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It's Time For A Great ‘Green Overhaul'
We need CHANGE. While corporate media gives so much attention to terrorism, people getting shot or local hypes, we miss out on the long term situation. We worry about some aggressive nation that is gearing up for war, yet every day things happen that aren’t mentioned in the news, something that is affecting nature and killing people every single day.
We look around and see an overall degrading eco-system. Billions of people either poor, hungry, lost, depressed, worn out, or sick through lack of meaning or sustainable food. These problems seem huge, and each have many people around the world committed to making a difference in each of these issues. But why do these basic needs require grassroots initiatives to fix them? What if humans came together with a SIMPLE BIG PLAN that aimed to solve all those issues?
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The Gentle Revolutionaries. The ethical pioneers. The Solutionaries. The changemakers. The social activists, caretakers, visionaries. To those that put the human race forward towards a more healthy, beautiful, inclusive future. Don’t ignore them. Help them. Don’t believe your current ‘normal’ is healthy. It can be improved upon. Because the wise ones, we call crazy, who act to better the world, are the ones who do” ~Update of the advertising text that Rob Siltanen wrote for Apple.
Why should you care? (only read if you don’t know already)
Do you care for a healthy planet? Would you like to see all primal forests (incredible complex webs of life still harboring many secrets) protected and allowed to grow again? Would you prefer clean oceans teeming with life? Would you like to buy nothing made of non degradable plastics? Would you love all fine dust removed from your cities? Would you prefer organic foods that have way lower cancer risks? Would you like to be warned on the package if your food was produced with antibiotics, GMO’s, RoundUp, hormones?
Would you love a job, helping to clean up the mess and have purpose in helping save the planet? Would you love to be part of a movement that provides work, change, health, beauty, life, freedom, and possibilities for billions? Would you love to see all those immigrants and refugees return home, because their own culture has become so attractive you want to visit as a tourist too? If you have many yeses (even when you don’t think it's feasible), then you understand the why, this should be the new natural normal.
“Everything invested in the thriving of the whole, is benefit for all.” For me an essential principle. Just consider how the Eiffel Tower or Gaudi’s works delivered huge value to their respective cities. How free education helped the West take a huge leap forward and how the middle class disappears when it’s gone.
The Great ‘Green Overhaul’
Years back I watched some overhaul shows. People gathering to overhaul a house for a great human being who had bad luck, or people loving the professional pride in engineering a classic car to new heights. These shows are about giving, and the craftsmanship to make things better! So, why not do a global GREEN OVERHAUL.
Is it possible? Yes. Very much so. For this we’d need a plan that includes success in economical, ecological and social fields. This is possible! And much needed, like this example towards organic agriculture, roundup is now discovered in many foods in the USA. With vision and with win/win/win thinking this is possible.
To imagine the idea alone it is good for the spirit, society and your creativity. Imagine the Green Overhaul! It helps to return hope to people who’ve given up. It gives me hope and direction. In fact, it has been doing so for a long time.
The Three Major Benefits of the GREEN OVERHAUL
What would happen when we put this huge effort in greening the whole economy on all levels?
First: we’d create millions of new jobs in the short term! Just consider the mountain of garbage in need of cleaning up and all the new products, systems we’d need to replace them.
Second: We’d create a huge extra sense of meaning and direction for all people looking for meaning and direction. Compare the difference in attitude and mindset of those that feel their job matters to those in senseless shit jobs, pushing products even they don’t believe in. That’s why teachers and caretakers keep fighting in deeply underpaid jobs. And if you are a hedge fund manager, you should have this same sense of making a difference for many! That is possible.
Third: It would make the planet much, much greener. Our long term safety, healthy and beauty would be ensured. Nature could flourish again, and we could breath in/with it
Yes, but…(read only if you already doubt this)
Yes, but what about our investments in oil, what about all current jobs, in the current machine of a system we have? Yes, what about all people selling plastic gadgets no one needs? What about all missing doctors visits because depression and a lack of meaning begin to disappear? What about bankers who prefer keeping people in debt and supporting things like war?
Swiss banks already stopped investing in oil. Free energy is possible. The oil industry makes the mistake of fearing that. That’s why they so heavily invest in getting much more oil on the market to keep it very cheap. All of this keeps you away from pushing for change.
The mindsets of people who prefer fracking in former national parks over investing in sun, wind and water energy - or perhaps new energy technologies - will not be missed. If our current (fortune 500) billionaires really envisioned an incredible world, they’d be trying to be at the forefront of making everything better for everyone, wouldn't they? Perhaps only 8 people have all the money needed for the something like the great Green Overhaul, but will they help or play Koch Brothers?
I know, it’s harder to believe in something that isn’t there yet. It's easier to focus on settled billionaires with nice suits and smoothed out marketing speak. It’s harder to gamble on a grand sounding plan, than on your current job. But if you don't feel inspired in your job, and know a better world is possible, doing more of the same won’t work. Will it?
A Great Plan
I’d say a GREEN OVERHAUL is the most logical, natural, smart thing to do. If (and when) your government loves a longer future, they’d put something like this first. Want to fight 'terrorism?' Green Africa, make living there great again! Want to stop refugees? Get your armies to grow back forests (all that manpower makes such a bigger difference when helping to restore all that we all need). Wouldn’t you rather have your army husband return safely from replanting a rainforest, or coming back with a trauma from being in a messy war, that didn’t help make the world safer?
After all, terrorism got over 4500% worse since the war on terrorism. And that’s not even counting all innocent people fallen through drone strikes.
In the short term, people will see economy as important. The first neighborhood in the Netherlands that got energy neutral (goodbye oil energy) got visitors from all over Europe. The first transition town Totnes England thrives on being such, and got world fame for it. And a Green Overhaul would make your city beautiful, which also attracts tourists.
