Climate Change? Ever heard of it? You know, it's about polar ice caps melting, the rising sea level and countries such as the Netherlands disappearing into the wide oceans of this world. It is supposed to be a sad story of humankind, industrialisation and its severe consequences for the environment and why we should act now. Heartwarming. I am well aware of these problems and dangers.
Now, see here, I was one of those avid advocates that tried to do something for this planet. No, Greenpeace was not my cup of tea. Within my small little world I was happy that I could contribute to a better environment by simply practicing waste separation, supporting recycling measures, etc. I was proud that Germany was (and probably still is) among the leading nations when it comes to counter-measures to climate change, and measures for environmental improvements. Just one example: Usually, most of German households have about 4 gargabe bins. One for papers and cardboards (blue bin), one for biological waste such as leaves and soil (brown bin), one for synthetic material (yellow bin) and one for all the rest (grey/black bin). This elaborate system helps recycling all sort of garbage and keep the world clean. Did you know that we pay a kind of mortgage for bottles?
Example: You buy a bottle of water. The water costs you 19 cents. But you pay 25 cents for the bottle. So, alltogether I paid 44 cents for a bottle of water. The tricky issue here, if you give the bottle back, when you drank the water, you get refunded 25 cents. This system works out quite well. People don't just throw their plastic bottles away, but collect them to get the "mortgage" back. The bottles are recycled and reused, instead of littering the environment. Just keep in mind that our oceans are already littered with nano-particles of synthetic material to the extent that fish integrated these particles into their natural cycle. Mh, yummy.
Renewable energies is one of the key concepts at hand, which will decide our future - or so they say. When people want to build solar collectors on the roof, they are financially supported by the government in Germany ( to a certain degree - it is still expensive). On-shore and off-shore wind power, geothermics, hydropower. Google them if you're not sure how they work. I just named them to show how many different and proven methods one could use to make a change. Some try. They got my respect for that. Others just don't want to invest for our future generations, knowing that these measures require long-term planning and high costs until they finally pay off decades later. Humans really are short-sighted and ignorant sometimes. No personal offense meant. Sorry for that.
All this sounds good to you? Yeah, I like it. It all sounds good, reliable and one could think, "Man, they put some thought into this." However, The breaking point is here: Germany is a small country. We actually account for around 3,5 % of the worldwide CO2 emissions. So, Germany is trying to change, but what can it do. So, why do I actually care? I thought a lot of times, why should I care? What good comes from making all these efforts, while the other nations, responsible for most of the CO2 emissions, don't do shit to help? Again, no personal offense to any readers of those nations - I just sometimes get really depressed pondering over those problems. My common sense tells me that we all live on this planet and we all probably want our children to live here as well. I can't imagine humanity building colonies on Mars anytime soon. So we got to take care of what we have. But as long as the three nations responsible for most of the emissions do not change their attitude and close their eyes towards those problems, nothing will come of it. We can try to save the planet all we want and recycle our garbage 24/7 - it won't change a thing.
And I still care. Even though I often thought about just f*kng forget about recycling, it has become a habit I still do it. I am aware that the necessary infrastructure is missing in many countries in order to do proper recycling, but I hope that some of, after reading this, consider it a a step into the right direction. Perhaps you will even start recycling... who knows!
I want to close this post with a video of a little girl that left a strong impression on me, when she spoke. Most of you probably know it already. I still watch it sometimes. People, thinking like her, are the future. Still, this speech, however powerful it may seem while you watch it, you realise afterwards that these efforts will probably remain unanswered. That's a sad truth.