Why live a green & conscious life?

Cycling into a head wind on your way to the local farmer to buy organic fruit and vegetables, you wonder why you didn’t just buy them from the supermarket around the corner. That would have saved you a long chilly bike ride.  Instead of fussing with your recycling, you could just dump it all in one bag and be done with it, couldn’t you? One garbage bag doesn’t make any difference, does it? Twenty-four hours into an over-land bus journey you are annoyed at the smells and recurring, often loud, phone calls from fellow passengers and you wonder why you didn’t just take that damn plane, you would have been sitting in the sun with a nice glas of wine by now, AND it would have been cheaper!

Why make your life so complicated? For whom or what are you actually decreasing your energy consumption (other than to save money), conserving water, buying as little plastic as possible, installing solar panels and banning animal products from your life? And all this while being made out to be a hypocrite or gutmensch by people living with ‘after us the deluge’ as their motto. 

Maybe you wonder why on earth you’re doing these things, while polluters continue polluting and our governments keep helping them.

Pretty frustrating, right?

Click here if you’d like to read my story:

https://medium.com/@evalunes/why-bother-living-consciously-1e4d24280ae1

Many thanks!

First story on MEDIUM. Let’s connect! I keep on writing here as well.

Con Amor,

Eva

~

The climate skeptic: he lives on another planet, speaks his own language, and hates change.

We speak a different language. That’s what’s going on right now. Some people think it’s hysteria and scaremongering, others sound the alarm. Bottom line: the next ten years will determine how our world will look like in the much longer term. The IPCC – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Report, which was presented a week ago is grim.

On track to 1.5°C global warming

The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report shows that greenhousegas emissions by human activities are responsible for about 1.1°C of global warming since 1850-1900. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C (2.7°F) or even more over the next two decades. Whether we limit the rise in temperature to this level and avoid the most serious climate impacts, depends on the actions taken this decade.

Oh well, it won’t be such a big deal.  ‘We are not yet seeing the dramatic effects of accelerated global warming – we are having a chilly summer,’  Dutch writer Leon De Winter says in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

He must have lived on another planet. The praised novelist and columnist considers the warnings as a trump card in the hands of a coming world government, a certain elite, who wants to control and exploit ‘us’. Consequently we, ‘the ordinary man and woman’, will live in poverty – except for that elite group. A reference to the famous dystopian book ‘1984’ is, of course, not to be missed. Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ would also have sufficed here. Brrrrr, you feel the shivers down your spine.

By now, the criticism of how current crises are being fought has become a predictable read: we are losing our freedom; globalist power-seeking elites want total control; we are fucked when you and me have to pay for all those green, unrealistic measures.

But who am I? Maybe there’s a certain truth in this. To stay open to other convictions and doubt your own, keeps you sharp. That life is uncertain anyway, there’s no doubt about that.

Terrified of change

I rather suspect that those, who find all of it exaggerated, who dismisses the climate debate as scaremongering and behavioral manipulation, are scared to death. They are terrified of change, prefer to go against it, and just want to continue on the same track. As long as nothing has to change and a comfortable life won’t be disturbed. Flying to exotic vacation destinations, the medium rare steaks, the visits to MacDonalds, and the Friday night sushi will never be sacrified. Leaving the thirsty car at the door and taking the train or bike more often? Not a chance. Paying more for green energy, certainly not, let alone turn the heating down a notch and put on a warmer sweater – because that would be poverty. Imagine, suffering from cold, you don’t want that! And consuming more consciously will make your life miserable. No, there is no question of a climate alarm!

‘We are influenced by elites, who have set themselves the task of saving humanity,’ says Leon de Winter, whose fantastic books I devoured as a twenty-something. ‘Wanting to control the climate, as the climate alarmists set out to do, is an illusion,’ he writes in his latest column.

No, it’s about the activities that have a harmful, potentially irreversible impact on the climate, on the health of our living environment. Those activities need to be controlled and because this isn’t happening or not happening sufficiently, scientists, activists, and a part of the population are worried about the health of our planet.

Disconnection from nature

What’s wrong about living more in harmony with “nature,” as climate activists insist that humans should do? The modern human is miles away from it, totally disconnected from nature. You only have to go to the supermarket and look in any shopping trolley that rolls by.

Or in the shelves where practically every product is wrapped in plastic. The fact that plastic disappears into the stomachs of animals and they succumb or become entangled in it, is consequential and secondary to still plenty of people.

Or the miserable lives of cows and chickens in agro business, and then their slaughter to satisfy our hunger for meat. And the gloomy trade in wild animals at Chinese “wet markets,” which may be the origin of the pandemic.

The way our food is produced and the harmful pesticides that are not shunned in the process. This is caused by the total disconnection of human from the natural world. A material world with trade and profit as its absolute number one, that’s what he knows. Ecology and well-being dangle somewhere at the bottom.

You’re not a dreamer when you say that humans are part of nature. As filmmaker David Attenborough, among others, says in his documentary A Life on our Planet: “Humans are a part of nature, not apart from nature.”

