put pressure on our pension funds and insurers not to invest our money in fossil fuels. Together we can also set up local projects such as sustainable heating for the neighbourhood, or growing our own vegetables.
Time for action!
I read about a British climate expert who took the train to China for a conference. Is that extreme? I think it is more extreme that my kitchen cupboards are stuffed with exotic food, that I never have to be cold or hot, that I can make long journeys whenever I want. Our crazed consumerism has already made enough victims. Let’s all go back to normal for a bit.