We are still killing Mother Nature. The latest report of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Climate Change (IPCC), shows clearly and without compromise a reality, that although well known, is no less disturbing. Some government policies, the economic interests of large corporations and the indifference of the general public turn a deaf ear to the call of experts and of nature itself. We are too absorbed in our lives that we do not perceive what lies ahead if we do not stop this drifting.
Is time, then, to open an international debate in which all citizens rethink and reflect about the future viability of their way of life and their passage on Earth. We have to stop and think about the energy we consume and its origin; the products we buy and their origin; what we eat and how it is produced; the companies whose products and services we use and their impact on the environment and on the human rights of those who suffer the effects of this predation and suicidal exploitation.
Is not enough to demand action from political parties, governments, municipalities, the European Union and other international organizations, but we must be consistent and ask ourselves how we should review our conduct on Earth to make possible de continuity of life in this planet.
A new crime: Ecocide
Because the sad truth is that real atrocities against nature continue to be committed, human-led catastrophes through large companies and governments that are behind the pollution of our oceans and seas, the disappearance of animal species, the pollution of the atmosphere and air we breathe, the destruction of subsoil, the plundering of forests and jungles or the degradation of rivers.
While some refuse to see it and remain stubborn in denial positions that no moderately serious scientific report is capable of sustaining, others like me have decided to name it and that mane is ecocide. This concept, which developed the late Polly Higgins, masterfully defines the destruction of all these ecosystems to the point they will become unusable for the life and enjoyment of its inhabitants: animals, plants or people.
In the face of ecocide, it is urgent to activate international and universal law and justice and fight against impunity derived from climatic and ecological barbarism. It is an unavoidable attitude that should not be delayed for a second.
World Summit on the climate crisis
Meanwhile, and sponsored by the United Nations, in December 2019, the largest global summit on the climate crisis, COP 25, will take place in Santiago, Chile. There, 30,000 attendees people representing 200 countries will discuss our seas, renewable energies, ecosystems, biodiversity … The agreements reached could mean a respite for the Earth, drowned by the mismanagement of our leaders. But the best agreement will be of little use if they then yield to spurious interests, conditioned by the results accounts of the companies and the demands of the shareholders. As Pope Francis said there is an evil word for all this environmental catastrophe: corruption.
The citizen response
We must go further, providing a solid training to children and young people, at the same time that adults are re-educated to take better care of our planet and give value to the legacy that we will transmit the next generations. This education should be reflected in a greater political and citizen action inspired by the democratic values that make politics a vocation of service in favor of the common good and of the greater good and not in the gross exercise of power in favor of the elites and their economic benefits. Citizen participation is a force capable of curbing the voracious appetites of the powerful. But in the legislative, local and international sphere and also in justice, is necessary to take definitive steps, over short-term economic or political interests.
We must design these new spaces, for example through universal jurisdiction, extending its sphere of protection to nature. As the theologian Leonardo Boff says: “The time of the nations is passing; now it is the time of the Earth and we have to organize ourselves to guarantee the means that will sustain our life and that of nature.”