The Earth in labor pains: will the great saving leap come?

With a little more, a collapse of the bases that ecologically sustain life on the planet could occur. Which of the heads of state and big managers (CEOs) of the mega-corporations reflect and make decisions in the face of such a limit-situation of our Common Home? Perhaps they are aware of the real situation, but they do not give it importance, because if they were given it they would have to completely change the mode of production, give up the fabulous economic gains, change their relationship with nature and get used to a more frugal consumption and more solidary.

Because that does not happen, we understand the words of the UN Secretary General, António Guterrez, recently in Berlin at a meeting on climate change: “We have only one choice: collective action or collective suicide.” Earlier, in Glasgow, on the occasion of the COP 26 on climate change, he peremptorily stated: “either we change or we are digging our own grave”.

Perhaps the most imminent danger of the change in the situation of our Common Home is the alarming global warming, confirmed in recent times. In the 2015 Paris Agreement, it had been agreed to restrict the rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius until 2030 to avoid major damage to the biosphere. With the massive release of methane, due to the melting of the polar caps and premafrost (which goes from Canada to the confines of Siberia) millions of tons of methane have been released. This is 28 times more harmful than CO2. Due to these changes, the ICLL admitted that not in 2030 but in 2027 there would be a temperature increase of between 1.5 and 2.7 degrees Celsius.

The extreme events that are currently occurring in Europe, India and other places, with great fires and heat never before experienced, and at the same time the unusual cold in the South of the world, are showing signs that the Earth has lost its balance and is looking for another.

Summarizing the speech: if we continue this trend, what future awaits us? Could the human species have reached its climax, like all species in their time, and disappear? Or can it happen, thanks to human ingenuity or the forces of planet Earth combined with the energies of the universe, that it takes a leap in quality and thus inaugurates a new order, giving continuity to the human species?

 If this happens, a situation that we predict, it will not happen without many sacrifices of lives of nature and of humanity itself. 67 million years ago a meteor almost 10 km long fell in the Caribbean, destroying the dinosaurs and 75% of all life forms, but respecting our ancestors. Couldn’t something similar happen with our planet Earth?

Probably not a grazing meteor, but some other immeasurable ecological-social disaster. If we survive, the Earth will have made the saving leap and delivered the long-awaited birth. The labor pains will have passed and finally the biocene and the ecocene will have been generated. Life (bio) and the ecological factor (eco) will gain centrality, compromising our care and our whole heart. May this desideratum be a viable utopia that allows us to continue on this beautiful and smiling planet.

*Leonardo Boff has written The painful part of Mother Earth, Dabar 2021; Inhabit the Earth,,Dabar 2022..

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