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Antal Miklós: Kapcsolatban… - TEDxDanubia 2010

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... ... Who do you think you are? Do you think you' re God? That u can exploit me to the core? There has to come an end to this! Does it ring a bell, doesn't it? The star actors of the Green-circle of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics performed a quite common scene. It has become a painful experience of many, that in case we don't feed a relationship, it can decay, if we don't take care of it it can reach to a pont where things are irreversible. Today out of the annual 35 - 40 000 marriages 24 - 25 000 ends up in divorce. There is another relationship, which is in similar situation regarding the importance and the depht of the crisis Although in this relationship we don't vow eternal fidelity, this bond is surely unbreakable. This is namely the bond with our environment, with the nature. Divorce - in this relationship - might be better in this way - is not an option to consider. Our existing depends on the way the systems of our environment are working, and it is more and more clear that also the existence of our environmental system is depending on us. This relationship however has come to a dramatical crisis in the past decades. These days we have altered the surface of our Earth in an incredible way. We have cleared out rainforests to give space for our plantations, we have dried out wetlands, broken up grasslands or grazed so much that it led to desertification and in the meantime people took more and more distance from nature and has built artificial worlds for themselves. The building and operating of these worlds took enormous quantity of material to move. Today in case of most of the elements in the periodic table the flow of materials are not any more defined by natural processes but by people-driven processes. We have disturbed the carbon-cycle due to deforestation, which caused the global-warming. Various forms of human intruding or as these protesting people call it, the attacks commited against the Earth, these crimes cause that we are near to the sixth big extinction period in the history of the Earth, as we could see in the previous movie. After such periods of extinction circumstances of life do fundamentally change for all species, typically in a negative way. No wonder that from the members of the University Grren Circle to the coordinators of the UN Environmental projects we all emphasize: "There has to come an end to this" The question is: what lead us here? Do we want to destroy our relationships? Do we want to destroy our relationship with the Earth? I don't think so. This story rather reminds us of a bad marriage. We don't understand namely, in what kind of relationship we are living. We don't understand the relationship in which we are participating, and therefore our original motive leads us to a negative result. It is very much likely that in case of our relationship with the envronment since ancient times our behaviour is determined by the persuit of security. The ancient civilizations wanted to reach this by obeying spiritual rules and they insist: "if we fulfill the wish of the gods, the tribe will survive." Their environmental management has been easy this way. "This forest is taboo, it is God' s forest, the one who enters must die." The current world works in a different way. Our civilization is devided, it is organized upon economical basis. Hence the primary conditions of security - according to many - is obtaining power and money. Many think that this has already been obtained and that we are independent from the environmental processes, that we gained that security, so nothing else matters than the last two factors: power and money. But is it really so? This is the question. The answer is very obvious. On one part of the world there is such hunger raging that human beings are robbing the prey of wild leos in order to survive. This is a very obvious and direct form of being vulnerable to the environment. Whereas on other parts of the world we see other types of being dependent on the environment. In order to maintain the lifestyle of the western civilization the maximum exploitation of the environmental resources is inevitable, and this assumes that there are stable environmental systems in the background. Indeed, but we are threatening this stability, and this endangeres the security which we inicially wanted to persue. Thus, the question is weather these things are inevitable or is there any other option to do things differently. I would like to give an answer and for this I would like to use our knowledge gathered on the field of human relationships to see which strategies and conclusions can be drawn if it comes to caring about our environmental relationships. There are fundamental similarities between these relationships. Both are in constant change. We can see both constant positive and negative changes in both cases, so the conflict is inevitable. In both cases we need to aim some kind of dinamic balance so that no negative tendency can come forward. For this however, we need to take constant care of this relationship, we need to monitor what is going on, we need be attentive if it comes to the mood of people in our surrounding and be sensitive to the most important indicators of our environment. But this is not easy. Going forward I will highlight three problems making this task difficult. On the one hand, many times we are only facing the consequences of a certain problem. All of a sudden we see that our girlfriend or wife behaves in an unusual way and we really don't like it. Many many times we need to think about it, what happened, why she