(From Dur­ban, Of Nearly Ev­ery­thing)

The Diplomatic Insight - - Environment - *Anis H. Ba­jrek­tare­vic

From Copen­hagen to Dur­ban, the con­clu­sion re­mains the same: We need prin­ci­ples and ac­corded ac­tions as this is the on­ly­way to tackle the grave prob­lems of this planet. We are lack­ing the el­e­men­tary con­sen­sus in the Bret­ton Woods in­sti­tu­tions, on the WTO Doha De­vel­op­ment round, on a nu­clear non-pro­lif­er­a­tion (and NPT), in the IPCC, on the post-Ky­oto ne­go­ti­a­tions, and fi­nally on the alarm­ing state of en­vi­ron­ment. Ergo, on a global scale we fun­da­men­tally dis­agree on re­al­i­ties of this planet and the ways we can ad­dress them. I am nei­ther mor­al­iz­ing nor ide­al­iz­ing. The world based on agreed prin­ci­ples and com­monly will­ing ac­tion is not a bet­ter place. It is the on­ly­way for the hu­man race to sur­vive. Al­ready some years ago, I noted in my writ­ings (and in my lec­tures) that the con­fronta­tional nos­tal­gia and aca­demic in­er­tia keeps re­cy­cling the Cold-War rhetoric, al­though the Soviet Union has dis­ap­peared from the geopo­lit­i­cal map over two decades ago. Hence, if th­ese prac­ti­tion­ers and thinkers are so fas­ci­nated with the sim­pli­fiedei­ther withus,or­a­gain­s­tus log­ics let's keep it then! Ad­justed to re­flect our to­day's re­al­i­ties (or as the grandWiz of the EU, Jac­ques Monet used to say: ify­ouhavean un­solv­able dilemma en­large the con­text), it would state as fol­lows: ei­ther your so­cio-eco­nomic and politico-mil­i­tary poli­cies and prac­tices are for this planet and the very sur­vival of hu­man race or you are against the planet and ev­ery form of life in­hab­it­ing it. What we have re­cently wit­nessed in MENA and else­where is highly dis­turb­ing and rather dis­cour­ag­ing: as if the con­fronta­tional nos­tal­gia, per­pet­u­ated by the in­tense com­pe­ti­tion over fi­nite re­sources, in lieu of a real, far-reach­ing pol­icy-mak­ing has pre­vailed again. We falsely be­lieved, through­out the 20th cen­tury, that the nu­clear holo­caust will put an end to the en­tire hu­man race. No! It will be a slow, nearly-un­no­ticed, grad­ual but steady con­struc­tion of the global gas cham­ber (filled by the green-house gas emis­sions). The way we ex­tract, pro­duce, trans­port, dis­trib­ute and con­sume, the way we keep all this run­ning on a blind obe­di­ence to hy­dro­car­bons, and fi­nally the way how we do re­flect, con­tem­plate and study on all that, inevitably takes us right into the en­vi­ron­men­tal holo­caust. Has the hu­man race al­ready passed the point of no re­turn of its sur­vival? Frankly, we do not know! Very sin­cerely, we do not care! In ev­ery OECD coun­try, an or­di­nary plumber (with just a few years of for­mal ed­u­ca­tion and of no ex­pec­ta­tion pres­sure) is of a con­sid­er­ably bet­ter in­come then the univer­sity pro­fes­sor or the hos­pi­tal doc­tor with the higher med­i­cal spe­cial­iza­tion (both of the huge so­ci­etal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and both with over two decades of stud­ies through the rig­or­ous se­lec­tions). Per av­er­age, the bank clerk (with un­der- or Matura level) of any bank­ing en­tity in the EU states earns 14 to 16 salaries an­nu­ally (ba­si­cally, cre­at­ing no new value for the so­ci­ety), but is nearly per def­i­ni­tion pro­tected by a life-long em­ploy­ment con­tract. At the same time, the ma­jor­ity of the EU dou­ble-PhD top re­searchers (per def­i­ni­tion, cre­at­ing a new value for the so­ci­ety) have com­pa­ra­bly lower to­tal an­nual pay, and many of them are just happy to win 2 to 5 years re­search con­tract with the­murky hope that the fund­ing might be ex­tended. Nearly all football play­ers in the Eu­ro­pean PremierLeague as well as the For­mula I driv­ers (es­sen­tially the mod­ern age glad­i­a­tors, usu­ally with a lit­tle to no for­mal ed­u­ca­tion what­so­ever) have in­di­vid­u­ally higher yearly in­come than the many key re­search in­sti­tutes in the OECD states can af­ford an­nu­ally to spend. Be­sides the su­per­fi­cial entertainment (en­veloped in the ova­tions of masses on a brink of col­lec­tive or­gasmà la Mus­solini pa­rades), it is ac­tu­ally a tri­umph of bru­tal com­pe­ti­tion or com­pet­ing bru­tal­ity (football) and a mas­sive ex­haus­tion of hy­dro­car­bons (For­mula I) what added value do they create to be so dis­pro­por­tion­ately over­paid? Some may con­tra-ar­gue by stat­ing that the present-day football cel­e­brates the sports and a healthy life though the tri­umph of the phys­i­cal strength of a sports­man. The An­tique Greece has cel­e­brated its ath­letes, and nearly wor­shiped the con­testers and win­ners of theGames pay­ing a trib­ute to the all-mightyO­lym­pus. Equally, the old Greeks largely en­cour­aged and cel­e­brated, pro­moted and (fi­nan­cially) sup­ported its philoso­phers and sci­en­tists. It was the age when the con­scious­ness blos­somed, wis­dom flour­ished and knowl­edge tri­umphed the the­o­ret­i­cal ba­sis of all es­sen­tial tech­no­log­i­cal break­throughs, that oc­curred in the course of sub­se­quent cen­turies up to nowa­days, are in fact orig­i­nat­ing from the An­cient Ea­gan world. Ergo, the Clas­sic times knew about the im­por­tant equi­lib­rium be­tween an in­tel­lect and hu­man body. Mod­ern Age has for­got­ten, dis­re­garded, aban­doned, be­trayed and tac­itly ridiculed this evo­lu­tion­ary wis­dom. There is no a sin­gle peer-re­viewed in­ter­na­tional jour­nal that has pub­lished even one sci­en­tific ar­ti­cle in last 30 years which re­ports on fac­tual ev­i­dences that any or­ganic (ma­rine and con­ti­nen­tal biota) or in­or­ganic (soil, glaciers, wa­ter, po­lar caps, etc) sys­tem is do­ing bet­ter on this planet. There has not been a sin­gle RE or UN re­port in last 30 years that cred­i­bly de­nies a wor­ry­ing in­crease in sever­ity and fre­quency of “nat­u­ral” catas­tro­phes world­wide. Fi­nally, there is not a sin­gle in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nizedmed­i­cal jour­nal that has not been con­stantly re­port­ing on an alarm­ing in­crease in skin-can­cers, res­pi­ra­tory and al­lergy re­lated dis­eases for the past 30 years. We are drift­ing, dis­solv­ing and re­treat­ing on all lev­els and within each and ev­ery or­ganic or in­or­ganic sys­tem. For the grave, burn­ing plan­e­tary prob­lems, our hu­man race needs an ur­gent and last­ing con­sen­sus which pre­sup­poses brav­ery, virtue, vi­sion and cre­ativ­ity. All this will not result from fear of co­er­cion, or from fur­ther mil­i­tary (nu­clear) con­fronta­tions, but from the uni­ver­sally shared will­ing­ness to ac­cord our com­mon plan­e­tary cause.

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