mail to Sunita Narain 7811:
With all due respect, climate change is the wrong issue, especially argueing about the ifs and whens. Climate change is taking place and it is unstoppable.
[Compare: "Climate science and the Indian scientist" by Sunita Narain]
To deal with the effects of climate change we must do two things:
1. relocalise human activities to flood-safe areas and minimising dependence on goods manufactured outside of these areas (=localisation), and
2. dramatically reduce climate gas emissions so as to avoid a further increase of climate change.
Relocalisation, and slowing down will greatly help to reduce emissions and resource depletion.
The larger issue, however, is GROWTH, the idea that we can and have to continue the expansion of the economy and of the population.
I happen to hit on a BBC article about the partition of British India in 1947, which says "[...] Radcliffe was responsible for dividing the vast territories of British India into India and Pakistan, separating 400 million people along religious lines.[...]"
I checked the number and found that the three countries had
436.9 million people in 1951,
684.4 million people in 1975, and
1,445,056,417 people according to CIA estimates in July 2007
That makes a population increase of 3.6 times (361 per cent).
Now I do not know how much the combined GDP of the three countries India Bangla Desh and Pakistan grew over these past 60 years since 1847. A Wikipedia entry mentions for India alone (in millions of rupees) 99340 in 1950 and 40,701,955 in 200, giving a growth factor of an impressive 409,7 time more GDP for India.
As the Indian population grew 3,12 times, the GDP per capita grew 131 times.
This means that the Indian population increased its pressure on the land and its resources by 131 times (13100 percent). But the area did grow by zero percent and the resources keep deminishing at an increasing speed.
Your CSE new letters report frequently on the environmental problems India has. No need to repeat them.
But focusing on climate change makes forget the underlying cause of all evil, being overpopulation and overconsumption.
And this does not only count for Indai but in valid for ALL peoples of this planet.
So we are doomed in the real sense of the word, if we continue this trend and don't start reducing urgently.
The continued call of the Academic-Business-Politics complex for economic growth means adding insult to injury upon our mother Earth.
That's why I'm getting pretty annoyed with the climate change issue.
It feels like trying to repair at the fringes and continuing to destroy the center.
What do you say?
Kind regards ... Helmut Lubbers 11 August 2007