BRAZIL FACTOR

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Archive for the ‘Environmental’ Category

Look the earth from the sky…

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on February 22, 2010

Leonard Boff, a very important Brazilian opinion maker and also a theologist, addressed a letter do Workers Party (PT) which meeting was held recently. He remembered that the election campaign officially will begin in a moment and there is a risk that we sank in a childish discussion between Lula and last President – Fernando Henrique Cardoso. His concern is that the great issue is far away from these por comparisons and is related actually to the environment.

For both contenders when the issue is development and nature, the paradigm is the same, and thew will probably serve to distract voters from real problems that Brazil and the world will face.

A serious electoral competition, the height of the planetary phase of humanity and the importance of Brazil in it, should be the issues and also the future to be built collectively. Who has the best design to our people and their relationship to the nascent global society? Who is proposing an essential contribution to the dramatic scenarios looming on the horizon?

Boff made three suggestions to the Workers Party. He first wrote on the motto of the national meeting – The Great Transformation. This is the same name of a book written by Karl Polanyi (1944) in which he shows how the liberalism turned everything into a commodity. Is this the Great Transformation thought by PT? To be something else, the party must take seriously this irrefutable fact: The Earth has changed because we are already in global warming. The wheel can no longer be stopped, only diminish its speed. If the thermometer of the Earth rises to more than two degrees Celsius over the coming decades, as provided by the best research center, will face Brazil and tribulation in the world of desolation. Many PAC projects (Brasil´s Government programs to accelerate progress) may be canceled. If they do not include climate issues in their program they will show lack of practical intelligence and historical irresponsibility.

Another equally disturbing issue is the unsustainability of the system Earth. As of September 23, 2008 we learned that the Earth has exceeded 30% in its ability to restore the goods and services necessary for life. We are consuming today what we will need tomorrow. If we universalize the consumption level of the middle classes worldwide, including the eighty million Brazilians, we would now have three land equal to this. This model of growth, as it seems behind the PAC, shows its viability in the medium and long term. Not that we stop producing. We produce but within a different paradigm of less predator-Earth system, with an agreement regarding the supportability of each ecosystem and a wide social inclusion, designed with an ethic of care, universal responsibility and the pursuit of the good life for all.

Finally, the Workers Party (PT) must raise the fact that Brazil is certainly the key to the balance of the planet. He is the power of water, the holder of the largest forests, large dioxide sequestration of carbon and regulatory climate, with great biodiversity and vast arable land and can be a table set for the famines of the world, with unmatched ability to generate alternative energy and a highly creative people, who did a test of civilization of the most significant, non-imperialist, and with an enchanting view of the world that allows you, in the midst of contradictions, celebrate their feasts, cheering for their teams and dance at carnivals… crucial characteristics to give a human face to globalization in progress.

Great talk! Will PT listen to it?

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Deep Ecology

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on January 18, 2009

ver-o-peso-02The first notice I received about Arne Naess death caused me sadness but, after minutes, a certain anger because I suddenly realized we had lost the opportunity to have this man and his relevant ideas with us in Brazil. I wondered why so many brilliant minds never came here, looking to Brazil as a distant country, immersed in Carnival and summer, to be known one day and nothing more… But, as Spinoza said, “Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it“. By the way, Spinoza and Gandhi had strong influence on Arne Naess thoughts. So, I decided to reflect a little deeper on the reasons I was anger.

At the same month Mr. Naess died, Brazil is about to realize the World Social Forum 2009, created on an idea of a Brazilian man in 2001, and now a healthy Swiss foundation, which works as an UN consultant and is financed by more than 1,000 international companies. The event stimulates reflective thinking of “groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neoliberals and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a planetary society directed towards fruitful relationships among Humankind and between it and the Earth.” I am not sure but these last paragraphs seem to be full of irony. Shadow of my anger? Let me try reflecting a little more then because I do not like unfair things.

The movement was created aiming to oppose the World Economical Forum in Davos. It evolved to specific discussions. The first and second events were around four areas: production of wealth, sustainability, political power and ethics. The third event brought also themes like democracy, media, and militarization besides the first ones. The 4th event discussed information, environment and rights and equality, besides militarization and what they called transversal themes such as imperialist globalization, patriarchy, castes and racism, and religion like fundamentalism. The 5th event (India) was extensive, including all past themes and others like: art, communication, diversity, genres, human rights, autonomous thinking. The polycentric 6th event, held in Africa, Venezuela and Pakistan brought discussions on environmental issues at least in two of these places. The 7th FSM, in Kenya (2007) brought poverty and inclusion subjects among the usual ones. And so on…

The interesting characteristic of FSM, being a horizontal open space for exchange and discussions, is that it allows all this diversified approach, encompassing all mankind issues. The first themes remain and others are progressively aggregated in order to better evaluate what is happening in the world. That is why environmental question was growing up, until now, in the 2009 FSM event, that is held exact in the main forest area the capitalism is fighting for – Amazon forest. Nothing less than 12% of all planetary forests.

Arne Naess did not come to Brazil but certainly this 2009 Forum will have his ideas spread on the many discussions the event will conceive. Ten goals guide the 2009 event and the last one is “the defense of the environment (amazonic and others ecosystems) as source of life for the planet Earth and for the originary peoples of the world (indigenous, afro-descendent, tribal and riverine), that demand their territories, languages, cultures, identities, environmental justice, spiritually and right to live.”

I was anger because Brazil did not realize who Arne was. Probably Jose Lutzemberger, the Brazilian ecologist which ideas were so closed to Arne Naess, had already made the sufficient contact with him, concerning ethics. His participation in more than 40 international events must have impressed him with so many good ideas like Arne´s ones. He was decisive to put Brazil away of the atomic bomb plans. He died in 2002 and, surprisingly, it was his decision to be buried naked, wrapped in a sheet of linen, no coffin, that is, with no impacts to the environment in a manner consistent to with his life.

I must confess: these reflections made my sadness turn into a good feeling. I have the sensation that, by different ways and levels, all countries are getting together in the same consciousness about the meaning of this planet to our complex life and soul and vice-versa. In a way, naked Lutzemberg and Arne Naess are looking, from the high point of a paradise mountain, to the way we evolve here to the deep ecology.

World Social Forum 2009 – Belém, PARA – Brazil. www.fsm2009amazonia.org.br

Photo: Belém, in the State of Para, Brazil: Ver-o-Peso market, created in the Brazilian Colonial historical period. It is the largest free fair in Latin America. Belem is the territory for WSF 2009.

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