Capitalism is Responsible for Environmental Deterioration

ORFILIO PELÁEZ

Capitalism cannot regulate, let alone solve the world crisis it has unleashed, especially the ecological one, since doing so requires putting some limits to the accumulation of wealth, and that option is unacceptable for a system whose currency is to grow or to die.

These were the words of Ismael Clark, president of the Cuban Academy of Science, during a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 2nd International Colloquium of the University of Havana, with the presence of Cuban Minister of Culture Abel Prieto Jimenez.

Clark said that with the expansion of the industrial Revolution and the growing demand for energy, the environment started to be seen as another component of economic wealth for the development of capitalism. This has led to acute environmental deterioration characterized by indiscriminate deforestation, pollution, and the loss of biodiversity, which experts consider to be the worst consequence due to its magnitude and irreversibility.

Clark also said that back in Marti’s day, he warned of the dangers that the indiscriminate human aggression towards nature could bring about, and cited: “A treeless region is poor, a treeless city is unhealthy, a treeless portion of land will have scarce rain.”

Clark also pointed out that nowadays scientific ethics are facing the challenge of searching for approaches in correspondence with the basic needs, and which also improve the human condition and wellbeing.

Some other speakers during the act were Dr. Armando Hart Dávalos, president of the Organizing Committee of the event; Herman Van Hoff, director of the Regional Office of Culture for Latin America and the Caribbean and official of UNESCO to Cuba; Gustavo Cobreiro, rector of the University of Havana; and Gustavo Robreño, executive coordinator of this Colloquium.

Also attending the Colloquium were nuerous delegates and guest personalities to the forum, relatives of the five Cuban Heroes unjustly imprisoned in US jails, and members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Cuba.

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