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Life is full of choices. And choices have consequences. Take this chain of historic choices for instance in the Netherlands. The peaks in every picture are directly related. Now that our air is polluted, being number 1 cause of death in the public space, what should our next choices look like?
The Netherlands choose to be the center of goods distribution for Europe ever since we discovered the waters for worldwide commerce. Our geographical positioning and trading history made the development of the large Rotterdam habor and infrastructures a logical choice.
Since Europe decided to focus on consumption (leaving productivity to low wage countries) the combination of distribution, infrastructure and city development became economic growth patterns. Cities are ideal, concentrated consumer platforms for economic efficiencies.
Choosing to use fuel combustion as mayor source of energy for mobility, heating and movement of goods shows consequences of premature death directly related to air pollution from burning fossil fuels. A large, services economy around the consequences develops.
Global warming, sea levels rising
The pollution contibutes to global warming with the consequence of sea levels rising. Large investments are needed to protect the Dutch mainland against the sea water. If this process continues large parts of the mainland will be flooded at places where the biggest city development has taken place. How do we protect millions or even billions of people?
Global issues, local solutions, global application
When I choose to move from Spain back to Holland I noticed the equivalent reduction of quality of life due the combination of materialistic economic growth focus and growing consequences on health and environment. As a consequence my awareness developed around complex ethics and responsibilities. It became my choice to invite key local responsibilities (government, science, citizens and technology) to address People, Planet, Profit together rather than separately. Sustainocracy was born and AiREAS Eindhoven our first venture.
Choices are based on circumstances, opportunity and awareness. What would happen if Europe would change focus from consumption to productivity? What would happen if economic value would be given to positive human interaction rather than materials and goods? What would have happened to my awareness if I had stayed in Spain instead of moving to Holland? How can Holland cope with health responsibility when its economic positioning depends on unhealthy practice? What choices can we expect? What would happen if we did nothing?
Analysis of choices, consequences and sustainable human progress is becoming a modern science of its own. But whatever the outcome, the transformative reality is clear. If we do not work on those global issues locally with solutions fast we will be surprised by chaos and disaster. We will pay the highest price ever. Death. Now we still have a choice.