I know many aren’t quite ready to embrace the enormity of the current environmental crisis, and for many others, it’s just too overwhelming to even start thinking about. I understand that completely. It is big. Massive. Scary!!
But I’ve experienced a big shift in my mindset recently. Firstly, it was the reason I published a blog on my professional channels – We have US, DX, CX, and EX. How about MX? I’d been thinking about that blog for a long time before I published it, although any time you put yourself out there for Mother Earth, you attract criticism. One person called me a climate lunatic when I published it. Those people, I tell you, they wear you out! But sorry, you’re not going to silence me. This earth is too important.
At the same time, another big thing happened – the release of the IPCC Report. This was BIG news, bigger than before, because the scientists who published it were unexpectedly strong in their language, and they do not have a history of that. It was an important moment for our earth, and I believe it’s what has started some serious momentum.
For me personally, it’s switched me from being a voice demanding attention on climate change but with a little bit of doubt lingering in the back of my mind, because, you know, maybe there is something in the denier’s perspective? How can I not listen to all sides?
Especially as the misinformation campaign led by those keen to keep the status quo – the energy companies, lobbyists, politicians, etc… are beyond powerful and it’s hard to shut this view out. Powerful misinformation campaigns do work. It makes us doubt – big tobacco succeeded with this strategy for decades – the spreading misinformation. You’ll notice this is discussed in some of the articles below.
But more than that, when considering these lingering doubts, I’m not a scientist, with the deep background they have. I read about the environment voraciously, but I must trust what is put in front of me. This is why I read so much, across so many different sources, to find the common threads that link it all together.
And now I know, we’re running out of time. This big thing is happening.
For me, all lingering doubts have gone. Completely. I now believe we are in a race against time. We’re not talking the end of this century either, or a thousand years from now, we’re looking at increasing escalation in the next decade. That means it’s not just going to screw our kids’ futures, it’s going to screw us too. Screwing our kids’ future should already have been enough, but us humans are slow to rise sometimes….
As I said, I read a lot, and in recent months, I’ve read more than at any other time in my life on this topic. So, before we move ahead, please, please read all, or at least some of these articles. There is every opinion, every angle, and multiple media sources. If you don’t believe one, move onto another. I’ve read them all. Some could do better, but all of them agree on one thing. We’ve got work to do, massive massive work to do….
A selection of my reads from the last couple of months…
- UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That. – a must read
- Billionaires Are the Leading Cause of Climate Change – very interesting!!
- ‘It’ll change back’: Trump says climate change not a hoax, but denies lasting impact
- Humanity is ‘cutting down the tree of life’, warn scientists
- What’s really warming the world? – here’s some data to back it up
- U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy
- The unbelievably simple way to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half – the maths doesn’t add up, but it makes a point
- How to stop plastic pollution at source
- Be afraid—11 scary facts, stats and lies about our planet this Halloween
- Where will you be when the sea rises?
- This is how long everyday plastic items last in the ocean
- The plastic backlash: what’s behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference?
- Global waste generation will nearly double by 2050
- Small Nuclear War Could Reverse Global Warming for Years – headline is reverse of the truth in the article
- New report finds Cadbury has destroyed over 25,000 hectares of Orangutan habitat– don’t buy cream filled chocolates for Christmas
- ‘Time is Running Out,’ American Petroleum Institute Chief Said in 1965 Speech on Climate Change
- Drone Footage Exposes Hundreds Of Whales Trapped In Secret Underwater Jails
- How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet
- Has this Singapore-listed palm oil firm been concession laundering?
- Climate change: Warming gas concentrations at new record high
- Climate change: Concerns over report on ocean heating
- Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says
- What’s Not in the Latest Terrifying IPCC Report? The “Much, Much, Much More Terrifying” New Research on Climate Tipping Points
- Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’
- Slow Arctic freeze raises risk of polar bear extinction, say scientists
- Everyone is Celebrating Congo’s Massive New Park Since Similar Preserve Saved Gorillas From Extinction
- Extinction Rebellion protests block London bridges
- Animals Are Riding an Escalator to Extinction
- The Extinction of Wilderness
- Only drastic action can save us from the sixth mass extinction
- “The Last Animals”: a journey to the frontlines of extinction
- Materialism: a system that eats us from the inside out
- Climate change: CO2 emissions rising for first time in four years
- French Government Starts Phase-Out of Glyphosate with Online Farmer Platform and Herbicide Tax
- Sperm whale found dead with 13 pounds of plastic in its stomach
- French Government Starts Phase-Out of Glyphosate with Online Farmer Platform and Herbicide Tax
- The Insect Apocalypse Is Here
- 19 of 20 World Leaders Just Pledged to Fight Climate Change. Trump Was the Lone Holdout.
