A few years ago, the first to sound the alarm on global warming received only sarcasm or, at best, polite indifference. Today, in France, a public body, the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe), broadcasts spots calling on the population to contribute to the fight against global warming.
It is to be hoped that a similar development will occur, and as quickly as possible, with regard to the preservation of natural resources (moreover linked to the fight against global warming): ecology is still too often considered, in particular in ultraliberal economic circles, as a matter of hairy zozos, in relation to the economic imperatives and the “profitability” of companies.
How many more catastrophic reports like the one written by more than 1 international experts and published on Wednesday March 300 by the UN will be needed to make people understand that there is an emergency?
The expression “plundering the planet” indeed takes on its full meaning on reading this work, the most important ever carried out on the subject. “Human activity,” it says, “puts such strain on the natural functions of the Earth that the capacity of the planet's ecosystems to support future generations can no longer be taken for granted. As usual, the poor are the first affected, especially by the lack of access to safe water.
Wisdom would advise taking the greatest account of the profound changes, in terms of consumption, technologies or exploitation of ecosystems, advised by experts. But the president of the main world power, the United States, which should have a major training role, has so far shown no interest in this subject. Didn't George Bush just authorize oil exploration in a natural sanctuary in Alaska, the exact opposite of the report's recommendations?
Faced with an attitude that stems from the prehistory of conscience, Europe, like the developing countries, has its share of responsibility and seems to hesitate on the attitude to adopt. It is, anyway, ahead of the United States, which refused to join the Kyoto protocol.
In France, the President of the Republic understood the importance of the issue. At least in principle. Because Jacques Chirac is torn between his ecological awareness and the strictly economic interests of his electorate. The timidity of the water bill, recently adopted by the Council of Ministers, has once again shown this.
Europe's political leaders would honor themselves by taking the lead in this fight. In the match between Europe and the United States, this is a great opportunity to live up to historical responsibilities. Since modernity today is quite simply to understand that we must save the planet.