Thus begins the English version of the Peoples’ Agreement from the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth now available online for reading. It was a privilege to be present and to work with so many committed people from all over the world, who overcame their ideological differences, struggled to understand and to respect one another’s views, and eventually arrived at a shared vision with which everyone could live, and some shared strategies for action that everyone is committed to implementing. As you read the often strident words, don’t let your ears be closed by the rhetoric. If you listen closely, you can here the voices of scientists, activists, philosophers, religious leaders, and just plain folks, pleading with the world to reject a consumerist vision of society and of Mother Earth – Pachamama, and asking us to choose to live simply, to “live well” — suma qamaña in Aymara — rather than always exploiting God’s creation and other human beings in the mad race to “live better.” President Morales is to be commended for his initiative and his unfailing respect for the process.
Today, our Mother Earth is wounded and the future of humanity is in danger.
If global warming increases by more than 2 degrees Celsius, a situation that the “Copenhagen Accord” could lead to, there is a 50% probability that the damages caused to our Mother Earth will be completely irreversible. Between 20% and 30% of species would be in danger of disappearing. Large extensions of forest would be affected, droughts and floods would affect different regions of the planet, deserts would expand, and the melting of the polar ice caps and the glaciers in the Andes and Himalayas would worsen. Many island states would disappear, and Africa would suffer an increase in temperature of more than 3 degrees Celsius. Likewise, the production of food would diminish in the world, causing catastrophic impact on the survival of inhabitants from vast regions in the planet, and the number of people in the world suffering from hunger would increase dramatically, a figure that already exceeds 1.02 billion people.
The corporations and governments of the so-called “developed” countries, in complicity with a segment of the scientific community, have led us to discuss climate change as a problem limited to the rise in temperature without questioning the cause, which is the capitalist system. Read the rest…