2012: set up an ideal, a dream, and a plan for movements
- 05 January 2012
By Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group
(January 5, 2012)
2012 sneaked in without being noticed. Although some media sources published stories on the terrifying '2012 Doomsday' before the turn of the year, most fears and concerns now seem to have faded away. In fact, the prophecy has become a target of mockery more often than not, and it no longer triggers the apprehension of our future that it used to when the movie '2012' first came out.
These faded worries could have resulted from the natural decaying of memories over time, or be due to the realization of helplessness in any such event. Still, many people have failed to entirely wipe out 2012's worrying shadow.
Fears were largely reinforced because 2011 was a year of catastrophes, with one striking after another. Natural disasters took place more frequently, wreaking havoc on the economy and humanity. Global greenhouse gas emissions escalated ceaselessly, rather than declining as was hoped. 2011 was yet another ‘warm year’ as we witnessed ever-rising temperatures.
I revisited these negative thoughts on the first day of 2012, when I paid a visit to my very environmentally-conscious Mother. During my stay she repeatedly brought up much-discussed climate issues, particularly complaining about the horrifying scenery of our torn-down earth, as mankind continues ‘digging’ and ‘destroying’ the environment. Her theory is probably the most simplified: the earth is being tortured to such an extent that its spirit has been severely impaired. Interestingly, she says that this impairment is being reflected on human beings via a variety of abnormal symptoms and diseases; people’s lives are being shortened, with a significant drop in general happiness. She says that there is only one way out: mankind must immediately reduce, and even halt its damage on the earth, and start to make up for its former destruction. Only by enabling the earth to self-restore and self-repair can our destiny improve.
Just like my Mother, in 2012, human beings will naturally continue worrying about the future of our species, and of the earth. So it stands that 2012 must be the year for humankind's greater awareness and bolder movements. The United Nations Conference on sustainable development, Rio+20, will be another milestone on this historic path. At Rio, the global society will be mobilized to increase awareness and take climate action.
What is your blueprint for 2012? Have you formalized your own worries - and more importantly - your plans?
My first suggestion is to set up an ideal plan, a dream if you will, for urgent movement. Imagine the consequences of Martin Luther King's ‘I have a dream’ speech, if he had revised the topic to ‘I have a nightmare’! We must set up an ideal that is closely related with our future, because we live in such an imperfect world. And we must lay down a plausible plan for movement, because it will take great efforts to make these dreams come true.
In light of this ambition, the project, Guide to Sustaina, in which The Climate Group's Greater China office plays a role, has come into effect. It is a brilliant beginning. The world in 2020 that people aspire for, 'Sustainia 2020', which a number of institutions drafted, is not far away. The blueprints established in Sustainia are plausible, because human beings must come together to construct the means and plans for a better future.
What we are lacking in 2012 is a shared ideal, a shared dream, and shared movements.
I pray and hope wholeheartedly that 2012 will be a year for the better!