By K. P. Vlahodimos, for. Director General of CropLIfe International, Leadership coaching at www.optir.eu
Back in June 2009, on the opportunity of another global Conference on the environment in Copenhagen I published in the Diplomatic Periscope an article entitled “Saving the Planet, really?” (1).
Six years have passed and lots of water under the bridge. Humanity gathered more data and developed more knowledge about the complexities of the challenge. Humbly, continues to discover gigantic forces at work and its miniscule influence on the processes that dictate the lifespan of planet earth as well as the time horizon where these processes relate. Minute activity on the fringes of these processes are of relevance to humans. Gradually the scientific community sees the need to clarify the environmental challenge as far as to who does it relate to and what means are available to man to deal with it.
The Paris Conference communications drive continues to push for the “save the planet” motto and the good news is that this time the whole humanity is there. Yet, come to think of it, it is not the planet that is really under threat by what we observe as detrimental events but man and every form of life we know. All of us feel it more and more with natural phenomena around us deviating from normality.
It might appear that the communications motto creates some awareness about the challenge, but we believe it is inherently confusing to the individual and provides alibi to avenues of apathy, the last thing the Conference should be aiming at.
The signs are all around us about this risk of inaction, particularly in countries with poor environmental education, unstable political elites or major economic difficulties with weak civil society. Behind the formalities of participation at the conference, apathy in these societies persist as the individual does not feel threatened.
There is an urgent need to communicate to this simple individual around the globe that this Conference is about ensuring the environmental conditions to sustain his life and the life of all beings.
Perhaps more likely message should be “Protect and Develop the Environment for Life”