Sunday, February 10, 2008

Deliberations in Delhi

Yesterday was a busy day by all means. The Delhi Sustainable Development Summit is a very eventful meeting; there are alot of interesting speeches, panels and debates. DSDS provides a forum for views from the developing world and allows for a discourse critical to the conventional to be presented and debated. Being situated in Delhi, the capital of a country- 25% of which is still grappling with abject poverty -, but which claims also to be the fourth economic power of the world, makes this event even more attractive. But it was attractive for other reasons as well.
This year Dr.Pachauri, the President of Teri and DSDS, had won the Nobel Prize, along with Al Gore, for his efforts in IPCC in giving a sound scientific vision for the world on global warming.
Delhi was cold ,not as cold as Tehran, but cold enough to make it difficult to sit in the Habitat Center courtyard during receptions and dinner meetings. The meetings and spicy Indian food was however hot and therefore helped us tolerate the cold weather.
I had a 15 minute Keynote speech yesterday. It was entitled: Climate Change a Mirror of Our Actions: The Inner Journey.
In my speech I mentioned the crucial stage we face on global warming and the fact that new reports all indicate that the pace of warming is quicker than what scientists initially thought. I spoke about the need to see why our words and the commitments of our global leaders have not been properly translated into action. I mentioned the inability of global leaders to make correct decisions. I spoke about the peace of mind and heart as a quality that leaders need before they could promote peace with nature and with other human beings. I explained that many philosophers and thinkers had spoken about this inner peace but I found the Four Journeys of Mulla Sadra to be the most apropriate for our cause . I discussed the four stages of the inner journey and with that note I brought my speech to a closing. Along with my talk I had a power point with pictures from Iran's spectacular nature scenes. Some of them were trully breath-taking.
Many people came to thank me after the speech, they had somehow liked it. Many asked for a electronic copy although some paper copies of the text was also available . I think it was interesting for them since it was different from the techno-economy flavor that most other speeches and debates had followed.
Later in the afternoon there was a roundtable on media with the UNFCCC executive director and Nik Gowing from BBC , I would like to reserve a separate post for that. I had meetings with, IPCC officials, TERI experts, Dr Klaus Toepfer the former UNEP Director, Mr Borge Brende who was a former Minister for Norway and some others who I met on the sidelines of the meetings.
Our embassy in Delhi had a ceremony on the occasion of the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution last night. I was invited by our Ambassador to speak for the Iranian employees and their families. I spoke about the DSDS and the importance of strong international diplomacy and commitment in the field of the environment and about our experiences and success stories in this regard. I also mentioned the importance of preserving the spirit and essence of the Islamic Revolution , now almost three decades later. Independence , freedom , Islamic Republic were the themes people called for. Each theme still holds its essential status. One cannot be sacrificed for the other. We cannot sacrifice freedom for independence or vice versa; nor can Islam be sacrificed for the Republic or vice versa. The religious democracy of Iran is a unique trial or comeback for religion into politics. We all hope it still works out as a viable example for all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ebtekar,
As I've expressed before, we Iranians everywhere around the world, are proud of your dedication and service to the Environmental cause, and we are especially proud that Iran's advocate in this "War on Global Warming" happens to be a woman!

But please allow me to share my thoughts with you about two of your speeches I have heard about so far, the one in Delhi which you talked about here, and the one at Brisbane 2 years ago.

With all due respect doctor, I must say the following, and I hope you will take it as a genuinely well-intentioned and potentially constructive criticism:

What I have noticed is that your approach to this REAL problem which has technical, experimental and scientific solutions, is very typically Iranian, by which I mean, too philosophical!

It's nice that you like to link everything to religion and spirituality, that you enjoy bringing depth and poetry to your analysis of the problem, and you tend to offer esoteric and mystical commentary about this REAL and present danger to our planet, but ...

But if I may point out to you humbly and sincerely?
What is needed, and in fact what can put Iran in quite a ripe and advantageous position globally, is actually "practical work" in the experiential world of "Science and Technology", as opposed to "philosophical words"!

It is Iran's involvement in cutting-edge scientific research and technological development, that on the international stage, can bring us to the forefront of the "Problem-Solving" table!

I know you went to an engineering school for your undergrad (so did I), and I hope you might take the words of a fellow engineer seriously, when I say this:

There are technologies available today, in which Iran can invest easily and on a grand scale, hence become a serious contributor to "Sustainable Development of the World"!

Considering the vast deserts of Kavir and Lut, and the abundance of access to solar and wind energies in these areas, Iran can not only sustain its own development using these renewable sources, but it can even become an exporter of solar-generated and/or wind-generated electricity to its neighboring countries.

Just imagine how Iran's leadership in implementing huge industrial-scale new technologies in the fields of Solar and Wind, could help change the language from "security threat" and "nuclear technology", to the language of "saving the planet" and "renewable energy"!

Just think of the political implications for Iran, if not the actual benefits to the Environment!!!

Furthermore, if the IRI establishment is still allowing you - a prominent Reformist - to continue leading this important policy, then why not take maximum use of this freedom and privilege they have given you?

Through bipartisan or multipartisan collaborations with other like-minded rational and pragmatic politicians and parliamentarians, you can help start an investment program of developing industrial-scale vast solar-panel fields in Kavir and Lut, and in the process, you will have undermined the rather risky projects and controversial initiatives of the current administration in Iran.

In a decade or so from now, you can single-handedly bring political power and legitimacy back to the reformists!!!
Well, if you (Khatami's former VP) actually spend the next 9-10 years, furthering the cause of "Technological Independence" in a direction that is obviously "peaceful", then by the end of Dr. Haddad-Adel's two-term presidency in 2017, you will be in the best position to run as Iran's first female president!!!!

btw, are you involved in this conference today (February 20)?§ionid=351020105

Thank you for reading my LONG comments, at least I hope you have!!!
I have many more ideas I would love to share with you, please provide a "Contact Us" tab on this webpage so that I can send you my word documents detailing these ideas and projects.
An Admirer