Files of the week

Environmental Sciences

Many branches of science have opened up gaps in the worldviews that have guided us until now. Instead of frightening us, this knowledge propels our understanding of complex systems to another level and ultimately leads us to reconsider our relationship with nature. The climate provides a good example of a complex system whose thousands of parameters influence each other. In all fields of life sciences, the frequency of discoveries continues to increase.

All ideas such as "our genetic code is immutable" or that "nature is at our service" are being challenged; breaking free of fixed ideas seems urgent. Being aware and not ignorant always opens perspectives. Of course, one can use knowledge in a positive or negative way, but it will still be better than considering oneself as the plaything of forces beyond oneself. Knowledge comes with responsibility just as ignorance comes with oppression and misery. Free will can only be exercised if one possesses both strength and intelligence.

Ecosystems are complex, with human activity taking place at all levels: underground, on the land, on the seas, in the atmosphere, and even in space. There are not many places left where human industry is not active. On an industrial scale, the effects are collective and far-reaching. These effects influence all ecosystems, and responses to the problems caused can only come from the same level. Simple, "individual action" solutions are only appropriate for simple problems.

Our value, including humanity's, is determined by what we bring to others and others' by what they bring to us. We begin to understand what each living thing brings to the whole and wonder what humans really bring to the ecosystem on which we depend. Do we really understand it? The International Year of Basic Science for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD2022) proposes that we get to grips with this and so does Thot Cursus.

Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]

Illustration: Montage - DepositPhotos - sergio77 and Mvelishchuk

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