World Environment Day: Making Development and Environment Compatible
It was the 1990’s, the teacher dramatically presented the chapter on protection of trees with emotions running high. ‘’ if we cut the trees, there will be no wind, resulting in no rain and in turn the whole world would be transformed into an arid desert in a few years time!” The imagination of the Class 9 students, took a frightening camel ride through the desert. It’s been 14 years since I was taught this theory but the rains have increased and I am yet to see a camel!
In the new millennium the catch word was Global warming. Exploiting the fear of the people activists like Al Gore propagated that the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is responsible for global warming, leading to decrease in ice cover in the polar region which would result in increase in water level thereby sending many regions in the world under water! The documentary film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ that narrated these aspects became the sixth highest grossing film in the United States till date and won accolades at film festivals world over. But Al Gore and co. had kept the scientific facts in the back burner to propagate their claim. The scientific community refuted their claim on global warming and the hopes of cruising in a modern world Noah’s Ark was drowned for good!
Why are some environmentalists going overboard with bizarre theories to send panic waves all around?
The hidden motives and strategies of so-called environmentalists have to be unearthed and the grain has to be separated from the chaff for a meaningful participation in the World Environment Day or any of the pro environmental protests or events happening throughout the year.
Funded by organizations and MNC’s from developed nations, backed by media, NGO’s dedicating themselves to the environment have mushroomed over the past few years in the developing nations especially in India. In fact in the name of environment, most of them have become puppets in the hands of their overseas managers.
Activities like building dams, power plants, extracting minerals, operating quarries and the like are crucial in the growth of a developing nation. It is also a fact that environment is at the receiving end during these activities. All these are integral part of the growth of a developing nation and the blind opposition to these activities by ‘developed nations funded’ environmental activists is indeed a great threat.
The opposition by environmentalists would be meaningful if they strive limit the amount of degradation to the environment inflicted by the projects. Blind oppositions and strikes completely opposing the developmental activities in the name of environmental protection is a crime done to the developing nations.
The developed nations have done enough and more harm to the environment to make their nations secure for ages. The extent of their exploitation had even crossed borders to their colonies during the imperialist rule. The attempt of the developed nations to claim a pseudo high moral ground and teach developing nations ‘how to treat environment’ is hypocrisy in its zenith.
The Copenhagen climate summit talks went off the rails when developed nations called the shots in dictating terms to the developing nations. Unequal limits of Carbon emission norms were set wherein the developed nations were permitted to emit twice compared to the developing nations! These and other dictatorial attitude meant the summit met with little success.
While the developed nations attempts to bring developing nations to toe their line failed in high profile summits, funding NGO’s have allowed them the back door entry. Indians over the ages have lived in harmony with the environment, but during the times of need Indigenous environmentalists like Sunderlal Bahguna have come up with Chipko movement and the like to protect the environment with responsibility.
The developed nations ploy of directly or indirectly opposing the need of Developing countries in the name of environment cannot be tolerated. Rather than cooking up bizarre theories and holding protests, the environmental activists should strive to focus on reducing the impact of these activities in the environment and make development and environment compatible.
The author is on twitter as @jeffshawn