May 15, 2021

New book by Fred Vargas: ‘Humanity in danger’ | Babelia

But damn it, what quagmire did I go to get into? How am I going to do it to get out of this crazy task, of this pilgrim idea of ​​telling them about the future of life on Earth? How will I get out of this? I have no idea, and neither do you.

There is only one thing I know, and that is where it all began. And, now that it has begun, it has done so with such violence that I am unable to stop the movement, the maelstrom, the noséqué that impetuously pushes me to move forward without asking my opinion. Despite this, I suspect that they would have preferred to take out a well entertaining police novel. I will do it later, I promise, but not now; I can not. A kind of imperative need drives me furiously to write this book.

I know how it started, and, to make matters worse, from very little. Ten years ago, I wrote a very short text about ecology. It was also nothing from the other world. Shortly thereafter, I learned, through some friends, that certain fragments had been printed on T-shirts in China, in Brazil, and that theater plays had even been written on the issue. That surprised me and made me funny. But it did not stop there. When, in the depths of a dense and silent night … [no, perdón, me he equivocado de frase; rebobino]. When, day after day, they were informing me everywhere that this strangely incombustible text was walking through Facebook making its way through the world [¡vaya! Yo no tenía nada que ver con eso; se lo aseguro], and later they told me that Charlotte Gainsbourg would read it at the inauguration of COP24, in December 2018[Atextwithmorethantenyears!Ofcourse[¡untextoconmásdediezaños!Claroqueat the rate of the COP, which in all this time have not come to contribute a single progress, my modest lines were still topical]. That’s when, in the deepest part of a dense night [esta vez, de verdad], I conceived the project [pero ¿qué mosca me ha picado?] to elaborate a text of the same nature, but a little longer, about fifty pages [no más, para no dormir al lector], about the future of the Earth, of life on the planet, of humanity [nada menos…].

I pause here in this genesis of an impossible book to reproduce next this short text with such a unique destiny, so that you understand that, starting from a trifle, I reached an overwhelming enormity. The text dates from November 7, 2008:

“We are already there; we already have it here.

Fifty years this storm has been threatening in the blast furnaces of humanity’s misery, and we already have it here. We are already on the wall, on the edge of the abyss, as only man knows how to do it vigorously, realizing reality only when it hurts.

Like the good of our old cicada, to whom we lend our carefree qualities. We have sung and danced. When I say “we have”, understand that I mean a quarter of humanity, while the rest worked eagerly.

We have built a better life, we have thrown our pesticides into the water, our fumes in the air, we have driven three cars each, we have emptied the mines, we have eaten strawberries brought from the other side of the world, we have traveled everywhere, we have filled you light the nights, we have sneakers that flash when we walk, we have grown as a population, we have watered the desert, acidified the rain, created clones; Frankly we can say that we had a great time.

We have achieved completely stunning, very difficult things, such as melting polar helmets, introducing genetically modified bugs underground, displacing the Gulf stream, destroying a third of living species, exploding the atom, sinking radioactive waste into the ground … , without anyone knowing. Frankly, we have thundered. Frankly, we enjoyed the beautiful. And we would like to continue, because, if there is something that is clear, it is much more fun to get on a plane with bright sports than weeding to plant potatoes. No doubt.

But we have here the Third Revolution, which differs markedly from the first two – the Neolithic Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, to remind us – that we have not decided to undertake it.

“Are we obliged to make the Third Revolution?” Some reticent spirits and mohnos will ask.

Yes. We have no choice; It has already begun; He has not asked us for our opinion. Mother Nature has decided, after kindly letting us play with her for decades. Mother Nature, exhausted, stained, bloodless, closes our faucets – those of oil, those of gas, those of uranium, those of air, those of water … -.

His ultimatum is clear and ruthless: either you save me, or you clap with me (except for ants and spiders, which will survive us, because they are very resistant and, otherwise, little prone to singing).

Either you save me, or you pat me. It is clear that, said so, one understands that there is no option, obeys immediately, and even, if he has time, presents his apologies, embarrassed and ashamed. Some, those who are a dreamers, try to get an extension, to have a little more fun with the growth.

But it is useless. There is much to do, more than humanity has ever done:

Clean the sky, wash the water, mop the earth, stop using the car, stop nuclear energy, pick up polar bears, turn off before leaving, ensure peace, contain greed, find strawberries next to home , do not go out at night to tear them all away, but leave a part for the neighbor, return to sailing, leave the coal where it is – eye, let’s not be tempted to use coal again, we better leave the coal alone -, return to the use of manure, piss in the fields [para producir fósforo, que ya no queda, porque lo hemos extraído todo de las minas; está claro que nos lo hemos pasado bien].

Strive, even reflect. And, with no intention of offending to use a term fallen into disuse, to be in solidarity with the neighbor, with Europe, with the world.

Colossal programs that of the Third Revolution … There is no escape; Let’s go there. It should be noted that collecting boñigas – and this is something that everyone who has ever done so knows it – is a deeply satisfying activity that does not in any way prevent singing and dancing when night falls; It is not incompatible with it, as long as there is peace, as long as we contain the return of barbarism, another of the great specialties of man, probably the most accomplished of all.

