by Ole A. Seifert
Mayans were right. Not that it’s the apocalypse, but that we stand at a crossroads. Where we can continue with our eyes closed. We can let the world go on as before, even though we know we have a steady course towards the abyss. Or we can use what we have so much of, but use as little of, our gray matter — our brains. We can open our eyes and see and act accordingly. We can change the world to a better place where we see the planet as a whole, a unity and our common home. We can change our thinking and our actions, so our descendants also can enjoy the Mayan predictions. A turning point where we took responsibility for each other and our shared planet.
As of today, we produce enough food to feed approx. 10 billion people. That even though we also produce vast quantities of meat, which steals a tremendously large amount of fresh water, especially from water-poor country like Pakistan which produces much of the animal food. Water is a scarce resource. Not noticeable here in the Kingdom of Norway, even though 2/3 of our water consumption is in other countries, but for the roughly 1.1 billion who do not have free access to, clear, running water, and about 2.4 billion are without access to sanitation, water scarcity is noticeable.
In our hunger for idiocy, eh … sorry, energy, we engage in the ultimate environmental crime by sucking the planet’s recent oil and gas reserves through shale gas and fracking (hydraulic fracturing). It’s not just the crazies in BP that do it, but also the Norwegian people, led by our dear Stoltenberg and our jointly owned Statoil. A contaminating process which use nearly 600 different chemicals are pumped under high pressure into the rocks. Yes, mixed with huge amounts of water. Each shale gas well use somewhere between 80 and 300 tons of chemicals. Between 4 and 30 million liters of water are required. Only 30 – 50% of the water comes up again and can be treated and cleaned. It goes without saying that the groundwater get highly polluted and very toxic. Not so cool, unless you live nearby and fancy the idea of setting tap water from the faucet on fire. Did I mention that water is a scarce resource?
Sure, we have plenty of everything, even of all that can drive humans into distress and misery. Also greed that allows us to get rid of millions of people, and still make money … That means that we choose to ignore the unequal distribution among the world’s population, our sisters and brothers. That means we can gain some extra kilos during the Christmas season, after conscientiously have supported our wonderful system with our money, mainly presents as most would have afforded themselves or perhaps and very often do not even need, while much of the world’s population living in poverty and distress. Where those cranks and solder together mobile presents, eh … sorry, mobile phones, working under poor conditions, barely paid while they handle all kinds of toxins. What a sweet little child’s hand is more convenient than adults, hungry fingers to produce more of what we in the rich part of the world already have in abundance.
Just while I strummed down these words, 300 to 400 people died of hunger or hunger-related causes. Every four seconds a person dies of hunger and hunger-related causes. Also in 2012 we will reach 15 million dead children. Starved to death in a world of abundance. On a planet where everything is very skewed. Where 1/3 of the population goes hungry. On a planet where the world’s food production is increasing faster than population growth and how Europe throw enough food away in a year to cover the entire Belgium.
We produce enough food to feed approx. 10 billion people per 2012. Approximately the same number we expect the population to be in 2050. How inequality and poverty means that many of those living on less than $ 2 a day, can not afford this food. Where we still expect to have to double food production by 2050, because our hunger for the resource-intensive meat – which is also among the most water demanding areas we engage in – have no borders in a media-and PR-created world. Where we can not let our cars thirst – we do rather use crops for fuel. As if the cars were our family.
We need not be afraid that meteors, volcanic eruptions or earthquakes will damage the world’s population. They have such poor accuracy anyway. We can do it best ourself, as we have it in system.
Never in history have we been our next closer. We are connected via the net to any corner of the world and we have no excuse for not taking responsibility. We can let our consciousness awake, not being oppressed by the power of greed and vile envy where everything is a competition, but to show to ourselves and our posterity that we as mankind can evolve to the common good, that we co-operate well if not even better than we can compete. Show that humans still possess something as basic as love and that this love also applies to our next and all life around us. To let our full potential blossom.
Happy New Year and good, new time!
Originally written in norwegian and published by the magazine Gateavisa, December 2012 http://www.gateavisa.no/2012/12/25/vart-fulle-potensiale/