We live in an emergency. Waiting to act is no longer possible. It is evident that climate change is the greatest challenge for humanity's survival on Earth, and it is foolish to think that it is possible to overcome it without deep and urgent changes in our society. It is necessary to understand, once and for all, that climate change is not a future threat, but a crisis that already has its consequences in everyday life, in an extremely uneven way, though it will affect everyone. The forecasts of science are alarming and are materializing earlier and earlier. According to the most recent report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due to anthropogenic influence, we live in the hottest decade of the last 125 years, while the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is the highest in at least 2 million years. The carbon budget we have to keep the temperature on Earth below 1.5°C (37,4ºF) is so small that it could be used up in less than five and a half years. In other words, we have less than five and a half years to avoid the worst consequences of this crisis. And that is not the only one that needs to be faced, we are experiencing a sum of all the others: environmental, political, economic and social (which involves hunger, unemployment, insalubrity, eviction, lack of public health care, etc.).
Most importantly, it is necessary to understand the true origin of the problem so that we do not propagate false speeches that blame the individuals, while, in reality, the vast majority of the population - historically marginalized, oppressed and exploited - contributes very little to the crisis and suffers disproportionately from its consequences. In this regard, in the context of the greatest inequality in the history of the planet, fighting climate change, the greatest threat of our time, is also fighting social injustices arising from a historical process of colonization and expropriation, which it is essential to understand.
The history of the Latin American territory is cruel. Colonization made it possible to explore the land, all its biological richness and the diverse original peoples who lived here. The colonization process was, and still is, responsible for the extermination of peoples and cultures. The legacy of colonialism is predatory capitalism, and some of its consequences can be seen in climate change and global warming, in hunger and violence, and, as can be seen today, in the maintenance of lifestyles that favour the emergence of diseases and pandemic scenarios.
Since the colonial period, the world has seen an increase in the overexploitation of fauna and flora and the objectification and dehumanization of other human beings, essentially racialized peoples. In the colonial and neo-colonial periods, the world witnessed the greatest genocide against native peoples around the world (Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania) by referencing and protecting theories of racial superiority (eugenics).
We believe that only colonized countries, by looking to their own history and to their ancestral (which were once possible and sustainable for them) and contemporary ways of life (through which they experience resistance in everyday life), can overcome social barriers, that today prevent the construction of an ecologically balanced and socially just world.
There is no doubt about the influence of human action in the process of climate change and we need radical changes not only in our habits, but also in our social, political and economic organization.
“It is necessary to normalize radicalism, not what is already normal; that is, transforming reality so that what seems too distant or radical today can be the normal state of things tomorrow” (FERNANDES, 2020, p.17). (Free Translation)
Saying that climate change is the result of human action does not mean that destroying nature is an intrinsic characteristic of human beings. We cannot assume that everyone is equally responsible for what is happening. No matter how hard they try to deny or mask it, it is impossible to disentangle environmental disaster and capitalism.
The capitalist system has shown that it cannot solve the situation we are experiencing. The international agreements of climate conferences were never taken seriously. Profit is above life. During the pandemic, which is already a symptom of the environmental disaster, Brazilian agribusiness broke export records, while people lined up to eat bones.
In addition to the inevitable devastation promoted by the capitalist system, Bolsonaro's government has shown itself to be an intensifying agent of the destruction of the environment in Brazil, promoting ecocide in brazilian biomes, attacking native and traditional peoples and exalting agrobusiness. In order to be able to stop the environmental crisis, it is necessary to fight against the fascist who occupies the presidency in Brazil.
We don't have time to wait for the good will of the global north rulers and the representatives of the order in the south, while the pantanal, the cerrado and the amazon burn like never before. We need to point out the real responsibles for causing the crisis, otherwise we won't be able to build real solutions to our problems.
It is in this context that we make a call to action! It is not acceptable that we, understanding the future that awaits us, do not mobilize to change it. We young people have a generational responsibility to fight. The past can no longer be fixed, but the future is always a possibility for change and, to make it happen, we need to take control of our time.
"It is not a dead society we want to revive. [...] It is a new society that we must create." (CÉSAIRE, 1978, p. 36)
Come join the Global Climate Strike with us! On September 24, at 4 pm at the National Museum of the Republic, we will return to the streets and show that we are the resistance. We call on young people of all ages who understand the ongoing destruction and are willing to face it from its roots. We fight against all oppression and for the possibility of having a future. We fight against Bolsonaro (Brazilian president) and his fascist movement, the bolsonarismo. The exploitation of life is the basis of capital accumulation and we have now reached the limit of suffocation. We can't breathe! One of the main characteristics of neoliberalism is the deafness to the signals that life gives us. However, everyone who has heard this alert realizes that this model of existence is no longer possible. Listen to this alert and be guided by it, so that life catches its breath in balance and movement. It may seem like a distant dream, but in dark times dreaming isn't foolish, it's survival. And we need to dream collectively. Listen to this call to action!
CÉSAIRE, Aimé. Discurso sobre o colonialismo (Discourse on Colonialism). 1° Ed. Lisboa: Sá da Costa Editora, 1978, p. 5-69.
FERNANDES, Sabrina. Se Quiser Mudar o Mundo: um guia político para quem se importa (If You Want to Change The World: a political guide for those who care). São Paulo: Editora Planeta, 2020.
IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S. L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J. B. R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.
Signatures (until 09/22/2021 at 10:46 AM):
- Academic Centre of Geology Jorge Gushiken of the University of Brasília
- Environmentalist Parliamentary Front of CLDF
- MES / PSOL (Left Socialist Movement)
- RUA DF