The photographers are Nicola Bertasi, Stéphane Bouillet, Viviane Dalles, Nanda Gonzague, Frédérique Jouval, Nicolas Mingasson, Micha Patault, Jules Toulet, Federico Tovoli.
Humanity is at a crossroad
After mastering fire, inventing the steam engine, the automobile, the computer, our species left its trace in every corner of the planet and even in the surrounding atmosphere. We have entered a new era, the one of human domination: the Anthropocene. At first subject to the Earth’s forces, the future of our planet is henceforth dependant on our activity. Natural balances are disrupted. The bees which transform flowers into fruit through their pollination action and play an essential role in our diets, are wiped out by pesticides. This poses a serious threat for the harvests and is a harsh blow for beekeepers. Humans play with life and it is death which appears. In India, the pesticide manufacturers have sold genetically modified seeds of cotton to farmers who were promised favourable income owing to these seeds meant to resist insect attacks. In actual fact, the animals became resistant to the substance contained within the seeds and the expected returns have not been forthcoming. Highly indebted, certain farmers turn to suicide. In Vietnam, it is another pesticide, Agent Orange, used during the war as a defoliant that continues to wreak havoc over thirty years later. Children are born with deformities and cancers are multiplying.
Uncontrolled pollutions…Erratic Climate…
Making a new Start
To confront this, there is only one solution: to change models. If the energy transition seems vital, it is not easy to implement. In France, where nuclear energy represents approximately 75 % of electricity production, we would not seem ready to abandon the old nuclear plants to switch to renewable energies. Elsewhere, coal, oil or shale gas is still cheap enough to not give up. Our societies are still not ready to leave 80 % of fossil fuel reserves in the ground as is suggested by the appeal against climate crimes launched by numerous civil society personalities. But they will try to reach an agreement on the objective of limiting global temperature increase to 2°C from now to the end of the century during the Climate Change Conference held in Paris end of December. It is a step that should mark a new beginning of action against climate change and we would be wrong to see it only as the outcome of a long process of negotiations. Whatever the outcome may be of the meeting of 195 countries, efforts must be pursued at all levels. States, local authorities, companies, individuals must get to work.
Carine Mayo, President of the association for Journalists-Writers for nature and ecology (JNE)