A group of over 200 high-profile artists and scientists from around the world has signed an editorial published in today’s Le Monde, calling on world leaders and citizens “to undertake a profound overhaul of our goals, values, and economies,” in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, “if we want to avoid ecological disaster.”
Titled, “No To A Return To Normal,” the call to arms was penned by Oscar winner Binoche and astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau. They write that the COVID-19 tragedy is “inviting us to examine what is essential. And what we see is simple: ‘adjustments’ are not enough. The problem is systemic.” (See full text below.)
Calling the “ongoing ecological catastrophe” a “meta-crisis,” the op-ed warns “the massive extinction of life on Earth is no longer in doubt, and all indicators point to a direct existential threat. Unlike a pandemic, however severe, a global ecological collapse will have immeasurable consequences.”
They also point to the “pursuit of consumerism” and “an obsession with productivity” which have “led us to deny the value of life itself.” Adds the group, “We believe it is unthinkable to ‘go back to normal,'” as coronavirus eases.
Among others also lending their signatures to the piece are Adam Driver, Alejandro G Inarritu, Paolo Sorrentino, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Pedro Almodovar, Guillaume Canet, Penelope Cruz, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Nathalie Baye, Monica Bellucci, Willem Dafoe and Rooney Mara.
Here’s the text in full:
The Covid-19 pandemic is a tragedy. This crisis is, however, inviting us to examine what is essential. And what we see is simple: “adjustments” are not enough. The problem is systemic.
The ongoing ecological catastrophe is a meta-crisis: the massive extinction of life on Earth is no longer in doubt, and all indicators point to a direct existential threat. Unlike a pandemic, however severe, a global ecological collapse will have immeasurable consequences.
We therefore solemnly call upon leaders — and all of us as citizens – to leave behind the unsustainable logic that still prevails and to undertake a profound overhaul of our goals, values, and economies.
The pursuit of consumerism and an obsession with productivity have led us to deny the value of life itself: that of plants, that of animals, and that of a great number of human beings. Pollution, climate change, and the destruction of our remaining natural zones has brought the world to a breaking point.
For these reasons, along with increasing social inequalities, we believe it is unthinkable to “go back to normal.”
The radical transformation we need – at all levels – demands boldness and courage. It will not happen without a massive and determined commitment. We must act now. It is as much a matter of survival as one of dignity and coherence.