The Union of Scientists Committed to Society and Nature of Latin America (UCCSNAL) shares the global concern about the COVID-19 pandemic that is hitting humanity.
Declaration of the Union of Scientists committed to the Society and Nature of Latin America in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We view with concern the suffering of indigenous peoples, prison populations, migrants, impoverished, undernourished social groups and living in unsanitary conditions, which are being decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic Our condition as scientists forces us to reflect on this situation from the various causes that originated it, which are interrelated and point to the current production model, which plunges the vast majority of the population into poverty, while destroying the common goods of the planet at an accelerated rate.
From the perspective of Worthy Science, we expressly criticize mercantile science devoid of its humanitarian character. There are plenty of examples of the use of scientific development for war purposes or conceived to satisfy the dark ambitions of power groups that dominate the world without the slightest ethics, putting at risk all expressions of life on the planet.
Scientific discoveries and technological development had and still have the power to impose on society and the environment, modifications that cause irreversible and permanent damage. Such is the case of the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture that spread irresponsibly without evaluating the consequences that their large-scale implementation would entail. Decades later, the results of that experiment have been a profit of billions of dollars for multinational agribusiness companies and, in return, have caused an environmental catastrophe of such magnitude in the invaded countries that the victims of pollution and territorial exclusion number in the millions. A suffering that is distilled like a nightmare, since the consequences of genetic manipulation are unpredictable and extend even to future generations.
The interdependent relationships that exist between all beings and processes on Earth are ignored or despised by those who make up the intricate network of economic interests at the service of power elites. This pandemic is demonstrating once again that certain imbalances constitute limiting conditions against which life cannot be sustained. The current situation would indicate that we could have reached one of those limits: a turning point in the evolution of human beings on the planet. The COVID-19 pandemic could be just one of its manifestations.
We point out the systemic nature of the current health crisis. A crisis resulting from the socio-environmental degradation driven by world capitalism. The pandemic has exposed the aberrant social inequity and forces us to reflect on the consumption model promoted by the propaganda of the mass media. The collapse of health systems in almost all the countries of the world is the first indicator of the obsolescence of the current civilizational paradigm. The rates of contagion and the lethality of the disease have exposed the global health crisis incubated by neoliberalism.
It is evident that the exit from the social, economic, environmental and political crisis that is already looming in Latin America will be an opportunity to reconfigure the current civilizational model, giving visibility and relevance to paths that are already being traveled: new forms of organization, new ways of produce and consume, decentralized, small-scale but assembled in larger networks. This new order does not lack philosophical support since it is illuminated by the paradigm of Good Living recovered as a precious seed of the Knowledge of the Native Peoples. Organizations of family, peasant and indigenous agriculture, associations of the social and popular economy, and urban groups and similar institutions are increasingly incorporated into these modes of production, they are essential actors in the transformation of food systems, and the basis of a new mode of horizontal and solidarity relationships
We must strengthen these grassroots networks, strengthen them, multiply them, because they are the support of new ways of facing crises, but also new scenarios of social relations and with nature that are emerging as alternatives to the logic of market consumerism. We are also aware that globalized capital will seek that the "return to normality" implies the deepening of neoliberalism, extractivism, inequalities and social control. We reaffirm that this path can only lead us as humanity to a socio-environmental disaster with no return.
From the Dignified Science approach, the crisis unleashed by COVID-19 is an opportunity for academics, thinkers and social referents of the various social, community and neighborhood organizations to interact by overcoming the distances that historically separated us. time to open a debate in the scientific community about the responsibility of hegemonic science in this crisis and its inability to face this type of situation. We call for reflection on what science we should do in the countries of our region and we invite you to think about the themes and purposes of a science based on the people and respectful of nature, interdisciplinary and in dialogue with the communities and popular knowledge, oriented to the development of new knowledge that integrates the socio-environmental dimension and is projected in cooperation scenarios to solve the serious problems that afflict humanity.
It is essential to critically analyze the scientific policies that, together with the corporations, promote, without any social debate, the introduction of new disruptive technologies whose impacts are unpredictable, such as gene editing, the 5G network, geoengineering, biology developments. synthetic, experimental vaccines and nanotechnology, among others.
Reflection on this issue has been installed in society. This crisis highlights the close relationship between health and the environment and reveals the role of the agro-industrial production model as responsible for the destruction of ecosystems, with all the socio-environmental consequences that this destruction brings. In this context, the production and consumption of foods of plant origin impregnated with agro-toxic poisons, as well as those that come from animals raised in crowded conditions, are being questioned, a production modality that is deeply linked to the production of transgenic seeds . At the same time, ideas and discussions about the ecosystem and civilizational crisis of globalized capitalism are generalizing, which explains the conditions in which emerging viruses - and other evils - spread in human populations.
This crisis, at the same time that it has shown the fragility of life and the precariousness of health systems to face the health emergency, has also allowed us to observe the recovery of the environment in many parts of the world thanks to the confinement and paralysis of the productive machinery.
In this scenario, we are sure and sure that we are a little closer to a new stage in which the paradigm of Worthy Science has much to contribute. A strong commitment to a Science at the service of society and nature will give the opportunity to value and strengthen the enormous intellectual and ethical potential that undoubtedly roots and flourishes in new generations of scientists.