The green city pictures I've used in the pieceare from a plan by Vincent Callebaut for Paris 2050. Finally, buildings that can outshine the magic of the Eiffel Tower. And when you’d combine these buildings with Desiging Renegerative Cultures by Daniel Christian Wahl, we can go from protecting the last bits of nature, to see nature thrive all within one generation.
Of course it isn’t really a competition. Your country my not have the best or most famous library on the planet, but you’re happy it has them. Same with parks, wildlife and beauty. If it isn’t available it hurts the soul. So why not have forests on all flat roofs? Why not have vertical farming, so in case of economic collapse your city is self sustaining? We have the technology. We have the manpower. We have the money (or we can print it). The only thing missing is the will and the vision.
“We don’t know what can or can’t be done. We only know what needs to be done.” ~Andrew Boyd.
How Do We Make it Happen?
First acknowledge the situation we're in, is this humanity thriving? Is this the world you want to see? Secondly study alternatives and discover what you’re contribution to the solution could be.
Go listen, learn, self develop your body and mind on finding meaning and purpose in your life. Find ways to make it your work or part of it. I know an advertiser who only works for ethical brands. Connect people that should know each other.
Demand daily updates in the news media about major shifts and or examples of beautiful initiatives that are already happening, so thinking and acting towards this future becomes the new normal, because it should be so!
Accept that the solution needs huge diversity in work approaches, ideas and things that need to be done. Do your own thing, don’t attack others doing theirs. You’re both helping. I’m an educational change maker. I love great teachers in the ‘old system’ who inspire their students. I love students who question and challenge me with their own thinking.
I love policemen taking risks to de-escalate conflicts and all caretakers who help those in need. I love civil servants facilitating change makers, helping them organize and I love social rebels who try alternative lifestyles living off the grid. They all help. That is a simple political idea. What pragmatically can be proven to work trumps any ideology, especially the ones that corporate lobbies try to sell.
Now, how do we help here and in other areas across the globe? Everywhere there are people who have neither time nor space to do something, nor the power or insight to make a difference. Consider how you’d help them. Maybe you get an idea, maybe you don’t. Surely some will have ideas and live them. So follow your own flow of being part of the solution in your way and stick to that.
There’s an idea Otto Scharmer teaches with Theory U: design from the future. Then live either planning or navigating (for those who hate planning) your way there. Change can happen fast. Consider that after Pearl Harbour the USA only needed 3 months to have changed into a war industry. Also consider that after WWII everyone committed to rebuilding worn torn Europe.
The current USA looks quite similar, its decayed infrastructure has become the ideal back ground for all those dystopian SciFi or zombie movies.
And yes, there are flaws in this plan and text. Yet, rather than write the whole thing off because of these flaws, seek to improve, find and or offer answers or raise more questions. Do that, not only to me, also to the people around you. Create a movement of changemakers around you, or join a fun group who seem to know what they’re doing. It’s going to be a messy adventure, but we’ll need to accept some chaos, before a shift truly happens.
The good thing is there are many examples of people showing how it’s already been done. This is an awesome place to start.
“If I can’t dance (in it), I don’t wanna be part of your revolution.”~Emma Goldman
How can you know if you’re helping?
It’s simple. The Green Overhaul is already happening, yet mostly unnoticed, not even appreciated, let alone supported by politics. I call it the Gentle Revolution. Millions of people who daily wonder, what is wrong, and how within my context, can I make things better? They all apply their own answers. And as a swarm of bees or a nest of ants, all needs are slowly but surely taken care of. Greenpeace protests, World Nature Fund protects, many intensive small farmers rethink the destructive agri-industry, hippies starting alternative communities, green politicians rethink economy, educational innovators help create educations that train young professionals who want to be helpers. etc.
Social entrepreneurship is even becoming a new normal among millennials. Many get burnouts in normal jobs and seek meaning. They start small and sometimes bigger businesses that help make a difference.
Many take a spiritual approach to work on changing their mindset towards themselves and their situation. Yet spirituality has the danger of becoming the art of avoiding confrontation. When the situation can be changed, must be changed, you might wake up your inner 'Jesus' and throw the bankers out of the temple. You might wake up your inner 'Gandhi' and use non violence to stand up. Or maybe your inner 'MLK' to dream of a new future. And of course, your inner Self to add your own color and ideas.
In short: all your actions are either helping towards a better world or not. They are either more connected to love for life or less so. Staying healthy is part of that helping. Yet turning a profit ‘at the cost of others’ is not. This is beyond all old school politics. Both Socialism, being too focussed on everyone being equal that doesn’t allow for all diversity needed in action and thought to make this happen, and Capitalism, being too rewarding towards greed and profits, fall short of this new integral approach to a Global Cultural Renaissance.
We need diversity and play designed approaches to dream, design, create, build, test, sell, scale new solutions to all new problems arising from this. Many new professions will come into being, many old ones will disappear. So have fun with it. Don’t fight others doing different things, not even those that kill or sicken the planet and don’t seem interested in healing nature, and societies. Make them obsolete or get them to help you.
What if We Succeeded?
Ah, what if we succeed? Well, when everything is green, smaller scaled and less focussed on buying stuff, we’ll have less jobs. Most of which might be taken by robots, anyway. So then, it’s time for global basic incomes or new ideas that don't involve money. This will also reduce governments, as control is not needed when everyone has enough.
It also also means we’d have way more time for festivalism and experiential lifestyles, rather than product consuming and meaningless work. We’d have more time to be with friends and family. More time for art.
What Vincent Callebaut started will be further developed by by garderner/artists, by developers creating thriving wildlife provisions for huge cities. The possibilities are endless. Godspeed.