Thursday, September 13, 2012

Transforming Global Conflict #1: Personal Anecdotes

From 2002 to 2004, I studied a Masters degree in Peace Studies andConflict Transformation at Tromsø University in northern Norway. Back then, Iwas convinced the most severe conflict humanity was facing was the “War onTerror”, a euphemism for many atrocities that have taken place in the name ofgods and motherlands since the Twin Towers episode in New York City in 2001.

In 2007, the Costa Rican president at the time, Dr. Óscar Arias Sánchez,gave a speech at the launching of the international campaign called Peace withNature, in which he raised awareness about the state of environmental affairsin the world. All ecosystems and biodiversity species threatened, he vowed to“not renounce to life on planet Earth.” This became my calling and since then Ihave been eagerly studying Climate Change as the most severe conflict humankindfaces.

It has come quite handy to study conflict transformation. As I learnmore about energy and environment, consumption and pollution, natural constraintsand people’s expectations, I have plotted a matrix of causes and consequencesthat have facilitated my understanding of the issue, allowing me to describediagnoses, prognoses and proposals for effective transformation.

I intend to make a brief description of this intellectualmatrix that both shows the origin of some of our most pressing issues at alocal level, and also presents a clear exit path into the future. This is anempirical effort to raise awareness and generate enthusiasm through thevirtuous strategy of ethical action. As Emile Durkheim once said: “When valuesare sufficient, laws are unnecessary; when values are insufficient, laws areunenforceable.” This is why I strongly believe ethics is the common thread outof this big mess. 

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