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Air to Breathe

What is the source of abundant, clean air? Why is the air not always clear? And how can we make sure that it is as clean as possible?


Context within NORA

Related Resource

Air and Atmosphere
The resource of clean air requires no further transformation in order to be directly usable for us and for all other organisms. Therefore, the Resources pages on the air and atmosphere are sufficient to cover this need.

Relationships to other Needs

Without air to breathe, we die within a minute. Other organisms likewise die if deprived of air. Hence, air to breathe is a fundamental need, without which no other needs can be met.

Our health depends on clean air, and the protection from the sun's UV radiation provided by stratospheric ozone.

Security from bodily, emotional, and mental harm can be compromised by air pollution.

Pollution may move from air to water or vice versa; hence clean air and water are related.

Increased levels of greenhouse gases are likely to have numerous environmental impacts, which affect numerous human as well as animal and plant needs:

Food production will be disrupted in numerous places due to climate change (especially where the frequency of droughts increases).

Being at Home in the place where one lives: Animal and plant habitats will decline in extent or in quality; people accustomed to ways of life adapted to the local climate will be forced to change, against their wills.

Security from bodily, emotional, and mental harm: Global warming is likely to lead to increased frequency of hurricanes and other extreme events (e.g., glacial lake outbursts) that can put people at risk, while also leading to sea level rise that exposes coastal people around the world to greater hazards.

With changing climate and environmental hazards, existing settlements and houses (shelter) may no longer be safe, requiring costly adjustments.

Health will be affected by environmental disasters that result from climate change, and can follow from reduced food security as well.

Climate change will force people to adapt to new situations, which demands learning. We also need to learn how to change our practices in order to reduce the amount of climate change we are likely to face.

Many meaningful livelihoods may be destroyed by climate change, especially among agricultural activities. Some people have made it their livelihood to try to avert climate disaster.

Climate change can render the most inclusive and democratic methods of decision-making meaningless. For example, small island nations are faced with man-made sea-level rise that may obliterate them from the face of the earth, but no decisions that they can make locally are able to avert that fate.
Stopping or even slowing climate change requires a level of collective decision-making unprecedented in human history.

Climate change is one of the key factors that makes many people fear that we no longer have enough time to relax, to think, to imagine, to enjoy life, to play, to be alone, rather than trying to do what we can to slow or reverse global change (while often not knowing how!).


Relationships to Organizational Forms

We breathe through self provisioning – indeed, air is practically the only material need that we satisfy more or less exclusively in this way! This also means that we share in the use of the air.

In order to make sure that the air we breathe is of good quality, it is necessary to improve the organizational forms in the natural resource management cluster.

The vital necessity of clean air is usually ignored by our currencies and markets. In order to assure ourselves of clean air in the future, it is important that we restructure these organizational forms profoundly.


Related Links and Stories

P2P Foundation: Atmosphere Commons


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