An urgent call to action from the Nobel Prize winners


Our Planet, Our Future is the title of the 2021 Nobel Prize Summit. As a follow-up to this summit, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recently published Our Planet, Our Future: An Urgent Call for Action d / d April 29e, 2021.

The opening paragraph of the Noble Laureate statement implicitly calls for immediate unified global action: “The first Nobel Prize summit comes amid a global pandemic, a crisis of inequalities, an ecological crisis, ‘a climate crisis and an information crisis. These supranational crises are interrelated and threaten the enormous strides we have made in human progress. “

The context and content of this prestigious summit deserve to be analyzed and pondered. Nobel laureates have identified imminent risks to “the tremendous strides we have made in human progress.” In other words, the Nobel Prize winners foresee a distinct possibility that human progress is on the verge of dwindling if the world does not come together to care for and repair the biosphere, our planet Earth. In that regard, President Biden’s infrastructure plan is just a big deal.

The trumpet call of the Nobel Prize winners implicitly exposes the driving force behind the globalization of neoliberalism as a central problem that impacts the planet by reaping wealth without any hesitation or concern for the disintegration of ecosystems. No ecosystem is spared, not even a single one, as the planet blows and blows and gives off gas under the most severe stress in millions of years, “unprecedented” has become the most popular word in scientific jargon. .

While not mentioned by Nobel Laureates, one of the biggest challenges to their concerns is a burgeoning global right-wing anti-science populist movement, which can be the Achilles heel of all deals. between the great nations to repair the planet. In such a case, there is a distinct possibility that the right-wing populist crusade around the world is dragging civilization down a rabbit hole, with no return ticket.

Trump-style leadership is found all over the world and it won’t go away anytime soon. Quite the contrary, it is the most extreme anti-intellectual, anti-establishment and anti-science faction in modern history. Trump’s anti-science stance drove top scientists out of the country, several fled to France. In the first two years of the Trump administration, more than 1,600 federal scientists left the government according to Office of Personnel Management employment data analyzed by the Washington Post. Similar articles in other publications describe the almost total decimation of key scientific personnel and the loss of access to crucial scientific information that will take years and years to piece together. Trump threw science out the window and crushed access to the crucial data needed to achieve the very goals required to fix the planet, as the Nobel Laureates suggest.

Moreover, the anti-intellectual right-wing populists have not finished. They are just getting started. “All over Europe, right-wing parties have become not only increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic, but also anti-fact, anti-expert, anti-reason.” (Source: Right-wing politics and anti-science positions are locked in a literally deadly mix, Daily Kos, March 31, 2021)

The Nobel Prize winners haven’t mentioned, and probably never will mention, the biggest obstacle to their plans, namely the powerful right-wing populist anti-science crusade. The US Congress is filled with it: “The rejection of traditional science and medicine has become a key feature of the political right in the United States and increasingly around the world. (Source: Anti-Science Movement Grows, Goes Global, Kills Thousands, Scientific American, March 29, 2021)

It is likely that the proposals of the Nobel Prize winners (see link at the end of this article) will not have a snowball chance in hell as long as great countries are poisoned by modest ignorance and imaginary lies, thus exposing a universal failure to provide the basics. education, thus spitting out oars of anti-science morons. Ultimately, this creates problems for a very troubled planet. Failure of education is fatal!

Alas, history repeats: “The destructive potential of anti-science was fully realized in the USSR under Joseph Stalin. Millions of Russian peasants died of hunger and starvation during the 1930s and 1940s because Stalin embraced the pseudoscientific views of Trofim Lysenko which promoted catastrophic wheat and other crop failures, ”Ibid.

Likewise, repeating a Stalinist-type madness but 80 years later: “The Trump White House has launched a coordinated disinformation campaign that has dismissed the severity of the epidemic in the United States, attributed the deaths to the COVID to other causes, claimed hospital admissions were due to catch-up in elective surgeries, and claimed that ultimately the epidemic would evaporate spontaneously. He also promoted hydroxychloroquine as a spectacular remedy, while downplaying the importance of masks. Other authoritarian or populist regimes in Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Tanzania have adopted some or all of these elements ”, Ibid.

Currently, three national surveys show white Republicans, including one in four Republican House members, refusing COCID-19 vaccines. This obstructionist behavior arose out of the protests against vaccines as the Tea Party’s major platform with its “freedom for health” rallies when a measles epidemic hit parts of California. The same rallying cry for health freedom then spread to Texas. Nowadays, public denial of COVID-19 vaccines is spreading to India, Brazil, South Africa and several low-income countries and parts of Europe, providing first-time evidence real-time hand that ignorance leads to preventable deaths.

Right-wing populism and the practice of science collide naturally. Studies show that science is (a) based on evidence (b) objective and (c) requires proof of statements, while populist politics are based on easily falsified emotional claims, but the truth destroys their agenda. Therefore, the truth should be avoided at all costs. “If you tell a big enough lie and keep repeating it, people will believe it eventually. (Joseph Goebbels)

The Nobel Prize winners offer benchmarks for the initial steps in saving the planet: (1) the next decade is crucial (2) global emissions must be halved (3) the destruction of nature must stop. They “get it” in terms of what is afflicting the world, and their statement is remarkably similar to statements made by a few bold and daring scientists over the past two decades. In fact, Nobel Prize winners endorse warnings found in peer-reviewed literature over the past two decades that, sadly, have never found a voice loud enough to make a difference.

Thus, the winners of the Nobel Prize “Call to Urgent Action”, exposed serious threats to the planet already recognized in recent years, as stated: “Societies risk large-scale and irreversible changes in the biosphere of Earth and our lives as part of it. “

This warning has been repeated, but largely ignored, time and time again over the past few years, but voiced by too few scientists, until recently things are changing so quickly that they come out of the woodworking with warnings from the loss of ecosystems. , which means loss of habitat, loss of vertebrates, loss of the Great Barrier Reef, loss of the Arctic, loss of flying insects in “ protected ” European nature reserves, loss of arthropods in forests humid tropics of Puerto Rico and western Mexico, loss of rainforest worldwide, and the irreversible disintegration of Antarctica, as the world’s Nobel laureates finally plead for “an urgent appeal for ‘action”.

In the years of scientists worrying about the loss of the planet’s remarkable abilities, nature has never really stood a chance. He simply cannot avoid the impact of the huge, capricious human footprint of the Anthropocene era that arbitrarily cracks and crunches everything on the site. Nature is an easy target.

In the final analysis, saving the planet may be beyond the call of Nobel laureates simply because the challenges of accomplishment may be greater than the final solution: “It would be hard to find a region of the world. that populism did not touch in the 2010s. The decade brought us the election of Donald Trump in the United States and the vote on Brexit in Great Britain. He has witnessed the rise of the Alternative for Germany – the first far-right party to enter the country’s national parliament in decades – as well as the rise of populist parties in countries like Austria. , Brazil, Italy, India, Indonesia and Poland. In 2018, no less than 20 world leaders held leadership positions around the world. (Source: Populism is transforming insidiously, Atlantic, January 5, 2020)

The aforementioned article identifies the next big target of right-wing populists, as follows: “While much of the past decade has revolved around arguments over immigration and sovereignty issues, the 2020s could be dominated. through a new, more pressing discourse: climate change. “

Link to: Our Planet, Our Future, An Urgent Call for Action https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2021/04/nobel-prize-laureates-and-other-experts-issue-urgent-call-for- action-after-our-planet-our-future-summit


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