Havel writes

Everybody’s favorite playwrite/dissident/statesman is being a wise moral force again. Vaclav Havel has weighed in on the whole environmental thing. He doesn’t offer any specific policy solutions- instead he fairly and succinctly restates the problem in terms that not many others are using.

The planet (systems, cycles, and all) is in a constant state of flux- many not convinced of global warming use this fact as “proof” that since the weather/topography/nature always changes, its changing now isn’t a big deal. Pass the coal-burning plants, we’re good. Havel makes the eloquent point that just because the planet loves to change, doesn’t mean that those changes we’re seeing now won’t kill us. It is an eloquent point because Havel is not preaching doomsday- he is pointing out an opportunity, a moral choice that we must make.

We will either achieve an awareness of our place in the living and life-giving organism of our planet, or we will face the threat that our evolutionary journey may be set back thousands or even millions of years. That is why we must take this issue very seriously and see it as a challenge to behave responsibly and not as a harbinger of the end of the world.

Read this article in small chunks to catch all the meaning behind his few words- he’s assuming that we’re going to flesh his reasoning out with a lot of details that are already known and unnecessary to rehash. He’s saying volumes beyond the “take personal responsibility”. The bit in the middle, about moral considerations- that’s absolutely crucial. This struggle is about moral and ethical decisions, not government policies or economic factors- despite what the bulk of coverage on “the environmental problem” is. It’s not an environmental problem- the death of species aside- it’s our problem.

Less conceptually, I’ll be posting a photo of my lunchbox next time. Until then, Havel nice day.

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3 Responses to “Havel writes”


  1. 1 Callous September 27, 2007 at 9:40 am

    While it is correct to assume that the changes we are faced provide opportunity to create moral and ethical choices, we must not completely ignore the moral and ethical progress that would be made should we do nothing. We may not be setting back our evolutionary and social progress, but rather enhancing them through technological and innovation.

    It is a fundamental fact that mankind, as a species, has shown its remarkable intellect when there is a crisis that the mind may completely focus upon in order to solve. Thus many technological breakthroughs are often discovered in times of war, so that the object causing the crisis may be destroyed. We have not reached the critical stage of necessarily changing the habits that are “possibly” causing damage on a global scale.

    Therefore it is logically consistent that should the environment be somehow damaged by humankind we will almost certainly deal with situations where the few clean natural resources available(drinking water, farm able land, ect.) will be the source of conflict among the survivors. Thus technological innovation is a certainty because either through hostile action taking these resources away from those who own them, which will in turn lead to countermeasures being developed in order to maintain what is already owned. This arms race of technological majesty can only be equaled to the newly established orders within such societies. New codes of honor, religion, and societal behaviors will be established hearkening to a new social patterns.

    This of course ignores the societal and technological advancements of those who are able to adapt and thrive within the new toxic environment; thus not needing clean resources in order to survive. The possibilities this presents can only be imagined by the most talented of writers of not too science fiction.

    We owe it to these not yet developed societies to provide a chance for them to be created, and then flourish. To do otherwise would consist of aborting an entire cultures before they had a chance to come to term. Thus we see our true moral and ethical dilemma, should we decide to be selfish and maintain the world we have, or should we determine to to give birth to a new and wondrous world of technological and societal possibilities.

  2. 2 virescent September 28, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    No matter what we do in this situation, we’ll be giving birth to new technologies and social orders. No worries, though, I bet at least some of them will eventually contain mutants.

  3. 3 Jaynee October 1, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Havel nice day? Sheesh! Until this evening, I didn’t REALLY believe you had a corny bone in your body. I be wrong.

    Hugs!


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