The Week of October 29th 2018 should be called a “black week”, for everyone, no matter where you live in the world. Some people say we shouldn’t be depressed. I think we have every reason to be depressed. Moreover, I think it is sane, and that on the contrary, not being would be a sign of mental sickness (the one of our modern world: apathy?).
2018年10月29日的这一周， 对每个人来说，无论你住在哪里，应该被称为“黑色周”(Black week)。许多人说我们不应该感到沮丧，但我想我们有各式的原因可以感到沮丧。此外，我认为这是疯狂的，反之，不感到沮丧可能是精神疾病的征兆（就我们现今的世界来形容：冷漠？）。
But I do agree that being depressed is not enough and definitely not the answer; that we need to channel this feeling of sadness into positive contributions. For that, let’s take a look back at last week’s serious events and let yourself feel something! For example, one that would start with anger and turn into a strong desire to take urgent actions, seems pretty reasonable.
One more fascist, with enough power to destroy the world.
Last week Brazil entered a new political era by electing the far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro. The new president is nostalgic of the military dictatorship (that ran Brazil from 1964 to 1985), who regrets not killing enough people during that time, delivers hate speeches against minorities, women or gay people and promises to give priority to economic interests before any environmental or social concerns.
He is not the first far-right nationalist to score a victory lately, following the US, the Philippines, Hungary or Italy which all have already elected their own crazy guys. And the threat is expanding all over Europe and the World in general. This trend seems to be there to last and should be a concern for all. Because this is a clear sign of exhausted democratic systems, struggling to tackle the challenging and urgent issues of our time. Meanwhile, nationalists are offering answers lying in rage, hatred for each other, and always, always jeopardizing the fight in favor of human rights and environmental protection.
Because yes; this Brazil election is very bad news for the environment. Not even 2 weeks after its election, Bolsonaro has already merged the minister of environment with the agriculture one. This is quite self-explanatory: nature is only here to feed the growing appetite of humanity. The Earth, the soil, the water, the forests are only resources, here to be exploited. At a time, where we should all be moving forward in the same direction. Where working on solutions and having a common vision for tomorrow is essential, if not our only hope, giving a free pass to commercial interests over Amazonia, the earth’s lung, is a hell of a setback.
上周，大选带领巴西了进入新的政治时代，由极右翼候选人Jair Bolsonaro当选。新任总统是军事独裁统治的崇拜者（那于1964 -1985年期间统治巴西），更是一位后悔在军事独裁统治时代没有杀更多人、发表对少数民族和妇女的仇恨言论、诋毁同性恋，更也承诺在任何环境或社会议题出现之前，将会优先考量经济利益。
China... How dare you?
Talking of setback...
In the last years that I have spent in China I’ve always had a bit of a naive faith into the country and the government’s ability to act quickly and take bold decisions in favor of the environment. China’s recent politic has showed a will to become a global leader in terms of environmental actions and has been planning toward a green growth model and promoting wildlife conservation inside its own borders.
Well, no one saw that one coming!
China has just taken the dramatic decision of reversing the ban on rhino horns and tiger bones for the use of medicine. This 25-years old ban has just been altered, out of the blue, so that the horns and bones can be obtained from farmed and captive animals for the usage in “medical research or in healing”. The government didn’t give any explanations, but experts are saying that it could be part of the government efforts to encourage the growth of the potentially very profitable Traditional Chinese Medicine industry and its influence abroad.
WWF has been alerting on the disastrous consequences of this decision as only 3900 tigers are left in the wild. And because the number of captive animals will probably not reach the demand, this will ultimately lead to an increase of illegal poaching. Experts are saying that the two, already threaten species, will not make it through this law! But what can we say? The industry is valued at more than $100 billion profit. And you know the rule: profits before planet, right?
The best hope lies into a new generation of young Chinese people, aware and concerned, calling for a free-animal Chinese medicine industry. Especially when we know the lack of evidence about the benefits of those animals’ products on human health. Maybe it’s time for a bit of common sense!
Wild animals on their way to museums.
Talking about profits before planet.
That’s a very good timing for Jair Bolsonaro to sign the end of the efforts to protect the Amazon and for China to make poaching easier, as we learned last week thanks to WWF, that 60% of wild animals have been wiped out of the earth by humanity in the last 44 years already! Isn’t that a beautiful score to put on a resume? Humans are a pretty competitive species, good for us because when it comes to our power of destruction, we are winning hands on!
In those 60%, WWF is talking about mammals, birds, fishes and reptiles. And the main causes are the following: destruction of natural habitats for agriculture, the killing of animals for consumption, overfishing, or chemicals pollution… Basically, natural habitats destruction and extinction of species, are direct consequences of our food production system.
And that’s what we call a tragedy! Not only because of what we are putting other species through, with absolutely no respect for the Living, but also because this huge loss of biodiversity is threatening the ecosystems, and so, our very own access to clean air, clean water, and more. In other words, we are destroying what’s making the conditions of our own life!
说到从地球上获利。那是个对Jair Bolsonaro来说签署结束保护亚马逊和中国让偷猎更容易的一个非常好的时机，如上周我们从世界野生动物基金会（WWF） 所得知的： 60%的野生动物在过去44年已因为人类而从地球上灭绝！那不是一个可以放在历史纪录上的漂亮分数吗？人类是个相当竞争的物种，当说到我们的破坏力量，是对我们的好处，而我们胜券在握。
These three news are not just bad, they sound like a conspiracy to destroy all forms of life out of the earth as soon as possible, including ours!
So, what can we do? Indeed, the picture is really ugly, but that also means that every effort, every action counts:
- Care! We can sometimes feel helpless when facing those major issues and tend to think that only politics can act. That’s partially true, indeed they have a lot of power, but we have some too! First, because politicians are taking a lot about decisions based on what will make them popular. So, unless we care, they won’t. Secondly, because caring and learning more about the world we live in and how people are trying to change it for the better is the best way to find out your next step: How you can reduce your individual impact on the planet or even find a good idea to lead the change yourself!
- Eat better and less meat! On a more pragmatic note, we’ve seen that the food system is playing a major role in deforestation, and wildlife extinction, so this is something we can act upon! More than one-third of agricultural lands are used to produce crops to feed animals. So, eating more vegetarian or vegan meals, more local, less processed food, and boycotting the products that are contributing to deforestation can only make things a bit better.
- 吃得更好，少吃肉! 在一个更实际的说法，我们已经看到粮食系统在砍伐森林和野生动物濒临绝种中扮演着主要角色，所以这是我们可以采取行动的一部分！超过三分之一的农业用地被用来种植农作物来供养动物。因此，多吃纯素或蔬食、更多在地食物、加工少的食品并抵制那些造成森林砍伐的产品，会让情况变得更好。
- Spread the word! We are swamped with news and not everyone knows about the dramatic consequences of those events. So, sharing articles, talking about it with your friends and family, basically making our voices heard and getting a few more people to care around you is already a victory!
- 散播消息 ! 我们被新闻所淹没，但并非大家都知道那些事件所会带来严重的后果。所以，分享文章、和朋友与家人谈论，基本上让我们的声音被听到并让更多你周遭更多的人关心，就是一场胜利了！