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And the World for All

And the World for All

If, to minimize the risk of leaving it in the hands of Brazilians,
the US wants to internationalize the Amazon, we should
internationalize the US’ nuclear arsenals. They demonstrated they are
capable of using these arms, causing destruction thousands
of times greater than the burnings in the forests of Brazil.
By Cristovam Buarque

Durante debate recente, nos Estados Unidos, fui questionado sobre o que pensava da
internacionalização da Amazônia. O jovem introduziu sua pergunta dizendo que esperava a
resposta de um humanista e não de um brasileiro. Foi a primeira vez que um debatedor
determinou a ótica humanista como o ponto de partida para uma resposta minha.

De fato,
como brasileiro eu simplesmente falaria contra a internacionalização da Amazônia. Por
mais que nossos governos não tenham o devido cuidado com esse patrimônio, ele é nosso.

Respondi que, como humanista, sentindo o risco da degradação ambiental que sofre a
Amazônia, podia imaginar a sua internacionalização, como também de tudo o mais que tem
importância para a Humanidade.

Se a Amazônia, sob uma ótica humanista, deve ser internacionalizada,
internacionalizemos também as reservas de petróleo do mundo inteiro. O petróleo é tão
importante para o bem-estar da humanidade quanto a Amazônia para o nosso futuro. Apesar
disso, os donos das reservas sentem-se no direito de aumentar ou diminuir a extração de
petróleo e subir ou não o seu preço. Os ricos do mundo sentem-se no direito de queimar
esse imenso patrimônio da Humanidade.

Da mesma forma, o capital financeiro dos países ricos deveria ser internacionalizado.
Se a Amazônia é uma reserva para todos os seres humanos, ela não pode ser queimada pela
vontade de um dono, ou de um país. Queimar a Amazônia é tão grave quanto o desemprego
provocado pelas decisões arbitrárias dos especuladores globais. Não podemos deixar que
as reservas financeiras sirvam para queimar países inteiros na volúpia da especulação.

Antes mesmo da Amazônia, eu gostaria de ver a internacionalização de todos os
grandes museus do mundo. O Louvre não deve pertencer apenas à França.

Cada museu do mundo é guardião das mais belas peças produzidas pelo gênio humano.
Não se pode deixar que esse patrimônio cultural, como o patrimônio natural amazônico,
seja manipulado e destruído pelo gosto de um proprietário ou de um país. Não faz
muito, um milionário japonês, decidiu enterrar com ele um quadro de um grande mestre.
Antes disso, aquele quadro deveria ter sido internacionalizado.

Durante o encontro em que recebi a pergunta, as Nações Unidas reuniam o Fórum do
Milênio, mas alguns presidentes de países tiveram dificuldades em comparecer por
constrangimentos na fronteira dos EUA. Por isso, eu disse que Nova York, como sede das
Nações Unidas, deveria ser internacionalizada. Pelo menos Manhattan deveria pertencer a
toda a Humanidade. Assim como Paris, Veneza, Roma, Londres, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília,
Recife, cada cidade, com sua beleza específica, sua história do mundo, deveria pertencer
ao mundo inteiro.

Se os EUA querem internacionalizar a Amazônia, pelo risco de deixá-la nas mãos de
brasileiros, internacionalizemos todos os arsenais nucleares dos EUA. Até porque eles já
demonstraram que são capazes de usar essas armas, provocando uma destruição milhares de
vezes maior do que as lamentáveis queimadas feitas nas florestas do Brasil.

Nos seus debates, os atuais candidatos à presidência dos EUA têm defendido a idéia
de internacionalizar as reservas florestais do mundo em troca da dívida. Comecemos usando
essa dívida para garantir que cada criança do mundo tenha possibilidade de ir à escola.
Internacionalizemos as crianças tratando-as, todas elas, não importando o pais onde
nasceram, como patrimônio que merece cuidados do mundo inteiro. Ainda mais do que merece
a Amazônia.

Quando os dirigentes tratarem as crianças pobres do mundo como um patrimônio da
Humanidade, eles não deixarão que elas trabalhem quando deveriam estudar; que morram
quando deveriam viver.

