Popular Outcry in Support of the Environment: Rio + 20 Must Mark the Beginning of a New Era

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We cannot continue to be distracted, self-absorbed, spineless spectators of the immense and certainly foreseen failure of a system that while attempting to perpetuate itself despite its state of ruin, uses all imaginable means to keep us quite numb and incapable of reacting and expressing our protests and proposals, our agreement and disagreement.

This has gone too far: everyone monitoring "risk amounts", the fluctuation of investment stakeholders values –the others were abandoned long ago- and biased press releases of the rating agencies…

And the living conditions of a majority of mankind? And the damage to the environment and to the habitability of the planet? The “system” relegates and postpones matters essential for compliance with our duties to future generations, the legacy that we must leave those who are arriving one step behind us.

It will soon be the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. I remember how carefully and meticulously we planned it, especially in the United Nations, to ensure that Agenda 21 would provide an appropriate means for healing Mother Nature’s wounds, and preventing many others.

But the neoliberal globalizers had already taken off and tainted money and markets. And we thus arrived at the year 2000 and there was no money to implement the Millennium Objectives, because the only “objective” that the “great domain” pursued and still pursues is to earn more money: delocalizing production out of pure greed, and promoting a speculative economy, a lack of solidarity in tax havens and world governance by the wealthiest nations…

With these guidelines and roadmaps, it’s no wonder that the few attempts to reduce environmental damage and climate change have come to nothing. Kyoto… Durban…: the countries that emit the most CO2 and gases with greenhouse effects, the ones most responsible for polluting the earth, seas and air will not assume commitments, alleging reasons that are undoubtedly a serious insult to the whole of mankind, given that these processes are potentially irreversible and, thus, subject to the ethics of time.

Today I am writing these paragraphs with much urgency, because the preparatory meeting for Río+20 once more suggests that the superpowers’ attitude will be one of indifference and ambiguity, when their commitment and attention are more urgent and necessary than ever.

The time for mobilizing the people has come. It is time to demand, without further postponements, the attention that Mother Earth deserves. A few (the G-8…, G-20…) cannot and should not impose their will on 196 countries.

Let’s activate a broad and dense web in Cyberspace, let’s sign the petitions that arise from all corners of the earth, so that there will soon be millions who demand that Río+20 should represent the beginning of a new era, a historical change of course in which ethical values and democratic principles will finally prevail.

If we are many, it will be possible.