Transkrypt z ted.com:
Indeed, for 20 years, I worked in finance.I knew everything about finance, for sure.I knew the global economy because it was my life.All the topics that you could bring up about ecology, the end of the world, etc.,that I knew like the back of my hand I didn’t really believe in them.In 2007, an extremely unusual event occurred, you may remember,the subprime crisis, the collapse of big American banks.It was an electric shock.I had a fair few stormy conversations with my wife about the matter,about my job, on the limits of the model.Besides the crisis, I realized that I was completely wrong,that we were heading for disaster.The whole conception I had of the world, all the certainties that I had until then,were all fallen apart within a few months.That’s why I’m here tonight, I’ve realized that, finally, it wasn’t all so bad,and that it was an opportunitybecause we have the exceptional opportunityof living in an exceptional period of human history:we are going to change the world.But before changing the world, we have to do something,we have to do some grieving, we have to turn the page -turning the page of the world we live in today.To do so, I need some help from an American who goesby the name of Jared Diamond and who published “Collapse,”and soon you will seethat the 5 factors of the collapse of civilizations are reunited today.Jared Diamond has identified 5 factorsin which we find the collapse of the Mayas, the Vikings,and all of the great Mesopotamian civilizations.And every time, those 5 factors were reunited.The bad news isthat the 5 factors are reunited only at the beginning of the 21st century,but this time not only a single civilization is threatenedbut the global village, humanity, all of us.It’s extremely important to be aware of this.The first factor of the collapse is the environmental factor.For two centuries, especially the last 50 years,we have done environmental damage, sometimes irreversible.The second factor is climate change.All the great civilizations did face those changes in climate.This weakens the ecosystems,that weakening also results in shortage of resources, destabilization of a societyeconomical, geopolitical, social consequences, you name it.Third factor, still reunited today, the revival of military conflicts.These two first factors result in:when the ecosystems are destabilized and there is a shortage of resources,we continue having conflicts, we make war.And let me remind you, at the moment France is at war in Mali;let’s not forget that.Fourth factor, equally important than the last one,the cancellation of diplomatic and commercial alliances.Things look bad, and the alliances concluded yesterday are undermined.Today, we are all aware of the factthat the future of Europe is unknown, we don’t know what will come.And the fifth factor, not the least worrisome: the blindness of our elites.In this whole collapse of the civilization, the elites are not ableto evaluate the fall of their world.They are incapable of changing their prism for the analysis.And the result?The result is simple: we will have a political caste systemwhich emphasizes, which accelerates the collapse of a world.After everything I just told you, you have to knowthat the end of a world is not the same as the end of the world.If I told you that we live in an extraordinary time,extraordinary in the sense of etymology,there is no doubt, we live in a transition period, between two worlds.In the world of today, we are about to turn the page.And the world of tomorrow, the world to come,the sustainable world, about which I am talking today,starts to slighty assume its shape but there is still nothing precise.How do we live?We live in a historical period inspiring enoughthat we have to reinvent things.The nearest time period, in which man reinvented everything,is the Renaissance.The question which comes up in the 21st century is,”Do we experience a new Renaissance?”Let’s see if the factors of a renaissance are reunited.First factor of a renaissance is a new understanding of the world.In the 15th century, Columbus discovered the Americas,man discovered the immensity of planet Earth,we discovered the immensity of the world.What happens at the moment, for some decades, for some years?We discover the finiteness of the world.The planet is very small in terms of resources, capacity,if we look at the current economic model.New understanding.Second factor:The Renaissance is a period of very much creativity.We all know Leonardo da Vinci, the Flemish painters.2012, 2013, what has happened?Very much creativity.3D printing is only one example. There are lots of others.Third factor of the Renaissance:Contrary to common beliefs,the Renaissance was not only a period of creativity,but also of much violence: religious wars, civil wars,extermination of the Native Americans, slavery.And how is it in 2012, 2013?Violence on a daily basis,and children which get killed in school by automatic weapons.Fourth factor of a renaissance:The whole world knows Gutenberg the inventor of the printing presswho fundamentally changed the distribution of knowledge in Europe,and later in the rest of the world.Imagine, today, there is a new technological toolwhich allows us to distribute knowledge in a whole new way.This tool, which we have in our hands, provides instantaneous information.We hold the knowledge of the world in our hands.Soon, we will see how this is going to change.And finally, a renaissance – that brings me to the subject of today -it’s the fact that all the certainties of humanity have fallen apart.Let me remind you,from Aristoteles through Ptolemy in the 2nd century to the Renaissance,the Earth was flat, man was the center of the world,and the stars turned around us.And those who dared to question this unique thought,those who dared to dispute this received, non-negotiable truth,- you know what came next – had to deal with the Inquisition.At the stake, they had to answer the question.Copernicus and Galilee had nearly paid with their lives because they dared to saythat the Earth was not flat and it was not the center of the universe.So today, the question presenting itself to us in the 21st century is:”Are we committing the same mistake as our ancestors?Are we, also in making the mistake, or in our certainties,the ones who will fall apart over the next few years?”The next question which follows is:”What are those certainties which are of received and non-negotiable value,which could