Writing on the wall

Climate disturbances are more frequent, affecting people around the globe. 

I spoke to a wheat farmer, now forced to work as a driver to make ends meet for his family. He said “Earlier, we used to work as family, all hands sowing the crop, then we would pray to God to give us rain and we would have a bumper crop, some of which we would keep for ourself and the rest we would sell, but now, even the Gods have stopped listening to us.”

It was only a couple of months back that I casually remarked about the 49.2 degrees C temperature in Delhi, to a revered computer scientist in another part of the world. This is what he said “Science was first used to measure very accurately CO2 in the atmosphere in the late 1950s, and to determine both the rise and that it was exponential in the early 60s.” I calculate. It is 60 years since.

Walter Stahel, who first illustrated the economy in loops in 1976, later in 1982 was awarded for his paper on the product life cycle. He made the similar observation last month “In a recent post on LinkedIn, the question was asked why decision takers ignore early warning signals. The writing has been on the wall for decades, but most decision takers did not (want to) see it. Has this situation changed in the meantime, are politicians and economic actors today capable of dealing with emergencies?” 

Coming back to 2009 in this millennia itself, another brilliant scientist, dr. Tony Pereira, was awarded a unesco prize for his paper – Sustainability: An integral engineering design approach, where he suggests a systems approach to reach sustainable living. These ideas, however brilliant they are, are far from being mainstreamed.

I mulled over this phenomena through my own experience while reviewing literature for Phd studies (which I later left to pursue practice based solutions ), that these problems have been identified time and again, solutions worked upon by the illustrious academics of that time. Their suggestions being awarded, then completely ignored as the world (mostly white industrial nations) stepped a pedal towards the opposite direction. Now this accelerated growth has been disastrous for the rest of the world as over two third of the world’s population also suffer from this climate burden.

A probable understanding of this phenomena was by the noted award-winning scientist itself. Here is what he had to say “However, most of the people in power have not learned how to actually think, and have turned their desire for “no global warning” into various kinds of beliefs (e.g. that it isn’t happening, it won’t be so bad, it can’t be fixed, etc.) and these have been turned into actions over the last 60 years that have made things worse, rather than actions that could have fixed things by now.

With the changing world dynamics, there is an opportunity for the rest of the world to fix the issues in their own regional spheres of influence. China has shown remarkable lead in circularity based governance. India is on path to rediscovery of its forgotten indigenous techniques, showing signs of progress through banning of single use plastics this month. Entrepreneurs from Brazil to Africa are understanding the inherent value of their craft from the point of sustainability, rather than a curious exotic export. Or would we ignore these climate incidences and get busy with the task of survival? It’s hard to see how.

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