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helencarnate

Earth Day Letters to the Community

Letters from Zephyr and Hitmewmusic

Dearest BeastSaber Community,

Thank you for giving us your time this Earth Day. I live on a tropical island with a literal rainforest behind my house. The natural world, with all its strange plants and marvelous animals, is dear to me and many others. And as 1 million plant and animal species face extinction due to the climate crisis, I cannot sit and watch as time runs out.

Many sleepless nights went into this campaign, out of the hope that some of you will leave knowing you can make a difference, that together we can make a difference.

Like the two of us, you probably play Beat Saber quite competitively. Many of you are among the best in your country, even the world and some of you will be playing for your country soon. To have reached this level of skill, you were probably driven, you persevered in the face of adversity, and you believed you were doing something worth your time (and money) that would pay off in the end.

While we laugh, scream, and swing away in VR, reality still exists outside… and it could really use some help right now. As you’ve heard more times than you’ve grinded Chocolate Lily, we are in a climate emergency. It is real and it is dire. In the words of the UN chief, it “is a code red for humanity.”

Around the world, temperatures and weather are becoming more extreme. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods are more frequent and devastating. The Arctic is thawing. Look at this diagram and see the direction we are heading.

Although things are not looking so good (an understatement), we have not yet lost. Scientists have been screaming at us: we still have time, we can still make it… but as the human race, we really need to focus and get our act together because this is a window we cannot afford to miss.

So what can you do?

  • To truly win this battle, we need to get industry to change. Vote for scientifically literate politicians. Ask existing leaders regardless of their affiliation to enact effective climate policies.
  • Get others to care and take action. Help more people understand why climate change affects them and what they can do to help. The people you help will go on to help others.
  • Do what you can, you don’t have to be perfect. The fight is monumental but don’t give in to apathy because your voice and contributions matter.

If you find yourself thinking or being told you can’t make a difference, remember this: The abilities that brought you to this game come from you who exists outside. If you can fight this hard for internet glory, you are equally capable of fighting at least as hard for the survival of the human race. Why not spare some of that strength and passion for fixing our climate? Would it not pay off to have a more habitable world in the end?

Please join us (and your local efforts) in the fight for our future, our Earth, and all lives on it and to come. Let’s cut emissions and excessive resource consumption like we cut those blocks – with conviction and dedication in the right direction. May our and your aim be true.

~ Zephyr


Dear Community, 

I want to take this time before Earth Day to write about the current state of the world. This is a topic that has meant a lot to me for a long time. I studied Biology and Environmental Sciences while in school, and was also involved in several student-led coalitions. Eventually years passed, the work grind and daily living changed my priorities. Due to that, I fell into blissful apathy. I came across this opportunity only after Zephyr mentioned she was hoping to organize an earth day initiative and made several attempts to contact various outlets to participate, but got no response until she reached out to me. My hope for this information is to connect with the essence that unites us, help us realize a common goal, and if I’m very lucky-inspire maybe a few of you to look for what you can do. 

Like many of you, I find myself torn between trying to make small changes, but constantly decelerated by the realization that even mindful consumption as an American bears an environmental burden that the planet cannot sustain. With regards to the environment, it feels like there isn’t much a person can do to really make an impact. In my opinion, I think this describes how many of us feel when considering this. We find ourselves wavering between concern and apathy, or perhaps  even resentment when we see that our small efforts are canceled or dwarfed by the actions of an individual or an organization. Many ask the question “What can I do as an individual?” and “Does anything I do matter?”. Given the prevalence of these conversations and thoughts, it is worth addressing and modifying these thoughts with more accurate mental models of the situation.

Reality checks have a way of resurfacing. The planet demonstrates many warning signs through changes in collected data. Evidence reaffirms there’s not much to debate in the facts. As is the case with many, they aren’t lacking the information. For some, the diagnosis may be just a thicker skull with regards to changing information. Apathy often arises when day-to-day survival alone becomes challenging, the plagues of physical and mental health recalibrate our priorities and actions. It’s difficult to survive our day to day, let alone worry about things on a global scale. Despite all these things, It’s hard to overstate the gravity of these issues without sounding like an alarmist. The data from scientific research is abundantly clear: We are in a climate emergency, and there is no denying it. We must act now. 

The Problem.

In brief, we are on a smoldering ship and most of our problems are interrelated in some way, some issues are projected to worsen over time as factors like population and consumption models project non-linear trajectories, thereby accelerating the rate of change. Average global temperatures are trending upwards, which causes ice caps to melt at an alarming rate. The volume displaced causes sea levels to rise, which decreases the area of land particularly affecting coastlines, all the while affecting the normal flow of currents and airways which leads to more severity and frequency of natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes. Atmospheric pollution of CO2, Methane, Nitrogen and other pollutants erode the ozone protection of our atmosphere and affect ecosystems, while aquatic pollution makes the oceans more acidic, killing essential marine life (where ~70% of our oxygen is produced).

Aside from the environmental impact, current projections have put the current climate emergency and all its tolls with a price tag in the trillions. We are experiencing habitat loss, massive human casualty costs, and these are only the tip of the iceberg. 

This is not hyperbole—this may be the biggest pressing issue in terms of social and economic issues because they impinge on so many other things happening on the world stage. Human rights issues are tangentially related here—with the increased spread of physical and mental illness, wars, food and land shortages, displacement of humans, as well as other species due to natural disasters, ecological and economic collapse of nations are also projected.

I understand that many of these may be hard to trace a link or may come as quite shocking, but these are not novel concepts. I will share and link more in depth information in another article for those interested in further reading. 

What we can do about it.

The nature of complex issues is that they won’t be resolved with simple solutions.

I encourage you to do what you can and share these items with others, see if it is possible to enact these where you live or where you work.

Many movements over the years have emphasized the importance of the impact from the average consumer. While a lot of these ideas like using less water when showering, carpooling and reducing our consumption of resources or recycling at an individual level are great, they only help to slow the bleeding, yet these alone are not enough. The real impactful change comes from the largest offenders in terms of industry and nations.

When faced with the aforementioned information, the situation might feel hopeless. Our efforts, however massive, may still come up short because the larger impact needs to happen at scale.

Here are a few items that will make actionable change:

  • Collectively reducing our consumption of goods lowers demand and decreases the amount of manufacturing at scale
  • Buy and use power saving options with electronics
  • Trading your vehicle in for an electric one
  • Working from home/walking/biking to places more often (especially shorter trips)
  • Reducing our consumption of electricity (since most of it comes from carbon emitting sources)
  • Voting for scientifically literate politicians 
  • Voting in local elections/initiatives/petitions to enact local change\
  • Pressuring elected officials to 
  • Divest from polluting energy sources 
  • Switching to and investing in the betterment of alternative fuel sources like solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal nuclear (fission/fusion)
  • Make the switch to power sources with a lower carbon footprint
  • Educating ourselves, and others to make better habits and choices
  • Voting with our money by opting to support companies that are enacting climate friendly practices

If you’ve made it this far I appreciate you. I hope we allow ourselves to listen when it is hard, speak up when it is difficult, and find at least one thing within our means to help manifest the world we would like to see tomorrow.

Do not underestimate the transformative power of choice. Making even one small change each month or year has a compounding effect and can make massive changes seem more attainable.

The last thing I want to leave you with, is this: Don’t give in to the feeling of apathy, if enough people think their efforts won’t matter, no one will take action. If enough people realize that this matters, we WILL move closer to our goal. Thank you for your time.

-Jose (HitMeWMusic)

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