Gestionnaires de la Terre

Au cours des vingt prochaines années, la relation entre les êtres humains et la nature va changer, de façon profonde et irréversible. Cette transformation ne sera pas soudaine, mais les progrès scientifiques actuels la rendront inévitable. De gré ou de force, que nous soyons prêts ou non à les accepter, ces progrès sont en train de faire de nous les gestionnaires de l'écosystème mondial, et non plus de simples participants.

J'aime bien réfléchir à cette révolution à venir d'un point de vue historique. Pendant presque trois millions et demi d'années sur Terre, des êtres " humains " ont fait partie sans équivoque du système naturel. Les lois inflexibles de l'évolution gouvernaient leur survie, et ceux qui ne pouvaient pas lutter mouraient de bonne heure et étaient vite oubliés. Nos seuls moyens de défense dans un monde hostile étaient des outils de pierre primitifs et le feu - une protection bien mince.

Puis, il y a environ 10 000 ans, il s'est passé quelque chose d'extraordinaire. Quelque part dans le massif du Taurus - situé aujourd'hui en Turquie - un groupe de personnes, probablement des femmes, a commencé à développer un ensemble de techniques nouvelles qui devaient transformer les rapports entre les êtres humains et leur environnement. Ces techniques - que nous appelons " agriculture " - ont pour la première fois donné aux êtres humains les moyens d'échapper à la sélection naturelle. Nos ancêtres n'avaient plus à se contenter de la nourriture offerte par la nature : ils pouvaient faire pousser des aliments, dans des quantités bien supérieures à un approvisionnement naturel frugal.

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