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The Invasion of Waste - 5

By Matthieu Ricard on February 19, 2012

Excerpts from Matthieu Ricard's preface to Didier Ruef's ‟Recycle”
Blind Selfishness
Imagine a damaged ship in which it would be necessary to use all the power of the engines to pump the water out from its holds. Where first class passengers want to continue to use air conditioning and other facilities, and where the sole concern of second-class passengers is to upgrade to the first class. Soon, everyone sinks, after using the air conditioner for a few hours longer, instead of everyone being saved. On a normal boat, a captain takes the necessary measures to prevent the ship from sinking. But here, the passengers insist on being their own leaders and taking their own decisions.
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The balance of forces confronted with environmental problems and other pressing challenges of our time resembles that of tribes competing for the benefits of a sinking ship, a forest in fire and a time bomb.
A research group of British engineers stated recently that, assuming that all engineers operating in the world dedicated themselves to developing technologies to produce renewable energy, such an effort would not be enough to slow down global warming.

A member of an English green party recently explained on the BBC that: ‟The whole problem of climate change lies in the fact that it is debated on an intellectual level by people who live in cities where everything is artificial. These people do not experience the changes that occur in reality. Billions of people are now city dwellers cut off from natural cycles, they are not able to see for themselves the processes involved. However, if you talk with community members who live in the rainforests or with the poorest people who are trying to grow grain in Africa, they say that climate change is dramatic, it is happening very quickly and has serious implications for nature and their livelihoods.” The same can be said of the proliferation of waste.

Global problems can only be addressed by transnational institutions. In a global world, heads of states should play the role of governors of provinces, who administer local affairs and delegate to a transnational authority the fate of the planet.

(to be continued)