moderne wohnzimmereinrichtung bilder

moderne wohnzimmereinrichtung bilder

listen to me, please. you're like me, a homo sapiens, a wise human. life, a miracle in the universe,appeared around 4 billion years ago. and we humansonly 200,000 years ago. yet we have succeeded in disruptingthe balance so essential to life. listen carefully to thisextraordinary story, which is yours, and decidewhat you want to do with it.

these are traces of our origins. at the beginning, our planetwas no more than a chaos of fire, a cloudof agglutinated dust particles, like so many similar clustersin the universe. yet this is wherethe miracle of life occurred. today, life, our life, is just a link in a chainof innumerable living beings that have succeeded one anotheron earth over nearly 4 billion years. and even today,

new volcanoes continueto sculpt our landscapes. they offer a glimpse of whatour earth was like at its birth, molten rock surging from the depths, solidifying, cracking, blisteringor spreading in a thin crust, before falling dormant for a time. these wreathes of smokecurling from the bowels of the earth bear witnessto the earth's original atmosphere. an atmosphere devoid of oxygen. a dense atmosphere,thick with water vapor,

full of carbon dioxide. a furnace. the earth cooled. the water vapor condensedand fell in torrential downpours. at the right distance from the sun,not too far, not too near, the earth's perfect balanceenabled it to conserve water in liquid form. the water cut channels. they are like the veins of a body,the branches of a tree,

the vessels of the sapthat the water gave to the earth. the rivers tore minerals from rocks,adding them to the oceans' freshwater. and the oceans became heavy with salt. where do we come from? where did lifefirst spark into being? a miracle of time, primitive life forms still existin the globe's hot springs. they give them their colors.they're called archeobacteria. they all feed off the earth's heat.

all except the cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. they alone have the capacityto turn to the sun to capture its energy. they are a vital ancestor of allyesterday's and today's plant species. these tiny bacteriaand their billions of descendants changed the destiny of our planet. they transformed its atmosphere. what happened to the carbonthat poisoned the atmosphere?

it's still here,imprisoned in the earth's crust. here, there once was a sea,inhabited by micro-organisms. they grew shells by tapping intothe atmosphere's carbon now dissolved in the ocean. these strataare the accumulated shells of those billions and billionsof micro-organisms. thanks to them, the carbon drainedfrom the atmosphere and other life forms could develop. it is lifethat altered the atmosphere.

plant life fed off the sun's energy, which enabled it to break apartthe water molecule and take the oxygen. and oxygen filled the air. the earth's water cycleis a process of constant renewal. waterfalls, water vapor, clouds, rain, springs, rivers, seas, oceans, glaciers... the cycle is never broken.

there's always the same quantityof water on earth. all the successive species on earthhave drunk the same water. the astonishing matter that is water. one of the most unstable of all. it takes a liquid formas running water, gaseous as vapor,or solid as ice. in siberia, the frozen surfacesof the lakes in winter contain the trace of the forcesthat water deploys when it freezes. lighter than water, the ice floats.

it forms a protective mantleagainst the cold, under which life can go on. the engine of life is linkage. everything is linked. nothing is self-sufficient. water and air are inseparable, united in lifeand for our life on earth. sharing is everything. the green expanse through the cloudsis the source of oxygen in the air.

70% of this gas, without which our lungscannot function, comes from the algae that tintthe surface of the oceans. our earth relies on a balance, in which every beinghas a role to play and exists only through the existenceof another being. a subtle, fragile harmonythat is easily shattered. thus, corals are bornfrom the marriage of algae and shells. coral reefs coverless than 1% of the ocean floor,

but they provide a habitat for thousandsof species of fish, mollusks and algae. the equilibrium of every oceandepends on them. the earth counts timein billions of years. it took more than 4 billion yearsfor it to make trees. in the chain of species,trees are a pinnacle, a perfect, living sculpture. trees defy gravity. they are the only natural elementin perpetual movement toward the sky. they grow unhurriedly toward the sunthat nourishes their foliage.

