Are we but a cancer cell to be eliminated?
There are those who deny the Shoah (the Holocaust – the elimination of millions of Jews in Nazi concentration camps) and there are those who deny that the Earth is undergoing climate change. The first are held in contempt by the whole of humanity, the second, who until recently smiled cynically, now see their convictions being refuted, day by day, by undeniable facts. They can only continue by coercing some scientists into refusing to divulge all they know, as various and serious alternative media have exposed. It is the maddening form of reason that seeks to accumulate wealth at all costs.
Recently, we have seen extreme events of the greatest gravity: hurricanes Katrina and Sandy in the United States, terrible typhoons in Pakistan and Bangladesh, the tsunami of South East Asia, the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan that dangerously damaged the nuclear plants of Fukushima, and few days ago, the devastating typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines that has left behind thousands of victims.
It is now known that the temperature of the tropical Pacific, where the major typhoons are born, normally was below 19.2° C. These maritime waters had warmed up to 25°C by 1976 and since 1997/1998, have reached 30°C. The result is great evaporation. The extreme events occurred at 26°C and above. With the warming, typhoons appear more frequently and with winds of higher velocity. In 1951 they were of 240 km/h; between 1960-1980 they rose to 275 km/h; in 2006, they reached 306 km/h and in 2013 they had risen to a terrifying 380 km/h.
In recent months, four official reports from organisms linked to the UNO carried a strong alert on the grave consequences of the accelerating global warming. It has been proven, with 90% certainty, that global warming is provoked by irresponsible human activity, and the industrialized countries.
This was confirmed in September by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, IPPC, comprised of more than a thousand scientists; and also by the United Nations Program for the Environment, PNUMA. Then the International Report of the State of the Oceans decried the increased acidity which causes the oceans to absorb less CO2, and finally, on November 13, it was affirmed by the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva. They unanimously confirm, not that we are headed towards global warming, but that we already are within global warming. If at the beginning of the industrial revolution the concentration of CO2 was of 280 ppm (parts per million), by 1990 it had risen to 350 ppm, and now it has reached 450 ppm. This year the news has been that in some parts of the planet, the 2°C barrier that could bring about irreversible damage to other living beings has already been breached.
A few weeks ago, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the Convention of the UN on Climate Change, during a collective interview, shed tears as she decried that countries are doing almost nothing to adapt to and mitigate global warming. In the 19th Climate Summit, in Warsaw, held from the 11th to the 22nd of November, Yeb Sano, of the Philippines, cried before the representatives of 190 countries as he recounted the horrors of the typhoon that had devastated his country, and affected his own family. Most of the delegates could not contain their own tears. But to many those were crocodile tears. The representatives already carried in their briefcases their instructions, previously prepared by their governments, and the great powers in many ways make any consensus difficult. There are also those who hold power in the world, the owners of the coal mines, many stockholders of oil or iron and steel companies, driven by carbon, of industries of assembly and others. They all want things to remain as they are. That is the worst that can occur, because then the path towards the abyss becomes more direct and fatal. Why is there such irrational opposition?
Let’s go directly to the central question: we owe this ecological chaos to our form of production, which devastates nature and feeds the culture of unlimited consumerism. Either we change our paradigm of relating to the Earth, and her natural goods and services, or we will hurtle headlong towards an encounter with disaster. The current paradigm embraces the following logic: how much can I earn, with the least investment possible, in the shortest period of time, through technological innovation and the greatest competitive capacity? Production is geared to pure and simple consumption, that generates accumulation, which is the main objective. The devastation of nature and the impoverishment of the eco-system this involves are mere externalities (they do not enter into the managerial accounting). Since the neo-liberal economy is strictly competitive and not cooperative, a war of markets, everyone against everyone else, is established. The price is paid by humans (social injustice) and by nature, (ecological injustice).
However, the Earth can no longer tolerate this total war against her. She needs a year and a half to recoup what we take from her in one year. Global warming is the fever, warning that the Earth is ill, gravely ill.
Either we begin to realize that we are part of nature, so that we may respect her as we respect ourselves, transitioning from a paradigm of conquest and domination to one of caring and coexistence, and restrain production, in respect for the natural rhythms and within the limits of each eco-system; or we must prepare for the bitter lessons Mother Earth will give us. And this does not exclude the possibility that she will no longer accept us, and will free herself from us as we free ourselves from a cancer cell. The Earth can continue, littered with corpses, but without us. May God not allow such a tragic destiny.
Free translation from the Spanish sent by
Melina Alfaro, email@example.com,
done at REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE, Texas, EE.UU