Como humanista, aceito defender a internacionalização do mundo. Mas, enquanto o mundo
me tratar como brasileiro, lutarei para que a Amazônia seja nossa. Só nossa.

Cristovam Buarque (cbuarque@brnet.com.br)
is an economics professor at the University of Brasília, Brazil, and the founder of the
Missão Criança, an NGO dedicated to keeping the world’s poor children in school. He was
the Workers’ Party governor of the Federal District of Brasília from 1995 to 1998. This
article was originally published as "O mundo para todos" on October 23, 2000, in
O Globo (Rio de Janeiro).

During a recent panel discussion in the United States, I was asked what I thought about
the idea of internationalizing the Amazon Rain Forest. The young man who asked this
question began by saying that he wanted me to answer as a humanist and not as a Brazilian.
This was the first time that anyone has ever stipulated a humanistic perspective as the
point of departure when asking me a question.

In point of fact, as a Brazilian I would
always argue against the internationalization of the Amazon Rain Forest. Even though our
government has not given this patrimony the care that it deserves, it is ours.

I replied that, as a humanist who fears the risks posed by the environmental
degradation that the Amazon is suffering, I could imagine its internationalization, just
as I could imagine the internationalization of everything else of importance to humanity.

If, from a humanist perspective, the Amazon must be internationalized, we should also
internationalize the entire world’s petroleum reserves. Oil is just as important for the
well being of humanity as the Amazon is for our future. The owners of the reserves,
however, feel that they have the right to increase or decrease the amount of oil
production, as well as to increase or lower the price per barrel. The rich of the world
feel that they have the right to burn up this immense patrimony of humanity.

In much the same way, the wealthy countries’ financial capital should be
internationalized. Since the Amazon Rain Forest is a reserve for all human beings, an
owner or a country must not be allowed to burn it up. The burning of the Amazon is as
serious a problem as the unemployment caused by the arbitrary decisions made by global
speculators. We cannot permit the use of financial reserves to burn up entire countries in
the frenzy of speculation.

Before we internationalize the Amazon, I would like to see the internationalization of
all the world’s great museums. The Louvre should not belong merely to France.

The world’s museums are guardians of the most beautiful pieces of art produced by the
human genius. We cannot let this cultural patrimony, like the natural patrimony of the
Amazon, be manipulated and destroyed by the whims of an owner or a country. A short time
ago a Japanese millionaire decided to be buried with a painting by a great artist. Before
this could happen, that painting should have been internationalized.

While I was at the meeting during which I was asked about internationalizing the Amazon
Rain Forest, the United Nations convened the Millennium Summit, but some presidents of
countries had difficulties in attending due to U.S. border-crossing constraints. Because
of this, I said that New York, as the headquarters of the United Nations, should have been
internationalized. The city, or at least Manhattan, should belong to all humanity. As
should Paris, Venice, Rome, London, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Recife—each city, with
its unique beauty, its history of the world, should belong to the entire world.

If, to minimize the risk of leaving it in the hands of Brazilians, the United States
wants to internationalize the Amazon Rain Forest, we should internationalize the United
States’ nuclear arsenals. If only because the country has already demonstrated that it is
capable of using these arms, causing destruction thousands of times greater than the
deplorable burnings done in the forests of Brazil.

In their debates, the United States presidential candidates have defended the idea of
internationalizing the world’s forest reserves in exchange for debt relief. We should
begin by using this debt to guarantee that each child in the world has the opportunity to
go to school. We should internationalize the children, treating them, all of them, no
matter their country of birth, as patrimony that deserves to be cared for by the entire
world. Even more than the Amazon deserves to be cared for.

When the world’s leaders begin to treat the poor children of the world as a patrimony
of humanity, they will not let children work when they should be studying, die when they
should be living.

As a humanist, I agree to defend the internationalization of the world. But, as long as
the world treats me as a Brazilian, I will fight for the Amazon Rain Forest to remain
ours. Ours alone.

Translated by Linda Jerome (LinJerome@cs.com)

 

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