they have inheritedfrom these miniscule cyanobacteria the power to capture light's energy. they store it and feed off it, turning it into wood and leaves, which then decomposeinto a mixture of water, mineral, vegetable and living matter. and so, gradually, soils are formed.

soils teem with the incessant activityof micro-organisms, feeding, digging,aerating and transforming. they make the humus, the fertile layerto which all life on land is linked. what do we know about life on earth? how many species are we aware of?a tenth of them? a hundredth perhaps? what do we knowabout the bonds that link them? the earth is a miracle. life remains a mystery.

families of animals form,united by customs and rituals that are handed downthrough the generations. some adaptto the nature of their pasture and their pasture adapts to them. and both gain. the animal sates its hungerand the tree can blossom again. in the great adventureof life on earth, every species has a role to play, every species has its place.

none is futile or harmful. they all balance out. and that's where you, homo sapiens, wise human, enter the story. you benefit from a fabulous4-billion-year-old legacy bequeathed by the earth. you are only 200,000 years old, but you have changedthe face of the world.

despite your vulnerability, you havetaken possession of every habitat and conquered swathes of territory,like no other species before you. after 180,000 nomadic years, and thanks to a more clement climate, humans settled down. they no longer dependedon hunting for survival. they chose to live in wet environmentsthat abounded in fish, game and wild plants. there where land,water and life combine.

even today, the majority of humankindlives on the continents' coastlines or the banks of rivers and lakes. across the planet,one person in four lives as humankind did6,000 years ago, their only energy that which natureprovides season after season. it's the way of lifeof 1.5 billion people, more than the combined populationof all the wealthy nations. but life expectancy is shortand hard labor takes its toll.

the uncertainties of natureweigh on daily life. education is a rare privilege. children are a family's only asset as long as every extra pair of hands is a necessary contributionto its subsistence. humanity's genius is to have always had a senseof its weakness. the physical strength, with whichnature insufficiently endowed humans, is found in animals that help themto discover new territories.

but how can you conquer the worldon an empty stomach? the invention of agricultureturned our history on end. it was less than 10,000 years ago. agriculturewas our first great revolution. it resulted in the first surpluses and gave birth to citiesand civilizations. the memory of thousands of yearsscrabbling for food faded. having made grain the yeast of life,we multiplied the number of varieties and learned to adapt themto our soils and climates.

we are like every species on earth. our principal daily concernis to feed ourselves. when the soil is less than generous and water becomes scarce, we are ableto deploy prodigious efforts to extract from the landenough to live on. humans shaped the land with the patienceand devotion the earth demands in an almost sacrificial ritualperformed over and over. agriculture is stillthe world's most widespread occupation.

half of humankind tills the soil, over three-quarters of them by hand. agriculture is like a tradition handeddown from generation to generation in sweat, graft and toil, because for humanityit is a prerequisite of survival. but after relying on muscle-powerfor so long, humankind found a way to tap into the energyburied deep in the earth. these flames are also from plants.a pocket of sunlight. pure energy.the energy of the sun,

captured over millions of yearsby millions of plants more than 100 million years ago. it's coal. it's gas. and, above all, it's oil. and this pocket of sunlight freedhumans from their toil on the land. with oil began the era of humans who break freeof the shackles of time. with oil, some of usacquired unprecedented comforts. and in 50 years, in a single lifetime,

the earth has beenmore radically changed than by all previous generationsof humanity. faster and the last 60 years, the earth's populationhas almost tripled. and over 2 billion peoplehave moved to the cities. faster and faster. shenzhen, in china, with hundreds of skyscrapersand millions of inhabitants, was just a small fishing villagebarely 40 years ago.

in shanghai,3,000 towers and skyscrapers have been built in 20 years.hundreds more are under construction. today, over half of the world's7 billion inhabitants live in cities. new york. the world's first megalopolis is the symbol of the exploitationof the energy the earth supplies to human genius.the manpower of millions of immigrants, the energy of coal,the unbridled power of oil.

