We know how much societies, from the primitive, regardless of the time in which they occur, to the most sophisticated, with a high degree of use of science and technology, depend on the resources of nature to meet their needs.
The form of appropriation of natural wealth may differ from one society to another, in historical time and in geographical space, which may determine its exhaustion, arising from the relations between society and nature, both for one and the other. another.
True, in the past, because of the greater quantity of natural resources available and the lower consumption demand, due to the smaller amount of population, many natural wealth seemed inexhaustible.
Who could have guessed that the “full” Brazilian Atlantic Forest, avidly exploited by Europeans as of the sixteenth century, could one day be so threatened with disappearance? The same is true of many water resources, used indiscriminately and often even inadequately in various parts of the globe.
Many generations in Brazil were educated to think that our natural resources would never end. Proud of the prominent position that we occupy worldwide in relation to territorial dimensions, water and forest potential, they acted as if this were enough to fatalistically reach the status of world power, something inevitable.
The perilous idea of ”predestined power,” based on the abundance of earth’s resources, removed us from historical criticism by compensating for the “natural paradise” granted. Interestingly, while the flags of all nations that became independent in the nineteenth century contained political idealizations, ours was the only one to contain only expressions of natural wealth such as forests, sky and gold.
Many phrases of effect have been created in order to show the privileges that our country has, because there are no natural catastrophes typical of other parts of the world, such as earthquakes and hurricanes. The idea of ”blessed land” was sung by many and even risked the joke that “God is Brazilian.”
Finally, in the face of undeniably true facts, such as the abundance of some natural potentialities, the exuberance of tropicality, the geological and geographical conditions that benefit us, we forget to take proper care of what belongs to us, of the rational construction of our history.
In fact, this attitude is not typical of Brazil alone. It characterizes all the regions of the planet where there was. initially, unrestrained exploitation of natural resources without any planning, on behalf of only financial results.
In developed countries, where in the past there have been inadequate use of certain resources, such as river water, with a preservationist vision and technical intervention, many of these reserves have been recovered. One of the most cited examples internationally for this case is the River Thames in London, which was recovered after much affected by the release of pollutants in its waters, used improperly as sewage.
The regions most affected by the nefarious and devastating action on the goods of nature are the underdeveloped ones. In them, the lack of legislation to curb criminal acts, besides the lack of inspection for many environmental crimes, exposes the assets of nature to a situation of extreme vulnerability.
In addition, economic action continues to govern acts of aggression against nature, even with the technical knowledge that this can lead many regions of the planet to chaos.
Fortunately, the democratization of information and the alarms that have been given about resource depletion at world and local scales put the world in readiness and concern for some situations that our planet experiences.
There has never been so much talk about the need for change of vision in relation to the use of the resources available on the planet. There has never been so much talk about scarcity and the rational use of any kind of resource.
Today, all over the world, there are exits to avoid waste, whatever the product. The general and technical guidance is the appropriate use, with moderation, recycling and reuse.
In fact, the idea that we have inexhaustible sources of resources is a myth. This becomes clear especially when we study the issues that characterize Brazil, since we already have five centuries of history that show us the exhaustion of resources.
One can no longer look at the future believing that our planet is a magic box that will supply us, with abundance, of all our needs, endlessly.
What is becoming increasingly evident is that populations urgently need to adopt two complementary procedures: the first, preserving and the second, not wasting .
It is interesting to note that education seems to be the basis for any public policy adopted in this direction to take effect, since both aggression to nature and waste of resources are present in all social strata regardless of the economic condition of the people.
Education can not only guide through theoretical and practical knowledge but, above all, raise awareness of collective needs, to the view that the planet Earth is everyone’s home, regardless of frontiers, religion, ideology and economic interests and politicians.