We Only Have One Planet—Defending It Will Require Collective Measures

João Pedro Stedile

The Brazilian people and Latin Americans more generally are already suffering serious consequences from climate change and environmental crimes. The current destructive dimension of capitalism leads to far-reaching consequences. Millions of hectares of the Amazon and other biomes have experienced deforestation, been burned, and converted into agribusiness land every year. Agribusiness releases millions of litres of pesticides into the environment annually, poisoning the soil, water, and human beings. Mining is taking over vast territories, overexploiting mineral assets, with immense repercussions, including dam failures and contamination by heavy metals.

Climate change is already a reality. It has altered the conditions of food production across our continent. There are long periods of drought, as well as shorter periods without rain at decisive moments for what has been planted. Rain is concentrated and often associated with frosts and windstorms that destroymany crops. In cities, droughts turn into a water Activists, Indigenous people and youth from Fridays for Future Belém (Brazil) protest against the fires in crisis and concentrated rains lead to deaths and the destruction of homes and infrastructure, always disproportionately impacting the working class. Many popular and environmental leaders who defend their territories from this dynamic of exploitation are murdered. In short, we are living through a chaotic period, with worsening environmental living conditions.

We need to contribute to organising the working class, peasants, young people, women, students, religious people—in short, all working people—to carry out great mass mobilisations and fight in defence of our lives, the life of the planet, and the well-being of humanity. Time is short. Without mass struggle, there will be no change.


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