Comment at the Guardian
In response to a Guardian article, "Davos 07: the conversation starts here", by Georgina Henry, which a few days later I sent with added explanation to BBC Radio 4's Home Planet
Dear Home Planet team,
I have two questions which, motivated by an article by Georgina Henry in last Thursday's Guardian, I formulated to put to the participants at this year's Meeting of world leaders in Davos.
I don't think there is any chance of me getting a response from Davos, so I'm sending them to you in the hope that you will ponder them and give me and your other listeners the benefit of your responses. They are, I believe, important questions, which go to the heart of the "Sustainability Problem" in general and of global warming in particular.
1) What is the personal ecological footprint (e.g. annual carbon emissions) of every Davos participant.
2) If, as I suspect, their ecological footprints are many (perhaps 100 or more) times the size of a sustainable footprint, what do the participants have to say about it?
The purpose of my questions is to highlight the fact that world's economic and political leaders, whom we look to for solutions to the world's problems, are not in a position even to recognise them, because they themselves are a central part of the problem.
What applies in exemplarily fashion to the rich and powerful also applies to the rest of us: because we are completely immersed in, familiar with and dependent on the status quo, it is extremely difficult for us to recognise the extent to which we ourselves (not just our economy and lifestyles, but also many of the values, attitudes and aspirations which underlie them) ARE the problem.
Instead of turning away from this dilemma, which is what we generally do, I hope that you will at least attempt to face up to it.
I don't expect you to answer either of my questions, but if you can convey to your listeners how important and central they are, this will lead them towards recognizing the "root cause" of the "Sustainability Problem" and increase our chances of finding a solution.
My homepage: http://www.spaceship-earth.org