america was the firstto harness the phenomenal, revolutionary power of "black gold". in the fields,machines replaced men. a liter of oilgenerates as much energy as 100 pairs of hands in 24 hours. in the united states,only 3 million farmers are left. they produce enough grainto feed 2 billion people. but most of that grainis not used to feed people. here, and in all otherindustrialized nations,

it is transformed into livestock feedor biofuels. the pocket of sunshine's energychased away the specter of drought that stalked farmland. no spring escapesthe demands of agriculture, which accounts for 70%of humanity's water consumption. in nature, everything is linked. the expansion of cultivated landand single-crop farming encouragedthe development of parasites. pesticides, another giftof the petrochemical revolution,

exterminated them. bad harvests and faminebecame a distant memory. the biggest headache now was what to do with the surplusesengendered by modern agriculture. but toxic pesticidesseeped into the air, soil, plants,animals, rivers and oceans. they penetrated the heart of cells similar to the mother cellshared by all forms of life. are they harmful to the humansthey released from hunger?

these farmersin their yellow protective suits probably have a good idea. then came fertilizers,another petrochemical discovery. they produced unprecedented resultson plots of land thus far ignored. crops adapted to soils and climates gave way to the most productivevarieties and easiest to transport. and so, in the last century, three-quarters of the varietiesdeveloped by farmers over thousands of yearshave been wiped out.

as far as the eye can see,fertilizer below, plastic on top. the greenhouses of almeria, spain,are europe's vegetable garden. a city of uniformly sized vegetableswaits every day for hundreds of trucks to take themto the continent's supermarkets. the more a country develops,the more meat its inhabitants consume. how can growing worldwide demandbe satisfied without recourse to concentration camp-stylecattle farms? like the life cycle of livestock,which may never see a meadow. manufacturing meat faster thanthe animal has become a daily routine.

in these vast foodlots,trampled by millions of cattle, not a blade of grass grows. a fleet of trucks from every cornerof the country brings tons of grain, soy meal and protein-rich granules that will become tons of meat. the result is thatit takes 100 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of potatoes, 4,000 liters for 1 kilo of rice and 13,000 liters for 1 kilo of beef.

not to mention the oil guzzledin the production process and transport. our agriculturehas become oil-powered. it feedstwice as many humans on earth, but has replaced diversitywith standardization. it gives many of us comfortswe could only dream of, but it makes our way of lifetotally dependent on oil. this is the new measure of time. our world's clock now beatsto the rhythm of indefatigable machines tapping into the pocket of sunlight.

the whole planet is attentiveto these metronomes of our hopes and illusions. the same hopes and illusionsthat proliferate along with our needs, increasingly insatiable desiresand profligacy. we know that the end of cheap oilis imminent, but we refuse to believe it. for many of us, the american dream is embodiedby a legendary name. los angeles.

in this citythat stretches over 100 kilometers, the number of cars is almost equalto the number of inhabitants. here, energy puts on a fantastic showevery night. the days seem no morethan a pale reflection of nights that turn the city into a starry sky. distances are no longercounted in miles, but in minutes. the automobile shapes new suburbs,where every home is a castle, a safe distancefrom the asphyxiated city centers, and where neat rows of houseshuddle around dead-end streets.

the model of a lucky-few countries has become a universal dreampreached by tvs all over the world. even here in beijing, it is cloned, copied and reproducedin these formatted houses that have wiped pagodas off the map. the automobile has become the symbolof comfort and progress. if this model were followedby every society, the planet wouldn't have 900 millionvehicles, as it does today, but 5 billion.

