Deadline to save the World: 30th August

Van Mensvoort
August 27th 2007

earthball

Picnic Green Challenge calls upon people like you to invent a product or service that can help to save the world. Restore the planet's harmony and lets you win 500.000 Euro on the fly. 3 days left.

I find the green rhetorics (do we have a new keyword here?) on the website kind of fascinating. Of course, seeking a balanced relation with our surroundings is of importance. Also diversity is something to cherish. So, thumbs up for that. Still, I tend to get itchy when I hear people say we should 'Save the World'. It demonstrates a certain arrogance, or at least a nativity, regarding our presumed 'superior' position towards Nature. I sense some fresh conservatism here; old modernist control thinking in a brand new green coat.

Take for example a sentence like 'Restoring the planet's harmony'. It sounds fantastic, but what does that mean? Is a planet like Mars harmonic? Would the planet be harmonic, if only it weren't for the humans? Lets not forget that in 10.000 years from now, long after the global warming crisis, another ice-age is expected. I mean, Nature doesn't care about global warming, humans do. Nature doesn't need to be saved, humans do. Thus, 3 days left to save ourselves!

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Koert.com
Posted 29/08/2007 – 07:46

Alright, who cares about the terminology when the intentions and price money are good? I don't want to be the bugger. Still, the point I am trying to make that a different terminology might also result in different solutions of saving our ass.
The current efforts to ‘protect’ the environment often focus mostly on minimizing our influence on the environment. But that’s just one side of the coin. The other side of a balanced relation with our environment is about being flexible towards changes that are occurring within the environment.
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p.s. Regarding the tree you mention.. I might be anthropomorphizing here, but I would say a tree does care when it dies, like every living being on the face of the earth it strives to live! Nevertheless for Nature as a whole a dying tree, human, or dinosaur is all business as usual. Nature doesn't seem to care. Lets not paternalize Nature, we are not in the position. ... shall we now talk Gaia theory? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis

Hendrik-Jan Grievink
Posted 27/08/2007 – 20:35

Man is part of nature of course, and I can follow the Green-rethoric critique. But as far as I now, man is the only self reflective part of nature. A tree doesn't care when it dies, you're right in that. But understanding cause and effect, we can see the relation with threes dying and air pollution. Since we are heavily dependant on our relation with nature, be it old nature or next nature, we should care for it. By means of saving the world or saving our ass. In essence it doesn't really matter. Can we rethink nature without an agenda about what to do with it?

Should men be able to give birth to children?


Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

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