environment.md 12 KB

% DON'T PANIC. A friendly guide on preventing the destruction of planet Eart h (i.e. how to reverse climate change) % Leah Rowe % 2019-02-17

WORK IN PROGRESS! THIS IS NOT COMPLETE! and much of it needs editing

A no-bullshit guide to reducing or eliminating your negative impact on the planet, and how we can all collectively refrain from shitting all over our only home in the whole fucking universe. I feel that a down to earth, human readable guide like this is needed. There's no much nonsense in our media and I feel that current efforts to reach the general public have so far failed. So this article is going to be a ballsy, in your face guide that cuts no corners and compromises nothing.

TL;DR (go google it if you don't know what it is) climate change is the end of the world. Pollution from heavy machinery, farming etc, depletion of natural resources etc is causing our world to become inhabitable. Scientists have literally said recently (as of 2019) that we have about 10 years or so to literally get our shit together and prevent a literal apocolypse. Yeah, we have fucked up that badly.

Let's jump right in:

What caused us to be so fucked in the first place?

Not cars. Not planes. Not factory farming. Those are symptoms of the disease. The disease causing our self-destruction is Greed. The big G.

A synonym for Greed is Capitalism. The two are inexorably intertwined.

It's that simple. Greed is the lack of contentment leading to foolish, often self-destructive behaviours.

Selfishness and lack of foresight are symptoms of greed. When one acts out of greed, they are not thinking rationally about their actions nor are they thinking fully about how their actions affect others.

This is not to say that individuals are necessarily bad. It's just a statement that reflects our collective failures as human beings. Greed is a natural thing to have, but it doesn't need to be indulged. We can train ourselves to let go of greed.

We need a radical shift in attitudes towards life, the universe and everything

We need socialism.

Capitalism is the main problem causing our demise. Under socialism we can have a carefully planned economy that benefits more people overall, and we can plan long term so that decisions are made with the best overall outcomes. On issues like the environment, this is essential.

It's countries like China that are currently making the most leaps and bounds when it comes to reducing or eliminating climate change. For instance, much of their public transportation in certain big cities now run on renewable energy. Then there are the so-called sponge cities. Most of the factories producing solar panels and other technologies for energy production are Chinese! (counter-point: Chinese diets are heavily meat-based, with pork being national favourites. They also eat dog meat. The meat industry is one of the worst polluters on Earth)

China is in a better position than the rest of the world to reduce climate change because they have the most people in the world, and they don't have elections. They have an inner-party democracy in a single party state and a centralized economy (with aspects of free market economics, but many of its companies are state run). Their politics is based closely on the principles of communism since, afterall, the current Chinese state is called the People's Republic of China and was founded on communist principles. It doesn't have to worry about opposition and it doesn't have to appeal to partisan interests. It can simply act in its own interest, and plan long term. This puts China in an excellent position to excel, and to set an example to the rest of the world.

The same can be said about Cuba, Venezeula, North Korea* (it is slowly assimilating free market principles, much like China has), Vietnam and other communist countries. Communism always acts in the best interests of its subjects, since it is first and foremost based on the assumption of power by a collective, organized movement of the working classes, acting in their self-interest (under socialism, it's unions that control everything).

*I do not support North Korea, due to its anti-LGBT tendencies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_North_Korea - however, communism is not inherently prejudiced towards LGBT people. For instance, Cuba and Venezuela, both socialist countries, treat LGBT people very well and Cuba even provides surgeries for free.

More countries need to follow these examples. There is too much at stake.

Meanwhile, in Capitalist countries (USA being the poster child) the state is run by petty, narrow minded interests who only care for their own short term gains (elections are meaningless. People vote for political parties to assume public office, but they still get the same policies in the long term which serve large corporations instead of the people. It's basically the McDonald's breakfast menu where you get to choose a different version of the same thing, with no choice for deviation. There is no difference in the long term to voting for liberal, conservative or social democratic parties in such states, because they all serve the same underlying agenda, namely Capitalism aka Greed).

So for instance, capitalist states will often provide heavy subsidies and tax cuts to the fossil fuel industry and they will, for instance, heavily subsidize the meat industry... whereas what they should be doing (if they care about the planet) is helping people turn to renewable energy and to be vegans.

For more information about Socialism and Communism (what Socialism can evolve into, once implemented), see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism

Examples of socialist states, or states largely dominated by socialism: North Korea, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, Venezuela, Cuba... and a few unofficial states like the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (unlike many socialist states, this one is libertarian socialist, which means there is no centralized state).

