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.
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.
- 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.