Friday, April 25, 2014
Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space
5

里约成绩单

纽约——全世界优秀的科学出版物之一《自然》刚刚赶在下周举行的里约+20可持续发展首脑会议前公布了措辞严厉的成绩单。1992年首届里约地球峰会签署的三项伟大条约执行成绩如下:气候变化-F,生物多样性-F,防治荒漠化-F。人类究竟还能否避免被开除球籍的厄运?

整整一代人早已明白世界需要改变发展道路。我们需要更多地利用风能、太阳能和地热发电等低碳替代能源,而不能继续依靠化石燃料来推动世界经济。我们需要调整农业及渔业生产以适应环境的承载能力,而不能在毫不顾忌对其他物种影响的情况下狩猎、捕鱼和砍伐树木。我们需要结束极端贫困并降低世界最贫困地区快速增长的生育率,而不能坐视全球最弱势群体得不到计划生育,教育和基本医疗保健等服务。

简言之,我们需要认识到今天的70亿人口在本世纪中叶可能达到90亿,所有人在高科技驱使的能源密集型全球经济中都拥有非常密切的联系,因此我们作为整体掌握着前所未有的毁坏​​地球生命支持系统的能力。但通常个人行为的后果离我们的日常生活如此遥远,以致于我们可能在浑然不觉中跌下悬崖摔得粉身碎骨。

我们打开电脑和电灯时,并不了解会造成多少碳排放。我们用餐时,也不知道不可持续的耕作导致了多少森林砍伐。当数十亿件微不足道的小事共同造成地球另一面爆发饥荒和洪水,折磨马里和肯尼亚等旱灾频发地区最贫困民众的时候,很少有人对全球网络的危险圈套有最基本的认识。

20年前,世界试图通过条约和国际法解决上述现实问题。1992年首届里约峰会达成的协议用心良苦:深思熟虑、高瞻远瞩,热心公益,并集中关注全球重点问题。但协议却没有能够拯救人类。

上述条约笼罩在我们日常政治、幻想和媒体周期的阴影之下。外交官年复一年地参与会议落实这些条约,但却摆脱不了忽视、延误和争论合法性的结果。二十年来,我们付出的努力只换来三项不及格的成绩。

那还有没有其他方法?国际法涉及律师和外交官,但却没有在可持续发展的前沿领域吸引工程师、科学家和社团领导人的参与。到处充斥着有关监督、约束性义务、附件一及非附件一国家和成千上万其他法律条文的技术性条款,但却没有为人类提供一种语言来讨论自身的生存。

我们拥有数以千计的文件,但却无法坦率地进行沟通。我们想不想拯救自己和孩子?我们为什么不这样说?

我们必须在里约+20峰会上果断地表述清楚,进而解决问题并采取行动,而不是继续喋喋不休地争吵和自我保护。由于政治家顺应民意而不是领导民意,因此不能指望当选官员在公众不知情的情况下拯救公众,而必须由公众自身明确地提出生存要求。政界没有几个人可以称得上英雄,因此根本不可能等待政治家做出决策。

因此里约最重要的成果不是新条约、约束性条款或者政治承诺,而是呼吁在全世界采取行动。世界各国异口同声地要求将可持续发展置于全球思想和行动的中心,尤其是协助年轻人应对三重底线带来的挑战——即经济福祉、环境可持续性和社会包容——如何应对上述挑战将决定他们时代的特色。里约+20峰会可以协助他们达到目的。

我们需要的不是新条约,而是里约+20峰会采用能激励一代人采取行动的全套可持续发展目标,也叫SDG。正如千年发展目标让我们认识到极端贫困并促成了前所未有的抗击艾滋病、结核和疟疾的全球行动,SDG可以让今天的年轻人清醒地认识到气候变化、生物多样性丧失以及荒漠化灾害。通过敦促人们站在行动的前沿,我们仍然可以兑现之前签署的三项里约协议。

结束极端贫困;建设脱碳能源系统;放慢人口增长;促进可持续粮食供应;保护海洋、森林和旱地;以及纠正我们这个时代存在的不平等能够激励一代人去发挥价值,解决问题。从硅谷到圣保罗到班加罗尔再到上海,工程师和技术高手对拯救世界的想法全都胸有成竹。

世界各地的大学是有意为各自所在的团体和国家解决实际问题的大批学生和教师的大本营。而至少好的企业知道除非自己成为解决方案的一部分,否则将无法蓬勃发展并激励自己的工人和消费者。

世界正准备采取行动。里约+20峰会可以促成一代人迈出行动的脚步。我们勉强还有时间将F变成A,并通过这次人类的终极考试。

翻译:Xu Binbin

Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space
Hide Comments Hide Comments Read Comments (5)

Please login or register to post a comment

  1. CommentedKariuki Kiragu

    Having groped my way into the triple-bottom line world in the last 10 years, I find that, to the economic, environmental and social pillars, a spiritual one should be added.
    It comes with the currencies of goodwill, appreciation and inner peace so necessary to harmonizing the other 3 pillars.
    Working in the slums and among the poor in Nairobi, the feeling has been the need to first engender trust and a sense of responsibility to the larger community, say, Africa. Thus, discourse invariably commences on an ideological plane, inherently spiritual.
    The bank yonder is misty, the river is wide, silent…let’s make the leaps of faith, from one stepping stone to another.

  2. CommentedTom McGivan

    I sense that the important point to take from this is the idea of technology at the forefront of responding to climate change. Politicians from both developed and developing countries have worked tirelessly to implement treaties, policies and other forms of motivation but the reality is that we have not done enough. The role of politics should now be to provide real economic incentives for investment in change, given the way our society functions, genuine economic reform trumps a motivational speech every time.

  3. Commentedjallo jallo

    The reality is that anything that would resemble sustainable development is not going to be called for public opinion either, and thisis where Prof. Sachs expectations are doomed to be unfulfilled. And why is that? Because achieving anything that would remotely resemble sustainable development would imply making hard choices, and giving up things that most people in the West value, (or they think thatbthey value) namely individualism and freedom of choice (as consumers), materialism and opulent lifestyles, environmentally insensitive technologies that make our life easier, high expectations of comfort, etc. Anything different to these would be greenwahing. What we need to make people understand is that these priviledges have been achieved as a result of centuries of unsustainable economic growth and they will dissapear anyway as ecological limits to growth

  4. Commentedjames durante

    There are two fundamental barriers to the kind of "course correction" Sachs is talking about: capitalism and the nation state. Look at almost all the articles on this site: the mantra is growth. It is difficult to imagine that in the real political world there will be any real aspirations for the goals Sachs mentions. Each one is contradicted by individual and national interests, at least in the broad context of the twin pillars of modernity. Consider the current presidential election in the US. As far as I can tell neither candidate will have any interest or motivation in discussing Sachs' worthy goals.

    The precipice is here. Look over the edge.

  5. CommentedFrank O'Callaghan

    Professor Sachs is a breath of fresh air. He does not deny the problems or lessen their daunting scale. Yet he suggests that Humanity can deal with the threat off global climate change. I am not sure that I agree with him. We can certainly influence the rate of change and perhaps the nature of that change, e.g. in anti-desertification and reforestation schemes.

    I hope that he is right. It is probably right to hope. It may even have an effect on the outcomes by improving motivations of the actors. My fear is that we have passed a tipping point and that the juggernaut of climate change is in irrevocable motion.

Featured