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IN DEFENSE OF A NEW SOCIETY ON WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

Today, June 5th, is celebrated the World Environment Day, instituted since 1972 during the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, in Stockholm. This date, which was chosen to coincide with the holding of this conference, has as its main objective to draw the attention of all spheres of the world population to environmental problems and the importance of preserving natural resources, which until then were considered by many, inexhaustible. This Conference, which became known as the Stockholm Conference, initiated a change in the way of seeing and dealing with environmental issues around the world, in addition to establishing principles to guide environmental policy across the planet. Despite the great advance represented by the Stockholm Conference, this date cannot be commemorated due to the degradation of the environment across the planet and the threat of climate change that may occur until the middle of the 21st century and put itself at risk survival of humanity.

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IN DEFENSE OF A NEW SOCIETY ON WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

  1. 1. 1 IN DEFENSE OF A NEW SOCIETY ON WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY Fernando Alcoforado* Today, June 5th, is celebrated the World Environment Day, instituted since 1972 during the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, in Stockholm. This date, which was chosen to coincide with the holding of this conference, has as its main objective to draw the attention of all spheres of the world population to environmental problems and the importance of preserving natural resources, which until then were considered by many, inexhaustible. This Conference, which became known as the Stockholm Conference, initiated a change in the way of seeing and dealing with environmental issues around the world, in addition to establishing principles to guide environmental policy across the planet. Despite the great advance represented by the Stockholm Conference, this date cannot be commemorated due to the degradation of the environment across the planet and the threat of climate change that may occur until the middle of the 21st century and put itself at risk survival of humanity. The degradation of the environment across the planet results from the fact that the Earth faces the highest rate of extinction since the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago thanks to predatory actions promoted from the first Industrial Revolution in the 17th century to the present time. Deforestation, especially in Brazil, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and the use of pesticides are some of the human causes of the decline in biodiversity around the world. Since 1970, 40% of marine animals have disappeared and populations of insects in some parts of the world and of freshwater animals have decreased by 75%. It is estimated that humans have negatively affected 83% of the Earth's surface, from ecosystems to animal species. In the era in which we live, humanity is also faced with the threat posed by global warming, which tends to produce catastrophic climate change across the planet with serious repercussions on economic activities and the aggravation of humanity's social problems. The degradation of the environment across the planet and catastrophic climate change across the planet tend to produce a real crisis of humanity that makes it imperative to build a new society that operates in a sustainable, interdependent and rational way with common goals in each country and on a planetary scale, without which the survival of human beings and life on the planet could be put in question. If we do not act now towards building a sustainable society, the extinction of animals and human beings themselves could be humanity's greatest legacy. The new society to be built would have to be sustainable from an economic, social and environmental point of view. Global sustainability requires the world population to stabilize at most eight billion people, sustainable economies be not powered by fossil fuels, but by solar energy and its many direct and indirect forms (sunlight for heating and photovoltaic electricity, energy wind, hydroelectric and so on), nuclear energy be not used due to its long list of economic, social and environmental disadvantages and risks, energy production be more decentralized and, therefore, less vulnerable to cuts or blackouts and a much more efficient sustainable energy system be utilized. In a sustainable society, the transport system will be more efficient and less polluting than it is today. People will have to live much closer to their workplaces and will move through highly developed bus and rail systems, there will be fewer private cars, bicycles will be an important vehicle in the sustainable transport system, recycling will be the main source of raw materials in sustainable industries, and product design will focus on durability and repeated use rather than the short, disposable life of products as it is today. A mindset
  2. 2. 2 based on the ethics of recycling will be desirable when recycling companies take the place of current urban cleaning and final waste disposal companies, reducing the amount of waste by at least two-thirds. In a sustainable society there will be a need for a restored and stabilized biological base, land use will have to follow the basic principles of biological stability (nutrient retention, carbon balance, soil protection, water conservation and preservation of species diversity), rural areas will have greater diversity than today with balanced land management, in which there will be rotation of plantations and species cultivation, there will be no wasted crops, tropical forests will be conserved, there will be no deforestation to obtain wood and other products, millions of hectares of new trees will be planted, efforts to stop desertification will transform degraded areas into productive land, the exhaustive use of pastures will be eliminated, as well as there will be changes in the food chain of affluent societies, to include less meat and more grains and vegetables. Current value systems that emphasize quantity, expansion, competition and domination will give way to quality, conservation, cooperation and solidarity among human beings in the new society to be built. The decisive feature of a sustainable economy will be the rejection of the blind pursuit of economic growth. Gross domestic product will be recognized as a failed indicator of economic and social progress, economic and social changes, as well as technological ones, will be measured by their contribution to sustainability, military budgets will be a small fraction of what they are today or reduced to zero , governments will invest in a strengthened United Nations, which would act as a world government, for peacekeeping rather than maintaining costly and polluting defense institutions, nations will decentralize power and decision-making within their own borders and, at the same time, they will establish an unprecedented degree of cooperation and coordination at the international level to solve global problems. It is in defense of life on planet Earth that the implementation of a sustainable society in each country and in the world becomes imperative to prevent the existence of living beings and humanity itself from being placed in check. The new sustainable society in the world sphere must be able to regulate international relations based on a Planetary Social Contract aiming to promote sustainable development for the benefit of all human beings. This Planetary Social Contract should result from the will of the UN General Assembly that would constitute the new World Parliament that would elect a World Government representing the will of all the peoples of the world. With a World Government, it will be possible not only to order the global economy, fight war and end the bloodbath that has characterized human history, but also avoid the depletion of the planet's natural resources and the catastrophic climate change that threatens life on the planet. On World Environment Day, humanity must become aware of the need to build a sustainable society in defense of life on our planet. * Fernando Alcoforado, 81, condecorado com a Medalha do Mérito da Engenharia do Sistema CONFEA/CREA, membro da Academia Baiana de Educação, engenheiro e doutor em Planejamento Territorial e Desenvolvimento Regional pela Universidade de Barcelona, professor universitário e consultor nas áreas de planejamento estratégico, planejamento empresarial, planejamento regional e planejamento de sistemas energéticos, é autor dos livros Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona,http://www.tesisenred.net/handle/10803/1944, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development- The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Müller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária
  3. 3. 3 (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011), Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), Energia no Mundo e no Brasil- Energia e Mudança Climática Catastrófica no Século XXI (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2015), As Grandes Revoluções Científicas, Econômicas e Sociais que Mudaram o Mundo (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2016), A Invenção de um novo Brasil (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2017), Esquerda x Direita e a sua convergência (Associação Baiana de Imprensa, Salvador, 2018, em co- autoria) e Como inventar o futuro para mudar o mundo (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2019).

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Today, June 5th, is celebrated the World Environment Day, instituted since 1972 during the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, in Stockholm. This date, which was chosen to coincide with the holding of this conference, has as its main objective to draw the attention of all spheres of the world population to environmental problems and the importance of preserving natural resources, which until then were considered by many, inexhaustible. This Conference, which became known as the Stockholm Conference, initiated a change in the way of seeing and dealing with environmental issues around the world, in addition to establishing principles to guide environmental policy across the planet. Despite the great advance represented by the Stockholm Conference, this date cannot be commemorated due to the degradation of the environment across the planet and the threat of climate change that may occur until the middle of the 21st century and put itself at risk survival of humanity.

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