As the honorary speaker at an event celebrating fifty years of the conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Archbishop Desmond Tutu stated that overconsumption and obsession with economic growth were imperiling the global environment and leaving the poor behind.
“Our desire to consume everything of value, to extract every precious stone, every drop of oil and every creature from the sea knows no bounds. This quest for profit subverts our present and our future,” Tutu stated as reported by a WWF press release.
Known for decades as a champion of human rights, Desmond Tutu has won the Nobel Peace Prize and been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In his speech, the archbishop linked environmental degradation with global poverty.
“We are meant to live in a world which we share, and we are meant to live as members of one family. And yet whenever we look around, isn’t it devastating to see the inequities and levels of poverty? Our population is increasing; environmental degradation is increasing. How do we resolve these inequities when all we are told is growth, growth, growth?” he said during the ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland, the nation where WWF was born. Founded in 1961, WWF is one of the world’s biggest conservation organizations.
Desmond Tutu, one of the world’s most well-known Christian leaders, ended his message by stating that it was possible to provide for the human population sustainably.
“There is enough for everyone—but not enough for our greed. There’s enough for us all to live a full life—so why do we want to destroy the only home we have?” he asked.
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