ΓΡΑΦΕΙΟ ΤΥΠΟΥ ΠΡΩΘΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΥ
Σάββατο, 18 Μαΐου 2013
Ομιλία του Πρωθυπουργού κ. Αντώνη Σαμαρά
στο World Cultural Forum στην επαρχία Hangzhou, με θέμα:
“Strengthening International Cooperation to Built an Ecological Civilization”
I would like to thank you and thank the Chinese government for the opportunity to address this World Cultural Forum, with such a distinguished and diverse audience and such an intriguing topic. And thank you for inviting me to Heaven!
Let me not give a speech you expect me to give.
As a Greek who has the honor to visit the great nation of China, allow me to say that, one fundamental concept underlying both Greek and Chinese Civilizations: The notion of Harmony!
In the context of ancient Greece, harmony was mostly philosophical and aesthetic. It also had some mathematical underpinnings through Pythagoras.
In the ancient Chinese thought, harmony had a broader spiritual meaning.
But no matter which way you see it, it is very relevant to the modern ecological concerns of our time.
Because basically, Ecology is about Harmony! How to bring together and reconciliate growth ambitions with environmental concerns; how to balance scarce resources with unbounded human needs; how to find an equilibrium between the needs and the fears of different nations, using the same limited global resources; how to share something, that is by definition undivided, like the air we breathe and the water resources, so crucial for our surviving as a species.
Notice the words I used: “reconciliation”, “balancing”, “equilibrium”, “sharing”, “survival”.
These are the things we have to do; these are the problems we have to solve simultaneously: To balance different objectives, to find an equilibrium between different perspectives, to learn how to share! All these are absolutely essential to reconcile mankind with itself, and “harmonize” its relation with the global environment. So that human societies can survive, against their self- destructive trends and habits.
Harmony is a fundamental human quest. Something people do not have but always long for. Something they probably never reach, but they can approach through spirituality. The main path to approach harmony is through virtue. The feeling you get in the process is the sense of beauty, spiritual beauty. The “asset” you earn is freedom, spiritual freedom.
Harmony is very personal and very social at the same time. Only people at peace with themselves can be in harmony with their neighbors.
Harmony is very rational and very emotional at the same time. Only people wise enough to share can achieve happiness.
Harmony is very spiritual and very material at the same time. Only people in balance with themselves and their environment can achieve real and lasting prosperity.
Harmony is very stabilizing and very revolutionary at the same time. Only if people control their greed, can they grow beyond their limits.
Harmony is virtue, harmony is beauty, harmony is prosperity, harmony is the context of human Freedom.
And Ecology is all about Harmony, Virtue, Beauty and human freedom.
I can sense some objections:
I am a politician and these are not the words politicians use in public speeches.
True! But this is not a political forum.
What we are really discussing here is the traits of an Ecological Culture. And this topic is certainly not about where we are today; we are debating where we want to go in the future. We are not talking in terms of politics that are usually divisive. We are moving to a different context, a cultural or ideological context, which needs to be more uniting.
If you want me to talk about “hot political issues”, I can do that:
Yes, we need to rely less on resources that are scarce and will soon get extinct.
Yes, we should stop polluting our seas, ours rivers, our soil, our underground or the air we breathe. We should stop doing it on local basis, let alone on a global basis…
Yes, we should all heavily invest on renewable forms of energy, so that our children will seriously limit or even eliminate their reliance on fossil fuels.
Yes, we should make sure the world will endow to the next generation and not be destroyed by our greed.
Yes, we should establish and observe rules, on an international level, to protect global environment.
Yes, we should even go beyond environmental protection: to environmental improvement.
Indeed, we should move our ecological debate beyond the hydrocarbons issue, to improving and enriching global environment; to subjects like large desalination plants, gradually turning “yellow” into “green”, or desserts into productive lands.
Yes, all these are issues we have to bring to the agenda and push for their completion.
But it is not going to happen, unless we change the basic set of values and priorities of our civilization; unless we switch from a consumption oriented to an ecological global Culture; unless societies start appreciating values and concepts like harmony, virtue, beauty and spirituality; unless politicians start looking beyond the horizon.
The only way to win all the ecological battles of today, is to look beyond the horizon! And to remember: There is no culture without growth and there is no growth without culture!
And probably the best way to look beyond the horizon into the future is by rediscovering time- transcending treasures of ancient wisdom.
You can look them up in Confucius or Lao Tse from the Chinese Culture.
You can look them up in the works of Aristotle or Theophrastus from the ancient Greek Culture.
Because certainly, our globe deserves the best of human wisdom.
Thank you very much.