Saturday, 27 November 2021
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

The power of the people, the world’s people, is so much stronger than any political power

Written by  Nov 07, 2021

At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that it's a theme that doesn't really have much to do with Croatia. More bluntly you may say “finally, a problem that doesn’t involve us and a global situation where we are one of the leaders.” And you’d be right, but only to a certain extent. In fact, this is one of the very few issues where Croatia is truly a global leader, right up there with Sweden!

So which important issues puts us hip to hip with the most developed country in the world? Financial, no! Legal, big no! Political, no comment! Education, not even close! Environmental, well yes pretty close.

Unless you live in a cave you are aware of the COP26 summit in Glasgow and the theme of climate change. I watched the opening speeches, and whilst all were relatively interesting they were mostly politicians, and nobody really wants to listen to a politician do they.

But one really, really caught my ear and even brought a tear to my eye. So powerful, so passionate, so direct and such a positive and yet frightening message. Yes, Sir David Attenborough, a man was has dedicated his whole life to the natural world and its protection, was the absolute star of the speeches.

This was probably to be expected as the world leaders are thinking firstly about their own interests and not the big picture. It’s hard to see the wood for the trees. But Sir David is only thinking about the planet as a whole. It must have been frustrating for him to sit in that room with all those Presidents and Prime Ministers and not want to send them all to hell. He is 95 years old and seemed to have more fight in him than the rest of the hall put together.

“We need to rewrite our story to turn this tragedy into a triumph,” said the veteran naturalist. And added “We are after all the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on earth. We now understand this problem.” It was powerful stuff and the room listened. It remains to be seen if they will act.

Sir David concluded on a positive note, “a new industrial revolution, powered by millions of sustainable innovations” it exactly what the world needs.

Croatia was represented by the Prime Minister and he was a very small fish in a very large pond. And he was probably relived that this was one problem where we aren’t at the bottom of the pile. He correctly mentioned that “Croatia stands alongside the most responsible EU members, where we are 4th in terms of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita, at 70 percent of the European average.”

And whilst praise is important, so is the fact that this is a global problem that needs a global solution. We can’t just say, we’re doing well so the rest of you need to sort this one out without us.

It’s great that we have these numbers, that 100 percent of the electricity in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County comes from renewable sources, that we have the luck that Mate Rimac was born inside our borders and is helping to change the future of transport, those are all great, but it doesn’t mean that we are “done” and can sit on our hands. This is real!

Every day, every one of us makes decisions that in a small way affect the future of our planet. Every day! Think about that.

“We are already in trouble. The stability we all depend on is breaking,” to quote Sir David again. And the power of the people, the world’s people, is so much stronger than any political power. It always has been and always will be. If we all decide to make one difference and continue that every day we can, in some small way, help.

That last word must be left to Sir David, “We must use this opportunity to create a more equal world, and our motivation should not be fear, but hope.”

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to



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