This is how I would list What I Need in Life:

  1. Primary Needs: 
That is air to breathe, water to drink and enough to eat.
  2. Social Needs: 
In order to live, I also need family and friends, the “Social Other” on many levels.
  3. Extended Needs:
For me, that is mobility and free access to information.

If all three needs are met, I am a happy person.

Failure to meet the primary needs will result in death. As soon as the air I breathe does not contain enough oxygen, there is a quick end. If I do not get enough water, it may take a few days, and without food, I might survive for a few weeks.

Whenever my social needs are not sufficiently fulfilled, I will be lonely. That might easily kill me psychologically, i.e. my soul would die.

Mobility and free access to information are certainly not crucial for survival. Rather, they can be called my personal luxury. I have these needs because of my personal “state of civilization”.

Extensive mobility, however, is a danger to the livelihood of man. That is not what I want, because I believe that it is my basic task in life to preserve and pass on the life I have been given. I cannot do that if I ruin our planet.

Mobility is of great value and not self-evident. You do not get it for free, even if it seems so to us. Consequently, I should utilize mobility in a very responsible way and always decide on the basis of priorities if I go abroad and how I go abroad. Is there a slower way? Does it always have to be individualized transport, just because it is allegedly faster?

Transporting information is not as expensive as transporting materials. In the future, information access will partly replace mobility.

I believe we will have to undergo a massive change of mind and modification of our behaviour if we want to meet the so very necessary climate goals.


Not long ago, I went from Munich to Budapest by train (with my bike in the luggage compartment). The trip was 12 hours from door to door. Then I went from Budapest to Constanta by bike. The trip was 13 days. On the way back, I had to take the plane (again with my bike in the luggage compartment). The trip was 9 hours from door to door, including a change of planes in Timitoara (twice Saab Turboprop). Basically, this kind of trip is so precious that you could take a little longer, but unfortunately there was no acceptable way to go back by train with the bikes in the luggage compartment. Now the question is: do we really need all these fast connections as available today? Or would it quite suffice in this world of international networks to get to places a little slower?

(translated by EG)

1 Kommentar zu “My Private Concept of What I Need – Will I Have to Change My Life?”

  1. Chris Wood (Monday June 15th, 2009)

    1. Roland you seem to have a secondary need that prevents you leaving the world in a mess. Is this just friends and family? Or do you have a wider ethic?
    2. I believe I read once that the PC’s in the world use 10% of all electric power. If one adds the energy costs (plus trees) of other computers, television, newspapers, etc., the damage done by news-media is also huge.

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