Dimitris Dimopoulos

«The threats to the environment have now become visible to all of us, even the most skeptical. Serious scientists no longer entertain any doubts about the climatic changes and people’s part in accelerating them. Certainly climatic change produces fear – fear for the future of our planet, fear for the kind of world our children will grow up in. These concerns are often directed at environmental organizations, along with pessimistic comments along the lines of ‘nothing changes’ or ‘that’s progress.’ «However, environmental organizations have developed psychological mechanisms that transform pessimism into optimism and fatalism into a desire to fight and to change views and behavior. For the Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage, people’s increasing interest in the environment is a factor for optimism, particularly following a recent poll and the work being done by various organizations around the world (including businesses, industries, scientists and some governments) to provide alternative solutions to the prevailing harmful model of development. The great success of a series of seminars we recently held on biodiversity and bioclimatic architecture that attracted far greater crowds than we had imagined is another indication of the interest in the environment that is emerging in Greek society. «The Greek state, however, continues to function without taking any of these international initiatives into account. To become part of the solution to a problem one first has to understand and accept the existence of the problem. As Einstein said, we can’t solve a problem by thinking in the same way as when we created it. Changing the established mind-set is the main role environmental organizations play. «So we hope that in 2006 we will take another step toward changing the way people think and behave and we hope that those who govern this country will wake up and begin to take a serious interest in our environment.»

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