Denmark is always the country celebrated for “Green Thinking”. And yes, we have done good things, made plans (in my opinion unambitious and miscalculated*), and have a fairly educated population – do we?
We still seem to vote in politicians who only on very few occasions dare to challenge the norm for real, and ask for more drastic steps in the advantage of nature environment and transition. The Grassroots are very strong and multiple in Denmark, and we grow stronger now acknowledging each other more and more with the help of the shared information over the Internet. With (a little) help from our public service broadcasting network DR1, and the newspaper media “Information”, focus and documentary about the transition and sustainability movements all around the country, and an internet site summering them all up, we now have an even greater tool to reach out to each other, and lift it to a new level and a joined voice.
Working together on the same cause even in so many different ways, hopefully will help us to become this one voice, and the goal for Transition Denmark is to get those who until now haven’t seen them self as part of this movement, to realize that no matter if you are a fly fisher testing the water quality, setting out fry and fighting farmers desire to pollute the water streams with pesticides or fertilizer, or a hunter taking care of wildlife, someone feeding the poor or sharing their tools with the neighbours, or any other private person or organization making a difference for the society or environment, they are part of it.
Denmark could – being so small and with only around 5,5 million people – become 100% organic with in 5 years. We could start by banning pesticides here and now, and GMOs, too. We could finance a basic income for all, just by the cost of our existing unemployment benefits system guaranteeing a monthly payment equal to or a bit more than our currant unemployment benefits rate (around 1300€/month) and end poverty.
We could change to 100% renewable energy in the public sector with in 3-5 years. And yet…
I recently attended a congress hosted by the Danish Engineering Society (IDA), a bigger University (Aalborg) and a left wing news media “Information” in Copenhagen about the transition onto sustainability hosted on Christiansborg (home of the Danish Parliament). I had high expectations and expected to learn a lot of new stuff, moving on to a new era considering the fact that engineers are very important for the transition, coming up with all sorts of new innovative solutions. They had to be up front in the whole sustainability business, I thought. I even sacrificed the most important day in the year (my birthday) to the event – I was that eager and dedicated to be on the edge of the movement. I went home after the two long days, very disappointed and frustrated. Why? Because both long days had been a repetition on well known facts and not as, what I would have found reasonable; a short summery, and then – build on that – the visualization of the resilient sustainable future with lots of examples possibilities and ideas.
I am a very impatient person – I know that for a fact, and I am not proud of it (I´m working on it) – but this is what we have done for the last 40 years: Gathered facts, sat down discussed it, argued about it, and always coming back to the Brundtland Report and the World Summit Reports…and very little has been done. Well yes, there are initiatives, and we have done a reasonable thing (but not brilliantly, even though we could if we wanted to) about the energy problem, focusing almost solely on renewable energy as a high priority. But seen in the big perspective why are we then still using fossil fuels, going to war over it, destroying even more environment and health to harvest it, when we really do not need to (well the answer to that is just one of the things we keep talking about, but never change: Profit)?
Why do politicians still mainly – practically only – look at that one single leg on the four-legged foundation of sustainability? Why is it so difficult to accept that the two most important legs are the personal and the social legs, in order to get the environmental and energy legs to be stable and the whole transition to have severe impact?
These are facts we all agree on, and seen not only from a Danish perspective, it really frustrates millions of people that our politicians overlook all these in-your-face-obvious-facts. When will we as a nation follow the words of Gandhi and “Be the change”? For real! We could beat Bhutan if we wanted to on becoming the first organic nation, beat the French who have banned GMOs and in some areas pesticides, too. Or Holland making all public transport work on electricity from renewable energy only. Be the first to replace asphalt roads with solar roads? So why don´t we? Where is our competitive gene? Our pride and passion? Is it because we are afraid it will lessen our chances of export and competition on the global marked? I don´t think so!
