Climate Solutions are Obvious – But Profit and Politics Stand in the Way

September 6th, 2019

By Sergey Baranov

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Sometime in 2015 I had an interesting conversation with a retired physicist who was at the time also working for a local bank in our town in the Sacred Valley. We talked about climate change and what it meant to us. Back then, climate change had already prompted much debate, but little of its consequences could actually be seen yet.

During our casual talk he told me that he had calculated that the earth’s axis had tilted eight degrees. I asked him what the implications for environmental change were. He explained that this can cause weather to change globally. Winters, he said, will get colder and summers hotter. An increase of rain and flood in some areas, droughts and wildfire in others; volcanic activity and earthquakes should be expected as well. Quite an alarming forecast for the future.

When I asked him what can be done about it, he simply said, “Nothing. Just be safe until the Earth re-adjusts.” Well, this was already good news. The Earth will re-adjust eventually, but when? How much damage will we have to suffer before this happens? Was there really nothing we could do to help the Earth to find its balance? What does all our technology and science mean if it cannot be applied to help the environment? We have made a lot of progress in creating weapons of mass destruction, but we have nothing for mass protection.

He further explained that countries near the equator will be least affected and those farther from it will be affected most. “Could Siberia turn green and Australia white?” I asked him. “Ancient Egypt was green thousands of years ago, and now it’s a desert.” He said that no one can predict the impact of this shift on the environment. It is a new phenomenon we haven’t dealt with yet. The great flood of antiquity came to mind.  Regardless of whether or not this was caused by an asteroid’s impact on the Earth 13,000 years ago or due to other forces of nature, the event is known in human history and is mentioned in many ancient texts from all over the globe.

I am not a scientist, and calculation is not a way I relate to the world. But I do trust those who spent years dedicating themselves to it, especially those who have no interest in creating chaos. Talking further, I learned that one of his clients at the bank either was or still is a NASA employee who was looking to buy land near Sacred Valley of the Incas, where we live. I tried to ask more about him, his rank and motives, but my friend was reluctant to say anything else. He only said: “They know.”

I went home a bit troubled after our conversation. It felt too real to be ignored. Years passed, and we didn’t meet again. I sort of forgot about it until I saw him again in town.

“Do you see the weather is changing now?” he asked me when we saw each other in line in the same bank he was working at before. Like a flashback, I remembered the conversation we had years ago. But now this looked different in the light of events such as the unusual freeze in the United States, where Chicago looked like New York City in the film The Day After Tomorrow, and the unusual heat in places like Russia and Europe this summer. The weather, I thought, is certainly getting more extreme. The recent volcanic activity in Hawaii and numerous earthquakes across the world came to mind as well.

Although the subject of climate change has become highly politicised, to the point of causing psychosis in some, an allergic reaction in others, it is something that can affect all of us, beyond race, religion and political party. Consequently, a common effort should be made to understand it in an unbiased way.

It is unfortunate that some people in our world just can’t let a serious crisis go to waste. They want more money, even though to any rational person, the concept of self-enrichment on the Titanic sounds completely insane.

The fudging of data, which became known to the public thanks to leaked climate change emails, puts a big question mark on its credibility. The carbon credit scheme makes it even less believable. It implies that those with more money can pollute more and thus continue to contribute to climate change. But does this make sense? You are still polluting the environment and causing damage. Buying carbon credits doesn’t stop pollution. There is no change but more self-enrichment for a few.

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in ecology to understand that carbon dioxide is what trees and plants consume in order to produce the oxygen that we all breathe. Logically speaking, an increase in forestation will consume and balance the emissions. Here, a rational person would suggest that this global problem should be dealt with on two fronts: first, increase forestation, and second, decrease emissions by advancing green energy and technology. Under the given circumstances, deforestation looks like taking medicine away from a patient who could otherwise survive. But it seems as though corporate greed has nothing to do with reason, much less with morality and care. It sees the world through a balance sheet and does not care about anything else.

The movie Avatar comes to mind. Unfortunately, this is the reality we are living on Earth, not on Pandora. “In God we trust,” says the dollar bill, which became God a long time ago. But what is money worth on the Moon?

It is a puzzle to me to think about those in power who can effect change in the world but don’t. How can they be so short-sighted or even blind?  Their actions are directly hurting the world their own children and grandchildren will inherit, but they still bet on immediate profit over their kids’ future well-being.

We are destroying our forests to make toilet paper, which we can only use as long as we breathe. “Wiping our butts to the last breath” seems to be humanity’s new motto. Why not use the hemp instead? We still can wipe, but without destroying ourselves in the process. The answer to this question is corporate corruption, greed and sociopathy, the active ingredients of those in power.

When I was a kid and began to study mathematics in school, 2 plus 2 equalled 4. Then, I didn’t know that two sociopaths plus two sociopaths equals the ruling elite and a looming disaster. Recently the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has suggested we poop less to save the environment. Meanwhile the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon has accelerated since he took office. The lungs of the Earth are getting destroyed a football field per minute as we speak.

It’s not hard to envision our dystopian, Orwellian future under this kind of leadership. Bolsonaro’s fascist rhetoric towards the indigenous people is also alarming. A far-right ex-military nationalist once said, “It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry wasn’t as efficient as the Americans’, who exterminated their Indians.’’ People who still have maintained their connection to the Earth and its spirit are now under a threat of extinction. It seems like it’s not just the weather that is getting extreme.

We also must be fair and acknowledge those who are truly concerned for the environment. For example, while the president of the United State is building a giant wall competing with a Great Wall of China, the Chinese military orders 60,000 troops to plant trees. Meanwhile, India commits to increase its forests to combat climate change under the Paris Agreement, from which president Trump pulled out, and Ethiopia, plants 350 million trees in 12 hours.

Some good is done in the world and this kind of effort should be recognized and supported.

But no matter how many trees will be planted in the soil, if the seeds of wisdom, empathy and care towards Mother Earth and one another are not planted in our hearts, we still will find a way to destroy ourselves even if we tackle pollution.

Our new documentary, “The Cure,” is our humble effort to advance the cause.

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About the author:


Sergey Baranov is the founder of Huachuma Wasi, a healing center in The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru. He is the author of Path: Seeking Truth In a World of Lies, The Mescaline Confession: Breaking Through the Walls of Delusion and Write Your Zen in 30 Days. Sergey’s passion for life on Earth and its preservation is the driving force behind his work.

You can contact Sergey at

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