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  • The four horsemen of the Anthropocene
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“Who is allowed to call a spade a spade?
The few who see it, who foolishly enough did not restrain their overflowing heart, who revealed their feelings and their vision to the mob, have always been crucified and burned.” … OR/BUT … “All this makes me feel as stupid as if a mill wheel was spinning in my head.”
J.W. Goethe, Faust. A tragedy, verse 589 ff./1946 f

Knowledge and truth as states of being

During the Covid period, I read somewhere an article by V. Ramaswamy from Calcutta about the infection situation in India. It contained the remarkable sentence that in Sufism, the mystical current of Islam, knowledge and truth are regarded as states of being, whereby here, when I think of Rumi’s poems, knowledge could be meant as that knowing and that certainty which is necessary in order to be able to recognise the truth.
Yes, and that’s why it has to be simple, the uncomfortable truths have to come out, the knowledge and the figures have to be on the table, in all their drama and dimensionality. Only when we face the truth can we devise the means and adopt the attitudes with which we can confront the truth.
We can still proceed in a reasonably structured way and save what can be saved. However, if we bury our heads in the sand, the planet will blow up in our faces – “game over” (as “brilliantly” illustrated in the film Don’t Look Up, a “must-see” on Netflix).

But first a look back in the spirit of Benoit Mandelbrot, who once wrote: “My life seems to be a series of events and accidents, but when I look back, I recognise a pattern.” So let’s look back: 1987.

An old story from Bangladesh

“So Calcutta (Kolkata). Why Calcutta? At first, it was just a thought, which in Madras (Chenai) condensed into a desire for the true, for the deeper, the dangerous.
Having arrived after a 36-hour train journey, I marvel at the spectacle of crowds of people taking to the pavements at night, so that there is no getting through (and doing their morning toilet, including brushing their teeth, in the gutter). The eastern monsoon approaching from the Himalayas, soaking me to the core, is early this year.
Where to now? Where to escape the dull existence in the rabbit hutch accommodation filled with travellers. Suddenly the rumour is doing the rounds that Bangladesh, after years of sealing itself off, is allowing overland entry to Bongoan from India. I also make my way to the Consulate General – and to my astonishment I get the visa stamped in my passport quickly and without any hassles.
On the morning of our departure for Bangladesh, the sky pours rain in torrents onto the streets of this cursed city of joy, so that the scrawny wallah pulling the single-axle rickshaw with its large wooden wheels on long spars under his armpits has to make his way through water up to his thighs. Then I wade up the stairs to the station building and am soon on the regional train to the border.

The transfer to a shuttle bus to the customs station in Benapole goes smoothly, as does passport control. Then I stand alone in another world. A few minibuses are waiting at the side of the muddy road, travelling inland to Jessore, from where I want to reach the capital Dhaka.

From the rear window of the bus, which is lurching violently through the deep potholes, I can see a world sinking into the mud and rain and I am certain: I won’t be able to come back along this road, no-one will be travelling on it any time soon.

It feels as if the edges of the world dissolve into mud and water as soon as the groaning bus has passed through them. At some point, the bus reaches a railway station and the driver declares end of journey, while constant rain makes the water swell further. As the hopelessly overcrowded, last and only train arrives that evening, the two boys who have taken me under their wing explain to me – heaven help them a thousand times over – that it is travelling to Khulna. Then the carriages roll out of the station – out onto the water. In the gathering darkness you can still see that it stretches as far as the horizon, with water up to the neck of the tracks, no land in sight.

In Khulna, my guardian angels quickly get me an accommodation and a ticket on the “Rocket”, a paddle steamer built between 1880 and 1910, which sails to Dhaka the next morning – as I learnt later, for the first time in several weeks, on the very day I ended up in Khulna.

The journey blurs in my memory, the steamer lies deep in the water, perhaps 50 centimetres up to the edge of the ship, it is hot, endlessly passing banks that are not higher and on which people can be recognised. Why do people live here, in this damp hell? I fall into a kind of waking coma that doesn’t take in any memories except: endless expanses of water, people on the shore, people on board, arriving at some point.”

At the time I couldn’t see it, but later I became more and more aware of the silk threads of synchronicity and coordinated processes on which our existence and our personal and collective wellbeing hang. They are the lifelines that decide whether the end has come or there is a new way to proceed.

In 2023, Bangladesh is also an example of what was already recognisable at the time and what I was able to experience first-hand: Masses of people live in extremely precarious conditions in many places on the planet, determined by climate and geographical location.

The four horsemen of the Anthropocene

But what we will be facing in a few decades with climate change will make my journey through the monsoon-ravaged flood no man’s land at that time look like a boat trip on a quarry pond.
The change in our climate, which has been friendly to human existance for almost 15,000 years, is often described as a threat multiplier – those most affected are those whose lives and livelihoods are already threatened by, for example, a degraded environment, unstable incomes, inability to save money or resources, lack of affordable healthcare, inadequate sanitation, poor governance and the inability to change their own circumstances.
The effects of climate change include the risks of extreme heat stress, flooding, drought and forest fires, with systemic food insecurity being accelerated by all factors.


A third of humanity will soon suffer from extreme heatwaves, especially in megacities, as temperatures are already rising far faster than the current global warming model of 1.2 degrees – a moderate figure compared to the predicted values. In March 2023, temperatures in the Antarctic were already more than 40 degrees above the seasonal average, while in the Arctic it was +30 degrees Celsius.


Forests are burning all over the world, and the disasters in Australia, Spain, Brazil and California are just isolated cases in a global trend. Even the Arctic forests from Siberia to Greenland and Canada to Alaska are on fire, with peat fires smouldering underground even at -50 degrees centigrade below zero, ready to run amok if the opportunity arises. in 2019, huge fires destroyed four million hectares of forest in Siberia. These fires not only destroy vegetation, but also enrich the atmosphere with CO2.


