Faced with the urgency of the climate crisis and the disappearance of our ecosystems, and with the inaction of governments in taking decisive and effective measures in the short term, it would seem futile to hope to avoid the worst.
While man has historically mastered the elements, demonstrating great intelligence, he has missed the opportunity to act wisely by taking the full measure of the many warnings from the scientific community, to such an extent that human activities are currently leading to the sixth mass extinction of species since life appeared on Earth.
To put these considerations into perspective and introduce concrete individual and collective solutions, two defenders of the living world, passionate about human nature and convinced that altruism is one of the solutions to the ecological, energy and economic threats in consideration of living beings, future generations and the environment. Dr Jane Goodall, primatologist and anthropologist, the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees, UN Messenger of Peace & Matthieu Ricard.
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Many people have had an awakening during the Covid19 pandemic and have understood the urgency of rethinking our way of relating to living things. They also discovered that it would be disastrous to continue to consider that it is possible to have unlimited economic development on a planet with limited natural resources and to think that the annual development of the GDP is more important than the future of our children.
It is too late to be pessimistic. If we lose hope, we won’t even make the effort to lift a finger and forget to make critical decisions. One possible reason for hope is to look at the drastic measures taken by governments during the Covid pandemic19. If only half of that determination could be put to work in the fight against climate change, then we could do something to avoid the worst.
Summary of the exchanges
Most of us are aware of and concerned by the chaotic turn of our times, by the destruction of our ecosystems and of the two largest lungs of our planet: the forests and the oceans.
For the sake of future generations, the environment and all living beings, how can we keep hope without feeling overwhelmed by all the extremely worrying events ?
It is too late to be pessimistic. We must at all costs cultivate hope, make it possible. It is not a matter of sitting back and waiting for long-term measures from governments in the passive hope of seeing carbon neutrality in decades. Hope is immediate, short-term, drastic and decisive action.
We know what needs to be done, we know that if we do what needs to be done, we can slow down climate change and avoid causing the sixth mass extinction of species since life appeared on Earth through our activities.
Hope impliesto look at the swift, determined and decisive action taken by governments during the Covid19 pandemic . The same determination must lead them to take immediate action on the environment. Winston Churchill said that “a statesman thinks of the next generation, a politician of the next election”. It is time for politicians to show a modicum of courage so that they are not seen as traitors by future generations.
Hope is to consider our own direct power over the environment by decreasing our consumption of highly polluting intensive livestock products that create social inequalities in the world.
We do not have three planets. It is time for the quest for success through selfish hoarding of wealth and power to change to a common pursuit of sustainable harmony, social and environmental wealth. Let us put ourselves in the eyes and heads of our children, in their immediate experience of the world, observing the beauty of a snail’s tail, sensitive to animals and living things.
Rekindling our wonder at the wildness of the world alone will not solve the ecological crisis, but it is part of the process of raising awareness necessary to give rights to the natural world. To marvel is to respect. Respecting induces the desire to care. And this desire leads to direct and lasting action. Hope is a strong and necessary commitment, to come together to protect the planet and future generations, to make through our actions the creation of a new relationship between humans and the living world possible, one that is sustainable and respectful.
To go further
- Blog The climate crisis : we can be part of the change by Matthieu Ricard