Only at this price will we successfully carry out the Third Revolution. At this price we can dance, in a different way without a doubt, but we can continue dancing. “

You see, it was nothing from the other world. And so it was, in the depths of a dense night, as the idea of ​​a book of the same fight seemed totally feasible, and even exciting, even exalting, if it could be of some modest utility. Feasible because I thought I was an expert on environmental issues, since they had been worrying me since the age of twenty. I knew, of course, that I would have to carry out a few investigations, but, thanks to my experience as a researcher, that was not something that bothered me. Aware, too, that I knew how to put two words together, the writing work didn’t take my sleep away either.

Neither short nor lazy, the next day I started the documentation phase – which I calculated, naive of me, that it would take me about a week – with my mind quite clear and somewhat inflamed. But the weeks went on, bouncing from topic to topic, from topic to topic, all indispensable, from sardine to nitrogen protoxide, through methane and thaw, getting into a job so frantic that I forgot the time, the purchase, emails, laundry and tutti quanti, except for the food — that is not — that swallowed late and in a hurry. It was a few frantic weeks that taught me that I really didn’t know almost anything, except, like any of us, the superficial layer of things. The environment, living beings, humanity presented me with new and bleak aspects, multiple facets, complex and overlapping with each other, in which I was rummaging as much as I could – for it is my archeologist nature. I can guarantee you that, in those caverns, I often had very bad times, disheveled, livid in the midst of storms [cita esta del gran Victor Hugo, que nunca viene mal], or, said with more sobriety, sitting alone in the chair of my kitchen, away. But, eye, not for a second I stopped searching at the same time in an unbridled way – even neurotic, why not say it – all possible actions, actions already implemented or pending implementation, or hatching, as it forms part of my nature to aspire intensely to solve things. In a police novel, there is nothing simpler, since I cheat; i know the crime a priori and, therefore, it costs me nothing to find the solution, but, when it comes to living on Earth, I found myself dumbfounded in the face of the most gigantic crime ever conceived. I still dare not name him, but I go back, because, as my father said very aptly. nothing exists before being named. Thus, when I have described and named the three hundred tentacles of that dreadful crime will never forget them, because they will exist, hard without a doubt. But in return, when I have described and named all possible actions, they will not forget them either. They will also exist, and we will no longer pounce on strawberries treated with pesticides, brought from the confines of the world in the middle of winter by a good amount of fuel.

And, what the hell, we’re not going to let that monstrous crime happen! In any case, not with the breadth that all scientists anticipate before the inconceivable inertia of our leaders, when all of them have been well informed for forty years about the cataclysm that comes upon us – much better informed than we are. Since the Kyoto Protocol (1997), the last 30 years of combating global warming have not even allowed the greenhouse gas emissions curve to reverse! Don’t even stabilize them! From COP to COP, from Summit to Summit, from Conference to Conference, numerous promises have been made and numerous commitments (not binding!) Have been made while the temperature continued to rise and the situation of living things continued to worsen at increasing speed ! Let’s talk a little about that inconceivable and enigmatic inertia.

For too long we have believed in the mobilization and efforts of the leaders. For too long we have trusted them. For too long we have thought that “they were going to do something” and that our problems would be fixed. For too long we have put our destiny in his inert hands (his hands?).

Precisely. Let’s not forget that the rulers are holding hands and crisscrossing their fingers with the multinationals – paralyzed by them? – and the elders lobbies of the world, the lobbies of the agri-food sector, the lobbies of transport, lobbies of the agrochemical industry, the lobbies of the textile industry, not to mention more than a few, you well know them. And they close in band in the face of any attack on their immense power, that is to say – and the following is the key word of the catastrophe -, against any attack on money, to more and more money -theirs; not ours. And, so that the money continues to flow, increasing its billions almost exempt from taxes, or placed safely in tax havens, it is necessary increase, which is the second key term. For growth to persist and increase, it is necessary for people to buy, and consume, in everything and in any way, but increasingly.

I make an absolute separation between They —Which encompasses our seemingly impotent rulers and billionaire industrialists at the head of lobbies that have them under your control— and U.SWe, the people, the little ones, the big ones, the medium ones, the bourgeoisie, the leftist, the rightist, what else does it matter? In short, we, the people. And for them, “people” seem to represent a kind of anonymous mass, and not what we really are: a sum of billions of different and thinking individuals. For forty years, and despite being aware of what is at stake, we hide what we should have known, so we have continued to advance blindly, unconscious and gullible.

They hide it from us, they keep secret the many details about the state of the world, and I would not know how to say honestly if they do it on purpose, in order not to cause a fear (a panic?) That can cause a market contraction and a collapse of the banks, or if it is due to an immobility, a paralysis, a kind of anesthesia from a world capitalist system from which they do not know how to part. The two things probably. Even so, the misinformation – voluntary or passive – of the people, in the whole world, is a very serious fault. Do we receive in our mailboxes or in our email brochures sent by the State to alert us to this or that aspect of the world situation, urging us to adopt this or that type of behavior? Never, and this inconceivable silence is intolerable.


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