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Thoughtless and Irresponsible Governments


AUTHOR:  Leonardo BOFF

Translated by  Refugio del Río Grande, Texas, USA


Those fortunate enough to have been able to follow the June 24-26th Summit of the Nations (192 countries), in the UN, to find inclusive solutions to the economic-financial crisis, would have been doubly perplexed. First that it reached a surprising consensus about the short and medium range economic and financial measures that must be realized, in function of development/growth. Second, the realization that everything revolved only around the economic-financial aspect, without a single reference to the limits of the biosphere and the devastation of nature that the current type of development entails. This is to say, the economy was reduced to a group of theories and formulas mastered by the experts, and applied to countries, forgetting that the economy is part of society and politics, and is therefore linked to people's lives. It was as if the politicians and experts did not breathe, eat, nor dress, and lived in the clouds instead of walking on Earth. To them, such important matters are trivial externalities.

Listening to them, I felt deep inside me: how thoughtless and irresponsible are these politicians, representatives of their peoples, who do not see that the true crisis is not the one they are discussing, but the unsustainability of the biosphere and the lack of capacity of Mother Earth to renew the resources and services necessary for humanity and the community.  Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the UN, warned: this unsustainability not only precludes production and reproduction, but also puts the very survival of the human species at risk.

They are all hostages of the economic madness of  «development», understood as mere economic growth (GNP, gross national product...).  But this paradigm of development -deceivingly sustainable- of the actual mode of world accumulation, will lead humanity and the Earth to ruination. People are considered last. The markets, the banks, the financial system always come first. The FAO affirms that with only 1% of what was used to save the banks from bankruptcy (some billions of dollars) the hunger of the planet could be solved. And presently the same FAO has warned that there are countries with food reserves for only three months.  Without a coordinated world cooperation, there will be hunger and death for millions of people.

To discuss the economic-financial crisis without including the other crises -the global warming, food, energy and humanitarian crises-, is to lie to the peoples of the world about the real state of Humanity. I am afraid that within a few years, our children and grandchildren, looking back at our times, will justly curse and despise us for not having done what we should have. We knew the risks but preferred to save money and guarantee bonuses, when we should have saved the sinking Titanic.

In this sense, Brazil is shameful: if there is one country in the world with the best ecologic and geopolitical opportunities to help formulate the project of the «other world necessary for the whole humanity», that country would be Brazil.

Brazil is the water capital of the world.  She possesses the largest biodiversity of the planet, the biggest tropical forests, the possibility of a clean energy matrix based on water, wind, sun, tides and biomass... but Brazil has not yet awakened.  She passes the world forums in a permanent political sleep, unconscious, “eternally laying down in a splendid cradle” (words of the Brazilian national anthem.) She has not yet noticed her possibilities, nor her responsibility with regard to safeguarding the Earth and Life.

To the contrary, we are marching against the direction of history, building carbon based factories. We have deforested 1,084 square kilometers of the Amazon between August 2008 and May 2009. And we are the 5th largest generator of pollution in the world... The ecologic factor is not considered strategic by the present government. We are ignorant, backwards: we lack a sense of responsibility for our common future. 


Source: The author's site  - Governos inconscientes e irresponsáveis

Original article published on July 10, 2009

About the author

Refugio del Rio Grande, a partner of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity, is a 45 acre refuge located outside Harlingen, Texas, USA. It was opened in 1986, to offer a place of refuge in the United States for political refugees from Central America. Now, refugees from all countries of the world are welcome. REFUGIO is also a refuge for a wide variety of wildlife, who find a safe and friendly environment. At REFUGIO, basic needs of housing, clothing and food are met. Those looking for asylum because of repression or oppression can find peace as they work through the process of their legal case, living with friends who work in solidarity for justice and peace in a small self governing community. A sense of balance is sought between nature and humanity as we live and work together.
This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author and translator  are cited.

URL of this article on Tlaxcala:
http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=8450&lg=en

 


STORMING BRAINS : 24/08/2009

 
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