Is it too late?

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The world we leave to our children is particularly scary. Unlike our grandparents and great-grandparents, we are far from believing to offer our grandchildren a better world. In fact, it is actually rather the opposite that unfolds before our eyes and to our conscience. If major and profound changes in our way of life do not take place in the very near future, which unfortunately is less and less likely, our world is doomed to suffer major disasters.

Our civilization is at stake

Uninterrupted growth, cleverly disguised in the shadow of sustainable development [1], continues to wreak havoc. We are heading straight towards crises of unprecedented magnitude. The only unknown is whether they will first be economic, social [2] or environmental [3].

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsdays Clock indicates since January 25, 2018, that it is now two minutes to midnight! This is the strongest warning of this tool from the international scientific community, the clock's closest approach to midnight since its inception, matched only once in 1953, during the worst days of the nuclear threat [4].

Is our civilization really doomed to collapse in a few decades, for want of anything better than the "least bad political system" as described by Winston Churchill?

Surviving the 21st century?

For several years, the findings of the stalemate in which we find ourselves are multiplying. Sometimes it is timidly mentioned that we have indeed entered a new century. The prefix "21st century" is sometimes added to a topic, to support the fact that we deserve better, much better. In fact, the current situation forces us to ask ourselves this existential question: Will our civilization be able to survive the twenty-first century? Or even more improbable, to start serenely this 3rd millennium, which seemed so full of promise, just a few decades ago?

Challenging our way of life

It may be too late already. We believe not. But it is, of course, impossible to answer this question with certainty. However, it is obvious that time is running out and that the encouraging actions of our ruling class are extremely rare. To continue to sprinkle minor changes here and there would be unconscious. It seems that the scientific community does not know more how to tell us. The messages of two of our biggest headliners in the scientific world are unequivocal about the urgency of finding new paths fundamentally different from those we have explored so far. On the one hand, David Suzuki finds that "environmentalism has failed" [5] , on the other, Hubert Reeves clearly tells us that the very survival of our civilization is at stake [6]. And too little seems to be in place to avoid the worst. We, therefore, believe that it is legitimate to question many fundamental aspects of our way of life.

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  1. « Many writers and researchers warn those who mistakenly believe that development and growth are synonymous » (loose translation)
    Original quote: « Plusieurs auteurs et chercheurs mettent en garde ceux qui croient qu’à tort, développement et croissance sont synonymes » (p. 12)
    Guy Turchany, Évolution conceptuelle du développement durable, le chemin vers un oxymore?
    Université Internationale du Développement Durable (UIDD) (visited July 23rd, 2018)
  2. « Despite the diversity of viewpoints and perspectives presented within this volume, all of the contributors ultimately come to the same conclusion: humanity is at the crossroads of the most serious economic and social crisis in modern history. »
    Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, preface of the book The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the XXI Century, May 18th, 2010 (visited July 23rd, 2018)
  3. « We are concerned that if governments in Canada don’t steer the course of economic and social development, the next generation of citizens will face dire consequences of extreme warming. » (p. 15)
    « The real-world consequences of these climate projections can be comprehended by thinking of past climate-related disasters such as the 2013 floods in Toronto and Calgary, the record drought in 2012 that greatly impacted the agricultural sector, Hurricane Juan that ripped up Halifax in 2003, and the 1998 ice storm that left 1.2 million Canadians in Ontario and Québec in the dark for a week in January. » (p. 17)
    By 31 Canadian scholars, Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars
    Sustainable Canada Dialogues, March 19, 2015 (visited July 23rd, 2018)
  4. « The Science and Security Board hopes this resetting of the Clock will be interpreted exactly as it is meant—as an urgent warning of global danger. The time for world leaders to address looming nuclear danger and the continuing march of climate change is long past. The time for the citizens of the world to demand such action is now: #rewindtheDoomsdayClock. »
    by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and security board, It is 2 minutes to midnight
    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January 25th, 2018 (visited July 23rd, 2018)
  5. The fundamental failure of environmentalism
    David Suzuki, May 1st, 2012 (visited July 23rd, 2018)
  6. « Yes, humanity is unfortunately threatened. You really have to be blind to doubt it » (loose translation)
    Original quote: « Oui, l’humanité est malheureusement menacée. Il faut vraiment être aveugle pour en douter… »
    Hubert Reeves, Entretien
    M6 Info (visited July 23rd, 2018)