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"There is no vaccine to save the planet"

by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020 at 12:22 PM

In the Arctic, 2020 has seen exceptional warmth, with temperatures more than 3 degrees Celsius above average - and more than 5 degrees in northern Siberia. Arctic sea ice in October was the lowest on record - and now re-freezing has been the slowest on record. Greenland ice has continued its long-term decline.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks to the conscience of mankind© UNO

Guterres: "There is no vaccine to save the planet"

[This article published on Dec 2, 2020 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

UN Secretary General António Guterres denounces the "suicidal war" of human beings against the planet.

In a keynote speech on the "state of the planet", the UN Secretary General does not mince his words. The British BBC has already published extracts from his speech of today, December 2.

In the following Infosperber translates some original quotes by Antonio Guterres into German:

Five past twelve

"Our planet is broken. We face a 'moment of truth'."

"We must reduce global emissions by 45 percent of 2010 levels by 2030."

In concrete terms...

"Every country, city, financial institution and company should develop and adopt a plan for a transition to net zero emissions by 2050".

"Fossil fuel subsidies must be abolished."

"Income taxes should be reduced, and in return, the polluter should pay."


"We must reconcile with nature and declare a permanent ceasefire."

"Nature always strikes back, and with increasing force and anger."

"Help those around the world who are already facing the terrible effects of climate change."

"There is no vaccine to save the planet."


And here are original quotes in English:

To put it simply, the state of the planet is broken. Dear friends,

Humanity is waging war on nature.

This is suicidal.

Nature always strikes back -- and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes.

Deserts are spreading.

Wetlands are being lost.

Every year, we lose 10 million hectares of forests.

Oceans are overfished -- and choking with plastic waste. The carbon dioxide they absorb is acidifying the seas.

Coral reefs are bleached and dying.

Air and water pollution are killing 9 million people annually - more than six times the current toll of the pandemic.

And with people and livestock encroaching further into animal habitats and disrupting wild spaces, we could see more viruses and other disease-causing agents jump from animals to humans.

Let's not forget that 75 per cent of new and emerging human infectious diseases are zoonotic.

Today, two new authoritative reports from the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program spell out how close we are to climate catastrophe.

2020 is on track to be one of the three warmest years on record globally - even with the cooling effect of this year's La Nina.

The past decade was the hottest in human history. Ocean heat is at record levels.

This year, more than 80 per cent of the world's oceans experienced marine heatwaves.

In the Arctic, 2020 has seen exceptional warmth, with temperatures more than 3 degrees Celsius above average - and more than 5 degrees in northern Siberia.

Arctic sea ice in October was the lowest on record - and now re-freezing has been the slowest on record. Greenland ice has continued its long-term decline, losing an average of 278 gigatons a year.

Permafrost is melting and so releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Apocalyptic fires and floods, cyclones and hurricanes are increasingly the new normal.

The North Atlantic hurricane season has seen 30 storms, more than double the long-term average and breaking the record for a full season.

Central America is still reeling from two back-to-back hurricanes, part of the most intense period for such storms in recent years.

Last year such disasters cost the world 0 billion.

COVID-19 lockdowns have temporarily reduced emissions and pollution.

But carbon dioxide levels are still at record highs - and rising.

In 2019, carbon dioxide levels reached 148 per cent of pre-industrial levels.

In 2020, the upward trend has continued despite the pandemic.

Methane soared even higher - to 260 per cent.

Nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas but also a gas that harms the ozone layer, has escalated by 123 per cent.

Meanwhile, climate policies have yet to rise to the challenge.

Emissions are 62 per cent higher now than when international climate negotiations began in 1990.

Every tenth of a degree of warming matters.

Today, we are at 1.2 degrees of warming and already witnessing unprecedented climate extremes and volatility in every region and on every continent.

We are headed for a thundering temperature rise of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius this century.

The science is crystal clear: to limit temperature rise to 1.5-degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the world needs to decrease fossil fuel production by roughly 6 per cent every year between now and 2030.

Instead, the world is going in the opposite direction - planning an annual increase of 2 per cent.

The fallout of the assault on our planet is impeding our efforts to eliminate poverty and imperiling food security.


Infosperber-DOSSIER: Critical analysis of climate policy

UN Secretary General António Guterres denounces the "suicidal war" of humans against the planet.

6 opinions

It is gratifying that this insight exists and is communicated at the highest UN level.

But the most important demand is missing: Mankind must reduce itself to half within the next 50 years. It will not survive with 8 billion and certainly not with 12 billion.

Walter Schenk, on 02 December 2020 at 14:37

So, "we must". Every year, 20,000 participants jet to the annual "climate summit", and the trend is rising. Double standards?

Tim Meier, on 04 December 2020 at 09:03 a.m.


Believe that you have effectively found the most important starting point ("most important request is missing") in view of these facts:

Per year 1 billion cattle, 700 million pigs, 800 million sheep and about 20 billion chickens are fattened (!) with a quantity of grain that would feed 20 billion (!) people.

With resources the same: For us per capita easily 20 times what the poorest consume. Bigger cars, constantly new furniture, smartphones, clothes etc. - We will not let ourselves be deprived of such "basic rights", for this we take ruthless action ...

Pollution/destruction, the same:

The (globally) richest 10% (630 million) were responsible for more than half (52%) of the CO2 emissions from 1990 to 2015. The richest 1% (63 million) alone consumed 15%. The poorer half of the world's population (50%, about 3 billion), however, only 7%.

It is said: Whoever points his index finger at others ("they have too many children") has four fingers on himself.

And right, that's where the problem lies!

But continue to propagate your 'insights' beautifully, loudly, and above all repeatedly, repeatedly. Your friends, neighbors, children, etc., since they hear nothing else, will then express these 'insights' to you ... and so together they have then created truth. ... Then you have finished the steak, drive back to your house by car to do some shopping on the internet ... and (further) go dreaming.

Stephan Kühne, on 04 December 2020 at 15:32


Yes, I'm sure! If we, the "predatory ape man" (Durrenmatt), reduce to 4 billion, then only half of your numbers are needed. Elephant and Siberian tiger will then have room again. When I was born, we were 4 billion. There was meat at most once a week and we were among your decent "poorer" ones. Greens and vegetarians were not yet known.

Walter Schenk, on 05 December 2020 at 15:47

We already know where the journey is going: google 'Guidestones of Georgia' and read article 1! Only the creator of the world has a word to say... "First of all, it comes differently, secondly when you think".

René Lütold, on 08 December 2020 at 11:03 a.m.


If, instead of just repeating yourself, you had taken the trouble to make a simple two-sentence calculation, you might find that your simple (thinking) formula does not work, i.e. it contains a blatant "hole".

You have to deal with the implication of this theorem:

"The (globally) richest 10% (630 million) were responsible for more than half (52%) of CO2 emissions from 1990 to 2015". It is roughly the same with resource extraction, consumption and thus the destruction of our planet.


10% richest people (630 million) are responsible for about 50% of CO2 emissions (or destruction of the planet).

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