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By Carlos Miguélez Monroy
Titled Last Call, this manifesto calls the growth “slow-motion genocide”. Among the main sources of alarm are the rising cost of energy from renewable sources, pollution from economic activity and the consequences of climate change that this causes, and the tensions to control raw materials on which economic growth depends.
The manifesto asks to go beyond the typical claims for a supposed “sustainable development”, which in other places they call “sustainable”. Sustainable and sustainable are related but they do not mean the same thing. Sustainable refers to the ability of a system to support itself with its own resources and without wasting those elsewhere. Sustainable refers to a system capable of generating for its members the necessary sustenance to live with dignity. Humanity needs a sustainable and sustainable planet, but its model based on economic growth generates the opposite: a model that generates war and destruction in the places where raw materials are found, and that also prevents an equitable distribution of the fruits of the Earth.
That is why the signers of the manifesto have stopped believing in a supposed “green economy” that serves to wash consciences and to patch up problems of a seriousness that still eludes humanity, obsessed with the rising and falling stock market, with interest rates, with green numbers on little black screens. Furthermore, that green economy in the end commodifies the wealth of the earth without going to the cause of the problem: a development model based on the destruction of the planet.
This ecocide caused by transport, industry and our production model has consequences for food, the basic livelihood of human beings. But also in the relationship between peoples, sometimes faced with the benefit of a cheap extraction of coltan, lithium and other raw materials that sustain our comfort.
The manifesto insists on the need for radical changes in the values that sustain the ways of life, the forms of production, the design of cities and the territorial organization.
“We need a society that aims to regain balance with the biosphere, and uses research, technology, culture, economics and politics to move toward that end. For this we will need all the political imagination, moral generosity and technical creativity that we manage to deploy ”, he says, in order to build a new civilization capable of ensuring a dignified life for the 7.4 billion people on the planet. As with most of the approaches in defense of the environment, an exponential population growth is taken for granted that prevents the search for balance on the planet. Hence the need to take into account approaches such as those presented by Jeffrey Sachs in Economics for a crowded planet.
The signers of the manifesto warn: “A civilization is ending and we have to build a new one. The consequences of doing nothing lead us to social, economic and ecological collapse. But if we start today, we can still be the protagonists of a solidary, democratic society at peace with the planet ”.
If you know how to communicate and disseminate, the "symbolic" act of launching a manifesto can help people, when voting in elections, take these types of criteria into account and place their trust in politicians like those who joined for the planet. Politicians cannot keep environmental issues as fringe and extravagant parts of their political agenda if they want to go to the root of our global crisis: our suicidal "development" model.
Center for Solidarity Collaborations CCS