Intergenerational Responsibility

Monday, July 22, 2013

“I despised them because being able to do so much,
they ventured so little”
Albert Camus

Could the next generations say they waited in vain for the present generations to carry out the supreme commitment that is, in the words of President Nelson Mandela, to act in such a way that our intellectual and material heritage does not mean a setback? What Earth's habitability is not worse than the one we have lived? What benchmarks, principles and ethical basis do not allow them to start their morning with hope? 

We are still dully cling, especially in the West, to a system that substituting values for commercial laws and democratic multilateralism for oligarchic groups, has led to a situation of enormous social inequalities and exclusion, as 80% of humanity finds no shelter in the prosperous neighborhood of the global village on which only 17-18% of the population lives. 

We are aware of the daily genocide of thousands of people dying of starvation and abandonment. But we keep paying attention at the fluctuations of the markets that do no benefit the majority of the inhabitants of Earth. And we let ourselves entertain by the enormous media power, which standardizes, turning citizens into passive spectators, radicalizing partisanship in the extreme, especially the sport one. 

Noam Chomsky has written recently, that the current economic and political system is a form of plutocracy that strongly differ from democracy, if by this concept we refer to political agreements in which the rule is influenced significantly by the public will ". 

With an eye exclusively on the short-term economic benefits, yesterday formulas are still being applied for today's challenges, perishable and ineffective, instead of protecting the living conditions that the “future generations” deserve, as enshrined at the beginning of the unique text of the Charter of the United Nations. 

Intergenerational solidarity requires a special way to address those potentially irreversible issues in which the treatment should be applied in due course, before it is too late and points of no return have been reached. The priorities, is worth repeating, are: food, access to water, health services for all, environmental care, education, renewable energy, peace. 

The culpable irresponsibility of some governors, in particular the Republican Party of the United States, has come to favor an education that, as the Exxon Mobile Foundation did for years, denies the climate change and the deleterious consequence of excessive combustion ... while, with great personal suffering, many human beings are seriously affected by the harmful "side effects" that are disguised or silenced. 

Scientific rigor. And adoption of attitudes widely seconded, in person or virtually, by millions of people in order to expose those who are opposed to providing truthful information that people deserve. 

Democracy at a global scale, with a United Nations of great moral and physical authority; democracy at regional level especially urgent in Europe; and democracy at the local level, in which citizens can really count and participate -now it is possible due to new communication technologies-, and with corrective mechanisms of the offence to democracy that represent absolute parliamentary majority, especially when is based on past electoral results. 

Let us raise our voice to foster of the transition from an economy of speculation, delocalization of production and war to a sustainable global economy and human development. Planetary security cannot be ensured in another way. Let's make possible that the fuel consumption is moderated by a great development of renewable sources of energy. And let’s clean up the sea, which occupies 70% of the skin of the Earth and it is the major "lung"... of the present and future generations. 

The clathrens, "submarine gold", and the fuels obtained by "fracking", should be used with criteria guided by scientific knowledge and not by the economic benefits... 

Let’s think of our intergenerational responsibilities. 

Now we can. Do we dare?