- Camilla Toulmin, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development
The Asahi Glass Foundation | “The Blue Planet Prize laureates jointly presented a paper titled “Environment and Development Challenges: The Imperative to Act” at the 12th UNEP Governing Council meeting in the year 2012 when the Prize celebrates its twentieth anniversary.”
It seems there is, perhaps under the radar, a consensus about some of the biggest challenges of our day - who is it? It is going to involve pointing the finger at ourselves. This comes from a debate (or blame game) about who should take the lead - private industry, governments, NGOs, no one? Again I am reminded of another article about public opinion and it’s relation to (responsibility to address?) the larger issues we are facing. “Civic engagement”, a phrase from my undergrad comes to mind. Public will to push for R&D, public will to push for solutions to the global (and domestic) economic troubles. Public will, perhaps as this latest article states, to move people towards a more enlightened perspective about the consequences of our interactions; towards conceiving a sustainable future…
[QUOTE]… said Thomas Dietz, assistant vice president for environmental research at Michigan State University. (SOURCE)
Information plays a much smaller role than we like to think, Dietz explained. In order to truly address big issues like climate change or sustainability, we need to talk at a society-wide scale about our values and reach mutual understanding about the values needed for sustainability.
“However, we don’t like to talk about our values or feelings, because it threatens our personal identity.”
Engaging the public
Treating nature as an object, separate and distinct from us, is part of the problem, said Sacha Kagan, sociologist at Leuphana University in Germany. The current environmental crisis results from technological thinking and a fear of complexity that science alone cannot help us with, Kagan said.
The objectification of the natural world began during the Age of Enlightenment about 300 years ago. People saw the world and their place in it in very different ways before that, said Robinson.
Today, he said, sustainability will not be achieved without “engaging people in numbers and at levels that have never been done before”.
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- Albert Einstein
[This great quote arose from my memory; it’s been so applicable to many of my deliberations as of late]