Reflections by Comrade Fidel
A SPECIES IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION
Today I would have liked to speak about the extraordinary “Paz sin Fronteras” (Peace without Borders) Concert held at the José Martí Revolution Square 24 hours ago, but the stubborn reality forces me to write about a danger that threatens not just peace but the survival of our species.
The United Nations Organization, whose task is to safeguard the peace,
security and rights of almost 200 states that represent more than 6 thousand
500 million inhabitants on our planet, is about to begin the General Assembly
debates next Wednesday, with the participation of heads of states. This time,
on Tuesday September 22nd, given the exceptional importance of the
subject, it will dedicate a senior-level session on climate change as
preparation for the Copenhagen Conference to be held in
At the International Conference on the Environment called by the UN in
Rio de Janeiro, I stated as the then head of state of the Cuban state: “A
species is in danger of extinction: man”. When I uttered and backed up those
words, received and applauded by the heads of state in attendance –including
the president of the
Today we are dealing with a truly imminent danger and its effects are
already visible. I shall limit myself to
just a few details which shall be amply tackled in
Average temperatures have increased 0.8 degrees Centigrade since 1980
according to the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The last two decades of the twentieth century
were the warmest in hundreds of years.
The temperatures in
Current carbon dioxide concentrations have reached the equivalent of 380 parts per million, a figure surpassing the natural range of the last 650,000 years. The warming is already affecting the natural systems throughout the world. If this should occur it would be devastating for all peoples.
Scientists have discovered that no less than 3 billion years ago the
first basic life forms on planet Earth appeared. Since then, these same life forms have
evolved non-stop towards higher and more complex forms by virtue of the
inexorable laws of biology. Our current
species, Homo sapiens, has existed for barely 150 thousand years, an
insignificant fraction of time from the beginning of life. Even though the Greeks, hundreds of years
before our era, were already in possession of certain astronomical knowledge,
barely more than 500 years ago, after a long period of medieval darkness, Man
discovered that the Earth was round and not flat. An audacious Genovese admiral
with solid understanding proposed to sail eastward in search of
The human species could measure with sufficient precision the rotation of the Earth every 24 hours and its movement around the enormous incandescent mass of the Sun approximately every 365 days. These and other singular circumstances were associated with the existence and life for all species in existence at that time.
Since antiquity, the most advanced philosophers and thinkers have sought
social justice. In spite of this,
physical slavery legally lasted until 129 years ago at which time slavery was
abolished in the Spanish colony of
From my point of view, the Theory of Evolution as presented by
The other decisive contribution was Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity,
presented in1915, the source of much research following the death of its author
in April of 1955. Few persons have so
much influenced the future of the world as he did. Einstein persuaded
The accelerated pace of scientific research in all fields of material production and services, under the economic order imposed on the world following World War II, has led humanity towards an unsustainable situation.
It is our duty to demand the truth. The populations of all countries have the right to know the factors causing climate change and the current scientific possibilities to reverse the tendency, if indeed we still really have any.
The Cuban people, especially its magnificent youth, demonstrated yesterday that even in the midst of a brutal economic blockade, it is possible to overcome unimaginable obstacles.
Fidel Castro Ruz