"The Paris Climate Summit, finally an agreement. Now it is necessary to ensure its implementation "

Monday, December 14, 2015

"All hands together represent/
the new birth, ours, yours ... "
Jose Angel Valente in "Nadie".

After the “Climate Summit”, recently held in Paris (from November 30 to December 13) with representatives of most States in the world, it seems appropriate to begin this document to urge implementation of the agreements reached, remembering the Earth Charter, one of the most brilliant reference in so somber and turbulent times. It starts as follows: "We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future ...". And concludes as follows: "As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning”.

From now on, we must adopt behaviors and lifestyles in order that year 2020 is really the beginning of a firm and coordinated real action, in order that the agreed measures do not take place in an ecological context even more somber than the current one. It is necessary that previsions just approved with such difficulty and urgency can be achieved with diligence. It requires well-trained, supervisory and appropriate regulatory mechanisms.

In the Anthropocene, to ensure habitability of the Earth and a decent life for all human beings, is an essential responsibility because the basis of all human rights is the equal dignity, regardless of gender, skin color, belief, ideology, age ... after centuries and centuries of absolute male power, social inequalities and extreme poverty prevail in an Earth that, influenced by human activity, is deteriorating.

We live in a digital era. Freedom of expression allows the progressive participation of all citizens in decision-making, in order that democratic systems will be strengthened  and deep changes will be feasible because three favorable facts coincide: 1) the knowledge of what is happening in the world, the increasing solidarity feelings not only material but "intellectual and moral", as stated in the preamble of the UNESCO’s Constitution); 2) more women in decision-making, acting accordingly their inherent faculties,  and 3) the possibility of distance participation, because of modern communications technology and information.

From now on, the power must not only hear but listen to the opinions of all citizens permanently. The time of silence is over.

The “Earth Summit” was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 -twenty three years ago!- However, the popular feeling has not had the necessary impact in the media of all kinds that could warn governments.

We have looked up passively how "markets" have appointed governments without elections in Italy and Greece, the cradle of democracy. We live in an economy based on exclusion, short-term interest, speculation, production delocalization, in preparing for war, which has led to a situation of extraordinary complexity that requires, especially considering potentially irreversible processes, to adopt urgent measures in correcting the direction of present trends. Much is said of the "welfare state"... that has been reduced to 20% of the inhabitants of the Earth, who live in wealthy neighborhoods of the global village. In a step gradient of poverty and insecurity, 80% of humanity survives in very difficult conditions. To all of this, should not be added the historical intergenerational grievance that would represent the reduction of the quality of life without the possibility of reestablishing it later.

The word com-partir (to share) -which was the key of the United Nations System in the 50’sand 60’s- has been progressively silenced and, instead of strengthening the least developed countries with an integral, endogenous, sustainable and human development, aids to development have been reduced to unbelievable limits and, the World Bank for Reconstruction and Development "lost" his name and has become a tool at the service of big financial institutions; and the Nation-State has been weakened, progressively transferring resources and power to giant multinational structures.

What has been achieved in Paris is all right but under the condition that from now on, the agreed guidelines are carried on at world level. And global problems require global structures. The implementation cannot be entrusted to some “judge and jury” countries and not even to the inefficient plutocratic groups (G7, G8, G20) but to the democratic multilateralism, to a "renovated" United Nations -which were dis-united and marginalised by neoliberals-. Yes now, even now, only they can carry out some urgent functions of ecological and social emergency.

I never tire of repeating that re-founding the United Nations System is more necessary than ever, in order to, as stated in the United Nations Charter, be able, in the shortest possible time, that "the peoples" and -not only the States- are represented in the General Assembly and scientific progress allows a dignified life for all inhabitants of the Earth, through an economy that takes care of the priorities well established by the United Nations System long time ago: food (agriculture, aquaculture and biotechnology); general access to drinking water (collection, management, desalination ...); quality health services; protecting the environment (CO2 emissions, renewable energy, etc.); education and peace. To have an education that provides global consciousness for all: this is a crucial issue because the neighbor may be near or distant. And the environmental care should not be limited to the closest but must be extended, because destiny is common throughout the world.

