Saturday, October 13, 2007

'The inconvenient truth' by 'the inconvenient leader'

For those who haven't heard about it, next monday (October 15th) is the 'Blog Action Day', and the chosen subject for this year's is THE ENVIRONMENT. As many (if not most of you) are aware of, this could be called the year of the environment issue, and the recently awarded Nobel peace prize to Al Gore is the last of the facts pointing this out. He has been the leader of this newly re-empowered environmental debate, and started this monothematic year with his film "An inconvenient truth" and the Oscar it was awarded. This debate is gaining speed and power like a hurricane travelling in the pacific, and Al was smart enough to position himself leading the debate rather than being swalowed into it (as every politician in campaign in the next month will be).

Fact: The word's climate is changing. Cientists all over the world will give you reliable data on this (it is not my intention to fill this bloog with numbers, so I will not produce any data on it, but rather show you an starting point to read about it. And there's no better place to start such an investigation as the Wikipedia). And human intervention has been probably the most important factor for this change, so human intervention (and that means EVERY individual) must help to stop it.

Fact: Al Gore is a succesful bussiness man and a successful politician. And a man whose opinions about environment and his support of the environmentalist lobbies in the U.S. (mutual support, I must point) is not recent. And he has helped to raise the issue.

Then why do I call him the 'inconvenient leader'? First of all I want to make public my own position about this: We can (and we must) do more for the environment. Politicians and leaders of the world should consider it a first-priority and do their part (lead). But Al Gore is a worldwide kwnow man. With his help the issue reached the Oscars and a popularity it couldn't have reached on its own. But once such thing happened, there is an unavoidable risk of making a public enterteinment ot of it. Once the issue reached the first page of newspapers, the public demanded more. And there are lots of journalists working everyday all around the world. And now we know how much electricity Al Gore's house consumes. And his bussiness. And how much more than the american average that represents. And people raises and debates if he should run for president of the U.S. (I find it particulary funny to use an India's news site to show this: this discussion is now REALLY gone world wide, but there's others - by the way, how many of you believe this was casual and Gore himself didn't want this to happen, that he was asked to be back to active politics? I still have my own mind to male). And .... oh jeezz! We forgot the facts!!! We almost forgot about the environment, for a while!!!!!

There's other side of this: We've let a politician LEAD the discussion. That's fine. But we've also let a politician teach us the facts. And that's not so fine. Because he is a great communicator (or his team of co-workers is, don't forget politicians get a lot of help to build their public face), but a not-so-great science man. And he distorted the facts so they look sexier. Also, he is a politician, so he has enemies. In his own party and in every other party. And so this turns into a public fight on 'whose speech is more beautifull'. And also it doesn't help to the issue, because in the world of 'proffessional politics' the truth behind what's said is less important than 'how true and impressive what I say looks'. And everybody knows that, so a lot of importance is taken away from it.

So I think it is fine for politicians to be part of the debate, since they are the public's voice. But it is inconvenient for the issue itself to have them 'creating' and 'moderating' the debate, specially in an issue like the environment which needs everybody behind and pushing, not half the people pushing against the other half. He is inconvenient for the debate. He is inconvenient for the issue. He might even hurt both the debate and the issue. The bad news is that there's no way back. So all we can (and must) do is try to keep the issue on his trails. Don't rush to Mr. Gore's defense. Just rush to the earth's defense. Rush to keep the debate alive, but the REAL debate. Forget that the circus came to town. Because when the circus leaves, and the lights go out and the microphones are lent to some other folk that looks nice on screen, it is us who will remain. And there will still be a lot of work to do.


Please alow me to introduce a side note. I don't want to conclude my intervention without saying this: I do not agree with the chosen subject for this year's Blog Action Day. I think environment is an important issue but there are more important ones. Environment protection is a First World concern, most of the rest of the world is more concerned by survival, feeding everybody or cutting their strangling economic ties with the first world so they can build a prosper economy and start concerning by the future of the world instead of the future of themselves or their children. But sorry, I forgot: Blogs are written in the self-called 'First World'. And read in the 'Frist World'. So let's get involved. And let's not think if what we choose to care about is what the world needs us (urges us) to care about. Solidarity should start by finding what others need of us.

1 comment:

Ragna said...

I can't disagree more with your conclusion.

Environment change is not only a FW issue. Climatic changes do not create a proper environment for the economics and survival of the third world country.

The first effect of the climatic changes that we are getting is a more unpredictable and destructive nature. Floods, hurricanes, storms...