When the idea evolved to go to the Brazilian coast to work on environmental projects, I didn’t think I would have conflicting ideals within myself.
I honestly had this image in my head:
This is Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. Not that I necessarily wanted to go over there, but I had this picture in mind. Warm weather, beautiful beaches and a crystal clear blue sea while I was doing good things for the local population and the protection of the coast and ocean.
Before I would go and focus on this ideal, however, I wanted to know what the biggest environmental problems in Brazil were. Reading various articles from Brazilian universities this picture began to emerge:
This is the metropolis São Paulo. The authors of the various articles indicate that to be truly effective, you need to tackle the problems in the cities. It is well known that cities are closely related to climate change and various environmental problems. Cities have a high energy consumption and large amounts of greenhouse gases.
The biggest problems in the Brazilian cities are discharging sewage and litter, as well as land reclamation and erosion by continuous expansion of cities and industry. 60% of the Brazilian cities are located on the coast and the biodiversity is disappearing rapidly. For the inhabitants of the coast floods, landslides and diseases are a threat.
And to be honest, I thought, “Hrmpf. So no nice beach, no sailing on a sailing on the sea, helping turtles, and no house surrounded by nature.” It made me aware of my conflicting ideals.
I had to check myself into order: “You want to go to Brazil to be effective. But because you are in a privileged position as western person, you can aim to have your ‘ideal picture’. You can afford to avoid confrontational situations and unpleasant places. Nice and easy. “
Sewage, polluted cities, poverty, litter and landslides are not sexy. You don’t send a postcard with that on it, to your family and friends back home.
So what do I do with these conflicting ideals? Go to a beautiful beach for 3 months because that’s “my ideal ‘, or work in an urban coastal area where I have much more effect, which is actually my real ideal?
I tend to choose the latter.
This is a special blog about my plans to go to Brazil and research eco-entrepreneurial business opportunities in Brazil. You can find an overview of all the articles here