Redirection at Rio
Sir, – Your Editorial (June 11th) rightly focuses on next week’s “Rio+20” summit and points out that human activity is pushing planet Earth to its limits.
I will attend the summit to represent Ireland’s development NGOs and to highlight that not only is our current development model exceeding the planet’s biophysical ceilings, but it is also leaving millions of people below a social boundary, below which lies unacceptable human deprivation.
International summits have a tendency to over-promise and under-deliver. But at Rio+20, we must address the fact that our current model of development is neither working for people nor for the planet that is our home. If every person on Earth lived the high-consumption lifestyle of the average Irish person, we would need the resources of 3.5 planets to meet their wants.
It is clear that we need new thinking about how we use, and how we distribute, the Earth’s finite resources.
The choice we have is not whether we want to change our model of development, but what kind of change we opt for. “Rio+20” is a chance for us to choose, rather than accept, the future we will inherit. – Yours, etc,