We can change

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.