- A government report outlines what a warmer world means for America
- Climate change: Where we are in seven charts and what you can do to help
Whoa huh? That’s big.
I saw a headline that said: Humans need nature and nature needs humans…. But that is completely wrong. Nature doesn’t need us at all. Not at all. But we very much need nature if we want to continue to thrive in this world.
Living with the trash first hand
|Just one day of rubbish collection with my helpers|
Another big contributor to my climate urgency has definitely been moving to Phuket. When you don’t see first-hand the impact humans are having on the world, you can be a little blasé about it. In Phuket, during the six-month off-season, I saw it first-hand. Trash, so much trash, washed up onto the beaches EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Plastic bottles. Glass bottles. Bottles of urine. Foam. So much foam. Cooler boxes. Plastic baskets. Syringes. Bags of drugs. Rope. Plastic bags. Flip flops. Crocs. Boat waste. Light bulbs. Fishing nets. You name it. We found it.
We made it a mission to clean up what we could and there were many days it felt completely hopeless. But I had to do something. I couldn’t walk past it, although many do. It is truly terrible what we are doing to our planet. My boys might not ever remember swimming in an ocean without trash in it. That’s horrendous. Diving? You may as well give up now. Very few places will be clean enough to dive in, if we keep going the way we’re going.
But what can we do about it?
What can we, as individuals, do? That is always the first question. A sense of helplessness is felt, because the problem is so big. BUT we can do a lot, and here’s just a few ideas you could act on right now.
I listed business ones in my blog We have US, DX, CX, and EX. How about MX? But here’s some ideas for all of us, and I’d love to hear yours too.
Use your voice
The most important thing is to use your voice to fight for our world. The vast majority of the global population is asleep, oblivious or intimidated/overwhelmed by it all – and we need everyone to wake up and really start caring, acting and speaking. If you are in the largest growth countries in the world – specifically in Asia – be a voice in your countries. Change can only come from within; especially as outside pressure is seen as condescending. We have to be sensitive here too.
Here’s the biggest ocean polluters, but of course, these countries are often making goods for the West, so we can’t just blame them!! They are also often the dumping grounds for the West’s rubbish.
Right now, we need everyone on board. Use your voice but try not to be angry. We need voices of love to create change. We need to empower people to make change. I am using my voice here, sharing knowledge and other’s wisdom. How can you contribute in a meaningful way?
Vote for mother earth
Vote for leaders who have a global mindset and are believers that we need to make changes and make them fast! Myopic nationalism will kill us. Climate deniers will doom us. Your vote counts! Use it. The future depends on it. We need the whole world to come together in unity here – something that feels crazily impossible right now, because so much division exists. Perhaps that has been the strategy of big business all along. Divide us? And to the young people, PLEASE vote. This really is your future. Do not be complacent.
So no to single-use-plastic
- Say no to single use plastic every day for the rest of your life!
- Take bags to the supermarket, and containers for things that typically go in bags or buy cloth bags for your fruit and veg
- Don’t buy any drink in a plastic bottle (glass or tin is always better and easier to recycle) but let’s stop the plastic bottle scourge
- Take your own water bottle out with you everywhere – especially if you’re in a country with safe drinking water. Let’s kill this bottled water market once and for all. Besides it tastes terrible
- Find suppliers that sell products package-free (like farmers markets)
- Take travel cutlery or use sustainable cutlery
- Refuse straws, plastic plates, etc…
- And what else?
If we all thought about it, we could make massive changes, but it does take effort too. We’ve got to build the habits.
Time for sustainable fashion
Think about your clothes, bags, shoes, etc…. Everything created uses an enormous amount of energy to be created, not to mention chemical run-offs into local water supply (leather tanners are notorious for this), unsafe working conditions, child labor, animal cruelty, and more. Cheap clothes are cheap for a reason.
So let’s buy less and buy higher quality that will last longer, go sustainable if you can. Support sustainable fashion brands – there are so many leading the way. Check out my pal Jen at My Best Friend Jen– for ladies who like to cycle and look awesome. Susannah’s Zerrin – beautiful stuff. Check out Raye’s Connected Threads Asia, and here’s 9 Ethical Clothing Brands That’ll Make You a Green Fashionista.
Let’s educate ourselves on what it takes to make clothes and get involved in swaps too – there will be organized swaps near you, or why not create your own!
