There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile. The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny, John MacArthur
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, Edmund Burke.
So you want to make a difference in this world, make this world a better place by offering something, helping people who need it, giving your time, money, and even your heart, but don’t know how or where to start.
Let me suggest some ideas.
- Firstly, educate yourself, get informed, find out the facts, what is going on in the world, and create your own opinion about global issues that affect us all: hunger, war, terrorism, water scarcity, etc.
Promote a reform in education which helps to increase citizens’ knowledge and awareness. We must build a society with educated people able to think, discern, understand what is going on, and act accordingly. Do not let yourself be manipulated by the mass media, do no get so distracted by reality TV shows, gossip, videogames, series, sports, etc.
- Be the change you wish to see in the world: Drive less, use more public transport, walk or ride your bicycle. Reduce waste, consume less, try to reuse, refill, and recycle as much as possible. Consume less energy; turn off electrical appliances/lights when you are not using them, use less heat and air-conditioning, and buy energy-efficient products. Conserve water at home by turning off the tap and taking shorter showers. You don’t need continuous running water when brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, your hands, etc. Boycott items made of fur and leather, etc.
- Start small, and then work your way up. Consider your abilities as well as your interests and limitations (time, health, etc.).
- You may want to read our free on-line e-book The poor little rich man that inspires you to make a difference.
- You are not alone, and neither are you too small or old to make a difference! Watch the video The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, a girl born and raised in Vancouver, founded the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO), and raised money to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro when she was 12. She delivered a passionate emotional speech which inspired millions and demonstrated that everyone can be effective and useful.
- Be proactive, put pressure on politicians to end wars and take firm action against global warming, poverty, etc. Join other people, NGOs, and movements. Volunteer, participate in protests or rallies, write letters to governments, companies, and newspapers voicing your concerns.
- Donate money to charities or non-profit organizations.
- Visit HandsOn Network that tries to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to take action to change the world or DoSomething.org that “encourages young people to create their own vision for making a difference in their community and provides them with the resources and support needed.”
- Online Christian Colleges has a very nice article: “40 Creative ways for kids to volunteer this winter” with some good tips to help you become a volunteer.
An endangered species is one whose numbers are so small that it is at risk of extinction. […] Many scientists agree that up to 20 percent of all living animal populations will disappear within 30 years.
You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals, Paul McCartney
Read our free ebooks about animals Extraordinary animals
, A very bad day
, How many legs do I have?
y plants Plants
- What does “Endangered species” really mean?” An endangered species is one whose numbers are so small that it is at risk of extinction,” DoSomething.org, 11 Facts About Endangered Species.
- How concerned should we be about them? How big is the problem? All animals are interesting, fascinating, and deserve our respect. However, many scientists agree that up to 20 percent of all living animal populations will disappear within 30 years.
- Why does extinction occur? “Humans have destroyed over half of the Earth’s forests, and the remaining forest habitats are shrinking fast. Habitat loss is the biggest threat to wildlife today” (Sheppard Software, Endangered Animals, What’s the problem). “Climate change poses a fundamental threat to places, species, and people’s livelihoods,” World Wildlife Fund.
- What can we do to stop animal extinction? A. Learn about endangered animals, conservation organizations, and animal rights groups, Earth’s Endangered Creatures. B. Play. “In an effort to raise awareness among children about the importance of treating farm animals in a respectful and humane way, the European Commission has launched Farmland.” This is a game where you can plough the soil, plant crops, raise chickens or cows, etc. in an animal-friendly way. C. Join a Conservation Organization, volunteer, donate money, write letters to governments, companies, and newspapers voicing your concerns, boycott items made of fur and leather, etc.
Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi.
However, 783 million people lack access to safe, drinking water.
Read our free Water ebook for a gentle introduction to this topic.
- What does “Water conservation” mean? It “refers to reducing the usage of water and recycling of waste water for different purposes such as agricultural cleaning, manufacturing, and agricultural irrigation” (Wikipedia entry).
- Why is it such a big deal?
“Water scarcity already affects every continent. Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world’s population, live in areas of physical scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching this situation. […] There is enough fresh water on the planet for six billion people, but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted” (United Nations ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015.)
