Georg-Wilhelm Geckler author
During these days of spring in many parts of the world, or any other season when religious, traditional, ritual, or private feasts and celebrations cannot be celebrated with the usual get-togethers and visits of relatives many of us must stay at home and watch the misery of the plague spreading worldwide. Now we seem to read about matters we never thought of before. Or we always knew. I regard this essay as another push for me to change my actions and try to do nothing but what is sustainable – as long it is well bearable.
Let me add the point of view of an engineer: We live in a time of massive overproduction. This overproduction creates a lot of superfluous, unnecessary, even harmful products, tons of waste, greenhouse gases, and, for thermodynamic reasons, thermal energy that can no longer be used but is also called waste heat. In addition, a lot of electricity was consumed that had to be generated, as well as raw materials that had to be obtained, processed and transported. The entire transports alone show how much is being produced. And most of it just because people want to make „money“ out of it. They could do with much less and use their workforce for sustainable work.
In addition, we live at the expense of poorest people who are exploited and oppressed to the last and have no chance of improvement, as well as at the expense of nature and the climate. Simply by reducing the worldwide production of goods to a sufficient minimum of products plus things that are fun and do not cost much, the climate targets could be almost achieved. My suggestion is to only approve those products for manufacture and trade that have passed a sustainability test.
Resources such as water, air, food, and raw materials are enough in the world for the peek number of living beings, including humans, which – it is calculated – will probably be reached still in this century and the number of which will then decrease again. The Zeit recently wrote that the population of Germany would have shrunk since 1972 if there had been no immigration. And like this it will soon be upcoming for an educated world, which is a good prospect if the education grows fast but the decrease of the population comes slowly. (However, I do not expect an “immigration” to Earth, at the most with an increase in machines and robots, which make our daily life easier and can partially relieve heavy work)
The world economy, especially the finance industry, is thereby revolutionized. But these are of secondary importance and, in the engineer’s view, relief can be the result of timely measures. The motto should no longer be the dominance of financial capitalism with the principle of maximizing profits and optimizing shareholder value, but subordinating it to the maxim of a world shaped by human dignity. Michael Boyer defined this as a new term: Digniworld and initiated it as a hashtag in these days.