In recent years, news related to the environment has gained much prominence, as the consequences of the degradation of our environment are increasingly tangible: seas flooded with plastic, pollution and noise problems in large cities, extinction of species and, of course, the already inescapable climate change.
Since the Industrial Revolution, greenhouse gas emissions have exploded, and global warming is unstoppable. We already have a deadline, set by the UN: 2030, eleven years to mitigate climate change; and a number: 1.5 ° C, which is the temperature that we must not exceed with respect to pre-industrial levels if we want to continue living with dignity – or simply living – on our planet.
In view of all this, it seems inevitable to fall into depression or defeatism, close our eyes to reality and not want to know the current environment, thinking that there is nothing to do. However, a look at our more recent history gives us plenty of reason for optimism and to believe that, with will, things can be done differently.
They say that the year 1972 was a turning point that marked the development of environmental policies in the world, thanks to the well-known Stockholm Conference, in commemoration of which World Environment Day is celebrated every June 5. By that time, in turn, the first environmental movements had long been demanding a new way of managing the environment.
A quick review of the situation of those years is enough to realize that things have indeed changed, although they have not done so at the necessary speed. For example, in the sixties and seventies, many factories were installed close to urban centers – generally neighborhoods where the most disadvantaged classes lived-, and there was hardly any control over toxic discharges and the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere. With the deterioration of the environment also came the consequences on public health: respiratory problems, children born with serious consequences derived from the contamination suffered by their mothers, high rate of abortions, lead poisoning …
Today we have environmental legislation and other instruments to regulate polluting emissions and industry activity. They are insufficient, and in many cases too flexible, but at least they exist. There are plans for the conservation of many species that were on the brink of extinction in the 1970s, renewable energies are advancing by giant steps, the regulation of CFCs has been an exemplary victory that has managed to alleviate the deterioration of the ozone layer, and many circular economy initiatives show that it is possible to live well without causing irreversible damage to the environment. environment.
That is why we invite you to learn more: to know the problems that affect the environment, but also their solutions, the initiatives to produce and consume in a more sustainable way, and the people who research solutions to mitigate climate change or who fight to defend the natural resources of their lands.