Twitter Facebook Tumblr

How do you make people care as much about the world — even a fraction of how much you care?

An answer to this question on Quora.

What I would like to see is more positivity. Right now, we see melting ice caps, drowning polar bears, factories blowing plumes of smoke into the atmosphere. And the more you read about the climate problem, the more distressful you get. We hear that the economy must shrink, and that we need showering shorter. That’s not all fun. Even in victories we look for the downsides, by stating the new agreements aren’t enough to prevent drastic climate change. We get it, but in this respect, the reporting on climate chance is like visiting your dentist: no matter how you brush, it’s always wrong.

Instead, can’t we focus on the dream, instead of the nightmare? You know, to walk barefoot in the grass, having rustling leaves over your head. See white beaches with blue water, snowy peaks above dark green forests. If we’re ever to inspire people, the love for a healthy planet should be the message. As Wubbo Ockels once said: “If you love something deeply, you’ll do everything to protect it.”

Seven billion religions

Christianity, Islam and Hinduism occupy the minds of nearly two thirds of the world population. It’s easy to bash them, but are vegans, motorcyclists or foodies — in all their fanaticism and fantasy— any different? Atheists’ preaches are no different than the proverbial Jehovah’s foot in the door.

Merriam-Webster defines religion as ‘an organised system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods’.

Change ‘god or a group of gods’ with ‘football club’ or ‘tech company’, and little changes to the definition. There’s spirituality involved in all of them.

The bastion that once was religion is crumbling, as data shows a worldwide decline. Yet we’re getting many ‘religions’ in return, be it people who feverishly fill their Pinterest boards with wedding pictures, people who workout and want the world to know, people who support Apple, Disney, BMW or Lionel Messi. Heck, what about environmentalists?

The way to divide the world, those who believe and those who don’t, no longer works. We all believe in something. Whether that’s a spiritual wasteland, or absolute freedom, I’m not sure. Yet I see it as a welcome change.

Interview with one of F1’s biggest fanclubs

Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, I interviewed one of the biggest fanclubs in Formula One, ‘Max Verstappen Racecar driver latest news‘, for a story behind the scenes.

The story behind Max Verstappen’s biggest fanclub

Marcel Albers

My twelfth driver spotlight for BadgerGP, this time on the Dutch talent, Marcel Albers.

Driver Spotlight: Marcel Albers

The Belgian and the German

A quarter of a century ago, one driver’s mistake opened the door for the beginning of a legend. The story about Bertrand Gachot, Michael Schumacher, and the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, all told on BadgerGP:

The Belgian and the German

 

Now on Instagram

Say hi & follow me hereUntitled-1

 

Don’t ask, don’t tell

“Don’t ask, don’t tell,” was the slogan used by the Clinton presidency in 1994, to resolve the issue of gay acceptance in the United States military. It seemingly solved the problem, precisely by leaving it unresolved.

It’s exemplary for the past decades. In an unprecedented way we’ve seen social, environmental and political problems succeed each other in rapid succession, as we’ve commenced our slow decent into oblivion.

There was the Ukraine crisis, civil wars in Libya, Iraq, Nepal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt, the revelations of Wikileaks and Snowden, and the nuclear threat from North Korea and Iran. There was violence in Boston, Utøya, Ferguson and Paris – terrorism all across the world. We’re still seeing a refugee crisis, growing income inequality – and of course the climate problem. Also, among various epidemics, there was the outbreak of Ebola, and more recently the Zika virus.

Really, the typicality of all this, is how these problems have been festering for decades, systematically being ignored, left unresolved like the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” phrase. Problems left to erupt violently, as they have indeed done so recently.

The world is trembling, shaking – yet it seems problems are also being solved.

In 2015, same-sex marriage was legalised nationwide in the United States and Africa was declared free of Ebola. Libya, Egypt and Morocco gained democratic governments and for the first time the amount of children who go to bed hungry is lower than when the counting began. Now, over 86% of the world population under the age of fifteen can read and write, and that percentage has never been as high. Protest against the freedom of the internet where successful, and during the Climate Summit of Paris there was a binding agreement to finally address climate change. China is closing over one thousand coalmines in the next few years and the price of renewable energy is continuously dropping, the price of solar energy has now decreased by sixty-six percent in the last six years alone, and the amount of electric cars on the road is doubling each year, as is the households with solar panels.

Problems rarely exist isolated, like nature, everything seems interconnected. I take a lot of energy from Naomi Klein’s quote, who said: “What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

Halting climate change can coincide with energy poverty (and poverty in general). Educating the world can be a part of solving its income inequality. On a much abstracted level, solving problems can make a better world for all of us, putting global turmoil to rest.

And there’s Ban Ki Moon’s quote: “We’re the first generation that can end poverty and the last that can end climate change.”

I think we have a good shot at all of these things.

The place really lives

This was written two years ago as a answer to the question, ‘What is your favorite scent?’, on Quora, and it still rings true to this day.

My favourite smell is that of the Veluwe, the area which I think of as my homeground. I don’t live there anymore now, but every time I return it smells like my youth. The countless amount of hours I’ve spent between the trees, walking, running and cycling. Leaves rustling in the wind, birds, squirrels, deers, boars and other kinds of wild life: the place really lives.

main-qimg-1dae69cb1e614a2d16f794c23340b1b4-c

On bikes

The year I was born, my dad passed his motorcycle license, and for as long as I have memories, my dad — wearing a distinctive grey with blue and red jacket — rode a Yamaha FZR400: a lightweight race bike, which screamed loudly as he revved it on our driveway.

Recently, my dad got onto a more convenient bike, a Moto Guzzi Breva 1100, but still wears the same jacket! Instead, it’s me on the lightweight supersport — a Honda CBR600RR — somewhat the modern day equivelant of the FZR400.

This weekend was a reminiscing mixture of past and present, and perhaps it’s a stark reminder of how quickly time goes by. I still feel like the kid on the driveway, watching my dad get on his bike and go. Only now I step onto my own bike to follow.

Vakantie 2016 083

Willingness to help

One of the things I learned at Vandebron is that nearly all people are willing to help, but barely know how. Whether it’s big subjects like climate change, or slightly, like offering a stranger a ride home, there’s often something holding people back — but there’s definitely a powerless hero hiding in all of us.
Once you understand that, and tap into that willingness to help, boom — things can fly really high.