Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pace Down & Enjoy Nature’s Free Lunch

Climate change is top on the agenda in many a forum. It seemingly would remain there for years to come!

As governments continue to fight the climate change agenda over emission-control and industrialists and politicians come up with techno-economical solutions like hybrid cars, carbon trading, I begin to doubt the credibility of singling out climate change as the most dangerous environmental issue of our times.

It all could well be a politico-economic ploy, as Russian scientists claim-- Kyoto Protocol could well be a scheme by European nations against the US and emerging economies, as the US pushed through the Montreal Protocol of 1987. And if so, it is to burst soon as any other hype by the west!

If nature is behaving in extraordinary ways, rising temperature is only a part of the problem. And irresponsible human action could be a more potent environmental hazard than the generally harmless greenhouse gases.

Climate perhaps is the most perceivable of Mother Earth’s response to reckless human action driven by over consumption.

Won’t SHE be affected by the tonnes of concrete dumped on her in the name of development? Will not excessive mining of ecologically sensitive areas distress her? Won’t she react in her own painful ways to submerging hectares of her land by huge dams? Not to raise the myriad questions of the effect of depleting her forest reserves and destroying the natural habitats she holds close to her heart…

If natural calamities are a serious threat to life on earth, it’s high time we, humans, rethink our place on the planet. We may need to pace down both as individuals, and society. Cut down on consumption judging our actions with a deep sense of moral responsibility. Why do we need so much, after all?

William Ruckelshaus has said ‘Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.’

Let’s control our appetites and enjoy Nature’s free lunch, in these times when corporations mumble, ‘There’s nothing called a free lunch.’


I Pay Tribute

'Russians pay tribute to Solzhenitsyn,' so said The Guardian in a report.

The report was about the death and the orthodox funeral for Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel prize-winning Russian author, who held his Fatherland tight to his chest even as the Russian political system abandoned him, banished him to take refuge in the enemy’s abode.

Incarcerated in the gulags under Stalin, Solzhenitsyn was stripped of his Soviet citizenship and expelled from the USSR in 1974 for writing about his experiences under the brutal Stalinist Soviet system. He lived in the US until his return to Russia in 1994 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

While my interest and awe remains on Solzhenitsyn, the author of A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago, for his courage and will to expose the crimes of the Stalinist era and to continue criticising Russia's post-Communist leaders even after his return, it is his unswerving patriotism that captivates me, the socio-politically inclined self.

Throughout his exile in America, Solzhenitsyn had reportedly rejected the west (the US) and continued to set his watch to Moscow time!

As I digest the American political interests that accommodated Solzhenitsyn's adamancy, the refugee’s resolve, his unbridled love for his native land continues to haunt me, intrigue me –-living in a land where the young ones faithfully submit themselves to the clocks that are set to the US times in their call centre gulags!

I join the thousands of Russians who pay tribute to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, described by fellow Nobel laureate and South Arican writer JM Coetzee as ‘a colossus of our times’ and ‘a great Russian patriot’.

And, I submit myself to the memories of my father, a communist of the old genre, who had directed me to his book shelf that had The Gulag Archipelago and The Mother among them, as I blindly took to communism at a young age.