PSA: This piece is penned by Green Is The New Black founder Paula Miquelis
The truth is that we don’t know what the future holds, no one can predict that. But what we do know is that if we adopt the best lifestyle possible, we can maximise changes and reverse trends. Beyond practical and material impact, this period should also remind us to build upon our resilience to future changes and our solidarity to another.
Forward: It was hard to read all the news surrounding the Australian report that was interpreted by many as the world ending for so many reasons. Then, today I read even more news that suggests that we as human beings eat the equivalent of one credit card in plastic every week. I have some opinions on the news that has been unfoldings. I’m passionate and I have opinions but know that the musings that you will read in this piece are my own and don’t necessarily reflect Green Is The New Black. – Paula Miquelis
When will bad news stop?
Collapsologues and other ‘end of our civilisation’ thinkers believe it will never stop. There have even been claims by spiritual communities that believe we will soon have access to another level of consciousness which will allow us to shift paradigms, reverse power and allow our planet to recover from the destruction we have been making. And then there are others who don’t even think about it at all and continue on with their lives avoiding the reality they read about in the news.
The truth is, nobody knows how the future will unfold and we would be fools to pretend we do. We simply cannot anticipate what will happen tomorrow and actually when we do that, not only does it make us foolish by playing god but it also triggers a lot of anxiety. But regardless of whoever is right or wrong, the only thing we can do is grow our inner resilience and to adapt ourselves and to build.
So what are we supposed to do when we read the scary news?
At first, the more I read about scary scenarios surrounding the state of our planet, I oscillated between wanting to cry and reading other papers which opposite views. Both reactions were to self-satisfying, in that they were to either please myself or just live my life to the fullest (which included hard partying to avoid reality). After some time and a few self-growth sessions, like a good modern hippie, today I have managed to get my head around it better and have found a certain level of peace. It’s not easy, but I am improving every day. Here is how (my own very personal #LittleGreenSteps if you must).
First, I am trying to live in the now, making conscious decisions and moves. Second, I am trying to stay open to anything which could happen tomorrow without anticipating. Because, dear universe, I trust you.
This doesn’t mean I will stop doing anything and only meditate by lighting some candles and sage in my room. What it means is that I am doing my best to properly understand what the hell is going on and then make decisions based upon doing good to myself, good to the people around me and good to the planet.
This idea of adapting to drastic changes as a result of a looming end to civilisation actually comes with some beautiful aspects. It doesn’t mean we all going to die tomorrow, which could be interpreted from some of the sensationalized headlines running rampant on the Internet. In fact, it better means that this will be the end of the way we have been living so far, including our heavy dependence on fossil fuels and our over-consumption habits. So, it’s not that bad, right?
What do they mean exactly by the end of the world?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that never-ending growth in a world with finite resources such as oil, gas, water etc., will result in a planet that one day won’t be able to provide more or even sufficiently recover.
In the 1970s, a group of scientists first began bringing to light these theories in a report called Meadows. There were scientists from MIT, and they introduced the notion of ‘peak theories’, and they explained that once we reach the peak consumption of the raw materials that we heavily rely on, like oil and coal, not only will the prices of the latter skyrocket but it will also trigger other dramatic environmental consequences. The also predicted the extinction of biodiversity groups and the triggering of other spiral effects like extreme weather conditions and droughts.
But it will be the end of our little world
We are all interconnected – animals, plants, soil, insects, and even the plankton that sit at the bottom of our oceans and providing us with oxygen. We’ve also entered the Anthropocene era, which means our actions as humans have a more significant impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems. Mother Earth is struggling to recover and finds her normal balance again.
If we continue on our current trajectory without making changes, climate change will not directly won’t kill us all, but climate change will indirectly trigger 1. wars 2. famines 3. diseases (which come with the 1. and 2). Populations at the bottom of the pyramid, which refers to the poorest two-thirds of the economic human pyramid and is made up of a group of more than four billion people living in abject poverty, will be impacted, especially ones that are already affected by climate catastrophes like droughts, typhoons, flooding, etc.
Yes and no. If this scenario is the only one that will wake us up, increase our consciousness and make better decisions for the planet, then so be it. We’re not coming upon the end of the world but we are coming upon the end of our little world, and the ego that we are feeding every day with things like junk food, less authentic social interactions, and increasing inequalities.
In the end, hope doesn’t come from the fact that we will be able to maintain our lavish lifestyles rich with over-consumption, but from the fact that we are intelligent beings capable of balance and solidarity when we are facing extreme situations such as climate change. It is our choice to keep our eyes closed and live our lives selfishly OR to open them. It might be scary at first, but it’s the first step on a conscious journey towards building resilience and make better choices – and that’s enough for today.