We all agree that we need to act – what is stopping us?

When it comes to our ancestors, everyday was a battle and when you could stock up on supplies, you did. In the battle for survival the scarcity mindset was a driving force, which is something I believe led to a greater appreciation of what you had.

Unfortunately in today’s society, that isn’t the case. In so many societies of LAPA (Least Affected population areas) all we see is abundance. We are fooled by the size of the inventory stocks, and our brain think that this must be a never ending supply of whatever we need, whenever we need it. However, that is not the case. Ever since researchers could map out how brains work, we have been vulnerable to implicit marketing techniques and underlying messages. This would not be a problem if the human brain developed as fast as society at large. Unfortunately, it doesn’t, and evolution is slow, leaving us exposed to companies that want to speak to our subconscious and automated part of the brain. Planting seeds that spark our desire for consumption and the feeling of being incomplete.

I can’t help but to wonder what a world without all of these implicit messages would look like. Would it strengthen our connection to ourselves? Would it strengthen our connection to one another? Would it leave us feeling empowered or would it leave us feeling empty? What would we have in our brains if nobody was trying to fill it up with information? I would like to believe that we would have more peace.

In a world where money rules, that reality unfortunately seems far away. Establishing and maintaining conflict is literally the livelihood of some companies, whether it is fooling someone into believing they are not beautiful or starting wars and providing weapons to both sides.

So how are we going to change a system that benefits from destruction? How are we going to change a system into a better one, when powerful actors take advantage of the outdated machinery of our brains to keep the status quo?

To be honest, when you go over the math of what needs to happen, it almost feels impossible.

It feels like the only way for people to take action is if they can actually see the threat. Our eyesight has developed to be our most trusted sense and crazy enough, maybe that’s what we need to see. An external existential threat to humanity. Because If we don’t, our feelings of indifference will be the end of us.

To turn this development, everyone needs to engage. Especially people in LAPA because that’s where a big part of the huge consumption demand comes from. I believe we need to understand our place in this world and respect it. I believe we need a new system that respects our mortality and tenders our wish for inner peace. A practice many of us in LAPA since long have forgotten. Because buried in “modern society” of our world, lies the worshiping of the sun and the earth. The two celestial bodies sustaining all life as we know it. And we need to practice not extracting more than the earth can withstand. I believe this is the knowledge of living in harmony with the earth. The knowledge of being a human.

For all of our sakes, I hope we make some big changes. That we connect to the earth again before it’s too late. That we make some of our old ways our new age, and that we find our way back. Back to you, back to me, and back to us.

With love, your fellow human Eric


Reasons for Climate Change: Fossil Fuels

As we all know, climate change is driven by the emission of gasses that provoke the greenhouse effect, leading to the increase of temperatures on our planet and more extreme weather phenomena. These processes are abbreviated in the terms “global warming” and “climate change”. To get a deeper understanding of where our global emissions come from, here are some facts and numbers about the usage of fossil fuels:

Fossil fuels – coal, oil, and gas – provide 80% of the global energy needs. Since the industrial revolution, humans have burned fossil fuels in an increasing manner for electricity, heating, transportation (cars, trains, etc.), and in many industries (production, manufacturing, etc.). 

This process has been an essential part of modern development worldwide, but the extraction and burning of fossil fuels have a lot of downsides. 

Photo provided by Momentum (Stockholm, Sweden)

With the burning, carbon dioxide (Co2) is produced, which is one of the largest drivers of climate change. The emissions account for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions. These emissions are created in all kinds of fields, but these numbers show that we need to leave the era of fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy if we want to fight global warming. 

The extraction of fossil fuels itself is another big problem, as it often causes massive destruction to nature and leaves whole land strips uninhabitable for plants and animals. Furthermore, it is estimated that millions of premature deaths are caused by high levels of local air pollution created by the burning of fossil fuels. 

So how do we get away from the usage of fossil fuels? Using renewable energy (wind, sun, water, biomass, etc.) is our best available option, as it doesn’t pollute, or destroy nature in ways the fossil fuel industry does, and most importantly, it hardly emits any greenhouse gasses. 

Moreover, renewable energies are an energy source we can’t run out of, which is something that can happen to nuclear energy and fossil fuels. Nuclear energy is another low-greenhouse-gas option, but it has the disadvantage of nuclear waste that needs to be stored. 

By Mika von Olberg, a volunteer at Alternative Youth Center in Yerevan.