the more the world develops,the greater its thirst for energy. everywhere, machines dig, boreand rip from the earth the pieces of stars buriedin its depths since its creation... minerals. as a privilege of power,80% of this mineral wealth is consumedby 20% of the world's population. before the end of this century, excessive mining will have exhaustednearly all the planet's reserves. shipyards churn out oil tankers,container ships and gas tankers

to cater for the demandsof globalized industrial production. most consumer goods travelthousands of kilometers from the country of productionto the country of consumption. since 1950, the volume of internationaltrade has increased 20 times over. 90% of trade goes by sea. 500 million containersare transported every year. headed for the world's major hubsof consumption, such as dubai. dubai is a sort of culminationof the western model,

a country where the impossiblebecomes possible. building artificial islands in the sea,for example. dubai has few natural resources, but with oil money it can bring inmillions of tons of material and workers from all over the planet. dubai has no farmland,but it can import food. dubai has no water, but it can affordto expend immense amounts of energy to desalinate seawater and buildthe world's highest skyscrapers. dubai has endless sun,but no solar panels.

it is the totem to total modernitythat never fails to amaze the world. dubai is like the new beaconfor all the world's money. nothing seems further removedfrom nature than dubai, although nothing depends on naturemore than dubai. dubai is a sort of culminationof the western model. we haven't understood thatwe're depleting what nature provides. since 1950, fishing catcheshave increased fivefold from 18 to 100 million metric tonsa year. thousands of factory shipsare emptying the oceans.

three-quarters of fishing groundsare exhausted, depleted or in danger of being so. most large fish have been fishedout of existence since they have no time to reproduce. we are destroying the cycle of a lifethat was given to us. at the current rate, all fish stocksare threatened with exhaustion. fish is the staple dietof one in five humans. we have forgottenthat resources are scarce. 500 million humanslive in the world's desert lands,

more than the combined populationof europe. they know the value of water. they know how to use it sparingly. here, they depend on wellsreplenished by fossil water, which accumulated undergroundback when it rained on these deserts. 25,000 years ago. fossil water also enables cropsto be grown in the desert to provide food for local populations. the fields' circular shape derives

from the pipes that irrigate themaround a central pivot. but there is a heavy price to pay. fossil wateris a non-renewable resource. in saudi arabia, the dream of industrial farmingin the desert has faded. as if on a parchment map, the light spots on this patchworkshow abandoned plots. the irrigation equipmentis still there. the energy to pump water also.

but the fossil water reservesare severely depleted. israel turned the desertinto arable land. even though these hothousesare now irrigated drop by drop, water consumption continuesto increase along with exports. the once mighty river jordanis now just a trickle. its water has flown to supermarketsall over the world in crates of fruit and vegetables. the jordan's fate is not unique. across the planet,one major river in ten

no longer flows into the seafor several months of the year. deprived of the jordan's water, the level of the dead sea goes downby over one meter per year. india risks being the countrythat suffers most from lack of waterin the coming century. massive irrigationhas fed the growing population and in the last 50 years,21 million wells have been dug. in many parts of the country, the drill has to sink every deeperto hit water.

in western india,30% of wells have been abandoned. the underground aquifersare drying out. vast reservoirs will catch monsoon rainsto replenish the aquifers. in the dry season, local village womendig them with their bare hands. thousands of kilometers away, 800 to 1,000 liters of waterare consumed per person per day. las vegas was built out of the desert. millions of people live there.

thousands more arrive every month. its inhabitants are among the biggestwater consumers in the world. palm springs is another desert citywith tropical vegetation and lush golf courses. how long can this miragecontinue to prosper? the earth cannot keep up. the colorado river,which brings water to these cities, is one of those riversthat no longer reaches the sea. water levels in the catchment lakesalong its course are plummeting.

water shortages could affect nearly2 billion people before 2025. the wetlands represent6% of the surface of the planet. under their calm waterslies a veritable factory, where plants and micro-organismspatiently filter the water and digest all the pollution. these marshes are indispensableenvironments for the regeneration and purification of water. they are spongesthat regulate the flow of water. they absorb it in the wet season

and release it in the dry season. in our race to conquer more land, we have reclaimed themas pasture for livestock, or as land for agriculture or building. in the last century,half the world's marshes were drained. we know neither their richnessnor their role. all living matter is linked. water, air, soil, trees. the world's magicis right in front of our eyes.

