Studio Zenkai

Bold and Clear, without excess • Kaizen 改善 • With Purpose

Studio Zenkai is dedicated to the craft of programming, hardware hacking, photography, machine learning and how to live sensibly.

What the Climate Change means for you and me

Today is Earth day and an excellent opportunity to reflect on human’s environmental impact.

The pandemic hit countries like a truck and changed overnight our ways of working or interacting with others. Many lost their jobs, others went into depression or worse got infected with COVID-19.

The origin of the disease was little discussed. It is clear for me though that human’s cancerous growth, especially deforestation, is linked to the pandemic. As humans develop further and encroach into nature, it gets into contact with new pathogens. Wildlife is disturbed, cycles are broken and as a result, diseases find new ways to propagate. Thus COVID-19 is directly linked to climate change.

deforestation photo Deforestation Photo by Dave Herring

Previous pandemics in South East Asia and others like Ebola in Africa tells us this is not a unique occurence. It is plausible another pandemic with high transmission rate will hit us in the short term. It is also plausible we will not be able to discover an efficient vaccine. What then?

Climate change is not just mild heat discomfort in the summer. There were many factors at play, but one of the main origins of the civil war in Syria was drought. Farmers running out of water for their crops had no choice but emigrate to the cities, fuelling discontent and riots until civil war erupted. I can see the same scenario occur in Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Tchad, and many other countries. Civilans will flee and then will find refugee in western countries, straining the infrastructure.

Water scarcity is not just for “poor countries”. It is a regular occurence in California, Mediterranean countries, Australia, South Africa. In fact, a world map shows us its predominance worldwide. Populations will be forced to move elsewhere, and claim water, land, energy and more wherever they settle. How many more millions climate change refugees can you and me support?

water scarcity map

It is obvious the climate emergency is going to practically change our short and long term future. The pandemic substantially increased the costs of basic goods such as food and housing. I expect price of land, water and energy to further increase in the next decade. Perhaps new security services will be needed.

As a private citizen, what can one do? If you haven’t done yet, take steps to secure your future. Don’t live in a water scarce zone or be in a country negatively impacted by climate change. You cannot also secure a future if your job and skills belong to an “oils & plastics” age.

What is also honourable and good is take personal steps to fight climate change. It can mean reducing your environmental footprint, by reducing consumption and why not, developing nature. Grow trees, plants and veggies, produce your own energy, stop buying “stuff”, recycle & reuse, minimize car trips & flights etc.

greenhouse photo Greenhouse Photo by Zanda

wind energy photo Wind Farms Photo by Karsten Würth

Overall, your environmental footprint is proportional to your energy and financial expenses. Reducing your monthly expenses to nearly zero means that you managed to subtract yourself from the destructive system, and as a bonus, means also financial freedom 😁

It also means supporting others who fight climate change: kids, neighbors, communities, companies and politicians. It takes a whole lot to repair what we broke. There is of course the alternative to quit and go find a future on Mars, but I do not quit, I am not a billionaire, and it is not on my timeline.