To see humans as separate from nature, and that is to place humans above nature, as ruler over the plants, animals, oceans and forests, this is exactly how it went wrong. This process of separation was set in motion centuries ago by the Industrial Revolution.

So when climate activists say that our way of life needs to be more in harmony with nature, it’s rather odd to be opposed to this, unless you don’t think life is worth that much and death and destruction have a certain attraction to you.

A different language

So on top of the fear and loathing of change, there is a kind of death wish. Those who find climate activists to be “bullies” or “fascists” are denying that they are part of a larger and magical whole. They thereby reject their own existence. Another language is spoken, we live in different worlds. A world that is foreign to me, because life is there to be embraced, not rejected. 

On this small globe, this blue dot in the universe, people are fussing about who is right regarding the existence of climate change, and where Shell is challenging with armies of expensive lawyers a court ruling in order to be able to reduce CO2 emissions less quickly and less ambitiously, so harmful business and huge profits just will continue. Isn’t it a waste of precious time and energy?  Meanwhile, we are in the middle of it, already seeing the consequences of dangerous climate change. Although at the moment we may only see the apocalyptic images on a mobile phone or TV.

Climate debate on a polarizing path

It is frustrating to see why there cannot be more consensus in the climate debate without thinking in labels of left and right, deniers and bullies, ideological elitists and populists. It polarizes. It completely distracts from what concerns everyone: the pollution of air and water, the loss of biodiversity, oceans more dead than alive, extreme drought, heavy rainfall, massive deforestation, and villages burning down. It completely distracts from the climate and ecological crisis we are in the midst of. This year alone, 355,754 hectares of land has been burned down in the EU, an area the size of the island of Mallorca. The brutal result of prolonged drought and heat waves.

If we continue to emit harmful greenhouse gases and maintain our modern, excessive consumption behavior, we will end up living in an unsustainable world. That is precisely what will cause decline, scarcity, poverty and struggle.

Heads in the sand

The climate is changing, but this is not necessarily due to human activity, according to skeptics. Natural causes also play a part. There is no climate crisis at all, they say. In other words, the status quo is not going to change. Just sit back in your chair, look away from the raging fires in Southern Europe, North and South America, Australia and Siberia. Stick your head in the sand for the excessive floods in your own country, Belgium and Germany. Vote for politicians who say climate policy is ‘sustainability nonsense.’

Keep mocking and accusing concerned scientists and citizens of hysteria and fear-mongering. See conspiracies and hidden, evil agendas in scientists’ reports until you, too, are up to your eyeballs in water. 

A brief swallow and action

But note, fear stagnates. Frightened by the bleak picture painted by IPCC in its latest report? Don’t be. Better to swallow that lump in your throat and think about what you yourself can contribute to restoring the climate – if you have not already done so (blogpost on this topic on the way!). The fact that governments continue to heavily subsidize the oil and livestock industries, and have plans to expand airports, and banks that keep injecting money into the construction of new factory farms, is no longer acceptable. Making citizens pay for sustainable proposals will also cause problems. Governments must therefore contribute – like they did when saving the banks.

Yes, my individual choices (plant-based diet, solar panels, tiny home, compost, bicycle, etc.) make sense, but there is a big chance they won’t save the world. 

Whether I should then be tempted into nihilism and doom and gloom, or conspiracy theories? Stagnation is almost as bad as decline. And that is what many, including the climate skeptics, fear most. 

A sustainable world knows prosperity for all. In an unsustainable world, prosperity for all exists only as a goal on paper. A society with prosperity for all is precisely what climate skeptics are always raving about. 

Clearly, a requirement to create a sustainable world is that climate change must be addressed at political -, individual -, collective -, and corporate level.

And it is realistic to say that this will be a tough battle.

As Wouter Louwerens writes here , I too am glad I don’t have children. I wouldn’t sleep so well anymore, worrying at night about what kind of future they would have….

Con Amor,

Eva

Photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Original publication in Dutch on Reporters Online.

Be A Change Maker.

With disgust we speak about a people. With contempt we speak about a country, whereas we need to aim the arrows at their leaders.

We worry about our next holiday, while half the world is on fire.

We talk about left or right as it is it the one and only truth.

I yell at her, like I am the one who’s throwing bombs.

But I only defend my kingdom, my overgrown garden of thoughts.

As she is protecting hers.

We all live in our bubble.

It’s true, I like to be around like-minded people.

Men and women, who share somewhat the same values. 

Idealists with dreams, talking and doing, who are not afraid of change.

Admit they were wrong before, and can change their minds if they have to.

As we are evolving humans.

Those who know we should rather hold back and not always give ourselves priority. In our consumption, flying, travelling, living, polluting, having children. Our industry everywhere. This isn’t a step backwards, but a step forwards. 

Men and women, who know that simplify our lives is easier than we are supposed to think.

I still hear myself saying to an Ibizan yogi that veganism is extreme, but meanwhile I admired a friend for being one. 

