TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE! At Goa’s 1st International Environment & Sustainability Summit while Minister for Science & Environment Nilesh Cabral said Goa as a small state can set an example even solar energy hasn’t proved to be popular with Goan business. Secretary for Environment Arun Kumar Mishra observed that sustainability is when ecology balances economy and vice versa. While it may Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission to develop India along sustainable lines, India still has a long way to go towards achieving this goal!
FOR the first time ever the Goa State Pollution Control Board hosted a 1st International Environment & Sustainability Summit in Goa at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium from February 2-4, 2023 (last day Saturday, Feb4) and one couldn’t help thinking how many sacrifices our mod con addicted civilisation is willing to make for a sustainable future! Our civilisation has been at this crossroad for quite some time now, stupidly unable to decide whether Mother Earth comes first or the human of the species and its comforts come first!
We still don’t understand why we cannot afford even a 1.5 degree increase in temperature…or all the havoc it will cause to life on earth, including human beings. The good earth is hotting up and we know this in our r guilty, educated, monetised world, some countries more guilty than others. Even if we say the Western world is more guilty, do we have to follow its footsteps in our development models? How many sacrifices are we willing to make to arrive at environmental sustainability? That’s actually the key question at all environment meets local or global today.
It’s a very disquieting question for the vast majority of the human species are living on a high of every comfort necessary or unnecessary are not willing to make any sacrifices – just so that Mother Earth, our primary home may breathe easy! We love our mod con comforts too much even if it is detrimental to our health in mind and body, heart and soul.
Still, if you’re really for a sustainable future for humankind on the good earth (very rapidly becoming an increasingly revengeful earth) there are several answers/solutions at the international summit currently on. Organised by the Goa State Pollution Control board, I hope at least its 150 employees who made up the audience, take home some valuable inputs so that they may swing a change for Goa to remain a cool, green paradise for Goans and tourists alike ..and not a water-starved, coal-infested hell in the making in the near future!
ENVIRONMENT & Climate Change (government of Goa) Arun Kumar Mishra (IAS) made some pertinent observations when he said the country’s dilemma on development mode started from 1948 when Mahatma Gandhi called for people’s trusteeship, he called for a bottoms up development. Right from the start the biggest challenge has been to ease poverty and to arrive at right balance of development or what Mishra called “intra generation equity” theory. Part of the problem is that the kind of technology we adopt for industrial development must be quality technology…for example, Delhi went in for CNG conversion of its bus system but oftentimes inferior products are responsible for breakdowns!
Electrification of energy has resulted in buses burning and this is very much the case in other areas too. We must also ask if zero carbon emission is practical for our country just yet? Minister for PWD, Law & Judiciary Legislative Affairs & Environment & climate Change Nilesh Cabral spoke of living up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of India leading the G20 summit coming up, but we are far away yet from the most up-to-date technology which will permit a vehicle to go run 600-700 km on a single charge! He also admitted that solar power technologies have not taken off in a big way in Goa.
Which is a pity because Goa being the smallest state could set the pace for other bigger states in the county in switching over to the environment-friendly technologies, show the way for an exemplary sustainable future. Well, the challenges are many for India to arrive at a place where it is on par with the developed countries of the world, where even a little bit of sunshine goes a long way for solar energy harvesting to light up homes and other areas of lifestyle. Solar is a big-time switchover and this is being implemented by many businesses now but not on the large scale desirable to make a significant difference.
At the summit venue there are several companies showcasing their environment-friendly technologies for a more sustainable future. There are so many ways in which we can make our lifestyles more eco-friendly! Solar technologies have been inviting a lot of attention for generating electricity through thermal and windmill-driven mechanics – on show were the KVB Green Energies which also have solar greenhouse driers. I don’t why solar cookers didn’t take off – we don’t like solar cooked food perhaps! But KVB has these solar greenhouse driers useful for drying spices, fruit, vegetables, herbs, dal, fish, nuts, paddy, and a whole lot of other usages. I hear solar windmill-driven technology is working very well in Rajasthan and Karnataka, here wind energy is harnessed, but has anyone done a study on cost-effectiveness of solar energy technologies?
