in order to Harumi Navarrete, Mitzi Balderas and Elisa Caballero
In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 22 as Earth Day. however, The first Earth Day occurred in 1970, when 20 million people in the United States took to the streets to protest what they considered an environmental crisis: Oil spills, smog and river pollution. In addition to forcing the government to take specific measures, such as approving environmental laws and establishing specialized environmental agencies, this event also demonstrated the impact of the community; how much can be achieved when people unite and demand action.
This event has been twelve years, we continue to “commemorate” today; however, When the ecosystem continues to be developed and degrades exponentially, we are far from thinking of it as a celebration. Just look at the degree of drought we experienced in Mexico and our close to zero-day level. By April of this year, NASA reported that nearly 85% of the country was facing a drought, the worst in 30 years. Some officials (NASA, 2021). This does not include other environmental (and social) problems encountered in the country, such as forest fires. So far this year, there have been reported about 106 forest fires across the country (Olvera, 2021). Loss of biodiversity and other issues.
Recently, there are some small personal actions heard everywhere, such as taking a bath with very little water, consuming it locally, and not using straws or disposable plastics to avoid the climate crisis. despite this, Little is known about the responsibilities of large companies worth millions of dollars. These companies have also manipulated the products we need through mass production, resulting in huge pollution.Not only for water, air and soil, but also for our bodies, as well as the harmful products produced during the industrialization process, aimed at making our consumers (but for us) unprofitable.
We already have an idea of what pollution can cause: The delicate and complex system of maintaining, nourishing, and dressing is completely unbalanced. Imagine that one day we wake up, the air is no longer breathable, or the drinking water or the soil for sowing, the sea has rotted. Sounds scary, right? With a capitalist lifestyle, We will move forward at full speed to achieve a future that is more dystopian than the present. If climate change continues, what will the world be like? Okay, give us an idea, all systems and cycles will be unstable, temperature, drought, floods, natural disasters will change drastically, and more consequences will follow, such as houses, crops, clean water and The entire human loss site. But according to the United Nations, we still have time to stop this disaster, and then repair and rebuild our houses.
Some of the challenges we face with regard to pollution are related to the way we consume and the companies we consume. E.g, “There are 4,000 glasses of Nescafé drunk every second in the world, and Coca-Cola products are consumed 1.7 billion times a day” (Company, 2013, p. 5) In addition, Several companies collectively generate 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions; Oxfam guarantees: “British United Foods, Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PespiCo and Unilever emit a total of 263.7 million tons of greenhouse gases per year, surpassing Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. Stay with Norway.” (Oxfam Hong Kong, 2013, p. 5)
An infographic on the 10 most polluting companies using fossil fuels and the 10 most polluting companies in the food industry. Authors: Mitzi Balderas and Harumi Navarrete.
One of the main reasons for this is the convenience granted to entrepreneurs. The right to develop an ecosystem that does not belong to us and privatize it through concessions from the government, Or obtain natural rent or purchase authorization at almost free price, and extract natural resources from it without taking any measures or a regeneration plan, and fall into the linear production method, and the company does not bear any responsibility for its packaging or processing- It should be mandatory for waste generated in the production process.
The reality is that, based on their impact, they should be held accountable for the same amount of responsibility. The government authorizes to do so, because these giant companies generate more than 1.1 billion U.S. dollars a day, so injustices are ignored, for example, by farmers People; more than 60% of people live in poverty, and they are the people who bear the burden of production, so The correct approach is to pay a reasonable fee for each part of the production process. In this way, it is not so easy to generate surplus value from mining in certain sectors. Therefore, there will be an opportunity to establish a responsible, balanced and non-aggressive production chain with the earth.
This is the common problem we face: what should we do in the face of serious problems caused by our personal actions? It is true that the actions of each of us will add up and have an impact, but the most important thing is that the most valuable thing we can do is to start with ourselves and take actions to improve people’s understanding of the processes necessary to produce consumer products. understanding. And how this affects other creatures; humans and non-humans (such as animals and plants), which prompts us to think and try other ways to build a system that respects all the life forms and existence of this giant biological earth. Ok, Everyone’s actions are a great help, so action must be taken, because this is part of everyone’s responsibility for the simple fact of living in this world..
However, it should also be noted that more efforts should be made to respond to the needs of those responsible for environmental disasters: large companies, governments, billionaires that promote polluting economies and production systems, we must ask them to modify their processes and even prevent them from eating full. We must begin to bet on community production, the decentralization of power and capital, the demonopoly of the industry, and the support for those who are systematically exploited by companies that benefit from it. We must promote new ways of coexistence It exists on the earth in a holistic, renewable and collective way.
Yes, our work as consumers must be aware, sober and responsible for the goods we consume, and use this to choose our consumption objects, purposes and reasons; because let us remember that there is no production and no consumption without demand There will be no monetary gains; ÿ If we choose a better and more responsible attitude, we will bet that profits will not go to one person Or entity, but for the well-being of all.
Monsanto and Bayer are examples that prove our control over these production methods. These two countries continue to seek Mexican law not to prohibit the use of their products with agrochemicals (such as glyphosate) at this time. This struggle for interests makes many people in our territory work hard to defend the right to a healthy and dignified environment.
“Banyan Tree” illustrated by Andrea Pliego Renteria, @pliegodetrapo
Here, Earth Day is playing its importance every day, because in addition to individual contributions and reducing our influence, the actions we take, the discussions we have, and the examples we provide have become powerful and collective, Put pressure on the system through elections And asked to do something about it.
Every day can (and should be) Earth Day, and every day we make a decision, we have power. Responsible every day Our waste, our actions and Their impact; responsible for our consumption, due to the collectiveization of our actions, we continue to do more for ourselves, but the most important thing is to hold those who promote this ecological and social crisis accountable.
The system wants us to believe that we can (or can’t) personalize the responsibility to solve this problem (ignoring the person who is really responsible), and to some extent it is right, which may be overwhelming. But don’t forget the power of collective power And unions, if we are really interested in improving our living conditions and future generations and redefining the ecosystem in which we participate We must realize that we can make some improvements, we are the active promoters of history, and we can try to make every day an earth day.
Our money, thoughts, actions, etc., are a vote of the world we live in… For whom or what kind of world do we continue to vote for?
Harumi Navarrete, Mitzi Balderas and Elisa Caballero They are members of Contaminantes Anónimus.
Main image: “Banyan Tree” illustration provided by Andrea Pliego Renteria, @ pliegodetrapo
- Oxfam (2013). The role of the top ten food and beverage companies behind the brand in the food system. Oxford Famine Relief Committee.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2021). Mexico is generally arid.National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
- Olvera, G. (2021). Mexico reports 106 wildfires in 21 states: Conafor. millennium.