Proclamation

My appeal is addressed to scientists, authors, teachers, journalists, artists as well as all other talented persons and it means that more of them should increase their moral courage and interest in common wealth in that way that they get more engaged in the solution of actual problems. This concerns of course also those individuals working in isolation: in hermitages or in orchid-subjects only to gain expensive luxury-knowledge. All these gifted and talented specialists should work harder: by struggling to obtain a general view and taking a risk to dare to evolve into interdisciplinarity and more complexity. In times of crises, especially the brilliant minds among them should leave their ivory towers to help solidarily. Explicitely: during severe crises it is not correct to search water and traces of life on planet Mars - neither in literal nor in figurative, generalized sense. In my opinion it is as wise as necessary that such highly intelligent persons share their physical and mental powers to independently meditate patiently and thoroughly on actual problems and to publish constructive, practicable solution-proposals. Stephan Hessel underscored that by exclamating Get involved!; prior to him, the "White Rose" addressed this problem closer by stating each persons‘ responsibility for the events it tolerates. In this context dependances and subordinations have no meaning, because the freedom of opinion must be guaranteed in a democratic system and it is not allowed to discriminate or suppress because of the reason of fairness. Off with these innumerable muzzles! On the long run, it is of disadvantage for all, to dump valuable solution-proposals in the common graves of good ideas, because egoism and inertness prevail. In considering the high number of problems, the preservation of high-quality progress in culture, science and education is of prime importance. The problems can rise to such alarming proportions, can absorb so much attention and can swallow huge sums of money and other resources that activities to promote culture, science and education must be restricted or given up and progress fades out. Additionally it may turn out that scientists or other persons active in cultural work are payed below subsidence level (precariate). Finally they endanger their own positions if they stay indifferent and if they do not make efforts to mitigate problems. Even in countries, which maintain highly developed cultural levels and which are so proud to be representatives of the age of information, the public funds for culture, science and education amount only a few percent; this is by far not enough. Lack of good qualitative education causes deficits in international competitiveness. The bulk of the self-made problems are public knowledge, often only talked about: globalization, overpopulation, depersonalization, diminution of biodiversity, shortage of resources, pressure to economic growth, environmental degradation, climate change, rising disparities, mass poverty and poverty migration, mass-wealth-diseases, distress in time budget, trivialization, mass-unemployment, decay in worths and morals, rising public debts, rising intolerance, religious and political extremism, lobbyism, materialism, utilitarism, abuse of biological programs, corruption, illicit work, wage-dumping, tax evasion, crises in economy and finance, procrastination, escapism, information overkill, weariness on politics, etc.: more and more risks, which point to the fact that the appointed experts (politicians, lawyers, judges, etc.) fail to mediate and solve these conflicts and problems. In addition, the following is considered by me as a problematic development, which cannot come to a good end: the fact that since the beginning of the industrial revolution the average annual anthropogenic CO2-output exeeds that of a natural disaster by 121%: the averaged CO2-degassing of those flood basalts, which effused 252 Million years ago and caused the most severe biotic crisis ever known; details see below.
Such a complex sphere of interwoven problems and conflicts can only be treated by many cooperative masterminds, which definitively intend to better the situation. It is time to disentangle that Gordian Knod and that Babylonian Confusion of tongues.
My proclamation addressed to all technicians, inventors, producers, economists, publicity managers and financiers means that they have to analyse actively, selfcritically and thoroughly the societal, economic, ecologic, political and ethic consequences and long time effects caused by their technical developing and industrial manufacturing and application work as well as their finance- and investment-management. All these actions bare of reasonable, ecological, and humanitarian worths and sensible standards doubtlessly ruins everybody. It should be common sense that during crises trivial egoism is subordinate to altruism and to the well-being of the community. The sense of life cannot be restricted only to fulfill the reprehensible greed of making money and of gaining power.
As good examples representing the recommended direction I see the economists Ernst Friedrich Schumacher and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, the author Friedrich Dürrenmatt, the physico-chemist F. Wilhelm Ostwald, the creators of the Russell-Einstein-manifesto, the genii of fine arts Pablo Picasso (Guernica, 1937), Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Los Desastros de la Guerra, 1808-1814) and Otto Dix (Der Krieg, 1929-1932) as well as the physicist and biologist Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, the geoscientist Reinhold Leinfelder and the meteorologist Paul J. Crutzen.

