Ming the Mechanic:
Kate Lutz from Johannesburg

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Kate Lutz from Johannesburg2002-08-31 09:34
7 comments
by Flemming Funch

Day six of the Summit. The leaders from around the world cannot agree on how to move forward on global environmental policy, which IÂ’m sure, is apparent in the news. Yet if you spend any time with the non governmental organizations (NGOs) it is clear there are 100,000s of global environmental citizens represented here, and their projects are the blueprints for the environmental clean up needs of today. The Summit only confirms by sense that there is new renaissance is a foot on this planet. ItÂ’s just a matter of time before the world leaders catch on to how much is being accomplished at the ground level in their own countries.

So I'm sitting here at the internet cafe at the NGO headquarters, and I hear this group of teenagers laughing with each other. When I turned around to ask what was so funny the seven of them came by my station to talk ­they are eager to meet delegates. They speak politically with great ease (much more astute than many Americans about world environmental politics). They are muslim, hindu, christian. They told me too that war, racism and religious differences can't work in their future. One hindu girl said, I don't want to let the pigment of someone's skin keep me from being their friend.

Best of all are the South Africans --the most friendly people I have ever met. They are centered in a way that is deliberate and patient -- with a kind and light hearted attitude. Especially interesting is getting to know the Black South Africans who come from 9 different tribes. Many of these people speak up to five languages --including English. I'm slowing down when we talk to move at their pace. It is like a mediation to be in their company. It is very powerful to interact with someone at this vibration. Kind of like learning a new dance step, or dancing to someone elseÂ’s tempo, and allowing your body to feel a new vitality. I can physically feel my body recalibrating to a new frequency as I become more conscious of myself through our interactions.

This kindness is in everyone -- a genuine friendliness in really in all of my interactions so far. Can you imagine living in a city where everyone expects you to say hi, how are you, and mean it? In fact one man in his late 20s asked if people in his country were taking proper care of me.

Regarding my general impressions of how this Summit is organized, it is not well strategically positioned to move solutions forward. It is still us verses them, rather than how can we benefit from each others experience. The world leaders posture we can't do this, and the NGOs respond to this agenda meaning everyone is bantering about intellectually rather than sharing the jewels of the sustainable development projects that are bountiful here.

How different this Summit would be if every country had come prepared to showcase their 20 best sustainable projects, and the goal was to figure out how much it would cost each nation to replicate the ones that best applied to their need. How different if the best and brightest from the NGOs were acknowledged by the governments at the Delegates deliberations, and countries came to this with the pride of knowing they represent the citizens who have brought us to the 21st century with new ideas and inspiration.

I met a young woman from Beijing who had organized over 20 NGOs in China, each with a different project. Who knows about her? Or the young man from Dehli who is getting natural gas buses in his city. On and on we meet people who arrived here with the solutions. I would love to arrange a way for the leaders of the worlds to meet the people from any country forwarding the sustainable dream. There is so much that has been accomplished by the diligent work of citizens around the world. The inspiration is tangible, and can not be held back.

I can only say what a privilege it is to live at this slice of history where this enormous change is taking place. With better communications the solutions will take hold. The answers are all here --it is just that obvious. Now for the world leaders to take some time over the next few years to get to meet these stellar minds of the NGOs.


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7 comments

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