NEW.S Roundup March 2023
MONIKA VAN OLST
Have you ever thought about the true cost of products? The production of many products is cheaper than what we pay because, undeniably, we pay for the brand and the “identity” that consuming these products supposedly lends us.
The production of some products, however, is significantly more expensive than what we pay. Governments subsidize those to make them cheaper for citizens while splitting the total cost among everyone. While this approach makes sense for something like health care, we would argue it doesn't make sense for climate-destroying industries, like animal agriculture or fossil fuels. Yes, you heard correctly. Governments subsidize those industries with our tax money.
Why doesn’t anyone stop that nonsense, you might ask?
Interestingly, whether we pay for the brands (and thus directly pad the pockets of the business owners) or we pay taxes so that governments subsidize our consumption, the money goes toward capitalist companies. In other words, someone somewhere makes money and gains power.
The people that profit off the capitalist system are the same people who don’t want you to discover the advantages of more democratic systems. Like when talking about energy – solar panels, for example. Imagine if we all had solar panels on our roofs and at least part of the year we got enough sun to produce enough to cover our energy needs. No sane entrepreneur would make money beyond selling those panels to us. Solar panels are just one example of solutions that could break the capitalist power cycle.
Have you noticed energy companies’ profits skyrocketing this past yearwhile you might be sitting at home wondering whether you can afford to turn on your heating? Isn’t this a contradiction?! We’d say so!
We now live in a world where access to the dominant energies is privatized and in the hands of the few. Trust us: They don't want you to imagine a world where the energy supply is plentiful (because everyone has solar panels on their roof or uses a car directly powered by a wind turbine or a solar panel). They (and by “they” we mean those who can afford to lobby and buy up media companies) want you to believe that access to energy is supposed to be restricted because there’s no other way.
How we perceive our world and what we believe is possible is often man-made. The solutions are there. However, they’re not democratically distributed — and neither is knowledge of them. Setting goals for politicians with the tools of democracy might be the first step. And it’s one that at least the citizens of Berlin are trying to take. We’d say it’s an experiment worth pursuing to support this initiative and vote for a climate neutral Berlin by 2030.
Let's make Berlin climate neutral!
If you're a German citizen registered in Berlin, please order your mail ballot before March 21 and vote YES to making Berlin climate neutral by 2030. Berlin has been decisive in many historical events. As Berliners, we could once again write history. The world is looking at us and waiting for what we, the citizens of this pioneering city, will do.
Scientists say climate neutrality by the end of the decade is necessary to remain under the 1,5°C threshold. The futurists say becoming climate neutral is possible. Yet the politicians worry they’d act against people’s will if they sped up the process. Let’s show them otherwise and write history together.
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