Details:
- R. Heede 2014 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10584-013-0986-y) calculated the amount of the anthropogenic CO2-emission between 1854-2010 to 914 Gigatons. Because actually the anthropogenic CO2-output comes up to ca. 30 Gt/a, the total sum till 2013 is ca. 1000 Gt. The average emission rate is equivalent to 10exp3Gt : 159a = 6,2Gt/a. Most of the combusted matter consisted of fossil carbon and hydrocarbons.
- Burgess et al. 2014 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1317692111) radiometrically determined the time interval to 60000a, during which the effusion of the Siberian flood basalts ocurred and which is coeval with the severe biotic crisis defining the geological boundary between Permian and Triassic. Sobolev et al. 2011 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1317692111) calculated that during this extrusion the amount of the volcanogenically emitted CO2 came up to 170 Teratons. The average emission rate is equivalent to 1,7x10exp14T : 6x10exp4a = 2,8x10exp9T/a = 2,8Gt/a.
- Bottini et al. 2011 (http://abstractsearch.agu.org/meetings/2011/FM/sections/V/sessions/V54A/abstracts/V54A-06.html) and Schaller et al. 2011 (http://abstractsearch.agu.org/meetings/2011/FM/sections/V/sessions/V54A/abstracts/V54A-07.html) proved that CO2-emissions of that dimensions directly trigger climate instabilities on global scale.

The calculated average intensity of anthropogenic CO2-emission since the beginning of the industrial revolution exeeds more than twice (121%) the average rate of volcanogenic CO2-emission, which occurred 252 Ma ago and the progress of which caused severe damage to the global ecosystems by extincting 96% of marine and 70% of terrestrial life. Of course the calculated anthropogenic CO2-emission-rate will not continue over geological times, but actually its average intensity exerts more adaptation-stress on species and extinction-rates in ecosystems than at the boundary Permian-Triassic, if combustion of fossil carbon will not be restricted. I cannot understand the longtime denial of an identified immense danger.
Ceballos et al. 2015 see a close relation between increasing extinction rate and the rise of industrial society; they conclude that the sixth global mass extinction event has started.

Back Home online since 03-20-2014; last supplementation: January-31-2016

Hubert Engelbrecht

P.S.:
- It is insufficient that scientists generally have only advising functions in politics.

- On April 20.2014 I read the following text, which underscores the importance of that proclamation: I really think that the intellectually more developed persons caused severe damage by neglecting political questions of common interest (Albert Einstein 1916: My opinion on war.- Das Land Goethes 1914-1916, Goethebund Berlin. See also: DIE ZEIT 10: 21, Febr.27.2014).

- Painter Max Beckmann on July-21-1936: "Collectivism is the greatest threat for mankind. Attempts are made everywhere to draw down the pursuit of happiness or the living conditions to the level of a colony of termites."

- Pablo Picasso in 1945: "The artist is a personality, which thinks politically and is permanently able to react on touching and urgent events, on which he fully replies. How is it possible not to be interested in other people's concerns and to escape from life into the ivory tower, which they presented to You plentiful. No, the art of painting does not exist to embell apartment houses. It is an attack- and defense weapon against the enemy...".

- The biologist Paul R. Ehrlich wrote in AMBIO 43: 847-848 (Sept. 2014) that all scientists should - beside their usual work - make more efforts in understanding the drivers of environmental deterioration and to communicate that knowledge to the general public, so that severe conflicts can be avoided. He concludes that scientists must become modern Voltaires.

- The philosopher Carl Mitcham states in Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2014 31/1:: 19-22 that - because of the reasons of responsibility and morals - the holistic and very complex effects of and transformations caused by inventions, innovations and technological progress on the humans must be better understood and controlled by 1) intensifying the interdisciplinary discussions between humanities and natural sciences / techniques and 2) by deepened and critical self-knowledge of one's own limitations as well as the conditio-humana-technologica. In sum: technicians must gain better self-knowledge about and critical reflections/meditations on the consequences of their professions; technology needs - similar as experimental physics needs the theoretical physics - a human-philosophical guidance.

- Excerpt from the Pugwash-Conference protocol 1958: "...Because of their expert knowledge scientists are able to recognize early the risks and benefits resulting from scientific developments. Because of their high competence they are responsible for the most urgent actual problems." (Reference: Wikipedia, search term: responsibility; retrieved Jan-02-2015).

- Excerpt from a letter written by Albert Einstein to Max von Laue on May-16-1933: "...I do not share Your opinion that a scientist should not get involved into politics. You can precisely observe the results of such self-restriction in Germany. This means to entrust control to stupid and irresponsible persons. Is it lack of responsibility? Imagine a world without Giordano Bruno, Spinoza, Voltaire and Humboldt." (Reference: Wikipedia, search term: Verantwortung; retrieved Jan-02-2015).

- Prof. Jean Ziegler (UNO human rights activist) (2015): Intellectual persons have the duty to make sure that a better world is practicable." In: "Change this world!", C. Bertelsmann publishing house.

- Identify in a mental experiment the world resources with a marshmallow and a test person with the world economy. The result of that mental experiment can only be that world economy failed that test ever since.