Given the COP26 action plan, this is hilarious. It’s also depressing, because it shows how absurd the whole climate change action plan really is. Taking baby steps when we should be single-minded in preventing this planet becoming hostile to human life.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the billions that may be released for green initiatives every year. It’s that I don’t see anything that makes me think we are treating climate change like the life-or-death emergency it is.

Imagine you’re in a spaceship floating through space. A spaceship whose life support systems make it self-sustainable by offering its passengers all the oxygen, all the food and clean water, and the energy they need to thrive. Not survive, but thrive. An environment that, if not pushed beyond its limits, can sustain itself forever. Just as well, because this is the only spaceship you have.

Lose it, and you’re done.

But there’s an idiot tampering with the life support systems. Because it’s “profitable”. Because the idiot says, it will give everyone snazzy new devices to waste time on and make spending money easier.

And he’s not alone. There are other idiots who drive the systems harder, because it increases margins. Because it drives production efficiency. Because it allows 24-hour shipping, and bigger SUV’s, and 245 channels all beamed into your living room for your viewing pleasure. Never mind that the sweatshops where consumer products are produced have nets to catch suicidal workers. Never mind that the process poisons your water and gives you cancer and takes away your children’s right to live on this spaceship. Elsewhere in the spaceship, people are already dying.

What do you do to those idiots?

Stick them in an airlock and blast them out to space?

But we don’t. Why are we talking about plans that might have an impact by 2050, while our actions point to a different direction? Why are we talking about phasing out coal, but not doing a thing about the fossil fuel industry subsidies? Why are we not killing the companies that are responsible for climate change?

Oh, you think I’m missing the financial complexities of saving the environment? We carried out total war on a planetary scale twice in the 20th century. We split the atom. We put a man on the moon. I’m sure we can figure this out.

This is where we’re heading. This is what’s already happening. Climate refugees. Extreme weather. Agricultural failure. Now. Not in some science fiction movie.

So, please, take the idiots messing with the life support systems seriously. Stop buying from the Nestle’s of the world. Choose renewable energy. Vote for the people whose concern is the survival of the species rather than maximizing profits for the Bezos’ of the world. Then, hold them accountable.

As a person I greatly admire always says, “actions matter more than words”. Do you have full control over climate change? Of course not. Because, in the end of the day, it is a complex issue. Does that excuse you from not doing everything you can to stop the idiots messing with the life support systems?

You tell me.

Something awesome happened recently.

I live next to a spot in the outskirts of Copenhagen called the Amager Commons, a 223-ha national park that is home to a number of animal and plant species. There’s falcons, hawks, owls, grebes, foxes, deer, tormentil, marsh orchids, and a bunch of others, some of which are protected by law. Amongst them is the humble Northern Crested Newt, which is about the size of my palm.

There’s much to love here. Copenhagen isn’t a large city, but it can tire you out. There are hiking and bicycle trails through the forest and a lot of my Instagram pictures are shot while walking through it and clearing my mind. It’s a place we need in a country that doesn’t have the awe-inspiring vistas of Norway or New Zealand, or the old-growth forests of the US and Canada.

Part of the Commons was rezoned at one point with the intention to knock down the vegetation and natural habitat and replace it with residential buildings. Since then, various nature protection organizations have been trying to stall development and, I’m suspecting, part of the reason why it took years for construction to begin at all was the public outcry and how this one case has always been brought up during communal elections.

Last year, the project started.

The nature protection organizations keeping an eye on the development argued that it went against nature protection laws. A court ordered the development company to cease until it could be determined whether construction was impacting protected species, which the company ignored and pressed on. I’ve had dealings with that company before and I can tell you they are a bunch of criminals that have outright lied in court in various cases and cheated to squeeze as much money as possible out of locals. Nothing ever happens to them because it’s a joint public-private venture that affords the company a certain amount of immunity.

Enter the newt.

The Friends of Amager club managed to get a court to put a stop to the construction by providing evidence that the endangered Northern Crested Newt’s habitat would be wiped out. Only catch was that the club had to pay a guarantee of 2 million Danish Kroner (roughly 320k USD) in lost earnings in case the developer appealed and won the case, and the club had to do so within 7 days.

We managed to get the money in 36 hours through Facebook-driven donations alone. The machines went packing.

Now, there’s a couple of things to note here. One is how capitalists can’t be trusted. The development company has been vocal in their intention to fight the decision “because how can a damn newt stop a multi-million project?” Companies don’t care about you, they don’t care about your well-being, and if they had it their way free-market style they’d turn the world into a huge slum if it meant more money in their pockets. Keep in mind, the guarantee that was asked for in court was 12 times higher and was based on false statements, which thankfully the judge laughed off.

The other is, piss off enough people and I don’t care how big you are. We’ll end you. It doesn’t take more than a newt to stop lying companies, after all.

I’ll put some articles below on how companies have been lying and cheating their way to contribute to the climate emergency throughout time. I want to make a point that any positive environmental action will always be facing one main opposing force; people sitting in a board room trying to take more resources out of the world than they are giving back to it. And they won’t care if it means your stress levels will go up because you only see trees on TV or that newts will be wiped out of existence or that the seas are emptying or that we’re all getting more cancer or that large parts of the world will become uninhabitable in a few years’ time. The only language they speak is stock prices and bonuses.

Also, just in case some smart-ass asks me if I have an alternative to capitalism that doesn’t involve murderous communism, I do. It’s called social entrepreneurship and my publisher, Inspired Quill, is a company functioning in this manner. Making money and not selling your soul to Satan are not mutually exclusive.

Being in nature is good for your health.

Walmart does nothing towards its zero net deforestation policy.

IKEA happy to use illegal timber, as long as someone else does the felling.

Timber barons straight up murdering activists protecting the Amazon forest.

Tesla, Facebook and others hiding their true environmental impact.

Koch Industries funding climate change denial.

The science behind climate change is pretty clear cut (for the skeptics, please check what NASA, the Scientific American, the British Royal Society, the National Academy of Sciences of the US, and Skeptical Science have to say). And what the science says is, we’re heading headfirst into an apocalypse.

Imagine being in a spaceship called Earth. Imagine that an average increase of 1.5 degree Celsius has messed up the sensitive food production system, has turned large parts of the spaceship uninhabitable, and fresh water production is failing. Desperate, people start forcing their way into areas where food can still grow and where there is still water. The people living there already don’t want to share. A fight starts. Blood flows.

Scary thought?

The problem a lot of people face when discussing climate change is not knowing what to do on an individual level. “What can I do?” There is a lot of noise about this or that international agreement, but they don’t translate well to every day life. I’ve yet to find one person who can explain to me in concrete terms how my life will change because of the Paris Agreement.

I’ve found this interesting article by the BBC that outlines 10 individual changes you can make. I don’t agree all of them are achievable or even realistic for individuals, but hopefully they will provide some food for thought.

It is possible to take individual action. Given how the climate crisis isn’t on any government’s agenda (except for poor Tuvalu), don’t rely on anyone other than yourselves to change things.

And, if you think individuals can’t make a difference, keep an eye out for the next blog post.