Monday, November 24, 2008

The State of The Planet

Attended a talk on "the State of The Planet" on Monday 24 November at UniMAP by Prof [FH] Dr Anis Bajrektarevic, Professor and Chairperson in International Law/Global Political Studies at FK Krems, University of Applied Sciences, Austria.
Professor Bajrektarevic [a mouthful to pronounce but he was not worried if you can't pronounce well his surname], is a lawyer, a political scientist and passionate about sustainable development. He is a Bosnian. He used to be a diplomat and had traveled widely. At 45 he is far ahead of his peers, I dare say.
His approach on the subject is different. Instead of talking specifically on things like global warming, pollutions and regulations on the environment, he poured his heart out on ethics and values on what is happening to our mother earth. Very refreshing. It made you think critically! He started by narrating on the challenges of the 20th Century and brought you back and forth on the development of human civilizations since the known existence of mankind some 10,000 years ago. In less than 200 years, human beings have changed the face of the planet, altering the biosphere as if nothing else would matter. We became addicted to oil and other kinds of fuel extracted from the earth. We have released green house gases in great volume over that short span of time. Yes, we have polluted this world without thinking vertically. Yes, we are deep in our horizontal thinking only. We tend to forget the very reasons for being placed on this good planet.
We fought each other to survive, nope to be better than others. Wars, wars wars and more wars. We tend to adhere ourselves to science and technology so much so that they become the controller of our lives. We are the hostages of our own doings. He stressed that science can and must change! And if we can understand this simple axiom, we should be able to think more innovatively and holistically.
He talked on " anthropotechniques" - the conscious clustering of different experiences, knowledge, discoveries, patents and the like; its practical application in any human activity [including its horizontally and vertical transmission] aimed at acquiring for consumption in space and time by variety of tools and weaponry...I had a tough time trying to understand the concept though. But to understand the need for sustainable development, one will have to go back to this basic concept. One will have to understand why mankind clambers to maximise this anthropotechnical knowledge to maximise survival chances. As a result mankind resorts to self-interests by indulging in over scientific and consumeristic behaviourism. Therefore we tend to justify the conquest that we make against nature devoid of ethics.
To make any sense on sustainability paradigm, we must consciously subject ourselves to thinking vertically in the realm of ethics and values first. If not we will end up with talks and more talks and with no adherence to the volition to save this planet. We are in fact pushing the problems around and in the context of global warming, inventing systems like the CDM and carbon credits to exploit the poor nations more. We are not really addressing the problems at hand.
Meanwhile the carbon count has reached 385 ppm yesterday... increasing at the rate of 2ppm per annum. Do you know what that means?

3 comments:

anis said...

50,000 years of human technological history can be divided:
50,000 – 10,000 y. ago – low consumption (incl. energy) technology;
10,000 – 200 y. ago – medium consumption technology;
200 y. ago – nowadays – high consumption technology (industrial rev)

Oil is the world’s largest physical commodity (roughly 12% of world trade) !!

Future generation could divide human history far more simple:
Barbaric pre-technological age (50,000 – 200 y. ago);
Barbaric technological age (200 y. ago – up to end of XXI c.)
WHAT SHALL BE DONE BY US ?!
Our (consumption styles and) ability to manipulate attitudes, preferences & values tends to leads us to (socio-political & economic) systems THAT MAKE NO SENSE!). Dehumanizing & dissocializing effects of the over-scientific & consumeristic worldview – reduces us into (short-sighted) self-interests deprived from any vision and hope for future.
We can impose certain rules but obligation without social conscience makes no sense – therefore subject ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS:
ERGO: people must change their belief before they change their habits – therefore: we introduce this course to YOU !!!

Anonymous said...

50,000 years of human technological history can be divided:
50,000 – 10,000 y. ago – low consumption (incl. energy) technology;
10,000 – 200 y. ago – medium consumption technology;
200 y. ago – nowadays – high consumption technology (industrial rev)

Oil is the world’s largest physical commodity (roughly 12% of world trade) !!

Future generation could divide human history far more simple:
Barbaric pre-technological age (50,000 – 200 y. ago);
Barbaric technological age (200 y. ago – up to end of XXI c.)
WHAT SHALL BE DONE BY US ?!
Our (consumption styles and) ability to manipulate attitudes, preferences & values tends to leads us to (socio-political & economic) systems THAT MAKE NO SENSE!). Dehumanizing & dissocializing effects of the over-scientific & consumeristic worldview – reduces us into (short-sighted) self-interests deprived from any vision and hope for future.
We can impose certain rules but obligation without social conscience makes no sense – therefore subject ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS:
ERGO: people must change their belief before they change their habits – therefore: we introduce this course to YOU !!!

dinalorstar said...

Thank you Prof