5 past 12 for a living planet Earth?
Why this website?
Last November (2018) I decided not to remain silent on the subject of a dying planet Earth. I started a website with my (hobby-)art, accompanied by my vision on the state of the planet.
Since it is possible to write this, yet:
How to keep this planet inhabitable.
Last year was the year of Greta Thunberg. She spoke to all the politicians and stated ‘Our house is on fire! Do something about it!’ (Related to climate change).
Considering the final sentence of the website I started last year: “ ‘Children, ask your parents ‘why?’, adults ask your politicians ‘why?’ “, you can imagine I was very pleased with the actions and energy of Greta and all those committed to save a living planet.
To tell the whole story, you need a lot of words, unfortunately.
“ Are we waiting for a devastating planetary disaster before ‘climate-change-denying’ politicians feel themselves obliged to take action? It will be far too late… Anyway it is already far too late for large amounts of nature that went extinct already: ‘5 past 12’”.
The ‘Garden of Eden is no more’, David Attenborough stated last year. Despite of all kind of alarming signals by scientists, politicians are not inclined to take swift action against the dying living planet. The text under ‘basic story’ examines why.
The message stays the same: tell the story, get people aware of the dangers our common house, planet earth, is facing. At least, the living part of it. People should realize the sheer value of nature and how we need it to survive in the long run.
Now we’re in de midst of a new global disaster: a pandemic Covid-19 caused by a corona-virus. Is this crisis the one we feared for? Causing a global lock down of cities, regions, countries.
Guardian (20/04/01): ‘…the task today is not to fight the virus in order to return to business as usual, because business as usual was already a disaster. The goal, instead, is to fight the virus – and in doing so transform business as usual into something more humane and secure’…
… ‘Although Covid-19 is likely the biggest global crisis since the second world war, it is still dwarfed in the long term by climate change. Yet the two problems have suggestive similarities. Both will require unusual levels of global cooperation. Both demand changes in behaviour today in the name of reducing suffering tomorrow. Both problems were long predicted with great certainty by scientists, and have been neglected by governments unable to see beyond the next fiscal quarter’s growth statistics. Accordingly, both will require governments to take drastic action and banish the logic of the marketplace from certain realms of human activity, while simultaneously embracing public investment..’
At the same time, scientists can together learn about the resilience capacities of nature from this unique event, the corona virus and its effects. Nature scientists, but also sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, economists, political scientists can all contribute to offer insight from this global, multiple science laboratory: ‘LabEarth’.
Journalist David Wallace-Wells wrote a book last year, entitled ‘the uninhabitable earth’. This is an attempt to sketch the global reality, the truth about our planet to date. Considering climate change, he sees a gap between de academic view and the political view. Three elements in this gap: the speed of change, the scope of the threat and the seriousness of the challenge we are facing. He hopes to waken up people, ‘what is needed is an engaged, active audience’. The cause of this problem: politics, social inertia, culture and ignoring science.
Principal geologist Colin Waters (British Geological Survey) stated last year ‘the changes are as big as those that happened at the end of the last ice age. This is a big deal!’…’it justifies being called an epoch’. (Anthropocene, for instance). He thinks that ‘peoples’ awareness is lacking because information is not available to show them the scale of changes’.
In 2015, the 193 member states of the United Nations formulated 17 sustainable development goals, a good start, offering hope.
However, it is highly distressing to see the ‘Paris Agreement’ on climate change (2015) is not transformed into action by politics. What is needed: action now. There is no escape, time is running out.
The European Union is taking the threat serious and formulated in 2020 a ‘European Green Deal’, to become ‘the first continent which is greenhouse gas – emission free by 2050’. At the same time, a lot of politicians on the global stage seem to spend more time on the question ‘how do I keep in power?’…..
What can ordinary individuals do?
In September 2020, Alexander Verbeek (follow his tweets @alex_verbeek) joined the Boulder Conference with a theme: ‘reconnecting with the natural world’. They came with an answer ‘just do something – what can one person do?’:
- what will I eat
- who will I vote for
- what will I buy or invest in
- what will I drive
- what will I talk about
- what will I throw away
- what will I do for a living
- what will I decide to be
- how many children I will have
- what groups I will join
- And most of all: vote for the right leaders or become one yourself.
- Live day to day and enjoy nature
- It’s all about the planet, the planet, the planet
Further reading about the planet? See the basic story.
NB: apology for my cripple English!