Socialism is the best way to go about reversing climate change, precisely because it is not based on Greed and therefore it is much easier to implement social reforms in a socialist state. Social reforms are nearly impossible in a capitalist state, which seeks to oppress the working classes and deny their basic interests.

So what can we do?

Transportation

  • Stop driving to work! Seriously! Most people nowadays who are employed are driving their car to work, even if they live in the same town. Walk! Or cycle. Do not get a job in another town either. Commuting is extremely bad for the environment. Governments can legislate against this, by introducing laws banning employers from hiring physical workers outside their place of business (hiring workers online is OK. The Internet is a wonderful place to do business, and arguably the most environmentally friendly).

Introducing a universal living wage (paid by the state) can mitigate this in the early days, while people find ways to boost their local economies in environmentally friendly ways. Basically this means an end to free movement of goods and services, for the most part.

Avoid use of an automobile at all costs. Walk everywhere. If you can't walk, get someone to wheel you there. Why be stressed out in a loud, busy city full of motorized sounds when you can be relaxed and cheerful hearing nature and hearing the sounds of other humans talking to you. Wouldn't that be amazing?

Cities are a huge red flag that show how far down the rabbit hole we've gone. Cities happen when power, wealth and culture are centralized. We need to do the opposite: decentralize everything.

  • Stop eating meat and other animal-derived products. The meat industry is one of the worst environmental offenders on the planet. This also includes the dairy industry. We all need to go vegan. Lentils, mushrooms, tofu and many more plant based sources can easily give us the protein we need, and of course there are multi-vitamins available which we can take for things like iron, calcium, B12 etc. Governments can legislate against this by banning all non-vegan products. This includes not just food, but everything else (e.g. clothing, shampoo / shower gel, etc).

If everyone goes vegan, this will also mean that there is more arable land with which to grow food. Most of the food we grow gets fed to livestock. Without livestock, we'll have more land on which to grow fruit and vegetables which can be used to feed the worlds poor and end starvation altogether.

  • Stop using harmful pesticides. Distribute food production so that it isn't centralized. Encourage people to grow their own fruit and vegetables (provide seeds to people for free, so that there is no financial barrier. Food should not be a paid-for commodity. Every human deserves a decent meal!)

The nice thing about a wholly vegan planet is that everyone can grow fruit and vegetables in their own home. Even if the climate in your country isn't ideal, you can grow stuff inside your home or in a shed, etc, under artificial UV lights (same kind of setup used in weed factories).

  • Stop importing/exporting food! Modern technology means that we can easily grow food anywhere. Food should always be grown locally.

  • Stop cutting down the rainforests! Making everyone go vegan substantially reduces the need for this, since the meat industry is one of the main reasons why forests get destroyed.

  • Stop throwing things away! This includes recycling. Re-use everything as much as possible (see: the zero waste movement). Do not waste food. Waste of food is the biggest sin. This means, for instance: no packaging in consumer products. Ending the consumer mindset altogether, perhaps? You know, because we don't need the fastest computers or the biggest flat screen TVs. Again, greed, the main Big G.

  • Packaging! It can't be stressed enough how bad packaging is. Especially polystyrene, plastic and paper. Most products do not need to be packaged in that way.

Places that provide/sell food should provide food loose, without any packaging. People should be given re-usable packaging with which to transport food and other products in that they take home with them.

  • Paper! Who needs it?

Most things nowadays can be made paperless, thanks to computers and the Internet. We should all do what we can to reduce or eliminate our use of paper.

  • Trees! We need to plant them. Governments around the world need to literally start public campaigns whereby people are made to go out and literally plant trees in the ground. This will help to mitigate the problems currently caused by deforestation. People who live in homes suitable to have a soil/grass garden should have one. Stone/marble gardens should be banned. Every household, if possible, ought to have some bushes and plants. This helps provide oxygen for the environment, and it gives nature the chance to thrive.

  • Don't own a car. You don't need one. The only reason cars need to exist really is for transportation, but that's only in a centralized state... with local economies we can have local delivery methods, which doesn't have to involve use of automobiles.

Public transportation, running purely on renewable energy, is a good way to go about this. Ensure that all citizens are able to travel around freely, in a way that doesn't pollute the planet.

Air planes are extremely bad for the environment. For the vast majority of international travel, we could have railway networks instead which run on clean, renewable energy.