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Earth Day: the environment belongs to everyone

Earth Day, 49th edition under the aegis of the United Nations, takes place every year on 22 April: a global event that involves 193 nations, 22 thousand committees and about 1 billion people. The first Earth Day was therefore held on April 22, 1970, with the participation of millions of U.S. citizens, with the involvement of colleges, universities, environmental associations. The Earth Day Network (EDN) was also established, an organization that later became international to coordinate initiatives dedicated to the environment throughout the year (the EDN now includes thousands of movements and associations from around the world). The following year, the United Nations formalized its participation in the organization, giving new visibility and prominence to the initiative. In 49 years, Earth Day has contributed significantly to environmental initiatives around the world that, in 1992, led to the organization in Rio de Janeiro of the so-called Earth Summit, the first world conference of heads of state on the environment. The theme of the 2019 edition was the endangered species. One of the objectives of the World Days is to expand the audience of 'friends of the environment'. The loss of biodiversity, the exploitation of the planet, climate change are not just issues dear to the eco-militants: the commonplace is debunked by some leading figures, who have taken up the battle for the common home. Some examples? They seem to be the words of a 'professional environmentalist', these are the words of Pope Francis, taken from the encyclical "Laudato si'" with which he inaugurated the Pontificate: " (...) We are probably disturbed to learn of the extinction of a mammal or a bird, for their greater visibility. But for the good functioning of the ecosystems, also the fungi, the algae, the worms, the small insects, the reptilians and the innumerable variety of microorganisms are necessary. Some small species, which usually go unnoticed, play a critical role in stabilizing the balance of a place. It is true that the human being must intervene when a geosystem enters a critical stage, but today the level of human intervention in a reality as complex as nature is such that the constant disasters caused by the human being provoke a new intervention, so that human activity becomes omnipresent, with all the risks that this entails. A vicious circle is created in which the intervention of the human being to

resolve a difficulty often further aggravates the situation. For example, many birds and insects that become extinct as a result of toxic pesticides created by technology are useful to agriculture itself, and their disappearance will have to be compensated for by another technological intervention that is likely to bring new harmful effects. The efforts of scientists and technicians trying to solve the problems created by human beings are laudable and sometimes admirable. But looking at the world we see that this level of human intervention, often at the service of finance and consumerism, actually makes the land in which we live less rich and beautiful, increasingly limited and grey, while at the same time the development of technology and consumer offerings continues to advance without limits. In this way, it seems that we are under the illusion that we can replace an unrepeatable and non-recoverable beauty with another one created by us". They seem to be the words of a radical activist, the words of Serge Latouche, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Paris XI and at the Institut d'études du developpement économique et social (IEDES) in Paris. "(...) As I explained in my books, it is necessary to refound the economy according to the virtuous circle of the 8 Rs (i.e. Re-evaluate, Recontextualize, Restructure, Re-localize, Redistribute, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). The first step is to review the values in which we believe. For example, it would be necessary to change this idea, which sees human beings as the masters of nature, because we cannot continue to destroy it to the end. We must learn to live in harmony with it, treating it no longer as predators, but as good gardeners. People should also change the way they behave not only towards the environment, but also towards their fellow human beings, introducing more cooperation and altruism into their relationships. This also presupposes a certain frugality in consumption and a sense of autonomy, with the aim of developing the resilience of societies, that is, their ability to transform themselves in a positive and trauma-free way. It is certainly not a question of rejecting the values of science and technology, but of making them less Promethean and more respectful of nature". They seem to be the words of a radical activist, the words of Serge Latouche, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Paris XI and at the Institut d'études du developpement économique et social (IEDES) in Paris. "(...) As I explained in my books, it is necessary to refound the economy according to the virtuous circle of the 8 Rs (i.e. Re-evaluate, Recontextualize, Restructure, Re-localize, Redistribute, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). The first step is to review the values in which we believe. For example, it would be necessary to change this idea, which sees human beings as the masters of nature, because we cannot continue to destroy it to the end. We must learn to live in harmony with it, treating it no longer as predators, but as good gardeners. People should also change the way they behave not only towards the environment, but also towards their fellow human beings, introducing more cooperation and altruism into their relationships. This also presupposes a certain frugality in consumption and a sense of autonomy, with the aim of developing the resilience of societies, that is, their ability to transform themselves in a positive and trauma-free way. It is certainly not a question of rejecting the values of science and technology, but of making them less Promethean and more respectful of nature". They seem to be the words of one of the many climate demonstrators in the streets, they are the words of the former US vice president, Al Gore: " (...) "I think that the vast majority of people understand very well that it is an extremely serious problem, that we are responsible for it, and that we must act quickly and decisively to resolve it. The most convincing arguments are those that Mother Nature has put before us. Extreme climatic events are now so frequent and serious that it is difficult to ignore what is happening, and even those who do not want to use expressions such as 'global warming' or 'climate crisis' are finding other ways to say: 'Yes, we must switch to solar, wind, batteries, electric cars and so on'. We are risking a lot of money”.

They seem the words of one of the many unheard researchers, are the words of actor Leonardo Di Caprio, spoken at the 88th edition of the Oscars: "Climate change is real. It's happening at the moment. It is the most urgent threat to our entire species, and we need to work together collectively and stop delaying. (...) Let's not take this planet for granted. I don't take this evening for granted”.

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