ECONOMY
THINK THIS OVER
Our Suicidal Short Sightedness
- sanehead
Our Suicidal Short Sightedness



FLOODS IN MUMBAI during last three days (and devastating unprecedented floods due to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana in the US at about the same time)
 
Floods in Barmer Sirohi and other parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
 
And of course floods in Bihar UP, Assam and West Bengal.

Millions of people affected, hundreds dead, thousands ill and with lives torn apart having lost loved ones and pets and being financially ruined by losing their homes, businesses, crops, cattle and belongings.
 
Millions of rupees worth of public assets, roads, railroads, buildings , electric installations, hospitals , airports, dams, bridges and reservoirs that took years of effort to build, laid to ruin in a matter of minutes and hours.
 
We are devastated by such floods and engrossed in managing the destruction they bring in their wake and providing relief and rehabilitation as well we should be. But before we are done with this task, there's another flood.
 
We forget that these floods are forewarnings of even greater catastrophes that await us, including earthquakes in flood zones, rising sea levels that could drown some of the biggest cities of the world (including Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai) and whole countries, including our neighbours Bangladesh and Maldives by 2050, maybe even earlier.
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These scenes of hurricanes and tsunamis alternating with droughts should be ringing alarm bells in the minds of all thinking people.
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Mad urbanization, misconceived concepts of water management and wrong concepts of development are the biggest causes of the floods.
 
We ignore the forces of nature at our peril. Once we allow crazy urbanisation at our current frenetic rate we will be crying in vain that we should not build houses and roads on the pathways of rivers or their tributaries or on flood plains or on waterways, on areas occupied earlier by ponds, wetlands, lakes, mangroves and so on, we should not pollute our water bodies or over-exploit them, we should not over-exploit groundwater especially millennia old aquifers.
  
Go to the root causes
Don't starve those who live and work in rural areas and on farms.
Don't build embankments that try to save towns and cities at the cost of the countryside and the less vocal rural populations.
Don't encroach or build on water-bodies and waterways.
Don't build roads or railway lines in the natural path of rivers and other waterways without providing for causeways, high bridges or other means of free flow of water even though the flow is only seasonal.
Don't over-exploit your hydel/hydroelectric power potential.
Stop building mammoth dams or talking about idiotic schemes like river linking that go totally against the scheme of nature.
And don't forget - once the permanent snows and glaciers melt, you'll be facing drought. You may not have water left even to drink.
 
In fact we see the phenomenon happening already when we had to pump up groundwater in the rice planting and transplantation season for lack of rain and then found our seedlings dying due to excess water in floods
 
We find Vidarbha region of Maharashtra parched with trains having to ferry drinking water and farmers committing suicide due to continual failure of crops and death of cattle on account of drought and Mumbai City the capital of Maharashtra drowning in unprecedented downpours of unseasonal rain during Ganesh Puja.
 
The City of Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu, went underwater for days an year back and yet farmers of Tamil Nadu have been fighting for every drop of Cauvery River waters with the equally water- starved farmers of Karnataka, and pathetically protesting in Delhi with begging bowls in hand and skulls of family members who have committed suicide due to scarcity hung around their necks.
 
These scenes of hurricanes and tsunamis alternating with droughts should be ringing alarm bells in the minds of all thinking people.
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These are ominous signs that foretell the end of human civilization within a very limited span of time, and we seem bent upon bringing this devastation upon ourselves faster and faster by the day.
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So think about recharging large areas with what is excess of water in some areas today. Learn water harvesting and water management techniques. Make Land Water and Natural Resource Management courses compulsory in schools and colleges. Make environmental awareness programs compulsory on all TV channels for at least half an hour on Primetime everyday.
 
Boycott corporates who do not strictly follow principles of environmental protection. Lobby and pressurise your MPs and MLAs to bring, enact and help implement environmental protection legislation strictly.
 
Reject all concepts, models data and statistics of Development which exploit the environment rather than renewing it.

Adapt to Nature
 
Don't dare to try to twist Nature and it's primal forces for your petty greed. You treat Nature rough, Nature will treat you rougher. In fact, it will destroy you. You can't play with forces of Nature.

Wake up to the perils of global warming and climate change.
 
When the deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat begin to sink in floods, when cloudbursts throw out as much water in a place in one day as it usually doesn't get in a whole year, when mountains shatter and floods overwhelm mountainous areas  like Kedarnath, it's time to sit up and take notice.
 
And do something about it
 
We are already too late to avoid many of the catastrophes detailed above. Let us begin in right earnest to minimise or avoid the rest if we can and to refrain from aggravating what we can no longer avoid.
 
These are ominous signs that foretell the end of human civilization within a very limited span of time, and we seem bent upon bringing this devastation upon ourselves faster and faster by the day.
 
 ____________________________________________________
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