- How much water do you use? Go to The Home Water Works website, or H20 CONSERVE. All of these sites estimate how much water is used in your home.
- What can I do about it?
“There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you” Water Use It Wisely
- Conserving water at home can be as simple as turning the tap off and taking shorter showers. You don’t need continuous running water when brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, your hands, etc., Alliance for Water Education.
- “Be careful about what you throw down your sink or toilet,”
- Use energy efficient dishwashers, washing machines, and dry clothes on the washing line. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Install toilets and taps that use the minimum necessary amount of water.
- “Verify that your home is leak free. Repair dripping taps by replacing washers. Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food colouring to the tank,” WaterSavingTips.org.
- Get involved. Become a volunteer or a member of an NGO. Donate your money wisely, fund, “change the world and give clean water!”: Caritas, Oxfam, TheWaterProject, WaterForPeople, etc.
Be aware, do your own research before rushing into action! Donate your time and money to charities that are fast and efficient and do not spend huge amounts of money on fund-raising and staff salaries.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek,”Barack Obama.
Let’s face it, it does not look like the most promising title for a website, does it? However, knowing what is going on in the world is of crucial importance, because you belong to the next generation, and you will need to take decisive action in order to survive.
Firstly, this list is not in order of importance.
- Let’s start with deforestation. This is the removal of trees in places where the land is afterwards converted into non-forest uses, such as, urban development, farmland, etc. It has been estimated that about half of the Earth’s tropical forests have now been cleared.
- Pollution refers to the manmade contamination of the Earth’s environment. It includes water (dumping of untreated wastewater and chemical contaminants) and air pollution (industries, motor vehicles), soil contamination, littering, etc.
- Many scientists agree that up to 20 percent of all living animal populations will disappear by 2028. Most extinctions are caused by habitat destruction (logging, mining), pollution, overexploitation (hunting, fishing), and introducing invasive species.
- According to the United Nations, world population reached 7 billion in 2011. Human overpopulation is a very sensitive topic, but it has been associated with global warming, pollution, water scarcity, malnutrition, and overexploitation amongst other problems.
- Global Warming (the rise in temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans) is, without a doubt, a very serious problem. It will probably cause a rise in sea levels, extreme weather, increase food and water shortages, and species extinction.
- Water scarcity refers to the shortage of drinking and unpolluted water. Almost one billion people do not have access to clean water and two and a half billion lack basic sanitation.
- Famine is, as Ireland’s President Higgins put it, “the greatest ethical failure of the current global system”. In its latest report on food insecurity, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) estimates that 868 million people are starving, and that infant malnutrition is a cause of death for more than 2.5 million children every year.
- Absolute poverty refers to the lack of sufficient resources to sustain life, which includes food, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter, health care and education. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day, and 22,000 children die each day because of it.
- The world’s economy depends heavily on oil. This source of energy is not renewable, so a moment will come when the rate of oil production can no longer be increased (Peak oil). The approach of peak oil will push oil prices up, and will have negative global economic implications.
- The Great Depression of 1929 in the United States is used as an example of how quickly an economy can decline. Many regard the economic collapse as inevitable because of overpopulation, a demographic crisis with an increasingly aging population that requires social support services, resource shortages, excessive rate of unemployment, unsustainable debt levels (global credit bubble), inadequate economic policies, and peak oil.
- Terrorism is the use of violence for political ends. The deadliest attacks were in New York City and Washington DC (2001). Others were the Oklahoma City Bombing (1995), and the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks (2011).War and terrorism are not easy for anyone to accept, or even understand, and yet, they are amongst the biggest problems facing our world. Right now, different conflicts around the world are killing more than 1000 people a year.The problem is exacerbated because of nuclear proliferation. In other words, as many countries have developed nuclear weapons, the risk of mass destruction is increasing.
- Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain individuals or governments find objectionable, harmful, inconvenient, or even dangerous. Many citizens regard their access to information as a fundamental right, and a force for good.
- Another big issue is abuse. It ruins many people’s lives, and takes many different forms: physical abuse (intending to cause pain or injury), rape, child abuse and neglect (physical or emotional mistreatment of children), school bullying, discrimination, etc.
