[Solar cooker on Flickr by Akuppa under a Creative Commons 2.0 licence]
Interviewer: Can you think of a time in your life when there was a transition to where climate change and the environment became more important?
Joachim Pilz: Well 25 years ago I started to meditate. Until then I was interested in, I was very much interested in natural products, but at that time climate change was not such a big issue, as such. Things started changing about 15 years ago, when I started to introduce renewable energy into the Brahma Kumaris Institution, and then I started working with some research institutes in Germany, and I became more and more aware about renewable energies, climate, and how things are linked together.
Interviewer: So what are you working on now?
Joachim: At present, basically we are about 20 people in the Brahma Kumaris Institution working on renewable energies. We have six big solar thermal systems, which we use for cooking purpose, which do need maintenance, and we have about 600 kilowatt photovoltaic spread all over India. These are around 100 systems, and there we do also the maintenance of batteries and inverters. So we are quite busy with the maintenance of these systems. In addition, we are planning for a new project that is a one megawatt solar thermal power plant based on a 60-square-metre parabolic dish.
Interviewer: And what do you see yourself working on in the next one, five, or ten years?
Joachim: Well in the next one year, definitely, I shall work on this solar thermal power plant. We’re looking into funding, we’re looking into technology, we have already the land, and at the moment we are finalising the pre-series prototype. I think this project may take another two or three years. Beyond that, I can’t really see what’s going on because the world is changing at a very fast pace and only God knows what will happen in three or five years.
Interviewer: Can I just ask you what you’re doing on COP15 and what your stand is?
Joachim: Yes, we are here as an NGO registered, and Brahma Kumaris has a consultative status with the United Nations. So all big United Nations conferences we are participating, we have a general status, and we are practicing meditation, and we believe that many of the problems, if not most of the problems on this earth, can be changed if people change their consciousness. We have the technology, we have the ideas, we have the goodwill, but we are not implementing it, because people have forgotten to imbibe values and change the consciousness. This is why the real push, and the real success, is not there with all the good ideas.
Interviewer: That’s excellent. Now I want you to think about your own personal views. Do you see yourself as a pessimist or an optimist, around environmental change and climate change?
Joachim: This is a very interesting question, because I’m a spiritual person and a yogi, and the yogi believes in different horizons, he believes in different timescales, and he does not really believe that there is something very bad or something very good. We believe more whatever happens it has to happen, and it is part of what we call the drama. It is part of the play, which is happening in front of us. We should always accept what is in this play and say, it is as it is. We should try to make the best out of it. We should always look for the good, try to act good, but whatever happens ultimately we should accept it.
So we should not be frustrated and lose our good mood, or our happiness, because if things are not evolving nicely. Insofar, I cannot say I’m a pessimist or optimist. I believe that the good will prevail. I believe that a new age will come, and I believe that humanity is on the road to a new golden area. This area will come through good wishes and self transformation; it will not necessarily come through technology.
Interviewer: Okay, thank you very much.