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Lectures “Planet Earth: Our Major Challenges”

Cycle

Lectures “Planet Earth: Our Major Challenges”

From 18 February to 03 March 2020

La Casa Encendida
Ronda de Valencia, 2
Madrid
28012
Spain

This lecture series, organised in connection with the exhibition Planet Earth: Our Major Challenges, aims to raise awareness about the current climate emergency and the need to save our resources and limit our predatory activities on the planet.

Science academies in the world’s largest countries issue reports exhorting political leaders to take the climate crisis threat seriously. The reports prepared by scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) constitute an irrefutable body of evidence, predicting different scenarios for the coming centuries. Depending on whether global temperature rises by 2ºC, 4ºC or 6ºC over the next one hundred years, the map of the world may be altered beyond recognition. Most models reach the same conclusion: industrialised countries need to reduce their current levels of pollutant emissions by three quarters between now and 2050.

Judging from the headlines we’ve seen in the news media (press, radio, TV and social media) in recent months, we have good reason to be alarmed. They document a steady stream of new environmental disasters that are beginning to cause deep concern: earthquakes, floods and cataclysms of unprecedented magnitude. Thousands of deaths, irreparable damage and unquantifiable environmental devastation (razed forests, decimated fauna, polluted waters, etc.).

Even in developed countries, whose inhabitants are generally better protected against “natural” disasters, the effects of climate change are reaching epic proportions. For example, in Spain the recent spate of freakishly violent floods has claimed human lives and caused terrible damage, leaving entire towns in a state of shock.

We are also facing problems linked to food contamination, as evidenced by reports of human excrement being used to make fodder for cattle and food for fish farms, or of listeria being found in certain deli products, among other things.

Our soil, water and atmosphere are constantly being attacked, raped and pillaged. Rampant urban development, tropical deforestation, contamination of our oceans and rivers, global warming, the shrinking ozone layer, acid rain: all pose a threat to the future of humankind.

It is the duty of our generation and the responsibility of world leaders to break this destructive pattern of injustice. The stakes are incredibly high: in the long term, a dramatic change to our planet’s geology, and in the short term, the loss of life and safety for hundreds of millions of men and women.

Coordinated by: Le Monde diplomatique (Spanish edition), Fundación Mondiplo and FAO Spain

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