Humanity’s Footprint Oversteps Earth’s Boundaries

Posted on 20 June 2012 by admin

By Thalif Deen

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 20 (Terra Viva) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon provided a frightening scenario of the not-too-distant future to over 100 world leaders present at the opening Wednesday of the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio de Janeiro.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon bangs the gavel to mark the official opening of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

He singled out three dangerous trends: too much political strife, grave economic troubles, and widening social inequalities.

Ban put UNCSD, also known as Rio+20, in its grim context when he noted that 20 years ago during the 1992 Earth Summit, there were five-and-a-half billion people in the world.

“Now there are more than seven billion. And by 2030, we will need 50 percent more food, 45 percent more energy and 30 percent more water just to continue to live as we do today.”

Beyond a shadow of doubt, he warned “we have entered a new era … a new geological epoch, even, where human activity is fundamentally altering the Earth’s dynamics.”

Our global footprint has overstepped our planet’s boundaries, he cautioned.

On Tuesday, delegates from 191 countries approved a blueprint for sustainable development, titled “The Future We Want,” which will eventually be endorsed by world leaders on Friday.

But the question remained, how is this blueprint to be implemented without new funds and in the absence of an institutional framework?

At a press conference earlier in the day, Ban admitted he would have preferred a more ambitious action plan for the future.

“I know that some member states hoped to have a bolder and more ambitious outcome document. I also hope that we should have a more ambitious outcome document,” he admitted.

“But you should also understand that the negotiations have been very, very difficult and very slow because of all the conflicting interests and ideas.

“Some have presented (many) far-reaching and bold actions, while some countries also had their own views and interests. So you should understand that this is the outcome of such a long and very delicate process of negotiation.”

Addressing world leaders, Ban said, “Let us follow up on Rio+20 with commitment and action. Now is the time for action.

“Let us not ask our children and grandchildren to convene a Rio+40 or Rio+60. Now is the time to rise above narrow national interests – to look beyond the vested interests of this group or that. It is time to act with broader and long-term vision. Here at Rio+20, we can seize the future we want.”

  • Ariel Ky

    The world is unbalanced.  East must come in alignment in power, harmony and balance with the West… also the South with the North.  Women must become more active in their communities and decision making to bring harmony and equality and balance with men.  New economic systems that lift up the poorest of the poor must be developed and the richest of the rich must share their wealth in the process, so that these gross inequities no longer exist. 

    Everyone must question what is happening.  Everyone needs to shift their thinking.  We need to work together on the issues before us.  We need to become true stewards of the Earth, respect and honor our planet and stop destroying it and using up all the resources, thus cheating future generations.

    Money/profit cannot be the bottom line.  We must take care of each other and improve the quality of life and freedom for everyone.  If we fail to carry out this shift in the way we run our world, we will lose it.  We are losing it.  We must change direction and cooperate with each other instead of competing.

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is absolutely correct in his assessment. Faint and half-hearted measures wil not suffice.  We have left it too long to take effective measures to turn things around.  We must shift into awareness and consciousness of our true place in the web of life NOW or we will destroy our planet.  We will destroy humanity.  We will destroy our future.  That is the trajectory we are on right now.  The militarization of our global affairs must end.

    The only answer today is opening our hearts to loving the Earth and loving each other.  We have many sacred sites all over the planet that we can visit and offer our prayers, ask for healing of all the wounds from all the suffering that people have endured for millenia, invoke grace, learn to forgive, discover who we truly are and why we are here. 

    Once we understand our true purpose in life, then we can open to each other. 

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