The Earth is us. It is the only ship we have and it expresses our collective value. It is the sign we leave to our children. Observing the health of our planet is like seeing a freeze-frame of what we have chosen to be (the past), what we are today (the present), and what we can become (the future). The earth is our icon because it represents the memory, meaning and orientation for all of us.
1958 is the year in which the planet began to make its question for humanity even more explicit as Charles David Keeling, a geochemist from Pennsylvania, made the first measurement of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere from the top of the Mauna Loa volcano in the Hawaii Islands. Since that day, every year the results are marked on the indicator bearing his name (the "Keeling curve") that calls all men and women to their responsibility and their role in the world.
In 61 years we have gone from 315.3 to well over 400 parts of CO2 per million by volume (ppmv). The Earth's global temperature has risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1880 (NASA 2019). At this rate, a rise between 2.8 and 5.6 degrees Celsius could occur over the next 85 years. This would mean food shortages and droughts, flooding of coastal areas and a tenfold increase in the frequency of extreme events compared to 2010. According to the latest report by the IPCC, the UN climate panel, if emissions are not drastically reduced within 11 years, we will not be able to keep the increase in the Earth's temperature to within two degrees, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, a threshold that threatens the very survival of the human species.
What can we do for our planet and our future? This is the question we must answer today in order to guarantee a future for our children and the very survival of the human species. We are all involved, because the current emergency - which is climatic but also health-related, economic and social - is the projection of what each of us chooses to be within ourselves: the earth is the mirror of our inner world.
With the permanent 21 Minutes Future project, Fondazione Patrizio Paoletti aims to contribute to achieving the "Sustainable Development Goals" contained in United Nations 2030 Agenda. From the fight against climate change (13) to the promotion of responsible consumption and production (12), from the defeat of poverty (1) to the reduction of inequalities (10), from the construction of sustainable cities and communities (11) to the promotion of start-ups and innovative businesses (9), from the guarantee of quality education (4) to the promotion of health and well-being (3).