Now as wildfires have been raging all around the world in Siberia (Russia), the Amazon (Brazil), Alaska, Colorado, California (USA), British Columbia, Alberta (Canada), Indonesia, and the list is still far from complete, we have to admit, it is not enough to save our forests for the future, we also have to turn our cities into green living areas if we want to survive this century. Our political convictions do not matter anymore because we have to choose the party or the president, who follows a green policy keeping in mind that the disaster affects everyone of us; the poor or the rich, rightist or leftist, republican or democrat.
We know that the human intellect can conduct nuclear fission, build Mars rovers and through the network of countless individuals’ consciousness it forms a collective and complete unity that we call Internet. Apparently, we are able to achieve way much more than what is possible to comprehend for the average person, which is why human development seems straightforward and unquestionable in the future as well. However, if we look at the country-sized trash islands floating in our oceans, the devastating wildfires all around the world, the extreme conspiracy theories or the ego-trainings that took the place of religions in our lives (saying this as a non-religious, agnostic person), our belief in development fails. Because a superstitious, selfish, and ill-conceived consumer society is outlined on the horizon ignoring the huge gap that our civilization may fall into at any moment.
The adult individual of the twenty-first century seems unable to realize that the air in most of our big cities simply kills — as it takes up to three years from the lives of those living there, or that we are in the middle of a serious climate crisis whose effects we experience day by day. But if an adult individual cannot perceive this, how could the mass of them be held responsible for the many dead animal species on the planet? How could we raise their awareness of the rain-forests destroyed at a fatal pace if they feel no responsibility neither for themselves nor their own children?
It is difficult to make them understand that a city where they live could be green, human scale and livable, like Amsterdam, Seville or Copenhagen to mention a few good examples of Europe. These cities are not some science fiction places in my fantasy. All of them can be visited, walked in, and there are noticeable differences between the quality of life of their citizens and the residents of other big cities.
What are the chances of making this narrow-minded mass comprehend the disastrous phenomenon which lays in the shadow of their dogmas and egos, and which we can avoid only at the expense of some sacrifice and discomfort? WE MUST ban PET bottles, single-use plastic, change our lifestyle radically, reduce the use of gas, obligate companies to process and recycle as much plastic and metal as they produce.
The situation of our society is difficult because politics and culture are the two areas that should serve us as some collective self-defense in every aspect of our lives, therefore in the case of our environment too. They should have the specific function of placing the existence in a greater perspective and setting guidance for us. And on the contrary, politics and culture today are exactly the two fields that offer the fastest self-gratification to people whose only aim is to get the most ‘likes’ at all costs. Therefore, both politics and culture are willing to repeat and lie us every day: ‘calm down, everything is fine, everything will be resolved by itself.’ It is all about the shaka, only good vibes and positive thinking. People who keep repeating these mantras are the worst, most pretentious, egocentric sociopaths. Their harmful approach is the reason why people do not handle the current global climate crisis the way they should.
The real problem here is if nobody dares to communicate the bad news with you, you will have no access to your own destiny. Postmodern politics is the main monster in this picture. When a teenager girl (Greta Thunberg), who has more sense than the entire board of politicians together, says ‘I want you to act as if the house is on fire. Because it is.’, it is not just a warning sign but a cry for urgent help. The roof is already gone, actually. The harm we have caused to the ecosystem is incalculable and we are already facing terrible consequences of our ignorance: rising sea levels, desertification, and a series of natural disasters around the world. And the young generation whose future we are taking away is legitimately frightened.
The culture that once gave formidable intellects, enthralling scientists and talented artists to the world, has changed into a postmodern chaos of feelings by the twenty-first century where the only aim of the main trends is to serve every group who gets offended by basically anything they see or hear. If a member of the influencing intellects belongs to the mainstream culture, it complains that some of these scientists and artists are too radical and too elitist — not PC enough. People want to feel good, have fun, groove in the lightness of life, write a few songs about Gucci and Prada — because it is cool, and they do not want to worry about the future of the planet nor hear about their responsibility for it, and especially not to face the truth. Meanwhile the subculture understands the worried scientists pretty well but they say, “You are right, brother, but you do not want to revolutionize us here. We are subculture — we do not have to redeem anyone or anything. Our destiny is alcoholism, moneylessness, and criticizing everyone else who is not us. Our hopelessness makes us who we are. ” And so the circle closes here.
Thus, politics is not willing to reflect on reality because it sells dreams, myths, fears and hatred against the fallen and the poor. Culture is drifted away from reality and ideas: on one hand, it only wants to satisfy consumer needs, and on the other hand it reflects on itself — but its representatives are at least as genuinely empty, irresponsible and stupid as the members of the political class.
There is not much optimism in me regarding the development of technology either as despite its intention, it does not seem to solve, but increase the trouble by feeding human greed and encouraging disinhibition and conformism. The result is a mass of people who do not think or question anything, therefore they are easily controlled by a small group whose main purpose is profit making over the conservation of our planet.
There are two types of behavior now. One of them is that you build bunkers on a remote piece of land, store up cans, watch TV twenty-four hours a day waiting for the end of the world — some would say it is logical. According to the other strategy, though, it is never too late to fight and stop this rush towards the gap. Both are legitimate choices and I choose the latter one.
What is illegitimate, however, is between these two choices: the attitude of those who want to politicize and make decisions in our common affairs without facing the unpopular truth and reality. They are the global elite: from American oil companies to German car factories, from banks increasing loan balloons to technology companies trading our data, from marketing agencies supporting endless consumption to the Saudi royal family bathing in oil and gold, from Wall Street to the Capitol, from Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump.
The environmental revolution must sweep them away — because our future is either green or nothing.