Dr Abe V Rotor
This is the outline of my keynote address before the participants of the Second Philippine National Biodiversity Meeting (BIOME) and the First Conference on Science, Education and Technology (SEDTEC) held Virac, Catanduanes, October 18-21, 2011.
Building a "Children of Nature" culture.
1. Our children need to know the true meaning of biodiversity. Four attributes - richness in kind, population, interrelationship.
Biodiversity per se does not guarantee sustainability unless integrated with functioning systems of nature.
2. Our children’s development must be holistic
In all four stages: genetic, childhood, lifestyle – and fetal (in the womb)
Sing, talk to your baby while in the womb.
3. Our children are at the front line and center of people’s revolution spreading worldwide.
Arab Spring is sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, so with the escalating unrest questioning the present world order. All over US the young are angry at economic inequity.
4. Our children become new heroes – heroes for the environment, martyrs for Mother Earth. Heaven is in a regained Paradise on earth.
The coming of a universal faith, irrespective of denomination. To be saved is not by faith and promise. Heaven starts here on earth.
5. Let’s prepare our children to face the consequences of loss of privacy and secrecy, from personal to institutional transparency.
“You can no longer hide. There is no place you can remain with anonymity.” Wikileak unveiled classified information about the Iraq and Afghanistan war. Bank secrecy laws and safeguards are changing. Citizens have the right to know many hidden financial transactions.
6. Our children’s involvement in social media makes them actors and not mere spectators. They become involved, concerned with issues, local and far reaching.
There is need to strengthen Development Communication (DevComm) over conventional entertainment and reactionary media.
7. Our children will inherit our aging infrastructure. Aging Infrastructure pulls down the economy, increases risk to disaster, creates ghost cities and making life miserable.
A new field of biodiversity has been born in deserted towns, on the 38th Parallel between South and North Korea, in land mines areas, ghost towns, among deserted high rise buildings, in high radiation areas like in Chernobyl (Russia) and Fukushima (Japan).
8. Our children are deprived of natural beauty and bounty with shrinking wildlife, conversion of farms and pastures to settlements, and destruction of ecosystems.
“Canned Nature” (delata) have become pseudo Nature Centers. Gubat sa Siyudad, Fantasyland, Ocean Park, Disneyland
9. Our children, and succeeding generations are becoming more and more vulnerable to various infirmities – genetic, physiological, psychological, pathologic.
Computer Syndrome is now pandemic, and its toll is increasing worldwide. South Korea is the worst hit.
10. Our children’s learning through codification defeats logical thinking and creativity. Thus affect their reasoning power, judgment and decision, originality of thought and ideas.
More and more children are computer-dependent. They find simple equations and definitions difficult without electronic gadget.
11. Our children face the age of singularity whereby human and artificial intelligence are integrated. Robotics robs human of his rights and freedom – new realm of curtailment and suppression. (2045 – The Year Man Becomes Immortal – Time Magazine)
This is falsehood!
12. Our children finds a world of archives - memories, reproductions, replicas – of a real world lost before their own time.
We are making fossils, biographies, dirges and lament, as if without sense of guilt.
13. Our children will realize that optimism will remain the mainstay of human evolution, rising above difficulties and trials. Hope is ingrained in the human brain that makes vision rosier than reality.
Anxiety, depression will continue to haunt, in fact accompany progress, but these all the more push optimism up and ahead.
14. Our children are overburdened by education. They need freedom to learn in their own sweet time and enjoy the bliss and adventure of childhood and adolescence.
E-learning is taking over much of the role of schools and universities. Open Universities, Distance Learning will dwarf classroom instruction. Beginning of a new University of Plato’s dream.
15. Our children will witness in their time the beginning of a post-capitalism order, environmental revolution, rise of growth centers and shift in economic dominance and order, more green technologies, and space exploration.
This is Renaissance in in the new age.
16. Our children will continue looking for the missing links of science, history, religion, astronomy etc, among them the source of life itself and its link with the physical world.
Linking of disciplines, narrowing down the gaps of specializations, making of a new Man and culture.
17. Our children become more and more transient in domicile where work may require, and for personal reasons, and when given choice and opportunity in a global perspective, intermarriages notwithstanding.
“Citizen of the world” is a person without a specific country. He is therefore, rootless.
Humans since creation are rooted politically, culturally – and principally biologically.
18. Our children will have a family size of ideally 2 or 3 children, enabling them to achieve their goals and dreams in life. They will strengthen the middle class the prime mover of society.
A natural way of family planning and population planning, trend of industrialized countries.
19. Our children will live simpler lives, going back to basics, preferring natural over artificial goods and services. In the long run they will be less wasteful that us.
There is always a hidden desire to escape when things get rough. This is instinct for survival either by detour or turning back.
20. Our children will clean the land, water and air we the generation before littered. They will heal the earth we defaced, damage. With generation gap closed, the task will be shared by all.
We must be good housekeepers of Mother Earth now.
21. Our children will be part of devolution of power, decentralization of authority, a new breed of more dedicated leaders.
Children hold the key to change. It’s the Little Prince that changed and saved the pilot in an ill-fated plane crash in Sahara.
22. Our children face acculturation and inter racial marriages. Melange of races is on the rise – Eurasian, Afro-American, Afro-Asian, etc – a homogenization process that reduces as a consequence natural gene pools.
Culturally and scientifically, this is dangerous. Homogenization leads to extinction of races and ultimately the species.
23. Our children are likely to face the dark side of genetic engineering - human cloning. There is no evidence of successful cloning of the human being as yet, although speculations are great that human cloning experiments are being done clandestinely.
Success in cloning animals pioneered by Dolly the sheep does not promise a good future to humans - and to the whole of creation. Cloned animals fail to follow the normal life cycle. Thus Dolly died a premature death - much earlier that the donor-parent. Analogously, clopned human will fail to enjoy the parental love in infancy, discovery in childhood, adventures in youth, responsibility in adulthood, and fulfillment in old age.
24. Our children face the coming of the Horsemen of Apocalypse – consequence of human folly and frailty (nuclear, pollution, poverty). More than we grownups, they are more resilient to adapt to the test.
History tells us that this is true.
25. Postmodernism may do more harm than good for our children in a runaway technology and culture. They cannot and will not be able to keep with the pace and direction of change.
This is not true. “I am the master of my fate, I’s the captain of my soul.” And this is what we want our children to become – but only when they are CHILDREN OF NATURE.
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