Let’s be conscious during the silly season
The festive season is here, let’s change our approach. Follow Green is the New Black’s Zero Waste Christmas special and buy experiences. I have watched children open gifts on Christmas day and been horrified by their lack of appreciation, along with the sheer scale of stuff they are given – most of which doesn’t even get used 24 hours after Christmas Day. We can all change this mindset. It’s mindless consumerism and we are killing our planet for it.
Reduce our energy consumption
Let’s seek to reduce energy use whenever we can – apart from our own physical energy of course! As an example, I have an obsession with keeping air moving, but when no one is in a room, the fans need to be off. That’s my commitment. Also, aircon or heating, let’s try and use it only when we really need it. Let’s also switch off those dryers and think about all of the other wasted energy that exists in our lives.
Aircon in the office – check out the work of my pal Sandra at up2degrees. If one lady can get a country to change policy and get the temperature in offices of that country increased, can you do it in your home country/city too?
We all need to think of the energy being used in every situation in our lives. Can we make changes? Can we drive less? Use public transport more? Share a ride to work or school? Share a car with our neighbors or community? Cars will be going eventually – especially in cities. There’ll be no reason to have them anymore. Between autonomous vehicles, Uber, and just general taxi apps, it’s all shifting rapidly.
Where can we all reduce our demand for energy?
Where do you put your money?
Who do you bank with? Who are they investing in? Are these companies doing environmental harm? Well take your money elsewhere and tell them why you’re doing it. We make change through our wallets. I know this is a huge pain – moving your mortgage to another bank as an example – but they count on our apathy. We can’t afford to be apathetic anymore and if we force them to change, we can make a bigger impact for mother earth.
Sustainable palm oil is here but we have been lied to by the big players. They say they are using it, then we find out they’re not. Do we stand back completely from it, when alternatives are actually worse – like soy bean oil? We all need to educate ourselves and put pressure on the businesses contributing to massive forest loss and extinction. We are so close to losing so many animals, and it’s because of our consumption that this is happening. Let’s change it together.
As a start, sacrifice those Christmas chocolates. Yes, I love Rose’s strawberry and orange creams, but not this year! Screw them. Can you make a stance on your beloved chocolates this year? It’s a small start, but it does make a difference. I watch those Christmas chocolates get sold out every year and it kills me. Is that moment of pleasure worth the extinction of the orangutans? That’s what we’re doing by supporting these brands.
|Is your chocolate worth this beautiful life?|
Are you an investor? Are you investing in businesses that are helping or harming the environment? Why not go green?
Eat less meat, specifically red meat! I can’t go vegetarian or vegan, but I can definitely eat less meat! Can you?
As well as meat consumption, how about buying locally produced/grown food? Transportation of food adds a massive amount of energy output, and we need to reduce this. As someone who lived in Singapore for many years – a country that must import food, especially fruit and vegetables – it’s hard to escape it.
In addition, I haven’t experienced produce having an off-season for a couple of decades. All year round, all foods are available. Singapore doesn’t have a choice, and many other countries don’t either, but can you work harder to buy local?
In Thailand, we are working to buy locally grown produce and have identified the brands. We hope they are not using toxic chemicals, but that is the risk, especially when it’s all labeled in another language. Next step is to reduce plastic packaging on this produce. Step by step, changes are happening.
Another thing we see in local supermarkets in Thailand is food from all over the world, to cater to the tastes of international tourists. I wonder why tourists can’t resist their homegrown staples while in Phuket for a couple of weeks? I mean, have you tried Thai food? It’s YUM!! In Phuket today, I can get Aussie biscuits (chocolate one’s too – which means refrigerated shipping), chips, frozen food, sweets, and so much more.
When I left Australia nearly 25 years ago, it was a delight to find something Aussie on the shelves. Now it’s everywhere, and that is a change I do not celebrate. Let’s change this trajectory. Speak to your supermarkets and shops with international products. Tell them why it needs to stop. Here’s some stats on shipping.
Support the green fighters
Support communities and charities fighting for our world – financially, by sharing what they’re doing on social media, etc…. Help them succeed, because they are on the front lines for us, and we need to ensure they can keep doing their work. We also need to make sure they don’t get exhausted. It’s been a lonely fight for a long time out there, at the front, when everyone was still asleep.
How do we sustain middle-class growth?
Mindless consumerism cannot continue. We can’t keep buying more and more and more. With nearly two billion new middle-class citizens coming on line now in Asia, I’m sorry to say, what the West created cannot be sustained with this much larger buying force. This is a massive reason we’re facing what we’re facing right now.
