Redéfinir le développement durable

MELBOURNE – Albert Einstein a dit un jour que s’il avait une heure seulement pour trouver une solution dont sa vie dépendait, il passerait le 55 premières minutes à circonscrire le problème. Une fois qu’il savait exactement quelle question poser, il pourrait résoudre le problème en moins de cinq minutes.

Aujourd’hui, l’humanité est confrontée à un problème qui menace la survie de notre espèce. Comment allons-nous fournir une alimentation adéquate et une qualité de vie décente à une population mondiale qui devrait dépasser les neuf milliards à l’horizon 2050, sans détruire de manière irrémédiable un système indispensable à la vie de l'humanité ? Pour trouver une solution, nous devons commencer par clarifier le problème.

Les êtres humains ont fondamentalement altéré les écosystèmes terrestres. En interférant avec les cycles du carbone, de l’azote, de l’eau et du phosphore, les activités humaines ont modifié l’atmosphère, les océans, les réseaux fluviaux, les forêts et les calottes glaciaires et provoqué une diminution marquée de la biodiversité. En fait, l’impact du comportement humain sur les écosystèmes est devenu tellement marqué ces derniers siècles que de nombreux scientifiques estiment que la planète est entrée dans une nouvelle ère géologique qu’ils ont appelée l’Anthropocène.

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