trees breathe groundwaterinto the atmosphere as light mist. they form a canopy that alleviatesthe impact of heavy rains. the forests provide the humiditythat is necessary for life. they store carbon, containing morethan all the earth's atmosphere. they are the cornerstone of the climaticbalance on which we all depend. the primary forests provide a habitat for three-quartersof the planet's biodiversity, that is to say,of all life on earth.

these forests provide the remediesthat cure us. the substances secreted by these plantscan be recognized by our bodies. our cells talk the same language. we are of the same family. but in barely 40 years,the world's largest rainforest, the amazon,has been reduced by 20%. the forest gives way to cattle ranchesor soybean farms. 95% of these soybeans are usedto feed livestock and poultry in europe and asia.

and so, a forest is turned into meat. barely 20 years ago, borneo,the 4th largest island in the world,was covered by a vast primary forest. at the current rate of deforestation, it will have disappearedwithin 10 years. living matterbonds water, air, earth and the sun. in borneo, this bond has been broken in what was one of the earth'sgreatest reservoirs of biodiversity. this catastrophe was provokedby the decision to produce palm oil,

one of the most productive and consumedoils in the world, on borneo. palm oil not only catersto our growing demand for food, but also cosmetics, detergentsand, increasingly, alternative fuels. the forest's diversity was replacedby a single species, the oil palm. for local people,it provides employment. it's an agricultural industry. another example of massive deforestationis the eucalyptus. eucalyptus is used to make paper pulp. plantations are growingas demand for paper has increased

fivefold in 50 years. one forestdoes not replace another forest. at the foot of these eucalyptus trees, nothing grows because their leaves forma toxic bed for most other plants. they grow quickly,but exhaust water reserves. soybeans, palm oil, eucalyptus trees... deforestation destroys the essentialto produce the superfluous. but elsewhere,

deforestation is a last resortto survive. over 2 billion people, almost one thirdof the world's population, still depend on charcoal. in haiti, one of the world's poorest countries, charcoal is one of the population'smain consumables. once the "pearl of the caribbean", haiti can no longer feedits population without foreign aid.

on the hills of haiti,only 2% of the forests are left. stripped bare, nothing holds the soils back. the rainwater washes themdown the hillsides as far as the sea. what's left is increasinglyunsuitable for agriculture. in some parts of madagascar,the erosion is spectacular. whole hillsides bear deep gasheshundreds of meters wide. thin and fragile,soil is made by living matter. with erosion,the fine layer of humus,

which took thousands of years to form,disappears. here's one theory of the storyof the rapanui, the inhabitants of easter island, that could perhapsgive us pause for thought. living on the most isolated islandin the world, the rapanui exploited their resourcesuntil there was nothing left. their civilization did not survive. on these lands stoodthe highest palm trees in the world. they have disappeared.

the rapanuichopped them all down for lumber. they then facedwidespread soil erosion. the rapanui could no longer go fishing.there were no trees to build canoes. yet the rapanui formed one of the mostbrilliant civilizations in the pacific. innovative farmers, sculptors,exceptional navigators, they were caught in the vise ofoverpopulation and dwindling resources. they experienced social unrest,revolts and famine. many did not survive the cataclysm. the real mystery of easter island is nothow its strange statues got there,

we know now. it is why the rapanuididn't react in time. it's only one of a number of theories,but it has particular relevance today. since 1950, the world's populationhas almost tripled. and since 1950, we have more fundamentallyaltered our island, the earth, than in allof our 200,000-year history. nigeria is the biggest oil exporterin africa, yet 70% of the populationlives under the poverty line.

the wealth is there, but the country'sinhabitants don't have access to it. the same is true all over the globe. half the world's poorlive in resource-rich countries. our mode of developmenthas not fulfilled its promises. in 50 years, the gap between richand poor has grown wider than ever. today, half the world's wealth is in the handsof the richest 2% of the population. can such disparities be maintained? they are the causeof population movements

whose scale we have yetto fully realize. the city of lagoshad a population of 700,000 in 1960. that will rise to 16 million by 2025. lagos is one of the fastest growingmegalopolises in the world. the new arrivals are mostly farmersforced off the land for economic or demographic reasons,or because of diminishing resources. this is a radically new typeof urban growth, driven by the urge to surviverather than to prosper. every week, over a million people swellthe populations of the world's cities.

