When explaining a certain sensitive issue to their children, many parents start explaining the story of the birds and the bees. It seems this makes things less embarrassing and less difficult.

Well, today the world faces a very embarrassing and a very difficult issue: the green economy. And indeed, the easy way to understand it is through the birds and the bees!

The green economy is all about putting a price and selling ‘ecosystem services’. Everything Nature does for humanity has a benefit, and should be priced in order to be protected. To come back to the birds and the bees: the birds feed themselves mostly with insects, without them the world would be plagued by so many insects we could not live quietly. In fact the birds play many roles: as predators, pollinators, seed dispersers, seed predators, etc.

The bees are even more important: they assure the pollination of at least one third of all the food production. Without bees, no pollination, and no food.

So, humanity has to be very thankful to the birds and the bees. But according to the green economy promoters, this thankfulness must be expressed in monetary terms. More »

The famous  English poet John Donne1 had it very clear: we are all interconnected. And he found a way of expressing so, that still arouses admiration four centuries later:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Of course, renaissance anthropocentrism and eurocentrism show high in this beautiful piece of poetry, but the basic message is transcendent: we are all interdependent.

In 21st century knowledge and conscience, we must take into account this wisdom. We now know we are all interconnected: not only humans, but all living beings. Let me recall the UN resolution that states that countries ‘recognize that Mother Earth is a common expression for the planet earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit’.

This planetary conscience comes at a time when many living species of this interconnected planet are in danger of extinction. As a matter of fact, we are loosing biodiversity at a rate of more than 100 species per million species a year, over a hundred times faster than the natural extinction rate. As all the species are interconnected, those extinctions will inevitably lead to even more losses.

Also humanity is a part of this interconnection. Albert Einstein warned already – probably exemplifying – that after bees would go extinct, humankind would have only four years of survival. And what if at this precise moment a species is becoming extinct that determines the survival of bees?

I would now rephrase John Donne:

Each species’ death diminishes me,
For I am involved in Mother Earth.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

 

[1] John Donne (1572 – 31 March 1631): English poet, satirist, lawyer, and priest.

For several years I have been working as negotiator for the Bolivian team. Today, a page is being turned, a chapter is being closed: I am no longer part of the official negotiation team for Bolivia, but my heart is still with the same issues: the defence of the environment (Mother Earth), and the fight against the injustice, inequity and mismanagement which are overall present in the international scenario.

I am profoundly wishing to keep on contributing to this global fight, and I think I can do so in substantial ways. For more detail read the about me page.
One way of contributing to this important fight, is sharing my ideas and remarks on this site.
I invite everyone to react on the blog posts or to contact me.