is like this, what is the matter?! Then we realize it, oh, gosh, today is her birthday, and I forgot to wish her....then probably we can get the problem fixed. At least we can ease the consequences. The relationship with our environment works in a very similar way. If we see for instance, that a male frog is copulating with another male frog..... we need to stand still for a moment and think: "what is the reason for this, cause normally this is not really happening in nature." If we realize that this is the effect of a pesticide in the background, the effect of a chemical which if we use just in a very very tiny concentration, much below the limit, it can still change the sex of frogs, so that out of a male frog it makes a female frog, if we come to know about this, there is a chance to change things. And we stop using this stuff by throwing many million tons on the fields and by this we reduce the pressure that we put on the amphibious population on a global level and which is causing a very serious loss. On the other hand there is another problem making difficulties in identifying the main problems in relationships or in our environmental relationships is that the effects are often kind of a spreading disease. If there is a family, the tension is adding up in that family. Suddenly we notice the kid bedwetting. It is quite obvious that it is not the kid who is problematic but the family as a whole. In such case we need collective action, we need family therapy. The situation is the same with our relationship towards the environment. What we see, is that there are endangered species, their population is declining in cases of species who can't let us know that they are in trouble, it is obvious, that in order to address this issue, similarly we need collective action. This is the only solution. The third difficulty in identifying the problems is that we adjust too easily, we adapt to nearly everything. We have a relationship, we live in that relationship, we suffer from that relationship, we don't feel good, but we don't iniciate any change. Untill we suddenly realize: OMG, we have not been to any trip together for the last five years! We basically have not done anything together for the past five years! Soon I won't even recognize my wife! The same applies for the situation of the environment. The fisherman of our grandparent's generation would not recognize today's ocean. And we are not addressing the questions that would help the constant monitoring. We don't question anything, don't ask why are there so less fish in the ocean? Why don't people bath at the Petőfi-bridge? Why don't they dip in the water over there? We don't ask these questions and from time to time we need to realize, OMG! The total number of big seefish wirldwide, the population of big fish in the past five decades went through a decline of 90 %. We see that in the world's waters almost everywhere we can catch the human impact through chemical transformation. So we need constant care and attention if we want to avoid to reach the point when we need to recover the relationship from a drastically bad position. However many times we ourself are not listening in our relationship. Many times we say: "Don't disturb me with such thing, I don' t care of this issue" We say to our wife, we say to the green activist: "Don' t disturb me with this" In each and every such case we aim to keep the balance in our mental system. We exclude a part of the world so that we don' t need to bother about it in order to remain calm. However this is a quite dangerous strategy, because as we have seen at the beginning, most probably the problems that we don't deal with won't be sold just like that, what's more, as we have seen in the video they are going to break into our life with a destructive force or as it is to be seen in these pictures if we don't want to deal with the problem of global warming sooner or later the increasing of the extremities of the weather conditions will show the signs of problems with a destructive force. There were several countries where we have seen on 29 July 2010 that the situation is quite dramatic. And indeed, if these kind of phenomena will become more serious we will need to be increasingly attentive. And there is another parry mechanism that we apply quite often. The one which sais "Oh, come on, my part is so tiny in this matter. It doesn' t even matter. There is really not much I could do in such cases." In such cases the situation is similar to the one we face in case of an election. It is as if ech time we apply this parry mechanism we were casting a vote for a worse world. We never know what is the weight of this vote we cast. The person who threw that lighter for instance might not even have thought that thousand miles away from that particular spot on an island a photographer will take a picture of this lighter and all the other plastic waste in the corpse of an albatros-chick that the poor animal has ingested on the shores of the Pacific ocean. However, this is not a rare situation at all, you can find hundreds of pictures like this. The problem is very dramatic. There is another thing which has been repeated for so many times. It is about a third kind of parry mechanism when one sais: "Oh, come on! It is ok, what I am doing. Everybody is acting like this." Remember: when you say: "Come on, everyody is doing this, there is nothing wrong with that." let's remember that there are times when simply the whole world is abnormal. We can not turn aside the responsibility saying that "there are bad things which I stilll do good in my relationship" "Take the example of last time for instance: I brought a huge gift for my wife." Or we say: "I am an environmental friendly and aware