“Soon silence will have passed into prodigy. Man has turned his back on stillness. Day after day he envisages machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation… tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His angst subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like gray foliage.”
A human being is part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his perception. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, confining us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by amplifying our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty.
Without realizing this fact we humans assume to be woven into the web of life. But, in reality we are but one thread annealed within it. In the name of Development what not are humans doing. Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.
Today what we are living in is a fast paced world where everybody is stuck up in the never ending rat race. Losing even one minute of this time allowing one to enter into eternity without providing any contribution to this world is indeed a peccadillo.
Unfortunately, in the present scenario, development that has taken up a new meaning has seriously altered the environment both locally and worldwide.
Cities are clogged with traffic causing pollution that is detrimental to our health
New buildings are being built on the green emerald carpeted sites ornamented adroitly by the dew drops.
Each year the list of endangered spices seems to be augmented enormously.
Acid rain is damaging the celestial tranquility – the rain forests
Millions of tones of waste is being land filled every day
CFCs and other chemicals are depleting the ozone layer thatprotects us from harmful radiation.
Today’s world is one in which the age-old risks of humankind – the drought, floods, communicable diseases are less of a problem than ever before. They have been replaced by risks of humanity’s own making – the unintended side-effects of beneficial technologies and the intended effects of the technologies of war. Society must hope that the world’s ability to assess and manage risks will keep pace with its ability to create them.
This is a beautiful planet and not at all fragile. Earth can withstand significant volcanic eruptions, tectonic cataclysms, and ice ages. But this canny, intelligent, prolific, and extremely self-centered human creature had proven himself capable of more destruction of life than Mother Nature herself…. We’ve got to be stopped.
India, a land rich in natural vegetation and cultural heritage is now turning into a land of pollution. The more we are developing, the more damage we are bringing to the nature. It is necessary for man to push the wheels of progress but this progress should not be at the cost of those resources that have been borrowed from our future generation. Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by what is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?
When a man wantonly destroys one of the works of man we call him a vandal. When he destroys one of the works of god why do we call him a sportsman?
We can’t go on like this. We are putting too great a strain on our planet. It’s time for a new approach to development and the way we live. A light to this path can be rendered by Sustainable development. “Sustainable development is development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainable development is about valuing and safeguarding these resources and making sure future generations are able to enjoy the same or better quality of life than we enjoy today. Each and every one of us has our part to play in sustainable living. “Think globally, act locally and change personally” should be the motto of us humans. Each time you think about picking one of those flowers that brings fragrance to the crushing hand, each time you think of disturbing the serenity of the landscape, remember:
“When you defile the pleasant streams,
And the wild bird’s abiding place,
You massacre a million dreams
And cast your spittle in God’s face.”
An equitable distribution of resources is essential for sustained quality of life and global peace. Resources are vital for any developmental activity. But irrational consumption and over – utilization of resources may lead to socio – economic and environmental problems. To overcome these problems, resource conservation is highly essential. Gandhiji was very apt in voicing his concern about resources in these words, “There is enough for everybody’s need and not for anybodies greed.”
Various institutional efforts have been carried out at global level in order to reduce the effect of development on the environment.
RIO DE JANERIO EARTH SUMMIT, 1992: In 1992 more than 100 heads of the state met in Rio de Janerio in Brazil, for the first International Earth Summit. This summit was convened for addressing urgent problems of environmental protection and socio – economic development at the global level. The Rio Convention endorsed the global forest principles and adopted Agenda 21for achieving Sustainable Development in the 21st century.
CLUB OF ROME, 1968: At the international level the Club of Rome advocated resource conservation in a systematic manner
BRUNDLAND COMMISION. 1987: It introduced the concept of sustainable development which was subsequently published in a book titled “Our Common Future”.
The process of development though has enabled countries to take a major step towards perfection, has even caused various harm. The sky reaching chimneys of industries pointed out as the sign of ‘progress’ is in fact the dark cloud of anger of Mother Nature – the one who never claimed conceited omnipotence.
Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will humans be free in their own land from the noise, the exhausts, the reek of automotive waste.
As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: “With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas to see their world collapse around them.”
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.