‘Nature provides for everybody’s need, but not for everybody’s greed’, said Mahatma Gandhi in effect when he stressed the imperative of environmental preservation and conservation. Because modern man did not heed the advice, because modern human society did not bother to pause and ponder over those wise words, because everybody thought only of the immediate and not of the eternal, the humanity is now faced with a terrible threat of overall destruction and damage to life on Planet Earth. This dangerous possibility has been highlighted by a globally respected journal ‘Nature Climate Change’. The magazine has reported a study highlighting how deforestation and climate change is killing wildlife whose habitat has been restricted terribly and how species of wildlife find it increasingly difficult to protect themselves from vagaries of human greed.
Even as the world gets ready for the next encounter on Climate Change due soon, this study should act as an eye-opener. Otherwise, the humanity will continue on a calamitous journey to doom in the not-so-distant a future. The journal’s study has reported that between the years 2000 and 2012, the world has lost forest cover bigger than the whole of India. The details of the study are daunting in every which the way -- how species of wildlife cannot move to safer zones with forest failing to offer a contiguous route because of massive destruction of the green cover.
The scientists now fear that more than 550 species have become vulnerable and more than half of those have been threatened with extinction in a short while. Every detail is nerve-wrecking. Unfortunately, we do not have to go long distances to see what is actually happening. In every country on the planet, in every zone of the global geography, in every human community around the world, human greed is found getting mixed with what is described ominously and paradoxically as developmental politics, leading to destruction of environment in a brazen display of raw and thoughtless political power whose wielders have lost their sense of balance long, long, long ago. In every town, there are politicians with pygmy personalities foisting their myopic vision on the society, brushing aside legitimate protests and opposition of Nature-lovers and environmental activists. So brazen are these politicians across the world that they describe Nature-lovers and activists as “anti-developmental”.
Most unfortunately, members of the human communities across the globe feel almost helpless against the brazen and arrogant display of political oneupmanship, skulduggery and white-collar vandalism. This is happening from Washington to Washim, Nebraska to Nagpur, Bhopal to Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo to Solapur ...! There is not one part of the world that has escaped from this draconian march of developmentalism that does not notice the wisdom in protection, preservation and conservation of the environs.
And all this is being reflected in politics that is getting woven around the Paris Climate Pact. On the altar of environmental issues, the world’s leaders are making sanity the sacrificial metaphor. Barring a very small minority, most world leaders are happy playing the developmental card at the cost of environment of Planet Earth. The people watch helplessly, feeling frustrated. But the only hope is that not too distant into future, the common members of the humanity would rise in shrill and loud protests whose noise would cross into millions of decibels, drowning every voice in favour of developmental politics. That may appear to be a calamitous development, no doubt. But then, only in that eventuality that the humanity would be able to see and sense of ray of hope -- of survival!