We will all agree that climate, energy, and social emergencies are more worrisome than health. By rereading some recent reports from the United Nations and the Scientific Community, one can glimpse the growing threats looming in the not-too-distant future. The United Nations report “Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services” of IPBES-UN 2019, provides some data for reflection. For example, if the temperature of the earth rises one degree more between 2020 and 2030 (something that already seems more than evident), 1 million animal and plant species of the 8 million that populate the planet will be in serious danger of extinction and the Living conditions on earth for man will significantly complicate in much of its surface.
But there are other very impressive data that we get to know from time to time. For example, despite the Paris agreement with almost 200 signatories, to date only 5.2% of primary energy generation comes from renewable sources. Electric and plug-in cars currently only represent 2.6% of the world’s car fleet. In less than 70 years, we have gone from a generation of 10,000 million toe to 14,400 million and almost all of it has been achieved through polluting technologies of coal, oil or gas (although it must be said that a great effort has also been made here in optimization). As a result of all this, we have gone from 300 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere to 410 ppm in that period. This vicious circle, also due to transportation, causes 9 out of 10 inhabitants to breathe polluted air, which generates 5 million deaths a year, a figure not as well-known as those who died from Covid (1.6 million as of the date of this article).
The concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the resulting increase in temperature is thawing the Siberian permafrost and the ice at both poles. This causes, on the one hand, the acidification of the sea and, on the other, that greenhouse effect emissions increase exponentially, accelerating global warming ahead of the most recent and less optimistic forecasts, for which we observe, for example, astonished at the appearance of a low-lying mammoth below that ice sheet with no less than 10,000 years old. These combined effects caused losses of close to USD 100 billion due to meteorological causes last year alone (hurricanes, typhoons, drought, fires, etc.) but could reach 270 billion if we increase that extra degree.
The meltwater that penetrates the oceans modifies currents, changing the climate and preventing marine fauna from locating their natural fishing grounds, and many gregarious species get lost and end up stranded without explanation. For example, the 3,000 sea lion pups that appeared lifeless two months ago on the beaches of South Africa or the 470 whales that ran aground in Australia’s Macquarie Harbour also two months ago.
We also have 150 million tons of plastics in the oceans that become micro-plastics, many toxic, that fish and marine mammals ingest by mistake, and that pass into our food chain with consequences that have not yet been fully clarified by the scientific community. Each year this figure increases by another 20 or 25 million tons. As a result of all this, 75% of the land surface and 66% of the marine area is seriously affected by human action (40% more than just 50 years ago).
Of course, there are also some surprising data on the increase in social inequalities. The first relevant data is that in 120 years we have gone from 1,100 million inhabitants to 7,700 million with two world wars in between. In other words, we have multiplied the world population by 7. If nothing changes, in 2,030 we will be 9,000 million and at the end of the century 15,000 million. This is directly unsustainable. The earth’s resources are not enough to withstand a pressure of these characteristics. Do not ask me how to fix it.
Another fact. Only 2,157 billionaires control the equivalent of 60% of the world’s GDP. You will agree with me that this is not very fair either. Half of the world population, that is 3.350 million people live on less than 5.5 USD a day. This is $ 2,000 a year. Try to survive with those resources. As a result, 10,000 people die a day due to not having access to medical services. This is another 3.6 million deaths a year that are not paid much attention either. In addition, 262 million children are out of school and probably working at ages when they would have to be at other things, so the future for them is not very promising. Climate change has exacerbated inequalities. An estimated 250 million more poor people in the immediate future is expected, food insecurity, difficulty of access to safe water sources, migratory movements with thousands of displaced people, etc.
When 25,000 migrants arrive at our borders in boats, we put our hands to our heads, but there are 5,000 million who survive on less than 15 USD a day (between 1,000-6,000 USD / year).
Finally let us talk about natural resources. Critical minerals such as Zirconium, Lithium, Palladium, Platinum, Rhodium, Titanium, Manganese and Chromium are overexploited and could become extinct or cause great commercial tensions in less than 50 years.
This is the photo, and this is the reality, as harsh as it may seem. What can we do? It is evident that everything has to be rethought, our relationship with nature, with animals and with other human beings must be modified. Nature has always put man at the centre of the universe. Biodiversity is a protective shell that in its surprising balance allows man to provide himself with everything he needs to survive, also protecting him against diseases and providing natural solutions to almost all his problems. If man unbalances Nature by his predatory action, he becomes a pathogen and then Nature could rebalance itself in his own way …
At this point, it is necessary to stop proposing solutions on paper that are not implemented later. We must act and act fast. Inaction is no longer an option. Families, companies, and governments have to change their habits and undertake radical actions aimed at Sustainability without wasting time.
We have launched a Collaborative Ecosystem for Rapid Sustainability Actions (Qi Arrow). Expert consultants have joined in all dimensions of Sustainability to propose concrete and immediate actions and at the same time agreements have been signed with engineering and eco-transformer companies to enter the projects and undertake changes as soon as possible. The Platform offers an Interim Sustainability Manager to support the Management Team in these transformations during the necessary period of time. At the same time, a team of grants, subsidies and risk capital has been put together to minimize economic costs and a media company has been included to publicize the measures adopted. Consultants are autonomous experts in their areas of activity who are evaluated by the end customer in such a way that they will end up being classified by reputation just like the eco-transformers (or external companies that implement the solutions).
Today we launch these services that you can find at www.qiarrow.com/ecosystem . I also enclose a descriptive diptych of our way of working. If you are interested in collaborating, please write to us through the website (consultants, eco-transformers or clients). Periodically at Qi Arrow we will report on the actions undertaken.
Juan de Blas Pombo Qi Arrow CEO