After mourning, time for reflection

This year’s bitter summer had yet more losses, more pain, in store for us. After the razing of our country’s forests and the destruction of people’s properties, now we are mourning the human lives that have been lost in these latest fires – the heaviest losses of all. These are hours of mourning and reflection. It is not a time for empty words. The horror we have witnessed cannot be expressed. But after the mourning period, which is entirely justified, we must finally realize that we are living in an ever-changing environment and that we are the victims of the unpredictable whims of natural phenomena. We must understand that we will be experiencing extreme weather conditions all the more frequently and these – along with excessive urbanization and chronic water shortages in the Mediterranean – will constitute our new normality, our new everyday reality. In this unpredictable, arduous new environment, natural disasters cannot be avoided simply with the use of professionals with the necessary equipment. If we are to protect our environment – and our lives – our society needs to be in a state of constant readiness – solid, unified and properly trained to react. As Odysseas Elytis wrote: «The truth is revealed only in death.» These words by Greece’s Nobel-prize winning poet show us the road to knowledge after death.