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  • Writer's pictureNellooli Rajasekharan

2024: Half the world, in 64 countries, vote to decide life or death for the Earth and all of us.

Today, globally, many people and organisations are trying to fix our house, this wonderful Earth. Our house came to us with free air, water, food, plants, animals, soil, minerals, and sunlight. How well did we manage these? How will we leave our house for future generations? Slightly better than we found it? The same as we found it? Worse than how we found it? It is time to think and act.

We share this Earth with a million and a half known organisms. We keep some as pets, eat many, torture, and kill them to test drugs, cosmetics, and defence products. And many are poached for their parts. Similarly, we exploit plants, water, soil, and air. Our approach has reduced the complex symbiotic relationships with the Earth, plants, and our co-travellers to a simplistic equation of exploitation and domination.

We must redefine significant aspects of these relationships and subsystems to redesign the world.

  • Optimise the human population to match the carrying capacity of the Earth. This requires a global approach and can stop the over-exploitation of resources. It will free up space for our co-travellers and reset the essential symbiotic relationships.

  • Redefine food. Reduce animal proteins, processed food, chemical additives, and preservatives.

  • Redefine our relationships with other living beings. Reducing or eliminating animal testing in non-essential areas like cosmetics, biological weapon research, defence, etc.

  • Generate renewable energy forms and rationalise consumption.

  • Ensure sufficient plant cover for the maintenance of a healthy oxygen cycle.

  • Redesign production-consumption systems suitable for different markets using technology to directly link producers and consumers. Provide higher value to actual producers.

As the dominant species on Earth, will this be our grand gesture to all others? No, not at all.

We will plead and repay our overdue liabilities to ensure our long-term survival as a species. It has to be based on our honest recognition that we have become an unnecessary and disposable nuisance for the Earth. If we make some tough decisions, we may still have a chance to become more relevant to Earth and live peacefully with everything else here. Nature's solution will be a grand natural correction, as happened with many dominating species like mammoths or dinosaurs, that will save the Earth without us.

What can we do?

  • 2024 is a big election year globally, with 64 countries and the European Union. Globally, 49% of the people in the world, more voters than ever in history, will vote, and the results will have massive impacts on our world forever. It could mean life or death for the Earth and all of us. In these elections, much more is at stake than politics. The planet's future depends on how we vote and for whom. We have a few years to halve carbon emissions to avoid a climate catastrophe. But many world leaders are dragging their feet or are headed in the opposite direction. Nearly every country in the world has failed to meet goals set by the Paris Climate Accord to limit global warming in this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

  • We can build strong global awareness and an online constituency. After the pandemic, we now use innovative ways to communicate and engage digitally. We can use these channels and media to educate, influence, activate, and mobilise large global constituencies, an excellent mission for NGOs and not-for-profit organisations committed to this cause. Such constituencies could influence voters globally against leaders who make decisions that mortgage our future. Globally, we have only one future, with no geographic or political boundaries. So, this year's elections can be used to reverse damages and redefine approaches. It means asking political parties to clarify and confirm their stand on environmental issues and targets. Then, let us vote for those who take it seriously and commit to specific targets and actions. All of us can do this if we recognise that political and other differences are minor compared to environmental issues that threaten our survival.

We already have overdue payments to Mother Earth. Let us start the repayment.

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