Elsewhere one could see a lot is being done on recycling our gaguantan plastic wastes, produced by our industrial civilisation – how to turn waste to wealth ideas, which mean processing the waste and turning it into bricks, carpets, furniture, whatnot. Innovative re-cycling – but I’ve noticed that all those “eco-friendly bags” are not biodegradable in the sense that although they degenerate into microplastics faster, they do nothing for the restoration of natural nutrient values to the soil…and yet many are turning to these flimsy “Not Plastic” bags for retail use in shopping and packing food.
Our civilisation of industrial, urban plenty lifestyles has tramautized Mother Earth big time and now we are reaping the backlash tragedies…so much damage done in a 100 years! Environment and sustainable is the way to go to do any damage control…can we draw some lines on how much technology we need, want or are greedy for? Especially when we do not know how deal with all the technological waste emerging along with all the other wastes of the food industry and our love for plastics? Life is becoming bizzare , my dears, and there are individual and collective decisions we must make for the future we will have to live in – good, bad or ugly. Choose wisely now!
NOW IT IS `HAATH SE HAATH JODO ABHIYAN’!
FROM the looks and sound of it at least ruling BJP and wannabe ruler Opposition Congress are competing with one another to come up with the best campaigns to confuse and brainwash the voting public in the run up to the forthcoming elections in 2024! For the Congress after its marathon “Bharat Jodo Yatra” now it is “Haath Se Haath Jodo Abhiyan”…while the BJP not to be left behind has called for “Har Ghar Dhyan!” Whatever that means the BJP is perhaps trying to be more pious to woo poor pious voting banks or so to speak.
The Goa Pradesh Congress committee launched its Haath Se Haath Jodo Abhiyan on Republic Day at the Azad Maidan in Panaji with lota of Gangajal water to green its style of politics at the beginning of a new campaign — we presume it envisions Congress leaders putting in home visits to find out which way the wind will blow for which party. Not that there are too many to …er…blow away the sorrows of life be they be to do with unemployment, growing hunger, inflation at an all-time high (thanks to insidious GST creeping in everywhere), no securities to take bank loans to start a business or buy a much-needed home — and above all the politics of the day high on promises, low on delivery or selective delivery (that’s another murderous thought).
The BJP is getting more pious Hindutva-style visiting temples, performing marathon puja, wooing all children of a lesser god with prasad, luncheons, sundry gifts…knowing full well in the name of Hinduism a zillion hearts may be easily won. We don’t who thinks out of the box at the Congress party but we are sure it has to be Bharat Jodo Yatra’s Rahul Gandhi, the key contender for what has become the political “throne” of Bharatdesh in the next elections.
In Goa a whole lot of new faces are being seen with Prof Rajeev Gowda (chairperson of Research department of AICC), Dr Sake Sailajanath (former minister and PCC president Andhra Pradesh) and paying their respects at the new look Congress House in Panaji – at least all the pictures of Congress leaders past and present on the walls are looking brand new and credited with neatly put in names.
But at the January 25, 2023 press conference none one was willing to say what the Congress stand is on the burning issue of Mhadei river waters being stolen away by Karnataka to the long term detriment of Goa’s agriculture, wildlife and potable water needs. That’s the problem with the Congress, too many leaders afraid of expressing an opinion; with the BJP the problem is only three people may take a decision for everyone down the corridors of power who don’t have an opinion or if they have they dare not express it!
We wish both the Congress and the BJP good-luck. May the better man or woman win for the larger good of the country. May the people of India NOT be swayed by serial liars or serial goons when next they cast their vote. This is India, meri jaan, it will fight back and teach any lootmaar sarkar a lesson!
ON that note it’s avjo, poiteverem, selamat datang, au revoir, arrivedecci, hasta la vista and vachun yeta here for now.