Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Why I am a climate hippie wanting to become a climate yogi...

I know all my mad rantings in newgrammaroflife.blogspot.com, Facebook's New Grammar of Living and twitter @pkd603 for the past decade or so and my diaries since the 70s have come to nought....fallen on deaf ears of a civilisation bent on climate hara-kiri (in a lighter vein and very likely my blogs are being read only by bots!!).... we are too addicted to the ever-increasing comfortable life of modern civilisation enabled by technological progress over the past two centuries or so spearheaded by the western societies...

Indeed it's a Faustian choice and bargain for society...all of us including yours truly have been sucked into the entails of the devilish charms of all the energy intensive goodies which the capitalistic societies are offering through supermarkets... now just a click away on the ultimate celestial mall of amazon...there is simply no escape ...it's sheer digital nirvana...the opium of the masses….

As billions of people in the developing and emerging markets join the rapidly increasing global urbanscape... fed and tempted daily by the alluring ads and serials on the ubiquitous TVs and internet...consumerism is spreading across all nooks, crannies and crevices of human settlements .... due to the aggressive trickle down sales and distribution networks of manufacturing ...the aspiration levels of billions are rising fast... fuelled by movies and telly serials which have been influenced by the puerile Hollywood over the past century .. yes, the entire planet has been effectively and suitably americanised…wearing jeans which require 2000 to 3000 litres of water to manufacture, drinking coca cola and pepsi, eating burgers and pizza, listening to rock n roll, driving SUVs and other toys of doom, frequenting and super markets……

Consumer goods form a major step in the upward movement of humans to a so called better life...followed by household durables .. housing .. two wheelers ... cars... electronics... air conditioning...in the process driving nail after nail into the sputtering climate coffin...mass consumerism, urbanisation, energy intensive lifestyles...with attendant environmental degradation and pollution…are driving us towards a climocalypse...

We are indeed on the horns of mankind's most difficult dilemma...to progress or not to...human race has emerged out of a long evolutionary process...biogenetics which is the root of the nature's evolutionary process… where natural selection ensures that the best of the species adapt and survive.... and there is continuous move towards so called superior and higher species...hence now the moot question is where do humans evolve from here onwards...

Human civilisation has peaked....with its brains which have been improving over the past ten thousand years or so...humans have evolved from discovering how to ignite fire ....to inventing nuclear weapons..  It has indeed been a long journey...in the process of continuous improvement the western world has over past four centuries or so (starting with Europe and then along with America) leapfrogged ahead of the east ..mainly India and China which had dominated the global wealth till then ....by inventing the steam engine, locomotives, ships, guns, electricity, cars, aeroplanes, nuclear weapons and energy, internet.....

Now we are at the inflexion point... technology and knowledge has spread to all continents... Russia and China have emerged as superpowers...Japan and South Korea. ...India.. manufacturing and the service industry have matured in all the top countries.... meanwhile the population of humanity has crossed 7 billion... clearly an unsustainable number.. planet's resources are grossly inadequate to support the ever-increasing demands of rising  humans and per capita requirements... 

There is no way we can curb the hunger for higher volumes and sophistication of goods and services of the planet's rising population ...the mantra of capitalism is forever rising GDP .... even though inequalities are widening ... all the measures outlined in the Paris accord are vague and too little too late...though intentions are honest but no one can think of radical solutions to tackle the root causes of climate change...the stark reality is that it’s an unequal world with high inequalities. Hence the top 10% of the global population would be emitting over 70% of the carbon. Hence the actions of the top 10% have accelerated the climate change for entire world. Sadly but ironically the major 90% are facing the brunt of the climate change events and suffering huge financial losses which they can ill afford. It's indeed an unfair world where the rich who are the main cause of climate change are able to continue their comfortable lives well protected from the ravages of climate....

Hence the only way to satisfy my conscience is to become a climate hippie ...not for the first time…I have been a hippie since 1970..it's interesting to note that the earliest rebels who revolted against the establishment were rock n roll musicians...during the 60s which was the most defining decade for the world in more than one way ..in fact the rock n roll musicians like led zeppelin, pink floyd...were some of the earliest to protest against consumerism, rampant industrialisation and impact on nature....perhaps the best way to cope up with the insane demands of modern society and senseless damage to environment by our high energy lifestyles is to get comfortably numbed...during the early 70s I had shoulder length hair with mid parting for a couple of years like the sage Sri Aurobindo whom I used to admire...

But now I am quite ready to give up urban living and spend the rest of one’s life near the sea or at my ancestral village in Odisha… a most cosmic state ...in spite of the heat there… this is not a new fad for me....in fact during my schooldays (class 7 during 1965) I used to take cold showers in the midnight of winters in Kolkata when the temp was about 10C .... to strengthen my mind...kind of a renunciation and self-mortification … during the height of summer my younger brother and me used spend hot afternoons during holidays without the ceiling fan when the temp used to peak at around 38C (with maybe a feels like index of maybe 42C)....it was kind of divine madness during ones teens...there was this strong spark within one to lead a spartan life of monks...at that age I wanted to reduce my dependence on electricity....kind of abhorred an energy intensive life....intuitively both of us brothers wanted to reduce our carbon imprint....

All along since my childhood I was quite accustomed to walking.....to school, markets, the British council library, later after working home from office, to the bank....in Kolkata we used the public transport for going further.....even after I bought a car in Bengaluru which was quite late in life when was 41....I still liked to walk wherever I could....even the car I was forced to buy because in Bengaluru public transport was poor in the 90s....and plus the bank where I was working gave us interest free loans and petrol, driver, etc....luckily my wife had no hang ups that we must own a car....now I very rarely use the car... walking to do all my chores like bank work, groceries... 

Since we moved to Bengaluru in 1992...we never felt the need for air conditioners....gradually over past 20+ years the average temp in Bengaluru has risen by over 2C...in our previous apartment all the flats had at least one AC while we had none....it was only in 2014 we installed ACs since we were on top floor...which we use only for about two months a year..

So now being totally disillusioned in Bengaluru by the phoney and plastic scene, energy intensive lifestyles, concrete urban nightmare, environmental disaster, density of population..... ....I wish to become a climate yogi and go and live in a village....my ancestral village near Bhubaneswar in Odisha....practising my manifesto for climate change...the manifesto has been drafted....it needs to be completed...

Basically as a yogi...I will have to lead the deenergised lifestyle which I have been espousing all these years....solar power which will provide basic electrical gadgets like lights, fan, small fridge, TV, music, laptop, tablet, phone .. I should get deeply involved as a climate activist in creating Heat Action Plans for cities and villages of Odisha…I have been trying my best to convince my wife…but so far she has not been in favour…neither does my daughter with all  me in this role in Odisha … feel deeply troubled… would not mind also to stay in Bhubaneswar the capital of Odisha .. or wage my struggle to spread awareness about climate change right here in Bengaluru the city which is collapsing under the its weight as one of the fastest growing cities in the world……with all the banes of modern civilisation and urbanisation…will outline my role as climate yogi soon in my next blog….


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 ...