Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Found these news links, which are related to the last post:

Indians most worried about global warming: survey

Most Indians, Chinese back carbon cuts - survey

It seems like White Man's Mess is being accepted by the Brown Man as his Burden :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My second first posting :)

Obviously I don’t how or from where to start; I am again facing the same situation which I encountered 2.5 years back. I registered with blogspot.com and made this page with the grand plans of writing entries regularly so that I can improve my English and writing skills :D

Today again I don’t know where I shall start from. Just wondering why I find it so effortless to talk about anything, and when it comes to writing my mind just blacks out. They are right who say, “Talk is cheap!”. To do whatever we say is a really hard thing, maybe the hardest thing to do. Obviously it also depends on what an individual dares to claim. Anyways, despite of my above mentioned disbelief in words, I don’t stop talking about anything whether it’s something personal or my grand plans to change the world, rather like a child I still cling to the hopes that I will do whatever I claim or aspire for.

As such whatever little I have done in my life so far, I attribute to these lofty and mostly empty claims only. Somewhere my ego makes me do some (10%) effort so that I can achieve at least 0.01% of whatever I aspire for :D :D. I guess we are all like this, and we all feel the we don’t exploit our full potential (Wishful thinking :). It doesn’t mean that I don’t know the simple math that even if I would have put in my 100% I would not have achieved anymore than 0.1%, so why get myself consumed or burnt out fast by putting in 100% :D why not just keep talking about how the world should be or how to change it.

Lazy creeps like me always end up finding some excuse for not doing the work :). Anyways now that I have already written a few lines of some crap in which you are not at all interested, I should be writing something sensible too otherwise you won’t come back next time.

Yesterday, I watched some parts of the republican debate for presidential candidate nominations conducted in New Hampshire. Yeah! I like the republican philosophy of markets being the most efficient. But to my discontent, it was a depressing debate. I used to think that to learn whatever I want to learn, I have come to the country (USA) where people actually use their brains, but yesterday even the last straw of my that belief got washed off.

Though I am over reacting but I was expecting some more intelligent stuff there. I guess expecting intelligent and sensible talk from politicians anywhere in the world is a sin :). (FYI: I aspire to be a politician in India :). Anyways, I don’t want to say that issues like Iraq war, immigration or tax-cuts were not important but with respect to one of the questions asked there about the most pressing moral issue, I have a different opinion to that of what maybe most Americans and at least all of those republicans on the stage yesterday have.

I was amazed that no one there felt that the global environmental issues could even have a moral side to them. Being from India I always feel sad seeing the amount of wastage of natural resources and energy I see everywhere in this country. I often quote this statistic that if an average Indian or Chinese will start consuming the natural resources equal to an average American, then we will need one planet earth for each of these two countries. Jest is, we just don’t have enough to support the same level of consumption worldwide which western civilization is used to. I don’t believe in blaming today’s generation of west for exploitation of our planet by their forefathers to such an extent that global warming and drying of hydrocarbon energy resources are the hard realities the coming near future, as we know of it today.

But not changing the ways of consumption based life here at the cost of development in the developing countries is not at all morally justifiable anymore. We could argue that previous generations were either ignorant of the finite nature of these resources of didn’t believe in it, but this generation which is aware and still not doing the right thing can not expect the rest of the world to look up to them as leaders the way it used to be in past for their forefathers. It is certainly the moral responsibility of the powerful and advanced nations to make adjustments and lead the worldwide transition to sustainable development instead of the current paradigm of consumption based economic growth supported with easy access to credit.

Ironically, it is the developing countries (today India, China and Brasil, and African countries tomorrow) which will have to bear all the burden of sustainable development worldwide. Like a rights theorist I would argue that all the countries and their citizens have the equal right to develop and become safer, comfortable and growing societies. But if West doesn’t reduce its per capita consumption in order to reach a sustainable and globally equal amount for everyone, then it is unfair to the rest of the world. I am certain that (a hypothetical scenario) if West was the underdeveloped world and India or China was the dominant power in the world, then India also would have done the same level of exploitation of resources and probably some American in an Indian university would be expressing the same thoughts in blogosphere.

If people are waiting for some catastrophe to happen and mobilize the transition to reduced consumption levels then whatever god they believe in (or not), they are not doing the right and fair thing. I don’t want to imply anything like the concept of “white men’s burden”, what I want to say is just don’t consume more than your fair share of resources from now onwards. After that people in developing world will figure out and manage how we all can live together on this planet for our generations to come.

In my opinion, one market based solution for making “sustainable development” happen is to peg the currency and prices of all the things everywhere in the world with energy. Let’s call these “energy credits” which can be measured in Joules or any other unit of energy. Each product’s cost would be the sum of energy consumed to produce it and energy contained in it. Price of the products will then be determined by the market. Like any other form of money, these energy credits give us the right to buy the products worth the energy value we give to them, with a minimum price equal to the “current value” or energy cost of that product. I firmly believe that this futuristic (or sci-fi like) form of money with the right economic policy frameworks would lead us to the path of environmentally sustainable economic growth in an efficient manner.

This approach won’t be able to address the issues of inequalities but for that we need to think of other innovative and culturally relevant strategies. On that my personal belief is that we can try to look for answers in the nature. I will write more on this topic of what to learn from nature later. I don’t expect but I do hope and pray that someone will write to comment on this post as a feedback. I am a student and being young I am quite opinionated right now :) so please correct me wherever I am wrong.