living sustainably

8. Let's not fool ourselves

© Sasin Paraksa | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018  

We wealthy people like to live by the motto: 
Buy organic vegetables and jet around the world.

Example 1 
Resource Consumption and CO2 - Emissions

The resource consumption of people with a high level of environmental awareness and solid education is often well above average. The reason is probably a usually higher income. 
Repräsentative Erhebung von Pro-Kopf-Verbräuchen natürlicher Ressourcen in Deutschland. Umweltbundesamt Germany, 2016.

The average estimate implies that when your income increases by 10 percent, your CO2 emissions increase by 9 percent.
Lucas Chancel, Iddri & Paris School of Economics, and Thomas Piketty, Paris School of Economics. Carbon and inequality: from Kyoto to Paris. 2015.

Example 2
CO2 - Emissions 

What about current climate protection - with the targeted global reduction of CO2 emissions to prevent major global warming? 

A reduction has not [yet] been made and global greenhouse gas emissions*) are continuing to rise,  reaching around 55,000 million tons in 2018.
*) Sum of CO2, fluorinated hydrocarbon compounds, nitrous oxide and methane

Which forces are involved? - The report by Heinrich Böll Stiftung 2018: 

Fossil Fuel Doublespeak. 2018

Banks, insurers and pension funds are as culpable for the climate emergency as the fossil fuel industry. - The report by Greenpeace 2019: 

It's the Finance Sector, Stupid.

Public subsidies that flow into fossil energies around the world are three times as high as the subsidies for renewable energies.
Translated from: Daniel Binswanger. Und wenn das WEF den Planeten doch rettet? Republik 15.1.2020

Example 3

We are buying an 'environmentally friendly' car that uses less gas. That's great! But: With the purchase of an ever-larger car and increased driving any positive effect for nature is immediately negated. 

© Grisha Bruev | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2019  

Example 4

We are flying more and more. Globally, 2017 was a record year. For the first time over 4 billion passengers were flown around the world.

Forecasts of the European Union suggest that international air traffic will increase sevenfold by 2050 and the emissions are expected to increase by a factor 4.

But let's not forget: 
More than 90 percent of all people in the world have never boarded a plane. 

© Pixabay 2018 

Example 5

In Switzerland, for example, we recycle a good 50 percent of the municipal waste. That's great! But: At the same time, the total amount of waste (recycled and incinerated/landfill) from our household has steadily increased.

© Paperboat | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018

The first two objectives, namely avoiding waste and reusing things, have so far hardly been addressed.  

Every Swiss citizen produces over 700 kilograms of waste every year. Just over twenty years ago, the figure was 100 kilos less.

Not waste, but our consumer behaviour is the main problem.

Example 6

The farmers in Switzerland for example - originally close to nature operating - are today recklessly endangering the supply with clean drinking water and the fertility of the arable land in the medium term due to intensive industrial production. Even more, in the past few years there has been a rapid reduction in biodiversity.

© oticki | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018 

Not enough: In order to be able to fatten the huge livestock in Switzerland, an additional arable area 2/3 times as large as the arable land inland is made use of abroad for the import of animal feed! 

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