“The erosion of biodiversity imposes a radical change in our model of society”

Lesearchers in ecology and evolutionary sciences, through their work and their monitoring of the scientific literature, are constantly informed and provide information on the causes and consequences of the ever more severe erosion of the biodiversity and the alteration of ecological processes.

They showed how our actions on these processes affect the habitability of the planet for all living things, non-humans and humans. The thousand seekers gathered in a co-organized congress at the end of November in Metz (Moselle) by the French Society for Ecology and Evolution (SFE²), the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ) and the European Federation of Ecological Societies (EEF) on the theme “Ecology and evolution, new perspectives and challenges for society” have amply confirmed the necessary and profound transformations of our models of society to stop the erosion of the Earth’s components (water, soil, air, biodiversity).

The causes and their hierarchy

The underlying mechanisms are well known: a productivist model and extractivist which is based on an injunction of unlimited growth. It requires the overconsumption of living and mineral resources and imposes an abundance of energy. However, the study of ecological systems has taught us that infinite growth is simply impossible on a planet with finite resources.

Energy bulimia and its consequences on the climate are symptomatic of an economic system whose functioning is incompatible with the present and future viability of the Earth.

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L’scientific ecology taught us that our lives depend on a complex web of interactions between multiple ecological processes and all organisms. This living tissue, much more than a resource, must be understood as the necessary condition for life on Earth. Yet our lifestyles put it at risk every day.

A radical change in our model of society

The current situation (erosion of biodiversity, degradation of soil, water and mineral resources, etc.) imposes a radical change in our model of society. It must follow an imperative of environmental and social justice, and of good living, of all humans (health, housing, culture and social relations, etc.) and non-humans. Such a transformation primarily affects respect for the limits of the biosphere, but is not content with this alone.

It must also reconsider our relationship to nature. Its destruction should be seen as a problem in itself, a problematic attack on otherness, on autonomy. Nature should cease to be treated as the mere object of our desires and needs, or to be reduced to a single function as a provider of resources and services.

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