Please, let’s not go back to normal

Please, let’s not go back to normal

 

TRIBUNE

 

If we want to avoid ecological disaster, world leaders and citizens must act now, write actress Juliette Binoche and astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau in a call to arms signed by more than 200 artists and scientists.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a tragedy. This crisis is, however, inviting us to examine what is essential. And what we see is simple : « adjustments » are not enough. The problem is systemic.

The ongoing ecological catastrophe is a meta-crisis : the massive extinction of life on Earth is no longer in doubt, and all indicators point to a direct existential threat. Unlike a pandemic, however severe, a global ecological collapse will have immeasurable consequences.

We therefore solemnly call upon leaders – and all of us as citizens – to leave behind the unsustainable logic that still prevails and to undertake a profound overhaul of our goals, values, and economies.

The pursuit of consumerism and an obsession with productivity have led us to deny the value of life itself : that of plants, that of animals, and that of a great number of human beings. Pollution, climate change, and the destruction of our remaining natural zones has brought the world to a breaking point.

For these reasons, along with the urgency of renewing with a politics of social equity, we believe it is unthinkable to « go back to normal ». The radical transformation we need – at all levels – demands boldness and courage. It will not take place without a massive and determined commitment. We must act now. It is as much a matter of survival as of dignity and coherence.

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