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Nature comes alive again, how about humanity?

The equinox on March 20th shows us once again the magical coherence of nature and reminds us of our own historical immaturity to deal with symbiose and peacefulness. Let us celebrate our steps to maturity through a musical online event.

Springtime shows how the ecosystem in nature comes alive with the extra sunlight. Trees, flowers, insects, bushes, everything is showing itself in its colorful diversity. The ecosystem is well balansed, peaceful and symbiotically interactive. Every event triggers other life events up to the full cycle fullfilment. After that it gradually downgrades itself into the winter pauze where storms, darkness and cold form a natural moment of rest.

Nature acts like a well orquestrated symphony. The question arises why humankind has some much difficulty behaving in a similar cocreative, multually dependent and peaceful way? We believe that it has to so with our evolutionary immaturity. For a long time humankind could grow nearly unlimited in a space without natural enemies, except ourselves. We also did not interpret the natural environment as a friend to interact with, we rather saw it as open storage of raw materials free for us to use. Our territorial drifts and controls, together with a puberal competitive drive, made us fight each other out of self interest.

In analogy with the orquestrated symphony of nature we, human beings, act like musicians that have learned to play an instrument but have not understood yet how to play together. We show traces of empathy and diplomacy at times but hardly manage to syntonize into values driven cocreation with each other or our environment.

This is changing.

We seem to mature the hard way, through painful conflicts, sudden illnesses and bursts of awareness. Awareness gradually show us that all these conflicts don´t serve humankind at all. We need to outgrow this mentality and become constructive, progressive, cocreative, according to the Laws of Nature. One of these laws is the musicality of the living environment. Let us celebrate this online at 17:00 CET (Amsterdam time)

Dutch municipality elections in March

AiREAS calls on all political parties in these elections to place health and a healthy living environment on number 1 of every coalition negotiation and agreement. A recent video message from the World Health Organization (WHO) demonstrates once again that air pollution is a public health emergency.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/media-resources/science-in-5/episode-66—air-pollution-a-public-health-emergency

In the past, we could desire to delegate the responsibility for our well-being to a municipal council with our vote. That is no longer the case. With our vote, we choose our municipality as a partner in the profound changes that we need to achieve together for our health and a healthy living environment. The choices that a municipality makes in its daily policy making must be geared towards these higher common goals. But we as residents or entrepreneurs cannot escape this either. Health and a healthy living environment are a shared responsibility that we all bear together (residents, municipality, companies, knowledge institutions). We cannot take it for granted or rely on an expensive healthcare system and bureaucracy to remediate our lack of proactive attention. 

Therefore, AiREAS calls on all political parties to find each other in a coalition agreement based on two fundamental areas:

  • putting health and a healthy living environment first in the negotiations for a coalition.
  • select aldermen who are given the space, support and means to co-create with the population in order to achieve a healthy society together.

The problems are mounting as we have seen during the Corona pandemic. Energy prices are skyrocketing, inflation is growing, ill health in society is a thorny issue, as are our behavioral adjustments. Our pollution is directly affecting the global climate as well. Yet we have to get through this together. How? We can best determine this together instead of waiting for yet another crisis, extra rules or bureaucracy, recessions or disaster that strikes.

Since 2011, AiREAS has been a citizens’ initiative and multidisciplinary partnership in our region to take joint responsibility for our air quality and health. The local government has been a key partner right from the beginning. And with these elections that partnership needs to continue and be enhanced. AiREAS is part of the STIR Foundation in which sustainable human development is leading, with money as one of the many means. 

During these years a lot of attention has been paid to measuring the air quality around us, but we have not yet been able to observe many changes to our behavior. Our polluting behavior is part of our daily lives and of “the system”. To change that, we have to look a lot at ourselves. Air pollution should not be an excuse for a livelihood, a growth economy or our own laziness. The consequences are simply too great and affect not only ourselves but also the health and well-being perspectives of our children and grandchildren. Behavioral change is never popular, as essential as it is given the challenges we face as humanity. That is why we need to attend these challenges together, the municipality, its citizens, our entrepreneurs and our scientists.

That is why AiREAS tries to make it fun, simple and transparent for everyone through the collaboration. But then all partners must make the most of their efforts, independently and together. The city council first, setting the example for others to follow and engage with.

And AiREAS is just one of the communities. We also face food challenges (FRE2SH), social inclusion and care for health (COS3i), the energy transition for sustainable quality of life (EQoL), etc. In each of these the municipality plays a significant role that needs to be optimized. Our elections need to prepare for this level 4 partnership effectively for the benefit of the entire city and beyond. 

Ukraine gives a burst of awareness of our vulnerability

Suddenly it is the talk of the day. Young people approach me with their worries. “What if the war extends across Europe?” “What if the banks freeze our money?” “What if……”. The amount of questions raised are numerous. Suddenly our vulnerability is sensed. Will we still have food? Energy? Water? Money?

They all know someone in the Ukraine or from the Ukraine. Our current worldwide crossborder and internet age has made us all brothers and sisters. People worry about their friends, about the family of these friends. They ask themselves: “why?”. A sudden burst of empathy is felt, not just with the people from the Ukraine, also for the people from Russia. Noone sees the russian citizens as the agressor, just the political elite. And all see those troops as victims, young people to fight a situation noone understands, no one wanted and suddenly one needs to sacrifice all those promising lives for.

Elderly people go mentally back to worldwar II. They remember the hunger winter, the fears they felt when the bombs were falling, the planes flying over.

Suddenly our core human values, the ones we take generally for granted until it is too late, become relevant. What about our health, our safety, our basic needs?

For over a decade the STIR Foundation has been inviting to develop our core values together on time, before chaos would surprise us and force us. Have a look at this short spontaneous video (2012) that shows our awareness after worldwar II, the society that emerged from it and the gradual abuse we took from it. Chaos is inevitable unless we take action on time.

This similar drawing I used in 2009 (see below) to show the risk of chaos as from 2020 (start of Covid and the technological/big pharma lobby for citizen control systems). In 2008 the world was shocked by the banking crisis. This had already an important impact on the awareness not to trust the financial system anymore and work harder on our core values. The 2022 Ukraine attaques enhance this even more. We cannot take our safety, our resilience for granted by laying it in the hands of politicians or big, globalized institutions with their self interests.

We need to get our self sufficiency act together if we want to avoid further chaos and painful situations for many people.

Towards 2020 the choice is ours