1 human in 6 now lives in a precarious,unhealthy, overpopulated environment without access to daily necessities,such as water, sanitation, electricity. hunger is spreading once more. it affects nearly 1 billion people. all over the planet, the poorestscrabble to survive, while we continue to dig for resourcesthat we can no longer live without. we look farther and farther afield in previously unspoilt territory and in regions that areincreasingly difficult to exploit.

we're not changing our model. oil might run out? we can still extract oilfrom the tar sands of canada. the biggest trucks in the worldmove thousands of tons of sand. the process of heatingand separating bitumen from the sand requires millionsof cubic meters of water. colossal amounts of energy are needed. the pollution is catastrophic. the most urgent priority, apparently,

is to pick every pocket of sunlight. our oil tankersare getting bigger and bigger. our energy requirementsare constantly increasing. we try to power growthlike a bottomless oven that demands more and more fuel. it's all about carbon. in a few decades, the carbonthat made our atmosphere a furnace and that nature captured over millionsof years, allowing life to develop, will have largely been pumped back out.

the atmosphere is heating up. it would have been inconceivable fora boat to be here just a few years ago. transport, industry,deforestation, agriculture... our activities release giganticquantities of carbon dioxide. without realizing it,molecule by molecule, we have upsetthe earth's climatic balance. all eyes are on the poles, where the effects of global warmingare most visible. it's happening fast, very fast.

the north-west passage that connectsamerica, europe and asia via the pole, is opening up. the arctic ice cap is melting. under the effect of global warming, the ice cap has lost40% of its thickness in 40 years. its surface area in the summershrinks year by year. it could disappearin the summer months by 2030. some say 2015. the sunbeams that the ice sheetpreviously reflected back

now penetrate the dark water,heating it up. the warming process gathers pace. this ice contains the recordsof our planet. the concentration of carbon dioxidehasn't been so high for several hundred thousand years. humanity has never livedin an atmosphere like this. is excessive exploitation of resourcesthreatening the lives of every species? climate change accentuates the threat.

by 2050,a quarter of the earth's species could be threatened with extinction. in these polar regions, the balance of naturehas already been disrupted. around the north pole, the ice cap has lost 30%of its surface area in 30 years. but as greenlandrapidly becomes warmer, the freshwater of a whole continentflows into the salt water of the oceans. greenland's ice contains 20%of the freshwater of the whole planet.

if it melts,sea levels will rise by nearly 7 meters. but there is no industry here. greenland's ice sheet suffersfrom greenhouse gases emitted elsewhere on earth. our ecosystem doesn't have borders. wherever we are, our actions have repercussionson the whole earth. our planet's atmosphereis an indivisible whole. it is an asset we share.

in greenland,lakes are appearing on the landscape. the ice cap is melting at a speedeven the most pessimistic scientists did not envision 10 years ago. more and more of these glacier-fedrivers are merging together and burrowing though the surface. it was thought the water would freezein the depths of the ice. on the contrary,it flows under the ice, carrying the ice sheet into the sea,where it breaks into icebergs. as the freshwaterof greenland's ice sheet

seeps into the salt water of the oceans, low-lying lands around the globeare threatened. sea levels are rising. water expanding as it gets warmer caused, in the 20th century alone, a rise of 20 centimeters. everything becomes unstable. coral reefs are extremely sensitiveto the slightest change in water temperature.30% have disappeared.

