After a long time ..some thoughts on one of the issues closest to my heart .............
Life’s clouded with uncertainty and the dilemma we all face in our lives 24x7 is of sustainability! Will we sustain our relationships? Will the economy sustain meltdown? Will nations be able to sustain aftermath of wars?
But the biggest question which stares into our face today is “Will Mother Nature is able to sustain its earthlings???”
With globalization at its peak and advancements sky rocketing we have indeed advanced to such an extent that Nature has begun to retreat. Forest covers are depleting, glaciers melting and temperatures rising. Nature’s changing and the “powerful” men striving and surviving because of Nature have termed this Climate Change.
Change is good! It’s the spice of life but unfortunately this change questions the sustainability of life!!!!
The basic right outlined in every constitution and the Charter of United Nations is of equality synonymous with equity. Nature created us as equals and an act to restore the damage to it will unquestionably be about equity and sharing at all levels in every way.
The failed Copenhagen talks, the restrain of the developed world to give up luxuries, the expectations from the third world to retard their growth, the hitch in acting to save the earth, the denial of the promises in Kyoto Protocol are all factors which are creating an imbalance not just in Nature but in our World.
The principles of equality are being exploited and disregarded. The rich must step down at least a few steps to help the poor rise. They cannot stagnate in their comfort zones and expect the poor and the under privileged to act and change the Change they added fuel to!
How can we expect someone who barely gets a meal a day to understand that his indigenous cooking arrangement is harming the environment and will adversely affect nature for generations to come? When he is unsure whether he will see the next dawn or not how can he be sensitised on these issues?
It is the affluent, who are leading reasonably convenient lifestyles, who can talk of this in the boardrooms and draft policies. There is no denying that this thought and awareness is essential but if we are actually bothered we need to act there is a need to offer the poor man a CNG cooking arrangement and then educate him!
This example simply illustrates the divide between nations, between people. We cannot do anything to change the Climate Change till we understand that Nature in balanced and our actions and policies must respect its inherent characteristic.
In 1750’s when the west was evolving they had their hands on the most indigenous technology and cheapest of fuels. They grew and grew real fast to become Superpowers of today and are now putting the onus on countries like India and China to act and reduce emissions! Reluctant to give up on their comfort, concepts like carbon offsetting have been evolved. This disparity needs to end and an all pervasive equitable solution must be evolved.
As former French president Jacques Chirac put it
“Our house is burning and we look elsewhere. Nature, mutilated and over-exploited, can no longer reconstitute itself and we refuse to admit it. Humanity is suffering. It is suffering from poor development, in the North as in the South, and we are indifferent. The Earth and humanity are in peril and we are all responsible. It is time now to open our eyes! “
There is a need to work on the model of the Robin Hood tax, a concept where it is proposed to impose a tax on bank transactions to help the poor, a noble concept indeed!
An intense support is required by the developing world in terms of technology and finances to be able to adapt to greener technologies to reduce the damage. The disparity within nations must be reduced and differences between countries should be solved.
A global human society, characterised by islands of wealth, surrounded by a sea of poverty, is unsustainable and unacceptable! We need to grow together as a nation and as global citizens who are all children of one Mother Nature rather than as divided individuals and countries.
Climate change is not just an environmental issue, but has more to do with security and economics. It is related to economic growth. It is about sharing necessary growth between nations and people. Without environmental sustainability, economic stability and social cohesion cannot be achieved
As I close, the words of John Duggan ring in my ears “We will create the environment of the future, either through action or inaction. We have a choice!