Sommet de la Terre : la nature tire le signal d'alarme

Nous avons vu récemment à l'oeuvre la puissance destructrice de la nature. Alors que beaucoup des chefs d'Etat de la planète se retrouvent au Sommet de la Terre à Johannesburg pour discuter des menaces qui pèsent sur notre environnement, de nombreuses régions du monde subissent inondations, sécheresses, mauvaises récoltes, feux de forêt ou même de nouvelles maladies. La relation de l'homme avec la nature est un thème aussi vieux que l'espèce humaine, mais elle évolue de manière complexe. Il faut que le Sommet de la Terre reconnaisse la nécessité de plus de recherche scientifique et de davantage de coopération internationale.

Inondations et sécheresses ont existé de tout temps, mais leur fréquence, leur intensité et leur impact économique va croissant depuis plusieurs années. Les demandes d'indemnisation pour catastrophe naturelle ont atteint des sommets durant les années 1990, ce qui laisse à penser que leur coût social va grandissant. Les dégâts dus à des phénomènes climatiques exacerbés comme El Niño en 1997-98 ont joué un rôle majeur dans les récentes crises économiques. L'Indonésie et l'Equateur entre autres, n'ont pas pu résister aux crises financières de 1997-98 qui étaient liées en partie aux dégâts causés à l'agriculture par El Niño.

Les changements climatiques sont dus notamment à la surpopulation. Essentiellement à cause des progrès de ces 200 dernières années, la population de la Terre a été multipliée par sept, passant de 900 millions en 1800 à plus de 6 milliards aujourd'hui, dont beaucoup résident dans des zones géographiques vulnérables.

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