they are an essential linkin the chain of species. in the atmosphere, major wind streamsare changing direction. rain cycles are altered. the geography of climates is modified. the inhabitants of low-lying islands, here in the maldives, for example,are on the front line. they are increasingly concerned. some are already looking for new,more hospitable lands. if sea levels continue to risefaster and faster,

what will major cities like tokyo,the world's most populous city, do? every year, scientists' predictionsbecome more alarming. 70% of the world's populationlives on coastal plains. 11 of the 15 biggest cities stand on a coastline or river estuary. as the seas rise,salt will invade the water table, depriving inhabitantsof drinking water. migratory phenomena are inevitable. the only uncertaintyconcerns their scale.

in africa,mount kilimanjaro is unrecognizable. 80% of its glaciers have disappeared. in summer,the rivers no longer flow. local peoples are affectedby the lack of water. even on the world's highest peaks,in the heart of the himalayas, eternal snows and glaciersare receding. yet these glaciers playan essential role in the water cycle. they trap the waterfrom the monsoons as ice and release it in the summerwhen the snows melt.

the himalayan glaciers are the sourceof all the great asian rivers, the indus, ganges,mekong, yangtze kiang... 2 billion people depend on themfor drinking water and to irrigate their crops,as in bangladesh. on the deltaof the ganges and brahmaputra, bangladesh is directly affectedby phenomena occurring in the himalayas and at sea level. this is one of the most populousand poorest countries in the world. it is already hit by global warming.

the combined impact of increasinglydramatic floods and hurricanes could makea third of its land mass disappear. when populations are subjectedto these devastating phenomena, they eventually move away. wealthy countries will not be spared. droughts are occurringall over the planet. in australia,half of farmland is already affected. we are in the process of compromisingthe climatic balance that has allowed us to developover 12,000 years.

more and more wildfiresencroach on major cities. in turn,they exacerbate global warming. as the trees burn,they release carbon dioxide. the system that controls our climatehas been severely disrupted. the elements on which it relieshave been disrupted. the clock of climate change is tickingin these magnificent landscapes. here in siberia,and elsewhere across the globe, it is so coldthat the ground is constantly frozen. it's known as permafrost.

under its surfacelies a climatic time-bomb. methane, a greenhouse gas 20 timesmore powerful than carbon dioxide. if the permafrost melts, the methane releases would causethe greenhouse effect to race out of controlwith consequences no one can predict. we would literallybe in unknown territory. humanity has no more than 10 yearsto reverse the trend and avoidcrossing into this territory...

life on earthas we have never known it. we have created phenomenawe cannot control. since our origins, water, air and forms of lifeare intimately linked. but recentlywe have broken those links. let's face the facts. we must believe what we know. all we have just seen is a reflectionof human behavior. we have shaped the earth in our image.

we have very little time to change. how can this century carry the burdenof 9 billion human beings if we refuse to be called to account for everything we alone have done? 20% of the world's populationconsumes 80% of its resources the world spends12 times more on military expenditures than on aid to developing countries 5,000 people a day diebecause of dirty drinking water 1 billion peoplehave no access to safe drinking water

nearly 1 billion people are going hungry over 50% of graintraded around the world is used for animal feed or biofuels 40% of arable landhas suffered long-term damage every year,13 million hectares of forest disappear 1 mammal in 4, 1 bird in 8, 1 amphibianin 3 are threatened with extinction species are dying out at a rhythm1,000 times faster than the natural rate three quarters of fishing groundsare exhausted, depleted or in dangerous decline

the average temperatureof the last 15 years has been the highest ever recorded the ice cap is 40% thinnerthan 40 years ago there may be at least 200 millionclimate refugees by 2050 the cost of our actions is high. others pay the pricewithout having been actively involved. i have seen refugee camps as big as cities,sprawling in the desert. how many men,women and children

will be left by the wayside tomorrow? must we always build wallsto break the chain of human solidarity, separate peoples and protect the happiness of somefrom others' misery? it's too late to be a pessimist. i know that a single humancan knock down every wall. worldwide,4 children out of 5 attend school. never has learning been givento so many human beings. everyone, from richest to poorest,can make a contribution.

