GB No. 8, summer 1992
Cracow, October 7, 1992
The "Report on Ecological Movements - Brazil '92" (¦wiat i Polska), informs us that we, the Franciscan Community of Ecologists, were invited to take part in preparation of the "Report". I cannot track anything like that in my memory but it is not that important in all this. But I have obtained a photocopy of the Report, let's say, unofficially.
The contents of the "Report" notwithstanding, even such per procura prosthesic use of our seeming support is manipulation in itself. This does not at all mean at that I question the contents of the "Report", quite the opposite.
What seems lacking are certain thoughts which might have reflected our participation and would have appeared there as a contribution from the Polish proecological movements.
The order of the day is now a certain aggressiveness of stance, action to produce prompt results, the imperative of success: to put it briefly, an egocentrism focused on our needs and fads, and treatment of our surroundings in an instrumental way. Such an attitude contributes significantly to a disturbance of the ecological niche of man as an individual and can be pointed out as one source of the ruthlessness of man towards the surrounding environment. For years, and not only under communist rule this "have" attitude has been fostered.
The fundamental guideline for our group is an understanding that all activities which support sustainable development, including economic and educational ones, (eco-development) should need the principle THINK OF OTHER PEOPLE; TREAT THE ENVIRONMENT AS YOU WOULD YOUR BROTHER, to turn this principle into deeds. The example of St. Francis, a very effective steward and the patron, for good reasons, of ecologists, can be accepted by all those who believe that the "have" attitude is anti-ecological, By the way, a major disservice is done to both the Person and the Idea when this Saint is presented as a infantile aesthete in an open defiance to the facts.
This general problem is touched on by the "Report" only marginally and solely in its educational aspect (item 24 "Reports of Polish Movements"). Neither the rationality nor the real profitability of the "be" attitude is explored. It is quite insufficient to present these elements only as a declaration and only in respect to education.
The problem that I have emphasized is not marginal, it should be clearly noted: indeed, it presents a principal issue in the promotion of sustainable development as a tactic and method of stewardship, often neglected by those who talk at length about sustainable development.
Against this background there is another question: what can be done about the fact that the names of 170 environmental organizations are used to prop up the report in the global forum? To protest? It is, after all, a good thing that the report has appeared and praise is due to those who prepared it. But why do in a dark corner and so quietly? To protest? Why? To whom and what for?
It is the community which must pass judgment on all this, that is why I have written this text for Green Brigades. The question can be raised here, how much need is there for an organ serving the people (as in the BORE arrangement) to transmit information?
Much more important than any remarks and elaborate discussion is to consider whether and how the Polish environmental movements can promote the contents of the "Report" within the central and local administration, and self-government units. This report should not remain on paper. Its suggestions can be translated into changes in the principles of law, into regulations, local laws, and economic priorities. What significance can an economic priority have under pseudo-market economy? This would be just one of the many questions.
Independent environmental movements, precisely because they are independent and not bound by any relationships should put forward their suggestions. Let those suggestions be proclaimed - even this would mean a lot. The conclusions of three, and especially from the two last symposia organized by our Community include such thoughts, and one can regret a bit that this real contribution has not been taken into account at all. And we are not a secret group; on the contrary, we are neighbours of the National Board of the Polish Ecological Club, separated only by Cracow's Planty green belt.
In conclusion I will only remind the reader that we have already lived through the time when the only correct ideology had its monopoly and failed. I would dedicate this thought to the Authors of the "Report" who, with good intentions perhaps, anointed themselves the representatives of all 170 movements.
23 Kraszewskiego Street, apt.5