Approved by acclamation at the end of the
14th Conference of Environmental Sociology
“Crisi and Complexity – Climate, Commons, Biodiversity, Food, Desertification, Migrations, Peace, Drought, Soil …”
held in Ortigia (Syracuse – Italy), 14-16 September 2023
The hell toward which we are marching ‘with our foot on the accelerator,’ as UN Secretary-General António Guterres warns, is not just the climate one; it’s that of dramatic consequences of exacerbating conflicts; it is a swift march towards poverty for many, and a pervasive sense of economic and social despair and disintegration This is a worse life for all!
As scientists, we observe the need for a critical and strategic vision in the measures taken by public institutions to address the multiple challenges of our time. We want to take back an active intellectual role beyond academia, analysis, and research on phenomena. We mobilize ourselves to counter the negative effect of the twofold Crisis we have studied, which we denounce today with great clarity. We must raise awareness and take action so that the governments of the wealthiest countries concretely undertake all the necessary activities and efforts to address the global catastrophe, recalling the words: “There is no more time!” that was on the lips of world leaders at the G20 in Rome two years ago, as well as at COP 27 in Glasgow.
The world is facing two great Crises: on the one hand, the Economic Crisis consisting of inflation, low wages, poverty, overproduction, and declining profits; and on the other hand, the Ecological and Climate crisis consisting of environmental disasters, loss of biodiversity, increase in extreme phenomena, heat waves, floods, and accelerated despoiling of natural resources. The latest scenario elaborated by the IPCC, both for 2030 and 2100, draws an increasingly dramatic future for the fate of humanity due to the upheavals produced by the Environmental Crisis.
he ways the two crises are perceived by the populations and governments of the planet are, however, very different. Perhaps, because the economic one has devastating immediate effects on millions of people, while the environmental one is producing equally serious consequences, but that manifest mainly locally and suddenly, albeit in all regions of the world.
Environmental crisis and economic crisis: two sides of the same coin.
The persistence of climate denialism and skepticism cannot help but be surprising. Whether fueled by mere ignorance or explicitly serving the interests of fossil fuel companies, it interprets remarkable climate anomalies as Gaia’s normal behavior when, in fact, the international scientific community shares a unanimous assessment: we are facing an Abyss
After the alarming confirmations that have also emerged here in Ortigia during our works, we no longer accept limiting ourselves to an assertive and legitimising role of environmental policies adopted to promote a transition, whose effects are not yet visible. It is emblematic to observe how the transition is not materialising through the National Recovery Plans of the European countries after the Covid outbreak, and not only in Italy.
We, as scholars and scientists, gathered here in the name of a deeper understanding of the twofold Crisis affecting humanity, commit ourselves to take all necessary actions – within the scientific community, but also in our own countries together with all citizens – to support an effective strategy and leadership that reconnects the ‘Natural’ relationships between Economy, Ecology, and Societies: a strategic juncture to overcome the dichotomy that has generated the most Ecological-Economic severe Crisis on the Planet in the last half-century.
The Future, for us and future generations, today presents us with a dilemma: either to rapidly change direction in global and local economic policies or to resign ourselves to attempt to remedy the dramatic acceleration of Climate Change, the exponential advance of disasters generated by anthropogenic activities that destroy, through their reckless use, the ever diminishing Natural resources available.