Marrakech and its overcrowded Medina: where best to start my exploration in Marocco?
Even more this November 2016 since the city is guesting the COP22 (Conference Of the Parties), the meeting of over 100 nations to discuss and agree on solutions for the environment issues our generation is facing: global warming and climate change.
The topic is really huge and involving all the aspect of the lifestyle and consumerism economy we are currently living in and that is simply not sustainable and destroying our planet and the other living species.
Form pollution of air and seas, to depletion of natural resources with direct impact on local human communities and wildlife, to the food waste along the whole food chain (production, transportation and retail included).
The use of fossil fuels: oil and gas burned for energy production and transportation in the developed countries, while wood still represents the only cooking and heating source for over two billion people worldwide in the developing countries (a “Climate Healers” project aims to increase the burning efficiency reducing the use of wood by over 60%). Massive deforestation with the target to free fields for livestock meals production to feed a unsustainable diet based on meat (a super interesting documentary “Cowspiracy“)
The absurd over-use and waste of plastic in everyday life: produced extracting oil from the deep of the earth and then forged with huge consumption of water into plastic products half of which are used only once and in less than 12 minutes and remain then around in nature for 500 to 1000 year: this is indeed the time needed to decompose each plastic bottle that we daily consume. In very few best cases worldwide the plastic products are thrown in recycling bins and then transported even across the globe from USA to China to be converted into new products. Many of the them ends up burned in heating generation plant while many are buried in landfill (something more than a hole in the ground to hide the trash of or consumerism society).
Is enough to have a walk on a beach out of the touristic season or in the mountains to realise that too much of this plastic just ends up in nature!
From mountains and desert to our seas and oceans nature is invaded by plastic that along the way breaks up into so tiny pieces that animals eat plastic exchanging it for plankton. In the “best scenario” fishes and bird dies from the plastic in their system before getting in the net of a fisherman, while in many other cases the chemicals contained into their bodies continue along the food chain reaching us and generating illness and diseases.
But plastic bottles and tapped water are probably just such a good business that no real political effort is done to try reducing and contain the problem: a very interesting documentary free online that I suggest everyone to watch is: “Tapped”.
Similarly or even more profitable business are the meat and milk production, aliments that are currently debated worldwide not only for doubts about the healthiness of their consumption, but also for their huge impact on the environment. Within the impacts are the land needed for livestock alimentation (estimated to require 60 times the land used for a vegetarian diet), the methane emissions by livestock digestion (methane negative effect on climate is considered 23 times worse than carbon dioxide CO2), the massive use of water required for the meat production. Nether-less to mention the ethical and healthiness doubts connected to the modern industrial production of meat and the related living condition of animals.
It is estimated that if the global population would turn vegetarian, or even better vegan, the greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 14.5%.
Transportation and shipping of products worldwide is just another of the non-sense set-up of our consumerism society where eating an aliment or buying a product produced on the other part of the world is just as logical and normal as picking one cultivated by our neighbour or handcrafted in the nearby village, without considering the insane impact on the environment by the transportation of the first product.
All these and many more are the causes who drove our society to the edge of a cliff called “global warming” whose effect and changing on the climate are already giving the first tangible signs. The predictions and forecast are so dramatic that most of the countries worldwide agreed on plans and economic incentives to address the problem and reduce the heating of the climate to temperatures lower than the beginning of the industrial era.
Even the pope gave all his attention to the topic dedicating his enciclica “Laudato si“ to the status of our home planet Earth and calling all the humanity to act and change our route now.
Many are the sources including documentaries and books to get more informed, here are just some of the most recent ones I found out very interesting:
- movies and documentaries: “There Is No Away“, “The story of stuff“, “Midway“, “Plastic: our problem“, “Before the Flood”, “An inconvenient truth”, “Cowspiracy“, “Earth”, “Tapped”, “Got the facts on Milk”, … (with some search you might find them also in streaming)
- websites: vivirsinplastico.com, www.5gyros.com; www.Plasticoceans.org; www.iucn.org…
- books like “The story of stuff”, “Garbology”, …
- search for “Garbage Patch”, food waste, global warming, micro-plastic, industrial meat production, ….
There are many actions we can all take without waiting for rules by governments:
- get informed and talk about this issue to your relative, friends, anyone!
- Think before buying: select what you buy, choose for the most sustainable solutions (e.g. without plastic, local products, products without packaging, reduce your consumptions to what you really need, reuse as much as you can!
- What about reducing also your consumption of meat? (yeah that includes chicken and fish!)
- Look for alternatives: e.g. detergents sold in reused plastic bottles, food sold without packaging, instead of mono-use plastic dishes why not washing your dishes or if really up for mono-use dishes go for biodegradable ones (monouso.usobio.it), …
- Do your small and contagious action: e.g. bring a bag to collect plastic along the way when going hiking or on a beach; if you see someone throwing garbage in the nature explain him the impact it has, ask your municipality or the ones you visit what are they doing about an environmental problem you care of, …