In the 21ST century, young engineers are not just heartbroken, but earthbroken as well. Can they fix the world?
Critique, a monthly literary and philosophical journal, released an issue early 2019 bearing the title “Living in a broken world”, led by Marielle Macé, Research Director at France's National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). But what exactly is a “broken world”?
A world where 60% of the planet's wild animals have disappeared within the space of 40 years, where 90% of the Earth's soils will be degraded through human activities by
2050 if no action is taken, where between 10,000 and 100,000 species disappear every year, where a town in the Arctic Circle has already recorded a 4°C temperature increase, where 143 million people may soon become climate migrants, and where people in some regions, such as China, are forced to pollinate by hand since all the pollinating insects have disappeared. In other words, that “broken world” is the world that we currently live in.
And what do we do when something is broken? We fix it! We ultimately come up with new practices and forge new alliances that are not specifically focused on our survival, but rather aimed at protecting life itself and curing the very aspects that make it so fragile. Basically, it might be preferable to rehabilitate this “broken world”, instead of trying to rebuild it.