RECOMMENDED reading: a new United Nations synthesis of several major past scientific assessments of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. The year-long effort was led by two leading experts and long-time friends, Ivar Baste of Norway and Sir Robert Watson of the United Kingdom.
The report’s title, “Making Peace with Nature” (at bit.ly/UNEP-UNEA), is striking. Normally one imagines a battle involving two formidable adversaries. But, as many Texans freezing in the dark this week could testify, the might of humankind doesn’t hold a candle to that of Mother Earth.
To quote a Conservation International public service commercial, in which actress Julia Roberts gave voice to Mother Nature: “How you choose to live each day, whether you regard me or disregard me, doesn’t really matter to me. One way or other, your actions will determine your fate, not mine. I am nature. I will go on. I am prepared to evolve. Are you?”
To emphasise the new report’s importance, it was launched personally by UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, and UN Environment Programme executive director Inger Andersen.