As the planet warms, more rain will fall over the oceans and less on land, despite the increase in humidity. We may have already entered an era of megadroughts. The hundreds of millions of people who depend on mountain glaciers for their water supply, especially in South Asia and South America, risk losing their livelihoods if these water reservoirs disappear.
By 2050, severe water shortages are expected in an almost uninterupted belt from the Iberian Peninsula in the west to Anatolia and Pakistan in the east, via the southern regions of Russia, the western United States and Mexico. Even today, the average amount of precipitation in Portugal, for example, has fallen to less than 500 mm (from 1,500 mm just a few years ago).


Sea levels are rising and it is estimated that every centimetre of additional sea level will cause 1.7 million people to leave their current place of residence. Scenarios are realistic that an increase of one metre can be expected by the end of the century. If, as expected, the Antarctic Thwaites Glacier breaks up and triggers a chain reaction, the rise could be several metres.
By the year 2100, hundreds of millions of people will have become refugees. The whole of South Vietnam is likely to be under water by 2050, the 100,000 kilometres of European coastline will also be severely affected, and not least Bangladesh, where the living space of more than 20 million people will be permanently flooded.


More details can be found in the book “Nomad Century” by Gaia Vince, which was published in August 2022 and is said to be one of the most important books you should ever read.
The UN Secretary-General put it in a nutshell at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022: “We are on the way to climate hell and are still pressing on the accelerator.” However, this statement was dismissed by global politicians as a side note and reported by the global “media” as a bon mot in “Hollywood” style … COP 28 is not even worth mentioning.
In the end, however, in 20 to 30 years – when my 10-year-old daughter should have her “best time in life” – more than a billion people will be on the run from the four apocalyptic horsemen of the Anthropocene and will move to habitable areas in the northern zones, as large areas of the planet will already have become uninhabitable by then. By 2100, it will be more than a third of the world’s population.


The famous goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees is literally yesterday’s news. Nobody believes in the RPC2.6 scenario (high climate protection with low emissions) described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) as the “Representative Concentration Pathway” (RPC). This is because the forecasts of the 6th IPPC Assessment Report of 2021 (and ongoing 2022/2023) integrating SSP factors (“Shared Socioeconomic Pathways”) such as the radiative forcing value (measured in watts/m2), today indicate a scenario that lies between SSP2-4.5 and the gloomy future vision of SSP3-7.0.
In short: We must prepare ourselves for a warming of the planet of between 2 and 4 degrees, and not just in the year 2100, but possibly already between 2030 and 2050, as the processes build up and accelerate each other. The consequences of this for each individual person can be imagined by any layperson or understood by reading the above-mentioned book.

Can we still be saved?

It is highly doubtful that humanity will collectively be able to take the necessary measures on a global scale and in a coordinated or organised manner.

The world’s current “leadership structures”, be they those of the USA, China, the EU or Russia (and all other governments), be they the boardrooms of global companies or international “business clubs” such as the WEF or capital agglomerations such as Blackrock, have other priorities.

They are driven by totalitarian, materialistic-mechanistic world views and politics of war ideologies, by the desire to exercise power, influence, control … and profit. The protagonists of these leadership levels perceive the biological aspects of their being – and our biosphere/nature – as “alien” or even “hostile”, at best “usable”. The suttle, psychological-spiritual or consciousness dimensions “within themselves” as ephemeral or illusionary – they live both individually and collectively in a “schizophrenic world” of ideologies and conditioning, helplessly at the mercy of the powerfully “crazy” archetypal forces of the unconscious.

The desperate protest actions of the kids from Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion or Last Generation against the aforementioned forces play into their hands, as they are ideally suited as projection surfaces for fears and for distracting stigmatisation (keyword “climate terrorists”).

What gives us hope?

There is no hope of salvation from the world’s bureaucratic systems, they are too cumbersome, their feet and heads are turned backwards.

The self-organisation of the people gives hope. According to an estimate by the Alternative Nobel Prize Committee, there are now more than 15 million initiatives worldwide that are trying out alternative ways of life, protecting nature, exploring new realities, devising gentle small-scale technological solutions and much more to combat the destruction of the biosphere and the human community by a materialistic world civilisation that has gone mad and is led by a tiny minority and driven by profit.

There are probably already half a billion activists at work today. Then there are all those working in the large organisations who follow an agenda that is alien to life on a daily basis, but who have long since realised that this is not sustainable. They have invaluable knowledge (and resources) that are and will be essential for the renewal of the earth. And the billions who live from hand to mouth already know that we have to live differently.

The Human Purpose Village Project is also part of this movement and sees itself as a high-profile crystallisation point, a field of research, a model catalyst and a striking projection surface for how we can live in harmony with the biosphere of our planet. In the words of Charles Eisenstein, probably the most brilliant thinker of our time, the project is conceived as:

“A mosaic of local projects, arks if you like, inspired by a common idea – that could be a motto for the kind of healing that the earth and society need today. Not a single solution that is forcefully implemented, but an ecosystem of interconnected, intelligent solutions, each unique in its own place.”

The following graphic shows that in a Human Purpose Village, the 17 development goals proclaimed by the United Nations and also all the so-called ESG criteria can be realised, although it should be noted that – unlike in the Human Purpose Village Project concept – the 17 SDGs of the United Nations do not represent a coherent development process, but rather a disorderly list of wishful thinking. This also shows that the world’s administrative bodies don’t really have a plan.

If you feel that you would like to contribute to this project in whatever form, by whatever means and to whatever extent, just get in touch.