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Our Place

Por Mariel Fiori
April 2022
April arrives and with it comes the first buds, the rains, the flowers, the possibility of planting our own vegetable garden at home, using our own compost. The organic kitchen waste that does not have to go to the landfill is transformed into fertile soil, a perfect humus for our homemade and organic food. This is our current place, this is where we settled and this is where we are, living as consciously as possible of the impact of our actions on our environment. 

Last month I talked about how our words matter much more than we think, how what we say can create traumas or generate love. Today it is time to talk about getting down to work with our actions, so that the love we say we have for our families, our children, the human race, manifests itself.

What better time than April, when everything is reborn with spring and our Mother Earth reminds us that we cannot live without her. In fact, the United Nations says it is urgent to act, globally, governmentally and individually.  "The oceans are filling with plastics and becoming more acidic. Extreme heat, wildfires, floods and other weather events have affected millions of people. We face COVID -19, a global health pandemic with a strong link to the health of our ecosystem." And it explains in its report entitled Caring for our Mother Earth: "Climate change, man-made changes in nature, as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land use change, intensive agricultural and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can accelerate the pace of destruction of the planet." Restoring damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only achieve this if everyone does their part".

What's this about mass extinction? In 2020 we were warned that we only had 10 years left to avoid the sixth era of mass extinction of the planet, the first time that a mass extinction is caused by humans (now we have eight years left). In the last 50 years, the UN explains, the world economy has almost quintupled, largely because the extraction of natural resources and energy has tripled, boosting production and consumption. The world's population has doubled to 7.8 billion people and, although prosperity has also doubled on average, some 1.3 billion people remain poor and some 700 million go hungry. The increasingly unequal and resource-intensive development model is driving environmental degradation through climate change, biodiversity loss and other forms of pollution and resource degradation. Therein lies the answer: high resource consumption with no regard for the consequences, leading to extinction.

April 22 is International Mother Earth Day and it is a good time to remember that we need to change, that we need a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet. The UN wants us to make "peace with nature": society must include natural capital in decision-making, eliminate environmentally harmful subsidies and invest in the transition to a sustainable future. 

How do we make peace with nature? In its science plan to address climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies, it explains that at the individual level, we can: exercise our voting and civic rights, change our diets and travel habits, avoid wasting food and resources by reducing water and energy consumption. We can also promote behavioral change by raising awareness in our communities. "Cooperation, innovation and knowledge sharing among human beings will create new social and economic possibilities and opportunities." Changes in consumption habits are key to transforming food, water and energy systems. 

I very much agree with all the points proposed in your 42-page plan, both for governments, business and civil organizations, the media and individuals. It also speaks to the fact that the way we measure economic activity, such as gross domestic product, is inadequate because it does not include the value of nature's contributions to human well-being. So much capitalist extraction and exploitation is killing us and it is time to act, from all levels. This is our place, and we have to take care of it.


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La Voz, Cultura y noticias hispanas del Valle de Hudson



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