jeudi 30 avril 2020

Watched "Planet of the Humans"

I watched the documentary of Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs. I have to agree with its critics: there are too many mistakes and unfounded assertions in it. This discredits the film and its makers. But, unfortunately, one problem it touched, but left without analysis, is overpopulation and overconsumption. It's risky to say that there are simply too many of us and too many of us can get what they want. At once you are accused of racism, sexism, etc. But sooner or later we must honestly ask the question: „Can our civilization continue as it is, and for how long?” It's nice to accuse white men to ignore the living conditions in the poor countries and deny to women the right to have as many children they want. But... When I was a little boy, just after the Second World War, my granddad told me there are two and a half billion of us in the world. Now we are nearly eight billion, and quite probably close to ten billion in 2100. It means that for every human being, there will be four times less resources, including arable land and fresh water, than in the 1940ies. At the same time, the living standards of more than a billion of people have drastically risen, and, accordingly, their use of world resources. How far can we go this way? In my childhood, we had ca 0,06 km2 of land per person, including deserts and areas perpetually covered with ice. It is about 6 hectares, a small plot. Nowadays it's four times smaller – 1,5 hectares. And roughtly a half of it is „habitable”, and even a smaller part of the habitable land we can use for producing food and some other things we need (or think we need), as cotton. As to food, we can get a part of it from water, nowadays e.g.from acquaculture. We can grow crops on our roofs, although we need the roofs for solar panels, too. It's certainy hypocritical to accuse the Africans, Indians and South Americans of having so many children. It's our Western civilization that gave them this possibility, and our way of life and our living standard is something they are striving to. Who can deny them to want to live a better life, to imitate what they see every day from our TV serials? The good solution would possibly be: for us, to have a much lower living standard, and for them, a higher one? Is such a compromise feasible? Could a sensible majority of people agree with it? What would a sustainable standard of living concretely mean? I am nearly convinced that without a radical change of our way of life, of our values, we are approaching an ecological catastrophe. To avoid it, we need something our secularist, consumerist world has forgotten to take seriously. We need what the Pope Francis has written about: a repentance and an ecological conversion. Here, I am sure, religion and science speak with the same voice. And we have no other way than to take their warnings seriously. 

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