Antonio Guterres has the courage to talk about humankind’s destruction of the planet

UN Secretary General speaking on biodiversity

Here’s the video. It’s eight hours long so you won’t watch it but he kicks off very quickly with the central issues so you will get into it very quickly. For those who are unsure, Antonio Guterres is the Secretary General of the United Nations and he is speaking at the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity.

He says that it is time that humankind made peace with nature and that that is the defining task of the twenty-first century. This is our top priority. If we don’t change course future generations would face ruin. Anybody with an iota of enlightenment will understand that the way humankind is behaving now is what I call mortgaging the future. We are making life much harder for our children’s children. And going further into the future. He said, “We cannot use our resources to lock in policies that burden future generations with a mountain of debt on a broken planet”.

UN Secretary General speaking on biodiversity

UN Secretary General speaking on biodiversity. Screenshot.

Antonio Guterres also said, “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes. Human activities are at the root of our descent towards chaos. But that means human action can help to solve it”.

Can humans solve it? He’s referring to the dysfunctionality of humankind. Driven by self-interest both at a personal and national level. It is all but impossible to achieve harmony internationally with that attitude. It is an attitude which is hardwired into the human brain. And I tell you this: it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better because humankind only takes action on the big issues at the eleventh hour.

Humankind will go on destroying the planet i.e. the landscape, the forests, the rivers, the oceans with pollution and destruction until it realises that what it is doing seriously undermines humankind’s survival on this lonely but beautiful planet.

Perhaps humankind doesn’t want to survive. Perhaps humankind’s destruction of nature is some sort of Freudian subconscious self-hatred being expressed to the point where humans are extinguished. Perhaps it is an admission that humankind suffers from self-loathing. It almost looks like that the way people are behaving. Of course I’m generalising but you have to. There are many great people; enlightened people, but taken as a whole humanity is a current disaster.

As an example of the dysfunctional failure of humankind, Gutierres said that greenhouse gas emissions are now 62% higher than when international climate negotiations began in 1990. Remember all the summits and meetings and international backslapping that went on trying to achieve international agreement about climate change and look where it’s got to: nada, zero, zilch, worse than zilch.

There is hope, he said. I don’t see it but let’s believe in it. He said that he believes that 2021 can “be a new kind of leap year, the year of a quantum leap towards carbon neutrality. Sound economic analysis is our ally”.

One problem is that it’s going to be enormously expensive to stop abusing the planet. It’s much cheaper to throw away plastic bags than to find alternative environmentally friendly methods. And that principle applies to everything. Nature has already hurt humanity because we hurt nature. The coronavirus pandemic has been and continues to be massively expensive, hurting economies internationally. There’s much less money to go around and the desire to tackle this huge problem of protecting nature and the environment looks like an impossible mountain. Psychologically I don’t think humankind is in the right mood to tackle the problem right now. I’m pessimistic but I’ve just got twenty years to live so I’m alright Jack.