It would be forces as a nation to be able claim that as a brand. But it would exclude old solutions, taking profit from existing businesses. Businesses with power to block for change. I hate to continuously coming back to a nagging feeling, that our politicians are very badly educated, only to blame on them self. That or corrupted and controlled by the famous 1%. But it really doesn’t matter what the reason is. It has to change, because we only keep repeating the facts again and again, instead of gathering all the innovative solutions already existing, and implement them here and now. We stick to the habit and keep business as usual, ranking profit higher than sustainability, even though we know it should be the other way around. We have talked about it for 40 years! Well, I´m repeating it again now!
We all agree that the transition will never come from the top: The Politicians or The 1% (who owns the first mentioned?). There are thick heavy books written on this. We see for a fact that it only comes from the bottom, as private persons take the steps towards transition. Then some bold company owners takes steps. And then local politicians dare to join in here and there when they see the benefits of the human resources they can´t afford other vice. But we have reached the point where it has to be regulated seriously by government laws to take it to the next level and that counts both for the economical system as for the social and for the environment.
This autumn we will have a new election in Denmark, but unfortunately there is little if any hope that any change in who is taking up the 179 seats, will make any difference in the politics regarding the most important issue in the time of mankind.
So when will we move onto Society 3.0? When will we stop repeating our self and each other, and go to REAL action?
The change comes when we visualize the world, as it will be when we change. When we use the tools of NLP and start focusing on what we want to implement in peoples minds as possibilities, instead of repeating old news, common knowledge and Dooms Day prophesies. So we visualize roads of solar panels. Decentralization in power storage to batteries in the house supplies like e.g. washing machines dishwashers etc., being charged with cheap electricity at night, used in the daytime, or sold back at a higher prize, and being a buffer in case of break downs, not needing big centralized energy storage.
We see it in small local slaughterhouses, dairies, and breweries creating workplaces. People shopping locally, taking part in society, finding new ways of reusing resources, taking care of the environment, by sharing, repairing and re- and up-cycling, having more time on their hands. More hands in the educational and health care system, sharing jobs, so more hands is at work and everybody is working less hours and less stressful.
In other words: We need to see us as Transition Towns. We need to see peer-to-peer education like Transition Streets. We need to regulate the greed by changing how the economy works, making local money, share, lend, and make gift economies, create equality and end poverty, and fertilize the feeling of social responsibility – in all layers of society.
That is the true transition! That is the world we want – a shared world. Not only with our fellow men, but also with all life on earth. We need to end all the insecure feelings of “Will we have food enough?”, “Will I still be able to have a car”, “Is it back to the medieval times?” and tell the fact that “YES! We will eat better food, driver better cars, and no it will only be on the fairs you can find the medieval standards, that you will have time on your hands to visit”. We will make them see cities with out car pollution or noise from vehicles, see farms with happy animals, and bees thriving on healthy land, see communities where by sharing, we know and trust each other, respecting the mentally ill, the old and the children, by taking a responsibility for them. We see how we prevent illness instead of treating the symptoms, and we make sure our Health Care Systems are not in fact owned by an industry driven by profit.
We see how we turn deserts into gardens with salt water and humidity condensers and stop migration. We stop war by not needing resources as before – especially fossil fuels. We stop food waste by sharing and growing them where they are needed. We can taste how great those varieties are not meant for transport, but for flavour.
We see a world where when ever we stumble over things that we need to change, we act on it NOW, not looking at profit loss at all, like plastic as bags or in toothpaste, or neonicotinoid pesticides. We need to ACT NOW and stop talking about the entire negative we already know, and start talking about all the great and positive in the possibilities.
About what we CAN, HAVE TO and WANT to change! So can we PLEASE move on now!?
*With a desire for continued growth in consumption, it is clear that it is also expected that CO2 emissions will increase correspondingly, so even if we reduce CO2 emissions on each consumer, then the curve of CO2 emissions are not reduced accordingly.
But our need and wish through transition to stop the growth in consumption and a change in consumption to less CO2 heavy goods, and generally transfer to a more CO2 friendly one, both the less consumption and the then less expected CO2 emissions from the inevitable consumption should make it possible to be even more ambitious.
Picture retrieved from http://www.crystalinks.com/eco-friendly606.jpg