Today we are able to look at the world and we must observe it -"how difficult it is to observe what we see every day," said Julian Marias- in order that every day does not mean accepting the unacceptable and that the “side effects" of the current system are inevitable. That genocide of abandonment and starvation takes place every day; the way we treat those who try to reach the most developed countries because they are starving in their places of origin ... must be rejected by the public outcry with an increasing influence in cyberspace. In the digital era, we will be able to apply the great adaptation of the known proverb written by Mario Benedetti: "Everything depends on the pain of the beholder”.

 It is necessary to invent the future. "Imagine" the future with the increasing participation of world citizens, able to meet and agree through virtual social networks of progressive importance and mobilization capacity that will propose solutions to different problems becoming a relevant part of the democratic process at local and global scales.

From all points of view, it is unacceptable that every day thousands of people die, most of them children from one to five years old, at the same time that 3 billion dollars are invested in armament and military expenditures.

The implementation of the Objectives for Sustainable Development requires a "global outcry”, as praised by the International Peace Bureau, Nobel Peace Prize 1910, to achieve means for "disarmament for development". Security would not be affected: it would be enough with a third of what is currently invested to "protect" the 20% of humanity...

Political, economic and social innovation.  Elimination of tax evasion and corruption without hesitation using as well alternative financing sources such as electronic finance transactions; contributions strictly proportional to income;  conceptual review and work practice and employment, suitable for digital era ...

This "new beginning" will be necessary as well, with promptness and good sense, to share adequately the benefits obtained from the exploitation of natural resources between those who have the technology and the inhabitants of the areas where these resources are located.

What now should not do humanity, knowing also that points of no return of irreversible deterioration can be reached, is to tolerate that large military-industrial consortia continue earning huge profits and support the perverse adage "If you want peace, prepare for war" ... and that large fortunes remain generally unsupportive -85 people, according to OXFAM- have more wealth than half of humanity (3,3 billion!). Monetary Europe cannot admit refugees and migrants ... but can waste billions on tax evasion and tax havens. Now "people" will not allow it. I remember that magnificent 15-M slogan: "If you do not let us dream, we do not will let you sleep." The time has come not letting them sleep!.

Demography and more longevity will benefit citizen involvement. The enormous geographical diversity will be redressed by the "closeness" of those, from places far apart, who will provide their views.

Let us say loud and clear to all who are now responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the "Summit": it is urgent a new world vision, with new lifestyles. The great personal and collective challenge is to change the model of living. The world is entering a new era. We have much to save for the future and many other things to change decisively. Finally, “the peoples”. Finally, the voice of the people. Finally, the citizen power. Finally, the word and not the force. A culture of peace and non-violence and never more a culture of war.

The "Paris Summit" was, even though late, an encouraging first step. Now thinking of children and youth, we must continue apace. It is a priority and inexorable duty.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

The world can no longer be bloodied and frightened by a group of fanatics capable of committing the most horrible crimes. A reaction worldwide, which not only has the real and moral strength to act with firmness and diligence now, but allows to know the causes in order to prevent recurrence in the future, is urgently necessary. 

It is clear that partial and scattered actions are not efficient. So is it has been a colossal mistake to weaken the UN system replacing it by plutocratic groups (G.7, G.8, G.20) and to undertake military actions, without at least the consent of the Security Council. 

It is essential a great alliance, leaving aside for the moment aspects and differential criteria, acting together to solve challenges facing all countries without exception. 

Along with terrorism, extreme poverty causes thousands of deaths every day and leads many human beings, helpless, to abandon their places of origin and trying to arrive, in a terrible emigration, which generates more feelings of hate, because of lto ack of solidarity, to countries that today are characterized by confusion, disorder and improvisation. 

Terrorism, extreme poverty ….. and the environment, because the current ecological emergency can shortly reach points of no return that irreversibly affect the habitability of the earth. It would be a historic irresponsibility leaving to the following generations a legacy of very poor living conditions. 