fall apart in 10, 15, 20, or 50 years?”There are a lot of them.As a former economist,there are at least three certainties in economy.At first, there is the truth that growth is the only motor of the economy.Let me remind you what the word ‘economy’ means in Greek.Economy means resource management, domain and household management.So it doesn’t necessarily mean growth. It’s not a synonym.Second truth which could fall apart is that growth is infinite.That’s our consumption model in a finite and increasingly shrinking worldas the population grows more and more but with less resources.And we don’t question this dogma.Third dogma, third received truthis the necessary sacrifice of the living in favor of this growth.But still, we have authorized the right to pollute, to right to poison,the right to intoxicate.Why?Because growth demands it.The question that we are confronted with today is:If we continue like this, if we continue to sacrify the living,do we challenge this, will we authorize this dialogue?The answer is also not that evident because we can ask ourselvesif the people who question these dogmas of growth as motor of the economy,and of the myth of infinite growthare today maybe still seen like yesterday’s heretics.I must say that I am not sure, that at this time, in the 21st century,we show a great wisdom to those who dareto question a system which we all benefit from.It should be extremely important for us to keep an open mind.And yet, we become more and more people.All here, I think, are convinced of the factthat we know that the road we have taken for two centuriesleads us directly to – how did the philosopher Jonas say?To a tragic impasse.The economic development on which we base our model leads us to a tragic impasse.Hans Jonas adds a very beautiful expression:”Nature will eventually make its ultimate veto, anyway, and it will be over.”After what I just said, another question arises I am concerned with personally:”What will our children and descendants think of our behavior,our stubbornness of our obsession of a destructive economic model?”It is very likely that they will call us perhaps barbarians of the living world,and maybe they will feel the same contempt,the same indignation which we can feel todayabout those who developed slavery two or three centuries ago.Our behavior today is not any better than that of those we despise today.Why? Because three centuries ago, slavery was non-negotiable.The European and American economic model was based on slavery.And today, in 2013, what happens?Our entire economic model, our entire society is based on what?On exploitation, on the sacrifice of the living.The question, which, of course, arises is, “What are we going to do?”But before we know what we will do we have to know why we got therein order not to commit the same mistake in tomorrow’s world.And how did we get there?The answer is simple and can be said in a few words.The philosopher Descartes already said it four centuries ago:”Man is the only master and owner of nature.”Period.We dominate nature, we shape and form it. We do what we want.But what has happened since this Cartesian thought?We consider nature as a bottomless pit,as a mine where we draw from and throw things.And that’s the problem.We consider this kind of nature as what?Finally, that puts man outside of nature.And this exteriority is our problem.In 1990, Michel Serres had an extremely truthful thought, like always, he said:”But finally, the notion of nature is a problem for usbecause nature assumes that man is put into, surrounded by a living world.We are disconnected from nature.As long as we haven’t solved that problem,as long as we haven’t reconciled with nature, it won’t work.It’s not about sacralizing nature,or putting it on an altar like a sacred goddess,it’s just about including nature and not acting against or without it.”Well, how are we going to do that?The conclusion of my talk is we’ll have to organize it, really simple.It’s extremely simple, we need a new controversy.What is a controversy? It’s a dispute, a global debate.What happened in Valladolid in the 16th century, in 1550?A dispute took place in Spainas to whether Native Americans are living beings or not.Because if we exploited this tame workforce for free,we would develop the New World.If they were human beings we couldn’t make them slaves.That would be intolerable.So, we discussed about the humanity of Native Americans.In the 21st century, we need to organize a new controversy.But this time it will be about determiningwhere are the tolerance limitstowards nature compared to human activity.What can nature bear? What kind of economic model can it bear?Do we have the right to pollute,the right to destroy the future of our children and their common heritage?This new controversy allows us to draftthe Universal Declaration on the Duties of Man towards Nature.Yes, I said duties. Why?The Declaration on Human Rights has been the corner stoneof the modern world, of today’s world.The Universal Declaration on the Duties of Manwill be the cornerstone of the new tomorrow.The declaration will fix the limits of our activity.But how to launch this new controversy?It needs to be organized.But before organizing and launching it, you will tell me:”Roudaut has taken drugs. He’s a utopian. He lives in an ivory tower.it’s all in his fantasy.”Once more, I go back to history.Who would have thought before Constantin and Theodosius Ithat the Romans would see their empire destroyed by a handful of peoplefrom inside called Christians?Who would have thoughtbefore the French Revolution and the end of the monarchythat a handful of men would write the Universal Declaration on Human Rights?Today, those who reflect about another world,who strive for new values,are perhaps – perhaps you and I are -the first Christians of the Roman Empire.We may be about to change the things from insidethrough the only aspiration of our values to another world.How to organize this new controversy?That’s very simple because of an unprecedented challenge,we have a new tool in our hands, and that’s connection.We are all connected, and that will change everything.The fact that we are connected allows us to launch a controversyto consider the world of tomorrow.I finish my talk with this connection,as from tonight on, I suggest to launch the first tweet about the new controversy.Here and now in Nantes, here we go, sent.I invite you to continue the debate without me, after or with me.Thank you.