Change Solutions: Beyond Science And Above Confines
By Abdul Basit
08 September, 2007
Despite the vast research and
debates about solutions to global warming and climate change, most of
these solutions are confined to science and scientific research. The
recent developments in the field of bio-fuels, solar energy, wind energy,
Geo Engineering and other fields have indeed provided solutions in reducing
the carbon emission. But we have to go beyond the greenhouse carbon
emissions and address the environmental issues in totality. Over the
past few years, we have come across many new vocabularies due to climate
change like Ozone hole depletion, Global warming, CO2 Emission, acid
rain, tsunamis, bush fires, soil erosion and others, most of which have
been unheard of to the generations prior to that of ours.
Science only deals with the immediate issues and does not see the whole
picture. Here we have to take into account the possible natural and
man made tipping points and the chain reactions that will follow. So
only addressing greenhouse gas emissions without taking into account
total environmental crises will complicate problems further and will
only add new terms to ever increasing vocabulary of environmental problems.
So the important question is whether the search for solution should
be confined only to science or is the concern beyond Science.
The recent researches have undoubtedly confirmed that human factor is
the major reason for the climate change including natural calamities,
melting glaciers, rising seas, droughts, floods, extinction of many
animal and plant species, depleting water resources and reduced output
of agricultural products. Since this crisis involves the question of
the very existence of mankind and the habitability of the earth, the
solution should not confine to science and it is much beyond. Hence
along with scientific research, we require political, religious, ideological,
cultural, philosophical, economic, social and intellectual coordination.
Secondly, since human factor is the main reason for climate change,
the transformation in the method of lifestyle and concepts of economic
development required is much beyond the scope of science. Most solutions
provided by scientific research are very limited in scope such as to
fill up our automobile tanks with bio fuels instead of fossil fuels.
Such solutions will only aggravate the crises and create new problems.
What we need is a total transformation from what we have hitherto followed.
This transformation requires the change of the basic concept of materialistic
way of life and pursuit of wealth. This can only be achieved by cultivating
moral and spiritual values among the society and by replacing materialistic
pursuits with holistic and simple way of life. For this transformation,
we have to utilize all the resources at mankind’s disposal in
order to overcome this existential crisis.
Below are some of the issues we have to address on the path to total
a) How can we instigate a transformation in lifestyle when the identity
of every individual is evaluated by his bank balance and his money earning
b) How can we take hard decisions when instead of love and mutual respect,
family and social relationships are maintained by luxurious objects
like concrete bungalows, limousines and electronic gadgets that are
the very polluters of the environment?
c) How can we convince the common people about change, when their livelihood
is reliant on the very companies and corporates that are polluting the
d) How can we persuade the leaders and governments to implement policies,
when the support of these leaders and governments rest on the funds
and assistance of these big business houses?
e) How can the religious and ideological leadership instigate change
and transformation in the society when they are part and parcel of the
very ruling establishment who are responsible for the corruption and
f) How can we persuade nations when their only motive is to attract
foreign investment in massive industrial and commercial projects?
As a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the cold
war and the creation of uni-polar world with unchallenged dominance
of USA over the world affairs, made the capitalistic model of economic
development unquestioned and universally accepted. As a result, many
countries like Communist China under Deng Xiaopeng and non-aligned countries
like India under Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh jumped into the capitalist
bandwagon and whole-heartedly embraced their model of economic development.
Due to this, they started competing with USA in polluting the environment.
This universally accepted model of economic development is the greatest
hindrance in the fight against climate change and this has to be addressed
at the political and ideological level.
Secondly, as we all know, the earth provides nearly all of our basic
needs like food, clean air and drinking water that are essential to
sustain life on earth. At the same time most of products provided by
the Industries are either luxurious or cosmetic. After the Industrial
revolution and development in manufacturing and Industrial sector, we
were introduced to new products and requirements that ultimately became
a necessity. As consumerism and market competition amplified, the over
exploitation of natural resources to manufacture these products also
increased. These industrial items that made our life easy and comfortable
but are not a necessity are the main polluters of the environment. So
in effect we have been producing and consuming these unwanted cosmetic
and consumer items at the detriment of basic needs that are essential
to sustain life on earth. We can sustain life without these industrial
products. But can we risk our very existence by risking the basic requirements
for these unnecessary industrial commodities especially when mankind
lived thousands of years before Industrial Revolution without these
fancy products? This is one of the major aspects of economy that has
to be addressed through policy decisions and intellectual awareness.
The spiritual and creative hollowness that man is facing due to materialistic
pursuit has created a great imbalance in his life. This in turn has
affected the family and social relationships between the members of
the society and further the society’s relationship with nature.
So the major role of religious, ideological and spiritual organizations
is to guide mankind to both a spiritually and materially fulfilled life.
But Which Religion and which Ideology?
I don’t think earth has the capacity to face another conflict
to answer this question by any further clash of civilizations or religions.
Since we are facing an existential crisis of humanity as a whole, this
crisis provides a rare opportunity for people from all faiths, ideologies,
races and nations to unite to counter the threat of global warming and
climate change. A marginal group cannot solve this crisis of global
proportion. All the religious, ideological and national leaders should
come together and unite to address this international emergency and
make the necessary transformation to guide humanity out of this crisis.
Moreover, these leaders should guide their followers within their respective
confines to a sustainable and eco-friendly way of life.
Secondly, throughout the twentieth century and the present century saw
leaders who have left a trail of destruction to humanity and environment
with their arrogant and authoritarian policies and wars. The recent
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been part of this ongoing trail of
destruction. And to further complicate matters, the perceived attack
on the nuclear facilities in Iran by self-proclaimed apostle of Democracy
will be one of the greatest human tipping points. After this, there
will not be much tipping points for the extinction of life on earth.
Don’t think that mankind would like to get eradicated unceremoniously
by the foolish action of this ‘democratic’ dictator who
is trying to promote his self-styled and ill-conceived democracy at
the peril of very existence of mankind. By the time he implements his
agenda there will be no being on earth. So we have to prevent this attack
at all cost for the future and well being of mankind and world peace.
The world must ensure that humanity is lead by visionaries with strong
moral and humane qualities who are concerned for the well being of mankind
as a whole and its welfare. The recent awards conferred to Al-Gore by
a remote tribe in Eastern India provide a glimmer of hope that there
are some people at the top with awareness about the crisis humanity
is facing. This award conferred by these distinctive and original people
to him for his work in spreading awareness about global warming and
climate change and the documentary ‘The Inconvenient Truth’,
are more valuable than the extravagant awards that are held in glittering
ceremonies at world capitals.
To conclude, the present crisis we are facing due to climate change
is one of the rare moments in the history of mankind (after Noah’s
Ark) in which the survival of whole humanity is at stake. Many civilizations
and cultures were destroyed earlier, but never on a global scale. In
this hour of crisis, let us unite as one human community and face the
challenges together. Let the leaders of all the communities, scientists,
artists, academics, intellectuals, philosophers, poets, musicians, sportsmen
along with world populace come together and save the humanity. Let us
thank the Almighty creator for bestowing this beautiful earth for mankind.
Let us convey our gratitude to this glorious planet for allowing the
human race to develop, prosper and spread on its magnificent and diverse
landscape. These beautiful landscapes and favorable climates allowed
many diverse civilizations and cultures flourish for thousand of years.
In the end, let us all celebrate the unity of mankind before life gets
This is the last in a series of articles. My earlier articles are:
to counter global warming and climate change’
to counter global warming and climate change’
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