I was first confronted with the consequences of climate change through the draft report "Limits to Growth" written by the "Club of Rome" in 1971. My friends and I took the findings in this report very seriously and started changing our own behaviour. We refused plastic bags at the bakery and insisted on using paper; we went for biological foods to avoid chemicals; and some of us became vegetarians. We were students and as such, would protest against everything we disagreed with. Whether it be the inequality between men and women, the exploitation of blue collar workers or the import of oranges from South-Africa. We were left-wing idealists, as people would call us. Many of us enrolled in the communist party and faced the consequences later in life by being refused by multinational employers.
One thing is for sure- we all knew the dangers of unlimited growth with the prediction that the Earth would not make it another 100 years. Now I live in the year 2020 and am looking back almost 50 years. It seems I somehow forgot about these dangers and I find myself wondering what happened.
Did I ignore the negative messages? Was my personal wealth too tempting? My whole life became focused on growth- my personal development, my career, my family, my house, my car, my everything.
This reflection brings about a mix of shame and guilt. Shame that I forgot about the warning and guilt towards my daughter's generation and her future children, my grand children, that we are leaving them in a state of climate emergency. At the same time, I look to my rational side. I am aware that my feelings will not help to solve the problem. So can I leapfrog the past 50 years? Probably not, but I refuse to let that be a reason to do nothing. Instead, I want to contribute to the fight against climate change. My first step is to share my knowledge and experience through these articles. I hope my insights will inspire other people to share their expertise so we can collaborate to make the world beautiful for us and the generations to come.