fellow, I have the practice of selective waste collection!" We can admit in both cases that these things are very nice, the practice of selective waste collection can be the beginning of a green-lifestile, brilliant but merely these things are not enough to get a relationship work. There is much more required. We need constant attention on this relationship. Which is obviously a very difficult thing. We are talking about very complicated systems, about systems that require enormous efforts from our side to be understood. Even those who are constantly occupied with the environmental processes have at times difficulties with understanding these so the task is very difficult, but not more difficult than let's say the understanding of a female soul. The relationship of those who don't even try to understand this is doomed. Another important thing in a relationship is that if we commit a mistake, let's say we go to a shop and while we are about to by a pastry we take a new plastic bag instead of taking out the one we brought from home from our bag we need to know that now we have an impact on our environment and we need to make this right somehow if possible, we need to do something that improves the condition of our environment. And once we decide to go on a tour around the world by car or by plane we need to keep in mind that now I have piled up a quite huge credit, which should be paid back somehow. Because the same way as in the monetary sytem, these depts can not be piled up endlessly, because it is leading to crash, to breakdown. Besides of understanding these things, beside of understanding what is our role in this relationship, it is important to become aware of what is going on right now. Every day I experience that however I know about the existance of these parry mechanisms, I just find myself applying one of them. We need to raise self-awareness on this field, we need to know that "now I am doing this, and it is not the way, it won't be good." It is important to take constant care. So this is a difficult task to do, but there is a good news! The good news is that the lifestile which requires such attention can be the source of happiness! On the one hand it is strengthening positive feelings. The same way as a normal human relationship is based on respect and love, our relationship with the environment can also be based on the respect and love of nature. Many times we see that people are not doing enough for their relationship with the environment. Others however, are doing a lot, that we can see as well. Many times we think that what we are doing is a completely meaningless struggle doomed to failure. And many times we see that it is meaningful, it is very good. Out of many positive and negative experience it is basically your arbitrary choice on which you build your life. If you listen to me I would say that both as an individual and as a part of the environment we need to make a decision based on the faith that TOGETHER we can fight this issue, together we will be able to participate in it, and the things we are doing has a meaning. So, this is a value upon which we can build a new value-system. This is actually an issue which is of crucial importance regarding human survival. Finally, for in each section someone has to talk about George Soros, I would like to tell a story from his life. Once upon a time Soros was walking on the street he was on his way to a very important meeting, a bussiness-meeting where hell lot of money was involved and they had to decide on that money. Suddenly he felt bad, he felt that he will get instant heart attack and die immediately. And then he quickly remembered "Oh, my Gosh, if I die here and now, every game I have been playing in that world will go waste and will loose its meaning. All my game will be over, all of them I have been playing out there in the small-small world of money. In this moment he started a new life. This might be the reason of the fact that this story has been on lips, cause he switched lifestile, he switched to a new mentality. This is similar to our attitude towards our relationship with the environment. We are playing our small-small games, power and money are very important in these worlds where we are playing these games. And in the meanwhile we don't realize that there is a greater system, where in case we fail we loose all the games, all of our games will loose its meaning. What is the point in giving everything to our children, including car, house, power, if we cannot give them a livable planet? Soros has understood this at that time, we too need to understand that we are a part of a greater system, here and now we have to ask ourself: Do I live in a way that this relationship is manageable? Am I personally taking care of my behaviour and its effects upon my relationship with the environment? If not, it is time to change this! Thank you for your attention .. ...

Video Details

Duration: 17 minutes and 33 seconds
Country: Hungary
Language: Hungarian
License: All rights reserved
Producer: TEDxDanubia and WallerStudio
Director: Gyorgy Waller
Views: 1,356
Posted by: waller on Nov 10, 2010

Doktori munkája során környezetvédelmi döntési mechanizmusokat vizsgál politikai, szociológiai és pszichológiai szempontokból. A zöld mozgalom lelkes résztvevője; hisz abban, hogy az alulról jövő kezdeményezések képesek megváltoztatni az intézményes szokásokat.

Sociologist. Through his work over the past five years his interests have led him from pure market research and opinion polling to a deeper understanding of socio-economic structures and phenomena, such as socially responsible companies and the research and improvement of quality of life.

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