- Others: Super Artificial Intelligence (self-guide drones, killer drones, and automated defense systems), Superbugs (Bacteria with multidrug-resistance) and bio-hacking, Nuclear war,…
At the community level, we must consider the following:
- Fight against political apathy in a society that has allowed governments to favour big corporations and assume unsustainable levels of sovereign debt (the immorality of the government’s borrowing of prosperity from future generations). Promote political activism and demand real democracy in order to prevent big corporations and banks from having so much power and using our political leaders as puppets for their own interests.
- Scale down or remove the fractional reserve banking system. Central banks with their finance ministers must take on new targets for job creation, economic growth, and the eradication of tax havens.
- Demand that taxpayers should not have to pay for failing banks, for the risks taken by bankers, their weak decision making, and greedy management. If banks or any other corporations make mistakes and need to declare bankruptcy, the state should not rescue them. Otherwise, high risk investments are encouraged (the nanny state will always be on their side ready to bail them out) and sovereign debt increases. As a consequence, there is a steady increase in direct and indirect taxation (VAT, inflation —Inflation is taxation without legislation—), leading to a decline of the welfare state and hindering investment and policies for economic growth and competitiveness (R&D, education, infrastructure, etc.).
- Replace an economic system based on scarcity (you can only sell commodities that are scarce), competitiveness (which excludes collaboration) and a completely selfish, narcissistic vision that seeks only personal gain in the very short term, here and now, regardless of the result of their actions in the medium and long term, in the community or the environment.
Even though big corporations and companies are making decent revenues, if these can be increased in the short term, people are replaced by robots, outsourcing, cloud services, automation, etc. These people become unemployed or get part-time and precarious jobs that do not allow them to consume as many goods and services as they used to. As a consequence, the same big corporations and companies also lose money and can even go out of business because the middle class has lost its purchasing power.
Financial markets are driving the world towards another Great Depression with incalculable political consequences. The authorities, particularly in Europe, have lost control of the situation, George Soros
There are two types of measure: at the personal and at the community level.
On a personal level, these suggestions have been proposed:
- Get informed, analyse what is going on in the world and never let mass media and political propaganda (tele-trash, sports, reality shows, etc.) entertain and distract us from the real problems. We should not allow ourselves to be deceived and manipulated with a distorted view of reality.
Reporters are puppets. They simply respond to the pull of the most powerful strings, President Johnson
The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little, Ray Bradbury
- Live within your means, consider economic austerity as logical and reasonable, which is not at all contrary to being happy and living life to the fullest. Always pay cash, avoid credit cards.
- Eliminate or at least reduce personal debt as much as possible: mortgages, auto loans, student loans, etc. If you need money, ask your friends and relatives.
- Avoid buying any sovereign debt or bonds, bank charges, and keep your money far away from banks.
- Buy gold, silver and precious stones. Gold is a scarce and limited resource that cannot be created from nothing like fiat money (it is based solely on faith or trust in the state, but it isn’t backed by anything). It has been used in economic transactions since time immemorial, it has always been considered a safe haven in times of uncertainty, crisis, and depression.
- Always keep some cash on hand so that you can survive, at least for a couple of weeks. In the case of economic collapse, banks and ATMs may be out of service for several days or even weeks.
- Invest with insight and foresight in the medium and long term. This should be done in solid companies with strong management teams and sound financial performance. They should have high quality and reliable products or services. It is also desirable that they possess strong fundamentals and stable dividend yield.
- Opportunities are also going to arise to buy solid assets (real estate, storage facilities, and distressed businesses) on the cheap.
- Study and prepare to offer services and increase your income earning potential in the future. Seriously consider self-employment or starting your own business.
- Some people even advocate escaping from big cities and the possible conflicts and riots that may arise if basic services (water, electricity, etc.) are stopped or shops are closed down because the currency becomes worthless (Hyperinflation). They are talking about rural life, living in less populated areas with access to potable water and sanitation. Places where they can grow their own food, own electricity generators, and can protect themselves, their families, and their possessions (many consider bearing arms for their own defence and that of the state as a right). It is also defended as a viable alternative economic model; small and local communities that can become self-sustaining and are able to provide help and assistance to their members when needed.