A few weeks ago, in a "joint statement" whose first signatories are, with us, Mijail Gorbachov, Mario Soares, Garry Jacobs (WAAS), Colin Archer (IPB) and François Bernard (https://jointdeclaration.wordpress.com/joint-declaration/) we urged, Facing potentially irreversible procesess, to convene a special session of the United Nations General Assembly for the sole purpose of adopting global measures against these problems, while designing a "road map" leading to the refunding of the United Nations. 

With special urgency now we renew that call. All united against processes that later would not have remedy. Join now, with great urgency, the leaders of countries and regional organizations specially concerned and, above all, agree to convene without delay -to give hope to "We, the peoples ..." as lucidly starts the Charter of the United Nations- a Special Session, which could mark a "new beginning", which is so urgent in these times of anguish and desolation.

Federico Mayor and Roberto Savio

Memory to know what happened. Memory to invent the future

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Memory to know how to act today for the future that has yet to be written. This is our responsibility and our hope: every unique human being able to create.

Memory of the outrages committed in the past ... and at present that stain the Mediterranean of blood and unsupportive lack of solidarity.

Permanent memory that all human beings matters the same.

Permanent memory that there are no world citizens of first class: all equal in dignity!

Memory of future generations.

Memory of the entire Earth.

Memory, every dawn, of the excluded, of those who migrate, of those who die of abandonment.

Memory of the immense creative works of humanity, but above all, memory of every human being, one by one, because it is the most universal and unavoidable heritage that we must protect.

Memory, every moment, of the "other", of the "others", supreme memory of love for all of them, near or distant, because it is often the supreme oblivion, the supreme error.

Memory of the essential mission of intellectuals, scientists, teachers, artists ... to lead the popular mobilization, the outcry, the appropriate voice, the voice of life ... so many who have had to remain silenced, silent, frightened,  obedient...

Because with this memory, with these memories, the paths of tomorrow will be illuminated and will be open for the new era that is envisaged with this "new gaze".

At sunset, you will be judged on love and in memory.

"Real generosity, said Albert Camus, is to give everything at present."

Social and Ecological Emergency. Join the Declaration

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Time is of the essence and, as underscored in Pope Francis and Obama’s messages, it is essential to obtain specific commitments to protect the environment worldwide, to fulfill our responsibilities to future generations that can no longer be postponed. The Paris Environmental Summit that will be held next December cannot fail to take urgent measures to safeguard the habitability of the Earth. 

Positive signs to be taken into account: 

1. The recent Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Ecology commences by underscoring that “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change”. And he adds, “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded”. 

2. President Obama’s significant decision, with an emergency plan against climate change saying that “We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it”. 

3. President Mikhail Gorbachev stated in his speech at the International Climate Change Symposium in Rome, 27-29 May 2015 that “Paris is the last chance to stay below 2 degrees Celsius beyond the pre-industrial temperature”. 

4. The Agreement signed by the Mayors of capitals and Major cities under the direction of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has prepared a great Declaration on “Climate Change: European Commitment and Local Solutions” . 

Actions cannot be postponed concerning potentially irreversible social and environmental processes!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The scientific, academic, artistic and intellectual communities, in short, cannot remain indifferent given the seriousness of the moment at global, regional and national levels. 

Some years ago, I wrote this on several occasions, Exxon Mobile reacted to the announcement of the Academy of Sciences of the United States that not only carbon dioxide emissions were excessive but its recapture decreased progressively, deteriorating the phytoplankton in the ocean, creating a Foundation that, with hired pseudo scientists, declared just the opposite for their own benefits. In the end, after several years, the lie was discovered and published to its full extent in Newsweek Magazine (The Truth of Denial). Nothing happened. The largest international consortium commits a crime of such magnitude that can affect the habitability of the Earth ... and the voice of millions of people around the world, who think about the legacy they are leaving to the future generations to live a decent life on Earth, is not heard. 

Now, in a time when we can express freely and raise our voice and outcry to the conscious –which is incredible- action of Volkswagen, a large German company, that pollutes rather than attempts to reduce the effects of combustion, putting a cheating "software" in car engines produced by them ... Silence. 

