Some of them had a bad taste in their mouths my statement that individuals cannot save the planet, whatever we do. I asked the person who complained to me what he does for the environment and he replied that he does not dump garbage on the street and that when he goes by car it does not whistle. I told him that this is very good, but that this does not solve the environmental problem. My interlocutor, determined not to give his arm to twist, countered me by saying that if all the human beings that populate the Earth stopped throwing garbage and stopped abusing the whistle of vehicles, another rooster would sing. I answered two things: first, do you think that this would end global warming? And second, who convinces all humans not to litter, if we have not been able to get 200 presidents of countries to agree to make the right decisions about the environment? Anyway, I congratulated him on his very civic attitude of not throwing garbage on the street, I hope we would all follow suit.
I say it for the last time: what we individuals do with a lot of love does not solve the great environmental problems, although it does make life more pleasant. I felt tremendous joy when William Nordhaus, Nobel Prize winner, said: “You as an individual have almost zero effect on climate change.” He agreed with me.
Then comes the question that a girl from a school in Chinchiná asked me many years ago, maybe 35 years ago, when I gave them a lecture and expressed these same ideas.
He asked me: If all is lost, what are you doing here giving us the conference, are you doing it for the money that you are going to be paid? Excellent question that gave me the basis for the answer that I always give to the issue of no return and the uselessness of the small or large things that individuals do.
This is my answer. There was a single mother who only had one daughter who was for her the supreme reason to fight and exist. The girl fell ill with cancer. The mother took her to the doctor who after several examinations found that the cancer that the girl had in the lungs had metastasized and had invaded other organs of the body. The doctor gave the mother no hope. Is that why the mother abandoned her? No and a thousand times no. He went to other doctors who told him the same thing. Only a miracle could save her. Did he abandon her? He commissioned masses and novenas from Catholic priests. The girl kept getting worse. The mother went to evangelicals, to healers of all kinds, to shamans who made the girl drink the strangest potions. Suddenly the girl said she wanted to go to Disney World to see Mickey Mouse. The poor mother who had resorted to usurious loans took her to see her little mouse. Overall, the girl died, because she had to die and because we all have to die. But the mother did everything, everything possible to save her daughter. The Earth has incurable cancer with total metastasis: it began with global warming and destruction advances with the water that runs out, the forests that are cut down, the increasingly polluted seas, the millions of human beings dying of disease and hunger … Total metastasis. Just as the mother did everything for her daughter knowing that salvation seemed impossible, so we must do everything possible and imaginable to save the Earth. Are we going to wait for the unlikely miracle to save her?
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Waiting for the impossible miracle