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.
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 within a few decades, for want of anything better than the "least bad political system" as described by Winston Churchill?
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 serenely start this 3rd millennium, which seemed so full of promise, just a few decades ago?
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 stake6 . 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.
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)
Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, preface of the book The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the XXI Century
GlobalResearch.ca, May 18th, 2010 (visited July 23rd, 2018)
« 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)
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)
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)