A few days ago I read an interview in the excellent newspaper The Guardian, with English scientist Mayer Hillman. The pessimism struck me. Here’s one quote: “we’re doomed,” says Mayer Hillman with such a beaming smile that it takes a moment for the words to sink in. “The outcome is death, and it’s the end of most life on the planet because we’re so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps.”(*) You can read the whole interview here.
Sometimes I have those deep thought moments, especially around Christmas and New Year. It happened to me when a good friend of me sent me a great Ted video about happiness. One way or another, our life goes slower around this period and moments of contemplation get room to enter. Inspired by this video, I was thinking about the happiness in my life.
Every day millions of men and women across the globe struggle to feed their children a nutritious meal. Nearly 800 million people – one in nine – go to bed on an empty stomach each night. Eradicating hunger is one of the great challenges of our time.
On January 20, 2017 the next President of the United States, Mr. Donald J. Trump was inaugurated. One of his first actions was to remove all information from the White House website about climate change. When you follow the COP22 news, you find that now most of the governments worldwide – including the United States – have committed to take measures to help prevent the world’s average temperature rise with more than 2⁰C.
The first half of 2016 presented quite a few challenges for Groasis. We faced tough discussions with our bank, people close to us had health issues and finally, we had to reorganize our sales and logistic department as our talented sales manager Margot moved to Belgium and left our team.
My father – born in 1930 – had to leave school when he was 11, at the start of the 2nd World War. As a grower he taught me a simple truth: ‘never spend your money on milk, it’s better to buy a cow’.
Over the past few months we´ve seen horrifying images of thousands of refugees from Africa, trying to find a better life in Europe. Europe decided to send warships. Is that the right response? The real problem is not the vessels transporting the refugees, but the desire to leave the African continent.
Last week was a very interesting week. The United Nations published a report about the dramatic water situation in the world. Here you can read the report. A few weeks ago, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite Foundation published the ‘Global Opportunity report 2015’. Sir Branson’s team has analyzed that indeed the water stress is one of world’s biggest challenges.
This month I heard on the news about the opening of a new milkfactory in Holland. They are processing milk from their suppliers to all kinds of milk derivates like cheese, yogurt, etc. The news was that they have created a new type of filter that cleans the milk from all the bacteria’s. The spokesperson said “now the milk remains 7 days fresh, because there are no bacteria’s in it”.
In the November blog you have learned about the difference between deserts and manmade deserts. Manmade desert is in fact degraded farmland, caused by the influence of man. Well, if man could destroy it, man can recover it. That is a simple truth. This is what Groasis stands for: make the 2 billion hectares (5 billion acres) of degraded farmland productive again.
When I was a kid, I was taught that the devil was a dangerous man. What he actually did was not really clear, we were just taught to be afraid of something ‘bad’. In my teenage years, I started to think that this whole concept of a bad man - with the name Satan – was a joke. A way to manipulate me.
Anyone who reads newspapers, magazines or the internet, knows that the world is on fire. Literally. Big areas everywhere get lost. Last week in the middle of the winter big parts of California were on fire and governor Jerry Brown declared a ‘drought emergency’ for his state…! 90% of California suffers from drought now.
Every day people work hard to make money and comply with their responsibilities. This is good as it keeps our societies going. However, as most of us are tied up in those daily obligations, we sometimes tend to forget where it all starts. Especially when you live in a city, you start to think that a city is important and a basic entity of our society. However, it isn’t.
People tend to think that all deserts are more or less the same. But there are big differences between them. Some deserts – for instance in Somalia - seem dry, but they aren’t. They get a lot of rain – up to 40 inches (1,000 mm) - it only falls in a very short period. Some deserts – like the North of Chile – never have rain. Some deserts have temperatures that are never below +32⁰F (0⁰C) – e.g. the Middle East - others – like the Los Monegros Desert in Zaragoza Spain – can go up to +113⁰F (+45⁰C) during Summer, but have Winter night temperatures as low as +5⁰F (-15⁰C!)
In the world we have over 3 billion people looking for a descent job to generate income for themselves. In Europe live 60 million people desperately searching for jobs. In some areas governments help them with a small fee, in some there is no help. Poverty is on each corner. Last week a Dutch trend watcher proposed that, due to the loss of jobs caused by the internet, we should introduce a 12 hour work week.
I was listening to a group of future watchers on television. The discussion was “the influence of internet on our lives and work”. And on the society as a whole. They analyzed that internet is destroying millions of jobs and so in fact it creates poverty. Words like “rules, prohibit, destruction and restore” were used all the time.