Thursday, 14 August 2014

Climate change: Urgent need for New Grammar of Life

I created a Google alert for climate change several years ago. Generally I am not able to open it much being deluged by so many email mostly newsletters. Since the 1970s I have been writing in my diaries about dehumanization of mankind and how our hunger for being richer and possessing bigger, better, faster everything was leading us to our doom.

Today I opened my Google alert and found that ‘Global Environmental Change’, which is edited by Professor Declan Conway and administered from the London School of Economics and Political Science, has been ranked as the highest impact journal in the environmental sciences, according to new figures published by Elsevier :

Found another interesting paper: 97% of climate science and peer-reviewed research agree on human-caused global warming
Three distinct studies using four different methods have independently shown that the expert consensus on human-caused global warming is 97 ± 1%. The result is the same whether we ask the experts’ opinionslook at their public reports and statements, or examine their peer-reviewed science. Even studies that quibble about the precise percentage have accidentally reinforced the 97 ± 1% consensus.

The evidence is crystal clear that humans are the main cause of the current global warming, and the expert consensus reflects the strength of that body of evidence. It’s not easy to convince 97% of scientific experts about anything – that requires some powerful scientific evidence.

Basically most of the research recommend action plans which are generally based upon more efficient ways of generating energy, green houses, electric cars, gradual reduction of carbon emissions from manufacturing sectors, etc.

Most of these recommendations accept the present socio-economic-techno framework of our societies and have made prescriptions on an incremental basis. All of us are terribly trapped in our present high energy intensive comfort levels. Hence no one can talk of diametrically opposite solutions which would be too shocking to most as we all are prisoners of the exciting technological toys which are integral part of our lives.

Time has come for radical solutions which might appear insane at first. But the truth is that unless we rewind our civilization considerably and revert back to very low energy intensive lives at the earliest, then the race to save the planet would be lost.

We need to urgently address these issues in a holistic fashion and evolve a New Grammar of Living (NGL). The basic tenets and building blocks of the New Grammar of Living are:

1.     Green living: 
o   Reducing use of and dependence on high energy
o   Adopting solar energy, CFCs, LEDs
o   Planting trees
o   Organic food
o   Minimum and only essential use of air conditioning
o   Conserving water
o   Ecological balance
o   Rain water harvesting
2.    Simpler and wholesome lifestyles
o   Reducing materialistic and consumer lifestyles 
o   Yoga as way of life: meditation and pranayam
o   Return to pastoral lifestyles
o   Spiritualism and mysticism 
o   Humanism
o   Back to nature 
o   Deconditioning
3.    De-industrialisation
o   Stop mindless production of cars, etc
o   Scaling down high polluting industries
4.    Evolving new economic structures
o   Creating massive employment in green activities such as agriculture, agro based industries, education…
o   Limiting growth of large cities
o   Creation of sustainable self sufficient economic communities 
o   Poverty alleviation
o   Limits on wealth accumulation.

The above is just a brief incomplete outline of a rigorous New Grammar of Living which will be published in the next six months. We need more people to support a movement like NGL. Will be grateful if like minded people get in touch to take NGL to its rightful place. In a sense we have to unlearn all that we are used to and like intrepid travelers we have to take first steps in a long long journey which will help us to curb climate change at the earliest.  

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Declining testosterone key to human progress

About 60,000 years ago in Africa there was “great leap forward” as coined by Jared Diamond for human kind when there was surge in its development with making better tools, painting on cave walls, emergence of kitchens, disposal of waste and eating cooked food. This bunching of development in several spheres was hitherto attributed to a mutation of the human gene, higher intake of calories, etc.

Recent research from Duke University shows that the shape of the human skull changed over time. This had a high correlation fall in levels of testosterone in humans. As testosterone levels declined facial structures became less severe with softer features. These biological changes with reduced testosterone levels led to reduced aggression and more peaceful and cooperative human natures resulting in greater strides in art, culture and technology.

The essentially resulted in more adaptive homo sapiens which ensured the survival of the species. This is similar to trees which are able to bend are able to weather harsh storms. There could be similar developments in other mammals, birds and fish during the course of their evolution with the more severe variant giving way to more gentler descendants.

During the past two decades it has been observed that in the more advanced and educated societies there has been a pronounced decline in male fertility. Some of the past researches have given the root causes as tighter pants, hot water baths, mounting stress of our hypercompetitive era, longer working hours both at office and home thanks to being digitally online 24/7, decline in libido with both spouses having different working hours where they meet probably once a week, changes in diet with preponderance of palette pleasing processed food, secular fall in sperm count….

Trends in the future:

1.    Lower desire to procreate among advanced societies.
2.    Increase in adoptions from poorer countries and societies.
3.    Increase in surrogate mothers.
4.    Increase in no of single individuals both men and women.
5.    Increase in divorces.
6.    Asocial living.
7.    Widening in the range of sexual preferences and gender categories in humans.
8.    Humans living with robots with whom they can have sex.
9.    Group and polyamorous living and families.
10.Men using more cosmetics and beauty care aids with the market for such fashion products rising exponentially.
11.Move towards unisex clothing and fashion gear.
12.Reproduction in females without males.
13.Reproduction in females with help of sperm banks.
14.Test tube births.
15.Males becoming more asexual with further lowering of testosterone.
16.Declining population in advanced societies increasing populations in non-advanced societies.
17.Lower intelligence levels in macho males and intelligent males lower on macho scale.
18.Move towards geriatric societies.
19.Rising intelligence levels with exponential creativity and digital lives.
20.Age of Singularity where computers and humans meld.
21.Independent of testosterone levels, the most profound change in the future is likely to be on the climate change front where entire or most of humanity could be at risk.

All the giant strides now and in the future shockean times to come in technology, science, arts, culture.. have perhaps reached their tipping point where further development is probably counterproductive for humanity as they are dehumanizing society and pushing the environment close to the edge. 

Post Covid World

Covid has suddenly thrust the planet to the inflexion point. It is a final wake up call for humanity. Civilisation has been on a suicidal ...