We live in a crazy fast pace world, with fast digested & forgotten info. In this digital age, we are hyper connected and yet we are completely disconnected from reality. The reality of the people around us, the reality of our future, the reality of life. We live in a world on the verge of implosion, where our environment is degrading so fast and our abilities to change this, are ineffective or at least insufficient.
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The other day I was reading a comment on an article about climate change which got me thinking.
The commenter was saying that he thought, we would really benefit from changing the narrative from “saving the Earth” to “saving the Human race”. And I think, he is right. No matter how badly the environment deteriorates, the Earth will most likely still be there in a couple billion of years. We won’t. At the present rate we’ll probably have killed every bee, every animal and every form of life including ourselves, in 100 years, maybe 200? Despite this, the Earth will still be there. It might end up looking as dry as Mars or the moon, but it will still be there.
We’ve already changed the narrative in the past. We went from “global warming” to “climate change” because the first one wasn’t appreciated by people when temperatures were dropping. People didn’t believe the Earth was really warming up when it was so cold outside. So we changed it. It was just a change of name, it didn’t change anything to the issue.
The issue is still the same. Humans will have a very difficult future, in an ever degrading environment, on a planet that is becoming less and less human friendly.
So what do we do?
Some of us work hard to change this. To find solutions to incredibly complex problems (I’m sure you’ve heard of Boyan Slat and his project to clean the ocean www.theoceancleanup.com). Some of us do little things, to help as they can. Such little things can be life changing for them. Going plastic free is no piece of cake and requires a huge commitment (myplasticfreelife.com). Yet, it probably has a quite small direct impact. Going vegan is also a huge commitment (www.vegansociety.com). It also probably has a quite little direct impact on the overall issue. Some become activist (storyofstuff.org). They try to convince others to take the right decisions, big or small.
Every bits help.
But real social grant scale changes are needed to possibly reverse the problem.
Despite the reality of the situation, most people don’t care. Their children will probably suffer the most. Their grand children are at risk of never knowing a life like theirs. Yet, these people whose pride is their offsprings, don’t seem to care. They deny the reality, they argue, they refuse to change, they refuse to take actions, for one reason or another. The irony of this puzzles me. On my side, I have a lot less reason to care about the state of the environment. Being childfree, I could be far more selfish. Despite this, I often find myself caring so much more than people who have children. I often find myself caring so much that the weight is too much to bear.
So would changing the narrative from “saving the Earth” to “saving the Human race” make a difference for these people who don’t care? Not sure but it’s worth a try.
Maybe there is something else we can do to care.
As you probably know by now, I have another blog www.RoadTripsaroundtheWorld.com, where I encourage people to “discover the World, one road trip at a time”. I talk about road trips, provide hand-drawn maps that shown itineraries. I talk about the places to visit on such trips, a lot of UNESCO World Heritage sites, a lot of churches, cathedrals and castles… I also talk about eco-friendly products to use, to have a smaller environmental impact. Yes, I acknowledge that driving around is not the most eco-friendly mean of transport, but I also know one thing: when you see the World, you want to protect it. When you see the impact on mankind on nature, you want to do something about it. When taking the less travelled roads, you get to see the beauty of nature and the ugliness of humans trash. You can’t go on those less travelled roads, if you’re part of a tour or stay in a all inclusive hotel. In those cases, you are being shielded from the ugliness. You need to move freely around, you need to be independent to see all aspects.
With www.RoadTripsaroundtheWorld.com, I’ve learned and I’m still a lot of things, in terms of history for example and about myself, but that will be for another post! Most importantly, a lot of the places I have visited showed me again and again, how crazily creative, smart and resourceful humans can be when motivated. It is undeniable that humans can be absolutely great!
It is unfortunately undeniable as well that, humans can be absolutely stupid, selfish, shortsighted, stubborn, superficial & irresponsible. You can add to the list at will!
The Earth doesn’t need saving, but we, humans, do. Our environment is dying. I do use the term “environment” as its maybe first meaning i.e. our “surrounding”, not just as the complete Earth ecosystem although it applies to both. When the destruction is our door step, it has a different impact on us. When we go out and explore our surrounding, not just our backyard, we can witness it. And this usually triggers a response in us: We want to protect it. We want to care for it.
By 2025, to have a job, we’ll need to code and be blockchain experts. If you haven’t built an app yet, it’s time to get cracking! Better be something related to augmented reality. Social media experts will do ok. Digital anything will be in high demand.
But do remember that virtual trees will never clean the air. Virtual bees will never pollinate the food that will fill your non virtual belly.
So go ahead and learn coding and blockchain, but don’t forget to go out and admire nature and its reality. Don’t forget to go out and explore your surrounding, to learn to care for your environment. Maybe, maybe, this simple act will make a huge difference. It would be just a first step, but a step in the right direction.
If you need some inspiration and motivation, you should read The Green Boat by Mary Pipher.