We need three planets for everyone to live like the average European. In other words, if we continue on our current path two out of three people are going to die. In a world of more than six billion people, that is going to be an awful lot of pain.
Will you be one of those who has to die? Your wife? Children? Friends?
So instead of carrying on along a path that will eventually end in heartache, I am going to choose a more difficult way.
I am volunteering to die.
This requires more than resolve and determination – this requires action. It means I have to push against the tide, to take some steps along a less trodden path.
Even though this may appear to be a great self–sacrifice, this is about creating a new life. A new life which enables each of us to have access to clean air, clean water, and nutritious food while nurturing our home (our planet) instead of sucking it dry. It is about acknowledging that we can all live a great life by learning how to live with just one planet, by cutting off and putting to death that part of us which lives like there are three (or more) planets. That is what I am volunteering to do.
The "good life" that has been sold to us is one where we take no responsibility for its consequences. It is a life that consumes with indifference and wastes without thought. Living like that is like extending your mortgage loan more and more each month, eventually the money runs dry and the bank manager comes to collect on the debt by taking your home away. I would rather figure out how to keep my home.
The exciting thing is that this is not about saving the Riverine Rabbit (even though that is important, because we are all connected) – this is about creating better, happier and more fulfilling lives. It is about climbing off the work–spend–work hamster wheel and finding satisfaction beyond the consumption of stuff.
Even though the "good life" we have been sold may be an illusion, putting that to death is a slow, complicated and sometimes painful process. The sooner we can do it though, the sooner we will be able to live a new revitalised life.
"Just as obesity is best overcome by adopting a nutritious, varied, tasty diet and a healthier lifestyle, so too our global overconsumption will be solved by moving to different – but better, healthier and happier – ways of living." – A One Planet Future (worth a read)Here are some ways to start right now.
Picture courtesty of the WWF One Planet Future campaign