Jul Sep 2015

Jul Sep 2015
Mindful Travel

How do we hold mindful travel and a shrinking world simultaneously in times of numerous possibilities to travel far and wide? Articles in this issue focus on balancing our love for travel with our love for Mother Earth.

Editorial

The Earth is bountiful and incredibly beautiful - beckoning to us to climb those mountains, watch wildlife at dawn, relax on that beach - after travelling half way across the planet. And there are people of exotic cultures, lovely old castles and other man-made wonders to admire. Add to that our human need to be enchanted by what is new and affordable, we have a great footloose civilisation. On an average over 8 million people fly every day, and if you travel by train, the station is so crowded that the whole world seems to be travelling. But hey, so are you!

What do Pope Francis, Neil Young, and German beekeepers have in common? They’re all speaking out against genetically engineered crops and the excessive use of toxic pesticides. Meanwhile, the chemical technology industry is feverishly trying to revamp its image by renaming itself and putting out new spins on words to disguise what they’re really all about.

A telecom engineer with expertise in Internet security systems in the Silicon City of India, one would imagine, was a person who lived out what the majority of us do, in these times: the consumerist dream... with no qualms whatsoever. K.P. Singh, however, chose to respond to his calling and take the road less travelled.

On 1 April 2013, I put out a news item announcing that the Government of India had set a Sustainable Consumption Line, and all those consuming above that line would have action taken against them. Several readers wrote to me asking for more details, some even wanted to write to the Government congratulating it for the bold step. Eventually, of course, people figured out it was a spoof.

We live in a global society where people and products continuously criss-cross the planet, but we seem to constantly exclude, or at least forget to mention, one of the means for this transportation in the sustainability discussion: air travel.