And, the EU, rather than punishing as this vile act deserves, "stick together" in Germany ... without raising the indignant voice of Europe's citizens. 

Given the terrible outrages of the named "Islamic state" ... and the uncoordinated action against extreme fanaticism, due to the absence of a democratic and effective multilateralism, that neoliberalism substituted by completely inefficient plutocratic groups (G7, G8, G20) ... silence. 

In case of terrible suffering of migrants and refugees ... silence. In case of neoliberal policies that increase social gaps ... silence. 

In case of the interference of economic institutions in educational and conceptual domains ... silence. 

In case of the subordination of social justice to the markets ... silence. 

"We must not remain unaware of the great problems of our time," Professor Yolanda Valdeolivas, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Autonomous University of Madrid, pointed out last September 30, in the inaugural lecture of the academic course, in memory and tribute to Prof. Francisco Tomas y Valiente, killed by ETA almost 20 years ago. "The university must faithfully reflect society. We must not resign expecting events, because it is an essential part of our responsibility to inspire, originate or avoid them. The university proceeding should be free, critical and creative”. 

Yes: we cannot remain silent. We cannot remain as passive spectators of what happens, otherwise we would become complicit. The scientific, academic, educational, artistic, intellectual and creative communities, in short, should be at the forefront of popular mobilization. It is necessary they act now, with great urgency, to ensure that points of no return are not reached in the habitability of the Earth and the living conditions of citizens. 

Not one more day submitted to traders, not one more day accepting the plutocratic groups’ governance, not one more day being indifferent to the daily genocide of thousands of people who die of hunger, most of them children, while more than 3 billion dollars are invested in weapons and military expenditures. Not one more day in Europe accepting to support a strictly monetary union without political, economic and fiscal ordinance which is essential. 

Now human beings can speak freely, know what is happening, and women, the cornerstone of the new era that is coming, plays an important and non-mimetic role in decision-making. But the popular outcry requires catalysts, promoters that guide, foster and follow up on the voice of the people. Then, there will be "genuine democracy", and then there will be a clear distinction between the urgent, the important and the secondary. The time of submission and indifference is over. Crime of silence.

Emphatic measures to prevent racism and xenophobia

In Germany, in Dresden, more than 20,000 citizens on the streets have demanded “immediate mass deportations”.

In Switzerland, the extreme right wing has become the largest political force of the Confederation, which advocates for the rapid reduction of immigrants (except, of course, of the ones that, silently, transfer funds in their immense domain of strongbox).

Concerning this subject, indecisions cannot be applied not even accept excuses. Let’s do not forget that it started singing "Deutschland über alles" -Goebels version- and ended in Auschwitz...

All human beings are equal in dignity. Stop talking about "welfare state" which fosters no more than 18-20% of humanity, and fully exercise the solidarity that does so much good to the recipient and, above all, to those who practice it.

The European Union -strictly monetary, to the deep regret of the Europeans- is reacting timidly. It is now essential that emergency measures are adopted but, simultaneously, have to put into practice the most important and, especially, those representing a significant increase in development aid and international cooperation, in order to ensure a lifetime dignity for all in their places of origin.

The system that allows that every day are invested 3 billion dollars in weapons and military expenditures while 20,000 persons die of hunger and abandonment, most of them children from one to five years, should conclude. I am never tire of repeating, because it is this security, "human security" which we should ensure to overcome the inhuman conditions in which so many people live today.

It should be enough to dedicate 80% of current funds to "military security", but 20% will be allocated to "human security". Only with this, the current situation would radically change at world level.

Re-founding a democratic multilateralism, a United Nations provided with personal, technical, military and financial resources that are essential!

It is urgent, now, to convene an extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly, in order to address those issues that can lead to points of no return, especially concerning environmental and social matters. We cannot imagine the indignity, irresponsibility that would represent to irreversibly affect the habitability of the Earth. Among the processes in which emotion replaces reason and blindness the good sense, the sense of ethnic supremacy can lead to huge setbacks. They should not be tolerated for a moment. The persons that can only speak of risk premiums, debt and various percentages should know it clearly. Today global governance requires acting effectively and decisively at least in some issues.