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 becoming a better person, a more responsible citizen, by helping people who need it, giving your time, money, and even your heart, but maybe you just don’t know how or where to start.
Let me suggest some ideas.
- Firstly, educate yourself, get informed, find out about the facts, what is going on in the world, and create your own informed opinions about global issues that affect us all.
Promote a reform in education which helps to increase citizens’ knowledge and awareness about social, economic, and environmental challenges. We must build a society with educated people able to think, understand what is going on, and act accordingly. Do not let yourself be manipulated by the mass media and by political and commercial interests, do no get so distracted by reality TV shows, gossiping, shopping, playing videogames, or social media.
- Be the change you wish to see in the world. Drive less, use more public transport, walk or ride your bicycle to work, school and anywhere you can. Reduce waste in your life, consume less and live a more minimalist lifestyle, 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 when brushing your teeth and shaving, fixing leaky pipes and faucets, taking shorter showers, and running only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. Boycott products that use genuine fur and leather.
- Start small, and then work your way up. Consider your skills and abilities as well as your interests and limitations (time, health, and economic situation).
- You may want to read our free ebook The poor little rich man that tries to 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 was a girl born and raised in Vancouver. She 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. She demonstrated that everyone can be effective and influential.
- Be proactive, put pressure on politicians and policy makers to end wars and take firm action against global warming and poverty. Get involved, become a member, volunteer or join an NGO, participate in protests or rallies, write letters and emails to governments, companies, and newspapers voicing your concerns.
- Donate some money to charities or non-profit organizations.
An endangered species is one whose numbers are so small that it is at risk of extinction
You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals, Paul McCartney
. Many scientists agree that one-third to one-half of all species could become extinct by 2050
. Most extinctions are caused by habitat destruction (urbanization, agriculture, logging, mining), pollution, over exploitation (hunting, fishing), and introducing invasive species.
You may want to read our free ebooks about animals, Extraordinary animals
, A very bad day
, How many legs do I have?
- What does “Endangered species” really mean? The Earth is currently experiencing its sixth major animal extinction event. “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 it? How big is the problem? All animals are interesting, fascinating, and deserve our respect; and yet “One out of four of the world’s mammals and over 40 percent of amphibians are threatened with extinction due to human activity, including habitat destruction, overexploitation, climate change, and pollution, as well as human overpopulation,” Animal Welfare Institute.
- Why does extinction occur? “Humans have destroyed over half of the Earth’s forests, and the remaining forest habitats are shrinking fast. Since all creatures need space in which to live, find food, and reproduce, habitat loss is the biggest threat to wildlife today,” (Sheppard Software, Endangered Animals, What’s the harm?). “Climate change poses a fundamental threat to places, species, and people’s livelihoods,” World Wildlife Fund.
- What can we do to stop animal extinction? Learn about endangered animals, Earth’s Endangered Creatures. Protect wildlife by joining, volunteering and donating to a conservation organization. Write letters and emails to governments, companies, and newspapers voicing your concerns. Boycott products made of fur, skin, and leather, etc.
Water is essential to all living things on Earth, which makes it one of our most precious resources!
Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi.
Although we can go weeks without food, we can live only days without water.
- What does “Water conservation” mean? It refers to reducing the usage of water. It is also the treatment and recycling of waste water for different purposes such as drinking, cleaning, cooking, agricultural irrigation, etc. It means using our water wisely and caring for it properly.
- 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. Another 1.6 billion people, or almost one-quarter of the world’s population, face economic water shortage. […] There is enough freshwater on the planet for seven billion people but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and unsustainably managed,” (United Nations ‘Water for Life’.)
- How much water do you use? Go to The Home Water Works website, or H20 CONSERVE. All of these sites estimate how much water your household uses and compares it to a similar average and a highly efficient 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 off the tap and taking shorter showers. Avoid running the water continuously for brushing your teeth, washing your hands, shaving, etc., Alliance for Water Education.
- “Be careful about what you throw down your sink or toilet. Don’t throw paints, oils or other forms of litter down the drain,” Water-pollution.org.uk.
- Use energy efficient dishwashers, washing machines, and dry clothes on the washing line. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- “Install water-efficient toilets and taps in the bathrooms. Check for leaks and fix them as quickly as possible. Install dual flush systems if possible,” JunkMail.
- Get involved. Become a volunteer or a member of an NGO. Donate your money wisely: Caritas, Oxfam, TheWaterProject, WaterForPeople, etc.
Be aware, do your own research before rushing into action! Donate your time and money to charities that 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 an article, does it? However, it is of crucial importance to know what is going on in the world 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. It is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is afterwards converted to other nonforest uses, such as urban development, farmland or pasture. It has been estimated that about half of the Earth’s tropical forests have now been cleared.
- Pollution refers to the contamination of the Earth’s environment caused by mankind. It includes water (dumping of untreated wastewater and chemical contaminants) and air pollution (industries, motor vehicles), soil contamination, littering, etc.
