Canada quits the Kyoto-protocol, a quite easy process to save some 14 billions of Dollars. Of course, there are no sanctions, the Kyoto agreement is not a treaty and there is no court to rule against quitting. It is only nature what this is all about. Nature does not have any power, any legal position, any lawyer. Since long ago, people have forgotten that they are part of nature and need a climate in which they can exist as natural beings. As long as the air conditioners work in apartments, offices and cars, there is no need to care whether the greenhouse gas emissions turn the weather into chaos with consequences no one can calculate.
We are part of nature as we are nature ourselves and feel day by day what is possible and what does not work. Society, or as I prefer to call it: materialistic consciousness (the form of consciousness furthest distant from nature) wants us to function like machines but not like nature.
As long as we act as if nature would be somewhere outside and that we worry about it when we take a walk, as long as we think that our health is in the responsibility of our doctors, as long as we do not accept that our body which is crucial for our aliveness, is nature, with all its feelings and thoughts as long as we see ourselves as machines we will not be able to create a sense of responsibility for nature.
Mr Peter Kent, the Candadian minister for environment, who announced his country`s pullout from the Kyoto protocol may have a long lasting and stable health. Yet, whenever the nature in him (his body) would cause problems, would he see the connection that his pains which he has to take care of in order not to die, that it is the same nature to which he has declined his responsibility as politician?
Blood is thicker than water, goes a saying. Of course, our health is important to us, any inconvenience diminishes the quality of our lives. And each disease shows us that we are nature prone to failure and that we ought to listen to its rules and principles in order to be able to lead a good and pleasant life.
How should we manage to take over responsibility as a society when we have problems to do so as individuals? On the other hand, when the society, the political and the economical system shows how easily the responsibility for nature can be shaken off guided by a short sighted and cynical materialistic fixation, it is difficult to stay committed to integrity as individual.
It is clear for me that the Kyoto protocol is not the most perfect solution for environmental politics. Trading emission permits seem a rather strange construction, a sign of poor intelligence for a world population not being able to implement more than this minimum of responsibility for the world climate.
But I want to address the symbolic character of this action. Politics do not mainly consist of letters and words, but to an important part of symbols. And the Canadian minister succeeded in producing such a symbol, one of national egoism, of short sightedness and cynical negligence of nature. When we can read in Austrian newspapers that we could save some billions as well by pulling out we can see how symbols work.
Where politics fail to set the appropriate symbols we have to do that for ourselves. The simplest symbol we have is our breath – by breathing in and out consciously we let nature work throughout ourselves and acknowledge it. We create an exchange between the nature inside of us and around us, we communicate and strengthen trust. Where trust prevails, mutual commitments are kept. We take on responsibility easily when it is about a partner which we owe much if not everything.