This is my third day at the UN Conference on Climate Change in the beautiful island of Bali….. Listening to one distinguished speaker after another, my conviction gets stronger that the solution to Global Warming and Climate Change lies not in this Conference Hall. It lies not with Governments and Government Officials – but lies in the hands of the people of the world, the commoners like you and me.
Just think of the sheer amount of money being spent on this conference, both by the host country, my country, as well as the delegates, the participating states, and the Non-Governmental Organizations, the Media…. Amazing, but also distressing. We are trying to find solutions to Climate Change caused by Global Warming, but the energy and money being wasted here during the conference may only cause more Global Warming.
Not to speak of some of our environment-ignorant delegates polluting the air around the conference grounds with their cigarette smoke. Now, what do we expect of them? Even the Event Organizers and the Hotel Management are not really concerned if the toilets are dirty.
Kyoto Protocol has failed or perhaps failing if one is a bit more optimistic about it. Clean Development Mechanism developed by large corporations in the developed countries is but another way of terming Expensive Technology that must be bought by the developing countries. The Transfer of Knowledge is not free. No free lunches in the world where even drinking water is fast becoming scarce and expensive.
Global Warming is not a Political Issue. So, it is very funny indeed to hear our politicians’ debate over it. Climate Change is also not an issue for our Economists, who are trying to connect the solutions with so called economic growth, progress and development.
What growth, what progress, what development?
In spite of its unparallel beauty and tranquility, here in Bali we have 7 to 10 suicides every month. Even in the developed, rich and prosperous Scandinavian Countries, the suicide rate is still quite high.
In the Name of Growth and Progress,
We have not only Abused Mother Nature,
but also Caused Much Depression
to All Her Children!
At the end of the day, all growth, progress and development would mean nothing if human beings are still unhappy and living in misery. The question is: How happy are we?
But, that is another story.
I have written about that elsewhere (Please refer to my articles in www.aumkar.org, and “Be Happy!” a book in Indonesian to be released in January 2008). Very briefly, according to the findings of Foradoksi (Forum of Educators, Doctors and Psychologists), about 94% of Indonesians suffer from some kind of depression. We are a nation of depressed people.
The Businessman turned Minister is depressed for he is unable to perform effectively. His business and ministerial duties are in conflict. The Artist turned Official is depressed, for he knows not how to deal artistically with his corrupt officials. The Industrialists and Businessmen are depressed over the red tapes and lengthy and expensive procedures. Even our students are depressed over the national examination and other issues. And, our professionals in all fields are at a complete loss. They do not know how to measure success. Or, whether what they consider as success is really a success.
So, let us not expect any solution from our conferencing officials, politicians, economists, and representatives of large corporations. It is the people of the world that must unite and work in unison, to find solutions.
The solutions are to be found within the Being of Human….. Indeed, it is in “Being Human” that we can ever find the solutions….. It is right here, within you and me, within our core essence – our Humanness!
Check on Your Needs – Let Go of Your Wants!
West must learn to live simply; East must stick to its simplicity. If East is to imitate the West, as is the case now, then as Mahatma Gandhi once warned us, East will turn into Neo Imperialist. East with its huge population will need many more colonies than was once needed by the West.
Our own National Icon of Education, Ki Hajar Dewantara did warn us too, “If we do not let go of western way of living, we shall never ever be free!” His words are as true today as they were decades ago.
The consumptive way of living that is termed “modern”, has benefited not the populace but the large corporations which are getting richer and richer. The ordinary citizens live in debt, and on debt from the banks owned by those corporations.
The Great Soul, Gandhi once said that there was enough in this world for everyone’s need but not for a single person’s greed. In the past, greed led the business houses in the west to move eastwards and colonize us. The trend has not changed much. History bears witness to the conspiracies of large corporations in starting and ending the wars – even in financing the conflicting sides.
We, the People of this World must
“Unite” and Say “No”
to the Atrocities Committed by the New Rulers
Trying to Rule Our World and Our Lives.
Unto that end, even the Good Offices of United Nations must awake and recommit itself to its August and Noble Role as the True Representative of All Nations, and not of Governments. The present Secretary General of United Nations, I believe is capable of leading the Organization unto that goal by freeing it from the shackles of large corporations which are holding even the governments and the people of the so called rich and developed nations as hostages, by controlling their banks and finances.
All kinds of treaties and agreements and environment friendly technologies will not mean anything, if our conscience is not awakened. It is this very conscience that we must first work with.
I am reminded of the closing remarks made by Mr. Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in his Statement for the Opening Session on the 3rd of December:
“I Wish You Vision,
I Wish You Compassion and I Wish You Wisdom.”
Vision, Compassion and Wisdom – yes, these are our needs. Alas, until the 3rd day of the conference these needs have not been adequately addressed to.
So, what do we do?
We work on these needs ourselves…..
My country needs a clear vision of its place in the world today, and of-course its contribution to the world. In the past, we have shared our wealth and resources with the entire world. Indeed, we are still doing that. But, more than that, we have our Cultural Heritage and our Living Culture to share. We have our Values to share – the age old values which are still relevant today, the values of:
Simplicity and of Living in Harmony
with Mother Nature.
My country needs to show more Compassion toward those who have just seen the dawn of civilization. When the West was still living in the caves, and the Middle East in the tents, we were already building castles. Indeed, we were exporting our spices to as far away places as Madagascar in Africa, using our own ships.
Unto that end, my country must rise to educate the West in the values of Simple Living and High Thinking. My country must take up the role of an elder brother to advise the west on the ills of the consumptive way of living that they have adopted.
And, above all, my country must have the Wisdom to differentiate between what is right for us and what is not. We should not be against modernity and modern values. We should adopt all such values which are right for us. At the same time, we should also not fanatically cling to all of the old traditions if they are not right.
This Climate Change Issue can be turned into
an Opportunity to Unite Us All in Love,
Compassion and Mutual Understanding.
Let us not waste this opportunity. Let each of us awake to our destinies and roles in bringing the world together. Indeed, this Togetherness alone is the Solution.
By becoming less consumptive, the West can help the East to grow more naturally, humanly and rationally. The economists certainly cannot see this point. The politicians may also fail to understand it. But, that is natural…. For Life is not all economy and politic.
Life is All about Nature,
and Living in Harmony with the Nature
is the Only Solution to Climate Change.