The climate change summit



No matter how much we do, due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we will not be able to avoid extreme effects

The Climate Change Summit convened by President Joe Biden voices a cry of alarm. If we do not stop warming to the limit of 1,5 degrees, we will see the dangerous extermination of biodiversity and millions of climate migrants who, unable to adapt to changes and losing their means of subsistence, feel constrained to abandon their beloved homelands and break the boundaries of other countries, causing serious socio-political problems.

the CO2 remains in the atmosphere for about 120 years. We woke up late because of its toxicity on living systems and on our future. In recent years, something frightening has occurred: the rapid melting of the permafrost; that frozen part that goes from Canada and across all of Siberia. Added to this is the rapid melting of the polar ice caps and Greenland. This phenomenon aggravates global warming because methane is 25 times more harmful than CO2. Each head of cattle, through rumination and flatulence, emits between 80-100 kg of methane per day released into the atmosphere. Imagine what that amount means with all the herds in the world. Only in Brazil the number of cattle is greater than our population.

No matter what we do, due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we cannot avoid extreme effects. They will come: typhoons, prolonged droughts, extremely hot summers and excessive snowfall, erosion of biodiversity and loss of soil fertility and others. What we can and must do is prepare ourselves for its eruption and thus lessen the disastrous effects.

Nobody at the Climate Summit had the courage to point out the main causes of our global warming: our capitalist mode of production, in whose DNA is unlimited growth that demands the unlimited extraction of natural resources to the point of seriously weakening the sustainability of the planet. A finite Earth does not tolerate an infinite project. Here is the cause, among other minor ones, of global warming. Everyone knows that here lies the original question. Why doesn't anyone denounce her?

Because it is directly anti-systemic, because it strikes at the heart of the modern techno-scientific paradigm of development/unlimited growth, to which States and companies are committed. They would be forced to change what would be against their logic. But they don't, because profit prevails over life. Only Argentine President Alberto Fernández had the courage to denounce: “Pollution is the path to suicide”. His statement is in tune with the statement a few years ago by the North American Academy of Sciences, which made a statement more or less in these terms: If we are not careful, warming could take an 'abrupt leap' (used expression) until reaching, in a short time , about 4 degrees Celsius; with this heat, it is said, species will hardly adapt and millions will disappear, including millions and millions of human beings.

Virtually everyone laments that the “decision makers” politicians and businesses show serious insufficiency aware of the risks that weigh on our Common Home. It is not ruled out that something similar to what happened with Covid-19 could happen. Despite the warning from virus specialists that we would be on the verge of the intrusion of a serious virus, very few prepare for this eventuality. That is why a leap to a new level of collective consciousness is unpredictable, allowing us to inaugurate a new normality different from the previous perverse one for humanity and nature. We question: do we learn the lessons sent by Mother Earth's counterattack to humanity through Covid-19? Considering the widespread neglect, it seems that we remain in the illusion of returning to the old and unfair normality.

Our President's speech at the White House Summit was one of mere convenience. He clearly demonstrated that he was a legitimate representative of post-truth, as he fulfilled the saying of ancient Chinese wisdom: a politician should not notice the mouth that speaks, but the hands that operate. The mouth totally contradicted what the hands do. The mouth uttered promises, practically unrealizable, and the hands, through their anti-environmental minister, practice systematic devastation of the forests and the dismantling of organisms for the preservation of ecosystems.

As the “Inominável” is an ally of Covid-19, so the Minister of the Environment is an ally of the loggers who illegally and criminally appear as the main responsible for the 357,61 km2 of forests cut down, the worst mark in recent years. The hands deny what the mouth says.

Despite all the sorrows, we believe and hope that humanity learns from suffering and hopefully with love: either we will change or in the words of Zigmunt Bauman, uttered a week before he died, we will join the procession of those heading towards their own grave .

Human and natural history is never linear; knows ruptures and takes leaps upwards. She is inviting us to reinvent ourselves. Mere improvements and putting bandages on the wounds of Mother Earth's wounded body are not enough. We are forced into a new beginning. He, according to the Earth Charter and the encyclical of Pope Francis, whose addressees are all of humanity, "on the care of our common home" (Laudato Si and the Fratelli tutti): “we are in the same boat: either we all save ourselves or nobody is saved” (n. 35;54;137). Earth has gone through 15 great decimations, but life has always survived. It won't be now that it will self-destruct. We glimpse a difficult lesson for all of humanity, because we have no alternative but this: either live or perish. Freud himself, although skeptical, longed for the triumph of the life drive over the death drive. Life is called more life and even eternal life.

In this hopeful hope, I have just published a book, more optimistic than pessimistic, but with a viable realism, which aims to guarantee a promising horizon: The painful birth of Mother Earth: a society of fraternity without borders and social friendship. Is it a utopia? Yes, but necessary, so that we can walk. It is important to remember that the utopian belongs to the real, made not only of always-made data, but also of hidden potentialities that wait to break out and be made to allow a new footprint on the ground of history. It's not worth stepping on footprints made by others. We have to create our own footprints. New music, new ears. New crises, new answers. We still have a future, strengthened by the One who announced himself to be “the lover of life” (Wisdom 11,26:XNUMX). He will help us to make a painful crossing, but true and happy. So we believe and so we hope.

*Leonardo Boff he is an ecologist and a philosopher. Author, among other books, of The painful birth of Mother Earth: a society of fraternity without borders and social friendship (Voices, 2021).


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