No, I’d rather stay vegetarian and allow myself the pleasure of a pink piece of salmon in a beachy restaurant if I want to. That was my excuse for a long time. Or the tasty Spanish sheep cheese. I just needed to have that every now and then.

Now I understand veganism doesn’t mean sacrifice, but to me it means a richer life. A fuller life, because I’m complety aware I’m a part of a larger whole. I feel interconnected. I am not the only one with interests.

I don’t want to be the cause of suffering. I couldn’t stand by anymore. I couldn’t turn a blind eye to the animal holocaust, normalized by our culture. 

We need a political and cultural change if we want the keep the natural world alive – if we want to live on this planet. To rewild our world, changes must be radical. We can wait for our governments to act, but if we -for example- see the amount of livestock won’t shrink, big agriculture being in control, the production of meat still on the rise, and as a result deforestation everywhere, we need to change ourselves. 

There’s still no political desire of governments to drastically reduce the amount of livestock, to end this miserable, polluting and wrong industry, and to stop the intense suffering of animals. Commercial interests always have priority. Farmers who feel trapped in a wrong system and take their lives, as it is the only way out.

Until governments finally have the guts to make radical changes to protect our natural world and environment, we have to step away of this fear to change and be our own change. Fear to change paralyses and nothing happens.

Meanwhile, we can be change-makers. You and I, let’s be one.

Make a difference about something other than yourselves.” ~ Toni Morrison

Con Amor,

Eva

Art work: Vanessa Rose Graham

Dear Climate Change Activists: Our Governments are not the Real Problem {column on Elephant Journal}.

“Political actions are for us to take, starting with the food we eat. We take the driver’s seat and determine the direction we want to go. We are the captains. We are the astronauts.”

For my latest article on Elephant Journal, click here:

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2019/07/the-political-power-of-our-food-choices-eva-de-vor/

Be welcome to share your thoughts on the article page if you have them 💚

Soon I will share more personal stories here about changing my food choices from vegetarian food to plant-based/vegan. Because it is a journey (and believe me, it’s fun, it doesn’t have to be hard. Soon more about this!) I wrote earlier a blogpost , which is a bit heavy, about this subject.

Have a good week!

Con Amor desde Ibiza,

Eva

“BE THE CHANGE” ♡

Photo by Joel de Vriend/Unsplash

How much do we really want to “sacrifice” for a greener home?

It’s a question which is on my mind lately. I’m about to book a plane ticket, you know it’s so easy and cheap these days, but everyone knows if you travel by plane it’s impossible to save the planet. The techniques aren’t in place to fly eco friendly, but do I have to wait for that or do I have other options if I have to travel?

Irony

It’s easy. With one click on the button you make your reservation and you can fly to every country you might think of. For me it’s only after 2,5 hours in the plane before I arrive to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. It’s cheap too. You have a one way ticket to Ibiza for only 50 euros when you travel in the right months. But we know if we keep doing this, we ruin ourselves.

It’s ironic, the Dutch government worked on an agreement to diminish the effects of climate change, this agreement will effect the Dutch households in making the costly transition from gas to electrical energy as one of the measures. In the meantime politicians are talking about the growth of Schiphol Airport (more and bigger!) and even a brand new Dutch airport near Lelystad will be built. Airline companies still don’t pay a cent of excise on kerosene and this whole industry isn’t even mentioned in the agreement.

Blind & deaf

Such irony, isn’t it? How can you speak about new measures to curb the damage we all do to our natural environment and leave one huge polluting industry out? It’s all about economic growth and power. Don’t mess with the status quote. This is just one simple example of how crooked politics can be. Those who decide over these issues pretend they are blind and deaf when it comes to one of the biggest industries. And meanwhile we fly to our destinations more than ever. Aren’t we blind and deaf too?

Time-consuming alternatives

And yes, it’s so easy to blame our “leaders”. Don’t wait for them to bring solutions. We have the solutions ourselves. In my case, I can travel by train or by bus, right? I don’t need to fly if I don’t have to. So I started to search the internet for alternatives by train and bus. The first isn’t bad, but a one way ticket is at least twice as expensive as a plane ticket, the second option, travel by bus, is cheap, but takes as long as travelling to New Zealand by airplane. And as I live on an island, I need a ferry to the mainland, so add 9 hours on top of it. Gosh, you need time to travel the alternative way.

Maybe I make a stopover in Barcelona, sit on a terrace and pick an olive? I bring a great book, my laptop and I write while I sit on the bus or train. I can go on an adventure! Actually see something when I look out of the window. Drink coffee in the train while foreign landscapes rush by.

My mum asked if I already booked a plane ticket, so I told her my possible alternative plans this afternoon. Of course, she didn’t like this plan. And that’s okay and I understand. The end of the month we already move to an off grid tiny house made by the skilled hands of Dorus, so that must be enough “alternative living” for a while.

Back to the question above. Am I willing to sacrifice the ease and comfort of travelling by plane for the sake of a smaller ecological footprint? I still didn’t make my bookings.

So what am I waiting for?

Watch this young girl, Greta Thunberg, she sums it up quite as it is.

To be continued..

Con Amor,

Eva

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