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Development: Challenges and Limits

Publié le: ven. 16/09/2022, 23:20

Many still admire the sight of skyscrapers in the major cities of developed countries. The photo above is an illustration of it.

The development of a handful of nations jeopardizes the future of all the others. Ph.: Getty Images/iStockphoto

When you think about it, these are just stacks of concrete that are true mega polluting centers that, contrary to appearances, are not synonymous with “well-being” and not environmental-friendly. In spite of everything, these types of pictures are proudly displayed in photo albums of tourists from all over the world to capture what is wrongly considered as best practice model for cities in less developed countries.

 

Similarly, we are all familiar with the satellite images of our planet taken at night, as illustrated above, in which we clearly distinguish big cities and agglomerations of developed countries all illuminated, in contrast to the total darkness everywhere else corresponding to the Third World, to use this jargon considered until recently as politically correct. These images have become cliché and never leave anyone indifferent as they are perceived as a stock of the levels of development among countries around the world. Intuitively, many consider that the most advanced countries are all illuminated and by inference, all those in the dark are underdeveloped. This type of assessment, synonymous with a hierarchical ranking of countries, has a rather obvious connotation: Developed countries are champions and therefore models to follow. 



However, the problem with these two clichés is that these developed countries considered as models to follow are the very ones that massively contribute to the end of our planet through development pressure resulting in unsustainable CO2 emissions. This is an obvious obstacle to the sustainability for our planet. As stated in one of my previous articles, global warming (caused by the largest polluting countries) crossed in 2021 the 400 parts per million (ppm) threshold of CO2 in the atmosphere and corresponding to the point of no return as this value will no longer decrease. In other words, we produce much more carbon than the planet can absorb, and that much reduced absorption capacity will never be enough going forward. That said, our salvation now depends solely on our willingness to push the end of our existence as far as possible by continuing our efforts to reduce carbon emissions by slowing economic growth.


These photos therefore translate anything other than what was originally intended. They represent the geo-tracking of the sources of global warming, real cancer for our planet.  


Largely hidden in international fora, the issue of sovereignty is closely linked to the concept of development. The link comes from the fact that the development of a handful of nations endangers the future of all others and even worse, without any implication of the latter.   


So the question is: is this development, synonymous with the destruction of our planet, really the way to go? Is development really enviable? Are we fatalists? Do we really want to commit suicide?   


It is clear that the question has already been raised in various forms at various fora and on many platforms but it is clear that it is not forthcoming in view of the obvious indifference of the polluting countries which are pursuing their development in an unbridled manner. In addition, the whole lot of lagging countries that cling to it despite everything and tirelessly deeming to have merit because of their status as “developing countries”.


Let us be clear: every nation aspires to development in the socio-economic sense. It is not a question here of advocating any abdication of the Third World in the race for development but rather of taking a step back and becoming aware of the real issue we are facing. However, we must ask ourselves the question: Should we develop at the expense of the sustainability of our planet and thus going against our own existence?


Perhaps by taking the right measure of things and especially by gaining confidence in challenging the merits of development, the global addiction to pollution will be alleviated and a real will to tackle the issue of global warming will be established and particularly in the biggest polluters. Let dare to dream.


By Alassane Ndiaye

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