While we are busy with Sabarimala and #MeToo allegations, there are some real news not making to the headlines.
Unnoticed by us, our dear old Donald has confirmed that US will leave an arms control treaty with Russia operative since end of Cold War.
Just as I am contemplating about the enormity of this development for entire humanity, a Facebook post pops up on my wall asking me about my stand on environmental concerns vs. economic development in the context of third world.
It suddenly strikes me that unnoticed by all of us, there exists the deepest and existentially critical (for poor people of the third world) connection between nukes and climate change crisis that needs urgent attention.
As Mr. Trump has started uninhibitedly exhibiting the true face of the rich and powerful humans, it is a time for third world to get real about who we humans really are.
As I read comments of esteemed participants of this environmental debate, there is no prize guessing what they have to say. It is stuff that Al Gore, me and Donald Trump, all three will agree on, because it means nothing in reality.
I often feel that climate change debates held by millions across the world each year are worse than the calls of a brain fever bird in a drowsy summer afternoon. They repeat the same thoughts, again and again and again and again.
The problem is this debate between climate-change-is-real (or rather ah-see-the-arctic-ice-shelf-broke-we-told-you-so) of planet-saviours or we-need-sustainable-development from fence-sitters or climate-change-is-fake from the corporate lobbyists is no longer making sense to you and me who can’t understand what this cacophonic din means.
Though I can’t hope to understand this ancient and ever-changing planet and the complex web of life woven over it across more than four billion years, I think I know myself and hence an average human being; so I have an honest answer to the environment question rooted in reality instead of idealism.
I am ready to accept that climate is changing, not because of the evidence from experts but because of a simple fact that our planet is a volatile and hostile place that is ALWAYS changing.
I also feel that it is hard to overlook the fact that unlike other life-forms, we humans are taking far more than what we can give to the ecosystem of Earth and we need to change our way of life.
Even though I am not an expert, I can see that the change required is moving away from gratification-based over-consumption that is becoming The modern way of life.
My above learning is from my own life.
I have earned more money that I will ever need. I have tons of useless stuff that I have purchased for personal gratification. I own fuel-guzzling cars and run air-conditioners even in October (and blame it to climate change). In short, I am just like the most others who share this planet with me.
So, using simple logic, I can say that if the change is needed and, more importantly, it is I who needs to change, the best way to find the answer would be asking my own self.
What will make me change my life-style?
– Would it be inspirational speeches?
– Would be strong evidences provided by science about a very real future threat?
– Would it be my realisation about how bad my gratification-based life-style is?
Dear reader, I am ready to be honest.
I WONT change by any of the above.
I may get moved and even have a momentary emotional spasm leading to a resolution to change but when I will see a new iPhone (that would be same as my current phone, only a bit more expensive) or a Jeep Wrangler (that too a 4×4 brute, and hence absolutely critical for my urban life) I will be back to my original self.
I know that not just me, WE ALL can’t change, and that is what has made climate change debate a sham (and a vocation for many).
But, reality is, we need to change. So I have to again ask myself what really makes me change.
I will change only when there will be no option. I will change when the crisis hits me, but even more importantly, I will willingly change only when I sense the change to be fair to me.
And, if I look at my dark side, I love myself and my gratification-zombie life, so if I have a power to force others to change instead of me, however unfair that may be, it will be my first choice.
As far as I know us humans and nations formed by us, regardless of all the millions of debates, symposiums, international conventions and treaties, my money is on the possibility that existential climate-criss will hit us before we can change, because just as individuals can’t stop being greedily self-centric, even societies and nations behave the same way.
It is not that there is no real solution for climate crisis.
A rational and fair solution to climate crisis is, as First World nations have plundered the entire planet to become obscenely rich and Second and Third World have remained abjectly poor, the First World should share its ill-gotten wealth, as it would prevent poor nations to exploit their resources and damage the planet further. The only solution that is human is equitable distribution of wealth between rich and poor.
Reality is, it is NOT going to happen. Rich may preach and make right noises, they are NOT going to share.
If at all it will happen, it may be only when a real climate change crisis would be upon us. But, my fear is, even at that state, it is extremely unlikely to happen.
Let us be brutally honest, we humans are mean and once we hit self-preservation mode, we have no altruism and we can go to any extent to save our own backside.
So, if a climate change crisis will evoke an existential threat, which it most likely would, and if the rich and powerful Trumps of the world will have a choice to exterminate the weak and poor, I don’t have an iota of doubt that they will do it.
It may sound cruel and inhuman, but we have been there and done that and we will always do that. So, let us not feign blindness to who we really are, deep within.
Strange it may sound, but I feel that a third world armed with nuclear power is a much-needed development that will force the first world to pretend to behave humanely and share its wealth.
While I do hope that we really rise up to being Homo sapiens and western world would behave responsibly to own up the problem it has created for entire humanity, (thankfully including itself).
But, as a pragmatic person I don’t expect it to happen without a nuke-empowered third world that will take away wiping them out option from the first world.