texto na exposição "Earth from air"
TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Since 1950, economic growth has been considerable, and world production of goods and services has multiplied by a factor of 7. During the same period, while the world’s population has only doubled, the volume of fish caught and meat produced has multiplied by 5. So has the energy demand. Oil consumption has multiplied by 7, and carbon dioxide emissions, the main cause of the greenhouse effect and global warming, by 4. Since 1900, fresh water consumption has multiplied by 6, chiefly to provide for agriculture.
And yet, 20 % of the world’s population has no access to drinking water, 40 % has no sanitary installation, 40 % is without electricity, 842 million are underfed, and half of humanity lives on less than U$ 3,00 a day.
In other words, a fifth of the world’s population lives in industrialized countries, consuming and producing in excess and generating massive pollution. The remaining four-fifths live in developing countries and, for the most part, in poverty. To provide for their needs, they make heavy demands on the Earth’s natural resources, causing a constant degradation of our planet’s ecosystem and limited supplies of fresh water, ocean water, forests, air, arable land and open spaces.
This is not all. By 2050, the Earth will have close to 3 billion additional inhabitants. This people will live, for the most part, in developing countries. As these countries develop, their economic growth will jockey for position with that of industrialized nations – within the limits of the Ecosystem on Earth.
The Earth’s situation is not irreversible, but changes need to be made as soon as possible. We have the chance to turn toward a sustainable development, one that allows us to improve the living conditions of the world’s citizen and to satisfy the needs of generations to come. This development would be based on an economic growth respectful both of men and the natural resources of our unique planet.
Such development requires improving production methods and changing our consumption habits. With the active participation of all the world’s citizen, each and every person can contribute to the future of the Earth and mankind, starting right now!