Nicaragua calls for global movement for survival
News from Nicaragua | Friday, 15 March 2019 |
Dr Paul Oquist, Nicaraguan representative to the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi 11-15 March, called for what he described as ‘a worldwide movement for survival, a social movement to forge political will.’
He argued that historically the greatest successful social transformations of morality over powerful hegemonic interests have been those involving millions of people in different sectors and countries, with different methods, fighting for a clear common goal. The examples he cited are the abolish slavery, independence from colonialism, labour rights, women’s suffrage, and civil rights.
The following is the text of the rest of Dr Oquist’s speech:
‘The most important question in the 21st century is whether our civilization will be able to survive the ongoing climate change and nuclear weapons.
History teaches us that the first civilizations with central governments, the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia and the Ancient Kingdom of Egypt, entered into crisis 4,200 years ago due to droughts of 100 to 300 years caused by climate change in the form of an ice age.
Since our climate change is anthropogenic, we can act on the causes rather than just adapt to the consequences. The IPCC Report on 1.5°C teaches us that to achieve the goal we must reduce emissions by 40% by 2030, and zero emissions by 2050.
The warnings of the IPCC have not yet been translated into action. Even after the Paris Agreement there has been a rise in lobbying for hydrocarbons and denialist positions, which have even gained political spaces of great power.
Today we are debating whether public policies should be based on science or greed, with greed still predominant.
* First, the belief that there can be endless, limitless and meaningless increases in production, consumption, accumulation and concentration of capital on a planet with finite resources, that is wild capitalism.
* Second, the belief that it doesn't matter how much damage we do to the ecosystems that sustain life on Planet Earth because science and technology will always save us, that is, messianic scientism.
Achieving a zero-emission sustainable society implies profound transformations in the defence of life against the supreme immorality of causing extinctions.
What we need is a global movement for survival. In recent centuries the great social transformations of morality over powerful hegemonic interests have been the result of millions of people in different sectors and countries, with different methods, fighting for a clear common goal: the abolition of slavery, independence from colonialism, labour rights, women’s suffrage, and civil rights.
Social pressure is required to forge the political will necessary to carry out great transformations.'