• Kim’s Dream
  • Orlando R. Ravanera

Mother earth is now facing its 6th extinction and in the absence of a major change the global system will collapse in less than one hundred years. The unimaginable is becoming imaginable: the end of life on earth. Why is this so? Glaring is unsustainability in ecology manifested by climate change causing so much ecological turbulence and the extinction of  billions of species that the Creator put in existence even before the homo sapiens came into being.

It has been said that the most flawed of all creation is the homo sapiens. In the 20th century alone, that species killed its own kind at the tune of more than 100 million human beings,  the offshoot of two world wars and the cleansing of Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler and continuing conflict in the  Middle East and Mindanao.

The anthropogenic climate change continues without let-up as carbon emission cannot be stopped as no less than the US President Trump and cohort global corporations are trumping the integrity of Mother Earth as they cannot stop their heavy rakings of some  9 trillion dollars yearly or 10 million dollars every minute through the continuing use of fossil fuel and coal.

With so much veneration to the profit motive that has already captured the mind of all governments, all universities, all religious groups and all institutions that are now conniving to sacrifice Mother Earth and the people to the altar of greed and profit, what must the Creator do to awaken humanity in deep slumber, buried in so much materialism and consumerism? Covid-19 could be  the awakening process. And rightfully so as everyone is  now on a stand- still but are not reflecting.  Let us therefore make a little reflection.

Please allow me to reflect on the depth of paradoxes perpetuated by man himself. We use to shout, “Prosperity for all!  In a world where only eight families have a consolidated wealth equal to the combined assets of 3.6 billion people (according to an Oxfam study), the imperative need for equitable distribution of resources has become glaring.  In the U.S., a cake worth $42,000 was voraciously eaten in a party while some 821 million people on earth are hungry.  Now, am not surprised why the number of COVID-19 victims in the US is the highest.

Let us now advance social transformation for people, planet, prosperity and peace. Such call is foremost in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, pronouncing in clear categorical term to stop poverty and hunger, stop social injustice, stop gross social inequities, among the 17 SDGs.  Even His Holiness Pope Francis has underscored such call in his recent encyclical pronouncement in Laudato si’ on care for our common home. His Holiness critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming and calls all people of the world to take swift and united global action.

Wonderful pronouncement from the Pope amidst the paradox of religious apathy and moral collapse on climate change. Look at Gaia (Mother Earth), feel Her pain and tears (the melting of the iceberg (one thousand hectares per day); look at Her stomach (the Oceans that are now very acidic and rising;  Gaia has cancer and Her cells are dying (the extinction of the species); Gaia is now feverish (global warming).   It is a scientifically established fact that for every one Celsius degree increase in global temperature, there will be a corresponding ten percent reduction in food production.  As global heat intensifies, the insects’ bites will become fatal and can reach up to higher altitude.  It is predicted that there will be at least one billion global refugees in the next 100 years, that people in Bhopal have to leave the country for reason of pestilence, migrating to Calcutta but during that time, Calcutta is predicted to be under water.

The second bitter reality is the unsustainability in the economy as only a few are in control of the resources.  Who decides? Who profits? Who benefits? And these global oligarchs are giving high adherence to the growth-at-all-cost development strategy called Neo-Liberal Capitalism which is only successful in sacrificing mother earth and the people to the altar of greed and profit!  These oligarchs are using “trickle-down approach to the masses as an alibi.  No sir! No such thing.  In so-called trickle-down approach, we just allow all those which have already passed the digestive system of cattle to be eaten by the poor

Let us now all wake up. Today, there is need for a paradigm shift: from unsustainability to sustainability!  Money should not be used to make more money but to improve the quality of life of the people. Enough is enough of economic development that benefits only a few.  No less that a national leader from Myanmar by the name of Aung San Suu Kye, the State Councilor of Myanmar, leader of the national league for democracy, has stressed this truism in her speech, saying that human development must now be the focus and not consumerism and materialism. Yes, “higit sa lahat, TAO.”

In this context, the essence of cooperativism has become the answer because its DNA is that of being  members-owned, value-based and sustainable. It is the only countervailing force to debunk the contemporaneous development paradigm.  This is the reason why the United Nations has coined the term, Transformative Cooperatives for People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace, to advance the UN’s SDG. Even His Holiness Pope Francis has given credence to cooperativism as the path to serve the least of our brethren, questioning why in a world with so much abundance and food, many are wallowing in hunger and poverty.

Indeed, one’s talent must not be used for self-aggrandizement but to collectively advance the welfare of everyone, for God’s greater Glory! HOY GISING!