The fact that sustainability and economic dynamism are contradictory has not only been Report of the Club of Rome known. Already Thomas Malthus already described a contradiction between economic growth, population growth and resource availability at the end of the 18th century.
We’ve been living beyond our means
The world’s hunger for energy has continued to rise dizzyingly since the turn of the millennium. We are consuming natural gas and oil at a rapid pace. We live as if there were no tomorrow. It seems as if only lip service is being paid and terms such as climate protection, sustainability and environmental protection are used in an almost inflationary way. New ones are still emerging Coal-fired power plantsthat blow tons of CO2 into the environment. Emissions are exacerbating climate change, the greatest challenge of our time.
In 2017 everyone was talking about climate change. Almost all the states of the world declared their willingness to slow down global warming with the Paris Agreement. Then the shock: the USA of all countries withdraws from the agreement under President Trump. How will this dispute develop?
The largest organization that recognizes climate change and has decided to do something about it is the United Nations. This December, COP24 will take place to discuss the climate situation again
But, who are these people who meet there? The UN is a political organization which, apart from the climate, has set itself the task of securing peace and promoting trade between countries. As we now know, climate protection and a dynamic economy often come up against a conflict of objectives.
It seems that some of the Member States are taking their respective unilateral economic missions much more seriously than the joint climate protection mission.
That was different in history: Together, the members of the UN worked out various treaties that were intended to enable and ensure global and international cooperation. For example, they founded and financed the World Trade Organization (WTO). The task of the WTO is to exempt international markets from customs duties and to facilitate the movement of goods and services. Another UN treaty is the Kyoto Protocol. In it, the countries committed themselves to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as early as 1997.
But, it seems that climate protection regulations are all too often broken in favour of contracts for dynamic economic growth. This is not only the case in the UN, but a pattern that can be observed in all political organizations.
Dramatic conflicts in sight
Climate change will lead to dramatic conflicts in the near future, unless there is a massive shift away from the growth idea of a dynamic economy. When entire countries sink into the sea and the struggle for the last remaining resources is unleashed, the ensuing wars will be about the very survival of mankind. We must get globalisation under control – and not by relying solely on agreements between states. A thorough dose of mistrust in the effectiveness of these agreements is appropriate: it has already been published that the countries are not on the right track to achieve the goal of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding.
While the climatic situation of our home planet is worsening, the contracting parties of the United Nations are busy negotiating, for example, whether a distinction should be made between industrialized and developing countries in the implementation of the Paris objectives. The rich nations in particular are apparently afraid to foot the bill for poorer nations. It is to be feared that the Paris Agreement will not be effective.
Leaving the responsibility for our climatic future to the United Nations is much like hoping on the Titanic that the captain will be able to prevent her from sinking after all.
Climate protection is an abstract topic and yet each and every one of us must feel responsible for it! But unfortunately our society has fallen into a completely wild growth mania.
Especially in Germany everything is expected to grow. It is not enough if it remains stable – no, the motto is higher, faster and further. No matter whether export, economy, number of employees, stock market and much more – everything should always be more. In doing so, we consume – completely unnecessarily – a lot of resources. And in order to pay for all this, many people spend time in a stressful job, which they often don’t even like at all, and miss out on their real life.
We need a digital world community and the consciousness of every single citizen of the world to get all our problems under control. Only in this way can we show the drivers of the dynamic economy their limits.
International problems such as unjust trade relations, population growth and climatic disasters can no longer be solved at national level. Everyone must connect with their fellow human beings and use the power of their purchasing power to belong to a movement for climate protection. Because only if we manage to implement the goal of the Paris Agreement and limit global warming can we prevent a bitter state of war over the last remaining resources, such as water and fertile soil.
But – how can we ensure that individuals also feel globally responsible for the climate? How can we ensure that everyone acknowledges their responsibility? This is about nothing less than preventing the war for the resources of tomorrow.
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