- Many scientists agree that one-third to one-half of all species could become extinct by 2050. Most extinctions are caused by habitat destruction (urbanization, agriculture, logging, mining), pollution, over exploitation (hunting, fishing), and introducing invasive species.
- According to the United Nations, world population is expected to reach 8 billion in 2023. Human overpopulation is a very sensitive topic, but it has been associated with global warming, pollution, water scarcity, malnutrition, and over explotation of natural resources 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, severe food and water shortages, and species extinction.
- Water scarcity refers to the shortage of drinking 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.” It is the scarcity of food in a certain area or region. It results in malnutrition and death by starvation and disease.
There is almost one billion starving people in the world! Famine is caused by poor food distribution, poverty, crop failures caused by natural disasters, and crop destruction due to warfare among other reasons. It leads to poverty (the poor can’t feed themselves or their families, so they become weak and malnourished which makes them unable to work) and violent conflicts.
- Absolute poverty refers to the lack of sufficient resources necessary to meet basic needs such as food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education, and information. There are 734 million people living in extreme poverty.
- As we are using fossil, non-renewable fuels as the basis of the economy, many fear that peak oil (i.e. the point where the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached) will result not only in dramatic price rises, but also a complete collapse of the global economy.
- The Great Depression of 1929 in the United States is used as an example of how quickly an economy can decline. Many regard economic collapse as inevitable due to overpopulation, a demographic crisis with an increasingly aging population that requires social support services, resource shortages, excessive unemployment rate, unsustainable debt levels (the global credit bubble), inadequate economic policies, and peak oil.
- Terrorism is the use of intentional violence for political or religious purposes. “In 2017, an estimated 26,445 people died from terrorism globally. Over the previous decade the average number of annual deaths was 21,000,” Our World in data.War and terrorism are not easy for anyone to accept, or even understand, and yet, they are amongst the biggest problems facing our world. “Every minute, two people are killed in conflicts around the world,”BBC News.The problem is exacerbated because of nuclear proliferation. It refers to the spread of nuclear weapons by purchase or technological development among nations. It increases the risk of nuclear war, nuclear terrorism, instability, and further proliferation.
- Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain individuals, groups, or government officials 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: Artificial Intelligence, killer robots (weapon systems that can select and attack targets without meaningful human control), superbugs (bacteria with multidrug-resistance) and bio-hacking, etc.
Printing money is merely taxation in another form. Rather than robbing citizens of their money, government robs their money of its purchasing power, Peter Schiff.
The economy is a mess. Bubbles are everywhere, including stocks, bonds, and housing. Quantitative easing cannot last forever. An ever-increasing amount of debt and liabilities that we cannot meet. This Ponzi scheme is like the game of chairs, the music will eventually stop playing and it won’t be pretty.
There are measures that you can take to minimize your risk at a personal level and actions that we should take at a community level.
At the community level, we must consider the following:
- Fight against social, political and economic apathy in a society that has allowed governments to favor big banks and corporations and assume unsustainable levels of sovereign debt. Debt is nothing but borrowing 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. Let’s give the state a monopoly on money creation. Money should only be created by central banks “as needed to promote non-inflationary growth.”
- 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 (it encourages reckless behavior because 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 (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 to a sustainable economy based on knowledge, renewable resources and clean technology, less growth (GDP), more well-being.
The economic system is based on greed. Even when corporations are making a profit they still cut staff (outsourcing, cloud services, automation, etc.) without giving it a second thought. 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 in the long run and can even go out of business because the middle class has lost its purchasing power. Unsustainable growth and greed are a global threat. We need to change the way we live, the way we think about work, growth, etc.
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 measures that you can take to minimize your risk at a personal level and actions that we should take at a 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 (tele-trash, sports, reality shows, etc.), social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and political propaganda entertain and distract us from the real problems. We should not allow ourselves to be deceived and manipulated with a distorted view of reality or just noise, bread and circus.
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 a more simplistic or minimalist lifestyle as positive, healthy, 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. Before you borrow money: Do you really need to spend the money at all? Can you save up, use some savings or ask some friends and relatives to help you out instead of borrowing money?
- Avoid buying risky assets (domestic and international stocks, mixed funds, index certificates, options, futures, etc.), bank charges such as commissions or overdraft fees, and do not keep all your money in one bank.
- Buy gold, silver and precious stones. Gold is a scarce and limited resource that cannot be created from nothing like fiat money. Fiat money is based solely on faith or trust in the state, but it is backed by nothing. Gold has been used in economic transactions since time immemorial, it has always been considered a safe haven in times of economic and political instability, crisis, and depression.
- Always keep some cash on hand and some basic supplies 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.
- Opportunities are also going to arise to buy solid assets (real estate and distressed businesses) on the cheap.
- Study and prepare yourself to offer services in demand 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. 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.