Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Redefining Growth to include sustainability

Agricultural growth rate: 9%
Economic growth rate: 3.5%

How perfect, if the growth rates read like this, and not the other way round.
Across nations, economic gurus, governments, media, news-makers - all bask in an artificial glow assumed from the near-double-digit rates.
Over the last year, when the economic growth figures read upwards of 8% and agriculture sector just over 3%, one wishfully thought - "If only they were the other way round".
Today, finally, at least one major TV channel focussed on the issue of redefining growth. (Rohini Nilekani's 'Uncommon Ground')
It is time humankind redefined progress, prosperity and growth. Economic indices will have to include only sustainable development factors as asset-creators, in any and all spheres of human activity. Our very existence entails environmental costs, and add to this each person's (thoughtless) actions, the environmental costs increase several-fold. As of now, very few persons are likely to listen to, let alone understand what people like Sunita Narain of the CSE caution about the kind of development we pursue.
Agricultural land is now as precious as forests. We can no longer continue to afford the conversion of cultivable land for industrial use.
After all what's the use of digitally created green pastures? Can they produce the grains that future generations will need?



Blogger Inner Vision said...

how very well said, it was a pleasure reading your article and enjoyed thoroughly. thanks

15 September, 2008  
Blogger Kat said...

A good clarion call.... our country has been agriculture based and has been it's strength too. It's alarming to read those statistics.

What profit does an agriculturist makes or benefits he gets, for all the efforts he puts in? Sad. Today agriculturists get more money by selling their land, than by their produce?

Was the Delhi Degradable Plastic Bag and Garbage Bill you mentioned tabled in the Assembly session and did it receive a tremendous welcome ?

16 September, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Thanks, Inner vision, Kat.
About the Delhi bill: Yes and no, Kat.
Though the bill was passed, nothing is clear, and implementation is not yet evident. The matter appears to have been muddled up - see below.
"'Environment Department should make correction and issue another advertisement'
Environmentalists in the Capital have said that the Delhi Degradable Plastic Bag (Manufacture, Sale and Usage) and Garbage Control (Amendment) Bill, 2008, passed by the Delhi Assembly on Thursday does not completely adhere to the Delhi High Court order issued last month which instructed an appropriate notification forbidding use of plastic bags in the main markets, local shopping centres apart from hotels, hospitals and mall where use of such bags is already forbidden. Asking the State Government to adopt environmentally sound and economically viable solutions which could replace plastic bags, they said that "while we appreciate the Delhi Government's latest move to implement the Delhi High Court order, it should refrain from putting out advertisements which state that degradable plastic bags are allowed in major and local shopping centres". "Also, the Bill passed on Thursday does not take into account the fact that the Delhi High Court has prohibited use of plastic bags in the main markets, local shopping centres apart from hotels, hospitals and malls where use of such bags is already forbidden," said environmentalist V.K. Jain who heads non-government organisation Tapas. He has also written to the Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit stating that the State Environment Department "should make correction and issue another advertisement with correct information that all kind of plastic bags are forbidden by court order in places as mentioned in the court order so that the there is no violation of the order and no further litigation takes place," said Mr. Jain. "Besides this, even the committee constituted by the Delhi High Court rejected degradable plastic bags as there are no BIS standards for degradability of plastic bags. We don't want the Delhi Government to misinterpret the court order ," said Mr. Jain.

Source:The Hindu September13th,2008.

At the malls, as of yesterday, the p.bag continues to be patronized shoppers and sellers alike.

17 September, 2008  

After all what's the use of digitally created green pastures? Can they produce the grains that future generations will need?

This is the bottom line

17 September, 2008  
Blogger Kat said...

Thank you Swarna for patiently giving the update. Looks it's already diluted and the intended result appears far from obtained. Feel sad.

some cheer to you, carrying the famous yellow-cloth bag to shops..!

17 September, 2008  

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