Shifting to a new epoch

Can we distinguish between the epoch of industrial affluence and the epoch of environmental friendly affluence. The German philosopher Meyer-Abich compares the passing away model of an industrialized civilisation with a crude oil tanker and the upcoming model of the ecological civilisation with a sailing boat.

The tanker represents industrial modernity: it is a monster of steel, driven by tons of fossil fuel. It fulfils a gigantic work, but is not easy to manoeuvre and has a long braking distance. Depending on its size the tanker can be used only in broad sea routes. Besides that it is a source of danger (remember the “Prestige”) and is one of the main polluter of the oceans.

The opposite is the sailing boat: it is comparatively small, but light and easy to manoeuvrable, driven by solar energy in the form of wind. The sailing boat will find the harbour of its destination through the cleverness of its crew.

Of course, the performance of the sailing boat in terms of cargo and speed is considerably low in relation to the tanker. But it leaves no dirty trace behind itself and is of little risk to human beings and nature.

So we can recognize the difference between both epochs:

  • high consumption of resources - dematerialized production and life
  • maximum of performance – moderate, an adequate measure
  • hostile towards creation - getting along with creation

Jumping up to this new quality it is a kind of living accepting the physical boundaries and a just global distribution. We wouldn’t be living anymore beyond our means.

From our point of view as the mobility working group it is time for a cultural revolution

We have to face the current situation and the real challenges

We have to tell the truth (into our parishes, organisations)

We have to confess our guilt/sin (regarding the mobilised violence with destruction, increasing climate change, 500.000 road death a year etc.)

We have to think in a new way, to change the paradigm, to come to a holistic perspective, etc.

We have to act in our parishes, organisations – regarding our own mobility culture, but also to influence the public discussion with creative actions.

Triuggio mobility group, 26th of September 2008