A new generation of citizens with disposable cash, in massive numbers, and however well they are educated, they are shopping, flying, consuming, buying. They have the right to it, of course, but we can’t sustain it. We really can’t. We started it and we need to stop it before we all drown in it.
And someone I quote often, Kishore Mahbubani: ‘In Asia alone, the middle class will grow three and a half times in this decade, from 500 million to 1.75 billion by 2020.’
He said this growth was the greatest cataclysmic shift in human history, and the world cannot cope with this growth, environmentally.
Let’s stop celebrating mindless consumerism
Can we please stop celebrating e-commerce shopping days that reach financial records of billions of dollars? This news should make us all despair, because it’s mindless consumerism on a massive scale and the vast majority ends up in landfills – the packaging instantly.
There is ‘no away’ from planet earth for rubbish, not to forget, landfill sites everywhere are full to overflowing. In developing economies, the landfill and incineration sites can’t cope. Please, don’t add to the rubbish when traveling in these countries – be a conscious traveler and leave only footsteps.
Target your local businesses
Ask your local businesses – restaurants, cafes, corner stores and more, to go green right across their business. Give them a list of ideas, help them to be successful in a new age for the world.
Working in business
If you’re in business, I wrote about ideas in We have US, DX, CX, and EX. How about MX. But if your company is not doing good, I’ll happily put you in touch with some terrific environmental journalists, so you can tell your story – anonymously of course. Be a whistleblower and expose them. If they don’t listen, don’t be quiet. We can’t keep going the way we’re going.
Stop the packaging madness
Here’s some recent posts I put on Instagram focusing on excessive packaging. Brands won’t change with one person doing it, they need to hear it from hundreds of thousands of us. Join me and ask them to #DoBetter. The packaging of products today is absolutely SENSELESS! Let’s make brands accountable across the whole supply chain of their business. Let’s demand better.
Please add what you would include to this list and let’s get the conversation going.
I don’t mean to freak anyone out, but the reality is, it’s time to freak out!!!However, it’s not time to lose hope. We can overcome this, we really can. I believe in the greatness of the human spirit. Always have.
But drastic measures are needed globally, nationally, state-wide and individually. Everything we are accustomed to needs to change. Will what’s happening in Poland, as we speak, really matter? Even with Sir David Attenborough a voice at the table? Will they have the guts to get change happening? Will it be possible in such a divided world?
Do his words – “The collapse of civilisation and the natural world is on the horizon, Sir David Attenborough has told the UN climate change summit in Poland” – matter? Will it break through?
This isn’t easy, especially because of the short timeline we’re now facing – if only we paid attention when it would have been easier to gradually make changes huh? To move ahead, I believe we need to rip it all up (how we live, do business, travel, etc..), it must happen globally, we need to unite as a world facing a common threat, suffer the consequences that come with it – together – and start again.
The consequences will be brutal for sure. I believe we are talking economic collapse. Societal collapse if we don’t get united. That is looking more likely as the days go on too. And it’s not going to be popular. Nope. Just look at France right now. Everyone wants change until it costs us or inconveniences us. Is that all we have then? Are we headed towards destruction versus taking on board what we need to do? If we don’t have the appetite now, will we get it before it’s too late?
Because if we get to where it’s predicted to go, those 25 million refugees we can’t cope with right now are nothing. Anywhere between 150-300 million climate refugees are expected to need places to live, if not more. Just look at the drought predictions, especially in Africa! Not to mention expected global food shortages because of extended droughts.
|I want my boys to see these in the wild. You?|
As one of the articles above says: the land we live on is shrinking due to climate change. Something big has to give. This is happening. The tipping point is close. Or have we already crossed it? We don’t know, but we do have to try. The cost of not trying is much much higher.
So maybe I am a climate lunatic but I don’t care. I’m happy to be a climate lunatic if it means my boys have a future and your kids have a future too. All I hope is that my words here help others think and act differently. Because we all have to take part. We are all responsible. And most importantly, we all have the power to make changes ourselves, and to force the brands we buy from to make changes too. We can do this. It’s going to be painful, but we can do it.
Are you with me? What other suggestions do you have? And if you think anyone could benefit from any of this information (especially the 40 articles), feel free to pass it on. Let’s unite and get this world back on track for a future we can all enjoy.
Yours, without the bollocks
Thank you for reading my ramblings. My brain and heart are a work in progress, always. I’d love a comment if it stirred any thoughts or feelings and of course, please feel free to share it with anyone you know who might be interested or entertained. I sure do appreciate it when you do. If you want to connect, I’m on Twitter here, Google+ here, Instagram here, YouTube here, and Facebook too. I share loads of stuff, not just my own xxxxx
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