What and How You Eat Does Matter, Not Just To You …

… but to the planet, too! Hah, how did you like my witty rhyme? Am I the next Shakespeare … or am I the next Shakespeare?! But then why am I not a billionaire yet?! Something’s not right here. (Yes, your brain, Simone, stop this nonsense and get on with the actual post.)

Anyway, one cloudy (I think … or maybe it was sunny? Oh lord) day in March, on the train back home from some random urban planning workshop I was taking part in during that week, I was hit with the sudden realization that the majority of people, even those majoring in environmental studies slash management slash science slash whatever, tends to underestimate the importance of food in terms of environmental degradation – how big of an impact food has on our global environment. At the workshop, one of the participants presented his concept for revitalizing a small neighbourhood in Tokyo. Said concept basically involved creating urban gardens or farms and using food waste generated in that community to grow vegetables and fruits. I genuinely loved his idea (one reason maybe also being that his presentation was the only one I understood, everyone else used way too many different softwares and technologies and concepts and words I had never even heard of before) and I thought (and still think) that it would not be too difficult to put into practice, at least when compared to some of the other ideas by some of the other participants. But almost everyone else just went like “Lol, tomatoes” (the presenter used tomatoes as an example) and did not really seem to take him too seriously. Why, though? Food is something so fundamental and important to our lives. We eat around three meals a day – well, or five or six in my case, hah, don’t judge me –, and those fiv- uuuhm, three meals (and, maybe even more importantly, what we choose to have for them) are bound to have some kind of impact in some kind of way. So I feel like everyone should pay sufficient attention when it comes to food. Also … tomatoes are f-ing delicious. But okay, that’s not the issue here.

(Love how I was talking about tomatoes, but then ended up using an image of apples … what even …)

(Flickr.com/haikus)

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The Meaning of “Nature” (Warning: Not Even a Little Conclusive. But I Tried.)

Spring is slowly approaching Tokyo and in some parts of the city the first cherry blossom trees have already started blooming. A few days ago, while on a little morning walk, I actually spotted the first sakura in my neighbourhood, and as I was frantically taking pictures from every possible angle for my instastory (I’m such a victim of modern society, hah), I remembered something that my thesis supervisor mentioned during the introductory session of one of my classes last semester.

(Taken at Yasukuni shrine during last year’s cherry blossom season)
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The Paris Agreement in a Nutshell – And Why It’s Probably Not Going to Work

Unless you live somewhere in a hut on top of a mountain on Mars without internet connection (although apparently now there’s wifi on Mars, hah, my fellow Germans will know what I’m referring to), you have probably at least heard the famous (can I say “infamous” or is that too much bias too early on? I mean, we are only one sentence into this blog post, calm down, Simone. Oof, and already I’m censoring myself. Why can’t I write like a normal person?! This is not the best start.) term “Paris Agreement”. But if you’re not majoring in an environment-related field or taking a course on climate change policy or the like, you might not know what exactly it comprises (even I have to still look it up all the time and I’m an environmental studies major AND took a climate change policy class last semester … but I think that’s just my personal problem), so allow me a brief summary before I start bashing it.

In 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC for short) came into force, “an international treaty[…][,] a framework for international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and coping with impacts that were, by then, inevitable” (UN Climate Change). The Kyoto Protocol was created and negotiated along the guidelines outlined in the UNFCCC, and so was the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement came into force on November 4th, 2016. By January of this year, 184 countries had already joined the agreement, almost all of those that are party to the UNFCCC (197). 

UN Climate Change (2019)

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