lesotho,one of the world's poorest countries, is proportionally the one that investsmost in its people's education. qatar, one of the richest states,has opened up to the best universities. culture, education,research and innovation are inexhaustible resources. in the face of misery and suffering, millions of ngos prove that solidarity between peoples is strongerthan the selfishness of nations. in bangladesh,a man thought the unthinkable

and founded a bankthat lends only to the poor. in 30 years, it has changedthe lives of 150 million people. antarctica is a continentwith immense natural resources that no country can claim for itself, a natural reservedevoted to peace and science. a treaty signed by 49 states has made it a treasureshared by all humanity. governments have acted to protectnearly 2% of territorial waters. it's not much but it's 2 times morethan 10 years ago.

the first natural parks were createdjust over a century ago. they cover over 13% of the continents. they create spaceswhere human activity is in step with the preservationof species, soils and landscapes. this harmony between humans and naturecan become the rule, no longer the exception. in the us, new york has realizedwhat nature does for us. these forests and lakessupply all the city's drinking water. in south korea,the forests had been devastated by war.

thanks toa national reforestation program, they once more cover65% of the country. more than 75% of paper is recycled. costa rica has made a choice betweenmilitary spending and land conservation. the country no longer has an army. it prefers to devote its resourcesto education, ecotourism and the protectionof its primary forest. gabon is one of the world'sleading producers of wood. it enforces selective logging.not more than 1 tree every hectare.

its forests are one of the country'smost important resources, but they have time to regenerate. programs exist that guaranteesustainable forest management. they must become mandatory. for consumers and producers,justice is an opportunity to be seized. when trade is fair,when both buyer and seller benefit, everybody can prosperand earn a decent living. how can there be justice and equity between peoplewhose only tools are their hands

and those who harvest their cropswith a machine and state subsidies? let's be responsible consumers. think about what we buy! i have seen agricultureon a human scale. it can feed the whole planet if meat production doesn't takethe food out of people's mouths. i have seen fishermenwho take care what they catch and care for the riches of the ocean. i have seen housesproducing their own energy.

5,000 people live in the world's first ever eco-friendly districtin freiburg, germany. other cities partner the project. mumbai is the thousandth to join them. the governments of new zealand, iceland,austria, sweden and other nations have made the developmentof renewable energy sources a top priority. 80% of the energy we consumecomes from fossil energy sources. every week,

two new coal-fired generating plantsare built in china alone. but i have also seen, in denmark,a prototype of a coal-fired plant that releases carbon into the soilrather than the air. a solution for the future?nobody knows yet. i have seen, in iceland, an electricity plantpowered by the earth's heat. geothermal power. i have seen a sea snake lying on the swellto absorb the energy of the waves

and produce electricity. i have seen wind farmsoff denmark's coast that produce 20%of the country's electricity. the usa, china, india, germanyand spain are the biggest investors in renewable energy. they have already createdover 2.5 million jobs. where on earthdoesn't the wind blow? i have seen desert expansesbaking in the sun. everything on earth is linked,

and the earth is linked to the sun,its original energy source. can humans not imitate plantsand capture its energy? in one hour, the sun gives the earththe same amount of energy as that consumedby all humanity in one year. as long as the earth exists,the sun's energy will be inexhaustible. all we have to do is stop drilling the earthand start looking to the sky. all we have to dois learn to cultivate the sun. all these experimentsare only examples,

but they testify to a new awareness. they lay down markersfor a new human adventure based on moderation,intelligence and sharing. it's time to come together. what's important is not what's gone, but what remains. we still havehalf the world's forests, thousands of rivers, lakes and glaciers,and thousands of thriving species.

we know that the solutionsare there today. we all have the power to change. so what are we waiting for? it's up to us to writewhat happens next together get involved and join us special thanks to the 88.000 employeesof the ppr group for supporting the movie home

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