What will you do in the face of climate-change induced civilisation collapse?
Might sound like a hypothetical question, but it’s becoming more and more of a real option as governments are struggling with making decisions to drastically change our economy and lives as of yesterday to prevent climate catastrophe or letting it unfold by keeping with business as usual. Probably some of you have heard about the latest report of the International Panel for Climate Change – an intergovernmental body created to research and deliver information to world leaders about the state of our climate and the trends in its evolution. What they said is basically this – on our current trajectory we are headed for more than 2°C increase in global temperature by 2030 as compared to pre-industrial levels (we are currently at around 1°C), which is way above the 1.5°C targeted by the Paris agreement. The forecasted results of this include ice-free poles for certain times of the year, flooding of coastal regions, mass extinction of different species (we already eradicated 60% of wild vertebrate life since 1970), extreme weather and general climate shifts, causing agriculture failure and famine for millions of people, which will probably lead to social unrest, mass migrations and potentially wars. Jem Bendell claims that the IPCC are actually moving very slow and keeping very safe and optimistic in their predictions. He spoke about it in his famous article issued before the IPCC report and was joined by other scientists as well as David Attenborough in predicting all of this will lead to a collapse of our civilisation in the next 10 years or so. My personal belief is that:
No one can tell what the future holds, but pretending that we don’t see the data and the trends reported by scientists and feeling that something of such high likelihood can’t or won’t happen because it sounds too bad is not a good choice either.
I’m not saying this with the intention of provoking fear or panic in anyone, I’m saying it because facing the truth is an extremely powerful way of growing as individuals and as humanity! That’s actually been my experience – it was the first time I met Jem and he told me about all this that I experienced one of the most important moments of my life. It forced me to ask myself “What would I do if I only had 10 years left to live?” and really consider it’s an option. The answer was: “Well, I’ll make sure that I f*&$ing live those 10 years”. Then the next question came: “What does it take for me to feel that I lived? When do I feel alive?” and the answer: “When I feel fully present, engaged and connected – with myself, with others, with nature”. “So why not orient my life towards that? I have no guarantee if I die tomorrow, in 10 or 50 years, but does it really matter? There is absolutely nothing stopping me from fully living my truth right now!”. So I did, which led to a profound shift in my life direction – starting this vlog, creating the connection playground, starting my coaching practice with which I support leaders to find and live a life of purpose in line with their soul and essence, as well as the book I am currently working on on the same topic. And all of this in a matter of half a year! I am not saying this to brag, I am saying it because I want to show that the reaction to the truth of our uncertain future is not necessarily panic, grief and despair.
It is this perspective that also led to the honour of being invited to talk to 14 y.o. students at the Green School in Bali – world famous for its sustainable operations and unconventional holistic education. The topic of their class – Climate Change-induced Collapse of our Civilisation. I heard they had a hard time processing all this “Why did nobody tell us?”, “How come did you guys not think about it?”, “Why are you leaving THIS on us?”, “Am I going to live to your age at all?”. Their teachers felt I had a take on it that was different, that they’d discussed despair, grief, confusion, anger and all kinds of emotions, but much less of the positive side that I’d experienced. What I shared with them is this:
I believe we are getting an unprecedented invitation to transform humanity and step into a more mature phase of our civilization. To come into a deeper understanding of the gift of life we are given, of the way we share our planet with each other and other species, of our unique gifts and soul work to bring to our communities. And to use that understanding to change our lives and our socio-economic structures. No one can gurantee it will be a painless process or that we will figure it out at all. Although our survival is important for sure, I believe cultural transformation should be our priority – otherwise, we are just delaying our own destruction and making the task of future generations even harder than it is right now.
Personally, I’m extremely grateful to be born in these times and to work towards this cultural shift through my work. It’s what my life is about. Regardless of the outcome of all this, I can look in the eyes of those kids and say honestly that I’ve done the best I can to leave them a world to enjoy and not just keep surviving in.
Give yourself some time and space to consider this question – “What will you do in the face of climate change-induced civilisation collapse?”. Talk about it with friends. Somewhere in that question there is great power – it might take a while, but let it work its way through to you.
About Lessons in Paradise
I believe we already are in paradise, regardless of where we are and what’s going on in our lives. I believe life is a journey towards becoming aware of this and enjoying as much of it as we can in the limited amount of time we have here. The ‘Lessons in Paradise’ vlog is the space where I share my process of shedding patterns and beliefs that obstruct our view in order to replace them with presence, joy and wonder. It’s also my invitation to you – an invitation to connect and journey together in creative ways, as we help each other see through to the greatest expression of ourselves. I also love creating spaces for growth-oriented people to connect to their soul power and life purpose. I do that in the form of coaching and workshops. Reach out if you feel called to explore these topics with me.