If not now, when?
3. Where are we going?
© Difught | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018
«When we have defeated nature, we will find ourselves on the losing side».
Translated quote from Konrad Lorenz, biologist and Nobel Price winner.
Humanity is unlikely to go under right away, as so many alarmists want to tell us.
«We are not doomed - unless we decide on this».
Kate Marvel, climate scientist
But the concerning question comes to mind:
Will people after us still have the chance to live a life fit for human beings in a world that we have left for them?
A life fit for human beings in no way means a life of ever-increasing material wealth, as it does today in rich countries.
© HelenField | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018
However, the basis of a decent life are sufficient food, sufficient living space, opportunities for education, meaningful work, medical care, retirement provision and sufficient natural surroundings.
If we just keep going as we have before we'll soon reach our planet's ecological limits.
end of the century, our children and grandchildren even in the rich countries may be confronted with
a hostile climate, depleted resources, devastated habitats, large-scale species
extinction, food shortage and mass migration.
We will probably drastically intensify the hopeless fight for the remaining resources worldwide.
© Robert Adrian Hillman | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018
The world is currently arming itself more militarily than ever seen in the history of humanity - also with efficient, digital technology. The West accounts for two-thirds of all military spending and arms exports worldwide.
Global military spending rose to nearly $ 2 trillion in 2020 - the highest value since comparable records began in 1988.
Source: SIPRI - Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
We are facing
tremendous changes in a full world, with there soon to be as many as 10'000 to 12'000 million people on the planet - one way or the other.
© Vladimir Sazonov
| Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018
A sustainable development is the promising path that leads us from today's - ecological and social - global crisis into the future.
The large-scale social change, as required by the transformation to a sustainable development, first is a «battle» for hearts and minds of the people, and only afterwards accepted in legislation and economic policies.
Every change that happens in societies and organizations needs individuals who initiate it.
World in 2050 Initiative. 2018. Transformations to achieve the sustainable development goals.
© Jane0606 | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018
We have no master plan on how to achieve the transformation of our society with its perpetual expansion towards sustainable development.
In addition, most people, as well as governments and companies, think in the short term. There is often a lack of appropriate knowledge and instruments to tackle long-term transformations.
And if the public is poorly informed about the challenges of sustainable development and the necessary changes, fear and uncertainty may provide a general resistance to change.
© JrCasas | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2019
Proposed solutions for the transformation of our societies towards sustainable development are widely available to us today.
«It is possible to take a path that separates resource consumption from prosperity. The fact that it is a long road does not argue against setting out, but rather for doing it immediately and quickly».
Translated from: Robert Habeck. Von hier an anders. Eine politische Skizze. 2021
The question is how we can implement this in the normal course of politics?