Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Meaning of Copenhagen...

by: Hervé Kempf | Le Monde

Whether the Copenhagen meeting concludes in "failure" or "success" is a rather secondary question. For this dramatic moment is no finale, but the moment when powerful forces move below the surface of the news, when the long pulsations of the human adventure emerge.

What is it all about, really? It's the dramatization of the contradiction forged throughout the entire industrial revolution between economic rationale and ecological limits. The development of productive forces led to a never-before-achieved level of collective material wealth and labor productivity, but at the cost of massive destruction to the natural environment. Imperceptible at first, it now begins to disturb the operation of the biosphere, threatening to shatter the fragile balance of tensions that characterize human societies.

What is the issue? To allow this contradiction to intensify at the risk of chaos. Or to reduce it and transform our productive forces - now destructive, in fact - so as to reestablish a perpetual balance between human activity and the biosphere. Actually, to express a new development: one that will no longer be material, but mental, cognitive, relational. Or, if I may use a provocative term: development that will be spiritual.

Translation: Truthout French Language Editor Leslie Thatcher.

(Ed Burtynsky, Oil Series)


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