By Josette Combes
This November, we can only be concerned about the state of the world: Sydney threatened by the flames while bushfires burned more than 10,000 km2 in Australia. Similarly, Amazonia has been the victim of devastating fires, California is facing the same devastation while Venice is experiencing one of the highest floods in its history and this list could grow longer and longer. Despite denials from climate skeptics, there is a link between these series of disasters and climate degradation and between this degradation and the now uncontested absurdity of our energy-intensive lifestyles. According to the World Climate Risk Index (WCRI), even if developing countries are the most affected, because they are exposed to harsh climates, Europe is far from escaping the threat. For example, France is 18th, Portugal 21st, Germany 23rd and Italy 25th according to the IRC ranking. The cause of climate change is identified: greenhouse gas emissions linked to the production and frantic consumption of modern countries, and in the process the eradication of biodiversity through the concreting of agricultural land, and intensive monoculture. All this is now well known and documented. Solutions exist, those that citizens are striving to implement as they organize to fight against this deadly entropy that threatens the present and even more so the future. Waiting for governments, who will meet for the umpteenth Climate Summit (COP25) in Madrid in December, to decide to declare the climate emergency and act accordingly….
RIPESS brings together within its networks these initiatives which demonstrate that the drift of an economy totally disconnected from the consequences that its development entails is not a fatality and that it is possible to sustain life by avoiding the appalling costs that accompany the current hubris. There is an urgent need to unite the forces of the various movements and initiatives that are building forms of post-capitalist economies, transforming economies for systemic change that can no longer be postponed.
There is an urgent need because people all over the world are rebelling against the unfair conditions in which the economy of transnational corporations – which are champions of tax evasion – is forcing them to live or even barely survive. No continent is free from this rise of popular anger, even if the triggers may – at first sight – vary. Hong Kong, Bolivia, Haïti, Venezuela, Chile and Brazil are facing fierce repression in the face of the protest that arises from the confiscation of democracy by authoritarian powers supported by major predators who are calling for the suppression of social achievements. The movement is reaching the Iranian people despite a very coercive system, in Lebanon, in Iraq the same effervescence. In France, all demonstrations are marred by violence, whether they are those of demonstrators or even more of armed police officers. And in Syria, in the midst of a long and atrocious war, the resistance and development of a society based on solidarity and cooperation like Rojava is a lesson in hope and tenacity to which we must connect and that we must defend. The rise of fascisms is a real threath.
Multinational companies are losing ground even if they do not risk communicating on this chapter for obvious reasons, including the GAFAs (1). It can be hypothesized that large groups feel the end of their supremacy coming because humans are gradually becoming aware that the danger of an uninhabitable planet is looming over the human species and that it is the consequence of the over-consumption of products that are not really useful, or even harmful, starting with agricultural production filled with pesticides and inputs. The search for relocating production and related consumption is accelerating.
That is why it is urgent to join forces to build and continue to build areas of resilience, to invent peaceful counter-fires, to animate agoras of hope. This is why the members of the network, on their territories, boil pots of counter-poison. You will have some examples in our November newsletter. And don’t hesitate to let us know about your own recipes. Let us remain vigilant to maintain the taste of good living.
(1) GAFA: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon