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Climate Summit Needs New Philosophy Of Humanity For Solution

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By Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava *

Only waiting moments remain when the new summit on climate change will start under the auspices of UNO. This is a welcome step, since the days of Stockholm conference on sustainable development in 1972 , the world has changed much albeit with reference to environment it has detoriated. The new summit is therefore much relevant because if it fails to mitigate the climate problems , world is likely to doom.

Many efforts have been undertaken in previous time but they could not produce any substantial and lasting result due to individualistic approach of the nation states. The countries looked to themselves. They approached to a global issue from the national perspective. That was the root cause of the less positive productivity of any talks, consequently their resultant implementation was not up to the potential.

They traded charges on each other. The industrialized countries contributed most in global warming but they blamed the developing countries for the emission saying that they were contributing more and will do so due to their efforts to attain a good standard life. The developing countries including the major ones China and India on the other hand blame that developed – industarlised ones that they have contributed most since the days of industarlisation, hence they must commit themselves to reduce the GHG.
The approach of both group is purely governed by the national interest. In the world of diplomacy the concept of national interest allow the nation states to accumulate the maximum power , in case need arises, concerned country may take recourse to war.

It appears when the approach is governed by national interest , how is it possible that an acceptable agreement may emerge? The moot point is that climate change and associated problems have been recognized by the nation states as the global problems but they seek the solution from the national perspective.

This is in fact rooted in the environmental diplomacy of almost all the nation states. No difference exists between the developed and the developing countries on this issue. The climate change for these nations have become an issue which can be negotiated only by protecting the national interest. This is an unethical view and makes all the talks irrelevant. The countries fail to understand that it is their own citizens which will be affected too, hence it is not a problem of one country but it is the problem of all the countries, hence they must develop new philosophical edifice for taking the right decision and taking the right position in the climate negotiations.

This understanding emphasies that not the national interest but the global interests should be treated as more influential . The approach to climate negotiations therefore demand that not the individualism but cooperativeness should be the basis of the negotiations, not the nation but the globe, should be the focus of negotiation, moreover not to look the problem in narrow terms but in the widest possible terms it must be looked upon . Climate talks can not be successful unless such approach is emphasized by all ones , developed and developing both. They need to realize that impacts of climate change will be experienced by all because nature does know the national boundaries, the hot waves of one place will travel everywhere in this biosphere. The danger is on biosphere not on the nation states which are delimited by political boundaries.

The other potent factor which has prevented the climate negotiations to reach to a comprehensive solution relates to the countries ‘desire for unlimited growth’. There is no limit to their resource consumption and desire for leading a good life. They have defined quality of life as life with lavishness and resource appropriation for the personal benefits. This thinking has limited their decision making process to act in right direction.

This is the serious most negative point of the capitalism. Capitalism does not limit but promotes the consumption at the individual level. There is no sharing, no cooperation among the people but individual satisfaction is targeted. This philosophy destroys the basis of this planet that resources are limited and needs to be utilized with wisdom.

The resources like fertile land, air, water and the biggest one the healthy biospheric ecosystem are self balanced. They can not fight the human desires because they helped this earth to cause the origin of life by stablising and balancing everything. The primitive atmosphere was reducing due to hydrogen with very high temperature up to 60000 Celsius , there was no life. Life originated when atmosphere turned oxidizing with Oxygen gas and temperature falling too down. That created a balance and after a long time of physio-chemical process the life was originated. That was the result of a balanced environment. The thoughts of maximization as prevailing among developed and developing countries, that we must maintain or increase the growth of quality of life has caused the disturbances. The nation states must understand that greed induced consumption and lavish living will doom all.

They must also understand that planet earth is responsibility of all, hence they must come out from the narrow thinking of the national interest, they must also understand that capitalism is good to an extent. The unlimited growth affecting the resources has no future. It will cause the end of civilization in the way as happened with the Indus valley civilization of Indian subcontinent. Today none knows how did so much flourishing, affluent and well organized civilization come to an end.

History is great teacher. The leaders of today must learn the message and chart the right path otherwise planet earth will move towards disaster with no point of return, we are at the middle of the climate crisis. Its impact are visible everywhere but we ignore, thinking that ignorance is bliss.

Human has no above authority. They think that are owner of this planet. They are therefore guardian of it too as none other can take care of this living land but human beings themselves.

* Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava is presently Assistant Professor in CSJM Kanpur University [affiliated college], Vice Chairman CSSP, recent paper “Why Pakistan’s army stands to gain from political turmoil”, 18th September, East Asia Forum, Australia, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[Source: Countercurrents.org]

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