Masonic Press Agency of Romania (APMR) - COP 16 - UNFCCC ------------------------------------------------------------------- español - română

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Interview with the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of State, Sovereign and Independent "El Potosi", Israel HERNANDEZ ARRIAGA

Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of State, Sovereign and Independent "El Potosi", Brethren Israel HERNANDEZ ARRIAGA, the world is going through a very intense season, as it is considered that the COP16 Summit may not offer more than the COP15 in Denmark.

1. On November 29, 2010, began the COP16 Summit. The last meeting (the one in Copenhagen, Denmark) did not had the desired results of the participating countries. Do you think this meeting will bring something new in terms of Climate Change?

Sadly I doubt it. Unfortunately many countries participating in the summit even before the start of the same state that "Cancun will not save the world." The attitude of these members makes their final position. Can generate ideas, seek agreement, but their starting position is not to endorse the commitments that are generated. Many of these positions may reflect economic interests rather than a firm commitment for the benefit of everyone's home, which is Earth.

2. Last year in December, the Grand Master of United Grand Lodges of Germany (Brethren Rüdiger Templin) did not consider relevant the COP15 Report. The Grand Master asked Freemasons of Germany and in the world to begin to act each one to bring its contribution to reducing energy consumption. Do you think that Freemasons and Freemasonry can play an active role in this process apparently irreversible?

Definitely! Our commitment is to work for the good of mankind, so that we can not side aspects such as care for the environment. For example, if a Grand Lodge has 60 Lodges, imagine that each "adopt" a public park and keep it clean and reforested, this means that 60 parks in our community would be helping to clean our air. If as links of this great universal chain multiply this global effort, as a Universal Family, how many acres would be preserved by Freemasonry? Can we measure the positive impact of this activity? Imagine the social and environmental impact that would cause our Order in the world.

3. The Grand Lodge in which you are a member is actively involved in protecting the environment? And what does regarding this?

We are promoting the work of Brethrens devoted in particular to this. There are those who are actively involved in social movements opposed to industrial activities which have seriously negative impact on our environment, mainly because our city water is a scarce resource, and some industries also consume large volumes of this precious liquid, discarding contaminated water with substances which are lethal, such as arsenic. Many of those who integrate El Potosi have professions which will help in boosting on short-term specific projects about which we will keep you informed.

4. Masonry in Brazil is trying to protect the Amazon. Various Masonic organizations have implemented several projects in this regard. How effective can the relationship between state institutions and Freemasonry can be?

I consider it of vital importance. In this way Masons could ensure that the governments of our countries move from talking to acting. Mainly, we must urge our Americans Brethrens to seek channels of dialogue and to work with the Government of their country to sign the Kyoto Protocol and to undertake concrete actions aimed to preserve the environment. I also believe that the European Union should take the lead, amalgamating its member countries in a bloc to combat climate change. Sadly my country is one of the countries with a high deforestation rate, and therefore Mexican Freemasonry should not wait until it starts to pay a high bill, both economically and socially, of the impact of this activity when it reaches a global environmental crisis. Our Order must help to integrate what was scattered so far: economy, society and nature. If we do not push this integration, in environmental terms, we do not follow the social justice that is illustrated in our Institution.

5. What is your vision, as a simple citizen, regarding the future of the nature on our Planet? Education is a way forward in this respect?

There are times when, at the dinner table with family, we comment that to some extent man has become a blight for the planet. Our dependence on fossil fuels and the little interest in developing alternative energy sources is leading to a spiral toward disaster. We all have responsibility in this. If by analogy we think, we can perceive more clearly what we face. Think of a child in normal health conditions, body temperature ranges in the 37º C. Now what would happen if you increase the temperature with 1.5 degrees? Then we shall see him with fever, which can even convulse the child due to the temperature, or at least generate tachycardia. If we bring it to our planet, we talk about the fact that if we do not take responsible actions towards the environment, global temperatures will rise between 1.4 and 5.8º C by 2100 would not this increase in temperature and would not generate a "global upheaval"? On the other hand, education is certainly a relevant factor. In fact, new generations have greater sensitivity and awareness in this respect than ours. Youth are now looking for recyclable or reusable products, which has led to the term "eco economy" or "green economy", not as an economic discipline, but as a multidisciplinary field of study, which we drive to preserve human life in our planet, with development of the countries and communities in a sustainable manner.

M.W.G.M. Israel HERNANDEZ ARRIAGA, the Masonic Press Agency of Romania (APMR) thanks you for your kindness to grant us this interview.

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