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The Leopard

Some may remember Visconti’s film “Il Gattopardo” and the famous aphorism “Everything has to change so that nothing changes”. The COP 25 has revealed it in its final press release, and the appalling commitments by the ruling cast of our World, that “Nothing can ever change”.

📸 Photo by Geran de Klerk

No need to further comment, but putting that into perspective is necessary, using the interesting concept of the “global hectare” (“gha”) which we often refer to (more here: . It is a “a measurement unit for the ecological footprint of people or activities and the biocapacity of the earth or its regions. One gha is the world's annual amount of biological production for human use and human waste assimilation, per hectare of biologically productive land and fisheries”. For a sustainable development, every person on this planet can use up to 1.7 gha. In reality, we consume an average 2.8 gha, or 65% more than acceptable, leading to the yearly “Overshoot Day” after which we live on ecological credit, at the expense of the future generations.

It is indeed hard to imagine that the developed nation will impose their populations a massive drop in their standard of living. The North Americans consume 8.7 gha, and Luxembourg a whopping 14 gha, the World record, to maintain their high Human Development Index, or simply their growth rate to fuel the economy. Live like the Cubans where we were some weeks ago? Unconceivable!

To prevent runaway consumption of natural resources, we the rich take it from the poor countries as i.a. the Democratic Republic of Congo, where we run a project, which uses 0.8 gha per person. To make it simple, the system had to institutionalize a mechanism of stealing resources from abroad with the looting of poor countries, by buying the complicity of their corrupt pseudo-elites. So poor countries are necessarily bound to remain poor forever. And this is why we make sure populations are not forgotten in our fight for the environment.


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