Jul Sep 2010

Jul Sep 2010
Uncommon Sense

Editorial

We of the older generation are not handing over Planet Earth in very good shape to our children. Worse, we have handed over dreams of success and achievement that are not going to help them with real issues in their lives – real issues of dealing with cleaning up and cooling down our earth.

Cycling daily to the workplace makes the commute interesting, healthy, and non-polluting.

As with most people, my vehicle got bigger as I grew professionally. I started my career with a moped, and then graduated in stages to a scooter, a small car, a bigger car, etc. However, 10 years ago, it struck me that this was a stupid way to go and I started cycling for three reasons - all equally important.

Governments and industries are yet to accept the reality of climate change. Then, can our individual choices and small scale efforts change anything at all? Best-selling author, Michael Pollan talks of why should we, as individuals, bother?

Waste is the shadow side of the economy. Stripped of desire, it weighs like a corpse around the necks of the living. It is placed in black bags and transported, like the dead, to sites of exclusion – to landfills and incinerators, the graveyards and crematoria in the kingdom of objects.

Food is the input of life force to sustain life, and it is only with awareness and love that we can we bring about an ecological balance in our bodies

It all started about 20 years ago when climate change and renewable energy were still not popular and surely not glamorous. My curiosity to understand evolution, patterns and design in nature led to a growing exploration of its various processes. From mimicking evolution to creating artificial life, to capturing energy the way plants do, each experiment added to what was still just scientific curiosity. These meanderings one day led to a completely new dimension, that of architecture. This happened in a beautiful dense forest in Pennsylvania.

The critical task before those approaching Gandhian economics is to define M.K. Gandhi’s understanding of economics, as distinct from the mainstream economic tradition of Adam Smith. While it is true that Gandhi was not a professional economist, his economics is rich in its comprehension of the dynamics of economic processes, and thought-provoking in its provision of creative alternatives.

One of India’s first organic farmers, Bhaskar Save, believes co-operation is the fundamental law of Nature

Masanobu Fukuoka, renowned natural farmer, made several visits to India, a country which inspired more hope in him than his own Japan. On his last visit here, he spent a day at the farm of another remarkable octogenarian, Bhaskar Save, in southernmost coastal Gujarat. Halfway through his bullock cart tour of the place, Fukuoka declared – “I have seen many farms all over the world. This is the best; it is even better than my own farm!”

Fruits are amongst the healthiest, most delicious and natural foods that we can have. Our ancestors having eaten raw foods for almost two million years, our bodies have evolved to make best use of fruits, reminding us of our intricate yet simple and direct connection with the Earth.

“I would like to say to the diligent reader of my writings and to others who are interested in them that I am not at all concerned with appearing to be consistent. In my search for Truth, I have discarded many ideas and learnt many new things. Old as I am in age, I have no feeling that I have ceased to grow inwardly or that my growth will stop at the dissolution of the flesh.

Scientific predictions of environmental change are difficult for ordinary human beings to comprehend fully. We hear about increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, increasing cancer rates, vast population growth, depletion of resources, and extinction of species. Human activity everywhere is hastening to destroy key elements of the natural ecosystems that all living beings depend on.

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